Showing posts from January, 2013

Video of the Day 01.26.13 - Cheer

We had a long day in Knoxville today.  I was practicing video with my new camera and tried to focus in on Margaret a little more this time. 
And no matter how many different times I try, I cannot get Blogger to accept my video :(  A project for Tom later I guess.  The girls came in 2nd out of three teams -- so proud of her and the Wildcats!!

Here is a link from the mom that always films for us. . .I know it's hard to zero in on any one girl though.

Just found a good picture I took of her on our way out of town. . .this will be my picture of the day -- ha!

Learning Classroom

This is what I think a successful day in the classroom looks like. . .somewhere that I felt students learning. . .where I could see their engagement.  After this post the other day, I really wanted to share what energizes me and keeps me excited about my profession :)
Even though they are working individually in this photo I like that they are all doing their "own thing" at their own pace.  Not one is slouched back or staring aimlessly into space.  They are actively learning which, to me, is the highest pinnacle I can reach in the classroom!  It is differentiated, meaning each student is working on an assignment at their level.  This is a large class -- 30 students -- so I'm extremely pleased that this particular assignment appealed to all of them.  It always helps "discovery instruction" (which is what I was doing on this day) when we have access to the laptop cart.  We only have one for the entire school (800+ students) and only ~20 of them work with consiste…

POTD 01.25.13

And they completed the challenge!!!  Death at Dawn is a local conditioning challenge led by some dedicated community leaders twice a year for two weeks.  If you show up for 9/10 days at 5:30 a.m. and complete the hour workout every day they present you with a t-shirt at the end.  This year they listed all the names of the participants on the back :)

There were some outstanding accomplishments for these boys this time. . .1) they did all 10 days, whereas in the past they usually take that one grace day; 2) it was freezing and/or wet most days; 3) Thomas had MLK (no school) day, a 2-hr delay one day and today school was completely called off!  Three days his classmates got to sleep in that he dragged himself to the local university's track.  He had a couple buddies doing it with him as well as an 8th grade teacher at our school.  Most days Tom dropped one of Thomas's friends off, then these two went to the Y to shower and I would pick Thomas up there before school.  Today I met …

POTD 01.24.13

Today was Miss Margaret's turn to enter the 4-H poster contest.  Although she didn't win first place, she did place and seemed happy for the classmate that did win.

POTD 01.22.13

I want to remember this.  It isn't the greatest picture of the memory, but worth bragging about.  Frederick had come into my room after school beside himself trying to write a 5-paragraph persuasive paper for his ELA teacher (he's in 4th grade).  I had tried and tried to help him fill out his graphic organizer, but to no avail. . .I just wasn't "good enough" for him.  Thomas had been out at soccer practice and Margaret was already at cheer practice.  When Thomas came in he wondered what was wrong with Frederick.  As soon as Frederick told him the "problem" of his paper Thomas pulled up a desk, got out a piece of paper, and started helping him write it.  He drew a graphic organizer for him (saying, "I do this all the time, like every day", and telling him that the graphic organizer his teacher provides is "much easier" then the one Frederick's teacher had given him -- ha!) and helped Frederick to get all of his ideas together.  I…

POTD 01.21.13

I went into school for almost 5 hours today.  I know it was MLK day and a day off, but I had a lot of "general" stuff that needed to be done without students in the room -- ha!  And I forgot to take any pictures.  It was a beautiful and quiet winter day.  I decided to take random pictures on the way home. . .a drive we make every day of the week. . .sometimes more then once -- ha!

 The highway from the city I teach in to the town I live in -- still very rural along this state highway.

 When we have flooding conditions the creek under this bridge will cover the road.

Pulling into our driveway and garage -- home sweet home :)  I really like where we live.

POTD 01.20.13

This Picture of the Day is compliments of Tom.  Thomas had just gone to bed, readying himself for a 5 a.m. wake-up call for Death at Dawn tomorrow morning (even though it's a day off school!).  I was typing a test and Tom saw these three in the living room and came and got the camera for the Picture of the Day.  Yea for family members who encourage and participate in this venture :)  Looks like they were playing Lego Harry Potter?

And gosh, I guess it's time to get the Goodwill stuff off to Goodwill and the box at the bottom of the stairs UP the stairs :)

~ Jenni

POTD 01.19.13

Saturday morning, it looks like about 8:18 according to the clock. . .I took this picture as I was sitting at the computer, catching up on the week in pictures :)  THE SUNLIGHT WAS AWESOME TO BEHOLD!  We had lots and lots of grey days last week so this was heaven.  Frederick was finishing up Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2, which we had just checked out of the library last night.  Tom is busy working on U12 girls soccer stuff -- his all-consuming hobby.  He's a great team manager!  The older two were still sleeping. . .taking advantage of no morning activities.  You can see Marie's village still set up in the left corner of the photograph -- when I suggested we take it town last week she said, "but I wanted to keep it up until March!".  O.K., March it is.

