Sunday, May 31, 2009

Long weekend

It has been kind of a crazy weekend...

After all of our strawberry picking fun on Friday I went to bed early so I could get up at 5 am to go do a 13 mile walk. After 4+ hours of walking on Saturday morning, I spent a few hours a the church garage sale just to have the group I had arranged to pick up the leftovers not show up. Bummer. Now I have to find someone to come pick up the remaining treasures. We finished up Saturday with a trip to Sam's Club and movie night and had a fabulous lightning and hailstorm that kept me tossing and turning. 6 am came very early and the 7.5 mile walk this morning was quite brutal! my 3 walking buddies and I had some nice blisters to compare this morning - it seems that after 3 months walking in the same shoes I should not be getting blisters but it is happening whether I think it should or not! My newest is between my big toe and second the heck does that happen!

For the final bit of weekend fun I found out our oven is not working after I had started working on strawberry bread to use the strawberries that had to be used before they turned to mush. Fortunately my neighbor has a working oven and she accepted a couple of loaves of bread as payment!

Now I am off to get my online classes ready for class starts on Tuesday - hopefully it will be quick and painless!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nothing better...

Than strawberries right out of the field - YUM!

We went strawberry picking with some friends today and had a lot of fun. I don't know exactly what to do with nearly 6 pounds of strawberries but I suppose we can start by just eating them! Although Grant won't be any help - I think he may be the only kid on the planet that doesn't like strawberries. More for the rest of us, I guess!

Not much else new around here. Just gearing up for a busy weekend - walking, church garage sale, trip to Sam's club, potluck, cleaning out the garage, moving furniture. Fun stuff!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who knew?

I learned something new...blisters can develop UNDER the big toenail. All I can say is...ewwwwwwwww and ouch!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Starting summer...

Bryn and I had quite a day yesterday. It started with her coming upstairs crying that the Wii wouldn't work. When I told her that crying indicated to me that maybe she shouldn't be playing Wii, she told me it was the worst day of her life, I am NOT the best mom ever and she wanted to be back in school. And then the pouting continued when I told her she would be taking a nap. We're off to a great start for the summer!

We went to a BBQ festival last night and ate some great BBQ and are heading out to the rodeo tonight and are going to eat fair food for dinner. Gotta love fair food!

I walked 12 miles this morning and my feet are aching like crazy. I also have a horrendous headache and am just hoping that I am not getting sick.

Bryn and Aaron went fishing this afternoon and when I asked Bryn if she caught anything she told me she caught a weeder fish, a stick fish and some slime fish. Our little comedian in the making...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer is here!

Summer has officially started. Today was Bryn's last day of school and I am ready to enjoy some time with both kids at home. I think. Unfortunately Bryn isn't as into napping as Grant is so that could put a real dent in my days!

As for our summer, here are some of our planned activities...

strawberry picking
Camp Invention for Bryn
swimming lessons
vacation Bible school
visit from Grandpa and Nana
garage sale
trip to Boise for Bryn and to Casper for Grammy, Grant and I
trip to the lake with church friends
60 mile walk for me and family reunion for Aaron and the kids

I think we will have plenty to keep us busy!

In other news, I have played in the dirt more in the past few days than I have ever, I think! I have moved bushes and flowers around in the flower beds and have some new stuff ready to be planted. Now we will see if any of it can survive my black thumb!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wrapping things up

Since Aaron and I both teach, it seems that my life still runs on semesters and this one is winding down. We have have a lot going on both related and unrelated to school.

My classes are over with the exception of getting final grades done and turned in and I am thrilled to have a little time off before the summer session starts. I honestly haven't even looked to see when summer classes start but it shouldn't be until at least the first of June so I plan to enjoy my brief teaching reprieve.

Bryn's last day of school is Thursday. It will be an adjustment to having two kids in the house full time again especially since Grant is beginning to get a little more curious about what lives inside cabinets and drawers. Fortunately for us he keeps most things out of his mouth so we haven't had any poisonings yet. He is still not standing up but he does pull up and get on his knees and is beginning to show some frustration about not being able to reach things that are up a little higher.

Bryn had her Dance Gala this weekend and I must say it was the most pleasant dance recital I have ever been to. They have four different Galas so you only have to attend the one your child is in and it is over in less than an hour and a half. And we didn't have to buy costumes - the only thing we had to buy was a little skirt to go over her leotard. It was great!

This week is blessedly quiet...I only have a handful of things on my calendar instead of the usual 8 million! We do have a busy, busy summer planned, though, so I am going to enjoy the downtime this week. Although I must admit that I have big plans to get some gardening done and get garage sale stuff together and organized. Those projects could potentially take about 2 weeks each, so I am sure I will not rest as much as I could!

I had a long walking weekend - 11.5 miles on Saturday and 5 miles yesterday. I took today off and my knees are feeling a little squishy, but the good news is that there have been no more kneecap dislocations!. I am also really close to having all of my money raised thanks to all of my awesome friends and family members. Hooray!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sad state of humanity

Sometimes I enjoy teaching and sometimes it just makes me want to throw my hands up and declare the end of intelligent life on this planet. Let me paraphrase a student response to a discussion about whether or not non-smokers should bear the burden of the cost of insurance for smoking related illnesses...

"We have Medicaid and Medicare so that we as a society do not have to pay for their care."

This person is obviously in the 24% of people in this country who believe that the federal government has "plenty of its own money without using taxpayer dollars".

Come on people...are you freakin' kidding me?

New Toy

I got a wrist GPS/heart rate monitor for Mother's Day from my very wonderful husband (he let me take a long nap yesterday, too!) and I am so excited! Now I can head out into the wild blue yonder (road) to walk and not have to worry about figuring out all of my mileage on the computer before I go. Not something I would normally get all that excited about but with all the walking lately the same old routes are getting a little dull. Of course I have to figure out how to make the little gadget work first - I am sure there will be lots of cussing and crying before I get to use it tomorrow!

I am also thrilled that I only need $225 more to meet the $2300 requirement to be able to walk in August - I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family to donate! Of course that means that I really am going to have to walk 60 whole miles in three days. I am not sure that fact has been completely processed yet!

In other news...not much! I signed up for a meal planning service online that gives you a menu and shopping list (there are a few different options for stores and the menu is actually correlated to the discounts for the week at that store) each week. The really exciting part for me is that it looks like recipes that my family will eat (light on veggies and other strange ingredients!) and it doesn't cost much. Now I know that I shouldn't spend a dime on any recipes since I have at least a hundred cookbooks in my house, but it is hard to pass up the shopping list provided for $5 a month. If I was really savvy I could actually link the site up so I could get a commission if I referred anyone but, alas, I am not that technologically savvy!

Speaking of technology...Aaron and I are taking a class for online teaching and I am finding myself bogged down in a bunch of jargony teacher speak. I am not sure how much my online class structure will improve, but I will definitely be able to write a mean learning objective that is in alignment with the course units!

I am leaving my poor husband home with the kids for the next two nights while I go to Bunco and a Friends of the Library meeting. I keep thinking he is going to run out into the night air screaming one of these days, but for some reason he is still hanging around! Thanks, honey - you're the best!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Back to Normal

Everything is normal around here. I am walking (5 miles yesterday), it is raining (totally normal for Kansas in the spring), students are scrambling to try to improve their grades for the semester and I am tired since I can't seem to get myself to bed before midnight on any given night.

We have a relatively quiet weekend planned - movie night in the new chairs, ballet pictures for Bryn, a couple of long walks for me (another 10 mile and 6 mile weekend) and maybe some yardwork if the rain holds off. So we will enjoy the relaxing (and dinosaur debate free!)weekend.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Great Dinosaur Debacle

I have created quit a stir with my vocal objections to the dinosaur lesson at Bryn's school...

After spending the weekend stewing over the matter and much angst on my and Aaron's part I went into school Monday morning and spoke to the school administrator. I wanted to know if this was going to come up again this year or next and how the information would be presented. Since we had already decided to send Bryn back to Genesis next year it was difficult for both Aaron and I to go back on our promise to Bryn that she didn't have to switch schools for second grade. Fortunately, there is no more discussion of the earth's age or evolution or anything else until 3rd grade at the earliest so I think we are OK. The administrator also did not realize the extent to which the lesson had gone. Long story short, I received a very apologetic letter from Bryn's teacher - she talked to Bryn one on one about some other biblical interpretations and has made plans to change the lesson for next year and send a note home to parents prior to the dinosaur unit. She also asked if Aaron and I could provide her with some other information she could use in the lesson to present other viewpoints. This all ended up becoming a bigger issue than I expected it to be but am actually pretty pleased and relieved with the outcome. I feel like some positive changes will be made that will allow the students to get a more balanced lesson next year. And to me that is an advantage of being at a small private school - I seriously doubt I ever would have been heard at the public school if I objected to a lesson.

Bryn and I are going to visit second grade classroom at the public school this week and I am really hoping it is a positive experience. I just learned that they have had THREE people attend the PTA meeting the other night at the elementary school...needless to say this doesn't make me feel too good about the level of parental involvement. It feels like switching Bryn to the public school for 3rd grade may just be a frying pan to fire moment. I really need a crystal ball.

On a brighter school note, the teacher Bryn will have next year has already started to put together some supplemental materials for Bryn and a couple of other students to do next year if they need them. And effort is being made on the part of the school to get Bryn into some additional programming to keep her challenged if there indication that she needs it.

I am absolutely exhausted 3 mile walk today seemed like 15 miles and I am relieved I don't have any walking scheduled for tomorrow. Hopefully by Thursday I will be rested and rejuvenated!

Grant is finally getting his top teeth. He does pretty well gumming his food but it will be nice to have a few more chompers in there so I can worry a little less about giving him big hunks of food.

Our new chairs are finally being delivered tomorrow so this weekend we will be able to enjoy movie night in our new reclining theater seats. Hooray!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Things that make you go...

Bryn is learning about dinosaurs at school. I tried to ignore the worksheet that came home with the millions of years crossed out to read "dinosaurs roamed the earth thousands of years ago". My hope was that it was a one day lesson and the brief explanation I gave about what I believe to be the age of the earth was enough to counter whatever lesson had been given. Boy, was I wrong.

Aaron and I have both noticed a trend toward belief in "Young Earth Creationism" in our students. Any resident of Kansas would have to have been asleep for the past decade to not have some knowledge of Intelligent Design vs. Evolution, but I was not really aware that young earth creationism had become such a popular idea. Maybe I didn't want to know or maybe I just wasn't paying attention. But Bryn's school teaching it has sure made me sit up and take notice.

In all fairness, Bryn's school can teach whatever it wants to teach as it is a private religious school. But I have a hard time subscribing to (and an even harder time paying for!) the notion that the earth is 6000 years old, that dinosaurs lived with humans, that all animals were plant eaters before Eve ate the apple (since there was no killing or death before that) and that there were "teenage" dinosaurs on Noah's ark (that way they were small enough to fit in there with Noah and the rest). To me it is not a far leap to the idea that science and religion can't work together and that all scientists are atheistic heathens doomed to an eternity in hell. I find this hard to believe as I happen to know many scientists (myself included) who believe in God as the Creator and still can subscribe to the idea that the earth is billions of years old and that evolution does occur.

Is there biblical support for young earth creationism? Yes. Is there biblical and scientific evidence against young earth creationism? Yes. I happen to believe that there is more against than for. And I think that people that ignore this evidence do a massive disservice to Christianity by pretending that any scientific evidence contrary to their views simply does not exist. I do not think this kind of ignornace proves that a person's faith is strong. I believe it proves they are ignorant.

Anyway, it just makes me sad that this kind of information is being presented to my child as the final word, the only viewpoint and the ultimate truth. But I suppose it is what I signed up for. Now I guess I just have to un-sign up...