Sunday, September 30, 2012

Big Ben's Big Day: Party

I just can't believe my little guy, the littlest Campbell, turned 4 this past week! I told you previously that he wanted homemade pizza. Homemade pizza he got, brewed right in my fridge! He also wanted a T-Rex cake. I'd love to make a cake that would get pinned on Pinterest, but when it comes right down to it, we've got a busy household with lots of little people and two busy parents, so we keep things simple. Still, I thought his cake was cute.
Happy birthday to the little boy who came into my life 4 years ago. I wouldn't trade you for the world!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pizza Lunches

Campbell Clansman started, once again, his yearly tradition of having pizza lunch with all the new students. That's right....3 weeks of pizza for lunch! (I'm thinking I won't make homemade pizza this weekend.)

That means every kid in K4 gets to have pizza lunch with him since they are all new. He learned a few years back to go TO them and sit at their tables rather than having them all come in his office. This was the last year for a Campbell Clanskid to start K4, so my good friend B took some pics for me of my son having lunch with his dad.

CC said when he walked in, Big Ben shouted, "Hey, everybody! That's my dad. Let's all copy him!" and then proceeded to repeat and get his classmates to repeat everything CC said. I honestly can not tell this story or even type it without laughing, still.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Early Bird Did Not Get the Worm

I am a working mom who is operating at full capacity. We really just hover at maximum these days. Last week CC was out of the country. That tipped us over at times. This week we have a little birthday boy. I knew it would be a stretch to organize a mid-week birthday party. So, I planned and did as much as possible ahead of his big day, Wednesday.

I came home Tuesday afternoon and baked my little heart out. I made a chocolate cake from scratch, then icing from scratch. (Don't be in mixes available here, I have to.) He wanted a T-Rex on his cake. I made some green icing, and CC went to work making a dinosaur on top. Then I baked oatmeal raisin cookies for his classmates. I had asked him last week what special dinner he might want for his birthday. I suggested tacos, what the girls always want. He said, "No mom, they are too wolly." "Wolly?" "Yes," he said, "everything wolls out." Then he brightened, "How about pizza?" Perfect! Dominoes is a phone call away. Then he uttered, "Can you make it homemade, mama?" Well, for heaven's sake. He only turns 4 once, and he's the apple of my eye.

I decided to make my pizza dough on Tuesday night, the night before. I put it in a big tupperware in the fridge. The next morning, it had pushed the lid off and spilled out. Sweet Cheeks and I giggled about it before school, thinking it looked like a growing monster, but I thought nothing of it. Or why it did that.

When I got home from school today, my pizza dough smelled (and tasted) like a Milwaukee brewery. What to do??? The early bird clearly did not get the worm. I tried so hard to work ahead. But those big blue eyes asking me for homemade pizza would not leave my mind, I refused to call Dominoes, so I just rolled it out and hoped for the best. And you what? The pizza tasted great. (hiccup)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dinosaurs and Man Co-Existing

I am loving teaching Science. It has, by far, prompted the best conversations my students and I have. Mrs. Campbell, do you believe the earth is millions of years old? Mrs. C, do you think the Flood made all those fossils? Do you think the Flood made Cappadocia look the way it does? Do you think we came from monkeys? We've discussed it all. And my secular textbook gives me the perfect segway. I can explain what theory the authors of the book believe (though they don't call it a theory, but should), and then I can explain what I believe. This week I added a new vocabulary word to the textbook: design.

And today, we got to what every normal third grade boy really wants to learn about...dinosaurs! Of course the book told us they died out long before we humans came along. I told them I could show them otherwise. We looked at the book of Job: and These are the passages that describe man and dinosaurs co-existing. The kids just couldn't get enough of it. I have my mom to thank. She always took her students straight to Job to find out about dinosaurs. I'm in a different setting than she was, but because these passages are linked to my lessons and because my students are asking, I get to show them!

There were so many "Whooaaaa!" "Oh, man!" and "Cool!" 's in the room. They didn't want me to stop. Read some more. Explain some more. So God created them the first week, too? Is the first week of creation the reason we have 7 days in a week?

