Wednesday, March 31, 2010

46. How to make a kite that doesn't fly

When making my list of goals Melissa told me that she hadn't flied a kite in years and that she would like to give it a try.  I took it one step further and thought it would be fun to make some kites with the girls and try to fly them. 

Here are a couple pictures of the process I took:

 They had a lot of fun "designing" their kites.

Our family made it to the local park and gave the kite a try.  It didn't work at all.  I actually feared for the girls' safety as the kite was all over the place.  I'm guessing that the balance was off.  I might try to make some modifications to make them fly. 

I am happy I had the foresight to bring along a "professional" kite.  This kite was one that I bought Melissa about 5 years ago.  I had a lot of fun out there.  Hannah and Maddie both had fun trying to catch the kite. I really enjoyed myself out there and want to give it a try again some time this summer.

Here are a few pictures from our time out there:

After out time out in the field we went out to dinner at Culver's.  Overall it was a great night!

Another goal down!  I'm up to 60 and on a roll.  I'm guessing it will slow down in the next month or so as I have a ton of school work coming up.  After that it should get pretty fun checking stuff off.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another Jewel Post

Sorry Laura, this is about groceries, not the singer.

I know the posts about grocery shopping aren't as thrilling as me shooting free throws or songs I write, but I have to say that when I walk out of a grocery store with massive savings, I can't help to share it.  Melissa always gets a kick out of my excitement when I get home with bags of groceries.  Its just so amazing how much can be saved with extra planning before heading out to the store.  Check out this pillage!

4 12 packs of Coke
2 boxes of cereal
5 packages of Kraft Natural Cheddar Cheese
2 cartons of Orange juice
11 cups of Del Monte fruit
4 lbs. of Chicken
4 cans of Cream of Mushroom soup
2 2-liters of pop
2 lbs. of butter
1 carton of sour cream
3 bags of veggies
1 carton of strawberries
1 frozen pizza
1 gallon of regular skim milk
1 gallon of organic milk
1 Gatorade
8 lb. ham
and the smallest cup of ice cream ever sold.

Before scanning my preferred card the price was $159. After...$104.  I then handed my stack of coupons over and let them do their magic. I actually didn't count them all up first but after they all got scanned the total went down to $47!  I can say this isn't the greatest savings I have ever had, but look at all that stuff.  We will use all of it!  It's silly that I enjoy grocery shopping so much, but to be able to save $112 in one shopping trip (yeah, I know Jewel's prices are a bit inflated) it really becomes something to have fun with.

Hopefully more super savings to come!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

10. Blackberry Farm Spring Gallop

 This morning I ran a 5K.  It was at Blackberry Farm in Aurora.  The morning temp was 34 degrees so it was pretty rough on the lungs.  I didn't do great, but I didn't expect much either. It did rank in my top 5 times for a 5K.  Although...I have only run 5 of them, which means I have run the same amount of 5Ks as I have marathons.  Crazy!  My first mile was just under 7 minutes and the next two were 8 minutes each.  For each of the second two miles I had to stop as I thought I was going to throw up.  I've been fighting a respiratory thing for months and it hit me pretty hard this morning.  Oh well.  Hopefully it will warm up a bit and conditions will be much better for the race at my school on May 22nd.

Melissa and the girls came along to cheer me on. Charlie came too but he was resting in the stroller.

Dad also got out to see me run for the first time ever.  I was happy to see him come.  I can remember going out to see him run a race when I was 7 or 8 for a race on July 4th. I'm told I went to a bunch of his races when I was younger, but that was a long time ago. One of these days it would be fun to get out and run/walk one together.  Maybe for my next list of goals.

Check out that stud!

Two more races to go and this goal will be done.  I should be in good shape to get this done in the next couple of months.

Friday, March 26, 2010

15. Make 20 straight free throws

I can finally do a post about free throws that isn't about falling short. Over the past year and a half, I have had plenty of those.

