Friday, January 25, 2008

be still my heart

So, the other day when I picked up my students in the morning, the sweet, bright girl walking at the front of the line said:

Student: How are you today, Mrs. Robinson? (so polite)

Me: Oh, pretty good. How are you?

Student: Good. (pause) I'm ready to learn this morning.

It brought tears to my eyes! You'd think all 7-year olds would be so eager and ready to learn, but sadly they are not. This girl is, however, so even just that makes my job worthwhile.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

10 important things about Heather

Heather turned SIX this week!  Time has flown and our baby is growing up! To celebrate her, there are 10 important things you should know about Heather:

1~Heather is observant. Even when we don't think she is listening she picks up on so much and is likely to repeat it later. So watch what you say!

2~Heather loves it when you give her names of endearment. She loves to be called honey, sweetie, sweetheart...she's not picky as long as the name is sweet.

3~Heather likes to smell things...people, food, flowers, you name it. She makes connections with her world through her sense of smell. Watch out ~ she might sniff you!

4~Heather likes healthy food. Don't get me wrong she enjoys her share of fried, greasy, sugary goodness. But she also likes salad, broccoli, tons of other vegetables, healthy cereal, etc. She has a wide range of taste. She requested salad for her birthday dinner (followed by brownies, of course).

5~Heather draws with amazing accuracy for her age. She has drawn people with necks, clothes, shoes from early on. She puts detail in her pictures and colors neatly. Now that she is learning to read and write she enjoys making up stories to go along with her pictures.

6~Heather is very smart. She is reading many sight words and tries to sound out everything. She remembers the phonics rules she has been taught (even in passing) so far. She can also tell you how many syllables are in any word you give her as long as she can repeat the word (so no medical terms yet, please).

7~Heather is loving. She loves to snuggle on the couch and watch tv. If she gets a chance to sleep in our bed she must be touching one of us at all times. No sense in moving over to give her room, she will just follow you.

8~Heather is full of energy. The girl is nonstop all day long. She can run, sing, talk, jump, dance, and go, go, go. She doesn't stop until she goes to bed. 

9~Heather is a sensitive soul. She is aware of every unfair act that occurs in the house or the world around her. She cries if Stephanie or I cry. She is concerned with others' feelings.

10~Heather is funny. Her mannerisms and things she says always keep us (and others) in stitches. Along with the funny comes a very sweet charm as well.

We love you Heather! You have made our world more amazing by being with us. We are so very blessed by every moment. Welcome to age six, Big Girl ~ Sweetheart. :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

you gave away my cereal

As promised, the kids and I went to Target and to the grocery store today. While loading groceries into the back of my car a woman came up, said she was hungry, and asked me for a dollar. I hate that! That should be illegal. Oh wait, it IS illegal! Anyway, she didn't take me by surprise because I watched her ask the women loading the car next to mine. I don't ever give anyone money. I donate to places to feed people in need. I was in a strange position here, loading a bunch of groceries while a woman tells me she is hungry. Usually I get the car broken down story. So in my haste I told her no about the money, then grabbed a box a cereal and offered it to her. To my surprise she gratefully took it and thanked me. The box I happened to grab was the Cookie Crisp cereal Heather picked out. I watched Heather's jaw drop and the look of "Just what do you think you are doing?" appear on her face inside the car as I handed her choice over to the lady. Just then one of the guys from the grocery store appeared by my side said he'd help me load the car. I was thankful that it seemed the grocery store employees were watching out for their customers. Once in the car I told Heather I'd buy her more cereal the next time we were at the store. She asked me if that lady was poor. When I told her yes, then both she and Stephanie (whose cereal I did not give away) said that it was ok that I gave away the cereal.

happy dance

The girls and I are doing the happy dance today! Ok ~ maybe it's only me doing the dancing. Stephanie is still sleeping and Heather is eating cereal. No school today! Woohoo! Greg, on the other hand, did have work and even had to go in at an early time. He was not amused. Here's what our plans are today:

  • Target
  • grocery store
  • do dishes
  • put away a few Christmas things I forgot ~ like the wreath on the front door
  • clean for Heather's party this weekend
  • sew ~ The projects are turning out pretty good.

