Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thin Mints win hands down!

I know you are all dying to know how Macy did on selling Girl Scout cookies. You haven't been able to sleep at night, have you? She sold 146 boxes! Not too shabby. 100 was her goal, so we definately made that. Here's the breakdown:

Carmel Delites--17
Peanut Butter Patties--19
Thin Mints--70
Peanut Butter Sandwich---6
Daisy Go Rounds--3

Interesting statstics--It's obvious Thin Mints are the most popular!

Sounds like the others in her group sold over 100 boxes too, so she'll be making a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge soon.

Okay, sleep easy knowing the breakdown on her cookies. Thanks to all who purchased!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Flashback Friday

We made our annual trip to get our Christmas tree today. We've been going to this place for at least three years. Tonight I looked through my pictures for a little trip down memory lane.

The pictures from '05 are not digital, so they haven't been scanned in.

But here's Thanksgiving '06--Macy is 4, almost 5 and Kaylin is 2, almost 3.

Here's Thanksgiving '07--Deja vu Santa! Macy is 5, almost 6 and Kaylin is 3, almost 4. Santa told me this year that he'd purchased a new suit from eBay.

Thanksgiving '08--Macy is 6, almost 7 and Kaylin is 4, almost 5. No idea how old Santa is by now, but he doesn't appear to have aged much!

And for another Friday Flashback for you... Bobby dressed Kaylin today, and as we were getting ready to leave, it dawned on me that she was wearing the same sweatshirt Macy was in '06. No idea how I remember things like this, but I was right. I quickly changed her shoes to the same ones Macy was wearing back then, and we were set for a de ja vu again.


and the original in '06--

Bobby pointed out to me that they are staying proportion in height--Kaylin reaches Macy's shoulder in both pictures.

Time to go to bed...I went shopping from 11 pm-3:30 am with some friends this morning, and my lack of sleep is catching up with me. First time I've ever done something like that, and it was veeeerrrry fun. Great deals, too. Tomorrow is the big MU/KU game, and I need to get my rest for the frigid temperatures.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Words paint such a more vivid picture

Twilight came out at the movie theater on Friday night, and I couldn't wait to go. But due to complicated schedules and plans, my friends and I couldn't go until last night. I blogged here about the books back in Macy--they are fantastic.

I must say that the book is much better than the movie. You know how when you read a book, you create mental pictures as to what the characters sound like, look like, what certain houses look like, certain streets are curvy, not straight? Nothing matched from my head to the big screen, and that was problematic for me. A big part of the book is how smooth and Mr. GQ Cool Edward is, and that just doesn't come across in the movie. He is almost creepy. And Bella. Oh, strong and confident Book Bella comes across as snobby and almost mean.

And I know I should have clued in on the fact that Jacob was Native American--I mean, it's totally obvious in the book. But in my mind, he wasn't for some reason. And when he came on the screen, it was like, "Duh. Of course he is Native American!"

There were, of course, a few scenes in the movie that weren't in the book at all, and that is fine. I'm okay with minor changes for the sake of Hollywood. It's hard to condense a 500 page book down to two hours, so some sacrifices have to be made.

But the main problem is you can't replace words. Stephenie Meyer writes with such beautiful prose, such beautiful language, and that is lost in translation. Words can convey so much more than a picture ever can. You fall in love with Edward and Bella, Alice and Jasper, Carlisle and Esme, and Charlie because of what is revealed in their words and watching their characters develop. That is lost when the words are taken away. Words allow you to make your own pictures, to create meaning based on what they say, to allow yourself to get lost in their world. Books allow you to say, what a minute, what just happened? and allow you to re-read a section to understand it better, and to understand the characters better.

With all that said, would I go see the movie again? In a heartbeat. Did I laugh a ton? Oh, yeah. Did I cry? Um, do you know me at all? Of course I did. Will I go see the second one, which is obviously coming, judging by the amount of foreshadowing? Can't wait.

And I absolutely in awe of how this series has inspired so many reluntant readers to pick up the book and read it. You wouldn't believe how many copies I see carried around, or how long the waiting list is at the library. One of my girls who hasn't read hardly anything all year flew through it and is now 1/2 way through the second one. Maybe this will spark their interest in reading and that fire will continue to grow.

I guess there is a reason I teach writing and try to inspire a love of reading for a living.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Not Me Monday!

During a fire drill last week on my plan hour, I did not go into our journalism office, turn off the lights, and lay down, using a student coat as a pillow. I did not briefly nap for the ten minutes or so it takes to herd 2200 students outside and back in again. And I did not wake up freaked out I was going to get in trouble...

We did not invite 27 kids to Macy's birthday pool party. Nope, we like smaller, low-key events.

I did not lie to my youngest on two occasions this week because reasoning with her is impossible--once to tell her the night light's "job" was to keep the monsters away, and once to tell her she couldn't get in the hot tub at her cousin's birthday party because Aunt Natalie would have to pay extra if she did. Nope, I am completely honest with my girls.

