Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Random Post and Pics

Larry and I spent this past weekend with Mallory and Daniel. We had to wait until I could get home from work to finish packing before we could leave. We stopped for supper in Monroe, but on Friday night at 7:00 every restaurant was packed! We went on to Ruston and ate at Ryan's. Not my favorite place, but it was quick. We got to Mallory around 8:30 or 9:00. We went to School Aids, and another teacher supply store, the next day so I could get a few things for my classroom that I can't get locally, then went out to lunch at a retro burger place that specializes in cheeseburgers and milkshakes. It's called Cheeburger Cheeburger in Shreveport, if you like a good burger. (Yes, I spelled it correctly. lol) We are broke right now and Mallory said they were between paychecks, so we just rode around a little while and ended up stopping at a manufactured/mobile home park. Larry has a cousin that just bought a $100,000 mobile home and I'll admit, I was curious to see one of those! The salesman met us at the car (BIG surprise, huh?) and told us to go on in--- the prices are posted on the refrigerators. The first one we went in was over 2,800 sq. feet (1,000 more than my house) with cedar siding and a porch! It was as nice as any brand new house I've seen. The kitchen/dining room/ living area was all open and so beautifully decorated I wanted it! It was like no "mobile home" I know of. They're not even called "mobile homes" any more. I can see why! I know that touring homes we don't plan to buy may seem dorky, but it really was kind of neat to see. I might have to get me one! =)
Mallory cooked for us Saturday and we ate it again Sunday for brunch. We had to get back Sunday afternoon. I needed to chill for a while. After the day (felt like dayS) I had Friday, I wanted to rest up for Monday. Friday was the first day I had my whole class of kindergarteners. The week before, we tested each one on one. That was nice, but when all 17 (some were absent) were there Friday, it was chaos. Actually Monday and today weren't bad at all! My kids are really sweet, it's just a new school, new routine, new curriculum, new paper work and all I have to get used to. I have to have a routine, or I can't even think straight.
Anyway, here are some recent random pictures.

Shelbi's first work pictures. (These were actually taken her second day of work, because the pictures Larry took the first day didn't turn out. The flash card was fulled and it distorted them.) She was hostessing/cashiering the past two weekends. She's working this evening,too.

Here is my favorite baby, Leon, two weeks ago. I love the way he's studying his Poppa, while playing with his toes. =) He LOVES his Poppa. I think it's mutual! Poppa elected to keep Leon in the sanctuary during church Sunday, even though Mimi had nursery duty. All because I reached for him and he turned back towards his Poppa. He has always reached for me, so Poppa was smitten. Now, who wouldn't be? Just look at that face! ;)

He was here for his 6th month birthday, so we had to go out and get his first outdoor photos. Poor baby was sick with another cold. Crappy daycare germs!! He was still sweet as ever, but didn't sleep as much as usual. :(

Okay, this is deceptive, but funny! Shelbi propped him up, let go, jumped out of the way long enough for me to snap this. I think he's in shock that he was let go of. =)

Since he's not sitting up yet, we laid him on the swing and this was one of the sweetest expressions. He was looking back at his Aunt Shelbi, who was whining that she was hot! ;)

Trying to talk to us. Awww!
He just started teething and sucks on his lower lip. He is so sweet!

I tried for hours to upload my little video of Leon eating. It is so cute, but Blogger won't let me. I even left it loading last night when I went to bed and, this morning, nothing. Stupid Blogger!

***Brag Zone***
I've been working late after school this past week and stressing about all of the new paper work. Yesterday, I only had time to eat one fruit cup while the kids were eating their snacks, so I texted Larry (because he was off) to please make something good for supper. He went to the store and I came home to grilled pork chops, baked potatoes and sweet corn. OMG, it was good. Thanks again, baby. I love you. =)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just To Keep It Interesting!

