October 15, 2009

Dear Parents…..

Yesterday Jacob brought a letter home from his teacher in his Parent Folder. I read the letter and when I was done, I was a bit confused and surprised by what I read, so I read it again. Here's what the letter says:

Dear Parents:

Every other week your child will receive a spelling list of 15 to 20 words. The left hand column of words is his/her core words. These words follow a spelling or vowel sound pattern. The right hand column has words that your child should know how to spell in his/her writing.

Here's where I need your help. Every other Monday, please give your child a pretest. This will help your child focus on words that are difficult for him/her. On the following Thursday, give your child the spelling test at home, grade it, and send it to school on Friday. This should only take approximately 10 minutes and will save us a lot of class time. I have attached the spelling test that you will use on Thursday. I appreciate your support.

Thank you,

Ms. Peters

Ok….so here is where I was confused……What? It's Tuesday and I am supposed to give my child a spelling test on Thursday, grade it and send it back to you on Friday? When was the interview for this job that I just got hired for?

Here's where I was surprised—"This will only take approximately 10 minutes and will save us a lot of class time." I guess I didn't know when I was in the classroom that it was even an option to pass my job off on the parents! Man I could have saved HOURS of class time if only I hadn't had to give those darned spelling tests, AND grade them!

Also, I don't know about you but I would have been a bit suspicious when all of my kids had shown up with grades of 100 every other week. I mean, really? Does she think that parents are going to let their kids turn in a failing grade on something they did at home? Or this….."Hey, Johnny! Here's your spelling list. Write these words on your paper and I will grade it in a minute when I am done cooking this chicken. Yes, I know I am "supposed" to call them out to you, but I am really busy so just copy them. You are still learning how to spell them when you copy them."

Just so you know….I am NOT against helping the kids out. This is my child and I want him to be successful. I help with homework, math facts, AND spelling words throughout the week. I just didn't sign up to homeschool, and I don't want to feel like I have to remember every OTHER Monday to give a pretest and then a REAL test on every OTHER Thursday, then grade it and send it back to school. What if I get busy and do forget? Does my child get a failing grade because I didn't do the teacher's job?

And just WHAT IF all of the kids come to school with a 100 on Friday? Does she overlook that because she is so busy doing the happy dance that she actually got all of the parents to participate and grade the home given tests and send them back?

October 14, 2009

No Talking In the Library!

1982......It is a hot summer day and I am in my bedroom "teaching" my class of kids. There is a chalkboard against the wall and 5 dolls (my class) lined up against the bed. Each "student" has a paper to work on (thanks to my Aunt Melony--the teacher I always wanted to be like even if she did throw erasers at her students!), and I have a grade book to keep their attendance and grades in. Wait, what is that? Is someone talking while I am teaching? I chastise the student and put HIS name on the board....the girls in my class never got in trouble. We all know it is the boys that act up in school, and even as a 7 year old teacher I knew that! The boys hope I don't make them write lines during recess, but I don't make any promises! Outside my bedroom is my dad listening to me talk to dolls and teach them how to add. He is smiling because he is so amused by the fact that I am entertaining myself with this imaginary play time. To me teaching came naturally--even if I did fail all of the boys just for the mere fact that they were boys! It was something I always wanted to do and I knew I could be good at.
Fast Forward 27 years......I now have a 7 year old daughter who wants to be a teacher and she tells me almost every day after school! She sits in the sunroom and carries on the same type conversations with her students as I did with mine. She has the same type of imagination as I had at that age, and I do find it amusing!
Last week I decided to finally open up the boxes of books that had been sitting in the sunroom for a year now. We got a bookshelf from a family that Ben was moving, and I wanted to get the kids' books out and on the bookshelf, so we set to work. During the process of moving books from boxes to the bookshelf, Annalisa got very excited...."OOH! I have an idea! We can make this like a liberry and I can teach my class here. Mom, do you know how to make this look like a liberry?"
I gently corrected her, "The word is liBRARY....not liBERRY....it isn't a fruit. And, yes I think it is already looking like a library."

"Well, what if we get a book and don't know where to put it back? Can you put numbers on the books like in the liberr....library?"

"No, I am not going to put numbers on the books. Just as long as you get them back on the shelf it will be fine. There isn't a 'right' place for them."

