Thanks for stopping by! We were a family of three, until we added one more (cat, that is), making us a family of four. In 2012, we added four more...one husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school, running...it's all here. Pull up a chair and read a while. After you do, please leave a little comment love! It makes me happy...and y'all know...if Momma is happy, then everyone is happy...at least at our house!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Night Before Traveling

With the greatest apologies to Clement C. Moore!

Twas the night before traveling, when all through the house
Every creature was stirring, including Hannah Cat chasing her mouse.
The suitcases were packed--everything stuffed in there,
In hopes that we all have the right clothes to wear.

Gloria should be nestled all snug in her bed,
With visions of grandparents dancing in her head.
And Momma should be in bed with the cat on her lap
Settling in for a (hopefully) long, good night's nap.

But out of the cabinets and drawers, there's a mess.
Where is that sweater? We can't find her dress!
Away down the stairs I flew like a flash,
Scaring HC, who ran into a bag with a crash!

The moon's barely shining, and I'm glad there's no snow.
But I sit here and ask "Will we be ready to go?"
Because every minute, in my mind should appear...
More things I should pack...I'm running out of room, I do fear.

Tomorrow we drive, so lively and quick.
It will take us 10 hours. G, don't get carsick!
More rapid than eagles, the van it will go.
We're taking the "southern" route...I40's a no.

A rest area, a restaurant, now where's that gas station?
Something tells me this must be our Christmas vacation!
To Atlanta! To Birmingham! To Holly Springs!
At last, "MEMPHIS!" we will finally sing.

We will unpack the car. Hada will assist.
Hannah will leap from my arms with a twist.
Emmett and Screamer and Hannah Cat too!?!
This could get ugly with a hiss or a growl...or quite a few...

This Christmas, more memories will be made.
Toys will be opened, games will be played.
We'll laugh and we'll talk, we'll do last minute shopping.
There will be lots to do...I'm sure we'll be hopping!

Children, cats, and grown-ups galore.
Presents under the tree will cover the floor.
Family will be together at last.
Our time together will fly by entirely too fast

But for now, I must pack and be ready by morning.
The clock hands are moving, giving their warning...
Go to bed! Get some sleep!
The alarm will soon beep!

So now I suppose I will turn off the light.
Good night to all. I hope you sleep tight!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Super Reader!

Gloria has been hard at work for a few weeks reading Little House in the Big Woods by herself. This is a fifth grade level book, and remember, she's only 6. But, she has been reading and reading and reading. I thought she would finish it tonight and be ready to take her comprehension test at school tomorrow. But I was wrong...Evidently she finished it at before-school care this morning...

This afternoon, she jumped into the car and says, in a very serious voice, "I need to tell you something." Thinking there was some sort of problem today, I just glanced at her in the rear-view mirror. At that point, she starts talking so fast I can't understand her. Something about "I-took- my-AR-test-today-and-I-got-a-100-which-means-I didn't-miss-any-and-I-have-my-TOPS- report-in-here-somewhere-so-you-can-see-it-and-I-was-so-happy-and-I-know-you-are-so- surprised-aren't-you-Momma-and-you-will-be-so-proud-of-me-so-do-I-get-a-treat?" (I had promised her a reward if she made a 90% or better on her test because this is a L-O-N-G book and she's been working so hard.) Then she pulled out her TOPS report, which is a bunch of statistical information and wants me to look at every detail. Check out some of it:

This book:
  • Correct: 10 out of 10 100%
  • Points earned: 5.0
  • Book level: 5.3
  • Word count: 33,586 (she LOVED that one)
For the year:
  • Average percent correct: 95%
  • Points earned: 16.8
  • Quizzes Passed (and taken): 6
  • Total words read: 120,539 (she loved that one even more!)
Keeping my word for a reward, we went to the dentist's office for sealants on her back molars. ;) No, that wasn't her reward, but we had to do that first. Then we made a stop at the craft store where she picked out some tracing paper and some special sketching pencils. That's what she's working on right now.

She's already got her next book picked out, but she says she will wait until tomorrow to start it...her brain needs a rest!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Fun Saturday in December

Last night, Gloria's "BFF" spent the night. The girls played and had a good time...and stayed up way too late. Combine that with getting wwwaaayyyy too early on a Saturday morning and I was sure that was a recipe for disaster. Fortunately I was wrong. :) :) :)

This morning we set out on an "adventure." It was downright frigid out there, so everyone was bundled up with heavy coats, gloves, hoods, etc. since we would be walking around down town. Since there was a marathon here today, we opted to take the light rail, much to the girls' delight. Did you know it is really cool to pass a train that is going the other way? Our down town destination was Founders Hall where we were going to see the Leonard Bearstein Symphony Orchestra. They are a set of audio-animatronic bears that perform a holiday symphony. We really enjoyed singing along with them...and changing the words sometimes so we could giggle even more. There are lots of Christmas decorations down there so that was an added bonus today. We lunched at Jason's Deli before returning to the light rail and heading for home.

I could tell both girls were tired. Who wouldn't be after a late night and a super early morning??? Little disagreements were beginning to creep into their play, so I got them involved in painting some of the bread dough ornaments that Gloria and I had "baked" last weekend. What a great calming activity. And then it was time for our guest to go home. Parting is always so hard.

Gloria was so tired tonight, even though she tried to deny it. However, I have proof now...she fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit her pillow...with her arms flung over her head in the "I surrender" manner. And now, it's my turn. Good night. Sleep tight. Stay warm tonight!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Letter to Santa

While I wish Gloria was better about cleaning up her writing projects, I do love some of the things I find. They are truly treasures. Here's the most recent one...(I've left the spelling and punctuation the way she did it.)

Dear Santa,
How is Mrs. Claus? How is Rudolph? Can you tell Rudolph hi for me? Sorry I only wave to you I'm a scardy cat...well maybe not that much...oh...why did I write to you...you might be asking. Well about what I want for Christmas of course. Well my number one thing is a Netendo DS. And the new D.S. Tinker Bell and the lost tresere game. My mommy wood like a new broom and Hannah wood like two pakeges of Greenies Tuna flaverd please. Purrrrr purrrrrrr Thanks purr.
Love,
Gloria


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Writing Assignment

Gloria is "teaching" her "class" right now. It cracks me up to listen to sometimes. It's also quite insightful as to what is going on in her classroom at school. She just finished reading them a story..."One Surprising Night" about Jesus being born. Now it is writing time. For those of you who are familiar with Lucy C*lkins and writing workshop, you would hear lots of things that you have used in your class. Obviously she pays attention during the mini-lessons at school! Anyway...she has just asked her students to do a literature response with the question "Girls, would you like to have been Mary and why or why not? And boys, you can think about being Joseph. Would you like to have been Joseph." She is modeling how to begin a response. Don't yet know what her answer is. Guess I'll have to wait and see!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Decorating the Christmas Tree

I struggle with this every year. I don't want to get out all the Christmas decor right after Thanksgiving. Yet, I don't want to take away from Gloria's enjoyment of the things she loves to see year after year. So this year, we are taking it slowly and just getting out a few things at a time. We have the Advent wreath out now and are trying to focus on preparing for the celebration of Christmas instead of the annual visit from Santa.

