Sunday, August 31, 2008

The wheels on the bus

Ashlyn's first bus ride
Friday afternoon Ashlyn rode the bus over from the Elementary school. She seemed to enjoy the bus ride and Coach Martin, the bus driver. He told her that he was in love with her. (She was too embarassed to tell me about it.) Coach Martin was my history teacher for two years in middle school and he would take us out to fun places. I have such great memories of the fun we had with him. I think Ashlyn will enjoy her Friday afternoons on the bus.
Ashlyn is not very talkative when I get her in the afternoons (probably because I ask about a million questions). She tells me just enough so that when I talk to Jennifer, we can put our stories together and get enough scoop about the girls day.
Here are some things that I want to take note of:
* Every day when Ashlyn gets home she sheds the school uniform and hair-do and she picks out clothes and usually a headband. She misses her freedom of choice. Then, she goes into "teacher mode" with her baby dolls. She has 12 of them that she lines up for story time, they also put their hand over their heart to say the pledge and some even end up in time out. :)
* Ashlyn wants to take lemon pepper chicken in her lunch everyday - so I bake it and a piece of chicken lasts her for two lunches.
* Clayson and Trey are doing great. I really enjoy seeing them both at school.
We are enjoying our long weekend - it is a much needed break from getting up early, the hustle and bustle of our newly established daily routine and early bedtimes!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday is on its way

This has been a week. A week of new beginnings, new friends, new vocabulary/terms and the hardest yet, new morning routines.

New Beginnings:
* Trey began school at a new campus - mine :0) I get to see Clayson and Trey both at lunch. For about three minutes, we are all in the cafeteria together. This is pretty cool. (I just wish it was when Trey was leaving so that I could wash his crusty enjoyed-his-lunch-too-well face.) I have lunch first, then Clayson comes in ten minutes later and Trey is in line when I leave.
* Ashlyn, of course, has started Kindergarten and in the words of Allison - a lifetime full of learning.
* Clayson is beginning his last year of "elementary" school.
* After 7 years of teaching I am beginning to be able to relate concepts in Math and Science to life and surroundings more comfortably. I am beginning to think spontaneously and outside the lesson plans. This is big for me .... I have always wondered how preachers do it because I usually require lots of notes and planning. This year, I am going with the flow

New Friends:
* I have made new friends at work. There are a lot of new faces on our campus.
* Ashlyn has made a couple of new friends but then again she says everyone in her class is mean to her except Mrs. Bullock. (This is when she doesn't want me to ask her anymore questions about her day - she goes negative on me.)
* Clayson and Trey are just hanging with the friends they know. Maybe this year and with this house I can be a nice enough mom to let them have friends over.

New Vocabulary/ Terms:
* Ashlyn said that they did a "speriment" in class today - "we made a volcano with play-doh and the sugar stuff you use but you don't eat" (baking powder).
* Trey got choked (not at school) and said that he thought we were going to have to do the Heimlich "remover".
* Ashlyn said that her teacher tells them to sit on their pancakes.

New Morning Routines:
* I used to give myself 45 minutes to get ready and get out the door for school. Boys are easy. Throw in the girl that is so-not-a-morning-person and I need an extra 45 minutes. I get up about 5:45 and get myself completely ready so that I can get the kids up at 6:30 and can focus on their breakfast, getting Trey's face clean (it is a crust magnet) and hair fixed. And then there is allowing about 5 minutes of cartoons to wake up Ashlyn, back upstairs to make sure the boys are up; back to Ashlyn to coax her out of bed, into her clothes and to the bathroom where her hair must be dealt with. It has been nice to be ready and then when there is time to spare I can make sure all beds are made and the house is clean. I hope this early morning routine lasts.

I think it is amazing that even though we have been out of school for almost three months, the first day back is like you never even left. Things just fall right into place. It has been a good week and quite exhausting. I am ready for the weekend so that I can rest!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Big Day

Yesterday was such a great day! It all turned out better than I expected and I am so thankful for that. Clayson started 5th grade in a class full of friends, Trey went to 3rd grade with his cute little glasses on, Ashlyn went off to Kindergarten to fulfill her dream of becoming a big girl and I am starting my 8th year of 5th grade. Here are pictures of the beginning of our new journey.

Last night, Ashlyn asked me if today would be Friday. Ha! She is already learning the value of a weekend. She was tired and on the grumpy side this morning but she never cried or showed any signs of distress about another day of school. She was still enthusiastic about going, just at a slower pace. Here are some 2nd day pictures.

Today she said that she threw up in her mouth and just wiped it on her shorts...lovely. Survival skills of a kindergartener!

