Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I got a call yesterday from mom saying that they are heading home from their trip a day early. I can't tell you how happy I am about that. I miss my boy. Even more than I thought I would. I am so looking forward to holding him in my arms again. And not letting go for awhile.

During that same call, I had to tell mom about the little accident I had in her car on Monday. Just a few scratches on her front bumper. And on the little red car that mysteriously appeared in front of me at a red light. But she did laugh when I reminded her that I made it 38 years before scratching any of her cars.

I really didn't think it was possible, but Julianna just keeps getting cuter. Every day, more cuteness. And silliness. And wonderfulness.

I am loving summer. The sun. The light. The freedom. All the goodness of the season.

Adam had an orthodontist appointment yesterday. We were sent by our family dentist. It turned out to be much ado about nothing. Maybe a little work to be done in the future, but nothing major. I don't know who was more relieved, Adam or me.

I have 4 days before our annual 4th of July extravaganza. And at least 10 days of stuff to do to get ready. And yet here I sit blogging.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blessed Sunday

Blessed Sunday posts are usually about the big, friends, jobs, salvation, etc. But today I am feeling blessed by the little things. Here are just a few.

Flowers. Adam, Julianna, and I just planted a bunch of flowers out in our little rock garden in front of the porch. They are lovely. I don't know a lot about gardening and am known to kill most plants, but I can usually keep a few perennials alive for most of the summer. So we just bought a variety of sun loving plants and planted them all together in a mish mash of color. I can't wait to sit out on the porch tomorrow morning and admire our work in the summer breeze.

My van. Not only did my parents take Josh with them on vacation, they took my van, too. Since it's bigger than any of their vehicles, I volunteered to loan it to them for the long trip. This last week driving my mom's little Subaru has made me realize what a blessing my van is. You should see us in that little car. It's like a clown car when the four of us are getting out. All I can say is that it's a good thing they took Josh with them. There is no way all five of us could fit in there. And yesterday we went to Home Depot and Arrty bought an air compressor. We didn't even think about not having one of our cars that we could throw it in to get it home. Until we got it out to the car and the box was bigger than the car! He had to return it, go home to get his Explorer and go to Home Depot to buy it again.

Ice water. I love ice water. I would hate, absolutely hate, to live in a time or place where I couldn't drink ice cold water. I do not like lukewarm water or even cool water. Just wonderfully ice cold water.

So there you have three of the little blessings in my life today.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I promise...

...regardless of the previous history of me causing near riots at school, I had nothing to do with this.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

10 Things Thursday

Since I've been on summer vacation, I have had more time to keep up with what's happening in the world. And to watch the Today Show. Well, only the first hour or so. Not the Kathie Lee hour. So here are 10 things about the news...

1. Okay, so I understand it's not good to say bad things about your boss. And I know General McCrystal knows that, too. But the media was all over this story. So he criticized the war. War should be looked at from both sides, don't you think? It's not a good thing...war. It's devastating. And frankly, I take the word of someone in the middle of it way more seriously than someone sitting in an office just hearing about it. Did he deserve to be replaced? I don't know. But I do think he was made to be the villain in this story when maybe he isn't so much.

2. There is an organization suing McDonald's trying to get them to stop putting toys in their Happy Meals. They say that the toys entice kids who in turn pester their parents to buy them unhealthy food. I have to say that I was a little offended by this. Yes, occasionally my kids think the toys are cool and want to go eat there to get one. (Not so much as they get older.) But I say "yes" or "no" based on what I want to do. They say that it's too hard for parents to say no and that the kids keep bugging them until they give in. Really?!? Really?!? If that's their concern they should be spending all those legal fees on educating parents, not fighting fights they'll never win. It would be so much more efficient. Plus we could still get our Shrek watches.

3. There was a mom in Ohio whose car got smashed by a huge falling tree while she was driving with her three little girls. The car was demolished. And they all walked away with just a few scratches. She said that someone was watching over them. After seeing the smashed car, all I could do was agree.

4. Right now the longest tennis match in tennis history is going on. An American and a French player just can't seem to finish what is being called an "epic" match. Now I have never in my life watched a tennis match. But "epic?" I may have to tune in. (Update: Isner, the American, won 70-68.)

5. The oil spill. I understand that it's a bad thing. Very bad for those whose lives are being affected because they can't make a living. I'm glad that BP is trying to fix things. But here are my two thoughts. First, they really need to come up with a way that if this ever happens again, they can stop the oil from continuing to leak out of the ocean floor. Duh. And secondly, the president can't take his little girl to a baseball game because of this disaster? Come on. What's he supposed to do? Sit in his office waiting for months for the news that everything's back to normal? I don't think so. Enjoy the game.

