Thursday, December 13, 2007

Finally some time to Blog!

Kevan is in the midst of the end of the term crunch and has about 40 pages or so to write by tomorrow. (I think he will take an incomplete in one class and finish the paper next week.) So needless to say, I haven't been able to be on the computer.

Out children have been a little nuts lately. I think that it might be cabin fever. Yesterday Maya was having a 4 year old, I want to do things my way kind of night and had to go to bed a little early. Well, to draw out her getting ready she was in the bathroom for a while. I finally went in there and saw gobs of soggy toilet paper in the toilet and the toilet was wet. She had been "cleaning" the toilet with the water that she had went to the bathroom in! Disgusting! I don't know why she didn't realize the gross nature of her cleaning, but she was rather tired and I am going to blame her poor judgement on that. So, I had to clean the toilet.

Then, this morning Zekey was in our bed because he was a stinker and slept with us last night. I thought Kevan was awake and watching him as I retrieved my clothes from the closet. I even said, "Kevan watch Zekey to make sure that he doesn't fall off the bed." (Twice.) Little did I know my heavy sleeping husband was not awake! So........Zekey fell off the bed. He had two bloody lips and a bloody nose. I was fearing that we would have to take him to get stitches. But two episodes of Jack's Big Music Show and one popsicle later, he was fine. He had a bit of a fat lip, but seemed okay. When I picked him up from daycare, you couldn't even tell that any of that had occurred. Phew! It's a good thing he is built like a linebacker. He is sturdy stuff!

Not too much else is going on here. I am trying to keep our house clean and prepare for Christmas. Mother Nature gave me a hand with that by giving me a snow day on Tuesday. Maya and I were able to tidy up our house! It was nice to spend the day with the kids.

My job has gotten a little more hectic, but I am enjoying it. Comic Book Club is still really successful and Karaoke Club is a hit! I just wish we had more time and a larger space to do it in. I don't think the kids are getting the full impact because they are eating and singing and we only have about 20 minutes to do both. The concentration on the singing is a little laxed. Oh well! Maybe I can structure it differently next year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snow more Flu!

Well, our previous weekend started out with Zekey home sick on Thursday after being ill all the previous night. I went to Discovery World on a field trip. It was a lot of fun, but it's no COSI. The field trip was a little long and the kids got a little bored. I resorted to telling my entire repertoire of knock-knock jokes even the ones with potty humor. (I was desperate!) I am waiting to hear from the principal or a parent about it. But, in my defense I told no jokes that Maya has not heard before, so they are 4 years and 11 mo. old approved. We went and saw Enchanted on Saturday morning. It was pretty good. I was impressed, it had some "girl power" moments. Maya now wants the soundtrack. We had to make our stop at the Disney store. It is amazing how Disney conveniently planned their location right next to the theater! We got out of there without spending any money. When we left it was snowing like crazy, but the roads weren't too bad. I got home and Kevan told me that our friends Martin and Melissa invited us over for some pizza and tree decorating that night. (They live 2 blocks away, so weather was not a factor.) So we got the kids bundled and had a great evening at the Scanlans. Then, in the middle of the night the "master puker" woke up with a stomach ache. She threw up that night and the following day about 12 times. I think that Maya now may hold the world record for number of times vomiting in 24 hours. I stayed home with the kids on Sunday from church and cleaned as best I could. I have been drinking the Walgreen's generic version of "Airborne" as much a possible to try to keep from getting sick. So far, Kevan and I are healthy. I am not saying that it is not coming our way though. So, please keep us in your prayers. Kevan has one week to write about 60 pages and then he will not need to write another paper until he begins his dissertation. And I just don't want to be sick when I have to take care of two children while Kevan writes papers. The one good thing is that for the beginning of the week, I have been at a training that starts at 8:30 and have been able to sleep in. Hooray! However, that will end tomorrow. So, like I said I am praying hard that we all remain healthy and I hope and pray that you are able to do the same. I do not want a repeat of last year's Christmas this year! So, Happy Hanukkah!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Well, I never thought I would give thanks for Black Friday, but it really helped me out this year. Zeke was being a stinker and would not sleep. He didn't go to bed until really early in the morning and then woke up around 4am. Not only did he wake me up, but Kristen and Lisa as well. So, what do you do at 4 in the morning when your child is really fussy and threatening to wake up your entire (large) family? You go to Kohls! It was kind of nice. We got some good deals and even found some copies of the calendar with my Auntie Sister on them. I got some new jeans and a few Christmas presents. Lisa found some deals as well. It was good.

