I purchased two plants for our conservatory to help bring some of the back garden theme into the house. These DracaenaMarginata (Dragon Tree plants) cost only £1.79 each and will make a lovely addition to our happy home!
Matt and I were enjoying some time in the conservatory tonight and Myst was banished to the kitchen so we could have the back door open. Shortly after giving up his fight of begging to come out with us, he slid down the window into his usual 'comfy kitty' position and proceeded to NOT chase the tempting fly who walked right across his path.
We're doing our PPA day at home this week so I got to leave work early today. Probably a good thing since I was feeling a bit melancholy from the recent news of Michael Jackson.
Matt came in the room last night and asked if I had been watching the news. When I said I had not, he informed me that apparently MJ has died. Initially I thought it had to be a joke, but he insisted it has been confirmed. I suddenly felt really sad as if I had lost a close friend or family member.
I idolized Michael from the time I was big enough to sing along to his albums and even had my own sparkly glove earrings. He was so full of talent and had the most kind heart as a human being. I am one of those who don't believe a word of the allegations against him and feel they were just a ploy to get his money. Fair enough, the man was eccentric, but considering how he missed out on his own childhood, it really explains why he was the way he was. Certainly not an abuser of children in any way, in my opinion. In fact, it really grates my nerves and irritates me when people try to compare him to the likes of sleazy Garry Glitter.
Not. The. Same.
Needless to say, I was okay this morning and while I was driving in to work, Radio One decide to play a few tunes. The first one they decide to play is 'Man in the Mirror' and the beginning notes sent me into a fit of tears. Despite the overcast skies, I had to put on my shades to hide that I was actually crying in my car to this song...a song with so much of a message.
I'm sure part of it was my hormonal imbalance at the moment with this pregnancy, but it was just so sad because I just thought about how this was someone's brother, someone's son...someone's dad. A great loss any way you look at it.
To be fair, the flash on the camera was used in this shot, but it truly brings out the effect of the sun on my dear husband. He has been mowing the paddock at a large property for work where the boss's daughter is soon to be married. Although he gets to chill on the riding lawnmower for most of the afternoon, he neglected to bring suncream on this day and here is the result.
Way to start my day...giggling like mad. There was an incident a while back involving some other accessorizing to this same giant statue, and although I know this type of behaviour is not encouraged, it is funny. At least they're not spray-painting him or trying to steal his head or his shovel.
I had a surprise at school today. We were notified just after 9 this morning that class and staff picture day was today. I probably would have done my hair differently and worn a different, more flattering top had I known sooner, but oh well. I just hope the photos turn out well and I can't wait to get a copy of my class's photo.
Double meaning on today's post because we're in the final 4-week stretch of school remaining until our 6-week summer holiday AND my 365 blog now has less than100 days remaining, which means I have kept it up for nearly a full YEAR!
Year's 5 and 6 had the chance to do some team-building this afternoon. PC Paul and PC Bobby came to Kingsthorne with some fun equipment and we met in the quad after lunch to try different team-building activities.
The kids had loads of fun and I have to admit it was a nice change from being in the classroom sitting in a chair. I'd like to continue this a couple of times a week for the remaining weeks just to keep their motivation up. They really are a great group of kids and will certainly keep a special place with me as my first class whilst teaching in the UK.
Plus, nothing to take a picture of. My excuse? I slept. All day.
Saw the new Transformers film last night. Long. I fell asleep at several points, but mainly because I was knackered. Plus, it didn't help that there were 30 minutes of adverts BEFORE the actual previews even started!
Note to Self:No late showings at the cinema after a long day at school.
I've been hearing a lot lately how my memory will never be quite the same again. Too bad I can't listen when I warn myself OUT LOUD that putting a chocolate in my pocket for 'just a minute' is a BAD idea.
