Thursday, January 31, 2013

Here's your laugh for the day

This video is a dance my oldest two girls did with their church youth group for a talent show.  Enjoy!
(I'm not sure what happened to the video.  It was here.  In case it disappears again, here's a link.)
Not that you can really tell, but they end up on the edges after the ballet portion and for the rest of the dance.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday 10 - Cool Math Games

Tuesday 10 has been taken over by Mindy from My Life As Mindy
This week doesn't have a topic, so I thought I'd throw a little randomness in.  Have you ever visited Cool Math Games?  I found this through my kids.  It's one they use for free time at school.  You should try some of my favorite games:

 Bouncing Balls - a strategy game to clear the board before time runs out
40x Escape - A locked door, and you have to figure out the puzzle to open it.
 Fallen From the Moon - Guide the cute little guy back to his home on the moon.
 Gems Swap II - another strategy game, match groups of three or more gems to cover all the spaces on the board
Mini Scientist - Help the scientist find the engine so he can take off in his rocket.
Factory Balls - Dye and manipulate the balls to match the order in the box.  All four versions are fun.
Sugar, Sugar - fill the cups with sugar grains
Mancala - a classic, this version is hard to beat the computer
Ninja Painter - Roll the paint on the marked walls, collect the stars to open the exit door.
Bloons Tower Defense III - Pop the balloons before they reach the end of the track.

What game is your favorite? 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday 10 - 10 Things I Handwrite

I'm a procrastinator, so very rarely are my posts written ahead of time.  Today's Tuesday 10 with Lena is no exception.  However, The Author is home from school since she's not feeling well.  Bugaboo is begging for someone to play the Wii with him.  He even has my mii selected.  How can I say no to that 3-year-old cuteness?  That means you get a guest post from The Author!

Hello everybody! Today's Tuesday 10 is "10 things I handwrite." This one is really easy for me. And I know that you all want to have pictures of Bugaboo playing the Wii.

1. Homework
This seems obvious. Sure, I'm at a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) magnet, but almost everything is still done by hand. Being at a STEM school means that we have fabulous classes and half our tech doesn't work. (And engineering group projects take up all the space in your email.) Homework is unwanted and can take forever. Why, yes, I am thinking of geometry!
2. Notes
My school doesn't assign computers to each student. I don't regularly use a computer in most of my classes. Any notes we take are done by hand. Four classes a day (we're on block scheduling) means an hour and a half per class. Depending on how much we get done, we may or may not spend the whole class period cracking jokes and taking notes.
And everybody wonders why all the pencils vanish... I'm confident that they're with everybody's socks and pens.

3. Quiz Bowl Scores
I'm on the Quiz Bowl team. At practices, we have a handy-dandy system that makes scorekeeping very easy. At meets... not so much. If the reader doesn't have a helper with them, they need the team's "alternate" to time and/or keep score. Timing is a lot harder because you have to pay attention to the stopwatch, so I delegate that to one of the other team's members or the helper.

4. Novels
I know that this makes me sound crazy. Yes, I write novels by hand. My friends that also write books do the same. Why?
We're in school for eight hours a day, with limited computer access. Even if we had regular access, there are filters. They'd probably find a lot of the stuff in our novels "not school-appropriate." Say, a book about ninjas. With weapons. And magic. And semi-questionable morals. Oh, and it's set in a dystopia... Easier to handwrite. (Notebooks are easier to carry around, too.)

5. Journals
Mom does this, too. There's something magical with the concept of handwritten mementos from another time. A person's handwriting is so special, so unique, and totally different from anybody else's. Mom writes her journal entries in cursive. I'm so used to print that it's second-nature to start writing in it.

6. Swim team attendance
I manage the swim team. Actually, I managed the boys' basketball team (2 years ago), both swim teams (last school year), the volleyball team (this year), and started on the boys' swim season last week. Managing requires taking attendance, running various errands, picking up equipment, handing out towels at the end of practice, etc.
It's easier to take attendance with paper and pencil than vanish into the coach's office for a few minutes to do it online. I don't have to get the key, go to their office, enter the office, take attendance, close up the office, and come back.

7. Tests
It's weird when tests are on the computer. We took practice tests to narrow our Academic Pentathlon team down to nine students last week. They were on the computer. It was very different from what we're used to!
In the past, we've even done state writing tests by hand. I'm not sure if we're doing that this year. The tests start today, and here I am, guest posting at home.

I don't copy quotes off of the internet or any of that. People say some really weird things. Those random, everyday things are what I write down in the margins of my notebooks.
Here's a really good example of a quote with a story: "It's a snake!"
I'm just going to say that PE last year, walking outside, and seeing a snake gets totally out of hand when one of the girls picks it up and everybody else goes crazy. I'm the fast walker sitting on the steps waiting for everybody else to get up the hill, laughing at the whole thing.
I want to put it in a book someday.

Wow. This is harder than I thought it would be.

9. RPG character sheets
I'm the person in my family who has been wanting to run a family RPG (role-playing game) for over a year now. It hasn't come to anything yet, so I use the book to create RPG versions of my characters. It helps to make them more lifelike and less Mary Sue-ish.

