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Thursday, November 15, 2012

In Chicago on Business

In August I had lunch with Laura at Red Lobster.  As soon as we got settled in she said, "What do you think about going to Chicago in October?"  What?!  I didn't ask anyway questions, I just responded "Absolutely!"  Turns out school was sending us to Chicago for a reading conference.  We flew in on Monday and flew out on Wednesday.  We had to work all day Tuesday and Wednesday.  That didn't give us much time.  However, we sure did jam pack a lot of fun into that short time!

After the short flight there, we headed straight to the hotel, dropped our bags and headed to the city.  First stop, the Hershey Store.

Throughout the few days I used the phrase, "We're here on business," every chance I got.  It's not very often teachers are paid to travel!!

Then Chicago Style pizza.
Quite possibly, the very best pizza of my life!!

The one store I really wanted to go to was Forever XXI.
My arms were filled with accessories and I pointed to the little stage in the front window that was for the manequins and said, "Laura you should dance up there. You could do Mr. Roboto!"
She laughed and said, "I don't think so."
I gave her a friendly nudge and she hopped right up there.
I was laughing so hard I could barely take a picture.
The people in the store couldn't see her because there was a makeshift wall behind it, but the people on Michigan Avenue had full view.  
I ditched my unpaid for accessories and ran out of the huge store out to Michigan Ave. to get pics from a different view.

As soon I got outside I could hear people saying, "There's a lady dancing in the window!!"
When I saw her dancing away to no music I was laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face.  
That was in the Top Three funniest things I've ever witnessed.

Stacy and me in front of our favorite store.

We headed down to Navy Pier.

After this picture was taken somebody convinced me it would be funny to stick my belly in one of those holes.
Funny that picture didn't make it on the blog.

It was drizzling but we still had a ton of fun!

Laura and Amanda and the gorgeous skyline.

Jennifer and me.

The next morning at our conference.
I wrote Be a good listener today! on Laura's breakfast.

After the conference Laura, Jennifer and I headed downtown.
It was majorly rush hour and thousands of people we rushing down the streets leaving work.  
We got out of a cab and a man knocked into Laura almost pushing into the street of oncoming cars.
But we made it to Willis Tower.  Formerly known as the Sears Tower.
We headed straight up to the Skydeck.
It was one of the most memorable things we did there.

We went to the 103rd floor.

It was pretty scary, but I'm so glad I did it!!

Spider Woman...

We got really lucky because it was raining when we left our hotel 
but before we got to the Willis Tower 
the sun came out. 
Usually there's a long line to get up there.
But we didn't have to wait at all and there weren't many people up there at all.
The sun was beginning to set.

See?!  Pretty scary!
Definitely should NOT look down!

After we FINALLY hailed a cab,
we headed straight over to the Bean.
My favorite spot in Chicago.
It was dusk and again not busy at all.
We really lucked out!

The Three Amigos in the reflection.

We headed to dinner at a fabulous little spot.
It was so good.
Jennifer says it was the best lemon chicken of her life.
She's mentioned it several times since.
Here we are toasting with our sodas.
I had a LOT of Sprite on this trip.

We walked around for a bit.

There's that fabulous pizza I mentioned earlier!

Not sure why these are out of order, 
but we're going to leave it alone.

This is way too scary for me!
Great picture!!!

More pics of the Bean.
Laura had never been to Chicago in her life.
So it was fun taking her to all the hot spots.

This is my favorite picture of the trip.

Millennium Park as the sun set.

After the cab dropped us off at the hotel we walked to the Cheesecake Factory.
It was a tough decision.
Luckily, I knew we were going back there the following day for lunch.
An enormous piece of cheesecake was a great way to end a busy day.

It was a memorable trip we won't forget.
The best business trip of my life!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Our Little Star of the Week

The first time Victoria's class had a Star of the Week
she was obsessed.  
She spoke about it daily.
In early October her name was chosen.
When she saw me at the end of the day she screamed, 
"Guess who's Star of the Week!!!"
The moment she got home from school she dropped to the floor and began working on her poster.

Each set of grandparents came to lunch one day with her.
Mama Jeanne & Papa Mark brought a Happy Meal and a milkshake.

Here's Victoria in her classroom with her Star of the Week bulletin board.
We had fun choosing pictures to go around her poster.

Her poster:
Six years old.
Favorite food is Chinese.
Favorite animal is a turtle.
Favorite color is hot pink.
Favorite place is Colorado 
(she chose a picture of Casa Bonita)
She wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up
("fossils" were glued on in that category)
Favorite place to go is school
(picture of her and her amazing teacher)
If she could have one wish she would have
"a lot of stuffies."

Papa Wayne & Mama Deb brought a Happy Meal later in the week.

Parents are asked to write a letter to their child that is read to the class.
I had several versions.
Here's the one I decided to go with:
October 10, 2012
It was a sunny and warm day on April 14, 2006.  It was the most perfect day for the most perfect daughter to be born.  Victoria Mae was born at 8:33pm with lots of dark brown hair.  A mommy and daddy have never been happier.  That baby grew and grew until she was one.  She loved to listen to stories and loved to go to the zoo.  She grew and grew some more.  Then she was two.  She turned into the world’s best Big Sister just before her second birthday.  Victoria was caring and gentle with her new baby brother.  She grew and she grew and she turned three.  She had farm animals in her backyard to celebrate.  She learned how to crack eggs and learned the joys of baking.  She grew and she grew and she turned four.  She began preschool and she started to read small words.  She got her first manicure and she loved Scooby Doo and having Girls’ Night Out with her mommy.  She grew and she grew and she turned five.  She celebrated with a Pinkalicious party and her mommy and daddy stood back and looked at how beautiful she had become and wondered where the time had gone.  She learned how to ice skate that winter.  She grew and she grew until she was five and a half and she began kindergarten.  Victoria’s mommy had never been so proud of her than on that day she got on the school bus.  She was a good reader and she listened well at school.  She made a lot of friends because she is a kind little girl.  She grew and she grew until she was SIX years old!  That six year old loves science and nature.  She loves to cuddle and read any time of the day.  She loves to solve math problems in the car.  She loves to learn about creatures that live in the ocean and enjoys going to Underwater World at the Mall of America.  She loves to sneak out just before bedtime (when her brother is sleeping) with her mommy to have hot chocolate and banana bread pancake pups at Denny’s when it’s dark out.  Victoria moved into a new bedroom with a nice big new bed. She is decorating the room all by herself!
Victoria is blessed many people who love her and want to spend time with her.  She is a thoughtful girl who thinks about others before herself.  She works hard at everything she does.  She follows directions and is helpful to adults.  Victoria is more perfect than her mommy and daddy ever thought a daughter could be. 
We love and adore you Victoria.   
 Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Veterans' Day Lesson

In social studies today we learned about Veterans' Day.  We read a mini book about about it that informed the students about the different armed forces and some of the wars.  There were some fill in the blanks and a flag to color.  At the beginning of work time a little girl came up to me and said, "I think my grandpa was in the Vietnam War you said!"  "He probably was, you should call him and tell him we learned about it and tell him thank you."  Her eyes were wide open and she said, "You know the number to heaven?!"

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thankful Age 6

I received a message from Molly last night telling us about a contest the Pioneer Press is having.  First graders can write in to tell about one thing they are thankful for in 30 words or less.  It must be post marked before 4pm on Monday, Nov 12.  Victoria got right to work.

Problem is, today Veteran's Day is observed.
Post Office Closed
I didn't think of that until Odelis offered to drive the 
letter to the post office for me to be assured today's post mark.
Not sure if she's entered into the contest, 
but we'll be sure to check out the section in next week's paper anyway.