Sunday, August 5, 2007

Just Another Relaxing Weekend in Suburbia

I'd like to report that due to Nazi-like enforcement techniques (thanks, Adventure Guy!), our game room and the three children's rooms are still lovely to look at this weekend, just as they were last weekend after we finished the massive cleanup project. My own closet even remains pleasantly clean and organized. It's so nice not to feel that sense of dread when I venture upstairs. One week down. Now, my goal is to keep at this organization stuff for the rest of the school year so that we make it a real habit. So far, predictably, Swim Chick has been the most resistant to the room upkeep. She did react well to my threat on Saturday morning (or actually afternoon), though. After she'd been asked to get up more than once by the emissaries I had sent from downstairs, I went up and told her that laundry was being sorted downstairs and that she could either get up and bring hers down or she could do her own laundry. It's amazing how quickly a "sleeping" teenager can move under such duress.

Our weekend started slowly and then ramped up. I was able to join some colleagues for a late Friday afternoon "meeting" that involved margaritas at one of the local Mexican restaurants. I then took myself to the mall for some shopping. I tried on some dresses with the thought of buying a new one for a wedding we have coming up this weekend, looked at some shoes, and then settled for replacing some makeup that had seen better days. I came out far to the good by indulging at the Clinique counter rather than in the shoe department.

Saturday morning I made it to Pilates class. We had a substitute, and, while she ultimately gave a good workout, she just wasn't as dynamic as the usual teacher. It was also a good thing I knew what I was doing because her instructions weren't very complete or clear as to proper technique. She must have tipped her hand by subbing at the Friday morning class too because Saturday morning is typically packed, and attendance was low this week. Once I was home and dressed, Gym Girl and I went out to pick up her birthday cake and a few last minute favor items. Then it was off to the laser tag place for her birthday party. The group played two games of tag and then had the party room for 45 minutes. Fun, easy, and not too expensive: a definite birthday party success. Gym Girl's best friend came home with us to sleepover for the evening, and I took everyone to Blockbuster to spend one of Gym Girl's gift certificates she received at the party. The kids settled in for movie night, and Adventure Guy got ready for our party Sunday afternoon by preparing brisket and ribs for the smoker.

Adventure Guy has been wanting a smoker for a while, and I bought him one for Father's Day. This was the first time he'd actually tried it out, and a friend from church who is an expert came by to show him the ropes. They did all the prep and got the meat smoking. It smelled mouthwateringly good, but we wouldn't know the results until Sunday afternoon. In the meantime, we got some sleep and then went to church and Sunday school this morning. After church we came home to prepare for the Sunday school get together that inspired the brisket and rib preparation in the first place. Fortunately, the house was in pretty good shape, though I did hang a few pictures that have been sitting around forever. The main task was getting the yard in decent shape. Why does grass tend to grow just fine in my flower beds but not so well in the places I want it to grow? We all worked outside for a couple of hours and then got cleaned up for the party.

I must saw Adventure Guy's first run at using his smoker was quite a success. All of the meat turned out great. We went through most of it, but he does have enough leftovers for dinner tomorrow night. Other people in the class brought all the side items, drinks, and desserts, so I actually had little to do to prepare. It was a fun evening. We are truly fortunate to have such a caring and fun group of people in our class.

Tomorrow I begin my first full week in my new assistant superintendent position. I can tell already it's going to be a challenge as I make the transition. I'm excited, though, about all the possibilities for impacting students' lives. In each position I've worked in in education, I've viewed my work in light of how I can affect kids. First, it was the 140 students in my classroom; then it was the 2200 students at my school; now, it's the 9300 students in our district. No matter what else happens, I intend to keep the well being of students in mind each and every day as I go about my work. After all, I have three very special reasons for doing so: Swim Chick, Gym Girl, and Soccer Boy, three of those 9300. And as for the other 9297 kids? Well, they're all mine now too. And they'll have someone at All-American Public Schools looking out for them.

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