Friday, December 28, 2007
So far, today, I have cleaned out the pots and pans cupboard and am moving onto a fun task: reorganizing my scrapbook supplies, having gotten some for gifts for Christmas. I also need to decide what album to begin next, and assemble the supplies I will use for it. Over the last two months I was busy making gift albums for my in laws and parents, so I need to put that stuff away, as well.
I did get my cards written and out in the mailbox five minutes before the mail truck came on Friday-the last day to mail local cards! I wrote a note in almost all of them, running out of time required a typed note in a few! I have a few "Happy New Year" notes to people who sent me cards that I received on the 24th or 26th.
We have had some fun visits with family in the last two weeks. We went to my hometown to see my family last weekend and enjoyed getting to see them. We got to see some family I hadn't gotten to spend quality time with, too, which was great! Then we had my husband's parents, grandmother and sister here for Christmas eve. They attended our church service with us and then we had dinner at our house. We made turkey, avocado, bacon, and spinach wraps, sweet potato fries (yes, homemade), and cantaloupe with creme brulee for dessert. We also tried something new for adults: butterscotch martinis, which those who tried them enjoyed!
Then, on Christmas day, we woke up early to our daughters' voices. They had woken up at 5:45am, but knew our earliest limit was 6. They say they tried to go back to sleep but couldn't. :) They came in at 6, and we were done with gifts, breakfast and clean-up by 7:30. Santa was good to them, but the gifts that were exchanged among the four of us were very thought out and thoughtful, as well! Next, we went to the husband's parents', with his sister and brother's family. We had such a nice time, with family, which is what the season is all about!
I also had a mole removed on the 19th, not fun, still having four stitches, but they come out on the second. Hopefully the tests on it come back fine.
I ended up teaching my youngest daughter's class for five days instead of one, due to her teacher's leg injury that required surgery. I have my long term assignment coming up on the 3rd and lasting until at least the 15th of Feb. It will be nice to be in the same place everyday and spending consistent time with the kids. The changes around here should be interesting. :)
My busier schedule has wreaked havoc on my running schedule. I took more time off, and I really noticed it even on my short five miler yesterday. My goal is to get a regular time in my schedule to have time for running! But, we'll see, work and family come first...
That's all the rambling I have for you right now. I hope you all are well, holidays have gone smoothly, and the new year comes in positively for you!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Since then we have gone shopping, for family, friends, and the church's giving tree, played some family games, made ornaments, my husband and younger daughter had a "Y-Tribe, Indian Princess" meeting here at our house where they decorated small gingerbread houses, and got together with my husband's brother's family. We still have much to do. The girls' school break starts on the 20th, I think. We will head up to my parents' home state that weekend and celebrate before Christmas with them this year, which is unusual, but should be fun... barring no more family disputes...
Then, it will be Christmas, and afterwards, I will be cooking and freezing food because when school starts again (Jan 3) I will have a long-term substitute position. I will be teaching first grade until Feb. 15th. Should be very nice to be in the same classroom everyday and know all the children well. I look forward to the opportunity and hope all goes well.
I finished the first scrapbook gift I was making and am in the process of the second. I hope to get it all done! :) It's been fun to work on something for someone else. Makes me try new things to make it nicer for them.
I am back to a regular schedule in running, as well. I took a break for a while, due to a tired body. My runs were leaving me feeling like lead. So, after a break, I ran 10 miles on the first, 8 last week (on the ice was not fun... I repeat NOT fun), and am back to a 5 mile per day schedule, for now, also.
One more thing. A friend of mine told me she has a "prayer basket": when someone is on her heart or mind to pray for, she puts their name and her prayer for them on a piece of paper into the basket. Then, when she has her prayer time with God each morning or before a long drive when she can pray, she takes a few of these slips of paper and prays for/over them. If there is a resolution, she removes them. I thought this was a great idea... only I didn't find any baskets I liked yesterday, when I thought of it. So, I bought a four dollar tin, two pieces of scrapbook paper and one sheet of plastic stickers (Faith themed). I went home, spent about half an hour-including writing my current prayer concerns-and finished with this:I am happy with it and have prayed over some slips already. The box sits at my office desk and is within reach, as well as easily noticeable, so it won't be forgotten.
I'd love to type more, as I am overdue, but I must go write several Christmas cards. Happy holidays to you and yours!
Monday, November 26, 2007
This packet was for parents of middle schoolers:
- The article pointed out that middle school students have to juggle multiple classes and multiple chunks of homework. However, they are still learning time management and time past the "present tense". They suggested, to "sharpen those skills" by asking the child to "estimate how long it will take to run an errand and get home."
- One paragraph stated that "bouncing quickly from one subject to the next" can be difficult for some students, especially if multiple classes give homework on vocabulary. It suggested that the student may "run out of linguistic gas". For this the article instructed parents to (when the student isn't swamped with homework) have him/her review their notes. Then, using different color index cards for each subject, jot down the different terms used in each class. This way, during homework dealing with these words, the correct cards will be at hand.
- One of my favorite suggestions, to help students to be "better wordsmiths", to write the numbers 1 to 10 on separate slips of paper and drop them in a hat. Have the child write ten sentences about a favorite thing (ie sports team, or band). But before they write, they must pull from the hat. If the number nine was drawn first, then the sentence must be nine words long; if the number three is picked, the sentence must be three words long. "It only takes a few of those exercises until they don't need them anymore."
- The article also says that most middle schoolers have given up the minute-to-minute "what I did at school today" conversations in lieu of "nothing". They say, instead of asking the child as soon as they walk in the door what they did at school, ask them 20 minutes before bedtime, and a sleepy middle schooler is more likely to chat. :) My oldest used to tell me all about her day, the whole 10-15 min. walk from school was her talking... not anymore. Not a word. I've even tried more than "What did you do at school today?" I have tried: "Anything weird happen today?" "Did anything cool happen today?" "Did anyone unusual get in trouble today?" "Who did you eat lunch with today?" Nada, zip... Scary how the doors of communication close... This is not good for a worrier like me.
- Make math hands on; have kids make their own games and puzzles.
- Take math outside; walk around outdoors and study patters of seashells, pine cones, spiderwebs, etc.
