slice of my life

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Reading and writing

J and I went to the library this afternoon while B was on her Girl Scout lunch/hike/museum tour. (Aren't we the nerdy family with nerdy things to do?) I picked up some books for B so she would not be left out. We are supposed to be reading in Spanish here at home, and we need some Spanish books. So I chose some for her and J, along with some other interesting things. I am so pleased with our kids' Spanish language development!! Both read above grade level in English, but their Spanish is behind that. I think J is not really up to 5th grade level in Spanish, but I think B is closer to her 2nd grade level. Isn't it amazing?

The new books section in in children's area was just chock full of interesting finds. I found a totally fun book for little girls who read. Fashion Kitty , by Charise Mericle Harper, is a graphic novel (like our favorite boy's book, Captain Underpants) and readable in an afternoon for our B. She read 58 pages and has just a bit more to go to finish it. Don't tell anyone else this (ha ha) but I read this one to J aloud before B even got her hands on it. And he liked it, too. I thought it had a nice message, too, about being nice and not being fooled by the "popular girls." But I am a bit biased against the popular types, and the quiet, gullible kitty girl I identified with! She was nice even after she knew the popular one had tricked her. Bad kitty!

Also in new books, J found one book in a series he's been considering. The Five Ancestors books, byJeff Stone, take place in China, and seem interesting. (Of course I love books about China and Japan, and Amy Tan in particular!) Jamie took an online Five Ancestors quiz one time, and he came up like the monkey character, but book one is Tiger, so he's getting started with that one. I hope he can read them and have fun with that.

I also came across a wonderful book in the Spanish section. Fortunately for me, Family Pictures, by Carmen Lomas Garza, is both Spanish and English. It is filled with wonderful pictures of Mexican-American life in Texas. I could really relate to the pictures---I see this kind of thing here where we are. I found her official website to be full of colorful, appealing images. If you don't click on any other links here, click on that one and have an eyeful!

As for me, I'm reading a historical, Christian novel called Secret Tides, which I picked up in the adult new books section of our last trip to the library. It's about pre-civil war (isn't that antebellum?) rice plantation on the Atlantic Ocean. I like the picture it paints of an era I don't know much about---a learning experience. I like that the white girl who's the main character is in a place where she works with slaves, side by side, but sees them as real people. I like to see the characters thinking about their choices ethically and are trying to reconcile their thoughts to what they've been taught in church and what society has handed them. The bad part is, I got to a really preachy part, and I think I already know what's going to happen in the end! There are more books in this series, so it must be decent book. I think?

I am watching the A&M Tech game right now. The kids are mad---I have the computer and TV tied up! We just got a touchdown!! Whoop! Now, if we get that one more extra point, we're tied again. It's good! Whew!!! 99 yard drive in the 4th quarter. Yea!

In other literary news, I am going to coach the UIL Ready Writing team of either 4th or 5th graders. Or both. And possible B in 2nd grade. I may have just put too much on my plate. The district meet is on Nov. 18th. I will be meeting on Friday with some students and the teacher who is coaching the 3rd graders. She's the expert, who I will try to pattern myself after. The 2nd grade thing is something B could totally do---they get a group of pictures and write a story about them. The bigger kids will get a writing prompt. I hope I can give them the right coaching.

Friday, September 29, 2006

TV, life this week, happiness

Susan and Mark! Oh, the friendship, the lost chance at love! Okay, I am watching an old episode of E.R., and Mark is alive and he has a brain tumor, and Susan is moving back to Chicago. I loved those two characters. (Rememeber when Mark chased after her train when she left Chicago?) I have said recently that E.R. has not been the same since Mark died. I thought it was over then. And I thought it was over when Carter was off the show. But I still watch. I don't know why! It's part of my Thursday evening treats.

This Lady (who I do not know at all) gives a good synopsis and commentary on Survivor last night (my other must-see-TV-show on Thursday nights). I too, am planning on what bathing suit I would wear for the 39 days----it would be an important decision. Something supportive, sturdy, dark colored (hello---I am going to be in the water a lot of the time), and maybe adjustable---who knows how I would lose weight out there for that long. I might end up looking very matronly with all those requirements, so I would need to try to find something cute!

For months, I have been checking out this blog I happened upon accidentally. This person (who I do know) also admits to enjoying the new shows this season. I am feeling what she is, that there is simply too much TV to get in lately. And why should I waste so much time on TV? I have to multitask or I feel guilty.

But enough with the TV show run-down!