It was very nice to see family again. It makes me miss Cleveland. Don't get me wrong, I like Milwaukee. But, there is something about returning home.

On Saturday Lisa, Kevan, my mom, and I went to my High School (Chanel) to see the 50 years of Theater show. It was done very well. I wish the appetizers were a little more substantial, but it was still good. It was hard to be there on a Bingo night. I haven't been to the school since my dad's funeral. It brought on a rush of emotions. I even cried hearing "Suddenly Seymour" from Little Shop of Horrors. I just kept thinking about how my sister, Kristen had done a much better job at it. I also thought about how proud my dad was to see her on stage. I remember talking to him on the phone and him telling me how great she was. I also remember my dad coming up to peak in on shows that I was in during Bingo. Then when I couldn't go to a cast party, I would go and wait with my dad after Bingo. That was sometimes the best time to be with my dad. Just me and him. Me shredding instant tickets and him counting money and talking about the show we saw or giving me the latest Bingo news. It was really great. It is amazing how something that didn't seem that special at the time becomes a treasured memory for me. I miss my dad, but I know that he loved all of us and that he would be proud of how things were going in my life and the lives of the people in my family. Things get tough sometimes without him, and I wish I were closer to Cleveland to help with some of the tasks that need to be done in his absence. But, he did give us all a stubborn side, which enables us to not give up when things get a little hard. I know that through God and what I learned from my dad things will turn out okay.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pet Peeves

Well, Mary and I have been talking about applying to the Amazing Race. We can't do it this time because you need a passport and neither of us has one. I was looking at the application and it was asking what pet peeves you have about your partner, what communication problems you have with your partner, and just silly questions to try to figure out if you would make a volatile combination = good TV. So, I told Mary, I couldn't really think of any right now. Part of it might be because we haven't seen each other too much lately. But, we tend to get along pretty well. Therefore, our getting on the show might be slim to none.

However, I do have a pet peeve that I have been thinking about lately. (Kevan is tired of hearing about it.) It is all of these fundamentalist Christian groups that attempt to boycott books or movies. I can understand not going to see a movie for religious reasons, but these people are just ignorant. This has come up because of the stupid snopes comments about The Golden Compass movie. What kills me, is that the person writing about the book admits to never reading it! How can you draw a conclusion if you never read the book! They did this with Harry Potter and many Disney movies. My mom sent me to a very good site written by a nun about the movie. She essentially says watch or read it with your kids. They will see it somewhere and you might as well watch it and discuss it with them yourself. If you want to check out the site here it is (You will have to scroll down a little to find info about the Golden Compass.) Needless to say, I have read all of the trilogy. I really liked the first book. The 2nd two were not that good, but hard not to read after the first. (They leave you with a cliffhanger at the end of book one.) So, please don't tell me not to read or see something that you yourself have not already read or seen. Thanks!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Maya Personal Health Monitor to Strangers

So, yesterday I got to see Jonothan Kozol speak. He is a educational sociologist. He wrote a ton of books. His latest book is called Letters to a Young Teacher. He is one of those people that renew my sense of vocation to teaching innercity kids. He was phenomonal. (If you are on the conservative side of politics, he's not really for you.) He just was very realistic about high stakes testing and the challenges that innercity children have to face. He made the point that many innercity schools have become very militaristic and have taken the creativity and playfulness out of school, which I see at my own school some times. While the suburban schools still embrace this style of instruction. It was really great to see him in person.

