Sunday, October 7, 2012

Can You Say Cheeeeese?

The blog design is the way it is because I am tired of fighting with it.  I thought to change it again for winter but it may just have to be Autumn for awhile :p

This was a quick shot on the way out the door on Max and Abby's first day of school.
Max 4th grade, Abby 2nd grade, Lucy 4K, Ruby 2 year old class...aptly called "Monkeys"!
Max and Abby started school at the schools they were at last year and then on Labor Day John had an epiphany and suggested that we think about maybe moving them to my school next year.  Paying a couple of thousand dollars a month in childcare (between Lucy and Ruby's preschool/daycare and Max and Abby's after school care) was getting to be too much and not only would it save us $ but it would make more sense logistics wise. 
We brought the kids and suggested it to them.  Abby was gung ho from the get go!  Especially when she realized that my school does not have a uniform policy and she could actually where what she wants to wear to school (within reason of course...we DO have a dress code!).  Max actually thought about it more and then decided he would go for it.  Okay...done year they would be going with me.
Then John went to play golf and the kids scattered and I got to thinkin'...
If it is going to save money...  If it is going to be more convenient...  If it would put us all on the same school calendar...  If they have only been in school for 8 days so far...
Following my train of thought here?????
Yep, I started thinking that if we are planning to do it anyway, why not now?  I mentioned it to John then I spoke to the kids about it and they figured... WHY NOT?
The day after Labor Day I went to school and started filling out the paperwork and emailed their schools to let them know that Friday would be their last day.
So, as of September 10th they have been coming to school with me and they LOVE IT!  So does John since we are saving $600 a month in after school care!
So, I know I have skipped several months between my last post in February and the beginning of the school year but I have to go...Ruby is VERY TIRED...VERY CRANKY...and driving me nuts!
I'll post again soon with updates on all the kiddos.
Whew!  It's good to be back :)

Under Construction

Please bear with me as I try to freshen up the blog a little.  I keep getting interrupted and can't focus!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I'm Baaaaaaaack!

Uploading pics to the computer and hoping to do a blog post soon!  Stay tuned :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

No Words...Catching up...Brain Dump

There are no words to explain my absence except that I have probably been busier than I have ever been in my life!

To put the past couple of months in a nutshell...

Christmas was great!  John and Abby got new bikes, Lucy got her "big girl car seat" (booster seat) from Santa, Max got more Legos, Ruby got a sit and spin and I got an iPhone :)  Spent the morning at home then headed to my mom and dad's house to await the Charlotte contingent of the family and celebrated a loud messy Christmas together.  A couple of days after Christmas John headed up to Charlotte to go to the Bowl game (NC State) and the kids and I headed to Beaufort to hang out with my family some more.

New Years was uneventful.  The neighbors got together to shoot off fireworks and hang out but John and I had to tag team it because Lucy refused to step foot outside!  Ruby, on the other hand, was oooohhhhing and aaaaahhhhhhing during the whole thing...go figure!

We had basketball games on Fridays/Saturdays (Max) and swimming lessons on Saturday mornings (Abby). 

The first weekend in February was a memorable one.  I got to go on a Girls Weekend with my mama and my sisters!  We went to Asheville for the weekend and spent Saturday at The Biltmore.  It was wonderful to hang out and shop and eat and talk and laugh and SLEEP!  Another reason it was a memorable weekend was because it was the first time that John has EVER had all 4 kids to himself overnight!  Better yet, it was 2 nights :)  He did great and the house was still standing when I got home on Sunday!

On the way home from Asheville that Sunday I talked my mom into swinging by Charlotte so my sister's hairdresser could cut and highlight my hair.  She cut off 13 inches of hair and boy can I say was that ever a load off!  I mailed it off to Locks of Love the next day.  Speaking of the next day...

Monday the 40th BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!  I was showered with love and flowers that day.  John sent me flowers to my school, my mom stopped by with cupcakes for my class (see, you're never too old for your mom to bring cupcakes for your birthday) AND I received flowers at school from my mom and dad a few minutes after she left.  My two room moms also brought me a bouquet of flowers and MORE cupcakes for my class (thank goodness they have special area at the end of the day so I didn't have to deal with the sugar high!).  I also got a Starbucks gift card from one of my students and a Carrabbas gift card from another student.  John and I got Italian takeout for my birthday dinner that night :)

Tuesday the 7th was my baby sister Mallory's 27th birthday...dang she's gettin old!  I didn't get to see her but we exchanged texts and voicemails (played phone tag)

That Saturday John and I were able to go out for a combined birthday /Valentine's dinner (thanks Mama for babysitting).  We used the PF Changs gift card I had gotten from my class for Christmas.  It was delicious food, handsome company, and a great time.  We even stopped at Target on my way home to use another present from a student in my class (Target gift card) to buy me a new pair of jeans!  Haven't had a new pair in over a year so I was due (only had the one pair!)

