Thursday, November 25, 2010

TURKEY!

So I don't actually eat turkey...but if I did, the Jesuits would have had more then enough for me. There was the traditional roasted, the deep fried, and the Cajun fried! A little something for everyone. There was lots of other delicious food I could eat though, including the mashed potatoes made by yours truly, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green been casserole (made by Jackie) pumpkin rizoto, bread, salad, and more dessert than I can begin to remember.

I.am.stuffed.

Other than eating have spent the break sitting on the couch watching the OC, which happens to be Tim's favorite show, I am so surprised by this...but it has been beyond fantastic. I might be hooked. Tonight Luke and Kevin will be coming over armed with Love Actually so that we can kick off the Christmas season in style. CANT WAIT!

Not sure what the rest of the break will hold...but I am sure it will be epic!

Much love and joy to everyone!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Todays New Weather Term: Freezing Fog

FIELD TRIP DAY!

Today we had our first field trip with the kids who are in after school. Despite it being disorganized and chaotic at times (there were A LOT of kids) it was really awesome!
We went to Peppy's Pizza in Rapid and then the kids had the choice to go ice skating or swimming. I went ice skating because I have been waiting 4 years to get back on the ice. The best part of the day for me is that so many of the kids had never been skating before and we were able to help them get this whole new life experience.

Poor Walter spent almost 20 minutes standing at the edge of the ice afraid to go on. I finally got him to go with me and when we were almost around he fell on his knee and didn't want to go back on the ice. After a lot of talking I finally convinced him that we can't give up on something just because it is hard and scary and he came back out. AND HAD FUN! It was amazing.

The other most amazing part of the field trip was the bus ride home. I cranked the radio and when I looked back in the mirror all the kids were dancing, from the first grade all the way up to the middle school. It was beautiful!

video


Not much had been going on. It is almost time for thanksgiving break! I'm not sure if the kids or the teachers are more excited. WE are getting ready for the Christmas program. I am happy to report that the second grade will be singing Santa Clause is coming to town (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Style) and I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. They are so into it when we practice. I cant wait! 

I am still waiting for the first real snow. We had a dusting the other day and the kids were so happy to play in it, the only problem was they really just ended up wet and muddy and didn't really get to play in the snow much. I am still worried about driving the bus in the snow and ice...particularly through all the construction in Oglala. I hope they get it cleaned up before the weather gets to bad, its a mess right now. 

I also had a weather first today. There is a freezing fog advisory. I have never heard such nonsense...but apparently it is possible for the water droplets to be supercooled, so they are unfrozen, until they contact a surface which will then cause them to freeze. Its bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s! 

We had literacy day, DEW day, and mass this week, which means I didn't really get a lot of time to teach. I did get to help Kelly out by singing the music at mass. I was worried about it at first but once my kids realized what was going on it was pretty priceless. 

This past week I have really been missing the fam and home. I am so happy out here, but it is hard to know that I am over 1,000 miles away and missing things like my sister in the fall play and conducting the marching band. I'm so proud of her! I will be home in time to hear one of her 20 concerts in the month of December though so that is fantastic! 

I am also really excited to get a brides maids dress when I am home!!!!!! I just hope I can scrape enough money together to pay for it now! 

I hope you are all doing well and that life is great! Much love! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I'm really no good at this...

I feel like I have not had anything exciting to report, but when I think about it I guess a lot has happened.

Long long ago...at the begging of October...we had fall break. Kate, Carla, Kevin, and I went up to Rapid for a night of fun. We ate lots and lots and lots of food, all good, and spent the night at Margie's (the 4th grade teacher at OLL). She was gone for a wedding and her house sitter, Dennis, used to work at Red Cloud. We spent the night getting a solid education on spirits which was both interesting and helpful. We also went bowling with Jessie and Jacob and Jeremy and some other folks and it was lots and lots of fun. For anyone who doesn't know...I still suck at bowling.

Kate and I spent the rest of our weekend having a sleepover on our couch and watching movies on the projector. It was awesome and very relaxing.

