Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Finally Happened...

....I'm going back to work.

I have such bittersweet feelings about it. I'm kind of excited to be working with kids (and adults!) again but kind of sad that I won't be able to spend as much time at the gils' school.

I couldn't pass this opportunity up though. I received a call from a principal out of the blue asking if I was interested in being an Intervention Specialist on her campus. I was speechless. I asked her how she got my name and number and wouldn't you know, my past principal is now the director of testing here in our district. She threw my name out there and it stuck!

I will be working 3 days a week for 5 hours. This principal is willing to work around my schedule with the girls. AMAZING! I have NO RESPONSIBILITIES other than working with the kids. No papers to grade, no planning, no textbooks, nothing. I get to do what I love...working with a small group of students teaching them the things they are lacking.

The kids aren't too sure about it and I'm starting to wonder (fear!) how our mornings will go. But I'm sure we will get into a routine.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Whooooo's Ready for Halloween?

Whew! It's been a rough several weeks. We've had two rounds of strep in the house, and I had to do 3 rounds of antibiotics before I got well! Needless to say, I haven't gotten much done. EXCEPT....I've been cutting out feathers. Lots and lots of feathers. Pink ones at that! I cut out 246 individual fleece feathers to make the girls' halloween costumes.


They turned out ADORABLE!!! And cheap!!! I had everything in my stash except the pink hoodies.

I've got to thank the genius behindg the blog Following Phubbie. She posted the directions on how to make this fantastic costume. To make it easier, I glued the feathers in place and then went back and sewed them on. It went really fast.

The girls love their costumes and have been getting all kinds of "Whooooo's and Awe's"

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bust a Move!

This is what I caught in the van today. I was crying trying to keep from laughing!
video

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coupon Binder Giveaway!

Tiffany at My Litter is giving away a LOADED coupon binder! I so need a new binder. The one I'm using I "borrowed" from the Hubs' office!

Hop on over and see how you can enter to win!

~Have a great day!
Julie

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Vacation Part Two

Monday morning we woke up and planned to head to the Guenther House for breakfast. If you are ever in San Antonio, you MUST go there for breakfast. They make the best biscuits & gravy (my favorite!), and their sweet cream pancakes are heavenly. You could smell the sweet cream coming from the pancakes!

But I digress, we got to Vanessa (what the girls named our van. LOL!)and our mouths were salivating with the thoughts of the delicous breakfast to come. Vanessa had other thoughts. She wouldn't start. We were stuck in the parking lot of our hotel. We were crushed!

Lucky for us, a very kind Army Ranger was sitting in a rental next to us. He noticed our distress and offered to help us out. David, always a Boy Scout, (always prepared!) had jumper-cables in the van. Mr. Army Ranger moved his car around so David could get to the battery and Vanessa coughed to life.

Now our delima was that we didn't know if it was just a bad battery or something worse. David decided that we would start with the battery. We located the nearest Walmart and had them replace the battery. Unfortunately, the girls were starving. David & I knew that biscuits & gravy were not going to happen today. McDonald's it was. The girls were happy we got to sit in McDonald's while we waited on the van.

I was so bummed after that! But, we had Fiesta Texas to look forward to.

After Vanessa had her battery taken care of, we headed out to Fiesta Texas. The girls were so excited that every time someone said Fiesta Texas, they would yell out "OLE!"

Fiesta Texas was a good trial run for our Disney trip. Let's just say, that because the girls were afraid to ride most everything, even the kiddie stuff, we've pushed our trip back another year.

They did ride their first roller coaster. Dora's something or other. It was a slow, wavy ride. I thought they could handle it. So did they. But when they got off, the both proclaimed that they HATE rollercoasters and were ready to go home.



Poor David was so disappointed. He had wanted them to have a wonderful time.

Things finally started looking up after the train ride and watching a Loony Toons show. They were actually having fun!


But, being the bad mom I am, I made them ride the White Water Canyon ride. I thought they would enjoy getting splashed. WRONG yet again! They hated it. Katie kept her head covered the entire ride and Madeleine cried "Get me off!" or "I want off RIGHT NOW!" the whole time. I felt so bad, but I must admit, that it was kind of funny watching them. Does that make me a horrible mother?!

