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Dec 20, 2008

Caity's Christmas Story

The Christmas Accident
Close to Christmas, a beautiful Christmas fairy named Rose was born.  When Rose turned four she realized that some states had no snow during Christmas.  She thought that was terrible!  She tried to find clues down on the ground.  She never looked up in the sky, so she tried and figured out that it's not cold enough.  She went back to her home in Coligh with her polar bear and found a spell.  Then she went in the clouds and shouted, "Colswinter, holswinter!"  That worked, but on Christmas Eve it was a blizzard. Rose thought it was wonderful, but the people did not like it.  Rose knew how to undo the spell.  She shouted the opposite, "Holswinter, colswinter!"  It worked a second a time.  Now Rose knows not to mess with snow.

THE END

Dec 19, 2008

Christmas Performance Number Two

Here is the dancing debut of Malena.  The cutest part I did not even get on camera.  Before the teacher began Malena made an announcement that her best friend Madison was not there because she had another performance.  She then informed everyone that just two would be dancing that night.   She showed all the confidence in world in front of the mini crowd. Where did this girl come from?  


And here it is....

 
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Dec 17, 2008

Christmas Performance


Caitlyn is in her second year of dance and loving it.  Her dance teacher says that I gave birth to her mini me.  I am just thrilled that we have found a teacher that appreciates her enthusiasm for life and allows her to express herself.  During December, the studio has an observation day where all the parents can see what they have learned.  They also perform one of many short routines they work on in the first semester.  This year, they did it to Loverly from My Fair Lady.  Caity was all about embracing the character of the dance and wanted to go all out.  When she arrived she found that her friends did not share the enthusiasm and quickly removed the make-up and tattered shirt that she was perfecting all day.  Oh well, at least I got a picture of it.  


Without further ado...
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This Thursday is Malena's turn, stay tuned!

Dec 12, 2008

Ha! Tricked you!


The sweet innocence of Malena is being replaced by her growing 'little/big sister' personality which is always looking for a laugh to repay her antics.  The latest one involves the Tooth Fairy tradition.  Malena has a rubber ring that has lost a petal.  I saw it on the ground and thought that it was a tooth.  That gave her the idea to trick the fairy into thinking that it is indeed an actual tooth.  Malena has put the petal under her pillow to wait for the fairy to place a few coins in it's place for a few nights.  Since the Tooth Fairy has missed our house before (OOPS)  and taken a few days to get their money, she has not given up her hope that she can cash out on this rubber petal.  I was guiding Malena to the decision to not trick the fairy, but she thinks it is hysterical that the Fairy will leave the house with just a rubber petal.  It is dark after all.  She doesn't care about the money which is comforting.  She just gets a kick out of tricking people, and wants to big just like Caity who has already gotten several visits from the Tooth Fairy.    

Dec 10, 2008

Shhh, The Secret Is Out

The big Christmas secret has been revealed to Caitlyn.  Apparently that is later than most, but that doesn't make truth go down any smoother.  There were tears and question after question as I sat down holding her at the kitchen table easing her into this new chapter of her life.  The next day it was as if a switch had been flipped that shot her forward into pre-teendom.  She had her first sleepover, asked for more chores, and tithed to the church on her own.  

I discovered  an hour worth of Caity episodes on the camera that I condensed to give you a taste of last year.  Even her voice sounds older now.  She is coming into her own and I watch with a touch of bitter- sweetness in my heart.  Mostly sweetness and excitement for the years to come and continued growth---  though no rush!
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Dec 1, 2008

Ahh, peace and quiet.



As sad as we were to not be going home for Thanksgiving, it was nice to have a low-key holiday.  We were fortunate enough to have Dad home with us for four days.  The kids (and myself) loved every minute of it.   All four played and played while I watched being incredibly thankful for all things in my life and for the bonding moments encased in the kids' memory boxes from this rare moment to breathe.


 I made my first Thanksgiving meal. I was pleased with how it turned out. Thanks goes  to all of the wonderful cooks I have gotten to watch throughout my life.  

The rest of the holiday was spent chilling and re-decorating the girls' room.  Caity has been asking for some more space for quite a while, and we tried to supply that for her.  The kitchen table is not as conducive to school work as it was last year, so a change was needed.    The color of the moment is AQUA.  Aqua clothes, hair things, notebooks, and now her room.   

