family · life · through my camera lens

Rainy Days and Halloween

Last night we had the builder in trying to fix our stairs. Richard was home, but on working still. The boys carved their pumpkins and then we headed out to grab dinner. 2018-10-31 18.22.04While we were driving home (before 6pm) people had already started trick or treating.  Why you ask? Because there was finally a break in the rain.

The temperatures we perfect yesterday, but it was far from dry. So I think as soon as there was any kind of break in the weather, people just said… go!

Well my boys had to come home and eat dinner, then finish prepping to go out. No worries, at least it was almost dark when they left. But, they both decided to toss their rain coats over their costumes. It was mainly drizzling, but there were a few patches of down pours.

Richard and I sat in the garage and handed out the candy. It was nice that the boys were 2018-10-31 18.15.43able to join another group of kids their age and head out trick or treating.

Richard and I popped across to some of the other families who were handing out candy and chatted between lulls in the crowds.

We certainly do not get the huge groups we got in FL. We could easily have just used 1 Costco size bag and that is with giving 3/4 candies to each child. Oh well, the extras and all of Blake and Colby’s candies that they didn’t want was dropped off at their school today. Their school collects candy and other treats and makes stocking to ship off to the troops.

All in all, it was a good night and the boys had a blast… that is all that matters.

Advertisements
Education · family · life · PreK class

Happy Halloween!

Image result for happy halloween images

Today has already been very busy for me. Today in my class we wore our pajamas. My class already went trunk or treating on Friday. This meant that  my class was not wearing their costumes to school today. I wanted to do something different and fun. So, pajama day!

Since we were in our pajamas and finishing up our unit on the night sky, I decided to schedule a special snack for today… pancakes! The children had fun making pancake from scratch. I made a double batch of pancakes and they were gone when we were done. There was only 1 out of 17 children who did not eat the pancakes.

I also brought in a variety of sugar based candy (opposed to chocolate based… yes I know ALL candy is all sugar) to dissolve. We used gummy bears, sour patch kids, skittles and sweet tarts. We put them into water and vinegar to see how they reacted to the liquids. On Friday, we are going to do a similar experiment with candy pumpkins and candy corn. That time we will use water, vinegar, salt water and sugar water. I’ve done this in the past and it is really cool to see the candy pumpkins react… the wax coating will separate!

The boys came home from school and then carved their pumpkins. They were so excited that this year they got to wear their costumes to school. It sounds like there were a lot of fun activities for the kids and it went smoothly!

I’ll post pictures of the boys in their costumes and with their pumpkins tomorrow.

Hope you have a great Halloween… stay safe. We will try to stay dry!

family · life

Why?

(let me state that I’m writing this post as I, but Richard and I both deal with all these conversations with our sons in the same way. I’m glad that he and I are almost always on the same page and we know that together we show our sons the love and respect that parents can have. We show them that we are both here for them no matter what)

I let this post mull over in my brain yesterday. Yet again we are living in the city that is coping with sadness do to ignorance and prejudiced.

We were living in Orlando, FL at the time of the Pulse Nightclub shooting. These people were out enjoying time with their friends. They were doing the same things others do every weekend. They were doing their own thing and not bothering anyone.

I had to explain to my sons that people thing they are better than others. That people believe that you should not be allowed to love whomever you choose. We had conversations about better ways to disagree. Better ways to deal with anger. Better ways… there have to be better ways!

Now we live outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Yesterday there was a shooting in a synagogue. What was happening inside this house of worship? a Bris. This is a baby naming service. This is a joyful time for parents and family members. It is a new member to the community.  They were doing their own thing and not bothering anyone.

I had to explain to my sons that people still believe that there is a difference between the religions. That some are “better” than others. They do not understand people who are different believe different things and worship differently.

What makes you and yours right and someone else’s wrong? What make you thing that violence will solve problems? I always tell my children and my classes that violence doesn’t solves problems… it just makes new ones.

What can we do to get people to realize that they aren’t helping anyone.

Mr. Rogers was from Pittsburgh and filled his show here. I leave you with a few quotes from him.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, textImage result for mr rogers love your neighbor

Image result for mr rogers hero quote

life

technology at the table

On Saturday, we watched the UCF football game on tv and then decided to go out for dinner. Ok we knew we were going out even before we started watching the game, but that is neither here nor there for this post.

We went to a local restaurant called Stack’d. We have been there many times in the past. I found it interesting that as we were getting seated I noticed that every party that came into the restaurant with children were seated in one area. Hmmm ok. I thought this was odd, but I don’t really care. There were a few other families and the children were not being disruptive or anything. I realize that one part of the restaurant is more of a bar area, and not seating the children in that section is fine, I just think it is odd to seat all the families with children together. It almost implies that the children should not be sat with adults groups for some reason.

