Spring has Sprung?

Ok Ok...I know its January 28th. But it is supposed to get up to 55 today and I got a little something in the mail and its making me all confused! You know I love winter and I'm not so crazy about 110 degree weather at all but I am ready to get out to my little garden patch....

The Gurney's Seed Catalog came in the mail! You should have seen the way I poured over this thing...and still do. Does that make me a real gardener? ...I don't know maybe! Some of the produce in the running...

I would love to try a plant or two of Heirloom tomatoes. They are so pretty...remember that is the #1 criterion for making it into my garden! Plus they are always being used on the Food Network.

Jalapenos...cause Senor Smarty pants, my dad, my brothers and I love Jalaepeno poppers.

 Mom tried to grow peanuts one year and would like to try again. I'm liking that idea.

 Then came the weakness. I want to grow them ALL. I have even asked mom where else I could grow flowers....

 A whole section on different hybrids of SUNFLOWERS. My favorite! Look at the dwarf ones in the bottom right corner!

 These are called Dinner Plate are these cool... :)

Finally maybe the coolest thing in the whole catalog. A coffee plant! I might have to get this for a house plant naturally. 

Ok so I know probably not the most interesting post. But I'm itching to get out there! I'm excited to make my own little world again out west of the house, the land of vegetables and tall flowers. Come on Spring! 



Heath Nut...

So...another topic has been brought to my attention in another class. PE 340-translated- Incorporating Movement into the Classroom. This doesn't mean just during the PE time, because the sad thing is, many schools are cutting that program, but thats another section of the story. This class is helping us as future educators think outside the box, teaching us games that include movement while teaching Math, Social Studies, etc. It is very interesting. 

In the class we have a question we are answering. It is: What is Quality Physical Education and why is it important? Now, I know this seems very straightforward and doesn't seem to be a need for a whole class, but don't worry its only a 6 week class. The first week we discussed the big elephant in the room...well actually the elephant in this whole country. Obesity. For a long time I guess I didn't think of it too seriously. Yeah some people are large. It's just how it is. But its not how it was. We discussed statistics, stats aren't always the best indicators, and sometimes don't impress me but these cannot be overlooked. 

15% of 6-19 year olds are considered overweight and or obese, that translates to about 9 million. With the number only growing. 

That stat is 3 times higher than in 1980. I also watched a documentary That spoke about China's obese rate-1990- 0. 2010- 25% of adults. Hello American fast food! 

The US Center of Disease Control says the obesity issue in this country is at EPIDEMIC levels. What does that mean? There is no end in sight, it seems uncontrollable, its increasing, and highly widespread. 

Now lets talk cash, the obesity epidemic cost about $100 billion a year of our health care budget. Why? because of the large number of disability claims because people can't work because of their weight and the huge heath issues that come about. 

This problem affects us all. Tall, short, healthy, unhealthy. Also according to the US Center for Disease Control this generation being raised has a shorter expected life span than the one before them. This hasn't happened since the Black What a sad state. Parents outliving their kids because of weight.

The diabetes rate even in Nebraska is growing exponentially. They actually had to rename "Adult Onset Diabetes" to "Type II Diabetes" because children were being diagnosed with this disease. 

Ok so enough scary facts. We eat terrible. The preservatives, artificial colorings and flavors, and of course the fats. Then you add the lack of activity, I think it seems obvious that this issue has arose. Now I'm not saying I'm the definition of a "Health Nut" but I am saying that that I want to do something about this problem.I want to help stop giving kids in schools the option to eat the overly processed junk our government gives the schools. I want to make sure that my students get the recommended 150 minutes of PE a week...not just 40 or 60...what many students are getting if they are lucky. You don't have to go nuts on some radical diet. Just use common sense. Opt for veggies and fruits. Don't overeat. Be active with kids. Take the get it. But take these things seriously. Live as an example. Being lazy and overweight isn't funny. That is something I've noticed on campus. Two very overweight girls the other day laughed about how funny it was that they couldn't take the stairs to the second floor...they took the elevator. Sorry if this sounds cold, the girl with the nick name, Slim is raggin' on the overweight stuff. Not everyone can or should be a stick. We all have different body types that are healthy for us. Key word? Healthy. 




I had a wonderful blessing the other evening...
 One of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever witnessed. 
 Just plain amazing scenery...
 Such vivid colors. Just amazing. 
 I think God has the best job in the world...getting to paint the sunsets every dusk. 
The most spectacular art I've ever seen.



Shel Silverstein

Check out more Shel Silverstein at this link! Such fun poetry.

See...poetry isn't so scary!




Well school has started up again. While I am overwhelmed with all the new classes, information, and assignments, there have been some interesting dicussions in the 5 short days I've been in class. I am in a Children's Literature class. We have a lengthly list of children's' books to read. While that all sounds wonderful, sweet, and easy, I had a feeling that there was much more to this class. Boy was I right.

The title of this post has an unexpected meaning. Metrophobia is the fear of poetry. People with this fear tend to dislike seeing, hearing or writing poems. Our first discussion in Children's Lit was about Poetry. Poetry makes most people cringe. I happen to love poetry, Emily Dickenson, and Shel Silverstein are my favorites. I know I am very in the minority though. In high school the groans were not disguised when the poetry unit came around. But why? That was the question posed in class last week. 

