Sunday, 26 December 2010

The Traveling Curse

I am wondering if there is a traveling curse that has been put upon me.... or if God just has a cruel sense of humour that makes my trips always about sickness.  Yes I said it sickness.  

First, I was upset about leaving, I knew I would be having a great time in Vegas, but I was upset to leave my little man behind for the first time in 410 days.  It won't be the last time I leave him for a holiday I am sure but it was hard and sad all the same.  So the trip started out a little sad to say the least.  

Second, my sister woke me up an hour before I had the wake up call booked for. Why would she do this?  Was it because of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming five days???  If you thought, "yes that's what it must have been!" you would be wrong.  If you thought well she mentions sickness up in the first paragraph, maybe she wasn't feeling well, then you would have hit the mark on the head.  Yes my sister woke up feeling ill today, she had a sore throat, then she almost got airsick on the plane, and finally she had to call it in after lunch and she slept in the hotel room all afternoon.  She seems to have caught a mixture of bugs, a little sore throat bug and the G. I. bug that had infected my house Dec 22 and 23rd.  

So I have now spent the afternoon meandering around the hotel and looking for deals, trying to organize the trip from here on out because I am not wasting time.  This is going to turn into a great trip, but seriously I must be cursed.  This isn't the first time a sickness has interfered with my trips.  The first time was back in 2008 when my friend Pam and I went to California for Easter break.  It was a great trip but Pam got sick part way through the trip.  She was a trooper though and powered through so we didn't get to side tracked, just had to watch what we ate.  Then this summer when we were in California, I got sick, then Adrian got sick and then Chandler got sick, all with the same bug.  It affected our time in Tahoe and our Trip to Marine World, Africa USA theme park. Meaning I did not get to go, but Adrian went with James.  And now this, my sister is sick on our first day here.  

It's never usually me but it's always some one with whom I am traveling.  I will post some pictures later, the lights are on the strip is bright and I have energy to burn!!!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Anticipation and Apprehension

So how is this for a conundrum: I am anticipating a fabulous holiday in Vegas with my sister, a GROWN UP holiday, yet I am super apprehensive about leaving.  Not because I have any fears of flying or any fears of anything bad happening while I am down there.  Nope super apprehensive about leaving Little Man alone for five days with his dad.  I have never spent the night away from Little Man his entire life.  I have wanted to, but it's just never happened and now that it is, I am upset about it!!  It's all silly.  It's all those irrational fears coming up and it is driving me crazy.  

Here are some of the irrational fears I am dealing with.  Sometimes  think I am just nuts, but whatever.  So one fear is that maybe he will think I have abandoned him in the night and that I won't return.  I put him to bed tonight but I won't be there in the morning when he wakes up and that is definitely something out of the norm for him.  Or maybe he will forget about me when I am gone for so long, I am not really sure how long babies memories are, I hope I have made a bigger impression on him then someone he has only seen a few times but who knows.  Or that he will start talking or doing something else as a first and I will have missed it.  

I am excited about my trip and I know I will have fun, I just have to talk myself out of these irrational fears.  I wonder though am I the only one this happens to?

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

YEAH!!! I saw it , finally!!! And it was worth going to at the theatre!!! I was so excited with the movie and the way the director transferred the book onto the big screen.   And there was no noise over the voices and background that gave me a headache this time!!

I truly enjoyed the movie and even though there were some changes from the book, I don't think they took away form the overall story.  There were some characters that were cut out and some scenes but they added other things into the scene that helped explain different aspects of the story.

I am stuck as to what to write at this moment, because I don't want to give anything away, but there are parts of the story that I wish they would have kept.  One example is the first scene with Harry and his uncle and aunt and cousin.  In the book, Harry stumbles over a tea cup set outside his door.  He believes that Dudley had set it there as a practical joke on Harry.  As Harry and his family are getting ready to part ways, possibly forever, you can tell there is no real love lost.  Then Dudley asks why they are leaving and why Harry isn't coming with them.  It's that simple question from one of the biggest bullies in the book that lend a vision of hope to the ability for people to change and to see how relationship dynamics can change and not everyone is aware of them because of preconceived notions.  This scene however was cut from the story and it made me a little sad.

I do get that the book was a super long book and they were already making the one book into two movies, so they had to take some creative liberties and make some changes, but sometimes it's those small scenes that really bring those small themes to light in the movie.  So all in all I would give this movie many many thumbs up or many, many stars!!!  I can't wait to see the movie again!!!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Friends:New, old and Lapsed

So with it being the festive season and all of us about to embark on many family gatherings, I decided to write a blog about friendship (again!) but in a bit of different mood than previous blogs on friends.

