Friday, December 31, 2010

A Look Back and A Look Forward

With 2010 coming to a close I have been doing a little looking back at our year and also a little looking forward to what 2011 will bring us.

2010 wasn't all that bad. It brought a lot of changes for the Barnes Bunch. We moved to a new apartment in January. Much bigger than our old one. I finally got the school to write up an IEP for Kaitlyn after nearly 2 years of trying. Natalie graduated from elementary school and moved up to the middle school. Kaitlyn started a new school for 3rd grade this year which has proven to be the best thing for her. CJ even started preschool. He is really starting to come out of his shell and attempting things he normally wouldn't. I got pregnant with baby number 4. It made for a very interesting 2010.

And now looking forward to 2011. Of course the biggest thing of all will be baby #4's arrival. I can't wait for this pregnancy to be over and to meet this little girl. Hoping to see continued improvement in Kaitlyn's reading. Hoping CJ is potty trained very early on in 2011. So much to look forward to in 2011!

Picture Catchup 6

So it appears that I have not been very good about sharing pictures lately. I have a month full of events we have attended and I don't believe I've shared one picture from any of them this month. So as sort of an out with the old and in with the new kind of thing, it being New Years Eve day and all, I thought I would do a few Picture Catchup posts today. So be sure not to miss one. I will have a link to all of these posts at the bottom of them though in case you do miss one.

Our good friends little girl turned 6 right after Christmas. She just had her birthday party at a really neat local pizza place which lets the kids make their own pizza. We've done parties here before and they are always very fun. This wasn't any different.

The kids making their pizza

Killing time while the pizzas cook

The birthday girl with her big brother and his girlfriend

Cake time

Present time

And that is it. The past month in pictures. If you missed any from my picture catchup today then be sure to click here!

Picture Catchup 5

So it appears that I have not been very good about sharing pictures lately. I have a month full of events we have attended and I don't believe I've shared one picture from any of them this month. So as sort of an out with the old and in with the new kind of thing, it being New Years Eve day and all, I thought I would do a few Picture Catchup posts today. So be sure not to miss one. I will have a link to all of these posts at the bottom of them though in case you do miss one.

Christmas Morning! We had a nice Christmas. Got up and CJ was feeling much better. The kids were so excited to open their gifts. When all was said and done everyone was playing with their new stuff and then we went to see Tangled at the movies. A cute movie. Unfortunately when we came home Kaitlyn began not feeling well. So she spent the night on the couch not getting to enjoy her new stuff too much and mostly sleeping. Still, it was very nice to spend the day just the five of us.

Santa came!

Natalie's gifts

Kaitlyn's gifts

CJ's gifts

Christmas aftermath

See how much they enjoyed their gifts? They get more from grandma and grandpa tomorrow too. Hopefully I'll be better about getting those pictures up.

To see more pictures from my Picture Catchup 2010 just click here!

Picture Catchup 4

So it appears that I have not been very good about sharing pictures lately. I have a month full of events we have attended and I don't believe I've shared one picture from any of them this month. So as sort of an out with the old and in with the new kind of thing, it being New Years Eve day and all, I thought I would do a few Picture Catchup posts today. So be sure not to miss one. I will have a link to all of these posts at the bottom of them though in case you do miss one.

Like every year we spent Christmas Eve at my Aunt and Uncle's house. I didn't get a whole lot of pictures which kind of stinks because that's when the kids wore their Christmas outfits. Although, CJ had been really sick so he wasn't much in a photo taking mood anyways. But I did get a few shots that my aunt shared along with the few I got so there's some to share.

The girls passing out the gifts

Enjoying Grandma's cookies

It was so nice spending time with family we don't get to see a lot. I'm glad that CJ was well enough that we were able to do this, even if he wasn't still quite himself.

To see more pictures from my Picture Catchup 2010 just click here!

Picture Catchup 3

So it appears that I have not been very good about sharing pictures lately. I have a month full of events we have attended and I don't believe I've shared one picture from any of them this month. So as sort of an out with the old and in with the new kind of thing, it being New Years Eve day and all, I thought I would do a few Picture Catchup posts today. So be sure not to miss one. I will have a link to all of these posts at the bottom of them though in case you do miss one.