It was sad to see the pink and green stripes with butterfly accents go that were a labor of love when we first knew Malena was coming into our lives.  It is absolutely crazy how you can become attached to paint.  That is one reason why Colin sleeps among rainbows, clouds and white picket fences as that is the first 'home improvement' project I did here.  Ah, memories.

The room won't be complete until we pick-up and assemble the new bunk bed tomorrow night.  As Caity says goodbye to pink, Malena is expressing herself through black.  Hmmm,  I haven't figured out how to incorporate that yet.  Good thing she is only four and her likes are fleeting.  Otherwise, they could have ended up with bright yellow and orange in the room.  

I haven't shopped at all and am having trouble getting amped up to go searching for 'that' gift.  I  like the pace that I am keeping right now.  The chauffeur part of my job starts up again tomorrow and holiday extravaganzas beckon, but right now I am enjoying peace in our little Aqua heaven. 

Nov 14, 2008

Stitches and Cell Phones

What a day!  I went to grab my usual cup of coffee and found myself in pleasant conversation with Caitlyn.  I went to check on the too quiet pair of Malena and Colin.  I saw Colin standing up on the bench and encouraged him down from his post.  It was then that he gave a whimper that alerted me to the gash in his finger.  (It was from a broken window that is to be fixed on Monday.) Having had an eventful past week I used my newly acquired knowledge about lacerations and promptly put pressure on the wound.  I sat for about 30 minutes where I found myself questioning my motherhood instincts and called the triage nurse.  She did her best to assure me that all was well, but if I really wanted our doctor to see him that she would make an appointment.  


We got there and he was lifeless.  For those of you who know him, you understand how this was abnormal.  I knew he had to be in pain, but he was so strong and only whined a little bit.  The doctor sent us to the emergency room and warned me that this would not be  a pleasant experience.

We have awesome neighbors who happened to be home, so I took advantage of this and sent the girls over to play while I went back to the place Colin was born to fix the damage.   Long story short, he needed three big stitches on his tiny finger.  These days we think of him as a 'big boy'.  Today was a knock in the head as to how young he still is.  He was so good. That is putting it mildly as he charmed the ER.  The doctor and all the nurses commented on how quiet he was being.  They thought that he must be a quiet little boy. HA!!!!  No, he was just in pain.  He sang his ABC's and Itsy Bitsy Spider while we were waiting.   I hate that this happened, but I also will cherish those few hours of being able to have him to myself.

He came home and slept for three hours.  During his long nap, Caity took the opportunity of my sitting down to spill the beans on her whole life.  She started in Kindergarten and worked her way up to Third grade.  Whew!  The gist I got was that she likes herself and that she is a bit odd.  She loves all her family.  Arizona is her real home.  She likes homeschooling. (That was nice surprise.) She wants a cell phone.  A WHAT?  Apparently, other phones have germs.  She needs her privacy, and they are just cool.  

It has been a full day, and now I am off to bed for some sleep before another eventful day.  I hope not as eventful as today.

Oct 29, 2008

Caity's Halloween Story

Caity has been doing quick stories to get some practice with stories in written form.  Many of you know that Cate's oral stories go on and on, so it has been a challenge for her.  

She was given five words that she had to use in a short story with a twenty minute time allowance.  Ghost, house, rain, lightning, and chains were the words and the following story is what she wrote.

It was a lightning and a ghost night in fact. There was a house.  In the house there was a boy named Max and he was afraid of ghosts.  Max believed that ghosts don't like chains, so he put chains all over his room.  His parents were worried about Max.  The mom had an idea. Since it rained yesterday too, let's read a story about ghosts.  Max started to get more chains.  After he heard that ghosts were nice he started to like ghosts.  

THE END

We all wish you a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Oct 25, 2008

Fabulous Fall


Chris and I made an unconscious decision to embrace all that fall has to offer for us.  We have lived here in Memphis for six years and never joined in any of the fall traditions.  Maybe it is because we are constantly reminded that Boo is getting older and wanting to savor every bit of  her young childhood she has left, or it could be as simple as not being pregnant or breastfeeding for the first time in  the last eight years that we feel the call to join in with the other crazy families in the community events.  

