Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We're here

We made it to the 515. So far, our day has included playing outside, playing outside, jumping on the trampoline, playing outside, swimming, and more playing outside. I also snuck in a little jog tonight too. Now, time for homework. Pics to come soon.

Tomorrow: Ames for fun and errands.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Flight Delayed

Our flight was delayed today so we're off for Iowa tomorrow...a day late. Oh well.

TTFN

We'll be back in the 515 tomorrow, hopefully

More Dance Shots




A dancer always gets flowers after she performs :)



A couple more dance shots that turned out cute...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My favorite dance shot


Is this one...this may be a repeat of one I have posted previously, however, this one was taken w/ the Nikon (AKA Fancy Camera) and I think it's a bit more clear.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Grandma's Here!


Grandma Cindy is here and we're so happy she is hanging out with us for a few days! The kids love having her here and so do we.

Dance!

More Dance pictures to come but Bee did so great today dancing!





Here's a pic of us b/f the show...new haircut/color for the summer!!! I keep staring at my huge circles under my eyes...yikes! I need sleep!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dance Rehearsal!


here's Brynn and her friend, Colby standing outside the 5th Ave. Theatre. Their big show is coming up soon!

Swimming Lessons Resume




Brynn started swimming lessons again. She loves loves loves swimming and is doing really well. We wanted to put Baylen in them this year as well, but it was just too expensive. Maybe next year both can do it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

RESPECT



We performed the RESPECT dance yesterday on our last day of school for our principal who is leaving our school. It was such a surprise to him and it was a lot of fun. Even though a lot of the teachers who were in the dance came to like one practice, and it looked a bit unorganized, those of us who came each time knew the dance the best. Luckily, when I helped choreograph this dance the first time around, about 8 years ago, I saved the VHS and watched it, writing down all of the moves. That was a GOOD idea! LOL We had fun and I'll post a video of it soon.

Father's Day Hike

We went on a hike on Father's Day this year with some good friends of ours. It was a rainy, wet, soggy, muddy day but we didn't get wet once we started on the trail. It was beautiful and our first official family hike. We all had a good time! On our next hiking outing, I will make sure we are a little more prepared before w/ proper footwear, afterwards with new, clean footwear & socks, blankets (if weather is crappy), a pull-up for Brynn to wear (since squatting as a little girl to go potty is SUPER hard and she didn't quite get it) and more kid-friendly food packed in the backpack.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!



To my wonderful husband and to my own, wonderful dad!

Broom Crew 2010

Finally it's on video...this is one of FOUR I have but I think this one is a good one to post.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9X91xs0og4

It was a fun year!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's official

Next year involves some big changes for me professionally. I have made the decision (weighing the options/pros/cons carefully) to leave my school. I was offered (and accepted) a teaching job as a 10th grade Humanities teacher at a premier high school in our district. It is really hard to get a job at this specific school and I am honored to be able to teach there. I still can't believe I'll be making the move. I love my school. I love the kids and I really like our staff. With all of the proposed changes, I just felt it was time to start looking around and see what else is out there. Then this job popped up on the employment page and with the gentle convincing of a good friend, I applied. I knew it was a long shot to get hired, so I was not expecting positive results, and instead, polishing my interview skills since I have not interviewed for a job in almost 10 years.

It will be really sad to leave my school. Really sad. I do have mixed emotions about it. CMS is comfortable for me. It's fun and I have a lot of friends there. The diversity and the community are unique.

However, the new school will have older students. All of the students WANT to be there. The curriculum is challenging. Their new school is being built as we speak. It will be finished and ready for move in next year. I really hope that this is a good move for me and that I fit in here well and can work well with these kids. I am nervous about everything and I know that I will have to take the time to really make sure I know my curriculum well. This school is always in the news and sets the standard for other schools not only in our district but in our area. That is a different kind of pressure. The parents are involved moreso here. This school is definitely a school that thrives and prides itself on project-based learning and there's an emphasis on aerospace and technology.

So what will I be teaching specifically? 10th Grade Language Arts and World History (100 minute classes) and a Leadership elective. I'll also be the ASB advisor, so I get to help plan pep rallies, prom, help with fund-raisers, etc. All of that is right up my alley. :) I'll definitely need to polish up on World History, though. :)

I will definitely be really busy next year....with new students, new school, new curriculum, and continuing my Master's degree...plus kids, husband, and just life in general, I hope I can survive.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Potty-ing still

update on the potty: Baylen is training himself, I swear. In the last two days, he's worn the same pull-up all day long. DRY. Yes Mister Mister is doing it!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A New Chapter...

More on this soon. :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Still Riding the Potty Train


Yes!! Mister Mister is still riding the Potty Train at full speed! Today he peed at school 5 times! WOOT! I take no responsibility for this change. He is doing this along w/ his teachers at school. Thank you, KATHY!

