Around Here Week 12: 03/17-03/23

Saturday, March 30, 2019

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this minute.

photo cred: Lisa Gilmore

photo cred: Brandon Studer

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 23+ hours (of 1000)
Up about 4 hours this week and got two walks in with the dogs; I took a kid or two with me each time. The first day of Spring arrived and I was stuck in the house with a massive fever, so that was a bummer. But spring is definitely here - regardless if it still a pretty chilly because our chicken girls are laying like crazy right now. We are bringing up almost a dozen of eggs a day! They are so happy to be free range and loose all over our yard again.

Reading and finishing Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich (with Steven Levenson, Benj Pasket & Justin Paul). I borrowed a copy from a student (thank you Kylie!) and really loved it. Now I need to see the musical! It has been so fun this school year borrowing books from my students - I even started a hashtag #whatseñorastuderisreading on my teacher instagram (#nerdteacher) I can buzz through YA books pretty quick and I really think they offer such an insight into my students' worlds. I'm also still reading There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk and playing catch up with our book club's last month book (!) The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray.

Getting trolled by that sneaky leprechaun who used the shoelace from Grey's sneaker to repel and then climb back out of the box trap Grey had made! He did snag a piece of his shirt on the cardboard though!

Giggling as Violet sings (from Teen Beach Movie):  "Bubble gum, Cherry Pop, I hang with my brother 'cause his friends are so hot"

Hunkering down when the germs descended on our house. I came home from school on Wednesday afternoon and got into bed and didn't get out again until Thursday morning with fevers, chills, and body aches. It got passed around several times between the two littlest and B got a bit of it too. By Friday, I still didn't feel great and Rusty felt awful, so I stayed home from school with the two little ones so we could try to get ourselves back to health.

Celebrating our sweetest friend, Gina's birthday. She invited both Gem and Violet to her Paris party because she is honestly made of cotton candy in her soul and our whole family adores her. happiest to you, Gina girl.

Flying solo on the weekend. B headed out to Elizabethtown with Grey and Gem to spend the weekend with our Gilmore cousins. Their youth fishing day is two weeks before us, and if you know Greyson Rudy Studer, if he can get his line wet - he's all in. Gem loved sleeping over with Audra and Grey with Reid and Rowan (thank you Lisa & Ray for keeping my fam!) While Dad and the big kids were out East, the babies and I held down the fort with the dogs and chickens. We visited the Fiores new house and made an afternoon playdate at Slinky's Action Zone. I kept thinking it was their turn to do something fun just for them, I kept thinking, "Boy, when Gem and Grey were little we used to do this kind of stuff all the time" but now that everyone is in activities; poor Vi and Rust just get schlepped to fields and courts all the time #babyofthefamprobs

Prepping for spring sports season. B and his team started outdoor practices this week for baseball. I met with my team at Meet the Coach night for AYSO soccer. I am coaching Violet's little U5 team (we have four players total, hehe! so cute!) and Gem will be playing U8 this year. We got all three practice and game schedules and I filled in our next three months in my planner so we know which fields we will be at and at what times. So much concession stand food and Silver Bell ice cream in the near future.

Choosing my seasonal quote in how to approach the next few months of busy spring sports and end of school year madness. Here it is, inspired by spring:

Teaching Somos 5 Unit including an introduction to Bullfighting before we started watching Ferdinand in Spanish 1. Spanish 1 Honors took to tower building to finish their Castells de Tarragona Unit and then played a little catch up by also watching Ferdinand (which they hadn't done after their Bullfighting unit, oops!) Spanish 2 started into Somos Unit 8 and Spanish 2 Honors continued reading Fiesta Fatal chapters 3-4; learning about azoteas, Mexican mercados and getting a tiny taste of Pear Deck. Spanish 3 Honors continued to read Robo en la Noche, or should I say listened to because they all prefer to have Storytime with Señora instead of reading it on their own (hah). We worked on Pear Decks to help us work through comprehending chapters 2-4.

Making fried spam over rice (because have you seen that commercial? HAH good job Spam Advert team, it convinced us!), steak'um wraps, chicken and broccoli casserole, no bake energy bites, and three ingredient chocolate pumpkin muffins.

Around Here Week 11: 03/10-03/16

Monday, March 18, 2019

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this minute.

