Easter Memories

Look carefully at these two family Easter photos.  What is different about them?

You might think:

  1. You are much older in one of the photos
  2. There are 4 kids, not 3
  3. You are dressed much less fancy in your twins sweatshirts
  4. David doesn’t have on his cute knee socks in photo 2 (or does he??)
Look again.
Seriously – scroll back up for a second peek.
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Then correct answer is: in photo A, we are simply dressed for Easter.  in photo B, we are making Easter memories.  It is never too late to start.
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Let me tell you the back story.
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I had a great childhood, and have so many fond memories of special things we did together as a family.  However, I have no memories of having a real Christmas tree, or of dying Easter eggs at home (I do however remember doing this on occasion at my grandparents).  My mom claims these are things we have done together.  We claim we did not.  And as such, we give her crap about our lack of a childhood etc.  It is mostly ridiculous.  We are clearly supporting and grateful children.
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This Easter weekend, we went to a Twins game as a family for my mom’s birthday, and then went back to the parents’ house for pizza and snickers cupcakes (more to come on my adventures misadventures with caramel)
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Before we started dinner, my mom announces that we will all be putting down the things we are doing, going up to the kitchen, and dying Easter eggs together as a family, and we shall never mock her again.  We looked at her in disbelief.  She was not bluffing.
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Well played, mother, well played.
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She wins round one.
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We mixed up some fun colors of dye, I got the box of white crayons that I just happened to have in my car (such is the life of a kindergarten teacher), and my mom showed us some new techniques she saw in a magazine, while my dad supervised the fun.
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My mom just made one mistake.
She answered the phone and missed out on the egg dying extravaganza.
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See the photo below for evidence we are sad that we still have no memories of dying Easter eggs with our mother.
I made this photo a little bit small so that my mom wouldn’t notice David’s smile instead of sad face.  But then I thought, perhaps he is smiling because we have won round two.
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The battle for Easter “memories” will continue on…
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****Please note that in my previous post, I was not mocking the cold cut subs.  I truly was grateful and thought they deserved a shout-out in the post.
****Please note that in this post, I am most definitely mocking and full of sass 🙂 But it is all in love.
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Thanks for a fabulous Easter weekend, parents! We had a lot of fun 🙂
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Preparing for Target Field

Today I will help you be a baseball boyscout: always prepared for all baseball game scenarios.

Know the forecast and dress accordingly. Don’t be dismayed if it is cold. This will just give you the opportunity to wear your cute Twins sweatshirt and use your sister’s team-themed blanket. Hot weather games will come and you will miss the days of cool breezes. 

Pack light, but pack full. I like this game day bag. It is brown so I can be footloose and fancy-free and put it on the ground in front of me. In it, I pack a sealed water bottle, my camera, mittens, my glasses, my wallet, phone, sunglasses, and snacks. If you want to celebrate the day after Earth Day by bringing a large tupperware container of caramel corn, don’t let your family’s mocking get you down. If you are looking for tips on effectively packing a bag, I would recommend watching Mary Poppins. Julie Andrews has taught me everything I know on the subject.

Bring your ticket. Simple, but devasting if you forget this step.

If you are lucky, your dad will bring cold cut sandwiches from Subway and you will feel like you are 9 again, which might be the last time you had a cold cut sub. If your dad is not attending the game with you, plan to empty your bank account to buy your dinner. Ball park food can be tasty, but undoubtedly pricey.

You should be ready to enjoy the game, but in case it is a slow moving game, here are some conversation topics.

**Note that these topics are taken directly from my eavesdropping on the two men sitting next to me at today’s game (see picture above for context):

  1. Your previous visits to Target Field
  2. Torts and Contracts
  3. The cars your dads drove while you were a kid
  4. Bullying and the effects of social media on bullying
  5. How you will homeschool your kids to protect them from said bullying
  6. The shift in education from memorization to thinking skills
  7. If someone put a gun to your head right now and forced you to take a test, what would it be on?
  8. NCAA
  9. Throwing quarterbacks
  10. Joe Mauer: He is tall, handsome, and hits homeruns.
  11. The baseball draft
  12. Does every team have a Cabrera?
  13. Last names ending in S.  What is the proper way to make that plural?
  14. Smurfs.  How did the smurf race carry on with only one female?  It raises some interesting questions.  For example: did she lay eggs?
Then again.  If none of those interest you, you can always just watch the game.

