Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Shopping

I love to go Christmas Shopping. I love buying presents for other people. I love to think about them and think what they could use, what they love, and what I'd love for them to have. Earlier this month, I asked the girls what they wanted for Christmas.

Allison wanted an easy bake oven. Sure they seem fabulous - but - yeah... So I bought her some cake mixes, frosting, and sprinkles. Allie also wanted earings,a sewing kit, for barbie doll clothes, and a wii game. Nat bought Al earings. Santa bought her the sewing kit and the wii game. I bought her doll furniture for her doll house, some jeans and of course, pajamas.

Natalie wanted Art supplies. So I went to Michaels and did the best I could. Those supplies are spendy. I also bought her the cake mixes, frosting, and sprinkles, jeans, and jammies. Santa gave her the sewing kit and the new Harry Potter movie.

Jason wanted pocket ts and socks... Santa got him the socks. I got him pajama bottoms, pocket ts, and a nice shirt from Eddie Bauer.

While I was at Eddie Bauer- I noticed a beautiful red wool coat. I had been looking for a new winter coat - and there it was. And boy, did it look sharp on me. So into the bag it went. They even gave mea gift box. And there it was under the tree- from me to me.

I never knew wool could be so warm.

On the Wii

Last year- Santa gave us a Wii. WII love it. We don't buy a lot of games or anything. It only seems to come out on rainy, snowy, or cold days. But that's why we bought it. A few times last summer, I commented on how I would like to get a Wii Fit. I forgot about it. I have a membership to the gym - ohhh yeah.

So this year, under the tree was a Wii Fit. Many critics have expressed doubt. But- I like it. It's a great way for someone like me who is snowed in to move. It's a great way to try and get my brain and body moving. Of course the girls love it too. Allison is fun to watch hula hooping... Natalie is too, but that's between you and me. Ok? shhhh...

One sort of cool sort of awful thing about my mii is that it is shaped according to my bmi. YIKES. That's not very flattering. Even my girls say, "Mom you're not that fat." Well thanks girls - sort of. There's no way of getting over the denial of being chubby than having your wii balance board saying "ouch" when you step on it. BRUTAL!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lonely Hearts

What I miss least about being a teen is the whole love crap.

Naaa... just kidding.

Sure it's fun to have a crush on someone, to look to see if they see you, to laugh loudly to see if they notice you. What's not fun is ... they don't see you, they don't notice you, and they probably have a crush on someone else.
I have to tell you - At first, I felt sorry sorry for the kids - but now, I sort of wonder if they need it - just a teeny bit - you know to deflate their big heads- you know - make them humble?

Of course, some of them are humble. It's difficult to not be noticed for your quirkiness and cool lego type movies.

I watch, cringe, and remember and cringe again.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fireflies

The day before Thanksgiving, my seventh graders had a quiz on Love That Dog.. When they were done, they asked me if I would play Owl City's Fireflies for them. I did. I'm glad I did. Imagine a dark room full of thirty twelve and thirteen year olds. Most of them have been together since preschool. They have squabbles with each other. Crushes back and forth. There's bullies, weirdos, brainiacs, book worms, and beauty queens. Some of them probably have horrible home lives. Some of them probably have magical home lives. And for five minutes they are together in my class singing a
sweet song
.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paper Clips


During my Study Hall, one of my eighth grade boys from another study hall came into my room. He had four boxes of paper clips. He had 200 paper clips.

"Can we connect these paper clips?"

"Sure"

It took them two minutes to do the work. They wanted more paper clips. I scrounged up another hundred.

They took the paper clip chain around the school asking teachers who were not busy for more paperclips.

They had six more.

I hope they'll remember what single paperclip can mean.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Anne Frank and Paper Clips

Do you remember a time when you didn't know who Anne Frank was? I forgot that I didn't know who she was at one time. And so, I was confused when I handed out the play version of "The Diary of Anne Frank," and students were asking me who she was.

There are many times when I'm teaching and a student doesn't know a what a word means. Sometimes, I'm truly surprised, but most times, I don't bat an eye and tell them what the word means and move on.

