Of the winter arriving at last

When I got home, I jumped headfirst into trying to organize all be things I was in charge of for the ACSI spelling bee. Uh, Headache! I realized quite late that I had to find five volunteers to be helpers to register along with the students who are going, and so I was scrambling to find willing people in this land where I really don’t know that many people. Ugh. Not fun. Not to mention that ACSI’s website deserves front cover attention on some place like clientsfromhell.net. Raphael, if you ever need a project… It is the PITS to navigate!
Anyhow, I got all that stuff taken care of, and mailed off. That’s right, you have to send the forms by snail mail. Stone Age. And it felt like the kind of relief I imagine having a baby would feel like.

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So, that same first week back at school, the weather decided to be cold. Very cold. And by that, I mean things like -25° windchill, complete with slippery snow to get stuck in, which I nearly did. You know that if Illinoisans close school because of the cold, it really is cold. And that’s what they did, three days in a row. It was really quite fun! We did things like rearranging our kitchen, and drinking lots of hot drinks, although our house hasn’t gotten too icy yet, and baking cookies at the Kennells, and lots of crocheting, and one day we three went to Hobby Lobby to spend some of our school board gift cards. What fun. I could live there!

The next week, however, was not so much fun. I had three days of school to catch up, then my student who most needs all his classes was sick for three days, so he got behind really fast since we were doubling up in stuff. Not fun at all. But that’s past, and we are all caught up now except seat work, which we should catch up in tomorrow. Hallelujah. And now tonight it’s sleeting and snowing, so if school would perchance be closed tomorrow, I’d at least be able to enjoy my day off instead of chewing my fingernails to the quick.

News bulletin:
Stacie and Bradley are engaged. Some weights to tie to her feet to keep them grounded for the rest of the school year might be nice.
I love winter. I really do. The mud on the warmer days is kind of hideous, but the snow and the biting cold are really quite fun.
We had popcorn day today at school, because it’s national popcorn day. That means, as much as the students can eat (pretty much), all day long. Imagine what my classroom floor looked like tonight, if you will.
There was an engagement at the ice rink when I was there for Kyle’s hockey game on Friday.
The school had a soup and pie benefit supper on Saturday. The school reeked of soup, and I felt very pleased with my three lovely pie crusts I contributed. 😇 Hopefully we made lots of money!
I went to a different church last Sunday (Harvest Bible Chapel) with Tammie and Tricia to hear some radio preacher Tam likes. The change of pace was nice, especially since my boyfriend was very missing.
Sunday evening youth was at Jon and Valerie Yoders. We had soft pretzel bites and rousing games of dominoes and Dutch blitz (I played with Trina and Alice). I went because Kyle thought I should be sociable. And he was right, like usual.
I decided the reason cops don’t much stop people for speeding in Chicago is because they’re all too busy putting corrupt politicians in jail.
I much prefer teaching things like grammar instead of phonics, I’ve discovered.

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Josh has taken to writing letters to Kyle. It’s highly amusing.

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Next up on the agenda:
The school board is taking us out for dinner sometime.
We have a meeting with them also this Thursday night, possibly.
The youth girls are invited to Sherri’s house Friday evening. Bring snacks or your favorite quesadilla ingredient.
Micah & Merry are coming to see me in two weeks or so, hopefully!
Stacie’s parents are coming out this weekend.
I might go to Chicago for church exploration in Sunday, if Kyle has off work. He unfortunately got put on a Sunday through Thursday shift, but he’s hoping he can bargain his Fridays and get some Sundays off, and also that he’ll get put on night shift soon, so he can go to church anyhow. So far he’s only had to work two Sundays yet.
I’m hoping to make a Dr. Seuss party for the 100th day of school. I have hats like cat in the hat, and pencils. My kids would be thrilled.
Also, Valentine’s Day is coming up, which means a party at school. Yay. Food. My room mother, who is the one who does the school parties, is very crafty, and makes the most adorable food for parties.
I’m also planning to do something small but special every day in February to shorten the month. Things like taking their shoes off, or doing classes in backwards order, or reading in the gym. Ideas would be appreciated. In fact, if anyone has any general ideas about school, say on!

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My book list

For those of you are interested, this is the list of books I read in 2014. I made it to 52, although I accidentally read one title twice.

The horse and his boy- C. S. Lewis
Swan house- E. Musser
Mary Emma and company- Ralph Moody
Toby Tyler-?
Masquerade- N. Moser (stupid)
Pied pier of Helfenstein- E. McCarthy
Miracle for Jen- L. Barrack
Gray Matter-?
The Littles- J. Peterson
Garlic and sapphires- Ruth Reichl (my favorite)
The jungle- Upton Sinclair (horrible, but worthwhile)
Daddy-long-legs- Jean Webster
The tale of Despereaux- Kate DiCamillo (the movie is better)
The good day mice- Carol Beach York
Dear enemy- Jean Webster
Mr. God this is Anna- Flynn
The mistress of Shenstone- Florence L. Barclay (I liked)
The magician’s nephew- C. S. Lewis
Let me be a woman- Elizabeth Elliot
Shaking the nickel bush- Ralph Moody
The dry divide- Ralph Moody
Carry on Mr. Bowditch- Jean Lee Latham
Leota’s garden- Francine Rivers (waste of time)
Biking across America- Paul Stutzman
Across China- Peter Jenkins
Mama’s bank account- Kathryn Forbes
The great and terrible quest- Margaret Lovett
The best Christmas pageant ever- Barbara Robinson
Little women- Louisa May Alcott
The pocket book of Ogden Nash
Do you think I’m beautiful- Angela Thomas
Big mountain, bigger God- Duane and Cindy Mullett
Voyage of the Dawn Treader- C. S. Lewis
Understood Betsy- Dorothy Canfield Fisher
Choosing to SEE- Mary Beth Chapman
Miracles in the ER- Robert D. Lesslie M.D.
One thousand gifts devotional- Ann Voskamp
Walk across America- Peter Jenkins
Son of Hamas- Mosab Hassan Yousef
The borrowers- Mary Norton
Hansi, the girl who loved the swastika- Anne Hirschmann
Let there be clothes- Lynn Schnurnberger (fun read)
Hitty, her first hundred years- Rachel Field
The borrowers afield- Mary Norton
Papa Dolphin’s table- Dorothy Gilman Butters
Honeymoon for seven- Alfred Toombs (funny)
Hurry home, Candy- Meindert DeJong
Preacher’s kids- Grace Nies Fletcher (does her name sound familiar, Troyers?)
The borrowers aloft- Mary Norton
The best Christmas pageant ever- Barbara Robinson (oops, my double)
O ye jigs and juleps- Virginia Cary Hudson

And that is that. Hallelujah three times also and amen twice. Revive us again.