Friday, May 29

New things

This has been a week of new things for me.

First the job, which I'm nervously excited about. I have a team building adventure on June 16th with all the staff of the school. Eek. I think I'm more nervous for that than anything else right now. I'll be hanging out with all the teachers and staff from 7am-7pm (or later). I hope I'm accepted well. And this job will mean a new wardrobe. I don't have very many clothing items that are professional. Thankfully the school staff is very young, so I'll be able to look at what they're wearing and model myself after them.

My camera is becoming a regular part of my wardrobe, so I decided it was time to invest in a good camera bag. I ordered the Tamrac Tavel Pack 71. It came today and I LOVE it. It's the perfect size for my camera and accessories and it's a backpack so it's easy to carry hands-free.

And I've been riding my bike a lot these last few weeks and so I decided to get a backseat for Maxwell. I really liked the Bell Cocoon Bike Seat, but it was more than I wanted to spend since he will probably only use it this summer and next and I wasn't 100% sure he'd like it. But I found an older model on Craigslist. We tested it out today and he really likes it. We rode to the park (with my camera on my back) and the whole way he pointed out every little thing he saw. "Really Big Truck!" "School" "Bus" "Rabbit" "Motorcycle". Now if we can just get Payton riding the two-wheeler he got for his birthday. Hopefully this weekend! Then we can take family bike rides this summer. Wow...our little family is really growing up.

And Matt is really enjoying his grill. I'm going to see if I can find a few recipes to try out this weekend.

Thursday, May 28

I'm (going to be) a Working Woman!

I interviewed for a position yesterday at Payton's school, Reach Academy. I was already assured by several people I had the job, and this was just a formality. At the end of the interview I was officially offered the position.

I will be the Title 1 paraprofessional/library aide/media tech. I'll be reporting to the lead media specialist while working on reading programs for all grades and abilities. My job is to promote reading in a fun and creative way and to guide group book discussions and read to classrooms. I'll be responsible for ensuring that we have the appropriate materials for all reading levels, ordering new books and materials and ensuring student comprehension of what they're reading.

I'll be officially starting on August 17th, working 8am-3:30pm. Maxwell will be with a parent from the school who lives close and needs the income. Max likes her and will learn to love her I'm sure. She is amazing with kids and I really trust her.

I'm excited about the position, the work it will include and the hours. It will be nice to be on a schedule with my kids; weekends off, summers off, holidays off. I'm nervous because it's something I've never done before, but I'm excited about the possiblities that lay ahead.

Thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers leading up to this. But don't forget me! I'll need your prayers that I do an amazing job and figure this out fast and well!

Tuesday, May 26


We had a great, long holiday weekend. Matt was off work Friday & Monday and my parents came to town from Cleveland. They arrived Friday and left this morning, giving me plenty of help with the boys and lots of company, love and food!

We marched in two local parades for Payton's school and Matt received his early Father's Day/Birthday present from us. We got him his very first, real man grill. He's very excited and looked up some great recipes to try out on us yesterday. It was a great meal and a fabulous way to kick off the summer. We even squeezed in some swim time at my parents' hotel pool!!

Payton was very tired to go to school this morning. He was crabby and fussy. They're going to bed a bit early tonight. This week looks to be pretty "normal" (whatever that is) with next week being the start of the end of the school year festivities. Payton told me today that he only has 13 days left. I can tell he's ready to have a long break. He'll be done with this session of swimming soon and we'll start a 2 week intensive class. Then he won't have any scheduled activities other than t-ball.

Tomorrow, I have a job interview. My very first in a long time. I heard that Payton's school was looking for someone to be an assistant in the library/media room. The media specialist doesn't have a lot of book knowledge or book training, and they need someone to run literacy groups, read to students & classes and assist teachers with finding appropriate books for their kids.

