Thursday, December 31, 2015

Merry Christmas

What a nice Christmas break we've had!  Two full weeks off of school! The weather could be bad (but it's not- we've needed just a jacket all month), I could have been required to fold twice as much laundry (seriously, how four people make so much laundry I don't know),  we could be housebound without things to do (thankfully not though) and it would still be a nice break.  Two full weeks is a wonderful treat. 

We even had a few days off of school before Christmas which was such a delightful treat.  Errands were done.  We were reseted.  I didn't feel rushed when Christmas came.  I didn't even have any papers left to grade.  I'm pretty famous for grading on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Years Eve and my birthday and well... really, every day.  

We used some passes from a student to visit our local Children's Museum.  We hadn't been in at least a year but I had passes with an expiration date.  

I had thought the museum was now too young for them, but they had the best time they have ever had.  Our school was out two days before the public school and we took advantage of that- there might have been 12 kids in the whole place.  We took friends and made a day of it.  The trampoline place in town, a restaurant with a pizza buffet (I'll pass next time), and the children's museum- kid fun day/mom exhaustion day!   

Bee spent a few days at my sister's farm for some girl time and really enjoyed herself.  She sent me this photo on the first evening there. I had a book on tape from the library and didn't mind the hours in the car to take her and pick her up.  I learned a lot about the Oregon Trail- want to talk about it?  It was fascinating book and I can't find many (anyone?) who wants to hear about it! I've always loves that period in history.  

Bee was glad to be back and we were glad to have her home.  Tippy sure seemed to miss her. 

We spent Christmas Eve with hubby's parents.  We opened presents early so we have time to play, then ate and went to the evening service at church. 

 Lou received a punching bag.  It hangs in my basement laundry room.  It scares me every time I walk in there.  It sort of looks like a bad guy hiding in there to get me while I fold laundry.  And you know I'm folding more laundry than is humanly possible. Sometimes I bump into it with my back while I reach in one of the machines.  It startles me and I'm pretty sure I'm being attacked.  

 Christmas morning we do our own thing, just the four of us.  I make white chocolate chip scones and the kids sleep in.  We open presents and hang out.  Hubby hurriedly picks up the wrapping paper trash.  Bee puts her new items in their new places right away and Lou leaves his out scattered around the house until I threaten to throw them all in the trash.  

Lou wanted a music player.  

It was too warm to wear our fleece Christmas pajamas.  I won't complain! 

Bee wanted an instant camera.  It' like 1974 at our house!  There was a long discussion about how much each photo she takes actually cost (that film is pricey!) but she didn't seem to get it (multiple photos of the cat, a picture of her alarm clock, etc) until I mentioned that when she was out of film, she was out of film.  She had what she'd received for Christmas and then she'd be buying the next rolls of film. There were practically tears as she realized- she's now a choosier photographer. 

The last few years we've spent Christmas evening with neighbors. 

Which meant, Lou was one lucky boy, spending Christmas day with his teacher! 

Neither seemed to mind. 

It was the Michigan's family turn to host sibling Christmas.  To my brother's we went.  I didn't mind the long drive, I had a captive hubby to discuss the Oregon Trail with!  

We had planned on snow skiing, but they had as much snow as us- none!  Bee received enough film to last until Valentines Day, which she's hoping she'll get as a valentine.  

We visited their children's museum, ate pizza with apples and granola on top, played lots of board games, drank more Izzy soda than a person should, built pop can robots, 

read stories from Spanish children's books, 

                                                       and went iceskating. 

(Bee and my sister are in the middle of the picture, her hubby is behind them.)

(Lou and my new brother in law are in this picture.)

We returned home with days to spare.  Did I mention two full weeks is delightful?  When everyone in your house spends their days at school- it's a big deal!  The Christmas decor is down, the house is tidy and back to normal,  report cards were completed, errands have been done, we are rested and ready for second semester. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

So, it's been awhile

Yeah, so, it's been awhile.  I caught some flack for my lack of blogging from family while visiting for Thanksgiving.  So, here's the catch up... since July. 

Hubby's side of the family had a reunion.  

There's a bunch of them.

Here are hubby's parents with us.  July. 

Bee had her room redone again for her birthday.  The walls are grey.  She wanted teal chevrons, so this was the bedspread she chose.  It's a great birthday gift really, everybody just goes in on the pieces she wants- which is great since she doesn't want toys anymore and accidentally has more clothes than she needs.  Hubby cut her loft bed down to make a headboard.  My dad built here the yellow cubby shelf (like our shoe cubby) and we painted it to match.  She's totally proud of her room and keeps it pretty clean now.  It might be the nicest room in the house.  July. 

School started.  Bee's in fifth and Lou and I are in third.  He's right next door to me!  Hubby is in the office.  

We love our school and are so happy that we all are in the same building this year.  Next year Bee will be off to our middle school.  Gulp. 

They're not to big for the first day of school paper cones though!   (Feeling nestalogic?  First day of school Bee 2009, Bee 2010Lou 2011, Bee 20112012, 2013, 2014)

I have a sweet class again this year.  I forget how different third graders at the beginning of the year are from where we left the previous class at the end of the year.   This year I'm serving as the 3rd grade team leader and mentoring two newbies, so it's busy and fun. Mostly it's so busy you assume you must be having fun.  August.

Lou's soccer team did pretty well this year.  We played with a few of our same buddies because the dads all agree to coach together.  Working the system I guess. 

Hubby coached again.  It's always a fun time at the fields.  

Team Crew.  September.

My sweet little neighborhood bible study celebrated our third year together. Love these ladies!  Im still dressed from school.  Lou's third grade teacher is the one next to me with long brown hair.  September. 

We went on our annual camping trip.  There are two additional little ones in the picture this year- the other mama's keep having babies.  The kids outnumber us 11 to 8.  The boys play in the woods and cut thing with their pocket knives, the dads tend the fire and the moms are busy prepping meals and cleaning muddy children.  The two girls (Bee included) go between playing with the babies and cutting things in the woods. Lou is towards the left in a grey shirt.  Bee is in purple holding a friend on her back.  I'm on the far right.  Hubby is holding a baby just right of middle.  We've already booked the cabins for next year. 

There's early trick-or treating- the candy is plentiful, and the decorations are scary.  It was pretty wet this year, but it didn't stop us. 

Lou was Satchel Paige, a baseball player from the 1940's negro baseball league.  He needed the costume for school and he agreed to wear it for Halloween too.  Win for me!

Bee on the other hand wanted to be an Asian lady for this trick or treating and have other costumes for the other events.  We had this at home- a large sale find.  She invited a friend to join us. October. 

The weather was great in October and we spent lots of time outside. 

Lou can finally get up and down in the neighbor's tree by himself this year.  Praise the Lord!  The neighbor's house is empty again so we're able to climb whenever we want again. It's been for sale again for several months, so I assume they'll pull it and get renters again soon.  This has been the yearly thing. 


For Halloween, Bee wanted to be a gumball machine but then wasn't happy with the costume we made.  Last minute, she was an Indian.  We had all the pieces on hand from Peter Pan and other Indian costume play

I decided to be Mary Poppins so that I could wear it to school on Book Character Day.  

Here's Lou in his Book Character/Halloween costume.  He's Satchel Paige. 

We hit a few friends in our neighborhood and then went to a friends neighborhood for some chili and trick or treating. 


In November,  we have a big event at school, Book Character Week.  Here's my sweet third grade team.  On Friday, we dress up and have our Wax Museum. 

Fifth graders do their research project and presentation on a president or first lady.  Bee drew Mary Todd Lincoln.  We made a dress.  

Here she is with her husband, Abe.  This is a little friend that I had in my class when he was in third grade.  I loved him.  I'm saving this for their wedding reception slide show.  Shhh. 

Third grade got to go see the third graders preform their speeches.  Lou and his buddies might have stopped by her booth more than once. 

Mary Todd and Satchel Paige. 

It's so fun to be at school with the kids everyday. 

Here are the staff members who dressed up. There was a last minute contest- the deer not he left won. 

Here's Lou with the board he had to create for his project.  He had to read a fiction book, research the author that wrote it.  Dress as a character from the book and present about the author.  He read Satch & Me by Dan Gutman.  I shared with picture with Dan Gutman via Facebook and he commented that it was great and he hoped Lou got an A!  November.  

That brings us to Thanksgiving.  We had our family games and the trophy went from my brother and his wife to my dad and step mom.  My youngest sister planned the games this year and did a great job.  I have bunches of pictures but haven't gone through them.  They were minute to win it style games with a candy land twist.

We usually spend our time at my Grandma's house but this year she moved into an apartment.  We met her for lunch the next day and visited her new place. We took our group photos there. 

Here's my sister and her new hubby.  You might remember their big day this summer. 

We went out to a buffet and ate more than we should have for the second day in a row.  And the desserts... oh my. 

The kids with my grandma. 

Me and Hubby with Grandma. 

My dad and Grandma.

Grandma and my siblings.   November. 

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