Saturday, December 29, 2012


Hello blogger world, It's been over two years since I last blogged. Not sure why. It could be that since I last blogged, I finished my second year teaching and started my third year. I also started grad school classes, met my boyfriend, and have started the process of looking for a house to buy. Needless to say I've had a lot going on. So, I thought, it's almost a new year and I should and could start blogging again. We've finished celebrating the Christmas holiday and this year was very different from Christmas' of the past. This was the first year that I was not with my family during the holiday season. My parents took a well deserved and needed vacation to visit my adopted brother and sister-in-law in Colorado. My brother and sister-in-law went to her family's in Kentucky. So, what did I do you ask? I spent the holiday with my boyfriend and his family. Although I wasn't with MY family, I felt right at home with his. We opened gifts, laughed, ate, repeat, the whole day. I got to take part and learn about his family's holiday traditions and believe it or not, they were very much the same. I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend the holiday, if I couldn't spend it with my family. On another note, I strongly recommend "ELF ON THE SHELF" for anyone with kids or teaching kids. You would not believe how successful the last two weeks of school before Christmas was with this elf. The first day the elf arrived from the North Pole, he had left a letter for the kids explaining who he was and why he had come. His name was Timothy Tinsel and the kids (4th and 5th graders!!) absolutely loved him. They would come in the classroom early each day, just to look for where he was. One boy was convienced he was real! Some days, Timothy would leave the kids goodies or notes and they completely ate it up. My favorite day though, was when he was "zip-lining" in the classroom. Some of the questions that day were hilarious and absolutely worth every second of elf on the shelf. Now, some of you are probably thinking, "why in the world would you let kids buy into something like 'Elf on the Shelf'?" Well, for one, it's all part of the magical experience of Christmas! Seeing the kids get so excited about it everyday helped the teachers experience the spirit of Christmas a little bit more. Secondly, by the time two weeks before Christmas vacation occurs, the kids are going crazy and every little bit helps! So if it's getting them to buy into Elf on the Shelf, so be it! :)
Anyway, I hope that everyone had a fantastic Christmas season and the New Year is brought in and continues to be a great one! Until next time, here's to life! Simply Noie

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Year One in the Books and the Joys of Summer

Wow, I did not realize how long it had been since I'd last posted on here. I have to say the last few months of school were both chaotic and rewarding at the same time. You know, I think that when you're in college and they are preparing you for "the real world job", they purposely leave details out so you won't run away or drop out of the program. Sorry former educators that may be reading this blog session, but it's true. Why did nobody tell me about the amount of "end of the year" paper work that must be filled out, checked, recorded, organized, and filed? I mean a little heads up would've been nice. Or perhaps that's only true to my particular county? Not sure, but at least I'll know for next year. The last few weeks of school (especially after Spring Break) flew, and I mean like speed of light flew, by. We get back from spring break and hit straight into SOL review, then SOL testing, and then what like a week and a half and it's over. People said that once the year was over, reality wouldn't hit until a few days later than I had until August off. They were exactly right! When I was student teaching at VSDB, there was a sign that was hanging from the door of one of the rooms I was staying in that said "reasons to become a teacher: June, July and August"-Amen to that! I have thoroughly enjoyed not having a set schedule for a job to go to during the day. I have spent up until last Tuesday everyday at the pool for at least 4 hours and I consider every minute "a time well wasted." Cook outs in the evenings, spending time with friends (old and new), traveling, bonding time with the cat, etc. I'm just enjoying life at the moment and loving every second of it. However, I'm unable to get school out of my head. I often find myself thinking of ideas for next year, always looking for that "something" in a store that would be perfect for the classroom. (Oh btw, I need a small college sized refrigerator, anybody have one they want rid of, I'd gladly take it off your hands) Is this common fellow educators? Can you ever escape fully from the classroom?
Lastly and randomly, I'd like to mention my top 10 songs that are featured on my summer ipod shuffle.
1)Working on a tan-Brad Paisley (very funny)
2)Sexy Chick-David Guetta (featuring Akon)
3) ET-Katy Perry (featuring Kanye West)
4) Little Sundress-Chris Cagle
5) Toes- Zac Brown Band
6) Knee Deep- Zac Brown Band (featuring Jimmy Buffett)
7) Groovy Little Summer Song- James Otto
8) No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems- Kenny Chesney
9) Old Alabama- Brad Paisley
10) Water- Brad Paisley

Well that's all for now, until next time, here's to life,
Simply N :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