We've had a break from sports and are now gearing up for another round...Abby in soccer and Max in baseball.

I am taking a class for recertification that is on Saturdays (8 in a row) from about 12 - 6pm.  We are taking field trips around the area (some about 100 miles roundtrip) to look at historical places.  I am learning and hearing some cool stories about Revolutionary War and Civil War times.

Ruby got her first haircut this past Saturday.  John took the 3 older kids to Charlotte and Ruby and I stayed at my mom and dad's so they could watch her while I went to my class.  She's had a cold for the past couple of weeks and I was so tired of trying to keep her stringy hair from getting stuck to her face by her runny nose so we took her on impulse and had her "mullet" cut and gave her some bangs and some shape.  John was excited and keeps trying to talk Abby and Lucy into getting their hair cut.  They aren't having it :)

Let's see, oh yes, Abby has recently joined Daisy Scouts and attended her first meeting a couple of weeks ago and LOVED it!  Max is still enjoying Cub Scouts.  Lucy's preschool class participated in a Hop-a-thon for Muscular Dystrophy and she won her class competition.  She jumped 410 times!  Her teachers said they were hoping the kids would be worn out...NO SUCH LUCK with Lucy :)  Our little Energizer Bunny!

Well, that is about it for now.  I do have some pictures to share but I have to find my camera buried down deep in one of my school bags so those will have to wait until this weekend.  I did update my picture at the top of the blog to our more recent Christmas card picture...that will just have to tide you over...

Be back soon...I hope!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Well Look Who the Cat Dragged In....

Is "Blog Abandonment" a punishable offense?  I have no clue what has happened to the last month and a half or so since I last posted!  Things here have been hectic and non-stop to say the least.  I don't remember being this frazzled when I was teaching before my 4 year "sabbatical" but then again I have doubled the number of kids I had back then and now two of them are in elementary school.  Mama is WIPED OUT!!!!!  I absolutely love my job though and I have a great class.  First grade is so awesome :)  It's strange though to be teaching the same grade that one of my own kids happens to be in too.  Even though we are in different school districts we have the same reading series and Abby's class is one week ahead of my class in the book so we talk about the stories alot.

We have had a break from sports for the last month or so but Max has started practice for basketball and Abby will start swimming lessons next month (at the indoor pool...obviously).  Lucy is LOVING her preschool and Ruby has adjusted very well and knows the names of all the kids in her class and her teachers call her the "Little Principal" because she likes to make sure the kids are following directions and if one of the kids takes a cup or pacifier that doesn't belong to them she will take it back and give it to the right child :)  Yeah, her teachers call her their "helper"...I think that's a nice way of calling her "bossy".  Oh well, she's the oldest in the class and won't ever have that status at home.

Speaking of Miss Ruby...guess who turns 2 on Tuesday?!?!?!?!  I can't believe it.  My parents got her a big girl bed for her birthday/Christmas gift and we'll be making the transition from crib to bed over the Christmas break.  Part of me is fine with it but another part of me gets teary eyed thinking about getting rid of the crib and the "baby" stuff.  To think that part of my life is over is tough even as I am excited about the future.  It may have something to do with the fact that I am staring the big 4-0 right in the face and that my 30's was a decade of getting pregnant and having babies.

Well, it's late, and I'm wiped out due to the stomach bug that took up residence in our house this past week ;p  I will try to do better about posting.  We have one more week of school then it's 2 weeks off!  Maybe I can catch up then.  Don't give up on me yet...PLEASE :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Catching Up with Max...

Okay, I can't get caught up all in one post so I'll take it kid by kid :)

Hey there Max...what's up with you?

So far Max has been loving being at his new school (he moved up to the Elementary school...3-5th grade) from the primary school...K-2nd).  He loves his teacher Mrs. M and currently his favorite subject is South Carolina history.  He recently had to do a project where he had to make a model of SC and show the 6 different regions.  He also had to pick one of the regions and do a brochure/pamphlet/poster on that region telling about it's characteristics, major cities, and places to see/things to do. 

