Monday, May 02, 2016

Lydia at 8

Lydia at 8,
You dont' like to sleep alone and claim to have "nightmares" so that you can sleep with me in my bed.
You love beets and jicama and hate sandwiches of all sorts.  You think you are allergic to cashews and anytime you don't like something you claim it makes you "itchy" and that it probably has cashews in it.  You love to be the center of attention and are so excited that you have a role in the Little Mermaid.
You bite you nails to the quick and pick at every little cut and scrape so that they last for months, especially ones on your face.
You hate dance, except for the being on stage part, and are looking forward to starting Tae Kwon Do. 
You want to dye your hair very blonde or pink, you haven't decided yet, but you don't like "dirty blonde" hair because it has the word dirty in it.
You love baths but you hate to wash your hair or your body.  You just want to soak and play toys. 
You and Bethany are like two peas in a pod--you love hanging out together.  Elijah and you are arch-enemies and you do whatever you can to annoy him, especially singing in the car.
You are loving the fact that you can microwave stuff now and follow recipes.  You melt chocolate chips and peanut butter and pour them over bananas at every chance.
You love Harry Potter and have seen all of the movies.  You are on book two of the series.
You hate loud noises, but are getting much better with them.
You love anything with sugar in it.
You love hamburgers and buying school lunch.
You feel like you don't fit in at school.  Mary Michael and Emily and Caitlin are the "popular girls" and they tease you.  Camryn is your best buddy at school though and you guys get along really well. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Love of Learning

My job as a mother and as a teacher is to inspire my kids to love learning.  My goal as a teacher is to help kids fall in love with Science.  I want to create kids that want to learn for the sake of learning, not so that they can pass a test.  Curious, self-driven learners are who are going to be the innovators and the leaders, not the kiddos who ace the test and forget the material five minutes afterwards.

I've noticed a lot of people ask me "Is there anything you can't do?"  Yes, there are lots of things I can't do, but there isn't much I am not willing to LEARN how to do.

This past week for example, I learned four new things:
  1. Use a saw and drill--not really skilled with that, but a few you tube videos and a little self confidence and I can install a cat door.  
  2. Decorate a cake a certain way--like a lemur?  Maybe not at first, but some practice, tutorials, failed attempts and trial and error and I can get it done.  Was it perfect? Nope, but it sure tasted yummy!
  3. Crochet a cool new pattern for an ear muff with a cool flower?  Maybe not, but it is easy to pull out the wrong stitches and try again.  After four attempts, I got it right and it looks really great!
  4. Make a music video for school?  I had no idea!  I took about 300 video clips of kiddos and used iMovie to put them together.  The finished product isn't perfect, but it is good.  My next movie will be better.  I went from not knowing how to turn on an iPad to making a pretty awesome video in a week's time.
While some things come easier than others, I'm not afraid of hard work to succeed.  I am not afraid to mess up and have to start again.  I am not afraid to fail and ask for help to figure something out.  I pray to God that I am teaching my kiddos at school and my own at home that failure is a part of life.  Learning is a part of life.  I will never in my life have to take a test on how to crochet or how to install a cat door, but I learned a new skill.  I enjoyed it.  It was fun.

When kids at school complain about math or history or science I explain it to them this way.  There are so many things you might love to do.  It's our job to expose you to a whole bunch of different things--math and history and science--so that you can find out what you really love.  Once you find that thing, you can focus on that in college or in your career.  It is so much easier to go to work everyday doing something that brings you joy.  Maybe one of you kids is the next math genius, but if we let you stop math because you didn't like learning times tables, you would live out your whole life missing out on something you were just meant to do.

What is your philosophy on learning new things??

Bethany at 6

Bethany, you are an amazing girl.  I can't wait to watch you continue growing and changing.
You love hairstyles.  Your hair is long and you love fancy braids and updos.  We look on Pinterest for ideas and you love to give mama a challenge at 5:30 in the morning. 

You love snuggles and being rocked.  You will always come in for morning snuggles, but occasionally you have bad dreams or feel crummy or say to me "I just need to hold you tonight" and you sleep in my bed.  Oh my word it is so wonderful!  You are still,you don't snore, you are just sweet and wonderful.

