Monday, December 31, 2012

Pregnany Weirdness

So, I've learned some things while being pregnant.

1. It's not so fun.  Yes, there are fun things: seeing your baby on Ultrasound, feeling tiny kicks, etc. But most of the time it's not fun.  Heartburn, pimples, nausea, trying to find food that sounds good...

2. As not fun as it is, I'm sure the end result is worth it.

3. Who knew thinking of certain things could make me gag. Literally.

4. I feel like I'm going to wet myself at any second...and a tablespoon of pee comes out.

5. When you feel kicks and call your husband over to feel them, they immediately stop.

6. Trying not to sleep on your back is more difficult than it sounds.

7. You read things in books that sound crazy, then you try them.

8. People pet you. I thought this may happen when I was farther along....but people don't show restraint. They just rub my fat belly (mostly fat, not baby yet) to their heart's content.

9. My boobs STILL hurt. All the time.

10. Pregnancy is a GREAT excuse for anything.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

THE NAME part 1

Yesterday I had my 19 week appointment...or is it 20? I really have no idea. I'm still due May 8th.  As we were going through the anatomy scan the doc asked if we wanted to know the gender. We, of course, said yes...and then acted like it wasn't the reason we were there. 

So the doctor causally said "he" a couple of times. I think Trevor caught it but I didn't. I was too concerned with checking out the 4 chamber heart and other various organs.  The doctor finally came out and said, it's a boy.  I asked him if he was SURE. Then, right on cue the parts flashed up on the screen.  Proud mom moment #1 ... my boy is not modest. He actually seemed to be happy to announce to the world what the doctor called his "wee-wee". Awesome.

So the doctor then had to rush to a c-section so we didn't get to finish the whole scan...which means I get to see the baby in 3D and 4D again on January 7th.  God must know how concrete of a person I am. I want to SEE that my boy is doing good.  This will be my 4th chance! So expect pictures then, because all I have right now is 'wee-wee' pictures, and even though the kid is proud to show them off, to me that's a bit weird.

So the name.. Miles Owen Howard.

We had a lot of criteria for the name.
1. No trendy names
2. None that end in -Aiden
3. Strangers must be able to spell it
4. Teachers will read it and know the gender
5. Unique enough that they won't have to go by a last initial.....example: Jessica H. or Jacob H.
6. Have a family connection

Miles fits all the categories 1-5 with little explanation. The family connection is important to us because we want our children to feel tied to their family, both members they know and don't know.  The meaning of Miles is soldier. All of our grandpas, along with Trevor's dad, and two of our three brothers have served/ are serving in the military.  I like to think of it as a nod to all of them and the sacrifice they made for their country.  I'm proud to have three generations (and possibly farther) involved with something they believe in. 

Part two: the middle name and reactions coming soon!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It's beginning to look a bit like...


baby. Today I purchased my first piece of baby gear. First, I checked with a friend to make sure it was necessary then I jumped in feet first. Then I carried it to my car.. ooph! I'm not sure when pregnant people are supposed to stop carrying heavy things but I may be approaching that time.  It was noticeably more difficult.

I have also been feeling small little bumps in my stomach. I'm fairly certain it's the baby moving around in there.

When I got home I decide to assemble the new baby equipment. It was very easy! I love the higher level, I didn't know they came with those. Plus when it tears down, all of this stays attached!

I went for the gray color with blue and yellow accents so it would be gender neutral. Since we don't know what flavor the baby is for two more days and we can use it for future children.  I love it! 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A December to remember

this one may be one for the record books.

10th- Trevor gets his wisdom teeth removed. There goes $244 dollars of my Christmas Bonus.  (Thank the Lord we have dental insurance)

I'm going to take off work the 10th and 11th to nurse him back to health. And myself back to mental has been crazy....and not the kids...

17th - We find out what flavor baby Howard is. Now the entire time I've had a feeling it's a girl. I'm not sure why... girls don't really happen in the Howard family.  I will be surprised if I'm wrong.  So much to the fact that I already refer to the baby as the girl name we picked to Trevor.  I can't imagine having a boy now that for 5 months I've "known" it's a girl. Only time will tell....

As far as I can tell I'm somewhere in the 17/18 week range and my stomach finally lost the muffin top look and has shifted to the mid-section.  It seems higher that I thought it would be. My size 7 pants still button fine but they are uncomfortable and restrictive. I haven't felt any fluttering movements but then again maybe I'm not realizing what they are.

22- Head home to see Mom, Dad, Michael, Tai, David, & Kaia!!!! I can't wait!

23- Christmas with my extended family in Conway.  ((hope there's some pumpkin butter under the tree with Super cousin Howard's name on it ))

24- Annual Rumker family Christmas Eve bash...complete with matching Christmas outfit picture, card games and adult beverages, and snack foods galore, and presents!!!

29- Christmas in Kansas City. Complete with football, beer, and Poppy taking an hour to eat. Sadly missing two key components this year. But nevertheless, an epic time will be had by all!

It's also weird to think that at this time next Christmas I'll have a 6 month old!

Friday, November 30, 2012

My baby...

no. I don't mean the one growing inside of me...

I mean the one I married.  After being up all night with him and "teeth, jaw, ear, face" pain, I made him a dentist appointment.

Dec 10th he'll have his wisdom teeth removed.

Thank goodness this happened before May. I can only handle one baby at a time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Week 16

So my doctor and I are on different pages on how far along I am. Today I went to see him for what he thinks is my 16 week appointment. (I think I'm around 14w 6d) I HOPE he's right!

It took him a bit to find the heartbeat because baby H was doing flips around in my stomach. 

He looked at me and said, don't worry I'll find it.  I wasn't worried until he said that.

The baby's heartbeat was in the 150s. A bit down from it's 173 four weeks ago but still very much healthy and right where he wants it. 

I had to get a breast exam and pap smear.  Can I just say, I haven't had either in nearly 5 years (pre-marriage) It was a lot better this time. Still not fun. I guess I don't need to feel self-conscience because I will eventually be, you know, having a baby.

I really think my doctor is the best! He agreed to do my gender ultrasound on Dec 17th so we would know when we go home for Christmas!

Happy baking baby!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

27 years ago today...

