Saturday, February 28, 2009

Days 56-60

It was a busy week for us, so here's what we've been up to...
Sunday, Feb. 22nd - Grandpa Tracy spent the night with us.  He had an appointment for his truck the next day at the dealership down the street.  So here is Grandpa reading books to Grant and little did he know that he would have to read about a dozen until Grant's done listening.  This picture shows exactly what Grant's room looks big mess! 
Monday, Feb. 23rd - Andy is making dinner tonight as usual.  Cooking just isn't my thing!  Tonight we were having Andy's famous grilled cheese sandwiches and soup! :) This is a typical night at our house. 
Tuesday, Feb. 24th - PLC Day - Early Dismissal -PLC means Professional Learning Community, which happens once a month and the students are dismissed about 1 1/2 hours early, so we can discuss our SMART goals and discuss strategies to get all of our students on grade level.  Pictured:  Sherri Macfee, Raette Bahe, Kristi Green, Krista Wells, Cindy Lloyd, Kerry Boehler, Sherry Kaup, and Cindy's student teacher Frannie. 
Wednesday, Feb. 25th - Ash Wednesday - We went to church at St. Mark's and ran into the Francis family, which is Andy's cousin and her kids, so we sat with them.  Poor them because Grant was awful!  He had to be removed when he continued talking and screaming about Nemo.  He's got a fish thing going on right now.  Well...I can say that I've never been to an Ash Wednesday service before, so this could very well go on my list of 40 things by age 40.  
Thursday, Feb. 26th - Parent/Teacher Conferences at Goodrich - Here is Tim Brown who is Tyler's favorite teacher this year and one that will surely leave a lasting impression on Tyler in the years to come.  Tyler said to me last fall, "Mom, this guy is so funny.  He tells great jokes and he makes learning fun!"  My hats off to you, Mr. Brown!  I truly appreciate a teacher who can make science interesting, but also do it with humor. 

By the way, Tyler had a great report from all of his teachers concerning his academic performance...his only problem is blushing when the girls are teasing him.  I guess this is somewhat of a distraction...imagine that! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Lenten Commitment

First of all, I am not Catholic, but have decided for the next 40 days that I will act like one.  I really don't know what that means except that I am going to be committed, like my Catholic friends and relatives, to give up something that has meaning or is difficult to do.  That special something to me is soda pop!  I've tried giving up pop before and it lasted for 16 days.  That was huge for me and then I slipped.  Darn it!  I know that it's terrible for my health, it has eaten the enamel off my teeth and caused be to gain endless pounds around my waist, it gives me a stomach ache and the list goes on. 

So, for the next 40 days and maybe hopefully for eternity, I can rid myself of my soda addiction.  To me a relaxing drink is a pop on ice, not coffee, tea or any other beverage.   Oh, I so love that bubbly!  Ahhh!  Okay...I am now telling you this, so if you dare see me with one in my hands, you have the right to snatch it from me and run!  I promise I won't get mad.  Now I am accountable for my decision, I just hope this doesn't make me become a closet Coke drinker!  :)  

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Silly, old Grandpa Oogie

Okay, I decided these two pictures were too funny not to share. Grant was sitting on Grandpa's lap when Grandpa decided to sing along to the Mamma Mia! movie with an off-pitch voice.  I really don't know if he could have sung well because he knew he'd be funnier if he tried not to. Grandma Betty kept saying, "Doug, quiet, Xander is almost asleep!"  Grandpa didn't care and it became really hilarious once Grant started giggling and swinging at him.  We generally teach our kids not to hit, but I think Grandpa had it coming.  