While I was there, Kevan took the kids to go and watch the Browns vs. Steelers game at a restaurant/bar on campus. The kids were really good and the wait staff and hostesses were very helpful. They even helped Maya in the bathroom! Now that is going above and beyond! Maya noticed that someone was smoking a ways away from them when they arrived. She asked Kevan why he was doing that. Kevan told her that he was making bad decisions. So, they went on with the afternoon. When they were leaving, Maya went up to the hostess and said, "That man over there is making bad decisions and it stinks!" The hostess just laughed. On a side note, why can't every place be smoke free and then Maya wouldn't need to be the health monitor. I believe in a person's right to cause themself all of the ailments that come along with smoking, but they do not have the right to influence anyone else's health while they are at it. If they could do it in a self contained bubble and be part of society than more power to them, but don't make me have to worry about my own health or anyone else's because of it. Not to mention that it makes everything smell bad. I don't know if it cigarette smoke smells good to smokers. I don't think it does because they usually pour on the perfume afterwards. It is just too bad that cigarettes are so addictive. I know a lot of my friends have unsuccessfully tried to quit. (I love all of you smokers that may be reading this. I know you may not agree with my opinion, but I hope you are able to battle your addiction and quit soon. I care about you and your health. Here's a picture of a cancerous lung in case you need motivation.) Sorry for the rant, but I have been wanting to get that off of my chest for a while. How I miss Ohio and their smoking ban. :)

Not too much else is going on in the Penvose household. We are still scabies free! I found out that a few of the high school students have staph infections. I'm not quite sure what that is, but I am hoping it is not contagious. I just looked. It is contagious. Actually rather contagious and very easily could be passed to me. Yucky! Paranoia ensuing!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

When it rains...

Well, we had a great night yesterday. We went to the Milwaukee Bucks game and they beat the Bulls. Zeke was really into to it and was clapping and cheering the whole game. I thought for sure he would fall asleep, but the NBA knows how to entertain even the littlest of fans. Going to a game makes me feel like I have ADHD. There is so much to look at and watching the game is almost difficult to keep track of. I almost miss the days when there wasn't all of the razzle-dazzle. However, I don't think Zeke would have been entertained then.

So, we get home. The kids go straight to bed. Kevan and I watch a little bit of SNL and go to bed, looking forward to catching an extra hour of Z's. Well, Zeke wakes up screaming. And me, because of my little bug friends do not want him to share a bed with me. (Kevan has been sleeping on the couch.) So, I get out of bed and tell Kevan to get him. Kevan tries to soothe him, but nothing works. He says Zeke is just laying in bed with his eyes closed screaming his head off and if we ignore it it might stop. So, I try. It does not stop. So, I again go tell Kevan to get Zeke. Well, he takes him out and cannot soothe him. So, bugs or no bugs, I go to save my baby. He immediately snuggles in close to me, but is still upset. Zeke is a little wheezy and I was worried it was Strider, but it wasn't. He just was very upset and a little congested. (I think he is cutting some new teeth.) I quickly tell Kevan to put on the Jack's Big Music Show that we DVRed and that does the trick. Zeke immediately stops fussing. With about 5 minutes left in the show Maya gets up saying her stomach hurts. I ask if she feels like she is going to throw up. (She does that often.) She says yes and goes into the bathroom and does not vomit. "Hurray!" I think to myself. I put Zeke to bed and tell Maya to lay with Kevan. Well, I am just about to reach dreamland and I hear Maya throwing up in the bathroom. She threw up probably 6 times between the evening and morning. She slept with Kevan on the couch most of the night. It is a good thing that she is such a professional vomiter, I don't have to worry about her getting sick all over the place. So, now I am completely exhausted, as is Kevan, and have a ton of laundry to do. Kevan has youth stuff and is off preparing for that tonight and then has a paper and presentation to prepare tonight. I hope he is able to get that all done on his 20 minute nap. Oh, the joys of motherhood. As of right now there are no signs of scabies on any other family members. (Knock on wood.) I hope you, the reader, are well. So that at least one person that I know is feeling fine. :)

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Well, I had three little bug bites on my stomach yesterday and went to the doctor to get them checked out and it turns out that I contracted scabies from a kid at school! YUCK! It isn't that bad physically, I just hope the rest of my family doesn't catch it. I spent last night at the laundromat and washed all of our bedding. Today I am tackling the clothes. I just feel icky and am paranoid that I am going to create a vicious cycle for our family. I had to take a shower last night and put special cream all over my body, even on the bottoms of my feet and my scalp! Then wake up today and wash it all off. The process of getting rid of these little mites is so time consuming! I have decided no more hugging children. A high five or a handshake will have to do. I may even resort to being like Niles Crane and take Clorox wipes with me everywhere, just to make sure. I just hope after today all of them are dead and gone.