127 Hours (My Review)

My anticipation for the film "127 Hours" has been building up ever since I saw the first trailer for it on and only accelerated after reading the book. Prior to reading the book, I searched local theaters to only be disappointed when the nearest theater showing the film was in Washington, D.C.. Thus I read the book again with the thought that I'd rent it when it came out on DVD. However, after the Oscar nominations were announced and the film was in the running, I checked the local theaters again and low and behold theaters close-by were finally showing it. Now you have to understand that I have been reading everything I possibly can to find insight regarding this movie because I had such high expectations after reading the book. Reviews were good, Oscar noms., podcasts were interesting, so it couldn't be bad right?!?
Right!! This movie is fantastic in so many ways, from the acting, to directing, to little details that really drive the movie home. James Franco's portrayal of Aron Ralston's story is convincing and moving. Danny Boyle has done it again with his amazing direction and attention to detail. It really feels like you are inside this canyon with Franco, going through the emotions, stress, pain, and unbelievable task amputating your arm. According to articles that I had read, some people had fainted when this scene occurs. Maybe it's because I've grown up gutting deer, but this scene I felt, was incredible and I didn't feel faint at all. I found myself wanting to cheer him on!
Not only is the movie itself entertaining, but watching and listening to peoples' reactions during parts of the movie where equally as entertaining. For example, during the scene where Ralston (Franco) drinks his urine after running out of water, he begins to cough. The amount of people that were gagging and coughing at this amazed me and I started cracking up. Talk about looks. I also found it amusing at the amount of people that started to close their eyes 10 minutes after his arm gets stuck by the boulder and he removes the pocket knife from his backpack. Seriously people, the title is called 127 hours, he's not going to cut his arm off the first 10 minutes he's trapped.
It's a great movie, great acting, directing, I would recommend you people out there in blog land to go see it. It's definitely worth paying the money to see in a theater. So check it out, and then read the book, or read the book and see the movie. Either way you won't be disappointed!

So here's to life!
Simply N

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Days and Holiday Cheer

Good Morning All of my blogger readers,
Can you believe that this time next week we'll be two days away from Christmas!? I know it's crazy to think about. Where has the time gone, seriously, it feels like it was just Thanksgiving last week.
Today marks my second official snow day of my teaching career! I have to say that I am one of those teachers who does the snow dance (to which this year it is very similar to the motorcycle snap from "It's goin' down" and the words "snow, snow" are said). I am two for two thus far this year! My coworkers come up to me and say "have you done the dance today? Because you need to, let's see it!" Snow days for me are like mental health days. I mean, I wake up, get my coffee fixed, lounge in my PJs for the day, do odds and end jobs around my apartment, and enjoy the day. I can hear the chatter of little children outside my apartment making plans for forts and snowball fights. I'm personally hoping that the UPS man shows up with packages today, so I will actually be here to get them. (That is a long and complicated story that I will not blog about because it just gets my blood pressure level go sky high).
I am officially finished with Christmas shopping with the exception of 2 people and that will be finished when I get back to Cat-town. I went ahead and bit the bullet and fought the cold to go to Short Pump on Tuesday night to finish up. It wasn't crowded at all, probably because it was 20 degrees outside and it's not an indoor mall. However, it was perfect. I was able to get in and out of stores, relatively fast with now huge crowds. That's my kind of shopping! (Sorry Linds but I loathe having to shuffle through people to're a better person than me). Dad posted pictures of the scenery around the house. No doubt he probably has a huge fire in the fireplace. (yea, I'm jealous). It's a good thing I have my fireplace DVD to sit with my thermostat cracked up and pretend. If I was at Mom and Dad's right now, Mom and I would probably be baking and Mom Mom and I would be cracking up at life, giggling like little school girls. Ahhh....good times.
I'm so excited about getting to spend time with my family this holiday season, especially my S and J. Oh side note, did I tell you I'm going to be a little sister?! That's right, S popped the question, and she said yes! How exciting is that!?! I'm hoping that we all get in to Cat-town safely and on time.
I hope all of you are in the holiday spirit and getting to spend time with your loved ones. For all my fellow educator friends, enjoy this awesome snow day, and for those dealing with exams...please be careful getting to your destinations!
Until next time....
Here's to life!
Simply N :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Highlights of Teaching Vol. 1

Today started as it always does, the kids filtered into the classroom, and I strolled around the room checking their agendas for signatures. One of the little girls in my classroom walked up to me and handed me an acorn. Now it's not an acorn that is shelled with the top on it, but the actual nut. Then she proceeded to say, "Here ya go Ms. Lee, I brought you an acorn! Now you can have an acorn tree in your backyard, if you plant it of course." I thanked her and she hugged me, sat down and began her work. The teacher that I co-teach with had to step out of the classroom for awhile, so I finished going over morning work and then had the students get out their song about Ancient Mali that is sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas". So we're singing the song and get to the "five sacks of gold" and of course, I decided to add some flare, so now they drag it out "fiiiiiivvvvvvveeeeeee saaaaaacccccckkkkkkssssss of goooooooooooollllllldddddd." It's the funniest thing ever and they totally rocked it out! I was so proud of them!
One of my students has a broken collar bone so we have to do the majority of his writing and coloring. Today they had to design and color a scarecrow to use as their inspiration for a descriptive paragraph. Since the student I work with primarily wasn't there today, I sat down to help him color his scarecrow. As I'm coloring, I notice a few of the other kids stop and look over at me. Then I hear, "WOW Ms. Lee, you sure can color good!" and another say "she can stay in the lines". I chuckled to myself.
It's amazing some of the things that kids say and do. There is always something said throughout the day that sticks in your head and I am determined to write them down in a book, so if I'm having a rough day I can pull it out and laugh.