As far as teaching goes we have spent almost the whole time either teaching or getting ready for the NCA visit (this is to not only keep accreditation as a school, but to become accredited as a district with OLL). I am happy to report that we are now fully accredited as a district :)

Thursday was a ridiculous day. We had an impromptu feild trip that I drove for. It was a blessing ceremony for the children as part of an effort to help combat the rising rates of suicide on the rez. I am glad we did it...but the organization was just terrible. We arrived at 9:30 when the ceremony was supposed to start, only to find that the people running it had not arrived yet at which point we had to try to contain a bunch of kindergarten, first, and second graders for an hour. This also meant that we did not eat lunch until we got back...at 12:30. They normally it at 10:50. At that point the day was pretty much a lost cause...so we had recess and watched wall-e.

Thursday night was our Halloween carnival. I did face painting for all the tiny tots, they were very cute. Jessie, Amanda, and Jacob were doing pie throwing next to us...Lets just say I ended up coming home covered in whip cream and it was not because I was hit by a stray pie. Thanks for that Jacob. : P

Friday night was Kate's 23rd birthday and so we went to OLL for birthday prom! It was lots of fun. Amazing food and goofy dancing all night long! Happy Birthday to Kate!

My new mission is to try and be better about updating. Sorry to everyone who keeps checking only to find that I have not done anything!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

And Then I Got the Plague...

So, it turns out little kids have lots and lots of germs. Just lovely. My students are all so caring they just all wanted to share with me. I'm so lucky.

This week was International Peace Day and we celebrated by making pinwheels for peace and calling Dr. Mrs. Mama Fishman's class on Skype! It was great fun and the students really enjoyed it...and LOVED their pinwheels.

While we were talking about peace we were looking at all the countries on our carpet...and someone asked if we lived in mexico...and that is when we started our unit on geography. Hopefully we have it all straightened out now.

This Friday was the back to school pow wow! I had a bunch of students participating and it was so fun to get to see them outside of school. I had to spend some of my time prefecting in the little gym...which means for an hour and a half I sat in the gym listening to the drumming during hand games and telling kids they could not sit on the stage. It was less than awesome.

Zaniya
Walter


 Angelina and Maria
Aaliyah
 Tyler



Friday night is when everything went down hill. When 5 hit I felt so awful I had to leave the pow wow dinner to come line down...and I was only feeling worse. Kate made me call the Dr. on call at the clinic and they felt that "I should seek medical attention within the next four hours" which basically made it sounds like I was going to die and was probably a major over reaction. Anyway, Kelly and Michael were feeling particularly awesome and drove me all the way to Rapid and back. I am very grateful that they came and was told after 10 minutes there that I probably just had a virus and was sent home with a long list of prescriptions. I am starting to feel on the mend but I am still really tired out. My only hope now is that I can be all better for school tomorrow.


Saturday was house spirituality/house fun day. We started the day of with yoga which I did despite my illness and late night. It was the first time I had ever actually done yoga and I must say it was very relaxing. After that we all drove up to rapid and had lunch at the Mongolian grill (DELICIOUS!) and then went to Pirates Cove to play put-put. It was AMAZING! But I was so whipped out I slept almost the whole way home and went to bed at 8.

While we were in Rapid we also made a quick run to wal-mart where I became WAY to excited in the Halloween section. Lets just say my kids will be very spoiled with plastic pumpkins full of stretchy skeletons and bouncy balls with spiders and candy and pencils! It was worth it.

Today I slept...and then had a Skype date with Shereen and Jennie! IT WAS AWESOME! I have not heard those giggles in far to long. We had some serious technical issues, but at least we could all hear each other and feel like we had been reunited once again. After that I slept some more, and then I lesson planned for the week, and then I slept some more...and on that note I am all ready for bed!

Here's to hopes of a healthy week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wow...Its been a while...

So I guess my life has not been that interesting the past few weeks...I hope this makes up for it.

I'm going to start with yesterday because it was the best day I have had so far. I finally feel like I am at home here and am starting to be more comfortable around people.

Once I finally got out of bed I went into my classroom to attempt to arrange my library. It was quite a bit of work...a two day project to be exact...but I hope it will be well worth it! I also found two packages in the hallways with my name one them which was just fantastic! One was lots and lots of books and supplies from Mrs. Warren which was overwhelmingly fantastic. The other was an International Peace Day package from Dr. Mrs. Mama Fishman so that our classes can do a project together...SO EXCITING!