I did get the Christmas tree out of the attic yesterday afternoon. The only thing on it immediately was the string of white lights we always use. Then, we got out all of the ornaments that we want to use this year and put them in a basket in the living room. Each night after dinner, we are each choosing one ornament to hang on the tree. We talk about where the ornament came from, why it is special, or what it represents.

I had to laugh last night...Gloria's first ornament was a snowman ornament that she received last year. She remembered opening it and then said, "I really like this one because the snowgirl is so fashionable." Don't know where that word came from, because we certainly aren't "fashionable" around here! I chose the family ornament from our first Christmas as a forever family....2004. Tonight we both chose cardinal ornaments, but for different reasons. Gloria put one up because she knows how much Hannah Cat loves watching the cardinals that feed outside our back window. I chose the other one because I am so thankful to be one of the SCES Cardinals this year!

I think it will be fun to watch our tree "grow" as we move through the coming weeks.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Few Thanksgiving Pictures

We had a great time in Tennessee with my mom and dad over Thanksgiving. I have a few pictures from our trip, mostly taken on Friday. Mom has others. Maybe I'll have those later.


Hada and Gloria


One of the highlights of the trip for Gloria was getting to ride a pony!


Playing at the playground


She loved the "zip line."

Even Maggee got in on the playground fun.


Gloria loves to play checkers...especially when she can beat Hada.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"I'm Glad We're Not Rich"

Last night after I put Gloria to bed, I was in my room just puttering around. Evidently that meant it was time to chat about life back and forth across the hall. G was chattering on about this and that and then asked, "Momma, are we poor?" Naturally I responded with a question of my own..."Why would you ask that?" She was asking because she knows I try to be really careful about how we spend our money and don't buy lots of extra stuff "just because." Her next comment was "I'm glad we're not rich." Huh?!? Her explanation was something about how she's glad we don't live in a fancy house where you can't touch anything and have to worry about messing something up. And then she went on to tell me how if we were rich, there would be just tons and tons of presents under the Christmas tree and you wouldn't be able to enjoy them all because there would just be so many. "It's better to just get a few things and then enjoy them. But Momma, we really are rich because we have each other, and that's what matters." I like the way she thinks!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Don't Ever Step on a Rock!

So...Tuesday morning I was headed back to my car after dropping Gloria at before-school care so I could fly to school. On my way to the car, I think I stepped on a rock that was on the ground. My ankle did one of those turn and roll kind of things, I heard a pop, and there was instant tingling pain from the tips of my toes to the back of my knee. I was only three steps from the car, and I just didn't have time to stop and think. My mornings are so tight since I have to be at work before 7:00 and it is a 27 minute drive and I can't drop Gloria until 6:30 when the child care opens... It was only after I was in the car and headed up the road that I had time to process the pain and begin to wonder/panic about what to do.

I went on to school and made it through the day. Actually, it got to where it didn't hurt that much to walk, but turning my ankle hurt...a lot. I finally asked the school nurse to look at it at the end of the day. She told me it was swollen and that I should go have it looked at. Ugh...not what I wanted to hear. Maybe "put some ice on it and see how it is tomorrow" would have been better. I don't know. It had been a pretty rotten day already.

Now, on Tuesdays, Gloria likes to go to a kids class at the Y. And one of her best friends is in the class...it's the only time they see each other. So, I did what any good mom would do...I picked her up at school and headed to the Y. My foot wasn't hurting too much so I figured I would exercise for the 45 minutes she was in her class and see how I felt after that. Bad idea...right? Right. It took me less than 10 minutes on the elliptical trainer to realize that. So I gave up and just waited until her class was over before heading to the urgent care.

Fortunately, there was no wait. They x-rayed my foot and then the doctor came it. No break. Good. Either a bad sprain or something is torn. Boo! Stay off if as much as possible for two weeks. Yeah, right...I'm a teacher...in an elementary school...with 20 second graders...I can't stay off my feet! And can I just say how much I hate crutches?!?!?! Although I'm coming up with a list of other good uses for them besides walking. That could be interesting.

For now, I'm using my rolling chair from my classroom to get around school. I mostly stay close to my room, but the cafeteria is a long, long, long way away. The crutches about did me in yesterday. Today, I let my students push me in the rolling chair. That was frightening! But they enjoyed it. Glad tomorrow is Friday and next week is a short week!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sleeping on the Floor

Gloria has decided that she likes sleeping in my old sleeping bag on the floor in her room. We are on night four of this. Why would one choose to sleep on the hard floor when there is a perfectly comfortable, cozy bed right there in the same room? But, this is one battle that I am choosing not to fight. She has been reading with a flashlight and then going to sleep at a reasonable time each night. And she is sleeping. I shouldn't be too concerned with where...right???

At least she isn't sleeping in a box like my brother did for a very long time when he was little. Right Carter? :)

Meltdown at the Mall

Yesterday, Gloria and I went to the mall. I needed a new pair of jeans. After finding what we were looking for, we decided to walk through the mall. Since it is mid-November, it is completely decorated for Christmas...of course...We window shopped a little bit and were chatting about this and that. One thing she asked me was if Santa would be there. Silly me...I told her it was too early for him to already be at the mall. Oh how wrong I was! We rounded a corner and came upon a Christmas tree that nearly touched the ceiling. A white fence was around it. And somehow she knew...she knew that on the other side was the old man dressed in red. And she is some kind of terrified of SC. I don't know why. She can't explain it. I'm not even sure the word "terrified" adequately conveys her dislike of him. (But she loves the presents he brings...) The child froze, not to move another step, closed her eyes, put her hands over her ears, and absolutely fell apart. This is so out of character for her in any other situation. She loves the Easter Bunny and plans for her picture with him each year. She doesn't mind other characters either. But Santa...uh uh...no way. The guy who was standing at the entrance asked if she wanted to see Santa. Let's just say that didn't help matters any! Finally, I got her to calm down enough to walk around to the other side so we could continue on our way. She hid behind me until it was "safe" though. I'm not sure I will be able to get her back in the mall again before Christmas. Which is probably a good thing, when I stop to think about...less money I'll be tempted to spend. ;)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Indoor Camp-out

I am writing tonight from my living room sofa, in total darkness, listening to Gloria's even breathing while she sleeps in a tent. She discovered recently that I actually have a tent. Yes, a REAL tent. One that might be used for actual camping by other folks. My reason for having this tent goes back many years to a Towel Ministry summer work camp. Anyway...after learning that there was a tent in our attic, Gloria has been begging me to set it up for her. This afternoon, I gave in.

