Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blogging Marathon

This is pretty much how we all feel - tired and worn out! We had a great Thanksgiving holiday but we are exhausted from being up late and going constantly. As you can see, I'm just now catching up on my blog. I actually took this pic. of Kay-Kay a few days ago. We were in Wal-mart and I thought she was asleep. She had been like this for about 10 min. and I hadn't heard a peep out of her. She apparently wasn't completely asleep because she heard my camera when I turned it on and opened her eyes. You can probably see that it looks like her eyes are only partly shut here. Her head popped up and she said, "Say cheese!" I said, "Oh, I wanted you to close your eyes so I could take a picture of you with your eyes closed." So she promptly turned toward the camera, closed her eyes tightly and said, "Say cheese!" with a big smile on her face.
I am thankful for her every day of the year not just on Thanksgiving. I know I didn't blog on Thanksgiving day but I constantly feel overwhelmingly thankful for my life right now. I have so much joy in my heart even when I may not be happy at the moment. I am grateful for Kevin and Kaelyn, a great job, a great house and car, for awesome friends and family, and for the fact that I am an American. I didn't want to "skip over" the meaning of Thanksgiving on my blog but honestly, I feel so blessed and thankful on many, many days besides Thanksgiving. I don't verbalize it a lot and go on and on so as to lead people to believe that I have a perfectly, put-together life, but I am thankful every time I feel overwhelming joy in my heart over the various blessings in my life. So on that note, I will say that I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving also and feel as blessed! Good night!

New car

No, WE aren't the ones who got a new car. Kay-Kay's Disney friends are the lucky ones. :) We did the whole shopping thing Friday. We decided to go with the "mildly insane" Black Friday plan and we got up shortly after 6:00 and left the house shortly after 7:00. Surprisingly, even though we weren't at any of the places when they first opened, we still got some really, really good deals. I got several REALLY nice gifts that I am quite excited about because I would not have been able to get them for anyone at normal prices. Anyway... back to the car. Around 12:30, we breaked for lunch. The three of us and Jess all went to Cheeburger, Cheeburger in the mall (LOVE the buy one, get one free coupons from our Enjoyment book!) The kids meals there come in cardboard models of old cars (the restaurant is kind of a retro type place). I should not even attempt to guess what kind of car it is because I don't know much about classic cars but I think it might be an old cadillac. Kay-Kay played and played with her Mickey Mouse toys the whole time we were in the restaurant and she was thrilled when she discovered that they could "ride" in the car (after we boxed up her leftovers). This was after she had entertained herself awhile by sticking the toys down in the empty paper towel roll from our table. Once we left and were walking around the mall for a little bit longer, she continued to play with her toys and the car. I thought it was kinda' cute so I took some pictures. She has even been playing with it (the car) more today so I suppose I will wait till she forgets about it and the idea gets old before I throw the car away.

Mickey and Donald going for a ride.

And now they all get a ride.


Kaelyn's mommy likes to play pac-man online on the computer. Kaelyn likes to watch her mommy play and she has taken to copying phrases, etc. that her mom says while playing. One of my favorites is when she (Kaelyn) slaps her hand down on the couch and says "Oh man! My died!" (not a typo by the way) everytime I lose a life. She can copy all the sounds and noises on the game quite well and she sits there and says, "There's the cherries! Get the cherries!" One time we were having a discussion - rather one-sided - about how "he" was hungry for lunch. Kaelyn was doing the talking and I was mmm-hmmming. When the fruit would "appear" on the game, Kaelyn would start saying the prayer she says before she eats. It can be quite distracting to say the least but I can't help but get tickled with her. For some reason unknown to us, she calls the actual pac-man guy "Hewwos" (like Hellos but with a "w"). She has since learned that the game is actually called pac-man so now she calls it "hewwos pac-man".
The other evening, I had been playing and then I got up to do something and left the computer up and running. When Kevin called me over to see her a few minutes later, I got a couple pictures so here is Kaelyn playing "hewwos".

She looks like she knows exactly what she's doing
doesn't she?