November 25, 1985 is the day my parents went to pick me up from the adoption agency. I was a few days over 3 months old.  I, of course, have no recollection of this day past the millions of times I've heard the story.  It's a story I hold dear to me because this day really defines me.  If it weren't for this single event; my life as I know it would not exist.  It's odd to think of who I might be if I was never a Rumker.  But in God's great plan I believe I always was meant to be a Rumker. Creator of life and author of my story which is one only he could have put together so seamlessly.

Most years I think on this day how lucky I am to have my family.  My supportive, organized, patient mom,  my dad who really is the softest rock I know, my driven brother who makes cute babies, and all my unique extended family. 

This year as I hold a tiny peach of a baby inside my belly my thoughts drift to my birth mom. I wonder on this day, did she know I was forever home? Did it give her peace? Talking to her as an adult I know she knew she was making the best decision for her and me.  But as a 20 something like me, I can't imagine the baby inside me belonging to another.

Today I am thankful.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

week 14

It's been three months of living as a buffet.

My gag reflex is still crazy out of control.  Thinking about, or talking about certain things get it going.  Coffee is a big one.  If I even visualize a cup or pot of coffee I'm gagging!

I'm also hungrier than the last few weeks. But in the middle of a meal I can decide something no longer tastes right.  If my body tells me enough...the smart thing to do is stop.

I've been SUPER cranky this week.  I notice it mostly at school. (My poor kiddos)

I feel fat. Very fat. But not like I hate my body fat, just accepting the reality that it's changing but doesn't look pregnant yet.

I go back to the doctor in a week.  I'm looking forward to hearing that super fast (173 last time) heartbeat again and not so looking forward to the "duck beak" that awaits.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The "Big Brothers"

So three years ago when Trevor and I got our pups, we figured that by the time we got around to having baby they would be chilled out, lay around, lap dogs.  I can hear those of you who know Samson and Ezra laughing! So we tried to break the news that they would be getting a little brother or sister easy. This is what we got:

 What did you say????
Since they were less than excited, I decided they may need a little practice before the baby is born. So this morning we had big brother lesson #1. "Don't bite the baby". 
We're still working on lesson 1. Good thing we have until May.  :)
*No Teddy Bears were harmed during the making of this post*

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November this far

...Trevor and I upgraded to iphones. I'm happy with it so far
...I'm starting to feel better.  The 2nd trimester has been nicer to me
...I survived the election season at school, listening to students repeat their parent's opinions wears me out. 
... I've been told today many, many completely crazy things as the election is over. Ah, living in rural Oklahoma. 
... I'm counting the days until Thanksgiving because it gets me closer to Christmas
... I haven't told my students I'm pregnant
...I've deleted over 50% of my 'friends' on facebook and blocked another good portion who post really annoying, whiny, or ignorant posts. It makes logging on much more enjoyable
... We have a boy and girl name picked...but they're both secrets.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Interview with Trevor (Week 5)

This intereview took place at the end of September. I was about 5 weeks along and the only people who knew were Travis and Lindsey.  I've been asking him baby questions as a way to mentally prepare him and get his thoughts down on paper. He loves it (not) but he tolerates it for the sake of our child. Trevor's words are in black, mine in red.

Beth asking Trevor:

How has pregnancy been so far from?  When are you going to answer questions? Ugh. So far there hasn’t been any change

What are you most excited about? Telling friends. Like who? Kim and Thomas. Zach. I’m also excited to tell my parents. What do you think they will say? I don’t know, that they are excited

What are you most nervous about? Ugh Having a baby. The actual labor process? No not worried about that at all, except still living at the end (Side note from Beth, he seems to think I'm going to be angry at him during the birth process)

What’s one characteristic that you want to pass on to our future child? Love of life, adventurism

Trevor asking Beth

On a scale of 1-10 how good of a husband am I being right now? You’re definitely a ten.

Why? Because you let me take naps, you rub my back, and you buy me ice cream.

What family genetics would you not like to pass on? Cavities, fat feet, bad eyesight

Friday, November 2, 2012

Beginning of Baby

Disclaimer: this post contains words such as boobs, and 'try'

Trevor and I had been talking about when we wanted kids for a few months. I decided I didn’t want to miss a bunch of the school year so a summer baby would allow us to “ease” into parenthood before our busy schools schedules started again. We calculated that we could try in Aug, Sept, and October. We decided if it didn’t happen in those 3 months we would just wait a while and rethink things. We sort-of hit or miss tried in August and I was convinced we didn’t hit the right days.  I felt sort of crampy a week before my period was supposed to start and I thought it was unusual.  I also got really light headed in Walmart.  I noticed that my taste (not smell) was super strong.  Nothing was good or bad just really powerful. 

Travis was coming to spend the weekend and I knew going out would be on the agenda. I was about 4 days late and still didn’t really think I was pregnant but took a test anyway to see if I could drink over the weekend.  It IMMEDIATELY turned into a plus sign.  I ran it over to Trevor who calmly told me to wait the two minutes then look at it. It still looked like a bright plus sign.  Trevor thought the cross line looked silver and not blue and didn’t believe it. He told me to wait 3-4 days and test again.  WHAT?!? Yah right. So we went and bought a digital test that says either yes or no. I took it about 10:30 pm and it IMMEDIATEY buzzed and read yes+.  No denying it now. I had felt fine up to this point, other than some sore boobs.  Since Travis was there, naturally he knew what was going on, and we told him he couldn’t tell anyone. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I have a good excuse.

So, for all 7 people that read this blog. Sorry for my absence. I've been really busy. Taking naps, trying not to throw up, drinking gallons of water and no coffee.  I've had literally nothing to say except one thing, and I couldn't say it. I've been really busy taking Master's classes, teaching 4th grade, traveling around, and growing a placenta. Yep, you read that right. Baby Howard will be here in May.  Now for the close up...
Yep, that's one lime-sized baby, a couple of legs, a hand by the face, and a healthy umbilical cord. Technology amazes me.  Now that I've introduced the reason behind my absence, here's to more frequent updates.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

the joys of teaching

the joys of teaching are many...

This one speaks for itself.

Sorry if this is offensive. Welcome to 4th grade. Peeing fish. Embarrassing detail. A cross between human anatomy and marine biology.

It never gets old folks.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


After our difficult weekend, it's Homecoming week at school.

