Saturday, December 29, 2007

today was a good day

Today we visited the Fernbank Museum of Natural History with the kids to see the exhibit, Frogs: A chorus of color. It's the first time Grace ever remembers being there. She was a babe in arms the last time we were there for William's 3rd birthday treat. It was so awesome to see all three kids making connections and enjoying the dinosaurs and natural science exhibits. We actually decided to place membership today so we can go back for more. We also saw an IMAX movie called The Alps about a man who was trying to kill some old family ghosts by re-climbing the mountain which his father died upon.

We at an early dinner at The Varsity. An Atlanta classic overflowing with health food choices. LOL Truly, it is a regional favorite that everyone must try once. I recommend a dog sideways, ring one, and a F.O. Go to this link to translate Varsity talk. What'll ya have? You had better know before you step up to the counter because ordering is serious business.

We also made a final decision to purchase a replacement for our current dishwasher. The dishwasher which came with this house has to be the loudest builder installed appliance in the world. Last year it got recalled and we've been hobbling along trying to decide what to do about it. The recall only gave $150 to replace it, but it was obvious that the appliance was on its last leg and would need to be replaced anyway. So today we bought a really nice stainless elite model from Sears. (The replacement had to be a Kenmore to get credit.) I am oh-so-excited about the 45 decibels of sound. That means I can run the dishwasher anytime instead of at night among other things. Want to know what concerned William? He wanted to know if it was quiet enough to play Star Wars on the Wii while the dishwasher was running.

I'll catch up on the whole month of Christmas soon. Photo review coming soon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

decisions of a fifth grader

Last night we wrestled with a hard decision. Jordan just got selected for the Science Olympiad team at school and this activity put us beyond the realm of reasonable activities. I know most of you with younger children are saying, "I have no problem limiting my child's activities to one or two." But honestly, you haven't gotten to the stage where there are so many things available to supplement your child's education. The closer you get to middle school the more this becomes an issue. All the things are good, your child has achieved in these areas making them part of the selection process, and most are tied to school honors activities.

We've stayed with Girl Scouts since 1st grade. It is the one continuing activity which has lasted through so many stages and there are so many positives to it for a girl's self esteem. Jordan has participated in School Chorus since the first opportunity in third grade. She has an award winning director and this is an excellent opportunity to learn musically without taking piano lessons at this time. Music is a true love for Jordan. In 4th grade we added Drama and Volleyball. Drama is another passion for Jordan. My once overly outgoing girl has become more reserved with age and so Drama helped keep her self awareness at a positive level. Volleyball is just a great activity -- and goodness knows she needs something non-academic and physical for her health and mental health. And finally there is the monthly meeting of the School Book Club. Jordan is an avid reader so this is an enjoyable non-stressful meeting for her. So if you are counting that is five activities:

Girl Scouts
Chorus including the instrument practices and honors chorus slots she obtained.
Drama Club
Book Club
(and you must also take into account the activities and services we participate in as a family at church.)

Because most of the school activities were directly after school I did not have to shuttle too much to make the lesson or practice. Sometimes it involved a carpool type pickup, but nothing too difficult. Science Olympiad is a BIG commitment. Huge. Everything builds up to competitions which happen in the spring.

Finally, this morning about 20 minutes before the 6:55am Science Olympiad meeting, Jordan decided to drop Drama and keep Science Olympiad. It was a painful decision. She had just been cast in a play and although final scripts had not been distributed, she was excited about that role. I attended the SO meeting this morning and then later called her Drama teacher to explain. I've offered to help Jordan participate in Drama camps or perfomances this Summer and I think that helped the decision for her. Dave and I both tried to help her reason through all the logic involved. It was painful to watch the process and the true sorrow she felt for things she loved. Dave's feeling was that we were heavy on the fine arts part of activities. He is right about that, but so often these activites have been a good balance from the academics which Jordan faces at school. I think she made a good decision. I also think we are in for a lot of extra work and support with this activity. Still, how wonderful to have the opportunity as a girl to excel in science.

