Monday, February 25, 2008


My mother-in-law puts me to shame! Her writing is amazing. Granted, she is a writer....I am a teacher, I guess I shouldn't expect too much in the area of my creative writing, eh? Dang it, I wish I could be as witty and funny as her. Maybe she will teach me...hmm...I can see a new Wednesday night dinner tradition ;-)...."Witty Writing With Kristin". Love it.

Anyway, today was a really great day overall. The kids were freakishly well behaved. Shocking! It was a pleasant surprise, for sure. I had a fantastic "date" with my good friend Chrissy from college. I miss seeing her on a daily basis like when we were in college, but it's so cool to see us now actually living out what we went to school for. We both teach elementary districts that basically neighbor each other. So, we try to meet up every so often and just dish...we give each other tips and new lesson ideas, and exchange new teacher moments and "what the heck should I have done?" moments. The first year of teaching is FULL of surprises...more than you can ever imagine. We were just discussing how many moments we have during the day where we both think we wish we had another adult in the room to share some laughs with when the kids say the darndest things. Sometimes you just have to chuckle to yourself...because God knows if you chuckle out loud, you may see some tears. Kids are just funny, and they don't even realize it most of the time.

Good behavior, good drive (in my new car!), good friends....good day!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I need You like the rain
Come to me and sing again
I long for Your love so much
I've wanted Your pure touch

You are beautiful, beautiful
You are beautiful, beautiful
So beautiful, beautiful

I need You to be here
Come to me, I can feel You near
I love You, You are my hope
You love me as Your own

The new addition to our Family

No, no people...NOT what you are thinking. You aren't going to hear any news like, "I'm pregnant!"...or "We got a puppy!"....that is not the case, at least not now. However, we did get blessed with a really good deal on our new car!

Yesterday morning we were determined to set out on a journey to find our new addition the family to replace the dear old jetta. So, we woke up after a wonderful night of dressed and ready to go, and set out for our endeavor. Of course, we had some extremely empty stomachs, so we had to of course stop at our favorite, Panera Bread Company for some yummy soup and sandwiches.

We had thought we settled on the car we wanted...but still decided we needed to test drive a few others to really figure it out and find out what's out there. We became very educated on SUV's in our price range, and needless to say, it was a great experience. We hadn't taken in the full picture in the beginning (warranties, perks of buying at a dealership versus Joe's car shack, etc), we learned some life lessons.

Anyway, we ended up at a really nice dealership, working with some great people, and test driving a Ford Escape. A Ford?! We had NEVER thought about this car before, and if we did, we instantly said, "no way...we don't want that car." I guess the theory is true...don't knock it till you try it! It was the same experience I had with my wedding dress...I saw it hanging up and said, "Ew...I don't want to try that on!"...and I did, and it was the one that made everyone cry, and that made me feel like a million bucks. Kind of like this car....

So here we are!

She's in great shape, fully loaded inside, 4 wheel drive, leather seats, sun roof, 6-cd player...I really cannot complain. God was watching out for us through this entire thing...from the accident to the insurance stuff, to our new vehicle. We prayed before we headed out, and we ended up with a great deal. Thank you Jesus! Now I pray for a long life for this car ;-)

Friday, February 22, 2008

I love this kid!

So, here is my little ode to Jayden. I think this boy is the sweetest little guy there is. First of all, there is nothing but pure love coming from that picture, you can tell he loves his Aunt Katie, right? Well, I can. I just can't wait for the days when he asks for me ;-0

I can only pray that I have a child who is just so content. He really is content with looking and observing the littlest things. He rarely cries. He is happy with just about anyone! Best of all, he is full of little laughs and giggles, and big, beautiful smiles! I know I am just the Aunt, but he has lit up my life. I don't have children of my own yet, and Lyryn makes me feel like a little Mommy at times, letting me carry him around like I own him, and giving him his bottles, dressing him, changing his diapers (hehe). I am learning with him, for sure. I am no longer going to let my mom raise my kids until they are 3 years old like I used to tell her (since I thought I dreaded the baby years). I LOVE the baby stage now, and would NEVER trade it for the world. They grow up so fast...little man is just over 4 months. It's crazy. In one sense it feels like he's been around FOREVER, on the other hand it seems like he was just born! Anyway, I am really starting to sound like a proud mother, but, I am just a proud Aunt. I love the kid, and I think, if he could talk...he would tell you he loves his Aunt Katie too! :-)