I'm always in a funk after I don't have a normal weekend.  It's like I'm running on half a battery.  This week it feels like less.

I am still very much thinking about the funeral, the loss, the circumstances, the family.  It gives me less tolerance for the goofy stuff of this week.  The persepective I have during this moment isn't very forgiving of crazy 4th graders who are wearing sunglasses, hats, and hair dye.

I'm trying to embrace the lighter side of life. Hopefully I get better at this as the week goes on.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I'm not sure what to title this post.
1. My weekend in Denver
2. What I now understand about Funerals
3. Funerals are a hard, but necessary part of life
4. Friends passing away at young ages sucks

Pick whichever one you like.

This weekend I took my first ever bereavement day.  As much as I love a three day weekend, I would have given this one back in a heartbeat.  Last Sunday, a friend of mine and Trevor's had a tragic accident in Colorado which resulted in him leaving earth too young.  He left a mom and dad, two brothers and a sister.

Let me start by saying that until this point, I could count the funerals I've attended on one hand. I've been very fortunate to have healthy friends and family, something I do not take for granted.

Several things about this weekend have been constantly on my mind this week.  The strongest is probably trying to wrap my mind around how I would feel if it was my brother.  There are no words for this. No picture I can think of, no actions that I would do or not do. It seems unreal to think of my life without the parallel of my brother's life, although states away. To think of holidays, the birth of grandchildren, major family events without a key piece is like a nightmare.

I think this is the reason that Trevor and I flew to Colorado to attend this funeral, to support our friend. All the way I wondered why funerals were necessary. I kept telling Trevor that if the family is miserable, and the attendees are feeling awkward, and the person the funeral for is not around to see it, why do we have funerals? This weekend that question was answered in the form of parents and siblings sharing stories, memories, and hurts. The love they felt no one questioned, the pauses to gain composure everyone respected. As we walked through a receiving line, caravaned to a cemetary, and gathered for a meal; hearts didn't mend, but were sewn together. 

I won't question anymore why people gather for these events. I won't forget the feeling of being there. I won't forget the guy with the permanent smile, endless grace, quiet wit. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

taking the time

a text message from a close friend shook our house today.

a horrible accident. a life gone too soon. a brother and son that will be greatly missed.

a man of character, of few words, of a giant smile.

a guy who went to church with us. two years my elder, a quiet presence

today I talked to people from my youth group I haven't had contact with in years.

reunited over a common loss.

i told my brother I loved him.  he knows i'm a proud big sis.

i know he puts himself in harms way for our nation

i know his safety isn't guaranteed

i send him love and hugs thousands of miles away

thru a text message

he understands

i'm taking the time today to thank God for my brothers. all of them.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Year 5

I've taught fourth grade for two weeks.

I'm not sure if it's the magical fifth year but somehow EVERYHING is smoother.

I feel more effective. Like some teacher switch went off and I am on the top of my game.

It's a good feeling.  It's fun to be able to fit in fun things because my students can control themselves through the content teaching.

Oh and I started my master's degree

and Mr. H started another year of pharmacy school.

....and I'm excited to take my favorite 5th grader to hang out on Saturday.  I'm thinking some video games and a movie are in order!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sinking in

It's Sunday. The Sunday before I start my first full week of school. It's finally hitting me...summer is over.  While I was ready to go back, it still makes me sad.  I feel like I'm saying goodbye to the last summer Trevor and I would both be "off". I feel like we made the most of it. We traveled, relaxed, and enjoyed each other.  So my classroom is ready.  I've had two days with my students.  I'm ready to start this year focused. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

If that isn't love...

A husband agrees to drive cross country with his in-laws on his 4th anniversary

Tire blows 2 hours into the trip

A calm husband fixes the tire

Said Anniversary is celebrated over a McChicken while waiting for a new tire

...and that was only 2 hours into a 20 hour trip!

Continue the trip towards the promise-land (ie the grandkids) after picking up two more key players.

Deal gracefully with Mom who's using her ipad as a flash light to look at her atlas.

After a million miles in the car we made it to this messy face:

And his sister who LOVES her Uncle Trevor (who was a bit under the weather)

We spent a long weekend at the beach, playing trains, and wearing multiple dresses

Then we turned around and drove another million miles home to these boys

If that isn't love....I don't know what is.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Year 4

... at this very moment 4 years ago I was at my rehersal for my wedding.  I remember lots of things about that evening.  Running around, Arlene organizing, my grandparents beaming, my handsome brother home from a deployment.  My sister-in-law announced she was pregnant with David. 

I've learned a few things about Mr. H in the past 4 years..

1.  He can't listen to the same radio station for an entire song. I'm talking about constant changing of the channels. It drives me crazy.  I frequently say to him .. "pick one"  and I've also been known to count the number of times he switches.  His view is that there might be a better song on another station. When he's not in the car I leave it on the same station the entire trip.

2. He doesn't want to live an average life.  Whether it's his plan on where we should live, what he wants to do for a living, organizations we should start, business plans that could be put in place...he's a dreamer.  He wants to live boldly and uniquely.  I admire this.

3. He's growing into a 'child person'.  Having never been around children he's slowly getting used to them as our friends and family members have babies.  He's still pretty hesitant to show this skill, but he loves our niece, Kaia, to bits.

4. He can do lots of things he prefers to let me handle.  (Cooking, Dishes, Cleaning, etc)  But he does do all our laundry. He sorts, washes, hangs on the line, fold/hangs and puts away.  I think that's a fair trade.

5.  He makes up funny songs to sing to the dogs.  I always smile when I'm getting out of the shower and he's on the bed singing a random silly song to Ezra. 

I think I'll keep him.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Family Tree

I'm a teacher. I love Pinterest.  I also have tons of people in my life having babies.  Between these things, I've seen a lot of Owl/Forrest themes.  I also did a little research into my and Mr. H's family trees a few generations.  I have been wanting to decorate my living room with a "Family Tree" of sorts, but wasn't sure how to carry it out.

I knew I wanted it to have pictures of our family and friends with us
I knew I didn't want professional pictures up there
I knew I didn't want the frames to be the main focus

I also knew, I'm not an artist. :)  I have grand ides in my head, but they never turn out right on paper (or the wall).  I'm creative but not talented. Lucky for me, I have a few artist friends, siblings, cousins who are always around to help out my art-impaired self.

