One could go on and on forever talking about anything, but I'll just touch on it here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Trying Out New Words, Marshmallows, and The Flags on The Mailboxes

Why does small child plus big word equal adorable?

Today with the first grade reading group when I asked one of the boys to use a certain word in a sentence, he decided he wanted to bring a different word to the table.

Boy: It's abomination!

Me: [laughing and smiling] OK, how about using this word in a sentence? [want]

Boy: I want gummy bears!

And then we were on a sweet-tooth track.


Boy: Wasn't he not eating gummy bears?

This reminded me of the time I, as a small child, got fixated on marshmallows while camping with my family. See, the thing was we had forgotten to take any marshmallows with us. Shocking, I know. Every chance I got, I would remind my parents of the mistake. When a man in a neighboring campsite drove away in his truck I immediately spoke up: He's going to the store to get marshmallows. (And yes, my parents thought I was adorable).

Every day, or every other day, or every other other day—I have yet to notice a clear pattern—the group of mailboxes near my house decides to raise their red flags to attention. Even my mailbox joins in. I can imagine them all laughing at me as I walk away, junk mail in hand, oblivious to the action of the flags. I wonder if this upsets the mailcarrier the following day when he or she surely finds no outgoing mail in the boxes? Maybe the flags go down at night. I should check tomorrow morning. Or maybe the mailboxes have their own mail to send. What sort of mail would one mailbox send to another mailbox? "Have you read anything new lately?" Just imagine: mailbox pen pals.

"Dear 3622 Oak,
Well I just got hammered back into shape. Some guy hit me last week with his car. At least I didn't get thrown in the scrap heap.

2255 State"

"Dear 1245 B Street,
You would think these people would be getting tired of soggy mail and have the holes in me fixed. Sorry if you can't read this because the ink is smeared. We had a downpour today.

675 Blueberry Drive"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kidlet Jokes

Knock knock

who's there?


BSU who?

[pause] Duh, it's BSU!

[Boise State Broncos]


Why did the elephant wear his blue shoes?

I don't know. Why?

Because his red ones were in the wash!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sled to Work; Swim Home

Snow and I get along well, usually. I like to watch it fall like stardust, hear it crunch in its own uniquely fantastic way under my boots, eat it like manna from heaven, slide down hilly bundles of it, and breathe in the fresh cold air around it. Snow makes Christmas more like Christmas and the chill of winter well worth it. But when I have to drive in snow I dislike every single flake of it.

This morning the snow hadn't started falling when I got out of bed, and it wasn't predicted to start until after 8:00. Naturally, the snow came when the snow wanted to come, and even though I left the house a few minutes early to make my commute to work, by the time I drove down my street it was quite settled and kicking off its shoes to stay awhile. I turned onto the next street and found myself sliding ever so slightly, which was disconcerting in itself, but then for the next 20 minutes I made it only a few blocks in stop-and-go traffic. By the time I made it to the first light, two cars had turned around and given up. And I was officially late for work.

My alternate route didn't get me much closer to my destination. I sat in a snowy, empty parking lot as I called work and Luke to explain my situation. Going back home seemed the best option, since it wasn't the direction any other cars were headed, but I made a last-minute choice—foolish it seemed, seconds later—to get back in traffic.

When the cop up the hill put out orange cones blocking the exit I was hoping to take, I started chewing myself out for not heading home the way I had come. But then there was the bright side: I had heat (which a couple months ago was not true for my car), I had fuel (just enough to not worry over), I had snacks (my sack lunch and water), and I had a radio (so I could listen to the morning-show DJs tell me to delay heading in to work if I could).

An hour and forty-five minutes late to work, I finally made it. Thankfulness and relief flooded over me. People around me had driven slowly and safely; God had kept me from senseless panic.

The day went on, as days do. Kids made me laugh (wait for the next blog post about knock knock jokes, pretending, and news anchormen), co-workers brought good conversation, and I got to enjoy the snow as I walked to and from buildings. Then, just like that, the snow quit falling and the rain came.

What a sloppy drippy mess. Who cares that I forgot my snow boots in Luke's car, what I needed for my trip home was a pair of fins. Water, water everywhere. If I have to pull out my ice skates tomorrow morning, I'm going back to bed!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Hope You Dance

Saturday night in a dim piano bar along a snowy, icy street north of Seattle, I danced "The Running Man," "The Chicken Dance," "The Hokey Pokey," and Luke's twirl and swirl. The wedding party members made creative and wild song requests but could not stump the dueling pianists. The talented men rapped, played the harmonica, sang and played classic Elton John and Billy Joel as well as Justin Bieber and SpongeBob SquarePants. And the bride wore a peacock feather in her hair.

