Thursday, August 30, 2012

tendon repair

Doug had surgery today to repair his elbow.

I saw a picture of his torn tendon. It was gross.

I now know more about tendons and elbows than I wanted to know.

It will be a long 4 months of healing for Doug.

Poor Doug.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Memory Makers

We finished the summer with a bang celebrating my dad's birthday at a family water park called Burger's Lake. Really, it's a throwback style man-made lake, complete with life guards that tell you that it's your job to take care of your kids and things like that!

We loved it!

One of the cool things is all of the green space. Plenty of room to grill (you can bring your own food!) play a game of volleyball and even throw a football!

Here are few pictures of the afternoon!

And now, on the white slide... my sister Libby!!

Lexi takes swimming very seriously!!

Family picnic time.

My dad grew up coming here and so it was a walk down memory lane for him.

Kylie and Ma going down the slides!


I took a ton of pictures right off the bat. Good thing as Doug hurt his arm on the trapeze swing and I had to leave and take him to the care now. See the people and the blue trampoline in the background of the picture below? That's the line for the trapeze swing. You hang on, swing out to the middle of the lake and drop into the water. Doug did this. Once was fine. The second time he torn the tendon off his elbow and will have surgery on Friday.

The day was a little nuts with it being the weekend before school starting and Doug hurting his arm, but really it was a lot of fun for the kids. We will be going back next summer!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School 2012

It doesn't matter how well I plan or how early I get up,
the first day of school always ends up hectic and full of bellowing.
So as we were running out the door, here are a few pictures of the adventure.
For some reason, the pictures are all icky.
Oh well.
The girls are pictured in their first day of school outfits picked out by Doug.
(one of my favorite traditions!!)

And, I saw this on a another mom's blog... it says, "Kylie wants to be a doctor." 8/27/12
And here is Lexi. Her shirt says pink glitter makes me smile!! So true!!

Lexi's sign says, "Lexi wants to be a horse trainer or a vet."
And finally, Maddie!
I can't believe she is in Junior High!! Oh how I remember 7th grade.
Maddie's sign says she wants to be an architect. 

And right before we walked out the door, here is a picture of me. I have to say, I'm bummed with the photo. I know I looked better in person. oh well.
And were off for 2012-2013!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Be A Part Of It!! My 2012 Classroom is ready!!

I'm in love with my classroom. I guess it's a good thing since I spend most of my waking hours there! I'm starting my 5th year teaching art (15th overall) and I really feel like this is gonna be my year!  I don't have to be anything I'm not, I've proved that I can do the job, and do it well. Now, I'm gonna have fun!

So here is a sneak peak into my classroom! My theme this year is "Be A Part Of It" using the New York, New York song (Frank Sinatra singing..) and the New York skyline.

When students enter my classroom from the hall, this is what they see first. I have spent countless hours cleaning out years and years worth of accumulated stuff, so I love seeing my empty table and floor space. I still have a ways to go, but I feel like I'm on the downside finally.

As students move into the main classroom, here is what they see first.

The cabinets are on the left as you enter the room. I love the bright colors!! 

The view from my desk.

The view from the back right wall.

The white board and Mona Lisa.

A view of my desk area... eek.  I really need to do something with all of the cords!!

The Assignment Wall. This is the place where students who say, "you never told us...."  are sent!! Sketchbook assignments and project due dates are already posted!!

And a picture of my tables. It says this room is full of artists.. and it says to do your own work, keep your hands to yourself and so forth. And it reminds the students of Mona Lisa! (Mona Lisa is my reminder to students about expectations.. eyes on me, hands still, pleasant's not my original idea, I stole it off an art teacher blog!)

And finally, here is a picture of my SMARTboard in action!! I LOVE that I can make interactive scrapbook pages to teach from! (okay, really it's called Notebook11 for the SMARTboard, but with it I can make a cute scrapbook style page...)

And there you have it.
In case you missed it in all the cuteness, yes, I teach high school art!!
And now I'm off, tomorrow is gonna get here quick!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A visual reward!!

I haven't posted anything lately about my continuing weight loss journey.
And it's not because I fell off the wagon and didn't want to tell anyone!
I'm doing GREAT!!
I've lost 23 pounds.
In fact, I'll show you!

Yesterday, while getting dressed I had to dig out a belt to wear in
order to keep my pants from falling off.
The belt was way too big too.

I had to punch a new hole in the belt. yippee!!
Take a look at the measuring tape.
That is almost FOUR INCHES SMALLER!!!
In May when I wore this belt last, I had it buckled at the third hole from the left.
Here is a picture of me from the spring.
That's me, down front on the left, with belt on.. 23 pounds heavier.
Yesterday, it was FOUR INCHES smaller. 

I'm still working hard each day to eat healthy and workout.
With reminders like this that my work is paying off helps!

