Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Yesterday I got a copy of this month's People Magazine in my post office box. It was supposed to go to a dentist with a box having almost the same number as ours. I am going to read it before I take it back in to the post office. Is that wrong? Is it also wrong that I'm letting my sister read it, too?

Last night at family dinner, my sweet daughter was in the Moose Room* at my parents' house and started calling for her cousin. "Abby, come here. Abby, come here." Abby was sweetly playing in the other room. So I went to see what Jules needed. "What are you doing?" I asked. She, looking very guilty, said quietly, "Going upstairs." WHAT!?!? You mean those same stairs that you have been forbidden to climb? Those stairs from which you have been removed numerous times and spanked for climbing? AND you are trying to get your poor, innocent cousin to do the very same thing? Oh. My. Goodness. I was so wrong and take back all the stuff I said about Abby getting Jules into trouble. All this time it was the other way around. Who knew? (Besides Abby and her mommy, of course.)

Now this next confession must stay between us. Promise? Okay. Teachers have favorites. It's true. And it's not always the sweetest kid or the cutest kid or the smartest kid. Sometimes it's the one who could drive a teetotaler to drink. But the fact is, we have favorites. And if you have kids, just always assume that your kid is the favorite. It's easier that way.

I did very little actual teaching today. We did puzzles, sang songs, played with blocks, and painted. And when the kids were painting I let them mix all the colors on their paper plates and paint with their hands. I realized too late that we forgot to put on paint shirts and didn't make them put them on even then. I just enjoyed watching my students play. They are only 4 and 5 years old after all. And we still have 32 weeks to learn how to read.

Today when my son was accused of something that I hoped he hadn't done but knew he was capable of, I switched instantly from kindergarten teacher to mama bear. I was able to hold it together to talk to all the parties involved and get to the bottom of things. Turned out it was all a misunderstanding. And hopefully a lesson was learned by everyone .

*The Moose Room is the sitting room in my parents' house that does, in fact, contain a moose. Well, at least from the neck up. And when there is a huge moose head in the room, it is obviously going to be called The Moose Room.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blessed Sunday

I was blessed yesterday with a day by myself. Well, almost. My two year old shadow and best friend* was with me. So here's what I did.

Got up earlier than I wanted.
Watched Glee. (How mean is Rachel these days? Wow.)
Saw Arrty off to work.
Started cleaning the kitchen.
Took a computer break to answer email and check blogs.
Put in a load of laundry.
Finished cleaning the kitchen.
Sang "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" one thousand times with Julianna. Complete with maracas.
Went outside to do a few things in the yard and let the dogs out to run for a while.
Pushed Jules on the swing.
Yelled at the dogs as they made a run for it to the neighbor's yard acres and acres away.
Got Julianna in the car and went after the naughty dogs.
Found them, scolded them, put them back on their run.
Went in the house to get back to work.
Turned Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on for Jules.
Started cleaning the living room.
Put clothes in the dryer.
Made lunch.
Finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. (Yikes. I read it so that when I watched the movie I could compare. Umm...I don't think I want to see the movie anymore. The book is interesting and well written, but very graphic and disturbing.)
Put Julianna down for a nap.
Did a little research on The Clark House. ($54 for a six course meal if you want to know.)
Took a 30 minute nap myself. Ahhh.
Got up when the delivery guy delivered my Avon order.
Ate dutch apple pie and ice cream.
Finished cleaning the living room.
Cleaned our bathroom.
Got Julianna up from her nap.
Downloaded a family tree program that my visiting aunt is sharing with me filled with generations and generations of information. Fascinating. I can't wait to dig even deeper.
Took a shower.
Headed into town to take clothes to my mom's house for the boys who are camping with my dad and needed church clothes for this morning.
Watched the end of a Lifetime movie with mom and my two aunts.
Fed the horses with mom.
Sat on the porch and visited with the girls.
Drove home singing with Jules.
Ate a banana with peanut butter for supper. (Still full from the pie and ice cream I guess.)
Folded and put away towels.
Put Julianna to bed after a giggle session.
Watched Private Practice.
Bagged and wrote out bills for my Avon orders. (While watching part of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Kevin Costner was so young then.)
Did my Dynamic Marriage class homework.
Fell into bed exhausted and happy.
And slept.

*Julianna has declared me her "best friend ever." Me and Abby and Josh and Adam and Piper...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 reasons I love our school...

