Sunday, December 28, 2008

Melodye and Megan's Excellent Adventure

What is a better way to top off Christmas than to take a last minute road trip to California with girlfriends?
It all started when I won five tickets to Magic Mountain from my school. The catch was I had to use them before the end of the year. So, me and five girlfriends were set to leave the day after Christmas -Ryan was out of town:(. Rachel and her sister dropped out because they wanted to spend time with there family and Megan couldn’t go because she hurt her knee. Melodye and I were the last two standing. Bright and early Friday morning we set out hoping to arrive at the park by 10:00 am. You know the saying “Getting there is half the fun”? We were cruising along the I-15 just past Barstow and decide we better get out Mayra, the GPS to help us get to where we are going. Bad news…Mayra was broken. But we were smart and brought printed directions from MapQuest as well. So, we are following the directions and looking for the next freeway that we were supposed to turn on to. We are driving along, listening to the radio, singing along to “Womanizer” for probably the 8th time and our turn-off still hadn’t come up. Right about the time we hit Lake Elsinore Melodye gets thinking we are way off track (San Diego was getting a little too close). Thanks to THIS store we were able to pick up a new GPS, “Carmen”. Carmen was GREAT! Minus a few minor road bumps and some “recalculating”, Carmen got us to Magic Mountain by 1:00 pm. Only 3 hours behind schedule.
The park was a lot of fun. I LOVE roller coasters! Unfortunately a few of the bigger rides were closed. Below are some pics from the park. We stayed for a few hours, but by the time the sun was going down it was just too cold to stay much longer –it was only about 45 degrees.

This was by far my favorite ride! It is kind of hard to tell in the picture,
but they have you harnsed in so you aren't actually in a seat.
You are looking down on the ground throughout the ride.

I cheated and took a picture from one of the rides. Appearently there
was a "big" sign that asked you not to take pictures but
I didn't see it until after I was yelled at by the rude employee.
Melodye and I after a long, cold day at the park

Tickets into the park: $Free.99
One night at the Courtyard Marriot: $Free.99
Gas: $50
Dinner at Olive Garden: $41.74
Snacks for the road: $6.42
Losing our voices from screaming through every ride: Priceless

Special Thanks To:
Papa Gibson for getting us a room at the Marriot
My boss for the tickets into the park
Melodye’s boss for the gift card to Olive Garden
XM Radio for playing “Womanizer” 57 times during the duration of our trip –I think that is the theme song to our adventure.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hell Froze Over!

We had some out-of-the-ordinary weather in Vegas this past week. It started snowing Wednesday afternoon just as my students were getting back from lunch. They were just a little wired. It was coming down pretty hard by the time school got out. Having never driven in snow I was little nervous to drive home. But I made it safe and sound! And believe it or not Vegas had a "snow day" they cancelled school on Thursday due to the weather. When was the last time that happened? It was pretty exciting to have a random day off in the middle of the week; however it won't be so fun when we have to make it up later in the year. Speaking of school today was the last day of school for TWO WEEKS! Hooray for Winter Break -the perks of being a school teacher!

A few things on my "To do" list for the next couple of weeks:
1. Finish reading Breaking Dawn -can't believe I haven't finished that yet...
2. Grade papers -work on my break isn't what I wanted to do but that's what I get for having an essay due right before break.
3. Sleep -I am definitely not going to miss the alarm going off at 5:00 am

My dad always says he lives in Vegas because
sunshine is easier to shovel than snow...

Shorts??View from the front of the house
View from the back

Friday, December 19, 2008

Teacher Moment

I had a "teacher moment" a couple of days ago. At the end of my class on Wednesday one of my students asked if I could quiet the class down so she could give me something. After I did she told me the whole class signed a Christmas card for me. They were passing it around the class and I didn't even notice. My students are so thoughtful. Just when I think I haven't been an effective teacher and wondering what kind f impression I am leaving on them they go and do something like this! Call me corny, but it almost brought me to tears. I think some of the students were hoping I'd cry! :) This almost makes up for the "F---- you Ms. B" I found on the magazine.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Go Google Yourself!

