Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Field Trips

I have been really disappointed in field trips this year.

First of all, they are super expensive. Admission to the Detroit Historical Museum today was $5.00 a kid. That wasn't too bad. Then, we had to add the bus fee. The district is charging us $25 an hour per bus, and then an additional $0.25 cents per mile traveled. When it is all added together, it costs each kid $10 per field trip. We will be taking 5 this year (three at the expensive $10.00 cost- the others are covered to varying degrees with school fundraiser money).

Needless to say, there are some kids who have trouble coming up with that money. It could be because of single parents, multiple kids in a family, whatever. There are a few of my kids who would not have been able to go if I hadn't been able to cover it out of our general fund. I will always scrape together the money to send kids if it is a financial issue and I know ahead of time. Those are kids whose families may not be able to provide those experiences for them on their own.

I also had 4-5 kids today who were just not going to go on the field trip. It would be boring, or they had already been there. Not going to go? I don't understand! Field trips were the highlight of school... So two of my students did not come to school today at all to avoid the trip, and two others didn't have their permission slips returned, so they were left at school with other teachers.

On the positive side, the students who attended and I learned a whole lot about the history of Michigan and Detroit. Did you know that Vernors and the three-light stoplight originated in Detroit?


Monday, February 19, 2007


I've been missing the mountains lately. We went snowboarding here last week and that started it. Then, last night I talked to my friend Amanda who moved to Oregon with her husband last year. Winter in Oregon sounds much like winter in Utah. Not so many freezing temperatures. Not only that, they took a beautiful trip to Mount Hood (hopefully she will let me add a link to her page).

So here is one of my favorite pics from an overnight trip Dave and I took in Salt Lake in 2004.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007


  • I told Dave about the list of house items we've completed, and he reminded me that he sanded and refinished the wood floors upstairs last winter as well.
  • I coached a Pioneer vs. Huron dive meet last week. Pioneer has been the dominant swimming/diving power in our area for a long time, so it was fun to see the Huron boys improving. Huron has a very strong shot to beat them next year.
  • Why is it that when I have a snow day, I always have grand intentions of getting caught up, but it never happens?
  • Mt. Brighton is actually just a hill. I can't believe that anyone in Michigan pays money to snowboard. We were spoiled in Utah.
  • Finally- here are before and after pictures of the office. I took the after picture in July, and it still looks just the same, with things strewn everywhere. There are white curtains on the window, though.

I know that the before picture isn't that great, but the wall color was truly "baby poop brown".

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Minimum Wage

My dad retired from his job as an engineer in the automotive industry last April. He has spent much of the past year at my parents' home in Las Vegas. Lately, the lack of structure in retirement has gotten to him, so he has been on the hunt for new jobs.

I called there a few nights ago and found that he had applied to work at the golf course. He turned in an application, complete with a resume, and had an interview the following day. He was excited about his first job interview in 30 some years.

Dad started his new job yesterday. He drives a tractor around the driving range, picking up golf balls, while people aim to hit him from the tee box. (Of course, the tractor has a cage around him to protect him.) Then he washes them and puts them back in the machines for the people to hit back out on the range. And he enjoyed his first day of work. It's perfect- free golf at the course for just a few hours a week. It makes me laugh.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

One Year

It has officially been a year since we moved into the house. It is hard to remember being packed into my parent's basement for 8 months, and I have even almost forgotten the several months of waiting that it took to get the deal final on this house.

In one year, we have:
-painted the 3 rooms upstairs blue, taupe, and southwestern red (including windows and trim)
-painted the upstairs bathroom green
-put in a bathroom fan
-changed all the lighting upstairs (including a fan in our bedroom)
-built a desk for the office
-put up curtains in all the rooms upstairs, the main room downstairs, and my aunt made us a big covering for the downstairs sliding door
-painted the upstairs hallway and the main living room downstairs (light gray)
-knocked down two walls (one to open up the kitchen area and living room, the other to open the basement up)
-painted all of the ceilings on the first and second floors
-painted the insides of all of the closets on the first and second floors
-painted the kitchen cabinets white (they were avocado green, and, well, we're almost finished with this)
-painted the soffit above the cabinets red
-changed out most of the electrical outlets
-had a very large tree removed (with a very large bill)
-drywalled the main room of the basement
-put in front landscaping- pachysandra, planted bulbs, and used rock
-torn down a bunch of overgrowth in the backyard

I am sure that there is more. It feels good to write it all down, though!
This upcoming year, we want to:
-put in hardwood flooring on the first floor
-re-tile the upstairs bathroom
-get the downstairs painted, carpeted, and finished
-put in a new stone front walkway
-decorate (many walls have bare spots...)
-finish the kitchen cabinets with hardware and get the doors back up
-finish painting the kitchen area
-drywall the downstairs laundry room and bathroom
-fill in all the patches of grass in the yard
-paint the front door
-finish replacing the lighting on the first floor

That seems like such a shorter list, doesn't it? It should be no problem, right!?!?!

#1: Before shot of the guest room (pink walls, blue trim... blue ceiling)
#2: After shot of the guest room
#3: Before shot of the bathroom
#4: After shot of the bathroom
#5: The Louise House

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Well, I was mistaken about Harry Potter. The book and the movie do come out in July, but not on my birthday.

I have absolutely nothing worth anything to post in the past week. I have tried to come up with something that anyone would be interested in reading, but nothing is flowing.

Hopefully this will be useful- I heard about a website called and it hosts a bunch of educational resources for teachers and parents. I haven't checked it out in depth yet, so let me know if you see anything there that is worthwhile.