6. Jerry Seinfeld thinks Lady Gaga is "a jerk." She was moved to his empty box at a baseball game after making an obscene gesture and taking off her clothes down to her sparkly underwear. When he showed up for the second game of a double header, she was there. In his box. Apparently she made a bad first impression on the comedian who said something about if you drop the last "a" in her name you have "gag."

7. I guess the world cup is still going on, too. It's even making the news these days because America's team is still in it. That's all I know. Except that a lot of people are annoyed by the loud, and dangerous, vuvuzelas.

8. Twilight fans have been lining up for days in anticipation of Eclipse which opens June 30th. I readily admit that I have read all four books twice and have seen and own the first two movies. And I will be seeing Eclipse very soon after its release. But I will not be sleeping in front of the theater in a tent waiting to be first in line for the midnight showing. And honestly, I wouldn't have even done such a thing when I was younger. Even if my dad would have let me.

9. U.S. mortgage rates are at an all time low. But as much as I'd love to move into town from our house out in the boonies, we can't sell our house for enough to make it worth it. Sigh.

10. And then there's this for Marmitetoasty.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Julianna just said...

"I love you more than chocolate milk."

Now that's love.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


It's been forever since I've posted on a Saturday. I'm usually too busy doing everything or nothing. And if I think about it, the computer is usually being used by another member of the family. So here it is a Saturday and the kids are fed, the dishwasher is running, Adam's watching American Gladiators, Julianna is feeding cat food the the picture of the cat on the cat food bag, and I have a moment.

I guess the biggest news in our family is that Josh is gone on vacation with my mom and dad. All the way across the country. For more than two weeks. Dad called on Thursday morning to ask if he could go with them. (They were already planning to borrow our van so they had plenty of room.) They had considered taking more than one of the grandsons, but they are bringing two of my aunts and maybe even my grandma back with them, so on the trip back the van would be pretty full. So they decided to make it a one grandchild trip. They have the plan that when each grandchild is 10 years old, they will get to go on a trip with them by themselves. I think it's a great idea. All the kids, mine and my sister's, adore, absolutely adore their grandparents. They are easy to adore. And the kids know that they are adored by their Grams and Pappy, too.

So when the opportunity came for Josh to join them on their cross country adventure, I was excited for him. But nervous, too. What if the drive is too much for him? What if he gets homesick after a few days and is all the way across the country and I can't get to him? What if I miss him too much? But all of those things will be forgotten once he's back home. What won't be forgotten is the time he is spending with two of the people he loves most in the world. The laughter and the songs and the views and the once in a lifetime experiences. I am happy for him and can't wait to hear his stories and see his pictures.

But I do already miss him.* I just don't feel quite whole when any of my other parts are away. My heart isn't my own anymore, you know. It is divided into many parts, each one given to some special person in my life. So the Josh part is beating just a little quieter than usual since I sent some of myself with him. And right now that part is in Nebraska, laughing and singing and noticing that the corn is already knee high in that part of the country.

But in a few weeks he'll be back. Taller. Stronger. And full of treasured memories.

*Julianna misses Josh, too. With him gone, Adam only has her to bug. I've never heard, "A'amdee, leave alone!" so many times in one day as I heard yesterday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

10 Things Thursday

Wait. Is it Thursday? I haven't really been keeping track of the days since I'm on summer VACATION! Either way, here are 10 things I haven't done this week.

1. I haven't woken up to an alarm clock. Because as soon as I got up last Thursday, I turned it off and plan to leave it off until September.
2. I haven't slept any later than I would have with the alarm clock. Julianna has decided that waking up even earlier than usual is a great way to spend summer vacation.
3. I haven't gone to the beach. Too cold and rainy so far. Hopefully soon.
4. I haven't crossed anything off my summer to do list. It's only been 3 days so far, right?
5. I haven't walked in a line down the hall with 10 little people following me. Although I have led a line of one because Julianna follows me everywhere.
6. I haven't said the phrases, "inside voices, please," "criss-cross applesauce," or "there are two vowels in that word," even once.
7. I haven't completely finished everything at school. I've only been there a few hours this week and that was with the kids, so not a lot got done.
8. I haven't gone grocery shopping. But I have to today because we are now out of fruit, veggies, milk, and bread.
9. I haven't stayed up late. I think I've gone to bed before 10:00 every night but one.
10. I haven't danced my vacation dance yet. How could I have forgotten that?!...............Okay, now I have.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On being a mom...

Adam: Mom, isn't it fun being a mom?
Me: Sure it is, Adam. I have no idea what I would do with all my money and time if I didn't have kids. I guess I would just watch movies and read books all day uninterrupted.
Adam: I knew you would say something like that.

