Archive for October, 2011

PTSO Budget Meeting

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 by by

My job on the PTSO board is as parliamentarian. No, I didn’t know what it was either. It’s my job to read the charter and keep us on track legally and time wise. Yes, I find that extremely funny as well.

I can be pretty shy and slow to warm up to a situation, but after we get going, I’m the worst offender at getting us off on tangents. Susan Holt calls it ADOS…Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny. For example, we got to the line item on t shirts, and I distract the situation by pulling some out of the cupboard to buy some for the kids and I.

The PTSO is a lot about selling. Not necessarily t-shirts, otter pops, and wrapping paper, but the idea of parent and community involvement in the education process. The education system at a whole is struggling. Lack of funding, time, and support limits our very talented teachers trying to grab at 30 live wires in a class room looking for a way to ground them while jumping through bureaucratic hoops and spinning their own personal plates in a corner. The teachers at the school have my full respect. Our job as parents is to support them beyond just making sure our kids are at school. In whatever way is possible to us at the time, teachers need resources, volunteers, and most especially patience.

Parent teacher conferences are coming up. Click here for some tips on successfully getting the most out of that meeting.  (more…)


Mission Completion!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 by by

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been in “re-coup” mode. Aside from giving birth, running 13.1 miles and the journey it took to get to the start line was most likely the hardest thing I’ve physically had to do. Not only was my body tired, but I had a lot of catching up to do. Reconnecting with my husband, bedtime stories with my children, spending the weekend as a family rather than scheduling things around my training – I was ready to cross the finish line, and so was my family. I haven’t had much time for blogging since I finished the race, as any time not spent sleeping has been spent reconnecting with my loved ones and catching up on house work neglected for 12 weeks.

The week of the marathon started out kind of crummy. My right knee was in considerable amount of pain. Jonah brought home a bad cold, which everyone in the house caught. Reluctantly, I took the entire week off from training. I ran 7 miles the Sunday before the race, and then not again until race day.

On Friday, the day before the race, I went to see a sports medicine specialist. I had a gait analysis run. Basically, I ran on the treadmill for about five minutes while being video taped. The doctor reviewed the tape for about 20 minutes. I got to watch it in slow motion with her while she explained to me how I could be injuring myself with the strides I was taking. She told me that everything about my form looks perfect – good posture, good stride length, nice and relaxed – but the problem seemed to be that I come down too hard into the ground. She examined my knee briefly and said that the kind of pain and popping I am experiencing is commonly referred to as “runner’s knee” and can be fixed simply by correcting my heavy stride. (more…)

Easy Ghost Craft

Monday, October 24th, 2011 by by

Today, we were all feeling a bit better after being wiped out by some nasty head cold thing, so I spent the day fine-tuning some medical appointments/information for The Older, and then had a meeting with ADT for their oh-relocation-would-have-been-free-but-now-that-your-system-is-out-of-date-you-need-to-pay-with-either-the-balance-left-on-your-credit-card-or-your-first-born-it’s-your-choice meeting. By the time I finished my shift at work following that and picked up The Oldest from school, both kids were in need of some attention. I had to come up with something quick and easy, so I decided to make footprint ghosts.

These are easy to do (this was my first time doing this, as I just came up with the idea in about 30 seconds), so I think I’ll try to incorporate this into all the holiday decorating/crafting on one way or another. All this project took was white paper, a pen, a black marker, and some scissors.

First, have the kiddo put their foot on a piece of white paper (I used copy paper, but I think I’ll try thicker paper next time) and trace the foot. Try to keep their toes together, if you can.

This is not a good example of proper foot placement, but The Older was adamant that this picture be included.

When you’re done tracing, the image should look something like this. (more…)

The Words No Parent EVER Wants To Hear Their Child Say……

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 by by

“I don’t want to live anymore. I just want to die.”

Those are the exact words my teenager said to me last Thursday. I was heartbroken, scared, angry and of course, confused. She has been doing so well these past few weeks. She’s been so happy. Everyday when I’m making dinner, she rattles on about her day, how great or bad it was, how great school is, and so on and so forth. So when I got a call from the school on Wednesday of last week saying they had heard from the principal of another school that one of their students, her best guy friend, had said that he was afraid she was going to hurt herself, I was floored. There is no way! Not my child. She’s happy! But then came the phone call from her school on Thursday. She was in the guidance counselor’s office, and she was “not doing good.” I rushed down there, and sure enough, she had told her counselor that she “just wanted to die, and she had a plan to kill herself.”

It took everything I had not to cry. The counselor then told me that, if a student has suicidal thoughts, it’s procedure that they be taken to EMH at the nearest hospital. I gathered her and all of her things together and took her to the ER. I had to take Lo with me, because I had no one to watch her – not something I wanted to do, but I had to. So there we were, all three of us at the ER talking to various doctors about the situation. Come to find out my daughter’s ex boyfriend has been harassing her, having his friends harass her and grope her. This was all new to me. I haven’t heard about this kid since the incident last school year when he got suspended for harassing and threatening her. Why didn’t she tell me? How did I not know? Why didn’t she trust me enough to tell me??? This is all that kept running through my head while she talked to the doctors. I was stunned. Stunned and sad. I was failing somehow. She doesn’t trust me.

