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Sundays are for…

After a morning spent at church with a follow-up of lunch with friends, a typical Sunday afternoon in Chez Auburnchick looks like this…

And this…

Thank you, DVR!

And this…

What does your day look like?

Age of Adaline – A Movie Review

So, what does a teacher who’s in the middle of testing do on a Tuesday night?

Well, if she has a great movie theater, she gets invited to preview a new movie!

Ok, to be honest, it was the Mr. who received the invite because the reward card is in his name, but since I am the one who prints these invitations, I don’t feel dishonest by claiming ownership of them.


We received an invite to see the movie Age of Adaline

I had seen commercials for this movie and thought that it looked like something I’d enjoy.

The deal with these tickets is that the theater starts doling them out at 4pm, which meant that I had to leave straight from work to get there.  Traffic was a BEAR, and it took me over 45 minutes to drive the fairly short distance.

I talked to Super Sis on the way because, get this, I was going to have NOBODY to attend the movie with!


I felt like a social outcast.

Despite that, I continued with my plan.

I decided that I’d probably just stay over that way because the thought of driving home…a journey that would probably take an hour with only a short time with my fur babies before having to make the drive again…just wasn’t worth it.

On the other hand, I’m not used to being out and about like that by myself.

Super Sis cheered me on, as did Rooster when I made one last-ditch effort to find a date for the night.  He had small group though.

Thus, I found myself in line…a longer one than the time the Mr. and I had gone to pick up tickets for The Duff.  Apparently, Age of Adaline was getting a higher billing due to some of the actors (i.e. Harrison Ford).

After getting my tickets, I went to my favorite pizzeria, which offers Daiya cheese and vegan friendly pizza…

Dinner for one, anybody?

I’d seated myself outside to enjoy the pleasant weather when I spied two ladies I knew from my church.  They stopped to chat, and I learned that they were attending the movie too!

Here’s where God inserted Himself…

These sweet ladies invited me to sit with them in the theater so I wouldn’t have to be by myself.

So much for my little pity party, eh?

We agreed to meet back at the theater later.

I ate dinner and went back to my car to finish reading a book.

Then, I headed to the theater.

The line started early…as in 6:15.  The movie was sold-out.  The theater had overbooked.  I wanted to make sure I got a seat!

My friends arrived shortly after me, so we chatted while we waited.

Two of us even walked back to our cars together because the theater wasn’t collecting phones in ziplock bags this time (as it had done for The Duff).


The theater couldn’t take a chance that someone would record the movie.  It doesn’t open until the 24th.

We wound up getting PERFECT seats in the theater…right in the middle and high enough that we wouldn’t have to crane our necks.

We watched those clips where you’re encouraged to turn off your phones.

Some in our audience quipped about how they would turn them off IF THEY HAD THEM.


We then saw a screen encouraging us to post photos and videos with a hashtag of #ageofadaline.

To which I commented, loudly enough to entertain more than a few people, “So they can find us and arrest us.”

I also proclaimed that we could all take selfies…in front of our cars…and tag the movie.

The irony was not lost on anyone!

Finally, the movie started.

Oh, what a lovely little story!

It’s about a young woman named Adaline.  She gets into a car accident that alters her body so that she stops aging.

There’s a love story-mystery involved.

There’s a scene that brought tears to my eyes…it hit too close to home, strangely enough.  My friend, Rebecca, will know what I’m talking about once she sees this, which I’m sure she will.

I loved the flashbacks in this movie.  Because Adaline had lived through six decades without aging, she’d been through the Roaring 20’s and the hippie 60’s.  I loved the costuming and makeup work.  It looked so authentic!

I loved Blake Lively.  She was well-cast and oh so elegant.

Michiel Huisman was adorable.  I didn’t know who he was prior to this movie.  I do now!

Harrison Ford…well, he was Harrison Ford…still dreamy.


I don’t think there was any cursing.  If so, it was very minor.  This is a PG-13 movie.

There was a scene with inappropriate banter that irritated me because it was completely unnecessary.  I despise stuff like that.

