Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Budding Learner

photo © 2008 takomabibelot | more info         (via: Wylio)
 My 2 year old has began to notice things on a daily basis that constantly surprise me. We were eating lunch together in the dining room with a cartoon as our background music. The music slowed it's pace, deepened, and became somber. "Mama, I think Aurthur is sad.", stated J. I was very surprised that he picked up on this small change. "Why do you think that bud?", I quickly asked. "Mama, the talk sounds sad.", he replied. Something as small as a music change signaled to his little body that the character was sad. This small recognition signaled that I needed to pay more attention to my son as a budding learner.

My eyes and ears were now open to new learning experiences for my little man. We talk more about the learning cartoons we watch and I pull things out of the stories we read. He has shown me that he's ready for more knowledge. We have begun to look at letters and numbers and give them names and sounds. Today was the perfect example of how quickly little brains soak up knowledge.

We were on our way to bring T to school when we stopped behind a HOOD milk truck. "Mama look, there are 2 O's on that truck.", J said with pride. Yes, he was correct...there were 2 O's on that truck. I wondered how many other O's he could find. I challenged his little brain to tell me whenever he saw another O. His eyes light up and were in constant action, moving from side to side as he yelled out O's on our journey. Fingers were pointed and O's were yelled from the backseat. When we got to T's school, J quickly began pointing out O's on the art displayed in the hallway.

Watching a budding reader learn is like watching the flowers bud in Spring. It is a magical experience.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

T at the bat!

Tonight was an overcast night with a slight mist in the air. Parents huddled in the military green stands with anticipation on their faces. Grandparents carefully climbed the rickety wooden bleachers to join daughters and sons. Cameras and video cameras were all directed to the scene unfolding on the miniature field. Bright yellow and orange bodies moved from one spot to the next like a swarm of bees.

Tonight was the first t-ball game of the season.

Tiny bodies bounced from one space to the next. My son etched a mini-moat around the pitchers mound, claiming his territory. The serious look on his face settled in as he crouched down, glove in hand, toe scratching into the moist dirt. Let the game begin! Children bounded toward the white sphere that slowly bumped over the uneven grass. Laughter echoed from the crowd as child after child toppled over each other, smiles on all of their faces. It is a sight to behold.

My favorite moment has to be when my son stepped up to the black T that was carefully placed to cover home plate. His coach helped him settle into position and then stepped away. T carefully brought his bat up to the ball for one last kiss, pointed his finger towards left field, and smoothly brought the bat around. CRACK! Contact was made and the ball soared towards the pitchers mound. Child after child ducked as my son lumbered towards first base. The ear to ear grin on his face couldn't hide how proud he was. He rounded first base with second base in his sights. "T, come back....come back!", yelled the first base coach. "But coach, I have time.", T yelled back. The bases were loaded and no one was moving...T slowly worked his way back to first base. I screamed and congratulated him for an amazing hit. The smile quickly appeared back on his face as he flashed me a thumbs up sign.

Play Ball!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Non-Fiction Kids Magazines

I love the National Wildlife Federation Magazines.
Perfect for Emergent Readers.
Today was a dreary, snowy day...a day to stay under the covers with a good book. No such luck for this family. Today was opening ceremony for T's t-ball team...yes, in the rain and sleet. Ugh! The good part is that it got us out of the house and on the move.

T is an avid reader but is getting tired of always having fiction books. We got some non-fiction magazines at the library to try out and T just ate them up. His birthday is around the corner and I'd love to get him some magazines to anticipate for each month. Magazine subscriptions can be expensive though so I wanted to try them out before making a long term commitment. So off we went to Barnes and Noble to browse their magazine section...and get some treats with coffee included.

Cricket Magazines...
great variety and easy to find a good fit.
  I was amazed at how many different kinds of magazines are available for emergent reading children. I'd heard of your basics: Time for Kids, Highlights, Ranger Rick, American Girls. There are so many other magazines out there though. Cricket Magazine has several different options for varied age groups. They have both fiction and non-fiction options so it's easy to find a good fit series for your child. I am so very impressed with these magazines and will be getting our subscription soon...I just have to figure out which ones to get.

