Saturday, August 28, 2010

School Daze

Yes, that is a play on words. I feel like I am still in a daze--all last week I was at the school all day, every day--and even a few early mornings and a few late nights. I have only had 2 teaching days (Thurs and Fri) but I still feel like I am in a daze--my schedule changed back and forth so that I didn't even know what I was teaching fro sure until Tuesday, I think. Then, the IB program is so focused on certain aspects of the language that I am still not sure in which direction I need tot ake those 6 students. The class of French 3 students are upset because they have a new teacher who speaks faster than any of their other teachers and she spoke almost the whole period in French (I told her she should--they can handle it--it just measn they have to work harder.) So, I have told several of them who have spoken to me, all panicked and worried, that they will do just fine--and if they just stick with it, they will have me next year for French 4. And then I have one period that is so full, they are going to try my patience. When there are that many students in a language class, they forget when they should and should not speak. So, I have my work cut out for me. Having Billy in class has been fun, too. What a treat! And Amelie is loving 1st grade, too. So school daze should turn into school days soon :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

7 Years and Going Strong!

Seven years ago today, Jim and I knelt across an altar in the San Diego temple and were sealed for time and all eternity. And seven (almost) children later (though it's not exactly acccurate, it sounds cool--we do have 7 -almost- children and have been together 7 years), I am just as thrilled as I was that day, if not more. There was no chance or lcuk in our meeting. I know Heavenly Father had a direct hand in our being led to one another and in placing connections and events in our path that helped us know that this was his plan for us. I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to help us find a partner, a best friend, and a soulmate all wrapped into one. I love him with all my heart and am so thankful for such a loving, righteous husband by my side. Happy Anniversary, Baby!! I love you~

Miracles and babies

I've been thinking a lot about the miracle of birth--wonder why--and reflecting on my children and my situation. It dawned on me that between family and friends in the past 6months, I think--maybe year, that three people in my circle of family and friends have had preemies. They are all the most adorable babies and two are still working on mortality. Sitting at 35 weeks and only 4 weeks and 2 days until delivery, I reflect on this and marvel that though I would have LOVED to have had little Ethan in my arms all summer long before having to leave him home with daddy every day whilst I go off to a classroom full of hormonal teenagers, I am so thankfulfor the trials that have been mine with this pregnancy. They really have been minor--I threw up a lot more this time--I got quite a few minor health issues--like a cough that took two diferent rounds of antibiotics, the scare of a uterine rupture, chest pains from a fall, some you probabaly would rather not hear about, and even the gestational diabetes. (And the cough is coming back, too--ugh!) But my babies all seem to be so cozy inside the womb that they don't even feel the need to try coming on their own. Amelie was at 41 weeks and ended up being a c-section because she was still so high up that the doc couldn't reach her; Eric came by c-section at 40 weeks, 5 days without a single contraction or dilation; Tanner, even at a scheduled c-section of 39 weeks and 2 days, without a single contraction or dilation, either; and so far, though I have had more braxton hicks than with the others, I think Ethan is quite happy for the time being adn when he comes at 39 weeks, 2 days, I am guessing he will not have tried to come on his own, either. And that's okay because I would rather us both come through the delivery healthy and whole than suffer through the risks that a normal delivery might present. Still, I can't wait to hold this little baby in my arms and cuddle him tight and love him to death. After Amelie was born, I really didn't know how it was possible for parents to share the love they feel for one child between more children. For some reason, I thought it would take away the love I felt for one child to give to another. I have since learned that is not true. I love all six children so much, I could not imagine life without them and don't know what I would do if one were to leave me prematurly. They are each so different and so unique. And each one brings something different to me. I love being a mother and helping my wonderful husband raise these precious spirits in righteousness. What a blessing I thought I would never have!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Black & Orange Scrimmage

We just got home from Billy's firswt football scrimmage of the season. He played a little of both directions: Wide Receiver & Defensive Back. He did very well on both ends--it was hot and sunny but so fun to watch him play. It looks like there are only about 30 sophomores and they do have an only sophomore team, so he should see a lot of field time this season. We're really excited to see him get involved and play so well and looking forward to a fun season! (I'll add a photo later--our camera is slow and annoying, so I'll do my best as soon as I can get it working right.)

And though we can't be there, Mary has her first volleyball scrimmage today, too. We can't wait to hear how that went--we'll let you know! We do know she is having a great time and working very hard and it sounds like she is doing great! We miss her!

The Winds of Change

No matter how old we are or what role we play, it still seems to be an anxious moment when the principal wants to see you. Last Friday, our principal told me he needed to meet with me, so after our meeting, I followed him into his officew where he pulled out his claendar--what?! I thought I would get it all over with then and there, but I had to wait all weekend--not an easy task. I am sure I imagined every possible scenario from the very good to the very bad. Needless to say, Monday morning was a little nervewracking. I got to the school early and fiddled around in my room for a while and was still down at the office 10 minutes early.
I didn't necessarily have reason to worry, but it certainly wasn't all good news. The other French teacher, to whom I owe my job (we had met at the Open House and I spoke to him in French-he knew I was teaching at the Middle School. So when the openeing for a French teacher came at the high school in November last year, he personally called me and asked if I would please apply!), for personal reasons, was on leave (and has since resigned) and would I be willing to switch my schedule around and take the French IV IB students? Oh, is that all? It means no Freshman, no class of 30 Freshmen--instead, 8 Seniors in the International Baccalaureate program (an honors program recognized worldwide), all college-bound, typically top-notch, bright, motivated students. I think I can handle that.
IT saddnes me to lose a colleague and a friend. He was truly a tremendous mentor as far as French teaching goes. He certainly knew his French amazingly well. And students really liked him. He was always helpful and worked hard on the curriculum--and shared what he did with me. Needless to say, he will be missed. But, we also must move on and take acre of this school year. As of yesterday, my schedule changed again. I will teach 3 French II classes (including Billy!), 1 French III (the students I had last year, so that should be a pretty easy adjustment) and the French IV IB class. So, all French--the new teacher will take all the French I's (4 classes) and my Mythology class. I am sad to lose Mythology as I thoroughly enjoyed it and worked q fair amount on it, but I am excited to teach all upper level French! So, with only the weekend, Monday and Tuesday before students arrive, let's just say I have a lot to do! Plus, the new teacher is the one I was originally going to have cover for me during my short maternity leave. Luckily, there is another substitute teacher I can fall back on there to help. So these are the winds of change . . .

