Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Boys and bugs

The picture says it all.......

Racing....well, running again

Though I will not be running another marathon till my running partner is able to run with me, I have been running and recently ran two races. One was the Broad Street run in Philly - a great 10 mile race that goes downhill almost the entire length. I didn't run as well as I did last year, about 6 minutes slower. Also, my husband, who isn't really a long distance runner, beat me by 2 minutes!!!!! And, with this race,you have to take the subway to get to the start (it is a point to point course). Of course, we get on a local train that takes almost an hour to get to the start. We didn't get to the starting line until 15 minutes after the race began! Still it was a great run and I will do it again next year (and will not let my husband beat me either!!!).

This past weekend, we ran the Hero Scholarship run for the Philly Fire and Police Departments. It is to provide college scholarships to children's whose parent was killed in the line of duty. We have run this race a number of times before. I redeemed myself with this race, as I won my age division!!!

Okay, so there were only about 20 women and 10 of them walked and 6 of them were under 40.........

Friday, May 16, 2008

Jazzy Trumpet

Randy Jr had his school concert this week. As he gets oder, the concerts get more interesting and entertaining. Having sat through years of squeaking clarinets and off-beat drummers, it is a relief to hear music that actually sound like music!

His school is Pre-k to 12 so the 7th - 12th grades have their concerts together.
both groups sound almost flawless!! Randy is in the concert and Jazz bands, and they sound very good. He has gone to some band competitions this year as well, and I think he actually likes playing. If I can ever figure out how to upload video or audio, I will upload some of his music for your listening pleasure!

Happy Mother's Day - a little late

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all!

Just thought I would share what we were doing on Mother's Day weekend.......

Friday, April 25, 2008

Summer Math Fun

Well, after venting about having to teach writing and having to grade so much writing, I do have some good news. I have put together a summer workshop on math. I am excited about it because I created it from scratch - created the course and brochure, set up a website (well, with some help), done the mailings to school districts , and the best part, I reap all the monetary benefits! I am very excited and have already sign ups after the first week!

Why I never wanted to teach writing

Having a PhD was supposed to mean, at least I thought was supposed to mean, focusing your life's work and career on something vitally important to you. I chose mathematics education - I love teaching math and helping others learn how to teach math more interactively and thoughtfully. However, in my role at Lehigh University, I have yet to be able to do that. Instead, what do I get to teach? Writing and Reading.

When I first left elementary school to move to teach in the middle school, I had to make a choice about what I wanted to teach. My list looked something like this:

1. Math
2. Literature
3. Social Studies
4. Science
100. Writing

I hated grading papers, reading and re-reading students work.....I don't know how you English teachers do it! But here I am, after spending 12 years perfecting mathematics teaching, after getting my PhD in mathematics, up to my eyeballs in papers (and up to my virtual eyeballs in emailed papers as well!!!!!).

This picture only shows two of my classes. I have another 15 papers online, 17 drafts of research projects, and 17 action research projects which haven't even been collected yet!

I think next semester I will teach how to read a math book and how to write math problems!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Running Motivation

I have had some trouble finding the Nike shoes that I have been running in for 14 years. Finally, I found them again online and they didn't cost $120 like normal!

However, with these shoes, I can't run slow in the back of the pack!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Zumba update

We have a new Zumba dancer.......

Easter service

Though Easter has passed a few weeks ago, I wanted to share the work we did for the children of our church and a neighboring church. We have an Easter Egg hunt each year for the children. There are a lot of kids, so we need a lot of eggs. We volunteered to help stuff the eggs with candy. I can't even tell you the shock on my face when I arrived and saw the very large tubs of unfilled Easter eggs waiting to be filled.

(sorry the pictures are blurry)

In the end, though, it was all worth it. The kids were so excited about getting the eggs. Though Champ was too old to participate in the hunt, we did get a bonus: any candy that was too big to fit in an egg we got to keep and eat!

Softball necessities

I just thought it would be interesting to show the necessities of my husband's morning softball league:

Randy is 13!!!

