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Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween and game night

Joe and I got invited to a Halloween party on Monday night. It was for this past Saturday. Short notice? Yes. Party for the singles class? Yes. Well, we were excited to be remembered (even if it was an afterthought, as we found out later invites had been passed out the week before), and even MORE excited to go get costumes! We looked all week for the perfect things. I was a pirate and Joe was a vampire. But sadly, the afternoon before the party we found out it was a "costume optional" or "mask only" affair. WHAT???!? So we wore jeans and our top halves done up. Well, Joe was one of 2 guys dressed up. And girls? Only 4 of us. So sad. But all was not lost. We had a sweet set-up outside with a big tv and cushions all around. Even a fire pit in the middle of it all. The highlight was the scavenger hunt. (Think GATA secret social, or whatever it was called...remember the random things we had to get? 5 freshman dressed in red, etc?) Well, this one was a photo/video hunt. We had to do things like wrap a stranger in toilet paper and have them sing MONSTER MASH and take a photo of our group in a cemetary. Needless to say, my competetive nature took over and my team won by a landslide. :) It was so much fun! Now the return to the party started off fun, by watching the "slides" and video on the big tv and tallying scores. But we were not meant to stay long. One of those wacky things that rubbed off from Mel...I don't do scary movies. I get freaked out and still have nightmares. Not in every scary movie, but ones that might possibly be able to happen in real life? Yeah. I can't handle it. So I made Joe mad and made him leave 30 min. into Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I mean, who wants to watch that anyways? And again I had to explain that I can't help being scared and ask AGAIN, "why would you MAKE me watch a movie that you KNOW will freak me out? You know I won't be able to sleep tonight?" Men are so insensitive. :)
Then last night we were supposed to have game night part II. (Part I was HUGELY successful so we had high expectations.) Only one couple showed. So Jake and Tanya are now officially our only friends since everyone else ditched us at the last minute to watch Football. I told you that sport was no good. :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

pray people!

I have applied for a great opportunity in my district. We are writing new curriculum for the whole FWISD based in standards-based learning. They are hiring 7 people in each learning discipline (art, music, english, math, etc.) to write the program. Each person "hired" will be given a laptop and paid $3600. It's intensive for about a month and a half and then done. I wrote my 1000 word essay application last night. (Let me tell you how fun THAT was!) I haven't written a paper since junior year! Anyways, this is good career-wise, money-wise, computer-wise, and lot of other wises I can't think of. I really want to be a part of this and make my mark in Art Ed. Be praying about it. I know it will be competetive and challenging, but I know I'd be good at it. I'll keep ya posted!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fried stuff with Cheese

Racing pigs. Butter sculptures. African acrobats. All things fried. That's right folks, we went to the "BUM BA DA DUM!!!" (or as my dad would say, "TOO TA TOO!" STATE FAIR! Saturday I spent 8 hours with the Varney boys at the fair. Yep, not only Joe, but the brothers too, Jerry AND Andrew. **Which, incidentally, I realized today that I no longer think of myself as "Cass." I automatically think "Varney." Hmmmm.** The only time I've been to the fair before, we looked at the car show and rode one ride, ate a funnel cake and left. Well, this was different. We actually went to do all we could. Now, being the lone girl, I had to speak up if I wanted to do something other than sit in cars all day. So of course, I did! We started off with some food. I ate a gyro (one of my favs) and Joe tried out the chicken and waffles. Still an odd combo if you ask me. We also all had a taste of fried snickers. Melty, crunchy...not bad. After a tiresome hour looking at cars (of which most time I spent trying to figure out what would make a good, afordable family vehicle) we ended up at a football throwing game. The boys lined up to compete. Andrew beat the twins, much to their dismay and justifying rationales. It's always fun to watch them all together. They really enjoy being with eachother, especially when football is on the menu. Next we looked at giant catfish and other floating creatures and waited for the african acrobats. Wow. They were really incredible. This pic, for example, show them all piled up together...they just ran and jumped into position. NO kidding! It took less than 10 seconds to get this way! They limboed, did handsprings and jumproped, it was really impressive! One guy jumproped off his butt, one in a handstand, one in push-up position, and one did flips while jumping. Great fun! But I'm not done yet! We also went to see the butter sculpture. Now why anyone would want to carve something out of butter is beyond me, but someone carved Marilyn Monroe in butter for the fair. It doesnt' really look like her, but I guess butter is hard to manipulate? We went from there to meet Jamie and her gang of pals to watch the pig races. I really had no idea what to expect, but my pigs did pretty well! Arnold SNORTSnHOGGER didn't win, but Christina HOGulara and Snoop HOGgie HOG both came in first! We were only there for a few minutes with Jamie before we headed out to try Fried cosmopolitans (cheesecake with cranberry compote) and the infamous FRIED COKE. (Not all it was cracked up to be. Tasted like cake with coke poured on top. In reality? Batter FLAVORED with coke, friend, then coke syrup poured on top. Sounds gross, righ?) Well, here's what it looks like... From there we met up with our friends Jake and Tanya and watched the parade from KitchenCraft (the waterless cookware.) What IS waterless cookware? Don't know. If YOU know, please tell me! Corny dog dinner, lots of lemonade and a trip on the ferris wheel and we were ready to call it a day. 8 fun filled ours with friends and fried foods. We waved good-bye to Big Tex, and sipped on our hot cocoa as we walked to PP to get our car. By 9:30, Rachel was asleep on the couch. Guess you CAN have too much of a good thing. :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Guess what I did today?

