Tuesday, July 28, 2009

To Do List

School starts in just under 6 weeks. We leave for vacation in 2 days. I was feeling very overwhelmed at the end of last week with everything I had to do. The good news is that I am almost done.

I have finished making all but the last hotel reservation. I am waiting to decide how far we will drive on the way home from Colorado until I see how we are feeling. It is a 14 hour drive so we will be stopping somewhere I just don't know where for sure yet. If we are tired, we will stop in Lincoln, NE. If we are doing well, we may decide to go to Omaha for the night.

I still have several loads of laundry to do. My efforts have been hindered by house breaking accidents, two little boys making baby powder snow shower (or really a blizzard) while I cooked dinner and a few extra changes of clothes after accidents with the hose. That hose really needs to learn how to avoid spraying people.

The house is finally clean thanks to our fabulous house cleaner who came over today. It really needs her talents every week but my budget can barely cover her every two weeks. I love sitting in my clean house after she leaves.

I can't find the air pump for the air mattress so I will be taking a trip to the store tomorrow. Hopefully, I can find a good one that doesn't cost much.

I still need to go to the grocery store after work tomorrow and pack our suitcases. I also need to clean out the van and put our bags and the cooler in it.

I still have a lot to do but am off to a great start. It will get done by the time I go to bed tomorrow. Then we just need to get through the work/school day on Thursday and we can leave! We have a hotel reservation five hours from here for Thursday night so I am hoping to be able to leave home by 4:00 PM.

Vacation here we come!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Where did the weekend go?

Wow! I cannot believe it is Sunday evening already. It seems like the past few days have just flown by. I worked all weekend but the evenings have also been packed full of fun. Here are some highlights.

Friday Night: We invited our friend, P, over for dinner. I made hamburger helper and corn for the kids to eat. Jacob and M really enjoyed showing P our new puppy.

After dinner, Jacob wanted to watch his lifebook DVDs from Ethiopia. He has never asked to see them before. I have mentioned them several times but he always states he doesn't want to watch. I strongly believe that Jacob needs to know his story at an age appropriate level but that he should not be forced to hear more than he is ready to hear. For that reason, I was waiting for him to decide he wanted to see his lifebooks.

While Jacob was excited to see pictures of his birth family and their homes, he was even more excited at the part where I came to get him. That is his favorite part of the story. He loves that he is from Ethiopia but he also remembers not having a mom. He tells me often that he never wants to have to find a new mom again. It makes me very sad to think about the things he lost and hear his fears of losing another mom. I am also very happy that God blessed me with him and that we are a family now.

Saturday: My brother, Chuck, celebrated his thirtieth birthday and his recent graduation from law school. I can't even begin to express how proud I am of him. He is a great role model for me and my kids. He also won his first case last week. It was a jury trial and he was the prosecuter. You go Chuck! I was so happy to be able to attend his party Saturday night and celebrate with him and his friends.

Sunday: Today we went to my parents house. They have been on vacation the past few weeks and have been missed. They are a huge part of my support system. While I do have other people I can turn to when I need a break, they are usually the first people I call. It was wonderful to see them again tonight. The boys also really missed them and had fun playing with them outside tonight.

The rest of the week will also be busy as we prepare to go on our first big vacation in two years. Tonight I started working on the huge pile of laundry that must get done before we can leave town. I got a good start on it and should be able to finish in time to pack up the car on Thursday.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Running Away Already

M has had a very rough couple of days. Lots of time-outs with very few privileges. The past two nights he has gone to bed early partly for discipline and partly to just give me a little break. Tonight is only going slightly better.

M just finished another time-out a few minutes ago. He walked out into the living room, looked at me and stated, "I'm leaving Mom. I'm leaving." I replied, "good." He began to pick up a blanket and dog crate. I reminded him that those things belonged to me and he can't take them with him. He replied, "Oh" and walked away.