Really, this 'growing up' thing is not as simple as it once seemed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

bridges, natives, and thanksgiving

First, I have a photo from our family Thanksgiving gathering in Alabama. This photo is of Grace and Alana (her cousin who is five weeks older) outside of my parent's home. Can you tell how much fun these two have together? They are constantly laughing and giggling through the day. We get asked if they are twins when we are out together because they seem so connected. Just one of the million reasons I have to be thankful.

I really should post more often. These catch up posts are stressful. The past few weeks have been extremely fast paced. I can't believe I declared October the busiest time of the year for our family. November 2007 may have just surpassed that mark. No complaints though. Mostly good things have happened this month.

Dave went out of town on business for two weeks. We missed him horribly, but I can honestly say that we appreciate him more than ever now. During that two weeks I accepted a part time position with our church and managed to make it to all the pre Thanksgiving school activities. I've enjoyed my new job. I am helping manage and market some projects which include several counseling centers and mission efforts. My manager is actually my minister. That's been a little different to the other jobs I've held. The flexibility is beautiful...and with our crazy family schedule it seems the right fit right now. I struggled with wanting to work a fast paced position in an advertising or media agency downtown, but honestly I could have barely made it to pick up everyone before bedtime. Traffic is a bear around here so I really count this new job as a blessing. I'm hoping to take a few extra contracts from time to time.

One of Jordan's classes held a Bridge Breaking Competition. It was truly one of the most exciting school events I have been to in a long time. Each "company" of four built a bridge out of toothpicks and wood glue. It was mounted on a board in a certain way which allowed the teacher to hang a bucket off of the center of the bridge. The teacher then added sandbags of 2 lb., 1 lb., or half pound increments. Another teacher kept up with the results on a big tally sheet. We were all gathered around in the media center watching each team's creation reach the breaking point. One held 4 pounds. Several held 17 or 18 pounds. And the highest was 25.5 pounds...until Jordan's team, The Bridge Busters, managed to hold 38 pounds! The teacher ran out of weights at 33 pounds and makeshift weights had to be used for the final verdict. It was so suspenseful. If you look very carefully in this obscure photo you will see Jordan in a red t-shirt with her back to the camera and the famous bridge between two chairs in the background.

The next day William's kindergarten group celebrated with a Thanksgiving Feast. In addition to the thanksgiving food served in the lunchroom his class made butter, bread, cranberry cubes, and pumpkin pie together. They were all so cute in their Indian vests. William choose Little Fox as his Indian name. (And yes, that is a corndog on his plate...apparently it was the popular alternative offered that day. I can't ever recall having a choice in my old school lunchroom, can you? Especially on Thanksgiving!)

Did I mention that Grace fell while we were at William's basketball practice and needed three stitches? Dave missed every bit of that excitement. Never a dull moment, right? ;-)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

stand by or stand with?

I've been offline for a few days due to Comcast and other comedy of errors. One blog post which struck me tonight in my reader was this excellent piece by Mike Cope (see link at right). History is an excellent teacher to the present day and this is a fresh look at both old testement and new testement ideas.

Published by Mike Cope on November 8, 2007

The story of Obadiah begins in Genesis 25 with the birth of the twins: hairy (Esau) and heel-grabber (Jacob). Rebekah was told that two nations were in her womb — more, I think, than most women are wanting to hear. The older would serve the younger.

Fast forward to Deuteronomy (2:1-8; 23:7) and you learn that this relationship still mattered centuries later when the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land after the exodus. The Edomites (descendents of Esau) were to be treated respectfully, because they were relatives.

This area of Edom was just south of the Dead Sea — about 70 miles north-to-south and just 15 or 20 miles east-to-west. It’s a hilly area that felt to the residents like secure protection.

One famous Edomite in the New Testament was (apparently) Herod the Great. His father, Antipater, was an Idumean, or an Edomite. Herod married into the Jewish royal family and kept the Jewish law. Ok, some of the Jewish law. He had minor lapses like the propensity for killing off family members.

