Thursday, April 29, 2010

Check the Backpack!

Working in a transitional kindergarten class brings many joys, frustrations, and surprises!  These children come in to our classroom at the beginning of the school year as "babies", and leave at the end, not just 9 months older, but advanced in leaps and bounds; academically,  emotionally and socially.  It gives us teachers a real sense of accomplishment.

Routine is an important part of the day for these children.  It starts with disembarking from the bus, entering the classroom and hanging up backpacks and coats.  The teachers then check each back pack to see if the child has brought homework, signed notes, or anything else needed for school.

We have found some interesting things in backpacks. 
Here are just a few of the items we've discovered during our searches:

Prescription pills (not sure of the street value)
K-Y Jelly
Week-old hard-boiled Easter egg (We sniffed that one out!)
Weapons (usually toys)
I'm sure parents are horrified when they discover what their child has brought to school!

We always want the parents to check for important papers when their child comes home from school.  It would be a good idea for them to check backpacks BEFORE the children leave for school!

I'm grateful I don't work in a secondary school and have to check backpacks.  I suspect I'd find the same types of contraband but instead of coming from the parent's drawers, medicine cabinet, and toy box, it would be the student's own stash! 

What's in your backpack?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Birthday Greeting!

Tonight I'm reflecting on the past 22 years.  Jordan, aka Jo-Man, aka Jo-Jo, turned 22 today.   We have a video of his birth.  It was discreetly done, with no body parts revealed, except for Jordan's when the doc held him up for me to see my handsome son for the first time!

I recall when I was 7 months pregnant with him.  I was at my 8-year-old's wrestling match, when a woman, whose son was also wrestling, commented on my pregnancy.  She asked if it was my second.  I told her it was my seventh!  With disgust written on her face and in her voice she boldly stated, "SHAME ON YOU!"  Shocked I asked, "why do you say that?"  She stated again, "Shame on You!!  How can you take care of so many kids?"  As I turned to leave, I simply said, "Fine, thanks!"

With 4 older sisters and 2 older brothers, Jordan had many opportunities to be spoiled or abused,  depending on who he was dealing with!  The first time his 16-year-old sister went on a date, Jordan (then 3) stood at the front room window, and said in a loud sing-song voice, "You gots a lovely boyfriend!" 

He's grown up somewhat since then. 
He returned in August from serving an LDS mission to South Africa.

He joined the Army Reserves right after high school.

Going to school, working, being Uncle Jo-Jo to 10 nieces and nephews, and socializing keeps him busy.

There's no shame bringing Jordan into this world. The world needs more men like him!

Happy Birthday, Jo-Man! We love you!
(I hope he shares those peanut M&Ms)

Monday, April 26, 2010

You must first dial the area code...

Is everybody used to adding the area code to our phone numbers? 

When we first switched over, I would forget to add the area code then I'd have to dial the phone number twice to reach my party.  (Don't you love the word party?  Do you remember the party lines?)  At first it was a nuisance, but now it's just part of life.  No biggee.  Dialing 10 numbers to get the person next door is OK now.

The other day I was in a cleaning frenzy.  The junk treasure drawer in my dresser was calling my name.  I pulled the drawer out, and proceeded to remove the contents. 

It was then I saw this fan.

This is a cardboard, foldable fan that belonged to my sweet grandmother.  I know it was hers because she put her name on the back.  (She probably didn't want some greedy granddaughter taking it!) 

I turned the fan over and saw this.


Check out the phone number!  There must not have been many people in Ogden at that time (whatever that time was!) 

Knowing what they had to work with, I realize that we can "dial" our 10 digit phone numbers faster than they could dial their 4! 
Fair trade?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A New Honda

We take care of a widow's yard in the neighborhood.  Last Saturday my hubs and son went to mow and trim her lawn. 

Ten minutes later my husband stood at the front door and announced, "The lawn mower isn't working." 

"Oh, OK", I said and continued with my vacuuming thinking that was the end of the conversation and that he was going to clean the spark plugs, or change the oil, or work some kind of magic on our 20 year old mower so it would run. 

