08 August 2007

Happy Birthday to Me?

This morning started out with a seven year old who refused to listen to anything I was saying. She was completely disrespectful and I was so close to turning around and yelling at her "it's my birthday, could you be nice to me if for no other reason than that?" at about 9am. I managed to hold off until 3pm, but not without many tantrums from the two year old and otherwise rude behaviours from both of them.

My parents took me and ten others out to dinner at my favourite restaurant tonight - it was wonderful and I added to my gift card collection (Borders, Cold Stone Creamery, Starbucks, Best Buy), got a CD I wanted (Big and Rich) and an external hard drive for my computer (in less than 6 months I've used over half the memory on this hard drive, I take too many pictures and listen to too much music apparently!).

Only 13 more days (8 more work days) until Toronto!!!

07 August 2007

Soul to Soul 2007

Last night I saw Tim McGraw and Faith Hill in concert in Sacramento! We were on the floor fairly close to the stage - and if not for the nasty security guard I could have been right at the stage for the whole night.

Here are some of my favourite pictures from the evening.

One of my favourites - it was like the 10th picture I took (out of 300!)

This one's cool too - Faith Hill singing "Lucky One" - at least I'm pretty sure...

Faith brought this little girl whose name was Carly to the stage - Carly went back and forth between dancing and just being completely excite to be up there with Faith.

Tim McGraw

Playing a game - when the hands are down you're quiet.
When they're up, you scream. I think he liked the control he had over the audience at this point!
It's Your Love

One last picture of Faith - and then the camera died!

Back to work tomorrow - only 9 more working days then I'm off to Canada - yay!

19 July 2007

Still working more than anticipated, and yet I had $30 in the bank all week...

I have had 15 hits from people searching for Jason and Chantel Kendall in the last three days, mostly from the Chicago area. And since they seem to be finding the Class Act posting without any troubles, I'm not going to link it here. If you want to know what kind of family you've added to your team, let me just tell you that you really must read that post, it'll tell you a lot about the character of Jason and Chantel.

I also have read numerous articles stating that Jason was booed on his first night in Chicago. Booed. Not even given a chance before people judged. You want to know something? That makes me even more upset than the fact that we don't have Jason anymore. Give the guy a chance.

I'm going to head to Sacramento for baseball on Saturday and then spend the day on Sunday boating with my dad (I think, as long as he can find somewhere to camp on Saturday night), which should be a nice change of pace. There's a chance that one of my favourites may be in Sacramento tomorrow rehabbing from his injury, but even if he's not, I'll enjoy myself.

16 July 2007

I hate this time of year

They traded him.

And I can't read Athletics Nation anymore right now.

They are far too giddy about things over there.

29 June 2007

Day 5 - I'm home!

Hmm, I have a post in a word document. But, my computer won't connect to the internet.

Oh well. Let me sum up day four.

Eleven hours of travel time. 9+ in a plane. Almost two stuck in Vegas while our scheduled plane underwent "mechanical maintenance." Over an hour on the runway in Philadelphia when they stop flights from taking off due to the weather.

That is a really long time to travel. To make up for it, I slept until 11am Pacific this morning.

I'll be back, even if I have to use my friend's phone line to connect through dialup.

27 June 2007

Day 3 - the day of workshops

No pictures today.
The day was filled with workshop after workshop.

I listened to one about cyber safety that made me come upstairs and "unsave" all of my passwords. Followed, by lunch. Which I didn't much eat. Because in Philadelphia they apparently love their bell peppers and onions. And I couldn't even pick them out of the food that's how many there were in every dish for lunch and dinner the last two days.

After lunch, I found out my leadership style and how to recruit underclassmen to the organization.
Then we went to dinner at the mall. We went to Rock Bottom, where it was once again difficult to find anything I would be willing to eat.

I bought these shoes in pink for my friend's little girl. At less than half price. With no tax. Did you know in Pennsylvania (or at least here) there is no tax on clothes or shoes? How cool is that?

Tomorrow we have closing session. And then catch a flight out of here at about 330pm. In the middle of possible thunderstorms. Yay. Have I mentioned how much I hate flying?

26 June 2007

Day 2 - Outreach to Teach

Today we went to an elementary school for this project called Outreach to Teach. With Outreach to Teach, we painted, redid bulletin boards and laid 20,000 square feet of sod. This school never had grass before.