"OOOH!! I have another idea....have you ever seen in the library how there is a chair and a place for the teacher to read a book to her students? Well, we can move this chair [enter Ben's photography chair] over by the window and I can read to my students in the library."

"Ok, that sounds good."

"OOOOHHHH!! Then you can hang a sign in the library that says 'Newton Library' so people will know they are in a library. Do you think you can do that, Mom?"

"No, Annalisa I can't hang a sign from the ceiling...I can't even reach the ceiling!"

"Well, I am already making a sign for our library that says it is the Newton Library."

I think during the time that we moved books, she said the word "library" close to 100 times. I have come to the conclusion that she loves to hear herself talk, and in order to hear herself she must make her conversations longer, thus the reason for repeating non-essential words!
Here is the sign she made......do you see any repetition?

And here are a couple of pictures of the library:
Once she got her class up and running in the LIBRARY :-), she decided to start a good conduct chain. Most teachers use these as an incentive for the kids to be good when they are in other classes, the hallway, or when the teacher steps out of the room. The premise is to get the chain to reach all the way to the floor and then you get a party. Annalisa is doing a paper clip chain and I know I can't wait until the day of the party! Here is her chain.....

When I asked her to come help me unload the dishwasher the other day, she asked me, "Mom, how many paper clips do you think my class should earn if they are quiet while I am gone?"
"Oh, I don't know...2? I think 2 would probably be good." She agreed that 2 would be good and continued to put dishes away. A few minutes later she stood up and looked shocked, "Did you hear that, Mom?" I didn't hear anything, but before I could answer she said, "Did you hear HIM talking while I am gone? HE is going to ruin it for everybody!"
Oh well! I guess even my 7 year old knows it is the BOYS that ruin it for everybody!! ;-)

October 1, 2009

"Yes, Ma'am.....I did."

I have come to the conclusion that any and everyone who has more than one child undoubtedly has one that isn't--let's say "the most organized". My second child falls into this category. In the past, as I would wash clothes on Saturday I would realize that he only had 1 pair of dirty underwear for the prior week and 1 sock....who wears only 1 sock at a time?? Also, he tends to believe that shorts and pants never need to be washed, so there were minimal amounts of those in his hamper. When I would ask him if he had given me ALL of his dirty clothes, his answer was always, "Yes, ma'am....I did." Upon further inspection of his room I would always find more dirty underwear, socks (actual pairs) and shorts/pants stuffed or thrown in various places that escaped his vision. I am wondering what the parameters of peripheral vision are for a 9 year old boy.
In order to help him be more organized, we bought him crates and labeled them Monday, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri and Weekend. At the end of each day the corresponding crate should at least have a shirt, socks (2!) and underwear. We still haven't accomplished having this done correctly at the end of each day....somehow the socks fly off of his feet only to be forgotten, and the underwear.....well who knows where that goes 90% of the time?
Because I know this to be true, I stay out of the basement (boys' room) as much as possible because it only stresses me out to see the mess. Yes, it stresses me out! I just don't understand how they can't SEE the dirty clothes on the floor!! What's more....if I only had a short-span memory Jacob would get away with wearing the same shirt multiple times in one week... most likely because it is already laying on the floor by his bed when he wakes up. He often tries to get away with it!
Well, today I thought I would bite the bullet and go down there. After asking Jacob multiple times last night "Are your dirty clothes where they should be?" and getting the response "Yes, ma'am....they are." I have decided that is the wrong question! Apparently the floor is "where they should be" in his mind. I should ask if the dirty clothes are in the correct crates. I can't believe I have been a mom this long and I still don't know how to ask questions to my kids!

"Jacob, did you clean your room?" "Yes, ma'am....I did."

If you look closely you can see 4 random socks....1 is by the bookshelf!

My mom wouldn't have let me leave the house with my bed looking like that!

These are his crates....with dirty clothes on the floor beside them!

Such a mess!!

I collected 2 bags and 1 box of toys that weren't put away.

The pile of dirty clothes I collected while cleaning.
This is what his room should look like!

The theme song around our house is "He's still working on me!"

September 30, 2009

And Baby Makes 6!

