Spring Mememberies

Chica doesn’t talk about her Memembery Book anymore, but I still think that I need one.  Here’s the spring 2015 edition…

1.  In March, I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach.  My time was right under  two hours, and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  Two of my favorite mememberies from that weekend include biking to the start in the dark with Jay and seeing my sweet family on the course twice.  While I was there, I mapped out my racing and training plan for the next six months or so.  I’ve got 4 races on the calendar:  XTERRA Richmond in June, Percival’s Island Five Miler in July, Virginia 10 Miler in September, and the Richmond Marathon in November.  I am SO enjoying the training right now.
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2.  Each year our fourth graders go on an overnight field trip to an outdoor education camp.  This year we tried out a new location, W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center, and we loved it!  We went canoeing, fishing, tried out archery, held snakes, made s’mores by the campfire, practiced using a compass, and learned how to start a fire without matches.  I have three favorite mememberies from our time there….an early morning run with two mommas, playing adults vs. kids soccer, and a hilarious dinner conversation about the birds and the bees chickens and puppies.  Ask me sometime about the unfortunate consequences of having an OB-GYN doc for a mom.  🙂

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3.  Thanks to a too-good-to-pass-up Groupon deal, our family of four took a quick Spring Break trip to DC.  We stayed in Tyson’s Corner and took the Metro into the city two different days.  On our first day there we went to the new air & space museum and visited a friend’s church for his Saturday evening service.  On Sunday we toured the zoo, ate at Hard Rock Cafe, and checked out the Building Museum.  Monday was monument day, and we made quite the trek:  Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial.  We ate a very tired lunch at McDonald’s across from the White House then headed home.  A few of my favorite mememberies were watching Chica learn how to read the Metro map, a paper airplane contest in the air & space museum, and the gift from Jay of a free hour to sip sangria and read in the hotel restaurant.

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4.  For her birthday, grandma gifted Chica with a weekend at Mom & Me at Eagle Eyrie.  We met my friend Stephanie and her daughter Gracie there.  Chica had a fabulous time, and I had fun watching her have fun.  I’m not sure what she would offer as her favorite part, but I enjoyed packing shoeboxes, eating ice cream, visiting with Stephanie, and just having a chance to focus on one kid.

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5.  We spent Mother’s Day in Richmond with my mom.  It was delightful.  Saturday morning I got to go on a long trail run on the Buttermilk Trail.  After my run I took several laps around the South of the James Farmer’s Market in Forest Hill Park.  The rest of the time we mostly rested and cooked.  I used this weekend as an excuse to try out two new recipes:  stuffed shells and spinach salad.  They were keepers, and I have repeated both once since that weekend.  A few more mememberies from that weekend include an early morning walk with my mom, fishing with the kids and Grandma on the dock, and a brief photo shoot with Jay. He wanted me to try to capture a new head shot he could use for work and school:

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6.  The other major event for that weekend was applying for college.  What the what!?!  I know….as if two kids, a job, a husband, a house, and marathon training were not enough, I’ve decided to start working on my masters.  Woohoo!  I’m going to working on a M.A. in Mathematics Education (K-6) from Western Governors University.  If all goes well with my admissions interview this week, I start July 1.  I can’t wait, actually.  Here’s my excited-but-whattheheckhaveigotteninto face:
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7.  The very next weekend brought a long awaited visit from my college friend, Sarah-Anne.  She arrived the day of my final SOL, so I was able to take off the next day to spend with her and three other college friends in Richmond.  Perhaps my favorite part of her visit is that life just continued to happen ’round here, and she got to be a part of it.  Doing dishes, packing lunches, going for weekend long runs, hanging out with my momma….it was fun to do all of those things together.  I felt blessed to be able to do Friday kid-free so that I could soak in the sweetness of my friends’ kids instead of worrying about mine.   Also, Saturday morning SAL and I returned to the same farmer’s market from the weekend before.  My mom gave us each $20 to spend, and we eeked every cent out of it…goat cheese, quinoa bowl, ripe strawberries, fresh juice, crepe, homemade granola bar, and snap peas.  Yum.

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8.  We were double blessed with cross country guests that weekend.  Uncle Justin and Aunt Rachel came in from California, and we were able to celebrate the upcoming birth of the latest baby Proffitt.  At some point during the weekend Bubba caught wind of the fact that there was a baby growing in Rachel’s belly and asked, “Can I pet it?”  I think that story is going to get a lot of miles!  Chica and I thoroughly enjoyed the baby shower together.  We so can’t wait to meet Baby Proffitt!