I'm really excited about it and I think it's really something that I would enjoy doing long term. Payton would be there all day with me and Max will be at the school in a few years. When I am at work, Matt's home a lot, so Max wouldn't have to be in day care a lot; a max of 16 hours a week, spread out over 3-4 days. It really shouldn't be too bad! Now...just pray that I get it!

Wednesday, May 20

Darn You, Ice Cream Man!!

We currently have a turf war going on in our neighborhood. We have three different ice cream men that drive down our street several times a day. There is one that come when school lets out...between 3:30-4:30pm. Then between 8-9pm we have two, sometimes, three, that come down our street. As I write this, I can hear two different ice cream truck songs playing. It's like being stuck at a kiddie carnival!!

I don't mind visiting the ice cream man once in awhile, but dang, three times a day!? Seriously? It's hard enough telling my kids "not tonight" without having to tell them "not tonight" several times every night. That said, we do have our favorite, "Uncle Ron". He by far has the best prices with the best selection and he's always nice to the kids.

I think it's going to be a very l o n g summer!

Tuesday, May 19

My Favorite Worm

Today was Payton's "SPRING SPECTACULAR" for school. It was a chance for his "specials" teachers to show off what the kids have been working on for the year. They had the art displayed through the hallway, as well as a media project they worked on. And in the gym were some activities and games the kids play.

This was all followed by a musical performance. The kindergartners sang five songs about spring farming and growing. It was so cute! Payton was a little worm. He did not want to be a worm, but it was assigned to him. When he brought home the paper a few weeks ago, he cried because he wanted to be a chick or a farmer or a daffodil...anything but a worm.

His Papa Gene came to the rescue by attending the performance which meant that Payton was a worm with out any arguments or discussion! (THANKS, PAPA GENE!!) He sang his song and when it came time for him and 2 other students to do their "worm dance" he put his hands in his pocket and swayed his hips gently side to side like the little boy with no rhythm that he is.

He's done great work and we're all so proud of how much he has achieved mentally and physically this year.

Sunday, May 17

Life Without Matt

On Tuesday, Matt left for another military trip. This time to Dayton, OH for a few days before heading back to Toledo for his normal guard duty. He seemed to really benefit from the time there and enjoyed his role and responsibilities he had.

But while he was gone, my time was not so enjoyable. I love my children, but when I'm used to having help and a break every few days as needed, it was really hard on me to have them both to myself. I did survive the week, but not without incident.

Tuesday was BY FAR the worst day. The kids had doctor's appointments (they're well and healthy) and although they didn't receive any shots, they still had a rough time with being at the doctor. Payton wants to be the center of attention and wants Dr. Clark to see how good he can do EVERYTHING. Maxwell on the other hand doesn't want to doctor to touch him. She had to do a full exam on his teddy bear before he would even allow her to listen to his heart or shine a light in his eyes.

From that point on, the rest of the afternoon was crud. Temper tantrums at the grocery store, McDonald's not having what we needed to order, a car accident (just a bump) was all bad. Not the way I wanted to start my week without Matt.

While he was gone I did a lot of thinking. I realized I don't NEED a husband. Nope. I can get the neighbor's lawn guy to mow our lawn. I can take out the garbage. I can care for the kids by myself (I just won't be sane any longer). I can even pump my own gas and inflate my own tires. Nope, I don't need him.

But MAN do I miss him. I WANT him to be around. I want him to share the roles of parenting and homeowner. I want him to be here to be part of the family and be my best friend. I want him to give me those great comforting hugs no one else can give. I want him to snuggle up next to in bed. I want him to talk to and understand the inner workings of my heart. I don't NEED a husband, but I sure do need Matt.

I miss you, babe. Hurry home!

Saturday, May 16

Teachers Appreciation Week

I honestly believe that next to family, the most important people in my child's life are his teachers. I am honored to be part of the Staff Appreciation Committee at Payton's school and for our first year, we wanted to make Teacher's Appreciation week a HUGE success.

