You Might Be Addicted...

Hello there...
my name is The Box and I am addicted to making to do lists 
& you might be too if you do any of the following. 
Admitting your crazy is the first step right...?!?

One. You make multiple lists on a weekly/daily/monthly basis. 
I have a weekly work to do list, divided out into days. A weekly personal list. A weekend list. A shopping list. A budget list. A gym list. A blog list. I am probably missing a few.

Two. You get immense JOY from checking, crossing or highlighting items off your to do list.
I use different colors for different lists...don't even get my started on my addiction to color coding, would need a whole another blog post.

Three. You check your to do list hourly daily weekly in hopes that you have magically done an item and can check it off.

Four. You add updating your to do list to your to do list. 
Every Friday I sit down and plan out my new week on my school calendar and then update my phone list for my weekend to do's. 
Then cross update calendar off my to do makes me feel successful...makes sense right?!?

Five. When asked 'what you are going to do this weekend?' you open up your to do list and read it all off, in order of importance.
This perhaps is why Mr. B stopped asking me what I was going to do each weekend.

Six. You include the smallest details on your to do list. Both to feel accomplished when you complete them and so you don't forget. 
Some people can go through life knowing that they should floss or wash clothes, I need reminders.

Seven. You suddenly have a extra stop during your errands and still stop to add it to your to do list.
I have been known to decide I need to stop by Target on my way home and still added it to my to do list. That 15 minute drive can be a dreadful mind eraser. 

Eight. You have canceled plans, skipped birthday dinners or avoided friends due to your to do list being too full. 
Guilty...don't judge! A long to do list makes me anxious and ain't no amount of wine is going to relax me.

Nine. You rewrite to do lists when they get too long, messy, or when you get a new pen.

Ten. You link up with several list linkys to share your crazy with other bloggers. 
Also, here and here.

The only correct way way I know to handle an addiction is to feed it, so without further ado I am linking up with I {Heart} Recess for her Monthly Goals Linky. 

Is there anyone else out there as obsessed with addicted to lists as I am...I certainly hope so!?!

- The Babbling Box!


Oh hello there Monday, so glad you could start this week off with such a bang. I had a 'real' blog post planned for today but then Monday happened and well now you just get some pictures. Lucky you?!?


This sign is was hanging above the reflection desk in my classroom, probably one of my favorite signs in my classroom.

But today a kid decided to destroy it because he 'hates' being in my 'dumb' classroom. Said kid proceeded to get a little aggressive with me and call me the most lovely vulgar names. While this behavior isn't completely unexpected I just haven't had any issues in my classroom this semester so I perhaps forgot how to 'deal' with it with the patience of a saint. So like I said it was a Monday.

Moving on to happier topics here are a few snapshots from my weekend.

The Lumineer's Concert - All of my pictures were dark and blurry, I nearly froze to death and drinks were $14.00 a pop. And it took us close to an hour to get out of the parking lot. Not exactly the blasty blast I was hoping for.
Sunday Funday at Hula Hut: lake + margaritas + tacky Hawaiian decor + good friends = perfect ending to the weekend
St. Louis Blues are in the playoff's Mr. B is slightly obsessed.
I am slightly obsessed with Angie's popcorn both white cheddar and the lightly sweet flavors have been AMAZBALLS!

And to perk myself up a bit here is some Monday Motivation, followed by a tall glass of wine.



Only four more days till Friday, Friday!!!


- The Babbling Box!

It's Friday, Friday


Yes all of my creativity has been zapped from me that I stole my title from Rebecca Black. Sue Me!!!
I hang out with teenagers all day it was bound to happen sooner or later.

I have been counting down the minutes hours days this week waiting for Friday to get here. And in eight hours this is what I will be doing to lesson plans, graded papers and every student complaint I received this week...


Time for some letters, just so you get a feel of where my mind is really at today...on FRIDAY, FRIDAY.


