This one's for Bob!

Posted by Christine S on 6:14 PM

Our daughter is 3 years old now. To occupy her while we drove when she was younger, we often sang to her. Bob, being the type of guy he is, did not know a whole lot of songs to sing. One day, he sang this commercial to Abbie. She now asks for it constantly. He recalls seeing it while he was growing up. I can honestly say, I never saw it until today. This one's for you Bob! Enjoy :)



Posted by Christine S on 9:39 AM

     I know they say everyone has a soul mate.  I can honestly say, until about 6 1/2 years ago, I did not believe that was possible.  I thought it was an old wives' tale or a myth or fairy tale.  Soul mate, HOGWASH!  But then, along came Bob.
     Bob and I started as co-workers.  We would hang out together when the staff would venture out on Friday evenings.  I chatted with him in the hall.  He'd stop by my room to chat.  I'd stop at his office to chat.   I occasionally cat-sat his cats when he went out of town.  There really was no special reason that I did this.  I did it to help him out.  He seemed like a nice guy who needed a favor.  I never thought anything more of it.
     You see, I have ALWAYS been a rather independent minded person.  I set goals for myself and worked very hard to achieve them.  In high school, my priority was to do well so I could go to college.  I didn't date or go out that much.  I worked and I worked and I worked.  Then college came and my priority was earning my degree.  I worked and I worked and I worked.  After college, my priority was to focus on my career and again I worked and I worked and I worked.  Once my career was going, my priority was to own my own home and so on and so forth.  Finding a soul mate was not my priority.  I wanted to be able to depend on myself first and foremost before I depended on someone else.  
     Heck, I was SO INDEPENDENT that my own mother thought I would never get married.  She figured I would be single forever.  But that is the way I was.  I was a focused woman whose priorities did not include the whole myth of finding my soul mate.  But, then along came Bob.
     Well, as I said, Bob and I would venture out at work gatherings.  We would chat and have fun.   I was naive and never viewed these outings as dates.  I viewed them as friends hanging out and having a good time.  Then, one day, Bob asked me to dinner.  I said sure and offered to invite a few other co-workers.  "No, just you," was his response.  Initially I was like "Oh" and then it hit me like a sledgehammer, "OHHHHH".   Bob had asked me out for a date.
      This was a new experience for me.  Like I said, my focus had always been career oriented.  The only date I had been on was my prom.  I was not a social butterfly to speak.  As Bob has told me on several occasions, I am very hard to read and much more difficult to get to know.  I am an INTROVERT to the extreme.
     Well, I said sure and we went out on our first date (October 13th to be exact).   Several dates followed and I was having a great time.  Never before had I been treated so well.  Bob would open car doors, walk me to my door, treat me to dinner, bring me flowers, and basically spoil me.  I liked him but I wasn't sure if he was the "soul mate" everyone talks about finding.
     Christmas came and Bob invited me to a party.  In a very cute way, he asked me how I wanted to be introduced at the party.  He said I could be his cat-sitter, co-worker or girlfriend.  He preferred the third choice but said it was up to me.   GIRLFRIEND?!?!  I had never had that label before so I was speechless to say the least.   I approved of that label.
     Then Bob had to leave town for Christmas.  I still was unsure of how I felt since this was all so new to me.  It wasn't until he was gone that it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I MISSED HIM!  I thought of him every second he was gone.  Celebrating Christmas with my family was miserable because I missed BOB.  I called him several times while he was gone.  It was weird having these feelings.  
     When I picked him up from the airport, I was SO EXCITED TO SEE HIM that I ran up to him.  Seeing him made my day, week, month, or whatever term you wish to use.  Even as I write this, I still have those same feelings of joy.
     He proposed on February 20th (at a faculty meeting) and I, of course, said YES!  I have been complete ever since.  He knows me better than I know me.  We finish each other's thoughts.  We know what one another is going to say.  He makes me feel better simply by being there.  He listens without judging.  He is patient even when I lose my cool.  He calms me when my nerves are fried.  He knows my feelings and moods without my saying a single word.  He knows my deepest thoughts without even talking about it.  Bob is my other half.  He is truly my soul mate.  For that, I know I am truly blessed.


Earth Hour

Posted by Christine S on 10:45 PM

Visit http://www.EarthHour.org for more information. Turn off your lights on March 29, 2008 at 8:00 pm for one hour.


Blogging so to speak

Posted by Christine S on 4:22 PM
Well, I have spent the past few weeks trying to figure out a way for my students to blog without giving them my password. In order to blog, you must have an email address and a password. My students do not have an email address so I kept pondering.

