Monday, December 31, 2007

Carousel of Progress

I'll take "Potpourri" for $400 Alex.

A: Death, taxes, the passage of time, and a never-ending stack of papers to grade.

Q: What are things that we can be sure of?

I've truly enjoyed my Christmas break this year. Haven't done a lick of work (though that will have to change starting today - classes start again on Thursday!), and that's left me with lots of time to play with the kids, chat with Husband, go on a couple of day trips, and look at all the photos on our hard drive. I started looking at Christmases Past, then I started looking at trips we've taken, goofy shots of the kids - everything, really.

As I went through the photos, what struck me is how at each stage - newly married, new house, adding a child, adding a 2nd child.... we have been convinced that we were in the best stage of life. Even now, I'm absolutely loving it as we move from having babies & toddlers to having preschoolers. It's a whole new era of independence, but still full of the magic of childhood.

We were able to tap into that magic earlier this week. For their Christmas present, we took the kids to the Magic Kingdom (Disneyworld). It was a truly wonderful day, and one that I should probably blog about soon.

Today, however, I'm thinking about one of the last rides we did - the Carousel of Progress. This was one of the rides entirely created by Walt Disney himself, and features a family every 20 years or so through the 20th (and now 21st!) century. At each stop you see all the nifty new inventions that have made their lives easier. As you rotate through the stops, they sing their theme song.

Apparently, the theme song is a bit controversial. Mainly because there are 2 of them. There was the original, which was played at the World's Fair and at Disneyland, and then there's the new version when the ride moved to Disneyworld. If you go to Disneyworld now, however, they've changed it back to the original song.

More than a few people I guess didn't like the new song, but if you grew up in the late 80s/early 90s like I did, it's rather nostalgic to read the lyrics, and very appropriate as we are about to roll over into a New Year. (I am doing this from memory, but I'm pretty sure these are the lyrics.)

Now is the time
Now is the best time
Now is the best time of your life
Life is a prize
Live every minute
Open your eyes & watch how you win it
Yesterday's memories may sparkle & gleam
Tomorrow is still but a dream
Right here & now
You've got it made
The world's forward marching & you're in the parade!!

Happy New Year to you and yours and I hope you find 2008 to be a wonderful blessing!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Very Calming and Relaxing

I am forever grateful to the lady who tipped me off to this group, simply because I find them so incredibly relaxing.

If you enjoy Celtic Women, you will likely enjoy the Mediaeval Baebes as well. (The styles are actually rather different, but it was the best analogy I could think of!)

This song is the Lord's Prayer, in Cornish (which is a little like Welsh).



Merry Christmas to you and Yours!!! I hope you have a fabulous holiday, and I will see you after the New Year rolls over!! (or until I feel the urge to start blogging, whichever comes first!)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What's the Point of Christmas?

A classic answer to a classic question.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What color is your tree?

You Should Have a Purple Christmas Tree

For you, the holidays represent a time of creativity and expression.
There's no way you'd do something bland simply for tradition's sake.

You are an independent person, and you definitely do the holidays your own way.
And you're decadent enough to go way over the top with any unusual holiday ideas you have.

Your purple tree would look great with: Purple lights and ornaments

You should spend Christmas Eve watching: A Christmas Story

What you should bake for Santa: "Kitchen sink" cookies - with a ton of things in them


Most of this quiz is pretty true for us:

* Husband does tend to go over the top be creative with some of our decorations. (I mean really, how many folks have a train setup that takes over the dining room?!). It's only a matter of time before we become "that" house with the outdoor lights too.

* We really do watch A Christmas Story on Christmas Eve!! Right after dinner & the kids are in bed.

* I certainly am extraordinarily overzealous love to bake for the holidays. Though instead of one kitchen-sink cookie, we have enough varieties of cookies to fill a kitchen sink!! This year I made sugar cookies, gingerbread men, peanut butter blossoms, egg nog cookies, pinwheels, chocolate & peanut butter fudge, and toffee bars.

I guess the only major unbelievable part is that the tree is purple. That would just never happen as it's Husband's least favorite color. He's learned to tolerate it since Bird wears a lot of purple, but he'd never let a purple tree in the door!!

Thanks to dcrmom for the link!!

Another Light Show

After that guy did Wizards in Winter, many others tried their hands at Christmas light sequencing. This one features Carol of the Bells. (and I promise this will be the last time for this song!!!)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Scrooged

I love getting ready for Christmas, but it seems like there's always so much to do!! As of last night, the holiday baking is finished. I've still got to decorate the sugar cookies & the gingerbread men, but at least they're all cooked!


(Those square containers are fudge.)

I look at Bird's Advent chain & can't believe there are so few links left! Which means not too many more video clips, but hey, we're all lined up until Christmas Eve!

Today's features asks "Who needs A Christmas Carol when you've got Scrooged?!" Another family (well, my family growing up anyhow!) favorite, today's video skips right to the giggly, feel-good, closing song.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More TSO

With the song that gained them (American!) national attention. Since Carol of the Bells is one of my absolute favorite Christmas carols, anything that involves it is high on my list.



I was able to see them in concert many years ago (before children) and watching this video only offers a taste of what it's like to be in the theater with them. It was amazing!! This was from a concert in Toronto, and it does include the introductory narration.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Vacation

Since as of today I am on Christmas Vacation, today you are treated to a montage of clips from the movie of the same name! (one of my favorites!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bird's Version of the Nativity

I'm always interested in how my childrens' minds work. Sometimes, though, I wonder if THEY know what's going on in there. Makes for some very interesting conversations.

At preschool, Bird received a rather straightforward task: Draw a Manger Scene.


Now, she loves to draw and of course she went straight to work. She even got the 3 main characters in there (that's Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus).



Now, if you look closely at the above picture, you'll see that there's some kind of yellowish glow above the Baby Jesus. What could it be? An angel?

No.... it's an oft-forgotten character from the Christmas story - the Christmas Octopus.

Carol of the Bells

This really is my favorite Christmas carol, so today's videos feature many different versions:

Kamiak Kantori Choir (click over to You Tube; they don't allow you to embed this one in your blog)

Tuscon Boys Choir (turn your sound up a little here)


A Rather Nifty Piano Concert (long, but rather fun to listen to)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Where We Begin Our TSO Tributes

One of my favorite Christmas bands is Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Unfortunately, Husband does not agree with my so I must either blast my CDs when he's not home or in the car.

Anyhow, there is another guy out there who loves them a lot - so much so that he set up his Christmas lights to flash to one of the songs - Wizards in Winter. If you want to know more of the background to this story, you can check it out here.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Line Rider Christmas Story

It's quite possible that if you haven't heard of Line Rider that you might not appreciate the effort it took to make this video. But it's fun to watch & you've gotta love Bing Crosby singing Jingle Bells.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Singing Muppets

What would the holidays be without those beloved Muppets singing the 12 Days of Christmas with John Denver?! Apologies for the visual quality of this video, but it was the only one I could find!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Get Into the Holiday Spirit....

.... with the Christmas Boomwhackers!!



