They Grow

November, Thanksgiving, 2009 344 crpThis is not a news flash.  It is well known throughout the generations.  When one has an infant, they spend many hours worrying about the infant’s health–if they are thriving–growing–getting enough nutrition.  They soon brag about the percentile and what size clothing the baby wears.  Next comes the new and interesting things that the baby, then toddler can do.  Then there is reading and losing teeth, and before you know, both of your infants are taller than you.

November, Thanksgiving, 2009 247 ps crpSuch is the case at my house.  I am trying to get all of my digital photos onto USBs so that I don’t have a catastrophic event and lose them all.  Alas, I am also trying to sort through them to delete the ones that aren’t good and to adjust the ones that need some TLC to remove red eyes or lighten a dark shot.

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Renfest, 2009 Blog_019 crpThis is dangerous business at the end of the school year.  This Momma is worn slap out and is already thinking about what photos to send for Victoria’s “Senior Sunday” slideshow next May.  The time.  It goes.  The kids.  They grow–and grow–and grow–and then they go too.

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November, Thanksgiving, 2009 280 ps2 crpAnd that is as it should be.  If they get stuck, or don’t thrive–if they aren’t successful, then other sadnesses arise.  This sadness is a good one.  My children are thriving, growing, learning, and they are just such GOOD kids.  But, oh, the the sighings of the heart–the tightening of the throat–the loosing of the tears over the discomfort of stretching, stretching apron strings.

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Happy Easter

blog Easter, 2015 063Because of all the wonderful things that God has done for us–we get to enjoy days with family remembering the sacrifice of His Son that not only gives us beautiful days with family on this earth, but also gives us the confidence of beautiful days with family forever.  We are truly blessed.

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Chopped Poetry

So, in 8th grade Language Arts, we are talking about figurative language and how the graphical elements and word choice in poetry creates meaning and how we can use those elements to infer and draw conclusion blah, blah, blah. . . . .BLAH.  I have a FEW teenagers who are interested in the mechanics of poetry, but most of them are flying under the radar to avoid persecution by their peers.

Not only that, but my kids just got back from a week of vacation and weren’t buyin’ it.  I HAD to CONNECT.  SO, I showed them THIS little video (which you are welcome to watch should you so choose) just to get them INTERESTED. Who,  exactly, can resist the theme song to “The Fresh Prince of Bellaire?”  Seriously.  The video uses that to explain narrative poetry/ballad.  Then it uses other popular songs or videos to go over other types of poetry.  We didn’t really spend much time on sonnet, but I DID tell them that it was a good introduction to what they will see very soon in high school.

Anyway. . .this morning, I had a BRAINSTORM (along with finding the video) while brushing my teeth and being late for school.  I decided to do “Chopped: Poetry.”  Have you ever seen “Chopped?”  It’s a Food Network show where four chefs compete for $10,000.  There are judges and time limits but the clincher is that there are “secret” ingredients in a basket that the chefs MUST use in their dish preparation.  Some of the challenges have included the following basket ingredients. . .

Dessert: prunes, animal crackers, cream cheese                                                            Appetizer: watermelon, canned sardines, pepper jack cheese, zucchini         Entrée: blackstrap molasses, red snapper, parsley root, dried cranberries

Tomorrow, my kids will get a “basket” (an envelope. . .) with their “secret ingredients” in it.  They HAVE to use these “ingredients” to create their poem.

Type:  Acrostic                                                                                                                                   Topic:  Music                                                                                                                          Figurative Language:  Onomatopoiea & Metaphor

Today while showing them the different forms (they had to take notes), I was explaining haiku.  This was my haiku on teens.

Teenagers are like,                                                                                                                       “Awesome, ratchet, hastag, Bruh!”                                                                                                They own the language.

My second period suggested I change it a little to this:

Teenagers be like,                                                                                                                         “Awesome, ratchet, or nah, Bruh!”                                                                                                They own they language.

I must admit to the second version being nails on a chalk board, but at least they PARTICIPATED.  We’ll see. . .

There are five types of poetry, six different topics, and ten different types of figurative language that I mixed up.   This will either be a moment of fist-pumping “YES!” or a crash and burn of “OH, THE HUMANITY!!!”  Maybe even both. . .in the same class period.  I can pretty much guarantee both in 2nd period for sure.

 

Does it ALWAYS take this long?

This school year seems to have taken a bit longer to calm down. . .and I am hopeful that I’m not speaking too soon about the calming.  We have a new principal who is GREAT–but VERY young and VERY high energy.  Therefore my teaching (which wasn’t lethargic before) has also grown in intensity.

I am also teaching a new subject this year.  It is an elective called “Exploring Languages” in which we–wait for it–explore languages.  We have covered Shakespearean English, Greek and Latin Roots, and Spanish.  Now on to French.  It is an experiment.  I know no French.  I have no French students.  Everyone is about to be on even footing as far as languages go.

Thad is at the Jr. High with us this year–and we love it.  Only TWO stops each morning instead of three.  He has grown an insane amount in the past school year–even over the summer–even SINCE the summer.  His voice is also in the process of changing–there isn’t a lot of cracking, but there is a difference. He has been somewhat determined as of late to NOT be photographed.  It is an obsession.

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I only managed to get this one after we had a “chat.”  He has grown about a half an inch (or more) since this was taken at the end of July.

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And this one when MawMaw came to visit in August.

Processed with MoldivMawMaw and Victoria small(Victoria and my mom. I love this picture.)

Victoria has a boyfriend.  His name is Hunter.  He is a Junior just like her, and they have known each other since 7th grade. They both CLAIM  to not have “liked” each other that long.  Either way, there was enough discussion of Hunter in our car and at our house that I took a photo of them together the night they were inducted into Jr. National Honor Society at the end of 7th grade.

2011, National Jr. Honor Society 050They were both inducted into National Honor Society in the spring, and I WANTED to get a picture of them together again, but I feared that the indignant “Moooooooooooooom!!!!!” would be hanging in a conversation bubble above the high school parking lot even now.  In the photo below, Hunter was about 12 feet away to the right.

Harding, NHS, 4.14 151And here is Homecoming which happened this past weekend.

Homecoming, October rsz ps 2014 072 Homecoming, October 2014 rsz ps 006AND the Homecoming hair extravaganza.

photo(45)The truck was crushed beyond repair this summer.  A tree decided that 21 years was long enough for the truck to be in service.  It was a sad, sad day.

photo(42) rszThe bumper was already like that–and the hood was already missing paint–but the tree did some significant engine/frame/body/radiator damage.  Tony still held out hope that it could be repaired. . .to the extent that when the Body Shop lady called and he asked her, “So can it be fixed?” she laughed for nearly a minute solid.  Then she apologized for laughing.  Then she laughed some more.

June, 2014 624SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. . .Tony got this bad boy for his birthday.  My brother gave us the nicest congratulatory message.  It was, “Tell Tony that I hope this truck lasts him twice as long as the last truck did.”  We can’t wish for more than that.  A new truck every 21 (or 42 as the case may be) years ‘taint bad.

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And these blossoms were picked at the end of my walk this evening.  Victoria was with me for a bit–the weather has cooled off (for us), and we opened the windows in the house.  Ahhhh. . .fall.  photo(41)rsz   Our weekends have been packed, and our days and evenings have been packed, but we ALL came home at a reasonable time tonight, and everyone is under THE STRICTEST of instructions to not accept any invitations for this weekend.  We plan to stay in our pajamas and play Clue!

Sixteen

My Girl is 16.  She had a party on July 18th.  She wanted a lemon cake with lemon icing, and so it was just simple.  But there were 16 candles (no Molly Ringwald) and a bunch of friends–lots of giggling and games (Hide and Go Text).BDay 876I can’t remember why she was so tickled, but I’m glad I caught it.

Blog Bday 881Her REAL birthday was the 27th, which was the day the youth group left for church camp.  I REALLY wanted her to have a surprise, SO I bought a cake from HEB (This caused a pause at the HEB bakery.  I assured them several times I did NOT want it crumb coated OR iced plain–I wanted it NAKED.)  Then I took it to church, made cream cheese frosting, gussied it up and VOILA.  A surprise.