Here's what you do: type in your answer to the following questions & pick your fav pics from the first 3 pages of results. It would be fun to see what you come up with. Here is what Google had to say about me:

My first name:

My middle name:

My last name:

My age:

My favorite place to visit: (San Luis Obispo, CA)

A place I'd like to visit:

A past celeb crush (Brian Litterell, BSB):

My grandmother's name (Carol):

My college major:

A nickname (motor mouth Megan -when I was little):

My first job (rec assisstant at DRC)

A pet I've had:

My favorite food:

My favorite dessert:

My favorite color:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Semi-Recent Random Happenings

As promised here is a new blog post that will have NOTHING to do with school/work. (I do have a life outside of work!)
Megan's Wedding
Rita, Megan, me, Jenna

Family Park Day

Last weekend my fam and I went to Spring Mountain Ranch for a day of of food, family and fun. The kiddos loved running around, playing with their cousins, and the weather was perfect.

Prego, me, Stacey and Holly

It is not a family BBQ without a game of baseball!!

Dinner with friends

Shelly was in town for a few days so some of my girlfriends from high school and I went out to eat at Metro pizza and catch up on each others' lives.
Jessica, Shelly, Amy, me and Daja


Ryan and I went to the Bellagio the other night to see the gardens and watch the water show. I felt like at total tourist taking pictures. I have probably been to the show at least a dozen times, but it never gets old -especially the gardens. I am always amazed at what they can do.
Ryan and I just outside the gardens int he Bellagio -the random lady I asked to take the picture must have turned the camera that's why the picture isn't straight.

This is the best picture I could get...not sure how to use the settings on my camera so the picture doesn't come out so dark! Any suggestions...??

Friday, October 17, 2008

When Life Gives You Lemons...

As I have said in a previous blog I have a class that I struggle with. They aren’t bad people, there is just too many students in one class that make bad decisions and end up feeding off of each other. I have been implementing some strategies to help the students behave better as well as keep my sanity. Some are working but for the most part I haven’t seen a change. Yesterday I sent two students out of the classroom to another teacher’s class. Later on in the day a student informed me that another student wrote “F*** you Ms. Belingheri” in one of our magazines that we are reading right now. My first thought was it was probably one of the students I sent out of the classroom. As a teacher it is very disheartening to find out students disrespect me. I don’t care if they like me but I do expect them to respect me. Rather than wallow in misery and let this one student affect me I have decided to turn my lemons into lemonade and compile a list of the top 10 reasons why I love 6th graders”

The Top 10 Reasons Why Ms. Belingheri Loves 6th Graders

10. They still give their teachers notes that say things like, “You rock”

9. When I ask for a volunteer to help me 36 hands go up every time.

8. When reading a story and they come upon a semi-“bad” word, like damn, they ask permission to say it. The whole class ends up laughing because they got to say a swear word at school.

7. I can spend 10 minutes explaining and modeling, in detail, an assignment and still count on at least two kids raising their hand and saying, “What are we supposed to be doing right now?” (Can you hear?)

6. They want to share every detail of their health history with me AND keep me updated on the progress. (TMI...)

5. They can’t find mistakes in their own writing but will find every mistake I make in my writing.

4. They forgive me every time I forget their name, even if it is the 8th week of school.

3. They get excited when they run into me at the store.

2. When passing me in the hall they stop to give me a hug (Unfortunately, the kid that does this the most is the one that smells like cat pee.)

And the number one reason why I love 6th graders…

1. They send me notes telling me the top 10 reasons why I they love me.

**I realize my last few blog entries have been entirely related to school. I promise next time I blog I won’t mention my job :)**

Saturday, September 27, 2008

11 year olds aren't so innocent

Well, I haven't posted on here in a long time. I have been a little pre occupied with work and life has gotten a little bit more hectic. But I have survied my first 5 weeks of teaching. Overall I am not as stressed out as I thought I would be (Don't get me wrong I am definitiely stressed out). I make mistakes everyday and am probably screwing up these kids for the rest of their lives. My 6th graders LOVE to talk and talk and talk. I have tried calling home and giving students detention but they won't stop talking! I think I am pretyt tough with them -tough but fair. I am just taking it one day at a time. I have already had a fight in my room. Well, they didn't actually hit each other but these two kids (they looked like they could be 14 or 15 not 11) walked up to each other and got really close and saying things like "Yeah, let's fight, let's go" I ran a kid down to the office and the campus monitors and assistant principal came down and broke it up. These two boys have been out of school for fighting 3 or 4 times this year already and we are only 5 weeks into the year -I don't think they are going to last too much longer.

The other teachers I work with have been so helpful and have really taken me under their wings. I feel very blessed to have so much support. It also helps that my dad was in education for over 30 years and is able to give me some great advice on those days when I feel like I have lost all control of my students.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Short, But Sweet

I had a short break in between student teaching and when I had to report to work as a new teacher. So my parents and I took a quick trip to sunny California. We woke up early Saturday morning and drove to LA to see an Angels vs. Yankees game. I am really not a fan of either team, but it was a pretty good game. We cheated and sat in some pretty good seats for about three innings until the real inhabitants showed up and we had to move to our ticketed seats which weren’t so great.
Good Seats
Not so good seats
After the game we drove around LA looking for this famous hot dog stand called Pinks. Apparently it is a big deal, I hadn’t heard of it before but my parents went years ago. Anyway, so after we found the establishment we waited in line for an hour (yes…we waited in line for an hour…for a hog dog…). The hog dog was actually pretty good and would have been even better had I not got the spicy one. WOW!!! is all I have to say.
The line wrapped all the way around the back of the building

So after the excursion at Pinks we drove up the coast a ways to spend the rest of our vacation in breathtaking San Luis Obispo, CA. I love SLO. My brother has lived there for 17 years and I am so glad he does because it makes a great place to vacation in the summer to escape the vegas heat. The high was about 75 degrees while we were there and the nights got down to about 50. Sunday, after church my parents and I went Downtown to a couple stores and then went to Morro Bay, a small touristy coastal town about 20 minutes from SLO. It was beautiful but cold, really cold. We got on a trolley and drove around on that for a little bit and then walked around to a few shops.
Eating lunch in dowtown SLO

On the trolley in Morro Bay

Morro Bay Rock
It was freezing down by the water, but I had to put my feet in!

Monday I didn’t want to do anything except lay by the pool and read. So, that is exactly what I did. I laid by the pool ALL day and it was fantastic! (In case you are wondering I was reading Breaking Dawn!) That night my parents, my brother, and nephew went to Pismo Beach to eat at Splash Cafe, a yummy restaurant and then walked out to the peer and on the beach. It was freezing out on the water. I can’t believe how cold it gets there in the evening.
Waiting outside of Splash, again a long line!

Getting my tan on
My nephew, Mathew
Pismo Beach
And then that was the end of the vacation. I had to be back to work on Wednesday so we drove home Tuesday. The vacation was WAY to short but it was soooo nice to get out of town for a couple of days and it was soooo nice of my parents to take me out of town. Thanks Joe and Shelley!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Look Out World (or 6th graders), Here I Come!!

I have officially entered the world of adulthood….I have a teaching job! Your looking at the new 6th grade Reading/English teacher at Silvestri Junior High School. It is called a CORE position, which means I teach reading and English to the same group of students and they stay in my class for two periods. I am totally excited!!! This is my dream job and to get in my first year is really lucky. You know the saying, “It’s not what you know it’s who you know”? Well, the only reason I got this job is because the principal at Cartwright ES (the school I am student teaching at) was talking to the principal at Silvestri and she put in a good word for me. I am actually shocked he wanted to hire me since I didn’t exactly nail the interview. First of all I didn’t even know he was going to interview me. He came in for an observation and then tells me he wants to go out in the hall to “talk”. I think it was a good thing I wasn’t expecting an interview otherwise I would have worked myself up and been even more nervous. Anyway, so he asks me what novels I would use for in my classroom for 6th graders. I was totally stumped. I didn’t want to just say, “I don’t know” So I answered with a book that, I found out later, is at a much lower grade level...totally embarrassing. But I did tell him as I was leaving that I was going to look up 6th grade novels immediately. And I did. (For those of you that are curious about what 6th graders do read here are a few top picks: Walk Two Moons, Loser, Freak the Mighty, Wrinkle In Time and The Giver.)

