Saturday, January 31, 2009

Musings of a 4th Grader

As promised, I have been collecting funny bits from my adventures in the classroom. Not a day goes by that something happens or something is said by my dear students that I have to collect myself from laughing and remind myself that I am their teacher and supposed to be "emotionally controlled" in front of them. Well, I threw that out the door by my 3rd day on the job. Here's for your enjoyment....

#1- We had just had a school-wide spelling bee one morning. Shortly after the spelling bee we returned to our classroom and one of my boys feeling defeated commented "Can they do it in Spanish next time, I'am very sure I would win it." Another boy answered," No, you gotta go to Mexico for that."

#2-We went on a field trip yesterday where we visited the Houston Health Museum. One of the highlights was a 4D movie in which we were going to go through a tour of the body from the inside. The museum employee welcomed us in the theater and proceeded to tell us that we were in the 1st 4D theatre in Texas! The kids were wowed by that. The employee then explained the difference between 3D and 4D. We were going to experience special effects during the film like real smoke, wind and mist during the film! The kids were double wowed! They couldn't wait. The employee then asked if there were any questions and one little boy in the front row raised his hand and asked, "Do I need to hold on to my 3D glasses when the wind blows?"

#3-After my class completed a writing assignment I then had them circle over-rated words on their writing samples. For instance, Happy, Sad, Mad, Run, Like. I was trying to get them to use a Thesaurus to make a word bank of better words to use instead of the overrated ones they tend to use over and over. During this activity of looking for better words I can't tell you how many times I had to answer the question, "Does gay mean happy?" My response to each brave kid to ask was always followed by giggles from the onlookers. I knew that all of their writing compositions going foward were going to have this new word for happy. hmm. I may need to go back to the drawing board on this one.

#4-I always try to incorporate character building with my kids. I understand that manners are not always taught at home so I do my best in the classroom to pour into them and teach and implement the same values that I have at home. I made sure to let them know where I stood in the beginning of the year regarding what my expectations were in the classroom. One of those is bad language. I don't allow ugly words to be used in the class. Even, if they are not considered bad I told them that if I don't allow my daughter to speak that way, I will not allow them to do so either.for example, dumb,stupid,hate, etc. I will treat them as if they are my own children and will have the same high expectations for them as I do my own family. NEways, during read aloud time the other day we met a character in the story who was not a very good boy. He had a very colorful language. Although the book did not have these words written out they were implied with symbols like these @##%$$#. When I read aloud to the kids I just said beeeep, like they do on T.V. so that they would know that he was saying something that was not pretty. I took this as an opportunity to talk them about the peer pressures of friends who may speak this way. We discussed how this can by contagious. In the book they called it cussitis. We talked in class how that can happen and we need to be very careful not to fall for it. I then proceeded to tell them to defend themselves by telling those who speak like that that they need to be better educated so they can think of better words to use instead of stooping low enough to talk ugly. That they needed a better education to be able to expand their vocabulary. I love to think that I'am making little fighters out of my little 4th graders. One's that won't be afraid to stand up to the influences of peer pressure. I remember thinking, whoww, this feels good. I'am giving them something they won't forget. To not be afraid to stand up for themselves. Anyways, after my brave speech and expecting my applause. One of my little girls, who is very mild mannered and one of my best students raised her hand. I point at her expecting her to praise my great advice and maybe even give me an example of when she stood up to someone like I just described. She then says, " I don't think I can tell my mom that, cause I'll probably get grounded." Oooops. So much for great speeches. I remember thinking 'I should sit down now.'

Here are a few pics from our field trip to the Health Museum!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Girls Night Out!

This past week I attended a much needed Girl's Night Out! Some girlfriends and I attended an event hosted by KSBJ and Proverbs 31. The event had a great line up of guest speakers and we were so excited to have a fun night out on the town complete with a limo ride compliments of In Style Limo.

Going along with my blog theme and title. My intentions with this blog is to document our family adventures to share with family and friends but at the same time I plan to share a little of our spiritual journey. This includes sharing some "nuggets of truth" that I feel God has or will reveal to me or us through this journey. I hope you come along for the ride! So here is one of those nuggets!
The Girl's Night Out event was something I was looking forward to for a while. I quickly learned I wasn't the only one. All my peeps felt the same way! This may not be a surprise but don't we all long to be in community with others in some way or fashion? As humans we crave to have friends that we can lean on and share life with. I'am sure God feels the same about us. He longs to be in community with us and for us to make him a part of our everyday lives. For him to be our "Forever Friend". With this said, my question is this. When was the last time that you took the time to appreciate and love on your friends? Just like we have to spend time to love on our spouses, kids, and build great relationships with them. Shouldn't we do the same with friends? I mean we have special days set aside to appreciate those close to us. Like Father's Day, Mother's Day, Valentines, even Boss's Day & Secretary's Day. Is there a Friend's Day? So in leau of this I made it a point to appreciate and let my girlfriends know why they are wonderfully and beautifully made on our Girls Night Out date! Each one of us has wonderful qualities that make us who we are and obviously allows us to have chemistry and connection with those we love. When was the last time you let your friends know what those qualities are that make them great friends? When was the last time you took the time to appreciate them and just love on them?
This is a challenge! Tell your friends why they are so wonderfully and beautifully made! Let's not take each other for granted. Just like wives want to be appreciated by husbands and vice versa, let's do the same for our friends once in a while. Let them know why they are great friends! Wouldn't you want to know what makes you a great friend?
Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
God tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made! Let's make a habit of telling each other that too! Here's to Girlfriends and Fun Times!
Some of my peeps! Thanks In Style Limo for letting us ride In Style!
Lysa Terkeurst from P31. I'am a huge fan!! Jonas Brothers step aside!

Q&A with P31 gals Lysa & Renee, Kate Gosselin, and Ayiesha Woods.
Kate Gosselin from the show "John & Kate plus 8"

Thanks for coming girls! It was huge blessing!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Great Outdoors

This past weekend was a three day holiday weekend. It had dawned on me Friday after work that we were not going to make the same mistake twice by staying in town. So Friday night the decision was made. Last minute of course, cuz that's how we roll. We licked our index fingers and pointed towards the sky. The weather was in our favor. Camping it was!

Our destination was Jellystone Yogi Bear Park in Canyon Lake, TX. It's a qaint little town nestled in the hill country north of New Braunsfels. We rolled up in our spiffy RV feeling like the Griswalds. Or better yet like that family on the movie "RV" with Robin Williams. But that's how we always feel when traveling in the RV. Maybe cause we're not experienced outdoorsy types yet. But we're getting there. Wait. Maybe we really aren't outdoorsy if you really think about it. I mean some would say your not really camping if you have running water & electricity. But hey, we gotta start somewhere. We have to wean ourselves before completely letting go of our amenities. LOL.

Here are some highlights from our trip:

1.Ati busted her upper lip riding her bike down a hill. She had just busted her lower lip at school earlier this week. So now she has two busted lips.

2.We learned about 'Winter Texans'. These are people who live up north but travel down south in the winter as to escape the harsh winter weather where they live. We encountered alot of 'Winter Texans' RV'ing it down south.

3.We walked across a dam for the first time! Canyon Lake is controlled by a dam as it feeds into the Guadalupe River or the River feeds into it?? Whatever, you get my point. It was neat to walk across something that had water on our left and a huge hill on the right. Johnny had to resist the urge to roll down the hill. I had to remind him we were on a dam not a hill. He would have gotten more than a busted lip.

4.Canyon Lake, TX is a happenin' place in the summer time. We chose this park b/c it catered to children. There were hay rides, outdoor movie nights, Yogi Bear visits, etc. We were also looking foward to making smores with our campfire and singing Kum ba Yah. But when we checked in, the nice park ranger informed us there was a Fire Ban in the area so no fires permitted, "maybe in the summer time," he suggested. "Also, the childrens activities would resume in the summer." WHAT? "What about the "Winter Texans" the "Snow Birds"?? Don't they deserve campfires and children's activities? Who cares if their retired and are way older than us, they may carry grandchildren with them." Then the bomb...... "WHAT!?! NO CABLE HOOKUPS?!?" At this point Johnny was ready to check out, get a refund and head back home. People, NFL Football games are not missed by my dear hubby. I managed to pull him off of X-Box, not completely but it will do. But NFL Football?? That would be like stripping him completely of his manhood. No if's and but's about that pastime. But he survived this weekend. With no cable, we were left with just each other. Just the three of us in the outdoors. Can you feel the love? Lot's of talking, playing and more talking. Now that's great family bonding! Check out our pics!

