Sunday, July 19, 2009

Whatcha Doin'?

This weekend MckMama asked her readers what they've been "up to." I didn't link mine to hers, but was going to explain my blogging absence anyway. I actually had a busy week. Unfortunately, not "fun picture taking" busy. LOL
Monday Larry and I packed up my personal things in my old classroom and hauled it over to my new school. Who knew I'd have a whole van load of stuff in just three years of teaching kindergarten?? My new principal said teachers never throw anything away and are pack rats by nature. I caught up on things (well, I tried) around the house Tuesday. Then spent Wednesday and Thursday cleaning in my new classroom. Stephanie had no babysitter Wednesday, so Shelbi and Harlee went with me. Harlee helped a lot! Actually, Shelbi spent most of the time putting back things Harlee got out. Two year olds! ha We didn't go Friday, because Shelbi had to get her wisdom teeth cut out! Poor thing--- she still looks like a chipmunk! That is picture worthy, but she won't let me! =)

Saturday, I got to love on this sweetheart! This is two month old Jayla, my cousin's baby.

My cousin, Lee Ann, came to town for me to take Jayla's first portraits. I posted more of Jayla's pictures on my photography blog. If you want to peek at them click here .

Today, of course, I went to church, Wal-Mart, and then back to church for a Sunday School teacher's meetings. That was my week in a nut shell!

I'll spend most of this coming week getting my classroom together. Saturday, Larry and I are meeting Debbie in Arkansas to pick up Becca and Lauren for a week! They've been wanting to come spend some time all summer and this is the first chance we've had to get them. Scheduling a time between their summer visits with their Daddy, and Larry's days off, made it hard to find a week that worked for everybody. Next week is also the last week Larry is off before school starts back. We haven't spent time with them since March, so we're excited about seeing them! We'll probably have Steph's three most of that week, too. It's gonna be Family Circus around here! ;) Be prepared for a grandkid picture overload!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I started teaching eight years ago, at the ripe old age of 35. I taught 3 years in the local public school system, but I've been working at a small private school for the past four years. Now I'm heading back into the public school system. There were a lot of advantages to teaching at a small school. I'm definitely going to miss the smaller class size, less paperwork, and less stress due to the first two things. I will also miss my fellow teachers and administrators, my students' parents, and watching my students grow up. In a public school system, the kids left my class and continued on. When I taught second grade, that meant they headed to another school. I only saw them if I ran into them in public.
The private school is pre-K through 12th grade, so the farthest my students moved was down the hall or to the next building. I loved the idea of watching them go from pre-school, across the hall from me, to watching them graduate. So why am I leaving?! Financially, I just can't afford to turn down the pay increase and benefits that public schools offer. Even though teaching is not a high-paying career by anyone's standards, public still pays a lot more.

This will be my fourth school to work at in my eight and a half year career. During that time, I've also changed grade levels three times. Second grade, fourth grade, and kindergarten for the past three years--- and that's the grade I'm teaching at the new school. Thank God, at least that's the same. LOL God willing--- this will be my last transition--- for a long while.

This school is also in a town about 30 miles from my house. Driving over 15 minutes to work is another change. I'm nervous about learning a whole new curriculum. At the same time, I'm excited to make new friends and meet new kids and parents. A lot of prayer went up before and after this job opened up. I feel confident this is where God's leading me to teach. I would still, however, welcome prayers for an easy transition. ;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

There Came the Bride...

Leslie and Joseph got married July 7, 2006 in a park in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. Believe it or not, the weather was nice. It was actually cool (for July) and there was even a breeze blowing!
This first picture is my favorite of Leslie in her dress. She looks SO beautiful, happy, and calm. Shouldn't all brides look like that?!

