Thursday, March 26, 2009

Trees in the Mail

Look what came in the mail today!

Yes, that is six baby trees!
I love all the different colored barks.

I can't wait to get them planted so they can start growing!
I am still for waiting for ten more to arrive though.
But, they should be here soon. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Gadget Love

We bought a new gadget and I have to admit that it was instant love at first tinker. We bought a GPS navigation system. It is the coolest thing I have ever had. It gives more than directions. Let me tell you what!

It shows the speed the car is going. Now I don't have to lean over to see if my husband is speeding!

It shows elevation. Where we live is just under 900 feet above sea level. Who knew!?

It shows direction of course, but now when my husband asked, "Which way is Mexico?" I can now point in the right direction, and yes he ask me that often because he is amazed at how often I get it wrong.

It shows what road we are on and between what two side streets so that if we need to call a tow truck or something like that we can tell them EXACTLY where we are.

It shows nearby attractions. Even something as simple as gas stations. You can touch on the gas station symbol and it will even tell you which gas station it is and an address and phone number!!

It tells you when a turn is coming and gives a little warning bell right before you get there. If you miss the turn it will recalculate the route to get you back to where you need to be. Frankie needs this feature!!

It is truly an awesome gadget and now I must give it a name. All things loved should have a name. Any suggestions? :)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Planting a Tree...Make That Sixteen of Them

Ha! Ha! Now it is stuck in your head too!


Frankie and I went to Home Depot and Lowe's today to price trees. We have an acre of wide open space that we need to farm something on. So we are going to plant some trees this spring. The cheapest we found were around $15 to $25 each. We wanted at least five, so this was starting to add up.

We came home and I was looking online to see what other options there were. I came across the Abor Day Foundation Tree Store website. It was loaded with specials. For $10 we became members for 6 months and got 10 free flowering trees shipped to us that will grow in our hardiness zone in time to be planted for spring. (We are all the way down in zone 9!) Then I started looking through other trees that are good for our area and the prices were great. The trees will be smaller than what is found in the store but I think it is a good trade off.

After picking two trees, I checked my cart and saw that with every membership purchase we received a free tree! It gets even better. It also said that if I buy $7 more in trees I would get two more trees free! Plus, shipping is a flat $4.95! So the total number of trees we are getting is 16 for a price of around $40! This was the price of 2 trees at the store! Plus, these come from the Abor Day Foundation so it is a trusted source. I am so excited!

Here is a list of all the trees we will be receiving soon:

Pictures will follow once they are all planted!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Frankie's Adventure in Eatingland

For supper we decided to go to our favorite Mexican food restaurant, Taqueria del Rodeo #4. They have the best carne asada we have ever had. In fact, it is so good that is usually what we get in some form or another. Frankie normally gets the nachos with asada and I get two asada tacos.

Today, we both decided that we wanted to branch out and try something new. I went with the mini asada taquitos with cilantro in corn tortillas.

Mini Taquitos


Frankie was VERY adventurous and ordered three different tacos: asada, lengua, and chicharrĂ³n. Asada was not the adventure. I don't know what he was thinking with the other two though.

ChicharrĂ³n is also know as pork skins or cracklings, but this was the unfried version. That alone would have kept me from ordering it, but not Frankie. He took a tentative bite and that was the only bite he took. It looked like a piece of fat wrapped in a tortilla with some type of tomato sauce on it. I didn't take a picture, it was gross to look at though.

We both have had lengua (which is cow tongue) in the past, but this one was not shredded or hidden under cheese. It was just out there taste buds and all. It was all either of us could do to continue eating after seeing it.

Lengua Tacos

I tried to keep my comments to myself so that they wouldn't keep him from at least trying the taco. He tried it but once he told me he wasn't going to eat it, I told him that all I kept thinking was, "I wonder if the cow could taste him as he tasted it?"

