Fall Has, Well, Fallen

Even though the weather is not so fall-like, there are other ways to tell it’s fall just by checking out what is going on in Sluiter Nation:

1. School has started! Our school schedules are in full swing now! I am starting to get used to having to hear a 5:00 a.m. alarm again, and Cort is getting used to an earlier start as well. I am also finally starting to learn all 120 names of my students! Cort is getting used to the regime of homework for his Tuesday and Wednesday night classes.

2. Bowling has started! Even though Cort has class on Tuesday nights, he still manages to fit in league bowling as well. Last year he talked my brother, Chris into joining his team. This year they somehow talked my other brother, Mike into bowling AND Cortney’s brother, Cody. I guess brothers who bowl together, well…anyway, they bowl together.

3. I found something else to take up my time since I don’t have a Master’s class. Since I don’t have to spend my time sitting in class in Kalamazoo or doing homework, I decided it was time to get into better shape. This has been a pretty long process–as many of you know, I HATE to do anything remotely athletic. My friend, Catye, from work started bringing me with her to they gym once a week this summer to try some of the classes my co-worker, Jenn, teaches. To my surprise, I actually liked it! So, here I am, a member of a gym! Luckily, Trisha is also a member and we work out together three times a week.

4. Football…and more importantly, FANTASY football…has started. This year Cortney is in three leagues and I’m in two. When we aren’t busy with work, the gym, bowling, or homework, we are checking to make sure all of our starters are healthy enough to start in the upcoming games.

Fall is definitely underway here in Sluiter Nation…so you’ll be a bit forgiving when the blogs don’t roll in like they do in the summer!

And We’re Back!

Yesterday was the first day of school! I really wasn’t looking forward to starting school–for one, I hate to see my summer end (I know, I know…most adults don’t get a summer break…but I love mine!), and two, they were predicting Tuesday, September 2 to be the hottest day of the summer. Ugh!

The day pretty much lived up to my low expectations. The kids were not happy to be there, my room was a toasty 98 degrees, and by the last hour of the day, I had to take my heels off because my feet were swollen from the heat.

Today, however, I found my groove! That is why the “back to school” picture above is from today and not yesterday. I was in no mood to smile yesterday!

Today we got down to business in my four English 11 classes and 1 Spanish I class. The kids were in the mood to do some activities and I had a great time learning names and doing grammar!

I also had lots of visits today from last year’s students, which always makes me feel good–plus one brought me homemade, authentic burritos for lunch. Mmmmmm!!!! I guess I didn’t need my lunch pal today…which, by the way, students tell me look like the coolers you transport organ transplants in. very appetizing, huh?

I was not the only one to go back to school yesterday! Cortney had his first day at GRCC yesterday. Doesn’t he look like he is so excited!?!?

Both of the classes he is currently taking are classes he needs for his degree in Computer Information Systems. He reported that his Tuesday night class doesn’t seem too difficult, and he’s hoping his Wednesday night class is a breeze too. I am sure he will do great because he really has a knack for anything that has to do with the computer, and my bet is that he’ll be hanging A’s on the refridgerator at report card time 🙂

Last Chance?

Thursday Cortney decided that our lawn looked better than it had all year and that he better take one more ride ont he lawnmower. He really loves taking care of our lawn – and it shows! He does a really great job of keeping our yard green and lush…but I think he has a bit too much fun doing it. What do you think?

There he goes…for the last time…

Halloween – Sluiter Style

Happy Halloween, readers!

Besides the fact that I was home with a light case of the flu today, our halloween was pretty typical: five million trick-or-treaters from about 5:45-8:00 (when I turned the porch light off). We went through about 4 bags of candy – two of which were the MEGA size bags. Although, at the end I was giving out the candy by the handful to get rid of it. Even though there was a good turn out of kids, it was light compared to previous years. I blame that on the rain.

Luckily, I did not have to go to class tonight, so I was able to lay low for the day and evening and get better. Just in time to go back to work and give my students exams! And, sorry, no fun pictures for this blog installment – we did not so much dress up to pass out candy.

Hopefully everyone else had a great Halloween!


Ken came over tonight for our yearly pumpkin carving extravaganza. I made Lasagna for dinner (per Ken’s request – and since he DID just have a birthday, I really couldn’t say no), brownies for dessert, and pumpkin carving for some entertainment. We all worked hard on designing and carving our pumpkins. The guts in side of my were really gross!

Ken made his pumpkin WICKED. Cort’s had a funny little smile and mine looked like it would eat your feet!

And since Ken just had a birthday, I made him blow out a candle to celebrate his last year in his twenties. Yup, we’re gettin’ old! Happy Halloween!

