In 2009, I was encouraged by my friends to give the 365 photo project a try. I love taking photos, and was excited about participating. The daily posts paint a brief picture of my year and open my eyes to the beauty around me. It is challenging to post a photo daily. I was successful in 2009 and 2010, but fell a few short in 2011. I'll be continuing my quest for daily photos in 2012 and look forward to sharing them here.
February has flown by, mostly because I've been so busy. Today I finally get to relax. I'm spending time sitting in my favorite chair, sipping coffee, and reading a great book. I need more days like this!
Tonight was family game night at our house with our extended family. I was exhausted after my week at the ICE Conference, but it was so nice to relax with family. Our evening was filled with deep dish pizza, good conversation, laughs, and a rousing game of Apple to Apples. It was a very enjoyable evening!
At the closing ceremony of the ICE Conference today, my friend Lori was honored with the ICE Distinguished Educator Award of Excellence. She has given so much to ICE over the years and she is very deserving of this award. Congratulations, Lori!
Today was the first official day of the ICE Conference. I presented a half-day workshop this morning called "Facts, Friends, and Fun!" It went very well, the participants learned a lot, had fun, and so did I. After the workshop, I had lunch with three colleagues from my school district, which was a nice way to unwind after being 'on stage' all morning.
At the ICE Conference today, I was a volunteer in the ICE booth in the vendor area during the Kick-off Reception. I had a great time greeting attendees, spreading the good word about ICE, and taking photos. I love that ICE gives volunteers a cool t-shirt and a discount off of the conference registration fee.
Today I presented my first ever 6-hour long workshop at the ICE Conference. I've been working hard to learn as much as I can about iWork '09 for several months. The workshop went well and the participants were appreciative. I have some ideas on how to fine tune my presentation before presenting it as a pre-conference workshop at the ISTE Conference in June.
I checked into Pheasant Run late tonight after working all day at home to finish presentations and pack for my four days at the ICE Conference. This caught my eye in my hotel room. It is mounted next to the door frame to the door that leads out into the hallway. Am I being watched? I hope not! Anybody know what it is?
Our temperatures have remained above freezing for the past couple of days and a lot of melting has been going on. This morning, I spied these pine cones peeking through the snow under a tree. The ice crystals in the melting snow also have an interesting texture. We must likely won't see scenes like this the rest of the week, as 5-10" of snow are predicted for tonight.
This birdhouse hangs in a tree about 10 feet outside our kitchen window. We've been seeing birds go in and out of the house this week. Today I decided to take a closer look. I waded through the snow and took a peek inside. There were no birds in the house when I took this photo, but they have been busy 'furnishing' their home!
Lucy enjoys both the sunshine and the snow during her walk! Here she is walking down the wooded footbridge that goes out into the restored wetland area at the park near our house. She loves to jump through the rails and off the walkway to explore even more!
The kids at school continue to have a fun time playing in the snow during their lunchtime recesses. There are probably a couple dozen groups of kids scattered all over the playground, working together on building snow forts. It is nice to see the kids enjoying their time outdoors this winter!
I guess I should have taken this photo yesterday on President's Day! This is one of my favorite little snowmen in my collection. A friend gave it to me as a 'Secret Santa' gift several years ago because she knew I love patriotic holidays such as the 4th of July and that I collect snowmen.
As I've mentioned before, I love looking at the projects hanging in the halls at the schools where I sub. This display caught my eye today. Each 2nd grader made a page describing their family culture, including their heritage, a family custom, food they eat, a holiday they celebrate, and a family tradition. What a wonderful way to share and celebrate their diversity!
We are enjoying watching the Winter Olympics this weekend. I actually took this photo when I was subbing on Friday. I love the the way the school is connecting the Olympics with character traits such as teamwork, respect, and sportsmanship. They will be tallying the medal count each day during the Olympics. I plan to check on this display again when I sub at that school next week!
I subbed in a primary special education class today. The children in the class are integrated with a first grade classroom for many activities, including parties. So, I got to attend the Valentine's Day party today. Our district has really clamped down on food at school as part of its health initiative. The treats at this party consisted of a heart-shaped Rice Krispie bar, purple grapes, and a mini-bottle of water. The kids had a fun time at the party!
As I was out walking the dog this afternoon, this made me chuckle. We were walking down a well plowed blacktop sidewalk that goes through a park near our home. Suddenly the path turned into grass! I can see what happened.....the plow driver saw the tree coming coming up in his path. He wasn't sure which way the sidewalk went around the tree. He veered left, but the sidewalk actually goes to the right of the tree. He did find the sidewalk again on the other side of the tree!
As I was leaving to go to work subbing this morning, Scott came in from shoveling for the 3rd time in 24 hours. The snow was still blowing around quite a bit this morning and he came inside looking a little bit like a snowman! It looks like we got about 15" of snow. Enough already!
This is the scene out our front door tonight. I had actually taken other photos this afternoon of the snow that had come down earlier today, but this night shot and the current snow falling is much more dramatic. It looks like we're going to get about a foot of snow before it ends sometime tomorrow.
I am working hard on my iWork presentation today. I'll be doing a workshop called "Introduction to iWork '09" for educators at the ICE Conference. With only two weeks left to prepare, I'm setting this as a high priority. I'm excited to be presenting this during a 6-hour pre-conference workshop!
Lucy is really enjoying her new toy. It is a black rubber 'Kong". It has a hole in it that can hold a treat. She has been chewing on it for hours and carrying it around the house with her wherever she goes. We finally found something to keep her occupied for longer than a few minutes!
I spent a good portion of the day updating my computer by installing a new Operating System, updating applications, and backing up all files to an external hard drive. It always takes longer to do than I anticipate!
Today is the first day all week that I've been home for a chunk of time. So, I've been straightening up, throwing out newspapers, watering plants, etc.....you know, all those little tasks that get postponed when you're having a busy week! Anyway, I'm looking at this sad plant, wondering what to do with it. I have a really hard time tossing out plants that still have some life in them (because they are a living thing!). But this one, outgrew its space and has lost lots of its greenery. What would you do?
As I was leaving this afternoon, a ComEd truck pulled into our cul-de-sac and parked his truck in front of our driveway. He then left his truck and went to the back of a neighbor's yard. What was he thinking? I had to wait for him to return so that I could drive out of my own driveway.
I have quite a few snowmen still decorating the inside of my house. This big fat guy is one of my favorites. I suppose I should put them away since we are into February, but we still have snow on the ground here, so maybe I'll leave them out for another couple of weeks.
Today was the primary election here in Illinois. These were some of the signs posted near our polling place at our neighborhood elementary school. I've often wondered if these signs make a difference. I would think that most people know who they are voting for before they arrive at the polling place. I noticed today that there was not a sign for the candidate for Governor that I intended to vote for today. I'll be waiting up to hear the results of today's primary election.
This afternoon I subbed at the school I retired from. This sign greets our students, parents, staff, and visitors as they enter the building. It was painted by our art teacher when the school was renovated and remains as a pleasant reminder that all are welcome.