Middle School 101

Someone really needs to write a book on how to survive the middle school years… for PARENTS. Sigh.

Maybe it is just me, but I feel like middle school is a ton of work, not only for the kids – but for the parents too. I feel like I have ulcers in the pit of my stomach because of how much worrying I do. We’ve organized the notebook and folders, she does her homework – and somehow, somehow there are missing grades. I really want to be a fly on the wall to see what goes on all day in each class. According to the 6th grader, several boys in 2 of her classes are very disruptive and the teacher spends most of the hour scolding them and then the whole class about the way to act in school… which then takes away from classwork and instruction time.

Not only this, but the county has a site for parents to check the students assignments and grades. I am obsessed with looking at it twice a day. Not that it helps my imaginary ulcers, but I do it anyway.

I was thinking about the movie Frozen this morning. The song “Let it Go” really applies to me here… I need to let it go. I keep dwelling on the words “missing assignment” or the fact that she got 10 out of 12, on a homework assignment that I checked and all the math problems she did correctly. It is hard to be a mom.

 


Time flies when you having fun…

In less than two weeks I will have a middle schooler. – That sound? It was my heart falling into the pit of my stomach. Not only is it hard to grasp that I have an 11 year old, rising 6th grader, but it is hard to grasp that – that much time has passed since her birth. The younger one will be a 4th grader and almost 10. 

I was just looking back at the last time I blogged – I was talking about my 6th grader’s 10th birthday party when she was a 4th grader. Where did the last year and a half go? 

I’m really excited about what this year will bring. I vividly remember middle school. I don’t really remember much about elementary school, but now that I will have a middle schooler, I’m excited for her and ready to share some of my experiences with her. Hopefully I can be a good pep-talker.

In other news, we spent some time in Idaho this summer. My in-laws moved out there about two years ago… so last summer and this summer we took a two week vacation there. It is beautiful. We started taking family hikes, which my husband loves… and the kids and I like. I say that because we normally end up on a hike that takes 8 hours or so and ends up going straight up on rocky terrain. While the “up” is definitely hard, the “down” is painful on my old knees. Anyway, there is so much that has happened and place we have visited, etc… that I’m just going to end with – I’m going to make a collaboration of crock pot meals that I make and list them on a new blog… so that is the only reason I popped on here and started typing. :-) Until next time…


Day and Night

 

There couldn’t be more differences than that between Sir Day and Queen Night. One is bright, one is dark. One brings hustle, one brings calm. One brings life, one brings sleep. One brings fears, one brings dreams.

It seems that not only are my children very different, but because of the difference in school age – there is also a huge difference. They are only 19 months a part, but in school 2 years. Second grade brings innocence, pride, playfulness. Fourth grade brings uncertainty, fear and reality. I was just looking at my kids school pictures. The 4th grader looks so grown up. She has a huge smile, shoulders pulled back with confidence and a certain look of knowledge. However, the picture isn’t quite truthful. The 4th grader is only semi-confident and she definitely pouts more than she smiles. The 2nd grader looks cutesy and has her shoulders tilted. She is playful and loves to revert to baby talk. I’m not sure what happens in Third grade – somewhere in the second part of the year, they grow up. They realize they are their own person. Friends change, personalities change. It is so hard to know when and where to step in – or what to say… I sometimes usually say the wrong thing and get stomps and shouts my way. What’s a parent to do? I’m just so lost sometimes…

I’m not complaining. My kids are great. They are well behaved and they love to hug and giggle. We spend our weekends playing games, taking walks and just being together.

Don’t tell the Hubs that I uploaded this… the girls decided to give daddy a “do” while he was relaxing. I wish the girls would still wear these cute barrettes.

In other news, we celebrated part of the 4th graders 10th birthday at the American Girl Store yesterday. We were there for FOUR hours. First, we walked around and oooo and awed over all the dolls, outfits and accessories. Then the girls did a craft. Then we had Tea in the Bistro. They even had little high chairs and tea cups for the dolls.

