Saturday, March 29, 2008

Vacation Ending and other stuff

Odalys is 10!
Originally uploaded by msabcmom

This is it. One more day and my vacation is over. I mean OVER! My school is going back to a traditional schedule next school year so no more July, November and March vacations. I am so bummed.

In other news...

Today we had a blast. We started out at The Mudroom and painted pottery for about 2 hours. From there we went on to a fantastic 50's themed party for one of Sabina's friends. The birthday girl's grandmother made poodle skirts for all of the girls. They were cute! At the party the kids sang 50's songs on the karaoke machine, had a doughnut eating contest, played pin the record on the jukebox, played a hot potato game with a record instead of a potato, hit a jukebox piñata and ate pizza and banana splits. WOW!

When we came home we rounded out the day by watching the Nancy Drew movie.

Tomorrow I guess I will have to go over lesson plans and get back into the mindset of being back at school. I wrote the plans several weeks ago but I need to wrap my head around them again. I am in for a long haul....we work all the way through June!

I guess that this vacation was a good one. I was quite busy throughout the month and I only really whooped it up this last week. That was enough though. We really did have a good month. It is sad to see it come to an end. On the plus side...I lost 13.4 pounds this month. Whoopee!!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Gym Procrastination

Ever have those days where you just don't want to go to the gym but you have no real good excuse? That is how I am feeling today. I have no desire to jump in the car, drive and work out. I have been doing every possible thing that I can to occupy my time to make excuses for not going. (like posting a blog!) I know that eventually, I will have to get there but I am not sure when that time will come. Maybe after the 4:00 Monk re-run that I have probably seen about a million times!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The $2,350 Trophy

The $2,350 trophy!

A little more than 3 years ago I enrolled Sabi in a gymnastics class at a kid gym nearby. I really liked the gym and the classes. The classes were very well structured as far as athletics are concerned and it was a safe and non competitive environment unlike another local establishment. It was a bit on the pricey side at $57 a month but she was having fun and getting a lot out of the class.

About a year and a half into it Sabina asked if she could take a dance or karate class offered at the same place. After some inquiry I found that it would cost me another $50 and I told her that she had to choose. 6 months later she told me that she wanted to try dance out instead of gymnastics. I was glad to make the change. Gymnastics looked like a lot of fun but it was frustrating to Sabina because the bar work in gymnastics didn't come very easy to her. The rest of the girls in her class were so petite and tiny and were able to to fly over those bars with great ease. That just didn't work for Sabi. She couldn't figure it out and she came home crying several times.

Dance has been awesome. The teacher is so energetic and supportive of the kids. Even better, Sabina loves to dance and is good at it. She has a lot of confidence with it and gets an even harder workout from it than gymnastics!

Sounds great, right? Here is the clincher...

In December, the teacher told the parents that a recital would be coming up soon and that we parents might want to privately start looking for sponsors for our own kids' costumes to wear to the recital. I just laughed this off and thought it must be a joke. WRONG!

In February, the "costumes" for each dance class were posted with prices and the kids had to be measured. Sabina's class will be performing 2 dances and guess what? Each dance has a different costume!!! The total for both outfits is $133. Whoa! I thought it over for about a week and went back and forth on whether or not I would go ahead with the recital. $133 for 2 outfits? That is just ridiculous. I finally agreed to do it since Sabina really wanted to do it and she had never done one before. I am not completely happy with that decision but the my tax refund came around the same time and I just went for it.

Today, at class, we parents had another surprise. A sign was posted letting us know that we need to purchase tickets to have the privilege of watching the damn recital. (yes, I am angry by now!) The tickets are a whopping $8 for kids and $15 per adult. This is just outrageous. I, of course, have no choice but to buy the ticket but I am not going to have any other family members come. What a racket!

At the end of class today Sabina's teacher made an announcement to the entire class and group of parents. She had a trophy in her hand and said "May I have your attention. We have a student here who has been with us for 3 years. We here at ********** like to acknowledge this achievement with a trophy!"

The dad next to me started laughing and said "that is one expensive trophy!" No joke....that crazy trophy cost me $2,350!

Never Too Old

Every day is a "Challah" Day!  (get!)  :-)
Yesterday we spent the day in Oakland. We started out at The Grand Bakery. It is the closest kosher bakery to our house. Now we didn't really need any baked goods but we stopped to splurge on some goodies. They bake some wonderful challah there. I LOVE it. We also picked up some borekas and cherry filled hamantashen. YUM!
Glenda the Good Witch
From there we went on to Fairyland in Lakeside Park. We haven't been there since Sabi was 4. My mom and I were both a bit worried that Sabi would be too old for this play park but we were wrong. She LOVED it!!! Sabi was like a kid in a candy store. It was very fun to watch her enjoying all of the fairy tale stops. I guess that you are never too old to have fun, right?
The Cowardly Lion

The day was beautiful. When we were done at fairyland we hung out for a bit in Lakeside Park and then ended our trip at Oakland Kosher Foods in search of Passover food.

Lakeside Park, Oakland

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bajo La Misma Luna

This movie is great. I couldn't believe that on the 2nd day that it was out, less than 20 people were in the theater. What a shame. Go see it and then tell me what you think.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Former Student Encounter

Today I went to Jamba Juice and after taking my order the cashier asked "aren't you Ms. V?" I told him that I was and he said that he wasn't in my class but he remembers me from "WAY" back when he was 7 or 8. (He put a lot of emphasis on the WAY back part!) He was very excited to see me and asked me how the school is doing now that he has been gone for so long.

So he made me feel a little bit old hearing the "WAY" back comment and also thinking that when this now 18 year old knew me, I was 10 years younger!

