Sunday, September 25, 2011

Party, Party, Party

Wow, it's been a wild week. In addition to my anniversary, two little dollies celebrated their birthday and another friend turned the big 40. We've had parties nearly everyday.

In so many ways she seems five, but this picture captures a little of that Bugg babyness that I feel the need to hold onto a big longer. She's all about princesses, school and her big brother. She loves to do all sorts of crafts. Recently we were upstairs in the Nipping Room, doing those annoying little plastic cards that you put teeny tiny plastic beads on, which can never be successfully toted to the ironing board without spilling some and having to delicately replace them, yeah those. Anyway Bean was telling me that they have those at daycare and once he designed a particularly interesting pattern on his. Bugg piped up, "Yeah, he really did. It was inspiring! " Ahh, inspiring the four years olds at the ripe ol' age of seven. I love that. She is all sassy and sweet and I could just smooch off those cheeks.
And Missy Buttercup is all of three now. You could lose yourself in those baby blues. She might love princesses today, but be all about spiderman tomorrow. She still loves to eat popsicles, swing on the dolphin swing, and pick the eggs. She's a great big sister, and is going to have lots of experience with that as she's expecting another sibling in the spring. I love to give her a squeeze.
I finally finished making and ordering Bean's book of our summer Day with the Dolphins and took it to him tonight. It was so sweet. I thought he was going to cry.
For lots of reasons, that trip was not the easiest thing I've ever done in the realm of grandparenting, but the memories are certainly precious to me.
Hope you did something fun this weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Prayer of Thankfulness

Good Morning Lord,
Today is my anniversary. Wow, thirty-two years. How could someone as young as me be married that long? Anyway, I'm feeling so grateful and blessed.
Handy Man and I both knew and understood commitments. When I got married, I believed I would be married a long time. Both sets of parents modeled that kind of commitment for us and for that I am grateful.
The surprise is how happy I am about it. Who knew you could still be so content in a love that began at sixteen? I had no idea that I would still find such joy in this place called marriage. It is a bit miraculous still to me after all these years. As you know, we are so opposite in so very many ways that it is laughable. But in lots more ways I'm grateful for the inverse nature of our ways.
Just recently I saw something made from a piece or two of wood that I loved. Now, I could not produce a respectable child's building block from a chunk of wood, much less something beautiful and functional. But Lord, you put such art in those hands of his. After my request, he disappeared into his workshop and returned first with a pattern, then with the product, beautiful and functional and just what I wanted. Amazing.
I loathe errand running. In my mind, all jobs must be lined up in an order that makes sense to me, and if you have to stop to do some little something else, I'm all snorty and dismayed. Not this guy, he'll go to the store for me three times. He much prefers to avoid snorty and dismayed. I love that.
Though I desire to do big physical jobs, I have always been lousy at it, as I have pitiful arm strength. The mulch, pots, hoses, kid's yard toys, boxes for showers, teas, celebrations that poor man has drug around is impressive. To me, he is Hercules.
I'm the cook usually, and any day he would choose my meals over his, but it doesn't keep him from trying to get a meal on the table when I'm still chained to my classroom desk at six o'clock. He's right, it isn't as tasty as mine, but you know what, when it's six o'clock and I've just gotten home for an eleven hour day, I think it's dee-wish-us.
Somehow, Handy Man doesn't feel the need for church that runs deep in my veins. Still, there he is every Sunday, right beside me. Does that make you smile too?
He wasn't much of a kid person either, whereas my life has been my children, their children and lots and lots of other children. Again, he if faithful with hugs and kisses and a snuggle with any little one who like his attention.
Soft drinks have never been on his list of good things to drink. Me, there is nothing much better than a fountain Diet Coke. How many times does one seem to appear out of nowhere. And, if it is really a no good, terrible very bad day, it is a Big Red ( the one much better)!
You've grown a sixth sense in him Lord and it's precious. He often knows when to close his book because I could use a snuggle, when we need to call out for pizza, when a bubble bath is in order, when one more errand needs done.
When my feelings are hurt, I love how he threatens to bust their chops! Probably you aren't so crazy about that, but I like it I'm afraid.
Lord, I could keep going ( what, you say you aren't surprised). So, I guess I want to close by saying the best part. The best part is, at then end of the day, a great one or a wearisome one, there is no place I would rather be than in his arms. What a great gift to fall asleep each night wrapped in such warm love.
I didn't deserve such a gift as Handy Man. I wish everyone had such a gift.
Thank you!

Happy Anniversary to my Handy Man I love you!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Birthday Fun

We had a full house for some birthday fun last Thursday on my big day. Handy Man grilled brats and the girls brought some tasty sides, including lemon raspberry cupcakes. Dee-wish-us!
I got lots of presents throughout the day. Great books, CD's, yummy tea, good smells, much needed muffin tins, some new clothes, and a few little homemade items like the card, book and bookmark you see here. Buttercup and BJ made the bookmark and Ceece, Bean and Bugg made the book.
This page from Bean cracked me up. He loves me because I let him bring live and dead animals in the house-ha.
Isn't this a good rendition of me? Bugg loves when I swing her.
This was from Ceece and the back said, "I love your never ending energy and devotion to playing with and entertaining kiddos." 14 little handmade pages that carry far greater weight than words can tell.

I was surprised by a visit from my baby brother and his little grandgirl. She has not been here much, but you would never know it. She just jumped right in the fray and had a big-o time.
She was clearly intimidated by the animals here on the farm.

Then Miss Tish and Ol' Mother Hubbard (with some very beautifully spangled homemade cards from her wee folk) made an appearance, so it was a party.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Gramerly!!!

