Friday, October 31, 2008

Riley the Mummy

We have a (stuffed animal) class pet named Riley.

Students take turns taking Riley home for the night. Riley comes home in his own backpack and kids get a chance to write all about their time together in Riley's journal.

Riley showed up this morning after his night with Matt and he had quite a surprise for us!

Matt & his mom bought Riley is own Halloween costume at Build A Bear last night!

Riley is a mummy and has his own pumpkin candy-bag!

I hope you have fun trick-or-treating tonight Riley!

Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What Is He Doing?

I need the dog whisperer.

Cooper is doing something creepy.

When I take Cooper for walks, he loves it.

However, when I take him down a particular trail by my house, he always grabs the leash and pulls me back towards home. It's always near the same spot in the trail. He refuses to go any further.

Is he protecting me from something down the trail?

Is he scared to go further?

He never does this, except on this particular trail.

I used to take him down the trail all the time. But a few years ago he started pulling this "I WILL GO NO FURTHER' business on me.

And it really creeps me out. It makes me think there is a scary man hiding in the bushes or something.

I haven't walked him on the trail in over 2 years, but tried it again on Tuesday.

And here is what happened ...

Any thoughts?

I'm going to try to get this on video so you can see it. It really is quite interesting.

Pirates & God

Today's writing activity was to write about your Halloween costume.

The kids were supposed to write:
  1. What their costume is
  2. 3 details about their costume
  3. What they like to do
Some of them turned out so cute ... spelling errors and all.

Here is one that made me laugh hysterically:
I am a Pirate.
My das (dress) is dlac (black) and rad (red).
My hat is dlac.
My dos (boots) ar (are) dlak and rad.
I like to lok (look) for god (gold).
Hmmm. Who knew?!?

Refocusing // Goal

Allow me to humbly, and publicly remind myself of THIS technique for self control.

Please allow me to share with you my one (and really ONLY) goal for the day:

I will not eat any Skittles today (even though there is a huge bowl of them down in the staff room, calling my name, wanting to be in my belly).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boys & Their Toys

I am officially the world's most terriblest (yes, I just made up that word) video composer ever.

Like, ever, eVeR, EVER.

The lighting is terrible. It makes me look like I have HUGE bags under my eyes. There is a ray of light coming down from the chandelier that hits me right on the head. I keep making mistakes and have NO idea how to edit them out. I'm too lazy to do a re-take. And I still have my coat even though I've been home for over an hour.

But, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. Right?!?

Plus, I want you to hear it anyway.

Because there is a point ...

Boys should not be allowed to walk around neighborhoods with toy shot-guns and spray cars with imaginary bullets.

Cuz I really don't like to imaginary-die.

P.S. The "still" on my face is really pretty, isn't it?!?

Boys With Toys from Lisa Diederichs on Vimeo.

It's All My Fault

Oh my gosh, this is so funny.

This video can be customized for anyone.

My cousin Jenna lovingly sent this to me today.

Enjoy ...

Clumsy Smurf

Seriously ...

I need to slow down.

I keep making careless mistakes.

Some humbling examples:
  • Last week I dropped my entire lunch on the floor in the staff room. I picked it up and ate it. Don't judge me, I was starving. I just pretended I was camping.
  • Yesterday I spilled my coffee down my shirt and seat belt strap while driving.
  • Today, I spilled my latte down the front of my coat.
  • Two nights ago, I hit my shin on the edge of my bed.
  • I dropped my chicken on the staff room floor while taking it out of the microwave today. I'm not kidding you. I couldn't (and wouldn't) make this up. I made the same mistake. AGAIN! I didn't eat the turkey that fell on the floor. I did eat the turkey that fell on the counter, which I'm sure is as dirty as the floor.
  • Last week, I made copies of a Reading Assessment was I going to give my kids. Yesterday when I passed them out, I realized I forgot to copy them, 2-sided to 2-sided. Instead, I copied them 2-sided to 1-sided. So my kids had pages 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc. But not pages 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc. Awesome.
  • I dripped ranch dressing on my sweater during lunch today.
I seriously need to slow down and take some deep breaths.

I think I have too much on my mind.

Ya think?!?

This week's goal: Live In The Moment

Easier said then done, but I'll make an attempt.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who's The Biggest Loser Now?

Tonight, I'm officially boycotting myself from ever watching The Biggest Loser again.


