Friday, May 27, 2011

Walking Field Trips

I do not remember ever taking a walking field trip when I was in school. No, wait, yes I do.  We used to sometimes get to walk to the ice-skating rink when I lived in Canada. (They take ice-skating very seriously up there!) That would have been 4th and 5th grades.  Anyway, the kids both had walking field trips to the library this month.  I imagine much of this is due to budget cuts. Also, considering the number of kids in each of their classes who had either not been to the library or did not have their own library card, it is really good the school steps in to help out.

I volunteered to chaperone each of their trips, and am really glad I did. It was a chance to see them with their school friends, and see what other children their age are like.  I hate to perpetuate stereotypes - but they are stereotypes for a reason. Lots of boys are really just weird - and lots of little girls are drama queens.  Not all - but enough I can see my wonder kids are quite normal. 

We had fun - yesterday with Kelton's class, the rain poured and we all got soaking wet - but still fun.  I know it meant a lot to both of them to have me involved. They are used to Casey doing school things because she runs the PTO, but they are never sure what I can attend.  This was important and I was happy work provides the flexibility for me to do such things. 

Job Update

After close to 5 months on the new job, I am finally feeling like I know enough about things to do some tasks on my own, and am not totally lost when people speak! Hurray for progress!  The last couple weeks have been filled with rich learning experiences that have been very worthwhile, which feels really good considering I have had several weeks of mostly boredom.

Also, I have been trying to learn some basics about Access databases on my own to complete a project I was given.  I have done OK-ish, with help from my geeky girlfriend, although I have suddenly experienced a set-back and have examined everything I can think of to fix it. No success.  Guess I could try interet searches and wade past advertisements for diet supplement, muscletech hydroxycut, and who knows what else, in hopes of reading someone else's problem and answer that might shed light on my situation. 

Or not.

Maybe I should just try to look busy and chat with my co-worker/trainer and while away the hours until I can go home.  Less than 2 1/2 hours to go! 

Three-Day Weekend!

Interesting how dissatisfied most of us are with our jobs that we are so excited about a three-day weekend.  I supposed for some it is not dissatisfaction, but simply a change in routine, or a chance to do something fun with family or friends.  Vicki and I have been looking forward to three days together with no have-tos.  We did not make plans, so won't need any payday loans to cover our fun. We figured we'd wing it. Good thing. She now has a bad cold plus her job is making our weekend look very uncertain. Maybe I will be attending some movies alone, or napping the days away. Don't know, yet, but either way, the three days spread out ahead are quite inviting.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Warmer Weather Has Arrived!

Looking outside at the gorgeous day, I am having a hard time believing that this weekend is not going to be just as warm and beautiful.  I have the urge to pick up and go to the beach or camping or Seattle, or anywhere because it feels like summer!  Time to look into rv financing and hit the road!  OK, maybe with today's gas prices, not so much, but still, that drive to go out and enjoy the good weather while it is here is strong. 

HOWEVER (note that it is a big HOWEVER), the weather folks say clouds and rain in store for the weekend, though temps still in the 60's, so not too cold.  Maybe I am jumping the summer gun a bit...but that is what spring is for right?  Probably we will stick close to home, maybe rent some Wii games and a movie, maybe buy a veggie plant or two, take some nice walks with the kids, and not get too far from home.  Besides, with Kelton and my allergies, maybe a big outdoor adventure is not what we need. 

Oh, well, a good weekend is still in store - and I don't need to know what it looks like - just that it is almost here!  Have fun!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Military Honors

I have missed a number of blogging opportunities lately. There have been interesting events going on, but frankly, I have been too busy, or too tired, to take the time to post about them. One of the most significant of these was the memorial service for my step-dad. It was held last Sunday, which was more than a month following his passing. In some ways, this was a nice timeframe. It allowed friends and family who are not in the area to make travel plans, plus allowed us all some time to get over the initial shock and really be able to enjoy reminiscing about his life and enjoying each other’s company.

One of the most touching parts of the service was the military honors. Dwile had served in the Navy on a destroyer in WWII. After a few short words at the beginning of the service, which was officiated by a very close friend of Dwile’s (who also married him and my mom, and two other couples in my family) the military piece started. A naval officer walked silently up the aisle, stopped in front of the large picture of Dwile and saluted for probably 30 seconds. As if that didn’t have us all on the verge of tears, then Taps started playing. It was heartbreaking. Another officer joined the first for the presentation of the flag. In a very well-orchestrated process, the two unfolded and refolded the flag in front of Dwile’s photo. The second officer then left, and the first carried the folded flag and presented it to my mom. “On behalf of a grateful nation, our Commander in Chief wishes to thank you for your husband’s years of service….” His words were beautiful and familiar, but for me, thank God, only from the movies. I was sitting right next to my mom as the officer looked her straight in the eyes, full of sincerity and respect. Again, heartbreaking.

The rest of the ceremony was filled with songs and stories from Dwile’s loved ones. I am sorry I did not have the chance to know him better, but am so happy he was in my mom’s life, and in mine. I found out from his best friend how proud he was of me for going to law school and how they used to do affirmations for my success. He was a very special man, and he is missed.

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Price of Art

I love to encourage creativity in the kids, so most of the time when they want to print something out from the computer, I let them.  It is usually coloring pages, or something they want to cut out to make a picture of, or maybe something that they have created that they wish to print.  I recently did something really fun in what I call "the middle room." It would be a dining room, but I see no reason to take up space on a room that would rarely be used as such and instead want to keep it more open, creative space, which will soon include an office area for Vicki.  Anyway, what I did was put up what is basically white board wallpaper. It comes on a roll that is 2'x20', it is self-adhesive and removable/repositionable.  So fun!  Kaylen drew pictures, then wanted me to take photographs of them, put on the computer, and then print out. Clever, right?

(This gives an idea of how the white board looks in the room. The long stretches are about 7 feet long each, and the short ones almost 3 feet long.)

The problem with all the printing is how fast printers burn through the ink!  Now we'll be needing more canon ink cartridges far sooner than anticipated. Those things are not cheap, either.  We have not tried refillables on the new printer. I was mixed on some that I have tried before. The color was OK for most of the kids' needs, but not great for things where color quality might really matter. At least, that was my experience.