So for many of us, the holidays are a time to spend with various family members and a time to really enjoy your extended family that you don't get to see as often as you would like.  Some of us have HUGE families and have more Christmas celebrations than I would know what to do with.  They really give a true meaning to the 12 days of Christmas.  Some of us have smaller families or families that are geographically separated by many kilometers so our Christmases are less extended but no less special. Some of us won't be spending Christmas with our blood relatives, but with friends that have become family because they rank higher up in our priorities or because they are geographically closer during this celebratory time.  Whatever the reasons for your holiday gatherings I hope they are all fantastic.

To my friends, though I have this to say.  I am happy I have all of you in my life.  I hope you are all spending your holiday as you want to and that you get everything you want for Christmas.

To those friends that I talk to on a regular bases, I will be calling or texting you around the holiday and I hope that you get everything you want for Christmas.

To those friends that I don't actually speak with regularly, know that you are in my thoughts and in my heart during this time of the year.  (Maybe this will be my New Year's resolution, to reconnect with a few friends whom I only talk with online....)

To those friends that it appears our friendship has lapsed, I don't think that all friendships that lapse are a bad thing or a negative reflection on anyone person, I believe that it is just the way things sometimes are. But I still hope things are well for you and that you get your Christmas wish, whatever that is.

I actually started this out thinking I was going to vent about a situation in which I have been cut from a "friends" life since this "friend" has gotten engaged, but I just don't think it matters.  In fact it's that persons loss, not mine.  I wish them well and I hope they are enjoying their life!  Tis the season I guess.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Movie going

So on the weekend I went to the Harry Potter movie in Sasaktoon.  We decided to go to Center Cinemas because it was cheaper and I didn't have much money. That was a HUGE mistake.  I am sure the Harry Potter Movie is great, but my viewing oof that movie was less than enjoyable.

Unfortunately the theatre had some issues with thier sound system and all I heard for an hour and fifteen minutes was scratching noises over the talking.  I was so upset.  My two friends and I left the theatrea dn spoke to the the manager.  Her personal skills were less than desirable for her postiion.  After some pointed complaining though we were all given two movie passes and we left the theater.  Chandler and his friend stayed until the end of the moviesand they got one movie pass a piece. 

So now I have ot go and see the Harry Potter movie on my own.  I have no one in Red deer to see it with.  So I have decided to go on my own, it will be my treat to myself.  I really want to see the movie so I guess this is what I have to do.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

DAY 30 of the 30 DAY challenge!!!!!

Find a recent photo of yourself and post it.

So I have given you two photos.  One is of me a little Man after the first snow.  We had fun playing with Jett and Krista outside, even if Krista hates the cold. 
The second one is after I had my hair done in Saskatoon and we played with a partial up do for my wedding.  I think I am going to be able to do my own hair and make up for my wedding and save me a couple hundred dollars. YEAH!!! Also my cousin used to be a hair dresser so she said she would help me with my hair!!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Mineraleyez Make Up

So here is a shout out to my friend Lexus. She has completed a few business school courses and started up her own mineral make-up company, Mineral Eyez.  She is now based out of Vancouver and had been doing many trade shows and exhibitions to get her make up line out to the public.  I bought a start up kit from her and have been using her make-up now for 6 months.  I find the make up easy to use and easy to apply and the pigmentation of the colours is wonderful.

Here are a few close up pictures of my face all done up with the make up on. 
So this is the whole face.  I am wearing foundation, blush, eye shadow and eye liner from Mineral Eyez.

The lid shade is saskatoon berr-eh.

The cheek colour is -40 Flush.
All her products can be bought on line by visiting her website!!!  Here is the linkMineral eyez

Christmas shopping

So I started and finished my Christmas shopping today.  Sounds glorious?  No?  Well it was alright. We have opted out of buying Christmas gifts for family members this year, we are only buying for the kids.  So Adrian and I split that task. He will buy for Leigham and I will buy for Chandler.  I am buying stuff for Chandler in Vegas so I don't have to worry about him.  But we did have to get Santa gifts so I did my portion of the Santa gifts today. I may have one more to go out and grab, but I will get to that when I get to that.  It's not essential.

