Thursday, March 25, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 things I will do on spring break...

1. travel a little (Montana)
2. read a lot
3. laugh with my kids
4. smile at my husband
5. watch movies
6. clean a little
7. sleep a lot
8. sing
9. wear pajamas all day (at least twice or three times or four)
10. enjoy every second

10 things I will NOT do on spring break...

1. set an alarm clock
2. make lunches the night before
3. grade papers
4. discipline kindergartners
5. wake the boys before they're ready
6. wish I was home with Jules (since I will be)
7. say things like, "Keep your hands to yourself*," or "What's the rule about walking in line," or "Criss cross applesauce."
8. worry about bed time
9. clean up spilled chocolate milk...EVERY DAY!
10. count the days to summer vacation**

*Okay, this one I may have to say.
**And I might do this one, too.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Field Trip Friday

Update: I was remiss in not mentioning the brave teachers who put their lives on the line for those of us who didn't ride the bus. They watched over our students who undoubtedly needed much attention during the trip. Especially those who rode in the back of the bus. (You know how those "back of the bus" kids are.) The bus riding teachers are heroes to us and to all who know them. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten. (Is that better, Marci?)

No show and tell today. We went on a field trip. We went to the IMAX theater in Riverfront Park. The kids rode the bus. I drove myself. I had to. Julianna was going and I wanted her to be in a car seat. So as sad as I was to not ride the bus, I did it for her. And in support of me, Kathy sacrificed her bus ride, too, and rode with us in our van. What a friend.*

Taking 10 kindergartners to Spokane and letting them loose in several acres of park is a little nerve wracking. Luckily I always have a few parents go with us and they are willing to be in charge of their own kids plus a couple more. It seems like I am continually counting kids. And every time I counted today I came up with 10. Always good. Pretty much getting back to school with the same number of kids you leave with is a successful kindergarten field trip.

The IMAX movie that we saw was Hubble. It was fascinating. They showed the whole process of getting the Hubble telescope 320 miles above us and what they've done to it in the years since. And they showed some of the pictures that they have gotten from Hubble. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. I found myself thinking how awesome our God is to have created such a thing as our galaxy and all the ones outside ours. It also made me wonder what view we'll have from Heaven. Will all our questions about the universe be answered? Will we be able to see things all of those light years away? Will we even care while in the presence of the Bright and Morning Star? Probably not.

After the movie we rode the carousel and then went to the giant wagon park to eat lunch and play for a while. The kids were all really well behaved and seemed to have a great time. Julianna had fun, too. She made friends with a squirrel in the park and chased it around trying to feed it a pretzel. It came really close to her and she had absolutely no fear. A few steps closer and she would have grabbed it like she tries to grab the cat at home. When the squirrel finally climbed a tree, she kept asking, "Where squirrel go?" So cute.

So another annual field trip come and gone. And it was a good one.

*Umm, that was all sarcastic. Riding the bus is NOT fun for adults. Kids love it. Teacher's don't.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 things on my grocery list*...

1. fruit (bananas, apples, mandarin oranges)
2. veggies (lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots)
3. sugar (to make lemonade and to put in tea)
4. cream cheese (to go on the bagels I bought at Costco)
5. frozen corn (because it's better than canned)
6. mayo (for sandwiches and french fry dip)
7. cookies (a huge box of Oreos to donate for the youth rally at church)
8. toilet paper (duh)
9. dryer sheets (I can never match my number of dryer sheets to my detergent.)
10. Lunchables (for the boys' field trip to Riverfront Park tomorrow)

*Obviously, it's been hard to come up with ideas for 10 Things Thursday. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

In the spirit of the Irish...

...some blessings and proverbs.

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

A face without freckles is like a sky without stars.

Here's to your roof, may it be well thatched
And here's to all under it -May they be well matched.

If God sends you down a stony path, may he give you strong shoes.

A handful of skill is better than a bagful of gold.

A cabin with plenty of food is better than a hungry castle.

A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.

Dance as if no one's watching, sing as if no one's listening, and live everyday as if it were your last.

It is easy to halve the potato where there is love.

Three best to have in plenty - sunshine, wisdom and generosity.

God is good, but never dance in a small boat.

Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet.

You'll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.

May you live long,
Die happy,
And rate a mansion in heaven.

Say little but say it well.

If wars were fought with words Ireland would be ruling the world.

And my favorite Irish blessing...

