Monday, February 28, 2011

We will read forever.

(...continuing our list of 100 books...)
40. A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee (so fun!!)
41. Dinosaur Days by Liza Baker (based on a Harold and the Purple Crayon episode)
42. Mi Hermanita Es Súper by Kes Gray (we read in Spanish sometimes!)
43. Peter and the Wolf by Chris Raschka (an artist's rendition, complete w/additional character)
44. The Runaway Shopping Cart by Kathy Long

Saturday, February 26, 2011

When was your last random act of kindness??

I know I always think of ideas of things to do, but I rarely act on them!  So I think it might be easier if I had a list printed up to help remind me of what to do.  If I see it, I hope to do it more often.  Please feel free to add more in the comments!!  Thanks!
- sweep the snow of a few extra cars when you are done sweeping yours off
- shovel your neighbor's walk
(can you tell we got more snow today?!)
- buy an extra apple and share it w/someone!
- write a letter to someone and put a dollar in it
- take a pack of diapers to a new, or even not so new, mom
- send an encouraging note to someone in the service profession - a teacher, a nurse, a police officer, a fireman/woman, someone in the armed forces, etc...
- buy a brand new pack of colored pens (or stickers, or comfortable socks, or anything you think they would find useful and not have to buy themselves) and give them to a teacher you know
- drop some change in someone else's parking meter

Friday, February 25, 2011

Photo Friday

I love pictures and there are not nearly enough of them around here lately!  So I'm going to institute Photo Friday!

Moses has been getting into drawing and writing a lot more lately.  I love seeing how his mind works through his art, as well as how he creatively spells things!  This one is pretty sweet -
Kiss + Kiss
Mom and Dad

This is another one of my new favorites - why let the snowpocalypse spoil your swing set fun?

Friday, February 18, 2011

P is for Protest

There have been protests in our lives on a global, state, local (in house!) and personal level this week.  Citizens of Egypt took to the streets in the name of democracy, citizens of WI have congregated outside the capitol building to express their opposition to a budget bill, my daughter continues to stage her food protest and my muscles protest the fact that I have been working out again!  I feel like everyone, everywhere is at odds w/each other!
(I do not wish to begin a debate here.  I do not like politics, but that doesn't mean I don't learn about them.  I am a teacher (just not working in a school right now) and I do have an opinion about all that, but I won't share it here.  So don't bother leaving a comment about that.  Thank you!)
Anyway - I was thinking today about all these protests and of course the one that affects my personal daily life the most Colleen's protests when it comes to eating.  So many times people ask us what is wrong w/her since she has a G tube and she does not move as easily and strongly as other kids.  She walks/runs w/a really strange gait and struggles to use play equipment that should be easy enough.  Just the other day we were at the mall and someone asked how old she was.  "Wow, she's really small for her age!"  Um, yeah.  You would be too...!  The fact that people comment doesn't bother me.  The fact that we don't really have answers bothers me!  (We know nothing of her family's medical history.)  Believe me, we've done all sorts of allergy tests, medical scopes, blood draws, XRays and MRIs.  Nothing.  Clear.  Yet her progress is slow.  Not enough.  Concerning.  Despite all of our progress w/the feeding team and our efforts to help her feel secure and safe when eating, we're still pretty much where we were a year and a half ago.  I don't like that - my mind races down rabbit trails to find something, some kind of answer when people ask what's wrong.  The other day I found info about sensory disorders.  (You can find answers for everything on the internet!!  We always joke in our house that there are no mysteries anymore.  I'm not saying the answers are all correct, but if all you need is an answer, you won't be disappointed!)  Back to the sensory disorders.  I found 2 that fit my girl to a T.  So now I am armed w/more questions for the therapists.  Maybe this avenue will take us somewhere we can settle in and make progress.  Maybe not.
So many times in life, there are problems we can't fix.  Small children who have lived a long life in only 3 years time, family members who live away from us get sick and we can't help them, state budgets we can't balance, global conflicts we can't resolve...however, we can choose our attitudes.  I tried to remind myself and others about that as I posted this for a status:
Today I'm reminding all of you to choose love. Many times we feel like we cannot change the things in our life or we have no other choice, but we can choose our attitudes. Choose love! Work on loving and respecting those around you and I promise your day will be better!
I choose love.  

Thursday, February 17, 2011

...continuing our list of 100 books...
37. How to Drive Your Sister Crazy by Diane Z. Shore
38. Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
39. How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet

Monday, February 14, 2011


- order of occurrence leading to some result 

a line of combustible material laid to lead fire to a charge

a series of moving mechanical parts (as gears) that transmit and modify motion

- to teach so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient

- to make prepared (as by exercise) for a test of skill

- to aim at an object or objective

- to undergo instruction, discipline, or drill


I personally am choosing the second definition to motivate myself.


(all definitions of the word cut and pasted from Merriam Webster's online dictionary)

More to come in future posts...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Noisy books

(...continuing our list of 100 books...)
34.  White Snow Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt (the title alone ignited a discussion about why 'ite' and 'ight' sound the same in English...I love how my boy is learning to read and discovering the anomalies of the English language!  Just wait until you get to palate, pallet and pallette!  or pour, pore and poor!  or rein, reign and rain!  or raze, rays and raise!  or seas, sees and seize!  or wear, where and ware!  or weigh, way and whey!  Sorry.  I could harp on homonyms all day.  As an English teacher, they are sooooo annoying!  But I digress...back to the list!)
35.  And the Train Goes by William Bee
36.  Curious George Visits the Zoo by Margaret and H. A. Rey

And I promise next time not to climb on the 'why-I-learned-another-language' soap box!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We need more Peet!

