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Showing posts from June, 2011

Finally got the video uploaded...

So, to see the California Trip in action, go here.
Thank you Vimeo.  YouTube couldn't hack it.

I accept a blog challenge!

One of my lovely students whose blog I follow issued the following challenge, with the injunction that I'm supposed to pass it along to 5 others.  That could be hard because the other blogs I read are kind of famous ones with hundreds of followers, so I don't think it would be appropriate.  Oh well.
The idea is to give your answers to the following prompts:


Outside my window..................kids in the apartment complex are yelling and playing tag in the back parking lot.

Around the house....................NPR is on in the kitchen, Toby is up in his room guffawing as he watches old "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" episodes, and Ruby is in her room.  She's supposed to be going to sleep, but I'm dubious.

I'm looking forward to.............scrapbooking.  I don't know where I will set up my massive scrapbooking station, but I cannot WAIT to get to work!  I am very behind...still putting together pics from 2009!  

I'm currently reading...............lots…

Song of the day (plus a correction), and thoughts on "technical mom talk"

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First, my apologies to Jackson.  I selected the wrong video.  His is this one.
Today's song challenge was Your favorite song.  Really?  REALLY?  I have so many that I love, and I love them for different reasons and at different times.  I've had favorite songs at different ages and stages of my life.  "Baby Beluga" was once perhaps my favorite, but no longer.  Picking favorites is not easy to do; I feel kind of a parental guilt about it.  If I say Middlemarch is my favorite book, what will The Aeneid think when it finds out, and vice versa?!
Obviously, I am over-thinking this.  I will pick two.  Then, at the risk of infuriating gender-sensitive readers, I will state that one of the songs appeals more to my masculine, tough, "Take names and kick tail" side, and one to my more feminine, gentle-nurturing side.   The first (tough guy) one is "Alive" by P.O.D. The second (gentle earth mother) is "Add to the Beauty" by Sara Groves. I love the lines…

First Haircut

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Ruby did great with her first haircut! No tears or fear at all; she looked inquisitively at her haircutter and watched the Baby Einstein video they put on for her.  It was one of those places that caters entirely to kids.  All of the seats are little cars or ponies or something and there is a TV screen for each seat (the real secret to pacifying the child!)  Ruby had never watched a video before, so she was somewhat entranced.  The video had animals in it, and Ruby loved watching the dogs.  She also thought the hand puppets were funny.   The haircutter saved up some of the baby hair for me in a little plastic souvenir bag thingy.  I know some of you out there don't get why this matters; maybe it's a mom thing or maybe it's just a me thing.  But it was pretty sweet seeing her hair cut.   After that, we went to Cafe Sip 'n' Play to meet Sarah and her son, Liam.  There is a great play space there that Liam and Ruby enjoyed.  
A good time was had by all.  One final pictur…

Grr

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YouTube is not uploading my California video.  I don't have high hopes that either Facebook or Blogger will, either.  Rarg!
I'm going to combine today's and tomorrow's song challenges because they have a funny connection.  The challenges are the first and last song alphabetically in your iTunes lineup.  Oddly enough, they both happen to be by the same band, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass!
First is "Acapulco 1922" Last is "Zorba the Greek" by the same Fun factoid: my dad used to listen to Herb Alpert when he was cleaning the house.  Why yes, my dad DID clean the house.  I'd say that he and mom equally shared the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and general housekeeping duties.  Allen shares in that fine quality as well! Anyway, when I was little (6, 7 ish) I used to dance around wildly to the upbeat fun music.  I declared, "I love Herb Alpert!"  My dad laughed lightly and said, "Yeah, but I bet you won't when you're a teenager.…

Ack, so behind on the songs!

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Hello dear readers!  It's been a while...most of that is due to being on my road trip, which was awesome.  The rest is due to the fact that I've been creating another classic iMovie of the photos and videos of the trip, complete with soundtrack!!!! I love iMovie.  It is so fun and so easy to use.  I'm not calling my movies great art or anything, but they are fun to make and fun to watch.  I'm particularly proud of this one.  Coming soon to a link near you...
Well, as I said, I'm quite behind on the song challenge.  So, here goes:

A song that makes you hopeful...would have to be "Love is Still a Worthy Cause" by Sara Groves.  Many the time I have popped her CD "Tell Me What You Know" into my car's CD player after a tough day at school where I have felt like I'm making no difference at all and feeling very little love for some of my tougher kiddos
A song by your favorite band...Oh, it's always so hard to choose.  I often prefer singer/so…

A song that reminds you of your "first love"

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"O love that will not let me go" as sung by Sandra McCracken and Derek Webb "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another...We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:7-11, 19
As a Christian, my first love is Jesus.  He loved me before anyone else did, before anything else...before the foundations were laid, He knew me and loved me.  Pretty mind-boggling, really.
I don't always live as if Jesus is my first love, though.  He often gets pushed to the back of my mind by the mundane details of life.  But He is the first and last …

A beautiful sight for a teacher in June

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That, my friends, is a packed up and clean(ish) classroom.  Here's Jeff's...
Both rooms are waiting for their new teachers.  Neither Jeff nor I will not be returning to them next year.  Jeff was offered a plummy job at a school that is much closer to his home.  I'm transitioning to part time at MRA, and I'm going to be a school-wide reading specialist.  I probably won't even have a classroom of my own.  There are mixed emotions about this.  I will definitely miss having the role of primary teacher to a lot of these kids (especially my upcoming 8th graders, who have been with me since 6th grade!)  And I'll miss the cool aspects of curriculum planning, like deciding what and how to teach the cultures of Africa, India, and China.  But I won't miss the hours upon hours that goes into teaching full time.  I won't miss homework battles.  That was probably the hands-down most frustrating aspect of the job.  There is just this culture of grudging resistance to h…

I'm getting behind!

