school's out

Every year around this time I like revert back to the olden days at FBC Denison. Every summer we'd put on a summer musical. One year we did "School's out" (Lynley and Jana, you know what I am talking about) All I remember was throwing papers, running down the aisles of our sanctuary (which I thought was a sin) and singing the theme song that went a little something like this:

School's out! Summer time has come. 
School's out! Time to have some fun. 
School's out! Life is such a blast, at laaaaast. 
No more walking in single file where ever we go. 
No more questions about the state of Idaho. 
(bumm, bum, bum bum bum bum bum...)
We ain't gonna use good grammar no more. 
We don't have to relive history no more. 
'Cause school's out! 

Remember how exciting it was to be a kid on the last day of school? It was the best! Well, today I learned it is equally as satisfying to be a staff member. SCHOOL'S OUT! This year I worked at 7 schools-- 2 public schools (seen below) and 5 private schools. As long as it had a door and a chair, you could call it my office. I worked in a blue library (also seen below), copy room, conference room, another library, counselor's office, PE portable, sunday school room and out of my car. I had a great time working with all my kids and learned a lot!

Thanks to input from my favorite mom-in-law (who is a teacher), I have decided to not partake in any work activities and enjoy my first summer off....which is why you work in a school district anyway, right? People keep asking me, "What are you going to do all summer?" Well I haven't really figured that out yet, but off the top of my head...I don't know, umm...

Instead of updating IEPs at ARDs, I am will update my TAN at the PdoulbeOL. 
Instead of  eating breakfast in rush hour and lunch in a library, I  will eat with friends.
Instead of teaching rules of initiating/maintaing a conversation (1.Greet 2.Ask 3.Wait 4. Respond. 5.Stay on topic), I will throw the rules out the window. 
Instead of planting hope in the young minds of students, I will plant an herb garden.

Instead of walking down the hall and greeting each person with "walk, don't run" I am just going to say "hi." 
Instead of working Mr. Potato Head to death as a "WH" question activity, I am going to give him a vacation in the storage closet. Good work, Mr. P! 
Instead of wearing an HISD school ID and head scarf every Tuesday at my School of Islam, I will sport a uniform of tank top, jorts and sunglasses. 
Instead going to PPCD for 30 minutes on a weekly basis, I'm going to Target.

Instead of using my car as an office, I will use it only as a mode of transportation. 
Instead of reporting assessment outcomes to parents, I will report the local bakery's cookie-of-the-day to my hubby. 
Instead of determining duration of speech services, I will determine duration of sleeping in. 
Instead of observing students in the classroom, I will observe Ellen and Caesar Milan in my living room.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head... Hope I don't get bored! 


project 365

People often say that their whole lives flashed before their eyes after a traumatic event. 
Impossible? Maybe.
Crazy? Maybe.
Intriguing? Absolutely! 

All of this began few days ago when we were driving to Waco. Tate had a great idea: "what if we take 1 picture everyday for a year." I thought about it and a few things instantly flew through my mind... 1. That sounds like a big commitment, and hard to keep up with.  2. By "we" I think he means me.  3. It would be really rewarding later to be able to see our first year of marriage.

So, let PROJECT 365 begin! 

We are going to aim for the same goal mentioned above (minus the traumatic event), but instead of our whole lives, we are going to focus on 1 year. 365 days of our lives in pictures! At the end of the year we will be able to look back and hopefully have evidence of the big things and be able to recall the little things.  We'll see the day we moved out, moved in, tried our favorite restaurant, got a hair cut and met up with old friends. 

Each day we post a new pic we will countdown from 365 so you will know where we are in our little project. Some days it may be a picture of us on a road trip, at the grocery store, doing a triathlon or even just on the the couch. Some days it will be boring. Some days hopefully exciting. But it will be genuine. 

It's going to be fun, but not easy, so I am going to need your encouragement.  As some of you know all too well, I am usually the one in the group photo that instead of taking the picture says "e-mail me a copy" or "tag it", but I am really going to try to keep up with this thing. It's only one pic a day! That is only 1 out of 86, 400 seconds in our day! 

How hard can it be, right?! I will let you know...

