Wednesday, April 27, 2011

insert farting noise here

Ever since I went to Colorado to the reading conference, I have been trying to be very mindful of the boys in my class.  Not just for reading, but also for writing.  

So... for a lesson in writing yesterday on using "voice" in their stories, I had them fold a piece of paper into fourths.  We used some really good "emotional" words like DISGUSTED, TICKLED, GLOOMY, AND BRAVE.  We then talked about what those words mean, and I wanted to make sure I had really descriptive examples so they could think of something from their own lives to fill in each square.  So, for Disgusted, I had to tell them about Jada's ice cream cake/snot incident in Omaha this last weekend.

I described how Jada's allergies are bad right now, and so she had a lot of yuck in her nose.  I told them how we were eating ice cream cake for Trey and Aunt Amanda's birthdays and how Jada had to sneeze.  

Are you getting a good picture in your mind yet of what happened?  

I have to tell you- one of my favorite things this year has been the freedom to use stories from my family and my background that are gross, crude, and everything an 8 year old boy is interested in.  

It's made teaching writing a whole different experience this year.  And I finally feel like writing is one of my best teaching subjects.

Who knew that talking about boogers and bodily functions would be part of my lessons while making connections with kids?  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

family photo session

Up against the fence.
Heels digging into the ground.
No one looking at the camera at the same time.
How many clicks of the camera does it take to get a decent family picture?

Apparently quite a few!  :)
Just, kind of, look at each of  our "best" pictures and piece them together in your mind.  This blondie isn't tech savvy enough to know how to "go to the cloud."

 THIS big guy is looking very GQ, and so grown up.  My kids never listen to me when I tell them they need to not grow up so fast!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Egg hunt

Mimi and Papa's church had ALL kind of activities for us today!  
face painting
egg dyeing
necklace making
egg finding
balloon animals
prize winning

Crazy that we needed our winter coats for the egg hunt.  Silly weather...

And now, we have about 100 plastic eggs that will get hidden and found, hidden and found, over and over, and over again.  

Good thing we love to cheap entertainment!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One thing I may or may not have purposely left out of my 34 things about myself last month is that I like to do wordfinds and sudoku.  It's relaxing, and sometimes funny.

Like this one:
 I just had to laugh at the words of "Morning Glory."
Bath?  Never.
Jog.  HA!
Vitamins?  Rarely.
Make bed?  I try.
Bugle?  Could be funny...
Waffles?  If they're frozen and can go in the toaster.

My usual "Morning Glory" looks more like:
roll over.
t.v. (for the kids)
grab an orange (for lunch)
fly out the door.

Oh well.  At least it's not dull.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


We usually take turns putting the girls to bed, and putting Trey to bed.  These two things look very different.

The girls:
Lately, the norm has been for Trey to come lay in one of their beds to listen to their books.  We read two books, then Gracie goes on to read another 30 minutes or so of her book (tonight it was one of the chapter books she checked out from the library.  She checked out three and read all three today.  Wanted me to take her back this evening to go get more). Jada wants her back rubbed- "make a pizza, Mom!"  They have one of those lamps that has several bulbs in it with colored fixtures.  We leave two of those lights on, tell them we love them, and walk out the door.  They rarely come out of their room.

We climb into his car bed.  Cover him up with his red blanket.  We read a few books to him (his books don't take as long to read so we read more).  We turn off his lamp, start the music, and lay with him until he's asleep.  This can take at least 30 minutes.

I've talked to several mom's throughout my almost 8 years of being a parent, and have had numerous conversations about bedtime.  Some say not to lay with them until they fall asleep.  Some don't care.  I'm one that doesn't care.  

There's a song that plays in Trey's room at bedtime right now- this cd used to be Gracie's when she was a baby.  We used to hold Gracie, and rock her to sleep, and then sneak out of the room on tiptoes.  Anyway, this song sings, "You're only little for a little while..."  It's so true! I can't believe Trey is already two years old, but I REALLY can't believe that Gracie is almost 8.  Someday, too soon, they aren't going to want me to read them books anymore.  So, until then, I will read books to them, rub their backs, and lay with them until they fall asleep! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ready or Not, Here I Come!

We're a game-loving family.
We love to play games inside, and outside.
Lately, our outside game has been hide-n-seek.
(Sometimes we play the Sardines version.)
We count...
We seek... (with older neighbor friends that help us)
And find... (sometimes we have to climb out from our hiding spot.)
 During game-break, we see what others are doing.
"I help mine Daddy."
And it all starts over again.
What's your favorite family game?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What It's Really About

Have you ever had one of those evenings that just doesn't go according to the plan?  If you're like me, you let it eat away at you for a while, get really grumpy about it, and then when it's all said and done, you realize what LIFE is really about, and you get that Mommy Guilt going on.

