Jul 4, 2010

July Fun in Nebraska

I took the boys to Nebraska for their annual summer outing in Nebraska with Grandma and Grandpa. We stopped in Lincoln and picked up Madison on Friday so that the boys could hang out with their cousin for a night. We'd picked up fireworks on our way to Schuyler, so, as you can see, they had a blast!

On Saturday, the Broekers met us in Omaha for a visit to the Omaha zoo. As busy as the parking lot appeared, the zoo itself wasn't too bad for the Saturday before the 4th.

Clockwise: Madison, Tyler, Evan, Dylan and Grant (in the stroller)

Dylan and Madison, trying to figure out where to go next

Dylan, Grandpa and Madison: They were ahead of Evan and me on the sky lifts. This was our first time on the lifts, and it was pretty amazing. I'm just glad I didn't lose a shoe or drop my camera above the rhinos!

Evan next to me on the sky lift

Amy said this exhibit is Tyler's favorite, so we had to go check it out. Dylan found a bird to feed, which was pretty rare because Tyler (our zoo expert) told us it wasn't feeding time and it was mating time. (Yes, Amy, that is what your son told me. Apparently his volunteer time at the Lincoln zoo is paying off.)

Hmmm...since I visited a zoo, perhaps I should include at least ONE picture of some animals. It looks like the flamingos are posed just for me!

Jun 27, 2010

Awarding not very rewarding

Hickman Mills High School no longer exists. I may have shed a tear or two over this closing, but I get to be part of its history. I was awarded the "2009 Teacher of the Year" for Hickman Mills High School, the last one. (It sounds like a great trivia question, don't you think? --Who was the last Teacher of the Year of Hickman Mills High School?)

I got a letter in the mail this week from the district. It said, "Congratuations on being named the Teacher of the Year for your school building! Now that you have been awarded this honor, you also have the chance to become the Hickman Mills District Teacher of the Year! Enclosed you will find the application."

An application? For an award? Okay, so I read on...

The District Teacher of the Year Award Application Cover Sheet reads:

1. Basic School/Personal Information

2. Please attach the following:

a. Professional Biography: What were the factors that influenced you to become a teacher? (one page)

b. Community Involvement: Describe your commitment to your community through service-oriented activities such as volunteer work, civic activities, etc

c. Philosophy of Teaching: Describe your personal feelings and beliefs about teaching, including your own ideas of what makes you an outstanding teacher. Describe the rewards you find in teaching. How are your beliefs about teaching demonstrated in your personal teaching style? (one page)

d. Education Issues and Trends: What do you consider to be the major public education issues today? Address one, outlining possible causes, effects and resolutions. (one page)

e. Letters of Support: Attach three letters of support from any of the following: administrator, fellow educator, student/former student, parent or civic leader

This is all due within two weeks from receiving the letter. Anyone crazy enough to get all this done in two weeks deserves District Teacher of the Year. I promise you, it won't be me.

Jun 14, 2010

T-Bones Baseball

The boys and I went to see a T-Bones baseball game for the first time. Tonight's game was Teacher Appreciation Night so we had discounted tickets. Plus, it as Kids Eat Free night, so the boys each received a free hot dog, chips and drink. I was a little nervous for the weather, but it turned out to be a great night for the game. Dylan brought his baseball glove, prepared to catch a ball. He didn't get the chance to catch one, but a nice guy sitting a few seats away rescued a foul ball from the vistor's dugout (next to our seats) and gave Dylan the ball. He was on cloud nine!

Jun 13, 2010

Powell Gardens: Bugs and Real Bugs

The boys and I went to Powell Gardens today to check out their new Big Bugs Exhibit. While the flowers were as beautiful as ever, the bug exhibit wasn't quite up to par. I think there were maybe five statues this year, versus previous exhibits that littered the garden. We still had a good time, and some of the flowers and statues are below.

This wasn't one of the statues, but rather one of the more exciting things we saw today. We came out to Powell Gardens after a heavy rain this morning, so I think some of the little critters were out to get dried out. This one in particular was quite entertaining!

