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!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Hurricane Was at My House Today

No, it wasn't Irene.

It was Hurricane Prunella.

She strikes without warning and leaves a path of destruction in her wake.

The day started out bright and sunny.  We went to church...
where she practiced her new-learned cursive skills during the sermon.


There's only so much one can write with the letters a, c, d, g, and h.  ;)


We came home for lunch before heading out to pick up a birthday present and go get robbed do some grocery shopping.  All was calm until after we got home.

That is when I dared make a completely unreasonable request.  I mean, it was just terrible!  Simply awful.  Something no momma should ever ask of her child!  You want to guess what I asked her to do?

How about "put your laundry away."

Yep.  That was my request.
She knew she had to do it.
I asked her to do it last night.
I reminded her this morning.
I even reminded her when we were on the way home from the grocery store that it still needed to be done.

It was folded.
It was on the foot of her bed.
It was ready to be put away.
It just needed to actually be put away and/or hung up in her closet.

And that is when Hurricane Prunella came storming in.



There was much wailing and ranting, foot stomping and gnashing of teeth.  It wasn't pretty.  It was a tantrum of epic proportions.  The girl's got a temper, that's for sure.

Two hours later, she has finally worn herself out and is sound asleep in her bed...


with her trusty cat keeping watch...



And I am left to recover from the storm.

Anyone else have experience with this fiery Latin temper???

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Day of School and Choir School Pictures

Well, the first day of school came and went for both of us.  She doesn't look excited or anything, does she?!?


The only disappointment was that the first day of school was also her P.E. day, so she had to wear her P.E. shirt and gym shorts instead of one of her new favorite outfits.  Didn't seem to phase her, though.  :)


The beginning of school also means the beginning of choir school.  We had to be there for pictures today.  I was able to snap a few quick pictures while they were waiting for the individual head shots to be finished before their group shots.


Can you see where she is missing a tooth in that picture above?  Love that smile!
It's even more obvious in the next picture.  :)




(I finally got one of her in the choir school uniform.  For some reason, I never succeeded in that last year!)

After choir pictures, we joined some friends for lunch...forgot a change of clothes, so she was still in her white uniform shirt...and ordered SPAGHETTI for lunch!  YIKES!  Don't worry, Mom... I'm happy to say that not a drop of red sauce landed anywhere close to that white shirt.  Whew!!






Sunday Snapshot

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tomorrow...

This little girl....


will start third grade!

How is that possible?!?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Yummy Morning

Whew!  What a week!  Back to work is going to do me in, I'm pretty sure!  Just a few more workdays before the students join us for a new school year.  I know someone who is pretty excited about starting third grade on Wednesday morning!

After a hectic week of alarm clocks and getting out the door on a schedule, packing lunch boxes, and leading teacher trainings, packing up my classroom and wrapping my brain around my new venture...it was really nice to NOT have to think about breakfast this morning.

Thank you, "Chicken Lay" for letting us come eat breakfast, for free, in our pajamas on Saturday morning!  (Chicken Lay is what Gloria used to call that place where one eats more chicken.  You know what I'm talking about, right?  If not, the pictures will enlighten you!  ;)

 A chicken biscuit and a Coke for Momma 
chicken minis and some OJ for G
and some hashrounds for sharing.
Yum!


Very cute pj's on the cow...there was a "cow jumping over the moon" pattern on it.  The boy cow had a nightshirt and nightcap on, but my girly girl wanted only the girl cow in her picture.

What?  Where am I?  You didn't really think I would put a picture of me in my jammies on here, did you?  Hahahahahahahaha, heeheeheeheeheehee, hohohohohoho!!!  No makeup, hair in a pony tail, and in my jammies...not thinkin' so!  Nice try!

Besides, G and the cow are way cuter.  :)


Sunday Snapshot

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Who Did It?!?

I woke up this morning to find this...


...on my bedroom floor.

Yeah.
That piece in the yellow circle?
It should be in that open space between the other two pieces.

These used to be my earphones for my iPhone.
Used to be.

So the question is...
Who did it?!?

There are three possibilities.
However, I'm pretty sure is wasn't...


But, it could have been suspect number one...       ...or...                                   ...suspect number two.




















