Sunday, September 19, 2010


Last Sunday evening, which also happened to be garbage night, my Visiting Teacher made a surprise visit to our house. You know that is just when someone will show up to see me- when all 10 of the garbage cans in our house are sitting in the front room teeming with smelly week old garbage waiting to be taken out.


But I don't care because she brought me this....

She said it was repentance for not visiting me last month. I told her that I really like her type of repentance.

Who wants a chocolate cake from me?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Constructively Nonconstructive

First day of school 2010
A week or so before school started, Ashton came to me with that look on his face and the famous summer phrase on his lips- "I'm bored."

I instantly responded with, "I've got plenty of things you can do." while the list of jobs that needed to be done scrolled through my head.

He quickly retaliated through gritted teeth with "I don't want to work, Mom." 

Since he had already completed his chores for the day I couldn't argue with him, so I listed a number of other things he could do. He wanted nothing to do with any of them and said, "I don't really feel like doing anything constructive." as he sulked out of the room. Figuring he would eventually find something to occupy his time I headed off to Cub Scouts.

When I came home he was busily at work surrounded by cardboard and armed with my glue gun. When he emerged he had created this masterpiece- a tech deck skate park.

I never have really understood what was so great about those mini skateboards they move with their fingers until I took the boys and some of their friends to the real skate park down the street.

Steep cement walls leading down into a cement pit with kids of all sizes zooming back and forth is not particularly my idea of fun. It's more like a nightmare ER visit with a head injury or gaping head wound waiting to happen. Needless to say, by the time we left I had 10 new gray hairs and a new found appreciation for the simplicity and safety of tech decks. Because really....what's the worse that can happen with a tech deck? Maybe a hangnail or at the worse, a sprained finger? Those injuries I can handle.

Also, if you have you ever priced the pieces that go into a tech deck park you know that they are certainly not cheap. I figure Ashton's nonconstructive ingenuity that boring summer day saved about $35-$45.

Maybe I should let him be nonconstructive more often.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What I Learned in Kindergarten...

On Tuesday, Ben started Kindergarten and I guess technically, I did too.You see, Ben was really excited to finally be able to call Amelia Earhart his school, just like his brothers do. He has been waiting for and was completely ready to finally start Kindergarten. I didn't even get emotional dropping him off on his first day because I was so happy that he was finally getting what he wanted. Well, that and the fact that I stayed the entire time.

Walking to school with the brothers.

Why did I stay the entire time when I had a boy who didn't make a fuss or cry at the prospect of me leaving? Why didn't I leave when I could have enjoyed 3 hours tackling my list of "Things to do once the kids are in school"? The reason is because as a friend and I were getting ready to leave, we noticed 28 little bodies filled to the brim with anxious excited energy that the first day of school, let alone the first day of kindergarten brings. We also noticed the teacher doing her best to field parent's questions while trying calm the separation anxiety of a few of them too, while attempting to contain all of that anxious excited energy into a civilized classroom of learning- by herself.

Needless, to say this is a daunting task for even the Superhero-est of seasoned educators like Mrs. Thibault.

Superhero Mrs. Thibault

Luckily, Richard was home and willing to watch Emma, so I was able help along with my friend, Rachel. I would describe the rest of the day as organized chaos. It took all 3 of us and a Foster Grandparent who came to help to wrangle those 28 little bodies through all the activities of the morning. It was thoroughly exhausting. But I can't wait to help out again.

And you might think that Kindergarten is too elementary for an adult, but experiencing it for a second time around, there was still plenty of education to be had. These are a few of the things I learned;

- A party where the majority of the presents are Kleenex, glue sticks, and Ziploc bags is oddly still  really exciting.
- Actually getting the cupcake with pink frosting dams a flood of tears and makes a lot of things right with the world again to a 5 yr old girl.
- Even though a story was told about pigs, snails, fish, and cats going to school, acting like a chipmunk while you are in school is not acceptable. (This one's for you, Rachel :)
- When you're a Kindergartner you can wear 2 completely different shoes to school and it's apparently okay.
- Those shoes can even be 2 different sizes.
- Kindergarten teachers should go straight to heaven for all of the shoelaces they have to tie in the space of 3 hours.
- Bible names were really popular for baby boys in 2004 & 2005.
- Even though you may have a named your son a conservative Bible name, it does not guarantee that he will have Christ-like behavior.
- Riding the bus is kind of a really big deal when you are 5.
- The phrase "pockets, pretzels, basket" has nothing to do with food. Bummer.
- You have snack time a half an hour before you go home and your mom attempts to feed you something nutritious.
- I was not meant to be a Kindergarten teacher.
- I am really glad there are people who are- like Mrs. Thibault.
- No matter how old I or Ben will ever get, it is still the best when Daddy and Emma come to pick us up.

I think Ben's face and skip say it all- Kindergarten is awesome.