Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Aerial Silks

Last night was so awesome in aerial silks.

going from my splits in to this (see below)

(this one was actually from last week but I did this move on both side last night- it was AMAZING!)

no one helped me get here- flipped over all by myself!!!!

the barber pole

and then, there was this little bit of slowly sliding to the ground as I tried the frog- weeeeeeee

Then there are these- some of my favs from the last month.


Jennifer on top holding Whiney (our teacher)


Me upside hanging by my toes.  And if you want to know, flipping from this into the angel (in the video below) fast does a number on the old arm pits. OUCH!

Video of me learning the first few parts of the angel.

Always up for an adventure,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If Nuns don't say "Drama" I don't know what does!

This week for I heart faces, we're suppose to choose a black and white photo- and not just any b&w but one that says "DRAMA MAMA!"

So, maybe these lovely ladies don't make your heart start pumping like you're watching a dramatic indi film; but if you've ever attended Catholic school and had a nun pop you with a ruler, then this picture is all about drama.  Look at these ladies, they're out for some good Catholic chastising.  Woooooo... drama!

And as a side note, despite the fact that this is my second post in two days to reference nuns and rulers, I

  1. have never attended Catholic school
  2. have never been popped by a nun  (though at the rate I'm going with these posts, I'm probably cruising in the direction of being owed one)

To see some more drama, check out the other entries.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Calling all teachers: advice needed

The background:
Geo loved kindergarten.  Ms. S is an amazingly strict teacher but then he functions well with hard boundaries around him (bless his heart, takes so much after his father).  With Ms. S I knew what she expected of him and me- strong adherence to the rules and consequences when said rules were broken (let's just say that she didn't appreciate me calling mother's by their first names instead of Mrs. _____ and she didn't agree when I showed up at school to help one day in my against-the-dress-code ripped jeans.  After those times I realized her rules for the kids, they applied to me too).  She is also a loving teacher - please don't picture her as some nun with a ruler waiting to pop a kid who does wrong.  She just communicated what she expected and expected what she communicated to be carried out.

Change scenes, new set.  First grade.

Geo likes first grade too.  There are certain growing pains that come from moving from 1/2 days school with play centers to all day school with only recess.  But he likes it and has adjusted fairly well.  The child prayed for the snow to go away so he could go back to school back when we had the blizzard- what kid does that?  And he loves math (again, like his father).  So I don't think the issue in discussion today is so much his issues with this year's teacher, Mrs. W, but more mine.

Each week Mrs. W sends home a red notebook with :) or :| or :( in circles representing how she feels the child did that week in respecting the rules of the teacher and others, listening while the teacher is talking, working quietly and staying on task, and having self control in actions and with talking.  The first week of school way back in the fall semester Geo received several :| faces.  So to show him that we believe good performance and following the rules are important, when LK took Geo to school the following Monday he explained that we had promised a Wii family night but we've told Geo that the Wii night only happens when our jobs (which for him is school, well that and cleaning the counter in the bathroom, but mainly school) are done well.  A sort of "no bonuses for employees who don't perform" motto- I mean we're not operating like Wall Street here with cut throat measures for "bonuses" we just want the job (obeying the expectations at school) followed.  And we want to teach him young that there are consequences to every choice he makes.

The result of that conversation: Mrs. W looked at LK in a way that seemed to say "why are you here talking to me about this" and said that she normally does not send home daily behavior comments, but would let us know this time if he was quieter.

Skip ahead to November/December- multiple weeks of :| on everything but respect and in trying to get my point across I tell Geo that if he can't get this under control himself it seems he is telling me he needs me to come to school and help him remember that he is there to learn.  My thinking on this - well I didn't really think because going to school with him really throws a kink in my schedule (and yes, in hindsight I should have checked about this with Mrs. W first, but I was trying to make a point while the :| remarks were still on his mind), but my thinking was that I wanted to get the point across to him now, while he's young and cares what I think, that we go to school to learn.  And that most people cannot learn when there is chatter going on.  To teach him that Mrs. W cannot do her job of teaching when she's having to help him control his mouth (which is not her job), so I'll take over that job for a day and let her do hers.  I hoped the threat of this would be enough, the next week it wasn't.