DEAR STATE TESTING, you are officially over and you can ...insert your own thoughts...
Thank you for the opportunity to walk 4 miles each day pacing a tiny classroom. Thank you for opportunity to just stare at students in silence, I did not know I go so long without speaking or stimulating my I do. And thank you for allowing me the opportunity to really test the capacity of my bladder...I now know I can do anything I put my mind to.

DEAR STUDENTS, just because the dreaded 'tests' are over does not in fact mean school is over. Let's make these last 5 weeks fly by as painlessly as possible.

DEAR SISTER, good luck have an AMAZING this weekend. Enough said.

DEAR BUDGET, we are on month four of the new years resolution budget and we are running a 75% failure rate of staying on track. Might not be a math major but that ain't good. 

DEAR SELF, please understand that a budget is not merely a suggestion of your expenses but an actual cut off point of your money. OKAY?!?

DEAR BODY, you worked out two days and walked 12+ miles during three days of testing, please stop acting like you just ran a marathon caring a human being on your back and weights around your stomach.

DEAR LUMINEERS: I am over the moon about your concert tonight. Please let the weather be lovely, parking be easy, drinks be plentiful and allow me to find the perfect outfit in my closet in under 15 minutes! 3 out of 4 will do.

DEAR TEXAS WEATHER: GET IT TOGETHER! If I can accept that my classroom might be 86 degrees everyday why can't you accept its April and we should be able to wear shorts everyday of the week. I have had enough of your stupid Wednesday cold!?

DEAR CREATIVITY: Please come back! I miss you!!! And no I do not need to go shopping to find some creativity...silly brain!

DEAR MR. B: I HEART you, sorry I have been SO lame and in bed before ten all week, blame state testing!!! I am totally stoked that we get to go out on a Friday night together. 
You + Me + Outdoor Concert + Boozy Drinks = PURE BLISS 
I just hope you like the concert. Screw your boss for scheduling you at 8 am Saturday, regardless we will still have a blasty blast.

And for your listening pleasure, I am sticking to my Friday theme and going with a little diddle from the move Next Friday, "Put Your Back Into It".

Put Your Back Into It by Ice Cube on Grooveshark

I wore yoga pants

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend...

"Everybody lookin forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Getting down on Friday
Everybody lookin' forward to the weekend."

- The Babbling Box!

How To Survive Testing

This weekend was VERY uneventful, but much needed. It was one of those boring adult weekends filled with laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, car issues, etc. Can I please just get a personal assistant already...pretty please!!!

The real highlight of my weekend occurred Friday night when Mr. B and I went out for dinner, but I already blogged about that here.

Since so much of my weekend was spent in preparation for this week of state testing I thought I would put together a little survival list for my fellow teachers. While this is only my second year doing this I have already learned from trial and a few errors how to survive this week with a little bit of sanity left. 

Back story for non teachers, this week we will be state testing 3 days and I would compare it to a prison style lock down.
As a teacher you are responsible for about 30 students that you might or might not know from 8:03-1:30, in a room that is not yours. You will not be allowed to sit. The students will not be allowed to talk. You will be allowed one restroom break, choose your timing wisely. Students will need an escort to leave your room, hopefully all the teachers actually show up so you get an escort and no child pees themselves. True story. And you will not be allowed to eat lunch.


ONE. Place a Victoria Secret order the Sunday before the tests. It helps if you have coupons and can justify your expenses by their expiration date but that is not always necessary. Just knowing you have pretty new clothes coming to your door at any moment will be your pot of gold at the end of this week. Just don't let Mr. B know about this.

In love with these shorts!
TWO. Choose smart shoes. My favorites are Reefs flats because they are amazingly comfortable but still very stylish. I can't wear ugly shoes regardless of pain, I have issues.

Look at all that foot cushion!
THREE.  Put a Pedometer app on your smart phone so you can track your miles walked. This will allow you to feel better about skipping the gym in the evening in lieu of a bottle of wine, more on that later. My favorite is Pedometer, it's free and it tells you steps and miles and can keep track of all of your past records.