When I left school to come home I found some horses out behind the playground. They spent a lot of time checking me out...I think they were hoping I had a bag of carrots or apples in my hand. To bad for them. They were very pretty though and I would love to keep one as a pet. I hope that none of them turn into zombie horses this winter.

I spent the rest of my afternoon unpacking my boxes of closes and the other pieces of my life that had arrived in the mail...I think that doing that is really what had a huge effect on my feeling so much more at home. I finally have a place that feels like my own. Allow me to show you the fruits of my labors...

















Saturday night Hope's dad and step mom came to visit and made us some delicious dinner. It was a great end to the day because I really felt like we were one big happy crazy family and I was so happy to be in the presence of so many happy wonderful amazing people. I think it was one of the first times I was really able to appreciate how blessed I am to be in their company.


After dinner I had my first experience with a bliss light. Let me tell you what...those puppies are cool. It was like watching the stars move, but without the 40 degree temperature, very relaxing. We also watched the documentary Tuning In which was very interesting. It was all about people who channel other spirits and the messages that they had to bring to the world. I'm not really convinced I buy into the whole thing, but they brought up many interesting points that I enjoyed getting to think about as I fell asleep o n our living room floor. 

This morning we all woke up and went to mass at Manderson. My happy bubbly attitude continued and mass was great fun. Kelly got the giggles at the end. We are worse then the children. After mass we had some breakfast and there was some AWESOME bread we had that was home made and still warm...we can't remember the name...but it was like fluffy delicious fry bread. YUM! And then we came home and made BRUNCH! (we did a lot of eating this weekend) and I had some left over chocolate cake to make up for the fact that I don't eat bacon. I think it was a fair trade. 

I spent 4 more hours in my classroom this afternoon doing more library organizing and getting ready for the week. Meaghan has been asking to see pictures of my room so here you go everyone! 

this is Kelly's board in the religion room

The White Buffalo is because second grade was the quietest in the hallways. He lived with us all week :) 

Friday was a half day because the Homecoming game was at 2. Thats right everyone...we get out early for football games...BOOM! Red Cloud won too which was just awesome... because it may not happen again all season. I spent most of the game with Jessie and TeeJay and met Jessie's daughter who is just adorable beyond words!

The real adventure of Friday though was taking the second and third grade on a walk to the potato cave. The kids had made it as far as the parking lot of the playground with Jacob and Jessie when I heard tons of screaming and saw an instant circle form. I thought maybe there was a squished toad in the parking lot...but much to my surprise when I got there I saw a SNAKE! And it was trying to bite the CHILDREN! Worst walk EVER! I found out later that Zuya actually stepped on the snake by accident and I am glad I did not see that because I probably would have had a heart attack and died. 
This is the non poisonous bull snake 
and this is a very poisonous rattle snake. Needless to say I was not going to get close enough to determine which one was trying to bite the kids. I just yelled at them to move as fast as possible. 

After the football game on Friday I came home to Mal and Aj making apple crisp. It was almost more cute then our house could handle. 







Friday night Maria and I went over to OLL and watched the Basketball Diaries which was a great movie but really just depressing. We had fun though and I miss all of them during the week so I am glad we got to hang out. :) 

Thursday was a short day because the afternoon was devoted to literacy day. Ms. Stacy and I were together and we read the darling children Friend Frog and then went outside and played Frogs and Falcons...if anyone is wondering it is just like Sharks and Minnows...but on land. Haha. 

