Thursday, July 31, 2008

Madison's Big Day

Today Madison got braces. She was a bit nervous, but in the end she said it wasn't nearly as bad as she thought it would be. The whole process took a bit over an hour, and she did really well. She is the first in her class to get the actual brackets on her teeth (some have retainers and expanders)so she was "quite the celebrity" she said. When she returned to school, everyone wanted to see her braces.

Most of our conversations today have been centered around what she can and can't eat, and proper care of her teeth with the new "apparatus" on them. She is fully aware of how important keeping her teeth clean is now, evident by her 20 teeth brushing and flossing tonight!

Here is a before picture:

And after:

Learned? If you want your child to have better dental hygiene and eat fewer sweets, just put them in braces.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What a Sense of Humor

Last night I was playing with Maddox and he wanted me to move from the chair to the couch, saying "MOVE, Move Please" over and over and over. So me being a smart arss, moved. I wiggled my whole body. Maddox looked at me for a second and then busted up laughing.

Learned? Brian and I were pretty amazed at his ability to understand the humor.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here I Go Again

Having just finished my masters program, I thought that it would be a while before I took another class. It has only been three weeks, and I have begun another class. This class happens to be completely paid for by a grant. At the completion of it I will have an additional 8 credit hours, a brand new TI-84 calculator, multiple texts, and multiple classroom manipulative. Oh yeah and a much greater understanding of Geometry, and how students learn Geometry. I Just started it yesterday and it runs for the next two weeks, and then we meet a few times through out the year. There are a couple big projects for the pedagogy (understanding how students learn the subject, and how to teach it), as well as actual class work and homework from the college geometry class to complete. But it doesn't feel overwhelming...yet.

I was a bit hesitant about taking on another class, but I am glad that I decided to do it. It will really help prepare me to teach the high school geometry to my new group of 8th graders.

Learned? It is hard to pass up over $1,000 in free education.

Monday, July 21, 2008

4th Grader

Last week Madison started the fourth grade. That makes me feel really old...I actually remember being in the fourth grade. She has the same 4th grade teacher that I had. I wonder how it makes her feel?

I had taken some REALLY cute "First Day of School" pictures of here, but somehow they are not on my camera now. I am a bit frusterated. So I will just have to re-enact them once the clothes get out of the laundry.

We decided to ride our bikes to school with Maddox and the supplies in the bike trailer. I got to walk her into class and find her desk, and get her settled in. I wasn't sure how much she would allow this because she is approaching the age where mom's aren't so cool anymore. One clue that told me she was still my little girl at heart was she wanted folders and notebooks that had puppies on them instead of the cool graphic designs that I liked. I didn't push the issue and thought I would enjoy the "innosence" for a bit longer.

As we were headed into the school I couldn't help but feel that there was a birthday party going on, and I wasn't invited. I normally would have started school too, but I transfered to the middle school. The school seemed to be buzzing with the excitement, energy, and anticipation that a new year brings. It sort of made me miss it... sort of.

Madison saw all her friends, and immediatly started right where they left off. She seems to have had a good first week. I can already see a change in her, she is more mature. She has been setting her clothes out and making her lunches the night before. She gets her homework finished with out a fight, and has me sign right away. I don't even have to remind her. I sure hope this continues for the rest of the year!!! (Knock on wood).

Learned? Even though 4th grade seems grown-up, Madison is still a little girl at heart, that is one thing that I don't want to rush. I also think that the conflicting desires of wanting to grow up and wanting to be little make this time especially difficult. Having taught this grade and the next for the last 6 years, hopefully will prepare me for what is in store.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One Moment Can Change Everything

So, today I woke up on the wrong side of the bed... and so did my kids. It was a battle all morning. Maddox was refusing to eat and only wants to drink milk, Madison was being a couch potato and very unhelpful. I decided to try and go to the park with the kids this morning. After fighting Madison out the door we made it to the park. Madison pouted and wouldn't play with her brother, and Maddox was not playing nice with a little girl that was already there. So... we left. Both kids were totally upset (for different reasons), and so was I. I was having a major melt down. Once we got home I loaded Maddox up in the bike trailer and Madison on her bike and we headed to the school to try and play there. It went much better, the kids' attitude had greatly improved, but not mine. I wanted to just sit in the shade. Finally I decided to swing with the kids.

This is the moment that changed my attitude for the day...

This immediately brought me out of my attitude problem. I remembered loving the swings as a kid, and have rarely swung as an adult. It was a priceless moment snuggling Maddox in the swing while he looked at me and said "I love you mommy," and enjoying a childhood memory with my kids.

