Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween

I don't have any pictures to post yet because I still can't load pictures directly to my computer. Once I get enough pictures to make a CD, I will go to Walmart again. For now, here are the highlights:

The school Halloween party was craziness, as usual. I'm glad that this is the last year of the parade, although I'm kind of frustrated that we won't be able to do any kind of celebration next year. There is lots more to tell, but nothing I can post on the internet! :)

As you all know, Caleb was a turtle. Amy had him paint a little turtle picture frame to put his Halloween picture in, which was very cute. I picked him up from Amy's and we ate some dinner. Then I got him dressed in his turtle costume and tried to get a few pictures, but he wasn't overly cooperative.

We walked next door to Wally's house (the guy with all of the old VWs who Caleb adores) but he wasn't there. His wife Fran took a picture of Caleb to show Wally, since he missed him. She had a witch that talked and moved, but Caleb wasn't overly thrilled with it.

After leaving Wally's, we walked across the street to Barry's house. Barry is an interesting guy, to say the least, but he really likes Caleb and has a good heart. He seemed happy that we stopped by, and despite my repeated protests that Caleb really didn't need the candy, he gave him a full-size candy bar. As I looked down at what it was, I saw the "Snickers Charged" label. Yes, he actually did give my 1 1/2 year old son a caffeine-filled candy bar! Needless to say, he won't be eating that...but Barry is a sweet man and probably didn't even know what it was.

We walked down to the house of one of my students (their house is actually our twin), but she had already left, so I got Caleb in the car to go to the Fall Festival at our church. We made a quick stop by Mommom's so that she could see him for a few minutes, and then headed to church.

This is where the real chaos begins! Our church doesn't do anything "small," so there were 2 huge blow-up pieces there. One was a double slide (probably 30 feet high), and the other was a beach obstacle course. Caleb went on the slide with Matt twice, but didn't seem to love it. We didn't bother with the obstacle course.

When we went inside, it was wall-to-wall games and people! They have a nice "Kiddie Korner" for kids 5 and under, which Caleb enjoyed. They even had a small moon bounce just for the little kids.

There were games all over the gym. Some of them were too difficult for Caleb, but there were quite a few that he could play with a few modifications (most of those being moved up closer or being held up!) He got a ton of candy, most of which he will not be eating! I might save some for potty training treats, but most of it will probably go to school.

The best prize all day was from the Kiddie Korner where they had nice little stuffed toys instead of so much candy. When Linda showed him the box of animals from which to choose, he immediately made a beeline for the monkey!!!! For the remainder of the evening, my little turtle carried around a monkey. It was very cute!

Normally, the church asks that kids not where any scary costumes. However, since we have begun opening it up to the public, that is a bit harder to control. To me, I wouldn't let my kid where a bloody scream mask inside of a church....but that's just me! Anyway, there was a little kid there with one such mask who was not much taller than Caleb. Caleb REFUSED to walk past the kid and instead planted his feet and SCREAMED BLOODY MURDER!!! I had to pick him up, at which time he promptly buried his head in my shoulder and cried. I've never seen him really scared by something before. He is definitely becoming more aware of his surroundings.

Matt and the teens did a little puppet show several times throughout the night in one of the side rooms...actually it was more a song that was played and a bunch of little kids running around with puppets on their hands....but they loved it anyways! It definitely wasn't "Hands for Him" level of difficulty, but that is sometimes a good thing. The kids really loved playing with "real" puppets. Then Matt attempted to share a short message to tie it all together....but with about 50 kids under the age of 10, that is a bit challenging!

We (Caleb and I--Matt is still not home) left around 8:15. I changed Caleb before we left so that it would be okay if he fell asleep. He fought it for quite a while, but finally fell asleep by the time we hit PF. I'm hoping he will sleep in a while--especially since Matt is going to be at a quiz rally in Richmond tomorrow and it will be all me!

Okay, I'm officially exhausted. I hope you have enjoyed my play-by-play of Caleb's first "I know what is going on now" Halloween. BTW: I think I'm up to like 8 blog readers now!! :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

ALS Foundation Fundraiser.

