April 29, 2008

Basketball, Burgers and Beer at the Bass'

I can honestly say that I think it takes about a year to get adjusted to living in a new city...no wait, it takes about a year to get adjusted to living in a new state. Walt and I moved to Tulsa almost 2 years ago (it will be 2 years Memorial Day) and it was extremely difficult for us to "branch out" and meet friends. After graduating from Baylor all of our friends moved to Dallas with us, so we constantly had a "connection" of friends. I think I found this the most difficult because Walt was gone all the time, and I was working at a school where I was the youngest one there by almost 10 years. But... 2 years have passed and Walt and I have made friendships that will be with us forever. On that note....
On Sunday, Walt had a couple of friends from work over for beer, burgers and basketball. It was fun! Walt grilled the burgers (and of course, I told all the guest that when Walt asked... his burgers were the best they had ever had!), he also made his "FAMOUS" guacamole, and I fixed banana pudding, and cool, creamy, chocolate cake, we had burgers and wine and we were just surrounded with good friends. My school friend, (who has now become one of my closest friends) came over also, so I wouldn't be the only "non-ConocoPhillips" person there.
What a difference a year makes! Walt and I are so blessed with everything that has been given to us. We have great friends, great jobs, and it's nice to know that when you don't know a single soul in the current town your living in...you WILL eventually fit in and find those amazing friends.
I didn't really take a whole lot of pics.. but here are the ones that I did take. (The one of me and Emily is NOT from this weekend, but I had to include her since she was there!)

Walt and Travis decided that they wanted to be "twinkies" for the day. They called each other on the phone and planned it. Don't let them tell you otherwise.

All these guys live the hard life of being an international auditor.. you know traveling the world because of work! It must be nice to be smart! Jamison, Ashley, and the Guidry's...Beth and Travis!

Walt and Brett watching the game. This is Walt's face when he doesn't want you to take a pictures because he knows he just messed up the picture. I like to call it his "constipation" face.

Matt and Travis posing for me while watching the game.

Me with our other housemate. Whenever Brett's in town he is always at the house, and that's the way we like it. Everyone else rang the doorbell..Brett just walked on in.

Me with my saving grace. I am so thankful I work with this girl! I love you more than anything!

The night was a success!

April 27, 2008

Read and Relax

School is finally back to the way it should be...FUN! Now that testing is over we can focus on learning and having fun in school....just the way I like it. My teammate and I decided that after the OCCT test we would give our students a reward... a day of reading and relaxation. My kids come to me for an hour and 45 minutes, then they go on to other classes. So the math/science teacher and I decided that they could read for the first 45 minutes of our class and then relax, play board games the last hour. I took some pictures of the kiddos. I have some really great close ups of some, but I'm not going to post those, because it is the internet! Yay to teaching finally being back to normal! (I want to add that in my last class we had an hour long UNO match going on, with NO WINNER! They tried to talk me into playing poker, but I had to tell them no!)

April 19, 2008

Oh the places we will go

This morning Gracie woke me up extra early (6:30) and I decided that I would update my myspace profile. I decided I was going to post pictures of all the places Walt and I have traveled to....well, almost all of them. Walt and I went to Europe for 6 weeks after we graduated college and unfortunately all of those pictures were NOT taken on a digital camera. Walt and I said when we left to go on our 6 week trip... that's 42 days/24 hours a day with someone, that we would either come back knowing that we were going to marry each other or just be friends. Obviously the first one worked out! :)
I knew before marrying Walt that he was the traveling man... I mean for goodness sakes we moved to Oklahoma so he could travel all around the world. Before I graduated college I had never been outside of the U.S. Since being with Walt I have traveled to the following places:

Banff and Calgary, Canada: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico: Jerez, Spain: Madrid, Spain: Barcelona, Spain: Rome, Italy: Florence, Italy: Venice, Italy: Bern, Switzerland: Interlaken, Switzerland: Munich, Germany: Salzburg, Austria: Vienna, Austria: Budapest, Hungary: Prague, Czech Republic: Berlin, Germany: Brataslavia, Slovakia: Cologne, Germany: Malmo, Sweden: Copenhagen, Denmark: Amsterdam, Netherlands: Brussels, Belgium: Paris, France: London, United Kingdom: Bangkok, Thailand: Phuket, Thailand: Siem Reap, Cambodia: Bled, Slovenia: Dubrovnik, Croatia: Ephesus, Turkey: and Santorini, Greece!

