Sunday, October 5, 2008


So, I have been quite busy lately. I started my masters and am currently working through my first class. It is going well, but I have a lot of assignments to do. Generally it is 2 chapters of reading and a journal review every week. With 2 young children, a fulltime job, and school there seems to be no time for anything. Laundry is piling up as are the dishes. Kevan has been pretty good about helping me to get all of my work in on time and has even been editing my assignments for me. Even though every week he tells me that I do not need him to edit an article review that is worth 10 points, he does it anyways. I just want to make sure that I am crossing all of my t's and dotting my i's. And me as the over achiever, have been finding more articles than necessary and reading them all. I just really want to have all of the best information to teach my students with.

The kids are doing well. Exciting things about them during the past few weeks:

Maya has a loose tooth. It is her first one and she has been wiggling it as much as possible, which kind of grosses me out. She has also started reading on her own. She still loves to write and make up silly songs. The other day she wrote the word October all by her self! (Okay, I helped with the -er but the other letters were all right.) She has now tranferred the -er spelling to words like brother and yesterday. Actually yesterday arose from her writing "yes" and then Kevan told her to write "turd" and she wrote "terd" and I told her to add "ay" so that it was not a potty word anymore. So now Kevan has taken to using the phrase, " Yes. Terd ay!"

Zeke loves to shop. He always goes shopping with me and has taken to bringing one of Maya's pink purses with him and a little green shopping basket that I bought him at the dollar store. He loves to say, "Maya like that" or "Mama like that" when he sees something that he thinks we would like. Usually it is something princess or High School Musical for Maya and then purses or clothes for me. He has actually become a pretty good listener that I actually was able to spend an afternoon at Target with him out of the cart. (He did try to put some items that interested him in the cart, but didn't fuss when I removed them.) Last week, he had a successful potty incident, but has not wanted to repeat it since.

Kevan has been busy getting things in the works for his mission start. They have a timeline until May to get some churches on board and if that doesn't happen, we will approach plan B. He has also become Mr. Mom. He tried to make pancakes the other day and looked on the box and thought that there was a picture of a cookie sheet. So he tried baking the pancakes in the oven. The funny thing was right under the picture it said "preheat griddle to 375 degrees." He saw 375 degrees, but ignored the word griddle. So, he continues to claim that he cannot cook things out of a box. So when I have class, I go over the instructions for that night's menu with him. But, I give him props for trying.

We went apple picking last week and had a great time. We have made a few batches of applesauce and Zeke has taken it upon himself to eat about 4 apples a day without permission. He just goes and takes them out of the bushel. It really is difficult now because he can open our fridge and knows to get the step stool to reach anything he can. So ends child proofing. Luckily we have Maya as our constant spy.

Yesterday we were able to get together with some friends from seminary that just moved to Milwaukee. It was great to see them and learn that they plan on settling here. It is always nice to have some more friends in the area. It makes it a little easier to be away from family.

The Brewers made it to postseason and things have been crazy here. They are currently playing game 4 of a 5 game series and if they do not win today, they will be out of it. They are losing so far, but I am hoping for a comeback. We'll see.

So that is what is going on around here. Kevan's parents are coming to visit in a week, so I am sure we will have some adventures to share after their visit. I hope everyone is well. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's Tough to Be Away

While I love living in Wisconsin, it is tough to be away from family when help is needed there. I am so glad that I have such great siblings that can pitch in and help out. With my grandma moving and trying to get the house ready for her and packing up her current residence, I feel bad that I cannot assist and it all lies in the hands of my mom and my brother and sisters. I also kind of miss doing those things with them and the slap happy crazy things that occur when doing those kinds of tasks. I remember one time when we were painting one of the rentals, we made superhero like costumes out of garbage bags. Or the zany things we would do while working the concession stand at Bingo. Or the crazy back breaking labor of putting in the retaining wall and complaining while doing it, but enjoying spending time talking to dad and my siblings. Even though there were times when it is stressful and I grumbled, I look back and kind of miss it.

It is times like these that I think of my dad. With his death occurring two years ago this week, it he is even more present in my thoughts. I think of my dad often and miss him terribly. I have been living away from home for over 10 years now and it has not been easy. My dad was always there to keep me in the loop about what was happening. I cherished the times he would write me in college and would type "Dad" below his signature. It always made me cry. He was very thoughtful. If I didn't call home once a week, he would call and ask why I hadn't called. I admit, it has gotten harder to be in touch with family and friends since I had kids and have been working full time. It feels like I arrive home, make dinner, then it is time to get the kids in bed. Then I throw in a load of laundry, get clothes out for the next day, and finally sit down. By the time I look at the clock it is too late to call anyone because of the time difference. But I do think about all of you, often.