Guess what I did today? Or should I say, Guess what I DIDN'T do today? That's right...teach. But you thought I was a teacher, right? And it's a school day, right? Yes and yes.

Here's what happened. Yesterday the PE teacher came to tell me 2nd grade would be having an assembly to learn dance from a local dance troup. (2nd grade are my first 2 classes of the day, so no first or second period...check!)**more on the dance troupe to come...
School-wide field trip is also on the schedule today. That's what I said...SCHOOL-WIDE. All 600 K-2nd graders on ONE FIELD TRIP! 11 buses in all. Well, the buses were loading a 11:15, so with rules, lunch in rooms, bathroom stops, etc. no 3rd or 4th period either. Being the nice lady I am, I volunteered to go on the field trip with a wild K class. We were back at 2:05, meaning no 5th-7th periods either, leaving my conference period remaining untouched. So yea for me...I went to school and didn't teach all day!

Now...more on the dance troupe. Imagine this: 100 8 year olds. 10 professional dancers. You see it? They divided into "squads" and invented their own 8 count dance routines. Each squad got to perform and then teams combined to make 2 huge squads. The new ginormous squads combined their routines and then they had a dance off. Back and forth. Back and forth. It was hillarious! Luckily, I remembered our school has a digital camera and I ran to find it, then ran to find batteries and made it back to catch in stills and video form. Wow. What a fun day!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Being an art teacher

So I have now completed 9 weeks of teaching art. What an adventure it has been! Paint on the walls, paint on the kids, paint on everything! Kids swinging punches at you (and landing one from time to time). Crying kindergarteners. Surprise field trips and fire drills.

It may sound awful, but nothing could be further from the truth. I get to spend 7 hours every day with little ones who want to know how to create. It is so fullfilling to be able to give them that and watch them grow in their talent. I love being a teacher that everyone in the school knows. I love walking down the hall and hearing, "Hi Mrs. Varney!" 20 times. Of course I love all the other perks...no grading, no conferences, no testing. But mostly I love being able to share something I'm passionate about with the kids. It's so exciting to hear them talk about paintings by name or get excited to talk about a new piece we're studying. Just like sharing your love to read with a child, sharing your love of art just brings a smile to you face!

I've been very blessed to have an amazing art room. I have tiled floor, huge windows, a kiln, a storage closet and so much space! Here's some pics of where I spend my days. I hope you are all as lucky as I am...to love how you get to spend your time each day!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Well, I just got home from my 5 year college reunion. Man, was it fun! At first I was really excited about going. I mean, seeing old friends, finding out what's happened with people, maybe even rubbing in that I have a husband to an old boyfriend if I was lucky. But once I got there, it was a little awkward. I found myself in a room of people I knew the names of, but didn't really know. People who didn't really know me. I wasn't sure what to say, how to act or what to do really. Luckily, I had my husband on my arm, so I had at least one friendly face to chat with.
Of course, as the evening went on, more and more friends arrived, the baby I had been toting as mine that morning was passed off to me (yes, Titus Jones is actually a Varney child), and old acquaintances were suddenly becoming new friends. Like, who would think Joe and I could spend the better part of the eveing chatting with Ashley Parks Belcher and her new husband Nic? And making plans to meet up with them in the near future?
Joe and I were talking about how surprisingly fun the night ended up being and were trying to weigh out how many moonies, siggies, gatas, kinsmen, etc. I think it's safe to say Gata took it. We started counting and I think we were well on up at the top. Way to go red gals! I was only sorry Summer wasn't there, as she would have one not one, but TWO door prizes with the oldest kid and the most kids award, leaving Chris to bring up the back with the farthest away.
I love ACU and I love what it did for my life. I feel more blessed by that place than I can ever put into words. It was a great weekend and I am so glad so many of us were able to reconnect!

I also wanted to mention the AMAZING sculpture that was added to campus this year. I couldn't stop looking at it. It was just SO incredible.