Yes, I will probably have a very similar response when he is actually old enough to run away.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Much Better Day

I am very happy to update that after 3 really bad days, things are looking up. They always get better and this time is no different. The problems at work are in the process of being resolved. Wusha is still doing great. The boys are still themselves but somehow it is just easier to deal with them when I am not frustrated with every else in life. Many of the things I was so worried about the past three days have either resolved themselves or will shortly.

And for my misbehaving toddler boys, I think an early bedtime is in order. After all, how many time-outs can they have in one day? Oh, and no puppy time. If you can't listen and be calm with the puppy, you can't play with the puppy. End of story.

Stressful Week

This week has been a long week of stress (and I'm only half through!) I am hoping that I am able to resolve some of the problems quickly.

It began on Sunday when I was told by a supervisor that I cannot use sick leave to care for my children. He stated that as a law enforcement officer, I should have other people care for my children and take them to the doctor. What!?!?! I am still trying to get this one resolved but hope to have it resolved soon. After all, my children will always come first before any job.

I also realized late last week that I misunderstood how the county was changing our paydates. I thought that I would still be paid the same amount just at a different time. I was wrong. One week that I worked this month will be paid when I quit or retire. So hypothetically in 23 years! That along with a paycut due to the economy and I am out about $1100! I'm still not sure how I'm going to overcome that. I'll figure it out though. I always do.

Lastly I received some frustrating news about M. Nothing major or that will risk his placement. Just not what I was hoping to hear. It will work out though. I definitelly want the social workers and attorneys to do everything they have to so that the judge and jury will make the right decisions (if it comes to that).

The boys seem to be picking up on my stress and on the cool and wet weather (where did summer go?) They have been fighting, having trouble listening or cooperating and making some major messes. On Sunday, Jacob and M got ahold of some baby powder the sitter left out. Almost a whole bottle was thrown around the room before I realized what was happening. M also pulled his door off the hinge while slamming the door. Thankfully the door isn't damaged so I am hoping to find someone to help me put the hinge back on soon.

The only positive this week seems to be the dogs. Sierra has settled down and has accepted the new puppy very well. She gets jealous from time to time but mostly is just watching over the puppy. Wusha is still having accidents but is doing well considering she is only 8 weeks old and has only been here for a few days.

Things will get better and easier. I know that. I just am struggling this week. So bear with my self-pity post. It is just where I am at today. After all, parenting isn't all roses and being a single parent can be pretty scary some days.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Wusha Update

Wusha is doing great. He is 8 weeks old and progressing on housebreaking. He hasn't had any accidents when I have been home although he did have a few while the babysitter was here. I'm just happy we haven't had any major problems in that area. I will take a few accidents. After all, he is still learning.

Wusha loves Jacob. He allows him to carry him in baskets and the shopping cart. It just amazes me. When I make Jacob leave him alone, Wusha just follows him everywhere. He is definitelly bonding.

Wusha is already coming when called and recognizes his name. Some of it may be that he is so young and still a little scared. I am still impressed though. I have hope he may be trainable yet.

He has a healthy appetite. Well, he did. He hasn't been too hungry tonight. The boys wouldn't let him sleep except while they missed so he is EXHAUSTED. He also didn't sleep well last night. I am sure he will be interested in food again tomorrow after he sleeps. If not, I'll call the vet. We already have an appointment scheduled but maybe we can get in sooner.

Wusha hasn't destroyed anything yet and has been easily redirected to chew toys as opposed to other things.

Sierra, our other dog, has taken over the mother role. She keeps an eye on Wusha making sure he isn't getting into trouble or doing anything he shouldn't. She also checks on him when he cris.

I haven't heard Wusha bark. He definitelly knows how to cry. I am sure there is a bark in there somewhere. I just haven't heard it yet. Maybe when he feels more secure.

For those of you totally bored by my dog report, bear with me. This is our area of excitement. The past few days have been very stressful for me and the dog is one of my bright spots. Otherwise, I am just trying to stay focused and ignore those people who want to see me fail.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Introducing Our New Friend

Our 8 week old Brittany/King Charles Spaniel mix.