"Think Spring"

Just last night I was saying how I wanted a snow day...well, I got it! project I started with 1st graders yesterday was about flowers. Granted, I was a little bit "late" on my planning, so I had to do what came to me quickly due to the accident and all. So, here are some gorgeous flowers that they are making out of tissue paper. Love them!

Long, but worth it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I am such a kid at heart....

I am, its true. What other teacher says, "Think Snow" to their students? Most teachers DREAD a snow day...I long for it. I guess I would rather make it up later. I have to admit, if I have a snow day tomorrow, I will have only had a 1 day work week. Not my fault I had a near death experience, I would have much rather been at work you know...its true! I would have!

Chances are pretty great for a full blown snow day tomorrow, but freak things CAN happen with the weather.

In other news, I think we have settled on the type of car for sure we want. We are just waiting on our car insurance information and money. Gotta love that...its always a rat race with insurance, and ours is even pretty decent.

BIG news in the Balla Family....Declan JUST beat Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii! He feels should see him. I think he just did a dance. I think I must go now, time to "celebrate"...hehe, right.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ouch, Ooo, Ah....

So I woke up this morning, drastically more stiff and uncomfortable then yesterday. Surprise, Surprise. They tried to warm me at the E.R., "it WILL get worse before it gets understand that, right?"...I shrug..."yea, yea"....and then it hits me. Like a ton of bricks. Literally, it feels like I was hit by a ton of bricks. Well, I guess I was hit by a ton...a ton of Toyota Sequoia. Stupid Toyota's.

Anyway, my Susan massaged my back this felt good. I need someone to do it for a good long time. Ah, I husband!

I am going back to teaching tomorrow. I just got an email from my principal which almost made me cry. She doesn't want to see me back she's going to be shocked. But, I hate having to use my sick days on this. She talked a lot about how I was such a big part of their "family" now even after a short time, and how she would even chip in and teach some art classes to fill in for me if need be. It was sweet. I will be back in the grind tomorrow, maybe grind isn't the right word...sounds kind of aggressive, and I am moving pretty slow right now. How about, back to....back to....ahh..forget it.

So, losing my Jetta may have not been as (bad) as it could have been. I am praying we get enough money from insurance to get this nice SUV we would like. Conveniently enough, the dealership is letting us cruise around on their buck right now to see how we "like" their car. We love it, but we may not be buying "their" car. We'll see. We are going to check out another one tomorrow, which is a bit further away.

As for tonight, I will sign off with this verse that keeps coming to mind.
"Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself"....

Our God is good.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'll miss you Jetta

So this morning started out no different then any other normal "getting ready for school" procedures, etc. I just happened to be 10 minutes early this morning.

On mornings I am early, I don't think "great, I can get to school early!"....I think, "Yesss, I can have a slow relaxing drive in to school today". So thats what I was doing.

I even waited for this bus that stopped to let all these kids on, when I normally don't stop unless the red lights are on...but today I thought, "I have time...Why not stop."


Literally, two minutes down the road all I remember is a big huge SMASH and the hardest impact I have ever felt, and then an extremely scary and bumpy ride. I felt my car stop and I looked around to see that my airbags had deployed, and that there was dust EVERYWHERE that had me gasping for air. My gut instinct: GET OUT. I tried so hard to get out of my door...but to no avail. It wouldn't open! So I unbuckled my seatbelt (YES, I was buckled!), and without even thinking I jumped to the back seat and went outside through the back door. I got some fresh air and then just started bawling. What had just happened? I really just had a huge accident. Was the lady in the other vehicle okay? Was it my fault or hers? So I ran for my cell phone, which yes, happened to be in my Coach purse, which YES I was honestly a little worried about (sad to admit), and I started making some calls. I saw blood on my hands, I didn't know where I was bleeding, or if I was okay, I just wanted someone there with

First call was to Declan, which never even successfully went through! I hate our network sometimes. Second call was to home (and thank god we're living there), because my mom picked up and was able to run down and bang on our door to wake Declan up. He was to the scene of the accident probably within 10 minutes. I then called my principal, and through tears, I told him I had an accident and I needed to take an emergency day. He felt so bad, you could tell, but I felt bad about not be ing there....I know, it wasn't really my fault, but its hard.

The next face I saw was a familiar firefighter, Nate. He recognized me right away and said, "You're Witmer's Daughter!"....and it made me feel good to know these guys. They tried to their best to take care of me.

So, let me explain the accident a bit more. It was not my fault, which is nice to know, but regardless, it still happened and it sucks. She was making a left turn onto a road I was going straight on. I had the right of way. She may have been blinded by the morning sun, or maybe thought she could make it (the tread marks would show she PEELED out), but without even seeing her I smashed right into her passenger back corner of her car, while smashing the entire front and driver side of my car. The damage would alone prove she didn't have enough room to pull out, therefore it was her fault. Add the tread marks and the fact I was pushed 100 or so feet off the road, and bam, there ya go.

Anyway, I got an ambulance ride today. Bumpy. Not Fun. I got an unexpected day off of work today and tomorrow, which I truly don't want. I have a banged up lip, and a burn on my face and neck from the airbags. I have some seriously banged up knees from hitting the console, and a terribly stiff body from the impact. I am thankful, and grateful though...because had I been in any smaller vehicle, I could have been dead. Volkswagen's are made extremely well, hearty, and it saved me today. I will miss my lovely Jetta...I sincerely LOVED that car.

I am thankful for a husband who came to my rescue. We got all the belongings out of my car later in the day. I am thankful for insurance. Praise GOD for that. We are going to get a car soon, and I'm excited about what it may be. I am thankful for lip won't always have to stay this ugly and swollen. I am really blessed.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday School.

Today Declan and I taught Sunday School. It was super cute. We ended up with only three kids, but it was still somewhat enjoyable. Seeing "Mr. Declan" with the kids was really cute. He liked doing it. We did two art lessons (heck, thats all I really KNOW how to do)....and then I taught the kids about "Loving your enemies". They did a good job with understanding the story, and answering my questions. We put on kids worship music and danced around with tambourines, we played with puzzles and ate pretzels. Not too shabby.

During the first 5 minutes, one of the kids, Kevin...let out a major fart. It was funny...I giggled. Declan kept a totally straight face, which shocked me. A few minutes ago he said, "Did you hear when Kevin let out that huge fart?!?!".....I was like, "Yes...thats why I laughed"....He said "I CANNOT believe you you laugh when your students fart??!"....

No comment.

Come on, live a little, laugh a lot.

Oh goodness, what a day. Praise be to GOD for giving me a day off of school tomorrow.



Sunday afternoon....and this is where to find Declan.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Friday Night with Jayden

Lyryn. Jayden. Mexican Food. Babys R Us. TJ Maxx. Target. Good Times.

Priceless face. I love this kid! I can only hope to have my own, someday, soon, we'll see.

You wish you were in my fun class...

A sweet 3-D project
Kids LOVE the test papers.

4th Grade Toucans

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

"I will never stop loving you."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Goodbye Snickers Witmer, you were a great dog.

Snickers Witmer died around noon February 13th, 2008. He survived by his little sister, Daisy Mae, his owners-The Witmer Family, and especially by his dear Susan, his primary caretaker. In his younger days he loved to run in the yard, play with his toys, run in circles, and play "daredevil" (Meaning, he loved to scare his owners by going into a yard full of hungry, huge and drueling chocolate labs...who would have loved him as an appetizer). Snickers was the primary "mascot" for TheFireStore.Com, where he had a lot of people who adored him. In his older days, he loved to sit on your lap and have his ears rubbed. He had especially soft ears, which will be missed. He loved to sleep and drink his water. Oh yea, and poop...but all dogs do that. ;-) He lived a full happy 14 years of life, and surely brought a lot of joy to our family.

