Sunday, December 16

C.A.R.E.S.

Cooperation
Assertion
Responsibility
Empathy
Self-Control

C.A.R.E.S. are the defining elements of a social curriculum used in many primary and intermediate grades. They're taught, modeled, revisited, read about, shared and celebrated. However, it's not always the kiddos that need the instruction, adults need it to. Here's a refresher...

C is for cooperation. The act of working together to achieve a common goal. This is usually done through communication and willingness to share. 

A is for assertion. This is being able to stand up for what you believe is right. It might be asking someone to stop pestering you or stepping into another situation when you know or see someone else being taken advantage of.

R is for responsibility. This is in regard to your own actions. One only has control and responsibility for their own being.

E is for empathy. Being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and know or relate to how they might be feeling. This is done without making things about yourself.

S is for self-control. Knowing when to control your body and words from harming or hurting others.

These are some pretty heavy traits to be dealing with and are not always easy for young ones to remember. I (as do most) still struggle with some of these traits on occasion and need to be reminded to keep them in check. But, I have an advantage over most. Not only have I had the opportunity to concoct some crazy, made-up scenarios that display these various traits for young learners, I have also seen these very traits modeled, in real time, for real reasons with real, loving, caring young people! It's enough to make one explode.

So, it is not with the holiday spirit in mind that I send this reminder, it is with the humanity spirit in mind. We don't just have to be thoughtful in December, but all year.

________________________________________________________________________________

On a lighter note, Chip had his pants surprised right off him yesterday with a little get-together of family and friends to celebrate his 30th birthday. It took much planning and preparation to make the planets align so that he was unknowing and things would happen at the right time. Also, for those of you that know me, I don't exactly have a 'poker face' which made keeping a few secrets very difficult for me. After seven years together, there isn't much about my day, breathing habits and amount of water consumed in a day that Chip doesn't know about me, so taking an entire day off to shop and prepare (without him knowing) was against my very nature. But, for the sake of the surprise, I zipped my lips.

Thank you to all who attended, wished him well and celebrated another year of him! (And another special 'thank you' to SoTresChic for aiding in every aspect of the surprise as it couldn't have happened without her help!)
Oh, and he loves the goat!!

Lots of love,
M.





Sunday, November 25

Fish. Monkey. Man??

Maybe we used to be monkeys, maybe we weren't. Regardless, I can't deny what I live and feel every day, week and month. Over time, I just evolve! By evolve, I mean that I continue to live my life in a way that I feel fits best for me based on what I've experienced and learned. We learn from our own mistakes and (I feel) are expected to change our behaviors and thoughts so they don't happen again. As much as we sometimes want to, we can't control the ones around us, only our own choices.

I guess I'm rambling, but I have so many ideas and feelings running around my brain that I can't seem to narrow them to a cohesive train of thought, so instead, I'll spew them all out around the same topic.

So, thought one. I'll be the first to admit and apologize for my mistakes and misgivings. I may not be the first one to recognize them, but when someone points them out to me, I'll do my best to own up it and make it better, if I can. However, I will not apologize for choices and actions that others think I should do or say. See above, we are in charge of our own selves.

Which brings me to thought two. In order to be in charge of my own actions, I need to be educated (as do others). We all do this in different ways. I choose to surround myself with literature and people that I feel can best inform my thoughts and actions. The literature and people that surround me evolve over time as my own evolution takes place.

My final thought has to do with my naivety. I guess my only comment in this area is that I can only control and perceive what is within my own realm. I don't read minds, don't want to. And I'm not going to apologize for that either. :)

More negative than usual, sorry. I hope y'all have a great week.

:)
M.

Sunday, November 11

Update. Oops!

Wow! It's been a long time since I've made my last post. This happens frequently, I guess, but here is my update since summer. Summer had quite the ending (without Chip) with a great trip to the State Fair. I loved all the food and spending a day full of people watching, roaming, eating and spending. It was a blast.

School started off on a different foot this year since I have started a new position. It offers a different set of challenges but provides a HUGE bonus over my 2nd grade post. And that's the fact that when I come home, I'm home. I don't have to work on projects, finish lessons or get ready for the next day. Chip absolutely loves this new bonus. :) I like that! I'm to the point in the year where we have 1st graders getting on Google Sites and Docs to create new content. It's a wonderful sight to see.

We've welcomes a new niece and a new nephew into our family, we've stomped grapes cheered the Vikings, drank grapes and hosted a Halloween party. However, the pinnacle of our Fall this year was celebrating 3 years together. We did an anniversary tour of vineyards in the river valley between Minnesota and Wisconsin. We spent 3 days driving on beautiful, rural roads, staying at a fantastic B&B and just all around enjoying our time together. We visited some stunning views at a variety of wineries and I can't wait to bring friends back to enjoy some of those places again.