So, I sent her this email:

Mrs W
Geo showed me the :| face in his folder.  Geo and I have discussed that when you have to take time for his talking out of turn, it keeps you from being able to spend time helping other kids learn. So, I have told him from his continued talking it looks like I might need to spend a day in school with him so that we can work on his talking and you can be free to teach.  
I've told him I am checking with you to see if this will be productive for you. I am free on Tuesday if it is. If it is not, we have discussed alternative reminders- such as talking fines, in which we would dock his allowance for each :| he receives. So if me coming to school doesn't work, could you send a daily :) or :| next week?
His respecting you and the rules of your classroom to promote an atomsphere of learning that is mutually benificial to all is very important to us. So any other suggestions to help with this situation is appreciated. 

Her response:
Thank you for your support.  I don't feel you need to come to school to "shadow" him because it is not at that point.  Geo and I talked about your note and he agreed he did not feel you needed to come to school.  He is just having a hard time with self control in raising his hand before talking and not visiting during work time.  This is a very talkative class and I'm sure it is hard when others are also talking.  He is trying very hard and I will continue to give him reminders.  This week is one of the most difficult ones because they are so excited and very hyper.  He is a very smart boy and has a lot to offer!  Again, thank you for your support.
Is it just me or did I get yet another response "I don't think we're at that point yet, why are you bothering me" response?  At this point I was, and continue to be, completely puzzled with what the point of the behavior remarks are.  What she comments in the red notebook seem vastly different to me than what she described in her email response.

When school started back up in January, yet again :| in everything but respect.  Feeling like these faces apparently mean very little to Mrs. W and her desire to have me do anything about them that involved her (I'm sorry, I guess erroneously believed we were in this journey of educating and showing the proper ways to behave in a society together), so we took the Wii away until the next week's report.  And that seemed to help.  He knew that to have Wii time he needed a good report.  And those good reports lasted until March 12.

March 12 the :| started again, and again this week (the week in between being Spring Break).  This time it was a whole line of them (except in respect) with the added note:
I know a lot of his talking is because of his neighbor, however I need Geo to stay focused instead of talking with this person.
My question- and the reason for writing this hugely long history of Geo's behavior is that I'm at a loss.  What I want to ask her (and yes, I'm fighting back the sarcasm wrapped up in this), I want to ask "oh, so are we at that point now?  Is this the point where you expect me to care and do something, or are we still in the just sign the thing and send it back phase?"

Since me being involved in the process with her has seemed to annoy her more than help her- I'd like advice from any teachers out there, or parents who've dealt with teachers- what to do now.  Yes, the Wii will be removed next week if the faces aren't happy.  Geo understands that.  But I feel, at the same time, that I'm punishing him for something that doesn't seem to be addressed by her during the week.  From the response I'm getting it seems more like a hands-off-rate-them-at-the-end-of-the-week approach than actually working with them to find solutions for how to improve behavior.  Geo and I have talked about possible ways at home, but I feel like I then send him into the "zone" where there's no help from her.  And I feel that trying to talk with her about this is seen as so much more of an annoyance than a help.

I want to raise a child that understands the rules and respects them.  A child that has the tools to control himself and knows why he does what he does and knows why he doesn't do what he shouldn't.  Am I shooting for the moon?  Maybe.  Am I being a "helicopter parent" I don't think so.  I don't take him his lunch if he forgets it, I don't do his homework for him, and I don't make excuses for him (all things I associate with overbearing-uber-protective-hovering-parents).  I don't believe my expectation that he has the ability to learn from these situations and with Mrs. W's help at school and my united front at home, learn how to be the person I want to raise is a completely crazy idea.

So here's my SOS-- where to go from here?  Because right now, my plan of action is to make a calendar, count down the days until summer, and start praying now for a 2nd grade teacher who gets me.

Advice much appreciated,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mandy's Photo Challenge

Mandy has asked us to submit our worst.  If I had the picture from 6th grade with the big (oh man I mean big!) blue glasses and early 90s bangs that still lived in their hairspray-lovin' world, I would submit that one.  But I don't have a clue where it is- and mom if you're reading this does not mean I'm asking for you to bring down more of my keepsake items.  Seriously! I'm not.
So this one is of me in 9th grade wearing a dress made of mustard yellow carpet material and combat boots with my short black hair taken when my friends and I were pretending to be models during a sleepover one night.  My mom threw the dress away one weekend when I went out of town.