I looked up and he was still standing at the door, looking at me. 
"What?" I asked.  He just stood there. 
Weird, I thought. 
 Then it dawned on me. 
 "Are you wanting permission to go buy a new mower?" 
Before he could answer I said, "Go ahead!", knowing that he'd go with or without permission. 
He and Jordan left.  I thought I sensed a smirk on their faces. 
An hour later, they returned with a new Honda mower.

The hubs took it out of the truck, tightened the handle, wondered to himself if he should read the instructions, shrugged, then started it up! 
It sounded like a champ. 
At that point, I saw our old mower at the side of the driveway. I primed it, pulled the rope and it too started right up! 
Jordan let out a laugh, Hubby stood there looking surprised. 
Jordan said, "Oh boy, we're in trouble now!" 

Unlike our old mower, the new mower is self propelled, mulches and starts on the first pull.

(google image only because there was no one to take the picture today!)

Thanks, honey!  You've made my job much easier!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Feisty Fiesta - A Course in Self Defense

We had a Relief Society activity on Thursday called the Feisty Fiesta.  Feisty because we learned how to protect ourselves from attackers and Fiesta because we had nachos after our workout!
Richard and Jason Davis, who have  black belts in karate and  each run their own martial arts studio, were the instructors for the fun-filled, informative, exhausting, activity!

There are 5 Ts to be aware of:
1. Target - Someone could be watching our activity to see if we do the same thing day after day.  Others may just watch us for a minute to see if we're vulnerable.  We need to be aware of our surroundings, look confident, don't be distracted and change up our routine once in a while.

2. Test - That person may walk past us to see what we do, or may ask us a question to see how we respond.  Will we act weak and look away or will we look him in the eye to let him know we could identify him if necessary?

3. Threaten - If he comes toward us in a way that we feel threatened or feel he's in our space,  we need to put our hands up, with palms out, just below our face, take a bold step forward, and yell, "STOP!"  That breaks his cycle and he may turn and leave.

4. Touch - If, after yelling, "STOP", he only hesitates then proceeds to grab you, there are some things to remember:
♦Thumbs are weak - you can get out of his grip by pulling your arm either up or down depending on where his thumbs are located on your arm.
♦Circles work - If he grabs your shirt, step away from him at the same time bring your arm into a full circle to break his grip.
♦Don't just scream, but scream "FIRE" or something that would get the attention of others.
I found this video to show "thumbs are weak".  This is kind of wimpy because we were having to break out of both of the attacker's hands locked on our arm.  But you'll get the idea.

5.  Take-off - If he tries to take you with him, do everything in your power to get away. If he takes you away from the area, your chances of survival are slim.

We all practiced the techniques on each other.  We were grabbing, getting out of holds, kicking, and punching.  I felt like Jillian as I stood and held the pads on my hands while my partner punched the pads as hard as she could.  I have a new respect for Jillian! Today I feel like I've been run over by a truck! (I need some Ibuprofen!)

We did have a good time but we were dealing with a very serious subject.  We had 2 hours of instruction.  What we learned only scratches the surface and what little I have written here only scratches the surface of the surface! We can't be paranoid but we do need to be cautious and smart. 

The best part of this activity was being able to come home and try it out on my manly son and husband!  It really works! 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Carrot, Coconut, Curry Cookies

Oh the weather outside is frightful...We've had some wild spring weather yesterday and today.  Thunder storms, hail, sheets of rain and today, snow!  It's exciting because we know that April showers bring May flowers.   (Or so they say)

Yesterday, because it was so dark and dreary, I decided that making cookies would be a good activity.  It's also a good activity when the sun is shining.  
A few weeks ago, I went to My Dough Girl to check out their cookies!  Each cookie has a name; Penelope, Judy, Betty, Audrey, etc. They were mouthwateringly delicious!  We were given samples and one that I tried was the flavor of the month - BillieAnn.  This is a carrot, coconut, curry cookie with coconut frosting!   Curry?  I was a little reluctant to try it at first, OK, very little.  So what if it tastes like Indian food?  It looked delicious!  And it was!  This recipe is my version of the BillieAnn.  You'll want to try it but you'll also want to check out My Dough Girl and try the real thing!  Your taste buds will thank you!