Thank you for your prayers and happy thoughts.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Trust You'll Treat Her Well

I Trust You'll Treat Her Well

by Victor Buono

dedicated to my lifelong friends, jennifer and allison
and our precious, innocent baby A girls

Dear World:

I bequeath to you today one little a crispy dress...with two blue eyes....and a happy laugh that ripples all day long..and a flash of light brown hair that bounces in the sun when she runs. I trust you'll treat her well.
She's slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning...and skipping off down the street to her first day of school.
And never again will she be completely mine.
Prim and proud she'll wave her young and independent hand this morning and say "Goodbye" and walk with little lady steps to the schoolhouse.
Now she'll learn to stand in lines...and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called.
She'll learn to tune her ears for the sounds of school bells...and deadlines.
She will learn to giggle..and gossip...and look at the ceiling in a disinterested way when the little boy 'cross the aisle sticks out his tongue.
And now she'll learn to be jealous. And now she'll learn how it is to feel hurt inside. And now she'll learn how not to cry. No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch on a summer day and watch an ant scurry across the crack in the sidewalk.
Nor will she have time to pop out of bed with the dawn and kiss lilac blooms in the morning dew. No, now she'll worry about those important grades and which dress to wear and whose best friends is whose. And the magic of books and learning will replace the magic of her blocks and dolls.
And now she'll find new heroes. For five full years now I've been her sage and Santa Claus and pal and playmate and mother and friend. Now she'll learn to share her worship with her teachers..which is only right.
But no longer will I be the smartest woman in the whole world. Today when that school bell rings for the first time...she'll learn what it means to be a member of the group..with all its privileges and its disadvantages, too.
She'll learn in time that proper young ladies do not laugh out loud...or kiss dogs..or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms..or even watch ants scurry across cracks in sidewalks in the summer.
Today she'll learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends. And I'll stand on the front porch and watch her start out on the long, lonely journey to becoming a woman.

So, WORLD , I BEQUEATH TO YOU TODAY ONE LITTLE GIRL a crispy dress...with two blue eyes...and a flash of light brown hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.

Twas the weekend before school starts..

and all through the house...

This morning I woke up with the biggest to-do list going through my mind. (In case you are wondering, I have been off schedule this week. Last night, cleaning was the farthest thing on my mind - Roadhouse sounded like a much better plan. So, we went to Roadhouse and enjoyed rolls and steak.) This week has been crazy busy, as mentioned in the post below. Today is catch up day.

My list is as follows: (more noted for self than for reading entertainment)
* clean the entire house (sweep, mop, dust, bathrooms, etc.)
* wash sheets and put back on beds
* wash new uniforms, iron if needed
* Clayson and Ashlyn need school shoes
* power point for Monday to go over procedures/expectations
* call Nicole
* Walmart (list needing to be written down)
* remind Jared to bury the gas line so that I can start using the gas stove
* hang stuff on Ashlyn's walls
* get things out of office and use for decorating
* reorganize pantry cabinets
* feed the family at some point
* nap (?)
* get out clothes for church
* find The Kissing Hand (Clayson's kindergarten year), I Love You All Day Long (Trey's kindergarten year), Strawberry Shortcake Goes to School (for Ashlyn's kindergarten year) - begin reading tonight and tomorrow night and into next week
* post the tear jerking poem on the blog for our baby girls going off to Kindergarten - must have kleenex before starting
* remind kids to get dressed and brush teeth for the day

Shew...looks like I better get after it!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

and it is only Tuesday night

It's been a long week already and it is only Tuesday night. Yesterday we got our class lists, I spent a little bit of time in my classroom preparing for Thursday night and last night we met Trey's third grade teacher. (His teacher is Mrs. Houston, who is a wonderful teacher and person and she also taught Jared in 6th grade. This makes it all the more special for Trey.) Today, we started our inservice and went on a "road trip" to the church where our meetings were held in groups; camp site, beach, rest area, space and a museum. It really helped break up the day but what is it about sitting and listening that drain a person? I left school at 4:15 so tired. But, once I got home and got the house straightened it was time to get Ashlyn ready for her Kindergarten Kickoff. She picked out her dress and bow and we fought over her shoes. (For once, I won.) We got to the Elementary School and waited for the doors to open. Once inside we went and found Mrs. Bullock's room. She was very happy to be there (Ashlyn and her teacher) and we got all of her school supplies put in the proper locations and then listened to learn more about Mrs. Bullock and her classroom procedures. I did not know how much Ashlyn was listening but as soon as we got into the car she called Mamaw and could tell her everything that her teacher had just explained - she never ceases to amaze me. I only got teary eyed once during the teacher speech. I better invest in some waterproof mascara real soon. It definitley makes it easier with Ashlyn having one of her best A friends in her class and her mom being one of my very best friends with a shoulder to cry on. As Hannah Montana would say, we've got the best of both worlds.

