Friday, February 27, 2009

I Did It!

I conquered my greatest fear this month. And, I am just about as happy as I can be. When I was in college,twenty one years ago, studying to be a science teacher, the state of Florida was just beginning to incorporate the Subject Area Exam for people that were preparing to be teachers. In order to get a teaching certificate, one had to pass the SAE in the field (i.e. history, math, science, English, etc.)they intended on teaching in. I was petrified because Biology is such a multi-faceted, in depth subject. But, then I found out that because I had attended a state community college and had taken and passed the CLAST (College Level Academics Skills Test) I was grandfathered in and therefore wasn't required to take the SAE. Whew!

Once, I began teaching I was able to recertify every five years with in service points. Teachers are required to attend meetings and workshops. For attending, they earn and accumulate points. Then when it is time to recertify, the DOE will evaluate the points and issue a current certificate. Mine expires at the end of June this year. Well, since I haven't been teaching, I haven't earned any points. So, I had two options to recertify. I could take TWO college level courses or pass the SAE for each area I am certified in. Since I didn't enjoy the studying part of college, I opted to go the easy route (so I thought at the time) and take the tests.

I purchased the study guides online and the process began. Google became my best friend. I have spent the last two months studying by researching the standards set by the state on my laptop. At one point, I thought my computer was going to crash. Thank the Lord it didn't. My redneck techie (Do those two words go together?) husband worked his magic on it. On February 2, 2009, I took and passed the Middle School General Science test. Here's the proof:

And yesterday, I took and passed the Biology grades 6-12 test. Here is that proof:

These say "unofficial" because this is what the testing coordinator gave me when I left the testing center. I am upset that the state doesn't give a numerical score but I am very happy to get the "Pass." That's all I really need to know. I have received the "official" pass in the mail for the General Science and I am eagerly awaiting the Biology one in the mail.

I would especially like to thank Todd and Nathan for their patience in letting me study. When Nathan got off the bus yesterday the first thing he said to me was, "Mom, did you pass your test?" I told him that I had. He said, "Good, now me and Alaina can come inside and play Wii." Alaina is his friend that lives next door and they have been banned to outdoor play for the last two months. And, I would like to thank everyone who prayed for me. To me, it was a real miracle.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mountain Biking!

My boy, who never poses for a picture.
This past weekend we went camping with Uncle Tripp in Belleview at the Santos trailhead. In spite of the rain, we had a great time. We went with my in-laws. Grammy and Pappy took their motor home and Pappy cooked most of our meals for us. Uncle Tripp camped in his tent. Aunt Lisa and Uncle TR, Heather and Jacob stayed in a tent and we stayed in a bored travel trailer.
The focus and primary entertainment was of course, mountain biking. This area has trails for all levels. Yellows are the easiest, blues are intermediate, and reds are the most difficult. I rode a few of the reds but I didn't get crazy and managed the weekend without taking a spill.
Right at the trailhead they have a pump track. It is made up of berms, moguls and narrow bridges. It allows riders to practice what they will encounter on the trails. The kids loved it. The main focus for the kids was to "get air." In the above picture, Nathan's front tire is getting a lot of air.
Jacob did really well. Here he was able to get both tires off the ground and "get some air."
This little girl was out at the pump track on a bike with no pedals. It was so funny to watch her on this little bike. Her dad called it a walking bike. She was only three and did everything the older kids did walking her bike.
The narrow slat bridge was quite a challenge. It requires good balance. The kids fell off the sides several times, but before long they had mastered it. This particular day, I was just watching the kids. I wasn't going to try any of the tricks. But, I couldn't stand it.
As you can tell, I had on flip flops and no helmet. I sure hope the "Helmet Nazi" (Uncle Tripp) doesn't see this picture. But, I did it on the first try. Then, I was done. I only have to prove to myself one time that I can do it.If the bridge wasn't hard enough, they also have a board no more than three inches wide they expect people to ride across. I didn't even attempt it. I know when to quit. Jacob mastered it, though.
Nathan made it through the weekend with two skinned elbows (one seen in the pic), lots of bruises on his legs and a sore behind. On one of his spills, his seat poked him in his bottom. He got up kicking it and really mad at his bike. I went over to him and tried to make light of the situation and asked him if he needed a "butt cup." Exasperated, he just said, "MOM!" But, I didn't miss the grin he tried to hide.

Monday, February 9, 2009

More Baseball Pics!

Being a Ham!

Batting with the pitching machine.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baseball Practice

Practices have started. Unfortunately, the first one was rained out. We were, however, able to have a team meeting and glean a lot of important information. You know things like...rules.
The second practice was Saturday morning and it was cold. Not as cold as tonight's practice is going to be but, for this Florida cracker, it was cold. These pictures are from Uncle Howie, since I was not able to go. I was studying for my state's subject area exam in General Science that I had to take on Monday. The test is to re-certify my teaching certificate that expires in June. In studying for the test, I realized that I have been out of college for twenty one years and haven't taught for eight. Anyway, with the help of a study guide and the Internet, I prayed, prepared, prayed, panicked, prayed and PASSED the test. Oh, and did I mention that I prayed and so did the rest of the people in my life. We'll be praying again soon, because now I am preparing and panicking about the next one I have to take in Biology. Anyway,...back to baseball.
They will be using a pitching machine but coach started them out by hitting the ball off of a tee. Monday nights will be batting practice with the machine in the batting cages.
I was so glad to see this picture, because even though my boy is big and as the coach says, "...has an arm on him," his aim needs to be fine tuned...if you know what I mean.