Monday, May 31, 2010

Lazy Morning Recaps (the Zoo!)

***Still would love book recommendations! Scroll down!***

We are enjoying our lazy mornings on this long and lovely weekend. This is what we've been up to most mornings:
We've had a fun weekend, starting off with a fun trip to the zoo with Bear, followed by grilling with friends, trips to the playground, and movie nights. We got a season pass to the zoo this year, and so far we are loving it! Here are some pictures from the zoo trip. I practiced using my zoom lense.

The older Addison gets, the more aware she is of all of her surroundings. The monkeys and zebras were still her favorites, but she excitedly named all the animals that she knew. She called the lion skin above "Baby Simba" and kept saying, "He sleeping." This time she loved the petting zoo--especially when she found the llamas. She definitely was little Miss Independent, exhausting Dad and me as she ran almost the entire time! She kept yelling back, "Come on, Bear! Come on, Mommy!" We had a blast.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Children's Book Recommendations, anyone?

I have a little pigtailed person who LOVES to read...

Mommy, however, is getting bored with our personal library...

So, on Day 1 of summer, we headed to the library for story time. We also checked out these:This is one I haven't bought yet because I think it will be sent to us via Cousin Dolly. But she LOVES it, and interprets it in her own words. "Llama Llama scared... Llama Llama cryin... He better... Ni-night..."She loves the pictures in this one, and she really loves the octopus, but the words are too dense, so I just make up my own story, and she commentates: "Fish sharing... He give his sparkle... It shiny... It blue one... It pink one..."

And the other was a pajama party book that goes month by month.

We own some of the classics, and as a book lover, I have a budget item for Addy-books, but I don't want to just blow it. Let me know what age-appropriate books you'd recommend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Addison's Eagle's Nest

The Early Childhood Program at school is named the Eagle's Nest, a fitting name since IHS's mascot is the eagle. Addison loves spending her days here during the school year (except for her favorite day of the week, Wednesday, which she spends with her Jaydee and Savannah). I like it too. I see her everyday when they go on walks and when she wakes up from her nap.

I've written about how I love my job; this program enables me to love it. I know that Addison is happy and loved and that she's just a stone's throw away from Mommy. A happy Addy makes a happy Mommy.

One of her sweet teachers, Miss Caitlyn, made us a cd of pictures from the year. We sure will miss her when she goes away to college next year!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sawyer Daniel

Can't believe my sweet nephew is already 1 week old. I also can't believe I haven't seen him since Friday. Gonna have to change that tomorrow!

Sawyer Daniel was born May 18th at 1:08 weighing 7 pounds and 8 ounces and measuring 20 inches. To me, he is the boy version of Savannah, another perfect mixture of Lindsay and Daniel.

I had the responsibility of getting Big Sis from school and taking her to the hospital to meet her brother. It was a fun ride, that's for sure. Here are some pictures!

We love our new cousin/nephew!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Title: "Mrs. Crawford Flipped Me the Bird"

An essay with this title lay on my desk Monday afternoon when I returned from break. My first, thought, "What? Did I? Could I have possibly...without knowing it?" Then I saw the author, sighed to myself, and thought, "Well... I might have... you know... scratched my nose with my middle finger... just to make a point..."

Nervously reading on, I uncovered a heartfelt reflection of her high school experience written by a student whom I will always remember fondly. A witty smart aleck. A creative soul. A lover of words. She will be a student who will always brag about how she passed my class without reading a single novel I assigned--well, all except one; one who came back to my class in years following during her study halls to listen and contribute, to bug me, to ask for essay help or recommendation letters, to help me organize or file, to just walk and talk when she was going through a rough time. I will remember her as a student who overcame adversity to achieve high academic honors, as a student who blossomed through her maturity with language, as a student who made me laugh and smile and roll my eyes and even scratch my nose with my middle finger. She graduates next Saturday and, like so many peers in her class, has the world before her. I find myself a little nostalgically jealous about that fact. She is truly going to be somebody.

It's that time of year again--the hustle and bustle of last minute grades, the influx of essays that have yet to be graded, the pressures of state and AP testing, students on the border of passing or failing. It's enough to make me want to pull my hair out.

This morning, Kris and I tucked in our 80 AP students who are taking the exam--complete with their "Good Luck" goody bags, their essay cheat sheets, their enthusiastic reminders that "All Roads Lead to TONE!" And I feel completion. Seeing each one of them arrive at the testing site gave me a feeling of pride. Watching them become Seniors will make me even prouder.

