Saturday, October 29, 2011

Couldn't Be Happier

Scene where Glinda is singing, "Couldn't Be Happier"
For those of you who have seen the broadway musical, Wicked, you will remember the phrase, "couldn't be happier".  It was one of Glinda's songs near the end of the show.  I have been singing this song over and over this past week because last weekend I was lucky enough to get to see Wicked in Nashville.  I went with Jesikah (my daughter) and my sister-in-law, Jessica.  Jessica also brought a friend.  We had an awesome time and we "couldn't have been happier" about it.  However, I was thinking of other things that I couldn't be happier about just for fun.

1) I couldn't be happier about Jarem and Tessa's teachers this year.  Tessa's teacher is SO perfect for her.  She 'gets' her so well!  Everytime I see her teacher she just raves and raves about how much she enjoys Tessa.  With Tessa, she is brilliant, but sometimes teacher's don't get her quirkiness or sense of humor.  This teacher LOVES it and understands her like no one I have ever seen, and Tessa is very happy there too.

Jarem has a wonderful teacher too.  She is so kind and gentle, but so incredibly good with classroom management and teaching.  I was in his class this week and just couldn't have been more impressed with her manner and teaching methods.  He does have a different teacher in the afternoon who is "stricter" by his definition, but I think they both do a great job and I am very happy about his teachers.

2) I couldn't be happier about the season of Fall.  The leaves are so beautiful and the temperatures are amazing.  Everywhere where I go, I am in awe of the beauty around me.  And when I am outside, I feel like I need to just drink in the beautifully perfect days while they last.  This is most definitely the season to live in Tennessee.

3) I couldn't be happier that my children all did their Saturday jobs today with NO nagging from me.  We worked on getting them re-motivated last week at family council because their jobs have been scarcely getting done, and it worked!  That makes me very happy.

There are many more, but I am going to stick with these three since they are the ones I am feeling most grateful for at this very moment.

First Frost

Last night we had our first frost. It seemed like it came a little early this year, but I looked at the stats and I guess it is fairly normal. I know one year my roses were still blooming into mid-December. It doesn't look like it was cold enough to get my roses this time either. It just barely reached below freezing, but we had a good amount of frost on the ground.  I took these pictures out my back window when I got up this morning, but the sun had already started to burn it off.  The trees are sure beautiful everywhere lately!  I absolutely love fall with the warm days and frosty nights.

Rubber Bands

Rubber Band Wear

•Rubber bands are to be worn 24-hours per day, except when eating or brushing your teeth. Failure to wear your rubber bands, as instructed, can result in treatment running longer than expected. It may also affect the finished orthodontic treatment result.

•Change your rubber bands at least a few times per day with new rubber bands. Typically when you eat meals and brush your teeth. The rubber bands will eventually lose their elasticity.


Yes, these are the same instructions Alex was given 6 weeks ago when his orthodontist introduced him to rubber bands.  He was less than thrilled (as we all were).  He tried them out for a few days, he felt the pain was relentless and wouldn't go away.  He didn't want to bother with them.  He would put them in when I would nag him about it, but I didn't nag nearly enough and he NEVER wore them otherwise.  I kept warning him about having his braces on longer, etc.  He wasn't concerned.  Well yesterday he went back to the orthodontist for his 6 week check-up.  As you may have guessed, they told him, "YOU HAVE TO WEAR YOUR RUBBER BANDS ALL THE TIME IN ORDER FOR THEM TO WORK."  Then they talked to me about it.  I notice that he wore them all day yesterday and last night, so I HOPE he has learned his lesson.  I already warned him that if we go another month without making any progress, he will pay the monthly bill.  And, I think he understands how serious I am about that!

Friday, October 28, 2011

High Heels

So, I mentioned shopping for high heels in my last post.  Here's the story:

Jesikah tried out for the middle school play over a month ago.  She got a part as an "understudy".  If you don't know what that is (cause I didn't), it means that she is a substitute for the real person who got the part.  She still has to show up to all the practices(which are twice a week until March), memorize all the lines, and get all the clothes, shoes, etc...but she probably won't even be in the play.  She might.  I have tried to be positive about it because she was really happy she got a part and has really been trying to find her niche lately.

But, this high heel thing has just recently pushed me over the edge to grumpy.  She came home this week after her Monday practice and said that she IS REQUIRED to have high heels (as high as you can find) for her part.  Like many of you, I was less than thrilled for these reasons:

1) I feel she is too young to wear super high heels.  A small heel is ok, but I feel that super high heels make girls look promiscuous and make boys notice them.  There is just something about some types of heels that makes a girl feel "sexy" and I don't want that for my girl...not yet. 
2) She doesn't own any, and I don't want to buy her first pair for a PLAY.
3) Once she has them, she will want to wear them other times too.
4) Shoes are expensive and she is very picky about what she likes and doesn't.
5) There is a good chance she won't even be in the play, so it would be a waste.

So, that said, I decided I would look at Goodwill while I was there two nights ago for some lightly used heels.  Low and behold, I found some that had a decent size heel that I felt comfortable with, and they looked new in Jesikah's size!!  Yeah!!  I brought them home, she complained about them, said they were the wrong color, and then finally decided that she liked them and they would work.  Whew!  The following day she went to drama practice and came home last night telling me that wedges aren't allowed.  Well that would have been nice to know.  So it is back to square one.  Last night while we were shopping for costume accessories, we looked at the heels.  They are so expensive, and I really can't stand to see her in the super high ones.  What to do, what to do???

These are the wedges at found at Goodwill...they look new!

Tired! And you will be too after you read this! :)

Well, it has been a crazy few days!  I am usually one to start thinking about my kid's costumes for Halloween around the beginning of October and then eventually get it pulled together by the end of October.  Last year, however, Jesikah got out the dress-up box and pulled together costumes for she, Tessa, and Jarem with things we already had.  That was GREAT!!  This year, I just haven't been into it.  Jarem and Tessa begged me to put up the Fall decorations, and we finally got some of them out last week.  But, the costumes have been the farthest thing from my mind.  The costume box has been pretty much depleted of anything that hasn't already been worn by everyone and I just didn't have any ideas.

At the beginning of the week I told myself, "It is time to focus on pulling some costumes together."  I didn't want to spend a lot of money on those cheaply made costumes you can buy.  Truth be known, I didn't want to spend any money...but the inspiration was just not flowing.  I put it off until Jesikah got on the computer looking for costumes on Tuesday and I decided I could use some inspiration.  When I saw a picture of a fortune teller, I thought that would be a perfect costume for Tessa and we could pull it together with some things from home and just a few things from the store.  I still didn't have an idea for Jarem, but decided to take Tessa shopping at Goodwill on Wednesday afterschool (which didn't end up being until almost 5 since she has running club on Wednesdays after school).  Maybe I would find something for Jarem too?

We found some things at Goodwill that were perfect for Tessa's costume.  Of course, there were alterations that would need to be made, but I knew I could do it.  The skirt was my size, not Tessa's.  It had a perfect blingy waistband that we were going to cut and use it as a belt.  Then somehow make the skirt smaller to fit her.  The jewelry was broken but perfect for the costume and I knew I could fix it, and with a few other minor fixes she would be in business.  All I found for Jarem at Goodwill was a green-striped polo shirt and a hat that I liked.  Still no idea how they would translate into a costume.

We were under a time constraint while shopping.  Alex and Jesikah had a combined boy and girl Fall church activity which was out at a barn and they were going to learn to ballroom dance and waltz as well as eat donuts from a string and have hot chocolate.  They both were really looking forward to it.  It started at 7pm, and Goodwill is on the other end of town.  We knew we were limited on time and were doing very well until we got in line to pay...

Not a person had been waiting in line the whole time we were there, so of course, we weren't expecting to wait.  Funny thing was, everyone seemed to migrate over to check-out at exactly the same time.  Suddenly there were probably 5 people in front of us and one cashier as well as several behind us.  The lady at the counter was trying to make some kind of return/exchange something.  After 10 minutes when the cashier figured out she couldn't do it, she called the manager who must have taken another 10-15 minutes to make it up there.  Then she took care of it and instead of opening another checkstand, left.  By this time, I knew we were going to be late, BUT I wasn't about to leave my stuff and go like I'd seen someone else do.  Finally, finally, finally, I made it through the line and got checked out.  I had no idea what time it was and was very surprised I hadn't received a call from Alex or Jesikah yet.  I soon found out why...When I got out to the car, there was my phone with 13 missed calls!!  Well, to wrap up this long story, we were late (about 13 minutes) and they still had a great time while Tessa, Jarem, and I waited cause we didn't have time to go home and back.  We got home late, worn out and went to bed.

When Jarem saw the green shirt and hat, he thought of a leprechaun or Luigi.  I liked both ideas and looked up costume ideas for both.  I decided that whichever I found the accessories for first would be IT.  So after Alex's orthodontist appointment(saved for another post) and dinner, I headed out once again.  (Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike going to the store and running errands?)  Anyway, Jesikah NEEDED to go because she is in a play and needed high heels (again, saved for another post).  So, off we went.  Two hours, $50, and four stores later.  We finally made it home.  I was worn out, once again, but this time it was after 9 o'clock and I still had not started working on either costume (which both needed things made, and adjusted)!  I had no hope of making it to bed anytime soon (and since I get up at 4:50am, usually I am in bed by 9:30).  Well, I will save you the details and say that things went amazingly well, inspiration was finally flowing, and I made it to bed by 10:30pm which really was surprising. 

Of course there was more to be done this morning since I changed my mind about Jarem's outfit and had to make some last minute adjustments.  I then I faced the consequences of not having time at home the past two nights.  We couldn't find Jarem's homework, backpack, and his buckles kept falling off his shoes.  When we did find his homework, it wasn't finished like he had told me it was.  Jesikah was supposed to help him while I was gone the first night.  He supposed to write in a sentence whether he thought the story was real or make-believe and why.  Also, another sentence about the main idea.  This was what I found:

It says, "This is a real story because people really do this."  Either way, the inventive spelling was darling even though it is supposed to be written correctly and he is missing a sentence.  Not to mention the other page that also was not finished.

