Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back to School

School starts on Wednesday but I've been back in my classroom for the last couple weeks setting things up and getting ready to teach all-day kindergarten. I moved to a different classroom at my school to be next to the other kindergarten teacher and I officially never want to move again! Jason, Isabelle and I spent hours cleaning, organizing, putting up new shelves and figuring out the room layout. I think the longest day I spent at school was 10 hours straight. Isabelle was very patient most of the time, despite a disaster involving beads, glitter and a gallon of water. Even though this is my eighth year doing this, moving to a new space definitely takes time to get used to. I also have a student teacher with me this term so I wanted to make sure things were organized before she arrived.
We had our parent orientation last night and it looks like I have some wonderful families I will be working with. The students come for a one-hour orientation Tuesday morning so I'll be picking out the naughty ones then (just kidding-I'm sure they'll all be a bunch of cherubs...) Here are some pictures of my new classroom.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Adoption Picnic

Well, we are still officially number eleven on the referral list for Ethiopia. However, unofficially, we believe we are now number ten as we heard another referral came in a few days ago. Last weekend we went to a picnic for all the families who are adopting with All God's Children International. It was so much fun to see all the sweet little babies from Ethiopia and get to meet other families who are waiting like us. We even got to meet the family who is right before us on the list! It's possible we may be traveling with them when it's time.
In preparation for our pending travel Jason and I have both begun the long immunization process. If there is ever an outbreak of Yellow Fever, Polio or Typhoid in the States, rest assured, the Brock's will survive. We also started our Hepatitis A/B series. Quickest way to get over one's phobia of shots? Take your three-year-old with you! I definitely would have won the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress Withstanding Incredible Pain and Emotional Turmoil in Order to Foster Rational Development in Her Child.

At Martha Lake where the picnic was held.

A Typical Summer Day at Home

While cleaning up the breakfast dishes I realized a suspicious quiet had come over the house. It turns out that Isabelle was hard at work building a fort out of everything that was within reach.
Pool Time

"Yeah, I've got shorts on my head. That's just the way I roll."

A Day at Forest Park

Isabelle and I have spent the summer park hopping and our favorite is definitely Forest Park, which happens to be the most convenient as it's right next to my school. There is a swim center, animal farm, water park and playground so it's easy to stay all day. We visited a few days ago with Aunt Darla.

Darla is thinking, "I will only tolerate touching this goat because Isabelle asked me to." The swing continues to be Isabelle's favorite attraction at the playground.
When taking Isabelle to the water park one must be prepared to leave far wetter than she. Isabelle is adept at the old bait and switch routine.

"We'll scare this water away!"

Monday, August 11, 2008


We spent the weekend camping at Mt. Rainier. It was not the best weather but we were equipped with our new picnic table shelter so when it rained we didn't get soaked. We stayed at La Wis Wis campground about 1/2 mile outside the park. It was a great campsite, right next to the river with lots of sand and dirt for Isabelle to play in.

Helping Daddy set up the tent
Isabelle channeling her inner rock star
Moments later this cup of sand was dumped on her head. There's nothing like getting up close and personal with nature.
Ready for adventure

Jason is very proud of the fire he built. He only needed to use three fire starters this time!
Jason's first response upon arriving at camp: "There aren't any showers or electricity here? But how will I keep up my daily Garnier Fructis beauty regimen?" Seriously, this was a concern.

Isabelle and Jason at Paradise Lodge

The weather cleared for a moment so we could see the top of Mt. Rainier. It's a good thing too because Isabelle was becoming very doubtful that we were actually camping next to a huge mountain and kept asking when we would get there.
Next to Mrytle Falls
Looking for "clues"
Always ready to eat

We went on a nature hike at Ohanapecosh campground with a park ranger. Isabelle is a good little hiker and learned a lot from the ranger. Favorite tidbit: Native Americans used bark from cedar trees to make diapers. Isabelle is still talking about that!

Playing in the river
Isabelle's own drum set
Remember when Ben moved the island on Lost? Well, The Others must be at work at Mt. Rainier because it's supposed to be right there! This was taken at Sunrise Lodge where it was a balmy 35 degrees.

Enjoying S'mores by the fire - possibly my least favorite treat of all time.
The Brock family has been looking for an Olympic sport we could successfully compete in. If Trackball was an event I'm pretty sure we would medal.