Another hang up is that we rent our house,  shack, glorified tent. I'm not 'exactly' sure if we are allowed to paint trees on the wall. oops.

Yesterday this baby came to life and I'm super happy with how it turned out. I love that there's lots more room to add pictures! The whole project cost me $8.00 (the frames were $.95 each)

Big shout out to Zach (who has gobs of talent) I Love it!!!

The tree is painted in dark gray. Frames are back. Sorry my cell phone picture doesn't do it justice.  If you're ever in the middle of nowhere, come by and admire it yourself!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Every Morning this Summer

2:30 am - Ez wants outside
2:33 am - I make Ez lay back down. Trevor snores.
6:30 am - Samson starts barking to be let out of his cage
6:33 am - Ez hears Samson and decides it's time to wake up
7:00 am - I finally have had enough barking and rescue Samson from his crate
7:02 am- I quietly carry Samson and Ez to the window so they can go outside
7:04 am - Make coffee
7:08 am - Samson is standing on the window ledge whining to come back in
7:10 am - Cup of coffee in hand, let boys in and feed them
7: 20 am - Quietly wait in the living room with both dogs and the TV off so Trevor can sleep
---chase dogs, clean up messes, work on school stuff, listen to music, chase dogs, mail bills---
9:45 am - Trevor rolls over
---clean up kitchen, put laundry away that Trevor washed, start a new load, check clothesline--
10:30 am - Trevor stumbles out of the room with gym shorts on and says "good morning"
10:31 am - I consider telling him that tomorrow is his turn, and then return to reality

alternative activities include: Cleaning up Ez's puke off the bed, cleaning up Samson's poop out of his crate and taking out the trash

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Easing back

...this week I've had Literacy First training.  My brain is full of information, so much so that I'm dreaming about vocabulary stations.  It was a blessing in disguise though, having not taught reading in the past year.  It was a good refresher of strategy, ideas, and basic know-how. 

I am excited to work in my classroom tomorrow and start prepping some of the new ideas.

A week from this very moment I'll be headed up to see my favs: David and Kaia.  They live in New York with my brother and sister-in-law.  Of course I'll be glad to see their parents as well.  It's been about 2 months since I saw them... my Aunt Pants are ready to be put on!

Mr. H and I are trying to soak up the last bits of the bearable temps this summer has had to offer Oklahoma. I managed to pry him away from "Fighting Mass Multiplayer Online Gaming Evil" long enough to take this hike thru Red Rock Canyon. Aren't my boys presh?? They are all tired and thirsty smiles.

I also got my (4) VistaPrint orders in. This is a banner I made to hang on my door.  (Pardon the wrinkles) I of course, got the inspiration from Pintrest. Link Here  I added a few words of my own. If I misspelled something--don't tell me :)

It's 8:37 pm and this nearly 27 year old **Yikes** is plum wore out.

Friday, July 13, 2012

What teachers do in the summer...

I know my students think in the summer I sit in my room and twiddle my thumbs, waiting for them to return....hhhhhhhhhhhhahahahahaha

It's true I do work endlessly in the summer for their success. But, that's not ALL I do...

I think the greatest part about teaching is colleagues that turn into friends. Not only do you have people to share great ideas with, you have people who understand why you do what you do each day. They share the end goal.  For some reason when teachers turn into "teacherfriends" age, location, grade doesn't really matter.

Yesterday I got to have an amazing afternoon (that was worth my 2 hour drive from nowhere) with 3 such teacherfriends.   All of my favorite things intertwined: sun, chicken salad, laughter, teaching, pool, yummy fruit "lemon aid", Sonic drinks. It was much so I'm ready to work again!

Here's the other great's gonna stay with me a while...both on my shoulders and my thighs!

Yes, that's paneling on my bathroom wall-- you get what you pay for in rent
delish...and gone forever to live on my thighs... click HERE if you want to see how it's made!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fab Finds- Pinterest Edition

Easy Gifts-  I am ALWAYS looking for holiday ideas that aren't "cheesy". But are unique and CHEAP.  I don't want to make yarn wreaths.  :)  I saw this and knew the possibilities are endless.  Christmas- Mother's day- Father's day etc.  Maybe by the end of the year they could each have a family set!  I would even let them use my colored sharpies.  

Student ownership-  I have a set umbrella rules that are tried and true, but I like that the students can come up with rules that fall under them.  I think any time you can post pictures of your students it helps them feel more at home in the classroom.  I would love to do this strategically know giving a certain student a certain rule. :)

Memory Jar-  Each year I have done some type of time capsule, but I like this idea much better.  I love student reflection at the end of the year. Since I have an Adventure/Travel theme this year I've created an 'Adventure Log' with this idea. It's a notebook that will be in chronological order highlighting things we want to remember. I hope to be able to extend the Adventure log to a classroom timeline.

Crate Seats - I can't believe how cheap these seats were to make. (Those aren't mine) I got crates for 3 dollars each at Wal-mart. Then I bought the 1.00 bed pillows at Walmart. I wanted mine to be more comfy then a thin layer of bating.  I had the board at home and I decided to switch out the fabric with an old tarp (blue and silver).  I think the fabric is a lot cuter, but rumor has it that lice runs rampant in my new district. I'm not taking any chances. They are also a lot easier to wipe down.  So I spent under 5 dollars each...compared to beanbags...way cheaper.

Paper Management- I used envelopes for each assignment before, but I've always had them hanging on a bulletin board. I love this idea because it doesn't take up precious board space.  I added the 4 requirements I have  of assignments to my "Work Drop" sign.  (Name, Date, Neat, Complete). I also have a checklist of students on each one so they can check off when theirs is turned in. It's so nice to be able to see at a glance who still needs to complete it. I also love the ease of taking and grading one assignment at a time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fab Finds- Website Edition

This summer I've spent countless hours searching the internet for helpful teaching things.  Below are the things I would recomment to my closest teacher friends.  Enjoy!

1. Sumdog- my go-to website for Math fact practice. ALL the games practice facts. All the games the kids love. All the games are free. They win over the students with multi-player action. They win over me by allowing me to change the skill for each student and sending me reports about their strengths and weaknesses.