I have been heading up a fundraiser for the ALS Foundation at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. As you've read in past posts, one of my sweet girls just lost her dad to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease.)

This disease attacks the nervous system and can basically go one of two directions: it can reach your throat first and cause you not to be able to talk or eat, or it can attack your hands and feet and cause you not to be able to walk. Eventually, all ALS patients will have all of these systems, but it goes one of the two directions very quickly. M's dad lost his ability to talk very early on and had to communicate by writing on a dry erase board. Of course, by the end he was wheelchair bound and had almost no use of his hands, but the talking and eating was affected much quicker. It really is a horrible disease and I have to believe it is extremely difficult to watch a loved one suffer.

Anyway, to show love to M and her family and to promote awareness about the disease, my class kind of took on this project. We rewrote the words to songs to sing over the announcements, made posters advertising the fundraiser, put collection cups in each classroom, collected the money each day, and counted the money as we received it. I have to say that my students did an amazing job of talking it up on the bus and on the playground.

What was the grand total for the fundraiser?


(drum roll please)....................................................................................................................................


We raised $597!!! This money will go directly to the ALS Foundation at Johns Hopkins. In fact, I have the addressed envelope in my desk just waiting to be mailed! I have to get the check from the school and then we will be ready to go! I spent the weekend counting, rolling, and totaling all of our money so that I could announce the total today.

My kids are proud of their hard work and I'm glad that we raised so much money! I really think that teaching kids empathy is important. In fact, it's one of my favorite words and I use it often at school. In an "All About Me" world, it helps kids to get outside of their bubble and focus on the needs of someone else for a change.

What an amazing way to show love to M's family and let them know that we really are thinking about them. I'm so excited to let them know our grand total and mail the check off! I'm hoping that everything will be ready tomorrow!

These are a few of my favorite things...

Big Bang Theory: This show absolutely cracks me up! I love the high brow intellect (even though I sometimes have a delayed reaction...) and Sheldon just makes me laugh every time. I love his blanket statements about life. Here's a quote: "Is it because I'm Jewish? Because I'd kill my rabbi with a pork chop if I could be with your sister!" It is hard to explain, but it is incredibly funny. Give it a try!

Honda: I have a 2002 Honda Civic that Matt is driving these days. It has somewhere around 115k miles on it, and we have never had any issues with it. (Yes, I'm knocking on wood right now!) I have only had to get new tires once, and it still has the original brakes. We are probably needing to replace these in the near future, but I still think that's pretty good! Honestly, the only time it has ever been in the shop is when I have (cough cough) done a little damage to it.... it is a good little car!!

Rent: I know, I know, some of you might be surprised and *gasp* offended by this admission, but I am a proud Renthead. I know all of the words to every song and much of the dialogue. Matt and I often have a Rent singalong on long car trips! (Yes, he loves it almost as much as I do!) Not only do I love the rock-opera feel of this musical, but I really love the political themes throughout the show. If you haven't seen it, please don't assume that the entire musical is about homosexuality and AIDS. It is so much more! It's about poverty and how "the man" can take over and oppress the poor. It's about unconditional love. It's about true friendship. It really is an amazing show. YES, there is a homosexual theme and YES, several characters have AIDS. NO, it isn't for kids and probably not for teenagers. But please don't write it off as another immoral show. If you have an open mind, there is really a lot in there that makes you think!

Ok, now that you're all calling me a heathen.... :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Meet Caleb

You know how in baby books it asks for favorite foods, toys, songs, etc.? I thought that those of you who don't know Caleb very well or who don't see him very often might like to get to know a bit of his personality. He's pretty likeable! :)

What is Caleb's favorite....

Food: hot dogs, grapes, and raisins
Drink: water and real milk
Toy: cars and trucks, and his ride-on tractor
Song: "Bumping Up and Down in my Little Red Wagon" by Raffi
Chore: giving Becky water
Movie: Raffi in Concert
Animal: turtle
Character: Elmo
Superhero: Batman
Stuffed Toy: Tina the Llama, Brownie Bear
Game: "Momma? Where's Daddy?" in the car, and the "no" game
Playground equipment: swings
Activity: playing outside
Playmates: Owen and Sara

Sunday, October 19, 2008

finally some pictures!!!


