Saturday, June 21, 2008

catch up

Excuse the silence. I have been more busy since school has ended. No really.

I went to girl's camp and froze it all off. I mean literally. I think under the sunburn my nose has a little of frostbite it is working through. It was under 32 degrees at night and we were in tents. No, it did not rain and I am thankful. The theme of the week was Live in Thanksgiving Daily. Therefore I know all the reasons I am thankful for the cold. We did not see a bug until our last day because it was too cold for them. I am grateful for that. I am thankful for hand/foot warmers that we slept with every night. And were still cold.

My New BFF

And I am thankful for the memories.  I couldn't believe how fast it brought me back to my days at Girl's Camp.  I found myself in awe of the time and sacrifice that my leaders gave for us.  I felt so indebted for the love they shared with me.  I was very prompted to send them thank you letters.  And writing this revisits that desire.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  They were such a big part of the village that raised me.  And now has given me such a responsibility to give back as well.  A responsibility that I willingly take on because I am aware of how much it shaped me.  How much I needed that.  And I even had supportive and stable parents at home. Imagine the need of those without a positive home life.   

Monday, June 09, 2008

Insight into my children's minds

Mom, I got you this flower because it has a buttcheek imprint on it. I thought you would like it.

"Chase, as your mother I will take away your clothes if you do not hang up your church clothes. These are clothes that you only wear for 3 hours a week and can quite possibly wear one more week without me having to iron them if you hang them up."
"Okay mom. Come see. I did hang them up."

Do you think the congregation will notice the little pucker from the hanger in the nipple area on his shirt next week?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I am ready for a beauty pageant

It has been a hard couple of days.

Parenting. Painful. So very painful.

Last day of school. A little less painful but there was some tugging on the old heartstrings. There was an extra notch of anxiety as one more step toward 6th grade occurred. There was a little chaos in trying to get everything done for the last week of school. And retrospect. That can always be painful. Could I have done more for Gerardo?

I think the extreme emotion rollercoaster has taken a toll on my looks. Do I look any different?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday's question

Today I had a little epiphany. I was again thinking about my past teachers. I decided that I can put the positive teachers into two groups. Two groups that may have an overlapping subset.

Group 1: Teachers I liked. I liked them. The person. I liked some facet of their personality. Maybe they liked me. Maybe they were funny. Maybe they were pretty and nice. Maybe they played fun games in the classroom. I liked seeing them everyday. Example: Miss Hoffman, 5th grade. Loved her, honestly do not have one single memory of learning anything in her class. Do not remember her reading to us, playing a game in her class, doing any homework for her. Nothing academic at all.

Group 2: Teachers who taught me something. There are teachers that I might or might not really remember their personality but I remember what I learned in their classroom. I can remember specific projects, specific games, specific homework or even specific lectures in their classroom. Example: Mrs. Houghton, 5th grade state history. I still remember learning that tobacco was the main export of Maryland.

Subset: Mr. Davids who I loved because he loved us and was funny and interesting and treated us like adults and who taught me about archeology and the voyage of the Kon Tiki by Thor. However, I don't really know how I got grades in his class. After thinking about this teacher I think he really belongs in Group 1.

So, here I am, wondering what kind of teacher I want to be. Or maybe what kind of teacher I am. I guess I will just be glad if I get put in the positive group of teachers. There is another group that I didn't even bother bringing up.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Glenwood Utah by the numbers

1863: Year Glenwood was established

84730: Current zip code

437: Population of town

1: Irrigation pond that we like to call the swimming hole. Friday likes to call it that as well. He was in the water before I even threw a stick out for him to fetch. I have written about this swimming hole before. It is home to a beach and a diving board. Ryan has ripped open her foot on a old raft with rusty nails on it. We have spent many afternoons there enjoying ourselves by ourselves. This weekend we weren't quite so lucky. There were many people out and about. Ryan drove her fourwheeler half way around the pond and abandoned it at the impossibly steep part. Then when we were ready to leave she asked me to get it over the driving sideways part of the mountain. Of course I didn't want her to tip over and fall in the lake so I let her take the kids and the dog down to my fourwheeler. I then, proceeded to walk over to her fourwheeler not having a clue what I would do. I knew that the fourwheeler could drive sideways on the 90 degree angle hill. I had even done it before. But I had an audience and I let the job grow to gigantic proportions in my mind. I couldn't do it. I sat there contemplating until one of my audience members started screaming from across the pond. "Hey! That lady can't drive her fourwheeler on the steep part. Somebody needs to go over and help her! Hey! Hey! Hey! Go help that lady." My audience consisted of mostly males, a wide demographical range of ages from 16 to 40 all who had their one hand wrapped around a Bud Lite can the other driving their fourwheeler or wielding a fishing pole. And yes, I deeply appreciated that somebody did come and drive my fourwheeler over the treacherous bit of land. I appreciated it even more when he did not drive my fourwheeler into the pond while he was backing it up. I gave a little curtsy to my audience before I got back on my fourwheeler and fled the scene.

