3.30.2010

Stepho Turns 27!

Stepho

The video I made for the Big Girl's 27th birthday:)

3.24.2010

Slide to the Left!

Here is the surprise act that my teacher friends and I did at our school's talent show today! None of our students knew it was coming and they LOVED it. Don't ever say we can't dance!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCayuQdgX34

Love It:)

Today is the school talent show and some of the other teachers and I are doing a performance that has been under wraps for weeks. When I surprised my students this morning with the news that they'll see me in the show, one of them said:
"Miss R- is your talent going to be being the best teacher ever?"

HA

The other day we spent 30 minutes talking and reading about Lewis and Clark. One of my student's comments at the end of the lesson?
Lewis and Harry sure did a lot for America.

3.23.2010

National Marathon

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: JesSteBbel
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So we split it up among 3 people, but darn it we completed the half marathon. :)

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to race. The sun was shining, the sky was bright blue, and we felt goooood. What made it even better was that my parents and Chris even came to cheer us on.

Doggy Play Date

This past weekend it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL so Stephanie and I took Kenzie and Lili to the dog park and they loved it!

Jack Turns 3!

Yesterday my cousin Shana had most of the Robinson Clan over to celebrate her son Jack's 3rd birthday and we had such a great time! We grilled out, drank sangria, and marveled over how absolutely precious Jack is. I don't hang out with 3 year olds very often (in fact I don't think I know another 3 year old!), but Jack has got to be the sweetest 3 year old this side of the Mississippi.

I'm not sure if it's that I am really good with children or if I just actually am 5 years old, but I ended up keeping Jack entertained for a really long time. We played such favorites as 'smoosh Jessica's face into a million different positions as she talks in funny voices' and 'bang on the drums while Jessica sings 'Old McDonald' into a light up microphone'.

We also played hide and seek, and what I noticed immediately was how much he had improved his game since Christmas time. When we played over Christmas, as I looked for him and said things like 'I wonder where Jack is?!' and 'Has anyone seen Jack?!' he would yell from his hiding spot, "I'M HERE!! I'M HERE!!"
Last night, first round, he hid in the cupboard and only came out when I threatened to eat his cake. He's half Robinson- give him a break.

I could have stayed there all night. It was great to celebrate with my family, awesome to watch my Grandmommy watch her great-grandson blow out his candles, and a delight to play with Jack. As my dad said on the way home, we just have so much to be thankful for.

3.22.2010

Proud Sister


I am the VERY proud sister of 2 older brothers, Jason and Jeff. I could go on for hours about what they mean to me (and I do, quite often) but right now I just want to toot their horns a little bit.

My oldest brother Jason lives in New York City. He's a professional singer and also teachers voice at a college there. Here are 2 clips of him singing his heart out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCbDxImovO0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnWpyOvrhfg&feature=related

My brother Jeff took after the Big Kat and started his own company a few years ago. It is a shutter and blind company and he does really beautiful work. If you live in the Northern Virginia area and need new shutters and/or blinds, give him a ring!
Here is his website:

http://installedbyjeff.com/

There are few blessings in life sweeter than having a brother and thanks to the Big Mama and the Big Kat I get two. I think they're the greatest 2 brothers any little sister could ask for.

We are J1, J2 & J3- not the same without the others and always better together.

3.19.2010

HA

Question on a measurement math test this morning:

Does it take about 6 seconds, 6 minutes, or six hours to tie your shoes?

My student's answer:

No.

3.18.2010

World Premiere!

OH MY GOSH! This afternoon I went to the WOLRD PREMIERE of the new movie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and it was absolutely awesome! The teachers at the school where my friend Sabrina works entered their elementary school in a national contest to host the world premiere of the movie and W-O-N! Can you imagine being 10 years old and finding out that the premiere of a movie is going to be shown at your school?! Incredible!

The movie is based on a series of books by Jeff Kinney and my students love the series so much that they've been counting down the days until opening weekend for weeks. I literally thought they were going to faint today when I surprised them with the news that I was leaving early to attend the premiere. Four of my students had their books with them, so I brought those and the copy from our school library in hopes of stalking the author and bullying him into giving me autographs.

