Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh, Canada?

I have a turncoat daughter. In the past two weeks, Morgan has decided she likes Canada the best. Canada just won the Hockey game for the gold medal. I can't say I'm too disappointed because it was on their home ice and all. And I also think the Canadians appreciate the win more than Americans in general would have. I have a few other ideas too. When we first started watching the Olympics, Morgan exclaimed, "Look at their (USA) hats, the ones with the moose!" She fell in love. Well, so did everyone else in the country. Being that we hired Ralph Lauren to design the Olympic uniforms, the hats were a paltry $75. They disappeared fast and are now on eBay (only a few) for $350. That is America. Canada has awesome hats, mittens, and scarves that were for sale online for ~$25. They made plenty of them, and they are also on eBay for about $9-$25. I find it somewhat ridiculous - especially in such dire economic times. But I digress... Morgan's English class has "Food Friday." Morgan decided that she was going to participate and that it was going to be something special. She got the idea to make Canada cupcakes. I thought to myself, "Oh, yeah, I have a maple leaf cookie cutter and can make fondant and do that for her." Well, Thursday night was a doozy. Morgan had 3 tests on Friday. Roz had a test on Friday. Roz and Maddie had dance. I had a Relief Society quilting class to teach. Morgan made cupcakes with her friend and they study at the same time. I did the fondant. Morgan helped me drive the girls. Morgan also made Canada shirts for herself and Rachel. We fell into bed at 10:00 which was a miracle. Whoever you were rooting for, you have to admit that these cupcakes are most adorable!

Here is a shot of half the cupcakes. These little buggers were a big hit and I heard about them from her teachers and from other students. Morgan's English teacher recognized them immediately with, "Canada cupcakes!! Why?" Her response: "I like Canada." He then said, "Cool" and took a cupcake!

The second half of the Canada Day for Morgan was the creation of tshirts for her and her friend, Rachel. Morgan got the idea on her own and I think they are quite nice. She got a lot of comments on it!

Here is Morgan in my classroom, so you can also see where I spend the majority of my days, kindof.

And here is Rachel and Morgan proudly displaying Canada's colors. I just shrug and carry on, thankful that Morgan has a good time. So, congrats to Canada. They have a great anthem. Morgan has already memorized it.

Now I will say that I have always loved the Olympics. I thought that these athletes came together and competed and were so happy to be there and had never met these other athletes from other countries. These foreigners were completely unknown to them and every 4 years, they would meet up. I have always had a very "Pollyanna" attitude about things and I'll admit that I still do. I love the Olympics. We have watched coverage everyday. It has brought out family closer. We have had a lot to talk about and have cheered together for sports we never care about - bobsled, curling, biathlon, snowboard cross, etc. I can't wait for the summer Olympics in 2 years in London. It will be the summer and I'll be able to spend more time watching. I have also gotten a lot of knitting done. Farewell to the Olympics. I think I have done my job as a mother to pass on my passion for the Olympics to my children.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In a galaxy far, far away...

We went to the symphony last night for the John Williams Spectacular last night with the girls. Morgan was thrilled since she loves John Williams. Maddie was fine with going along. Rozzie was put upon, poor thing. They started the show with a piece from Harry Potter. Then Rozzie got into it. They did a number of songs from lesser known movies which we really enjoyed, too.
Then the last 1/4 of the show was all Star Wars, starting with the theme for 20th Century Fox. During the Star Wars part, people came out on stage dressed in their Star Wars costumes and Darth even took over conducting. After the show, the characters were out in the lobby for pictures and everyone really had a grand time with that. As you can see, they were happy to pose for pictures!!