We decided to make the model out of rice krispie treats.  I made a double batch and then poured it out onto a board and molded it into the shape of SC.  I think I got it pretty good.  Then we colored icing into 6 different colors and I outlined each region and Max spread the icing into them.  It turned out really cool and wouldn't you know it...I FORGOT TO TAKE A PICTURE!!!!!  I emailed Max's teacher to ask her if she could do it for me before the class ate it and she said she would but I haven't seen it yet.  If I get it I will certainly post it :)

Max has also been playing flag football this fall.  He was REALLY into it this year and John has been so excited at seeing Max out on the field.  He called me from one game to tell me that Max looked like a real quarterback out on the field and that he was taking a leadership role out on the field trying to direct his teammates on where to block :)  This was the year that he could choose between flag or tackle and John and I made the decision to have him play flag because we weren't sure that he was ready for we're sure!  Max would put his arms up to block another player and the kid would run into him and fall down!  Also, Max would run the ball and was so fast he wouldn't have anyone around him sometimes.  I watched him run for a touchdown from one end of the field to the other during one game! 

He had his last game yesterday and at the awards ceremony afterwards his coach gave each of the players an award based on their skills.  Max got the "Lightning" award because of his speed.  The coach told everyone that Max had a bright future ahead of him and that he never liked to let Max have the ball on the first or second down because he knew they'd be playing defense again right away :)  We have a bit of a break now and then we are on to basketball season ;p

Max has also joined Cub Scouts this year and is loving it!  We got him his uniform and he and John went on their first Cub Scout campout a couple of weekends ago.  They had a great time :)

One thing Max has had a tough time with though is going to the afterschool daycare.  He gets picked up from school by their bus and does his homework there and has a snack and plays outside.  It is a great place and the people are very friendly but Max has started having anxiety issues.  He started worrying that something was going to happen to me and he couldn't stop thinking about it.  We had a rough few weeks where he would sob uncontrollably in the mornings before getting on the bus and then would cry at school because he was worried about me.  He told John and I that he was afraid if something happened to me he'd be alone.  I emailed the guidance counselor at his school and she has spoken with him one on one and he is now going to her once a week for about 40 minutes for a small anxiety/stress group.  It seems to be helping...we keep praying that it does.  Also, at the afterschool program they have been wonderful in letting Max stay in the smae room with Abby (they split them up K-2 and 3-5).  Since they have let him do that he has been doing much better as well.  He still asks if I can pick them up early though.

Another thing I have done is to talk to the school psychologist and his teacher (and the other people on the "team") about possibly having Max tested for dyslexia.  He has had some of the more classic signs for a long time and I had been told many times that he would outgrow them by the end of 2nd grade.  He hasn't and is showing some other signs as well.  I looked up what the characteristics of dyslexia were and found a list of 37 of them on the Dyslexia website.  It said that most children with dyslexia would exhibit about 10 of them from time to time.  As I went through the list I highlighted the ones that pertained to Max.  He hit about 25-27 of them or parts of them.  I was told by the school that it is a medical diagnosis so we'd have to go through his pediatrician for that but they reassured me that he is NOT showing signs of a Learning Disability (I didn't suspect that anyway since he is on grade level for reading and above grade level for math).  I'm glad I met with them though because they did say they would keep an eye on his progress to make sure he isn't stalling or falling back.

Finally, since I have started back to work we have really gotten serious about having the kids take on some responsibility around the house.  We are adding them in increments until they can do them without being reminded then we'll add another.  Right now Max is supposed to take care of getting everyone's drinks for dinner, rinsing the dinner dishes, and packing his lunchbox (supervised and helped by me).

So, that is Max...all caught up :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy 40th!

Dear John,

     Happy 40th Birthday Sweetie!  Wow!  The BIG 4-0.  I guess I am married to an old man now huh? :)  Seriously though, I met you when you were 28, I can't believe how fast those years have flown by.  We have definitely been busy during that time too.  Getting married and having 4 kids has certainly been a journey.  I'm glad I have been on this journey with you.  It's had it's ups and downs but we've stuck together through it all.  We've learned so much about each other and there is so much more to learn.

     I love you John.  More and more with each passing year and each new gray hair (yours...I haven't found any yet :)...)  I look forward to spending MANY more birthdays together!

All My Love,