Friday, January 30, 2009

Sean goes to the Bean Museum!

Sean's getting better and better with this preschool thing! They had another field trip and went to a museum that consists of stuffed animals. It's creeeeepy...

Sean learned a lot of sign language to show us while they were at the museum, but I couldn't get him to do it on camera. He'd do it with the class ... my camera wouldn't take the picture... and he'd refuse to do it just for me. So, I got creative!

Cat and the Fiddle

Today in Kindergarten, Reilly's class had Nursery-Rhyme Dress-up for Fun Friday. We found tons of options (loads of Marys, Miss Moffat, Bo Peep), but eventually decided that the cat and the fiddle from "Hey, Diddle, Diddle" was the easiest. This morning, I converted her headband into cat ears and she wore almost all black. We practiced what she'd play... just incase her teacher wanted her to... but she didn't wind up playing what we practiced. Oh, well. It still turned out cute! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Random Memory

While teaching Reilly to tie her shoes, it reminded me of some assessment tesing I had in Kindergarten or 1st grade. We were supposed to show that we could tie shoes. I didn't wear tie shoes, so my teacher said that I could tie her shoes... only, she had those loafers with the tiny laces! When I couldn't do it, all she said was, "Nice try." I remember thinking, 'how am I supposed to tie these???'

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kids say the darndest things!

Recently, I've been noticing all the -isms that we (Dustin and I) have created in our family. We both come from dramatically different upbringings, so we both have stuff to bring to the table. Along the way, though, we've made it our own. For example, we both had 'play clothes' and 'school' or 'church clothes.' Our children have 'Saturday,' 'school' and 'church' clothes. We say 'Saturday' because our kids didn't understand that playing at school is different than playing at home. So, if either of them try to put on 'Saturday' clothes during the week, we say, "You can't wear your Saturday-pants to school!" They almost always respond with, "But my teacher said we can wear our Saturday-clothes to school..."

BTW, I'm sick to DEATH of hearing, "My teacher doesn't like when we ..." or "My teacher said I have to ..." I have a new thing. Teacher sayings/advice stays at school! When they're at home, Mom and/or Dad are the teacher!

Dustin brought 'butt-kickings' ... which actually mean frantic tickling... not literally kicking butts.. ????? I brought 'bad-one' that Sean has embraced like you wouldn't believe. Everyone is a bad-one! It's too cute!

PS- Reilly took both of the above pictures. Talented, no?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Reilly's Funny!

Reilly came home from school today with some random trivia. She said that Walt Disney was afriad of mice. I thought it was cute, so we made a video of more fun facts. Check it out on YouTube.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Just blogging to myself... again...

I frequently talk to myself in the car while driving (holding my cell phone up to my ear to avoid gawking looks ... yes, I have received many...) in order to keep a focused thought. Do you do it? If you haven't ever done it, do try it. It's very good conversation ... yiiiikes... that sentence scared me a bit, too.

As many of you know, I volunteer in Reilly's class room twice a week for an hour or so each time. It is far above, beyond and around the corner from the expectation of 15-20 minutes a week, but I enjoy it so much that I don't mind in the least. This is where my talking to myself begins. Oh, before that, though.

This is a blog of my beliefs and opinions. It is NOT intended to sound condescending or strive to convert you, the reader. I am just sharing.

This blog will be broken down to two sections, with two... sections in each ... section... Let's say two categories with two subcategories in each. Better? Sorry...

Today, I realized I have two major reasons for helping out in the classroom.

1. I feel that the success or fail rate of the public school system is a direct result of parental involvement. The more a parent is involved with the child at home, the more the public school teacher can do in the classroom. I think we are put together in families with the same genetic makeup is to have to really deal with one another. I know that Reilly needs repetition because her dad learns best with repetition. I know that Sean has a horrible temper and is extremely picky because I have a horrible temper and am extremely picky. Without dealing with our similarities this way, how can I expect a teacher to guess how to best get through to my children? By knowing this ahead of time, I can help to fill in gaps that will undoubtedly form over the course of a year.

2. I also feel that the more support public school teachers get in the classroom, the more learning can be accomplished. In a perfect world, our public systems would have enough money to employ several teachers to a room, but we are far from that world.

Now, for part two of my conversation... with myself. I have to think that we, as a society, have the control to change the schools to accommodate our needs! I HAVE to! See, I cannot send my child day after day to something that is failing and has no hope! I don't exactly know what to do, but this blog... but I'm trying.