I was offered a chocolate in celebration of another Year 5'ers birthday. I literally said to myself out loud in front of the student, "Don't let Mrs. Bennett put this in her pocket because she might forget about it." Two seconds later, children started pouring into my room from morning break for their upcoming maths lesson. I thought 'if I just slide it into the top edge of my pocket, I can sneak a nibble once I give them their assignment.'
Yeah...it didn't work like that. An hour later when I was dismissing the group, I reached in the pocket to see if I had my money for lunch and felt something squishy in a foil wrapper. You guessed it...my chocolate.
Still tasted just as good...but a bit mushy now, like my brain.
After two and a half months here we have decided that in the long-term this isn't the best suited place for us. We can hear the man above us snoring like a lumberjack every night and there is a constant slamming noise from the front door every time someone enters or leaves.
We looked at a 2-bedroom terraced property near Brierley Hill last weekend. It has a conservatory, an upstairs, a back garden...and a kitchen you don't have to hold your breath to walk through! The best bit is that it is tucked away and we will have parking right at our own front door.
Needless to say, we kept everything hush-hush while we applied to let this property. There was one more couple who had viewed the house and was also interested...but as of today, we received this letter in the post that we were approved!!
Many of our things here are still in boxes, so it shouldn't be as difficult this time around. Plus, Matt will have access to the 7.5-tonner from work and by this time a week from Saturday, we will have the keys and be all moved in to our new happy home!
Nothing really photo-worthy today...but I snapped this on my drive home. It's something that when I see it every day, I know my drive home from school is nearly complete. This is part of Dudley Castle which sits in the middle of our zoo.
The zoo is less than fantastic...but the castle is pretty cool.
There's the main bit where you can observe the solar system and different planets in it and it's all in 3D. Then there is another link where you can design your own little world to launch into our own solar system to see if it can survive.
The kids really seemed to like it. I snapped this photo of one of the boys' screens...he named his planet Francis. It made me giggle.
Episodes like this are one of the reasons I enjoy Big Brother in the UK. Today they made some of the housemates dress up in flower costumes, complete with instruments and stand in an individual flower pot whilst listening to music through headphones. They were told they had to dance for a pre-determined amount of time, but that time was not disclosed to them. I think it was something like 3 and a half hours, but they actually ended up dancing for over six!!
This is all in an effort to win a "luxury" shopping budget for the week. Otherwise, they're only allocated £1 per person/day. Ouch!
You can't really see well from this photo, but he does have all four legs sticking out so that his belly is completely flat on the tiles. I got back from a dinner out with the fam tonight at the pub and this is what I see when I come in the door. It's been pretty warm today so I can't really blame him.
I felt a bit out of place when I walked into Merry Hill today to find some new, roomier tops for work. My hair was frizzy and pulled back and I just felt a bit frumpy and scruffy...until I saw this woman in the denim skirt and chunky-heel knee-high boots (it looked worse from the front). Needless to say, when this she walked by I wasn't too worried about my dress-down attire.
Yep, exactly what it looks like it is...a Bennett in-the-making! I had my first scan today at Russell's Hall and Matt and I learned that our little bean isn't 12 weeks, but 14!! The due date has gone from the 22nd of December to the 10th. It has to be THE most amazing moment of my life (right up there with our wedding, of course). The baby was all squirmy and I joked with Matt that it better not have my T-Rex arms and midget legs. It was almost a bit like a bobble-head...but still so precious and I loved every second!
We actually discovered we were pregnant Easter weekend (when we moved to the new flat). This has since put us back on the net searching for something with a bit more room and preferably out of Dudley. It's not awful, but we just enjoyed Kingswinford so much more.
Anyway, they said it was too early to determine the sex, so it will have to wait till my 20-week scan in July (which thankfully is after school breaks up for the summer). I also got a letter in the post today that I didn't get chosen for the summer job, but to be honest, nothing can bring me down today...so I'll just keep looking for something else. No worries.
