Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh my goodness … I just did it. I made the reservations and ordered the tickets. We’re going to Disneyworld!!!

I am excited beyond words. I'm a certified Disney freak and would practically live at the parks if I could. Yet it doesn't exactly fit in with our family budget, you know what I mean?!? Well Mom to the rescue. She's letting us use her timeshare in Orlando. We'll be making a budget trip of it ... sharing meals when we can and not going out to the expensive character meals. I think the kids are even going to be asking for Disney dollars for Christmas. But even if we won't have a lot of extra money, I know we'll have fun just the same.

Now here's the thing ... the kids don't know. We haven't figured out how to tell them yet and want to make it something fun and exciting. Do you have any great ideas? I thought about wrapping up their park tickets for Christmas but I'm not sure I can wait that long. Not to mention I have an 11 year old who's at least as much of a Disney freak as I am - maybe more. No kidding. So he will figure it out very quickly, if he hasn't already. So I need something good and I need it now. And don't you dare let it slip to my kids -- so help me I will HURT you if you do! LOL

The best news of all - we'll be going for Carissa's 7th birthday. She will spend her special day in the Magic Kingdom getting Birthday Wishes from the characters and cast members. Should make a memorable one for her.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

It happened to me ...

You know sometimes you have those theoretical chats with people asking "what would you do if you just found $100 (or $1000 or a million $) on the ground"? It's never really happened to me... until today.

Brian and I were shopping in Fred Meyers and were in the ice cream aisle getting a half gallon of Brian's favorite splurge when I noticed this ratty looking envelope on the ground. I pick it up and took a peek inside. The first thing I see is a small pile of bills ... the first few being $100 bills. Inside was a total of $340 cash. Wow, gee ... guess now it's happened to me.

We knew immediately that we wouldn't keep it so took it to the customer service desk to turn it into lost and found.

I'm really hoping someone comes to claim it. Written on the outside in crayon were the words "From G&G for Kaitlyns birthday". This was obviously money that someone was saving to buy gifts for their child.

Brian and I came home from the store and were able to have a nice chat with the kids over dinner about the scenario. Quite the real-life learning lesson there.

And now I can say that it's happened to me ... I've found the pile of money on the ground and I gave it back.

Friday, October 19, 2007

In the rhythm

We're slowly falling into the rhythm of school life here. Slowly getting used to getting up early each morning (even though I really want to sleep in!), getting to work and school (quite often almost late thanks to Ms. Slowpoke Carissa) and taking care of all the "other" activities that fill our lives.

School for the kids is going better. Chase has made a few friends and that has helped him acclimate a bit more. Tristan had a friend he knew before move over to that school and has a few other friends besides that one. Carissa is friends with a couple of the girls in her class too. So the social things are slowly working themselves out. The academic things seem to be going fairly well.

Carissa is the best reader in her grade. Not that it's a stretch there. There are only 9 kids in 1st grade and all my kids have always been significantly above the other readers of their age anyways. We read a lot here. She will be starting speech class next month, which I'm looking forward to. Her speech needs a sprucing up. She's got to work most on her handwriting, but she's a smart little cookie and doing well.

Tristan is excelling too. I think I might have to ask to have him moved up in spelling, as the regular 3rd grade words are way too easy and he's getting them all right each week. He's really enjoyed his moon studies and took some field trips already this year. He's got lots more to come, as his teacher really loves to do hands-on learning.

Chase has enjoyed the newsletter that his class is putting out. His first article was a review/report on the last Harry Potter book. It was very good without giving away too much information. This next newsletter he will have a word find and an article on the science habitat his class is putting together.