Wednesday we had a two hour delayed start which meant that I did not see my kids until after lunch...not real sure why I needed to be there at all. But I did get to spend all morning with one of the first graders. I found him eating a banana hiding behind Ms. Stacy's door crying. Apparently he was upset that he did not get to finish breakfast before the bus came and was pretty much inconsolable all morning. His dad works at the school so we walked down to visit but even that didn't stop the tears. In the end we went to the playground and swung until it was time for lunch. After lunch he was fine (as I thought he might be) it is funny how thrown off the kiddies can get by a change in their routine. I also judged the talent show on Wednesday night and it was a lot of fun. The high schoolers are very funny and were a welcome break after so much time with 7 year olds. One of my students, Aaliyah, walked in which was pretty awesome and her sister who is in Kindergarten even told a joke! (Why did the bunny cross the road? To get to the other side!) I made sure to inform the senior boys that they had been put to shame. I had a dance party with all the small children afterwards too which was pretty much the highlight of me week. 
  Aalyah is also the worlds youngest new DJ
There was also a homecoming bonfire on Wednesday and the burning of the RC along with many other festivities. I must say, I am now fully aware of every mothering instinct I have because they were all freaking out at this event. I do not think there is any other place in the country where people are so relaxed about safety. I guess it could be a little refreshing...but it is also terrifying when you are not used to it. The first thing that happened was the fireworks shooting out of the bonfire...not to mention the smoke bombs being thrown through the air and the sparklers being left on the ground during an extreme fire warning on a windy day. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!  After all that they lit the RC on fire which was basically a flimsy metal structure with burning gas soaked rags...AND KIDS STARTED JUMPING THROUGH IT! Oy vey. But for the grand finale they had fireworks...which was great, except that the caps were hitting people and they were landing on the grass and more smoke bombs were being thrown and kids were jumping over fire works and I think that I now know how it feels to live in a country that has violent riots. One word everyone...SCARY! Everyone lived though so thats good. 
The only other exciting thing I have to fill you in on is camping last weekend. We went to Custer state park because even though "I know Custer was a very bad man...he does have a very nice state park" (Oh Anne Grass). 

On the way there we stopped in Hot Springs for dinner at the China Buffet which was great fun. We had many wonderful fortune cookies and lots of inappropriate dinner table conversations. It was great. 

Almost all the volunteers came and it was a great bonding experience freezing outside and peeing in the woods together. Yay for being one with nature! Most people were in tents or the cabin but some of us thought it might be a good idea to sleep outside...some of us also decided that was stupid because we were freezing and went in to sleep on the cabin floor after all. 

The next morning was the start to a very surreal day. Benji, Michael, Maria, Kelly, and I all went in a car that was taking a detour to Rapid for shopping on the way home. On the way out we went to breakfast at a dinner in Custer...only they stopped serving breakfast when we walked in so really we ate lunch. As I was sleeping with my head on the table do to exhaustion I heard the people at the table behind us striking up some nice conversation with Benji who apparently looks like their son. Next thing I knew there was a grey haired bearded man with a very unique nose standing at our table. He told us that he was a musician and then proceeded to show us his many magic tricks. It was amazingly entertaining. 

A short while after they left our waitress came over to tell us that our meals had been paid for...by them. SAY WHA?!?! We ran after them to thank them but they were trying to sneak out. All they said was "pass it on". It was like something straight out of Pay It Forward. And it was only the beginning...

As we continued driving towards Rapid I was not only still really sleep but also becoming increasingly more car sick. Before I knew what was happening Benji and Michael decided that we should all go to the Cosmos... because why not?! It sounded fun. Poor Maria was asleep the whole time and when she woke up she asked what was going on and we simply told here we had arrived at the mysteries of the universe and she needed to get out of the car. 

In case you are as unfamiliar with the Cosmos as Maria and I were you may learn more about them here....


I asked before we went on this adventure if it was going to make me ill because keep in mind I was already pretty car sick at this point. Well I was assured that it would be fine...and I can assure you that it was not. No more Cosmos for me! 

After our adventure to the mysterious Cosmos we continued on to Rapid and the rest of the day concluded without much incident. We enjoyed a delicious spicy dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings that pretty much made my life because I had been wanting to go since my arrival in South Dakota. I acquired a nice new hat while I was there too...


Well...thats all folks. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

So, I have made it through week two! HURRAY! And only one more student got sick at school...AWESOME! But now Miss Erin was sick all weekend...boo. 


Friday we were out of school early for the football game. The stadium has no lights so the team can only play during the afternoon, and all the student have to get home, so that they can turn around and come back! 


Maria, Jackie, Tim, and I left early, are view was just so great! We went on a tour of the middle school and the High School, and I found my lost water bottle in Maria's room. HURRAY! 


