Friday, January 12, 2024

Week in Review: A New Title, A New Treat and A New Tirade

Happy Friday of a long weekend, baby!  Ahhh those are the best, when Sunday feels like another Saturday and then the next work week is shorter.  Speaking of work, I haven't told you guys a secret yet.  

Are you ready for it?

Well now I feel like I am building it up too much and you are going to be disappointed.

Colleen, stop overthinking and just tell everyone.  

Ok, here's a photo clue:


That's the top part of my contract that I signed with Franciscan University to become an Online Professor for the Spring Semester!  I will be "teaching" one class, Managerial Accounting to 23 students starting on Tuesday.  I say "teaching" because I am more of a moderator; making sure everyone does their assignments, grading tests and homework, and leading the discussions in the forum.  The students watch pre-recorded lectures by a professor on campus (whom I used to have as an undergrad!) and I'm sure I will be re-learning a lot about Managerial Accounting alongside my students since I haven't thought about widgets or cost analysis in a long time.  It's very weird to be called Professor Martin (my husband is the teacher, not me!) but I'm excited for this new role.  This is supposed to be a very, very small time commitment each week, therefore I will be keeping my full-time job as well. And no, I do not get a tuition break for my kids...I would need to be a full-time faculty member for that.


These Core Power protein shakes are the best tasting we've ever had.  I love the vanilla and strawberry banana.  They are a bit expensive, but I can always justify spending a little more on healthy food when I know it will save me money on snacking and eating out.  I learned something this week from Janae - if you heat up the chocolate Core Power, it tastes like the most delicious hot cocoa ever.  This is my afternoon treat for the winter, yum yum yum.


Shia LaBeouf became Catholic!  He's had a tough life and made some bad choices, so I hope he can stay on the straight and narrow now, but we're called Practicing Catholics for a reason...so welcome to the club!  Very cool that he found God during his portrayal of Padre Pio in his last movie.


Chicken Shawarma was on the menu one night this week, along with Thai Coconut Curry Ramen and Lemon Chicken (recipe recommended by Elisabeth).  We eat a lot of chicken!  Oh we had burgers one night too!  Speaking of eating, I subscribed to Thrive and got a bunch of yummy, healthy snacks for 40% off and you can too if you would like to click on that link (you can cancel within 30 days).  

The FAFSA finally came out, and I completed it quickly for my one and only college student next year.  After that we should always have 2 to 3 college students for the next 14 years.  Woah.  Anyway the new and very delayed FAFSA form was indeed much easier than in years past, so that was good.  We also applied for financial aid from the Diocese for our three kids in elementary/middle school next year.  The Diocese had given a tuition abatement to employees who have kids at other schools in the Diocese, and then decided to reduce the percentage of help starting next year.  Womp womp.  Nothing like getting an employee perk and then having it ripped away.  I have to say that the financial aid application for the Diocese schools was way more involved than the FAFSA and cost $40.  I hope it's worth it!

We also completed a science experiment this weekend:

Alexander is testing if mints really cool (verb) or just taste cool (adjective).

My lovely mother had back surgery this week, and it went very well, thanks be to God!  She is 85 years young and her mind is sharp even though certain body parts are not holding up their end of the bargain lately.

And we got our first snow on Sunday.  Of course the little kids had to go play in it, which meant layers of snow gear that is still sitting in the stairwell to "dry" but really it's the same lazy excuse as leaving a pot to "soak".  I see you.


I stayed cozy inside and we put Christmas away until next year, God willing.


A simple winter mantel feels so nice after the Christmas busyness.  I love those Lighted Trees that are on a timer.

Declan (number 4) going for the shot

Basketball season is still going strong.  Declan (age 9) is getting so much more confident on the court and has scored a few points, which is thrilling when the games end with scores like last night's 8-5.  Brendan has started up with swim lessons each week now that his basketball is ending.  He has practice during one of Xander's four weekly practices, so it's not hard to get him there.  