Only problem is, nobody's talking.

The facts:

The above-pictured headphones were in my unzipped gym bag on my bedroom floor last night.

Suspect number one LOVES, and I'm talking crazy loves, ponytail holders.  He actively seeks them out and then eats them.  The same is true for silly bands.  And wood.  And book covers.  I'm thinking the earphones might have smelled like a ponytail holder since they are rubber coated.  Either that or he was looking for something quiet to chew on in the middle of the night so I wouldn't wake up and put him in kitty timeout for the rest of the night.  Which reminds me...he did chew on the cord of my electric toothbrush last week while in timeout.

Suspect number two LOVES to, actually INSISTS on, sleeping inside any bag or box or container that is open and within her reach.  She's not known for chewing on anything except Gloria's orange and blue Auburn shakers.  Maybe the earphones smelled like the shakers?  But she usually acts guilty when I discover something she has done, and she wasn't acting guilty this morning.

Like I said...nobody's talking.  No one is 'fessin' up.

And I'm left with silence while I'm at the Y.  Boo!!

So...you be the judge and jury.  Who do you think did it?



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Momma Shoots and Momma Scores!

In spite of the weeping and wailing.  In spite of the protests and complaints.  In spite of the "No, Momma, no!  I don't want to go to Y camp."  In spite of the pleading and begging.

Yep, in spite of all of those things, I enrolled Gloria in a week of day camp for this week.  I wanted the wholesome camp experience for her, the chance to try new activities, meet new friends, and have a little fun during the last week of summer vacation.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I needed childcare for the last two days of this week when I go back to work.  And this was the best option.

Only Gloria wasn't buying into it like I had hoped she would.  And it was all because of one word in the camp description...

Archery.
Yep.  Archery.  She didn't want to do archery, so she didn't want to go to camp.

But guess what activity she CHOSE first at camp yesterday!
Yep.
Archery!

She didn't hit the target, but "I shot ten arrows, Momma!  Ten!"
And she met a friend.
And met another friend who knows her BFF.

And today?  Today she was excited to go back because they are going to drown some worms go fishing.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Power of Words

Remember when we were little?
Remember chanting?

Sticks and stones can break my bones,
But words will never hurt me


I'm not so sure about that
because words?
They can hurt.
They can hurt deeply.

And it broke this momma's hurt to see my baby hurting yesterday because of words.
"I'm not your friend any more!"
Those are some powerful words...
Words that cut to the core when you are in elementary school.
Words that go deep.
Words that devastate.
Words that are usually spoken more for the effect than for the true meaning.
Words that can break a heart.
Words that made my sweet girl sob uncontrollably all the way home.
Words that sparked a conversation about forgiveness.
Words that are not easily forgotten.

Gosh it's hard to be eight and have to experience the power of words.

I sure wish that old chant was true!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Choir Camp

You know it's the end of summer when choir camp rolls around.

Choir camp was this past week.  Which means I officially go back to work next week.  Which means school starts the following week.

Farewell summer.

Miss G. enjoyed her week at choir camp.  I had intended to help out much more than I did, but "life" got in the way.  You know how that goes...preparing to teach a social studies workshop, packing my classroom, actually teaching the social studies workshop for two days, and then meeting with G's new third grade teacher.

But my little musician was happy to be at choir camp.  It amazes me how much they get done in a week.  They learn lots of music and perform an evensong service followed by a concert on Friday afternoon.  The town choir (which my Glo-bug is in) learned and performed four songs--one was in German, one was a tongue twister, one was a Russian folksong, and one was "normal."  ;)  They did a great job!

Warning...these are iPhone pictures.  I can't seem to remember to take my camera anywhere these days!

I love the look of concentration on her face in this first picture.


Eyes on her conductor...

After the concert, with her friends...

I love the red doors to our church...

Deep in conversation...I really love how the older girls (middle school aged) look out for and care about my sweet girl!


Not from choir camp...just typical of our day.  Both cats really thought they needed that cheese stick, even though Hannah Cat hates people food!

And Screamer made his move!  (Because he LOVES people food!)



Sunday Snapshot

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Transitions

It's August, which means it is time for school to start again.

