Thursday, April 19, 2007

1 down, 2 to go

I finished my first online class today. I had to create a website for teachers/students and a "webquest" for kids to follow. So, I did, following each of the 12 steps. I had to email the teacher after each lesson, some reviews about articles she had students read (online, of course) and some additions to my site as I went along. The class was about computer integration into the classroom. The next two classes are multimedia and social studies standards.
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

Vacations on Sunny, Quiet Beaches

Hello! It feels like a long time since I was in the "electronic age" of email and blogs, when in reality, it's only been six days. My four family members and my parents-in-law headed out last Friday for a vacation in South Carolina. We returned home around lunch time today.
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.