Friday, July 14, 2017

30 before Thirty!!

Tomorrow is my 29th birthday! I have absolutely no idea how my 20's have gone by so quickly, but I fully intend to make the most of my last year before I hit a new decade. So, with the help of my fellow blogger and bridesmaid Kristen, I came up with 30 things I want to do before I turn thirty! I had a blast creating the list, so I know as I check things off, I'll be creating even more memories!
  1. Drive in movie - Trav's company built one right down the road, but we haven't been!
  2. Board and Brush - It's the new painting with a twist, but with a wooden board... now to decide what I want to make! 
  3. Uchi - A hip (see expensive) sushi restuarant in Dallas that I must attend. Here's a tip from friends: go to happy hour! They have small plates where you can try more!
  4. Mequite Rodeo - We always went as kids while my dad filmed, and had a blast. I want to go back as an adult and smell the smells and watch some bull riding! 
  5. Attempt to fry something - Believe it or not,  I have never tried to do this. My mother in law is a pro at chicken fried steak, and I got some tips from my Aunt and her mom while we were at the ranch on frying fish! 
  6. Les Mis - The show is coming to Dallas in April. I have got to go. 
  7. Pen Pals - I've always wanted my class to be pen pals with students abroad. I'm determined to make this happen. If you've got someone to help me with this, let me know!
  8. Camping with mom - I know, I've already done this. But, I want to pick a new location and explore it! 
  9. Write a letter to myself - And open it in 10 years.. when I turn.. ahem.. 39.
  10. Make a creme brulee from scratch - AKA actually use the culinary torch that Trav registered for. 
  11. Organize my craft materials - They're currently still in a massive canvas bag that I moved them in when we got married. When I need something, I dump the whole bag out. 
  12. Submit a blog/article to a magazine - because why not. 
  13. Visit Hannah and Ben at their new church - wherever it may be! 
  14. Take a cooking class - I've always wanted to do this!! 
  15. Complete a devotional - Open to suggestions on which one!
  16. Girls weekend 
  17. Write 30 hand written notes - Specifically to people that I do not normally write to!
  18. Visit a new state - I haven't been to many, so this one is wide open. I think Oregon is high on my list? Tennessee? Anywhere besides the surrounding Texas states, California, Washington, Minnesota, and New York. 
  19. Read a classic - Once again open to suggestions.
  20. Headstand on a paddle board - This will be attempted this upcoming week. Part 2 is get an instagram worthy picture!  
  21. Harry Potter movie marathon - All the movies. Who's in for this one? 
  22. Try reflexology - It's so cheap and I hear it is so relaxing. 
  23. Donate blood - I've never done this. I've only ever had blood drawn when it's absolutely required. 
  24. Throw a dinner party - most likely with a theme to it.. because themes make everything better!
  25. Volunteer in my community - I don't teach in my community and we don't attend church in our community, so I'd like to do something to help out where we live! 
  26. Try curry - Our English friends speak so highly of it... anyone know any good restaurants?!
  27. Leave my phone at home for 30 dinners - hang up to hang out
  28. Tell my husband 30 things I reallllly love about him - like really.
  29. Take a train somewhere
  30.  Perot Museum 
There we go! So, starting tomorrow I've got 365 to complete these things! I'm excited to get started! If you want to join in on any of them, let me know!! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Being Kind

As a blogger.. and as a millenial.. social media is a huge part of my life. Some of my slightly older (but still very good looking) audience might be nodding your head in approval and thinking "yes.. too much.. you millenials don't ever look up from a screen." While that's a post for another time, or you can read my "Hang Up to Hang Out" post, that's not totally why I'm here today. 
Today, we are here to discuss how to appropriately use social media, mainly twitter, because it is this platform that had me all riled up yesterday while I was in my house by myself. 

