Saturday, October 31, 2009

No Show and Tell Friday

We did not have show and tell yesterday. We couldn't. Our class was overrun by strangers. There was a lion and a kangaroo, Batman, a Jedi, a pirate, Cinderella, a princess, and two Hannah Montanas. No time for show and tell with all of us trying to find that glass slipper and deal with Hannah's double personality.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 ways Julianna is different from the boys when they were her age...

1. She wears pink. The boys pretty much wore jeans and tee shirts everyday. Blue or green tee shirts. Jules has a closet full of dresses and skirts and sweaters and cute little blouses and leggings and ponchos and colorful socks. And lots and lots of pink.

2. She is a dancer. She loves to dance and does it often. It is so much fun to watch "So You Think You Can Dance" with her. She has different moves for each style of music and will stop whatever she's doing to watch the dancing and join in. The boys hated it when I grabbed them and danced with them. They would fight to get down. Sometimes I let them. Sometimes I didn't. Maybe that's why they still won't dance with me. They have also been known to tell me to stop when I'm dancing on my own.

3. She just this morning climbed into her high chair. I took the tray off to clean it, and while my back was turned, she somehow climbed in all by herself. I have no idea how she did it. Neither of the boys ever did that. They never really climbed on anything they weren't supposed to. They also never climbed out of their cribs. I think I better keep an eye on their little sister, though.

4. Her hair is longer now than I've ever let the boys' hair get. For as long as they would let me, I used electric trimmers to cut their hair really short. Even though I've trimmed Jules' hair, I'm letting it grow for a while until I decide on a style for her.

5. She interacts with kids more. The boys mostly grew up with other boys. They all tended to play on their own without much interaction. Girls, though, are way more aware of other kids. Julianna and her friend Lily, from the time they were six months old and in Bible class together, have interacted. I have even wondered what they would say to each other if they could hold a real conversation.

6. She loves dolls. She holds them and hugs them and sings to them. One of her first words was "baby." The boys only used dolls as weapons or to throw...or weapons to throw. And still they do not like to even touch Julianna's babies lying around the house.

7. She only slows down if she's asleep. If she's awake, she's moving. Playing, touching everything, opening drawers and pulling things out. Taking the remote and turning the channel. Trying to get to the keyboard and mouse on the computer desk. that I think about it, the boys were like that, too.

8. She is way more dramatic. When she doesn't get her way, she will look at me with puppy dog eyes and cover her mouth and cry. Yes, she covers her mouth. Like those women in old black and white movies. She's also been known to lay in her crib and cover her eyes and cry, then stop to peek at the door to see if I'm there, and then start again.

9. She seems to be more affectionate. She hugs and kisses without being prompted. She hugs us if we get hurt. She jumps off my lap in the mornings to run down the hall to hug her brothers and daddy when they get up. She pats and pets and loves on everything from toys to the cats to her family.

10. She's a girl. Obvious, I know. But raising a girl is just different than raising boys. There are different concerns and issues and joys. There is this spot in my heart that I didn't know existed before Julianna was here. A piece of the mommy part of my heart that was only meant to belong to a daughter. All mommies' hearts are different, I think. Some are meant for boys. Some for girls. Some for both. Some for only one child. Some for a dozen. Some for biological children. Some for adopted children. Some for a mixture of both. My mommy heart, well, mine was made for two boys and a girl. And not only that, it was designed, created, meant to love Josh and Adam and Julianna.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blessed Sunday

This weekend I was blessed with reminders of what family means. On Friday night I had planned to go to craft night at church leaving the kids with Arrty. But when it came time to go, I couldn't bear to leave Julianna. I miss her so much when I'm at work all day, so when I get home, the two of us are pretty much stuck together. So I bundled her up and took her with me. I didn't get much scrapbooking done, but it didn't matter. Family means being together.

Then on Saturday morning, I was all set to spend the day in my pjs crossing things off my to-do list. But just before 8:00, Arrty called and had forgotten an important dvd at home that he needed for the NIC class he teaches. So I got myself and the kids ready and we made the 40 minute trip to deliver his dvd. Since we were so close, we headed over to Toys R Us and looked around for a while, then had lunch and picked up some Krispy Kremes on the way home. We were out anyway, so we made the most of it. Family means flexibility.

Then on the way home from Spokane, my sister called. She asked me where I was and if I could do her a favor. Without even knowing what it was I said, "Yes." My nephew was sick and she wondered if I would stop at the store and bring her some Tylenol for him so that she didn't have to take him out. Of course I would. I could only love her kids more if they were my own. So I ran into Target and got two bottles of medicine, cherry and strawberry, and gladly delivered them to my sick nephew and grateful sister. Family means going out of your way to help.

