Saturday, 30 November 2013


Exercise every day. Good goal.

That's all fine and dandy to say when you have a week off of school. So far it hasn't happened.

So, I'm a little leery to join in the nerdlution.
And I'm really eager to join the nerdlution.

What's the nerdlution? I heard about it on Twitter. I read about here and here and here and here and here.

Basically, it's a bunch of people committing to a new habit for 50 days - from today until Jan 20th.

I can't help it. I'm in. There is a long list of things I should do. I'm trying to keep it simple. For the next 50 days I will:

1. Spend time on my SS lesson each day - even if it's just 10 minutes. I will think about it and work on it a little every day.
2. Read for at least 30 minutes a day.
3. Plan something every school day to share my love of books and reading with my class.

I'd like to put exercise in there steps.

...and I'll blog about it. Here goes!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Strengthening My Muscles

If you are a runner, you will know what I am talking about. It's that moment when you realize you could probably run forever. Something clicks and you just go and go and go. I'm working on that. I've been going to the gym this week and I have been alternating running and walking, and I feel like it is a great move. It feels great. I feel more limber. My lungs feel strong. I think I just might become a runner!

Reading is like that for me too. Sometimes I just have time for little snippets of reading here and there. Life gets too busy and I just don't have time for long stretches of reading. Like not exercising, gradually your muscles start to weaken and pretty soon starting up again is really really hard.

This week I have also been doing lots of reading. Something has clicked and I have my reading muscles back. I can read for hours! A books day is reasonable...well, the right book, anyway.

....and it feels so good!!!

You can read about the books I've been enjoying on my book blog.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance Day

Peirce spent this morning with his scout troop at a Remembrance Day service at the cenotaph. Pretty cold, but a wonderful experience.

We will remember.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Fall Invitational

Today I woke up at my usual 4:30 am. I decided to get up and get ready for the day since we needed groceries and Superstore opens at 6:00 am (although, I discovered, it's difficult to shop at 6:00 am because they have boxes and junk strewn all over the place! ....customer awareness really isn't their forte). However, it is nice to be able to zip around the store with no one else there. Heck, there isn't even anyone really paying attention to the self-check out tills (not that that's a good thing!)

Anyway, we grabbed some things and were off for a 7:30 am warm up at Foothills Pool. Jill swam in the morning and Peirce swam in the afternoon. I was shadowing as the Chief Finishing Judge for the entire day (translation....sit on a hard bench all day long and review finish times....yawn!)

Jill's highlights:

3 seconds off 100 breast
Lovely tea party or something while doing 200 IM (translation: added time)
Same time for 100 back
Relay team totally dominated!

Peirce's highlights:

7 seconds off 100 breast
Good entertainment for 200 IM (did 75 of fly and 25 of back....oops! DQ!)
Same time for 50 free
Took off 50 seconds on 400 free
Relay team totally dominated!

All in all it was a good day.

....not such a great day for my sore tailbone though. Time to lay down and read, I'd say!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Lawrence Hill, Author Visits Calgary

Last year, in book club, we read The Book of Negroes. It is an amazing story. Check out my blog post about it.

This year for OBOC (that's nerdy reading people lingo for One Book One Calgary) chose The Book of Negroes for their book. Tonight they had a lecture by the author and I got to go! Even better, I went with a friend! It was so interesting to listen to him. I'm always fascinated by authors. I find them to be curiously smart and great with language.

"I wrote the book to remind us of our own history...and to celebrate the resilience of the human spirit." ~Lawrence Hill

"Blood fills our imagination just as surely as it fills our veins" ~Lawrence Hill

They even had a cool band start off the night:

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Feels Like Christmas!

Today after school it felt like Christmas. All the kids left quickly. I let them do their homework in class so they wouldn't have any homeork. All the teachers were giddy. Why?! It's Fall Break!!

Fall break?! What a concept!

We went back a week earlier than usual in August and so we now get a week off in November. Apparently November is the month with the highest absenteeism amongst students and teachers.

I'm quite excited. Not quite sure what I will do this week. I do have some report cards to finish. I've got lots of work to do around the house. I've got lots of books to read. And I want to do lots of exercise. I'm sure the week will go by quickly!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Sometimes School Stinks

I remember many a conversation when my husband and I became parents. We had no idea poo would be such a big part of parenting.

I had no idea it would be such a big part of teaching either.

Well, it's not always poo. Sometimes it's other bodily functions.

Pee: Kids pee their pants. More often than you want to know. Even in Gr. 3.

Poo: Sometimes kids just want to keep playing at recess, so they don't go to the bathroom soon enough. Sometimes that really backfires on them (no pun intended).

Sometimes the teacher has to help them with their messed up pants. Sometimes the poo falls out 'plop' right on the  floor. True story. Luckily that wasn't me!

Sometimes there are mystery poos. A few weeks ago one of my colleagues said she found a piece of poo in her room. No one would own up to it. It was a mystery poo that somehow got out of someone's pants.

Barf: A couple years ago one of my students arrived at school and his back pack was full of barf. We never figured out who did it. No one went home sick that day. No one had barf breath (I checked). It was mystery barf...and one messed up backpack. And the books. Oh the books!!

Then there are rotten lunches. I had a kid who brought his lunch to school every day in a grocery store bag. I guess his parents didn't bother checking to see what he ate. Sometimes he didn't drink the milk that got handed out to him. He just put it in his backpack - until one fateful day when all the food began to rot and stink to high heaven. We thought it was poo. It took a long time and a series of eliminations (Is it the snow pants? Maybe someone fell in poo without knowing....take out all the snow pants. Nope. Is it a jacket? Maybe it got on a jacket. Take out all the jackets. Nope. Room still smells like poo. Is it a back pack? Examine all the back packs. Nothing....until we come across it up and holy hell!! There it was)

These are the things they never tell you when you're in school to be a teacher.

Good thing. I might not have bought into the idea.

Yup. It's been a rough week.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Choose Kind!

Today, for me, is Choose Kind Day. It's a saying, from a great book I read, called Wonder.

When I was pregnant with Destiny I felt like she was a gentle little girl. I still feel strongly that she was very kind. After she was born, I felt a strong desire to be a little kinder, especially to children. I have decided that today is my own official Choose Kind day, in remembrance of her.

I'm so blessed to have people who remember her birthday every year. She would have been six years old this year. Maybe she would have been coming to school with me and been in kindergarten or grade one this year. Imagine how different life would be if we had a six year old in our family!

I also got flowers from my cousin. I was doing fine until she showed up to tell me she loves me!! Lots of tears. They're grateful tears though.

I remember, when she was first born, how hard it was to talk about her. I couldn't do it without crying. People said it would get easier with time. I couldn't imagine it ever getting easier - but it really does. I can even accept now that maybe it all happened for a good reason. She brought something into our fmaily that couldn't have happened any other way.  I do feel blessed for having gone through the experience.

We love you Destiny. You will always be real to me.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.
“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.
The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him.
  The Velveteen Rabbit (emphasis my own)

This passage really touches me because some people are really uncomfortable talking about the whole Destiny story. They aren't sure what to say when it comes to a baby that is dead. I'm okay talking about it, but I try not to make other people feel uncomfortable. As ugly as the whole situation is, it is beautiful to me.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Bottle Drive

We had a bottle drive today. Unfortunately the snow didn't arrive soon enough to cancel it ahead of time. It all came down during the bottle drive though!

Photo: Beauuutiful day for a bottle drive!

....these kids have fun no matter what they're doing!