Saturday, January 29, 2011


Last night we attended a bowling party.  Bowling is really fun for me, really.  So fun....because a) I don't know how to bowl and b) I don't want to know how to bowl.  I couldn't be more spastic at bowling and that's what makes it fun. I can't imagine what I must look like as I approach the line at the lane and throw the bowling ball like a baseball.

But I'm extremely good at talking and that's what I mostly did.  Needless to say, I woke up with a sore throat from yelling over the jukebox in that smoky haze.

There is something sleezy about a bowling alley and while I wouldn't want to make a habit  of hanging out is pretty exciting now and then to see that "other world" that's just down the road.  Did you know families were still coming in with their toddlers and babies at 9:30 pm?  Barefooted toddlers on that carpet?  The carpet in a bowling alley is always a pattern of multi-colored swirls to hide the......we don't need to know.  You sure can't say those parents are Type A about germs, can you?

Anyway, I actually got about 4 strikes in 2 games of bowling...and that number times three in gutter balls.  Chuck scored in the 170's both times and felt very good about himself.

The most fun part of last night was playing a camera game.  You yell out an emotion right before taking the picture and this is what you get......



One of those didn't hear
 the POUTING shout out...
so she got another turn.


FRIDAY at 4:00!
(After the school buses drive away...)

Small Disclaimer:
  • These people may or may not be people I work with in kindergarten. 
  • There may or may not have been jello shots involved at some point in the evening.
  • I will probably get in trouble for posting these pictures. 
  • Trouble's not so bad when you had fun doing it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dog Bed

Remember that adorable dog bed that Chuck made for me...well the dogs...this summer?

Cat Bed.
If you can call that a cat.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Just One More

Another day, another kid.  Same words.  Trying to use them in a sentence.

The word is to.

Him:  To.

Me:  That's right!  Can you use that in a sentence?

Him:  (blank stare)

I give him a few seconds to process.  Nothing.

Me:  To. (showing the sign language)  I am going TO the mall.

Him:  I do not like the mall.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Can You Use That In A Sentence?

Part of my day is spent tutoring small groups of children.   At the beginning of the year, I am helping them learn the letters of our alphabet and sounds.  But by now, I am helping them learn their sight words....or high frequency words. Most of the kindergartners have learned all or at least half of their high frequency words (words like: can, here, have, do, to, me, my, come...35 in all for kindergarten).

After reviewing the words, using flash cards, with 2 kids today....we played a game.  They pulled a card....tried to read the word, then use it in a sentence.

Use it in a sentence.

You have no idea what a hard concept that is for a 5 year old.

Can you use that word in a sentence?


It's one thing for them to learn to read the word on a flash card....but then they have to apply that knowledge when they see it in a book or are writing it in their journals. Using it in a sentence is not always an easy thing for them to do.

So we begin the game...and I give them an example.  Let's say the word is "can" ...  "I can run fast."  Or "like".... I like chicken nuggets.  We practice a few words.  They get it.  I think.

So here we go........

Kid #1: (pulls a card and reads the word)  do

Me:  Good job.  Now can you use that word in a sentence? 

Kid #1:  Did you got a lot of candy?

That is not a mispelled word up there.  They said "got."

Kid #2: (pulls a card and reads the word)  can

Me:  Wow!  That's right.  Now can you use that word in a sentence?

Kid #2:  I come learn my letters.

He said "come" not "can" because I asked him to repeat it. 

Yep.  That's what I'm working with.   Got you a job like me come to?

I have to tell you that while we were playing the game and after they had said this funny stuff, I leaned over and made a quick note of what they had said...because I can't remember much a minute later.

Kid #1 asked, "Are you writing a happy note to my mom?"

So of course, I said yes and then I did.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Happy Martin Luther King Day
 January 17, 2011 

Our school district is closed for this holiday.  The kids in kindergarten talked about Martin Luther King, Junior, last week.  When asked if they knew who MLK was, only a couple of hands went up.  That's normal for a 5 year old.  Most don't even know their middle name.  They'll learn in time, and until then they will be exposed to these important people over and over through their school we all were.