I soooo want to do this now!!! Especially when I started clicking around and saw this!! (oooo.... Bonus video!!!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Back When they had Chalkboards

I had a tough time selecting today's video. Felt like I'd exhausted many avenues of fun that I knew of, and no good searches were coming to mind. And then it came to me..... Animaniacs!! This has to be my favorite cartoon series ever - probably the only one I ever actually watched on a regular basis.

So then of course LOTS of fun stuff popped up, and I had all kinds of fun watching old clips & songs. This episode was one of my favorites, and since I couldn't find the one that mocked both Jeopardy & Concentration, here we go!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Little Ernest?

One of my family's favorite Christmas movies is Ernest Saves Christmas.




I tried searching You Tube for some nifty clips, but apparently that movie just isn't popular enough.

I did, however, come across this tribute to Jim Varney, and thought it quite good. Hope you enjoy it too!





Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Russian jumper

Who needs a ladder if you can jump like these guys?! This video is a bit longer - almost 9 minutes, but the stunts! are! amazing! The Russian hip-hop music I could do without, but as you watch this guy jump you kind of stop paying attention to that.



Monday, December 10, 2007

Radar, Three-Wheelers, and a Rock Song

I always thought the song was "Red-hot love", not "radar love." Go figure.

Things that had me giggling:
- the 3-wheeled car
- the looks the policewoman & the singer gave each other when she pulls him over
- SKIPPING off into the frontier!
- handcuffing the CARS together?!

Anyhow, enjoy the video!!




Also, hat tip to finslippy, which is where I first saw this video. Her readers also made several amusing comments.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

For your inner, untalented artist

I've always admired people who are so... GOOD at things artistic. You know the type - they can look at a room and with a pair of scissors & some ribbon, they can transform it into a Martha Stewart paradise. (gee, I think that makes them the MacGyvers of design.)

I am not one of those people. In fact, as much as I wish I was that creatively artistic, I don't think it's ever going to happen.

So when Shannon posted about a site where you can make virtual snowflakes, you can believe I'm all over that. You can click that link or the Snow Days button on the side and join in on the virtual snowfight!!

If you need a Mrs. Robinson moment, or just a really hearty laugh

Today's entry features 2 wild and crazy guys. You can find out who they are here:



and I highly recommend watching some more of their videos over on You Tube (so I don't clog up the works over here!) Some of my favorites:

PC Fratboys
Mother's Day Card (no expletives, but one questionable word that you may not want to explain to your older children; younger ones will likely not notice)
Flag Makeover (contains an expletive)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Meme

Grabbed this meme from Alli's blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Either - whichever will be easier. Husband disagrees, and thinks that even the hardest of items should be wrapped.

2. Real tree or Artificial?
FAKE!! Always has been, and always will be.
Now, if you look at where our tree goes, that makes a lot of sense!

This is the design from 2006. Not much will change this year except that I've bought a couple houses & stores for the village.

3. When do you put up the tree?
Weekend after Thanksgiving, provided the trains are all set up.

4. When do you take the tree down?
There was that year when we didn't do it until February. But since Bug was born towards the end of January, the goal now it to get it down before his birthday party.

5. Do you like eggnog?
YES!!

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
hmmm... I remember the year my sister & I got a play kitchen set. We played with that thing for YEARS.

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes. It's actually probably the oldest thing we own - it belonged to my grandmother. It was always my favorite thing to set up every year (she gave it to my parents when I was really young), so when I got married my mom passed it on to me.

8. Hardest person to buy for?
My dad.
9. Easiest person to buy for?
Husband, Bug, and Bird.

10. Worst Christmas gift ever received?
I can't think of anything really bad...
11. Mail or email Christmas card?
Both, actually. We can only afford so many pictures, so I will send actual cards to people who like actual cards, and I will email the same thing to folks who don't have an opinion either way!

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?
Every year, the following are "must-see:" Tradition reigns!!
Ernest Saves Christmas
Christmas Vacation
Scrooged
One Magic Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (original cartoon, not Jim Carrey)
Charlie Brown Christmas
A Christmas Story
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
After Bird was born, Husband & I began a tradition of shopping the Black Friday sales. Since we always seem to travel for Thanksgiving, it's actually been more like a date morning to us.

14. Have you ever recycled/re gifted a Christmas present?
Yup.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
My mom's meringue chocolate chip cookies.

16. Favorite Christmas song?
Carol of the Bells

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Since we travel at Thanksgiving, we always stay home for Christmas

18. Can you name Santa's reindeer?
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen
(and no, Rudolph doesn't count!)

19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
One present Christmas Eve - new pajamas for the kids.

20. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
Trying to keep my students focused until finals are over and Christmas vacation has actually begun!

21. Best thing about Christmas?
The Christmas lights, the vacation time, the special church services, the fun things we can do together as a family - the general overall feeling of the season.
Consider yourself tagged if you would like to be!!

Blending Fun

Good old Tom loves to toss things into his blender & if it will blend. Check out what he does to Guitar Hero!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Are you ready to jump?

In all honesty, I cannot stand this video. I think it's weird and at times borders on inappropriate.
BUT (you knew that was coming, didn't you?!)

I am not a huge techno fan, but every once in a while there's a song that I just happen to really like. I heard this song at a college football game & part of me wants it for my ringtone cause it's so.... computer-sounding and catchy (cause, really, anything else sounds weird on a cellphone). Students all around the nation will jump in their stadiums when it comes on during a football game. Kinda makes me feel like we're all inside Super Mario Brothers or something.

So, start the video and then work on something else so you can just listen to the music... or just go ahead & watch it! But don't say I didn't warn you! :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Perhaps a New Way to Exercise??

Do you find yourself packing on some extra pounds during the holidays? Perhaps this will help. Your daily giggle - provided by Monty Python.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Making Advent Chains


I love the delicateness of her fingers.

Arrrrr Matey!!

Pirates
+ Catchy Tune
+ Child Friendly
Pieces of Eight





You can find out more about Captain Bogg & his lime obsession at his official website.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I'm the Mom

If you haven't seen The Mom Song by Anita Renfroe set to the William Tell Overature, you're in for a treat!


Monday, December 3, 2007

Quoth Husband

"You know, this kind of falls on the list of stuff I never thought I would know."

"What are you talking about?"

"Bird and I are playing Memory and I know the names of all these Disney Princesses!!"

Sure enough, he did.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Whole New Advent Calendar

Oh....my....word.... that's all I can come up with to describe this.

Thanks to Rachel for the tip.... or the timesucker, depending on how you look at it!

A Little "Disco"

I have blogged about my love for this Romanian pop group before and sent you to their most popular song in the US. Here is what I believe is their follow-up to that single. While I do like the song.... the video is pretty darn hysterical!! (And yes, I do find all those silly visual effects & the ridiculous-looking pelvic thrusting rather funny.)


So go check out Despre Tine.



Warning - the volume starts off really loud, and then mellows back to something a bit more manageable.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

24 (??) Days of You Tube

Holidays are insane!!! Between cleaning the house, decorating, cookie baking, final projects, final reviews, final exams, and Christmas dinner preparing.... I may or may not be actually blogging. In fact, considering that last month I only lasted about 2 weeks before I couldn't handle daily posting anymore, I think it's safe to say that I'm moving back into sporadic posting. Which seems less robotic anyhow.