- Take math on vacation; enjoy shapes and patterns of landscapes.
- Encourage kids to keep a sketchbook and observation notebook to write or sketch about what they see.
- Make charts and graphs with your children, such as rates of growth, weather, school sports, household task completion or donations to charities.
- Encourage interest in architecture such as drawing plans for rooms, houses or gardens.
- Keep sport stats.
- Play with codes, such as sending an affectionate message in code or have them write you a note in code.
- Take math into the kitchen, dividing recipes, measuring, cutting apples, etc.
- Make math a holiday event; make a mobile or mosaic or cut our stars or snowflakes. Talk about balance, symmetry and measurement.
- Throw a math party; map a treasure hunt or shape a cake into numbers.
- Encourage math activities, without necessarily using the word math. This makes some kids nervous.
- Encourage students with verbal ability to see the connections to math; ie poetic meter, or palindromes.
- Don't rush in. Don't solve the problems for the children, let them work at it.
- Don't be reluctant to expose children to difficult concepts.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (If you celebrate. :))
Friday, November 16, 2007
Some of their writing prompt ideas:
- Use old family photos as writing prompts. They can write what they see, and this may also trigger topics such as what their own daily life is like, smells from their childhood kitchens, tastes and more.
- Grab paint chips from a paint selection area and have the child write a story or poem using one or all of the imaginative paint color names.
- Use a cookbook or recipe for inspiration. The story can talk about the food, what occasion it was made for, who the guests were, or a silly story about what happened after the guests ate it.
- Bubble Trouble: sticky notes cut into circles and placed on family photos, magazine pictures, or newspaper articles for the child to fill in with what they think the people are thinking or saying.
- Caption Action: Cut out newspaper cartoons and leave off the words. Encourage the child to make up their own version.
- Quote catcher: Designate a small board (bulletin, chalk, white/wipe-off) in a central area and encourage family (or class) members to post their favorite quotes. The "simple exercise of writing another's words teaches kids how well-written words flow."
- share/write your story, try to get family members to participate, as well. I try to do this in my scrapbooking.
- write notes to your child. I also try to do this, and when I student taught, I did this for the students, as well and put them in their desks, in their journals, etc. to let them know I thought they were special, as I try to do for my own girls.
- Keep a journal and have your child see you writing in it.
- Encourage written thank you notes. I don't see too many people doing this... but I do it. Even things that aren't tangible gifts. For instance, my daughter got more one-on-one time with the piano teacher yesterday and the teacher took special time to teach her a fun, new song: Over the river-a Thanksgiving tune! My daughter had so much fun! So, I sent the teacher a thank you note today. I truly feel it is a dying art.
- Use a dictionary and keep several handy around the house.
- Be encouraging, not critical of your child's work.
- Limit television and computer use and listen to "books on tape when driving so children can begin to hear well-written language."
"Research indicates that the number of different words a child is exposed to in the early years is a key predictor of future reading and academic success."
- Word of the weekend: post a word of the weekend on the fridge and challenge each other to slip it in casually to conversation over the weekend. The first person to do so gets to pick the following weekend's word. (could do word of the week for a classroom)
- Play word games like Scrabble, crossword puzzles, etc.
- Vocabulary Vertigo: Write child's weekly words (spelling, vocabulary, or make up your own themed list) on bright, colored index cards and tape them to the ceiling over their bed (or reading area in the classroom!) Decorate them with stars, planets, etc. and expand your child's linguistic galaxy.
- Ransom letters: Have your child cut up old magazines and newspapers. They can choose big, fun, bold fonts, or words, pasting them together to write letters, "stories or phrases with eye-catching appeal. "
Create a Play
The Story Starter
Magnetic Poetry for kids, online
Word of the day
Online dictionary/thesaurus, word games, etc.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
A related note: I'm contemplating baking multiple loaves of quick breads for neighbors, instead of cookies, this Christmas. We get plates of cookies, we all give plates of cookies. How about a loaf of zucchini bread, a loaf of strawberry bread, a loaf of pumpkin bread... and what for the fourth? I have a "fa la la la latte loaf" or eggnog loaf that is good. Or the old standby of banana. Anyway, nicely wrapped, something different?
Back to missing my oven and baking... Any good recipes I can dream about?
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Then I ate, showered, daily activities, then headed to the running store to resign with my marathoner in training group.
Watched my football team win, then headed over to the hubby's parents' house for a wonderful dinner and family time. Was great, as hubby's grandparents were in from out of town and it was so great to see them. Got a few good pictures, too.
All for now. Hope your weekend is going well!
Friday, November 02, 2007
In other news, my oldest signed up for "Jazz band" at school and will start practicing next week. I enjoy jazz music so I'm interested to hear them. I hope she follows through and practices the necessary amount... so far, for regular band, she has been lax in bringing home her horn to practice... hopefully that will improve.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
I subbed a few days this week, tomorrow will make three. I'm headed back to first grade to a class I did last week. I enjoyed them immensely, so I look forward to the task.
I have ran four times since the marathon, totaling fourteen miles. Nice, easy runs. It's been windy, and I don't like running in the wind. Although, it's been nice to get out running. A few days the schedule didn't allow it.
The husband's grandparents are coming down for the weekend so I look forward to that visit. As well as scrapbooking at a nearby store tomorrow night. Have to get working on some gifts for Christmas! I also have to mail out the thankful letters soon, too!! :)
That's all for now. Anyone else trying to post every day in November? :)
Thursday, October 25, 2007
As I have previously mentioned, I am not a big fan of shopping. Shopping for myself is my least favorite shopping (unless we're talking scrapbook materials or books, the I could look for hours). And then there's the running items... You saw my watch and the joy I got from it. And my family's gift of running shoes that I loved. Thank goodness my husband spoils me. :)
Well, I got to get new running shoes today. Mine had over 600 running miles, not counting that I (this a big no-no in the running community:) wear them for my everyday shoes, too.... I couldn't get new shoes after hitting the 500 mile mark (the mark all sources say shoes are not good for running feet anymore) because I would need work at breaking them in for the marathon. Anyway, now that the marathon is over... I got some new, beautiful, comfortable, and did I mention new? shoes. :)))) They are orange. I like orange. :) They are great. Ahhhh. I might sleep in them....
