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Friday, February 29, 2008

More Zoo Fun

Here are a few more pictures of our fun at the zoo last weekend.

We got to see them feeding the sharks. It even kept Rebekah entertained watching them try to get the sharks to eat. (OK--the photo is a little blurry, but it was fun to watch!)

Andrew loves the Jelly Fish. It is fun to see them in a dark room with their tank lit in black lights.

Rebekah thinks the penguins are so much fun. They go "waddle, waddle" (imagine diaper buns wiggling). We also go to see feeding time for penguins. the man in the wetsuit had just cleaned the windows. He had to get a few of the stubborn birds and hand them off for feeding and medication. If you enlarge the picture of Rebekah by clicking on it, you can see her funny face. She was running away from us with her tongue hanging out.

Andrew loves the Macaw birds (he calls them parrots and/or toucans). He really wanted a picture with the birds. Turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.

All right, keep in mind my family's sense of humor. When we saw the bird sitting defiantly next to the sign, all of us laughed and laughed. Even Nathan--who could read the sign by himself and Rebekah had a good belly laugh, just because everyone else was laughing.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Please pray for our school family.

It was announced this morning that our media specialist (librarian) passed away last night. She fought brain cancer last year and it came back this winter. She was a well loved teacher and so much fun. She had a guitar (named Honda) that she used at school. There was lots of singing and laughing in the library. Since Mrs. H was one of the original staff members when school opened, she was known by everyone.

We've missed seeing her smiling face the past couple of months and this really hit the entire school hard. Her son is Andrew's age so it makes it extra hard in this house. We've talked to our children about her being a Christian so we know she's in Heaven now. But, that doesn't always take all the sad away right now.

There were grief counselors on hand all day today and I spoke to our principal who deemed the Box Tops Pizza Party would happen as scheduled. I hoped she would allow the party as the kids were so excited about it. We agreed that keeping things as normal as possible is the best thing to help the students. It also gave 5 (yes, I did FIVE) classes of kids a bright spot in their day.

More about Mr. Bear

I downloaded my camera so you could see more of Mr. Bear. Nathan's first journal entry is, "Me and Ted jumped on the trampuelen." I've also got his final entry--the picture of sad Nathan saying "Bey" (bye) to Mr. Bear.

Additionally, here are pictures of our clownfish and sea turtle. Our Tio & Tia adopted a Sea Turtle for Andrew and a Clownfish (Nemo) for Nathan. Nathan wanted to know which fish was his. Sean explained that we pay to care for the fish and it helps more than one clownfish. So, he could pick the one that is his fish. We only saw one sea turtle (although I think there are two), so it's the one we deemed belonging to Andrew.

Here are pictures of my monkeys. It's always monkey-see, monkey-do around here. First Nathan hangs from the vine. Andrew thinks it looks fun so they both hang. Dad (after getting Rebekah who ran away the other direction) was walking past the vine when she snagged it and hung on for all she's worth. He points out he is NOT holding her up in this photo. She is fully hanging from the vine.

My life often resembles a zoo.....

Stop laughing!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Good Travels to Mr. Bear

Yesterday was a sad day in Mudville. We had to wish a special new friend Godspeed as he continues on his journey.

Nathan's teacher found a friend, Mr. Ted E. Bear, at the store. He's a very social bear and he doesn't really like to hibernate. He would rather meet new people and have adventures and fun with them. She thought she could help him out, so she bought him and is sending him on a journey. Mr. Bear gets to spend 2-3 days at each child's home. He has a journal that the children write in to tell of their activities with Ted. There's also a scrapbook where you can add some photos of the things you do together.

We got Ted on Thursday night. Friday, Nathan and Ted had great fun jumping on the trampoline. Saturday found Ted observing Nathan at his swimming lesson and then we took a family trip to the zoo. Mr. Bear has never seen so many different animals. He was a little shy about meeting the milk snake, but together, Nathan and Ted managed to pose for a quick photo in front of the snake. We all laughed so hard when Ted decided to climb on the octopus statue outside of the aquarium. It looked like the octopus was going to take him away. Ted thought the best part was when we measured him (and Nathan) by the sample penguins. We do this with the kids each year to see how they have grown. We sent those photos along so somebody else can help track Ted's growth.