Bday 012This is the look you get from your 16 year old daughter when you come out of the church kitchen singing happy birthday and carrying a great, big cake.  And if she was a little embarrassed, everyone else was THRILLED that there was cake to be had.  I can HIGHLY recommend an HEB white cake with homemade cream cheese frosting. YUM.

Bday 042Her reaction was the same as Thad’s, “MOM, that makes THREE CAKES!!!!!” (One for her party, one we made at home the day before because she didn’t KNOW about the surprise cake, and one at church.)

BDay 043More from her party at home on the 18th.

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Happy Birthday, baby.  I am the world’s most blessed Momma, and I’m so glad I have you.New owners V

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iWhatevers: Kittens and Randomness

Awhile back, I was reading a post from this blog where the writer referred to smart devices an “iWhatever.”  I thought that was rather clever and have taken to using it with my kiddos the past two school years.  “Put your iWhatevers away.”  “You can use you iWhatevers IF you have earbuds.  You may NOT share with a friend.”  “Finish this assignment and you can spend the last five minutes on your iWhatever.”  They now ask, “Can we use our iWhatevers?”  I love that–aside from the fact that it should be “MAY we use our iWhatevers.”  Thanks for letting me high-jack your clever verbage (without your knowledge or permission.), El Commodore and Majesty.  It’s about the only thing my students find cool about me.

In keeping with the iWhatever, below is a photographic compendium of iWhatever technological output.  From our house to yours.

Bella Bath 5.12.14

This is Bella. She is beautiful as her name suggests. She is also (now) clean.

Bella Bath 5 Clean Kittens

Everyone of Thistle’s kittens is prettier than the next. Not an ugly one in the litter. One of the orange ones is Eddie–Bella’s litter mate that will be ours permanently.

Bella Bath 5 Clean Kitten Backs

They were, however, riddled with fleas from their mama. They are now washed, medicated, and asleep.

Bella and Siblings in Tub

The one looking on is who we call Scaredy Cat. Early on, my vote was for us to keep her, but she may be a little high strung. All of the kittens handled the bath well, though–even S.C.

Bella Bath Beautiful

More Bella. I TOLD YOU she was pretty.

Bella Bath Selfie

Victoria is not the normal teen-aged girl, but she DOES enjoy a selfie with her cat. In other news, my daughter is wearing my strand of (very nice) faux pearls that I received as a high school graduation present. Cool.

Lint Feather

When one finds a feather adhered to one’s lint roller, one can only hope it came from one’s chickens.

Thad Refreshment

I found this empty, jazzed up can of Some Boy’s favorite fruit punch on the table the other day. Dude knows how to enjoy a beverage.

***THIS JUST IN***  Victoria has e-mailed me from school to say that we CANNOT name the little, male kitten Eddie.  She and Thad FINALLY agreed on the name (her suggestion even), but it was not to be.  Her reasoning (after telling her friends the names I’m assuming) is that Bella and Eddie will elicit the whole Bella/Edward/Twilight thing.  She is vehemently opposed to the faintest hint of such.  She has come up with a new list:  Leo, Oliver, and Toby.  Toby being the likely candidate as it was suggested by Thad.  Oh my.

Pre-Halloween

Both kids were invited to Halloween parties tonight, so after school they got all duded up in their outfits.  This year, we have a mythological being and a video game character. . .and a friend who was ALSO a video game character.

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Scorpion, a Creeper, and Medusa ready to rumble.

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Thad put his hands in his pockets, because Creepers have no arms.

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Creeper and Medusa taking a selfie.

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Medusa and her snaky companions.

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She wore sunglasses so as not to turn anyone into stone. . .so thoughtful.

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A little using the back of a cell phone action a la Percy Jackson.

When I went to pick up Thad (and Thomas), Thad heard me call him and called back, “Not yet!!!!”  Victoria called about 9:00 and asked if she could stay until 10:30 rather than 10:00.  I’d say they had a fun time.