Monday, February 19, 2018

Valentine Making

It makes me so happy that my girls love tradition.  That the little things, the not expensive things, the together things are the things they want to do over and over each year.

Like making family valentines.


I set up some simple supplies.

And we had so much fun together.


It really feels like Valentines day when we have glue and tissue paper, sicissors and stickers.






All of the together traditions we have year after year are the memories of tomorrow and that makes this mama happy.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Ten ~ and a half

Ten 1/2 just seems to be the sweetest age.  And we are loving our home filled with such a wonderful age.

This is what she looks like right before school. Many mornings it's a dress and a cardigan. I usually always do braids. Those eyes are always bright and pretty.


She loves to wear her Valentine coat to church.


And it's this smile that I always want to hold on to forever.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My ~first~ Valentine

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In 1989 I met Scott.  I was 15 years old.  I knew him all my life (he lived down the street) but it was when I was 15 that I noticed him.  There was something in his shyness.  Something in his smile.  And he was just about as cute and could be.  That was almost 30 years ago. And he's had my heart ever since.

I love my little girl valentines oh so much but this one...

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...well he's my first valentine.  And I love him so.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Inter-Elementary School Audition

This exact scene happened in our home four years ago.  It was almost surreal to watch again.  Same room, same month, just four years later.  But this year seemed even sweeter because I hung onto it with all joy.  I knew it was my last.

(Anna's eyes when Abigail was opening her letter and Anna's great big hug) 

Abigail auditioned for the Inter-Elementary Orchestra.  Out of 11 elementary schools in our town she was chosen to play at the Bushnell this May.

Here was four years ago when Anna opened her letter.  Here's the post

(2014) (Now watch as Abigail is so thrilled for her big sister.  Abigail was only 5 back then... I love her "I knew you could do it!")

And here Anna is in May just four short years earlier. (here's the link to the post) 


I'm so proud of my girls for their love of music and for their gifts they share with the world.

But mostly proud of their love and joy for each other.  Anna's enthusiasm watching Abigail open her letter is even better than "Abigail getting in".

So now Abigail gets bused to a different school every Thursday afternoon and I pick her up when I am done with my teaching.  And in May we will celebrate her at the Bushnell.  I can't wait!

So so special

Friday, February 9, 2018

10 Thoughts on a Friday (2)


I've never gone that long without blogging. And when I'm not blogging I feel like I don't have a 'reason' to take photos. (but of course I do, I'm just not motivated to even click with my phone if I don't a have 'place to put them') So here I am after almost two weeks of not blogging. I've been busy taking care of my sweet girls, getting Anna through her first high school midterms, getting Abigail through major EoE pain this past season (more back here) (she wakes up in such pain every single day these days "mommy I can't take the pain anymore.... it's awful to endure as a parent) (her pain throughout the day is not any better, I can see her one moment just fine and then "it drops" and her pain is instant; I can see it on her face), I've been busy taking care of my 19 4th graders, teaching my heart out, loving it but exhausted from it, planning at night, assessing their levels mid year, making plans for them. I've been busy still thank goodness fighting for balance in my life: God time before dawn, workout at 8:15 pm. And that's all that's fit, so here I am almost two weeks later. Phew!


I have a really chatty class. Really great class, but it's hard for them to focus even for a 10 minute mini lesson. I'm constantly working through different idea/systems in my mind to find just the right one that will help them. I'm a huge advocate of Responsive Classroom (Scott introduced me). Still, it's constant work all day long to be that teacher they need.


I have the confidence as a teacher with parents that I never had before. I would be so nervous if I had to call a parent for any reason when I was the 29 year old teacher. Now I call all the time and I'm perfectly comfortable. I like that.


I'm thinking through our weekend and our plans. They consist of Mass and that's it. Scott will work all weekend on tiling the girls bathroom. Yes, we are still going strong on that bathroom we hoped to have done by September 1st 2017! Anna will work all weekend on studying just like she did last weekend. She has orchestra on Saturday and a viola group class. That leaves Abigail and I. Lately it's been a lot of just Abigail and I, and we spend our time at home. Sometimes I feel guilty that we don't get out there and do more. But then I shove that feeling aside and we just stay home. Like all weekend. We'll venture out for Mass and that's it. I need time in this home of ours to reset me. Sometimes I think, oh maybe I could take her to that craft store she has a gift card to and I could look at a few clothing stores but then we end up staying home playing games, doing laundry, reading on my bed together. Someday Abigail will be Anna; studying for mid term exams. I love elementary school before all of that pressure starts. I'm soaking that in.


I love Anna at night. She is funny, and witty, and clever. She is fun to talk to and has changed so much. The little girl~ness isn't there as it used to but I sure do like being with the 14 year old Anna. I'm so so tired at night (soooo not a night person) and after teaching all day and mommying all afternoon I'm ready to sleep when Anna is at her best. But many nights I stay up just to have that one sweet conversation with her. She has good ideas and good advice. And sharing this part of life with her has been a delight.


