"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


Here we are at the Halloween Carnival all decked out in our costumes. Avery and his parasitic twin AJ (stands for Avery Junior). I was a Indian girl, something along the lines of Pocohontas. I worked the haunted house all night. It went well and I am thrilled that it's over. I love helping the 10th grade class with the haunted house, but it sure it a TON of work. Now that it's over I can focus on my robotics kids and my teaching again. Avery worked with the 7th grade class for awhile at the bowling booth. The Halloween Carnival is BRHS's biggest fund raising night of the year, clocking in at over ten grand in one night! All the kids have a great time! The only downfall is that the carnival was on Halloween (obviously), so Avery didnt go Trick or Treating, which means no candy. :( I will write more and post some pics of the haunted house later. We got a couple inches of snow last night, so I busted out the snow machine today. So now, I am going to take Avery on the snow machine over to Boy Scouts, they are going on a nature walk today.

What did you dress up as for Halloween?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This is good!

http://www.palinaspresident.us/

Thanks to Erin who posted this site on her blog. This is pretty good! It's pretty graphic intensive, so just wait for it to load...it's totally worth it.

Apparently, I forgot to mention that I posted this because it was funny, not to display any political view points. It's just fun and funny. That's all!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Random acts of photograpy and nothing special

Cant sleep, thought I'd blog...

This is what happens at my house when you run to the store and leave your camera out. They are pretty cute. The hair hadnt been cut yet. I tell you what, after his hair being that long for that long, it has been a bit hard getting used to the new old look. He is so handsome with his hair cut and trimmed up nice, but I've caught myself doing double takes because he just looks...SO DIFFERENT. Doesnt Taboo look like he's having fun?

There's really nothing special happening these days. On going back and glancing through my recent blog posts, it seems that they are mostly about Avery and the weather. I hope to get back to some more of the interesting Alaska posts soon. I have a few topics in mind, but just havent had the time to follow through with them. And, of course, Edna, I still havent forgot about the questions you asked awhile back and plan to address those soon.

Life has just been pretty basic lately and I have not had much interesting stuff to inspire me. And though it's been basic, make no assumption that that means boring, because it doesnt! Actually things have been extremely busy lately. The haunted house and robotics have been keeping me super busy along with just some basic classroom planning type stuff and day to day life. The haunted house will be this Friday and I will be doing a write up of how it all goes down. I am expecting it to be quite scary. The kids have big plans. Last year's haunted house has been touted as being one of the best/scariest in recent years and I fully expect this year's to be just as good, if not better. The robotics team, Warrior Avalanche, has decided to do a movie for their project this year, and while they have a really great plan/idea, it is going to take a TON of work. They want to do a Bill Nye spoof. It should be quite good. Once the haunted house is over on Friday, then I'll have time to focus on the robotics stuff.

I have not been feeling well for a really long time. I was sick back at the beginning of the month and dont really think that I got all the way better from that. These last two weeks, I have just been feeling pretty miserable. I had every intention of taking a sick day today, but couldnt bring myself to do it because there is just way too much to do and it is just easier to be there. Next week, we have parent teacher conferences on Wed/Thurs night and then a day off on Friday, which I will be spending at school with my robotics team. So, next week will be equally as hectic. Then, the following week, I will be leaving for Texas for a week and will have to come up with a whole week of substitute lesson plans for that. Arrrrrrggggggg! I could go on...and then, and then, and then, but it will just be more of the same. Such is life!

The 7th graders this year are going to drive me insane! Their lockers are in the hallway where my classroom is and they are wild out there. I think I gave out about 9 detentions today to kids who were pushing each other into lockers, tackling each other onto the floor, and getting into fights. As I was walking through the hall at one point I had said, "I'm just going to give the whole 7th grade class detention." This one kid who has a reputation as a trouble makers looks at me and says, "Even me?" And I responded, "Especially you...in fact, you may just get two." and then we smiled and it was funny. Then as I continued walking, I passed Avery who had been running in the hallway earlier, and I said, "And you too." I said this mostly because just the day before, he was asking if I would get him in trouble just like the other kids if he did something bad and I told him I would. So, when I got home today, Avery started saying that he was the only one who showed up for detention today. :) Apparently only my kin was unaware that I was just frustrated with them and joking around!

This week was spirit week at school...
Monday-pajama day
Tuesday- breast cancer awareness day=wear pink
Wednesday-class color day=each class wear a different color
Thursday-jersey day
Friday-Halloween=wear your costume

My costume is a Indian girl (think pocahontas) and Avery is going to be a parasitic twin. His costume is very cool. I will, of course, post pics once I have some. I love Halloween! It is my favorite holiday by far!

Dont forget to fall back this weekend on Saturday night. Turn your clock back an hour for the end of daylight savings time. After that it will be dark when we leave in the morning and dark when we get home. I hung a strand of lights in my room today for when it starts to be dark all the time. That way if I want to turn the light off for something, like a powerpoint or video, it wont be pitch black in there.

