Thursday, June 24, 2010

1. Read through the Bible

During the kids' nap today I finished up the book of Malachi.  I have been very aggressively reading through the Bible this year and have gotten to the finish.  I really enjoyed reading it.  I have never read the book the whole way through in one consecutive period of time.  Surprisingly, I read very little in an actual paper Bible.  Most of my reading was read on  I found it very easy to read this way because I could read anywhere that I had an internet connection.  Most of my reading was done before school in my classroom.  I found it to be a nice quiet way to begin each day.  My favorite part of reading was connecting all of the stories in the Bible.  I first read the New Testament then began the Old Testament.  You might notice that I made it through pretty fast.  That is true.  I did the whole Bible in about 10 months.  I flew through a lot of the books because they were such fun to read.
I look forward to reading it cover to cover again some time soon.
Another goal down!

86. EDU 8160 Clinical Supervision and Teacher Development

I finished up two grueling weeks of course work today. In this course I read three entire books and countless articles.  In the last two weeks I stayed up past 1:00 am 5 times.  Last night I finally went to bed at 2:30 after finishing up a powerpoint presentation that I had to complete for my final presentation today.  It went well and I am very happy to be done with it.  5th class of 14 down for the program!
I'm using this class as a wildcard for getting a piano.  We just don't have space in the house for one.  It's not for lack of desire or options, we just are packed into out house with no really good options for where we could put one.
Another goal down!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

53 and 83 Woodworking projects

For awhile now I have wanted to get out to the garage and begin working on making some toys for the kids.  Melissa's mom got me a book for Christmas that had some good ideas for toys.  This week I got started on a couple of projects.  I am not done with anything yet, but I just wanted to share my progress.

Here are a few pictures of my progress so far:

I have had this wood for 5 or 6 years now.  It was passed down from Melissa's grandfather.  It was wood that he had collected over many decades.  Some of it dating back to the farm that he grew up at.  They are all different sizes but most are at least 7 feet long. I'm excited about finally putting some of it to use.  
 Here's my first project. It's for Charlie. I have only cut out the wood so far.  I have a couple more cuts to do before it is finished.   It is a fish.  I plan on attaching the tail with a wire connection and adding wheels to the bottom.  I will then put a rope through the front lip and Charlie will be able to pull it around.

This next project is for all three kids. I made three of these.  It will be a piggy bank. This is not really a toy, but something I would love to see sitting on their shelves for years to come. Here are the pieces apart. 

Here is the side view of what it will be like.

Here is the front view.

I still need to add a tail and ears (both using some leather scraps).

I just thought it would be fun to share some of my progress. I still have plenty of work to do. I have a few more ideas for future projects. Probably two or three more and I will consider the goal done.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mid-American Canoe Race

     I remember when I was young hearing stories of how my Dad did this race years ago and while being announced as being in the lead tipped the boat and took himself out of the race.  That isn't the only part that I remember, but I remember thinking it was something I wanted to do when I grew up.  Not the tipping part, just the canoeing part.  I had initially intended to do the race last year, but I had other canoeing plans that got in the way. This race was one that I had listed to put on my next list after this one is done, but I guess I will have to find something else to put in it's place.
     I didn't know what to expect from this race.  It was the 49th time that it had been run.  The only problem I saw with the race was the shuttle service.  We started off our morning driving the boat up to the start line in St. Charles and drove home to the finish line.  After waiting 20 minutes for the shuttle we made it back up to get ready for the start.  We made it with about 15 minutes to spare. I was a little nervous while we were waiting, but luckily there wasn't a problem.
     The race started in heats of 10 boats at a time every 4 minutes.  We were the 7th heat to leave. This meant that there were plenty of boats to catch up to, but also that many would be coming to pass us.  All in all, I think only 3 or 4 canoes passed us.  I don't know what I expected, but I just thought we would see more passing us.  That was a good sign.
     Another positive was that we didn't run into anyone.  I figured with hundreds of boats out there and our minimal experience we have working together that we might have some navigational problems.  That didn't happen. We did cause someone to run into another boat.  Not our fault!  He was trying to squeeze between us but couldn't quite make it.  I got a laugh out of it.  There's no easier way to tip a boat than to have someone run into you.   That didn't happen.  Too bad.  Not that it would have mattered.  The Fox River is so shallow.  We saw a deer run across the river and never get deeper than it's knees.  I also had to get out three times to push the boat along through low points when we were dragging on the rocks. These were all points where we lost valuable time in the race.
     Casey and I did what we set out to do. We finished 31st out of 115 boats! Our goal was to finish in the middle of the pack and not embarass ourselves.  I was really happy with how we did in our race after only practicing once together.  We are already hinting at doing it next year.  I expect that after going through it once, we should have a much better idea of what to anticipate and should do much better next year.
     Katie also posted about the race.  I'm counting on her for the photographic evidence.  She got some good shots of us as well as a few from our cheering section.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

65. Take the family to Shedd Aquarium

Melissa has already written and shared about our time at Shedd earlier this week.  I figured I would add a few more pictures.

The girls loved that there were ducks in the fountain at first.  After they got really close they weren't as pleased to see them.

The girls had grins the whole time we were there.

I carried the girls around like this a lot so they could be high enough to see everything.

They looked really intently into each tank.  I had expected them to get really tired of seeing fish over and over, but they kept having fun.

Hannah and Maddie wanted to do some typing as I was blogging so here it is:

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Maddie liked the fountain, Charlie was indifferent. We had snacks on a nearby bench.  Hannah wasn't a big fan of the spraying water hitting us.  She asked multiple times for us to turn the fountain off.  I got a kick out of that.

This proves that Charlie did indeed come on our trip.  He was able to get out of the stroller a few times.  He did awesome.  He is such a laid back little guy.

We had a good time.  I'm glad we were finally able to get there.  I am hoping for many more times to come in the future.

Another goal down!