When I arrived at the school I couldn't believe the scene! The people from 20th Century Fox had been there all day and had set up a red carpet, lights, ropes, the works. They had brought every student a DoaWK t-shirt, poster, and goodybag. News stations from around the area were camped out in the parking lot, photographers swarmed the entrance, and the safety patrols guarded the area like security guards (adorable!). Budding 6th grade journalists even lined the red carpet waiting to interview the stars.

A few minutes after I arrived, the Escalades carrying the actors, the director and Jeff Kinney came into view. They hopped out and made their way down the red carpet, stopping for pictures, autographs and interviews. Meanwhile, I of course am leaning all over the movie's press team with my humongous camera in an attempt to get pictures to bring back for my students. Clearly I looked like one of the professional photographers I was standing on (or I just looked crazy), because a girl from the press team came up to me and said:

"Um...are you with FCPS?"
"...Yes..."
"You're the FCPS photographer, right?"

(???????)

"Um...yes?!?!"

(Technically not a lie. I am with FCPS and was acting like a photographer.)

"Ok, well let me give you the Diary of a Wimpy Kid badge to put around your neck so that no one tells you to move."

SCORE.

Because of this badge, Sabrina and I got to walk into the building with the actors and the author, and I was able to ask Jeff Kinney to sign not just the copy of his book from my school library, but all 4 of my students' books too! I can not WAIT to get to school tomorrow and show them how successful I was. This will make me the coolest person ever for at least 5 minutes.

We watched the movie in the school gym with 400 students, Jeff Kinney, the actors, and the director. I laughed, ate popcorn, and got to see the author watch his books come to life. Who needs Hollywood with a fairy tale day like that?

PenPals

Ok! So about a month and a half ago my teammate and I set up for our students to be pen pals with students at an elementary school in Reston, VA. One of our writing standards is to teach them how to write a friendly letter, so we thought we'd make it interesting and have them actually write back and forth with a child their age. Needless to say they were SO EXCITED to begin. I even sent a letter to the parents requesting real stationary so they could write 'in style'.
We sent all 25 letters (stickers, pictures and all!) across the county and when I walked back in from placing them in the mail, one of my students said:
"Do you think we'll get letters back from them by the end of the day?"

A few days after we sent the letters, Snowpocalypse hit the Northern Virginia area. This, of course, delayed the process of our pen pals writing back to us. Every day at least 4 of my students would ask," When do you think they'll send us letters back?" And I mean Every. Single. Day. I know I have an answer for everything, but this was ridiculous.

Finally, one morning last week I went to my mailbox to find a huge envelope full of letters. I rushed back to my classroom and as my students came in I told them the great news. The letters had arrived (so you can stop freaking asking me about them!!!) Here is the first sentence from one that my student received:

Dear Ryka,
You have bad handwriting.

I'm not kidding.
Here is what she decided to write back:

Dear Jada,
I DO NOT HAVE BAD HAND WRITING. But you have poor grammar.

Soooo it looks like we're off to a really great start of making new friends.

3.14.2010

Sing Your Heart Out



Erin, Chris and me :)

Katie on the mike

Yummy cake!
Baltimore, MD
3.13.10 Night 16
This past Saturday around 6:00 pm Chris and I headed to Baltimore, MD for the night to help my friend Katie celebrate her 27th birthday. In the car with us we had our overnight bags, the cake I baked her, and perhaps the best invention ever...the American Idol Wii game.
On the way there, Chris and I followed our usual car ritual- we chatty chat chatted for a while and then listened to a little EconTalk pod cast (yes- we are dorks).
We got to Katie's house by 7:15 ready to party. Soon after we arrived, Chris asked her if she was having an 80's themed birthday party.
"Oh why, because of the music we're playing?" she says.
"Well yeah and your outfit..."
Only they weren't having an 80's themed party, this was just Katie's actual outfit choice. Hilarious.

The entire night was a blast. We ate, we danced, we played games...and then we plugged in the holy grail of perfect party ridiculousness, Americal Idol. For two hours straight we sang our hearts out for Simon, Paula and Randy (The version we have clearly hasn't been updated to include Cara and Ellen). Some of our hits included Livin' on a Prayer, Big Girls Don't Cry, and Life is a Highway. While receiving some positive feedback, we mostly heard things like "That sounded like a cat getting its tail cut off". 2 words: Judges. Tonedeaf.

