Friday, May 27, 2011

My Guy

Today is Chris's 25th birthday. Welcome to old age! 
I've already done my 100 reasons why I love Chris. And they all still stand. 

Anyone who knows Chris knows that he is unique. He laughs a lot, makes funny faces at the camera and sings loudly in the shower. He is a grammarian, a great big brother, and a fantastic driver. He likes Dr. Pepper, Sour Patch Straws and Outback SteakHouse. He doesn't like waking up, the unknown, or crazy Republicans.

He is my eternal companion, my best friend, my biggest fan, and my favorite person. 
I have known him for 10+ years and he just keeps getting better. 
I am not great with words like he is. But I love him a lot. 

Happy Birthday Chris! I love you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Get Your Tuesdays!

1. 6 days left of school. And two of them are half-days. I think I can! I think I can!

2. I made my students write a bit this week, since I am going to be a writing teacher next year. It worked out okay. It wasn't anything with much depth, but it is a start.

3. I went to the Houston Zoo on Friday. I didn't get to do it my way. (My way would not be 6 adults and 35 kids in one big group) But it was fun. It was mostly exciting to know that sometimes my students pay attention. The day before we watched some videos and explored the Houston Zoo website and learned some of the animals names. The students were super excited to see them at the Zoo. The were really looking for them.  Also, they were so amazed by the skyscrapers in Houston. They just kept snapping pictures back and forth.

4. I already gave Chris some of his birthday presents. I was too excited to keep them. I was just going to give him one, but then I just couldn't stop. Good thing his other stuff hasn't gotten here yet, so I can be trusted to not give it away.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Beggars in Spain

My new finished book. This as the most science-fiction book I have ever read. And completely not what I expected.

Sometime in the near future, genetic doctors have found a way to create babies that don't need sleep. They are called "sleepless." Everyone else is called "sleepers."

What do all these sleepless do in their spare time? Become freaking smart and become better than everyone else. As they grow up, some of the sleepers start to resent the sleepless. That is the basic sumise.

However, the book has a more philosophical twist. The title comes from a scenario that the sleepless use to describe their actions. If one beggar asks you for a dollar and you are able to give it to them, you probably will. Maybe even 2 or 3 beggars. But what if 100 beggars ask you for a dollar. Do you give it to them? The sleepless felt like the sleepers were beggars draining them of their resources without holding up any end of a contract.

Of course, not every sleepless felt that way. Which is what the basic plot line is. One person contradicts what her community believes and the book follows her story.

I really liked the beginning and the ending. The middle dragged on a bit. But there are 2 other books in the series which are automatically added to my to-read list.

This book has some language. Not a lot, but it is still there. Other than that, there were no other concerns.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Next Year

I got my assignment for next year this week.

As of right now, I will be teaching 5th grade science and writing. And I am super excited about it. (I am extremely sad that I will be loosing social studies however.) I get to work with two teachers that I really like on my team and probably don't have to change classrooms.

I already taught science this year and have tons of ideas of how I could do it better. And I have always wanted to teach writing because then I could make kids write in journals everyday! Now I've got to make them do it.

My school district is experiencing some budget cuts. However, they have not had to lay off any teachers. They have been able to solve most of the problems with grants, teachers retiring and pay freezes.

What that means is that if you were certified to teach something and there was a need in that area, you could be moved to fill that need.

Luckily, that wasn't the case with me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The library is my new crack. I have to visit it several times a week. I went on Monday and I went today. And I am sure I will go again.

And guess what? It's free. (Except for the few fines that I might get.)

My crack used to be Hobby Lobby. And before that the grocery store with coupons. Now it is the library. Can you tell from my growing list of books read on the side?

I just have to go and can't really stop myself from getting there. The last two weeks I had after school tutoring and I didn't get home until after it was closed. It was pretty horrible.

And from The Office:

Pam: Their breadsticks are like crack.
Ryan: I love when people say 'like crack' who have obviously never done crack.
Pam: Well, breadsticks are like what, then, Ryan? What can I use?
Ryan: I don't know, something from your world. "The breadsticks are like scrapbooking.
Pam: You're right. No, I'm a middle class fraud.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Day Before Wednesday

1. My blog is becoming lists and book reviews. I like doing the book reviews, and these lists are a neat little way to tell everyone who reads my thoughts. There will be more book reviews coming.

