Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Tonight was no different than any other Halloween...dinner party before, manic trick-or-treating in the neighborhood with a gang of friends, go to the "Halloween Lady's" house (which happens to be a current parent this year), check out favorite festive decorations at various houses and get way too tired halfway through the night but keep going just because you can! It was especially fun to spend the evening with someone experiencing Halloween for the first time! Everyone appeared to have a fabulous time!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love Thursday

Inspired by Van Gogh, my students painted their own Starry Night pictures yesterday. A few of the "stars" a little boy painted caught my eye...aren't they lovely?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lost in Translation

I'm good at using the Google Translator tool! Try it...it's fun! We finally got a positive response to our invitation extended to Maggie's new friend, Sue. Her parents are thrilled to let her experience her 1st American Halloween with Maggie. We are, too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Accomplishment completed!

Yesterday Maggie finally finished her Junior Aide requirements. She spent 4 weeks with 3 Brownies helping them to earn 2 badges. I think all involved had a good time. Maggie has a new appreciation for how hard it is to plan activities and to keep the intended audience busy and committed to what you have planned! Good lesson to learn. Maggie also couldn't wait to get her new patch, too!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sacred Sunday

a few of the crosses hanging on our deck

Feeling worn out!

We skipped church today...too tired after 4 hours at Spooky Spaghetti and Maggie's volleyball game yesterday. We ended up seeing HSM3 this morning instead after my adult aged sister texted me Friday night and told us it might be the best movie ever! Hilarious! It was then off to Girl Scouts and had Aunt Karen over for dinner and birthday treats. I will stay up LATE tonight inputting/grading my last set of grades for our first report card of the year and it is my turn to get up with the puppy at 4:00am.

Is it the weekend yet? I'm pooped already!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Spooky Spaghetti

Our school has a big fundraiser in October called Spooky Spaghetti. It's a highlight of every child's year at Mark Twain. This year was no different.

Maggie couldn't wait to meet Sue at the cookie table at 4:00! Maggie still wasn't ready to reveal her real costume...so we dug out the old Pocahontas costume, again! Maggie kept telling me Sue was going to wear her "Halloween dress." We didn't know what to expect...and it was lovely! Maggie wants more than anything for Sue to go trick-or-treating with us on Halloween but we can't seem to convey our invitation correctly to Sue or her parents...any suggestions?

Most of my pictures tonight didn't come out because I had it on "video" by mistake! I miss my Cybershot madly! The best one was Maggie showing Sue the magic of Pez! Those of you that don't know...Maggie LOVES Pez and has collected the dispensers since she was a toddler. The popping head was a toy to keep her busy in the car...she didn't know it was a candy dispenser until she went to kindergarten!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trunk or Treat

Tonight we joined friends at the neighborhood YMCA for a Trunk or Treat. We brought Lola... which proved to be a bit much for her! Maggie wore her Pocahontas costume from 1st grade... not daring to reveal her REAL costume until Halloween night!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Love Thursday

On this Love Thursday, our hearts go out to Honey and her family. She was put to sleep last night. Honey's arrival to our block and her sweet disposition inspired us to search for our little honey, Lola.

Galveston Service Project

The Palmer Church Hurricane Relief Ministry elected to cancel their annual mission trip to NOLA this year in favor of going to the Galveston area instead. During the last Girl Scout meeting the girls expressed an interest in helping even though details of the workers assignments may not be known until just before the trip...so supplies and other goods could not be collected. A member of the relief ministry suggested home baked cookies/brownies individually wrapped for the workers AND to hand out at respite centers would be an appreciated contribution. Their hope was that that many would benefit from a sweet snack and/or the knowledge they have not been forgotten! Girl Scouts are known for their cookies...each girl was challenged to make a batch! The girls pulled through with a little over 100 bags of goodies!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Volleyball Photo

We missed our last game and as luck would have it...the game was cancelled! We had the make-up game tonight after church choir. The girls played great! The pictures came in...they look like all the others. Why do we keep buying them? :-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sew what?

As you can see...the "sewing" gene was not passed down to Maggie! She spent ALL afternoon crafting her newest creation...sock elephant.

Monday, October 20, 2008

You never know until you ask!

At first glance, I thought...Maggie, what in the heck have you done to your hand? After closer examination and a response from Maggie I was very impressed! She read a book in her class called Earthsearch - A Kid's Geography Museum in a Book. She told me her hand was like a topical map. Cool.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sacred Sunday

We totally would have skipped church today but Maggie was singing in the choir this morning...I let her skip Sunday School (she usually would have no part of this) because Lola was home alone for the first time...she felt otherwise. We came home to find her shuddering in the box she came home in from the pound...feeling abandoned! Tomorrow will be a rude awakening...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Meet Lola!

