Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This is the sick that never ends

I was thinking of that song when I put the title of this post up.  Anyhoo....if you've been on facebook I know you've caught wind since my last post that we are still dealing with sicko crud at my house.  Kadyn is pretty much fully recovered.  Brennan started a fever last Saturday and I have stayed at home with her ever since.  As of today I have taken off 5 days of work officially since sicknesses have began and we have been dealing with at least one sick child for the past 10 days as Kadyn showed first signs of it 10 days ago.  Thankfully, I did get two days of work in last week with Jeff's help and because I prematurely sent K back to school and she managed to tough it out.  Won't do that again, poor girl! 

The doctor told us K had a sinus infection coupled with an ear infection.  Therefore, we thought we were in the clear as far as anyone else getting this stuff.  Obviously, that wasn't entirely accurate.  So, I think K actually had a sinus infection, ear infection, and some kind of viral infection. Her symptoms were 10 times worse that Brens.  Bren has just had a fever for the past 4 days and one tiny bout of vommitting yesterday when she coughed and her gag reflex kicked in.  I think just a fluke really.  Other than that, she's been able to eat lightly and drink just fine.  She has gotten the occasional head ache that comes with a fever and then today she was complaining of her tummy hurting a little (still no more vomit) and leg aching, so I assume that is body aches.  She hasn't really been all that lethargic.  In fact, when given fever reducers, you almost can't tell she's sick until they wear off.  Today she has started sniffling a little, so I guess you could say a little runny nose issues have begun.  Still, nothing like Kadyn was at this point.

With tomorrow being halloween I'm nervous she won't be 100% and it will crush her if everyone goes trick or treating without her.  What's a mom to do?  Thankfully, my inlaws are coming in Wednesday afternoon, so they can watch her Thursday and Friday if need be, but I'm holding out hope tomorrow the fever will finally be gone. Her fever has been hovering around 99-100 all day as opposed to the 102 for the past couple days.  Not sure if that means she's on the mend or not.  I've read in a couple different places a temp of 99 isn't necessarily a fever in children.  I may give school a try tomorrow if she continues to stay in that range as she is pretty perky today.  I hate making decisions like this.  I feel guilty if I do and guilty if I don't.

Anyhoo...I am so ready to go back to work and feel a little stir crazy.  I know.  Silly coming from the lady that spent the last 6 years stuck in her home day in and day out.  I guess you could say I have grown accustomed to being a working mother very quickly, and I like the change.  Days seem to creep by when you have a sick child. I have caught up on all my house work, lesson planning, laundry, etc.  There's only so many movies and TV shows you can watch.  Can't leave the house.  Again, stir crazy. 

Every time I have to call in to my boss to ask for another day off I just feel guilty, like as if I'm lying to her or something because 5 days seems excessive to me.  I know she understands and she has been very accomodating, but I still can't help but feel very guilty; I know it's silly, but sometimes I fear people will think I'm faking it just to get out of work.  None of my children have ever had fevers this long.  Of course since I'm paid by the hour, all of this leave has been unpaid.  Sigh!  It is what it is. All of this does leave me thinking, how in the world do working mothers of 3 or 4 do it?  I can't imagine having to do this for another week or two if I had more of them coming down with it. God bless working mothers of larger families.  It would be hard to hold down a job if you had to miss that much work. If there's one thing I can be thankful for, though, neither Jeff or I seem to have come down with it (knock on wood).  Despite all the snuggles and kissing on sick children.  Praise God!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cleaning confessions

As I was cleaning my bathrooms today I thought to, as I do every time I clean, I wonder how my cleaning stacks up to other people?  I have always thought of myself as a fairly clean and organized person and yet those feelings can change depending on whose house I happen to be in.  Some houses make me feel pretty good about my cleaning. Others...well, I fall short.  So I guess that lands me somewhere in the middle.

I can say that since I have had children, my level of tolerance for messiness has tripled.  Even my tolerance for dirt and grime had to change a little.  Other mothers know what I'm talking about.  You always have little ones tagging behind you messing up everything you did and with the unique ability to even make it look worse than when you started. 

Cleaning.  Sigh!  Love it and hate it.  Love the way a clean and organized home feels and looks, not a huge fan of the process of getting it that way.  About the only time I can say I actually enjoy cleaning is when I've been cooped up and need to move around, or when I've bought the newest cleaning product and am excited to see its magic.  Yep, it's a love hate relationship we have.