I thought of two problems with our society when it comes to schooling.

1. Lower taxes does not help in correcting the problems. When a politician says 'lower taxes' they don't mean that the taxes will be lowered anyway! They mean that the tax increase that was scheduled to happen... won't. So, why put your vote toward something that is shady to begin with? Lowering taxes hurts schooling way too much. It is my opinion that the jobs that are the most important pay the least. For example, law enforcement and fire fighters receive minimal wages for, essentially, saving lives. ?? Teachers, the leaders of our youth, are barely compensated for helping to shape them into well-rounded and successful adults (too much credit? well, you get the idea...). Wishful thinking, I guess. Maybe if there was more money given to schools, they would be able to be pickier about who they placed in such esteem positions. (I'm cracking myself up... I hope you're not taking this toooo seriously!)

2. Our society is too caught up in having advanced technology, big houses, bigger cars, the biggest hair! Not enough emphasis is put on continued education. Parents who continue their learning and/or show enthusiasm for their own education will produce offspring with the same passion for learning. So, turn off the computer and pick up a book? ... whatever...

Okay... I'm done!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Retail seasons

I was at Target in early November and noticed something very odd. Right next to the sweaters and heavy coats were ... bikinis?? I had a picture, but I think it got deleted off my phone. It was the craziest thing! I notice it every year, but this year it seemed to change to summer a bit earlier than usual. Before Thanksgiving, in fact. Anyway, weird, wild stuff. :\

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Remember College?

It's been a few years, but I find that few things have changed since attending WMU. The school of music is the same. It's a collection of students with the same major complaining about the same stuff and acting out the same way... Man! Music majors are WEIRD! :) Love it! Anyway, but the real thing that I keep thinking about is, 'Where do these people come from?!' Not like, where did they grow up, graduate highschool, etc. More like, why don't I see the same people? I remember walking to school from my dorm every day and seeing different people every time. I left at the same time, I went the same way to class and arrived at about the same time, but never saw the same person twice! So, I've only attended one class twice, but it happened. Both times, same thing.

I've always been really interested in other people... of course, from afar. I used to sit at the Dalton Center and people watch. It's fun to see how people deal with everyday things... like, two people walking toward each other. How will they correct it? Who will be the chicken? I'm lame. Well, it just got me thinking.

Another thing is - why do professors feel the need to tell you their life history on the first day of class? I really don't care! They should say, 'I'm the teacher, you're the student. Let's get down to business.' My first professor talked about himself for almost half the class and then said, "Oh, that's probably more than you cared to know, huh?!" I wanted to shout, "I don't care to know any more than your name, office hours and syllabus for the class!!!" Well, today, he was out done! I'm stupid and have to take a lame-o math class and the professor in that is younger than me. She didn't talk boastfully like the other professors have, but she mentioned that she has a three-week old son named Jayson (why do I know how to spell his name, you ask? ... well, don't ask) probably fifty times in the first hour!

So, Nina... they really do stay the same, huh?!

Toothless Wonder

Reilly had quite a week this week! She lost two teeth in two days. The whole ordeal probably wasn't that fun either. She started off the week banging her front teeth (that were already loose) on a dresser. The hit made one tooth incredibly loose and painful when she ate or talked. So, Dustin pulled it out. That part wasn't bad, but she was nervous for it. Then, the very next day, she banged her other tooth (the one that was being pushed out funny) on Sean's head. We always joke that his head is a weapon, but this time, it caused some damage. Reilly's tooth didn't fall out on it's own, though. Dustin had to pull that one as well. This time, it wasn't so easy. Reilly was nervous, but the tooth was pushed back toward her tongue. It was hard for her to do much without causing pain. She said she couldn't even close her mouth. She kept putting a 'bubble' in her mouth. It's what they do in kindergarten to keep their mouths shut. That was the only way she was comfortable. Dustin tied floss around the tooth and tugged it, but the floss broke. She cried and bled! It was tramatic for me, too. I can't stand when they're in that much pain. Plus, the whole losing teeth thing grosses me out, too. :\ Anyway, she had to prepare for the final pull, but was very brave and let him. That pull didn't hurt and her gums didn't bleed again once the tooth was out, so it's over... for now...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Late Christmas Pics