I am getting that Christmas spirit more and more every day.  Even the crazy people in Wal-mart today couldn't even dampen my mood.  That is truly saying something, because they were crazy.  I have my Christmas tunes playing and I have such a mood to give and give and give.  I have two girlfriends that have had baby girls in the past three months and it was so hard not to buy little Christmas dresses for their babies.  I have a shopping problem, but then I didn't know their older child's size and it just wouldn't be fair, so I contained myself.  However, if those girls read my blog and want to send me sizes when I am in Vegas I will look for some cute little outfits, I have to fulfill my shopping desires on someone!! lol

Merry Happy Ho- Ho Everyone!!! I hope you all get to spend time with your family and loved ones this holiday season!!!

30 Day Challenge Day 29

Your opinions on the TV show GLEE

Well to be perfectly honest I have never watched it.  Not one little episode.  It seemed to High School Musical-ish and just not my thing.  Do I think I have missed out on some episodes that have aired?  Yeah I have always said to myself "oh they are doing a tribute to (insert musician here) I should watch that show." and yet I have never done it.  If they ever come out with a DVD release of all their tribute episodes I may sit down and watch it, I think the music is great on the show, I just don't see myself sitting down for a weekly episode viewing.

30 day challenge day 28

Your first celebrity crush

The earliest celebrity crush that stands out in my mind is Joey MacIntyre from NKOTB.  I just thought he was adorable, and I wanted to be his girlfriend.  I think that was my first celebrity crush but if there was someone else I can't remember who they would have been now.

Monday, 13 December 2010

December 8th

The morning light nearly blinded me as I woke up from a restless nights sleep.  Over the past 4 weeks my life had been in a constant state of upheaval so why should I expect to wake up peacefully or even get a restful night sleep.  I could smell the roasting coffee in the kitchen and it encouraged me to sit up and crawl out of the hide-a-bed in the living room.   

"Good morning mom," I called as I stretched and reached for my slippers.  Chan was already eating cereal at the kitchen table and mom was surrounded by folders.  Some were open, some were stacked on the island of the kitchen but they all dictated a problem we had to deal with.

"Good morning Jenny, did you sleep alright?" Mom asked as she quickly glanced up from the list she was making. 

"It was ok, but I can't wait to get home.  So are we leaving tomorrow for sure then?"  I asked anxious to get home, living out of a suitcase was not a way of life.  Nor was leaving in the state of things but this life of limbo was enough to drive a person crazy.

"Well hurry up and get ready to go we have a big day ahead of us," Mom absently instructed as she turned her attention back to the affairs of the estate that had to be dealt with.

Hurrying into the washroom I turned on the shower.  I needed some time to relax and think as the scalding water crashed down on my skin.  I didn't want things to be over, but I needed something to happen, I wanted him to get better, I wanted him to make a recovery, I did not want to see him lying in that hospital bed anymore, with cooling blankets and tubes in every orifice of his body.  It was not a pleasant sight and I knew he would not want to be laid up like that.  I knew he would not want the last memories his family had of him was of someone who was not even strong enough to breath on his own. 

I was lost in thoughts and did not realize that my face was not only wet from the shower but from the tears that overfilled my eyes.  In this time in my life, I could not believe I was having to deal with this situation. It was a horrible situation and the instigating factors were so absurd it played out like a sweeps story line from a soap opera. 

Chandler was dressed and watching cartoons by the time I got out of the shower.  Grabbing a cup of coffee and pouring in some caramel creamer I sat at the kitchen table.  Mom was talking on the phone with another company, getting contact information to cancel another account or to put another account on hold.  The canned laughter from Nickelodeon reminded me of another time I had been here, a time when all those things that made my life absurd now did not even exist.  Chandler would have been sitting beside the recliner, on his beanbag chair, not in the recliner.  The sofa would have been a sofa, not a bed and my father, not my mother would have been sitting at the kitchen table with me. My father and I would have been discussing the plans for the day, the fun we would have with Chandler, not the jobs we had to do for my father's estate.

Mom got off the phone and got ready.  I finished my coffee and joined Chandler in the living room.  Picking up "Marley and Me" I began to read another chapter.  After the show ended I had Chandler gather up some of his school work and put it into his book bag to take with us during the day.  It was going to be a long day of driving.  I brought my book with me, hoping that the day would go by without incident but not counting on anything.

I fired off a text to my girlfriend Alex, to give her an update on the situation.  I had not seen her much this time since I was doing more running around with my mom, but we had been calling and texting regularly which was the only semblance of normalcy in my life at the moment.

Taking the road out of Discovery Bay, Mom headed out to the Freeway on her way to Fremont and Newark.  Because we were leaving at 9 in the morning we hit the tail end of rush hour traffic.  It was foggy, like the steam clouds that escape from steam rooms at the gym. Once we got above the Altamont the fog cleared and the sun shone down on us all.   Switching radio stations to something we would all enjoy, I sat back and closed my eyes.