Every month Kaitlyn's school does a showcase of what some of the children have been reading and learning. This month Kaitlyn got a chance to share and she wanted us to come watch. So we went and took in the show. It was really cute and Kaitlyn did a great job! She is getting so much confidence this year. Might have something to do with that great teacher of hers.

To see more pictures from my Picture Catchup 2010 just click here!

Picture Catchup 2

So it appears that I have not been very good about sharing pictures lately. I have a month full of events we have attended and I don't believe I've shared one picture from any of them this month. So as sort of an out with the old and in with the new kind of thing, it being New Years Eve day and all, I thought I would do a few Picture Catchup posts today. So be sure not to miss one. I will have a link to all of these posts at the bottom of them though in case you do miss one.

Our next adventure was Santa's Workshop. We got to feed some animals, see Santa, hear some stories, drink hot chocolate, and take a horse drawn carriage ride. Natalie was volunteering at this event as part of a program she participates in with school. So that's why there aren't really any pictures of Natalie.

The kids with the petting zoo

CJ had to say hi to Frosty!


Kaitlyn and CJ with Santa


Another fun holiday event!

To see more pictures from my Picture Catchup 2010 just click here!

Picture Catchup

So it appears that I have not been very good about sharing pictures lately. I have a month full of events we have attended and I don't believe I've shared one picture from any of them this month. So as sort of an out with the old and in with the new kind of thing, it being New Years Eve day and all, I thought I would do a few Picture Catchup posts today. So be sure not to miss one. I will have a link to all of these posts at the bottom of them though in case you do miss one.

We will start with the beginning of the month. The first weekend in December we found out about this free thing where kids could go see a helicopter. And since CJ has been so interested in helicopters and grandpa putting one in his hand we thought this would be a great way for him to see one up close and personal. And to perhaps give him a little perspective. Helicopters DO NOT fit in your hand! Best part was grandma and grandpa were able to join us so CJ was able to share this experience with grandpa.

CJ outside of the event with the blow up things

Look, Santa is flying a helicopter

Natalie, Kaitlyn, and CJ with the blow up helicopter

Kaitlyn and CJ inside the helicopter

CJ the pilot

Kaitlyn the passenger

Natalie the passenger. Grandpa is showing her the controls

And whatever you do don't touch that one!

Are we ready for take off CJ?

As you can see CJ did not want to get out of the helicopter. He sure enjoyed sitting in there. Too bad we couldn't go for a ride. Or at least see it running.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This Just In...

Queen Monica makes big babies!

When we last left off Queen Monica was sailing right along in this pregnancy. She is now 34 weeks pregnant and the little princess appears to be 6 1/2 pounds already. The doctor is already talking about a possible repeat c-section. Good thing Queen Monica gave birth vaginally with no problems to two almost 9 pound girls before. This should work in her favor.

The little princess is head down and taking practice breaths. Everything, but being in the 90th %tile for size is looking good. Queen Monica will go for a non stress test next week and a growth scan the following week at the hospital and we'll see where we are from there.

In the meantime Queen Monica is very tired out from this pregnancy and ready for it to be over. Her blood pressure remains good though. She has been experiencing terrible bouts of heartburn. Where she can't eat or drink anything without terrible pain. Perhaps if the wives tale is true that lots of heartburn means a full head of hair then all of this little princesses weight is coming from the enormous amounts of hair she will have on her head.

It looks like the Barnes Bunch could be welcoming a new bundle of joy any day now though.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

One of the good ones

When we moved almost exactly a year ago out of the neighborhood where my daughters had attended school for so very long I couldn't have imagined myself ever wanting to leave there. I knew the teachers, I knew the principal, I knew the parents. I loved that school maybe even more than my girls did. We got permission to finish out the year there so Natalie didn't have to move the middle of her 5th grade year and the whole time I debated do I keep Kaitlyn here next year or do we go to our neighborhood school. As she continued to struggle with school and dislike it more and more I found myself losing confidence in her teacher. I even wrote this letter which got everyone up in arms because it got around the school what I had done. And it caused me to write this letter of apology. And you know I was truly sorry if I had offended anyone in my first letter, but you know what, Kaitlyn's teacher last year broke my daughter. My sweet little girl was not the same fun loving adventure taking girl I had given her teacher at the beginning of the year. She was beaten down and broken. She hated school. She did whatever she could to get out of that class. To this day I still hear her say my teacher last year did this or she did that. She was deeply scarred by this teacher and it's such a shame.