Yesterday, I had my students watch "Paper Clips" a documentary about a small middle school in Tennessee that has a memorial for Holocaust victims. When we first watched the video, the students thought I had gone nuts. What in the world is Mrs. Aakhus making us watch now?

But as we watched, the room became more silent. I had planned on watching fifteen minutes a day throughout the Anne Frank Unit. I pressed stop and asked them to open their Anne Frank plays.

"Mrs. Aakhus?" called a student. "Can we watch this for the rest of the hour? We know it seemed as though we didn't like it, but now we do. This is good."

I pressed play. My sixth hour students finished watching it today.

My seventh hour students can't sit though an entire movie during the length of the film. We'll stick to the original plan. They are enjoying the play. These kids are half way into the third scene of the First Act.

Two eighth grade sections. Two different classes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poetry Out Loud

It is time for my students to pick out a poem for our annual Poetry Out Loud contest. My seventh graders seem to be more enthusiastic. They just take what I say as law and know they'll be doing it. Aww what a class! Sigh...

Eighth grade is not so easy. They can not for the life of them figure out why on earth I would make them memorize a poem and recite it again. I'm not sure how I'll convince these kids that this is worth their time. I'll be enthusiastic. I'll smile a lot and tell them how excited I am about the wonders of poetic devices. I'll believe it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Rock Star I'll Miss the Most

A week and a half ago, we lost Jason's grandma to a sudden heart attack. Her passing was a shock. Grandma Tracy was a crafter at heart. As we cleaned her apartment we found many, many boxes filled with beads, sequins, quilt blocks, and yarn. Many days we'd sit together and crochet after a family meal. Grandma always asked if I was doing any special craft. She was always interested in my projects.

This Thanksgiving, I was hostess as usual. No one showed up an hour early as I was hiding my clutter in the spare bedroom. I didn't hear that distinct giggle as the girls sang Thanksgiving songs.

Thanksgiving was lonely without her.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

World Diabetes Day

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


As you know, we are reading Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.

I shared this recording by Uregelt from youtube. This guy has such an amazing voice.

Everyday before class. We read the poem. Kids complain about how they don't get the poem. We read about Creech's Jack. The kids laugh because he had many of the same reactions they did. And then, they write a poem or a reaction to the poem.

At the beginning, the seventh graders loved loved loved the book from the get go, but the eight graders? They were sort of mad that they were doing the same thing as the seventh graders. And asked "Why do we have to read this dumb book?" Ouch.

Every day... I hear less of that. And I can't wait to get all of their writings on my wall just like Miss Stretchberry did in Love That Dog!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Red Wheelbarrow



The next two weeks we will be reading "Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech. I love this book. It's so special. I love the way this book takes some of my favorite poetry and introduces it to kids. I love that.

Tomorrow's poem will be William Carlos' Williams "Red Wheelbarrow." The students will be writing poems that start with the phrase "So much depends on..."

I will start mine -

So much depends on a good book -


Now how do I end it?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Birthday Reminder...

Next week, the beautiful Natalie June will be eleven. Now what to get her for her birthday? I have no idea. It used to be so easy. Barbie dolls. Baby dolls. Lincoln Logs. Now she is just five inches shorter than I. Do we just go to the Gap? Do we go get a manicure together? Do I buy her an ipod dock?

I started mourning her childhood. And then, thank goodness she made her own tree fort. A little girl would do that. A little girl would take all of her dad's tree branches and just use them before he started cutting them into his wood pile for his shop. I don't have to say goodbye to her childhood just yet.

When her birthday approaches, I always remember what it was like to be an expectant mother. I remember the dreams I had. Once I dreamed that I had her at home. I couldn't make it to the hospital on time even though we lived two blocks away from the hospital. I dreamed that I took her in my arms and told Jason, "Look, it's a Natalie June." I had dreamed she how beautiful she was.

A week later, I had my ultrasound. The technician wasn't going to tell me what she was because Jason didn't want to know. I told the technician that Jason wasn't his patient. I was.

Oh.. and in case you didn't know... I was right about Nat being a girl.

My sister was pregnant at the same time. She was convinced that she was having a girl too. I said, "Sorry. I dreamed Natalie was playing with a little boy." And of course, I was right.