I am blessed with a wonderful family. And being reminded of that is a blessing in itself.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Show and Tell

P.--a stuffed kitty from McDonald's that she wants "to play with ever again"
M.--tiny little animals with a tiny little house including a tiny tiger with a tiny little couch
M.--two pet cats that M. loves "so much" whose names are Hannah and Sophia
H.--a hamster named Little Fuzzy that H. got for her birthday. "She eats seeds and water."
D.--a pocket watch that belongs to D.'s dad that is "very old and very breakable"
I.--a purse that is "very special" that "opens like this" and is "made out of straw"
K.--a silver thing with flashing lights on the ends. I'm not sure what it was, but the kids all wanted to try it. Even K. didn't know what to call it.

Update: I just had to catch Little Fuzzy from amidst the feet of a bunch of squealing five year old girls. They were all afraid of getting bit. I was more afraid of having to clean up a squished hamster off my rug!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things about Adam (since I've done 10 things about Jules and Josh in the last few weeks)

1. He is funny. He has always been funny. The first time I realized it was when he was about 2 1/2 and he was in the bath. I kept pulling the plug to let the water out and he kept pushing it back down. Finally after about 5 times, I said, "Adam, if you push that plug down again, you're going to get a spanking." He looked up at me and said, "No closing costs, mama." Really. No closing costs. For closing the drain. It was hilarious. (And it made me wonder if he was watching too many mortgage commercials on tv.)

2. He has great hair. He is the only blond one in our family. And he has this thick, soft hair that lays down just right. Or sticks up just right, depending on the day. It makes me jealous.

3. He has the bluest blue eyes. I love them. And they make for great pictures.

4. He is hard to discipline. Ever since he first needed to be disciplined, I have hardly been able to do it because as soon as I look at him, he does something to make me smile. At first it was just natural. Then he took advantage of his talent. And even now, sometimes he gets me. But not as often as he did when he was 2 or 3 or 4. He was just so cute!

5. He likes to play. And not just at play time. He likes to play as he learns and as he eats and as he bathes and as he rides in the car. His unspoken motto is, "If it's not fun, why do it." (Not really a bad motto, now that I think about it.)

6. He is a thinker. We will be talking about something and a while later he will ask a very intelligent question about the conversation. He thinks things through and wants to figure things out.

7. He is easily distracted. Which isn't helpful at school. He has told me, "There is just so much to look at." Yes, there is, but you'd think by now he'd be used to it. He's not and still gets distracted. Which leads to lots of homework.

8. He is a perfectionist. He sometimes has a hard time trying new things or starting new projects because he doesn't want to mess up. But like all perfectionists, that attitude doesn't transfer to all areas of keeping his room clean.

9. He is a great big brother. He absolutely adores Julianna. He was the first one to read a book to her. And he is her favorite playmate. They are actually a lot alike.

10. He is a butterfly chaser. Meaning, 1. he figuratively chases butterflies by being distracted by the little things that fly by in life, and 2. he literally chases butterflies...or any other creepy crawly. (He does, however, keep his distance from spiders. Not sure where he gets that.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blessed Sunday

I'm not a big fan of grocery shopping. Is anyone? But this week I felt extremely blessed to go to the grocery store and load up my cart with fresh produce and meat and bread and milk for my family. I can pretty much buy whatever I want when I go shopping. And even though I try to be frugal and plan ahead to save money, I can still throw in a bag of chips and a box of Oreos if I want. I can buy a treat for the kids and know that it won't break the bank. So this week when I was able to do this, and remembered that everyone isn't, I felt blessed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Show and Tell

H--a baby doll who is "very special" and who was spontaneously named Sarah by the class
M--a giant bouncy ball and a puppy that is "very special" and "no one can touch it." The puppy came from grandma and the ball came from the prize box and it's "very special."
D--a model car that he got from the dollar store and he put together which is "very special" and was bought with his own money and a flashing light that is "special" because it came from daddy
P--"Cabbage Patch girl from home" that is "really special" and "no one can take it so that it doesn't get hurt or broken or run over." (Run over?!?!)
I--a stuffed kitty that is "very special" that I. found "a couple weeks ago" that has "a long tail and a bow on the side and it's name is Puff"
M--a toy horse named Kelly that doesn't like getting hurt or getting pulled like "this or that" and who "doesn't like when people pinch her because then she thinks that she is going to get pinched every day."
M--big, green glitter filled bouncy ball that she likes a lot and bounces really high

Thursday, October 15, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things I miss about homeschooling...

