Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm Thankful

I am thankful for many things. Overall, this has been a very good year. As I was going through my pictures from the week, I realized how lucky I am to have the job that I do. While many people were surprised when I left the classroom, I needed to be more available for my own kids. And now I can be. And I am thankful for that :) Case in point, I was able to volunteer in both of my girls' classes this past week. We made homemade bread and butter in Kaitlyn's class on Tuesdayand a full Thanksgiving meal in Kelsey's class on Wednesday
And I am thankful for these memories with my girls.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back Home

I made it back home from my work trip, safe and sound. More to come on that later. I wasn't home 15 minutes today before the phone rang. It was the groomer - it was time for Copper to come back in. :(

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Tribute to Veterans

My girls' school does a wonderful thing every November - they host a Senior Citizen/Veteran's Day luncheon. I am lucky enough to be able to go and volunteer at this luncheon every year. We are even more lucky that our favorite veteran, the girls' grandpa, comes down for the celebration.

I started crying when I pulled in the parking lot and saw his big red truck already there. I was able to sit with him on and off when not helping with the luncheon. We served lunch to 254 folks that day! It's great because we have real lunch ladies who cook everything from scratch. There was turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, a vegetable (that I just don't remember!) frozen fruit salad and some other garnishes. Families are asked to bring in pies for dessert. I made a pumpkin pie and Kelsey offered to take it to school for me. She has a really nice duffel bag and the pie set nicely on top of her social studies book. When I thanked her for taking the pie to school for me and asked how it went, she told me that the office accepted it regardless. Hmmm, Kelsey what do you mean? Somehow the pie got folded in half in her backpack :) I looked when we were serving and never did find the double decker pumpkin pie.

After lunch and dessert, the kids put on a music program and there is also a Color Guard. They sing the National Anthem, songs from each of the 5 branches of the service and other patriotic songs.

BTW - I did cry again. Watching my Kelsey belt out the National Anthem got me.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Going to the Movies

Last night, the four of us went to dinner and the movies. A pretty common Friday night activity, right? For most people - yes. For us, no. As my friend Amy pointed out, I NEVER go to the movies. In fact, I have only been to the movies 12 times. Going to the movie theater has never really been something I have done. As a kid, we did things mainly with family. In high school, I mainly dated farmers and we would rent movies after working in the fields. In college, there were other things to do. Now, our social life revolves about sporting events.

So what 12 movies have I made it to:
  1. The Muppet Movie
  2. Swiss Family Robinson
  3. One of the Batman movies
  4. Wayne's World (at the drive-in)
  5. Titanic
  6. Madagascar 2
  7. Speed (at the drive-in)
  8. Ocean's Twelve
  9. Kung Fu Panda
  10. One of the Harry Potter movies
  11. The Firm
  12. The Distinguished Gentlemen
Hmmm, fairly eclectic and not in chronological order but an interesting list nonetheless.

And by the way, I guess I should be glad that we don't do the dinner and movie thing very often. It was a hundred dollar night!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween, Part II

A few years ago, Kelsey asked how Halloween started and wanted to know it's meaning. I went through the whole thing with her but she still seemed to have questions. So, I told her the purpose of Halloween for us was to get dressed up and go visit some people we don't often get to see. We don't trick or treat door to door or throughout our town. We go to a handful of our immediate neighbors and then we hop in the car. We go visit good friends of our family - a farming family in the country, our Pastor and his family, our afterschool sitter, some big Unity fans. Then, we head to the neighboring town to see some very good friends of ours. Check out what kind of treats they had for the girls:
We visited 5 or 6 houses in Tolono to see friends of the family. One of the families then invited everyone to stay after for a bonfire.
That lovely piece of wood is from our wood hunting excursion a few weeks ago. Oops, it's really a fence post with wire still on it! We made it work :) It was nice to have some grown-up time and let the kids play with their friends. It was a busy day and we were all exhausted. This is one way to end a party!

Halloween, Part I

I was lucky enough again this year to spend the afternoon with the girls at their school for their Halloween parade and classroom parties. I started out in Kelsey's room, working with her 4th grade class. We pretended that we were mad scientists and we made slime. The verdict? Mixed? Some of the batches turned out really well. Others looked like nasty milk. Oh well, we had fun and learned some things about science. When Kelsey's class went to Art, I went to Kaitlyn's class to help get kids dressed in their costumes. Kaitlyn was a Unity Rockets' cheerleader. Thanks for Aunt Jenn for the costume as a gift a few holidays ago and to Mimi for the poms (authentic poms from the dance squad!)
After Kaitlyn was dresses, I hauled it down to Kelsey's room to help her get dresses. She was a "Goth Teenage Queen". She had that idea months ago. I told her that I wasn't sure how appropriate that would be. Well, she drew me a picture of what she wanted and thanks to the Internet, I was able to find something that we both liked. When all the kids were dressed, there was a parade around the playground.
When the parade concluded, both girls had parties in their classrooms. I floated between the two parties - I called Bingo in Kaitlyn's class and picked up trash in Kelsey's class. All is all, it was a great afternoon. Apparently my Daphne costume of last year set the bar pretty high. Many people were disappointed in my take on Sarah Palin.