Sunday, November 10, 2013

Our adventures of late (expository text features style): Emu attacks, murder accusations, and bike rides.

It's been a fun, busy couple of weeks for the MacKays in Houston. In honor of our current unit on expository texts in school, I will be using headings, subheadings, bolded words, pictures, captions, and a glossary at the end of this post.


We have had a busy and fun last few weeks. We spent a night and day in San Antonio, went a couple of fun Halloween parties, and.... drum roll... we bought Garrett a bike!

Emu Attacks

We found a great deal online for a hotel on the River Walk. It was beautiful! We watched the BYU game Friday night and ate breakfast on the River Walk Saturday morning. Then we toured the Alamo only to find that Comic Con and the Founder's Day festival were both going on. It was a little crowded but a lot of fun. It was my second time visiting the Alamo, makes me feel like I'm going back to my Tennessee root :) For those who don't know, the Alamo is the reason why Tennessee is called the Volunteer state.

I know what you're thinking, how did an emu attack them while they were visiting the Alamo? It didn't.

There is a zebra outside your window...
After getting our fill of history we drove a little out of the city to go to a "drive through zoo." It was called the Natural Wildlife Bridge Reserve. I was super pumped about this, I could tell Garrett was a little hesitant, but he came willingly. This was one of the best decisions of our lives, right behind the decision to get married. You drive through this zoo and get to feed the animals! Right our of your hand! (well technically you're not supposed to, but who really listens to that rule?) It was the closest thing you can get to a safari. All was going well and we were almost to the end. We had just passed through the Kenyan Reserve and seen the Zebras when we came to the emus! I had been warned that they were mean and so we were cautious from the beginning, to no avail... Garrett politely gave the emu some nasty animal pellet food only to have the greedy bird stick his head in our car and snatch the entire bag from Garrett's lap! (please see photo sequence below)

Emu attack!

It was hilarious.

Our overall impression of the drive through zoo: Why isn't every zoo in the world like this? Also the animals were really fat. And the long horns were scary.

Murder Accusations

Halloween was pretty fun this year. It definitely has a very different feel being married. There are "stages" of Halloween in your life that mirror stages in your life. But you could write a whole blog post about this and I'm not going to.

We used these same costumes Thursday and Friday night...
We were invited to two parties. The first was a costume party. It was fun! We played a version of mafia called "werewolves." It was fun, slightly confusing, and by the end of it everyone was a little concerned if the rule about "the-little-boy-who-is-allowed-to-peek-and-can-pretend-to-be-a-werewolf" was actually fair... But we were all good sports.

The next day, Friday, we went to our first Murder Mystery Dinner! I was little nervous, not quite sure what to expect. We were supposed to dress up like we were from the 1920s - I feel like we did a pretty good job with our costumes! Murder accusations flew as we ate a delicious dinner (our contribution was deviled eggs - Garrett was a little hesitant because I put relish in them, but they were most delicious). In the end we were disappointed to find that neither of us was the murderer, but it was fun night!

Bike Rides

Garret's new bike and gear!
The Saturday after Halloween decided the time had come to buy Garrett a bike! Fate was on our side - we found an AWESOME deal at REI (we almost didn't even check REI!). Everything we bought was marked down. The sales guy working with us kept being shocked at our awesome ability to find deals. I pride myself on that skill.

We immediately took it out that day and went on a ride. It was spectacular weather! Most excellent. We rushed home from work Tuesday for another short ride (curse you daylight savings for cutting into our bike time!) And we went on another beautiful ride yesterday. Our goal is twice a week, but I'm a little nervous about the sun setting earlier and earlier... We love our bikes and they serve as great decoration in our bedroom... super romantic.


Well we both still have jobs which is a good sign. Both working hard and rarely hardly working. We are staying busy with new responsibilities. There are good days and bad days. I have a class that is really a struggle for me this year. One of those gems of class that makes me not want to come aback to teaching... If I am not 110% on my game, then it is a terrible battle of wills with a handful of... dear, sweet students. I've lost my temper more times than I care to admit, but Friday was a good day so hopefully things are steadily improving.

My Children

A few of my students were asking me if I had any kids:

"Do you have kids?" - Student A
"No." - Me
"Dog?" - Student B
"Any cats?" - Student C
"No." - Me
"Do you have kids?" - Student D
(Pause, pretty sure I already answered this question...) "...No." - Me
"Yes you do!" - Student E
"... No, no I don't." - Me
"We are your kids!" - Student E
(Smile) "Yes, that is true." - Me

Accidentally Quoting Princess Bride

My co-teacher reads a book to the students for about 10 mins a day. She came to a part where it mentioned cyanide.

"Does anyone know what cyanide is? It is a type of poison." - Co-teacher
(Student's hand shoots up) "I think I've heard of it. Is it that stuff, it's odorless, tasteless, dissolves in water..." -Student A
"Dissolves instantly in liquid and is among the more deadly poisons known to man?" - Me
(Student A's eyes light up in recognition) "Yeah! Yeah that stuff!" - Student A
"Yeah it's called iocane powder. It's in the movie Princess Bride and I'm not even sure if it's real." - Me
"... Oh." - Student A

Spelling Woes

After asking me how to spell multiple words, the student came to this word:

"Miss, how do you spell play?" - Student A
(without thinking) "P-L-A-Y." - Me
"Ha miss I'm just messin with ya, I know how to spell play! What do you think I am, stupid?" - Student A confidently turns back to his paper only to write PALY. I busted out laughing. Probably shouldn't have. He realized his mistake pretty quickly though and laughed with me.

At Least She was Honest

While taking a quiz I noticed a girl stealthily slide a paper back into her desk. I barely caught her and quietly went over to her:

"(Student name) tell me honestly, were you cheating?" - Me
Garrett and I on the River Walk in San Antonio
"... Yeah miss." - Student
(I'll admit I was very surprised at her answer, I shouldn't have been, but I was. I miss judged this particular student. She quietly handed me her test without making a scene - also unexpected - and sat quietly while everyone else finished - another shock for this student.)


This is our new song at work:


We may be cutting off too much time, but the way we figure it, two FULL weeks until Thanksgiving break and then two weeks and one week of testing before Christmas (really three weeks, but the last week is no lesson prep and the students are really quiet...)

Garrett and I are thinking of fun traditions to start and looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my parents and Christmas will all of our family! We sure miss our family - I don't think I say that enough, ha.

Oh, yeah - there were also donkeys in the zoo. 

Alamo - Remember it.

Co-teacher - A teacher who comes in for half of one of my classes every day to help me teach and specifically work with special education students in my class.

Dear, sweet students - I was being sarcastic. As of right now they are neither dear, nor sweet.

Drive through Zoo - If you ever get the chance to go through one, do it. Don't hesitate.

Expository Texts - Nonfiction texts, their purpose is to inform.

Murder Mystery Dinner - Everyone invited dresses up and acts like a certain character. Each round they are given information they are supposed to "reveal" and information they are supposed to "conceal." You cannot lie. With the info revealed, you are supposed to make accusations as to who is the murderer.

Testing - The thing that Texas loves to do.

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