Pumpkin Carving Take 2

Every year Cortney’s mom and stepdad have all of the kids over to carve pumpkins. This year was no different! After a yummy lunch, we all went outside to choose our canvas. Then we went downstairs to the pool table and hacked into our pumpkins.
Kim and Ray…

Cody and Liz…
Kenzie and Dave…
Cortney and me…

After all our hard work, we brought them back outside. Kenzie and Dave model their creations. Kim took a picture of all of us with our jack-o-lanterns – I will post that picture as soon as I get it.

Are Those Cookies Done Yet?

After my mom and I went to my cousin, Rachel’s baby shower today, we went back to her house to make Halloween cookies. Jack was so excited to decorate them! He kept asking, “Are those cookies done yet?”

We all chipped in to help Jack out. Mom and Cortney frosted the cookies and me, Mike, Jack, and Chris decorated them. Chris and Mike have a tendancy to get a little inappropriate with the decoration techniques they choose.

Jack suddently announced that he used up all the purple sprinkles…and sure enough – there was a neat little mound of purple on top of his cookie. He dug right in! As the decorating continued, he got more and more on his face. But that is part of the fun, right?


The fall weather has finally arrived and I just could NOT resist – I HAD to bake an apple pie. So after I moved all my sweaters into my closet and the tank tops out, I headed into the kitchen to peal and core apples. after about an hour and a half, I pulled this tasty treat out of the oven. Don’t you wish you could smell it? mmmmm….apple pie!

Pumpkin Fest 2007

Who would have thought that we would be sitting at the Zeeland Pumpkin Fest in October in shorts and tank tops? With weather in the 80’s and humidy just as high, we decided to take Jack to his first pumpkin fest. My mom had a whole pumpkin-y extravaganza planned for the day!

Jack really enjoyed the parade! He waved to all the kids on the floats. He clapped along with the bands. Chris even took him to get some of the candy that was thrown! mmmm! Whatcha got there, Jack?

We all had lots of fun: mom, Chris and Jack, me, and Cortney.
After the parade my mom had a pumpkin fest of her own planned back at my parents’ house. She bought five pumpkins for carving and a bunch of little ones for painting. Chris helped Jack carve his, but Jack was NOT loving those guts! I told him it was like the seaweed at the beach and he said, “ORANGE seaweed – like orange grass, aunt Katie.” Yeah, he still wouldn’t touch it. But the rest of us touched those guts and carved our pumpkins.

Jack really got into supervising the rest of us and painting the little pumpkis though. He was very artistic. He helped Chris, me, and Cortney paint the pumpkins. He also posed by the pumpkin I carved for him. Say cheese!

Aw, I carved his name into the pumpkin! How fun is that?

After all that carving, we had an appetite, so Chris built a fire in the pit and dad made us hot dogs, and mom roasted some marshmellows.

It was such a fun day!

Homecoming 2007

As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, one of the new responsibilities that I took on this school year was that of one of the senior class advisors. This has been a MUCH better fit for me than student council advisor. I really believe in what the student council does for the school and community, but I just didn’t have fun doing it. So far, being a senior class advisor is a lot of fun! We don’t have as many “events”, but the ones we do are really neat. The first is homecoming court. Homecoming week is always fun, but I never got to really enjoy it because for me, being in charge of everything else for student council (the parade, the dance, the pep assembly) took up my time and took away from the enjoyment. This year I got to have fun with it.

Friday was blue and white day, of course, for Spirit Day. I teach mostly juniors, and they really brought their spirit! I even had one of the two Viking Mascots in class – just because he was a mascot, didn’t mean he got out of my vocab quiz though!

My whole 6th hour was really into spirit day – I was so proud! I just had to take a picture!

Part of my duty for homecoming was the senior homecoming court reps – we have 5 sets of reps and a master and mistress of ceremony. That is 6 couples and that means 6 convertibles I had to find. For the most part, all of the kids on court turned it out and found their own car, I only ended up having to find one – so I called Classic Chevy on 28th street and asked Cortney to drive. As you can see, he didn’t complain too much 🙂 Ken even came along to check out the game…and ride along in the car when Cort picked it up and dropped it back off. I didn’t even get to ride in it since I was too busy directing halftime!

Before the game, Wyoming Park always has a homecoming parade. The band leads and then any athletic group or class that wants to walk in the parade does. The end of the parade is the long line of the 10 convertibles carrying the master and mistress, the freshman reps, the sophomore reps, the junior reps, the 5 sets of senior reps, and the former king and queen. Cort had to lead the whole group with Bryce and Brittney, our master and mistress.

The kids on court this year were so great to work with! We had such an awesome time!
Cortney had to drop the kids off on the track before the game and then drive them around at halftime for the show. I think he had a great time!