Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hallowe'en 2013

Kaden as Thing 1

Kiandra as a 50s girl

Kezia as Wendy from Peter Pan

We don't celebrate Halloween at school but the girls did and they wore their costumes to school. This evening, Kiandra and Kezia went over to a friend's house for a party. Since the friend lived right around the corner from the friend that Kaden had planned on trick or treating with, Kiandra drove them all where they needed to go. This was right before they left, Kezia decided to change and Kaden added some layers under his costume.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Volleyball night....again

Wednesday night volleyball home game today. A 25-22 win followed by a 25-22 loss followed by a 15-9 win for our school's 7/8 volleyball team. It's really amazing how much they've improved in their skills. 

One of the things about the game that really made me smile was the crowd of Grade 8 girls who had stayed to watch. When I first started teaching, they were in Grade 4 and somehow they came to adopt me and they would follow me around when I was on recess duty and chat with me. I've watched these girls grow up and I've become their friend. When they requested to follow me on instagram, I was flattered that they would want to follow an old grown up like me. I like seeing their photos show up on my feed. I like reading their hashtags, their captions, and the stuff that they are willing to share with their included. I like that I can send encouragement, "like" their photos, and be a part of their lives. Anyway, I posted a "right now" photo from the sidelines and it became clear that all the girls watching were on instagram too because the photo was instantly "liked" by them. As I watched them snickering from the stage (out of my earshot) I knew something was up...when I logged back into instagram I had a message that 80 of my photos had been "liked". When I looked up at them, they laughed like crazy. What an honour and a privlege to share in the lives of these teen girls. I feel so blessed.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good things

--a job to get up every morning for....even if it's extra early for a meeting on our new report card system.

--awesome people I have the privilege of working with.

--no recess duty

--productive yearbook meeting

--Kaden having the chance to attend a We Day banquet as part of the leadership team at his school.

--hearing that 11 kids came out to the "Connections" group at Kiandra and Kezia's school. That's almost triple the attendance from their first meeting "at the pole".

--dinner out with Conrad's work peeps:

--booking a little getaway:

--finding this photo I took on my phone of Kaden's excellent plant growing skills:

--the ability to back date posts so that it looks like you posted it on time. ;)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Closing the door

...or doors on this basement renovation project. My last update on our basement project was way back in August when Kiandra got her new light fixture and a few weeks before that, I posted about her closet shelves. Well, the closet doors went on this weekend. The delay was partly due to the fact that our garage had become the holding room for everything we no longer needed in the basement. Essentially, our hoarder room moved from Kiandra's room to the garage. When Conrad realized he would need to cut down the closet doors before installing them he realized he'd need to get rid of some of the stuff in the garage before that was possible. Over the last few Thursdays, Conrad had placed ads on Kijiji, taken a load to the dump, and organized enough space to park both our vehicles in the garage again AND have room to work on this final big project. Here are the doors:

view from Kiandra's room 

view from the inside of the closet

We still haven't decided if we'll paint them dark like the rest of the doors in our house or paint it white. However, the fact that the door is now hung is awesome and we are FINALLY closing the door on this project....tiny step by tiny step. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup

I had some time to play in the kitchen today and I used up the butternut squash I was given by a school family. the squash, apples, and leeks:

Then boiling them in broth and water:

Then blending and adding a swirl of maple syrup:

You can find the recipe here but I used the leftover cheese bread from last night's dinner as a dipper and not the baked croutons as the recipe lists. It was a winner with 4/5ths of the family again....there's always one ;)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

ODP - Week 4

Which one was your favourite? I liked day 23 and 26.

See Week 1 here

See Week 2 here

See Week 3 here

Friday, October 25, 2013


Today was a Province wide inservice day for teachers. I decided to stop for a little treat.

The barista asked if she could put a name on the cup for me and I said "Pamela" and she repeated "Pamela?" and I said yes. This is what I got:

That is one of my pet peeves. Then I drove off to the school where my two sessions were held. My morning session was:

which I just loved. Tech things are totally an interest of mine and this session talked about a few things I already knew about and a few I did not. I found this session totally engaging. Some of the sites I didn't know about (in case any of my teacher peeps are reading this) were:

* (making big pictures into printer sized paper) Useful for making bulletin boards or even as puzzles (Like a map or a structure)

* (kids art museum) Useful for getting ideas (I've already used it for this) AND showcasing student's art. I learned there was an app for this site now that makes uploading student work quick and easy. Parents can even order products with their child's art if they want.

*Animoto (professional looking slide shows) I learned that teachers get a free account to use this service that costs $300 a year for others.

* (for fun and funky fonts for student work) 1000s of free fonts available for downloading. 

*Free tech for teachers blog- (a blogger that announces new technology resources for teachers)
My afternoon session

*Prezi- New PowerPoint for more interesting presentations. Easier for students because it's all on the same page.

*Picmonkey (Photo editing tool) Free and you don't have to sign up for anything.

*Shelfari- (Virtual Amazon Bookshelf) can link to blogs and other platforms and allows students to review books for others to read.

*Voice Thread  (recording students) Useful for creating "audio books on CD" for younger students by older students. Older students benefit by building fluency, younger students benefit by listening to fluent readers. They can take books right from the classroom library to record.

*Voki (animated avatars that speak in a student's voice) Useful in representing in a new way such as creating a response to a field trip or their thoughts on a book review. I really thought this was cool!

These are just some of the sites that were discussed during the morning and ones I was most intrigued with. We also got a snap shot of other sites (35 in total) and it was really interesting to me.