I'm thankful that even while I want to pull my hair out with all of my last-minute stressors, I feel thankful, blessed, fulfilled, content in my job. I love it.

In my last post, I wrote about how being a mother is one of the greatest blessings in my life. It is so true. I want to add that being a teacher is up there on my list as well.

(The last sentence of my student's essay read, "And as for the title, I totally deserved it.")

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day Loot

I truly love being a mom. I count it as one of my greatest blessings and could go on and on about it. I also think that my mom is the best one out there--just like most of you. The more life I experience, the more I realize that I want to be just like her. Our Sunday celebration was special and wonderful, but we shared all the sentimental stuff with each other personally. On here, I just want to share my loot! :)

At school Addison made me a picture with her handprints and a poem on it. It was crazy to see how much bigger her hands are this year than they were last year at this time. Patrick organized cards to give me from him, Addison, and the baby, and all were so sweet. He and Addison also gave me this:
I was sort of over my former phone, the blackberry pearl. Over the course of 2 years, being constantly accessible to the world had lost its luster. Thankfully, our loyalty to tmobile keeps us from being tempted into the iphone world, but nevertheless, I needed a new phone. Addison helped out my cause by repeatedly dropping my phone on concrete... so, Friday night, we went out and picked out this and I LOVE IT!
Patrick and Addison also gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure which I can't wait to treat myself to. Any new OPI recommendations? My fallback favorite is "20 candles on my cake," but I'd like to try something new this time. (P.S., these are not my toes... just a pic I found.)
My mom gave me the new James Dobson book on Bringing up Girls which I know I will read, earmark, and reread in all of the years to come. (BTW, I am currently reading Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond, and I HIGHLY recommend it!)

Hope all you ladies had a special day of honor!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Saver's Weekend

I'm so excited! My great friend April (from here) is married to Patrick's great friend Jeremy, and he organized this workshop tomorrow! I'm going with my friend Jen (Jack's mom from here), and we look forward to learning some great money-saving tips. Jenny began the popular website Southern Savers which is one of the most streamlined, helpful websites I've referenced.

If you in the Nashville area and interested in going, she'll be at Brentwood Baptist tomorrow morning from 9-12. Proceeds from tickets are going to help flood victims. You can buy them here!

Hope to be back soon with all the new things I've learned.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Our neck of the woods...

This weekend has been say the least. The entire Nashville, middle Tennessee area is virtually under water. For the past 48 waters, we have received over 13 inches of rain, and the quickness of this rainfall has devastated our geography. This video is from downtown Franklin, in the back yard of Patrick's office.

Our home is ok, but the roads around us are immersed in water--some even ripped apart by the flood damage. We are homebound for now, and I am out of school tomorrow. We are in a declared state of emergency and have had a curfew enforced. Please take a minute and pray for all of the families who have lost their homes during this widespread disaster.

"God is our refuge and our shelter,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
so we will not fear, even if
earthquakes come and mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the ocean roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge."
~Psalm 46:1-3

Meanwhile, before things got too bad and unbeknownst to us, we trekked out to Murfreesboro. Leaving our neighborhood, we heard tornado sirens blaring. As we got on the road, we listened to the weather and learned that we were being chased by a tornadic storm--about 5 miles behind us and heading in our direct path. We reached our destination, forgot about our troubles temporarily, and as we were leaving 2 hours later, a neighbor reported that there had been 2 touchdowns in nearby areas. We were barely able to get home. Two hours worth of sheetlike rain had produced floodwaters reaching up to surrounding homes' front porches. Who knew things could get so dangerously bad so quickly...

Our trip was all worth it, though, because we got to celebrate this little guy turning 2! Jackson is one of Addison's best buddies at school, and we had a blast at his Circus Birthday.

Jen went all out--with this clown picture op, a jumping machine, a ball machine, pin-the-tail on the donkey, and all sorts of circus-like games. With the inclement weather, she transformed her garage into party-central. Party snacks included popcorn and peanuts, cotton candy, gumballs, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and more--all packaged in theme appropriate, personalized containers. She really set the bar!

Addison wasn't too sure what to think at first, but she soon let loose and ran around with her school buddies. She LOVED jumping and playing in the balls. This morning she woke up and said, "I want Jack's house." It was fun!
Just one of Jen's snack stations. Se cute and so creative! We were thankful to have something fun to celebrate during this otherwise dismal weekend.