But now we are on to bigger and better things. I made the choice for many reasons to move my children to their home school. I wanted CJ to go to preschool this year and I couldn't get both children to different sides of town at the same time if we had stayed in the old school. Now of course last year was one teacher and one bad experience. There's no telling what 3rd grade at her old school would have brought for her, but I can't imagine that anyone could possibly do a better job with my girl than what has happened this year. I had a 3rd grade teacher in mind when Kaitlyn was starting school there that I wanted her to get. She had one in mind that she wanted to get. I got my way. Kaitlyn was not happy, but I told her it's a new year and a new school and lets be open to all the new possibilities here. So being the trooper that she is she went off to school that first day. I was a nervous wreck. Couldn't wait to hear all about it. She came home glowing! Oh my God, what a difference from last year. She already loved her teacher. He gave her a little note welcoming her to a new school and even sharing a little something about him when he was her age he too went to a new school. Instant connection. I called him up and set up a meeting with him as I tend to do with my kids teachers when I know there are issues to discuss. I wanted to give him a little insight into the Kaitlyn I know. A week into school and he already had my girl down like he's known her and watched her grow like I have for the past 8 years. He could see how that mind of hers works and that drive that she has. Okay good start. Can he keep this up?

I have been in contact with him numerous times so far this year. Asking questions through email and just talking to him. He always replies to me quickly and we always come up with the perfect solution for Kaitlyn. It didn't take long at all for Kaitlyn to love school again. She is actually upset when the weekend gets here and she isn't going to get to be at school for a few days. She comes home most days with a smile on her face (the few she doesn't have a smile on her face usually seems to have something to do with something that happened on the bus). She truly got one of the good ones this year.

There has been a tremendous turn around in her attitude about school. We are fighting less about homework. There are still days, but for the most part she wants to get it done and she wants to get it done right. Her reading has already improved greatly. She is learning some great skills to help her sound out words instead of trying to memorize them. She's always "tapping out" words when she reads. Making connections between home and school.

I went into her classroom yesterday to bring some cookies for her class party. I couldn't stay because I had a very crabby 3 year old with me and Joe needed to be picked up from work. But I did stay for a few and her teacher came up to me to tell me about the math test he had given her that day. One of her provisions in her IEP is that she have questions on tests read to her. This way she's not being graded on her inability to read say a math question and falling behind in something she's good at. So Kaitlyn sits at the table with her teacher along with her special reading notebook to help remind her of the sounds letters make and she taps out those hard to read words. Her teacher was so thrilled to tell me that she literally DOES NOT want him to help her. She wants to do it on her own. She only asked for help on two of the questions. And he said she did really well on the test too (only getting one or two wrong). So he is watching her blossom and he is loving every second of it and is excited to tell me about it.

He is always telling me what a great and sweet child she is. I love that he sees so much in her. I love that she is working so hard and is loving school again. I love that when I write a note to him trying to express my gratitude in all that he has done for my little girl so far this year that I get this back in return:

Thank you so much for your kind words. Those things mean a lot to me. I feel that I am the lucky one, to have such a wonderful student and person as Kaitlyn in my class this year. She is truly a fantastic child. Merry Christmas!

Brought tears to this already emotional pregnant ladies eyes and every time I read it I get choked up. He is lucky to have my daughter in his class. I mean is it any wonder that in just a few short months that broken down Kaitlyn is back on track and excited about school and learning again? For a teacher to feel lucky to have a student it's just wonderful. He really is one of the good ones. We are all very lucky to have this chance to work with him this year. Makes me know that I really did do the right thing changing schools when I did. I do wonder what would have happened if we had done it last year. I think this was the right choice though. She ended up with the perfect teacher to rebuild her confidence after being brought down so hard all year last year. And as corny as this may sound I think this note from Kaitlyn's teacher might be my best Christmas present this year. It is going to be very hard to say goodbye to him in June that's for sure.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monica's Musings #11

Time for some more random thoughts from me.

