Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wearing my Soccer Mom hat....

...Soccer season started again last night (yep, we have practices on Friday evenings) and I am going to be the team mom again this season (because I have so much EXTRA time on my hands, especially now that school is back in session!).

Noah is playing for the YMCA again- this season on the Cyclones. He is very excited, and we watched along with the other parents from the sidelines as he practiced. He has really picked up some great skills since last season. And he loves it, which is the most important thing. He got a chance to practice as the goalie during the first half of practice. He missed one kick and dove for another one and caught it. Fast forward to the second half of practice and another kid is playing goalie. This kid missed a kick at the end (the only one that came at him during practice) and a boy and girl on his team (this was a team scrimmage) came up to the goalie and started yelling at him for missing the kick.

My first thoughts were 1) poor little guy 2) ITS ONLY A GAME!! 3) Who raised these little brats 4) if that were Noah they were yelling at, I would have been out of my chair and kicked some 7- year old butt.
We were sitting between both of the coaches' wives and both jumped up to tell their husbands what had happened (they were working on skills with other kids). I am glad they did because if they hadn't, I would have at the end of practice.

We try and encourage Noah to do his best, play fair and treat eveyone with respect. Kind of a no brainer when you are a parent..obviously these kids parents were absent the day they taught that in Parent School.

His first game is next Saturday! Go Cyclones!!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

3 Word Sunday's official. We are back in school, both Noah and I. Tuesday was the first day back for the kids and it is safe to say, we were all exhausted Tuesday night (and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)....

I am excited about the new school year. I have 13 students and they are all boys!! I knew about that already. They are great kids, but each has their own quirks (as do I). Our first 4 days together (and now it looks like Day 5 too) were "Textbook Free, " where we were supposed to spend our days going over rules and procedures, and building a sense of community. So far, so good. We did have a few minor rule violations, but I tried to roll with it, knowing it was just the first week.

Noah is in an all boy 2nd grade classroom and he is really enjoying it. One of my teacher friends also has her son in that same classroom. We are hoping they will become friends like us. Noah has a wonderful teacher but what he is most excited about is the SOAR bucks he is accumulating. Our school does a Positive Behavior System school-wide called SOAR and kids get paper money "bucks" for doing good things...then they get to spend them in the SOAR-store buying goodies (ie junk they play with for 30 minutes then lose or break). It is a great program, and Noah is collecting his bucks!!! I am enjoying having him at school with me. He says he is a little bored but I am sure once they hit the books this week that will change.

Here is a picture of Noah and Ella on the 1st Day of school. Ella was wishing Noah a good first day and Noah was reassuring Ella he would be home that afternoon to play with her.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

I love to read, and those who know me well know this about me. As a child I was always an avid reader and now that I am a Mom and a teacher I try and pass on my love of reading to my son and my students. When I came across this opportunity to read and review this book, The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson, I knew I wanted to to do this!! The preliminary info about this book hooked me, as it is geared toward boys. Boys tend to lose interest in reading as they reach 3-4 grade and this book is sure to lure some of them back!!!

I read the entire book the first weekend after I received it in the mail (only 272 pages). I enjoyed it so much that I decided to read this book to my 7 year old son as part of our bedtime routine each night (I know some of you are asking why I would read a book about aliens to a 7 year old as a bedtime know your child, so guage if you think it might casue didn't for mine) . Each chapter in the book is about 3-4 pages long so we started out reading 1 or 2 chapters a night and by the 3rd night, my son was hooked and begging me to read more!! I think the length of the chapters will be a good selling point for struggling readers. They will read aq chapter or two and feel like they are making real progress in this novel.

The best part of this book is not the chapter size, it is the story. It is about a young boy who has superpowers..the powers to make figments of his imagination real, as well as manipulate himself into time, places and things. And he uses these powers for hunt aliens....who live here on among the human race. My son loved the fast pace of the story and the detail Patterson uses to describe these aliens and Daniel's adventures. I think boys will relate to Daniel because they often see themselves as superheroes, as protectors and adventurers. There is just enough grossness in the battles scenes between Daniel and these aliens to draw these boys in and keep them hooked throughout the entire story. By the end my son and I were cheering out loud, wanting Daniel to triumph over evil and save the world.

If you like a good alien story, or have a boy who is losing interest in reading...check out The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson. There are enough twists and turns, with a little "on the edge of your seat" excitement thrown in to rival any video game or thrill ride.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

BlogHer08 Swag Box

I wanted to go to BlogHer08 this year, but it was not in the cards (or the budget). I followed tons of Mom Bloggers who went including Sarah who drove across country with 3 other moms and blogged the whole thing, and also Kristin who writes one of the funniest blogs I have ever read.

So I almost felt like I was there....ALMOST.

Then about 2 weeks ago I received an email from Amy at BSM Media. BSM markets to Moms, (and especially Mom Bloggers). Seems they had lots of swag left over from BlogHer08 and wanted to share it with those of us who couldn't go. FREE STUFF..sign me up....

So this morning the mailman delivered my box-o-goodies. Here is what I got....2 Disney Vacation Club Planner kits (yes, two- so if you want my other one, let me know. I share well with others!!!), plus a Disney Vacation Club luggage tag and lip balm, A Precious Moments Figurine, plus two cool Precious Memories books, a certificate for a free month's membership to Time 4 Learning(which I plan to use in my classroom), a certificate for $250 off the program fee for Cultural Care AuPairs, Two Kung Fu Panda Activity kits from HP, AND 60 FREE prints from HP as well, plus Tasters Choice Coffee Samples, brochures from some cool companies including Cookies by Design and Tail Wags (a company that makes the cutest bike helmet covers). I also received a free copy of All You magazine. I cant wait to dive into that one this afternoon while I am sitting by the pool.

Thanks BSM Media and all the companies that contributed free stuff. Hopefully next year I can make it to BlogHer and pick up my cool swag in person!!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

This is what we'll be doing at 7:30 tonight!!

...watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics (from home of course!!!). We have been excited about the 2008 Olympics in Beijing since we started the process of adopting Maddy from China (over 3 years ago). Since tonight's broadcast is taped, due to the 12 hour time difference, I resisted the urge all day to look at photos from the event that were quickly posted
on the Internet.

I am excited about being able to visit some of the Olympic venues in Beijing when we travel to get Maddy. I really want to see Birds Nest stadium, where the Opening/Closing Ceremonies are being held. Travleling in a few months should make that easier. I know from at least one person who was in Beijing in the past 2 weeks that you have not been able to get close to the venues (especially Birds Nest stadium) due to security being so tight.

So we are having stir-fry and dumplings for dinner tonight ...and we'll be cheering on the U.S. athletes and enjoying the show.