2. I'll never lose a classroom library book again! I love that I can checkout a book to a student with my cell phone. I love they can check a book back in on the computer and respond to the book there. It will cut down on kids getting 3-4 books a day and not reading them.  I hope it will cut down on wear and tear too since I can hold them accountable.

3. - Interactive classroom management at it's best!  I love that I can award/deduct "points" from individual, team, or whole group.  I love that you can award/deduct for specific behaviors.  It will even e-mail the parent a report and graph of the day.  My favorite thing is that I don't have to buy prizes or anything.

4. That Quiz-  It's no-frills and I love that. My students know if we work on "that quiz" it's all about work and not about play.  It sets the tone for them to work.  I love the immediate feedback. I love that it grades/records for me.  I love that I can see the most missed question.  I also like that you can give each student a different skill depending on what they need.

5. Studyjams-  Engaging and helpful. I love to use these to preview a lesson or skill. Sometimes I use them to reinforce or show a different way.  I like that it's heavy on science and math.  My students often asked if there was a studyjam for a specific topic. That tells me either they found them helpful, or wanted me to quit teaching a moment :).

To keep this from being an information overload, I'll leave it at that. Hope you find one-or-many you LOVE!

Friday, July 6, 2012


So as I prepare for the upcoming school year, I've been working in my classroom.  Now, I've switched classrooms every.single.year.  so I'm an old pro at moving and arranging my furniture and belongings.

All of my schools have been welcoming. You may remember my post about that here.  But this one blows me away.  It's the support staff ...they...hold your breath...take a you!

1. Ronnie OFFERS to paint my room for me, if I will go get the paint swatch and tape it to what I want that color.
2. Ronnie BACKS my vehicle up to the FRONT DOOR and unloads my boxes onto a roll cart and takes them to my room.
3. I try to tell Ronnie that I can move the file cabinets I don't want into the hall, and he won't let me.
4. He offers to get me a new desk chair (I don't mind the one I have)
5. He comes and paints white over the previous teacher's name before I even arrive so I feel like it's my room.
6. Two native american women offer to hand paint whatever I want on the wall outside my classroom if I'll print them off a picture
7. The Librarian gives me two new BOXES of chapter books for my room
8. The superintendant helps me take the supplies to the teachers workroom (that has more supplies) that I don't want.
9. My principal is awesome about finding out the answers to all my questions (it's his first year too). From how do I laminate (I don't have to, an aide does) to where can I get a room key.

I mean that's off the top of my head. (Ronnie is one of the janitors. He's a nice Native American man in his mid-40s whose children attend the school. All the teachers and the principal say let them help you, they like to) I tried to do each task by myself, which is what i'm used to.  I even got lecture about moving a bookshelf alone.

I can't wait to see what this year brings. Niceness makes me smile.  1 point for rural Oklahoma!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A countdown

10 hours I've worked today on school stuff.
9 times Samson's got a bath in the last 3 days because of fleas
8 ladies I saw without bras on in Wal-mart today
7 lifelong friends I've made teaching
6 more weeks of summer
5th year of teaching
4 different grades
3 different districts
2 pintrest projects finished
1 teacher who's bored of summer

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Mrs. B

It's my BF's birthday and she won't answer her I'm left with two options: the ever popular facebook post, or a blog entry.  Since I think she's way more awesome then a one-line 'Happy Birthday', I chose the latter.

Lindsey possesses qualities that make her my ideal friend... here's a few
1. She isn't dramatic. She tells it like it is.  I appreciate this more then she will ever know!  There's no wondering how or what she's thinking.
2. She is super talented-- she can play sports, teach great lessons, and is so funny
3. She understands my love of VistaPrint, Sonic, and my dogs. (because she feels the same way about her dogs)
4. She loves Jesus, her husband, and her family. We both have brothers who are we get each other
5. She's always up for anything..a craft project, a new TV series, a random road trip
6. I can call her with nothing specific to talk about
7. She is competitive but doesn't always have to win

So that's off the top of my head. I miss my college roommate, and wish I could see her way more often.  I love that we are traveling this part of life - College- Marriage-Teaching- someday motherhood together.

Lindsey, Happy Birthday friend! I can't wait to see what year 27 holds! I'm glad you're embarking on it before me :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I have a job for next year! I would have to say this was an easy job search. I have been out of school for 3 days.  I was expecting to look a lot longer, considering the area where we moved is smaller. I got called for an interview on Monday. I went in today to interview, and they called about 40 minutes later to offer me the job!  While I already miss HP, I'm super excited for what next year holds.  I'm officially a Warrior!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We made it


Settled in from our sixth move....we made it
Starting a 2nd year of Pharmacy School...we made it
Interviewing for a 3rd school district in 5 years... we made it
Training our pups to only potty outside...we made it
Thriving through financal strains ...we made it
Two years without a dish washer....we made it
Living countries and states away from our family...we made it
Becoming an Aunt and Uncle... we made it
Working multiple jobs at once... we made it
Living in near camping conditions... we made it
Mowing with a weed-eater...we made it



I can't believe 8 years ago I was graduating High School.  I was swept up in you then, and I'm swept up in you today. It's not any special date or anniversary.  My favorite line in our wedding vows, I promise to love you in the ordinary moments, applies today.  A day of laundry, "mowing", cooking, and Big Bang Theory. It's these ordinary moments that make me thankful I'm your wife. I love you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

There's always one...

There's always one student every year that makes me remember why I do this. Why I chose to be a teacher when it seems thankless, penny-pinching, and frustrating. They make the mountains of papers that need to be graded and the parent that is breathing down my neck tolerable.

My first year it was Shelby
Next it was Seth
Of course you remember Jerome
This year it's a kid named Tyus

I'm actually sad that there are only two days left this year.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Power Teachers

I've been thinking a lot about school politics. I've worked in two school districts now, and I find it interesting who controls what.  I hope that I'm never one of these as I like to call them "power teachers".  It absolutes infurriates me that some people's opinions and attitudes hold more weight than others.  Especially when these teachers use this power for themselves and not the students. Vent complete.

So the Penny Theater went off without a hitch! Everyone loved it, especially the students. This is Clara Barton in the front, and Will Rogers off to the side. I'll upload more pictures as I get them back!