I was told by the doctor yesterday that it's a state law that all preschool and daycare children receive the flu vaccine. This was complete news to me and really kind of makes me upset. I couldn't find too much information about it other than it looks like it's for private preschools and daycares which seems strange AND the only exception is religious. Huh, what about medical reasons. I asked CJ's school about it today and they had never heard about it so I guess it doesn't apply in his preschool. That's a relief.

My doctor's appointment was canceled yesterday because my doctor was sick. We tried to reschedule, but it's so hard to schedule things right now. Between the kids schedules and it being so close to Christmas everything they were offering me just wasn't possible. They told me they would call me back, but so far nothing. Hmmm, I wonder when I'll get to actually schedule my doctor's appointment. I tried to get them to put me in with a nurse practitioner (because I've had that in the past) or maybe another doctor, but they said they couldn't do that unless there was a problem with my pregnancy. So I wait for them to figure out how to squeeze me in.

I had joined in an ornament swap this year. I just mailed out ornaments that I made to my partner today. I still haven't received mine. I am getting a little nervous that I might not be getting anything as my partner has been pretty much unresponsive.

I ordered a DS game on ebay for Natalie. I ordered it last Thursday and paid right away and got a tracking number, but it doesn't appear that it has been picked up or that the post office even has the package as all the tracking number has said since Thursday is electronic shipping label received. I contacted the seller and he claims to have dropped it off at the post office and requested that I wait until Wednesday and if I don't get it then to contact him and he'll mail out another one. Hmmm, I wonder why he wouldn't want to contact the post office and find out what's going on with it. Ebay makes me nervous. So hoping it comes soon.

Natalie's computers teacher has allowed her to make up her work. Not only did he allow her to make up her work, but he also adjusted her grade. She went from a 79 to a 90 in that class. I'm hoping she learned her lesson about completing her assignments on time. And I hope she really appreciates that her teacher is adjusting her grade. Most teachers wouldn't do that.

I haven't even begun my baking yet. Usually I have it mostly done by now I think. The thing is I think usually I need a platter for playgroup by this week. I haven't needed the cookies and don't think I'll really need them until the very end of next week. So I'll probably start this weekend. Well, I'll do some on Thursday because Natalie is having a party at school and wants to bring mounds, so I'll bring those.

I can't believe that I only have 8 weeks left of this pregnancy. It has gone quick and we still have not agreed on a name. I'm thinking we'll decide when she is born and we actually see her. Figure out what suits her.

Monday, December 13, 2010

CJ's physical

For the past month it has felt like I have been at the pediatricians office every week. Maybe that's because I pretty much have been. 3 physicals in a month plus an asthma action plan for Kaitlyn and I have spent a lot of time at the doctor's office. Probably preparing me for 2 months from now when I'm there for frequent well baby checks.

So anyways, today was CJ's turn at the doctor. The doctor gets such a kick out of him. He weighs 29 pounds and is 35 1/2 inches tall. He's still in the 10th %tile for weight, but that's staying pretty consistent. So since he's moving along the same growth curve the doctor is pleased. Huge relief there to see him finally doing so well with the weight gain.

The doctor asked him how old he was and he told her 40 which the doctor found hysterical. I told her since his birthday that is what he has been telling EVERYONE. She asked him what his name was and he told her Awesome. Yup, guess we're going to have to have his name legally changed. He knows his name, but he kind of has this attitude like well if you don't know it then I'm just not going to tell you. The doctor just kept getting such a kick out of him though. She seems pleased for the most part with his development. We do still need to work on his gross motor skills I'm sure, but that's really been improving. She doesn't seem too concerned. He got a shot which he took like a champ. Apparently there is some law in CT about all preschool and daycare children being required to get a flu vaccine. I always opt out and so far I have this year because I have heard nothing from his school that he must be vaccinated. I have to look into it, but it appears the law only applies to private preschools and daycares which CJ is not a part of. I guess I'll be double checking with his teacher though just to be sure.