So anyhoo...here is how I do it at my house.  Some of it may even be considered cleaning confessions.  Maybe it will make you feel like a cleaning saint reading this, maybe you'll feel like you have some work to do.  I really don't care.  It works for us and I suppose that's all that matters.  So here you have it.

1.  I vacuum once or twice a week.
2.  I dust once a week.
3.  I clean the kitchen daily, but even then I still pile dishes on one side of the sink just because I get so tired of doing dishes.  I probably don't wipe up my counters and table as often as I should, but they do get a once over at least once a day if not more. 

4.  I clean my microwave when it looks awful and I can't stand it anymore probably once every two weeks or sometimes less.
5.  Same for my fridge but more like once a month
6.  I clean my bathrooms top to bottom once every two weeks (this used to be once a week before kids)
7.  I clean my ceiling fans on a need be basis, usually twice a year
8.  I do laundry...well this is all over the board.  Sometimes once a week, sometimes 2-3 times a week.  I even tried everyday for awhile.  I can never find a happy laundry schedule.
9.  I sweep my kitchen floors almost after every meal, I NEVER mop them. I spot clean them on my hands and knees and they never look dirty enough to be mopped. 
10.  My sheets on the beds, BIG CONFESSION, usually just wash those sheets when I think to myself, "Man when was the last time I washed my sheets? I can't remember.  Maybe I ought to do that."
11.  Vacuuming my mattresses?  Ha, ha, ha, ha.  There are no allergies in our family.  I just don't think of that.  Dust mites, shust mites.  I figure there are people that sleep on dirt floors all over the world, a few dust mites aren't going to hurt me.  Finding a bug in my house that I can actually see scares me way more than some microscopic bugs.  (can you tell how self conscience I am about this one based on my incessant need to justify my actions or lack of)
12.  Vacuuming under my couch cushions....usually when I notice they are pretty crumby and I remember to do it.
13.  Cleaning vents and floor boards, when they look like they need it although bathroom floor boards get done every two weeks. 
14.  Wiping out cabinets inside and out, not nearly enough, but it gets done a couple times a year.
15.  Do I use natural or chemical?  Both.  I use vinegar water for counters and sinks.  I use CLR for my tubs.  This is a recent switch.  I just got so tired of the elbow grease it took to use the natural stuff on our hard water spots.  Vinegar helped, but it still wasn't the magic I was looking for.  CLR makes promises of making things look like new without a whole lot of scrubbing and let me tell you, it does make good on that promise.  LOVE that stuff!
16.  Our van, when it needs it.  I do a pretty good job not letting it get cluttered, especially since we got a newer van.
17.  Our garage usually gets a good sweeping twice a year.
18.  Shower curtains.  Every couple of months I wash them in the washer.  Usually this is initiated after I notice that the bottom of the curtain is actually stiff with hard water.
19.  Myself, my body gets done daily (most of the time unless I fall asleep and just can't bring myself to shower) and my hair every other day.
20.  Mini blinds, hardly ever, just like my window sills and windows.  I just don't remember them that often and honestly, they're a pain to clean.
21.  Windows, couple times a year.  They just are little hand magnets.  Almost a worthless cause. 
22. Picture frames, as need be and when I remember.
23.  Carpets gets steamed on need be basis.  I spot clean spots as soon as they happen and especially if it is in a highly visible area, otherwise it takes me awhile longer to get to it.  Usually when I get tired of looking at it.

So there you have it.  How do I stack up folks?  Am I a cleaning diva?  In dire need of a cleaning mentor?  Somewhere in the middle?  Honestly, I think (and hope) that the answer is in the middle.  I don't want to be obsessed with being clean.  There are more important things in life.  My mother used to have a sign in her home that read, "My home is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy."  Well said.  I totally get it.  I think that's where I am.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Back to the drawing board

Kadyn got off the bus in tears today because she felt awful again.  She was super tired and irritable this morning but thought she could tough it out.  Since I knew she wasn't contagious, was on an antibiotic, and her fever had broke when we went to the doctor's office, I sent her on her way, told her to be tough but to call if she got too miserable and I would come get her. I gave her some ibuprofen to make her more comfortable.

While at school she started shivering and went to the nurses office.  The nurse couldn't get a good reading on her temp because she was so congested she couldn't hold her mouth closed long enough.  She decided to tell the nurse she felt better and asked the nurse not to call me because she wanted to be tough and finish out the day.  Nurse sent her back to class.

So anyhoo, she's now home now and miserable.  Her fever is back. I gave her ibuprofen and it came up about 3 seconds later.  We're right back to where we started.  This is day 5 of this crud.  So I guess we go back to the doctor tomorrow for probably stronger meds.  This sucks!  I'm ready for her to be better and to have my kid back. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What misery looks like

See this?  This is what misery looks like.  My poor baby girls has been running a fever since Sunday evening and it is now Wednesday morning.  She has a horrible case of the flu complete with severe congestion, lack of appetite and two rounds of vomitting.  Jeff helped me out on Monday.  I have taken off the past two days.  SOOOOO hoping Bren or the rest of us don't get it.  Having an hourly job means no pay for me when I take off, but my baby is worth it and I have a really understanding boss.  God will provide so I'm not too worried.  One of the nice things about dealing with sick kids this year is that I don't have to leave parents scrambling to find other care.  This year, I can get a sub.  Woohoo!

I was all caught up on lesson planning and housework, so the past two days have been more relaxing with the girls and playing around on my computer.  I have found an AWESOME website for music teachers with a TON of ideas for music lessons and have been busy copying those and filing them away for later use, a task I was saving up for Christmas break.  The music curriculum I have been working with only comes with 30 lessons, so I knew that I was going to  have to come up with some ideas for lessons on my own.  Now that I've found some, I can't wait to go try them out!

What other kinds of things do us girls do on sick days?  Movies, read books, play with play dough, sit outside on lawn chairs to get fresh air,  and play games. 

If my baby doesn't get any better by tomorrow we will be taking her to the doctor.  I've not let myself rush her in just yet, because previous experience has taught me that 99 percent of the time doctors just say, "It's probably just a virus that needs to run it's course.  Make sure she gets plenty of rest and fluids and if her temp gets above 105 give us a call."  Kadyn is still able to keep most fluids down and a few crackers here and there.  When her temps get to 102 I have been able to get them back down with tylenol to make her more comfortable.  Her energy comes and goes, mostly comes when the meds kick in.  She starts getting lethargic when they wear off.  I figure most fevers subside after 2-3 days.  Since we are on day 3 I figure we've got to be getting close to the end of this. If not, tomorrow we will make a trip to the doc. 

So anyways, here's hoping to a road of recovery for my baby so we can resume life as normal.  Poor girl!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thankfulness 8

Every time I read my friend Sarah's thankful posts, I think, "Man, I need to do one of those again."  Thanks for the reminder Sarah.  Always a lot to be thankful for.