Thursday before-and-after

Tom & I have decided that Snow Days will be "tackle a big project" days.  To be fair, we were probably an hour into this mess but still, it *was* a mess.  Everything on the floor had been pulled out from under his bed or was genuinely piled under his desk like that.  Thomas's side of the room was a little better. . .and by this point he had most gotten his area cleaned up an organized.  (And Dad, if you're reading this, that is your shirt hanging on the door. . .guess you left it awhile back but Thomas keeps forgetting to give it to you so we hung it on the outside of the door to remember -- ha!)
Hours later we had this:
This truly was a group effort -- Marie helped Frederick go through all of his drawers. . .we complied a basket of laundry and three Goodwill bags as well as clothes from Thomas that are too small for him and too big for his brother right now.  I think we hauled out 3-4 bags of garbage??? 


Marie was invited to a birthday party Friday night but her dad, the soccer manager, said "no, you have soccer practice".  Normally we wouldn't be so hard on a 12-yr-old but she has decided to make soccer the center of her life and we're willing to support that -- as long as it comes first. When I called the mom to tell her she asked when practice was over and I replied that it would probably be about 9 p.m.  She then suggested we meet up with the party at a local donut shop at 9:30 -- yea!  So here is Marie, with birthday girl Z.  And that is a rare, special smile on Marie's face :) 
(See the clock in the background?  The place was PACKED.)

01.17.13 - Snow Day

This was our "snow day", about 3 p.m.  No complaints however -- it was great to have a surprise day off :)  It was sleeting at 7 a.m. but, well, the storm just skipped us.  It hit a major city 4 hrs to our west, the major cities to our south, and the major city 100 miles east of us. . .I should have snapped a picture of the radar!

POTD 01.16.12

I promise they wear clean underwear and different t-shirts every day. . .this just seems to be their "look" right now.  I had forgotten about a picture of the day until we were at Chick-fil-A after church Wednesday night.  I thought this was an appropriate picture, documenting how they were dressed. . .when we left the restaurant a little after 8 there was a text message on my phone -- no school Thursday, due to a Winter Storm Watch going into effect at 6 a.m. the next morning.  Sigh.  Such is life in the midsouth :)  And, to be fair, it most likely *was* below freezing outside.

POTD 01.15.13 - Game Night

I really like my new camera -- it gives me a date AND time stamp.  It's especially nice when I need to go back and catch up my Picture of the Day :)  This was taken Tuesday night, at 7:07.  Tom had left to pick Margaret up at cheer and I got the other kiddos to sit down and play some games with me.  This is my current favorite, Monopoly Deal.  And then, to my surprise, they wanted to play another game!
This is Wits and Wagers. . .a game Frederick got for his birthday.  I forgot how fun this one is too!  Someone asks a very random question and everyone has to guess the answer then place "bets" on the one you think is correct.  Some examples:  "How many ribs are in the human body?", "On average, how many whiskers does a cat have on their muzzle?", "In what year was Facebook founded", and "What percent of men have some form of color blindness".  Here we all are "betting" on an answer.

(I have no idea what the question was)

POTD 01.14.13

I'm not exactly sure what it was about this sight that caused me to grab my phone and take picture. . .

We were at Wal-mart Monday I had sent Thomas and Marie to get crackers or something and it's just how they walked away -- two tall, confident, blond, brother-and-sister in their ever-present black jackets.  (Marie has traded in her white hoodie sweatshirt -- for now -- for a black warm-up jacket Grandma Wolf gave her for Christmas.)  It jerked at my heart somehow, in a good way.  That this is them.  This is my LIFE.  It's "simple" and I love it.

And then another shot of all four, three gathered at the frozen foods. . .trying to decide on something :)
 Yep, it's January and yep, those are short pants on three of them.  And yep, it does get below freezing every night.  It's a pick-your-battles thing and I choose not to fight in this one.


Snapshot of LIFE

This is a "typical" view of our kitchen.  Of our life.  Every single thing in this picture tells a story, freezes a moment of time for me. . .thankfulness beyond measure.

The girls and I had a little time on Saturday. . .Marie had just gotten home from 2+ hours of soccer conditioning and taken a shower.  Margaret was dressed in her typical "I just throw things together and it works" fashion.  They had both just had a lunch date with Tom at IHOP.  Thomas was at soccer practice and Frederick was running errands with Tom.