Decorating in frigid temperatures

This past Wednesday, we put our Christmas tree up and started decorating the house for Christmas. I was so excited because it got down into the low 50s outside. We had the back door open (with just the screen closed) and the front door open (also with the screen opened). I had put the tree up in the eve. right before Kevin got home and then he got all the lights connected and everything while I made dinner. After dinner, we put some cookies in the oven and we (my friend Jessica and I) worked on the fireplace mantel and stuff while Kevin napped on the couch. Meanwhile, it had gotten quite chilly in the house and SOME OF THE PEOPLE in the house were complaining about it but I, like any intelligent person would, made them leave the doors open and excitedly went and put socks and a fleece sweatshirt on. As you remember from a previous post of mine, the official "hot chocolate rules" state that if it is under 70 degrees outside, you can have hot chocolate - of course, if you are willing to look a little crazy, you can have it no matter how warm it is out. So, it was time to break out the cocoa. Once again, we exemplified intelligence at its best by standing around on the back porch in our sweatshirts drinking hot chocolate. After that, someone shut the doors and turned the heat on (wasn't me - I was so in the spirit of the season I could've frozen to death and they would have found me dead with a happy grin frozen to my face!) Then we put the decorations on the tree and exchanged gifts with Jess.
I had gotten Kaelyn a Little Einsteins rocket decoration. I had this great idea to wrap it up and then let her open it when we got the tree up. She, of course, then would be all excited to open it and hang it on the tree. Unfortunately, she didn't get the memo about what she was supposed to do. She WAS very thrilled to open a present and she was VERY, VERY excited when she saw it was rocket. She didn't want to wait while Kevin put the batteries in (it plays the Einstein's theme song). However, that's where she decided not to go along with the plan. She could NOT understand why we kept trying to "take it" from her. (She had already been traumatized earlier when Kevin was trying to get her to go pick the wrapping paper up and throw it away because she thought he wanted her to throw her rocket away. She was almost in tears over it by the time we realized she wasn't understanding that she was supposed to throw away THE PAPER that rocket was in not rocket itself.) Suffice it to say, I don't think rocket will make it onto the tree this year but she sure loves it a lot!!

Opening her "special" ornament for this year.

Taking Rocket out of its box

Waiting (very impatiently) for Daddy to put the batteries

Hot cocoa - need I say more? (It was yummy!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Memory Lane

I was browsing through LOTS of old pictures on the computer the other night and I decided that I wanted to do a slideshow from each of Kaelyn's Christmases so far. I'll admit it's mostly just for my benefit but a couple more of you might enjoy the old pictures too. Most of the pictures are of Kay with a few others mixed in. Luckily for you all, Kaelyn has only had 3 Christmases so far. I typically would probably sit down and do them all at once but given the fact that I am using a borrowed computer for a limited time in the evening, that's not really practical. By the time I had to download smilebox, download quick player, download my music, AND get all the pics. I wanted off my computer on to a jumpdrive, it was such a time consuming ordeal that I'm surprised I got as much blogging done as I have tonight.
Anyway... this is Kay-Kay's first Christmas. She was 7 months old and she was pretty wide-eyed at everything. The first 2 Christmases that Kevin and I were married, we flew to NY before Christmas and stayed Christmas eve at the Desmond in Albany. It is a very, very, very nice hotel that typically costs a lot more but because there was almost NO ONE staying there we got really good rates and free upgrades to whole suites both years. We did our own Christmas at the Desmond on Christmas morning and then we went to family's for the rest of the holidays. The pictures you will see toward the end of the slideshow were taken at Upper Canada Village where there is a whole pioneer village that is turned into a festival of lights at Christmas time. We took a horse and wagon ride around, bought fresh homemade bread, and ate in a restaurant there. Every single building is completely outlined in LED lights and sometimes they are coated with ice. It is ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL - and ABSOLUTELY FREEZINGLY COLD! By the end of the slideshow I think maybe you'll see why we decided to keep her(Kaelyn)! :)
Click to play Christmas 2005
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The Christmas Tree Dance

Kaelyn was sooo excited after we put up a little tree in her room yesterday that she was running around yelling and carrying on. She started spinning around in circles and she was singing "Christmas tree, Christmas tree" (to the tune of Jingle Bells) and then making up other stuff. Kevin was recording her excitement but after a bit of spinning she was quite dizzy and she fell down sending her "brown hat" flying. She stood back up and promptly fell again much to our amusement. You can hear her say, "Are you all right? Are you all right?". She was not in the least bit troubled by the falls and as a matter of fact, every time she watches the clip she giggles and giggles at the part where she falls and then she begs to see it again.

