Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take Your Child to Work Day

Well as many of you know, I don't have a child. But I do have a Lacy and she has been excited about going to work with me since last summer when I first mentioned the concept of such a thing. You see, she's very much like I was when I was little. I think she might grow up to be an educator herself.

I had class last night but Josh kindly went to my mom's for a cookout-- I mean to pick up Lacy and eat burgers and corn on the cob while he was there :o) When I got home from class the three of us had some fun playing Rock Band on XBox until about 10:00. Then Lace, being the ultra-student she is insisted that she read for 20 minutes for her homework. I think the assignment is 10 minutes per night but she was doubling up to because she had missed a night. Here are some pictures of the fun:

Lace & Josh on guitar

Get this girl a contract!

She was even brave enough to attempt the drums...
no amount of coaching on my part was going to save her here.

This morning we climbed into the car and she said- Em, we're finally here! Can you believe it? Like I said, she's been asking about this day for practically a year now. I had to warn her in the car that my school is old, and the children aren't always nice, and not to drink the water (lead!). And sure enough, she did great. She really liked drawing on my ActivBoard and writing what the kids activities were going to be. Sometimes she walked around the room to check their work and then would report back to me who was finished and who hadn't done anything at all. It was all too adorable. She even drew these pictures on the ActivBoard where it would look like an ordinary picture but in it was hidden eyes, a nose and a mouth. For example, in this one picture there were two stick people. Their cirlce heads were the two eyes. They were holding hands and the dot where their hands met was the nose. On the ground below them was a mouth-shaped row of flowers. You guessed it, the mouth. So we would spend the last 5-10 minutes of class letting the students try to guess where the eyes, nose, and mouth where. Something you might think sixth-graders would show no interest in or at my school, even make fun of. But they played right along raising their hands and letting her call on them. Again, all too cute. I cried inside all day for forgetting my camera (or as preschool-Lace would say, "cramera").

As a result of our satanic rotating schedule, my lunch time backed up to 70 minutes of planning today so we went to Subway for food. Since we had a good chunk of time she also wanted to watch Mulan when we got back. I turned that on for her while I did some quick planning for the next lesson.

The biggest event of the day came during the last period. Just as the bell rang and class started we looked out my windows (I have the back corner of the building, windows on both sides of the corner giving me a bird's eye view) to see three trouble-maker boys tearing off across the field and disappearing over a hill. My class of course went crazy laughing and talking about it. Lace was horrified. She couldn't imagine what they were doing and where they were going. I had to remind her that some kids at my school are really bad. Anyway, that was solved with a quick email to administration.

After school we came back to my house and had snacks. Then we played Uno until Amberly called. She was in Catonsville for a doggy doctor appointment so we decided to meet at the soft-serve stand on Route 40. It was a pefect day for it. We stood in line with our puppies laughing and telling stories (people probably thought we hadn't seen each other for months). It was kind of comical because we have dogs that are brother & sister, so they look a lot alike, and everyone says that she and I have identical voices. So I wondered what the people around us thought. Needless to say, we dominated all conversation for a good 6-foot radius. It was good fun. Then we were on our separate ways with rapidly-melting ice cream cones.

So now Josh is home and doing a tiny bit more work (literally his 11th hour) before we cook up some dinner and settle in for TV night. Last week I couldn't keep myself up for ER so maybe tonight I'll be able to hang in there.

This weekend I have a baby shower Saturday and Josh is going to Guitar Center to finally buy all of his music equipment that he needs. I really can't wait for him to start practicing and recording. I know he's excited for it too. And Sunday I'm pretty sure we're having dinner at the Beck parents' house. Yay!