Days 51-55

I have to say...I have not forgotten a photo a day yet since starting this fifty-some days ago.  It's too bad I can't keep up a diet like this picture taking habit!  
Tuesday, Feb. 17th - First day back after President's Day and a snow day, so even though Valentine's Day was several days ago, we are celebrating it today.  This was taken after school with Madison showing off her stash.
Wednesday, Feb. 18th - Doing our taxes with Dave at 5:30 on a Wednesday.  I know they (Dave and the secretary who took the picture) thought I was nuts asking for one, but it is everyday stuff we experience.  The good news...we get a refund!  Yeah!  
Thursday, Feb. 19th - Shopping at Famous Footwear for Tyler.  This is his third pair of running shoes since since last July.  He only wears these shoes daily, so I guess that's okay.  He wears them until I see his big toe and that's when I say...let's go buy some new shoes.  Luckily, the $45 ones work as well as the $110 do. 
Friday, Feb. 20th - We went to HyVee and filled my asthma inhalers prescription and decided it was movie night.  Madison was at a sleep over and Tyler was at the Dare 2 Share concert, so it was just Grant, Andy and me.  I got to pick the movie....Mamma Mia!  Andy knew it was a "chic flick", but he missed the part that it was also a musical.  He did watch all of it, but he didn't think it was as fun as I did.   I just love Redbox!  $1 movies!
Saturday, Feb. 21st - Grandma and Grandpa stopped by on their way back from seeing Jill in Kansas City and Todd, Sarah and Xander were also in town, so they were all at our house at the same time.  I had a hard time deciding which picture to chose from.  This one is adorable and the other one was of Grandpa holding Grant and making funny faces.  I went with this picture since other of Grandpa looked more like a "blackmail" photo.  Who can resist a cute baby pic?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Days 46-50

More happenings for the 365 project.....
Thursday, Feb. 12th - Grandma Betty mailed the kids a Valentine with "Happy Meal money" in it, so of course, we had to eat at McDonald's tonight.  Any night without cooking is a good night for me!  
Friday, Feb. 13th - Snow day for Lincoln Public Schools and what a way to celebrate Friday the 13th!  Yeah!  I got my house cleaned and still was able to attend the 23rd annual Chocolate Lover's Fantasy with Andy, Todd and Amy.  The snow was not about to stop me from this event!  
Saturday, Feb. 14th - We took the kids sledding at Pioneers Park.  I took 416 pictures to be exact, so I can find at least a dozen good ones.  What would I do without a digital camera?  I guess take far less pictures.   
Sunday, Feb. 15th - It was "Golden Ticket Sunday" for Madison, which encouraged parents to attend their child's Sunday school class.  Their bible verse lesson today was Luke 18:16 "Let the little children come to me."
Monday, Feb. 16th - President's Day & No Elementary School (Teacher Plan Day) - This bronze figure of Abe Lincoln is a block from Andy's workplace, so I decided how cool would it be to get a photo of it on President's Day?!  This year marks Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday!  Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln!  Grant would not sit by Madison for the picture...stubborn child! 

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Give the Earth a Hug...Recycle!

I read "Recycling is like giving the Earth a hug" on a Culver's food sack, so I decided that would be the title of my newest blog.  Cute, huh?!  

Anyway, I've found the coolest way to recycle and I wanted you to know about it.  It's using RecycleBank (a chain across the country), but carried locally by RecycleLink here in Lincoln.  In the past, I've used several different companies here in Lincoln and this one is the best.  I've also tried doing it on my own, but just ended up with a messy (okay, messier) garage and 20-30 minutes a week spent driving to and unloading materials at a city recycling drop off.  I wasted way too much time separating the paper, glass, aluminum, plastic, etc. that it wasn't worth my time.    

Now I am down to once a week garbage pick up and all of my recycling can be loaded into one 68 gallon tote that is picked up on Mondays.  No more separating materials, which is wonderful!  The only item I can't toss in is glass due to the mess it creates.  That's the only downside.  However, there's also a perk to recycling by earning points based on the weight of my materials.  I can redeem those points at over 450 local and national retailers.  The cost of this service is cheaper than the three other ones I've tried and the first two months were free.  I just got my first bill last week.  It was for the months of Dec., Jan., Feb. and March at $32.  That $8 a month is less than the expense of the second garbage pick up each week and look I am becoming "earth friendly". If you want to become a friend to the earth them at 466-0412 or go to  Oh, by the way, please give them my name...I get a free month's rental. :)  

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sledding at Pioneers Park

Today was a perfect day for school, six inches of new snow and weather that wasn't subzero.  We rarely go sledding as a family.  I think the last time was when Madison was four.  It was a day of "free fun", which I am all about!  
Grant usually went down with Andy, but he did make a couple trips with Madison and Mom.  He said, "More, fun, fun!"We had three sleds to share between ourselves.  Tyler and Madison usually went on their own, but here they are being nice to each other and sharing....such a lovely picture! Grant always had the same expression on his face, which looked scared, but he did want to go again.
Here's one of the three times I tried sledding.  You might notice that Grant and I are turning sideways, which we ended up going downhill backwards.  I could not figure out how to steer, which is quite frightening.  I almost took out two preschoolers before stopping.  Yikes!  