How could I stay on the sidelines with all this joyful movement around me? Luke stepped on my toes, I tried to step around his. I got off beat, and probably stayed that way; I had to dodge a pole. Swing dancing, two-stepping, electric sliding, and chicken flapping to my left and right. Children and grandmothers shaking it up on the floor. Between songs we guzzled water at the bar. My feet hurt. The cool night air outside called to me, but the music men did too.

And on the stage, jumping in and out between the curtains around the pianos, a curly redheaded boy of two gave us all a show of improvisational dancing. My hero. He didn't care who watched and he didn't even seem to notice that we did watch. He became the music and the dance.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Questions of the Day

Boy 1: Are there any magnifying glasses in here? I wanna look at my dried blood.

Me: Um, it's dry. And no, there aren't.

Boy 1: But maybe it will still be moving around, trying not to dry.

Me: (Squashing cool idea) I don't think so. Open your book to page 6.


Me: Could you treat me with the same respect you treated your dad yesterday?

Boy 3: You want me to call you my dad?

Me: No. You were really great yesterday when your parents visited and I'm asking if you could respect me like you did your dad.

Boy 3: OK. Can I have some candy, Dad?


Boy 1: I have a question.

Me: Yes?

Boy 1: What's your favorite NFL team?

Me: Well [Boy 1], I don't really have one. What's your favorite team?

Boy 1: Well it was [sadly, I have forgotten which team he told me first. That's how bad I am about knowing the NFL] but now I'm thinking it's the Eagles because [again, I have forgotten the name he told me] is with them. 

Me: That's cool. [The only reason I remembered Eagles is because Boy 1 took off his coat and he was wearing an Eagles jersey with the name Eagles on it].


So the light saber pencil returned and I told Boy 1 that this wasn't Jedi class.

Boy 1: I'm Sith.

Me: Oh. Well this isn't Sith class. [Meanwhile Boy 2 and Boy 3 are using the metal tabs in their folders to make jumps for their pencils to roll down. Then Boy 2 makes his into a catapult to try and put the pencil back in the pencil basket.]


Boy 1: Did you see the back of my head?

Me: No.

Boy 1 turns around: It's the Batman symbol. [Shaved into the back of his head.]

Me: So do you shine a light on your head and Batman comes? [he wasn't impressed with my humor].

Friday, January 6, 2012

May Boys Never Grow Up

Three 4th grade boys amuse me with their antics every weekday morning from 8:45 to 9:30. Today I told them that their reading progress showed that they could move to the next level soon, but I needed them to focus and calm down—aka sit still and stop distracting each other from their reading. (Terrible to have to tell nine-year-old boys to sit still and stop their rocket noises, but all in all I am less an authority figure more an older comrade letting them get away with most everything. I work with some awesome kids.)

The idea of moving up a level immediately translated to computer game talk in their brains.

Boy 1: You mean like [technical term], [technical term], Boss, [technical term] level?

Me: Come again?

Boy 1: (Repeats everything he just said.)

Me: OK, I have no idea what you are saying.

Boy 1 to Boy 3: (Boy 2 is mostly quiet, except when 1 and 3 draw him out of his shell with their infectious peer-pressure charm) Remember when we played [name of computer game] and we got to upgrade [technical term]?

Boy 3: (Let's just say he spoke the same language.)

Then Boy 3 turns to me and says: Can I upgrade this pencil to a pen?

Me: No ( I laugh)

For the next few minutes I tolerated a pencil being used as a lightsaber, a calculator being used to calculate 99,000, and our book being used very little. Then it was time for them to go back to class. I doled out the prize suckers to the two boys who did all their at-home reading for the week and then watched them wait in line with the other kids and try to accept two additional suckers from my co-worker, who didn't realize that my kids already had their candy.

Um, [Boy 1 and Boy 2] have candy, I called out. They grinned sheepishly.


Well, I think I'll go hang out with my husband. He's downstairs watching "Phineas and Ferb" cartoons and imagining if he, too, can build a rollercoaster in his backyard.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kidlets Strike Again

Teacher: "Put your papers face down on your desk. Leave them FACE DOWN."

Kindergarten boy lays his head face down, on his desk.

Line of kids in hall, mildly chatting. One girl suddenly bellows: "I'M THE ONLY ONE BEING QUIET!"


Teacher: "What's a safety tip in the kitchen?"

2nd grade girl: "Don't touch the stove while you're standing on a ladder because you might fall on a pot of boiling water."

(thanks to Heidi and Jen, my fabulous co-workers, for sharing some of their observations)