Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blessed Sunday

Yesterday was Christmas. At least it was for us with Arrty's side of the family. Last year his grandma had just had surgery and wasn't home for the holidays and his mom lives a little ways away and with all the snow wasn't able to make it in December. So we got together in March for dinner and a few presents. Then this year at Thanksgiving, we all decided that we'd celebrate late again. It actually works out quite nicely for us. Those few days in December aren't so busy for our family and it gives the kids something to look forward to later in the winter. And besides, Jesus wasn't really born on December 25th anyways.

So for my blessing for today, I'd like to count that part of our family. It includes Arrty's mom, grandma, aunt, and brother and his girlfriend. They are talkative and funny and happy. They tell stories and tease each other and laugh together. And they love our kids. They just can't get enough of them when we're together. And the kids love them, too.

So last night we sat down to a delicious lasagna dinner (Aunt Cathy is an amazing cook!) and ate together and celebrated Jesus and being a family. We opened a few gifts. And we said, "Merry Christmas." And for that few hours it was.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 Things Thursday

The 10 countries my kindergartners have learned about and that are part of our history fair project for tonight's History Fair/Talent Show...

1. Kenya
2. Australia
3. Israel
4. China
5. Mexico
6. The Netherlands
7. Japan
8. Brazil
9. Italy
10. England

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Just A Note

When you teach kindergarten, you have many days when little kids come up to you and open little hands that are holding a tiny little tooth. This is the age when most kids start losing their baby teeth. It's very exciting. And sometimes a little scary. Some kids worry about it. Some kids look forward to it. And some kids just can't wait to have that first little pearly white tooth to put under their pillow to exchange with the tooth fairy for a new, shiny quarter. (Or dollar, or whatever she is delivering these days.) But today one of my youngest kindergartners came in and handed me a note that she wanted me to read. It said...

Dear H.,
Those are lovely rocks, but I am sorry I can't take them. I only take teeth. I am sure you will lose yours soon and I will be back for them. Try to be patient.
Your friend,
The Tooth Fairy

Yes, she tried to trick the tooth fairy into thinking that the little white rocks she found were teeth. But, as you can see, the tooth fairy wasn't born yesterday. She knows the difference between rocks and teeth. And I'm sure this isn't the first time she's found things under pillows that weren't teeth. But wasn't it nice of Miss Fairy to write H. a note explaining things. And strangely enough, her handwriting looks just like H.'s mom's handwriting.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Blessed Monday

Josh and Adam went to Oregon with my parents this past weekend to a horse sale. And came home with a new horse. They were so excited about "their" horse. It's a smaller horse than dad's others for the kids to learn to ride on. Out of the five grand kids, he's bound to get at least a few who are horse lovers like him.

They told me all about their trip. What they saw. The auction. Some of the horses. How exciting it was to bid on and win their horse. But what I remember most from their stories was when Josh said about the fun they'd had, "Spending three days with Pappy and Grandma and not laughing is impossible." Don't we all need those people in our lives. The "impossible not to laugh with" people. Those who we know we can count on to add some fun to our lives. Those who make our days and lives happier. Those with whom memories of good times will last a lifetime. My kids are blessed to have that with their beloved grandparents. And that is a blessing to me, too.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 things about my husband...

1. today is his birthday
2. he's not quite 40
3. he has blue eyes
4. he can identify song title, artist, and year of release of any song from the years 1975 to 1992
5. he makes cute kids (with a little help from me)
6. he's smart
7. he's a good dad
8. he makes the best homemade french fries
9. he is loyal to a fault
10. I love him.

Happy birthday, hon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I have this cowboy boot box that I got from my dad years and years ago when he bought new boots. Inside that box are treasures. Not treasures to anyone else, but treasures to me. There are letters and pictures and post cards and journals from high school. There are old newspaper articles and tiny trinkets from my childhood including a gown I wore as a newborn. And there are cards. I don't save cards normally. I put them on the fridge or book shelf for a few days then toss them. But in this box there are a few special birthday cards. And one valentine. I don't know how old I was when it was given to me, but the date on the back is 1974. When you open it, an alligator head pops out with mouth open wide. Alvin the alligator is agreeing that I should be the sender's valentine. And the sender was my dad. I don't really remember deciding to save this one valentine out of all the ones I've received. But I can guess why I saved it. I saved it because it was from my very first valentine. The one who loved me first and most. The one who I knew I could count on then and can count on now. The one who has told me in word and deed for as long as I can remember that he loves me.

And yesterday he gave me another valentine. A beautiful card with a beautiful message. To think that he went to the store and picked up card after card searching for just the right one for me is such a special thought. And the one he chose, just for me, is perfect. Just perfect. I love it and will treasure it. And after it sits on the book shelf for a few days, I will put it with the other one in my box of treasures.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hail To The Chiefs

Thank you, George Washington, for crossing the Delaware, for loving our country, for being the first president of the United States of America going where no man had gone before.