So far this year, we have enjoyed museums, corn mazes, parks, inviting more people into our home, reaching out and connecting with other young families, and last night going to the zoo for some good wholesome Halloween fun.  
Perhaps I am making too big of a deal out of these simple experiences, but on this Saturday morning I am watching three of the most wonderful kids sit down TOGETHER to watch James and the Giant Peach while laughing and joking with one another and I am overwhelmed.  How did this happen?  OK, I know HOW, but it has hit me that our family is complete. 
 In the past, I would be sitting here wondering what we would be like with just one more baby and day dreaming about a bigger home, nicer things, or just a different set of circumstances altogether.  I sat down for the first time and was just grateful.  
This feeling comes after one of the worst weeks as far as parenting goes.  Colin is my greatest challenge and I am still learning the balancing act of mom, teacher, counselor, playmate, wife, volunteer, homemaker and friend.  I failed horribly this week.  I was not the mom or any of my given roles that I want to be.  I don't have a success story of how I have gotten out of this 'Mom Funk' I am going through this month.  I just have a content and hopeful heart that next week will be better.  Either that or it's the two cups of coffee I have downed this morning talking.

Oct 18, 2008

Busy Bees

SLIDESHOW AT BOTTOM OF PAGE!!!!!!!! 


  We have settled back into our routines.  Colin is nearing 19 months and will soon be baptized in November.  His vocabulary increases with each grow-up moment he experiences.  He can now scale the security gates and jump off of high places.  His latest saying is, "Oh Man!''  This usually follows a scolding to not do the before mentioned new skills.  He is full of life and continues to bring us all much joy.  His sisters like him most of the time and love him all of the time.

  Malena started dance and is loving it immensely.  She especially likes that she gets to use scarves and wands as she prances around to popular tunes like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. The end of class they do a bit of hip hop.  Trust me, it is the highlight of the class.  Malena's favorite activity is whatever Caity is doing and whatever Caity does not want her to do.  I guess they are typical sisters.  They are starting to seek out time apart which is nice for everyone.  The drama stops for a few minutes and we all take a deep breath.
 
Caity has started her second quarter in school and decided that she likes history the best with all of the 'real-life adventures'.  She also gives her opinion on people in our history that she does not approve of their actions.   I don't have the heart to tell her that her new invention  is cinnamon toast.  It is her way of making dessert for everyone.  She does make it a bit more complex with mixing the ingredients.  Her mind is full of ways that she can serve and spread love; a quality that Chris and I benefit from on a daily basis.

I recently went for a job and have come to the conclusion that it was not to be (for now).   After a week like last, I am sure that it is for the better.  All in His time, right?

Sep 29, 2008

The Great And The Not So Great

We pulled off the big surprise,  and it was fantastic seeing all the family again.   We celebrated birthdays with family, had swim lessons, and saw beautiful Show Low with its carpet of flowers, saw Jason's team play, Natalie's band, "Pumped" our bodies, said good-bye to gray and hello to blonde, climbed Camelback, debated, picked veggies and berries from the garden, and so much more.   The big surprise came when we got home.  We opened the door to an 'off' sort of smell.  I thought it was just our cats letting us know their displeasure of being left alone for that long.  Turns out it was a leak in our bathroom.  We now have a nice hole in our living room ceiling.  Our Cable box quit on us and my car has a flat.  Vacation was nice and now reality has greeted us and I am ready to go back to Arizona.  All of these inconveniences will soon be fixed and forgotten, but the memories that we (kids especially) made will stay in our minds forever.  I had planned on posting pictures and reminiscing, but the real world is beckoning me to snap to it and take care of things.  To those that we saw, thank you for the laughs, love, and priceless memories. I'll post pictures soon.

Sep 19, 2008

Four Years and Full of Grace


Malena Quotes:

God ‘decorated’ us.


He is my kisser. (Talking about boyfriends during playtime.)

Mom, get me out of babyland. (Said while Colin was tackling her.)

It’s time to brush the kid’s hair. (Translation: please brush my hair.)

Stop it mom, you aren’t real! (Apparently, my English accent while reading Angelina Ballerina leaves much to be desired.)

Each day she brings laughter and joy into our home. As she turns four, Chris and I continue to be amazed with her ability to defuse any situation with her charm. Her days are spent doing playschool, coloring, making up stories, singing, dancing, and acting. The latter is a new skill she spends her time perfecting. She will be so angry, sad, scared, or some other dramatic emotion. I will go investigate and she will turn around with a huge smile and laugh, “I’m just acting mom. Don’t worry.”

She desires to be just like her big sis until that same big sister imposes her will upon her. Then she will turn stubborn and refuse to do anything that Caity desires. She wants to play with Colin until she realizes that he is just about as strong as her. They are the best of playmates and the worst of playmates.