1.  Feeling a sense of contentment with life that I haven't felt in a long time
2.  A supportive principal who backs me up against irrational parents
3.  A BEAUTIFUL drive to work
4.  Playing with Bren during K's gymnastics class
5.  Working out, even if it is only one day a week
6.  Having a untidy house, but knowing it is OK
7.  Kiddos who are at an age where they can pitch in around  the house
8.  Having a husband who doesn't freak out about the new state of our house because he would rather see a happy wife than have a tidy house
9.  Having a house that may be untidy, but is still clean
10. Finding a new rhythm
11. The feeling of accomplishment when I make the kids' lunches each night
12.  The feeling of accomplishment when I clean and tidy the house on the weekends
13.  Fall clothing: Scarves, Layering, having more clothing on to hide those pesky body parts I'm not fond of
14.  Listening to Christian music and feeling inspired
15.  Working with kiddos during worship time at church for the first time and being told , "You're a natural!"
16.  Time passing so quickly while teaching because you're having too much fun and not wanting it to end
17.  Seeing students get amped up about a lesson and squealing to their teachers about it when she picks them up from music
18.  Seeing my students progress with their program songs
19.  Hearing from others that my students are singing their songs at home and getting them stuck in their heads
20.  Seeing the excitement and my 4th and 5th graders over playing silly recorders
21.  Getting to teach an instrument even if it isn't a violin
22.  Being called, "Ms. Music"
23.  Falling in love with my own voice all over again and being thankful for the gift of great vocal chords (didn't use them much when teaching instrumental music)
24.  Healing from laryngitis that I get EVERY year
25.  Not completely loosing my speaking voice during laryngitis
26.  Seeing a happy dog in the back of the pick up wag his tail and sniff the the air with ears flapping in the wind
27.  Husband who is cooking a lot more for the family to balance out things a bit
28.  Watching husband get excited over his teams
29.  Having my shows come back on TV
30.  Finding a way to get up in the morning that works for me
31.  Seeing Bren learn and grow from her preschool
32.  Hearing K's teacher brag on her and say things like, "I don't usually give kids this high of marks ever"
33.  Seeing K's standardized test scores and continuing to be amazed by how well she's doing
34.  Giving K advice about friendship and seeing her put that advice into action
35.  Giving K advice about dealing with school yard squabbles and her having the courage to take my advice
36.  Seeing K work through her problems and return the peace with her friends
37.  Pizza family movie night
38.  E.T. on blue Ray
39.  Pumpkin coffee drinks at starbucks
40.  Feeling like my old self after a couple years of feeling like someone else
41.  Seeing my family continue to thrive even with a working mother
42.  Having a couple close calls, but not accidents
43.  Knowing the Lord is watching over me
44.  The thankfulness and love that comes over me when I think about the state of my life, the doors that have opened for me, and the prayers that have been answered
45.  The excitement that comes with thinking of a summer with my children and no other children for the first time EVER!
46.  Knowing things that seem uncomfortable at the time, are often God's way to urge me to change something
47.  Making those changes and realizing it was all of the best and things are better 
48. Excitement over trick or treating with my family and inlaws again this year
49.  Seeing cute pictures of my niece I've never met in Alabama
50.  Seeing the happiness my sister law has since her new baby came in her life and the contentment she has with her family
51.  Having a brother in law that makes a consorted effort to stay in contact with his big bro.
52.  Seeing my father in law retire and feel a peace he's longed for for YEARS
53.  Seeing my sister get to experience her first pumpkin patch with her family EVER because of move to a new location
54.  Being inspired again
55.  Watching all the plants we have planted the last 2 years come into full bloom and make our house look better than it's EVER looked
56.  Organization at school
57.  My morning hugs from my students
58.  Seeing some of my ornery make a consorted effort to impress me on occasion
59.  Hearing silly things that preschoolers say
60.  Seeing my students chicken scratch their names on paper by themselves and knowing they couldn't have done that before me.
61.  Always having something to do
62.  A different menu planning system that is less stressful for me
63.  Loving my kids and feeling so incredibly blessed by them more and more each day
64.  Feeling so so lucky and blessed that God chose me to be their mom
65.  Feeling like my kids are the cream of the crop (OK I'm partial!) 
66.  Remembering to squash that voice that constantly judges myself
67.  Having clear skin for a couple months, FINALLY!
68.  A new classroom to move in in less than a month that will be larger!
69.  Getting my resume, letters of reference, and other essential paperwork together to give to local public school and thinking, "Dang, this looks impressive!" (Cocky?  Maybe, but I'm proud of all I've achieved.  I worked hard to be able to put all those things on my resume)
70.  Realizing that you have to be bold and confident sometimes to stand out in a crowd when you are competing for a job. 
71.  Being determined to have a go getter attitude when seeking said job. 
72.  Knowing if I don't get the job, it's not God's will and he still has provided a job I love even if it doesn't pay what I was hoping for.
73.  Knowing pay isn't as important as loving what you do.
74.  Being one of the fortunate few that can say that work doesn't feel much like work because I love what I do.
75.  Having way more good days than bad ones
76.  That feeling you get when a new day comes and you feel like you have a clean slate to right your wrongs from yesterday
77.  Gracy and Mercy
78.  Knowing time makes bad memories fade
79.  Being determined to replace bad memories with better ones
80.  Knowing being without family close draws my own family closer together
81.  The constant love and affection Bren shows me
82.  Seeing myself in my children
83.  Seeing a budding musician in Bren
84.  Seeing how much music means to Bren
85.  Listening to Bren sing along with my Ipod in the van on the way to work and then hearing her say every time, "I like that song."
86.  Looking at Bren when I'm teaching and gushing on how adorable she is all the time
87.  Knowing I never have to worry about my kids being the trouble kids in class because they always are on their best behavior for their teachers
88.  Seeing K get better at cartwheels and seeing the pride she feels in that accomplishment
89.  Sleeping in on Saturdays
90.  Running my electric fireplace again
91.  Fragrant candles
92.  Being that goof that baby talks to her fish
93.  Knowing that one of the ratties is very partial to me.  I truly feel loved by a rodent.  Isn't that funny and ridiculous all at the same time.
94.  Being able to feed leftovers to the ratties so I don't feel wasteful.
95.  Putting on silly glasses to encourage all preschoolers to participate in class
96.  Getting particular students to belly laugh
97.  Listening to Evan's laugh.  It's contagious!  And hearing stories about how he always gives himself hiccups from laughing so hard.
98.  Excitement of upcoming holidays.
99.  Having my school breaks back for the first time in 6 years!
100.  Realizing that veggies are becoming a staple in our diet, something I couldn't have said 6 years ago.
101.  Hearing students cheer when principal announces it's a music day. Seeing teachers stare at me and say, "Go Darci" and then performing a silly happy dance in front of them all to return the love.
102.  Being told by teachers their students can't wait for music days and ask every day if it is music day.
103.  Having many students tell me they "love" me.
104.  Having kids that I am so very, very proud of
105.  Knowing I must be doing something right because of how great my kids are
106.  Squirming because a debate is getting intense.  But enjoying the entertainment value of it all at the same time and knowing what is meant to happen will happen.
107.  Not worrying because God is in control.

