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Friday, February 26, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words. Or at least the opinion of one hundred kindergartners.

Every Wednesday I head over to the elementary school and volunteer with the Kindergarten Enrichment Program.  There isn't enough money in the school budget for our kindergartners to receive any official Enrichment classes such Music, Spanish, PE, Art, and Science.  So to make up for this every year the PTO recruits parents to fill the void and teach the classes.

I did this last year when Peter was in kindergarten and I'm doing it again this year with Sarah.  It is a big time commitment but my kids love the fact that I help out and it is a great way to get to know all of the kids that my kids will be going through school with.

I help my neighbor Lisa teach Spanish.  She and I both took French in high school but luckily that doesn't matter.  And right now thanks to Kindergarten Enrichment, I probably know more Spanish than French.   

After the Enrichment program is over most of the parents stay to have lunch with their kids.  And Lisa and I usually jokingly ask our daughters which Enrichment class they enjoyed the most because we know they don't like Spanish.

Sarah always responds with PE and Lily always responds with Music.  Oh, well.  I guess I don't blame them.  We try to make Spanish fun but there's only so much you can do with the names of the parts of the body or with the animal names.

Sarah came home yesterday with this drawing in her backpack.
Her teacher had asked each student to write  their favorite Enrichment class and then illustrate it.  Sarah wrote "I like Sanesh".  Translation: I like Spanish.

How sweet!

She proudly described the different elements of her picture.  Lisa is the woman with the black curly hair standing in the center of the drawing.  I am the purple figure sitting in a chair.   (Which is my normal spot.)  The numbers on the other side of the drawing represent the class singing the Spanish number song.  Uno, dos, get the idea.

I told her I loved the drawing and then I asked her if anyone else drew Spanish.  She shook her head and said, "No.  I was the only one."  Figures.

And as she walked away I examined the drawing a little more closely.  The red and purple circle is the rug the students sit on during Spanish.  And if you will note, the three students sitting on the rug all have big frowns on their faces.

I guess it's true what they say....

Una imagen vale mil palabras.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I did it! It took me waaaaaay more than 90 days but I did it!*

Back in June, I made a confession

And I am now pleased to announce that I have finally finished reading the Bible. 

My original plan was to read it in 90 days as the publishers of this particular Bible had intended.  But I quickly determined that I would read it in 112 days because I would not be reading it on the weekends.  (Slacker?  Hi, that's me.)

And I was doing pretty good with my reading until we took our vacation.  Sleeping in and not rising early to read my 12 pages caused me to get further behind.

No worries I thought to myself.  I'll have plenty of time to get back on track once the kids get back to school.

But the kids got back to school and I started working two mornings a week and volunteering one morning a week and I thought I would never finish.

But I made it!  This morning I finished Revelation and let me tell you - it makes me want to be a better Christian now more than ever.  Because ya'll there's going to be judgment.  Lots of judgment and I'm not sure how I'll fare.  I mean I can't even read the Bible in 90 days.  What other areas am I failing miserably in?

So my next step is to re-read the Bible.  I want to try to understand better what  I'm reading.  Right now I'm in the process of trying to find a good study Bible.  Does anyone have any favorites? 

I'm also contemplating reading a chronological Bible - one that arranges the Bible in the order of the events as they actually occurred.   Has anyone ever read the Bible this way?

Any thoughts, advice or opinions would be appreciated.

*And by the way, if you don't count weekends, it took me 198 days to finish reading the Bible. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I probably should have just gotten a treadmill.

It was 58 degrees here yesterday.  That's slightly above the average normal February temperatures and way above what we've been having this winter.  And although it was cloudy, it wasn't raining or snowing, so I had no excuse.

I got home from work and even though I wanted to relax (chasing after 12 preschoolers can be very hard work and why, oh why, did I ever think I would enjoy it?) I put on my brand new New Balance running shoes and I went for a run. Because it's going to be May 1st before I know it and I'm going to be running a 5k.  And I actually want to be able to run it.

I ran a mile and a half before stopping.  It was a slow mile and a half but at least I was running.  I felt pretty good about it. 

My legs weren't killing me this morning so I thought that perhaps after I got home from volunteering with the kindergartners, I would try it again.  But low and behold it was snowing and raining when I walked outside of the school.  So, no running outside for me today. 

With all of this cold, wet, snowy, windy weather we've been having, I'm never going to be ready for this 5k.

Hmmm...I wonder how many laps around my kitchen I would need to do to get to 3.2 miles? 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Red Racer

This Saturday, Peter participated in his very first Pinewood Derby.