  

Ready for Tea

so dainty

the almost 10 year old… she was so embarrassed when the entire Bistro started singing to her!

Then, the girls went on a scavenger hunt throughout the dual-level store. When we finally left, I felt like I had run a few miles. Grammy came along too. The girls were so excited because my mom and dad have been RVing for the last 3 months and they are finally home.

Speaking of RVing, for the remainder of the kids break, they are camping with my parents. I recently took a new part time job, so I am able to catch up on some work while they are gone. First though, time to plan the real birthday party and wrap some presents!!


A thing called Love

The first time our eyes met was on a Sunday in October of 1998. Church had ended and we were both talking to our friends. Like a pull from a magnet our gazes met from across the room and we both gravitated towards each other.

“Hi,” you said, “I’m Chris.”
“Hello,” I said, “I’m Kim.”
“I know. You are the singer girl.”, you said.

Summer of 1999

Somehow you obtained my phone number (some meddling from a friend and my sister) and called me that night. We talked for a few hours and I held a smile the entire time. After two weeks of dating, we discussed marriage. We both agreed that our parents might snap and decided to wait six months. A few weeks before our six month mark, you had dinner with my parents and asked for my hand. We were engaged soon after and married a year later.

May 2000

In a whirlwind we left for flight school. Moved again, had two kids. Moved again… but through it all there was a thing called love. The glue that holds us together.

Jan 2011

 

 


The way you walk

Almost every morning, I walk my dog Sammy. I pass the same cars leaving for work, I pass the same people on their walks… we nod and wave. A strange thing happens when I pass someone different. Somehow, my rear end gets bigger. Not literally, of course, but when I see someone coming out of their house or standing in their yard – I become self-conscious of how I walk. My leg twitches and I start to walk funny. Maybe I’m vain, they probably aren’t even glancing my way.

In other rambling, Valentine’s day is coming. I’ve been married for 11 and a half years and we have yet to celebrate it. Thanks Hallmark for another glorified excuse to charge me extra at dinner with my husband. Do we really need a day dedicated to love? Do people live the other 364 days of the year forgetting to love? No, Hallmark needed an excuse to sell pink and red cards, candy and chocolate. Don’t get me wrong, I do love me some pink – and chocolate, but I don’t want to pay double the cost for a reese’s cup because it is shaped like a heart. (Sure the hearts and easter egg shapes DO somehow taste better than the regular shaped cups… how do they do that?) Anyway, I will be attending a Girl Scout meeting that night… should be fun. What do you like to do (or not do) for Valentine’s day?

ah, love


Ski week

There is a week in January that is dubbed, “Ski week”. The local high schoolers are testing the entire week, so we dismiss 2 hours early each day and then the following week, we get off Monday and Tuesday. In the words of my 8 year old (that loves school), “Why do we get out of school if only the highschoolers are testing?” You nailed that one on the head girl!

The girls have never been skiing. After all, ice skating was a big feat, so I wasn’t sure the kids were up to this task. I went back and forth on whether to even take the 8 year old, since she tends to be whiney when learning new things. She doesn’t neccessarily give up, but she will struggle her way through with a sour face and the noises to go with it. In the end, we enrolled both kids in a 2 hour class/4 hour pass. They learned how to move their feet sans skis, then with one ski on, then with both skis. When they went up the magic carpet to go down the bunny hill, I left. I didn’t want to be a distraction OR an excuse to quit. I came back and hour later and was shocked to see that both of my girls were getting on the ski lift to go down a pretty long hill. Pride swelled up in my heart when I saw them coming down the hill – the 9 year old by herself and the 8 year old holding on to an instructors pole. As the 8 year old skied up to me, she had a sour look on her face, but got back in line for the lift. I was more nervous about her not getting a seat on the lift fast enough than I was about her falling down the hill. When they came back around, she was skiing alone! Needless-to-say, after the lesson both girls spent the next two hours going down the slopes with daddy. I am so proud of both of them!

