Friday, February 29, 2008

Show and Tell

*an 8 year old stuffed rabbit named Rosie who is on a leash because she runs away
*a ziploc baggie with coins and a piece of a broken flashlight
*a blue motorcycle that gets launched off a ramp "that powers it up" and a green motorcycle with a guy that does tricks
*Trixie the wiener dog who "is a little hyper and goes crazy" (and another 5 minutes about how Trixie jumps and barks and licks...)**
*three Barbies with full explanation of hairstyles and fashion
*a fairy statue with colorful wings
*a tooth in a bag that L. lost last night by wiggling it with his tongue. He's going to put it under his pillow tonight and hopes to get a quarter. (complete with explanations about the bag, his name written on the bag, how the tooth fell out, and how many teeth he has left--29)
*a little black purse from Target with a glow in the dark wallet (A glow in the dark purse! What a great idea. You never know when you might need chapstick or a mint during a movie or something.) K. also shared a story about going out to dinner at the "Red Crab" (umm, I think she meant Red Lobster) and having ice cream with chocolate syrup (ooh, ice cream sounds good)
*2 little plastic dinosaurs that T. "likes a lot and that's all"
*a baby doll in a carrier
*a miniature light house that's most fascinating feature is the door

**L. had to call her dad to bring her show and tell because she forgot it at home. She said she couldn't decide if she wanted to bring Trixie or Mrs. Potts. I thought it was two toys and was surprised when Trixie showed up and was alive. Later I asked L., "If that was Trixie, who is Mrs. Potts?" She answered, "Oh, she's the teapot on Beauty and the Beast." Of course she is.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You Never Know

There is a hammerhead shark in my bathroom sink.

He is 2 inches long and made of plastic, but that didn't make him any less startling when I turned on the light and went to wash my hands. He seemed quite happy in the 3 inches of water in his tiny pool. A little lonely, maybe, but that won't last long. I'm sure he'll soon be joined by other ocean dwellers. I couldn't bear to let out the water to wash my hands and I didn't want to poison him with soap, so I turned off the light and went to the kitchen sink instead. And so Mr. Hammerhead stayed there for the rest of the night and into the next morning, when sadly all the water had slowly drained out of the sink and he was left lying on the bottom.

Yes, I was a little startled by such a sight in the sink, but not surprised. You see, I live with two little boys and you never know what you might find and where you might find it. In pockets, under couch cushions, in tubs and sinks and toilets (don't ask). Even under pillows and rugs or at the bottom of the washer or dryer. I've found coins and rubber bands and candy and gum and animals (plastic and real) and tiny little pencils with no erasers. After trips to my parents' house I've found pockets full of nuts and bolts and wires and tools and creations made with such treasures. After trips to the beach I've found rocks and sticks and sand and UBOs (unidentified beach objects). In the spring and summer there seems to be a never ending jar or bug box full of creatures of some kind sitting on tables around the house. And don't get me started on rock collections and leaf collections and stick collections and candy wrapper collections.

After 8 1/2 years, I've pretty much gotten used to the unknown findings in my life. That is at least until the boys become teenagers. Then I'm afraid I'm in for a whole new set of unknowns. But until then not much can surprise me. Not even a hammerhead shark in the bathroom sink.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Roller Derby

No show and tell this week.

On Friday we packed up all the kids and went roller skating. The 7 1/2 minute bus ride seemed like an hour and a half. And it took a good 30 minutes to get all my kindergartners in skates and all the laces tied. But after that, they were off. Some of them had never skated before and it showed. But they are fearless and were soon scooting around the rink. Except for two. One chose to crawl around and one chose to crab walk around. Whatever works I guess. They all had a lot of fun and I got to sit back, drink a diet coke, and watch as they smiled and laughed and fell and learned all on their own.

My youngest son, Adam, asked me to play air hockey with him in the arcade at one point. That's kind of our thing. Whenever we go anywhere with an air hockey table, he issues a challenge. And of course, I couldn't pass it up. He was quickly ahead 3-1. Until he forgot that he was on skates and instantaneously disappeared under the table. Nothing was left but his little round handle spinning on the table. Luckily he wasn't injured and it was so funny how fast it all happened that I was glad I could laugh. He ended up beating me 5-4. I'd like to say I let him win, but I didn't. He completely out played me. Ahhh...the teacher has become the student I guess.

