Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Me Monday

Ready for some good clean fun? It's time for Not Me Monday again. MckMama ingeniously created this hilarious therapeutic blog idea, so check out her blog to read more.

Well, as I stated in my last Not Me post, I said I would try to post something before this week's not me post. I tried in vain to post yesterday, but something was messed up with blogger and I wasn't able to upload pictures. Therefore, to keep my "promise" from last week, I did not publish this post 10 minutes before I started to write my Not Me post. And I did not change the date so it looks like I posted it yesterday.

On the first night of Cubbies, I mentioned here that we did not have 37 kids. That's a lot of preschoolers in a small room! As I was dreading looking forward to this past Wednesday, I was not completely overwhelmed with the thought of that many kids again. Our final head count? Well, it was more than 37 and less than 41. But it most certainly was not 40. No, we definitely did not have 40 Cubbies in the same small microscopic room.

Because of the many bodies in the room, 48 in total, I did not feel the need to open the window so we could breathe in the suffocating heat of the room... all the while telling myself Remember to shut this window before you go home.

The evening went on and we survived, and I must say I was relieved when it was done. As I cleaned up, still sweating from the busy night, I decided to leave the window open a while longer. Note to self: Remember to shut this window before you go home. I was finally ready to leave 30 minutes later, gathered my stuff, and headed home.

Upon reflection of the evening... 40 kids, not enough leaders, loud preschool conversations, suffocating heat. Wait a minute! Suffocating heat? My mind ran in fast rewind. 40 kids, very hot, open window, Remember to shut this window before you go home. There is absolutely no chance on this earth that I would have exited the church without shutting the window. And if I did by chance forget to shut the window, there is no way I would have gotten in the car, left the parking lot, and driven ALL the way home before I remembered that the window was still open.

Knowing that I couldn't be responsible for any damage that would happen if any person or creature entered the window, I did not jump back in the car and drive all the way back to church. As I was driving, what was going through my head? Did I really forget to shut the window? Maybe I did shut it. Hmmmm. Well, I arrived at church and was not relieved to see that I did leave the window open. Well, I wouldn't want to be the person who thought the window was open and realize that I'd closed it. No, I wouldn't want to be that person.

After a long day at school on Friday, I for sure did not stay up WAY too late once again. This time, I for sure did not stay up until 3:00 a.m. And I absolutely, positively, most definitely did not stay in bed until 12:00 p.m. the following day! Nope, not me!

In preschool today, I did not have a messy painting project for the kids to do. I'm sure some of the parents probably think I'm crazy, but last year parents were thrilled that I did some of these activities, because they said their kids would never get to do anything like that at home. Anyway, have you ever heard of bubble painting? It's really fun. And for all those times that kids have been disappointed when told not to blow bubbles in their milk, today made up for it. Here's how it works:

Mix water and liquid watercolor paint in a bowl.
Add a few drops of liquid soap.
Protect table with tablecloth.
Use straw to blow bubbles in the paint mixture.
When bubbles spill over the edge of bowl, place white paper on bubbles.
Voila! A beautiful bubble print will emerge.

This activity was a huge hit with the kids, which resulted in many sheets of paint-soap-water-soaked paper strewn across the table. Since drying space and time was limited, I did not dry nearly 30 sheets of paper under the automatic hand dryer to speed up the process. Well, who says teachers aren't ingenious! :)

So that's a little glimpse of my week. Join the fun! I'd love to read what you have not done this week!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Go Twins!

Last Sunday, my parents and I travelled to Minneapolis to cheer on the Twins one last time in the Metrodome, since they'll be playing in a new ballpark next year. Even thought the final result of the game was a loss for the Twins, we did have a good time. Here are a few snapshots from our day.

The Metrodome

Twins' Mascot TC

Soon-to-be-three-time A.L Batting Champ JOE MAUER!

Players stretching before the game.

A good-sized crowd in attendance.

My parents after the game.

It's been fun at the Metrodome, and I'm looking forward to outdoor baseball next year.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not Me Monday

Ready for some hilarious, entertaining, all-around clean confession? Well, here it is. Be sure to check out MckMama's blog also (after you read mine).

After glancing at my last Not Me post, I did not realize that it's been a week since I last wrote. And at the end of my previous post, I was determined not to wait a whole week before I posted anything. Well, there you have it... it's been a week and no blog posts. Oh well, Maybe this week? Oh who am I kidding? It will probably be next Monday before I post anything. (If I say this now, you'll be surprised when I post something this week right?)

As I was leaving for school on Tuesday morning, I for sure did not hit a wheelbarrow that was taking up residence on the side of the driveway. Not a big problem, right? WRONG! The contents of said wheelbarrow? Definitely not rotting, rancid, soon-to-be-moonshine corn cobs that my parents had processed the day before. And me? I was almost late for school, so who got to pick them up? For sure not my mom! Thanks, Mom!

This past Wednesday was the first night of Cubbies at my church. Since I'm the director, I decided I better show up, but after my long day at preschool, I was tempted not to show up. Well, when 6:00 arrived, I must admit I was feeling fairly ready. The registration forms were photocopied, the tables arranged, crayons placed on the tables along with the paper. All we needed were kids. Boy, did we get them! In all my years as Cubbies director (I think this is my 8th year) I have never seen so many kids. They just kept coming out of the woodwork! When all was said and done and I did the final headcount, we did not, I repeat, we absolutely did NOT have 37 kids! And with 5 tables in the room, you can do the math to figure out how many each teacher was responsible for. Wow, what a night.

As I was working on my computer after Cubbies, I definitely did not fall asleep only to wake up a few hours later in the recliner. The time? It most certainly was not 3:00 a.m. Oh, it was hard going to bed knowing I had to be up in t 3 1/2 hours. Wow, what little children will do to take the energy out of you!

Last night after getting home from a Twins game, I did not remember that I had neglected to purchase a couple items that I needed in class today. My solution? I'll just get up early and stop at Wal-Mart on my way to school. Yep, that's what I decided to do, all right. Because it would be foolish to make a special trip to Wal-Mart when I could do it before school. Nope, I definitely did not drive to town at 10:00 p.m. to buy 6 apples, butter, and oatmeal, and then drive back home. I would never do something that dumb!

Well, that's about all for this week. I'll see you next week when I fill you in on what did not happen to me this week (unless I bless you with a surprise post sometime later this week!).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not Me Monday

Wow, where did the week go? It's already time for Now Me Monday again?

This past week, being the first week back to school, I did not receive my full-time preschool initiation by having not one, but TWO, kids have potty accidents in the same day. On this same day, I did not also have a student with a bloody nose. Now if this nasal mishap had been the result of an injury, I would have to seriously consider what I was doing in the preschool classroom, but I assure you it was NOT (for real, people) injury-induced.

During class today, I did not hear a student say, "Miss Heather, K is stepping on something sticky." Upon taking a closer look, I did not see something that resembled dried apricot, yet a slimier, stickier, incredibly messier substance. What did I do? Cleaned it up right away, of course! What I did not do was fold the floor mat in half to cover the ooey, gooey mess while deciding to clean it up later. I did not consider the ramifications of this action. The ooey, gooey sticky mess was now on both sides of the mat, resulting in having twice the mess to clean up.

I had to go to the Post Office today to mail... um... something. *Details to follow soon.* Anyway, I was ready to seal the package and realized I was going to enclose a note. Hmmm... what can I write one. Any paper around here? After fumbling around for a minute, the only thing I could find was the art sample from class today. I did not tear off the part that didn't have writing and proceed to write my note. Who does that? Write a letter/note on a piece of paper you ripped (quite jaggedly, I might add) off a craft sample from your preschool class? Oh well, I hope she doesn't mind.

Well, that's a glimpse of what I did not do this week. Hopefully it won't be another week until I visit with you again, but we'll see. Life is getting busy with everything starting for fall schedule. While you wait on the edge of your seats for another appearance from me Instead of holding your breath for another post from me anytime soon, head over to MckMama's blog to see what others have not done.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Night Before...

