Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Dress

This dress is a very special dress. It's the very dress that my Mom dressed me in for my one year pictures. Whoa, not only is that dress special, it's old! LOL. It's the only piece of clothing I have from my infancy/childhood. For years, it clothed the nakedness of a giant bear I owned. And then I started having my own children. As Hannah's first birthday approached, I thought how cool it would be to have her one year pictures taken in the very dress I had mine taken in And so I did. She even had a shirt that was pretty similar to the one I'd worn twenty seven years earlier.

Four years later, I had Rachel's one year pictures taken in the same dress. After getting those pictures back, I framed the three pictures together in one collage and hung it in the hallway. I love those pictures.After seeing special articles of baby clothing framed on the walls in a few movies, I thought about how I'd love to frame that dress and then hang it above the pictures of us three wearing the dress. I searched and searched for the perfect frame. When I finally found one that was the right size and color, etc, and when I finally went to actually frame the dress, I couldn't find it!!! I was bummed.

I searched high and low for that dress. I looked in the Rubbermaid containers of clothes I have saved. Nope, not there. Steven even suggested that I'd accidentally tossed it in one of my Goodwill cleaning expeditions. I knew it had to be somewhere around here...

...I am so happy to say that I found it yesterday!!!! It was inside the memory box of the girls special papers up in our closet. I'm not sure why it was in there, but I was extremely happy to have found it!! It's been missing for at least two or three years. And thankfully I still had the shadowbox frame tucked in the back of our closet.

So today, aside from getting groceries, one of the things I really wanted to accomplish was to get that dress ironed, framed, and on the wall! And after a trip to Joanne's for two new buttons (somehow I'd lost one) and some material, I am happy to say, I accomplished my goal and it's now hung on the wall, above the framed pictures of us three girls. It makes me happy to walk out our bedroom door and through the hallway to see the grouping finally all together!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Adventure at Disneyland

Sunday afternoon was my appointment with the Disneyland Research Department. And while I signed a form stating I'd keep the things they asked me confidential, I will say that I had a GREAT time on my adventure.

It was a great afternoon/evening and I loved that my family came along for the adventure.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sorting Through Pictures

One of the little projects I've been working on in the mornings while the girls are both at school is sorting through my photos in my iPhoto.

I have over 32,000 pictures in my iPhoto from the last six and a half years. That averages out to about 5,000 pictures a year we've taken. Whoa! Thank Goodness for external hard drives, huh? Yeah, I know they can go bad, but for now that's better than nothing.

So back to my project. I've been grouping, categorizing, and deleting pictures. Why in the world I've taken ten shots of the exact same present or activity is beyond me and therefore I figured out if there was a better shot of the group and then delete the rest. I've also been deleting pictures that are blurry, peoples backs are to you, pictures were peoples eyes are closed, or just plain irrelevant.

It's definitely been a nice project to work on, and it's fun looking back at how the girls, and many friends and family have changed!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fund Raising

In addition to the school wide fundraisers that will begin sometime in the next month, Hannah's class needs to raise funds. This morning a committee of moms met to discuss possible ways of fund raising for our 4th grade class.

In order to go on the overnight field trip on a Tall Ship in April, and a bus ride to the local mountains for some earth science observations, we need to raise about $4000.

We have a good list of ideas started, and one Mom will be meeting with the teacher on Friday after school to go over our ideas and get her input. And then hopefully, our first fundraiser will be the first week of September.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This and That

I don't know about the rest of the world, but to me, this week has FLOWN by! I'm pretty sure it's because of all the running I'm doing these days, but seriously, it's already the middle of August and if the weeks keep flying by like this one, the holidays will be upon us in no time.

I think we're all adjusting to being back at school, on a more structured routine and schedule. Rachel seems to have adjusted okay to going to school five days in a row. She's still bouncing out of bed in the mornings, getting dressed, and cooperating. Hannah is adjusting to life as a 4th grader. She's learning to be more responsible in writing down homework assignments completely and clearly, and loves the stories her teacher tells throughout the day. I've heard that one of the other 4th grade classes is full of drama and I'm so glad Hannah isn't in that class, there's enough drama going on around here. LOL.