We had parents write notes for their child's teachers and I read them aloud at all-school assembly that takes place every morning. Monday, we provided breakfast and huge banner made by some students. Wednesday they had lunch provided and Friday I made a cake. They got a couple little notions throughout the week and also a book assembled by us that had writings from each of their students.

I had chosen a cake that I thought I could do, but with Payton's birthday the week before, I was about fed up with cake. On Thursday night at 7pm, I finally sat down to decorate the cake I had been assembling over the last 24 hours. What was I going to do? Finally, it came to me!! The school mascot!! (created by Payton's infamous Uncle Jason...geez, he's getting a lot of face time this week!!)

It only took me about 5 hours to make the ingredients for the decorating and then decorate it. Not too bad really. And it was a huge success!! All the staff loved it and thought it looked great!

Friday, May 15

The Newest Love of My Life

I know some of you are worried. ;) It's not a "who"; it's a "what"!!

As previously reported, about a month ago, Matt's brother generously gave us his "old" digital camera; a Nikon D70 Digital SLR Camera with a few lens filters and such. I LOVE IT!!! I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself! I've been taking pictures of everything! Unfortunately with Payton being at school during the least busy times of my day, he's out of most of my photo shoots. (sorry, buddy!) But that will change in a few weeks when he's out of school.

So, here are my favorites so far. (Did I mention I love this camera?!?!?)




Thursday, May 14

Payton Turns Six

Goodness. Can you believe my oldest child is six years old? I feel like I just birthed him. But alas, his birth month is over. We finished by running over into May a bit (just to the third) to have his big family birthday party.

MONTHS ago my child decided on his birthday party theme, LEGOs. (He's a planner...he already has his Halloween costume chosen.) That was a tough one for me, but I managed to pull it off. A good number of family and family friends made the trip to Toledo for the big day. A special thank to our guest who traveled the farthest...Uncle Jason all the way from Atlanta, GA. He was so happy, J. He talked about it for days. Thanks for doing it!

Here are the pictures (with my new fancy camera!). ENJOY!

Where it all began...

Almost 3 weeks ago now, out internet stopped working. I knew we'd paid the bill, so I couldn't figure out what was wrong. After a few consultations with my brothers, we figured out it was the network card. Simple replacement, $30, and we'd be up and running...

Unfortunately it wasn't so simple...or $30. Somewhere along the way, we decided to just get the new computer we'd been so anxiously wanting. Good thing I have a brother who is part owner in a computer store, huh?! :D THANKS, DAMON! After a series of unforunate events, the computer finally arrived, in several pieces and after getting the new pieces today, I was able to put it back together and TADA I'm back!!!

Since then, my last real update, we haven't been TOO busy, but staying busy none the less.
Here is my plan for updating. I hate to post too many because they get moved down faster than people check in and read. So:
Today: Payton's Birthday Party
Tomorrow: The Newest Love of My Life
Saturday: Teacher's Appreciation Week
Sunday: General catching up and Life without Matt (don't worry, I didn't kill him or anything)



I did it! Thanks to some ingenious help from my brother,I am back online and loving it! I thougth I'd hate Vista, but it's growing on me.

Unfortunately for you, I have a ton of pictures!! I'll update tonight and tomorrow...and probably Saturday....and Sunday... I told you there were a lot.

Off to get P from school! TTYS!

I've missed you!!

Friday, May 8

Our Computer is in DELAWARE??

I'm still so far out of the Internet loop. I'm missing my social life online and I wish I was connected. Who knew how complicated this issue would be!!

I'm still getting online at Payton's school for now. Our computer has been accidentally shipped to Delaware instead of our home in Michigan. We expect it Monday. That seems so far away....

I have a ton of pictures to share. And I have two cakes I've made in the last week to share. And I'm LOVING my new camera!!! (Thanks, Jason!!!!!)

Have a good weekend! I'll update soon when we get our computer!!

I miss you guys! **KISSES**