I loved visits from my dad. He would always come with some present for my kids. He would constantly pick things up for Maya. He would be at the grocery store and see something that was Dora and Princesses and buy it for her. He was always thinking about his grandchildren. When he came to visit it was almost as if we had more quality time than when I was living closer to home because we knew that the time was short and needed to make the most of it. Especially when my dad would come to visit for the weekend during a trip to Chicago, it was great because there would always be time after the kids were in bed to just sit and talk to him or watch one of his favorite crime shows. We also would not miss a trip to the Jelly Belly factory for our pound bag of "Bellyflops."

I miss you dad! I love you.

To all of my friends and relatives that are away, I love you all and sorry for not being in touch more. Thanks for all you do!

Here is a quick update on my family. Maya started K5 (Kindergarten for 5 year olds). So far she likes her teacher and has only cried about going to school once. Zeke is still crazy and so aggressive he has had a black eye two weeks in a row from tripping and hitting his face on something hard. Kevan is now 30 and we ushered in his new decade with a small gathering of friends. I started masters classes this week and realized that I knew more than I thought I did. I will just need to be vigilant about keeping my scheduled times to do school work. So, that is it in a nutshell. I hope you are all well.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Trying to get all of the Summer fun in

So, I go back to school Monday. I was given the good news that I do not have to go in tomorrow (Friday) because it is just Math training and I teach reading. I am going to go in for a little while so that other people don't get mad and complain that I didn't have to attend. I need to get things organized in my room anyway. All of my stuff is in one big heap because I changed rooms in the middle of July and haven't been back since.

Since I return on Monday I have been trying to get as much Summertime fun in as possible. Monday was Kevan and my 7th anniversary. We weren't planning on doing anything too exciting for lack of a babysitter, but as luck would have it one of our friends called and asked if the kids could come over and volunteered to watch our children! So, Kevan and I went to see Mama Mia! I loved it! It was very cheesy and the plot didn't make sense, but the spontaneous singing and goofy dance moves were just what I needed! Kevan on the other hand proved how much he loves me by sitting through it! He said he actually was expecting it to be better. He could not overlook major flaws in the plot line and seeing older women dancing around like teenagers made him uncomfortable. But, if you like silly and nonsensical movies of the Ballywood style, you would love it. Then we went to eat at Maggiano's for some Italian food. It is attached to the mall where we saw the movie. It is like a classier version of Bucca Di Beppo. However they have single versions of their family style entrees.

Then on Tuesday I took the kids to a wading pool near our house. We love it! It is free and the kids love the park that is nearby. We had a great time and then we grilled hamburgers and had corn on the cob for dinner. Yum! Nothing says summer like corn on the cob!

Yesterday, Zeke was at the daycare, so Maya and I cleaned a little around the house and then went shopping for things to decorate my classroom at the dollar store and Big Lots. The teacher store is so expensive, I refuse to shop there unless I absolutely need to. We then went to pick up Zeke. Then we came home and walked to the library and got books, movies, and CDs.

Today I took the kids to the zoo. We went and saw the bird show and Maya got to participate and throw a fake snake out to a bird that looks like a roadrunner, but isn't. The bird then proceeded to beat the snake on the ground. Zeke kepts holding his arm out trying to entice a bird to come and land on it. (He has not fear!) We also saw the Seal and Sea Lion show. (I had free tickets that were about to expire.) I was expecting something like the show I saw at Sea World as a kid. Needless to say it was nothing like it. The sea lions did some neat tricks and my children loved the show. So that is all that matters.

Tomorrow, I think it is off to the wading pool in the afternoon. Then they are showing Bee Movie at a park in the evening. I am hoping to convince Kevan that this would be fun and that keeping our children up past their bedtime would be a fine idea. I don't think he'll go with it, but you never know.

Then Saturday we are having some friends over for dinner. Sunday, Kevan and the kids leave for Family Camp. I am really going to miss them! I am truly sad that I am unable to attend this year. Well, that is a snapshot of our life. I hope you are all doing well!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

For Mom, Happy Thoughts

Things are going well with our family. We have been busy with a variety of different activities. We have been trying to beat the heat and staying cool as much as possible. Triumphs for the week: Zeke pooped in the potty! (He also pooped in the tub and on the floor.) Maya was a wonderful big sister and helped me to get Zeke through the doctor' s office and comply with all of the doctor's requests. (He had a rash on his arm, which is just eczema.) She got weighed, her heart rate checked, and they took her temperature. Maya even laid down on the table to be measured for her height! I've been having a lot of fun spending time with my kiddos. Maya is such a young lady now and Zeke is talking up a storm and has a fabulous sense of humor!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I didn't get it.