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 19+ hours  (of 1000)
Up 6 hours this week because Fake Spring has arrived (I hope she has aspirations to be real spring though, because sheesh are we ever ready!) We picked up and reassembled the trampoline after a winter of being flipped and frozen over (lol), we climbed trees, we took walks with the beautiful sunset as the backdrop, we pulled out and dusted off bikes,I broomed out the garage, Grey made and obsessively checked his dead fall trap in the woods, we built a few fires, and even grilled out one night. Our chickens are thrilled to be free range again and have been producing like maniacs, I even started a little side hustle selling dozens of eggs to my teacher coworkers (hahah, thank you for buying from us!)

Reading (and finishing in three days) a book I borrowed from one of my students (thank you, Abi!) This is not the End by Chandler Baker. I really enjoyed the book and story, very interesting, clever, and unique. Still also reading There's No Such Things as Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk and just started The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray because our next book club meeting is scheduled for later this month!

Smiling at the chickens because they are so much like pet puppies. As soon as they see anyone come outside, they all come running up with real joy in their little steps. They follow us all around the yard, they even came back the path to the 'tunnel' where the pine trees are that the kids climb between our house and neighbors. These girls! I just love them so much!

Admiring my beautiful Spanish word wall thanks to my March surprise from my classroom fairy godmother Ashley from Big White Farmhouse. This month's surprise included adhesive magnets which my teachers' assistants got right to work laminating and hanging them up. My room looks so full and the kids are using it while working on their free writes - gah, I love this nerd teacher life.  Ashley also sent my students and I tissues and pencils (are two biggest needs all year long), and a fun card game called Locos Ochos which I can't wait to try out with my Spanish Club!  (mucho mucho muchisimo gracias Ashley - por siempre)

Celebrating Pi day at school with a pep rally in which students got to buy chances to pie a teacher in the face. I was lucky and got one of my freshman students (hi, Damien!) who chose me to pie in the face. He was nice about it and didn't smash it in my face (or up my nose- hah!) Damien is also an incredible artist and gifted to me a beautiful watercolor/drawing this week that warmed my heart so much (it's above with the most touching message). #lovemyjob #lovemykids

Asking my students to finish the sentence prompt, "I wish my teacher knew..." as I did last year. It is such a meaningful activity and always gives me a unique perspective into the students' lives. The rules are that they don't have to sign them (they can remain anonymous), they can write in English, Spanish, or drawing (hah), and they can write as much or as little as they want - they just have to finish the sentence. I always get such a variety of responses; some very sweet and kind to me, some that help me see into the worries and stresses of their everyday lives, some that are not so kind to me/my class. And then I give them a letter I write each year that starts with the sentence, "I wish my students knew..." (and to paraphrase) how much I believe in them and how lucky I am to get to be their teacher.

Ending an era in our life with an open mind and heart. The universe gives signs and signals and opens windows even when it can initially feel like a door closes. Thank you to everyone who helped us survive and thrive through six years of CV basketball seasons for Coach Daddy. Those ides of March sure can surprise you!

Volunteering at our church's fish fry on Friday night. Grey and Gem came with me and while I (literally) ran around waiting tables - we were so packed! - they cleared tables and refilled drinks and helped me deliver orders. On Friday, after a full day of school, I get them from the bus and we rush to get to the fish fry as soon as possible. Grey said on the drive, 'Mum, can't we just go home?' and I told him, "I want to go home too, buddy. I'd love to go home and put on some comfy clothes and have a cup of tea and relax after working all day. But we have arms and legs that work and hearts that are kind and our church needs us to help - so we're going to hold it together for another 3 hours or so and help!" We hustled and bustled our booties off all evening and then afterward while we got to eat delicious fish fry food and rest our tired feet, Grey said, "Ya know, Mum, it does feel good to help." #yepitdoes

Setting up our leprechaun trap on Saturday night!

Teaching Somos Unit 5 to Spanish 1 including hilariously wacky class stories about un muchacho, su hermano malo y las 3 novias. Spanish 1 honors started Somos Unit 7 and htey finished incredible Shrinking summaries that had me beaming with pride at how far they have come this year in their language learning! Spanish 2 finished up learning about Los Castells de Taragona, España and Spanish 2 Honors started Fiesta Fatal (their next novel) Chapters 1 and 2 and then we had a Billy la Bufanda binge watching marathon on Friday and watched all three Billy y Las Botas videos in a row (jajjajajaaja). Spanish 3 Honors started reading Robo en la Noche and I discovered a very cool new teaching tool that we are trying out throughout the novel called Pear Deck. We are learning how it works together as we move through the chapters, but it seems like a really fun and cool (and free!) tool - especially for reading our novel.