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

Happy birthday to a great man. Nelson Mandela is turning 91 years old today and still fighting to make his country and the world a better place. He is truly a hero that I admire. He is also the person on the top of my list that I would love to meet. In the midst or recent news coming out of Philadelphia, it is nice to be reminded that people are still fighting for justice and equality throughout the world. So today, I say a prayer of thanks for President Mandela and the wonderful work being done by brave heroes throughout the world.

No Excuse!

There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of behavior. None. As a member of law enforcement, this makes me even angrier. Although I do sometimes see this behavior here, it isn't this blatant and definitelly not on a public website. Disciplinary hearings and diversity training seem to be needed desperately. We have made so much progress but obviously have a ways to go. I know our sheriff would not put up with this kind of behavior. Especially making posts while on his time. I hop e that the people of Philadelphia stand up and make sure that all officers and people are treated with respect. I guess I can cross Philedalphia off my list of places to visit in the near future. I won't give any of my tourism dollars to a government that allows this kind of abuse to take place.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Here is a review of the last three days. The entire three day weekend was so wonderful I had a very difficult time going to work today. The whole day I just wanted to go home and see the boys.


9:00 AM Visited with my foster home consultant. Nothing super exciting or unexpected. She occassionally stops by. She is in charge of my licensing and just making sure things are overall going well. They are so it was just a routine visit. I actually look forward to her visits. We were able to sit outside and talk while the boys rode bikes in the driveway.

10:45 AM: Left for Chicago. We wanted to see a rescue center personally and see how well cared for the dogs appeared. It was a smaller building than I anticipated but the animals were all well cared for and appeared happy. We were able to say high to a very young puppy leaving with it's new family.

1:45 PM: Put our new friend on hold. He wasn't at the shelter but will be this weekend. (Note to my extended family. I left a note about it. I know you won't agree but we can talk about it later.) The boys are super excited and counting down the days. We did see his picture. He is a little ball of fur. I will post pictures when we get him home.

5:00 PM: Returned home. Started the grill and waited for our friend Heather.

6:00 PM: Ate dinner with Heather and then went for a walk. It was a wonderful evening. We stopped at a pet store a few blocks away and got some supplies. Thankfully, I already have pretty much everything I need.


9:00 AM: Called the vet and made an appointment for our new friend for next week.

10:00 AM: Finished cleaning out the dog and cat toys. Removed all children's toys from the living room. Did some laundry and got Jacob's swimming and nap stuff ready for school today.

4:00 PM: Picked the kids up from school. Prepared dinner for Diane.

6:00 PM: Went to the neighborhood park with Diane. It was a good time and the kids behaved well.


6:15 AM: Jacob has a really bad cold and I actually thought he might have to stay home today. He doesn't have a fever and is active though so I sent him and M to daycare. I waited nervously for a phone call but it never came. The teachers reported he was coughing and congested but never developed a fever. He seems like his normal self just congested. Poor kid. Summer colds are not fun.

6:40 AM: Arrive at work and realize Jacob's swimming and nap supplies are still sitting next to my lunch in the car. Ughh! I also realized there was nothing I could do about it. I began brainstorming for things we could do about it.

7:30 AM: Called daycare. The director agreed Jacob could swim in his shorts from his extra clothes supply. She also stated he could borrow nap supplies from the school. I was so relieved he wouldn't have to miss swimming. My parents are out of town so I didn't have anyone to run a swimsuit over for me.

8:45 AM: Called the vet. Found out how old our new friend has to be for his first rabies shot. (Note to my parents: please don't freak out). Also got the cost estimate for neutering and how old he has to be first. The good news is that it is cheaper for smaller animals. The bad news is that is still costs money.