If you want to hear more details about me not getting the job, call me.

I hope you're all doing well! I have to go and make dinner and will try to blog later. We have had a crazy, but fun week. Highlights: Kevan's parents came to visit and Zeke turned 2. I also have started teaching summer school for the next two weeks.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

In Case You Were Wondering

Well, I still have not heard about the Reading Coordinator job. I am going to assume that I didn't get it because I was told that I could keep the classroom that I was working in. So, we'll see what happens. You would think that they would have let me know by now, but oh well! I thought for sure that I would have heard, but a lot of people were on vacation this week. Maybe I will hear this next week. Like I said, I don't think I got it, but we'll see. I just hope that whoever does get it works well with me.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Well, let's see the past two weeks have been busy. With the school year winding down things have been nuts. The weather up here has been crazy. This morning is the first time in a long time that I have seen the sun. It has rained so much up here that I feel like I need to invest in a boat! We've had lots of social functions. Maya made her stage debut! I still have to contact her tap teacher to see about getting a copy of the DVD of the show. I hope that it was a very professional production because my friend, Jess, and I made fun of a lot of the show. (Not the children, we are not that cruel!) Maya's teacher is very eclectic. I honestly believe she sat down and said to herself, "Hmm... we're doing a show about the movie Enchanted...What part of the movie can I do without? None of it! I will need a dances with animals, but the well needs its own dance and the poison apple needs its own dance. While I'm thinking about the poison apple, let's have just one girl wear a red costume and dance to Hannah Montana. If I were a poison apple, that's definitely what I would be dancing to! Then let's have a dance of balloons and flowers! Yes! Let's have two adults dance. One that is slightly obese who is a very graceful dancer but around 40 and trying to dance to get into shape with a basket of flowers and the other will be in her twenties and just wear a very skimpy outfit and carry a mylar balloon on the stage. Oh! And all of my assistant teachers need at least three solos. If the music doesn't fit Enchanted I'll just tell a story to make it fit. Oh! And don't forget the queen's jewels! They were a very important part of the movie. Let's have some very inexperienced adult dancers dance in a belly dancer fashion. Oh that will be good! Oh and I can't forget at the end I need a prince! I will have my husband be the prince! He fits the bill completely. Sure he has a beer belly and is about 30 years older than the princess, but that's okay! He's a prince in my eyes. Oh... he can't dance though. I'll have her dance around him while his arms are crossed. Then we'll thrown in a few cute kids dances and the parents won't mind sticking around for 2+ hours. That sounds like a great plan!" (Sorry for the rant. :) ) Anyway, Maya was fabulous and danced a very technical dance like a pro! The only time she messed up was because she was standing next to two boys that attended only 3 classes and didn't know the dance very well and everyone else was doing the same thing as them and she followed the crowd. She knew she wasn't doing the right thing because she told me afterward. I think it may have looked better because it made the boys look like they knew what they were doing.

I was asked to interview for the Reading Coordinator/Coach's position at our school. I was told I would find out if I got the job by the end of the week, but here it is the end of the week and I don't know. I won't know until the end of next week because they have board meetings to discuss our strategic plan Monday and Tuesday of next week. If I am offered the position I will have to really debate as to whether or not I want to leave the classroom. I love what I do right now and am not sure I want to take a step away from teaching and closer to administration. Everyone around me seems to assume that I am perfect for the position because they have been asking me if I was asked to take the position. (People are kind of nosy in that way. I guess it's better than gossiping, but I know that it will just turn into them telling everyone else.) It's not that I would be crushed if I didn't get the position. I don't have the Wisconsin licensure to take the position. (Even though in Ohio I have a similar license to one of the required licenses here, Wisconsin didn't count it so it doesn't matter.) It would also take the load off of my back when it came to making a decision. While it would be nice to be able to make that choice for myself, I would understand if they hired someone with more experience and licensure. So, I will just wait.