And I know this post is long enough, but just as a P.S. I got a new vacuum cleaner and I was super excited. I called that sign #75231014 that I'm growing up. But you know what? I've got some clean floors :o)

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Post About our Music Room

Ok, so I apologize for the late posting. There were several attempts over the weekend, but things got busy and I wanted to wait until I had pictures to post. We had a beautiful weekend between the weather, being super-productive around the house, and getting to visit people. Friday night we went up to Eldersburg to hang out with Connor and Kelly. We ordered chinese and watched a movie. We always have so much fun with them. We watched the movie, Juno about a teen-aged girl who gets pregnant. I know it doesn't sound like the best premise for a movie, but I really loved the story. It's an indie so you have to put up with some strange music and strange humor. Josh and I are also big fans of two people who starred in it- Michael Cera and Jason Bateman (both from Arrested Development). They never had a scene together but they were both good characters. I highly recommend it, especially if you like something different. And it was still light-hearted (which is always a big factor for me).

Saturday Josh got up incredibly early to prep the former office for painting. I hadn't slept in for two weeks, so I snoozed until 8:15-8:30. Then I got up, made some peach pancakes and started on my own project- cleaning the bathroom. I ran an errand or two, got the bathroom all sparkly, made some sandwiches for lunch, and then helped Josh finish painting. We were both so thrilled with the way the color turned out. It's a darker color, so there's always that element of hesitation. But as soon as he started I could tell it was going to look exactly the way I pictured it. And speaking of pictures, here are three to help give you an idea of what it looks like now.

Josh's new piano -- way fancy, but it needs a stand

The variety of guitars - this one shows the color really well

Another guitar, that also shows the color quite nicely.

And this is a picture of Sheppie chilling under the coffee table (just because he's cute)

Saturday night Josh was hanging out late with some of his guy friends so I went to visit my mom and Amberly in Eldersburg. I'm always up for seeing the babies :o) Plus I needed some gardening advice from my mom. We took out some hedges in front of our house back in the fall and now we just have hedge-stumps. It's the north side of the house so it's mostly shade during the day, but I wanted something that would bloom. We looked at some books and I think I decided on impatiens. Now I just need someone to take out those pesky stumps.....

Sunday we worked on getting the music room put together. It still needs some work. Josh has some art he wants to frame and hang up in there, and it still needs some furniture. We have a futon in the basement that we're going to move up there soon. We also did some shopping and then headed out to Frederick to meet some friends for dinner. It was a nice end to a busy weekend. Fortunately today was a really easy Monday. There was a big field trip that almost every 6th grader went on. I started and ended with planning today, and my three classes in between had 11 kids, 6 kids, and 9 kids.

Sadly, tomorrow will be a different story. But Wednesday is a Social Studies dept. planning day. I have to go to work, but I have a substitute and I basically sit in a meeting all day. It beats teaching :o)

I'll try to post again before the weekend! Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Post With All the Pictures

This whole post is big thanks to Jenn who gave me a little tip about uploading my pictures. So now you get to see all the fun from our roadtrip last weekend, and you'll probably get to see more pictures in the future than you ever cared to! Yay!

Josh and I in the car

The famed Lucy Cooke, enjoying some of Ben's dessert

I think we tired her out...

Upon checking in at the hotel, Ben and Josh helped Lacy and Leo test out the beds... no wonder they're the favorites

The BEST behaved baby, Evan (being precious as usual)

This is the funniest thing.. last year we made the same trip except it was just me, my mom and my sister with the older two kids and Leo did this same exact thing. He just randomly on his own went over and put on my shoes! I think he wants to be like Mimi when he grows up :o)

I don't know if there are legal issues with me showing a picture of someone's license plate, but you have to read the frame around it. On the way to my grandmother's you pass through this one-horse town called Accident and it's just hilarious to put "accident" in front of any business name such as this one that is coincidentally a car repair garage! There was also Accident Flowers & Gifts and Accident Fire Station that we thought were pretty funny. And for good measure, as we were passing the 'Welcome to Accident' sign on the road, there was white billowing smoke coming from a house right behind it. It appeared that the town was on fire.

Uncle Josh and his biggest fans swimming at 8:30 a.m.
This is why we take him places :o)

There was no way we could leave town without a Little Caesar's pizza and Crazy Bread for the road!