One thing the surprised me about being pregnant was how much Natalie moved. I remember taking a bath and watching her kick around. My belly looked like a microwave popcorn bag with all the movements.

I knew people could feel the baby move. I knew moms could feel the baby move. But I was surprised at how you could practically see an elbow move back and forth across my belly.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween...

I will always be creeped out by Halloween. I think it stems back to the Halloween movies. Now, my mom and dad were pretty protective, but for some reason, we had HBO and when mom's rheumatoid acted up any TV channel was free game. So my sister and I watched pretty much whatever we wanted.

Another thing that freaked me out is that Red Lake Falls was a wild town back in the day. I mean WILD. Like kids riding-around-the-back-of-pick-ups-yelling-at-little-kids and-old-ladies wild. Red Lake County was so wild that Brooks teens burned down their school. Red Lake county was so wild that the Oklee School janitor would stand guard Halloween night to protect the school. This is not a hyperbole.

One year, a particular wild group decided to burn down deserted homes. Our house was a century old and at the time pink. Metal siding pink. Our house was very, very ugly before my parents remodeled it. I remember hearing my parents whisper about the arson that night. I must have been about Allie's age. I was so scared that I cried so hard I hyperventilated.

My mom had to sleep with me that night.

Things have calmed down quite a bit in Red Lake Falls. Thank Goodness. I need my sleep.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Talk

Jason and I bought a different car - not a new car - but a car that has a working horn. A car that has windows that roll down. I have cruise control.

For some reason, this amazes some of the ninth graders.

"Mrs.Aakhus I love your new car."

"Woe... Mrs. Aakhus nice car."

"Hey... " They turn to their friends "Did I tell you I got to see the inside of Mrs. Aakhus' car?"

I suppose my rusted-out-crashed-up mini van was not the epitome of cool.

Natalie

The past few weeks Natalie has been inspired to write. I love it. She is an awesome writer. Her poetry is so sweet, kind, and magical. She's always reminded me of her father - opinionated, clever, and concise. It's nice to see a little of myself in her. Sometimes, I've wondered if this tall blond-haired beauty could be mine. Can you doubt maternity?

Now, I know. She has a little bit of her momma in her. When I read her poetry and other works from school, I can see she will be even a better writer than her momma!

Natalie's Poems

Dawdling About

He dawdled about in the hallways
had no care at all of what happened next
cause had no reason to pout

He walked in the hallways
with no care or doubt

For he was already happy
that the flower he planted
might very soonly sprout

By Natalie Aakhus


Night


Night is always quiet
I'm near falling asleep.
Glittering stars.
High darknees.
Told to go to sleep.

By Natalie Aakhus

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Love That Book -



We're going to read this very soon. !

I love this book so much. I hope the kids do too!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Mea Weekend.

This week is MEA. Which means four days off for super chicks like me!! Woo hoo! Can you imagine the freedom? Can you imagine all the cleaning I've gotten done? All the time bonding with my lovely daughters?

Ok.. That's not really how it went.

I spent the last four days speed reading journal entries, vocabulary sheets, and bully packets. I've spent the past four days entering in grades. And the thing is, I'm only about 3/4 done. That's right. I'll be correcting papers today too.

But I've learned a lesson or a strategy. From now on, 7th and 8th graders will have a separate deadline. I will only have to worry about sixty entries rather than 120. From now on, I will vary how many journal entries they hand in. Sometimes, it'll be six; sometimes, it'll be one.

I am also keeping a paper gradebook. If my online gradebook is slow and a student has a question for me, I can look at my paper copy and tell them. This also makes it easier for me to enter into my online gradebook when my online gradebook is having a great day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grammar Girl Storms the Seventh Grade

So lately, we've been listening to Grammar Girl's podcast - "Quick and Dirty Tips" I have students take notes on the content. Seventh Grade has to find three facts they find interesting. Eighth grade has to find five. We talk about the facts. I have the kids turn in their notes for accountability.

We listened to one podcast about appropriateness of language, one podcast about how teens effect the evolution of the English podcast, and another on how to capitalize what needs capitalization.

I tweeted to Grammar Girl that the students enjoyed her podcast entitled "Yo Momma." She direct messaged me back. They were thrilled. I put my fingers together and said "Grammar Girl and I are like this!"

