Sunday, November 30, 2008

Part II. Thanksgiving Snow, Thanksgiving Rain, Thanksgiving Snow, and Little Boy Logic

It is way passed my bedtime and my ADD is on high today. I could have tied up more loose ends to get ready to go back to work tomorrow, but no such luck. Anyway, to get to the little boy logic, I first have to explain that our portable DVD player that we take on trips only has a 3 hour battery life. So for a 4+ hour drive, there's going to be some "non-DVD player" time. On the way up, that happened between Heber and Show Low, I think. Mikelle thought it was tragedy that the DVD battery ran out.

I was tempted to give her some lecture on what long r
oad trips were like when I was a kid. There were no DVD players and if you were lucky you heard something on the radio. Maybe a walkman was possible, but for the most part, it was long hours of staring out the window. I couldn't read anything or draw, because I would get car sick. (I could get into more childhood road trip horror stories, and there are plenty, as my dad was determined to take every dirt backroad so we averaged 3 miles per hour and if you had to pee or throw up, he still wouldn't stop the car, but I won't get into that! lol), so we just told Mikelle to chill out and we'd be at our destination soon. Maybe Chris and I touched on the 'when I was a kid, we didn't have DVD players on long trips', but nothing of too much detail.

Well, when the DVD player battery ran out, we said it "pooped out". Later, when we got to the cabin and Christian (our gadget addict) promptly plugged it in to charge, he said, "it pooped back in! The battery pooped back in!" Of course, since we used the term "pooped out" when the battery ran out, naturally if the battery was re-charged, it would be pooped back in, right? Perfect little boy logic.

That night wasn't the only time we heard him say that. For the rest of the trip, when the kids would use th
e DVD player and it would work, he said "it pooped back in".


The picture above is taken the day after Thanksgiving (11/28) along Woodland Lake in Pinetop. Because of the rain in between snowfalls 9it was actually raining lightly when we took this walk), some of the snow was gone, but isn't that such a beautiful picture that captures the transition of fall to winter? Especially with the tree in the foreground that still has its fall leaves. Seeing trees with fall leaves is something I would give anything to experience down here in the desert. I am so glad we got to see sights like this when we went up there. I vow to take a trip to Vermont sometime during the fall and really see changing fall leaves in its glory.

From that same walk, here is Christian near the lake on the ballfield. You can see how much snow was still over in that area.

And later that day, we returned to Woodland Lake to take some more "official" pictures. It was raining again (the day after Thanksgiving there was more rain than snow. Whereas the day before, on Thanksgiving, there was more snow than rain). It was a little tricky trying to set up the timer on the camera, because it was we weren't sure if the lense was going to get drops on it, but it seemed to work out okay! And the window that Christian and Mikelle are looking out of, is a little cabin bridge going over the western creek area of the lake.

If these red jammies
look familiar, they are! They're the "Thing 1 and Thing 2" costumes, which are now back to being standard red seasonal jammies. The kids are sitting on the stairs leading up to the loft in the cabin where most of the beds were located. The kids sure enjoyed having stairs.

sleeping picture has one true sleeper and one "faker". I told Mikelle to just smile for the camera, but she was determined to look sleeping too. lol

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Part I. Thanksgiving Snow, Thanksgiving Rain, Thanksgiving Snow, and Little Boy Logic!

We returned from our lil' Thanksgiving getaway today, and I must say, I have so much more to be thankful for: A Thanksgiving Day Snowfall, but even more importantly, watching my children experience the Thanksgiving Day snowfall, which for the area, was also the first of the season.

When we decided to go up to the Show Low/Lakeside/
Pinetop area and rent a little cabin for a few days, in no way did I expect any type of "winter precipitation". We expected cold and pine trees and a reason to wear mittens and jackets. But that was about it. Sure, it is a beautiful mountain area that receives snow (about 6500 feet elevation), but let's face it - this is still Arizona and it seemed early in the season to "get lucky", know what I mean?

However, a few days before Thanksgiving, they were talking about rain around here for the "Day of the Turkey" and snow up north. Could it be possible? A day (whether down here or up there) without the boring dry
headachy sun? Seriously? (Yes, I realize I'm cynical. That's been established) Around here (Phoenix area) they said it may be the first day in 20 years with rain on Thanksgiving. I was delighted. Anyone that didn't like it probably moved here from somewhere else, so they don't count anyway. But even the
weathermen are transplants from somewhere else, so they talked like rain was a bad thing. Talk to a native Arizonan, or a native to a hot and sunlight overkill climate (aka HELL) , and you'll get the REAL story. Rain is enjoyed, appreciated and welcomed. Even if a native Arizonan (or a native to a hot/sun climate) doesn't like the rain, I can at least respect their opinion a lot more.

