Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thankful for Slicing Challenge

I've made it!  Even though I haven't sliced every single day, I am proud of slicing when I could.  I have learned a lot about myself and others.  The comments people made really made me think of myself as a writer, which I've never really thought of before.  I write in a reflective journal everyday, but to do with slicing and knowing others are going to read it was a little much to get used to first. I am so glad I got over it because I loved it!  Thanks to the other ruth for showing me about slicing and getting me hooked!  I'm already looking forward to next March!  I may even slice every so often on my blog just for the fun of it!  :)  I've also enjoyed reading other slices.  A lot of them have made me think about things I've never really thought of before or look through something in a different perspective.  All in all, this experience made me better and I thank you for that!   

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Niece & Nephew

I have a nephew named Gavin who is 9 years old.  He is a great kid.  He looks identical to my brother.  It's absolutely crazy!  He walks like him, talks like him, even has the same mannerisms.  He's a lot of fun to be around.  I just wish I could be with him more often.  He lives in the Valparaiso area.  We will be celebrating his birthday this weekend.  I'm excited to see him and see what he has been up to.  The one thing that is becoming pretty obvious is the fact that he is so well-rounded.  He loves so many different things.  He loves to read, loves math, loves to play all sorts of sports, is skateboarder, and that boy loves candy!!!  His favorite game to play right now is what he calls, 'Favorite'.  Who's is your favorite movie star...favorite basketball team...favorite song...I love playing that game with him!!  I not only learn so much about him, but it really makes me think about my favorite things.  It's a lot of fun.

I also have niece named Zoe who is five years old.  She is the daughter of a different brother.  She is a HOOT!!  She cracks me up all the time.  She is really into Scooby Doo, lizards and frogs.  She is such a tomboy, but loves her princess things too.  Her favorite phrase is, "Awkward!".  Oh my!!  It gets me everytime.  I get to see her more often because she lives only about 30 minutes.  She'll be starting kindergarten next year.  My family says she acts the same way I did when I was 5 years old.  If that's the case, then her kindergarten teacher better have good summer because she'll definitely be a handful!!

All in all, my nephew and niece are the brightspots of my life and I love being an aunt.  It's a fun job to make them feel special and to let them know that I'll be there for them no matter what. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Buzz of a Classroom

I really do love my class this year.  I have so many entertaining stories to share and we've grown so much as a team.  The one thing that has really struck me recently is the way they truly care and respect each other.  Today during Math, we were working on a project.  They were in groups of four to five.  As I was circulating, trying to prompt student thinking, I noticed how many of them were encouraging one another and helping each other out.  It was incredible to witness.  I literally just stopped and looked around to take it all in.  I had one group who was really trying to help one student who was not understanding how to put some fractions on the number line.  I had another group praising a student (who has a hard time participating) for a good idea to put on the poster by giving him a high five.  Another group was working together by using talking chips to make sure that everyone had a voice in the project.  The last group was asking each other questions to justify their thinking.   It was an awesome thing to witness and I had to just stop to enjoy the learning that was taking place. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

An Embarrassing Truth

I have a confession to make that is rather embarrassing...
I laugh when people cry. 
It happened today.
First, let me give you some background. 
Hubster works third shift.  When I came home today, he was in bed sleeping.  He also has bad knees. 

So, I was feeling pretty accomplished because I got some things done after school that have been on my to-do list for awhile.  I was really ready to get home to Hubster.
I came home, put my things down, and literally ran to our bedroom. 
I yelled, "Hey, babe!"
He replied, "Hey!!"
And then it happened.
I went to give him a hug in bed and our knees accidently hit, kneecap to kneecap.
It hurt.
It hurt bad.
Hubster grabbed his knee and clung onto it.
He was having a hard time breathing, he sounded like he was crying.
I was holding in my laughs so I wouldn't make him mad. 
I was trying hard.  I was holding my breath, my nose, trying to stop my uncontrollable shaking.
But it happened.
Out came my laugh.
At first it was a little giggle.
Then, a little bellow.
Then, I couldn't stop.
I was laughing so hard, I had tears in my eyes and I was having a hard time breathing. 
I felt horrible.
I really do hate the fact that I do this, but I honestly can't help it.
I'm just glad I have a husband who understands me and doesn't get too mad at me when I laugh at his pain! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

