Saturday, January 29, 2011

Graceland, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

It is so hard to believe January is ending! On one hand, I love how quickly time is passing. Spring Break will be here in March and the weather will warm. On the flip side, I feel like my life is passing me by.. with my alarm clock ringing in between like Groundhog Dog. Do you ever feel like you repeat the same day over and over again?

I can definitely see improvement in Harbor William's fine motor skills. He is trying hard to stay in those thin black lines and can sit for upwards of 30 minutes working on the same coloring page. He is very determined and patient when he attempts projects. He reminds me of another guy I also live with.  : )  He is growing by leaps and bounds. He can sing all of his ABC's in order without help or prompting and can count to eleven on his own, as well. We are so proud of his progress. His speech still causes some anxiety in my heart at times, but I have to remind myself that God made Harbor perfect. Sometimes this Literacy teacher just needs to breathe. Ha, ha!  : )

Monday, after I got home from work, David and I loaded the Jeep and headed out to Memphis, Tennessee. David had work to attend to there and he invited me along for the ride. I used my first personal day of the year, made sub plans, and was happy to have been invited to tag along. We left Harbor with my parents (thanks, guys!) and drove the six hours there. (For those of you from that area that read my blog, David was actually doing work in Jackson.) We considered taking my car, but David wanted his Satellite Radio. Since I love NPR, I don't even have Satellite. I was thankful David chose the Jeep, since on the way home out of Memphis, we hit snow for several hours. The four-wheel drive was very handy.

I didn't take any picture the first day we were there, but tried to take a few as we were leaving. Of course, with the snow, they all look blurry. I am glad, however, I took some. Though it was technically a work trip, I love staying in hotels and felt like David and I had a getaway, albeit a short one.

David brushes and I floss- every single night. It is a routine. Harbor gets his stool. David brushes. I floss in his rocking chair in his room. The only other element that stays fairly consistent is Harbor William's tears. He has learned that "teeth brushing" is actually code for bedtime stories, which really means, "Night, night!"

After temperatures reaching low 70's today - almost a record high!- we are due for more wintry weather on Tuesday. While I normally wouldn't mind, I'm a bit nervous for David. He flies out of Northwest Arkansas Wednesday for work related business in Detroit, Michigan. I'm hoping his flight isn't delayed or cancelled and that he has a safe trip. Anytime one flies up north, you just never can tell with the weather.

Today I cleaned and organized Harbor's book collection. We were able to make a fairly substantial donation pile, getting rid of books he no longer reads. After our eight mile bike ride, we conducted our library visit. It was pretty fast- my thighs just couldn't handle any squatting after that ride. Ha, ha!  : ) His books are much more organized and Harbor really likes seeing them displayed on his new bookcase as opposed to the basket system I had been using.

Have a safe week! Be blessed!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Snow" Much Fun

Hello, friends and family! We have had a great, restful weekend! We hope you have, too.
Today was library day and Rachel went with us. Rachel and Harbor played at the puzzle tables while David and I hunted down books for Harbor William. We divided to conquer- David looked for books by Patricia Lakin (Harbor adores the Sam, Pam, Will, and Jill series), and I looked for Stephen Huneck (the Sally series is a hoot! On a sad note, Stephen committed suicide based on rough book sales in this sluggish economy. I just can't get my mind around that. We are so sad one of our favorite series has ended!) We both found what we were looking for and Harbor had a very educational nap today. On library day, we read almost all 30 picture books in one setting. Sometimes I'm amazed he can, and wants to, sit that long to hear all of them. But he does. He gets upset if he has to nap before seeing and hearing all of them.

The snow is melting today, but we may get a new batch of winter weather by Monday. I'm not a huge fan of school in June, but I do enjoy snow days. They make you stop, slow down, and stay home. Last year, the district I teach in went to school a few days over Spring Break and a few Saturdays, and we still got out in June. We skied last year with Harbor, so I thankfully had some personal days to use to get out of making up those required Spring Break days. I'm not wishing for snow, but teaching in June is okay with me, too. I am just happy to take a break when I can get one.

I have another busy week ahead of me- and lots of grading to do before Monday. I'm looking forward to time with my two boys, pj's at night in a warm house, and HGTV's, Selling New York, on Thursday night!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Grape Vines

Last night, David and I ventured out to the 10:00 p.m. movie to see True Grit. It was a little late for us, but I prefer leaving him with my parents when I know he has had his teeth brushed, bedtime stories read, and is sleeping deeply. It just works out much easier for us that way. The movie was really good and we enjoyed it. We loved Kevin Costner's Open Range, so we were pretty confident this was a good match for us as well.

This afternoon, we took Harbor's books and puzzles back to the library and restocked for the week. We have a pretty good system down and can go in and out, tear free, in about an hour. David and Harbor sit at the puzzle tables and I skim the picture books until I find what I know Harbor will like. Since I teach Literacy, we have favorite authors that are always a reliable choice. Harbor enjoys books about animals, going camping, trees, trains, and anything dealing with bugs. Outdoor adventure books are a big hit!

Last year, we invested in a library tote for our books. It has made visiting the library so much easier. No more juggling books in our arms and losing them throughout the house. Harbor knows to keep them in his bag and it makes returning books so much more convenient. It also feels good to know we are helping the environment and by purchasing one, our local library has needed funds for community projects.

After our trip to the library, we took Harbor to a local park. Today has been exceptionally warm with temperatures in the 50's. Later, we spent some time outside with my dad who was doing some clean up in the garden areas. My parents have acreage with a small apple orchard area, vegetable plot, kiwi grove, and a small vineyard row where they grow their own grapes. With the warmer weather, Harbor helped my dad clean and clear the grape vines for the upcoming growing season.