I did then tell him that being a mom is my favorite thing ever and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


This morning Kathy and I made our annual trip to the Spokane Valley for the Book Man's* closeout sale and the Scholastic Book Warehouse sale. The Book Man's sale is out of his garage and when we got there 3 minutes early, there were already shoppers leaving with full bags. No fair being early birds! We'll never know if we missed something good. We both breathed deeply and pushed through the crowd to find a few treasures. Mine included a 3 foot tall Old Lady puppet complete with all the things she swallowed.** And a free stuffed fox for Julianna, a rain gauge for my mom for her garden, and a book called Hiking Idaho.

From there it was only about 6 miles to the book warehouse. We've been there many times for their sales and it's always fun to browse through the hundreds, maybe even thousands, of books. Today they had what they call "build a box" where you pay $25 for everything you can fit into a box that they provide. We went through that section and decided that there were enough items that we wanted that we could split a box. Just let me say that Kathy is my hero in the box packing department. You would not believe how many books she fit in that little box. Easily $300 worth and probably over 40 books. Amazing. After that we walked up and down the aisles and found many more treasures. I have enough books to last me the summer plus quite a few things for the kids including juggling books and balls for the boys and a stack of new books for Jules. We had a great time. Except for when I had to fight the old nun with a cane for the last copy of Animal Rainbow.***

After our almost 4 hours of book shopping, we went to Red Robin and had hamburgers and fries for lunch. I had the bacon melt burger. It was delicious. Kathy had the whiskey river burger. She said hers was good, too. And even though it had "whiskey" in the name, it luckily didn't have enough whiskey in it to cause her to act like a drunken monkey.

We always have fun on our book sale days, but today was especially fun. We laughed and told stories and bought a bunch of great books. It was a good day.

*The Book Man is the guy who brings his selection of books to school throughout the year for us to buy. His real name is Chris, but to us he's the Book Man.
**You know. "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly..."
***This did not happen. But there were nuns there shopping. And there was one with a cane. And I did get what I thought was the last copy of Animal Rainbow. And I did tell Kathy that I fought the nun for it. And she laughed knowing very well that that little, old nun could have easily taken me down if she wanted to.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 things about today.

1. It's the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!
2. I'm happy that it's the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!
3. I got end of the year presents today (and earlier this week)...Diet Coke and Oreos and a movie gift certificate (from a mom who obviously knows me very well. Thanks, Alyson.), a Willow Tree trinket box, a basil planter, a Scentsy candle and burner, a set of watering bulbs (from the mom who knows that I do not have a green thumb), a shadow box with teacher stuff, and a huge, beautiful hanging plant. All mighty fine gifts, I think.
4. We had our awards ceremony. Every student in the school got at least one award.
5. Josh got a spelling award and an award for being on the A/B honor roll.
6. Adam got a science award, A/B honor roll, and a Timothy award for character.
7. One of my students leaned over during the awards presentations and asked me, "Teacher, do you know what 'bored' means?" Why, yes. Yes, I do. And apparently all her classmates do, too, because they quickly began to make trumpets/hats/swords/telescopes out of their certificates.
8. I was declared the "Best Teacher Ever" when I gave all the boys in my class GX mini-skateboard toys and all the girls Littlest Pet Shop toys. (I am unofficially also the thriftiest teacher ever because I bought them all on clearance at Target.)
9. Some of my students will not be coming back to our school next year and I'm a little sad that I won't see them again.
10. And lastly, did I's the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

One more

Just thought I'd check in, but no time to post. It's The Last Day of School Eve.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

More Fun

For birthdays in our family, we go out to dinner. The birthday person gets to pick. The boys have been old enough to pick for a while, but since Julianna isn't, we pick for her. Here's how we do it. The four of us write our pick on a slip of paper and then Jules picks from those and that's where we go. The winner yesterday was Josh who chose Olive Garden. (Adam says that Josh won last year with Olive Garden, too. I don't remember, but he's pretty good at remembering those things, so I'd bet he's right.) It turned out to be a good choice. Julianna thoroughly enjoyed her cheese ravioli. See.

She also liked the breadsticks and my fettuccine alfredo.

After dinner, we went to Dairy Queen for a birthday treat. We all got Blizzards (they brought back my favorite--banana split--for the Blizzard's 25th birthday*) except Julianna who got a strawberry sundae. She ate the strawberries and a few bites of my Blizzard.

When we got home, we sang Happy Birthday over a Little Debbie powdered donut with two candles stuck in it. (Don't worry. She'll have a real cake on Sunday for her party. I just needed something to stick the candles in.)