Life this week was busy. Along with our regular school and work, our evenings were busy with a school GT Parents meeting, a Pizza night for the other school, a district-wide GT social, Wednesday night church, and tonight---finally nothing. (But we don't need to go to bed early tonight, since tomorrow's Saturday!) B started her Girl Scout religious medal (reading and praying every day), and got through her homework the with the fewest "issues" this year. I think she finally has the confidence she needed to just do her Spanish writing this week. Something clicked, and she realized she can do it, just like I said! J has had little homework this year (thank you!), and what he had this week was Math he really understood, so it was fast. This morning was his awards assembly, and Larry went. I think he is on the A-B honor roll---no report cards from the 1st six weeks until today. Lar will work another game tomorrow, and B has a Girl Scout museum tour. I am sure J and I will enjoy the day to goof around like we want to!

I am just happy this morning, alone at home. Happy! I am getting some chores done, and I am slowing down. Whew! I am maybe going ot ge tthe scrapbooking stuff out tonight----creating things makes me happy!

I added some stuff to my sidebar (more happiness!). I have loved looking at my friends' maps, seeing where their visitors are looking from. So I got one of my own, of course. I added to the bottom of my blogroll two blogs I have been perusing for a month or so. They are both fun and interesting. J has a couple more blogs he has created---Star Trek and Blue Canary. Please visit him as well---and try to get over his creative spelling. :-) He has priorities, and spelling things correctly isn't up there so much.

For the Lord your God is a merciful God . . . Deuteronomy 4:31

Monday, September 25, 2006

I wanted to write a fast blog today. I have a million things I ought to be doing instead of having fun writing! Or reading blogs. That's a time-consuming pastime!

I feel like I am running in a million directions. I have something to do in every area of my life---for my house, for Sonshine School, for my Creative Memories business, for my health, and bills to think about. I could devote one whole day to this house---and not be done. One whole day with CM---and not be done. I could spend all my waking hours worrying about these bills---and that would do no good! I am just waiting for everything to come together.

This weekend was really fun. I didn't do the things I thought I would do, but the big thing---B's birthday---did get done. Larry said it was a great party. I thought that was a compliment to me. :-)

Larry had to be outside for the Aggie game this weekend, and a storm came through right at kickoff time. This delayed the start time for 2 hours. He found shelter in an information hub---the training room. He also got to shake hands with the governor of TX. Jamie was very impressed with that! The governor even called him by first name (L says because his name tag was flipped around the right way at the time!). "How'ya doin' Larry?" I'm so glad he didn't have to stand in the lightning and rain, and that he was safe. It made for a late night---I fell asleep before he got home.

This is the first "perfect weather week" we have had since spring. The highs are supposed to be in the nid-80s, and the lows in the 60s. It's perfect! I plan on enjoying this outdoor air as much as possible.

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
Micah 7:18

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Party like it's 1998

Well, my title is corny, but that was the year B was born. We had her first party in 1999, and I have the cutest pictures. We made a big bunny cake and had a tiny cake for B and more little cakes for the other kids to decorate. We had Teletubby napkins. I wouldn't remember all this, but I remember the album pages I made for the event.

But enough reminiscing. On to the daily life of us.
We had about 10 of B's friends come to her party. But there were about 30 people there, counting the parents and siblings. And when we got the pinata on the tree, the neighborhood kids came flocking! That park is very busy on Friday evenings. But one set of kids that came by we knew---The oldest boy was in J's cub scout troop 2 years ago. They had moved back into town and now lived in our neighborhood. That was a good thing!

We sent invitations to B's whole class, so it could have been a lot bigger party. It was pretty good the size it was. The girls were really wound up, I thought. They were screaming at each other, B included, not for bad things, but just to talk to each other. I don't understand it! Six of the kids came from school (all English speakers, as usual), two from softball and live in our neighborhood, and two others we've grown up with through church connections and Sonshine School.

I followed the itenerary I laid forth in the previous post. Playing, pizza, playing, cake and popcicles, pinata, presents. I should have known the pinata would take a really long time. Should have started it a bit earlier. B got to be the first one to hit it, and the last. It was getting dark when we started going on the pinata, but this picture really looks darker than it was. That's the birthday girl hitting first.

The candles wouldn't light because of the wind. The tablecloth idea was scrapped because of the wind. The plates blew away because of the wind, along with half full cups of soda, Cheetos, and trash. At one point some boxes of pizza became airborn (wasted a pizza! I am sad). It was quite bothersome, but as my Mom pointed out, the bugs wouldn't be a problem because of the wind. I had the Off spray ready, but it wasn't needed. The wind made the heat pretty bearable, too. The temps were in the 90s, so I was glad for the wind.

