Sunday, May 31, 2009

Do we have to be so negative?...really?

Argghhh - I am frustrated with the media!
First, let me remind everyone that while I don't actually have cable, I do enjoy a good TV program. I particularly enjoy British TV (can you see where this is leading?) and one of my favorites is Britain's Got Talent. I enjoyed Susan Boyle as much as the next person (in fact her story made a lovely lesson plan with one of my grade 7/8 classes), but the fact is there were many amazing acts that were on the show this year.
I'm quite pleased that Diversity won the show. I have never seen anything like what they did ever! Their choreography and movement was so unique, so precise, so perfect, so wonderful...(I could go on) - absolutely amazing stuff! But does the media write that? NO! They don't point out how good this group it. They don't point out how good the other talent was either - their focus is Susan Boyle lost(she placed 2nd).
They also wanted to dwell on a young girl, Hollie, who got a case of the nerves during her semi-final (she went on to re-do her performance and make it to the finals brilliantly) - is it too much for children to be on a show like this? Well they didn't see Shaheen Jafargoli perform and say that now did they? (Brilliant vocals) Or Aidan Davis, the 12 year old dancing phenom? Nope, the hot story is the negative story. Can we start building people up? Can we give credit for the combination of hard work and talent? Will that sell stories? I would much rather have woken up to headlines of Diversity Wins It All than Susan Boyle's Dream is Dead - find out why which a rediculously warped picture of her. You know, she is a lovely singer and I hope she continues to sing and that she does well with it, but I also hope that for a good many of the contestants that I saw on the show this year. Well done everyone, well done!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I've created a monster

So I thought it would be a fun thing to do for the end of the year, little did I know...I'm talking about the Hoedown Throwdown, a new dance by Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. I'm prety impressed with myself having never heard the song until last week to be able to learn it and the dance and teach it to 2 schools full of kids. I thought it would be a nice change from the Cha Cha Slide (and it is). It helps that there is a how-to video on YouTube by Miss Miley herself. I'm just now realising what I've done as I was on morning duty Friday morning and groups of kids all over the playground and singing and dancing it, and they all want to show me how good they are. Only 3 weeks till it's all over right?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy 200! (plus 69 plus ?)

This is my 200th Contemplation! Cheers to me! But, I've blogged more than that (a lot more). My first blog was over at MSN Spaces called Kristen's Place. I started back in Sept. 2005. We were still living in the apartment on Charlotte Street. I had one child and I had just started back at work after my maternity leave. Here's what my first entry sounded like:

September 09
Have you ever noticed something so much that you know it isn't a coincidence? Lately I have been finding nothing but dimes. Everytime I find money, it is dimes, outside, in the car, in the couch, in the laundry, on the stairs of my apartment building...dimes and dimes and dimes! Jonathan told me he remembers hearing of a fellow who always found dimes and that God was trying to say something to him through it. Unfortunately, he doesn't remember what it was. Any ideas?

I took a little bit of time tonight to peek back (really I should put all of this on a disk to save it). Angela was my inspiration to start a blog in the first place (her link is over on my side bar). She was one of my college roommates and good friends and she blogged first.

I also found my first remembrances of teaching middle school (which I fought every step of the way but now love)

September 28
Life as a Middle School Teacher
Today I:
-rearranged the seating plan, again
-reinserted a nose ring to a panicked girl
-reminded students that yes, you lose marks when you hand in an assignment late (over and over again)
-answered questions about how old Janis Joplin was when she died (27) 10 minutes after our discussion of Janis Joplin's music was over
-answered questions about the pictures on my desk, "yes, that's my baby, yes, he's cute, yes, that's my husband, now Sit Down!"
-patrolled the bathroom log
-told several boys to take their hat off in the building
-allowed one student to call his grandmother to ask for pants as he ripped his
-kept 3 students for detention
-lectured one student for not showing up for detention
-added 1 pencil and 3 pens to my collection (parents, do you ever wonder why you spend so much money on school supplies?)
-tried to locate the owners of 25 papers with no names
-wondered at the fact that there was one with a perfect score that was never claimed
-was given the dirty look after informing a student that yes, their paper was due today and no it doesn't count if it was done but you left it at home
-wrested with the photocopier
-wondered at how my three grade 6 classes could be in such completely different spots of the same lesson with my most boisterous class about a day ahead of the rest
-found counselling information for a student
-and I think I taught a lesson on note length and rhythm at some point...

I kept this blog until July 2006. Elijah had just turned 2. So why the change? Well, I think spaces was being reformatted and I was getting quite frustrated with not being able to do what I wanted with it. My friend Jill (who also is linked on my sidebar) had been blogging with blogspot, so I thought I would too. I called it Kristen's Rants and Raves I kept this one until Jan. 2007. So why change to here? Well, I think this was the time that I had to start logging in with a Google Account and somewhere in the process I was unable to log in at all, so I made something new. Eventually, the ability to access it on my dashboard was granted back to me, but by that time I'd switched everything over to here.

I like here. I think I've gotten better at blogging. I have used blogging in a lot of ways these past (almost) 4 years. I use it in teaching (it's a great way to make a playlist). Here's a game called name the country that I made on my Music form Around the World site. Currently some of my middle school classes are using it as a format to present their term projects on. I've used it for my oldest son's favorite videos as well. I now use my youtube account to make a playlist, but it did work in the past.

I've also added 2 of my hobbies into blogging. Reading at Bookworm Kristen and cooking at Whatcha Eatin'?. I'm particularily enjoying joining the communities that exist around these topics. I had no idea! If you ever get a chance, there's some great stuff being written. Excellent book review and giveaways and fabulous recipes and food tips!

My 4th current blog is with my friend Jill at Clever Mamas, which has been born out of many conversations on parenting. It's newer and I think we're still finding our place in blog land, but I'm enjoying it all the same. It so wonderful to be able to share our experiences as Mamas.

So here's to 200 ++++? however many posts I've written. Thanks for reading what's on my mind at any given moment!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Hey Everyone! I'm hosting a giveaway on my recipe blog - check it out here!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Learning to Talk

I realised that I haven't been as dillegent as I'd like when keeping track of all the stages that my kids go through. I'd like to think that I'll just remember everything, but I know I won't becuase I don't already.
Jeremy's language skills have just jumped radically in the past 6 months and I know I'm going to lose some of his baby language words if I don't write them down.
For the longest time he would say 'asai' for thank-you. (I think it came out of 'what do you say?')...he now says thank-youm (to which his big brother says, 'it's not thank yoummmm, it's thank you!')
The both of them, started by Jeremy have a near nightly routine of getting their energy out by running around in a circle in the living room and saying, 'I judge-ya, I judge-ya' repeatedly. I think Jeremy meant to say I gotcha, or I chase you, but this is what has come out and it's stuck. Currently, the 2 of them also chant 'na na vinci' for reasons I haven't figured out yet.
One of the funny things they do is fake sneeze while standing on our bed and then fall down and laugh their heads off 'aaaaahhhh choooo!'
A very endearing Jeremy will add an 'a' to the ends of words, like "I love-a you Mama', or "I kiss-a you Mama". He's a very affectionate, cuddly boy.
One of his daycare teachers is Dorothy. He learned her name quite quickly which surprised both her and I (most of the kids call her Dor). He finds it very funny to call one of us Dorothy - Dorothy, Dorothy - he'll call out. We'll turn the tables on him and say, Dorothy, Dorothy - to which he responds, 'I'm not Dorothy' - we'll also try it with other names - he thinks this is very funny.
What's also funny is how he says his name. I stopped calling him JJ for a while because when you asked him what his name was he'd say 'I JJ'. Now he kind of grunts his name in a low voice "I Jer-my"...this is also how he answers the question, how old are you? - "I Jer-my, I two"
He loves to play pretend. He has a pair of dinosaur jammies that as soon as he puts on he says "roar' and stomps around the house. He's also quite good at imitating an elephant - he hunches his back and puts his arm in front of his face and swings is as he lopes along.
He very rarely says Elijah's name. He calls him Brudder (brother). And follows him everywhere and does everything Elijah does. He's actually quite put out on Mondays when Elijah goes for swimming lessons. "I go simming lessons!" very adamantly.
He still has a few baby-words for things, made up words. We'll be driving in and he'll say, Mama? Daba daba daba da (and laugh). He's very charming.

I am Super Mom!

Tonight I accomplished the triple trim times two! Hair, fingernails, and toenails all cut on not one but two boys! What makes this a super feat extrodinaire? Not a single complaint out of either of them :o)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Weekend mornings are times to relax. Time to enjoy cartoons over a sippy cup of apple juice (or a mug of tea, depending who you are). Time to prop yourself up with pillows and snuggle under a blanket. Sounds cozy and relaxing right?
Unfortunately the sounds I've been hearing have been:
No, Brother!
Share the blanket!
MY blanket!
Don't kick!
Kick, kick, kick (laugh)!
I know, you're shocked, my kids...fighting?
My little boys who used to be so content snuggling on the couch have grown. The couch they want to share is the loveseat. The other couch is a futon, that usually sits on the wall away from the loveseat. This morning, I moved it. I'd had it with the pushing and shoving of who got the comfiest spot, so turned the futon around and pushed it right up to the loveseat to make one long couch. And it worked. Both are happy. Both have room. And both have a good view of Curious George. Ahhh.

*Bonus marks if you can guess which boy said what!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Mother's Day in Pictures



table picnic


mocha and a book





Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

This is my mom and I 33 years ago (Valentine's Day 1976).

I just wanted to say thank you to my mom for raising me well. She has always been one of the most important people in my life and I count her as one of my best friends today! Happy Mother's day Mom, I love you!

Mom & I (and Jeremy) at Hopewell Rocks last summer.

Friday, May 8, 2009

About Taylor College

This is a video that Jonathan and Shawn just finished for Taylor College. Taylor is where Jonathan went to school.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Haircut, or not?

I've always been the one to give the boys haircuts. And I really only know one way to do it. I have a pair of clippers, I zip them through their hair and 10 minutes later we're done. Easy. This is usually the result:

Very short, easy to keep. And we let it grow until it's time to cut it again. It's getting almost to the cutting point, but lately I've been wondering if I could do something a little different. Maybe I let their hair be a little bit longer? I don't know. This picture was taken 2 weeks ago, so you have to imagine just a little bit longer:

Because their hair is so light, I don't know that you can see much of a difference. Any ideas? Tips? Opinions?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

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