So then he started in by saying, "I would have been French kissing a cow if I had eaten it!" We were both glad that it was at least cut up a little. If it had been just a whole tongue wrapped in a tortilla, neither one of us would have been able to eat anything! Frankie was a little mad at himself for spending the money on food he didn't eat, but I told him that it was money well spend if he learned not to be so adventurous in the future. His name is Frankie not Andrew Zimmerman after all! ;p

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Heard Spring Arriving

Today is a lovely Lord's day.

There is promise of much needed rain for our parched part of the earth. I haven't seen rain since....well...I know it hasn't rained since we started school in August (at least not anything worth counting) and I can't recall much before that either. We are all praying for rain in south Texas. Right now it is bright and sunny then a cloud will pass over to provide relief from the heat. There are clouds today, but even they have been scarce. The temperature is already trying to reach 90 degrees this early in the year. *Bring it on summer! We can take your heat!*

Even with the drought we are having, spring is popping up all around. I decided to go outside and take some pictures. While I was out near the trees I could hear this popping/crackling noise. I was perfectly still and there was only the slightest of breezes. I could have sworn it was light raindrops falling on the dead leaves on the ground. But that wasn't it. I didn't see anything. I kept listening and it continued. There were no birds around, nothing.

Just this noise...

I have concluded in my scientific opinion...because after all....I have a Bachelor of Science degree...*: p*...that it must have been spring arriving. The buds trying to break out from the branch, the bugs hatching to fly their first flights, the grasses searching for any hint of water so they can push through the dirt....these are the sounds I heard today.

Welcome Spring! You weren't gone very long in these parts, but we welcome you back all the same.

Here are a few spring pictures for your enjoyment. (I know the last one is just weeds, but when there is a drought, you take what you can get.) :)

Empty Nest

Spring 2009

First Flowers 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Standardized State Testing, Puke, and Fighting

The title sums up my week. Doesn't it sound like it was a dream week?! Are you jealous yet?

On Tuesday the students took the English Language Arts portion of the standardized state test. In Texas it is called the TAKS test (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills). They have other subjects they have to take as well, including math which I teach, but they come next month. In my opinion these tests suck. I hate these test. Enough said.

Also on Tuesday, after lunch, most of the kids were finished with the TAKS test. So instead of keeping all the kids cooped up in the same room all day they moved the ones still testing and let the others go on to their regular classes. There were a few in my room still not done so I was walking them over to the new room when one of them said to me that he thought he was going to throw up. That is all the warning I and the other kids walking to the new room got. The poor kid lost it in front of us all. I am sooooooooooooo glad we were outside. I almost lost it myself. It was nasty, remember this was AFTER lunch. Oh my gosh it was soooooooooo nasty. The next day other teachers decided it was puke story telling time. I got queasy all over again. It was that bad the day before. Eww.

Today the day was going along nicely until the passing period between the last two classes of the day. I walked out into the hall to monitor the kids and saw two Jr. High kids fighting each other, mostly pushing, but still. Crap! I was the only adult out there at that moment so I hurried over there yelling these two boys names. Another Jr. High kid had his arms around one of the boys trying pulling him back away from the one he was fighting. I threw my hands out to them to try to get them to stop and tried pushing them away from each other. Someone, not sure who, stepped on my foot. I yelled at the boys to go to the office and I made sure one went on ahead as I grabbed the other by his jacket so he wouldn't attack the first one again. Then I walked with him to the office following the first one.

So you are thinking, oh Jr. High kids, little guys. Not even. Both of these boys are taller than me, one of them by almost a foot. They both outweigh me by a good 40 to 50 lbs each and I am not a skinny girl by any strecth of the imagination. In fact, another boy was trying to help break them up and one of the fighters just picked him up and moved him out of the way. That is the first fight that I have had to break up in my five years of teaching. I doubt it is my last if I stay in this profession. I have just been lucky.

But guess what! After next week it will be spring break! And I will have a full week away from the little darlings! :) I can't wait!