The Teaching Shift: Becoming Better Teachers

This is my 15th year in the classroom. Wow.
During that time, as you know if you personally know me or have followed this blog very long, I have taught a lot of different subjects, in a variety of places, and at all levels.
And while some won't agree, and some will be offended, I believe that basically there are two types of teachers. Those that adapt and improve and those that refuse/choose not to adapt and get left behind.
This year in our school district, we have a line in the sand for teachers. No one says this and it is was made very clear that using our new technology tool was optional and all that, but I truly believe, that this will be a telling year for teachers and how an individual teacher sees the profession.
You see, we are implementing My Big Campus. This is a huge shift in teaching. My Big Campus is basically a safe facebook. It will be an awesome tool should a teacher want to use it as such. If nothing else, it will be a great way to communicate safely and effectively with parents and students.
But there are some teachers out there that are really scared and unsure. I'm sorry, but some of these were the same teachers that thought email wouldn't last. And some of these are teachers that are new to the profession and they don't see the value in it as they don't communicate with parents or as  I quote one newish teacher... he "just teaches in a gym."
I however, am excited about My Big Campus. I am excited that our district is choosing to be proactive and give teachers, students and parents a safe platform for communication. I like that if a student posts something inappropriate, as the teacher, I can address it. In fact, I have to address it.
Isn't this a much better format than a student posting something inappropriate for all the world to see on facebook? As teachers, this is what we are here for. To guide students THROUGH the mistake, not to keep them from making mistakes.
So here we are at another teaching shift. I'm adapting and learning and growing. And yes, I'm going to make mistakes, but I'd rather make a mistake because I was willing to try new things than make the mistake of burying my head in the sand.
The profession of teaching has changed dramatically in the last 15 years and I can't even begin to guess at what the next 15 will have in store, but I am excited and determined to become a better teacher each and every year!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mini Golf for Kylie's 3rd Birthday

We have a very sad little mini golf course in our town.
Good thing it's cheap family fun.

We had never taken Kylie or Lexi, so we decided to go play after dinner.
Here are a few highlights.

Doug tried to help Kylie. She was pretty sure that she could figure it out for herself.

And look! Proof that I was there too.

At the end of the course. Kylie was mad that she had to give the ball back.

And there you have it. A little forced family fun to celebrate the big #3!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

3 more things

1.We took the kids to play miniature golf tonight. It was interesting. I tried to load the pictures, but they didn't load. (thanks blogger... ) Kylie turns 3 tomorrow and we thought it might be fun.  I'll load the pictures and let you decide.

2. I have a blister on my toe from running. I'm gonna say that again. I've run enough miles that I have a blister on my toe! I realize that I should not be happy or proud of that, but I am.  I also purchased a new pair of jeans this weekend. They were too big. I will take them back and purchase them in a size that I consider to be the holy grail. Crazy!!

3. Something incredible is happening to our family. Specifically for Maddie. I'll post more soon. I can't wait to tell everyone!

And that's it for now.  I've got to go get ready for our school's convocation tomorrow. I have to speak for a minute or two to a few hundred people. no pressure. ..eek.

Friday, August 17, 2012

a few things.

1. I pulled a muscle this week. I don't think I've ever pulled a muscle before. This is something adult-onset athletes have to learn to deal with. Don't you love the term adult-onset athletes.... it almost sounds like a terminal disease.  The term is from a book I read called No Need For Speed by John Bingham. It's a good book and well worth your time if you are wanting to start working out and are not an experienced athlete.

2. Teachers went back to work this week. I love my job and I love summer. I don't love in service. I really, really don't like wasted days spent in "training." A couple of the nuggets from one of the worst days... "if you are in a district that requires grades..." What teacher works in a district where grades aren't required????  What the heck? And how 'bout this one... "well, I didn't say I would use (such and such technique), I'm just presenting it to you" when I asked about something that was presented that would get a teacher in our district in trouble!!

3. My room is looking really cool. I may have found my theme for the rest of my teaching career. Well, maybe not. I'm pretty ADD about this kind of thing.

4. I am so thankful to live and work in my community. We had our annual meeting today with Maddie's teachers about her health and her health plan for school. Everyone is so completely supportive of Maddie and our family. I can't imagine how difficult our struggles would be if we truly had to fight for everything Maddie needed.

And that's it for today. I just didn't want you to think that I had vanished.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Best Birthday Party Slacker Mom Ever

I happen to be a birthday party slacker mom. I am completely aware of this fault. Each year, I get a little worse.

For summer birthdays, I have figured out the best ever birthday party!! So attention all you closet slacker moms, you will want to take notes!

1. Reserve a tent at the local pool. We have "Splashville" and it's reasonably priced, my kids love it and it's convenient. Big perk: I don't have to clean my house pre or post party!!

2. Send an evite to the parents. Yep, evites are easy and free. Make sure your evite includes the parents. This is important later.

3. Go to the event a little early and get your kids sunscreened and swimming so that when guests arrive you can direct them to the correct area without the kids underfoot.

4. Swim. All those parents that came with their kids are now entertaining and supervising their own children. SCORE!

(poor Doug. Lexi's best friend was getting a little too close for comfort..)

5. After everyone swims a while, take everyone to the concession stand and buy ice cream and drinks. Believe me, the money spent at the concession stand is less than a custom cake! And, each kid gets to pick his/her own item. The kids LOVE THIS!!

6. Swim some more.

7. Open presents. (hey look! I'm in some pictures. cool.)

And there you have it. Kylie's 3rd birthday party.

And your 101 Birthday Parties for Slacker Moms is complete!