Friday, April 30, 2010

This Week's Sub Highlights

Sometimes, actually I should say often, I get swept away during the day. As each minute passes, I feel rushed to get to the next assignment. I feel this necessity to keep the kiddos moving and to check off every little thing on the sub plans in order to show the teacher that I'm a success. I want to prove that it was a good idea to leave me with their kiddos. I forget that I'm making memories with them. I become part of their experience, a part of their school life. With the year wrapping up and my now-sixth-graders soon graduating, I need to savor every moment of this year.
  • A kiddo tells her friend, "Remember, Mrs. Trac? She was our substitute one time. We made those little books with her." Then the kiddo tells me how she saved the book for Earth Day and read it to her mom. Her mom loved it.
  • One of my now-sixth-graders says, "Do you still play that game when we get into the corners for things we like and don't like? That game was fun." I only played that game once with them during fifth grade. It was on my very first day with them. He still remembers it! It happened more than a year ago.
  • A kiddo says excitedly, "Look, Mrs. Trac! I have glasses just like you!" Of course, I compliment him on his glasses. He also had a spiffy mohawk.

Hard to Say Goodbye

Almost every Friday, I tutor my second grade kiddo. When I say tutor, I mean we hang out at the library reading and browsing books together. Her love of reading surprises me each time. It makes my heart smile when she rushes in and asks for books. I also love looking on the bookshelves with her. Often, I have a few fingers in between books to hold her spot while I'm using my other hand to pull out books. I found this lovely picture book Saying Goodbye to Lulu. It talks about the lost of a beloved family member and learning how to move on. I loved how it emphasized the importance of remembering the fuzzy little one and necessity to move on. A beautiful story for one of the hardest times in anyone's life, a wee one or an adult.

"Goofy is The New Handsome"

After watching most of Bedtime Stories during testing with the kiddos, I just had to share it with my hubster. I thought it was a sweet cute movie. As long as you know Adam Sandler is very Adam Sandler in it and it's a bit cheese-tastic, you should be good. My hubster got through it, and he often doesn't get through fantastical unrealistic movies. I loved the idea of encouraging the telling of bedtime stories. It seems to be becoming a lost art. Overall, it's a fun family flick.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Little Ones

Honest Abe Meets Booth

I'm a huge fan of children's books. A large lot of my book collection is made of picture books and young adult novels. Many were collected when I was a wee one. I'm rapidly collecting more as an adult. The most recent YA book that I finished is called Chasing Lincoln's Killer. When I first plucked it off of the library shelf, I thought it was fiction. The author explains in the preface the authenticity of the text down to direct quotations. It turns out that it's a historical non-fiction novel. The first one that I have ever read.

Overall, I was really impressed with the layout and pace of the novel. In the beginning, he provides lots of photos of the characters of this fascinating tale. In addition, other prints from the celebration of the end of the Civil War are also included. I thought all of these photos were so helpful to really get the kiddos to envision what the time period was like. It's even hard for me even after many history classes and hours of watching the History Channel. The pace of the novel is really engaging since its the play by play of one of the most famous manhunts in U.S. history. I highly recommend it!

Yes, Honey

This post is an edit to the Un Faucon Post down the way. My hubster is very much a part of my blogging process. I love it when he says, "You should blog this." I even love it when he hears an old school jam coming from my side of the room and says, "Oh...that's right. It's Tuesday." He's also an avid reader of my blog. Thanks hubster!

He read the Un Faucon post and insisted that I also include the following to my appreciation list: having picnics with friends and watching my hubster fly his glider. Of course, I had to indulge his request. It was such a good suggestion! He also wanted me to share these two photos.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Got the Gimmes: Camera Pencil Sharpener

Un Faucon

Too many times than I would like to admit, I take things for granted. Often, it's not until I enter the realm of hindsight or retrospect that I am overcome with appreciation for people or opportunities. I'm trying to get better. One thing that I'm trying to appreciate more is the beauty of where we live. I would be quite silly to not acknowledge how fortunate I am to enjoy the sight of the ocean every morning and hawks soaring through the air.