We were all very excited.  He and his dad spent several weeks getting the car ready.

Daddy came up with the design (or more accurately, found a design he liked on the internet and downloaded it) and did the sawing but Peter helped with the painting, adding the weights and measuring the car. 

I think Dan probably had more fun than Peter and I'm assuming that's because when Dan built his Pinewood Derby car as a little boy, his father probably had more fun than he did.  I think it's a tradition all across the country - the Boy Scout doesn't really get to make his own Pinewood Derby car until he has a son.

The Tiger Cubs had 14 members participating and each Cub got to race in 4 timed heats.  Then the computer scoring system determined who had the fastest times in all of the heats and determined the standings.

Peter won 3 out of 4 of his heats and placed 4th overall.  Unfortunately 4th place didn't get a medal or a trophy...only a ribbon...which everyone got for participating.  He was disappointed but didn't cry like he did at the Rain Gutter Regatta.

Even though he didn't cry, there was a lot of sulking and muttering and ground kicking.  So I asked him if he had fun racing the car.  He said yes.

I asked him if he enjoyed building the car with Daddy.  He said yes.

I told him I was proud of him for congratulating Colton (his BFF who did win a medal) without me having to tell him to do so.  He said he was glad he did that too.

Then I told him he was a winner anyway.

"But I don't feel like a winner Mommy," was his response.

But you are kiddo.  You are.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The 100th day.

The kids just celebrated the 100th day of the school year. They were very excited to have made it to this milestone in the school year and have been talking about it for weeks.

They celebrated with different activities such as counting to 100, eating snacks shaped like 100 and putting 100 stickers on a piece of paper.

Each grade celebrated differently but one thing both Peter and Sarah came home with was a drawing of what they thought they would look like when they were 100 years old.

I'm not sure what concerns me the most:

The fact that Peter thinks he will be in a wheel chair being harassed by local teen thugs when he's 100 (Please note one of the thugs is yelling, "Out of my way!" and the more apologetic one is saying, "Our bad.")

Or the fact that when she's 100, Sarah thinks she will be an African American with a cane and gold gloves. (Note the matching gold party hat.  I guess anyone who makes it to 100 deserves a gold party hat!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Simple and tasty and oh, so chocolatey!

It was my intention to take these to my chuch's bake sale this weekend.  But as I was making them I realized that they should probably be kept refridgerated due to the fact they contained cream cheese. 

I didn't want to poison anyone so I did what any right-minded baker would do -  I kept them for myself  and gave the bake sale coordinator a monetary donation.

I consider it a win-win-win.  No one got sick, the bake sale still made money and I have been munching on these delicious little treats all weekend.



Easy Oreo Truffles
1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate
Sandwich Cookies, divided
1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA
Cream Cheese, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER'S Semi
-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
1. Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.     

 (As with most of my recipes, this one came from

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A quick update...

Sarah's MRSA spots are almost gone.  That ointment the doctor prescribed was just what the doctor ordered.

And I am on the mend from the Shingles.  Almost all of the rash is gone.  Almost all of the pain is gone.  Almost all of my energy has returned.

And I am grumpy and bossy.  So things are back to normal around here.

Oh.  And Sarah insists on wearing the bandage on her "injured" ankle every day.  Every. Single. Day.

It's too bad it's not pink.  It would make a darling accessory.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

You always get what you pay for!

It all started last Friday after I worked out.  (And when I say "worked out", I really mean "did a 12 minute Jackie Warner video".  I love her!  She has replaced Jillian for me at the moment.)

I noticed a pain in my back.  It felt like I had pulled my left oblique.  I took some Advil Cold and Sinus because in addition to the pulled muscle I also had a head cold.

I felt horrible all weekend but just chalked it up to the head cold and my back pain.  I even took a nap on Sunday.  And the last time I took a nap, I had strep throat. 

On Monday morning as I was getting into the shower, I noticed I had broken out in hives from the center of my stomach all the way around to the center of my back on the left side of my body.  I took some Benadryl and didn't think twice about it.  The Benadryl had zero effect so I figured it wasn't the hives. 

I paid several visits to Dr. Google and came up with lots of things and decided it was just the hives.

Meanwhile, for the last week or so Sarah has had three tiny red pimples on her chest.  Mom thought they were chicken pox but she's had the vaccine and to me they just looked more like pimples than pox.  Again, I wasn't worried although as one of the pimples got bigger and formed a whitehead, I must admit I was frantically Googling "chicken pox in children that have had the vaccine".