This Christmas was quite different from others. We stayed on a tight buget because we've blown it in years past and regreted it. We made it under budget and wound up spending a bit after Christmas during sales. We got some fun presents for everyone. I got a new camera (Canon Rebel) that will be coming in the mail shortly. Dustin got a very nice watch, a new jacket (thanks, Nina!) and a new wireless router... haha... just kidding. :) The kids got new clothes and some little things. Reilly decided that she wanted a Peek-a-Boo and Sean got a new airplane. We also got some great presents from family for the kids. Annie and Dharma got Sean Hot Wheels and he decided that they are his favorite Aunt and cousin! He is so funny about those cars! He thinks he can read because he knows when a car is a Hot Wheel! :) They also got Reilly a Pet Shop set. It had three pets and some small sports themed thingers... I don't understand why everything has to be SOOOOO small! She'll undoubtedly loose all the pieces, but has named the pets and will sleep with them for the next month. Thanks, Annie!

Sean didn't ask for anything this year. I had a hard time shopping for him because I don't want to house the stuff that he'd like. I don't have any more room for toys, so I got him a game for his Leapster. He was stoked! Anything Cars, right!?

Reilly just wanted to ask Santa for something. This was the only present she asked for... she's an easy kid! :)

I think they had more fun climbing on the couch than retrieving the cheap chocolate I gave them...
The most important thing for me this year was to teach the kids that Christmas isn't about getting presents and that even the presents they do get are from someone who cares a great deal for them. Their focus couldn't have been better! They were very appreciative for what they got and I was happy to see them so easily satisfied.
PS: The books were GREAT! Especially the Biscuit books. Reilly's so addicted to reading lately.

All she wants for Christmas...

Reilly's front two teeth have been teetering by a thread of skin that she is as emotionally attached to as she is physically attached! Today, she finally let Dustin yank (really, it was bumped) it out. It barely bled and she didn't notice that it was out until Dustin showed her the tooth... Now, because her other tooth is slowly being pushed forward, she looks, to me, like an ogre! Hahaha! We tried all night to try to get it out, but she wasn't having it. She's not ready to let it go, I guess.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stupid Comcast, computers, etc!

I've been at this stupid computer since 9:30pm! Tonight! Of all nights! I was planning on going to bed early so that I could finally get some sleep! Well, forget that... I stayed up worrying about computer crashes and dealing with LAME-O internet companies who hire MORONS to hang up on customers... and other such nonsensical things! Is that enough exlamation points? I THINK NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eyebrow Raising...

I tried to teach Sean what to do if he saw a pretty girl... raise his eyebrows up and down fast in their general direction. Well, it was HILARIOUS what happened! He couldn't do it. Reilly was barely better, but the whole thing made up a very funny video. Check it out.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Remembering You

Few people can be summed up in one picture and, Dad, this one's you!

Beth got a new camera for Christmas and snapped some pictures of the fam. I thought they were all fabulous, but this one made me think, "This is how I'll remember Dad." Not to sound morbid or anything... It's just that this is an image I already come up with of when thinking of Dad. Sitting on the couch with a 'huh?' look on his face while he plays with his part.

This is not the sum of Mom, but it is a great picture!

Mom's culinary skills do come to mind when thinking of her, but this photo doesn't capture her quite like Dads did. I'm totally jealous of that kitchen every time I see it, though.


There are two items of 'gimpness' to discuss today. First, Reilly's having some issues with her front tooth lately. Her permanent tooth is pushing out her baby tooth before the root is dissolved. This is creating pressure and giving her a headache. The last few nights haven't gone too well and I wind up sleeping with one eye open or in her bed. Well! Her bed is HORRIBLE! I slept there the first night she had problems and must've been on a spring all night because I woke up with THE worst pain in my hip! It hasn't gone away either! It hurts when I do pretty much anything but lay down. I'm having issues!! Yesterday, Dustin, the kids and I went to UVU to get student IDs (Dustin needed a new one for the nursing program) and visit with the music school advisor. I registered for classes and checked on financial aid while we were there, too. Can you guess how much walking around I did!?!?!? OWWWWWWIE!

Okay, then second gimp thing, I was planning on scheduling the surgery on my other foot for January, but since I'm taking classes, I don't think that's going to happen... hmmm... I guess I can have odd feet for a few more months. It's not like they're getting worse.