Thursday, November 10, 2011

Once, When I Was a Teacher

If you have read the Five Things About Me section then you know I grew up in Canada. That means I learned to spell and pronounce things the "Canadian way."

Well, I came to the good ole USA in college where I met and married the man of my dreams. As sometimes happens, I graduated before he did, so I was his sugar momma for two years! (But, it wasn't all that sweet - we lived off of a teacher's salary! He, he!)

Anyway, the point of this story is that I lead my poor first graders astray . . . 

It was a Monday morning and we began our spelling list for the week. At our school it's introduced as a test to get the students thinking about the spelling. Well, one of the sight words (meaning it's not spelled the way it sounds, it does not follow the rules!) was the word "been." Okay. Pretty simple.

Well, when I introduced this work and even put it in a sentence, "have you ever BEEN to the movies?" there was nothing but confusion on my poor student's faces. No pencils were hurriedly scribbling this new word. No one moved. I was beginning to wonder what was happening when one brave little six-year-old raised his hand and boldly stated, "I don't know that word!"

It's true, too. He did not know that word. No one in the room did because I grew up pronouncing it the same way you pronounce the word BEAN!!! So I had said, "BEAN. Have you ever BEAN to the movies?" No! What does that even mean???

Well, we took that word off the list and tried it again the next week. I spoke with my director and sure enough, you crazy Americans pronounce it BIN. (Don't be offended. I too am a crazy American who pronounces it the SAME way now!) Have you ever BIN to the movies? Ahh, much better!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Heart Books

When I visited my family this summer I had my very own room with a big bed all to myself (hubby didn't make it on this trip).

Beside the bed was a little table with a reading lamp and three books
my Mum lovingly placed there for me.

The first was a cute little story about a young girl whose a budding scientist and works to solve a mystery.

The second book touched my heart deeply.

It taught me things I didn't know.

Caused me to love people I'd never met.

Reminded me of the infinite goodness in others;

our (meaning humankind's) innate desire to help others.


Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin


Okay, maybe it won't be that drastic, but it's a true story that will definitely touch your heart and fill your soul with peace and hope and a desire to do more!

In the spirit of not ruining stories, that is all I am going to say.
If you really need more info before you read, just google it. But either way, READ THE BOOK!!!

Note: I never did read the third book. Looks like I'll need to take a trip again soon!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Customs . . . and I Don't Mean Traditions

You may have noticed my accent, but just in case you didn't, I'm not from around here. I was born and raised in Canada. My parents and siblings still live there so I like to visit as often as possible. A recent trip to visit my family in Canada resulted in a visit with a few Canadian Customs Officers. Three to be exact.

Usually when you arrive at the Toronto Airport, you fill out your card, hand it to the agent, answer some questions, then you're waved away to collect your bags

I was traveling alone with my two young children so I was stressed about having to collect and carry all the luggage before meeting my Dad.

As we get of the plane I am feeling very thankful to have the worst part of the journey over, the three hour flight, so I feel calm as I approach the customs officer. She takes our papers and barely looks at me. Then she asks if I have authority to travel with these children. I respond in the affirmative, and she says, "Prove it!"

I reply indignantly, "I'm their mother!"

So, apparently there a policy - not a law - that you need written permission to travel with your children if the other parent isn't present. Maybe everyone knows this but me, but no one told me I needed to have a letter!

The officer explains as much but instead of sending us to baggage claim, we are sent to another officer.

This man stamps the girls' passports and asks me if my husband knows we are traveling and if he could call him and ask as much. I respond, "yes," and am waiting to give him the number, but he doesn't ask. I'm sure it's all part of the process and that he is well trained to read people and just knew I was telling the truth . . . .

After speaking to him we are sent to collect our luggage. Great, one step closer to making it through the travel experience with two kids! All that is separating us from my Dad is a wall with automatic sliding doors. Almost there!

We approach the end of the line to said wall and an officer looks at our customs card. He sends us in a direction away from the wall.

AH, thwarted again!

Now we're in an a true office. There are more custom's officers and some travelers have the contents of their bags strewn all over counters. Great!?!

Thankfully, this officer is more laid back, asks a couple of questions, and sends us on our way. When I ask if I might need a similar letter to get back into the U.S., he responds, "Worse comes to worse, you just stay here and become Canadian!" :)

So, if you plan to travel internationally with your children and your spouse is not tagging along, get a letter of authorization.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Holy Swagamole!

I just won 59 Swagbucks using the toolbar to search online! No joke.

Happy day.
Sorry, it's a big deal to me so I had to share my success with you!

If you haven't heard of Swagbucks before it's a way to earn while you search online. I use my swagbucks to get gift cards.

Interested? Check it out:

Monday, June 13, 2011

Just Keep Smiling

Lately I have been thinking about trials.

A lot.

Too much, probably.

I started thinking how the past couple of years we have had one ongoing trial with a few others sprinkled on top.

I wondered when it would end.

Then I wondered IF it would end.

I thought of Job.

I realized that it was quite possible that our trials would not end. That we would forever be faced with heart-wrenching and stressful events. One after another, after another, after another . . .

Then I thought, so what?

What would that change?

Okay, life would be hard, but should I let my circumstances dictate who I am?

If I did that, I would be a sad and lonely person. (Okay, some days I am . . . )

But, if I rise to the challenge with courage and faith I am a better and stronger person for having made it through that trial.

It's okay to be happy in our trials. To happily endure. To grieve for loss or struggles and to then move forward with faith.

There's always something to be happy about.

Like these pictures! :)

Faith, not fear!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kids crack me up!

Whether it's my own kids or someone else's, I just love the things they say and do.

We were at the library for toddler time last week.
A mother was there with her two children for the first time.

The oldest seemed to be about 4. He was not happy to be there.

While waiting for it to start, I heard such things as, "Can we go home?" "I don't want to be here," and a resounding, "No it's won't," when his mother told him it would be fun.

Now, don't picture in your mind a bratty little boy. He didn't seem bratty at all, just perhaps unsure of a new place. (The only reason I heard him was because we were sitting right beside them.) His mother was also very sweet and kind in her reassurances.

Anyway, after a few more complaints the program was over and everyone was dismissed. I couldn't help but laugh as the little boy walked out saying,


Here's a friendly reminder to read to your children everyday! ;)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Once Upon a Time . . .

There were three potties . . .

While taking my little sunbeams for a potty break on Sunday,

one little boy kept peeking into empty stalls.

I asked him to please pick one.

I finally heard him say, "Too soft."

It's important to find a potty that is just right!