Leanne Nalani

{August 29, 2014}   Adventures in Laminating

Damn Stick Shift

Last week on Friday I finished the longest week ever, full of looooong trainings and newbie work-related obligations. Then Mike came home and said, “You deserve a reward. We’re going to go get frozen yogurt!”

Naturally I imagine he thinks I deserve a reward for working a full week. Silly me. No, instead he said I deserved a reward because he was going to make me learn how to drive the Lotus.

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“Noooo!” I hate driving stick shift and in a car like that… I hate driving any car in general. I tried to convince Mike that I’d end up acidentally damaging the car. This thing is expensive to fix and easy to total. Well, he decided it was time for a stick shift refresher course because apparently it’s “important for me to know how to drive stick”. I grudgingly set up the date and time. Grumble grumble grumble.

Saturday we found an empty parking lot. I was just grateful that he wasn’t going to make me drive it on the road. For those who may not know, Western Washington is a world of hills. Hills with stop lights and stop signs. Then it wasn’t bad at all. As it turns out, stick shift is like riding a bike – It just comes back to you as if it never left. I was pleasantly surprised. Plus this car is much easier to drive than Mike’s old WRX.


Mike set out some cones for some slalom.


Since my new school district has close ties with the Native American community, I was fortunate to receive an invitation to a local powwow. It turns out that they are open to the public in general, but all staff were sent an e-mail with details and a district booth was set up. I met a woman who I will be working with since on of my students is Native American and her mother is a strong advocate.

The weather was beautiful if not a bit on the hot side. We tried fry bread for the first time and Mike also ordered a Navajo taco which was HUGE.


This reminds me of an elephant ear minus the sugar.


This is basically the fry bread with lots of good stuff on top.

We enjoyed the food and watched several of the dances.

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To be honest I know very little about Native American culture and I’m interested in getting to know more as I work with this family and likely other families over time.

Ice Bucket Challenge

Yup, the time finally came on Monday night when my sister did the ALS ice bucket challenge on Facebook and called me and Mike out. We were going to do the ice bucket thing Tuesday night but ended up donating more $ without doing the buckets. We were stuck delivering the car to get serviced and got stuck in traffic that night, anyhow. I think it’s wonderful that this disease has gotten so much awareness, donations, etc. I wonder, though, about if the many other causes out there. I went looking online on Tuesday to see what else there is for future reference. I the world could donate in the same way to every charity, but then we’d all be broke or in extreme debt, right?


Sorry if I’m sounding soap-boxy. It’s not my intention to devalue ALS or the ice bucket challenge in any way. I simply dislike the “chain letter” aspect because of my first experience with chain letters. It was nothing special, but in 5th or 6th grade I received a chain letter but didn’t understand what it was. My mom had to explain it to me. This was pre-Internet. That said, I broke the chain and I’m pretty sure no one noticed. It wasn’t for the sake of being a jerk but the principle of the thing didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t want to force anyone else to spend their time writing a bunch of letters that they then had to give to a bunch of others and so on.

The difference with the ALS ice bucket challenge is that it’s for an excellent cause. I can appreciate that. 🙂 I just didn’t want to call anyone out because it reminded me of that chain letter.



Oh yes, the laminator.

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I learned how to use it! Finally. Now I feel like a real elementary school teacher.


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This will go outside the door.

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Fun wall decal.

School starts next week on Wednesday! This week has been more trainings. I got to spend two days with the staff of my new school and they all seem really nice, supportive, and positive people.

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Found some foam letters in the staff work room. Next I need to learn how to use all those die-cuts.


Time to briefly talk about the food and exercise world. I stopped eating all the crap food last Saturday and got back on track. It feels great! On top of that, I have kept up with the 6:30am workouts and it has been going incredibly well. I’ve even reincorporated strength training after 3 months of nothing! I was hurting last week but it’s much better this week. I strength trained full-body once last week and twice this week. The rest of the time has been Zumba.

I’ve eaten well through planning ahead and pre-packing school breakfasts and lunches. I’ve avoided fancy local donuts for two days of professional development and avoided Jimmy John orders for lunch along with many other  yummy snacks provided.

Guess what time of year it is? It’s time to start making honey almond power bars!


I love my morning oatmeal but I was really missing these.


These are great because no cooking is required. They are excellent for classroom consumption.

I hope everyone is having a great week.

*What are your weekend plans?

*Love driving? Hate driving? Stick shift opinions?

et cetera