Of all the words in MLK's speech, the ones that stick with me are.......

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

He was a son, a husband and a father before becoming a minister and a leader in the fight for civil rights in the early 60's.  What a brave soul to step out in those tumultuous times and say what he said.  He gave his life for what he believed.  He changed this world. 

Character not color is what we should be aware of.  I can honestly say the children in kindergarten do not see color.  But they recognize character....good and bad...very early on.

One of my teacher/friends made the Martin Luther King TLC (Thursday Listening and Cutting) lesson on Friday and sent these to me from her cell phone.  I am the one who pre-cuts all the colored rectangles and I can promise you they all start out with the same stuff.

What happens when they get a hold of it and listen.... or don't listen... results in this.

The 3 on top closely resemble the sample as made step by step by the teacher.
The 2 on the bottom.....not so much. 
The one on the left isn't too bad....just a little too much scissor action
on the oval that was to be the face.

But the one on the right?

 Well, I think we can diagnose that little
artist as having just a wee bit of a listening and watching challenge.

And this? 
This just makes me laugh.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

How To Double Your Money that I have your attention, I don't mean double it in earnings...I mean double it in spending.  If you read this blog, you may recall that not long ago I mentioned I wanted a new comforter.  I am fully aware that this is a "want" and not a "need."  But I thrive on having a project....and this is my latest.

 Before .....  July, 2009

I had a white quilted comforter that I bought about a year and a half ago....summer of 2009.  I loved it for the looks of it, Chuck loved it for the weight of it. (His words, not mine.)  But it has gotten very dingy. I have washed it a few times and each time it came out smelling fresh and clean and dingy.  And lumpier than ever.  I paid about $150.00 for this white if you divide that by about 549 nights of sleeping under it...that works out to be about 27 cents per night.  I'd say I got my money's worth.

So I started looking for a new comforter. 

Long story, short......I found a Cindy Crawford for JC Penney comforter set on ebay that was $125.00 less than it was selling in the store, so I ordered it.  This comforter wasn't the comforter of my dreams, but it had the same floral pattern as our master bathroom wallpaper.....and the colors would work with our walls.  I won the bid, the comforter was delivered. 

And then.....the color that I thought was a bluish greenish muted color in the large floral print?  It was a very patriotic blue.  And the color in the comforter that I thought was more coral?  Barn red.  For most of you, that wouldn't be a big deal.  For Chuck it wasn't even noticable.  For me?  I was twitching every time I looked at it.

Basically, the comforter worked.  But now the ceiling color and the curtains didn't.  Of course they don't work....this is piece mill decorating.   So think, think, think.  I like the pattern.  I like the look.  Chuck liked the weight.  All sales final on the ebay site, so I had to make it work.

I decided to make the curtains work, I would need to make a topper to pull all the colors together.  I found some fabric that picked up that bluish greenish muted color of the ceiling and along with some scraps that I already had, I made toppers for the curtains, a couple of pillows and a throw...pulling in the barn red. Good enough. 

From a distance, there is a hint of that bluish greenish muted color,
 so I made a throw and some pillows to bring that out.

There's that dang patriotic blue flower staring at me. 

Honestly, it would have been so much easier to just live with the dingy comforter...but where's the recklessness in that kind of thinking?  And I could have left the curtains alone....but have you met me?

Now, I'm off to clean up the mess from the tornado that blew through the craft room.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.

After coming in from recess, the children were sitting at their tables with their heads down (well maybe 2 out of 18 actually had their heads down).  They are resting while waiting for their table to be called  for a drink and a restroom break.  I am standing at the edge of the room monitoring the in "Let's see which table is the quietest so they can go next."

Steven:  I can't see out of my eye!

(as he's rubbing it.)

Teacher:  Why not?  What happened?

