Thursday, April 24, 2008

Trip to the Farm

Samuel went on his first elementary school field trip today. He was so excited when he was getting ready this morning. He was going to get to ride a big yellow school bus for the very first time! I took the day off from school so that I could just be "mom" and go on the trip with him. He was supposed to get to go to the park for lunch and play time before going to the University farm to visit the animals. However, it rained so much last night and some again this morning that the park was too wet, and that part of the trip was canceled.

When I got to his classroom, his teacher had everyone assigned to groups. I had four students in my group. We got all the kids onto the bus. Three kindergarten classes on one bus - that's 75 kids, but they're so small that they can sit three to a seat. The bus ride was an experience, that's for sure. The kids were LOUD. When we went down Township (a really steep hill), all the children held their arms over their heads and screamed like they were on a roller coaster. Once we got to the farm, we toured the equestrian barn. Local farmers and 4H people had stalls with all sorts of different animals. We saw sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, guinea hens, a turkey, ponies, horses, cows, puppies, baby chickens, bees, and worms. Samuel had lots of fun, and I really enjoyed getting to experience it with him.

I had intended to post some cute pictures from the trip. Unfortunately, the camera batteries were dead as were the extra batteries in the camera bag. Oh well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Girls Night Out

Another great break from routine came tonight with a special girls night out. I got together with three other women (my sister, another teacher at my school, and a gal from church). We are an interesting assortment - different ages, kids in different stages of life, one of us single, etc. and yet we have such a good time together. We were officially meeting to celebrate my sister's birthday (even though it was five weeks ago). We met at Olive Garden and spent a little more than two hours having a leisurely dinner. It is so nice to be a grown up and not have to be "the mom" for a couple of hours. It was even nicer when I got home and all three of my children had been snugly tucked into bed for the night. Kudos to John for that!

Burn Out

First, let me start out by saying that I do really love my job on most days. However, I am starting to feel really burned out. With each class period at school I find myself doing my own little pep talk about how many more times I have to teach a lesson again before the day is over. I know from experience that life after spring break is usually like this. Fortunately, there is SO much extra stuff going on, both inside and outside of the school day, that time passes pretty quickly. I'm getting a couple of small "rejuvinations" this week with a little time away from school. Today I went to the dentist - - DURING the school day! That's a first for me. I was supposed to go about six months ago, had to cancel and could never manage to get an after school appointment. I finally just decided - hey, that's what sick leave is for. So, I got to relax and enjoy having my teeth cleaned. I decided it's pretty sad when you choose the dentist chair over other stuff. On Thursday, I'm taking the day off to go on a field trip with Samuel's class. My school district now offers leave to do things with your kids. I am making an effort to use every minute of that time! We're going to eat lunch at the park (unless it rains, which it probably will) and then to the UofA farm to visit the animals.

Any suggestions for ways to not feel so tired and ready for a break? I have six more weeks of school before summer vacation. 29 school days. 145 class periods. 4 projects. 2 final exams. 1 field trip. 1 fire drill. You get the picture.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Going on a Date

We are blessed to have a high-school aged niece who lives close by who is frequently willing to babysit for us. The kids are always excited to have Lisa come over. The boys rarely even ask where we are going; they don't care that they have to stay at home if Lisa is coming to play with them. Hannah, on the other hand, always wants to know where we're going and when we're coming back. She has to have a hug, a kiss, and a handshake (it's a Montessori thing) before we leave. Today, when John told her about Lisa coming over, she inquired what we were going to be doing. John told her that Mommy and Daddy were going on a date. Her response was, "like on 'Chanting'?" [We have recently watched the movie, Enchanting, and the princess learns what it means to go on a date.] John explained that she was correct. Hannah seemed to really get the concept and was happy for us to leave.

Our date was really a double-date (I didn't explain that concept just yet) with Ann & David. We went out to eat at the Pesto Cafe. It was yummy. It's a place John and I had only been once before, but it's a very popular, local place for Italian food. Then, we went to see the new documentary, Expelled, by Ben Stein. It's all about the debate between evolution and intelligent design (well, you might say the lack of debate). It was very thought-provoking and makes me think about science a little differently.