I did not go to the planned dance party adventure in rapid because I was ill. I also missed the porcupine pow wow and many other fun adventures due to the fact that I spent a majority of the weekend in bed. Sad day. I hope that I will be up and running by tomorrow though! 


Observations by the principal are this week. I'm a little nervous. I'm still not sure I am doing well with someone of these programs because no one sat down and told me what to do yet. I'm sure I will figure it out. 


I tried to go on a walk on Sunday when I thought I was feeling better. I will leave that description to EPIC FAIL! It was very pretty out though. 


I have eaten my weight in soup. 


















How is this time even possible?










This weekend I was also introduced to my first Anime show. The Fullmetal Alchemist. I started off just wanting to express interest in things my house mates like...I don't hate it though. 


I really did not have a very exciting weekend to report on. Hope no one is bored to death yet. 


I got a wonderful phone call from Chicago, it made my day. I had a call to Smith that made my other day too. 


I am still having an awesome time. Potential trip to Bolder to see Gaelic Storm in concert next month! 




























Meet the new class pet Alfred. He lives outside my window. 














“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together...there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart...i'll always be with you.” - Winnie the Pooh 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Pretty Sure God Lives in the Second Grade

This week is off to a GREAT start...for one...I have enough time to write before the weekend! And for another, every day has been a complete and total challenge of my mind and patience and I love every single minute of it!

On Monday I had my first student throw up...all over the BRAND NEW math book. I guess they really did not want to do math. But on a serious note, I felt so terrible. They were out sick the last day of school last week and were sick all weekend and I did not even see it coming. When I got the old "Miss Erin is my head warm?" I figured he was just feeling a little of...but no...he was REAL ill. To make it even better...I was all alone with no one to help me keep track of the 20 other students while 1 was in the bathroom being sick. It was a total fiasco, but it all turned out JUST FINE!

That afternoon we started the Accelerated Math program. It is a really great concept, but I am not convinced that the light of my students is being put to its best use when we have them bubble in a form. That being said, when the fourth grade teacher came in to help, I had never ever seen the kids so well behaved and trying so hard to please. It was really refreshing to see them in that new light. I just wish there were a more fun and exciting way for me to tap into that energy.

After such an AMAZING ADVENTURE in school...I got to (drum roll) DRIVE THE SCHOOL BUS ALL BY MY SELF! Thats right boys and girls...I am officially, completely, and totally, a bus driver. BOOM! It was pretty stressful because I had no IDEA what roads the run followed and no clue where to drop of anyone. To make a rather long story short, I had a 2 hours drive through construction (which was a one way dirt road) and went to both the western and northern edges of the reservation, and there is no diagonal from point A to point B. But it was SUPER FUN!

Today the kids had some very talkative moments, but also some really WONDERFUL ones.

When we started math lessons we talked about all the reasons we might need to know math, because so many of them were moaning and upset about it...but at the end of the lesson they were all sad about having to put their things away. It could just be because they wanted to make me happy, but if that was their goal it worked! (and to make things even better, no one barfed on their math book today!)

Last night I made a large map of pine ridge, and toady after we talked about maps we all drew a picture of our home and had the chance to tape it on the map. Not only did the kids love that they all saw a place they knew (we had to go around and share!) but it was really a wonderful unifying experience for our community, I am so glad I did it.

Today was also the moment when I really felt like I saw this light and presence of God in my students. Maybe its just because Kelly had been teaching them to look for God everywhere, but I don't think that was it. The first time was when I was playing connect four with Tyler (he could not go to gym because he has staples, apparently it was a rough day on the bus). I looked up through all those little yellow bars and saw this beautiful smile and suddenly felt so connected and close. IT was really a wonderful moment that I can't even begin to explain.

Later on this afternoon we had to send a student to the assistant principal for bullying, he knocked down someones stuff. At the time I was so frustrated with him and really at my whits end, I feel like I have to remind him of things all day long and it never settles in. Despite all that, he looked up at me this afternoon with the drawing of his dog and was so so proud of himself and really wanted approval and I realized that I did not hold the least bit of resentment towards him. Even my most difficult student brings me such joy and makes me want to rise to the challenge all the more.