 Today I did it!  I went in and started shooting during lunch.  In the first 10 that I shot I was 50%.  I made one, then missed the next.  That pattern happened for quite awhile. I was definitely feeling like it wasn't going to happen today.  I started to focus a lot more for each shot and they started to fall.  I made 4, then missed one.  I made 7, then missed one.  Finally, I began making one after another.  I got to 12 and started to feel the nerves kick in.  By 16, I was both excited and nervous. Getting that far only happens about once every other week. By 19 I was really pumped, but really focused.  This is the opportunity I had waited for many times. I just needed one more. To add to the pressure, Kayla,one of my students, walked into the gym to see how I was doing.  I told her that I was at 19 and she got really excited.  I took a deep breath and let it fly.  It went in!  I was so excited.  I kept going and made it to 23.  A new high!  Kayla was so excited to walk with me down the hall to pick up the rest of the class at recess.  I know this is stupid, but I had to meet my kids outside to let them know the news.  Boy am I glad that I did!  When I told them that I got the goal, you would have thought that I just told them we were spending the rest of the day outside for extra recess.  It sure was s sight to see!  Every day after lunch they ask how I did.  It was nice to finally give them good news after so many times giving them "bad" news.

I am so excited to have this goal done.  When it was written I knew it was lofty, but it was something I wanted to give a try.  Trent had it on his list (although he had 25) so I added it to mine.  It sounded fun at the time so I gave it a shot.  Now that it is over, I did have fun.  It was a nice break to have in the middle of the day to separate me from the normal things that are going on.  It also gave me a reason to leave the teacher's lounge.  Any male elementary teacher understands that conversations in a teacher's lounge with a room full of women can sometimes get awkward and uncomfortable (today was no exception).

I am going to continue shoot free throws at lunch.  It really is a nice break in the middle of the day. 
Another goal down!  Just like earlier in the week with the drum goal it wasn't one that I was planning to finish today.  What a great way to end the week!

Hopefully I will get two more done next week to get me into the 60s.  It sure does feel good to keep checking off goals!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

75. Sit at a drum set and play

I finally did it!  Matt was surprised that I have never done this before. I was around music a lot growing up and have definitely been around drum sets.  The thing that bothers me is that I am pretty self conscious about my lack of coordination when it comes to using both hands.  I can't get it when it comes to playing the piano and that proved true today as I sat with the drums.

Today when I was heading to lunch I saw a couple of people bringing in drums for an assembly this afternoon. I got excited when I started thinking that I just might have a chance to get my drumming goal done.  That would have to wait though until after the assembly. They were great!  They did dueling drums and did some other really neat things in their show.  The neatest thing that they did was when they played "Flight of the Bumblebee" on the marimba.  Not only did they play it great, but they played it while simultaneously walking around the marimba.  I was very impressed.  I wish I had it on video.

After school today I decided I would stop by and tell the performers that I really enjoyed the show and that I thought the Bumblebee song was great.  After some chit-chat, I gained some confidence and asked if I could sit and play at the drum set.  I told them about my goals and they were more than happy to let me have a try. They actually looked excited to give me a chance and help me out with my goals.  They gave me some pointers and let me go.  I played for a few seconds and really felt uncoordinated.  They told me to keep going and just let loose.  I tried to let loose and am confident that no one will be asking me to come along with them on any world tour.  It sounded bad, but at least the ones listening were cheering me on and were really helping me to feel comfortable playing.

I can't wait to get to school tomorrow and tell the kids that I did this one.  They will be excited.  The kids are really funny with my goals.  I know that there will be a few of them that will even know that it is goal #58 done for me.  I'm going to miss this group when the year is over.

Another goal down!  This was an easy one, but took awhile to find a set of drums to feel comfortable at!  Hopefully one or two more goals can get done before the month is over.  Wait and see!

78. Ride my bike to work

I finally got my bike back to the condition it needs to be.  I took it to the shop to get a tune-up a week ago and picked it up yesterday. Boy am I glad I got it fixed. It feels like a new bike. It shifts really smoothly and rides a lot better than it had in the past.

