Monday, January 14, 2013

The Zoo's Christmas 2012

This post is a little late considering Christmas was almost a month ago but I wanted to share some pictures with everyone!

We had so much fun this Christmas.  Christmas as a child is great but Christmas as a parent is AMAZING! It's so much better as a parent. To see your children's excitement and their anticipation of that day is something to behold.  This was the first year Keeley really understood Christmas.  We did Elf on the Shelf, our elf's name is Kyle (affectionately named after her Uncle Kyle. Seems appropriate since we have a mischievous elf). Keeley wasted no time on Christmas morning putting on all of her "Santa" garb that he had left for her as you can tell by the one picture.  Reece, well was Reece.  Mr. Happy go lucky.  His favorite gift was his Little Tikes truck, which Keeley has equally enjoyed.  It was such a wonderful Christmas and I can't wait for Christmas 2013!

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in pictures

2012 at "the ZOO" in pictures.  We are so grateful for a wonderful 2012 and pray that 2013 is just as awesome.  Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sofia the First Princess party

Recently, one of my First Step moms shared with me about this website She explained that you sign up, then apply to host these various house parties. They send you goodies and all you have to do is have people over to share in these goodies. I know what you're thinking, too good to be true. But it isn't! We (Keeley and myself) hosted a Sofia the First Disney Princess premiere party.  I invited my friends and their daughters (and son) over to watch the movie premiere of Sofia.  House Party sent these awesome cinch sacks to hand out along with other goodies.  The girls had a blast! Not to mention, I got to see and visit with some of my oldest friends :).  Thanks ladies for coming!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Public Education

This lioness is going to get on her soapbox, and tonight I have one burning question.  When did teachers become public enemy #1??!!  This question has been nagging me for a while and quite frankly it makes me really mad.  God didn't bless me with the patience of a teacher to tolerate 30 some children in one room from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 5 days a week.  Do you have that kind of patience? If you do then you are probably a teacher, because I know no other human who could do that. And I feel fairly confident in this next statement...teachers don't work for the awesome salary (can you detect the sarcasm??).  According to the National Education Association, the average salary for a beginning teacher is 32,761.  So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that teachers truly get into this profession to change lives, help children, and educate.  Once again I ask, when did teachers become public enemy #1?  It seems that our state superintendent of public instruction, one Tony Bennett, believes that our teachers in Indiana are worthless.  Especially those that are in the "public" school system.  He belittles and degrades them, and bases their effectiveness on standardized tests. I don't know about you, but I stink at standardized testing.  Give me a test about communication disorders and I'll rock it.  Give me a test asking me to solve mathematical equations that I will never apply in daily life, I'll bomb it!  That would be my first point in all of this.  If you aren't a teacher, related to a teacher then you probably have no idea what kind of treatment they receive from Tony Bennett.  I would strongly encourage you to vote for Glenda Ritz for state superintendent of public instruction.  She is a teacher, which is who should be in charge of public instruction.  Not someone who has never stepped foot into a classroom.  If you want to read up on her here is the link

It appears that we have become a society where we like to play the "blame game".  It is always someone else's fault.  Never ours! I urge you parents out there to start being accountable for your children's education and hold your children accountable.  Teachers now a days do the best they can with what limited funds and resources they have.  Classroom sizes nationwide are no longer 15-20 children per classroom.  They are now 30-35 children per teacher, some even bigger.  Because of budget cuts, aides in classrooms have been cut back to almost none.  Compliments of Obamacare, teachers will no longer be able to write off expenses for their classrooms out of their pockets.  Also compliments of Obamacare, some school's insurances have increased from $8 a paycheck to $80 a paycheck.  Some schools have even quit carrying insurance simply because their corporation can longer afford it.  I think it is time that parents step back and appreciate what teachers do and the stress they are under.  Are there some bad apples in a school corporation...of course.  There are always bad apples in any profession but nobody is perfect.  Are you??  I firmly believe that YOU GET OUT OF EDUCATION WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT!!! If you don't study, don't try, aren't actively involved, then you aren't going to be that successful in school.  If you put the time and effort into your education, then you will be successful. The National Center for Education Statistics states that 49.8 million children will attend public and secondary school in the United States.  I graduated from public school and managed to graduate high school, college, and receive my masters (not to toot my own horn but to make a point that I'm not the most academically inclined, I have to work at it).  So lets all stop playing the "blame game" and start being proactive in our children's education.  Teachers are not the enemy.  They are underpaid, under appreciated people who take all kinds of crap from everyone including their administrators.  

Will my children run into teachers that they will struggle with?  Absolutely.  Did I? Absolutely.  It is a life lesson that everyone needs to learn.  In the real world it isn't all kumbaya and hold hands.  It is a good life lesson for children to face adversity and realize they aren't always going to like co-workers, bosses, neighbors, etc.  In conclusion, it is high time we start giving teachers their due.  Appreciate the fact that they are there for the right reasons, and are occasionally cleaning up society's mess (the parents who choose not to be present in their child's life).  And this is all coming from a speech-language pathologist, not a teacher.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Perfect fall day

2 weekends ago, the Zoo headed to Apple Works.  If you are ever in central Indiana, you HAVE to stop here.  It is amazing! Apple Works is an apple orchard located in Trafalgar, Indiana.  Here is the link for more info

We had the best time.  Nick and I started this tradition when Keeley was a baby. We all head out to Apple Works to pick pumpkins, buy a bag of apples, and Nick gets to pick out several different treats for himself.  They have all kinds of differents salsas, jams, and unique eats.  Like I said, if you are ever in the area it is a must stop :)