Lots of other craziness has happened to us this week. If you want to here about it, give me a call. I have to go and watch my children. I'm thinking about taking them to the zoo today. :) Hope you're all well!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Our Last Week of May

Well, we have been pretty busy. We spent Memorial Day weekend with some friends from church camping. We had a blast. It rained Sunday night, but didn't sour the weekend. Maya loved being outdoors and getting her first chance to fish. Zeke just loved trying to run away and playing with the two boys from the other family that went with us. He just idolized the older of the two. So much that Zeke is still talking about him. This morning Kevan was asking Zeke who wanted tickles and Zeke said, "Duncan." It was nice to get a chance to talk to adults while having fun with our children.

Then we got back and returned to school. I got pushed into a door by an angry fourth grader, leaving my arm slightly bruised. But, I survived and the child has been reprimanded.

Yeterday Maya went to school and saw Mike Cameron, the Brewer's Center Fielder, and the racing sausages. She even got a free t-shirt out of the deal. The only things she remember about the talk was that Mike Cameron said that his mom was his role model. Then she began naming her role models. She named Zeke, but I am not sure he is the best role model. Yesterday at daycare there are two new twin boys in his class that cry a lot. Whenever they would start crying Zeke would point at them and say, "Stop it!" Nothing like a little tough love from Zeke.

Today we went out to eat at Vickie's Diner and Zeke was being his outgoing loud self. (I guess when my mother said, "I hope you have a child just like you." Zeke is what came about.) He was finished eating and the high chair's straps were broken. He stood up in his chair and started yelling, "Kooky!" (He learned it from a Nick Jr. show called Wow Wow Wubbzy.) Then he started roaring like a lion. It was pretty funny and luckily there were not many people left from the dinner crowd.

Well, I have to go and do a few loads of laundry and write some checks for bills. I hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Wonderful Whirlwind!

Well, we went to the wedding of my brother Mark and his new wife Mariella in Ohio this past weekend. It was a lot of fun. I love being able to visit with family and friends that I haven't seen for a while. We all had a great time. Maya loved being a flowergirl again. She looked beautiful. Zeke was a good boy for most of the wedding festivities and only bled a little when Maya and he were wrestling at the wedding. Maya loved being with the ladies in the wedding party. She loves to get dressed up and have her hair done and just hang out with older people. Kevan was wonderful and watched Zeke so that I could visit with people and read during the service. It was fun to spend time with my mom, Lisa, and my grandma getting our hair done. I don't think any of us pamper ourselves as much as we really should.

I hate being late. It feels like we were late for everything this weekend. Luckily we made it to the church on time for the ceremony. I felt horrible that Maya missed pictures with the wedding party. We got a late start to the reception and then got really lost finding the reception. Oh well! We had a wonderful time anyways and Maya got a special picture with Mariella at the reception.

We spent Sunday with Kevan's family which was very nice. I was very tired and was having a bit of a wardrobe malfunction and was late for brunch because I was shopping to repair the damage. But, oh well! We enjoyed our time with the Penvoses. Zeke is addicted to trains. When we were visiting Kevan's parents all we heard was, "Papa choo-choo! Papa choo-choo!" He loved sitting and running the electric train. He also enjoyed beating up their golden lab, Hunter. Luckily Hunter is a very good dog and took it playfully and Zeke returned home with all of his fingers.

Maya and Zeke were very sad to leave Ohio. Zeke kept yelling, "I-O!, I-O" throughout the trip home to Wisconsin. Maya had to have her window rolled down as we approached the border of every state that we traveled through and yell out the window at the top of her lungs, "Goodbye Ohio! (Or whatever state we were traveling through.) By the time we reached Wisconsin Zeke wanted to do it too and he yelled, "I-O" out the window. We had a great time traveling with our children. I honestly do not understand when people say that they need a DVD player to travel with their children, this may change as they get older. All we need to do is start singing or telling silly stories and everything is fine. With Zeke you just need to talk about the color of truck that you are passing and he is happy. When he is really tired, he just wants me to hold his hand or rub his ankle and he calms right down. For some strange reason this has always worked with him, from the time he was itt-bitty until now.

Well, now I need to approach doing all of the dirty laundry that I left in Wisconsin along with what I brought home with me. I hope everyone that is reading this is doing well!

Monday, May 5, 2008


Okay, so I went out twice this past weekend looking for shoes for Mark's wedding. I am so tired of being discriminated against for having wide feet! It seems even the wide shoes are uncomfortable! Why can't they make stylish comfortable shoes in wide width? It is extremely frustrating!