After the excitement of getting the tent bag out of the attic, I impressed my sweet child even more by actually knowing HOW to set up the tent. Then she was surprised by the size of it since it takes up ALL of the floor space in our living room (which really isn't that much). After reading and playing in it for a while, she decided that she wanted to sleep in it tonight. I agreed to that with the understanding that the tent goes down in the morning.

After our Friday night movie, she suddenly got very worried looking and began to cry. She was scared to sleep downstairs, but desparately wanted to do so. I finally asked her if she wanted me to sleep on the sofa...and here I am. She's sleeping soundly. Me...not so much. Maybe after a little more time on line???

One funny thing about the tent is Hannah Cat's reaction to it. She has tried, unsuccessfully, to climb it, jump over it, crawl under it...let's just say she is not a happy cat right now with this large, strange object in the middle of her house. It is in the way of the path she takes when she is tearing from one end of the house to the other. She has let us know in no uncertain terms that this thing is unacceptable! Of course, in the morning she will search for it after I put it away.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Pictures

After much thought and discussion and changing of her mind, Gloria finally decided to be an Auburn Tiger witch for Halloween this year. Our good friend, Lori, found the orange skirt for us. The hat was Gloria's design: a regular black hat decorated with orange, blue, and white ribbon. She drew me a picture to show me exactly how it should look. A little bit of hot glue (and a few less fingerprints on my fingers) was all it took. At the last minute she was wishing she still had an AU tatoo left from last year. But, she was happy and that's what matters on the biggest candy night of the year.



Monday, November 2, 2009

It Was Bound to Happen Sometime...

I've been packing lunches for both of us for how long now? 5+ years? And today was the first time I did it, so I'm thinking that's not a bad track record.

I opened my lunch box at school today and discovered Gloria's lunch. That could only mean one thing...my lunch was in Gloria's lunch box. Now, either lunch is perfectly fine and something either one of us would eat on any given day. However, what was supposed to have been my lunch of beans and rice needed to be zapped in the microwave. But Gloria had that. I had her taco salad. No re-heating necessary.

I called her school and explained the situation, asking if someone would please heat her lunch up for her today. The person who answered the phone assured me that she would deliver the message and it would be taken care of. Then she laughed and said that was the first time she had ever had that happen.

Guess who will be looking over my shoulder as I pack lunch boxes in the morning...:)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dinner Table Talk

Tonight we were eating dinner. I don't usually have the television on during dinner, but tonight I had the 6:00 news on, just to catch the weather forecast (rain?). I just can't manage to stay up for the 10:00 news when I have a 5:15 wake-up call! Anyway, Gloria was listening, I guess....Her take on a few things...

1. The Panthers should bench Jake (the QB) next Sunday. She watched him throw 2 interceptions yesterday and was NOT happy. When he said "I'm no dummy..." in a clip, she made a face and said "Yes you are." Um, yeah...she's got a point there.

2. H1*N1: She's sick and tired of hearing about it. She has pointed out that it is all they ever talk about anymore. Again, I am inclined to agree with her.

3. The lead-in to the next story was "Why did the pilots miss the airport?" Her response was "Well, it was cloudy so they couldn't see the sign." Hmmm...that's as good a reason as any.

Now, she has traded her news commentating for markers and paper. She's making a card for Santa. It's a bit early, don't you think??? Of course, if my momma told me I was getting socks and underwear for Christmas, I might be writing an early letter too! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lunch Time Conversation

It has been my experience that children want to know many details about their teacher's life. This year is proving no different. A conversation I had at lunch recently went like this...

Student: Ms. B, are you married?
Me: No.
Student: Oh, you just mean not yet. *brief pause* So, are you a grandmother in your family?
(It was all I could do not to choke on my food at that moment.)
Me: Um, nnnooo. Just a mom. My mom is the grandmother in our family.
Student: Oh, I just thought maybe you were since you're so old.
Me: (Thinking WHAT!!!???) Just how old do you think I am? (a question I instantly regretted)
Multiple students chimed in, arguing over how old I might be. Answers included 25, 43, 58, 67, and 72. One reasonable student pointed out that I could not have been teaching for 17 years if I was only 25, which made the numbers go higher.

You just never know what you will hear or discuss in the elementary school cafeteria on any given day!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why I Like Being at an "Early" School

I never thought I would say it, but I actually like being at a school that has an early start time. It's not just the school itself (which I do love). The only thing I don't like is that it is still pitch dark when we walk out the front door every morning. That and the fact that getting up at 5:15 requires going to bed much earlier than I would like, given that I tend more towards the night-owl end of the spectrum. However...

  • I love looking at the moon and stars with Gloria as we drive to drop her off at before-school care each morning. We talk about the phases of the moon, and we see the morning star quite often. She loves to see if the moon is "following us," especially when there is a full moon.
  • I love watching the sky begin to show hints of the sun rise as I drive east. The pinkish-reddish-orange-y color leads to a blue-ish, dark gray, with the dark black above it. Sometimes there are puffy clouds that glow with the rising of the sun. There is a point where suddenly I have left "night" behind and entered "day." It's kind of cool.
  • I love that we dismiss at 1:45. There's still lots of time to do things in the afternoon.
  • I love that I can pick Gloria up in the carpool line each afternoon (except staff meeting days). She always comes skipping to the car with a big smile on her face. I love her "Hi, Momma!" as she climbs in the back seat and buckles her seat belt. Every day I ask her why she is so happy. Typically, her response is "I get to go back tomorrow!" She loves school. I will admit, though, that I miss seeing her face light up when she realizes I have arrived to pick her up from after-school care and the huge hug she greets me with. I still get that on staff meeting days, though.
  • I love that we can go to the Y after school in time for Gloria to go to a kids exercise class or her dance class, depending on the day, and I can work out too. This is the first time she has ever been able to take a dance class because everything for her age has always started before I could get her there when I was working at a "late" school.
  • I love that we can come home and have some down time before running the dinner, bath, and bedtime race.

My Little Bookworm!

She reads EVERYWHERE! In the car, in bed, at the dining room table while eating breakfast. When she gets up on Saturday or Sunday morning, she gets a stack of books and gets back in bed. There are books everywhere in my house and in my car. Anywhere she can curl up or stretch out with a book, she does. The girl simply loves books. And she can read literally anything she picks up. (I was told recently that her independent reading level is equivalent to a child at the end of fourth grade...not that I was surprised or anything...I read with her all the time.) Tonight I called up the stairs to her three times to tell her to come down for dinner. Finally I yelled up "Did you get lost up there?" The reply finally came back..."Yes. I got lost in a magazine. It was just so good." Then she came down and proceeded to tell me all about the article she had been reading, about people building snow sculptures, in pretty explicit detail. "It was just so cool! I felt like I was there!"




