Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Grade

I have spent countless hours the past few weeks getting ready for my new adventures in teaching first grade. Here is a glimpse inside my classroom.

We will start with a caterpillar/butterfly/Eric Carle unit

My boards are cute, but they don't hold a candle to Mrs. Z.
She's untouchable.

She painted her own paper and free-hand cuts her letters.

I love-love the sun!

This shiny, organized, *empty* classroom gives me peace just like when I look at a sleeping child.

Tranquil, sweet, perfect, full of hope!

The top posters were created by the talented Queen Renee. I was delighted when she offered her services. I hope she does not regret opening that can of worms. The best part of Renee coming wasn't the posters, even though they are fantastic. While we were chit-chatting I mentioned being from Klamath Falls. She smiled and told me she was born there. Then we started the 'where did your family live, how long were you there, what schools did you attend' routine, when she stated, "My mom went to school in Bonanza."

My grandma was the sixth grade teacher in Bonanza forever. She was *only* a sixth grade teacher too. She never got a wild hair and decided she needed a change. She was a smart cookie.

It only took a quick phone call for Renee to confirm that her mom was a student in my grandma's classroom. It warmed my heart. It was so unlikely, unexpected for my grandma to show up today. Just like always, she has a knack for knowing when I need a little nudge. I'm going to be just fine in my new grade. There will be bumps, but I'll just pull myself up, dust myself off and try again. I know she would be tickled to see me teach. She's been gone for five years. Missing her sneaks up on was one of those days, but in a good way!

Some things should never come out of the closet.

I want to keep it real here. No false illusions. This is my closet, it houses all that are NOT right in the world. Yes, things fall on me when I open this closet. Yes, this was on the to-do list.
Someday! The closet is closely related to the area 'behind my counter'.
I did not get a shot of that, but you get the idea.

This is what I brought home with me. I have vowed to spend the day at home on Sunday. I will make good on that, however some time needs to be spent reading teachers guides or I may be in big trouble come about Wednesday.

First Grade : Learning : Growing : Changing

I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dear Teacher,

I need to remember this ...

Even though I am a teacher and a mom, the teacher in me sometimes forgets what the mom in me knows!

Vodka Mom did a guest post here and I will read it again and again this year. I will also put it in the staff room.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Garden Goodness

I planted my first garden this year at this house. I had a small patch when we lived on the hill...but not much more than strawberries and tomatoes. I was a bit late getting the plants and seeds into the ground. Finally I am harvesting enough to enjoy.

My 2009 Garden:

  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes (12 plants)
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Acorn(Winter) Squash
  • Cucumbers ( green & lemon)
  • Bell peppers (green & red)
  • Watermelons
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honey Dew
  • Sunflowers


I love my garden!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Umatilla County Fair 2009

The were so many ribbons won at the fair! I won't bore you with the details. The best part (for a mom) was that each of my girls won a purple ribbon. I know that it won't always work out that way, and I will be ready with my 'Life isn't always fair' speech, but for now, I will appreciate the balance of success that my girls achieved.

Reagan's purple ribbon cookies - THANK YOU BETH!
(You know they are worthy!)

Flower Decorating was a last minute entry by all my girls.

Other 'live' contests in front of the judges included:
Fashion Review
Food Prep (Taryn only)
Table Setting
Flower Decorating
Presentations (2 - Taryn only)

Taryn was eligible to send 4 entries to the Oregon State Fair -
I persuaded her to select the two top ribbon winners -
(neither required any additional work-go figure)

That covers the statistics of the fair!
Now for the *tidbits* that I never want to forget:

Taryn's joy at winning her first plaque.

Flower the bummer lamb peeking at us while we were trying (unsuccessfully)
to convince Taryn to try a lamb shish ka bob!

Grace picking up *condom*ents at an unsupervised booth.

Grace + Discovery = Too Much Information (key word 'hair')

Taryn's *date* falling asleep during the movie.
(MOM-It wasn't a date!) Yeah, right!

Reagan, the rock star, loving the lights and music at the concerts!


8 Girls - 3 Moms - 3 Dads
Long Beach Peninsula, Washington

Face painting, the candy store, carnival rides, Dooger's Seafood & Grill

Beach combing

Whole Sand Dollars!

Cuddling in and watching Angels in the Outfield numerous times!


This was our second trip to the Nelson's beach house. It was wonderful(again). An added perk to the trip was the 3 boys' success at salmon fishing. We each brought home fresh-clean-freezer ready-salmon. They filled their tags quickly...but not one of them had a camera...kudos to Jody for at least trying to find a camera at 4 am...and kudos to Tony for the furry cell phone pictures to prove you didn't purchase the fish...and kudos to Marc for catching a big one!

The Fire Pit

Marc informed me that he was going to build a fire pit this past spring. "Cool," I thought to myself, without getting too excited. You see, Marc has wonderful ideas & ambitions, they just always don't happen in a very timely fashion. (Now I am guilty of having big ideas too so I am not complaining...just stating something you may not know.)

The process of building the fire pit involved MANY steps, many of which I did not pay attention to in much detail. I did take notice of the LARGE area he was clearing away. I did note that it wasn't 'square'...I *thought* he might not know that...and I had a very nice birds eye view from my sewing room.

Much to my delight and surprise our wonderful fire pit was complete and ready for guest over Memorial Weekend. We have had a few planned and a few impromptu fires this summer. I have loved each one.

Kudos to my wonderful husband of 14 years (Happy Anniversary Dude 8-12-09)! I love-love the fire pit. I look forward to lighting many fires with you!