1. teaching in my pajamas
2. reading together on the couch
3. being home with Julianna
4. having no evening homework
5. being able to clean/cook during the day
6. flexibility
7. not having to worry about the kid's missing school because of illness
8. discussions with the boys about Julius Caesar and ecosystems and Van Gogh and Robinson Crusoe
9. spontaneous field trips/snow days/self declared holidays
10. spending all day with my three favorite kids

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Guess what I got today? Pictures from the Jason Mraz concert taken by the sweet lady sitting next to us. She saw me taking pitiful pictures with my phone and offered to email me the pictures she was taking. I was so excited to see them and thought I'd share a few with you.

Josh in front of the stage. He loved every minute of it!

Yes, Jason is barefoot. Which only made him that much more endearing.

This was probably my favorite time at the concert. He taught the audience this dance to go with his song and a whole sea of people were dancing together. So much fun!

The lighting was great for being an outdoor concert. And you can see in this picture the big screen at the back of the stage. We had great seats and were even closer than it looks in the pictures.

Oh my goodness. These great pictures reminded me what a fun time we had and what an amazing concert it was. I would go see Jason Mraz again in a second! And will as soon as he's close enough again.

Thanks, Leigh, for your kindness and for the super pictures!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Blessed Sunday

Music. Music is a blessing. From the time I can remember, I have loved music and singing. In high school I was in choir all four years and in jazz choir, too, my junior and senior years. I was also the alto in the girl's trio. So I did a lot of singing. Then when the kids were born I sang again. I sang lullabies and hymns and folk songs and songs I made up during middle of the night rocking chair sessions. And in between I sang with the radio and at concerts and at church. I taught music for several years and still sing with my students every day. And with my own kids every night. I can't play any musical instruments, although I wish I could. But I can, and do, use my voice to make music. I can't sing when I'm sad or upset. I've tried and I just can't. But I can sing. And have. And will again before my head hits the pillow. So music is counted among my endless list of blessings. Yesterday. Today. And always.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Golden--10 Things Special Edition

10 things about Josh on his golden birthday (turning 10 on the 10th). (He is even turning 10 on the 10th day of the 10th month and will be 10 until 10/10/10.)
Josh on his birthday present...a motorcycle!

1. Josh was born at 11:25am by c-section after 32 hours of labor. He was facing up, which apparently doesn't work so well in the whole baby delivery thing. I'm not sure why they didn't figure it out sooner. It wasn't really good to hear my doctor say, after she had cut me open, "Oh, well there's the problem."

2. He weighed 7lb. 3oz. and was 20.5 inches long. That same doctor had told me he would be at least 9 pounds. I really should have found a new doctor before Adam was born.

3. He had tons of long, black hair that stood up all over the place. I loved it! He still has crazy hair with lots of cowlicks. And I still love it.

4. He slept a lot and ate a lot, but only cried a little. But for a long time he would only sleep in my arms. And I've discovered, after two more kids, that he didn't eat so much as nursed.

5. He has always been smart. He was always ahead of the "what they should be doing" charts. And he is still a smart kid in and out of the classroom.

6. He is sweet. He loves with his whole heart and is compassionate toward those he loves. He can read the feelings of others and knows just when someone needs a hug or kind word.

7. He is stubborn. He thinks his way is the right way and will fight for it to the end. Which is both good and bad. I pray that it will cause him to be a good leader, but not cause hardship in his life as he grows.

8. He loves fishing, camping, music, watching tv, chicken and dumplings, being with his friends, baseball, having his back scratched, chocolate milk, playing card games, laughing, and motorcycles. And he still likes to snuggle with his mommy.

9. He doesn't like roller coasters, not getting his way, unfairness, homework, corn off the cob, going shopping, haircuts, or anything to do with medical procedures (dental work, shots, etc.).

10. He has amazed me every day for the last 3,650 days. He taught me how to be a mommy. He taught me what love really is. He teaches me every day that he (and his sister and brother) are my purpose for being on this earth. I loved him on the day he was born 10 years ago. I have loved him every day since. And I love him today.

Bonus: Joshua was not one of the names we had picked out for him when we went to the hospital. Our boy names were Samuel (which is his middle name) and Douglas (which is Adam's middle name after my dad). Our girl names were Megan and Katelyn (which I totally wouldn't choose for a girl now...which I guess is obvious since Julianna's name is Julianna). He was named on the evening of the 11th after a day and a half of getting to know him. (Yes, it really was the next day. Don't believe those who like to exaggerate the length of time that my first child was nameless.) Joshua has turned out to be the perfect name for him. But these days he likes to be called Josh, not Joshua.