But as usual, I digress. Moving on...

Our way up to Pinetop was met with rain and mist. Even down here as we climbed from 1200 feet (yes, that's how low we are here...bleh...) to 5000, the windy roads had mists of fog and occasional sprinkles. The desert is the most beautiful with overcast, mist and rain. And it is unfortunately a rare sight, so I was grateful to see it.

It was little scary on the Mogollon Rim as it was rainy and even foggier and well passed dark. But it cleared up (for the most part) from Heber to Show Low. We arrived at a our rented abode in Pinetop, and the wintery crisp air was welcoming. We wanted to have dinner at a local joint, but unfortunately, we didn't get everything unpacked until after 9pm. While the Show Low/Lakeside/Pinetop area isn't a TINY town in the middle of nowhere, it is small enough to not expect any local restaurants to be open after 9pm - especially the day before Thanksgiving. So we had a nice late dinner at a Denny's in Show Low.

Thanksgiving morning it was raining. I was a little sad to see this, as I thought we might luck out with snow. But I remember from the news the day before, they said the storm system (that gave us the rain during our departure the night before) was a warmer one, so the snow elevation would be higher - about 7000 feet, which we were just below.

However, later that morning, on Thanksgiving, rain suddenly changed into a noisy "freezing rain" and then almost immediately after that, fluffy
quiet snowflakes began to fall. It was so beautiful. Even if those few moments were the only snow I would see that day, it was something I wouldn't take for granted.

Here is Christian out there enjoying it, not long after the rain turned to snow. It was so fun to watch him react to it. This wasn't the first time he saw snow, but probably the first time he probably could understand what was happening. The picture above, just outside our cabin, is also from that first snowfall.

Mikelle got in on the fun soon after as the snow accumulated even more.

From that morning's first snowfall, Christian soon realized that "cold" came with the snow, but he did return outside again as Mikelle did something that every child should experience, but she doesn't get the chance that often, which is: build a snowman. Is that the cutest little snowman ever or what?

Soon after, it turned back into rain (as we were clearly located right on the rain/snow/rain/snow borderline of the storm system), so some of that accumulation melted as a result, but there was still quite a bit left from that first snowfall. Our Thanksgiving meal later that afternoon was outside, as there was no table or room for one, in our little loft cabin. I can't remember if it was raining while we were eating or the weather took a break, but we ate our little Thanksgiving meal under the carport. Good thing Chris and I were "thinking" the night before, and put the picnic table under the carport to dry off! lol

Later, after our meal, we got another treat! The rain changed its mind again and turned back into snow! I have believed for years that the best conditions to photograph people in are falling snow. Therefore, when you get that chance, go for it!

That's all I can write for now (hence, this being Part I). Therefore, the "Little Boy Logic" portion will have to wait for Part II.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Almost Another Turkey Time!

You know, as much as my job is a reason for depletion of brain cells, I gotta say how thankful I am for being a teacher. But not for the reasons you may think. Right now, I'm thankful for it, because I have the next THREE WEEKDAYS OFF! In the district I work for, we're off the day before Thanksgiving too. Woo hoo! What can I say? At this moment, that's what's on my "most thankful" list. Okay, okay, not entirely true. What am I most thankful for? My family. I have a kind, hard working, nurturing devoted husband and the two of us have the two most beautiful babies ever. This is our family picture from a year ago. Chris looks hot, but my face is so pudgy, they could use it at as a beach ball in the audience at a Beach Boy's concert. But I digress.

And even though they drive me crazy at times (yes, Chris included! lol), I love them, because they're MINE. And what they do to drive me crazy is part of who they are and the lovely DNA Chris and I gave them along with personality traits (both positive and negative!) that were a gift from God. Sure, it's like living in a combination of Hogwarts, the set of Poltergeist, and Twister with my 4yo son Christian. Nothing stays where it should. Things get messed with. Lights go on and off. His obsession for buttons, gadgets, etc is enough to put me in the loony bin. But I love him. Don't remind me that I said this, but I don't love him in spite of those things. A big part of me loves him because of those things. But I'll deny it if you ask me about that.