And I'll tell ya why ...

I watched an episode last season, and realized as people fought to lose a hundred pounds ... I was eating a bowl of ice cream. 

A bowl. 

Not a cup. 

A bowl. 

And it also included some chocolate and slivered almonds.

And honestly, it made me feel terrible about myself.

And once last season when I happened to walk past the TV and The Biggest Loser was on (and people were once again fighting to lose a hundred pounds) ... I was eating an Oreo.

So tonight ... I tried to watch another episode.

While coincidentally eating a carmel apple (of course).

And here was the kicker ...

The contestants were playing a game called THIS or THAT. They were presented with two entree choices and were asked to pick the healthier one.

THIS was a whole wheat bagel with light cream cheese. 

THAT was an english muffin sandwich with ham, egg and cheese.

And guess what was better for you? 

The english muffin meal yo!

And guess what else y'all? I had THIS for breakfast the other day. And my cream cheese was not light! Which once again reinforced my terrible food choices.

And thus explains my reasoning for never watching The Biggest Loser again.


Because I choose to keep my self-esteem semi-intact, thank you very much.

Durban, South Africa

36 days ... and counting


So here's the deal.

I really miss my brother.

We don't live far away from each other.

No one is keeping us apart.

I can pretty much see him whenever I want.

But I don't.

We don't.

My brother and I were the best of friends growing up.

We did everything together.

We built forts out of bed sheets and cushions.

We procrastinated every Sunday morning to get away with not going to church (it never worked, we just got in trouble instead).

We decorated Christmas cookies together and played with the ornaments in the tree.

We played on the swings, our bikes.

We ran through the woods with reckless abandon.

We made imaginary towns and cities with MatchBox cars in the sandbox.

We got restless in the back seat on the way home from Lake Chelan.

We changed bedrooms when we got tired of our own.

We talked through our open bedroom doors at night, long after we were tucked into bed.

He held me when I cried endlessly when I knew my marriage was over.

I held him when he had a broken heart.

We protect each other when other's have hurt us.
Now that we're older ... we're busy.

We don't see each other very often.

Life gets in the way.

I miss those days of lazy afternoons together and endless childhood activities.

I've been thinking of setting up a monthly dinner date with him.

But every time I pick up the phone, I think, "Will he think that's a stupid idea?" or "How lame that we have to set a date & time. Shouldn't it come naturally like it used to?"

I miss his friendship.

His contagious laugh.

His endless amounts of energy.

His insightful wisdom.

His hugs. Oh man, his hugs are the best. You really know you're being held.

So today is the day. I've been thinking about this for a long time.

Today is the day .. the day I will call him and tell him my idea.

I miss you, my Danny-Boy-Blue.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Angel Face

I know ... it's sick.

I love my dog like he's my kid.


He is.

Love you buddy.

Baby Joys

Oh, the joys of a baby at home ...

I had a student last year who's mom had a baby a last month.

I saw him in the cafeteria today and thought I'd ask how everyone in the family is doing.

Me: Hey buddy, how was your weekend?
Student: Good
Me: How is Preston (his newborn brother) doing?
Student: Screamy
Me: How is Bella (his 3-year old sister)?
Student: Whiney
Me: How are you?
Student: Irritated.

Sounds pretty normal to me!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Africa Countdown

I hate countdowns. They make me paranoid and anxious.

With that said, I anxiously (and proudly) announce ...

The countdown is on.

I will be here in 39 days.

I imagine that many future posts will be filled with me trying to make myself feel more calm about this mission trip. 

I am overly excited, but anxious and nervous at the same time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Dare You

Y'all know how I feel about The Girl Effect.

Please watch.

Please think.

Please share.


Usually I'm a daily blogger.

Sometimes a few a day.

I usually have a lot to say.

I have been exhausted this week. Seems like I have so much going on.

Between working full-time (and putting in more after-school hours then I care to admit), meetings, and tutoring ... I find I have very little time or energy left for myself.

It's interesting that I continue to take care of everyone else before I take care of myself.

I use up all my energy and time and then I get home and crash. I haven't walked/shuffled on my treadmill at all this week and I can't tell you the last time I saw one of my girlfriends.

Yesterday I came home from work and slept for 3 hours.

THREE hours people! AND slept solid for the rest of the night.

When I'm busy with work and meetings, it seems the most important things get pushed to the side.


My friends and family.

