Saturday, August 30, 2008

new school year

We survived our first week of school. Thomas' favorite thing about kindergarten is riding the bus after school to his grandparents' house.

Excited the night before, sleeping with his favorite 'guys'.

All ready to go!

Kate was still eating breakfast before I had to leave for my school. She is doing pretty well with 2nd grade and we're all adjusting to more homework!

I have a great class this year, we only have 14 kids right now, and as it is a new class in the school they are all 3 and 4 year olds - some have moved from the toddler classes, and some are new to Montessori.

This weekend we're busy cleaning and organizing the house - we are about to put our house up for sale (and are looking to move closer to where I work). Hopefully we can keep the house clean most of the time now we're all out of the house during the week.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

wildlife rescue in suburbia

Last Thursday our dog Molly was barking up a storm along with all the other neighbor dogs.
I go outside to find an injured possum on our back fence. Our back neighbors have a very big and mean looking Boxer dog and he is jumping up on the fence trying to take another bite of this critter. Then the big dog rocks the fence, the possum falls down and gets under some branches we had stacked behind the shed. So Molly has it cornered - barking and within a few inches from the possum which is now getting mean and aggressive snapping back at Molly. So I finally retrieve Molly and get her on a leash and call my husband and he calls around some places trying to get someone who would come and get an injured animal. Finally he finds the Houston SPCA does rescue wild animals and they will send someone out.

The guys gets here in the afternoon and looks for the possum under the branches, and then gets his flashlight and it is under the shed. First we try to get the water hose but it wasn't long enough, then he tried to get his with his animal catcher - noose on a pole type thing, but the possum keeps moving. Then I ask him, would it help if I just let Molly off her leash and chase it out - so we try that, but it just involved about an hour stand off with Molly cornering the possum in a corner under there. Thankfully beagle or possum were not injured in this experiment.
Molly comes out and I tie her back up, then I remember we have another water hose in the front yard, so I bring that back and with two water hoses the guy is able to get water under there and then I see the little white nose poke out and possum starts scurrying out towards the back fence. Meanwhile Molly is so excited she pulls herself out of her collar and takes off after the critter, but not before SPCA guy gets his little animal catcher and grabs the possum and puts it in a little cage.

So we were very thankful for the SPCA guy - and they do animal rescues for free, but do accept donations - so I did give a donation. And if the critters injuries we not bad they treat them and release into the wild somewhere.

Go New Zealand!

I've been staying up too late watching the Olympics every night, and I love watching all the sports, but of course in the US, it is very biased towards only showing the events where the US is winning. Nothing wrong with that, I have lived here in the US more than 9 years, but NZ is still "home" to me, and so it is great to see some of their successes. Kiwis love their sport.

The greatest day?

Saturday, August 16, 2008. It has been called the greatest day in New Zealand sport, and certainly the greatest day in our Olympic sports history.
How great was it?
Well, we won five Olympic medals, two of them of a goldish tint, and that takes some beating.
I know Michael Phelps does that sort of thing routinely, but for New Zealand to jump from nowhere to 14th equal in the medal table, and ahead of Georgia, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Sweden and the rest of them was some feat.
Many brilliant New Zealand stories emerged during the day.
The Evers-Swindell twins, once so dominant in double sculls rowing, and now written off as past their best, turned back the clock with a display of flawless rowing and impeccable temperament.
It was amazing that in a 2000m race, they led only in the final centimetre. They led the race for only one one-hundredth of a second, but it was the most crucial one one-hundredth.
The twins now stand alongside Peter Snell, Mark Todd and Ian Ferguson/Paul MacDonald as the only New Zealanders to successfully defend an Olympic crown.
That puts them in pretty exclusive company.
Then there was Valerie Vili, shrugging off the mantle of favouritism to dominate the women’s shot put. She needed only one throw to lead the qualifiers, and nailed her winning effort in her first throw of the finals. She dominated her opposition mentally, physically, in skill and on the scoreboard. It was a champion performance.
Mahe Drysdale, the New Zealand team captain, and the big man of the rowing team for so long, was really deprived of the chance to win the single sculls gold medal by the debilitating illness he battled all week. It speaks volumes for his grit that he forced himself to a bronze medal, even though, as he admitted later, he really couldn’t remember the final 15 strokes of his race.
At the press conference the following day, he was given every chance to make excuses, to express bitterness or regret, but he never did. I admired him hugely for his attitude.
Hayden Roulston retired two years ago because of a dodgy heart that, he was told, could put his life in jeopardy if he continued to race. Now he’s back and he shook up the individual pursuit field at the velodrome, eventually bowing only to the fabulous British rider Bradley Wiggins while picking up the silver medal, the third cycling medal ever won at an Olympics by a New Zealander.
The fifth medal, a bronze, went to George Bridgewater and Nathan Twaddle in the men’s pair. They were slightly disappointed afterwards that bronze hadn’t been gold, or at least silver, but when you look around at the carnage at the rowing – world champions and favourites that either did not make finals or finished down the track – a bronze medal was not to be sneezed at.
So five medals. Our greatest day?
In the old days, we measured ourselves by the athletics track. So Jack Lovelock, Peter Snell, Murray Halberg and John Walker are special to us. Snell and Halberg won gold medals at Rome within an hour, and we never thought the feelings of that day would be repeated.
But it is an indication of New Zealand’s growing influence in a range of sports that we won five medals on Saturday over three sports. We are contenders in a wider range of sports these days – sailing, equestrian, canoeing, swimming, triathlon and hockey all began these Olympics with genuine medal hopes, quite apart from rowing, cycling and athletics.
The most medals we’d won previously in one day was in Seoul in 1988, when we won four bronzes – three rowing and butterfly swimmer Anthony Mosse.
It depends how you rate it, but I’m happy to argue that Saturday, August 16 was our greatest Olympic day

