Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Near and Dear to My Heart: Bulldog Pups Need Your Help!

I am teaching a new course at Springdale High School called Service Learning. We work on different service projects around NWA including Polo of the Ozarks, Autumn Festival at the Jones Center, play bingo at Walnut Grove nursing home, etc. The 19 students in my class attend Head Start once a week and Jones Elementary in Springdale once a week. I was visiting with the principal last week and she was telling me about her demographics and the projects they are trying to accomplish this winter for the kids. Jones Elementary has approximately 598 students in the school, of which 97% are free and reduced lunch (essentially meaning poverty level)!!!!!!! That means 15 students pay for their lunch (6 of those are students of teachers). She said every year companies call and ask if they can adopt a family for Christmas. It is so hard to choose because all of their students need it, so this year they are trying something different. They would like to send each student home at Christmas Break with a full stocking stuffed with at least one book, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, etc. I know the toiletries wouldn't seem exciting to a small child but they will be beyond joyful. They are also trying to put together food bags to send home with their kids for the break. Many of their students do not receive meals at home (the school has a weekend food program but not for an entire holiday). As you begin thinking about the holidays and what groups or organizations you would like to help out, please consider this project. I will gladly come pick up any of the presents you would like to donate or if you would like to give money the counselors at the school say they know how to make a dollar stretch:) One book, two books, toiletries, stockings or more, I would forever be grateful to you for helping any way you can

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hello Blog, I Have Missed You!

Whew! It has been forever! Life has been so crazy busy that I haven't even had time to look at friends' blogs either. I am very lucky today that I have had the opportunity to spend time with one of my best friend's, Frances. She was in town as a keynote speaker for a foreign language conference. We woke up late, Andrew made us breakfast, we went for a long walk, ran by Target, window shopped at Riffraff, bought some delicious raspberry yogurt covered pretzels, played with the Petersons, watched every episode of Modern Family, ate baked potato soup and are now watching Transformers 2. It has been a great, relaxing and lazy day. I wish she lived in Northwest Arkansas. Andrew and I are constantly bugging her to move up here. She is such a fantastic friend and person! It will be sad to see her leave in the morning.

Since the last time I blogged I have had Homecoming, went to Tulsa with Andrew for the Dave Matthews Concert, watched the Hogs and Bulldogs win some ...and lose some, helped run the Circle of Friends Fall Carnival, took 100 students two days in a row to Van Buren for volleyball state playoffs, throwing our 2nd annual Halloween party and tons of other time consuming, fun things. Most of any extra time left over has been spent trying to improve my tennis skills and working towards being a better teacher. School has been great this year, even busier though due to my new Service Learning class but it is so heart-warming to see my kids working in the community and making a difference in the lives of children in Springdale. Andrew is very excited because he has just accepted a position at the Walmart/Sam's Club Home Offices. He starts in two weeks and is really ready for a change. I am so proud of him. I am looking forward to a leadership conference with my students on Tuesday and a ride in the spirit buses down to Russellville for the state football playoffs. My friend Stephanie's birthday is this week too. What I am looking forward to the most though is my first training session back with Mitch. I have gained some weight back in the past few months and have become uncomfortable. I am excited to get back on the health bandwagon. It will be a great week! I hope you have a great one too! Here are a bunch of pics from the last couple of months! Love, Ali
Andrew with our niece Olivia on his shoulders celebrating the Hogs victory over South Carolina. Go Hog!
Ruby and Graham made friends over some popcorn and skittles.
Love my husband!
They are growing up too fast! Our niece and nephew: Olivia and Graham
Bear gearing up for game day!
Best part of Halloween: carving the pumpkins
Striking resemblance to Fred Flinstone
Painting the rock monster for the Fall Carnival
Picking our pumpkins at Dickey Farms Pumpkin Patch
Lawson and Lyla helping us craft at Hobby Lobby
Fall was so beautiful this year.
We took Ruby to a Red Dog game. She loves the Bulldogs.
Showing off her school spirit.
Auburn game...a little early, a little cold:) Thanks Em and Matt for going with us!
Waiting for our cab to the Dave Matthews Concert in Tulsa...it never showed. Cab service in Tulsa is terrible!
The McBirney Mansion in Tulsa. I would definitely recommend staying there.
Our 3-D adventure to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Go Hogs!