1:30 PM: Found a babysitter for the weekend. It's a long story but I suddenly realized on Monday that I don't have a sitter for the weekend. I called everyone I could think of and was beginning to think I wouldn't find anyone. I ended up with two people that could do it. That was a huge relief. I also had a nice conversation with a teenage babysitter's mom. It was nice to see a parent not afraid to call and ask questions. The babysitter will be coming to meet our friend with us.

3:30 PM: Picked the boys up from daycare. Put Jacob's swimming and nap things away. He can use the nap things tomorrow and the swimming stuff next week. I probably won't have to wash his sheet and blanket this week since he will only use them for one day.

4:30 PM: Made dinner. For the first time in 3 days I didn't fire up the grill. It was missed.

We are spending the rest of the evening relaxing and doing laundry. After such a fun few days off work, it is hard to go back. Unless I suddenly win the lottery (which I don't play), I will have to continue to work. Maybe I can just marry a rich husband....

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Circus World Pictures

Circus World

Jacob, M, our friend Cindy and I went to Circus World Museum and Devil's Lake on Monday. We had a great time. Jacob was a tiger in the kids' interactive circus. He then talked me into paying for elephant rides (it didn't take much). I didn't feel safe letting him ride without an adult so I rode also. I forgot how much fun it is.

M wanted to ride the ponies which was just perfect for him. He had a huge grin on his face throughout the ride. Both boys enjoyed the circus performance.

We had a picnic lunch and went swimming at Devil's lake after the circus. It was cheaper than buying food at the circus and a lot more fun. Both boys went into the lake and enjoyed swimming. They also loved building sand castles. I had fun teaching them how to add water to the sand to make the perfect castle. We normally go to swimming pools so swimming in a lake and playing with sand was a nice treat.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend Recap and Pictures

I worked this weekend but we still managed to have fun. We went swimming Friday night and checked out a local sprinkler park. The sprinklers were fun but not nearly as much fun as the big pool

Last night we went to a cook-out at a friend's house. I saw some puppies there that reminded me how much I would love to get another dog. Now is not the right time though so it is just wishful thinking. The boys did great with the puppies and I keep thinking about them though so who knows. Maybe if I suddenly win the lottery.

Today the boys were exhausted after work. I don't know how long they slept at the babysitter's house but it was definitelly not enough. I woke M up for 45 minutes after a one and a half hour nap. He was so tired and cranky I decided to just send him back to bed (after he ate). I am hoping he will still sleep through the night. Jacob also took an hour nap but seems to be doing better now. I just hope he will go to bed for me.

The weekend was a success and I am looking forward to having the next three days off work and spending time with the kids.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

He's Learning To Read!

Jacob's teachers have been trying very hard to get him to learn to read the alphabet. He didn't seem to have any interest in it at all and would even refuse to cooperate at circle time some days. I was beginning to worry that there was a bigger issue than just not wanting or being ready to learn to read.

Last week, I took Jacob to the library to look at some alphabet books. I realized that we had never really spent any time away from school working on it. He would spend about 15 minutes at group time listening to the kids spell their names and a little time tracing letters but that was about it. I decided to try to find some alphabet books that he would like and work on them.

We found two books that had truck themes. We read them together at the library and he decided he liked them and wanted to borrow them. It has now been about five days. He can now read all but about 5 or 6 letters! The letters he gets confused on look similar to other letters and they are not ones we use very often. I still need to find a book or way to work on the lower case letters but we are off to an excellent start. I can now put my worries that he has a learning disability or other more serious problem to rest.

By the time he goes through the three-year-old program, he will have the letters mastered. It should also help him feel more confident at school when he knows the letters before his friends do this year. He won't feel like he has to catch up to them. That is what I really want for him. To feel confident in school and have fun learning. He can already complete the requirements for kindergarten so he will be ready in two years when he is old enough.

Accomplishing Our Summer Goals

As many people will remember, I decided that I was not going to let this summer slip away without really taking time to enjoy it. The past few years I have been disappointed to realize that summer was gone and I had never really gotten outside to enjoy it. This summer has been cooler than normal but we have still been able to accomplish many of the things I wanted to. And we are only half way through! Yea!