Here is the list of childhood ailments I have contracted since I began teaching:
1. scabies
2. ring worm
3. lice
4. pink eye in both eyes

Ugh! Kevan said teachers should get hazard pay.

Yesterday I picked up Maya and noticed she was wearing different pants than she had been in the morning. I immediately worried that she had had an accident at school, which is not like her. Well, she told me that they had a hole in them. I thought, "Well, I must have been in such a hurry that I didn't notice a little hole." No, after examining the pants there was a hole that was about 8 inches long on the seat of her pants. It wasn't even on the seam. I asked her how it happened and she said she didn't know. I asked her when it happened and she said she didn't know. She was just laying down at naptime and noticed it. How is it possible for a person's butt to be hanging out and not notice it sooner? And how do you miss the occurence of a hole that size? I couldn't believe it! My crazy kid! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween Picture

Maya and Zekey as cowpeople. :)


Well, I didn't get my karaoke grant. It is really a hard pill to swallow because I put a lot of time and effort into that and thought it was well done. It makes me curious to see what the 50 grants that they approved were for. But, they are very secretive and do not let you know. They don't even have any contact information for you to get insight into what was wrong with your grant. Oh well! I already have Karaoke Club up and running anyways. It just means I have to continue lugging the music teacher's machine up and down the stairs (okay elevator) daily. I'll see if I can get it through someone else.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fun, fun, fun!

Well, honestly I do not think my life could be more fun! I am just having a great time. Such a great time that I almost feel guilty. School is great! Today I sported a mullet wig in my 3rd grade classroom. We were discussing homophones the other day (two words that sound the same, but aren't spelled the same). The students had to draw a picture for hair and I drew a mullet on the board and a lot of the kids didn't know what a mullet was. So, the classroom teacher told me that she saw a mullet wig at her local supermarket and I said that I would love to have a mullet wig and would wear it to school. Well, I found one at Target and wore it today. Some of the kids thought it was my real hair. I always wear my hair in a ponytail and I told them that I was just wearing my hair down. I then wore it during dismissal and the kids loved it. The art teacher said that she has an Ariel (Disney's Little Mermaid) colored-Wynona Judd style wig that she is going to bring me to wear. I think I will just start wearing crazy wigs for the kids every so often. It keeps things fun!

Tonight we went to the daycare for a Halloween party. It was fun. Maya, Zeke, and I were cowpokes. (Is that the proper plural version of cowpeople?) I have to say we looked pretty cute. Zeke actually kept his hat on for a lot longer than I thought he would. They had a pot luck and then the kids could play games, do art projects, get their faces painted, and decorate cookies. They loved it. It was nice hanging out with Zekey's teachers. I know daycare is costing us probably about as much as Zeke's college tuition will, but it is really worth it. Maybe this early learning will allow him to get a scholarship later in life and we will not have to pay for college. (Or help him pay for college. Kevan has racked up enough debt for us that helping our children pay for college might be a small miracle.) I know Maya really benefitted from going there. She still continues to amaze me with her vocabulary. Today she went to the daycare because she had off from school. They made a radio show and copied them onto CDs for the kids. Maya was telling me all about them in detail even before I was able to listen. She even went into the behind the scenes and even why she voted for each child to have his or her different part. Like I said earlier, I am very lucky. I love my children, my husband, my family, and my job. What more could a girl ask for? (Part of me is worried about jinxing myself by writing this, but I figure why worry! That will not solve or prevent anything. And people should know that I am doing well. Don't get me wrong, I do still have sad times. But, right now I am in a good place.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Family Fun!

Well, today we had a great time. Maya had Tae Kwon Do this morning and she is really doing well. It is amazing for me to watch her. I love seeing her interact with other people. I am not gloating, but she is the only kid in the class that does everything she is asked to do every time. Well... almost every time, she was too shy today to shout help when they were discussing what to do if you a stranger started to grab you. That is definitely something we need to work on. She really is doing well. It kind of makes me sad that she doesn't want to continue beyond this class because I know that she has potential and it would be fun to see her move up the ranks. But, she wants to explore other things which is all right with me.