I know that some of you have been waiting and waiting for a new post, but I honestly haven't had time to sit down and get this done. I didn't think it would be much different to have a baby in the house since my other kids are older, but I was WRONG! Because my other kids are older there are so many more things that I have to do, but right now I am going to try to update this blog!
As I sit here typing this, to my right is a sweet, cute, bright-eyed baby boy wearing a onesie that says "so cuddly" (which is very true), sucking on a pacifier and staring at the TV. A baby boy I never anticipated having, but couldn't imagine my life without! He is 6 weeks old (yesterday) and a true blessing to our entire family.
Here is the run-down of what has happened over those last 6 weeks......
On August 18 we went into the hospital to have the C-Section that would bring our newest blessing into this world. He was born at 11:34 a.m. He weighed 6 lbs 12 oz (a bit smaller than I expected) and was 19 inches long (my shortest baby yet). He was absolutely beautiful!! I remember Ben bringing him over for me to see, and I immediately thought he reminded me of Cole when he was born. I remember laying on the operating table looking back over my left shoulder at Ben holding his baby boy with a proud look on his face. Then it seemed like everything was spinning....I saw Ben leaving the room with Benjamin but I didn't know why. I remember trying to ask him where he was going, but then everything went black. 3 hours later I woke up and was being wheeled to recovery. Cole, Jacob and Annalisa were all waiting for me to come out of surgery and there were tears from Cole and Annalisa--they were a bit worried about me since they saw me with the O2 tube on my face. While I was in recovery I hazily remember the nurse telling me she was going to take Benjamin to the NICU because his O2 levels were not good. I never thought that he would actually stay there.
What happened to me.....I had a lot of adhesions due to prior C-Sections and also the right side of my uterus was bleeding pretty bad and it took them a while to get it to stop. The doctor said I almost ended up getting a hysterectomy, but thankfully they were able to stop the bleeding. Because they had to separate my uterus from my abdominal wall I was very bruised and sore--much more sore than with the previous C-Sections. Also, I lost quite a bit of blood, so I had to have a blood transfusion the next day. After the transfusion I started to feel better and not so tired all the time. I must say that God totally had His healing hand on me through the whole procedure and recovery....and STILL!
What happened with Benjamin.....when I was 8 weeks pregnant I was told that I had antibodies in my blood. This was not good news. Because I am Rh- and Ben is Rh+ I have always had the Rhogam shot which is supposed to prohibit the formation of antibodies in the mother's blood.....but obviously it had not worked for me when Annalisa was born. Since I had the antibodies we spent the entire pregnancy monitoring the antibody levels and checking Benjamin through ultrasound for signs of anemia. We never saw anything to indicate that he would be anemic at birth, but we still knew it was a possiblilty. The other possibility was that he would be severly jaundiced due to the antibody levels in mine and his blood. It turns out that he had both the anemia and the jaundice. He ended up staying in the NICU for a full week. During that week he was on oxygen, under the special lights to bring his bilirubin levels down, and he had a blood transfusion as well as a blood exchange. Through everything he was a real trooper. It was very difficult to have to leave my baby at the hospital when I went home, but thankfully I had my wonderful mother-in-law here to take me to the hospital to see him every day. Benjamin got to come home to us when he was 1 week old, but he was still on the O2. The doctor's wanted to wean him off, so he stayed on for another 2 weeks and then they let me turn it off. He has been off of the O2 since the 1st week of September and he has done great!
The other kids LOVE having him here. Whenever he makes the smallest "peep" they run to get him, comfort him, hold him, change him...whatever they think will make him happy! I am so glad that they love him so much! God has truly blessed me with this wonderful family!!
While I was in the hospital Cole turned 11....his birthday is August 20. He had a fun time with family at Amazing Jake's and I got to see lots of pictures of all the things they did. On September 4 Annalisa turned 7 and we took her out to dinner and bowling to celebrate her birthday.
I am loving being a stay-at-home mom again! My kids are getting to do things that they couldn't have done if I were still working because there is no way I could have had the time off to get them from meetings or practices. Ben is traveling a lot with his job, but we are so thankful for the paycheck.
My life verse is Is. 40:31 "They who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint." It seems that in our marriage we have done a LOT of waiting on the LORD--this is also HOPING in the LORD--but just when it seems we can't wait any longer His promise comes true....we soar on wings like eagles....we are able to make it through the days without losing our hope in Him. Man, I love GOD and I love that He loves me!!