Being stuck in the middle of the craziness can’t be easy. Not big enough for some activities and too big for others. I worry about her place in the family sometimes, but her middle name is Grace. That couldn’t be more fitting for how our half pint of love, joy, and laughter handles life.

Happy Birthday Gracie-Face!

Sep 4, 2008

Just one

I have just showered after putting Colin down for the night and I don't expect my other loved ones home for a while.  Chris, the king of surprises, took the girls to a show for a Daddy date night and I was stuck here with Little Man.  Being stuck meant that we could go on a solo walk, play cars without a story line, sing little kid songs, bath time, and enter bed with a song or three. I must confess that bath time is usually just a quick stop on the way to bed, and  I was amazed at the way Colin could entertain himself with the simplest of toys.  I will spare you the long list of Colin's evening entertainment and sum it by saying that his face right before bed says it all.  I hope I get stuck again soon.

Aug 25, 2008

Introducing Rose

Caity or ROSE as she now wants to be called is getting so big.  Self expression is her highest priority, so she will have her own place on this blog to do just that.  She takes pictures all of the time and wants to share them with everyone.  The slide show will periodically change, so keep checking.  In the future be aware that all photos she takes will have a good chance of making it on the blog.    

Aug 10, 2008

He's a Boy!

We have begun the journey of a little man.  He now owns cars and action figures.  They look just like the little dolls that the girls have spent hours creating their own versions of reality. Apparently there is a clear difference between the two.  Seriously,  I am having a bitter sweet day watching Colin get his first batch of "BOY" toys. 

It all started when the girls asked to go look at toys and I wandered down the boy aisle in an attempt to veer our way around the crowd by the Barbies.   Colin got so excited when he saw the cars, so I picked one up that made revving noises. He voiced his approval and that was how we all came to the realization that the princes of the Disney Princesses would not be enough to keep him occupied.  
We went to dinner at a friend's house where a boy lives, and Colin was quite at home among the cars and other boy stuff.  I keep saying boy, because I now am a mom of a little boy.  My baby is quickly being knocked away with each tackle he takes from his dad.  I don't remember a distinct moment that the girls stopped being babies.  That could be because the dolls they had just got smaller and more sophisticated.   There was never a swapping moment for their toys.  In fact, they still like some of the same little girls toys.  
We went to Toyland, as Malena calls it.  The girls and I went our usual route and Chris and Colin left for some male bonding moments.  When we all met up, Colin was oohing and clapping at what he had in his hand.  He was such a happy little boy.  He is not a baby anymore. He is our little boy.  Our Little Man.
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Aug 1, 2008

First Week Back

videoWe are officially back to school.  I find it is nice to start extra early.  It wasn't until today that Caity realized other kids aren't back in school.  The gentle reminder that we finish in time to enjoy the nice weather outside while other kids are inside seemed to squash her lamenting.  After much soul searching we also started Malena in Junior Kindergarten. Basically, she is doing the kindergarten curriculum at a much slower pace without the pressure to complete the entire day.  I wasn't expecting her to really do much this week.  I was pleasantly surprised with her eagerness and ability.  Handwriting is probably her least favorite.  That makes complete sense with it being such a fine motor skill and she is only three and a half.  So, I have not been pressing that at all.  I did have to remind myself that the ultimate goal is not to advance her but to satisfy her natural curiosity to learn about the world.    

Caity is now in third grade and picking up right where we left off in May.  There are a few cobwebs that need to be shaken, and her enthusiasm is that of a typical third grader who is realizing that school equals work.  She also had a few moments of raining on Malena's accomplishment with the obligatory sisterly comments.  I know that it must be hard to see someone take to something so easily that it a struggle for yourself.  I believe that this year will be a big character building year for our Rose.

Colin still lives here and naturally complicates our school time.  I had planned on him being happy playing around in the living room with his trucks and such.  I underestimated his desire to be right by his sisters at all times.  He kept climbing up on the bench or chair next to one of them to look at their books.  Sometimes looking meant he would make stray marks on Caity's assignment.  Strapping him to the highchair to color and make faces only lasts so long before he is an even bigger distraction.  He was trying so hard to imitate Malena saying letters and sounds that it often had us all in stitches at the pure cuteness of it all.  His nap time is our golden time for school. That is when the math and reading happen and that seems to work well for now.  I just pray that he continues to nap this well.