Can I get him FULLY trained by the end of the summer? Let's keep our fingers crossed. He's a Pee Master at this point! It happened overnight. Both his father and I are still in shock. I was planning to give up until he turned 6. LOL If we can get him trained, we will have so much money to spend I can't even tell you. Those pull-ups are freaking expensivo!!!

Be Thankful

Check out this blog if you need to shed a few tears.

http://www.wisniewskiblog.blogspot.com

This is intense. David went to school w/ me in later elementary/middle school. His family is a nice family and he was always a nice kid. He's been serving in the military for awhile now and his helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. He was severely injured. He is finally back in the states but has had numerous brain surgeries so far. Pray. Please pray that he can get through this. He's been stationed in Japan, Afghanistan at least 2x, and other places around the world. He deserves another chance. He has a long road ahead. A long road.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Teacher Blogs...

Check out the teacher blog and then you can see the kids' blogs to the right in the section "Blogs that I follow" or whatever it's called. I'll be adding the rest of the students' blogs in the next couple days to the teacher blog. Many kids are really liking it...esp. the girls. (surprise surprise)

:)

http://teacherfitz.blogspot.com/

"Sneaky Cat...Sneaky Cat, where have you been hiding?"

Brynn loves to pretend. She is really into pretending she is an animal. The most recent: "Sneaky Cat." Her pic is below pretending to be a sneaky cat at the baseball game last weekend.

Of course I read the paper.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What should I do?

A child hands me a 60-page CBA rough draft research paper to read/grade. Yes, you read correctly: 6-0. Before he handed it to me, he said, "Mrs. Fitz, do you promise not to kill me? More importantly, do you promise not to hurt yourself?"
I curiously asked, "Why? What's up?" Then he I notice he has something behind his back. He slowly hands me his paper, which feels more like a short novel. Uncertain how he actually was able to staple this large stack of papers, I admit, "Wow, Jan Patrick--this is thick. Wow. All of this on the death penalty?" He nods. "Okay then, I guess you had a lot to say." He nods once more, then says, "And that's not all I have to say. Just wait until the final draft." as he smiles and walks away. ;)

Do I read the entire thing?
The guilty teacher in me says, "Absolutely yes. He took the time to write it, I must read it."
The rational person in my head says, "Well, would scanning do any harm?"
The guilty, caring teacher says, "You have to read it, you just have to. You're cheating him if you don't give him authentic feedback."
The rational person says, "Yeah, but it 60 pages written in cursive that is not the easiest to read."
The guilty teacher who knows I'm his favorite says, "You have to. You just have to. This kid deserves it and wouldn't you want your child's teacher to read their papers when they are older? Plus, you're his favorite teacher and you know it...you can't let him down. He's a smart kid and I'm certain this paper will be fabulous...probably one of the best you've ever read in the last 5 years of teaching this unit."

So yes. Here I go. A research-based persuasive essay written about the death penalty and connected to the Constitutional Amendments, Ideals, and Principles. Bet none of you (including myself) wrote a paper like that in 8th grade...Page 1, opened. Only 59 more to go.

Miss Mommy



This little girl loves her dolls. I saw this on kidsteals the other day and have been looking for a mini doll baby "bjorn" for a long time and to no avail. Then we saw this and it was a good "steal" so I ordered it. I have not ordered much from there in a long time (I have resisted the urge! LOL) and so it was fun to see her get all excited when we opened the package. I must say I was not a huge fan of the fabric choice by the company who designed this, but, it doesn't matter to a 3-year-old. She loved carrying baby Addy around in it yesterday. After pulling all of the straps as tight as they would go (which still wasn't enough) and using a "chip clip" to secure it over her shoulders, we were good to go. She wants to wear it and take her baby/twin Kia in it when we go back to Iowa. :) cute!

BTW: The capris she is wearing in this pic are from last summer and still fit and actually are still too big in the waist. They are size 24 months.

And, she will be in the annual Parade of Nations show again this year wearing the same red Chinese dress for the 3rd year in a row. Princess Peanut indeed.

This little lady starts her 2nd year of swim lessons this year (poor Baylen will have to wait until we get to Iowa, as they are too expensive to have both kids in here) and a dance recital coming up at the end of June and it's going to be adorable. We can't wait and neither can she. :)

PEEEEEEEE


Baylen went pee in the potty chair today at school THREEEEEE times! I can't believe it!!! He hardly ever goes at home. Hardly ever. Today? THREE times! Is it a fluke? Coincidence?! I guess we'll find out!!!

I'll take it! He earned otter pops for his class today b/c of his great pottying! :) whoohooo!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More coming soon

I am totally stoked about my Journalism kids and their last project of the year. Each of them are creating a blog of their choice and blogging away for the rest of the year. I am excited to see what kinds of things they write about and how they comment. I'll share some of their sites w/ you so you can peek if you're interested in reading about middle schoolers and what's going on in their minds!!!

CBA night is tomorrow night. This is a big production and a public showcase of the students' work focused on a constitutional issue. They give their practice speeches tomorrow in class and I'll provide feedback. Then, tomorrow night's the big event! The kids are working hard and are really nervous. They'll do well!

