Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Creating Cards

Somehow this:
plus this:
and this:
and these:
becomes our Christmas cards.  I'm working away on them ... check your mailbox soon!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Visiting with Santa

We wrote our letters to Santa so we could deliver them today because we went to our town's Christmas celebration.  We had breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus and one of his elves, Jingle, were there too.  The kids all loved it and talked to Santa.

She wants a pig game where you feed hamburgers to the pig.
She wants scrapbooking stuff.

He talked Santa's ear off.  Of course he wants Toy Story toys especially a Buzz Lightyear, pay no attention that he already owns 2 BIG Buzzes and numerous little ones.
Caden wants a video game of course, what else?

There was a parade and our kids were invited to be in it as part of the summer reading program they were in.  Caden chose not to be in the parade but to watch.  It was lightly snowing.

I think they had fun in the parade even though it was pretty cold.
Then we went back to the library where the Claus' read us some stories.  It was a fun time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas is in the Air

The advent calendar is up, the order has been decided (reverse birth order), and they are asking me every second of everyday if it's time to do the stocking.
Elfie has returned and he brought us a treat yesterday.  We had a hard time locating him this morning as he was up high in the dining room.  Reese keeps calling him Sophie and Healthy.  I don't care what they call him as long as they remember they need to be extra good during this magical time of year.

Reese helped (watched) me put up our tree and put the lights on it.
The kids helped decorate the tree wtih the exception of Ethan.  He left as soon as he tried to sneak off with Aaron's antique family reindeer ornament and I snatched it away. 
We had some fun with the timer on the camera ... and I got some cute smiles.
The tree is done minus the star and tree skirt.  I like to do things in sections so tomorrow I'll bring out some more stuff.  I'm starting to feel in the Christmas spirit a bit and maybe this weekend I'll start thinking about shopping and making my gifts .... I got plenty of time!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

In my PJ's at 3:40 pm or why I don't have a "paying" job

I subbed for first grade today ... the whole day.  I started that this year and I like it but I'm low man on the totem pole and I don't get called a ton and mostly I've done half days.  Today was different and I KNOW why I don't go back to teaching on a everyday basis. 
*My children did not get out of bed until 7:30.  Normally they are up before 7 not today.  I had planned on leaving at 7:40 ... that did not happen.
*My cleaning lady was coming today which means I have to have all the clutter put away ... did that yesterday but I also need to have as much as possible off the floor so she can mop.  So this morning most of that had to be done.
*I didn't eat breakfast .... I had planned too and I wasn't worried about feeding my children because they were eating breakfast at school but instead they all insisted on cereal bars and bowls of cereal which meant I got zilch.  I gobbled down my school lunch hot dog and peach half like it was a Thanksgiving feast.
*Getting everyone ready for the day even though I laid out all our clothes the night before is extra stressful when I WANT to be at school and see what I need to do.
*I am exhausted  .... and I wore the wrong shoes so my feet hurt.  It was 3:40 pm when I put my PJ's on.
*I have $15 left over out of my sub pay after paying Reese's sitter and the cleaning lady.  That won't even cover the pizza we are going to order because I'm too tired to cook.
*Working with the kids even subbing is rewarding, I do love that part ... but thank goodness, I don't have any papers to grade or lesson plans to write. 
The main reason I don't get an outside job is right here
my family is the most important thing to me!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

One of our little turkeys was picked to bowl in the school turkey bowl.  He chose a cornish hen rather than a turkey.  He scored a 32 in his 4 frames .... got a strike on his last turn.  He was the high scorer on his team.
I was going to cook Thanksgiving dinner however I believe I can hand it over to the almost 3 year old.  She is quite the cook this week. 

I especially love her outfit in this one ... the perfect chef's attire.

Having my little chef even gave me some time to make a last minute Thanksgving banner .... well start it, it's not finished -- waiting for glue to dry. 
Yes, I am glittering and gluing and sewing on my bed.  My scrap table is full of Reese's birthday party projects.
From our Pilgrims to yours, Hope you have a great Thanksgiving ... be sure to count all your blessings!  I know I will!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gumdrops, Glue, and Glitter

Lollipop lollipop
Oh lolli lolli lolli
 Lollipop lollipop.....

