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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

News...From Room 5

So, I have had some requests about what my classroom looks like. I have included a few pictures of what has been done so far. I still have some more work to do. But, if you had seen what I started out with, this is a vast improvement. I have Room 5 in our school. It is a large room that faces towards southwest washington medical center. Lots of windows and open space.

This is a play area. I am currently in process of organizing the books into categories. I bought the car rug at IKEA for 14.99.

This is a work space. I have most of the items I need in the shelves to work on IEP goals and collect data.

This is a work in progress. The tree is going to change with the seasons. And all our current books for the months theme are going to be in the book display cases in front of the tree. The rug area is "circle" area. It is not complete, but you get the general idea.

This is looking toward the back of the classroom. The tables that have chairs stacked are the ones the kids eat and do table and art projects at. There is a housekeeping area that you cannot see and sensory tables. This is just a basic idea of how my class is looking. I will have to post more pictures when I am finished.

Going to the Lodge...Going to the Lodge...

So this past week we took our family "staycation" to Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound, Washington. It was great it was an indoor water park because it rained the entire time we were gone. I couldn't believe how massive the lodge really was.

This is daddy with the kiddos eating in the water park.

My silly girl with her brothers goggles. Grace was fearless when it came to the water. She even went down the water slides with us and loved the wave pool.

Luke and Grace had their own beds in a cabin inside of our room. It was called a "Kid Cabin". The walls inside the room were painted and they had their own TV.

This is Grace 2 minutes after we went into our room. You will notice that she is still wearing her raincoat. She crawled right in "her" bed and covered herself up. You can see some of the mural work up above her.

Me and Mark. Our talented son took our picture.

Me and Gracie.

It was a nice time. The kids had an absolute blast. It is definitely designed for the child. It is not a place to go as a couple (it would frustrate you).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

2031 Polk Street

I just spent a week in new educator's training, and it was a really great time. I don't know if it was all of the reflection on learning and cultural diversity that made me begin reminiscing about my own cultural experiences, or if it is just that I miss San Fran, but I began thinking about ways other cultures have helped shape me into the person I am today. I am proud of the fact that my parents tried very hard to give my brother and I a "global view". We were exposed to many different people and cultures. The first memories I have of different cultures is of my all time favorite Chinese/Hunan/Mandarin restaurant "Tai Chi".

(Here it is in the early 1980's. This is the Tai Chi that I remember.)
My parents would take David and I, and we would, if we were privileged enough, get to sit with the adults at the largest round table I could remember. When we entered the little establishment, we would wind back past the main part of the tiny restaurant, past the kitchen into the back of what was probably a house at one point. There would be the table. Tai Chi also introduced me to what a "lazy susan" was. I was fascinated by the little wooden disk, that would turn and spin. The first course to be presented from the little waiters was the "sizzling rice soup." It is the one dish that I was always afraid would injure someone at the table. The soup would be presented and everyone would "ooh and ahhh". Then the Asian men would dish everyone a bowl of the rich salty soup with the sizzling rice, which would only be floating in the dish at this point. The best part was the huge jumbo shrimp that bobbed up and down in the broth. About the time the seconds had been served on the soup, the adults would be presented with dishes and dishes of the best Chinese food in the world. My favorite dish was "shrimp with snow peas." It wasn't a spicy dish, but I was never afraid of the spicy dishes. I always felt a little honored when my dad would offer me a piece or two of his coveted general tso's chicken. Even though the first time it burned the inside of my mouth, there was something about the chicken that keeps you wanting one more bite.
My brother and I used chopsticks for the first time at Tai Chi. And they weren't the wooden kind. They had these bright red plastic chopsticks that came in a cloth napkin neatly wrapped. They had little gold Chinese symbols that etched the top of the chopsticks. Dinners lasted for hours at Tai Chi and we never got bored. It was even an adventure to the use the restroom. We tried to avoid it, but with a long trip back to Fremont, California one would have to use the restroom atleat once.
My mom and I ate at Tai Chi in 1995, and even flew home general tso's chicken for my dad, that is how wonderful this restaurant is.
(This is how Tai Chi looks today.)
I guess I am homesick for San Francisco today. The Phantom of the Opera is playing at the Keller in Portland this month. I am reminded of the first time I ever saw the Phantom. It was in San Fran with my concert choir. We experienced the production in a venue that was built just for the Phantom. I was so moved by that performance. I remember at the end of the show when the Phantom disappears and all that is left is the mask. I tried to hold back my emotions, but I was so moved. After hearing my mom and my friend describe this years Phantom, I decided that I must see it again. I bought myself a ticket for Tuesday night. It will be my 3rd time seeing it. I can't wait.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

We Start Them Young...

Well, Luke had his first official day of riding motorbikes. Luke's cousin Ethan was kind enough to share his quad with him. Although, I am absolutely certain that we will be the proud owner of yet another motorbike soon. I can't believe how absolutely adorable he looks. And the kills me :)
Luke had an awesome day and loved telling me all about it when I got home from training.

Speaking of training, I have been at a new educators teacher training this week for Vancouver Public Schools. I didn't really know what to expect, but WOW!!! I have only ever been to an orientation for the Christian Schools, so I had no frame of reference. Not only are we getting paid for attending, they have been giving us free stuff and prizes and catered lunches. I can't wait until Thursday because Beaches is catering. Yeah! We have been given so much information and breakout trainings. It has been a great experience. Today, I picked up the keys to my room and met with the new building principal. I started moving furniture around and making it my own. It is really awesome. Vancouver Public Schools does a great job of taking care of their teachers. The new superintendent this year really believes strongly in early childhood education. He and his wife have adopted two children. A little girl from China and a baby boy from the Congo. I really believe in their (I guess it is mine now too) mission statement and the direction for the district. I am really excited about this upcoming school year.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vacation Bible School

Our church had their annual "Vacation Bible School" this week. My dear, wonderful husband signed me up to help with the preschool kids. I thought "help, how hard can that be?" Well, apparently I was the director of the preschool which meant I got to be in charge of everything relating to preschool!!!! How happy am I? So here is a picture of my crew in all of their glory. All 22 of them.The theme for this year was "Avalanche Ranch". It was a cute western theme. They did a great job on the sets.

Since daddy signed mommy up without asking, mommy signed daddy up without asking. Daddy was a crew leader for Luke's group. Of course daddy really enjoyed his job. While mommy wished that she had daddy's job. I tried to get daddy to trade. No such luck!

Grace in all of her glory and attitude. She is just naughty sometimes. I told her I wanted to get a picture with her next to her friends. She told me, "I not look at you." So this is what I got. This has been a great practice for preschool this fall. God bless Grace's teacher!

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