My favorite moments from the day:

when the girls would run up to each other when they arrived to give each other hugs

seeing two of B's boy friends who didn't know each other get along really well

singing the birthday song

having enough pizza for everyone

the glee at opening presents----glee from all the kids, not just B

popcicles---I love them all the time

seeing a train of kids going down the slide

enjoying the company of my adult friends

the excitment of all those around waiting for the pinata to pop open

B having to bash in the pinata at the end just to get it open

driving away from the park when it was over

Not that I was just glad to have it done! I was happy that we had a party like B wanted, and I could give it to her. And that she had friends who like her enough to come and enjoy her and have some fun, too. Check out the other pictures I put on my Flickr account in my sidebar to the right.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Birthdays past

I wanted to add these to the post I wrote this morning, but it wouldn't work. This is B when she turned 6---Kindergarten. Putt-Putt party with friends. Not many school friends, though---we didn't know anyone yet.

These next ones are from last year, 2005, when she turned 7, first grade. Cookie cake in the classroom with friends. This happened after hurricane Rita came through
east Texas. The kids were out of school on the Friday before her birthday because some schools here were being used for shelters for people from Houston. Rita blew through on her birthday!

And thank goodness we didn't plan her party right on the day of her birth, because we left
town and went to Mom's. There was already gas shortages and stuff, and I took off with the kids. But the next weekend we had fun at an ice skating rink party for B.

For a birthday treat, I took brownies and a Subway lunch for her this morning. She was happy. All the kids were excited to get the little brownies.

Calendar Quote of the Day:

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Proverbs 28:13


Our little B will be 8 on Sunday. She's getting so grown-up, so helpful and kind of like a little friend to me. A delightful companion!

I have the smell of birthday cake in the house! B's party is tonight, dinnertime, and even though she said she didn't want a cake at first, here I am baking our traditional Bundt cake. From a mix. It's too delicious and easy. She and I filled her pinata after her bedtime last night, after a long Wal-Mart trip to get her party stuff. Her big present from us was a new CD player. The one on her alarm clock was just terrible. Such a great idea, though, to have a little cd player/clock combo. I just went too cheap, and it showed. But now she can jam in her room. To Charlotte Church? or her Disney Jams Mania 3 CD. (I have her musically protected a bit!) Or we can take it to the party, like we are planning.

The party is at a park tonight for dinner. I think including adults, we'll have more then 25 people there. So I am ordering the pizza this afternoon, and hoping for the best. I hope I can estimate right on that. Let's see---pizza, cake, pinata, treat bags (to collect candy), tablecloth, crown-making kit (so everyone can make a crown), plates and napkins, sodas, cups, popcicles. The Popcicles are instead of ice cream---I hope I can keep them cold enough. She wanted some Skittles. She wanted a birthday pin. I let her get those things.

I think the party will be simple! I won't have to clean up the house before or after the party! The dogs will not jump on the guests. (But they are pretty good dogs, anyway.) I didn't go too crazy on treat bag stuff (which is a big pet peeve of mine----it's so expensive to fill them, really, and it's mostly little junk things!). The pinata candy and the crown you can take home from the party, that's your treat.

Still to do today:
Buy little cupcakes for school "party"
Buy Subway lunch for B
eat lunch with her
locate a rope for the pinata to hang from
order the pizza
get the pizza (I think L can get it on his way home from work and bring it to the park?)
pack stuff into boxes to carry
transport stuff to the park
Have a party!

I usually make a "schedule" something like this:
(2 hour party)
0:00 arrival---greetings---making crowns?
0:30 eating pizza, running around the park
1:00 cake and popcicles
1:15 presents
1:30 pinata
1:45 to end running around the park some more

I think this will basically work for us. I plan on taking many pictures with her friends. I have 5 friends from school rsvp, plus a couple more girls from her softball team and a couple more friends as well. I'm happy so many can come. The whole pizza thing I am worrying about in case we have a bunch of non-rsvp-ers. But it'll be okay. They can go home and eat again if I don't have enough!

I have often thought I could be a kids party planner. If I could spend other people's money, I could really throw a party! I can wrangle children and direct them. I can think of cool themes and stuff to do at a party. (Of course I have the whole Internet at my disposal for ideas!) This party of B's is coming together nicely, and it's mostly her ideas. Nothing really major as far as themes, though. She's getting where she wants to have stuff girlie, but not too much so. She was thinking if she has an invitation that was too girlie, the boys wouldn't come. She wanted that pinata!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fall, is it you?