Mikelle doesn't have the gadget craze, but as my little artist, she will make the biggest mess of cut up pieces of paper, tape, glue, markers everywhere. As an artist who loves collage and a scrapbooker (a form of collage), I appreciate her imagination. But with the imagination, I know all too well of the mess it can create. Of course it doesn't occur to her to pick up after that project. She'll move onto the next thing and make a mess. Then I intervene and make her clean up what she isn't in the middle of anymore, and then of course I receive the groan and drama. I'm convinced her reactions to what her responsibility is happens to be the equivalent of me asking her to run up the stairs of the entire Empire State Building. I assure her that she isn't being tortured as much as she thinks she is. But like Christian, I'm amazed of how her mind works with what she enjoys and the imagination behind it. The other day, they stole one of my boxes (that I was going to use to ship a Christmas gift in) and turned it into a "pizza box" - decorating it with a collage pizza. Then they made pizza to go in it out of brown, red, yellow, and other colors. They made the crust and cut it into triangular slices and everything. In addition to my bragging on my students, I need to post some of Mikelle's artwork as well!

As for Chris, it's funny that I write what I'm thankful for, because he and I had quite an experience cleaning out our garage last Saturday. Seriously, if you want to test your marriage, clean out the garage together. But despite the times I'm sure our next door neighbors wanted to get a bowl of popcorn and listen further to some of our "exchanges" through our frustrations with the project that they could hear from their driveway, I gotta say I lucked out and hooked myself a winner. This is a hard part to write because of mixed company and mixed opinions on the subject from family, but unfortunately as a youth I was told time and time again by my own father that I would never last in a marriage and no guy would want me. His "logic" for some reason justified that putting someone down would "change" them. Not so. Usually when someone gets that kind of garbage fed to them, they end up marrying someone toxic, abusive, and/or just like the jerk that contributed to that kind of emotional and physical abuse.

But my over-abundance of stubborness had a positive side. I fought tooth and nail to resist letting that unfortunate "father figure" dictate my future. I married an intellectual guy who a lot of girls let pass by, because they were looking for more superficial and mainstream qualities. But not me. I knew Chris was what I needed. And through our challenges, I look back and go, "whew!" that we are where we are today with our marriage, life and children. Okay, I DO wish we didn't live in this climate, but I am so thankful for his job and how happy he is there.

I'm stealing from my friend Lara's blog (Hi Lara!) and using this "thankful" entry to throw in some more extras that through my tangents will lead to more things I'm grateful for, for any of you that read this far (I know, I type fast and I just keep going....)! I would like Chris to answer these same questions and then I can post those. But he's in Santa Barbara until tonight (then we leave tomorrow for Pinetop for our own little Turkey getaway!)


1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Chris was named after a great-aunt, I think. I don't know where "Jill" came from, but my middle name "Renae" had something to do with a babysitter or friend of my Mom's.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Unfortunately, when a parent busted into my classroom a few weeks ago while I had another class and proceeded to derail me. I am surprised it got to me as much as it did, because this parent is famous for that and I knew other teachers and the principals would be behind me. And while talking to her, I held my own. I could tell she got off on putting people down. It's her way, unfortunately. However, after she left, I broke down. Thankfully, two of my colleagues that saw the tail end of the matter were there to offer support. Funny, I haven't seen that parent around as much lately....

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes. How's that for succinct?

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Honey ham. Mmmmm......

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? My son is 4, and my daughter is 8.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I don't know. I have days where I feel like that Pink song: "don't let me get me" and wish I could be someone else. So if I was someone else, I would avoid me. I don't know.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? I speak it fluently. A little too fluently, actually.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope. but if you can get them out when you're a kid, DO IT. I was 31 when I got them out. Not a fun experience.


10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Actually, the question should be, "what's NOT my favorite cereal?"

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES or JUST TAKE THEM OFF? I rarely wear shoes that need to be tied, unless I'm working out. Then I just take them off.


13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Actually, the question should be, "what's NOT my favorite ice cream?"

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? I don't really know. I don't think much about it.

That's wordy enough for now. It's long as it is, but of course I feel I didn't even graze the surface of things I'm thankful for! lol

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Día de los Muertos" and Calavera Masks

Día de los Muertos is the Day of the Dead which is a two-day holiday that is mainly celebrated in Mexico and by people of Mexican heritage living in North America. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and relatives who have died. The celebration occurs on the 1st and 2nd of November, in connection with the Catholic holy days of All Saints Day and All Souls Day which take place on those 2 days. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Día de los Muertosis is a "happy" time to find joy in the lives of those who have passed on, and celebrate a "reunion" with them.