This morning I had to have the debate with my 2nd graders that I am in fact white. They would not believe me! I guess it is a bit of an honor and sign that they love me. One child tattled on another student saying that he said that she "talked white." So I said, "What does a white person talk like?" He then replied, "Like totally!" in his best valley girl. I then asked, "Do I talk that way?" (Thinking, I used to. :) ) He said, "Well . . . no, but you're mixed!" I said, " I am as white as white can be. My dad is Polish and my mother is Bohemian." (Like they even understand what that means.) He and the rest of my class continued insisting that I am mixed, so I just walked away from the silly conversation.

We went out and celebrated Cinco de Mayo today. Maya insisted on going out to get Mexican. It was fun. They played fun Mexican music and the kids danced in their seats. This restaurant just christened its first Mongolian Fajita Barbecue. It is just like Mongolian Barbecure, but you can select fajita ingredients. We had a good time and ate a ton.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Masters Here I Come!

Okay, so I am not talking about golf. (I am a woman anyways and would not be allowed in Augusta. :) ) I filled out most of my paperwork to start my masters studies in September. I will be getting my masters at Concordia University. My spot is secure, I just need to fill out an essay saying why I want to get my masters. It was the easiest thing I have ever done. I didn't even need to take the dreaded GRE! :) I am going to be studying reading. It is one night a week at a high school about 10-15 minutes away from where we live. The classes are all 8 weeks, so it is a bit rigorous, but worth it to finish earlier. I am getting my Reading Specialist license in addition to my masters. (33 credits) I am very proud that I got all of the paperwork done and sent in in one day. (Excluding my resume and essay.) This summer I have to work to get the silly stipulations removed from my Wisconsin license. They feel that I need to learn how to teach in an Urban setting (my entire career has been in urban settings), learn about the American Indian tribes in Wisconsin, and learn some environmental education. The environmental education stipulation will be removed as soon as I provide documentation that I have taken the Project Learning Tree, WET, and WILD workshops. The others are just independent studies in which I look at some stuff online and write papers. It shouldn't be too bad. Then I am going to be spending two weeks teaching summer school to soon to be 2nd graders. We are doing it as enrichment education, so it will be like camp all over again. :) I'm kind of excited.

Not too much else is going on here. We are all excited and looking forward to Mark and Mariella's wedding next week. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Week

Well, I went camping with our fifth graders which was a lot of fun. It was neat to see the kids in a different element and see their personalities shine. I didn't enjoy having to be the adult to tell the girls in my cabin to close their mouths and go to bed. That was not fun. I think I fell asleep around 1:30am. The activities were neat and I got a lot of hiking in. I really miss being able to go for hikes frequently. It is hard to hike with Zekey because he likes to walk and really slows you down. It is fun to go hiking with my kids, don't get me wrong, but very different from just Kevan and me. Maya and I went hiking the day before. We went to a beautiful place called Schlitz Audobon. It was wonderful there! We will definitely be taking some of our future visitors there. Maya has been really into bird watching and got a toy bird that chirps when you squeeze it. I was surprised because she didn't choose the most melodic of birds, it sounds like someone tapping on some wood. It is a yellow-belly sapsucker.

Maya is officially done with swimming for the season. She freaked out at her first lesson and the teacher was not very reassuring even with me in the water. So, we decided to acclimate her this summer and try again in the fall. She has tap dancing already anyways. It was a tricky schedule to begin with.

Zekey is in his hay-day at school this week. It is the "Week of the Young Child", kind of like Spirit Week for little guys. They had Community Helper day and Zeke got to sit in a Fire Truck, a Police car (He insisted on sitting in the back seat. :) ) and an Ambulance. He loved it! He also got to play at the Al Maguire Center at Marquette today, that is the sports complex. He played so much basketball that they had to tear him away from that place. Tomorrow night we are going to an Enchanted Ball at Marquette's Student Center. Maya is excited that she gets to dress up like a princess. I will try to put a crown on Zeke. We'll see how he does.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The excitement that is my life

Well, since Joan thinks my life is so much more exciting than hers (see her blog), I should fill everyone in on what has been occurring here in Milwaukee. That way you can judge for yourself.

My children continue to be knuckleheads. Maya is a compulsive liar. April Fools Day seems to have turned into April Fools Month. First she told me that she road the bus home from school. "You paid for it didn't you?" she said. Then, she says that they had worms for lunch. Yesterday she told me that her teacher has a car called a "Pretty EVS" that you can stand in. Her kids can stand in it too, if they have permission. Today she told me that Zeke took her Marshmallow Peep from her and ate it. She is crazy good at lying too. I am just lucky that usually her lies are so zany I don't believe them. (Except for the bus one. I believed that because she was convincing and Kevan has almost forgotten to pick her up from school before.)