Basically, my kids are amazing. I haven't even made it through two weeks and I could not imagine life without each and every one of them.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mission First Week of School COMPLETE!

Well I made it out of the first week of school alive. Its wonderful! My students (there are 22) are very FULL of life and it is so exciting to get up every morning to go and be with them. I could not ask for a better first class. They have already started to challenge me with their chatty ways but I think that once we get settled in and take stalk of each other things will be great.

Some quotes of the week include

"Miss Ewin I just have to go home and get my sleeping bag!"
yup. Thats right. I have a student who can't say the R in my name but you know what? I LOVE IT! This moment was because I had some students who were dawdling to get ready to go home and I made a comment that some of them were acting like they wanted to spend the whole night at school with me! I told them that as much fun as that would be Miss Erin needed to go home and so did they. Maybe some other day kids.

"There is a man in my computer!"
So this week I was in charge of getting the second graders all tested on the computer with the reading and math program. Well...it was sort of a debacle. No one could sign on the the computers. And that was temporarily fixed, until a class signed off all the computers. So our wonderful wonderful computer geniuses were helping me by signing them on via remote access. (they saved my sanity!) However, you can imagine how a bunch of 7 year olds reacted to their computers doing stuff "all by is self!" It was amazing. But then they got one one of the computers to I-Chat and ask what computers still needed to be signed on...and how was I alerted to this? By the voice of little Sam telling me there was a man in his computer. I was very concerned at first but once I realized who it was I could not help but laugh. In the end everything was taken care of...It was just wonderful.

We did not have school this Friday because we took the day to observe a funeral. A 2010 graduate of red cloud, and the computer teachers daughter, was tragically killed in a car accident last weekend. It was really hard to have to attended the funeral of someone so young, and from what I hear, so very full of life and love. I think that the most difficult part for me was not only having to see Betsy so devastated over the loss, but to realize that this was probably just the first of many funerals I would be attending this year. (but I can always hope it will be the last).

My students asked to write letters which I found so wonderful, and looking at what they had written almost made me cry. They are so full of love and support and so frighteningly familiar with death.

Friday afternoon Jackie, Amanda, and I went to do the house grocery shopping for the week. It was nothing short of overwhelming. We had 3 shopping carts full of food and spent more money that I had ever spend on one trip to the store. I can't even begin to tell you. on the bright side, we should have plenty of food to get us through the week!

Friday night we had a concert at the house which I regrettably missed because it took so long to do all the shopping in Raid. When I got back some people were heading out to a casino...and I had never been to one...so I figured why not go for the fun! We drove 2 hours (it was off the reservation) to a town called Deadwood and I am pretty sure their only source of industry is casinos, and maybe a few bars. There were many wonderful shiny lights and I lost about $10. (no more gambling for me! I can not make an informed decision to stay away). Kate won $40 while I was sitting next to here which was pretty awesome...for her. hehe.

We left at about 2:30 which meant that we got back at 5 in the morning...and guess who drove the whole way...YAY for not going to bed on time!

Yesterday and today I spent a lot of time lesson planing and trying to figure out various and assorted programs the school has in place...It has given me a massive headache.

Here's to hopes of an awesome week 2!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Much Awaited Update

For anyone who could not guess I have been ridiculously busy the last week. 
this is what happens when you play two games of euchre at once. 

Starting with last Thursday-Sunday
We went on retreat to the Sioux Spiritual Center to spend some time together and get ready for the year ahead. There was much guitar playing and singing and I finally learned how to play euchre and did not by any stretch of the imagination get enough sleep. 
pretty stars!

There was a meteor shower during the retreat so one night a group of us stayed up to watch the stars. I was very upset when there were clouds out covering everything the night that was supposed to be best for viewing.  Another night we also played capture the tambourine in the dark, it was great fun even though we lost all 4 games. 

Roger White Eyes, who also works at Red Cloud, pored a sweat for us one night and it was an amazing experience. It was a tight fit because the lodge was so small and there were so many of us but we were able to squish in. At first I was pretty hot but after a few minutes it was not so bad. I don't know that I would have ever considered praying in a sweat lodge before I moved but it was really and amazing and uniting experience that I'm not sure I could really explain in words. I am just very glad to have participated and hope to go to some more sweats in the future. 