Happy birthday, Josh.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 words Julianna says on a regular basis

1. Mama/Mommy/Mimi. I love being called Mimi. Both the boys called me that for a while, too. Josh still does occasionally.
2. Dada...usually it's dadadada
3. baby...for real babies or dolls
4. woof woof...which means she sees or hears a dog
5. drink...sounds like dink
6. Adam...usually she says A'am. Sometimes she gets the "d" in there.
7. Josh...sounds like Jo
8. hi...usually followed by mama, dada, A'am, or Jo
9. bye...said while waving, of course (And with a southern accent thanks to Grandma.)
10. ball...which is any round object

Other things she can say...uh-oh, no, Pappy, puppy, meow, kitty

10 baby signs that Julianna uses

1. more...which she uses for eat, drink, more, and "I want that!"
2. eat...if her using "more" doesn't get her what she wants fast enough
3. thank you...thanks to Aunt Ada
4. please...thanks to Auntie Kat
5. frog...although she likes it more when I do it since it involves sticking out my tongue
6. bathtime or if she wants a drink of mine
7. fish...also at bathtime
8. book...which I love
9. yummy...the internationally accepted rubbing of the tummy
10. I love you...which is the sweetest thing ever!!!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


So today in chapel the two girls on the end of the row were having a little bit of a wrestling match. One seemed to be trying to lean as far as she could to her left to get away from the other. I whispered down to them in my mean chapel whisper, "Girls, what is going on?" The leaner looked at me and said, "She keeps trying to make me smell her hair!" "M., don't make her smell your hair," I scolded. Then I looked the other way to hide my laughter. Smell her hair?!?! Really?

Just heard in kindergarten..."I love kangaroos. But my most favorite animal is the color blue."

Monday, October 05, 2009

Blessed Monday

I totally missed Blessed Sunday yesterday. I stayed home from church trying desperately to get over this horrible cough that is plaguing me. I watched Good Will Hunting and remembered what a good movie that is. Especially on a station that changes all the bad words to "shucks" and "darn." I don't like that bad language. After the movie, I cleaned house including mopping, vacuuming, and doing several loads of laundry. Then I fixed lunch for the family and finished watching The Return of The King with the boys. (I have decided that my favorite character is Sam. He is loyal and brave and just a good guy.) Then I tried to take a nap. The cough prevented much of one though. Then there was more laundry, more cooking, bath time for Jules, bill paying, and all that little stuff that occupies my time. Then bed for me at 9:30.

But what I would have written about had I done Blessed Sunday, is Ladies' Day. The first Saturday in October is our annual Ladies Fall Fellowship at church. Has been for years. It's always such a blessing. We sing and listen to a special speaker and eat lunch together and just enjoy time together as God's daughters. It is uplifting. It is renewing. It is a blessing.

On another note...


I have scheduled Josh's birthday party for Friday afternoon at the park. Last week the weather forecast said sunny and 65. Now it's saying sunny and 50. 50 seems kind of cool for an outdoor party. So I need an alternative. Anyone have a brilliant idea for me? Besides snowsuits, I mean.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things I'm thankful for today...

1. that Josh's teeth that he injured in yesterday's playground incident are baby teeth (And the one he knocked loose is supposed to fall out around his age anyways.)

2. that the $159.00 bill to fix his chipped tooth is covered by insurance (which is a new policy that I only remembered after writing a check that I then happily was able to shred)

3. that when I drop off Julianna to my sister in the mornings, she happily waves and says, "bye" (I don't think I could handle it if she cried.)

4. that today is jeans day at school (I'm especially thankful since jeans are the only pants I had clean this morning.)

5. that our sweet lunch lady just delivered my free lunch to my desk in a brown paper sack complete with my name and a smiley face on the bag (It's a ham and cheese sandwich, goldfish crackers, a fresh pear, and two cookies.)

6. that this horrible cough and cold that I have had the last few days is starting to wind down (Now if I could just sleep through the night.)

7. that all my kindergartners, for the first time all year, had the right hand on their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance in chapel this morning (Well, except for one of the girls from my class who was standing in front leading the pledge.)

8. that I have an ice cold Diet Coke sitting on my desk (Actually there are two. But who's counting?)

9. that tomorrow is a teacher work day at school, which is almost like a day off (Especially since we are taking the kids to Chuck E. Cheese after we do our "work.")

10. that God provides better than I deserve (And I know it...even when times are hard.)