Click to play Christmas Tree Dance
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3 feet of pure joy!

We decided to get Kaelyn a little 3 ft. Christmas tree this year to put in her room. After we set it up and plugged in the lights, she got really, really excited! This is the first year she has been that excited about putting a tree up although she has always been somewhat fascinated with them. She kept yelling and running around and wanting everyone to come look at her tree. She loved decorating it though she wasn't really coordinated enough to actually get the ornaments to hang so most of them ended up just sitting on the branches. It was very cute and I was happy that she got such a kick out of it. For some reason, she went back in later with her little step stool, climbed up on the dresser, and took all the ornaments (that she could reach) back off the tree and left them laying on the dresser. We never did figure out why she took them all off but I put them back on and she hasn't bothered them since.
Later in the evening, we started a fire in the fire place. You all can go ahead and laugh but it was under seventy degrees outside - probably like sixty-seven degrees. (The un-written fireplace rules say that as long as it's under 70 you can build a fire). :) We roasted hot dogs over the fire (mmmm) and marshmallows for s'mores (double mmmm)! It was quite fun and cozy and Christmasy!

Coming soon

Hi everyone! I know I am unusually behind on blogging but due to my computer difficulties, it has been a bit more difficult. I am going to try to catch up on some things tonight. You can continue on with what you have to do today - you don't have to stop what you are doing and sit around waiting for my blog though I'm sure you are excited now. :)
Our big tree is not up yet but we put this little
one up for Kay-Kay yesterday. Just wanted
to post a couple quick pictures.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


So, we have this online course that we teachers are required to do. I will say right up front that we had 60 days from the time we were registered online so we really had sufficient time to work on in it. I decided that I needed to get at it right away so I wouldn't get down to the wire and then be in panic mode. For the first few days at school, I carried the accompanying binder around and began reading in spare moments. But, as most of you probably guessed by my title, that lasted for all of 2 or 3 days and then I didn't touch it for awhile. After the 60 days are up, you no longer have access to it online. By the beginning of this week, we were down to the last 2 weeks. The actual online part is not bad - it is only 6 lessons each of which are maybe 10-15 minutes to listen to and watch but what I didn't realize is just how much reading was involved. There are pages, chapters, and whole units that you are supposed to read out of the book that the course is based off of. Then there is the accompanying binder (as seen below) that is FULL of more pages to read, reflection questions at the end of each lesson, and pages to start our own portfolios that we are supposed to do throughout the rest of the school year. Needless to say, there is a TON of reading to go along with it. Now most of my other colleagues are going to skim read and answer the questions at best but I have this weird personality trait where I just can't make myself skim over stuff. I don't know what it is that makes me like that. For instance, when I was a kid, if the teacher said we only had to do the even numbered problems/sentences on a page or we didn't have to do certain sections, I still had to do the whole thing - I just couldn't stand to leave any blank. (I won't even tell about stacking all the cups and bowls in certain color patterns when it was my turn to take care of dishes as a kid.) It really is a curse! So I started reading... and reading... and reading some more. I would go so far as to find myself reading BACK over a section because I realized I had "tuned out" at some point and didn't have a clue what I had just read. (I think I really need to do an exercise just to practice making myself not be so obssessive about things like that but anyway...) I have been counting and dividing up the pages and setting little "goals" for myself to try to break up the reading. Wednesday afternoon, I put Kaelyn down for a late nap and then I devotedly started reading again. I would read, doze off, wake myself up (re-read what I missed when I started dozing) and I kept up that pattern until I just couldn't stay awake any more. When Kevin got home around 6:00, Kaelyn and I were both fast asleep - she was in her room and I was on the couch with my reading material. I had not purposely pulled my visor down, it just slid down over my face after I fell asleep. Kevin was amused when he walked in. He said it looked perfectly posed so he took pictures unbeknownst to me. I didn't see them till later when Kaelyn was asking to see pictures of something else and there they were - lovely as could be.
Epilogue - I am now almost finished with everything and yes, I read every single page and clicked on every single little thing there was to click on on the online part. Although the following pictures might make you want to feel pity for me (I doubt it) for having to work myself so hard that I just can't stay awake, you really should just take it as a life lesson - "If you procrastinate, you may just have to read till your eyeballs fall out of their sockets!" :)

