Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day 29 - Things that make me smile - Exploring something new

I went back and forth on what I was going to do today.  Universal/Islands of Adventure or Epcot/Hollywood Studios?  I really wanted to see the Harry Potter part of Islands of Adventure so I headed there.  US/IoA has a different feel than Disney parks to me.  It was fun to go in Harry Potter's world - I almost bought my own magic wand:)  I went on quite a few rides, staying away from the big roller coasters and met one of my heroes - the Grinch.  While it wasn't Disney (I discovered I am more of a Disney gal) I enjoyed exploring a new park - and today that made me smile.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day 28 - Things that make me smile - Memory Lane at the Magic Kingdom

I am in Orlando on vacation.  One of my favorite places in the world is Disney World and the Magic Kingdom.  (Fun fact - Did you know Ella's full name is Cinderella?)   Sun was out, high of 80 predicted, free ticket in hand, bright and early I headed out to out to the Magic Kingdom.

I have been fortunate to be able to go to Disney World on 7 different trips.  This 7th trip, I was alone. While I thought it might be strange to be there alone, it was a great day riding most rides, taking in shows and reflecting on memories from past trips.

I was in high school when I went to Disney for the first time.  I went on a road trip with my friend Kris and her family down to Florida.  We spent 2 days at WDW - As I rode the monorail through the Contemporary  Hotel, I though of our stay there and riding the monorail back and forth to the parks - Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

My second trip to WDW was the year after I graduated from college - my friend Tami and I went to Orlando to celebrate her graduating from college.  As I drove through the gates of the Magic Kingdom I thought of that taken with my friend - my first vacation as an "adult".

The third trip was with my mom and Margrette.  As I rode Dumbo, I remembered the bumpy ride that my sister and my mom had riding the elephant.  Splash Mountain was closed, but I smiled as I remember them making me go on that ride, which I rode with my eyes closed.

Ben's ten year old trip was my fourth time and Jerome's ten year old trip was my fifth trip - so many memories there...  Roz, Teacups, Buzz Lightyear,  every corner seemed to remind me of something I did with with the two of them there - good memories.

My sixth trip was with my mom - this was the trip where we took the Keys to the Kingdom tour and got to go behind the scenes.  Thought of our trip as I walked by Woody and Jesse - remembering seeing them coming off stage and taking their heads off and when the floats went down the street the memory of seeing them up close and personal.

So today my seventh trip was full of memories - I was there when Mickey rode the train to welcome everyone as the park opened and left after the night fireworks.  I made a few new memories in the new Fantasyland and going to see the talking Mickey (did you know that he now talks to you when you visit?)  It was a great day full of great memories - and that makes me smile.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day 27 - Things that make me smile - Looking out an airplane window

Taking a few days off and flew down to Florida.  When I fly, I like to sit by the window.  Normally, I fly during the daylight hours, tonight I flew at night.  Looking out the window I got to watch the sunset sky and the bright light of the city - so pretty, tonight that made me smile.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 26 Things that make me smile - A shootout win

Jerome's Bantam A team played in the Eden Prairie Tourney this weekend.  This morning they played Farmington - after ending in a tie and going through an overtime period, they went to a shootout.  4 shots for each team - Edina ended on top 1-0 in the shootout and got the win and today that made me smile. (Later in the day the won the tourney)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 25 Things that make me smile - Painting with Erin

Those who know me know I like arts and crafts.  Today I went to spend time with my cousin Katie and her two little ones, Erin and Megan.  I brought over canvases and paint and we had fun painting.  My favorite part of painting was watching Erin, tongue out, taking her painting very seriously - and today that made me smile.

Our first canvas - love all the little handprints!

Making sure there is paint on the sponge

Concentrating, tongue out:)

The sponge "hopped like a bunny"  all over the canvas.

Megan was a great audience while we painted!

Second canvas - Didn't she do a great job!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 24 Things that make me smile - Emma Margaret

Six years ago, Emma Margaret, my
niece, was born.  It seems like yesterday I got a call in a meeting saying she was born and I made my way that night to meet her.  Emma is an awesome little girl with a twinkle in her eye. 

Emma, Ella and I are so glad you were born, today you make me smile! (For one month you are six and Ella is only five - can't wait to be six like you)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 23 - Things that make me smile - Quiet

Usually when I get home from work I turn on the TV, Radio or play a Podcast for "noise" in the house.  

Tonight I left everything off even my computer - reading and reflecting with Ella snuggled close.  It has been relaxing enjoying the peacefulness of it all - tonight it makes me smile.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 22 Things that make me smile - Vacuum Cleaner

I got a new vacuum cleaner - long story short, even though I don't like vacuuming, I like my Dyson.

For about 5-10 minutes tonight Ella didn't really seem to like my new vacuum, barking at it the whole time.  She stopped barking when I moved it, seems it was in the path of her water bowl.  