On the plus side, this young man seemed very well adjusted, and he is a contributing member of our society who is gainfully employed. (He also makes a very good Orange Berry Blitz!) It was kind of cool to be recognized and remembered fondly.
Cool indeed!

Obama's Speech Today

Wow! What a speech. Obama brought up so many important issues in his speech and handled them wonderfully. If I weren't already pulling for him this speech would have done it for me.

Peace Vigil

We are attending a peace vigil tomorrow in our hometown. If you are interested in joining one in your neck of the woods, click here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Summer Trip

I am planning my summer Panama trip right now. I want to hit the usual spots, El Valle de Antón, El Decamerón and of course, my dad's place, Keruasa. This time though I would like to see some other places that I haven't been to at all or in a long time. I am thinking of possibly going to Coiba, Darien and Gamboa. What would REALLY be awesome is to go to one of the Smithsonian Institute's research-education centers such as Barro Colorado, Galeta, or Culebra.

Have you been to any of these places? What do you recommend?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

THe Week in Review

Here is what I am up to when I am "off track." (on vacation)

Visited a prospective school for a student of mine. As per his I.E.P., he will move to an SH classroom. I went with his mom to see what the school and class were like. I also acted as a translator for her. It was a sad day for me because I am really going to miss this boy. He was a hard case to start with but he has come so far and he melts my heart each and every day.
On Monday night we went to shiva for a friend's mom. That was very hard.

Drove Sabina to school (20 miles from home) and then turned around to go to Stockton for a coach meeting. (40 miles from Sabi's school) Once that was over I turned around to go back and get Sabi and then go back home. I drove too much that day and was exhausted.

Worked with my grade level team on a collaboration day. We put in 7 hours of work focusing on all of the subject matters that we teach and planning for the last trimester. I am a bit stressed since there is so much to still cover and we have to test in May.

Another collaboration day with the grade level. This day was centered on what we do for our English Learners. It was a long day of reviewing writing samples and trying to figure out how to tweak our current program to make the best impact for our students.

No plans were on the calendar - YAY! I decided to stay in town where Sabi goes to school and work in my classroom since gas is just too expensive for me to run around while Sabi is in school. I cleaned for a couple of hours and got some reading in too. Sabi had a minimum day so I didn't stay in town too long.

I waited in my car as Sabi's bus dropped her off at my school. She saw me waiting in my car and she got so excited to see me and started waving like crazy at me. Can you believe that I got goosebumps from that. It was so sweet and it just tickled me to see her do that. She is still my baby! She spent the ride home telling me about their Pi day celebration and about a glutonous pizza party that her class won. She was going a mile a minute and I loved every second of it!

When we got home, we stopped by the mailbox and Sabi's report card came in the mail. Sabi asked if she could see it first. Within about 10 seconds the screaming began. She had a fabulous report card. We celebrated with one of her favorite dishes, salmon. We also all ate together at the dinner table. That was a nice change considering that due to our busy schedules we don't all make it to dinner at the same time. We rounded out the night by watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Saturday: (Today)
Went in to WW and I only lost .8 lbs. That makes my running total 11.6. I guess that is ok. WE are going to keep busy with laundry and housekeeping today.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

We're Back!

Originally uploaded by kjerringa1
We had a great time but are glad to be back.

I am so glad that I am off track and can just relax. Woo-hoo!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Go See This Movie

I haven't seen much of Monterey yet as I was in my math workshop for the majority of the day. This evening we went out to Monterey for dinner at Turtle Bay and then on to the mall to see College Road Trip. Go see this movie. It is really fun! It is funny and engaging for all ages. Sabi, my mom and I saw it together and we all enjoyed it. (We may even go see it again!)

Friday, March 07, 2008

And We're Off!!!

We are spending the weekend in Monterey. I have a math workshop to attend tomorrow until 2 but the rest of the time will be for play...Yay!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

You Know You Are Getting Old When...

This week I am teaching Intersession. Intersession is basically a summer school type of program that runs while our school is off track this month. During Intersession we don't have aides around to help out with cafeteria and recess duty so I am with the kids every single minute of the day. It really is quite fun.

At recess today, I was watching the kids play. The girls were busy in a game of jump rope having a grand time. I listened carefully to their song. Here are the lyrics:

"Ice cream soda, cherry on the top. Who's your boyfriend I forgot?"

Then they start to recite the alphabet. Whatever letter the student stops at is the first letter of her boyfriend's name.

I had to stop that nonsense right away. I told them that they were in second grade and were too young for boyfriends. I also said something like "who needs a silly boyfriend anyway? Why don't you say something like: 'Ice cream soda, cherry on top. What's your favorite fruit, I forgot?" The girls looked at me for a second and rolled their eyes as they smiled at me. Nonetheless, the girls spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out names for fruit starting out with different letters of the alphabet!

Yeah, yeah, I am an old fogey...I know this and am ok with it!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tear Jerker Movies

I just watched The Joy Luck Club for the millionth time. Every time that I watch it I end up in serious tears at the end when June meets her sisters in China. The same hold true for The Color Purple. I start crying when Shug walks into her father's church singing through the end when Celie's kids and sister come home. I am a serious mess when I see those flicks.

What movies make you cry?

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Last weekend I re-joined Weight Watchers.The first two days were kind of tough because I am a food addict. I never ever felt hungry but I was craving for a food fix. I am so used to just nibbling away all day long so I had to retrain myself a bit.

To help myself out throughout the week, I bought some frozen meals that are similar to the Weight Watchers meals. I also bought some fruit, and lots of good veggies to use in salads. My meals were tasty and filling. I was careful about the food I took in but I did have some fun foods such as chocolate, cheese and bread! I never felt hungry or deprived this week.

Today was weigh in day and I lost 10.8 pounds. WHOA! I couldn't believe it. Let's see if I can keep it up!

Obama '08