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you In the palm of his hand.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Julianna has been talking up a storm lately. It seems like she says new words everyday. She says them on her own and she repeats what everybody else says. Whenever she sees writing, she says, "abc." And when we were doing Adam's math homework, she heard us saying numbers and she started counting. Then she was playing with some little people and started saying, "upside down, upside down." And when I looked, sure enough she was holding them upside down. She has also started saying, "I hungry, mama," instead of, "mmmhmmm, mama," like she's done for months. I'm not sure where she got her "I'm hungry" noise, but I've known what it meant for a long time and would ask her if she was hungry when she did it. I guess she finally decided to use the real word. Which helps when she's with other people, but I have to admit that I will miss her little hungry hum. In the last few days she's also said, "exactly," "I know George," "bagel," " bite, please," and "boots." She's said "thank you" for a while but now also says, "excuse me," "bless you," "sorry," and "you're welcome." But of all her new words, my favorite is "read." She will bring a book to one of us and say, "Read book." Or she will just say, "read," and "read" it herself. I've already seen in her my love of music and now I'm starting to see her inheriting my love of reading, too. I love it.

I spent a lot of time with my sweet little girl this past weekend and saw over and over how much she's growing everyday. Too fast. Just too fast. When she wants to snuggle, I snuggle. When she wants to read, we read. When she hands me the puzzle pieces and tells me where to put them, I oblige over and over and over. Because I know. I know how the days fly by and the years add up and these moments, these lovely baby moments, pass all too quickly. So for now I will hold on to this little girl with the twinkling blue eyes and contagious smile and growing vocabulary. And treasure these memories so that I can hold them in my heart forever.

Blessed Sunday

This lovely cake was made by Darcy for our Monday night Bible study group in celebration of my birthday. A few weeks ago, she brought her yummy chocolate covered pretzels and I told her that for my birthday I wanted them instead of cake. (She is the official birthday cake maker for the group since she makes such delicious, creative cakes.) So when Monday came along, she brought this log cabin cake covered with chocolate covered pretzels for the logs. What a treat! I can't even tell you how much I loved it! Not only did it look so cool, but it tasted good, too. It was a little tricky to cut and serve, but it was worth it to get to the chocolate and vanilla layered cake and frosting inside. And if cake wasn't enough, we got to eat the logs, too. It was such a special cake and I felt special that Darcy put so much work into it just for me. Thanks, Darcy.

But as much as I loved the cake, that isn't the blessing I'd like to write about today. The blessing that this cake represents is Darcy and her husband Andy. They are amazing people. Loving and generous and caring. They are funny and smart and encouraging. They bring to our group something that none of the rest of us could. They bring a perspective of our Lord that I so appreciate and am only able to see through them. Where they have been and where they are now is an amazing testament of God's grace and love. I am so thankful that I know them and that they are a part of our family's life.

And on top of all that, there's also the yummy cake!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lord Have Mercy*

Remember this song by Mr. Mister?

Kyrie eleison, down the road that I must travel
Kyrie eleison, through the darkness of the night
Kyrie eleison, where I'm going will you follow
Kyrie eleison, on a highway in the light

I had the record in the 80's and practically wore it out listening to it. Whatever happened to them? Anyways, we heard that song on the way to school this morning and I just had to sing along. How can you not? And Josh, who loves music almost as much as I do, was listening, too. A few minutes later, when there was an ad on the radio, I heard him singing it in the back seat.

Carryin' a laser down the road that I must travel
Carryin' a laser through the darkness of the night
Carryin' a laser where I'm going will you follow
Carryin' a laser on a highway in the light

I turned the radio down to make sure that's really what I was hearing. Then I asked him if that's what he was saying and he said "yes." I laughed and laughed. Carryin' a laser? Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

*The phrase "kyrie eleison" means "Lord, have mercy" in Greek. Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

10 Things Thursday

You know how in "Peter Pan," Wendy and John and Michael have to think happy thoughts to fly? Well, here are my 10 happy thoughts for the day...

1. having a clean, organized, simplified house with no clutter or dust bunnies or dirty dishes
2. opening the fridge and having dinner magically appear every night
3. having children who never argue or fight or get into trouble
4. teaching a class full of students who retain everything I teach and who are right on track in every subject
5. balancing my checkbook and finding enough and maybe even a little extra money
6. living a day in which I do everything I'm supposed to and nothing I'm not
7. lying on a beach somewhere with a good book and a constantly icy cold, fruity drink
8. typing the last period on the last page of the book I have in my head
9. having someone pay me for writing that book
10. hearing my children laugh those deep, sincere laughs that I love so much

Bonus: And, of course, my ultimate happy thought is heaven. The happiest of all.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Blessed Sunday