Marie was making a banana cake with bananas that were getting too ripe.  She is a good little baker!  She even improvised a little bit and added some chocolate chips :)  When the cake cooled she and I made caramel icing for it. . .we shared the cake with friends Saturday night and Sunday she made another one!  She said that maybe next time she made one I could take pictures and could blog about it :)

Margaret was helping me with the stuffed shells. …

POTD 01.13.13

Margaret is so incredibly strong!  I am always in awe of her gymnast abilities.  Admittedly, this picture was a last-minute "I didn't get a picture of the day today!" moment about 6 p.m. tonight :) 

Tomorrow morning Tom and Thomas will be at TTU at 5:30 a.m. for the winter/spring Death at Dawn conditioning.  It's going to be raining and cold. . .Tom is an *awesome* dad to do this with our oldest!!!

POTD 01.12.13

Writing Christmas thank-you notes early Saturday morning.  I know, I know, two weeks late but I was waiting for the picture collages I ordered for everyone to come in first. . .so, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, Christmas memories are in the mail!
And I'm noticing that these pictures give a nice view of the table I'm so proud of.  Still haven't decided/begun anything on the chairs but everyday I recognize/appreciate/admire the table.  It turned out so good!!!
(Click here to see what I started with)

POTD 01.11.13

Not a very exciting picture for Friday.  But everyday isn't exciting I guess.  This was Tom's first parent meeting with Marie's newly-formed U12 soccer team.  He has volunteered to be the team manager for the team that our local club has been able to pull together. 
Jake, one of Marie's coaches, is introducing himself here.  He was the coach that led Frederick and Marie's U12 team to victory at a Kohl's Cup tournament last fall.  Tom had help in this organizational meeting from the U14 team mgr (on his left) as well as the ladies behind the table who are not new to the organizational aspects of managing a team.  We have two great coaches and a lot of talent on this team -- so excited for the season to begin!!

This strange venue is an old airplane hanger.  Our drive in and parking for the outdoor fields is an old runway :)  This picture was taken in the weight area inside and behind some plywood walls the kids practice soccer and lacrosse.  It is not air-tight b…

POTD 01.10.13

Tom took a picture of Frederick this morning with his 4-H poster.  He was really proud of it. . .he worked hard on it -- we even made a trip to Wal-Mart after church last night so he could buy the "right" stickers :)
After school he came into my room, really excited.  He said, "Guess what Mom?!?".  I guessed, "You brought your reading grade up to an A."  (The kids got their semester report cards today.)  He seemed a little disappointed. . .
"No," he said, "but I got first place in the poster contest and now it's going to the county!".  Yea!!!!  Good for him :)
The reading grade is no big deal. . .it's just the one grade -- 1% -- keeping him from straight-A's.

~ Jenni

POTD 01.09.13

Just for fun I had Thomas take a picture of Tom and me for my picture of the day today :)  
Yes, the facial hair is icky.  But the kids are having fun with it.  I still kiss him.

POTD 01.08.13

I took some of my 7th grade boys down to the football field to play soccer during recess on Tuesday.  With my phone camera I was trying to capture the brightness and beauty of this day in January. . .my guess is that it was close to 50 degrees!!!  If this is going to be January weather then I'll take it :)

Funny side note. . .Tuesday was also the first soccer practice of the season and the 7th grade boys were so excited!!  They know how much I love it too and piled all of their junk in my room that day. . .backpacks, balls. . .their lockers hardly hold all of their books.  It's fun to be "the" teacher that they share their excitement with :)  Luckily I had cleaned out a lot of stuff from my room over break so I had the perfect corner to stow everything -- yea!

POTD 01.07.13

I got a new camera today!  Totally a random thing. . .it's my birthday present, a month and two days early :)  Tom took a few pictures and I had chosen two others to use in this post but ruined them both in editing. . .ugh.  So this one is non-edited -- still pretty good though, huh?  The little kids and I were reading stories together -- it's been a really long time since we've done that.

Here's another picture that was somehow half-way lost in the editing phase. . .
Anyway, this camera is small enough to keep with me so *hopefully* I will remember to use it more often :)


POTD 01.06.13

Terrible picture today. . .I was taking it with my phone and didn't notice how bad it was until I loaded it.  Oh well.  We went to see Parental Guidance after church and lunch this afternoon.  And the kids (and I!) still went through more then one bucket of popcorn :)  It's a great deal -- and a great gift from Grandma Wolf this Christmas.  She bought them the refillable popcorn bucket that only costs $3.50 to fill each time we go to the concession stand and then a gift certificate each so they can buy any junk they want -- those drinks that the girls are holding are $6/ea!  Frederick and Marie were smart today -- they decided to share one and the cost too. . .and our theater refills large drinks for free -- isn't that great?

Super movie too. . .I usually fall asleep during some part of a movie but not today.  And I wasn't expecting it to be good so that was a bonus!

~ Jenni