I can't believe my year in 5th grade will be finished in a week. I wonder what next year holds.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I'm outta shape

lost 30 pounds
played freeze tag with my 5th graders
still outta shape.

thought I might pass out
no fast breathing
just not enough O2

Instead I blew my whistle
and concluded the game
and saved face

Thursday, April 12, 2012

at this very moment...

I have 3 students with head lice
I have 1 student hysterical crying because her stomach "just started" hurting. Right before gym. Right.
I have 1 student in ISR for bullying about all the head lice
I have 1 student laying on my floor refusing to go to Gym
I have 1 splitting headache
I have 2 forms of birth control I'm supposed to take before I start 'treatment' for my skin
I have 1 more doctor's appointment during a testing day
I have 100 reasons I'm ready to be home with my husband.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

exciting testing update and a gripe

Let's start out with the good news: State Writing Test (we took in February) Results came in today. 96% of my students passed!!!! One did not. I'll take it. Confirmation that this math teacher, can also teach writing....whoop! In other news the other two fifth grade classes had percents of 70% and 72% passing. That really gave my students a boost when it came to the tests they are taking now. They saw how their hard work paid off.

Moving on:
Dear Principals of the world. You are in charge. You are the boss. Do not let any certain teacher walk all over you. It makes the rest of the staff view you as less in charge. It also builds up animosity.
Love, Mrs. H

Happy State Testing!

State Test

Today is day 2/7 of state testing. It seems like everyone is more on edge. I personally am bored. I sit and walk and sit and walk for 3-4 hours while my students test. Yesterday I had time to write each student a good luck note for the math test next week. Today I'm caught up on grading. I am sleepy and I have to go to the bathroom!

Save me from testing,
Mrs. H

Friday, April 6, 2012

a shot in the stomach

Yesterday I went to the dermatologist. This was 2 years coming. I saw my PCP (primary care physician) 3 times, went through 2 referals, and waited 2 more months to get  in.  I was really afraid as I walked in the office, that all of that work and time would end in him telling me nothing was wrong, and that I would just have to deal with changing colors :).  I was also the only patient under the age of 70 in the office. 

As his nurse asked me questions, I started feeling more at ease. She listened and wrote a lot of what I told her. Dr. J came in a few moments later. He asked me much of the same questions again, but it was harder to answer this time because he immediately started pushing on all the whiter spots on my arm. He also just lifted the side of my shirt up to look at the white on my back and stomach.  He put on a few different pairs of glasses to look at it in different lights and magnifications.  He then stood and told me he wanted to take a biopsy. Then he left again.

The nurse came back in to prep me for the biopsy.  She gave me about 5 shots in the stomach! ouch!!!!! I felt every one. and. they. hurt. bad. The nurse told me they were going to hurt worse because I didn't have much stomach fat...:)   Then the nurse asked if I had any questions. I was thinking I haven't heard any information to have questions about.

The doctor came back and took a hole punch of skin from my stomach. Then left again.

By this point I was wondering if I was going to get any information.

He came back and the nurse told me how to care for my stitches in my stomach. He then started rattling off all this information super fast. He told me his thought process was that it was one of two conditions (assuming the biopsy comes back with nothing) and that both were very rare. He said I would most likely have to go before a board of dermatologists to be examined. He said that neither condition will cause me any serious health issues, but neither would be easy to reverse. 

So in seven to ten days, I 'should' know more.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

a short problem

it's 80 degrees in March here in good ole Oklahoma. Last year when summer rolled around I weighed 30 lbs more than I do now and wore shorts I'd had since high school. Much to my mother and husband's relief I threw away all those 2004 stretched out size 10-12 pants/capris/shorts and large shirts.

So today the temps rise and I have to go find some new clothes. I HATE HATE HATE spending money on clothes and doctors (but that's another story). I had to roll my one remaining pair of old capri's three times at the waist to get them to stay up long enough to head to Ross and Old Navy to find some new spring attire. It was sad.

The good news is I found new shorts (size 5/6) new shirts (size small) and a new bra (also smaller) (boo). I'm happy with the $106 dollars I spent on my summer wardrobe. If the last summer wardrobe is any indication, I won't have to buy new summer clothes for 8 years. (GRIN)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oh April

I think April might be the month of madness.

Remember that time where Trevor decided he wanted to be a Pharmacist and we moved back to Oklahoma in a month? Literally packed up and moved from Missouri (where we had just moved 3 months prior).

Well in true Howard style we will be moving to Weatherford in April. Trevor will be moving there during at the beginning of the this week..and staying weeknights at the house there.

I'll be staying here at the trailorhood until the end of April when our lease is up (the 31st). The only reason for this is we will both be saving gas money by living apart during the week. Once we make the move there full time (April 31st) I'll drive back to HP for the last 3ish weeks of school.

I finally got up the nerve to tell Dr. C that I won't be returning next year. It breaks my heart to just think about it. I was so excited to get my little 3rd-ies back as 5th graders. Bummer. I know there is a reason for this..and I know it will be loads easier on Trevor not having to commute.

So strike up the job search. 4 years of teaching, never in the same classroom, switching districts every 2 years... fun. I guess it makes me more well rounded, and I've met a lot of awesome teachers!

The tiny (ha) tricky part to this little 2 hour move west is....every weekend in April save one, is spoken for. Easter with Meme and Poppy. Seeing my bub who just got back from Afghanistan, seeing my brother-in-law Carter before he is relocated in the Air Force.

It's madness I tell ya. Warm thoughts and cookies appreciated.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Break

oh the 2 most glorious words to any teacher who's survived Febuary.

To launch my break off right, Ma and Pa Rumker came to help pack. We dominated this little white trailer house in true Rumker style.

...and that was yesterday.

Today I've turned in another teaching application and googled how much babies cost. Holy Moly. All my friends must be hidding a mountian of money that I missed out on. Good thing babies aren't on our immediate horizon. I think I'd have to sell...well... everything. Is it selfish that I'm just not quite ready to commit ALL of my resources, time, and mental abilities on a baby? I think i'll dedicate my 40s to that. :)

Love the 11 year old free (for the week),

Sunday, March 11, 2012

my pupkins

I never ever thought I would be one of 'those' dog owners. You know the ones... But somewhere along my 2 years of dog ownership, I've morphed. It all started with, no dog on the furniture and now Ezra sleeps horizontal across mine and Trevor's pillows!