Hiding behind his red balloon.


Sweet little face.


Playing on the couch before bed.


Big smiles!


I love close ups.


Caleb puts his turtle costume on almost every day. He's obsessed!


This is his "nature" pumpkin made out of items we found outside. He LOVES it!


So proud of his pumpkin!


Digging out pumpkin goo.


This was a little pumpkin he found that he absolutely adored. Unfortunately, it was rotten...but Caleb didn't understand that! We distracted him and made it "disappear!"


Peekaboo!


Jumping in the hay pit with Daddy


Going on a barrel ride with Momma.


Popping up behind Momma


Reading Daddy's favorite children's book


If you are on Facebook, I loaded over 100 pictures today! Since Caleb broke our USB port and we would have to replace the entire Motherboard in order to fix it, we are now having to take our memory card to Walmart to get CDs made. I just got the CD done today and immediately started loading them as soon as Caleb took a nap! You can check FB for the whole 100, but here are a few of my favorites!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cooley Jersey

I forgot to tell you about the jersey saga! Matt wanted a Cooley jersey (Redskins) for Christmas. We found one on Ebay for just $25 + $20 shipping (I found it with just 2 minutes left and made a quick bid so that no one else had time to at the end....great tactic if you are an Ebayer!) It was a hand-stitched Reebok jersey that looked really nice. I couldn't believe my good luck....I should have known better!

Now, I get quite a few things off of Ebay. We've gotten baseball tickets, CDs, clothes, our Ipod, etc., and never had a problem. I pay close attention to the fine print and look carefully at the feedback percentage and number of sales. This guy has sold a TON of stuff (all sports jerseys) and has 100% feedback, so I figured it was pretty safe.

It came in the mail the other day and I opened it in eager anticipation. Well....you know how Redskin colors are maroon, gold, and white? The stripes on the arms of this jersey are maroon, gold, and pink! As much as I tried to convince Matt that it was just a limited edition jersey made especially for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, he wouln't go for it!

reread the seller's post to make sure I didn't miss something about these jerseys being the defective ones from the manufacturer. There was nothing. I contacted the Ebay seller about returning it and getting another one that is not defective. He then tries several times to get me to make a deal with him! "I'll take $10 off, you get a nice jersey for a really good price!" "You make me an offer and I will consider it!" I repeatedly told him that we either wanted to exchange it for a good jersey (he pays return shipping), or I wanted a full refund. He just kept arguing with me that it is a cheap jersey that is an okay quality! He kept saying that it wasn't defective!

Finally, I had to threaten to leave negative feedback and take it to mediation if he did not refund the entire cost of the jersey and shipping. This is the dreaded threat for ebay sellers--especially people who sell a lot-- because other customers won't bid on your stuff if they think you are going to be a problem. It just doesn't look good! He quickly changed his tune and said that he would refund it to my PayPal account within 24 hours. Low and behold, it is there!! I thanked him and asked how we should go about mailing it back (I'm not paying return shipping!) and I just got a message back saying that we can KEEP the jersey!!

So now, Matt has a really nice hand-stitched Reebok Cooley jersey...that has pink stripes....for FREE! Of course, he still wants a jersey for Christmas, and preferably one that is not pink. He just doesn't appreciate my good deal! Men!! :)

not sleeping

Between Caleb's unusual crying spells, Becky's disgusting clear-the-room gas, Matt's invasion of my side of the bed, and my mind filling with thoughts of Caleb's birthday party (yes, I know it is 3 months away!), I am really not sleeping tonight. This is sad, because we have a big day tomorrow (well, later on today...) and I want to be alert and ready for some fun!

We are going to the pumpkin patch at Bowles' Farm. They have hay rides, barrel rides (a train made of barrels), a corn maze, a petting zoo, and a hay-jumping pit. We chose this day a while ago based on Matt's schedule, but it is a great day to go! They will be having an antique tractor pull, and we all know how much Caleb loves tractors!!! We also just found out last night that there is a BOGO pumpkin sale this weekend too!