Working on a bulletin board as requested by the teacher

The finished product

Another one that we worked on - I did the lettering on the screen - learning + math = fun!

The new grass, and playground rules. The rocks are made out of tire rubber!

Bonus points if you know where the words come from! This mural sits in the cafeteria.

25 June 2007

Photo blogging my way across the country

The stop was in Vegas. I should have guessed...

Lake Mead

Grand Canyon

Canyon again...

Cool circles

A mountain... not sure which one, maybe one of the Rockies?

Peeking through the clouds, cool picture!

More to come, if I don't get pictures of people... I'm still not at that point yet on here...

24 June 2007

Off to Philadelphia for the next four days.

I'm excited. Even if I'm not particularly looking forward to the plane rides. And why doesn't ANYTHING tell me where my plane is going to stop? It does not take 6 hours and 45 minutes to fly across the country (yes, I calculated after taking into consideration the time difference).

Oh well, I guess I'll know tomorrow!

05 June 2007

Jason Kendall - A Class Act

Last weekend, as I mentioned, I went to baseball. We all know how passionate I am about baseball and how much fun I have at the games, but this weekend there were moments that almost brought me to tears (and they do not involve the designation for assignment of one of my favorites).

I don’t know how much I’ve talked about where I sit or who I sit with when I attend games, but it’s important to know that for this story. When I go to a game, I sit in the left field bleachers. The left field bleachers are home to a group of people who attend 81 games a year (or more if there are playoff games). They bring flags and drums. They arrive hours before a game, and stay long after it ends.

The story centers around the drummers and their relationship with a group of very special children.

There is a teacher in the Oakland area, who teaches a group of students with special needs. She brings these students to a ballgame, once or twice a year and last year the group pulled out little drums to play along with the drummers. The drummers were so touched by their presence that they joined the group, giving up their seats to seat with the kids. This year the students returned, and once a gain the drummers had company. After the game, one of the drummers asked the A’s catcher, Jason Kendall, if he would sign a bat or a ball to send to the students in this class. He said he would, without hesitation.

On Saturday, Chantel, Jason’s wife, told Duke (one of the drummers, the one who I spent the most time talking with) that Jason had forgot, but he was taking care of it that day and the ball boys would run it up to her in the suite on Sunday. In the middle of the first inning Sunday, Chantel called Duke up to the window of the suite and handed him three items. Not only was there a bat signed by Jason Kendall, but the entire Oakland Athletics roster, including the players on the disabled list (far too many to discuss) took the time to sign the bat (Kendall personalized it to the PH class at Thornton Junior High). Inside a yellow sock there were two balls, that we did not pull out until the third or fourth inning. Upon removing them, we discovered that they too were signed by every player on the roster.

In less than 24 hours, Kendall had managed to get every player to sign items for a group of children who are often ignored, and get very little recognition. On Sunday, I learned a lot about Jason Kendall. His mom teaches a group of students with special needs. He cares, he’s shy and quiet, but he has a lot of compassion and understanding.

When he was in high school, he saw a rival become a vegetable after a car accident. Jason was by his bedside, knowing that it could have been him, that you’re only one step away. Last year, upon learning about a boy with cancer, whose favorite players are Kendall and Jason Varitek from the Boston Red Sox, Kendall flew the boy up from Southern California when Boston was in town. He brought the child onto the field during batting practice so that he could meet his heroes and be the star of the day.

When asked to sign a bat, Jason could have easily said no. He could have scribbled his name quickly on a ball and walked away. Instead he took the time to personalize and present a bat given by a team to a class of students. Jason Kendall is a class act. I know I certainly see him in a different light after this weekend.

I know that when Duke delivers the items to the children within the next week or so there are going to be a lot of tears and a lot of excitement. Enjoy your gifts PH Class of Thornton Junior High. Enjoy attending the games. And keep drumming!

19 January 2007

Does this count as five books? I say it does!

Last week at small group, we had to decide what movie we would want to be in, but we had to want our life to live out like the movie. I don't watch movies, so this was a bit of a challenge for me. I had just finished ready Forever in Blue, the fourth summer of the sisterhood of the traveling pants, so I chose that. About 2.7 seconds later I thought - why didn't I pick Mary Poppins? I mean logically that movie would be the best choice for me. I don't even care which character I'd have to be. Seriously, sometimes I struggle!