Chad had an emergency at work tonight.
Which screwed up my plans for supper.
I made a crappy supper for the kids and me.
Hardly any of us ate it.
A neighbor girl came over and used the "bad C word" I just used above, and tried to get my daughters in trouble for repeating it.
That made grumpy, and impatient with her.
A certain 5 year old was e.m.o.t.i.o.n.a.l. tonight.
It also happened to be Kindergarten Round up.
I threatened not to go- I've been before.
I work there for goodness sakes!
But, it wasn't about me tonight- my sweet husband reminded me.
I called my sweet friend, Danielle, and begged her to bring her oldest daughter to watch G and T.  
While I sat at the table at school- still grumpy to be there- Danielle came over and we sat and talked through the whole thing.
Just what I needed.
(She also rubbed my back for a few seconds, which was also what I needed- physical touch only a friend could give.  Not in a creepy way.)
I gathered my troops, came home, gave baths.
Had an outburst at my stubborn 5 year old.
Read books, laid with T until he was asleep, and started thinking...
Rather than being grumpy that I had to do it on my own, I should be thankful I could spend time with my kids.  
I choose how I act.
Isn't this what I teach my kids/students?
I'm only as mad as I allow myself to be.
And I allowed myself to be miserable tonight.
So petty.
It should really be about enjoying those three precious people I get to take care of.  And I do- but, not enough tonight.
I was reading a blog last night about a single mom's daughter who was just praising and praising her mom for everything the mom did for her in her life... and how the mom never complained.
I want to be more like that.
It's going to take some work though.
That Mommy Guilt has a strong hold on me. 

Monday, April 11, 2011


My class makes Thundercake every year during our weather unit.
Mr. Stockton helps us make this in the library.
What IS Thundercake, you ask?
It's a cake a little girl makes during a storm with her grandma.

There is a special ingredient: pureed tomatoes.
I forgot to buy them.
So, I guess our cake wasn't too special this year.
It WAS, however, the thickest cake I've ever seen.
Hmmm... maybe that's what the tomatoes were for.
Oh well.  The kids didn't seem to mind.
They thought the tomatoes sounded disgusting.
You can't even taste them.
I certainly wasn't that picky at age 7.
Our cake was ready just in time at the end of the day to eat along with the giant birthday doughnut for a student's birthday!  I'm sure the kids' parents were LOVING that sugar high on a Friday night!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Happy Birthday, Trey!
You're two today!  You were born at 4:04 p.m., so today Gracie didn't feel like you were actually two years old until this afternoon. 

You are such a sweet little man.  You are 24 pounds, like your sisters were at your age.  You might be small, but you're mighty!  You love to listen to us talk and parrot everything we say!  We have to be careful around you because you've picked up sayings like, "Dang it!"  But, you've also started saying, "AWESOME!" When people hear how much you talk, they can't believe you're only two!

You're big time into Thomas the Train.  You tell us the names of all the engines, and you love to read your Thomas books.  When you opened your presents today and saw the new Thomas book, you kissed it and then couldn't put it down!  You couldn't WAIT for Daddy to open it for you!

You love to wrestle, chase, dig in the dirt, and ride your bike.  You're afraid of bugs, and monsters.  However, you LOVE to pretend you're a monster and chase us around the house! 

You know most of your colors.  And you can count from 3-10.  You're singing more and more- you're favorite songs seem to be "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," the abc's song, and some other songs your sisters have taught you that might embarrass you later on if I mentioned them here! Gracie made up a song about the tiny spoon in the silverware drawer and you're adorable when you sing it!  "Where is the tiny spoon?  I want the tiny spoon.  Where is it?"  (And then we say, "No!"), and you say, "Aww...."  
 This picture shows you trying to make a 2 with your fingers.  You'll get it, Buddy.  You're so special to us, and we don't know what we'd do without you!  We're so happy that God made you for our family.  
Love you T-Rex!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Kansas may not be your cup of tea...
But, it is mine.  

Big open spaces.
Wide open sky.
Farms, plants, animals.
The wind (although I don't prefer THAT most days!).


It's been so nice around here lately we've been playing outside most of our awake time after school and on the weekends.  So, below you will find pictures from it showing off my Childs' many faces.
 "I'm cooool with a mohawk," face.
(That Daddy shaved off after the picture was taken.)
  "Mom, don't we look like rock stars?" face.
 This is his, "I like it, but I'm worried," face.
Jada's under bite "CHEESE!" face.

Sadly, there are none of Gracie's many faces this past week. She was busy making a pirate play (still in the making), and would not allow cameras on the set.