I'm whispering this comment: It feels like fall today! (I don't want to jinx the feeling away!)

We had a good soaking rain last night. Thunder and lightning, water pouring off the roof right by our bedroom window. The ground is soaked now that the rain has stopped, yahoo! The air is humid (but it always is here), but oh, so cool. Cool! It's 1:00 and it's only 70 degrees!

I put some potatoes in the crock pot for some soup. I haven't made soup in a long time. We'll come home after a busy evening to some soup. Tonight is B's Open House, and J has his Troupe meeting. It's a complicated schedule to get everyone where they need to go tonight.

Last night we had a friend spend the night with B. I know it's a school night, but her parents were out of town, and needed a way to get her to school. It was a fun treat. They slept in B's room on an air mattress together. I was worried they would get scared of all the lightning, but whatever happened, they made it through the night. They were so cute together.

This weekend is B's birthday party, so there are many preparations to do for that. We decided to do a big party at the park. She wanted a pinata, so we just still need to buy candy. We found the perfect one---in the shape of a purse. I don't like the ones shaped like characters! I don't like the idea of beating up Barbie or Barney with a big stick. Beating a pink purse is much better in my opinion! We made our own invitations, we're going to order pizza, we bought a kit for making crowns for everyone, we'll play on the playground---I think it'll be a simple party to do. I should have whispered that so I wouldn't jinx myself again!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Celebrity Baby Name

Your Celebrity Baby Name Is...

Peaches Takoma

This one was totally random. I like that it is a fruit!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Here I am being Vanna White with the microwave. Silly, I know. Can you see why white might have been better? And maybe I should have taken this picture when I had some makeup on.

I am watching the movie of Jane Eyre while I am writing. It's about to be the climax of the movie! So many things have been left out, but it's pretty good anyway. So much of the book was inside Jane's head, I wondered how it would all be on the screen.

I am getting ever more weary with the dogs. Angel, the new acquisition, has dug out again this morning. I know why, because Larry and I were both up at 2:45 until 4:00 this morning, trying to settle them down. Larry went outside and investigated, and saw an armadillo in the front yard. This is why Angel dug out this morning when I let them out. Can't they just be at peace with the nature around them? Must they wrestle in the middle of the night with each other? Do they have to not only protect the yard, and keep other animals out, but also go and catch the animal that wants to come in? I say no, but they are dogs. They have their own agendas.

This picture is when Larry was fixing the fence in the rain (three days ago). He's back there---behind the back fence. B was just wanting to stand in the rain and goof around (and with no lightning in the area, I said, why not). She was willing to hand him tools over the fence, and I could stay under the deck covering and be dry. I picked this picture because you can see our new fence wood there on the right---this is where they got into the neighbor's yard last week. Ug! Those fence slats were rotten enough that Angel broke them. Ug!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you when . . .

I figured if you were anywhere around people today, you might be talking about this anyway. Here's what I was doing on September 11, 2001:

I got a call from my mom at 6:30a.m. We were already up and stirring about because it was a school day for J and me. (Our time, the planes hit about 8:30, so this is still before that.) It was dark outside. But I knew why Mom was calling before I even answered the phone. My Grandmother had passed away. My aunt had come down from Michigan alone that weekend, and my grandmother had passed away shortly after visiting with her three kids. Mom and my aunt had spent the night with my grandmother, and had talked about a nursing home for the first time that weekend. But now the struggle was over, and I was thinking about how to manage the day and this week we were starting Sonshine School.

Larry was not working (was he doing a night shift at that time?), so I took J to his school (Kindergarten), and I was on my way to Sonshine School for a work day. After dropping him off, I went to a grocery store to get a bagel for breakfast. The workers were talking about two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. I remember thinking, "I'd believe one plane into a building, but two? How could the same accident happen twice?" I also wasn't sure if the WTC was in Chicago or NYC. I couldn't even concieve that a terrorist was even together enough to pull off an act like this. How naive I was! I thought all those "crazy" fundamentalist religious types surely did hate our country, but I never dreamed they were organized and funded like they were. I was just busy being a Mom.

So I went out to the car with my bagel and turned on the radio, and it was some live feed from New York or something with occasional voice overs from the local guys. It sounded crazy, confused and surreal. Which it was at the time.

