Saturday, August 30, 2008


I came across this picture tonight when searching my photo albums. Katie must have taken this one day. I thought it was cute and wanted to share. :-)

Weeding beats swimming??

We mentioned to the girls that we had weeding to do today. The agreement was we would pull weeds, get all sweaty, and go to the pool. Good deal, huh? Well, we ended up at a meeting at church most of the morning, had lunch, and mommy took a nap. By the time I got up and we went to buy groceries, it was pretty late in the afternoon. Anna Grace had already had a screaming fit because she wanted to pull weeds. We ended up telling them that we only had time to either pull weeds or go swimming. You'll never believe what they chose: WEEDING!! Why?? I have no idea. But they were so excited to go outside and pull weeds. Here are a few pictures. None are very great because they wouldn't stop moving long enough. Guess we'll try swimming tomorrow instead. What weird kids!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Such a Sassy Girl!

Oh my gosh. Anna Grace sassed the principal today. Can you believe it? Here is the story.

A little background: my principal, Julie, is a good friend of mine. We've been friends for 9 years or more and through two schools. Right after Anna Grace's referral, we went to Nashville together for a girls weekend along with Katie and her best friend at the time. We picked out lots of cutesy girl clothes for AG! So Anna Grace has known her for four years now. We've hung out together, been to soccer games together, traded kids when needed, etc. I have had the same experience with one of my students. I've known her since she was a baby also. It's not a problem at all but makes the whole experience different.

Fast forward to today. Julie was making rounds today and stopped by Anna Grace's room to see what they were doing. She is a very hands on principal---as much as time allows. Anyhow, she checked out the kids reading centers and what they were learning. Anna Grace willingly shared what the activity was they were working on and how it correlated to the letter of the week, etc. Julie made small talk and moved on to the next group. She chatted with them for a bit when she heard,

"Ms. Julie! Ms. Julie!"

She looked back and saw AG with her hand raised.

"Yes, Anna Grace?"

"Shhh." says Anna Grace.

"Do you want me to be quiet?" asks Julie.

"Yes." says AG.


"I can't.." but she lost her thought process or couldn't find the words.

Julie said, "You can't do your work?"

"No," says Anna Grace.

"Okay, then I'll leave," says Julie.

Julie then came and found me outside at recess to tell me that my child told her to hush! No, she wasn't mad but rather amused. However, in my opinion, the child was sassy!

Leave it to MY child to sass off to the principal.

Note: The kids in the school do not all call the principal Ms. Julie. Anna Grace always has so it's been hard to break that habit. She would come visit me after Pre-K and head to Ms. Julie's office for candy. :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Van update

My van is fixed---yeah for us! Throughout the summer, when I would stop at times, the van would "thump" into first gear. We knew that was not normal but no lights ever came on. The garage techs told me that if we brought it in, they could perhaps still see the issue on the computer. But we never did that. There is no telling if they would have been able to figure out the issue was this sensor/switch thing that went bad. In any case, since driving it just a few times today, I haven't had that same "thumping" thing when stopping. I am SO hoping it's fixed for good now.

When the garage called Dave today, they mentioned we were over due for an oil change. But that's at the garage recommendation of every 3K miles; we tend to wait a bit longer. Dave told them to not worry about it--we'd just take care of it later. We were more worried about having the van back today!

I picked it up around 4:30 today. One of the managers gave me my keys and said they had changed the oil anyhow to save us a trip back and more inconvenience. There was no charge. We were not charged for that, nor the towing, nor the replacement part. I knew fixing the transmission was under warranty but expected to pay for towing. The fact they changed my oil for free to save us a trip back was really nice. This is the same garage that gives us the "Good Catholic discount" when we have major stuff done. The owner goes to church with us. :-)

Keep your fingers crossed that our transmission issues are behind us!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My stupid and almost paid for car

Here we go again. The transmission went out on May 9 and again on May 24. It was still acting a bit funky throughout the summer but the check engine light never came on. Until today. Driving to school. Yeah for me. I was only about 3 miles from school so kept going. When I got to a stop sign, the van started again but wouldn't leave first gear. I completed the rest of the trip in first gear. I called Dave and told him the wonderful news. He called our local garage once he got to work so we could arrange to have them come tow it. I also called Katie to warn her that she may be picking me up after school.

I went in to tell my principal what was happening. As it turns out, my assistant, Sonya, wasn't here today as she was taking her son to college (Morehouse---full academic scholarship!! Go Thaddeus!!) My special ed assistant was with me part of the morning so I filled her in. My concern was that once the tow truck guy arrived, Amanda (special ed asst) wouldn't be in my room any more. Sure enough, that's what happened.

In fact, our secretary made an all-call announcement across the school saying, "If you own a white van and have called for a tow truck, please call the front office". When this call went out, my principal heard it and passed along the info that it was mine and to please find me a sub so I could meet the tow truck dude. In the meantime, Amanda had asked another special ed TA to come help me out. So I had two people show up to watch my class. We needed the help!!!