I have a job and that is fantastic! The bad news is I will get a whole four days off! My last day of student teaching is August 8 and new teachers go back for orientation on August 13 (sigh). So, I am making a quick trip to Cali for the weekend to catch a ball game and see my brother and his family. This will be a much needed vacation! I have made it through student teaching and now the next speed bump to get over is the first day of school...I'm nervous.

Friday, July 25, 2008

To grandmother's house we go

My sister, Stacey, recently posted on her blog some memories she has of my grandma and her house in Panaca, NV (If you have never heard of it, it is a little town in Lincoln county between Pioche and Caliente). My grandma passed away in February of 2007. But I felt like she was already gone the last few years of her life. She suffered from Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I feel so grateful to have such fond memories of her before she got sick.

when I was little I loved going to Panaca. My grandma's house was like a mansion! There were rooms everywhere and it was the best house to play hide-and-go seek in. Depsite the fact that I had cousins and sisters just a few years older than me, the only kid I got to play with was my little brother. Appearently I wasn't good enough to play with the older girls. I remember one time my aunt made my cousin play with me and she wouldn't let me do anything I wanted to do; we had to play by her rules. Looking back now it is really funny, but at the time I always wished for the day that the older girls would let me play them. Thant's ok though, because Brett was always a fun playmate!

My grandma was the best cook. And I swear, she was always in the kitchen making something. Still, to this day, whenever I smell certain foods I feel like I am back in grandma's kitchen, sitting on a bar stool and watching her hum as she cooked. (My grandma always hummed while she cooked.) But she did have a temper. You could often find her swearing under her breath or telling the kids to "get out of the damn kitchen."

I loved going into her room and going through all of her things. She had tons of scarves and necklaces and nail polish and lotions, and rings, everything to keep a little girl busy. My grandma was an "Avon lady" and had tons of Avon stuff around her house.

My grandma had the most beautiful yard filled with flowers. If we ever visited in the spring we could always count on seeing tulips in her front yard.

The first thing I wanted to do when I got to Panaca was go to the "merc" (the little grocery store in Panaca). They had a penny candy section where you could get all sorts of little candies for a penny. Grandma kept a jar in her kitchen where she put her spare change. She would let me borrow one of her coin purses to fill up with coins and off I went to walk to the Merc.

Memories of Panaca:

  • Eating ginger snaps out of the cookie jar
  • Waking up to the smell of "Hot Cakes"
  • Helping grandma make her famous focaccia bread. (I always got to make the holes on top)
  • Sitting at the bar watching her cook
  • Being yelled at to go outside and play
  • Playing baseball in the big field behind her house
  • Climbing Court Rock
  • Moss fights in the spring (natural swimming pool)
  • Learning how to drive
  • Being banished to the sun room to eat ( stole that one from Stacey)
  • Closing off the basement to make it pitch dark and playing games.
  • Eating Swan's ice cream bars and being yelled at for eating to many
  • Being yelled at for eating...period
  • Sitting by a nice warm fire place
  • Sitting in the big blue recliner chair in the sun room, eating my penny candies and watching cartoons with Brett

  • Unfortunately things change, houses get torn down and people die. The sweet memories of our childhood are all we have left to remember good times by. I am so thankful for the wonderful memories I have of Panaca and my grandma, Laura Marie.

    Tuesday, July 1, 2008

    half way there

    Well, it has been a really long time since I have posted on here. I have officially made it half way through my student teaching and I may just survive the other half. I can’t believe how fast the past 6 weeks have gone by. I have been more busy then I have ever been (and it doesn’t help that I spent almost 3 of those weeks dog sitting for various people –I think I have become the official dog sitter) I think I have come a long way from where I was at the beginning and I am getting really excited to have a classroom of my own. The kids are amazing. I was surprised how quickly I got attached to them (even if some of them do smell).

    I love Sunday dinners at my house because it I get to spend time with my family, but it is pure chaos. Last Sunday my brother-in-law’s brother came with his two daughters so in total there were nine little kids running around. To keep them entertained their parents sent them outside to play in the water with the hose. None of them had swim suits so they decided to just strip down to their underwear. It was hilarious! I would post pictures but I am sure none of you want to see little kids running around in the backyard without any clothes on :) So, instead here is a picture of them with their clothes on