Sorry if some have repeated from past posts. I guess sometimes there are just things I will be eternally thankful for.


Yesterday I experienced something that I have never experienced before.  It was early release day at Kadyn's school for parent teacher conferences.  My sweet neighbors who sometimes watch our kids for us agreed to meet Kadyn at the bus stop and take her for a few hours while I finished up teaching.  When I came home to pick her up, no one answered the door.   They knew I was going to pick her up at 2 and had never said anything to me about taking her somewhere.  It FREAKED.ME.OUT!  I was confident they had her, but I didn't have a clue where they had gone with her.  Before, if they wanted to take our kids somewhere they had asked permission first.  I did not recieve any messages about their where abouts.  It was the first time in her 6 years of life I honestly didn't know where she was in was a very scary feeling.  Brennan was crying and I was doing what I could to keep it together for her, but my stomach was in knots.  My baby was gone and I didn't know where she was!

Deep down I knew everything was probably OK and Kadyn would show up eventually.  I did not have my neighbors phone number because we had always communicated by email or face to face.  I knew she had my number, however I had not recieved any messages.  After a few phone calls, I tracked down their numbers.   Then after one message left and one text left, I finally made contact, 30 minutes later.  She had taken Kadyn to the store to get a birthday cake for her husband because she wanted us to come over that night and surprise him with a small birthday party.  She apparently had texted me what she was doing, but got my number wrong.  I could breath a sigh of relief that at least I knew where she was.  I later found out Kadyn had sat in her front seat and without a car seat.  To my neighbors defense, they are older adults (my parent's age) who have never had children.  They aren't very familiar with the laws and safety percautions that should be taken when traveling with children.  I love them to pieces and they are super generous and loving to us and our girls, so it was easy to be forgiving as I knew that they felt badly and I was pretty sure they wouldn't do it again after seeing my reaction.
I am paranoid about certain things when it comes to my children.  Probably the biggest thing I am paranoid about is that they will be kidnapped.  For this reason, I NEVER let Kadyn walk down the hill by herself from the bus stop.  I have friends who let their kids walk by themselves.  It is really a short walk. We are only 5 houses down the street, but still.  I won't let them play in the front yard by themselves without an adult around, but a couple of my friends up the street let their kids do it.  I teeter totter back and forth between reason and just playing it safe. 

Part of me says, the odds of it happening are probably slim.  We live in a safe area and it is pretty private too.  But then I think, it would be the perfect setting to kidnap a kid, not a lot of eyes around to see it happen.  I guess the rational I come up with is this, if I go ahead and relax and let my kids out by themselves without me and something DOES happen to them, could I ever live with myself?  If I'm being honest....I think it would destroy me, perhaps to the point of being manic depressive or even suicidal.  I love them too much!  I'm not sure I could forgive myself.  Because that is my answer, not too willing to take that chance.  I just don't want to be that person who says, "I never thought it would happen to me."   