So I got to thinking.....(always a dangerous proposition). One thing that always seems to get swept under the carpet during this time of year is just a moment or two to relax. And what better way to do that than with a moment or two watching a short video? Especially one that might even be Christmassy?


So my (possible) goal is to post a video each day for the next 24 days. Sort of an Video Advent Calendar, if you will. I think we will start with just random fun, and slowly move into the Christmassy stuff as we get closer to the holidays.

* * *

Ahem. Okay, apparently I am posting links to videos, cause I just can't get the darn You Tube code to work!!

On today's menu: Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) by Mika

(Why? Cause the song is catchy & even though it is bubble-gummy, it seems to put me in a happy mood anyhow. And you just need that this time of year.)

(PS - I discovered Mika via Blog Antagonist)

The End

I think I've accomplished a couple of things with my 30 Days....

- I am not a daily blogger. I much prefer the Post & Run approach.

- Some things in life just stink.

- There is an awful lot in this world to be thankful for, and I am grateful for that.

So, with that in mind, here's my last 2 Days of Thanks:

29. Husband returns home after being out of town all week for work. I am so, so amazed & awed by all the single parents out there, as what they do is infinitely hard and wonderful at the same time.

30. It's Friday. I do not have to work on school stuff until 10pm if I don't want to.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 28

Almost to the end!!

One of the happiest times of the day is when I get to the sitter's house. It's been a long, hard day, and I'm usually a little dazed from the frenzy of it all. The minute I step into her house, however, I usually hear MOMMY!!!!! and see a little body hurtling towards me for a hug.

It's one of the things I hope I remember forever.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More Thanks

And so we return to once-a-week blogging!! But in my defense, we did go away for the holiday and I did want to protect my anonymity, since no family except for Husband even knows about this site.

So let's catch up on our thanks, shall we?

20. I am thankful for the should-have-been-7-hours-but-was-10-hours of driving to our first holiday destination.

21. I love watching Bird & Bug interacting even more quickly with my friend's boys - especially now that Bug is really 'big enough' to play with the bigger kids.

22. On Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for all of the amazing blessings in my life.

23. Black Friday is lots of fun.

24. The drive home took the expected 11 hours on the road, and the kids were absolutely fantastic. There were a few restless times when things got hairy, but we all survived for the best.

25. Now that T-day is offiially behind us, Husband is free to completely break out the model trains for Christmas. Spends all day working on the table. This is good because we can't put up any other decorations until he finishes.

26. I am thankful that my house is still standing. Returned home early from work (WITH children, I might add), to discover a kitchen full of a gas/freon smell & spark sounds coming from behind the fridge. I was scared enough to actually call the fire department, though they could not find evidence of fire. (and when I felt a bit foolish they assured me that I was absolutely in the right to call them.)

27. Sigh. Today has been stressful. After a particularly rough evening with Bug, who wanted to do little else but throw toys around & antagonize his sister, he ended up going to bed early. And was asleep by 7:30.

Fin.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanks!!

I GIVE!!!!

While I've never thought I was the next super-blogger, this attempt at focused, daily journaling has kicked my rear!!

And, of course, my natural inclination was to then stick my head in the sand and ignore this cute lil blog for an entire week!!

So, let's see if I can catch up, shall we?

14. A faculty meeting in which something productive actually happened - the administration has finally changed our final exam schedule to a subject-based exam instead of period-based. This means one less day of finals, it's near-impossible for the students to cheat, and it's easier on the teachers to grade. Fantastic!!

15. I love, love, LOVE it when students stop by after school for help. Even if it is the day before a test. Because they have learned that I will not simply reteach the chapter, and they come with specific questions! Slowly, slowly, I will take over their brains!!!

16. For once, I am able to volunteer in Bird's classroom, during her preschool Thanksgiving Feast. This is a big deal to a little girl!! We had lots of fun - we ate, did some crafts, read stories, and I took about a zillion pictures!! And the cry of "MOMMY!!" and the subsequent hug when she first saw me was priceless.

17. Our Thanksgiving travels began with a short weekend jaunt to my parents' house. Spent the day at a local park where the kids could run off all kinds of crazy energy. I love that they are able to form a great relationship with their grandparents.

18. It's Sunday, and I do not have to do any work to prepare for the following week! Nuff said.

19. Although the students have the week off, the teachers have work days today & tomorrow. And I continued my no-working - cleaned & decorated my classroom for Christmas instead!! I will surely regret it later, but for now the mental break is far more valuable. We have not had any time off since Labor Day and I am mentally exhausted.

Whew!!! All caught up now!! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 13


This blogging every day thing is HARD!! But I am finding this journey of thanks uplifting, and I guess that was the point, right?

We are in the last couple of days before Thanksgiving break, so we have lots of things to wind up before Friday - all of my classes are testing at some point in the next three days. Which means that after school I have students in my room asking questions, rather than me getting lots of work done.

Today featured a student from my regular class who had been absent and 2 of my AP girls who wanted to talk their way through the chapter & their quiz before their test tomorrow. (I refuse to reteach the entire chapter again right before the test - students always have to come with specific questions.)

Anyhow, after I'd answered all their questions, we got to chatting about the difficulty of the AP class, and how much they had to work. And that was when they paid me a rather high compliment - both girls said they really appreciated how challenging the class was, but loved how I held such high standards & held them accountable to all their work. So much so that they felt very prepared for their chapter test - only a little bit of light review studying tonight & not a heavy cramming session.

Good to know that there is a slight difference in the world!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 12



Because I am an idiot and got the days mixed up... today I am thankful for ALL of the men and women who have served in our armed forces. And for the families who loved them enough to support them in their work.










Sunday, November 11, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 11


A very real prayer request.... but it still made me smile:

Requesting your prayers for ***. He had an encounter with a raccoon at the garbage dumpster Monday night.... At the hospital they informed him he would have to under go the rabbi vaccinations because of Florida's high incidence of rabbi's among raccoons.

So here's to rather colorful linings in your clouds!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - 8, 9 and 10!

I bet you all thought I completely forgot about this! Well, I didn't forget, but it has been Homecoming week at school, and things are just crazier than normal. (not to mention that impending holiday season! *shudder*)


This one is easy. Husband was invited out to a client dinner, so I was home alone with the kids. Fed them, bathed them, and got them into bed at a reasonable time - and they were so tired, they went straight to sleep. Yay!! Right around 8:20, Husband calls to tell me he's coming home, and I had to answer the phone in our bedroom (currently the only one that works). After we hung up, I stretched out on our bed, marveled at how much I love it.... and that was the last thing I remember.

Yes, I fell asleep at 8:30. And yes, I do feel about 90 years old now! *grin* It was heavenly. I did wake at one point to change into pajamas (not fun sleeping in jeans), but I pretty much slept until 6am.

Amazingly, that is not what this post is about. This day, I was very thankful for Husband. He came home super-caffinated (he drank LOADS of iced tea at dinner) to a house full of sleeping people. So he putzed around for a couple hours and emptied & loaded the dishwasher, folded all the laundry, and vacuumed the carpets. (We are all rather deep sleepers.) So a big THANK YOU goes out to Husband!!


