Friday, April 11, 2014

The semester that about did me in....

Gosh, it seemed like last time I posted, it was the longest stretch between posts...but now its been 2 months again! It comes as no surprise to me...this winter has been a tough one! 2 challenging classes. 1 action research project and 80 page paper. 12 snow days (these actually were my saving grace I think!). At least 9 different substitute paraprofessionals in and out for my one usual para who's been out hurt. 2 behavior issues in my classroom. 3 job interviews. Countless kid activities and meetings...whew! Thank goodness for spring break and that this semester for my classes is almost over!!

The kids are all doing well. Sarah did gymnastics again this winter and did well! I cringe watching her each week, worried she's going to get hurt, but she loves it! She's also decided to do the talent show at her school this spring with a friend of her's. They are dancing to "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid. Its pretty cute! Jacob has continued with Cub Scouts and continues to have fun there. He is very excited that baseball season isn't too far away. He's already practicing! His big excitement came from learning to ride his 2-wheeler bike this week!! So proud of him! Adam's silly and stubborn and doing well. I swear he turns ADHD when its time to get dressed or get out the door, but other than that, he's doing great in school and we'll be registering him for Kindergarten next week! Yikes!

All three are doing swimming lessons and baseball this spring and summer.  We'll be busy!

It's not official yet so I can't say much but there are some big changes ahead for me in the near future! I only have 3 classes left for my program and will be done by August! So excited for that! Its been a lot of work but I'm glad I decided to do this program for this next degree. I've learned a lot and challenged myself in many ways.

We've had a great spring break - a good mix of having some fun and getting things done. We've had great weather (sun and 60s most of the week!) which is awesome after our crazy, long, frigid, snowy winter! The kids have loved getting outside and watching the thermometer to see just how warm its gotten each day!

Paul and I are coming up on anniversary #13! I have no idea when we'll even be able to celebrate...we've still got so much going on (not to mention it falls on Easter weekend this year). We're looking forward to having my family here to celebrate the holiday and have the kids hunt for eggs!

Its exciting to realize we only have two months left of the school year! It'll be crazy busy and hectic but there's an end in sight. I've got a lot ahead of me that I'll share soon!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Say What!?!?!

Oh goodness! Its been forever since I posted again. I know I've missed many things I could post here but thankfully have remembered to write down a few things.

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I don't remember what the boys were playing or talking about the other night but Jacob said he was going to Timbuktu and Adam promptly said he would go to Timbuk-One!

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I had a chiropractor appointment after work this a while ago and took Adam with me. On our way there, this was our conversation:
Adam: Are we doing to the house Dr? (pediatrician - they have a house to play in there...)
Me: Nope.
Adam: Are we going to the kitchen Dr? (Dentist - they have a play kitchen in the waiting room...)
Me: Nope - we're going to a new Dr - he's a Back Dr.
Adam: Is he a Butt Dr, too? (knowing I'd fallen and hurt my back and butt/tailbone recently)
Me: nope...ha!

I told the Dr that during my adjustment and he couldn't help but laugh...every few minutes through the appointment, he'd just start to laugh again! ha!

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After church a few weeks ago, Jacob asked us when they'd get to eat the chips in church (aka communion host!)

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Adam turned 5 last month. When I tucked him into bed that night, I asked him how it felt to be 5 and he said "Big!"

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On the way home from school the other day, Adam asked me:

A: When can we get rid of one of the doggies and get a kitty?
Me: We can't just get rid of one of the doggies! They're a part of our family. Besides, we can't get a kitty - Daddy is allergic - it'll make him sick.
A: Well, he can just go sleep somewhere else.
Me: Who? Daddy or the kitty?
A: Daddy. He can go sleep at Grandma's house.
Me: No he can't.
A: Well, do any of our friends have kitties that I can go play with?....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wacky Winter Weather

I had a few random pics from the past few weeks and most of them were related to the crazy winter weather we've had here the past month! If you read my post about Christmas, you know we got hit with a horrible ice storm the weekend before Christmas that took out our power for 5 days. Our first week of break was a bust due to that but the week of New Years was better and more relaxed. The Saturday before we were supposed to return to school, we got hit with a record snow storm - the 3rd biggest snowstorm our area had ever seen. We got about 17" of snow in about 24 hours. It ended up extending our Christmas break an extra 3 days (some schools didn't go back at all this past week!). We were definitely stuck at home -the roads were awful and our driveway was so deep! As soon as the snow stopped though...temperatures plummeted! We had several record breaking low temps 2 or 3 days in a row with actual temps reaching as low as -22 and wind chills close to -50! The morning we finally returned to school, it was -12 when I got to school. Brrr! Then...to add to the craziness, just days later, we've hit 40 days with an inch of rain. Some roads are still snow covered and are now pure ice. Isn't winter fun in Michigan? I'm wondering if our whole winter is going to be full of extreme weather. I hope not! Anyways...here's some pics of it all!

 Jacob playing basketball the morning the ice storm started

 Defense!

 The ice storm was not nice to the tree in our front yard - huge limbs from all the way at the top are still laying in our yard, frozen to the ground. This took out our cable lines.

