Thursday, April 26, 2012

A recap

Once again, life has taken me on a ride in the fast lane and somehow months have passed without a post.  It seems like we've been pushed into warp drive and somehow fast-forwarded a whole section of our lives.  In truth, it's simply that life is busy, complicated and somewhat less blog-worthy than it has been.  Nonetheless, here's a recap of some recent stuff:

World Book night was Monday, April 23.  This is the first year of this event in the US, though it has been help in previous years in other countries.  The purpose of the night is to provide free books to people who aren't regular readers and to encourage them to read more.  I applied and was chosen as a "giver".  There were 20 titles to chose from and I got my first choice: "The Book Thief" by Marcus Zusak.  I had read this book a year or two ago for my book club and we all loved it, so it was a book I was thrilled to give out.  My goal this year was to give books to the parents of my preschoolers, with the hopes that this would encourage them to be good role models and read in front of their children.  I made bookmarks with a little spiel I wrote about how important reading is for children and how parents should read to their children and get caught reading in front of their children.  I know the parents were surprised by the free book, though I haven't received any feedback to know if any are reading or like the book.

This was my second year coaching OBOB and my first year coaching at the high school.  I really, really enjoyed coaching this year.  I spent most Mondays (and by the end most Friday's too) in the high school, spending lunch time encouraging the kids, talking about the books and asking them practice questions.  I had two full teams this year, plus some alternates.  In the end, Chase's team came out as the victor of the school and were sent to the regional competition.  They called themselves "Fresh Meat", since they were all freshman.  They were all devestated when one of the key members of the team pulled out from the competition the day before regionals, but were thankful that someone else filled that spot on short notice.  They renamed themselves, now that they had a senior on the teams, and went by the name "E Pluribus Unum" at competition.  They did well, though were beat at the regional competition.  I see good things in the future for these kids though, so I'll continue to coach OBOB. 

Yes, we colored Easter eggs this year... again.  It was a close thing, as the kids are getting older and Easter isn't quite as fun anymore.  But we did it and here's the photos to prove it.

I have been sooooo thankful for the sunshine!  Carissa and her friend Jami have taken to having after-school snack as a picnic in the front yard.  I love it!

Yes, I know some of these photos are sideways, but it's just proof that my children have actually had a chance to go drive at Malibu Grand Prix.  I got a Groupon for it and it was a great deal, so we took the kids a few weeks ago.  They had a good time.

Hard to imagine, but this is our next-to-last year of the annual Kiwanis Easter Egg hunt.  We've participated each year since we moved to Scappoose in 2003.  Next year Carissa will be 12, the oldest you can be and hunt.  I will be sad to see these tradition end.
 Crazy hair day for Carissa.  We ended up with something similar to what I did for Wacky Wednesday at my preschool - 3 pony tail loops with straws hanging out at all angles.  It was adorable!
 My new shoes... Vibram 5-fingers.  The kids at school call them my funny shoes or my toe shoes.  I was really inspired to wear them after reading "Born to Run" and I like them a lot.  I'm planning on starting Couch to 5K again but running in these instead.  Can't wait!
 I started my first quilt about 2 months ago.  Here's what it looked like when I was just setting the blocks into place.  Now the quilt top is done, the layers put together and the quilting is half done.  Hopefully I'll get it completed soon.  I really enjoyed making the quilt top but this quilting the layers together is for the birds.  So not my favorite, but nearly done.  It's for Carissa and she's soooooo excited to get it!
For the first time in the 6 years I've been teaching, I decided to do a "community helpers" unit.  It was so much fun!  Our classes got to meet police officers, visit the veterinarian's office, see a K9 officer and his dog, talk to a 911 operator, etc.  It was great!  We even had our favorite Marine Deputy and his boat come by for a visit. :)

Over spring break Chase had an assignment in his Honors Language Arts class.  There were many activities to chose from and he finally settled on "take a tour of a college".  I wasn't very willing to drive down to the OSU on such short notice, so I gave him the option of one of the colleges in the Portland area.  He called UofP and asked about a visit, only to find they had a big “visitation day” on Friday. I don’t know what he wrote about it for his class  assignment, but I do know that he talked about it for days and days afterwards. He and I attended together with about 80 other high school students and their parents. I think he was the only freshman there, but he didn’t care. He learned a lot about UofP, a lot about what he needed to do for college and a lot about the kinds of things he has to look forward to.

  I must say that I got a reality check when I saw this:
I know UP is a private college and that it's more expensive than some, but I was unprepared for just how expensive it was.  Thankfully they offer lots of financial aid and if Chase continues on the path he's on, he'll be eligible for much of it.  Chase really enjoyed UP... he liked the small college feel, he liked the amount of effort they put into making sure the freshman are clustered so they get to know other students, he liked the dining hall (lunch was on UP so he got his pick of the dining hall), he liked talking to the students and touring the campus.  We ended the day talking to the department heads in the School of Engineering, one of his two top career choices (at least at this point). 
We talk about college a lot in hopes that our kids will understand the necessity of a college education, but until that visit I’m not sure how much actually sank in. This has set him to the task of attending a great college with great students and a great program. He has seen it and felt it and now has a tangible goal to pursue. He also has a better understanding of what he needs to do to make that happen.

Anyways, it was just a really wonderful, eye-opening experience that we wouldn’t have had this early in his high school career if not for the assignment.
 But at the end of it, it was a reality check for both of us... for him it helps him better understand what college is and what it means.  For me, it's a reminder of how little time we have left with him in our house. 
*sigh*  Trying to cherish each day.

No comments: