Monday, October 17, 2011

Date Night 10/14/2011

Oh date nights. I love date nights with the Hubby! We have family date nights where we go out and do something fun together as a whole family. We also have date nights where Hubby and I join friends and do something with them, and we also have date nights where it is just Hubby and myself.

Friday night was a date night with friends. You see, one of my oldest and dearest friends recently moved an hour or so away from our hometown. She and her hubby still own their house here in our town and they travel back on the weekends that they don't have to work to fix up the house and try to get it readied for selling. Most weekends when they are back, they are so busy working at the house that we don't get a chance to connect and spend time together. That makes me sad. I love this couple and their children like family.

So this past week when my girlfriend told me that they would be in town on Friday night and would be able to get together, I jumped at the chance. Hubby and I arranged for childcare and when I got off of work, I went home and helped get kids settled for the night, got changed and ready to go out, then we went and picked them up from their hotel.

The four of us proceeded to the bar where her uncle's girlfriend was celebrating her birthday. I have met the uncle's girlfriend once or twice before and we have gotten along. And now, that I'm an adult, the uncle and I get along too. He was always a scary presence to me when were kids - but that really went for all of my girlfriend's adult family members. That's another story entirely though.

So we got to the bar and it was actually fairly busy. Girlfriend and her hubby as well as her uncle and his girlfriend appeared to be regulars there because it seemed like they were talking to and knew everyone there. By the time the night was over, I pretty much did too. It's a small bar.

They were having a karaoke night. I haven't sang karaoke in seven years and that wasn't about to change, so we sat around talking and drinking (some had soda, some had mixed drinks, some had beer. I was in the last category myself) and just having a nice time. It was nice.

Girlfriend likes to dance - line dance in particular. I'm not very good at it myself though. We have gone to a lesson together before but then she decided that she didn't want to do that after the first one so we never went back. However, her uncle is a pretty smooth dancer and she learned quite a bit from him when it came to line dancing. She then decided that this was the night for me to learn to do it too.

She dragged me out on the floor for the electric slide, which I tried and I kinda sorta maybe have most of the idea of the steps down, but I would need to do it a few more times before I felt like I really had it. Then later on, she dragged me out on the floor again for a cha cha slide, where the music apparently tells you what you are going to do next, but it still was like a foreign language to me. I will get it eventually though!

Later in the evening, the uncle grabbed me and we two-stepped on the dance floor. At least, I think that's what it was. He is a very smooth and powerful dancer and the fact that I don't know how to dance didn't make a bit of a difference when I was dancing with him because he knew what he was doing and he is a strong lead. He just pushed me into the next step or wherever it was we were supposed to go. It was amazing.

It also sparked a conversation between Hubby and I about the possibility of taking lessons together. There's a place here in our town where they offer free lessons and that is where girlfriend and I went before she decided that she wasn't going to do that afterall. I would love to go there and take lessons with my Hubby and be able to dance smoothly with him. I had such a great time. Hubby had a good time, although he didn't dance at all. We talked about it afterwards and he said that he doesn't enjoy dancing because he doesn't know how to do it. That's how we came to the conclusion to look into the classes.

I cannot wait for when we start the classes! I think it will be an absolute blast! I hope Hubby enjoys it as well. If not, well, we tried. We still have PLENTY of other activities that we enjoy doing together, as well as many that we enjoy doing separately. I find it healthy and beneficial for each of us to have our own interests and friends as well as to have joint ones. So, if the dancing ends up being something that he really does not enjoy, it will work out just fine regardless. I ♥ my Hubby so!

And I loved the fact that we were able to just spend some time sitting around the table, talking with friends and enjoying the music. Good music, good friends, good times.

Columbus Day

Columbus Day was an extremely busy day for me! I got the kids up in the morning and ready for school then proceeded to get myself ready for the day and over to the school half an hour later to volunteer in Oralee's classroom.

I love working in the classroom! I would love to be a teacher but that is one education that takes more time and resources than I have available to give to it unfortunately. So instead, I choose to volunteer. Oralee is a kindergartener. I volunteered in Cephas' class with he was in Kindergarten, as well as in Koren's class at that grade as well.