 Everything was covered in ice. It was pretty...but it was hard to appreciate since it caused so much trouble!


 The storm also took out some huge limbs off the trees in our backyard - one tree has no more limbs left!

 Christmas Eve at mass

 Jacob bought this scarf for Sarah from Santa's secret shop. She loved it!

 Opening a few presents on Christmas Eve.

 Finally headed back to school - standing next to the snow banks!

 Jacob showing us how high it is at the end of the driveway

 SO deep!

Everything was so white for days after both storms between the amount of ice and snow and the cold temps!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jacob is 7!

Jacob is growing so fast, right before my eyes, its hard to believe he was once so tiny! He's gotten so tall and big, no one realizes he's Sarah's twin anymore. (He's now about 3 inches and 20 lbs bigger than her! Many people are surprised to hear he just turned 7...he's as tall as some 3rd or even 4th graders!) Jacob is my Math Man - he's amazing with numbers - often asking for challenging math problems or figuring things out on his own. He tells time well, adds and subtracts well and is even starting to multiply on his own. He's always been interested in numbers but he keeps amazing me with the things he figures out!

He's still very interested in sports, especially baseball, but has been curious to learn more about other sports, too. He's played basketball this fall. He's also joined Cub Scouts this year and has enjoyed that a lot! Paul is his Den leader and that makes it even more special for him. He's getting ready for his first Pinewood Derby race. He and Paul have been designing and started making his car. He wanted to do Chess Club again this year and that starts here in January. He loves his Legos and Star Wars again and still enjoys anything Detroit Tigers. He's ALL boy - loud, rough, physical. In some ways, so opposite of his twin sister! Yet, he can be just as sweet, caring and sensitive just minutes later, too.


 He's wanted Cowboy boots for a while! He really liked the pair he got!






Jacob at 7:

Favorite Color: Blue
Best Friends: Robbie, Brody and Liam
What do I want to be when I grow up? Police officer
Favorite movie; Star wars
Favorite book: anything Star Wars
Favorite game: Wii Lego Star Wars and Monopoly
Favorite song: Attack of the Jedi (are you seeing a theme here? lol)
Favorite foods: hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and broccoli
Favorite toy: Legos
Favorite sport: Baseball
Favorite thing at school: Gym
What are you good at? Running, sports, math
What makes you happy? I don't know
What makes you sad? Someone being mean to me

Sarah is 7!

Sarah celebrated her 7th birthday with a bang this year! After stressing over a loose tooth for months...it finally fell out at school that day! Her teacher let her email me at work to let me know and it was so exciting to hear the news AND realize she'd emailed me herself! (She has an awesome teacher again this year!)

My girl amazes me on a daily basis how smart, caring and creative she is. She makes me so proud! She's reading at least a full grade level above where she's expected to be - she's been plowing through chapter books since this summer. She loves to read, draw and color and her latest obsession is the rainbow loom to make bracelets. She loves gymnastics, enjoys doing anything artsy, has some great friends and is definitely a Mama's girl still.









Her first tooth!! She's only about 7 behind her brother still!



Sarah at 7:

Favorite color: Pink
Best Friends: Ellie, Ashleigh, Brenna
When I grow up, I want to be: a teacher
Favorite movie: Little Mermaid (or any Princess movie)
Favorite book: Magic Tree House
Favorite game(s): Mario Kart Wii and Princess Yahtzee
Favorite song(s): Frozen soundtrack
Favorite food(s): spaghetti, carrots, bacon
Favorite toys: Rainbow Band loom and American Girl dolls
Favorite Sport: Gymnastics
Favorite thing to do at school: Math, Reading and Writing
What I'm good at: Reading
What makes me happy: When I'm with my whole family
What makes me sad: When I get hurt

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Christmas 2013...one to remember? or try to forget?

Someone told me last week, one day we'd look back at this Christmas and laugh about it....but if you live near me or are friends on Facebook - you'll likely know it'll be tough to find great memories from this holiday.

Christmas break started off very oddly and looking back, it was probably a sign. After finally getting over a 2 month bout of bronchitis and 2 dislocated ribs from coughing so much, I came down with a bad virus the Thursday before break. I was miserable and took a sick day. Thankfully I had the day at home because I at least had enough energy to wrap presents that day (I had all the kids' shopping done). That night was hectic with gymnastics, cub scouts and our MOMs group Christmas party. I was done for by the time we got back home, managing to get through it all somehow. We got hit with freezing rain that night and ended up having no school the next day (the last day before break) due to icy roads. I was partly bummed that kids had to miss out on many parties for the 2nd year in a row but I was relieved to not have to muster up too much energy since I wasn't 100% yet. I did go into school for a lil while to tidy up and get some things and then we went to Adam's party at daycare that afternoon.

Saturday and Sunday's forecasts were ominous. Snow, rain then freezing rain. And lots of it. We were supposed to go to my parents on Sunday to make Christmas cookies with all the cousins and my mom was worried about the roads since we all had an hour drive to get there. It snowed most of the day Saturday and by the time we went to bed, it was changing to freezing rain and several friends had already said they'd lost power. We'd been lucky during recent storms and were hoping we'd make it through again. I could hear the ice hitting the windows all night and heard several odd noises outside throughout the night (I'd later realize the noises were limbs/trees breaking off under the weight of the ice). I heard a click around 4 am and woke up to total darkness. No power. I knew then this wasn't going to be a short term issue, too. That storm had looked BAD.

By the time we woke up, the house was down to the low 50s (it was COLD outside) and thanks to my cell phone, I could tell we were one of THOUSANDS without power. In our county alone, over 60,000 people lost power. And it wasn't just our county that got hit. My parents and brother an hour were without power and my sister, 2 hours away, didn't have power either. The news said they had about 2,000 power lines down in the county. This was bad. The estimated restoration time for our area? December 28th (it was the 21st). Temps were going to be down in the single digits. More snow was on the way. We have a well, which means no power also means no water. And we don't have generator.

Staying with any of my family wasn't an option since they were all in the same boat, as were all of our local friends. Thankfully, Paul's mom still had power and only lives about 10-15 minutes away. It wasn't ideal, but it was a warm place to sleep and we could take showers. For the most part, she was very tolerant of the 5 of us moving in for 5 days and the noise of 3 kids but after 5 days, we all needed our own space and routines. We celebrated Christmas at their house and tried to make the best of it although so many of the plans I had in my head didn't work out due to the circumstances. The kids didn't sleep well, we didn't sleep well and we were running back and forth constantly to our house to check on the dogs and check the generator we borrowed that at least kept our well and sump pump going so nothing froze or flooded.

Our power finally came back on late Thursday night - almost a full 5 days. We were all so happy to go home Friday, spread out in our own space and get back into our own beds and routines. The bad part was that we felt we lost our entire first week of break. I'd been so excited to have 2 full weeks off this winter...and one week blew by. I guess thankfully we didn't have any big plans because I'm sure they would have all fallen through, but it just made for a stressful week.

Thankfully we still have this week to relax and enjoy some things. We've spent New years Eve with some of our best friends and their families. We have plans for a play date/sledding and the children's museum and Paul and I even found a sitter to catch dinner and a movie one night. We've had some lazy days, played lots of games and read lots of books. I need to switch gears and do some work for my research project but we'll see if I get motivated to do that yet or not.

I'll see what pictures I can come up with to share - I'm pretty sure I have more pics of the snow and ice than I do of Christmas day. Hope you all had a great Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Return of the Elves (and reindeer)

As Jacob and Sarah's birthday neared, the kids began to ask about their elves. They remembered that they often arrive on or around their birthday and went to bed the night before their birthday, hoping they'd show up the next morning. Didn't happen (this mama wanted to wait until December this year - that extra week means a lot of extra effort!). But...as soon as we put up our tree after Thanksgiving, those lil elves appeared! I had to stifle giggles that morning - the kids woke up (I think it was a Sunday morning) and they were certain the elves had to have come - they were whispering down the hallway, talking about the, trying to peek down the stairs and into the living room. We could hear their squeals all the way upstairs when they found Isabelle, Kramer and Dancer waiting for them!

Its amazing, the magic these elves bring - the kids are so excited each morning to wake up and find them! Every night when they go to bed, they wonder aloud what they'll do that night. They've talked about where the go, what they do and why their elves are different than some other friends' elves. They love feeding them at night and play and talk to them often. It can sometimes be a lot of work but seeing how much fun they have with them is worth it! Here's hoping these little elves and reindeer bring many happy memories of their childhood!



Surrounded by Pez!


Playing with toys that were left out


Hanging up our new Christmas card display


They wanted to build a snowman!


Playing Operation


Coloring pictures about the birth of Jesus


This was a BIG hit - Naughty or Nice ratings! 
They expected them every week but they elves haven't done another report...yet!


Tic Tac Snow!




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Phone drop

Life on the go - as viewed by my phone (gosh, I rarely even grab my camera anymore...)


We got our first big snow fall this weekend. The kids had fun playing outside, shoveling, and sledding! Sarah stayed out the longest each time - she looked like a little Eskimo with the snow in the fur of her hood!


Our little town does a Candle Walk and parade each December. We visited with Santa briefly!


My classroom has sort of adopted a pet squirrel. This odd looking fellow has visited us daily for 3 weeks now, often siting in the window, eating apples from the nearby tree or crackers/cereal that we've left for him. We're guessing he has mange as he's quite furless, but he's been interesting to watch!


Thanksgiving weekend, we went swimming at a local college's pool. Jacob was caught being such a boy! ha!



I came down with bronchitis before Halloween and am still coughing almost 8 weeks later. I've been to the Dr 3x, had 2 antibiotics, a steroid shot, a round of steroids, a breathing treatment and about 8 bags of cough drops. I've even dislocated a rib due to all the coughing. All I want for Christmas this year is to be healthy and NOT cough! Please Santa??


Oh my! Those Eyes! Yes, he's locked up in his bedroom until he's 40.


7 years old. How can this be? 
And to think they were SMALLER than those ducks when they were 1 month old!