Summer Week 4

Day 22  Honey-Do

This morning I went for a ride on the New London Tech Trails.  This was my first time trying these trails, and they were perfect for my beginner self.  I’m slow, but I’m having fun.  Also, I learned why most bike shorts are black.  #mudfordays

Lately Saturdays have been busy with Jay taking pictures at races.  This week there weren’t any that interested him, so I hit him with my Honey-Do list.  First up….power wash the house!  Check out this pretty dramatic before and (almost done) after.  We borrowed Papa’s pressure washer and Jay worked his tail off most of the day.  I’m thankful for that guy.

Day 23  Honey-Did

Up next on my Honey-Do list…more shelving in the basement.  We’ve been talking about this for a while, and Jay really wanted to build some.  Then we both came to our senses and realized we’d probably be still waiting for that to happen in 2020.  So he bought some this weekend, and assembled them this afternoon.  Obviously we have no shortage of totes to fill them up.  I’m slowly working on regaining order on my section of the basement too.  Images of nights creating/crafting at my little desk with all my supplies organized on the shelves next to me is motivation to get it done!

Day 24  Basement

This afternoon I had my first class of the summer semester.  I was already finished with all of my prerequisite work, so I planned to spend the rest of the day working on the basement.  This was the one and only picture I took today.  I sent this shot to Jay when I realized that these big totes fit on my yard sale special bookshelves.  Wow.  I’m three for three with lame, adult-ish posts this week.

 

 

Day 25 Cinn City

Ruth and I tried out the new cinnamon bun place downtown after our run.  I got cream cheese frosting, bacon, Heath bar, and caramel drizzle.  I brought Jay one with maple frosting, bacon, pretzels, and vanilla drizzle.  The morning went downhill after that because the kids were oh-so-grouchy.  However, Jay came home at lunch and helped us forget we were all mad at each other.  We survived the afternoon with a trip to the Kids Gym and Y Pool with Patsy’s granddaughters.

Day 26 Mom Dates

So this was supposed to be a picture from our morning play date mom date with Lesley and her kids.  (Let’s all be honest.  The best play dates are just excuses to get together with your friends and talk while their kids entertain your kids.)  However, we were having so much fun chatting it up that we forgot to take a picture.  We recently put a deposit down in a far-in-the-future Disney vacay, and Lesley gave me all her insider info.  (Shhhhh….DON’T tell my kids.  I do not need 18 months of “when are we going???” in my life.)  So instead of a picture of her cute kids, here’s a cool shot I took when I left school after my grad class was over tonight.

Day 27  Mr. Goodies

Today:  Run, homework, more homework at the Y while the kids play, lunch with Jay at home, even more homework, 15 minute power nap, then class.

Tonight:  Dinner of champions.

 

 

Day 28  Hatching Eggs

This afternoon was our second book club, and it was every bit as encouraging as the first.  I challenged everyone to bring in an example of real world math they encountered in the last two weeks.  I ended up sharing a Pokemon GO example because it’s all Bubba talks about these days…..

On our way to LC, he was commenting on how far he had to walk to hatch his next special egg.  First he wanted to know just how far a kilometer is because the goal for that egg was 7 km.  Then explained that his egg was at 6.7 km.  He said, “Next it will be six point eight, then six point nine, then six point ten.”

This is what the book we’re reading calls a juicy mistake.  It uncovered a great misconception and walked us right into an opportunity for him to discover how decimals work.  So is that what happened??  Noooooo, cause old habits are hard to break.  I just up and told him, “No, after six point nine comes 7.”

The book talks about the work of math being moving from mistake to mistake to truth.  I just tried to jump him straight from mistake to truth, and I know it’s not any clearer now form him than it was before.

But tomorrow’s another day, with another egg to hatch, another juicy mistake, and another opportunity to ask and not tell.

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Summer Week 3

Days 15 – 18

Check out my post about camping here.  We had such a good time I decided to share it early.

Day 19 Book Club

Today was the first day of our Becoming the Math Teacher You Wish You’d Had book club.  I left feeling so encouraged by this group of educators.  We shared our math stories with each other because the first chapter was all about how our own experiences as math students impact the way we teach.  Many of our teachers struggled through math at some point in school, and I am SO PROUD of them for sharing their experiences and striving to create something different for their students.  I can’t wait to see our growth as a school next year as a result of the work they are each putting in this summer.

Day 20 No Jump

Our house is a mess.  I’m pretty sure it’s been a mess since the beginning of February when every single spare minute I had was devoted to course work and I Love Math Day.  I never recovered.  The kids have been asking me for play dates, but I refuse to invite people over until we can regain a little order.  Yesterday I laid on the “nobody ever helps me, so we might not ever have friends over again” pretty thick, and the little people finally seemed a little interested in helping.

At the same time, Bubba got invited to go to Jump this morning with a friend.  I decided to make a list of jobs that he had to complete in order to get to go.  To make a long story short, he whined and worked at a snail’s pace, he didn’t finish, so he didn’t get to go.  And then he got mad….the kind of mad where it was looking like he might hurt himself or break something, so I actually called Jay to come home from work as reinforcement.  It took that kid 14 hours to finally stop whining and finish, but he did tonight at 7:30pm.

Bubba is stubborn, but I’m stubborner.

Day 21 Put the Seat Up

I posted this sign yesterday for obvious reasons.  So. Over. Pee. On. The. Seat.

But then something unexpected started happening.  At random times of the day, that little booger hands me quarters.  Each time I’m like, “What’s this for?  Oh yeah….the toilet seat.”  I was thinking I was going to catch him and have to make him pay.  Instead, he just pays up on his own.

I can’t decide how to take this.  Perhaps he waits too long and is in a rush, forgets, reads the sign mid-stream, and gets me the quarter in remorse.  (Each time I accept his quarter, I can’t help but think, “Please tell me you washed your hands this time!?!?” )  OR….is he playing me?  Part of me wonders if he could care less about a few quarters.  He’s just stubborn enough that he might refuse to put the seat up and pay the quarters because he doesn’t care.  We’ll see….

In other news, the house is finally presentable enough for having friends over, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Camping at James River State Park

When Jay and I were dating, we went camping in Florida over winter break.  Most of the details of that trip are gone from my memory, but I do remember one pretty clearly.  We had just finished a really yummy dinner and he asked me, “If we get married, can we keep going camping like this?”  Um….YES!  Six weeks later, he put a ring on it.  Fourteen years and two kids later, we still love camping together.

Friday

Friday we left for our trip to James River State Park.  For dinner that night we had chicken & veggies cooked in foil packs, the same meal that I’m pretty sure convinced Jay he was ready to start talking about marriage 14 years ago.

Saturday

I’ve been counting down the years until Bubba would turn 6, the minimum age for tubing, canoeing, or kayaking at the park.  I ended up deciding to take the kids tubing Saturday morning because I remember enjoying that as a kid.  I just had a whole paragraph typed out about Bubba’s bad attitude during this trip, but I’ve decided I’m not going to let that define my memory.  Instead I’ll choose to remember the rapids that felt big from the water but look tiny from the bank, the magic of watching the bottom of the river zip by you in the shallow parts, and our stop on a sandy island to poke around.  Tubing was just as fun as I had remembered it.

I know Gerry Brooks would not approve of this photo, but I couldn’t help myself.   In the afternoon I took the kids to the Discover Area, a natural playground of sorts.  They played, and I prepared for my upcoming book club in the shade.  I love these slow moments.

 

Saturday night we took a wagon trip to the Tye River Overlook with a park ranger.  (Jay took this shot of us on the ride, and I happen to love it!)  The ranger had an electronic owl call to attract screech owls.  On our third or fourth stop, right about the point that Bubba fell asleep in my lap, we finally got one to respond!  It talked to us from a nearby tree for several minutes, but we never spotted it.  On our last stop we heard both the whinny and bounce calls, and two owls called back and forth to each other.  We joked that we had just helped to make an owl love connection.

Sunday

This day started out the best way…with a run.  I took the Cabell trail, and in keeping with tradition, got slightly lost.  The trail map and markings are great at the park….about 95% of the time.  But when there’s an arrow pointing left and no real trail going left, you just have to make your best guess.