Today was my first opportunity to ride my bike to work. I really enjoyed it! It's a good feeling to put a backpack and helmet on before heading off to work. It was pretty cold outside.  The temp was 34 degrees outside when I started, but I quickly got my body warmed up and feeling good. The ride is fairly easy. It is mostly residential streets that all have sidewalks if the roads get too crowded. When I got to school, I realized I didn't pack socks. I got to wear nice dress pants with good dress shoes with athletic white ankle socks all day. Talk about a fashion statement! Melissa thought it was pretty funny, and was nice enough to offer to swing by with a replacement.  I quickly shot that down, but it was a really nice offer. I used the moment to tell the kids not to wear white socks when dressing up. It looks sloppy. It brought me back to the middle school band days where everyone was dressed up but had white socks on.

I'm happy that the weather is nice enough now to get this goal done.  I really enjoyed it.  Hopefully it will be done by the end of April.  Everything after that will be all about having fun.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Updates - Long Boring Post

I need to write this post to keep a record of things that I am doing and things that I am hoping to do.  While I am overwhelmed at times with all that is going on in my life, I find this list as the thing that has kept me connected and sane.  I love that I have goals to accomplish outside of everything that I have going on.

This is a little long, but it will help me to get them done.

1. Read the Bible - I have really been enjoying the Old Testament.  As mentioned in earlier posts, I have never read the Bible all the way through.  There are tons of parts that I have only heard the Sunday School versions of without context of the big picture that reading cover to cover provides.  I find myself reading a chapter here and there throughout the day.  It really is something I have found enjoyable.  I'm excited about completing it for the first time of hopefully many more times in the future.

2. Memorize Bible Verses - I am slowly adding new ones as I go along.

3. Memorize a chapter of Psalm - As I read through the book of Psalm, I wrote down chapters that I thought would be good to memorize.  I finally decided on Psalm 8.  It was positive and one that looked good. Hopefully in the next month or so I can get it down.

9. Learn music and chords - I have them on paper, but have get the chords mixed up.  It will just take continued practice.

10. Run races - I've got a 5K coming up in a week, another one in May and hopefully will be running in a relay marathon with Melissa's brothers and Dad.  Still not signed up, but hopefully it will get done.

12. 20:30 5K - May22nd is my hope for getting it done.

15. Free throws - I still think about the one that I missed that would have been number 20.  It hit all parts of the rim but didn't quite make it through the net.  In PE they are doing a basketball unit which means all hoops are at 8 ft. My kids suggested that I should just shoot them from the 3 point line to even it out. Not quite the same. They have one more week of Basketball in PE then I'm moving the hoops back up.  Last time I cranked one up, I had a huge blister on my hand.  Hopefully that doesn't happen again.

16. Freestyle swimming - I want to go to the pool some morning to give it a try.  Maybe it will wait until summer when I can go to the outdoor pool.  The problem is that I will have to watch out for kids doing cannon balls.  We'll see...

27. Letter to Editor - I've almost written to the Beacon News, but I think I will wait until summer for that.  I'm hoping that soon TIME will at least give me a lifetime achievement award and put one line in there for me.

29. Spanish - I'm thinking this will be a wildcard.  It's a sad one to give up on, but I just have too much going on to try to learn another language.

41. Surprise Dates - It's a surprise!

42. Broadway Show - Hopefully this summer

46. Fly a Kite - I'm wanting to make kites with Melissa and the girls and let the girls color them in.  That might be a spring break project.

53. Wood toys - the weather is nicer out.  Hopefully some time soon.

65. Shedd - Spring Break

66. Baseball parks - hopefully will get done this summer.

75. Drum set - Yep, still haven't gotten it.  I'm nervous about going to a guitar/drum store and just giving it a try.  I'm hoping to have a place with no one really around.  I'm sure it won't sound very good.  I just want to give it a try.

78. Bike ride to work - Bike is in the shop and I can't wait to give it some use.  Too bad it's been so nice out this week and is supposed to be nasty next.  This one will be done by the end of the school year.