FOUR.  Wear light weight clothes with pockets. You will be in a classroom that is not yours so you never know if the AC will be working or not. Bring a sweater just in case. Pockets are important to hold your phone for two reasons. One, to count your steps. And two this isn't your room so you have no where to properly lock up your phone and you don't need anyone with sticky fingers thinking they hit the jackpot and their prize was a shiny new-to-them iphone.

FIVE.  Pack an ice chest. Yes you will probably look like a bag lady with your purse, ice chest and testing tote but who cares. Ice chest should include water, snacks and a cold lunch. And if you are me, extra snacks and water, just enough to survive an Apocalypse.

SIX.  Make/Bring snacks for yourself. My students will each get a tiny bag of goldfish from the school during testing, that tiny bag will not fill me up at ALL. So I make sure I bring snacks that I will enjoy and my go to are these no bake energy bars.

  • 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground pretzels
Mix all of the ingredients together, I would suggest adding more honey or peanut butter until you get a sticky texture that you can press together (I don't exactly like to measure when I make these). I like to pack the mixture into a Pyrex dish then put it into the fridge for a few hours so it sets, then cut up the pieces and ENJOY!  Recipe adapted from here.

I don't think the pictures do these justice, they are yummier than they look! PROMISE!


SEVEN.  Make a cold lunch. Something that can be eaten quickly, requires no preparation or use of a microwave. I opted to make a cold pasta salad on Sunday for this week. I am pretty darn proud of it and I might have made enough to have a block party and still have leftovers. This post has already gotten too long, that recipe will be for later this week.

EIGHT.  Prepare a few fun activities for your actual students after testing, they will moan and groan at the first sign of real work, and ain't nobody got time for that after a morning full of playing warden.  I am extremely lucky because we have computers so I will be able to soothe their poor worn out brains with a few computer games. Administrators please do not choose those days to do classroom observations, its just cruel.

NINE.  Find whatever motivates you, keeps you sane or puts a smile on your face and keep it close.

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TEN. If all of this advice fails you and you still feel like you are ready to cry, pull your hair out or crawl into a desk drawer when testing is over, I suggest having a bottle of wine waiting for you at home. Not that you really ever need to have a reason to have a bottle of wine waiting after work.

I am sure that not everyone finds testing week as dramatic as I do and perhaps none of this advice even applies to you as testing at your school roles out a little differently. 
What's your best testing advice for teachers?



- The Babbling Box!

Five For Friday...One Day Late

I had such high hopes for linking up with Doodle Bugs Five for Friday yesterday, I even took some pictures in my classroom...but as it seems to be the theme of my life lately I am a day late and a dollar short. But I am not dwelling...I am spending this gorgeous day catching up on my mile long to do list...aren't you jealous!


1 & 2 - The Great Postcard Exchange!

This week in Career Technology we created Postcards. I am all about teaching my students real world skills, like writing checks, building robots and editing pictures...every adult should be able to do all of that right?!? 

Regardless, I decided that we should learn how to properly address an envelope. But envelopes are boring. You know what's not boring, PoStCaRdS!!! 

Example one.
So this week we used Microsoft Publisher to create our postcards, I printed them for the students and then we spent two class periods addressing them and writing messages. Obviously my instincts were correct, addressing the postcards was a very trying experience even with the examples we did together and example on the screen.  

My grading rubric.
Ever heard of If you are a blogger you probably have, its similar to but I think their collage feature is so much better in I have used both of these websites in Wed Design back when we made our calendars but I hadn't let my 6th graders in Career Technology mess with them too much.  For some of my advanced kiddio's I suggested making a collage for their postcard. And some of kids did an amazing job! I personally think their postcards could be found in airports around Texas, but I might by biased.