We woke up the next day and had a yummy lunch with Katie near her house before heading home. While I lobby regularly for her to get transfered to DC, the hour drive to Baltimore and back isn't so bad. Especially when the time in between is so incredibly fun.

Here's to another great year, Kate! xo

3.10.2010

1/2 Marathon (Syke!)

My friend Stephanie and I decided at the beginning of January that we wanted to train for a 1/2 marathon near the end of March. Now, maybe this was being ambitious. We're talking about 2 girls who can not comfortably run 3 miles, much less 13. We immediately joined a running group and by the end of the first meeting, the coach was saying the following...
"Ummmm... so it's really the 1/2 marathon you want to run?"
"Yes."
"And how many miles can you comfortably run right now?"
"0.5"
"Maybe I would think about setting your 1/2 marathon goal for a little bit further in the future."

I'm not sure what gave us away.

So now instead of each running 1/2 of a marathon, we're going to split up a 1/2 marathon and run it as a relay. With a third person. The distances are 5 miles, 5 miles and 3 miles. HA Ok so maybe we aren't exactly doing what we originally intended, but at least we're completing the race in some capacity. We recruited Chris' athletic friend Hubbel as our 3rd team member (team name JesSteBbel) in an effort to help us not finish dead last. It should be fun- we get to run all over the National Mall and my family will be there to cheer us on. I'll let you know how it goes!

The OCD Has Got to Stop

Ok. I have arguably had obsessive compulsive disorder since I was in elementary school and it's time to talk about it publicly (HA). I can vividly remember in 6th grade thinking that if I didn't for instance, put my pencil in my desk a certain way that something bad would happen. My favorite number is 5 and in middle school before I left for summer camp I had to do everything 5 times. Kiss the dog 5 times, hug my parents 5 times, shut my bedroom door 5 times.

In 8th grade I went to London and brought back a squeaky toy for our family dog, Molly. It ended up in the corner of the landing on the stairs and one time on my way up I stepped on it once with my left foot and once with my right foot. TO THIS DAY, 13 YEARS later I'm still paying the price. I STILL step on the corner of the landing of the stairs at my parents house once with each of my feet on my way up AND down their stairs. The most ridiculous part? It's a different house and THE TOY ISN'T EVEN THERE ANYMORE. So now I'm just tapping the floor! Can you imagine me when I'm giving a tour or I'm in a hurry? I don't know what people think I'm doing standing there staring at the wall doing some sort of tap dance.

I don't live with my parents, so thankfully I am only reminded of my 'Squeaky Toy Syndrome' every couple of weeks when I'm over there. However, I now have bigger fish to fry because for the past year I have had an obsession with lining up my shoes when I take them off. Perfectly. Every. Time. It's ridiculous. The joke is actually that I will throw my clothes all over the floor but you better believe my shoes are lined up. When I first realized it wasn't just a habit but an "issue", Chris would even walk by them and nudge one a little just to make himself laugh. One morning at my parents' house after I had spent the night, I came downstairs (tapping the corner on my way down!) to find a note from my dad on the ground by my shoes. He'd drawn an arrow and written on it 3/4 in., as in he wanted to point out that the shoe the arrow was pointing to was 3/4 of an inch in front of my other shoe.

Anyway, I just wanted to put this out there so that in case in the years ahead I turn into Howard Hughes, you can all look back and say "And we thought that was weird". :)

3.08.2010

Purple & Gold REUNION!

