Sunday, December 27, 2009
Faith was a reader in our
All the kids at Mass were able to join Father on the altar.
We had a fun time celebrating on Christmas Eve at my dad's house.
Then Christmas Day at our house!
Apparently my house is set up perfectly for a game of chase.
Then some of my friends from high school came over with their kids and we hung out and had lunch.
It's been a busy few days - I'm looking forward for a little quiet time before going back to school in January!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
We have the "Sense of Wonder" project.
And the "Planet Project."
Plus the "Traditions" project.
Faith is such a procrastinator combined with perfectionism that we usually end up about ready to kill each other by the time we are done. Daddy got to do the space project - that's his thing - and they had an even harder time working together than she and I did. And I keep hearing that she's just like me and that's why we have a hard time????
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I will be hosting the Christmas Day gathering for the first time because of my mom's move into a condo. This means that I should be: cleaning, wrapping presents, organizing all the piles of junk around my house, cleaning, writing thank-you notes to my students, double checking that all my shopping is done, cleaning...
Instead I have been: reading, watching Nanny McPhee, ignoring the grading I still need to do, thinking about report cards, ignoring the grocery shopping I need to do, buying things on E-bay that I desperately hope will be here by Thursday, surfing all the blogs and websites I haven't had time to look at in the past few weeks, tweaking the layout of this blog, and best of all...
REPEATEDLY listening to my daughter sing the following
On the twelfth day of Christmas,She has a lovely singing voice, but heaven help us all by the twelfth day, Jan. 6th!
my true love sent to me
Twelve drummers drumming,
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
My mom and stepdad's move went smoothly - turns out that one of the movers used to work with me back in the early 1990's at McDonalds. He said he recognized me because of my laugh and my smile - I was kind of hoping it was because I was still so skinny and twentyish looking but no such luck!
I've been ignoring my grading and working on Christmas cards today. Ended up having to order more since I underestimated how many I would need - too bad I didn't figure that out earlier as I would have got in on some big online savings!
Yesterday I went out to the Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale. Got some great deals - almost everything is 50% off cover price - St. Nick and Santa finished filling their baskets! Then I took Faith over to see my mom's new place - she approves - and on to do our shopping for the Giving Tree at church. I let Faith pick the recipients this year - you can read who is receiving the gift and what they would like (8 year old girl, clothes size 10) on an ornament ahead of time. We bought for an 8 year old girl and a 3 year old girl and I sure hope they both like pink clothing since everything Faith picked out was pink!
Gearing up for the last two weeks of school before Christmas break - things always get a little crazy with schedule changes for school programs or special Masses and possible SNOW DAYS but we will make it though! Dont know if I'll enjoy having a snow day for the extra time at home and not having to drive in the chaos or just be annoyed that I have to replan everything I had figured out for the next two weeks!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Then Dan and Faith were off to Chicago-land to see that side of the family. I stayed home because I was supposed to help mom pack - but she didn't need me. So I went all crafty - making a Christmas surprise for Faith and some other things I picked up at a JoAnn Fabrics sale - I may be finishing craft projects up to the day before Christmas!!
Faith and Dan decided that two nights away from mommy is too long - they can't keep themselves organized for that long!! Gotta love them!!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The two older girls will be in Barbie and American girl heaven, while I'll get some serious play time with the little ones - yeah!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Then they tackled the pantry. They have a deep pantry so sometimes things got lost in the back - lost for years lost. The descriptions of what somethings looked like when Mom pulled them out of the pantry made me feel nauseous just having them described on the phone. I can't imagine what it was like to actually be there and experience it first hand.
At the end of the day there were: (1) several trips to Goodwill; (2) boxes of items to move, to take to the church rummage sale, or to store at my aunt's house; (3) five bags of trash; (4) three bags of recycling; (5) a goal to clean our pantries this weekend by both my mom and me!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
There are good reasons everything is separate. This is my spot to be me, just me, the non-teaching part of me. My student blog is for fun stuff that they might enjoy and a spot for some literature response homework. My parent blog is a spot for weekly news and other info that needs to go home because the school website is not the easiest to work with. The school sponsored site has to be there and I've now made it virtually needless to update that - my homepage there is just a bunch of links to other places!
And the wiki is a work in progress - I've actually got to type up some directions for my students this weekend so that hopefully they can do some things without having to have me standing right next to them. It's been fun but also challenging to incorporate all of this technology - plus the mobile laptop lab and the smart boards at school! It's one of my goals for this year - I'll keep you posted on how it's going for me.
Monday, October 5, 2009
We had so much fun visiting with the family in Minnesota! Faith had the back of the van all rigged out for her own personal enjoyment! My dad and stepmom were staying in the same hotel so we had a pool party on Friday night!
My sister's two youngest were being baptised - they are three and two. They did great! It was a very different service than I'm used to, but Faith did a great job. I was impressed that she was able to tell me about and explain so many of the differences herself.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I'm the oldest grandchild - only ten years younger than their youngest child. Right now, I'm also the one who lives closest to them. This has been great in many ways - Faith loves to go and visit their house and I'm only minutes away if they need something. Their new place will be farther away for me, but probably better for them. It's close to their church and to many of the places they like to go to.
Gma and Gpa have always been there for me. I think it was their faith and belief that eventually brought me back into fully practicing my religion. It's been hard seeing them grow older. They were such young grandparents - my memories of them are so different than my youngest cousins' memories! In many ways, they are like another set of parents to me. I guess this experience of seeing them grow older and more dependent is giving me some practice for what I may be experiencing with my own parents some years down the road. Though I look at my grandparents and then at my still working, extremely active parents and step-parents, and hope that it will be many, many years until that happens.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
NOW they play 6 on 6, with a goalie, a ref, the coach off the field, and for 2 25 minute halves. Plus the parents are on the other side of the field from the players so they can't go hang with mom and dad when they aren't in the game!
I was so impressed with all of the kids on the team! We only have 10 kids all together and 2 of them weren't there today. Which meant they got A LOT of playing time. No one was whining about how long they had to play or asking to be subbed out after only playing for 2 minutes - they have grown up a little bit since the spring. They are starting to catch on about what each position does, passing the ball, and dribbling it instead of just kicking it away from where you are.
They only thing that went wrong was that the manager forgot to have a parent assigned to bring a snack and beverage for after the game. So the manger (ME!) had to quick run to the grocery store during the first half and pick up some snacks and beverages. Good thing everyone liked bananas and Sunny D!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Today at choir - 3 basses, 3 tenors, 3 musicians, 1 director, and ME - somehow I think the balance between voices wasn't quite right! But we did our best and I think we sounded ok - if a bit out of balance.The best part was when Faith came over and sang with us - she's not quite tall enough to sing directly into the mike, but if she stands on a chair she's too tall!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
She came home this week twice with math homework concepts that some of my fifth graders are having challenges with. Not my girl. I asked if she wanted me to check it over, and she said "Ok, but Mom, I know they're all right." And they were! I'm hoping it's because she's such a great mathematician not that her teacher is a better math instructor than I am!!
Her latest project is a "Sense of Wonder" where she needs to choose a wonder that God created, learn about it, and create a project. They are only supposed to be brainstorming right now...which is a great thing because the current brainstorm involves an expanding rainbow, a pulley system, multiple clouds, and lots of glitter - heaven help me!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
1 Pride and Prejudice -Jane Austen X
2 The Lord of the Rings -JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte X
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling X
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee X
6 The Bible X
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte X
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell X
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens X
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy X
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - William Shakespeare (I've read parts, but not COMPLETE)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (I think this is on my book club list)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell X
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald X
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck X
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (I've seen the movie...does that count?)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens X
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen X
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen X
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Will be reading, I'm supposed to teach it this year!)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden X
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne X
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez X
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery X
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood X
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding X
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons X
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen X
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens X
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley X
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (started to read it...couldn't finish)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens X
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett X
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker X
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro (Again, does the movie count?)
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White X
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom X
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle X
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (read it as a short story version)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare X
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl X
100 Les Miserables — Victor Hugo X
Not too bad, a respectable 39 of the 100 books. Certainly much better than SIX! I should however qualify that
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
My friend has lived in Buffalo for almost four years and had never been to see the Falls on the American side ... she'd been told by many native Buffalo residents that it wasn't worth the trip, just go to Canada. She was very pleasantly surprised by the lovely Niagara Falls State Park. We had great views and wonderful walking paths. We were able to go out to Luna Island, which is in between Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls - it felt like you could reach out and touch the falls!
Plus we both learned some really cool information - Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the U.S., established in 1885. And Goat Island, located in between Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls was named that because of a farmer who left his animals on the island to get supplies and when he returned, the only animal left alive was a goat!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I've been surprised this week to see how Faith interacts with my friend's two boys. She plays with both boys and girls at school so no worries there. At home she is busy with art, stuffed animals, dolls, lots of creative activities. Here she has had no problems joining in on wrestling matches, tug-of-war, Lego construction - and is having a blast! So is it nature or nurture?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
We are off to visit one of my good friends in Buffalo on August 2nd. Faith is sooo excited about riding on an airplane - she doesn't give a patooty about seeing my friend and her kids, going to Niagra Falls, or anything else! It's all about the plane ride!!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
On the downside, there is the monthly cost. It's not impossible to find the dollars, but it would mean some changes. Of course, adding another child to our family would also involve some changes! We could end up with an interstate adoption - meaning figuring out two (or more) states adoption laws, travel and possibly a long stay in another state, and a myriad of other things some of which I'm not even sure of!
We'd actually looked at this site last year but decided not to go forward as there were very few waiting families from Wisconsin and none with our agency. Now that our agency is involved ... I'm not sure what to do. Dan is even less sure. I think we need to think and pray a bit before we make a decision. Which is not something we've had time to do this weekend with all of our extended family chaos and committments. But that is another story.
