Schoolhouse Rock vol. 24

Lately I have really been an all-star.  At least in the eyes of young children.

I have impressed children with my…

  • Art supplies (“Wow, I didn’t know you had real feathers!”  “Yep, I’m full of surprises.”  “Do you have real trains in there?”  “Um, what?  no…”)
  • Acting abilities (“Miss K, I thought that you were really crying in that play.”  Unspoken response: Little do you know, kids, but my incredible acting skills are on display almost every day in this classroom.)
  • Skill at tearing off sheets of butcher paper.  (A fifth grader asked if I needed help.  I graciously declined.  They stayed to ooh and ahh over my form and ease at tearing it off the roll)
  • Clothing+accessory combos.  (“Wow!  You actually match today!” – I’m not gonna lie, the shock in her tone was a little insulting…;) )
  • General, all around awesomeness. (“You are the best teacher I have ever had” after teaching them to weave paper to make placemats for the Senior Citizens Luncheon.  mmm – pretty sure I’m the only teacher you’ve ever had.  But i’ll take it!)

Chimpanzee: the movie

Last night I saw the movie Chimpanzee. 

It was fascinating.  Not as overly heartwarming as I had anticipated from the trailer, but I still was cheering for little Oscar, and wasn’t happy when the rival chimp gang, led by Scar, infringed on their territory.

Anticipating an overly heartwarming tale, JaNahn brought tissues in a bird shaped kleenex box.  She requested that we cheep to indicate our need of a tissue.

She also picked up dinner for us from Burrito Loco, so we sat inside the theater eating our chips and salsa, as well as our bbq chicken burritos.  Yum.  I’d consider this an epic movie food win.  When things got nerve-wracking, I got out the skittles to take our minds off the impending doom.

At the end of the movie, they showed footage of the movie being filmed and that was incredible.  I’d love to watch an entire documentary about the making of this movie.

While this was filmed in the Tai Forest National Park of the Ivory Coast, JaNahn also predicts that if I get lost in Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest, I will not survive, as she doesn’t think I’d be strong enough to crack nuts open with giant rocks.  Sigh.  I guess I will stay with the guide.

When I got home, I was talking to my sister (who was also at the movie with us), and so I took that opportunity to read aloud to her from the internet so we could learn more about chimps, and then also about gorillas.  You’ll be happy to know that wikipedia really confirmed the information I learned in the movie.

In conclusion, would recommend it to a friend who wants to learn about the fascinating world of African animals and chimpanzees.

Click here to learn more.


Spring Retreat Hangover

So… it has been quite a few days since I posted anything. At least I left you pictures of a cute baby to look at!

If I were to call in to the attendance line, I would put in the excuse of, “I have been suffering from spring retreat hangover: a general fog and tiredness that comes after having a weekend full of fresh and air and too much fun.”

The recovery process has included a lot of coffee, a lot of sleep, unpacking, staring at the wall, and the MN Twins.  My brain has not been functioning properly to share anything coherent with you.

If it was, I might tell you that I totally got ripped off at a lemonade stand this week.  I have been impressing children with my impressive skills in life.  I had a great time at retreat.  I caught a glimpse of something rare: the Twins actually playing baseball.  It was an impressive few innings, where I saw more guys on base in one inning than I have this entire season so far.  Tonight I am saving the chimps.  Tomorrow is the school carnival, where I have retired from  running the fish pond game and I am selling tickets instead.  I know.  I am boring.

So basically there is no way to know when I will be able to share a proper post with you again.

I will leave you with a brief story: we were learning about what lives in/near ponds, rivers, and lakes today.  Upon seeing a picture of a beaver at a pond, a student said, “A beaver!  That looks just like Justin Bieber!”  

Baby Jordan!

