Friday, December 21, 2012

Polish Slippers

The best thing I brought back from Poland for Wyatt - slippers!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winter Has Finally Arrived

Since it was 50, 60 and 70 degrees through November and part of December (seriously, I wore sandals and flipflops to school until the second week of November) - it was a nice change to finally have some cooler temps and snow!  We needed the moisture pretty bad, and Mother Nature is delivering.  Normally we don't get a lot of snow here - a dusting in winter and wet snow in spring - but this feels like a Midwestern Christmas with sun and warmer temps!  Love it!

So does everything , and everybody, else! Notice our matching Lion pride! We cheer, kinda, from a distance.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Central and Eastern Europe

I know I never really reflected on my trip - and honestly, I've had to think a lot about this one because it was so profound on so many levels.

When a colleague from another school suggested we travel through those areas I got super excited as everyone always wants to head to the popular Western European countries. Our travels were also going to bring us though some of the major areas I teach specifically about during our Holocaust unit.

I didn't really think about how significant these areas had become due to teaching year after year about them.  It was easy to teach about a place you've never been to without having an emotional attachment to the area or the things that happened there.

Things changed over the time I spent traveling through parts of Germany, The Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.

Reminders of WWII, the Holocaust and the Iron Curtain are still very much alive, the economy is still very much affected, and I strongly believe the people are not the same people they were before the these events rolled over them. I found the people to be very friendly and helpful, but they hesitated to engage in conversation unless spoken to first.  This was very different than Western Europe where it seems everyone is vying for your attention - and money.

Berlin was disturbing.  A beautiful, edgy city, overshadowed by the Nazi party buildings and constant reminders of the communist regime; including stark, empty, abandoned buildings - and the wall.   Monuments to people who attempted to assassinate Hitler, died under his rule, tried to escape by climbing the wall, and to the Holocaust dot the city as daily reminders of what people believed could never happen.  It was sad. It was disturbing. It was fascinating   I was happy to leave the city, but could visit again and learn so much more.

Dresden was a peaceful contrast, until we found out that all the rebuilding we saw was due to the horrific civilian bombing at the end of WWII.  It was a beautiful and sad city.

Prague and Krakow were awesome. Again, reminders everywhere, but the original artistry and beauty of the cities remain.  I especially loved Krakow and would love to spend a lot more time there.

Budapest was chic and ancient and way cool all wrapped into one. I would have loved to have seen more of the city.   As it was, I explored the castle and the Christmas markets - and needed to see so much more.

For details and pictures see the link to the left.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Know How I Said I Loved Pinterest?

I found myself walking out of the house today with no less than three different applications of things I had learned on Pinterest.

1) The ONE sock, NO HEAT, 5 MINUTE hair curling technique. OMG WORKS! (Fun Stylin')
2) Boot socks...or are they? Cheat using old sweater cuffs from Goodwill stores!
3) Skinny Jeans?  Roll your regular jeans into boots without the "muffin top" (Duds)

Want to know how to do it all?  Visit my Pinterest boards!

Sunday, December 02, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again!

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.