I really struggle with this balance.

My mom is so wonderful with reminding me of my balance. She explains it like this:
"Lisa, imagine you had a daughter. Would you tell your daughter to _____ if she was feeling sick? Would you let your daughter do ____ if she was tired?"

And so I often ask myself, "What would I tell my daughter?" And my answer is always "Less. Do less. Take care of yourself first."

And so that is what I've been trying to do this week.

Fighting a cold, working long days, attending many meetings, tutoring, etc.

All while trying to find balance.

Did You Hear About This?

The woman who owns this Seattle home is an artist and technology researcher. Her garage was previously covered with a Barbarella-inspired figure. Graffiti artists recently painted over it. In response ... she painted this!

I love her style!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fall Night

We did all things Halloween and Fall-ish last night. You know ... jam it all into one night! Why not?

Jay taught me how to make caramel apples. I've never made them before. I can't even remember eating one. I guess last night was my first time!?!

They are delicious!

Jay ... in his element. He carved 3 pumpkins last night. He is an amazing pumpkin carver. I bow-down in his carving-presence. :)

While Jay carved pumpkins, I ate a caramel apple and drank wine ...

Then I chatted online with Diane while Jay carved pumpkins #2 and #3 (Diane, it was really fun talking to you ... thanks for the giggles. I love my blogging friends!). Long after he was done, I was left to my one-and-only job of the night ... picking out pumpkin seeds (notice where my priorities are = still sipping on wine).

And the fruit of our labor ...
Are you spooked?

Thoughtful Boy

After walking in from recess, one of my students said, "Hey Ms. Diederichs, bend over" (which I thought was a really sweet way of saying LEAN over).

So, I BENT over and he promptly placed this beautiful flower behind my ear.

His future wife is very lucky!

Jodie, this sweet boy belongs to you. :)

Tricky Kitty!

We're doing secret pals at work centered around Halloween.

Here's how it works ...

You buy one little Halloween treat for 3 people and secretly put them in their mailbox at work. Once you get a treat, you buy for three more people, etc. Once someone has received a gift a Halloween sticker goes on the front of their mailbox, so you know they've been 'tagged' with a secret Halloween treat.

I got my treat yesterday and it was like a dream come true.

Someone had the distinct taste of purchasing me a Halloween kitty that poops, brown-colored jelly beans!
  1. You're a genius!
  2. You understand (and appreciate) my sense of humor.
  3. I wish I knew who you are so I can praise your excellent sense of gift-giving.
  4. You made my day.
  5. I can't wait to eat kitty poop.
  6. If you how deathly allergic I am to cats ... yet still got me this gift ... that's even better!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Teeth Pride

This is an extremely unattractive picture. 

First of all, it was taken the morning Cooper jumped up on my bed and accidentally scratched my cheek. 

Second, it's really close up, making every nook and cranny visible.

With that said, it also supports my argument for the following conversation that happened today. 

Scene: Me and about 50 kids at the parent pick-up loop after school.

Me: Hey buddy, I see your mom.
Student: Ok, can I walk to her?
Me: Let's wait till she gets a little closer.
Student: Ok.
Me: How was your day?
Student: Good. Oh, and Miss Diederichs?
Me: Yah
Student: I was gonna tell ya, your teeth looked yellow yesterday.
Pause ... pause ... pause
Me: What do you mean?
Student: I don't know, your teeth were yellow yesterday.
Me (missing the point): Do you mean Friday?
Student: No, yesterday.
Me (now just kinda wanting to be right about what day it was): Yesterday was a stay-home day.
Student: Oh. OK, yah. I mean Friday then.
Me: Hm. Weird. Well ... you're moms here. Have a good night.

Ok ... first of all, I KNOW I don't have yellow teeth. I am a CRAZY oral health-care individual. I brush and floss and tongue scrape daily. Many times daily.

Secondly, I bleach my teeth. One time my dentist told me to "Knock it off, stop bleaching your teeth."

Last week in a staff meeting, a co-worker of mine randomly (out of the blue) said, "Lisa, you have the whitest teeth in the whole school."

I take pride in my teeth and I don't care what any 2nd grader says ... my teeth aren't yellow.

And the above picture proves it!

On another note ... my neighbor is currently practicing his clarinet


Sunday, October 19, 2008

SNL, You Don't Disappoint

Many of you know that I love the character of Sue on SNL.