Carrot, Coconut, Curry Cookies
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup cooked, mashed carrots
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. curry powder (I wasn't very brave)
3 cups flour
1/2 cup coconut

Blend softened butter and cooked carrots together.  My carrots were still warm.  Cream sugars into butter and carrots.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  
Stir in coconut.  On a greased cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded tablespoons. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Frost with your favorite icing.  I didn't have powdered sugar so I made this recipe from The Pioneer Woman.  It's amazing!!  Go there to get the tutorial.  Here's the recipe.

That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had
1 cup milk
5 Tablespoons flour
Pour milk into a sauce pan.  Add flour and stir until blended. After adding the flour, whisk it together until combined, then place the saucepan over medium heat. Whisk it as it heats up and thickens, and stop when the mixture is very thick.  
Add 1 tsp. vanilla.  Let cool completely.

Beat together until smooth and creamy:
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
Add milk and flour mixture and mix until smooth. 
Spread on your cookies.  You could add some coconut flavoring to the frosting.
Absolutely delicious!

The curry adds a full bodied flavor to the cookies.  I didn't dare put too much in and I feel like the 1/4 tsp. was just enough.  But you can add more.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tulip Festival

Last night we went to Thanksgiving Point with my daughter and her family to see the gorgeous tulips!   It's a beautiful place with rolling hills, grass, flowers, fountains, pond, waterfall and wildlife!  The tulips are blossoming at 40% so there's still time to enjoy. I had a hard time choosing what pictures I wanted to post.

The hyacinths and daffodils are plentiful and beautiful!

An interesting tulip.

Kels got a ring pop from Jeanette.

  Can you guess the color?

A favorite activity on this hill is rolling down and down and down.  I felt foolish but it was sure fun! ;D

The waterfall was surprising!  I didnt expect to see such a cascade as this! 

The pond is stocked with Coy Fish of vibrant colors.

  This owl is nesting near the waterfall.

The Divine Miss Em posing under the flowerless arbor.

Baby Aly having a little refreshment during our visit.

 Mr. Cy stopped running long enough to pose for a picture.

I told Kels to "work it" and this was one of her poses by the fountain.

Jordan and Chelsey being shown the way out by Kels.

We had an enjoyable expedition!  If you're in the Lehi area, check it out!  The cost is $10.00 a person unless you're with a member, then it's half price.  We were with members. If you feel that's too costly, you can come to my house.  I have 5 clumps of tulips in my yard, a cat and a hose.  I'll charge only $3.00. 

Sidenote: I have a new Sony Cybershot camera!   Can you tell a difference?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Taking Our Callings Seriously

Just a little background before I tell you the story.  I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon).  In our church the members serve in various postions to help the ward unit (parish) function.  These are "callings" because we are called by the Bishop (priest, minister) to serve.  We address each other as Brother and Sister.

Many years ago, Brother L, who is mentally handicapped but very active in the ward, was given a calling to take care of the hymn books.  It was a low-key, simple calling that the Bishop felt he could do.
Brother L was to make sure the hymbooks were back in the holders on the back of the benches at the end of the meetings. 
He went the extra mile. 
The next week was Fast and Testimony meeting, where the members of the congregation stand and bear testimony of Christ.  Brother L stood and chastized the members of the ward for leaving their hymn books on the benches and not taking care of them.  The next week there were notes on the inside cover of the hymn books.  The note read:

Put the hymn book away
Do not let your children play with the hymn book
Do not write in the hymn book
Do not bend the pages of the hymn book

On the back cover was a note with rules for the rules.  It read:

The members of the ward must not have given heed to the RULES because Brother L wasn't satisfied with their care of the hymn books.  A few weeks later, during the middle of the week, he took a wheelbarrow to the church, loaded up all the hymn books, and took them to his home.

The next Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting.  Imagine the surprise to have all the hymn books gone!  Brother L stood and chastized the congregation again and told them he would get an attorney if necessary to make the people treat the hymn books with respect.  The Bishop stood and said, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all took our callings as seriously as Brother L.  Brother L, we promise that if you bring the hymnbooks back we will be very careful with them and follow the rules!" 
The books were returned and were never taken from the chapel again.  Either the members followed the rules or Brother L found out it was too expensive to hire an attorney!