I met him, pulled the car seats out of the car since I wasn't sure how I was getting home, and went back to class. By then, my schedule was completely messed up. My kids missed recess so I let them play for a bit in the room.

About two hours later when my kids were at lunch, I stopped by the front office to chat with my principal. I was filling her in on the day---by then I was exhausted. I jokingly said I wanted to go home. She laughed and said, nope, you've got a few more hours. Then I hear this shout from another area in the office. It's one of our front desk ladies----she yelled, "You can't go home. You don't have a car!"

Heck, I could have walked to Katie and Alex's school and gotten her car. It's not that far!

Man, what a day.

Dave ended up leaving work early to come pick us up. The little girls were very excited to have both mommy and daddy pick them up at school today. The plan for tomorrow is to have him drive us to school and either work from home or leave early again.

Oh, and the garage said some sensor in the transmission went bad. I don't remember the exact name. Anyhow, it's covered under warranty so I don't care. But they can't get the part until Monday. So we'll hopefully have it back and working again Monday night.

Four more payments and we're free and clear. I can sort of deal with issues if I'm not paying car payments too. Keep your fingers crossed that this is the end of it all---meaning that our transmission problems are solved!! Not that the car croaks permanently. Whew.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Welcome home Daddy!

Dave arrived home safe and sound yesterday. I ended up taking the girls with me to the airport against Alex's wishes. I just worried that they would end up mad that they didn't get to go to the airport---which they like to do. Unfortunately, I had to make up an excuse to take them in the car. So I said we were going shopping and doing something fun. Anna Grace was not very excited to find out she was not going to be able to spend her money but was going to the airport instead. "I don't want to get daddy. I want to go shopping." Geesh. But she snapped out of it shortly after Dave appeared. AND, she slept in her own bed all last night. Yes!

He's taking them both to school tomorrow so he can see their new rooms. We'll be glad to return to some semblance of a routine. Anna Grace has been SO tired lately since beginning school that we've had many trying days. Today was one of them. We had to leave Mass early today. We've never done that before. But we left. I couldn't take it anymore. I came home and went to bed. I didn't feel a whole lot better when I woke up but at least I had a little bit of peace. Poor daddy is still on a weird schedule but held down the fort. Yeah for daddy.

I hope things will improve as time passes. No pictures right now but perhaps soon!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Daddy is coming home!

Dave has cut his business trip short by three weeks and is heading home on Saturday. I gather they have postponed a project in Thailand which is allowing him to leave early. Anyhow, we haven't told the girls yet. That will be a Saturday morning discussion---just in case something happens and plans change! Alex wants me to leave the girls at home on Saturday, say I'm going shopping, and return with daddy. :-)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Anna Grace!!

Anna Grace turned 5 today! She was so excited. The first words out of her mouth when she woke up today (in my bed) was, "Am I five?" Yes, we are back to having sleep issues. I chalk it up to daddy being gone and school starting. In fact, around 5:30 this morning, she was (asleep) in my bed but sobbing. She was crying out for mommy. I think that although school is going fine, she is still having issues not seeing me especially since she knows I am right around the corner.

Anyhow, she got up and was begging to open her presents. I told her she had to wait until Katie and Alex were awake. I gave them until 9am when I sent the girls in to wake them both up. So at 9:05 she was opening presents in her jammies. We kept things simple with Hello Kitty stick on earrings, water bottles, and coloring books, as well as hair bows, a Dora movie, and the game of Trouble. Daddy missed her birthday since he is still in China. So the little stinker asked today if she would get another birthday and presents from daddy since he wasn't here. Geesh!

We did cake after dinner. Katie's boyfriend came over since AG adores him. She spent some time torturing him with Hello Kitty stuff--poor guy. He is ever so patient with the girls though. :-)

I just wasn't up for a big party with lots of little kids. I know I need to do that eventually but it wasn't in the cards this year. Having an August birthday is hard. You've just gone back to school so don't know anyone in your class. We could invite last years kids but that gets hard too. I'll get it together one of these years! Anna Grace did bring in popsicles to share with her class on Friday. When I saw her after school while waiting for the daycare bus, her lips were blue. She obviously loved her popsicle!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Panic Central

Last night, I put the girls to bed and hung out in the hallway for a little bit like always to be sure they would both settle down. I left for a moment to get a piece of pizza but came right back upstairs. Katie and I sat outside their room talking for a bit. Within a few minutes, things were quiet so I headed downstairs.

Less than an hour later, I went to bed. I checked on the girls like usual. Abby was sound asleep in her bed; Anna Grace was no where to be seen. I checked her floor. Nope, not there. Checked my bed, my floor, Katie's bed, but she wasn't there. Then I started to panic. I called Katie up to help me. We checked closets, under the beds, bathrooms, etc. By now, Katie was worried and told Alex to start searching downstairs. There was no way she could have gotten out of the house and no way someone could have come in, but we had no idea where she was.