Lots of people have already started school.  I know because there have been lots of blogs with first day of school pictures and lots of blogs about teachers getting their rooms ready for the year.  Our state law says that school cannot start before August 25th, so we are still in vacation mode.  Sort of.  I'm leading a teacher training workshop for the next two days on our new social studies materials.  And then teachers report back to school next Thursday, a week before our students.

Gloria is so anxious about starting school--in a good way.  She loves school and told me the other day that she wishes schools was all year long with no summer break.  As a momma, I might enjoy that.  But as a teacher?  I'm not so sure.  We need those breaks, ya' know?  Anyway, G is eagerly anticipating the arrival of the letter that tells us who her teacher will be this year.  If it doesn't arrive soon, she's sure to explode!  She's funny though--she goes from eager anticipation and giddy excitement about school starting to nervous and anxious in the middle of a breath!  She's worried about letter grades.  (This is the first time she will earn "real" letter grades instead of the 1, 2, 3 scale her school uses.)  She's worried/excited about cursive writing.  Her best school friend moved over seas this summer, so she's worried about having a good friend at school.

My brain has been busy this summer thinking about things I wanted to do in my classroom this year.  I'm really excited about our new social studies curriculum and I had some other ideas I was looking forward to implementing.

Did you catch the word "was" in that last sentence?  "Was."  As in past tense.

You see, I won't be a classroom teacher this year.  It came as a complete surprise at a meeting last week, but I am going to be a reading teacher this year instead.  I'm really excited.  I LOVE teaching reading, and I think I do a pretty good job of it.  I guess my administrators think so, too, since I've been asked to do this along with another teacher.  My master's degree is in language and literacy, and my National Board certification is in reading/language arts, so this is really right up my alley.  I'm really excited.  Oops, I said that already, didn't I?  Well, I am.  Just wanted to make sure you knew.

But, I'm a bit nervous too.  It's a change.  It's letting go of what I've done for so many years.  (The mountain of boxes I packed today are a reflection of just how many years.  I've been at this since 1992.  You do the math!)  It's teaching still, but in a different capacity.  I know the expectations are high, and I'm probably already making them higher in my own head.  So,  yes, I'm excited, but I'm nervous at the same time.  Lots of butterflies fluttering around in my stomach!

So, it's transition time at our house.

What is the new school year bringing for you?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The True Story of What Really Happened, By Screamer

Hi all.  Screamer here.

Oh, wait.  You probably don't know me by my real name.  Momma usually calls me "Bad Cat" or "Destructo Kitty."  She calls me other things, too, but I don't think she has ever shared those names here.

I'm here to tell you that whatever she says...
It simply isn't true.
You need to hear MY side of the story...

You see...she really messed up my bedtime routine the other night.  And I am a creature of habit.  Yes-sir-ee Bob, I'm a creature of habit.

G was gone.  I love G.  She's my girl.  She loves me, too.  Purr, purr, purr, purr...



Anyway.  G was gone and Momma was home with both of us cats.  Hannah is so prissy.  Ugh.  She thinks she's so perfect.  But I know better.

But, I digress again.  Let's see...where was I?  Oh yes.  Momma was home alone.  I think she had a headache or something from those funny new things she had been wearing on her face.  She had given up working on her paper (I didn't MEAN to shred two pages a few weeks ago...how was I supposed to know those papers on the table were "important" papers?!?)  And she was going to take a shower.  It was only 8:30.  I knew that was way too early, but she always goes to bed right after she takes a shower.  I should know.  I've observed the process every night for a year and a half.

So she took a shower, brushed her teeth, took her allergy medicine, combed her hair, rubbed some sticky-looking white stuff on her legs, and I got on my bed.



But she...

WENT DOWNSTAIRS AGAIN!

Wait a minute!  Hold the phone!  (You'll have to do that for me...I don't have any thumbs...) She should have been getting in bed!  But she WENT DOWNSTAIRS!!!

I followed her and tried to tell her she was in the wrong place.  I begged her to go back upstairs.  But she wouldn't listen.  So I tried to trick her into it.  I went upstairs and made some noise by knocking a few things off of her dresser.  I KNEW that would make her come upstairs.  And I was right!  But she still didn't go to bed.  She just fussed at me and cleaned up my mess.  And went back downstairs.  What was her deal, anyway?