Today has been filled with paint and cardboard and glitter and gumdrops.  I love making stuff for birthday parties .... Reese loves helping me.  
I'm in a creating mode ... which is good since it's that time of the year for birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Yesterday I even scrapbooked .... GASP!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Monster of a Party

A week ago we had the BIG #6 party for Addison, Ethan, and Caden.  It takes me this long to recover to post any photos.  Our theme was monsters. Here's the decor and food:
Here's the birthday kids with their shirts I made them:
Here's some pics of our games and activities:
We made monsters with foam stickers, played pin the eye on the monster, read The Tickle Monster book, had a monster stomp relay, and a monster pinata.  I think all 14 kids had a good time.
Here's the birthday kids blowing out their candles:
There are very few photos of the gift opening part ... which is extremely chaotic and I never see most of the gifts.  I am still finding things and saying "where did we get this?"  They loved their party and I love doing it.  Although I'm not so good on the clean-up part .... we still have some decorations still hanging up.  They will be coming down very quickly as Reese turns 3 in a couple weeks and we are already working on her party:
She's a good helper!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hello World

Traffic cars, cell phone calls

Top video screams at me
Through my tender window I see
A little girl, rust red minivan
She's got chocolate on her face
Got little hands, And she waves at me
Ya, She smiles at me
Hello World

How've you been
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel, cold as steel
Broken like I'm never gonna heal
I see a light, little hole
In the little world
Hello world

Every day I drive by
A little white church
It's got these little white crosses
Like angels in the yard
Maybe I should stop on in
Say a prayer
Maybe talk to God
Like he is here
Oh I know he is there
Ya, I know he's there
Hello world

How've you been
Good to see you, my old friend
Sometimes I feel as cold as steel
And broken like I'm never going to heal
I see a light
Little grace, little faith for the world
Hello world

Sometimes I forget what living's for
And I hear my life through my front door
And I'll be there
Oh I'm home again
I see my wife, little boy, little girl
Hello world
Hello world

All the angels disappears
I remember why I'm here
Just surrender and believe
I fall down on my knees
Oh hello world
Hello world

Monday, November 1, 2010

Toy Story Crew

 Halloween was fun ... so fun we went trick or treating twice.  A little much for the parents.  Our costumes we completed in time and I only went about $5 over my $60 budget for all 6 ... not bad.  The kids have loads of candy .... and we had more than 180 trick or treaters at our home on Saturday.
I hope your Halloween was fun!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eye, Eye, Eye-Eye

*Eye almost have the birthday invites finished for the almost 6 years olds (the above pic gives a glimpse)
*Eye am still working on Halloween costumes but 6 all are either completed or very close
*Eye finally put up our Halloween decor items on Sunday .... I really didn't even want to but was glad I did after the kids were so excited.  We started our Halloween advent tree .... thank goodness it's only a week long.
*Eye am in the middle of changing out summer to winter clothes ... 3 kids done, 1 to go.  It's so much more challenging when kids are in-between sizes .... so many decisions to make.
*Eye have a sick husband at home today ... not sure what his exact ailment is ...  he's been asleep ALL DAY.
*Eye am making beef stew for dinner .... hopefully the husband is hungry by then as I doubt the kids will eat it.
*Eye wish my bedroom and my basement would become self-cleaning .... the clutter is unbelievable.
*Eye had to walk around the neighborhood this morning is my PJs as the hurricane force winds knocked both our giant (96 gallon) recycle bins over.  I didn't find much of our stuff so my neighbors are loving us right now.
*Eye think my kids are pretty great but lately they're fighting is at an all-time high.
*Eye think I'll enjoy the peace and quiet until the kids come home from school and Reese gets up from her nap.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The ocean of grief

Grief is like an ocean, sometimes calm and quiet. Thoughts and memories can enter my mind without too much commotion.