"Ooooooo." They awed.

I'm not sure they were really amazed or were making fun of me... But, let's just pretend.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This is so good..

If you have facebook, checkout lamebook!

Big Shoes to Fill



This is the exact reason I wanted to become a teacher because of teachers like this man. If I could have one tenth of his greatness I would be satisfied.

Here is the flip side. OH MY!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Happy Couple

Yesterday, I spent the day in Fargo. I was browsing around JoAnn Fabric's with my mom when out of the corner of my eye I saw someone familiar. "Hmmm..." I thought. "That guy looks like Steve S. from grade school." But, I kept walking because I wasn't sure it was him, and I'm a little shy at times.

Every five years or so, I see Steve. He was a nice kid. Kind of shy. You know the type. I liked to aggravate him and poke his neck with my pencil. Why did I do that? Who knows. I remember him stealing my pencil once or twice, so eventually I stopped.

I went to the till to pay for my purchases, and a couple and their mom came up behind me. And then, I realized... It WAS Steve S.

I looked at him and smiled and asked "Are you Steve?"

And he smiled shyly and nodded and then introduced his wife.

And his wife was beautiful. And kind. And grandma showed me pictures of their babies. And I was SO happy for Steve because he deserved to be happy.

It's funny how you can meet your friends' spouses or significant others and sometimes, they'll make a bad impression. And you'll think, "Hey you prick get away from my friend." I mean... I really do think that. I try not to say anything because everyone wants to find out their S.O is a prick on their own...

But with Steve, I could see in a minute that he found someone who truly loved him. Steve had married a kindred spirit who was excited just to meet me because I had known Steve once when he was a child. And in that five minute exchange, my life seemed a little brighter because I knew one of my childhood friends had a good life and a kind wife.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Homecoming

I dread this time of year. Just as I'm getting in the swing of things for teaching with my students, along comes homecoming. Grrrr... Sure this is a super-great time of the year for yearbook. We have lots of pictures to take. We have lots of activities to document. But, for my junior high classes let me give a big groan! Grrrroannnnn

The kids are so excited. They can hardly focus on their schoolwork. They wonder if they will dance with their crush.

I wonder if they can turn their brain juice on to understand literary elements.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Someone Who Matters- Mrs. Amy Christianson

This morning one of my childhood friends called me and said that she saw a past English teacher at Kmart in Grand Forks this morning. She couldn't remember her name, but I did immediately. "It was Mrs. Christianson - Amy Christianson. She's the reason I became an English teacher. Did you tell her that Kurt, Tina, and I are English teachers because of her?"

I'll tell you what. Mrs. Christianson confirmed the idea to me that I was not dumb. I had her in 8th and ninth grade? Was that it? It was two years for sure. I remember I was pretty sad when she announced she was moving to Grand Forks. Pretty sad for us. It was a good thing for her.

My favorite things we did in her class included reading Romeo and Juliet, "The Cask of Amontillado," and The Outsiders. I loved it when mom would go to parent/teacher conferences and come back and reported how Mrs. C enjoyed having me in class. Imagine that? ME?? One time Mrs. C even told mom that I was a good writer. Hooray! My heart soared at the compliment.

Mrs. Christianson had awakened something in me to become a more caring person. I loved to hear her talk about literature and writing. I loved the smiley faces she left on my papers.

Last year, one of my friends asked me which of our English teachers I wished to be like. I told her Mrs. Christianson because she taught me when I was young and needed the encouragement. I had other great English teachers too, but Mrs. Christianson was the first to see me for me. Mrs. Christianson was the first teacher who really inspired me.

I looked her up and found the school where she teaches. I'm going to write her and tell her. Perhaps she'd like to know what a difference she made in at least one student's life.

Friday, September 25, 2009

On Gary Paulsen - That Other Boy



I showed this video to my eighth graders. I cry whenever I watch this. I know students just like him. Yesterday, I showed this video, and I said to the kids;

"Hey life is tough. So read. Time passes. Life gets better. I promise. If Gary Paulsen can do it, so can you."

