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 husband, two girls, and a dog. We have a full plate as a party of eight!

Adoption, blended families, pets, school,'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 least at our house!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Going to the Pool"

It's funny to me..."going to the pool."

I grew up in Florida and we had a pool in our backyard, in three different houses.  And many of my friends had pools in their backyards, too.  So we didn't have to "go to the pool."  The pool was already there.  We just had to walk/skip/run/race out the back door and jump/dive/cannonball/get pushed into the water.

Marco Polo
Sharks and Minnows
Diving contests
Talking under water
Races across the pool

We would swim and play for hours.

And best of all, there was no "adult swim."  Who ever invented that obviously never had to drag a small, protesting, wet, wiggly toddler out of the pool or deal with a pouter who really just wants to be in the water!

Now, it takes effort to go to the pool.  Towels, sunscreen, goggles, the ever elusive green band (if we are going to the Y pool), diving rings (if we are going to our neighborhood pool), water bottles, snacks, pool pass or Y all has to be gathered and packed into the pool bags and hauled along with us.  The Y pool is about 15 minutes away.  Our neighborhood pool is just a quick walk up the hill.  (I prefer the Y pool for several reasons.)

There are times I long for the way of life from my childhood.  (Does that make me sound old???)  I guess "going to the pool" is one of those times.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It Was Worth a Shot...

In case you didn't know it...

I have a huge Auburn Tigers fan living at my house.

She seriously intends to go to college there...
"In just twelve more years, you know, Momma."
I'm seriously wondering if I need to go on and move to the state of Alabama now, just to establish in-state residency.

In an effort to perhaps offer another alternative, we stopped at Vanderbilt on our way home from Camp Maggie-Hada this week.  
After all, just like Auburn, Vandy runs in the family.
And surely a mother and a grandmother trump one beloved uncle, right?!?

 We wandered around the campus and read about Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt ("Oh!!!  So THAT'S why they are called the Commodores!" she exclaimed after reading one of the historical markers), took a few pictures, and visited the bookstore where we found a "fabulous" pink tote bag.

But even the fabulous pink tote bag doesn't trump all things orange and blue.

As we headed out of town I was told that "Vanderbilt is nice and it might be ok for me.  But Auburn is definitely still my favorite.  OK, Momma?"

Sunday Snapshot

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

Remember when jumping in the car and driving 600+ miles was no big deal?
You just packed a bag, tossed it in the car, and off you went?
When you only stopped once or twice the ENTIRE trip?
Favorite cassette tapes CDs blaring from the speakers while you sang along, even if a tad bit off key and you were making up some of the words?

Yeah, those days are a distant memory for me.

Packing the car requires an engineering degree.
Stops are numerous because nobody needs to stop at the same time--Momma, G, or the car.
Favorite DVDs blare from the backseat.  (Just how many episodes of "Little House on the Prairie" must one endure before requesting a DVD change???)

And I don't know about you, but these long drives make my body ache like I'm a hundred and one years old.  What's up with that?!?

But, 600+ miles later, 8 stops, 5 episodes of "Little House" and 2 Tinkerbell DVD's and many iPod touch games later...we are home.

Gloria was glad to see Screamer.  Screamer is right now licking my feet while Gloria is upstairs getting ready for bed.  I know...say it with me now...EWWWWWW!  But he won't stop, no matter what I do and it's making me crazy!  Hannah Cat is just eyeing our every move with great suspicion and bushing up her tail every time she makes eye contact with us.

Still, it's good to be home.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Guest Post by Gloria

Finally after two long weeks I got my mother back!!!!!!!!  I was so glad to see her.  I missed her but I had fun at my grandparents house or Camp Maggie-Hada (Maggie, my grandmother and Hada, my grandfather). Here is what I did: I went to the bookshop with Maggie, went swimming, visited Maggie's friend, went to church camp about animals, went to the zoo, Mud Island, Lichterman nature center, and the botanic gardens. Friday we found a baby raccoon in the front yard, and Saturday we went to Beauty and the Beast, the musical.  Then when I came home Mommy was waiting for me!!!!  I had fun in Memphis but being with Mommy is the best thing to be doing over the summer vacation!!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Love is Meant to be Shared

"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. An adopted child is not an unwanted child; to the contrary. They are a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared." ~Author unknown 

Thanks, Karen, for sharing this quote today!  So very true!

The Soundtrack of My Day

It's the second day of summer vacation for this teacher.  I spent most of yesterday running errands and conquering "the list."  It always feels good to conquer "the list," doesn't it?!  Today I've been at home puttering around and getting ready for my first Usborne Books home show!

And re-directing one of the cats.

And it's not Hannah Cat.

It's this guy...

I'm here to tell you...
He's not as innocent as he looks.
Climbing through the blinds, jumping on top of the refrigerator, pouncing on Hannah when she least expects it, trying to eat my lunch, batting at the chains on the cuckoo clock...

It has sounded something like this at my house today...

Screamer, what are you doing NOW?
Screamer, get down.
Get down, Screamer!
Screamer!  NO!
NO, Screamer!
Screamer....I said NO!
SCREAM-ER!  Stop that!
Get down.