Just kidding. :)
Here it is:They do have me dreaming of doing another marathon... spring or a year from now, with a half marathon in the spring? Hmmm, "what's next" is the running question to ponder.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
The teaching has been very fun. I look forward to returning tomorrow. And my muscles have probably benefited from being on my feet most of the day: stretching without being too strenuous.
I have a "to-do" list of scrapbooks and crafts I would like to get done by Dec. 31 but we'll see. I have Thankful Feather Cards to finish up so I can get those mailed this week. (see October 27, 2006 for explanation.) My husband would like to change it up a bit this year, so I will keep you posted as to what "feathers" transpire this year. I am handmaking the cards this year. They all have leaves, acorns and "thankful" in some form or another.
That's all for now. Going to go try to get the last of the aforementioned cards done. Hope all is well for you, on this day.
- To encourage the children to lengthen their stories and use more detail, they had gloves at their desks (the cheap, knit kind) that said "beginning" on the thumb, "middle" on the next three fingers, and "end" on the pinky. Then when they were rereading their stories, to see if they needed more, they could put the glove on to double check. A small thing, really, that just helps them not to get in a hurry to move onto their next work by making a two sentence story. This was a simple reminder to make it five. :)
- In the calendar area of the room, where they meet everyday, there was a pocket chart. It had $$ in it. Fake coins, actually. The "helper of the day" had to make the amount of change four different ways for the day of school-example, it was the 39th day of school, so there had to be four different ways to make 39 cents on the pocket chart. :)
- The teacher had a 30 sided dice so, when playing a game, reading aloud, etc, where kids all raised their hands and wanted to help, she rolls the dice. The number up is chosen.
- On the word wall, the children's names were up under the first letter, and it had a picture of them beside it. :) A simple way to make them feel special.
- For the lunch count (in the school system I am teaching in, they have to choose lunch A-today was pizza, lunch B-today was Chef Salad and breadstick, lunch C-is always peanut butter and jelly crustable, or packed a lunch) they had to choose a piece of (again fake) coin/money to tell what they were having. Lunch A is a nickel, B is a dime, C is a quarter and pack is a penny.
- There was a very large construction paper pumpkin up in the back of the room covered with fall words, in case they were doing journals or story writing and needed to spell a fall word.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Moles... not the furry, blind kind that dig in your yard. Nope, I had another skin mole removed today. My day to rest from the marathon marred by surgery. The dermatologist said he wanted to remove 3 in the same area, and I requested to wait after the marathon. He said I could, as it wasn't immediately necessary, but then I should come in the very next day... so surgery 1 of 3 today. It went much better than the surgery of a year and a half ago: this was 20 minutes at most, four stitches, still not super painful. Maybe doing it the day after the marathon helps by using the leg pain as a distraction? :)
I hope your fall day is as beautiful as mine is currently!!
Update... few hours later, after anesthesia has worn off...ok, now it's painful... :)
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I tried to enjoy the ride this time. I took in the sights (like being on the Ohio State Campus) and people (there was a "princess" in a tutu, tiara and see through white tights! Ach! As well as a lady with MSU Spartan heads on her calves). The start was completely packed, downtown, from side to side, the streets were so full, I could not stretch, I only had room to stand! It was a sea of people running down the street in front of me, and it took me three minutes to get to the start line after the horn to "GO!" went off. The weather started out good at 58 degrees. It finished hot, however. :) Then I got sick on the way home. I don't think my stomach was ready for the "after" race, Gatorade.
I am very sore; arms, legs, abs, back... I haven't been able to catch the phone when it rang because I'm moving to slow and painfully. :) But, I've showered and napped. I slept the best during my nap that I've slept in the last few days, due to nerves. :)
I do still have all my toenails. :) I also still have the temporary tattoos the girls put on me last night: a snail on my calf, a star on one shoulder and a pair of wings on the other shoulder. Oh, my time was 4hours, 22 min. I was 641/1348 women, and 107/217 for my age group.
Anyway, I finished my second marathon and I'm happy about that. :) Thanks to the well-wishers!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I've got a portion of my "gear" ready; the gu, the ipod, the outfit...
And wow, am I getting nervous! :) I'm ready for it to be here, to get it underway. Although, I'm sure the next few days will pass quickly enough.
We had a great time with family this past weekend. Got some great pumpkins from my mom and dad. (See right). I almost hate to carve them. The yellow one has stem on both sides, thus my husband said it was a Frankenstein pumpkin, so maybe it's found it's "to-be-carved face".
That's all for now. I will update more, soon.
Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, October 15, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
I got my short runs in-twelve last weekend-and a few runs in during the week. The weather changed drastically to cold temperatures. My runs seemed long, slow and sluggish this week. I am worried about the marathon-its temps, as well as my ability. I just realized this week that my goal (3 hours and 45 minutes) is only five minutes off the qualifying time for Boston Marathon in the spring. Hmmm. If I make it, I will train in the winter, the dark and cold, to run a hilly, people-packed race right around my birthday... if not, well, I need a new plan. We shall see a week from Sunday.
My oldest daughter finished out her cross country season this week with a good, strong race on a hilly course with a distance longer than she normally runs: her race courses are usually 2 miles, this last one was 2.5. She did great.
My youngest will be finishing her soccer season tonight. She has found the position she loves is defense, and second best is midfield. We will see if that's the same in the fall.
Today my husband and I both blocked the day off from work/subbing and went to see the William Wegman exhibit at a local area art center. It was awesome-his postcard art, and my favorite: the weimaraner photographs. Wow. He has a sense of humor and great photographical eye.
Tonight I scrapbook after soccer, at my sister in laws,with the ladies. Then tomorrow we head to my parents' home in the town where I grew up for my niece's first birthday. Will be nice to see the family.
Hope your fall has started off wonderfully!
