Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Love my son

I love my son. For many reasons, but look at the following and you'll see my newest reason:
You see why, don't you? I hope so. Love this boy.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Words from long ago

It sounds like I'm going to be writing about a time from years ago or lifetimes ago. To me it feels like a lifetime ago. Today I found some cards as I cleaned out a drawer (that hadn't been cleaned in forever!). The words in these cards come from friends who cared enough to write them down. Words like these are important when you need them the most. Like when you're going through something a bit difficult. Not compared to what some people go through, but difficult to us. In case you're wondering, turns out, we were completely blessed after this difficult time. Beyond belief...blessed. Thankful to God for that. And thankful for these friends:

Thank you for being you. I am so proud of you-the way you handle all of the challenges in your life. You take time to cry and be sad, and you continue to make time to laugh and dream. Life doesn't always seem fair, but it is not a punishment.

"Life's patterns can be hard to see." Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you often and always and wishing you only the best.

"Always remember, God is watching over you." Try to keep smiling. I'm sure some days will be tough! Whatever the outcome remember we love you and are here whenever you need us!

Friday, January 27, 2012

A little time with family

A little time with family is good. It's especially good if your J's family. That's because the years are few and far between when we get to spend a holiday together. This year we spent the weekend after New Years together in Kansas City which ends up being about half-way for many of us. The cousins loved being together!
We spent a lot of time at the hotel but a little time, too, shopping and eating-two things you have to do while you're out of town!
The kids sure love their Uncle Nick. He has the longest drive of any of us...from Austin, Texas! We're oh-so-glad he could make it!
The highlight of the trip for the kids was the pool. I think at one point A & C put in a good 2 hour shift in the pool. Good thing there was a good heater! At one point the pool was warmer than the hot tub!
J, being the wonderful daddy he is, spent a ton of time in the pool with everyone. He definitely had fun with the kids! Tired fun.
 Mamma Sue even got in the middle of things.
We had a great time with everyone! But one thing is for sure...next year we are not all sitting together (all 15 of us) in a hotel room only for everyone to get home and for about half of us to end up sick! From pneumonia to the stomach flu, fevers to colds-we covered it all. Nope. Next time we do this it won't be in January and we'll make sure we have some outside space to move and breathe! No matter what the case, though, we did have a fun weekend. It's like that when you're with family!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This is what I got to pet today

Yes, an alligator. I got to pet an alligator today. People don't get to say that every day! And I got to see a box turtle,
a hognose snake,
a blue tongue skink,
and another snake.
It was a regular Animal Planet at school today!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Sometimes we need to be inspired to write. Right? Right. Today I was inspired by my husband. I read through his post on his blog where he usually writes about school and his classroom. But today was different because he wrote about our kids. Something I do (almost) every time I write. And I became inspired by his topic: READING! (thanks, honey!)

Setting the Scene:
Sitting on the couch, fireplace on, football game on in the background, cozy in jammies...
A says she wants to read some books. I told her I would but that she had to read a book to me first. This is a habit we're trying to get into each night. They have books from school that they bring home, and those change about once a week. We are trying to find other books they can read to us that are already in our house. And it's happening! They are able to pick books off the bookshelf and read them to us! Yes!!

Last night was the first night that it "officially" happened. We read for about 45 minutes where A would read a book then I would read a book and so on. The boys did the same thing! C's choices were Danny and the Dinosaur and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. A read Polar Bear, Polar Bear..., The Foot Book and 2 "baby" board books. She thought it was funny that she picked those. As I sat there listening to both of them read, I wondered when it happened. Did it just happen? Did it happen in November or December? How did it happen? When did they learn to read?! And at this level, too?!

Sometimes people look at us with that well-you're-a-teacher-so-you-know-how-to-teach-them-to-read look. Honestly people, we didn't "do" anything. Well, anything different from the average "parent in the know" about how reading to your child is important. We've been reading to our kids since they were babies. Since they were old enough to see the pictures. You know, you start out with those black and white picture/pattern books. The ones with nothing else because they can't see much else? Yup. We started with those and quickly moved into story books because why not? We haven't sat with our kids and made them do flash cards. We haven't drilled our kids until they've known their sight words. Nope.

I'll let you in on a little secret...I think it's been their teachers. Shhh...don't say anything! It was their Fun For 4's preschool teachers. This year it's their kindergarten teacher who meets with them in reading groups each week and sometimes twice a week. Those are the people who are fostering their love of reading. Yes, J and I do our share at home with encouraging reading, but we can only do so much. There is such a partnership between school and home and I am seeing the positive product here and now, in our own home. And I love every single minute of it.

