Around Here Week 5: 01/26-02/01

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

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


Intentional Outdoor Hours:  4+ hours (of 1000)
Only 20 minutes short of my January goal for outdoor hours and I'll take it! My February goal is to add another 8 hours, so I'll make 8 hours and 20 minutes to stay on track for the year!

Reading and finishing The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. One of the quotes that had me teared up at the end was, "Once you figure out what matters, you'll figure out how to be brave." I started reading our next Books&Brews book club book, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson and heart wrenching and important and brutal.

Laughing and rolling my eyes about fourth grade band. Who thought it was a good idea to give our son a saxophone? We get an almost daily 'concert' that often includes the 'Tugboat note' which consists of Grey blowing as hard as he can into the sax without using any hands. Send ear plugs and chocolate please!

Bursting into tears when I read this post from @workingmomkind on instagram. One part crying because I need to be kinder to myself regularly about this exact thing and one part because it's what I have always wanted/meant to say when people give me the 'ole "I don't know how you do it" line. I frequently get it because of our big family, or because I read, or because I write this blog, or because I work full time and volunteer with our kids and my students...but it is so frustrating to me because I want to say - "I get the same hours in a day as everyone else! I don't know what you think I'm doing, but it's survival - how is anyone doing it?!" but this quote was exactly the right and truest thing about motherhood. It's about figuring out which ones are plastic and which are glass.

Starting a daughter/mother journal with Gemma for us to share and write notes back to each other. She is super geeked out about it and loves it - we are going on a streak of daily messages so far. It two fold good to help us communicate but also really is supporting her reading and writing too.

Encouraging Violet to 'read' her Level A readers each day and continue to practice writing her first and last name. She says she is both excited for kindergarten and a little nervous; we keep reminding her that she still has lots of time until next fall. I can see this growing up struggle in her emotions though and she's been whipping back and forth between acting overly babyish (whining, wanting to be carried) to super big girl (getting dressed on her own, putting on make up secretly, carrying a purse!) We will get through this little stage, but it's been pretty tiring helping her work through it.

Proud of my students who put on their show this week. They performed Dear Gabby for the entire student body on Thursday afternoon and then went on to put on three more presentations of it throughout the weekend. Next up - the musical!

Completing my first college assignment this week and getting my research topic approved. I'll be researching the use of physical and digital manipulatives to support kinesthetic (and all) learners in the secondary classroom. We do a lot of movement in my classroom (dancing fridays, walk-around quizzes, games, running dictation, etc) and it's something I really believe is lacking in young people today (movement!) I have this whole research study in my mind that I'd love to pitch to someone or to unofficially do myself about why (it seems to me) that teenagers are getting so many more severe injuries these days. I have kids in 9th-12th grade who have already had knee, ACL, and rotater cuff surgeries! Kids are in boots or crutches all the time and constantly kids are on modified days for concussions. I just don't remember it being like that when we were growing up. I have a some theories that involve: lack of free outdoor play in early childhood (climbing trees, sliding down dirt piles, etc) combined with overuse in one specific sport in early childhood (year round travel teams) but those are just my hypothesis. Can someone do a real study, please? k, thanks. I also had to turn in a reference page in APA format and ughhhhhhhh (which is how I feel about tedious formatting).

Grateful to kiss January goodbye. Good grief, longest month of the year and no snow days! We are all feeling a little wacky from the cabin fever, and the rain, and go-go-go. We could use a snow day to just lock us all home for a whole day, but doesn't look like it's in the cards for us - maybe this whole winter (!!)

Spending 3 hours between the waiting room and needle pricks for my 3hr Glucose test after my failed standard one. bleh. But I got a lot of grading done for school and started reading Just Mercy - so it was productive at least. B had the four kids at the basketball games on Saturday morning while I was getting my testing done.

Installing our new tv! Since I had already purchased the prom raffle ticket prize of the flat screen tv back on Black Friday and then an unsold ticket was hit that day - we just kept it. It's been overdue; our tv is over 12 years old (!) so B got it set up just in time for the Superbowl!

Winter sporting with seven basketball games for Grey (!) and two practices. This was the last big week and now two of the teams only have playoffs/ships this coming week. We'll be done to only two teams and that's looking pretty sweet to me. (Although then it's only one week of "calm" before indoor baseball practices start twice a week LOL)

Spring sport prepping by mailing out the baseball sponsorship letters to local businesses that support our league and organizing the communication list to share with the board members. We also got all three soccer kids (Gem, Vi, and Rust) officially registered for AYSO soccer too! Rust man is so excited and cannot understand how/why we have to wait a few more months before soccer practices start (hah). This will be the first year I won't be coaching one of our kids' teams because as I explained to Rust and Violet, "I can't be jogging up and down the field teaching you how to play, our baby brother will just fall right out!" HAHAHAH, how I wish that is how it worked.

Teaching Spanish 1 about traditions in bullfighting including watching an actual bullfight! Spanish 2 got started on their Sobre Yo projects and we continue to practice verb conjugations (with the Dice activity) and still it is such a struggle. I swear 2nd year Spanish students who are 'meh' and just there because 'they have to for college' are my most frustrating. Lawd, please give me more patience. Spanish 2 Honors worked on Chapters 3&4 of Esperanza and started making their family trees. Spanish 3/4 Honors dug their heels into the Imperfecto tense and are doing a great job so far practicing when to use the two past tense conjugations in various scenarios. They turned in their Preterit-o's cereal box projects on Monday and I loved seeing their creativity (and how informative they were) shine through. I gave a mid-year check in google form and got back some meaningful feedback from students about their thoughts on learning, discipline, safety, and inspiration is going in Spanish class.

Making bbq ribs and mac&cheese, white chicken chili over rice, shrimp alfredo with fettuccine, and turkey sloppy joes with air fried mini potatoes (a kid favorite!) I made some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies because the baby brother made me do it (hah), and some cinnamon sugar fried biscuit donuts on Saturday morning.

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