Here are a few examples of how Twitter should be used. 
Ha! That's funny Dirk. Dirk doesn't want 39 to be brought up.. he also made fun of himself the other day when a video game tweeted they were aware of the Dirk issues and trying to fix it... Dirk tweeted "I have enough issues in real life, I don't need more in a video game!" Funny. Appropriate usage of Twitter.

My favorite author tweeting about having one of my new favorite artists on her podcast!!! Thank you for tweeting this! I will listen to it today!! Appropriate usage of Twitter.
WHAT?! Breaking News! Gluten free buns at Chick Fil A?? My sisters both said they would probably just get the nuggets, but sometimes you are craving a sandwich and it's going to be awesome to have the possibility of getting one there!! Definite appropriate usage of Twitter!
College volleyball fills up 37% of my Twitter timeline. When I watched the USA Men's game vs Poland on Sunday I had to ban myself from Twitter because the TV viewing wasn't live. I saw who won the first set before the TV viewing even started. But y'all, Baylor volleyball.. coming off a season where they made it to the NCAA tournament and only graduated two seniors?! It's gonna be a good season. Appropriate usage of Twitter. 
By now are you wondering where the inappropriate usage of Twitter is going to come into play? It's now. I began my day Monday with scrolling through Twitter. It was one of the first things I saw and it's had me stewing these last couple days. Let me preface this with saying, this is not inappropriate as in don't let your children see.... this is inappropriate as in -- THIS is what is WRONG with the WORLD today. 
I'm just gonna let that sink in for a minute. 
I do not ever respond to people I don't know on Twitter.. but I had typed out 3 different responses that I was ready to hit "tweet" on, but I didn't. I just went back and checked the tweet.. 97 replies to this questions. Most of them talking about common courtesy and manners, a few of them telling this guy to shout "you're welcome." 
Out of the 97, there were 5 people who had the response that I wanted to tweet. What was your purpose for holding the door open? My hope would be that the answer to that question is kindness. 

But, is it still kindness when you expect something in return? I, truly, think the answer to this question is no. 
The other word that I cannot get out of my mind is grace. Let's be real, you do not know the person you are holding the door open for. What if, they just got the worst news ever? What if they don't feel well and are just trying to make it through the day? What if their momma did not teach them to say thank you? Can we give them grace instead of sub-tweeting about them? 
There's a popular phrase I see quite often now - "Throw kindness like confetti" I can definitely get behind that.. but let's make sure we're throwing true kindness. What's the purpose of your act? Is your end game recognition, or is it to subtly help someone out or be a bright spot in someone's day. 
One of my mom's friends is the kindest person I know. Since my mom is a preschool minister, her Sundays are crazy, and often very long. Ms. Jody brings my mom a diet coke and styrofoam cup with Sonic ice every single Sunday and leaves it in the same spot. Most Sundays they do not even see each other, but Ms. Jody brings it and it's there. This has been happening for year and I know my mom is thankful. It's a gift Ms. Jody has.. she is kind, considerate, and it's how she shows her love.
That's what ended my stewing over this one random person on twitter. I reflected back to my verse of 2017. 1 John 4:7 - "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God." 
We can show our love by being kind and opening a door for someone... even if they do not say thank you.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Summer Sheet Pan Dinner

What’s better than quick and easy dinners in the summer? Nothing. This is one of those dinners that even though it’s technically cooked in the oven, it still taste so fresh and is simply meat and veggies! It can also be one of those meals where you just take what you have in your fridge and make it into something delicious! Substitute mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, steak, pork, shrimp…. You get my point? It can be made with anything! It also makes great leftovers.

My favorite part of this was the sweet potatoes. It added a little extra time (20 minutes or so), but it was well worth it. I also pre-chopped everything and then threw it on the pan, once I was ready to cook it! I seasoned the sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper, then I seasoned the chicken and vegetables with olive oil, herb seasoning, oregano, and garlic salt.

Set the oven at 400 and put the sweet potatoes in first for about 15-20 minutes. Then remove the tray, add the chicken and veggies and cook for another 20 minutes.

You can make this for one or for 10. What combination are you gonna try first?

