Saturday, February 24, 2007

Photo Hunters #6 "Soft"

This one was taken in the whirlpool tub on our trip to Devils Den this summer. Alex is buried in there somewhere.

Poor Dud. The little people just don't seem to go away, do they.

It's hard to tell, but he's completely covered in down fluff.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Shine on Sunshine

It was just absolutely gorgeous today! I couldn't help myself, I had to play while Alex napped. Here are a couple of pictures of the roses Mark gave me for Valentines Day. And then a few of my hammock view. Just IMAGINE what these would look like if I had my Cannon Rebel. I NEED A NEW CAMERA!!!!

Read To Me Challenge Update

So far so good. I'm pleased to say that the challenge is proving to be a positive experience for our family, Daddy included! At dinner the other night, I announced my goals to everyone and told them about my plan for us to read aloud together. Mark is going to take over my goal of teaching Ashley about the newspaper. Although, I may need to listen in... he told her the most important part of the paper was the Best Buy ad. Uh oh. We can't forget the obits! I'm kidding, we'll just check those sections out FIRST. Back to our update...Each evening before bed we all grab a spot in the living room and take turns reading aloud. Right now we're reading Socks, by Beverly Cleary. This is a great book that the whole family is enjoying. Alex is really doing a good job paying attention, although I know it's tough at times with no pictures. I was concerned that he would become uninterested and wander off, but so far, he's hanging in there. I do try to summarize and ask him questions when we're done, just so I know he's paying attention, and if he's not, I try to get him interested by doing a brief recap. It's working. I'm so glad to have found this challenge and look forward to continuing this family time indefinitely. Now I need to begin the hunt for our next family book!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Read To Me Challenge Goals

A new challenge!! At Snapshot Jennifer has started a wonderful challenge called Read To Me. Books are very important to our family, so this challenge is right up our alley. Although we read regulary, there's ALWAYS room for improvement. This challenge will give us that little UMPH to take us to the next level. As with every challenge, one must set goals so here goes! I'm hoping that this challenge will stay with us, and we'll continue to grow, and set new goals after these are acheived. My goals for reading with the family:

  1. Read a minimum of 90 minutes per week either with, or to Alex.
  2. Continue making weekly trips to the library and allowing him to choose books of his choice.
  3. Introduce Alex to the online catalog for the library.


  1. Read a minimum of 90 minutes per week either with or to Ashley. It's so easy to just let her go off on her own and read, and that's fine, but I would like to make it a shared time for us.
  2. I'd like to introduce Ashley to some classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird , The Swiss Family Robinson, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer etc.
  3. I'd like to read more poetry with her, and research some good poetry books that she might find interest in. She's an excellent writer and I would like to encourage that as much as I can.
  4. Take her to the Public Library more often. I take for granted the fact that they do this at school regularly. Going to the library and letting her explore is a completely different experience than going with her class.
  5. Introduce her to reading the News Paper.

Pass The Torch Tuesday

I've decided to take part in a new writing opportunity called Pass the Torch Tuesday. I ran across this amazing idea on a Blog recently and decided it would be a wonderful addition to my Blogging experience. Each Tuesday I will write about catching a child doing something good. By clicking on the picture above you can find more participants and their stories.

It's been a few weeks now, but this caught me so off guard that I have to share.
Ashley came home with an invitation to a sleepover a few weeks back. This party was highly anticipated and talked about regularly. The closer we got to the date, the more details her new friend "A", would share about the party plans. The sleepover now included a scavenger hunt at the mall, cash to spend at a store of their choice and a dinner out on the town. Way more fun than any 10 year old would expect to have at a Birthday party. The day of the party rolls around and my darling daughter walks in from school, and the first thing she says is, "Momma, can I invite two friends over to spend the night tonight?" WHAT?? What about "A"'s party? Is it cancelled? What's going on? She replies, "well, there are two girls in my class that are really shy and weren't invited to the party, and every other girl in the class was. So I was thinking that I could have them over here tonight instead." After I pick my jaw up off the floor, I say yes, give her a great big hug and tell her how proud I am of her for been so incredibly thoughtful of these two girls. Both girls show up, one after another, each loaded down with their Build-A-Bear dolls and all their accessories. After poking around, and asking more questions than I'm sure Ashley cared to answer, I later find out that Ashley told the girls that she was having a Build-A-Bear party, and they were invited.

Words can't even begin to describe how proud that made us. I've always known that I have a sweet girl, but never did I imagine that at 10 years old, she could have such a deep understand of what it means to have empathy for another human being.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Thinking ahead

I've really been thinking a lot about when Alex starts Kindergarten, and what I'm going to do. I will have an opportunity to go back to my old job, I'm sure, but to be honest, my heart is not there. I would do it, I do enjoy the job for the most part, but when I really break it down and start thinking about where my heart REALLY is, I realize it's with children. It is starting to sink in that in about 6 months, my life is going to get flipped upside down, COMPLETELY upside down. Although sending him to Kindergarten will be hard on the both of us, (me more than him, I'm sure) I'm excited about the new chapter of Alex's life, I really am. There is a part of me that has begun to realize that it's not just being home with him that I enjoy so much. I enjoy teaching him, learning from him, and watching his little brain grow everyday. That, to me, is so incredibly rewarding. I will always have that, I know, but never on the level that I have these past 5 years. In a nutshell, I have really started entertaining the idea of keeping a few preschoolers once he goes to school. It's been a few weeks since it first popped in to my head, and I haven't been able to let it go ever since. I LOVE the preschool age, and wonder if this is something that would continue to fulfill me even after Alex is at school. I know there's not much money to be made keeping children, but I think it might be what makes me happy. I can't see myself going to work at a daycare, that's not my cup of tea. I would like to develop my own sort of cirriculum based on the desires of the children. A sort of anti-cirriculum. This is what I have always done with Alex, mainly because of his personality. And it has proven to be a wonderful choice for us. I just think it would be amazing if I could give other children what Alex has had. Even if I could help just one child have a stimulating environment, that otherwise he/she might not have had, that would make me so incredibly happy.

I'm still absorbing all of these thoughts and wondering if this will pass, or if this is something that's going to stick. Who knows, this could lead me to getting a job at a Public School. Maybe there's a position out there for me. I just know this is something I love, and maybe it's what I'm supposed to do in life.