You are an amazing eater.  You will try anything, including octopus!  You love things no one else in the family likes--capers, pepperoni, hummus and Roquefort cheeses.  You take seaweed to school, eat casseroles, ostrich. . .you name it and you'll try it! 

You are super artistic like your brother.  You love to draw and color.  You are loving kindergarten and learning how to read.  It drives you crazy that brother and sister can read and you can't.

Your favorite show is Zaboomafoo.  We had hoped to get a lemur for your party, but Dan's lemur died.  He brought a monkey and other animals.  You didn't even flinch when he asked you to hold the four foot alligator.  You are so brave!

You have tow best friends, Adeline and Sydney.  Adeline is your best friend all day at school and Sydney goes to after school so she and you play a lot there.  I am so glad that you are making friends of your own at school.

You started dance this year and like it a lot.  You want to be in the nutcracker next year.  Right now you only take one class a week, Jazz. 

You were in your first plays this year: the school musical and Winnie the Pooh.  The acting bug has hit and you've tried out for several other plays in Act for youth.  I am so glad that you enjoy being up in front of a crowd.  Public speaking is such a wonderful skill to have.  You also keep a great attitude no matter what part you get or don't get.  That positive spirit is so admirable.

You are almost past needing loveys.  Anything soft will do to hold on to while you fall asleep. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Elijah at 9.  You didn't want a party this year, you wanted to go to a theme park.  So we went to bush gardens and water country USA.  It was amazing and so much fun!  Turns out it was a good thing we didn't plan a party because you ended up getting sick.  You didn't even want to taste the cake.  I had to make it at granny's because our kitchen was in shambles from remodeling.  It was Minecraft madness.  You love Minecraft.  Granny have you grampys iPad and you have it to play on there.  You talk about it endlessly.  We had family over for a few minutes but you just weren't up for company.  We postponed your birthday dinner until the first day of school.  It was golden coral (of course!).  At 9 years old you are trying so hard to be more social.  It looks me that you don't have a true best friend to pak around with at school.  Joel Breiholz is as close as you've got but you only see him on play dates.  You are a good natured kids and everyone loves you.  You get along with everyone except Lydia.  You guys drive each other nuts.  Even so, you are fiercely protective of her.  You are getting ready to start the 4 th grade and you are so excited.  You're reading so well.. You and u read hatchet and my side if the mountain.  You're currently reading the maze runner book series.  You hate meat and will only eat chick fill a and hardees chicken nuggets.  You still love veggies and salads and your favorite food is still rutabagas.  You love me to read to you every night and scratch your back before bed.  You still would rather go to bed early and get up early than start up late and sleep in.  I keep waiting for you to sleep past 6am... No such luck.  You still hate jeans and want nothing but athletic shorts/pants and t-shirts.  You love to cook and bake and draw.  You are a talented artist.  Love you more than I can say.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Dad's Memorial

video
My dad passed away after an 8 month battle with cancer.  This is the video we played at his memorial service celebrating the life he led. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lydia at Seven

Lydia at 7.
First grade superstar.  Boy do you hate math facts.  It is like pulling teeth to get you to practice them and you are horrible at them.  Speaking of pulling teeth, you are at 6 teeth out (and two wiggly ones up top).  You are quite possibly the most dramatic tooth puller I've ever seen.  You wiggle, wiggle, wiggle until it is so loose it pokes out between your lips.  We are all so sick of the loose tooth by the time it falls out it is a huge sigh of relief.  It involves gagging, drooling, crying and finally I get tired of the drama and pull it out. 
You are a flip-floppy cartwheeling fool.  You can do a round off and a cartwheel.  You and all the other first grade girls spend all of your courtyard time upside down.  You love to show off that skill.  You've also taught yourself to do a split.  You are so excited to show off your skills.
You love Ms. Blair (but not nearly as much as ms. Longoria) and you also love that I work at your school.  You drop by my room on the way in from recess, always hug me at courtyard time.  It is so fun to see you around school.
You absolutely hate to talk to daddy on the phone.  You refuse to hold the phone or do much more than poot noises into the phone.  You are OK getting dropped off with him for his weekends, but you are absolutely livid that he lied to you about moving closer to us and you are so angry that he is going through with the divorce after we've prayed the whole year about his heart.  You also want me to get you a new daddy and ask frequently if we will be getting a new "everyday daddy" as you call it.
You are now a complete pro at the no-training wheels bike riding and you are excited to try the triathalon again.  You love to run and race.
You are over the Frozen fever from last year.  You haven't really gotten a new passion.  You thought you wanted to ride horses but after a few lessons you seem to be losing interest.  You tried tumble, but missed the fun of the gym in Durham and asked to stop.  The hilight of your year has been being in the school musical.  Your first words after the show were "Can I do it next year?"  You loved the positive attention you got from that. 
You want to be grown up in so many ways (making your own meals, learning to use the DVD and TV downstairs, doing more chores) but you love to be little in so many ways (getting picked up, sleeping in my bed, sitting in my lap, getting rocked to sleep).  I am happy to have you stay little as long as you will!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Bethany at Five!