I read on Once Upon a Teacher's blog that students could be given an email account on gmail. I tried this and it did indeed work. I managed to create an email account for each of my student's but I am not sure if 2nd graders can handle it yet. I am also not comfortable with gmail yet. It is not an account I access often so I haven't really played with it.

I could also have given each student an email address through my web hosting control panel on my website. I can create over 1000 email addreses if need be. The only problem, each student required an email for me to send the email inviting them to accept the email account. Sounds confusing doesn't it? It is. I really wanted to call and ask my web hosting provider to explain the purpose of my creating email accounts IF another email account is required in the first place. Why create a new email address if you already have one? Made absolutely no sense for my purposes.

Therefore I ended right back where I started. How do I allow my students to have their own blog when an email address is required? Well, I thought and I pondered and I thought some more. I know some may wonder, why is it important to have the students blogging? Well, blogging is writing and writing is what I am trying to get my students to do more freely. What better way to engage them than to allow them to publish their own writing for all to see.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, getting my students to blog. Then, it hit me. I created another email account using my web host. Since I have other email addresses, I could "accept" the invitation. I "accepted" the invitation and then went to blogger.

I then created a new blog using that email address and a password that I could give to my students. Once the blog was created, I confirmed the email address for the blog and thus, a new blog was born. The students had the email address they needed to create a blog without actually having access to the email account itself.

I passed the information on to the parents with a brief newsletter and have since passed the blog on to the class. I did this Wednesday. It is now Friday afternoon and I have already had 4 students add a blog entry. They are short entries but it has them writing. Then, once more and more students use the blog, they will feel free to write more and more.

Obviously, parents will need to help them to log in but that is fine with me. The class was really excited about this opportunity. It was their way they could talk with one another and the world. Well, I must be going. I have to add some information to the class blog about things to do over spring break. Take care!

The Class Blog


The Hardy Men starring Tom Cruise?!?!

Posted by Christine S on 9:50 PM

     You know, there are some things Hollywood should really leave alone. You may be wondering what prompted this odd entry. I was surfing the net the other day and stumbled across an article that really bothered me. Let me preface that with a short history of myself.

     As a youngster, I spent many of my days reading. I devoured books like there was no tomorrow. My big Christmas gift consisted of MANY books. Books were the only thing I wanted. I didn't want toys or clothes or even money. I wanted books. Well, one Christmas I got more than I ever could have asked for.

      I used to read the Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon (or the Strathmeyer Syndicate as I later discovered but that is a whole different story). I frequently used my allowance to buy them whenever I could. I had about 25 of the books and really wanted the rest of the series. I couldn't earn the money fast enough to get the books. Santa must have thought I had been a good girl so he brought me the rest of the series (or so I thought until I discovered all of the OTHER Hardy boy Series that are out there).

     Well, I was floored. I was in hog heaven so to speak over my new collection of books. I can't explain why I loved reading the Hardy Boys' books. Perhaps it was the adventure. Perhaps it was the mystery. Perhaps it was the excitement. Who knows? All I knew was that Nancy Drew books bored me to no end (which is odd considering I am a girl) and the Hardy Boys always left me on the edge of my seat.

     Then I discovered one Saturday afternoon that The Hardy Boys had alter egos in the form of Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson. (No, I did not watch the prime time version because I was not old enough at that time. I may be old but not that old yet.) I was thrilled! The show had the excitement, mystery, intrigue and adventure that I adored. I was happy.   

     Fast forward 30 years. I stumbled across an article that read Tom Cruise was in talks with Ben stiller to do a remake of the Hardy Boys except the characters would be aged and become The Hardy Men. Yikes! Tom Cruise as Frank Hardy is just plain stupid. Tom Cruise as Joe Hardy is asnine. Has Hollywood truly run out of ideas that they have resorted to remaking almost everything? Doesn't Tom Cruise have better things to do than to ruin a wonderful series? One can only hope this was a wild rumor and they truly aren't considering this idiotic notion of a remake. The Hardy Boys was a classic. Leave it alone.


Happy Easter!

Posted by Christine S on 12:29 PM


A walk on the beach

Posted by Christine S on 10:55 PM

Good evening! I just got home from a walk on the beach and a trip to a book store. Abbie had a blast at the beach. Here are just a few snapshots from our little adventure. Enjoy and have a nice evening!