So, Richard and I were talking about this observation. We also began talking about the addition of technology to meal times. When you walk into Stak’d with children the first thing they ask is if you want tablets for the children. Ummm no. First of all, there are tv’s everywhere. Second of all, why is a restaurant encouraging children to be plugged in instead of talking to their families? What lesson are we teaching the next generation? Do you really need a device to sit at the table?

When my sons were younger, we would often bring in books or paper and crayons. They did not get these items until they decided what they wanted to eat and the orders were taken by the wait staff. The items were then put away once the food arrived.

Lately it feels like 9 out of 10 restaurants have televisions going around the room. I still struggle to get the boys to stop watching tv and eat. They are pretty good at having a conversation, but it is often tied to whatever they are watching on the tv. They certainly do not need to have the tvs AND a tablet… do they?

Are these children ever going to learn to have a conversation at the dinner table? What happens when they have to go to a business dinner/luncheon? Will they just sit there and play on their phone/tablet/whatever device we have at that time?

All I know, is my boys know enough to say no thank you when they are offered the tablets at the restaurant. I know that may not be the answer they want to give, but they know it is the answer they are expected to give.

What is your feeling on this topic?

 

family · life · through my camera lens

Last weekend in Sept.

Every once in a while you just need to have a weekend to do things. This was one of those weekends. Saturday we went kayaking for the second time. All of us did a much better job this time and we were able to go further than the last time. The guide this time said that Colby needs a narrower kayak next time. They ended up having to give him a tow back to the spillway. They gave him a turn to try the other kayak at the end and it was so much easier for him. We are planning to try a longer trip the next time we go. LLBean has a 3 hr fall foliage kayak tour. We talked about doing it this time, but it wouldn’t have been worth it since the trees haven’t even really started to change. Maybe in about 2 weeks we can try?

Today we headed to Sorgel’s for their fall festival. We started by picking apples. We ended up picking a whole peck of apples.

We then went over and picked pumpkins. We told the boys they had to be able to carry their pumpkin down to the car. Blake kept picking ones that were way to big for him to carry on his own. Even the one he ended up picking was a bit too heavy for him.

09_30_b_02

After bringing everything to the truck, we went and watched them press cider. We did this last year too, but it was fun to watch again. Plus this year they had samples of cider and we were able to go into the room where they pasteurize and bottle the cider. The guy who was running the press said they now have to press cider all year long to have enough for the stores and for the companies who purchase it to make hard apple cider.

While we were on the tour, the apple cider dude told us that they filmed an episode of Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood in the cider press. Here is the guy we spoke with as well as the press and areas we visited. http://pbskids.org/video/daniel-tigers-neighborhood/2365854390

It was a great weekend and a lot of fall fun. I’m not ready for Monday, so I’ll enjoy a bit more of this last day of Sept! See you in October09_30_bc_03

 

life

Beach Body Update

So, Richard and I have be working out using Beach Body’s Liift4 for over 7 weeks. I have lost almost 10lb already. We are both starting to see changes in our bodies and are feeling a lot stronger.

The way the Liift4 program works is you work out 4 days a week for 30-40 min a day. It is a combination of weight lifting and HIIT. The first 5 weeks you do chest and triceps (day 1), back and biceps (day 2), shoulders (day 3) and legs (day 4). They change between circuit training (quad sets and just weights),  50/50 all lift in the beginning all HIIT in the end, intervals (2 weight lifting exercises and 1 HIIT in each set). Oh and every other leg day was just HIIT, my least favorite day. Then at the end of each day you do 2/3 core exercises.

Each week you switch the order of the exercises. This forces your body to adapt to the changes. I really enjoyed the interval and circuit days. I recognize the need for the HIIT components. I realize that getting that cardio bursts help with the weight loss. I just prefer lifting, I love seeing myself choose heavier weights. I love it when I’m lifting a weight heavier than the ladies who are demoing on the taping.

The last two weeks the whole routine gets changed around. These are “Shred” weeks. Day 1 is chest and back circuit, day 2 is legs 50/50, day 3 is shoulders and arms circuit, and day 4 is total body HIIT.

I hope that as we continue this program we continue to see definition to our muscles. I want to see my pants get looser, isn’t that the goal of most females who workout? I know I”m getting strong. I’m not craving foods. I’m not stress eating. I drink the shakology every day for breakfast. I do not follow the rest of the meal play, but I do watch what I eat. The program allows for one cheat day. I allow myself one cheat meal. I use this on the weekends.

 

life

It’s Friday!

Related image

This was a good week and we got a lot done at work. While it wasn’t a perfect week, it wasn’t horrible… it just was. I’m glad that it is over and we are ready to move forward.

Richard and I finished up our 6th week of LIIFT4 on Beachbody. Two more weeks and we will have finished the program. We are then going to start again and see how much changes when we start with the heavier weights we are using now.

The boys are off to a dance tonight. Richard and I will go out to dinner and we will enjoy the fact that the work week is done and live continues on!

 

Hope you have had a good week and are ready for a great weekend

family · life

What is next to check off the list?

Ahhh the never ending feeling of what next. I spent time today revising my lesson plans for next week. I realize I was crazy to do so many weeks ahead of time. I tried to get the whole month of Sept done, but then when you get to the end you realize, what was I thinking?

I’ve had to tweak the schedule of my classroom and move things around to make it work for all my students. I am still working on what things do I do twice to make sure most of my students get the activity and which ones do I say… oh well you missed because it wasn’t your day at school.

The same feels for life at home. I am trying to figure out a schedule to get things done. I want to get most of the cleaning and shopping done during the week, but then that leaves me little time for me. I had a whole year of being home and there are times already where I miss those quiet moments that I had during that year. I feel like I’m either trying to cram in things for work or cleaning or doing some other things that needs to get done before the boys get home. Then it is homework, dinner and evening activities.

I need to remember to carve out those “me” moments in life. The fact that Richard and I get up at 5:30am and workout helps. I start the day doing something healthy for me, but then life gets busy to get everyone off to school and work. There is a bit of time in the mornings before I leave, but often times I find this filled with bits of this and that. I need down time. I realize that I have only been teaching officially for 10 days and things will smooth out. I realize that I know what I need and I just need to make it work. But for now, I’ll keep the feeling of what is next? And then check it off the list!

life

September 11th

Yesterday I mentioned that I would share info about my school life today. I am not avoiding it, but felt that this post was more important.

Image result for september 11

Every generation has a date or two that you just understand that this is a day I will always remember. For me, September 11th is one of these dates. I was at work. Working as a teacher I didn’t have access to tv or internet while the day was going on. This meant I was in the dark about life outside my classroom.

I dropped my students off in the cafeteria for lunch and still was not clued in that this day was anything different than the other days before.

I walked into the room where we had lunch. It wasn’t a true break room, but more a walled off area inside a classroom building. When I walked in the first thing I noticed was that the tv screen was not tuned into the school channel, providing the clock that everyone in the school followed for the daily schedule. There was a tv station on. It took me a good few minutes to process what I was seeing.

Attacked? What do you mean? Why were planes flying into buildings? What is going on. I had entered the room around 10:45 by this time all the planes had crashed. They were just getting out word about the Pennsylvania crash and all that entailed and then the towers began to collapse.

I can remember standing there as my fellow kindergarten teacher arrived. I can remember thinking…. what’s next? There was fear. There was a need to figure out what we could do? Do we go on with the day as planned? Will the school go on lock down? Will the parents tell their children what was happening?

Image result for mr rogers hero quote

We decided as a grade not to tell the children what was going on at that time. It would have to be addressed tomorrow. We would need to be ready to squelch fears. We knew some parents would say nothing while others would tell too much. We knew that some families would show fear and others show strength. We needed to be calm. We needed to be honest. We needed to talk about the heroes. We needed to talk about standing united. We needed to show the children the even in times of great tragedy there is great strength.

Each year as time passes that clear details of that day get a bit fuzzier. But, that movement in time when I walked in and saw the tv on and the buildings on fire will never change. I still try to show children that whenever things go wrong we need to look for the heroes. Look for the people running towards danger instead of those running  away. Say thank you to those who help us stay safe.

So today, I had my class dress in red, white and blue. We learned to say the Pledge of Allegiance. We talked about today being a day to be “Proud to be an American”. While I do not teach my students about the true meaning behind 9/11, I will always have them honor the date.

Image result for I will remember 9/11

life

Rainy days and Mondays

Today was much better at work. I felt like I had a better groove going on. I was concerned that the kids would all be off because of the rain this weekend and today. They came in and were ready to work.

Image result for rainy monday

This weekend we had SO MUCH RAIN. It didn’t stop until today. We have water intrusion in our basement. Colby came upstairs yesterday and asked if having water in the carpet was an issue. Ummm yes! And the worst it was right near our electrical panel.  UGH! Richard ended up staying home from work today in hopes of getting it fixed, but at this time we are still waiting for the people come back.

Life is always interesting. And you never know what will happen.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some school info. I think I’ll share with you the poetry we are doing each week as well as some of the projects we are doing that week.