Zeke is a rambunctious and wild child. He can tackle just about anyone and according to Mary's blog, even beats up his aunts. He loves anything sports. We went to go and see the Milwaukee Admirals play on Sunday. He loved it. He kept yelling, "Go Hockey!" He also really liked the mascot named Roscoe that looked like a big orange dog. He could find Roscoe any where in the arena and kept trying to go and see him. We never got close enough to see if Zeke would actually approach him. He kept yelling, "I coming Roscoe! I coming!"

We had a pretty busy weekend. Kevan and I got to go on a date for the first time in ages. We went to a benefit concert for an autism support group and listened to some Beatles tribute bands. The first band was alright, but the second band was great! They are the youngest Beatles tribute band in the world. They had won Chicago's Beatlesfest Battle of the Beatles bands two years running and are all under 15. There were times if you closed your eyes you would have thought you were at a real Beatles concert. They definitely have careers ahead of them. Then we went out for coffee, but got a coffee shop 15 minutes before closing. So, we drank our coffee on the way home. Then on Saturday, Kevan went to Madison and I took the kids to a Health Food Fair put on by our grocery store at one of the Pavilions at State Fair Park with some friends. We ate lots of food. Zekey was a mess. I brought home a reusable grocery bag full of samples and coupons. Then we went to hang out with our friends at their house. While there Kevan called to say that the car got broken when he went to get an oil change earlier and needed me to come home so he could drive to Madison. The kids were playing so my friend drove me home and back to their place. Then Sunday, we went to church and to the hockey game that I spoke of before.

So that is what's happening our lives. Maya and I are going to our church's Ladies Luncheon. Maya is a little too young, but heard it mentioned during the church announcements and is very interested in attending. So, the chair said that she could attend. Then we are going birdwatching with a bird enthusiast friend of mine. I am going to camp with our fifth graders next Monday and Tuesday. So, you have some stories to look forward too. Hope all is well in my dear readers' lives.

Friday, March 21, 2008

More Snow!

It is crazy that we get about a foot of snow on the first day of spring! I can't believe it! I'm just glad that there was already no school today. All this talk about schools having to make up days is crazy. We don't, thank God. I just hope the weather gets better for Mary and my mom's arrival on Tuesday.

Not too much else going on. We are trying to stay in today. We haven't heard if church is cancelled for the evening or not. Everyone seems to be cancelling their services. Even a Catholic church! (My mom told me a few weeks ago that Catholics never cancel mass. I am assuming the reasoning behind that is that the priests live at the church.) So, I think it will probably be cancelled.

It's been nice to be home and just hang out. We've been playing with the kids, taking turns napping, and catching up on our DVRed shows. (Kevan says that only Americans make nouns into verbs. :) ) Hope you are all having some wonderful spring weather for this first day of spring.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Just an Update

Well, it is still freezing up here! I think it is supposed to be in the 20s until Wednesday. Then they said it might hit 50! Crazy! That probably means sickness with set in once again.

The kids have been equally silly lately. Maya has been heart-broken ever since she heard Bret Favre retired. She cried when she heard. She also cried when watching American Idol last night because one of the people she liked, Luke Menard, got kicked off. She is such a sensitive soul. Her tapdancing skills are advancing. She will have a performance on June 8th. She loves that it will be called" Enchanted" after the movie. She is dancing to "Rockin' Robin" and the theme song from "Enchanted" by Carrie Underwood. Her teacher also said that maybe some of the moms might want to be in the finale and dance to "Enchanted," as well. I am considering it. It would be fun to get up there and dance with her. Maya likes it when the teacher has parents come and dance with their children. I have to admit it is fun. It makes me think of the Friends episode when Monica takes tap dancing and becomes friends with the person that stole her identity. They really should offer classes for grown ups. It would be a good workout.

Zekey is just a ball of energy lately. He runs around the house and then stops and pumps his fist in the air and yells, "I win!" His language is advancing everyday. He currently loves Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and if you say it around him, he will insist that you sing the theme song over and over and over again. (It has replaced Bob the Builder and Jack's Big Music show in requests.) The people at the daycare also told me that he has some mad breakdancing moves. (He learned them all from me! :) Except for his strange turning of the head and walking sideways move, I did not teach him that one. That is his own invention. He does have some very lyrical hands though. I think he picked that up from Maya.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Missing Ohio

Well, now that we are settled in Milwaukee my homesickness has lessened a little. We have good friends and a support network has established itself around us. My family is able to come and visit pretty frequently and Zeke and Maya are happy here.