Monday, October 08, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
In other news, I am still in the kindergarten classroom, subbing for a teacher who is ill. Boy, those kids wear me out. They are walking (or running!) bundles of energy. They are fun little people, they just wear me out. I've gotten a lot of hugs and a student even brought me an "apple for the teacher" this week. It was so cool. The teacher will be back part time on Monday and Tuesday and see how she feels. I haven't been able to get every thing done at home, but that's ok, I'm doing one of my favorite things: teaching! My frozen meals from two weeks ago sure have come in handy on the busy nights! We had a few chilly nights this week and it was nice to have a warm, filling casserole for dinner. My husband said again that one of them was the best thing I'd made, ever: "thumbs up"! :) It was easy and froze well, except I didn't put the crumbs and butter on top until I thawed it. Here's the recipe:
Chicken Noodle Casserole
1/2 c plus 2 T butter, divided
1/2 c all-purpose flour
3 c rich chicken stock
2 c sour cream
1/2 c white wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb egg noodles, cooked 6 to 7 minutes
4 1/2 c cooked chicken, cut into pieces
1 lb mushroom, sliced and cooked
1 c soft bread crumbs
1/2 c Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Clean and slice the mushrooms and sauté in a 2 tablespoons butter until soft and slightly browned, about 7 minutes.
Remove crusts from 2 or 3 slices of fresh bread and with steel blade in food processor, process bread until soft crumbs form.
Melt 1/2 cup butter in a saucepan, over medium heat, and whisk in the flour. Cook 1 minute. Gradually add stock, sour cream and wine. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste and blend well. Arrange the noodles in an ovenproof casserole. Layer chicken, mushrooms then sauce to cover.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and mix with the bread crumbs. Top the casserole with the buttered crumbs and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through and bubbly.
Serving idea: have with buttered green beans and biscuits.
Hope your week went well!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
- handmade arts-to buy, not auction... And I just like looking at what they pick for the day as "inspiration". :) http://www.etsy.com/
- Inspirational billboards... I really liked the Helen Keller billboard.... http://www.forbetterlife.org/be_inspired/billboards.asp
- I'm sure I've mentioned www.woot.com and maybe even http://wine.woot.com/ but I just now found http://shirt.woot.com/ (some shirts are weird, some wines are a bit expensive, but a fun thing to check out now and then)
- And lastly (for today :)) is scrapblog: a scrapbook + blog combo. I thought it interesting although I haven't played around with it http://www.scrapblog.com/
I am working everyday, too; subbing in kindergarten, currently. A friend came down with an illness leaving her in the hospital from last Sunday to yesterday, so I've had her class all week, and will all next week, as well. She's a dear lady, and I'm lucky to be in her class! There are 23 students in the morning and 21 in the afternoon. They're great kids, and I'm lucky they know me from assessments at the beginning of the year, so they are accustomed to seeing me there. It's also nice to know where I will be each day, with subbing I may get a call at 6am, letting me know what school needs a substitute, and it could be one of fifteen elementary schools. This way I can develop a stronger relationship with the kids, as well. A day here and there makes it hard, because I'm not their "real teacher". This way I can get to know them a bit better. I believe that helps me to teach, knowing their needs/strengths in learning.
My grandparents are heading here tomorrow, here overnight. They haven't been in about a year and a half, so it will be nice to have them see our patio, our girls' activities, etc.
With company coming, I've been trying to clean when I am home for lunch or between work and taking the girls to their activities. I've run out of hours in the day! :) This makes me appreciate the meals I cooked last week and froze! We've had a few of them! My husband even said one (cannelloni with cheese sauce, although I couldn't find cannelloni at our store, so I used manicotti) was the best food he'd eaten! He ate about three helpings and had leftovers, too! :) Yesterday was a New England style pot roast. It had parsnips, which I love roasted, and turnips. It was interesting, although not a favorite, with the children or myself.
My oldest child took her time down by another thirty seconds at her cross country race on Tuesday. She's been working at finding her strength and speed. She's fifth or sixth on the team, depending on the race, but she works hard, is improving almost every race and is having fun!! All are the most important reasons for running...
My youngest is working hard at school, as well as soccer (she loves defense but hates being goalie!). She's in third grade and found out yesterday that her reading level is just above 6th grade reading level. She's the highest in her class and thrilled. She also worked hard on her practice math on Tuesday to do well on her math quiz yesterday, getting all the answers right! Both girls are so smart, if I do say so (yes, I am a bit biased! :)) Two people I am so thankful for! :)
With teachers and friends I know coming down with different illnesses, family problems, etc, I am reminded again, how very blessed I am. I was thankful in my last post to remind myself of all that is good in my life, because sometimes I get frustrated and don't remember those things. (Like when I dwelled on 18 instead of 22 miles....)
Hope you're happy as well, reader. Take care!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
- wonderful teachers & schools
- a terrific family & great friends-soooo many fantastic people in my life
- the means to buy groceries to feed my family
- my faith and my God
- autumn and cooler days!
- feeling great when I ran today & the ability to run
- my home, and my country where I have many freedoms, such as the freedom of speech
- meals prepared before my husband walks in the door, and his kisses when he does :)
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Sunday I made a plan/searched for "make ahead freezer meals" online. Found about ten I liked and put together a grocery list. I also planned for lunch items for the girls' packed lunches and easy dinners slid in here and there.
Then yesterday I did it: shopped for two+ hours, two full shopping carts, and a van load of money to pay for it all. Then I came home to cook 6lbs. of chicken, 5lbs. of ground beef, and two rolls of sausage. I also cleaned out the pantry to make room for everything I had bought.
Then today, I assembled three of the dishes (cooking pasta, cutting vegetables, putting everything together), and cleaned out the freezers to make room for completed dishes.
Still more to finish tomorrow, but then I will have about ten meals, more if counting leftovers, ready even on busy nights! I'm excited. Just a few days of cleaning the kitchen up after cooking.
That's all for now. I will post the good recipes! :) Hope your week is going well!
Monday, September 03, 2007
It is so much fun reading books with my daughters, sharing our thoughts and surprises, enjoying books together!
As I mentioned, my oldest ran in her first invitational. She was a bit nervous... then she saw the 22 other teams and was very nervous! The other parents noticed that she was a bit pale about 1/4 the way through. She adjusted and worked hard. She ran her best and ended up beating her best time by 30 seconds! She did great! My parents came in town so they could be there. It was great to have them running around the course cheering for her, too. :) They enjoyed it as well! And my oldest was thrilled to have them here.
