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Saturday, January 29, 2011

mashed potatoes, wind sheilds and other stuff

So this week seemed like a long one as I was suffering with a sinus infection.   I finally went to the walk in clinic on Thursday and got some meds.  Hopefully by Monday all will be right in my head... hmmm one can only hope. I have to say that my little tadpoles were extra nice to me (most of them anyway) and made me laugh more than once during the long 7 days.  Mornings always start with a Morning Meeting at the carpet where we do calendar, share a story and share news about our lives.  As it was Monday, all the tadpoles had exciting adventures to share about what they did on the weekend.  When it was L.'s turn to speak, he paused long enough for me to really see the dark circles under his eyes and the glazed look on his face.  I asked how long he'd played the wii on the weekend.  He brightened up and said "How did you know I played the Wii?  I got to play it Saturday and Sunday while Dad was at work!"  He had a huge smile on his face as he went on to say that he also got to watch all kinds of t.v. too.  L is a child that is easily fixated on video games and needs to play outside.  As he recounting his games and t.v. programs, one of my ESL kids turns around and said something I didn't quite catch.  L stops and looks at him and says "Don't call me that!"  I asked that it be repeated "L is mashed potatoes!" says the other little boy.  Mashed potatoes?!  "Yes all he did was sit on the couch, he's mashed potatoes!"  Oh when English sayings get mixed up!  I had to giggle a little, while explaining what a couch potato is.  
Something that I implemented this week was a Report book.  7 year olds like to make sure the teacher is informed of everything that is going on in the class.  I have a few kids that love to be the first to tell me important stuff like someone is bleeding and unimportant stuff like when a fellow tadpole doesn't put his shoes on right.  We've been working on telling the really important stuff and tattle telling.  Some days my head feels like it's going to explode by lunch time, so I have put a Report Book on the ledge for them to vent (in writing) their little tidbits of information that they feel I need to hear.  Within minutes I had a tadpole writing in it.  As we left on Friday afternoon, on of my very adept tellers was writing a novel in the notebook.  I can hardly wait to read it on Monday.
We had to rush into town on Friday afternoon to get our windshield replaced.  Here in the North, it is a very common sight to see a spider web effect on every other windshield.  We had let it go as long as we could, as we had it done in May last year and about a week and a half later, it got a small boulder's kiss.  Anyway.  We had it done Friday and driving to Grande Prarie this morning, we got a stone pit on the way into the city.  On the way home we got an even bigger stone just outside of FSJ that created an actual chip.  24 hours folks, that's all it took!  We're just hoping that it survives until Monday to get it filled before it starts to crack again.  Life in the North, snow, wind chill and cracked windshields.  Oh and don't forget the pajama pants worn to dinner.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Well the snow is definitely falling.  It has been all weekend and most of last week.  It's unfortunate that the total accumulation does not add up to a golden day that all teachers and students dream about, a SNOW DAY.  It is just the way of life up here in the North.  My friends (even the ones that were born and brought up here) whinge about the fluffy white goodness, but I am still enamoured. I do not enjoy travelling around town in it as people forget how to drive, but I do love sitting with my cup of tea watching from behind the glass.
Our weekend turned into a full one quite by accident.  I had accepted an invite to help celebrate Michelle's bday on Friday, but received a desperate plea for help from a colleague.  She was trying to find a place for her teen aged son to spend the weekend, as she and her husband were going out of town.  Now with all that is going on in this woman's life, I readily agreed (after talking it over with Chris).  If there was any two people that deserved a weekend away it's them.  Our young guest arrived Friday night after youth group  and stayed until this morning when he was picked up for church.  It was strange having to be responsible for another person, especially someone else's child.  I found myself actually thinking about healthy snacks, activities etc.  All the while I was getting a cold again, so not really at my best.  Teenagers are a different breed for sure, and our guest was very reserved most of the time.  There wasn't a lot of expression or excitement coming from him about much of anything.  Even during and after watching Avatar (which I don't think he really understood) which is a pretty exciting movie.  I know that it didn't help that we have no kids or kid-like activities in the house.  We're a pretty boring couple.  Oh well.
The temperature has managed to stay in the close to -30 range for most of the weekend, which is a little too bad with all that marvelous snow outside to walk in.  I have managed to go to the track this weekend, telling myself that I can exercise the cold away.  Right now I'm fighting the urge to have a nap. Just like this guy. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Day....

School was great today!  I had five students away (most of them were my superstars) so it was pretty quiet in my room.  We got through many things and the students were engaged and excited.  It was an inside day, as the temperature hit -34 with windchill.  I was organized and the kids were ready to go home on time (a first in a couple of weeks) and I even got through a bit more of the novel that I'm reading them.  We'd planned to stay late tonight to get some work done, but I had an errand to run in town so we decided to leave at 4 like usual.  I was ready to go by the time the clock struck 4.  I was DONE.  We bundle up, go outside into the very windy winter afternoon to find.... yes a flat tire!
Chris was mildly irritated (read:pissed right off and used bad language) but got out the jack and the spare and started the process of changing the tire.  My vote was to call BCAA, as we've been paying for it for years and have never used it.  Also it was -34 and windy.  I was frozen in the couple of minutes it took to get all the stuff out of the back of the Subaru.  Two collegues came along to give their advice and when they thought we could handle it, left. 
Chris fought with the jack and then the lug nuts while I supervised for a while.  When I couldn't really feel my fingers any more, I relented and went into the staffroom to wait.  He got the lug nuts off, but the tire wouldn't budge. (That was even after he took his frustrations out on it)   I went out to inspect the situation and we just couldn't get it off, so we went back inside to call for help.  As Chris was dialing the phone, I heard some noise by the back door and saw Ken our wonderful janitor going out with a chunk of 2x4 and a hammer.  He must have seen us from one of the classrooms, and he beat the crap out of the tire and got it to loosen.  Thank goodness for him. 
Chris got the spare on and off we "flew" into town.  I have to say I was a little nervous travelling with the spare, which next to our winter tire looked fairly wimpy.  We had to make it through the Coolies and that was a little nerve-wracking as well.  I trust Chris' driving, it's the road that makes me nervous.  The first tire place couldn't help us, they were too busy to get to it tonight.  It was 5:15.  They sent us to another place that helped us right away and for $40, they filled all our tires and fixed the hole.  Apparently it was from a small stone.  3 1/2 years up here and only the one flat-not bad I guess.  It just was not a great way to end the day.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well the New year is here and with it the cold.  We did have some warm weather (-2) for a bit last week, but it's back down to -20 again.  School has been good this week, the kids are slowly getting back into the routines as are the teachers.
I was able to catch up with friends this weekend, which was nice.  I haven't seen any body really since the 18th. As my word for this year is 'change', I am working on changing a few things in my life.  Besides the usual exercise more, and eat less chips, blah blah blah, I am also working on being more social.  I found leading up to Christmas, I saw and talked to my friends less and less.  Over Christmas I thought I had all kinds of time, but it went by in a flash and here we are back at school again.  Last week there were a few frustrating things going on that led me to a feeling of over all negativity, but after talking to friends over the phone or in person, this feeling went away.  The best feeling of all was when I called my friend in Atlanta and laughed at how they'd shut down all the schools and freeways at 5pm yesterday.  Her boys were ecstatic, taking snow from the neighbours yards to build snowmen.  (They only had a couple of inches). Her reaction to our temperatures made me howl, especially when I did the conversions for her.
My brother called last night and he requested some more pictures.  I always say that I'll try, but I'm pretty lazy. Here's some pics from the holidays.  This is Mom in my classroom eating those plastic corn puff things.  I think it was the only thing on the table she ate (gross). 
 This is the little cream cheese snowman I made.  He was yummy.  One of the best things about the holidays is the food.
 This is what it looks like here when it gets really cold.  The white in the trees is frost.  Mom snapped this picture and then "ran" back to the warm car where we waited. 
 This was some fondue fun on New Year's Eve. 

 Dad trying Korean food for the first time. 
 More fondue fun, this time with chocolate.  We used all kinds of things in there.  Cover it with chocolate and it's all good.  I did feel a little ill after.
This is me packing up Christmas.  It's never as fun putting it all away as it is getting it all out.  London was a big help.
 
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