Monday, March 31, 2014

Kinder Portraits

These are so stinkin' cute, they just make me smile.  They may only be 5 and 6 year olds, but they did a great job on their portraits, even capturing their personalities in them.  I'm not gonna lie, when my teaching partner said she wanted to do these, I cringed.  I've done them off and on with kinder, it is a difficult lesson.  Much less with 30 kinder students at the end of the teaching day, not exactly the most focused part of the day for them.  We started in January, took a few breaks here and there, and we recently finished them up.  I have a feeling parents are going to love these!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Break Blues

Ok, I do LOVE my job, but spring break can be a bit depressing.  This means, we have hit the hardest part of the year; time change, standardized test (which means changes in daily schedules, which = craziness), kids that are counting the days, teachers who are worn out because kids are counting the days and keeping them engaged is exhausting, and parents who are tired also. Wednesday, may be hump day, but the end of March and the whole month of April, feels like hump months.  May, not so bad, testing is done (thank goodness), field day, beautiful warm days and summer is on the countdown.  So, I'm putting my big girl pants on, slap a smile on my face, and dream of a summer full of adventure, planning for the next year, art camps, and rest!

Isn't this beautiful!!  Just a snapshot taken from our moving van.  A breathtaking view of New Mexico.  

Taking a stroll around the block, just as it started snowing.

Lucy's first time to ride at the old arcade.  

A little fun with dry ice, just because...

Oh looky there, Mr. Sasquatch paid a visit.

My monkey family scaling the wall, on a little day outing.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Youth Art Month Display 2014, Part 2

So here is just a little taste of the talented young people and of course their teachers.  I always feel like a kid in a candy store as the show starts to come together.  I got to snap a few pictures before the show started, but didn't get to move from my station much once it opened.  In my last post, I kind of vented on the treatment of the show and the students.  I am off that soapbox now, and I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.  Elementary, middle, and high school is all highlighted from all 20 schools in the district.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Youth Art Month Display 2014

Last Wednesday, March 19th, we celebrated Youth Art Month at out Hays PAC.  We had a really great turnout for the show considering a few hiccups.  In the past we have gotten to show the art work for two to three weeks depending on the location.  Before the PACs opening 7-8 years ago, we always did our art shows at the high school.  After the PAC opened we had several shows there before we started to see a string of problems.  It seems over the last 5 years or so, we yo-yoed around the district trying to find the right place.  This is very heart breaking considering we have this beautiful center (that was donated to the district... by the way) was built to highlight and show off the talents of fine artist and performing would think!  Apparently, bringing in the dough comes before ALL that!  We were getting in the way of some big bucks, so this year they moved us back to the PAC and TOLD us it would be a one day show.  Set up in the morning/early afternoon, start the show at 2:00 to 7:30, break down the show, and too bad if you couldn't make the show, on a Wednesday night.   We were told we would be given invitations printed at the district print shop.  These would be sent to us early March, well before spring break, to insure that parents were notified in a timely manner.  Well, Wednesday, March 5th came and went, and we were told to be looking for them in our school pony system.  They didn't show.  I happened to be up at the school Friday, since I work half time now, around noon and they had just shown up.  I was there to pick my kids up a bit early so we could get on the road to start our 5 or more hour trip. While my family waited on me for an hour, I made out the invitations and hand delivered them to all the classes.  Now, lucky for us I happened to be there, but all the other schools didn't find their invitations till after school, and now it's spring break.  Still others didn't get their invitations till Monday, two days before the show.  It is really frustrating to see this group of kids be so talented and the people that are supposed to be there encouraging and uplifting them and their gifts, and they just seemed bothered by the whole thing.  Anyway, now that I have gotten THAT off my chest...
Here are a few photos of our work, nothing you haven't already seen, but I will post some wonderful artwork from other schools around my district, coming soon!!

My little pumpkin and her Tapa Clothe.

Friday, March 21, 2014


You may know or not know that the date 3/21 is national down syndrome day.  And of course this is something very close to my heart.  Our youngest daughter was diagnosed at birth, but despite a very grim looking beginning; a stay in NICU for a month with breathing and feeding problems, a AVSD heart surgery repair, and in the beginning, looking at her life as a person that would only see challenge after challenge in her life.  But, here we are, she is almost 2 years old and this is not what I envisioned.  She is happy, she laughs, when they are in reach she hugs her sisters with tight squeezy hugs, and goes anywhere and everywhere she wants.  She is a butt scooter, who could walk if she wanted, but the scooting thing is much faster.  Although she is starting to see the benefit of being on her feet (she is just tall enough, that if she slides her hands over the edge of tables and counters she can grab the things that have up to now been out of reach).  She is a beautiful little person that has a family totally and completely in love with her!

Lulu and the Lettuce Patch Personal Image

This is our families site for fundraising for the National Down Syndrome Society.  We lovingly call our daughter Lucy, Lulu.  If you are interested in supporting NDSS and their outreach programs, please click the On Loving Lucy link above, find the Lulu and the Lettuce Patch button and it will lead you to the fundraising page. And please stop by and read On Loving Lucy, my husband's memoir on raising Lucy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Leadership Day

Here is part of the artwork out on display in the hallways of our school.  ( I apologize for a few blurry photos)  At the end of February we had our second annual Leadership Day.  It was a great experience,  our students lead the morning activities while lots of proud parents, community members and teachers watched students take on these leadership roles!   Our school is currently in its second year as a Leader In Me campus, which uses the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey as the model.  Our campus goal is to achieve Lighthouse statis.  These habits are things that most good schools do anyway, but I like the common language used throughout the school.  Each classroom has a 7 habits tree with the listing of habits.  Habit 1- Be Proactive, Habit 2- Begin with the end in mind, Habit 3- Put first things first, Habit 4- Think win-win, Habit 5- Seek first to understand, then to be understood, Habit 6- Synergize, Habit 7- Sharpen the saw.  I know as a parent, I am starting to use these at home as well, and they don't question me (Habit 3 seems to be my go to habit!!)    Here is the website to the Leader in Me,