Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Gift

In the midst of the last-day-of-school craziness, my trip to Kentucky, a crazy week of our summer program, and then my weekend with extended family celebrating my grandfather's 80th Birthday, I almost forgot to share this with you!

On the last day of school, I was showered with an assortment of gift cards to restaurants, movie theaters, Target, etc. I received handmade cards signed by my students, tickets to summer concerts...and the best gift, this little fellow.

Leo was hand painted by my student Trisha. She worked on it for a long time, painstakingly thinking and finally choosing just the right colors for Mr. Leo's body of plaster.

Trisha won't be returning to our school next year. She didn't graduate but will move on to kindergarten at another school- and I will miss her SO much. She was a student of mine for two years and while she is definitely a strong willed young one, we got along very well. She loved to play with my hair and cuddle in my lap while I read a book to her.

On this particular afternoon, her mom came to pick Trisha up. She nagged and nagged, barely allowing time for Trisha to say her final goodbyes to all of her teachers. As she and her mother walked through our classroom door, another child had to use the restroom so I stood half inside, half outside and watched, trying not to cry as Trisha walked out of my life for the last time.

One second later, she was back in the classroom, with a sad, wistful look on her face and Leo held tightly in one hand. She announced that she wanted Leo to be mine. I questioned her about the action, reminding her of how long she'd worked to make him just right. She shook her head yes over and over, hugged me one last time, and left Leo in my care.

It was the best gift she could give-- and I will treasure it forever.

I'll miss you, Trisha!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lake Trip II

Our second day at the lake was exhausting and full! There was rain in the forecast, so we hit the road before noon to head to Cumberland Falls, Kentucky. It's called the "Little Niagara" apparently-- pretty cool and beautiful, but definitely not as amazing as the regular Niagara Falls!!

We took a few group photos and then began a hike. Up...and up...and up we went. At some points, I thought I was going to die-- lol! We followed many trails, hiked somewhere between 6 and 10 miles by our best estimation, and all of us ran out of water somewhere around the halfway point. We found this ADORABLE little turtle on the side of the path. I'd never seen such a small turtle! Seriously, how cute?! He was a squirmy guy when I held him, but all of us wished we'd kept him with us during our hike. Aw, what a fun pet he would have been!

We also explored a few caves (their natural cool air felt wonderful!!) and met a lot of neat bugs & spiders along the way. Oh, and we almost stepped on a copperhead. He was so pissed at us and kept sticking out his tongue!

The smaller waterfalls were pretty and extremely refreshing in the hot, humid heat. That's the best feeling!

When we were about a mile from the end of our hike, we stopped by some rocks to cool off (actually, this is where Mr. Copperhead was hanging out)
And we survived!

That evening we were all sore again (that lasted a few days!) and spent a few hours in the hot tub talking. Early the next morning we packed up our belongings and headed home-- our vacation, ever so lonely, was WAY too short (as vacations always are!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lake Trip I

What a weekend! We left Big City last Friday evening, after a whirlwind day of graduation (so sad), lunch with two coworkers (so fun) and an hour or so of just sitting and relaxing (so needed!).
We hit the road and headed south, towards the warmth! Lake Cumberland, Kentucky was our destination and after a few mishaps, including me freaking out because I thought my keys were lost in Big City, and half our group turning on a random road (and running into dogs and horses in a field) because they thought it was the correct route, we arrived in Burnside around 1 am Saturday. We had shopped at a random Wal-Mart back in Northern Kentucky and stocked up on food & drinks for the weekend- which, I must say, we planned REALLY well. We had barely anything left over by the end of the weekend!

The house we stayed at was absolutely awesome. It was two floors, with three bedrooms, two and a half bath, two pull out couches, a fully equipped kitchen, porch swing, and a hot tub outside. We took full advantage of that throughout the weekend!!

Smart people in our group of 7 went to bed shortly after our arrival, but I was sharing a huge bed with Lexi and another girl named Jules and we were up until 4:30 or so talking. Whoops!!!
View of the river from our house- lots of boats came by which was cool!

On Saturday, we got up had a delicious breakfast of eggs & bacon (ohh, I love it!) and Tommy & T & I walked down to what used to be/was going to be a dock eventually. It was amazing how far down below the water actually was, since it didn't look terribly far.

