Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Today on the way to work.......

Yep- Sheep moving.  3 men, 3 dogs, 1 puppy and TONS of SHEEP! 
At least a couple hundred.
It was cute to watch and I wasn't even late.  I'm so glad I always carry my camera in my purse.
That doesn't happen everyday in Seattle.  OK, it NEVER happens.  
I see a lot of cow, horses, dogs and cats on my way to work, but this is the first time I've seen sheep!  

Monday, February 20, 2012

Definition of a Small Town and Their Libraries

On Thursday I was talking to the teacher of the classroom I work in about the books she sends home.  She told me that the reason why she started sending these books home was when she told parents to have their kids read at home and they didn't have any!  SHOCK!  In my home growing up, you could either sit on it or read it!  I said, "What about libraries?". She shook her head.  She didn't know  if the kids were really even reading.  The parents may have just been signing off that they did.  My reasoning that I explained was "Small  towns."  No was her reply, she had the same experience when she taught in Buhl.  I thought she was going to say Twin.  I realized that she thought Buhl was a big town!  Well, they do have at least one red, yellow and green light. HA!  I went in my car and laughed and shook my head. 

Castleford Idaho population 277 as posted on the welcome sign.  No library.

Buhl Idaho population 3654 at the 2010 census.  11 miles from Castleford. The smallest community library I've ever been to.

Twin Falls Idaho  population about 44K as posted on the signs.  37 Miles from Castleford.  A large beautiful library!
 The Twin Falls Library

Nampa Idaho population about 81K as posted on the signs.  A large library  in an old bank where my brother is the director.

Bellevue Washington population? 122,363 at the 2010 census.  A county wide (the largest in the state) library system.

 The skyline of Bellevue.
All the libraries in King County.  I lived closest to Newport.
I shouldn't be in shock that these families don't go to the library.  The 5 year old I work with in Twin had never been until I took him!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Burnt Toast and Spilled Ink

Here are a few of my small trauma's of just this last week. 

It was time for some new black ink.  Found the local 'cartridge world' in my town of 44K.  Had it refilled. Brought it home.  Changed from my black pants into my pink plaid flannel pajamas and opened the ink up.  It promptly spilled all over my hands and of course my pink PJ's. 

Next day I bring it back.  The ink people clean my hands with alcohol, and give me a new one.  I go home, open it up and it promptly spills, this time just on my hand- the other hand.

I go back again, thinking I'm going to ask for my money back and go somewhere else. I'm told it's just that it comes all the way from the east and so there's air and not that much ink as been lost.  He puts 2 layers of tape over it and I bring it home.  I have every intention of putting it in the printer, but lets face it, I'm apprehensive. I wait 2 days, open it up and see that this time it's spilled inside the plastic bag and just a finger is black.  AHHHH!  You have got to be kidding me! 

Third time a charm isn't convincing me.  I'm getting my money back! 

Sunday I decide to make grilled cheese sandwiches.  I did.  Then I got on the computer and forgot.  I remembered when it was everlastingly too late.  The place in Bellevue I lived had an OVER SENSITIVE smoke alarm.  The fan's permanent home was on top of the fridge as close to the detector as possible so when it went off, all we had to do was plug it in.  Here there is no smoke detectors.  I remembered and there was smoking filling the kitchen and my grilled cheese was as black as I'd ever seen before in my life! I don't think even my dad would of eaten this one!

Lessons?  Maybe call your landlord and have them put a smoke detector in.  Maybe don't leave the stove when your cooking?  It will probably take an explosion for me to learn that one.  As far as the ink goes- screw recycling and saving money and just get what you need.  The earth will be renewed and receive it's paradisaical glory anyway!  (see Article of Faith # 10)

Black is beautiful, but this is ridiculous! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Praying Bishop

It was a little over 3 months ago that I learned I really needed to get a roommate or make 800 dollars more a month.  I picked getting a roommate. I advertised on Craigs list and since I was asking for 2 things ( must love dogs and no smoking) and I was pretty desperate I said minimal drinking.  Something I never would of allowed, or even thought of at all.  I had 2 interested but once they learned I was LDS, I didn't hear from them again.

Then I told every one in Relief Society that I was looking and would allow this and I couldn't believe I was saying some drinking was OK.  Everyone got a good laugh.  However the bishops wife I'm sure came and told her husband what I had said and as I learned later in our next meeting he'd been praying I find a LDS girl to live with me. He knew I needed positive people around me, not more stress.

Before that last meeting I was driving on a longer trip and the thought came to my head out of the blue to just ask on Craigs List for LDS standards.  Sure, OK,  why not.  Idaho is 27%  LDS.   So I did and within a few days- boom, I got a call.  Yentle came over and wanted  to move it.  She is an RM, 26 and very busy.  After her leaving I got an email asking about it too, and later, even weeks later I got emails about the room.  All from LDS girls.   Yentle didn't move in for another month and others I'm sure could of moved in sooner, but first come first serve is the nice thing to do.  It's only been a few days, but things are going well.  We don't see each other a lot, but she likes the dogs and the dogs like her.  I don't have to worry about anything else!

It went down like this:  I had a need and let everyone know about it.  Word got to the right person, who prayed for the right thing.  His praying caused a thought to be placed in my mind and I excepted it.  I tested it out and it happened!  Pretty cool, how prayer can work.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Best Practices

Remember when we were kids and loved to hear the same book read to us over and over again?  

Best Practices? I'm talking educationally here.  I've been in 3 different schools the past few months and seen 2 different reading programs in the elementary schools, each a little different with one big similarity.  That sameness is in reading the same passage or story over and over and over again.

With "read naturally", student are hooked up to a computer with ear phones and read as fast as they can a short passage about someone or something.  They have vocabulary they look at before and need to know afterwords with a test.  The kids are motivated by it, because it's on a computer and they get to pick the story.  The room is full of noise with kids reading out loud, each a different story.   It's about fluency, phonics and vocab, but what I saw with the girl I watched was speeding through it so fast, she missed words.  This is my only experience with it, so I may not be the best judge and I didn't really do much with the other kids in the room.

The school I'm in now uses a text book and they read one story a week.  Every day they read it.  The first day the teacher reads it to them, the second day in groups, they read paragraphs, the next day maybe sentences, etc.  They are taught the vocabulary before they read it and the words are highlighted in the book.  For second graders it's only 5 to 6 words.  Time is spend each day orally with the vocab, acting it out, coming up with sentences, defining it, etc.  A worksheet with a reading theme- cause and effect, summarizing, etc is used daily on a small scale.

I prefer the second method.  It's not about how fast you go, but it is about fluency. 

This second school that I mentioned, also does AR or Accelerated Reader and Accelerated Math. A lot of schools all over the country and world do these computer programs.  G, who I'm working with now who hated math last year loves filling in those pink college bubble sheets, putting it through the scanner and seeing the results.  

Best practices also say that words are learned best in context, not randomly.  Both programs do this.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Those Noisy Neighbors!

My neighbors are not really noisy.  In fact the couple that share the other side of the duplex are deaf.  They have their hearing son that lives with them too and a daughter who is fighting for her life with cancer.   They love Coco so it's really nice.  The house across the street from me is empty.   To the other side of me is these guys.  A group of Mallard Ducks that are nesting and swimming.  Sometimes I can hear them quack, see them swim and fly away when they think Coco might get to them.   I love all animals, so this is very cool for me, not a problem at all.  One time I saw a bunch of females nesting and a black cat on the other side laying down just watching them.  

See that brown roof on the right hand side of the bottom picture.  That's where I live! 

Taking Care of Sacred Things

I came up with a saying on my own the other day:

Who needs Martha when you have 

Of course I mean Martha Stewart.  If you haven't heard of Pinterest, it's an online place to 'pin" all the things your interested in.  It's like a digital cork board.  Instead of clipping pictures from magazines or printing out ideas and trying to figure out where to put them and never finding them when you do need them, you can do it online and it's always there.  "Boards" or categories can be created by you.  I have over 50 now.  You can follow people to see what they are pinning.  It's great fun and takes up a lot of time.  At first I liked it better than Facebook, but it's taking up SO much of my time- I mean hours! 

 I'd let myself skip scriptures, ignore dishes and even the dogs.  Not good.  One night I did read or skimmed my Book Of Mormon and found Alma 37: 47 which says this.
And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell.

What stuck out to me?  "take care of these sacred things."  Surely the scriptures are sacred and I for sure wasn't taking care of them the way I should be.  Also "look to God and live".  I don't think this living just means for the next life, but for this earth life too.  Was I living?  Not really.  I was ignoring life all around me, and for sure I needed clean clothes and dishes to live.  I wasn't looking to God as I ought.  All these things cause me to live and yet, I put these sacred things aside.  God's house is a house of order.  He does not dwell in confusion or a mess.  I needed to "put first things first,"  to decide what was "good, better or best", or what was "essential, necessary, or nice."   Pinterest is under the nice things to do.  Revelation and peace is had by scripture study and is an essential. 

While I still spend time on Pinterest, I think my motto needs to be:

Who needs Pinterest when you have life to live and sacred things to take care of!