Probably one of my favorites!
Teacher side note: I had the students create the postcard in Microsoft Publisher then email me the postcard, I then printed the final postcard double sided with a template I made that had all the correct lines to make addressing the postcard super simple a little less painless. You could also certainly have the students create the backside, but as it is this took us 4 class days and I wanted to wrap up this mini-unit.

3 - It Might Be April but I Can Change My Classroom If I Want To

I felt a little silly yesterday moving some things around in my classroom, but I am SO glad I did. It was a really small move like four items but oh the difference it made. Ever since I had my projector mounted in my ceiling I have had cords running across the room that get ripped out by students feet almost daily. So by moving my laptop to the back table and simply shifting a few computers no more cord issues!  Sometimes when you are supposed to writing lessons you need a way to avoid my classroom always wins!

I tried to get my eighth period to ohh and ahh over it, I kept saying "look how much more room we have for activities" but they were too engrossed in their work computer games to get my Step Brother reference.

Old Set Up

New Set Up



4 - 5th Six Weeks Grades - Done, Done and DONE!

Without fail our gradebooks always need to be locked by 10 am on a Monday. So the weekend before I always end up grading feverishly in order to get everything squared away. But Friday I left the classroom at 5:00 and my grades are DONE! I still need to make new six weeks seating charts but that requires like 15 minutes of my weekend, not my whole Sunday. WOOT! WOOT!

5 - I don't always eat with my fingers but when I do...I make sure its in public.

Last night Mr. B and I tried a new to us place in Austin, Lucy's Fried Chicken. 
And it was AMAZBALLS! 

We shared way too much food a few plates and even walked away with leftovers for today. They had a rib special that were definitely melt in your mouth ribs. Plus we ordered the Fried Chicken Basket...they might have the best fried chicken I have ever had. And I am from the south. And cornbread muffins with tequila butter...mmmmm! Oh and for an appetizer chicken salad with paprika chips. I would totally do something...for that recipe. 

All of the food was finger licking good, and yes I might have licked my fingers in public...keeping it classy.

There theme was very Texas!
We washed it all down with a few adult beverages and then came home and vegged on the couch catching up on our ridiculously full DVR box...80% full daily means we just can't keep up...and a few more adult beverages. It was a WONDERFUL start to the weekend.  

Boots seemed in order for eating fried chicken.

- The Babbling Box!


Does anyone else out there have a case of Senoritis?  Gosh do I ever!

And no I am not a student.
And no I don't teach seniors.
But it's just that time of the year...I guess...

Yesterday I stared at my lesson plans for over an hour and half after school and got absolutely no where. Excellent time management on my part considering I have to plan three lessons by tomorrow. 

Today it took me over an hour to write four warm know the time filler at the beginning of class. Here I am acting like its some sort of profound writing...buts it's one flipping question that can be answered in three minutes. I wanted to shake myself.

Tomorrow I will not do a single thing that my current lesson plans say, as I am in no hurry to speed my students up (especially since next weeks lessons aren't written) so I have now named tomorrow catch up day. (Side note: when I use this saying I have to explain to my students that I am in fact not talking about the condiment. True story.)

Oh and my gradebook needs to be finalized before I leave school tomorrow, and I only received 1/3 of one classes project today. Joy. Normally I greatly care that all of my students get work turned in, I am like an annoying fly buzzing around their head yammering on about deadlines and grades. Today I was still thinking about those pesky lesson plans...

On the bright side only 33 more school days left!!!

Since I have such a ridiculously LARGE case of senoritis I decided to flashback to when I was actually a senor and it made since to have senoritis.

I was one of those seniors that walked in May but had to take two classes over the summer to actually complete my degree requirements. I didn't want to take on to much ruin my summer after graduation so I took one course each summer session. I can honestly count on one hand how many classes I attended of each class. But somehow I passed with B's, although not without a whole lot of note borrowing and begging on my part. 

All Star Student Award goes to...

anyone but me!!!

Here's what I was too busy doing:









Linking up for Throwback Thursday!

- The Babbling Box!