(The photo above is of two "catrinas". The figures are intended to show that rich and fashionable, despite their pretensions to importance, are just as susceptible to death as anyone else.)

Students in grades 5-8th got a big kick out of the "Calavera" (Spanish for skull) mask project. Because that weekend was Día de los Muertos I had to forgo the part of the assignment where they would be required to draw their own "Calavera" to decorate and embellish into a mask. Instead I encouraged it, but also provided a choice of three different Calavera templates they could fill with color and add embellishments like glitter, yarn, and feathers. Some masks have been on display and all the younger students keep asking me when they get to make a mask. Of course, due to how the use of decorating skeletons can be misunderstood by parents that don't understand the cultural background of Día de los Muertos. I saved this project for the older groups (5th grade and above). I was delighted that a few "free-handed" designed calaveras still emerged, despite the "templates" that were provided. The Calavera in the middle was done by a very gifted 8th grader, who has a distinct drawing ability! And the one immediately to the right of that, shows the humor in such a project with the added "candy corn" teeth! lol!

(Below) I was very impressed with the green calavera on the left. also free-handed! The second calavera was also very creatively embellished with yarn for hair, creating braids to go with the color and glitter!

(Below) And here I am sporting the mask that was made by our principal. I was teaching this Calavera/Día de los Muertos lesson when the principal came in to do the first of my two yearly evaluations. I think it was a good sign that the principal stopped writing notes and started making a mask of her own!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

87 Degrees? You've got to be kidding me.

I didn't want a vent to show up in such early stages of this blog. But's November 18th. NOVEMBER 18th. And 87 degrees today? C'mon. We're breaking a record that was set when Truman was President. Hence, the rather unfortunate appropriate name of my blog. Everyone knows how much I DETEST this climate - for many reasons other than that it's too warm and sunny 99% of the time (or it feels like it's 99% of the time). But reasons like this when it's not supposed to be warm. Even when the summer does go away, IT DOESN'T. And here is proof. And I'm sorry, it's bad enough that Christmas music is smothered upon us the day after Halloween (can anyone say, OVERKILL?), but there is something wrong - terribly wrong - with it being thrusted upon us against our will when you still have to RUN THE AIR CONDITIONING in your car! And can we PLEASE have Thanksgiving before the Christmas nuttiness starts? I mean, I haven't taken down my creepy spider skeleton yet.

Other reasons why this NOVEMBER heat is frustrating:

1. It's one less day of "relief" from the heat before we have to brace ourselves for another summer.
Okay, any day in the 80s during the summer would be heaven, but it's NOVEMBER. Not September.

2. It's one less day of enjoying the period of the earth's rotation when
technically the tilt away from the sun is saying we're in the Autumn/Winter phase. Did someone not get the memo?

3. It's one less day of "feeling" like it's almost Thanksgiving. It's hard to go to Fry's and order our Thanksgiving dinner for next week (yeah, like I'm gonna cook it myself...) when a guy wearing a tank top showing his hairy back walked into the store in front of me. Hey, cooler weather means hairier people tend to cover up more.
That hair isn't a good winter coat, even though it looks like it is.

4. People that live here that aren't from here that
love the heat. Gee, if I moved to Seattle and complained every time the sun came out, I would probably be shot. So when it does get cold and rainy here (for all of 5 minutes), please shut up. It's our "rare" pleasure, like the sunlight is in Seattle.5. One less day of enjoying winter/cooler type clothing. Scarves...jackets...skirts and tall boots...the best fashion is the Fall/Winter fashion. And not just because it covers hairy backs and exposed boobs and buttcracks.

6. The warmer, the more headachy and sick to my stomach I feel. And I think I have over-active sweat glands.
7. The heat brings more of those annoying people moving in this direction. It's bad enough that they come here 6 months out of year (and I'm jealous they get the luxury of living here without staying for the summer. Wusses), but then they tell their children about it and their kids move here with their kids. And their kids have more kids. Crowds generate more body heat. All that body heat makes more Wal-Marts, I mean Wal-Trash, get built because they complain it's too hot to drive 3 extra miles to the already existing Wal-Trash to get their Cheetos and Twinkies so they can sit on their butts and watch crap on the CW network.8. This heat has the insult to injury factor of more concrete slabs going down to build more Wal-Trash. It's a desert, people. Can we stop stretching it to it's limit? Asphalt and concrete ABSORBS more heat. We have enough heat. Yet the Wal-Trash and cookie cutter developments bring more of it. At least this cruddy Recession we're in is slowing down the unnecessary growth. I'll stop there for now. But there is more.