When we were in New York we told our friends that we wanted to see all of New York in one day... they laughed and then said, "Oh we forget this is the couple that saw 15 countries in 6 weeks in Europe!"

I think I can officially call myself a world traveler! I was just amazed at all the places Walt and I have been together and I thought I would share!

April 13, 2008


For any of you reading this blog if you are a teacher you totally understand the lingo. NCLB....it's pronounced NickelB, but it stands for "No Child Left Behind." The overall meaning of this acronym makes a lot of sense, but ever since it has been implemented in schools it has just caused headache and turmoil for teachers and children.
This week my children are taking the OCCT test. That's another acronym (teacher's love these for some reason) and it stands for Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test. In Texas they have the TAKS test (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills). Anyways, I have 76 nine year olds that are responsible for taking a Math and Reading Test that will average about 50 questions a piece and they are supposed to pass this test, because according to NCLB we will not "leave a child behind." The whole point of this stupid law is that every child will be performing at or above grade level. Sounds great, but it's not realistic. How can you expect every child to be performing at or above grade level when you almost always have children transferring in from somewhere else that were reading 1,2 maybe 3 grades below their current grade level. I am a teacher... I teach because I LOVE teaching, but believe it or not, I can NOT perform miracles. Sure... you can help raise the student's reading level, but you have to be realistic...if they came in the beginning of the year reading at a Pre-Primer (that's below kindergarten) level, why on earth would you ever expect them to be able to take a reading test (that is on the 3rd grade level) and read and comprehend it?
I became a teacher because I had fun in school. I love reading novels with my kids and having literature circles discussing why we think the main character decided to do this instead of that. I love how whenever I read Stone Fox with my class (we read this during winter) I open up all my windows and the children have to bring mittens, hats and scarves, drink hot chocolate and it even "snows." This are fun teacher moments...NCLB is NOT a fun teacher moment. There is so much pressure put on the teacher but also on the kids. I don't think it is fair that a 9 year old should be worried about whether or not they are going to pass a state test. So... this week my children are state testing, and I would appreciate it if you would say a little prayer for them before you go to bed. Hopefully during this next election NCLB will die...and I would so rejoice. I will leave you with some examples as to what they have to know on the test and these are just the literary element questions...think about the comprehension questions!
1. Swirl, Swing and Sway are examples of what?
a. onomatopoeia
b. simile
c. alliteration
d. synonym

2. If you wanted to know how many pages in your science book talk about the sun where would you look?
a. glossary
b. table of contents
c. index
d. chapter headings

3. Her smile is as bright as the sun is an example of what?
a. metaphor
b. alliteration
c. simile
d. onomatopoeia

4. Where would I look if I wanted to find a word that means the same as jump?
a. dictionary
b. encyclopedia
c. thesaurus
d. almanac

Ok.. so the correct answers were all "C", but seriously...needing to know this as a
3rd grader? Give me a break NCLB.

April 9, 2008

Mystery in the Bass household

So I woke up this morning and started my normal routine. I turned off my alarm, and hopped into the shower. I always close the doors that go into the bathroom because I don't want to wake up Walt before it is time for him to get up. My day seems to be going ok, I step out of the shower, dry off, put on some warm clothes and I then open up the doors leading into the bedroom. All of a sudden I let out a "OH!"
"What is it?" Walt asked. "Walt, why did you take down all of the pictures off of our shelf last night?" "Huh? I didn't do that." "Well, I didn't do that."
Last night Walt and I went to bed at the exact same time. But, this morning when I got up all of the pictures were taken off of our shelves and laid on the dresser in a stack of 3 from smallest to largest. Obviously one of us is sleep walking. What once looked like this:

Was now empty and bare. We have 3 white shelves and everything was off of them. How could you NOT wake up doing this in your sleep? So, annoyed with the mystery I tried to put the pictures back the way they were 8 hours before.
I then went along with my morning but at the same time I kept going through my head if I woke up last night. I remembered that I woke up at 12:30 because Gracie was crying because she needed to go outside. I being the nice wife that I am, woke Walt up and made him take her. He was so livid with me for interrupting his sleep. I remember him getting back into bed and kicking me, not a hard kick, just to say.. "Ha, you get this for waking me up." Then I remembered waking up at 4:35 because it was cold and I put more covers on me. As I am thinking about all of this Walt walks in the room and says, "Mer... where did Gracie tee tee last night?" I then looked at him and said, "Walt do you not remember getting mad at me because I made you take her out at 12:30?" "Not at all." I just stared at him thinking... man it is a good thing you don't room with people when you go on audits because no telling what you do!
I think I solved the mystery... Walt is the sleeping walking bandit... but WHY did he take down all of my pictures?

April 3, 2008

Ever get that feeling?

Have you ever gotten that feeling that you are SUPPOSED to live somewhere other than where you are living? I have... I think for me I am really honestly supposed to live in New York City. Although I have only visited twice, both being for less than a week, both times I have been there it's like I feel as if it is my home. I mean I know nothing in this world could ever compare to Owasso, Oklahoma, (please sense my sarcasm) but I think New York would come in a very close second.
While we were in New York we were able to see pretty much everything. (like anyone would expect any different from Walter.) Poco, Matt and I arrived early Friday morning and we decided we would definitley go to the Empire State Building and then we just kind of wandered around. I think we were just in awe of everything so it was good that we spent one day just wandering. Matt had never taken the subway and that was a fun experience and Poco of course, had never been to New York, so I was glad I was able to be there with her during her "first time."
Once Walt met up with us Friday night we went to this INCREDIBLE Mediterranian restuarant. The food was outstanding and the company was just as incredible. We then went next door to this hotel that had a club on the penthouse floor. We had an amazing view of times square from up there. That reminds me, I think I forgot to mention our hotel. We stayed at the "W" on Times Square and boy was it on "times square." The entire hotel was just top knotch (I just used a Walt phrase.) If we needed anything it was in our hands within a matter of seconds.
Saturday morning we met up with our friends from Baylor, Spencer and Hannah Elliot. Spencer works for JP Morgan and Hannah works for Forbes. We were so fortunate to have our own personal tour guides on a Saturday. If it wasn't for them we would not have been able to see as much as we did see, or get around as easily. We saw Rockefeller Center, Ground Zero, Statue of Liberty, went to the oldest pizza place in America, we were able to see a real New York apartment (with an amazing view), SoHo, Central Park..you name it we saw it!
After a total tourist day, Walt, Poco, Matt and I went to see Wicked. Talk about a breath-taking experience. I knew a little about the show before I went to see it, but now I am hooked. I have not stopped listening to the CD, I think I replay the scenes in my head 1,000 times a day! This was the most awesome broadway musical I have ever seen. How clever does one have to be to come up with the idea to give us the Witch's point of view...BEFORE Dorthoy showed up? This was by far the highlight of my trip and I would go back JUST to see this show. After Wicked we went to a little local bar and met up with Hannah and Spencer.
On Sunday we were sad it was time to go, but we took Poco to ChinaTown (you want, Coach, Vuttion, Prada? In a total Chinese voice) that was an experience in itself and then we hit up some of the shops.
It seems as though I always go to New York for short trips and I always wish it was longer. While we were there it was freezing, but it didn't matter... it was New York. I truly had the most amazing time and I can't wait to go back! We went with a fabulous couple and we are so excited to have a new set of traveling buddies. We LOVE New York!