So for now, I continue to be a little overprotective for their sake and for mine.  I do not know how I will feel about it as they get older and larger and more capable of being able to defend themselves and make smart decisions if they see somebody fishy driving around our neighborhood.  They're still so small, innocent, and precious.  I don't want to live in constant fear, and I certainly don't want them living in constant fear that a boogy man is going to be waiting somewhere to get them at every turn.  It's a fine line we walk between exercising caution or just being plain paranoid.  Hoping at some point I'll just know when that time is that I can give them a little more freedom to do things by themselves outside.  Sure wish we had a fenced back yard.  It's sad we have to live in a world where parents have to worry about things like this.  It's times like these I long to be safe in heaven with my family.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

My little sleep walker

For the past 3 days Brennan has been sleep walking.  At first, I wasn't sure if that is what it was as she would wake up in the middle of the night and come out of her room mumbling something that didn't make a lick of sense and seeming a little upset. We'd try to converse with her, and she would sort of talk to us, but again, it didn't make sense.  We'd usher her back to her room, and she'd lay down and go out like a light. Last night I confirmed that it was indeed sleep walking because I found her asleep behind her door.  She did not recall getting up.  She mumbled something about her bed being "too soft."  See what I mean?  That doesn't make sense.

SO anyways, it's a little humorous and freaky at the same time.  I think I'll start locking the door to the stairway.  Yes, my mind has already gone there.  Sigh!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Hard Parts

I've been talking so much about the awesomeness of my job, that sometimes I think I paint a perfect picture of it.  I still love it so much!  However, there are parts that I'm not quite as fond of, as there is with any job really.  I try to be careful not to use my blog as a venting only forum, but I also want to be careful to not paint a picture perfect life either.  It can be all too easy to read picture perfect blogs others have written and start to feel as though your own life must be inadequate in some way. 

So let me keep it real...

When I was working in the Kansas City area I was surrounded with parents that cared A LOT about their kids and their education.  Sometimes too much, which can be a problem in its own way.  But I'd say, overall, I was very spoiled by the support I got as a teacher, and the kids were spoiled a bit by that support as well.

I feel the need to be very careful about the wording now, so bare with me.  Let's just say, the one thing that is difficult about my job are choices that are made by certain individuals who mean an awful lot to these children (and I'm not talking about the staff.)  The children have no choices but these individuals do, and their choices really impact these children.  It saddens me.  It frustrates me.  It angers me!!!!  It is beyond my control.  It simply is not fair to the kids, and it really stinks! 

So there you have it.  Teaching is a calling.  There are good days, and there are bad days.  Thankfully the good days always outnumber the bad days.   It is part of who I am and fulfills me in ways being a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend can't.  I feel blessed to call myself a teacher.  BUT it doesn't come without its challenges.  At some point though, I have to leave it to God and hope that the kids still somehow rise above the challenges that are thrown their way at such young ages. Sigh!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Busy and stuff

Sorry I haven't been as active on here as I'd like to.  I have been so busy with work that blogging has kind of gone to the back burner.  Even now, I need to be planning my music classes for next week, but I also have all these things swirling around in my head of things my girls have done that I just thought I better write down before I loose them.  So here are updates on us all.


My job, although part time, really is full time and then some.  I think I said that already.  I spend all my time after work and on weekends planning, creating things for lessons, creating letters for parents, etc.  I love my job.  Most days are awesome!  I have had two days that were nuts because the kids were testing my every nerve, but even those days don't compare to the stress I once had with a screaming daycare infant tugging on my pant leg all day long.  Nope.  I wouldn't trade what I do for that ever!  I love, love, love teaching.  Most days I plug along 150% and then it hits me and I just feel completely spent and have to force myself to shut down for awhile.  One night I even fell asleep on the couch at 7:30!

My students are really bonding to me.  I get showered with hugs from my preschoolers when they first see me and when I leave each day sometimes mauling me all at once.  They vie for my attention when I'm out and about walking the halls.  Being the music teacher for the school also means that I know every student in it.  I feel so "popular."  I can't walk anywhere without hearing, "Hi Ms. Darci!"  "Ms. Darci!  Ms. Darci!  Ms. Darci!!!!!"  I feel a little guilty as the teachers are trying so hard to get the students to walk quietly through the halls and then I come along.

