Monday, March 30, 2009

The last day of Spring Break

Amazingly, we had a sunny day, so we jumped into the van and dashed off to the coast.

Bonus: having Monday off at the end of Spring Break is unusual, so we were nearly the only ones on the road and at the beach!

Extra bonus: we got there during Low Tide!!

low tide

We followed bubbles and tracks to find sea creatures.

sea turtle tracks?

And found some!


cranky crab

And pretended to be... something.

jumping like a sea spider

He said he was a sea spider. Not sure what that is, but heck, the kids have been watching a lot of ocean life documentaries these days, so it's probably real! His version consisted of crouching down, scurrying across the sand while wiggling his fingers, and (of course) jumping into the little tidal streams!

I'm so glad we spent the last day of Spring Break this way! We've had lots of grumpy days due to dreary weather and too much time spent indoors. Several hours of fresh air, sandy fingers, and marine discoveries washed the blahs away!

(All photos taken with my cell phone camera. Bad me forgetting my brand new high speed fancy camera!)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Northbound Train

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Spring Break in Oregon is rarely Spring-like, so you have to be fairly inventive with activities. Yesterday, I surprised the kids with not only a trip to see family in Salem, but a train ride to get there. No more expensive than a tank of gas, this was a really fun way to travel for all of us. We will definitely do it again!
We had a fun day of travel, trail exploring, bug hunting, pretend fishing, tree climbing, and farm animal watching (from the train). Then we came home, ate some dinner, and collapsed! We were all in bed early and slept in late this morning (Emma didn't wake up until ten!), can't get much better than that!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lucky Girl

What would St. Patty's Day be without a green post from this Irish/Scottish/German/Danish/English/American girl?

Green signs of love around my house:

Comfy bed
A comfy (unmade) bed, surrounded by books.

Let's talk to frog
"Let's talk to frog!" A phrase said every night at bedtime. One of the first situations where George started telling me about his day without prompting. It's much easier to tell a frog about your day than to tell Mom (less eye contact involved).

Lego Dragon
Imaginative toys. Both Jason and I love seeing Emma play with Legos and her new circuit board toy, she has such a great imagination!

favorite toy
Eternal hope. Gracie is going on eleven years old and yet, still can win at tug-of-war, every time.

signs of spring

Signs of spring. I love this lilac bush, seeing it sprout is worth all the rain we've been having.

These photos prove I'm a lucky girl. Also, because they were taken with my early birthday present. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

For Shasta & AJ & Claire & our other awesome teachers

quick drinks

This drink's for you!!! Come by anytime!

Amazing news tonight at our monthly Autism Parent Support Group. The director of special education for our district attended to lay rest to all the rumors and give us the word for next year. Not only is the Autism program at our school NOT getting cut, it's being extended from a K through 2nd grade program to a K through 5th grade program!!!! AWESOME! This will take George through to middle school. (And we'll figure out that hurdle when we get there.)

Now, if we could find a way to keep Jason from deploying, all my stresses will float magically off my shoulders into the clouds. But heck, this is good enough for now! Both my kids will be at the same school next year. George will receive the excellent instruction that I know will take him to the next level. He will be with teachers and aides that I know, trust, and totally admire. (Hi AJ!) And I can continue to be an active volunteer at my favorite elementary school, no more travelling between schools and fighting for services!! Next year is looking up!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Birthday Fun

We saw a lot of this face last weekend, I think she had fun. It's a cool chick who comes away from her birthday with a batch of gifts that includes: Webkinz, books, Legos, walkie talkies, clothes, lizards (plastic), Wii accessories, a circuit board toy, art supplies, and a variety of horse-themed items. Good haul, eh?

By the way, it did my heart good to see this happy face. A weekend full of belly laughs is just what we all needed.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Seuss Silliness

Thank you for allowing me to wallow a bit (or a lot) the other day. We're gearing up for the deployment and everyone's as ready as can be. And I had several good conversations last night with other parents about the various school issues I'm having, and now I'm feeling much more empowered to deal with them.

Speaking of last night!

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Emma's school hosts a Dr. Seuss carnival every year to kick off their Scholastic book fair, and every year it's a blast! Every classroom and the entire cafeteria and gymnasium are given over to crafts, games that earn you little prizes, book reading, and fun. It only lasts an hour, so it goes really fast, but the kids get pretty hyper during that time, so it's probably good that it ends when it does.

This morning, I have a pink haired, smudged cat faced little girl sitting here beside me. Counting the minutes until her party tomorrow (1727 left, in case you're curious). There are cupcakes to bake and goody bags to fill!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I'm Trying

I try to use this blog as a place to post photos and stories of my beautiful children. Frustrations with their growing pains and celebrations of their successes. My family reads these words, and many friends, some I've met in person, some I only know in the virtual world. I gain so much inspiration from all of them. I try to return the favor here with my little bits of knowledge, micro-bursts of creativity.

But, as I so dramatically mentioned in the last post, there are a lot of stresses in my world right now. And I'm not taking any photos, and not writing down those little successes; though I should, because they are happening. I'm trying really hard to keep upbeat. Here in this space, at home for my little kiddos, out and about in front of my friends. For me, keeping upbeat means keeping busy, and BOY HOWDY am I busy!

I know, I know, this is all totally maudlin. I know the symptoms and feelings of depression and I am exercising and keeping busy to keep that at bay. But I am tired. And I am worried. And sad.

  • I've had numerous meetings with teachers, directors, and principals. More to come.
  • I've heard rumors that the fantastic autism program we hope to enroll George in next year is losing it's funding. Not sure what our back-up plan will be.
  • Two of Emma's closest friends are moving (okay, okay, one is her boyfriend). I'm trying to help her through that.
  • Oh, and planning her two birthday parties.
  • After Spring Break, Jason's unit deploys. Three people from his office are leaving early, wanna guess who's in that advance group?

So, I'm tired. Dreaming of running away to a little cabin in the woods with a pile of books, multiple cartons of ice cream, and maybe a teddy bear. But that won't happen, so I think I'll get some emotions out of my system and have a good cry instead! Want to join me?

Let's watch Phenomenon or maybe Bridge to Terabithia.
Extreme Makeover Home Edition anyone?
This song is beautiful, haunting, and so very sad when contemplating spending the next holiday season without daddy.
And I know I've read many, many books that have made me cry, but I have to make a confession: These days, I'm pretty much only reading what I call "brain candy". Give me a good (or heck, it doesn't even have to be good) historical romance novel and I'm happy.

So that's it. I truly am trying to capture the good moments and get 'em gathered to put up here on this blog. Tomorrow is the culmination of Dr. Seuss week at the school, so we'll be going to a really fun Seuss-filled carnival in the evening. I can guarantee lots of great photos, and it will be a good break from the everyday.

Dr. Suess night, March '08

THEN? It's all birthday, all the time!! My girl turns EIGHT!!! Mass amounts of sugar will be consumed!! Wahoo!!!!