To be honest, I found it a miracle I could close my eyes at all.  My eyes were so puffy, so very puffy.  With the lack of sleep and the crying that had happened since Thanksgiving, I did not think my eyes would ever return to their normal shape or size.  I caught a glimpse of myself after one painful crying session at the hospital and it looked like I had just lost a fist fight with someone.  Seriously, each eye lid was so swollen you could see the eyelash rim in front, they appeared to be 20 times their normal size and they were lined with bluish green bags and red rimmed on the inside.  It was not a pretty site, in fact it was down right scary.

After an hour we had made it to Mission Boulevard in Fremont.  Mom turned in by Wells Fargo to go in and talk to a Bank Manager.  We did not have an appointment, because we did not know whom we needed to speak to, but we were hoping that something would finally go our way.

Poor Chandler was so bored, all I heard was variations of "mom I'm bored" or "are we done yet" or "I'm hungry mom when are we going to eat."  He was good though, considering all factors the kid did well under pressure.  He wasn't too annoying and I promised I would buy him a treat when we finally finished with everything that we needed to do.

I think the God's had conspired against me until this point, but something had shifted during this day.  For days we had been told "no, you can't do that" or "sorry we can't tell you that" or " no you don't have the right documentation" and it was like a No wall had been placed in front of us making our advancement in dealing with the estate impossible.  But today, things had turned around.

Suddenly, the bank said we had the right documentation and that we could get into Dad's Safety Deposit box.  It was just a matter of going to his branch and going in to see if the documents were in there.  I could have kissed the Bank Teller.  We left the bank and the cell phone rang.

I answered the phone and our lawyer was on the other line.  She had called to let me know that the Hospital had told her they would not honour my father's advanced directives because he did not fill out their form.  Effin Kaiser!!!  Fighting the hospital was a battle in futility and I was done battling with them, and as much as I wanted to be there for my father until his time was through I had bills to pay and job to work.  It was not feasible for me to spend anymore time in the States especially if the Hospital was being so friggen pig headed.

"Who was that?" inquired my mother as she unlocked the truck.

"Oh it was just Daphne telling me she had run into another obstacle with the hospital.  You know if it favoured them not to use a law that had not been put in place yet they wouldn't but because it does favour them they are going to use it." I complained, "I just don't get it, he didn't even put her down as his next of kin, she isn't even in this country or continent and she has more authority then his living child, his only living child."

"I know it's frustrating Jenn, but maybe things will turn around for us, maybe things are finally going to work out for us." 

It wouldn't have been a big issue to get into Dad's Safety Deposit Box if we could have found his Advance Health Directives sheet that stated who could make health decisions for him in case he was ever in a situation where he could not speak for himself.  Obviously, with a breathing tube down his throat living on life support he could no longer make decisions, but the hospital was not listening to us, no they were listening to his new "wife" from the Philippines.  Did this situation make me angry, oh you bet it did!

This was my second journey to the states in a 4 week time period, usually I only make it down once in a 104 week period.  I don't know that I would have decided to come this second time if the hospital hadn't called me Monday before the American Thanksgiving and had a discussion about his situation.  Dad had been moved out of the ICU into the Cardiac ward, but then he had taken a turn for the worse, and now the hospital needed to know what the family wanted to do. 

Under any circumstance I want to hope for the best, but unfortunately, the Doctors had no hope.  The fact was Dad's body was shutting down.  His hearts ejection factor was at 7 %, he couldn't breath on his own, his oxygen intake was never more than 92%, he had an infection that was systematically attacking his other organs.  It was not a pretty site.  Dad had directives in his Trust that he did not want to be kept alive on life support if there was no hope that he would get better.  I, more than anyone, know my father is a fighter, and if there was a way he could overcome this situation then I know he would have, but the outlook was bleak, so bleak that the hospital gave him a 5% chance if he could beat the fever.  He never beat the fever.  In the family meeting his "wife" was on the phone, she agreed that when the family could all be together to say good bye we would move him to Compassionate Care.  So I got my things in order to fly back to the states, take more time off work, and to ready my heart and soul to say good bye to the man I knew as Dad.

