Sunday, April 28, 2013

farmhouse progress.

More exciting stuff happening out at the farm lately! 

We had a basement floor... 

And then the next day, we had a swimming pool.

Luckily, the weather dried up (except for that freak snowstorm! Crazy weather.) They've made all kinds of progress in the past week. It's so much fun to go out there and walk around and actually be able to tell what rooms are going to look like.

Main floor walls and roof trusses should be up this week!

birthday letters.

My sweet para, Miss Amy, put together the sweetest little book for my birthday. (A month ago... I'm behind, I know.) 

She had all my students write letters and then bound them all together into a book. They were all super sweet, but here's a few of my favorites... 

The punctuation cracks me up on this one. She loves me? I love you? =)

This one cracks me up...

Thank you, Miss Amy, for this sweet little treasure! I love it! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

kansas weather.

Seriously, Kansas.
Get it together.
I drove 40 mph on the highway on the way to school this morning.
Visibility in town was like a block and a half.
Visibility outside of town was worse.
Huge, blowing snowflakes.
So crazy.
On Sunday, the kids were wearing shorts and running around barefoot.

I'm so over winter and so ready for spring.
C'mon, Mother Nature.
Give us a break.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

first grade writing.

I love 1st grade writing. And phonetic spelling. It makes me smile.  
(Yes, I believe in teaching spelling and we do have certain "rules" about words that need to be spelled correctly. But for the most part, I try and try and try to just get these kiddos to WRITE! We stretch words, break words, listen to the sounds we hear and try our best. In my experience, as they become better readers, they become better spellers. I want them to get their ideas down and not get hung up on conventions and worrying about whether or not things are spelled correctly.) 

Most people would look at something like this and not see anything that makes any sense at all. And it's true. It really just looks like a bunch of random letters. But a first grade teacher can see more... 

We started with a directed drawing of a little leprechaun, sitting under a mushroom. I gave them some time to color and add in some details to their drawings and then gave them time to write. (We worked on these for a couple days.) Here's what one of my little guys came up with... 
"One sunny hot day, Luke (Loock) the leprechaun was under his mushroom. In the spring, Luke was protecting his gold all night long."

"Luke lived in a field. In the field there were tigers. The tigers collected gold. The tigers eat leprechauns to get the gold!"

"Before the tigers could eat Luke, Luke ran away. The tigers could not catch Luke. Luke found another mushroom. He was safe."

"All night long, Luke was safe until a rattlesnake slithered close to Luke. Luke takes his pot of gold and smashed the pot of gold on the rattlesnake's head."

"Luke was safe again. Then a tortoise (tortust) snapped his jaw at Luke. Luke put a cup of hot lava soup on the tortoise's head."

"No more animals came to try to eat Luke. Luke was safe forever. He slept all night long. He stayed in New York under his mushroom."

If you can look past the handwriting... figure out the almost complete lack of finger spaces... read the phonetic spelling... this is an amazing little story! I loved it and he was so, so proud of it!

We'll keep working on punctuation, finger spaces and capital letters. Obviously... we've got a little bit of work to do there. =)

Monday, April 15, 2013


Cows are not my favorite right now.

Corey leaves for work at 4:30 am.
I wake up enough to tell him goodbye... that I love him... and to please drive safe.
Then he texts me around 6:00 am to tell me he got there.
He usually gets home at 5:30.
Tonight it was 6:00, because he stopped at Wal-Mart for a few things. (We miss Wal-Mart being 3 minutes away).
Then he left again at 6:15 to go feed cows. (and look at the progress on the house.)

While he was gone, I stuck Gretchen in the bathtub and started on supper.
Usually the other two argue over who gets to play with her while she's in the tub.
Tonight they argued over who HAD to stay in there with her. Super helpful.
They must have each come downstairs 4 times during her 20 minute bath to complain about the other.

Finished up Gretchen's bath and got her all jammied up before supper.
Everyone ate all their supper (Without complaining even. Amazing!)
Well, everyone but Gretchen. She ate her green beans, 1/2 her piece of bread and some applesauce. No goulash. She hopped away from the table, telling me, "I'll have dessert tomorrow."

10 minutes later, the scene was just so chaotic... it made me laugh.
I was literally...
* washing dishes
* listening to Lawson read his take home book
* helping Sophie with math homework
* signing permission slips for field trips and special activies
* writing down field trips and activities on the calendar
* writing myself notes on the calendar about when each kid needs a sack lunch
* commenting on each article of clothing that Gretchen was dragging out from the stack in the living room (I went through a Rubbermaid tub of summer clothes and pulled out some that I thought would fit her.)

It was when Gretchen was literally grabbing my face in her little hands... asking me if she could wear a sweet striped sundress to Sadie's house tomorrow... Lawson and Sophie are both talking to me at the same time and I swear it sounded like 6 kids all saying, "Mom? Mom. Mom! Mommy. Momma! Mommy!!" Maybe not 6 kids... but more than 3.

Corey finally got home at 7:45.
I took a couple containers of goulash to the neighbors. (I am a horrible judge of pasta. Pretty sure I made enough to feed 12 people.) Loved on our little porch kitty, Olive. (Who lives on the Meneley's porch now, since their tiny dog doesn't sound like it is going to eat her.)
Let Corey brush teeth and read books and get everyone in bed while I sorted out Gretchen's entire book of little removable stickers. 5 different scenes... 175 stickers... now all sorted back into their original spots.
Did it really need done? No.
But it provided me with a little bit of order and calm and organization.
Just what I needed to counter act the crazy.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

10 days ago.

I got to meet my newest niece a couple weekends ago. Emma. Isn't she a happy, chubby little thing?

And I got to see my sister, which is always a good time. I think it had been 9 months since we had seen each other? 

Unfortunately, my grandma's funeral was the reason for her visit. (My dad's mom. But apparently we never got a picture with my dad.)

She was 93 and she had lived a really good life. She was ready to go home, she had been in some pain and it was time. Funerals are never easy, but they are easier when the person is 93. My dad and my uncle both spoke at the funeral and did a great job. I admire them both.
My Grandma Ruby and my cousin, Lacey. 

We had Lawson's birthday, Easter and my grandma's funeral all in the same weekend. And they were digging our basement and pouring the walls those days, too. It was a tad chaotic. (Hence the reason I am just now blogging about this and why we were dying Easter eggs before we went to bed on Easter Sunday. I just wasn't keeping up that weekend.) 

But regardless of the circumstances... any time spent with family is always a fun time. These 3 definitely had a fun time with Baby Emma. She was never lacking for attention when they were around. =) 

The night of the funeral, we had all eaten supper at my mom and dad's house. Corey and I left to get all the kids home for bed around 8:15. I ended up coming home, getting kids to bed, (changing into my pajamas) and then going back to mom and dad's. It ended up being my mom, my dad, my sister and I... all just sitting around and talking... until 11:30 pm. (When my mom made me go home, since I had school the next day.) =) We were trying to remember back to the last time it was just the 4 of us together. No kids (we have 10 between the 2 of us!), no husbands (only 2 of those)... just us. Years ago, I'm sure. It was nice. (Especially when we started getting tired and slap-happy.)

A sad day, but it ended with a happy memory.
I like happy memories. =)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


She thinks her Uncle Corey is pretty funny.

And we think she's pretty sweet.

I kind of love her little duck face.

And I really love that giggle.

She makes me smile. =)

Monday, April 8, 2013


Who says you have to dye eggs before Easter? (Sophie and Lawson might have needed a little convincing that there wasn't a rule about this...)

Happy kids.
Sweet baby niece.
Easter eggs.
Chocolate/peanut butter eggs.
Happy memories.