Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's that time of year again....

for Indiana standardized testing!!

I HATE standardized testing!!

If you work in the education system, I'm sure you feel the same way!

In Indiana these tests include ISTEP (grades 3-8) and IREAD (grade 3).

Since I work with 3rd grade, my March will be busy with testing, make-up testing, and anxiously awaiting scores (IREAD). Out of March, I will only have my students for 1 week. How much can they learn from me if I don't have them? This is very frustrating for me. I don't like standardized tests. I feel that my kids will get more of an education from me than testing them every time they turn around. 

My poor 3rd graders are so nervous, which is to be expected because they have never taken big tests like this. They are also nervous because if they don't pass IREAD the first time they are required to take summer school where they will take the test again. If they don't pass it that time then they are automatically retained in 3rd grade. That's a lot of pressure for an 8/9 year old :(

We spend our month on pins and needles, hoping our precious students pass all of these tests. We hate for them to have to be disappointed because that means they are disappointed in themselves and how does this help a child?

Sorry, just had to vent.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

*Book Review Wednesday*

Time to review another book.

I have chosen another series to review this week. It is the Fallen Star series by Jessica Sorensen.

This is how I got "tricked" into reading this series: First, I was reading a pretty good book called The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen (which was pretty good BTW). Then, since I enjoyed that book I went on the author's website to see if there would be another Ella and Micha story available soon. Her website ended up listing all of these other books that she has written, including the Fallen Star series. I am usually a sucker when it comes to books and the first book in this series was FREE, so what's stopping me? I downloaded it and was surprised to see that it was 700+ pages (on my Nook). This is awesome for a free book. I read the book in a couple of days and then went looking for book #2. This book was was called The Underworld. To my surprise it was only $.99 but the downside is that it was only 197 pages. WTH? I am certain this is how we get pulled in as consumers. I realize that this is a cheap price but book 1 was 700 pages and this book is less than 200!! 

I read it though and enjoyed it which lead to book #3 (The Vision) and finally book #4 (The Promise).

I must say that these were 4 very good books. I enjoyed the story. There is suspense, romance, supernatural, and chaos. The characters are well-developed and all likable. The author has trouble with some grammatical errors scattered throughout but it doesn't deter from the story. This author is a good story teller, I have read other series by her.

Spoiler Alert:
Having said all of the good, I must point out that for the first half of the first book, I was having Twilight flashbacks. There are several scenes that take place in a school classroom, where Gemma (the main character) and Alex (the hot, weird guy) must sit next to one another in class. He seems to be put off by her and doesn't want anything to do with her. I was a little frustrated because I certainly didn't want to read a Twilight rip-off. The further I read on the better it got and the less like Twilight. 

These books are basically about one girl (Gemma) who finds out some incredible information about herself. She meets some new people at school, where she is usually a loaner and her world gets turned upside down. She meets some interesting people along the way who shape everything about who she will be. She meets vampires, witches, and fairies, all of which she didn't know existed. 

If you can make it through the first book sounding like a rip-off then you can finish it. I found the series to be quite entertaining. I highly recommend it to other who like sci-fi/supernatural type books. I think it would be fine for older teenagers to read. 

I give this book:

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Fantabulous 5

Went to a super fun 13th birthday dance this weekend and these were my favs:
1.  Wannabe by the Spice Girls
2.  YMCA by the Village People
3.  Teach Me How to Dougie by Cali Swag District
4.  Boyfriend by Justin Beiber
5.  What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction 

1. Witch & Wizard Kiss by James Patterson
2.  Allure magazine
3.  Lucky magazine
1.  The number lock key on a computer is lame! Why is it every time I sit down to the computer, the number lock key is off?

2.  I love the feeling of new socks!!

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pinterest challenge

Since I seem to be all about the challenges as of late (see my Instagram challenge here), I have decided to join a Pinterest challenge.

This one is by 3 sisters (Merrick, Janssen, and Landen). It is a challenge over the next 6 weeks to make 6 different things that you have posted on Pinterst but haven't tried yet.

Sisters Share It All: Pinterest Challenge

I think this calender would work great in my kitchen. The kids have so many activities starting next month that I think this would be a cheap, cute way to keep everything organized for everyone to see.


I have been craving some banana pudding REALLY bad over the last couple of weeks. This is a Paula Deen recipe and it sounds fabulous!! 


Cheeseburger soup!! My family loves cheeseburgers so what's not to love?


I have had this pinned since before last Easter and still haven't tried it. I think this is the year to do it. Only I think I will roll a swimsuit up inside of the towel for them also.


I love that this stand has a bowl on top for dip. I make some awesome dips that this stand would really work good with.


I have done bleach shirts for my kids (here) but not for me. I love the simplicity of this shirt.

 Hopefully everything turns out like it's supposed to and I don't end up on one of those Pinterest epic fail websites!

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Something to smile about Friday

It's Friday.

That's something to smile about, for sure!!