Monday, June 19, 2017

Punta Cana 2017

Not too long ago, Trav asked me if I wanted to go on a vacation this summer. My response… uhh, heck yeah!!! A few weeks later we were booked for Punta Cana. We’ve been to Punta Cana before, the summer after we got engaged, and I was so excited to go back! We chose a different resort that was owned by the same people we went to previously. So Friday, June 9th, we were outta the USA and off to Breathless in Punta Cana!

When we got to the airport, they told us they had two seats left in 1st class for a very cheap upgrade. So, we said… uhh, heck yeah!!!! We watched movies and made the quick, direct flight down there! We got on our shuttle to the resort and met people from Gainesville, aka where the lake house is!! We questioned them about places and restaurants to go to while we’re at the lake house for family vacay. We made it to the room and I loved the tiles above our bed… it’s one of the 10 pictures I took. We just relaxed the whole time. There weren’t any excursions that jumped out at us, so we just decided to hang out at the beach and pool for our 5 days there.

Our resort had two pools: the party pool and the massive pool. After hanging out in the massive pool all day we ventured over to the party pool. Here is where we got an experience. I grew up in a house full of girls. We ran around naked all the time….. slash we still do. Butttt, before we knew it, tops were off everywhere and you couldn’t look 5 feet without seeing boobs of all kinds. While girls claimed “women’s rights”, there was another couple in the pool who did have their clothes on, so we obviously made friends with them.

Enter Max and Katie - a lovely couple from Surrey, England. After the bond we formed by being top wearing women, we decided to meet for dinner that night at the French restaurant. From then on, we were kind of inseparable. I recognized Katie from that morning, you see.. from being on vacation with Shop Mama you learn to save your chairs in the morning so you have the best seats. Only, no one would show up at either pool until at least 11. Katie was the only other person in the pool that morning with us at 9:30 reading a book that I recognized. We were literally the first in the pool in the morning and the last out of the pool at night!

We taught them how to play “pig” with the basketball hoop, they taught us new English phrases, we taught them about guns, and they taught us about hooligans and the Chelsea smile. We played water polo and crushed the other team, and we, literally, ran away from the stereotypical Boston MMA fighter that was a little too much. We invited them to Texas and they invited us to their wedding, which is in 2019. Max and Travis were basically the entertainment team, and Katie and I drank all of the lime daiquiris. We had some additional friends along the way, like Alan and Ashley, Mark and Rochelle, and Martini, who was a lifesaver (ask Trav if you want that story).

We got to watch the NBA finals on the beach and win some money in the casino, where they played “despacito” and “bailando” on repeat. We did what we set out to do – relax. And when we had to leave our new friends, we made sure to get all of their social media accounts – because are you really friends if you’re not friends on all your accounts?! It’s also made me social for social media because we’ve talked on messenger every day!

So, a big shout out to Punta Cana for never disappointing and a proper, good fun vacation!  

Monday, May 22, 2017

With Love,

Y’all. We got Algebra EOC scores in. And here is the email I got to send to parents last night:

“This is going to be my favorite email I send all year. We have received our EOC scores back from the state of Texas. I am astounded by the scores! Each one of your children tells a tale of growth in their own individual right, and I want to celebrate each of them!! There are now three categories that your student’s score falls into – passing (41% – 61%), meets grade level (63% to 78%), and mastery of grade level (80% to 100%). I am very proud to say that each category dramatically improved from last year!!! They had an overall passing percentage of 98.7%!! Here are a few highlights:

· Not passing with a score of 30% last year, to passing and almost doubling their score to 59% this year!!
· Not passing with a score of 38% last year, to not only passing.. but meets grade level with a 63% this year!!
· Passing by 5 questions with a 55% last year, to mastery of grade level with an 80%!! 
· Jumping from 7th grade math to Algebra, to not only pass.. but meet grade level with a 72%!!
I am probably the most proud of the increase of mastery of grade level. Last year, only five students received this rating. This year, twenty-two students received this rating!! An increase from 6.4% to 28.6%!!! 