Here is an informal list of the things I hoped to do this summer:

1) Attend cook-outs. We have already attended a couple with another one tonight.

2) Host cook-outs. I have had friends over twice, another one coming again next week and a big cook-out planned for the end of summer.

3) Swimming. We went to an area sprinkler park last night. We also swam in the hotels in Minnesota and Arkansas. We have one more big vacation coming up and will be swimming then also. I still hope to get the boys to the pool a few more times this year.

4) Visit Circus World Museum. I haven't been there in a few years and am looking forward to taking the kids. We will be visiting next week.

5) Walk to the neighborhood parks. We have been doing this almost once a week. The parks are so close yet we seem to forget to visit them. We have been doing much better this year.

6) Visit with neighbors. I would love to do this more but we have reconnected with some of them.

7) Go camping. We are hoping to do this in August. It is the one thing that might not get done.

8) Grow vegetables. The tomatoes will be ripe in the next couple of weeks. I had my first peas the other day. The cucumbers, green peppers and carrots are also looking promising.

We have also had a couple unexpected bonuses. Two mother robins have made nests in to different areas of our yard where they are easy to see. The first one hatched four babies at the end of June. The second one appear to be sitting on her eggs now. It won't be long before they hatch.

I love this time of year! Now to just get my camera back out and capture some of the fun.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Why Girls Are Better Than Boys

I have a friend who is hoping to adopt a child in the near future. Jacob over heard us talking about a little boy. He stated that she shouldn't adopt any boys just a girl. Here is the conversation that followed:

M: Why should she only adopt a girl?
J: A girl will be with her forever and ever.
M: A boy would leave?
J: He would die.
M: What do you mean he would die?
J: Boys die when they get to be great grandpas.
M: Girls die too.
J: No they don't. They live forever.

I went on to explain that everyone dies some day but he wasn't willing to hear it. He continued to insist that boys die when they get old and girls don't.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jacob and Mommy Time

Jacob and I spent the day together yesterday. M had to go to school for funding reasons so that left just Jacob and me. M doesn't mind though. When I do pull him out of school early, he spends the entire time asking to go find Jacob. That kid really loves his big brother.

Jacob and I started the day with a pancake breakfast. We then hurried home to clean out the van before we took it in to get the seat looked at. I decided to try a couple little things differently with the seat and discovered that it was working fine. I just was not moving it the right way to get it to lock down. That was a huge relief and a reason to celebrate. It also gave us an entire free day.

I took Jacob to the library to look for some alphabet books. We really only have a few. Reading the alphabet is the one area that Jacob really needs to work on for school next year. While I have no doubt he will catch on very quickly, I want to start working with him a little bit more at home now. So we stopped at the library and he helped me pick out a couple of fun alphabet books to work on at night.

We left the library and caught an early afternoon showing of the new Disney/Pixar movie, "Up." It was okay but I didn't enjoy it as much as some other people have. Jacob thought it was too scary and asked to go home a couple of times. We managed to watch the entire thing though and I did enjoy it.

I realized that we were out of dog food so we decided to stop at a pet store near the movie theater. The pet store also runs an adoption center for rescued and stray pets. They had some toys for the customers to use to play with the kittens. Jacob really hit it off with a small gray, brown and white cat. It was very cute and I had a very difficult time not taking it home with us. I was able to walk away by reminding myself of all of the vet bills and the three cats we already have at the house. They also had some very cute cocker spaniels but again, I really don't have room for anymore pets right now. Maybe in a few years.

Jacob and I left the pet store and went back to the daycare center. It was now time to pick M up. He was waiting for us at the window as usual. He came running over all smiles and giggling which always makes me smile as well. Jacob told his teachers about his day and the three of us headed home.