Thank you, Abraham Lincoln, for beating the odds, for guiding our country through a civil war, for being honest, for being a leader we can be proud of.

And thank you both for the day off. Happy birthday.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blessed Sunday

Since today is Valentine's Day, I'd like to tell you what a blessing my valentine is to me. We met when I was 11 and he was 12. We went to school together in middle school, but not in high school. We started officially dating when I was 16. And we got married when I was 20. This summer we will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. He is the only one I've ever kissed. I hardly remember life without him by my side.

I love a lot of things about him. That he loves the Lord. That he makes me laugh. That he loves our children. That he knows me better than anyone. The memories that we have made together. I love that he never complains about my cooking or when the sink is full of dishes. I love that he says thank you after dinner even if it's hot dogs or take and bake pizza. But what makes me love him most of all is that he loves me. He has loved me through all the things we have been through over the years. Good and bad. Up and down. Crazy and really, really crazy. He's loved me anyways. And that is a blessing.

Oh, yeah. He also gave me a dozen red roses today. I love that, too.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 things you would find in my class today...

1. cookies--humongous sugar cookies with sprinkles
2. pink cupcakes with pink frosting and decorated with hearts
3. 48 juice pouches, even though there are only 11 students in my class. Busy moms like to send juice pouches.
4. red plates and white and pink napkins which only got used to clean up spills, not wipe faces.
5. more cupcakes, red velvet with cream cheese frosting
6. more cookies, made from cake mix
7. rice crispy treats, pre-packaged, not homemade
8. tons of those little boxes of hearts that say things like "Be Mine" and "True Love" and "Hug Me", which have to be the world's worst candy
9. little valentine cards of all sorts--puppies, princesses, Batman, flowers, Spongebob, Power Rangers, Dora, and even one that was scratch and sniff
10. 11 sugar filled, card giving, candy eating, super excited children

And the 11th thing you would find in my class today is one exhausted teacher.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Dance It, Baby, Dance It!

Last week I recorded the Grammy Awards knowing that the rest of my family wouldn't be interested in watching. And besides, if it's recorded, I can fast forward through the commercials and boring parts. Since it was just Julianna and I home on Saturday morning, I decided to watch it. My music loving little girl was totally into it. She loved the performances and danced along to most of them. But when Beyonce came on the screen she was mesmerized. She stood and watched for a minute. Then began to move. She's got some skillz, let me tell ya! But when she started copying the moves of Beyonce, I was amazed. She swung her head around shaking her hair just like the singer. She moved her arms like she saw on the screen. She even sang some though it wasn't the actual song but in Julesese. I loved watching her and enjoyed her performance much more than the show. And I couldn't help but wonder if someday she might be there on that stage with little girls watching and copying her moves. And when she wins her first Grammy, I'm sure she'll thank her mommy first.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Blessed Sunday

Sunshine. Sunshine is a blessing. And we had some today. 48 degrees in February. No snow in my yard. And a sunshiny day. Thank you, Lord, for it all.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Show and Tell

This is my Bible and it's really special and my mom got it for Christmas and it's special and I like it a lot.

This is my catty and I got her for Christmas from my sister and she meows and purrs and she's like a dog and wags her tail or you can put her tail like this like she's in trouble or she can walk like this. She's white on this side and you can scratch her little belly and she purrs a lot of times and she meows a lot of times. That's what she does. And she's very special and I like her a lot and sometimes in my room I don't play with her. She's white on her nose and black on her head and on this side she has no white line and she has a little button but it doesn't work and it has a 'f' and a heart and a 'r' and she has cute little dark ears. They are kind of pink but they're light pink. And she has green eyes and a pink little nose but her mouth can't open up. And she's cute. And when she walks I do this or I do this and that's why she likes me and I like her. And on this side she's furry and on this side she's furry too. That's why I like her. And I want some quiet time. D. be quiet and give me your attention. And she's really cute and I love her and she's really cute. And I know you guys already know that. And you can read to her or she can climb on your shoulder. And she can put out her claws and she purrs a lot. And she thinks I'm her furry bed. D. I don't want to hear any noise from you. I'm trying to talk. No noise. (I then told her to leave poor D. alone, who wasn't making any noise by the way, and go on.) And you guys can see her whiskers don't you. (At this point, the rest of the class was getting restless so I told her she could tell us one more thing.) And I like to paint her nails and put a little dress on her. And that's all. The end. That's my whole story.

