Around Here Week 15: 04/07-13

Friday, April 19, 2019

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

The Mighty Muffins!

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 48+ hours (of 1000)
Up 14 hours this week with some beautiful spring weather. Sports practices and games are leading up the hours for outdoor time after school, but we had a absolutely perfect Saturday morning that the little kids and I spent on the porch reading, coloring, and riding scooters. The boys were at fishing camp for the first day of trout before they had to come home and we all headed to the baseball game.

Reading the same books still (good grief!) and ordering our next book club book Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal and signing up to participate in the Summer Book Club with Book Love Foundation for teachers. My friend Renee (also our school's eleventh grade English teacher) introduced me to the opportunity and my books and swag have already arrived. I have to hide them from myself though so I can read along with the schedule and fully participate in the book discussions this summer. SO EXCITED!

Introducing the chickies to our big chickens with little success - hah. they mostly ignored each other and the chickies were just so excited to have more space to explore. We still have about two weeks before they can officially move to the coop, but they are loving the occasional outdoor adventures.

Celebrating our nine year old! Our booboo is nine years old and it came and went with just a little bit celebration because baseball season/fishing season is so crazy (hah). We sang at fishing camp the weekend right before and had cupcakes, then he played up in a baseball game on his actual birthday and had a big crowd of extended family cheering for him. We got baseball iced donuts to share with his team at their game on Wednesday and B had lunch with him and his friends at school. He got a shotgun from Gigi and Pappy (for turkey and pheasant hunting) and a kayak for fishing on the Quemahoming from Abba and Chum! #outdoorkid  We will have an actual birthday in a few weeks when it warms up (and slows down). He wants to have a sleepover at fishing camp (shocking! lol). He's nine and, truthfully, making me nuts. Every few years I have to pull out my It's a Boy parenting book and my 25 rules for moms with sons post to remind myself I'm not insane. Raising young men is not for the faint of heart. I love this wild kid, but good grief we are like bulls fighting horn to horn these days. I know we'll get through this, but it's hard to know what's a battle to have and what's a battle to let go (for both of us) right now.

Registering the two big kids for fall sports (already!) Grey will be playing minors tackle football again and B is the head coach and Gem will be cheering flag footbal and I'm the coach again. Did I mention that B is also the VP of the football board. #heliumhands

Visiting the big kids' school on Reading night. Our PTA does an incredible job of decorating the whole school (this year's theme was Enchanted Forest and the kids were on the hunt for hidden gnomes!). Each classroom had a theme - our favorite was planting beans! - there is a book fair in the gym and our local animal man put on a show including his alligator that had all the kids in awe.

Opting out of standardized testing for my third grader after a lot of research, impassioned conversations, and reflection. I love our school and our teachers and our kids so intensely. And even if I'm just a drop in the bucket; I just could not.

So thankful and proud of our Gigi who got to ring the bell this past week! I spent most of Friday in grateful tears that she got to celebrate this incredible milestone. She is truly a warrior. Thank you all for your continued prayers and good wishes. We have a big scan coming up later this month - please keep her in your hearts.

Volunteering at our church's fish fry for the last time this Lenten season. The kids helped clear tables and even got to do some serving of drinks and rolls/coleslaw this time!

Looking at the calendar and realizing I need to remind the Easter bunny that his big day is coming fast. Ahem, as is always the case, thank you Amazon prime.

Spring sporting with more soccer practice for Violet and Gemma. My little U5 time has a bakery for the sponsor so we call ourselves the Mighty Muffins (#cutest thing on the planet) and there is so much hugging! I've started calling our huddles = huggles because the girls get in so tight and squeezed up. Oh gosh, I'm having a blast with those kiddos. Grey started games this week. He pitched on Tuesday and played short stop on Saturday. They are 1-1 so far and had such an awesome game on Saturday even if it was a loss by one point. Our pitcher had a moment on a mound that he was really getting down, and our whole in field huddled around him and got his spirits back up. It was awesome to see. #sportsaremorethansports Also, our baseball coach is so handsome and makes me proud every game, but that's a longer post for another day ;)

