Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday tidbits

We've had block scheduling all week and will for the next two. It sucks.

I've started the Insanity workout videos that Bobby has been doing for a month or so. I've done the video twice, and haven't been able to finish it once. I did get closer last night. Insanity is an appropriate name for the videos.

Macy is leaving today for a church retreat. She is very excited about being away from us for a day. I'm excited about having some time with just Kaylin. I bought Macy snacks to take, and made sure to tell her to share. We'll see if she does.

I rammed my knee into the corner of the desk earlier today, and it still hurts.

I can feel the change in the weather in the hand I broke a couple summers ago. Makes me feel like an old person: "Boy, the weather must be a-changin'; my hand is hurtin' something fierce!"

So excited about my trip to Baltimore next week!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 is over for a while

Our final dance recital was Sunday night. Feels good to be done with that for a while! Getting them ready for the recital is the most stressful thing ever--perfect hair slicked into a bun, full make-up on, and out the door on time is exhausting and a not-so-nice side of me comes out.

Both girls together...Macy started in this costume that you've seen before (remember, I had to glue all 250 tiny rhinestones on this work of art) then for her last 2 routines she was in the same outfit as KK.

Now, get closer and pretend like you like each other.
Ahhh...all the rhinestones stayed on. Guess I can glue properly after all.
This child needs some meat on her bones!
After the show, with roses from Daddy.

Bobby and I entertained ourselves with eating Smarties and Starburst during the show. Most of those routines we had seen 3 times already, so our attention wasn't the greatest.

Next fall will bring a new slew of classes-- no ballet, because "you have to balance yourself and stuff", but more than likely jazz, hip hop or tap.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Trying to be the best mom I can

I constantly question, as I assume most parents do, whether or not I'm a good mom. I lose my patience frequently, don't always listen like I should, forget lunch money or can't find a Daisy vest for weeks on end. We don't pray like we should, the girls are so mean to each other, and they sass back to us all the time.

Yesterday we went to the zoo, for the 900th time, in the rain, for Scout Day. We took another little girl who is in Macy's class, but I don't know her very well. Macy did what she does best--talk, talk, talk the whole way there. She started listing everywhere she's been, telling Katie about the monuments in D.C., the beach in North Carolina, the moutains in Colorado, the trees in Atlanta, the zoo in Omaha, the arch in St. Louis, the Royals games, the rides in Branson--when it hit me.

I might not be the most patient mom, or spend the most time with them, but they've had a GREAT childhood. They've seen and experienced things other kids haven't. They aren't world travelers by any means--most of what we have done is pretty simple and not high-class. But they have experienced travel, and that is a huge gift I can give them.

They've been in dance, Girl Scouts, basketball, cheerleading, t-ball, soccer...all experiencing the things they should as a child. So maybe I bark at them when they won't stand still in church, or get frustrated when they won't fall asleep at night, but I think they will grow up well-adjusted members of society, despite my faults.

Oh, and this cracked me up:

Katie's response to Macy's list of places she's been?

"I've been to Kansas."

Katie's response to Macy's comment about how fun Worlds of Fun is?

"My grandmother found a dead cat in front of her house."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Parents of the Year

A nightly ritual at our house is checking the lunch calendar for Kaylin. Macy always buys her lunch, which is a decision not based on food, but that all her friends buy their lunch too. Kaylin rotates between buying and taking, depending on what is for lunch that day.

Wednesday night--we forgot to check the lunch calendar.
Thursday morning--I noticed I had a missed call from the school on my cell phone, but no message, so I didn't call back. If it was important, they would have left a message.
Thursday night--at dinner, I mentioned the above to Bobby. He remembers that he missed a call from the school too, and checked his messages. I notice him shaking his head and laughing.

The message was from the school secretary. Kaylin was in the office, wondering if someone was going to bring her a lunch.

I'm assuming she bought school lunch yesterday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Heading home today

The weather has been beautiful in Portland, but this morning has dawned yucky and rainy. Glad it waited until we were leaving! It's going to be a long day of airports.

We've had fun, but as always, we're ready to go home. Kids are running out of money--had to loan one girl $20 so she could eat today because she bought $60 sweatpants from Victoria's Secret--and getting homesick. This has been a really good group, which I appreciate since I am here by myself with them!

Yesterday we went to the Saturday Market, which is the largest open air craft market in the US. It was crazy, and very much a lesson in cultural diversity for these students. It wasn't the touristy crowd we'd been with--this was a local crowd, and at times a little scary for them. There were some other tourists and some "normal" looking people too, though, to make it safe. They all bought something, and got some good deals on cool, locally-made products.

They were cracked up by these signs:
  • Breakdancers on the street, wanting money to "stay legit"
  • Man in a Rabbit costume "need $ for carrots"
  • Man in a Zebra costume "need $ to bring family from Africa"
  • Man with sign"will take beer, cigs, hookers, anything green"
I'll be home in 12 hours!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Portland Day Two

Today we took to a tour through the Pacific Northwest forest to Mt. Hood. It was beautiful, just beautiful. BUT our tour guide bored us to tears all day. He talked.all.the.time. Someone would ask a question, he would briefly answer it, then go right back to his speech. Highlights of our tour were:

Three AWESOME waterfalls! The area has about 75, and I would love to see them all! Here's a link to one of them.

Visiting a fish hatchery and a dam, and watching the salmon trying to swim--couldn't tell you if they were swimming upstream or downstream, but they were HUGE. We learned all about them--I've never heard someone talk about salmon more in my life.