And besides that, does she look like she minded a birthday donut?

Then she opened her presents. We got her the movie Mulan and a musical turtle toy. She loved the turtles! I had to convince her that it was their bedtime so that she would go to bed, too!

Notice how Adam got in on the action. And notice her concentration on her music complete with tongue sticking out and all. I'm telling you. This girl will be the 2026 American Idol. Just you wait and see.

So all in all I think Miss Julianna had a good golden birthday. And she doesn't even know that the fun will continue this weekend when we have the big party!

And one last picture of the birthday girl.

*And speaking of the Blizzard's 25th birthday, my mom called me just as I was getting in the car after enjoying my banana split Blizzard last night. She said, "You've been eating Blizzards for 25 years?!?!" I thought she must be driving by and saw us there. I asked her, "Where are you?" "I'm at home. Where are you?" she asked. "Umm, I'm at Dairy Queen eating Blizzards!" "You are not!!" "Yes, we are. We brought Julianna down for her birthday treat." "Well, dad and I just saw a commercial for the Blizzard's 25th birthday and couldn't believe that you've been eating Blizzards for 25 years and just had to call." (First of all, I've only ever had maybe 25 Blizzards in my life. It's not like I eat them everyday. They were just remembering when they first came out and we liked them I guess.) Anyways, it was kind of weird that she called about Blizzards when I had just eaten a Blizzard. And mom thought it was hilarious!

Great. Now I want another Blizzard. Snickers this time, please.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Happy Dirtday, Julianna!

Today my baby turns 2 years old. Yes, this tiny baby...

... is 2! The big 0-2. Amazing. Just amazing. It seems like just yesterday she was born. And it seems like I've never lived a day without her. She runs and sings and dances and plays constantly. She only slows down to sleep. She loves to be outside and play and explore. She adores all animals from a tiny ant to a great big horse and has no fear of any of them. She says more words than I can keep up with and uses them quite proficiently. She even says "cool" when something is "cool" and is starting to pick up "dude." As in, "Dude, share your cookie," or "Dude, let go of me." (Thanks to two big brothers.) She loves books and puzzles and babies and music and noodles and juice and oatmeal. She laughs a lot and cries very little. She has never used a pacifier or sucked her thumb, but she has a blankie that she sleeps with and sucks on the tag of that. No other blankie or tag will do. Believe me, I've tried. She is sweet and charming and funny and silly and wonderfully girlie. She has started asking to wear dresses and insists on picking out her own socks. She likes to brush her hair and anyone else's who will let her. (Like me.) She still needs at least one nap a day, but is fairly happy even without one. She sleeps all night every night (unless she's sick, of course) which makes me very happy. And the baby monitor has become more of an intercom system where I don't hear so much crying as, "Mommy, I need a tissue." Or, "Mommy, where's my bunny?" She is very smart and often surprises us with what she knows and understands. Everyone who knows her, loves her. You can't help it. Just look at that face.

She is a blessing and a gift and a joy.

I love you, Julianna. Happy Dirtday,* Sweet Girl.

*This is how Jules says birthday. As in, "Happy dirtday to me!" But, really, when you're two, isn't everyday dirt day?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Weekend Update

I know you're all waiting with baited (or is it bated) breath to know if I got everything on my 10 things Thursday list done over the weekend. So here's what happened.

1. I did finish my book (Finding Moon by Tony Hillerman). I finished it Sunday afternoon at Skate Plaza while Adam attended a birthday party. It was really good. Different from Hillerman's other books that I've read, but very interesting and exciting. I did not, however, read the chapter of his autobiography that is after the story. But I will. The title of his autobiography is Seldom Disappointed. Isn't that the greatest title of an autobiography ever?! I'm totally reading that this summer.

2. Aah, laundry. I did not get all the laundry done. But we did all have clean clothes to wear today. So that's something.

3 & 4. Snuggling happened all around. It was nice to have those moments that tend to be few and far between these days.

5. I got all of the kids' papers graded and ready to send home. I still have to do awards and report cards, though.

6. I got this one done early...Thursday evening. I went to see Robin Hood. I really enjoyed it. It was the story before the story we usually hear. How he became an outlaw in the first place. And as a bonus, I ran into my parents at the restaurant where I stopped for dinner. And double bonus, dad bought my taquitos!

7. Something fun with the kids turned out to be going to see Shrek Forever After. I laughed out loud several times. I liked it much better than the last one.

8. Planning for the big 02 party is done. But now there is shopping to do.

9. Yeah. This one didn't even enter my mind this weekend. Oh well.

10. Monday was a play day even though not everything was done. And I didn't feel bad about it one little bit.