Of course looking at these amazing magazines got me to start thinking about my classroom. As a teacher, I do this often. I can see recycling these magazines into the classroom, displaying them ever so careful. The non-fiction would be nestled between the water animals and the land animals book bin. Maybe the aquatic frogs would take a peak while waiting for the perfect child to pick up the magazine. The fiction mags may be displayed in clear containers by the turn in folders, in hopes that someone may browse them in their spare time. Ah, the possibilities.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

First T-Ball of the season

Yesterday was the first t-ball practice of the season. This is my 5 year old's first time playing t-ball and my first time watching in a very long time. I remember watching my younger brother play baseball but have clearly forgotten what t-ball looked like.

T was not very excited to head to his first practice. He was having a wonderful time playing with his brother and lacked the enthusiasm to get a workout in today. I bundled him up in multiple layers, figuring that I could remove layers as he warmed up. I tossed a coat on myself and headed out the door. Baseball equipment was loaded into the car, and we were off. T wanted to be one of the first player to arrive since they were getting their jerseys today. T had his heart on getting number 1.

Mud covered cleats were securely fastened on to his feet, stubborn coat was zipped, and semi-worn in glove was on hand. We jogged to the field and gathered materials from the team mom. Then practice began. The children ran around the bases, squealing and giggling the whole time. Coach gathered the little bodies up and began to give instructions. Children turned in circles, talked to new teammates, and a few listened intently to the coach's words.

It was time to bat...each child stepped up to the plate, got directions on where to stand, gave it a swing, and then ran through first plate. They continued to work through the bases and then tried a practice game. This is when the real fun began.

The wind quickly blew threw my few layers of clothes and I began to shiver. "I sure hope this practice doesn't last longer then an hour. I will definitely need to layer up for the next one.", I joked with the parent next to me whose teeth were chattering. The children were carefully placed around the diamond like chess pieces. The first child hit the ball and ALL of the children left their assigned spots and shuffled to the ball. The batter stayed at home plate and the child who captured the ball stood there in confusion. I let out a chuckle as the coach stood in amazement. Time to start from scratch. He gathered everyone at the pitcher's mound and began talking about the to first base after hitting the ball, after catching the ball-throw it to first base or the person on the mound, listen to the coaches who are helping. More giggles escaped my lips as I watched the scene unravel in front of me.

This is going to be fun to watch. I guess we need to watch more baseball at home and do some commentary. Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lazy Spring Break Schedule

We are on our lazy Spring Break schedule right now. Pajama's are worn until mid morning, leisurely showers are taken, breakfast involving eggs are made, and the noise level is much louder during the afternoon hours.

We are trying to balance this Spring Break with some large activities mixed in with lazy days around the house. Today is one of those lazy days. The boys woke up at their normal time and got me involved in their day quickly. Nudges to turn on the TV, make breakfast, and requests to play the iPad were given before my eyes were even cracked open. The warm covers beckoned me to stay but cold fingers pulled me from my cozy haven. The cat opened one eye in indignation as I slid my leg from under the sleeping bundle. Time to start the day.

As I groggily made my way down the stairs, I stopped to eavesdrop on the boys conversation. Transformer cars slid across the wood floor while balls rolled from one corner to the next. Orders were given by my oldest son and quickly ignored by my youngest. Squeals of delight were followed by plastic smashing against plastic. I continued my way down the steps and heard T tell J that he loved him and that they would be best friends forever. My heart just melted and I was again reminded of how blessed I am. Today is going to be a great lazy day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Boston Marathon

With my new inspiration to run comes a new appreciation for people who compete. I don't see myself ever running in a competitive race...maybe a 5K at the peak of my abilities. My body isn't made to run for long distances. My Hispanic curves were not meant to be shoved into tight materials, my torn up knees are already starting to scream as I pound down the pavement, but my determination to get better is strong. This is not a competitive thing for me, it's an opportunity for me to get some alone busy children, or chores to be done. It is just me, my dog for the first half, my tunes, an open road, and time. I run my laps around the neighborhood in hopes that I can run more then walk in my 20-30 minute time allotment.