I wonder what we'll be reading tonight...perhaps some Robert Munsch or Pinkalicious?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Road Trip

Road trips are fun. And funny. Very funny when you have two 5 year olds in the backseat, interacting in conversation with each other. Of course there are moments. There are also movies where I don't hear from them at all. But the funny times...oh those are really funny. I'm not sure if it's because we're in the car without escape; because we're delusional and tired; I suspect it is a combination of both.

This road trip took us to Kansas City for the weekend. It's a pretty quick turnaround and a very short time of actually being there, since it takes about 6 1/2 hours to get there. Bottom line: 13ish hours in the car over the course of 60 hours is a lot of time in close quarters. Let me share with you some funny things that happened on this trip:

Saturday Night Live
Are you familiar with these people? If you watch SNL and stay up for (at least) Weekend Update, chances are you've seen them. Better yet, heard them. Our children can be Garth and Kat. Really. One of them starts singing and they look at each other, trying to figure out what the other is singing, and joins in. It's hilarious! To J and I at least. And to any of you who know what I'm talking about. It's happened more times than just this weekend, but in the car it's even better because they have no where to go and stay engaged with each other!

The Landscape
Upon entering Iowa on the way home, C looks out the window as we cross the boarder and says, "Mommy, Iowa sure looks a lot like Africa." "Really buddy? How do you know what Africa looks like?" "Well, I dunno. It just looks like it." A: "You're right! It actually does!" My guess is the reason they thought this is because it was brown and wide open, like they've seen in pictures and on movies. Funny! Guess we don't have to go to Africa if we've been through Iowa in the winter (without snow!).

The Movies
This isn't my favorite part of the trip. I'd like to think we would be able to travel like we did as kids: books, hand-held games, Invisible Ink books (MY favorite!), 20 questions, the license plate game, the alphabet game, etc. But, we're in that whole "technology age," so here our kids enjoyed 2 movies on the way down and 2 movies coming back. The funny part about them watching movies is seeing their faces. Most times they have the same expressions at the same times. Maybe that's funny to me only because they're twins. But it is funny to me. I also love when they giggle at the same time or are scared at the same time.

Road trips are pretty fun with my family. I'm glad we have 2 kids that travel well. They look forward to stopping for gas to see what treat might lie ahead. They know we (usually) stop at McDonalds, which is a treat for them because we NEVER eat that at home. They entertain each other...and us...at the same time! Let's see...where can we go next?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An Interesting Debate

To work or not to work, that is the question. Well, or an option, I guess, for some. For some. Not for me. I'm not sure how I would feel about the option if it were presented to me. I always joke with my co-workers about how great it would be to win the lottery and not have to work. Or would it? It's an interesting debate.

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed yesterday I came across a "friend," who's more of an acquaintance, who posted about a story she had seen on "The Today Show." The jest of the story is that, according to a recent study, working moms are happier than stay-at-home moms. Boom. Fireworks went off on this post-but in a good I-agree-with-what-you're-saying way for her. Huh. Soooo, you're telling me that because I work, there's absolutely no way I'm as happy as you, the person who posted this, because you stay home with your kid? What happened to being non-judgmental? This coming from a person who is a devout Christian. Here's what I think:

I think people can be happy with whatever they are doing, wherever they are doing it, and it doesn't have to be one way or another. It's whatever works for that person in that time and place. No, I'm not just saying that to say it. I'm saying it because it's what I believe. See, I love what I do. Teaching is a wonderful thing to be able to do every day. That said, of course it's not all roses every day. There are challenges, but those challenges are what keeps me going. Because of my schedule, I am able to be home late afternoon, I can have dinner with my family, I can play games with my kids, I can read with my kids, I can be outside with my family and I can still have some time for J and I to be together. And you know what "they" say...teachers also get their summers off! Yea! Wrong. I have never had a summer off, although there is much flexibility with schedules. And that sometimes opens another can of worms, but that's a different post. I digress. 

It took everything from within me NOT to post something to this "friend's" page. I chose not to and will continue not to, but it did get me thinking. Clearly. I think moms who stay at home have a hard job. I think moms who work have a hard job. Isn't it just hard being a mom (sometimes)? I don't think there is a final answer. I don't think there has to be. People will always have something to say about either side. My side? The side that makes me happy and works for my family. That's the viewpoint I'll take, any day!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Gross. I had one as a kid and it was on my finger. Man, did it hurt to get it frozen off! Well, C has a wart. Or wert, as he calls it. It's on the bottom of his foot. He had it "froze off" earlier in December, but nothing has come of that yet. We're trying at home with Dr. Scholls discs every night, but it's a process. So here was the exchange that happened today between A & C:

A: Mommy, will I ever get a wart?
me: I'm not sure, honey.
A: C, how did you get your wart?
C: Well, I got it by going outside without socks and shoes one day. Then I stepped on a very pointy acorn and the point poked into my foot. That's how I got my wart.
A: Oh. I'm never going outside without shoes again.

How have you gotten your warts before? Hmmm?