Steven:  He poked his finger in it.

(pointing to the boy across the table from him.)

Billy:  I said I was sorry!

Me:  Let's see your eye...                 Oh, it's really red.
 (me to teacher)     I think he needs to see the nurse.

After Steven heads to the nurse, Billy ( the eye poker and also the birthday boy) is getting more and more agitated....whipping his coat all over the place and basically anticipation of getting in trouble for this injury he caused.  Keep in mind, all the children are still at their tables with their heads down .....or NOT.

Me:  Okay, I'm still waiting on Billy's table to get quiet so they can go get water.

This is what I hear from a boy at another table...

Edward:  Billy, surely you can get a good attitude now that you're SIX. 

Billy:  Well, I'm grumpy.            (long pause)    

            And my brother is 8 and he's still grumpy.

And honestly, I get it.  I am 53 and I was grumpy. 

*I feel like I should fill you in on Edward....the boy who was dishing out great advice.  While "grumpy" isn't his problem, "talking back" and "rowdy" are issues he works on daily.  So I suspect his parents have told him "surely you can get a good attitude now that you are 6!" 

Love it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


BCS?  I had no idea what that stood for until this past week.  It stands for Bowl Championship Series for college football.  My daughter, Jordan, the event planner, works for the organization that puts on The Insight Bowl and TheTostitos Fiesta Bowl....and this year the BCS Arizona.

A perk of the job is getting a few tickets for family members.  I think it goes without saying that I passed on the opportunity.  I would have loved to go to Phoenix to see Jordan.....but I wouldn't have seen much of her and there was that football thing that I would have had to go to.  So Chuck, Cameron and my brother-in-law and nephew went with huge grins on their faces. 

I asked Chuck to take lots of pictures so I could "be there" without being there.  So courtesy of Chuck, I have a few pictures to post of their big weekend.  They arrived on Saturday, but the game wasn't until Monday.  So Sunday they drove up to Sedona and took a Pink Jeep Tour through the red rock mountains. 
Our son-in-law, Chris got to spend the day with them. 

We've been to Sedona a few times now, but never taken the jeep tour.  Chuck says it was so fun and very worth it.  And yes, the jeeps are really pink.

The high was in the low 40's. 

 This is the extremely steep and bumpy road the jeep just traveled down.

Monday, game day.  Auburn and Oregon. 
 We all know now that the score was Auburn 22 -Oregon 19. 
 But before the game, Cameron had decided to pull for Oregon. 
 The Ducks.

Pre-game party started at 2:30, kick-off at 6:30...
this was an all day football affair. 


 Photo ops happened.

Then at some point, she started pulling for Taco Bell.
 That's my girl!
I may not like football, but I do like Taco Bell.
Go Taco Bell!

They had a blast at the game...
the crowd was wild and loud and energetic...
and the seats weren't too bad, either.

After a very fun weekend, with lots of perks courtesy of Jordan....
they stopped by her house to give her and Chris a goodbye hug.

Back home on Tuesday....back to the grind on Wednesday. 
Another football bowl season over for Jordan. 
Now she can breathe.  
Breathe Jordan.
We love you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What I Really Want

I am not allowed to ask for a grandbaby
 from my married daughter. 
And I do not want a grandbaby
 from the other two right now
 for obvious reasons...
I like order to things and the order
 I like babies to arrive is after
 the legal wedding ceremony takes place. 

But if I had a baby, which I cannot, 
this is what I would have in that baby's nursery.

Isn't this adorable?  It's educational without being boring. 
 I love that the letter I is a ruler. 

I may have to start collecting now
 because it may be years
 before I get one of those grandbabies. 

Who knows? 

 I am not allowed to ask.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where'd the Snowman Go?