I haven't gotten a full time teaching job, though I have still been busy working. I have been doing kindergarten assessments since school started and have one more day at it, tomorrow. The teacher is there, but more can be tackled if there's help! We ask the children questions and have them do tasks to see the current levels where they are beginning kindergarten. They are such interesting little people at this age. Beginning school for the first time, some are excited, some are nervous, some inquisitive, some already knowing how to read, others hungry to learn. It is a fun time to see the children enter their school year. I enjoy it. It is fun for me later in the year, also, when this teacher calls me to be her substitute, to see how the children have changed, and grown.
It was nice to have my husband home for the day. We went as a family to a nearby city park and walked, looking at the ponds and gardens. See the frog at right, who floated lazily in the sun, thinking he was hidden...
Back to school tomorrow, a four day week, and next week, into the swing of a full week. Fall is on its way, and summer is saying goodbye. Hope all is well with you, reader.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Some foolish person (ahem, me) scheduled a neighborhood (6 families and ours) get together at our house for today. Yes, today. We... I mean I wanted to have the party on the patio before the start of school, sports, etc. Only now there is pending rain in the forecast. Can you believe it? Drought conditions for months and now some rain on my patio party. Well, good company and wine will cheer me up. :)
Other information from earlier this month: we went to Cedar Point with family. I wasn't keen on the idea because I don't like heights, speed or twirling until you lose your lunch. However, my husband does, my children wanted to try it... you know. Well, we got there with my brother-in-law and his family, went to Soak City (I'm not a fan of water, either.. I'm rather wimpy :)) We had a nice evening there, then the next morning, onto the roller coasters! My husband said, "Come on the Iron Dragon. It's not bad at all." When he saw my pale face after, he stopped asking me to ride. I had fun with my daughters and little nephews! I also had fun taking photos! My daughters fared much better, braving things that made them nervous. It was a fun time had by all. (FYI, I'm brave about other things like big dogs and riding horses.... Really.) :)
I haven't informed about anything lately, so:
My daughters were in the mood to listen to "kids' music" instead of our usual contemporary Christian, so I broke out some of our old favorites. Some of them are quite funny, and poetic in their words! Here they are:
- Great Big Sun by Justin Roberts
- My Best Friend is a Salamander, and My Green Kite by Peter Himmelman
- Evergreen Everblue by Raffi
- Rhinoceros Tap, Philadelphia Chickens and Dog Train by Sandra Boynton
- Silly Songs
- Songs I Heard by Harry Connick, Jr.
- Hey, It's Franklin (based on Franklin the turtle from the Franklin books for kids)
Currently, I wait for the clock so I can go for my long run. 19 miles today. I was so exhausted and sore after 17, and the weather has been so hot and humid that I am very nervous for today's run. It should take about three hours. I should be ready to eat and nap when it's over. Hopefully the chafing I've experienced in recent weeks isn't a factor today, but I suspect it might be. The purple toenail I have that "serves as a badge of honor", so says the running store owner, hadn't been bothering me, so I hope that's true today, as well. Our group has plenty of water and Gatorade stops, so we can stay well hydrated, I have my three packs of gu, the ipod, and my watch. I took it a bit easy this week, due to the heat index over 100. I know to be careful in the heat, but I still feel guilty not achieving what the schedule says.
I got my hair cut two weeks ago. Very short, shorter than I've had in a while. It's fun, low maintenance and cute on me, but hard to keep out of my face on run days. "Bobby pins" will have to do. I hope they hold for three hours.
School starts this coming week and both girls are very excited. We went school shopping and paid an arm and a leg, as both girls have grown an inch over the summer! Of course nothing they had still fits them...
Our oldest had her first cross country scrimmage this past week, in the heat. She ran a smart race; starting slow, picking off people and getting faster as she went. She had a good time!
My youngest has started soccer and knows many girls on her team. She's excited to start a more regular practice schedule.
Well, it's time to head off on the run, I will write more later. Take care!
Friday, August 03, 2007
The humidity is supposed to move off tonight for most of tomorrow, but not the heat, so camping in our pop up camper should be fun!! :)
My quest/hope for a teaching job hasn't led anywhere, yet, but I'm still hopeful, looking at the positives. :) School doesn't start for another month... :) I got out my tubs of information I've been saving for years and cut it down from two tubs to one, recycling all those notes from college classes with abbreviations I no longer remember the meaning of... Some pages I have far too many copies of, when I only need one... These types of things. I also have begun reviewing some of the newest, most relevant information, just in case...
The girls are growing up so fast, at our house. My oldest careening towards cross country practice-a school organized sport and 7th grade, as well. My youngest racing to grow up just as fast and in the process, growing up faster than it seems our first did! She's very excited about heading to third grade!! Counting down the days.
I am reading a new book that was recommended to me: Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy through Jokes I am always looking for a nonfiction book to read, but one I will like... This came highly recommended as very funny and fun to read-while you're learning! :) So, I thought I'd try it. I'm only on the first couple pages, so I will keep you posted on that.
My garden looks awful-the heat is scorching it and the lawn, despite repeated watering. Although the beetles seem to be less...
That's all I have from here! Have a great weekend, reader!!
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
That's all for today; I just wanted to share the joy I feel over seeing kids be excited about God/Faith and singing with happiness. It's totally contagious and very fun to be a part of it!! :)
Monday, July 30, 2007
The grandparents' anniversary party was terrific; many family, good food, games of cornhole, including a family bracket/tournament and great weather! We got to see children we hadn't seen in a year, so they'd changed quite a bit. The grandparents hadn't had a cake at their wedding 60 years ago, and got one this weekend, even feeding it to each other which was a treat! I took about 200 photos (the count, of course, is before deleting the not-so-great photos or pictures my husband took of me when I was unaware...)
The thunderstorms also ruined my plans for getting my thirteen miler in on Friday, but I was determined to tackle it on my own Saturday before heading out to the family get together. I did it!! My ipod lost the results again, which stunk. I didn't get to see my average per mile time, but the total was 1 hour and 54 minutes.