A little while later, after we had gotten off, I asked Madeleine "Was that ride so bad?" You won't believe the answer I got. She said "No I guess not, I might ride it again!"

The day ended with deli delivery to our room and more swimming. I must say, the girls have become regular little fish.

I fell into bed exhausted!

Next up, day 3.

Summer Vacation Part One

Things finally slowed down enough for David at work so we planned a short little trip to San Antonio. We got an awesome room at the Marriot Plaza. It was right across the street from Hemisphere Park and walking distance to the Riverwalk.

Day one consisted of a 4 hour drive. Thankfully, I had gotten some movies for the girls so they were quite content the entire time. While they were entranced in a Barbie mermaid movie, I read a book aloud to David. We really enjoy quiet times like this.

Once in San Antonio, we went straight to Brackenridge Park and enjoyed a picnic in the shade of the Sunken Gardens.

After lunch, we walked over to the San Antonio Zoo. Let me tell you, there is a LOT of walking to be done at the zoo. Most of it was done in 102 degree heat! We drank gallons of water and made several trips into the air conditioned exhibits. Despite the searing heat and high humidity we had a blast! We spent 6 hours there. The time went by so fast. Before we knew it, it was time to check into our hotel and get dinner.


Once we had washed the zoo off of us, we headed to The Magic Time Machine for dinner. We thought this would be a fun place for the girls. WRONG!!! We were seated in the Christmas room and our waiter was Ace Ventura. Of course, being only 5 & 6, the girls had no clue as to who Ace Ventura was. Katie was freaked out about being in a room decorated like it was Christmas. She kept asking "Why? Why would they do that!" Maddie was afraid of our waiter because he kept making faces and trying to get her to sing "Jingle Bells" with him. Needless to say, dinner was short.

Once back at the hotel, I was expecting to put the girls in bed figuring they were exhausted. (I know I SURE was!) But alas, I was wrong again. They wanted to go swimming. So, we suited up and headed downstairs. David and the girls swam while I soaked in the hot tub. It sure felt good on my tired body!

Maybe I could survive another day!

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Intentional Encourager~Week 3

This weeks challenge is to DATE your husband!

I must admit, we have been very lax in finding time for us. Once the girls came along, it seems like our focus has gone from being a couple to being someone's parent. I'm ashamed to confess that we have put each other second.

The challenges at Seeds of Encouragement Sewn with Grace have really helped me to focus on my marriage and my husband again.

There has been such a positive change in our house, the kids seem happier, and I came home today to a surprise!



I LOVE my husband!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Becoming an Intentional Encourager~ Week 2

This week's challenge at Snapshots from my Heart & Home is all about your relationship with your husband and being a good encourager to him. This is so timely. My husband and I just yesterday had a conversation about how we communicate with each other.

You see, he is an engineer. Very analytical and precise in his thoughts.

Me, I'm creative and sensitive (sometimes overly sensitive!)

I tend to jump right into a conversation before he is done asking a question or finishing a thought. I think I know what he is going to say, but as I reflect on this, I'm answering myself. Not him. He gets so frustrated because he could ask a "yes" or "no" question, and I launch into a narrative.

This week, I am going to keep my mouth shut and let him speak. I will not interrupt, predict what he is going to say, or speak with a harsh tongue.

It all comes down to showing him the respect of LISTENING to what he is saying, not what I THINK he is saying.

Last week's challenge was encouraging my children. I updated last weeks post with the results. Go check it out!

I pray that God will help me be the great wife my husband deserves!

Laundry Monster

Where does he come from?
How does he multiply so fast?
Why can't I tame or defeat him?

I'm talking about the dreaded Laundry Monster!



I work and work and work at defeating him, but within a week, he is oozing out of all of the laundry baskets again. I'm redoubling my efforts this week trying to beat the monster (or at least tame him!), but I'm just about ready to throw in the towel!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Becoming an "Intentional Encourager"

For the next several weeks, I am going to be taking part of a personal growth challenge. Mary Joy at Snapshots from my Heart & Home is challenging us to look beyond our busy lives and to shower God's love and blessings on others.