I also didn’t like the fact that Blake’s character sleeps with a couple of guys without much thought.  There wasn’t nudity, but the message struck a wrong chord with me.

Overall, it’s a cute movie that reminded me a bit of Benjamin Button and The Green Mile (think of Tom Hanks at the end of the movie).

How Teachers Celebrate

If you’ve read my blog since August, you know it’s been a long year for me.

New standards…a new state test…a disappointing VAM score.


This past week, students and teachers endured four very long day of reading tests.

I personally proctored 720 minutes of said tests.

The students were incredible!  Props to my Guidance department for its organization.  Shout-out to my fellow proctors.  By Thursday, Mr. A and I had our routine down pat.

Grades that didn’t test had delayed starts each day, so the first class didn’t have to report for duty until 1:05.

On Thursday, the LAST day of testing, I happily closed the door of the testing lab for the final time this go-round.

After I had returned my test materials to the guidance counselors and wheeled my cooler back to my classroom, I knew I needed a way to get rid of the adrenaline flowing through my body.

With one eye watching my classroom door, I let loose…

When I got home, I dared to post it on Instagram.

And Facebook.

Because, if you’ll remember, I am “basic.”  Look it up in Urban Dictionary if you don’t understand the term.


Rooster commented on the video, and when I didn’t understand, I called him.  He was at work, you see.

He explained that he was questioning my sanity because there wasn’t any music playing.

I assured him that there was music playing in my head.

Please don’t get out a white jacket, okay?

I’m fine.  Really.

But…his words stuck with me, so I turned on my internet-enabled television and got on Youtube.

Oh yes I did.

I found the song that I should have danced to earlier…

And I posted that on Instagram.

And Facebook.

The Mr. called about this time.

“Hey, what are you up to?” he asked.

“Oh, nothing.  Just hanging out,” I said.


You see, a teacher builds up a LOT of stress during the year.

I had more moves to share…more extra energy with which to share with…

And I posted that on Instagram.

And Facebook.

Be thankful that Instagram has a limit of fifteen seconds, because I danced for the length of BOTH songs.


You guys know how much I love Dancing with the Stars.  For a number of years, I have often said that there should be a show called Dancing with the Teachers.

Do you think I’d be a good candidate or would you be more inclined to agree with the following picture that a friend posted on my wall today?


Battle Cry…The Modern Version

Last week, the Mr. and I went to dinner.

After we left, the Mr. asked me to send Rooster a message letting him know.  Despite living in the same house, we have crazy schedules that require us to do a lot of our communicating via hand wave out the car window as we pass each other (remember that we are Rednecks) or via our cell phones.

I never heard from Rooster and grew concerned, so I checked my messages to make sure I hadn’t overlooked something.

That is when I saw it…

The message I had sent.

I started laughing so hard that my stomach hurt.

A lot.

The Mr. looked at me quizzically.

It was hard to catch my breath.

This is what I had typed…

Auto-correct had struck again.

I, in my hurried way (so normal for me) had not proofread (what a great lesson for my students, eh?) before I’d pressed the Send button.

All I could picture was the Mr. and me dressed for battle…riding off into the sunset.

At least we’d fed our fur babies first.


Before and After…Day 1

Day 1 of testing is over.

I went into school looking like this…

Then I lugged four 40-bottle cases of water, a cooler, two heavily-laden bags of goodies, my mini-crockpot with a healthy heaping of homemade potato soup, and my purse into school.

It looks like split pea soup. It’s only green because of the leeks.

While it was raining.

I had an amazing crew of helpers this morning.  Ms. K rocked out the seating charts.  Headphones were Lysoled…twice.

Two groups of ninth graders tested with me today.  All were extremely respectful and patient, even when we had some issues with the computer sounds.  The second group was even understanding when we didn’t finish in time for them to have their entire lunch period.

When you’re a teacher, testing is so stressful because you want to make sure that you follow every rule to the letter so you don’t do anything to jeopardize a student’s success.

I got home looking like this…

I should probably be planning to go to bed at 7pm.

Instead, I’ll be working on next week’s lesson plans so I won’t have to worry about them the rest of the week.