But I'm guessing me with short, black hair wearing weird clothes doesn't seem out of the ordinary for anyone who has known me for any length of time.  So here's one to shock you-- me with long hair and very little make up. (insert scream here!) This was on the day I went and donated 9 inches to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths. (pictured on the right, my SIL, Flower, who grew out her hair with me)

And even though it's not part of the challenge, but as a measure of comparison- me with my short hair.  Now when I see someone with super cute long hair, I'll come to this post and remember why I'm not going to go down that road.

Hope you're not too traumatized!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

SoCoS: Birthdays

LK is out of town today so I had to ask Geo for the topic word.  This is harder than it should be because when I ask him a (as in singular) word, he gives me a sentence.  But I managed to get him to narrow it down to a, one, single word.  His word- Birthdays.

Birthdays.  I don't mind them.  Get older or get dead, right?  I have new grey hairs -do people spell it grey or gray. I'm excited about them.  Mandy thinks I'm crazy (probably not the only one) because I love that I'm getting grey hair.  My grannie went grey early with a lovely streak in the front of her hair and I guess I always thought I would too.  Hit a road block. Grey hair comes with birthdays, and stress.  Hopefully mine are more from age than stress.  Birthdays are a big deal for me.  Not in an immature-everyone-treat-me-like-a-princess way, but in the way that there should be cake (or cheesecake) and a card.  Decorations are a plus- well more so for the boys because I just have to clean them up afterwards (happy birthday to me!).  My mom and grannie are 20 years apart.  I am 25 years younger than my mom.  Geo is 25 years younger than me.  This simple math helps me remember how old I am.  I forget sometimes.  Bad memory comes with age too, right?  Age comes with birthdays. Hit a road block. Hit a road block.  My 16 birthday I chose to watch Alive.  What was I thinking?
Now it's your turn. If you'd like to participate in a little SoCoS action, your topic is "Is." (you can thank Geo for that one too) Guidelines: Write for 3:37 without stopping. If you can't think of what to write, write "hit a road block" over and over again until something comes to mind. When you're done- post a link to your SoCoS writing as a comment to this post.

Can't wait to see where your mind goes with this topic!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I'm starting a new category- things about me that I do 9 times out of 10.  I don't know how regularly I'll post these facts, here's your first.

9 times out of 10 I serve guests food and follow up it with the phrase: If it's not good, we can always order pizza.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why I am sad

Because LK got to the census form before me and thus we will be counted as "white."  And why does being counted as white, which I am, make me sad?  Because I have long held that I would rather be counted as a "Tellurian" than white.  Guess that will have to wait for 2020.

If you haven't mailed yours back, feel free to join the tellurian movement.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Now?

A few weeks ago I declared Spring. Now! Which worked great ... until we had the weekend snow storm.  Well in case you were wondering - I stuck to my guns, showed Mother Nature who was boss, and wore a tank top despite the weather! (Wore it underneath my long sleeve shirt, sweater and coat- but details details right?)

At least for now it looks like spring is back in the air.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This week's theme for I Heart Face's photo challenge is "angels." I have to admit, when I saw it I was originally at a loss for what to do. But then I remembered that one of the moves in aerial silks is called the angel and I remembered that Photoshop can make anything fun.

That's what I would have written if the challenge this week had been about ANGELS and not ANGLES.  Oh well- here's the photo I created to make an ANGELS photo challenge post.

Here's where I started: A picture of Julie in our silks class performing the angel and a picture of a stop we made while LK and I were Ireland.

First I took out the background of Julie's picture,

and then I added it on top of the Ireland picture.

Next I covered up the lake which I didn't feel looked right with this photo-creation

and extended the left side of the screen so Julie was situated more over the light in the background and so her finger wouldn't then be squished on the left side of the screen.

Then it was time to play with some sliders.  First I took the saturation of the background down

and, since I wanted the blue in the silks to pop more, I took the hue of Julie's layer up

And then, before the last step of the filter, I burned Julie's arms a bit because in my test run the arms washed out in the filter and burning them corrected that.

