Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I got a few good ones...

Ok, so I got a new Nikon D40 for Chistmas.... I know NOTHING about photography, but I felt like a fancy camera would guilt me into taking pictures of the kids' milestones.... which I am not very good at currently. I have been taking pictures on all kinds of settings and I got 2 good ones at my mom's house yesterday... take a look!

These are raw, no editing. No, I would not enter either of these into a photo contest, but I was able to get this indoors with no flash.... Now, if only I could remember what I had it set on...

We are off to a New Year's Eve pajama party this evening... will take pics and post later ;)

Monday, December 29, 2008

The many emotions of Grace

Happy Grace
Sad Grace
Surprised Grace
Angry Grace

Tired Grace

Shy Grace

Normal Grace

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I got this for Christmas from my stepmom. A cake, you ask? That's an interesting gift! Well, yes... and no. It's a candle! It smells like, well, a cake... and it is awesome! I have no idea where she got it, I just know she had to order it, but it sure does a good job of covering the interesting smells that kids can make ;)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Grace and the bangs

By the time I was 5, I had long, gorgeous hair past my waist. This is not the case for poor Grace. She was bald until she was 2. We were excited not to have to powder her head for pictures anymore (you know, the glare), but I was ready to resort to Rogaine or Miracle Grow or SOMETHING because I had only had boys, who do not look fondly on being put in hairbows and I was itching to dress my little princess up in all things girly. Ok, so we had to go with bangs, because what little she did have was thin and wiry and rather odd looking.
Fastforward 3 years and we are trying in vain to grow the bangs out, but this takes creativity, as it makes me NUTS when little girls have hair in their eyes. Here is Grace with freshly dried hair:

And here is our creative solution. We call it a top pony, as opposed to a back pony (a traditional ponytail), a side pony (on top, but over to the side), a double pony (piggie tails), etc.
I think she pulls it off well, but it will be nice to have it all the same length... isn't that about the time bangs come back in style? *groans* :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Insanity part 1

I made this in 2 posts, so be sure to check out "insanity part 2.'
Christmas around our house is crazy! We have 3 sets of grandparents that we visit within a 24 hour period and our kids are spoiled by all (not to mention aunts, uncles, and great grandparents). Fot the first time, I have decided to document the sheer volume of what enters our home on December 25.
This is Lucas's set.
Notice the full train set, 3 different Leap Pad things, train cars, Lightning McQueen laptop, webkinz, ....
Did I mention he's 2 and has a birthday in less than 3 weeks?

See part 2 for more craziness. I will blog about how my husband totally spoiled me tomorrow (and yes, I am showing you pics from my new Nikon D40)

Insanity part 2

Grace's whole picture.
Babydoll furniture, a puppy that knows her name, book, text messaging set, Sing It for PS2, a princess set, a fashion design set and a magnetic paper doll set.
A new Cabbage Patch doll, games, and Kit, her American Girl Doll has been around for 4 1/2 years, the pajamas, blanket, blue bag to the right and another set of clothes are all new.
Fancy Nancy from Santa. Below that, the other KIT outfit I mentioned and the carrying bag for Kit and her accessories.
These are the games that the boys got.

They now have the entore Star Wars battle set... wanna come play?

This pic shows DS games, PS2 games, Lil'kinz, a lego platform, text messaging set, ipod shuffles for both boys, new wireless controlers for PS2 (designed for smaller hands).

The boys loot ... the whole picture.

Christmas Eve

Of course these pics are totally out of order, but here we go. This is the table for dinner- don 't mind the blob of napkins in the middle of the table. It is actually a basket awaiting breadsticks, to be wrapped in the napkins to keep warm.

This is a letter from Santa to the boys, who got a driveway basketball goal as their big 'Santa' gift. You can also see sloppy Santa's dirty dishes :)

Since the boys were getting something big, I thought G should too. Here is Grace's Rose Petal Cottage and her new Fancy Nancy doll and book. All kids got art baskets full of crayons, markers, colored pencils, construction paper, glue sticks, scissors, etc... I used shower caddies from Linens and Things. Oh, Santa usually gives clothes.

Here is the tree. These pics are taken from my iphone which is good if you don't have anything better handy... the thing is, I don't have anything better. Period. My dream is to post pics from my NEW camera tomorrow... that is, if someone got me my new camera! :)

Here is the mantle.... look, it is CHRISTMAS! See the cute Webkinz sticking out of the stockings?
Here is a place setting from Christmas dinner, which was Caesar salad, cour cheese lasagna, and breadsticks! Mmmmmm!

I am taking this picture because I want to remember what I did, so I can do it again next year.
Ok, that's all... I can't wait until tomorrow :)
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I've been tagged by Carrie...

I've been tagged! This is the first time my first born, Andrew, met my last born, Lucas. There aren't words to express how I feel when I see this picture.
Now it's time for more people to get tagged.

1. Go to the place where you store all of your pictures on your computer and open up the 4th folder.
2. Open the 4th picture .
3. Post the picture and give an explanation.
4. Tag 4 people.
Now I tag:
2. Sarah
3. Amy
4. Katy

Monday, December 8, 2008

Morning Meeting

At about 8:15 am, the kids in room 102 meet. In our "morning meeting," we talk about the calendar, tons of daily math, sing, dance, read poetry together, share good news, discuss weather, read a book, etc. For me, I was having a hard time remembering everything every morning, so I made a little slide show. Actually, I make one every week. Here is mine for this week. (I should also note that I have a smartboard in my room.)