 

The night before, Bubba asked to join me on the morning run, but we all knew that would be fun for like the first 5 minutes.  So I promised him a short run together when I got back.  He turned out to be a much better running partner than expected.  We took the Cabell trail in the opposite direction from what I had just run and figured out where I went off course.  I’m still sticking with the fact that it was a signage error….not mine. 🙂

Later that morning we went to two programs led by the rangers.  We watched Cobb, the corn snake, eat his weekly meal of a tiny thawed out mouse, then both kids held him.  We also learned lots of interesting ways to start a fire, and Chica got to try it out with a magnifying glass.  When I asked the kids at lunch today what their three favorite parts of the weekend were, both of these were mentioned.  I was slightly underwhelmed, but they were enthralled.  Doesn’t it often work that way??

If I’m being honest, I feel like I have a hard time connecting with this one these days.  I’ve written about that a bit, but that feeling keeps nagging at me.  So when she expressed interest in kayaking, I jumped on the opportunity to spend some time just with her.  We rented two boats after lunch on Sunday, and it was everything I hoped it would be.  She was (is) brave and strong and chatty and positive and encouraging.  We docked our boats twice and explored.  At lunch today both of us voted kayaking as our favorite part of the trip.

As if we hadn’t already packed enough into this day, I ended up sending the kids on a scavenger hunt before dinner.  I hid some Dollar Tree toys around the campground with clues, and they rode their bikes to find them.  The hunt was followed by a few (mostly drama free) hours of playing together.

Monday

I was feeling brave this morning, so I decided on a morning bike ride instead of run.  I’m still so green at riding trails.  I picked the longest, easiest trail in the park, the River Trail.  Most of it was a really wide, grassy path, but the end had several super steep downhill sections.  I’ve been reading about taking risks in my math teacher book, and I know risks are how we learn.  So…..I leveled my pedals, stood up, stuck my elbows out and butt back, cried out “Jesus! Jesus!” a few times, and went for it.  I lived to tell about it, y’all.  It was kinda fun.

The rest of the day was just packing up and hot.  Real hot.  The most exciting thing that happened was that we found a black widow spider building an egg sac on the top of our tent, under the rain fly.  I snapped this picture and took a short video before Jay killed it.

 

And finally, a few more pictures just for fun!  I asked Jay to send me a few of his best photos from the weekend.  Apparently he either really likes funny face photos, or that’s all we ever do when he pulls out the camera.

   

 

 

 

Summer Week 2

Day 8 Home Alone

Nana and Papa took the kids for the day, so I had great intentions of being super productive on my kid-free day.  I know you’re surprised but….that didn’t exactly happen.  I did catch up on emails, clean up a bit, and do some planning for next week, but mostly I spent the day finishing up this book, The Hate U Give. I picked it up from the library thanks to the Facebook recommendation of a camp friend.  I’m still trying to figure out what to say about it.  Saying “I love it” just doesn’t feel quite right for a book that’s all about police brutality.  To borrow my friend’s words, it rocked my world.  I was struck by how the main character struggled to fit in and be herself, both in her own neighborhood and in her almost all white school.  I can’t help but wonder if this is the reality of some of our students, especially Chica’s classmates.  I was also struck by how the author was able to describe the real, personal, raw experience of people who are victims or witnesses of police violence.  These real life events become so politicized so fast in the media.  We forget….I forget….that behind them are real people with stories so much deeper than we will ever know.  This is the kind of book that changes you.

Day 9 Yes, We RNUTS

After a downtown run and my first trip to the Community Market this summer, we headed to Roanoke for the Roanoke Non-Ultra Trail Series (RNUTS) picnic.  The food was good, the company was great, and we finally got our sweet jackets.  I’m not embarrassed to admit that the purple jacket is what pushed me over the edge to sign up for the series.  Now we just have to wait for an appropriate time to wear them…

*Update:  Monday was rainy and uncharacteristically cold for June, and I was thrilled. 🙂

Day 10 Indoor Picnic

What’s better than a picnic in the park?  A picnic inside!  There’s no worry of kids wandering off too far, no need for sunscreen, way less sweating….it’s pretty great.  That’s what we did this morning at church!  Here’s my crew enjoying lunch, including Nana and Emily.  My favorite parts of the morning were playing games with Bubba in the gym and watching Chica ham it up on stage as Gideon’s servant.

I tweeted today’s other memory about Pokemon and talking math with Bubba here.   #goodbookchoiceafterall

Day 11 Summer Tomatoes

So today is a perfect example of why I am trying to post a memory from each summer day.  I have no trips, no play dates, and no funny stories to post.  In the morning I led a STEM class at an LC summer camp.  The kids spent the afternoon and evening with Nana, and I tried to get work done while they were gone.  I cooked rainbow chard to go with our chicken dinner, and Jay pretty much hated it.  It was just a regular ol’ day, and this is my only photo to show for it.

But the tomatoes.  Can we just talk about summer tomatoes for a moment?  I got these huge, ripe ones from the first lady on the right at the market, and I’m embarrassed to tell you just how much I paid for them.  But it was WORTH. IT.  Toast the bread, butter it, put on the big honkin’ slices, top with salt and pepper, and enjoy summer on a plate.  All the people in my house ask for more, and I couldn’t be happier.

Day 12 Puke

This has become a common thread this week, but Nana kept the kids again this morning so things would be a bit easier at my STEM class.  Bubba joined me in the afternoon for some errands, and he complained of an upset stomach the whole time.  He refused to eat dinner and fell fast asleep in Jay’s lap when the rest of us were done eating.

About 20 minutes later, Bubba started to rouse.  He took one confused look around and promptly puked right in Jay’s lap.  Twice.  Thankfully I caught the third time in a trashcan.  The look on Jay’s face was one of pure horror.  I was so sure Jay was going to puke in response, right on top of Bubba, but he held it together miraculously.

There are several circumstances in our house where I play the Mom Card….certain things I declare I won’t do or put up with, just because I’m the mom:  I won’t let sweaty Bubba put his sweaty head on me when it’s hot outside.  I don’t do feet.  Everyone’s been thoroughly warned that tickling and Wet Willies are a sure way to pull back a nub.  Well, Jay pretty much plays the Dad Card on puke, so I had the pleasure of cleaning everything up.  I snapped this picture after all the excitement had died down.  Poor guy.

Day 13 Yes
It feels like I’m always saying no during the school year.  No, I can’t do a Sunday afternoon run.  No, I can’t make game night.  No, work, school, the house is a mess, blah, blah, blah.  But this picture reminds me that there are way more chances to say yes in the summer.  Rachel posted that she was going for an after dinner walk, and thankfully, I could join her!  We talked about book clubs, school stuff, trips, being young with bodies that are starting to feel old, and everything in between.  Note the big ol’ ice pack on her booty and the fact that I still can’t figure out the posing thing despite her many lessons.  Whatevs.

Day 14  Pop See Ko

Go Noodle is the break of choice at our LC camp this week.  Today we watched Pop See Ko, a favorite for nearly everyone.  We had to go by school afterwards to drop some things off, and they were still singing Pop See Ko when we got there.  I was feeling grumpy as ever at this particular moment, but them getting along and enjoying each other helped to pull me out of my funk a bit.  Bubba’s move was to jump and cross both his arms and legs.

Also, tonight the kids made pancakes with no help AND packed their own stuff for camping.  That’s a Double Parent Level Up right there.

Summer Week 1

My typical back to school conversation goes like this:

Friend:  How was your summer?
Me: Great!
Friend:  Did you do anything fun?
Me:  Yes!  We went camping.  We visited my parents in Richmond and went to Kings Dominion.  We swam at the Y.  I took classes.  It went by too fast.

Yes, camping and Kings Dominion are highlights for me, and much of my time will be taken up with grad school, but each summer has so many other small moments worth remembering.  Moments like eating ice cream for dinner and baseball games and bike rides.

So I’ve decided to try to post at least one photo and memory each day this summer.  This way I can look back on August 7th and remember that the summer was more than our two trips and studying.  I fully realize that this plan might go the way of summer chore lists and never make it past the first week, but it can’t hurt to try, right?  So here goes….

Day 1  Last Day of School

The hours and hours of work I put into the end of year video certainly felt worth it when I watched students sing along:

This lovely lady will be a senior next year, and we ran into her at the GO Center picnic.  Michelle taught her in third grade, and I taught her the next year in fourth.  She made such an impression on both of us.  I’ve always known she will accomplish big things in life!  I had another favorite student stop by the day before with her mom, and two more on Friday.  It’s such a gift to watch our students grow up and become the amazing humans that they are.