I am taking the girls to pool in just a few minutes, but wanted to get a blog in. I hope the end of July is treating you well and the beginning of August greets you warmly...
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The workers will come and tighten up the cords for the lights tomorrow, after we have decided that we like their positioning. Other than that, we are done! Yeah! Well, they will put in one small "decorative shrub/tree" to the right of the arbor, but they will be done-totally done-tomorrow.
There is someone here, today, also replacing my garage door and I'm happy that will be done, as well! All except for the $$$, that is. :)
I ran the scheduled 14 miles this past weekend and OUCH! I felt great about the 13, but the 14 was the "unlucky number" for me last week. This week we go back down to 13, though, so I can drop that 14th. I'm sure part of my problem was that we did two mega hills in the midst of the 14. Ugh. Anyway, I tried the GU again and it went great.
I finished the latest Harry Potter book-not one to give anything away, it was a proper ending, I thought. There were rumors at the local library today that there would be an eighth book... Though this wasn't what the rumors said, this was what was written about an eighth. I got several new books from the library today, hoping to enjoy them on the new patio, but school is zooming close very quickly!
We are heading out of state this weekend (so my run will have to be on my own...uh oh!) for my husband's maternal grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary! What a special occasion and so many family members will be there, some we haven't seen in quite a while! We're all looking forward to it.
That does it from here. Hope your summer is going well-glad to hear Isabelle isn't totally flooded out! I have wondered if you were in the midst of the water!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The patio is almost finished. There is to be an arbor on the left side of it, but it hasn't been put in yet. Other than that, it's done.This is the view to the right from the hubby's den window, and the new table we got. The arbor will be at the bottom right of the photo. In this second photo, you can see the ground level and the firepit. Sorry about the screen in the photo, it's another one from hubby's den window.
We've already eaten almost all our meals out there! :)
In running news, I made the 13.1 miles in 1 hour and 48 minutes on Saturday! I was so happy! That was right where I hoped I'd be. This week: 14! This week's four and five mile runs have taken some working up to. I think I need a break, but can't take one. I ran with the oldest daughter at cross country workout yesterday (run by a pair of parents, not official or required). It was fun; they got to see their course, some of them for the first time. It is FLAT! So, hopefully some PR's ahead! :) They ran the course (2 miles) slow just to see where it was, got some water and stretched, and then ran it again trying to get their second mile better than their first. My oldest girl ran it pretty well for her first time, and having ran two miles previous to the actual workout. She did great!
This weekend the husband finished taking down the girls' wooden swingset/playset because they are too big to fit in it! He got down to the last few parts, and asked the girls to clean up the small things while he finished tearing it down...I said, be careful! Those nails are dangerous, they can go through those plastic shoes, etc. Well, the husband says that I worry too much, they'll be fine...and nolonger were the words out of his mouth and he steps on a nail!!! Right up through the shoe, and sock and into his foot-quite a long nail. OUCH! I took him to the urgent care office, where he got a tetanus shot and some antibiotics because the dr. said his shoes were "like a petri dish" waiting to spread germs; that he'd have been better off to step on it in bare feet. I did not say "I told you so"... but my husband did say to the girls, as we left for the urgent care: Girls, this is why you should always listen to your mother. :) He's doing fine, walking on it ok, now.
While we were at the hospital my husband said the nail wasn't rusty...but there was a poster in the office that said "tetanus shots aren't just for rusty nails anymore", that they were for anything that punctures the skin like bee stings, splinters or nails. They used to be good for 7 years, but now they're good for ten years.
In reading news, I finished Water for Elephants, which went fast, but was graphic in some spots, I thought. Not a favorite for me, although I did love the different perspectives of the old and young. I also finished The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, which is the latest in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. I read the first two or three and liked them in previous summers. I saw the latest in the library and thought I'd pick it up. I enjoyed it and it went by quickly, as well. I am still in the middle of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone with my youngest daughter. We're reading it together. She didn't think she'd like it (mainly because my oldest read the first two and declared that she didn't like the books...) But my youngest likes fairies, magic, fantasy, etc, so I thought she'd like it. She hates when we put it down, now! I am also still in the middle of the Mysterious Benedict Society with my oldest, as well. They are enjoying their summer reading of other books as well! They have been so great about trying new books instead of sticking with the same series as they may have done in years past. They knew what they liked and only wanted to read those. I sometimes get like that myself, (ie the Tea Shop Mysteries)!! :)
Well, enough for now. I'm off to put furniture back where it belongs, as my husband cleaned the carpets last evening.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
The patio is coming along nicely, should be done not this Friday, but the next. It's been slow progress week due to the holiday in the middle and they couldn't come Monday because some of the crew were unable to get here. They have a good base of the wall stones up and are beginning the paver stone work, as well as a LOT of sand and gravel brought in and leveling done. The dogs have not enjoyed the process, but they are surviving. I don't remember if I'd mentioned that our Weim has figured out how to open the door? And he chased a worker to his truck on Tuesday...Other than that, he's been pretty good. :) I recalled that I hadn't sent pictures of my Weim (I don't think...) so, here he is in our backyard in June. Meet Merlin. I will post pics of the patio when it's complete.We had a nice Fourth of July, actually on the 3rd, we headed to the big town nearby for their huge show.It was difficult to take pictures, but I tried. We went with my in laws and had a nice evening of it. Then on the 4th, we had dinner at the in laws' house, as well. A very nice day.
Vacation Bible School went extremely well, and the week totally flew by. We only had 40 elementary aged children this time, so that was smaller than in years past, but fun nonetheless. I have thoroughly enjoyed having the girls home for summer vacation and it has flown by, as well. I can't believe it's already July and zooming along towards August!!
That's all for now. I have to go get daughter #2 from piano lessons. Hope you're enjoying your July!
