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Phone photos

Life is just passing by so quickly these days.  We are constantly on the go. . .and things like "picture of the day" are slipping by!  I was browsing through the photos on my phone last night and realized there is a story there too.  I find myself snapping pictures quite often with my camera phone, even though it's not the best.  (And yet, isn't it amazing how incredible even the lowest-grade camera phone photos are against anything taken with a digital camera even 10 years ago?!?)
This was actually the first (and one of very few) Easter pictures I got last weekend.  We were somehow running late for an 11 a.m. service (!!!) in Dayton, OH and right before we walked in I asked the kids for a picture to send Grandpa Foster.  For the last five years we have gone to Dayton to celebrate with him and go to his church. . .but since Mammaw left our lives last year we didn't really know what to do with Easter this year. . .or where to go to church.  Grandpa Foster went out of town to celebrate with his other beautiful grandchildren so we were scrambling for a place to worship Jesus's Resurrection.  We were invited to our good friends' church in which he is lead pastor and had a blessed day together.  We were on the ball and got their Easter outfits weeks ago (even though I was out buying Tom's and my shirts the day before -- ha!) so they all looked cute -- my requirement twice a year. . .Easter and Christmas.
My classes (I teach 7th grade social studies) have been presenting their group projects this week.  I snapped this picture of a game the Germany group made up -- I thought it was so well-done!  It was a jeopardy-type review of the information they had presented.  I didn't get pics of every group, but I tried to get a few. . .just to show them in action.  I was truly so proud of how hard most of the kids worked in their groups to teach their classes about these Western European countries.  Here is a (blurry) France:
And the other class doing France. . .they had put together a "slap" game that everyone really enjoyed!
 Thomas's group had Italy. . .even though he isn't in this picture it's something that I love as a teacher. . .the group had put together a terrific slide show with all the notes. . .the girls are describing whatever slide is up, the boy on the floor is clicking through the presentation. . .and the students -- look at them!!  They are all paying attention, taking notes. . .so cool.  They put together a review game too. . .here is a (blurry) picture of Thomas demonstrating how you can't pick up the balloons with your hands:
In this game the group had put review questions in the balloons. . .they paired the students up then they had to pop the balloons, get the questions out of the balloon, and be the first to answer it.  All in all, the groups came up with fun things to do, put together good information and I think they had fun doing it!  As a teacher I get to see them learning in a different way, using different skills and their peers are engaged in learning the material from them.  It's a lot of work but the week of presentations always reminds me that it's worth it.

One day a few weeks ago when we were preparing for these presentations my one class had to go to lunch in the middle of class.  As I turned to walk out the door I snapped this picture:
To me, this is the epitome of  learning. . .desks moved and grouped together.  Books out, notes out, and computers open.  I had such a good feeling about what I do, the lives that are being impacted, and the energy that was still lingering in the room.  There are so many frustrations but I truly want to focus on THIS. . .learning being done "right".  I'm so glad I had a camera in my pocket to capture this moment in time :)

Other moments in time. . .
Frederick and Grandpa Foster having quiet time together in the morning. . .both with their bibles and notes out, reading together (and Marie there in the corner with Dukie!).
Grandpa Fred, Marie, Nana, and Thomas hiking together on Christmas Day.
Margaret, just a week ago today, stopping with Amanda and me to get a bagel before spending an entire day together shopping and visiting with friends.  It was a day in which to fill her love tank. . .those are the activities she enjoys. . .and all the better if she has an adult to herself :)
The boys choices for summer shoes this year.  We only gave them $60 for their summer shoes so they both pitched in quite a bit to get exactly what they wanted.  They *never* take them off (except for soccer) so I guess they were good choices :)
Last night :)  The older two have soccer training on Friday nights and their coach, AR, takes a break after drills during their water break to tell them a story.  It is so sweet how all these middle school students sit around and raptly listen. . .and usually ask for more!!  He has lots of stories at his website -- we adults enjoy them too!!!

Time to start the day!  Up first, Wal-mart to replenish my allergy medicine supply and get Thomas a permit so we can then head to the library to take his boating exam.  Marie and Frederick want to go to Kohl's because their grandparents gave them money for Easter and they saw some water bottles there that they would like and I have 20% off.  Margaret wants to go watch her friend play soccer at 10:30. . .Thomas has soccer pictures at 11 a.m. and a game at 11:30. . .both Frederick and Marie have games at noon in a different location. . .we have a long Sam's shopping list. . .and then heading over to our neighbor's house tonight for a barbeque!  Perfect weekend :)  Don't know when the house is going to get cleaned. . .and progress reports go home Monday. . .it will all work out, right?

~ Jenni


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