Monday, April 30, 2012

Camera Ham

Thomas has absolutely NO problem being a ham in front of the camera.
As soon as he realizes he is on film, there is no turning back.
So there is no surprise that when I had my camera out yesterday to download some pictures, he quickly started "hamming" it up and I was able to capture plenty of his goofiness for you:

 However, he then insisted on me being silly and him being the photographer.
I couldn't disappoint, right?

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, doesn't it?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The color of eyes

When I was tucking Thomas in to bed tonight and kissing him goodnight, he asked me why he had brown eyes but Abbigail and Marilyn each had blue eyes.  Realizing that I only had a split second to decide how I was going to answer this question, I decided to have some fun with the answer. 

I laid down next to Thomas, got real cozy with him and said, "You really want to know why your eyes are brown?" Of course he got the biggest grin on his face when he realized I was about to reveal THE secret.

I proceeded to tell him, "the reason your eyes are brown is because when I was pregnant with you, and you were cozy inside my belly, I had the biggest urge to eat little, brown, creamy, chocolate kisses by the handful."  Thomas looked stunned at me.  And then just like that, I saw the wheels turning in his head contemplating the result of my sweet tooth... and he busted out laughing.

After giggling together for a minute, he got serious again and said, "well then what did you eat so much of when you were pregnant with Abby and Marilyn that gave them blue eyes?"  In that second, I could only think of one thing that sounded logical - I replied with a sheepish grin...

"... blue jelly beans of course."

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Spring Time playing!

The weather has been gorgeous over the last 2 weeks.  Virtually all the snow is gone (notice my poor neighbors across the street who still have a pile) and this has given us good reason to get the yard toys out and start spending the entire afternoons outside.  Can I get an Amen?  This doesn't even include the evening walks we try and take around the neighborhood or heading over to one of the playgrounds around the corner.  I guess all this is all a big reward for spending our first winter here in record breaking snow.

Wagon Pulls

Video Clip - Thomas now has a full understanding of what Mommy feels like when I do the wagon or sled pull.  First it was Marilyn and then Abbigail got in on the free action & ride.  But in the end, Thomas was content as can be just racing around the yard with each of the girls in the wagon.  What a good big brother!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Night Leftovers (time drags on edition)

  • Sometimes I wonder how I made it through two different 8-month long deployments with my kids?  Brian has only been gone 2 weeks and time has just dragged on.  The kids and I can not wait to have him home this time next week.
  • Now that Marilyn is 11 months old, I've started to introduce [whole] milk to her with anticipation of weaning her off of the Mama milk in the coming weeks.  HA!  She clearly is my child because she is lov'in this stuff.  Transition should be fairly easy. 
  • If I haven't mentioned this already (a gazillion times) - it is spring time in Alaska and it is awesome!  Lov'in having the windows open during the day, shorts in the afternoon and sunshine for 16 hours a day! :)
  • Thomas only has 3 weeks of preschool left and then I think he will be considered a... *gasp*... kindergartner!  OMG.
  • I'm convinced that Abby thinks she is the big sister.  She is bossy and thinks she knows best.
  • However, I love that Abby is always on the look out for the well being of Thomas & Marilyn.  She is like my extra set of eyes.
  • I forgot to mention that I saw my first bear the other day driving on base.  He was a small fellow.  Little black bear scampering (because that is what little bears do) back into the woods along side the road.  Once I pulled over, he was already deep into the woods and I couldn't get a picture fast enough.  I'm sure that won't be my last Kodak moment with the wildlife here.
  • When I was playing outside with the kids yesterday afternoon in the warm sun... it occurred to me that I am pale white.  I'm serious.  As white as a white girl can get.  I'm gonna need some serious sunscreen for a while.  Sadly, long gone is the Florida tan.
Have a great last weekend of April everyone!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Spaghetti baby smiles!

What would students think?

In yesterday's mail, I received a manila envelope from my mom.
Inside was a smattering of childhood items that my mom had stumbled across as she was cleaning out.  As I unfolded each item, one by one, I was taken back to my early years.  Aside from my German birth certificate (because I obviously don't recall things that early in life), all of the other papers brought back some kind of memories of where we lived, teachers I had, homework I dreaded, and my high school graduation. 
Interestingly enough though, most of the items in the envelope were high school report cards, a 3rd grade report card, some middle school standardized test scores and my high school graduation (1992) ceremony pamphlet.
It is no secret that I have been a teacher for the last 14 years.
I've taught high school history classes of all levels - college level courses down to remedial levels. 
I have had students who were National Merit Finalists and went on to college chasing their dreams;
I have also had a few students who put their dreams on hold because of an unplanned pregnancy or deciding it was best to stay home to care for a terminally ill parent.
I have shared in the excitement of students who have enlisted in the military and I have cried with a dear student whose father was killed in the line of duty while serving.
Over the years, it has not just been the students who have been learning - I, too, have learned many a lessons from the students who have walked into my life. 
And to all of them... thank you.
I am a better person now.  I am a better teacher because of you.
I'm even a better mother, wife, daughter and friend.
Thank you.