Today is Gramerly's birthday!

Be sure to leave your well wishes below!

Monday, September 12, 2011

What Teachers Want to Tell Parents Thanks CNN
Did you catch this article on CNN. I think it is an awesome article. Ms. Glitzy said as much on her FB page and I responded with:
Might I add that when a parent comes in with both ears and eyes open, showing kindness and respect for the hard work teacher's do and asks how they can help, they usually have a teacher doing backflips to support their child.I have been so blessed to know and work with so many of those kinds of parents (perhaps that's what is wrong with my back).
I had a child that needed that support. Personally, I never thought sending curt notes, challenging every concern of the teacher, talking trash about the teacher to my child, and expecting the teacher to think for my child was the best tactic for putting my child on their good side. And lastly, I find it a little ridiculous to think a teacher would never feel frustrated with my child, when she/he had him for more waking hours than me and I got frustrated.
Actually, that isn't my last thought, but hey, I'm not writing an article. Hmmmm.........

I love teaching children who love to learn. Give me a child that is interested in learning and the year will be magical. Give me a child who isn't and the year will be long and challenging for both of us.
If a child comes to me two years behind let's say. If I do everything I know to do and somehow accomplish what no teacher before me has and bring them along a year's worth in a year's time, where will they be? That's right-still two years behind. And there is no way that any parent I have ever known is excited and thrilled to know that I haven't preformed a miracle.
Our state law requires that I teach fourth grade standards, no matter where the child is academically. For instance, today I was teaching variables in math, that would be algebra. Any child development book will make it clear that children the age I teach still think concretely. Numbers are not letters and letters cannot have a numerical value. There is nothing at all wrong with those students, they are just not developmentally there. Still, I have to teach it and when they don't master it, then something is wrong with me. I reviewed exponents with one kiddo I remember every two weeks for the entire year and 3 with an exponent of 2 was 6, not 3x3.
Well, as I said above, I could go on and on. I was happy to see CNN report on a situation that is so very true.
Also it's on my mind, cause now and again, you get one of those parents that you can't please no matter what you do. Then they enjoy telling anyone who will listen exactly how they feel about my lack of miracle working abilities. It's hurtful and it's untrue, the things she says, but what can you do? This person is also a teacher by the way.
Well, for the ones who are there to learn and grow, that we do. We are studying Asia and they are currently making a panda pillow. Today we ate rice with chopsticks. They are comparing rice, wheat and corn. Tomorrow it's wheat bread and Wednesday it will be popcorn. They are growing the above mentioned grains and recording the growth in their science journals. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is all about the horrors of war, peace and remembering- what all of us were doing over the weekend, though 50 years removed from Sadako's experience. I'm good at what I do. I connect it up, make it meaningful, teach life skills and have some fun. I'm so sorry that there are some miserable ol' people in this world who make it their mission to make others miserable too.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

One Happy Handy Man

This morning we headed out to the Farmer's Market and loaded up eggplant, corn, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers and butternut squash. I'm still getting tomatoes, but not enough to
satisfy two little tomato monsters of mine. Bean and Bugg will eat two or three at each meal.
I also picked up a loaf of sourdough bread to make my tomato/cucumber/basil bread salad that I'm not ready to say good-bye to just yet. That is about my favorite summertime treat. I won't be sad to enjoy another BLT or two either.

Then we were off to a little small town festival down the road a piece. A guy Handy Man works with came by this week to pick up a couple of big trees we lost in past ice storms. This fellow's brother has several antique steam engines. They go to these shows and demonstrate how the steam engines powered saws and threshers. So we went today to stroll around and then bring home a truckload of Handy Man's trees fresh from the sawmill.
I love that future toys and furniture for our kids and grands will come from trees right off their Gramerly and Pap's place. I believe I saw him salivate when he saw that pile of wood. He came straight and home and took proper of care of it and it is all put away to season. It makes me happy to see him so happy. He figured he would've had to pay about $1500 for that much lumber. Quite a prize for a woodworker. I can't wait to see what it will become.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Just Putzin' Around

Today I've declared a day of rest for myself. Well, mostly anyway. The heat index is supposed to be over 105 in our area today. I went out early to gather some basil, peppermint and fresh grass for the bunnies to entertain themselves with. Took semi frozen snacks to the chickens and put a frozen milk container of ice in their water bowl. It's been a wild ride this beginning of school. I decided not to add to the heat of the day with laundry and cooking, but just to putz around.
I'm not really good at it. I brought home a huge sack of books to read from our school book fair. If there are a couple of good ones, I can pull them and the librarian will get me book sets to use for reading groups. Well it's about three in the afternoon, and besides tending the beasts, I've read and napped. I'm kind of over it already. I feel like I needed it. Sort of some quiet reflection, and not running about like a chicken with head cut off as I've done for weeks on end it seems.
The temperature is supposed to drop into the 60's and 70's starting Monday-weird, but I'll happily take it over the temps today.

Thursday the kiddos came over and Bean and Pappy chopped corn to make a fine indian house.

I was excited to give baby Gideon his very own Sophie. Secretly I hoped to tempt him away from Mama with it. No deal.
Bean wanted to hold him while he was watching Davy Crockett for the 200th time, but Gideon, even in his coon skin cap, was not interested in Davy.
The fact that he cried mattered not to Missy Bugg she wanted her chance at holding him.
Well, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Mostly he only cries when he's out of Mama's arms. Otherwise he is a happy, chortling, drooling boy.
I'm a tiniest bit sad, as I surely looked forward to lots of time in a rocking chair with him. I suppose I'm a little bit surprised as well. We'll keep working on him and loving him just the same.