This is Larry having his "you don't have to do this talk" that I mentioned on Mallory's anniversary post. (Leslie was our 4th bride and got married only 13 days after Mallory! I KNEW that would happen when they both got engaged New Year's weekend that year. Talk about stress! LOL)

Here is Leslie with our newest son, Joseph. Joseph gave us one of our greatest gifts ever and I doubt he realized it! When he and Leslie came down for New Year's weekend, Leslie knew he was going to ask Larry for her hand, but she didn't know that he was going to propose in front of our whole family! We didn't either! Leslie's parents divorced when she was only three. Leslie and her mom and stepdad moved over 6 hours away from Larry when Les was four. Needless to say, Larry missed SO many "firsts" with Leslie. He missed her first day of Kindergarten. Even after they moved back to our town a couple of years later, he still missed her first date, getting ready for prom, getting her first car, etc. So that's why getting to see her expression when Joseph dropped to one knee, was such a gift... a wonderful, unforgettable gift! Thanks, Joseph! We owe you one!

There were two other bridesmaids, other than Leslie's FIVE sisters. It was a little confusing for the photographer when she asked that all of the bride's sisters step forward for a picture and only two girls stayed back! ;-)
Here are all of our girls and the oldest two grandchildren. L to R: Sarah, Debbie, Leslie, Mallory, Stephanie, and Shelbi. Rebecca (5) was the flower girl (and "perfect princess") and Noah (4 1/2) was the ring bearer (more like "wedding clown"). ;)

During the ceremony, Noah repeatedly called Becca's name (She ignored him. Good girl!), sat down and "chilled" on the steps, ate his shoestrings, talked to his grandmother, and proclaimed (rather loudly) that he needed to use the bathroom! Too bad the videographer got NONE of this on video--- we could have easily walked away with the grand prize on America's Funniest Videos. LOL
In spite of all of Noah's antics, and the wind blowing out the unity candle, it was a beautiful ceremony!




Saturday, July 4, 2009

A GRAND Ole Time

Like I said in the previous post, my Mom and I picked Leon up from Sarah last Friday and kept him until this Thursday. I can't believe I got to have him for six days and nights! He was SO good! We spent the week with him and lots of visitors! Noah, Mason, and Harlee were here when I got home with him. They've only seen him once and that was back in March at Mason's birthday party when Leon was only a month old. This was the first time they got to hold him.
Noah LOVES babies and is so sweet with them!
Doesn't Mason look so proud?

It must be instinctive for little girls to hold a baby--- because as soon as Harlee sat down, she spread her little legs and patted the space between them! She was so excited and kept saying, "Sweet Baby Leon!" =)

That evening I introduced Leon to Shelbi's old love, Barney. Look at that level of concentration!

Saturday, Leon met his great-grandparents for the first time. Grandpa (my Dad) thought he looked just like his mommy, with my ears. =) I agree! Granny (my stepmom) thought he was too cute. Again, I agree. LOL
Great-Nana (my Mom) came to snuggle with him, too.

I told him he looks even more like Charlie Brown with his argyle sweater on. =) LOVE the smile!

He is the easiest baby ever to get to sleep! He takes several long naps during the day and usually slept at least a 7 hour stretch each night! He's usually out within 5 or 10 minutes of rocking as long as he's touching skin. I guess that's from breastfeeding his first four months. In this picture, he just lay there looking into my eyes for about 15 minutes and just fell asleep that way. I teared up watching him fall asleep, just overwhelmed with how much I love him! After only four and a half months, I can't imagine my life without him in it. It always amazes me how quickly a baby makes you feel that way!

When I took him back Thursday, I went straight to his mommy's work (Cracker Barrel) so she could see him, Shelbi and I could eat lunch, and to get her new apartment key and address.

I spent the night and kept him yesterday while she worked. I wish I'd taken pictures of him with his mommy. I don't think she stopped loving on him until he went to sleep that night! I think she missed him a little bit!!!

I love this picture of him after his bath yesterday morning.

His aunt Mallory came yesterday evening to spend the weekend with him and Sarah. She'll stay until Sunday, keeping him Saturday and Sunday.

I had a wonderful week with him and hated leaving him yesterday! He hardly ever cries and is such a happy baby. If you missed the video of him laughing, look back at my previous post! He laughs at the simplest things and smiles even when he's exhausted. He is so precious!


(Today would have been my Mimi's 86th birthday! I really miss her and all my other grandparents!)