Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why can't I sleep?

It might be that I ran for almost an hour on the treadmill before going to bed last night. Or it could be that I took in quite a bit of caffeine while keeping up with the kids. I know I fall asleep horribly without my wife around (and she happens to be in Flordia for work). But the fact remains that I fell asleep around 1:30am on Saturday night - er - Sunday morning to be more accurate.

The late night doesn't sound like much until you remember that I have a 5- and 8-year-old that wake up fairly early. Thank goodness that they both made it until around 7am Sunday morning. That gave me a good five and a half hours sleep to be ready for an early-morning get-ready routine for church. God only knows how my wife works on those hours, but I simply cannot.

I was planning on running again tonight after I put the kids to bed, but ... plans change. Especially when it takes a bit of energy to get the tired kids to bed. Oh ... did I mention that I realized that I had to hop on the computer to finalize some group work for my masters class? That sealed the deal. No running tonight. I'll have to get back at it tomorrow.

Until then, let's see if I can hit the sack and get some decent sleep so that I have some patience tomorrow for my awesome kids. Have I told you lately how special my dancer, gymnast, swimmer, t-baller is? Or how unreal my quarterback/receiver, triple-double point guard, and all-star switch-hitting catcher is? They are.

(And so is my wife.) Now, let's see about catching that REM cycle!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another "Day Off" Here in Minnesota

The kids don't have school, so we're off to see these guys today. Wish us luck!

For those not from 'around here' ... that'd be Sea Life at the MOA, and the Minnesota Zoo.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Walla Walla, Washington to Kalamazoo ...

If you've spoken with me about my masters program, you know that I'm thrillled to be attempting to learn more about teaching - especially differentiating instruction for ALL students. A few problems, though. We have over twenty (20) students in our online cohort, so many of them have questions and don't advance as quickly as I would like. A lot of the material thus far has also been repetitive - not in the fact that after three classes we have gone over similar material in each, but rather, that my previous education (from high school through six -yes six - years of college) and inservice experiences included quite a bit of this. So be it. I'm still learning. My expectations were different, but I've got good people to learn with and from, so I'll be fine as long as I'm patient and willing.

I do have to admit that the process has caused me to look at things in ... well ... different ways. The instructor for our current class asked us to write a letter to a 'fictitious' colleague, explaining the difference between assessment OF learning and assessment FOR learning. We were to use our current book as support. At first I had a hard time thinking of a specific audience, for the 'fictitious' colleage seemed vague to me. Then I realized that I would never write a letter to said person. If I felt comfortable enough bringing the topic up, I would probably either email a quick note or just go right to a person-to-person conversation.

In the end, I found my direction and wrote to Mrs. Donovan of the Kalamazoo Public Schools. I recommended the book as a means to enage in a continued passion for educating students. I explained the difference between "OF" and "FOR". And I extended an offer to speak in the near future regarding these topics.

Walla Walla, WA

By the way, the letter was actually pretty well written ... and Mrs. Donovan was Charlie Brown's teacher - look it up - it dates back to 1966.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Farkel Party

Since the new year began, we've been doing some sort of 'family game night' every week (usually are less-busy Thursdays) and then watching a 'family movie' on another night. It's been pretty nice to sit down and relax with the family. One problem: I'm the only one in the family who hasn't won on family night yet.
We've been playing a game introduced to us by the "Ohio Six" and so far my  luck has been far from great. I could've sworn I won at this game when we played in Marysville, but, alas, I have zero luck here in Minnesota. Oh well. I guess I'll have to wait at least until this week's family game night to be able to place the traveling Farkel Trophy on my night stand. Yes, there really is a trophy - made at school by my boy (and won at school as well by the young man). Pictures of it to follow ... once I win!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Not Much A Parent Can Do

I ran into two different events yesterday that had me thinking, "Not much I can do to help." Both involved my children.

One: My son was sick. He didn't have strep throat or a fever. No upset belly. Just some type of virus that made his 'head feel heavy' and his 'throat sore' (according to him). He stayed home from school and rested as much as he could in his uncomfortable state. Thank goodness he got so much sleep yesterday/last night. He now feels better and able to head back to school. (He even aced the spelling words this morning as we practiced them. He MUST feel better.)

Two: My daughter was doing her 'homework' for pre-school. One sheet of paper. Lots of 'extra' material. Dress a snowman however you want. I could definitely suggest what to do, but one hand near the little woman (yes,the snowman was actually a snow-woman) and I got yelled at, "Daddy, don't touch! I can do it!" Needless to say, she is growing up (although she's ALWAYS been independent).

Not much I could for either of them except talk and make sure they were okay. Starting to get the feeling that this isn't going to change much for the next - I don't know - fifty (50) years ... at least. They need me. I need them. Not sure what to do every instance. But always there for them. :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gingerbread House, Winter, and Chops

I wouldn't mind living in my daughter's gingerbread house ... at least for a while ... until I ate my home and had to move.

Better Rudolph's nose red than any of ours. (Knock on wood.) We haven't had those debilitating illnesses (yet) this winter. Thank goodness.

Although any of the above pics could have been about 'Winter', technically THIS is the one. My daughter went to a dolphin-themed birthday party. And 'Winter' is actually the name of the dolphin from Dolphin Tale. Yeah, face painting!

Chops for the hair - way overdue - this Monday. My son looks as normal as he can again - you could've actually grabbed him by his hair before. And my daughter decided to chop inches off hers. My wife thinks she looks 'like a 13-year-old' now. I think she still looks cute. (Ok, so does my wife, and I admit - my daughter DOES look older with the shorter hair.)

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Day "Off"

It's interesting that today would be called a day "off" for many people across the country. It is a day to honor and remember a great man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The day is not "off" for many of us, especially those of us stay-at-home parents. I would rather call it a day "different."

The kids don't have school. My wife doesn't have to go in to work. But the day is far from "off." Still doing laundry. Still cleaning up after breakfast. Still making sure the kids don't kill one another and are at least fairly well entertained without turning an electronic device on every frew minutes. Still thinking about what's for dinner. And still working on how to make sure bed-time isn't a complete disaster without my wife around.

Either way, it's nice not to have to get the kids to school - and to have the time to spend with the entire family. I'll take the day "different" - even if others may actually have the day "off." :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

World Champs!

Hustle, Loyalty and Respect
... next to ...
The Brahma Bull
The Great One
The People's Champion
The most electrifying man in all of sports entertainment


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First post of 2012

We're back from the extended holiday trip to Wisconsin and Ohio. It DID, in fact, snow this winter - which was a bit iffy for a while there. And everyone is healthy and glad to be home.

Our travel to and from Ohio included a 3:30am wake-up on both Monday AND Friday last week - as we departed for Ohio on a 5:26am flight and returned on a 6:30am flight by the end of the week. The drive home on New Year's Day wasn't without a 'roughness' to it, either, as 25-50 mph winds push the van around throughout the four hour drive home.

But we did seem to come home without contracted a flu bug or rotovirus that seemed to be exploring our extended family's home in Ohio, and we even got all of our wonderful presents back home without incidence.

All in all, the adversity of the trip seemed to be overcome! :)  We DID, also, have A LOT of fun with our families. The kids had a hard time saying good-bye to their cousins, and us adults were already comfirming our next dates for 'get-togethers.'

Christmas is a time of joy and peace - and we certainly appreciated ALL of our family being able to spend time with us and add to that joy and peace. Our friends helped us celebrate the New Year as well and made the transition from 2011 to 2012 special - as usual. Where would this BadgerCubinMN be without family and friends? ... Not nearly has happy. That is for sure.

Happy New Year, everyone!