The most frustrating part is the hospital knew I was planning to come back down to California by Thanksgiving, they knew I was making arrangements, yet the day after our phone meeting, Dad's "wife" phoned and exercised her "wifely" rights and told the hospital they could not take him off life support.  But when  I called to talk to the hospital they did not inform me of this change and I proceeded to make it down to the states.  Then when we get there two days later the hospital decides to tell us that they will not be moving him to Compassionate Care because his "wife" didn't want that, even though his advanced directives stated that is exactly what he wanted.

So we held out hope that we would be able to find his form that listed his durable power of attorney for health decisions.

Waiting in the Newark Safeway while mom went into the back with the safety deposit boxes, Chandler and I waited out front.  I looked around the Safeway of my summers recalling shopping trips for barbecues and snacks.  I remembered standing at the Teller Windows while Dad wrote cheques and I remember getting suckers and candies from the ladies that worked there.  They were always happy to see Dad and he always had a smile for them.  In private my dad may have said some racist things, but in public he could turn on the charisma and he made friends with everyone.  It was always a wonder to me how he could charm so many people into genuine smiles and laughter, yet he could be so quick tempered other times.  Sometimes it was like watching Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde simultaneously.

"Well thank you," I heard mom say as she came out from the back room. "I took everything out of the safety deposit box so you can close that box."

"What was in there?" I asked Mom as we headed outside.

Mom just shook her head and we continued to follow behind her to the truck.  When she got in she turned her eyes towards me and stared at me, her eyes were wide and she her mouth was open, her head was shaking slowly back and forth.  "Do you really want to know what's in there?  Because I am going to hit your father with it.  I can't believe what he kept in that Safety Deposit Box."

"So it wasn't the durable power of attorney form?" I asked raising my eyebrows.

"No," she said simply taking a small break, "nothing as useful as that, no your father had an ivory tusk, an old geometry set and some old coins.  That's it, that's all he had in there, and he had the biggest box you could get.  Why would he spend money on that?"

Shaking my head, shoulders rising and falling I laughed at the absurdness of everything.  We would get one step forward but would then be set back three steps.  It was never letting us get ahead. 

Our next step was to Pleasanton to a building that Mike Meyers told us to go to in order to pick up a cheque for Dad's investment dividends.   We were then going to need to cash that cheque but we did not want to go back to Newark, so we had the bank authorize a deposit and cash withdrawal for the same amount for the same day of the cheque we were going to deposit.  After much finagling and driving we were finished our errands for the day.  But it was already 3.

We proceed on the 580 heading back to Discovery Bay.  Traffic was at a stand still. I literary could have gotten out and walked faster than we were driving.  It took us 45 minutes to get from one exit to the next exit. Apparently there was an accident just before the Altamont and we needed to find an alternate route home.

Mom got off the freeway and we went shopping for a bit.  Just to get out of the car and to stretch our legs.  We stopped at a Target and bought a couple dresses and some Lego for Chandler.  We wandered around the store and spent 45 minutes there hoping that traffic would be moving more than it was now. 

Back on the highway we took the alternate route home.  Darlene called while we were driving and said they would come over for supper to visit for a bit.  Not wanting to argue or cause issues we agreed to meet her at Dad's house at 6. 

Mom and I stopped at Safeway in Discovery Bay and bought supper. I can't remember what it was, I have tried but I don't remember.  Darlene and the kids were at the house when we arrived and we all went in and hung out through supper.  I left my Canadian cell phone in the truck, because I was using Dad's cell phone to talk to people in California so I didn't really need my Canadian cell.  After Darlene and her kids left, I got Chandler to get ready for bed, and then cleaned up the kitchen.  Afterwards, I realized that my phone was in the truck so I ran out to get it, in case someone had called.  It was that intuition that tells you, it is important that you have the phone, something was nagging at me that  I would need my phone tonight.

Running out in my pajamas I opened the truck and pulled my phone out of the door.  I looked at the screen and saw that I had missed two calls and I had two voicemails.  The calls were both American, California, Antioch numbers.  That was my thought process as I processed the number on display on my cell phone. 

A rock sunk into my stomach, I hit 1 then talk and went through accessing my voicemail.  The first one was from Tom at Kaiser Antioch ICU department and he wanted me to call the hospital as soon as I could.  The second one was from Susan with Kaiser Antioch's counselling department who wanted to talk to me.  Taking in deep breathes I called Kaiser.  I was transferred to the ICU department and asked to speak to Tom, I identified who I was and waited while they looked for Tom. 

"Miss Lacourse," came the voice from the phone, "I am so sorry to have to tell you this, but your father passed away tonight at 7:30."