I have been blessed this past week by starting my 38th year of life. When you're little, birthdays are a big deal. It's your one day to be the center of attention. Your day and yours alone. But after you get to a certain age, birthdays aren't such a big deal. Dinner, a few presents, cake, and maybe a candle or two. If that. But the day comes and goes with little fanfare. I spent many years like that. But a few years ago, I decided to make a bigger deal of my birthday. It still might just be dinner and cake and a few presents, but in my mind it is my special day. A day to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next. I have begun to enjoy turning a year older, not at all worried that that number means I'm older, but enjoying that it means that I'm a year wiser. This year was like that. I went to work as usual. (Well, mostly as usual. I was dressed like a Star Bellied Sneetch*.) I taught phonics and numbers. I had recess duty. I was mom and wife just like any other day. We went out to dinner and I got a free birthday sundae complete with a candle on top. My sweet family softly sang "Happy Birthday" to me. Then I went home and got a bag of birthday goodies** from my husband and kids. Then I put kids to bed and made lunches and did all my nightly preparations for the next day. So besides the yummy steak and free sundae, and a little extra attention from my family, it was just any other Thursday. On the outside. But for me it was my birthday. And I felt special. Because I wanted to. I laughed a little more and sang a little louder and enjoyed the little things. It was my day.

*It was Dr. Seuss day at school and I decided to be a Star Bellied Sneetch. So if you ever see someone dressed strangely on a day that's not Halloween, just assume they're an elementary school teacher. We do that sometimes.
**My birthday bag included a stuffed flower, Peep flavored lip balm, Twilight bracelets, a pack of mini Twix bars, and the first season of Glee on dvd. Nice, huh?

And to make things even better, Friday my sister friends took me to dinner and a movie to celebrate. We had yummy hamburgers and fries at Red Robin and talked and laughed and drank glasses and glasses of Diet Coke. We discussed who we would be if we were movie characters. We had purse show and tell. And we laughed some more. Then we walked over to the theater and saw "Alice in Wonderland." It was sooo goooood. Even though we were the fourth oldest group of people there. There were a lot of teenagers. A lot. They were noisy and energetic and just a little scary. (Not because they were really scary, but the thought that I will soon have teenagers in my house was scary. Like panic attack inducing scary even.) Then to finish the night, we went to Baskin Robins (since Dairy Queen was closed) and I got a waffle cone with a scoop of my favorite ice cream ever, Nutty Coconut. And we laughed some more. It was a good night, a good, good night.

And to keep the birthday celebration going, Tuesday's family dinner night is my family birthday. We are going to my favorite Mexican restaurant and then to mom and dad's house for coconut cream pie. Yeah for birthdays!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Show and Tell

Today is "fill in the blanks" show and tell.

"This is my (choose item from section 1) and I like it a lot. It's very (choose adjective from section 2). I got it from (choose one from section 3). It can (choose one from section 4). And I like it a lot."

Section 1
stuffed dog
Littlest Pet Shop animals
Batmobile, Batman and Robin action figures, Batman mask
stuffed Lorax and book
stuffed bunny

Section 2

Section 3
my birthday
my room

Section 4

Thursday, March 04, 2010

10 Things Thursday--Birthday Edition

10 things about birthdays...

1. Today is mine.
2. The first birthday I remember was when I was turning 7. My dad was across the country working and there was a party at my grandparents house with lots of aunts and uncles and cousins. But I sat on my aunt Shirley's bed and sang It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To. Because the one person I wanted to be there wasn't. He was 1000 miles away.
3. But on my 13th birthday, he sent me cards from across the country even though he wasn't.
4. On my 16th birthday I was given a gift in every one of my classes at CDA High School. Just little things, but boy did I feel special. Everyone knew it was my birthday. And I just bet all the other kids, well, at least the girls, were jealous that their parents weren't as creative and loving as mine to send them presents in every class on their birthdays.
5. That was the same year that mom and dad picked me up from driver's ed and took me to a big surprise birthday party with all of my friends. (It's so weird that I remember what I was wearing that day. It was a light blue skirt with a pastel-ly colored animal print shirt. Very 80s.)
6. That was also the year that I got a car for my birthday. But I didn't get it until a few weeks after my birthday. Dad was looking for an El Camino to buy for me. I didn't realize until just a few years ago why he was looking for that specific car. It was because I would only be able to have one other person in the car with me at a time. Fewer distractions. I ended up getting a 1976 Dodge Aspen. It would hold four other people. (It would have been five, but dad cut the front middle seat belt out so that no one could sit right next to me. I understand now. Thanks, dad.)
7. My 21st birthday was the first I celebrated as a married woman.
8. And my 28th was the first I celebrated as a mom.
9. Thirty seven birthdays have come and gone with cake and candles and balloons and presents and family and friends. But only one thing has ever really lasted or mattered--the people who have made those days special.
10. And today, on my 38th birthday, those same people who have been there for so many other birthdays, will make this one wonderful, too.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Counting the Seconds

Adam: Mom, what's 60 X 15?
Me: I don't know. A lot....Well, 60 X 10 is 600 and 60 X 5 is 300 so 60 X 15 is 900.
Adam: So that means we have 900 seconds of recess.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010