Friday, July 29, 2011

He Didn't Get This From Me. . .

Charlie's Note of The Day:

Charlie was so funny today after eating snack. He said "Oh no, I think I ate too much sweets. Now I should eat vegetables."

New Hair

Try not to be awed by the amazing professional looking picture.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Charlie: "Good job cleaning my room, Mom. High five!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Everyone Looks Cooler in 3-d Glasses

AJ and I went to see the Green Lantern on the first day of my vacation. We got there a little early and had a lot of time on our hands.

Saturday Morning

Aj's soccer team is going to Portugal in October. Because of this, there are a lot of car washes, raffles and concession sales. Last Saturday, they had a carwash at the local grocery store. I took my white car, which had been the victim of the recent haboob. (It's a word, look it up.) I have to say, it was great timing on the soccer club's part. They got a lot of business that day.

Charlie and I decided that waiting for the car to be washed would go a lot faster if he had a donut.

A New Generation, Part III

This is Charlie and his best bud, Avery playing with an iPad. They are (with no help from us) looking at backboard-shattering basketball videos on YouTube.

A New Generation Part II

Please notice the forgotten children's menu/activity page as Charlie plays with Shawn's iPhone.

A New Generation

Instead of putting a pencil behind his ear, like Bob the Builder, Charlie chooses a stylus from my DS.

And Speaking of Baking. . .

Charlie and I made some Playdough pizzas. You know you want some.

Making Cookies

Charlie and I made some cookies the other day. I had recently read an article by Paula Dean that said you were suppose to cream butter and sugar TEN MINUTES. I had no idea. So, I wanted to try it and see if there was a difference. The cookies were really good. However, they didn't taste as homemade to me. But they did taste like they came from the bakery, which I guess is the point.

Nighttime Swim

Making Herself At Home

Look who I found when I was putting laundry away!

Water Balloons

The last day of summer school, we had a water balloon toss. I had been filling up water balloons for a few days whenever I had gotten a chance. It wasn't really my activity, but water balloons never last as long as you think they are going to, so I wanted to have a few extra on hand. Water balloons are a pain in the butt to fill and I was not very good at filling them. Many a water balloon escaped while I was trying to fill it and sprayed me and some unsuspecting child that was standing next to me at the time. We would all laugh, and they would yell "Do it again!". I'm not sure they were really getting the point.

AJ volunteered to fill water balloons for me after I was complaining about it at home one night. He has a natural gift for it. He was able to finish about 20 in the time it took me to do 5. He, of course, saved some for himself and Charlie to play with. They had fun, I got my water balloons filled and everyone was occupied for a whole half an hour.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Summer School

Teaching summer school was a really, really, fun experience. I loved having my own classroom (I co-taught with a classmate), and the kids were amazing. I learned a ton, and I am a better teacher now than I was when the four weeks started. It was a challenge to be under constant scrutiny. It was like a never ending job interview or a performance evaluation. The principal, the curriculum coordinator, my mentor teacher or the program coordinator could walk in at anytime and start taking notes. It was emotionally exhausting to be "on" all the time.

And you might want to sit down for this, but my two favorite subjects to teach are now science and math. I loved teaching math. Who knew? And I think because I struggled with math as a kid (and ok, if I'm being honest, a college student) I think I understood what needed to be shown or said for it to click. Of course I didn't get through to all the kids, but when you have kids who are bummed when math groups get cancelled for the day, you realize you might be on to something.

I also loved teaching science. We taught around the theme of water all summer. And we tried to incorporate the theme in all of our lessons. Of course science was probably the easiest.

One of the most fun lessons I have ever taught was about water filtration. We cut water bottles in two, inverted the top to make it a funnel, and then placed it in the bottom part of the bottle. Then we used rocks, cotton balls, and paper napkins as filtering material. I made the yucky water in front of the kids. I started with drinkable, clean water, and told a story about a giant flood that contaminates the water. We had dirt from the road, oil from a pipeline breaking, hay from a farm, leaves from trees and food coloring from the town dump. I let the kids figure out how to layer the materials, and we recorded their plan on the board. Then, we ran the dirty water through the filters. The kids did a great job. You would have been able to use water from 3 out of the 5 groups who did the experiment.

We had been told by our program graduates that we would want to quit during summer school. And you know what? I did. There was one week in there that I had to literally sit on my hands to keep from calling our coordinator and quitting the whole program. But I am so glad I stuck it out. As with most things in life, the hardest things have the most value.

I am now on a 2 week break until regular school starts. I will be student teaching in 3rd grade. I am looking forward to it and feel much more prepared than I did before summer school.


Charlie: I want a puppy
Me: Maybe one day.
Charlie (excitedly): Monday?
Me: No, I said one day, not Monday.
Charlie (after pausing) Wednesday?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fourth of July (In No Particular Order)

For the Fourth of July we had the usual crew over for a cookout, swimming and fireworks. I had not really cooked in a long time due to school, so I had a blast making all the food. We had marinated chicken, and homemade strawberry ice cream with lemon pound cake. My friend Bretta (blue shirt) made a yummy salad with strawberries and spinach.

Although I paid for it later, I was glad I took a few days off and let myself enjoy the Fourth. We even had some great seats for fireworks. Our neighborhood puts them on each year. We all sat on the front sidewalk and watched. Then, because we live up against the desert, we saw about 6 more fireworks shows all around Phoenix, in the distance. This is the best Fourth of July house EVER.

Safety First


A Riddle: What can you catch with a dog catcher's noose, a net and a tranquilizer gun?

Answer: The ginormous big, fat, hairy, tarantula-looking spider that was in my garage this morning. The thing was as big as my fist. It was silhouetted against the open garage door. When a spider has a silhouette, I'm out.

I of course screamed like a girl and ran out the other door.