I went on to my pre-school workplace, and as we always did/do we started with a prayer time. It was somber, and we were freaked out a bit. I remember after we prayed, Mr. Frank came in and said something like, "They hit the Pentagon, too." I couldn't help but be afraid. Tammy wisely told us to not go listening to this stuff all day, but to focus on our tasks for the day, to be a place of normal in our rooms tonight for these little children who would be visiting us. It was Meet the Teacher Night. I called Larry at one point and asked him if he had the TV on. He said yes, he and B were watching a video. No, Larry, turn on the TV news. Something crazy is happening to our country.

I processed all this during the day. I realized that I am not anywhere near the Pentagon or NYC. I'm in a place with a major university, but not any major terrorist target, most likely (but who knows the logic?). I thought about my child at his little school. Was he safe? Probably best to keep him in a normal place as well.

And then we had a Board-provided lunch. All we could talk about was the confusion and the whys. I remember asking Johnnie Ruth if this is what WWII felt like. Are we at war? Who is this enemy?

And then my thoughts would go to my grandmother. How could I forget? My grandmother has passed away, and this moment that I need for grief for my loss is confused by all this other stuff. This major event!! How can life ever be the same again? And how is my Mom? Her siblings?

All these questions have been answered, I guess, but I'm still left with my funny feeling. My protected world was disrupted, and I have a new reality. But my focus is really the same: I'm looking out for my kids and those little kids in my care, trying to do what's best for them. I'm trying to be those hands of Jesus in my daily life. I can't go freaking out about stuff that's happening in the world. I call upon the "peace that passes understanding" and upon the Comforter to get me through the little things that bother me and the big major events like this.

Later in the week, we had my grandmother's funeral---on Thursday, what was supposed to be the first day of school for my Sonshine School. My aunt got stranded in Texas, and Mom and her had to go shopping to get her some funeral clothes. Her family was stuck in Michigan, where they could not be a support for her. Remember? all flights were shut down for how many days? I don't even remember. But the funeral was a celebration of her life. She was again united with my grand-dad. My aunt and my mom wore pantsuits, and my uncle wore his Scottish kilt that he got on a "heritage" trip he took with my grandmother to Scotland. (The girls wore pants, the boy wore a "skirt" see the irony?)

Well, that's my post. What were you doing on Sept. 11, 2001?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Back in Black

I had to copy Janet and go get my theme song. Why did I get such a hard rockin' song?? It's funny. You'd be proud, though, I can hear the tune of it in my head. I know lots of music genres!

Your Theme Song is Back in Black by AC/DC

"Back in black, I hit the sack,

I've been too long, I'm glad to be back"

Things sometimes get really crazy for you, and sometimes you have to get away from all the chaos.

But each time you stage your comeback, it's even better than the last!

What does that mean for me? That once I mess up, I learn from it and move on to be better? 'Cause that's what I hope I am doing, for real.
And to temper that hard rock message, here's my scripture of the day:
Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. II Corinthians 4:1
I had to go look up what the "ministry" was---it's referring to the ministry of delivering the message of the new covenant.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I read a blog that had this tag on it today. She didn't really tag me, per se, but invited anyone reading to do their own. I am thinking I ought to put out a blog today since I am home with free time, so this is it. (Plus, I love lists.) I hope you will enjoy these revealing groups of four. Click on some of my links! I spent way too much time goofing around on this post!

Four jobs I have had in my life: (in order!)
1. babysitting
2. Kroger--video bar/nonfoods
3. Taco Bueno (and my favorite "position" to work was the drive-thru window)
4. Pre-school teacher

Four movies I have watched over and over:
White Christmas
The Wedding Singer
3. Peter Pan (J loved this movie when I was pregnant with B)
4. any of the Star Wars movies or Harry Potter

Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Survivor (this week it's back!)
2. The Amazing Race (Lar and I could do this show---if I would get in shape a bit more!)
Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide (it's a kids' show, but it is fun)
4. What Not to Wear

Four of my favorite foods:
Ro*tel dip and chips (I think I have ingredients in the pantry!)
2. cheesecake
3. fresh peaches (but not canned---yuck)
4. garlic-y breadsticks

Four Places I have lived:
Memphis, Tennessee
Granbury, TX
3. Fowler Hall (dorm) at Texas A&M University--Whoop!
4. Bryan, TX

Four places I would rather be right now:
Kyle Field watching the Aggie game (Lar's there working today!)
2. driving around Texas with Larry
3. anywhere "clean," scrapbooking (my table is messy with kids' crafts right now)
4. see below

Four Places I have been on Vacation:
1. Disneyworld (high school band trip)
Niagara Falls, Canada and Toronto (honeymoon)
3. Fort Worth, downtown (anniversary trip)
4. San Antonio----4 times I can think of: with my parents and sister; high school band trip (Fiesta Flambeau {sp.?} Parade); with Larry one spring break when we were kidless; and once with the kids. It was fun every time.