Anyways, here are [technically] 5 books. Bringing my grand total for the first 19 days of the month to a whole lot less than 19. I think it's something like 11. Oh well, I don't I'll ever catch up now, unless I post about my textbooks, and who would want to read that.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants came out when I was either a senior in high school or a freshman in college. I think. I should check dates, but it was right around then. I really liked it because I could relate to parts of each of the different characters. This kept me reading as the next books came out. And once the movie came out with Alexis Bledel (and others), I had to watch. Because, you know Gilmore Girls is one of my favourite shows. At least it was in the earlier years. Right now, I'm not so sure.

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

Girls in Pants (The Third Summer of the Sisterhood)

Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood

I even own the scrapbook that went along with the movie!

All of the books are fun reads - although a little young. I'd recommend them for high school aged students (maybe a little younger or a little older) but probably not so much for those who like to read more mature novels!

13 January 2007

Another book - there should be a real post sometime today or tomorrow

Heavens to Betsy by Beth Pattilo was another recommendation from Sassy back in the summer. I really liked it (I guess I just really like to read - there aren't many books I don't enjoy). I keep meaning to grab the next book -Earth to Betsy, but my local Borders never has a copy in stock. Maybe when I order textbooks I'll buy that one too.

This was supposed to be book 6

Savannah Comes Undone by Denise Hildreth was recommended to me by Sassy, the creator of SaBloBoMo when I asked in August. There were a lot of books she recommended and I read most of them - this one and it's two companion novels, Savannah from Savannah and Savannah by the Sea were incredible. They were quick reads and I really liked the character development across the books.

11 January 2007

Catching up

First things first - it's delurking week. And while I don't think I've had too many lately - I was too new of a blogger to participate last year - so I'm joining in this time around. Tell me something about yourself - how'd you find me? What keeps you coming back? What else do you want to share?

Wow, so much for the book-a-day thing. Unless I write about several books right now, which may happen. I have two uploaded and ready to go – except for the writing part.

And I have two more that I could write about easily, so I think I’m just going to go for it and come up with a six book day today. Does that count in the rules? Hmm…

For starters, The Pact by Jodi Picoult is a wonderful book, as are all of them. For many this is/was their first Picoult book, for me it was my third or fourth (I plan to use the other one later on this month). The Pact is very well written (unlike these posts) and I enjoyed it immensely. I tried to get my mom to read it, but about three days in (she reads slow, something about lack of time and being tired…) we found out about my friend who had died and she couldn’t continue, I don’t blame her one bit, but I think she should try again, it’s been almost a year.

I just finished another Jodi Picoult ( The Tenth Circle). It was okay, but not nearly as good as The Pact or my other favourite one (I promise I’ll get to it, but I want to do it justice so it might be a while). The first three chapters weren’t all that interesting, and it felt really slow paced. And then the major twist comes in the middle and all of a sudden, the book is intriguing. The conclusion was significantly better than the beginning in my opinion – and I promise it gets better in the middle.

Next, let’s go with The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards. This was one of my Christmas money books, and I bought it because the cover was cool and the back cover seemed like it would be a good story. It took me a bit longer than I usually take to read, but that was probably because it was set in a time period that I couldn’t really relate to (the 1960s through early 1980s). It was harder for me to understand the actions of the main character because of the world I grew up, compared to the world he was facing for his children, but overall it was enjoyable.

There are two separate posts to come about two other books (which I may just date for the two days over the weekend that I was gone. Leaving me with only one more book in order to catch up), both suggestions from Sassy back in August when I was begging – she’ll be glad to know that I truly appreciate these ones in particular.

05 January 2007

Wanting to be Her

Wanting to be Her is an absolutely amazing book. I think I've mentioned it before, but it's worth saying again. The book is directed at college aged females, but I think it would be beneficial for even young teens.

It talks about liking who you are without focusing on your body image alone. Michelle Graham provides reasons to like yourself for who you are - with a biblical basis for much of the information.

Unfortunately I lent out my copy to a friend and never got it back. Or else I'd write a lot more.