for more info on the New Zealand team click HERE

Monday, August 11, 2008

technically challenged

I've wasted a good hour looking for a new template or something pretty or cute for my blog. I could not find anything I really love, but I did figure out how to add a picture behind my title. That is one of my favorites, taken a year ago on our last trip to New Zealand to see my family.

Oh to be there right now where it is winter and we can bundle up in sweaters and enjoy the outdoors. Cooler weather is still months away in Texas, although I'm sure all the stores are getting all their "fall" clothes in, yeah right! We are really going to send our kids off to school in a cute little sweater?! If we're lucky the weather may be cool enough for that sort of thing by Thanksgiving ;)

I will have to wait until next year to be doing this again.....

But we're planning on going in June, so we can enjoy some cooler weather and get away from the Texas heat for a month!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Goodwill bargains

Reading in other blogs all the deals at goodwills, I had to go check one out today. I got a bunch of great stuff. So excited.

Here's what I got:
*2 Dragon tales toys @ 55c each
*a groovy girls doll in perfect shape with tags still on - $1.99
*Dr Seuss book @ 99c
*baskets for my classroom - 59c and 49c
*little wooden dishes (for practical life work in my class) - $1.99 for 4
*glass dome @ $1.99
*white candle stick @ 99c
*little sign with cute quote @ 99c
*ceramic tea trays - I guess these are to sit a tea bag on @99c
*wooden xylophone - for my classroom - 99c

- 13 items for the grand total of $14.27

Here's a picture - also pictured is the Southern living Harrison plate rack - I did pay $10 for that from a yard sale, BUT it is southern living ;-)
The kids toys are not in the picture - they are at Granny and Paw Paws house, so they took their new toys.

Monday, August 4, 2008

latest yard sale find

I have been watching the yard sales for a long time for a dresser for Kate that looked nice and was not expensive. She is 7 and we have never had a dresser for her, just hung clothes in the closet and had baskets or something else for smaller things.
Anyway, I love the style and size and everything about this dresser I found. I didn't think it was anything really special but there was a mark saying "Henry Link" inside the drawers and on a google search I found this
The dresser I found has 6 drawers (3 and 3)
So apparently this is "vintage 1950s/ 60s" piece. It was $60, but I thought it was a good deal for a solid piece of furniture, I could not even get something basic for that price at IKEA or somewhere like that.

the dresser: vintage meets Hannah Montana and disney princess alarm clock radio

Kate has a small room so here is where her desk is now - in the closet. She seems to like her new little area. We took off the old sliding closet doors and I put a tension shower curtain rod and hung those tab top panels

The Wiggles

At the Wiggles concert in 2006

he was so cute and still had that baby chubbiness going on here

Kate has grown a lot since then too!

the big 5 year old, still a big Wiggles fan

this time with Sam instead of Greg

at least she pretended like she was enjoying it, she would rather be at a Miley Cyrus concert

good family fun