Maggie and Eamon were both suspended from playing two games due to our vacation to Florida which made them miss practices and games for a week.  They knew it was going to happen and were not upset by it, but I just think the policy is stupid.  If we were taking our kids out of school to go on vacation, and having them miss practices/games while school was in session, I totally agree with a punishment.  But when we take our kids on vacation over Christmas break (time off from school to be with family and celebrate) I feel like sports should also take a pause for that week.  Optional practices, fine, but not mandatory.  

Soccer and Volleyball are fall sports, and there is no scheduled school break during that season, so it's a non-issue.  But Basketball is a winter sport, and the season includes TWO school breaks, one week in December and one week in February.  So families are not supposed to go away or visit family far away during two of the three scheduled school breaks if students play a winter sport.  This seems overboard to take away two "breaks" from the kids and make them have practices and games.  Am I right or am I right?  Haha!  Rant over.


This sweetie pie with his wee snowman was spoken to by his teacher:

Teacher: Declan, you are talking an awful lot today.

Declan: It's not my fault.  Have you met my mother?  She's a talker!

Of course his teacher had to share that one with me, hysterical!





Suzanne talked about Looking Tired and boy do I agree with wanting to look less tired and also not be told that I look tired...not helpful.  One product I hope is helping my wrinkles and sun damage (or at least not making things worse) is an inexpensive Age Rewind cream that has over 28,000 good reviews on Amazon.  This is my second bottle of it, which lasts a long time because they are HUGE, especially in the world of face creams and serums.  I mostly shower at night, and then slather this on my face and d√©colletage (oui oui) and encourage Phil to do likewise because why should I be rewinding my face while looking at his in fast forward?

I hope you all have a wonderful, cozy wintery long weekend!

24 comments:

  1. That is a dumb policy. I am glad they were okay with it because it would be real hard if they were angsty about the suspension. Also it doesn't make sense because the punishment for missing games is missing more games? Congrats on the new gig!!

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    1. It's a punishment to miss more games because it hurts kids stats and therefore chances to play in college...not that we care about that personally, but a lot of families do.

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  2. So much to discuss!

    I want to know the result of the experiment! Is cool a verb or adjective?

    I agree - that policy is ridiculous about benching a player for missing practices over a break. Everyone needs breaks - including players, coaches, and parents. I'm glad it's not bothering them too much.

    That protein shake sounds delish. And I think I spot a giant straw Stanley. I got one for Christmas and ADORE it.

    Glad you got to try the lemon chicken. I'm making it again tonight; my daughter in particular is in love with the recipe.

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    1. Yes everyone needs breaks, and it's sad that school gives a break but sports just continue. I love my Stanley too! I had the 40 ounce one at first and gave it to my husband because it was too heavy when filled with water. This 30 oz. one is perfect. My issue is that I want to use it all the time and finding time to wash it is hard :)

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  3. Congratulations on the teaching assignment! It sounds manageable, and college students are much easier than high school students. Make sure you set up bounds on your time so that class doesn't creep into too much of your life.
    Oh, the FAFSA again. We have 2 next year in college, but I think the feds don't allow as much asset protection. And we have fewer dependents at home as well. I'm looking at making the younger kids go into trades - I am tired of the forms for colleges. Can the parish help with the younger kids' tuition bill? We would randomly get $1000 from our parish to help with our tuition when we had 6 in the school and Littles at home. (Our school has 3 parishes that help support it.)
    We have a snow day today, so my kids have a 4 day weekend. On top of the 2 snow days Tues and Wed, this has been a Lost week. Two of my kids only went to school once (Thu) since Christmas break started. So crazy.
    Enjoy the long weekend!

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    1. Haha yes, having them not go to college just to save is the paperwork does sound nice :) Our parish gives $300 to families who are parishioners, so that doesn't go far :( It's really more the frustration of getting tuition abatement and then having them take it away. Catholic school employees make so little as it is that they need any benefits they can get!

