Category Archives: Random Thoughts

Spring (?) Flooding

It is a little past time for spring flooding, but with rain almost every day this week our ground is super saturated and many places can’t take any more water!  Today was at least the 3rd day in a row of storms and rain.  Today is actually the highest ever recorded rainfall in June for MN at just under 4 inches.  The storms caused major damage in some towns and closed streets in the Twin Cities. The storm also caused the Minnehaha Creek to reach its highest ever recorded flood stage.

While many levels of government were encouraging citizens to be careful, an extreme kayaker took the plunge over Minnehaha Falls.

From MPR:

Hunt Jennings Goes Over Falls

Ben Garvin at the Pioneer Press took this picture of the statue of Hiawatha and Minnehaha:


Ben takes great pictures for the Pioneer Press, check out his Twitter feed.

Here is a picture I took after work at Matthews Park of their playground:


A Thoughtful Prayer

Prayer of Saint Ignatius of Loyola:

Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing I am doing Your Will.

Summer School Started

Today was the first day of summer school… Not the most exciting way to spend a summer, but it is important for many kids to not lose learning over the summer.  Unfortunately, many of the kids who need it most don’t actually want to be there!  This year’s program is called STEM Academy – everything will have a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  One day in and things seem to be going well in the classrooms.  I’ve heard about what sound like some cool projects.  Hopefully the kids will stick with it throughout the next 6 weeks and be open to some creative learning.

During the official school day, I’m going to be doing behavior support.   Time will tell how this actually works out, but hopefully it will be about connecting with kids and helping them overcome barriers to classroom learning. There is also an “after-school” component this year run by Community Education and Beacons.  During this portion of the programming I’ll be working with up to 15 kids in Bike Class.  I’ll see them two times a week and hopefully we’ll get to ride our bikes at least 50% of the time.  I’ve been teaching “bike class” since the summer of 2009 and since my school received a fleet of 13 bikes last year I’ve been teaching an elective class serving almost 60 kids.  We talk about bike safety and maintenance, go for rides, work on bike handling skills, we’ve done some advocacy projects, and community service.  It is a lot of fun!

Hopefully the next 6 weeks will go smoothly and both the kids and staff will have a good time!!

Father’s Day!!

Today we celebrate our Fathers…

Merriam-Webster defines a father as:

 :a male parent

: a man who is thought of as being like a father

: a person who was in someone’s family in past times

But the word means so much more…

I’m not sure we fully understand the word until we become a father (or mother). It is ever patient and kind.  Helpful, sacrificing, patient.  Listening, sharing, caring, and patient.

I have many good memories with my dad, (which M-W defines as a person’s father).  Probably one of the best was when we road tripped to New Jersey.  The summer before I started grad school I had to visit for orientation and to take a test.  We left late and drove through the night. I did what I had to do and we checked out the town, camped in the suburban.  We then spent a day in New York City, stayed with a friend in Philadelphia.  Then spent a day in DC and stayed with a friend in one of the suburbs.  It was a great road trip and I’m glad I got to spend that kind of quality alone time with my dad.

We spent a lot of time together through the years, sitting in tractors, driving around visiting farmers, camping, boating, skiing, working around the house (tearing down and rebuilding almost the whole thing), fishing, and much more.

I hope I can be a great father to my kids and pass on many memories and lessons along the way!

Here are a few pictures, in no order!!

3 generations of Cross


The newest Cross kids!


In NYC on the Today Show! Today show

At our wedding… _MG_8584A surprise at birthday dinner! 

And of course, I can’t forget my new father Gary! _MG_8707

A Spanish Triathlon

I started working on making a photo book from my recent trip to Spain with a group of 8th graders. It has already been over a month since we’ve been back and I’m trying to get a 50% coupon, so the clock is on! It brought back some fun memories and many reasons to want to be back!! I went running 2 different times, one while we were in Madrid and once while we were Benalmadina along the coast. I’ll get around to posting some pictures eventually! On my run along the beach I went West as far as the boardwalk would take me and then ran as far East as it went. It ended in a marina. As I was running I noticed a lot of markers and signs. So I grabbed a quick picture of one and even with my limited Spanish knew what it was… a triathlon! 50f767ff-852d-4a0d-b1b6-c09d01126612_pIt started later in the day and I was doubtful that we’d get to see any of it. It was actually a free day, so if I had known about it and had been training, I might have been able to compete. Nevertheless, I did some research and found it online. It was the II TRIATLON DE BENALMADENA, a 750 meter swim, 20 kilometer bike, and 5 kilometer run event. As we left our hotel to begin our events for the day, I noticed policia up and down the main road and they were beginning to block off the course. I was hopeful we’d get to see the bikers as they came past. We weren’t able to find a cambio to exchange our dollars so we ended up wasting a lot of time, which turned out to be a good thing. Just as we reached the turn around point the lead motorcycle went zooming by. I was fretting the decision of trying to get the kids to stop and stand around a bit to watch, but they all seemed happy to do so. We waited and watched for 10-15 minutes as the riders came by. We probably left before the mid-pack triathletes came by, but it was fun to watch and cheer them on! It definitely made me want to compete and think about getting back into swimming.