We left the house and headed towards the marina where we reserved a ski boat and loaded up on life jackets and sunscreen. It was a perfect day to be out on the water, mid 80s and humid! We ended up buying a cheap inner tube as well since the marina didn't rent them out. With Dug at the wheel, we pulled out and busted the tunes-- that was a blast!

The next four hours were spent coasting along, music blasting, wind in my hair-- the best feeling. :) I really enjoyed just chilling on the boat and watching other boaters. It was perfect!
Once we got out a bit farther into the lake, we slowed down and brought out the inner tube. I had never been tubing before, so I let a few of my new friends go before I tried. Once I finally got on the tube (note to self: just get on from the boat, it's easier) we began flying (probably not really, but it felt like that!) and the water was all over me as I tried to hold on for dear life. The biggest problem I encountered was that I had my contacts in and my eyes hurt SO badly afterwards from the water being continually sprayed in them. Next time, I'll just wear my glasses for that part of the ride!

Ready to go!

Got my game face on...

Probably trying to hold on for dear life!

Tipped over

Whew, I survived!

After everyone got a chance to go tubing, we pulled out the water skiis and had just enough time for a few people to try them out. The skiis were too big and kept falling off the guys' feet, so I didn't get to try. One thing at a time!

Once back at the house that evening, we were all exhausted! After a quick dinner of burgers & hot dogs, most of us crashed for an hour or so...on couches, the porch swing, our beds...we were all over the house! We eventually perked up enough to hang out in the hot tub for a bit before pulling out Apples to Apples (Tommy won by a long shot, even though he'd just met some of us he was really good at reading us!) and then Pit (Lexi shamelessly won, to the point that we banned trading from her and eventually we all just quit playing with her!). The crew slowly started drifting to bed one by one until only Tommy, Bin, Lexi and I were up. We watched an interesting episode of Law & Order (it had Hilary Duff playing the mother of a baby...yea) and afterwards it was already 2 am...time to hit the hay!

Monday, May 25, 2009

I'm back!!

Ohhhhhh my gosh.

Woot woot!
That's what she said...
Boom boom pow! Dance party!
Lexi, that's strike 4/5/6/7!
Ring the inappropriate bell!

You did not just say that!

Hot tub!
S/he's off...
What did you do now?!

There really are no words...but the above phrases at least partially describe my fantastic weekend trip I just arrived home from! More later this week because 1) I'm so sore I can hardly move and 2) I have yet to go through all the photos! If anyone can guess where these awesome preview photos were taken, you win... a million high fives! Ha.

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Weekend!

I finally finished packing! It's only almost 2 am...yikes!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Memorial Day- I'll be back after a nice long, hopefully fun weekend at the lake...lots of pictures will be taken and I'm positive there will be some interesting stories to share when I return! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009


If there's one thing I can do well, it is procrastinating. I'm doing it as I type! Haha.

I'm supposed to be packing for my weekend away with friends. We're going to a lake about 5 hours away- I'm TOTALLY looking forward to it. A few days away from technology life and work to just relax, hang out with Lexi and some new people...

But here's the thing! I have NO time to pack tomorrow, because we have graduation early in the morning. Afterwards Cara and I are either going to walk around the zoo and then get lunch/ice cream (we got gift cards!) or just do the latter depending on what time it is. Then I have to (maybe) go home for a bit and get downtown to Lexi's house for the trip. 

So, I need to pack tonight. Swimming clothes, hiking clothes/shoes, hangout clothes/shoes...

which means I need a list...

which means I need to think. 

And thinking? I can't do it right now. 

If I think, I'll think of our last day of school, which will inevitably lead to thinking of my kindergartners, which will make me cry. Plus, I found out today that a set of twin girls at my school, who have come SOOO far in the past two years, won't be returning next year. I didn't even get the chance to say goodbye to one of them. Besides that, one of my special sweethearts is also leaving, and she left me the sweetest gift. I'll blog about that later. Can't see through my tears right now. 

Sigh. Need to find the energy to pack, somehow. Parents, graduations may be hard on you, but they are also hard on the teachers. Trust me.

One Year Ago- Part II

Catie- oh my soul brightened when you joined our classroom! You are such a happy encourager, and not just to the other children. I fondly remember earlier this year, your request for a cut-up apple as opposed to the skinned fruit- and for good reason! I look forward to meeting your younger brother you absolutely adore, and still remember the Christmas cookies you baked with your mom. They were the BEST I have tasted. Ever! 