On a completely different note:

As enjoyable as the swinging was, I realized why I don't do it anymore, I got pretty motion sick! From a swing! I love amusement park rides and don't get sick from them but there is just something about cars and swings!

Learned: It sounds cliche but it is so important to stop and smell the roses. The small beautiful moments in life are what make it worth while.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Full Fourth of July

When I say full, I mean it literally. We went to the cabin for the weekend and there were 17 people and 2 dogs. Brian and I took the pop-up camper so there would be enough beds for everyone to sleep in. Despite the many people, it didn't feel all that claustrophobic. We spent the weekend on the boat playing. Madison water skied again (she got up for the first time last year at Powell). All I can do is smile when I see her out there. She really can do ANYTHING she puts her mind to. Maddox loved the boat as well. The last time he was on the boat it immediately put him to sleep.... Not this year. He was doing his Titanic impression at the bow. Face being blown in the wind, drool streaming out the sides of his mouth, smiling the entire time. The only words out of his mouth were "More, Please" when the boat would stop. I even managed to squeeze in a run. It was great, though a bit tough as the lake is over 8,000 feet in elevation. It felt like I was running at the beach in the sand... but I did it! It rained every night, and in the camper the slightest rain fall sounds like the largest storm. Maddox and Hudson had a great time and played very well together.

On Friday morning we went into Collbran and watched the parade and enjoyed the pancake breakfast. The parade was pretty cute, the best float was a riding lawn mower with a sign that advertised their yard sale later that day!!! I tried to get a picture but it went by before I could get the camera out. Later that night we headed back to Collbran and found a perfect spot on the hill in Gandi Park to watch the fireworks. I always enjoy the fire works here. When you are on the hillside, the fireworks are almost eye level. They are pretty amazing for such a small town. This was the first year Maddox saw the show. His awe an amazement was so cute!

Now I am busy working on laundry. I need to wash all the bedding from the camper as well as our camping clothes. Thankfully the laundry was caught up before we left so I don't have all that to do to.

Learned? I was reminded how enjoyable it is to get out and play in nature with family!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Signed, Sealed, Delivered,....I'm Done!

There it is. My portfolio. The final peice of my Masters Program. I have been working on it like crazy to make sure it would be done before the 15th of July. I really wanted it to be finished before we left for the 4th...and I did it! I mailed it off today.

I am experiencing a huge amount of relief right now, words can't begin to describe the elation! When Maddox laid down for his nap today I didn't know what to do with my self. It is like I have been given the gift of time!

Now that I am officially finished and look back at the program and my experience, I am so proud of all I accomplished and learned. It was much more work than I expected. The actual assignments for the program were not too much, it was the combination of being mom, wife, teacher, house keeper, and student that made it seem like a lot. I began this when Maddox was just six months old he is now two! It really went by fast, it doesn't seem like it was a year and a half long. Maybe it does to my family though. I know they are relieved to have me back.

A huge thank you to my MIL and FIL, they fed and entertained the hubby and the kids almost every Sunday night while I worked on my assignemtns. It was such a big help.


Learned? I am so thankful that my husband and children were so helpful, supportive, and understanding through this process. They are the real reason for my success.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Enjoying the Summer

This summer has been flying by, we were in swim lessons for two weeks, Madison has been to church camp for one week, then to soccer the next while watching my niece Myla, now we are in the midst of our last two week stretch before she goes back to school and it is beginning to fill up. Last weekend we all went to WALL-E, Maddox did pretty good, and we thought it was enjoyable despite some strong messages regarding how humans are ruining the world and themselves.

Last weekend we went to the pool with my SIL Kristen and my niece Tenley. It was the baby's first time at the pool and she did great. Maddox also loved this particular pool because it has a shallow kiddy pool. Madison took a friend, and the two of them had such a good time on their own, I couldn't get any pics of them!

This week seems to be just as packed full of fun too. Madison went on a short day trip with a friend, and has sleep over plans with Grandma Polly on Wednesday. I have a hair appointment Thursday, I am way past due! Then we head for the cabin Thursday evening to enjoy the 4th of July weekend. It will be a lot of fun as the whole Caster clan will be there as well as Carrie's in-laws from Utah. Brian's dad bought a boat, so I am sure we will enjoy some water sports as well!

Learned? I am so thankful that I get a longer summer this year. I am not ready to head back yet because we are having so much fun!!