We are so excited for fall this year, to watch our new maple trees do their job of being beautiful.   And as I went looking for the old post about our baby maple trees, I realized I never blogged it.  Well, in early May we bought two maple trees. (a side note:  I see when I go through my pictures looking for tree pictures that I never did blog about spring break trip… or the last two kid birthdays…  oops.)

So pretty!  Well, these trees have grown a lot this year.  And Tree Tall (we have Tree Tall and Tree Wide) even housed a nest of baby birds!

Here they are mid-June…

and here is baby bird nest.  I didn’t ever get a picture of baby birds, though.

Now that we’re caught up… Fall.  Fall is here, and our Red Sunset Maple trees are starting to turn red!

Tree Wide is still mostly green.  It’s so cool how the color goes from top down, and tips of the leaves in.  Perfect for a science discussion with the kids!

We’re looking forward to piles of red leaves to rake.  Carl and Humorous Thinker got going on fall yard work anyway, even with just a few leaves.


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Hair Day!

Today was Hair Day in our house.  I do Miss Imagination’s hair nearly every week (though sometimes she can go two weeks), but this week the boys both also needed hair cuts.  Humorous Thinker is no problem; while it’s not his favorite-ever activity, he doesn’t hate it.  Perpetual Motion Boy, however, is a different story.  He hates it.  Really hates getting a haircut.  He hates sitting still, and the boy has an incredibly sensitive head.  Even combing it can set him off, meaning that I have to be especially careful with the scissors or I might accidentally poke him when he suddenly thrashes, which, of course, would set off more thrashing.  I have to steel myself for the whole experience, which is why his hair hasn’t been cut since July (I cut Humorous Thinker’s hair sometime in August, but let the other skip).  I powered through, though, and have three very cute kids with “new” hair.

The side view

The back!  My first-ever cornrows up!  It required her lying down, head on a pillow and turned as much as I could manage while still having her able to see the screen.  I think this style will last two weeks–I’ll put twists into the puff at some point, and then we’ll do a braid-out/twist out to get us to the next weekend.

I just think this picture, with the sunlight, is cool.

Here is Humorous Thinker.  I guess he was showing his “thinker” side tonight–no smiles.

And here he is playing his trumpet, which is why he was so serious in the previous picture

Good photos of Perpetual Motion Boy to come, since he is no longer in perpetual motion…


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Pinned it, then did it!

I suppose I should get to a Fall 2011 Week 6 update (woohoo!  Tomorrow starts week 6  Let’s just forget about the previous updates I’ve missed), but Pinterest is so much more fun.

I’ve been inspired by quite a few games for therapy materials recently.  I’ve pinned them all to my Therapy To-Do board, but that’s about it.  This grad school thing takes so much of my time, who has time for making materials?  But tonight, I saw this great pin, which came from this blog.  I immediately liked it, so I pinned it to my board.

And then I thought about how I could use it this week.  I could use it for articulation practice–make a set of cards for each sound.  I thought about how I could make each sound  a different color (I have 5 different colors of index cards, plus white, so 6 different sounds) so that I could easily use it for a mixed-sound group, too.  I thought about how I could use it in language therapy, too.  I could write different descriptive words, and the student would have to name something that is _________.  Or I could have category names, and they’d have to name 5 things in that category.  Or vocabulary words that they’d have to define.  Or sight words.

And then I thought about my CHAMP camp, the 35 minutes every day where kids are grouped by ability across grade level to work on a particular standard.  This three week period (we’re going into week 3), I have 6 first graders, and we’re working on subtraction.  The first week we worked on the concept with counting blocks, over and over.  The second week we kept working on the concept, and we made a complete set of flash cards, numbers to 10.  This week, I don’t know if I’ve been given a lesson plan yet (wasn’t in my box on Friday when I left), so I wanted to have some idea of what to do, just in case.

And I realized that this game, Bang, would be perfect for CHAMP camp.  When we played a modified version of around-the-world on Friday, it was difficult for anyone to beat the two who have it down pretty well.  This game, everyone is on their own for answering–it doesn’t have to be fast, just accurate.  I think they’ll love it.

Mine is not as pretty as the model.  I didn’t have a coffee can, but I did have an empty yogurt container (I pretty much always have at least one empty yogurt container in the recycling), orange and yellow paper, and Modge Podge.  A yogurt container is a little tricky, since it tapers down, so I made vertical strips instead of horizontal.  And decided that it got the point across.  Here’s a picture of it still drying.

And I also have ready to go “Jacks with Beans“, found on this blog, since it needs just dried beans and a bouncy ball.  I will also use this for articulation, language, and CHAMP camp.  The number of beans you pick up = number of problems solved, words repeated, questions answered, and so on.

Now I just have to decide which one I’ll use first!  It’s good to feel somewhat prepared for a Monday.  We’ll just ignore the way-too-much paperwork I still have to do, at least for a little while longer.

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Pinterest, I love it!

Late this summer, I finally asked a friend what in the world Pinterest was.  I had a lot of friends posting about it on Facebook, but I figured it was just something silly that I didn’t have time to even consider.   However, when I finally asked, I found out that while there is a small social aspect to it, what was most valuable to this person was the visual bookmarking system.  Visual bookmarks?  The idea of that seemed less like a time waster and more like something that might actually keep me organized.  I’m one of those types who bookmarks an interesting page, which then condemns it to be neglected in some obscure folder forever.  Most of the time, I never look at it again.

Ideas that might make my organization easier, my therapy/work life better, and my cooking life more inspired just fall away, never to enter my mind again.  If I do happen to think about a recipe I saw for miracle soup, that makes your kids smarter and your hair longer… well, I probably didn’t check the name when I bookmarked it, so it’s hard to do a visual scan and find the right one.  I could try to google it again, but then I’d have to actually remember the name of the recipe.  I’m left with either opening every single one of the 50+ recipes in my bookmarks, or just forgetting about it again.