Visited this adorable little town, Hood River, for lunch. I had a fantastic toasted roast beef sandwich on a bagel, if you must know. I know you were wondering.

Finally, we ended up at Mount Hood. We visited Timberline Lodge, which is halfway up Mt. Hood, and is where The Shining was filmed. (Red rum Red rum Red rum) The clouds parted, and we got beautiful views of the peak of Mt. Hood.

I was proud of the kids--they were soooooooooo bored by our tour guide, but they tolerated him so well. Want to know how bad it was? At one point he played folk music by Woody Guthrie, about building dams in the 30's and 40's. Then at the end, he played a recording of himself reading from the Lewis and Clark journals from 1805 when they were exploring the area. Don't get me wrong--he was very nice and very knowledgeable, but we weren't as interested as he was!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to travel with high school students

  • Make them wake up insanely early, like 3 am.
  • Make sure they all have boarding passes--wouldn't be good to get to Denver without a boarding pass to Portland!
  • Stay with their luggage on the layover so they can get breakfast and go to the bathroom
  • Make sure they tip the shuttle driver from the airport to the hotel
  • Make sure they eat lunch, instead of just a granola bar
  • Keep them moving on the streets, especially when homeless people or shady people are lingering in doorways and the small of marijuana reeks in the air
  • Help them get discounts into the zoo
  • Watch as they get disgusted as polar bears, rhinos, and the elephants all poop and pee right in front of us
  • Drag them all over the light rails and streetcars, making sure they always know what stop to get off on
  • Patiently wait as they want to shop at the same stores they have back home, and patiently wait as they buy the underwear they forgot to pack
  • Take them to a very nice dinner to relax, and enjoy their company
  • Shhh them a million times because they are the LOUDEST group you've ever traveled with
  • By the time you get back to the hotel, make sure they are so dead tired they wouldn't even think of doing anything bad
  • Doublecheck 900 times what time they are to be up in the morning
  • Lock your door, go to sleep and start all over again

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010


Whew...what a weekend! My brother's family was in from Atlanta, and we had a jam-packed several days with them. It was so very nice to have them here and spend time with them! My niece, her husband, and my oldest nephew stayed with us, and as usual, the girls followed Lauren and George around like puppy dogs. Poor Lauren and George--they didn't get a minute's rest from my two.

Saturday morning we went up to William Jewell for family pictures. We had a lot of fun taking many pictures--the whole family, individual families, just the girls, just the boys, grandparents, grandchildren, etc. We did a funny one at the fountain at Grand River Chapel where Bobby proposed to me twelve years, where he pretended to propose again. I told him a real romantic would have had a ring for me again, but he didn't think it was funny.

Today was super crazy at work, and I imagine tomorrow will be too. Then Wednesday bright and early I leave for Portland, without my travel buddy. She's in Baltimore with her son, who was born 10 weeks early and just survived a scary, dangerous surgery last week. I'm on my own for this trip with 8 students. At first I was fine with it, but now I'm starting to get a tad freaked out about it. I'm sure it will be fine.

My stress level can drop 100 points anytime now.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Easter Pictures

Macy and Kaylin with their Papa Bobby

With Great-Grandma Velma, who turns 90 this month!! I am so thankful the girls will be able to remember her; I barely remember my grandparents!
The girls with the Easter bunny
At the Easter Egg Hunt, the girls had their faces painted.
I took this to show the sheer numbers of people at this egg hunt. It was mass chaos!

She was so excited and ran back as fast as she could!
Macy asked the Easter Bunny for this caterpillar pillow. He got off much cheaper than Santa did. Our Easter Bunny brings presents, not candy. :)
Kaylin wanted a Zhu Zhu pet.

Dressed in Easter best

I just love this picture of Macy. She was listening to something Hannah said when we were dying eggs, and I just love the look in her eyes!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bad Blogger

I've been so busy lately that my blog is suffering. I know I need to be better, but I just haven't had time! My dear friend is in Baltimore with her new adopted baby who is in the NICU, and so I've picked up more work at school. I finished the stupid fire program--that's my technical name for it--and I'm so happy about that!

My brother's family came in town last night and tonight (Bobby is at the airport right now picking up my niece, her husband, and my nephew!) and will be here until Sunday. I let the girls play hooky today to play with their cousin Josh all day. They only had a 1 day sspring break, so I felt justfiied in letting them stay home. We have a busy weekend planned!

I can't even think of any funny stories from the girls to share. I'm sure they've done things, but I can't remember any right now!

At school tomorrow, I will try to upload our Easter pictures. The connection is so much faster at school!

I will make a better effort to be a better blogger. Thanks for hanging with me!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

What goes around, comes around

I'm not good at math. Not a secret, just the truth. When I was young, my dad would drill me on math facts. Not sure if he did this to improve my math skills, or just to keep me occupied. As I got older, I had to do his math problems without a calculator. His reasoning? One of these days I would need to be able to do math without a calculator. Guess what? I don't really ever need to do math without a calculator.

I hated it. 

But looking back now, it was just a time for us to bond, to spend time together. Just like it was in the car on Friday night. We were driving back from Bobby's grandmother's, and we'd been in the car about 8 hours that day. The portable DVD player wasn't working right, and they were very fussy with each other. So Kaylin hands me a notebook and has me write math problems for her to solve. I start with easy ones, then quickly had to move onto harder ones. Then Macy wanted math problems too! So until it got dark, I wrote math problems for the two of them. And I was reminded of those years sitting in the family room, doing my own math problems.

And I'm still bad at math. :)