Despite the warnings to treat the kinsmen Edomites well, when you move ahead many centuries later, the Edomites are roundly condemned. Check out Psalm 137, Lamentations 4, Ezekiel 25 and 35, and Jeremiah 49.

There’s something vile the Edomites did when Neduchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem. But what was that?

It’s in Obadiah that we find out.

For the most part, their sins were not sins of commission but of omission. While Jerusalem was attacked, they kept their distance from the south, up in their mountainous crags, and cheered on the defeat of Judah. They are the nanner-nanner-nanner people of the Bible.

Their central offense appears to be that they stood by when they should have stood with their relatives being attacked.

If that’s true, then could this, the shortest book in the Old Testament, be a piece of prophetic literature that has a fresh word for the church today?

It invites us to ask how we are standing by rather than standing with. Wasn’t that what offended so many religious types about Jesus? He kept stepping into the messes of the world. He refused to stand at a distance condemning.

The conflict at his home town synagogue (Luke 4:16ff) was over his examples of how God wants his people to move beyond their own safe, gated communities. His story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16) highlights the evil of standing by while another is in need. (Note that there’s no evidence the rich man was actively doing harm. He just stood by.) When he talked of judgment (Matthew 25), the key questions weren’t about obtuse questions of doctrine but about standing by or standing with. When you see him naked, thirsty, hungry, and in prison, what is your response?

Obadiah says that the moutains of Seir would not protect the Edomites: “‘Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down,’ declares the Lord.”

Apparently God takes this seriously. His final evaluation isn’t based on the edict: “Do no harm.” It goes beyond that: when we see Lazarus . . . when we see the person beaten along the road to Jericho . . . when we see someone hungry, hurting, or lost — what is our response?

Do we stand by? or stand with?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

thursday was not so fun though

There we were in the mess that Halloween creates trying to get back to a "normal" week...when Dave inadverdantly found out that the sewage pump for the basement had burned out. When anything with the words "sewage" and "pump" tear up you know that is going to mean big trouble! Thursday was spent in emergency mode with people like the plumber and servpro restoration services. Long story short, we have a basement which has been sterilized and had most contaminents removed (carpet cut out and other fun stuff). We are now onto stage two which involves replacing whole walls, flooring, and a set of cabinets. Honestly, it could have been worse, but the resulting damage will take us a while to fix. Looks like we'll become best friends with the contractors soon.

Dave is back out of town for two whole weeks starting tomorrow night so I do realize how much worse this could have been without him here to keep me level headed. Poor man, he just went to the basement expecting to pick up his laptop computer and discovered the overnight disaster once his feet were wet. Ewwww!

William tried out for basketball this morning. It is the first year that he has qualified for the league. Up until now he has only taken the intro to basketball classes during summer camps. The age category was U8 and that meant that my tall little baby boy was mixed in with 7 and 8 year olds who had played for two years or more. I was so proud of William. He didn't do everything perfectly, but he held it together and managed to do each of the drills requested in fine manner. I could not believe the amount of parental interferance I saw with even the older boys. Some boys would not even take a shot at the basket without looking for their parent's approval nod. Certain dads kept running onto the court to offer advice between turns. For one moment I had the image of those boys as college aged kids trying to make decisions and failing because they had no idea of how to do things on their own. William looked over for a few "thumbs up" motions from me, but other than that he was completely in tune with the rhythm of the drills. I was pretty proud of my new 6 year old.

Today I became aware of just how different the next few years may be with Jordan. We had a hard headed standoff over the need to change clothing for volleyball and the color of a headband. (Her clothes were ones she fell asleep in on Friday night!) Sigh. I suppose I should pick my battles more carefully. In the end she wore a red headband to symbolize her distress with me...and tonight she changed back to a regular headband color before going to dinner showing that she was not mad anymore. Double sigh. Only my eldest child would pick symbolism to show her independance while we were running late to the ymca.