If Caleb isn't completely worn out, we will also be stopping by the police barricks for their open house so that he can get a tour of the helicopter--another favorite! Matt and I have been looking forward to this day for quite a while. The pumpkin patch has always been something I've looked forward to doing with Caleb, and this is the first year he is old enough to know what is going on. I fully expect him to run up in excitement to every single one and yell "Pumpkin!" If he doesn't, I'll be disappointed! :)

I took him to the doctor yesterday because he can't seem to keep any milk down. It's not all dairy products---just milk. He's already on 2% because he can't do whole milk, so I was getting a little concerned and didn't want to wait until his 2 year old appointment to talk to the doctor. So, we visited our wonderful Dr. Singh, who Caleb adores. He decided to play the "no" game with Dr. Singh yesterday and was thrilled that he played along so well! Dr. Singh told me to stop the milk and make sure Caleb gets his calcium from cheese, yogurt, etc. He also suggested using rice milk and calcium fortified OJ and V8. Now, I'm pretty anal about the sugar in juice, and Caleb has really never had anything except water and milk...at least at my house! Unfortunately, I can't control the other places he visits, as much as I try. Some relatives aren't so cooperative!

Anyway, for the sake of Caleb's calcium intake, I decided to try small amounts of juice---calcium enriched only! Off to the grocery store I went on a quest for calcium-rich foods! I got tons of yogurt (which he likes, thank goodness) and those sticks of cheese that come individually packaged. I also got a bottle of V8 and OJ. Then I found some granola bars that have yogurt in them. One bar is 20% of your calcium, so I got a variety pack and figured I would try it as a breakfast choice. If he doesn't like them, I won't buy anymore! I even got some of the yogurt smoothies that you can drink. I had to do those when I was on a liquid diet before my jaw surgery, and they are actually pretty good (until you've had 5 in one day, of course!) I hope he likes them.

The rice milk didn't go over so well last night, and neither did the V8! He took a cautious sip of each (we offered them at different times) and then looked at us with this grimace as if to say, "Are you nuts? I'm not drinking this!" He did seem to like the OJ a little better, but was full from dinner and didn't finish it. I'm going to try that again tomorrow (today...) and see if he drinks it any better. I'm not giving up on the rice milk yet though. I'm going to experiment a little and see if a little drop of chocolate syrup might sweeten the deal. That's another thing I never do (I know, I'm mean!), but I need to do something to get him the calcium he needs.

While I was laying awake for the last hour, I pretty much planned all of Caleb's birthday party! He's having a construction party because he loves trucks. I found a great cake idea in Family Fun (if you don't get that, you should! It is awesome!!) using Twinkies and a pound cake to make a bull dozer. I'm going to experiment a bit with a trial run and then beg my sister (the cake expert!) to come help me if it looks more like a yellow blob.

I have gotten all of the party favors now: a small construction vehicle, a plate and matching water bottle with trucks on it, a Tonka coloring book, and a glow stick (a flare!!) Because of my anti-sugar issues and experience with less-than-quality party favors that just end up in my treasure box at school, I prefer to give party favors that can actually be used and that I think the kids will enjoy. They don't need the sugar found in all that candy that is usually dumped in the bags, and a few higher-quality items are better than a bunch of trinkets in my book!

The invitations are going to be done on thin scrap wood with pencil markings around the edges as if they were used on a construction site. I got this from Family Fun too. They have a party-of-the-month feature, and one time it was construction! I knew by this point that I would be doing a party with construction (Caleb is absolutely obsessed!), so I put the magazine in a safe place.

Who: Caleb's Construction Crew #2
What: A birthday party for the foreman of the crew
When: January 10, 2009
Where: At the Leach construction site
Why: To get a break from the job!


For a game, we are going to have a wrecking ball! I'm going to save up a variety of boxes of different sizes and shapes and let the kids build a tower with it. Then, the "wrecking ball" (a soft O-ball hanging by string from the fan!) will be swung to knock down the tower! All of the kids who will be there are 5 and under, so I think this will be a great activity for them. Of course, they will probably run into the tower and knock it down more than using the wrecking ball, but that's okay too! I will also have some coloring pages for them to do. I'm kind of limited since it will be January and the chance of snow on the ground is pretty great! If the weather is okay, I may try to plan a game outside as well. Maybe I'll do a construction relay or something...they can run down and put a piece of wood, a ruler, a (fake) hammer, etc. in a pile.

