Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Some Randomness

We are in Plymouth for the week with my parents and siblings.  Sam leaves tonight.  Matt, Rachel and Liam leave tomorrow.  We've been having a great time.

Every year we try to find the penny in the Find It! game.  Matt found it today, but we couldn't read the date.  If you can read the date and enter it into the website, you can win a free game.

My first selfie, and a delicious lobster!

We biked the Cape Cod Canal Trail on Sunday (14 miles) and the Shining Sea Bikeway (from Falmouth to Woods Hole - 21 miles) on Monday.  I only did one way on the Shining Sea but 24 miles in two days is good enough for me. :)

We played chess while we waited for Sam to come pick us up in Woods Hole.

This is sideways, but Sam had his last appointment on Friday and is cleared for activity.  This is his x-ray with the plate and screws.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sailing Camp

Toby attended sailing camp last week at Regatta Point Community Sailing on Lake Quinsigamond.  I would highly recommend it.  It was well-run, but yet the campers had a lot of freedom.  Drop off at 8:30, pick up at 4:30.  They had classroom instruction, sailing time, swimming time, kayaking/paddle boards/paddleboats.  Toby enjoyed all of it.  They also have a soda machine which Toby loved.  One day they kayaked to an ice cream shop.  On Friday afternoon from 2-4, you can visit and go sailing with your child.

Toby felt like he learned a lot.  He says he wouldn't go again but only because he thinks he learned all he needs to know. :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Newport Kite Festival

Last weekend we went to the Newport Kite Festival.  Newport is an area that I've always wanted to visit more often.  After our visit, I still wanted to return but I know why we don't.  It's 1.5 hours from our house and the traffic was awful.  It might be a good place to spend the night so you could do some exploring each day and not have to feel like you were spending so much time driving.

We loved our visit though.  Kites, ocean, rocks, and a trip to Fairwoods (with Dad!) on the way home.

The one-legged sea gull.  We decided he was sent to garner sympathy.  We gave him a whole sandwich and he was full.

Amelia dived fearlessly off the platform.

Our first pick from the garden and Lucy has discovered she loves zucchini.  She's going to have plenty to eat.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Reading Habits

My sister-in-law put this on her blog, so I copied it.

1. Do you have a certain place for reading at home?
Always in bed and I only read at night.  That's strange, isn't it?  I've had some days this summer where I could read during the day, but I don't, because it feels wrong.  Daylight is for work, night is for reading.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper? 
I fold down the corners.  Gasp!

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages? 
I read until I am so tired I can't read anymore.

4. Do you eat or drink when reading? 
I eat often, normally popcorn.

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music whilst reading? 

6. One book at a time or several at once?
One book at a time

7. Reading at home or everywhere? 
I can read in any bed. :)

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head? 
Always silently

9. Do you ever read ahead or skip pages? 
I used to never read ahead, but I started a few years ago with some books.  It used to be when I read ahead, I would still finish the book, but now that's not guaranteed.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it new? 
I don't pay very much attention to the spine or keeping it new, after all I do fold down pages!  Almost all of my books come from the library and seem pretty hardy.

11. Do you write in your books?
No, but I do take pictures of quotes I like and put them in Evernote.

12. What are you currently reading?
The Chemistry of Tears

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I've finished two books recently.

The first one is Notebook Connections: Strategies for the Reader's Notebook.  I'm always looking for ways to help my students respond to what they are reading.  Because everyone is reading their own books at their own level I think it is important that we connect through implementing various reading strategies.  I struggle with this because I just like to read.  I don't like to respond to my reading and I certainly don't like to pick apart words and paragraphs.  But I'm a teacher and this is what teachers have students do.  I wasn't very good at it this past year so after reading reviews on this book I was hopeful this could give me some good ideas, and it did.  It lists strategies (along with the rationale behind them) and tells you when and how to implement them so that students are responding to their literature in their reader's notebook.  I look forward to using this book this year and having a way that isn't too tedious for students to share their thoughts and learn about themselves as a reader.

The second book I read is Ghostbelly.  This is a memoir by Elizabeth Heineman recounting her experience of having a home birth that resulted in a stillbirth.  She takes the reader into her grief and guilt for the whole first year after the death.  It was a pretty awful book to read, due simply to the subject matter.  If I had a child death to relate to, I think this book would have been a wonderful help because Elizabeth is honest and frank in her recounting of the birth, death, and time following.  But instead I felt like I was reading something intimate that didn't involve me.  Elizabeth is an excellent writer and does a fabulous job drawing the reader into her emotions, but I wouldn't recommend unless it would be a personal help for you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The End of the Disney Pictures

 Filling the smashed penny book

 We ran into Auburn friends at Disney!

 Matt and Toby sat in the "You will get wet" section.

 Mary Poppins and a random stranger

 We went to a car show which was very exciting, I'm sure, but I was so hot I thought I was going to die.

 Our final night we had dinner at the 50's cafe.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


My brother purchased a dive for my father and him while at Disney.  We enjoyed trying to find them in the tank!  Today is also my brother's birthday!  Happy Birthday, Matt!  We love you so much.

video video

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Last week the kids went to VBS.  It's one of my favorite weeks of the year.  I ended up with 3 mornings at home with no children.  That never happens, so when it does I get excited, and try to use my time very wisely.  They all still love going to VBS at this church.  It is not our regular church, but the Pastor and family are friends of our family.  Lucy went to another VBS one night in the evening with a friend that had over 200 children.  She said it was fun, but she likes ours better because of the personalized attention.

Toby is at sailing camp this week.  His plan is to learn how to sail so he can inherit my father's boat.  On Friday parents can go, so he is going to show off then.  (Hopefully!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Single Vision

Toby is now the owner of single vision lenses, no more bifocals.

 Single Vision


Monday, July 14, 2014

Random Thoughts

I dropped Toby off today for his first day of sailing camp.  It's a day camp, 8 hours a day.  He is very excited about learning to sail, especially because next week we go to Plymouth for the week and my father will have his sailboat.  Toby thinks he should be able to handle it after this week. :)  There were around 100 children at the drop-off and Toby didn't know one.  He headed off, took a seat, and asked me to leave.  I admire his confidence.

I spent some time last night having a panic attack over Toby entering 4th grade with the learning disabilities that he has.  I googled ways to be a child's best advocate and didn't come away feeling very reassured.  I love the school he is in and I know that they will work with him, but I just don't want his confidence in himself to crumble and I don't want him to hate going to school which I can definitely see happening.  Toby is smart, one of the highest readers with comprehension in his grade, but everything in school is measure through a written output and that is where Toby falls apart.  Most of the accommodations include using some sort of technology to type or record, but I'm never quite sure how that works.  Yes, he can do that at home, but at school when he is handed a worksheet how can using a computer or text to type be used?  He is receiving specific tutoring two times a week (even in the summer) and I'm thrilled to be at a school where that is an option.  I just keep hoping that somehow it will all click and he will be fine, but that's not going to happen.  I need to wait and see how the year goes and be ready to help when needed.  Like I told myself last night, it certainly can't go worse than I am planning.  It can only be better.

After those fun thoughts, I went looking on Netflix for something to watch and saw that Dirty Dancing was streaming.  I watched the whole thing and loved it just as much as every other time.  The clothes are coming back in style.  It doesn't even seem that dated, except for Patrick's high-waisted pants.  I was also struck by the fact that Sam looks a lot like Patrick Swayze, minus the dark hair, same build, but maybe not the same dance moves.

Some More Disney Pics :)

 This was Amelia's favorite thing at Disney - Their new event - Enchanted Tales with Belle

 My parents and Matt went to Tampa for lunch one day.