My son has turned 13 - he is officially a teenager! Now, Cari, I know you have your hands full now with your young children, but I think when they become teenagers, well, I can only imagine what your wine bill will be!!!!

He had a pretty good birthday - he ate out with his grandparents and best friends(once for lunch and once for dinner), he got to skip school for the day (and don't get me started on how much I was against that!!!!!!!), and we did a "While you were out" with his bedroom; updating it from child to teen.
The before shot:

He also took his first flight lesson:

They flew to New York City:

Then, flew over our house!

Then on Saturday, we had a combination party - an end of the season basketball party for the Lakers and birthday party for Champ and another boy on the team. They ate all the food like they were starving children, screamed like girls(very high pitched) when playing laser tag, and broke all the bowling lanes. I had forgotten what it's like to be with a bunch of middle school boys!

All in all, a very cool birthday!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What a week!

Wow! A lot has happened since I last had a chance to post. I am going to do a summary of the last two weeks through pictures.

Lakers - they lost ----- badly! I had hoped they would call me in Vegas and say they had pulled an upset but they got blown out like 40 - 17 or something.

Vegas - I can see how you can have a great time in Vegas (and spend a whole lot of money!). However, I was not as overwhelmed by the place as I thought I might be. It reminded me of a big Niagara Falls - full of fun and glitz. I would not bring my son there - even with all the rides - just the fact that people are handing out those nude girls cards every 5 feet is enough to stop me. I do want to go back though - for an adult fun-filled trip!

We stayed at Circus Circus - very inexpensive and nice rooms (in the Tower section).

Interesting grass - When I first saw it I was amazed at how perfect it was. But as I looked closer, that's when I realized it was astro turf!

The Strip from the top of the Stratosphere.

Dancing Fountain at the Bellagio. We went in to say we were there - unbelievable in there and drinks were $11!

Our presentation went well - though we didn't talk about our research as much as we talked about what a smartboard was and can do!

Blackout - Saturday we had terrible storms come through our area. The temperature dropped from 65 to 25 in a matter of hours. The wind was fierce and knocked down trees everywhere. A tree knocked out our power for almost two days - Saturday evening till Monday morning. But it also allowed us to play games in front of the fireplace and all sit in the same room without distractions! A nice family bonding time.

Zumba - My sister has taken up a new hobby. She is learning to be a Zumba instructor. Zumba is latin dance exercise. It is pretty fun and you do use a lot of muscles. We have been her dancing guinea pigs!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Playoff Victory!

The Randy's Lakers won their first playoff game! It was very intense; they were down 8 -10 points until the very end of the third quarter. As usual, there was some controversy.

As any of you who have children in township sports know, some parent coaches can be over exuberant and want to win at any cost. I am generally the stat keeper for the games - keeping scores, fouls, etc. for both teams. Saturday as I went to take my regular spot, a father from the opposing team was already there. I asked him if he had all the names of our players and he said that he had the ones that were there. I told him - all of our players will be here, do you need help filling the rest in? He looked at me funny, and said, no we'll wait and see. I thought to myself - It's the payoffs! why wouldn't our players show up? Well, as I sat down, he informed me that three of their players were not coming. Another parent overheard him and said to him, why not? it's the playoffs? what kid would miss that? I was thinking the same thing....

After the game, a spectator came up to my husband and said to him, 90% of the gym was routing for your team to win because many people heard that the other coach intentionally did not tell some of his players about the game. So all that showed up were his best players. Now that might seem somewhat unimportant in real basketball, but in this league, every player must play 2 full quarters and cannot sit out 2 quarters in a row. With 8 players on a team, you will always have weaker players in the game. If you only have 6 players, then you can keep in your best players for the entire game - which is what this team did. But in the end, it wasn't enough.

The next game is on Thursday night and they are playing the number 1 team in the league (because the Lakers were the number 6 seed out of 7!!). I will be flying home from Vegas, and will be thinking about it the whole way!