Making kielbasa and hot dogs on the grill (yum!!) with mac& cheese and baked beans (summer, can you hear us?). We also had creamy chicken chili over noodles, potato soup and 4 ingredient beer bread. I made some pumpkin roll and the kids and Brandon ate it all up in a matter of minutes. We had pizza pie to celebrate Pi day (hah).

Around Here 10: 03/03-03/09

Thursday, March 14, 2019

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this minute.

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  13+ hours (of 1000)
It was snowy and cold again this week, but the chickens and shoveling had me earn a little more time to bump up to another hour for the year. We are all so anxious to get outside - while we were discussing the weather on the way to school this week, Violet shouted, "Go Away, Winter! We don't want to wear coats anymore!" #mood tho

Reading There's No Such Things as Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk and falling more deeply obsessed with my commitment to outdoor time for myself and our kids (for all kids!) I also ordered our next books & brews book club book The Feeding and Care of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray but I didn't start it yet because I dove right into McGurk's book!

Missing B/Daddy while he spent three nights in Hershey for a school admin conference. I was so blessed by family and friends though who huddled around us to get through our week of activities and school pick ups and drop offs. (thank you abba, chum, stankans, and garretsons! I am so very grateful for all the ways you helped me get through this week!)

Catching a movie at the theater with the Stankan family! We haven't been to the movies in quite some time, but while B was out of town, I loaded up Sheila with the whole crew and we saw How to Train your Dragon 3 with Loni, Rourie, and Ivan. Grey was over the moon as he is an enormous fan of the How to Train your Dragon movies, series, and characters.

Kissing basketball season goodbye! Grey had his last game of the season with his CT team at the YMCA and they finished with their first win in overtime! At the very last moment of the game, one of the other team's players was so distraught over losing that he ran up behind Grey (who had the ball) and shoved him with both hands and Grey went flying head first across the floor (he was okay and got right up, albeit a little confused and shaken) and then the buzzer went off and the game was over. It was such a bizarre moment and the kid who had pushed him was overwhelmed with emotion and was hysterical (crying/freaking out). I saw that Grey was fine but watched in confusion as nothing happened: the refs didn't call a foul (it was overtime and everyone was waiting for the next game) and the kids' coach (who I learned also happened to be the kids' dad) didn't do anything about it - and I was mostly disappointed that it was really such a sports teachable moment lost for all the kids there.
--Grey, who has had sports expectations drilled into his 8year old brain for his whole life, got up and went through the hand shake line and when he got to the kid that pushed him who had tears streaming down his face, Grey told him good game while high fiving and also giving him a pat on the back too (like a, "we're cool, dude, chin up" move that he's seen his Coach Daddy do through the good game line).
--and I knew my reaction to the event was crucial too. So when I talked to Grey after the game I asked if he was okay (he was, mostly confused about what the heck happened) and I reminded him that sometimes people can get overwhelmed in a big game, but that never means you take it out on another player or the ref. And I praised him for his reaction and kindness/patience with the kid through the good game line and then we moved on to talk about the rest of the game.
--If we want a level headed, humble, accountable athlete - we need to react to the game with a level head, humility, and accountability as an athlete's parent/spectator. Our motto is, if you want to prove a point in sports, you do it with your talent and hard work: make another basket, score another goal, throw another touchdown; you move on to the next play with your head held high and play your game.
Sports are more than just sports. 

Celebrating our babiest cousin's first birthday! Miss Remi Jane turned one this week and the kids and I made the trek out to WashPa to celebrate that sweet little squishems. While we were at the basketball game and Remi's birthday - B was working out at the High Ridge hunting preserve and put in a full 12 hour day walking through snow in the woods during the pig hunt. He was so sore and chilled to the bone when he got home; he had to practically thaw out before he could even speak in full sentences (hah!)

Teaching Somos Unit 4 in Spanish 1 (including target structures: habla, toma, and quiere ser), Spanish 1 Honors finished Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro and took their novel fill-in-the-blank final. Spanish 2 moved onto Somos Unt 7 (including target structures le ayuda, tienes que, and pasatiempo vocab). Spanish 2 Honors did a mini unit about Quinceñeras before getting ready to read Fiesta Fatal next week and Spanish 3 Honors did a mini unit about Costa Rica (including a travel research project on Google maps) before getting read to read their next novel; Robo en la Noche. (Also - cheering on our North Star boys' basketball team who made it through the first round of state playoffs!! On to the sweet sixteen - Go Cougars!!)