This comes after bellwork and the DECEMBER song, but it jumped out of order when uploading (grrr!!!)- This is the math portion of our meeting. I choose kids to fill in the blanks and while they are doing this, the other kids are using their slates and markers to write the same information- we are all sitting on a rug for this meeting.

This is what they see when they walk in at 8am.

This is just one of many ways we learn to spell those hard to spell words :)

I always like to do a fun little poem or song.

I just erased another slide that goes with this song... I have got to figure this thing out!!! Anyway, this is what we do from 8:15- 9:00 am . I am going to tell you about literacy stations, 9:00am- 10:15am, daily, but it's too late to start that now :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Let me be the first to say that I have very little tate when it comes to decorating... anything you see in my home that looks well placed is because someone one came in, shook their head in shame and promptly moved it to a more duitable location. I have the ability to buy nice things. I just don't know what to do with them once I get them out of the bag/box, etc.

Ryan (6) and Lucas (2) are two peas in a pod. They have wanted to share a room since Ryan found out Lucas was a 'Lucas' and not a 'Katherine Brooke'. This weekend, with the help of birthday money (thanks mom and dad), we made that happen. First stop: Ikea! Next, I stole from walls in other rooms and put together what might not be a well thought out, Feng Shui, balances, inner-peace type of place, but.... it looks like a kids room. I feel successful!

This is framed art of theirs and quilts my mom made them.

This is Ryan's bed... I have ALWAYS wanted those giant Ikea leaves! The kids LOVE them!

This is the bed Lucas will sleep in :)

This is the view from their doorway walking in from the hall :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Animals Inside Me

I have a spider inside me.
It makes my lips smack.
I have a spider inside me
and it makes me feel black.
His name is Tourette's.
I have a kangaroo inside me.
It makes me jump up and down.
I have a kangaroo inside me
and it makes me feel brown.
His name is Tourette's.
I have a frog inside me.
It makes me warty and mean.
I have a frog inside me
and it turns me green.
His name is Tourette's.
I have an eel inside me
and it makes me slither.
I have an eel inside me
and it makes me shiver.
His name is Tourette's.
I have a wild horse inside me.
It makes me feel like prancing.
I have a wild horse inside me
and it's always dancing.
His name is Tourette's.
I have a tiger inside me
and it makes me growl.
I have a tiger inside me
and when I get mad, I go "r-o-w-l!"
His name is Tourette's.
I'm going to shoot those animals.
I'm going to bring a banana.
I'm going to shoot those animals.
I'm going to wear a bandana.
And then the puppy inside me
will make me happy and play.
And then the puppy inside me
won't ever run away.
His name is Justin.

This was written by a 9 yr old girl suffering from Tourette's Syndrome.

We know a lot about Tourette's. In the fall of 2006, my son Ryan (now 6) was diagnosed with the disorder. He starting blinking... a lot. Then he started contorting his face. Next, he starting sticking out his tongue often, usually when other people were talking to him or when he was trying to maintain eye contact or focus his attention. I knew. I walked into the doctor's office and told him Ryan had Tourette's. He said, in the way a parent would scold a child, "no, no, I am sure you are over reacting, let me watch him play while we talk and ... I am sure it's nothing." Thirty minuted later he looks at me and says, "Your son has Tourette's." Thank you for wasting 30 minutes of my life, now what are we going to do about it?

How many of you know Ryan? Did you have any idea he has TS? We medicate him twice a day with a blood pressure medicine that has been proven to reduce the urge to tic, though how they figured this our I will never know. He is so much better, but this disorder has changed the person he is. He was a funny, outgoing child. Once he starting with the tics, he knew what he was doing was different, but he couldn't control the compulsion to do the things he was doing, the way his face moved or the sounds coming from deep in his throat.

I have to say, we have come a long long way in the last 2 years. I think it is only now, we are learning who Ryan really is because he is able to get through periods of time without worrying about what he may or may not do or say ('say' may be the wrong word... he just makes noises, no "boobies" or anything like that).

You are probably wondering why I chose to bring this up now. Well, Sunday, December 7 at 7:00pm on CBS there is a movie airing called "Front of the Class." It is about a man who dreamed of becoming a teacher... but he had TS and it took nearly 30 interviews before someone would hire him. Ryan is 6. We haven't had to face obstacles of this magnitude, but we may and I do whatever I can to educate myself on TS and am very interested in this movie. I am also encouraging anyone in the field of education to watch. Thirty years ago there were 'good kids' and 'bad kids,' but now there is ADD, ADHD, OCD, ED, OHI, TS, and that is just what I can list in 10 seconds.... I have seen all of this come through my classroom over the years. It is my JOB to know how to service these kids and how to make them successful.

Yes, this would be a less than acceptable college paper and I am fully aware this is the blog version of a 'rant,' but it's late, I am tired and just really wanted to get this out before the show aired. If you got this far, thanks for sticking with the post :)

Merry Christmas from room 102

December is the greatest time for teachers... we get to create and give and, by December, the room has that homey family feeling because we've settled into a routine. We are busy little elves, making gifts to take home on December 19 to put under the tree. We hijacked the scenery from teh 3rd grade musical for our Christmas picture and made it into a card for the kids to give their parents :) It's such a fun time of year to be a teacher :)