...going back to school. Ah, the memories. When I was growing up, I remember feelings of excitement, anxiety, and sadness on this night.

Excitement... seeing friends again.

Anxiety... What will this year be like?

Sadness... summer is over.

I think the feeling of excitement usually dominated and my sister Becky and I would talk late into the night about what the following day would bring. That is, after I bribed my sister Erin to let me sleep in her bed so Becky and I could talk. Since I was the oldest, I had my own room and Becky and Erin shared a room. I usually liked having my own room, but on going-back-to-school eve, I would try to convince Erin that it would be fun for her to sleep in my room, and this convincing usually required some small bribe. I can't remember what it would have been, but probably something extravagant like a piece of gum or maybe a quarter. She was usually fairly easy to please.

Becky and I would then talk about random things like classmates, teachers, school work, and probably a bunch of nonsense until Mom would tell us to go to bed because we had to get up early the next day. While our lips were silent, my brain would be in overdrive and usually took a while to slow down enough to fall asleep.

The next morning we would wake up with excitement... to see our friends, arrange our desk stuff, and best of all... break open the new school supplies!!!

I won't be talking to my sister "late" (as in 10:00 PM) into the night, but I do have a feeling of excitement and anticipation... for new students (currently at 16), new activities, and a new adventure of teaching preschool full-time. This year I won't be splitting my time with preschool and the junior/senior high class as I did last year. It feels a little weird that I won't be with the older kids, because I was their teacher for 5+ years, so it was with mixed emotions that I chose to do the preschool full-time this year. But I'm sure it will work out fine, and I'm excited to see what God will do this year!

Now I'm off to bed to "dream" about school!

Good Night!

Not Me! Monday

This is not going to be the shortest Not Me post in the history of such things.

I am not practicing the true meaning of the day... Labor Day. Nope, I'm not at school and I'm not wishing I was outside (well, to be honest, anywhere but here) to enjoy this last day of "freedom" before my crazy life otherwise known as "school" begins.

I did not stop and buy a Papa Murphy's pizza on the way here, knowing that I'd need something for lunch and dinner because that's probably how long I'll be here. Goodness, I'll probably need a midnight snack as well.

As much as I hate to admit that summer is over, I am not completely excited about my new adventure teaching preschool full time!

I am not avoiding working right now by writing a Not Me! post. Oh, I guess all good things must come to an end.

And there you have it... the shortest Not Me! post ever!

Check out MckMama's blog for other Not Me posts every most Mondays.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Reunion to Remember

It's amazing how time flies. I can hardly believe it was fifteen years ago that I graduated from high school. Fifteen years! Graduating from a small Christian school, there were only two of us. In some ways, it seems like just yesterday that Jenny and I were planning our graduation ceremony, freaking out over having to give a speech, and dreading answering the one question every senior hates... So, what are you going to to next year?

After we graduated, we planned an awesome senior trip. Are you ready? You better brace yourselves for this one. We went shopping in a town 30 miles away and then drove back to Grand Rapids and camped 10 miles from town. How's that for excitement?

The following fall, Jenny and I began our college journey at our local community college. After surviving that year, we decided to celebrate it big by camping on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

After 2 years, Jenny and I went our separate ways, yet stayed in contact. She attended college in Wisconsin and I headed to a university in Minnesota, both of us pursuing degrees in education.

Long story short, Jenny got married, and for the past five years, her husband has been the youth pastor at my home church. So we've basically have a reunion every Sunday. Earlier this summer, though, we decided that we needed an real class reunion.

Ahem. That was supposed to be a short introduction. Oh well. Now for the rest of the story...

Last Thursday, after packing a van crammed full of camping stuff, Jenny and I headed up the North Shore. The day was beautiful, and we were excited to be out enjoying the outdoors. Our first destination was Palisade Head. The sheer cliff rises 300 feet above Lake Superior, providing a spectacular view of the gorgeous blue-green water, thousands of trees, and miles of shoreline.

My one and only senior classmate, Jenny

Shovel Point extends out into Lake Superior.

The "drop-off" was about 3 feet... she was completely safe!

After we'd eaten lunch and had enough thrills on Palisade Head, we drove to Tettegouche State Park and walked out to Shovel Point (pictured above). The view was incredible!

When we were sufficiently tired after our hike, we headed to our campsite at Cascade River State Park. I would love to tell you that the tent and screen tent went up in a snap, but that would be a lie. Yes, we did read the directions, but they didn't seem to help much. Being the high school--yes, even college--graduates that we are, Jenny and I got the tents set up in ten minutes nearly an hour, just before it started to sprinkle. Having that less-than-desirable job done, it was time to turn our efforts to dinner. Now I've had plenty of yummy camp food in my time, but this meal was right up there with the best I've ever eaten. Maybe it tasted better because we had to wait so long for it, but it sure was worth it. Jenny got the fire started and as we waited for coals to be ready, we assembled our hobo dinners. Hamburger patty + cubed potatoes + carrot slices + slices of onion = a dinner so delicious I had to take pictures.

Oooooo, it's enough to make your mouth water.

We played some games as we listened to the gentle rain pitter-patter on the tent roof. I lost enough games to ensure I would never have a winning record, so we decided to go to sleep. When we awoke in the morning, it was still drizzling. We opted for plan B for the day. After a breakfast of bacon, egg, and cheese wraps, minus the wraps (yes, I forgot the tortillas at home), we decided to drive north. Almost to Canada. Since we didn't have passports, we decided not to cross into our neighboring country. By the time we drove back through Grand Marais, it was no longer raining, so we explored the town. We looked around a few shops and then headed out to the lighthouse.

Our Grand Marais excursion ended with a trip to Sven and Ole's Pizza where we got a slice of pizza to hold us over until dinner. Since it wasn't raining, we headed back to Cascade River to hike to the falls. It was beautiful.

What camping trip is complete without S'mores? Well, Jenny and I did not make S'mores. We made something that definitely equals or maybe surpasses S'mores in yumminess. For all you camping enthusiasts out there, don't worry... I still have a place in my heart for the squishy, chocolatey, crunchy taste of S'mores. But if you try this creation, I think you'll agree with me that they are tasty nearly to-die-for.

Okay, here goes. Are you ready?

Step One: Take Pillsbury Buttermilk biscuits (in the "pop" tube). Stretch dough into narrow strip. Wrap one or two stretched biscuits around 1/2 inch wooden dowel. Holding dowel over fire or coals, roast the dough, gradually rotating so it won't burn. Dough is done when lightly browned and it pulls off dowel in tube-like shape.

Step Two: Dip in melted butter, completely coating all sides.

Step Three: Combine sugar and cinnamon in ziploc bag. After dipping in butter, drop twist into bag and seal.

Step Three: Shake, shake, shake!

Step Four: Remove from bag and ENJOY! **Holding them on your finger completely optional.

On Saturday, we once again woke to a gentle rain. After a yummy pancake breakfast, we packed up the tent, soaked and dirty as it was, and then played another game (yes, I lost again). The screen tent came down (must more easily than it went up, I might add) and after throwing everything else in the van, we left campsite A6 at Cascade River State Park and began the trek to reality and home.

We saw beautiful waves crashing on the shore as we drove, so we stopped at Bluefin Bay and watched them for a while. Gorgeous!

Our next stop was Temperance River State Park. The churning, swirling motion of the water has created round caludron-like formations in the rock as the water tumbles over the many waterfalls.

I believe one of the highlights for Jenny and me was walking along the beach as the pounding breakers crashed on the shore. Looking out at the water, you wouldn't know the difference between Lake Superior and the ocean. Listening to them was even better. So calming and relaxing.

It was a wonderful trip and we had a great time reliving "the good ol' days" of high school. Jenny, I thank God that He allowed us to be such good friends, and I hope you know how much your friendship has meant to me all these years. God has blessed me through you!