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  4. When my now 25 year old was playing CYO basketball in 4th grade we were visiting family and meeting new niece over Thanksgiving week so we pulled kids from school (the only time we did it, but meeting a new baby was priority) and obviously practice leading up to the annual Thanksgiving weekend tournament. We had planned to be back for 2nd game and told him because he missed practice most likely he would be playing minimal time as opposed to his normal almost 3 quarters (cyo rules required all sitting out a full quarter) . .which we (well maybe not him) were fine with . . but guess who played 3 quarters - to be honest he was one of top players on team (heck coach even emailed me details of previous game while we were out of town so I could share with my sports crazed son).
    But yeah, dumb rule . . .

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    1. It's frustrating and I know they continue practices in order to keep up with the other teams who are also practicing, but I would love if our athletic program that we follow instituted a real break over Christmas. And yeah, if my kids were the best on their Varsity teams, I bet rules would have been bent!

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  5. Congrats on your new job! And your mantle looks lovely! Your "rant" brought me back to my kids' CYO days - funny how the rules haven't changed! I understand them but nothing is more important than family time! (And I did the same thing with my 40 oz Stanley - it was too heavy but I love my 30 oz!)

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  6. Congratulations on the new job, Professor Martin! I agreecwith you, that policy is horrible!

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  7. I think professor is a title only granted to some faculty. Professor is higher than assistant professor or associate professor, not just what you call someone who works at a university.

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    1. Jealous much? Or you just can’t be happy for other’s success?

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    2. I'm very happy for Colleen's new job as an online lecturer. And I am happy for everyone at Franciscan University who has achieved Professor rank. And I was hoping to help someone entering academia understand the lingo.

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    3. Students will call college teachers professors, out of convenience, regardless of the actual position. With titles like lecturer, section leader, VPTL , adjunct,.. it can get confusing. I just introduce myself as Ms mbmom11, and I don't sweat if they call me something else. I draw the line at first name; I like a little formality. Some students did call me Miss firstname this term- sort of adorable but I didn't encourage it. So Colleen will navigate what's comfortable for her, I'm sure.

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    4. I would never assume to call myself professor, but when I asked the professor who hired me how to refer to myself and what the students would call me, she told me Professor Martin. My paperwork and online profile the university set up for me also uses the title Professor in front of my name. Ithink the whole thing is entertaining, but I don't take it seriously like I AM A COLLEGE PROFESSOR now. No, I just teach one online class. I was told that they wanted to hire me to teach on campus full-time but alas I live in MA and I also don't think I could ever be a successful teacher due to my fear of public speaking. So online adjunct professor suits me perfectly :)

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    5. I work at a well-known University, and students use the title "Professor" for adjunct instructors without a PhD.

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  8. Congrats on your new role at Franciscan. That's so exciting. The wee snowman and the inside scoop on the chat with th teacher cracked me up. Your fireplace looks lovely. We never travel at Christmas time, but you do raise a very valid point. That stinks that the kids are penalized for enjoying time with family. I never thought of it like that. In a few years, our basketball players will all be in college and winter break will be free of b-ball practices and games.

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    1. Ahhh your future winter breaks sound wonderful! Although the girls may keep you busy!!

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  9. Congratulations on the new role! That topic is so far out of my wheelhouse -- I'm impressed!

    I will have to try the fairlife protein shakes. You make a good point about the tradeoff between the expense vs. the health benefits. Do you have a particular protein powder you recommend? My girls have been into smoothies recently but they really don't like the chalky taste of various protein powders I've tried. Or maybe they'd like a fairlife shake blended with some frozen fruit?

    That's a bummer about the basketball expectations. This was the first year we also had scheduled practices during the Christmas break, but they ended up getting canceled because too many families were away or had sick kids. We would have been able to make the practices, but I wasn't sad about the downtime. We all need it!

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    1. I think your girls will like the shakes as is, they taste like milkshakes. They are so so so much better than any protein shake I've made or bought. My teenagers also like the Atkins mocha shakes, they do contain caffeine though so you may not want your younger kids to have those yet.

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  10. Declan's response to talking so much. LOL!!
    Congrats on your newest title; you should be proud of yourself. I am!!
    I'm hoping Shia can stay the course...he seems like a great person who just needs some assistance.

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    1. I was like, he said WHAT?!?! He's my sweet and shy one - ha!

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