Well, I think that's all for now... I'm going to watch Nightmare on Elm street to do some research for the haunted house. I will try to get some papers graded while I watch.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finally (breathes a sigh of relief)...

Avery told me the other day that he was finally ready to cut his hair. What a sweet sound to my ears! Here are the before pics...
It was seriously long...
And in bad shape...Doesnt this look like a wig just laying on the floor? An old lady wig? Yes! I thought so, too!


He has such thick hair. I couldnt believe how much hair we cut off. It took over an hour to cut it.

So, here he is after...this is the spike do option. He really looks like a totally different kid. Doesnt he look so grown up?
This is the flat forward do. I caught him in the middle of a yawn.And every good haircut blog post has to have a profile view.

Here are other blog titles I was considering for this post...
Before and after
The new kid
Hair be gone
Avery's new do
Transformations
Make my morning (easier, that is)
You thought it was a wig
Got it out of his system
Things to be thankful for
Wrestling a lighter weight class
No more grandma hair
Jebediah no longer
Avery's back

Monday, October 27, 2008

I told you so....l

I told you it was cold this morning..

Record Report

Statement as of 1:58 PM EDT on October 27, 2008

record event report
National Weather Service Bethel AK
1000 am akdt Mon Oct 27 2008

... The old record held for 75 years...

The old record of 4 below zero was set in 1933 and was tide at 509 am
this morning. A new record temperature of 5 below was set at 704 am
and again at 803 am ADT at the National Weather Service office in
Bethel. With the cold weather across the Kuskokwim Delta this month
we have set 4 new low temperatures some of these records have held
for more then 80 years.

pluggin' in

The weather reports said it was -4 degrees this morning. My truck said it was -7 degrees. Either way...it's friggin' cold! I had to plug my truck in for the first time last night. BRRRRRR!

We're down to 9 hours of daylight now with the sun rising at 10am and setting at 7am. And ending daylight savings time the saturday wont really help because it will still be dark in the morning plus it will get darker an hour earlier. :(

We are in full fledged winter here. What's the weather like where you are?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A way to remember

Being so far away from all of my friends and family, I need a way to still feel connected to everyone. One way that I do that is through this blog. Other ways are through emails and phone calls. Yet another way is by having a place where I can "see" everyone. So, I have most of your pictures framed and put up on my bookshelf where I can look at your faces and remember. There are several pictures conspicuously missing from this set up...if you are one of the people who are missing, then you need to send me your picture. It doesnt matter if it's professional or just a snapshot, but a pic of you and your kids would be great.

Kas...you'll be happy to know that I put Adam's first school pic to good use. Remember how I was complaining to you that the only pic I had was an old one that included whoknowwho? Well...here are the results...BEFORE...

AFTER...It would be really nice if you could take a nice snapshot of you and Adam so that I could just replace the one that I have in the frame permanently. :)

Miss you all!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Wizard's Message

Wizard Iversonius, your apprentice, Averonius has a message for you...
video

You gotta love the "wizard voice", villager lingo, and all the props!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In Action

video

Here's Avery wrestling a kid from Napaskiak for the championship. He really wrestled hard! He's turning out to be quite the wrestlers. He's only lost once this season. He tried the cradle for the first time ever during this match, but the kid got out of it. Avery really likes the 'head and arm' move and that's what he's got this kid pinned with at the end of the match.

Approaching Zero

We are swiftly approaching zero degree temps...this morning when we came to school, it was only 5 degrees and even now at approx. noon, it is still only 7 degrees. It is cold. And the thing about it is that it's been cold for almost a month now with no warm up whatsoever. The river is already frozen. They are saying that this year is a very early freeze up. There are people going out and ice fishing already, even though the ice is not very thick. A couple of guys tried to drive their snowmachine on the river and fell through the other day. Pretty stupid...most people know that the river is not thick enough yet for those kinds of things. Both men made it out ok, but they lost their snowmachine to the depths of the river.
There is hoarfrost on everything today. It looks beautiful and makes Bethel look like a magical winter wonderland. The snow that we got a couple of days ago looks like diamonds as the light reflects off of it. Just a bit more snow and we'll be able to go get our snow machine and do some riding. Some people have already started riding and there are already tracks out on the tundra. Most people say that there is not quite enough snow yet though. There are still alot of plants sticking out of the snow on the tundra. I cant wait to start riding the snowmachine, especially with the way gas prices are so high. We are still at about 5.70 per gallon. Think of me next time you're at the pump. Word is that prices are going down all over the US, but our prices will remain the same because all of our gas was delivered this summer on the barge, so the price is set for the winter.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First 1st!