1. The staff. We like each other and work well together and share in this ministry together. I am encouraged each day by these great people and their dedication to God's children.
2. The kids. We have such a great bunch of kids. And my class this year is especially cute.
3. The parents. Sometimes parents are the hardest part of my job, but the truth is, they love their kids and want what's best for them. And some of them are really, really great.
4. The curriculum. I get to teach kids to read and write and count and sing. And on top of all that, I get to teach them about the love of God.
5. My husband. I met him here a whole bunch of years ago when I was 10 and he was 11. The rest is history. (This is the 30th year for our school.)
6. My children. The boys are just down the hall and I get to see them several times a day. And Julianna gets to come to school with me in the afternoons.
7. My classroom. I have taught in this room for 8 years. I'm as comfortable here as I am anywhere.
8. The rewards. I don't get paid much. Not nearly as much as a public school teacher with 10 years experience. But the rewards I do receive could never be measured with dollar signs. My rewards are measured in smiles and stories and hugs and friends.
9. The environment. Working out in the world is hard for me as a Christian. Here I am surrounded by other Christians and don't have to deal with all that working in "the world" brings. Yes, there are still issues. We are human, after all. But in all my years teaching here, I have never heard a swear word spoken by any of my coworkers. (Although, I can't say that for my kindergartners.)
10. The future. I don't know how many more years the boys will attend our school, but Julianna still has a long future with this school that has meant so much to our family. And here's where I need your help. We are trying to start a 3 year old preschool program and are trying to find students to fill that class. I am especially dedicated to this project because it would mean that Julianna could start preschool next year and be just across the hall from me. If you know any families with 3 year olds who are looking for a great and affordable preschool option for their children, please pass our information on to them. Here it is. Thank you so, so much.

Coeur d'Alene Christian School

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Adam: Mom, can I have some P-O-P?
(The boys have learned to spell words that they don't want Julianna to hear. But before I could answer...)
Julianna: Mom, can I have some C-D-F?

Monday, September 13, 2010

1 "Blessed Sunday" + 1 "10 Things Thursday" = 1 Manic Monday

Yesterday I was much too busy to write a Blessed Sunday Post. You see, I was blessed to spend all day at Silverwood Theme Park with my family and Kathy and her boys. So here are 10 things about our day at Silverwood.

1. It was a perfect day for it. 75 and sunny. And a September visit pretty much assures short lines for the rides.
2. The boys had earned their tickets from a reading program at school and we had bought ours at the school auction back in May. (Julianna is still free until she turns 3.)
3. It was great that Kathy and her boys were going on the same day. We met up off and on through the day to go on rides together. All four boys were glad to have buddies to play with, and the parents were glad we didn't have to go on the bumper boats.
4. Speaking of bumper boats, even the best laid strategy for soaking bystanders armed with quarter operated water canons cannot compete with said bystanders and their more powerful weapons. The outcome was four soaked to the bone boys and several thoroughly satisfied bystanders.
5. Magic is magical. I know it's all slight of hand and illusion, but it's still pretty amazing. Even when the audience participant exits his hiding place a little early.
6. There is nothing better than watching the face of a two year old on her first train ride. She loved it. The wind in her hair. The whistle. The train robbery.
7. Yes, I said train robbery. During a little stop on our way around the park, two miners/robbers boarded the train and collected money in bags. (Which is given to local charities.) Even though the show is the same as it's been for years, and the robbers seemed to be new to the gig, the kids liked it. (I think maybe the summer performers are more experienced. These autumn guys weren't quite as...umm...believable.)
8. It's all about the kids. The grown ups went on a few rides, but we mostly followed the kids around to rides and bought them food when they got hungry.
9. Adam got me on Panic Plunge and Timber Terror. He said the best part of the roller coaster ride was hearing me screaming all the way around. Yeah. Real funny.
10. Even though we live less than 5 minutes from the park, we only go once a year. And even though it's lots of fun, I think once a year is just perfect.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kid Pics

My mom wanted new pictures of the kids for her birthday last week. So we went out in the yard and here's what I got.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Show and Tell

The first Friday of the school year = the first show and tell day of the year. Here's what we had today.

A grandma. K.'s grandma was visiting from Indiana and was a fine show and tell. After K. introduced her, she talked to them about how she comes to visit and what they do between visits (talking on the phone, talking on Skype, sending packages). It was very sweet.

Snow. Yes. Snow. A. had a science kit that created a very snow-like substance when he added some white powder to water. It was really cool. Even I thought so.

Pink Princess Bible. From I.'s cubby. Because she forgot to bring anything else.

Stuffed Snow White doll. From a trip to Disneyland. Very cute.

Soccer trophy. Kindergartners are always proud of trophies. It's a show and tell staple.

Blankie. That T. got for her birthday when she was "little."

Thursday, September 09, 2010

10 Things Thursday

10 ways school is different this year from last.