I can have perspective and see the beach and the other beach-goers and yet realize that I am still in the waist high water . I can easily wade back to the shore or swim out further into that endless ocean.
Sometimes the waves get bigger. And the tides take me places I don’t want to go. I can go out so far that the beach seems miles and miles away and the other people on the beach don’t even appear to be people any longer. If I were to scream, no one would hear me.

And without notice a violent storm can appear. I panic and don’t know what to do. The tidal waves take me too far out. I can’t even see the beach any more.
No one knows you’re in the middle of the ocean and need help. They would help me if they knew where I was but there’s really no way to tell them.
Then just as suddenly as the storm arose, I am back in the middle of the calm and able to swim ashore and no one knows I was even in trouble for a while.

Grief is like that. Right now I’m back on the beach but who knows when I’ll decide to wade back out there again.
But the one thing I do know that will always be a constant is I sure do miss my dad.  Six months seems like a lifetime to me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Home Schooling

I was a teacher for over ten years.  I loved it.  I loved the kids, I loved watching them learn and grow.  It was amazing to see the changes and progress in just 9 short months.  It was challenging too.  Lots of work preparing and grading and writing up lesson plans and theme units, decorating the classroom, and hanging up their work, figuring grades, keeping tabs on who needed extra help, keeping in constant contact with parents, and dealing with behavior issues (with children and parents) on a day to day basis .... it was hard work but super rewarding. 
Now I read a lot of blogs of moms who home school their children ... many of them have 4 or more kids.  Seriously I don't know how they do it.  Just keeping up with looking through my kids book bags, looking over their work, keeping track of and reading 3 library books, sending back notes and things they need for class is a lot to deal with most days.  But working with them almost every night on practicing their writing and letters has left me drained and exhausted to say the least.  Ethan has almost mastered writing his name ... but now instead of leaving out the "h" he is leaving out the "a" or combining the "a" and "n" into one letter.  He needs to work on his fluency with the alphabet so I am doing flashcards with him .... he continues to say "8" for many of the letters he doesn't know.  The teacher sends home extra worksheets (by my request) for us to work on.  I'm trying to get him to do them but his stubbornness takes over and he screams and refuses to do them most of the time ..... Then a worksheet was sent home today that stated he is having trouble distinguishing beginning sounds to tell when they are the same or different and that we need to work on that at home.  Seriously at this moment I don't even know what to do to help him with that .... I've taught 25 people to learn how to read all at one time and but to help Ethan work on beginning sounds, I'm at a loss. I'm sure homeschooling is even more rewarding than teaching in a classroom.  However, will I be homeschooling? I think not.
On a sidenote, Ethan's drawing skills have evolved from his SpongeBob like self-portraits to include suns and wind.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Search & Win

Do you know about Swagbucks?  Basically it's a search site (like Google) where you can earn swagbucks for searching the internet.  Why do you want Swagbucks?  For free stuff of course.  In the last 2 months I have earned SIX $5 Amazon gift cards.  That's $30 bucks in free stuff .... whatever I want from Amazon and since I always look to buy stuff on Amazon that has free shipping ... it's is really free.  In the next day or two I will have enough to buy another $5 gift card too.  Of course there's other things to get with your swagbucks in their store and there are contests to enter too.  I just like the Amazon gift cards for myself.

How does it work?   Just go to Swagbucks and register and if you use this code (it's completely free):

JoinTheFun for 20

you will get 20 swagbucks to get you started  (I think the code is good until 6 pm).  I downloaded the Swagbucks toolbar so I can remember to use it when I search.  You also are rewarded every day with 1 swagbuck for having the toolbar.  I also do the Daily Poll every day for another swagbuck, and if you visit the the survey part you get another one just for going there each day.  Sometimes there's a video to watch to earn swagbucks and I've submitted 2 ideas for daily polls and got 100 swagbucks each for them.  There's special codes you can enter to earn more too.  Of course you can win them when you do a search, but you don't win everytime but I  have won 9, 10, 12, 27, 50 (once) at different times.  I usually win a couple times a day depending on how much I search.  Since I haven't been doing it all that long, I don't know all the ins and outs.  I don't spend much time doing it but the $30 in gift cards I've earned so far has been great. 

So if you want some free stuff sign up today and get some free stuff.