Saturday, June 15, 2013

Summer 2013 Part One: Museum, Water Park, Limo, Garden, and Pond

As you may have figured out.. I got the teaching job. :)

I worried and prayed and cried and worried some more and emailed the principal two too many times, but it happened.

It has been a busy first year teaching. I have not only had to struggle through being in charge of 12 students and 3 adults all day long with very special and unique needs in all aspects of their development, but I have also gone to workshops, meetings, trainings, and taken college classes.

And one of those classes was especially difficult, setting a very high standard, and demanding all of my spare time for three months.

Did I learn a lot? Oh yes, in all aspects of my teaching career development. I learned to be involved, but still discreet; stay flexible, but organized; don't be afraid to step on a few toes, but cover your ass; and while I have the right demeanor, I need to work on the technical skills. I learned that communication is good, but too much can be a bad thing.

But it is SUMMER now. I have one week left of my summer college class, but already I have been having fun and doing things I've always wanted to do, like just get up and go places to have fun with the boys.

On to the pictures!

Summer always begins in May for me. May is a great month, Mother's Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, my anniversary, and my birthday all occur in May. For my birthday, we went to the Indianapolis Children's Science and Technology Museum where they had GECKOS! (They are not there now.)

 Love this pic!
Three sleeping friends.

So, if geckos can do it...

 Beautiful green ones.
 This one looks the most like a baby dragon.

Then the boys and their dad made an arch, 

 Climbed a rock wall,

 and became oceanographers,

 or archeologists.

 We really wanted a garden, so in May we began to look into raised bed gardening, bought materials, borrowed a tiller, and built this.

Here are my tiny baby plants surrounded by fencing to keep out bunnies and chipmunks and stray cats and dogs. Well, those that venture close enough with my own guard dog chained up near by. Some of those critters are quiet and fearless when it comes to food. We also bought a compost bin and since the weather got warm, some critter has been getting into it. I guess if it eats there, it won't eat my plants..

Meanwhile, we also took a limo ride to a tiny diner in the middle of nowhere (Eugene, IN) that had good home cooked food. Mornings were still chilly, so the boys have dressed oddly appropriately... shorts and jackets.
 And at the end of May there is a fair that comes to town. We got the boys pay-one-price bracelets so they could ride and ride and ride until they were sick of it. We actually left when we were all hungry for dinner because fair food is so expensive and unhealthy!!

On to June!
We left the state on a spontaneous trip to Columbus, OH for a toy convention at Fort Rapids, a hotel with an indoor water park. It hasn't really warmed up long enough to make an outdoor water park feel good. 

 The lobby and water park are western themed. Not sure what the peacock floral arrangement has to do with western, but it was neat. :)

 View from our 12th floor window of the tube slides that go outside. The racer slides also go outside, but are on the back of this building housing the water park.
Big construction jungle gym with water slides and water works in the middle of the water park. The huts and Indian Brave are part of the lazy river. The boys liked the kiddie play area and the deeper activity pool more than this construction. I think it was because the water in it was COLD. The rest of the water was warmer.
 Big funnel slide. There were 2 other tube slides and a set of racing slides. The oldest went down them all, twice with me, and raced me and his little brother on mats down the racing slide. It was 5 flights of concrete steps up every time and short lines. My legs were burning after 6 trips in a row!
When we tired of swimming, we went to the arcade in the hotel. Daddy bought them cowboy hats at the git shop. Between the four of us (because of course, we adults played games, too!) we won a thousand tickets and the boys got a magic 8 ball and play handcuffs and a plastic dinosaur. The youngest also used a claw machine and picked up 2 little balls.
On the way back home, the boys were all tuckered out! This picture was just too perfect! I used it as my facebook profile pic.

These little vacations are just right. The travel is long, but not long enough to lose sleep on the road. The one night stay in a hotel gave the boys a new experience, and Mom and Dad lost only one night of good sleep. The boys said they were homesick and they had a great time playing two days leisurely in the water park. Needless to say, only daddy went for the toy fair..  We might do this again closer to home in July.

Then the oldest had Police Camp. He saw bomb squad, police dog, and taser demonstrations, drove a golf cart, shot a paint ball gun at zombie cut outs, and learned some discipline. He had a good time. They had a closing ceremony for the parents where they 'graduated' and received medals. There were a LOT of cadets!

Since I made a new pond this year outside, the boys decided to craft their own stepping stones. And what's summer with me without a craft??

 Here are a couple shots of my pond, complete with fish.

I'm thinking I want to gravel under the bench, too. Cutting grass here is just a pain.

 Yes, the boys play in our little pool out back. The water is still cold, since we have had one hot day and a lot of nice temperate ones. Kids don't care how cold it is! They get in and get out 5 minutes later and they shiver and love it.

 And here is an update on my garden plants. They are huge!

Corn and green beans
 Radishes and carrots that aren't up yet.
 cherry tree with a cherry!
Surprise pumpkins!
Not pictured are the blueberry and blackberry bushes and the apple tree. I'll have to get some pics to show you later.

So, my goals for this summer include some more vacation and family event things, planning for next year's teaching, editing my friend's manuscript, and writing my own, as well as reading a few books I picked up and thoroughly cleaning the house.


Adrian Morgan said...

I've never seen crafted stepping stones like that -- they look like decorated mud pies! When you mentioned them on Skype, I assumed you meant just flatish rocks you'd collected somewhere and put in place, since that's what stepping stones usually are.

Of course, if your kids were really being oceanographers, they probably wouldn't be wearing diving equipment but would instead be sitting in front of a computer looking at graphs and solving very complicated mathematical equations involving the calculus of fluid flow. But don't tell them that! (I did a week of oceanography work experience many years ago, when I was about 16.)

April Schoffstall said...

Hmm, maybe oceanographer is wrong. It was sort of an archeological find, but under the sea, that they were highlighting. There was a REAL cannon from the sunken Spanish pirate ship in the museum that they were cleaning slowly with a salt water solution. It was very delicate.