Saturday, February 21, 2009

Breagan and I are home this weekend. For Christmas, all of us kids decided to pool our money and send Mom & Dad to Chicago for a weekend. This was pretty much the only weekend they could go before summer.

Not much is happening right now ... Caleb is at a welding competition, Breagan, Aaron and Isaac headed up to Trine University to watch the regional wrestling tournament, a few people are still in bed, a few are milling around the house.

Last night, Isaac, Benjamin and I slept in Mom & Dad's bed. I'm glad it's huge! It has definitely been a while since I've slept with small children; they still roll all over in the middle of the night and hog the blankets.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Field Observations

I started my field observations yesterday morning. I'm observing a 3rd grade class this semester. This school is definitely a lot different than the other schools I've observed at before; it's only 11 years old and definitely full of the more privileged, advanced kids. I'm not sure if I will like it ...

I didn't do anything in the way of actually interacting with kids. The classroom teacher told me she only wanted me to observe, so that's what I did. It wasn't too bad, because the kids had music and gym, so I was able to move around. But still ... I really hope I get to do some real things next time I come. I know I will do some actual teaching eventually, I'm just hoping that day comes really soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Musical instruments

One of the assignments for one of my education classes - Teaching in the Primary Grades - was to create some kind of creative expressions something that could be used in an elementary classroom (i.e. bulletin boards, beanbags, calendars, puppets,props for a book, etc). Being the musical person I am, I decided to make some musical instruments out of recycled materials. My original plan was to make many different kinds of percussion instruments. My list included: tambourines, shakers, maracas, rainsticks, and castanets. I emailed several friends and asked them to save some of their trash for me. I mostly received water bottles and toilet paper tubes, so I decided to narrow my list of instruments down to two: maracas and shakers.

Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon creating instruments. Dori was kind enough to help me. The maracas were easy. We just poured some rice into them, glued the caps on, and painted the outsides. The shakers were a bit harder since we had to close the ends of the toilet paper tubes somehow. Dori came up with the idea of cutting pieces of construction paper a bit larger than the ends of the toilet paper tubes and taping them in place. That worked really well.

It was kind of challenging to come up with different designs to paint on each instrument. The end result was certainly nothing special, but I think it will serve its intended purpose.

I also got lots of cool paintbrushes out of the whole ordeal. Definitely worth it :P

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I woke up this morning with some achy triceps. The only reason I can think of having such aches & pains is because of the babysitting I did Thursday morning. How sad is that!? Given, the 9 month old was pretty heavy, but still ... I think I should reconsider my workout schedule and add some upper body conditioning in there as well.
The weather was so beautiful this morning! Dori and I needed to go to the bank this morning, so we decided to jog the couple of blocks and enjoy the fresh air. It was kind of funny walking into the bank all sweating and kind of gross amid the other customers, most of whom were neatly groomed. Turns out, you can't cash checks at any of the three banks on our running route unless they are drawn from the bank. Oh well, the run was worth it.
I ate the biggest soft pretzel of my life today! Peter and I went to the South Bend farmer's market with his brother, sister-in-law, and niece. My main goal in going was to try one of these pretzels that Matt highly recommended. He didn't exaggerate ... they are amazing. The pretzel was probably as big as my face and about an inch thick. And of course, they were Amish made. Peter made me order our pretzels ... he said I spoke their language.
Dori and I babysat for 7 rambunctious kids tonight. We played hide-and-seek, steamroller (a new one for me), started a game of monopoly (the real version, Peter), watched "School of Rock," and played piggie-back ride tag (this one is really hard on the babysitters' backs, let me tell ya). After putting the kids to bed and cleaning up the kitchen, Dori and I kicked back with some chips-ahoy/peanutbutter/milk (also a new one for me; I found it extremely good) and watched part of "To Catch a Thief" before switching to SNL.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

For some reason, the post below is dated January. I'm still trying to figure out exactly why that is ...