The school itself has really been a change. It's so small and everyone knows one another. There are a total of 70 kids in the school which means small class sizes all around. Carissa only has 15 in her class while the boys each have just above 20. The Parent-Teacher Committee is outstanding. They have a huge budget (about $70,000 for 70 students) so really make a huge difference in how the school is run. They pay for an extra teachers assistant for the school, outdoor school for both Tristan and Chase's classes, swimming lessons for Carissa's class, real art teachers, teachers allowances, etc. They also do this awesome program called "Breakfast Brain Food" based on studies that show kids who have a healthy snack at school have higher learning retention levels and lower disciplinary problems. Every child in the school gets a free healthy snack each and every day. What I'm most excited about though is the Spanish language program they're bringing to the school. Twice a week the kids will take Spanish lessons with a certified teacher. It's such a blessing to be able to have them involved in language at such an early age. They start those lessons next week and they're all very excited about them.

Beyond school we are still dealing with soccer. I have a feeling this may be her one and only year playing soccer. She is just way too girly for the likes of this sport. Today it was raining and when I mentioned that she had a soccer game she said "In the rain ... but I'll get WET!". LOL She has a great team and all but her heart just isn't in it. She would really like to take riding lessons again but we just can't afford them right now. Soccer was the "budget" choice and you see how well that went over! LOL I may try to get her back in some dance classes or something after soccer is over. Maybe that will appease her for now.

Tristan is absolutely LOVING the Tae Kwon Do lessons that he got for his birthday. He goes twice a week for 1 1/2 hours each time. It's been great for both his self-esteem and for getting him out and exercising even when the weather is bad. He's always so proud when he learns something new or does a great job at a task. He's got some seriously hard roundhouse kicks going. Just a word to the wise ... don't offer to let him practice his kicks on you. OUCH!

Chase has been going to theater classes at Oregon Childrens Theater every Saturday and he's having a great time. It's a bit of a drive, as we have to go into Portland for them, but he likes it. He's also looking forward to basketball season starting in a few months.

As for Brian and I, it's much the same. I'm working 4 mornings a week, helping out at the school and spending lots of time on keeping our Cub Scout pack running smoothly. Brian is working 10 hour nights and sleeping during the day. We enjoy the small amount of alone time that we now get since the kids are in school on his days off. Our lucky number 13 year of marriage is shaping up to be another great one. Boy, are we lucky to have one another.

All in all, life is pretty good. I couldn't ask for anything better.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Visit with Flat Meggie

One of my fellow ScrapAddict designers has a 1st grade daughter. They currently have a class project based on the book "Flat Stanley". Each child has made a flat version of themselves and are sending them out on a journey. Meggie started her journey in Floriday and has visited both Idaho and Colorado. She is now enjoying her time here in Oregon. I took her with my preschool class to Oregon Hill Farms where we got this great view of Mt. Hood.
In Florida they don't get to see pumpkins growing on the vine so I took a pic of Flat Meggie hanging out with some pumpkin flowers and growing pumpkins

and with a ripe pumpkin.

On the way out she took a break in this wheelbarrow full of gourds.

Meggie is on her way to Connecticut next to visit fall in it's full colors. Have a great adventure Meggie!!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Chase's bio-poem

It's always interesting when your kids write something about themselves. I find out things I didn't know and it makes me smile just reading it. Here's the bio-poem Chase wrote for open house:



Wishes to be an actor,

Dreams of being famous,

Wants to save the evironment,

Who wonders if science can answer everything,

Who fears for endangered animals,

Who is afraid of crabs,

Who likes rats,

Who believes in supernatural creatures,

Who loves basketball,
Who loves rocks,
Who loves school,
Who loves watermelon,

Who plans to help the poor,
Who plans to have a good life,
Who plans to write books,

Whose final destination is the beach.

Friday, October 05, 2007

New month, new projects

So the new October ScrapAddict kits are available so I thought I'd share some of the projects I did with these kits. I had a great time with them.

This is the Sweet Street Altered kit. I FINALLY made a SeaWorld album from our Mar. 2006 trip:

I also made this sign for Chase's door ... although I must admit that it's usually on the "Go Away" side and rarely on the "Welcome to Chase's room" side. *sigh*

And lastly I made this layout of Carissa and Kayli at Kayli's 6th birthday party.

This is the Walk the Plank Kit/OD: