Saturday, February 28, 2015

february-ing

enjoying the unusual warm sunny days we've been having. I haven't been to the dog park this much in February - ever. Of course, the lack of rain means lack of snow pack on the mountains which means drought this summer and no one will be able to water their lawns or wash their cars unless in March the water spigots of heaven open up on us. 

walking along the Columbia River. Mount Hood is behind the clouds in the first picture. The sailboats were out. It was beautiful.



working on school. I've got a 3 page paper due this weekend and the big paper due by next Friday and my first class is done. Here's what I like about online classes so far: reasonable deadlines, work at your own pace, challenging - but not too challenging. Here's what I don't like: some of the stuff we have to do seems like it's just busy work, there's a ton of reading - an insane amount of reading, directions on some things are not real clear, lack of communication between the professor, and comments on my graded work make it seem like sometimes she really didn't even read what I wrote.

anticipating class #2 which starts 10 days after class #1 ends. . . Educational Research and Assessment. Sounds thrilling, doesn't it?

trying to figure out the summer class schedule. Thinking about knocking out 3 classes in 2 subterms.

needing to dust, grocery shop, and vaccuum like nobody's business. Some things have fallen by the wayside around here.

eating Girl Scout cookies.

coughing. still. coughing.

needing a new pair of black shoes.

looking forward to spring break off with Phil505. Only a month to go.

laughing at kindergarteners. I was in a class on Wednesday that I was previously in back in November. Kid walks in the door, looks up at me and says, "Oh, great." I said, "Well, good morning to you too!"

smiling at my dog. He's always working on his tan.
listening to the Riverdance soundtrack. Because it's almost St. Patrick's Day, people. I subbed for a music teacher this week and took it along with me as a backup plan. Worked great with the rhythm sticks for 1st and 2nd grade.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

and the capital of china is. . .

China, D. C.

Well, according to a 3rd grader I had in class today. That answer cracked me up. We were talking about how countries around the world have a capital just like the United States has Washington, D. C. as its capital. They were exploring China in Social Studies. So I throw out the question, "What's the capital city of China?" and that's what I got. China, D. C. They also told me that China was famous for its pollution and how "they don't care about the environment over there because they're always making cheap stuff to sell."

Pray for America's school children.

:)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

love/hate relationship

In this blog post, I will creatively attempt to share things that I have loved and things that I have hated throughout the month of February. (Sounds like too much school work, huh?)

I love. . . my new teapot. I've been without one for a year or so, since I about burned the bottom off the pretty blue one my college roommate got me for a bridal shower gift. I've been heating water up the old-fashioned way, in a small pan on the stove. Now we have this shiny new one, complete with steam and a whistle. Best part, I got it at Ross Dress for Less.
I hate. . . dessert flops. Literally, this cake flopped. It's the trusty Love & Butter pound cake recipe that I've made before, only this time I thought I'd channel my inner Jenny Wilen and add Nutella and chopped hazelnuts to the mix. She does it all the time, certainly I could too. It baked fine. It looked fine. . . until I flipped it over on the plate and then the whole thing collapsed into itself. So what's a girl to do when she has a crazy annotated bibliography to write and no more cream cheese? She covers the whole thing with chocolate ganache to hide the ugly. It turned out ok, but wasn't one of my finer moments in dessert baking.
I love. . . my new chair. Our old office chair broke a long while back and we never replaced it. Here I was, five weeks into my class, doing homework while sitting on the hard dining room chair. My neck and back and butt and legs were so stiff, I couldn't take it anymore. And there's no way I could keep doing that for the next two years, So we went chair shopping and I got this wonderful ergonomic thing. I told Phil it could be my Valentine's Day gift and not to buy me anything else. But he didn't listen.
I love. . . that yesterday he walked in the door after work with these pretty things. Roses and hydrangeas. He knows me well. As soon as he walked in the door I said, "I told you not to buy me anything else." His response, "Every husband is supposed to buy their wife flowers for Valentine's Day." Well, ok. If you insist. (And it really makes it sound bad that what I gave him was a bag of pistachios and as I threw them to him I said, "Babe, I'm nuts about you!" I'm blaming my lack of creativity on school.)
I hate. . . annotated bibliographies. Until this week, I had no earthly idea what they even were. I never had to write one in my undergrad classes. Lord, have mercy! This project is basically the first part to my final paper for this class. I spent about two nights researching "relevant" articles in the LU online library, I needed at least eight of them. It's a bit overwhelming when your first search turns up over 25,000 articles. And then I spent a lot of time yesterday watching youtube videos so I could figure out what the heck I was even supposed to do. I also printed out the majority of the articles so I could take notes and highlight. Today I got home from church and started in. Read, summarize, analyze, use critical thinking, assess, blah, blah, blah. I worked until just about 20 minutes ago on this thing. It took me ALL DAY LONG. I hope she reads it. (So far, the comments on the other stuff I've turned in have been a little, shall we say, lacking in great depth.) This project was on top of the 3 chapters in the textbooks I had to read and take a quiz on, plus there were a few little video clips/power points she had for us too. How do people do this, work full time, and raise kids???? Seriously, I'm so busy with one class that it's getting to the point that we're lucky to have clean underwear. ha ha
I love. . . all the crocuses that I'm seeing pop up. I pass by these in our neighborhood and the other afternoon we took Wilson for a walk and I snapped a picture of these. They make me happy.
I love. . . last night's sunset. We were on our way to Phil's aunt and uncle's house to celebrate an important birthday and anniversary, and I was trying to get my phone out while holding that stupid cake. Well, it didn't happen. But today our realtor posted this picture on facebook, so here you go. 
Happy President's Day, people. Here's to having the day off to recover from the annotated bibliography project!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

the day i wore black tights

A week or two ago I wore a dress to school with black tights. I'm not here to tell about how hard it is to keep them from bunching up around my ankles, stupid saggy black tights. The story I want to share is what happened after lunch recess.

I went to pick up some 1st graders for their reading group and some of them were still in the hall on their way in the classroom. One little boy came up to me, pulled on my arm, and said, "Mrs. Bergland, what's wrong with your legs?" I said, "Nothing, why?" He goes, "Because they're black." I looked down and started laughing. I said, "My friend, they're just tights."

This child seriously thought I was turning black. Is that not hysterical?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

january update

Things have been quiet around here lately. That would be the result of two things:
1. I've been sick since the week after Christmas and ended up with pneumonia and
2. I started grad school with Liberty University's online program.

However, today there's no school because someone strangely planned a day off in the middle of the week as an "if-we-need-it-snow-day-makeup" and we didn't need it. So now that my hair has been cut and highlighted :) I'll fill you in on things.

My first class is Advanced Educational Psychology. It's 8 weeks long and oh. my. word. the reading! We have two texts and they have long chapters. So far what I like about it is that there are deadlines. Deadlines are really good for people like me who choose to mostly procrastinate. It's turning out to be that something is due midweek - discussion boards, and then the rest is due by 11:59 pm EST Sunday night, so that's 8:59 pm for me. There are videos to watch, power points to read or listen to, projects to finish, and this week I have to interview 4 students at various ages and ask them the same 5 questions and analyze them based on where they are in the stages of development. My first paper in like, oh, 15 years. From what I can tell there are 17 other people in my class and they are mostly from the east coast. We had to introduce ourselves back in week one. This is week 3 and it's kicking my behind. When this class is done, I have a 10 day break before starting the next one. And. . . I can't remember off the top of my head what class that will be.

Two weekends ago we went down to Sweet Home, OR, to attend the memorial service of my sister-in-law's father. This neat-o covered bridge was right down the street from the church.

Our weather's been pretty relaxed lately. We've had some beautiful sunrises, lots of fog, and a 60 degree day on Saturday. Yes, the daffodils are coming up! (Sorry Dawn.) When I went out the other morning to leave for school, all the contrails in the sky were pink.
You've probably heard by now, but the Buckeyes won the national championship!!!. Phil, my most favorite Duck fan, was not very happy, but I think now he's excited about the Superbowl. Go Seahawks! I'm just hoping that I actually have my homework done in time to watch the game with him.