I also need to be able to get into the copy room on Wednesday, when I have my next planning period.  We are on a delayed start most of this week, and the schedules are staggered so we can meet with all of our classes during a two-day period.  Thus, teachers will lose two of our planning periods this week.

Can we fast forward to Friday?  There’s no telling how bad my Day 4 “After” look will be.

The Calm Before the Testing

Since about January, I have purposely made it my mission to create boundaries around myself to allow myself down time to relax from the stress that accompanies my teaching career.

This new habit of mine was especially important this weekend…the calm before the storm of testing that will follow in the next four days.

Friday evening, the Mr. and I went to a restaurant that has a lovely view of the water.  It was a good way to begin the weekend…especially after a day in which I’d felt unusually overwhelmed with last-minute mandates I rushed through in my desire to prepare my students adequately.

I was so exhausted, I went to bed at 9:30…a very early evening if you know my night-owl tendencies.

Saturday was all about reading, getting a pedicure, and watching Furious 7 with my guys.

The sequel to Stuck in Neutral, which I read aloud to my students. I’ll begin reading this book to one of my classes next Monday.

I spent today (Sunday) attending church in the morning, eating lunch with friends, and then relaxing the rest of the afternoon at home.

I made it my mission to carve out a day of calm, relishing in God’s splendor, displayed in my Knock-Out Roses (forgive my lack of pine straw…we will be adding some soon).

The unopened blooms reminded me of my students’ untapped potential…potential that I pray reveals itself during the next four days of testing they will endure.

I took a few minutes to pack up goodies I’d purchased on Saturday at Sam’s Club.  I’ll pass these out to the hundred students who will test in my room.

After a fairly short nap and leftovers, I settled in for an evening of television.  Once Upon a Time, Secrets and Lies, and American Odyssey were my shows of choice with A.D. The Bible Continues and Wolf Hall being recorded.  I’ll probably have to watch one of them tomorrow night.  I don’t dare burn the midnight oil tonight with the huge responsibilities I have this week.

If you’re not a teacher, dating one, or married to one, I doubt that you can fully appreciate the stress that we endure each year during pivotal test days.

We wonder if we’ve done enough.  There’s always one more thing we could tell our kids.

We worry that our kids will properly care for themselves physically and mentally (i.e. eat and sleep).  For the kids who suffer from test anxiety, the worry is tripled.

We whisper prayers that the lessons we taught the eight months will have stuck…that our kiddos will remember how to distinguish between a theme and a main idea…that they will understand what it means to summarize objectively a passage given, should they be asked to do so.

Is it any wonder that teachers crave calm and quiet?

Please pray for Florida middle and high school students as they take the new FSA reading exam this week.

It is so different from the FCAT they’ve been used to.

They have not had time to adjust (the State should have allowed students to grow up with the test, but I digress).

Students and teachers have no idea how the tests will be scored or when they will receive results.

Calm is a word all of us need right now…the calm that only God’s presence can bring.

Thanks, friends!!


A few days ago, I was running errands and heard the song, Redeemed, by Big Daddy Weave, start playing on my radio.

As the lyrics were sung by this gifted artist, I found my soul singing along, connecting the words of the songwriter with the story of Easter, when we celebrate the risen Christ.

This isn’t just a story for Easter, though.

This is my daily story…it is every human’s story…because Jesus died on the cross for EVERY person’s sins.

It is by God’s Spirit, once we accept the work of Jesus on the cross, that we are changed from our old selves into new creatures.

The most amazing part of it all is that we can do NOTHING to earn this gift.

It is freely given.

We can’t buy our way to redemption.

We can’t do enough good deeds to cover the sacrifice of the innocent offering that Jesus became when He was nailed to the cross.

We are not good in and of ourselves.

It is only through God’s grace, his unmerited favor, that He offers salvation.

If this doesn’t bring tears of thankfulness to your eyes, I don’t know what will.

Celebrate with your family today.

Then, carry your praise with you each day after that.


Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed, I’m redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be

Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, ’cause I’m not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be
Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be
Jesus, I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed


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