To eat: I'm going easy on myself this year! I think I'm just going to order a party sub from Subway, have the variety pack of individual bags of chips, and maybe have some pasta salad and fruit. I was considering packing the "construction crew" lunch in a brown bag like they would on a job site, but I thought that picky eaters might not like that....and we do have some picky eaters in our family (not to mention several food allergies, so I'd better not do it!) Last year I spent the whole first half of the party taking stuff out of the oven and I want to be able to enjoy the party this year!

Thoughts? Ideas? I do have a little bit of time :), so I guess it doesn't all have to be planned tonight!

Okay, I'm still really wide awake, and now I'm hungry. A yogurt bar, perhaps?! :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...the cleaning edition!

I realized yesterday that I have very strong affections toward certain cleaning products. I guess it's my general analness reaching toward every aspect of my life, but I do love to clean! There is a sense of satisfaction that goes along with the smell of a clean bathroom, and nothing puts a smile on my face like a freshly scrubbed toilet!! (I wish I were joking...) So, here are a few of my favorite cleaning products:

The Magic Sponge--Seriously, this is my favorite cleaning tool! I have about 8 boxes right now because I go through them so quickly. Mr. Clean is the original maker, but the Walmart brand seems to work just fine! This little diddy gets those black marks off of walls, takes of crayon, can be used as a pretreater for clothes, and I even use it to wipe down the porch railings! Yesterday, Caleb lovingly drew with Sharpie marker all over the kitchen table...yikes! My Magic Sponge didn't fail me though. Permanent marker was no match for it!!

Carbona's Laundry Stain Remover--This is a pretreating agent that has different formulas for specific stains (ie: grass, pen/ink, makeup, grease/oil, etc.) You don't know how many times I get overhead marker on my clothes, so the pen/ink formula is my favorite! They also make a soak for fruit stains that works wonders! They aren't cheap, but neither is buying new clothes to replace your stained ones...or at least that is how I look at it! I always try my regular stain remover first, but Carbona's is there to take a stain out when it doesn't work.

Lysol Wipes--I seriously have these things all over the house! Having a 1 1/2 year old makes for a lot of messes, and I try really hard to keep things clean. However, I also work full-time (currently...) and don't have much "free" time. These little guys really help to keep things clean and sanitary when I don't have time to go into full cleaning mode. They are also really convenient when I get toys from Freecyle and need to disinfect them. I just wipe them down with the Lysol wipes and then wipe them off with a wet rag (just in case Caleb decides to suck on it or something). It's a lifesaver!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

job change

Seriously, I am going to work at the library. Seriously, how fun and STRESS-FREE would storytime be?! I could totally run those kid programs and do all kinds of things to support VSC indicators! My principal said that I would miss seeing the "Ah-ha" moments, but my quick reply was that I haven't had any of those this year anyway! All my kids did today was talk and not do work. It did not appear that any real work or learning was done. I was constantly on them today and spent most of my time fussing at them instead of doing what I'm supposed to be doing. (teaching, in case you weren't sure)

To top it ALL off, I was running late from a conference and was late getting home so that Matt could be back up at church by 5:45. I called him and apologized profusely before telling him that I was on my way. Well....someone had parked illegally on the curb behind me and I backed right into her! I then had to go back in and (tearfully) ask my principal to make an announcement describing the car because I didn't know whose it was. Thankfully, the car was not dented (I was only going as fast as to back out of a space) but just a little scratched. The woman was also very kind and gracious. She is going to take it to a body shop instead of calling my insurance and call me with the price so that I can decide whether to submit it. I'm sure based on the lack of damage that it will be much cheaper to just pay it.

I called Matt very quickly after I backed into the car and told him (tearfully again) that he would have to bring Caleb to me so that he would make it on time to church.