I was assigned to the Art table. I had two kids at a time come up to the table as assigned and they would work on identifying the pictures, determining which ones started with the same letter sound as their letter of the week ("M") and then they would cut the pictures out as well as arms and legs for a monster book they are working on and then they would glue the pictures inside the monster book. After they had done that, they could color the pictures. They had twenty minutes to do this.

Let me preface this by stating one thing: Kindergarteners are not all equal in their scissor skills. Very few kids got everything cut out that needed to be in order to glue it in their books, fewer yet got all their pictures glued into their book and not one of them had time to color the pictures.

It may just be me and the era I was raised in but it seems to me that the upper grades (3rd-5th) in grade school are not much different in the material taught than it was when I was in those grades. However, the younger (and more specifically, the youngest!) grades seem so focused and driven. I'm not quite sure what to make of it all.

I mean, when I was five, I went to Kindergarten. My teacher's name was Ms. Schnott. (yes, "shhh-not"). I hated her with a passion. Our basic day was to get to the classroom for our half-day of learning. We would sit on the rug, do our calendar time, say the Pledge of Allegiance and have books read to us and we would do little papers and get into the routine of a school day. We had recess and nap time.

Now, Kindergarten is full-day. There is no nap time, however, there are two recess periods I believe. It is very academic. Instead of children learning their letters and numbers and colors and shapes and the things that we were learning at this age, they are doing that as well as learning to read and add and subtract and do many many different activities. It is just so...busy, I suppose.

I don't know, I guess that is actually the kind of environment I was craving when I was five. (I started school reading, writing and doing math on a 1st/2nd grade level) However, with that being said, I really enjoy being a part of the classroom. With the requirements that our state and local governments put on our educational professionals, on top of the ones that our national government puts on them, I am glad to be able to help out and to help assist the teacher and the students both. The teacher needs additional adults to be sure that each child is learning to their full potential and the kids need that guidance time. And for me, it is additional time that I get to see at least one of my kiddos! That is one thing that always warms my heart and I am grateful for that!

Here's to another wonderful, fun, exciting Kindergarten year!

Crafting Update and Other News

Otherwise known as a FAIL. Well, it is not FAIL exactly, as it is just incomplete. I did find the fabric that originally prompted me to buy the hoop, but I haven't gotten it put together and hung up. I did get ONE of the TWELVE panels completely finished and have three more in various states of progress. It's going fairly well. It just was not a priority this week.

This past week I feel like my feet have hardly touched the ground, I've been so busy. Between work and the kids' school and volunteering there and trying to get things done around the house and the music lessons and practices that need to get done, as well as house-sitting for my inlaws and then spending time with a friend who was in town for the weekend with some time to spend on me, well...yeah, crafting took a back seat.

This past Monday (Columbus Day) I volunteered at the kids' school. I was in Oralee's class working at the Art station with groups of children that changed about every 20 minutes. That may seem like a fair amount of time to work on an art project that correlates to their letter of the week (this past week was "M" - Mimi Mouse style) but really, it's a tight squeeze and some kids weren't able to get their projects cut out, glued and colored in the allotted time frame.

Monday night was music lessons. The boys did a fantastic job at their lessons! Cephas has a bow test, which I'm not completely sure that I personally understand, but he did well with it. And Koren's teacher told me that he has a real ear for music and rhythm. I find that to be true with all four of my children. They are all musical by nature. And I love that about them!

Wednesday night, we went to Hubby's work for dinner and enjoyed a nice time there as a family before heading home and getting the kids ready for bed. We so look forward to Wednesday nights! Especially now that I have that night off from work!

On Friday night, Hubby and I went out with a couple that we are friends with. Yes, my Hubby and I have been married for nearly 11 years and we stilll date. It was a great time! I think I had a better time than Hubby did though. I knew the people there better and I really enjoy dancing, although I am not very good at it.

Over this past weekend, we just spent time as a family getting chores and other miscellaneous things done around the house. I love having a clean, organized, clutter-free home. However, it does not often stay that way during the week. At all. Hopefully, by having a random day off in the middle of the week, it will help me to combat that issue.

But that is all for now. I will be working on some more detailed posts about some of the things I have written about and will hyper link them for your viewing convenience!