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Thoughtful Girl

Yesterday was my birthday. For a few weeks, Gloria knew my birthday was coming and she kept wondering what she could "get" for me. It was very important to her that I have a present to open since my new tires in July were my present from my parents. So, one Saturday afternoon she disappeared into her room for a long time because she had decided to make something for me. She also made me a birthday card, complete with glitter glue decorations (which she left on her table and Hannah Cat promptly curled up on it while it was still wet...ARGH!!! HC was not happy when I was trying to clean her up after that little incident.) Gloria found a gift bag and tissue paper in the closet and put her special present inside. Then she hid it from me...in plain sight under her art table in the living room. Yesterday she insisted on going down stairs before me and she put my gift in my chair at the dining room table. She had made me a beaded necklace and a matching key chain. I proudly wore the necklace to school yesterday after she tied it around my neck. And she put the key chain on my other key chain. She was so excited to see it still on there today. Not to mention, she was quite proud of herself for making the only gift I got to actually open because she thinks tires are B-O-R-I-N-G, even if they do get us to school and home safely. (Thanks, Mom and Dad) :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Full of Questions

Gloria has been full of questions this week...thought I'd share a few of them...
  • What is hair made out of?
  • How does electricity get in the sky to make lightning?
  • How do tires help cars stand up? (there was a lot of follow up observation of her own on this one.)
  • Which is bigger--an elephant or a woolly mammoth? (This one led to some research in her animal encyclopedia. Now we need to find information on the mammoth since it wasn't in her encyclopedia.)
Her mind is always working!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It was Sunday the Whole Time

Our mornings are very tight in terms of time. I am getting up at 5:15a.m., a time I previously never even knew existed! Gloria gets up at 5:40. We are out the door at 6:15. And it works. There was one morning that I must not have heard my alarm clock or turned it off and gone back to sleep or something, but G's alarm clock went off and I jumped into action. We still got out of here on time, although a bit rushed and with breakfast in hand, to be eaten in the car.

So this morning when my alarm clock woke me up at 6:15...I panicked! I hadn't even turned it off completely before I was yelling for Gloria to GET UP because we should be headed out the door at that very moment. I was trying to figure out the best plan of action that would get us out of here as quickly as humanly possible, if not a bit quicker. About that time, my brain woke up and I realized that it was really Sunday morning and that we had plenty of time to be lazy before getting ready for church.

Gloria's response? "But Momma, I was thinking it was Sunday the whole time." Then why didn't she say so?!?!?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Little Much?

This is what I do each night/morning...


Yes, that's right. Five lunch boxes. Go ahead. Count them again. You really did see five lunch boxes. I know what you are thinking...there are only two people in our house. Right again. Just two, and it takes five lunch boxes to get us through most school days. Why? Let me explain, from left to right...

Lunch box #1: Contains an after school snack for Gloria. This one only gets packed on days that we don't come straight home from school. So, if we are headed to the Y for exercise classes or her dance class, or if we have errands to run, this one gets put to use.

Lunch box #2: Gloria's lunch box for school. Since we eat gluten-free, I have to pack her lunch every day.

Lunch box #3: Gloria's school snack. Her class doesn't eat lunch until 12:30, so they have a mid-morning snack. I used to be able to just put something in her book bag until she decided that she needs a bottle of water to go with it. And of course that bottle of water must be kept cold! So, it's the third lunch box I have to pack.

Lunch box #4: That one is mine for my 3 bottles of water and my after school snack. I used to just keep my water bottles at school, but now I prefer them cold instead of room temperature. Picky, picky.

Lunch box #5: That would be my for my lunch. I pack my own lunch for the same reason I pack Gloria's lunch. Besides, I'm not real keen on most elementary school cafeteria offerings!

So, each night after dinner, I put together everything that is necessary for filling these five lunch boxes. Anything cold then stays in the fridge until the next morning when I finish packing lunches with lots of cold packs. Lots means between anywhere between 6 and 10, depending on what is in her snacks. Yeah...it's a little much, I think...but what else should I do?

Monday, September 14, 2009

We're Still Here...

Whoa...it's been a long time since I last posted! Didn't mean to let that happen. We are off to a good start on the school year--both of us. Gloria LOVES first grade. Each afternoon, she is already anticipating going back the next day. I am enjoying my new school--still trying to get settled and back into the second grade mind set, but I'm so happy. All of that makes the early morning hours more bearable. Surprisingly, we are both handling the 5:15 (me) and 5:40 (G) alarm clocks fairly well. It is still dark when we head to school...the moon is still out when we leave. Consequently, I am falling into bed shortly after telling Glo good night each evening. Hence my lack of posts. I'll get better...I hope. I have a few cute pictures that I will try to upload in the next few days. (That'll keep you checking back, won't it? ;) )

Monday, August 17, 2009

Moving Day

Today we finally got to move in to our new school! By new, I don't just mean that I have transferred to a different location. I mean it is a brand new school. Over the past week or so, I have been waiting less and less patiently for the go ahead to begin moving my classroom materials. Today was FINALLY the day. It took three full loads in the back of my mommy-van and countless trips in and out of the building, but everything has been moved. I could not have done it without Gloria's hard work. She pulled a wagon full of boxes every time I was pulling a hand truck full of more boxes. And she never complained, not once. Most of the time she had a smile on her face and was skipping down the hall, pulling the wagon behind her. (And of course, I didn't sweeten the deal with the offer of $5...not me...I would *never* do that in order to fend off complaints of "I'm hot" or "I'm tired" or "I'm sweaty"...Never...)

A few pictures to show what we accomplished today as well as the work I have ahead of me this week...

The first load of the day. There is a second row of those large boxes behind what you can see.

Gloria took the next five pictures to show all of the things we moved today. I think she did a pretty good job of getting the panoramic view!








Saturday, August 15, 2009

Feeling Sentimental

This afternoon, Gloria and I got to work cleaning her stroller so that I can sell it to the children's consignment shop. It had been in my parents' garage for about a year and a half and Mom had used it on walks with my nieces. I think Emmett (her cat) had been sleeping in it too. It had collected a good amount of dirt and dust, cat hair, and some cobwebs and needed a good scrubbing. It took Gloria two buckets of water and two rags to get the frame and wheels clean. I took all the pads off--the seat, basket, and canopy--which required the use of a screw driver at one point. It was like solving a puzzle to get everything off! Everything that could went into the washing machine.

I just finished getting it put back together, and other than a few scuffs the stroller looks really good. Looking at it makes me think of all the time I spent pushing Gloria in it...on walks, shopping at the mall, at Disney World, through the airports...countless hours...It is one of the last remaining pieces of my "baby" girl who has grown up into a "big" girl, ready to start first grade this week. Seeing it standing there in the corner, I'm not so sure I can give it up!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Ever Happened to the "Lazy Days" of Summer???

Today was anything but lazy. Really, our whole summer has been anything but lazy when I stop to think about it.