So I picked a fight with Hannah, ran around a bit, and generally made Momma really upset with me...more than she already was.  In fact, she was so put out with me that I had to spend the night in timeout.  Well, I showed her.  Wanna' see what I did?  Look...


Oh, it was so much fun!  It was a brand new roll when I started.  When I finished, it was a huge pile of soft white shreds all over the bathroom floor.  I even slept in my mountain of shredding that night.  Not as comfy as my usual bed, but it was still nice.  And I did leave a little bit on the roll.  That was thoughtful of me, wasn't it.  :)

Momma wasn't happy with me when she got up in the morning.  I think she said something about sending me back to live with Hada and Emmitt.  Hmmmm...maybe I better rethink my ways.


I hope Momma has learned to follow my directions.  And more importantly, she should NOT mess up my nightly routine!  I told you it wasn't my fault.  I hope you believe me.

Now, I'm off to play with my mousey and chatter at the cardinals that are eating out of  my bird feeder.

Signed,
Screamer



Sunday Snapshot

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Movie Week-End

Gloria has been so excited to have a rainy week-end.  Because that's about the only time I don't mind if she watches "full length feature films," as we call them.

For most of second grade, she begged and pleaded and asked over and over again if she could read the Harry Potter books.  I held her off for as long as I could.  I knew she could read them--that wasn't the problem.  I just knew she would want to read ALL of them, and I didn't think she was really ready for that.

Sometime in the spring, I *finally* consented to the first book.  To say she devoured it would be an understatement!  I'm pretty sure she read it five times before school was out, and she made a 100% on the AR test, so I knew she was "getting it" (even though I didn't know she was going to take that test).  I had told her she could read the second one over the summer.  Well, she started it on the first Saturday of her summer break and finished it the very next day on the way to Camp Maggie-Hada.

She called me from the library the next afternoon, asking for permission to check out the third book and read it while she was visiting her grandparents.  The ONLY reason I said yes at that point was because she ASKED me first.  She could have very easily played the "but Maggie said I could" card on me, but she didn't.  Points for her...and for my mom.

I've drawn the line in the sand for now, stopping her after book three.  She so desperately wants to read number four.  Oh who am I kidding...she wants to read them ALL.  I just don't think she is ready for them because if memory serves me correctly, the books get darker and scarier as they go on.  Harry, Ron, and Hermione get older and face more mature situations.  But she stares at those books sitting on the bookshelf so longingly...I don't know...should I let her read them?  I feel my resolve weakening, but I just don't know.

Anyway...a friend of mine watched Gloria for me so I could attend a meeting on Thursday morning.  And, she sent her home with the first three movies.  Gloria was over-the-moon thrilled.  We weren't home five minutes before the first one went into the DVD player.  Friday ended up being a rainy day, so she watched the second one.  Tonight, she is watching the third one.  Her plan is to watch her favorite of the three tomorrow before she returns them on Monday.  We'll see.  I'm hoping to get her to the pool and outside a bit after all this rain!

She is watching so intently, and so excited about everything that is happening.  I think the movies follow the books pretty closely.  And, I'm finding out just how well she read those books...she knows EVERY detail.

 **She was not posed for this picture...In fact, she didn't even realize I was taking her picture.  She always holds the box in her lap when she watches a DVD.  She always has.  I don't know why.  But she absolutely must have the box in her hands every time she watches a movie.**

Friday, August 5, 2011

Conquering the List!

Ha-ha!  Take that, LIST!  You've been conquered!

I woke up this morning with a mental list of things that had to be done today.  Nothing big or earth shattering.  Just stuff, ya' know?

But then it started to rain.  It rained and rained and rained.  Then it rained some more.  And just for good measure, there was some thunder and lightning thrown in, along with some flash flood warnings.  I think we got about 6 or 7 inches of rain.  I didn't think it was ever going to stop.  And that, dear readers, was going to seriously impede my ability to handle "the list."

But finally, it stopped raining, the sun came out, and the birds began to sing.  And I?  I sprang into action.  We got the car loaded up with Gloria's spend-the-night stuff, library books, a box that needed mailing, and some Usborne books that needed to be delivered and we were off!  We were in a serious race against time at that point, due to meeting friends for dinner at an appointed hour.