Snickers, you will be missed old man, you were an a.m.a.z.i.n.g. dog.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


No, not the candy bar, but our family's ever-loving and loyal pet yorkie....who is 14 years old. Snickers is seeing his last days. It is really sad to say the least, and inside, you know that he is suffering. The family is probably going to have him put down, but it's just hard to know that he won't be around anymore. I feel for Sue the most...this was her dog from the start. He loves her so much, and vice versa. We always used to call Snick her boyfriend...he adored her. He still does. I just realized yesterday that he has been around basically for all of my life that I can remember. He has been around since I was 8 years old. Who really remembers a whole lot before 8? I know I don't. I clearly remember the day we got Snickers, and the days prior when we got the phonecall that he was born-we were so excited! We met his mother when she was even pregnant with him and his brothers and sisters. I wonder how many of them are still alive?

Snickers was never really that fond of me, to be quite honest. Ever since that basketball incident when he was a puppy, he was sort of skiddish around me. I don't want to explain the basketball incident in detail, but basically he got "under" my sweet dribbling when I was playing P.I.G. with my little brother. Or maybe it was that time he got stuck in between the screen door and the main door? Well, it was an accident....I was only 8. Either way, whether he really liked me or not, I still love the old guy. He really does have a loyalty that is precious. He lived an awesome life. He went on road trips with us to Oklahoma for goodness sakes. It's sad to see him go, and really, no other dog can quite fill his shoes, but that is just the way of life I suppose.

Its times like these that you just hope and pray that there is such a thing as doggy heaven, this place where their little old worn out bodies are now restored, free dog bones everywhere, big fields to run and play in, and lots of warm fluffy beds to lay on.

Sue used to always say that Snickers HAD to be in heaven with her, or it wouldn't be heaven.

Love you snick.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

One last post today. I swear.

As an art teacher, I always have up displays. Here are a few of my recent displays.

Kindergarten, "Corduroy's". (Remember that book?!)Kindergarten Frogs. I love these.
3rd Grade Snowy Scenes.


Lately, Declan and I have really been enjoying the diner. He eats , and never strays from, his philly cheesesteak wrap, and I eat (and never stray from), my BLT on wheat with crispy bacon please. I get an unsweetened iced tea, and Declan always gets a coffee. He says, "you can't go to a diner and not order coffee." I guess he could be right.

This is Declan's classic diner picture. I love it. I think he looks so handsome, and on top of that, I just love the background.


Lately my sister and I have been making earrings, earrings, galore! It is a fun little thing to do on the side, and gets the creativity ball rolling in our heads. (Yea, like I need that ;) )

We have probably made 50+ earrings in the last 7 days. I want to highlight a few.

We have some ideas of what our plans are with them. Let's just say, it would be for a cause.
amen and amen.

2nd Grade Clay Dinosaurs

The last month or so Dinosaurs has been the theme for second grade. They have been tirelessly practicing their dinosaur songs, moves, making their dinosaur t-shirts, and getting ready for their big dinosaur concert. In art, they made clay dinosaurs. I was nervous about how they would do...but I had no real reason to be nervous, look at these! They are awesome!

Below is probably one of my favorite dinosaurs...the pterodactyl. He worked very hard on his, and I loved the way it turned out. There are many others I loved, but I want to just feature his.

"Fossils and Footprints, and Footprints and Fossils...this is how we know that there were DINOSAURS!" (from one of their songs)

Valentines Day Art, by 1st Grade

A few teachers and I have caught two first graders sneaking kisses at school...I have to only HOPE it wasn't me or Art class that planted that idea in their head. hehe.
My V-day Display...You've gotta admit, it's so cute. I am debating whether I would do this again next year, or if it needs a little tweaking. This is the torment I go through as a first year teacher, :-). Oh, decisions.
Happy Valentines Day from First Grade.