Today we...
headed out early so I could meet with Gloria's first grade teacher. She starts first grade in one week! From there, we headed to the last free summer movie (with a stop to get some treats to smuggle in deep down in my purse ;) ). Following the movie, we stopped at the library to get some new books for both of us. The next stop was the center where Gloria will attend before-school care this year. I needed to take them some paperwork and confirm her starting date. Then, off we went to Target. After our quick Target trip, we zipped across the street to the grocery store for a few things and finally headed home for a very late lunch. When I was finished with my lunch I sat down to take care of some telephone calls.

My first call was to the vet's office. Hannah Cat was in dire need of having her claws clipped. I can usually get the front ones done to the tune of much growling, hissing, yowling, and general carrying on from HC. But, I can't do her back paws and they were sporting some serious fishhooks. Turns out the vet's technician could see her today...if we could be there in 10-15 minutes. I promptly said yes and got off the phone. Hannah took one look at her carrier and went tearing up the stairs to hide under Gloria's dresser. It took almost 10 minutes and lots of hissing and gnashing of teeth to get her out and into the carrier. We ended up having to wait a little while, but we now have a cat with very short claws.

We dashed in the door from the vet trip to quickly change into gym clothes. There was a children's class that G wanted to particapate in at the Y this afternoon but we only had 15 minutes to change and get to the Y. We made it...just 5 minutes late...and both of us got to excercise this afternoon. Glo had a lot of fun in her class. I think they played some games and bounced around on the balance balls. I enjoyed 40 minutes by myself on the eliptical trainer and the indoor track. The pool was great after all of that!

Home for dinner, bath, and bed time. Whew! I'm ready for an early bedtime tonight and a lazy day tomorrow...I'll have to settle for the early bedtime though. Tomorrow is another busy day.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Quick Trip to the Beach

While we were in Florida, we also took a quick trip to the beach. We headed over to Vero Beach with my mom for one night. We had lots of fun playing in the sand. The water was really rough with lots of big, strong waves. (I have pictures that show how big the waves were, but I took them with my "real" camera and still need to get the film developed.) Gloria and I ventured into the water one time, but it lasted probably less than five minutes. We were happily jumping over the waves until one broke right on top of us and tossed us onto the sand. That was enough for Gloria, which was fine with me. My mom took quite the beating though as she kept trying to get out beyond where the waves were breaking. That just wasn't possible that afternoon. We met some friends for dinner that night. The next morning, we spent some more time on the beach and in the pool before heading back to Polk County. I love the beach and am glad we had a little time to spend in the sand this summer!

My mom and Gloria, playing shuffleboard before heading out to dinner.



I love this picture of the two of them watching the ocean!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sea World

While on our vacation, we enjoyed a wonderful day at Sea World with an old friend of mine and her daughter! The day started gray and rainy. Gloria was so excited about seeing Shamu and the rest of the ocean animals that the prospect of rain didn't seem to dampen her mood too much. But the last of the raindrops fell as we drove into the parking lot and eventually the clouds gave way to lots of sunshine.

Gloria's favorite things at Sea World included the dolphin show, the sea lion and otter show, and the dolphin nursery. The highlight of her day, though, was sitting in the soak zone and getting drenched during the Shamu Rocks show that evening. The only reason I wasn't as wet as I otherwise might have been was the fact the G was sitting on my lap.

Let the day begin!

One of Gloria's favorite parts of the sea lion and otter show. She has retold this to many people.


Gloria tried to feed this sea lion some fish only to be frustrated by that bird (the white one that looks like it is standing on her head) swooping in and catching them after she tossed them. The bird caught all of the fish that G threw, so she was crying. A kind woman next to us offered us one of her fish. That time, the sea lion caught the fish...just in the nick of time!



Moments after Shamu soaked us. She was squealing and laughing...just ecstatic to have her one wish for the day granted.

We ended up staying until the park closed. Our day ended with some fireworks (the first ones that Gloria has ever seen in person instead of on tv...). It was truly a fantastic day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

We're Back

Quick update with more details about some things later on!

Weeks 4 and 5 of "Momma's Summer Camp" flew by and we stayed busy, busy, busy with trips to the library, Discovery Place, the Nature Museum, Riverbanks Zoo, free movies, art in the park, and lots of swimming and outside time. It was fun, but we were also glad to set out on the first part of our vacation trip.

We headed to Florida to meet my mom at her condo in central Florida. The true highlight of the trip was our trip to Sea World with an old friend of mine. That will need its own post, but it was just an awesome day! We also went to Vero Beach for 2 days/one night. We love the beach and hope for a longer time there next year. It was also nice to have some "down time" and Gloria enjoyed playing with the granddaughter of some family friends.

Hannah Cat did not make the trip south with us and ignored us when we got home...until the middle of the night when she wanted to sleep on top of me and then on top of Gloria. She has been in my lap or at my feet all day today. She is going with us to Memphis. Not looking forward to encounters with Emmett, my mom's cat. Eek!

The summer has flown by. Only three more weeks before I go back to work!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Free Meal

I'm thinking you probably know that today was Cow Appreciation Day at "Chicken Lay" (2 year old Gloria-speak for that chicken sandwich chain that has cows as their mascot). And, being that it's summer time and we are trying very hard to be budget conscious, we decided that dressing up like cows was a small price to pay for a free meal. So...white shirt, shorts, tights, and some black construction paper spots affixed with masking tape, ears and a tail and Gloria was transformed into a cow. I just couldn't bring myself to do the whole cow thing, but I did don a pair of ears. Appropriately clad, we set out to claim our free dinner.

Fortunately, we went early...before it got really crowded. We had fun seeing all the different ways people were dressed as cows, young and old alike. We both agreed that Hada probably would NOT have put on cow ears even though there were other grandparent-aged folks there (without grandchildren).

Speaking of grandparents...I periodically will mention a "Dodo-ism" to Gloria as I tell her a story about my grandfather, her great grandfather. I forget how much she really remembers, but as we were leaving the restaurant she informed me, "Whew! I'm stuffed. Dodo would say 'bloatissimo,' wouldn't he Momma?" I agreed that yes, that would be what he would say. She went on to add "I wish I had gotten to meet Dodo." Brought tears to my eyes.

Here's my little cow, ready to go eat more chicken.



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pretend Play

My daughter's pretend play never ceases to make me laugh. This evening, while I was fixing dinner, attempting to remove a dry-erase marker stain on her dress, catching up on email, and opening the mail, she was busy "teaching her class." It started out with reading/writing: she wrote some sentences on her marker board (hence the marker stain mentioned above) but there were some words missing and she was calling on students to fill in those blanks. (In the education world, we call those "cloze" passages, and yes, it's with a "z" and not an "s".)