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I've missed the past two days of blogging: Wednesday because I was working full force on grading reports, and Thursday because of exhaustion (due to reports and classroom cleaning all day).
So, from Wednesday, a song that gets stuck in my head frequently (and annoyingly) is "Whatcha Say" by Jason Derulo.  I do not like the song.  It has a horrible message.  But it is very easy to get stuck in one's head.  Watch at your own risk:

Thursday's song is "A song that reminds you of your best friend."  This is hard to answer because it means I'll have to define best friend.  Of course my spouse by definition is my best friend...but there's a category for him later on down the line.  So, my female best friend?  How do you decide that?  While some people may have one hands-down best friend for all time, I think that for most of us we have different best friends depending on our time in life.
Okay, well...maybe I'll do a few.
Best friend/cousin/Ruby&#…

Day 4: A calming song

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A song that calms me, eh?  I know just the one...
"It's going to be alright" by Sara Groves.  Here are the lyrics.  Just reading them will probably calm you down.
It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright

I can tell by your eyes that you're not getting any sleep
And you try to rise above it, but feel you're sinking in too deep
Oh, oh I believe, I believe that

It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright

I believe you'll outlive this pain in you heart
And you'll gain such a strength from what is tearing you apart
Oh, oh I believe I believe that

It's going to be alright
It's going to be alright

When some time has past us, and the story if retold
It will mirror the strength and the courage in your soul
Oh, oh, I believe I believe,

I believe
I believe

I did not come here to offer you clichÈ's
I will not pretend to know of all your pain
Just when you cannot, then I will hold out faith, for you

It's going to be alright
It's going to b…

Day 3

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"A song that reminds you of one/both of your parents."
Hmm, this is also hard to choose.  I could go the route of songs that were on in the background while Dad cleaned the kitchen each night.  Or I could list songs that my mom would put on in the car when we were little.  Neither of them did a whole lot of singing to us, at least not that I can recall.  Mom is famous for making up little songs, that often have the same tune to them.  My dad and sister call them her "stultifying songs" because of their supposed ability to reduce their listeners (mostly babies or little kids) to a zombie like and obedient state.
I guess I'll go with this song, which is a favorite of both of theirs (especially Mom).  Michael Card is a great musician, too.

Day 2 of Song Meme

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"A song that reminds you of your most recent ex-boyfriend/girlfriend."

Well, that would take us back to the 2005-2007 range of time when I was dating Thom.  Actually, back to our first "date."  We watched one of his fav movies, Harold and Maude.  We soon discovered that we have completely opposite taste in movies.  But the soundtrack, mostly Cat Stevens songs, was good at least.
Here's one:

Scratch that...

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Okay, Spicer Bros. will have to wait.  Ruby needed a nap in her bed, and that's that.  I need to read a book on getting babies to sleep, because we're having trouble with that, especially at bedtime.  Our pediatrician wants us to get her off using bottles by 15 months, which is in August.  Ruby gets most of her nutrition from table food now, but she does have bottles to calm down before naps and before bed at night, and even those don't put her to sleep like they used to.  She often has to cry it out to take a nap or go to bed.  It is saddening. There's got to be a better way!
I need to clean stuff, anyway.  But I was idly cruising blogs and found this very intriguing meme I'd like to try.
The girl whose blog it was on also attached YouTube videos to go with the songs when possible.  I think I will give it a try.  So, Day 1 is a song from my childhood.  Well, there are many to choose from, but I will have to go with this Raffi song.   In fact, I may be fabricating th…

Summer is (pretty much) here!

Today's the first day of weather that feels like summer.  The other day was cold and drizzly on June 10th.  That's Oregon for you!  But today has been sunny, blue skyed (probably not a word, but I just made it into one), and lovely.  Ruby and I took advantage of it by going for a walk.  We walked to Buttons 'n' Bows, a children's resale shop, because I was given a $10 giftcard there by Annie (our aide at school this year).  I bought several pairs of pants/shorts for Ruby and only had to pay $1.40 for them after the gift card was used.  Yes!  They had some shoes, too, and I tried a few pairs on Ruby.  Her feet are very fat.  It's hard to fit anything onto them.  The one pair that seemed to fit made it difficult for her to walk.  I think that I need to go to the Stride Rite store and get her feet measured. I wonder if I can just get them measured and then not buy shoes there.  The resale shop shoes were all Stride Rites...and cost $7 instead of $40.  Is that unet…

A new video for you...

Here ya go...the cinematographer in this one is Toby.

Just Dance

It was field day today in the afternoon.  From 11:30-2:30, Laurel and I were in charge of the dance station. We had 25 minute rotations, and we did tons of dancing.  The macarena, electric slide, cha cha slide, disco, even a little swing...it was very fun!  It's fun to see the kids who get into it, the ones who don't, and the ones who say they won't but then can't help get into it.  But my legs and feet are aching!  I always forget what a good workout dancing is.  And then when I remember that in 8th grade I was in a 12 hour dance marathon...? Well, all I can say is that the endurance of a hyped up 14 year old with her friends is not to be underestimated.
I don't have pictures, but I saw lots of people with cameras, so I'm sure they'll be surfacing on Facebook soon.  They are sure to be gems!
I think that the dance station revealed one of my better qualities as a teacher: I am okay with being silly in front of my kids.  In fact, they tend to get into it mo…