Thursday, May 31, 2012

For the Quilters

One day as the Algebra II/Trig Honor students were busy working on a test review, I was sewing hexies. I've subbed for these students before, and they know I can help them on their assignment if they have questions... but until they ask me questions, there's not much for me to do.

But, as I sat there hand-sewing my scrappy hexagons together, one of the students asked me what I was making (I get asked this often...). I told her it was a quilt (at this point, most students comment that it's going to take forever to make a quilt like that...). She then proceeded to ask me if I wanted fabric. Um, yes please ;)

Well, it turns out that her mother used to sew, but she doesn't anymore and she's looking to give away her fabric (Score!). I got her email address and emailed her the next day. In the email, I told her that my neighbor and I like to sew and quilt quite a bit, and that there's a group of ladies from my church that quilt every Thursday from 9 until noon (I added that extra bit just in case she didn't actually want to give away her fabric to just anyone).

I had the right hunch because the mother did want to give away fabric to a group that helps local charities. After calling the lead quilter just to make sure they do accept donations, I picked up the free fabric. Look at that stash! I know, I know, I should have taken pictures of the actual loot, but I didn't want to stare too much, knowing that I had to give the fabric to a greater good. (I did take out the non-cottons, since the quilters only take quilting cotton! I didn't get a whole lot but just a few things that will be great for costumes in the future).

To be honest, it was sooo hard not to steal a few pieces of fabric. Those four bags are full of random, fun cottons! I did see some great patriotic pieces that would be a great table runner, but I resisted. I have plenty of fabric in my own stash, and someone was generous enough to give fabric away for FREE with just the idea that it would be quilted and given to a good cause. Isn't that awesome?! There was no way I could sneak a few fabrics knowing that doing so I'd be sneaking fabric away from a warm quilt for someone in need.

Now that school is done for me, I look forward to joining the quilters on Thursdays... I'll be sure to take pictures of the quilts we put together! I just love the idea of quilting for charity... doing something I love, but helping those in need... and sharing God's love through it all :)

The End of Another School Year (Sub File #9)

 Even though the students have until next Thursday, my first year as a substitute teacher is over! We're off to visit my California siblings tomorrow for a quick weekend trip and then next week, we'll be at a neighboring city as Grizz has a job training all week. I wouldn't have to join him, but it's a full week of paid hotel rooms and lots of chances to explore a new city AND play with all the fun photos I'm hoping to take in Cali :) Even if I did stick around home, I'm sure I wouldn't get called in to sub as the high schools are only doing semester tests next week.

It's been a crazy year of learning and growing. I don't know how many school days this district has on its school calendar, but I walked into a school building 136 days this past year (if I add half days together, the days I was paid for was 131.5).

I may not have had my own classes in my own classrooms, but I was able to see how other teachers set up their classrooms, how they handle being gone for a day or two, their rules and expectations, and even how they write their lesson plans. This will be helpful for when I get my own classroom again!

  • I've been through fire and lockdown drills - even a real shelter-in-place (the precautionary step before a full-out lockdown). 
  • I've had to break up a fight.
  • I've had to tell students to stop telling their drinking stories. 
  • I've seen the lightbulb turn on while helping students on math problems. 
  • I've wowed honor kids with my mathematical knowledge. 
  • I've wowed myself with random bits of knowledge I remember from non-math classes. 
  • I've been thrown into Spanish, French, orchestra and choir classrooms. 
  • I've watched countless Mythbuster movies as well as movies about ebola, planet Earth, western expansion... even The Polar Express, Remember the Titans and Gatos en Botas (Puss in Boots!). 
  • I've caught students trying to "mess" with the substitute, but I'm sure I've fallen for jokes/pranks/likes that I didn't catch. 
  • I've made teacher friends... teachers that know I can handle actually teaching while they're gone... teachers that have invited me to a bridal shower and to their end-of-school-year get-together
  • I had students recognize me outside of the classroom, and smile at the same time :)

What a year :) AND if something in the district doesn't open up this summer (they're trying to save money, so I doubt anything will) I'll be back at it next year!