The yearbooks are in! The kids are excited and we previewed them today. They don't get to have them officially until June 21. They are dying to have them in their hands NOW. :)

Grad school was supposed to pick back up this week, but has been postponed until the 14th. I am not sad about that. It was nice to have a couple of weeks off from the busy-ness that is grad school. The first class is done and I did very well. I have a 4.0! I do not necessarily intend to keep up that perfect GPA forever, but the first class I had to. The next class seems short and sweet, with short readings, so that is nice.

Life is busy and there have been some pleasant, unexpected turns, and some others that were not as pleasant. Tonight I found out one of my old high school friends was severely wounded in Afghanistan. Really sad. They seem to think he is going to be alright but it's really a waiting game right now. Professionally, I have decided to take some risks lately and we'll see what happens. There are lots of interesting opportunities coming up at work and lots of trainings this summer...many of which I am interested in but can't do everything. We'll see...

The kids are fighting bedtime like crazy, particularly Brynn. It has been a STRUGGLE for weeks now. Ugh. Ever since it has been "light" out at night, she just can't get to sleep . Then she wakes up early, tired, and grumpy. It's a vicious cycle. I am sure we just need to tell the daycare to shorten her naps at school but she is a crazy grumpy person when she is forced to wake up vs. waking up on her own. Will I ever win this battle? I blame her father for this issue and her ability to lose sleep often and not totally crash and burn. Why couldn't she be a sleep lover like her momma?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

This is AWFUL:



This oil spill is TERRIBLE...

M's

We're going to our first M's game of the season today. Should be fun. I hope it doesn't rain today b/c it's been raining since I returned from Iowa. No fun b/c I also picked up a small cold due to being in 90 degree weather and then now being in 50 degree weather. Where is my JUNE WEATHER PEOPLE???? At least the kids at school are calm and not freaking b/c we have had so much rain this week. That definitely helps.

Pics to come soon!

ETA: Here are a couple of pics from the baseball game. The kids had a good time. Baylen sat and watched the game for maybe 10 minutes tops and then he was up, down, up, down, up, down x1000. By about time 500, it was driving me nuts. Finally, he fell asleep on his dad for about the last half of the game. We rode the light rail down and back, so that was fun. The kids loved the "train" ride. Luckily, it was a nice day for a game. Brynn did really well and enjoyed eating, cheering, dancing, watching, and coloring a Mariner's moose pennant during the game. Also, it was free hat day (throwback) so we all received free hats. We should have given all but 1 of them back for other people to have b/c we don't need 4. OH well. Anyone want a 90's version M's hat? Let me know.



Friday, June 4, 2010

The Countdown Begins...

The countdown to the end of school begins. We only have about 3 weeks of school left, if that. It's hard to believe how fast the year has gone. It seems like we just finished spring break and now, here we are nearing the end of the school year. I will sure miss these kids and teaching my beloved honors sections. I have been blessed to have some outstanding groups of kids this year.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Brynnisms #14


Let me preface this by saying that this was the 4th time I had asked her to put on her pajamas...


Me: Brynn, if you don't get your pj's on, I am going to put your Princess storybook up high and it will stay there for 2 weeks.

Brynn: Mom, will you hang it up on the wall really high and use tape to stick it up there?

(This is a really heavy/thick storybook, mind you...)

Me: :) Yes...

Brynn: (all chipper and seemed satisfied...) Oh. Okay! :)


I think I need to think of some more creative ways to motivate my children to listen...or maybe harsher consequences?? We are getting to that stage w/ both of the kids that no consequence seems to bother them when they are misbehaving or making a bad choice. I'm kind of at a loss. While they are not misbhaving all that much, they have both learned that not listening 90% of the time is now the "cool" thing to do. Argh.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The paint

Here's the new paint job and other projects Dj worked on this weekend. I really like it.



Dj installed some cool lights behind the TV

The lights on the TV again




The new blinds

Brynnisms #11, #12, #13

Proof that our children listen to everything we say even if we question their listening skills (or lack thereof) a majority of the time.


Brynn was trying to carry a bunch of her TAG books upstairs but the container was too heavy.

Brynn: "Ugh, mom, can you help me? These are too heavy!"

Me: "Sure, no problem."

we get to the top of the stairs.

Me: "There ya go, hon."

Brynn: "Thanks, Momma, I appreciate it."


*I tend to say to her "Thanks, I appreciate that or it" whenever she does something for me...too cute.



Over the weekend when I was gone to Iowa, Bee was chatting with her dad.

Dad: "What's wrong? You look tired."

Brynn: "Yeah, I didn't sleep very well last night."


Grocery Shopping yesterday...

Brynn: "Mom, are we going to be here for awhile?"

Me: "Yes, honey we still need to get a few things."

Brynn: "Oh, like do we need to buy all of the ingredients for our food and snacks?"


**I was impressed she used the word "ingredients" I've got a smart cookie on my hands