And....I am thrilled that we conquered the list!  Isn't a great feeling of accomplishment when you do that?

In two hours, we:

  • mailed a box of books back to the seminary
  • increased the amount taken out of my paycheck for my summer cash account at the bank
  • returned a boat load of library books
  • got Gloria registered for day camp during the last week of summer vacation since I have to go back to work before she goes back to school
  • got the inside of the car vacuumed out (have you looked under/behind that car seat in the back seat of your car lately???  Scary stuff, I'm here to tell you!  How does it get that way??!!??  Seriously, ICK!)
  • met friends for dinner, which also meant delivering that large order of Usborne books from her book party a few weeks ago
And the best part?  After dinner, Gloria went home with our friends for a sleepover.  

So, not only did I conquer the list.
I get a night to myself tonight!

Win, win, win!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Strike Two! Will There Be a Strike Three?

I recently paid my yearly visit to my eye doctor.  

I've had reading glasses for...well...lots of years...I can't even remember how long it's been!  

So it was no surprise to me when she told me we needed to increase the strength of my lenses.  The problem is that increasing the magnification in my reading glasses means I can't see very far across the room.  And that, my friends, is a problem when there are 22 (probably more than that this year!) second graders scattered around the room, diligently engaged in their work, while I work with individual students or small groups.  The solution to that problem in the past has been to take off my glasses when I need to look across the room or see the whole group at one time. 

The result?  "Lost" glasses.  
Or glasses at school when I needed them at home.  
Or vice versa.
Let's just say that my glasses and I were rarely in the same place at the same time by the end of the school year.  And I was doing a lot of squinting.  Not to mention taking more ibuprofen because I was getting frequent headaches from not wearing my glasses when I needed them because they were lost.  It was an ugly cycle. 

And I felt like I was learning to play the trombone as I moved books closer to and farther away from my face, trying to find just the right place to comfortably read.

What's that you say?  Use a glasses chain?  Are you kidding me?!?  I might be a month shy of 41, but I'm not glasses-on-a-chain old yet!  ;)

The solution my doctor offered was progressive lenses.  That way I wouldn't have to play the on-off-on-off game any more. Or the "trombone!"  I've had bifocals in the past, so I figured it would be o.k. so I picked out some new frames (that I really like, but my darling daughter says make me look more "teacher-y"...which is appropriate, right???).  Note: I tried to take a picture of myself in them, but kept getting a really bad glare on them.  So you'll just have to trust me on this one (and NOT Gloria!).

Well, I'm here to tell you...it just isn't o.k!  They just are not working for me.  As of this afternoon, the glasses are going back to the lab for the third time.  The first time, it was determined that the left lens was off by about a millimeter.  So back to the lab they went.  They came back and I got them again on Monday.  The left eye still wasn't right, in my opinion.  All kinds of adjustments were made.  I tried them for several days but I was always turning my head and tilting it to the left, relying heavily on my right eye.  And my computer screen suddenly looked bowed instead of flat.  I couldn't find the field of vision very easily and felt that the reading field was extremely limited.  So back I went today.

The doctor did all the "which is better...the first one or...the second one" tests with her machine and determined that the prescription was correct.  So, she decided to take the astigmatism script out and see how that works for me.  If that doesn't work...if it's strike three...it's back to plain reading glasses, with the stronger lenses, and back to playing the on-off-on-off game and the trombone once again.

Anyone out there ever worn progressive lenses before?  Any advice for adjusting to them?  Because I'm just not feeling the love!  And my trombone playing arm is getting tired!

Monday, August 1, 2011

WHY?!?

Poor baby girl.

She's devastated.

Her AU jersey disappeared from our stuff while we were at the pool.

Seriously now, why would someone do that?

Why not my phone?
Or my watch?
Which were both in the bag too.
Seriously!
Yes, it would have been a pain to replace either one of them, but I'm not attached to either of those things like she is to her jersey.

Why take an eight-year old's beloved Auburn jersey that her Uncle Will got for her last fall?



She is just so upset and wants to know why.

And I...
I don't have the answer to that question because I want to know why too.