I'm adjusting to having both my children in Elementary School. It's weird. But it's life. The three hours a day of no children home every day of the week sure makes for an extremely quiet house! I'm trying not to spend too much time during that time on the computer. I have a list of things I'd like to accomplish and not waste away the free hours of everyday. The running back and forth to school three times a day sure takes a toll. I've been extremely exhausted this week and I think it's all just part of getting up and out early every day and running back and forth to school. Might have to think about talking to the Master of the house about dropping the girls off at school one day a week or something.

This will be the first school year that I've not been Hannah's class Room Mom. She's in a class where there are far more proactive Mothers than me and way more desiring of that control, and I don't need it or desire it, so more power to them! I do however, like the Mom that was chosen to be our Room Mom, she's easy to work with. We've put together a committee of five moms to start brainstorming ideas for fundraising just in our class alone. There is a killer over night field trip on a Tall Ship towards the end of the year and we need to raise about $3400. It'll be nice to be involved in that way for Hannah's class.

I was officially notified in writing this morning, although a little birdie had told me last week, in addition to the teacher requesting me, that I am the Room Mom for Rachel's Kindergarden class. That's exciting to me. They still do some fun stuff at the lower grade levels and it'll be fun to head it all up.

I'm not sure there's ever been a time that I've been so thankful it's Friday. Two days of no running back and forth. In fact, other than a party at Jumping Jacks tonight, we have nothing on the books for the rest of the weekend. Although it would be nice to attend a night of The Harvest Crusades, but I'd want to go tonight to see Third Day or on Sunday night for woship with Chris Tomlin, but that's a school night. So we'll just stay close to home and rest and prepare for the week that is coming...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Getting Paid for my Opinion

Steven and I have been annual passholders to Disneyland since May 1996. We've seen a lot of changes over the years - the demolishing of the old parking lot and complete building of California Adventure, new rides coming, old rides going, parade changes, firework show changes, and many, many other changes. Some changes have been good, some not so good. We definitely have our opinions.

Last week I received an email asking if I was interested in participating in a survey whereas Disneyland will PAY ME!!! I've taken several surveys over the years, but this one they are going to PAY ME!!! I am so excited!

I connected with the Disneyland official a few days ago and it's all lined up. I will show up at the time and date I chose, they will give me an itinerary of attractions to experience and a camera to take pictures. Once I've completed the itinerary, I return to the research center and will then take a survey. Once the survey is complete, they will pay me $75 in cash!

I know $75 isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things, but I have my opinions about things in the park anyways, and now I will get paid to share them!

What I'll do with the money I'm tossing around - I can be responsible and put it towards the renewal of Rachel's pass in September OR treat myself and the girls to a lunch at Goofy's Kitchen (a character meal where the characters come and visit you at the table which they would LOVE) OR just spend it on things I've seen and wanted. But at any rate, I'm extremely excited!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Working in the Classroom

At Back to School night last week, I talked with both the teachers about parent volunteers in their classroom. Mrs. Maingot, Rachel's teacher gave me a couple days she welcomes volunteers. I chose Mondays. When I dropped off Rachel at school yesterday, she asked if I'd be staying to help, and while I really didn't think she'd actually want me for a couple of weeks, of course I stayed!

I know I say this after every time of working in a class, or even when I subbed at the preschool, but man, teachers are such special people. The amount of patience they have is amazing.

Rachel's class has twenty kids. Some well behaved. Some not well behaved. Some that listen. And some that don't listen. Some that follow directions the first time given and some that don't. Thankfully Rachel was one of the better kids.

I sat at the back table, working on the projects that the teacher gave me, learning and listening to how their daily schedule works. Listening and becoming annoyed at the little boy who made constant sound effects while he worked on coloring all the triangles on his paper. The teacher got after several of the kids quite a few times. They are all still learning what's expected of them and the routine.

And on the other hand, the kids were funny! The teacher was talking about something and the little boy pipes up with "You mean we have to come here EVERY day?!?!" LOL. Needless to say, they are getting used to what the rest of their life will be like for at least the next twelve years.

At any rate, teachers aren't given enough credit or appreciation. It's a job I sure I wouldn't have the patience and endurance for!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Afternoon "Fun"

I went to the school this afternoon to pick up Hannah. The bell rang. She made her way to the car. I turned the key to start the car and all I got was click-click-click. A friend who knows a lot about cars listened and concluded it wasn't my battery.