*sigh* I seriously just can't do anything right these days....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Remembrance Pile

On Sunday, Pastor Wagner talked about a Jewish custom where they would make a remembrance pile of differently shaped rocks to help them remember the blessings in their lives. Each rock stood for a specific memory or blessing. Matt and I decided to adapt this idea--especially when I was in an I-hate-my-job mood thanks to last week's conference. We decided to gather rocks and actually write short phrases on them to help us remember! I'm thinking that I will shalack them as well to protect them from the elements.

Caleb and I gathered some of the many rocks that are all over our yard. Some are pretty big, but all of them are bigger than your average small rock. We dunked them in water to wash them off (Caleb REALLY liked this part and we both ended up soaked!) and then lined them up on the deck railing to let them dry. We will probably spend a little family time writing some blessings on the rocks tomorrow.

Right now, it's pretty much just going to look like a big rock pile. Eventually though, we hope to landscape an area next to the garage and nicely display them. We're hoping that when we start to feel downhearted or discouraged, we can visit the remembrance pile and focus on the blessings! My first rock will say: 1/9/07 (Caleb's birthday).

I'm excited about it and look forward to when Caleb can write his own remembrance rock! :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

16 Minutes

What would you do with just 16 minutes?

Would you
eat your favorite gooey snack
take a quick snooze
read a chapter of your current romance novel
order a new pair of jeans online
watch a scene from your favorite movie

Or would you
carve a pumpkin on the porch
have a tickle fight on the bed
build a fort with chairs and blankets
float a sailboat in the bathtub
read Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the third time today

Maybe you would try to squeeze
a lifetime of love
into
that
16 minutes.


For Stacy, Spencer, and Isaac. <3

fleeting moments

Isaac Timothy Delisle was with his parents for just 16 minutes before he passed away. Although they knew that this was most likely going to happen (barring a miracle from God), it doesn't make it any easier. At least you could cling to a string of hope before. Now it just seems so final. Please pray for Stacy and Spencer...

Monday, October 6, 2008

please pray

As you know, my friend Spencer and his wife are having major complications with their pregnancy. They are scheduled for a C-section tomorrow morning and Stacy is very nervous, to say the least. She really shares her heart on her blog "He Will Carry Me" (see my blog roll) but still has such faith in God. Please pray for them--especially that their baby Isaac will stay with them long enough for Stacy and Spencer to spend time with him. I just can't imagine what they are going through. I do know that she has more love for her unborn child than I have ever heard described!! They are a beautiful couple...just pray!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

crazy weekend

Here's a synopsis of our weekend:

Friday: Caleb stays with my sister on Wednesdays and Fridays. I brought him and was just getting ready to leave when O got sick all over the living room! Of course, I couldn't keep Caleb there, so Matt watched him in the morning (he hadn't left for work yet), but I had to take a 1/2 day to watch him in the afternoon. Let me tell you that trying to write sub plans for the p.m. while you're teaching in the a.m. is very difficult! I got them done though and enjoyed an afternoon with Caleb rolling acorns down the driveway! Unexpected days off are kind of nice when no one is sick! :)

Friday night: I met Matt at the church so that he could take Caleb while I went to the viewing for my student's dad. It was seriously the place to be--the mom works for the school system and the dad worked at the power plant, so 1/2 of the county was there! They had his favorite country music playing and pictures everywhere. It had a very celebratory atmosphere, which was so cool. I like those kinds of viewings. My student was doing really well and hung close to me most of the time. We talked to for a while about how she's going to need to prepare herself for questions from kids when she goes back to school. I told her that kids are just going to be curious and not mean to hurt her or make her feel sad, but that she needs to make sure she is ready for it. I told her to talk to her mom about maybe going back 1/2 day first so that she can ease her way back into it. Like I said, she's doing really well...but still hurting.

Saturday a.m.: We worked a bit around here (Matt cutting grass, me cleaning, Caleb making a mess...) and we also organized the playroom and packed away some of the younger toys that Caleb doesn't play with anymore. That made room for two really cool Tonka trucks I've been holding onto (thanks, Freecyle!) for a while. I brought them down while Caleb was taking a nap, and I can't even tell you how excited he was when he saw them afterwards! They are the battery-powered kind that can go forward/backwards/turn and also scoop stuff up. He is LOVING them!