August 13, 2009

The Countdown

I am very excited about what is going to happen in 5 days........I will have a new baby to hold! On August 18, 2009 at 10:30 am I am going to have a C-Section to deliver little Benjamin Emmanuel. After all of the scares the doctors have given me over the past 2 months, everything looks perfect with the little guy, and I am doing well. I would say "great" but it wouldn't be true. My finger joints are pretty sore, and my feet swell quite a bit at night. That isn't painful--just ugly! LOL Also, he has dropped and is laying on just about every nerve possible down low making it a bit painful to walk as of last week! All of this is going to be totally worth it though once I get to hold him and kiss him and watch his daddy and brothers and sister welcome him into this world. I am not excited about the fact that I have to undergo surgery---I hate that part---but I am excited about what it will bring about. I have been washing, drying, folding and hanging all kinds of baby clothes trying to get ready for his arrival. It has been such a long time since I have had a little one that I am sure there are things I will need but won't even think about until after he is here. I put the car seat and stroller together all by myself! Annalisa put the high chair together with direction from me--now she sits in it to watch TV (crazy girl!!)! Jacob and Cole put together the pack-n-play with no help at all. They even all went shopping with me to pick out gowns, towels, socks, receiving blankets and burp cloths. Cole said it was the most fun he ever had shopping since he got to pick things out! So, there are 5 days left and we will have a new addition to our already wonderful family to make it even more wonderful! I will post pictures after he is here!

July 20, 2009


Well, it has been a while since I have blogged about anything! There isn't much to write about since the kids are gone. We took them to Jim and Ruby on July 3rd and haven't seen them since. Our house is very quiet, and although I am enjoying getting a few (and I mean FEW!) tasks done while they are gone, I miss them very much! They have never been away from us for this long, and we still have 2 more weeks to go. We did take the kids to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo the last weekend of June since we weren't going to see them again for 4 weeks. Baseball was over (Cole's team won 1st place!!!!), so we decided to do something special with the kids. Well, I TOTALLY forgot that we had been invited to our friends' house that evening to eat dinner with them. When Christy called me at 6:45--while I was standing in Mardel's in Colorado Springs--I about had a heart attack! I instantly remembered that we were suppposed to be at their house at 6:15! We got there around 8, and thankfully they are still our friends! We had brownies and visited until about 11. All I can say is pregnancy makes me very forgetful!

The next Friday we dropped the kids off in OK City with Nana and Papa, and they have been having fun in Texas. They spent a week with Nana and Papa, then a week with Windy (when Aunt Susan went into labor and had Alex!), then a weekend with Peepaw and Granma, and now they are headed back to see Nana, Papa, Aunt Susan, Uncle Juan, Alex, Aunt Jamee, Josh, Kate and Nanny! I don't know if they will ever want to come home to me!!

Because of some complications I am having with this pregnancy I got to see little Benjamin last Tuesday at the Perinatologist's office. I get to see him tomorrow too, and every Tuesday until he is born, so we can monitor him for anemia. So far there have been no signs of it, and I am hoping it stays that way through tomorrow's visit. He looked great, weighed about 4 lbs. 9 oz and has a big ole Newton head like my other 3!

We had some long time friends come stay with us for a few days, and we enjoyed visiting with them and 2 of their 4 beautiful children. We had Family Fun Fest with our church at the park, we went on a date to see The Proposal, Ben had his first overnight delivery-- to Montana (during which I stayed with my cousin because the house was just too quiet for me), but mostly we have just laid around the house relaxing!

This past Saturday we had a group of men come to our house to help clean up our yard and it looks so much better now!! We still have a lot to do, but this was a great start! At the same time the men were at our house, I was at the church being showered by a bunch of wonderful ladies! Benjamin got all kinds of presents and it is so weird for me to see such small clothes in my house again! I just know I can't wait to see the little guy and kiss his cheeks!!

A bunch of baby items given at the shower
Me--33 weeks 4 days pregnant

June 7, 2009

Hail Storm in June!