… but Sunday is coming!

Last night I went to the Good Friday service at my church.  We looked at what happened in the week prior to Jesus’ death on the cross.  On Palm Sunday with Jesus’ triumphal entry in Jerusalem, the crowds were cheering and praising “Hosanna!”  On Friday they crucified him.  What happened?  What changed?  Read Luke 19:28-23 for the full story.

I mostly just wanted to share some lyrics with you today.  They are what Easter and Good Friday are all about.

from It Is Well With My Soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

From In Christ Alone

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost it’s grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

from Jesus Paid It All

Oh praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead

from Good Friday

I didn’t recognize that look in his eyes
When they cried
With a sorrow that no man has ever known
Hang him high, watch him die, hear the cry
Crucified, up on that God forsaken tree

From How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

Save the Earth

We don’t have school tomorrow.  So today we celebrated it up for Earth Day.  And when I say celebrated, I mean we watched Elmo Loves the Earth, we made Earth Day necklaces, and we discussed/wrote about how we can help the Earth.  Sweet “celebration”, I know.

Here are my three favorite take-aways:

“You have to be nice to the Earth so the Earth will be nice to you.”

“I will mop up the whole Earth.” (teacher response: maybe you can start with mopping your kitchen?)

Teacher: Happy Earth Day!  Student: It’s not my birthday!

The conversation pretty quickly went downhill, as they launched into a big discussion/debate on what will happen if the Earth stops spinning, how does the Earth spin, and how does it change from day to night.  Then one girl got up on her knees and said she had an announcement.  She then preached to the class about how when it is day here, it is night in Kenya.  When it is night in Florida, it is day here.  And when it is night here, it is day in China.  She then quietly sat down.

My actual Earth Day plans?  A day of baking delight.  The kitchen fun was meant to start tonight.  Turns out parchment paper and wax paper are not always interchangeable.  Glad I let google teach me that lesson instead of learning it the hard way like I usually do in the kitchen!

Bipolar Weather

Relient K sings: Lately the weather has been so bipolar, and consequently so have I.

These things made me a little depressed today.

1)  Snow.  In April.

2.  The final Twins score from yesterday.  11-0.  We were the 0.

Things that took away all the sadness in my heart:

Today’s Quote: “I don’t like unicorns.  They bite.”

2) this outfit:

3)  Combined with this fedora:

waiting outside my classroom this morning.

Yes, all is right with the world once more.

My Little African Queen

I have a student in my class who I think that I could write a whole blog just on the things she says.  This girl is wise beyond her years, she is hilarious, she says the most amazing things – most of my facebook status updates are thanks to her, and she is full of attitude and sass.  Love her.  Most of the time.  The other 15% of the time she drives me crazy, but in the best way possible.

Here are some of the things she has said of late:

On the topic of exercise:

Student: Can we stop?

Teacher: Nope.

Student: But my legs are crying!!!!

Seeing the smart board in action:

S: NOW I am impressed!

Sitting down to do some fingerpainting:

S: I’m ready to make some magic.

Playing with blocks:

Make a microphone and comes up to me singing – “Who you gonna call?  GHOSTBUSTERS!”

When I repeated something for kids who didn’t hear it:

S: We know!  We weren’t born yesterday!

On the topic of this necklace:

My Silver Medal. Or just some jewelry.

A different student grabs it and says: “What is this?”

T: It is my silver medal from when I won the Olympics!

S turns around in line after hearing this, she puts her hand on her hip and says, “Are you SURE??”

While I was sitting in the book area with her

S: Will you pretend to cry?

(naturally I did this, but put in minimal effort)

S: *giggling to her friend*  I made Miss K cry!

