Tuesday, August 26, 2014


If one should need to give a urine sample at the doctor's office, one should leave Hope at home...or at least sit in the hallway till the deed is done.  You've been warned.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Adding another purple box to the stack.

It started with Kindergarten and then First Grade.
Oh fine lets be honest, it started long before that with every mark she made.
But if we are being really honest, I think we can say that this momma is getting better at this process every year.  [insert husband laughing in background while rolling eyes at wife]

I put it off all summer.  The ceremonial purging of the papers.  Third grade is already a week underway and we need the space.  So buck up mom, get it together, and let second grade carpet the floor in all it's glory.
....and so it did.  There lays Emma, swimming in a bask of second grade knowledge.  Did we really keep everything?  Uh, ya.  Sure did.  And the photos to prove it.
We've got every Daily Word Problem, Word Tests & Word Reviews, Math Assessments, Mystery opinion Writing, Iditarod, our first E-day experience, Vocabulary Parade, Learning To Be a Good Citizen, Munley Money, Union Express mail from friends, Writing Workshop...and the monthly Morning Work packets.  Lots of artwork, lots of special projects from State's Fair to Flat Stanley.  We have it all.
All these papers, all this work...all have an important part in our home.
Some make me realize, my daughter knows more about clouds than I ever will....
Some are sweet memories of the days she felt so proud of herself...
Some let me see where her sudden love for mysteries came from this year...
Some make her dad grin....
And some make her mom's heart melt...
Some remind mom and dad how important teachers are at noticing things that parents should, but didn't...
And some make us laugh...  (seriously, what kind of parents does this kid have?!)
Farmer Boy.  'nough said....
The past couple years of cleaning the bins, it was just me sorting and sifting.  Trying to choose the things that meant the most.  But this year, there was someone else who was deeply invested in the purging process.
It was unspeakable joy to see her be so still and re-read her work.  Gaze into the accomplishments.  Reflect on the efforts.  Then, as if my heart needed any more melting, she pipes up and says, "hey mom, remember this?"
Do I remember?  Oh my dear Emma, how can I not remember?!  Charlotte's Web.  I could blog a whole separate posting on this project alone!  But to answer Emma's question, I give back a simple "Yes, I surely do."  And that was all we needed to say to each other about that. 
See, I knew her question wasn't about remembering the book, but more so remembering the hours we spent reading together, working on the worksheets together, trying to predict the next chapters together.  And the moment we sat on the couch crying when we read Charlotte......well, ya know.  I love my daughter's heart and the moments we shared together with this book.

So we sorted, and we cleaned.  Making stacks to keep and stacks to recycle.  The end was in site and we came upon the official "Second Grade Memories."  I'll be honest, I didn't even open it and start reading.  I looked through it when she brought it home in May and it was wonderful.  Today it shall be remembered as wonderful and soon enough it will be looked through again.  Emma did announce, "Mom, Mrs. Munley said we are never allowed to lose this and we must look at it before going to college."  Note taken.  ;)
Next to that book of memories was DVD accompanied with a letter from our dear second grade teacher Mrs. Munley.  I am in awe with everything teachers have on their plates, that they still find time to capture photos throughout the year and assemble them into a movie for the parents.  But for our Union Elementary teachers it is possible.
They are superstars.
Better than superstars.
Heroes.  Ya, heroes.
Heroes to us parents.  Us parents that don't read all the instructions, us parents that don't know their kids can't see and need glasses, us parents that worry about our kids finding their "nitch", and us parents that know their kids will learn more about learning itself because of a teacher.  Forever grateful.

So we made it.  Two hours later, we purged through every single paper that had Emma's fingerprints on it.  And [drum roll please] we made our favorites all fit into the purple box!  We have special projects, all the artwork, memories, writings, our best grades (and worst too!), notes from the teacher, and those papers mom just can't let go of for one reason or another...all tucked into the purple box labeled SECOND GRADE.
As for the papers outside of the box.  Sorry fellas, you didn't make the cut.  As I gathered them up and took them out into the garage, Emma opened the lid to the recycle bin while humming Amazing Grace.  Not sure where the darkened humming came from, but it did make us laugh.  And let's face it, I really do have until Wednesday morning to go back and get it all back out.  ;)

So there it is....another year from this sappy mom.  So blessed to have these memories.  Here's to Emma, second grade, Mrs. Munley and our purple box!!  Cheers!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Lego, pair of tweezers, and a tiny nose.

Why do mom's take showers?  Really, it should just be forbidden.  Or done at two in the morning when all is sleeping, but at that I still think it is risky.