Please stick, little seeds, that are planted!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Full Heart

We were on our own this week, but everything went just fine. My kids were great. They were helpful (most of the time) and cheerful (most of the time). Other than external problems (potential Embassy rioting, a rat in the building, no water once, no power once) my only real problem came on Wednesday night. I got home from work, did a quick turn-around, and headed right back out to my Bible Study. CC takes good care of the home and kids on Bible Study night, but of course, he was not here. Still, I didn't want to miss. What would Daniel do this week to show others he knew his God would be faithful? How could I miss that?

When I got home, I discovered one CampbellClanKid had a test the next day that I did not know about. And it was cell parts and cell part functions...not something we could just "wing it" on. I was tempted to be frustrated, and yes, I expressed that. And then a few minutes into it, I thought, "It's really ok. She messed up, but in the whole scheme of life, what does it matter?" We stayed up late and worked on the vocabulary. Turns out, she already knew all that. The next morning when she woke up, there was a cell diagram on the whiteboard in the kitchen. We worked through that while munching breakfast. I am sure she did fine. And when we were done, she said, "Thanks for helping me, even though I messed up." I happened to think that's what God does for me...all the time.

And finally, Friday morning came! I walked into Oasis and found this sign. It's the first time in 9 years we've had some sort of a sign before a tournament. The 3rd-8th grade cheerleading club made it. Awww.
And I just had a happy warm feeling all day. It was Friday! It was a dress down jeans day! And my husband was on his way home! And then Big Ben came out of his class wearing this. And the day got that  much happier. It was "D" week, and they all got to make doggie ears. They were to choose floppy ears or pointed ears. They all chose floppy, he chose pointed. I supposed he wanted to be a wolf-dog. He was so proud of them, he wore them all night, even to the volleyball game.
 And then we got to go and support our volleyball teams, who, somehow over the last 9 years since our school opened, have gotten very, very good!
It was a perfect day. And my husband has just landed in the country!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

When He Leaves....

It really is almost uncanny. So many things happen when Campbell Clansman leaves. He's out of town for a week on business. Sunday night, I got back from his airport dropoff, put my little darlings to bed, locked every door in the house, and went to sleep.

Monday morning, police lined up around the US Embassy and the fire alarm at school went off about a dozen times before we could find the switch to stop it. Monday afternoon, Firstborn announced when she came home from school that a RAT the size of a small kitty was roaming our stairwell in the apartment (TB, are you reading this?), and our electricity went off before bedtime. By Tuesday afternoon, our water at home had been shut off. I decided after that last blow to order pizza for dinner.

Have I ever mentioned my life verse? Psalm 73:28. But as for me, the nearness of my God is my good.

Seed Studded Socks

We were studying seeds/plant life cycle last week. After discussing how seeds can travel and be planted, we went out to an unkempt field near the socks! Sure enough, some seeds stuck!

We also found some other interesting things outside. Have I mentioned lately I love my class?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Doin' Just Fine

My biggest concern about returning to a full-time position was for my two little ones. What if Big Ben did not adjust well? What if he did not follow the rules quickly? What if he clung to me? What if he was too worn out to be at school all day? What if starting school at 3 was too soon? What if?....but he has done great! He loves school and has been such a little trooper. I caught the above picture his first week of school. He was leading his little friend, blindfolded, by the hand to practice using senses other than sight.

Meanwhile, Sweet Cheeks, below, has loved me being at school a little too much. Our classrooms are next door to each other. She popped over and smiled one too many times. Her teacher and I both said, "Save the love for after school!" I loved this homework assignment she had..writing her spelling words in salt!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Camping Family Pics

Our family, from teen down to preschooler.
Our family.
In front of our tent...
Firstborn, representing Tennessee well!
Darling Twinkle Toes.
Miss Middler, in a tree (where she was almost all weekend).
Sweet Cheeks.
Big Ben. That's a wet wipe around his eyes, and a tree stump as his shofar. Ninja from Bible times?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Camping 2012: Saturday Night

We were sort of anxious for the sun to start setting, knowing it would be time for another campfire with hotdogs.

