Sunday, May 30, 2010

Picture 146 - A perfect day

This is our tent we used to sit under at the beach when the sun had become too hot. What an amazing idea the tent was. Turned out today was completely gorgeous, not a hint of a storm, not even a cloud really. Clouds, though, can sometimes be wonderful things. They provide some shade and help you stay cool. Thanks to the tent though, we were able to relax and enjoy the whole afternoon sitting by the ocean. Yup, today was a good day.

Picture 145 - protection

Traveling to the beach in the south has taught me that I burn a lot faster here than I do in Michigan. Normally a day at the beach would involve a tan enhancers, not a sun block. I've been burned a few too many times to risk having to work in excruciating pain for the next few days.

Picture 144 - Summertime

There's nothing quite like a watermelon to make you feel like it must be summer. I know it's a lot, but I couldn't resist the temptation to bite into it and just feel the cool juices drip down my chin. All that would be needed to complete the perfect summer meal is corn on the cob, grilled steaks, and a house full of family.

Picture 143 - What to do, what to do.

Last year, for memorial day, a group of friends and I took a trip down to Myrtle Beach. It was such a success, we figured we'd try it again. The plan was made, the supplies readied, and the book chosen. The problem seemed to be the weather. The forecasts weren't inspiring to say the least. I bounced around to three different weather sites hoping for some good news. After much debating, we decided to go with the top forecast and risk a storm.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Picture 142 - Thank you YouTube

So in my enthusiasm for homemade tortillas, I made some that tasted wonderful, but looked.... less than wonderful. After round 1 attempt, it was time to head to YouTube for some further video instruction. What is pictured here is attempt number #15 out of 24. No one would ever mistake them for store bought and I think that's a compliment. I figure I'll apply Dad's philosophy on mashed potatoes to these tortillas, he couldn't tell if his mashed potatoes were real without the lumps.

Picture 141 - Uniformity (for now)

Because I needed something to take a picture of and feel like I have exhausted all the obvious choices, I decided to embark on the adventure of homemade tortillas. Having two sisters that are amazing cooks, this can be a daunting idea, but I figured if it didn't work, I just wouldn't tell anyone. And besides, the recipe said idiot proof. With this in mind, I measured everything precisely, mixed it all together and kneaded it as instructed. The dough, as evidenced by the picture, turned out beautifully. Rolling it was another matter entirely. Turns out that, yes, the recipe is idiot proof, rolling out the dough is not.

Picture 140 - It's Science!

I loved Bill Nye. It wasn't the "I'll watch it if it's on" kind of love, it was the "This show has my complete and total attention" kind. I loved the experiments and learning how things work. So it's no surprise that today one of my favorite subjects to teach is science. I love using things all around the kids to teach them concepts. We have been studying plants and pollination these last few weeks. Because of what I brought in, we ended up discussing how coconuts in Florida and Africa can be genetically linked. This then led to a time at the giant map carpet discussing gulf stream currents, which brought us around to the oil spill and its effects. Yeah, it was a good teaching day.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Picture 139 - finally

I love rain! I love the smell in the air, the sound, and the way it cleans things off (specifically ridding my car of pollen). The last few days though it's been extremely muggy, as if any minute a downpour might begin, but not until Saturday did it finally come. Now, hopefully, the mugginess will be gone and I can get back to enjoying the warm sunshine.

Picture 138 - Weekend work

One of my friends asked last minute if I would be able to dog sit this weekend. I wasn't too keen on the idea seeing as this was also my last weekend of Saturday classes, but he couldn't get anyone else to help him out. Turned out to be a lot of fun. Maple is such a great dog and wants to spend her time chasing a ball or chewing on a stick. I can't wait till the time I can have a dog of my own.

Picture 137 - Recess fun time

I remember when I was a kid. I loved the swings, the feeling of flying, of getting high enough that there was the tiniest moment in time when you would free fall back to earth. I would always try to make it so that my feet would be as high as the top of the bars and then close my eyes as I went rushing back in the other direction.

Picture 136 - the "pillow hog"

When he was very little, Linus liked very much to sleep on my pillow, above my head. At the ripe old age of 6 months, he now has to have his own to sleep on. When he tries to sleep above my head again, I clearly get none of the room on the pillow. He no longer gets called little man, but monster.

Picture 135 - long lost friend

In all honesty, he was never actually lost, just gone for a while. This week we got the chance to get together and catch back up on what's been happening in our lives. It was a great time filled with a lot of laughter.