It is hard to believe but the "baby" of our family is now five years old!
Here are some things about Bethany. . .
  1. She is the most resilient kid in our family.  So far this year she's had to deal with switching churches, moving to Wilson, Daddy' moving out, getting a dog, Grampy getting cancer, Mommy going back to work full time and day care.  All of that and she is only a little bit clingy in the mornings or when I leave her.
  2. Her vocabulary is out of this world.  Seriously, she knows more words than any other 5 year old I have ever met, even Elijah!
  3. She absolutely adores her preschool teacher, Ms. Johnstone.  She is quite possibly Bethany's most favorite person.
  4. She acts all clingy and whiny just around mommy to see if she can get her way. 
  5. She is a sneak and will sneak in for snuggles with someone (Lydia or mommy) at some point most nights.
  6. She doesn't have a set "lovey" that she needs to have to be content.  Any soft and fuzzy item will do.
  7. She despises the cat.
  8. She loves the dog but hates the dogs paws being on her.
  9. She is a great sleeper and normally sleeps for 11 hours every night.
  10. In her 4 year old year she learned to ride a two wheeler. 
  11. Frozen is her favorite movie and she often wants to wear her hair like Elsa (coronation hair and have it up, or a braid and have it down)
  12. She will eat just about anything including seaweed, parsnips, beets and just about any meat.  She doesn't like raw carrots or chocolate chips.
  13. She can write her letters and name and loves to do "homework" with her brother and sister.  She is reading a handful of sight words and loving her decodable books from school.
  14. She can carry a tune and sing better than Lydia and Elijah put together.
  15. She loves to dance but doesn't like dance classes.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Elijah at 8!

Elijah-
  • You continue to astound and amaze us every year. 
  • You love to read.  You love to "binge" on a book and will sit and read for hours to finish it in one or two sittings. 
  • You are getting to be much more computer saavy and you can type in websites and do research very well.
  • You are so excited about the NC law that says once you're 8 you can stay by yourself in the house.  The thought of not having to go to the grocery with me is so wonderful to you.
  • Your sisters annoy you like nothing else.  You are currently VERY displeased that Lydia is living with us. 
  • You still want a brother very badly.  You are planning for us to adopt one for you.
  • The thing that drives you nuts is singing in the car--I can't sing, the sisters can't sing. . . you just absolutely cannot stand it.
  • You know how to do laundry.
  • You know how to do the dishwasher.
  • You can clean well (and know all of the steps to cleaning the bathroom) but sincerely hate it.
  • You "favorite" chore is washing dishes by hand.
  • You are an amazing swimmer--your dive is perfect.  You got the nickname "Michael Phelps" during swimming lessons this summer.
  • You hated swimming lessons.
  • You are really struggling with my and daddy's separation.  My heart breaks for you.
  • You love being in Wilson again.  Especially close to your grandparents!
  • You love to be touched--back rubs, massages, sitting in my lap.  You also love alone time when its just you. 
  • You current favorites are Skylanders (Swap Force was your big birthday gift), Legos, Pokemon and Wimpy Kid.
  • Your favorite food is rutabegas.
  • Your favorite dessert is pie--especially the crust.
  • Your favorite breakfast is Parfaits.
  • Drawing and art is still one of your favorite pastimes. 
  • You are remarkably obedient, even when it comes to something you don't want to do.  You will listen about TV, games, electronics, cleaning up and going to bed.  There might be tears but I never have to tell you twice. 

Elijah's Birthday (on a Budget)

So--first birthday as a single mom=birthday on a budget.  We had a simple home party and here is what we did.
 
Pokemon theme--
There is absolutely nothing Pokemon since noone has had a pokemon party since the 90's (or so it seems).  Thanks Netflix for those cartoons :)  So I didn't have to worry with plates/napkins etc. in the theme. 
 
Here is the breakdown:
 
The invites--I made a file in Paint.net and printed off 4x6 pics for .07/each at the Walgreens.  Total cost for invites was under $1
 
Decorations:
Streamers (red, black and yellow)-$2
Light up Balloons-4th of July Clearance-$1
Red Tablecloth and polka dot table cloth-$2
We reused plastic banners on the front of the house so those were free.
We printed out a banner with his name and some pokemon, which I guess has some cost associated with paper and ink but it is small as it was only about 15 sheets of paper.
Plastic utensils and plates and napkins-$3
 
Cake: I made it. 
$2 for the cake and ingredients for icing etc.
$6 for the fondant from Hobby Lobby with my coupon
We had the little plastic figures
$.75 for the cake board

 
Food:
We popped popcorn-.$25 with our air popper
Chips-$1
Watermelon-$2.99 (thanks Aldi!)
Rice Krispies-$3
Chick-fil-A tray-FREE with a coupon
Punch-$2



 
Goodie "bags"
Weren't really goody bags--just pencils and coloring sheet.  Thanks to back to school sales I got the pencils for $.80 including tax so the cost for this was only $5.60 (including pencils for my own kids)

 
Games:
Pokeball Scavenger hunt-$1.87 "practice" golf balls spray painted with leftover paint from another project
Dart gun target practice: Free (borrowed nerf guns from grampy and painted a toilet paper box)

 
Grand Total $35!!
 
Awesome time!
My boy was thrilled!
 
 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lydia at Six

Lydia at six. . .
-You love Frozen the movie and singing all the songs. 
-Pizza is one of your favorite foods (Papa Johns is the best!) followed closely by meatloaf, but only baked in muffin tins.
-You hate sandwiches and bread of any sort
-Bojangles is your favorite restaurant hands down.  It doesn't matter if we've just eaten, if you see a sign for Bojangles you beg to stop and get a bacon biscuit.  You LOVE bacon biscuits.
-You are in Kindergarten and absolutely love your kindergarten teacher Miss Longoria.  You draw her pictures and love notes at least once a week.
-You love it when I come in every Friday to read to your class
-You had a gymnastics party with your sister, but were actually kind of glad for gymnastics to end.  I think you're burned out and ready to try something new.
-You still love baths, playing dress up, building with blocks and duplos.
-Art is your favorite special and you are a member of Art Club.  You are the only kindergartner in the club.
-You are getting slowly more and more used to loud noises.  You were able to handle fire drills at school, gym, tornado drills and even the circus!
-You can tie your shoes, whistle, blow a bubble with gum and easily ride a two wheeler.
-You prefer the scooter to the two wheeler.
-You LOVE mud and getting muddy and filthy.  Especially in our backyard.  Especially if I asked you NOT to get muddy.
-You are stubborn and think you know so much more than the rest of us.  You aren't afraid of losing money, privelages or discipline of any sort.  You do hate to get yelled at more than anything.
-The cat loves you and sleeps in your bed on cold nights.
-You can still cry and throw up on demand.
-You almost never wear matching pajamas (which drives your sister nuts because you are in the same size and she always wants to wear matching pajamas and you have used up all the sets)
-You still sneak suck your thumb (Grrrr!)
-You've lost two teeth and you pulled them BOTH out by yourself!
-You are really starting to get the hang of reading but you are a PRO at writing.  You can sound out things so well and you are super creative.
-