Sunday found me heading to church to sing while Sean stayed home with the kids. Andrew wasn't feeling well so Nathan and Ted had a PJ day. They played on the computer, watched TV and had so much fun hanging out. Monday came and Nathan knew Ted had to go to the next house on Tuesday. Monday night they snuggled a lot and Ted was the primary stuffy to sleep with Nathan. Yesterday morning, Nathan put one last entry in the journal. A sad faced Nathan saying, "Bye" to Ted driving off in a car. Nathan got up extra early yesterday and spent time cuddling (and crying) with Ted before he had to leave. We talked about how we have all our photos to remember Mr. Bear and how other children want to play with him, too. He seemed to be ok by the time he went to school.

Nathan is ever hopeful (as are 21 other children in his room) that at the end of the year he will be the one to get Ted forever. At the end of the year, their teacher will draw one name to take Mr. Bear home to keep. She will keep his journal and scrapbook. What a wonderful memory for everyone in the class. Reading the journal written in 'kindergarten speak' is priceless.

Here are the scans of our scrapbook pages. Also a few other pictures with Mr. Bear. (Click on them to open in a MUCH larger format.)

Monday, February 25, 2008

I've Been Tagged

My dear MOPS friend Sherilyn (who is now a neighbor in my new neighborhood) has Blog Tagged me. Who knew this even existed? Now that I'm an aware (and tagged) blogger, I figure I should set out to answer the challenge.

I thought everyone should have a picture of me to see while they read this---but the last photo I can find of myself (that is easy to see me in) was taken by me on Christmas Day. Isn't that the way it is for a scrapbooking mom? I have hundreds of photos of everyone else and zippo of me.

1. What is the one BIG goal you hope to accomplish this week?
***Really work on organizing my photos in my Creative Memories Photo Manager. I just learned a bunch of new information on Friday and I want to make the software work for me.
2. What is the one household chore you do NOT like to do?
***It's always been toilets, but now that I join my MOPS Mentor Alison in "Toilet Monday" I don't dread them as much. Now it's dusting--which is such a waste of time since it just gets dusty again!
3. What would you buy if someone gave you $2,000.00? (all debts and bills paid)
***First, I'd tithe. Then, I'd resize my wedding ring, purchase a laptop computer for myself and I would take Sean & myself out on a nice date at a place with REAL silverware and a server (not pick up your own food wrapped in paper and eat with plastic utensils).
4. Describe yourself using one word.
***Encouraging. (Anybody else know how hard this 'one word' stuff is for long-winded me?)
5. What is the one saying or theme that you live by?
***"Success is a journey, not a destination." and "One hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove. BUT, the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child." excerpt from Within My Power by
Forest Witcraft.
6. What is one household item you can’t live without?
***My computer. (I wanted to pick dishwasher, but Sean reminded me I'd take dishpan hands as long as nobody holds my precious computer hostage. He's right--as usual.)
7. If you had one chance to go any where in the world where would you go?
***New Zealand--hopefully with a stopover in Australia.
8. List the one person you admire the most.
***Again--ONE???? What's with you Blog Tag people?? Ummm---all my friends who have been great examples of faith and have shown me how to live out Lifestyle Evangelism.
9. What is one thing people may not know about you?
***Someday I'd like to be back onstage in a local theatrical production. And, I plan to rock-a-bye with preemies as a volunteer at Children's Hospital when all three kids are in school all day.

Now I’m tagging
Cheryl and Holly. Looking forward reading what they have to say.

Everyone else, I want to know what you say as well---post your answers in my comments section so I can learn about you.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Long Lost Son

A few people have asked about my two children. Hmmm---think I've blogged the youngest two a little too often the past two weeks. Andrew is still here and he's fine. We just had a glut of Nathan material with birthday parties, star of the week, cub of the week, etc., etc., etc. Plus the baby just gets more pictures taken of her since she's with me all day long. We like to make sure her every move is documented.