I'm a stickler for a measured out portion of food, the all natural kind.
I take my dogs to their monthly grooming appointment with Milo.
The vet office workers know me when I call to schedule boarding.

What am I going to do when we move? Today I gave Samson and Ez haircuts because I know when we move we won't have Milo. I also know we will save 80 dollars a month if I can do it myself. How do you cut the hair on their legs??? Oh how I wish I could hear what they were thinking.

Maybe that's why Trevor and I talk for them. Yes, we are those pet owners.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I'm beginning to think my life is like the card game Phase 10. I'm pretty good at that game (Just saying VRUM) and I happen to enjoy it. I never really wished to play it with my life.

Phase 1 :Marriage. The best day of my life thus far, everyone who I love in one place.
Phase 2: T's graduation. Easy enough, we both knew it was coming and that the workplace awaited us.
Phase 3: Move to Missouri. Packed up our Oklahoma lives and went back home to work and enter adulthood.
Phase 4: Trevor wants to be a Pharmacist. Trevor (after working 3 months) decides business is out, Pharmacy school is in.
Phase 5: Move back to Oklahoma. Easy enough, I got my 6th grade job back, Trevor starts classes to get into Pharmacy school.
Phase 6: Beth changes schools. After lots of though, I decided I should teach 3rd grade in a different city. (Gulp)
Phase 7: Beth and Trevor decide to relocate closer to Pharmacy School. (in progress)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cut down the er

and other things my students say.

1. cut down the er. (Mrs. Howard, please turn the air conditioner off, i'm cold)
2. she be lying on me (Mrs. Howard, the other student in question is not telling the truth)
3. your head is wrapped good (Mrs. Howard, your hair is laying nice and straight on your head today)
4. you got swag today (Mrs. Howard you are dressed in a stylish manner)
5. she's fakin' (Mrs. Howard, the other student in question isn't presenting herself in her usual manner)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Papa Junior

Yesterday marked the 4th anniversary of Papa Junior's passing. He's the first and so far only grandparent I've lost. I count myself blessed to have enjoyed him for as many years as I did because I'm mindful others aren't as fortunate. That being said, it doesn't make Christmas or family get togethers any easier. His chair, now 4 years removed from the house,
and not from our minds, is empty.

My grandpa's chair sat directly in front of the door. He's was the first person to get a glimpse of anyone who entered, the last person you saw before you left. Each time I enter, I still feel the void of that chair, although new funiture has taken over it's spot. My grandpa was strong and funny. He could hold my hands and arms so tight I couldn't move. He was so strong from many, many hard years of work at the highway department. His skin was always tanned and tough.

My grandpa passed away during my semester of student teaching. He passed away 6 months before my wedding. I'm forever grateful for the fact that he knew Trevor many years and knew and approved of our wedding plans. The very last memory I have of my grandpa was just the two of us. I knew he wasn't going to make it to my wedding, at least not here on earth, so I brought my wedding dress to his house to try on for him. Just the two of us, him sitting his his hospital chair, (Trevor hidding in another room to avoid seeing me) we spent a few moments both aware why this moment was taking place right then.

I wrote this about my grandpa the day he died.

My grandpa took pictures with a camera he didn't know how to use, of people he couldn't quite see because family is important.

My grandpa kept a Happy Meal Furby that I gave him for a decade, and 3 books under his shelf that had been read 100 times because family is important.

My grandpa showed me how to fix his sage dressing at Christmas and teased me about green beans because family is important

My grandpa called me every week to ask about college life, he asks me what I'm cooking cause he knows I love to cook and family is important

When I visit he wants to know when I'm coming back to stay longer, because family is important

My grandpa takes me to The Rocking Chair restraunt to get coconut cream pie because he knows it's my favorite and family is important

My grandpa tells me about his life and family history, he wants me to know where we've come from because family is important

He listens to Trevor's bluegrass band CD in his van, because even new members of the family are important

He lectures me on tatoos, toe rings, and piercing because he cares about the way I present myself because family is important

I call him to ask a sausage question I know the answer to, because I want him to know he's important

I wrote a paper on his life and family because I want him to know I care about where he came from, and he's important

I show him my wedding dress early because I know he won't see me on my day and I want him to know he's important

My grandpa is strong, proud, brave, loyal, and stubborn. All those things he passed on to me to stories, teasing, time invested over the phone, meals, holidays, and summers. How do I know my grandpa loved me? He lived it...louder than words.

things I'll miss in Edmond

I can't believe I've lived in Edmond, OK for 8 years now. When I moved onto the college campus at OC in 2004, I pictured a short 4 years. I've now lived here out of college as long as I lived here in college.

Edmond has been home to many of the firsts of my 'grown-up married' life. CRAZY.

We didn't renew our lease so our offical move-out day is April 31st. YIKES.
So as we are getting ready to move, here are the things I'll miss in Edmond.

1. Crest foods - home of rock-bottom grocery prices
2. Kickingbird Pets- where we bought Samson and Ezra and the only place they've ever been groomed, boarded, or visted the vet. Dr. Mee (their vet) and Milo(their groomer) are going to be missed!
3. Hafer Park- the perfect spot on a warm day
4. OC - I don't drive by the campus much, but it brings back such fun memories with awesome people, not to mention an adorable budding romance.
5. CVS- call me crazy, but in the last 7 months of working at the Pharmacy, I've started to really enjoy my co-workers. Double the fact that they know both Trevor and I and are all so supportive of what's best for us.

Friday, March 2, 2012

the winds of change..

It's just a nice normal breeze around here.....