Friday, July 10, 2009
We started our adoption process by attending an introductory meeting at our agency about domestic and international adoption when Faith was two. Our agency works on a lottery system for acceptance into the domestic infant program which is what we decided we wanted. We filled out the paperwork - and weren't accepted. So we applied again in six months when the next lottery was held - and weren't accepted. Two more tries, two more misses. We almost didn't apply the next time - we were getting so down about not being selected for the program we really liked. But I'm glad we did, because we were accepted as the alternate family. This meant we had to wait six months to start (unless one of the other families dropped out) but were guaranteed to start six months later.
Six months later we went through our two and half day adoption education class. We learned a lot but were really anxious to get things going. We wrote our "Dear Birthparents" letter, created a portfolio, filled out TONS of paperwork, completed our home study, and we all set to go. And then the wait began. More later...
Monday, July 6, 2009
I had to restrain myself from answering him, "YOU THINK!!!!!"
We then calmly talked and decided that we needed to reinforce the "within eyesight" rule with Faith for public spaces...something she has never really liked to follow. This is the child who delighted in escaping from me at stores and hiding within the circular clothing racks while I went, "Faith! Faith! I know you're hiding - where are you?" in an increasingly panicked tone. And then she would pop out and yell "SURPRISE!" and we would promptly leave the store for a talk in the car.
So... on the way to church on Sunday, I seemed to have found the perfect opportunity to revist this policy. And managed to scare the be-jeebees out of my daughter. All I did say that her dad and I needed to be able to see her, so we could help her if something bad happened. You know, like falling down and getting hurt, having a bully come up to you,
She was really quiet on the rest of the way to church and then was showing VERY poor church behavior - of which I know she knows better. I thought might be because I was sitting with the two of them instead of singing in the choir (summer break) but no she was mad at me for scaring her and this was how she choose to tell me! Words convey so much more clearly what's going on - how was I supposed to put together that sassy mouth and refusing to things she's asked meant that she was scared and wanted a hug?
So ... good mom or bad mom? I can't decide.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
It's interesting about people that you meet in life. Some people are super close to you for awhile and then they drift away; while other people are always in your life whether they live near or far. I wonder if technology makes it easier to stay connected to people or if it just fosters more superficial feelings of connectedness? Can you really be "friends" with all 300 people you might be linked to on Facebook or Myspace?
I have a few close friends that have been in my life since elementary school. No matter how far apart we've lived, we've been connected and a part of each other's lives. Over the years I've added and subtracted to my friend base but that base has always been there for me. Just wanted to say to all of you - it's appreciated!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
We had a hard time getting up yesterday morning for the 8 am class. My youngest sister had her final home marching band show on Sunday night and none of us got to bed before 11 pm. I was actually considering letting Faith stay home yesterday but she decided that she would feel more awkward starting on day two.
So off we went to try and find her classes in the summer school building. This year Faith has classes in three different buildings, but for the first two weeks they are all in one. This is the building where I attended first through third grade and seventh/eighth grade (an elementary and middle were combined into one building about 10 years ago). A few things have changed but I could still identify things like the old principal's office, the old library, etc. Faith seems to like her classes so far - the one she has for four weeks seems to be winning the "favorite" title at the moment! In that class she gets to learn about a new country each week. Her other two classes are about space and writing about animals. The other great thing is that she found another girl who is all three of the same classes - so I'm hoping that by the end of the week they will feel confident about walking from one room to another inside the same building and I won't need to show up every hour and a half to walk them from one spot to another!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Last night though, was one to be enjoyed. My sister and her kids are visiting from MN and we went to our local summer festival together. Faith just loves her cousins - especially my niece just two years younger than her. This was the first year we got her a wristband for the rides - ride all rides from 5-10. I swear it was like she had died and gone to heaven! She and my niece were bouncing EVERYWHERE they were so excited! From the really big slide, to the mini-rollercoaster, to the bumper cars, to the carousel, and repeat. Thank goodness Dan came along to help supervise - my older nephew wanted to go on bigger kid rides, the girls were joined at the hip, and my little niece and nephew were still mostly stroller bound.
The only thing I regret is missing my brother's ball game - good thing it's a tournament so he's playing again - though that will mean more time on the rides for Faith! I wonder if it will as much fun without her cousins with her?
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The doorbell rang during lunch and Faith went flying to see who was there. She was so excited to open the door and bring in the package - didn't really care the slightest what was inside (new sandals for both of us and a new school bag for me in the fall). As soon as the mysterious cardboard box was open and emptied, creativity took over.
"Can I have this box, Mom?"
"To make a doll house."
So far the doll house has three stories, an elevator, a satelite dish, red bedroom carpeting, two beds, two recliners, and a trampoline. Plans for a mermaid pool and a fairy garden were being discussed at bedtime.