I am in absolute awe when I hear how quickly people can run long distances. Today was the Boston Marathon, a 26.2 mile run. Today's male runner, Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai, ran the race in a mere 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds. Now if I remember correctly, I barely ran my 1 mile in high school in less then 40 minutes. To think that this man's body was able to run that far in such a short amount of time is amazing to me. It just reminds me that the body and mind can do incredible things when pushed to their full capacity.

I had heard that you had to qualify in order to even be considered to run the Boston Marathon. This got me curious to see what these requirements were. In order to be one of the 25,000 people entered in the race, a women (ages 18-34) must run 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 40 minutes. WOW! That right there is something to be proud of and that's just to qualify to run.

My hat goes off to all the men and women who ran in today's race. Put your feet up, or take a warm bath, and have earned it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fenway Park

We sauntered into Boston this weekend to enjoy the sights and sounds. Let me just start by saying that I could spend the rest of my life in Cambridge without any complaints. I love the brick buildings, the clean air, people walking to their locations, the random parks, the shops hidden underneath the brownstone apartments, and the people. I felt right at home.

The highlight of our trip was catching a Sox game. Going to Fenway Park is an experience that I will never forget. Hopefully we can make a few more trips this summer when the weather is a little warmer. We just got swept into the enthusiasm of the crowd.

We walked from our hotel to the park. The roads were dotted with people heading from here to there, runners preparing for the Boston Marathon, and Sox fans working their way to the stadium. Heavy Boston accents (which I just love) shared the air with the smells of hot dogs, and freshly roasted peanuts. We turned the corner and people were packed into the streets. We had reached our destination. It was a sea of blue and red. I felt like I was in an ant mound...people swarmed from every corner but somehow formed a semi-orderly line into the stadium.

As we shuffled into the stadium, I was in complete and utter awe. I have been in new stadiums but they don't hold a candle to the classics. The green walls were covered with odd bits of memorabilia. Signs from all corners fought for my attention. There were your normal shirt and hat vendors, but I was surprised by the fruit stand. There were your staple foods: hot dogs, peanuts, and cracker jacks...but there were also sweet taffy and clam chowder. My mouth began to water the second the smells reached my nose.
Wally-The Sox Mascot
As we rounded the corner to head outside, we were hit by a wicked breeze. It was going to be a cold game to watch, but well worth it. As my husband led us to our seats, I rolled my head from side to side taking in the view. AMAZING! We continued to walk closer and closer to the field. My husband got great seats on the first base line. As we stopped by our seats, I saw all of the minor league mascots heading in our direction. I quickly scooped up J and told T to follow. We were going to give some high fives. J was able to give every single mascot a high five and almost had his fingers taken off by the eagle mascot. He was excited but wanted to see Wally, the Sox mascot. We got some good pictures, but no hand shakes...this time.

First Base Line!
The game was about to start. My boys ate their way through the first 3 innings of the game. Salty popcorn was shoveled into mouths by the handful, followed by Fenway Franks, Soft Pretzels, and peanuts waiting to be deshelled. As we ate, we listened to the thick Boston accents behind us spouting out stats and encouraging the players. I was in heaven. The frigid breeze blew through my many layers of clothes. My sweet husband disappeared, only to reappear moments later with knit hats for the boys, a fleece blanket for T, Wally for J, and hot cocoa for me. We were set.

There are so many special moments to share and not enough space. We sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", stretched our frozen muscles during the 7th inning, sang "Sweet Caroline", and even managed to get on TV. It was a special night that ended with J sound asleep in my lap while we watched the last sliding catch of the game. We cheered, and willed our frozen bodies to make our way out of the park.

The Green Monster
What a magical day to spend with my boys. I am eager for many more ballgames like this. A few more Fenway games and maybe a trip down to Baltimore to check out Camden Yards. Sounds like heaven! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rainy Day

We woke to a dark morning. The clock yelled that the day had begun but our bodies were not in agreement. J snuggled in next to me, his cold feet raising goosebumps on my legs. His blanket rattling in my ears as he gently tapped the controller on my shoulder. "The Wiggles" were beckoning for us to "Wiggle and Learn."