I checked the playroom once again but didn't see her. Ah ha---it hit me. I picked up the princess tent and there she was, fast asleep. That little turkey had gone into the playroom with her pillow and friends to sleep in the tent.

I told the kids I'd found her so to call off the search. Katie then proceeded to tell me to put Anna Grace into her bed (Katie's) for the night so we would know she was safe. Katie wouldn't even leave her room to call her boyfriend for fear she would disappear again.

When I woke up Anna Grace today, she was very puzzled as to why she was in Katie's room. I took her to get dressed and asked her about bedtime last night. She smiled, giggled, and said, "I went to sleep in the tent, Mommy."

At least now I know where to look the next time I can't find her. Whew.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Senior Shirts

The First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for everyone!
-Abby moved up to the Pre-3 room at the daycare and was disappointed when I came to pick her up. Evidently she has just chosen (off the clip chart) to go to Art. She didn't to go home.
-Anna Grace started kindergarten. The pictures below are from this morning. Katie and Alex drove her to school and were the official photographers. I was already in my class so couldn't do this. She had a great day! I saw her several times which was no big deal. She knew she could wave but had to stay with her class. I was able to sneak in a few hugs now and then though. :-)
-Alex started high school. When asked about his day, the answer was, "It was boring." Typical answer for him. But he knows several people in each of his classes and at lunch so that's a plus. What's funny is the son of his biology teacher is in my class!
-Katie is now an official senior. The senior girls had shirts made that say Seniors 2009 on the front and Kiss Our Class (goodbye) on the back. They wore those today to celebrate their "senior-hood".
-My class started well. My assistants and I have already pinpointed which ones we'll need to keep a thumb on! Funny how it often doesn't take very long to figure that out. :-)

Enjoy the pictures! The last one is of Anna Grace and her teacher.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wow. What a week!!

Okay, a few highlights from the week. Sorry there are no pictures right now. Life is too busy.

*While I took Anna Grace to a party last weekend, Katie and Catlan took Abby shopping. They came home with lots of new treasures including new hair bows, nail polish, and lots of girly stuff. :-) A clue for later: remember the polish that was purchased.

*When they were shopping, Abby got a balloon. Well, when both girls were together, Anna Grace decided to release the balloon from the weight we had tied to it so it floated to the second floor. We have a two story family room. Great. So Katie got a broom and swiped it down somehow. Yeah for Katie. I had already turned off the fan so that wouldn't be an issue. Had that problem once before-----a balloon on a ribbon being stuck in the fan. Not good. A story for another day!

*The beautiful hot pink nail polish was somehow opened by a little girl. Katie did not know this and picked it up to shake it. This caused it to be splattered across the hardwood floors and table. Eeek!!! Panic set in. We got it off the floor with little damage visible. I haven't truly started working on the few dots on the table so am not going to worry about it.

*Hmm, what else? Oh, the lawn mower broke right after Dave left for China. Fortunately, our good friends Brian and Christy came by to help Alex fix it. Brian is so good about coming over to help when Dave is out of town. Yeah for good friends!!!! We've also tried to replace the wheels but things are not totally kosher. But at least the grass is being cut---somewhat. And, hey, a mower breaking is nothing compared to the AC in the house and transmission in the car going out last time he was gone!!

*The girls have made a good transition back to school. On the first day, both came flying into my arms. By Friday, it was less so. That tells me they are settling back into the routine. Both were busy little girls all week which made bedtime so much easier. :-)

*Abby's face is broken out a bit. We aren't sure why. Her teacher noticed it on Wednesday. There was nothing new in her diet so we thought perhaps it was something she was touching. So I brought home her daycare naptime sheets to wash in our laundry to see if that will help. Then Katie reminded me today that's how she looked when we first met. After a few days of having her, it cleared up. This made me think it was stress related. So now I wonder if she is stressed with the start of school and daddy being gone. Mommy doesn't put up with much so I often think she is muttering under her breath about that mean old lady and where is my nice daddy??

*One morning this week, Katie accidentally opened the door and set off the alarm---immediately. There was no warning. So we're both trying, on opposite floors, to turn it off. We negated each other. Finally, we got it turned off. Thank heavens 4 out of 5 of us were already awake. Alex can just deal!

*I headed back to school this week and am getting prepared for Wednesday, our first day. Get this: I have two sets of twins in my room! Neither set is identical, thank heavens. I had that last year. Whew, that was hard!! The girls and I went in today for a few hours. They had a grand time playing with all my stuff but weren't that great about cleaning it up. Are you surprised??

*Our first day of school is the 6th. I hope to post an update that night telling you how everyone did. This should include pictures of at least the little ones. Abby is moving up to Pre-3, Anna Grace will be in kindergarten, Alex will be a freshman, and Katie will be a senior.

*What a year for changes!! I am sure there will be many more to come.