American Idol

Posted by Christine S on 5:12 PM
     Well, I happened to be visiting Youtube and found Phil Stacey's latest video and decided I had to share it.  Perhaps it is pride over the fact he is from Jacksonville or it is the fact he seemed like a nice guy.  Family was a priority with him and that impressed me.  I had only watched Idol a few times in the past and had never really been impressed.  I had a hard time buying into the whole phenomenon.  
     However, when I heard that Jacksonville had made it into the "big leagues" so to speak with an actual "Idol Candidate," I decided to watch.   I admit that I liked his singing.  I especially enjoyed his rendition of "Blaze of Glory" from Bon Jovi.  That is not an easy song to tackle (rock ballads usually aren't ) and he did a great job with it.  I will be watching for Phil Stacey's album.  Take care and have a nice weekend.


Spring Break is coming!

Posted by Christine S on 12:02 AM

I made this widget at MyFlashFetish.com.


A Visitor

Posted by Christine S on 11:47 PM
For those of you that may not know this, my family loves animals. We all, Abbie included, have soft spots in our hearts for animals. Bob and I would love to rescue more cats if we had the room. Abbie has already started saying she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up so she can keep the animals healthy.
Well, Boo, our youngest cat, was rescued from our neighborhood. He actually came trotting up to us the day after Halloween last year and we kept him. He immediately took to Abbie. His family still roams the neighborhood. Well, we leave food out for this one relative of his that tends to hang around our house. She will not let us pet her but she does sit at our front door waiting to be feed.
Anyway, I noticed that there was a gray cat eating at the bowl. I told Bob and he went to check it out. I have to admit, I was not wearing my glasses and was looking from the second story window of my home. He laughed at me and responded "Dear, that is an opossum." I did not believe him until I grabbed my glasses and saw that, yes, indeed, we have an opossum. I snapped a few shots of our late night visitor. Check it out. Considering what the opossum is doing, the Ratatouille Photobucket Album seemed most appropriate. Night!


"TECHIE" overload!

Posted by Christine S on 12:15 PM
     I know I have admitted on more than one occasion that I am a techie by nature. I find myself craving the latest gadgets, surfing the net for the latest ideas, and consistently trying to find new ways to use technology in my classroom.
     Well, I must admit I have hit overload. My brain seems to be going a mile a minute nowadays and I can't keep up. For example, I saw this AWESOME teacher website the other day.  She has posted videos her students have made for variuos projects.  Then I stumbled across another website where the teacher has posted student projects. Then I came across ANOTHER website where the students take you on a virtual tour of their classroom.  That was just within ten minutes of surfing!?!?!?!
     I want to do all of those things but I find myself lacking the time. I, like every other person out there, am trying to cram 48 hours worth of work into a 24 hour time frame and that is just not possible. I guess I need to make a list of priorities when it comes to technology in the classroom. So, here goes my list.

1. More student work posted digitally! - I realize I need to make a point to publish more student work. Most sites I have seen select a theme for the year and then publish accordingly. I need to select a theme for next year and publish student work accordingly. I really like how my 4th grade class had the theme of "Take a Leap Into Learning" with frogs being the centerpiece. However, I am leaning towards a "Hollywood" theme. Thistlegirl Designs has some awesome graphics related to Hollywood. I just might have to go that route.

2. Keep the website up to date and simple! - My biggest problem is keeping the website up to date. It has gone through some major changes in the past two years. I have gone from ChristinesLessonPlans.Com to just plain MrsCowan.com.
     I must admit, I am happy with the how it has evolved. It seems to grow every single day. Just last year it was a jumbled mess. Now, it seems more organized. Like I said, I do like how the page has eveloved but I wish I could keep it up to date. I just need to post items that only need updating weekly rather than more often. 3 years olds tend to limit free time and I know my 3 year old keeps me busy. (That is an entirely different post and I wouldn't trade that darling 3 year old jewel for anything in the world.  She is the reason I keep striving to learn more and more just so I can keep up with her :) )

3. Start creating videos. - Sounds simple, right?  This is easier said than done.  Granted, a Mac computer makes it easier with IMovie.  You can click and drag, add music, add words, and so on. However, I want to get into the more complicated aspects such as blue screen use and more intricate editing.  Whether or not I accomplish this remains to be seen but I will give it a go.

     I think 3 goals should do it for now.  I want to be reasonable in my own expectations.  Most of my goals will probably be accomplished this summer since that is when I have more time to do things.  Of course, last summer was supposed to be the time for me to do more things but life happened.  That's okay though because I do the best that I can do.  Later :)

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