While she wasn't barking because she hates vacuuming, her little barking fit made me smile tonight.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 21 Things that make me smile - Unpacking State Testing Materials

For the past several years my role in the district was Assessment and Instructional Technology Coordinator.  This year that has changed to Learning Technology Cordinator, which means I am no longer the DAC for our district.  My colleague Hope is now the DAC for our district - and is doing an awesome job!

There were several things I liked about the assessment part of my job.  One of my least favorite parts of the assessment job was the unpacking, inventorying and organization of all of the materials. Today Hope and Brittany were unpacking,inventorying and organizing the ACCESS assessment outside my office.  I wasn't having to do it - and today that made me smile.

(Hope - you know I am there to help however I can)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day 20 Things that make me smile - Home again

As I mentioned in a previous post, my mom was on a three week vacation with her cousin.  She got home late last night and is back in Ely today.

Tonight was the first time I have talked to her in over three weeks - she had a great time and tonight that made me smile.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 19 - Things that make me smile - Virginia Ice Delights

My niece, Josie, is a member of the Virginia Ice Delights, a synchronize ice skating group.  This weekend they competed in North Dakota - I got the following text from her today - 

And this made me smile.

Congrats Ice Delights!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Day 18 Things that make me smile - Chuck a Puck

Tonight Ben had a home game - between the second and third period of each game is the popular fundraiser - chuck a puck.  I was first introduced to chuck a puck when Ben was just starting in hockey.  How it works - you purchase numbered pucks and when it time everyone throws them on the ice - closest to the center wins.  Tonight,  adults and students, arms full of pucks rushed to center ice for their chance to win a gift card and support the hockey program - and that made me smile.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 17 Things that make me smile - Twitter campaign

I started this things that make me smile at the beginning of the year.  January 4 got a twitter message from my niece that made me think her account got hacked and that was followed by another twitter mention a few weeks later.  Today I got another plea that helped explain the other two tweets, she wants to be the thing that makes me smile. I responded asking why she should be my thing that makes me smile, haven't heard back yet, so the verdict is still out;) While Josie is not my thing that makes me smile today, her campaign to become one of the days did make me smile. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day 16 - Things that make me smile - Landed in Minnesota

My cousin Katie and her family are moving to Minnesota from Arizona.  While her husband Brendan has been here for awhile, today was the day Katie, Erin and Megan flew out.

I knew they were landing around 5:15 - so I made sure to send her a text to welcome her when she turned on her phone in MN.  Shortly after 5:15,  I got a text they had landed and tonight that made me smile.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 15 Things that make me smile - Persistence

My dog Ella weighs about 11lbs., but is a bottomless pit.  Where there is food, Ella isn't far away.

Tonight I put something on the end table that I wasn't going to finish eating - she was sure she should have it.  Staring, growling, barking, she tried many things to get my attention - but I didn't give in.  Her persistence though was funny and that made me smile.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 14 Things that make me smile - School Board Meeting

Just under a year ago, Spring Lake Park fully implemented devices in its 1:1 Digital Learning Program.  It has been a great year of learning and growth.

Tonight,  two of our Technology Continuous Improvement Coaches - Maureen Peters and Erin Stalsberg and three SLP students - Eric, John and Myah presented with me at the school board meeting for an update of the 1:1 Digital Learning Program.

Maureen and Erin did an excellent job sharing where we are at in our implementation and the students did an awesome job sharing their TIES experience and how the initiative has changed their learning. The students also did a great job answering questions from the school board!

I was very proud of the students and proud to work with Maureen and Erin (and all of the other TCICs) and proud of what we have done in one year - tonight it makes me smile.

(I like this picture because I didn't have to crop myself out of it - that's me hiding in the corner)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day 13 Things that make me smile - Art class at Studio at Rush Creek

One of my goals this year is to take at least one class each month this year.  Tonight was my first class - Nuno Felt Scarf at Studio at Rush Creek.  Didn't really know what is was getting into, just looked interesting.

It was actually a pretty easy process and the result is pretty cool if I do say do myself.  It just needs to dry and it will be ready to wear, and that makes me smile.

Any suggestions for next month?

Laying out the roving (yeah I didn't know what roving was before tonight)

Soaked with soapy water

Unrolled after rolling it 800 times on a pool noodle - (not only was I crafting, I got exercise too)

Throwing it 50 times - rubbing on a washboard - rinsing it out and now it is drying. 

Check back I will post a final product photo tomorrow. See below:)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day 12 Things that make me smile - Last day of Christmas

I have been to different churches the past few weeks and have not been to my church, the Church of the Epiphany, since Advent.  The decorations were beautiful- I counted more than 50 poinsettias on the altar alone.

