Thursday, January 31, 2013

We have cabinets!!

Well, to be more exact, (since we have owned these cabinets since last January!!) we have INSTALLED Cabinets!!

Conrad's first Thursday off in a few weeks and he was doing this in the bathroom:

I probably should have dusted them off before snapping the photos, lol! 
I'm just excited they are in!

Conrad also put up the cabinets in the concessions area:

Now our basement went from looking like this last week:

to this today:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kezia turns 14

*gasp!* How can it be that Kezia is already 14 years old?! We had her birthday supper (take out Chinese) on Sunday because we knew with Kids club and a hockey game for Kaden it wouldn't be easy to  have it for supper tonight. It was a good thing too that we did do it on Sunday because her favourite Chinese place was closing for 2 weeks--starting on Monday. Tonight, after clubs and hockey, we had ice cream cake from Dairy Queen which is a family favourite around our house.

And what's that??!! 1 candle left? ;)

I am so thankful for Kezia and the 14 years I have been able to be her mother. She came into the world in her own unexpected way and it has never been the same. I'm excited to see her grow into an awesome young lady with firm values and a desire to grow in her relationship with God. I love how she knows what she wants and is not afraid to share it. I look forward to seeing all that she accomplishes as she sets her sights on the future. 

I love you, Kezia. I'm proud to be your mom. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teachers who choose to be online...

I read an interesting article today on our staff room table about the scrutiny teachers face by choosing to be on facebook (which I am) or when they blog (which I do). I thought it was a very interesting article and warned everyone about what they chose to do in their "private" lives could affect their "professional" lives. The article recounted instances where teachers have been disciplined or terminated by photos or comments made online.

I have tried to treat my blog and my facebook account like something I would not hesitate to share with anyone. I'm not generally one to post on the negative side of things (many of the disciplinary actions were because of gripes or complaints) but it did remind me that my blog and my facebook are public. Especially since I have made the decision over the last year to accept some of my Grade 1 friends' parents' requests if they ask me. So far, I have only taken these requests as a compliment and not that they are using my page to find out what I am up to. In fact, I have felt that it is quite an honour that they would take an interest in my life.

On my blog, I do post a bit about what we do at school. I don't use names, but I do use photos of their work and maybe this crosses the privacy line...I don't know. I also recount stories (no names!) and I don't know if that crosses a line with regards to privacy but I would not hesitate to share some of the stories about the cute things kids say or do verbally so is recording them here on my blog any different, I don't know??

On that note...

Funny story today during our second experience doing paper mache...

Paper Mache is always fun but it is messy and ooey and gooey and some students are just reluctant to get their hands dirty. I heard one student--a very reluctant participant--say to the people at the table where they were working:

"I --the H-word-- paper mache"

It made me laugh out loud. Especially since this student is always so eager to do whatever we are doing. So funny. (In case you missed it, here's the translation "I hate paper mache".)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Family Dictionary - "schmoen"

"schmoen" (sh-mown)



1. not real. 

2. cheap or inexpensive and not in a BSQ (bargain shopping queen) favourable way. 
For example: "It's just schmoen."

3. No Name or not having a well known brand name.

Word Origin and History: Conrad and I married when we were very young...and very broke. I was in university and Conrad was not always regularly employed due to seasonal work. Nine months and 26 days after our wedding *gasp* we became parents and so now we had a family and a change in our course as far as my schooling. Anyway, despite our new direction, we were blessed with the opportunity to buy our first house just 4 months after Kiandra was born and just shortly after our first anniversary. We had always planned to have our own house one day and much like we had planned on having kids someday we didn't expect it to be so soon. 

The house was old and needed serious updating but it was ours. You can read about how we came to be home owners and the updates we made here. Our plan was never to stay in that house indefinitely but to fix it up and sell it, which we eventually did. This means that as we began to update the house we often resorted to cheaper products that would look good for the time being but likely wouldn't stand the test of time for the long term. We didn't have much money and so we bought what we could afford and did the best we could. One of the products we definitely couldn't afford was Moen. Conrad and I began to call all less superior products "Sch-moen" and that's where it started. "Schmoen" morphed into a way to describe anything without a recognizable brand name. Actually, the "Sch" prefix has been known to be used on its own too.

Question: Is that new tv Samsung?  
Answer: No, it's sch-amsung.

Question: Are those real Ugg boots?
Answer: nope, just Sch-muggs.