Sue made another appearance last night and I wasn't disappointed ...

And this is freakin' awesome too. Nothing better then a sweet rap ... plus I LOVE how pregnant Amy is in this skit. 

Thanks for the laughs SNL.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Teaching Social Awareness

I want to give a quick shout-out to Scholastic.

You know ... the company you order books through for your kids in their classroom.

I so love Scholastic.

First of all, when my students order books, I accumulate 'points' that I can use to 'buy' free books for my classroom library. As a teacher (small paycheck!) , I so appreciate this. I want to supply my students with rich, interesting books at varying reading levels, but buying books is expensive, and Scholastic gives me the opportunity to keep my classroom library interesting.

I love you Scholastic.

Another reason I love Scholastic ...

They give teachers opportunities for us to raise awareness of social issues and get kids in the front seat for helping others.

Twice a year, Scholastic hosts a program called Scholastic: ClassroomsCare. Each program has a different theme.

Here's how it works:
  • Teachers sign up their classroom for Scholastic: Classrooms Care
  • Students keep track of the books they read (or are read to them)

  • When our classroom has read 100 books, I jump online and let Scholastic know

  • Our goal has been met and our charity gift is given

In the Winter last year, we read 100 books and 100 books were donated (by Scholastic and it's partners) to kids in need throughout the United States.

In the Spring, we read 100 books, and money was donated to save rain forests.

Right now, my class is in the middle of our next fundraiser. The great thing about this one, was Scholastic gave us a list of charities, and we got to pick which one we wanted to help.

We are currently reading 100 books (we've read 66 so far!) and when we reach our goal, 100 books will be donated to kids in the New Orleans community.

Last week, we learned all about hurricanes, Hurricane Katrina, and why students in New Orleans would need new books.

The grand finale of the week was a special visitor. Yesterday from 3:00 - 3:30, my cousin brought her dog to my classroom to visit the kids. The reason this was so special is because Jenn rescued Jasper ... he is a Hurricane Katrina Survivor!

The kids sat in awe while Jenn described Jasper's journey. He was trapped in a barn with barbed wire caught around his hind legs. Chemicals dripped on Jasper's hind quarters while he tried to free himself. We don't know how long he was trapped, or how long he went without food.

But what we do know, is that after years of medicine and therapy, Jasper is a very happy boy, who brought a ton of joy to 21 kids on Friday.

Thank you Scholastic, for giving me the opportunity to teach my students about world issues, charity, sacrifice, helping others and volunteering. Most importantly, for giving me a format for dialog with my students about helping others.

Thank you Jenn for bringing in Jasper he is our new classroom hero!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Money-Sucking Empire

How come I can't just go to Costco for what I need?

Jay and I went to Costco last weekend for toilet paper (I know, romantic, right!?!).

Just toilet paper.

I was aware that the odds were stacked against me for sticking to my one-item list, so I get myself a budget.

Here's what I said to myself: "Lisa, you are only going in for toilet paper. However, if you find something else, it's okay. You may not spend over $100 though. Not under any circumstance (cool Halloween decorations, new pens, new clothes, etc.) is is okay to spend over $100 today."

With that said ... we headed in ...

Here is what I came home with:
  • Dog Bed (he already has 3)
  • Q-Tips (I'll need them eventually, right!?!)
  • Tupperware that is microwave safe (GENIUS!!!!)
  • Toilet Paper (at least I didn't forget!)
  • 2 packs of men's socks (yes, I wear men's Gold Toe socks ... I love how high they come up my leg ... they keep me very warm in the winter under my jeans)
Here is what I put back on the shelf after putting it in my cart:
  • New set of Pyrex
  • Halloween decorations
  • Laundry detergent (don't really need it, yet)
  • Dishwasher detergent
  • A book
  • A Wii controller charging station (this was mainly Jay's 'want')
  • A bag of chicken breasts
  • 18-pack organic eggs
And ... my grand total was $99.90

Now that's budgeting people!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Little "Friends"

One of the joys of teaching ...

... is head lice.

That's right folks. You heard it here first.

I have a student with head lice.

I found out last week and ever since then, I've been scratching my own head like a crazy-person. I can't stop thinking about little bugs crawling all over my scalp.

So gross!

I finally gave in and went to our school nurse and had her check my hair. I knew the scratching sensation was all mental, but I just had to know for sure!