Also, today was our first snow. It's still on the deck now and I couldn't be happier. I know what it will be gone soon but I can't help but enjoy it while it's here.

Till next time,
M.














Wednesday, August 15

Twins Day...literally!

Chip and I are heading out in a few hours to check off a couple of 'firsts' on our list. We'll be hoping on the Northstar at 10:53 for our first Northstar train ride. That train will bring us down to Target Field for our first Twins game since they've moved. It's primed to be an exciting day spent with my folks (and some beer and brats, of course). And, to top it all off, Chip and I will look almost identical at the game. I'll have to post a pic or two...
















There are a few other 'firsts' happening this week as well. Nothing too exciting, but I was getting tired of the same old meals each week so I whiped out a few new recipes. On Monday night we tried turkey and quinoa stuffed peppers, and they were delish! This morning I'm bringing a vegetarian egg bake to a team gathering. It looks amazing and I just put it in the oven. I'm excited for what it will look and smell like in an hour. And then tonight we'll be trying a crockpot rib recipe. Oofta, all these firsts are wearing me out!

The past month has been a blur. Summer school came and went, the garden looks a bit like "Area 51," as my cousin stated and my damn grad paper still needs five more pages. Jeesh!

A couple of weeks ago we welcomed our fourth nephew into this world. He's adorable and perfect, just like the other three. His mother, however, has been having some complications and has needed some assistance. We have been looking after the little peanut here and there and helping out when we can. Phoebe was extremely interested in making sure Bryce felt welcome and safe. The end of September will bring our fifth niece or nephew. We don't know which yet, but we're hoping for a niece!

A few weeks ago we took a trip out to Howard Lake, Home of the Wright County Fair, which is just about their only claim to fame! However, it did add another check on the list of "firsts" for me. I had never been to a demolition derby (and I can't say I'd be excited to go again). But, I went, I saw, I....left. The rest of the Wright County Fair was filled with yummers fair food and Chip's love for animals. Overall, it was a successful trip with lots of photographic evidence to prove it!

If we keep at this pace, I'll have to add to the list!

M.


 

Tuesday, July 3

Summer Lovin'

I always have a blast in the summer. Teachers get a bad rep for having their summers off, however, we take it in pay. The other nine and a half months that we are "on the clock" are in overtime and overdrive. So, I guess, if I can spend my days cleaning up my yard and weeding the garden and having wine with lunch, I'll take it...and love it!

Yesterday was a 'project' day for me. I had the challenge of trying to incorporate a new color into our bathroom because it's time to buy new towels. Chip is tired of seeing brown, brown, brown...so we've decided to switch it up. We found some beautiful Shadow Teal towels at Target and we brought home a sample to test in the bathroom. Well, they look great but would stand out a bit without something to tie it all together. About two hours later, I had framed up some of the fabric I bought for the hallway and it happened to have the exact same blue in it. Perfect! All said and done, I"m excited to find a deal on the towels and get them in the bathroom.

Today, even as I type, I've been working outside and sweating my 'you-know-what's' off. However, it so gratifying to be able to whip through the lawn, water, mow, trim, garden and play and know that air-conditioned comfort is only a few steps away. Soon, I'll have to head to the shower as I know there has to be weed particles in my hair from trimming and a layer of sweat underneath my bear-skin! ;)

My last thought resides in teaching and gardening. I was tilling up the soil in the garden this morning and noticed a few veggies starting to come into fruition. Literally! It dawned on my that it might be one of the reasons I love being a teacher. I very much enjoy watching things grow. Much like my students, I start the season off with planting a seed (and in some cases the seeds have been planted) and my job is to nurture the seedling to harvest time. However, along the path you get to see different stages of their growth and it's those moments that are most enjoyable. The product of manual labor, patience, love, water and a balanced diet and a fine product will turn up in the end. A product that many can enjoy and be proud of.

To teaching (cheers),
M.










Tuesday, June 26

The Change....

I'm very happy (and quite sad) to report that I will not be teaching in the classroom next school year. Yep. Holy buckets! I love being a teacher and I love working with kids but another opportunity came my way that speaks to a different set of passions.

Next school year I will be teching in many classrooms. That's right, teching. I am the new Technology Integrationist for one of the elementary schools and the middle school. I'll be surrounded by technology, teachers and, of course, students! My main responsibility will be to support classroom teachers in implementing and utilizing technology within their current, everyday curriculum. I will also be assisting in delivering professional development.