Taking my shower this morning, I left Hope watching some Mickey Mouse.  Normal day, right?  Wrong.  Mid shower I hear what sounds to be crying in the distance.  Then screaming.  And loud.  I jump out of the shower, two degrees south of slipping on a wet floor, and yell, "HOPE ARE YOU OK?!"  I get a sobbing reply, "noooooooooo."  Then come to me, I tell her as I scramble for a towel (which let's face it, it really did nothing, because a mother's instinctive reactions towards a child in trouble does not take time to wrap and secure a towel.)
We meet at the bathroom door.  Hope utters the painful words...

"There's a Lego stuck up my nose."

What?  What?  WHAT?  So a lot of things went through my head in exactly the next .03 milla-seconds.  Things like; I've heard of this, but it usually is with boys...How did she stuff a Lego up her nose....Why....Should I just take her to the ER....Why.....I'm naked....This stuff really happens to kids....Why....How....Should I look?

I looked.  Sure enough, a nice, tiny, pink flower has wedged it way up the right nostril - sideways.  Holding off all the obvious question I really wanted to ask, I stay calm and ask only one, "how many Legos are in your nose?"

"Just one."

Shew.  Ok, I can do this.  Stay calm.  Get the tweezers.  While I get the tweezers, snot is pouring down her nose from the frantic crying.  She cranks up a big sniff.  Well, that did it...take that Lego up farther.  Better work quickly mom!  I try one gander with the tweezers.  Hope is resistant.  Crying more, snotting more, screaming more.  Trying to get her to blow her nose was impossible and only led to a greater chance of more sniffing up.
Gently, quietly, "look up at the ceiling, Hope."  She did.  And with one more blindly entrance with tweezers, I nab the sucker.  Out it comes.  A bit mucus-y, but ya we got it.

Immediate snot wiping, and lots of long hugging.  She was calming down.  The tears are stopping, the screaming has quieted.  Stillness.  We did it kid.  Mission Lego-up-nose complete.

So after the racing heartbeat stepped back into a normal pace, I then start asking the obvious question...how, whyyyyyyyyyyyy.....

According to our blond bombshell, she was taking a piece off her castle and this small piece "popped right off and went in my nose!"  Her scared nature when we met kinda leads me to believe she was telling the truth.  Especially since she had a Kleenex in her hand, telling me she already new it wasn't suppose to be there and was trying to wipe it out.  She said when it popped up, she wiped her nose with her hand (ya know, the universal kid wipe that is full flat handed and goes up making one have a pig nose.)

All in all, we had a big discussion on things in our nose...our ears....our mouth.  She concluded the conversation with, "mom that Lego was orange when it went in, but it came out pink."
-sigh-  and that's our Hope.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First day of third grade.

So it's true, third grade is happening.  We knew it would...eventually.  All ready for a new year of exciting things, she strategically picked out her favorite outfit and necklace paired with a hair-clip and new-do.  Homemade waffles down, teeth brushed, new shoes on, glasses and packed lunch in backpack.  Ready, set, go.

For those of you that have followed this blog for awhile, know that we have staged the first day of school pictures by our front door every year.  This way we can see "how many bricks you have grown."  Usually I add a link -here- so you can flip back and see the change.  Not this year.  I'm in denial that she's growing up. 

 It wasn't long after the bus rounded the corner, little sis took charge and wiped that chalkboard clean.  She was busy adding her own art.  She turned it around saying, "taaaa-daaaa!"  Expecting to find one of her Picasso like drawings, rather this was the message...
That little squirt adores her sister I tell ya.  Even welcomed her home with big hug.  And just so everyone knows, we got a big two thumbs up from Emma.  Third grade sounds like it is going to be pretty cool!

Friday, August 8, 2014

While the cats away, the mice shall play.

And play we did.

Adam was on travel all week for work, which left me rolling with the punches solo.  The only parental chores I kept maintained was loading and unloading the dishwasher, preparing meals, and keeping the dog fed.  Every other responsible parental duty got put on hold for Lego building, park playing, trail hiking (including a left foot slip into a creek while stone jumping), picnic partaking, wagon ride walking, game playing, tie dying good time.  And don't forget sleeping in the middle of two tents constructed in the bonus room.  Gotta admit, it was actually the best sleep I've gotten in while.  Blessings fall in the midst of heading asleep when you have two giggly girls on each side of you...dream lights shining on the ceiling...even the dog curled up next to one tent.  Heavenly.

Oh ya.....did I mention they borrowed the camera for a bit?

Love these two...to the moon and back.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

No photo.

While I jump through the shower, Hope was to be getting herself dressed.  She does this pretty good most days, matching is optional.  Anyhow, mid-shower, I hear "MOMMMM, I'm wearing dis today."  I peak out the shower curtain and what I saw was clearly not close to what she was to be doing.

Buck naked, with one pair of underwear stretched across her torso.  Her arms were through the legs holes and the crotch of the panties across her chest. 

She stood there.  Proud.  All smiles. 
Seriously, what is inside this girl's head?