Homecoming week at school ends with a big pep rally in the gym. And this year it really was a lot of fun - lots of things to watch, lots of things for students to participate in, and a really good time all around.

Afterwards, several of the basketball players were cleaning up the place. One of their tasks was to roll up the mats that protect the gym floor. As they did it, the huge metal tower that holds all the mats toppled over (nobody knows how that was even possible) and landed on one of the senior boys. Had it been anyone smaller, there would have been far more serious damage - one person alone cannot move these things. (though the basketball coach had a serious adrenaline surge & whipped it right off the student). As it is, he's on crutches, his leg hurts a lot & they're not sure what damage has been done - he's off to the hospital today.

In case that was not clear - I'm thankful that if there had to be damage, it was not too bad.


Today, I am thankful that it is Saturday, and we have NO plans. Just a nice quiet Saturday at home.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 7


After I put the kids to bed tonight I began cleaning up the kitchen. At one point I had to move Bird's backpack into its proper resting place so she will have it when it's time to go to school tomorrow. And, being a mom, I started rifling through it to weed through everything. Which is when I came across an adorable class picture from her fall festival last week. All the children were posed on the hay bales, surrounding the scarecrow they had made and clutching the pumpkins they'd picked from the "pumpkin patch."

I have no idea which mommy was there & captured the moment, but I am grateful that she did.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 6


I am tired - I think the time change is catching up. Or maybe it's just the fact that it's homecoming week at school so the students are WIRED and that is starting to get to me! (Cause, silly me, I am actually still teaching. What was I thinking?!)

Today's thanks are twofold. First off, both children were bathed, jammied, storyed, in bed, and asleep at 7:30 this evening. This is unheard of. Perhaps the time change has caught up to them too!

But today's real thanks goes out to my colleagues today, who cheerfully went along with me to put this together:

Today's homecoming dress up task was to look like board game pieces. Clearly, we are Scrabble. If you were wondering what in the world that is, look here.
I only wish I could have convinced everyone to wear paper beanies!

Monday, November 5, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 5


Oh my goodness it's hard to think of something to be thankful for on a Monday!! Back to work, getting up early, running ragged all day... what could possibly be wonderful about that?


Especially when you get home with your two wonderful children and the older one decides that today is a fine day for meltdown after meltdown. Either it's no more candy, no going out in the chilly weather with inappropriate attire, no second movie - it's the end of the world as we know it.


Wait, I am getting to a silver lining with this! While (semi) patiently dealing with each of Bird's issues, Bug felt the need to just quietly snuggle in my lap. This is a child who does not very often snuggle, but today he just needed a quiet Mommy fix.


And that's so often the way with more than one child, isn't it? When one is at their absolute chaotic, the other is cruising along just fine. It leaves you open to fully deal with the nuclear disasters until they switch off whose turn it is to be melting down. Though that does mean you are pretty much continally dealing with something, it's far better than dealing with both at the same time.


So, here's to being able to focus your resources!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 4


Today I am thankful for an extra hour of sleep!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

30 Days of Thanks - Day 3


I didn't sleep well last night; very restless and floppy, so I ended up getting out of bed much sooner than I would have liked. I had the peace & quiet of the house all to myself, so I started catching up on emails, forum visits, and blog reading.


Around 7:30 Bug woke up. Wandered out into the family room where the computer is & announced "lights on!" (his Christmas lights have to be on before he can come out of his room). He brought me back to show me, and then we were able to just have some playtime together.


This is a very rare occurence because Bird is usually the early riser, so it's not often that I can have some one-on-one time with Bug. But oh, it was heavenly! First we got to snuggle a bit while he fully woke up, then we had a chat about the pictures on the fridge.


I was quickly reminded how far this child has come at expressing himself. With barely 50 words at 2.5 years old (last July), Bug was frequently frustrated at trying to communicate. Yet this morning, he picked up the words "rocket" and "spaceship". He counted all sorts of things on my shirt - and knew what they were (flowers, hearts, birds, etc.).


All this to say - I had a lovely early morning cuddle & conversation.

30 Days of Thanks - Day 2


Today I am thankful for friendships at work. I have posted before about feeling lonely at school, which was both a natural effect and my own doing. Since then, I have reached out to a few people, and I think I am starting to form a good friendship with one of the new teachers this year. In part, this is because we are in similar life stages - about the same age, married, 2 kids about the same age, teachers... you get the picture! Although our teaching styles are not similar, we have been able to glean all kinds of useful information from one another, and I'd like to think we are growing as both professionals and mothers because of it.

Furthermore, the past couple of Fridays I have gone and just talked to someone else after school. Granted, it was because I had no desire to actually work and it was too early to go home, but hey, you take what you can get. And they were GOOD conversations - not the bitter "administration is insane" type of conversations you can so easily fall into. What amazes me is how uplifting just plain old conversation can be. I think it's all too easy for moms to forget to forge and nourish their own grown-up friendships - but sometimes you just need another adult to talk to!

30 Days of Thanks - Day 1


I am afraid I am going to start off sounding cheezy, but first and foremost I am thankful to live in a place where I can freely worship God, express my opinion, and not worry about any potential retribution. I am thankful that I can teach my children about God. I am thankful that God loves me despite my incredibly long list of faults.

30 Days of Thanks

How did it get to be November already?! Time is flying, and I have no idea where anymore.

Anyhow, I've decided to do 30 Days of Thanks this month. What's that? To be honest, it's something I made up. Trying to get Husband to make a cute little graphic for me in his spare time, but until then I'll just have the title.

Lately I've been feeling very stretched, tired, and grumpy. And while a lot of that is par for the course when you are a wife, mother, and teacher, it's seemed ever so much more lately. To the point where my natural inclination is to crawl off & hide somewhere rather than actually be productive.

So, my goal this month is to find thirty things that I am truly thankful for. Theoretically, one for each day! (so yes, my next post will have to have the first three - oops!)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Agony of Holiday Photos

I have had pictures taken of the kids every Halloween. I just love the fact that they're in costumes. And since they're little, I make them "match". This year they are a renaissance princess & knight. And they are CUTE!!



So, being the responsible citizen that I am, I call the photo shop for an appointment. (Ignore the fact that it was the day before Halloween.) I swear this was the conversation:



"Thank you for calling XYZ, how can I help you today?"

"I was just wondering if you had any appointments tonight or tomorrow?"

"I'm booked solid for tonight, but tomorrow (i.e. Halloween night) I'm wide open after 4:30."

"Great! So how about tomorrow night at 6:30?"

"How about 6:40? I already have a 6:30 appointment."

I should have run right there and then but, fool that I am, we packed up the kids and Husband and made our way to the photo shop - arriving precisely at 6:40.

After quite a long time of them saying "just a couple more minutes," they were finally ready. How long, you ask? AN HOUR. Yes, it was 7:45 when they finally deigned to take our children's photos. Why didn't I just leave? Because I have a costume picture from every year except Bird's first Halloween and I am not stopping when my children still happily wear costumes.

Well, that and they did keep saying "just a couple more minutes."