Don't you like MY classroom management ACTION
plan? :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Stuart Airshow

Last Saturday, was the annual Stuart airshow. Kevin and I have gone every year since we have been married and we always enjoy it. Kay-Kay was excited about SEEING airplanes as she just went on a trip via airplane and it was exciting to her. However, she was TERRIFIED of the noise this year. It doesn't seem to matter how cool it has been prior to the airshow weekend, it is always very hot that day it seems like. We ended up getting slightly sunburned. I won't go through much more detail since there are LOTS of pictures. I always like the patriotic emphasis of the airshow and this year was no different, especially since it was the weekend before Veteran's Day (as it usually always is I believe).

Letting Kay-Kay climb up into one of the
military helicopters on display.

Kay-Kay in the helicopter

Kevin and Kaelyn

Tribute to the different "eras" of military planes (this
is an old P-50 Mustang and the more modern F-14 and

Fun in the sun! :)

This was a picture Kevin took. Not sure what the
particular attraction was at the moment but it probably
had to do with an airplane. ;)

Kaelyn was needing a nap part of the way through
the airshow - not to mention the fact that she clung
to us for dear life anytime one of the louder planes
went over.

The three of us.
After the show was over and all the planes were parked,
they opened the roped off area so that you could see all
the planes that were actually flown in the show - it was
pretty cool. This is a plane from the Blue Angels team.
Looking at planes
Kay got a kick out of being to walk up under the wings
of the planes and peek out.
I have always loved the Shell Acrobatic team and they
did not disappoint this year. I was excited to actually
get our picture taken next to one of them.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

This is a short video clip that goes along with the post below about Kaelyn bowling. Maybe in a couple of days I will post pictures of the airshow Saturday but for now, I think I'll just be happy with being able to get the pictures from Friday night posted - besides, it wouldn't hurt me to get to bed a little earlier than usual. We have been going non-stop as I already mentioned. Wednesday evening, Kevin decided we should get out of the house. He had had a rough day so we headed to Stuart and ended up going to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner and then we wandered around Wal-mart for a bit (pretty much just to aide the digestion from our big dinner). Thursday night we all (Brown's, Gay and us) went to Chick-fil-A and then of course Friday night was the family social and Saturday the airshow and then grocery shopping. We were thankful to have today to recuperate.

Kaelyn's first time to bowl

Well, my blogging has become an interesting process. Kevin is letting me use his computer to blog but I have already loaded most of my pics. to my computer so... I uploaded all the pictures on this post to blogger from my computer. That took up a lot of my battery time so I just saved the post, then jumped onto Kevin's computer to type the post. This is going to try my patience!

Friday night my school had a family "social" which [this time] was bowling. When they did it last year, we had quite an issue because Kaelyn wanted to play with the balls which for obvious reasons, didn't work very well. This time, we paid for the lane beside us and Kevin got her the smallest bowling ball they had, which was still very heavy but she COULD lift it - barely. For those of you who do not bowl, the balls come back automatically. Once she figured out the process, she did it for the WHOLE TIME we were there. She would peek down into the machine while she waited for her ball to return, then she would hoist it up, put it on the (?) rack thingy (not sure what it's called but it's for kids to use so they don't actually have to roll the ball down the lane) and then repeat the process. She did it over and over again and never seemed to get bored with it! We shouldn't have been suprised though as this is the same child who likes to (over and over) make various objects "slide" or roll down anything she thinks things will slide off of.

This was when Kevin was first showing her how to
put the ball up on the "whatever".

Watching it go!

Letting it go all by herself.

Watching for her ball to come out.

Lifting the ball off the ball return (we were sure she
was going to drop it and break a toe!)

She quickly learned which ball was hers (by the color
of it). (Each ball return is for two lanes.)

Watching it roll down onto the lane.

The crazy thing was that she got SEVERAL
spares, which is where you knock all the pins
down in two tries.
P. S. Forgive my lack of knowledge of bowling terms for any of you who might bowl. This was only the second time I have ever been (the first time being at the last bowling family social last year). I am more familiar with trying to get an orange ball through a hoop rather than rolling a "too heavy" ball just to try to knock some little white things down!