Thursday, February 17, 2011

I'm Hoping Goth Is Still In

So, a funny (?) story. I was coloring my hair this morning (I'm really a natural blonde :)  and I was using my phone as my timer. Well, the timer went off signaling "time to rinse," but when I turned the timer off I noticed that I had 7 emails. I figured they were all quick facebook emails, so I took a look. What I found was an email from a dear friend which I immediately opened it to see how she was doing. And then I read it. And started typing a reply. And 10 minutes passed where I had forgotten all about the colorant in my hair. And then I remembered. And I gasped. And I ran to the bathroom and rinsed. 

As I finish writing this blog, the towel is still wrapped around my head. I am afraid to look at how dark it is. But, ever the optimist, I have the thought, "Oh well, maybe I can wait longer between colorings this time."

Now if you didn't believe me about being a natural blonde…would a brunette have made that mistake?


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Will You Be My Valentine?

Do you remember way back in elementary school when you used to make valentines for all of your classmates?  You know, and you delivered them into a giant heart shaped "envelope" that had been painstakingly made out of pink and red construction paper in art class the week before and taped to their desk.  And if there was that special someone (or two or three) that you really liked, you agonized over what special words you could write on their card to declare your feelings? Good times. Great memories. Really, the fun and excitement of the first flutterings of a young heart are hard to ever replicate.  Thank goodness we have children who give us the opportunity to live vicariously through them.

This week Ryder was filling out his valentine cards for the kids in his class.  Now, back in my day (a.k.a "the good ol' days"), our teachers let us fill in the name of the classmate that we were giving the card to. This was great, because for our normal friends and classmates we could just write:

To: (classmate's name here)
From:  Heidi

Simple.  Done.

But if we had a crush on someone (or they on us), you could write something really fabulous like:

To:  Shawn

I really like you.  I think you are nice and funny.

From: Heidi

Your heart would race and flutter at the thought of actually giving it to them, and you would wonder (and worry) about what they would think when they read it.

Oh, and when I pulled each valentine out of my heart envelope, I would read each one carefully to see if anyone liked ME. What was really mysterious was when someone wrote me a love message and didn't sign their name.  The excitement and mystery of trying to figure out who my secret admirer might be was thrilling.

Well, nowadays teachers are much more valentine card savvy.  They have the kids write just their name on the card and bring enough for everyone in the class.  Like this:

To:  (blank)

From: Ryder

This is smart, because it:  1. eliminates having to send home a list of class names, 2. ensures that everyone in the class gets a valentine (kind of a Valentines Day "no student left behind" policy), and 3. saves a ton of time passing the cards out.  Do you remember trying to read what you had written on each card, and then trying to find each desk to deliver it...

Unfortunately, it also eliminates the opportunity to declare your true feelings to that really cute girl or boy in your class that you secretly admire.

When Ryder asked me if he could write a "special note" to a little girl in his class, I told him I thought that would be fine.  He could just keep it separate from the others and make sure he delivered it to her.

I am sooooo glad I let him write that special note, because it reminded me of what I love about Valentines Day.  Here is what he wrote:

Carlee I kinda like you i'm so scared about sendin this.
I'm shivering

Seriously, is that cute or what? The simple, heartfelt declaration of admiration from one 2nd grader to another.  THAT is what a good valentine card looks like.

So, to all you teachers out there: 1. send home the class list, 2. bring some extra valentines just in case someone gets forgotten, and 3. set aside an extra 15 minutes for your classroom parties so there's ample time for the kids to sort and deliver their messages.  Let their little hearts flutter and shiver as true love blooms.

Oh, and "Will you be my valentine?" Because I think you're awesome!

I'm so scared about posting this. I'm shivering.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Too Many Snow Days

Watch the video, somebody had too much time on their hands. . .

Saturday, February 5, 2011

6 Day Weekend

Well the kids went to school exactly 1 day this week - 1 day out of 5!!!  Now I know what you're thinking, "Those Texans just don't know how to handle snow."  Unh uh.  We handle snow just fine.  It's sleet and ice that really slow us down.  Monday night ice started falling from the sky.  Trust me it was really loud on the windows. By Tuesday morning there was a nice thick layer of ice on everything, and no one wants to drive in that.

I didn't really take any pictures of the ice, because well, it was just roads with ice.  I do have a video of Ryder doing some skating on it though.

The temperatures stayed around 0 degrees (wind chill factored in here) so the ice wasn't able to melt.  So the kids got to stay home on Wednesday and Thursday as well.  We were able to enjoy lots of family time together - board games, puzzles, TV, Wii, baking and some crafts.  Harrison, Melanie, and Ryder put together these little wooden craft kits that I had picked up for $1 each the week before.  My thought at the time was that I'd just stash them away for a rainy day or next summer when the kids are bored.  As fortune would have it, we got to use them much earlier than that.

These little kits were awesome.  As I mentioned before only $1 each, and they included all the wood, paint, glue, paintbrush, sandpaper and rubberbands needed to complete the project!  I think the boys can get some scouting achievements signed off for this too :)

Then Thursday night and Friday we got SNOW.  Probably a good 4-6 inches.  And it stuck.  In fact it's still here.  Unheard of!

Here is a picture from early Friday morning.

And snow or not, poor little Blossom still had to go outside to, well, you know. . . She got icy in the process.

Blossom's mad because her paws are cold!
The fun part is that snow is waaaaaaay more fun than ice! You can go sledding.

Or eat the snow (only pure white fresh snow please).

Or if you're me, you can slip and fall.  I know, cool huh.

The neighbor kids had been begging me to sled the ditch with them.  We all know how that would've turned out.  I kindly declined, and so today I can still say I have never broken a bone!

It's also quite beautiful to see our lake almost completely frozen over.

So as we enter our 5th day of isolation in our home, we are grateful for this little window of time where we could just relax and spend time together.  We are also grateful for food storage, and that I had just purchased milk, eggs, and fresh produce on Monday night!

Thanks for a wonderful break Mother Nature!

UPDATE:  Of course all good things must come to an end. . .

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Coolest Field Trip Ever!

This past week I went as a chaperone for Ryder's 2nd grade field trip to Elm Fork Education Center at the University of North Texas.  What a great day!  I have attended quite a few field trips over the years with my children, but this was one of the best ones.  They were so well organized and kept the kids actively involved and learning the whole time we were there.

When we first arrived, our group watched a show in the planetarium about seasons.  Next we went to a class and learned about archaeology and how to set up an archaeological dig site.  Once they had learned how, the kids got to go be archaeologists and unearth discoveries in a mock dig site. Here they are getting some last minute instructions:

And starting to dig.

Ryder recording where his partner discovered a fossil.

Ryder discovering an artifact.

Then each group put their map of their unit of the grid on the larger dig map.  The collection shows what was found in the entire dig site.

The kids also participated in an aquatics study where they were assigned either the waterfall, pond, stream or wetland.  They used instruments to measure flow rate and oxygen saturation, then analyzed their data to see if it supported their hypothesis.

It looked something like this, but I was helping the kids and didn't get a chance to take pictures!

At the end of the day they searched animal statues on the site and categorized them as predator, prey or both. Here are Ryder and a classmate discussing how they should draw and categorize some prairie dogs.

Wish I would have taken more pictures!  It was a great day :)
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