Saturday p.m.: My cousin's daughter had her birthday at Gym Tykes--can we say CHAOTIC?! I guess it's the teacher in me, but I can't handle that kind of unstructured environment. Of course, my classroom has no structure either, so I should have been right at home! :) Caleb liked jumping on the trampoline, but I had to let Matt hang out with him because I was being too protective to let him have any fun. 20 kids older than him running around like hooligans makes me very nervous. He did get plowed several times, but there was no permanent brain damage!

We then headed over to a going away party for one of the kids in the youth group. He is doing Americore in CA and will be gone for about a year. He's a really great guy who reminds us a lot of Dale (one of our favorite projects from GC and our adopted son!) We will miss him a lot, but we're planning to write and talk over FB!

After Caleb went to bed, we watched Sweeney Todd. Let's just say it is the absolute most horrible musical I have ever seen. With the exception of two pretty songs that are only pretty when they are taken out of context of the musical, it was totally gruesome and unlikeable. The only good part is the subplot love story, and that is never resolved! It's just horrible...thank goodness we got it in Red Box and only paid $1 for it....

Sunday: We went to church and then went to my sister's for my dad's birthday lunch. I love turkey dinners because of what goes along with the turkey--sauerkraut, green beans, mashed potatoes, corn, bread, and stuffing!

I went to Staples afterwards and and got ANOTHER internet card (my 4th...) and went to Michael's to get a craft pumpkin and some fake (but nice looking) mums. Caleb and I came home and gathered materials to make the pumpkin's face (baby acorn eyes, leaves for hair, a large acorn nose, green bush leaves for ears and a great half-moon stick I found for a smiley face!) I hot-glued them onto the pumkin and made a totally cute little face. Caleb "helped" by passing me the materials. Then I put the pumpkin outside in front of the mums and got some pictures of Caleb with it. He loves it!! :)

We had a pretty busy weekend, but it was fun-filled (for the most part!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

so frustrating

I had a very frustrating day today, thanks to a parent conference. I can't go into too much detail because of confidentiality, but I can tell you this: basically every aspect of my teaching style was challenged. What upset me the most was how the person kept saying that my lack of structure and classroom management was what caused the child to misbehave. Now, if you know me, you know that I CRAVE structure and management! To describe my class as unstructured is just ridiculous! If anything, I go overboard with the micromanaging. Nevertheless, it upset me that the person would even consider that.

It was also said that I was the meanest teacher in 4th grade. I guess you should fill in all of the kids from my very first class that still keep in touch with me even though they are in 8th grade now! You might also want to tell that to the 5th graders who hug me and tell me they miss me whenever they see me in the hallway. I have 3 students who come during bus dismissal to tutor and help around the classroom. Maybe I scared them into it! Oh, and don't forget my current students who email me on the weekends and evenings just to say hi! I'm sure they're trembling....*sigh* I'm so sensitive. I have gotten thicker skin over the last 6 years, but things like this still really bother me. To my credit though, I did not cry (until after...) I even let the person know that I didn't like how the person was putting me on the defensive so much. Yay me!! :)

On top of all of that, I had more sadness this week. One of my sweet students from last year (another terrorized child, I'm sure) lost her dad yesterday to ALS--Lou Gehrig's Disease. Yes, we all knew that it was only a matter of time, but it doesn't make it any easier. The coolest thing about this girl is that when she heard that some of her friends were really hurting and upset for her, she asked to come in and have a "surprise lunch" with them. She wanted to let them know herself that she was okay and that she was glad that her dad wasn't in pain anymore. The girl who is grieving is encouraging her friends! What an amazing girl! She came to see me today while she was here and seemed to be doing really well. She is missing her dad, of course, but I think it is comforting for her to know that he is whole again.

On another note, the wife of my friend from college whose baby is developing abnormally will be having a C-section next Tuesday. Please pray for them--they are really struggling with the realization that they are going to lose their son. They are still praying for a miracle because they know that God can do it, so please join them! My heart hurts for them...

Okay, this was a very negative and downhearted post. Let's leave on a positive note: The other day, Caleb's diaper stayed dry overnight and then he peed a river in the potty the next morning! I was cheering him on! :)