23rd Annual Chocolate Lover's Fantasy

Last night there were 5-6 inches of new snow on the ground, but that did not stop us from attending the annual Chocolate Lover's Fantasy at Embassy Suites in downtown Lincoln.  It was a fund raising benefit for CEDARS and the Historic Haymarket.  We went with our old friends, Todd and Amy.  We ate "real food" at Old Chicago before attending the event.  The Chocolate Fantasy ran from 7-10pm, but I was clearly done consuming chocolate by 7:30pm.  I didn't learn from last year...pace yourself.  Once again,  I engulfed a large amount of a chocolates in various forms and soon felt very sickish.  
This is one of the tables that were displayed by seventeen restaurants or caterers.  My favorite visual display was the City of Lincoln's because they had a vampire (thinking Twilight) with a syringe full of raspberry sauce (appearing to be blood). He then added it to my chocolate fluff stuff.  Really...I had no idea what I was eating, except that it was chocolate with raspberry sauce.  And my favorite foodie display was Embassy Suites.  I so loved their fruit & chocolate mini tarts!  
Here are two people who did NOT need to eat chocolate of any kind!  Anytime Fitness we will be seeing you today!!! :)
Notice the two little tarts (mentioned above)... blueberry/chocolate and the raspberry/chocolate..very yummy!  They had awesome truffles on a stick too.  That's why there's just a stick left in the truffle.
Here are the four of us at the end of the festivities...the Jensen's look great...not so much for the Broekers.  I was up until one in the morning...over stimulated from the sugar and caffeine.  Live and learn....I'll be back next year!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Days 41-45

I've been wanting to blog about something in my classroom, but I keep forgetting to take a picture.  I'll have to do that tomorrow night....crazy story! 
Saturday, Feb. 7th - Southeast Community College's Scrapfest - Fun times!  I am not looking so great in this photo, but it was taken 12 hours into the crop, so I have a good excuse, don't I? This scrapfest was a little different because I wasn't sitting by my usual friends, Amy, Angie and Kristi.  I was suppose to sit next to my co-worker, Krista, but she had a sick child, so she didn't make it.  I did get to know Jodi Rust, Krista's friend and neighbor, during this 15 hour crop.  I discovered that she's originally from where Andy grew up and knows some of Andy's relatives.  Small world!
Sunday, Feb. 8th - Youth Sunday at St. Mark's - Tyler got to usher at the 9:00am church service, but we didn't get to see him taking the offering plate since we were in Sunday School class ourselves.  Tyler said he really enjoyed ushering and would do it again.  Service this Sunday focused on the youth...their band performed, several teens gave testimonies and Pastor Don recognized adults who work with our youth in the church.  Don't you just love the expression on Tyler's face?
Monday, Feb. 9th - We are both trying to get back into working out at Anytime Fitness at least 3-4 times a week.  We really lost ground on this resolution when Andy went out of town for 4 weeks in a row.  I guess I could have gone alone, but that's no fun! 
Tuesday, Feb. 10th - Here are my two UNL practicum students who joined us this semester on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.  They are both very nice gals who dream of having a classroom of their own.  Boy, I hope I don't scare them into changing their mind!  :) 
Wednesday, Feb. 11th - I was late getting home from work today, so when Grant and I pulled up in the driveway we saw that Dad was home.  Hooray!  Grant was ecstatic!  The weather wasn't too bad, so Andy got a football out to play a little catch with Grant.  They also got a frisbee for Ranger and wore the poor dog out!  

