Monday, March 28, 2011


This is what happens when I wake up at 4 a.m. three days in a row. I start finding the patterns on apples fascinating.

This apple reminds me of those paper fade art projects we use to do as kids. You would cut out a complicated pattern from one paper and lay it on a dark colored paper out in the sun. After a few hours, you would lift up the patterned paper and the dark pattern would be left behind.

I just thought it was kind of neat that we could tell that this apple had a leaf laying on it at one point.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

You Just Can't Get Good Help Anymore. . .

Charlie wanted to help clean. I told him to mop the front hall. He grabbed the Swiffer and set off.

He came back after 15 seconds and said he was done.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's All in The Comma, Baby

Just so we are clear, I can't have glass beer, but I can have regular beer?

The HAZMAT Suit Was Actually a Good Idea

The other day in class, there was this weird thumping in the vent above our teacher's desk. It sounded like an animal had gotten stuck in there. One classmate got up on a chair and tried to see in, and discovered a pigeon was trapped in the piping. After a while the thumping stopped, so we assumed the pigeon had gotten out. We assumed wrong.

We walked into our math class today and were met with a horrible smell. The classroom doors were propped open and there was a fan going. The pigeon had died in the ventilation system.

The truly funny part of this whole thing was that our instructor started the class with the following sentence: "The maintenance people have asked me to tell you that they will be setting off a Lysol bomb later, and that you are not to put anything in your mouth since things may get contaminated." I asked her how I was ever going to truly understand the math manipulatives (math teacher speak for toys kids play with to help them understand math) if I couldn't put them in my mouth? Her response was that I had been hanging around 3rd graders too much. Very true.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Meeting Up With Kerri

We ended up eating at the cafe at the Bellagio. (Thanks for treating, Kerri and Erik.) I know we have more pictures of the event because Charlie would not stop taking pictures with Shawn's iPhone. I think he took 108. I wish I was kidding.

After lunch, we went outside to take some pictures and document the occasion.

And then we headed over to a hotel that had a bunch of carnival games so that the kids could play. Kerri and I did sneak away and go to the real games upstairs. And I guess while we were gone, Aimee and AJ got very competitive about just about every game there. I wasn't there to take pictures, but I did get a picture of Aimee and Erik playing air hockey.

Free Entertainment

While we were waiting to meet up with Kerri, we walked around the outside of the Bellagio. At each post of the railing around the fountain, there was a speaker playing music. Charlie stopped at every single one and did a little jig. He had people laughing as they walked by. AJ wanted no part of it- until I started recording. And then he hammed it up with his brother.

Not sure if you will be able to view this video. I had my IT department look into it and even though the way I uploaded videos in the past has worked, some things have changed. And it appears to be no longer working the same way.

The Bellagio

One of the big highlights of the trip was getting to spend some time with Kerri and her family. We hadn't seen each other in a very long time. In fact, she had never even met Charlie. It was fun to see Aimee too. I think the last time I had seen her was when she was about 6 years old. They were in town for a soccer tournament, so it worked out great.

Kerri and Erik were staying at the Bellagio. I had never seen it, so we got there a little early before our meeting time and walked around. Some pictures, like the butterfly garden and the chocolate fountain pictures, did not come out. But trust me, it was gorgeous. Especially the chocolate fountain.

Dale Chihuly ceiling!!!!!!!

Are these poppies? And if so, whose idea was it to plant poppies in Vegas?

Pit Stop

We stopped for ice cream. Shawn said he wanted a cone, so that he could eat it while driving. Who can remember such complicated instructions? Sheesh.


Laguna Beach

One of our main missions was to go to the beach while we were in CA. Mission accomplished.

The Park At UCI

One of the areas that we looked at was right near the University of CA, Irvine. So, we took a trip over there to walk around. They had a large grassy area that the kids play in. And there was the most beautiful tree in the middle of it. As we were leaving, Charlie started having a bit of a meltdown and didn't want his picture taken. I showed him.

Checking Out The Community

The main reason for going to CA was to scope out possible areas to live. We visited one city that was developed by the same people that developed the community we live in now. It was HUGE. There were three elementary schools, a whole shopping center and, of course, a park just about every where you looked. It was beautiful, but felt a little "The Truman Show" at some points. We did find another area that we liked. But of course I didn't take any pictures.

The Drive Out To CA

The drive out to CA was beautiful. I knew I would be blogging about the trip, so I tried to pick some pictures that someone would want to see if they did not live out here. I loved the snow capped mountains and the jagged green hills. Also, the picture really doesn't do it justice, but the black spooky trees were really, really black. I don't know if they had been charred by fire, or if that was how they really grew. And I love the windmills. I think they are pretty in their own industrial type of way.

Also, on a photography note, all of these pictures were taken while driving, through the window. Our motto is, "Quality First", here at Dragonfly Daily.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Turning a Corner

I have almost made it to spring break! One more week to go.

This master's program is, without question, the hardest thing I have ever done. I leave the house by 6:30 a.m. and usually do not get home before 6 p.m. And sometimes it is 7 p.m. Three days of the week, I am in the classroom teaching and the other two days I am in class myself. After getting home and putting Charlie to bed, there is always a few more hours of work to do. There is always a large project or paper due at any given time. There are hundreds of pages to read a week, and there is always a test to study for.

As you might guess, my favorite time is when I am in the classroom. The kids have really melted my heart and with both rotations, so far, I have wanted to stay longer.

Despite the long hours, the stress, the frustrations and the frequent mini mental breakdowns, I am glad I am doing this. Most things of value are hard. And if that is true, this experience is priceless.

There is no way I could be doing this without Shawn. He has always been more of a family man than most men I know, but he as stepped up even more so now. He has made countless dinners, done loads of laundry, and taken the boys out of the house so I could study. And there is no end in sight. His support may become even more needed this summer as I teach summer school while taking 4 classes. And his tasks may have to become more varied. In fact, I am willing to bet there may be a lice check in his future at some point.

But his support remains unwavering (at least until I give him his first case of pink eye) and for that I am grateful.

Thursday, March 3, 2011