Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bon Voyage

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So Ready
I'm sooo ready for our next holiday. The countdown has officially begun. 2 more days! It's not a Roman holiday, but it'll be just as good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thank You

Dear God, 

Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to walk away without a scratch or bruise from the not so fun meeting with the center divider on the freeway this afternoon. Thank you for the two guys that walked across the freeway to make sure that I was okay. Thank you for the officer who stayed with me and asked me as nicely as he could about what happened. Thank you for the amazingly nice tow truck driver who almost sold me on getting an iPhone and reassured me that he would take care of me. Somehow, I'm never alone and always have the luck of meeting the nicest people during the hardest and often most awkward situations. 



Throwback Tuesday: Hidden Agenda - Craig David

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Note

I had a hard day today.We had to do benchmark testing. It's the week before spring break. It was rainy day schedule. Cabin fever up to our ears. I was definitely feeling worn out as I locked our door. 

Then, I hopped over to my other school to do a bit of planning. On my desk, there was a piece of notebook paper with blue painter's tape on the sides to make a pocket. On the outside was written, "You are a nic techer." Inside, there was another piece of notebook paper taped up with same blue tape. On the outside, it said, "You are nic to me Mrs. Track." No name. My heart totally smiled.

It was definitely the handy work of one of my boys. I rarely ever get letters from the boys. My co-teacher told me that it was from one of the kiddos that we've been working a lot with this year. He walked into class declaring that he had something for me. Too cute!  I'm usually giving him lots of friendly reminders. I'm so happy that he knows that all of my reminders are because I care about him!  


Dear D.C. & Virginia from Beebs on Vimeo.

Here's my second attempt at a home movie. I'm still learning. After editing, I've learned that I shoot videos like I shoot photos. Time for more practice.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Excellence in D.C. Day 3

Our third day was our big day. My hubster was getting his award in the evening. Since he didn't have rehearsal for his awards until 3, we decided to squeeze in a few more sites. We were on the metro with everyone heading to work during rush hour. You could tell we were tourists a mile away because we weren't wearing black or gray. We hopped off and went to the ticket booth for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Because our tour wasn't going to be for an hour and half, we decided to walk to the Jefferson monument. It was a good 2 mile walk (both ways). 

At the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, we got to see pallets of uncut bills as they were being processed. We learned the step-by-step of how paper made of linen and cotton becomes legal tender. The tour is a lot like the Jelly Belly Factory tour minus getting fun hats. You walk around, peering through big windows, and watching people. It's so hard to comprehend how much money you're actually watching being made. In one room, there's a sign that says, "Can you imagine how it feels to process your entire life's income in a few minutes?" 

Afterward, we headed up to the National Geographic Museum. The main gallery is free. We saw the photos that didn't make the 2011 issues along with some photos by the presidential photographer. My hubster and I both loved the photo of Obama running with Bo down the hallway. The museum is small and uptown but worth it. My hubster also wants me to let you know about the super nice girl who works at the cafe. She makes delicious coffee and muffins! 

Before we headed back, we made a stop by the Lincoln monument and the Vietnam memorial to snap a few quick shots. I really liked the walk from the GWU station. It gives you a different perspective of D.C. 

Later that evening, it was time for the award ceremony. It was an amazing ceremony. They had it in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It was so much fun to wander around the exhibits without wee ones running around you. We also got to watch the Legends of Flight Imax 3D movie for free.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Excellence in D.C. Day 2

After a smidge of rest (don't forget the time changed this Sunday), we ventured out to see more of Virginia. Mark literally lives next door to the battle field where the Battle of Manassas (Battle of Bull Run) took place. The Battle of Manassa was the beginning of the Civil War. I've always been a bit of history nerd, so it was bit surreal being there. My hubster totally felt humbled. A flood of respect for the bravery of the soldiers and the tragedy of countrymen fighting against one another. 

We spent a little longer there than expected, so we were late heading into D.C. Our D.C. highlight for the day was going to the International Spy Museum. Initially, I was hesitant to go, but I kept hearing it was a must-see. I loved how interactive the museum was. You get an alias and are questioned to see if you're able to maintain your cover. All the real espionage gizmos and gadgets seem like they're out of a James Bond movie. The cigarette and ring guns were among my favorites. My hubster is still talking about the car stuffed with four people, including one person near the engine. I also loved learning about which great authors were spies. 

 Again, we rounded out the evening with a delectable meal. Our goal was to have a multi-cultural foodie experiences. For this meal, we decided to make a trip to Eamonn's for some Irish fare. We had fish (grouper instead of cod) and chips. For dessert, Mark and I shared dough balls and a deep fried Mars bar. The dough balls tasted like churros. Yum!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Today, we were working on making our pop-up rain forests with the wee ones. At the top of the worksheet, there is a set of directions. Here's what happened: 

Kiddo A: Here, Mrs. Trac! (with a big smile)
Me: What is it Kiddo A?
Kiddo A: It's the directions. I cut it for you, so you can have it next year when you want to tell kids how to make it. 
Me: Aw. Thank you! I'll save it.

In the background, Kiddo T overhears this awesome conversation. He runs over, too.  

Kiddo T: Here Mrs. Trac! (holding the paper)
Me: Aw. Is it the directions? 
Kiddo T: Yea! Just in case...
Me: Just in case, I lose the other one?
Kiddo T: Yes!

Both copies are still on my desk. :) 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Excellence in D.C. Day 1

We left our teeny airport at 7ish on Friday evening for a layover at LA. Finally, left LA at 10:30ish. Arrived in Virginia at 6ish on Saturday morning. We hit the ground running, literally. My friend, Mark, picked us up from the airport. He was kind enough to let us freshen up at his hotel room. 

By 9:30ish, we were heading toward the metro station. Mark taught me that Virginia most likely has the most personalized license plates. I contemplated taking photos of all of them, but there were too many! We passed the kiss and ride and made our way into the metro station. I love taking the metro whenever I'm in a large city (minus Chicago). I love waiting for the metro, feeling it zip by, and trying to get my metro legs. The D.C. metro is surprisingly clean and warm. Not sweaty gym locker room warm but toasty car warm. 

We took the metro up to Ben's Chili Bowl, arrived around 10:30ish. It's so us to go and eat as soon as we land. We're foodies like that. In case you're wondering why this spot, Ben's Chili Bowl has been featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Man v. Food. We're all big fans of both shows. (Obama has also visited this D.C. institution.) We each had a half-smoked chili dog and shared a plate of chili smothered fries. Delish! Then, we headed to the National Mall while Mark went to meet Samantha Brown at the Travel Expo.

Most of our afternoon was spent at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. It's huge! It houses so many amazing artifacts. We saw the hat that Abraham Lincoln wore that fateful night at Ford's Theater. It even had the teacup that he drank out of before he left for the theater. We also saw the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner. It's breathtaking at 30 feet x 34 feet. It also had a really fascinating war exhibit. Did you know that missionaries, teachers, and Western government employees were detained in internment camps in Japan during WWII?

Afterward, we wandered past the Washington monument to the White House. Once we arrived at the White House, we could only see the back of it. Disappointing, no? We wobbled back to Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to check out the rotating exhibits. There was a fabulous CSI-esque colonial exhibit called Written in Bone: Forensic Files of 17th Century Chesapeake. We learned how different diseases affect our bones. For instance, syphilis can cause moth-eaten like scars to occur on a skull. Gross but interesting. 

We called it an early night and went back to Virginia for dinner at a delicious Burmese restaurant.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Back From Excellence in D.C.

We're back from a whirlwind D.C. trip. We red-eyed Friday evening and arrived home this afternoon. It was too much fun! More to come over the next couple of days including a vacay video. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dear Dino

One of the standards for 2nd grade is being able to write a letter and use correct format/punctuation. We're studying dinosaurs, so I had the kiddos write to the dinosaur that they're doing their report on. Here are some of the very creative letters:

Dear Apatosaurus,

Things today are very different because you could play handball. I go to the swings. It is fun. At school, I read and do math. We rite sentences. We have  a techer that teches us about dinousaurse and fosliss. some are hard like us and you. Evrey body has bones!! Santa Barbara is like a jungle becase it has trees, grass and pommtrees. The city looks like a butiful book and the lights to. 

Dear Gallimimus,

Things today are very different. Some funtings are danceing and singing. Some foods are brownies they are so yumy and chocklety. Some thing from school are mat and rescess in rescess I like to play handball in math we are practiceing time. My favorit place is Las Vegas because it has lots of lites. 

Dear Spinosaurus,

Things today are very different. I like to play football. I like it because it is fun. At school, I do math. I wish you came back because for we can go to Mcdonells. I wish you came back because for you can tast brownies. I wish you came backfor we can play video games.

Ultimate Comfort Food

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's All About Size

A kiddo from another class came up to me busting with excitement and we had this conversation: 

Kiddo: (huge smile) Mrs. Trac, I know what color your car is.
Me: Hmmm...what color is it? (Thinking: Oh god, she saw me in our fish car.)
Kiddo: Blue!
Me: You're right. Next time, you should wave at me. 
Kiddo: But your car is so small, you won't see me.

For the record, we drive an Echo as our commuter car. It is teeny tiny, but gets amazing gas mileage. Can't really explain that to a first grade kiddo.