Sunday, February 02, 2014

Snow Way!!


Well, after a fantastic birthday, I got to wake up to this stunning site this morning.  It's been coming down for a while, and is still coming down in giant, beautiful flakes.

Is a snow day in the cards for an extended birthday present?  We shall see as the day continues on, and the snow continues to fall.  At this point, my biggest concern is the difference a few miles can make in snow accumulation.  We may get 3"-5" here, but where I work may only get a dusting... so, they might still have school even though the roads here are slick and treacherous.

I have to admit, a snow day would be a great late birthday present.  Because even though we've had plenty of snow days already this year, I haven't really gotten any work done this weekend and having an extra day to get it done would be nice.  Yeah, I understand that another snow day would mean less days at school, less summer, all that jazz... but the way it stands right now, I'm not going to have any days off between the end of school and summer school anyway.  Plus, I work better under pressure.. so knowing that the amount of time I have to prepare my students for 5th grade is dwindling away will have me upping my game to make sure they are ready even though we're several days short of an entire school year.

But, right now, snow day or no snow day, I'm going to take my time and explain all the birthday goodness I got to experience the past couple of days.  I wrote a post yesterday about my "deep" interpretation of my birthday and what it means, but I completely neglected the awesome day I spent prior in my classroom with my kiddos.  And, now that I've had my actual birthday celebration, I can share that goodness, too.

So, Friday.  Day before my birthday.  I may or may not have let it slip one or five times throughout the week that my birthday was on Saturday.  And before I go on, I'd like to set one thing straight.  I do NOT talk about my birthday in the attempt to elicit gifts from my students or the people I work with.  I talk about my birthday because it's a day I'm excited about... and the general point is to let the kids know that the day before my birthday is going to be a fun day IF they behave and do their work.  Think of it as a bribe, if you will.  I mention my birthday a few times, mention the fact that I'd love to have a little party to celebrate, but only if the week goes well.  I also drop the hint that it would be a great birthday gift if they behave, turn in all their work, and they stay focused.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm already starting to panic that the AMAZING behavior I received this entire week was related to that little spill that I gave my kids.  I sure hope not.  I'm just going to pretend that the thought didn't enter my mind, and that the kids were amazingly well behaved because they had some kind of epiphany about taking responsibility for their education.

Anywho, back to Friday morning.  The kids are starting to make their way down the hallway heading to the classroom, and I start being greeted by my students with hugs and happy birthday wishes.  Then, a student hands me a gift bag, and then another, and then another hands me a giant chocolate bar, and then another hands me another candy bar, then a student arrives with a GIANT bag of chips for "the party", and then another student has a 2 liter bottle of Sprite in her hand.  

I was blown away.  

The next 20 minutes were spent with the students making birthday cards for me... at their request.

I opened up my gifts after I did attendance, and one gift contained a BEAUTIFUL handmade scarf, and the other was a little gift box with the words "You are special" on the front, filled with Almond Joys and Mounds, piled around a cute little teddy bear.  

Shortly after that, it was time to head down to our dodgeball tournament.  The county SWAT team arrived, and they arrived in style.  In camo armored trucks, dressed in their full SWAT gear.  The kids were blown away, and super excited.

Being that I'm a Student Council sponsor, I got to play with the SWAT members and the STUCO students against the class that had won the original competition.  

The game was amazingly fun.  The SWAT team put on a great show, and after a few members were hit.. they decided to switch teams and help the other side.  The rest of the school was sitting in the bleachers watching the action, and it was controlled pandemonium.  They were cheering and screaming and doing the wave.  SO MUCH FUN.

My class got the opportunity to join in the fun, as they had come in 3rd during the original competition. They all had a great time throwing balls at the opposing team... including a couple of SWAT members. I was out there, with them, running around and enjoying the fun.  

Here's my class with the SWAT team in full gear...

Once the games were over, it was back to class to try and get in some learning.  On the way back to the classroom, I checked my mail box and found a card and a bag of Russell Stover's Chocolates.  The card was from the staff, and it was super sweet.  It was pretty crazy once we got back in to the classroom.  Try and get a class to calm down enough after that much excitement.  Not easy.  But, I managed to do it.. and we spent the last 30 minutes before lunch doing our spelling test.

After lunch, we had a pretty relaxing afternoon.  We graded some papers, went over a few things from the week, and just "chilaxed".  About 30 minutes before the end of the day, my co-teacher arrived with a little surprise.  A giant tub of chocolate chip cookies, a card from the entire class, and a mug that said "World's Greatest Teacher".  And... cue tears.  How sweet, right?  My co-teacher had orchestrated the whole thing with the class during their specials time.  