We've always promised Maggie a dog...but told her only when we met the right one...you never know when that may be! A couple of weeks ago we had a block party and a neighbor had just gotten a new puppy from BARC...the Houston dog pound. We fell in love with the puppy and were encouraged that such sweet dogs could be found at such a grim place. After searching for many days, we found Lola. It was a fight to get her...ask us about it sometime. Anyway, Lola is part yellow lab and who knows what else...I don't think she will be too big. She was so scared and pathetic when we brought her home and covered with hundreds of fleas. Maggie had a prior commitment that she and Ian had to attend with so it gave me a chance to get Lola cleaned up! After the professional groomers gave her a flea bath, nails clipped, ears cleaned out and a new collar/tag...she was ready to finally come home! She has adjusted well and already feels quite secure in her new home...even with Clementine lurking around. Without a doubt we waited for the right girl!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Reading Buddies

Maggie's class reads with a first grade class (not mine!) every Friday afternoon. It seems that the little girl on the right pairs up with Maggie every time. I adore that little girl...I met her in summer school and formed a very special bond with her...she seems to like Maggie, too! She is from Portugal and in Houston temporarily because her father is at MD Anderson for medical treatment. Her mom signed an ESL waiver in hopes that might improve her chances in getting into my class...it didn't. :-( That poor little girl is going through so much and only talks to me about it. She told me today that her father is going to have a bone marrow transplant and that she won't get to see him for 30 days...sigh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Love Thursday

1st set of 3 hearts Maggie drew for me...I was hooked ever since!
You may notice I'm a bit behind with the posts...I broke my camera! I am definitely having withdrawals not being able to keep up with both blogs! Be patient, I will come back as soon as I can!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Junior Aide

Today Maggie worked on her Junior Aide patch for Girl Scouts. Maggie was extremely patient with their obnoxious behavior...it was very hard for me not to step in! They made flag SWAP pins for themselves and a friend and several varieties of origami. Maggie is scheduled to meet with this group of Brownies 2 more afternoons in the next week...I hope she is committed to finishing!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sacred Sunday

Girl Scouts

The girls are getting older...with more responsibility expected of them. They have weekly assignments and do quite a bit of group decision making concerning troop matters. The girls are divided into 4 patrols and each patrol takes turns leading the meeting and providing/executing activities. Tomorrow will be the first of three days Maggie will start working on her Junior Aide project with a small group of Brownies...we'll see what that brings!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Neighborhood Night Out

As unusual as it sounds, I forgot to take pictures at our block party tonight! Luckily our block decided that we should have our party on Saturday instead of Tuesday...when the rest of the nation had theirs! :-) It was fun to see everyone and their kids. Maggie will make a killing in a few years babysitting...our tiny little block has about 25 toddlers!

Wanna watch some volleyball?

video

The girls played their best...and miserably lost all 3 games! Maggie didn't seem to care.

Friday, October 10, 2008

World Gymnastics Tour

Tonight we went to the World Gymnastics Tour of Superstars after Maggie's class party. I honestly had no idea what it was...all I knew was that it had all the stars from the men and women's gymnastic teams from the Beijing Summer Olympics. It ended up being that plus bands and singers from Disney and Disney movies. It was very loud and exciting with a lot of action...very much like the Hannah Montana concerts we've been to in the past! We parked at Discovery Green next door for free...I recommend that little trick to anyone venturing out to the Toyota Center at night! Delightful evening!

New Friends

Tonight was Maggie's class party. Her new classmate Sue was there...all year Maggie has been talking about her. Sue moved here from Beijing a few months ago and does not speak any English. I think Maggie and Sue's friendship is fabulous...despite sharing a common language.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Love Thursday

"Found" trash shaped like a heart doesn't seem like litter...I left it there!

Discovery Green

We took advantage of having a free day off from school today (Jewish holiday Yom Kippur)and finally found the time to check out the new city park downtown... Discovery Green. It was well worth the wait. Maggie especially enjoyed the spray structures, bouncy play equipment, and rolling down the hill. I liked the "Tetris" buildings (later found out they were painted with salvaged paint from oil rigs), the gazebo made out of recycled license plates and the pond that you can rent remote controlled sailboats. There seems to be an endless amount of activities available for everyone...I know we will be back very soon!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Here it is...

THE infamous unicorn box!