As I lay there, watching my little guy transfixed to the television, I couldn't help but listen to nature's soundtrack. The pitter patter of raindrops as they sailed through the sky and hit the back deck. The sound changing as puddles began to form. Going from a soft plink to more of a gathered plunk. I could hear the tree's branches rattling as they were forced to bang against each other. The wind whistling me to get out from under the warm covers. The cat stretched at my feet, giving me one last kneading before starting the day.

Once my bare feet hit the warm carpet, it was time to gather the boys clothes for the day. A quick tip-toe down the hallway let me know that I wasn't the only one who was fooled by the darkened sky. T was still nestled in his bed, one leg hanging out from under the covers, toys scattered like crumbs on the floor, and a soft growling coming from his opened mouth. I quietly made my way back to the room, determined that our day could start a little later. Rainy days may not be fun to go out in when you are in a hurry, but enjoying the dark skies for a moment longer when still in your pj's never hurts.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Krazy Kids

My youngest son has play group on Tuesday afternoons with 4 other boys. They are all great kids, similar ages, and they exude boy. Let me just give you a snapshot of today's group.

When you walk in the door, you see mats laid out in a maze with tunnels and slides connecting them. There are balls of all sizes scattered throughout the room, claws and arrows directing the boys to the next obstacle, and frog traps under balance beams. Coach B is careful to arrange this maze to constantly challenge the boys and keep them engaged. Today was a challenge though.

Ear shattering screams rose out of the corner. If you didn't know better, you'd swear that little girls were gathered in a tight conversation. Then the boys run from the huddle, faces beet red, mouths open large enough to swallow small bugs, and arms pumping up and down. They are battling for the lead position as they run laps around the obstacle course. My son stops to show off some homemade karate moves with action noises for good measure. Boys are entering different ends of the tunnels like a game of chicken. Balls are raining from the sky and the obstacle course is getting a life of its own.

I sit back in my chair as I take in the scene. Could this rowdy behavior have anything to do with the warm sunny day? Is it an age thing as they get older? Is there a full moon tonight? I'm not sure, but I am glad that J has a chance to burn off some if I could just get him to come down from his high long enough to take his nap. Wishful thinking!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring has arrived!

Ah, I finally saw the bright glowing globe in the crystal blue ski for two days in a row. The snow has almost completely melted and I am starting to see green sprouting from the ground. The battle has been fierce for the flowers in our yard. They have fought through solid soil only to get snowed on time and again. Their troubles have paid off...the ground is softening up and the sun was shining bright. This weekend was full of getting the yard prepped for some rain, God's kisses. The kisses are raining down on the flowers today and the grass is starting to change from the mossy yellowish color to a brilliant emerald green. My spirits have been lifted by the nice weather and my motivation to do things has increased as well. It's amazing how lazy I get during the winter times when the sun isn't shining down on my face. Of course the pasty skin in the mirror doesn't help anyone's self image either. Thank goodness Spring has arrived...I look forward to the warmer weather, painted colors, and sun kissed skin. Who hoo!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Over Confident

I must start by sharing that I scored the best deal today. I am so excited and inspired to start my goal of running but the thought of getting up early to run doesn't really appeal to me right now. The thought of running after the kids are put to bed and my books are beckoning for me to read them...not appealing but it may be a necessary sacrifice. Ah, but what if I got a jogging stroller that my little monster could ride in while I run. I don't want to spend money on a brand new one so I started calling around to see if any Consignment Shops, Goodwill, or Salvation Army stores had any...4 calls later, I hit the jackpot. Check out my new jogging stroller.