I had already called Steven to see if he could bring the jumper cables. And once she said she didn't think it was my battery, I called him back to head him off from making an unnecessary trip. My friend took my girls home with her. And I called for a tow truck. Steven called ahead to our mechanic and told him my car was going to be towed there.

It wasn't too long of a wait for the truck. It gave me time to put everything I wanted to take out of the van in the back.

Once the truck arrived, I stood there watching my car be hooked up and was really sorry this was one of the few times I did not have my camera with me. The picture would have been a priceless one - tow truck, my car hooked up behind, and the empty school yard in the background. It would have been a great picture to accompany this post. LOL.

The cars always seem to break down on me for some reason. I've had plenty of opportunities waiting for a tow truck.

I was extremely grateful that it was a much cooler day today while waiting. I've been stranded in 100 degree scorching heat before and that's not enjoyable, today it wasn't even over 90. I was thankful for my friend who just took my kids home with her and I didn't have to worry about them. And once again I was thankful that Steven works from home and we have a second car that is reliable and that starting the week off without my van isn't much of an issue.

But what a way to end the week!

TGIF

It's not even been a full week of school, but I'm sure thankful it's Friday!

The first week or two are always the hardest when getting back into a new routine/schedule. I'm so glad today is Friday. I'm tired. LOL. The needing to get up and get dressed and ready and get BOTH the girls ready and hair done and then make Hannah's lunch, sitting down to breakfast and out the door by 7:35 is taking some getting used to.

I think the other reason I am tired is that I'm still recovering from not sleeping well when my neck and shoulder were a mess. Every day it's getting better and better, and I am sleeping much, much better at night. But it still wore me out. And now I'm in the midst of trying to catch up on all the things I let go when I was out of commission.

This evening we have a friends birthday. It'll be low key and relaxing around the pool with appetizers and desserts. The girls are excited about swimming in the dark. LOL. It'll be a great evening of fellowship I'm sure. A great way to end this week.

Tomorrow, we have absolutely nothing on our plate. Yippee! The church is having a day at the beach where a good majority of families are going. We're not. We're staying home and just taking it easy! Which is just fine!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

First Day of School

We officially have both kids in Elementary School! Gone are the days of preschool and preschool things. Gone are the days of running to two separate schools at completely different ends of town. We've entered a new season of our life!

Tomorrow will be when reality will set in as Rachel will actually stay for her school day as opposed to going for Kindergarden Orientation and coming home with us. Tomorrow will be the first day of having both children in school, every day of the weekday!

So far, the school year ahead looks great. I LOVE Hannah's teacher and am happy to be with some of the families we've known for a few years. And happy to be some families I look forward to getting to know better. Rachel's teacher believe it or not, I'm not sure if she remembers, but she was my camp counselor for Jr High Church Camp when we spent a week at Catalina...that was SO long ago. But it's neat to have her as my daughters very first school teacher. We only know one other family in the class, friends from church and we're happy to be with them. We noticed during orientation this morning that there is a little girl in her class that has two Mommies. That'll make for an interesting year.

The first day is behind us, homework is done, all the essential paperwork filled out. And we're working on getting back into the routine of being back in school! Tomorrow night is Open House!

Home Movies

A couple weeks ago, we had to rearrange our televisions so that we could hook up a bottom of the line Blue Ray Player out in the family room. The older TV we had out there didn't have the hook up for it, so we switched it for the one in our bedroom. Anyways...

The TV that is now in the family room, is newer, and has the video components on the front of the which television which makes it easier for hooking up our video camera.

For the last week, we've been watching home movies from the last 13 years. There was a stack of about ten to twelve video tapes that weren't labeled, so we've been watching the videos and labeling. We took SO much video when Hannah was a baby. I knew we'd not taped a lot of Rachel as a baby, but I was pleasantly surprised at just how much we have taped! Thank goodness, because I was starting to really feel sad that we'd not taped anything and was starting to feel guilty every time Rachel asked to watch a video of her as a baby. We managed to get a lot of the important stuff of her on video. :::whew:::

What has been funny, is the reaction of Rachel when she'd see Hannah opening or playing with something that was or is now 'hers'. LOL. Poor Rachel, she got a lot of hand me downs. In recent months, the girls had been fighting over something, and when we got to the movie whereas Hannah was opening the present, we were able to convince Rachel that it really was indeed Hannah's. LOL.

