Saturday, June 30, 2007

surprise - no plunger needed.

Jesse and Leaa gave Carl a unique gift for his birthday. His music store is almost 15 years old and needs a "make-over" but that project hasn't fallen on our radar screen just yet. (The termite damage at home has to take precedent.) While we were out of town, Jesse and Leaa with Cara's assistance as a babysitter, redid one of the rooms at the store. They painted and retiled and redecorated the public restroom . They did an amazing job. I'll share pictures soon . Carl had no idea that they had done it. When he came into work, after being off for a week, he found a note on his office door that said there was something in the front restroom that needed his attention. Of course he expected to see a clogged toilet or something else broken so it was a nice surprise. How cool and thoughtful is that? Thanks kids.

Comment from one of our customers - Who turned Martha Stewart loose in your bathroom?

Friday, June 29, 2007

More NECC links

Here's a video that I enjoyed from NECC. It's called Have You Been Paying Attention and suggests some ways that we might make learning more meaningful to our students. It reminded me of the Shift Happens video that is certainly worth a view if you haven't seen it yet. There are newer versions of this one that are more PC with legal music but I still like this one best. There's a wiki to promote further discussion too.
And while I am at it I might as well link a podcast of the Closing Keynote address by Dr. Tim Tyson. I'll stop now.

Sicko trailer- go Michael

Here's the trailer to Michael Moore's movie Sicko.

Teach 42

One of my favorite education blogs is Steve Dembo's Teach 42. Steve actually taught a Podcasting class in Putnam County last November for our "Day of Discovery" Professional Development Day. Some of you may remember him. I liked his closing NECC post.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Geek in Me

The technology conference in Atlanta was nothing short of exhilarating. As David Warlick wrote on his blog "You can't turn around here without learning." There was way cool stuff everywhere I looked and people who were excited about learning swarming all over it.

One of the most useful sessions I attended was called Professional Development Transformed through Personal Learning Spaces. Sounds riveting, doesn't it? But it was good. Sharon Betts, a Technology Coordinator from Maine, spoke to a standing room only crowd about a Professional Development Model implemented in her district. She offered a sensible approach to many of the problems we all face as we struggle with the logistics of training teachers. They are using wikis, blogs,web pages, Eport, Ning, Moodle, and other things- including some that I had never heard of but intend to learn more about soon. I sensed that Sharon has a keen understanding of what teachers need for support. She was kind and sensible. She knows that teachers are already so overwhelmed that we surely can't be issuing mandates for completing training. Our district may be able to deploy a comparable model and Sharon’s web site will be a useful resource for guidance.

I loved the new additions showcased at NECC on the Reading is Fundamental site. They have added games, stories, finger plays, songs, etc for children 0-5. These are well done flash elements that children, parents and teachers will love. I can't wait to share this one with my Pre K and K teachers as well as our parent liaisons. Oh - OK - and Livi too.

Scott Wilson from Georgia's DOE presented Moodle and Milestones for Integrating Technology into the Curriculum. His presentation was informative but what I took away from it that I'm most excited about is a product called I'm still exploring but it looks like a great solution for teacher's web pages. No html, ftp, web design knowledge needed. There's a free version as well as an affordable upgrade. It may be easier than Google's Page Creator even.

Speaking of Google I loved the demonstration on SketchUp that I caught at their cool Google booth, and have you created custom search pages yet? You can set up a page that will only search the sites that you dictate. The code that is generated can be copy/pasted onto your home page so when your students search the Internet from your site they only get results from those sites that you’ve selected.

I could go on and on but you would probably prefer that I stop. Suffice it to say that I have plenty of new info to mull.

We're back from Birmingham and Atlanta. I miss Katie and B'dawg.

We're back to two lane roads and no traffic. I don't know how you folks in Atlanta put up with it. I'd be postal in short order. Thanks Katie and Barrett for hosting the Birthday throw down. Carl, Manning, Mom and our friend Ronnie have birthdays consecutively from the 23 - 27. That's a lot of cake days in a row.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lake Santa Fe on Father's Day

Father's Day on the Lake
Livi and her Dad. Click on the album to see more pictures. So I'm playing around on my Mac and made another quick time movie with these pictures. It looked and sounded great on my computer but the resolution was fuzzy when I uploaded it. I'm not sure if it's Google video or something I've done on not done to the export settings in iPhoto. I can't decide which is best for sharing- the slide show, ( like below) a movie ( like Livi Pop) or just a link to the album like on this post. Do any of you have a preference?
It has been a gorgeous day.

Lake Santa Fe meet Livi

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day

I wrote this piece about twelve years ago. Evidently Carl and I had been mad at each other about something but I can't remember what. I'm sharing it here in honor of his parenting skills. Happy Father's Day CC.

My husband Carl can be a difficult person to live with (of course the same isn't true of me) but I've never doubted his love for our children. His relationship with them has sustained me during low points in our own nineteen year relationship. I have gathered a storehouse full of memories that run like snippets of home movies in my mind of Carl parenting. This week I found myself using them to help me overcome my anger.One evening last week our six year old daughter,Cara,choreographed a modern dance routine and as soon as Dad got home convinced him to be her partner. Within minutes this tired looking guy was transformed into a middle-aged, gray-haired John Travolta, hamming it up with his little girl. One would not have guessed as he twirled Cara in the air that he had put in his usual twelve hour day prior to this performance. He is a great guest at tea parties too. With his pinkie curled and ankles crossed, he knows the value of serious conversation when air is served into tiny cups. He is also a talented tour guide. Each of our three children have been given a personalized tour of our home upon their initial arrival from the hospital. He points out who has provided what and fills them in on the real story behind each relative or friend.When our sixteen year old daughter Katie was little she spent a lot of time with her Dad at his music store. One day I arrived to find that Katie had gone into business with him, selling unique wooden airplanes, constructed from two toothpicks and a drop of glue. The sign that her Dad had placed in the window read Palatka Music Center and Katie's Aeronautical Center. Incidentally, she sold several toothpick planes that day and still laughs as she recalls the seriousness of the venture.Jesse, our son, enjoys trick skating and music. His dad spent the weekend making rails and ramps to help him defy the laws of gravity. He's been Jesse's music teacher, roadie, manager and sound man.Carl and I conducted a cold war last week. It was miserable for us both. I'm glad I had my "mind movies" to help me get over my anger. Who could stay mad at a guy who is so giving? Certainly not me.

Just the music

Here's a link to the song without the pictures, in case you would like a copy. enjoy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Livi Pop- featuring beautiful music by Jesse and Leaa


And grad week ends . Luckily nothing broke when Cara rolled down a flight of stairs to the beach on the last evening of grad week. She swears alcohol wasn't involved. That's her story and she is sticking to it. Ah the resiliency of youth though. She only needed the knee immobilizer for a couple of days and other than scrapes and massive bruises she is fine.

Monday, June 04, 2007


We had so much fun with all the family here. We are blessed! Wish that we could get together more often. Thanks to each of you for coming.

The ceremony was at the football stadium and it was raining and so crowded we had to sit in the aisle on the wet cement steps but it's official. Cara has graduated and all my children have now survived PHS. YEAH! Everybody was a trooper even though the accommodations were terrible. Maddy and Tess, our precious little nieces ages 4 and 7, were especially sweet and well behaved. The speeches were brief but after the salutatorian and valedictorian spoke Maddy looked at the sea of blue graduates on the field with a worried expression and asked if they would all have something to say. She asks the best questions!

Graduation Weekend Jun 07