1: Tree swing. My oh my. The tree swing is something that my kids and I love. It is such simple entertainment. We had to fight off 200 head of sheep for a little swing action this weekend but it was worth it. This is actually a little piece of land that is connected to where the old dance hall used to stand. I would seriously love to own this land. I love the view. The trees. The stream. The history. The old artifacts that still lay on the hill telling the story of loud and raucous Friday nights. I hope there is even some old prostitute ghost lady that would take up haunting my house if I do ever build a house there.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sixth grade

So 6th grade.

I remember a lot about my own sixth grade experience.

I had 4 teacher team but was only taught by 3 of them. Mr. Bucci was my homeroom teacher. He also taught me about Galileo and Copernicus. I remember that my Dad and I made a large universe project consisting of a piece of plywood and Christmas lights. Mr. Bucci read us "My Side of the Mountain." He also played the guitar and taught me my first Beatles song. He played a mean game of dodgeball. I loved dodgeball.

Mr. Smith was my language arts teacher. Rich Matheny poked a pencil into my hand and broke the lead off under my skin. Mr. Smith was so worried about lead poisoning that he actually picked me up and carried me all the way downstairs to the nurses office. It was one of the more embarrassing moments of the year. Apparently it was a graphite pencil because there was no sickeningly red line coursing up toward my heart from the wound. I still have a bit of graphite under my skin to this day to mark the incident.

Mr. Turner was my science teacher. He taught me all about batteries and circuits with wires and light bulbs. Good times. He also could not get me to stop talking to Marc Zolar so I ended up sitting with my face to the wall behind his desk away from every single other person. Another rather embarrassing predicament of the year.

Mostly I remember 6th grade camp. For a whole week we left our homes and went to a camp to learn orienteering, ecosystems, herbology and other outdoorsy fun things. There was definitely a zip line and after dinner every night there was Capture the Flag. Just ecstasy for this sixth grader. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was the year and more specifically the week at camp when I solidified a relationship that was to be intrinsic to my life until the end of college. Becky Hawes and I became good friends at camp. Wow! 16 girls in the cabin and I only remember her.

I broke Chris Graf's finger at recess one day. He was the cutest blonde boy I had ever met. I think the relationship went downhill from there. I can't honestly remember.

I liked Chris but I loved Rich Matheny. You know that boy that jammed the lead in my finger? He was a smart skinny little thing who kept hold of my heart for a long time after sixth grade. I talked to him on the phone for hours. And sometime in that summer my 4th grade sister and I snuck out of the house and met him in the neighborhood during the middle of the night. Then we just sat and talked more in the hot humid air that was always part of a Maryland summer night. I think he was always interested but he just wasn't a committer. Well, neither was I. There was always more than one love interest.

I feathered my hair and spent so much time in front of a mirror trying to curl both sides identically. Impossible.

With all that said, how do I facilitate this year to make it as memorable for my students as it was for me?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The bond between humans and chick is truly amazing

Ryan has gotten ridden all of her human boyfriends and is simply french kissing with her Pipsqueak.

Honestly, I think Cooper and his chick are starting to look a little bit alike. Don't you think?

In this picture Chase is showing his nurturing side allowing all the chicks to hide out in his shorts in the hot sun. What a demonstration of love.

P. S. All six of the above while not being gung ho ape crazy for David Cook are definately not for David Archuleta. Ugh.
We got in the carpool today and one of the 7th graders girls got in the car and informed us that she had stayed up until midnight calling in votes for David A. 784 times.