Monday, May 31, 2010

Water For Elephants

Come one! Come all! Come to the most spectacular show on Earth the Benzini Brothers Circus!!! Ok... well maybe not all should read this book (I am thinking of my daughter here... it is perfectly suitable for adults to enjoy).

Cracking open the circus themed cover I was swept away to a time of intrigue and mystery. Set during the depression you get an exciting glimpse into this corner of true Americana riding the train cars, setting up tents, meeting the animals and the secretive members of the circus. The author, Sara Gruen, does an amazing job of intertwining the folklore, tales, and facts that make up the history of the circus.

Usually when an author opens with the end and then spend the rest of the story explaining that final event, I feel jipped, like I already know what happens. (Now when I read the last sentence or paragraph of a book before I start that is different... I choose that)... When Gruen started with the end, I once again felt jipped, but soon forgot these feelings and enjoyed my time in the circus. Then when the end came, it was as if the vale was lifted, the windows were cleaned, and I was amazed at the BRILLIANCE of her writing, and how even knowing the end at the beginning you really didn't!

It was a great read, thoroughly entertaining!

Learned: Behind the laughs, the Cracker Jacks, and cotton candy, the circus was a cut-throat business... !

Memorial Weekend

When I think of Memorial Day, I think of baseball and BBQ... maybe because I have grown up with the JUCO World Series kicking off on this particular holiday. This year was no different; our town welcomed Junior College baseball players and their families, but it has been years since I have attended the festivities.

Instead I started my Memorial weekend with a dose of torture... running Serpents Trail for the first time of the season. We have quite a group joining us this year... of course there are the original 3: Jan, Anne, and I, and joining us: Ari, Kelly, and Lisa...all who we know through soccer, and Anne and Lisa's daughters Katy and Cruz. It is quite fun having all of us there together(if you don't count the intense burning in your buns and lungs for the 2 mile straight up climb). I of course did not make it even half way up with out stopping, but Ari and I continued up at a very brisk pace to the summit, then sprinted down, and headed up a second time. It literally kicked my booty...I have changed my after run recovery drink to something lower in calories but still high in protein so I hope to see some results this year! It is two days later and I am still WAY sore so that is a good sign...

Here are Ari and I at the top the first time... It was quite windy!

After a short rest and a shower, I packed up the kids and headed to the cabin, sadly Brian had to work. We had a great time at the cabin with Brian's family just playing and BBQ-ing, Boating, and Fishing. I even caught the first and largest fish of the weekend! Maddox and I came home Sunday evening, and Madison stayed for one more night having some time with Auntie and the grand parents.

This morning, Memorial Day, Maddox and I cut some flowers and rode our bikes to my Grandma's house; her (81st) birthday was Saturday. Then we headed home, played on the slip and slide, and had a BBQ with Allison and Jim and their kids. It has been forever since we all got together, and it was so nice to see them! We joke, but really it is kinda true, that I can only be friends with Allison during the summer when I am not working... funny...sad...but true.... So we have to fit in a lot of friendship in just a few weeks!

I had a great weekend, but was brought to tears when reminded of the real reason we even have this holiday... A friend from high school had an amazing Memorial Day weekend when she and her kids got to welcome their husband/dad home... his is in the Navy and has been gone for quite a while... so I'll leave you with this touching reminder of what our military sacrifices while we all BBQ and watch baseball...Thank you TJ and Melissa, and the rest of our military families!

Learned: A great weekend with friends and family, complete with a sobering reminder and being thankful for our military and their families... that they sacrifice time from their families, so I can have time with mine.

Friday, May 28, 2010


This has been one windy spring! This picture was taken earlier in the month of May, and here we are almost to the end and the wind is still blowing! And this is no gentle breeze, but strong gusts that blow you sideways, move the car while driving, or could possibly carry you away while flying your kite...

Last weekend at the tournament the wind blew so hard that any ball kicked into the wind it would land almost behind the kicker, and if you kicked it with the wind it would sail way beyond its intended target...

....and it is still blowing, which makes it nice (kind of) to have the windows open until the window shades come crashing down! And it is also kind of nice since it keeps it cooler, until it gets too warm and we want to get the swamp cooler going but I don't really want my husband to be blown off the roof...