I've had a 3rd grader tell me that my class is his favorite. I've had a couple parents tell me they hear a lot about my class and one parent say she hears all the songs at home.  Another parent wrote me a note thanking me for all I do.  One of my older students made it a point to tell me she was super excited about coming to class to learn recorders and another student today said she didn't want to go back to her other teacher.  Sigh!  I really feel like I'm making my mark ;)  Although my family valued me when I was at home, there is a lot of validation that comes with doing what I do.  It is very rewarding.  I feel like the professional in me is getting noticed again and it's an amazing feeling.


She still LOVES school.  Lately, what she has been learning is really starting to show.  Just today as I was creating something for my class she noticed an O on the bottle of Modge Podge and exclaimed, "Hey there's a vowel on that!"  Aw, music to my ears.  Yesterday I listened to her retell the story of Cain and Abel for 10 minutes.  The girl can talk.  Then she did it all over again for her dad later.  The bible stories and memory verses really stick with her.  Makes me so happy!  She is starting to spot letters everywhere in her surroundings and always points them out to me.  She especially gets excited if they are letters that are in her name.  One of my favorite memories of her will be when she was squatting over my Better Homes and Garden magazine and shouts, "Mom there's a letter that is in my name on this! YES!  YES!  YES!"  I enjoy looking at her work because I guarantee in addition to coloring the picture, she will have written a gazillion B's and R's on her paper.  It's evident that she takes great pride in the fact she can draw them.


Kadyn's teacher has sent work home for Kadyn, mostly reading.  The guidelines for expectations for this have been very vague.  So we have had to ask Kadyn what she is supposed to do and go from that. Kadyn is usually very honest.  At first K was very good about doing her homework. The newness of it all has worn off a bit and it's not a struggle yet, but let's just say there is a lot of procrastination, a little whining, and reluctance involved.  My approach to it all is to say something along these lines, "Well I can't force you, but I won't feed you supper if you don't do your homework and you will go to bed early.  Maybe I'll even get you up an hour early to think about doing it then."  That seemed to do the trick.  I know, I'm a slave driver. 

But seriously, the girl amazes me.  We no longer have to sit by her for her reading assignments.  She is competent enough that she rarely needs our assistance to figure out words.  Today she brought home a math game that involved multiplication.  She was eager beaver to learn her multiplication tables even though her teacher hasn't required it yet.  This is partly due to the fact that she saw me working with her much older cousin on this over the summer.  I think it makes her feel grown up that she is now starting to be able to do the same.


I'm not quite sure what to say about Jeff.  Not much has changed in his world.  He is still plugging away at work finding small successes here and there.  I will say that he is an amazing help to me since I started work.  He helps more with the kids and also with cooking food.  I couldn't ask for a more supportive husband.  There are certain things I always do and probably will always do like laundry, ironing, cleaning the house, etc., but then there are his things too like mowing, taking out the trash, etc.  It all kind of balances out. We are an amazing team if I don't say so myself.  I appreciate him soooo very much and love him like crazy.  He cracks me up on a daily basis.  I told him last night if someone could just crawl inside his brain for a day it would be a humorous ride. 

Balancing the house with work has become a little easier.  I have started chore charts for the girls and they seem to be working, as long as I stay on top of reminding them to do their chores.  They get a small allowance each week for their efforts and have been instructed to save for something they really want as opposed to just taking their money somewhere and trying to find something to buy.  So far Kadyn has decided on saving for a locket and Brennan wants silly glasses.  Their piggy bank money, which is mostly just change we give them from our pockets, gets cashed in and then split into donation to a charity (we see donating to charity as part of our tithes, who says tithes always have to go to church?) and savings for a car someday.  We've cashed in as much as 200 plus from those piggy banks before.

We have a camping trip coming up this weekend.  I'm a little nervous about being too cold at night, but the get away will be nice.  I have trouble separating myself from work sometimes unless I leave town LOL. 

Well that about covers it.  Now I have it down somewhere I won't forget.  Guess it's time to get back to work.  It's kind of like laundry.  It never ends. Or at least the first year.  After that I can starting reusing all this stuff I'm making and it will be a lot easier.