Julianne: You are always so happy! Eager to please and ever helpful...I loved helping in your classroom because you made me feel so special. I'll treasure all your pictures and creations always, while you move on to a bigger, brighter world for you to happily explore :)

Parks- you are can be sneaky or smiley, always  "one of the boys" and nothing like your twin sister Jordy- which is okay! Always eager to be in the middle of everything, I think you're still trying to find your own path. I recently discovered that you, Jordy and Eamon will be in the same school next year- and will have a blast together! I enjoyed all of your books on airplanes and outer space this past year- You are so full of interesting trivia, like the bit you shared with me today- "All four year olds are overweight"!

Jordy, my playground buddy...I may not know you too well, but you have a special place in my heart. You always, ALWAYS have a hug ready for me in the afternoon, and I appreciate that! You are such an easygoing girl, and I know you and Parks have a special bond. As one of the girls, I'm sure you'll miss your friends but have no trouble meeting new ones, either!

Velle-Willam- how I love your easy spirit and serious nature. I've never known a six year old interested in debating God, chickens and friendship all in the same conversation! I love that you are being raised in the countryside and are embarking on the adventure of raising your own chickens. Your parents are teaching you well about the earth, nature and how to preserve it, and you are not worried about speaking your mind one bit! I really admire that in you.  Your friends are special to you, but so is your family. Our school is blessed with you and your sister! 

Britt- You have such a sweet nature, my boy. Earlier in the school year I had the opportunity to speak with your mom about all the ways you've grown and matured since entering our school- while you've definitely grown taller and more outspoken, every once in a while the little boy in you still shines through-- I will miss that! Your stories make me laugh, and I'll fondly never forget your chocolate yogurt splattered over the sink and wall daily! :-) (see 11:53am)

Brooke (or Book, as you are affectionately known!) I have LOVED having you these last two years! You are any teacher's dream student- and your family is picture-perfect too. Any conflict with you was solved within 5 seconds of beginning. You are always surrounded by friends, dressed in the cutest outfits, hair nicely done...and yet, you are so not a girly girl! You love running around with the boys, even if it does result in skinned knees and splinters in fingers. I love the "tough girl" mentality you have, and am going to miss your sunny smile! 

Hey, Bobbert! You are indeed last in this list. Not on purpose, though it's possibly divine since you really really REALLY enjoy being the first one done with lunch every single stinkin' day! I've tried to get you to slow down just...a...little but it never happened. You were both a joy and a pain to have these past two years. No, seriously. (One of Bobbert's favorite quotes- the other is "Can I please pack up now?") Your smile and joking manner will surely be a hit in elementary school, and I will miss you. As one of the largest kindergartners, you certainly had your chance to make an impression on the other students- and you did. As your final mark on the school, thank you for allegedly pulling down the pants of another kindergartner on the playground on one of the last days of school. Really? Was that necessary? No, seriously. 

Congratulations, graduates!!

One Year Ago- Part I

One year ago today, I wrote this post.

Today is the last day of school for the year. Again.

I have no witty words this year- while I am scared about the summer, my new summer job and the decisions I have to make regarding my future, I am ready for the school year to be over. I will miss my kindergartners, but I have no where near the same amount of mixed feelings as I did last year. Perhaps Aniya was there to guide me in my first year of teaching, teach me the ropes and now, Cara and I have things under control...some days! ;) I am definitely more confident in my role in the classroom and am content to be a friend to Aniya, no longer my co-teacher.

So to my Kinders...

Zach, I will miss your smile, your silly giggle, the way you pout with your bottom lip out, arms folded across your chest. It doesn't seem fair to say I will miss you without telling Galen goodbye too, for the two of you are "best buds" and part of the "gang" together. You two are always in cahoots and do everything together...including getting in trouble. Galen started the "bawk, bawk, Chicken!" when we line up the afternoon kids after recess and Zach, you my mister, started the "Dudes Club".

To Eamon: You are one of my favorite kindergarten entertainers! You ALWAYS have a story to tell in animated detail!! Remember the time you had to go to the hospital?? As long as you keep your anger in check, you'll get so far in life! I'll miss your eagerness to always help out in our classroom, bud! P.S. Did anyone tell you that YOU scored highest on our Iowa tests last month?! You rock!!