Since I have got to enjoy the fun the wind brings (kite flying, airing out the house), I am now officially DONE with the wind and all the nasty stuff it picks up with it and delivers directly to my eyes and lungs!

Learned: Wind (at least this non-stop blow me sideways wind) gets on my nerves and makes me cranky, but I do love the joy of flying kites my son got to experience...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Free! Free! I Am Free At Last!

YAHOOO! Today was my official last day of school, and it was an easy one to boot! I had all my finals graded early this week so all I had to do was submit my grades and pack up my room (lock everything away because they do summer school in there). I was done and left by noon. I even took a moment to "shop" at our schools lost and found and picked up a great bag that I can take to the beach as well as several really nice name brand sweatshirts for the kids and I. (Sorry Brian, most middle school kids don't wear your size...). With a quick wash they will be just perfect!

The last week of school is always full of crazy schedules and special events. This year I got to go to the 8th grade pool party on Tuesday. The weather turned out to be beautiful which made it a perfect day. I got to play tennis with some of the kids and just enjoy hanging out with them in a different setting. I also really like the 8th grade team, they are so fun to be around and we spend most of the time laughing...

Yesterday was our last day with kids; it is always a fun day filled with games, and year book signings, and of course middle school girls DRAMA!!! We always have plenty of staff vs. student games including three legged races, tug-of-war, and volley ball games. The last hour and a half of the day is spent with all the kids in the cafeteria signing year books and 8th grade girls balling their eyes out.... and this year was no different. It always amazes me that all year long the kids can hardly wait to bust out of the building at the bell, but on the last day we have to kick them out and herd them to the buses.

Even though I am excited to be done with the year, I will miss some of my kids ... Jenna, Amber, Celia, Currey, Dena, Katy (though I will see her regularly since Madison is attached at the hip to her sister Emma), Alex, Jacob, Skyler... just to name a few of the great kids I had for the past two years. I am sure they will be successful in HS, and I expect to see great things from them in the future. I trust in GOD that I have been what these students needed... a mom, friend, mentor, someone to listen, someone to correct, someone that cares, or someone just to be consistent in their lives. I can only trust that what I have planted in their lives will be watered by someone else, and harvested later.

It has been a tradition for years for the staff to "wave" to the kids as the buses pull away. It is a fun way to let the kids at least think we are going to miss them when really we are waving because we are even more excited than the kids to be on summer break... :)

So here is to a great year, and an even better summer!!!

Learned: Time flies not only when you are having fun, but when you are working hard... (but I did have fun teaching this year...)

Monday, May 24, 2010

At The End

Sunday we finished the last game of our soccer season. It has truly been an adventure one in which the girls have developed some tremendous skill, learned a lot more than soccer, and we (parents and girls) have become a close knit family. Along the way I couldn't see past the end of the season or possibly the end of this team, but coach kept telling us that things always change, that kids become interested in different activities and families move away, but I kept thinking this wouldn't happen to our team.

But 4 girls are leaving us... 2 moving away, and 2 choosing something different... I am so concerned for the future of the team... how can anyone replace those that are leaving... how will those that do replace them on the team fill the space left in the happy family? I think I am more concerned about it than Madison, I guess that is good...

Early before the morning game on Sunday (possibly our last game together) coach sent an email to the girls... I copied it and will use it in Madison's Soccer scrap book but wanted to save it somewhere else too so here it is...

Well ladies, we are at the end. The end of a year that has seen a group of little girls become young athletes. Athletes that have had much success on the field while learning how to work as a team with team goals in mind and not those of individuals. We have had girls that can score, while others use any part of their bodies to stop goals. Others who have stopped attackers and others who have made the passes leading to goals. Each player has done what it takes to achieve success.

Take away all the wins, and this team has achieved great success off the field as well. You are all outstanding students with many interestes away from the field and that brings as much happiness to my heart as anything could. I love soccer, but what you learn from the sport is far more important then what the score was in any particular game. You are learning what it take to be a good team member, thinking of your teammates before yourselves. This is a character trait that will serve you well in life.

I can never express myself well enough to each of you in the joy I have felt this year as your coach. This team has been my relief from life, a time to come out to the field at night and enjoy a pure love and respect for the game I love. You have all become my girls, no matter where we go through the years, you will always have my heart.