I SO need this challenge. I am the type of person who focuses on what isn't done, instead of what has been done. Just this morning, Katie came downstairs and announced, "Mommy, I already made my bed!" I am ashamed to admit, that instead of praising her for such a great accomplishment, I asked her if she had picked up the bathroom floor. I am confessing now, that I really want to change this. Mary Joy's post came at the exact moment I needed to see it. God has blessed me so tremendously, and I am not appreciating it.

That is changing today! Anyone else up for the challenge?

This week, we are to focus on Hebrews 10:24 (NIV) "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." I will pray and ponder the Scripture and let God lead me to those who need encouragement, starting with my children.

I am excited to undertake this challenge and record how it has changed me!

UPDATE: Although I got started a little late in the week, the few days that I've really focused on encouraging the girls have made a difference. I've seen the shine back in their eyes (mine too!). They seem more confident and happy.(Me too!) I am going to continue to pray for help in changing my outlook and work towards being an encourager. I look forward to the next challenge.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Such a Bittersweet Moment

Yesterday, looking at Madeleine, it hit me...

She's lost that baby look.

WHEN did that happen?! I didn't see it coming.

She's turned into all legs! She's begun fixing her hair all the time, wanting to put on make-up and getting her nails done. She's not that rolly-polly little bundle of curly hair anymore.

It was such a bittersweet moment to realize that my first born is now a young girl. Not a toddler, or baby, or even preschooler. She's growing into a young lady.

My Madeleine never stops amazing me.

How was I so blessed to have a beautiful, smart, caring and loving little girl?

This prompted me to take a long hard look at little Miss K. My funny bunny. My Katie-bug.

She has grown into a fearless, adventuresome, smart little creature who keeps us all smiling with her funny antics. She's not a baby anymore either.

This hard truth made me so sad and misty-eyed.

Then I was struck by lightening...soon I'm going to be the parent of...dare I say it....preteens!

That strikes fear in my heart.

Have I raised them to be strong enough to resist the dangers the teen years bring?
Have I instilled in them a love and passion for God and living by His word?
Have I taught them to always be themselves and to enjoy the life we've been given?
Have I taught them to face their fears, for once you do, there is nothing left to fear?
Have I told them "I love you" enough? and more importantly, have I SHOWN them that I love them?

Only God knows the end to this story...I pray every night that is has a happy ending.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Birthday

Monday was my birthday. Yup, i'm now 43. I don't feel 43, but I know I must be. I'm having my 25th hight school reunion this year. Can't be...I still feel like i'm 18.

Well, I don't want to be 18 again. That was a icky time in life! Life really got better in my 30's and my 40's are shaping up to be pretty good. I just wish this grey patch in my hair would go away!

We spent the day at Galveston's Moody Gardens. The girls love the aquarium. (I do to, the penguins are my favorites!) Here are a couple of shots from the day.

Can you spot the seahorse?






Miss M having a staredown with a fish




Katie & the Sharks


Blueberry Picking

In early June, we decided to go pick blueberries at a blueberry farm in Conroe. Katie was SO excited, she chattered the whole hour drive there!



We braved the 100 degree humid weather long enough to pick 14 pounds of blueberries. At $1.50 a pound, it was a steal! I think Katie ate more than she put in the bucket.



Madeleine was wiped out after 5 minutes!




All in all, we had a wonderful family day!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Welcome to our summer!

Wow! Our first official week of summer has come and gone in a flash! We started off Saturday at the Sweet & Sassy with Madeleine's Daisy troop. They decided to use the last of their cookie money to treat themselves to makeovers and mani/pedi's. They had so much fun!

Our day started with the girls getting a facial and a haircut.




Then on to pedicures & manicures...



Can we say DIVA's!!!


Monday we found ourselves signing up for a ton of different reading clubs. We signed up for 3 different libraries, Banes & Noble, Borders and Half-priced Books. They got to redeem their passports at B&N and Borders today for free books! They were so excited!

Wednesday the girls started their Ballet & Tap class. They love their new teacher!

Thursday I taught my first class in 6 years! I'm teaching 2 science classes for our local parks & rec. The girls get to come with me and are my "assistants!"

We spent today riding bikes, working in our garden and catching up on household chores.