Get excited...... there are more pictures to come!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Western MD Road Trip

Our trip out to western Maryland this weekend was such a blast. There were so many hilarious happenings that I don't know if I can even remember them all. I do have pictures that I'm going to attempt to incorporate into this posting though. Josh and I traveled with Ben and Jenna. We left around 10:30-11:00 on Friday morning.

We made our first stop in Frostburg, MD to visit Andy & Laura Cooke and their little girl Lucy. We all went to a local diner / restaurant to have some lunch. It turns out Lucy is a popular girl around town. Lots of people came up to her to say hi and tell her how cute she is. Some of them knew her, others were strangers. Well while we were eating our lunch an older (older) lady walked by and started talking to Lucy who was sitting at the end of our table. She asked who Lucy's mom was, and who her dad was and then she looked up at me and said, "And are you grandma?" Yes, you read that correctly. An 80-year old woman asked if I was a grandmother. After about 45 seconds of deciding what to say I came up with, "No." I mean really?? Has any 25-year old in the history of humanity ever been mistaken for a grandmother by a super elderly person? It was too funny to be true! Better yet, the woman stood there for at least 4 more minutes talking and asking questions while the rest of us snorted and bit our lips trying to hold in our laughter. You can imagine the scene when she walked away. We are now Lucy's grandma and grandpa Beck. After lunch we chilled at the Cooke's house waiting for my mom and sister to get into town. Once they did, we were on our way to the Wisp Ski Resort where we were staying.

I highly recommend staying at a ski lodge in mid-April. It cost each couple $40 for a nice place with a pool & hot tub... which we thoroughly enjoyed. After checking in we went to my grandmother's house and visited from about 6-10:30pm. We had promised Lacy & Leo that we'd go swimming that night but unfortunately the pool was closed when we got back. Everyone was pretty much wiped out from traveling and visiting anyway. So around 8:30 the next morning Ben, Jenna, Josh, and I are all snoozing away when we hear a tiny knock at our door. Who else but Lacy and Leo staring up at Josh (the only one awake so early) asking if he would take them swimming (they so adore their uncle). So Josh got ready and took them downstairs to the pool by himself, and I figured I might as well get in on the fun so I followed about 5 minutes later. We had a great time tossing the kids around for about an hour and a half before the pool started to fill up with other families and we had to get ready for check-out. After checking out we had some brunch and went back to grandmom's for birthday cake and presents. Ben, Jenna, Josh & I had to hit the road around 4 so we could get back at a decent time Saturday evening. After a stop for gas and Little Caesar's Pizza, we made it home around 7. Josh and I had to pick up Sheppie from his parents' house, said 'hey' to Connor and Kelly and then came home to snuggle for a bit.

Sadly, this morning I had to get up and go to class at 9:00. I've expressed my disdain for the class in the past, so I won't go into it again. But it was not the best use of my Sunday- especially after such a busy weekend. Oh well. Now it's back to another busy work week. I have a 15-page paper due on Wednesday so the next two days at least will be spent working on that. Fortunately I'll have a break from classes between May 7 and June 3. I can't wait! Also, the pictures were a bust. It's probably my computer but they took eternity to upload. I'll try to get them onto Picasa in the next few days and then I'll just post a link to them. Sorry! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and enjoyed the beautiful weather... spring is SO here :o]

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I've decided to write a quick post before the weekend since the rest of the weekend is very much taken up. Tonight was already special because it was a kind-of Friday night for us because we're both off work tomorrow, and that's always fun. Not to mention, real TV came back tonight! We were so pumped for our shows. We've been watching most of them on DVD since they went off last fall, so it was thrilling to catch new episodes. You know, everyone says my husband looks like Jim from The Office. He disagrees, but I'm going to post a side-by-side soon and take a poll!

We're off work tomorrow because we're headed out to Deep Creek to visit my grandmother for her 90th birthday. Ok, so that's not terribly exciting but it's a weekend away! One very wonderful thing about it is that we're stopping on our way to visit the Cookes who live in Frostburg! They're very close friends of ours who we don't get to see very often. And they have the most adorable red-headed baby that we also never get to see. I'm very much looking forward to that visit.

