31 July 2006

New blog!

If you're interested, you can check out my new cooking blog (can you tell how much Internet time I have at work?), called Kim's Kitchen Adventures. I'm trying to get a bit more organized and reflective about my haphazard cooking style. I try so many new things from so many different sources, I forget what was good, what Jay thought, what changes need to be made, etc. So maybe I can keep track of it all in this blog. I don't know how entertaining it will be as a read, but it should be a good resource for me, if nothing else.

28 July 2006

Back from D.C.!

Well, my legs are still sore, and I'm a little sunburnt, but I think I'm fully recovered from some jampacked days in Washington, D.C.! What a fun city! Love the metro, love the Smithsonian and all its glorious free-ness, love the restaurants, love the shopping.

The conference was quite motivating, what with Congressman Chakah Fattah speaking to us about how he framed GEAR UP as a program for his native Philadelphia, and then seeing its success, proposed a bill in the U.S. legislature to make it nationwide. And look at us now, seven years later! Then Stedman Graham (that's right, Oprah's Stedman, who is apparently a motivational speaker and author and in some sort of vague business) gave me goosebumps, talking about how if we don't define who we are, the world will. They will judge us based on our outward appearance and place in a box where we don't belong. What's the most powerful word in our language? he asked us. Education? I thought. Nope. Love. Find out what you love, who you love, what you love to do, and do it to the best of your ability. Use everything around you to make yourself a better person, and better able to do what you love. Be able to grow. This excited me not so much for myself, but as messages to pass on to my future students. Love it!

I attended a few group sessions, but mostly I sat in them just thinking from the perspective of a future teacher, and not so much as a current GEAR UP coordinator. I took some notes about effective programs and strategies, but let's just see if my director ever asks us what we learned at the conference so we can implement new ideas at our program. I've met with frustration too many times from her when I approach her with program ideas. OKAY! Enough venting!

On a brighter note, I was the chaperone for two excellent boys from our program who were selected to participate in the Youth Leadership Summit portion of the conference. This was SO rewarding--the boys learned so much, and the entire group did an amazing presentation at the end of the conference about the major obstacles students face in being prepared for college. They also proposed solutions. Part of the presentation was completely inspiring for me: these kids crafted poems to express how difficult it is for them to be prepared to succeed in college, and delivered them in slam poetry/drama style. It brought tears to my eyes to see young people be so passionate about important issues in such a creative way! I can't wait to teach poetry like that in my classroom, and see kids express themselves so powerfully.

Highlights from the sightseeing part of my jaunt:
  • The Holocaust Memorial Museum was a soul-changing experience. I wish I could have spent longer in it, but I saw enough to understand that I am definitely going to teach a unit on the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel's Night is now on my reading list.
  • The Smithsonian's Natural History Museum was just awesome. The spectacular dinosaurs, the beautiful gems, and the leaf-cutting ants were so cool! My seven-year-old brother was enraptured with pretty much everything.
  • The Smithsonian's American History Museum was pretty good--it's about to undergo renovation, so many exhibits were closed, but the fantastic war exhibit was still open.
  • Our tour of the Capitol building brought back some great memories of when I was a tour-giving intern for Congressman Wes Watkins.
  • Dinner at Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria, VA, was really neat--George Washington and James Madison ate there! (G-dub's favorite dish: roast duckling--yum!)

21 July 2006

Headed to D.C.

I leave tomorrow for a conference in Washington, D.C. Mom, Amanda, and Tyler are going with me. Jay is staying home to feed the dogs. He's already seen D.C....from the Potomac River on a fishing boat. *Sigh*

17 July 2006

Kiddie Pool fun

Abby, Zach, and Carson play in Carson's pool. Abby narrates.

Sweat, Sunburns, and So much fun!

We had a long, fun weekend on Lake Texoma. Triple-digit-temperatures all weekend long!! Here are the highlights:

  • My 10-year-old niece Abby fell out of a tube (while it was being pulled) for the first time. Ah, a rite of passage I went through at about her age, to be followed by many, many, rough landings in Lake Texoma, due to my dad's tube-pulling method of making us hold on for our dear lives.
  • Zach, Abby, and I were starting an Uno game and discovered four blank cards, so we wrote up our own silly commands on them to inflict on each other. Abby's at first wrote down "Stick a licked sucker up your nose," but then Zach played that card on her, so she changed it to, "Draw two cards and spell PIG backwards and then say "funky colors." If you're under the age of 10, this is HILARIOUS every single time. Zach's said "Draw 9 cards and shout Zach is the king!"
  • I caught three fish on topwater all by myself! This is a little more difficult than just dropping a lure in deep, I think.
  • Steak night!! Kansas corn, fresh fruit, baked potatoes....yum!! The Maucks know how to cook a steak, let me tell you.

I loaded all my pictures from this weekend onto my Yahoo! Photos, so click on the link on the right to see them and even print them (there you go, Audrey!).

14 July 2006

Maucks on Lake Texoma!

Hello from the annual Maucks on Lake Texoma Week! My pa-in-law's brothers, kids, kid-in-laws, and grandkids camp out on Platter Flats for a few days. Good thing it's the hottest week in I don't know how long. It's hit 100 degrees for the last three days, and unless we get some rain, it's going to stay that hot for a few more days!! The top left pic is Kim Mauck and Kim Mauck. That's right, I'm Kim Mauck No. 2, because Jay's cousin Matt also married a Kim. Jay's brother Kyle called me Kim No. 2 for a little while after we were married. The top right picture is my niece and nephew Zach and Abby, my brother- and sister-in-law Brian and Jennifer's kids.

Now I gotta go--Fish fry for lunch!

07 July 2006

Let's hear it for hot pirates!

Woo-hoo! Pirates finally comes out tonight!! Mom, my brother Kyle, and already have our Fandango tickets! Okay so the reviews are a little mixed, but who cares? It's Jack Sparrow, the pirate who's so cool he's hot!

Of course my hubby will be nowhere near the theater. So what interests do we really have in common? Well, I'll watch a basketball game, but remember it about as well as Jay remembers the rented movies he watches with me. Ah well...such is our sometimes odd brand of love. It works!

03 July 2006

Family on the First of July

I have not a single photo of the fabulous weekend that just transpired. My mom's three brothers and sister and their children (except for two-missed you Dani and Dave!) all came in for the weekend. In that family, there's no such thing as a family lunch--the Fourth and Christmas are always at least a three-day family get-together: meals together everyday, games every night, lots of food food food! Great times. I got to see my new second cousin, Emma Grace, who is totally beautiful.

I believe that the more my mom sees other young couples, such as my cousin and her husband, or a couple at our church, with babies, the more she subliminally urges me to get pregnant. I can't even imagine my mom as a grandmama (or whatever she would be called). She's got a six-year-old, for crying out loud! But that's beside the point. The real question is, are Jay and I ready to be parents? Or...is this blog ready for a new name? Well anyway, rest assured family, Jay and I are thinking over these ideas.