Since the kids had off 2 days in a row, the day before was spent ice skating! I told the 8 year old (after she fell) that falling on the ice hurt way more than falling in the snow. I talked skiing up all day – I think it worked!


Old Wounds

Remember the saying, “time heals old wounds”? Well, it is somewhat true… That is until something triggers your memory and the wound reopens and hurts more than you remember.

What things trigger your memories? For me it is music or scents. A song will come on and if there is a memory associated with it – good or bad – it comes flooding back. The same thing can be said for scents. A whiff of something I’ve smelled before and where I was or who I was with usually invades my thoughts. Strangely enough, no music or scents are really associated with one old wound… The loss of our dog, Rusty, last year. However, having our new pup around triggers good memories… Which sometimes makes me sad.

Along the same lines, I am producing creating an iMovie called “A Decade of ( child’s name)” for her birthday which is in a few months. It is unbelievable that I’ve been a mom for almost 10 years. Scary, really. It is really hard for me to remember how she was at 2 years old… Thank goodness for old pictures and movies. Too bad the quality wasn’t great… Or that most of the early years are on those small 8 mm cassettes. (I remember those being so cool! The latest modern technology. Speaking of technology… I am trying out writing this on my new iPad2! Woot!) hopefully the movie turns out great and it will be something she watches many times. I am hoping to also make her a baby book. There are a few old albums that I started with baby pics, but it ends after everything went digital. I’m going to scan the old pics and make an online book to print. Besides that, what do you buy a 10 year old???

20120109-151102.jpg
Matching vests… with Grampy.


Super Mom, uh-huh

Not to toot my own horn, but I pretty much “did it all” the other day. Scene.

Wake up, make school lunches, substitute teach half day, pass child in hallway who exclaims “my ear hurts”, takes child to doctor, gets antibiotic, flea bomb the entire house, take dog and child to pick up sister-in-law and drive to the airport… and arrive home by 4:15 to make dinner.

End Scene.

I realize that it has been a few months since my last post. Not only did I get so overwhelmed by the school year, but then the holiday’s happened… and fleas. Yes, poor sweet mini golden pup attracted fleas, six weeks ago. After many – every two week applications of back and forth Frontline to Advantage doses, Capstar instant kill pills and flea bombing the house for the 3rd time… I’m hoping we are done. I mean, each time we will be flea free for a week or so and then BAM, another population of fleas is born. The vet blames the unusual warm weather and claims that 50% of her clients are having flea issues. Not only do I have to spray the furniture, carpets, baseboards and bedding with flea spray, but then after we arrive back home 3 hours later, I have to wash, mop and vacuum it all. It is a pain. We are all itchy. I take two showers a day because I can’t get rid of “that feeling”.

Speaking of the cute little mini golden pup – he loves our Christmas tree ornaments. This is his first Christmas. He slept through the tree trimming – didn’t seem phased by it at all… then suddenly the next day he seemed surprised that a tree was in our house with a ton of nice goodies for him to eat. At first he was only interested in the round ones – why are all these balls on the tree? After those were gone or put up high, it was time to grab anything within reach. Maybe mommy won’t notice if I hide behind this chair with it. Chomp Chomp. I have placed a container with coins in it next to the tree – so if I catch the ornament thief near the tree, I can shake it. So far this has not discouraged him to steal a shiny treat when I’m not in the room.

In other news, today is “Polar Express” day at school. The kids get to wear their pajama’s to school and towards the end of the day they will watch the movie and have hot chocolate. Somehow, I had a lapse in reasoning and volunteered myself to make 3 gallons of hot chocolate. I bet I will look cute lugging the huge gatorade container in to school.


Lunch Time

Life. I exist because the Lord made me, in His image to glorify and worship Him.