I always remember how a librarian saved Paulsen's life. It breaks my heart to know that one person can change someone's life. In this case that someone was Gary Paulsen. Who inspires some of those kids just like him in Northern Minnesota. Those kids just like him, those other kids, keep going to his books in our school library.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Crush



My seventh graders and I read "The Crush" by Cynthia Rylant. For some reason, we didn't read this story last year. And now, we've found a treasure. Cynthia Rylant creates such wonderful characters who captivated our imagination. We loved the gentle spirit of Ernie, the Mentally Disabled man who has a crush on Delores. Delores captivated my imagination with her tattoo of a coyote and the gentle mustache on her upper lip. Students giggled at the thought of a woman with a mustache, and I did too.

I told them about a childhood memory of the yellow church and a little old lady with a real mustache standing outside. I'd stare at her through the backseat window of my mom's car and wonder about her mustache. Then, I laughed and told them that if she looked up, she probably would have seen me with my nose pierced to the window making a flat face.

This story was the kind of story that made us sigh... And love the characters... And sigh at the beauty of life. How lucky we are that writers like Cynthia Rylant open our eyes to these stories.

Monday, September 21, 2009

And so it goes...




We are reading "The Lie" by Kurt Vonnegut in eighth grade. The kids truly don't understand the genius of Kurt Vonnegut. "The Lie" is nothing like Slaughterhouse Five. "The Lie" is more everyday more every person. Of course Slaughterhouse Five is deep and confusing and leaves you asking more questions then answering them.

The last words on this video say so much doesn't it?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Citizen Journalism...

I'm wondering if I should do our school newspaper as a blog?

Hmmm... It's free? The kids already look at their school via the internet?



For Example ---

One day...





One day, I'll be in a nursing home, or a hospital, or at a restaurant, or anywhere where I'll need help and the role will reverse. One of my students will be helping me. They may just see an old lady and suddenly realize that it is Mrs. Aakhus they are helping. I hope they remember me as kindly and caring and decide to treat me the same way.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

They Should Have Written More...

My eighth grade was so mad today. GRrrrr... They were mad. I made them write a paragraph describing their favorite character from "The Treasure of Lemon Brown." How could I? What the hockey sticks am I thinking? How could I?

I swear to God. I got a couple of evil eyes.

Some ninth graders walked by and heard their belly-aching.

I smiled at one and said; "They thought they were going to have my class without writing journals."

"Yeah... that'll be the day." She laughed. "We have to write journals in ninth grade too."

The nerve.

It's like we think their thoughts are important or something.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I just realized...

I married Yosemite Sam






he he!!! Of course Jason is smarter... but this has been what he sounds like as we've been battling mosquitoes this week...

Pictures...




I'm sharing this video with my yearbookers tomorrow. They love to take pictures, and they love looking at pictures.

By the way, this is my first junior and senior high class. It's odd how these students don't wiggle. These students also don't talk when I'm talking. They are quite a phenomenon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Second First Week...

Tuesday morning, I woke up at 7:00 a.m. That's the time I should be on the road. Lucky thing I had all of my clothes out the night before and ready to go. I was out the door by 7:15 and made to work at 8:00 sharp. Lucky thing I had my papers all ready to go so I just had to pop into my classroom and open the door.

I have just got to tell ya... My seventh graders are the cutest things in the whole world. They were waiting in the classroom at 8:05 a.m. Did you know school doesn't start until 8:25? So yeah, they stared at me while I walked around the classroom making sure everything was ready for them. At 8:25, they were disappointed to see that I have a seating chart. I know... pretty lame eh? The truth of the matter is that if they sit by whom they want to sit by... They won't learn a thing. For some reason, they're too focused on figuring out ways to talk about lunch rather than listen to my mini-lecture on semi-colons. Which is totally weird because everyone knows that semi-colons are awesome.

I loved meeting my new students. They have such cute puppy-dog faces. I think this year's batch made more of an impression on me because I'm a little more sure of myself. I am more focused on them than on me. I can see them more clearly because I am not nervous. I could tell the difference between seventh graders and eighth graders. Last year, everyone seemed to be a blur for me. I couldn't tell ya what I thought of any of my students on my first day... only they were pretty disappointed I wasn't as cute as their previous teacher... Out with the new and in with the old... Pretty lame for them.