10. Things I want to remember
This goes hand-in-hand with number 8. If I want to remember what somebody said, I write it down. If I want to remember what word I missed at the spelling bee, I find out the correct spelling and write it. If it's an away meet tomorrow and I need to remember what time to leave class, I take a note.
Fun fact: My school's National Junior Honor Society has been instructed not to tell the others in the school how much we use our agendas. It's the example-setters that don't use their agendas at all... Yeah, we're normal teenagers.

I can't leave you with only two pictures of Bugaboo.... Here!
A final note on teenagers' stance about cursive and handwriting not being taught in schools anymore: When we learned this in my geometry class a few months ago, we were appalled. We had a nice argument with the teacher about whether or not we'll actually use it. (We insisted that we will, in fact, need to know how to write things by hand.) Most of us use print more than cursive, but there are people I know that are so used to cursive that they've forgotten how to print. I think that handwriting is probably here to stay.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

ABCs of me

I saw this on a blog recently and thought it was a fun idea for some "get-to-know-you" information.  So, the ABCs of me:

{A} Age: 37
{B} Bed size: Queen
{C} Chore you hate: Folding laundry and mopping the kitchen floor
{D} Dogs: puppies are cute; when they grow up, not so much; indoor dogs, NO WAY!
{E} Essential start to your day:  Managing to not sleep through the first alarm
{F} Favorite color: burgundy, mauve or forest green
{G} Gold or Silver: I used to say gold, nowadays I lean more to silver.
{H} Height: 5' 6.5"
{I} Instruments you play: piano and organ, I played the clarinet in middle school for a couple years, but just didn't love it and gave it up.
{J} Job Title: Mom
{K} Kids: 4 girls, 2 boys
{L} Live: Nebraska
{M} Married: coming up on 17 years in May
{N} Nicknames: mostly variations of my name: Amos from one of my aunts, Aim Toothpaste from friends in middle school 
{O} Overnight hospital stays: broken arm when I was about 11, 6 births
{P} Pet peeve:  When people run late, whining kids
{Q} Quote:  the current one on my calendar:  "Now is no time to think of what you do not have, think of what you can do with what there is." - Ernest Hemingway
{R} Righty or Lefty: Right
{S} Siblings: 5 brothers, 2 sisters; I'm the oldest
{T} Time you wake up: I generally roll out of bed about 5:15 to run my oldest daughter to her early morning religion class
{U} University attended: Ricks College and University of Idaho
{V} Vegetables you dislike: pickled beets or collard greens
{W} What makes you run late: I really try not to run late (see pet peeve above).  I'm usually pushing my husband and family out the door at least 10 minutes before we really need to leave so that by the time we do leave and get wherever we're going, we're not late.  I would much rather sit around and wait for 10 or 15 minutes than walk into a meeting or whatever 5 minutes late.
{X} X-Rays you've had: elbow (see overnight hospital stays), foot when I thought I had a stress fracture, dental
{Y} Yummy food: anything chocolate, unless it's dark chocolate.  It's okay if it's paired with a fruit flavor or maybe mint.  I'm a milk chocolate girl!
{Z} Zoo animal favorite: Kangaroos

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday 10 - Professions I wish I'd had

Instead of a list of 10 for this week, let's revisit my childhood with what I wanted to be when I grew up, shall we?

Kindergarten - Teacher
First Grade - Teacher
Second Grade - Teacher
Third Grade - Teacher
Fourth Grade - Teacher
Fifth Grade - Teacher
Sixth Grade - Teacher
Seventh Grade - Teacher
Eighth Grade - Teacher or Scientist of some sort (based on a teacher's recommendation that I was too smart to be a teacher)
Ninth Grade - Secondary Teacher
Tenth Grade - Journalism/English Teacher
Eleventh Grade - Journalism/English Teacher or maybe Elementary Teacher
Twelfth Grade - Journalism/English Teacher

College Freshman - Journalism/English Teacher
College Sophomore, Junior, Senior - Elementary Teacher
I think I was destined to be a teacher, what do you think? I did graduate with my degree in Elementary Education to then be a stay-at-home mom (and teach my children).  I don't regret it a bit!

Linking up with Lena

Thursday, January 10, 2013

January blahs

Every year I feel blah in January.  After the 6 weeks or so of holiday excitement in November/December and the new year, the rest of January always seems like a bit of a let-down.  This year with the added stress of a super-tight budget (read: no extra, fun things for us this year) leaves me feeling more blah than usual.  I have no ideas for blogging, so I thought I'd see what, if anything, my readers would like to know about me.  Leave a comment with a question and I'll answer it in an upcoming post.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Word for the year

Like many in the blogosphere, I have selected a word to inspire and guide me throughout this year.  Last year was my first attempt in this endeavor.  I chose "Positive" to be my mantra for 2012.  While I didn't always live it, I think I did a pretty good job of embracing positivity in my life.  I've spent a lot of time reflecting and pondering on my word choice for this year.  A couple options I tossed around were "Simplify" and "Balance."  But neither one felt exactly right.  Then the lightning bolt hit and I selected my word:
As soon as I thought of it, I knew it was the one.  It fits my decluttering goals:  if it doesn't fill a purpose, I don't need it in my life.  It fits my personal spiritual goals: prayer and scripture study with a focus.  It fits my time goals: being intentional with what I do.  It even fits what I choose to have displayed in and around my house: if there isn't some meaning, it doesn't belong.
Image source

I might just adopt this quotation as my mantra for the year.  Do you choose a word for the year?  What word is guiding you this year?