Throwback Tuesday: Lovefool - The Cardigans

Monday, April 26, 2010

Possibly a Good Twist of Fate?

My hubster got a lovely email saying that the hostel that we had originally booked months ago got shut down. No explanation. Just a, "Sorry, good luck finding new accommodations!" We couldn't believe our bad luck.

After much frantic combing through various websites, we booked a room at the Sugar Hill Harlem Inn. It's a B&B! How fun does that sound? It's a little slice of NYC life. Hopefully, it'll be worth the extra bucks, eye strain, and numb fingers. 7 days and counting!

On Selfishness

Lines After Sir Thomas Browne

If thou couldst empty self of selfishness
And then with love reach out in wide embrace
Then might God come this purer self to bless;
So might thou feel the wisdom of His Grace,
And see, thereby, the radiance of His face.

But selfishness turns inwards, miry, black,
Refuses stars, sees only clouded night,
Too full, too dark, cannot confess a lack,
Turns from God's face, blest, holy, bright,
Is blinded by the presence of the Light.

from M. L'Engle's Glimpses of Grace: Daily Thoughts and Reflections

Sunday, April 25, 2010

As High as a Kite

(walking to the car after a stop at the grocery store)

Me: How high did you get?
Hubster: Not too high. I didn't want to get to crazy.

(A lady getting into her car, who obviously overheard our convo, gives us a dirty look.)

*What were we really talking about? My hubster went to fly his RC glider earlier that afternoon. I was wondering how the conditions were and how much altitude he got. Thanks to that lady we had many laughs after that.

"Time is Purple Just Before Night"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Theme Song
Madonna's What It Feels Like For A Girl
*Click on the photo above to get to the song.

Friday, April 23, 2010

That Darn Wall

As previously mentioned, my hubster has been sweet enough to let me convert one of our extra rooms into my craft room. The progress has been much slower than I would like it to be. I painted it over spring break. We bought and assembled my desk last weekend. Now, I'm stuck with the blank-canvas-of-a-wall that faces my desk. It's been such a toughie. Initially, I had planned on doing a gallery style photo collage. I laid it out on the floor. No bueno.

Now, I'm thinking about a clothespin line art display. The top line will display the gorgeous paper that my hubster's bff got us for our first anniversary. The middle line will be art prints that I love. The line below that one will be postcards from museums and various cities. The very bottom line will be prints from my DianaF+ experiments. Here's my inspiration board.

Yes, I Like Your Hobby

Weasel courtesy of M.Richter @ Dreamflight. Apologies for the shameless plugs of Dreamflight. We heart Mr. Kelby, so we like to think we're helping getting with his college fund by promoting Dreamflight. Just in case you forgot, the company's name again is Dreamflight.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Very Cool MJ Cover

Catch Up: Same Road, New Faces

My hubster and I cherish our scooter rides in the back country. We pretty much travel along only two routes. Initially, you may think that that must be pretty boring. With the changing seasons of the vineyards, variety of farm critters, and farm critter babies, there is always lots to see. Even the bumps in the road are ever changing. I can't wait for it to warm up and for more opportunities to hop onto our scoot scoot.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Every Gardener Should Own This

Could Never Get Tired of This Song

Taylor Swift's Untouchable
*Click on the pic to get to the video

Bad News or Good News First?


I'm in the thick of state testing with the kiddos. I must say I understand the whole concept of state testing. Yes, teachers, principals, and schools have to be held accountable. However, state tests shouldn't be the end-all-be-all. It doesn't measure someone's drive, determination, or potential. I was never a good tester, but you would not be able to tell that with my grades throughout my academic career. With that said, here's what happened to me today. We'll start with the bad news.

A kiddo looks up at me completely doe-eyed. She points to the first math problem, "I can't do that. I don't know how to do that. Can you help me?" My heart just breaks. I tell her, "Sweetie bug, just do your best. I can't help you. Your best is enough." She says again, "I really don't know how to do it." I try some more encouraging words, but I have to walk away. When your job is to help children day in and day out, it's so hard to turn your back on them, especially when they're reaching out to you. My heart sank to the soles of my shoes.

Now, the good news. The same kiddo figures out that she can use her ruler as a number line. She has something to help her figure out some of the problems. Yay! How clever is that? That kind of creative problem solving is not tested by the state. It's the kind of thinking that she'll need for the rest of her life. Go kiddo!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Man in the Sky Forbid!"

This week's movie was The Invention of Lying. I thought it was an interesting movie. It was quite refreshing to see a movie with a unique plot line rather than another tired old remake or movie version of a TV show. Honestly, I was waiting the entire time for Mark's lies to nip him in his chubby bum, especially when he decides to change history. I found myself wondering at the end of the movie if we need a little deception to get us through our days. My hubster said it best, "It just shows us that we need to have a better perspective." To describe the movie, it's kind of like how Lois from Family Guy describes purgatory, "It's not good, but it's not bad." I did love all the different comedians that they were able to cram into the film.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Five Fun Facts: My Childhood

  • Teddy bears and dinosaurs used to be the center of my universe.
  • My favorite books included the Berenstain Bears and Jesse Bear.
  • I went to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle live show.
  • I used to lick the sugar and butter off of the sugar butter covered buns.
  • I always wanted a Teddy Ruxpin, but got a Cricket doll instead. (Check out the disappointment/disgust above.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

All in the Family

My hubster's parents surprised us this weekend with a spur of the moment visit. As usual, with their visit came a day trip to LA. We had a delicious lunch of salt and pepper fish, steamed chicken with soy sauce, and sauteed pea sprouts. Spent numerous hours at a Chinese jewelery store and other Asian grocery stores. I learned how expensive legit Ginseng is (upwards of $500) and how long it takes to grind it. Our day ended with a yummy dinner of two different kinds of soup. I got the same soup as my hubster's dad, a heavenly beef satay curry soup.

Most importantly, this trip helped me to feel even more part of the family. Integrating into another family hasn't been easy for me. Everything used to feel so different: the social cues, the language, and the food. Now, we can joke with ease. My ama (that's mom in Chinese) even got me a jade bracelet and Chinese zodiac pendant that matches hers. Cheesy, I know. A bit sentimental, no? My hubster's dad also got the same bracelet. As we moved onto the next store, my aba (that's dad in Chinese) said, "Now, they'll all know that we're part of the same family."

Friday, April 16, 2010


(while looking at this
blog post)

Me: Oh my gosh honey, this couple has been everywhere I want to go: Venice, Paris, and India.
Hubster: And they're like 18?
Me: No.
Hubster: We could totally do that.
Me: How? Not have any savings?
Hubster: No. We can have savings. We'll just be DINKs.
Me: What? What's a DINK?
Hubster: Dual income no kids.
Me: (laughs)
Hubster: That's going on the blog isn't it?
Me: Yes, it is.

Favorite-Scenic-Drive Song

One Eskimo's Kandi

Love love love the lines, "You've been my queen for longer than you know/My love for you has been/Every step I take, every day I live, everything I see."


Lately, we've been spoiled like crazy. It's avocado season! Our favorite market has been selling them for 2 for a $1. We eat them on and in everything. Sometimes, I like it with a bit of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. That's how I used to have it with my mom. Their creaminess is almost indescribable. I have yet to really figure out how to describe their taste. My hubster and I ponder it often. Maybe, one day it'll come to me. For now, all I know is that I love them.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In Honor of National Poetry Month

Buddha in Glory

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed and growing sweet--
all this universe, to the furthest stars
and beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Got the Gimmes: Sasek Travel Guides for Kids

Une Fraise

*Our first homegrown strawberry.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Forever Young

When I was younger, my mom used to always tell me how much she would love Forever Young by Rod Stewart to be the theme song of my life. Coincidentally, that's what it's become, quite literally. My inability to look my age seems to boggle even the kiddos. Here are the best questions I got today.
  • Are you a real grown up?
  • Are you a real teacher?
  • Are you free from school?
  • Do you live with your parents?
  • You're married? Where's your wedding ring?