As I have said, this team will change, it will never be the same. Families are moving, some girls will play for other teams next year but, we will always be able to look back and remember the great season the Grand Junction Fire FC U11 Girls Premier Team had.

I am writing this before the last games of the season, not knowing what the out come of today's games will be and really it isn't important. What is important is that you will know in a matter of a few hours that you each gave your best to become the best you could be at this time of your life's. You will all become better! Better players, students, young women, college students, wife's, mom's, soccer coaches and grand parents at some time of your life's. I have done my job if I have helped at all during the this process.

The subject line states, "At the End". Really this is just the beginning. The beginning of a new point in your life. An exciting time of change and continued growth. I wish all the happiness in your life and we all move forward. Thank you again for all you have given to me.

Your Coach,


Learned: Considering change is always difficult, I will choose to believe coach, that this is really just the beginning. It has been an outstanding soccer season, with many vitories, most of which came off the field.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Busted Eyebrow

Today after leaving a stressful and upsetting meeting, our school secretary came into my room and told me I had an URGENT call from Maddox's school...

"Hi Brooke, this is Angela from Maddox's school. We have Maddox in the office, he got hit in the head with a rock. We got the bleeding to stop but we have a paramedic [this is when panicked, the split second between these two words I thought they had called the ambulance] who works here and she thinks he should go get stitches."

So I headed off to the pick him and and take the head wound to get looked at. Amazingly I didn't panic! When I got to the school he was sitting in the office and just sitting patiently. He greeted me by stating (rather matter of factly) "Mom I got a busted head." I couldn't help but giggle!

On the way to the Dr.'s Maddox and I discussed why dad and I keep telling him to quick throwing rocks... I think he gets it now...

When we got to the Dr.'s the were all ready for us and got him cleaned up. The nurse asked him if he cried, and he just looked at her and said "No, I'm 4!" Another chuckle could not be stifled from me or the nurse.

After cleaning and discussing the options the Dr. thought we could mend the wound with glue. Maddox was so brave and calm the whole time, until we had to remove the gloves that had gotten stuck to his head in the gluing process, even then he only whimpered.

He was really interested in seeing what was happening to him so I would take pictures and show him the progress. So here it is for us to enjoy too!

When I asked him about the whole event, he had a great story that I just can't write like he says it, but it is too dang cute! It includes playing freeze tag where you freeze when you get hit with a rock, and he was busy being a statue when the rock came flying through the air! He thinks the worst part of it all is that he can't rough house for a WHOLE WEEK!!!

Learned: It really ended up bee much less traumatic than I had expected when I received the call. I am just happy that he is ok and has a good attitude about it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Where Have I Been?

This is where (and what)...

I know the pictures are all the wrong direction, but I have been fighting with it for a while (part of the reason it has been so long since I posted) so you will just have to turn your head or computer.

We tore out flower beds and planted grass. You might wonder why I would do this... I HAVE A BROWN THUMB.... at least I can grow grass half way decently... As you can see Maddox was a great help!

Drove to Denver during the Debeque Canyon rock scaling project. It was pretty cool to see the crane and the huge drills working on the canyon walls.

Played a soccer game at one of the most beautiful soccer fields I have been at, in Evergreen Colorado... loved this town... may have to move here when we don't have kids... for sure calls for a weekend get-a-way!

Attempted to go to Denver for another soccer game, which ended up being a 9 hour round trip to Vail and back...

Found a dog, Maddox fell in love with him. We named him Radar, Maddox couldn't remember it and kept calling him retard... his family called us so we had to give him back, amazingly Maddox was ok with it, but still talks about our dog that we had to give back.

Made a trip to Denver all by my self (well with the kids and Emma) for soccer. The girls and my nieces spent the morning playing rock band (soon uncle Nate and mom were joining in...)

I also got to meet my friend Vyccy's new baby boy, Esiais, and love on him for a couple hours. (I have some pics but haven't had a chance to upload them yet...) I must say he is one BEAUTIFUL baby, and so good too!

Life has been pretty crazy around here, and I don't see much reprieve coming soon.

Learned? Try as I might to keep an updated record of my life here at Teach Me Daily, sometimes life just gets in the way...

Need to Learn: I have got to figure out why my pictures kept turning sideways... that really bugs me!