80. Habitat for Humanity - Summer time

82. Fudge w/ Grandma - Soon I hope! 

83. Wood project with Melissa's G'pa's wood - I might use some of it for the toys for the girls.  Still don't have a master plan yet though.

87. High School Play - Better get on that.  I'm sure play season is coming up.

88. Neighbors on the block - Embarassing but I still only have the two.  This one might also be a wildcard because of the lack of Spanish.

90. Change the oil - I have only driven 2,200 miles in the Altima since August 19th!  That car is the definition of a car that only goes from point A to point B.

97. Get a will - This part NEEDS to get done, if only online.  There's plenty of places out there...Right?

That's where I am at with a lot of the goals.  Many are close to being done, and most have a plan for when they will be done.  This list is attainable! 

If you made it to the end, congrats!  Thank you for your support and helping to keep me accountable to getting this done.  I am sure I would have given up on it awhile ago if it wasn't for the accountability that I get from others that read this blog.  Thanks!

Friday, March 12, 2010

51. Write Hannah a song

Photo by Lori
In a sequel to yesterday's song for Maddie, here's Hannah's song. I struggled with what tune to use for this song as I had already used up the ABC song. Unfortunately, it has the exact same tune to their other favorite song Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star so that wouldn't help me either. Luckily, after talking with Melissa last night I found out that Chuck, her dad, wrote a song for each of the kids and all three songs had the same tune.  So, using the same tune as the ABC song, here's Hannah's song:

"Hannah, Hannah you're so fun,
You always want to play and run.
Up and down the stairs you fly,
Finding books and bears and toys.
Your squeezes, kisses, and your hugs,
Are always filled with lots of love."

Last night as we were putting the girls to bed I brought the guitar in their room and made the world debut of Maddie's song.  I can't wait until I get home today to share Hannah's song with her.

As far as goals go, I have been very pleased with what the section dedicated to the girls looks like.  A week ago I had only finished a book about toddlers.  Now it looks much closer to being complete.  I've just got to keep doing what I normally do with reading them books and wait for the weather to improve to put together some toys for them.  I've got some ideas for that and I can't wait to get started on them.

3 goals done this month.  Hopefully I can get 2 or 3 more before the month is over.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

52. Write Madeline a song

Photo by Lori
I don't know why I have taken so long to do this goal.  The idea of writing Hannah and Madeline songs was one that I got after listening to Melissa's dad Chuck sing a song that he had made up when Melissa was young. I always liked that he did that for her and that he still "sings" it from time to time.

The girls both love to sing songs.  Every night before they go to bed we sing "Good night God" to them (Another special song from Melissa's family).  When we are done with that one they often ask and even beg for us to sing more songs.  I'm sure it is to delay having to go to bed, but they both love to sing along with each song we sing. 

This morning while teaching I had the ABC song in my head (It's definitely the girls' favorite) and began thinking of alternate words.  I grabbed a note pad and started writing it down.  Each line seemed to work together and I came up with this:

"Maddie Maddie you're so sweet,
You always find a way to please.
Your smiling face, your precious eyes,
The way you work and help and try.
I love to watch you learn and grow,
And show us just how much you know."

I know its not Grammy material, but hopefully it is a song that I can sing to her often that she can appreciate in the years to come.  Maybe I will still be singing it to her in 25 years!

I'm going to work on Hannah's song next.  Hopefully something comes to me as easy as this one did.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

50. Make a video of the girls

This is a goal I truly enjoyed. At home I often find myself looking on the computer at videos of the girls (and the few that we have of Charlie) and just enjoying them.  The intent of this goal was to make something that would not let those videos just be gone forever.  This is a collection of videos of the girls' first year.  It's long, but honestly, it is nice to have the highlights of all of our videos in one spot.  Hopefully I will be able to do this each year as the family continues to grow.

I had to break the video into sections because it was too long by itself.  This isn't the most exciting post, but it will be special to us in the years to come.

Goal done!  I definitely missed out on getting my 7 goals done last month. I'm still working toward getting those ones away.  I just got busy and the goals always take a back seat when it comes to family and school work.  We'll see what this month has in store for me.