My confidence has increased this year, and I am not second guessing myself quite as much.  We are using a decidedly Christian/Catholic program and have been quite pleased thus far.  The beginning of school has been an adjustment for all in this household.  The bed is calling me earlier and the morning disappears before I get to run.  Next week will be better.  I know that Chris will have his energetic and not as emotional wife back soon.  Fingers crossed!

Jul 31, 2008

Caity Loves to Perform

We got back her recital DVD and have tried every way I know how to post it.  I guess they protected the DVD from recordings.  I will have to lend it out and pass it around to all the family who care to see it.  I must say that it was a huge improvement over last year's recital that left all of us wondering what they learned all year. 

 She is constantly talking to herself in the mirror and putting on shows.  I wonder from where she gets that trait.  I haven't posted all the videos I promised with the beginning of school being so hectic.  More on that later.  Here is another video of Caity being Caity.  I think she is permanently in a state of acting.  She rarely turns 'it' off and usually only when Mom and Dad have informed her that she needs to come back to reality for a particular moment.  
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Jul 25, 2008

Commercial Produced By Caity

This is the second installment of the day that Caity got to express herself through the video camera.  This is great example of the girls' relationship with one another.  They adore each other, but Malena will not let big sister rule her world.  Caity can appear to be giving Malena a hug and in actuality be threatening her very being.  That explains the crying after a seemingly loving embrace.  Anyway, I found this video entertaining.  I hope you do too. video

Jul 24, 2008

Sweet Cha-Little

I gave up control of the video camera to the kids for some fun.  They (Caity mostly) took tons of video.  I have put them into three separate videos for you to enjoy their edited antics.  I have one  that Malena shot, but I will edit out the shots of floors and dolls before I post it.  


We are nearing the end of summer here at our house.  The books and supplies are all organized and ready to go.  We have had such a good time visiting with family and creating wonderful new friendships here in Memphis. 

Colin is now 16 months and a few days old.  He is really trying to communicate in other ways besides his hand signs and grunting.  He is fascinated with hats, balls, and recently trains.  He continues to antagonize and love on his sisters all at the same time.  He has his dad (OK, his mom too.) wrapped around his chubby little pinky.   Life is great.  We are blessed.  Our cups overflow. 
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Jul 17, 2008

Family Visit #2






WHEW! What a wonderful couple of weeks it has been with family visits. It was chaotic and fantastic with everything going on in our home. After the Martinez side left, we all got busy doing a few house projects to prepare for the arrival of the White family. Mammaw and Papa watched the kids for two nights in a row while Chris and I prepared for singing at a wedding for co-worker of his. That meant that we would have date night two days in a row. The 45 minute ride allowed us to talk at length without interruption. The bonus was getting to sing in public with Chris again. It brought back many wonderful memories of the beginning of our days together. An even greater bonus was the kids got to spend two nights with Mammaw and Papa White playing hide-n-seek, singing, telling stories, and watching movies. I have great pictures to share, and I will post those later. For now, we are all taking in deep breaths as we prepare and rest up for another year of homeschooling in two weeks.

Jul 4, 2008

Caity Turns Eight!


It is absolutely impossible that our 'baby' just turned eight. I can't even begin to express how much I love the 'Boo". She rolls her eyes when we call her that and countless of other things that we do to embarrass her. She recently said that we have a weird family. I guess in her eyes parents, that do the things that we do, are weird. I prefer to think that someday she will see these days as the best days. Chris and I will for sure.

As parents of Caitlyn, we are beyond blessed. Caity is a wonderfully complicated, forever giving, deep down sweet-to-the-core little girl. Excuse me, she isn't a little girl anymore. She is a big girl who teaches us about ourselves, the world, and ensures we know just where she stands on important life issues. She is spectacular big sister who is adored by both of her siblings. Yes, I know It is only her eighth birthday. I also know we will blink and another eight years will pass, and she will be on the heels of her own life adventures. That time will come too soon in my opinion, so for now I want to hold her tight and tell her how much we love her. Happy birthday Boo! We love you!

Jul 2, 2008

Family Visit #1




As always , we have so much fun when we have family in town.  This time we were blessed to have six people in town to celebrate (very early) Caity's eighth birthday.  Natalie and Marty were kind to include our house on their way to Kentucky for a gig Wednesday night.  Mamaw and David were able to make it as well.  Malena has a new best friend-- Isabelle  that she is convinced will come to our house 'tomorrow.'   Here are photos from the day at the zoo.  At first none of the animals were cooperating with us and then the seals andy polar bears saved the day with great entertainment.  We love you and miss you already. 

Jun 27, 2008

Our June



June has been fantastic despite Chris' insane  travel schedule.  I am so impressed by Chris and his ability to balance his work this month with his favorite role as Dad. Caity has completed her softball season while learning valuable life lessons that seem even harder, as her mom, to let her experience. She had a few great hits and wants to try again next year. Malena fascinates me with her ability to dissolve any tense situation with her humor.  Colin is now fifteen months and learning new things everyday.  He, too, has a great sense of humor even though he is the only one who gets the punchline.  We all laugh despite our ignorance.  I am thrilled that July is here to bring us family visits from both sides of the family, Caity's birthday, and Dad back home where he belongs.  

Jun 3, 2008

More Simple Moments

video video

Jun 2, 2008

Typical Day Part One

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Jun 1, 2008

Big Tuesday

videoWARNING: These next few posts are purely to catch up family with all that is going on in the kids' lives. They may seem mundane to the common viewer, but they are just capturing the everyday joy in my life. They have no real purpose other than to share that joy with you all. It sometimes is the simple things that I love the most.

May 31, 2008

Chicken Pox






I lost the other stuff.I already blogged about. Basically, we are in the middle of Chicken Pox at our house and I plan to add more to the blog sooner than later. UGHHH! Where did it go?


Anyway, here are some pictures of the kids during happier/healthier times.

May 14, 2008

Our Mother's Day






We went to the park and Chris got some photos that I wanted to share. I am still trying to get caught up on photos from Nashville and the family visit afterwards. They are being held captive in Chris' computer.

Summer's Coming






May 13, 2008

Just Another Day

Apparently, I was not getting through my TO-DO list fast enough for Caity. I was in the middle of cooking when she handed me a fake phone. She acquiesced to using a fake phone after her repeated request for my cell phone was denied. After three “BRRRRINGS” I picked-up the Minnie Mouse phone. She asked to speak to the lady who sews. She called for an appointment to fix her ailing princess dolls. She set it up for 1pm which was right after lunch. I admired her creativity and perseverance. Undoubtedly, I would have kept saying that I would get to it later only to put it off for one more day. At 1pm, she came to me right on schedule with three dolls and they were seen promptly and fixed to her satisfaction. Just another day…

I went to the lady doctor for a yearly exam. Malena was most concerned about me and was adamant that the doctor would not check her. I explained that it was just a check up for mommy. Fast forward a few hours at the grocery store. The day’s prior event was still on her mind. I knew this and so did everyone else in the dairy department because of what she said. Malena inquired, “Mommy, how is your bottom feeling? Did the lady fix it? I love your bottom. You like my bottom?” Just another day…

I sometimes have to pick and choose what I am going to share on this blog, because things like this happen just about everyday. It is just another day in my blessed life. Happy Belated Mother’s Day.

I promise I will post pictures soon.

Apr 28, 2008

Nashville Half Marathon

I will break from tradition and post mainly about the adults this time. WE had a good time running the Nashville Half-marathon this past weekend. Being a newbie, I was quite pleased with my results. I had two of the best coaches, Chris and Patti, who have ran races before this one. I went through a myriad of emotions the previous three months preparing for this goal of mine. Even on race day, I when through the shakes (adrenaline rush I think), nauseous, tears (a lot of those!), and frustration when my body just wanted to quit. We all finished and I am so proud of us. The hills were unexpected, but it added to the accomplishment. I definitely want to run another race. Here is a video of the highlights.
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Apr 22, 2008