Part of my problem is Andrew is getting to that age where he doesn't really want his every move captured on film. I have a hard time getting candids of him and he doesn't often volunteer to pose for photos. Here's a candid of him trying to hide in the booth at Nathan's Birthday Dinner. He's telling us to 'peace out'.

I thought I'd update everyone on Andrew. He's loving school, but would prefer school to be one large computer videogame (preferably that looks and acts like Disney's Toontown online). He is holding an almost straight A average and this year he is really being challenged by his teacher, his gifted teacher and his work. Since we're off to middle school next year, I think it's good that he actually has homework most days. (He really never had homework before--he'd get it done in class.)

He will be participating in the "Read to Succeed" competition in early April. There is a team of four students and they have a list of 19 books to read. They work as a team to 'buzz' in first with the answer to content questions. It's a competition open to 4-6th grade students only, so he's reading harder books to participate. The goal is for each child to read 10 of the books with each book being read by two teammates. This way, every book has two kids with content knowledge. He's been working since fall and is on book #8. I'm thrilled that he has had the opportunity to read a lot of great literature since most of these are award winning books. He's been forced to read authors and genres of literature that he would have never picked out on his own. The best part--he likes some of them. He's struggled through a couple books he didn't like, but I insisted he finish. I distinctly remember being forced to read "The Scarlet Letter" in high school. To this day, I find it to be one of the dumbest books ever written that we pass off as classical literature. (If interested, ask me sometime what I really think!)

All in all, Andrew is here, he's having a great time and this week he has more activities coming that will be photographed and blogged.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Global Warming Proof

I got the following information and thought you should see it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The New Dreadlock Hat

Rebekah has created a new hat for herself. These are the pants she was supposed to wear to MOPS today. However, she threw up again in the night last night. Just twice in rapid succession and never again. There's no fever---nothing. Can't figure out if it might be drainage or not. Please continue to pray for her healing!

Anyway, she found the pants she was to wear today and put them on her head. With the stripes, it reminds me of those Rasta Dreadlock Hats. I was laughing so hard when I saw this. She started to take the pants off her head and I said, "Should I take your picture first?" She ran off. We thought this meant no until we realized she ran into the hall and pasted herself to the wall. The official 'photo spot' upstairs.

Being a good scrapbooking mom, I grabbed the camera and shot as many as I could get. What fun!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

No Snow, No Sleet, No School

Well, after our Snow Day in the early winter and our Sleet Day (which didn't end up beeing very icy after all), we can add to the list a day of "it's too cold to have school". While I admit I was secretly happy for a day off (even though we had 1/2 day Friday and no school Monday or Tuesday), I really do love Snow Days. I think I like them better without the snow. However, I could do without the cold. Man it was frigid!!!!

I did still have to get my teeth cleaned at the dentist today. Luckily for me, there was a cancellation and I was able to get both boys in as well so we don't have to miss more school later this week for them. The low overnight was -8 and by 9:00am, it was still only a -7 temperature without factoring in wind chill. The wind chill at 8:00am was -28. Can you say Brrrrr?!?!? I think we made it up to double digits eventually. Eleven degreees. Wow. How warm (haha).

Good thing we have that handy dandy new mini-trampoline for the kids to jump on. (Even Andrew, who is too big to jump on it, has found creative uses for the mini-tramp. Did you know the remote controlled Jeep flies really well off of the mini-tramp?)

Poor Rebekah was up from about 3:30am until 7:00am throwing up, then dry-heaving every half hour, on the half hour. It was nice to have our schedule put on hold so we could all rest. Once she got up this morning, she seemed right as rain. She was miffed that we wouldn't feed her yogurt since crackers aren't the diet of hungry toddlers. We relented and gave her juice when she was able to keep the crackers down. She drank her weeks allotment of juice in a single day. She was off and running all afternoon with the boys. She started pointing to her left ear and telling Andrew "owie" today. I'm keeping close tabs on this development. Please pray for complete healing in her little body. I'm believing for one child who doesn't need tubes. I think the four sets we purchased for the boys is enough college tuition for our ENT's children.

