Tuesday, October 18, 2011

There's a seal in my house!

photo   © 2009   thisisbossi , Flickr

Bark! Bark!

The deep, bellowing tone is echoing through my home. I mute the TV and listen carefully. I can hear the snores coming from my dog and the gentle purr of my cat snuggled on my lap.

Bark! Bark!

Is there another dog in my house? Outside maybe? A seal? I move the writing assessments aside, gently slide the cat from my lap, and dodge the dog as I make my way towards the stairs.

Bark! Bark! Sniffle!

Concerned mommy has now taken over. I go from a quiet tip-toe to a full out run as I sprint up the stairs to my son's room.

Bark! Bark! Groan.

"Hey baby, what's up." I gently rest the back of my hand onto his forehead. I quickly pull it away and the concern must show on my face because T asks, "Am I really sick mama?" My hand still tingles from the heat that is being generated from my boy. I could easily fry an egg on his forehead. "Yeah buddy, it looks like you've got a pretty bad one. Come with me."

My 50 lb. son wraps his legs around me and scalds me with his forehead as he rests it on my shoulder. His head must feel like a bowling ball because he can't seem to hold it up.

Bark! Bark!

Warm cider is being warmed in the microwave as I gather up Tylenol, ear thermometer, a cool compress, and some Lifesavers. As I gently slide the thermometer into his ear, T lets out a small grown. His ears are tender but he's trying to be tough...102.7. My heart sinks and I run through everything my mom has taught me. Bring the fever down, cool him off, be strong, and pump fluids into him. As I lay the cool compress on to his forehead, he sighs. "Is it too cold?" "No mama, it feels really good but it's getting warm. Can you cool it off again?"

Bark! Bark!

The night continues as the fever begins to break. Lifesavers were sucked on and several cups of cider and Gatorade were drank.

He is feeling better this morning but his deep bark still sounds painful. I am again reminded how hard it is to be a mom. All I want to do is take his pain away....at least I can be here by his side to snuggle and baby him.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Very Late, Versatile Blogger, Thank You!

Oh my goodness, I am completely honored and humbled by my Versatile Blogger and Blog on Fire nods. I have had a horrible time managing my time since going back to the classroom. I will get into the routine of juggling kids, my classroom, and hopefully become more consistent with my blogging.


I am LONG overdue for a thank you to three amazing blogs. Yes, because of my lack of being on the ball, I have gotten 3 nods. Thank you to: Teacherdance, Tammy at Klinger Cafe' and First Grade and Fence Posts (Thank you for the additional Blog on Fire Award), and Deb Frazier at Primary Perspective. I feel so thankful to have stumbled upon this amazing group of bloggers. You have all enrichment my life and made me a better teacher by all the inspiring stories you share.

Ok, so my understanding is that I need to do these three easy steps:

#1 Thank the person (people) who nominated you and provide a link
back to their blog.
#2 Share 7 things about me
#3 Pass this award along to 15 other blogs that you have discovered.