Authentic Learning

It started when Caity decided that she likes ladybugs. This proclamation followed a long time of HATING all bugs. In an effort to show her not to be afraid, I decided to close the year with a unit on ladybugs. Fast forward a few weeks through some pathetic attempts to get Caity excited about the little red creature, to a neighbor capturing one of her own. This well meaning five year old did not know much about them; therefore her ladybug was captured in a small empty container. Surprisingly, it did survive the night and was released back into nature.
The next day Caity was beyond thrilled when she found her own ladybug with the name of Melacarti. Sister shared in the excitement and dropped the ladybug which quickly flew away. For the rest of the hour Caity could be found sobbing and singing in the backyard about Melacarti. We knew she was dramatic, but I did not know she would feel so deeply about an insect.
I started thinking I could use this to my advantage. This morning she was still mad at her sister for losing her friend, so I seized this learning opportunity. We started with some internet research on the bug. She wanted to know how to take of her next bug better. Then she started a poem and song to add to her book she is working on for the remainder of this year.
We went outside to play and I started a ladybug hunt. Caity was not convinced that I would ever find one. Well, we found three, but all flew away before being captured. Finally, Melecarti 2 was found, and Caity went into action. She placed the wet paper towel at the bottom of the container with air holes with a soaked raisin and some (what we think are) aphids on a leaf. During the bug hunt we talked about the life cycle and stages of Melacarti’s life.
(This is where I knew that I was a homeschooling mom.) As the rain shower came over us, we all began to pack up our things and head for cover. Colin dropped his shoe (for the um-teenth time) and I found it! I saw a larva stage ladybug. I got so excited. I quickly called Caity over for the container and I tried to scoop him up. I was a bit too exuberant, because I squished him. I picked up the remains to show Caity and saw the yellow excretion they use for a warning signal to a predator. (This is when I even surprised myself.) I rubbed the yellow goo on my finger and took a whiff! It really stank. I then offered Caity a smell. I refrained from tasting it. What better way to understand an insect’s defense then to experience it first hand. I am only sorry that I killed the little guy, and we didn’t get the chance to see all of the stages.
For those that know me best, this is out of character. The pure excitement of some real life learning got me so worked up that my ‘prissy’ side left for a few moments. The learning has not stopped yet. Caity handed her brother the container, and he shook it as he walked around the house. She witnessed another defense in which they pretend to be dead. The ladybug is now walking and soaking up the water in the towel. Melacarti will be released after the rain shower subsides.
Now Caity is so excited to share with Dad what she learned today in school. That is a wonderful by-product of this adventure. What a great day!

Apr 18, 2008

TROUBLE

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Apr 11, 2008

Picture time








Here are on the spot pictures that Chris took. I am in the process of trying to rally the gang to take more formal pictures. I even got Chris to pose for few, because turn about is fair play. Once we figure out the timer, we can have a nice family portrait that includes Colin.

Apr 5, 2008

Another List

I love lists. I come by this quite naturally as I grew up with lists as a form to organize thoughts, to-dos, and make life decisions.
For you faithful readers you may recall one of the first posts stating why boys are so great. I also mentioned that I am fully aware that one day I could post one about why girls are so great. That time has come. I didn’t realize that the inevitable would happen so soon. Wow! Colin turned one and change almost over night. Some of the change is just in contrast to the age that the girls are at right now, but some of it is pure Venus vs. Mars. He is still the sweetest boy ever; however, he also has become one of the craziest as well. Rather than make this about Colin, I want to state some of the reasons why girls are great too.

1. They are content to sit and read books
2. They are content to sit and play anything
3. They are content to sit and sing songs (Do you see the theme appearing?)
4. They tend to be patient
5. They play nicely without hurting each other. ( most of the time)
6. They clean up their toys and take pride in doing so.
7. They are emotional creatures that understand if mom needs a good cry (sometimes joining in)
8. They are always teaching me something new about myself.
9. They try so hard to do what is right
10. They are Caitlyn and Malena and that is as good as any reason

Apr 4, 2008

Just a pic


I still have not gotten the other photos that Dad has taken of the kids, so I snapped a quick one this morning. I will get the other ones posted soon. Happy Friday!

Apr 2, 2008

Poem by Caitlyn

I promise to post something soon. I just need a few moments to gather my thoughts without sibling squabbles.

Until then, here is a short poem that is part of Caity's poem book she is creating in school. I have her permission to share this one, but she wants to have something fun to show mamaws and papas when she has her book completed.



RED

Red is the feeling I enjoy.
Red is the feeling of Christmas cheer.
Red is the bright strawberry in the sunny morning.
Red is the sound of a robin singing loudly in a nest.
Red is the feeling of cozy and warm I sleep with at night.
Red is the taste of spicy pepper that is crunchy.
Red is the smell of pepperoni baking on pizza.