Then she started music class. She got out the hymnal and asked me to find "her Christmas song." Translation: Angels we have heard on high..."her song" because of the chorus. Then she found the other hymnals and turned them to the same page and placed them where her students could share them. She sat in her chair with her hymnal on her lap and conducted them. From there, it turned into a Christmas concert. The handle of her jump rope was her microphone and she introduced the singers and each hymn for her rather large imaginary audience. I heard her singing/leading her class in quite a few Christmas hymns this evening.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer Fun--Week Three

We stayed busy last week. The weather was great--no humidity and not too hot until later in the afternoon. So, we spent a whole lot of time outside at parks, riding bikes, playing hopscotch, swimming, you name it. A quick review:

Monday: We packed a picnic lunch and bathing suits and headed to Latta Park. What a great park: lots of shade, a walking path, nice playground equipment, and a water "sprayground." We were there for over 4 hours. The girls played. We ate lunch under a big old oak tree. We explored nature while walking along the path. The girls put on their bathing suits and had big fun in the water. Needless to say, they were both exhausted at the end of the day.

Tuesday: I took the girls to see Up after lunch. I ended up with both of them in my lap at one point because they got scared. In typical Disney fashion, you experienced every emotion possible through out the movie. They enjoyed the happy parts and we spent time talking about where you would like to go if you could really make your house fly with lots and lots of helium balloons. Gloria didn't even pause before shouting, "Guatemala!"

Wednesday: No regular "art in the park" today. So, I found a few little crafty things for the girls and we went to Pineville Lake Park with crafts and bikes. We played, did crafts, and rode bikes around the lake. It was a very pleasant morning. Then we went swimming in the afternoon.

Thursday: We went to the library again. The girls have completed 10 hours of summer reading and got their 10 hour rewards: a pencil, some stickers, and (most exciting) Frosty coupons. After their next 10 hours, they get to choose a book. Not that my child needs any more books in our house! That's all she does...but that's another post for another time.

Friday, I didn't have to babysit, so G and I had the day to ourselves. We went swimming early and then just spent a lazy afternoon at home. It was so nice to have that down time. My first "day off" this summer.

Two more weeks of summer babysitting fun and then the Glo-bug and I are off to have some of our own fun! Can't wait!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Whew! We've stayed busy today! As I was putting Gloria to bed tonight, she said, "Momma, I think you need to blog about our day." So...here we go...

Thankfully, our day didn't start as early as it usually does: Glo bug decided to be a bed bug for almost an extra hour this morning. I actually woke up before her, which never happens. Once we were finally up at 8:30, we headed to the kitchen where we put together some potato salad and a "bean quintet" before fixing breakfast. Potato salad in the fridge, beans in the crock pot, breakfast eaten, kitchen cleaned up...must be time to go to the pool. So, off we went. Surprisingly, there were very few people at the pool this morning.

After we got home, Gloria created her jello American flag. I helped, but only did what I was instructed to do. Once my assistance was no longer needed, I was duly dismissed until it was time to make the brownies (did anyone else know that Betty Crocker has come out with some gluten-free baking mixes?!?).


We had a late, late lunch and enjoyed everything we had fixed: chicken, potato salad, bean quintet (which G gave 3 thumbs up...she borrowed one of mine...), flag jello, and brownies. Being stuffed, Glo decided to watch a movie while I cleaned up the kitchen again.

Late in the afternoon, we headed down to our town hall for the "People's Parade." They had lots of red, white, and blue crepe paper streamers and flags for everyone to use for decorating bikes, scooters, wagons, strollers, anything non-motorized. The parade went from in front of town hall to the park where games and activities were set up. A concert followed. It was fun, except for the tears when I wouldn't pay $3 for face painting. Everything else was free and she was only going to have to wash it off in a little while when she took a shower.



After we got home it was time to shower and get ready for bed. Then we watched the fireworks from Washington, DC. I love fireworks from the comfort of my own sofa! Busy day. Fun day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Outsmarted by the Cat!

Hannah Cat has decided that she likes to scratch the corner of a chair in Gloria's room. Granted, somewhere deep inside, it probably has the scent of other cats who have scratched the same chair in the same place many, many years ago: Payton and Saki, to name two. The chair I am talking about used to be my dad's chair before I "inherited" it in my first apartment 16 years ago. Anyway...while shopping today, I picked up a roll of "scratch deterrent" tape. It's basically two-sided sticky tape. I diligently applied it to the corner of the chair with HC watching from one of her favorite perches. When I finished, she went to inspect my work. She sniffed all around the chair, backed away, sniffed some more, meowed, and sniffed some more, all the while throwing me these "you're not going to get the best of me" looks. And she was right. She put her paw on the tape, but quickly pulled away because she didn't like the sticky feeling on her paw. Instead, she started biting at the tape. She didn't like when it stuck on her nose, but she kept working and managed to pull off an entire piece. She left other pieces on there, but I'm sure she will go back to work on those later. Stupid cat. Well...smart cat, really. I just hate being bested by a cat!

Grocery Shopping

I have gotten to where I really pay attention to sales at the grocery store. I do a good bit of my grocery shopping (OK, the majority of it, really) at "Wally World" now. Their prices are just so much lower than the HT. For example: soy milk is $4.97 for the two half-gallons in a box at WM but $6.49 at HT. I have found many name brands to be cheaper there than the HT brand of the same items. It's usually crowded, and you certainly lose the cleanliness/atmosphere of HT, but it really is cost effective. However, today I went to the HT specifically to get some of the BOGO items they were advertising. With the vic card savings and coupons, my total was $24.32. My total savings was $28.74. I saved more than I spent. That's the kind of shopping I like!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Fun--Week Two in Review

What a week. Lots of fun. Lots of sun. Lots of things to do.

Monday: We rode the light rail down town and then walked the two blocks to Discovery Place. I think Gloria enjoyed DP so much this time because she had a friend to show around this time. I did miss the aquariums though. They are renovating the entire museum, different sections at a time, and the aquarium area is closed right now. On the way home, the girls sat in the very front seat where they could look into the driver's "box" as well as see right where we were headed. They figured out which button made the whistle blow. When we got home, they spent a long time making light rail tickets and then played light rail for the rest of the afternoon. They took turns being the driver and the passenger with many, many children. They would make up stops--many of them actual streets around town. I had no idea Gloria knew the names of some of the roads we drive on frequently!

Tuesday: We missed the movie due to some pouting. Oh well. It was a lovely day outside. Hot, but no humidity and a nice breeze. They played and played outside, riding bikes, kicking a ball, jumping rope, making up games. We ate lunch outside and they played some more. We didn't spend much time inside at all.

Wednesday: It was art in the park day. Today's activity was painting butterfly suncatchers and then designing the insert to a clear acrylic flower pot. They both enjoy craft activities a lot and they worked so diligently on their projects. The rest of the day was spend outside. Again, the weather was hot, but not humid. I noticed that my feet are developing stripes from my sandals that I have been wearing since I have been outside so much.