I though summer was suppose to be relaxing....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kindergarten Awards



So proud of my girl! She has developed into quite the little reader and writer. She asked me if I will help her write a book this summer!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lovely Night

The dark storm clouds rolled in off the gulf with the promise of rain. Madeleine & Katie immediately became filled with dread. After 3 years of living on the gulf, the girls still did not like thunderstorms.

Being born and spending their early years in the dry climate of west Texas sealed their fear of long-lasting, rain-filled thunderstorms.

Giving in to their cries of fear, we let the girls climb into bed with us to watch our favorite laugh inducing family TV program, America's Funniest Videos. With a backdrop of thunder and lightening, we laughed until we cried.

What a wonderful feeling to hear my daughters filled with honest laughter among the loving hugs and kisses as the 4 of us lay in bed snuggling.

These are the memories I will cherish the rest of my days.



Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gotta Brag on the Girl!

My amazing little kindergarten reader has surprised us all.

She brought home an end of the year reading progress report today...

She's reading at an end of 2nd grade beginning of 3rd grade level.

She's going to be a reader just like me. (can you see my head swelling with pride?!)

Mother's Day



Can I just say
I.LOVE.MY.FAMILY!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blessings

I'm sitting here listening to a quiet house and counting my blessings.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband and thoughtful daughters.

I can't put into words how blessed I am.

Happy Mother's Day to all my Mommy friends.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I saw this idea on the Kargentators and decided to make some for Teacher Appreciation.



Sunday, April 18, 2010

Awesome idea!

I came across this awesome idea by Stephanie at Somewhat Simple.



She created a dry erase book with great activities in it.

Brilliant!

I've got a couple of empty scrapbooks laying around and am going to make one for the girls. I can see them playing with them in the car, at appointments, in church....the list is endless. If you don't want to make your own, Stephanie even is letting you download her pages!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Break

Before the sickness fell upon our house, we had an awesome spring break with the girls. We went strawberry picking at Froberg Farms in Alvin, went to Brenham and the Blue Bell Creamery, the Antique Rose Emporium (this one was for me!), several parks and Barrington Living History Farm.


FROBERG FARMS




We took my mom with us to pick strawberries. This was opening week and the plants were still loaded with big, red, juicy berries. The girls picked 14 pounds of strawberries. Once we got them home, I cleaned and chopped all 14 pounds. I then divided them between 2 bowls. The first bowl, I left them chopped. The second bowl I pureed them in the blender with a little splenda. Then for Katie's birthday, we used all the berries for strawberry shortcake. Let's just say, they were YUMMY!


Blue Bell Creamery

The Friday of spring break, David took off work so we could ROAD TRIP! We left the house at 6am...the girls weren't too happy until they found out we were going to an ice cream factory and they got to eat it. We made it in time for the 9:30 tour. If you haven't been there, it's pretty interesting. The best thing is at the end of the tour, they let you choose from about 12 different flavors. You get a huge scoop of ice cream. I had Southern Blackberry Cobbler....mmmmmmm...sorry, I'm salivating!



Antique Rose Emporium

This one was for me. The ARE in Independence specializes in old or found roses. They take cuttings from old roses found in abandoned cemeteries, along old fences and around old abandoned houses and start them. I at one time had about 10 old roses and LOVED them. They are so hardy and maintenance free. So...I've started my collection here in P-land. I bought a Pioneer rose named after Texas pioneer Thomas Affleck. When it begins to bloom. I'll post pictures. In the meantime, enjoy these pictures of the girls at the garden.








Barrington Living History Farm


The Barrington Farm is at Washington-on-the Brazos, the birthplace of Texas. The farm is a living history farm where the volunteers and employees dress in period costume and "work" the farm. It's as if you step back into history. The farm house is the actual house that Dr. Anson Jones, the last president of Texas, lived in with his family. The girls really enjoyed this. They were amazed at the toys that kids in the 1840's had to play with. They also learned how to pick cotton, wash clothes using a scrub board and play with a stick and hoop. We look forward to going back again when they are older.









Needless to say, we had a wonderful time together.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sick AGAIN!

Yes.

We are sick again.

Well, really we are still sick.


I took the girls to the doctor over spring break last week because both of them were still complaining of their ears hurting. Well, the doc couldn't believe they weren't hurting worse than they were because both ears on both girls were extremely inflamed with protruding ear drums.