I did not tape record an absolutely wonderful, perfect conversation with my 7th hour for a project I'm doing for my master's class,only to realize it didn't tape. Rather than re-tape, I did not sit with my 7th hour and have them verbally re-create the conversation.

I did not say every night last week that I was going to bed early, and I did not fail every night.

Head over to MckMama's blogfor more fun...

And a Monday morning treat for you;
Macy and Kaylin made up a song last night, and created a dance to go with it. Here it is, exactly like it was spelled on the piece of paper they carried around all night:

I see a spurkl in your eis evere day
And you are my boy
You love the wruld
Now you know wot to do evere day
I see a sparkl in your eis.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bring on the Pepto...

My kids are doing stories this month on students who cut themselves (self-mutilation), what gay students think of California repealing the gay marriage ban, and drug use at the high school. Lots of legal mine fields, lots of meetings with students, and possibility of complaints from parents.

But the students want to cover these topics, and are honestly working hard on finding sources and are passionate. I can't ask for more than that. Maybe a bottle of Pepto...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Photo Booth fun--again!

The girls had to hang out with me at deadline night for a while, so we took photo booth pictures again. Thought these might make you smile today...

Have a great day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Back for another week...go to MckMama's blog atMy Charming kids for others, and to read hers.

I did not go to the bathroom on a train with the door accidentally wide open. Nope, I make sure all doors are properly locked before using the facilities. [See other posts for more details on this one.]

I did not attempt to read a sign in German, only to discover it was in English. Nope, I know my languages better than that.

I did not encourage my students to take a picture through the train window of a cute boy who was smoking. Why would I encourage them to do that?

Rather than go to classes at the convention, I did not lay around the hotel room eating snacks, watching tv, napping. Nope, I set good examples for the students traveling with me. (Honestly, in my defense, there is no point in me going to the classes, and the kids didn't know I wasn't. So there.)

My girls did not send me fake texts from their fake computer yesterday, saying things like "I missed you Mommy while you were on your trip." Where would they have learned how to send texts? Not from me!!

I am not writing this post while I should be grading everything that accumulated in the three days I was gone.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Planes, trains, and automobiles...and a bus or two.

Back at home, safe and sound. Had a lovely trip--best group of kids I've taken. We played hard, learned a lot, and had a good time. Back to the grind tomorrow...but only 7 school days until Thanksgiving, thank goodness! Then a short three weeks until Christmas, with a birthday pool party thrown in there.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Time froze this morning...

I'm guessing the Starbucks workers don't get many people who order just water in their stores. I'm guessing that by the reaction I got when I ordered water with my croissant this morning. It was almost like the world stopped for a moment while all 5 workers turned to look at me...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Let's see how many times I can visit St. Louie...

Here's what has happened to me so far today on a trip to St. Louis with my high school students...

1. At the Amtrak station at Union Station, I dropped my laptop (luckily in its case) down the stairs. All my papers and such fell out and scattered down 10 or so steps. A long line was forming behind me. My students stood at the bottom of the stairs and laughed at me, and then one nice one came and rescued me. For the record, that's the third time I've dropped my laptop.

2. I had to use the bathroom on the train. As I was doing my business, I looked up and the door to the bathroom was wide open. Yep. As I was going to the bathroom. So I quickly held the door shut with one hand, as I tried to pull up my pants with my other hand. That didn't work out so well. The students wondered why I was laughing when I came out of the bathroom, so I had to tell them. You can imagine how they reacted...

3. As we were stopped on the tracks in Hermann, MO, I saw some German writing on one of the buildings. I know a little German, so I said, "I wonder if I can read what that says." Then I realized the sign was in English. Yes, once again the students laughed hysterically at me.

4. When the light rail intercom says, "This train is no longer in service", that means you need to exit the train. Especially when they announce it 10 times. We did not realize that. You are not allowed to stay on the train.

5. Macy ended up in the nurses office with a fever. When I explained that I was on a train and couldn't come get her, the nurse said, "Well, that's one heck of a field trip!"

6. I forgot my toothbrush (Bobby, I know you are shocked to hear that) and when I called the front desk, they brought 4 to my room. Guess they thought I had some nasty breath!

We're here until Sunday, so I'm sure I will have more exciting stories to tell. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day!

In honor of Veteran's Day, last week Macy's Girl Scout troop did a little ceremony to honor the vets they know. It was a cute ceremony--they learned how to do a proper flag ceremony and performed it, made crafts to present, and spelled out "Thank you vets" with signs.

Macy invited her grandpa Calvin and her great-uncle Ray. Hopefully they appreciated the pencil holder made with red, blue and white popsicle sticks, and wreath made with stars. Thank you for coming!

Thanks to all vets who have protected our country, and who continue to do so.

And a special birthday shout-out to my favorite(and only) brother in the world!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Not Me Monday

I took the week off last week from Not Me Monday...I'm back this week!