Good news ... I'm lice free!

And I had the nurse come in and check all the kids yesterday too.

Even better news ... our entire class is officially lice free now.

P.S. I'm really looking forward to some Google Ads on my blog regarding lice products now!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I was tagged by the beautiful Miss Neely.

Here are 7 random facts about me:
1. I don't wear dark-colored PJ's to bed.

2. I used to be a vegetarian. I don't like meat, and don't like how they're treated before they end up on my plate. Also, I don't even like how it tastes. I eat it now (for protein), but rarely.

3. I have felt the painful heartbreak of a divorce. It's the worst, and best thing that has ever happened to me.

4. My entire family calls me Picy (pronounced 'Peace-y'). My cousin started calling me that when she was a baby.

5. My cousin and I had secret code-numbers growing up. Mine was 203 and hers was 1515. The number 203 plays a HUGE roll in my life ... I run into it ALL THE TIME! For example, I often happen to look at the clock and it's 2:03, in hotels I'm often put in room #203, I'll happen to glance at a passing licence plate and the number will be 203. It's very eery.

6. Every time I feel a warm breeze, I think it's my Great-Grandma Biddy saying "Hi Lisa, I love you!" and then I think "I love you too!"

7. I am a total bed-sheet snob. I only like 600 thread count sheets or higher. While we're on the subject ... I'm also a cheese snob. :)

Now I'm tagging Jodie, Erica, Nicole, Kelly, Diane, Eve, and Suzi

______ Girl


I have a "chubby-girl" ad on my blog.


Who's tellin' me something?

Google put an ad on my blog that's titled CHUBBY GIRL NO MORE.

However now that I'm typing this, I realize if I keep saying that word "chubby" then those ads will keep appearing on my blog.

So ...

In Shape Girl. Takes Care of Herself Girl. Healthy Girl. Going On A Mission Trip Girl. Loves Her Family Girl. Svelte Girl. Beautiful Girl. Generous Girl. Loving Girl. Volunteering Girl. World-Changing Girl. Socially Aware Girl. Loves Kids Girl. Happy Girl.

There ... that should do it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Child Abuse

Can't Stop Thinking 'Bout It from Lisa Diederichs on Vimeo.

Call + Response

Watch this.

Don't turn your eyes.

There are women and children being stolen and sold all over this world and forced to work in the sex slave industry.

There should be NO SUCH industry.

Please go watch this movie.

For a theater near you or to learn more, click here.

And if anyone wants to go with me on Saturday, October 18th or Sunday, October 19th ... let me know.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

We (which really means me) ate kettle corn, hunted for the perfect pumpkin, (Jay) pushed around a wheel-barrow and had a blast today!

This was my prized pumpkin. Later, when I found a better-looking pumpkin, I broke off my relationship with this one and left it in the dirt. Literally.

I really wanted this green pumpkin but Jay specifically stated he wanted an orange one. 

I adore this smile ...

I actually had to teeter our camera on top of a pumpkin to get this shot. Some people stood by and watched me struggle. I thought it was more funny that they stood around not offering to help, so I never asked for it. I like a challenge.
Food consumed: 1 hot apple cider, 1/2 bag of kettle corn, 2 bottled waters, 1 piece of pumpkin pie, 1 corn on the cob
Monday spent: $71.10
Memories: PRICELESS!

Gourd Sling-Shot Action

Jay and I went to Craven Farm this weekend and had a wonderful time eating, picking out pumpkins, and partaking in a little gourd sling-shot action ...

Jay's Gourd Sling-Shot from Lisa Diederichs on Vimeo.

And my turn ...

Lisa's Gourd Sling-Shot from Lisa Diederichs on Vimeo.

I hope you noticed that we're the only adults in the area.

That's right.

We were at the Gourd Sling-Shot area with all the kids.

And we had a blast!

Oh ... and ugh ... if my voice REALLY sounds like that, please don't tell me. I like how it sounds from my own head MUCH MORE!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Beauty Queens

When Bich (my grade-level partner) found out you can take a picture on your computer, I made her (literally) pose for some real wing-dinger beauty shots.

I call this ...

A Series of Professional Pictures

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pocketed Jeans

Dear Oprah,

You (or someone on your show), recently told the entire Oprah-viewing world (practically everyone) that women with 'larger' butts should not wear jeans with pockets.