Friday, June 22, 2007
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Relationship? cornerstone
3. Your hair? bobbed
4. Work? teacher
5. Your sister? in-law
6. Your favourite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? jumbled
8. Your favourite drink? latte
9. Your dream car? free (I liked that one, Isabelle!)
10. The room you're in? kitchen
11. Your shoes? none
12. Your fears? joblessness
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? healthy
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? family
15. What are you not good at? cooking
16. Muffin? sweet
17. Wish list item? familytime
18. Where you grew up? michigan
19. The last thing you did? classwork
20. What are you wearing? shorts
21. What are you not wearing? shoes
22. Your pet? Weimaraner
23. Your computer? communication
24. Your life? busy
25. Your mood? Positive :)
26. Missing? family
27. What are you thinking about? coffee
28. Your car? essential
29. Your kitchen? redecorate
30. Your summer? patio
31. Your favourite colour? blue
32. Last time you laughed? morning
33. Last time you cried? week
34. School? vacation
35. Love? much
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Hot: My dad called this week and said he had extra tickets to the NASCAR race in Michigan. Now, I know most people think NASCAR is boring, not fun to watch, etc, but I've really become interested in it in the last three years or so. It's something my dad has always been interested in and it's something we have in common. Once you get into the strategy of it, and watch the shorter track races it can really be interesting! Anyway, he, my mom, a coworker of my dad's and his wife had seats and then Dad had these two extras. Did I want to go to my first race? YES! :) My hubby and I met them at the track, after dropping the girls off at my grandparents'. We had wonderful seats; we could see the whole race and it wasn't too loud because we were higher up. It was extremely hot and sunny, however. If you've read my previous posts, you know I'm a sunscreen fanatic. I was very good about putting it on every hour! My hubby did, too, and was disappointed the next day that he had no tan. :) We were out in the sun from about 12:30 to 4:30...Our seats were on bleachers, metal bleachers, and you could feel the heat radiating off them, and shining down on you. But I had a great time! One of my favorite drivers started in 41 and ended 3, so it was good for him. My dad's least favorite always wins when my dad attends a race. I told him for Father's Day I'd try to break his streak: and it worked! :) His two least favorites didn't do so well. :)
Cold: I am sadly in love of a Starbucks drink. A big conglomerate, who puts the "little guy" out of business...But Starbucks employees are perfectly trained to be positive, cheerful and happy whenever I go in to get the "Grande, nonfat iced vanilla late". MMM. With the weather being hot and dry here, the hot coffees don't sound as good. So, the above drink has become my favorite. Bad for the wallet, for sure, and bad for the "little guy" coffee places, although there aren't any near my house... but a nice little treat for me if I just have it now and then.
In an hour or so, I am heading to a Vacation Bible School cohort's house so we can all put some of the decorations together and finish ironing out our plans for next week's evening Bible School. Then it's on to class number 3's second lesson! I finished class number two over the weekend and started number three yesterday.
The three companies vying for our patio have all brought plans and prices and we've chosen. I had the job of letting down the two we didn't choose and calling the third to let him know he'd be doing our patio. We're excited: it starts next week! :)
That's all for now, hope your summer is progressing nicely!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I have not yet ran today and contemplated not: I have a pain in my back. I don't have this issue normally, but it's making me run awkwardly and uncomfortably. I need to get five miles in today, though. I am looking forward to tackling the ten on Saturday; the double digit mileage is looming large in front of me. Hopefully I don't psych myself out!
Not sure if I mentioned that we're having patio estimates done these last two weeks, had plans presented to us this week and hope to make a decision this Friday. Hopefully... :)
So far, plants in the garden are looking great. Although, the adjustments I made earlier this season, to reduce beetle infestation, have made things look awkward. I am used to full and bright plants, but the first seasons of perennials don't end up that way. They look thin and sparse, even with feeding and watering. It is early summer, so hopefully they will come around. Then in the fall or next spring I can rearrange some things.
That's all for today, onto more class homework. I am almost done with class two!
*note, I didn't get any homework done this afternoon! Some friends called and asked if we'd go to a waterpark. Not like slides and rafting, but a playground, with a waterpad nearby. The waterpad shot out water, filled buckets on poles which then dumped down, and a tunnel with water spraying. The kids loved it and we were there for hours! When they were tired of one park they went onto the other (the playground without water or the pad with water)! We applied and reapplied the sunscreen and they still had lots of fun! :) Hope your summer's going as "sunnily". :)
Saturday, June 09, 2007
First, let me say that I got a discount from being in the marathoner in training program, I didn't pay full price! :) Next, I think my husband will tease me if I wear it all the time, but it does match my running shoes and fit so comfortably! :) Anyway, it will be nice to keep time on those long runs and when I don't take the ipod. I looked for some race ready shorts, but they didn't have any. Race ready means there is a little pocket sewn onto the inside of the waist band so you can take gu, or something like it with you, without having to wear a pouch or belt. During my first marathon, I didn't eat anything and that was not smart. This year I'm introducing some things into my training sessions to get used to them before the marathon. I am not a big fan of the synthetic gu's because of their textures...well I wasn't on 2005...I got a few of them just to try, but I also got some energy beans which are like jelly beans and some other chews which are like gummy bears. My next long run is on Saturday: 10 miles, so I will take one and try it!
Other news: The kids are sooo excited about summer vacation: Monday's the last day of school! The husband is at a local conference this weekend for his work. I am working on my classes online (um, except when I was running, going to the running store and blogging...) The weather is beautiful and the girls are washing my car-for fun! :) Hope your weekend goes great!
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I thought it would be fun to have a wonderbox for each of the girls this summer. They can wonder, and we can (on one of our almost daily trips to the library) seek out the answer! :)
Sunday, June 03, 2007
I've been subbing a lot lately, three days a week is the regular, now, but that will end in the next two weeks when school is out. Then, I have a few things planned for the summer with the girls: riding bikes on the bike path, our usual library outings, impromptu camping trips, zoo trips, and we're getting a pool pass for the first time this year.
I'm also working on details for the "second annual wine party" as well. We are currently getting patio estimates and are hoping to have the party as soon as the patio is complete!
Well, that is the latest from here. Hope your June is starting well!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
In a moment...I will go to the last band concert for my oldest, this school year. She has her first solo on her double horn. I can't believe these two girls will be done with school in less than a month!
A friend called and her father-in-law had died. He'd been in and out of the hospital with coughing up blood and no one had checked his lungs for cancer. In a short time, after finding the tumor, he was gone. We never know how many moments we have.