Our photographer herself was lovely & knew her stuff. Problem was, at this point Bird wanted nothing more to do with the process. She was tired, and decided that a meltdown over the background color was just the right touch. After talking her down from DefCon4, we did manage to sneak a few photos in (and quite a lot of Bug hamming it up!).

They promised to have our photos loaded & ready to view in 5-10 minutes. After half an hour, I started taking my own photos in front of their backdrops. Though I was not the first to do it that night, I was the only one to get in trouble for it. Amazing, though, how quickly they got my photos loaded after that!

Finally, after lots more viewing than we needed & 2 reprints, I have my holiday memory. I may need a blood transfusion though. A steady diet of candy today, however, seems to be rectifying that!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Darts N Laurels

Seems like i've been a little light on the blogging lately!! I have no idea where this past week has gone. I know I could really use a vacation. Nothing until Thanksgiving, though, and that's still a few weeks away!!

Sooo... here's this week's DART and LAUREL

DARTS... to salesmen who talk verrrry softly & still call even though we are on the "do not call" list - claiming that they are not really trying to sell us something, so it's okay that they have called me.

LAURELS... to the garage door repairman who fixed the door so quickly & so efficiently. I really appreciated it!! And it sounds even quieter now!

What is your DART and LAUREL this week?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Idiot Moment of the Day

We spent a lot of time together as a family this past weekend. It felt nice - we all got along, had fun, and shared some food.

Probably one of the best things we've done in a while.... so I guess it stands to reason that I managed to follow it up with one of the dumbest things I have done in YEARS.

Since there was so much quality time I got a little behind on my weekend domestic duties, namely the laundry. So after I got home today I tossed a load of whites into the washer. We didn't have quite a full load so I started tossing in some other things that needed a good healthy cleansing, since I usually add (color safe) bleach to this load.

Cut to the stupid part. I added in Bug's sneakers. His black sneakers. That have never been washed before.

Bird's only set of bedsheets, a pair of my khakis, a pair of Husband's khakis, and a stack of husband's t-shirts are all now sporting varying purple stains. So are some socks & underwear, but they don't count.

I am so angry with myself. I know better!!!

I have them all soaking in the washer right now in some incredibly hot water, some Shout & a lot more bleach. Will see what happens. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Free Rice & Vocab

A friend sent me to this site where you can test your vocabulary. For every word you get right, rice will be donated to hungry people.

As of this post I am up to 1270 grains... dare you to beat me!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Darts N Laurels

DARTS.... to parents who think they can do my job better than I can. (In 6 years, I've only had one parent who was a chemical engineer; it's quite probable she knew more than I do.)

LAURELS... to the waitress at Bennegans who very smoothly passed me the cookies that come with the kids' meals - so that the kids never even noticed they were there!!

What's your DART and LAUREL this week??

(PS - Happy 30th Birthday Husband!!!! I love you lots!!!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Seven years ago today, I married the love of my life. It was a beautiful day. Not too hot, not too cold, not too sunny...



One of my favorite memories happened rather quick in the ceremony. I was walking into the church on the arm of my father and getting rather blubbery from the sheer emotion of it all. I looked down the aisle at Husband, and to this day I still remember the look on his face. As I panned across to look at all the groomsmen, I realized they also looked kind of nervous too. Odd, I thought, until I looked down at their feet:





Yes, they were all in running shoes (except 1 usher who chickened out at the insistence of his girlfriend). No, I did not know about this, and after being asked numerous times before the ceremony if I knew, they were all nervous about how I'd react.


Quite frankly, I thought it was funny. And hugely appropriate, as all the men - except the guy in dress shoes - were runners, and all the shoes were brand new. So I started laughing as I walked up the aisle - put those tears way back where they belonged! Saw the entire men's side heave a huge sigh of relief, and trade vaguely worried faces for smiles.


Happy Anniversary Husband!! Here's to 7 years and 70 more!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

How to Waste 10 Minutes

Round and round and round she goes.... but which way is the dancer spinning??

I see her going counter-clockwise, and no matter what I do, that's the only way I see her!

UPDATE: For the longest time, Husband could only see her going clockwise, but he finally managed to see her going the other way.

I could finally get her to spin clockwise by staring at the foot on the ground. Then I couldn't get her back to counterclockwise!! (Finally did it by staring at another part of the page, & leaving her in my peripheral vision.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Update on George

For those of you who were up late at night wondering where George was.... I am happy to let you know that she is alive and well. They were saving her for the uber-athletic; I've now seen her in a white-water-rafting/mountain-climbing escapade.

Apparently there really can only be 2 of the 3 Musketeers in any of these super mysteries - solely because there are only 2 Hardy brothers.

I hope you can sleep now.

Pooh

I'm Pooh.... who are you?




Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wise words from a student

Every once in a while I write a scientist/science-like quote on the board & have my students write a response to it. It's very stream-of-conscious, straight-from-the-hip (hmmm... any more cliches in there?!), and they are prepared to share if I call on them.


I was reading the entries from one of my classes today, and one girl opened with these sentences that I absolutely loved:


I don't think knowledge is worthless. I just believe that knowledge without imagination is useless.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Look at the pretty colors!!!

Today's lab - flame testing. Nothing quite like giving teenagers some chemicals, methanol, & a lighter!!
But the colors were so pretty!
.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Table Manners

Tonight we went out to dinner. Every so often that's just a nice thing for us to do as a family, and the restaurants aren't nearly as crazy as they are on a Friday or a Saturday.

The place was busy, but not crowded. We had ourselves a nice little booth in a mostly-filled section, but nobody in the immediate tables next to us. There was a nice tall brick partition separating us from the elevated section on the other side.

Shortly after we ordered our dinner, a little head popped up over the partition. It belonged to a little girl who was perhaps 4 or 5 years old. She pretty much spent the entire rest of our meal hanging over the brick wall staring at us. And I do mean hanging - the entire upper half of her body was draped over the wall.

As I was getting more & more annoyed, Husband would occasionally ask her to sit down - and she would - but invariably she'd pop back up again in a few minutes.

After we finished eating Bug had to go to the bathroom (We are far more potty trained in public than we are at home!! Go figure.) I decided to take a detour past this little girl's table on the way back to ours, intending on asking the parents to seat their little girl.

However, as I neared their table it quickly became apparent that not only did they know what their daughter was up to - they thought it was cute.

Allow me to speak for the world: IT IS NOT CUTE TO LET YOUR CHILD HANG OVER SOMEONE ELSE'S TABLE.

Keep the source in mind too - I am not an old curmudgeon spinster. We are not a childless DINKs. We do, however, work very hard to teach our children appropriate manners, and would love it if you would do the same.

The Dystopic Movie Meme

Stole this from Through the Looking Glass. You bold the movies you've seen. I've italicized (sp?) the movies that Husband has seen and assures me I will not enjoy.