As the priest reminded us to sing loud on Joy to the World, our closing hymn, as the Christmas season closes and we go back to ordinary time, I looked around at the beautiful setting and thoughts of the close of Christmas into a great new year and that made me smile.

The following are pictures from the church's Facebook page.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 11 Things that make me smile - Outdoor Hockey

Benilde - St. Margaret played Minnetonka at TCF Bank Stadium in the Hockey City Classic.  

After several days of below zero temps, it was a balmy 30 degrees outside today.  Several layers of clothes, I really wasn't cold, in fact only my nose was a little cold.  And while BSM didn't win, it was a fun experience to see Ben play outside, and that made me smile.

Going out onto the ice .

Look there is Ben on the big screen!

Ben during starting lineup.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 10 Things that make smile - Tooth Fairy

At Christmas my nephew Tony had some very loose teeth, but didn't want them pulled out.  Today my sister-in-law Jen sent us an email that the tooth fairy finally made a visit last night!  Included in the email was this picture of Tony, not looking too sure about losing a tooth, but it sure made me smile.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day 9 Things that make me smile: Newspapers

I am a geek and depend on my iPhone, iPads (personals and work) and computer for a lot of information.  However, I am still one of people that has the StarTribune delivered everyday - even my mom has cancelled daily newspaper delivery for the e-edition.

Yes, I will read some news online, but there is something about reading the physical newspaper each night with dinner - and tonight that makes me smile.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 8 Things that make me smile: Raucous Caucus IV

Box Wine Theatre is presenting Raucous Caucus IV at Bryant Lake Bowl.  Raucous Caucus IV is eight 10 minute plays, one of which was written by my talented co-worker Brandon Taitt.

Tonight a bunch of us went down to Minneapolis to see it. Each play was unique and different, some good, some interesting…  I am happy to say that Brandon's was really good - great script and the guys that played Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama did a really good job and tonight this made me smile.

There are still a few nights left:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 7 Things that make me smile: An Overtime Win

Tonight Benilde played St. Thomas Academy and I will admit, the first 2 periods weren't the greatest - at the end of the 2nd period the score was 2-0 STA.

Then in the 3rd period things got a little better - Ben scored the first goal to get things going and by the end of the game the score was tied 3-3.  With a little under 2 minutes left in OT, Benilde scored and won the game - and that made me smile.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Day 6 Things that make me smile: Cruise

Today is a little cold, the Governor closed the schools in Minnesota, and all the buildings in the district were closed so I worked from home - you would think that would be the thing that made me smile, right?

But, yesterday my mom left on her cruise with her cousin.  Instead of being home in Ely in the really cold temps, she is in warmer weather traveling from LA to Miami.  As I went to track where her ship was online, I thought about how nice it was for her to be away from the cold and hopefully having a great time - and that made me smile.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day 5 Things that make me smile: Cousin Time

Anna and Emma came over today.  Playing with toys, watching Shrek the Musical on NetFlix, making computer art and playing games was a lot of fun.

Throughout the day, Emma, almost 6, would want to have Ella be just with her.  She would pick her up and carry her and Ella would bolt as soon as possible - I would put Ella on her lap and again Ella would want to come back to me.  After awhile I needed Ella to move off my lap so I could help Anna,  Emma really wanted Ella to sit on her lap.  So with a little coaching, we had a successful transfer and  very happy  cousins - and that made me smile.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 4 Things that make me smile: AMC Showplace Coon Rapids 16

At the last minute decided to go see Saving Mr. Banks at the theater closest to me.  It has been remodeled and it is now all reserved seating with recliners.  The movie was great I would highly recommend it, but even better in this comfy setting with my feet up and that made me smile.

Side note- if you plan on going to a movie here, I recommend getting your tickets online ahead if time.  Since it is reserved seating, many people are doing that and there were a few disappointed people who got there to find out it was sold out or that they couldn't sit together.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 3 Things that make me smile: Eyes

Ella had a grooming appointment today.  I had hoped today her haircut would have been the thing that made me smile. Long story and a free grooming, it wasn't.  

As she looked at me tonight with her  bad haircut, I could see her big brown eyes again and realized it was one good thing about the groom - and that made me smile.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 2 - Things that make me smile: new year haircut

Before Christmas I had to cancel my haircut and color because of a conflict.  Tonight my stylist squeezed me into her busy schedule.  Grey is gone and hair is shorter and that makes me smile.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day 1 - Things that make me smile - A Lazy Day

Today we start a new year - and beside cleaning a bit, I enjoyed the day reading, napping and snuggling on the couch with Ella.  2014 is going to be a productive, awesome year, but today I started with a lazy kind of day, and that makes me smile.

In 2012, I started a 365 day project - Things that make me smile.  I made it to December when my dad got sick and passed away - wasn't a whole lot to smile about for the last few days of the year.  

I am going to try it again.  Follow along right here.