The last week of July was supposed to be my last child free week of the summer, and ended up being the opposite! Let me explain. I teach kindergarten and teachers start cleaning, organizing and decorating their classrooms for the new school year. Contrary to popular belief, teachers do not get three months off in the summer. We are lucky to get June and July off--- if we don't have any workshops or conventions/conferences over the summer. What to do with that last week off? Well, see all the grandkids, of course. Saturday, the 25th, we met Debbie in Arkansas and picked up these two cuties. We were excited to get to spend some quality time with these two. They live five hours away. :(

Rebecca (8.5) and Lauren (4.5)

We spent Saturday and Sunday with just them. Then Stephanie brought her three Monday morning and we kept them while she worked. (Okay, that's 5 on Monday. Keeping up?)
Noah (7.5), Mason(5), and Harlee (2.5)

Tuesday, Larry and I took Becca and Lauren to see Leon. We ended up bringing him home with us. (That's 3 on Tuesday.)
This is Leon (5 months) enjoying his supper of sweet peas. More on that later. =) WHEN Blogger decides to let me download the video. Tried tonight and two hours later--- nothing.

Wednesday and Thursday, we had Steph's three again. (That makes 6!) We set up the wading pool for the older 5. Then, Leon woke up from his nap and Mimi thought he might want to join in the fun. He liked it on his toes and feet, but this is what happened when he got splashed in the face. Poor baby!

It didn't take him long to come around. I knew he would like it--- he LOVES his bath!

Thursday was the last day we'd have all six together. With all the thunder storms and the unbearable humidity all week, Shelbi and I took the oldest 5 to McDonald's for ice cream and play time. They had a blast!

Mason (aka Curious George) promptly jumped up, grabbed the top net and turned himself upside down. Lauren was amused.

Harlee doesn't get to play with girls often, so she was tickled to spend time with Lauren. They played so well together all week and were so good! (Our baby girls!!!)

Thursday evening, Harlee, Noah, and Mason went to their Dad's. Friday was the first day with no thunderstorms, so Mrs. Betty (a church friend) let me bring the girls and Leon to swim in her pool. Shelbi was babysitting Brayden, so we had the girls and two babies.

Leon LOVED it! Sarah should take him swimming every night. He slept 11 hours after we got home. =)

"Mimi, you're blocking my rays! Can't you see how pasty I am?" LOL

This is the best picture I could get of these six little monkeys! Harlee, who had not cried ONCE all week, was bawling in every group shot. Leon was tired and looked at everybody BUT the photographer. I'll try again. The next time they're all together will probably be Christmas, though! :(
Saturday, I drove back to Arkansas with Becca, Lauren, and Noah. (Noah spent the week there with his other grandparents.) Sunday, Shelbi and I returned Leon to his Momma. Monday, back home. Phew! What a week!

I posted some more "professional looking" portraits of Becca and Lauren on my photography blog. You can click HERE to see those.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Firsts of the Lasts & Lasts of the Firsts

A new children's book, Let Me Hold You Longer, was published recently. It speaks from a mom's point of view when she realizes she's always focused on and celebrated all of the "firsts" in her child's life, but never stopped to notice the "lasts." Nicki Glenn posted about the book on her BLOG not long ago.

A lot of the Seniors' (high school Seniors, not elderly) moms have been talking about the many "firsts of the lasts" we have to face with our teenagers this year. Most of them were thinking about how bittersweet it is to watch their child grow up and get closer to the day where they leave the nest. Their musings were both sentimental and full of mixed emotions. I'm no different.

Tomorrow is Shelbi's last "first" day of high school. Just last week I bought Shelbi school uniform pants for the last time. Many more "lasts" are coming. Last high school homecoming dance, last prom, then her first graduation.

I'm choosing to focus on the positive "firsts and lasts" Shelbi will have this year. For example, this will be her first year to drive herself to and from school, in her own car. This will be her first school year to have a part time job.