Monkey, my monkey. Do I have to say goodbye to you? Alexa, I am SO sad that you are leaving our school! You arrived the same time I did, and we've had a special bond ever since. You win the award for "Child I have most photos of" because you enjoy stealing my camera and taking self portraits! I'll miss your smile, your multiple daily hugs, your stories, hanging out with you on the picnic bench, playing with Pinocchio leaves, your gymnast adventures...

McK! My blond-haired, motherly princess, always decked out in leopard prints and "HSM" tees. It makes me sad to say goodbye to you, because unlike Alexa, Eamon & Zach, you don't have younger siblings coming to our school. A goodbye to you is forever. I LOVE your cheery nature, and the way you just float along clearly enjoying life. You will be a cheerleader, a popular girl in school. Stay strong!

AaJay, Mr.Cool, you say the strangest things sometimes, but you are such a sweet boy. I know your sister Livvy will really miss you next year, as will we! You have come a long way from when I first met you almost two years ago-- you've blossomed and made so many friends! Thank you for your constant laughs...there's a possibility you'll be voted "Class Clown" later in life. ;) Keep your sunny smile!

Max! I am so thankful you joined our lunchroom this year! Along with your twin brother Reese and Samster, you've joined forces and created the nicest 3-boy-bond I've ever seen! There's no separating the three of you and you stay away from the drama on the playground. For that I am so grateful. Keep being the sweet boy you are now, and you'll gain friends for life. 

Ben. Ah. You were certainly brought into my life in September so I could practice patience while you excelled in Kindergarten! If you focus and work on controlling your body during circle, you'll survive! Thank your twin bro Joel for moving the both of you together onto first grade in the fall- have fun, goofy boy!

Jo & your best friend Dobbit! You boys are the sweetest six year olds to grace the planet! I remember meeting you, Jo, last June. You were a super-timid, curly haired boy...and I was worried about your adjustment to all-day classes. I should not have been the least bit concerned with Dobbit at your side! You two are silly, and thanks to you I'll spend my days in the principle's office! (They always "send" Cara and I to the office, lol!)

Kendall, my long blond haired beauty...I didn't get to see you much this year, but every time I did see you I was greeted with a wide smile- most of the time toothless, but your front teeth have arrived once again. ;-) You were one of my favorite work buddies when I subbed in your classroom, and are a friend to everyone at school. Your sweet disposition will get you far!

Raquel and Kennedy-- you two were determined to teach me about girls' overly emotional and dramatic sides! If a person viewed the video I took of our lunch room last week, they'd discover the two of you crying! Raquel, I believe you were brooding over your assigned seat, which happened to be with two of the happiest people in the classroom! Girl, smile more, discover the GOOD in situations and people will discover a beautiful, strong-willed rainbow in you. Brighten up! Kennedy, you were crying because your mom packed peas and supposedly you don't like peas. You've been eating them all year! What up with that?! Really though, when you're not experimenting with your pouting face, your smile lights up the room. I looooooove your stories on circle- even if we do need a full ten minutes for just one of them! 

Part II on Friday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Non-Flirting Story

I am SO not a flirt. I have friends who are (or were before they got married!) and I found it hysterical the way they interacted with guys. I just cannot do that!!!

So, here is my not-flirting story.

Last week, I was at Aniya's house to watch the series finale of "Prison Break". Aniya's dh Ty and his buddy Kyle arrived shortly after I did but before the show started. I'd never met either of them so we introduced ourselves and Kyle began talking about how Prison Break was his favorite show and he just couldn't wait for the finale to begin. The show began and before the first set of commercials, Kyle's all, "What's Scylla?", "Is that his mom?", "Who is that girl?". Yea, he'd never watched Prison Break before AT ALL. 

So, during the first set of commercials, Aniya and Ty were talking about something and I began explaining the basic elements of the show to Kyle since we were both sitting on the couch. 

After I finished my little synopsis, Kyle said something to the extend of, "Hey, I like your nails!" (Which were still painted from this...) He continued on with, "They have a cool green glow to it from this angle!"  (Okay, really he used some other fancy word but I cannot remember what it was!)

Of course, being the STUPID girl I am, I started spouting off the story of how, oh, it was my friend's birthday and how, oh, usually my nails aren't painted, etc. Greeaattt.

Then, Kyle leaned over and said, "And are your eyes green, too?!?" 

Anyone want to guess what my response was? Because it's ever so not flirty, I assure you! 