1. Metropolis (1927)
2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
3. Brazil (1985)
4. Wings of Desire (1987)
5. Blade Runner (1982)
6. Children of Men (2006)
7. The Matrix (1999)
8. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
9. Minority Report (2002)
10. Delicatessen (1991)
11. Sleeper (1973)
12. The Trial (1962)
13. Alphaville (1965)
14. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
15. Serenity (2005)
16. Pleasantville (1998)
17. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
18. Battle Royale (2000)
19. RoboCop (1987)
20. Akira (1988)
21. The City of Lost Children (1995)
22. Planet of the Apes (1968)
23. V for Vendetta (2005)
24. Metropolis (2001)
25. Gattaca (1997)
26. Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
27. On The Beach (1959)
28. Mad Max (1979)
29. Total Recall (1990)
30. Dark City (1998)
31. War Of the Worlds (1953)
32. District B13 (2004)
33. They Live (1988)
34. THX 1138 (1971)
35. Escape from New York (1981)
36. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
37. Silent Running (1972)
38. Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
39. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
40. A Boy and His Dog (1975)
41. Soylent Green (1973)
42. I Robot (2004)
43. Logan’s Run (1976)
44. Strange Days (1995)
45. Idiocracy (2006)
46. Death Race 2000 (1975)
47. Rollerball (1975)
48. Starship Troopers (1997)
49. One Point O (2004)
50. Equilibrium (2002)

I was kind of surprised I haven't seen any more, cause I've certainly READ far more dystopia (gotta love that phase in high school/college). I'm guessing it's because the screen has a tendency to be far more violent & gory for the sake of being gory than my imagination is.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thought for the Day

All three levels of my chemistry classes have been learning about the dual nature of light in some form for the past week. Two of them (Honors & AP) have been learning about how Max Planck really pioneered the idea that light is not only a wave but also acts like a particle. Thing was, though, that nobody really believed him, even though he had experimental evidence. (and, as far as we know today, he was right).

He was lucky. Einstein came along a mere 5 years later... When he proposed the Photoelectric effect, he essentially confirmed what Planck had been saying all along.

I mention all this because recently I came across a quote by Max Planck that I really loved:

A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

Hmmmmm.

Bonks to the Head

After I dug up all those Nancy Drew/Hardy boys books, the libaraian rolled her eyes at me. I asked her (quite tongue in cheek) what was wrong with such wonderful literature.

Her: "Anybody in real life who got clunked in the head as much as Frank and Joe Hardy would be mentally challenged."

She has a point. Though I'm thinking that all the chloroform Nancy's had to sniff can't be good for her either.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Morning Routines

A friend asked me how on earth I get to school on time every morning. I am a serious clockwatcher. After typing it all up for her I decided what better place to preserve it forever than to put it out there on the Internet?!

I pretty much make it to school by 7:20 every morning. any later (which happens occasionally - like this morning) and i get stuck in car line for a looooong time.

555 - alarm goes off; get up, putz a bit - bathroom, email, etc.
615 - drink glass of sunny delight (yes, i do plan on glowing in the dark after i die!); pack car with all my school stuff; make lunch for Bird if necessary, etc.
630 - wake Bird.
635 - wake Bird again (she sleeps like the dead). convince her she needs to get dressed.
636 - meltdown #1 because i won't take off her pullups
638 - meltdown #2 because her pjs are stuck around her head
640 - meltdown #3 because i will not dress her (this is something i've been trying to work on with dh. he will just dress her himself. i think she's old enough to do it on her own!)

** of course, these meltdowns can vary in style & number on a daily basis. i am not apprised of the schedule!!! **

645 - finally have her dressed, go wake & dress Bug (he is only 2!)
650 - hop in shower
655 - get dressed
700 - herd everyone out to car
707 - pull out of garage (i have no idea why it takes so long... some kind of time warp!)
710 - drop kids off at sitter's; try not to hug & chat too long. race to school hoping i get the green arrow at the 1st light quickly.
720 - careen into school parking lot on 2 wheels (as best as one can in an SUV!!) & fly into my classroom
745 - 1st period begins

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Why not George??

Every once in a while, the school library goes through & weeds out books that are getting too old and put them in the workroom for teachers to go through. I usually don't pay too much attention, as the finds are usually not too interesting.



Last week, however, there was a stack of these in there:




Anybody but me even remember these? Seems to me they weren't out very long; I'd only bought about 3 before I never saw them again. (And yes, I do still have them - right next to my stack of Nancy Drew files & paperback original series books too! I am quite the geek!)


So I took the stack home & have been slowly working through them. On my 3rd now (cause they aren't exactly predictable or all the same plot!), and something has occured to me:


They've taken out George.


Remember how in all the other books, it has always been Nancy, Bess, & George. (c'mon, I know you can see their descriptions in your mind!). Maybe once in a while it would be Nancy & George, or just Nancy & Bess, but usually it was all 3 of them together.


However, in these Nancy Drew/Hardy boys books, George has been mysteriously sick or busy in all of them. What was so bad about her? She was smart, pretty, & athletic - the tri-fecta of a good role model. Bess, on the other hand, was always portrayed as boy-crazy - though she seems to be a bit smarter & not so wimpy in these books. Was it that a dynamic of 3 girls is just too much? Should there be only 2 to pair up with the Hardy brothers? Should our girls want to emulate Bess's flirty ways?


The world may never know. Or care, really! :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Friday on my mind

My last class of the day is physics. So you can imagine what mental state my students are in on a Friday afternoon! (me too, quite frankly). I try & make most Fridays a review of some sort, but this week we were actually learning new stuff.

At one point, a student was recalling the equation W=mg, but he accidentally said it equalled bg. Being the sort of person that I am, I said, "No, the answer is not a disco group from the 70s."

As the words left my mouth, I thought "oh dear, I'm the only one who's going to get that."

So imagine my delight when the other students piped up - 'oh yeah! they had [insert famous BeeGee song titleshere]'

I was feeling better.... until 2 girls broke into a rendition of "Manic Monday" (it's just another manic Monday...), thinking that was a BeeGees song.

Sigh. I guess it's hard to keep track of all those bands when you were born in the 90s.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

On the other side of the table

I went to my first parent-teacher conference today. As in, the first time I was the "parent" part of the equation, which was a little disconcerting.

Now, this was just a check-in-meet-the-parent (casue we really hadn't met yet) type conferences, not the your-child-needs-serious-help type. (thank heavens!!), but I still felt a little intimidated by not knowing what to expect. (note to self: look happy at the next set of P-T conferences!! parents really ARE scared of you!)

Anyhow, Bird's teacher was quite lovely. Older than I expected, but very knowledgeable and I definitely got the sense that she loved my child. (and Bird is absolutely in love with her too, which works out nicely). She reminded me that I should be spending plenty of time with my child (next note: never should have mentioned I am working mother), and that I should not be concerned that she is not doing as well as the other kids in some areas since this is her first year of school and lots of this stuff is old hat to the others. (clearly, I have been depriving my child. silly me.)

Then there was some basic teacher stuff: we should be working on practicing the various letters in her name, and perhaps familiarizing her with what numbers & letters look like. This is because she can count & recite the alphabet, but if you give them to her on a paper she has no idea what they are.

Before you get the completely wrong idea about this place (since I do tend to focus on the negative sometimes), one of the reasons we loved this preschool was because of their committment to PLAYING. She plays all day long and loves it.

Besides, last time I checked, she was 4. She's doing fine.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Beautiful wedding dresses

Aren't these dresses gorgeous?! So pretty that they were contest winners. The first is from 2006, the 2nd from 2007.







