Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Say what?

Last week I spent some time with a dear friend sanding and priming old house shutters.  Why?  I am still not exactly sure.  Something about wall decorations or a headboard.  However, the hands-on project provided us with two-plus hours of talk time.  And as girls, we love to talk.  We talk about everything.

At one point I started to share something weighing on my mind.  I talked and talked.  And she just listened.  She asked good questions and then just listened some more.  She didn't offer advice unless I specifically asked for it.  I didn't completely resolve the issue, but she had helped me think through it.  I left with a lighter heart and a $40 parking ticket violation for blocking the sidewalk (another story).

I got to thinking.  When I am in conversation, am I listening to what the person is actually saying and feeling, or am I preparing my next question or witty retort?  I am, by nature, a fixer.  I try to have your problem solved before you have even finished telling me about it.

And with that, I am off to the pool with my sister.  I shall attempt to not try to solve all of her problems.

(this Pearls comic must have been commissioned in honor of me)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

School's Out!

Last night I did not set my alarm clock.  I went to bed after 11.  This morning Shaun texted me at 10:22 as a wake-up call which I slept through.  Summer must be here.  AHHHHHHH.

I also discovered the pool opens at 9am.  I think that is the perfect wake-up time this summer, no?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reasons not to like school library chairs

1.  They were made for children aged 5-11, not for adults.
2.  They provide no back support for long meetings.
3.  They are hard on your behind during long meetings.
4.  If you are not careful and accidentally knock one over onto your big toe, you will think unkind thoughts, have to excuse yourself from the group, sweat profusely, and hobble around for the rest of the week with a nasty cut and bruise.

I am so glad soccer season is over!  I am right-footed after all!

P.S.  I thought about adding a picture of my big toe, and then realized if it weren't attached to my own foot I'd probably throw up at the sight of it.  Maybe I'll wait 'til it gets nice and purple.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Smorgasbord of recent favorites

1.  Alstromerias.   (Had to Google how to spell that one.  I was waaaay off.)
Trader Joe's had them in an assorted bunch, so I've been enjoying the colors all week.  Sorry for the poor quality pic-- my camera phone leaves a bit to be desired.  But they are gorgeous.

2.  The game of soccer and my Frontline teammates.
It hasn't been a particularly spectacular season in the win category, but I really enjoy spending time with my teammates.  They are awesome folk who exemplify how to be competitive and be servants.  Last game Stu had an open goal (minus the goalie) and chose to pass me the ball.  I, of course, missed the open goal, but how many people do you know who would give up the glory for a teammate?

3.  Crazy Love by Francis Chan.
Some challenging quotes:

  • Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.
  • Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.  [ouch]
  • The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.

I keep reading and re-reading this book.  Good stuff.

4.  Starbucks
Grande iced hazelnut coffee with 2% milk.  Summer fix.  Ah.

5.  The neighborhood swimming pool. 
(No picture.  That would be weird).
It's open every day until 9.  Yesterday I waited until the sun went down and THEN went for a dip because it was 97 out.  When you go swimming at 7pm, there are no small, obnoxious children at the pool to contend with.  Win.

6.  Al Capone Shines My Shoes
This is the sequel to Al Capone Does My Shirts about a boy named Moose who grows up on Alcatraz while Al Capone is an inmate.  Never mind that it is written for middle schoolers-- it's a quick, fun read.  More on the summer reading list later and suggestions are always welcome!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Perils of Google Image Searches

We are reading a cute book in my lower-level fourth grade class called Tops & Bottoms about a family of hares who outsmart a lazy bear while gardening.
Bear can happily sleep all day and the Hare family will do all the work.  The Hare family tricks Bear by splitting the crops down the middle, tops or bottoms.  When Bear chooses tops, they plant all root vegetables (carrots, radishes, and turnips) and give him the leafy tops.  When Bear angrily insists on bottoms, they plant celery and cucumbers.  In the end Bear demands tops and bottoms, so of course the Hare family plants corn and takes the middle part (all the ears).

We go over new vocabulary words before reading.  I select some pictures online to print out and we talk about what the words might mean.  However, sometimes Google Image searches are not very safe.  Today the word weed did not yield the desired result (below).  This particular photo popped up after using the words pulling weeds.
And that is why we prepare for classes beforehand, instead of doing it DURING class.