On Tuesday we were playing at Jennifer's in an attempt to fill our second snow day and Sarah fell down a couple of stairs.  She spent the rest of the day moaning and whining on the couch but her ankle wasn't swollen.  It wasn't even red. 

Sarah can be a bit of a drama queen so I endured the ear piecing, mind-numbing whining and told her it would feel better in the morning.

I knew I was in for a long day when she came hobbling down the steps on Wednesday morning.  Wednesday was yet another snow day.  (Any amount of snow in North Carolina brings a minimum of two days of cancelled school. 5 inches of snow and several days of below freezing weather brings 3 days of no school followed by at least one day with a two hour delayed start.)

Since I was hoping the kids would be back in school on Thursday (today) and I knew Sarah would love nothing more than to miss school because of her "ankle pain", I decided to nip this ankle issue in the bud. 

I knew the ankle was fine but Sarah wanted crutches - pink crutches.  I knew the only way we would both be happy was to visit the doctor and see what he had to say.

So I called our family doctor yesterday morning right at opening time and got a 9:20 appointment.  Sarah hobbled in and our dear doctor looked at the ankle and determined that it was a little tender but was probably o.k.  Of course the only way to know for sure would be to take her for an X-Ray.

I decided that would not be necessary so he wrapped her ankle.  And even though the wrapping tape was not pink, she was in hog heaven.  All a drama queen really needs is a little extra attention.

"While we are here would you take a look at these three pimples?" I casually asked.

He lifted her shirt and immediately declared, "That's MRSA!"

MRSA?  Crap!  Dr. Google did not even mention MRSA!  So our real life doctor prescribed some ointment.

"Before we leave would you take a look at my hives?" I casually asked.

He lifted my shirt  and declared, "That's SHINGLES!"

So we went in for a fake broken ankle and came out with MRSA and SHINGLES. 

I love Dr. Google but he failed me miserably this time. Sometimes it's worth the $20 co-pay.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I like to sep weu myu bear.

When I was in kindergarten we took naps. Lots of naps. That's really all I remember.  I don't remember actually doing any work until first grade.

But things have changed.  There are no more naps in kindergarten (at least not at our elementary school) and there is a lot of work.

I love it when Sarah brings home things she has written.

The kids are encouraged to write about a topic, in the case below the teddy bears they brought to school to use in their discussions about hibernation.  They are encouraged to sound out the word and write as much of it as they can.

At the beginning of the year they were to try to write the first and last sound in the word, but now that we are half way through the school year, they are supposed to try to add the middle sounds as well.

I love watching this whole process unfold as the work that Sarah brings home continues to improve.

And in case you aren't good and figuring out how kindergartners sound things out, here is the translation:

I like to sleep with my bear and he falls out of the bed And he likes to play with me.

(The drawing is her bookshelf, the bed, Sarah, the bear and her dresser.)

It cracks me up that she spelled with "weu" both times. Hey, at least she's consistent!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A sledding we will go!

The weather-guessers (as my husband likes to call all meteorologists) got it right this time.

The snow began to fall Friday evening and did not stop.  We woke up Saturday morning to a cold gray day with about 5 inches of snow covering everything.

"Can we go sledding?  Can we make snow cream?  Can we play outside?"  were the excited questions we were greeted with before breakfast.

We convinced the kids that Mommy and Daddy needed coffee before we were going to do anything.  We knew that we were going to have all weekend to play in the snow so we were in no hurry to head outdoors.

Around 11:00 the kids could wait no longer so we bundled everyone up and grabbed the sled.  As soon as we set foot outside I knew we wouldn't be out long.  The wind was whipping, sleet was falling and it was cold.

We went to the hill behind my Dad's shop (Grandpa's Hill as it has now been dubbed) and started sledding.  The kids lasted less than ten minutes before they declared they had had enough and were ready to go inside.  And wouldn't you know, ten minutes was exactly how long it took me to get everyone ready to go outside in the first place.

But I couldn't really blame the kids.  It was cold and windy and it was sleeting. So we tried it again Sunday afternoon.  The sun was shining, there was no wind and it actually felt warm.  We lasted about an hour and a half. This was a much better "time spent getting ready to go outside to time actually spent playing outside" ratio. And as a mom this ratio is very important.

We all had fun sledding and sliding and throwing snowballs. Unfortunately I only captured the first day of sledding on film.  My camera battery died and I didn't recharge it. But just look at the gray dark photos below and pretend it is sunny and the snow is glistening and you will have day two.