The funniest thing about the word "schmoen" is that very recently Kezia told us that her friend didn't know what the word "shmoen" meant. Conrad and I laughed and said it was because it was a made up word. Kezia had no idea and thought it was a real word that everyone knew. We laughed so hard at that.

We've come a long way since our early years of marriage and our lack of financial resources. It has been so fun to shop for our basement renovation and to pick out actual brand name products where you get what you pay for. The most exciting purchase was this:

A real MOEN faucet. We have arrived, lol!

PS: I'm also posting on the Bible in a Year blog today with a parallel between indoor recess rules and 1 John 2:4-6. You can check it out here.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I'm excited! Conrad made this "tentative" plan for the estimated completion of the basement. He heavily emphasized "tentative"  but still...I am excited!

The List:

This weekend's goal was "finish the grouting in the shower and the rest of the bathroom floor" which has been on hold since Conrad has not had a Thursday off for 2 weeks.

And the goal has been met!

Next on the list is installing this closet door:

The closet is in the kitchenette (or concessions!) area...the door will go on the right side of this photo (the opening at the back is for a fridge).

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A goal for him and a goal for her

For him:

Hockey game at the coldest rink in the city

against one of the top teams in their division

and Kaden scores the second goal of the game to make the score 4-2!!

After some super shots, including an amazing assist from Kaden right in the sweet spot

and 2 shorthanded goals for the other team

Final score: 6-4

(Very impressive against this team!)

For her:

Soccer game at the nicest location (and nearest to our house!)

against one of the top teams in their division

with a goalie that is notorious for being amazing

and twice the number of players on their team

and Kezia scores the first goal of the game 10 minutes into the game!!

after some amazing chances for both teams

Final score: 1-0

For the second time this indoor season, Kezia scored the ONLY goal of the game.

I may have cheered. loudly. maybe. may . . . be. ;)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Paper Mache Snow People (take 5)

I first attempted making Paper Mache Snow People with a class of 29 Grade 2 students. I did the project as part of an evaluation lesson by my faculty advisor. It was crazy to attempt such a risky project to perform for marks but it went awesome and such a great learning experience for the students.

It went so well, that I did it again during my first year of teaching...and the next....and the next.... and again today. This was the first year that I had a brain wave to do this project in the art room (with 2 sinks!!) and not in my classroom. Genius! And it only took 3 years to figure it out. :)

Somehow I misplaced the balloons I had bought for the project and had to borrow from the kindergarten teacher and I'm not sure if I used smaller balloons last year but we came up a bit short on paste as the first phase of the project neared the end. All in all I think the first part went well. It always amazes me how some kids really hate getting their hands dirty. Those students who were not a fan of the mess are not going to be thrilled when we add another layer to the project next week and they have to get all dirty again.

I am thankful that I was able use the sinks to help the students wash up. I'm thankful for the EA help I had getting ready for it and at the end of it and even the clean up. I'm also thankful for the chance I have had to do this 5 times .... I have made snow people with 114 students! That's a whole lot of paper mache!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday Thirteen

13 unusual things that happened today:

 1. Kezia was still sick today and so she stayed home from school.

 2. Kaden and I drove to school without is just a few short months away from becoming a "usual" thing.

3. Kiandra was home from school because she didn't have any exams today and only has to be at school at 3:30 for musical practice.

4. Kezia missed her book club meeting at school. They were discussing this book and Kezia liked it so much she read it all in 1 day. Kaden was involved in Boys Book club and they had their meeting yesterday to discuss this book. I had two staff members compliment Kaden on his input and he was thrilled with their praise.

5. I had lunch recess duty. I quickly asked my friend Janice to cover my Wednesday duty so I could drive Kezia home yesterday and then I did her duty today. I have to say I was glad that it was indoor recess for only the reason that I could stay inside. :)

 6. I found a cow in my school is Kezia's practical arts project which she takes at another school ... but I'm still not sure how it came to appear in my mailbox. (photo to come)

 7. We had indoor recess again...we have not been outside once this week and it looks like tomorrow will be more of the same. Boo for anything below -27 degrees C that keep the kids inside when they need to run off some energy.

8. Conrad DIDN'T have the day off like he usually does on Thursdays ... and because of that ...

9. I helped out with the flyers (again!) and did a little section that would cut some time off their route when they went out to do them after Conrad finished work.