The kicker? They were made entirely out of toilet paper, tape, and glue. I'm serious!! And incredibly amazed at the imagination & hard work from these ladies.


Apparently this is an annual contest. You can see the other amazing entries from this year (and previous years if you're so inclined) here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Lesson From this Sunday

It's very rare that our pastor touches upon "hot button" topics during his sermons. He certainly applies his message to real life, and they are always based on scripture, but he rarely does he get into super-emotionally-and-perhaps-politically-charged issues.


This week, though, he began his series on common beginnings, and part of it centered on the topic of creation - more specifically when the Earth was created. If you are not familiar with this issue, there are 2 main camps: the Earth is around 6000 years old, or the Earth is 13+ billion years old. As with most hot-button-issues, each camp is convinced that they (and they alone) are right, and that the handbasket is coming for the other group. (Yes, I know that is extreme. So are many folks when they are in the throes of hot-button-ness.)


The age of the earth is something that interests me, but I admit to having no passionate drive to making my own clear-cut interpretation. I have read compelling evidence from both camps.


Yet, it's always kind of bothered me that I don't have an opinion either way. What's even more odd is that it doesn't even bother me that I don't have an opinion. Not even a smidgen. Believe me, this is not normal - I have opinons about everything. (Which is certainly a detriment at times.)


My pastor's point, though, was that if you look at the original Hebrew, the author uses a word that could mean 12 hours, 24 hours, or a long-but-unspecified length of time. (apparently they had to double or quadruple up on a LOT on their words!!)


So he felt compelled to further examine the purpose of the author of the book of Genesis. What was the point? The point was that God created the universe & everything in it. It even tells the order of things created. (And apparently, this is almost entirely the same order you will find in most science textbooks as they discuss evolution. But we're not going there today.) HOW he did it.... is left to your interpretation.


His final words.... CS Lewis believed in a "old world"; Billy Graham believes in a "young world."


Suddenly, not having an opinion doesn't seem so bad.

random thoughts

on Bird:

Bird has taken to "pretending" that she is asleep when I go check on her at night. I'm guessing it's so that I will stop reminding her that she needs to pick up all her crap treasures off the floor and put them away. Kind of defeats the purpose, though, when she pops up 5 minutes later to ask for more water.

on Bug:

Both children have a string of Christmas lights up in their room. They are plugged into a timer, and light up at 7:15am. On the weekends, they are not to come out of their rooms before those lights come on. This system has worked well for over 2 years.

Now, thanks to an unfortunate parent daddy moment and a very observant little boy, we have more frequently been seeing the following scenario from Bug:

"DaddyMommy! DaddyMommy! DaddyMommy!" (repeated until one of us loses the ignoring contest & makes their way to his room)

"What do you need Bug?"

At which point Bug goes over to the window, inches between his dresser & toy bins, and presses the button that will turn the lights on automatically.

"Lights ON!! Bug come OUT!! Milk please?"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Email

I received a wonderful email from a student the other day. This is only part of it, but it's the part I really want to remember:

PS I wanted to say something after class, but I never get the chance: I love how you make people think in your class. Whether they have come to the correct conclusion or not, you still question them which forces them to defend their answer and opinion. Not many teachers do that, and I sincerely applaud you for it.

Yes, I am blowing my own horn. But considering all the other crazy things that go on when you are a teacher, you need the little things to remind you.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fun on Flickr

J a I M Cimetière de Bracieux

I thought this was pretty neat. You can write your own name (or any other words you wish) over here. And if you don't like the letters that come up the first time, just type them in again!!

(bummer.... wish my name was all on one line!! oh well.)

Happy.... Home-aversary!!

We moved into our house 6 years ago today. I can't believe I remembered, as I don't think I've thought about it since we got here! However, we did move in the Saturday after THE September 11, and this is the first time it's been Saturday September 15th since then.

Since then:

* I have had 4 different jobs. Husband has had more than that.
* We have acquired 2 children.
* I have gone up half a shoe size. (directly related to 2nd pregnancy.) (don't ask what's happened to my dress size)
* We bought our first car together.
* The house has a new roof (courtesy of the hurricanes of 2004).
* The family room has new walls & ceiling (thanks to an errant nail in the plumbing while the roof was being repaired).
* We still eat macaroni & cheese for dinner at least once a week.
* All the appliances are still working. (amazing. they're all 20+ years old.)
* I have added another bookcase. (For me. I've added 3 for the kids.)
* The coat closet is now entirely taken over by Husband's toys - they used to only fill the bottom storage area!!

Here's to many more years!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Feeding the Hungry

Wasn't going to post today, but then I realized that I'd managed to get something up all the other days this week!

As part of our outreach program we took all the high schoolers out to various locations in the community to do some service. The group I was with ended up at a local Christian Service Center. We helped them clean the grounds (the guys) and tidy up the thrift store (the gals). After that, we helped serve lunch. This particular center feeds 300 meals in the course of an hour. All the students stepped up - serving food, filling water cups, cleaning tables, and being a friendly eye whenever possible.

I thought it was obvious that most of them were homeless, though the director of the center seemed to think we would not have realized it had he not told us afterwards. He did have quite a few sobering statistics in his debriefing - the fastest growing homeless demographic in our area was single mothers, ages 28-32, with young children. I cannot imagine not having food for my child. We did see some children that day, but most were probably at school; the director said there were entire families during the summer.

Not entirely sure where I am going with this, only to say that I did pack some food for the local pantry when I got home. And I hugged my own children a little harder.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Who's the Mommy here?

Around 4:30 this morning, I heard the unmistakeable pitter-patter of Bird's feet as she made her way across the house towards our bedroom. Predictably, she came in & made her way to my side of the bed. I was facing away from her, wondering what she wanted.

She came up to me, patted my shoulder, and as I turned over to see what she wanted, she leaned over, kissed me, patted me once again, and turned around & walked back out again.

Sweet dreams to you too, big girl.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I remember.

I did not create this button myself; it was created here

Monday, September 10, 2007

Clothing Pet Peeves

Haven't felt particularly wordy lately, so when I saw this meme by dcrmom, I felt inspired!

Five of my clothing pet peeves:

1. See through white pants.

You know what I'm talking about - those pants/shorts/capris where you can completely see the underwear - no matter if it's spanky-pants, thong, or something in between. I just think white fabrics should be heavier and NOT SEE THROUGH. Nuff said.

2. Bathing suits with lousy cups.

I have been 'blessed' with DDs. The majority of bathing suits go to a C at the most.

3. The lack of variety on little boy clothes.

Because if you don't like clothes that involve sports, your little boy will just have to run around in a diaper and nothing else.

4. Little girl clothes with no modesty or not-little-girl designs/slogans.

Need I say more?

5. Clothes that don't fit me, even though they are my size.

I can understand it not looking good on me, but if it says it's my size, it should fit.


If you want to play along... TAG you're it!

PS - if i were allowed a 6th thing, I would add shoulderpads!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

They chalk me up as Colorful.

Some people just don't find chemistry interesting. (I am not one of those people.) I don't harbor any illusions about class attendance; I know darn well that most of my first-year students are my students cause their parents made them sign up for the class. (I am not an easy science teacher.) Either that, or they are hoping I will let them blow something up. (not a chance!)