Happy Weekend! I hope you had a day of warmer weather, too!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Time Marches On

My days are busy and time keeps marching on! Friday is here again. This week has passed very quickly for me. Monday was an unusual day, working a smaller class load due to icy roads, Tuesday was a snow day and school was cancelled, and today my students celebrated the 2nd nine weeks reading goal with hot chocolate, sugar cookies, and the movie, Tuck Everlasting. We read the novel as a class in the 2nd nine weeks. Next week will pass quickly for me too- no school Monday, but I do have in-service and have to speak to the district (not real excited about public speaking!), and Thursday is a roller skating field trip for good behavior kiddos. Fun times!

I'm still crossing my fingers for one good, big, deep snow! I'd love to take Harbor William sledding for the first time! He has been skiing, but not sledding! We need to start with the basics and I need some southern snow to do it.  : )

I'm still enjoying my picture a day, but it is a challenge to get one taken. I take them in the evenings when the day has slowed its pace, which usually means we are in our p.j.s and are lounging around the house. These pictures may start to get boring for you, but I hope they will document this year so that when I am old and gray, I will remember what this season of my life was really like.

I am a HUGE NPR junkie and listen to the news all the time. You will almost never catch me listening to music, at least not in the car on the way to work. I do love music, but  feel responsible for knowing what is happening is the world, and as a teacher, my students are so savvy, I just have to keep up with it. I'm so saddened over the recent Arizona shooting. I know I have a few readers from Arizona, and I actually lived there as a child for a few months. My prayers go out to your state and the speedy recovery of your Congress woman. As a Christian, I really struggle to stay positive after hearing the sorrow of so many people. I want to question the "hows" and the "whys" of why certain events happen. I really rely on the scriptures to soothe me- God is the same today as he was with his apostles. He is powerful. He is mighty. He is the Alpha. I know He can see the forest for the trees. I'm so glad I can rely on Him to solve the problems of the world. Even thinking about the problems of the world sometimes gives me a headache.  : )


Monday, January 10, 2011


The last few days I have felt so blessed. My life is far from perfect. I am occasionally an impatient mother, a preoccupied wife, and a demanding teacher. I think we all have days where we feel stretched thin. While our human nature tends to brings out the worst in us, knowing that, as a Christian, the Holy Spirit dwells within me, I am able to see with my heavenly eyes just how many blessing I have. I am blessed to have a career during this "Great Recession", blessed to have a husband who views me as a teammate in this adventure called parenting, and blessed to have a child who is physically healthy and innocently happy.

While our problems are never too small for God, and He longs to hear from us about all matters, be sure to approach His alter with a heart full of Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be grateful for!

Harbor is still playing and entertaining himself with the puzzles from the library. I'm so glad to have the library as a resource. I really prefer the wooden puzzles- they are nice and sturdy, but brands like "Melissa & Doug" can be really pricey. The library is a fun place to "test" them all out before we decide to make a permanent purchase.
This morning and tonight, currently, we are experiencing a bout of winter weather. While many schools cancelled today, we attended, but ran snow routes. I had smaller classes and was able to use my time wisely in working to intervene with some of our more difficult SLE's(student learning expectations.) David drove me to work and picked me up, which was a nice change. Today really ended up being a nice day, but I too daydreamed out the window a bit, trying to glimpse the pretty white stuff.

Before dinner tonight with my parents, Harbor expressed interest in the laptop. We occasionally let him watch educational clips and his favorite is to watch videos of himself. He will point at his chest and say, "Har, Har!" Tonight, he listened to the Itsby Bitsy Spider among other things. Oh, technology! When I was a kid, I had to wait weeks to even see pictures that my mom had taken of me. It was called film. It makes me feel a little old, but even my wedding pictures were taken with film. I got married before digital cameras were popular. Gosh. I'll be married a decade in just a few months. Harbor's experience of technology is going to be so different than mine.

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Beads, Books, and Babies

My cousin, Rachel, plays in the Arkansas Razorback Marching Band, and was selected to travel and play in New Orleans for our Sugar Bowl. Even though we lost, she made friends with members of the other band's team, had a great time on Bourbon Street with her friends, and even managed to bring Harbor William a neat collector's set of Razorback Mardi Gras beads. Thanks, Rach!

Harbor has a big Ziploc bag full of colored cars and lately he has been really into lining them up by color. He knows red, blue, green, and yellow and can name lots of items in the house by color. When we are driving, he even knows that green means, "Go, daddy!" We love to laugh at our silly little boy.

The last few days have passed so quickly, but I have managed to take my daily picture... or as you can see, daily pictures. I haven't felt great which hasn't helped, but I spent the day in bed resting yesterday and feel a bit better today. When you teach, you come in contact with so many sweet kiddos and their not so sweet germies. I had my hair appointment today and since I felt a bit more rested, we ended up going to the library to grab some books for Harbor.

We have snow in the forecast for Sunday and Monday and I know he will enjoy having new books around to entertain him. I also made a few much needed cards during his nap. So many of my friends are having babies! Baby cards are the best!

Here is a closer picture of my hair from my appointment. I considered cutting it all off- I am a huge fan of short hair and David prefers it shorter, but I have been growing it for so long that I didn't have the heart to cut it just yet. I rarely wear it down and straight, but you can see how long it is and the pretty golden highlights Lyndsey added. I'm SUCH a ponytail girl, but I am working on that. Ha, ha!

And, last but not least, here are the baby cards I hope to mail soon

Looking forward to the pretty white stuff (hopefully) starting to fall tomorrow!