Today started off beautiful and sunny! I wore capris while Ben and the boys wore shorts. The weather was nice and warm. We came home from church, and I cooked homemade cream corn, broccoli with cheese sauce, and mashed potatoes. Ben grilled a London Broil that we had been marinating in soy sauce over night. It was delicious! We had the blinds open in the dining room while we were eating, and all of a sudden we could hear the weather siren blaring. We looked out the window and the wind was picking up quite a bit. Jacob DOES NOT like bad weather, so he started to get a bit worried that a tornado might come through. We were telling him that it wasn't a tornado when we started to hear the hail hitting the windows. When the kids could see that the hail was a pretty good size they got a bit excited about it, so we went into the garage together to watch it and get pictures. The hail storm lasted about 15 minutes, then everything got calm, and the sun came out bright again!

This is our backyard covered in hail:

Cole is holding a piece of hail:

Our front yard covered in hail:

May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was a great day for me! We went to church, ate lunch out, and then I had a 3 hour uninterrupted nap!!! I think that was the best gift my kids could have given me! BUT, they did get me small gifts too. They all picked me out a card and some candy. In the card they told me what candy they had gotten me and why.
Cole got me Nerds because he said I am smart and he has become a nerd because of my teaching.
Annalisa got me SweetTarts because she said I am always sweet!
Jacob got me Jelly Belly's because--he said--I have so much jelly in my belly!
Now how can you not smile (or laugh hysterically) at that?!?
I just can't say enough how much I LOVE my kids!!

April 11, 2009


The other day as I was taking Jacob to baseball practice we started talking about Easter since it is coming up. First we talked about Good Friday, and both Annalisa and Jacob (the only kids in the car at the time) asked me why it is called "Good" Friday. We talked about the fact that Jesus died for us on that day even though he didn't do anything wrong. I told them that if Jesus hadn't died for our sins then we would be lost in our sins, but God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us so that we could live forever with Him! The next thing I asked them is, "If Jesus died on Good Friday what did He do on Easter Sunday?" I thought for sure they knew the answer to this question. Annalisa thought for a minute and said, "I infer that on Easter Sunday Jesus gave us lots of candy and fun." I said, "No, that's not what Jesus did on Easter Sunday. On Easter Sunday Jesus rose from the dead. He's not dead anymore! He is alive!" And Annalisa said, "Jesus lives in my heart and helps it pump so I can be alive." Jacob then remembered that when Jesus came back to life He saw His disciples again before He went to heaven, so we talked about that for a minute, but Annalisa was still concerned about the whole "easter" thing, so she asked me if it was Jesus' first Easter. I told her that yes it was the first Easter, so she asked me, "Then did the Easter Bunny bring Jesus candy?" Trying not to laugh at her real concern for something that is not important I explained to her that candy and the Easter Bunny are not what Easter is about. This prompted me to ask the kids to really think about what Easter means to them and write it down for me. I really wanted to see if they understood that it is not about hunting eggs or getting candy. I was very impressed with what each one came up with all on their own. Annalisa was the first to write and finish:

I like Easter because Jesus dide for us and in 3 days he rose again to see His people. And
rosed out of heven to see uther people not just us. And He did not want to diy but He
wanted to diy for us so He dide for us because He wanted us to go to heven. He did not
us to go to the devill. So He dide so we can go to heven. And that is why I like easter.

Cole was the next to finish his paper:

Good Friday and Easter are important to me because on Good Friday Jesus gave up His
life for us that aren't perfect like Him. Easter is important because on Good Friday it was
told that He would rise again in 3 days and Easter was the third day of Jesus being dead and
that was when He rose again. I like Easter and Good Friday because those days show me
how much Jesus and God love and care for us-- for Jesus to give up His life and for God to
give up His only son.

Then Jacob gave me his:

Easter is important to me because Jesus died for our sins. He rose again in three days and
visited His disciples for 40 days. Then He went to heaven. The night before He died He
prayed to not go through with that and He sweated blood. Easter is special to me because
now we can go to heaven.

I am very proud that even though they enjoy the egg hunting and candy, deep down they really do understand what Easter is about. They may miss a few things that as adults we get, but for kids they have a pretty good grasp of what it is Jesus did for us. I LOVE MY KIDS!!!