I'm glad to have the physicals over. Hopefully we're good to go until next year. It would be nice to not have to see the doctor for these three anyways for the next year. The chances of that happening I know are slim, but it sure would be nice.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Report Card Time

The kids came home with their first report cards of the year. I'll start with Natalie.

Middle school is truly proving to be a huge adjustment for her. I don't know how to get her to understand what she needs to do. I was very surprised when I opened up her report card and saw at 79 in her computers class. This was a class she had a 93 in October when progress reports came out. The good news is she brought up her Social Studies grade from a 77 to an 84. As a matter of fact all of her other grades went up. She ends up with 3 A's, 3 B's, and just that one C. Now obviously dropping 14 points in a class in 2 months had me hugely concerned. There was no indication that she was struggling in this class. I talked to her about it and it appears she didn't complete some of her assignments. She started out claiming that the teacher didn't give her time which of course makes no sense. Come to find out she could have gone to complete them during her Flex period or even after school. She however chose not to do that. So I'm very disappointed about this grade. She is done with computers for the year, but I still want her to complete these assignments she did not complete. So hopefully the teacher will agree with me that this will be a good lesson for her to manage her time better and get her work completed on time. She really needs to work harder on the classes she doesn't like as much.

Now for Kaitlyn's report card. She does not get letter grades. Just numbers. She had mostly 2's and 3's which means she's improving, but needs some guidance or can work independently. Everything that I expected from her. She is still below grade level in reading, but she is making improvements. She is using her "tapping" out strategies that she has been learning in her reading. Her teacher loves having her in class and says she has adjusted well to the new school and the new grade.

All in all I'm proud of Natalie for pulling up her Social Studies grade so much, but very upset about it coming at the cost of her computers grade. And Kaitlyn is doing everything I expected her to be doing. So proud of her too. Hoping that Natalie will get the whole middle school thing down soon and that Kaitlyn will continue to make great improvements in her reading.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

You Will Not be JUST Pretty

Totally loved this. I hope I can get my girls to understand this too. Warning, there is a swear in this video so you might not want to watch it around the kids.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

11 year old Well Check

Natalie finally had her 11 year old well check yesterday. Over 7 months after she turned 11, but what can you do? She's healthy. We do need to watch her weight and make sure she's making the right food choices. She has to get some blood work done. She got two shots yesterday and she's being a big baby about it, lol. Just kidding. There's something about shots I think they actually do hurt more the older you get. Or maybe one of them was put in the muscle. She did awful on her eye exam so we definitely need to have her eyes checked and get new glasses for her. I am holding off on making that appointment though because things are just crazy around here this time of year. The doctor talked to Natalie again about what to expect as her body changes. She has it down pretty good I think. She did not give any real indication of when she thinks she'll begin her first period, but she seems to think she's beginning late. I was 13 when I got mine, so I'll happily wait 2 years for that to start :). There really wasn't too much to say about her. Just stay active and eat right. No more french fries with her school lunch, lol. That's two physicals down though and one to go next week. I'm anticipating I will hear you need to fatten this one up, hahahaha. Actually, I think CJ is doing really well so I'm thinking we'll have a good all around visit for him. Assuming we don't end up at the doctor's office sooner for him because he's got a terrible cough and thick yucky snot coming out of his nose. No fever and his temperament is still good though so I'm figuring just a virus.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One day you'll have a child just like you!

Then you'll see...

Did your mom ever say something like that to you. I'm sure mine did. Or maybe she did it secretively hoping that one day this light bulb would go off in my head. I don't know. I got it in my first born. And I've known that she's just like me for a very long time. And we have been butting heads for a very long time. And now that she's a preteen it is getting worse.

My head is spinning most days. She's just like me, but yet I can't figure out what goes on in that head of hers sometimes.

We have been having a battle of wills lately over school. This has been a huge concern. You know everyday I find myself saying the same things my mother used to say to me. You know those things you swore you'd never say or do to your kids? Yup, that's me. I'm turning around waiting to see my mother. Nope, she's not there. Those words DID just come out of MY mouth! Egads!

Now don't get me wrong. I had a good mother. With her flaws like everyone. I've got my short comings too as a parent. We are after all only human. But hey, I've managed to survive in society for 32 years now. Never been in any major trouble. I would say I've been a productive person. And yes, some of the honors for that does have to go to my mom. She taught me right from wrong and how to apply myself. Work through things that are tough for me. Even though I know I fought her on it much of the way. So it's really not a bad thing to be like my mother.

Days like today have my sitting here though wondering how did I get here with my own daughter? It's a right of passage I suppose. She's trying to separate herself from me. I'm trying to hold on because I know I haven't taught her everything I have to teach her. But really why do we have to battle every single day???

You would think that after doing what I fought for her to do and getting a 100 on her Social Studies test that she might say hey maybe my mom does know what she's talking about. But nope, here we are yet again fighting over how prepared she is for a test.

And here I am again remembering back to the fights I had with my mom. I thought she didn't understand me. And really in a way I don't think she could understand me. I was or rather am a shy person. My mom on the other hand is not. That is one of the personality traits that Natalie inherited from me. So I do get how hard it is for her to ask a teacher for help when she doesn't get something. And I have worked very hard as her mother to show her you can overcome that shyness about things. Things that always seemed to come so naturally to my mother never have for me and I have to work hard at them. But that's true of everyone. And I try to get Natalie to understand that there are things some are strong in and things that we have to work harder at. Raising her hand in class and not worrying about giving the wrong answer is something she has to work at. Getting up in front of a crowd of parents and talking about the PTA is something I had to work at. It still makes me turn red in the face and get the jitters.

I guess for now I will have to take comfort in knowing that one day she will have a child just like her. And then she'll go oh yeah that's what mom was talking about. I get it now. And I just want to say to my mom, I get it now Mom! I have gotten it for a while now, but everyday is a reminder of what you were trying to tell me for all of those years.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Remembering Celeste

December 6, 2008 will forever be etched in my mind. The day we lost a baby girl. 12:35 a.m. on December 6 was a whirlwind of emotions. I don't think that I've ever been the same since. I've been watching the calendar as this day approached this year. Wondering how I feel. The ache never does go away, but it does get better. The girls both remember what today is too. I don't think any of us will ever forget Celeste. She has made her presents known over the past two years. Even though we are moving on and are expecting a new baby girl in just two months she is not a replacement for the one we lost by any means. We will always remember Celeste and will always light a candle for her. I am sad today, but that is to be expected I think. I am happy for the things I do have though. A family who loves me. A roof over our heads. Food in our bellies. And of course faith that I will see my angel Celeste Alia once again! We love you Celeste. You may be gone, but you are definitely not forgotten!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monica's Musings #10

Time for another one of my musings. I have a lot of little things to say, but nothing really hugely related to make one big post. So here's a mosh posh of my thoughts.

*I do not know why, but ever since CJ's birthday if you ask him how old he is he'll tell you he's 40. I always tell him he looks good for 40. He refuses to say he's 3. Doesn't matter who asks him either. He will tell anyone that he's 40. Recently we began asking him how old everyone else is too though. And well apparently everyone is 40. So those of you who are older than 40 would surely love CJ's answer. For those of us who haven't reached 40 yet well we aren't liking this answer much.

*I was recently looking on the Board of Education website and noticed their mission statement for their Food Services is to: “Provide students with healthy, nutritious and appealing foods in a timely manner and in a pleasant environment every day”.

Now what they actually serve children is every Monday they can get chicken nuggets or something else equally full of fat, Tuesday they can get a long dog or something else equally full of fat, Wednesday they can get a cheeseburger or something else equally full of fat, Thursday is a chicken patty or something else equally full of fat, and Friday is either cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza (they switch off every week) or something else equally full of fat. So it sure does lead me to wonder where are those healthy nutritious foods. I was speaking to the pediatrician about it because there is some concern about Kaitlyn's weight and she thinks I can get the menu changed. Hmmm, not sure how to go about doing that actually. I have emailed the Board of Ed about this, but haven't heard back yet. I'm thinking of setting up a meeting with the principal.