We told Matt's family (parents, sister & her fiance) as soon as we knew, but then told my Nan in the States on Mother's Day (US). It just happened that my aunts were all there at the house with her and they got the news as well.
Today was THE DAY, however...when the gag-order had been lifted and I was finally allowed to announce it on my facebookOFFICIALLY. I can't believe I was able to hold it in so long.
My typical 12 to 1 routine...zipping into Kingstanding for a Gregg's...yum! On the way back out to the car I noticed a woman in her car that was broken down in the middle of the road with her blinkers on. Other motorists were being so rude and impatient by slamming on their horns and shouting at her when they were able to speed past. God forbid someone interrupt THEIR busy lives!
My instinct told me to try and offer help to push her car towards the pavement, but I knew that wouldn't be a good idea. So, instead, I waited and watched in my wing mirror as a kind gentleman did exactly that.
Nice to see there are still decent people in the world.
In Year 5 we're covering British History from the 1940s to present for the remaining 5 weeks of school. My in-laws had loads of information to pass on for me to share, including some rather old coins that are no longer in circulation. Some of the pennies (the big dark ones) were over 100 years old and I was given enough so that I could pass one out to each of my 18 students. They loved it and many of them couldn't wait to show their parents and grandparents. Some of them even offered to bring in their own coin collections to share.
I'm really pleased they enjoyed them...and not too shabby for the American teacher if I do say so myself.
My hanging basket is FINALLY home!! My fantastic mother-in-law created this masterpiece for me and it has been enjoying the sun in her back garden for the past week or so. Matt was going to pick it up and bring it back sooner, but we have had steady rain the past few days and he said it would have been too messy before now in the car.
Now it is hanging proudly outside our kitchen window and I LOVE it!!
I was temporarily evicted from the flat today so Daz and Matt could get some painting done. To pass the time I went down to Merry Hill to look for some short-sleeved tops for work. I was unsuccessful by closing time at 7pm so I decided to hit up the Asda/WalMartSuper-centre. On the way back out to the car I noticed this abandoned umbrella in the car park -- a common sight virtually anywhere in England. Poor little umbrella.
I returned home to see the men-folk had managed to paint the ceiling and all four walls of the front room! Thank goodness...NO MORE BROWN PLASTERED WALLS!!
Quite a lousy pic from my G1, but that's what you get when a photo is taken in dim light.
We went to Emma & Daz's tonight and before we even ordered food I could feel my eyelids getting heavy. By the time food arrived, it was a struggle to keep them open at all, so we opted to take our dinner home. I immediately changed into PJs and got under the duvet.
Since I didn't want to have another night without dinner (the night before I made a gorgeous Bolognese Gnocchi Bake and couldn't even manage a bite) I was able to make myself get through 2 and 2/3 slices before the box was closed and I was counting sheep.
I survived my visit to Russell's Hall Hospital today for blood work. I'm not really sure why I get so bothered about needles because once it happened, I didn't feel it as much as I thought I would and by the time it was over, it wasn't that big of a deal in the first place. I'm just glad the lady was able to easily find a vein so I didn't have to be poked more than once.
This was to test my haemoglobin and check for any signs of anaemia. Hopefully all is well.
Matt bought me a chocolate bar and a large mocha from Costa Coffee as a treat for being a good sport about it all.
I had outdoor duty during afternoon break today and in an effort to occupy my growing entourage of 10-year-olds, I offered £5 to the individual who could figure out how to lick their own elbow by the end of the break period and encourage others to do the same.
Immediately the children scattered and went as far as to interrupt the Year 6 football match to try and convince them it could be done! Before long, I had a playground full of tongues chasing elbows whilst running around giggling and insisting to me that stretching the elbow skin itself or licking their finger and spreading it on their elbows counted.
One of my own students, who's identity I have concealed for blogging purposes, was so determined that I couldn't resist the photo opportunity to honour his persistence -- not to mention his ability to turn himself into a human-pretzel!
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!