It was a really nice time out with the family. It was my Valentine for everyone. For the encore, they played "Call of the Champions" which John Williams wrote for the opening ceremonies of the Salt Lake Olympics. we have it on CD and so were familiar with the song. They had the Symphony Chorus for a few of the numbers and so they also sang for that last song, too. What a treat!!
And now for something completely different, Morgan finished her first pair of socks. She had made yoga socks which were toeless and heeless, so these ones were a little more involved. Look, ho!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ask Master Mu

Remember last May when Maddie's room was destroyed by a flood? It got all fixed and I painted the room and promised to stencil cat prints around it. I finally did it. I always think that these projects are going to be so much work and they never are. It took a few days because the paint brushes had to dry between uses, but it wasn't difficult work. Without further ado:
It isn't going to win any artistic awards or be featured in any magazines, but it is cute enough for a few years until we paint over it!!
When asked, Master Mu gave his approval and Maddie agreed!!
I'm just glad to have it done and off my list!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Things I Subject My Students To

Each day as my 70+ students walk into the classroom, they are expected to get their notebooks and sit down and start their "bellwork". This is a 5-10 minute exercise to teach a principle or review something we did yesterday. Sometimes it is a journal entry. Sometimes it is a reading passage. Sometimes it is a sentence to correct. These exercises come along with our textbooks and are always related to the subjects we are currently reading. A couple weeks ago a girl said, "Hey, these sentences are about the stuff we're reading!" Yes, isn't that funny. Then last week, a kid said, "Yeah, like on the ACT, like I had to find, like, what was wrong, in like, um, yeah, the sentence, just like these, um, things we always, like, gotta do, like, yeah. For real." Really? So then each day, I'm preparing you for the tests you will need to take? And I thought I was just trying to give you something to fill time while I took attendance. It is so nice to have validation!

Along with this bellwork, the students have a "word of the day" (WOD) to copy into their notebook. I have been asked why don't the authors just say "greedy" instead of "avaricious"? Today one of my kids pointed out that he took a practice ASVAB test (military placement test) and there were lots of words on the test that we have had for WOD. Again, amazing that we have that in place, almost like we are trying to help.

It makes me smile and I feel like some kids are benefiting and when they see it and they tell the other kids, THEN, kids take it more seriously. There is no validation like a student's testimonial. A small happy moment in my life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

How we spent our weekend

It is my favorite time of year - although this time of year only comes every two years. That is right, it is The Olympics. I have always loved the Olympics. I love everything about them and can watch almost any sport and become quite emotional over the outcome of the combined Nordic event. I am proud to say that my daughters have learned to share in this love. We all like this little guy and think he is adorable:They love short track speed skating. The biathlon was watched with great interest, even if we didn't at first understand the rules. I'll post this here because my Shoebox counterpart posts funny things here kids say and we love Rozzie just the way she is. As I said, we were watching the biathlon which combines cross country skiing with shooting. Roz walked up and said, "So they ski and then shoot each other?" Hmmm...

This is how I spent the weekend. You can see purple yarn entwined in my fingers and that is the sweater I am knitting. I am getting close to being done with the two fronts (back is done)!!
We moved the purple chair in and its accompanying foot rest so that we all had a spot to lounge. Rozzie also spent much of the day yesterday sewing her quilt and she finished the top!! She did not enjoy doing it, but she did it anyway and will pass off a Personal Progress Value Project!! She is proud of it and likes it and will be happy when we redecorate her room!

Maddie and Trav snuggled up on the recliner to watch the Olympics and look at stuff of the computer. Maddie fell asleep in her chair each night. Trav went to bed earlier than the rest of us.

Morgan loves the Olympics for a variety of reasons. Her favorite aspect would have to be the clothes, though. She loves the "moose" hats worn by the Americans. She also happens to love everything worn by the Canadians. She would love to marry a Canadian and move to Canada. She spent a lot of time researching where to buy hats, scarves, and mittens. All are very important parts of the Floridian's wardrobe.

Critterwatch Update: 2 raccoons and 2 possum. We need to take a break from trapping so the last couple raccoons will be interested in the marshmallows again.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Sister's New Year's Resolutions

The Shoebox Princess and I used to share our clothes. We didn't have much in the way of money and if you shared some outfits with your sister and your mother, then it seemed like you had more. And we were fine with it. I also shared a car with my sister. We got in a few arguments over it, but we were sisters. That is part of the job description. Now, many years later, I am borrowing her New Year's Resolutions. Don't worry, I'm going to give them back. Let's see how I'm doing this year:

1. Voice my opinion, don't be such a wallflower. Well I'm not much of a wallflower, but I do voice my opinion and it gets me in a bit of trouble. It isn't my fault that others make foolish decisions. I'm actually voicing my opinion less frequently and enjoying watching and listening to people say and do stupid, nonsensical things. Then I privately laugh at them. (Shhh, Don't tell)

Be more efficient and less lazy. I'm not saying that I'm lazy, I'm just less efficient. Working full-time has truly ruined my life and I don't suggest it to anyone contemplating it, unless, of course, you must provide for your family. I don't have time to do anything anymore. I didn't make dinner because I wasn't home, not because I was lazy. I didn't clean the floor because I wasn't home. If you want something to eat, make it. I already get up at 4:45 everyday and oftentimes (most times) I don't get something thrown in the crockpot and I don't have time to do it the night before. So there.

Sustain my belief system. I am glad I can teach Rozzie and Maddie's Sunday School class. I do like kids. I am also still working on reading the Old Testament. When I am done, I'll have read all 4 standard works in the past something many years, cover to cover. It was a goal. I have done pretty good.

Add more strength exercise to my exercise routine. That is why I do yoga. Now I just need to do it more often, I'd love to add a weight routine, but with wanting to walk and do yoga, something has to give and if it is between dinner and weights, dinner wins.

Sew up the bathrobe. OH!!! Hey, I'm good on this one cuz I'm not sewing a robe!! I'm just wearing old sweatshirts!

Focus on the kids. I try to help them with homework and keeping on top of their grades. It wears me out. I am able to spend time with them in the car driving them to dance and violin. I hope that counts. I see Morgan often and talk to her. We laugh a lot.

No freaking out. I freak out quietly these days. I'm just too tired to freak out and stuff will just continue to happen anyway. I think I'm good with this one.

Practice piano. Whew!! I don't play the piano so I'm good here!!

Homework. I am almost done with my ESOL class (the first 2 of 4). What a pain in the butt. But, I am staying on top of it and will have it complete and earn my 300 hour endorsement so that I am qualified to teach English Speakers of Other Languages.

Exercise. Fail.

So there you have it. that is how I am doing on my sister's New Year's Resolutions!! Thanks Princess!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Some R&R at Sea Island

This is something I have been looking forward to for a long time. Third quarter at school is 12 weeks long and it can get to feeling pretty long. My students seem to have bought in to the whole "full moon" thing and were just falling off the deep end last week. Luckily, Travis had this convention for the Georgia Port Authority at Sea Island, Georgia at The Cloister. We came here two years ago. This time I made sure to have all three days off from school and didn't feel one bit guilty about it. I brought my scrapbook stuff, knitting, a book, and my laptop! I forgot until this morning that I was going to do my school class each day. I'm taking classes to obtain the training I must have to teach "English Speakers of Other Languages." Since I have 4 students classified as ESOL, I must have 300 hours of training. What luck. Anyway, I forgot about it yesterday and must attend to it today.

The food here is beyond good. Travis is in meetings or golfing all day, so I just do whatever I want to!! Here is me at the opening reception. They had tables set up from different countries around the world and served a few dishes from each country. I loved the curry chicken from India and the pork from Germany. I didn't even go to the good ol' US of A. Also, the French table had pastries and the lemony pastries were just what I could have asked for.
This is a little view of our room. The window there opens to our balcony which overlooks the river. I'll have to get a picture from the balcony.
I like this long hallway. If my camera were better, it would be a rather artsy photo.
This is the lobby. I love the woodwork of the ceiling, although you can't see it so well from the picture. I'll have to get close ups of the ceilings they are magnificent.
Yesterday I went to yoga which kicked my hinder. It was a 90 minute class and she worked on completely different things than my usual classes work on. My feet are even sore. But I like that! The walk over to the spa is very pretty and there are these koi on both sides of the bridge. I love how they look with their mouths open. They are fun to watch.
Then this is the spa entrance. ahhhh. The pool is quite a sight to see, it doesn't even look like a pool should be in that room.

So, today is rainy and I might not get out on a walk. Travis is supposed to golf this afternoon and we'll see if he chances it in the rain. I don't care if it is raining because I'll just be here in the room enjoying the quietude.

Now for some school work - see, it isn't all fun and games.