March 28, 2009

Snow Days

Last Thursday morning there was snow on the ground, but nothing on the streets, so I had the kids up, dressed, and eating breakfast before I decided to just check and see if there would be a delayed start at school due to snow. I really didn't expect there to be since there never is on the days when the streets are covered. To my SURPRISE there wasn't a delayed start---school was CANCELLED! What? We have only been here a year and a half, but the schools have not been cancelled due to snow yet. Due to "expected blizzard like conditions" all schools were closed for the day! My kids were THRILLED!! I was just sad I hadn't known earlier and slept in!! It started snowing around 8:00 and didn't stop until about 4:30. Around 2:30 we decided to get all of our snow gear on and head up to a school pretty close to our house with a big hill---good for sledding! It was FREEZING outside with the wind blowing at about 20 mph, but we braved it since we haven't had a really good snow this winter yet. The boys were excited to snowboard and Annalisa loves to sled down the hill with Ben. After Ben and Annalisa would get to the bottom of the hill I would hear, "How are we going to go down this time, Daddy? On our backs? Stomachs? How about we go down backwards?" She was so excited and loves to try new things! Cole snowboarded pretty well and only fell a few times! Ben also snowboarded....pretty good for an old man! Jacob found a new way to snowboard....he SAT on the snowboard and sledded down the hill on it. It was pretty funny to watch because the snowboard was so skinny under him! He did stand on it a few times down and did a really good job with it, but he preferred sitting! After about an hour of sledding we got back in the Pilot, headed home, changed into warm clothes and drank hot chocolate!! What better way to end a day of playing in the snow?

March 15, 2009


When I got home from work on Friday there was a letter waiting for me on the kitchen table. I opened it up and read it.....here is what it said:

To the parents of Cole Newton.
Congratulations! Cole has been accepted to Horizon Community Middle School's EDGE program for the 2009-2010 school year. EDGE is designed to provide a rigorous challenging curriculum for our most intellectually talented and highly motivated students. Students in EDGE receive advanced placement in language arts, math, social studies, and science and are placed on a team with students of like-ability.

Based on teacher recommendations as well as qualifying test scores of Proficient High to Advanced on the spring 2008 CSAP in reading and math and/or High or Very High test scores on the district's winter MAP tests for reading and math, your son/daughter qualifies for Horizon's EDGE program.

Then there was some more information about a summer class they will be offering the students for a week to get used to being in middle school without all the other students being there.
We are so proud of Cole and he is very excited also. They didn't even interview Cole (which was supposed to be part of the acceptance process) because the counselor told me his test scores were so high they were just going to accept him without the interview! WOW! Way to go Cole--and I guess Ben and I can take some credit too since we have helped him and raised him! I just can't believe my first born will be starting middle school in the fall!

March 11, 2009


I can clearly remember being 10 years old and scared that someone was hiding under my bed ready to grab my ankles when I put a foot to the floor. I would jump off of my bed as far out as I could...supposedly farther than their arms could reach should they try to grab me. I also would make my bed while sitting ON it instead of standing BESIDE it. Once again, I didn't want to give the person under my bed something to grab onto! I know that I never really thought through the whole thing logically.....I mean who would wait under my bed for HOURS at a time just to grab my ankles and pull me under? Wouldn't they get hungry or have to go use the bathroom? I never thought about those things--I just thought that someone was there. Now I have Jacob, my 9 year old son who refuses to sleep without this "night light" that was given to him by my mom a few years ago for Christmas. It looks more like a TV screen and it shows the planets in space going across the screen. It pretty much lights up the whole room, and last night I asked him why he even uses it since he wraps himself up like a mummy when he sleeps---head to toe wrapped up! He is in complete darkness inside his blankets, so why the "night light"? He said that he has to turn it on because the monsters are scared of the light. Really? So I asked him, "Jacob, when was the last time you saw a monster?" He matter of factly replied, "Never...because they are scared of the light." (Duh, MOM!) Ok then....point for Jacob. I said, "Well, Jacob you haven't seen any because they don't exist." He then said, "Well, you can believe that if you want to, but I don't believe it." Ok then....so when Ben went down to tell them good-night I told him to tell Jacob about all the monters that live in his room! I bet that helped! I just think it is so funny that kids get these things in their heads that they believe to be true and then scare themselves silly over it!

March 1, 2009

100th Day of School

I think that the 100th day of school is probably the MOST fun day of school for all kindergarten and 1st grade students out there. This past Wednesday was that day for Annalisa. She had to make a vest out of a grocery bag and decorate it with 100 things. She used my stamps, stickers, and markers to draw hearts and circles. It took her a while to get 100 things on it, but when she was done she was proud of the finished product. When she was at school she made glasses that are the number 100 and a decorated hat. Here are a few pics of her in her 100th day ensemble.

February 24, 2009

Glucose Test Result

Just a quick post to let everyone know I got the results back from my Glucose test and I DON'T have gestational diabetes! Woo-hoo! I didn't figure I did....but they will make me take the test again around 27 weeks to re-check for it.

February 20, 2009

February Updates

I haven't posted in a while because I have not felt well! I have been EXTREMELY tired and nauseous all day every day for the past 6 weeks at least. The nausea seems to be letting up now that I am 12 1/2 weeks along, but the tiredness is hanging on. On February 7 we celebrated Jacob's 9th birthday! It has always been Jacob's wish to have a swimming party for his birthday. He even "put off" his birthday until July one year just so he could have it at a pool! But this year we were fortunate enough to find an indoor swimming pool here in Aurora. So, even though the weather was in the 40's outside, the kids were swimming in a heated pool, and having a blast! There was a big water slide that the kids loved going down and also a sprayground. Jacob liked to spend most of his time in the Olympic size pool where the diving boards were. He jumped off the low dive (his first time on a spring board), and then looked at the high dive curiously. He pointed to it while looking at me (asking permission to jump) and I said, "Go for it!" He climbed the ladder cautiously, walked to the end, gave me a small wave (as if to say, "If I don't survive this, know I love you."), then jumped! He loved it! He did say his hands stung because he slapped the water, but he climbed up again and jumped a second time. Even though we didn't technically have a "party" there, one of Jacob's friends did come and go swimming with him. After the swimming, we went to the house and ate mac-n-cheese then everyone had some of the peanut butter brownies that Jacob had picked out and made all by himself earlier that morning. It was a great birthday for him and the kids slept really well that night!!
The kids finished up their 3 1/2 weeks "off track" yesterday, and we sent them back to school! YAY! We have been attending meetings about enrolling Cole in middle school for the fall. We are applying him for a program called EDGE. Horizon Middle School is the only school in the district that offers it, and it would be Advanced classes for all of his CORE subjects. He has to have a letter of recommendation from his current teacher, an application filled out by us (his parents), they will interview Cole, and they will look at his MAP and CSAP test scores in order to decide whether they will accept him or not. His current teacher is just positive he will be accepted, but I am still nervous for him and hope that he is accepted, because Cole definitely needs the challenges of Advanced classes. He has also decided he wants to take Band (that is a year long elective) and PE for sure. PE in middle school here is an elective and it only lasts a semester, so if your child doesn't pick PE they don't get any type of exercise during middle school. That is strange to me because when I was going to Caddo Middle Magnet, PE was not an option, it was part of your day and it lasted all year long. If he gets accepted into EDGE he has to have 2 full years of a foreign language while in middle school, and he wants to do Spanish.
I went to the doctor yesterday to do the glucose test for them early....they want to make sure I don't have gestational diabetes since I tend to have big babies....and I don't know the results yet even though they said it would only take 24 hrs, but I don't really think I have it. I will know soon enough! While I was there I got to hear Peanut's heartbeat!! It was 170 bpm, and I know that a lot of you think that a fast heart rate means it is a girl, but that is not true! Jacob's heart rate was 165-170 and he is definitely NOT a girl!! Annalisa's wasn't even as fast as Jacob's. While my doc teased me that Jacob would be a girl based on the heart rate, he said in all actuality it is still a 50/50 chance it is a boy and 50/50 chance it is a girl. So, while Annalisa is hoping for a girl, and it certainly could be, I will wait for the sono to tell us.....this is the FIRST one of my babies I will have them tell me the sex of BEFORE the birth! I LOVE NOT knowing, but I figure since I have NOTHING this time and people really want to be able to buy for the baby I won't torture them anymore....I had my fun 3 times around! But just maybe Peanut will be shy that day and they won't be able to tell for sure.......I will secretly smile if that is the case!

January 30, 2009

And Baby Makes 6!

I figured it was about time to post something new...and I could think of nothing better to post about than the fact that we are expecting another little blessing to enter our home (he/she is already in our hearts!) on or around Sept. 1! Yes, Ben and I were VERY surprised at this little curve ball God is throwing in our direction....but we have been thrown many curve balls by God and we never duck....we don't want to miss something good! Annalisa is super excited about this news, and she has been full of questions: "So, do you just like stand on a scale or something and it tells you that you are pregnant?" "Can the baby sleep in my room?" "What will I do if the baby keeps me up because she is crying and I have school the next day?" "How do babies get milk out of your boob anyway? Is that like a straw for them?" She is so curious about everything...but my favorite thing she said was not a question. It was right after we told them we would be having another baby. Annalisa just kept giggling and batting her eyes. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "Well, it's just that I thought I would never get to see a BABY that you had....but now I will!!!!" The boys are excited, but definitely not to the extent that Annalisa is! We went to the doctor on the 27th and saw the little peanut on the sono. Everything looks good so far! I don't see the doctor until March 23, but I have been asked to come back in the next 4 weeks to take the glucose test early (but I will still have to take it again at the normal time of 27-28 weeks) since I tend to have big babies! Neither me nor any of the kids have ever been diagnosed with diabetes, but I guess this is just a precaution they want to take. I will keep you updated on how that goes. We will be happy for any and all of you to pray for us as Ben tries to find a job, I try to overcome all day nausea, and we hope for a healthy and safe pregnancy.

January 11, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday morning we suffered a loss in our family, and we had to say good-bye. While Cole was eating breakfast his brother and sister were arguing as usual. Annalisa suddenly yelled at me that Cole was crying. I immediately thought that Jacob must have said something mean to him, but normally Cole just gets him right back, so I looked into the dining room to the tear-streaked face of my oldest child. I asked him what was wrong and he just hung his head while continuing to cry. I was pretty concerned at that moment, so I asked him again what was wrong. He then held up his head and said, "Rodriguez died last night." He left the table to go cry some more. I was puzzled, and went to him...."How do you know he died?" I asked. "Because he wouldn't move when I checked on him." Now there were LOTS more tears. We had been concerned about Rodriguez for about a week because he hadn't been acting like his normal self. We got him some crickets to eat even though it wasn't really his feeding time, and although he is normally super excited for crickets to be in his home, this time he didn't even move. He acted as if none were there, but the next morning he was getting up and moving around a lot more. Cole was even excited that he had turned back to his green color--sometimes he was brown depending on the humidity in the house. Ben and I hadn't felt like Rodriguez would make it much longer--even though we had read that White's Tree Frogs can live up to 15 years. Cole was going on having Rod for 4 years--alot for a 10 year old! My biggest fear was that Cole would find him dead, and I didn' t know how he would deal with that--I also didn't want him to HAVE to deal with that. What can I say? I am still his mom, and it is in my blood to want to shelter him from those kinds of things, but this time I missed it. When I went to check on Rod he was definitely dead. Annalisa started crying too about how she LOVED Rodgrievous (she never was able to say his name correctly), but Jacob was just matter-of-fact about the whole thing and very uncaring about Cole's feelings. He said things like, "Oh, gross! He looks so bad! Why do his eyes look like that? Why is his foot stuck like that? Where is all of his color?" and lots of other quetions that just upset Cole. Ben fashioned a box for us to bury Rodriguez in, and after we carefully wrapped him then put him in it we buried him in the backyard. Cole cried the whole time, but Annalisa had nice words to say for Rod. Today as we went to church Cole told me he was still sad, but after church he told me he had worked through his sadness. He said that now he thinks he can talk about it without crying. He may even want to replace Rodriguez at some point. I am so proud of him, but I am sorry that he has had to learn about loss at such a young age. He took very good care of Rodriguez while he was alive, and I told him that Rod had many adventures (moving to Colorado from Texas, moving while in Colorado, staying with Nanny for a week, etc) that other frogs only dream about!! He lived a full life!!