Monday, October 29, 2007

Anna Rae's Halloween History

Anna Rae is now two weeks shy of twenty years old. I wonder if she remembers these Halloweens from years ago. Deciding the costume and then making the costume were always big deal decisions for the two of us. To take her trick or treating, no matter how foul the weather, was usually the responsibility of Chris. This year she tells me she is a Ninja. Her two roommates are a bear and a cowboy. Their costumes are based on college game analogous to Rock Paper Scissors. They call it Bear Cowboy Ninja. Go figure!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Day Is Done

I'm so congested with this cold that I can hardly breathe but the weather was so perfect(although chilly);I just couldn't resist taking my camera and going out to catch a few 'Day is Done' shots. And that is that! Time to get some sleep to help tackle this cold.

Good Morning!

With a moon like this, running at 6:00 am is not a problem. The silvery shimmer on the Sound is just lovely. Even so, I have a crappy cold so I so I opted for using the eliptical machine in the gym instead of a moonlight run. And now it is time to iron my clothes and get on with the day. It looks like a weekend of good weather for us! Yipee!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

At My Feet

My head was in the clouds but my eyes were on the ground as I meandered through a small stretch of Longfellow Creek Trail on my way home from work today. And what should I spy at my feet but this perfect colony (Is that right? Is a group of mushrooms a colony?) of little smooth, yellow mushrooms. I've hiked the 3+ miles to work many a time and always said "I should take some pictures." It was these yellow fungi that caused me to stop, rummage through my backpack to unearth my camera, and snap these shots.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I Wear My Socks

I wear my Smart Wool socks and the furnace whirrs on every now and again as I sit at the computer. It has rained and rained; more days than not the rain has found us and the wind has whipped the leaves off many of the trees. It is an unusually wet October. But even on the grey days, the foggy days, there is beauty.
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." ~Albert Camus


Our first Science unit of the year is Fabric. We use three FOSS Science kits per year. This lesson's focus question was "How is some fabric made?" and the children made their own weaving of yarn on simple cardboard looms. They chose from red, blue, green, and orange yarn. Most had AB patterns going but there were also ABC, ABB, and even one AABBCCDD pattern. We are lucky enough to have 3 parents who volunteer faithfully plus 2 instructional assistants at the weekly Science hour. We are able to break into groups of 7 or 8 students with all this extra help. They did a really good job this year. Everyone was so intent on their weaving. you could only hear a murmur of conversation about their work as all 54 kindergartners bowed over their weaving. In the picture one early finisher is coaching his classmates on the over-under pattern of weaving.

Where's the Money?

Where is the money for the Arts in Education? At our school we have an Art specialist, a phenomenal Art Specialist. After only 25 days in school they had their first lesson in how to draw faces. Pretty amazing results, in my opinion. In years past we have had a Music Specialist, but never both. Why should we have to choose? We are required to have 80 minutes of reading a day and a comparable amount of math. So we may be preparing for the next Einstein or Sir Isaac Newton but what Pablo Picasso, Jacob Lawrence, Chopin, or even a Johnny Cash, could we be overlooking by underspending on the Arts?

Sharon at Home and In China

Originally uploaded by mtnester

Above is a photo of Sharon at home. To be exact, she is in the Home Center with students in our kindergarten classroom. This is our 14th year of teaching together. To the right is Sharon at the Great Wall in China. She taught English to teachers of English in Henan, China through a Lutheran mission program called China Service Ventures. She was there for six weeks and spent time in Beijing and Tibet in addition to the time spent working in Henan province. The weather was incredibly hot and humid, the pollution hid the sun in Bejing, the plumbing was not always pleasant, she came face to face with a rat in her hotel in Tibet, and she ate exotic food but said "No thanks" to the eels. On the other hand, she made new friends both within the group from the U.S. and in China. The young teachers they were training were open and friendly and eager to improve their English so as to better teach their own students. However, five weeks would've been plenty for most of the people in the CVS group. By time week six rolled around they were having daily conversations about the food they missed the most back in the U.S. Also, I think the constant learning curve, the continually being the 'stranger in a strange place', has to be exhausting.

Can you guess?

Originally uploaded by mtnester
Oh come now, does this need a title?


More China
Originally uploaded by mtnester
Fishing cormorants, pet bunnies for sale, man with cart, and a bug on an umbrella

Mamas and Babies

Originally uploaded by mtnester
Who can resist a baby? I wish I could tell you more about the background of this picture. I do know that Sharon knew at least one of the mothers in this photo. She used it to point out to me the reason why China isn't buried in diapers. Notice the little boy in blue. The answer is in the design of their clothes; they all have an open crotch. The parents simply train them to squat outside. So, watch where you step in China!


Originally uploaded by mtnester
Now just what could this little girl be thinking? It is my favorite of Sharon's
'kids in China' photos.

So Sweet

Originally uploaded by mtnester
Isn't this shy little guy a cutie?


Originally uploaded by mtnester
Sharon took more than one photo of children studying intently in small shops or restaurants as their parents went about their work.


Originally uploaded by mtnester

See My Sister?

Originally uploaded by mtnester
Actually, it may have been cousin since the 'one child' rule is pretty well adhered to.

Young Ballerina

Originally uploaded by mtnester
This photo was taken in a 'MacDonald's look alike' restaurant.


Originally uploaded by mtnester
Whenever Sharon asked parents were always delighted to have her take pictures of their children.

Who's that?

Originally uploaded by mtnester.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Is Dinner Ready?

My creation
Originally uploaded by mtnester.

These photos were taken by my friend/coworker, Sharon, during her visit to China in July & August of 2007. She ate almost exclusively at the hotel restaurant where the staff was accustomed to cooking for tourists. She never got sick once and she tried some pretty unique dishes although I think she passed on eating eels and preserved eggs. She did eat soft boiled eggs that were cooked in tea for many of her breakfasts. See the pump and the wood fire on the bottom left? This was at the home of the grandmother of one of the Chinese workers from the school where Sharon also taught English.

From Market to Table

From Market to Table
Originally uploaded by mtnester.

Sharon's Adventure in China

Sharon's Adventure in China
Originally uploaded by mtnester
O.K. I know I am WAY behind in posting but I've been busy being 'dedicated teacher' and 'avid gardener'. Also, my teaching partner, Sharon, took these AWESOME photos of her 6 week trip to China and I have been having fun playing with them. She and I both bought the same camera in June but Sharon's comfort and interest level in computers and technology is not as developed as mine so she has not even printed any of her 1000 plus photos yet. Well, they are just such fascinating photos, I just had to do something with some of them! Won't she be surprised! Click on the photos to see them larger.