(...continuing our list of 100 books...)
31.  Huge Harold by Bill Peet (we almost cleaned off the Bill Peet shelf at the little library - we've got to check for more at the big library!)
32.  Mad About Plaid by Jill McElmurry
33.  No Cats Allowed by Lois Simmie

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Just 2

(...continuing our list of 100 books...)
We haven't had much time to read lately, but tonight we are able to add 2 books to the list.
29.  Miss Fannie's Hat by Jan Karon (I didn't know she wrote kids' books!)
30.  Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman (Funny!)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

...and we're still reading too!

...continuing our list of 100 books...
23. The Adventures of Sparrowboy by Brian Pinkney
24. Snow Party by Harriet Ziefert (appropriate for today!)
25. I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child (We love Charlie and Lola!)
26. Curious George and the Pizza Party (We also adore George!!  We have read lots of his books!)
27. For the Love of Soccer by Pelé (Can you tell who picked this one out?)
28. The Caboose Who Got Loose by Bill Peet (Dave and I have been huge fans since we were little of Bill Peet books - it's awesome to be able to read them to Mo!)

Super snowy productive day

This house is a blizzard of activity today!!!

We have already switched Colleen and her things to the room Leah had been using.  We moved my sewing machine downstairs (just in time for a quick Valentine's Day project!), we had oatmeal for breakfast, we played Wii =), we cleaned some of the kitchen, did laundry, ran the dishwasher, changed sheets, ate yummy leftovers for lunch, started a roast for dinner, etc!!!  My family is awesome!  I love days like this when we work and play together!!

Later we are going to finish organizing the basement, wash dishes, make pumpkin muffins and pie, write a letter or 2, make hummus and tuna salad, and possibly start the Valentine's craft.  We should have snow days more often!  The amount of snow we got isn't too high, maybe a foot or so, but the drifts, hyper active wind and super low temps are what contributed to the closing of school.  We are supposed to get a little more snow, but it's hard to tell if it's actually snowing since everything we already have is whipping by sideways!  Further south of us, there is much more snow.  I saw pictures on of 4 ft drifts, doors that were opened and completely blocked by drifts, cars that were impossible to find!  I read somewhere on the news that it is THE WORST STORM OF THE CENTURY!!!  I laughed - really?  Do they mean it's the worst storm since the 2000s started?  That's only 11 years, I guess I could believe that!  Either way, it doesn't seem too bad here.  Mind you, we are not going anywhere or being foolish, it's bad, but I know it is worse elsewhere.

I hope this day finds you as productive as we are!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My 2011 goals, my progress and my January excuses

(I hope to recap my goals and why I am or why I am not achieving them each month.)

Physical: Drink 5 mugs a day, get 8 hours of sleep and run a 5K.
The 5 mugs a day is not happening much b/c I haven't pushed myself.  I am going to write it down this week to keep myself on track and hopefully up it soon.  The 8 hours of sleep, however, is happening b/c I have been pushing myself!  I feel a lot better too!  Running the 5K will most likely not happen until May or later.  I haven't even gotten back into the swing of working out regularly yet.  YIKES!  I blame being sick.  That and the chaos of one foster kid leaving and another getting adopted.  Give me 2 weeks to get back up to speed on that one.

Personal: Weekly planning time, bi-weekly date w/Dave, 2 hours me time and attend a women's retreat.
Last week we managed to kill 2 birds w/one stone when my parents watched the kids.  We used our date as a planning time!  Is that cheating?  Maybe a little.  I hope to change that this week.  Those should be 2 separate things.  The 2 hours of me time was spent wasted doing other stuff.  Like I said, I've been sick/dealing w/allergies (?? ever heard of winter allergies??) and that crushes my motivation.  For the next week, I plan to add more pages to the foster kid scrapbook.  The women's retreat will most likely not happen until summer.

Spiritual: Track Bible reading, family devos, and a missions trip
I have been spotty but I am tracking my Bible reading.  I love the book of Isaiah and that is where I chose to start.  My best time to read is the half an hour I take before everyone comes home for lunch.  I set the table and get lunch ready, then eat while I read.  Everyone comes home and I am ready to serve them!  Some days though, I put a little more effort into the lunch and then I lose track of time.  They all come in the door and I'm scrambling to both eat and serve them!  The family devo time has been working, at least on a casual level.  Nothing formal takes place, but the kids love reading and listening to the Bible.  I think soon we will start a fruit of the spirit workbook though.  Moses loves the Music Machine songs about the fruits of the spirit and when he had troubles in school at the beginning of the year, we prayed about self control, gentleness, etc...for him and with him.  I like the workbook b/c it has crafty type stuff and memory verses.  I'm thinking it might be good for me to try that on Tuesdays when Dave is gone to practice.  Then we can all do something on Thursdays for a missions trip, that also may not happen for a while.  It may wind up being something more local, rather than global, but I am still praying and researching ideas.

As always, there is plenty room for improvement when it comes to reaching my goals!  I do think, though, that my goals are pretty manageable and attainable.  Either way, I'm ready for February!