Friday, February 27, 2009

The Cat in the Hat

March 2 is Dr. Seuss's 105 Birthday. To celebrate this occasion, Ryan's school invited the children to dress as their favorite Dr. Seuss character. When Ryan was about 2 or 3 months old, my parents brought him a Cat in the Hat, hat/headband from Florida. We decided he should wear that today as The Cat in the Hat. We dressed him in black pants and a white and blue striped shirt with red sleeves. He was too cute!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Circus came to Town!

This past weekend Mike and I took the kids to Richmond to go to the circus. I have a friend from High School who lives in Richmond and we stayed with her. She and her husband and two children went with us. This is the "Big One." The Ringling Brothers Circus that they always hold in some type of an arena. It was held at the Richmond Coliseum. Ryan had been once before, but he was only two at the time. Lydia and Emily had never gone before. It was quite exciting for all of them. Of course, Ryan does not recall going. They were all in awe of everything that was going on! The glitz and glamor, the animals, the clowns, all of it. Before the show, they have a "pre-show" thing on the floor that you can go down and have your picture taken with a clown or try to catch a glimpse of an animal through the mass of people that are in front of you. Since we are both short people, we ended up putting the kids all up on a wall so they could see the elephant over all of the people. They were not interested in having their picture taken with a clown (not a big surprise), but they were all about catching the little plastic noses that one of the performers was tossing out to all the children. It was pretty cool. They had such a good time, but were so very tired by the time all the festivities were over. Spending the night at my friends house was hard on them. Though the hospitality was amazing, none of them slept very well since you have a harder time sleeping at someone else's house than your own. No one had a nap, but they behaved quite well for being so tired . . . . . until . . . .:). Emily had a nervous breakdown in the bathroom upon our leaving the Coliseum. She and Lydia were washing their hands and I was trying to rush them along since we had waited for 20 minutes to get in there and a woman standing behind me in line had to tell me her twin story--like many people (I usually enjoy hearing twin stories, but hers seemed to have a "I have a harder life than you do" twist to it:).--and I knew Mike was waiting for us. I did not give them a papertowel, told them to dry their hands on their pants and come on. Emily stood their screaming "I need a papertowel!" I walked out of the bathroom with coats in my hand and Lydia following me, left my stuff on the floor in front of my friend, Becky, and went back in to drag Emily out of the bathroom. I know everyone thought "What an awful Mom, she can't even control her kids!" Funny thing is, if Lydia had done that, I never would have thought it weird, but Emily has such a level head. She was clearly tired. All three kids were asleep before we even made it to 64, which is about 4 miles from where we were parked. They slept all the way home. Turns out, Ryan had a fever the whole time. He was not feeling well, Becky was having stomach troubles while we were at the circus. Despite our bad luck on Saturday, it was a fun time!! I told Emily I was not taking her back to the circus as a result of her bathroom behavior, but I may give in one day--maybe in a year or so:).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Many serious bloggers, blog according to themes, ideas, days, whatever strikes them. Thankful Thursdays is one I have seen and wanted to do, but never seem to remember to make an entry on a Thursday when I am thankful (which is every thursday). I am thankful for so many things in my life! So many things and so many people that I take for granted! I love my husband, my children, my parents, my brother, my grandparents (those still alive and the ones that have passed), my nieces, my nephews, my sisters in law, my brothers in law, and my friends! My life is amazing and so often I forget just how amazing it is!!

Today I had a parent make me realize just one small area of my life that I am so thankful. She dropped off her son at my classroom this morning. She explained that his grandmother would be picking him up this evening. She said this grandmother had picked him up once or twice, but she was not sure if I knew her. I told her that I knew her mom and I would recognize her. She explained that it was not her mother, but her son's father's mother. She said her son's father may and may not come with his mother. I know I had a pretty surprised look on my face because I have never heard her speak of this child's father. I assumed he was not in the picture. This child has a great support system though! He has a wonderful mother who has a nice boyfriend who is active in this child's life and her parents are very present in his life. She had just never mentioned a father. She explained to me that this was new. The father had been "gone" for two years and is interested in seeing his son. In her explanation of her concern for how it was going to go, she began to cry. And, of course, I had to cry with her--I tend to make it a policy--no one can cry by themselves with me in the room:).

After she left I realized how completely blessed I am that I do not have to part with my children periodically as a result of a broken home situation! I can't imagine sending my children off somewhere for any length of time and not know what they are doing, if they are scared, if they are ok. I have known many divorced mothers, step mothers, and single mothers in my lifetime. They all hold a very special place in my heart. Can't be easy to trust someone else to raise your child as well as it can't be easy to be the person that is helping to raise someone else's child.

My family is my life! I can't imagine not having all four of them with me all the time. Mike, I love you so much and I love what we have together! I am so thankful that you love me too! Happy Valentine's Day!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ryan goes Purple and Gold!

Ryan was part of the Duke Dog reading program that JMU does for the area schools. You are to read a certain amount of books over your winter break. You record what you read and the amount of pages, etc., turn it in and you receive a ticket to a JMU basketball game for the student and two adults to go with the student. This covered Ryan, Mike and myself. Lydia and Emily are young enough not to have to pay anyway. We went to the game yesterday afternoon. Each student that came to the game received a coupon for a free ice cream cone from Brewsters and a raffle ticket to potentially win a door prize. Also, they were giving out pom poms to the kids. Ryan's school, McGaheysville Elementary School, was one of the top three area schools to have the most participation. For coming in 3rd, Ryan's principal, Ms. Roadcap, was presented a plaque on the court at halftime. Ryan was pretty excited to see someone he knew walking out onto the court. The kids kept their eyes peeled for the Duke Dog mascot throughout the entire game. When he actually came up to our section, they did not want to go up to talk to him:). They had a neat halftime show with kids doing various basketball things and then there were two men who came out and had a remote control vehicle race around obstacles on the court. They announced the names of these racers and we looked down on the court to see our next door neighbor, Jerry--funny. Lydia spent a large part of the game cheering with her pom pom and Ryan's pom pom. Then each time the cheerleaders or the Dukettes came onto the floor she was completely focused on the performances. I took a movie of her cheering, but of course she did not do as much while the camera was on. Ryan saw several kids that go to his school. It was really neat and we had a great time! Neatest part of the whole game though was at the beginning--one of the players of the JMU basketball team, in uniform, sang the National Anthem. An amazing singer! Multi-talented!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Went to see G

My Grandmother (Mother’s Mother) has 9 Great-Grandchildren. Ryan, Lydia and Emily are numbers 6, 7 and 8. She lives in an assisted living facility in Lynchburg. We had not seen her since Christmas and thought we would take a trip down and visit today. In contrast to the 20 degree days we have been having, a thermometer in Lynchburg said 66 degrees today. It was so nice!! We took the kids outside and let them play and throw the ball. Grandma’s neighbor, Myrtle visited with us as well.

The movie at the bottom was taken of Lydia and Emily riding around on my Grandma's walker. Just before I started filming, Lydia said "Look Mommy, I am G!" I tried to get her to say it again, but she never did:(.

Mr. Sketch

Ryan’s Kindergarten class continues to amaze me with their vast intelligence. Again, I work with two year olds all day and so a class of Kindergarteners is just years ahead of a class of two year olds to me. Yesterday was a volunteer parent day for me in Ryan’s class. They are getting ready to hit their 100th day of school on Tuesday, where they are going to do several things in 100’s. They are going to eat 100 things and have an art project that has something to do with 100 things. Last week was the end of the first semester for the Kindergarten classes. They have 4, 9 week sessions instead of 6, 6 week sessions. Report cards were sent home with a Parent/Teacher conference day shortly thereafter. Ryan brought home a really great report card and when I went to the conference, his teacher showed me some of his writing samples and journal entries. He is doing such a wonderful job sounding out words and learning how to read and spell. We are so proud! Yesterday, during my volunteering, the kids worked on comparing the L and M sounds. In addition Ms. Clark talked to them about how they have done so well learing how to spell their first name and now they are going to begin learning how to spell their last names. The kids all know how to recognize their last name, but not all of them know how to spell it. Ms. Clark had written their last name in big outlined letters for the kids to design and color. She asked me to go get the box of markers on the cabinet in the back of the room while she continued to talk to the children. Mr. Sketch Markers! Man, the kids are going to love these I thought. The first group of kids that came to the table to design their last name cards immediately took the tops off of their markers and began smelling them. It was so funny! I remember doing that myself! I don’t actually remember Mr. Sketch markers in my classrooms, but my mom had some in her classroom. She had them in these little Styrofoam holders that went into a little sleeve that kept them from falling out. They always smelled so good! As I helped Ms. Clark by removing some things off of the walls and cleaning up the paint center, I watched the kids smelling their markers. Good thing these markers are not harmful . . . the large amounts of inhaling that was going on . . . their designs were not getting done since they were all smelling so much.:) Ryan in particular-Washington was the second to the longest last name in the class. I had to remind him a couple of times to stop smelling and do his project:). As the children finished up and showed me their beautiful masterpieces, they smiled at me with their bright shiny teeth and their colorful noses:). It was too funny!

Green Eggs and Ham

Lydia and Emily laugh hysterically when you read “I do not like Green Eggs and Ham.” My co-worker and Lydia and Emily’s preschool teacher, Treasa and I decided to do a unit on the Dr. Seuss classic Green Eggs and Ham. We brought in eggs, green food coloring, and got some sliced ham from the lunch stash at school. The kids had so much fun eating GREEN EGGS!!! With the cold weather, it has been a little difficult to take the kids outside. We had traded places with the four year old classroom and stayed down there until lunch time. The kids had such a great time!

Princess Time!!

Lydia and Emily LOVE to dress in their princess clothes! They received princess dresses for their birthday and some for Christmas. In addition, a friend of mine gave me some that her girls had outgrown. We have quite a wardrobe full. They love putting on these dresses and showing us what beautiful princesses they are. Lydia has become obsessed with calling herself Princess Fiona. For those of you that have never seen Shrek, Princess Fiona is a character in the Shrek movie. A couple of weeks ago Adella came to visit. The girls got Adella on board with the princess dresses and she decided she wanted to join in the fun and dress up too. I did not have my camera downstairs, but my sister-in-law did and she sent me these pictures. All three of them were so funny, jumping around and dancing. Adella’s dress was a little big for her, but she did not seem to mind. Too funny!!

Olivia Turns1

Olivia is Lynnea’s little sister. Lynnea is in Ryan’s kindergarten class. Olivia goes to the center where I teach. Olivia’s half brother, Cass, went there as well. Kara is Lynnea and Olivia’s mom. Kara is the step-daughter of Sarah, a lady I used to deal with regularly when I worked in Property Management. Crazy—we have quite a few connections. As a result, Kara and I have become good friends. Olivia tuned one the other day and Ryan, Lydia, Emily and I were invited to the birthday party. While there, the kids broke out Lynnea’s collection of princess clothes. It really has become an epidemic with Lydia and Emily. Once they started sporting sunglasses (Emily could not figure out how to keep her sunglasses on with her eyeglasses) we felt a picture needed to be taken. I just thought they were too cute not to blog about.