(Can I just say that I'm glad Aniya and Ty were paying absolutely NO attention to us...?)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Flower Halos

One of the kids began bringing Cara and me flowers and requested a halo made out of them. Before we knew it, we were roped into creating halos, rings and necklaces for 20 kids. It was a busy afternoon!

Do you tie the stems together?

Or slide them inside each other?

And you know you're jealous of my flower ring from Aly!

As an aside, one parent, while picking up his daughter who had a "flower halo" on her head, said "Oh, nice. A weed hat." Thanks, man. Haha.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


One of my close friends is an alcoholic. That's certainly not something I ever saw myself typing (or something my friend thought she'd be) and yet here I am.

She's been sober for a year now, and it's been an interesting journey to walk with her through rehab and begin the adventure through the twelve principles of AA. Sometimes I feel like my support and prayers just aren't enough...but it's all I can do. 

A year ago, when she hit rock bottom, I didn't know her well. I knew who she was (& vice versa) but we never spent time together. We saw each other almost daily but never really connected. I knew she had ended up in the hospital but didn't find out until mid-summer exactly why that was. Come early fall, her transformation from party-all-night to motivated-stick-to-it girl was noticeable and we began to hang out. She seemed thankful to have someone to do non-alcohol related activities with, and the more we hung out, the more I heard of her story. I never pushed or asked questions but as we became more comfortable with each other, parts of our past were naturally shared. Hers just happens to be a bit more "exciting" than mine! 

Throughout her journey, I've learned a lot too. I never knew AA meetings are held multiple times a day, although it makes total sense. I never knew that one of things members of AA are encouraged to do is to "confess" their wrongdoings in life to someone outside their family, as a part of moving ahead in life. Truthfully, I believe many people (alcoholics or not) could learn from AA and their principles. My friend has become more spiritual and connected to God in the past year than I knew possible, especially for her. The two of us joke that really, everyone should attend AA for the simple reason of spiritual renewal- not far from the truth. 

Of course, some of her old tendencies shine through-- she's still as sarcastic, still sassy and direct when something makes her mad, her family issues still drive her insane...but I'm proud of her and how far she's come. A year can and does make a difference. 

I can only imagine how hard this journey is for her...I wish I could do more than stand by and cheer her on.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chalk Art

It's amazing the different ways children depict themselves and others in chalk art. Either that or they just can't trace very well. Probably both.
"Grimace" from Ronald McDonald

Multiple personality, maybe?

Depicting a child with glasses?

I'm really tempted to say a teacher traced this one...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Water Fountain Fail...

Thanks for your thoughts on the previous post. I already planned to go (and am SO EXCITED!!!!!) but my mom had a major freakout when she realized there were guys going...something I hadn't even thought of. Oh, well.

Some of my lovely kindergarten boys decided to have some fun with the chalk earlier this week. They rubbed and rubbed until chalk was sufficiently ground into the concrete.
Then, they each took a big swig of water from the water fountain- but didn't swallow.

Oh, no. Because that's not fun, see. Or cool.

Spitting it all over the ground is, though. Especially when it's in front of all the younger children and one of said younger children catches the action on camera. And then tells a teacher. And has evidence in the form of a photo, with your not-so-innocent faces plastered all over it.
Oh, Zach and Galen. I'll miss you after graduation.

(I'm sure both of them would totally proclaim it was worth losing the water fountain for the rest of the day and having to sit on the bench though-- after all, they are cool kindergartners in the eyes of their friends.)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quick yes/no question

Just out of curiousity-- imagine you're in your mid- 20s, single and were invited on a long weekend away. There would be 6 people going- including you. 3 guys, 3 girls, three bedroom condo. Weekend is very cheap with the option to swim, boat, hiking, horses to rent, mini-golf, etc. You in, or no because it's mixed genders-- no relationships between anyone, just friends...?

Answers...and decisions

It was a good day here in monkey land. With wacky Wednesdays, you just never know what to expect. 

Cara and I had a meeting with my boss today about our school's summer program, what hours we're expected to be working, what our thoughts were on how the school year went overall, and a few other small issues. Truthfully, it went a LOT better than I was thinking it would, and I'm so thankful for that. It wasn't a scheduled meeting, my boss just pulled me aside and asked if she could talk to Cara and me during our lunch (the kids' naptime). Probably better for my stress level anyway!

Once you get the ball rolling with me during a meeting, there's no stopping me. I can be kinda blunt with what needs to be said, but I also feel like "Hey, if there's something that needs to be said and all the people who need to hear it are here now, why bother putting it off and causing unneeded stress..."