9. I still see the occasional cockroach, due to the heat. Funny, in real life they're not as cute as the one in WALL-E (same goes for rats in Ratatouille. Okay, I haven't seen any RATS, but we do have a mouse in the garage. At least, I hope it's only one mouse).

Okay, okay. Of course that's not it with my cranky vent list. But now here is the bright side:

1. 70s are predicted in a few days. Sure, that's not as good as 50s and 60s, but it's a start!

2. We're going to be up in Pinetop/Lakeside for Thanksgiving. Probably no snow, but much cooler more SEASONAL air and *gasp* pine trees and more of the color green. My kids deserve to see green more. It's no fair that they only get to see green in nature on TV and in their crayon box.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Their Own Starry Night

Gosh, I'm going to regret starting this entry when the alarm goes off at 5am...but here I am bragging on a few of my students. I feel guilty posting these because there are countless other awesome examples of this to share! Last month, my 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders did a "mixed media" project using oil pastel and collage to a project based on Van Gogh's "Starry Night" (above, 1889). I had them use the oil pastel for the background/sky portion (this was also a "space" lesson about background to foreground and a lesson about following directions in using certain materials in certain places while having their own creative license) and created their own "starry night". Then they added their mountains and then the village.

In the closest foreground they could add the spooky tree that Van Gogh had, or they could do a main house, or "haunted" house if they preferred. I made sure to emphasize that they could turn this project into their own "Starry Halloween Night" if they wanted. That way, the kids that wanted to do the Halloween thing certainly could, and those that didn't want to (or weren't allowed to) didn't have to. So far, there hasn't been any bad fall-out from overly sensitive politically correct parents. Yay! If I have time later, I'll tell my angry-parent- story from my "Scream" (Edvard Munch) lesson from last year. Oy.

These examples are just a few from this age group. Like I said, there are DOZENS other classic examples from these 2nd-4th graders. I feel bad that I can only share these three! But I don't want to bombard the blog with picture after picture (I get enough of that at work when I see awesome artwork after awesome artwork after awesome artwork. Too much stimuli for me! lol No wonder I'm doing 4 hundred million things at once! When will cloning be perfected?)

And okay, I know I said THREE, but how can you choose just three? or four? Seriously? How can you? I have three classes from each grade. These are just 4 examples out of about 180 students!

Sure, I didn't tell the students that Van Gogh painted Starry Night while in an asylum in 1889, but the way I've been running around trying to keep up with the kids' work and be an artist, teacher, mom and wife at the same time, the asylum stuff makes sense! lol (no offense to Van Gogh and his "issues", but let's face it, some of the craziest artists did the best stuff!) To quote Don McClean from his classic "Starry Starry Night" about Van Gogh: "The world was never meant for one as beautiful as you." If you haven't heard that song recently (or at all) give it a listen. There are plenty of slide shows on YouTube with that song. Better yet, I'll link it. Go to this YouTube: I showed this particular slideshow from this link on YouTube to some of my middle school students last year (before YouTube got blocked. Grrrr)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fourteen Years? Wow.

This picture was taken November 10th 1994. We celebrated our 14th Anniversary earlier this week. I can hardly believe it myself.

I don't really know the bride in the picture. She was a 19 year old who had a lot to "get together". Thankfully the groom was willing to stick with her through that.

Just shy of 6 years later, our daughter Mikelle Rae was born. She came at the right time for us. We were as prepared as we could be, so of course that means we weren't prepared in a lot of ways!  One thing I'm glad we didn't know before decided to have her, was how hard the next following years would be. Not because of her, but because of the granddaddy of trials we would have thrusted upon us. Chris had graduated from ASU with his Bachelors in Engineering a couple of months before Mikelle was born in 2000. However, a month after she was born, he lost his first job. Then 5 months later, he lost his second. That was 2001 and my grandmother died and we returned from her funeral to find out he was laid off. If that wasn't enough, Chris lost his third job that following August. A couple of weeks later was 9/11 and then 3 weeks after that, Chris's mother died after battling cancer for 7 years previous.