WHAT?


We just finished a round of antibiotics 2 days before. So...we got a stronger antibiotic for another ten days.

Lovely.

I've been pumping the girls full of yogurt to combat the nasty side-effects of the antibiotic.

Didn't help.

Sometime between Friday and Sunday, Madeleine caught a stomach virus!

She came home from school Monday with a fever and stomach ache. She's been home ever since. Looks like she's getting another week home.

In the mean time, David's been gone, I'm going crazy and "little- bit" has been getting into EVERYTHING!!! I haven't slept more than 4 hours in the last 3 days and am starting to get a little loopy.

Luckily, Daddy is on his way home.

I plan on escaping this funny farm on Saturday for a little R&R at a local scrapbook store!

Gotta run...K's using the back of the couch as a balancing beam!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Future Palentologist

Last week, a good friend Debbie, gave Katie a mini dinosaur dig kit. ( kind of like this.)

She had so much fun with it. She even found some goggles to wear. She told me, "Safety first momma!"



Then I see that she is holding a paper towel up to her face. I ask her what the towel is for. She replies, "I can't be breathing in trillion year old dust." Like duh...silly me.

When Mom is Sick...

...this is what happens.





(That's a broken lamp you see above the sink)

Big Daddy's Birthday

45. David turned 45 this year. When did I marry an old man?! Ha. He just gets better with age and I wouldn't trade him for ANYTHING! As usual, we had the family here to celebrate. Here is M & K singing their version of the Happy Birthday song.

video

Valentine's Day Party

I know. I know. I'm a little late, but I've got a very good excuse. I've been sick for the last 2 weeks with a horrible sinus infection/ tonsillitis. Finally after 3 different antibiotics, I feel human again.

These pictures are from Madeleine's school V-day party. My mom, Granny, came with us. I thought this was an awesome picture of the two of them.




You can see in the photo above M's birdhouse valentine box she made. Everyone else in her class just decorated a plain old box. Hers was the best! (I know, I'm biased!)

Food Critic

I have a food critic living in my house. Katie seems to have become our little foodie. She will try just about anything and has definite opinions on what she's tried.

I took the girls to McDonalds this morning for breakfast because the Mr and his Bro left to go fishing bright and early. Madeleine LOVES the burritos but Katie has never tried them. This morning, she asked M if she could try it. She took a bite. Chewed. Swallowed. Thought for a moment. Then said with a very serious look on her face..."Hmmm. A tad spicy. Goes down easy. But I like it!"

Last week, I made Chicken Cordon Bleu. Katie wrinkled up her nose and said "YUCK!!" while I was preparing it. When it was done, she tried it and exclaimed..."YUMMY! It's like it's got a surprise inside!"

I've got to quit letting her watch Iron Chef!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

For all you potato lovers!

Someone sent me this link today and it's quite amazing. Women all over the world are going to throw out their potato peelers!

Take a look...Idaho Potato

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So Excited!

I'm going to be teaching several classes with the Pearland Parks and Recreation this summer. My summer classes are several scrapbook related classes, one for mom's, one for senior citizens and one from "tweens". I'm also teaching a fun baggie science class for kids 6-8.

In the fall, I'll be taking over all of their pre-school classes and developing a few more. We are also looking at targeting the homeschool families in our area. The veteran teacher, who has been there for years and I are working on developing some classes that will work together.

I'm really excited, and so are the girls. They get to come with me this summer and be my "assistants!" We'll see how that goes!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Anyone got a straw?



Madeleine lost a tooth today.

Another School Project

This past week, M was to create a box for her Valentines to go into. She and K were discussing it at breakfast the other morning. I started throwing out ideas...mail truck, big heart, a butterfly. K said ,"How about a birdhouse?" M loved the idea. So, we began planning. M decided that a cracker box would be perfect for the base M picked out some cute paper from my stash and then Mod Poged it on her cracker box.

The next order of business was meeting with our resident engineer to design a roof. Once a design was agreed upon, M painted the supports and roof.

After a few embellishments, Madeleine's finished Birdhouse Valentine box.

Cuteness



Just some random cuteness from the last few weeks.