Poetry tends to have a negative cloud from adults to kids. Its kinda an endless cycle. But what's the big deal? Its just words, commonly rhyming words as well. We love things like nursery rhymes but thats where the love seems to end. My professor directed us to an interesting article to read for class. In this article they too wanted an answer.  I remember in high school the point of our poetry lesson was to find the poems "meaning," the hidden symbols. What the author really meant even if the poem seemed to be pretty cut and dry. The common complaints in my classes were "But this doesn't make any sense!" "Why don't they just say what they mean?" Sure we learned about parts of a poem, the meaning of stanzas and rhyme schemes but it was all about thinking about the poem, throughly and maybe even excessively. I think therein lies part of the issue. 

Poetry isn't about thinking necessarily. What is it about? Feeling. It is about how the words make you feel, how they give the poem emotion or feeling. But we think way too much. The whole point of the education system isn't necessarily about the information you are learning but about learning how to think critically, problem solving. Poetry, while it has meaning and symbols in it, doesn't really fit in that mold. It isn't always meant to be dissected. It was written with a great deal of emotion behind it and should be read in that mindset. Many times there isn't much more to it than what's on the paper. That's the beauty of it. Sure, maybe sometimes dissecting and finding the hidden symbols is a bit interesting and maybe fun, but if that's really all that great then why is poetry so unpopular? I think if we went into a different mindset and attitude when teaching and reading poetry we might enjoy and appreciate it much more. We just may pass that appreciation on and maybe help stop Metrophobia. :)



Hey Goalie...

For Christmas I gave my brothers Hockey Tickets. They had never been to a hockey game before and there is a team in K-town. I thought it would be way fun to go with them! Mom, Dad and Senor Smarty Pants came along and it was a new and fun experience. The boys say they will be coming again...soon, I guess it was a success! 
 Stormy, the kids loved him!
 They had a rib eating contest. It was decided that Senor Smarty Pants could have won, no problem. 
 A bit of a rough start but they improved throughout the game!
 When you go to a hockey game, any kind of sportsmanship you had is thrown out the window. There were chants against the refs, the players. When players were put in the penalty box they were harassed. I did not like that part. Mr. Keyser, my past PE teacher and principal would NOT be proud. :)
 The boys LOVED how physical the game was. The highlight was the fight two players had. I however, was not so impressed. 
When you are naughty in hockey you go in this box. (Penalty Box)


Miss Muffin..Apricot Oatmeal

During the snow days we had I got a little stir crazy. So what do I do when I get this way? BAKE. Of course it was muffins. They are fun! I found this recipe on the back of a can of apricots. It was really good but in my opinion it was a bit dry. They still tasted great though. I may work with this recipe more and see what I can do to help it out a bit!



Weekend Feedings...

My parents went on a little it was up to me to feed the animals...i mean boys...
 On the menu? A large amount of MEAT, my brothers are crazy carnivores. 
We had a surplus of venison and so, the first night we had just some homemade mac n cheese, beans and then...yes the venison and crackers. They were happy. 
 The next night I made salsa burgers...just put a cup or so in the hamburger and then make patties...they were large!
 Super Nachos sealed the deal.
E chowing down!

Overall they are easy to please...just give em LOTS of food ALL the time, and they are good! 



Snow + Sissy + Sled = FUN

A large winter storm went through our area, much like the rest of the state. We got about 8 inches. It was powdery stuff. Perfect for sledding. We have had a horse for a long time but never have done this....
 A, Sissy and E!
 Mock Speed for a 20 year old Mare. Sissy is such a good horse!
 Yes that is me in the hat with the ridiculously large pom-pom.
 A view from a backseat..sorry Sis,..maybe not your best side. 
 Pretty Pretty Snow




I believe pie should be a food group. 
 I am befuddled by people who don't "like" pie.
 I believe pie is perfect for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and yes...supper. 
 I am positive pie is perfect for every occasion as well.
I believe there are not many more things as homey as a homemade pie.  
I believe pie is worth the work, the mixing, the rolling, the crimping, and even the wait.

Pie Curtsey of: Senor Smarty Pants. :)




  I am afraid giants have gotten ahold of my Gingerbread House. They are significantly lowering the esthetic value. It just didn't escape in time...



WY Scenery...

I80 on the way out to WY. Beautiful scenery..but flat!  
We stopped in Sidney at Cabellas..
Welcome to the GUN LIBRARY 
The little place we ate in Laramie.
  I am very disappointed to say that I forgot my camera the day we actually went skiing. I comforted my self with the thought, "Oh I'll just bring it tomorrow." Well due to a massive snow system that threatened much of the area we were in and home we had to cut the trip short and head home the next day. pictures. I am still a little sore on this issue! But we needed to leave, when we woke up the next morning we couldn't even see the mountains we could the morning before. So these shots will have to suffice!

A was impressed with the shower cap
in our room....easily entertained!

Pretty Pretty Mountains...Scary Scary Clouds 
These clouds are from the snow storm
we had to cut our trip short for. 

Red rocks Pretty!
Roads weren't terrible...yet
Many interesting names for roads in this area
Amazing rock formations!