Monday, September 21, 2015

Friday, September 18, 2015

We Love the Eighties!

Really Quick Takes

1. I woke up Sunday morning and glanced at the weather section of the paper. Actually, I squinted at it as my readers were sitting on the nightstand. I quickly called for Dave to confirm what I thought my blurry eyes were taking in -- highs in the eighties for the entire week!

The eighties!

Blessed, merciful cooler weather!

I know my friends from parts north and Christine in Scotland are now shaking their heads, but think of that first warm breeze you feel each spring. That's what we're experiencing now. While I suspect Augusta will let fly one last blast of hot air across the bow, for now we are opening windows and embracing yard work and enjoying, just enjoying.

2. So I've gone back to teaching, and I would like to type My students are precious! but they're also not seven, so I'll just say that I find them interesting and charming all at once.

3. One of the added perks of going back to work is being with colleagues both old and new. I couldn't ask for better co-workers.  Another perk: I enjoy using my brain in a different manner. I will be the first to assert that motherhood demands all the wisdom and twice the fortitude of any other job. But I am a nerd at heart, and I enjoy academic life. I really do.

4. For the last several years, our school has upped the level of summer work. I was a big proponent of this. Real life has since hit, and hit hard, and, though in theory I remain a big advocate, the harsh, nay brutal, realities of making a house full of kids do things most of them really, really are not at all inclined to do at! all! leave me wavering on the whole issue. Certainly I have repented of any previous judgement leveled at mothers who were less than enthusiastic about all this, and I now totally get why some moms were willing to support "pay as you go" summer study halls supervised by something wholly unrelated to the student, cost be darned!

I perpetually -- stubbornly -- have visions of idyllic afternoons spent gently learning together and then run against eye-rolling and muttered comments about "all the other parents". Yes, all in all a steady dose of  wailing and gnashing of teeth with all the charm of a dripping faucet equipped with a microphone.

Did I mention that motherhood demands fortitude?

But I digress . . . at the end of the summer, I always double check the list of summer work,
because we inevitably overlook something. This year it was The Eighteen Family. John was assigned to master "addition and subtraction through the 18 family."

Now, John my boy did plenty of math this summer, but we didn't focus on The Eighteen Family. Dave quickly remedied the situation by getting on Excel and creating a random number generator that spit out appropriate math problems -- 18 + 6, 18+ 17, 16+15. Engineers love little jobs like this.

Imagine my shock when I learned The Eighteen Family didn't mean problems such as "18+18". No, no. The Eighteen Family means that the largest sum adds up to 18, i.e. 10+8, 11+7, etc.

We're pretty sure we got John ready for fifth grade math. He rose to the occasion.

5. I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to my boy Kolbe who is just a conscientious kid. I took him out to lunch the other day as a thank you for his persistence and good cheer. He makes me realize how much a good attitude can bless those around us. He calls me on.

6. All the beautiful weather, the joy in my new job -- these have helped us survive the ups and downs of the past two weeks which, truthfully, have seen more downs than ups. Namely:
  •    An unidentified child woke up with a wicked stomach bug.
  •    An unidentified child came home from school with lice.
  •    An unidentified child battled debilitating constipation.
  •    An unidentified sibling wandered throughout the house helpfully singing, "Let It Go! Let It Go!"
Nothing is off limits, it would seem.

7. I now have a senior, and here he is:

My Boy Tim

My life in a nutshell.

Head over to Kelly's to ad your Quick Takes.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Seven Quick Takes

I hope and intend to get back into a more regular writing routine sometime really, really soon, but until then, here is what's happening in our  neck of the woods:

1. Working Nine to Five . . . Or Something Like That

I’ve gone back to work for the first time in fourteen years. I am a high school English teacher once again. A very part-time English teacher, but a teacher all the same. I hope at least this paragraph is error free.

2. More Frum Ainsey

John found the following note thoughtfully stuck to the computer screen:

Sore. You kate pla on the kinpyotr.

Translation at the end of this post.

3. So Long, Farewell to the Pool 

I nearly wept the last day we spent at the pool, so fun has it all been this summer. Among the other high points, here's Ainsley in June:

Coach Kennedy, ever patient.
Here's Ainsley in August:

So happy:

4. Take This, Pinterest!

I don’t tend to make grandiose household plans during the summer. With lots of comings and goings, lots of travel, lots of togetherness, my plans are typically: Stay cool. Go to the pool. Don’t annihilate each other. Read. Go back to the pool.

I don’t generally paint, sew, rearrange. This summer, however, I fully intended to transform this:

Into this:

Image result for chalk paint round kitchen table

And we’re nearly there!

5. Leftovers

Here's John and Grandpa checking out my boy's first Walleye.

 6. A Room with a View

Here's what I took in while washing dishes:

And a closeup:

John - part tree frog, all boy.

7. Head over to Kelly's to add your quick takes and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Oh, here's the translation: Sorry! You can't play on the computer. I found out later that she left the note for Daddy, not John.

My girl.