Well, we're not high on the excitement scale by any means. Just happy to have an extra day so I don't feel bad about not doing any chores yesterday!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

you sew?

Well, yes. I know how. I took home ec in jr. high, then a sewing class in high school. Admittedly, I was never a pro, but I did make myself a few outfits back in the day. I've made some other non-clothing projects as well. But I've never been fantastic at sewing. Most things that I am not fantastic at I prefer not to do. Until lately...I've been itching to sew! Never mind that my two (yes, there are two) craft tables upstairs are overrun with painting and scrapbook messes, er, I mean supplies. Never mind that my last sewing project went soaring across the room, seam ripper too, followed with words that would make you blush. This last project is really the only one that Greg ever witnessed since my sewing days were much earlier. So you can imagine his joy when I announced that I wanted to work on some new projects that involved sewing. He gently reminded me of the stupid curtain that took me several tries, with some crying in between, to get it just right. I told him, that it was ok because the stuff I want to do is easy - I looked it up on the internet. I know how. (To be fair, that's exactly what I thought about the curtain I attempted with no pattern.) He again expressed doubt - not at my abilities, just because of whatever added frustration in my life this may cause. I tried to take his advice, but kept thinking about the fun things I could make. I imagined myself sewing them and how they'd turn out. I could hear the rhythmic purr of the machine. I gave in. I went to the store and picked out some delightful fabrics. I pulled out my sewing machine & put it on a table downstairs. The project started out just fine (the fabric cutting), then I couldn't get the tension just right on the machine. Turns out I was using the wrong size bobbin (shouldn't they all be the same size???). With the correct bobbin wound and installed I finished my first re-attempt at being fantastic at sewing. 

I think it turned out well. And it's cute! I think I'll make a couple more to add to my Etsy shop. I also have several more projects in mind that I will be trying.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

a little princess time

The kids are having a little princess time tonight with Aunt Wendy (& grandma). Wendy bought tickets for Heather's birthday and is taking them out to eat, then to the ice show. Chris refused to go, so grandma is got invited instead. My girly girls are going to love it! Aunt Wendy, on the other hand will probably be flabbergasted at the amount of *princessness* going on! Of course, they will need popcorn and cotton candy too!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

fashion faux pas

Today I wore the exact same outfit that I wore one day last week. I usually try not to do that. My black pants make an appearance every week, along with the brown ones, tan ones, some other black ones, jeans, etc. But I usually try to make sure I don't wear the same shirts each week.  A friend of mine has a clothing calendar and manages to have a 6-week rotation. How she manages that, I don't know. I don't own that many clothes that actually fit me. She's my hero. Well, today was different. I was being observed by my principal. You'd think that after 12 years of teaching this wouldn't bother me. You can not believe yourself when your morning mantra is "I'm not nervous." The shirt I wore last week looks pretty good, so I was forced to wear the same outfit two weeks in a row to save my sanity. Of course, maybe I should have been a little more nervous. I started to give the students the wrong directions on the worksheet. I caught myself and commented that maybe I should read the directions a little better. That didn't get past Ms. Principal - but she did note it next to the phrase "sense of humor" (She writes everything down!) That's right, I'm funny. :) I also said in my lesson plan that I was going to set the purpose for learning to count money (duh!) but forgot to mention it until halfway through the lesson. Better late than never? The kids were doing such a great job, I just went with it and forgot what I wrote on that little paper. I don't think I'll get fired.

dream ~~ or nightmare?

Last night I had a dream that Kim found out during a doctor visit that she is having two boys instead of just the one. Then a few days later she found out there was a girl in there too! Getting pretty crowded in there, I'd say! I don't think she is going to appreciate my dream! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Yesterday was Stephanie's award ceremony at school. She got an award for the A Honor Roll and one for 100% attendance for the first trimester. She's such a smarty. I took pictures, but they turned out so blurry ~ way too blurry to post. I'm so proud of her! School comes easily for her, but she also works hard to push forward. She is at the top of her class and reads above grade level. She knows that homework and school are a priority, even when you'd rather play. :)

You are probably asking, "What about Heather?!" Well, they don't get letter grades in kindergarten, so there's no Honor Roll. She does have 100% attendance as well, so that award should be forthcoming. Heather is learning so much and is at the top of her class as well. She is having a ball sounding out words at every turn. She is the syllable queen. She loves to be given a word and she will tell you how many syllables it has. That's just not normal for her age.