Monday, August 9, 2010


Since our computer takes FOREVER to load pictures onto the blog, I loaded a WHOLE BUNCH on my facebook site--if you're interested, that's where you should look for the latest images of the Allen's :)

Locked Out

The other night as the little kids and I were returning home from a bike ride, I gave the keys to Amelie as I often do, to unlock the door while I finished putting helmets and bikes away. She had come back out to help me, but when she, Eric and I reached the backdoor, we heard Tanner calling to us from the inside of the door. I tried to open it to greet him, but somehow--and I still haven't figured this out because it has a child knob on it, so it is really hard to lock, it was most definitely locked and Tanner was holding the keys in his hand. Great. No hidden spare--no phone (that's another story--Tanner took my and Jim's cell phones for a swim in the toilet) and a little boy trapped inside. Luckily, the living room window was opened and the ladder was in teh garage. I climbed up and pried the screen back just far enough for Tanner to hand the keys to me. I sealed the screen back up, and climbed down. I thnk Tanner thought I was abandoning him as he started to cry--not just any wimper, but a full body throbbing cry. Poor little man! I tried to console him--that I would be right there, but he didn't understand. Amelie once again unlocked the door as I put the ladder back. And finally, we joined our little rascal inside for the rest of the evening. And who says life with toddlers is boring?!? I think it may be time to make a spare key! :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

HP prep

I admit it--I am a huge Harry Potter fan. This morning, I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book 7--the last one) for the second time. Now I am ready for the first movie in November. I cried, again, like a baby throughout the last few chapters. I love the point that love and sacrifice are some of our greatest tools against evil forces. Love is a powerful tool and a tremendous strength that I think we underestimate far too often. Aside from the fact that I think the books are very well written--captivating, even, I am also impressed with the character development of a young man so willing to risk his life, over and over, to save others from suffering. And what do they do, those whom he tries to protect? They stand up, support him and even fight evil beside him. It reiterates the power of one so selfless who perhaps does not seek to be a leader, but rises to the occassion as because he is loved. Anyway, just a few thoughts on one of my all time favorite books. Can't wait to see the movies. November is far enough away, and next July seems ages to wait, but the book was well worth the time investment!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bike Ride

I have to exercise everyday--at least almost every day--to keep my blood sugar levels down. It's usually a bike ride with the kids or a walk. Tonight, since I figured I had left my phone in my classroom where I had been trying to get some work done, we could bike up there. Amelie has only ridden her bike twice since her training wheels came off, but she was all for it. Ans she did great! She did fall over the curb once when she tried to go up on a higher curb than the on flush with the street.
The excitement came on the way home--she was right in front of me--usually, I am in front or directly beside her. She was coming to an intersection, but the other directions had stop signs, so I told her we were going straight. Only, there was a big truck coming. Still, he had a stop sign. Thank goodness I was watching closely. He slowed but was about to blow the stop sign and hit Amelie when I screamed and he slammed on his brakes, missed her by maybe a foot. I have never felt my heart beat faster or my pulse jump so rapidly. Needless to say, I yelled at the guy, before moving on. Poor Amelie. She just kept riding away. She said, when I asked, that she was a little scared, but other than that, it didn't seem to phase her like it did me. However, she was more attentive when I asked her to stay right beside me.
Man! Nothing like that to get your blood really pumping!
Then, I had my phone in my pocket, which I don't usually do--it's usually in the trailer with the noys. Well, it fell out and, of course, this was the one time that a car was actually behind me. I circled around and all I could do was watch as the jeep pulled into their driveway, right over my phone! UGH! It still works just fine, but the front is a little smashed. Thank goodness it works or I would be without communication for a while! Still, there was so little traffic all along our way and the two times cars were close, one nearly hits my baby and one runs over my phone. Maybe we should stick to taking walks!

August Happenings

It's official. We have a college student! THough she doesn't start classes for a while still, her volleyball schedule has already begun. She and her team have been on a team bonding trip and should be back to Pendleton tomorrow. Then, practice begins. We are so excited for her. Her roommates seem so cool and friendly and I am sure the whole team is, too. Here is a picture of the team.

Almost as soon as we got back, Billy was off to the Melita Island Scout camp as a scout counselor again.. The bonus this year is that he is old enough now to get paid. Then as soon as he gets back, football practice begins. Busy, busy!

Amelie has all her 1st grade supplies and can't wait for school to start. Same iwth Eric and his Preschool experience. I think Tanner is going to miss everyone the most--he and his Dad are going to have some great father-son time 3 afternoons a week--I'm sure much of that will be napping, since that is their regular nap time!

Jim went back to work this afternoon and I am missing him terribly. It's been nice to have him around all the time, even if we were on 'vacation.'

And me, my lesson plans are coming, as is my room--Jim actually repaired a cabinet and reattached a pencil sharpener and hung a Clock (it has a bunch of French stuff on it and this way, I am facing the clock as I teach so I know what time it is.) So nice to have such a handyman hubby! Teacher meetings start next week and after that, it is going to be busy, busy, busy!!!