Enjoy that extra hour tonight!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween 2007

Dave's carving masterpieces. Each pumpkin was chosen by a kiddo and then they picked their design and worked on it with Dave. Grace's pumpkin was short and stubby and so the bat fit just right. William liked Darth Vader and Jordan wanted Auburn's logo.

We started at the neighborhood pizza party. It's a bit crazy getting there early enough, but is a great place to start the night...and there is no other chance to really get the kids to eat real food unless you take advantage of this party. By the way, William changed his mind and wanted to be Darth Vader instead of a Jedi. He's six and we already had the costume thanks to my sister, so I guess we have the whole Star Wars costumes for future playdates.

Grace near the playground:

And Grace with a circle of princess friends:

Jordan with her "nerdy" girlfriends. I must say that I'm thrilled to see the creativity beginning to blossom in the costume selections now.

We then gathered in a central yard on our street and actually enjoyed some neighbortime. Halloween is one of the greatest times to meet new and old friends in the neighborhood. It seems like people are just hungry to socialize that night. It's an awesome reason to be in a neighborhood with kids. Jordan enjoyed a little time with her buddies and we took the little kids door to door for the classic experience. How was your Halloween?

all I want for halloween...

is my first visit from the tooth fairy! William lost his first tooth last night just before bedtime. He was on cloud 9 this morning as he went off to school with news to share. Some of the most important milestones are not the ones listed on the pediatrician's chart. It's the day-to-day events which have made me enjoy my children.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

pictures galore

Wow. October 30th already. I honestly believe that October is one of the busiest months familywise. We've been busy since our pumpkin patch experience. Jordan and I went to a Mother/Daughter campout at the same campground where she attends in the summer. It is on Lake Allatoona, just north of where we live. It was a profitable weekend together. There are not many opportunities to have just one child alone for one-on-one time and I really enjoyed taking advantage of this opportunity. When I think of Jordan attending middle school next year I am simply amazed. It seems like just yesterday I was pondering her preschool options. She's changed a great deal in the last year and last weekend was a great opportunity to further our relationship.

Here is a picture we took of ourselves down on the Lake.

You may have heard of the 100 year drought conditions we have had lately...well, this photo is the lakebed exposed. This is normally where Jordan swims during the summer. My photos from the kayak and canoe areas are even sadder. The water which is left simply looks like puddles in the middle of the lakebed. The amazingly fun thing to do was explore the lakebed. There were lots of interesting rocks, geodes, and skeletons among the mussel shells. It was a sight to see.

Jordan got to see the horse she helped train this summer. The horse remembered her and came running up to the front of his stall when she called his name. She was elated. Unfortunately the horse misbehaved on the trail -- much to Jordan's chagrin. I am grateful that she has enjoyed her experience with horses during the summer though because it is a valuable change from our surburban life here in town.

And after the horseback ride she and her troopmates got to enjoy the heated swimming pool. 85 that's the life, huh?

We did so many things on that trip -- scrapbooking, smores, hiking, a scavenger hunt, and laughing --and I learned more about how self sufficient and capable my daughter had become. We are so often interrupted in our conversations and in a rush to get somewhere that we miss out on those things. This last trip photo is of Jordan as we headed out Sunday morning to church. We stopped off where the lake is normally filled to the brim with water, but now has grass growing in it. Jordan is pointing to a sign she thought was hilarious given the current water situation.

Then last Monday Jordan attended the State Honors Chorus event at Shorter College. It was a long day (7 am until 10 pm), but the 5th graders did a great job. Here the kids are on a well-deserved break with their Chorus Director, Mr. Tighe:

And finally, here is a preview of my gang's halloween getup. We were in Alabama this weekend visiting family and my nephew had a halloween birthday party. Here are the kids at my parent's house:

Sunday, October 14, 2007

this weekend

This weekend we:
- attended a photoshop conference with Bert Monroy (Dave and Ann)
- helped Jordan's Girl Scout troop host a SupNSing event for about 200 girls (Ann and Jordan)
- went to the Square in our town to a Community Fun Fest
- watched Jordan play volleyball at the Y
- attended a wedding at our church
- watched an Auburn football game
- ran the AV board at church (Dave)
- attended a great Sunday service
- went to North Georgia to a huge pumpkin patch with our small group from church
- afterwards ate at the Smith House
- brought three tired kids home and I watched Dave pack for his trip to Virginia this week
- prepared backpacks for Monday morning
- and fell into bed exhausted!