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Days 36-40

Monday, Feb. 2nd - Groundhog Day....Yes, he saw his shadow and yes, Madison and Aleni found a good book in the library today too.  I walked my kindergarten kiddos to Computer and saw Madison was in the library, so I grabbed my camera and got a quick pic. 
Tuesday, Feb. 3rd - Andy's still out of town and two of my three found their way into my bed during the night.  I was too tired to put up a battle, so here they are at 6:15 am.  Ugh!  
Wednesday, Feb. 4th - There's nothing to eat at home, so a quick trip to HyVee.  Madison is giving me that look...that I can't believe you ALWAYS have your camera on hand.  
Thursday, Feb. 5th - Tyler and Madison had 5:30 dental appointments today.  Good cavities!  Yeah! 
Friday, Feb. 6th - 100th day of school -- I am probably going to use a picture from inside my classroom instead for my album, but I wasn't in the mood to erase kid faces, so a beautiful outdoor one will have to do! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Twilight....The End

Last night I FINALLY finished the fourth book in the Twilight series...all 2,469 pages (which includes Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse & Breaking Dawn).  Oh, it was so bitter sweet to finish such a wonderful love story.   I really didn't want it to end...ever.   I've never taken to a book or series of books like I have this one.  I've read five of the Harry Potter books and they were interesting and fun, but nothing like this one that was so detailed and descriptive in it's writing.  The connection between Bella and Edward is just so beautifully written that I've now dreamed of becoming a vampire myself or even having a vampire boyfriend of my own.  Who wouldn't want to live forever in a gorgeous body with a hunky husband with great hair, reads minds and THAT body with those amber colored eyes?  Did I go on enough yet?  I know that Andy is seriously tired of me talking about it!  

Since I dislike cooking so much I like that vampires have no need to eat like humans, so that means no shopping, no cooking, and no dishes to wash.  No wonder why they have money to buy expensive cars and own mansions!  The only set back would have to be the hunting and drinking of animal blood.  Hmmmm....wonder if I could get past that?! 
Talk about shopping....Madison and I made one of those quick trips to HyVee tonight where I needed to purchase some mushrooms.   I, once again, couldn't help to think of Twilight when the package said Baby Bella on it.  Really...why wouldn't it....Portabella mushrooms?!  Of course, but I still had to take a picture of it!  I am really going to have to start reading another book!  I am truly  obsessed!  

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Days 31-35

Wednesday, Jan. 28th - This is or should I say was our morning routine.  I take three middle-schoolers (Hannah, Joey and Tyler) to school at 7:45 everyday along with Grant.  Tracey will now be taking these kids to school starting on Monday when she begins her new position at Campbell in the ECSE classroom.  I will miss seeing these guys in the early morning and their quiet, non-verbal behaviors.  They just aren't morning people!  I guess I'm not really either.
Thursday, Jan. 29th - Andy's been gone all week for the fourth week in a row and I decided I am not cooking tonight.  It was a long day and I deserved a night out for cheap, mexican food.  Where else can you purchase a kid's meal for $1.70?  I love that Taco Inn is just down the street from us.  And I so enjoy their Chicken Tortilla soup! 
Friday, Jan. 30th - I almost forgot to take my picture of the day, so it was close to bedtime and I had Madison read "The Peace Book" by Todd Parr to Grant.  I like the bold colors he uses in his books.  Todd's pictures are so simple that I think I could become an illustrator.
Saturday, Jan. 31st - We made a quick trip to Omaha before Tyler had to go to a birthday party.  We shopped at World Market, Archiver's and Nobbie's.  This picture is taken right when you enter Nobbie's.  I didn't know that you could still ride a coin-automated horse anywhere for a quarter.  Hey...that's pretty cheap entertainment!
Sunday, Feb. 1st - I tried taking pictures of Tyler at church for his Super Bowl party, but they didn't turn out, so I am using a picture from the day before.  This is Grant riding in his car seat wearing Madison's sunglasses.  He was keeping himself entertained with a pencil and a notebook while on our way to Omaha.  We realize that he's happy to ride in a vehicle for about forty-five minutes before losing his patience or falling asleep.