After the ER doctor walked out to get the paperwork ready for EMH, she looked at me and said, “You have so much on your plate. I didn’t want to worry you.” Yeah, because my kid killing herself isn’t worrisome at all. I just sat there staring at her, because I didn’t know who she was anymore. (more…)


The Commute

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 by by

This morning, like every weekday morning, Bob rode his scooter to school and I skip-ran behind him. I never quite catch him but my voice always does.

“Careful, Bob! That’s a driveway! Look out for the alley! Careful, Honey! Wait for me at the curb! Doing great! Bob! Bob! Bob! Just look out for that blue car! Careful now! Stay away from the sprinkler! Driveway! Driveway! Those pine needles are slippery! Wait for me!

Today Bob waited for me at the cross-walk, “Mom? You don’t need to yell so much. I do this everyday and Mom? My other name is Careful.’”

2 sisters

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 by by

Erin’s been really interested in family relationships lately.  With Allison’s birth and having grandparents and other family in town, it’s been fun trying to help her understand how we’re all related.  Her favorites are her brother and sister though.  lol

Yesterday in the car, she announced that she had 2 sisters.

I said, “Yes, you do have 2 sisters.  Who are your sisters Erin?”

“Baby Allison!” she squealed.  She loves her baby sister.

“Yep,” I answered, “Who else?”

She paused for a second.  “Not Patrick,” she said, thinking. “He’s my brother.”

“It’s true.  So who is your other sister?”

“Um…”  She frowned for a second, and then her eyes went wide. “Baby Cora!”

I love that she is aware of her big sister.  I wish they could have grown up together, but the best I can do for Cora is have her siblings know who she is, right?

Fall Craft for Kids: Tree and Leaf Wall Decoration

Friday, October 21st, 2011 by by
  • 5 white sheets of Bristol Board
  • pencil
  • paintbrushes
  • brown, red, yellow and orange paint
  • scissors
  • leaf shapes (cut-outs) that are roughly 4-5 inches in height (You can trace real leaves or use printables from the internet)
  • 2 large (12 x 18 inch) sheets of green construction paper
  • 6 large sheets of blue construction paper
  • clear, wide packing tape
  • Velcro



Some News!!

Thursday, October 20th, 2011 by by

On Wednesday morning, I got a phone call from my husband at the office. I really hate it when he calls the office phone to tell me something, because in the past it has always been not great news. The last time, I remember him calling me there was to tell me that his grandmother had passed away.

When Sara came to get me and said my husband was on the phone, it was a LONG walk to the front of the building to my office.

I pick up the phone, expecting the worst, and my head is spinning because no one we know is ill…

“Hey, Ger!” he says.

Ok… He’s in a good mood, this can’t be bad. But he called on the office line, and he knows I hate that.

“I just got off of the phone with Katie; she said Claire wanted us to be called and notified.”

It takes me a second to place the names. Katie is the office manager at our adoption agency, and Claire is our social worker.

“We’re in the Outreach Program!”

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod! This is the news we’ve been waiting for. We have moved one step closer.

Our agency has a waiting list to get into the Outreach Program. Once we get into the Outreach Program, birth mothers will be shown our profile. We have been on the waiting list since February and were expecting around the beginning of July that we would get the call. When the call didn’t come, we had to force ourselves to remember that our having to wait longer meant another family was either having issues with a TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) or they had a failed adoption. So, although we were slightly disheartened, we have been trying our best to keep our spirits high.

The other thing we’ve been trying to brainstorm is how in the world we would go about finding our own birth mother without using the outreach program. We’ve told family, we’ve told friends, and we’ve used the blog and Facebook to make people aware that we are looking to adopt. Knowing that our baby will come to us in the right way at the right time, it really doesn’t matter if it is through the program or by word of mouth. We’ll be blessed regardless!

Thank you to all of our family and friends, and even a few strangers who have been praying for us and keeping us in their thoughts. We appreciate all of the support!

Canning Grape Jelly

Thursday, October 20th, 2011 by by
This week, I completed my first canning project: grape jelly! It was so much fun, I did it again the next day! I’m pretty excited about this since not only will canning my own fruits, spreads, and butters be so much more affordable than buying them at the store, they also taste better, and I know what’s going into them.
I got my super simple recipe from Hillbilly Housewife. All you need is a box of pectin, 3 cups of grape juice, and 4 cups of sugar! So simple!
Here is my workstation ready to go: The grape juice and pectin are on the back left burner, the lids are on the front left, and my canner is getting ready on the right.

This is what happens after you bring the juice and sugar to a boil! I thought it was going to boil over! Thankfully, it did not.
After the jelly was ready, I ladled them into hot, sterilized jars. (more…)


Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 by by

“Did you hear they already canceled the show that premiered on Sunday?” I asked.

“After one show? That’s rough,” said Jeff

Bob walked into the kitchen, “Mom? They’re canceling Sunday? Can they even do that?”

“No, Babe. No one can cancel Sunday.”

“That’s good because Sunday is one of my best days.”