It's been funny to see how the girls' attitudes and looks and moodiness really isn't something new, but we've been dealing with it for a few years now. Something we hadn't really realized until we witnessed it on video.

We've also learned a few lessons: 1) Don't video tape every single opening of birthday and Christmas presents. It's boring. Tape if you know there's something big, or something the child will be happy about, but otherwise, save the tape! 2) No need for the commentary. And this is directed right at me. No need to recite the date, it's embedded in the video. No need for the play by play. It's dumb and dorky...thirteen years later. LOL. 3) At parties or events, scan the room and get glimpses of who's at the special event. It's the people that are fun to look back at years down the road.

We haven't taped anything in about three years. Sad really. Because there have been birthday parties, milestones, and miscellaneous other things that would have been great to have captured on video. We have a blank tape and the camera is all ready to go for todays big events - the first day of school!! Hannah starts the 4th grade and Rachel starts Kindergarden!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ramblings

This afternoon marks a week that I've been dealing with this neck/shoulder muscle thing. And to be totally honest, I'm so done with it. I'm tired of not being comfortable when I sit, or lie down for that matter. I'm tired of waking up several times in the night because I'm uncomfortable or in pain. I'm tired of getting up in the middle of the night to eat something so that I can take motrin, or pacing back and forth throughout the house. I'm just done.

You don't really realize until you're 'disabled' with a part of your body, just how much you use certain muscles. For instance, normally, I don't have to think about getting in the car, I just do it. But because my neck and shoulder are so tight, I have to think about how to get in with inducing the least amount of pain as possible. Or how about brushing your hair. I can't brush the back of my hair, nor can I put it up in a scrunchie. And the list can go on and on. I'm just ready to be feeling better and not sore or in pain or in the state of feeling constant tension through those muscles.

Tomorrow is the first day of school. These last five weeks have gone by quick, but we've done quite a bit - swimming with friends, swimming with the cousins, roller skating, five days at Pismo Beach, and miscellaneous other things. The next break the girls will have will be three weeks in November, the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. And as far away as that seems, it'll be here before we know it. We can go to the school this afternoon after 4:30 to see who Hannah's teacher is and to see who's in her class. She's pretty excited, and nervous at the same time. Rachel, she's just excited. I really don't think she understands the changes her little world is about to embark on - school, every day. She is having a hard time not understanding why she doesn't get to stay for lunch. I keep telling her Kindergardeners (at least the morning) don't have lunch at school.

It's going to be an adjustment come tomorrow morning, having to get up and out the door everyday again. It's going to be an adjustment having the house free of children for 3 1/2 hours everyday. Rachel will take a while to adjust to being active and busy at school every day. I'm already thinking that part of our new schedule will be once I pick her up, coming home, having lunch, and then having her lay on her bed quietly for an hour everyday with a book or watching a movie. And then working on her homework before having to go and get Hannah from school when I'll have her homework to help with and dinner to think about. Most definitely a season of a new schedule and finding out what works best for everyone in our house.

A lot of people have asked what I plan to do with the free time I'll have everyday. I figure if you knock off travel time to and from school, I'll get 3 hours at home. I've started compiling a list of things I'd like to accomplish - some craft projects, starting on Christmas ornaments for an ornament party, completing my continuing education credits for my nursing license, some deep cleaning, and miscellaneous other things. I know I don't want to waste away that time everyday. I want to make the most of that time and I'm hoping to be successful at it. I am looking forward to grocery shopping without the girls, now if I forget things on my list, it'll be my own fault and not the fault of my four year old crossing things off I've not thrown into the cart yet. LOL.

This day will be over before I know it. Time to end my ramblings and see about getting some things done around here. The laundry is stacking up, house needs to be vacuumed and miscellaneous other things need to be done and I've been not able to get to them due to not feeling well. I think I can manage to maybe stand at the counter and fold laundry though...