Wednesday, July 4, 2012


After Todd's family left (minus Holly who joined us for another week of fun!) we set out to set up for my first "read.cook.grow." camp.   The camp all in all was everything I expected it to be: exhausting yet rewarding.

Here are some hiccups I wasn't expecting: (although hiccups in general were expected)

*Forgetting "Harold and the Purple Crayon" which was my first book on day 1.   I realized it was not in my "Monday" bin at 9 am.   The camp began at 9:30 am.   Sooooo I called Todd.   He had the book downloaded on the ipad and in my hands at 9:25.   He (for so many reasons) is my hero!
*Dishes.   Other than buying a mini dish bin to give dishes a quick rinse, I honestly didn't expect the VOLUME of dishes that we would need to clean each day.   I threw them all in a trash bag, brought them home and the kids helped me wash them in the bath : )
*Dough.   Sooooo much dough to clean up without adequate equipment to clean it up with.  Between playdough, pizza dough and cookie dough there were messes on the floor and bathroom that went beyond a quick clean up.   The bathrooms in the Pantry are less then adequate to clean up the kids doughy hands so I'm going to have them rinse them in a tub next time and then wash them in the bathroom sinks.  As for the floors a STEAM MOP is my savior.   I love it.  I can't believe I never owned one when we were in our Maplewood house.
*Spills.   I had some meauring bins full of various ingredients (rice, beans, water) for the kids to practice measuring.  We were located on the second floor of the restaurant and the rice (and spilled water) fell through the cracks onto the tables below us : )
*Tripped breakers/explosions : )  On our pizza day we were preheating the toaster oven and all the sudden we heard a crack and then smoke.   One of our toaster ovens blew up (Sorry again, Misty!).  Thankfully none of the kids were there and no one got hurt.  Once we removed the toaster oven we thought all was well.   Once we got the first set of pizzas in the ovens they all turned off.  So we'd turn them back on, they'd be on awhile and then turn off again.   The kids ended up taking their pizzas home and everyone still looked happy.   Turns out only one small appliance is allowed per outlet...I will need A LOT of extension cords next camp.

On the contrary, here are some highlights I wasn't expecting:

*Falling in love with teaching the moment my first student walked in.   I knew I wanted to get back into teaching, but didn't realize how much I'd missed it.  
*Anytime a hiccup (all of the above) happened, I didn't freak out.   I guess 6 years of teaching prepares you to know that stuff happens and all that is important is that you make everything into a teachable moment and don't sweat the small stuff.  
*My assistant, Lindsay, was AMAZING.   She is the ying to my yang in that she thought of ways to teach a unit, organize our equipment and prepare for the next day in ways I didn't think of.   So glad I decided to hire her!
*I missed my children and our routine.   My children missed me and our routine.   It's sometimes good to get out of your routine to appreciate what seems to be the mundane.  

All in all I am happy to have a break in between camps but am looking forward to another week of fun in a 1 1/2 weeks!

Here are some pics from our "Blueberreis for Sal" day!
Making pancakes

I showed some of the more adventurous campers how to make Mickey Mouse

Making Conversation Jars for their dinner table at home

Making placemats that show the correct place setting

Enjoying their pancakes

My first group of campers

Back at home cousin Holly took great care of the kids!