Monday, September 01, 2008

August--whew...we made it!

Sorry it's been a while since I've updated, but life sure got busy the second August hit! Just a quick update on all the Coombs family:

Jon: Jon's back to teaching at Basha high school and is having a great year. Although he's been enjoying having a prep period this year (giving him a little more time during the school day), he's needed that extra time because he is also in the middle of writing his thesis and trying to get his observation hours done for his Master's class . That certainly has been keeping him busy! If things go well, though, he should be completely done with his whole Master's program (thesis included!) by December. Yaaay!!!

Heather: Okay, so I've been UBER-busy this last month. I managed to get myself wrangled into a long-term teaching assignment this year, with very unusual circumstances. I'm teaching ELD (English Language Development) for grades 1-6, a class that no other teacher wanted due to its inherent challenges. It's an inclusion class, which means my students are with me all day, except when I send them out to their grade level for math, which has been a scheduling nightmare in itself. Not only is it challenging due to the diverse grades levels I have, but even within those grades levels they are at very diverse language abilities. I have some students that are reading/writing at a 4th grade level (inlcuding my 6th graders), while I have others that don't even know their alphabet sounds! (My 2-year old knows most of her alphabet sounds!) So basically I have to prepare about 3-4 different lesson plans for every day! I have 14 students at the moment (it changes weekly as they discover new students that should be in my class). Oh, and the kicker of it all--because it's a brand new program in the state of Arizona, there are no books, no curriculum, no previous teacher or lesson plans to follow--so, basically I'm making this up as I go along! It's been a challenge, to say the least, but it's been fun, as well. The one nice thing about having no precedence to follow--I also have no one telling me I'm doing it wrong!

In addition to teaching full-time, I also started teaching a cardio step and toning class on Monday nights at the Copper Basin YMCA, our local gym. I've been having a blast, so anyone reading this in Queen Creek--come out on Monday nights from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m and join us! The class is a lot of fun, and I promise to give you a REALLY good workout! =)

Good thing we got rid of the TV! Whatever time I have left after teaching, lesson-planning, grading, working out at the gym, playing with friends, and doing my primary stuff (which has been keeping me rather busy lately with teacher-training, activities, meetings, baptisms, and just keeping my teachers in place!), is spent adoring my sweet children and husband. I really wish I had more time with them, but I do try make our time together as quality as possible!

Oh, yeah, I did find time to finish the last book of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, as well! Yes, I loved it. =)

Aaron: My big 4-year old has had a busy month, too! He turned 4 on August 20th, and we had a big party for him with all his friends, a pinata, games, art project, and of course, pizza, cake and ice cream! It was a lot of fun for everyone, except for the cleaning crew (i.e. Jon and Heather) that had to reassemble my house after being rampaged by 10 kids between the ages of 2 and 5. But it sure was worth it to see how much fun Aaron had!

Aaron's also back in school now. He goes to a special-needs preschool for his speech delay 4 days a week for 3 hours a day at a local elementary school . He has a great teacher and really loves it, but his favorite part--he gets to ride the bus!! This is a good thing that he thinks the bus is the coolest part of his day, because unfortunately, he's the first to get picked up and the last to get dropped off on his route, keeping him on the bus for almost 2 hours a day. Poor guy--but like I said, he loves it.

Aaron continues to be an angel child and really is so much fun and so easy to love and adore. His speech is improving by leaps and bounds and he continues to be a head taller than most of his friends. It's just fun watching all the ways he continues to grow!

Sarah: Sarah is always the life of the party. Her speech is quickly catching up to her brother's and she is getting pretty good with her numbers and letters. She loves being the center of attention, hates bugs and pretty much all animals, loves dresses and anything girly, and makes us all laugh daily. Our biggest struggle with her right now--just trying to get her to go to sleep. We've tried everything, but that's our biggest fight with her. For the last several months, she's simply cried herself to sleep on the floor behind her door. I can't even remember the last time she actually slept in her bed. If you have any suggestions (although we've probably already tried it!), we'd love to hear what's worked for others!

So, that's the update! I'm posting some pictures of Aaron's birthday, our trip to the Arizona Museum of Youth (so fun!), and our super-fun night at Can o' Frags (Derek's all-night game-a-palooza which includes all things gaming--computers, WII, X-box, and my favorite--Rock Band). It's been a fun, albeit busy, month here for the Coombs. Hope to hear from you all soon!

Aaron's 4th Birthday

Art project--each child got to decorate their own plate. We had them trace around 4 of their fingers of their handprint for Aaron's "4th" birthday!

Everyone got to get some good whacks in on the pinata. I think Josh actually made the final blow--although watch out for Colton and Bryce! Those guys are headed for the major league!

Present time--Aaron got some great stuff, including cars, puzzles, Moon Sand (uh, thanks Peep, I guess.), some knight figurines, and this favorite from his Grandma Judi--a remote-controlled dinosaur! Unfortunately, it didn't work, but it was still a hit.

All the kids had fun playing with Aaron's gifts.

Surprisingly, some of the kids were too interested in the toys to stop and eat cake--not these guys! They're happily waiting for their slices.

CoFLan (or Super Fun Game Night at the Roses!)

Here's some pics from Derek's first ever Can o' Frags Super Game Night. Why was it a SUPER game night? Well, not only did they expand their gaming repetoire to include Wii and Rock Band, they also invited the wives. Yes, we wives do tend to make everything super. =) Anyway, it was a HUGE success, tons of fun, and enjoyed immensely by all. Okay, it was enjoyed immensely by me, but, hey, I'm writing this blog, so I'm assuming fun was had by all. The next one is this coming Friday, September 5th--hope to see you all there! (If you know the Roses, you're probably invited. If you don't know the Roses, but just think that a great night of good clean fun sounds right up your alley, then you're probably still invited.)