Today is my Dad's birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dad !

Friday, September 08, 2006

One thing leads to another . . .

Like you're so interested, I know, but here is B's toe. She took this one herself in the back seat of the car. As you can see, it isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be! She's already walking around with no band-aids.

That's partly because you can't swim with a band-aid on at the public pool, and all of second grade gets to swim during P.E. at her school this month. It is great that they get to do that. Her class walks across the street after lunch for swimming. She has P.E. 3 days a week.

Two pools in College Station had cryptosporidium in the waters. The local news station had a posting on their website about cryptosporidium from the CDC. It was really gross! It causes intestinal problems, and is spread via . . . intestinal ways. Both pools are open again after a "deep cleaning." All this talk has made me think that nowhere is really safe. All summer J put pool water in his mouth, and I told him he shouldn't (but does he listen?), since little kids pee in there. Now, we know there's fecal matter in pools, too, spreading cryptosporidium! Totally yucky. And I sure hope that the Bryan pools are testing for all this stuff, too. Maybe J would read that CDC piece . . .

Other worries: West Nile disease. One of my Sonshine School moms asked if we'd seen a lot of mosquitos on the playground. I hadn't, but she made me think about that possible danger as well.

Enough of the Bubble Boy Thoughts. I have to take chances by living life. If I really started thinking about it, I wouldn't drive a car. Or ever eat out.

Larry and I had to go to Home Depot this morning. For fence pickets. The dogs have busted three fence pickets and caused numerous hours of problems. So we bought a little supply, and Larry just got done putting the new ones up. Wednesday night we got home to find no dogs in the yard. Or in the neighbor's yard. They were found in the neighborhood still, but it took a while. Repairs were made. The dogs stayed home all day yesterday while we were gone to school and work. But this morning shortly after Larry and the kids left, another picket was broken, and Angel was in the neighbor's yard. I got her back in (by leaving her alone---she came home), and put both dogs in Zuzu's inside crate. Crowded! Larry came back home and saved the day.

Joy! While we were at Home Depot, we got a new microwave. Larry thought we ought to go ahead and get the venthood microwave, and boy is it fancy! We got a clearance model, about one-third off the price. I can't wait to use it. I wanted to go with white---I know, it is not trendy!----because all the cabinetry is painted white, and my fridge is white. The stove, old microwave and dishwasher are black. The countertops are light colored. So I thought maybe white would be good. But no white ones left on clearance, so we went with black. To match the stove? Whatever. For the one-third off, I was happy to get a really nice microwave in black. Joy!

I decided it is weird to save leftovers in plastic containers when you have no microwave. You have to get a glass dish out to re-heat it, unless you eat it cold. Maybe tomorrow I will be back to microwave heating! And plastic microwavable dishes. And popcorn!! yea!

I have a scripture-a-day calendar, and I thought I might add the scripture for you to enjoy, too. This month is themed "mercy."

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.
Psalm 119:32

I also found a scripture to put on my bulletin board at school. Since our theme is God's Princesses and Warriors, the kids colored shields with markers this week. The scripture was nice:

"My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart."
Psalm 7:10

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I should have said . . .

I thought of some things I should have said in that last post---

First of all, I should have put "I need . . . a new microwave!" Duh. That's something that I might actually get!!

I should have also explained in the paragraph below that who Rikki is! She is one of the new ladies who is a "preschool enrichment assistant." She comes to my class and does everythimg that needs to be done. :-) She will eventually do some one-on-one activities that either assess skills or help develop those "Kindergarten readiness" skills.

Our class rules worked well last year, and I'm so proud it's going well again. I have the kids tell me what kind of rules they think we need in our class, but I get to make the first one----"Raise your hand" at Circle Time, to have a turn talking. I can't hear 5 kids at the same time! They come up with everything essential, with a little guidance.

Another great day at school. Today is my really short day with the kids---9 to 12---but I stay and get stuff ready for the month until the kids are out of school. We're off to a great start.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I am what I am (and that's all that I am)

I am not the "great "I AM." But here are some ideas of what I am.

I am . . . always striving for self-improvement.

