Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Survived!

I survived 6 weeks of testing (while trying, at the same time, to manage a classroom full of 26 5 and 6 year olds), 50 report cards and 50 Parent/Teacher Conferences (a.k.a A LOT of late nights) last week. Within 5 minutes of getting home, I was dead asleep on the couch. So asleep, I didn't notice the cats sleeping, literally, on me or Brian taking pictures. But I do think this picture is HILARIOUS! And another moment from the life of a dedicated teacher. Love your kid's teachers! They work harder than you know.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Look what my amazing husband did for me...

He turned the entertainment center from this...

to this!!
Doesn't it look AMAZING?!?!?! I LOVE the new doors. They make everything look so much cleaner. (And looking back at those green stairs verses the new carpet, reminds me how much I love my carpet.) My hubbie is awesome! I've been wanting them up forever and I came home one day to this wonderful surprise.

Now I just need to make a cute crafty to go on the top!

Thanks honey! You are the bestest!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Becoming the "mother" of five...

After coming back from Indiana, I spent three nights at home and then I was off again. This time, I landed in Minnesota where I spent 11 days trying, somewhat inadequately, to serve the part of caretaker to five children. I'm lucky though, because the five children are my adorable nieces and nephews!! Despite my super bad luck never getting dinner ready in time (including a pork roast that was in a crockpot, turned on, for the entire day and still not done, a frozen lasagna that took over three hours to cook and the list goes on) we all survived, got to where we needed to be and had fun at the same time. Here is a small amount of what we did. It's hard to remember to take pictures when life is so busy.

 
It all started with Jennie throwing up. This made her super sad to have her Mom gone. Poor girl. 

   
Thank goodness she recovered, and was able to play with us for the long weekend. In this picture, Xander is wearing a banana sticker on his forehead. He wanted to be a banana but told me he didn't want to change his clothes into something yellow. So the sticker magically turned him into a banana. 

  
Joey went on a Scout camp for one night. Being winter and all, he had a lot of stuff to pack. This is him and Xander taking a break from all the packing...or was it unpacking?

Then Shelby, the dog, got sick. Sicker than Jennie. I was afraid for her life. No joke. Poor puppy. We nursed her back to health, but she was stinky afterwards. We gave her a shower. She didn't like us so much for that but our noses appreciated the effort. 

Xander and Jennie love to help in the kitchen. They are super good at measuring and well, pretty much doing the entire job, as long as you are nearby giving instructions. I just sat back, and let them do all the work. Maybe that's why dinner never got ready in time?? Here we are celebrating the fact that no one (or animal) is sick any more by making chocolate chip cookies.

Once the big kids went back to school, Xander and I hung out. This is his version of playing dress up. He loves to play mom and dad too. Which usually consisted of him turning his laundry hamper into a grocery cart and me telling him what we needed to buy. He played lots and lots of games, and I indulged his interest in learning to count to 100 by counting to 100 about 500 times a day. I also got him to preschool and his scientist class on time and never got lost! I'm very proud of myself for that. Go me!
 
There was a lot of card playing going on the entire time I was there. We played Golf a lot. Here is some super version of Golf that Jennie and Xander made up. I'm not sure how it works but they played it for about an hour. So it must have been pretty fun.

  
There was a huge pillow fight one evening. I'm surprised the picture isn't super blurry because I was laughing super hard when I took this shot. By this time, I was feeling sad I hadn't taken more pictures. So I had to capture this moment. Plus, no one got me when I had the camera.

  
Once again I succeeded in getting a child to a far distant place, in a car I wasn't familiar with, in a town that I had no idea which way was North, during a freak snow storm AND we were only a couple of minutes late. This is Joey and Shelby at dog training. This is their graduation night. Joey and Shelby even won a blue 1st place ribbon during the evening! (P.S. Notice I only said getting him there. We totally got lost on the way home. Thank goodness for a large church parking lot where we plugged the home address and the GPS led us home.)

  
It snowed, and snowed and snowed some more while I was there. It was CRAZY! Shelby would come in literally caked in snow every time she went out. She loved prancing out in the snow though. And we loved having her healthy again.

  
Xander and I went to eat lunch with Jennie at school. I was hoping somehow, someway, the food here would be better than at my school. No such luck. Xander wouldn't eat anything. But that was because he was sick. It only got worse that afternoon when we got home. He fell asleep, while sitting up, and playing a game with me. Then he had a yucky temperature. I didn't know just how bad he felt until I gave him some medicine for the fever and seriously, within like 5 minutes, he perked right back to the cute Xander that he is. I had no idea medicine worked that fast for little kiddos!

  
At preschool Xander learned about the letter "s." So he built a ship out of this box. Joey tried it out and I had to take a picture.

  
We skyped with Mom and Dad (aka Wendy and Kenny) almost every day. When we were going to bed, they were getting up. Strange, very strange. Wendy showed us the view out her hotel window. Wow, the Philipines is pretty!

  
We took super cute Shelby to the dog beauty parlor. I'm not sure she liked us leaving her there, but she sure came home looking different. And so skinny! The dog cutter trimmed her ears and I couldn't help but laugh. Inwardly of course. Shelby's ears looked very similar to the dog cutter's own hair style!

  
We hung out and played the Wii. Or snuggled with the dog.

  
Ben hung out downstairs in his man cave most of the time. He emerged for meals. On this rare occasion he was upstairs, reading, so I took a picture as proof that he really was there. Sorry, Rebekah, I never really got a picture of you. That girl is beautiful but you should have seen her when she got dressed up for the Youth Dance or the play she went to. Wendy and Kenny need to keep a shotgun by the door, that's my opinion.

  
And Jennie had basketball games, practices and then the end of the year tournament while I was there. She is the girl, in green, on the left. The girl she is guarding in this picture, well, there is no way Jennie was going to let her get the ball. Way to go, Jennie! Her team ended up winning first place in the tournament!! WAHOO!
That is a small recap of the 11 days. I came home one tired girl with a whole lot of new fun memories to remember. It was amazing to get to know the kids a little bit more and spend so much time with them. Awesome, in fact. And about 35 hours after landing, I was back at work. Good old reality.