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9.  My kids really rocked their SOL tests.  I am so proud of them.  As promised, they were rewarded with extra recess, popsicles, and the privilege of pieing me.  Here’s the video of me getting pied for your viewing pleasure….

 

10.  And finally, this past week Jay and I treated four fun fourth graders to an afternoon of Science & S’mores.  This was a silent auction idea that we dreamed up for our spring carnival.  We microwaved ivory soap, made everyone’s favorite non-Newtonian fluid, played with snap circuits, attempted a popsicle stick chain reaction, and…best of all…played with dry ice to our hearts’ content.

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Since we never really got the popsicle thing to work at school, we of course had to try it again at home:

 

11.  I was going to stop at 10 mememberies, but I found this picture in my phone as I was looking at others.  It was too good to pass up.  Bubba insisted on wearing his bowtie to school twice this week.  He would have worn it a third day, but he ran out of clean polo shirts.  He’s convinced that button down shirts need neckties, not bowties.  I’m certain he won’t stop asking about it until he gets one.  Funny guy.

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How about you, friends?  What’s your favorite spring memembery?  I hope you’ll leave me a comment and share!

 

 

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Bubba Speak

These past two days as Jay left the house, he encouraged me to take it easy, reminding me that these are my last few precious days of summer.  I love that guy.  Yesterday I took that as permission to take a big fat snooze during the kids’ nap time and not do a lick of housework all day long.  It was fabulous.  Today I took his advice again and did something fun I’ve been wanting to do all summer…make a video to highlight Bubba’s funny little way of talking these days.

When Chica was in the learning to talk stage, she was a regular chatterbox.  She would spout off what sounded like whole sentences or paragraphs, but only one or two words might be recognizable.  This offered a perfect opportunity to record her and then add closed captions that were completely nonsense and quite funny.

I eagerly awaited this stage with Bubba so that I could make more closed caption videos, but he never got there.  While Chica’s speech has always been profuse, Bubba’s has always been precise.  He just doesn’t attempt a word or an idea unless he’s pretty sure he can get his point across.  And he’s not afraid to repeat it over and over and over until you get it.  : )

So my idea instead was to record him repeating some of his funniest/best words and make YOU guess what he is saying.  If you decided to take the Bubba Speak Challenge, let me know how many you get right!  Good luck!

My Week From A to Z

Art Show:  My students’ recycled materials art was featured in a real-live art gallery this weekend during First Fridays.  They were a true hit, and we had so much fun!

Breast Cancer:  Two young women in my life, both with young kids, have gotten this diagnosis in recent weeks.  Many thoughts going their way.

Compliment:  Earlier this week I read my students a prize-winning poem that I wrote in high school.  When I was finished, one student chimed in and said, “Mrs. Proffitt, you’re a better writer than <The Other Teacher> is at math.”  I’ll take it.

Doughnut:  On our surprise two hour delay Friday, I decided to head to school at the normal time to get a little extra work done.  At some point during the morning, this announcement was made, “Attention staff, if you are here this early, you deserve an award.  I have some doughnuts I bought for a meeting this morning that ended up being cancelled.  Come get one!”  You better bet I was there.  See J.

Explosions:  I’ve had just about enough of Bubba’s bodily fluids this week.  Sheesh.

Field trip:  Planning is underway for our fourth grade overnight trip.  Bring it.

Grandma:  She totally saved the day, or two, this week.  She spent Thursday and Friday with Bubba.  See E.

Hundredth Day:  Ruth and I have been planning a celebration that will bring our students’ together…mostly so we have an excuse to work on a project together again.  Check out our silliness in the video we made to introduce the day’s activities to our students.

iTunes:  When Jay’s accompanist cancelled at 6:00 a.m. this morning, iTunes saved the day.

Jeans:  When you only own two pairs of jeans, and one begins to not fit, it’s time to do something about it.  (I type with a candy cane in hand mouth.)  See W.

Knee surgery:  Chica’s nana had a knee replacement this week.  She’s one tough cookie.  See W.

Laughter:  My students continue to crack me up.  This week I was trying to get them hyped for converting fractions into decimals with a fake “crime” they had to solve.  “When you finish your warm up, come get the evidence sheet and you’ll be on the case!”  Which was followed by, “Mrs. Proffitt….is this is real case or like a worksheet case?”  I couldn’t help but laugh.