10. I took Kiandra shoe shopping for new gym runners for the next semester

11. and then she scoured the sale rack and she bought herself 2 pairs of shoes. This pair:

...and she calls this pair her "red-carpet" shoes:

at $10.00 and $7.50 they were a super BSQ (Bargain Shopping Queen) price but I did have to cringe a little at how grown up they looked!

12. There were no snacks at our monthly staff meeting. In the almost 4 years I have been teaching, this has never happened. I guess no one signed up and no one realized until the meeting had started. Nuts!

13. I had spumoni ice cream for a snack. It's one of my favourite kinds of ice cream but only available in the States or at the old spaghetti factory. I bought some while we were at Kaden's tournament and stuck it at the back of our van and it made it home without defrosting.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Kaden had his first basketball game today after school. He had one at 3:50 and one at 6:10 and the plan was for Kaden to attend the first game and then we'd leave because Kezia is a leader at Kids Club...but Kezia got a terrible headache at Practical Arts and had to be picked up by the principal. I drove her home over the lunch hour after I arranged for my recess duty to be covered and the Grade 2 teacher to read a story since I would likely be a few minutes late from the long drive home. Since we didn't have to get Kezia to clubs, we stayed for both games.

Kaden was excited to be playing:

He got a few shots but no goals...or points...or baskets or whatever you count in basketball!

Their team won both games (I think!!) by a narrow margin and Kaden wore his new shoes (see Monday's BSQ post). It is pretty fun that Kaden gets this opportunity to play basketball when most teams only start in Grade 7.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Big Bold Snowflakes and Big Bold Troubles

After seeing this post on a blog that I recently started following, I decided to challenge my Grade 1 friends to make their own snowflakes. We started this project yesterday and we almost finished it up this morning. 

It is not an easy project, but pretty impressive when completed. I can't wait to get them all up on display. We would have finished this afternoon, but our hallway (Grade 1, 2, & 3) had subs in the building for the afternoon as part of our iPad proposal. The afternoon was a time of sharing and exploring the different apps that could be used in our classrooms. It was pretty exciting to think of the possibilities....

I've been a little hesitant to get excited about new technology lately because my Smartboard hates me. It's been giving me (and our tech guy!!) headaches since before Christmas break. I have not been able to access my account on my classroom computer for weeks now, but it works fine in the lab. Go figure. I've also had mouse issues. Thankfully not the real kind but my cordless mouse will all of a sudden not work. Or my smartboard won't connect. My smartboard pens won't always write and if I try to erase something it will work as a pen...and for the record when that happens in front of Grade 1 friends they think it is hilarious. Absolutely. sidesplitting. funny. 

It's. NOT.

Then this morning, my cap locks button was on and I could not get it off. Seriously!! Technology just might hate me. Hopefully the iPad doesn't begin hate me and begin to take lessons from my computer. One can only hope....

Monday, January 21, 2013


Weekend Scores at the Stores:

Converse shoes

Regular $60-70.00
Black ones -- $19.99
Pink Purple ones -- $8.98

Runners for Kaden (photo to come!)

Bought for less than $27.00!

Jean Skirt for me in anticipation of our Western "I Love to Read" Month

Regular price $70.00

Plus an additional 30% off making it about $5.00


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hockey Tournament-Final Day

Kaden played his final game of the weekend this morning at 9:45. The coach kinda sorta didn't tell Kaden's team that the team they were playing against was first in their division and kinda sorta led them to believe that the team they were up against was a weak team. Apparently this is all Kaden's team needs to hear... because they played better than they ever have!

 The final score:

It was astounding! It was a great way to end the weekend with a nice big win. Then it was more shopping ... and some eating ....

... and our favourite treat from Target (we actually keep spoons in the van just for this!!) ...

...and then a bit of a wait at the US border...

and then we were home.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hockey Tournament Day 2

Today was not as successful on the ice.

This is the last face off of the game and the final score was 6-1.

Lunch was at one of my favourite places to eat in the States:

Kezia and Kaden and I shopped the afternoon away and then the team supper was at Ground Round and we couldn't resist trying the dessert special:

Kaden stayed behind to swim with his team and Kezia and I went out to shop again. We scored some good deals and came back to find out that we had placed second in our pool, lol! Second. I literally laughed out loud when I found that out! We play again tomorrow against the second place team from the other pool. First up....a good night sleep!

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