Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quick Pic!

The fireplace has been installed!

It's a gas fireplace and it will have a black frame around it.  The flat screen TV will go above it.  The walls are all insulated and the sheetrocking will be finished this week.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Catching Up

It's been a very busy February so far!

We "enjoyed" a big snowstorm last weekend, receiving approximately 30 inches of snow.  Aside from canceling a day of school, we were relatively unaffected.  

On Monday we enjoyed warmer weather and rain, so now things aren't quite as pretty.

I had a "professional day" on Tuesday.  Our district performs two "walk-thrus" a month.  One is done by administrators only - they visit 5-6 classrooms within the school for 5-8 minutes each to observe kids, teachers, and what's being taught.  The second walk-thru includes 4-5 teachers as part of the observing team.  I was selected to "walk-thru" my building and the high school.  Our directive was to observe student engagement, and evidence of the Common Core being taught.  We visited 2 classrooms at my grade level, an 8th grade classroom, 2 7th grade classrooms, and a music class at my school, and a number of classrooms at the high school.  By the end of the day I was totally wrung out!  I saw a lot of really good things, but I also observed some less encouraging things.  In some classrooms, especially in the high school, I didn't see the rigor I expected.  I know that a short visit doesn't tell the whole story -- you come in to a classroom in the middle of something so you don't know where the lesson started or where it will end up--- but I was really shocked to see a college prep classroom where the sophomores were doing an activity identical to something I do with my 6th graders.    I will say I was very impressed by most of the classrooms I visited.

Wednesday and Thursday were fairly normal-paced days, and then Friday was a workshop day for the district teachers.  That was another exhausting day.  We were given the day in our building to "play" with technology.  We've been given a lot of tools and software over the past 6 months, and we've been given some formal training, but we haven't been given a lot of time to explore possibilities or to test ideas out.  So yesterday was the day for this.   The nice thing was it was a day of colleagues helping each other and collaborating with each other.  Those of us who are experienced bloggers helped newbies set up their classroom blogs, and those of us who use Edmodo got others started. I actually spent most of the day teaching others and didn't get much of a chance to work on a few things I wanted to do, but that was okay.
If anyone is interested, my classroom blog is here.

House construction updates:
The kitchen cabinets have FINALLY been ordered.  I don't have pictures yet but they are being made by Candlelight Cabinetry in upstate New York.  We chose the Madison style in red birch with the espresso stain.  We also finally ordered the kitchen appliances, the bathroom vanities and counters, all the plumbing fixtures, and my husband picked out a gorgeous vessel sink for the guest bathroom.  The picture has too much reflection in it, but it's tempered glass and has a coral reef scene within it.  It's truly beautiful!

We also finalized the tiles for our bathroom.  We're going with a black and white canvas, which I can punch up with color with accessories.

So things are moving along!  And I really have to start think about physically making the move over the summer.  Most of the time I can't wait, but we have lived in this house for 30 years, and I still do love it. It's just too big for us now.  I do keep thinking of all the things that will be better in the new place ---- the 5 minutes I save in my commute, the more logical room flow, the lower maintenance and utility expenses . . . .It will be odd to think of another family living here.

Our February vacation is coming up-one more week of classes. We don't have any vacation plans other than heading up to the quarry to pick our granite for the kitchen and picking out light fixtures.  I look forward to not getting up at 4:45am!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sick Day

I took a sick day today.  I have been fighting some sort of sinusy problem for almost 2 weeks, and with the super cold weather we had last week, my rheumatoid arthritis started to flare a bit.  I made it through to my RA doctor's appt yesterday afternoon, and after my visit, decided I needed to give in to my body and get some extra rest.  I'm glad I did.  I spent about 80% of the daylight hours sleeping.  I had a brief spell of energy which allowed me to finally get some decisions made, and I put an easy dinner together.  Now the urge to sleep is getting strong again, so I will give in to it shortly.

The decisions that I  made?  I ordered my kitchen cabinets and I ordered my appliances.  I've know what I wanted for a couple of weeks, but we still had a few niggling questions and decisions.  The biggest decision was to find a microwave that would work with all the rest of the appliances I wanted.  The one that I wanted was more than I wanted to spend, especially if I wanted the trim kit.  After spending the last 2 weeks looking at every possible microwave, I gave in and got the matching microwave.  I found most of the money by choosing a less expensive baseboard trim.  It feels terrific to get those decisions out of the way.

Now I have to find vanities/sinks for the bathrooms, and have to seriously start considering the color scheme for the house.  The contractor wants to know soon what style baseboards/trim I want and whether I want the trim painted or stained.  I'll probably go with painted, since it's easier to change up in the future, and it's a less expensive option.

My husband ordered the siding today too, and we've picked out the flooring last week.  We decided on a subcontractor for the tiling, and have picked tiles for the mudroom and one bathroom.  We found tiles we liked for our bath, but they are pricey so we're going to look some more.

The house is on target for completion in May.  We have to host an open house for the community since it's being built by the school's building trades program.

Exciting times around these parts.