Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Unimaginable

The unimaginable happened yesterday. The unthinkable. Yes, I'm referring to the school shooting in Connecticut. It leaves me speechless to think about it. To think about it as it happened, after it has happened, and even this morning, as everyone wakes up. There are parents left without their children. There are children without their parents. There are students without their classmates. There are students without their teachers. It is unimaginable.

As a teacher often we're told we aren't doing enough. Look at the test scores. Look at the bullying that happens. Look at this new thing we should be trying. As a teacher what you don't know is that I have students that call me Mom. My own kids call me their teachers' names when they're home. What you don't hear is the story they have told me about where their Elf was this morning. You don't know the confidence they have in me as their teacher when they are in my classroom.

We talk about making our classroom a safe place to be. We talk about respect. We talk about listening. We talk about speaking with kindness to one another. We don't talk about guns.

Kids are not supposed to go through something like this. Neither are teachers. Neither are parents. It is unthinkable and unimaginable.

The thing about yesterday is that I wasn't even at school. I was at home with my kids. They didn't have school so I took the day to be with them. We stayed in our jammies until 11:00. We read books. We had cinnamon rolls. We went sledding. We had lunch. We met Mamma and did some shopping. I didn't even hear details about the shooting until I was home and turned the TV on at 5:00. I managed to go through the whole day without hearing anything. I wonder how my colleagues reacted yesterday. I wonder what they felt as they were going through the day. I wonder how many kids from my class went home and talked about it. I wonder how many kids from my class went home and still don't know about anything. That would be my kids. Unless my kids see something on TV or hear something at school (which they probably will), they're not going to know about it. I'm not going to talk about it with them. They don't need to hear that other kids their age aren't going to have a Christmas.

What my kids are going to hear is that I love them. They are going to get squeezes from me. They are going to have a normal routine. They will continue to know that school is a great place to be.

And on a final note, I pray, as hard as I can pray, for all of the families, all of the teachers, all of the people in the community they live it, that they would be comforted as best as they can during this time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Merry CHRISTmas!

Wishing You Merry Christmas Card
Create beautiful photo Christmas cards at
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From our family to yours, we hope you have a very
blessed Christmas season! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30 Things I'm Thankful For

It's November. You know what that means, right? Yup. It's my birthday month! No? That's not what you were going to say? Right. It's November. That means everyone thinks about what they're thankful for, which is great. But it's a lot of pressure too. That's because there are people out there who are posting their things of thanks daily on Facebook. There are people who are blogging daily about what they're thankful for. I should be able to do it too, right? Wrong. Not this month. 

November is also the month of crazy in our world...the world of teachers. Conferences, benchmarks to meet, not to mention regular every day things. And at home-the ins and outs of "just being"- made it a bit difficult for me to get in the routine of writing daily. Yes, it's an excuse, but it is the truth for me this month. 

So instead of letting the month pass by without acknowledging what is happening tomorrow, I thought I would compile my list of 30 things tonight. So here it no particular order, of course.

30 Things I'm Thankful For

1. My husband, who loves me more than I can express
2. My house
3. Warm fall days when I can play outside with the kids
4. My kids
5. Moments when my kids are selfless and do things for others without being asked
6. Laughter
7. Ice cream
8. No schedules on the weekend
9. My friends
10. Little boys who love to snuggle
11. Little girls who love to sparkle
12. Mammas and Papas who live close
13. The beach
14. Healthy kids
15. Smiles
16. Shopping
17. Doctors that give you good news!
18. Ours kids' singing voices-both at home and in church
19. Calm-no mater where we are
20. Sparkly things (you know where A gets it from!)
21. Music
22. School-going to school to learn, teaching at school, going to my kids' school-all things school
23. Comfortable shoes
24. Vacations-vacation days, summer vacation, family vacations, couple vacations-all sorts
25. Food
26. Confidence in myself, my kids, my husband, my family
27. The ability to write
28. Flowers
29. My parents who support and love me unconditionally, as only a mom and dad could
30. Jesus

These are my 30 days of thanks, condensed by being written all in one day. But it's not about the way you do it, it's about the fact that I did it. Taking time really think about the things I'm most thankful for-no matter how big or small-taking the time to make my list here and now; it's the best thing I could do today!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fall is...

Fall is...
 jumping in big piles of leaves.
 Fall is...
 raking over and over.
 Fall is...
 leaves in my hair.
 Fall is...
 "Did you see that jump?!"
 Fall is...
 saying goodbye to shade.
 Fall is...
 getting ready for the next big pile.
 Fall is...
 fun, because we have each other!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

First Grade Photos

I love watching the progression of school photos as the kids get older. Here are this year's photos, cute as always! (at least to this biased mommy)

I always analyze these photos, wondering if we need to do retakes. A sits up so straight in this one, but I can only imagine the photographer saying, "Ok, sit up straight!" And then there's C, big boy smile and missing teeth to boot. Man, when did they start growing up?! Stop already!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Another note from C

I love my son. Always. Forever. Especially when he writes sweet notes like this one:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Smell my feet!
I would love to have something good to eat!
say the fairy

and Captain America!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blue Blaze and Mr. Fabulous

Earlier in October the Justice Confederation met for our annual meeting. Blue Blaze and Mr. Fabulous were in attendance.
As were Rabbitron and Shiver.

The usual suspects were there to lend their hand in trying to find the notorious villain, Da Bomb.
Nerdon was the only one who knew where Da Bomb was, and ended up being poisoned.
Then it was up to us to figure out who did it. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was me! Blue Blaze was the one who had killed Nerdon.
It was also me who knew where Da Bomb my garage!
The weekend was a fun one because of this superhero murder-mystery piece. It's always nice to try something different that we wouldn't otherwise do. I mean really, who would wear those eyelashes just because? Maybe someone...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Friend

Sometimes people say friends come and go. Or at least I've heard it said. I'm not sure who said it, but I believe them. Sometimes. But sometimes friends are here to stay. Those are the best kinds of friends.

Tonight I saw one of those friends. She's the kind of friend who will be there always. Like forever. And ever. She'll never go anywhere no matter what happens. She knows everything there is to know about me. Inside and out. I can't lie to her. She can't lie to me. Ever since we connected things have been like this. Starting in middle school, through high school, college, and now into adulthood (never thought I'd use that word), things are the same. Do you have that kind of a friend? Everyone should.

There have been times where we would see each other almost daily or talk on the phone for an hour or two, even after having just been together. And then there are times when we've gone many weeks between talking or seeing each other. Sometimes even months-life happens! But she's that forever friend. The stand by you friend. The I like to hear the good and the bad in life friend. The kind of friend everyone needs.

As an adult-and as an adult with kids-and as an adult with kids who is starting to meet my own kids' friends and their families, sometimes I feel lost. Like I'm stuck. Which way do I go as an adult making new friends? It's weird. To try and make new friends as an adult. But I've realized we're kind of forced to do so. I can't take my high school or college friends with me wherever I go. They can't live right next to me. Their kids can't go to the same school as our kids (although that would be neat!). I have to branch out. And sometimes I feel stuck. Are there other people like me who would want to be my friend? What if we don't get along? I almost feel like I'm back in high school. I try to put on a good face and try my best at making it work. But it's hard! And then I see a forever friend.

Like tonight. Where I can be myself. Ask those personal questions-make sure she's ok, her family is doing well, work is going ok (we didn't even talk about that tonight!)-and just be friends. There's nothing I have to impress her, and the feeling is mutual. We can be ourselves. I can love on her kids and she on mine. And it's easy. I love my forever friends, and nights like this are nights I wish to have much more often.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm leaving, on a jet plane


I can hardly wait to get out of town with this guy.
Heading to Chicago for the second time ever and we're trying to make it different than the first. You know how you go places over and over because they're your favorites? Yup. That's me. I'm a creature of habit. I know what I like (yummy pizza from I can't remember where in Chicago-starts with a G) and I stick to it. I know we'll go here

and probably back here
just because we I loved them both. I know J loved "The Bean," but could probably do without dessert. Ahem...he's married to me, so we'll have dessert. Just to make that clear.

But I also know we'll try some new places. Fun places. Places I'll want to go back to the next time we go. Whenever that is...

But we're leaving, and I can't wait! I am ever so thankful to grandparents who are close. But more than that, who LOVE having our kids. So thanks, Mom & Dad, for taking the kiddos this weekend! Not sure who will have more fun...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pool Time

We had a lot of pool time around these parts this summer. Boy did we ever! J and I weren't quite sure about getting a pool pass at the beginning of the season, but I can tell you that we will be back and do it summer after summer after summer. See, our kids turned into fish. Fish with goggles. 
There was going down the slide. There was swimming in the shallow end. There was swimming in the "baby" pool-which secretly I'm sure the kids still love because of the water spraying everywhere. There were snacks eaten. Sunscreen was applied...and applied...and applied again (with no burns, might I add!). Friends swam with us too!
And swam they did! By the end of the summer the kids and their friends had all passed the swim test, no doubt due to the fact that we were at the pool 2-4 times a week. Passing the swim test means they all got to jump off the diving boards by about the middle of the summer. Hooray! That was their new favorite for the second half of the summer.
The deep end is where you found our fish kids. No more going where we can touch. They were all about the diving boards, doing flips under the water, jumping off the sides...all things to be done in the deep end.
Yes, our summer was spent at the pool. That is when the kids weren't at camp, church or the cabin. The pool was definitely a highlight for everyone. When asked what their favorite part of summer was, the pool is usually their answer. And that is the best answer to give with so many good memories made together!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Apple Time!

It's that time around here. Apples abound! About 4 weeks early at that. Some years are like that, I suppose!
We made our way to one of our favorite orchards the other weekend.
Actually, I'm pretty sure it's the only orchard I've ever been to. It's a small one. Cozy. Not a lot of frills.
Not a lot of extras. No, "Better bring more money because the hayride is this much and the corn maze is this much and the bouncy house is this much." Nope. Just apples. 

And a little hay.
But mostly apples.
Really, the apples were almost gone! Usually the orchard has about 15 different types of apples. When we were there 2 weeks ago there were only 3 left to pick off the trees. The rest of them had all been picked (in the beginning of AUGUST!). Who wants to go to the orchard in the beginning of August? It's still summer! But now we know. We still ended up with baskets filled and heavy at that!
Either way, we had a great time. We found some Honey Crisp apples which is one of our favorites.
It was really fun watching the kids this year because they could actually reach some of the apples.
Of course some of the best ones were up high...thank goodness Daddy was with!
Upon leaving the orchard J and I realized we hadn't been to the orchard last year.
The kids didn't remember going as a family. So we're really glad we made a point to go this year. And the best part is...I made my first apple crisp, with success!