Thursday, November 27, 2008

feast your eyes on these

Giving thanks at all times... especially at Thanksgiving!

We had a delicious spread at mom & pop Fehrenbach's with guests from Malaysia, Korea, and Philidelphia, PA. Wish I would have organized a group photo. Sometimes it's a little daunting to be the person with the camera all the time. But I did have a little fun with the macro-feature on my camera.

Feast your eyes on these!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

rockin' nanny em

I had the wonderful privilege of being a nanny/tutor for a young boy from Portland who was visiting the apprenticeship with his mom the week or so before Thanksgiving. We had a blast! In addition to his regular studies that I helped him walk through, we took little adventures in Austin together.

The Texas State Capital Building.
He loved the law-making rooms, and the visitor center (which is more kid friendly with hands-on things to do). He bought a handful of various/gems rocks as a souvenir (and learned their names and uses by the end of the week). Among other facts he learned that the capital building was once made of limestone, but now is constructed of pink granite. He made sure he bought those two for sure.

[At the end of that day we met up with the PDX-team
at Einstein Bagels for a little prayer and fellowship.]

Hook 'Em Horns with Grammy & Mommy & BEVO.
The Texas Memorial Museum.
The next day I decided to tap into his immense love for all things Dinosaur and fossil with a trip to the Texas Memorial Museum on the University of Texas campus. I wish I could have had a video of his face each time he saw something new or whenever he made some connections. It was priceless. (Hannah D, which I'll call you in this post since his mom's name is also Hannah, I was sad to discover his visit was right during your road trip to MA. Maybe next time!) We even made it to all the floors of the museum (even though the Dinos and fossils are mainly on the 1st and 2nd floors). This boy loves museums. Of course, at the end was a visit to the gift shop where he picked out an actual fossil of ammonites. I was again amazed by his desire to have something more authentic than to choose some plastic toy-like thing from the horded collection displayed in the gift shop.

Posed with the awesome Texas Pterosaur.

And here with the Onion Creek Mosasaur.

And the highlight... the T-Rex skull!
On Saturday we all went out to a professor's ranch out in Elgin, Texas for a college outing on the later half of the book of Exodus. He enjoyed playing in the dirt mounds with the other children there. He found two fist-sized pieces of limestone to bring home with him.
Half Price Books.
We totally checked out the Dinosaur books section... and then had to look for books on fossils and rocks. We picked up two little encylopedias on both subjects and brought them home for reference. Later that afternoon he learned which of his rocks were igneous and what that meant. He's a smart little cookie always absorbing new information.
Butler Park.
At Austin's newest Butler park he played in the pond, the interactive fountain, and collected nine more pieces of granite to take home to share with his class. Such a thoughtful young man.

What luck! Zilker Botanical Gardens was hosting an exhibit on Dinosaurs in addition to their usual Dino-portion of their gardens. We had a blast discovering the next location of the hiding dinosaurs. Too bad my camera battery died part way through.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

team blending

Took a little seven day trip with some of my Portland team-mates.
We visited three localities where there also were teams laboring on the campuses:
  • Denton, Texas.
  • Arlington, Texas.
  • Norman/Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Here are a few highlight photos . . .

Our Chic-fil-A Gnome.

In Denton with Sandy C.

Jupiter... best coffee in Denton.
(LOL...remember that childhood rhyme: While...Boys go to jupiter to get more stupid-er...)

...We went to get some Jo. Mmm!


An Arlington darling... cutie Paulino baby!

Portabella on a bun.
(Lunch at the Cheesecake Factory with the Arlington Thomases.)

OKLAHOMA ! ! ! !

Where the saints gather at the 'big house'. . .

Sylvan being Sylvan.
(..."I loooooove America!" ...)

Quaint evening on a normal-Norman street corner.

Oh Baby!

Roommate reunion!

Us picking up Silvan's wife and kids in Arlington...
Silvan is our honorary PDX-teammate who is from Hamilton, New Zealand.

Monday, November 10, 2008

on the road again...

Just can't wait to get back on the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again

On the road again

Goin' places that I've never been

Seein' things that I may never see again,

And I can't wait to get on the road again.

Here we are trip planning with Cyrus & Margo... why? Because they are planning to drive with us as we move ourselves up to Portland next month. We're going to try to hit a couple of relaxing hot springs on our way and take our time scooting through some states to see some great landmarks...all of which I have never seen before!

For starters:
  • White Sands, NM - whitest sands around, looks a lot like snow;
  • the Grand Canyon, AZ - I've only seen it from an airplane window;
  • the Hoover Dam - only seen in the movies;
  • Death Valley, CA - something about being the lowest point in the US?;
  • the Redwoods, CA - trees, tree, glorious trees!
Margo's post on this event includes a google map on our general route plan. Check it out! Plus she's got a great iphone and will be planning to post as we go along our trip... way cool!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

the 24-hr race

I couldn't possibly out-do Margo's awesome posts regarding the 24-hr off-road biking adventure that four friends of ours did (her husband included) out at Rocky Hill Ranch October 18-19.