Here is a list of things that made me smile this week:

1.  Both of my kids had dentist appointments and they had NO cavities!

2.  I got my car back from getting the heat fixed.

3.  Bananas with peanut butter, Yum!!

4.  5 weeks until Spring Break!!

5.  Netflix

6.  Sons of Anarchy-Jax Teller

7.  4 day work weeks (times 2, this week and next week)

8.  4 day weekends (see #7)

Have a great weekend :)

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fantabulous 5

I am doing a theme this week.

Things I Love :)

Songs I could listen to on repeat over and over again:

1.  Just A Girl by No Doubt
2.  Talk Dirty to Me by Poison
3.  It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock
4.  Smile by Lily Allen
5.  Master of Puppets by Metallica

p.s. I don't love that my Thin Mints are gone!!

Books I could read over and over again:

1.  Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
2.  Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts
3. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

1.  I Love new blog followers!! It is so exciting to think that there is one more person out there reading your ramblings :) 

2.  I Love Netflix!!

And a quote from my baby girl, cuz I love her:

"Oy, it's cold out here!"

I guess we watch too much BBC :)

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1 year of blogging!!

As of today I have had this blog for 1 year.

I'm surprised that I stuck with it for so long.

I started the blog to chronicle a trip to Walt Disney World and the countdown gifts that I was giving my kids. We have since had our trip and hopefully will be going back soon. If we do I'm sure I will have some new ideas on fun/different things to do while there.

Now, on to the blog. I thought that I would do an informative blog today to let people know more about me. I found this idea on another blog and tweaked it a bit to fit myself.

Here are the A,B,C's of Mendy:

Age: 36
Bed size: Queen
Chore you hate: dishes
Dogs: 1 dog, Emmett

Essential item: my Nook
Favorite color: purple
Gold or Silver: Silver
Height: 5'6.5" (unless I am calculating BMI then it's 5'7")
Instrument: Nope
Job Title: 2nd & 3rd grade Title one aide
Kids: 2, Xander and Eve

Live: Central Indiana (blah!!)
Married: Yep, 14.5 years

Nickname: Mendy, Mendy Sue, Mommy
Overnight hospital stay: 4 or 5 (I can't remember)
Pet Peeve: I hate hearing people eat!!
Quote: "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney
Righty or lefty: Righty
Siblings: 2 sisters
Time you wake up: 5:45am, too early
University: Indiana University, Ball State University
Veggie you dislike: Spinach
What makes you late: Getting everyone else ready
X-rays: Several, I played sports
Yummy food: Mexicans make some damn fine cuisine
Zoo animal: Elephants and lions

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*Book Review Wednesday*

It's time for Book Review Wednesday again.

I have been slackin' but not anymore.

This weeks review is of a trilogy.

It is the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie (Matched, Crossed, and Reached).

Books included are:

This trilogy is basically about 1 girl, Cassia, and her life in a "Society" controlled by the government. Everything is controlled, their food intake, what their jobs will be, and even who they are "matched" with to start a family.  It is futuristic. 

The first book opens up with Cassia excited about her match ceremony. After she arrives home everything changes for her. She is torn between her match and someone else. Over the three novels she has to make a choice between two loves and decide how to either live in the controlled society or how to help the people of her country break free from the control. 

Along the way, she meets many new friends, has life experiences she never thought she would have, and travel to places that she could only dream about. She also has to learn who she can trust and that the grass isn't always greener on the other side with the government. 

I can say that I loved these books and recommend them. They all fit well together and tell an excellent story. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and couldn't put them down. I was so anxious to find out what was going to happen. They are excellent and entertaining. 

I <3 Ky!!

I would compare these to the Hunger Games series and the Witch and Wizard series. They are appropriate for older teenagers to read.

I give this series:

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's day blog world!!

We are usually pretty low key on this holiday and this year is no exception. We don't have any plans for tonight, just relaxing with the kids.

As an educator, valentine's day has become my least favorite holiday. I was warned when I started working at a school how bad valentine's day was but I didn't believe anyone. I was wrong!! Thank goodness it's over!

For the past 14 days I have been participating in's 14 Days of Love Instagram challenge. It has been fun (even though I am not a fan using a hashtag). The challenge was to post photos of these things on Instagram with #14DaysofLove.

Here is the challenge:

Crappy pic taken of the computer screen with my phone.

Day 1: Color you love

I love pink, purple, and black!

Day 2: Book you love

I love the entire HP series and this is my favorite out of all of them!!

Day 3: Music

I have loved them for YEARS!! I first saw them in 1996.

Day 4: Time of Day

The time I get home after work!

Day 5: Memory

Xander and I in 2008 at Discovery Cove in Orlando.

Day 6: Food

I realize it's not a food but I LOVE it and I ingest it so it counts, haha!

Day 7: Possession

My Nook

Day 8: hobby


Day 9: Pet

My shorkie Emmett :)

Day 10: Collection

My collection of flip flops!

Day 11: Clothing

Zip up hoodies are the BEST!!

Day 12: Movie

I love comedies!

Day 13: Quote

From Twilight:  Eclipse book.

Day 14: Me

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