I did not lay on the couch for two hours Friday night, watching 4 iCarly's with my daughters. I had papers to grade, assignments for master's classes, laundry to do, a house to clean, so I did not do nothing for 2 hours but hang out with my girls and love it. And I do not like those Disney shows--iCarly, Wizards of Waverly Place, Hannah Montana, Drake and Josh. Adults shouldn't enjoy those shows.

I did not fall back asleep after my husband left for work Sunday morning, and then I did not have to get the girls and I to church in 1/2 hour. And we did not make it with time to spare!

After taking a nap Saturday afternoon, Bobby and I did not wake up to a surprise: adult Depends all over our house used as stickers to hold things to the walls, laying all over the floor, etc. As to why we have adult Depends--if you recall, Kaylin spent 4 months in a body cast. Click here to see a picture of what she looked like. This isn't her, but she had a pink cast similar to this one.And that's a story for another day... In order to diaper her, we had to use adult Depends in addition to a regular diaper. We had tons left, and they've been sitting at the top of her closet. I had every intention to give them to a nursing home, but not now--they did not somehow got to the top of her closet, pull them down, and stick them all over the house. Lovely.

A special moment like this...

A special moment like this comes so few and far between that when it happens, I am likely to grant any request they desire...

They sat next to each other at lunch, no hitting, and ate lunch side by side. They even ate Garlic Alfredo Chicken Pizza--that's saying a lot from them! They have shared all afternoon too! And even hugged...what's this world coming too??

Here's their prayers at lunch:
Kaylin: "Please help my friend Halle who is the hospital and sick."
Macy: "Please help me get a new Bible to take to class. And a case to carry it in."

It's been a good morning and afternoon so far...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Can I show you something? What an original cover!

End of 1st hour today: I look up, and Kaylin is peeking around the door, grinning her sweet smile. "C'mere Mommy!I want to show you something!" So I follow her next door to her preschool.

"What do you want to show me?" I ask, looking around the room.
"" She hands me a shot glass from Hong Kong.
"Great, this is neat. Did Mrs. D's husband bring this back from his trip?"
"Ok, do you have anything else to show me?"
"Ummmmmmm...." She looks at Mrs. D. I've getting suspicious at this point. "" She hands me a book about horses.
"This is neat too. Why did you want to show it to me?"
"They told me I had to show you something so you'd leave the room."

So I go back to my classroom, acting surprised when they flung balloons and streamers and yelled "Happy Belated Birthday" at me. Then we had a mini party with food. (Because my newspaper kids use every excuse in the book to eat food!)" They gave me socks for my birthday--they know my absolute favorite thing in the world is new socks--now I won't have to buy new socks for my trip next week!

In case you were wondering, if you wanted to rap my last name, it would be: "H to the I with a double G to the S." That spells Higgs, in case you don't speak hip hop ghetto.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election continued...

Teenagers are apathetic. Most rarely get excited, especially over boring historical things. But I must say the energy at the high school today was palpable. They talked all day about the elections, who might win, what the Electoral College was, how long their parents had to wait in line,who had the better campaign, and on and on. It was uplifting to see that level of excitement among 15-18 year olds, 98% of who couldn't even vote! And it was both Republicans and Democrats! I hope they keep that level of excitement as they grow old enough to vote.

I reminded them that tomorrow needed to be a pleasant day, regardless of who won. I didn't want any name-calling, or rude statements. We'll see what the day brings...

On a less postive note, we were talking with Macy about the elections at dinner. They'd had an election in the classroom yesterday. She told us that a girl in her class, Ali, said that Obama was a bad man because he was black. What bothers me the most about that statement is this little girl is 6. She has obviously heard someone say that, and now her entire frame of reference has been skewed regarding race. She will grow up thinking anyone not white is bad. Amazing that as far as our country has come, there are still people basing decisions on the color of one's skin. Regardless of the outcome of the election, people voted based on the color of skin and that is not the way it should be.

Election Day!

I voted this morning! I had to wait about a half hour, and it wasn't bad. The biggest mess was trying to get in the parking lot, so I parked across the street and walked through a field.

When I was pregnant with Kaylin, I had to renew my driver's license. I noted that it wouldn't expire until 2009, which she was 5, almost 6. I wrote about it in her pregnancy journal. We moved shortly after she was born, four years ago, and I have never renewed my license. It still shows that I live at a different address, in a different city, but I don't want to renew it until I have to.

I've voted in the same place for four years, every small or big election. After waiting a half hour, the lady almost denied me because the address was different. I flashed my best, most pleasant smile and explained that I've lived at my current address for four years but never renewed my license, and that my current address is the same as my husband's on the sheet right in front of her. She flashed her best, most pleasant smile back at me and said she thought it would be okay.

I still won't renew my driver's license until next year.

What an exciting election day for America. Hopefully everyone gets out and votes!