A few cute pics from the other day. I've been working with Rebekah to put 'pretty' things in her hair. She actually left her pretty in all morning at church on Sunday. Monday I worked with her for a while and she did leave them in for almost an hour. Here's a few photos of the pretty in her hair and then her and Nathan having a grand time in her big bed (used by mommy & daddy to get her to sleep in her crib).

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Subscribe for Email Updates

Would you like to have any updates to my Blog (including the photos) emailed directly to your inbox?? If so, click the new link on the left side of the page. You fill in your email address and click a link in the confirmation email, then away you'll go.

It automatically sends you the post every day that I update the Blog. A few of you had asked about this when I first started to Blog, but couldn't get that service then.

Thanks to my author-friend, Cheryl St. John, for letting me know it's now available. (See her blog by clicking here ).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Some Assembly Required

Some assembly required. They ought to outlaw those words on ANY box. We should go with truth in advertising. Something like, "When putting this together, you will use words that make sailors blush. Please don't assemble this child's toy in the vicinity of any children." Wouldn't that make more sense??

Why my rant? Well, local store has big sale going on right now for Webkinz---oh yeah, we're back to the Flying W again in the blog---so my boys find it necessary to spend their Valentine's day gift (money) on new Webkinz. Like the animal farm we had wasn't enough!?!

So Nathan got a German Shepherd (named him Safety) and Andrew got a Grey Cat (named him Kat). During the big spending spree, Nathan spent most of the time jumping on a mini-trampoline. It's got a handle to hold while you jump. He has spent all his time jumping on that thing for about the last year. Every visit finds him jumping away. Of course, at home, you can find him jumping almost 24/7.

Sean discovers the expensive mini-tramp is on sale for 40% off. Still expensive, but a little more reasonable. After discussion into the night on the pros/cons, we decided to use some of Nathan & Rebekah's Christmas money to purchase the mini-trampoline. I went today to look it over and make the final decision. Decided to purchase the thing. Brought it home and decided to get it out for Nathan and Rebekah to jump on. It's a fold up thing, so just unfold and go--right?? WRONG! That's when I spot the dreaded words, "Some assembly required." UGH! I did get pretty far until the step where you hold the bungee cord for your partner to tie so the whole thing doesn't come apart. Hmmm---while I can multi-task, I haven't achieved the status of Octopus just yet. So I set the project aside and waited for Daddy to get home.

Nathan helped put the finishing touches on for us and here's the pictures of Nathan and Rebekah jumping away. We're hoping this is an outlet for our Jumping Bean (Nathan) to use instead of constantly sounding like an elephant crashing through the ceiling of our home.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cub of the Week

What an exciting week we've had!!! Birthdays, Star of the Week, Cub of the Month---and on Friday, we found out we have ANOTHER Cub of the Week. Nathan was named Cub of the Week for Citizenship. It's the character pillar focus for this month. It's a purple dog tag.

We had a few tears Friday afternoon when it was announced (believe it or not). He was upset because his first Cub of the Month necklace/dog tag were missing. We lost them about three weeks ago and haven't found them anywhere. Since he's been Cub of the Week before, they are supposed to give him the tag and no chain. He can purchase a replacement chain for $0.50. I thought he was crying and telling me he needed a chain. I'm digging out money and promising him we'll wait until the teacher in charge is done with crossing guard duty. Then I will buy a new chain before we leave the school grounds. Lo and behold, I look in his backpack and there IS a chain attached to his tag. His distress is that they wouldn't give him a replacement red tag (for Kindness). Ah Ha!!!

I promise we'll keep looking at home to find that missing tag. We've looked everywhere and it was just nowhere to be found. In what I can only call a Holy Spirit moment, he said, "Daddy will have to help us lift the couch to get my necklace out from under it." I'm thinking, Daddy already lifted the couch for me in my hunt. I've checked under the couch repeatedly and it's just not there. So we agree to look when Dad gets home.