I knew we had to have S'mores. No graham crackers here. No skinny Hershey bars. No real marshmallows. But we made it work! I used a sweet Turkish "biscuit" that Turks have with tea. Our chocolate bars were thick (no complaints there). We never saw marshmallows here until just a few years ago. Why? They are a pig product. That's right, readers. The part that makes your campfire marshmallows spongy is made from a pig's snout. The brand that finally appeared here says this on the back, "This product does not contain any pig gelatine or any other pig based ingredients. Warning: excessive use of sorbitol may cause diarrhea." Yum. Dig in!
They were good. Everyone got their marshmallows good and burned, then smashed them in the middle of the S'more.
Sitting by the campfire with this guy is nice. Even nicer than S'mores.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Camping 2012: In Pictures and Brief Words


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Camping 2012: Early the next morn

We live in a desert climate. It's hot and dry in the daytime, cold and dry at night. Plus, we were in the mountains. So, we had to bundle up. It got down in the low 50's at night. CC was almost completely enclosed in this sleeping bag when we woke up. Big Ben kept snuggling down all night until he was almost at the bottom of the tent by morning. You can find a nose and a hand if you look hard.
First ones up, always.
Here was our view the next morning. Beautiful!

We begged for a fire. CC sent us out to collect pine needles and dead branches, while he got the fire pit ready.
I had just graded an assessment on place value on the drive up. I had assigned it to my students in hopes that the grades would come up a little on that skill. They did not. I offered them for kindling, but the pine needles worked fine.
Soon, a wonderful fire was lit.
I love so many things about this picture.
Breakfast was some banana bread made at home, as well as eggs we scrambled over the fire.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Camping 2012: Friday Night

This past Friday, we loaded up at 4:00 and headed out of town to spend the weekend in the outdoors! I'll admit, it was a stretch for me. Weekends are for laundry, grocery shopping for the week, finishing up lesson plans if needed. I had to get all that done, in addition to packing all our food for the weekend, and be ready to walk out the door when my students did on Friday afternoon.

But it was so worth it! I had no idea how very much I needed to get out of the city, until we started passing through sleepy little towns like this. As we approached this town, each Turk waved as we drove by. At one point, a man hailed CC to stop the van. We stopped. Then he looked up to a roof top, and a shovel came flying off the roof. We appreciated the warning.
There are many little villages like this in Turkey, lots of homes clustered together with one mosque in the center.
We made our way to the campsite CC had picked out. He loves Google Earth. It led him here.
First order of business...layering up before the sun went down. Big Ben has about 5 layers on, as if he needed help bulking up!
Then we had about 1 hour to set up the tent before we lost all light.
There was a little time for fun, too.
This was the little town down the mountain from us. We think it was just a tiny village built for the loggers.
And then night came, and it was oh, so cold! More on that tomorrow.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Internet: My Best Resource

Almost all of my bulletin board ideas came from the internet. Gone are the days of scouring books, blowing up characters on overhead projectors, then coloring them in with markers! I found this cute idea online...giant MP3 players with our subjects as the playlists. I also hung some headphones (free on those trans-atlantic flights!) from it for fun.

This idea tickled me. I knew I didn't have much wall space, so I didn't want to devote an entire bulletin board to birthdays. I found these adorable, free, printable cupcakes. I sent them to the library color printer, cut them out, laminated them, and I am all set. They are exactly what I wanted. In case there are teachers or homeschool moms reading this who might be interested, here's the link: Free Printable Birthday Cupcakes
Here's my beloved window. I love having it right by my desk. The little angel in the window was a Christmas gift from my friend Logan, who taught here in this classroom before me. I wanted to hang it to leave a little piece of her in this room.
It's been a great week. The second week was easier than the first. And I had the most wonderful thing happen. I'll blog it tomorrow. For now, the kids are coming back from Computer class. And I've got a family to pack up for camping this weekend!

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