1. My class. Obviously. This year I have 8 students and 7 of them are girls. Yes. There is only one boy. He doesn't seem to mind.
2. My classroom. I cleaned a lot and rearranged a little. I like it.
3. The boys are in different classes. Last year they were in the same class since our school has combined grades. Them being separated is a good thing. For everyone.
4. Julianna. She is with my sister until lunch and then with me at school for the afternoon. That's not different. But what is different is that she's no longer the baby who needed me to hold her and rock her and feed her. She's now a little girl who plays and draws and makes things out of play doh.
5. The staff. One of our teachers moved to a new school. It's just not quite the same. We are happy for her, but miss her all the same.
6. My behavior management procedure. Last year I would write or erase stars by the students' names on the white board. This year I have frogs with each child's name. When they misbehave, their frog moves from their lily pad to the time out log. Which means the student has a 5 minute time out at recess. If they misbehave again, their frog moves into a pond. The pond is a 10 minute time out. We'll see how it goes. No frogs have had to jump anywhere yet. (So I make my naughty kids "go jump in the lake." Which isn't as bad as what Kathy does. She makes her naughty kids sit in the "Hole.")
7. My afternoons. I only have 2 or 3 kids who stay with me all day. So I volunteered to teach art to Josh and Adam's classes. I'm looking forward to it. I have some fun ideas.
8. My arrival time. Last year I got to school right on time...or a little after. This year I'm determined to be a few minutes early. So far, so good.
9. This year I won't be helping Kathy with all her extra curricular school fair, auction, book fair, etc. Wait, yes I will. That's not different at all. Besides, if I don't help her, she'll put me in the "Hole."
10. My attitude. I am aiming for excellence. For my students. And for myself.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

And so it begins...

Today I woke up to an alarm, changed out of my jammies before breakfast, and wore socks.

School has begun.

Making lunches, laying out school clothes, planning lessons, smelling like play doh and white board markers, reading a million picture books, singing the ABCs way more than should be required of any grown up, cleaning up spilled watercolor water, teaching phonics and numbers and handwriting, giving permission to go to the bathroom, get a drink, and sharpen a pencil, knowing within the first three minutes of the day who will be a "pleasure to have in class," knowing within the first two who will not.

Yes, school has begun. Another year to teach...and to learn.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Blessed Sunday--Pet Edition

Last April at our school auction we bought a pet package. It had a huge bag of dog food and a basket of toys and various dog supplies. Also included was a certificate for a free puppy adoption from our local humane society shelter. A puppy? Another puppy? I certainly didn't mention to the boys about the certificate. I would have never heard the end of it. But Arrty and I had been talking about getting a companion for Jake. Even at six years old he likes to wander and find friends to play with. We were thinking that if he had a playmate here, he wouldn't wander so much. So this summer I started checking the shelter website to see what dogs they had available for adoption. Not many puppies come in. Last week there were three chow mix puppies. After a little research and advice from those who know (Kathy and Arrty), I decided that those weren't the dogs we needed for Jake or the kids.* But this week when I checked, there was another puppy available. She was a beagle/border collie mix. Are you kidding me? If I have a favorite breed, those two are on the top of the list. So I called Arrty and he agreed to meet us at the shelter after work to meet her. I still didn't tell the boys what was going on. Just that we were going to town to meet their dad for a surprise. Adam could hardly stand it. "Can we do fun things where we're going?" "Kind of." "Is there food there?" "Ummm, yes." (But not for us.) "Will we like it?" "Yes. Yes, you will." As we turned on the road, there was a sign pointing the way. Josh saw it and said, "Really, mom? Really? Is that really where we're going?" He knew what it was because we got Luke there last year. Then I explained to them about the certificate and that we were going to meet a puppy and see if she could be right for our family. They were beyond excited! All my kids love animals!

Well, the boys and I instantly fell in love. (Julianna was more interested in the kittens.) This puppy was really sweet and friendly and easy going. Through all the activity going on around her, she was pretty calm. I asked a few questions and filled out a bunch of paperwork, and a few minutes later, we were walking out with a new family member.

So, without further ado, meet Piper.

Here she is meeting Jake. He is very patient with her and loves having a new friend.

We were told that she is three months old (although the vet says she's probably closer to 5 months old). She weighs almost 16 pounds. (Jake weighs 95 pounds!) She's been great so far. She's slept in the boys' room since we got her without making a peep all night. She's only had one accident in the house. And she's sweetly put up with Julianna's unending attention. And for me, a newly inducted dog person, she's perfect. Just look at that face.

*The chow puppy that was still at the shelter was super cute and friendly. If you are in the market for a pet, please check the shelter website at to see what pets are available for adoption.