Can you believe it, the kid digs around with his little hands under the couch and finds the missing necklace. Priase the Lord!! I know God had a hand in this because I promise--it WAS NOT UNDER THE COUCH!

So we now have our red tag reunited with our purple tag. We also added our Tree Frog Webkinz charm so it's loads of fun. Here's a picture of Nathan with his necklace and a close up so you can see his TWO Cub of the Week tags plus the coveted Webkinz charm.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Star of the Week

Nathan was the "Star of the Week" in his kindergarten classroom. The "Star" gets to bring pictures, write out information sheets and bring a couple special items from home. Then the parent gets to come for opening and tell about the child. The other kids share what makes the "Star" special. Some of the comments for Nathan were:

*He's kind
*He has a beautiful smile
*He's my best friend and we were best friends at preschool (Meg)
*He has a fantastic sense of humor (his student teacher)
*He's nice to everyone

What a great time for me as a parent to hear what other children think about my precious Nathan.

I couldn't believe how 'grown up' he is after just a few short months of school. He wasn't scared and holding back like the beginning of school. He was confident and self-assured. He spoke clearly and loud enough for all to hear. I admit that there were times I thought I might never see that day.

For his photos, we sent our Christmas picture of the three kids in front of the new house, our family Christmas photo, a picture of Nathan at birth and one of him taken in December. For his special things from home, he took an 8x10 of our family with Mark Shultz (we'll get that autographed next month at our VIP Meet & Greet after the concert), his Disney autograph scrapbook and his new Firefighter puppet.

I took these pictures on his birthday (with the green crown). The last one is posing as a rock star.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cub of the Month Photos

Since I had to be at school this week for Valentine's parties, Star of the Week (more to come there) and Birthday Lunch, I did get a chance to get a picture of the Cub of the Month wall. Here's a picture of the two Cubs of the Month in Andrew's class. We're very proud of Andrew for receiving this honor.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Here's our little cupid wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day. She was snuggling in her 'big girl bed' (trust me--it's for mom & dad to use at night to try to get her to sleep in her own crib) with Nathan. He hopped up to do something else and she nestled in. I had the camera handy and captured our Cupid. Who can resist that cute face?

Hope you all have a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More Birthday Bonanza

Well, somebody got to go to dinner for his birthday. We went to Chili's and had a great time. Afterwards, we came home to open birthday gifts. "The talk" about thankfulness for gifts has firmly stuck in his brain. He's grateful for everything from the gift to the envelope the card came in. He did get some cool cards--one even plays "I want to Rock N Roll"--oh yeah, great cards.

Then came the clothes. We got lots of clothes. That's great, we can use all of them. The funny part was that every piece of clothing had to be arranged on his lap (for pants) or on his chest (for shirts) and we had to take a photo. So I will attempt to document every outfit the child received this birthday season.

Even better--he got not one but TWO more Webkinz. The boy now has 6 (yes, I meant to type SIX) Webkinz. One for every year of his life. However, he's already planning for more. To the left is Black D (for Black Dog) our new Black Lab.

Once they were all adopted, he got everyone in their swimsuits (is it scary that he already had 6 swimsuits when he originally had two webkinz?) and had all six playing together in his pool area. He has a pool and a hot tub while the rest were playing games at the picnic tables. Anyone with Webkinz, let us know your name and we'll make you our friends. Then you can come visit Nathan in his Webkinz Mansion. He has 31 rooms (frugal Andrew has 7) for his pets and plenty of bedrooms for all his friends to have a sleepover.

I'm working to get a picture of Nathan with all six Webkinz so you can see his new family. However, it's hard to get that many animals to behave at one time. (haha)

Here's a picture of our new Bullfrog. His name is Bull J (for Bullfrog Jump). The other frogs are Jump and Jumpy. Hope that helps you understand the frog naming routine.
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