Monday, February 28, 2011

Sky Zone

Sam, Cara, and I discovered "Sky Zone" over the weekend. It's an indoor trampoline park with one main jumping area and one jumping area for playing dodgeball. So much fun and what a workout! Whew! You could buy tickets for 30 minutes or 1 hour, and being the over confident people we are, decided 30 minutes wouldn't be enough and we would definitely want to do the hour. Well, let me tell you, after 15 minutes, we all looked at each other and decided it was break time! Ha! The exercise classes at Sky Zone say you burn 1000 calories in an hour, and while I was doubtful at first, I definitely believe it now. It's hard work jumping but oh so much fun, especially bouncing from one wall to another. We lasted the full hour, with a couple breaks here and there, and had a blast. Definitely recommend it to everyone, but wear workout clothes cause you're gonna sweat!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waffles for all

Waffle time! Finally putting my Christmas present to work ~ a double Belgium waffle maker! Love it!!! I even bought the special Belgium waffle mix, so they are the real deal. Muy delicioso :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

The adventures have begun!

Ohio adventure #1 actually took place in Indiana this weekend :) It was Sam's brother's birthday and he wanted to go to Hollywood Casino for a little gambling and a great steakhouse dinner. I've never been to Las Vegas, so this was my intro to gambling....and as you can see from the above picture, I spent big to win big! Ha! I took $40 with me (actually $35 because mom gave me $5 to play roulette for her) and decided that was all I was willing to risk. I'm happy to say I ended the evening having only lost $5, and since I had 2 free pops while gambling, it was really like I paid $2.50 per drink and had a great evening.

Anyways, so this Hollywood Casino was a beautiful place with a grand marble entryway, a gorgeous stained glass domed ceiling of the world, and a moving sidewalk from the parking garage into the casino. Funny side story ~ Sam, his mom, and I were leisurely standing and riding the moving sidewalk when we looked over to our right, and there on the normal floor was a lady in a wheelchair passing about feeling lazy! Ha! We stepped it up and started walking on the sidewalk instead of just riding :) Okay, back to the casino. Knowing I only had $40 to gamble with all night, I thought the slot machines would be my best bet since all the main tables were $15 or $25 minimum bets. The first group of slot machines we came to were $1 bets and in less than a minute, I lost $5. Well, that was just not going to do! So we kept walking and finally came across the penny slots!!!! Jackpot!! I could play 100 bets for $1! And even better, I found an "I Love Lucy" machine! Wohoo!! That was possibly the highlight of my night :) I didn't win anything significant on the slots, so I decided to play roulette for mom. It was a $15 minimum, so I put in $10 with her $5 and on my very first time ever playing roulette, on the very first spin, I won $30! What I didn't know, was that I also got back my original $15, so needless to say, I was ecstatic! Think I'm ready for Vegas now :)

Friday, February 18, 2011


It is a beautiful 65 degrees outside today! A school teacher's dream because the kids can go outside for recess :) My kids at school love being outside playing on the swings or just looking at the sky and cars passing by. Thought I'd share another little story from work for your amusement. I noticed one of the 8 year-old boys in my class was no where to be found on recess (it's a completely fenced-in area so I wasn't worried that he actually was missing) this afternoon. I was looking around the yard about to go ask one of the other teachers if someone had taken him inside for the bathroom, when a teacher pointed in the direction of a fairly large green, plastic storage bin where the sand toys are kept. Noticing all the toys were scattered around the patio area, I walked over to the bin, lifted the lid, and my little "missing" boy said "Peek-A-Boo." I laughed and told him next time to let someone know he was playing so we could play too :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The world of Autism

I have the awesome privilege of spending my days teaching children (ages 3-8) with you can imagine I have some "interesting days" at work. This was just one incident that I saw and had to share. At lunch, one of my little guys had a bag of Doritos but instead of eating them, he took each one out of the bag, licked both sides completely clean of the cheese, and then stacked them in a pile next to the bag. I missed capturing the precisely stacked chips by a fraction of a second before they toppled over. He never did eat the chips, so the only thing he had for lunch was the cheesy-spice he licked off.

The world of Autism is fascinating and I truly love working with this population of kids. They each have their quirks and it's my job to teach them how to function in this world, quirks and all. It's really cool to watch them use little tricks that I've shown them to adapt to new situations. For example. another one of my kiddos spent 20 minutes of lunch working up the nerve to eat his sandwich since the bread on top had a slight hole in it. First, I tried flipping his sandwich over so that he wouldn't see the hole. When that didn't make a difference, I held my hand over it and then guided his hand to cover the hole while he ate so that it "disappeared." It didn't completely alleviate his anxiety, but it was enough that he could eat the sandwich.

Sometimes, I just laugh all day at the things the kids say. When one little guy's dinosaur ended up in the toilet (placed there by another kid who thought it was the funniest thing in the world), the first thing the little guy said was, "Miss Colleen, my dinosaur can't swim! He's not at the beach!" I laughed so hard as I was fishing it out...and thoroughly cleaning it in a bucket of Pine Sol! His mind didn't see the whole situation ~ he saw: dinosaur in water, water is for swimming, swimming happens at the beach, the dinosaur is not at the beach, the dinosaur can't swim. Most kids would say "Ewww get my dinosaur out of the toilet"....but not my kids, which is why I love them :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Life as a teacher

This is what I was doing last night until 11pm....making cut-out frog sugar cookies! Today was "letter F" in my class and I thought the kids would love to decorate frog cookies as a special treat in the afternoon. I randomly found this frog cookie cutter while unpacking boxes...I have no idea where or when I bought it, but it was never used and I thought now was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. Well, let me tell you, frogs are NOT the easiest shape to slide from the cutting board onto a cookie sheet! I fought with the dough every step of the way, even after refrigerating it and sprinkling tons of flour on the rolling pin and dough. Today, it was very satisfying to chomp the head off my decorated frog :) I don't even think the kids realized some of the frogs looked more like squares ~ they were pretty much focused on the icing and green sprinkles! Not many people can say they decorated frog cookies at work, but that's exactly why I love teaching :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another Weekend, Another Move

Amid the snow, sleet, rain, and ice on Saturday....I moved! Officially into my new apartment and up to my ears in boxes unpacking and organizing. I couldn't have done it without my crew of 7 people ~ mom, dad, sister, 2 brothers, brother's friend, and Sam. Again, I found myself wondering "where did all this stuff come from"?? Definitely the favorite part of my apartment thus far is my walk-in closet! It fits all my clothes - and shoes! - and I have plenty of storage room. Pictures are soon to follow but first I need to finish unpacking....and locate the computer cord for my camera :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More ice pictures

Another day off work, which means another day of glorious picture taking :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ice Storm

The hat on Meemee's snowman ~ completely frozen stiff!

A snow day off work every other week...I knew I made the right choice moving back to Ohio :) Here are some pictures of the ice storm I eluded to in my last post. It certainly came in with force last night and the advisory is still out until tomorrow night at 7pm. Could I be so lucky as to have another day off tomorrow??? I doubt it, but who knows! Aside from being hazardous, the ice is gorgeous!! What a wonderful treat to wake up to this morning....that and "school closed" running across the bottom of the tv :)