Last year's seventh graders still seem young to me, but they are so tall. They are taller than me. I used to think I was a tad tall, but now, I must tell you I AM SHORT compared to these kids. They take being older so seriously. I lay that on thick.. "Just because I say you can chat for three minutes does not mean you should get up and do jumping jacks." These beautiful girls are more beautiful. These funny boys are even funnier then last year. I wonder if I will connect with these eighth graders as much as I did last year's?

I miss last year's eighth graders with all of my heart. I will tell you that at the beginning of last year I thought these kids were some of the worst kids in the whole world. By the end of the year, they stole my heart.

I found these kids to be kindred spirits. I remember reading stories with them and choking back tears as we were discussing the characters. I could let a tear or two fall in front of these kids as we talked about life lessons from the stories. Some of those kids told me things about themselves that made me cry sobs of tears behind closed doors.

I tell you I appreciated the hugs from these kids on the first days of school. They will always be my eighth graders even when they invite me to their graduations, and even when they invite me to their weddings. Just as I will always think of Natalie and Allison as my babies, I will think of these darlings as my eighth graders.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My favorite...

Last spring I wrote about being pleasantly surprised at a student's writing. As a teacher, that's one of the best things ever. FO SHO! The last day of class he took the story and gave it to me. He told me that I inspired the story. I know... Golly gee. That was my favorite moment of teaching. Those last five minutes of my first year. I will keep that story forever. I smiled so big when he told me that and then told him he should dedicate EVERYTHING he writes in honor of me!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Results NOW~

This past week, my district sent all of us us eager teachers to a presentation on Michael Schmoker on his book Results Now. I turned to a fellow teacher and said "This sounds like a satire. How can anyone seriously name their book Results Now?" She laughed because it would be a great satire wouldn't it?

Because this guy was serious, I took notes. The main argument of this book is less worksheets, less movies, and less projects while incorporating more discussion, more critical thinking, and more higher learning. Well... of course. Don't we all want our children to be critical thinkers?

I love discussion. I love critical thinking. I love higher levels of learning. The truth of the matter is that not all of my students want to be engaged learners, and not all of my students can remember which parts of speech are necessary for a complete sentence. I'm sorry to say... I don't know how to do it without a worksheet.

I left the speaker feeling a little sad. I left wondering how I could be everything to every student.

One of my favorite books is Teach like Your Hair is on Fire. Maybe we could listen to him next year. This teacher has taught fifth graders Shakespeare. Though I don't think he uses a million worksheets to do it, he truly is an inspiration to teachers. I love to be "fired up" about teaching.

I love poetry, literature, and even grammar. I want my students to love them too. I think I've had some success because I am enthusiastic about these concepts. I tell the kids; "I'm so excited to talk about prepositional phrases." They laugh even though they know I'm serious. Not all of my lesson plans are a stroke of genius. I've had students turn in homework that clearly showed they didn't understand the concepts.

Friday, August 28, 2009

People I Think are Totally Awesome...

Hey there are some awesome people in the world who do awesome things.

1. Foster parents - the kind who dress their foster children cutely. The kind that tucks kids in at night and hold their hands when they are scared. Not the kind who make them wear sweatsuits in July and never let them out to play.

2. Grandmas - they can teach you how to sew, crochet, knit, tat, and make lefse.

3. Teachers - ok... I know I'm a teacher, but hey... the situation is that I'm a teacher because I had awesome teachers like Mr. G., Mrs. Harren, Mr. Amundson, Mr. Derosier, Dr. Drake, and so, so many more. I also love my daughters' teachers. They are the cat's meow! Teachers are always thinking of ways to make kids' lives better. I admire that.

4. Doctors- especially the ones that saved Jason's life when he took allergy shots and went into anaphaltic shock. OH! And the doctors that have not told me I was a freak when I was worried about my girls' asthma - yeah those doctors are awesome too.

5. Friends - what would I do without them? They inspire me to be a better person everyday. They cheer me on. They tell me when I'm wrong.... I guess I'm wrong sometimes or something.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pool Party 2009



Last week, the girls and their cousins had a POOL PARTY! SO much fun. After 9:00, the lifeguards put on the lights and the kids got to swim after dark.