 

And I got this letter from a current student.  Day made.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 Code Girls

As soon as my semester at VCU ended, I decided to tackle my summer reading list.  Up first was Code Girls because I wanted to hear Dorothy Braden Bruce speak during the Randolph College Reunion.  At 98, she was witty, charming, and fascinating.  My favorite moment was when the interviewer asked her if she was scared to head to Washington to do a job that she knew nothing about.  In a very matter of fact way, she said, “No.”  She felt fully prepared for whatever she might face because of the education she had received at R-MWC.  I certainly knew that feeling, and I think so many of the other women in the room did too.

As an added bonus, I ran into two class of ’03 friends who where enjoying their 15th year reunion.  What a great surprise!

Day 3  Conquer the Cove 25K

 

I spent the first 8 miles with Ruth and Rhonda.  Their company made the miles pass quickly and put me in a good mood.  I didn’t really mean to, but I pulled ahead of Ruth when we hit the long, uphill fire road.  I’ve decided, for now, that I like fire road climbs better than single track climbs.  I think that the hilly downtown run that (the other) Ruth and I do a few mornings each week paid off!  I ate lots of pickles, saw one tiny turtle, tried to run with gratitude, and stayed mostly dry and clean-ish until the last 5 minutes.  Maddy coming up from behind motivated me to keep pushing all the way to the finish.  Being kid-free after the race allowed Jay and I to hang around, cheer for our friends finishing the marathon, and take the long way home.  It was a perfect day.

Day 4 Small Victories

I accomplished something this morning that I’ve been wanting to do for months….I cleaned off our porch.  It had accumulated an unruly collection of toys, tools, and broken junk, and there were weeds climbing up from both sides.  Tonight Jay and I enjoyed the first of many hours of summer porch sitting.

We spent an hour at the YMCA pool this afternoon.  The last time we went, Bubba got up the nerve to try the swim test, but he didn’t pass.  He tried again today and earned the red band, granting him access to their super cool slide!  I’m proud of that kid!!

Day 5 Enchiladas

During the school year I forget how much I like to cook.  We get stuck in a rut of Chic-fil-A, pizza, hamburgers, and waaaay too many Lunchables.  At least for now, while I’m not taking classes, I’m enjoying cooking again.  Last night Chica helped me make chicken piccata, and tonight Bubba helped me with enchiladas.  Neither of them was really a fan of what we cooked, but they’re not a fan of much when it comes to food.

 

 

Day 6 Gifts

This morning when I returned from my morning run, I found some out-of-the-blue gifts in my chair on the porch.  That Jay Proffitt is one smart dude.  He knows I like practical gifts, hence the work gloves and shovels.  He also knows that my enthusiasm for weeding our flowerbeds might last longer if I have the right tools to use.  And finally, he knows I lose stuff….hence the triple pack of gloves.  Love.  For the last few mornings he’s enjoyed his coffee on the porch while I pull weeds.  I think he’s always wanted to keep me company like this when I cook, but I have to concentrate way too much.  Weeding is mindless, so we’ve enjoyed those few cool minutes just chatting before the sun comes up and over the house.

After dinner tonight we went for a one mile walk on the Creekside Trail starting at the Farm Basket.  I think Bubba’s the only one that’s not afraid of the swinging bridge, but he was not so sure about the big sinkhole right before the steps.  I was so thankful that Jay put his video editing work on hold for an evening and came with us!

Day 7 Home

 

 

 

 

This was the first day we didn’t go to the pool at the Y.  I had great intentions of cleaning up and planning for the summer camp sessions I’m leading next week, but it just didn’t happen.  I read a bunch and played Carcassonne with Bubba while Chica played Minecraft.  In the afternoon we invited friends over to play in the sprinkler, and after dinner we rode up to New Covenant to let Chica learn how to get on and off her new to her (and almost too tall) bike.  We got it earlier this week from a Facebook Marketplace post.  She fell that day while trying to stop and scraped up her knees, so she was pretty hesitant to get back on it.  But as you can see in the picture, she got over that today and was thrilled with herself for learning how to stop and work the gears.  Watching them both finally ride confidently makes me so excited for our trip to Damascus in the fall.  It will be our first go at the Creeper Trail with no one being pulled in a buggy!

The kids are spending the night with Nana and Papa, so Jay and I enjoyed the best kind of date at Mr. Goodies.  I didn’t snap a picture, but we both commented like 17 times about how good it was.  I’m pretty sure it tastes even better than normal when you are kid-free. 🙂