Maybe I should just record my voice and leave it on continuous play for the rest of the day.

Except that he just looks at me and meows with either a "Who, me?  What'd I do?"  or a "Oh always spoil all the fun" tone of meow.

It leads me to wonder what happens when we aren't here.  Or is all of this because I AM here?

Guess I'll never really know, will I?

I only put up with him because Gloria loves him so much.  Otherwise...
Well, not really...but a girl can dream, can't she???

I also have realized just how silly a name "Screamer" is for a cat (after saying it 2,963 times this morning, starting at 6:02 A.M.).  Although, he did earn it when he was a kitten.  Makes me wonder what other silly pet names and bad habits are out there.  Care to share?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Thoughts on "Bridesmaids"

Today was the last day of school for teachers.  To celebrate, I went to see a movie this afternoon.  I don't get to do that very often.  In fact, I don't remember the last "grown up" movie I saw in the theater.  I usually have to wait until they are out on which time I have forgotten which ones I really wanted to see.  

My movie of choice this afternoon was "Bridesmaids."  I had heard that it was a funny movie, but had not read anything about it.  So, I got my ticket and my own bag of popcorn and was ready to enjoy a fun movie.  Well...The storyline was cute, but the foul language throughout the movie really got to me.  I mean, is it truly necessary to make constant use of the f-word?!?  It really was excessive.  So much so that had I rented it on DVD, I probably would have turned it off half way through.  Am I just getting too old and fuddy-duddyish???

Oh win some and you lose some.  At least the popcorn was good!  :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Discoveries on My Computer (Sunday Snapshot)

Gloria is gone right now.  So there hasn't been much to photograph this week.  Empty bed, empty backseat of my car, empty chair across the dinner table from me, even an empty classroom!  Empty, empty, empty.

This evening, she called me on Skype and to her surprise, I snapped a few pictures.  They are terribly grainy, but it's my girl and I miss her terribly!

Then I was clicking through some other files and discovered some "photo booth" pictures that I think she took with a babysitter several months ago.  They were good for a giggle and portray her flair for the dramatic quite well.

 It's so odd to have her gone for more than a few hours.  By the time I go get her, it will be two weeks.  I just don't know what to do with myself!

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, June 10, 2011

The End of Another Year

Well, we closed the book on the 2010-2011 school year today.  My 16th year of teaching.  (Could have been my 19th, except for grad school and two years working for the church.)  That's a lot of years and a lot of students.  Every year is different--whether it is a change of grade level, new curriculum materials, the variety of student needs.  Yet each year is comfortingly the same in some ways too--the rhythm of the academic year, favorite stories or skills to teach, the look of "Ohhhhh, now I get it!" when in fact, they really do get it!  This year was no exception.  While there have been outside pressures and worries about student achievement and new testing and pay for performance and closing schools that were never far from my mind, I tended to just go in my classroom, close the door, and do what I know how to do, which is to teach my children to read and write and do math, conduct science labs, explore social studies concepts, and try to instill a sense of responsibility and compassion and kindness in each of my students.

The end of the school year always leaves me feeling a little let down.  It comes at a point where I finally begin to see the changes that have really taken place and I just want to take them farther before sending them on to the next grade.  But I can't.  It's time to say good-bye.  And hope they don't lose that spark of knowledge and understanding over the next 10 weeks.

Now the clock is ticking towards August 25th, when we will welcome the big yellow buses back on campus and greet our students and the cycle will begin anew.  The time between now and then will pass quickly.  There are inservices to attend, preparations to be made, vacations to be taken, pools for swimming in, books to be read, lazy evenings to be enjoyed, movies to be watched, games to be played.

The end just brings another beginning...let summer vacation begin!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Confession

Gloria is out of town right now, spending time with her grandparents while I finish the school year.  That makes it really quiet here at home.  And there is something about the last week of the school year that just wears me out.  We're talking a weariness that leaves me barely able to stand up at the end of the day.  What's a girl to do?

How about come home and take a nap.

A nap!

I'd almost forgotten what those were like!  But we've had a nice re-introduction this week.  Nothing like a nap, followed by a telephone conversation with my girl.  A little dinner, a little school work or television or reading, and then it's time for bed!  It's been nice, even with Screamer joining me for a nap...on my stomach, and only after an extended bath time, again on my stomach.  But once he's done, he curls up in a ball and purrs for the duration of our nap.

So there's my the past four days, I've had four naps.  Ahhhh!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ten Tuesday Tidbits

  1. Friday seems light years away right now.  I love my 2nd graders, but they are runnin' me ragged right now!
  2. I really, really wanted a Coke this afternoon at our staff meeting. Really.  I resisted.
  3. I had a brownie instead.
  4. Maybe it was three brownies.
  5. They were small, bite-sized brownies.
  6. Maybe I'm tired.  Screamer woke me up at 4:15 this morning.  He was playing in the doll house.
  7. I barricaded the doll house, so the two cats decided it was time for an early morning wrestling, growling, hissing match.  In my room.
  8. I have NO idea what to cook for dinner tonight.  Cooking for one is boring.
  9. Just remembered the chicken salad I made last night for tonight.  #8 is now taken care of.  Score!
  10. The theme song from "Bob, the Builder" has been stuck in my head all day long.  A-L-L.....D-A-Y.......  L-O-N-G.....  Sing it with me now...Bob, the builder.  Can he fix it?  Bob, the builder.  Yes, he can!
Hee hee!  Please don't hate me for that last one!  Go ahead.  What song gets stuck in your head and runs incessantly over and over and over and over???