Saturday, February 25, 2012


alternatively titled: my husband is the best.
Being a teacher means that i'm around a lot of kids. Being a teacher at HP means i'm around a lot of kids who happen to live in some crummy situations. I personally have heard some awful things out of the mouths of younger and older students. Usually my gut reaction is teaching them to the best of my ability so they can rise above poverty through education. I love on them at school and send them out the door with a prayer.
This year I met Z. He's in one of my math classes. Right before Christmas, he got placed in a DHS shelter with his two siblings. I've had a fair amout of students in and out of state custody over my 4 years of teaching. I never felt pushed to do anything out of the ordinary.
There was something about it that just kept pushing him on my mind. I couldn't help but feel there was something I needed to do. Over about a 2 month period I just couldn't shake it (I know call me stubborn)
I talked to Trevor about him a few times. (more like 20) My husband is a saint. He told me to do what I needed to do. He let me take all his paperwork to school to file a kinship on Z so we could check him out of the shelter. He delt with me as I made plans to take Z out bowling and dinner after school on Friday. He showed up to meet an 11 year old he didn't know to spend the evening with. He talked to him about video games, fishing, and shooting stuff. He bowled extra bad so he wouldn't beat me and Z by more than 100 pts. He let me spend our hard-earned, penny pitched, money on a 5th grader instead of the new computer he wants to build.
Yesterday at school, as I was double checking everything with the social worker, she told me she finally found a foster family that would take Z and his two siblings. Yesterday was his last day at school. I was so happy for him, and yet sad that he was leaving. I can't help but think if I had ignored all those PUSHES to do something one more week, next Monday would have came and Z would not have been there. How terrible I would have felt having not followed all those pushes.
I know I can't change the world, but I'm focusing on the one God puts in front of me, okay PUSHES me towards.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Substitutes suck.

okay not all substitutes...but 97%.

I'll even go that only 75% of them actually suck the big one. But combine that with the 22% of the time when students suck because of substitutes and you get a whopping 97.

It's hard, I get it. You don't know their names, and don't know how things work. But if you're going to come into a high poverity school you need to be able to hang.

The writing test is in 5 days.
Winter weather is forecast for the weekend.
Parent/Teacher conferences are this week and next.

It's just that time of year I guess. I hope my students had as much fun doing their Social Studies during recess and I did missing my plan time to help them.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

WHAT are you drinking?

So I may or may not have mentioned this to you ...but I've recently lost 30 lbs. It's pretty exciting. I'm finally at a size where I feel healthier, alert, and like being active. So the weightloss has tapered off, and I'd really like to keep it off. One of the many blogs I read recently did a review of the Documentary "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead". So yesterday, I watched it. (on Hulu) It actually kept my attention. I began thinking I may be down 30lbs, but I still don't eat like I should. I almost never eat breakfast (unless you count my 4+cups of coffee) and I rarely eat veggies or fruit that aren't covered in grease or sugar. So I thought about it yesterday and I figure if I cut out some of that coffee, and add some veggie/fruit juice at breakfast my body will be getting more of what it does need, and less of what it doesn't.
I'm not going all crazy and only drinking fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days, I'm just going to have it once a day at breakfast. My goal is not to lose more weight, but to eat cleaner. So today, I went to 4 different stores in search of a juicer that doesn't break the 'Teacher and Pharmacy student" budget. I found a black and decker juicer for 30 dollars that had really good reviews. After my first cup o green stuff, I'm happy with it.
Oh, and just to finalize the 'Beth has gone crazy' in your mind. I quit caffeine cold turkey yesterday. Yes my head hurts. No I'm not sure how I'm going to survive tomorrow.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oh Gosh

It's testing season. Well it's the season before testing season. The season where you aren't yet worn to the quick, but still trying to politely shove all the necessary information into 75 heads.

The season that comes next is the 'I've done all I can'

but that won't hit until mid-March.

When I took this 5th grade job, I knew that I would be responsible for all the fifth grade math scores, and it didn't seem nearly as scary in August. Now..well... I'm feeling a bit more pressure as 75 faces stare blankly at me as I describe for the 4th (today) time that you always start labeling numbers from the decimals. every. single. time. no. matter. what.

I sing songs, I do dances, I make up rhymes, and try my best to get some of it to stick in their minds. Then I'm hard on myself when they don't remember. I have to remind myself that students who come with no background knowledge, little home support, and a plethora of other issues have to learn and be taught differently.

So tomorrow, I'll keep at it again. I forgot to mention it's praying season too!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

States and Capitols...

when you teach 5th grade and the test is tomorrow.... you listen to this all day...because you love your students.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

all things medical...

Oh 2012... I wonder what you will be the year of?? If you ask my students they will loudly resound that 2012 is the year of 'NO EXCUSES'!!! (I might have told them it was law made by the President.) Opps.
It's been going well, anytime I hear an excuse, I say 'oh...what was that... maybe you forgot that it's 2012... that's the year of ...what students? what's 2012 the year of??? .... and then they shout "No EXCUSES" and then we carry on with our day.
So since I'm owning this year of no excuses, I made a dr's appointment. First off, I hate paying for a doctor to tell me what I already know.
So I made a doctors appointment because the whiter patches of my skin have recently started getting little red blisters or bumps on them...but they itch like the dickens! So I couldn't put it off any longer. I knew my doc was going to have to send me to a dermatologist. Which is exactly what he said, 'yep it's worse, I'll refer you'. He was probably in my room a total of 4 minutes. There when $25.
So on Monday I'll be scheduling my appointment with the dermatologist. Wonder what they will tell me. It's weird to me this 'virus' I have only affects my right side, only really affects my ribcage up, and until now didn't bother me. But my parents have been bugging me to get it taken care there it excuses.
My pinkie is also all messed up from a moving accident a year ago...I'll see an orthopedic surgeon after I get my skin taken care of.
A positive point of the doctor's office is I got a new official weight on my profile. The nurse was walking me right past the scale and I demanded to be weighed. (She looked at me like I'd lost my mind) This was the only fun part of the whole visit. I climbed on that scale and let er rip. 142lb! That is 25 pounds less than I weighed the last time I was there. When the nurse muttered the old number, Trevor almost passed out.... he said the best thing 'where were you hiding all that?'
I'm pretty sure I'm almost down 30lbs from my heaviest, (when I didn't weigh myself) I went through yesterday and got rid of some of the clothes I've had around since high school. I'm loving my size 7 if I can just enjoy it a bit and not end up pregnant...I'll be happy. So here's the most recent picture I've been in.
Ezra's second birthday. That's his pupcake. I can tell my face and stomach are smaller. I think my upper arms are too.
Here's a side by side of 2 pictures taken of me and my cousin VRUM. The black and white one is from mid 2011 and the color one is from about a week ago.
Hope you're new year is blessed!