*Our health insurance won't pay for a 2nd inhaler for Kaitlyn to have at school. Well, they will, but I have to wait until tomorrow to pick it up. Thankfully it's not longer and I'm concerned about what will happen if I ever have to refill both prescriptions in the same month. I could end up without an inhaler somewhere. She has to have one that stays at school and I can't send it in with her or anything. So she has been without her inhaler at school until I can pick this one up. I'm relieved she doesn't have severe asthma.

*I failed my one hour glucose test. The doctor told me I needed to go for the 3 hour. I asked if I could skip that and she said if I prick my finger 4 times a day. Shockingly I opted for that. I've been through this before so I know what to do. I have to send her my results from the next week so she can decide how she wants to proceed. I'm thinking like last time it will just be to avoid really sugary foods.

*Kaitlyn has lost 2 art smocks now since the beginning of the year. I'm getting really frustrated with this. You see, she has never lost a smock before. Now I'm not naive to think that she's not one to lose or misplace things. She does it all the time here. However, to lose 2 smocks in a matter of months has me wondering. You see she has to share her locker at school with another student in class. I am concerned that maybe by accident this other child is taking it. I emailed her teacher today who assures me her locker buddy is a sweet boy. They checked lost and found and all of the lockers today, but it has not been found. They are going to check the art room tomorrow, but honestly I'm thinking her locker buddy got ahold of them and brought them home.

*Most of our Christmas decorations are up. We ended up rearranging our living room to put up the tree. We didn't have to, but you know I think I like it the new way.

*I got my ornament exchange partner. I'm so excited to get started on ornaments. Not sure what to make yet, but we'll find something fun for the kids to do.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! Let us not forget that today is not all about the turkey. Although it is a very important part of the day we must remember to be thankful today. I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm of course thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful that we have a roof over our heads and enough food to eat. I'm thankful that we have family to celebrate this day with. I am thankful that we have great health care and are able to get a plan to fix any health problems we have. I am thankful that all of my children get to have a great education. I am especially thankful for great teachers like Kaitlyn's who take the time to see the potential in a bright girl like her. I am thankful for CJ's teachers who deal with 15 3 year olds everyday. I am thankful for all of Natalie's teachers who give her the opportunity to improve grades that she is not all that happy with and do whatever they can to help her to succeed to her full potential. I am thankful that my husband has a job, even if it does mean he has to work on a holiday and his schedule isn't always the most convenient for me. I have so many blessings in my life, but mostly I'm thankful that I am here to share my blessings with others!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

9 Families will have Thanksgiving this year because of 20 3rd Graders

This year Kaitlyn's teacher had all of the kids in his class do a penny drive to raise money to buy turkey dinners for needy families. Starting on November 1st and going until November 19th they were to bring in pennies only. They did not want parents donating money. It was to come from the kids. We did end up helping Kaitlyn by placing pennies around the house and giving her free reign to "find" them to donate to this worth while cause. I was not expecting the amount of money they had collected though. As a class of 20 3rd graders they collected $125. At the end a few school donations to their cause including some inspired lunch ladies by their hard work they managed to have $200 to spend and the ability to feed 9 families! So they took a walking field trip to a local grocery store where all of this stuff was purchased. I was lucky enough to be able to join them for the walk. The kids were all so great going through the store too.

Our group arrived and ready to shop

We got two of the turkeys

Kaitlyn got the pumpkin pie

Lets not forget the apple pie

The whole class outside the store

I couldn't stay to help decorate the boxes as I had to go pick CJ up from school. So I left my camera behind with the teacher to take some shots of the kids decorating the boxes for the 9 families.
Kaitlyn's group

Kaitlyn and Mr. T


Kaitlyn got to do another box

The kids all had such a great time and I think were feeling really good about their efforts. Kaitlyn told the doctor all about it at the doctor's office yesterday. She called Kaitlyn a hero and said her picture needs to be up in the "hero" room. I'm very impressed with the whole group and love that Kaitlyn got to be a part of this by having this teacher this year. I couldn't have imagined a more perfect way for her first year at a new school to go and am so happy she's getting these experiences. There were times she wasn't sure she wanted to give up her pennies, but it gave us a chance to talk about how important it is to help those in need. After thinking about it she decided that it was better to help out and share her pennies. I'm very proud of her and all of those 3rd graders for doing such a great thing.