Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer At Last

For some summer means sun. For others it means swimming. For me summer is really here when I get to spend my days doing whatever I want! I've been off work for 10 days and just today did I finally get into my groove.

Shortly after the sun came up the kids and I piled into the car and picked up Dork. Hillsboro has been taunting me for quite some time. It's just far enough way to be a hassle to get to but people kept planting boxes out there!
Armed with clues and stamps we hit the trail for the first big boxing day of the summer. The wonderful thing about summer boxing is that you don't have to hurry. There's no rush to get to a box, no rush to beat the fading sun, or the next rain shower. You can savor each hunt and each stamp. We started our day at Dem Dry Bones by Flakey Lady. It was absolutely wonderful. The clues provided a history lesson, the location was unique and historical, and the box itself was very well done. This is the third box I've found by Flakey Lady and I have to say that each and every one of them have been a pleasure to find. Her attention to all of the little details really sets them apart.

We found 5 other boxes today, each one enjoyable and unique. The pace was lazy, the stamps nice, and the company supberb. What else could you ask for in a day?
Lazy summer days are here!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Photos of the Decks

Here they are, as promised. Photos of the new deck.

This is the stair way and the deck platform.

Added to this is a rail, all the way around. Apparently the child that I sent out to take pictures of the railing and the deck in its entirety thought that taking pictures of beneath the deck was more fun. These are the same children that believe that under the deck is there new summer bedroom. They really thought they were going to sleep out there under the deck.
This is the kitty cat that does not like the new deck, yet. I expect Patch to find the deck and be stretched out on it, probably in my lap within the week.

This is Dobby. He loves the new deck. He can sit right by my side while the kids are in the pool and watch them.

Here is a picture of the completed deck! Finally a good picture.

So the moral of the story is, if I'm not online, I'm sitting on my deck with a bottle of diet Pepsi carving a stamp in the sun!

Math Nightmares

I was never a math person. In fact, I was so not a math person that I avoided taking any math courses for my first 4 years of college classes. It was not until I came to the horrible realization that they were NOT going to give me my teaching degree without actually taking math did I cave in and take a math class.

Thankfully I happened to stumble upon the worlds greatest math teacher at Portland Community College. He believed that if you were math phobic, you had a right to be and he would hold your hand all the way through every problem if he had to. I ever so willingly accepted the hand he held out and dove into the world of algebra. It wasn't long before I discovered that math wasn't so bad. In fact, math in college was actually kind of fun. It didn't feel like this anymore...

The answers made sense and they weren't that hard to come to! I learned to love math. Really, I'm not making it up at all!

So here I am, years later teaching 2nd grade. This means I can love math and share that love of math with innocent children who aren't old enough to hate math yet. So when someone was needed to check in with the over achiever children that wanted to complete another math book this summer to get ahead, who volunteered? Yep, you guessed it, me. This will be easy I thought. I mean, good grief, the oldest kids that could do it are 7th graders. I can certainly help 7th graders with math....

Well no one told me one of the over achievers is taking Algebra 2! Yes, that's right, I, who didn't learn to love math until college is tutoring Algebra 2. I almost had a panic attack when I looked at her test and had to correct it. I could feel my chest getting tight, my vision got blurry, and I was getting warm under the collar. But then I really looked at problem 1. Hey, I knew how to do this! I didn't even need to look at the book. I could do this with no problem.

Now, those letterboxers out there who may be reading this are probably thinking, what in the world does this have to do with letterboxing??? Well my friends, brush off your algebra skills, a new box is coming soon! A box that you will need all of those rusty algebra skills for. Soon my friends, very soon!

Happy trails.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Deck

When we moved into this house it had an above ground pool. We spend lots and lots of hours in this pool. Two years ago we talked about putting a deck around it so Dave and I could sit on the deck and watch the kids swim. It didn't happen that summer, nor last summer.

Yesterday Dave surprised me by actually printing out the plans for a deck. He made the first run to Home Depot and the building commenced! My cousin came over to help him and between the three boys (Dave, Rob, and Jay) they got the frame up and ready to go. The only things missing were the deck boards and the railing. Turns out Dave had intentionally not purchased the deck boards so that I couldn't complain about his choice. Smart guy huh? Instead, he sends Pupp and I and the kids to Home Depot armed with a list of measurements and a credit card.

It's an excellent thing that Pupp was with me. There's nothing I hate worse that having to play the dumb female, even when I don't know what I'm doing. It just so happens that Pupp knows wood and taught Samantha what to look for in a good piece of lumber. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find 13 decent pieces of pressure treated 2x6x8? We handled every board that Home Depot had, twice! We finally did get enough boards, and got the nice gentleman with the big saw to cut them in half for me. Turns out, I got the exact boards that Dave wanted, even without him telling me so. Unfortunately, it took so stinking long that we didn't get back until after dark. So work stopped until this morning.

Bright and early I was awoken by the sound of the saw. I coudn't believe it, I wasn't even awake yet and they were out there sawing things. I drug myself out of bed to go and help. With only three more visits to Home Depot and one visit to Lowe's, we finally stopped for the evening. I'm quite in love with the new deck. Sitting in my lounge chair by the water, watching the sun reflect off the water, hearing the kids laugh, it was definately worth the work!

Photos to come soon.

Shiny New Blog

Here it is, the blog everyone has been waiting for. I started this silly thing way back in October of 2007, right after the Wine Stroll, but due to grief from certain people in my life, I never actually got it going.

But, here it is now. Ready to go, ready to be filled with exciting new things that are going on in my life.