I don't watch TV.  At all.  Sometimes Scott and I will cuddle on the couch on a weekend and watch a Hallmark seasonal movie.  Because they are dumb.  Because there is only a kiss at the end.  Because I can believe that they don't live together.  Because I can pretend that they'll get engaged or married before things that happen in other shows or movies.  I don't know why I'm like that.  I am surrounded by so many young teachers that live with their boyfriends.  And I have no problem.  Their life.  I don't feel any hint of judgment from their decisions.  I just hate it on TV.  So I stay away.  I don't watch 'seasons' of shows on Netflix either.  Gilmore girls, This is Us, Parenthood.. any another... I've seen none of them.  Don't judge me.  I hate them.  And I hate the idea that I'd have to see another and another and another.  In general I'm pretty careful about how much time I'm front of a screen.  Being back in the classroom makes it easy.  I love that my days are in front of children.


Our children are very time consuming. And we love it. And we couldn't imagine our life any other way. Anna has so many issues relating to her 18 months in a orphanage. They've rocked her world and ours. Forever. There is so so so much good in it. And we are humbled that God chose us to walk beside her in the hard, the ugly, and the painful. Because it means that we have her in love, deep connection, and what feels like the coolest kid alive.


Abigail is struggling with pain each and every single day. And has since she was a baby. She is scheduled for an endoscopy this Friday. (reminder: I need to schedule a substitute for my class) She is not become obsessed with pain. Something Scott and I are thinking a lot about and praying hard too. Her food making is time consuming and so is eating out. But she is the light of our lives; so much fun, so cheerful, so sweet.


Home. It feels so good that it's Friday and we are home for the weekend, mostly. I love the 'feel' of the weekend. The pace. Even if there are things to do (and there is a great big list this weekend: my midyear goals are due - that's hours, we have to get Anna all registered for her Sophomore classes - AP Biology, woah!, and Valentines Day... not ready yet


Our two fireplaces are going all. the. time. when we are home. I like to keep the house nice and cozy. And I like to keep the room (viola room/living room) that Noel is in nice and warm. I love the fireplaces and although summer is great I'm a winter girl. And if I could keep it fireplace weather all year round I would.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It's A Snow Day

It's 5 am here.  I have tea.  The girls and Scott are under the covers asleep still.  Even Noel is in his 'sleepover cage' in Abigail's room.  His April Cornell table cloth is over his cage so he's dark and cozy in there.  No chirping. There are no cars driving.  It's still and quiet.  There is no school.

~Nature waves her magic wand and the world turns white~

The sky is bright and there is not a flake coming from the sky.  Nothing looks like no school.  It just sounds like no school in my house, in this neighborhood.  So quiet.


I read this, one of my favorite Scriptures this morning

In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord, in the morning I prepare a prayer for You to watch and wait (for You to speak to my heart)
But as for me, I will enter Your house through the abundance of Your steadfast love and mercy; I will worship toward and at Your holy temple in reverent fear and awe of You.
Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way level (straight and right) before my face.
But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful I You and be in high spirits.
For you, Lord, will bless the righteous as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor)

Psalm 5: 3,7,8,9,11,12

Oh how I love those words.  I hold them as mine.  Those words sum up why I rise early; why I need my time with Him before all else.

~Home, where the tea kettle sings from happiness~

There a bits and pieces of Valentine's Day in my home right now.  Not all of it, (I can get to all of it today... no better way to spend a snow day) but enough to make me happy. 


I'm hoping that my heart wreath on the front door gets a dusting of snow on it during the snow coming today... because it's prettier, don't you think?

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~Will you be my Valentine~


Yesterday I had recess duty.  It was 31 degrees.  Felt like -2 to me.  I had a huge, down to my ankles down coat, hat, scarf, ear muffs, hood, bear paw boots and I still froze.  Today is the opposite.  Pajamas, a bathrobe, hot tea and slippers.  I'm so glad I get to do both.

It sure has been a ***cold*** winter so far.  This is our third snow day and we've had 2 late openings.  I hope there are more for this winter girl.

Guess what?  It started snowing just now.  The sky is getting darker.  And after snow, ice is on it's way.  Yeah!  (I do feel bad for the people who have to drive in it, I do) Being a school teacher is the absolute best.  Snow days and June, July, and August!

I just heard Abigail (her bedroom is directly above my desk)  Her feet hit the floor.  She's taken the April Cornell off Noel's cage and is talking to him.  Click, the door opens.  She's wondering why no one woke her up for school. And she is about to hear the very best news.... snow day!


She said, "but there's no snow"  "But it's coming I told her.  ~~ She has Noel up and is singing a snow day song to him.  Soon there will be pancakes flipping and the sound of bacon sizzling.  I should go from pajamas to workout clothes but it's a snow day and the attire is long flannel nightgowns and pajamas.  (clean ones and fresh out of the shower of course)

There is a list of things that I must get to today for school.  I like the planning.  I love the decorating room 124.  I love when it's all matching and cheerful.  I don't like the forms (my mid-year data collection for example).  They are due next week so I should (with principal/husband) by my side start to fill them out, or at least start to look at them.  (lately school help to me has had to be our love language)  But not before celebrating a snow day with the yummiest breakfast in the world.  I think muffins too!

Right now I hear Noel chirping; he must be really happy it's a snow day too.  Abigail just moved him from his 'sleepover cage' to his 'Christmas cage' .  I think we'll put it up to the big picture window so he can see the snow.  I have to believe that Santa would give us a romantic, winter loving, snow day hoping, happy bird.


So off I go!  With this whole day ahead of me.  A snow days feels like it will last forever.  But I know this is true

~Time is such a funny thing; one minute it's forever & the next, it's gone~

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