And finally- the filter

So there you go.  I had the category been ANGELS, I so would have been ready.  As it is, hopefully you've at least enjoyed it.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Oh my goodness! I think I'm more than slightly illiterate! When I saw I Heart Faces upcoming challenge for this week this on the side of the blog I read it as A-N-G-E-L-S. "Funny topic," I thought. "I'm interested to see how everyone interprets this category."  I wondered how I myself might interpret the category. And I came up with a way- a very creative (and possibly borderline sacrilegious) way to have an I Heart Faces photo of an angel. So imagine my surprise when I read this last night:

We think most of us realize by now that taking a straight-on photo of someone is usually not the best choice for portrait photography. Boring! :)

Unusual angles are fun and cool...and they make your photo stand out from the rest of the pack.

For this week's photo challenge, we are focusing on unusual angles. Stand higher than your subject, lay on the ground, move to the side, tilt your camera while you are what you need to do to give your photo a uniqueness of it's own. A unique angle is what this week is all about.

And (of course!) make sure at least one face is clearly showing in your photo entry as well.

So here's my entry for the angles photo challenge, tomorrow I'll let you see what an angels post would have looked like (I mean why not- I spent so much time making it happen right).

Laughing at myself,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Black and White Photo Challenge

This week Mandy's photo challenge is black and white or sepia. And since I'm such a huge fan of black and white and antiqued photos this one was hard. But here's my choice for this week.  I took this picture at an old abbey LK and I stumble upon during our visit last summer to Ireland.  In a few weeks I Heart Faces will be doing the theme "Drama in Black and White" so I'm saving one of my other favorites (that has people's faces visible) for that one.  You'll have to come back then to see it.

Taken by,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

SoCoS: Snow

Today's SoCoS is about snow because despite the 70 degree weather we had yesterday. it's snowing today! Go figure.
Snow, snow, snow, snow!  I use to watch White Christmas with my sister at Christmas time.  We loved the singing and dancing.  What I'm not loving today is the snow.  It was 70 yesterday!  AND I had previously declared it to be spring already.  But that's what I get (frustration) for thinking I can control the Oklahoma weather.  Hit a road block.  We still need to get out there and play snow pool- like on the Drew Carey Show.  But we don't live in Cleveland (thankfully).  I mean, there's not anything wrong with it if you happen to live there, it's just not for me.  My friend Anne mentioned that she let the kids spray the snow with colored water when it finally snowed in Michigan- maybe we'll try that today (large gust of wind outside) and maybe not.  I wish my fireplace was finished- perfect day for a fire.  I left a message for who have charged my card but have sent no tiles- but that was at 5pm CST on a Friday and they are Eastern time, so I don't expect to hear from them before Monday.

Now it's your turn. If you'd like to participate in a little SoCoS action, your topic is "Vacation." Guidelines: Write for 3:37 without stopping. If you can't think of what to write, write "hit a road block" over and over again until something comes to mind. When you're done- post a link to your SoCoS writing as a comment to this post.

Looking forward to see what you all have to say.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Parting Comments on St Louis

To the shop owners at the Arch and Western Expansion Museum bookstore - I'm going to go out on a limb here and just say it: I don't see how this works as a children's book.

Or is it just me?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Congratulations Dr_EAM

Derm at Vanderbilt- you never fail to impress!

Congratulations on your Match Day match!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here are a few of my favorite pics from the trip I took with LK to Ireland.

While I loved (loved !!!) Ireland - it's scenery and people- being in Ireland did not bring me luck.

Not only did the stewardesses on our United Airlines flight strike because they had been on the clock too long as a result of a major storm in Denver, and not only did we then miss our connection in Denver causing us to loose a night of our reservations in Ireland and our pond-jumping flight over from Heathrow to Dublin, and not only did my suitcase- the suitcase I had so carefully packed because I was not going to be the European-backpacker-hostel-staying girl on this trip, no I was going to be the cutely-dressed-30-something-on-a-lovely-vacation-with-her-husband girl- not come until the second to last day of our 9 day trip; but! while staying in the Dingle peninsula I was told by a priest who was well versed in Gaelic history, that my family name is not even really Irish!  He informed me (with slightly veiled distain) that we are Scot-Irish and then I think he went and washed his mouth out for having uttered such words.

Oh well, I hope today brings you luck and that these pictures can at least make you happy.

And least you think it wasn't fun-- it was an amazing trip-- "adventures" and all.