I am super pumped to get started on my running goals. The weather is getting nicer and I can't help but want to be out in the sunshine. There isn't much to do in the yard so my legs are aching to...uh, ache. Not 2 minutes after we pulled into the driveway, J asks if we can use the runner now (he calls the stroller our runner). I high-tailed it upstairs to get dressed and ready to go. When I get back downstairs, J has his sippy cup in hand, silky blanket ready to go, and a hat on his head. Someone's not eager to get pushed around in comfort. Let the running beginning. I check the clock to make sure that I have plenty of time to run before we need to pick T up from school. I have an hour and a will be cutting it close and I won't have time for a great shower, but BRING IT ON!

New gear is on, iPod buds are in my ears and tunes are pumping, water bottle is in the cup holder, ID and phone are in the cubby...time to get going. Before I shove off, I ask J if he's ready. "Let's go mama!", he yells. Here we go, I push off and start to jog down our feel great, wind is blowing through my ponytail. Cough, cough. I can't be out of breathe already, I've only taken 5 strides. Cough, cough, cough! You've got to be kidding me. I try to avoid the coughs as I push on but one street down from ours, I must slow to a walk to get a drink. I have been fighting a cold and it looks like it may be winning. "Why are we stopping?", asks a voice from the stroller. "I'm not stopping, mommy has to get a drink so this coughing stops.", I state in an offended manner. "Well, let's go faster!", he yells back to me. He's going to be a great motivator. By the way, the jog/walk was about 30-40 minutes...plenty of time left.

As we are jogging/walking around the neighborhood, J proceeds to point out things to me...the eggs on someones tree, the balls in the yards, squirrels running, dogs peeking through windows, bikes scattered in lawns, the fluffy cotton balls in the sky. It's a nice outing but my over confidence in thinking that I can run/jog/walk for an hour may be deflating. I guess that I'll have to take this one step at a time...little by little. At least I know that J will continue to push me throughout our afternoon jogs.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Let the Running Commence

So yesterday I purchased Run Like A Mother to get myself inspired to start exercising and getting healthy. I've always been able to lose weight by just cutting down on my eating. Then I hit the big 3-0 and it didn't work anymore. Time to get active and lose the last of this baby weight before short season arrives. I think it's a mom's right to say baby weight, even if the youngest child in the house is almost 3. If we have to carry them for almost a year, then we can blame the weight on them for longer.

I am a slow reader but devoured half of this book in a couple of hours. It's a hysterical read and one that got me itching to run. I should probably state that I am NOT a runner. I am the one who wheezes after the first 1/4 mile, knees ready to give out, sweating like a crazy lady...and that's a good day. I know that my body won't take care of itself though. This book is laugh out loud funny and really hypes you up to get started. I'm in no way planning on running any marathons, but the journey of these two ladies is very interesting. They give pointers from clothes to music, running up hills to running marathons, dealing with spouses and children to running while pregnant. A great read.

I was so inspired that I headed to the outlet malls to get myself some running gear. It took almost an hour, but the shoe guy finally found the perfect pair of running shoes for me...AND they were on sale. How lucky am I? They are incredibly ugly in my eyes but they fit snug without any wiggling, and that's the most important part. The "glow-in-the-dark" yellow shirt is to keep the drivers awake when they pass me in the early morning or late night. Why early morning and late night you ask? It's partly because I have to work around my husband's work schedule but more importantly it to avoid lookers. You know, the people who watch you run, sweat, and wheeze while they shake their heads. I don't need any of that. I'll be running with booty shaking tunes in my ears (My husband offered up his Rocky soundtrack to inspire me.), my new gear, and hopefully my dog.

Please let these shoes be like magic ruby slippers...ready to bring me home in one piece.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Day of Books

Today was a book lovers dream. Today was a day to celebrate books...
we browsed books,
             bought books,
                    and borrowed books!

My youngest son and I started our morning by volunteering at T's school and then headed off to the book store. I have been faithfully following/reading Franki and Mary Lee's blog A Year of Reading, where they recommend new books for all age readers. This week has been full of great books for my two avid readers. I had my list scrolled out on my yellow post-it, I was ready to go.