Click to play Canyon Lake,TX
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Saturday, January 10, 2009


We took Ati to Pearland's Winterfest today. It was our first time going and must say it was a blast for all of us. We're always looking for fun things to do in our area that won't break the budget and this proved to be one of them! We just paid an entrance fee at the door and everything else was free to ride! I was shocked we didn't have to buy tickets to ride anything after that. Just walk up and get on! Ati was lovin' it. Her partner in crime Ellie joined us for the escapade and together rode the day away. Below are some pics.

Did I mention that we have a Mr.Mom in our household? That's right folks. I work and he stays home during the week and manages the family business while being Mr. Mom to Ati. Yes, it's not the norm but it works for us. And are blessed by it. I thank God we are able to have at least one parent be with her during the week. Anyways, funny story. I try to keep Johnny involved in childrens extra curricular activities during the week. So they both can get out of the house. Granted at these events it's usually just moms. This past week they went to storytime at the library. Obviously, full of moms. One of them approached him and asked, "Are you a Mr. Mom?" He wanted to say no, I am a Mr. Dad. But he hesitated and said yes. Then she said " Oh I've read about you guys! My son is one too! I'am so proud for what you do!" Like their a rare breed! Too funny. He is asked occasionally by strangers. Must be obvious I guess.
Anyways, Johnny has been practicing Ati's spelling of her name with her. We had to have a conversation about fun and educational balance during the week when I'am at work. Why do daddy's have to always be the fun one's and mom's the educational and hygiene queens? I guess I should be glad he at least knows how to fix her hair for school two days of the week. I decided to quiz her today and asked, "How do you spell your name?" Her response, " A.....T.....One." Okay, I guess it will do for now. The 'I' can look like a one. Johnny passed.

The girls shopping in the grocery store

Rides Galore!

Down the snow hill!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nurse Visit #54

Oh, I just love fourth graders! I promised I would share funny stories regarding my adventurous days with them. One thing I've learned is that they can get very comfortable with their teacher as the year goes on and share a little too much info than I care to know. Case in point.

I pass out the social studies test to every student and the room finally quiets down enough for me to be able to actually sit down and catch my breath. That's the best part about test taking time. I'm sure it's the kids least favorite part of the day and one they don't look forward to.

So the room is completely quiet. I am on relaxation mode in front of the class and enjoying the moment. One of my boy's who is notorious for visits to the nurse decides he has an ailment.Oh, just perfect timing. The conversation went a little something like this:

Sick boy with painful look on his face, raises his hand and says: "Mrs. Garcia my stomach hurts." With more pain emanating from his face.

Teacher rolls eyes and exhales: "You'll survive."

Boy sitting next to him: "He's not lying. He just farted." With a stinky look on his face.

How do you keep a straight face? It doesn't get any better than this. But I'm sure it does. I'll share as they roll in.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

So much for firsts!

Saturdays is usually just Ati and I. It's dh's busiest day of the week with his line of work so the two of us are on our own. I try to do fun stuff with her, usually a trip to the library, ride our bikes in the hood,playdates with friends, or take her to good ole' Chick fil A and let her have at it in the playground. Tonight I wanted to do something different. Now we usually reserve Ati's "firsts" when both daddy and I can be there but he'll get over it. What's done is done. My excuse was that it was just the dollar theater so it doesn't count! wink,wink. NEways, tonight was Ati's first movie at a theater. Oh wait, I soon figured out that I was already beat! As soon as I told Ati we were going to the movies she quickly said she needed her glasses to go there. I replied, "glasses? What do you mean?" She then reminded me that when she went to the movies with her aunt (my sister) when she spent the night there she got some cool 3D glasses to watch the film. I guess Johnny wasn't the only one to get stumped tonight. But wait, this was not Imax, it was the dollar theater, so it shouldn't count, does it? I should ask Johnny what he thinks! hehehe. Anyway, here are some pics of our movie date along with the ice cream reward we both shared for her wonderful behavior in the dollar theater without the cool glasses.

Thursday, January 1, 2009