Well...what did you expect from teacher's kids??  ;)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

leaving on a jet plane

Actually, I've left and come back already.

I took a trip to go to my sister-in-law, Kim's baby shower. It was a pretty relaxing weekend and so nice to spend time with my brother, Brent, and Kim. I also love to be able to spend time with Kim's mom and sister. They all crack me up! I helped Jenn get the favors ready for the shower the day I got there. Besides that and the invitations, Kim's mom and Jenn really care of the whole thing. It was truly "Martha worthy." We drank blueberry lemonade ~ yum ~ out of baby bottles (straws stuck in the nipples) and ate some light munchies.  The best part was the pistachio dessert. Divine! The pot rack in the kitchen was transformed into a outfit/toy mobile. Kim was absolutely spoiled by all of her friends and family. She got so many adorable gifts. Brent had to bring his truck to help take them all home!

Just look at how cute these two are! I know my nephew will just be the cutest little guy! We're all hoping he has Brent's dimples. I can't wait until he arrives! 

boy or girl?

Last week the kids and I were headed to Babies R Us to buy a shower gift for their soon-to-be new boy cousin. They were actually pretty mad at me that they weren't going to be traveling to go to the shower. So, I promised they could pick out a gift from just them. Soothing hurts with shopping...let's see, am I starting a bad habit here? Anyway, as we were driving Heather asked how doctors can tell if the baby is a boy or girl. I very simply explained there was a special machine called an ultrasound that can let the doctors see inside the mommy's tummy. Silence...

Heather: So how do they tell? Are there bows...?

Me & Stephanie: (uncontrollable laughter)

Me: Heather, what is the difference between a boy and a girl?

Stephanie: (unable to wait for Heather's response) Boys have a weenie!

Heather: Oh yeah.

Much more laughter!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

a good argument for showering

While eating a sandwich (yes, late lunch) at 4:30, Stephanie runs up to me and announces that something popped in her mouth. This is not what I want to hear at anytime, much less this time of day on the eve of me going out of town. As I peer into a mouth with slimy sandwich remnants I see that sure enough, one of the bands that holds her bottom retainer in is now loose and flying free. Crap, crap, double crap! I quickly call the dentist and explain what's going on and ask very nicely if we can come now, but it will take half an hour to get there. I know his last appointment is usually 4:30 because I usually get those. This means they will be staying late for us. Not exactly in his plans either. They graciously say yes, come now. Off we go. As I was driving, I was thinking that it's a good thing I was already showered and dressed. It's a good thing I didn't declare this jammie day and take a shower just in time for bed. It's a good thing I was forced out of the house earlier today. Showering - it's a good thing.


When I call Greg this morning ~ and hopefully it will still be morning ~ to tell him we are out of the house and on our way to the destination, he will note how late it is and ask what I've been doing, that he thought I wanted to get an earlier start. Now that's a very good question. What have I been doing? Truth is, I'm not really sure where the time goes. Because I've only done a couple of really quick things:

  1. read email (1 good one and 4 junk ones)
  2. read some of my fav blogs
  3. admire a project I finished last night (it's top secret ~ can't tell you about it yet)
  4. take some pictures of the project 
  5. load pictures on the computer

Really ~ how could this all have taken so long?

Actually, what it comes to is that I don't want to go to school on my day off and work on lesson plans that I abandoned on that last day before Winter Break. There is too much procrastination going on around here. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

minnie and me

I got a Cricut machine for Christmas! For those of you who are unaware, a Cricut is a cutting genius. It can cut shapes, letters, & images that are from 1 - 5 inches. You stick in a cartridge, load your paper, make a few selections, and the fun begins. You can also make layered pieces like this Minnie Mouse I made:

Yup ~ I did this Christmas day just hours after getting it out of the box. I was pretty impressed with myself, uh, I mean the machine. The possibilities are endless.