Monday, October 08, 2007

william's concept of a bridal shower

Yesterday Jordan and I attended a bridal shower for a friend's daughter at our church. It was a beautiful shower and happy occassion. The shower was held at the home of a couple in our small group. A year ago their home burned while they were on a vacation and they have spent the last year gracefully surviving this tragedy and rebuilding a home on the same property. They are truly an inspirational couple.

Only 30 minutes after the shower Julia, the hostess, had planned for our small group (growing families church group) to gather at her house to eat the remaining shower goodies and enjoy potluck. She's a brave one to host two events in one day, right? So Jordan and I stayed at Julia's house and Dave brought our potluck item, Grace, and William. Dave loads them into the car and starts backing up when he hears this question from the back,

William: "Is the shower over?"

Dave: "Yes, it's over."

William: "Dad, do you think the ladies will be done drying off?"

Dave: "Drying off???"

William: "Yes, drying off from the shower they took together. Do they share towels?"

Dave: "Um, no son. That's not exactly what a bridal shower means."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

can you believe his luck?

Dave was on business travel this week. He left Monday night for San Francisco and is returning this afternoon in time for dinner. Northern California is a great place to travel and although Dave didn't really get to do the tourist thing he did get to enjoy a few good meals there. Last night the client gave Dave and his coworker two tickets to the San Francisco Giant's game and he got to enjoy a professional baseball game on the night that they said goodbye to Barry Bonds. We're not big Barry Bonds fans, but it was apparently an electric night in the stands. William was actually upset when he heard that his Dad got to attend a pro game without him. ;-)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

blogger black hole

I can only apologize for my lapse in posting by using these words: real life is busy. Really busy. I suspect we are only gearing up for the crazy busy season soon. Here are a few things I've been doing:

Dave and I ate lunch with William on his birthday at school an delivered his requested bear cupcakes to the class during lunch.

I took Grace for her first official dental appointment last week. She did great during all the difficult parts of cleaning, flossing, etc. and then suddenly became shy and unable to look at the dentist after he came into the room Funny thing is that our dentist lives in our neighborhood and he's talked to her before. Ah kids! Every since them she keeps saying that she'd like to be a tooth doctor one day.

Then the official birthday party took place a week after William's birthday in our backyard. The kids managed to ignore the weeds and spent their whole time going down this slide. I think there were officially 25 kids there with parents in tow...they kept moving and running and it was hard to get an accurate count. The entertainment was easy at this party!

The party was a "Star Wars Splash" theme and we made light sabers from pool noodles and duct tape. I'm sure the parents are still thanking me for that addition to their toy box. ;-) Did you know that pool noodles are put away before the end of August? I finally found some in the back of a Walgreens storage area.

And here are some cousin photos from that weekend. My sister and parents came over to celebrate and the kids had a great time together. The first one is of Grace and Alana who are only five weeks apart agewise. My Mom bought them matching pajamas and they sat on the stairs talking about how they were each other's best friends.

Baby Lydia is a doll, but is constantly in toddler running mode unless my sister is holding her. She's got the cutest little face.

And we lined the cousins up for a quick snapshot on Sunday afternoon before my sister drove home with everyone. Lydia kept running out of the photo so Aunt Julie got to join into the mix.

There's more to tell, but I had better leave that for my next post. I promise to get back on track!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

in remembrance

I remember waking up in a Baltimore hospital with my new baby boy beside me in an isolette. We had been through a long night waiting for admission for his severe jaundice. We finally made it to a room to begin treatment around 4 am and following that Dave and I took turns with fitful naps. We had awoken to Good Morning America and were watching the news when it all began. It seemed so surreal. Some of the hijackers lived in a hotel not that far from our neighborhood in Maryland. And then it got stranger when we attended an old friend's funeral in Annapolis. It was purely gut wrenching to think that such a earnestly good person was taken from this world. Ironically he considered his position there at the Pentagon one of the safer locations in his long military service.