These boys were clawing for the opportunity to get their pictures taken. For some reason, they thought I was the paparazzi


No Diving - or something like that....


Monday, August 17, 2009

Someone Who Matters - My Mr. G.

Whenever I see Mr. G., he says "Hello Bobbi G. How are ya?" Mr. G. was my 7th and 8th grade math teacher and my Spanish I and II teacher in senior high!
I suppose I will always be Bobbi G. to him. Sometimes, he laughs and says "Oh but your not Bobbi G. You're Mrs. Aakhus I suppose now!"

My dad said that Mr. G. was his favorite teacher because he never yelled. He was always soft spoken and kind. Mr. G. had been my dad's math teacher. He often told me how smart my dad was. I believed him.

Mr. G. goes to my church. Sometimes, if I haven't been to church in while and I finally go; Mr. G. will hug me and tell me he's missed me. IF THAT'S NOT A GUILT TRIP! But, it works!

It seems as though whenever I ask a high school friend who their favorite teacher was they almost always say Mr. G.

Taylor Swift

Stole my look. Dang. That's exactly how I looked in high school. I even played the clarinet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Xj8RrIpiiQ

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A New Year



This weekend, I made a couple Target runs. In Target, I found something amazing. Moms with their freshmen picking out bedding, towels, school supplies, and snacks.
Each aisle contained a mom with either a young man or woman. The mom would murmur something like "What do you think? Will you use this? Do you want the pink or blue?"
What an awesome sight to witness. Oh the memories! As I brought my goodies to the front of the store for check out, the mom ahead of me in line was ready for her turn. She turned to her son and said "How much? Take a guess."

He shrugged.

"I'm going to have say $150.00." I realized this is their family's version of Price is Right.

"$151." He smiled.

"That's not even nice." She messed up his hair.

That cart ended up having $250.00 worth of college goodies in it. Yikes. (But such is the way in the ways of Target. You think you have $25.00 worth of stuff, but it's always $75.00)

I asked him if he was a fresman starting at UND.

"Yes." He was gushing. He was so excited.

"Have fun!" I smiled. "You're going to love it. I'm happy for you."

They paid for their goods and went their merry way.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I love Perrier...

I'm such a dork. I just love Perrier. I know. But here's the thing. I love carbonated water. I love lime carbonated water. And well.... I feel guilty about using a lot of plastic. Perrier comes in glass containers!!! BAM!

So... I'm in love with Perrier. Tastes so yummy.

More pics from Yearbook Camp...



We had a contest with props and emotions to see who could take the funniest pics! What fun was that! It was called "The Amazing Race," and we really got into it. So much fun!




It was a great mixer!



After this activity, the girls were more into meeting new people. I think they even got a few phone numbers from other schools. We had to mix and we really showed our crazy sides! I suggested them doing this first thing next year.

I always laugh at how I dread to go, and then, I have the best time. It can be nice to have an adventure on my own...

As I told the Fosston Girls on the drive to Wahpeton, "When you're on a field trip with Mrs. Aakhus, you'll never know what'll happen!!!"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Attention Young People

Here's a list I found via List of the Day. Coed magazine makes a pretty good case in point here. There's only a few mistakes on here I've made... mostly not traveling enough.


I did get married too young, but that ended up working out for me.


I did spend too much money on useless crap, and that didn't work out for me.


Even though I didn't finish school in my twenties, I did finish in my thirties.



Can I hear a woot woot?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Reading

This summer I've been reading A LOT. I mean A LOT. I've been preparing for the upcoming school year. I have quite a few more books I've got on my reading list too. I've been getting a lot of good ideas. Some of the books that I've read are just for fun.







Marley and Me by Jon Grogan Several students took an A.R. quiz this book last Spring. I'm sure they read it even if they failed the quiz. By the way, it's very different than the movie!

Artemis Fowl and The Lost Colony book 5 by Eoin Colfer Ooo.. a fun book in the Young Adult section.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Another young adult book - not so much fun as Artemis - but it deals with more serious issues.

The Bully, Bullied, and the Bystander by Barbera Coloroso Very insightful book- I have read this book twice. I have two copies. I'm going to give a copy of this book to my friend who teaches Middle School in Middle River.