Charlotte, NC
3.5.10-3.7.10 Nights 14 & 15

After 2 LONG YEARS of being apart, my best college girlfriends and I reunited at my friend Courtney's house in Charlotte, NC for our friend Kelly Grier's baby shower. I flew down from DC, Whitney took a (horrendous) train ride from Richmond, and Danielle and her family drove from Wake Forest.
Courtney and Danielle picked me up from the airport at about 8:30 on Friday night and we immediately sped to save Whitney from the disaster that was the Charlotte Amtrak train station. As soon as the station came into view, I leaped out of the car and Whitney and I started running across a field towards each other like one of those slow motion scenes where the guy and girl reunite on the beach. After we got her in the car, we headed to Courtney's (brand new, beautiful) house. Immediately it was as if no time had passed- the past 2 years having been erased in an instant.
That night the 4 of us stayed up until 1:30 in the morning talking and laughing. Then, when Whitney and I went in our room to go to sleep, she proceeded to talk my ear off for another hour and a half. (HA Ok- I'll admit to telling a story or 50) So maybe when we woke up the next morning the first thing we thought was not "boy I feel rested!" but it was "I'm so glad to be here."
After a workout and a homemade french toast souffle, we drove to KG's baby shower where we had a blast. Kelly Grier was glowing and looked so happy and beautiful and it was great to see the other ECU girls that came. The food was incredible (think homemade shrimp and grits, quiche to die for, fruit salad...) and Kelly Grier got the cutest gifts ever, including the Patagonia in the picture above.
That night all of the ECU girls went out to dinner at a tapas restaurant in downtown Charlotte. We drank and ate and drank and talked and then the 4 of us came back to Courtney's and talked for hours on end once again. We literally told stories through our yawns just to squeeze in a few more minutes together.
I came home on Sunday to beautiful weather! Chris, Kenzie and I took a walk and cooked dinner on the grill. I was so happy to be outside soaking up the sun where I belong. The only thing that could have made the weekend any better would have been to sneak my friends home with me in my suitcase.

3.07.2010

A Living Legend

Whenever I go over to my Grandmommy's house, I always end up asking her a million questions about our family's past. She is the keeper of our history, the matriarch of the Robinson family. She is the proud mom of 4, grandmother of 11, and GREAT- grandmother of 1. She has lived through WWII, the Great Depression, and Vietnam. She was in the first graduating class of women at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. To me, she is a living legend.
Last week after work I went to hang out with her, and as usual, we ended up talking for 2 hours about everything under the sun. I always know to bring post-its with me so I can literally take notes of everything she says. Last week was no exception, and I left her house with a page full of information about my dad's side of the family. Believe it or not, I am not the most organized person in the world (ha) so I want to start typing up what she tells me incase I misplace the post its (and by that I mean I already can't find most of them).

-Her parents were Bessie Van Dora Ezell and Eugene Lillard Greer. They had 3 children- Eugene Jr. (born 11/20), my grandmommy (8/22) and Harrell (2/24)
-Her dad's parents were Andrew Greer (Scotch-Irish) and Alice Fritz (Dutch). Her mom's parents were Virgil Ezell (French) and "Dora something" :)
-Hundreds of years ago a group of Irish people moved to Scotland because of religious issues and then moved back to Ireland. At this time the 'Greer' family was the 'McGregor' family and it was because of this move that they were Scotch-Irish.
-. Before the Revolutionary War, Europeans sailed to Pennsylvania and settled in the mountains of North Carolina via the Shenandoah Valley. Our ancestors were part of that immigration.
-Her dad's sister and Bessie (my grandmommy's mom) taught together in a one room schoolhouse in Bowling Rock- the mountains of NC. When Eugene came home from WWI, he met Bessie through his sister and married her. Bessie's family then moved t0 Whitier, NC.
-Her dad worked in the lumber business and her uncles worked as a teacher, a lawyer and a doctor. These were basically the only professions available in North Carolina at the time.
-Her dad's brother, I G Greer, taught Education classes at Appalachian (interesting fact: North Carolina spent more money than any state in the Union in the late 1800's.) He was appointed as the Secretary General of the North Carolina Board of Business and helped bring industry to NC. This brought business there in the '40s and was the start of the industrial "triangle" of the Chapel Hill, Duke and NC State area (pretty cool!)

I have attempted to give my grandmommy "computer lessons" (hilarious) because at the ripe old age of 87, she's decided she needs an email address. This may be the funniest thing I have ever tried to accomplish. Try teaching someone to use a mouse who can hardly hear and has no feeling in her fingertips.
"Grandmommy, you're ckicking the mouse on the wrong icon"
"What?"
"...Can't you feel your finger clicking the mouse?"
"the what?"
Ok.

Anyway, incase she miraculously learns to read my blog, I LOVE YOU GRANDMOMMY! Otherwise, I'll read this to her during our next lesson. And Robinson clan- I'll add more family facts as soon as I find my notes!
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