Seven years ago I got hired as a kindergarten teacher.  I started on the Friday Labor Day weekend.  Talk about a stressful beginning.  Then a few weeks later, with enrollment still going crazy, we added an 8th section of kindergarten at our school.  That is when I met Jill.    (If I thought starting the weekend before school started was stressful, it was nothing compared to being hired a couple weeks into the school year!)  She is probably one of the main factors I survived my first year teaching.  We have worked together for the past seven years.  We’ve been pink slipped together, taught summer school together, and along with our friend Beth, we went got our masters degrees together.  Jill is a fabulous teacher, a great coworker and a wonderful friend.  I was so incredibly excited to find out she would be having a baby this spring – and last week I was thrilled to finally meet little Jordan.

Jill, here are a few pictures of Jordan!  I’ll send you the rest soon 🙂

little theologians, crazy drivers, and baseball

Ok, I obviously have three quite unrelated stories today.

The first is a schoolhouse rock story:

During breakfast, child A ripped open his breakfast package and food flew everywhere.  I told him he must not know his own strength and he needs to be more careful.  “I didn’t do that.  God made me.  He controls me!”  to which child B says, “He doesn’t control me!  Look!  I can walk backwards.”  Child A shakes his head and said, “No, He is still controlling you.”  (I think it is always good to start your friday with a little theological debate.  Especially if you are five years old).

The second is a driving story:

Last night I had a scary driving experience.  The car in front of me started swerving.  And I don’t meet a little.  It was like it was driving in letter Zs, across multiple lanes.  I had to slam on my brakes, and then was SO thankful that there was nobody close behind me.  The car eventually drove straight across three lanes of traffic, cutting off a bus (seriously he missed being hit by a city bus by mere inches) and stopping under and overpass, on the shoulder, perpendicular to traffic.  Scary!  Thank you Jesus that nobody got hurt.  That could have been a crazy multiple car accident.

The third is a baseball related story.

I saw this video on 22 Words:

I told my brother that I want him to try this, hoping for the same result (being picked up by an outfielder and carried to security).  I need to share his response with you, because my brother is hilarious.

You mean hope I get carried off by a player? I’m going to do it when the visitors are in the field, hopefully the headlines read: “Delmon Young strains his back while attempting to carry a 6’5 man off of the field friday night. Looks like he’ll be out for at least 2-3 weeks. 6’5 mystery man then goes on to be hired by the twins” “also, this just in, newspaper has extrememly long headline talking about delmon young”


Schoolhouse Rock vol. 23

Today a student came up to me and complained of cold hands.  I thought he said, “My hands are colder than a girlfriend’s face!”  I didn’t know what that meant, but I didn’t think it was anything good.  I asked for clarification.  Turns out he actually said, “My hands are colder than a dolphin’s face!”  I still don’t know what it means, but it seems better than my interpretation…

If you have been worried about tornados entering your home or classroom through air ducts, worry no longer.  That is not actually how tornados work.  Also, apparently if tornados are really small, you can just stomp on them and they will leave you alone.

Also, it is cool if you are a teacher and you have the color peach on your dress, because you obviously made this fashion choice in support of your students’ love of all things Mario.

And if you’ve been hoping for a pet bird, but weren’t sure how to invite a local bird to live in your home, I have a student that is willing to communicate with the birds on your behalf.  She is a natural in bird-call-language.

That is all.  Happy Thursday.

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 22

One of my friends at work (who happens to be one of the specialists that my kindergartners see each week) recently had a baby.  This week I told my kindergartners I was going to visit the baby and their teacher and gave them the opportunity to do some writing and card making for their teacher. 

Here are some of the awesome things they had to say in their cards: (I corrected all their spelling.  Although I was impressed by their writing, if you aren’t a kindergarten teacher, I don’t give you too much of a chance of interpreting their work)

  • When your baby grows up, your baby gonna be big
  • I want to see your baby is cute.  I like your baby.
  • Dear Miss W, How is your baby?  And can your baby walk?  Thank you for teaching us.
  • To Miss W.  I miss you.  Tomorrow is my birthday.
  • Dear Miss W.  I like love your baby.  Your baby is cute.  I hope you like your baby.
  • Miss W, Can you bring your baby?  Thank you.
  • Dear Miss W, R you happy to have your baby?
  • I like you and love your baby.  I hope that you will like it.
  • I want to see your baby.

I bolded my favorites 🙂  Perhaps you can make use of these next time you are writing a “congrats on the new baby” card for a friend!

p.s.  Adorable pictures coming soon!

it was very good

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31a 

 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”  Psalm 19:1

I love seeing God’s glory displayed through His creation.  God is so creative and so powerful.  I love it!  When I am surrounded by nature, I cannot help but praise God.

I’ve seen some beautiful places.  I’m seriously impressed by God’s handiwork.

Sunset from the top of a volcano in Guatemala? Wow.

Snorkeling in the East China Sea: breathtaking. And if you think it is beautiful above the water, you should see what God did with the coral and all the sea creatures. AWESOME!

Not pictured because I went here back in the day of film cameras: Foz do Iguacu – BEAUTIFUL.  (I have a photo displayed in my room.  Let’s just say literal double rainbow over magestic waterfalls.)


the train ride from Vancouver to Whistler

Mountains? Yes, please.


the Wachau Valley

a day at lake

walking around a lake in Minneapolis

I love it all.  And I am so blessed to have seen these incredible places.

And yet I hear God whispering in my heart, “I can’t wait for you to see what I did when I created Africa.”  

Oh man, I can’t wait either.

I’m glad we have a creative God who shows off his power and glory in creation.

Like Coming Home…

This week the Twins had their Home Opener on Monday afternoon. I was fortunate to get to go to THREE games this week! (I’m trying to get some good baseball time in before Africa steals me away).

Walking into Target Field was like coming home. To my home away from home.

While much of Twins Territory has stayed the same, there are some key changes. I will start with my least favorite change and work my way towards the awesomeness.

Change #1 The team. We don’t really know them anymore. I think that the fastest way to win our hearts though, is to hit a home run. This was effective for Josh Willingham and Clete Thomas (apparently Clete’s first name is Michael. But who would want to go by that?? Clearly Clete is a better option). Other players haven’t picked up on the home run strategy yet, so while I have come to recognize their walk-up music, I have not prepared a welcome gift basket with their name on it. We still miss our old team though, and cheer when they visit us from their new teams.

Change #2 The “Controversial” billboard on the back of the Target Center is gone. And by controversial, I mean that people were ticked because it was there, not because it had questionable content. In its place is Bullseye, eagerly wagging his tail at us.


Change #3 My sister warned me that I would be seeing something that would make me clap my hands in delight. And right she was. I always enjoy the Race to Target Field and guessing who will win. Amber and I even featured one of the videos at our Twins Birthday Party in February. But you know what I love even more?? The LIVE Race to Target Field.

And they’re off!


At one of the games they even ran in slow motion for part of the race. Which was fitting with their epic racing soundtrack. Why I love mascots racing so much, I do not know. But isn’t it great!?


They even keep race stats up, so you know their standings so far in the season!


And it’s Bullseye for the win! The crowd goes wild!


In other news, I think I’ve got this wordpress app for my iPad figured out. This was kind of a test run. And it seems successful so far. I’ve done pictures. I’ve done typing. What more do you need? (well, I guess I feel a little confused about whether this will post or not. so there is that… but if you are reading this, then we will know I was successful) So the moral of the story is that updates WILL happen from Uganda. And that mascots are awesome.

Spring is Here

Springtime is here.

You might be thinking, “Laura, have you been outside?  Have you looked at a calendar?  Springtime has clearly been here for a while now.  Way to be late to the warm weather party.”

To which I will say, “Yes, but until now, I had not seen a four-year-old climb a flowering tree; I had not seen the MN Twins play baseball; and I had not made a spring mix CD for my ears to enjoy in the car while I drive.  This is what makes spring.”

To which you will say, “Oh.  You are right.  I’m sorry for even questioning you.  Are the Twins any better this year?”

and I will say, “Well, not so far. That is why I am leaving the country come summer… so I don’t have to watch another season like last season.”

To which you will say, “What music is on your spring playlist?  Maybe I want to make a spring cd and I’m looking for some inspiration for a few more songs for it,” or if you are my sister you will say, “Where is a copy of the playlist you promised to share with me?”  And to both of you, I say, “Here you go!”