Girls against Girls by Bonnie Burton I have two copies of this book too. I'm going to keep one copy at home for my girls. I'm going to set one copy at the front of my room. I think it does a great job at explaining mean girls to us normal girls.


The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis ooo... This book is insightful for anyone. C.S. Lewis always fascinates me. Soon, I'm going to write a blog post on him and how he inspires me.

Read Aloud Anthology
- Janet Allen oooo a great resource for goofy teachers like me.

Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom - High School Edition: Lesson Plans and Students' Favorite Stories for Reading Comprehension, Writing Skills, Critical Thinking, Character Building - Jack Canfield This is a little bit corny... but sometimes a gal has to love corny.. Right?


Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence - Rosalind Wiseman This book inspired the movie Mean Girls. I think it should be required reading for future teachers... or even future parents or all parents!



On Chesil Beach: A Novel by Ian McEwan This book got me thinking a lot. It's somewhat hard to talk about because I don't want to give away the ending. The ending of the book had me thinking and thinking. And I decided it was an historical context issue. Setting- time and place- history- that sort of thing. I love when a book does that... you know? Make you think outside of the box and take a look from a different point of view.

Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox book 6 by Eoin Colfer A fun read

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich Another fun read... total fluff.


Talk to the Hand - Lynne Truss Great book! Not a manners book... but this book got me thinking about manners and consideration. It's easier to be nice than people think. Maybe do we think we're the center of the world? Anyways... A good book.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation- Lynne Truss Who but me would read a book about punctuation over summer vacation? So good. If you like punctuation as much as I do!

Kids are Worth It! by Barbara Coloroso I love Barbara Coloroso. She is the cat's meow. MEOW! Another good book for teachers and parents alike. Kids need us to provide structure.

Assertive Discipline by Lee Canter - I'm using this in my classroom for discipline. I'm not sure I agree with everything... but it works for me. I need something that works. This book shows how to provide structure.

OF course I'm still reading. I'm betting there's a book or two I forgot about!








Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ha! Sums it up...

I found this article this morning. It pretty much sums up what I think of lame men who divorce their wives. Ha! Awesomeness. If you don't know who John Gosselin is... well good for you! You probably have a personal legend.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

On Leah...

Our friends brought their Leah to the doctor because she wasn't feeling well on Monday. Good thing they did because they found she has HUS syndrome.




Leah was rushed to Fargo and later sent to the Children's Hospital of Minneapolis.


She needs to be close to a major blood supply as she will need multiple transfusions.


I know how much Cathy loves her little dolly. And how much Travis would do for his family.



They are scared at their waiting game


when their little Leah can be healthy again.

Yearbook Widget

Monday, August 3, 2009

Yearbook Camp


Tomorrow... I'm going to yearbook camp. Yikes. But this year I get to bring students... Woot woot. Yes! Students!!!

I hate leaving my family. I drag my feet at the thought of sleeping alone in a single bed. Yeah... I know... Jason's asthmatic coughs won't wake me in the middle of the night. But I'm sure I'll wake in the middle of the night wondering if he has asthmatic coughs. I'll wonder if he'll remember where his inhaler is...

Sigh...

Hopefully, we will all learn something and make 2010's yearbook even better than 2009.

Modeling their School Clothes

Saturday, my mom and I took the girls school shopping. I told the girls they each had a budget of $150 for this trip.
The girls took their budget very seriously. Our first stop was at Moorhead's Herberger's. The girls decided on the legging. They were $15 for two pair!!! The best part is that Moorhead is in Minnesota - no sales tax on clothing!!! The SALES! Woot woot!!!



The next stop was at Justice. We had a coupon for 40% of our entire purchase! Which we were totally into! The thing about Justice is that it is totally overpriced!! BIG TIME. So it was like were were paying normal prices at a normal store.


The girls had just enough left over to go to Macy Penny's (J.C. Penny's) for jeans. The best part was the escalator's. We don't have those in Red Lake Falls. We don't even have a stop light!!






Sunday night, the girls put on a fashion show for their dad. We sat on the couch and they walked in and strutted in their new threads! So pumped for their new fashion!!!!