I wish . . . I did not have to worry about money.
I hate . . . being wrong.
I miss . . . being in the flag corps! Go Pirates!
I hear . . . too many cartoon shows in my house

I wonder . . . what my kids will be like when they grow up.
I regret . . . ever getting involved with a credit card!
I am not . . . a person who likes confrontation.

I dance . . . in a way that embarasses J.
I sing . . . alto at church, and it's fun!
I cry . . . every time I see someone get a new home (like on Extreme Home Makeover shows or on Oprah, or people who get Habitat for Humanity homes.)

I am not always . . . revealing everything I think.
I make . . . really good chocolate chip cookies. Really good. With butter and not shortening. Yum . . .
I write . . . very carefully for my little four-year-old students.
I confuse . . . Christmas Eve and New Years Eve
I need . . . an extra day in the week to do things I love to do.
I should . . . stop drinking Coke and exercise more.
I start . . . every school year with great expectations!

I finish . . . a bag of microwave popcorn by myself. (Although right now I have no microwave to use! Can I complain about that a little more?)

I started Sonshine School today, and with Rikki in my class, it went so smoothly. I really felt like doing a flip at the end of the day it went so well. But I was pretty tired, and I don't know how to do flips. I can do a cartwheel, though. :-) I had those kids sitting down and making their rules for their class, and one boy, who shall remain nameless, of course, did something amazing. He kept throwing stuff. little things, like plastic veggies or a car from the block center. At one point, we put a rule down, #9 "No throwing." We can throw balls outside. Or in the gym. Anyway, after the 12th time I got on to him about this, I told him, "You have got to stop. I am counting on you to be a big kid, here, and lead the class on a right path." Later, He was over at our rules chart paper, and he told another kid, "See? Number 9 says, 'no throwing.' " Yea! success on the first day!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

It's a holiday, and everything's good. J has gotten over his fever, and with 3 different prescription medicines, he is getting better. We are still trying to teach him to take a pill, though. He is scared of the whole thing, and he told me he keeps thinking about how he choked one time on vacation. (Larry is the one who did the Heimlich, despite the fact that I am the one who had taken CPR/First Aid.) He thinks he'll choke on this tiny pill. He doesn't think he'll choke on a huge, uncouth mouthful of food. (I think he does this because he is a pre-teen boy who just can't eat enough, fast enough.) I drew him some pictures of his insides and how big the tubes are going down his throat, how big the pill is, and the CreamSaver he choked on. It makes sense to him, but he is still trying to fake me out yesterday about swallowing the pill. Big Sigh. There are so many lessons to learn before adulthood, can I teach it all?

B's toe is better, too. We cut off the toenail part that was cracked off. It did not look as raw and open as I thought it would underneath, and I was pleased it would not be huge part of her nail gone.

Of course, Lar is working today, his regular job, from 7-3. This holiday will be taken the Wednesday before Thanksgiving! A good trade.

He worked his second job on Saturday---Kyle Field "event staff". He is standing on the corner of the students' side, near the visiting band and fans. I think he enjoyed it. He said he didn't think he had stood up so long in a long time. Also, he did not think he ever said "Howdy" so many times in so short a time span. He showed people where they sat, held back the fans as the other team (The Citadel) ran to and from their locker room, and made sure people going down the track had the right credentials.

Today, we're hanging around the house. I need to get it under control before I start the week. Tomorrow is the start of Sonshine School, so I will be pretty busy and tired after school. Brownie Scouts tomorrow, too. So today, a couple loads of laundry, mopping some floors, picking up in the living room and bedrooms. Maybe we'll see a couple of more trains this afternoon. I really hoped to get all of them, but time is short. Dinner's in the crock pot---chicken thighs (from the AngelFood Ministries, yes) to cook and make chicken tacos out of. Lunches for the week to be planned, showers to be forced upon the children. You know, it's the usual!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fever 101.9

I ususally call a fever serious when it hits 102, so here we are with an almost freaky fever. J is responding to medicine, so the fever is coming down, but he woke feeling bad. I also start to freak out about a fever that doesn't respond to medicine. The way he feels is directly linked to how high his fever is. I have an appt. with the doctor this morning. And B wants me to have the doctor look at her toe. But that means another $20 co-pay, so I did not officially get an appointment for her. We're handling it I think.

And about the names below, I figured I was safe just mentioning first names, no last names. But my own children I'm trying to do only initials? I'm confusing myself. I'm trying to keep everyone safe. I thought I might see if I had a list of my first class's names and see if they were typical for the times. My fist class of kids was before Jamie was born---1994! Those 4 year olds are now . . . 16? What? They can drive?

