Friday, February 23, 2007

Hug a Teacher

I was reading a little blurb about the influence teachers can have on their students, and the importance of acknowledging their efforts, so in an effort to follow that advice, I have to say that I couldn't imagine a better teacher than Lou Bean. She introduced me to To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, and opened my eyes to creative writing. I will never forget the day that one of her students was sleeping during class. She had been discussing the definition of the word "tangible" and when she asked him what it meant, he obviously couldn't tell her. Rather than getting mad, she picked up a tangerine from her desk, threw it at him, and said, "It's like a tangerine! It means 'touchable.' Get it? 'tangible, tangerine, touchable." She reached out to individual students like no other teacher I have ever known, and I just have to say, "THANK YOU!"

Here is a little blurb from the Deseret News from 2004:

English teacher Mary Louise "Lou" Bean shapes students into readers, writers and creators.
Bean once encouraged a student who loved sketching cars to write Ford Motor Co. about becoming a designer. That student since had his $550,000 concept motorcycle appear in the Nieman-Marcus Christmas book, Viewmont High colleague Debbie Jones wrote in a nomination letter.
Bean, who regularly attends writing workshops, has writing circles in class to help students discover their talents. One student even won a national PTA Reflection contest for her essay about her deceased father.
Bean picks out novels for individual students, hooking struggling readers on books. One now reads 700-page books for pleasure; another went on to become a physician.
"The sparkling enthusiasm of Lou Bean boosted the self-esteem of my children," wrote parent Debra E. Randall. "She let them know she believed in them and that they could succeed."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Snips and Snails and Puppy-Dog Tails

I just emptied Becca's coat pockets and discovered a small cache of treasure. Aside from a used Kleenex (which has already been thrown in the trash) this is the list of items discovered:
-a cherry Jolly Rancher wrapper
-a spider ring
-a top
-a rock
-a penny
-a quarter

I don't think I could have come up with a more classic list of child's prized possessions and thought it was worth noting.
As for today's adventures, my house currently smells like "Tangerine Tickle" since I discovered Ellie and Sarah making a bottle of conditioner "gas" all over Sarah's carpet. So far, however, I think that conditioner is much easier to clean up than shampoo!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Let them Eat Cake

There are several things I get to report on today, so I suppose I should begin chronologically. On Saturday we had a Valentine's party with all of the little cousins on Greg's side of the family. I made individual sized heart-shaped pizzas with a create your own topping bar. We had a few very creative pizzas including one without cheese, one with two layers of sauce, and one shaped like a pizza-face! Then, after lunch, we decorated over 100 sugar cookies. It was really fun to watch the creativity come out full force during the event and most of the mess even stayed in the kitchen!

On Sunday, I decided to focus Singing Time around Valentine's Day. We have been working on some really difficult songs lately, and so I thought the kids deserved a little break. We played name that tune with songs that included the word "love" somewhere in the lyrics. In order to emphasize the point in Junior Primary, I told the kids to raise their hands as soon as they heard the word "Love." About two words into the song, Ellie raised her hand and shouted "I feel the love!" Apparently she enjoyed the response, because within moments she added. "Don't you feel it? Can't you just feel the love?!" The newly called Stake Primary Presidency was there for the first time and I think they got their money's worth this week!

Today, I made dinner for one of the sisters I go Visiting Teaching to, and for dessert, decided to make an ice cream cake. When I was finished, I had an extra layer of chocolate cake, and set it on the counter to eat with our dinner. At about 5:00, the phone rang, and somehow, in the time it took to take the phone call, Ellie and Sarah stole the cake from the counter and dumped about half of it on the stairs and the other half on Ellie's bed. I don't know if they actually ate any of it, judging by the amount of chocolate I had to clean. Sadly, I think it might have been the undoing of our vacuum. I thought that I had picked up enough before vacuuming, but when I was finished, our vacuum was making some pretty sad sounds and it smelled a bit like burnt popcorn.

On a happier note, Ellie wanted to take Valentines to all of her cousins, so I told her she could if she could learn how to write her name. It only took her about two seconds to learn, and she happily signed all 15 Valentines. Way to go Ellie!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ellie!

Yes, I am still alive, though not necessarily kicking. I have been a little bit overwhelmed lately as Sarah has taken over her sister's role as most mischievous, but I suppose that since she is only a couple weeks away from turning "terrible two" it should be expected. Sarah has moved to a big girl bed in preparation for the little one who is on the way, and has a new favorite game of emptying the dresser and closet of all clothing. I haven't figured out how to prevent it yet, and so I am constantly picking up armfuls of clothes to resort and refold. However, on a more fun note, Ellie has been pretty good overall, and just celebrated her fourth birthday yesterday. Grandpa Welling brought a check and birthday card in the morning, and when we stopped in at Dollar Tree, she went on a mini shopping spree with the money he gave her. She got a "magic" mirror like the one on Beauty and the Beast that shows a picture and makes noise when you press a button, dress up shoes, makeup, and all sorts of goodies. She was in heaven! Ellie's one request for this birthday was to have a "Belle" party, so she got a princess makeover, watched "Beauty and the Beast" and had her grandparents over for Belle cake and ice cream. We had a great day. (She also got to go to McDonalds with all of her cousins which was spontaneous, but So much fun)