However, who would have thought that a toothbrush holder would make me miss home. I bought a new toothbrush holder at Target today and guess where it was made! China, but guess where it was designed! Solon, Ohio! Crazy, huh? Not really crazy, Solon is an industrial giant with Stouffers and King Nuts and other various companies. But it got me thinking of home. I also have been wishing I were in Ohio for the election. I love my family (hug and kisses to you all!), but they are not as passionate as I am about the forth coming election and may not even vote in it. (Sigh) I would happily vote for them if it were legal. I just wish that they felt the excitement that is stirring around this election. It is infectious! So, to all of my loved ones in Ohio and Texas and Rhode Island and Vermont. Please vote on Tuesday for me, who wishes that I had the power that you all have at this moment. (I know you have heard this from me before, but I thought I'd tell you all a different way. :) )

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cycle of Illness

Never before have I recognized how much one illness can travel through a family multiple times. The weather around here has been crazy, as mentioned previously, and I have been stupid. Kevan and I have gotten into the television series called Heroes. We got the DVDs from Blockbuster and have been staying up way too late watching them! Thus, I have a bad cold. I left school early because I thought I was going to fall over. My afternoon students were all gone because of a field trip, so it was a good day to be sick. If there is such a thing!

Wisconsin is buzzing with election fever. Today was Primary Voting day. We are excited to see the results. They even gave Maya a sample ballot and let her vote. She didn't give it to anyone, but she filled it out. You can ask her who she voted for. Who you vote for seems to sometimes be one of those questions like asking a woman her age.

Kevan needs the computer, so I have to end there. I hope you are warm and healthy!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Whenever, I think of the word weather, I want to start singing the Veggie Tales silly song that deals with homophones. ("Whether, weather, whether, weather, weather (whether?) it's cold or it's hot.") Well as many of you have seen or are experiencing, the weather around here has been crazy! We are currently in the midst of a major snowstorm. We are supposed to get around a foot of snow today. We had our third snow day of the year, which I have to admit is kind of nice. It would be nice if it were possible to have a snow day in April because I think that is a month when we have no days off. The kids and I walked over to a friend's house that lives 2 blocks away. It was pretty brutal. It made me wish we hadn't left our sled at church! The wind was blowing the snow pretty hard into our faces and it felt like we were getting pelted with little ice balls. Walking home 2 hours later, there was no evidence that we had gone out at all. Our footprints were already covered. We had a good time playing. They have two boys, one a year older than Maya and one that is about Zeke's age. We had a good time visiting. I felt a little bad because we got out the door so late. They called at about 8:30 to invite us and we didn't leave our house until 11:00. Which is an awkward time because I didn't want to impose on them for lunch. They invited us to stay anyways, but they forgot I was a vegetarian. I felt horrible about it, but they eat a lot of vegetarian friendly dishes and I got to eat some delicious leftovers. They always cook great healthy meals. I wish that I had the time and money to make healthier things from scratch. Kevan and I tried for about 4 months and it raised our grocery bill considerably. Which, put a damper on that idea. It also is difficult to find the time to cook from scratch all the time. I've started buying whole grain and wheat pastas and we're trying to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, but that gets pricey too. We have to limit ourselves to baby carrots, apples, and bananas. Then I just use frozen veggies for dinners. I did splurge this week and bought a few mangoes, which Zeke really liked. Ahhh, the plight of the working mother again. I hope you all are warm and cozy. We are doing our best to stay that way. (Kristen if there are any spelling errors, I blame blogspot because their spellcheck tool is not working.)