(this was right after she finished petting my arm and singing a song about how I should go to sleep – trust me, I was tempted)

During Light Exploration

She does not spend her time exploring what happens when you shine a flashlight through a color paddle or a prism.  Rather, she dresses up with multiple pairs of kid sunglasses on a face and head, holds a flashlight up to her chin and wanders the classroom repeating in a “spooky” voice: “I am from outerspace” and when I make eye contact with her, she drops all space-creature facade, puts her hands on her hips and says, “I’m serious!”

When supposed to be reading books:

Comes to my desk, pets my arm, and says, “My dad says I’m magic.  I can make it be night.”

Ok then.  I’m sure he does…

On manipulation:

Student: I want to smell that yellow marker.

Teacher: ignores.

Student: Please!?!  (hand on hip).  I gave you candy!  Let me smell it!

I thought it was spring. Was I confused?

Dear Winter,

It is time to go away. Give it up.   I don’t want to see you again for at least 6 months.  Maybe 8 months.  You are no longer welcome here.  I no longer want to dress kindergartners in hats and gloves and scarves.  I stopped wearing my winter coat weeks ago, but sometimes I am still cold in my fleece.  I blame YOU, winter.  It is spring.  It is time for you to go home.  Remember that your home is now in the Southern Hemisphere (or will be soon when they are done with fall).  You had a nice run this year.  We welcomed your first blizzard, and trudged through the next few.  We are done being a gracious hostess.  It is not time to say goodbye.

Sincerely,

Laura

In case a well-written letter doesn’t work, I googled, “How to get rid of unwanted guests.”

Here are some ideas you might consider trying:

  • eviction notice
  • charge rent
  • stop feeding them
  • feed them gross food
  • pretend the plasma tv broke and get out the black and white television
  • blast horrible music
  • call the cops
  • change the locks
I am not sure if these tactics will work to get rid of winter, but it is worth a shot…
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wait… did you hear that?  Winter, I think I hear someone calling your name…. yep, there it was again.  Listen carefully – I think that is Argentina.  She misses you!  And so does South Africa, and Brazil is calling your name also!  Go!  Run, winter!  Run!
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If that doesn’t work, try the, “you go to the southern hemisphere and I’ll time you and see how fast you can get there.  Ready?  GO!  1…2…3…”

Follow the directions. Or your heart.

Sometimes in life you need to get from one place to another.  This is not always as easy as it sounds, because you may not actually know how to get from Point A to Point B.

My friend Sara taught me in high school that the best option is to “Just make it up!”  Is this really always the best option?  Let me give you several scenarios.  These are all scenarios when I chose the wrong multiple choice answer when deciding between:

a) Follow the signs.

b) Look at a map.

c) Use the GPS

c1) Use the built in GPS on your phone

d) Follow your heart.

I have a history of getting lost.  Yet I like to think that at times I have a good sense of direction.  Tami, my GPS, would probably beg to differ, based on the amount of times she is “recalculating” or tells me to make a U Turn.

Scenario: 

I am at the Mall of America to meet some friends.  I tell one friend I am getting there early because I have awkward amounts of time to kill.  She comes early too.  I look at the map to find out how to get to Chipotle.  I walk around the entirety of the mall, unable to find Chipotle.  When I do arrive, I am no longer early and basically everyone is there.  Enter my inability to find people in crowds.  I walked right past them.  They shouted my name and I looked around bewildered.  Should I have used my GPS?  No, that would be ridiculous.  Should I have been able to read a mall map?  Yes.  Embarrassing.

Scenario:

My roommate and I go to the Bad Waitress for brunch. (sidenote: HIGHLY recommend.  If I could live solely off of the Spyhouse Caramella espresso drink, I would).  We then want to get from the Bad Waitress to Anthropologie.  Roommate googled directions.  Said googling results in us sitting in a deserted apartment back alley near Lake Calhoun.  Unless Anthro is in the neighbor’s detached garage, google has lead us astray.  Tami (the aforementioned GPS) is nowhere to be found.  Enter: the phone GPS.  It finds Anthropologie no problemo.  We follow the directions.  My heart questions going north on the highway, but we follow anyways.  The destination: defeat.  or a warehouse on a corner in Crystal.  Clearly in this instance we should have followed our hearts, not our maps and technology.