Therefore, not only had the Engineering industry in that early 2000s was in its own recession, but it was a "when it rains it pours" way of facing adversity. The fourth job came 24 months after the third job loss. I was 7 months pregnant with Christian when that job came to end, along with 60% of that company's workforce. That was January 2004. Christian came March 17, 2004.

Thankfully, when Christian was 2 months old, Chris started out at the Palo Verde plant. It was clear once he began work out there that it was the answer to our prayers and the "light at at the end of the tunnel" that we had been waiting for. Sure, I curse this climate (especially with more of the desert being paved over for another carbon copy Big Box), but I cannot deny the blessings we have. Chris is the happiest in his job as he's ever been, and sure, he works long hours with a huge commute, but looking back on the first half of this decade, I cannot deny the blessing of what he accomplishes there and what it does for our family.

I'm still having a hard time with the reality that it's been 14 years! Wow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Since we're on the first posts...

I might as well succinctly describe what's behind the crazy rationale between my ears. I don't have time to continue typing, so I'll just add the details in no particular order through images.


Christian is my monkey. That is more literal than I can possibly put to words. But yes, he was born in 2004; the Chinese year of the Monkey. He IS a Monkey in many ways.

Not only is he 4 years old and in an EXCELLENT pre-school program this year, he is also an aspiring engineer or CIA code cracker. He is quite resourceful. This may come in handy someday, but for now I feel like I live at Hogwarts. Everything is never left alone and 'ghosts" constantly move stuff around. I no longer need to wonder what it would be like to live in Tornado Alley. I'm already there. It's called Cyclone Christian.

Some of Christian's favorite
things include:

- The computer and
computer games
- The Vacuum cleaner and getting a turn using it when Mom is done
- Making makeshift stools to get high enough to reach what he is aspiring to conquer
- His cars, train and train tracks, leggos and anything that is gadgety and makes noise.
- Wow Wow Wubzy and Curious George. He also loves Blues Clues, but asks for "Steve" We have a few genuine Steve episodes recorded.
- Tools, whether real or toys.
- Ropes and dog leashes to tie from thing to another. The dog may be attached.
- Mom's yogurt that is off-limits.
- Band-aids. We have to hide those too.
- Water. Filling up sinks, getting wet outside. It's all good.

Some of Christian's NOT-so-favorite things:

- Being pulled off the computer.
- Being hungry
- Nap time (at home)
- His "time-out" chair, when it's being used for it's original purpose. If he is using it to access something otherwise off-limits, then his time-out chair is his friend.
- Lettuce. He maintains "I don't want Salad!"


Mikelle is my Dragon. I say Dragon because she was born in 2000, which is the Year of the Dragon according to the Chinese Zodiac. We have a lot of fun talking about the different animals.

I cannot believe she is 8 years old already. This year she is in 3rd grade. I can't believe it myself. I feel like yesterday I brought that tiny thing home from the hospital.
Some of Mikelle's favorite things include:

- Pink and Purple
- Drawing/Collage
- Thanks to dear ol' dad, the DVR and managing her "shows"
A sub-category to "favorite things" in relation to the DVR and remote control would include Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman on PBS, Cyberchase on PBS, and Wishbone on PBS. With her TV addiction, I guess I should be grateful it's PBS shows for the most part.
- Mothering her brother and playing "school" with younger kids. She is always the teacher.
- Creating new houses and things for her stuffed animals out of cardboard and construction paper which she all has named and has a place on her bed.

Mikelle's Not-so-favorite things:
- Homework
- Cleaning her room
- Taking a shower
- Giving up TV time
- Having to wait. Patience is a challenge.

You Have to Start Somewhere

Which is why I finally decided to start a blog. Friends have been telling me for the last couple of years to do it. I maintained that I don't have the time. And I don't. But I think at this point, there are too many good reasons to do it that outweigh the practical reasons not to.

Reasons why I need to start a blog (and none of them is "because everyone else is doing it" If anything, that's why I held off! lol):

1. I am horrible at writing in a traditional journal
2. I don't update people as often as I should
3. My kids are too cute not to show more pictures of them.
4. I seem to have the wackiest stories that are too crazy to make up.
5. My students' artwork needs to be shown off!
6. My kids need to be shown off (see #3)
7. Putting something "on the blog" gives me more incentive to get the busy work done of photographing my students' artwork and keeping my own life updated. So in a way, as much as I don't have time for this, I may buy myself more time and be more organized because of this. KWIM? Probably not. But that's okay.

So stay tuned. Pictures of artwork from my students will soon follow, as well as little snippets on my kidlets and life!