Sunday, February 3, 2008


As if motivating children to read and write were not hard enough, Soulja Boy has come out with a song about getting all F's and then taking his report card to his teacher and saying, "Put some D's on it." At the end he says something like, "I was just kidding I got all A's. Stay in school!" Which really does not delete the rudeness and disrespect he paid to teachers and the fact that it is the very end and most of the song is "Put some D's on it." The 20 seconds where his message is a good one will be forgotten. This just really gets my goat! He creates one song with a cute little dance and disgusting double meaning lyrics and he is a hit. Maybe I need to start creating cute little dances and my students achievement will be higher. However, the unfortunate thing is that parent involvement is the number one factor in student achievement world wide and we just don't have it at our school. Our parents are just trying to make ends meet and working all sorts of jobs and do not have the time to sit down with their child to help with homework or volunteer at school. Don't get me wrong, some do and I applaud them. I have seen this first hand. At our school students are leveled by reading level and the teachers of the higher students see more parents for conferences. It is not just an odd coincidence. I wish there would be some sort of reform to help these parents get regular jobs that makes them able to provide for their families, while being there to support their children. I know that a lot of parents are stuck in a cycle of poverty, but there has to be something that can be done to assist these children. So, if there are any children that actually read this, "DON'T think that just because the dance is cool that the song is a good one and the person is someone you should listen to and trust. Try your best and work hard. Not everyone can make it by dance moves that they didn't choreograph themselves alone. (I'm willing to bet he didn't write the song himself either.)"

That concludes my rant for the month. (By the way, I have taken the Soulja Boy link off of my site. He fooled me at first too.)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Wedding and Shower preparations

This is a picture that Maya drew of her Uncle Mark and Aunt Mariella getting married.
This is Maya, the flower girl. She came up with the creative idea to cut pieces of paper to look like the petals that she will "sprinkle not throw."

The three pictures above are Maya posing in her flowergirl dress. It will probably need alterring. But, we'll wait until it is closer to the wedding.

The Invitation for the m and m theme wedding shower for my brother and his fiancee.
(wine bottle in background not included.)
I made about 4 different primary colored cards with different colored m and m's and different colored lettering.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Craziest weather I have ever seen!

Well, yesterday our temperature dropped 48 degrees in about 3 hours. It was crazy! (A new record by the way.) The temperature today was a high of 10, but we had a wind chill temperature of -30, so school was cancelled for me.) I am very proud of our president for making that decision because Milwaukee Public was not off. They asked the news channels to announce that they were open and parents could choose to keep their children home today and the absence would be excused. What a ridiculous thing! The weather people were saying that if you were to stand outside for more than 10 minutes you would risk hypothermia or frostbite! Many children wait on a bus much longer than that. Many of the children that I teach do not have proper hats and gloves. I just think it was irresponsible on their part. Kevan left a message for the school board president and the principal at Maya's school. So, yay for my school for making that decision on their own! Good job new president!

So our family spent the day at home. I am embarrassed to say that we didn't even get out of our pajamas. I spent part of the day working on the invitations for my brother and his fiancee's wedding shower. They are turning out really nice. I am pretty proud of them. I hope to post a picture later.

Maya spent the day drawing pictures of Mark and Mariella geting married. (A picture of this will also be posted.) And herself as the flowergirl. She is very creative and cut paper for the flower petals and glues it on. She said that she was going to sprinkle the flowers this time and not throw them. I guess that is what comes with experience. (She was the flowergirl for Kevan's sister's wedding in October.) Her dress comes tomorrow and she is very excited. She keeps asking about the logistics of the wedding. She wants to know who she will walk down the ailse with, where we are staying, when it is, what she will wear in her hair, what I am wearing, what Mark and Mariella are wearing. She has wedding fever. She even helped me a little with the invitations.

Zeke spent the day being the family tornado and throwing everything he could. We have DVDs everywhere and blocks under the couch and all over. He also spent a good part of the day walking around with his favorite wooden spoon and banging on things. He even constructed his own drum set out of a play bucket, his wipes, and the table. I really think he will be a drummer. Hopefully, when we buy a house it will have a nice garage for him to practice in. :)

Kevan spent the day sleeping in the morning and at meetings all afternoon.

Well, I have a ton of cleaning to do and Kevan and I are going to watch that Chuck and Larry movie with Kevin James and Adam Sandler. I'll let you know what I think of it later.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quick Update

So, not too much is going on here. We were sad to watch Green Bay lose last week. When I asked Maya if she had kissed any boys today she told me, "How could you suggest that?!" Where did she get that from? Zeke is killing me! He refuses to sleep in his own bed for an entire night. He will sleep for about 2 hours and then wake up screaming and saying, "Mama's bed," which Maya thinks sounds like Mama's butt. :) Kevan has been on a whirl wind this week. He has had church stuff and was working at Obama headquarters this week. Comic Book Club is going well. I am really enjoying it! Karaoke club had to disband for a little because the kids were getting to rowdy and after having a child chip a tooth last week, I needed a break. We'll start again after spring break. So, that is a quick snapshot of my current situation. I know have to go clean Zeke up from his spaghette dinner. What a mess!