In a moment, tempers can flare and frustrations rise... The siding manufacturer sent us a letter denying responsibility or defect... so my husband called and said "so, what good is the warranty and what DO you cover??"
In a moment the kids grow up, move into summer vacation after finishing yet another grade level, and fit into my shoes and clothing. It's unbelievable how fast it flies by...
Thursday, May 10, 2007
(added note: Anyone tried anything new from the list?? Hope so! And hope your week is going well!)
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
My daughters had an early release from school, today, which means that they get out an hour early so teachers can have training of some sort. Currently, the youngest is practicing piano, for her lesson this evening, and the oldest is helping her. The oldest is also making art for the great grandparents who live in other states. They like the art and my daughters like to make it for them, if they are reminded to do so.
Last weekend the oldest daughter and I went on a middle schoolers' church retreat with 6, 7, and 8th graders Friday night through Saturday night, arriving home at 8:30 Saturday night. We had a prayer labyrinth with different stations to read a Bible verse and pray. It was very nice! We also went on an adventure walk with a low ropes course, and some getting to know you activities. It rained quite a bit and we were soaked clear through after our long hike. There were six adults, including me, the youth pastor and his wife, and 19 kids. We also had a prayer service and communion while we were there. We had a very nice time, but were both glad to be home.
I subbed yesterday and am scheduled to tomorrow, as well. I had two days last week and one scheduled for next week, too. Tomorrow's job, though, is with a student teacher who is doing most of the teaching, so I will be the back up teacher, so to speak.
I am currently reading "Chamomile Mourning" by Laura Childs, yes, I am continuing with the tea shop mysteries. :) I reserved the next one in the series from the library, also. We head to my husband's sister's house this weekend. We are to help her move out of her apartment and into her new, first house! It takes about two hours to drive to her current place, so I think I can get this tea mystery finished. :) Then next week we are going to visit my family and I will be finishing another then, I think. Which will mean I am caught up on the series.
As far as running goes, I only ran three times on our trip and since it's been sporadic. I ran 4 miles yesterday and am going to pop on the treadmill here in a few minutes. The wind outside makes me happy for the treadmill. :) I also walked a mile last night on it while I watched the American Idol results show. I was very pleased with the results. My daughters were very happy, too. :) I have given up other tv shows that we had been hooked into. Our vacation helped pull away from the tv. However, in the evenings, if the husband is working and my eyes are too tired to scrapbook or read, I have been watching reruns of MASH.
The girls have started the soccer season again, which means Monday, Wednesday and Friday have at least one soccer game scheduled, if not two. Also, Mondays and Thursdays hold piano lessons for the girls.
I have been trying to work in the evenings on the family 2006 album, and it's going rather well. I'm up to May 1st of last year! :) I usually put scrapbooking off so that I can get other things done... but there's always more to be done. So, I've been trying to get a page or two done a day at least.
The sun is shining on and off today, but was out all day yesterday! Still windy and chilly, but thankfully there is no snow!
Well, that is all for now. Hope all is going well with you!
Saturday, April 07, 2007
We drove, they in their car, and us in our van, each pulling campers; they pulling their hard camper and we pulled our pop up. We drove for about five hours on Friday, then stopped in a truck stop to pull over and sleep. We got up bright and early, grabbed some coffee from the "caffeine giant" and began our drive. We got to our campsites in sunny South Carolina and began our glorious vacation. The beach was not as commercial as the popular spots, the sands were white and the shells were plentiful.
During our week, we drove to Savannah, Georgia for the day one day, drove to Charleston, South Carolina on a different day, and spent quite a bit of our other time at the beach. The breezes off the ocean weren't sweltering, but they were wonderful in combination with the fabulous sun. For regular readers: you can be sure I religiously applied my sunscreen and came away with nary a tan. :) My oldest said, "You look white, Mom!" and I replied, "Thanks!" :) I applied sunscreen just as liberally to my two girls, but they did come away with a slight tan.
We got up each day, all 6 of us, except the days we drove to other cities, and searched for the "perfect shell". We were searching for conch shells but were unable to find any that didn't have cracks, holes or weather damage to them. There were quite a few shells to choose from and a variety of shell types, colors and shapes. We also got up bright and early and saw the sunrise one day, as well as took a night walk on the beach with our flashlights and glowsticks on a separate night.
Regular readers know I thoroughly enjoy scrapbooking and taking photos (although I'm not that great at it, I still love to do it! :)) My camera snapped and clicked away quite often this week. I got photos of alligators, egrets, crabs, pelicans, gulls and the cities we traveled to.
Then, yesterday, the wind picked up and a cold front moved through. It was absolutely freezing. We got packed up and headed on our way towards home... and all was fine until we hit some mountains and blizzard like conditions! We had to go very slow, as did everyone on the road, with hazard lights flashing and knuckles white. My husband did a great job maneuvering and ignoring my gasps. :) We got to the same truck stop that we stayed at on the way down and snuggled in for a chilly night's rest...then at 11:30, there were harsh raps on the side of my in laws' camper... "State police! Open up!"I must tell you that we were all startled out of sleep. The police officer proceeded to tell us that we needed to move our camper and sleep in a different area. He directed us to the back/far side of the stop, I believe, so that other stoppers (due to the snow!) could park in the many spots we were using.
We got up, got our caffeine, again, and drove towards home. We had to stop about two hours from home due to more snow and visibility issues. We made it home fine. The in-laws stopped for a late breakfast and we headed onward. This was before the second bout of snow. Then we called them on the cell phone and warned them. When they headed back on the highway, a car passed them and slid on the ice down into a ditch, causing them to swerve and slide all over the road! Some scary moments for them, but luckily, they were ok, and their vehicles were, too.
I have started the long process of editing photos and working on the mounds of laundry. My husband has unloaded the camper and taken it to the car wash bay to clean off the sand, road salt and muck.
While on the trip, I started reading the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs. I have mentioned her scrapbooking series, and that I wanted to start these. They didn't disappoint and I have devoured four of them. I am currently into the fifth. My mom had purchased them, and having borrowed all of them from her, I could just pick up the next one after I'd finished! :)
All in all, we had a wonderful vacation with great family time, superb weather and enjoyable sites to see.