I made a quick dinner and then it was off to pick up the babysitter and go to the park for some softball. We lost the game but I had fun anyway. Next week is our last game and I am sad about it. I had to miss three games at the beginning of the season when I hurt my hand and another game later for foster care training. I am really not ready for the season to end. It was fun though and I am looking forward to next year.

We went to bed a little late and exhausted last night but happy. It was a good day and I got to enjoy time with both of the boys.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pictures From The Weekend

We went to the church for ice cream floats, popcorn and fireworks on Saturday. The youth group sells treats before the fireworks to raise money for their annual mission trip and other activities during the year. This year they are going to Kentucky to build houses for Habitat For Humanity.

Jacob also took a self-portrait shortly before the fireworks began.

Sunday we had a wonderful time at our friend, Carrie's house. We gathered their with our single mom by choice group. Her son and Jacob had a great time playing in the water and looking at the flowers. I love summer picnics and cook-outs. Good food and friends in the wonderful Summer air.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

More Thoughts On Single Parenting

Lately my foster home consultant has been asking some very interesting questions and ones that are difficult to hear. She is expecting to have to write a report in the near future about how well M is fitting into my home and if this placement is a good placement. It raises both anxieties and excitement to know that big milestones are coming. None of which I can talk about hear until the process is completed.

One of the questions she has asked a couple times is how I am handling being a single mom. I guess this is difficult to answer for a variety of reasons.

1) I have never been a mom with a partner so this is the only parenting I know. I really don't know if it is any more difficult than with a partner. I am sure it is nice to have a partner who is active in raising the children and can give the mom a break occassionally. At the same time, it is easier than living with a non-supportive partner who may or may not be there physically but isn't there emotionally or is abusive. It is also easier than having a partner who disagrees strongly with your beliefs in parenting.

2) I get to make all of the decisions. Yes, I second guess just about all of them. After all, I am raising future adults not just children.

3) Yes there are days that are difficult. There are also days that are absolutely wonderful where we all go to bed late because I just don't want to see them end. The good days definitelly outnumber the bad days. I really think all families have these good and bad days.

4) I do get breaks. There are a lot of people out there who think single parents must never get time away. Not true. I just need to be more diligent to actually schedule alone time. Right now it is one evening a week (softball). This fall it will be on Tuesday evenings while I drive to school. I don't have time to pick the kids up from daycare and drive them to a babysitter on those days so I will be leaving straight from work. I will have 4 hours of driving time and a quick dinner to reflect on life and just be me.

5) I have two great kids. Yes they challenge me but I know how lucky I am. We don't have major attachment issues or developmental issues. M had a number of challenging behavioral issues earlier this year. Over the past couple of months, they have improved greatly. I no longer think he will be struggling for years to come. I now know it is a phase and that he will get better. I also am not looking forward to the impossible 3's with him but we will get through it together.

6) Jacob is outgrowing the impossible 3s! He is looking and acting more and more like the 4 year old he will be in just a few months. I sometimes wonder if he isn't 2-3 months older than his estimated birthdate. Not enough to do anything about but I still wonder. Just based on his development.

7) I have a very strong support system and have never felt like I am raising these kids on my own. Because I'm not. When they just won't listen to me, I call someone they will listen to. That is usually my parents. I find it is really helpful to have another adult tell the kids they have to listen and that Mom is (and will always be) right.

So basically, I don't see single parenting as the huge challenge the media and popular culture want to make it out to be. Of course, I don't have ex husbands or boyfriends to struggle with, be hurt by or try to share parenting with. I do have a very strong support system of friends and family who are always available when I need help or a break. I also really love my kids and enjoy spending time with them. Even on the bad days.

Pictures From Last Night

We celebrated our friend, P's, eighth birthday last night. We have been mentoring her through Big Brothers/Big Sisters for about six months now. Things are going well. Like any relationship, we get more out of it than we give.

We took her to Chuck E. Cheese for some pizza and games. The resteraunt is under construction as they expand and remodel but there was still plenty of room and things to do. Chucke even gave away free tickets and all of the kids got to hug him!