Teaching and practicing horizontal conjugations with Spanish 1 and finishing out Somos Unit 6. Spanish 1 Honors got a new group of food verbs and did some free writing about breakfast and lunch choices. They had a fiesta food day on Friday! Spanish 2 worked on animal vocab and started Somos Unit 9. They did an awesome job of completing a Mad Lib version of a story with target structures with a partner and then translating it all into English. I was so proud of their hard work and collaboration (especially as they have been my most trying class period all year). Spanish 2 Honors worked all week on their final novel projects of retelling the novel through their choice of format. Many of the groups chose to make a movie trailer and through our mini conferences this week, I can hardly wait to see them. Spanish 3 Honors celebrated their finishing of Robo en la Noche with watching the movie Rio.  The final few weeks of the year are all mapped out and we are jammed in tight up through the end! All classes have one more book to read before the end of the year (!!) and lots of fun end-of-year activities! yeesh, I'm starting to sweat a bit with only 30 more days to go!

Making chicken and gravy over mashed potatoes for Grey's choice of birthday dinner, banana cinnamon and sugar muffins, grilled kielbasa and pasta salad, and a fridge clean out night. Tis the season of concession stand for dinner (ugh oh).

Around Here Week 14: 03/31-04/06

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 34+ hours (of 1000)
Up 11 hours this week thanks in large part to the real arrival of spring and fishing season. The kids are loving extra hours of daylight after school and getting to spend recess at school outside. We had spring sports in full swing this week with practices so our hours are naturally increasing which is so good for our minds and souls.

Reading the same books (still!) but receiving the most thoughtful surprise in the mail from my classroom fairy godmother, Ashley. She sent over a load of books that were on my teacher wishlist written by Latino authors to add to my library.  Did I read several pages of all of them because I just couldn't help myself? (obviously yes) and I can't wait to get my hands on them to properly read them this summer. The books include A Thunderous Whisper by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan, I am not your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez, Yaqui Delgado wants to Kick your Ass by Meg Medina, and Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña. I think it is so very important to include books from diverse authors in all classrooms, but it is especially powerful in a small (mostly homogeneous) community school district like mine. Gosh, I have a lot to say about this topic - perhaps a whole blogpost for another day - but in the mean time, Ashley thank you so so much (muchísimas gracias) for bringing the whole world into my classroom.

Holding down the fort as B had a little man trip to Spruce Creek to fish from Wednesday morning until Friday afternoon. He had an awesome time reeling in monster native trout and spending time with his best friend. We held it together at home and was blessed to have our family lean in to help us get to all the places we needed to be at the right time (thank you Mum, Dad, and Garretsons!)

Caring for our little chickies who are growing like weeds. Gem has been so good about keeping up with refreshing their water and giving them new food when they push wood chips into their feeder. Rust likes to 'help' by keeping watch as we clean out their tote until he decides "too much poop!" and totally bails on the job - haha.

Testing positive for strep in our house. Violet had a throat culture on Friday, and yep! strep it was - so we had a round of antibiotics called in for her. With big families, there should just be enough rounds called in for all of us, right? Ya know it's coming! LOL

Soaking up the spring on mentor fishing day on Saturday. We had a beautiful day and the kids had the perfect spring day getting dirty and tired and soaking wet because no matter if the water is 20 degrees, you know they're still getting in somehow. Gemma accidentally slipped in pretty early on in the day (LOL her shocked face was adorable) and then from there, it was all about seeing how could stand in the longest and crossing the creek to get to the fallen tree, etc. We played with the Stankans and our Gilmore cousins well into the dark and still the kids were complaining about going home! Oh, spring, how much I truly adore your arrival.

Spring sporting with two baseball practices and the start of soccer practices. The girls' practices were cancelled on Monday due to rain and mud and cold - but we had our first practice with my four little U5 kids on Wednesday. They are cutie pies and there is a lot of hugging going on. Gem did great in her new U8 league and is learning a lot.

Teaching Spanish body parts in Spanish using Monsters (such a fun activity!) while Spanish 1 Honors started Somos Unit 8 and learning about food. Spanish 2 Honors learned all about the delicious Elote and celebrated the end of the food unit with a fiesta day. Spanish 2 Honors finished Fiesta Fatal and played a spirited game of trying to persuade one lucky 'quinceñera' of which chambelán she should choose (she couldn't see until after she picked A, B, or C). They closed out the week with a fiesta food day too. Spanish 3 Honors learned about casada lunch plates custom in Costa Rica, wrote out their predictions for the bird thief, and read up through Chapter 12 in Robo en la noche. I am so grateful for learning about Gimkit and Pear Deck this year - they have increased student engagement in so many ways and really amped up my use of technology in the classroom.  Big fan over here!