Mar 24, 2008

Spring Break

videoWe tried to make the most of our week break from school. It was very low key and relaxing for all of us. This is a short video to show some of the fun we had. The weather cooperated, so we spent much of the time out in the fresh air. Caity even ran her first 1.5 mile. She pushed through it and had a wonderful feeling of success afterwards. I know it is only a matter of time until she surpasses my endurance. Malena had fun with some alone moments with Mom. (Mom enjoyed that too.) Colin turned one and seems to have become a typical crazy little boy over night.
We went back at it today to finish up the last eight weeks of school. Everyone was refreshed and ready to go until Colin decided that he was going to be as difficult as possible. I hope it is just teething and not a new pattern of behavior. We will probably figure out these new dynamics just in time for summer vacation only to be faced with the new prospect of homeschooling a third and pre-kindergartner with an eighteen month-old running around the house. Yikes! I think I need another break.

Mar 22, 2008

Colin Loves Cake!

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Mar 20, 2008

Colin Turns One!

More pictures and video will be posted later.

Mar 19, 2008

One Proud Mama

A few days ago, I had a moment of peace seeing that despite my shortcomings our children can turn out okay. We went to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Germantown with our neighbor. It sounded like so much fun for the girls, and we weren’t the only ones that thought this would be a wonderful to begin Spring Break. Wow! To start we had to park a mile away from the event. Caity was fine and, remarkably, the three-year-olds did not complain one iota. As we got closer, we heard numerous warnings about how many people were there. We all nodded politely and continued naively to the fun we were expecting. Right as we got there the fire engine sounded. That was the beginning of the hunt. We quickly got our game plan going and went to the separate baseball fields to hunt for eggs. Caity ran out to search just as the other kids were coming back with their baskets brimming with plastic eggs filled with prizes. I saw something on Caity’s face that surprised me, a wide smile. It turned out another girl saw Caity’s lonely basket and handed her three eggs of her own. We talked about how cool that was and mentioning we should remember this the next time we have what others don’t. As we met up with the girls, I saw unexpected smiles too, and their baskets were empty. I panicked as I envisioned screams of ‘I want” and “That’s not fair”. We listened to the girls explain what their lack of hunt was like, all about the cute doggy they got to pet, and the funny picture they took to celebrate their lack of eggs. (I don’t have that photo yet) I looked down as Caity reached into her basket and handed each little girl one egg. We continued on our way to the fun activities only to discover that they were closing. Each line we got in was closed just as we reached the end of the wait. Yes, the girls were disappointed, but they were just so happy to hang out together that it did not matter. I still have not heard one ‘poor me’ comment still. Instead, I am hearing what we can do better next year. I am one proud mama.

Mar 17, 2008

Haircut

BEFORE AFTER

Mar 13, 2008

Whew!


It has been a while since I have actually typed in any of the blogs, so I thought I would a take moment and reflect on this past year. Wow!! So much has happened. To start with, this time last year I was walking everywhere in hopes that Colin Daniel would come out to play. My mom came out thinking he was coming early, and soon found herself out here for a month. I loved the company and finding things out about her that I might never have known if it weren’t for those long walks to encourage labor.
I realize that no woman has ever been pregnant forever, but it sure felt like he was taking up permanent residence in my uterus. He made his existence known through heartburn, Braxton Hicks, constant rumbling around in there, and the look of anticipation on his daddy’s face. Goodness knows we aren’t hurting for any estrogen around here, and by God’s grace, we are now balanced out with the ‘boyness’ that is Colin. He came and our world grew by one and more wonderfully complicated.
As I type, he is getting into the clothes drawer and turning his head around to give me a smile that could melt the iciest heart. I learn so much from him even at his age.
The things I learned include the following:
*Smile and the whole world will smile back.
*Laugh and it will be contagious.
*It can be lots of fun to make a mess.
*It is not nice to bite hard when giving a kiss.
*Don’t get frustrated when you can’t do something; try harder.
*Only cry if it really hurts.
*Sleep is important for everyone.
*Have fun even if you are just having your diaper changed.
*The world is a beautiful place to explore.
*It is good to be Colin (and Colin’s mommy).

Ironically, I have learned these things from Chris as well. Another ‘man’ has captured my heart.

Mar 10, 2008

Captured!

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Blizzard of '08

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Mar 6, 2008

Walking

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Mar 5, 2008

New Pictures




Mar 4, 2008

Malena Time

I just wanted to show Gracie and all that she is. With all of Colin's new skills, she is having a hard time these days. This is her spotlight moment.
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Mar 3, 2008

Candid Caity

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Caity is always "on". She is performing even when she thinks no one is watching.