Mouth to mouth:  Bubba has a recent fascination with kissing, except it’s more like he’s trying to resuscitate you.  Not sure what to do about that….

Newspaper:  In my endless attempts to entertain a 14 month old, I recalled a memory of making tubes out of rolled up newspaper as a kid.  Bubba enjoyed hitting things with them, and Chica pretended they were her old woman cane.  See Y.

Outside:  Chica and the neighbor kid have spent much of their evenings and weekend exploring the woods beside our house.  It figures that she would finally realize what fun it is to play outside on one of the coldest weeks of the year.

Post:  This week my friend Cheryl wrote, “I want to go into great detail and tell you how great things are these days, but for now, I’ll be brief, because brief is better than waiting for perfection and then not posting at all, right?”  Thanks for the reminder.

Quiet time:  I need it.

Randolph College:  Many Sunday afternoons I head to the library for my very own paper grading party, and today was no exception.   While there, I noticed the birds’ nests in the huge vines climbing Main Hall, a book written in Spanish that I wish I still knew how to read, and General Jones’ interesting choice of attire.   I still love that place.

Spelling Bee:  I had two bee the judge this weak four are school be.  Talk about pressure!

Twin bed:  Bubba has suddenly graduated to the big boy bed, but we have yet to take down the crib because of its effectiveness as a threat.

Underwear:  Chica was wearing none (nor pants) when she came to the top of the steps to greet a school friend of mine that stopped by yesterday.  That kid.

Valentine’s Day:  I am so thankful for room moms who plan these things for me.  Two years ago I didn’t even know what a room mom did.  I’m very blessed.

Weight Watchers:  In preparation for her surgery, Nana jumped back on the bandwagon and lost a bunch of weight.  Between her inspiration and J above, I think I’m almost ready to jump back on too.

eXtra Money:  This week in the mail I received my award for the video contest.  I decided I wanted to actually spend it on something good instead of just rolling it into the same pot for food, gas, etc.  My best ideas so far are dinner out and a night at the Craddock Terry with Jay or treating a few friends to a “Girl Day”…maybe painting pottery and going for ice cream.  We’ll see.

Yes, it worked!:  Most ideas I find on Pinterest require way too much planning and forethought, but occasionally I find one that is simple enough for even me to carry out.  Today I gave Bubba a pile of clothespins and a big, empty apple juice container.  The biggest indication that this was a hit:  I was able to load the dishwasher without stopping while he was in the same room.  Miracle.

Zzzzz:  Is it time for bed yet?

Image:
MAGNETIC LETTERS  
© Davosmith  | Flickr Creative Commons

TGIF

It’s Friday night, and the moon is right.  Gonna have some fun, show you how it’s done, TGIF!*

So I can’t see the moon from my spot at the dining room table, but I do know that it’s finally Friday and “fun” for me is writing, so here I am.  I’ve gone round and round trying to think of any one thing I have to say, some way to wrap up this mishmash of unrelated thoughts.  It seems to be too late for that, so just watch out…a whole bunch of random comin’ at ya…

This week Bubba discovered that his nose has two holes.  And they are both approximately the same diameter as his pointer finger.  What a fantastic discovery.

I made a discovery of my own concerning Bubba this week too.  On top of the broken (read: decoy) printer sits the real printer.  Its shiny green power button attracts Bubba like a mosquito to one of those summertime zapper thingies.  He can’t help himself.  Well after several stern warnings and my best evil eye, he still didn’t get my message to stay away from it.  I warned him one final time that if he touched it, I would put him in the bed (a.k.a. prison).   Of course he touched it, so I carted him off to the crib, shut the door, and left him screaming.  Well guess what?!  Tonight when he tried for the 538th time to crawl under the baby gate and down the steps, all I had to say was the word bed and he stopped.  He fretted and pointed and STOPPED.  I’m sure there’s some sort of Parenting 101 rule that says not to use their bed as a punishment, just like a teacher’s not supposed to use silent reading as a consequence.  But it worked, so heck with the rules.

I broke another parenting rule today.  The one that says don’t send your kid off with someone you’ve never met.  Maybe it counts that my neighbor knew her, but probably not.  Chica went on a walk with a family from the next street over, and ended up at their house having hot chocolate.  When I asked Jay if he thought it was a bad idea that I let her go, his response was, “Ah…it’s ok, we’ve got another kid.”  Right.

I’m trying something new with my students called Flipping the Classroom.  Seriously…like I needed one more new thing in my life.  It’s been a huge adjustment, but I’ve had a moment or two where I look around and think, “This is IT!”  I’m just hoping for maybe three or four of those moments next week.