This is my friend dolly and I really love her. I sleep with her every night. I got her for my birthday. My friends for my birthday got me a sleeping bag and my friend Olivia gave me a baby doll. I forgot what my other friends gave me. And I really love her. And we got to play Cinderella and we got to wear a blindfold and stick something on her and we had a Barbie cake and on my next birthday at Disneyland we can see the diamond castle and I have the book of it that I got from my brother's school, but now my brother signed up for homeschool. But I really like my dolly.

These are my pom poms and they are very special and the strings always fall out and that's why I don't want to pull on them. They're blue and I have another pair that are red. And that's it.

Zippity zip. (He actually said zippity zip while unzipping his backpack to get his show and tell out.) It's red with tools in it! Oh and okay and this is Dusty and Turner and Phillipe and Squeeze and Rusty and a tape measure, I can't remember it's name, and this is a girl and this is a girl and this is a girl and this is a boy and there are four boys and three girls. (He pushed a button and the tools sing and dance. And he pushed the button again and nothing happened.) It ran out of batteries so I can't do it anymore. Yep, I'm done. Did anyone like it? You did and you did and you did and you did and you did and you did.

This is my puppy I mean my kitty and my kitty likes to chase dogs and dogs like to chase cats. She likes other people but only people she knows. And I really love her and her name is Gloria and I really like her and she has a friend named Ruff and she's a doggy and I brush her feet cuz I love her and I take good care of her and I want to come around and you can pet her.

These are my pom poms and I know everything about it and I like it and I use to have my M thing that goes with it. It's my M shirt with my dress but it doesn't fit me anymore and when I want to be a cheerleader I get them and I like dressing me up with them and that's it.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 book characters who are at school today for "Dress Up and Read" day...

1. the Grinch (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)
2. a Wild Thing (Where the Wild Things Are)
3. Princess Violante (Inkspell)
4. Alice the Fairy (Alice the Fairy)
5. Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants series) (my favorite, by the way)
6. Mary and Laura Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie series)
7. the wicked witch of the west (The Wizard of Oz)
8. the Queen of Hearts (Alice In Wonderland)
9. Pirate Pete (Pirate Pete)
10. the Cat in the Hat (The Cat in the Hat) (Umm, should we be concerned that when The Cat and I went through McDonald's drive through to get a Diet Coke, they didn't even flinch at serving a giant cat in a giant hat? It makes me wonder who was in the car before us.)

10 of my favorite book characters that I would have dressed up as if I had the makings of the costume...

1. Star Girl (Star Girl)
2. Clementine (Clementine series)
3. Miss Nelson (Miss Nelson is Missing)
4. Mama Bunny (Runaway Bunny)
5. Karana (Island of the Blue Dolphins)
6. Esther (The Bible)
7. Caroline Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie series)
8. Miri (Princess Academy)
9. Sarah (Sarah Plain and Tall)
10. Hadassah (A Voice in the Wind)

(Hmm!? What an interesting list. Each of these characters shows some trait that I hope I have in my life--integrity, love, courage, individuality, creativity, loyalty. I didn't even think of that until I was reading back over the list.)

Who is your favorite book character?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Two For Tuesday

Two reasons I love teaching kindergarten today.

One, some of the kids can't help but to call groundhogs "hedgehogs" even though it's GROUNDHOG Day. I tried to explain the difference, but to no avail. It just makes me smile.

And two, when you teach kindergarten, you get to spend all of Groundhog Day reading stories about groundhogs, watching cute videos about groundhogs, and making a cute little "groundhog popping out his burrow" craft with popcicle sticks and styrofoam cups.

What did you do today?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Blessed Sunday

I know today is Monday, but yesterday I was blessed with being able to spend the day with my family and unplugged. No computer time means no blogging.

But today I would just like to say that I am feeling blessed to be well. There have been times in the recent past when I wasn't well. And I have been hearing about so many who are going through the same kind of anxiety stuff that I've had to deal with, and still do on occasion. Here's what I would like to tell them. It's okay. You are not having a heart attack/brain tumor/going crazy even though it might feel like it. Google anxiety attack or panic attack. You will be surprised by the mile long list of physical symptoms that can come with one of these terribly scary times. You are not alone. Talk to others. You might find out that someone close to you feels the same way and you can help each other. Get help. Talk to your doctor. Seek counsel from professionals. They will understand and be able to give you answers. And believe me, answers help a lot. Don't be afraid of treatment. I fought and fought against counseling and medication. I hated the feeling that I couldn't control my own mind and body. But if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't hesitate for even a second to do whatever it takes to be well. Breathe. In through your nose for five counts, hold for five counts, out through your mouth for five counts. It helps.

And for those of you who have never experienced a panic attack but live or work with some one who does, please be patient with them. It is not all in their head. It isn't made up or exaggerated or just them being dramatic. It's serious and painful. Help them understand. And be understanding.

Okay, my public service announcement is now over.