So here's to life! :)
Simply N

Monday, October 18, 2010

Traffic Jams and a Wii-tastic weekends

Nothing beats a good weekend after a week of work, and the past two weekends have been awesome. Last weekend, my parents and grandmother came to visit and it was good to catch up and relax. Dad put a ceiling light up in my office room and Mom helped make some amazing cupcakes for a bridal shower lunch-in I volunteered to help coordinate. Mom-Mom hung out and of course provided a barrel of laughs and kept us on our toes. The highlight of the weekend was probably our karaoke moment on the Wii that I have recently purchased. We all took our turns, Mom-Taylor Swift's "Love Story", myself, "Gives you Hell," and Dad sang "Do you think I'm sexy?" to which Mom-Mom responded, "don't you have any other channels on this thing?"
This weekend was equally as fun, when a friend from home came to visit. I had planned on meeting my friend at the school and then together we'd drive to C-Ville to meet up with more friends that were in town for the weekend. Well due to car issues, I drove alone to C-ville, and what should've taken me 30 minutes, took 2 hours. That's right, 2 flippin' hours. So here I am sitting in my car, poor signal on my Ipod= so crappy music on the radio (which is enough to tick ya off), traveling at 5 mph, and people driving on the emergency pull off lane and then trying to get back into the line of cars, is enough to tip you over the edge. SERIOUSLY!?! Let's just say my nerves were shot and I was ready to be out of my car by the time I got to my destination.
After that the weekend was awesome! I got to talk to friends I hadn't in a while and went shopping to get a few professional outfits for the cooler months to come. I ate entirely too much this weekend, but have been continuing with my workouts.
Having a Wii has enhanced my workouts to include more of a dance cardio workout with the "Just Dance 2" which includes songs such as "TikToc," "Proud Mary,", "Hey Ya," "Jump," "Rockefeller Skank," and more. It's a good workout and you have fun doing it! Eating right, working out, and enjoying life is well worth the outcome!
Can't wait to see what all the week has in store for me!
So here's to life!
Simply N :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall and other randomness

Well hello fall! I'm so excited you finally decided to show up. Nothing makes me happier than walking out my apartment door and being greeted with the cool crisp air, rather than being blasted by 95 degree weather in September. I love the smell, the colors, the spirit, and the change. School routines are in full swing, the folks around you seem to be happier, you start to see fall decorations- mums, pumpkins, scarecrows, gourds. I'm slowly getting my apartment decorated with festive fall flavor and pictures will come later. But fall brings about a lot of great things, football being one of them!
In the opening lines of Remember the Titans, the girl says, "In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, it's bigger than Christmas day." I am convienced that she was talking about football here. Now coming from a high school were you're lucky if you made one touchdown and maybe 100 people show up, let me just say that it's a huge eye opener. I'm talking about tailgating in the parking lot, not being able to find a parking spot 45 minutes prior to the game starting, and more than 200 people sitting in the stands yelling and decked out in their home team gear. Here each time the home team scores a touchdown, there is fireworks, a canon fired, a fire breathing lion, and who could forget a legit lion in a cage facing the field and opposing team. WHAT?! Talk about hardcore football. I've got it right here. I was seriously waiting for Enter Sandman to start playing and the crowd jumping up and down. What can I say, but FISTS UP!!

On a different note, I've come to the conclusion that Bill Cosby wasn't joking when he said "kids say the darnedest things". Here are some highlights from this week:
In response to the poem, "Aliens have landed"
Kid: "Ms. Lee, I've been thinking, and aliens can't come to earth because we can't breathe in space but aliens can, and since we can breathe on earth but not in space then aliens can't breathe on earth. So aliens can't really have landed on earth because it's not possible, they'd die."
In response to getting stung by a bee
Me: "Are you ok?"
Kid: "Yes, I got stung by a bee, but I'm taking it like a man."
In response to questioning about the Parthenon
Me: "The Parthenon was built in Greece and who remembers who's statue was in the middle?"
Kid: "Abraham Lincoln
Me: "No, not Abraham Lincoln. You're thinking of the Lincoln Memorial, which was influenced by the design of the Parthenon.
In response to writing a (group) letter to myself to put in the school time capsule that will be read in 10 years:
Me: "What should the closing to my letter be?"
Kid: "Love the Younger Ms. Lee
To myself: "OMG, how old do they think I'll be"

So here's to life,
Simply N :)