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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Different Styles

Glad when I can help.

Even if it causes me anxiety to see students walking around when the teacher is talking.
Or getting up mid-directions to ask to use the bathroom without raising their hand, 7 minutes after the morning bell just rang from recess. Or not pushing their chair in and almost tripping one of the volunteers there to help. Or having no real plan as to what you want as a final product in terms of their "Math Assignment," because you just thought of it 2 minutes before I walked in the room. Or having no idea where you put anything because organization is a challenge for you.

Honestly though, I have to applaud Afton's teacher. She gives them a lot of freedom and they feel empowered. The kids love her and overall they completed the assignment. It wasn't pretty, or organized, or anything at all compared to what I would have accepted in my classroom. But, that's okay. We all have our own styles and one is not better than the other. The styles are just different. I learned a valuable lesson today. I also learned a few new ways to build a gingerbread house from these cute kids.


"Momma. I will keep hin in my room." ~ Jocelyn

"If that cute pup is still in our yard when we get home than it's a sign that we're supposed to be his new family." ~ Jack

"Mom. It's like a Christmas Miracle. And maybe this dog is even one that can talk like in all those movies." ~ Afton

"Can we pyease keep hin?" ~ Jocelyn

"Russell. Russell. Let's name him Russell." ~ Jack

"You can take back all of my Christmas presents if you let us keep him. All of them." ~ Afton

"Daddy would say yes Momma." ~ Jocelyn

"I just really miss Deuce. And I think it would just bring back all kinds of good memories so maybe we should really think about it." ~ Jack

"Mom. This other family must not love him as much as we already do because they just let him roam free. Come on mom." ~ Afton

My response to all of the above - "Nope."

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Listening with Love

I'm sad my boy is sick but we've had a lot of time to just snuggle and chat. And I've loved every minute of it. He's done a lot of talking for a boy with a sore throat and horrendous cough, but I've listened to it all.

He talked about a boy named Lawrence who moved into his class earlier this month. He told me along time ago, the first day he met him, how sad he was for him because he didn't have a backpack when he got to school and he couldn't even spell his name. "How is that possible mom? He's in second grade? Did he not have any teachers who loved him enough to help him? What about his family?" He told me this morning while in the sauna that his prayers had been answered. He's been praying for Lawrence to get help and he's now in the special needs class and he just seems so much happier. "I always smile at him when I see him. He likes that I still remember his name. I think it makes him feel special. He's a pretty good kid."

He talked about soccer. "I'm getting better but I'm still not as good as Justice. And he's such a mean kid. I think it's like you said mom. He probably doesn't have a great life at home. He said that he got hit from his mom once and I was sad for him. But that doesn't make it okay for him to hit us while we're playing. Plus, I'm worried about Evan again. I just want him to see that I'm scared he's going to get hurt if Justice turns on him. But, I will just keep playing soccer to get better and better, trying not to punch Justice in the face to teach him a lesson. Hopefully Justice will just have fun and forget about being a bully."

He talked about his teacher. "Mrs. Cummings foot is healing. I ask her if I can help when I see her sitting down because she hardly ever does that. So, I know it must be bothering her. I really like her. I've had some good teachers, except for that crazy lady last year. I'm sad when Mrs. Cummings is gone, but I also like that she gets nice subs when she has doctors appointments. Like Mrs. Pidrone. She's so fun. I think she's like 72 or something and she always shares fun stories with us when she is here. She used to be a teacher but she got tired. Or retired. Or something. Anyway. I like when she's there. She makes me feel good. I also like my computer teacher. She's the only nice one of the specialists. She doesn't get mad if we make a mistake. But I guess, all of them are really nice. Nothing like that horrible music teacher we had in Las Vegas. She was the worst."

He talked about video games. "Can we be done in here so I can play on the phone? I found a new soccer game. Oh and a race car game that looked pretty sweet. I'm sweating my butt off in here mom. Honestly. I think you're trying to kill me."

I love my thoughtful, smart, funny, sick little Jack boy.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

In Her Blood

The girl, well the big girl, came home from school early this week with big news.

"Mom. Mrs. Hansen put the Soaring Eagles in charge of planning our class party today at a lunch meeting. At first everyone just sat there, and so I finally just started talking. I suggested the theme, and everyone loved it. It's 'Winter Wonderland,' like your party. So then I just started asking people if they would bring stuff. My friends had some good ideas too. I assigned people to bring lights for the classroom, another person is in charge of decorations. Nadia is making cookies with her mom, but I'm bringing all the stuff to decorate the cookies. So, I need you to buy it. Okay? It's going to be a great party. Oh, and I told Mrs. Hansen that you can come in to do a craft, a snowman one or something. She knows you're good at that stuff. So, put it on your calendar. Jocy can come too. She'll have fun. I already okayed it with Mrs. Hansen."

At first, I didn't believe that this was all happening, because what teacher gives full reign to a group of 3rd graders for a party??? Plus, I  wanted some confirmation from her teacher before I dropped all kinds of money on that stuff.

I called the teacher. I emailed the teacher. I left a message at the office for the teacher.  No luck hearing from her for days. Finally I heard from her one day after school, in person. "Afton has planned the most wonderful party for our class. I was so impressed with her ideas and ability to delegate. I could really tell it must be in her blood to did this sort of thing. So, can you help out? She said you can and we're excited for your youngest daughter to join us as well."

I was pretty proud. Party planning is definitely in her blood. 

Westra Winter Wonderland planned by her mom, but it met her approval.

Hot Chocolate Bar 
Mild panic attack when you purchase 500 cups and 500 lids, in separate boxes and ask the Costco man if these will work together... and you prepare your whole party for this one treat, only to find out they don't actually fit! UGH!!!!!
Thankfully Winco had something up the street but pretty bummed it didn't match my color scheme. 
Freaking blue and purple. What the heck?

She didn't care one bit that I had just cleaned the table and that soon people would be coming over to eat here. Stinker.

Yeah Yeah - ugly sweaters on 2 cute chicks

Family Game exchange

Another successful party that he helps me throughout!

Ain't Nobody Got Time for That

Some people like to bake cookies.

I don't.

Too messy. And if I make them, I will eat them. And with my Dr. Pepper addiction, I shouldn't partake in any other naughty calories.

So, this little gem was a magical thing for my kids, because I sure as _ _ _ _ was not making actual gingerbread cookies to decorate.

Because honestly... refer to the title of this post.

They loved it. They were so creative and shockingly, kind while sharing all of the ingredients... except when Jocelyn snuck a few extra candy bows. Overall, it was worth the whole $7.99 and my peace of mind.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Seattle Must Dos

Just a few things you have to do in Seattle:

1. Ferry Rides

2. Pike Place Market

3. The Gum Wall

4. Fremont Troll

5. Eat a grinder

6. Kerry Park

Taken on an iPhone in portrait mode
Taken on Galaxy S8 Plus

She says she's not coming back. 
She either can't handle the rain, or she doesn't love me enough. 

I'm not buying it. 
She'll be back and we'll be happy to have her. 

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