*Until then, I have a whole summer to keep the apartment ACTUALLY clean, make fun suppers for the husband and of course sew and be crafty... and of course hit up the occasional antique store, thrift store and garage sale. YAY FOR SUMMERS!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Room Tour

 Since my parents visited this past weekend, I needed to clean the second bedroom. (I suppose they needed a place to sleep!). Usually, this room is my sewing and craft room as well as a storage location for our winter/hiking/hunting/climbing things.

While it was cleaned up, I thought you'd like a tour!

In this corner... the bed :)

The window was a wedding gift made by a wonderful high school friend of mine. The "Blessed" print was a shower gift, and the other pictures were hung in mix-matched frames that we had on hand.

The small quilt was created by Grizz's mother for a shower gift. The dresdan circles were actually made by Grizz's great-great grandmother! My mother-in-law then took the blocks and pieced them with new fabric and hand-quilted it. Amazing!

She had just enough dresdan circles to create three quilts - this one and ones for Grizz's two sisters. It is a most treasured gift :)

 In this corner... is my crafting dresser... the drawers, from top to bottom: a random storage, crafty goodness (including wooden spools, bottle caps, paint, etc), clothes to sew with, table linens, and costumes. It is one full dresser! To the side of it you can see Grizz's bows. The closet is on to the right as well, but that's just all storage.

 Here are some sewing goodies. There are buttons, elastic, rick rack, ribbons, yo-yos and other notions, all neatly tucked away for the visitors. When I'm in the middle of a sewing wirlwind, these are not so neatly tucked away :) Oh, the wine bottle was a fun experiment... we used a pinterest tutorial to cut the glass, so a candle can fit right in!

 On the other wall... we have the desk. The desk is home to lots of random office supplies, but also my sewing machine and books.

Even after I've cleaned up, this area is still a little cluttered. Guess I need a bigger sewing room ;)

 Above the desk is this window decoration that I put together a few years ago. I repainted it last summer to better match it's new purpose (hanging pictures). Before getting married, it held my hanging earrings and was highly decorated with beads and vintage jewelry (too cluttered for a bedroom shared with Grizz!)

 The last corner... sigh... my fabric and other storage tubs. There is yarn and non-cotton scraps in the hanging hoop hoppers, fabric is in one tub and two baskets, scraps are in a bucket in there somewhere, card-making supplies are in the blue tub, there's batting and fabric on a bolt by the filing cabinet, random craft supplies in the hidden tub, and my unfinished quilts all stacked nicely on top of it all. Yikes. If we weren't planning on moving in a year or so, I'd definitely be on the lookout for a bookshelf or cabinet to hold all this stuff!

 The bed side table holds some books, photo albums and guest towels. It displays some painted wine bottles...

 ... a fabulous lamp from my sister-in-law, and a journal for guests to write in (which reminds me, I need to go write about my parents' visit, as they didn't take the time to journal!).

 One last wall-hanging... this was at a thrift store... I thought it was perfect for a room of creations - keep climbing till that project is finished! :)

I am linking up to "Where I Sew" with Pink Chalk Fabrics... go check it out!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Details of Glacier

Just a few pictures of the details of Glacier...

rain drops on a green leaf
 ...rain drops on leaves...

mushrooms in glacier national park

glacier lily
...glacier lilies...

wooden bridge over rushing stream
...bridges over flowing streams...

colorful rocks in glacier
...colorful rocks...

red paintbrush flower flowers...

white flowers
...white flowers...

Animal Sightings in Glacier

bighorn sheep
 While heading out of Glacier via the Going-To-The-Sun Road, we stopped and took some pictures of St. Mary's Lake. Other cars were stopped too. While snapping away, one stranger saw this guy above us. Bighorn Sheep!

bighorn sheep
 Mom was the one who spotted his friends, even higher up above us.

While driving toward the Many Glacier entrance, a car had stopped on the road in front of us. As we slowed down, we saw why they stopped...

grizzly bear
A BEAR! Well, at least a bear's butt. He (or she) didn't turn around for awhile, but we gladly stopped and started snapping bear butt pictures.

grizzly bear
 It did eventually turn around for us (how thoughtful of him!). You can't always use color to determine what type of bear you are looking at (black or grizzly), but this guy had a hump on its shoulder - definitely a grizzly!

grizzly bear
 He did look up at us a few times (we were safely still in the vehicle), but mostly, he just kept on chomping away at the grass.

grizzly bear
 Pretty neat, huh? :)

grizzly bear from car window
 I was stuck in the back, in the worst seat possible, but Mom didn't mind me leaning over her though to snap some pictures! Grizz even stood up through the sun roof to get a few more pictures. Dad had the best seat in the house :)

grizzly bear
 During this entire time, Grizz had left the vehicle running - just in case the bear decided to walk our way. We all agreed that it is easy to see how some people get the courage up to risk getting out of the vehicle - I mean, there's a bear, happily eating a few 30-40 feet away. It didn't look mean... it looked cuddly, actually. Why not just step a few feet from your vehicle to get a few more pictures? Of course, this is the wrong way of thinking! Stay in the vehicle. If you see a bear while hiking, follow Glacier's recommendations (they hand out info as you enter the park). Do not stay to take pictures! BE SMART! BEARS ARE DANGEROUS!

mountain goats
 After the bear walked away, we continued driving. Yet, the fun didn't stop! We saw some mountain goats on the slopes!

mountain goats
Even though the weather wasn't ideal, it was a great day trip. We had a picnic lunch in the car before hiking and we stopped at the Lighthouse near Valier for supper.

**Grizz and I haven't seen a bear the entire time we've lived and explored out here. My parents just have a magical touch I guess. Last year when they visited we saw a moose... in a small mountain range that doesn't boast a lot of them. Now this year we saw a grizzly bear. Grizz joked that maybe my parents should come out during hunting season... he'd be sure to get his elk with them along :)

Parents Visiting = Glacier Day Trip

 My parents arrived in the late afternoon of Friday. It was rainy. It was also rainy on Saturday, but we decided to head up to Glacier National Park. Dad really wanted to get up there before we moved back... specifically, he wanted to see a glacier.

 The drive up was uneventful (well, other than we were able to stop at a small-town antique shop! Mom bought me two small goodies while the boys went to an outdoors store). Usually on the drive north, you can see the mountains the entire time... not this time, too cloudy. My heart was sinking...

 We did let the rainy weather stop us from enjoying ourselves though! We took a short hike (2.6 mi round-trip) to see Deadwood Falls. The hike was mostly in a valley, so we were protected from wind and it only rained/snowed a little bit.

 We made it!

 Grizz has been on this trail twice before. Once when we was with the Glacier Mountaineering Society on a hike up Fusilade Mountain... the other time was he realized he wanted to marry me :) You know, I think I like this trail :)

They aren't the tallest falls in the world, but they were powerful!

 Here's Dad getting a better view!

 Just look at that water. I love the streams and lakes in Glacier, especially in the spring. The water is such a pretty blue-green! Grizz has said before, the coloration is from the glaciers in the park... I read more about that here...

 The last stop on our hike before turning around was this bridge. The boys went across it first.
 I followed. It definitely swayed some!

 Back on the Going-to-The-Sun Road... the clouds did clear out some, so we could see more of the mountains...

 ...although the peaks were still shrouded...

 The clouds almost made the mountains feel taller, since we couldn't see where they ended!
 Still beautiful... Dad did get to see his glacier from the road. Jackson Glacier is visible from the Going-To-The-Sun Road... it was hiding in the clouds, but you could still see the outline!
 Across St. Mary's Lake is this gorgeous waterfall. It's called Virginia Falls. I hope to hike there someday soon... the hike actually looked pretty easy - and you get to see St. Mary's Falls along the way.

 Here's Wild Goose Island again...

We almost turned toward home after the Going-To-The-Sun Road, but we decided to see as much as we could while we were there... it turned into the best decision we could make! (Click here to find out why!)