Because I read a lot of blogs, I have developed some blog friends who live in winter wonderlands. (Shout out to Jen!) As beautiful as the snow looks, this southern girl can't even imagine how hard it must be to get kids dressed and out the door for school in blizzard conditions. It's hard enough to get their flip-flops on down here.
Living near the Gulf coast of east Texas, snow is something we only read about in books or hear about on the news.  Oh, about every 4 years, we get a few flurries that freak us out in a good way,  but the flurries never make enough impact to be called snow.  Goodness knows we all pray for a snow day....but that never happens.  Never the less, when discussing seasons, the winter season is described and illustrated with bare trees, snowflakes and snowmen.

A little hands-on activity today involved making snowmen.  Every child started with 3 white squares in different sizes along with the colored paper to make the hat, scarf, nose, eyes and stick arms.  See if you can tell which snowman lives in Houston, Texas.

It ain't easy being a snowman around here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Nuts and Bolts

The lovely holiday break is over.  It was just long enough for some bad habits to be sleeping until I woke up, grazing on food all day and staying up past midnight.  It was tough getting up this morning, but I knew once I got to school I would be fine.  I missed those kids.

While I was in one class, a very rough and rowdy boy said to me in a very loud voice with a very large grin.....

"Hey Mrs. H!  I got a
 thousand toys and
NO CLOTHES for Christmas!"


There's a phenomenon I've observed the last 7 years in kindergarten.  Although the holiday break is only 2 weeks, the kids seem to mature by leaps and bounds over that short time. They are still 5 or 6 so mature is relevant to that.  Most of them are reading by now....and are learning to write by stretching out the sounds they hear. 

Before this "station" got cleaned up,
 I took a picture of it for your viewing pleasure..
or as the kids would spell it...

fr yur vuwin plezoor.

The college kids are still home and the grocery bill is high.  I actually cooked last night and everyone pitched in to clean up afterwards.  I put leftovers in containers and pushed them across the island for someone to stick in the refrigerator.  This is what I saw this morning when I opened the refrigerator.

Yeah, I had had the toolbox out for a quick repair earlier and apparently I had left the little container of nails and nuts and bolts out.  It got stacked with the leftovers and Cameron,
our resident smart mouth, wrote the note. 
 Made me laugh.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Movie Madness

Chuck and I have gone to 4 movies....  
in the last 2 weeks!

We rarely go to the movies but, over this Christmas holiday break, we made it to
four.  I think I 've had my quota of popcorn for the entire year.

I will place these movies in order of my favorite to least favorite.  Although "least favorite" was still good....just in grand company it was taken down a few notches. I recommend you go see these in this order. 

1.    The King's Speech    A+

This movie had wonderful acting, cinematography and drama mixed with humor.  Based on truth, this historical film is a must see.  Geoffrey Rush steals the show.  I wasn't ready for it to end.  I soaked up the scenery and the dialogue.  I predict this will be a big winner at the award shows.

2.  The Fighter   A

Apparently Mark Wahlberg trained for two years for this part of the younger brother over shadowed by his older brother in this film about boxing.   It's way more about the dysfunctional characters than inside the ring.  It's a great film with seedy characters.  Surely some awards will go this way.

3.   True Grit      B

It's a remake.  It's a Western.  It was good.......maybe I was tired.....but it got a little long in the middle.  The young actress got on my nerves but I can't say she wasn't good, because she was.  I think it was that she was 14 going on 35.  Jeff Bridges did a wonderful job with the character of Rooster.  Not Matt Damon's best.  But who doesn't like Matt?

I should tell you this one was Chuck's favorite.  He gave it an A.

4.   The Little Fockers   C

I love Ben Stiller...but the movie was so predictable it was almost irritating. Still, funny.  And of course, lots of slapstick comedy thrown in.  Ben Stiller is adorable as the nurse/husband who gets treated badly by his little girl and his father-in-law.  Rent it.  Pop your own popcorn.

It was a treat to go to the movies.  Maybe we'll get back in the habit.  Some movies are just meant to be seen on the big screen, like The King's Speech.  Some, like The Little Fockers, can wait to be seen on the t.v. in your living room with all the distractions.