Oh…next week….I’m becoming a queen.  I get my crown on Monday.

Today Chica got in trouble for hitting another little girl in class.  Apparently she just made matters worse by trying to quote Paul.  “What I want to do, I do not do.  What I do not want to do, my hand just did anyway,” or something like that.  Then at dinner she quoted her teacher who says that all kids are just supposed to worry about themselves.  She was stuck on the fact that the little girl who told on her for hitting wasn’t just worrying about herself.  Oh Chica.  (That’s YOUR kid, Jay!)

So, I’m sure there was more I had to say, but I just realized I had dozed off while trying to think of what it was.  Friday night….gonna show you how it’s done, all right….in bed before 10:00.  Oh yeah.

*P.S.  If you recognized that little jingle, you might like this.  We laughed out loud over here.

On the Dresser

Today I found a pair of shoes I have been missing for months. They were on my dresser. Not in, not under. On.

What I really want to write about is my friend who is living her last few days or weeks. But all of the thoughts are still a little too blurry to go from my heart to words to my fingers. So echoing my friend, Cheryl’s post, I’ll carry on with the everyday, like finding shoes. But every other thought is elsewhere. Here, but not really here.

So the shoes. Let me just announce to the world that the Proffitt family has broken some kind of world house record. Way back here I gave my expert advice on binge house cleaning. Well whadaya know? I’ve realized binging is not especially good for my health, and I’ve started a more balanced diet of straightening and putting away. I do know that a true habit takes an average of at least three weeks to form (I’m only 17 or 18 days in), and I could fall off the bandwagon at any point. But this is a real record, folks. This house has been straight (I’m not claiming clean) for over two weeks. Be amazed.

So today when I had an extra hour to myself, guess what I chose to do? Clean! I know, right…I hardly believe myself either. I decided to tackle those last few spots I’ve been putting off. The top of my dresser was definitely one of them. Mostly because the pile was starting to remind me of a Jenga game. I halfway expected the whole thing to collapse around me if I pulled out the wrong object at the wrong time.

Thankfully, I avoided the collapse and uncovered a whole host of treasures in the process. Remember how I kept an inventory of Chica’s bed here? Yep, she’s definitely my kid. I didn’t make a list of every single item, but here’s a few of the best: the missing brown shoes (yay!), an anniversary card I wrote Jay over a year ago, a gift I got at a wedding shower thrown by college friends (Sorry Ayn….lost track), an unwrapped McDonald’s toy, lots of clothes that are now too small for my kids (that have been there since they fit, no doubt), and a Starbucks gift card. Score.

Wanna know a secret? Most days I feel like I’m just playing at this whole adult thing. I know, I should be way past that stage, but I just keep waiting for that day when I actually feel like a grown-up grownup. But there are a few things that make me feel more like an adult. Keeping my house straight, making new traditions, and *considering* keeping a calendar, for example.

Oh…that, and figuring out the dental assistant walking me to the right room was a former student of mine. In fifth grade. Yikes.

So here I am right back where I started. Here, but also there wondering about growing up and grief and how to help my sweet little family process something so hard.

We love you, Sharon!

;

Shameless Plug

I spend about 97% of my time each week teaching kids, chasing kids, feeding kids, cleaning up after kids, or sleeping in order to recover from kids.

Every once in a while, though, I am able to steal a few minutes of time just for fun not involving kids.   Most of that time these days goes to blogging, but I also look forward to time to run, be crafty, and make videos, among other things.

So when the second annual Lights, Camera, Lynchburg video contest was announced, I knew I had to participate if I could eek out the time to make it happen.  At the expense of a few lost hours of sleep and (traditional) instructional time, I now have three entries.  Yeah, I’m a bit embarrassed by the number, but after I got started, I just couldn’t seem to let any brainstorms go to waste.

So, read on to hear the background story for each video, or just skip straight to the real point of this post and go here to vote for any of the videos that say “Proffitt.”  I promise voting is really easy…no registration required!

Mad Math in Lynchburg

This was the first idea I had, and it was inspired by a book my class read together.  Since I teach math and science, I felt like I had to make a video that had at least a loose connection to what we were supposed to be doing in class, and this fit the bill.  My students brainstormed several Lynchburg places they would like to feature in their video, and then another teacher friend and I got to work figuring out a way we could share a bus to make a field trip out of this project.  (Check out her finished video here.  Vote for her too!)