With all of that said, as I looked at my report cards - and NOT from a Teacher's perspective - but rather just from Michelle's vantage point. I was reminded of several things when I was a student:

  • High school wasn't hard for me.  I didn't really study much.  Of course, I don't think I really knew how.
  • I never really felt challenged.  Looking back, I took a few honors/advanced/AP classes... but nothing to the extent that many of my former students do.
  • Of course, I don't really remember stressing out too much about academics.  A weighted 3.5 GPA was pretty fine for me.
  • High school was important for social reasons to me.  Soccer, my friends, and where everyone was meeting up at the football game were priorities.
  • I was better than an average student... but not by much.
  • I did great in French (5 years worth) and not so great in my history classes (isn't that ironic?)
  • I liked math and did well at it.  That too is ironic because I wanted nothing to do with it after high school.
I will leave you with this final comment made on my 3rd grade report card from Mrs. Mullins in 1983 - "Michelle has excellent organization and study skills.  She is unfailingly conscientious, helpful and thoughtful.  She is also a very dependable person."  Wow... thank you Mrs. Mullins for recognizing my Type A personality traits so early on!  At least maybe those strengths made up for my not-so-stellar grade of "C" in several of my high school history classes. :(

I wonder what my students would think if they knew?

Monday, April 23, 2012

What day is it?

Thomas seems to be pretty schedule oriented.  Or so I think sometimes.
When he wakes up in the morning, he is quick to ask and verify what day it is?  Maybe he is considering if it is a school day for him or not (he goes 3x week)?  Maybe he is trying to figure out if it is show-n-tell day at school (Wed)?  Or maybe, just maybe, he is hoping it is Friday which would mean "Movie Night" with popcorn?

He is fully aware that he goes to school on certain days and the other days he is home with the girls & me.

He also knows that Saturday & Sunday are the weekend and that there is no school or work for anyone (at least in our family).

But for the life of him, he can't quite nail down when to use "tomorrow" and when to use" yesterday." He knows what each of them mean; he knows that tomorrow technically means in the future and is in front of today (when looking at a calendar).  He also knows that yesterday technically means it has already happened and is behind today (when looking at the calendar).  So with all that said, I still chuckle [and twitch] a bit when this is how the conversation goes:

T: Mom, what day is yesterday going to be?
Me: Do you mean what day was yesterday?  Or do you mean what day is tomorrow going to be?
T: Tomorrow.
Me: Tomorrow is going to be Tuesday.
T: Oh, well then what was yesterday?
Me: Sunday.
T: Mom, what I meant to ask was what day is it today?
Me: [twitching] Thomas............................. today is Monday, Bud!
T: OkeeDokee!  Thanks Mom.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Signs of Spring

With normal highs in the low to mid-50s now, much of the snow has melted and we are finally seeing the signs of spring.  Whether it is kids riding their bikes everywhere, baseballs, soccer balls and footballs being kicked and thrown & played with or even the grass starting to turn green... there is no denying that winter is over and we are all excited to be enjoying the warmer months ahead!

 Yesterday morning, the kids and I headed out on a 3.5 mile run.  While Thomas biked, the girls enjoyed the ride while this Mama hit the pavement.  We stopped along the way for the kids to see the creek which had finally defrosted also!  With water freely running again, it won't be long until there is salmon swimming upstream.

Surely this isn't a surprise to anyone who goes running with a jogging stroller and another one riding his bike - you really don't get to have a good run.  There is no getting in the "zone." More or less, you are getting exercise but your attention is on them.  I'm sure I stopped 27 times for things like pushing the crosswalk button, walking the bike across the street, someone getting stuck in the mud, someone falling over when they were trying to peddle up the hill, someone was tired, someone wanted her water bottle and someone else was just cold.  If it isn't one thing, it's another.  So... as much as I'm glad we went - I'm also thankful that my morning and/or evening SOLO runs will be starting soon when Daddy returns home in less than 2 weeks.  Then maybe it will be a solid and worthy run.
 The sound of freedom
A pair of F-22 Raptors out for a morning flight