But Pinterest reformed me.  Now, when I need dinner inspiration (0r longer hair), I go to my Pinterest “recipes to try” board.  I quickly scan the photographs and the names, and easily come up with the recipe I want.  This is revolutionary in my life.

Another of my favorite boards is my “Gifts” board.  When I run across a cute homemade gift idea, I pin it.   My current plan is that when I finish my grad school classes on December 13th, I will then check that board again and frantically create before Christmas.  But without this board, I would be stuck then also looking for ideas, which takes me the longest anyway.  (IMPORTANT NOTE:  if you are my family and you are reading this, you either have to not follow that board, or feign surprise and awe later on…)

But the ultimate for me is the idea collection for speech-language pathology.  Once I figured out how to search out other SLP boards, my feed is now full of ideas others find that seem like a good idea for their therapy.  I can quickly scan the pictures in my feed, open in new tabs any that look interesting to me, read those posts/articles, and repin any that I want to do.  Then, when I need an idea for therapy, I quickly scan my pins, and find what I need.  I currently have SLP divided into 3 areas, but someday, when I’m super-organzied, I will divide my “SLP therapy ideas” into more specific categories, such as maybe SLP literacy, SLP articulation, SLP language, and so on.  But for now, even this is much greater than what I had going before.

The only difficult thing about this process is that Pinterest is blocked at work.  So in order to print anything out, I need to open what I want into tabs, and take my laptop to work.  OK, there’s one more difficulty–there is still no good iPad app.  I know that one is bound to change before too long!

Anyway, this all was a very long intro for a current conundrum.  While browsing Pinterest, I had an idea for a material I wanted to create. But, while this was inspired by the blog I was reading, it wasn’t the same.  How can I pin an idea that is still just in my head?  I’m assuming someone, somewhere has made this before, but they either didn’t put it on the internet, or my searching skills are failing, because I can’t find what I want.   I now have to rely on my memory to get me through until Monday, when I can create this (in all of my free time at work!), and then I can blog about it and pin it.  Stay tuned!

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Semester 4, Week 2

Yes, I’ve missed a few summary-of-grad-school posts.  But, never fear, I’m still in grad school.  However, the workload is quite heavy, and life is quite busy, and sometimes I just don’t want to write about it.   🙂

Semester 4 of 6 has a very nice ring to it!  This semester, I have Voice Disorders, Dysfluency, and Seminary in Phonology.  Whether it’s just luck of the draw or a near-end attempt to frighten us off, I’m not sure, but this is a particularly intense semester.  I also will start my first externship in just a week, adding to my paperwork load immensely.  The first one, thankfully, is also my job, so it won’t add to what I’m already used to doing (aside from the great increase in the amount of paperwork!)

I am glad to be taking all three classes, though the work load is intense.  I can do anything for 14 more weeks.

Voice Disorders:  This class has a somewhat confusing set-up for study preparation and assignment organization.  I’m still mostly sure I’m forgetting something, or misunderstanding something.  My class is on Tuesday evening.  By Tuesday, then, I need to:  finish watching the Tegrity lecture on Anatomy, finish reading Chapter 2 in the text, watch the Tegrity lecture on Voice Disorders, read 2 pdf documents and 2 Word documents.  No assignments due, just keeping up with the material, because the first quiz is coming up the week after.

Dysfluency:  This class is rather straight-forward as to what to do when, which is helpful.   Class is also on Tuesday night.  Before then, I need to:  finish reading Chapter 5 in the text, answer three discussion board questions, and read Chapter 3 in the text.

Phonology:  We have our first class meeting with our instructor on Monday!  Before then, I need to: review the lecture she provided for us since Monday was Labor day and we had no class.  And that’s it, really!  I’m mostly caught up, I think.

Externship:  Next week I want to get my system for recording hours set up, so that it’s not overwhelming when I start.  I also need to write my goals and upload them.

For fun and games, I should put what I need to do for work in here, too.  But I won’t.  If I don’t acknowledge it, it doesn’t exist.  (I’ll break the truth to myself later.  It’s the weekend, I’m going to enjoy!)

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First day(s) of school

2011-2012 started off easily.  We have 3 kids in 3 different schools, which makes for a lot more organization than last year!

First up is Miss Imagination, newly 4, starting her PreK year at her same public Montessori school.  Same teacher, many of the same classmates, but a brand-new school building!  The new building is gorgeous, and I was very jealous.

Next is Perpetual Motion Boy, almost 7 1/2, who started 2nd grade at our local Primary center.  He still gets to walk to school with me, which is a wonderful thing.

My Humorous Thinker, 9 3/4, started 5th grade at a brand-new school.  I miss him a lot at our school, and have moments where I get so confused when I get home and he’s not there.  His school goes later (2:55), and he is currently running cross country, so he’s not done until 5:15.  His school is about 15 minutes away from our house, which is hard for us.  thankfully, it’s 3 minutes from the Montessori school, so morning drop off isn’t too bad for Carl.

And, of course, me.  I started my 2nd full year at school, though it’s my 3rd year, as I started in November 2009.  I love it, still, and even got a new office for this year, which is much bigger than my previous cramped cave.

I think it will be a great year for all of us!

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How I know when I’m on vacation

7 days here…

4 runs…

2 campfires…

1 trip to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes…

2 beach trips…

No pics.  I hate taking my camera to the beach!

countless lake swims…

3 showers.

(Kid shower/bath total = 0.)

Ahhh. 7 more days to go.

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