Our day out on the town began with a stop at the Lynchburg Academy of Fine Arts.  The highlight for me was seeing the historic theater that is under construction, imagining what it was like in its prime and what it will be when it is finished.  I’m pretty sure, however, that the highlight for my students was either playing in the fog machine or squealing when our guide turned the lights off backstage.  Next up was lunch at Riverside Park.  After they played on the new equipment and ate lunch, they got to pose as extras for the playground opening ceremony.  We knew nothing about this event ahead of time, but our timing couldn’t have been better.  Our last stop was Rise Up climbing gym.  Six of my students had earned a chance to climb by collecting the most points in a math program during the previous week.

Back at school, my class wrote the math problems that they wanted to feature in our video and then recorded the narration using a voice recorder.  The final step was capturing the shots we needed in the classroom and in the dream.  We visited both the roof and the abandoned fourth floor classrooms, spaces that are normally off limits to students.  Though we lost a day or two of instructional time, I believe we made up for it with the memories that we created.  I hope they’ll be 30 and say, “I remember one time in fourth grade that my teacher took us to the roof to make a video…that was so cool!”

We Live in Lynchburg

I teach two different classes of students, and I really wanted my second class of students to have an opportunity to enter the contest too.  I told myself, however, that I couldn’t commit to it unless I came up with an idea that I could pull off in just one day.  I had spent so much time writing, recording, and editing the first one, that I knew I didn’t want to do something else complicated.

This was all happening right around the time of the election, and these kids caught my eye with their parody of an oh-so-popular song.  Figuring this would be an easy song to rewrite and then sing, I decided to give it a try.  Poor Jay had to listen to me try to match the tune for nearly two straight hours one night.  He’s such a good sport.

When I pitched the idea to my class the next day, a few boys were less than excited with my song choice.  Thankfully they quickly got over that when they realized there would be an opportunity to show off their dance moves after we got the words recorded.  They are all a bit obsessed with the Gangnam Style dance, and I agreed that this could be allowed in moderation.  We practiced the song, recorded it on my laptop, then spent the rest of the afternoon traipsing around school pretending we were music video stars.

Oh, and I must give credit where credit is due!  Sensing my stress when I realized I had bit off more than I could really chew, Jay agreed to edit this one for me.  I admit I was a little leery of his skills at first, but his musical ear turned out to be a huge asset to the project.  He did a great job, if I do say so myself.


My Lynchburg Story

So I entered my classes’ videos in the “Top of the Class” category for student groups and began the long process of waiting to find out if we would win anything.  The wait ended up becoming even longer because the organizers extended the deadline by about a month.  That’s code for, “We don’t have very many applicants,” so it got me thinking about making my own personal entry too during Thanksgiving Break.  Jay had recently shown me this girl’s work, and we had given Bubba a big, magnetic dry erase board for his birthday the week before.  Armed with a tripod, four markers, a lamp from Bubba’s room, and my camera, I sat down in the floor of my kitchen and gave it a try.

The idea with stop motion animation is that you draw a little, snap a picture, draw a little more, snap another picture.  Draw, snap, draw, snap, draw, snap.  Repeat….hundreds of times.  When you are done, you load each of the hundreds of pictures into the video editing software (we used iMovie), and then tell it to display each one for just a portion of a second.  Strung together, the pictures begin to look like a growing and moving drawing.  Think of it like a digital flipbook.

All was going well except for one small problem….the lack of batteries for my camera.  After raiding each and every remote, label maker, flashlight, etc. in my house for half-juiced  AA batteries, I decided I must go to the 7-11 and get some if I ever wanted to finish this project.  I’m telling you, only crazy people go to 7-11 at 2 a.m.  With two fresh packs of over-priced batteries, I finally finished my story.  Phew.

Once again, Jay agreed to help me with the editing a few days later, and I was thoroughly pleased with the outcome.  My mom said it did make her cry when she watched the final version, but I’m pretty sure it was a good kind of cry.

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So, if you haven’t already, please click on the links below to rate each of the videos.  The video with the highest rating will be awarded the Viewer’s Choice Award.  Last year my students won money in the Top of the Class category, and they decided to use their winnings to purchase exercise balls to use in place of chairs in our classroom.  Who knows how they might decide to use the money this time if we win!?

Mad Math in Lynchburg
We Live in Lynchburg
My Lynchburg Story

You can vote once per computer for each video.  Voting ends January 7th, 2013.  Please “like” this post or leave a quick comment to let my students know you voted!  Thanks!!