Either that, or some dinner suggestions that don't involve styrofoam boxes, telephones, driving, or the microwave.  Blech.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Conversational Snippets

Sunday morning, at 6 a.m. (central time)
Gloria got up and was trying to open the curtain in our hotel room so she had enough light to read.

M:  Gloria, it's too early.  It's only 6:00.
G:  But it's 7:00 at home!

(The rule at our house is that she cannot get out of bed before 7:00 in the morning if it is not a school day.  In her mind, the actual time on the clock didn't matter, just the time at home!)


Monday afternoon, as I was on the way home from school, my cell phone rang.

M:  Hello?
G:  Mommy!!!
M:  Hi!!
G:  It's me.  Gloria.  Your daughter.
M:  I know!  You're the only one who calls me "Mommy."
G:  (giggling) Yeah, I guess you're right.  I AM your only child, you know.

(She was calling to ask permission to check out the third Harry Potter book from the library.  I've held her back from reading the entire series because they get darker as they go.  But she had flown through the second one in just two days this weekend.  I was glad she asked permission instead of just telling me "Maggie let me."  So I said yes.)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lovies (Sunday Snapshot)

(Note:  I can get away with this today because Gloria is off for two weeks of grandparent style fun and loving!)

How many lovies does one girl need?

Evidently, at our house, the answer is 7.

There used to just be three.
And two of them were small.
Bubbie (the white bear), Blankie (the ratty yellow blanket), and Lovie (one of those satin-y little square things).

But somehow, we are up to 7.
Bubbie, Blankie, Lovie, Magic (the Web-kinz tiger), Josephina (the American Girl), and the AU tiger pillow are all in bed with her every night.  
Each of them is special in his/her own way.  
And each of them has a very specific place each night.  
And it never changes.

But wait, you say.
That's only 6.
Right you are!
I had to draw the line somewhere.

When she wanted to sleep with the horse, I had to say "NO WAY!"

So now, Penny (I think...or is it Spotty now?...or was it Spotty and got changed to Penny?  I can't remember!) stands guard over everyone at night.

Now, am I the only one with a child who sleeps with a large number of lovie/security type items?  What does your child sleep with?

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, June 3, 2011

Take Me With You?

Tonight, the suitcase came out so we could pack Gloria's things for a few weeks at "Camp Maggie Hada."  Aside from the fact that some of her laundry was still in the dryer, we had a bit of a challenge on our hands...There just didn't seem to be enough room in her suitcase.  It seems that Screamer has plans of his own.

Say it isn't so!  Please don't go!
Who will feed me?  Who will play feather toy with me?   Who will curl up with me in bed?
Who will feed my birds?  Who will open the blinds just the way I like them?

Well, if you have to go...I'll just go with you.
Be sure to pack my food and water dishes!
Oh, and the feather toy!  Don't forget the feather toy!
Sorry, buddy.  You're stuck with Momma for a few weeks.  But don't worry, your girl will be back!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cokes and Cats

The good news is that today is day three without a Coke to go with my lunch.  Even better is that today is the first day I have not had a killer headache all afternoon and into the night!  Hopefully that is the end of that.  The next to the last week of school was probably not the BEST time to do this, but life goes on.  I told my second graders yesterday, after one asked me where my Coke was at lunch, that I wasn't going to drink them any more.  Today one of them asked me if I was grumpy because I needed a Coke!  Oh dear.

Actually, it was terribly hot in my classroom today, so we were ALL grumpy.  Eighteen overly warm second graders and one overly warm teacher is not a good combination, with or without my beloved brown, bubbly, caffeinated beverage!

Anyway, one step in the right direction!  I'll be back at the Y on Monday.

Well, really just one cat.  Hannah Cat had to go to the vet for a shot and a check-up today.  I guess she didn't pick up on the "I'm going to put you in your carrier vibes" when I walked in the house this afternoon, so that was much easier than expected.  (She's been known to elude us for as long as 45 minutes when she has a vet appointment, so we always start early.)  But we were scolded at the vet's office because HC has gained three pounds and is up to 15 pounds now.  (Stop laughing MOM!  Emmett is still WAY bigger!)

The problem is, the vet wants her on wet food.  Hannah won't eat wet food.  And on the rare occasion when she does, she tosses it back up on the carpet shortly thereafter.  There is only one kind of dry food she will eat and we measure it carefully.  So her food intake hasn't changed at all in the past year.  Then we were asked if she gets any exercise.  Ummm....with the way she and Screamer chase each other all over the  house several times a day/night, I don't know why she isn't much smaller!  So, how am I supposed to help my female feline friend fight off three pounds?  Suggestions anyone?