There are so many stories to be celebrated!! I am beaming with pride. Your student’s hard work paid off!! Their growth this year has been incredible!!”

Then, I put out my class evaluation and am getting responses in. Here are some of my favorite answers!

What is your favorite memory from class?
·      I'll never forget how you loved to use pretty and wacky fonts on everything.
·      All of the fun learning that I got to do with my friends and you. I'll always remember how you were so happy on the first day. I'll remember how we organized the TEKS on the first or second day, and I had hardly any idea what some of them were. I'll remember being excited for math class. And I'll remember you and how you tried to connect with all of us in your best way.
·      Being able to say "Oh, that was easy!" to something that looks complicated, or finding out new things on the calculators!
·      When I learned who you were. I knew you would be a good teacher.

What is one goal you have accomplished this year?
·      To atleast get really good at one lesson which I did.
·      To become stronger and be able to fully understand equations.
·      I was very proud of myself because I made sure I would come to tutoring after school and even on the Saturdays so I think that was one goal I accomplished knowing that I tried.
·      Learning what a parabola is! (Though I'm not sure that was ever a goal, but I was always curious as to how that worked)
·      increasing my brain copacity!
·      One of my goals was to learn new ways to solve problems.

What is one piece of advice you would give to a student entering my class next year?
·      I would tell them: "It's okay to ask for help. You don't have to do it on your own, and your classmates or Mrs.Sheridan can help you. You aren't alone, math can be difficult sometimes, but you'll find it's easier with peers.
·      "She might be a little tough but it's what is best and she is a great teacher but you can not give up keep trying because it will be better for you in the long run.
·      it's called a learning opportunity but it is not an option
·      Be patient, it all makes sense in the end.
·      don't let anything get in the way of your learning
·      I'd say do the learning opportunities because they help a lot with exposure to the content.
·      To focus, do the learning opportunities, take the reassesments, and take notes.

Before I leave the school forever, I want you to know:
·      Mrs Sheridan you were honestly one of the best teachers I had. You have really good style for a teacher too!! Love those Tory Burches! You're a good teacher
·      That I am thankful for your teaching and I hope that I have other great teachers like you in the future. (Your class is pretty LIT by the way)
·      That I just want to thank you for pushing me to do my best anf not giving up on me. You are a great teacher!!!
·      You did a great job of making sure we kept up all our work and you were very respectful to all of us. Keep up the good work!!
·      I like cheese.
·      Thank you for helping us and willing to come on Saturdays so we could pass STAAR. This math class was a little of the struggle but I'm glad that we both got through it and none of us couldn't do it without you:)))
·      Math is HARD how do you do it? Other than that the around-the-rooms stations were always really really fun. Thank you for teaching me these math skills that I will forget over the summer! (The forget over the summer part is a joke did you laugh?)
·      That this was the best and funnest math class I ever took.
·      I enjoyed having Mrs. Sheridan as a teacher, even though Algebra was one of the hardest class ever.
·      That I appriciate all the time she has spent encouraging me and helping me grow as an algebra student.
·      Dear Mrs.Sheridan, I want you to know that you are very much appreciated. You did a great job coming to a new school and taking on this wild group that is the class of 2021. If I were you, I would've gone insane by now, but you've done a great job at handling us. And not only that, but also while keeping us in check, you made strong relationships with your students. You let people open their eyes and see that math doesn't always have to be "UGH", but that it can be a blast. What you did this year was a hard feat, I'm sure, but you did it. Within a school year, you made everyone's school life better, and I thank you for that. I'm going to miss you, and I wish I could steal you away to take with me as I move into high school. You are amazing, keep teaching in your wonderful ways, don't lose your spirit and passion! With love, 

Aw. "With love"... I make it a point to end every Friday with telling my students I love them. So yes, "with love" is the how and the why behind my days with 13/14 year olds and algebra.