Friday, November 23, 2007

Thankfulness - Part 3

This turkey hand is courtesy of Stephanie. The sentiments from the turkey are in no way meant to represent her real feelings about eating turkey. She loves turkey!

This Thanksgiving we decided to get the kids more involved in the preparations. Last weekend when we shopped for the feast, Stephanie was in charge of the list, Greg pushed the cart, and Heather deposited items in the cart (after an organizing lesson from me). Folks, don't try this at home if you are in a hurry. Letting a five year old put items in the cart (plus remembering to hand them to her instead of quickly putting them in the cart yourself) is no quick task. Stephanie has been in charge of the list on previous trips, but this trip was a full participation event!

The kids also helped some with the meal preparation. In chorus they declared how disgusting it was when I rinsed our fine feathered friend and stuffed her body cavity with apples and oranges. When I pulled the skin back to insert the sage they were sent over the edge of grossness. Later in the day, they donned their kid-size aprons and set about their cooking tasks.

Stephanie was in charge of making green bean casserole (with Daddy's supervision). She was very proud of her culinary skills!

After the casserole she was in charge of peeling potatoes. She was kinda slow at this task and enlisted the help of Aunt Wendy and Uncle Tony. They huddled over the trash can (yes, Danny, the trash can) and got to work. Wendy and Tony said they'd had so much practice peeling potatoes as a kid that this was an easy chore. Maybe that's why kids end up peeling so many potatoes in life. It's one of the first jobs a mom feels like they can handle in the kitchen.

Heather was on celery dicing duty. She complained when I handed her the butter knife about not being able to use a real knife. Then the knife slipped out of her hand and landed on the floor. Greg declared that's why she was using a butter knife. Looks like I need to show her the proper finger curling technique for her non-chopping hand!

The kids were thrilled to be part of the process. They really felt a sense of pride and ownership when we sat down to eat. 

Just look at this beautiful bird!  It was just as delicious as it was good looking.

So today, I am thankful for helpers in the kitchen -- both big and small. I usually feel the need to be in control of everything. But today it was nice to let go, to let my children understand they are important.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thankfulness - Part 2

This year I have more students reading below grade level than ever before. Their skills are glaringly lacking. I know it has not been for lack of effort by previous teachers. I know my colleagues work hard. But reading with the lowest group of kids in my class is torturous. I wonder if they will ever catch up. I think about how many times in life we are required to read just to survive, much less for pleasure or continued knowledge.

So today I am thankful I can read (and write). How lost I'd be without these skills!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Yesterday we went to Grandma & Papa's for breakfast.  Heading home on the freeway we passed a pick up with a Barbie cadillac-style kiddie car in the bed, complete with boomy speakers in the back.  Greg looked over and said, "Look, there's Barbie's pimp car. Then from the back seat we hear in echo, "Look, there's Barbie's pimp car." Doh!  Heather was apparently listening! I tried to keep my composure, but just couldn't.

I am thankful for laughter and my very funny family. They keep me in stitches!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tiny Dancers

Stephanie and Heather are taking another year of dance.  This is their third year at this studio and I am continually amazed by what they learn.  Last year Stephanie accomplished the back bend walk over. This week Heather announced that she did it on her own for the first time. I am forever doomed to the audible quick draw of breath inward as they perform their gymnastic moves. It's not just simple cartwheels anymore. This year both girls are taking a combo class (ballet, tap, & gym) and a hip hop/gym class. In previous years, even though the girls were in different combo classes they were scheduled at the same time.  This year they are still in different combo classes, but one after each other. So we are there for two hours on the combo night. Add to that another hour the next night for the hip hop class.  I might go insane! Sometimes the kids work on their homework while waiting...other times not so much.

Stephanie is concentrating on making the same moves as her teacher. 

Heather watches on during Stephanie's class. 

Heather's turn to dance.

Stephanie watches Heather too, but lately she's been wanting to figure the percentages of the papers I'm grading on the calculator.

Stephanie's self-portrait.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Morning to Myself

The kids went to Grandma & Papa's yesterday after lunch. They called and asked to spend the night. Sure ~ why not! We are off school for Veteran's Day today. So, this morning the kids were gone and Greg left for work. What do I do with a morning all to myself? Scrapbook? Paint? Clean? (Are you insane?). Nope, I watched t.v. Yup, sat on the couch like a lump and watched two and a half shows. This after I just told Greg that I felt bad for watching too much t.v. sometimes. Oh well. What was so great was that I didn't have to pause for any questions, referee a fight, to pour juice, cook breakfast, or anything! After the third program I pulled myself off the couch to take a shower and go grocery shopping. Now I'm working on laundry...sort of. See ~ the day isn't totally full of lazy behavior! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Gotta Wear Shades

About a week and a half ago Greg was getting ready for work when I heard some choice language coming from the closet. His glasses broke! Not a good time since he works outside all day and relies on his sunglasses (on the magnetic clip). He was due for new glasses, but this was quite inconvenient! So we scheduled an impromptu visit to the eye doctor and a week later ~ voila! Stunning!

Since I was away on my scrapbook weekend with Kim on the day of his appointment he had to pick out the glasses on his own.  Very nice choice indeed! Don't you think? Since he went with a new style and no magnetic clip, he needed new sunglasses too. Stylin'!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Three Divas

Everyone should experience the good life ~ right?  Well, this is no exception for my sweet girls! For several years now, I have taken them to see Stacey for a hair cut every other time I do. I cut their bangs in the in-between time. I'm not bad at it usually. I've even trimmed all of their hair before, but I'm very slow (don't want to mess up) and they get antsy. So, off to get pampered we go! I have introduced my children to the sheer joy of having a hair wash. There's no turning back. Ahh, the warm water, the gentle scalp massage, the peppermint conditioner....hmmm. They think this is the best part too. Then they sit very still and watch in the mirror as Stacey cuts their hair. Stephanie has an opinion about her hair now. Last time she requested some layers. Heather likes it when Stacey uses product in her hair ~ but needs to smell it first. Occasionally they make funny faces in the mirror to entertain themselves. We walked in the salon today just a little normal, maybe even a little blue...but we emerged as freshly styled divas!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Trick or Treat!

These girls look positively scary! Ok ~ probably not. It's hard to look scary when you're so cute! 

The kids were so excited to dress up and go trick-or-treating. I was certain Heather was going the burst from the excitement. She could barely contain herself on the way home to get dressed. Much to her dismay (and my relief), Daddy had dinner ready when we got home, so she had to eat first. We went out for about an hour and a half. In the past there was more than one house that gave them pause as they ventured to the front door. There have been houses they refused to go to because they were just way too spooky. This year as long as they were side by side, no spooky house was an obstacle. Until the very, very frightening one. There were lots of people dressed in scariness. Stephanie and Heather began to wind their way up to the front door. At one point they turned around and started back. I didn't blame them. But then a very nice fairy offered to take them to the door. They, again, ventured forth. After they reached the safety of us at the end of the driveway I asked if it was scary. They both burst into tears. Time to go home. We came back with tired feet and loads of candy. After a quick sort by Daddy they settled into sugar bliss. Ahhh ~ chocolate!