What saddens me even more is the change in all our lives since that attack. There is no place safe from this mentality and yet I have to admit that moving away from the DC/Baltimore area has given me more peace on a daily basis. Of course our new town is not any more safe, but I do not have to daily face the guarding of high risk areas and other such realities.

Each anniversary of 9/11 brings more questions from the kids. Jordan wants to remember the details of who picked her up from school and why we were apart on 9/11. That only reminds me of how I was with one baby during 9/11 and away from my first born at the same moment. We could not leave the hospital because every interstate and road were closed in the area. Thank goodness my parents were there to help during those days.) It still pains me to think that only two weeks later Dave's mother would see William for the first time as she began her recovery from a massive stroke. William is now six and his birthday will always be connected to 9/11 in my mind. He and Jordan walked a mile at school today to commemorate the anniversary. Everyone wore patriotic colors and celebrated being an American. Life goes on, but for our generation it will never be the same.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

guess who is turning six tomorrow?

Portrait taken of William when he was two weeks old.

William at 10 months - on our patio in Maryland with sungrins.

William the summer before he turned three.

William at his fourth birthday party with his friend Davis.

With Drake and Jackson during his fifth birthday party.

William at his fifth birthday pirate style.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

celebrating on the plains

Dave and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on Saturday at the university that brought our lives together -- Auburn. We took the whole family early on Saturday and staked out our spot for tailgating. We met up with friends and enjoyed a pure feast of fellowship and food while watching the kids play with a nerf football dressed in orange and blue. When gametime came it was pure joy to show the kids what 85,000 people sounded like in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Great memories of that time in our lives. It was a night game so we rolled back into home base around 4:00 am. We came back with the intention of making it to church the next morning and we somehow managed to get there and function well for a few hours. A Sunday afternoon nap was high on the priority list though! Here are a few photos from the event:

Grace in her new Auburn chair at the tailgate.

We were in the upper balcony and William's eyes twinkled the whole time we were watching the game. So cool to see him understand more about college football.

Jordan smiling before the game began. I'll never forget high-fiving her when we made the necessary touchdown to win the game. It was a bit close for a season opener and we were happy to put a "W" in the win/lose column.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

future career aspirations

This morning Grace popped into our bedroom all bright and cheery at 5:30 am. She was bubbly and talkative as little girls often are...and in the midst of this she waxed poetic about her future career aspirations.

GRACE: "Hey, when I grow up I'm going to be a fireman."

DAVE and ANN: "You are???"

GRACE: "Yep, I'm going to be a BIG FAT FIREMAN when I grow up!"

I can't wait to tell our policeman friend about this one. He'll be taking Grace to the police station soon to show her the benefits of being a motorcycle cop.

Friday, August 24, 2007

no novel for me

About two years ago I had an idea for a book. I wrote down a few notes and then went on with living. I'm not truly a writer, but more of a graphics person and really had no discipline to carry out the random thought that had come my way. I did think about that idea occassionally and I went back to the word file and added a few brainstorming ideas, but never fleshed it out. This year my plot ideas has come to fruition as a real life news story. In my opinion the toy recalls are only the beginning of this story. Consumer goods -- ones that we all love to buy for our households and kids -- are plaqued with a quality control issue that threatens to affect all of us healthwise.

I honestly cannot look at a toy, cheap piece of jewelry, or kitchen item without wondering if I should test it for lead or other substances. I push this thought aside each day to function, but it completely sickens me to think that there could be so many sources of poison in my household. Here is a link to a podcast and corresponding news article I viewed on npr's website detailing the experience of one family trying to live without items made in China. I found it eye-opening.