2. I have noticed that I have hated the ending of the last couple of books I have read. There seems to be a trend in YA literature (trend=the books I read) that says the love interest in the story has to die. Can't anyone live happily ever after anymore?

3. I got my itinerary for my east coast trip this week. I get to go to Harper's Ferry, Monticello, Washington D.C. (a whole free day there), Antietam, the Confederate White House, Williamsburg, and 4 other days of stuff.

4. I put mentos into soda the first time last week. We were doing it as an experiment in science on Friday and I wanted to test it out first. It was kind of a shock how much that soda shot up. My students loved it. One girl was so doubtful and said "I don't think it is going to do anything. I think it is just going to shoot up a little bit and then fall back down." She had already set herself up for disappointment. She was way excited when I drew her name to help me with it though.

5. There are 11 days left of school. But if you take out a field trip, splash party, field day, and the last two half days of schools, that number seems much more manageable.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Another book done. And another dystopian society one.

In this society they have found the cure for love. When everyone turns 18 they have the procedure to rid them of the "disease." There is no love for children, friends, or spouses. And because there is no love, there is no pain caused by people. Hence why love is thought of as a disease.

The book follows Lena who is about to have the procedure to rid herself of the disease. But, gasp, something happens that makes her questions exactly everything she has ever thought. She had been looking forward to the procedure so she could lose the pain of losing her mother, but then she meets a boy. And she realizes that she would rather die loving someone that live loving no one.

I liked the story. I did feel like that writing was too fluffy. I skipped whole pages because the author spent a lot of times describing feelings and surroundings of the characters. I couldn't care less about that stuff. I just want the story!

The book has some language, so it is not RS book club approved. But it would be rated PG-13.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Not a very pretty name, eh? It almost turned me off with visions of teeth and bones sticking out of a forest floor. But, I felt like I needed to continue by Zombie run.

The main character is Mary and she lives in a village that is enclosed by a fence to protect it from the "unconsecrated" zombies that live in the forest. The village is protected by the Guardians and controlled by they Sisterhood. Early in the story, Mary's mother is bitten and becomes a zombie. Mary spends a brief time with the Sisterhood, even taking some of the vows, but then a childhood friend speaks for her and she is not engaged to be married. The story takes off from there.

While living with the Sisterhood, Mary finds that they are not as pure and honest as they town thinks they are. Mary soon learns that there is an inner circle who knows all the secrets of the town. They lead the town to believe that they are the only survivors of the Zombie apocalypse. But one night Mary sees tracks coming from outside the gates, a place no one goes. Then she does some digging and ends up with more questions than answers.

That is the premise that got me. A dystopian society with a group that was lying to everyone with a main character close to discovering those secrets.

***If you want to read this book, don't continue. I will ruin it for you.***

However, the book was disappointing. Mary doesn't find any answers to her questions! And she is a bit annoying always changing her mind. Whenever she gets what she wants, she always thinks there is something better. It is only when she can't have something that she regrets her decisions. Oh, the life of a teenager.

What bothered me the most is that I have no idea what this Sisterhood was up to. Obviously they were lying about them being the only ones alive, but that is all I know.

This book is one reason why I am giving up on Young Adult Literature for a while. But, it is a recommendation for Relief Society book club. As in, there isn't anything bad about it. It does describe what some of the Zombies look like, but not in too much detail.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday! Tuesday!

1. Last week most of my boys happened to all wear the same color one day. They decided that was cool so they would do it everyday. One tuesday they wore blue and on wednesday they wore black. It is something girls do, but it was quite funny that they boys did it too.

2. I did see Something Borrowed this weekend. It got horrible reviews, but I really liked it. Chris and Charleah liked it ever more. They laughed so much. But they are giggle-ers, so that is to be expected.

3. My girls at school are jump roping at recess now. It brings back memories. They all try to beat each other at the jumps, but it is hard to beat anyone when you just give up. Seriously, around 25, they will just stop jumping.

4. I jumped rope this week. Afterwards I got calls of "You still got it Mrs. Stowe!" Didn't know I lost it. Or that I was in dangers of losing it.

5. And I was a hero on Friday at school. The football got kicked into the community pool area at recess. Using my arm and a stick, I freed it. I was a hero for 30 seconds before they forgot.

6. 16 days left of school!

Monday, May 9, 2011


I have been collecting quotes for my classroom. I have a grand plan to post them all over my room and possibly I'll post the finished result on here once it gets done.

But my plan is to have a quote for my class each week that we all try to use to guide what we are doing. It will be the "spotlight" quote. I am pretty excited about it.

Here are some of my favorites that I have found.

  • Before you talk, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you quit, try. Ernest Hemingway
  • There are so many people out there who will tell you that you can't. What you've got to do is turn around and say "watch me."
  • Life begins that the end of your comfort zone. Neale Donald Walsch
  • Never ruin an apology with an excuse. Kimberly Johnson
  • Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it is stupid. Albert Einstein
  • It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- in which case, you fail by default. J.K. Rowling
  • It's not who you are that holds you back. It's who you think you're not. 
  • Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato
  • Small acts transform the world.
  • If you do what you've always done, you get what you've always got.
  • I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou
  • Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. Eleanor Roosevelt
  • You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt
  • The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. Samuel Johnson Edison
  • At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end. 
  • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. Thomas
  • Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do. 
  • Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen. Conan O'Brien
  • Stop saying you can't. You can. You just choose not to. 
  • Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. 
  • The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
  • Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace. 
And those are just a few.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

World War Z

This book was different. I have never like Zombies and have never read a zombie book, but I decided to be flexible and try it. I still don't necessarily like zombies; they are too undead.

The book was written a few years after a Zombie War which affected everyone on the planet. Max Brooks goes around the world collecting stories from people affected by it. So the book is divided up into sections of people telling their story. It starts with the first signs of zombies, with doctors telling when they first noticed something. It goes through citizens, military leaders, governmental leaders all giving their point of view. There was the "Great Panic" where basically everyone panicked. Then there was the actual war when each country came up with a strategy to beat the zombies.

I liked the beginning the best. I am not really one to read about major battles, even the real ones. It was interesting for the author to included all countries of the world, which ones survived and which ones panicked the most.

This is so not appropriate for RS Book club. It is about war and zombies, so don't expect it to be 100% clean.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Best Husband

I am going to brag about my husband. We haven't seen each other properly in 3 days. Our work schedules have been backwards and it has been crazy.

But in all of it he was still thinking of me. I told him I wanted a 120 count box of crayons and he went to the store the other night, after getting off work at 1:00 am just to get it for me. He didn't buy anything else. How cute is that?

As soon as he wakes up from his nap, we get to spend time together. But until then, I can color and know my husband loves me. And I love him loads.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Story of a Fainter

I had blood drawn today in order to continue the investigation of "Why Chris and I Aren't Having Children."

I couldn't eat for 8 hours before the the test so I was extra weak before.  I have been blocking this from my mind for the last few weeks so I wouldn't think about it. I didn't even give it a thought until the nurse called me back. And then I saw she had 4 vials. 4! I convinced myself that it wasn't all for me.

So, we informed the nurse that I was a fainter and that I had never given blood before. She was really good at distracting me. I kept my eyes closed and made me talk. I hardly felt the needle go in but I could quickly feel the blood draining from me and my skin getting clammier and I was getting more light headed.

When she finished, I just went out. Luckily I was already laying down. Then I woke up to someone moving my legs. I told them to stop and then I realized it was the nurse and Mom.

I have no idea how long I was out for. It couldn't have been for more than a minute. But, I warned them it would happen. I don't know if she really believed me.

It was as bad as I expected. I knew that the needle wouldn't hurt, but it is feeling all the blood drain from my head and feeling like I am going to faint. If anyone has ever fainted, you'll know what I am talking about.

I was even a little bit closer to maybe donating blood. But I am backtracking on that now. One pint is so much more than 4 vials!

Maybe it will be better next time because I know this isn't the last.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Across The Universe

This was almost a book I couldn't put down. It started out really slow but then picked up about 1/2 way through and I was reading it in the car with the sun visor light the other night.

The two main characters are Amy and Elder. The chapters go back and forth between each of them. Amy is frozen with her parents to live on a plant far, far away. They get put on a spaceship run by humans who have never been on Earth. Amy gets waken up early and is almost killed in the ice that has melted.  Elder is training to be the leader of the people on the spaceship and saves her from drowning. But as they try to figure out who tried to kill her and stop it from happening again, they find out there are lots of secrets on the spaceship.

I loved it mostly because it was a dystopian society book in hiding. It was nothing like I expected it and I almost didn't read it.