By far the best part of retreat was when we decided not to o to bad the last night...but it was an accident I promise. Liz, Maria, Bryan, and myself had all stayed up to play euchre...and Bryan tried out having multiple personalities so that we could play while maria serenaded us on guitar. Once we were done it was already 4:30am so the logical thing to do was walk up the hill and watch the sun rise. (makes since right?) Well theeennn once we were up the hill we found a bunch of circles made of stones which were clearly left by witches, and when Bryan told us there was an abandoned cabin near by we had no choice but to go on a hunt to find the witches lair. 

We were told the hike was only going to take 15 minutes but I am skeptical...either way when we finally made it to the cabin we were glad that we had made the trip. The house did not seem like it had been empty that long but there was no floor so I cant imagine people had been living in it like that. There was also a broken piano in the basement that looks like it may have fallen through the floor which hurt my heart a little bit. 
                                                            (poor piano!)

When we were done at the cabin it was about 5:30  or 6 and Bryan knew of another abandoned farm house so we decided we might as well go there too. On the way we found some mountain lion tracks...but none of us were eaten.  The second house was much creepier and looked as though it had been abandoned in a hurry. We decided to scope out the inside and were a little concerned that someone might round the corner with a shot gun at any moment...but the house was pretty obviously empty, despite the mayo and mountain due left on the table. AWKWARD!  We were all very relieved when no spirits came after us and headed home soon after in time to see Father George heading home and Amanda waking up for breakfast. 

We were all able to nap for a little while before mass at 10 and then the drive home. However, we decided not to go home, but to go and see inception so that Bryan could make is reference to a comment from earlier in the night. So the four of us and Jenny piled in a car and drove to rapid, but the movie didn't start until 4 so we ran some earns and went out to lunch first. The movie was amazing...and probably made more amazing by the fact that we had not gone to bed yet. The weirdest part was when we walked out into the parking lot and I saw a car bumper sticker that said "withes do it in circles"...its like they knew everything! creepy. 
 rawer!

Moving on to this week...

Most of our time was spent in meeting and setting up my classroom. I must say...my room is pretty darn cute. I can not wait for the kids to fill it up with life. 

I had the chance to spend some time with my classroom aid, Jessie. She is a Red Cloud graduate and Americorps volunteer and absolutely amazing. We have already decided that we are Batman and Robin and plan to dress as such for Halloween. I'm pretty sure we are kindred spirits. I also had to miss a lot of time in the classroom because of bus testing as she was absolutely wonderful about helping to get stuff set up. 

On wed. Maria and I went to Rapid to take the driving portion of our bus test. I passed the walk around and the Parking but made a stupid mistake when we were driving and even though I pointed it out right away it was an automatic fail. It turns out that Bob must not have been in a good mood because both Maria and I had to come back on Thursday...but this time we brought Luke and everyone passed. HURRAY! 

Friday we went to Gordan Nebraska to spend some quality time as a house. We were at the Italian Inn and I got to eat fried pickles which was probably the highlight of my week. They were delicious. 

Saturday I let my self sleep in as long as I wanted which was fantastic! When I woke up I went to the store with Liz to finish shopping for the dinner we were cooking and then finished painting my bedroom...I LOVE IT! After I was done painting Liz and I cooked some delicious food so that we could have a thank you dinner for Bryan over at OLL. (he taught us all how to park the school bus and was awesome). For dinner we had pasta salad, sweet potato fires, corn, and BBQ (fake chicken for Hillary and Erin!). 


Dinner was fun and afterwards we watched Big Love because OLL is obsessed with polygamy. I was pretty confused by the whole thing but oddly fascinated by the show. It was nice to be able to visit and get to see a part of their life because they spend so much time coming to us. It was like watching an animal in its natural habitat. (Just kidding you guys!) 

Today I spent most of my time in the classroom setting up and writing lesson plans, school starts tomorrow so I hope that everything goes well and I can write about what a wonderful day I had! 

And now...Bed time.