I think I can, I think I can

Spring break is four days away!  Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love what I do.  I really do feel like I was put on this Earth to teach.  However, there are only FOUR days until Spring Break!!  Here's what I am looking forward to doing on my Spring Break:

1.  Reading for hours
2.  Spending more time with Hubster
3.  Being on my own schedule
4.  Not having to wake up to an alarm clock
5.  Ohhh, that was is so good it deserves another one - Not having to wake up to an alarm clock. 
6 .Going to lunch one day with Bestie
7.  Spending a day with my mom
8.  Exercising without having to wake up at 5:00
9.  Being on my own schedule for an entire week!!!
10.Being ready to come back and see my class.  :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Where Everybody Knows Your Name....

Hubster and I have "a restaurant".
When I say "a restaurant", it's one of those where the owners know us and the waitress asks if we want our normal.
When we walk in, it's like their faces light up because they haven't seen us in awhile.
Everytime we enter, it's like I hear the faint shouts of, "NORM!"  Like they always did on the show Cheers. 
This place is a restaurant in Portage, which is about an hour an a half away.
It's a hole in the wall.
It's clean.
It's delicious.
It's our restaurant.
We found it haphazardly.  We were in Valparaiso one weekend when we were dating and were starving.  We punched in Chinese restaurant in our GPS (who we call Marvina) and the place that we punched in wasn't there.  So we drove around.  We were so hungry.  I vaguely remember looking at the steering wheel thinking that maybe that wouldn't be so bad to eat. 
Then, all of a sudden, it was there.  It looked just a little shady.  But it said Chinese Food.  Hubster and I looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders and went in. 
We ordered, we ate, we left.
On our way home Hubster confessed that he may have just eaten the best Chinese food he has ever in his whole life.
I agreed.
After several minutes of rehashing each morsel of taste we wondered if we were just thinking it was the best ever because we were to the point of starvation.
We just had to go back and try it again some time.
So, a few weeks later, we went back to test our our hypothesis.
Was it just because we were hungry or was it absolutely the best ever?
We ordered, we ate, we left.
We concluded it was the best ever. 
Now we try to go every month.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't.
We've been there while we were dating.
We've been there on our honeymoon.
We've been there as a married couple.
I suspect (God willing) we'll take our kids there one day,
Or maybe it will just be the place for the two of us.
Either way...
It is ours. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Favorite Childhood Memory

Easter is approaching quickly.  Whenever this time is near it reminds me of one of my favorite childhood memories.  It was Easter Sunday.  I was in fourth grade and my brothers were in high school.  Easters before this one were usually pretty formal.  My mom would have me help her and get the good China out and we would have our ham dinner with all of our usual fixings.  Sometimes my grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousin would be there too. 
But, this Easter it was just my immediate family.
It started out like any other Easter.  My mom woke up early to put the ham in and to start making all of the sides.  I was in the kitchen peeling the potatoes or setting the table.  My brothers and dad would be in the family room watching tv or maybe go out for a round of golf. 
On this particular Easter day, it was absolutely beautiful.  The sun was shining, the wind was gently blowing, it was in the mid 70's.  It was perfect weather. 
We had all of the food ready for our Easter dinner.  Everyone started to gather in our dining room to go through the motions of our yearly Easter get together, when suddenly, my mom said, "We should take this food and go on a picnic."  At first I thought she was kidding.  But, then my dad looked out the sliding glass window and said, "That's a great idea!"  My brothers and I looked at each other like we just entered the twilight zone or something.  My family was anything but spontaneous.  Let alone the fact that my mom and dad were agreeing on something that was going to be spontaneous. 
So, we packed up the food, packed up some games and headed to Ox-Bow park, which was about 5 minutes away. 
We got there, found a picnic table and ate our Easter dinner.  It was laid-back and actually fun.  We laughed, told stories, played games, played catch and went on a hike.  I remember thinking for the first time, "So THIS is how a family should act!"  It was great and I felt, for the first time, the FUN of dysFUNction. 

To be honest with you, I really do not have many great childhood memories.  I'm not exactly sure why this one sticks in my head, but I do think it has something to do with my family actually spending some quality time together and just enjoying each other's company.  This didn't happen very often, but it did on this Easter Sunday and it is something that I will cherish forever.