Archive for January, 2009

Pictures from Spokane Winter

The house

Nelson, British Columbia Spokane River

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>Curl up with a good book

>When there is nothing but snow, ice, and cold to encounter during the winter months in Spokane, reading inside all day is definitely the best option. (With slippers and hot chocolate, of course).

Maybe that’s why Kelly and I decided to do a literacy program. The literacy program basically has three parts:
1. One on one reading with preschoolers. Right now, Kelly and I are the only ones doing the one on ones but we hope to recruit some more volunteers. We spend 20-30 minutes a week reading with preschoolers with behavioral problems or ones who are beginning to fall behind and will be getting ready for kindergarten soon.
2. Family Lending Library. This is the part I’m most excited about. We are collecting books to have a lending library at St. Anne’s. The objective is for parents who might not otherwise go out of their way to obtain books pick up a few to read for the week while they are on their way home. We’ve had a book drive at the school this week and the church we are going to also is doing a book drive for us. Someone even gave me $20 after mass to go buy books!
3. Family Reading Nights. We are going to invite parents for a night of reading/crafts/dinner and talk to parents about how to read with kids and the importance of reading. However, we have to wait till the snow melts so that people will actually come, so this won’t be for a while.
My toes are freezing as I type this. John and I just went for a walk. I finished knitting a pair of mittens so I wanted get out and test them. They are warm…my toes, not so much. That’s another thing to do in the long winter months – take on new knitting endeavors. (Cables are easy and a lot of fun, Meredith! I just made a pot holder with them to learn to do it first). 
Do something to change the world: Read a good book. I’d recommend The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Mountains Beyond Mountains.

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>Finally it’s melting

>The 50+ inches of snow we got in December are finally melting! No sign of grass yet, but the highs are supposed to be in the upper 30s all week. Granted, this brings flooding, caving in roofs, and all sorts of other fun things. Hopefully it’ll be a nice respite before the next snow!
Work is going well. Kelly and I have started working with kids who are getting ready for prsechool and are struggling to keep up. We hope to build a Family Literacy program that would be an ongoing part of St. Anne’s.
There was a quite exciting day last Tuesday: we had a gas leak at St. Anne’s and had to evacuate the buildings. During nap time, of course, so coats/shoes weren’t on, babies were in the escape cribs, the pavement was a sheet of ice. (Granted, all of Spokane is a sheet of ice. They don’t plow hardly anyhting here). Luckily the fire department approved us to reenter right before we would have had to load the kids onto buses to stay warm and relocate. It felt a little bit like the fire drill scene in Kindergarten cop, but I think we did much better than that.
Not too much else to report. The snow has pretty muched slowed life to a crawl. Buses are unpredictable, and walking is barely an option. (The best days to walk, actually, are the day after a snow – more traction). I’ve realized these would be handy: chains for your shoes. I like the snow, even though its just a slushy mess right now. But I still will be appreciating spring when it comes!
Do something to change the world: Shovel your neighbors walk. Our neighbor snowblowed ours!

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