Gasping, I wildly searched for a clock, I needed to find out what time it was.  My eyes landed on the DVD player and it's red lights displayed 8:30.  An hour ago, my father had taken his last breathe. "Did he suffer?"
I am not sure why I asked this question, I knew Dad had been suffering, I mean his breathing tube had cracked in his throat on Saturday and had to be replaced.

"No the nurse said he simply opened his eyes and looked around then took a breath and closed his eyes and his heart stopped," the voice continued.

"Thank you.," I sobbed. I hung up the phone and was enveloped into a hug by my mother and son.  My father had lost his long battle, he was in a better place now and would not hurt anymore, but I had decided to have supper with friends instead of heading to the hospital to visit him.  The gut wrench, rib shaking sobs racked my body the devastation that befell me in that moment was so complete, so total that it felt as if I were being crushed by all that was negative in the world. 

I made calls that night to cousins and close families friends, to deliver the inevitable yet undeniably devastating news.  I heard more than one person choke up and I couldn't talk for long.  Chandler sat beside me with his head on my lap, I ran my fingers through his hair and made my quick calls. 

That night I had a fitful sleep. I was full of guilt, I had not been there for my dad's last moments.  No one had been there.  We had all been there the day before but on this day, we were all wrapped up in our lives outside of this horrible situation.  I did not think I could ever forgive myself for not being there when he would have been at his most vulnerable.

As time has passed I have come to terms with that day.  I have accepted that I could not have known, I could not have foreseen the future and been able to predict the time of his untimely demise.  I know that I was there for all the times I could give, I know that I was thinking of him and hoping he would be fine.  I know that had things gone as we had planned and his "wife" had not interfered and been selfish, we would have been able to surround him in love at that fateful moment, but for whatever reason fate stepped in and denied us that opportunity.  Fate can play a cruel joke at times. 

I know this is a super long blog, and I don't blame you if you don't read it but it has definitely been cathartic for me to write.  If you want to post a comment I will welcome them!!!  Thanks for sticking it through.

Science and Passion

I am not a science teacher, but I am.  This year part of my teaching assignment is to teach Grade Eight Science.  I am not the only Science teacher and I only teach one Grade Eight class so I don't know if my students aren't getting the same education as the other class.  I worry that maybe they aren't learning the concepts, but I am realizing that I have to stop comparing myself to the other teacher and just worry about what I am doing.  This is harder than it sounds since the school wants us to be using the same teaching tools and handouts for the students.

In this struggle I have discovered some interesting facts about myself.  I struggle with teaching concepts I don't fully grasp, which I am sure is the same with everyone.  However, if I can see th practical application for a concept I can bring it to my students with avegence.  So I have decided to attack each concept I want the kids to learn with the "end in mind".  They teach you this in school but I have never really had to use it until now, or I never had to consciously think about it unitl now. 

What I have done, is I have posed problems to my students that they have to solve.  We do a little lecturing and classroom learning, but now the students must take these things and explain them in practical solutions. This has definitely improved the atmosphere in my classroom.  The students are more receptive and I am finidng that they are more engaged in the task at hand.  I have created learning groups within the classroom that collaborate together and the next step is to teach them how to work together cooperatively to teach learning to their classmates. 

It's been a struggle but the benefits at the end are going to be AMAZING!!!!

Christmas Season

Tis the season to be... baking.  Apparently in my house, this is what I am doing. I LOVE baking though so it makes the season so much more fun!!! I love to bake, cooking and I don't see eye to eye all the time but the baking concepts that's where I excell.  I should have gone to school to be a baker, because I love working with dough and creating new desserts. 

I made maple cinnamon buns this weekend. They were delicious. I like my cinnamon buns plan, meaning no nuts or raisons.  But I like to experiment with differnt tastes and add things in that I think would be a little tasty.  And the maple cinnamon buns were exceptionally tasty.  I also made regular cinnamon buns and bread this weekend.  I have my Great Grandma's bread recipe and it is a phenomenal recipe.

Adrian made chocolate chip cookies on Saturday.  They were pretty tasty but I still think mine taste better.  I may be a biased judge though. 

The house smelled delicious all weekend. There is something completely soothing about the smell of baking bread.  I am calmed down and relaxed whenever I can smell homemade bread.  Even mass produced bread like at the big bakeries still has that main fresh bread smell and I love it!!

I will edit this post again to include some of the mouth watering pictures I took as well.  Hopefully, tonight we will get our tree up and it will start to feel like Christmas.  I am still waiting for the Christmas spirit to descend upon me, it's now two years and I am not feeling the Christmas spirit as I used to. This year is definitely better than last but not by much.

