Sunday, March 29, 2009

Something lost in the translation...

One of my son-in-laws, Gerson, is originally from Mexico. Because of the differences in language and culture, he ends up being the brunt of some good natured teasing. Also, we are trying so hard to retrain him so that he "fits in" a little better in social settings. One of the things that G is evidently comfortable with, is eating freely from ANYONE'S plate whether in private or in public. Our family, on the other hand, is totally uncomfortable with that and has been trying to break him of that habit. Unfortunately, G has slip ups quite often. For example, last night all of the family had come over for dinner. We had just cleared the table and most people were at various points in finishing dessert. Ryan, my oldest son, was sitting at the end of the table with a brownie on his plate. Gerson was sitting to his left with his own brownie. I was sitting on Gerson's left and my daughter Leslie was directly across from me. Ryan got up from the table to get a drink of milk at about the same time that Maggie walked up to her daddy (Gerson) and asked for a bite of brownie. Suddenly, Leslie shouts, "Gerson! I can't believe you just did that!" Evidently, when Ryan walked away, Gerson very boldly and without any qualms, decided to reach over with his fork and get a bite of brownie for Maggie off of Ryan's plate instead of his own. Of couse, when he was caught red-handed, he smiled that goofy smile, started chuckling, and said, "What? I was just getting Maggie a bite." Leslie chewed him out for taking food off another person's plate instead of his own. So, Gerson decided to make restitution by taking a bite of brownie off his own plate and placing it on Ryan's plate. Needless to say, that just caused another uproar. I thought Ryan was going to smack the tar out of G, but instead he said, "Dude! Get that @$&*@#* piece of crap off my plate!" Honestly, I think Gerson actually was being greedy and just didn't want to give up a bite of HIS own brownie and thought no one would notice him feeding Maggie from Ryan's plate. But, with that whole language/culture thing going on, will we ever know for sure?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A copy of Holly's threes.....

Here's what you're supposed to do . . . and please do not spoil the fun. Copy, repost in a new blog, delete my answers and type in your answers. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known things about each other.

Three names I go by:
*Mrs. Searls

Three names I no longer answer to:
*Miss Porter
*Gwen Porter

Three jobs I have had in my life:
*bank teller
*zoo membership salesperson

Three jobs I would still like to try:
*vet assistant
*travel planner
*park ranger

Three places I have lived:

Three places I have *really* loved:

Three TV shows that I watch:
*local morning weather segment
*Prison Break

Three TV shows I would still watch if they were still on:
*As Time Goes By (British sit-com)
*Murder She Wrote

Three places I have been:
*Phoenix, Arizona
*Breckenridge, Colorado
*Nashville, Tennessee

Three places I would go to in a heartbeat:
*on a cruise to Alaska

People I e-mail regularly:
*my grade level team members
*Ron (when he is out of town)

People I so wish would e-mail me regularly:

Three of my favorite foods:
*homemade bread
*potato soup
*Mom's bean and cornbread

Three foods I know I'm supposed to like but I just don't:
*nonfat dairy products

Three friends I think will repost:
*No One
*Yourguess Isasgoodasmine

Three things I dread:
*grading papers
*purging personal files
*sewing on a quilt binding

Three things I am looking forward to:
*having all my boys home from Iraq
*the new granddaughter

Friday, March 13, 2009

Where do they get those crazy ideas?

I have another funny school story to share. I have a kid in my class named "Simon" who brings a lunch to school everyday. Last week he went through the cafeteria serving line looking for ketchup packets. I asked him what he needed the ketchup for and he said he needed it for his lunch. Unfortunately, they were serving spaghetti that day so consequently, no ketchup packets.
Today they were serving hamburgers and fries so "Simon" snagged himself a couple of ketchup packets. After lunch, the kids had returned to the classroom and "Simon" told me he had a magic trick to show the class and needed 2 volunteers. I asked him what the magic trick was and he told me he could make ketchup disappear. We were in the middle of center rotations so I told him we would do the magic trick at the end of the day if we had some extra time. He went back to his table and I went on with my reading group.
A few minutes later, "Ralph" comes out of the bathroom and says, "Mrs. Searls, someone put a ketchup packet under the toilet seat and when I sat on it, it squirted all over the place!" Needless to say, "Simon" was wearing a guilty look. I called "Simon" over to the table, and in my most shocked teacher's voice I said, "Simon! The most horrible thing just happened! Ralph went to the bathroom and somehow ended up squashing a ketchup packet all over the bathroom! Do you have any idea how that happened?"
"Simon", being the sweet, always obedient, non-malicious little boy he is admitted to putting the ketchup packet under the toilet seat. So, I sent his repentant little butt off the to bathroom to clean up his mess with directions to come and chat with me once the mess was gone.
When "Simon" came back to my reading table, I asked him where he got such a crazy idea. He looked up at me with his huge, doe eyes and said he had read about it in his book, Captain Underpants, and wanted to see if it really worked. We continued to have a little chat about what is appropriate in a comic book and not appropriate for the classroom.
Now, Simon happens to have his father working at the school as our campus technologist. As soon as I finished chatting with "Simon", I popped an email off to his father. Needless to say, Dad was mortified. I told Dad that I personally thought the whole thing was way too funny, which put his mind at ease. I told him that I explained that it would be better to test out those Captain Underpants theories at home. (Dad didn't think that was such a good idea.) Anyway, it is the little incidents like this one that keep me smiling through the day.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Safari...

What a fun Saturday morning! Ron and I went to Topsy Exotic Ranch with Becca, Seth, Leslie, G, and Maggie this morning. I had never been there before, but Becca has taken Seth numerous times. If you have ever wanted to get up close and personal with a bunch of stinky, hairy, GENTLE animals, it is the place to go. You purchase bags of feed from the ticket office and then drive through the ranch, feeding the animals along the way. We piled into the back of Ed's truck and enjoyed a great trip. We saw just about every kind of goat imaginable, llamas, camels, zebras, buffalo, tigers, monkeys, assorted deer, and cattle.
My favorites were the llama and the crazy camel. They were the most gentle and affectionate creatures! The llama would gallop along behind the truck waiting for you to put your hand out. When we slowed down, they would come up and nibble the food out of your hand. The camel was much more brazen. He actually shoved his huge head into my lap and snatched up my bag of feed. I literally had to push his head out of my lap as I tried, unsuccessfully, to pull my bag of feed out of his mouth. Becca, Seth, Maggie and I had a blast watching Leslie scream and try to crawl out of the way every time an animal got near her. She couldn't even manage to hold her hand still long enough for them to eat the feed she held! I can't even begin to describe how frantic she was when that camel's head was in the truck.
Anyway, here are a couple of pictures from the trip. Enjoy!