After dinner we went to Toys R Us. P picked out a new Bratz doll. They also had a sale that included a free insulated lunch box with every backpack purchase. M and Jacob get to take their lunches to school once a month. I let each child pick out one new backpack and lunch box for school.

Vacation Pictures

Sorry there are only two pictures. I took a lot more but they all have M in them. I try to remember t get pictures with just Jacob but sometimes it is not easy. The two are almost always together when we aren't at school.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bikes For Foster Kids

Jacob has a bike parade at school. I was amazed to find out that 2 of the kids in his class don't own bicycles. One of the little boys stated he had to leave it at D's house. I don't know how D is or what this little boy's history is. It made me think of all of the children placed in foster care though. While many foster parents own bicycles for the children to use, I have known very few that actually had bikes they could take with them when they moved on. Even in my home, the foster children do not have bikes. I have several bikes but they belong to the "family." The foster children are not allowed to take them with them and they definitelly don't own them. They can use them while they are here but then they must leave them for the next foster children who come along.

I am not sure why I never thought about the impact of having to leave a bike behind. I saw it on the face of this little boy yesterday though. It was obvious he really missed having his own bike. Jacob took an extra bike from our house for these two kids to share at school. Again, it isn't their bike though and they will have to return it for "the next kid."

Maybe in the future, I can organize a bike drive for foster children. It would be nice to have a number of bikes donated each Spring to be given to foster children who do not currently have a bike or who have outgrown their bikes. It would make the children feel more like their friends and one less way to emphasize that they are foster children. As one four year old child in my home put it, "I don't want to be a foster kid. I want to be just a kid." Having a bike would be one way for her to feel like "just a kid."

If anyone has any ideas how a project like this could be accomplished or wants to help, let me know. I doubt I will have time to work on it this year but maybe after I finish graduate school I can start it. Just a simple way to help the kids just be kids.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July Is Here!

I cannot believe it is July already. The summer is 1/3 over. It doesn't seem fair. We have already taken two of our three trips with only one to go. It appears that this will once again be one of those summers that goes by too quickly leaving many plans undone. I have made a promise to myself to do as many of my favorite activities as possible this summer and not waste any time. So far, we have done okay on that promise.

June was a wonderful month. I had some friends over for a cook-out, took the kids to two different zoos, went swimming and had a couple great trips. We are all a little more tan than we were a month ago despite using sunscreen regularly. No sunburns yet so we are doing well.

Jacob has mastered riding his bike with training wheels and is loving it. He states he has to be good at riding a bike so he can be just like his grandpa. One of our new favorite activities is to go for a short bike ride around the block after dinner. That bike ride sometimes takes quite awhile as we run into neighbors and frineds we don't see much during the winter months!

Jacob seems to be a kid who does a lot of growing and developing during the summer months. This year is no different. After struggling for months, he can suddenly write his name, spell his first and last name, read several letters and is getting very close on the others and can count to 15 without hesitation. I still plan to leave him in the same classroom next year since he is excited about being with some of the kids entering the class. It seems like the right choice for now but he will definitely be able to really shine since he has mastered much of the curriculum already. It will be good to give him that confidence boost as he prepares to enter 4K and kindergarten. He continues to be very good at anything spatial like puzzles and problem solving. That seems to be where he shines the most.

I pulled Jacob out of all activities for the summer and we are just spending our free time together as a family. Everyone is really enjoying the break. Jacob really wants to go back to gymnastics again so we will most likely try to find something for him next fall. It depends on if we can afford it with my new school budget, pay cut and other expenses. As well as if it will fit into our schedule. I'm not really worrying about it now. It is more important that we just enjoy the rest of summer.

We are still trying to recover from our trip to Arkansas last weekend. I haven't had a chance to unpack or find the camera yet but pictures are coming soon. I am hoping to get some laundry done tonight and then maybe have time to find the camera tonight or tomorrow.