*If you want to check out progress on Project 365, check the link on the side bar*


go bears

Back to the 254 for another great weekend! Baylor baseball played OSU and Shawn (future bro-in-law) pitched the beginning of Saturday's game. We were glad to add 2 more to the #33 fan club and hang out with the fam another weekend.
We made it in time Friday to see the bears win in the bottom of the 9th inning, which put us in the Big 12 Tournament next week in OKC. Go bears!
Saturday Tate and my dad went on a 30 mile bike ride while the girls went shopping for old stuff. Well, by "old stuff" I mean "antiques" but my mom would call it "junk." Either way, we didn't buy anything. We met up with the guys for lunch at Jaspers, which is a great local BBQ place, but I already made my BBQ rant in the previous post, so I will spare you.
After dinner we headed back to the field to watch the Bears get another W! Our friend Katelyn came to the game, and so did Shawn's 2 month old niece, Andi. So during the game, we were able to catch up with good friends while holding a cute baby. Really it was a win, win, win.
After the game and family dinner at Rosa's, we headed back to Houston. That drive seems to just get longer with every trip, but was well worth it. Congrats Bears and see you in OKC!



Congrats Lynley and Tye!

Last weekend we made the familiar 3 hour trek to Waco for Baylor graduation day. Both of the sibs were graduating. They were in different graduations, so it was kind of like "killing two birds with two stones"...or whatever they say. Baylor had 4 graduation ceremonies and we were the proud alumni there to see 50% of the graduates walk across the stage. Sic Em!

We arrived in Waco late Friday night. It rained the whole way there. But, on a positive note, we were able to stop by Spring Creek BBQ on the way! Yesss! In this Barrett's opinion, they have the best BBQ! Their hot, buttery rolls are dreamy. If you are what you eat, I'm in trouble. I can eat 5 in one trip. I made sure not to fill up on one meal though, I had a lot in store for the next day...

Not to brag or anything, but I have been to 5 Baylor graduations thus far. With each ceremony comes a little more wisdom. I didn't have time to make Aunt Kelly's famous pancake cookies (from graduation #3), but I did make sure to pack the snacks: nutter butters, wheat thins, popcorn. check! And the entertainment: iphone, people magazine. check! We were ready! Let commencement commence...

We went to Tye's graduation Saturday morning at 9:30. Had lunch with the Barrett fam at Mama Baris, which also has great rolls, and is a "must" whenever we are in Waco. Then after a quick trip to the Bookstore, we went to Lynley's graduation at 2:30. This was followed by dinner with the Nicholson fam at La Fiesta. It was great! And memorable. We seem to eat wonderful meals (and save so much money) when the parents are in town. Thanks!

Lynley graduated with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and Tye with his Masters in American Studies. Way to go brother and sister! We are so proud of you and love you both! Actually, after seeing all the great graduation gifts, we are thinking about going back to school ourselves. 

Meanwhile, we no longer have anywhere to crash when we make our frequent Waco visits. We used to have options, now that Lynley and Tye are moving, we are homeless (weekend) Wacoans. So, if you live in Waco and don't mind having a married couple crash your living room floor (particularly on home football weekends), let us know! 


kickin' it

It's kickball season and We've Got the Runs! 
                                                                              (^that's our team name)
That's right, your BaylorBarretts are on a co-ed kickball team. We got a group together in our Nearlywed/Newlywed class and joined the Houston Adult Sports League.  'We've Got the Runs' plays every Monday night...I will try to keep you updated on our win/lose record.
So far we are 1-3
Apparently we haven't had enough of the runs, but that's ok, it has been a blast so far!

Everyone on our team is married or engaged, and the difference between the guys' level of effort and the girls' has been hilarious. For example, yours truly, Mr. Tate Barrett can often be seen pitching, sprinting to catch a foul ball, even diving back to 1st base! Me on the other hand, well I have to say I have pulled my weight, but I believe my most valuable role has been supplying the team with Capri Suns on a weekly basis and taking the team picture. Just call me the team mom. Every week I load up the rolling cooler in my SUV and drive to the fields.

I think it's safe to say we may have underestimated kickball and overestimated ourselves. Every Tuesday, I have to give my quads/hamstrings a pep talk just to get out of my chair and walk down the hallway. My legs are sore! I'm telling you, 1st base is further than it looks. I am not the only one who feels this way. My teammates agree. This week, 7/14 of us pulled muscles during the game! No joke. We were bunting when we didn't need to, hobbling to 1st and putting in pinch runners (yes, they have that in kickball too).

It's not only the physical exertion that seems to outweigh our expectations, but the atmosphere as well. 'We've Got the Runs' doesn't seem to fit into the 'kickball culture' here in the Houston Adult Sports League...which may be a positive thing.

Between our double header last week, we walked over to the bleachers to wait for our next game. We had an hour break. Our opponents, the notorious Ninjas, happened to be there also. They asked Tate "Want a beer?" Nice. He said, "No thanks, we have our Capri Suns in the cooler." They laughed. We weren't joking. Later as we were eating our fruit snacks and drinking our Capri Suns, we looked over and saw them shotgunning beers before the game! Must be a team bonding thing. Maybe it was strategy, because later we lost the game to the tipsy Ninjas. Ah well. You win some one, you lose some three...

Until next Monday...Peace, Love and Kickball


feliz cinco de mayo

It's Cinco de Mayo! Fiesta!

It's a holiday we take seriously here in Houston. I am used to celebrating up North where we just grab a bowl of queso and if you're feeling extra loco- a margarita with friends after work. However  now that I am 5 hours closer to the border, I'm learning it's a much bigger party down South!

At my elementary school there was minimal class and maximum partying. I intended on conducting therapy today, but ended up soaking in the festivities instead. The whole school was decorated, and the kids put together an all day Cinco de Mayo program. Oh, AND there was a real, live mariachi band! The only problem is, you have to hire the band all day, so between scene 1 and scene 2 of the program the kids enjoyed a great cultural performance while they ate their sack lunches in the cafeteria. I didn't know most of the songs, but I did recognize the "Frito Bandito" song and the chicken dance. The kids didn't seem to know this dance, maybe I'm getting old.

After work Tate and I walked over to Berryhill for some tex-mex. Their fish tacos are the best! I love that we can walk to places from our apartment, its so much fun. What a great day! Now all I need is a siesta...

social (in)security

So, last week I go to the Social Security office to change my name; however, in the process I decide they are the ones in need of a name change. There's nothing secure about that place. In fact, the longer I am there, the more insecure I feel. I become insecure of my safety, health, and possession of my umbrella. It's Sketchville, USA and I don't want to be a citizen any longer than necessary. As I am there, I began to pray the line moves quickly and "A104" is called next. Why?  The following are just a few of my many reasons:

1. Someone's panties are in a wad...literally. There's an abandoned pair of Hanes on the floor (see photo above).

2. Lady to my right is talking yelling at the wall. Her panties are obviously in a wad too, but in a figurative sense. I think she's angry at the government (Realization: actually I think I am the only one who isn't right now)

3. Lady comes to sit on my row, but seems to be inspecting something before sitting down. Oh, its a used band-aid. Before she sits, she flicks the used band-aid out of the chair. Just my luck-- it lands on the floor in front of me. Bonus.

4. Shortly after, a man comes over to sit between the band-aid flicker and me. After taking the pick out of his hair and laying it a little too-close-for-comfort, he spills his coffee without knowing. Oops. What is nastier than a used band-aid? A coffee soaked one. In front of you. Beside a stranger's abandoned underwear.

5. Halfway through the show, a cross-eyed, homeless man enters the building and steals someone's umbrella. Maybe it's his. I think not, he just walked through the door umbrellaless. He grabs the golf umbrella and sits down behind me.

20 minutes later...

"A104, please come to window #2" Thank you, Lord.
I stood up,
Looked down to ensure no eye contact was made with wall-talker,
Reached for my umbrella, couldn't find it!
Wait, I didn't bring an umbrella, ok I'm good.
Leaped over the coffee stained band-aid,
Side stepped the underwear,
And made a bee-line for the window #2.

The nice lady told me I should get my Social (in)Security card with my new name in 2 weeks. If not, I can come back. Yeah right. If not, I am thinking "Danielle Nicholson" always had a nice ring to it...