So, the first order of business was our summer program. After yesterday, when I was stuck at work until 6:20 (I know it's only 20 minutes past when I expect to finish my workday but those 20 minutes are LOOONNNGGG when you are supposed to be DONE and you have two kids who are all "where's my mom" and "I'm hungry, it's dinner time") I needed to let it be known that I wasn't really willing to spend the first two weeks of my summer staying that late- so I told my boss that I'm available from 8a-4p. Another reason I'll hopefully (love) these hours is that it will help me adjust to my summer nannying hours, which will be 7:30-4:30. So, I'd rather start working early in an environment I'm used to, then switch over to basically the same hours in a new environment, if that makes sense. 

My boss then mentioned that contracts will be given to us by June 1- later than stated in our current contracts but she said she would like us both to come back...

After that, we moved on to the issue of our lunch program, a talk that was desperately needed. Right now (ahem, all year) we've been over on our numbers, which is SO easy to do in a school environment, but having 30 kids for 75 minutes for lunch is just too much. I told her we are not willing to have more than 24 next year, end of story. Cara and I came up with a few suggestions on how to help with the craziness of lunchtime in general. Amazingly, our boss was very willing to listen and seemed open to some of our ideas. As of now, our lunchroom only stands at 21 kids next year, but that will change. 

So yea... a lot of issues were discussed, and I'm thankful for the lunch talk especially, as it was beginning to wear me out just wondering how to bring it up delicately with the boss!

But now... there are many questions in my head-
- Do I want to stay another year at my school (my heart says why not, part of me wants a new adventure)
- Where will I live come August? In Big City still? Should I move East? To Cinci? A totally different state?
- Do I want to get my Montessori certification? (I REALLY don't want to go back to school!!!)
- Maybe I should go back to nannying full time?
- Why is life so complicated and why can't I just be content where I am??!!? 

Really, though, it was a good day. I played soccer with some of my boys until Dillon stepped on Jack's arm and Livvy had a freak out about someone taking her bike. Normal day, really. ;) It rained this afternoon so I took a few kids next door and we played monkey in the middle with a balloon until they began to shriek and scream a bit too loud...

After work we had a girls' night at a local Mexican restaurant. Only 5 of us were able to attend but had fun anyway- it's good to see the girls outside of work. We usually get together outside of work just once a year so I was glad it was on a night I was free. Afterwards, my friend Lexi and I met up for chai tea and some girl chat-- it's been a long day but now I can go to bed feeling like I can evaluate what to do a little easier with the meeting behind me!

Hope you all had a good Wednesday! :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Science/Nature Week

*All photos provided by my students*

Since no one has seen a contract yet at my school, I have no clue whether or not I'll be back to teaching in the Fall, especially with the monkeys I adore- so I've been really trying to savor these last few days of school.

It's been absolutely beautiful the last couple days and we've been enjoying the outdoors. We had lunch outside on Monday which the kids absolutely LOVED- as did we, because it makes for a much easier clean up!

Inevitably, with four and five year olds, being outside for any period of time leads to them digging in the dirt and finding all sorts of creatures-- ants, tiny tiny red bugs, worms, roly-polies, snakes, frogs, and a small animal one of my more challenging (Mister Energy!!!!) students named a "worm-ant". You can't really tell by this photo, but the tiny animal does look like a mixture of a worm and an ant (it has legs).
In reality, I have no idea what the animal really is, but we've turned the dirt digging into a science lesson by discussing what all these animals are on the Earth for...

One of my favorite kindergarteners is a youngster named Henry. He is very advanced, reading everything in sight and soaking it up. He knows more strange information than I ever will, and he knows it off the top of his head. For instance, did you know that slugs are anesthetics and if you lick them enough, they'll numb your tongue? Or that slugs are good for our ecosystems, just as worms are? The slugs apparently eat dead leaves and plants that are decaying...who knew? I love my kinders...they teach me something every day!

This discussion led to animals that we've eaten, teachers and chilren in the school both. We got the normal deer, rabbit, cow and added on the alligators, chocolate/cheese covered crickets, raccoons, worms...

We discussed how there are certain animals who attach their babies to the male's back before they hatch for safekeeping-- although some of the teachers had a suggestion for that animal- to attach the babies AFTER they hatch. Haha. ;-)