Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reader's Rally

Last Saturday, I coached my second Reader's Rally team in the county competition. Reader's Rally is a great program where throughout the course of the year team members are required to read 20 books off a chosen list. Five of them are picture books and the rest are chapter books. Team members may be fourth or fifth graders. Teams can have up to ten members and five are allowed to represent the Reader's Rally team in competition. Teams rotate throughout their division answering 8 - 15 questions a round and earning 10 points for each correct answer.

It was an exciting day. The competition grows every year and there were over 50 of Gwinnett's elementary schools present. 80 schools overall including middle and high school competitive teams. Do the Math and this is a lot of people, with just team members (10 x 80= 800) and then two adults required for every team ( a coach and a volunteer) and then parents are allowed to come out and serve as spectators in each room. There is a wild crowd.

My team was very nervous , since most of them were fourth graders and had never experienced this before. However, we loosened up and performed better in later rounds. While we didn't win our division, my kids were very impressive in the way they chose to look at the day " At least we got to read all of these really great books". I was also impressed with one of my noncompeting teammates. You see I had had fifteen kids practicing for a chance to be on the team. I had to narrow it down to the allowed maximum of ten. This was done by averaging their attendance, number of books read and knowledge of the books to reach a number score for each team member and taking the top ten. Well I had encouraged those who didn't make the team to come out on the day of competition and support us. And one boy "j" did and it made my heart soar.

As a coach, I have learned more in my second experience with this competition. I have a new perspective for strategy next year. Also, I have grown. This team outscored my team from last year by twenty points. We also had a team shirt and weekly practices which I had not done last year. So I am growing too. Additionally, it made me feel good that we beat the elementary school that our current school principal was an AP at before coming to our school this year as a principal. Hopefully next year we will do even better.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We Played in the Snow Last Night

We went out and played in the snow last night and it doesnt look like much has melted or gone anywhere. It is very pretty. Our neighbors were out too. Their dog, Dallas, was having a ball. We are supposed to go to the UGA game tonight but I dont know that a) it is still on or b) we could make it up there safely. Brad had a very tough and scary time getting home where the back of the truck was swerving back and forth. But he made it home safely and was happy to play in the snow. In most of our pics, you can see visible snow flakes (dots) because that is how fast and hard it was snowing last night. We had chili for dinner and watched a movie before I konked out around ten. Here are some more pictures:

Our Snowman who had chocolate chips for facial features

The Measuring of the Snowfall

The Bush to Show You the Accumulation
The Difference Between the Sidewalk and Yard is Amazing

Friday, February 12, 2010

More About the Snow....Make sure to read the post below it!

There were pics in the last post but here are more. I hope Brad gets home soon. And I don't know if this will all melt away soon, in time for the game or not! I am amazed at how thick it is ! The pictures are below! You can no longer see where I came in on the driveway or the tracks in the road in our neighborhood from any car.

The entryway at my house


On what was supposed to be a holiday and then was taken from us as a snow makeup day, there was snow falling starting at about 1:00pm. I then stood in it for 45 minutes during car riders . It was pretty and I wasn't cold. Very festive. I came back to an email from my husband not to tell me to not play in it til he gets home.

Then I took Linda, my mother in law, home to her house where we built two miniature snowmen to welcome Mr Jack home and also had a snowball fight while cleaning the snow off the back windshield of my car. Once the snowballs stopped flying ( and we discussed that we should go to Colorado sometime soon for more of this fun), I left to go home.
And now here I am in Loganville and our house is in the middle of a winter wonderland. All the bushes and lawn is covered.
I love it and hope we get to play in it . However, I also hope that it clears up for us to go to Athens tomorrow to take in a basketball game that was part of Brad's Christmas present from me and we will go out to eat in town for Valentine's Day.

The back yard

My measuring.... at least an inch

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Okay Savvy Shoppers, Let me Hear From You

I just went to Kroger. I went in for grape jelly and milk. But then they were running one of their buy 10 items on this list, then you save $5 off your order. I came out with only three Kroger brand products ( milk, jelly and hot dog buns) and every item was on sale ( with the exception of Valentine cards). I saved a total of $17.79 on my order and spent $39.75.

Here is my question and this has always been something I considered. Is it better to save money on name brands with coupons or buy the store brand when it is cheaper than the name brand product is with the coupon? When I lived in the apartment by myself, I only bought Kroger brand and I usually wouldn't buy that it if it wasn't on Kroger Plus sale. I think I did really well moneywise then but I also see where it is very exciting to get the name brand things for cheap.

What do you think?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Weekends are the Best

Work is very stressful right now so the weekends are the best. Plus last week and this week bring days where most are spent as a dinner of one. So when Brad and I get to see each other constantly over the weekends I relish in it. Friday night we made homemade pizza for dinner and watched Sunshine Cleaning on DVR. I also was given a just because present of the new Lady Antebellum CD. That was a really nice evening. .
This weekend brought another birthday rooted adventure. It took us to the Fox Theater. For Brad's birthday I purchased tickets to see the musical version of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. I had never seen the movie and usually turn it down when Brad offers. All I knew was my husband can do quite a few impressions that are apparently inspired by the movie.

So we headed to Atlanta around 11:30. We arrived at Mary Mac's around 12pm for a yummy Southern lunch where one waitress described the sweet tea as dessert. Brad and I usually get water to drink but we indulged. It was fabulous. We have been to Mary Macs before but it is such a treat every time. This time I got a veggie plate ( I always do) with cream corn, mac and cheese , fried okra and brunswick stew. Brad got fried chicken livers ( I don't understand it but he loves them) cream corn and mac and cheese. We each got our own dessert . Brad got peach cobbler and I got banana pudding. I had debated between that and peanut butter pie. I wish I had gone peanut butter pie route because the pudding was very sweet but not a lot of banana. Still, we had a great meal.

We left Mary Mac's under a cold sprinkle. We snagged $7 dollar parking and were at the Fox right when they opened the doors. We got to our seats which were in the center of the floor and on the aisle. Even better luck, while the theater was packed the two seats immediately in front of us were empty. That is joyous for a shorter person like myself. Brad really liked the musical and I found it humorous though it was painfully obvious I was in a crowd of fans of the movie. Brad seems to have enjoyed it because he has done some impressions since that afternoon.

From the Fox, we went on to struggle to find 85 N out of atlanta ( took 75 s at Howell Mill) and headed to Grandma's for bbq. My cousin Mark was in town from Texas for the weekend so we had a late Griswold Christmas. We both didnt have the stomach for much bbq but the company was great.

And so now I wait for next weekend - though it will be a day short on fun as a couple because Brad has a band gig on Friday. But Saturday we have time to keep Carter together and then eat dinner with my mom, and my sister.