And I'm not quite sure how it happened, but one of my students ended up with only one skate. The other one he apparently took off and stashed somewhere. He eventually found it and was able to reclaim his shoes. I'm still not really sure where it was all that time.

After two and a half hours, we were loaded back on the bus and headed back to school. The kids were all exhausted (and therefore actually quiet for a minute). And now they are all better skaters and have another fun memory of their kindergarten year.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pressing Answers

Yesterday Adam was watching old Tom and Jerry cartoons when he said, "Mom, did you see that? Jerry had a pie with one of those things that Grandma has at her house in it. You know the thing that she wiggles over the clothes after she sprays them with water. And he threw it at Tom." Spraying? Wiggling? Clothes? "Oh, you mean an iron." "Yeah, mom, that's what it's called."

(For the record, I do have an iron and am almost sure that I have used it in the last 6 1/2 years. It goes with that long surf-board shaped shelf in the laundry room that the detergent sits on.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I publish a monthly women's newsletter at church that has upcoming events, ministry notes, a "getting to know you" page, and an article that I write. The following is the article I wrote for February.

Jen’s Gems
From The Heart

I remember when I was in grade school and February meant valentines. Sure there was Groundhog Day and President’s Day, but only on Valentine’s Day could I give away little cards with cheap envelopes with glue that didn’t stick and candy hearts with sayings like “U R Cute.” And not much has changed for kids these days. My boys have already chosen the valentines they will give their class (Star Wars for Josh and Happy Feet for Adam). Not only that, they already have them filled out and sealed. Only nowadays, they come with little sticker hearts to seal them instead of little white envelopes. They carefully read each one and compared it to a list of their classmates to choose the perfect card for each person, just like I used to do. You have to be careful, you know. You have to be sure to give the boys a card meant for boys and the girls a card meant for girls. Only the girl’s cards can’t be too valentiney or they might think you like them. Unless that’s what you want, then it’s even more complicated. So after an evening of deliberation, they had chosen the right card for each person and had carefully filled out the to/from part and sealed them with a heart. Now they just have to wait until the 14th to put them in the construction paper containers on each desk at school.

The hardest and most important part of the whole process is choosing for each person a card that says just what you want to say to them on that day. I think God does that for us. His valentines don’t have cartoon characters on them and they aren’t sealed with little stickers. His valentines come in the form of book, chapter and verse. I can just see him each night looking at his list and finding my name. “Hmmm,” he thinks, “What do I need to say to Jen tomorrow?” Then the next day when I open my Bible, there it is. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 when I need to be reminded of his comfort. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” Or Proverbs 3:5-6 when I need a little faith strengthening. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Or 2 Timothy 1:7 if I need to be reassured of who I am in him. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

So each day I have the opportunity to get a valentine from God. Sometimes they are the ones that say, “Have a Happy Feet Day” or “May the Force be with you, Valentine.” But sometimes they say, “Here I am” or “Remember me.” But what I have to remember and take to heart each day as I open his valentine, is that where I am is where he wants me to be…in my life and in his Word.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

This Week

I have at least one idea every day for a blog post, but finding the time to actually sit down and write gets tricky. So here are a few "long stories short" from the last week that could have been their own posts.

Josh and Adam went to Katie's video game birthday party last Friday where awards were handed out at the end of the night. Adam got the award for "Good Sportsmanship"...and Josh got the award for "Most Uses of the Word 'Dude'." Ah, they make a mother proud.

Saturday I went to see "Juno." I loved it. Juno (the character) is a crack up and wonderfully smart, funny, and courageous. Ellen Page definitely deserves her Oscar nod.

I also found out the one downside to going to the movies alone. If you have left over popcorn, you have to take it into the bathroom with you after the show because there's no one to stand watch outside. At least I ate enough to be able to fold the top of the bag down. (And by the way, if you are walking in front of a pregnant women who just drank 32 ounces of diet coke, get out of the way!)

We watched the Superbowl on Sunday and it turned out just as I predicted...I napped through the game (well, the 2nd and 3rd quarters at least), and woke up for the commercials.

A miracle occurred at school this week. During chapel on Thursday, for the first time in 91 days of school, every kindergartener actually stood tall with the right hand on their heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance without me having to correct a single one. I was pleasantly surprised until the little girl two students to my right decided to very loudly speed things up and was 4 words ahead of everyone else. So I guess a miracle almost occurred.

I always thought the mood swings of pregnant women on tv were exaggerated. Until this week. Some kind of mutant hormones kicked in and I was a grouch for three days straight. Not even my nightly peanut butter and honey sandwich could fix it. (All better now, thanks.)

As a teacher, I sometimes have to teach things that are a little silly. Like how to read an electric meter. What are the odds that one of the five students in my 7th grade class will end up being a meter reader? Especially since they are determined to be professional baseball players and video game designers.

My mom called me two nights this week. One night at 7:00 pm and one at 7:15. We chatted casually, but the real reason she called was to tell me that she and dad were going to bed and not to call them. One of the perks of an empty nest I guess.

In the "you learn something new everyday" category: Kathy's friend list is completely full. Until one of us kicks the bucket, the rest of you are out of luck. And Katrina is in love with the semi-colon; she thinks it's the best of all punctuation.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Show and Tell

*a first grade reading book (C. goes to the first grade class for reading group since she is such an advanced reader. Yeah for her!)
*a princess cell phone (I think it was still in M.'s backpack from last week.)
*a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle book (Cowabunga, dude!)
*a completely empty wallet (kinda like mine) :)
*an orange toy motorcycle "with a kickstand"
*a Barbie laptop with learning games (very pink)
*a wallet from Walmart with two zippers holding 16 cents and a "credit card" (issued by the CDA library)
*a handheld Disney Princess game (again, very pink)
*a pink baby blanket
*a remote controlled airplane
*a silver football that can "go in mud, it can go in snow, dirt and water"
*N.'s bags o' show and tell which include a Toy Story car, Darci the rubber chicken (a blog all on her own), a spinosaurus, Woody from Toy Story, a dinosaur guy "that came with a T-Rex but it got broken", a stickosaurus skeleton with removable skin that can "glow up" in the dark, a velociraptor (N's favorite dinosaur) --and from bag #2--a T-Rex, a longneck, another T-Rex that is smaller, another type of T-Rex, another long neck, a brachiosaurus, and a triceratops (After show and tell each week, I give the kids time to play with all the things they have brought. N. informed me that he brought Woody for the velociraptor's lunch and Darci for his dessert! They are meat eaters, after all.)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

One More Reason To Avoid Morning Radio

This morning one of the djs decided to discuss how she wants to take pole dancing lessons. And went into how pole dancing is not stripping. But how she has always been fascinated by strippers and blah blah blah strippers and yadda yadda yadda strippers. And before I could change the station, Adam said, "Mom, what's a stripper?" "Umm, it's not something you need to know about today," I hedged. "But mom, what is a stripper?" I thought for a second about telling him, but how do you describe a stripper to a six year old. It probably would have been okay because he would have thought it was extremely gross. But I decided to avoid it for now and told him to change the something easier to explain, like why the sky's blue or how to perform brain surgery.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Show and Tell

*a princess cell phone that talks, of course
*Sam, the stuffed puppy that great-grandma "made" (She apparently lives in China because that's what the tag says.)
*a care bear and a twisty thing that you can make anything with
*a Star Wars ship with "yanders" that help it "yand" when it's done flying
*two little silver hearts that belong to mommy and daddy that are special because they got them when they were kids
*a state quarter collection with only 5 left to get
*a baby doll with a button that only works when you shake her head (with full shaking demonstration) and a purse that contains a tiny pink teddy bear, a baby bottle, a pacifier, and a baby blanket
*a story about when L. lost a tooth and the tooth fairy came and left two dollars and then when she was at her house the tooth fairy went to her grammy's house and left another dollar and a toothbrush on grammy's porch. (L. told a much longer version of the story which also included an aside about a camping trip with grammy and how her papa hunts and killed a deer and about great grandma who lives at the hospital and needed a clock in her room and how her mom took her one and how great grandma comes to their house on holidays.)
*a teddy bear that records what you say and then plays it back
*two very pink My Little Ponies with all kinds of brushes and hair clips