Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Facts and Photos

With Alaska and Chicago under our belt, I can finally get back to posting on a regular basis about the normal, mundane events of our life.  :)

After returning from Chicago, which I posted about here and here, we did a lot of house cleaning, laundry, and playing outside with Connor.

The only *big* events of the last two weeks have been the celebration of both mine and Jason's birthdays (his was the 13th, mine the 10th), and several PD (professional development) days for school for both Jason and myself.

My mom always does a fantastic job, and has since we were small children, of making birthdays special in our family.  Our joint party was held on Tuesday, and Mom surprised Jason with his favorite red velvet cupcakes by Macey, while I had the most scrumptious cupcakes made by Suga Sisters (also known as Shanna and Kara).

We enjoyed a delicious meal from Mom before devouring the cupcakes.

Gifts were opened, and we had a great time hanging out as a family.

It was a fabulous night of good food, thoughtful gifts, and invaluable time with the people I love.

Because of my PD days (which I will detail later), I was in Richmond on Jason's actual birthday, so he drove up, met me in Richmond, and together we headed to Lexington for a dinner date to celebrate.  Jason chose deSha's, a restaurant that has special meaning to us, since the first time we went there was for senior prom.  Jason had scrumptious fried chicken meal, and I opted for the spinach/artichoke dip.  Afterward, we strolled downtown Lexington until it was time to go back to Richmond. (Special thanks to the Jessops for letting me spend the night so I wouldn't have to drive all the way to Richmond again for my meeting the next day.  It was uber-kind, and gave me some girl time with CN, too!)

The weekend after our birthdays, Jason's family came down to visit, and also to attend a family reunion.  They treated us to a delicious meal at Guthrie's, and even surprised us with cupcakes from our favorite bakery in Louisville, Cake Flour (Yes, we love cupcakes!).  Connor had lots of fun playing with Grandma, Grandpa, and Uncle Jordan, as well as meeting Jason's family at the reunion and playing with lots of other kiddos.

Since coming home from Alaska and Chicago, life has been a whirlwind at home, but it has also brought me to the realization that summer is nearly over.  The two PD days I attend last week reminded me just how much there is to do in the coming year.  For those who don't know, English/Language Arts (and math) adopted new standards, and with that, many approaches, terminology, and methods of "doing" school are changing in big ways.  I LOVE my job, I love reading and writing with my students, and I love learning, but we are expected to be pros with these new standards (We are tested and accountable for them THIS YEAR!), and even after working with them for nearly a year, I still feel like I have much learning to do.  I try my best to be a good teacher, but sometimes I wonder if my best is good enough.  If you get a chance, say a prayer that I'll do justice to my subject area, and to my students this year.  I not only want to impart standards and learning targets to them, but I want to enrich their lives as human beings, not just as little robots to memorize information and take tests.  I want to challenge them to think deeper, to love learning, to appreciate a good book, and to think about life's big questions as they relate to our texts.  I'm not asking much, right?  :)

Okay, after all that heavy stuff, let's get on to the fun stuff.  The random facts about Connor and photos of the last couple of weeks:

There is SO much that Connor has learned, especially in expanding his vocabulary, with all of our travels this summer, but I haven't taken the time to write them all down.  I have been consulting Jason to help me remember as much as possible.

Words Connor learned in/on the way to Alaska:
- clouds (on the plane -- he repeated this word every.five.seconds.)
- mountains
- ocean
- whale
- snome (his abbreviation of "snow on the mountain")
- wings

Words/phrases he has learned since Alaska:
- oh my doodness ("goodness")
- packpack (backback) -- Mom got him a Toy Story backpack, which he is now OBSESSED with.
- He now knows all the characters' names from Yo Gabba Gabba, including DJ Lance, which he says all jumbled together and cute.
- iPod
- garage
- stairs
- Scout (our Persian cat's name)
- awake

Other randoms:

- Connor is now obsessed with all three of the Toy Story movies, thanks to his daddy.

- The only other tv shows he loves besides Gabba right now are Dino Dan and Thomas.  He even knows Percy by name.

- We must read Goodnight Moon every evening before bed.  Jason and I alternate reading the pages, while Connor points out the illustrations on each page.  It is a precious time I wouldn't trade for anything.

- Jason and I got to have a date night on Tuesday.  We saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) for only $7 ( gotta love cheap night at Key Twin Cinema).  The movie was almost as good as I imagined it while reading the books, and, of course, I cried several times.  Now I want to go back and reread them all.  Now to find the time to do so.

Random photos from the past couple of weeks:

Last Sunday, Connor attended the first birthday party of his buddy, Gavin.  He had a great time, except he thought all the presents should have been his.  :)

fun times at Gavin's party

with my boy at the party -- gotta love that gap-toothed grin

pretty packaging (bday gift from CN -- it was a tshirt from Etsy with a Pride and Prejudice quote -- yes, she knows I am a total nerd.)

hanging out last weekend

Jason and I have been trying to eat healtier and cook almost all meals instead of eating out after all of our traveling.  My go-to lunch has been Jason's delicious pita pizzas (easy to make, healthy, and delicious) and a cranberry-walnut salad.

But then I blew my good lunch by eating a heaping portion of one of Jason's favorite side dishes for me to make -- homemade mac and cheese.

Connor loves to take a "ride"

Connor is like his mommy in that he loves he is showing off a new pair of Chucks.

in the garage working with Daddy

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