They also did one many years ago. She explains the process of the race the guys did. They were truly amazing! Completing twenty-one 10-mile laps in 24-hours! Erik and I went along for the fun of camping and supporting our friends. We had a really great time. We took a ton of photos, and you can view the whole lot of them on Margo's blog, but I'll post a few of my favorites here.

Monday, November 3, 2008

what a hoot!

Another belated posting, but I simply must share my creation with you all. Sorry to those in advance who are opposed to pumpkin carving. For me, it's just about the art of it all. Emily & Shannon hosted an evening of games and pumpkin carving... and this is what we came up with...

[two people-scared to see-a handicapped-longhorn-owl]
Click here to (hopefully) view Shannon's facebook album of our Pumpkin Carving Night. Brenda also took some photos of that night in her *partial album. Not sure if the links will work, so I post these three just in case.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


An afternoon of coffee, friendship, and
a glorious game of speed scrabble. Life is good.

mrs f....rizzle for a day

So I arrived early for a substitute assignment at a school that I had never been to before. I was excited to check it out since I liked the neighborhood. However, my first encounter with the office woman was not that friendly... perhaps she was having a rough morning, or maybe she's just like that. Either way, it wasn't the nicest office environment I have walked into. Checking my attendance sheet I found I would be in charge of 16 second-grade students today given that they are not absent. Sixteen, I thought, that's not so bad. I once had been given charge of a classroom of twenty-two students, so sixteen sounded great. Even still, sometimes I say a little prayer that the extra naughty children would be home sick that day. *sheepish grin* Is that evil?

Once I got to the classroom and turned on the lights I took a glance around the room looking for the teacher's desk. The room was freezing! My husband's theory of why they keep the schools so cold is to kill the germs. He may have something there. I immediately walked over to the AC and turned if off for the time being. After I reached the teacher's desk I began looking for her sub plans. There they were right in front of me... All on one piece of paper....
  • 8-8:20 -- Morning Routine
  • 8:20 -- Gather children on carpet, distribute class tie-dye shirts, go over your field trip expectations/let them use the bathroom
  • 8:45 -- have children out by bus...
  • 11:50 -- lunch
  • 12:25 -- recess
  • 1 -- ...
ok, at this point I'm like... FIELD TRIP!? WHAT?! a field trip... where are we going? It didn't say. And MY field trip expectations... how about you tell me YOURS teacher... iyah!

Looking up from the desk I saw an early-bird student come in the classroom. He was a large boy for 2nd grade. I greeted him and he looked at me with surprise then got down on all four limbs and darted under a table. I walked over to where he was and he was like, 'Ms. we have roaches.' I looked and saw on the floor two belly-upped cockroaches. He saw my disgust and told me 'It's o.k. Ms. I'm floor monitor.' I totally chuckled on the inside because he was very serious. But then I heard him get all 'ewghy' about it. I asked him if he was going to use his shoe to make sure it was dead. 'NO WAY Ms. These shoes are new!'

Ok, so back to the field trip... Beginning around 7:35 students were filing into the classroom. Eventually some parent helpers showed up and told me that we were going to the Austin Symphony Halloween concert. SWEET! (all except the Halloween part)... After checking the students for their homework, reading logs, and journals as they worked on the math problem written on the wipe board, We gathered at the carpet. I still I was a bit scared. Sitting at the carpet I didn't know these kids' faces and names, so I quickly had them put on their matching tie-dye shirts. There was even one for me. We then went over MY field trip expectations. What were they again? I think they came out some thing like this.
  1. Stick together.
  2. Stay with your buddy.
  3. Stay in line order at all times.
  4. Be respectful: Clapping only during applause.
  5. No screaming or talking during the show.
  6. Use the bathroom here, not there (now, not later).
It wasn't until we were sitting on the bus waiting for some other students from the school that I decided that one parent volunteer would watch over two sets of buddies. I quickly divided up the parent volunteers... so all I had to do was manage the group as a whole. *phew!* All students accounted for... let's go!

Arriving at the event center there were tons of buses and even more children. Some schools had all the same t-shirts, our school had a different tie-dye combination/design per classroom. We got lots of complements regarding our t-shirts. The event center volunteers were all dressed for Halloween. There was a clown, a ghost, and there were ones wearing every piece of holiday apparel known. Very tacky.

The main part of the concert was a reading of Peter and the Wolf. Here are a few photos from it.

We made it through the whole thing without any terrible things happening. I only had one girl who had to pee-soooo-bad... so I sent a parent to the restroom with her during the concert. We met up with out bus to ride back to the school, arriving late for lunch in the cafeteria, so we ate our lunch in the classroom, had indoor recess, story-time, Special areas, then dismissal.

All in all, the whole day was quite a success. Not that hard at all. But truly not one to forget.

Since this experience I have subbed for this very same 2nd grade classroom four times. While there's usually a roach to be found at the start of the day still each time brings something new. Like receiving a very concerned note sprawled across a full page of paper from one of the girls... in bright red marker (spelling error included):

To: Mrs. F.
From: Caitlyn