Unfortunately, we've got to hurry back home Saturday night. On Sunday I have a grad class lab from 9-4. It's a terrible class to begin with, and the lab days are just a painfully extended version of our regular 2-hour night sessions. Last time the instructor offered to get lunch. She was going to buy three pizzas for 20 adults in a 7 hour class. This gives you a clue of how well prepared she usually is.

Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to this weekend. Tomorrow's mini-roadtrip with Ben and Jenna should be fun, and we get to see the Cookes. It's always nice to see grandmom, and the hotel we're staying in has a pool and hot tub. We'll make some time to splash around with the munchkins... something about little kids giggling is truly therapeutic, especially when you're connected to them.

When I return I have a 15-page paper to write in two days -- wohoooooo! But then I'm going to post some pictures from our trip and of our house (for Jenn!) Right now, I'm watching ER and trying to remember what all happened last. My fabulous husband is in the kitchen making me brownies. He loves me :o)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Short stories

Even though it's been awhile since I posted, I really don't have anything huge to share. I did want to tell a couple of stories about things people did that were cute. The first story is about my nephew, Leo. He just turned three at the end of February and has started going to pre-school one morning a week. At his pre-school they sing a song so that the children don't get too upset when their mom's leave. It goes like this: "my mommy comes back, she always comes back, she never would forget me..." Ok. So one day my sister was driving Leo home from school and she started singing the song to him, but instead of saying "mommy" she said "My Leo comes back, he always comes back...." And from the back seat she heard Leo say indignantly, "Nooooooo. I don't dwive! I'd cwash up the caw!" [I've replaced the r's with w's to illustrate the Boston accent all three-year olds seem to have.] And ever since then if you start singing "My Leo comes back" he'll shout the same response. It's priceless and we've gotten much enjoyment out of doing this.

The second story is about my husband. He'll probably not like that I'm sharing this but I thought it was well worth posting. One day last week I was working hard to finish a paper I had to write for class so he volunteered to make dinner. He was making this meatloaf recipe that we adapted from my mom's original. He had put it all together and shaped it nicely in a glass baking dish. It went into the oven and when it was time to take it out I heard Josh say, "Oh, I ruined our meal." I looked over at the stove and saw nothing out of the ordinary, so I started telling him I was sure it tasted great. Then he said that he had meant to cover the meatloaf with foil before he baked it and realized that he had actually covered it with Saran wrap without thinking. Needless to say I'm sure there was liquified Saran throughout the meatloaf. He felt so terrible but we both had a good laugh. I made him feel better by reminding him that I painted the entire living/dining room, then decided I didn't like the color and made us repaint. I felt that was a much bigger mistake, and a bigger waste.

Other than the fun of those two stories, we've had a fun weekend celebrating my mom's birthday. Tomorrow is a professional day which ends the third marking period and starts the fourth. I can't believe it's the last nine weeks of school already -- but I am totally counting down. It's even worse knowing I won't be back at this school. I'm pretty excited to be out of there for good. Next weekend is my grandmother's 90th birthday so we're leaving Friday to visit her in western MD over the weekend. We'll be back Sunday because I have class all day. Yes, graduate school class all day (9-4) on a Sunday. Blah. We're also in the process of converting part of our basement into the "new" office. It's kind of an odd shaped room and one end has a tv/sitting area but the rest was just collecting stuff. So recently Josh took it upon himself (God bless him) to clean it all out. The best thing we could think of to do with the space was turn it into an office area. So far it's looking really nice. My desk is already moved and we're just working on cleaning up a few more things to get Josh's desk down here. We're going to put the futon upstairs in the 3rd bedroom (former office) and keep Josh's guitars and piano in there as a music room for him. We're getting ready to purchase a bunch of equipment so he can start recording some of his songs. It's something he's wanted to do for a long time so it'll be great for him to have the opportunity to actually do it. And you never know, it could become something one day ;o]