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's back to the gym for me!

Maggie holding Clementine like a baby after her shower...he puts up with all her baby play like a trooper!
I finally made it back to the gym this evening...after a HUGE hiatus since before leaving for Tahoe! I stayed too long. I got stuck on the elliptical watching one of my favorite movies, Walk the Line. Before I know it I realized I had been on for an hour and a half...oops!

Update

*** Many have asked...YES, I spoke with the boy's mother about the fires. She was extremely grateful and handled the situation as best as a mother could when given news of that nature. I can sleep now.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sacred Sunday

Yeah for a slow day! Maggie had to give up her choir commitment for today to acolyte...her choice. While Maggie was off at a friend's house I was able to grocery shop alone, make 2 batches of banana bread, cook a few things for the week and Ian could work on putting a tarp on the roof...rain is coming on Tuesday!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lamar vs. Westside

As a part of the dance clinic Maggie attended this morning, Maggie had the option to come to the football game tonight and be a part of the fun! Of course we had to go...who wouldn't? :-) Maggie and Emily had a fabulous time! Being there reminded me how much fun I had being on drill team, attending all the games, dances, cheering, making signs, etc. during high school! My hope is that Maggie chooses something to be involved in during high school...it takes up a lot of structured time in your life, not leaving too much more time to get in a huge amount of trouble!

Long day. We didn't get home until almost 11:00pm. She's STILL our baby girl...no matter how big she gets!

Lesson Learned

We had another great morning of volleyball. Halfway into the second game we noticed the same amazing player on the opposing team was serving AGAIN and none of the other 8 players were rotating into the game. The coach was approached and he claimed he didn't know the rules...that's just sad! This is a YMCA team. Unfortunately they play to win and not focus on improving their skills and teamwork. I feel sorry for the 8 players he didn't consider good enough to play. It was a hard lesson for the girls to learn. They lost both games by only a couple of points. The 3rd game was played fairly and we were winning when time ran out. Our girls played great...I see them grow every single game.

Lamar HS Dance Clinic

Maggie and friend Emily went straight to the Lamar High School Dance Clinic after the camp out. The cheerleaders and drill team run the clinic for a fundraiser...the girls love it. We've actually done this in the past at Bellaire High School and had a good experience. I know the kids must be tired...

Friday, October 3, 2008

1st Annual Dad's Camp Out

I can't help but think Ian and Eric look like prisoners!
Mark Twain started something new this year...a huge camp out on the school property for dad's and kids only! It was pretty amazing to see the sea of tents on the playground field! All the mom's in the neighborhood found themselves free of husbands/kids and went out for the evening. I was no exception. We couldn't help put do a drive-by on the way. I went to a friend's for wine and then went to go see The Women and off to Indika's for dinner afterwards. I am not fond of Indian food but it was nice to be around friends for adult conversation and beverages! We drove by again a little before midnight expecting to see/hear chaos. It was so not true...we couldn't see or hear a thing. Nothing was stirring, not even a mouse.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I feel like Gladys Cravitz

Here's me peeking into Maggie's tennis lesson after I tutored today. I do a lot of that. That's how it goes at school, too...me peeking in windows observing her class from the outside. Sad.
Here's a sticky situation I observed today and am nervous about what I should do. I smelled smoke...not food grilling. I witnessed a child from school setting a fire with his older brother at the park today during Maggie's tennis lesson. I ran towards them...not really knowing what was going on. The fire was about basketball sized made out of dry sticks and debris from the storm. I immediately put it out and lectured the boys (mostly to the middle schooler) about how dangerous the situation was and reminded them that they were not setting a good example for the younger kids that witnessed their fire building. The younger child was nervous...he knew me from school. His older brother (I assume he was supposed to be babysitting the younger child) was flippant and very disrespectful towards me. I thought it was over. Five minutes later I smelled smoke again. I located the boys and they were a few yards away but inside a backyard...the fence had blown down and had been removed after the storm. The fire was knee high but grew to waist high when an aerosol can was sprayed into the fire. Older brother looked at me and yelled, "This is my yard and I can do whatever I want in it." OMG!!! I was so upset...for many different reasons. I want to call his mother. I would hope someone would call me if Maggie did anything remotely as dangerous or disrespectful. I dialed the number many times...but chickened out and hung up. I don't know the parents. I've called so many parents over the weirdest disturbing things over the years through my job but somehow this was different. What would you do?

Love Thursday

You won't believe it...but this is an ant hill! Maggie and I stumbled upon it when hiking around Spooner Lake in Nevada last summer.