Yes, I have had the hamster-wheel feel the last few days … but it’s hard to know what I would have dropped if I could, because everything I’ve done has been so enjoyable (well, except making Christopher do his homework and listening to the resulting howls of protest. Everything apart from that). I’m at 16,962 here on NaNo Day Nine, and things finally seem to be settling down a little as we head into the long weekend.
Apart from the usual teaching and parenting stuff, there has been a lot of added value this week. Yesterday was especially hectic. After school, homework, etc., we had our usual Wednesday night activity with the kids, the Adventurer Club at church, of which Jason and I are the leaders. Last night we filled boxes for Operation Christmas Child, which was chaotic and fun.
Then my parents came to babysit around 8:00 p.m. and Jason and I headed out for the final evening of VOAR Sharathon. I love the last night of Sharathon, where there’s always lots of people and lots of energy, especially on a night when the phones are ringing and it’s clear things are going well and we’ll make the goal (in 15 years of Sharathons, I’ve seen every possible outcome: making the goal, exceeding the goal, falling far short of the goal … you just never know). Things got really fun after about 9:00 when Tina and I took over the controls and started playing more upbeat music (we said that everything had to be on the “T&T Approved List”) and I was dancing around the studio (or was that “praise movement”?) to such songs as Randy Travis: “Pray for the Fish.” It was a very successful night; we exceeded the $40,000 fundraising goal by making $46,750 … very exciting. Got home at about 11:30 completely wiped out but very happy.
Today was a busy day at work too. We have just launched the Arts Smarts project I applied for, in which we have a visiting artist (Cara Coleman, a graduate of the Murphy Centre’s Youth Arts program) coming in to work with my Writing 2203 students on a unit called “Exploring Creativity” — linking visual arts to writing projects. Today Cara did a painting workshop with my writing students and then a puppet-making workshop with my Theatre Arts students, which was fun and very high energy. I made a puppet I called Red Angus, the demented Scottish bagpiper. Here’s a picture of me and Angus! (I also included some pics of my students with their puppets below — they were really creative and came up with great ideas!)
After school I escaped to Chapters for an hour with my laptop and got a couple of thousand words further ahead on my NaNo story. I’m loving the novel but convinced it’s so dull that no-one but me will ever want to read it! That’s OK; right now I’m just writing to amuse myself.
Then it was time to pick up the kids and resume normal parenting routines. One parenting moment that amused me tonight: After Emma’s bath, she was standing in the hall clad only in her towel when, in one of those random utterances I can only assume must have been inspired by a story or TV show, she raised her hands in the air and said, “Great Spirit, take me now!” Pause. “Well, not while I’m naked!”
Anyway, one more workday this week, and some shopping tomorrow afternoon — taking advantage of sales to get some Christmas shopping done — and then I get to step OFF the hamster wheel and have a relaxing long weekend with very little planned (except the kids have a sleepover at Grammy and Grampa’s on Saturday night, so Jason and I will have a night out!) It’s been crazy to be so busy these last few days but as I said, every bit of it has been busy doing something I loved, so it’s hard to know where I would cut. I don’t really mind the frenzy as long as it’s short-lived and quickly followed up by long weekends, dates with my husband and maybe a few bubble baths!
As promised, a few more puppet pics from work today:
Jen and Kim with the “Jen puppet” that Kim made.
Chris with his “dirty hippie” puppet, complete with pom-pom facial hair.
Vanette’s old lady puppet.