My calling is to be a great wife and mother, which I strive to do everyday. I figure out my faults and work on doing better. I pray for my marriage, my kids health and for their future husbands. I look for ways to help others, like tomorrow I am taking dinner to a friend that just had a baby. I feel like my every move is me –  trying harder to be more like Jesus. Yet, I fail.

I’m only human. After all.

Well that doesn’t seem like a good excuse to fail.

I have hobbies… passions, just like the next Joe. Some of these passions include singing, writing and graphic arts. I also like to volunteer my time at the elementary school. I join teams or book clubs because I like to. No one is forcing me to sing on the worship team at church. No one forces me to read a book and then talk about it with a group of girls over wine. I DO because I WANT.

I volunteer because I am using my time and talents to serve others. I go to serve because I like to help out. No one told me that I had to volunteer. I DO because I WANT.

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The other day I witnessed something. A cute, sweet little girl came up to my daughter, put her arm around her and proclaimed, “You WILL sit next to me at lunch.” My daughter, being a bit shy and sweet herself replied, “I would like to sit with Judy today. I sat with you every day this year so far.” To which the little girl replied, “No, you are sitting with me!” … and so she did. She also cried about it later.

There are many forms of bullying. Some know they are doing it, some do not. How might we solve an issue like this? A sweet little girl telling others what to do… I am at a loss.

————————————————

I leave you with a funny:

The whole point in writing songs is to publish them… my daughter, age 7 brought a handful of papers to me the other night. It was pages of words that she had written. She was glowing and a bit embarrassed for me to read them. She claimed that it was a bunch of silly, crazy songs that she had made up – but maybe she should just throw them away – quick!… because after all, The whole point in writing songs is to publish them – and these are waaayyyy to silly to publish.

How can I keep from singing Your Name? I am loved by the King and it makes my heart - want to sing


Funny bones…

The funny part about funny bones is nothing. I mean really, who came up with that?

Instead of harping on all that has happened in the last two weeks (earthquake, hurricanes, flooding), I am going to share a few funnies.

Remember Rusty? Our old faithful one eyed Golden Retriever who wouldn’t walk over grates. I love how dogs have quirks. Sammy, our 8 month old pup is not afraid of much. He sat with us on the Fourth of July to watch fireworks – unfazed. He walks over grates or other obstructions without hesitating. Thunder is his friend. However, Sammy will not go up or downstairs at our house. It is not that he dislikes stairs, he has gone up and down plenty of them that are outside… but it is something about the carpet (texture?) that he doesn’t like. He has made it upstairs a few times (when he was little enough to still squeeze himself on the hardwood part of the stairs) and then proceeded to either chew up kids toys or pee… so, I’m fine with the fact that he has a carpet aversion.

another Sammy quirk...

My kids think they are comedians. So much so that both of them can recite entire sets of Brian Regan. In fact, if you were a fly on the wall at our house, you would frequently hear conversations where each person replies with a line or two from a set. Just this morning as husband was leaving for work, the following conversation took place:

Husband: “Bye guys, have a good day.”
Kids: “You too!”
Husband: “Take Luck”
Kids: “Take care of the luck you might have…”

Okay – so it is only funny if you have listened to BR…

What I think is funny is when my little comedians come up with their own material. Whether it is funny or not – it is pretty cute when they think what they said was a winner.

In other news… did I mention that the youngest finally learned how to ride her bike sans training wheels? Hooo Weee, what a day.

husband running with 7 year old…

… and we finally bought a tree to place Rusty under…

goodbye friend...

oh yeah, and the first day of school…

do I really have a 4th and 2nd grader?

and for the fun of it… an easy, yummy recipe that I made up:

White bean and Black bean (or half and half) Soup:

2 cans Cannelli beans
1 clove garlic
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/2 and 1/2 (about a 1/2 of a cup)

blend, heat

1 can black beans
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/2 and 1/2 (about 1/2 a cup)

blend, add some sweet corn, heat

Ladle white bean on one side of the bowl and black bean on the other side of the bowl to create the half and half look… eat.


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