Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fall in Prescott

We decided to make good use of our four-day weekend, and headed up to Prescott for a few days. Prescott is a great little college town and I'm sure we'll be back.

Our cozy cabin. Only you Office lovers out there will understand, but we basically stayed at Shrute Farm.
Resident donkey at the ranch.

Tucker was curious.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chilly Arizona

You probably want to laugh at me, but it gets downright chilly here. And by chilly, I do mean 50 degrees. Perfect weather to sit by the chiminea and roast marshmallows.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Dear Papa,

Please come home soon.

Reason #1:

Reason #2:

Reason #3:
Reason #4:

Reason 9,457: I miss you!

Love, Tucker

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Break

Warning: This post is basically a pep-talk for the next 10 weeks of school, so move on if you are not interested. :)

After experiencing the joys of a two week fall break, I'm not sure I could ever switch to a school district without one (or a classroom without a smart board while I am being greedy). Sure, we're basically a year round school, but two weeks off at the end of each quarter is glorious! I'm still not loving life in the classroom, but I have had two weeks to prepare for the next 10 weeks before Winter Break. Which is approximately two more weeks of preparation than I had at the beginning of the school year. So, I think it's safe to say it will be a better quarter than last. Let's be honest, could it really get any worse?

Okay, maybe I'm being a little dramatic. :)

Actually, I'm feeling hopeful and determined for the rest of the school year. I am going to make the best of my situation, and stop feeling frustrated with how the first grade classrooms were divided (someone decided to throw the new teacher all the known students with a) behavior problems or b) high energy). Luckily, I have a few gems who remind me daily why I love teaching.

Sadly I have a handful of students who come with a lot of baggage, and need so much more than just academics. I have one boy who leaves me exhausted by the end of the morning day because I feel like I am constantly putting out fires. By the end of the week I start to see glimmers of progress. Unfortunately everything we worked on gets undone over the weekend and the cycle begins again on Monday. All of his (FOUR!!) suspensions have happened on Mondays, and I find myself making positive calls home on Fridays. Oh how I wish I could just bring him home with me, instead of sending him "home" for the weekend.

My new goal is to Keep Calm and Teach On, even if a certain someone in the back of the room is tipping his desk over to get attention or shouting "NO!!!!!!!!! I HATE READING!!!!!!!! I AM NOT GOING TO DO THIS. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

So, any takers to come volunteer in my classroom?? :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


My pants are hemmed, the car is clean, the windows are washed, the pool has been scrubbed, the freezer is stocked with ice cream, the bathroom drain is fixed, and my classroom library has been organized. That must mean the Jewett's have been in town! :)

We had a great week showing off our new state, but it's pretty lonely and quiet in our house now that they are gone. Come back soon!

A few pictures from the week:

One of the perks of having a librarian for a mom: my classroom library has FINALLY been labeled and organized! Thanks mom! Now if only she could get me out of my $30.00 fine at the Chandler library.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


A weekend in Vegas with friends was just what the doctor ordered. Conferences came and went without much excitement, and I'm currently enjoying my TWO WEEK fall break. And to make things better, the air conditioning has been turned OFF and the windows are open! :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Long weekend

I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing school for the past six weeks. After working a 14 hour day, I always think sleep is going to be a nice break from school, but then I wake up 8 hours later from a dream about my classroom. Well, let's be honest. It's usually a nightmare.

So, with a glorious three day weekend I was excited to do something besides laminate, plan, or grade. We had grand plans of getting up early this morning to hike before the sun came up. We are on day #1,674 of a heat advisory. Or maybe it just feels that way. The alarm came and went at 5am, and we stayed in bed. We did get up at 6:30 thinking we could still go. 90 degrees at 6:30? The hike will have to wait. Here are a few pictures of a hike we took earlier this summer.


Enjoy your long weekend! We sure are enjoying our extra day.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


It's been a busy week. Andrew flew back to Minnesota on Thursday for his defense. He passed with flying colors (obviously) and is coming home later today. Tucker and I can't wait.

I was offered a job last Monday at 3pm, zoomed to the school for Meet the Teacher night at 4pm, and the kids started Wednesday at 8am. Trying to put a classroom/lesson plans together in one day is not as easy task. But, after the weekend I'm feeling much more prepared for the week/year ahead of me. I'm really excited for the year, and thrilled to be back in 1st grade.

Although the blog will probably be put on hold with the new job, I hope to keep you posted on our weekend adventures. Be sure to check back!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Undesirable Number One

I always assumed that in Tucker's mind squirrels were Undesirable Number One (I have Harry Potter on the brain). Before we moved down here I dreamed of the happy, mellow, and calm dog we would have once we moved to Arizona. The good news is that we haven't seen a squirrel since we left Minnesota. The bad news? Squirrels were not even close to being number one on his list of rivals. Want to know what ranks #1 on his list on undesirables? It's the cat. Unfortunately, our neighborhood is home to a handful of strays who love messing with him. Cat has become the "c word" in our house. If Tucker hears the word he's off to check the backyard. And if by chance there IS a cat in the backyard? Oh goodness. Shit hits the fan. I can't really blame Tucker for wanting them gone. They are mangy, gross, and EVERYWHERE.
We tried a homemade cayenne pepper solution, but that didn't seem to keep them away. I'm on the search for a cat repellant that is safe to use around dogs.


They LOVE sleeping on the roof.

Poor dog has some serious high prey drive going on in his brain. The other day he fell in the pool while chasing one away.


Sunrise and breakfast on top of South Mountain.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

South Mountain

Finding a house from 1800 miles away proved to be a challenge, especially since I had never stepped foot in Arizona until last month. I spent hours on google maps, looking at aerial views of the neighborhoods. Is the house within walking distance of a coffee shop? How far to the nearest Trader Joe's? How many miles from Intel? We went back and forth on where we wanted to live. The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to live close to South Mountain. We found a few houses that backed up to the mountain, but they were all ruled out for one reason or another. Mostly because we weren't willing to pay $2000+/month, even if it meant having a hiking trail right outside our door. Although the house we ended up with doesn't have a mountain in our backyard, we still enjoy having a "mountain" so close. The other morning we drove to the top to watch the sunrise, and thought we'd be the only people on the mountain. We were surprised to find it FULL of bikers, walkers, and runners who were taking advantage of the cool morning hours. After about 7am, it is HOT HOT HOT. I've always been a morning person, but I fear that I am going to have to become an OBSCENELY early riser in the summer months if I want to enjoy any time outside. I'm talking pre-sunrise early. Also known as 4:30 in the AM. However, it's worth it to see the sunrise over Phoenix. Pictures of that to come soon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dust storm

I'm still cleaning dust out of my ears this morning after a GIANT haboob rolled over Phoenix last night. I've never seen anything quite like it. I have to share the time-lapse videos with you, because they are pretty amazing. They look like scenes from a movie, but our backyard (especially the pool) is proof that it did in fact happen. Click the links below...

I'm off to sweep the backyard!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Home sweet home

We are slowly getting settled into our place and have even had our first guest. (Note: Guest bedroom is ready for YOU!) It's been fun exploring our new neighborhood. Somehow it still feels like we are one some sort of a vacation. Both Andrew and I have caught ourselves saying "back home in Minnesota..." or "when we go home..." on numerous occasions. I'm sure in time Chandler will feel more like home.

So far, the heat really hasn't been an issue. Sure, it's toasty and almost unbearable when you're in the sun, but the dryness really helps. Shade, water, and sunglasses are all essential. I won't go as far as to say 115° is pleasant, but it really isn't all that bad. Ask me again in October when the midwest is enjoying beautiful fall weather, and we are still seeing triple digits. The pool has also provided some relief. Tucker LOVES laying out by the pool. He is curious about the water, but has yet to go in. On a side note, we are LOVING life with a fully enclosed fence. It's heaven. The last week in pictures:

Lounging poolside

He really does live a rough life

Exploring the bark park down the street

It's really no surprise that Andrew is enjoying the fun agility course more than Tucker.