Of course no trip to Barnes and Noble is complete without a stop at their Starbucks. J quickly zeroed in on the goodie display and requested his M & M brownie. We settled into our seats and had cookies, coffee (water for J), and conversation. These conversations are unique compared to my adult ones. "Mama, this is de-licious!", J exclaimed with chocolate drool hanging from the corner of his mouth. "It certainly is...what are we going to do after we finish eating?", I asked...eager to hear what his plans were. "Books, books, and trains!", he matter-of-factly stated. His plan matched mine perfectly. Once our tummies were tamed, it was off to the books. We quickly found T's book, The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin, and went to find My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall for J. No such luck on J's book, but there was good news...Educator Week is next week and my order will get in at this time. That's an extra 25%....whoo hoo! I placed my orders, paid for our books (Run Like a Mother for me), and off we skipped out the door.

It's an early release day for my big guy so we decided that this would be the perfect day for a trip to the library. After picking up T and delivering his new book and treat (we got him an M & M brownie too), we drove to our local library. We are very lucky here...our library has it's own enclosed room full of children's books, movies, music, and magazines. I careful distributed our bag full of books into the slot like I was delivering a special package. Then I got to skimming the shelves while T explored some of his own. I cleared off the "New Arrival" shelf while smiling at the librarians. I had just brought back enough New books to refill the shelves and save them some time. The boys were curled up in beanbags, reading their own good fit books, while I gingerly carried our tower of books to the counter.

While I waited for my turn, a little girl tugged on my shirt. She stated that I had a lot of books and asked what I was going to do with them all. I smiled my most genuine smile and stated that we really like to read at our house. These books would get read over and over again before they came back to stay at the library. She turned to her mom and stated that they needed more books this instant. I just smiled.

Once we got home, books were quickly removed from bags and nestled into little hands. My boys were devouring their new books while getting comfy on the couch. I love these moments...days full of reading. I can't wait for tonight when we finish the day with more reading and discovery. Perfect!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Little Yellow Raincoat

My youngest son has been blessed with his brother's hand-me-downs. It's really not a bad thing since I constantly carried a Tide stick and was dabbing at T's clothes the second a possible stain would show its face. The memories all flood back to me when I see J in one of T's clothing items. There are t-shirts that are well loved because they saw many days playing in the sand box. There are sweaters whose zippers need a little more tugging from the constant practice when learning zipper skills. But one of my favorites is the little yellow rain suit.

From head to toe, my boys are glowing rays of light. As I watch J play outside in his rain gear, I see the joy of being a kid. The water droplets fall from the sky and ricochet off his coat, hat, and boots. The puddles don't stand a chance as he quickly leaves my hand to thump into the beckoning pool of water. I quickly reach for his hand but it's no use...the damage is already done. So much for the clean car...boot marks will soon be taking their place on the back of my seat like a tattoo. Once buckled in, we are on the way to drop T off at school.

When we arrived at school, all eyes stop to follow the little rainman galloping down the hallway. I hear the crinkle of the material as he squeezes past children and stops to give high fives to others. I can't help but smile at how comfortable he is in this environment. It is a sight to behold. My fingers are interlaced with T's as we walk down the hall watching a yellow hat bob up and down like a buoy in the sea. Hugs and kisses are given and the journey back to the car begins. People stop to comment on how cute my little man is with all his coordinated gear. This is a hand-me-down that I may need to pack away for the grandkids that will one day, FAR IN THE FUTURE, stomp through the puddles at my home.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Movies and Books

My family and I went to see Hop at the movie theatre this weekend. A very cute movie and perfectly timed for Easter. We had drinks snug in there cup holders, popcorn nestled in there bowls, and candy bags resting next to my son's legs. We were set to go.

I am always eager to watch the trailers that open for the current film. I get excited when the green screen pops up announcing it's rating, and as I watch the story unfold, I try to anticipate what the movie title will be. It's almost like reading the blurb of a book...a quick look as they pull you into the story, making you want more.

My son and I were excited to see that Judy Moody is coming to the big screen. My 5 year old and I have started to read chapter books together at night. We've read some classics but just started to read Stink! (Stink is the younger brother of Judy Moody)together at night. T enjoys the short chapters, dislikes the sister, and loves the cartoons that follow the chapter. So when I recognized Judy Moody on the screen, I couldn't help but turn my eyes to watch T's reaction. When he realized that this movie has Stink in it, he turned to me and excitedly whispered, "Mom, that's the book we are reading! We just HAVE to see that." To which I smiled and agreed.