I'm very excited for this coming change but there is a part of my that is extremely sad. I have always enjoyed (even in the tough years) working with 2nd graders. There are a wonderful age to teach and they've provided me with many great memories. Also, I have had the privilege to work among with best team of teachers that one could ever ask for. They have supported my, celebrated with me, made me laugh and made me cry. I will truly and whole-heartedly miss working with these 3 individuals. However, like I keep telling them - this doesn't mean I will disappear. I'm still in the same district and I still know where they all live!! Thank you H, S and C for some of the BEST, absolutely wonderful times of my life.

Change is a good thing though. Change brings about new experiences and opens new doors. So, here's to change...

M.

Monday, June 25

Proud Family

What a wonderful, warm, welcoming weekend we had. I really didn't think we had much planned for the weekend, but once things got started, I found out I was a bit off. We tried to stuff too many things in our schedule but happy we made it to most of them.

Pride is an important yearly celebration for us. We don't exactly dive head-long into the festivities but we find it important to get out and celebrate with our fellow Minneapolis friends. Saturday night was our kickoff night. We met two near and dear friends at Stella's in Uptown. We were lucky enough to have hardly any wait at all to sit on the rooftop. Chip and I had never been and Chip found himself to be in heaven. He doesn't enjoy fish as often as he'd like being that I don't share in his enjoyment for such cuisine. (However, I do encourage him to buy seafood when we have grilling nights.) Anyway, there were probably too many options on the menu for him but he somehow narrowed it down to swordfish.

After enjoying (and I mean actually enjoying our oyster appetizers) our dinners were served. I was delighted they had a couple of non-seafood options (even though I really did enjoy the oyster app) because the blackened chicken fettuccine was delicious. All-in-all, the four of us spent about 3 hours chatting, laughing, harassing the wait-staff and having a few (yes, a few each) cocktails! It was a perfect evening.

Yesterday, we kicked off our pride-going festivities with bloddies and memosas at a friends house. What a great way to have breakfast. We then headed on down to watch the parade, which I thought didn't start until 12:00. Oops. The streets were PACKED when we got there and it was almost unenjoyable to try and watch the parade. We met up with Chip's folks, as they were volunteering (getting signatures to vote NO in November) and we spent the late morning and early afternoon with them at the parade and park. In the end, we found it was too hot to be walking around with our pooch at the park, so we headed home. There we just about passed out on the sofa from the heat and the go, go, go...

Today was a small projects, kinda work on my paper, garden, laundry (perfect weather for hang-drying) and social media day. Social media only because Chip and I received our photos from on Friday and I posted them this morning with GREAT response from friends and family. The photos are amazing and I can't wait to see the final product. A coffee table beard book! Happy to be home, enjoying the gorgeous weather and relaxing on the patio. Life is good, nope, GREAT! M.




Tuesday, June 19

Backyard

I needed to do some tree trimming. I couldn't believe how many dead branches were up on the inside of the tree. It wasn't that they were hanging off and making the tree look goofy, they were up on the inside of the tree, hiding. Well, knowing how well my momma maintains her trees, I asked if I could borrow her extended tree-trimming saw. Today, the crazy hot and muggy day, was the winning day to undertake the task of cutting out the dead branches. Hot today, but worth it.
Even though we've had some considerable rain and storms recently, I figured with the crazy heat the veggies could use a little extra water and love. So, after taking a few 'proud-gardener' pics of the growing yum-yums, I gave everything a short bath. Needless to say, I but I'll say it anyway, I'm a bit sweaty after those few, quick chores. Now, as I type out my update, I'm sitting (stupidly so) on the patio, with a beer, continuing to sweat.

Cheers,
M.



Backyard

I needed to do some tree trimming. I couldn't believe how many dead branches were up on the inside of the tree. It wasn't that they were hanging off and making the tree look goofy, they were up on the inside of the tree, hiding. Well, knowing how well my momma maintains her trees, I asked if I could borrow her extended tree-trimming saw. Today, the crazy hot and muggy day, was the winning day to undertake the task of cutting out the dead branches. Hot today, but worth it.

Even though we've had some considerable rain and storms recently, I figured with the crazy heat the veggies could use a little extra water and love. So, after taking a few 'proud-gardener' pics of the growing yum-yums, I gave everything a short bath. Needless to say, I but I'll say it anyway, I'm a bit sweaty after those few, quick chores. Now, as I type out my update, I'm sitting (stupidly so) on the patio, with a beer, continuing to sweat.

Cheers,
M.



Monday, June 18

Pathetic Pooch

We've been hearing many comments lately about how our puppy has been getting 'bigger.' Well, being with her every day, we didn't/don't see the change. However, for fear of having an unhealthy and out of shape dog, we cut back her food by a bit and are going to start including her in our workout plans more often. I think she'll still love us in the end, but, by the look on her face after her second 5k workout, it might take her awhile to get there.