Making my mom's enchiladas with leftover taco meat, ramen noodles, swedish meatballs in the crockpot over mashed potatoes, and King's Cake (with babies in it!) to celebrate Mardi Gras/Carnaval on Fat Tuesday.

Around Here 9: 02/24-03/02

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A glimpse into what it is like to live in our home just this moment.

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  12+ hours (of 1000)
Not enough to push me up to another hour this week, bleh. Spring, where you at?

Reading and finishing Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippenott and then handing it over to one of my students who opened it and immediately started reading it in her free period (which she spends hanging out in my room - hah).

Stumbling our way through Read Across America week (happy birthday Dr. Seuss!) and all the themed days at school. We threw together the lamest fairy tale costumes (aka. name tags for Hansel and Gretel for Grey & Gem) and then barely pulled off the rest of the week for them (their 'twin outfits' didn't quite match their friend/twin's clothes, we totally forgot about grade/color day) and the little kids had an easier week with pajama day and mismatch day (aka every day). Violet thought 'crazy sock' day was the most hilarious thing she had ever heard of. She borrowed two socks from her big bro, Grey, and was pleased as punch.

High fiving the Rustman who is making progress in his speech work with Ms. Kristin. He is really chatting up a storm and had me belly laughing the other night when he feigned horror when he realized I put something under his bed in hopes that he'd forget he wanted it when he was out of the room. He looked at me with a face in shock and said, "Momma! Why you put that under my bed?!"

Jumping and smiling and hugging when one of my former students (she's a senior now) stopped by to tell me that she was accepted into her first choice college! I am so proud and grateful to have been her teacher and be just a small part of her journey through life. (congrats Mattison!)

Feeling grateful for cousins Heather, Albert, and Caleb for taking Grey to see the Harlem Globetrotters on Wednesday night. It can be hard to do much of anything sometimes with our litter of children (haha, I say that lovingly) but we are so blessed to have family and friends who take a child or two on special events that we could never do all as a family. thank you Rummels!!

Catching up with my sisters at our monthly SCF (sisters come first) happy hour date. We met at Uch's house and got all caught up from Kayla's trip to Thailand and got to see her pics and videos!

Celebrating our Gemmi Roe birthday girl with a sleepover party at our house. She invited six friends, plus her little sis Violet, and we spent the evening playing 70 rounds of Just Dance on Youtube and watching musicals all night (Hairspray and Mamma Mia!) The girls were all very sweet and Gem had such a great time. We meant for the party to be Just Add Magic themed but with all the dancing it sort of turned into a Dance party theme (lol). We even got to have our cousin Mallory for an extra day to sleepover which made us all happy.

Enjoying a day date with mah man. (thank you Miss Hannah for babysitting!) We went to my students' basketball game which they played and won the D5 Championship! Then we enjoyed dinner at Press when we by chance ran into my sisters and Kev there too! We share the Mongolian Cauliflower appetizer and it was delicious as always. Then we headed over to Mardi Crawl to help Tasha and You in Flood City with registration. It was a great turn out this year with 9 participating bars and over 300 wristbands sold. #proudbigsisbrag

Teaching and having mini conferences with my Spanish 1 students who were working on their Capibara con Botas final projects, Spanish 1 Honors read chapters 3-6 of Brandon Brown Quiere un Perro and had a snowball review on Friday. Spanish 2 students were finishing their BBQP final projects, while Spanish 2 Honors learned more about the Bolivian children 'prisioners' and did a writing and interpersonal speaking presentations. And Spanish 3 Honors finished up La Casa de La Dentista with some writing and interpersonal speaking presentations too.

Making use of our crockpot this week with chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes, and London broil cooked all day (yum!). We also had breakfast for dinner to use up our abundance of chicken eggs and B made spaghetti one night. We had a Just Add Magic themed birthday for Gemma, so we made "If These Walls Could Taco" and "Extract the Magic Mac & Cheese" with "Point of View Popcorn" (aka Bedford Candies popcorn - thank you Soph & Kate!) and sang Happy Birthday over our "Shut 'Em Up Shortcake"