This was my favorite of the giant bug exhibits. I think this was number three of five or six that were out this year.
This is the best I could do with my bee pictures. Dylan and Evan helped me spot them in the flowers so I could get a good picture of one.
Giant Ants: There were three of them on top of the hill.
You can still see the rain on the flowers from this morning.

May 10, 2010

1st Grade Love

So, I found this note on the hallway floor tonight. Dylan was pretty anxious to get it out of my hands. It reads, "I relly relly like you. If you want to sit by me it is ok. Your friend Dylan. Can you write a leter back plase." He even did some self correcting with sat vs. sit and wert vs. write.

What's particularly funny about this note, addressed on the other side to "JW" is that Evan has been telling me that this girl "Jordan" is in love with Dylan. He made sure I was clear that it was JORDAN in love with Dylan, not the other way around. Well, now, I think this note suggests love is a two way street between these two. Maybe not "love" but "relly relly like".

Busy May Weekend

The weekend of May 6 (Thurs) - May 9 (Sun) was a busy one for the Carter household. Grandma and Grandpa Vest came for a visit so they could see Dylan's 1st grade program and visit the boys on VIP at Meadowmere. Grandma did a much better job at taking pictures of all the events, and, unfortunately, I didn't have electronic copies to publish here, so these few will just have to make do.

Let's see...Thursday (Grandma and Grandpa arrived; Dylan's program; out to Applebee's for my birthday), Friday (VIP day at Meadowmere; the boys and I went to T-Rex Restaurant at the Legends for my birthday), Saturday (My birthday), Sunday (Mother's Day)
Dylan is hiding behind the mask (wearing the blue shirt). This is a rare picture, though, because Dylan broke his mask before the program began. It was nice, though, because we got to see his face and facial expressions throughout the program.
T-Rex Restaurant: I didn't want to take too many pictures at this place because the flash is so obvious in a dark restaurant. However, this was the view above our heads.

Evan wanted me to take his picture while he was coloring. He look so serious!

Dylan stuck his head inside one of the dino's. Do you have any wonder who chose this restaurant, the boys or me?

May 1, 2010

April Photo Contest

April 2010 Photo Contest - Photo Hunt Challenges Different Point of View: Kansas City, Missouri (the zoo) So, I'm wondering what this chimp is thinking?

Perspective Shot: Kansas City, Missouri (the zoo) I'm not sure if the boys are entertained by the gator or if the gator is "entertained" by the boys.

Touch: Evan at the Legends (Kansas City, Kansas)
Taste: Dylan eating Chipotle
Sight: A book

Sound: The Kansas City zoo (We were able to hear his roar from quite a distance!)

Smell: I've spent the last eight Saturdays at The View in Grandview, Missouri. There's nothing quite like spending two hours in an indoor swimming pool for swim lessons. The smell of Chlorine is so strong that I leave with burning eyes, and I'm not the one taking swim lessons!

Sign of Spring: Bike trail in Grandview, Missouri
Flowers: Kansas City, Kansas (The Legends)

Letter in Nature: Kansas City, Missouri (Kansas City Zoo) Do you know how hard it is to get two hippos to pose for a "V"? :)
Trio: Cabella's in Kansas City, Kansas

Fish: Cabella's in Kansas City, Kansas

Skyward: Kansas City, Missouri

Mother Earth: Kansas City, Missouri (Kansas City Zoo) I'm an English teacher, and when I teach American Literature we always read Native American Creation Stories. "The World on the Turtle's Back" was the first thing that came to mind for me when I thought "Mother Earth".

Something Rare: My kids vacuuming? Yeah. That's rare. Very rare!

Something Healthy: Can I put a plug in for Chipotle? It's my FAVORITE "fast food". I think you could eat this stuff every day and not gain weight. (Okay, you might have to avoid the chips, the sour cream, the taco shells, etc. to "not gain weight", but the burrito bowl above is healthy!)

Something Colorful: Kansas City Zoo (I never knew there were BLUE frogs. It looks fake, but I promise it's real!)

Something Spicy: Indian Food
Something Triangular: Overland Park, Kansas