 7 Things about me
1. I don't consider myself a writer. I ran into Two Writing Teachers less than a year ago and thought that their March Slice of Life Challenge would be a great way for me to become a better primary writing teacher. So I jumped in with two feet and have become part of a wonderful writing community. March will be my 1 year blogging anniversary.
2. This will be my 7th year of teaching. I started off in Kindergarten and have slowly worked my way up to 3rd grade. I love 3rd grade....the independence and the continued love for their teacher. I watched my first group of kindergartners leave for the Junior High this past year....Yes, I cried!
3. I love the look of a beautiful garden but have neither discovered my green thumb or the love of working long hours in the yard. The bad part is that I have these amazing, fruit bearing trees, and don't know what to do with them. Better develop that green thumb soon.
4. I am over run by men in my home. I have a military husband, two boys, a male cat, and my female dog (who was more manly then her brother). What's a girl to do?
5. I am a lover of all genres of music. It is not unusual to find the boys and I rocking out to some kind of music while we clean. I love when my boys join in while driving in the car. It always puts a smile on my face.
6. I am horrible with my writing grammar. I apologize ahead of time for the random commas. My mom always called me the comma queen. Thankfully, I teach young children so I won't be teaching them incorrectly.
7. I am a sports lover. I love watching a good game of football and hockey. Thankfully my boys will help keep that love going as they bounce from sport to sport.
15 Other Blogs to Check Out
There are so many amazing blogs out there that I am yet to find. Here are just a sampling of the ones that I'm constantly going to.
1. Two Writing Teachers: Where my blog writing started.
2. A Year of Reading: Introduced me to the blogging world and all the professional development that is out there.
3. Runde's Room: I go to her constantly for art ideas and math journal ideas. A wealth of teacher fun.
4. Create*Teach*Share: Another great teacher website full of ways to enrich learning in the classroom. Her Boggle board is my favorite...my kids love it!
5. Mr. Schu at Watch. Connect. Read: An amazing librarian who shares great book trailers and upcoming books. A dedicated lover of books.
6. Deb Day at Coffee with Chloe: Her dedication to the children in her classroom inspires me daily and always puts tears in my eyes (both sad and joyous).
7. The Classroom Bookshelf: Always has connections on how to expand your teaching of a book. Grade level specific ideas, websites.....she's amazing!
8. Anita Silvey's Book A Day Almanac: The down and dirty behind some new and classic books. I learn something new every day on this blog.
9. Mr. Sharp at sharpread: A talented 4th grade teacher who inspires children with his passion for reading. Always a delight to see what's up his sleeve and what he's read recently.
10. TLC = Tech + Library + Classroom: A great site full of tech resources. I wish that I could have a library at our school like this. Incredible!
11. The Reading Zone: Always has something to either make me think or make me want to read.
12. Ruth Ayers Writes: I've never had the urge to write my own book, but I've enjoyed reading Ruth's journey as she continues to share her writing process. She may be bringing me over to the dark side. :)
13. Need math resources, look no further than Open Wide, Look Inside. I am constantly referring back to this site for snappy ideas to up my math time in the classroom.
14. Shannon Whitney Messenger: An upcoming author who gets me excited about her journey to get her first book published. You can't help by get excited with her.
15. Boy Reader: One of the first few blogs to introduce me to the world of book reviews. I enjoy his quick, concise reviews with a little fun. He rates his books with stars...I love that.
So many wonderful blogs to choose from. Thank you to everyone who reads my ramblings and those that leave comments. It means the world to me that people enjoy what I write about. Thank you!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Glass Blowing

Last weekend, we went glass blowing with my mom, sister-in-law, and niece. It was such a fun experience that I just have to share. My youngest son and I both made pumpkins so you get to see his step-by-step pictures. Here we go....

First, I have to confess that we initially went to make Christmas ornaments for the tree. When we got there, the gentleman led us to a display of choices and colors. We were to pick our glass piece and then choose two colors and how we'd like them made (with a swirl design or with dots). They had vases, bowls, ornaments, globes, pumpkins, apples, Easter eggs...the list was endless. Of course none of us chose to do Christmas ornaments. That will be for another trip.

When blowing glass, the handler must heat a regular chunk of glass and then cool the rod.

The next step is to ensure that your customer can blow on the tube to enlarge the sculpture. As you can see, my bulging cheek son has no problems blowing hot air.


Next, the handler rolls the regular glass into the colored glass pieces of your choice. To get the swirl design, they alternate sides on the chunk (blue, pink, blue, pink). To get a dot pattern, like my sons, they swirl the regular glass into one color and then dab the other color randomly around.

After that, the glass is heated in a big cement mixer like container. When near it, it is super hot. I imagine that this is probably one of Hades hobbies. I may need to write Rick Riordan and suggest it for his next Percy Jackson book.

Next, you are asked to blow into the tubing to help begin molding your masterpiece. J had so much fun blowing into the tube and watching the glass expand. He was concentrating hard on his job but had to sneak a peak at his handy work.

After some more heating and manipulating, the pumpkin glass is formed. Now it's time to sit back and watch how the stem is made. What a fascinating thing to watch.

Lastly, you admire your art and give the professionals a high-five!

I would have thought that this was the end of the process, but it wasn't. We had to leave the glass to cool in an oven for almost a week. It's very important that the glass cools down slowly so it doesn't break. We just picked up our finished products this weekend and I couldn't wait to share them with you all. Take a peak at the artists in my family.

My boys, mom, and niece. Aren't they special? I'm a lucky girl.

Maybe you can find a glass blowing near you and give it a try. We sure had fun and will be making a trip again soon. Hmm, I wonder if they can make turkeys?