So, I divided out the cookies, the chips brought by one of my students, and the soda that another student brought, and we just "hung out" and had a good time for the remainder of the day.  

I was so touched by the generosity and the sweetness my students displayed all day long.  

Here's a pic of the wonderful gifts and cards that I received throughout the day...

Once school was over, I spent some time making sure all of my copies for next week were taken care of, and then packed my bag to head on home.

Yesterday morning, I was woken up pretty early by my phone going crazy with messages. Birthday well wishes from my sweet besties.  I love them dearly, but I couldn't help but wonder WHY they had to wish me a Happy Birthday at 8AM on a Saturday.  Not that I'm complaining, of course... just being thought of at any time of the morning (even on a Saturday morning) is special and something to be thankful for.  

I did my usual perusing of Facebook and was blown away by the amount of Facebook birthday wishes I had received.  Twenty by 9AM.  That's pretty awesome.  And several more came throughout the rest of the day.

My mom arrived around noon, and we made the drive to the casino for my Annual Birthday Bingo Extravaganza.  First stop was the casino steak house for an amazing birthday lunner (late lunch/early dinner...doesn't sound as good as "brunch" but the same principal). The food was fantastic, but I'm pretty sure it's going to cost me on the scale tomorrow for my weight loss competition.  Oh wait.  Possible snow day.  Another bonus to that whole thing.

After we ate, we went and bought our bingo books and then headed out to the casino to enjoy the 30 minutes we had to wait for the bingo to get started.

Now, I will say right now, that I hate slot machines.  I think they are nothing more than money shredders.  Put money in, and 3 seconds later?  Money gone.  

Unless, of course, you actually win.  

Which I didn't do UNTIL I had shredded about $80 and was ready to call it quits and spend the rest of the evening mourning the loss of $80 and smacking myself in the head for being so stupid.  

I had gotten down to my last $20.. and yes, I had given myself $100 to spend on the machines.  NOT something I would or could do very often, and which is why the only time I do something like that is on my birthday.

Anywho, put the last $20 in to the money shredder... and with the first spin, I win $80.  Now, a smart person would realize they just won back the money they had wasted and walk away.  But, I'm not a smart person.  Not when it comes to stupid gambling.  I figure, I only gave it one spin.. why not have a few more goes.  I start watching my money dwindle back away, and once again when I think that I just need to stop I hit a bonus spin and win another $60.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  I'm back up to the $80 mark... a few more hits and BAM.. I hit the mini jackpot and win $218!!

Thankfully, that was enough for me to know better and I quickly hit the Cash Out button before giving it a second thought.  That gave me back the money I spent on bingo cards, the $80 I had spent on the money shredders, and still put me $50 ahead.  I'll take it!!

Then, Mom and I get started with our matinee bingo session, and she wins $150.  Now, the best part about playing bingo with my mom is the fact that we split any winnings.  Bingo winnings.  Slot machine winnings are completely separate.  

So, there's another $75 to add to my winning's pot.  

Then, I'll be danged, she wins again during the early bird session and scores another $50... which is another $25 for me.

I didn't have any luck all night playing bingo, but I had a blast nonetheless.

I wish I could say that I walked away with the full winning's pot in tack, but I was drawn in to the money shredders again, and shredded another $40.  But, I ended up walking away with an extra $50 than I had before lunch, bingo, evening snack, and money shredding... so I'm OK with that.  I had an absolutely amazing time, and it didn't cost me a penny.  In fact I got paid to have that much fun.  Who on earth can complain about that?  

I finally made it home around 1AM and went to bed.  

An absolutely FANTASTIC birthday.

Today, I'm planting myself on my computer and getting my taxes filled.  And working.  And relaxing.  And crocheting.  All while enjoying the snow that's falling down in droves right now.  We're up to about 3" at this point, and I'm pretty sure the prediction of 1-3" is a little off.  Especially since our current radar looks like this...


Yeah, pretty sure we're going to get just a little more than 3".  

All I have to do now is pray that my school town gets just as much, because I know for definite now that there will be no way I'll be driving to work in the morning.  The temps are not going to get above freezing today, and will be dropping down to about 12 degrees overnight.  It won't be white, fluffy snow in the morning, I can guarantee that.

So, now I'm going to try and not worry about what I might have to do if there IS school and I can't get there, but instead just try and enjoy my day.

Have a great, warm, Sunday, everyone!!


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