The afternoon session was about blogging. Although I've been blogging for many years and even had a classroom blog for the first two years of my teaching career, I was curious about how other teachers set it up, what they put on it, and I was also very curious about kidblogs. The first half of this session was not useful to me as they talked about setting up a blog, how to set features, add gadgets, how to make a post, and monitor comments. The second half was about kid blogs and I think I'm going to try and use this sometime this year. I have a strong academic class and a strong parental following on our classroom instagram account and I think this would be a good addition to develop our writing and computer skills.  

I came home and found that the girls had found a way to keep themselves occupied:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Set Sale....Set Sail

Set Sale...Kiandra found out that there was going to be sale with the items and clothing used or bought for the movie that we were in as Extras. She convinced Conrad to take her there after school. I had some time before my evening plans and so Kaden and I met them at the sale. It Conrad was the one who scored big! He was able to find 3 pairs of dress pants (Maybe worn by Greg Kinnear!) 1 dress shirt, 3 work out Nike shirts, and a Club Monaco sweater. All items were priced at $2 or $5.

The girls found a few things:  a dress, a patterned shirt, work out pants, and a belt. Some items had the tags still on! I found a sweater and broke my October fast to get it. *gasp*

It was cool to see some of the items that we had seen on the movie set and I could have even bought the hats that Kaden I wore in the baseball scene...or the choir robes that the kids wore in the church scene...or the trophy from the baseball tournament. It was pretty cool.

Then Kaden left with Conrad and the girls and I went off to celebrate with a co-worker who is "setting sail" on a new journey in her life. She has been led on quite a journey over the last few years but God is leading her on a new course and we as a staff wanted to celebrate as she moves in this new direction. Dinner and Appies at Original Joe's seemed like a perfect was to do that.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Wednesdays are volleyball games. Kaden plays on the 7/8 team AND the 6/7 team. The last few weeks have been with the Grade 7/8 team but today's game was with the Grade 6/7 team. It really is amazing the difference it makes in that one year of practice. I would say that the 3 Grade 7 boys do not really stand out as the younger players on the older team but today it was quite obvious that most of the boys on the team today were playing in their first ever game. Thankfully, the other teams on the court today were also just starting out and so Kaden's team did manage a win or two and some of the games were quite close...although I heard the game they played before I arrived was quite the blow out in favour of the other team. 

Kaden is really enjoying the season and is getting better at developing his skills with each game and practice. I'm thankful for the opportunity he has to play with both our Middle School teams. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ODP-Week 3

Well, I've made it through another week! Which day was your favourite? I liked day 19 and 20.

See Week 1 here

See Week 2 here

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dropping off and picking up

Well, my job as chauffeur isn't quite over ;)

Today, I dropped Kaden off at home after school,

started supper, picked Kezia up from home and dropped her off at her soccer practice

Then I went home, ate supper with Kaden, then picked him up to come with me to pick up Kiandra from school where she had drama practice

Then we drove to pick Kezia up

and dropped Kaden off at the same place for hockey practice

then I drove the girls home, went to Dollarama to pick up a few things, and then went back to the community centre to pick up Kaden to go home. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Finally...a win!!

Another day....another hockey game for Kaden.

They started out well with 2 quick goals for Kaden's team. Then the other team scored 4 quick goals on them. It looked like a it was going to be a high scoring game with 6 goals in the first period.

There were no goals in the second and they went into the third with a score of 4-2. They scored a power play goal to make the score 4-3 and then tied it up with a sneaky goal a few minutes later. Then...surprise, surprise...they scored another goal with 2 minutes left and managed to keep the other team from scoring again! Today was their first win as a team!

Final Score 5-4

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fortunately, Unfortunately

Fortunately, I received 2 spaghetti squash and a butternut squash yesterday from a parent who had a garden surplus.
Unfortunately, I've never cooked with squash before

Fortunately, there's pinterest and I found a few to try.
Unfortunately, I didn't know how it would be received by my family

Fortunately, this recipe was well received by the everyone except Kaden.
Unfortunately,the recipe made a huge amount and we will be eating leftovers for awhile!

Fortunately, the kid's activities did not overlap today
Unfortunately, Kaden's hockey game was late in the evening after I would already be winding down for the night. 

Fortunately, Kaden's team has been getting better
Unfortunately, so has this team

Fortunately, at the end of the first period the score was 1-1
Unfortunately, it didn't stay that way

Fortunately, Kaden was the scorer of that one goal
Unfortunately, it was the only goal for their team and the other team scored 5 more.

Fortunately, I was dressed warmly for the arena
Unfortunately, arenas are still cold.

Fortunately, Kezia came along to watch
Unfortunately, Kiandra chose to stay home instead.

Fortunately, Kaden loves hockey and it keeps him active.
Unfortunately, this means I am dragged into this "hockey mom" role. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hockey Practice

After years of having 3 kids in multiple activities we are finding that this is the first year of major overlaps in timing. Kaden's regular practice time this year is Sunday mornings. Thankfully, we've been with this coach for a few years and he is aware that we attend church and can't make that time work for us on a regular basis. 

It sounds like Fridays will also be a fairly regular practice time which unfortunately means Kaden will miss youth sometimes too. Like tonight:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Jersey Day

Today was "Jersey Day" at school. Kaden's house group hosted an event today and invited the school to dress in Jerseys. At lunch the middle school students had a chance to take shots on goalies and Kaden was one of the people who had a chance to try and stop the shots. 

 Since I do not have a jersey of my own...Kaden let me wear one of his:

(and I tucked my dress up under it AND took advantage of the jeans day)
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