Also, I was asked to play the piano for the elementary honor choir(4th & 5th grades by audition) this year which is Friday mornings at 8am.  Tessa is in honor choir, and I really am more than happy to do it, but this morning was not the day for me to be ready early.  Regardless though, we made it only a couple of minutes late.  I pulled Jarem out of class to finish his homework, got to watch the costume parade, and now I am sitting in a messy house just TIRED!

But it was all worth it to see how cute these costumes turned out: 

Yes, I decided on leprechaun

Cutest leprechaun ever!

Walking with his class giving me the "no more pictures" look

Here comes Tessa's class.  Her teacher in the red stripes is Waldo in Where's Waldo.

And there is Tessa in the parade
 She was debating on whether she should be a fortune teller or a gypsy.  With the crystal ball though, she ended up a fortune teller.  And she has her book with the fortune teller in it.  (They call it Storybook Character Day and they are supposed dress up like a character in a book).
I was happy with how her costume turned out too.

Each grade team of teachers made a painted pumpkin for display in the front lobby.  Then all the classes voted on which one was best.  Here are a couple of them:

Now that I got that out, it is time to face the mess below:... sewing box, scissors, hot glue, fabric scraps, tape, rick rack, ribbon, leftover breakfast cereal, and the rest!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

What's Fall without going to the Pumpkin Patch?  Jarem had his annual field trip to the pumpkin patch this past Thursday, October 20th.  It was a cold, windy day with highs only in the 50's.  I was hesitant to even go, but he was insistent.  Besides, I kept reminding myself that this might be the last year he goes on a field trip to the pumpkin patch.  They don't do many field trips here, and as they get older it is fewer and fewer.  In the end, I was glad I went.  We bundled up, and the cold wasn't bad except during lunch.  At least the sun was out, and the fall colors really are beautiful just lately.  We went to Honeysuckle Hills Farm.

This was pretty cute! The 3 little pigs with brick house, stick house, and straw house (not pictured)
 Also, Jarem is holding hot cider.  We got that to warm up, and he loved it.  I think the pigs may have been his favorite thing.

Teaching time...learning about how pumpkins grow and bees

Waiting for the hayride, which they didn't have room for parents:( Jarem was so sad.

Just coming off the big tube slide...he loved it!

Picking his pumpkin! He is a boy who knows what he wants. :)

Proud of his choice

Showing me

Getting back on the bus to go home

Some Fall trees!

 It was a great day!

Cocoa Beach, Swimming, and Cousins!

We spent Tuesday and Wednesday at Cocoa Beach, while staying at a hotel next to Cocoa Beach on Tuesday night.  Grandma Cindi met us down there and spent two days with us.  It was a nice time.  The kids love the beach.  They completely entertain themselves with the sand and the waves.

Tessa's sand castle

Closer view

Taegan making funny faces on the surf board

Kids playing in the waves
They tried to jump into the waves as they came

Jarem liked to do a dance move into each wave throwing his hip into the was funny!

Looks like Jesikah got hit with a wave

Jessica, Kyle, and Taegan with Grandma Cindi taking the picture
Jarem hauling water to fill the little pool that Grandma brought.

Taegan, Jarem, and Jessica in the pool

The boys with their rented surf boards.  They enjoyed the surfing.

In the hotel pool the following day:

Playing football...probably making a face since I was taking a picture

Jesikah in the hot tub

Tessa with the football

Grandma Cindi

We stopped at the Ron Jon surf shop before leaving Cocoa Beach...everyone got a t-shirt.

Alex holding Taegan in Ron Jon (I was proud of my trick getting Taegan to smile)
We spent Wednesday night and Thursday night with Grandma Guelde.  While there, we enjoyed her company and the kids loved the pool (swimming multiple times).  They certainly got in a lot of swimming.  They also enjoyed getting reacquainted with their second cousins, Marley and Allison.  They are Alex and Jesikah's ages and we usually get to see them when we come to Florida.  They spent the night there with us the second night.  I didn't even get a single picture at Grandma Guelde's house.  I will have to do better next time.

We spent the last night of our vacation with TJ and Sunshine. Their daughter Lyla connected with Tessa right away. It was really cute since Jesikah is usually the one the babies like. It was fun for Tessa to have that connection to her cousin. The boys went golfing during the day, and then we had a girl's night out when they got back. It was a fun way to end a good vacation.

Tessa and Lyla

***Funny thing was, when we left Tennessee to go on vacation, the weather was beautiful.  The farther south we got, the rainier it got.  We started thinking we should have vacationed in Tennessee where the forecast called for beautiful weather rather than going to Florida where the forecast called for rain.  As it turned out, it was sunny everyday and the few showers that we got were between things we were doing so it all worked out beautifully.