Family finds it difficult

I should have written the abstract for the book. I could have been on the best seller's list by this time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

weekend fun

Last weekend was fast and furious.Dave had the rare incidence of a business trip which lasted through Saturday. He had already purchased tickets to a comedy show as a surprise date. I have to give him total credit for prearranging babysitting and then rushing from the airport ot meet me at the comedy club just in time for the show. We saw Gabriel Iglasias from last season's television show, Last Comic Standing. He was truly talented and we got to enjoy some much needed laughter.

Earlier that day I took Jordan, William, and Grace to a neighborhood birthday party. It was an awesome water-themed party featuring a huge waterslide which the kids enjoyed immensely. (Thanks McK!) It was a great idea because the kids were hardly interested in leaving the slide after the water started flowing over it. We adults just hung around and enjoyed the show. Here is Grace in a rare quiet moment at the party:

And then William in the mouth of the dragon:

Then on Sunday we attended a small group "end of summer" swim party at a church friend's home. The kids really enjoyed the pool with Dave:

Last Friday Jordan's school celebrated the end of the big remodel (adding 39,000 square feet to the facility) by releasing 800+ balloons into the air while out on the school track. Here is a shot that Jordan's teacher (Love her!) took of Jordan with some classroom friends:

I'm off for a day of learning tomorrow. I am taking a course about Adobe Flash CS3 in downtown Atlanta. I can't wait to enjoy some brain food.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A reason to smile

I've been following the story of a blogger friend in Texas who now has 4 little miracles in her life. I found Suzanne's blog through friends just before she became pregnant last year and her positive attitude and inspiring spirit have caused me to smile many days. Can you imagine being pregnant for the first time and finding out you are expecting quads??? The most amazing part is that she managed to make it to her 31st week before delivering the babies -- three boys and one girl. (That's one of the first pictures taken of them together as a set of quads. Up until now they've been in isolettes alone.) Take a look at her blog and see some of the older posts which will explain how it all happened. Tell me that you hate her -- she had just barely begun to have stretch marks at the end of her pregnancy. Honestly though, her faith took her through so many scary moments and it is always uplifting to see the hand of God in the world. Tell me what you think. Did it make you smile just a bit?

Monday, August 13, 2007

first day of school 2007

I do love the first day of school -- always have. There is so much promise in a new year. And in the first few days the flurry of startup hides the fact that our schedule will soon be filled with baseball, chorus, drama club, girl scouts, and dance classes. Well, back to the usual schedule. Those of you who are parents of school aged children will understand. Life changes dramatically once you have a child who is beholden to the school schedule. There are very few vacations you will take which do not depend on a momentary check of the school calendar...and hardly any you will take which cause absences. Here's my advice to those of you who have little ones or no children...take all the fall and early spring vacations you want NOW!

Do any of you consider the beginning of school like the beginning of a new year? I feel that moreso than New Year's Eve. Perhaps it is the side effect of being a teacher's kid when young.

William seemed to have a great day and was full of information when he arrived home. His daily folder indicated a "3" which is perfect according to the teacher's discipline scale. (The scale actually goes to 4, but she rarely gives 4s since that is for extraordinary feats. 2 and 1 would mean a difficult day. I hope to see very few of those!) Jordan loved her teacher and is excited about the cool year ahead. (Apparently she has the cool techie teacher who knows all the tricks and is an Auburn Alum.)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

meet and greet (as promised)

Today was Meet and Greet at our elementary school. William was beside himself waiting to meet his teacher this morning and was the first one to spring out of bed. We wisely left Grace with a babysitter so we could fill out more forms and meet teachers without the frenzy of a three year old's mentality. First we meet teachers and toured the newly renovated school and then we attended a little neighborhood get together of all the kindergarteners in our subdivision. We took a quick picture of the gang and I can't wait to see how they change through the years.

Here is William (holding the classroom mascot - a star bear) with his new teacher who seems an infinately patient and seasoned teacher:

Jordan with her friend Sarah:

The neighborhood gang after lemonade and cookies: