Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Battle scars

Big Al has a DISGUSTING set of bruises on her leg....

Question:What caused these bruises?

Answer: Cleats from her soccer game when another player apparently plowed into her. Big Al is only 4 ft. 10 inches, and weighs about 66 pounds. She is quite excited to be sporting these bruises - however her Latin teacher did ask her if everything was okay at home.....yes... just not the soccer field.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

TWO GOALS - No yellow cards

Big Al started the season frustrated because she wasn't playing forward, and hadn't scored - so she decided to try to get a yellow card. This weekend Brian took her to her games and she scored two goals (one off her left leg), but despite getting a bunch of fouls this season she has not gotten her yellow card. Look at the pure joy on her face with her goal.

Last weekend they played well in a tournament, but several girls got banged up and are now nursing broken bones, and others are trying not to limp too noticeably. Next weekend we have the state tournament, but I don't have high expectations for it - her team played with only 10 girls today and 0 subs - not good odds. I think after the success of this past weekend though we can pretty much be certain she is going to want to try out again for next fall.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Therapy Thursday

Blondie was jumping through hoops today. If you want to see the videos, click on the button at the top labeled Rasmussen's. I'm trying to put ONLY therapy stuff there for those that are interested. There are other videos over there from today too. I hope to have some exciting ideas for teaching reading there soon, Abby's school therapist has some experience that I think may soon be worth sharing - as soon as I figure out all the implications for her.
I don't have a button from Rasmussen's back to Dawson Diaries yet, but honestly I"M SO SWAMPED right now I just can't get it done. I think every moment of every day is scheduled until June 6th. I apologize in advance for slack blogging.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



You find something that amazes you....

And you spend time with the wonderment of it all and thinking your own thoughts....

Even if people older than you think that it is babyish....

And then total VINDICATION sets in when the people who think its silly get BUSTED playing with it too.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I have been absolutely swamped with my teaching job, and running kids around - it's April, and I'm running out of steam. I'm trying to put all of Blondie's info over on the Rasmussen's link up top, and then my gardening stuff/ home over at Simply Dawson. I guess that leaves this blog for daily life, but I've been too busy - so here is daily life meets gardening.

My garden is my point of relaxation soI took the idea into my classroom. We're wrapping up required science ideas, so I absconded with some grow lights a teacher wasn't using, and keyed into what my SS/ELA partner was teaching - the Great Depression and WWII.. Hmmmmm.... I thought to myself, that sounds like Self-Sufficiency and Victory Garden time. I've brought in window boxes, and soil, seeds, and ready-to-go plants. My students are FASCINATED. Today, they SAW BROCCOLI. You would have thought Hannah Montana herself was in my room herself from all of the excitement about a teeny tiny thing that looked like real broccoli. I think I answered the question, "You mean I can EAT this? Just pick it and eat it?" about 50 times. The lettuce I brought it seems to be headed for a quick demise because both of my classes (every single child in them) think they are the only ones tearing off a tiny piece to eat - surely that won't affect the plant - right? My aloe plant had to return to my house because it's poor leaves had a rash of the same thing happen, and now it struggles to regrow. The poor Lithops (my students call them butt plants) were killed by the same curiousity - they would pull the plant up (including the roots) and ask, "Are you SURE this is a plant? Looks like a butt." Thankfully we are growing so many things they are excited about I think something should survive. Essentially we are growing a salad garden - because most of this can be harvested before they go home for summer - at least once - lettuce, onions, and broccoli. Each child also has two containers - one each of beans and lettuce they have planted from seed. They can't wait to see their own bean and lettuce plants sprout next week - if they keep their fingers out of the soil.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Please pray for the Eagers

Blogs can be an amazing thing.... I have "met" a lot of people that I've never seen face to face, and yet friendships have developed. My newest blog buddy is Megan over at www.jettothailand.blogspot.com . She and her husband are supposed to leave tomorrow for Thailand to meet their new son. I'm jealous - those of you that know me very well know that this is a dream of mine someday, so I'm living vicariously through her right now. Their big day is supposed to be Wednesday, their other children are packed and ready for grandma's, their dog just died, and then when all looked good to go.... Bangkok had to erupt into some violence. There are now travel advisories. I'm crossing my fingers for her to family to make the decision that is right for their family, but they must be feeling pretty torn. On the one hand they want their new son home with them (Thai adoption is a pretty long process compared to other places), but on the other hand they also have to be safe for their children here at home. So, if you have a prayer list, please add the Eager family in South Dakota to your list. Megan, we're waiting to see what happens, and hope for the safest, quickest journey for your family. You're in my thoughts and prayers, Kelly

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Had to share this

I LOVE the group improv everywhere... they make me laugh - most of the time.... http://www.improveverywhere.com/

I saw this online, and had to share it, although I don't think they were directly involved it was the same sort of thing. Check it out.... have a giggle. Happy Easter.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Last day of vacation (Monday)

If you have ever been to Myrtle Beach you know that in addition to the beach itself there are all sorts of commercial distractions up and down the strip. I usually try to avoid a lot of it, but must confess a weakness for some of the activities at Broadway at the Beach. It is a boardwalk over a "lake" with lots of touristy shops I avoid. BUT they also have a lot of restaurants, an aquarium, and MagiQest. We didn't do MagiQuest this time, but did take the girls to the aquarium. They have the best shark tank EVER, and they offer teacher discounts, so take your pay stub if you work in North or South Carolina ....

We watched the employees do a diving show in a big reef tank and feed the fish. Then we got on the moving sidewalk and looked all around as the shak tank totally encloses you and allows the opportunity to see sharks, stingrays, turtles, and fish from all angles. The girls also enjoy trying to pet the stingray - who this trip were always JUST out of reach...

After the aquarium we walked around outside, and T-Rex got to sit on a T-Rex. Big Al's favorite thing to do is buy fish food on the bridges and feed the catfish/giant gnarley things that station themselves under the food vending machines in case someone buys it. The fish absolutely swarm the food, and the seagulls actually walk on top of the open fish mouths trying to get the pellets as well.

A very enjoyable weekend, where all of the kids got along, and the family was able to step back from the daily grind.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pawley's pt. 2

Sunday we woke up and headed over to Brookgreen again. Brian, the girls, and I went to traipse through the woods to see their "zoo". It was a nice presentation of local animals, with many of them rescued from injury. They had farm animals, but the girls enjoyed the otters the most - Cheesie thought the turkeys were scary.

We headed back to the garden part and Brian left to go wander around, while the girls and I were on an alligator hunt. We found the statue, but didn't see the alligator out until we rounded the pond and saw this:

At first glance it looks like a sculpture of an alligator and turtles sunning themselves, but then the turtles move and you realize that its real. It wasn't a huge alligator - apparently once they reach a certain size they are removed from the park.
We spent until lunch at the garden, and then headed back to the hotel for lunch. The girls switched to their swimsuits, and we all headed to the ocean. Unfortunately the lovely sunny, warm morning we were having disappeared behind clouds as soon as we got to the beach, but the girls had fun anyway. The big girls played out in the waves, while the little ones played in a tidal pool.

After a couple of hours they wanted to go try the amazing pool at the hotel, even with all of the reminders that it wasn't heated. They tried to play in the sprinklers set up, but ended up in the lazy river, and then would run over and warm up in the hot tub. They REALLY liked the hot tub.

Brian had to leave to get home to work on Monday, and we stayed one extra night. After dinner we ran over to Pawley's Island Hammock Shop - a tradition that must be visited each time you go, and the girls enjoyed the little shops.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Little Vay-cay

I REALLY needed this Spring Break - which started Friday. So, like all good teachers, Saturday morning I was pulling out of the driveway for a little vay-cay. Cheesie and Blondie were thrilled because we got to stay in a hotel - their requirement for a holiday. We decided to spend Saturday - Monday at Pawley's Island (Litchfield) down south of Myrtle Beach. We prefer it to the crazy commercial junk in Myrtle - although a little time was spent in that craziness too.

We arrived at Brookgreen Gardens around 1:00 and spent the afternoon walking around the statues. Now, my husband and mom are both VERY addicted to their new cameras (Brian got his for Christmas) and I thought they would enjoy wandering Brookgreen without children. The girls and I brought drinks, snacks, and art supplies so while the "papa-razzi", as we now call Brian, spent hours lost in photographic thought. My kids love drawing at Brookgreen - sometimes they attempt a statue, but most of the time they prefer to draw the flowers. If you haven't been before it is a former plantation that this artist and her husband bought and lived on (as well as the other half that is now across the highway and called Huntington Beach State Park). They created a park for American sculpture and poetry. It is a tremendous place with incredibly ancient oaks. Just off the Oak Allee' is the Children's garden which is my favorite place to be.

The girls and I first attempted the giant trees .

Then headed over to the children's garden. Each girl had a smaller sketchbook, and a larger pad as well as some colored pencils. I think all kids should be exposed to a LOT of nature (No child left inside is a favorite motto of mine), and I encourage parents to check out this blog http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/ as it is a great place to start with kids. I had the same tools in my bag, BUT I had watercolor pencils which are VERY fun. The girls didn't notice the difference until I drew an orange poppy and then dipped my pencil into a fountain to change the pencil into watercolor - Cheesie FLIPPED out, and was soon doing her own. T-Rex enjoyed hanging out and exploring, but drew a lot too.

The girls and I left around 4:30 and went to the hotel to check-in and eat. Brian and my mom were still at the garden, taking pics. Now, a bit of back story.... when I was a kid my mom had taken my sister and I to Brookgreen and told us how when she was a kid there were all these alligators around that you could throw bread to down by a picnic area. She was disappointed to see it gone, but as we walked through the park we came across a field that had a huge alligator in it. For some reason, my mom decided to see how close she could get to it, and as she was sneaking up on it she started laughing because she realized it was stuffed. So, I get a phone call as I"m eating with the girls and Brian is laughing because there was an alligator next to a statue of a woman dipping her foot into a pool of water, and mom had told them about the story of ther aforementioned alligator being stuffed. So he and mom were walking all around this statue and this obviously stuffed alligator taking pictures, and chatting, when all of a sudden Brian almost touched it with his foot and the alligator suddenly shot into the water. He and mom spent a LONG time laughing over that one - me, not laughing so much.

We all ended up at the hotel together after that, and we took the girls down to the ocean. Cheesie doesn't remember going two summers ago (last summer we were more in the DC area than the ocean), so she was VERY excited. It was windy, and cold, but they all insisted on wearing their swimsuits under their clothes. When we got there I told them to roll their pants up, but we weren't swimming because it was evening and cold. They amused themselves for a long while....

until..... SOMEONE had to "ACCIDENTLY" fall in.

Then they all took off their clothes and ran aound in the waves in their swimsuits. They were absolutely shivering when we left, and Blondies' feet were positively purple from the cold, but they had a great time.

I'll post Sunday's activities tomorrow. Have a great week - I know I will.

P.S. If you want to see more pics of Brookgreen check out Brian's photoblog http://www.photoblog.com/dontblink or Mom's http://www.photoblog.com/widcat The pictures on this blog don't do it justice - you can click and enlarge over on their pages.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Therapy Thursday, planning the garden

Therapy Thursday

Blondie had therapy again today, but of course as I begin taking pictures of her learning to use a hula hoop as a jump rope my battery died, so here is an old picture. Blondie REALLY wants to jumprope, but coordinating the wrists/arms, and the jumping is challenging. We thought the hula hoop might be a good substitute, but its very heavy for her to turn with one little wrist doing most of the work, so now we're thinking the ropes that boxers use, but don't know if they make kid sizes.... have to investigate. On a side note, I have been known to gush about her newer brace. It is a kiddie-gait trainer, and has really helped her fall less because it forces her toe up so she doesn't drag it, and she doesn't limp quite as much. UNFORTUNATELY, we are finding that we have to replace it about every 6 months- thankfully they are guaranteed for a year, so we aren't paying. They warned us that the brace could break at the ankle if she did a lot of squatting, but we're actually having more of an issue with the pad on her calf splitting down next to the metal insert. SO, if you have one for your child, please look at the black pad on the brace frequently, because just one little crack there seems to negate the benefits. I'll try to post pics of the brace crack tomorrow so you know what I'm talking about.

Topic 2 - Planning the garden.

I took an inventory of the different veggies we have purchased. Now, these are all fruits and veggies that we eat A LOT, so it benefits in the long run, but I think I'm going to learn about blanching and freezing them this summer too. We have 12 tomato plants (different varieties), 6 Romaine lettuce, 18 Red leaf (hmmmm may be too much - we didn't plant this last year so we'll see how it goes), 18 Broccoli (blanching and freezing), 15 Green Beans, 4 strawberries, 1 Oregano (other one died), 8 Cauliflower, 2 bell pepper (may need 2 more), 4 spinach, 1 basil, and 2 Seedless grape vines - add to that a peach tree that should give us six great peaches this year, and two pear trees - plus some sort of apple tree that I've never tried because I'm afraid for some reason.... but the trash collectors love it....
So, the lettuce is all going in window boxes on the deck ledge because of the deer/rabbits that ate it last year. The rest of it is going into the garden, and I'm thinking we need a LOT more boxes, so we'll have to think about where those go.
No, we aren't eating the pink snapdragons. I showed their "mouths" to Cheesie, and it is now her pet plant. I'm going to start planting them next week while I'm on break. OH! I think the ants moved out - just as I bought organic ant killer - it took TONS of boiling water, and at least a bottle of white vinegar. Hopefully they stay away.