I've told my bishop that I want that calling!  I have some great ideas!  He hasn't given it to me yet.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Glamour Carnival

Have you noticed all the glamour shots that have been circulating around the blog world?  Kristina, from Pulsipher Predilections is having a Glamour Shots Gone Wild! Blog Carnival! I want to join in - I've always loved a good carnival! 

You must realize that since my blog is "I Started Out as a Child", my glamour shot is when I was a child.

I'm the 5-year-old sitting in the wagon with a crown on my head.  Yeah, I started young looking glamourous and even had my own posse pull the wagon and attend to my every need.
If you want to see some REAL glamour shots, head on over to Kristina's Carnivalicious blog and check 'em out!  If you have one that you want to display, jump on the carnival ride and show off your glamour!  I know I'd love to see it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Feelin' Groovy

Have you noticed how music speaks to the soul?  When I hear music I am reminded of incidents, people, emotions, and era.

A few years ago, Jeanette and I were traveling the back roads to a store.  The song, "Feelin' Groovy" came on the radio. 
"Oh, I love this song!"  I said with fondness in my voice.  It brought the feelings of carefree school days to my remembrance.
We both began to sing, "Slow down, you're movin' too fast, ya got to make the mornin' last...."
Within seconds I noticed, in my rearview mirror, the colorful lights of the police car right behind me.

After a chat with the friendly police officer and a speeding ticket, "Feelin' Groovy" speaks to my soul a little differently now.  I really should have slowed down.
Does music evoke memories and emotions for you?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Looked Out the Window and What Did I See...

I've got you singin' in your head about now, right?  Well, you should be because I did see popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

This was taken last week.

This is the tree right now.

You may or may not remember my post about my apricot tree last summer.  It's bigger than our house and just as decorated!  I was begging people to take the golden orbs so I wouldn't have to feel guilty for tossing the excess.

Some people took me up on the offer but when they came to do some picking, they were sorry.  One lady lamented that she thought she'd only be picking for 15 minutes and just have to stand on the ground.  She brought her 14 year old son but he didn't want to climb the ladder because of high anxiety! 

google image
It doesn't bother me to get on that towering ladder to pick apricots for the partakers!  As long as the apricots are gone, I'll risk life and limb.
When the "pickers" leave with only 4 boxes filled with apricots, I beg them to take 4 more!  I fall on my knees to show my sincerity then realize i'm kneeling in 3 inches of apricot squash. 
My hubs has suggested spraying the tree to prevent the blossoms from turning into fruit.  That seems immoral.   If the fruit was curbed naturally, I'd feel better.  It's supposed to freeze tonight.  Maybe I won't have to worry about adding to my supply of apricot jam, apricot syrup, apricot nectar, dried apricots, apricot leather and apricot pictures! (I sound like Bubba from Forrest Gump!)
I'll let you know what happens.  If the frost doesn't rid the tree of its fruit, you better keep your doors locked, because I'll be doing a drop-and-run to those who live close to me!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Break...where did you go?

I knew on Friday, the moment we put our 12 kiddos on the bus, laden with Easter eggs, that  our week-long Spring Break would go by way too fast and I wouldn't be ready to return to work.  I knew it, and yet, here I am, wishing I had either done more or done less during that time.
Here are some things I didn't do during spring break:

I didn't set my alarm.  I woke up when I wanted! (It was heavenly)

Because of that, I didn't get to the gym as often as I should have.

google image
I had great plans for organizing and cleaning my house.  It didn't happen!

Enough of the negative, here are some things I DID do:

Got my eyebrows waxed and tinted (this is how they looked after the cute little student was finished!)

Met up with blogging friends! (posted about this earlier)

Watched General Conference.

Did some reading.  It's a great book.  I recommend it.

Shared some love at Jeanette's birthday dinner.

Went to Clark Planetarium

where we went to the moon!

Enjoyed the company of....the Corbanator!

And Dan! 

Did some baking.

Had some good family time.

Last and definitely not least, got to hold baby Aly after her blessing...Ahhhh!

It really has been a good Spring Break and I should be ready to go back to work.  Only 6 more Mondays after today!  I'll take a deep breath, put on my shoes and go!
Did any of you get a spring break?  Hope your past week was good.