30 Day Challenge Day 27

Share your three favourite girls names, boys names and pets names

1. Auroura
2. Tacia
3. Kalleigh

1. Chandler
1. Leigham (it's a tie because I wouldn't want either boy to think I prefered one name to the other ;))
3. Ryleigh ( this is one of my son's middle names the other has the middle name Michael, I like Ryleigh more than Michael, but Michael is in honour of my father.)

1. Lexus
2. Sasha
3. Ninja

Sunday, 12 December 2010

30 day challenge day 26

Name one place you would like to visit and why

I would love to visit Greece. I have been in love with Greece since I was in grade 6. It stems from my passion in history and my passion for mythology. I want to go and explore all the areas that the stories and myths talk about. I want to see the culture to see the seas, to travel the narrow roads that climb up on steep banks. I can’t wait until I can get there and it will be one day soon!!!

30 day challenge day 25

Tell us about the last book you read

The last new book I read was The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. It was a great book, I so enjoyed it. But the last book I read was Marion Keyes’ The Other Side of the Story. It’s a story of miscommunication and the interlocking lives of three women and their struggles to overcome their obstacles in their personal lives.

30 day challenge Day 24

Tell us about the last movie you saw in theatres

The last movie I saw in theatres was Morning Glory. I loved it. It was such a cute movie and it will be the last movie I see in theatres for awhile that’s for sure. Too broke and not enough time, although I do want to go see Harry Potter, I have to see that movie in theatres and i can’t believe I haven’t gone yet.

30 day challenge day 23

YOur opinions on Lady Gaga

I do not like Lady Gaga or her music. I find her shock value outfits and I couldn’t be bothered to really pay any attention to what she does. I am definitely not a Little Monster.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

30 Day Challenge Day 22

Do you play a sport?  If not talk about a hobby you have.

I don't actually play any organized sports.  I would like to play soccer or ultimate Frisbee in the summer, but I have never really pursued either of these as a team sport.  I would even play softball if I could find a team that wasn't worried that I was afraid of the ball.  ( I have been hit with the ball too many times not to flinch when it comes at me)

As for hobbies, I love to read and write (blogging, poetry, short stories, beginnings of novels (I say beginnings because I usually run into writers block and can't finish the story)).  I also love to do scrapbooking, and I have found a new love for digital scrapbooking, it makes things much easier, and it's not as messy as the other way.  I also love to bake, it's definitely a hobby, I would never do it professionally, I think that would be stressful, but maybe one day I will take some baking and decorating classes and branch out into the world of my own bakery.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

30 day challenge day 21

Your favorite subject to study

I have two favourite subjects, and I cannot differentiate between which is actually my favourite.  My first favourite is English, I love reading and writing and I just love everything there is to love about language.  I find so many small joys in books and I find that books are a way to reach so many different people at one time. 

My other favourite subject is History.  I love history and I love learning about the impacts of events on the lives of the citizens.  I think that Social Studies and Current events are also very interesting but I like to look back to see why things that happened thousands of years ago are still relevant today. 

To be perfectly honest I just love learning. If I won the lottery I would quit my job and I would become a full time student I would probably end up being a professor at a university or a guest lecturer on many subjects because I love learning then imparting that knowledge to other eager or not so eager learners.

Monday, 6 December 2010

30 Day cHallnege day 20

Do you wear glasses? If so what for?

I used to wear reading glasses, but since I have finished school my eyes have corrected themselves and I do not need glasses anymore.  I still have my reading glasses and if I get a headache I will put them on but the eye doctor says I don't need them anymore.

30 Day Challenge Day 19

What are the initials of your crush?

Well the first and most important crush is ALR, or as I more commonly refer to him AGB.  After that celebrity crushes are now so few and far between it is hard to even remember them sometimes.  But here is the top three list.
1. SM
2. JD
3. PW

Can you guess who they are??

30 Day Challenge Day 18

Do you drink soda more often then milk?

I would love to say I drink milk more often than soda, but that is just not the case.  I hate milk.  I will maybe have a glass of milk once every two to three weeks.  I do enjoy Soy milk, but I am not in the habit of drinking milk with meals so that makes it hard to finish the Soy milk before it goes bad.  So even though I have cut down my soda drinking (I used to drink at least 500 ml a day, yes it's sick I know I had an addiction) I will still have a glass or two of soda a week.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Teaching with Passion

I have been posed with the question whether I was passionate about teaching or not.  This is a self posed question and I have had to think about what my answer would be.  After careful consideration this is the answer I have composed.

