Aug 1, 2012

Project Round-Up

This summer is totally flying by.  I have worked more this summer than I have since I had an actual summer job (the cause of my slowed blogging of late).  And we've been constantly busy with house projects, big and small.  And my social life is kicking into high gear for the next month or so- line dancing, outings on a friend's boat, concerts, trivia at the local Irish pub, camping trips.  I've got too many irons in the fire.  Lists always help me calm down and sort through the noise when I get into these situations.  I know it's dorky, but I am a total left-brain kind of gal and it works for me.

Here's what's cooking between now and September.

House Projects:
  • Finish the vanity in the guest bathroom.  The vanity itself is done except for some touch-ups.  The door faces probably need one more coat of paint before they'll look done enough.  And then I'll need to add hardware (still haven't picked the perfect drawer pulls yet) and reattach the doors.  Hopefully I can finish this project within a week.
  • Make curtains for the dining room.  I already have the fabric (which I am soooo in love with).  Hopefully next week we can raise the curtain rods to match the 96" high ones in the living room.  I would also love to make a trip to Ikea- I think some Lill sheers would be just the ticket for preserving our privacy without sacrificing light.  And then I have to wait for my mom to get back from her camping trip to help me actually sew the dang curtains.  Although this is something that I *might* be able to accomplish on my own, I am admittedly wary of sewing machines and I'd feel so much better if my mom was around to help me.
  • Figure out a rug for the kitchen.  I have been kind of stumped since my Crate & Barrel rug failure.  Steve finally suggested that I just make my own rug, so I can customize its size and style.  Hmm.  That hadn't occurred to me before.  And I do have a couple of rag rug tutorials pinned on Pinterest.  Something to chew on.
  • Piano switcheroo.  I haven't posted about this yet, but here's the spoiler:  I found an amazing antique piano on craigslist and it is coming to live in our house next week.  I think it's large enough that we won't need a "mantle" above it like my current piano begs for.  It's going to be a kick in the pants playing it, not to mention decorating the top of the piano and the wall above it.
  • Wash all of the exterior windows.  When I washed the house to prep for painting, so much of the icky mildewy runoff got all over the windows and they're still super streaky.  This will be a quick project but will pay dividends in improving how clean our house looks (inside and out).
  • Clean my car really well.  My dear 13 year old car has suffered a lot of abuse since I started my math coaching gig.  I have to schlep 2-4 boxes and bags of stuff between the four buildings I work at, so my car is constantly full of stuff.  I don't think it's been properly vacuumed out since last fall.  And the exterior is still sporting some spray paint over-spray from last August.  How embarrassing.

Work Projects:
  • Create Pocket Guides for grades 1, 2, 4, and 5.  This project was the brain child of a first grade teacher and recommended by a consultant from the National Education Association who's been working with our school district.  A group of intrepid teachers came together with the coaches in June to do the background research in matching our current curriculum, Everyday Math's 3rd Edition, to the Common Core Standards for Mathematics.  The work that we did in June has helped us build documents we are calling "Pocket Guides" which will serve as abbreviated reference points for teachers to better target their instruction to meet standards.  We've got partially-finished drafts of the Kindergarten and third grade Pocket Guides, but still need to work on the rest of the grades.
  • Finalize plans for the Summer Math Institute for second and third grade teachers.  We've been planning this four day professional development series since April and had a full working draft since early June.  We need to come together to take care of all of the nuts and bolts and transform our draft into consumable pieces- agendas, charts, black-line masters, planning templates.
  • Math Benchmark Assessment Item Review.  Because of the switch from state standards to Common Core Standards (I believe 47 states have now adopted these standards to be fully implemented by 2014-15), the state committee responsible for writing Math Benchmark Assessment items had to create a significant amount of new items last year.  I'm on the committee to review the artwork and diagrams that go along with these items to ensure that the graphic artists' representations match the problems.
  • Finalize plans for support in 2012-13.  Three schools in our district are trying on RTI (Response to Intervention) next year.  I coach in one of them.  It has still not been decided for sure how my time will be allocated across my 4 buildings.

Phew, that's a lot!  To save myself from feeling overwhelmed, here's what I've already accomplished this summer.  Click the links to read about them if you missed 'em the first time around.

We wrangled the clutter on our coffee table courtesy of an awesome rustic tray from Joss & Main.

Scored an awesome high-arc faucet from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.

Added some extra whimsy to the entryway courtesy of some amazing off-the-cuff art from my lovely sister-in-law, Tabi.

House crashed my in-laws' new abode.  So far Steve has helped them install their new washer and dryer.  Looking forward to helping them with more transformations!

Got started with painting the guest bath vanity- a project that's been on my to-do list since we bought the house.  Part 1  Part 2  Part 3

Purchased fabric for Crate & Barrel knock-off window treatments to modernize the dining room.

Painted the exterior of the house and switched out the light fixtures.  Phew, that was a big project!

Started the prep work for bulking up the faux mantel to lend more balance to the wall behind the piano.

Brought some fun and whimsy to the entry by switching out a plain jane rug for a bright one in a modern pattern.

Upped the kitsch factor by adding a squirrel pillow to the bench in the entryway.

Removed the haze from my car's headlights with a damp rag and toothpaste.

....All that in a little over a month.  Makes me tired just reading about it, haha!  Maybe I *can* accomplish most of those between-now-and-September projects....!

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