Chaperoning all the things. I spent the afternoon and evening with our Reading Competition team at their spring meet on Tuesday and then my Spanish Club students hosted a dance at the school on Friday night. We didn't have great attendance (bummer) but the kids that were there to play a game of Fort Knox had a blast. I got to play and learn a new game (like tag but with more rules). Definitely noticing though that the times they are a'changing and the kids are less interested in dancing and more likely to participate in a game-type event. It has me brainstorming for next year fundraisers.

Making Korean ground turkey over rice with broccoli, creamy crockpot chicken over noodles, cinnamon sprinkle toast, meatball sandwiches, and buffalo chicken dip (leftover from the dance).

Around Here Week 13: 03/24-03/30

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

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

chicken storytime (haha)

Intentional Outdoor Hours:  23+ hours (of 1000)
No substantial time this week because of the sickness that swept through the land. Holding strong at 23+ hours still since last week. bummer.

Reading (still) The Feeding and Care of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray and There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk

Bringing home six new little chickes to add to our brood! Something about springtime air makes me lose my mind apparently - HAH - because I called Brandon on the way home from church and announced I was stopping to bring home new chicks. We got sick little black Asian Run chickens and they are so cuuuuuuuute!

Recuperating from a serious sickness that had me so dehydrated that B ended up taking me to the ER on Monday afternoon for two bags worth of saline to bring me back to life (!!) I got violently ill out of the blue on Sunday night and was up all night with a severe stomach sickness. With some back and side pain on Monday, we worried a little bit about maybe my appendix and B took me in just in case. Turned out I was just incredibly dehydrated. The kids all took a turn with fevers this week too and we had kids absent from school several days. Spring, please take these germs away!

Preparing for Easter by pulling out our Easter book collection, hanging and coloring our Lenten countdown papers each day, and decorating our blossom tree out front with Easter eggs.  Grey, Gem, and I attended a children's Stations of the Cross at church and it was so meaningful. The three biggest are looking forward to the Easter bunny (Violet keeps closing her eyes and making wishes to him, hah) but Rust doesn't quite get it which makes me excited to see him start to understand when he gets his basket and participates in the egg hunts.

Celebrating our Violet Peanut's half birthday! Our littlest girl is four and a half and still a squishmeister. It is common for strangers to ask if she and Rusty are twins because they're nearly the same height and they just wrecking ball all around like tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

Participating in our first board meeting for a non-profit group. We met for the first time and it was so inspiring to share drinks and dinner and ideas with these awesome people. I am so excited for what it is to come next and honored to have been elected Secretary of the board. #proudbigsisforever

Singing happy birthday to our Mimi for her 81st birthday! We had a little gathering at Kuma's house with dinner and cake to celebrate her. The cousins were all happy to be together and we all loved being with our Meems - who has 3 children, 4 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren!

Spring sporting with baseball practice twice this week and almost a full day of field clean up (Brandon and Grey). I am working on our U5 soccer practice plans as practice starts the first week of April!

Teaching up through the last day of the third marking period! Only one more marking period to go for this school year (¡Qué loca!) Spanish 1 and Spanish 1 Honors watched Ferdinand this week to close out the Bullfighting Somos 5 Unit. Spanish 2 started into a Comida unit (somos8) while Spanish 2 Honors continued reading Fiesta Fatal. They learned about illegal immigration tunnels and completed a walk around quiz. Spanish 3 Honors read further in Robo en la Noche and learned about the MINAE organization in Costa Rica. Our Spanish club received our new tshirts and everyone loved them. It was also our visit to the elementary school where my students taught the little ones food words in Spanish.

Making fried rice, ham and egg sandwiches for dinner, macaroni and cheese with hot dogs, crescent roll pizza, and pancake bites with toppings (chocolate chips, blueberry, or sausage) with the kids on Saturday morning.