My passion lies in the shaping of young minds. My passion lies in finding new opportunities to learn from the subject at hand and the students in my class.  My passion lies in the words and art and dramatizations.  My passion lies with the look in a students eye when the concept becomes apparent.  So am I passionate about teaching, yes I am very passionate.  However, I am struggling to convey that to my students.  I think they see glimpses of my passion but I am struggling to convey this passion on a daily basis.  You may ask why.

Well the reason I find I am struggling is my internal perfectionism.  I am a perfectionist at heart and I do not like to lead my students down paths that are not perfectly smooth.  I love presenting labs to students because it allows them to explore on their own, but if they don't get it right I feel like I have failed them.  I have corrected a few labs and the students results are inaccurate or confused and now I am struggling with how I can fix this discovery to meet the curriculum goal.  I struggle teaching right now because the subject matter is not the subject I am or was most passionate about in school. 

Obviously it is science, which was tied as my worst subject with math, go figure right.  I didn't struggle with math or science per se, I just somehow caught onto the concepts and was able to apply them over and over. Maybe my science and math was more rote memorization of formulas then actual higher level thinking which is why I did well, but did not develop a passion for it.  I am trying to develop a passion for my science curriculum that I am teaching, but because I struggle with the concepts I don't know that I can present them to my students in a conducive manner. 

So from the teachers out there, how do you teach a subject you are not passionate about in a passionate manner?  What strategies do you employ in your classrooms that are more easily transferred from subject to subject?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

30 Day Challenge Day 17

Your Thought on Ugg boots

My honest opinion.... well I don't like them. I can say they look comfortable and cozy and I am sure they would keep my feet warm on a cold day, but I just don't like them.  I find them too bulky for my liking.

I am sure it is my only personal demons coming out to hate these boots, but when you are built like I am (or think you are built like I am) pants tucked into boots is not a great look.  I am not even sure leggings are a good look for me unless it is with a super long sweater, one that comes to my knees.  I feel very awkward when I have them on, like I am the fat girl trying to be skinny... I am also not a fan of flat shoes.  I have some flats, but not very many, and no flat soled boots at all except for my snow boots.  So there are some strikes against the Uggs for me, but to each there own.  I have seen Uggs look great on some people, but on me I just feel like it's not an option.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Ok I have a question for the mom's out there...

I have a very serious question that has been haunting me since my youngest was born.  I tend to have many thoughts running through my head at any given time, and sometimes I kind of whisper those thoughts out as I am doing something.  But I have noticed something that has become more apparent since my youngest son was born.  So the question is this.....Do any of you moms out there find yourself talking to yourself as you go through your day?  I had gotten into the habit of narrating all parts of the day to Little Man as I interacted with him.  They say that it encourages speech and helps the baby learn to speak faster.. not sure if there is any truth behind it, but I didn't mind doing it and as he has gotten older I have started talking with him more.

So today as I am going through my daily chores I realize that I am talking to myself dictating out loud all the things I have to do and how I am going to explain them later to Adrian when he gets home.  I am not saying them loudly, it's like loud thoughts or quiet whispers but I am hearing them.  I know I have a habit of talking out my plans when I am trying to organize my thoughts, but not to this extent.  Twice in an hour I was like "omg I am talking to myself!!" So then I would stop, only to notice it again.  Maybe I just need to talk with more people, or maybe get out of my house more, or maybe more people need to come visit with me so I can have real conversation instead of conversations with myself lol.  So has any other mom noticed this, or anyone else for that matter?

30 Day Challenge day 16

Your favorite Disney Princess movie

In respect to Disney Princess movies this post is written in pink!! Without a doubt, my favourite Princess movie is the Little Mermaid.  I loved the story before they created it into a movie, but I also believe it was one of the first Disney Movies of the new era.  It was one of the first really musical Disney movies that went main stream.  All Disney movies incorporated singing, but not to the extent that they did when they made The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Pocahontas, etc. etc. 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

30 day challenge day 15

Tell us your favorite junk food
My favourite type of junk food is any junk food. LOL just kidding.

If I had to pick a favourite of all time it would be a tie between Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Pepsi. Both unfortunately for me have become comfort foods. I will crave them when I am feeling down or missing my dad. There is a definite tie to my father with both these items as he always kept me in supply in the summers when I came down to visit. Ask any of my California friends, they will tell you, if they came over to my dad’s they would open the fridge and find a pepsi and in the cupboard beside the fridge was a box of Reese’s. I don’t eat or drink much junk food anymore, but when the cravings start those are my first two choices.