Once they're in my room, though, most of them will at least put up with me. Cause I am quirky. And that's okay, cause I am at one with my nerdness. Besides, they pay more attention because they never know what we will be discussing next. For example, I was teaching some number techniques the other day and I found myself singing the Tarantella as I did it. (chances are you've heard it, as it's quite a catchy melody - you can hear it here; the Napoletana version is the most common).

They laughed as I did it in class.... but sure enough, I saw some of them humming when they took the quiz a few days later. Which always makes me giggle.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Unexpected benefits

Bird has been in preschool for a couple weeks now, and she has learned how wonderful it is to have a clean home. Today she spent close to an hour dusting the desk & the bookshelves, and then she went to work on the kitchen cabinets. (cause spraying water & mopping with paper towels is so much fun!!).

I could get used to this.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Daddy is required.

Husband has been out of town all week for work. (but he's HOME NOW, would-be ne'er do wells!!!). Granted, the work he had to do while away was incredibly super-boring, but he was very well-fed, and he had a hotel room all to himself, complete with a huge comfy bed & a television on which he could watch anything he wanted.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch it was me & the kids. Now, I may be supermommy (ha! not a chance!), but I just do not have the patience that man has. We are completely different in how we interact with our children, and we balance each other out very well. Not to mention the fact that we each get a child ready on weekday mornings. And I get Bug - the easy one.

So this week was an exercise in family cohesiveness for the three of us. We had to figure out new timings to get us all out the door on time (we were late on Thursday though), how I was going to get all my work done (we all went to school Wed. night so I could practice my lab - dinner & a movie in Mommy's classroom was lots of fun), and whether or not I really could work out at the gym (we did! twice!).

But things just weren't the same, and last night both Bird & Bug completely melted down on the way home. Ultimately, it boiled down to one thing: they missed Daddy. Due to his schedule & a time zone change, he wasn't even able to talk to them. We did lots of crying & talking last night.

Daddy was home when we got here this afternoon, and I have very happy children now. They seem to have relaxed; all is back to normal at our home.

There is a huge philosophical point in my head about how Daddy is the cornerstone of the family and the rudder on our boat of life, but I am just not feeling eloquent enough to get it out in writing. Suffice it to say that we all need each other in this family.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fashion Sense

These are Bird's "slippers". These are the first ones she's ever had, and since I don't let her wear them out of the house, she has drawn the conclusion that they must be slippers.


And they are so comfy (gotta love the fabric toe-th0ng), not only are they good for wearing as you get ready to sleep... you may as well keep them on as you sleep!
(sorry LMom... I know you didn't want any more pics of shoes, but this was too funny to pass up!! ;) )

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Post birthday wrapup

My birthday actually turned out to be really nice. I received TWO cakes from students in my first period class. We all ate them for breakfast (chocolate is much better than a fruit smoothie). The rest of my classes - unbidden, I might add - sang Happy Birthday to me (cause I am not above writing my own happy bday note on the board).

My own children were not at all cranky when I picked them up (okay, that's not entirely true, but it sounds good), but after a quick visit to the gym we went to my sister's for a spaghetti dinner & another chocolate cake. mmmmmm.

Husband managed to get the word out, and I have 3 seasons of Gilmore Girls to watch now. Yay!!

To top it off, as I type this post, Bug has just said Bird's name for the first time. I am over the moon!! :) :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Some time ago I came into this world wrinkled & wet & yelling. I think things have improved a little since then. :)

I've hit many of the major adult milestones... college graduation... marriage... 1st house... 1st car... 1st (real) job... pregnancy & children... and when I'm feeling particularly cranky I wonder what could possibly be left for me to do.

Then I am gently reminded that there are all sorts of things I am supposed during my stay here on Earth, and I wonder how I will ever finish everything in the time I have.



It's been a wonderful ride so far, and I look forward to what happens next.



My age? Well if you must know... and you aren't colorblind...



But enough philosophizing. I want some chocolate!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Must be the New Math

In anticipation of our houseguests (my in-laws), I ran the dishwasher Wednesday night so that we would have plenty of dishes during their stay.

I figured I'd have to run it again today (Sunday), but when I went to load the breakfast dishes, I had problems trying to fit everything in. Seemed odd, since there had only been 4 breakfasts (only bowls since it was just cereal), 1 lunch (plate for everyone), and 2 dinners (one of which involved eating out of the serving carton).

Then I realized that we'd accumulated 25 drinking glasses. That was just the adults. They had taken over the entire lower level. It amazed me how fast it happened, especially since Husband & I stick to a fairly rigid glass-a-day.

Remind me of this fact when the kids become teenagers!!! I think all the house resources will be used at an exponential rate then.

Or maybe I'll just make them do the dishes instead.

Free Tote Bag!!

Who doesn't love a free tote bag? Especially one as cute as this.

Dcrmom is giving one away over here - go check it out if you'd like to put your name in the hat!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Because sometimes I don't trust my own tongue.

My in-laws are currently visiting us & have been here since Wednesday evening. We don't see them as often as we see my parents, so I am happy that the kids finally seem cemented in who they are. I have always wanted my children to have a good relationship with their grandparents, even though neither set lives locally. Thanks to pictures and telephones that is made a whole lot easier.

But sometimes people say things that are not intended to annoy you, and it just grates on you until you worry that you will say something you will regret.

For example, this morning while I was showering and Husband was out running, they put a movie in for the children. Even though I had just told the kids no movie till they got dressed & had breakfast. Not to mention the fact that it was awfully early to watch the one movie they get to pick each day.

Then, once everyone had dressed & eaten & we were all lounging around waiting for the movie to finish, my mother-in-law said "When the boys were little, we didn't have dvds and such for them. Not that it mattered, cause they never really watched tv anyway."

Let's ignore the fact that the only thing she does most days is watch tv.

Let's ignore the fact that she is the first one to force Bird to sit through an entire movie (Cinderella).

Let's ignore the fact that she repeatedly teaches Bird that it's more fun to sit & watch tv than it is to go run around & play. (I admit to this one a little bit too, but what mother doesn't on occasion? But seriously, I have never advocated the 24/7 television viewing)

Let's ignore the fact that after Elmo was over, she still asked if they could watch Annie this afternoon. (um... NO. they still only get one movie a day, a fact that they will surely regret since they offered to babysit for us tonight.)

Finally, let's ignore the fact that I am being snarky and petty and hope that since I've typed this here I can let go of this and treat my houseguests properly.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And then you get 2 posts in one day.

Feast or famine, eh?!

Today was Bird's first day of preschool... ever. I think she's the only one in her class who's never been to school before. As far as I can tell, seems like she had fun.

In her backpack was a survey the teacher asked us (parent & child) to fill out together. It ranges from the normal questions (favorite color, favorite food) to the touching (Who is your best friend? Mommy!) to the absolutely absurd to ask a 4-year-old (Who do you admire? What's your favorite subject in school?)

My favorite, though... was Question 5: When I grow up, I want to be: ___________

Her answer?

Human.

She is SO my child.