Picture 134 - no surprise there

Nearly 10 years ago, my sisters and I decided to have our upper ear pierced together. Since then I've managed not to lose that hoop that was originally chosen. For someone who can forget where the phone is while talking on it, tens years of owning something is a big deal. It's kinda sad that I lost it, but then again, it was, seemingly, almost inevitable.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Picture 133 - way cool!

I love National Geographic, if for nothing else, it has amazing pictures. It's not often in everyday life you see some of the animals they show.

Of course, I may actually see them, but their camouflage is so good that I don't realize it. But against the backdrop of a brick building, this little guy stands out like a sore thumb. If I couldn't be a teacher anymore, I'd be a wildlife photographer.

Picture 132 - And now, it's time for a rant

I had my summative review today. It went fine, I'm not overly concerned with what label I am given. I know I do my job well and work hard. The one thing I was looking forward to was getting some advice on how to improve for the next year. I was told that I need meet kids needs no matter if they are labeled or not. What this really boils down to is differentiation and challenging students. This is actually something I felt that I've done really well this year. I've targeted and worked with small groups as much as I know how. I'm under no delusions that I'm perfect, but I'm left with the question how. I've been trained in this and using it to the best of my ability. What else am I supposed to do?

Picture 131 - tattoo or perma-tan?

It seems I have a penchant for hurting myself in ridiculous ways. Each person that has seen my wrist has asked if it was from cooking. My answer, "no, a light bulb". I have been considering getting a tattoo for a long time, mostly because I can't fully make up my mind what I'd like. Turns out I no longer have to make this decision as I have Mickey Mouse on my arm.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Picture 130 - Sock it to the EOG

It seems that only about three teachers decided to celebrate this day, but we did. I loved wearing my socks.

Picture 129 - Reflections

I was driving down the road to a friend's house when I looked over and saw this reflection on my car door (yes, this means my car is now back. But I figured there had been enough posts devoted to my vehicle issues) I thought it was so cool, I drove till I found the right angle, pulled over, took out the camera, and snapped the shot. Incidentally, the reflection is from a Christmas present from last year. Seems I'm keeping the trend of really, really late Christmas presents going strong.

Picture 128 - Yummy goodness

Saturday was my first introduction to The Cheesecake factory. We got some to go and just sat outside enjoying the evening. It was the perfect end to a long, but amazing, day. As a first timer, I had heard that the menu is monstrous and a little overwhelming. Being very unlike myself, I skipped over everything else, took one look at the desserts and chose what I wanted. The Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Cheesecake. It took 4 tries, but I finally finished it and it was marvelous. I can't wait to go back again!

Picture 127 - I can fly!!!

I can tell the story of "T" because we have worked very hard this year to be successful. We have struggled, I've wanted to pull my hair out, and he has tried every nerve in my body. But, he's also one of the students that I've so thoroughly enjoyed teaching. His excitement and enthusiasm is such a thrill to see when it comes out in what he's learning about. It was no different when he saw this picture. He looked up and me and said "Look at me, I'm flying!" I can't wait to see what he grows up to be.

Picture 126 - The "other" friends

For the past three years, I've worked with a core of 3rd grade teachers that has just gotten better each year. I've loved getting to know these women and experiencing life with them. So when they said it was time to dress alike and take a group photo, I thought, sure, why not. When we're not trying to talk each other down from a ledge and tell each other it's going to be ok, we have a great time.

Picture 125 - hop, skip, and jump in time

There may have been a few missed days where I didn't take a picture. Not sure why right now, but there were. So, I'll skip ahead to Wednesday afternoon. This photo frame has been in my room all year long. Now that it is EOG time, I have to take anything with writing down. Really, the frame says it all.

Picture 124 - Camera envy... sort of

This was the day I was to take pictures of Andrew and Michelle for their engagement. We wandered around the railroad tracks and then went to Sandhills Gardens. In a moment of panic, I couldn't find my camera (turns out it was under the bathroom sink) and I called my friend who has a very cool camera to see if I could borrow hers. When I was looking through the pictures, I was really happy to see that many of the general pictures of the couple were equally as good with my camera, but when it came to close up pictures, her camera blew mine out of the water. In the background there were flowers and leaves, but the focus on hers is so fine that it all just blends into a mix of colors. It gave me something to look forward to sometime in the future.

Picture 123 - Evidence

It has been over a week since I've written down what my pictures have been about, but it's time to fix that. It seems there's been a lot of posts about my car, but this one is the last. Today was the day they start to get everything ordered for my car and get going on the project. Before it began though, I needed a little more information in writing about what I could expect when the job was done. Leann was completely gracious and patient with me, but I decided that an example of me standing my ground would make a good picture.