 We were also excited to hear that Mr. Popper's Penguins would also be hitting the big screen. This is one of my favorite children's book so I am a little apprehensive if Hollywood can do it justice. They did such a horrible job with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I get upset when a good book is ruined by a horrible movie.

I sway back and forth on making books into movies. When it's done right, like the Harry Potter series, I can't tear my eyes off the screen. It's like the screen writer and director have been taking pictures in my brain. It flows just as smoothly as the book and the pictures matches the one I've formed in my mind. But there are also times when I cringe and can't help but judge the movie instead of enjoying it. Percy Jackson was the perfect example of this. My 3rd graders and I were so frustrated after watching the movie. Why did they need to change it and add stuff to it, my kids complained. I didn't have an answer because I was complaining about the same thing. When books are written well enough that they are considered for film, why change the basis of the story? Why feel the need to add to it?

I will go to both of these movies with hopes that they live up to my expectations. I will also eagerly await other "books gone to movies" like Hunger Games, Hugo Cabret, and The Maze Runner. Hopefully Hollywood can get these right.

Friday, April 1, 2011

An April Fool's Joke

Father Winter is at it again. He thought that he'd be funny by making it snow after Spring arrived. He let Spring tease us with some warmer weather, buds on trees, and snow melting into the grass. Then he swooped in with his paintbrush and cleared the landscape. He is becoming quiet the comedian.

After another beautiful Spring day, the news announced that we would be getting 6-12 inches of snow the first of April. Are you crazy? Is this some kind of sick joke? We can't be getting MORE snow. The grass is going to get freezer burn from all of this defrosting and refreezing.

The weather men were right again, much to my dismay. Last night, as I lay hacking up a lung (another gift from Mr. Winter), I noticed that my world was being shaken like a snow globe. Waves of heavy snow fluttered by my window as Father Winter shook my little town, tossing it into disarray again. The snow continued to layer on to my lawn, covering the once greenish grass like sour cream on a 7 layer dip. It is a heavy snow that is weighing down the branches of the mid-bloom trees like it weighs on our spirits. It is beautiful to look at but we are all ready for the vibrant colors of Spring. We have yet another clean palette...ready for Spring to drag her paintbrush across our canvas and splatter vibrant colors from place to place.

Ha! ha! ha! Father got us this time.


Oh where do I begin? The Slice of Life Challenge has been a huge growing experience for me. After being introduced to teacher blogs this year and reading many on a daily basis, I thought that it was my time to start testing the waters. I don't know that I have much to give back, but I keep reading others ideas and thought that it was only fair.

Then their was this challenge and the opportunity it gave me to grow and learn from others. I'm not a confident writer. I'm always second guessing myself and comparing myself to others. So this was going to be a stretch for me. I wrote my first post and called my mom before I was ready to hit the orange publish key. My heart was pounding, know that there was no going back once that little button was clicked on. I needed the reassurance that it was OK and that I was worthy of having others read my post. As the challenge went on, I didn't have to call my mom for that reassuring "press the button" conversation. I was becoming confident on my own because of the support and kind words from the people in this community. Thank you!

This challenge has stretched me to write even when I don't have a thing to say. It has made me appreciate life more as I searched for something worthy of being posted on my blog. I look at the world through different eyes now and have begun to appreciate the smaller things more. I feel like I've become part of something bigger then just my little world by joining this community of amazing writers and people. I loved reading everyones posts and tried to find a meaningful way to comment and thank them for the time they put into their words.

I now understand what people mean when they say that writing fills the soul. I can't thank The Two Writing Teachers enough for starting this challenge and for stretching me as a beginning blogger and writer. You have sparked something in me that I didn't know was there. I look forward to continuing my daily, or every other day, writing and I'll hopefully see this community again on Tuesdays. Happy Slicing and Thank you!