If you read my previous posts, HERE, HERE, and HERE, you know Shelbi recently overcame her battle with Selective Mutism. Every year since first grade, her teachers, principal, and I met to discuss an "individualized plan" to meet her needs at school. Accommodations were made to help Shelbi with her anxiety disorder and protected her from being penalized for not participating orally in class. Every year I signed the form hoping she wouldn't need it the next school year. Last year, without realizing it, I signed the LAST one! This year will be Shelbi's FIRST year with NO special accommodations. Do you know how long we've waited for this???? Well, if your Math skills are rusty, ELEVEN YEARS!!!

If that's not something to shout about, then I don't know what is!
Have a great school year! I'm sure Shelbi will! =)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Twenty Five Years Ago Today...

I fell head over heels in love. The purest, unconditional love I never knew existed. The most beautiful baby girl came into my life and my heart would forevermore beat outside of my chest.

When I found out I was pregnant I was only eighteen, had just gotten married, and already had two stepchildren. (For those that are getting confused, this was a previous marriage.) I was nervous, but excited beyond words. Being the oldest child and grandchild in my family, it seems like I grew up with a baby on my hip. All I ever wanted was to have a baby of my own. They say every little girl dreams of her wedding day, but the only reason I wanted to get married was because every time I said, "I can't wait to have a baby," my Mimi told me I had to get married first. (I guess I could have argued with that---- since the first test tube baby was born while I was a teenager.) LOL

Anyway, I took her advice, got married and the next month I'm sitting in the doctor's office and the nurse is confirming what I already knew. I was pregnant. My response? "OK, now what?" =)
Eight months and ten hours of all natural labor later, there she was. August 1, 1984 at 12:12 AM weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces. I was alone in my hospital room when, just before dawn, the nurse brought her to me. I laid her on my legs, pulled back the blanket, and just took her all in. I marveled at the tiny fingers and toes. I kissed the brown fuzz on her head. I whispered her name and her eyes met mine. She was so perfect, so delicate, so beautiful it literally took my breath away. That sweet time remains one of the most spiritual experiences in my life.

That was just yesterday, right?!

Mallory at 3 months. See what a pretty baby!

Mallory was the sweetest, best natured baby. Her oldest cousin used to tell me all the time, "When I get married I want only one kid and I want her to be JUST LIKE MALLORY!"

She didn't sleep much, but made up for it by rarely crying. I'd have to remember to feed her every four hours. =) Once when she was about eight months old, she'd been throwing up all night with a virus. The next morning I went to pick her up out of her crib. She just lay there too weak to sit or pull up, but still trying to smile at me. I took her to the doctor and the poor thing was dehydrated! Even painful teething didn't bring tears. If it hadn't been for the poop running out of her diaper and down her leg, you'd never have known she was teething. Gross, I know, but true!

She was the funniest little kid! I never knew what was going to come out of her mouth. (Still don't know. She is the entertainment at every family gathering!) It was a little embarrassing at times, especially when Larry and I started dating. She started calling him "Aunt Larry" and discussing bodily functions with him. Joy! He married me anyway. LOL

Mallory at 3 1/2. So cute!

Here she is at ten with her sisters. Mallory is on the right, Sarah on the left, and Shelbi in the front.

As a teenager, she gave me no cause for concern. She was active in the church youth group and got up early before school so she'd have time to read her Bible. Some mornings I'd go in her room to find she'd fallen back asleep--- her Bible still open beside her. I never got called to the school by a teacher or principal. From pre-K through high school, her teachers always said they wished all their students were like her. That's music to any mom's ear, but especially if that mom's a teacher herself. LOL

Senior Prom with her best friend, Casey. Mallory is in the blue dress. They looked so pretty.

Graduation Night!!!

All too soon, she headed off to college. Even though she was only two hours from home, Miss Homebody was miserable. After the first term, she came home and enrolled at the local junior college. There she found her soul mate Daniel, and they've been married three years. (Click HERE and see their wedding pics.) They live three hours away, where Mallory is taking classes while also working full time. She's working toward an elementary education degree. I'm so proud of her! Before I know it, she'll be a mom and teacher herself. :)

Twenty five years later, I still catch myself looking at her and thinking, "This came out of me?" This beautiful creature that still takes my breath away?