Zeke amazes me too. Tonight we were at Boo at the Zoo. They were reading "scary" stories in the primate building. Zekey was so intent on listening to the story. He kept leaning over to see the pictures better. The women that were reading even commented. He just loves to listen to books! He is a kid that loves learning. He really likes group time at school and even if he hears the word group will plop right down on the carpet at school. It is very cute to see. But, he is only one! I hate to say it, but if people can condition one year olds to participate in group time there is hope for older children, but maybe it is just my kids. I am very lucky.

Children are amazing! Not only my kids, but other kids too. I met two little boys at the playground today with Zeke and Maya. They were probably around 10 or 11. They were so good with Zekey. They were letting him play football with them and he was loving it. This generosity and patience renews my hope in the youth of our neighborhood and all of Milwaukee. I truly am blessed. My spirit was renewed today! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dancin' Fool

Well, today I had a great time with some children that were helping me during lunch. They taught me a new dance, the I HAVE REMOVED THE LINK TO SOULJA BOY. IT CONTAINED BRUDE REFERENCES TO SEXUAL ACTS THAT MAKE IT DISGUSTING THAT SO MANY YOUNG CHILDREN KNOW THE DANCE. They think it is hilarious to watch me do it and it is reallu fun. It actually reminds me of the old Cheri Oteri and Will Farrell SNL cheerleaders' dances with moves like "the superman" and "the motorcycle." If you get the chance learn the dance. I am sure it will be the craze at all of the local shindigs. (Mark, if you read this you need to make sure that your DJ has it for your wedding. :) ) So, it looks like my job just gets more and more fun. Karaoke twice a week and comic books once a week and dancing whenever possible. Pretty great if you ask me!

My children are doing well. Zekey is limping a little bit. He did something to his foot when he was at daycare. His foot has been a little swollen, so we've been icing it. The swelling has been going down. Zekey is now really into singing and dancing. I have been trying to teach him "the soldier boy." He already knows how to "raise the roof." He just looks at me and laughs when I dance for him. He will sometimes try the superman. Maya just thinks I am nuts.

Maya got to take home the secret snail from school today. It is a snail lunchbox where you hide something and then write three clues for the other students to guess. Here are her clues see if you can figure it out. 1. It is white like snow. 2. It is what Yankee Doodle rides. 3. You can cuddle with it. ..........................................................................................................................

It's a ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

little white stuffed pony! (She won it at the pumpkin farm.) So that is the excitement here.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm Back

Well, as you can see I have not been the avid blogger. In fact, I forgot my site name and my username! I obviously am not the professional blogger that the rest of my family is. Kevan blogs just about once a week and right now I am up to once every six months. Now that I have found myself again, I will try to write more. I'm not sure anyone will care about what I have to say, but the cute kid anecdotes might make you say Awww!

Today: I was watching the Indians game and had to stop because I was getting too nervous. I couldn't take it. I lasted through the top of the eighth. Go tribe!

I got things together for my Comic Book Club. An exciting new venture I am starting at school. It all starts tomorrow and I am really looking forward to it. I also have my Karaoke Club tomorrow at lunch, so it will be a very entertaining day! I am really starting to enjoy my job!

Zeke has found a new love of singing and was walking around with the microphone to Maya's leapfrog Karaoke machine and was singing away during Dancing with the Stars (We were watching the tribe game on and off.) Maya was imparting her baseball knowledge on me. She said if someone throws a ball and the other person catches it, then you are out. When Dancing with the Stars was on she kept coming up to me and saying, "Okay judge, what's my score." Anything less than a 9 stinks in her opinion. She said an 8 is a "sad number." She said that when she is older she wants to do ballet on that show. Maya is rooting for the Cheetah Girl, Sabrina. She did like Marie's dance today. She always tells me who to vote for and then after she is sleeping, I have to go to the computer and vote for them. She knows the show very well and knew which people we did not see today. She even noticed that there were two Marks. I didn't realize it. She was disappointed because we tuned in late and missed Mark Cuban's dance. That child has a memory like an elephant! Well, I have to go and see if I have anything "school appropriate" to wear tomorrow. Oh! The plight of the working mother! UGH!

Monday, March 5, 2007


Well, I am not one to utilize the computer as a tool to communicate much. With a husband that is a PhD student and two kids, one being an infant this is difficult. So, I am going to try this. I cannot promise too much, but probably just short little anecdotes about my children and our busy lives as time permits. So, I hope that all who come across this blog enjo hearing yet another cute kid story from a proud mama. :)