Avery wrestled very well this weekend at the Bethel tournament. He knocked his first opponent off in only 15 seconds and his second opponent in a mere 14 seconds, giving him a new record fasted pin. His third opponent took at bit longer and was actually leading by points before Avery got him in a tight head and arm hold, making the kid tap out. We were at school until 11pm Friday night with Avery wrestling and me running the concession stand with my robotics team.On Saturday morning, we were back at school by 8am. Avery wrestled hard in the championship match and took 1st place. This is his third 1st place overall, his first 1st this year, and his first 1st in Bethel. He is wrestling this year in the 112 weight class and is one muscular kid...ahem...young man. I cant believe he'll be 13 already next month.

My robotics team raised over $1000 by running the concession stand during the tournament. I had a pretty whirlwind weekend with running the concession stand on Fri night and Sat morn, going to bingo on Sat night, and cooking, cleaning and watching footbal on Sunday. I'm sooooooo exhausted! I'm nodding off as I write this. I'm going to go take a nap...good night.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kale, this one's for you!

He'd like to know if he could be your apprentice. He even made a beard and taped it on his face! :)
And then the icicles got cold and he had to drop them. So, Wizard Iversonious, it might take some work, but this apprentice is ready and willing. Kale, I think you are missed here in Bethel...got any plans to head this way any time soon?

BTW...check out the awesome skyscape in the background.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Frigid



It was cold today! It's been cold for awhile now, about three weeks. When I say cold, I mean it's been below freezing for about three weeks now. It snowed for the first time on October 1st and we had snow accumulation for the first time on October 9th. I'd say we've had a good 6 inches already this year. It got down to 12 degrees today. This morning the cold was in my bones when I walked into school. Last year, it got cold this early, but it warmed up for awhile after that. This year it seems to be staying cold for good. BRRRRR!

Also, we are losing light swiftly. We are already down to 10 hours, with the sun rising at 9:30am and setting at 7:30pm. It already seems like it's dark all the time and we've got a long way to go yet. I woke up this weekend on Saturday morning at about 9:00 and the house was pitch black like it was the middle of the night.

We've been having some really amazing sunset/moon rises where the moon is rising as the sun is setting on exactly opposite sides of the horizon. Very cool! The moon these last few nights has been amazing, hovering largely on the horizon. I got a picture of it right over the school. It's really pretty. Remember to click on the pic to enlarge it. You can even see the moon's features.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nunapachuk Wrestling Pics

I got these pics from the wrestling coach today. Avery placed second at the wrestling tournament in Nunapachuk. He seemed like he had a good time, but came home just exhausted and laid around in his room napping all day on Saturday. This weekend is the Bethel tournament, so you can be sure that I'll take lots of pics for that. I also have to be there working the concession stand with the robotics team.
He's turning out to be quite the little wrestler. I tried to talk his wrestling coach into telling Avery that he needed to cut his hair, but it hasnt happened yet. Darn that hair!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Too much to do!

Ok, so...I've got...
MONDAY...Robotics practice
TUESDAY...staff meeting/triad meeting/dept meeting
WEDNESDAY...Boy Scouts that Avery attends and I teach ...I also check the mail and pick up my veggie box, get gas, and run other errands on most wednesdays
THURSDAY...college class
FRIDAY...robotics practice again
SATURDAY...errands and odds and ends...sometimes work
SUNDAY...church, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, football

And in between all of this is the regular school day, lesson planning, grading papers, setting up labs, rounding up supplies, planning for the haunted house, entering grades, being 10th grade class advisor, running copies, cleaning up, and preparing materials for class. Oh...and then of course, there's the actual teaching part.

And don't forget the raising a kid part. A teenager no less.

And then there's all the vacation planning. And there's the taking care of me part too. The part where I like to read books, have friends, watch movies, sleep in, watch football, and write this blog.

So...if a miss a few days of posting here and there...now you know why!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another Record


Record Report

Statement as of 5:18 am EDT on October 11, 2008

record event report
National Weather Service Bethel AK
128 am akdt Sat Oct 11 2008


... Record snow...

1.3 inches of snow fell here at the National Weather Service
office in Bethel yesterday. This breaks a 58 year old record
when 1.2 inches of accumulation occurred on October 10 1950.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Setting records already

Record Report

Statement as of 8:10 am EDT on October 10, 2008

record event report
National Weather Service Bethel AK
416 am akdt Fri Oct 10 2008


... Record snow...

4.0 inches of snow fell here at the National Weather Service
office in Bethel. This shatters the old record of 1.0 inches
set October 9 1989




On October what? 9th?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Little Red Riding BooBoo

When I walked in Avery's room to say good night, Taboo was stealthily curled up with Avery in bed. With the room being fairly dark (only the hall light on). I didnt notice him, until I saw a large bulge in Avery's blanket and looked more closely. That was when I noticed Little Red Riding BooBoo's head sticking out.

Traveling Fool!

I got some really great news from my principal the other day. She's sending me and two other colleagues to a training for SIOP. We are part of a triad learning about the SIOP model of instruction (sheltered instruction for English Learners). So, that means that I am going to be traveling ALOT this year. I'm so excited! It's nice to have the opportunity to travel this year, because last year I barely left at all and being stuck in Bethel all the time really started to get to me. Here's a summary of my upcoming adventures...

I will be going to SIOP training in Houston, Tx with my triad group. We will be there for 5 nights and 5 days from Nov11-16. Does anyone know how far Houston is to the beach? We get out of training at noon on the last day and I'm hoping we could go check out the beach after we're done. I'm excited about being trained to deal with English learners in my classroom and I'm excited about going to a city that I've never been to before, close to a beach. Ok...this technically isnt for sure yet, but they're saying most likely that we're going.

For Thanksgiving break (10 days later), we are headed to Fairbanks, Alaska. We are going to go to the hot springs, to see the pipeline, to the Christmas Village at North Pole, skiiing, and lots of other stuff. Hopefully, we'll see a good view of the Northern Lights. We will be in Fairbanks for 4 nights and 4 days. I'm traveling with three other teachers as well, so we will be able to split the costs of lodging and rental car fees, which is great. It should be alot of fun.
After that, I'll be home for two weeks before Avery and I go to Honolulu for Christmas break. Avery really wants to take a surfing lesson and I would really like to do some snorkeling or scuba diving. We have a cousin who lives there with his family, so we will actually be able to spend the holidays with them, which will be nice. We will be in Honolulu for 9 days and 9 nights.
When we get back from Honolulu, we will be staying in Anchorage for 5 days so that I can get my dental work done before going back to Bethel. We will probably do some skiing while we're in Anchorage. One of the other teachers has a cabin down on the Kenai Pennisula and has offered to let us use it in the past, so I am going to ask him if that offer is still good and maybe we can even head over there for a few days. We will be in Anchorage for New Year's Eve so hopefully we will be able to find something fun to do there. Also, I recently found out that an old friend from when I was about 16 lives in Anchorage, so maybe I'll be able to see him while we're there. The possibilities are wide open at this point.
Then.....for spring break I'm going to be heading to Las Vegas to see some friends and family. I will have enough air milage points to take this trip for FREE! By then it will be almost 2 years since I've seen my friends so I'm really looking forward to that and I just got back in touch with an old friend that I had lost touch with when I moved up here to Alaska.
I'm so happy that things have worked out this way so that Avery and I can travel and see some new places and have some new experiences. All this vacation planning is wearing me out...but I'm not complaining!

Oh...and I can't forget...Avery is traveling to Nunapichuk (a village) this weekend for a wrestling tournament. He's seen more of Alaska than I have!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

At the Skate Park!

video
Here's Avery doing some stunts at the skate park.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Finally Fixed!

Avery finally got his bike fixed, thanks to Mom who sent him a new innertube. We took the bike in to school and had some of the more experienced bmx biker kids at school fix it during homeroom. They put the tube on it and aligned the handlebars for him and tightened up the bearings on the rear tire.So I went with Avery over to the skate park and watched him do some little jumps and stuff. He crashed right away when we first got there and slid not so gracefully down the highest ramp. It was soooo funny!
After that, though, he did lots of little ramps and didnt fall again.
He did pretty good! The high school boys that fixed his bike for him are all my students and said that next time they saw him at the skate park that they'd show him some moves.
He's pretty happy to be riding again. I give it a week before that tire's popped again and the store here in town is all sold out of innertubes.

Other than that...they showed a movie at the culture center today and we went to see that. Then Avery went to help the Boy Scouts do a community clean up project before going and hanging out at the skate park. Right now, he's spendin' the night at his friend house and I'm home writin' this blog, doin' some laundry, and tryin' to get some other odds and ends accomplished. I need to write a test and do some lesson planning, but maybe I'll just go over to school tomorrow to do that stuff. I was over at school today for a few hours, but didnt get any work done...instead I BOUGHT TICKETS TO HONOLULU! Yeah Baby...we're going to Hawaii! I cant wait! WOOOYOOO! I'm so excited!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Four letter word

SSSSSSNNNNNNOOOOOOOOWWWWW!

That's what my kids were shouting as they entered the classroom during 3rd period today around 11:15. Sure enough...I looked out the window and amongst the rain drops, there were some snow flakes falling as well. As much as it seems like it's awfully early, I'm really looking forward to winter and snow. We have some fun winter activities planned, like skiiing when we're in Fairbanks and putting our snowmachine to good use. And navigating through town is just easier once everything is frozen. Life is so much cleaner once all the dirt is covered with a white layer of snow...and it's pretty too. Although, I must say the fall colors on the tundra are really spectacular this year too!