I would like to take this opportunity to disagree with you. I think they're cute (please reference above picture).

So ... all women with non-modelish bottoms unite! Wear your pocketed-jeans with pride and add an extra sashay as you stride down the streets of your town!

A pocket-loving Oprah viewer

P.S. Notice that my body is a bit angled ... I would have taken a shot straight-on, but the camera made my butt look big. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Time Flies

Time flies ... when you're six:

Walking out the door at the end of the school-day with my students:
Me: Sweetie, don't forget your sweatshirt, your mom would be really mad.
Student: Yah, I know. But my dad would be even more mad. When I forget things, he makes me stay in my room for a whole day.
Me: Buddy, I doubt that you have to stay in your room for that long.
Student: Well, it's a really long time, like 47 minutes or 5 hours or something.


I let the kids watch a few minutes of Finding Nemo at the end of the day today. I walked the kids out to the bus line and parent pick-up when one of my students said this to me (in front of his mom, of course):
Student: Ms. Diederichs, since we watched 1/2 of Finding Nemo today, can we watch the other 1/2 tomorrow?
Me (thinking, 'awesome, now his mom thinks I let the kids watch movies all day!'): Buddy, we watched 10 minutes of Finding Nemo today. 
Student: Oh, well can we watch more of it tomorrow?
Me: No buddy, it's a stay-home day.


This wonderfully adorable book is written by a mother-daughter team and translating from French text.

Our reading specialist Mrs. Anderson let me borrow it, and I read it to my students today.

This book is much deeper then it appears (kind of like The Giving Tree by, Shel Silverstein).

Here is what said about Watching ...

"Following the long journey of a cute, imaginary, morph-like creature and his playful friends as they travel across the countryside throughout an entire season, this delightful and touching story presents a number of questions for adults and children to consider, such as how we are affected by the passage of time. It is a story of depth and poignant details that subtly reveals the answers to its questions in a beautiful and understated way."

Get your hands on it if you can.

You and your children will love it ... and it's a great book to discuss many of life's topics.

P.S. This is the 200th post ... just thought I'd throw that out there.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For The Record ...

I just ate a 250 calorie Frankenstein-shaped cookie that wasn't worth the calories.

But I ate the entire thing anyway.

Happy Holidays!


This morning, I had an extreme case of Groundhogs Day syndrome.

You know ... when everything feels the same as the day before, and the day before, and the day before that.

Every morning,
  • My alarms goes off at 6:45am
  • I hit snooze as many times as possible
  • I get out of bed, stagger downstairs (a bit chilled from being outside of the warm, protective cocoon of my bed)
  • Flip outside lights off as I pass the light switch
  • Let Cooper out to go outside
  • Feed Cooper
  • Eat a bowl of either (a) Cheerios; (b) oatmeal
  • Make my way back upstairs, turn on bathroom lights, squinting in the bright light
  • Turn on shower water, get undressed
  • Staring at my reflection in the mirror, wonder if my stomach would be more flat if I had worked out the day before
  • Put my hair up in a bun w/a headband, put on shower cap (attractive, right?!?)
  • Get in shower, lather & rinse body with soap, wash face, lather & rinse body again
  • Reach for my towel, neatly hanging in the same predictable place as the day before
  • Once dry, apply body lotion to entire body, along with face lotion and deodorant
  • Get dressed, flat iron hair, put on make-up
  • Put Cooper's collar on him
  • Pack a lunch
  • Load Cooper up into the car to be dropped off at daycare (yes, he's spoiled)
  • Drop Cooper off, drive to work
I do this same routine.

Every day.


Today, I was cognisant and reflective of my routine. What is it about human nature that we crave the predictability of a routine?

Much like my 1st graders who excel in a well-structured, routined environment, so do I.

I feel the most calm and centered.

However, it's important for me not to get suck in the groundhogs day rut. I don't want my days to always be the same. I want to be striving for new goals, have new ideas and stretch myself in new ways.

Sometimes being uncomfortable or challenged moves us to new, exciting places which we never thought we'd go.

Maybe tomorrow ... I'll try to put my left leg into my pants before my right leg.

Watch out now ... I'm getting crazy!

Little Cube of Joy

This post will be random and insignificant to your life ... but it made my day.

Yesterday when I got to work, I parked by a light blue mini-van.

I obviously didn't think much of it, but when I got out of my car and walked by the van, I noticed it was really dirty inside.