Thursday: This was our big adventure day again. This time, we were off to the Dan Nicholas Park. There is so much to do up there, but the highlight for the girls was the gem mining. Each of them had a big bucket of sand which they could dump into sieves and then allow the sand to wash away. They both found some pretty rocks/gemstones. Gloria spent a lot of time last night sorting her rocks and then comparing them to the little chart she got at the park in order to figure out what her rocks might be. Then she set up a gem store, complete with a "menu" of her gems, prices, and an order form. I love her imaginative play! What else did we do at the park...let's see...there was the carousel, the train, the wildlife area, the petting farm, an aquarium, putt putt golf (Gloria's first time to play), playgrounds, and a water play area. I think that about covers it. And darn it if my camera battery needed to be charged after the first two pictures I took! Oh well.

Friday: Another library day with lots of new books to read for next week. We only came home with 14 books this time, compared to the 25 books last week!

Gloria and I also went swimming several times this week after we were through with my babysitting. We have found that late afternoon and early evening are the best times to go swimming. She certainly sleeps well when we have been swimming right before bedtime!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In Love

My daughter informed me this afternoon that she is in love. Of course I had to inquire...who is the object of her affections? I really had no idea. She smiled this really silly smile, blushed a little, and told me it is Bert. As in Nan's twin brother from the Bobbsey Twins. Her reason for this is that he is nice and kind to everyone. She has been reading Bobbsey Twins books in the car for the past few weeks.

Then tonight she told me that if Hannah Cat was a boy, or if we got a boy cat, she would choose Bert as the cat's name. This was followed with a giggle and batting eyelashes. But, I'll take a fictitious boyfriend, hands down, right now!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Fun--Week One

Last week was our first week of summer fun. Boy, did we stay busy! I'm babysitting another little girl during the day for part of the summer so I tried to plan fun activities to do with them. Last week went something like this:

Monday: dentist appointment--the most boring part of the whole week, but the girls were great while I was sitting in the dentist's chair.

Tuesday: We went to see Horton Hears a Who. Reg*l Cinemas does free family movies every Tuesday and Wednesday morning during the summer. Things don't get much better than free when it comes to entertaining two six year olds!

Wednesday: Art in the Park. The parks and recreation department in our town sponsors this every summer. Only it was pouring rain on Wednesday morning, so it became art at the community center. They had fun decorating little water bottle holders and hats (which then got put to great use on Thursday).

Thursday: We went to the Lazy 5 Ranch. They have wild animals from six continents that roam free. Well, except for Luther, the rhinoceros, and the giraffes. You can drive through in your own car or take a wagon ride. We opted for the wagon ride. I had visions of a water buffalo or a wildebeest doing something bad to my car! ;) It was so fun to ride the wagon through the ranch, stopping to feed the creatures: buffalo, emus and ostriches, deer, pigs, goats, llamas, and giraffes. Or should I say watching the girls feed all of those creatures. We also had a picnic lunch, played on the playground, and wandered over to see the camels, lemurs, tortoises, kangaroos, and various birds. What a fabulous day!

Friday: We spent 2 hours at the library reading books, playing on the computers, and doing puzzles. It was good to have a quieter day.

More fun is planned for this week! Here are a few pictures from Lazy 5.




Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What Color is Chlorine?

Yesterday afternoon, my little artist was hard at work illustrating her story about swimming. She began searching through all the crayons and I could tell she was looking for something specific as she read the name of and promptly discarded each color she picked up. Finally I asked her what color she was looking for. Her reply: "I found it. It's chlorine, for the pool water." She held up a blue-ish colored crayon. It was cerulean. Once again, I couldn't help but laugh. :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Going to the Pool

This is a phrase that just makes me laugh when I think of my childhood. Growing up in Florida, we never had to "go to the pool" because the pool was in our backyard from the time I was in 1st grade (or was it kindergarten when we lived on Lake Elbert?) until I left for college. All we had to do was put on our bathing suits, walk out the back door, and dive in. Now, we have to "go to the pool" and that takes work!

When we decide to go swimming, the conversation and action in our house is something like this...

Bathing suits either on or in the bag? Check
Goggles? Check
Green band? (very important when swimming at the Y...The green neck band says that my little fish has passed the swim test and she can swim without me being within an arm's length at all times. More importantly, she is allowed to slide down the big slides) Check
Sunscreen? Check, check (I can't use hers or I'll itch like crazy and mine is too expensive for me to use on both of us!)
Water bottles? Check
Towels? Check
Flops? Check
Y card or pool pass? Check
Car keys and sunglasses? Check
Wallet with driver's license and cell phone? Check
Oh yeah...Gloria? Check

OK...now we're ready to go to the pool!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Finished with Kindergarten!

My little girl finished Kindergarten on Thursday. I know she had a fun year. She commented to me that "it feels like it should only be one of the first days of kindergarten, not the last day." I guess that means it went by quickly for her, too. I know she is sad because her best friend is going to a new school next year. Today, a few people that she met asked her what grade she is going into...I guess since it's summer time, that's the appropriate question now. She absolutely lit up with her "First grade" reply.

She does have to go to one week of "summer camp" at her school since I still have a few days left at my school. But then we have a fun-filled summer ahead of us...playing, swimming, having fun, and a little traveling. I can't wait! This is actually the first summer we have been home instead of at the seminary, so we are eager to enjoy some of the outside activities the area has to offer!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

It's Officially Swimming Season

We joined the Y in January. One of the many reasons I had for joining was the outdoor pool and water park that we could enjoy during the summer time. We have a pool in our neighborhood, but I don't enjoy being down there much, especially on the weekends. Too many people sitting around drinking beer and smoking, loud music, etc.

Anyway, we've been swimming some in the indoor pool at the Y, but the outdoor pool opened last weekend. Of course, we had a rainy Memorial Day weekend...actually week is more accurate. But this weekend was perfect. The temperature was in the upper 80's, low humidity, lots of sunshine. The water, however, was freezing cold! That didn't stop Gloria, although I will admit to simply sitting on the side of the pool, occasionally dipping my feet in to the icy chill. My little fish had a great time though. She LOVED the slides after she finally got brave enough to try them...particularly the tunnel one. I enjoyed seeing her face as she came to the end, about to splash into the water. The whole afternoon was so pleasant and enjoyable. We will be at the pool a lot this summer, I'm sure!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Unbelievable

I got the following information in an email from "Adoptive Families" magazine this afternoon. I'll be firing up my printer later on this evening. Anyone care to join me???

There is a horror film being released on July 24, called Orphan, about a family who adopts an older girl who "is not what she appears to be." The film is currently being promoted, and the trailer is available at http://orphan-movie.warnerbros.com . The adoption message is extremely negative, and plays into the stereotypes of adopted children, particularly older children, as damaged.