I've stayed busy with subbing this month, mostly covering for a friend who's recovering from surgery. That's meant small groups for reading and lots of dibels testing. I'm looking forward to the day when subbing will be a thing of the past. That's a good 2 years away, so for now, I guess I'm happy to stay so loved as a sub.

Wilson says hi. He got to go to the dog park one day this week which made him incredibly happy. He also got a bath which made mom incredibly happy.

So that's what's been going on over here. Until next time. . .

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in photos and words

Here I sit on New Year's Eve slightly feverish and coughing my brains out. So I thought that since I'm not going anywhere I should update the ol' blog one more time. . . for auld lang syne. I figured I'd show some of my favs from the year, which, in hindsight, wasn't my most favorite year ever, but there were a lot of good things to remember. 

Best Projects of 2014:

1. painting the kitchen and dining room. We went with Valspar's Carolina Skies and ultra white for all the trim.
2. bidding farewell to the ugly 1970's fireplace in the family room/aka mancave. We aren't sure who painted the rocks the groovy multi-colors and only added white mortar to part of them, but I put up with it for nearly 3 years until I'd had enough. We sold the tv armoire and moved the tv and electronics to the opposite side under the heater.

It took 2 coats of masonry primer and 2 coats of ultra white paint and a lot of woman-power, but it's all pretty now. The top and bottom of the fireplace are white, with the exception of the hearth tiles which still need to be replaced. It changed the whole look and feel of the room.
3. the great spring break scrapbook room/office purge. So embarrassing, but here's the honest before. A disaster. It had become a catch all dump. It's a teeny tiny bedroom that had been a baby boy's nursery for the previous owners, thus the tan and blue. I was ready to brighten things up a bit.
I moved almost everything out to the living room so I could sort and give away and recycle. We sold the computer armoire which freed up a ton of space. The two bookshelves found new home in the other bedrooms and then we went to Ikea.
Here's the after, but obviously not the final after. I kept the white desk and moved it to the opposite wall. Everything was neat and organized and then, well, it's kind of a mess again, but at least the furniture's cute.
Favorite place with a favorite friend: the tulip festival with Jenny Wilen.

Best dog: my Wilsy-poo.

Favorite photo I took: this lighthouse, from our 10 year anniversary trip to Victoria, BC.
Favorite selfie: taken at Butchart Gardens on our anniversary trip. This was the main photo on our Christmas card this year. 
Favorite picture of myself that Phil505 took: also taken at Butchart
Most disgusting, but at the same time interestingly cool, thing I saw: the gum wall at Pike Street Market in Seattle.

Farewell, 2014. Hello, 2015. Bring on the changes that I'm not even close to being ready for.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

christmas at evcc

Phil and I (along with a bunch of other people) helped decorate our church a few weeks ago. I wanted to document it because some of it I made. . . like this pretty gold banner. I was very adament that we needed a Nativity somewhere, because if there's ever a place to express the birth of Christ in Nativity form, it's at church. The one that was purchased was a little bit smaller than I imagined for this space, but it's nice. The wall behind it, however, was clearly lacking in all its light beige-ness, so I whipped up a little sparkly gold lettered banner.
I also created this silhouette Nativity for the bulletin board outside the fellowship hall. It was based off an art project I did with several of my classes in year's past. That project was a much simpler barn outline, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the manger. The scene I got from google images had the donkey and palm trees. My trees look a little funky, and I'm just now realizing that I totally forgot the star. Oh well, there's always next year.
I spend a lot of time over here in this little corner of the sanctuary. And our two trees now have red and gold ornaments. In all the eight years we've been attending, these trees have only had white lights. The gold and red glitter add just the right amount of sparkle.
The last several years, we've purchased pointsettias in memory of Phil's mom and dad. We didn't get a flower this year, but we bought the two boxes of ornaments for these two trees.

In loving memory of Rev. Clifford & Dewyone (Devy) Bergland