There is still so much more in store for the week and I am already too tired to think about it! There is Bible study on Wednesday night, 5th grade meet the teacher on Thursday night and Clayson has football practice on Friday night; 2 more days of inservice and a workday. I will learn to reevaluate the importance of having the weekends to rest - they won't just be two more days of the week now that summer is coming to a close.

Here are some pictures from Kindergarten Kickoff.

Does this like a little girl with a bit of nervousness?!

Ready to conquer the world with a 10 pound backpack!

Two of the A girls, we will miss you Alex!

Getting organized

We'll have to be each others rock this year, along with Allison

Sunday, August 17, 2008

thinking out loud

Well, we are all settled in - everyone is loving their space. I cleaned on Friday night and realized how much I really love to vacuum (I am my mother's daughter in that way). It wasn't too bad to clean - sweeping, mopping and dusting pretty much cover it, then there are the bathrooms - not too bad after the first week. I expect cleaning to become a little less fun each time, especially, with work starting this week.

I truly am a creature of habit. I like to do household things the same way and at the same time, so I have come up with a weekly schedule. Deep cleaning will take place on Friday nights (this worked well in the past) so that I have all weekend to enjoy the clean house. Laundry will be done on Tuesday and Saturdays. Everyone will get clean sheets on Sunday. If I could plan when to run the dishwasher I would schedule that, but I guess that chore can be spontaneous. Especially since my cooking is a little erratic :0) So, I plan to kick off this new schedule this week and see how it works out. Let me know if you need any advice for implementing a household routine :0)

Along with cleaning, there are also bills to schedule. I like to use for all the e-bills that they offer. It really helps force me to pay them on time by scheduling the payment rather than having to remember to pay them. I get email notifications when bills arrive. I have also created a spreadsheet that lists all bills and when they are due. I have a projected pay date column with the date I plan to get each one paid. I have also started writing down the dates that we get paid and what we can pay at that time. This keeps me from overspending and I get things paid on time. Which, I have struggled with in the past. It was much more fun to spend money than to pay unwanted bills! Today, I scheduled September bills.

One other thing that I am fixing to work on is my lesson plans for the first week of school, meet the teacher night brochures and miscellaneous things that come up between now and then. That is, after the nap I need to write in for Sunday afternoons...

I am obsessive compulsive about having a routine , using a calendar and making lists. It works for me :0)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

If I am dreaming, don't wake me up...

Whewww.... the past two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. Some fun, some not so fun (painting baseboards, cutting in, painting ten foot doors, I could go on and on). But, moving out of the love shack was well worth the pain, suffering, sweating and backaches - that's for sure.

I am truly living in the house of my dreams. It's a good size, everyone has their space plus some, and it is very open. And, I have not been forced to decorate as rustic as I feared. I have hung some metal stars here and there to please the husband but he has liked all my wooden signs and decor so far. I knew it would not truly matter as much to him once we got in and he saw what I had planned. So, all is well. The only disagreement so far has been about the flat screens he wants three of.

Here is a play-by-play of each room. Or, better yet - pictures. They speak for themselves.

The princess suite: bedroom with bathroom

The kitchen, where I don't mind spending time

The 1/2 bath - proud to be an American

living quarters: soon to be blessed with a big screen

Master Bathroom

Master Bedroom : empty at the moment

My closet


Clayson's huntin' room

Trey's fishin' room

boy's bathroom

We moved in and stayed on Sunday night and I had bunco here on Tuesday night. Talk about putting it in high gear with that bit of a motivation booster. I was forced to get a lot done. This was the fun part. I am still hanging things and just about have all the boxes unpacked. We are all adjusting to the space, the whereabouts of things we need and the beauty of lots of hard work. This house was the best 12th anniversary present I could have asked for. (Side note: August 3rd was Jared and I's 12th anniversary. We were outside that morning gathering trash and he looked over at me and said, "Happy Anniversary. (pause) I got you a house." It was sweet. With all the hustle and bustle this anniversary came and went without any thoughts, cards, dinner or gifts. That's okay - we will always remember this anniversary as being special with the new house.)

Each night gets a little more routine for all of us. Ashlyn did well the first night, last night she wanted to just spend one night in our bed. Trey goes in his room, shuts the door and locks it. Clayson wants the light on in his room and in the gameroom. First night - he ended up in Trey's bed, hence the reason Trey locks his door now :) Jared and I have gone from a full size bed to a king size bed so we have room to breathe and not feel each other's every move. And, we got a new mattress that is way comfortable. If it weren't for our windows with no curtains or blinds, I might have a hard time getting up. The sun is one early wake up call. But, much more pleasant than a grinding alarm.

I love everything about this house. It feels so good to be home.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Quick note...

Hey friends! Just a quick note to say that we have moved in and as soon as I can catch my breath, I will blog more. Just a side note: I am loving life :0)