Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I've been on sabbatical

So, it's been a month since I last blogged. 4 weeks. That's a really long time!  It's an even longer time to have been away from my friends' funny (and just general life) stories that don't always make it into regular conversations.  It's been an even crazier than normal month, and I've been (as usual) busy.  I just honestly haven't even had time to THINK about blogging until this week.

I figured though, that since professors, researchers, etc. can go on sabbatical to rest and come up with new material and ideas, I can too.  After all, I am also a teacher and a science teacher at that, so I do my fair share of research trying to keep up with the educational field, the scientific field, and just life as a young teacher.  So, I call the last month "my sabbatical."  It's been an eventful, fun-filled month.  As busy as my body has been, my mind has been also.  Today marks the end of Summer Session 1, so I get about a week off before the next session.  I've come to accept that the last few weeks of each class are going to be jam-packed because, of course, God likes to test me and make sure I can juggle all my priorities appropriately.  For the last 2 1/2 weeks, I've been in New York State visiting my Mom and Dad's family, and enjoying spending as much time as I can with my little cousins.  Since I would be shocked and apalled if my little brothers gave me nieces and nephews, I treat my 7, 4, and 3 year old cousins as my nieces and nephews.

I've gotten to spend lots of one-on-one time with the oldest, as I've been homeschooling him while I'm here.  It's been a trip, although it's certainly not convincing me to move to teaching 1st grade.  I mean, I love the kid to pieces, but first grade just isn't my favorite.  He hasn't really learned how to learn new things that don't come up naturally in conversation and incorporate them into his existing knowledge, and this results in a lot of frustration and tears for both of us.  I mean, it's just so stinkin' sad when he gets upset!  I have a hard time standing my ground when I see how hard it is for him.  But y'all? He's gotta learn the basics.  Luckily, we can do things our own way because it's homeschool.  So if I spend 4 hours on social studies one day because that's the only subject that doesn't give us both fits, it's fine, as long as I make up the other subjects another day.  It's like only eating the food on your plate in a certain order.

Other than that, I've gotten to spend some quality time with the family I don't often get to see.  I love it.  My Memaw and I made a trip up to Niagara Falls (where she and my PawPaw were born and raised, and where I often visited as a child).  It was my first time having to use my passport to cross the Border to Canada, and I still haven't gotten used to seeing border patrol cars roving through New York and Pennsylvania.  Without fail, my first thought is... but we're so far from Mexico!  On the flip side, we're only an hour and a half or two hours from Canada.  I guess that's close enough for Border Patrol to be visible.

And I get to play with and learn with and watch three absolutely amazing kids grow every day! How cool (exhausting) is that?!?!

I figure the best (least verbose) way to tell you guys about how awesome this time with family has been is to show you in pictures.  I can't document it all, but here are some of the highlights:

Miss Emma, age 17 and cold, cold, cold.  Wearing a onesie that reads, "This IS my little black dress." Complete with pearls to keep her warm.

Artie, my little man, has been into EVERYTHING!  But isn't he just precious?

I got to re-visit the Roman Colosseum.  Only this time, Memaw and I built it.  Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day!

For a little boy turning 7, a Transformers themed birthday party and almost all edible Transformers battle scene takes the cake.

Transformers play-doh molds: make a vehicle, put it in the machine, and watch it pop out as a Transformer.

Johnny's Lunch- a local food joint and a community staple.  Coolest kids' meal ever!

Still into everything.  This is an action shot from a playtime.

Another action shot. My favorite.  Look at his face.

This little guy can get anywhere- even the top of the fireplace mantel- and open his container of treats with no help from his mama.

Niagara Falls- Double Rainbow

 Niagara Falls made of Legos in the Brick City in Niagara Falls, Canada.  A ten foot replica of the falls mad entirely of Lego pieces.
My favorite superhero, Spiderman, climbing the building behind the South Carolina State House.  Love my backwards state!

Hit up a live rock concert- complete with original AC/DC music.

Visited Canada.

Almost fell down the Falls- just kidding, but they are breathtaking, fast-moving, and HIGH!

This is how close the Maid of the Mist gets to the Falls-- no wonder they come off soaked!


Oh, and now that I'm done, I just found the button that lets me caption.  Something for y'all to look forward to! :)

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