And guess what has happened that has greatly impacted my life? The microwave died. Larry got the last service from it yestrday morning, and as he opened the door, it went black. B has asked me twice to pop popcorn, and I can't!

R.I.P., old microwave. I did not choose you, but you came with our house. You served me well. I now will choose your replacement, but he will probably not sit in your mounted to the wall spot (isn't that kinda expensive?).

B has suggested a red replacement, which I do kind of fancy.

Friday, September 01, 2006

J is sick

Here are some pictures of my room, finally. J was putting up some last minute things on the bulletin board before the students arrived. That purple board is my standard teaching stuff. And that turquoise one, too. We do circle time back there in that corner.

This second shot is another angle of the room. It's really impossible to show the room in only two! In the foreground is a table I just had covered with paper for free drawing. (J drew a big dragon. B drew some princesses.) The table in the back is for all the manipulatives---fine motor skills, math games, puzzles, etc. They can get things out and play at the table, and after some training, they can put it back. The table on the left is my science table, and Cookie the Hamster is there this night, and some shells for touching and looking at.

I have two Saras (Sarah Kate and Sara), two Daniels, and two girls named Kaylee. That last one is a real surprise. I always alphabatize the class by their first names. I love all that name writing at the beginning. Those children start becomming mine as soon as I get the class list, and the more I write the list, the more I love them. They are mine! :-) (Parents, do not be alarmed!) Here are the class's names:
Sarah Kate

Isn't that cute? I just love their names all in a row like that.

The real reason I got on the computer to blog was that J is sick. I kept him home from school because he was coughing and sounded bad this morning. I left it up to him. He wanted to stay home. By lunch, I was ready to give him his first dose of medicine. So I made the right choice, because now he has a fever. If he still sounds funny tomorrow, like he does now, I might try to get him in to see a doctor tomorrow morning (Saturday). He breathes in, and it sounds congested or something. For some reason, I do not understand what wheezing sounds like. I know what it feels like. But I am worried I will not catch this soon enough, and he will be suffering on this holiday weekend. He got a bowl of ice cream, then medicine---one dose for fever, one dose Robitussin DM for congestion and coughing. His tummy muscles will be sore tomorrow from all his coughing. He never coughs this much. I think he hasn't been to the doctor for more than a year!

I did yoga two mornings in a row! Go me!

August wrap-up

Today, September 1st, was my Grand-daddy Jamieson's birthday. He would have been 91? It is the season of my grandparents' birthdays, as my two living grandparents just celebrated their birthdays the 17th and 24th of August. Happy Birthday! Lar just had his birthday this week as well, and we are looking forward to September, now, since it is B's birthday month.

First of all, I have this picture without B's blessing.
I hope you can read this wonderful specimen of homework. This is B's first Spanish writing homework of the year, but I think of the whole time she's been in school. I have seen her writing in Spanish some, but she said she doesn't know how to write in Spanish. She knows how to say things, she knows how to guess at spellings, so I think she knows how to write in Spanish, too.

These are her spelling words of the week---the Spanish ones. They are learning about timelines and stuff like that. I was just so proud to see her learning!

Her big event of the week, though, was hurting herself last night. I was doing my Meet the Teacher night at my Sonshine School, and after the parents and kids were gone, she was out on the playground barefooted and rammed her toenail into something. It split her nail down the middle (yikes!), and I was afraid about a quarter of that nail might come off. It bled and was hurting bad. I talked to many people, to figure out what to do. She felt much better this morning, so she went off to school in flip flops, toe tied up in gauze and tape.

Last night was a crazy, exhausting night. I met 17 of my 18 kids. I did have a few extra kids in there (siblings), but it was a fun hour or so with them. So many of them know me from school anyway, so it was an easy transition. None of them seemed too scared of being there when their parents dropped them off. The parents went to an orentation meeting while we watched our classes in our rooms. I had everything ready: the kids' names everywhere in the room (cubbies, job charts, pocket charts, on the easel, in the writing center), fun activities on the tables, room rearranged to accomodate some new furniture. My mouth was dry before the night was through---I was talking to parents and kids nonstop. I had a generally great feeling about the whole experence. And as crazy as it felt in there, I know that once school gets going, it will be more settled. Having all the kids, plus all the parents makes it a bit full in that room!

I can't get a picture to post. I was going to include one or two I took last night before the kids arrived. Maybe later!

"And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful." II Timothy 2:24