Unlike my other half, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about or questioning such theories and ideas. I pretty much stick with the child-like faith approach. To me, it doesn't really matter how God created the earth (whether He used evolution as a tool, whether a day was really a day, etc.). I know He created the earth; that's good enough for me. I know what I believe, and I do have my own opinions about creation. I don't have a problem at all with people spending their lives trying to figure it out; I just don't think anyone CAN figure it out. I think it's one of those things we'll only know in heaven. That being said, I am waiting anxiously for the brothers of Consanguinity (who both saw the film today; how weird!) to post their thoughts. The big debate for me is which one of them will weigh in first.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Prayer Request

Please be praying for Hannah and our preschool situation. We have always had wonderful daycare/preschool environments for our children. Today, we've encountered a problem that's new territory - a problem with another child in Hannah's class. It isn't necessary to know the details, just that even toddler friendships can pose concerns, and this mama just needs better peace of mind. Hannah's teacher is wonderful and is being very proactive, so I think everything will be ok - - just may be rough for a few days.

p.s. I thought I needed to post a cuter picture than the last one I posted! :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I'm not sure, even gross as this picture is, that you can really tell how bad Jacob's face looks. This is day #3 of the outbreak. Jacob re-visited the doctor again Wednesday morning (after getting steroid injections on Monday & Tuesday) to find out that he had developed a secondary infection - ya think? Anyway, the doctor put him on antibiotics and started him on oral prednisone. This picture was made Wednesday night at the height of his feeling bad. He even ran a slight fever throughout the day on Wednesday. Jacob ended up missing the entire week of school. My mom kept him the first three days. After seeing how miserable he was, I opted to stay home with him on Thursday. John stayed home with him on Friday. He seems pretty much all better today, although he still has patches of red blotches and peeling skin here and there. Through all this, we did find out that there are poison ivy injections you can get yearly to help prevent a reaction. We will be getting these as soon as this outbreak has run its course.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Not on the Test

We watched this today during our faculty meeting for Benchmark test training. If you have any personal connection to standardized testing, you must watch this video!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Poison Ivy & Bees

Yesterday afternoon I started noticing this weird red blotches on Jacob's face. By evening we had figured out that he must have poison ivy. The red blotches had spread all over his face - eyelids and all. I gave him Benadryl and sent him to bed. This morning when he woke up, I took one look at him and announced that he was NOT going to school. Fortunately, my parents were able to keep him today. My mom graciously took him to the allergist where he got a prednisone shot. He seems much better now, and since he's a boy (and only 8) he doesn't really seem that worried that his face maybe looks a little on the scary side. (James - - it's one of those "Mercy! Your face!" kind of things.) I have to take him back to the doctor tomorrow morning. If he's significantly better, he can go back to school. If not, he gets another lovely shot and will go back to Grandmama's house.

On a totally different topic, I went to Conway last Friday to watch one of my students compete in the state level of the National Geography Bee. He finished second overall. I am so very proud of him! He answered some really, really tough questions - - questions most adults couldn't begin to answer. And, he answered them without hesitation. He and the first place winner went through the entire championship round without missing a single question. They had to endure four tie-breaker rounds before my student missed a question that the other boy answered correctly. It was intense to watch! It was impressive to watch all of the final contestants answering questions and to know that there are still some kids out there who know some geography.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Parent Teacher Conferences

I had parent teacher conferences for both of the boys today. I had to do them early because I won't be here on Friday during the time I could normally run over to Vandergriff while there's a lull in my homeroom conferences. I'm going to the state geography bee to watch one of my students compete.
Anyway, I was very pleased to find out that many of my prayers have been answered regarding Jacob. Jacob has really struggled with social skills. He, for a long time, would not talk at all to other students and would barely talk to adults (and then, only when asked a direct question). He is now talking up a storm to a few friends has made over the course of being with the same boys two years in a row. His wonderful, wonderful teacher has worked really hard to see this success in the classroom. We are so blessed to have her! Jacob actually told me the other day that one of his friends told him that he talked too much! (Of course, we've been telling him that at home for a long time.) I've never been worried about the academics of skipping him a grade, but I really thought the social would have been easier than it has been. So, getting the report today was a big encouragement and relief.
Samuel, on the other hand, has no problem being social. Kindergarten is very easy for him. His only problem, according to his teacher, is that he blurts out answers and doesn't give others a chance to answer. Kids are so different from each other! I wonder what Hannah will be like.