I didn't think anything of the garbage, papers and books strewn about the cavity of the vehicle ... but what a DID notice, literally caused me take a second look.

On the floor of the van, between the passenger seat and driver's seat ...

... was a Rubik's cube!

And I thought to myself ... "You know what? We just don't see enough of those anymore!"

And I happily walked off smiling.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tweet, Tweet

Mrs. Anderson, our reading specialist at school pulled a couple of my struggling students out of class today for reading assessments.

She told me this story after school today and I thought it was so cute:

Mrs. A: I'm going to say a word, and I want you to tell me what letter is starts with. For example, if I say HAT, you would say "h" because HAT starts with "h."
Student: OK.
Mrs. A: KITE
Student: K
Mrs. A: Good job. How about this one, MAN
Student: M
Mrs. A: Excellent. How about this, BIRD
Student: I don't know.
Mrs. A: Let me help you. What sound do you hear when I say BIRD?
Student: Tweet!!!!
Mrs. A: OK, let's try a different one. DOG
Student: Arf!!!!!

Silly kids.

Obama t-shirts

Just bought this t-shirt (and I wear it with pride!).

I love it ... and you will too (if you like Obama).

Check 'em out here.They run small (I bought a women's extra-large).

A Much Better Recap

Jodie wrote a WONDERFUL post about our experience of the Portland Marathon.

Jodie is a great writer and remembered to include way more details then me.

How could I forget
  • Our "if they look at us when we cheer we get a point" contest
  • Obsessively stalking our friends online (sorry Jodie if you're REFRESH button doesn't work anymore!)
  • Our wicked-awesome breakfast of french toast with killer REAL maple syrup
  • The bearded runner. He really was awesome, wasn't he!?!
  • Jay FLAT-OUT ignoring us at the 26 mile marker
  • The rain
  • The tears
  • The cheers
  • The exhaustion due to lack of sleep
Click here to read a much better recap of the exciting day!

Monday, October 6, 2008


As long as I have this blog, I will use it to encourage people to help others, to see outside of our own worlds, to follow the tugging of your heart and to raise awareness of social issues.

Please watch the following video ...

... how a $60 microloan turned into a cow, a vegetable patch, her own savings - and her brother's school fees.

I urge you, if you have a passion for something, do something about it.

I am a member of a group called Women of Purpose. We raise funds and awareness for women and children who are trafficked as sex-slaves.

One of the things we raise money for ... are microloans.

Surprise Cake!

This is truly one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.

I work with a ton of jokesters.

And this one takes the cake (literally!) ...

Two of my co-workers pass this doll back and forth between the two of them. It's a riot. This doll can be found anywhere on our school campus on any given day. Usually in an awkward spot.

But today ... the doll hit an all-time low (or high?!?).

It was Casey's birthday today .... and guess where the doll ended up?

That's right. Dianne baked a cake in a bowl, spooned out the middle and stuck the doll inside. I hope you take the time to notice his added party hat, construction paper smile ... and ... um ... added chest-flare.

I'm not sure if anyone will EVER be able to find a more creative place for him.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Portland Marathon 2008

It was a honor and a pleasure to watch Mike & Jay run the Portland Marathon this weekend. Jodie, the kids and I were able to cheer for them at the 1 and 5 mile markers, as well as less then 1/4 of a mile before the finish line.

Their drive and determination are admirable and awe-inspiring. Mike and Jay ran together, encouraging each other for 20 miles, until Jay had to make a quick stop at the restroom.

Here is Mike ... less then 1/4 of a mile away from the finish line. He finished in 3 hours, 42 minutes. Way to go Mike. We are so proud of you. I was cheering so hard for you, I didn't realize how tilted my camera was!

Here is Jay, coming up on his 1/4 of a mile from the finish line. He finished in 3 hours and 48 minutes. Babe, I am over-the-top proud of you. Each time I cheered for you, I could barely see you because my eyes were so full of tears. I was bursting with pride. 

You give yourself a goal and you stick to it. You are an example of strength and determination.

I love you.

Ah ... happy boys after some bagels, apples and bananas.

It was so fun watching all the runners. From professional athletes, to cancer survivors and wheel-chair participants ... I was overwhelmed with bravery and sheer strength.

You are ALL an example of how strong the human spirit is. Thank you for sharing your spirit with me today. 

It was a beautiful thing to witness.