Scenario:

You are in Florida, heading back from a day in the Everglades.  Tami says to go on back roads.  Amber (real live friend) says to go on the highway.  You listen to Tami.  You regret this decision, as it results in a 15 hour drive home.  Ok, that is an extreme exaggeration, but it felt like forever.  I’m sorry, Amber, for trusting Tami before trusting you.

Scenario:

Time to meet up with some friends for dinner before small group!  The destination: one you’ve driven to a million times.  Not a problem.  Uh-oh.  You are on the phone and forgot to exit.  No worries – take the next exit.  Easy as pie.  Until you try turning around in a parking lot that spits you back out onto the one-way you entered from (clearly did not actually get to turn around).  and you weave your way through the city, following your heart, and your stomach, and don’t seem to be getting anywhere closer.  You finally cave and turn on your phone’s GPS.  ETA?  20 minutes.  How did this happen?  You miss all of dinner conversation and take your food to go.  Fail.  In this instance, I for sure should have pulled out that GPS a wee bit sooner.

Scenario

You exit the subway in Vancouver with all your luggage.  Your sister thinks the hotel is one direction.  You mention you think it is the other, but know your lack of ability in map reading, so you go with your sister’s intuition.  After dragging the luggage downhill, it is determined that you were right.  Now it is time to drag your luggage UP the hill and get to the hotel.  Note: your map reading skills apparently flourish out of the country, and you should always fight for your directionality to win in situations abroad.

Scenario

You are going to your friend’s house that you have gone to once, but from a different direction.  Not a problem – you can still get there, right?  WRONG.  You get utterly lost, super confused, end up miles away, put the address in your GPS, only to find that this house is too new to be in the GPS, and call your friend, to find out they can’t give you directions because they just moved in there, and then you pray, “Jesus, please help me find this house.  I will give it one more try, then I will probably just go home.” and then miracle: you find it!  PTL.

I would like to share that I kind of like getting lost.  If the circumstances are right.  I like meandering down new roads as long as I am not meandering through bad neighborhoods.  I like it if I have all the time in the world and no one is waiting on me.  Or following me.  If someone is following me (like a friend caravaning, not a creeper or stalker) then I get really stressed out that I don’t know where I am going and am also leading them astray.  (I should probably again clarify that I do not mean to imply that having a creeper follow my car is fine with me.  It would  also stress me out – but for different reasons)

Otherwise I think that getting lost is a bit of an adventure, and helps me learn the area, so that I don’t have to rely on technology to get me where I am going.  Even though sometimes I clearly should.

Happy Birthday, Mama!

I don’t think I have ever called my mom, mama.  It just seemed fitting for this post title.

My mom’s birthday is today, so naturally I am brainstorming some birthday gift ideas.

The gift of laughter is always a crowd pleaser.

She also said she was interested in a new bag to bring to Twins games.  Here is a definite possiblity: 

And that concludes my brainstorming.  So I turned to the real experts, and asked my kids what they thought I should get my mom for her birthday.  Here are their suggestions:

A New Wedding Dress

Strawberry Shortcake Shirt

A Ring With a Photo of Me in It

Popular Clothes Like Mine

New Shoes

Heart Pants

Shirt that says I Love You

A New Skirt for Church

 They also suggested I give her a photo of herself, a new car, or a card that says, “love, Laura”.

I think I will go with that last option.  Love you mom!!  Thanks for being great, and I hope your day is so great that you feel like you got all of these amazing gifts, even though you didn’t 🙂

Really? For Me???

Today I felt slightly uneasy when a child gave this to me: 

Really, kiddo?  Are you sure this is for me?  Because it kind of seems like it is for Jesus.  Just sayin…

Maybe you don’t think Jesus has as much use for your Crayola Twistable Rainbow Crayon as I do??