Around Here Week 18: 04/28-05/05

Monday, May 13, 2019

A glimpse into what was happening around here while we enjoyed Screen Free Week 2019!


photo cred: Tasha Adams

photo cred: Tausha Garrettson

Intentional Outdoor Hours: 94+ hours (of 1000)
Up 23 hour this week! Screen free week will do that to ya, though! We had a beautiful weather week and tons of outside time since...what else is there do you don't have screens distracting you, right? Spring sports, and a huge kid playdate (see below), and a field trip to the zoo all helped boost my hours for this week. Gosh, the fresh air in my lungs and brain feels great! Summer, we can almost taste you! 

Reading and finishing There's No Such Things as Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk. Gosh, such an impactful and important book as both a mom and an educator. I look at my big kid students who have lived childhoods that are so different than mine (with only 20 years between them) and wonder how we can ever make it right for them. It is definitely a longer post for another day all my feelings about outdoor time and standardized tests/academic focus too early, and freedoms/responsibilities, and accountability but this book had me so inspired while also so overwhelmed and furious. long story, short: go read it! I also started and finished Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Loved it so much and thought about so many of my students that I'm worried about because I know they are carrying around trauma that they don't want to tell anyone about. Maybe not exactly the same trauma as Melinda from the story, but trauma nonetheless. I've already borrowed it out to a student that was on my mind while I was reading it. Again, long story, short: go read it! 

Turkey calling. We have seen a turkey in our yard almost every morning this week and now all the kids are practicing their turkey calling. Violet is seriously blowing us away with how well she can turkey call with or without the mouth caller. We went for an evening stroll to see if we could roost the turkeys, and it took us back behind our house where we are pretty sure we saw it's roosting tree. But even luckier - the horses, pony, and goats were out at the farm behind our house and the kids were over the moon to see them and feed them carrots! 

Hamster-sitting for Miss Hannah who went on a mission trip this week to Camden, NJ. The kids are fully in charge of taking care of little Hemelia and they are pleased as punch to do so. She is so kind and sweet to hold. She is sleeping in the girls' room and has us all cracking up at night when she makes so much noise running on her little wheel. Somehow it doesn't keep the girls up at all, but a few nights, I've had to carry her cage downstairs because it keeps me up down the hall! Oh, Hemelia, we love you so, I fear they won't want to give you back! 

Chaperoning Grey's third grade field trip to the Pittsburgh zoo! We got a beautiful weather day at the zoo and I had my little group of five third graders all day. Grey went through the same emotions that Gemma did last year on her field trip (jealous/sad/worried) when some of his classmates really clung to me and wanted to hold my hand and be near me the whole time. I had a little chat with him to remind him that he gets to be with me all.the.time; every day and every night from the beginning to forever and ever as his momma (haha, and half the time he can barely stand me!) and that maybe some of his classmates don't have a momma who look them in the face and laugh at their jokes and it's okay to share for this one day. After our chat, he was better and said he was grateful that he gets me as his mom all the time and thanked me a million times for coming as a chaperone. The third graders were so sweet and if you ever need your soul recharged - seriously take a bunch of eight and nine year olds to the aquarium! They were dazzled and so curious about everything - just what my heart needed! 

Hosting a giant kid playdate at our house to celebrate Screen Free week on Friday night. We had about 28 kids throughout the evening playing baseball, jumping on the trampoline, going for a hike, roasting marshmallows around the fire, dancing in the rain, playing the card game spoons, and best of all - sliding down a giant water slide greased up with water and dishwashing soap! 

Seeing two real life theater shows in two days! Brandon's co-worker acted in her church's theater group production of All is fair at the Mountain Playhouse and we went for a date night followed by pizza and a drink at Merchants'. The show was very cute and had us laughing the whole time - they actually put on a very professional and impressive show for being a church theater group! The following day, our whole family went to see my students' musical Zombie Prom at the high school auditorium. My students all did amazing (I know how hard they have been practicing and working too!) It was a great afternoon and our children were actually very well entertained and mostly behaved for the whole show (except Rust kept asking 'is it ober?' every time they turned the lights down for scene change - HAH)

Getting chocked up to see the students' incredible art displayed at the art exhibit in the mountain playhouse - including two of the pieces that were originally made for me by my student Damien. When the exhibit was asking for submissions, he asked if he could submit two of the pieces he created for me earlier this year and I agreed as long as I could get them back (hehhee). We got to see all the awesome work this weekend, and when I saw Damien's hanging in the gallery-it brought tears to my eyes. He is so talented; as all my kids are; and he has really come a long way this year and I am so proud! 

Spring Sporting with one soccer game each for the girls and three baseball games for Grey (2 for his own team and 1 game that he played up with the majors). The girls are doing great in soccer but are total opposites in the way they play. Gem is an awesome defender while Violet is pushing people out of the way to take the ball to the net. It's hilarious to flip from one game to the next to see how different their personalities shine through in the game. Grey is still loving playing pitcher and short stop and he even had his first in the field homerun at West Surburban on Wednesday night in a tough loss.  We celebrated Opening day at the ballfields with Gem and Grace offering free face painting for fans and chocolate chip cookies for the concession stand. 

Teaching all the old school ways with (mostly) no screens! I collected the kids cellphones on the way into class everyday (mwhaha) and we did everything without screens - we read our novels, played some fun paper/pencil games (like taco tuesday vocab review), we did readers' theater acting out chapters, played El Que Sabe, Sabe, and even had an immigration simulation in Spanish 2 Honors. On Friday, we went outside to the courtyard to play Running Dictation and Cucharas (Spanish verb conjugation spoons). We did a lot of talking about our favorite non-screen activities and I think I got some kids remembering that all the most fun happens without screens (sports! fishing! camping! hiking! sleeping (said all my students)! cooking! dirt bike riding!)

Making not too much - I've been horrrrrrrible about meal planning and kicking myself for it every night when I'm like, 'what's for dinner? Oh wait, I'm the mom so I'm supposed to know' ugh.  We did have fried rice & quesadillas, and hot dogs & smores over the fire and then we were lucky to get turkey soup from gigi (thank you!) and we ate out the other nights (hello pizza, tollgate, and Merchants). 

1 comment:

  1. Adding "learn how to turkey call" to our summer fun list, hah! We have turkeys in our yard all the time around here - I can't believe we haven't thought to learn this skill!