Saturday, January 19, 2013

A day at the beach

I went back to the beach today. The sun was out and it was amazing! Despite the beautiful sun shining high in the sky the wind was insane. There are gusts of about 22mph today so it feels very cold out there on the wide open ocean. The sun is staying up much later than it was just a few short weeks ago. The sun is still out when I walk home from school and while I make dinner. It starts getting light out a lot earlier too. It is great to see the sun again. 3 hours of sunshine weren't enough especially because we went several days with 100% cloud cover. I made it through the darkest days of the year! It wasn't that horrible either. The darkness brought out the bright stars and northern lights. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Standardized Testing

I don't know who had the brilliant idea to give kindergarten children standardized tests, especially on the computer. My kids can't read the question or the answers. They don't know how to use a mouse. They can't read the tiny button at the bottom of the screen that says "Go on". Who made this test?! If the test was on a touch screen or an iPad that would be better. If the continue button was a big green sparkly arrow like on StarFall they would know what to do. If we took the test as one big group and I read the question to them all that would be better. Who makes standardized tests for 5 year olds? Every two seconds someone has a question or they froze the computer. They don't listen to the directions and they choose answers based on what they like or think is pretty or cool. Horrible experiences were had in that computer lab the last two days. It was 98 degrees in there and I was constantly fixing computers. Stupid waste of instructional time. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The best present I could give

The only thing that I wanted for Christmas was to be able to go home to Minnesota. In November I was lucky enough to book a trip home. I got on the plane late Sunday night before Christmas. I rode between two unhappy children to Anchorage while their parents were passed out across the aisle. In Anchorage I slept on the fabulous concrete floor for a little bit before finding a slightly more comfortable bench to sleep on until my flight took off Monday morning before dawn. I dozed happily almost the entire 5 hour flight from Anchorage to St. Paul waking up when we crossed the state line from North Dakota to Minnesota. I was able to keep my trip a secret from my parents the entire time. It is difficult tricking my mom but I was smart and fooled her into thinking I was feeling under the weather. I even took a few photos after going for walks outside when my cheeks were rosy so my mom would think I had a fever. I sent her a few pics early Monday morning before boarding my plane to give me an excuse for not talking to her all day while I was actually flying. When I landed I had an anxious Joey waiting for me to take me home to my family. I walked in the door and my dad's face was priceless. His confusion and inability to speak made it amazing when I walked into the bathroom to find my mom getting ready for Christmas Eve with the family. She practically jumped out of her skin when she saw me. There was screaming and crying and hugging and squeezing. It was absolutely perfect! No one was quite as surprised as she was. It was a great gift. 
While I was home I did A LOT of shopping. I got shoes and clothes and food and toys. I went to Target (oh how I missed Target!) and the mall and MOA and IKEA. I saw so many people and ate so much food. I couldn't stop myself from eating basically everything because even though I cook a lot in Nome I know I do not make such delicious meals as I was eating in Minnesota. I went out in Minneapolis with friends and played games and walked my dogs. I visited Kevin and one of my favorite NHL players too. I saw my dear friend from Albert Lea and of course I spent time with my bestie finally. I got to sleep in my own bed and nothing is better than showering at home with excellent water pressure! Ten days flew by extremely fast and I did find myself missing Nome when I was overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the populated life. My mom got to take off early from work my last day home to go out to lunch with me and help me finish the last of my errands. I went home with one suitcase and a carry on duffle bag. Going to my Nome home I had two suitcases, a large rubbermaid tote, and my duffle bag. I had roughly 175 lbs of luggage coming back to Nome with me. I definitely do not travel lightly! 
I made it home and back on 4 planes with lots of great times had in Minnesota. I didn't panic or get sick, I am becoming a frequent flyer! I slept in the airport twice but I don't mind because I got to see my mom and dads faces when I walked in the door. The best gift I ever gave them I do believe! Now I am waiting for them to venture to Nome! 

One thing I do regret....getting bed bugs from sleeping on airport benches!