Though we have not been able to preview the entire movie, the trailer leads us to believe the movie will send a horrific message about adoption. The adoption community is protesting the release of the film. We urge you to contact the makers of the film, as well as your local movie theater chains, with your concerns. Feel free to copy or adapt the sample letter below.

To whom it may concern:
I want to express my outrage about the release of the movie Orphan. The film plays into the stereotype of adopted children as damaged and dangerous. It discourages families from pursuing adoption, particularly adoption of older children, who are especially in need of loving homes. As an adoptive parent, I am horrified by the line in the trailer that "it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own."
Adoption has often been misrepresented in the media, but the previews for this film are unbelievably offensive. I urge you to change the promotional materials, and to consider holding the release of the film altogether.

Contact information:

Warner Bros.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522

818-954-6000

Silver Pictures
4000 Warner Blvd. 90
Burbank, CA 91522-0001

818-954-4490

Time Warner Inc.
One Time Warner Center
New York, NY 10019-8016

212-484-8000

Thank you for your support.
The editors of Adoptive Families

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Shoes!

Yesterday, we went through our normal morning routine: Gloria asks me what shoes she should wear, I make a suggestion, she balks/whines/complains about my horrible suggestion and says she wants to wear a different pair. I tell her that's fine and she shoots back with "No it's not. You said to wear the others." If I decline to make a suggestion, that's just as bad. I can't win.

So, I suggested her gym shoes yesterday since it was, after all, PE day. Seems reasonable enough, right? Wrong. She wanted to wear her blue shoes Maggee got her. To which I replied "That's fine. Wear the blue shoes Maggee got you." Well, they were dirty--filthy is a better word choice, actually--so she begrudgingly gave in to my suggestion of the gym shoes. Only, I didn't know what the gym shoes looked like, until yesterday after school when I picked her up at 4:30. Here they are. They should actually be white, not gray, and there should not be a gaping hole in the toe of the right shoe (I know it's on the left in the picture!).

I found out that the hole was indeed there in the morning. When I inquired as to WHY she wore those ratty shoes to school she innocently replied, "But you told me to, Momma." ARGH!!!

So, we made a stop at the shoe store on the way home and got the poor child some new tennis shoes. Don't they look much nicer? Not to mention 2 sizes larger than the others!



She wore them out of the store and went skipping, jumping, galloping, leaping through the parking lot because you know...one can always do those things so much better in a new pair of shoes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Storm Clouds Were Brewing, but Then...

This morning was one of those mornings that makes me wish I could crawl back under the covers and hide. So many little things were adding up--the shell wouldn't peel off of my hard boiled egg I was going to eat for breakfast. Seriously! That egg wasn't going to be eaten! Then I tripped over the cat and knocked over her water dish. Water went all over the floor and into her food dish, which just happened to be full of fresh food. Sunglasses were missing in action. Gloria's coat was at school because she forgot it yesterday, and it was 41 degrees this morning. I spilled my hot chocolate on the passenger seat because I forgot that it wasn't in the cup holder where it should have been. Traffic on the way to school. The anticipation of another day of testing torture. Things were not looking good and it was only 7:45 a.m.! See what I mean about wanting to crawl back in bed?!? But then, as I was dropping Gloria at school...after she got out of the car and headed up the steps and I was about to drive on through the car pool line she turned around and yelled "Bye Momma! I love you!" That was my ray of sunshine that broke through the brewing storm.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Treasure Chest and Heart Break

Gloria got to go to the treasure chest at school today. It's the reward after earning 20 stickers on a sticker chart. Stickers are earned daily when you stay on "green" all day. The treasure chest is a big deal to her.

This afternoon when I picked her up, her best friend escorted her over to me to explain: Gloria picked a bracelet from the treasure chest today. But it was too big for her wrist and it fell off and went down the drain outside this afternoon. Glo looked so sad. Little did I know the heart break she was really feeling until we were half way home.

I glanced at her in the mirror because it was so quiet in the back seat. Usually that means she is reading a book, but not today. She had her doll cuddled in her lap and her head was looking down, eyes brimming with tears. I asked what was wrong and the dam burst. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she cried and cried. She was so upset about losing the bracelet. The tears flowed for a good 10 minutes. She pulled herself together so that we could run in one store to pick up a few things. She was still snuffling and lamenting her lost bracelet though.

At dinner, she was recalling the events of the afternoon one more time when she stopped and said "Hey! That's cause and effect! I picked a bracelet that was too big so it fell off and I lost it!" Nothing gets past my girl!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

So today was Mother's Day. I think this was the first time that Gloria really got into the whole idea of Mother's Day. She had a special card for me and a story about me that she had written at school. She was so excited to present them to me this morning after I woke up. The day continued in the usual Sunday manner: church, laundry, errands, etc. The one thing that Gloria insisted on was taking me out to dinner. I resisted at first because I didn't really want to take myself out for dinner. I would have been perfectly happy at home with "breakfast for dinner" like we do every Sunday night. But, as I said, she insisted. She told me "You have to drive because I don't know how, but I will spend my money for dinner." I could tell that this was really important to her, so I agreed. She wanted to take me to Q*Doba. We enjoyed our naked burritos while sitting outside, enjoying the late afternoon sun. Then we went over to the fountain and threw pennies in it while making wishes. It was such a nice, peaceful time.

As I was watching her eat, I just couldn't believe how grown up she has become! Her mannerisms, her speech and her word choices, her face...there is such a maturity about her that I can't believe sometimes. How did that happen? My baby is growing up so fast. I've told her that I'm going to put a brick on her head to make her stop growing. She thinks that is so funny and tells me that she'll keep growing, just with a brick on top of her, so the brick will get taller, too. :)

Her card today told me that I am the best mommy for her. And she is the best daughter for me. I am so lucky and honored to be her momma, it just takes my breath away. She is my heart walking around outside of my body and sometimes it hurts to watch that. I love her so much and wouldn't be a mother if it wasn't for her.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Day at the Zoo

We decided to go to the zoo today. It was a beautiful day, so off we went. Gloria loved the puffins, sea lions, and seals. Sadly, my favorite animal, the giraffe, was off exhibit today while they build a feeding deck at the exhibit area. We walked and talked and enjoyed the animals. The line at the ticket booth was very long so we bypassed that for the membership desk. We are now zoo members and can go any time. That excited Gloria! :) Saved us 45 minutes in a long line, too. Bet they had a lot of new members today!


Anyone up for a helicopter ride with a 6 year old pilot?


She was fascinated by this "baby" elephant that was so close to us.



You have NO idea how hard she worked or how many times she attempted to climb this gourd! Climbing is NOT one of her talents, but she was absolutely determined to climb to the top and stand up. She was so proud of herself when she finally did it and then had to repeat the feat another 10 times.

On the beautiful carousel.

A refreshing frozen treat at the end of a long, hot day at the zoo. She looks so happy, doesn't she? I love to see her like this. My sweet little Glo-bug.