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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

It's been a busy year to say the least.  Today is the last day of the break.

It might snow tonight for the first time this year. So hard to believe.  It really didn't feel much like Christmas when it was so warm. The kids had a great one though.  Jackie loved his Legos, Spiderman shooter, and the SWAT team set I got him.  Sydney got a bunch of dolls, play doh, kitchen stuff, and a new Leap pad. Amazingly, #3 is on the way in May.   The kids are old enough to start doing things like baking, building, and writing.  We've even started having "movie parties" and eating popcorn from the machine.  We have all developed an obsession with Alvin and the Chipmunks.  I bought Chipwrecked on demand and we watched it twice.  Sydney even wanted to watch it a 3rd time.

School has been a blur.  Engage NY has been more time consuming than I ever imagined.  I just printed out a lesson for our new unit and it was 31 pages!  It is hard, if not impossible, to keep up with  the copying.  There are so many handouts that it becomes difficult for us to find anything.  This unit, I am going to try to let students use their notebooks more.  If the handout is absolutely necessary, I will copy it. We are starting a new book Lyddie, so I am excited about that. I read this book a long time ago, but I remembered liking it.

In social studies, we are now doing the Nile River chapter. That brings back a lot of memories of Egypt.  Being on felucca rides and watching the water.  I remember all the places we used to hang out along the Nile.  It was so long ago, but some of it feels like it was yesterday.

Teaching online has been more challenging than I thought.  Students are dropped and added quite a bit.  So I end up spending time orienting and email the new student and then they drop.  It feels like a waste of time.  However, I did get a nice email from one new girl telling me how much she loved my online art class.  I thought about doing a second class, but with my sister having another baby this summer, I don't think I will have time.

I did take a day and make some laundry detergent.  It feels great to make that and some basic cleaning supplies.  I really long to make soap again from scratch.  However, the hassle of ordering lye seems too overwhelming. Plus, it's too dangerous with kids around.  I was always paranoid about the dangers of it.  I always wore splash googles and long gloves, but even a sniff of those awful fumes is sickening. I guess I could buy some melt and pour.

I'm reading The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright.  It is one of those books you can't put down.  Our 8th grade ss teacher lent it to me and a couple of other books.  With everything going on in the world, this book seems more relevant now more than ever.