Friday, November 28, 2014

Turkey Bowl

This was the 19th anniversary of starting Thanksgiving Day at Madison Bowl. 

The boys were amped to see which one would get the grade school division trophy (Louie won); Mere refused to play; and Gracie and Maggie threw a few frames, but honestly thought "bowling" was going to this place where you sit in car video games pretending to play. Thank goodness they have discovered quarters yet! 

Norah was rocking out to Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue" while wearing her Indian feathers. 

This was Aunt Jane's very first Turkey Bowl. Each year she's at home either cooking for the Roebels or the Grubers but this year she was able to watch both Thomas and Little Jimmy dominate the alley. Oh, and she got a picture with these three turkeys. 

We headed back to Mom and Dad's afterward for an evening filled with football, Thanksgiving favorites and an after-dinner Christmas dance party! Meredith and Evie stole the show with that!

And I got some cuddle time with sweet Hazel. So much to be grateful for :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jack-o-Lantern Time

I've been underwhelmed with my ability to post pictures and stories after my so-called renewed commitment to the blog. Although I started out wanting to make a timeline of the day-to-day activities and events of my kids, that's just not going to happen. I've decided to randomly post pictures when I get time and write about what memories I have of them. Bear with me.

The Sunday before Halloween we had people over to carve pumpkins, a tradition that was started back when Joe and I were living together and Kevin and Erin would come over to make jack-o-lanterns that we would then place out on our balcony...and then forget about until they decomposed and we'd play rock/paper/scissors to see who had to clean it up. Good times. And oh-so-long ago!

Meredith has a Disney princess book of patterns to use for carving pumpkins. They are not easy, but the tools that come with it make it somewhat doable for an adult. That's what we're doing here, carving out Merida from the movie "Brave."

Charlie, at 7 years old, is about the right age to handle the cutting, scooping, and carving on his own. The younger ones lost focus pretty quickly

I get frustrated with Blogger because I don't have the ability to edit these pictures, particularly I don't get to change the direction of this shot of Charlie and his pumpkin. He did a great job and was proud of his carving without the aid of a stencil. It was a lion that looked great with a candle inside!

As with most great things we are in possession of, this jeep is a hand-me-down that recently was given to Mere. In its first life, it was a Barbie jeep, but was passed down to a family of boys who spray-painted over the pink and purple with red and black. Years later, it's a mix of all sorts of colors and there are plenty of kids at our house to continue the fun of riding in it.

These girls just don't see enough of each other. Gracie and Meredith started Kindergarten this year and Maggie is in Preschool. They all wish they were still in Isle of Palms, living down the hall from each other.

The finished jack-o-lanterns, complete with flying baby in the background. Ellie was dressed in her Labyrinth-style "Babe with the Power" striped outfit.

I already told you that Meredith had a Merida pumpkin, and Charlie carved a lion. Benny used a stencil to create a really sweet skull with flames that looked awesome that night but quickly caved in on itself due the the thin lines of pumpkin flesh. Louie, no surprise to anyone, did a baseball-themed pumpkin and carved a Yankee pinstriped jersey with the number two emblazoned on it for the retiring Mr. Jeter. 

Friday, October 24, 2014


I over-think stuff. Every. Little. Thing. I cannot think of a situation where I don't analyze it to death. And that's what happened when I first started teaching. I wanted to get every little bit of the teaching process, the school day right and when it didn't go as well as I had hoped I was devastated. I felt like a failure. A fraud. I remember getting advice from a guy who started teaching a few years before me. I envied his laid back nature and his easy way with the kids. He didn't have the outgoing-Robin Williams-type teacher personality, but how realistic is that anyway? No, he loved what he taught; he loved the kids; and he felt confident enough in his skills that regardless of whether you classified a day as good or bad, in the end the kids benefited. A decade ago I didn't have that. I wasn't remotely close.

Today, I have four kids in elementary school, ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade and I have begun subbing at this same school. I feel incredibly grateful to be given this chance, especially to work at this specific school. Not only does this make logistics easy, but I have gotten to know the staff and students over the years and I have a major stake in the community. I'm excited to be a part of it.

The boys...well, they don't seem to be all that excited about it. The avoid eye contact in the halls and on the playground. I've only had Louie in class so far and I think he would prefer it if that didn't happen too often. Mere on the other hand, each day she asks, "Are you STUBBIN' today??" The boys try to correct her, but I stop them because it's so stinkin' cute and I like her enthusiasm ;)

My anxiety from when I first was teaching has returned, but I am learning to let it go. A sub steps into a teacher's shoes for the day and it is almost impossible to live up to the standards that teacher has set, or to fulfill what the perfect day at school would accomplish. And I'm learning to be ok with that. The kids are safe, I smile and give hugs a lot, and I'm enjoying getting to know my kids' friends and being a part of an educational community that I think is fantastic. I'm not sure how long I'll be "stubbing," but for right now it feels like a good fit and that's what matters.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Never too late, right?

So much of parenting can be a guilt trip, but I feel like I'm starting to move away from the point where it completely envelopes me, where I question every decision I make. I've learned a thing or two apparently after a decade of parenting.

When I started the blog I wanted it to be almost like a digital scrapbook, filled with shiny stories, bons mots, edited can see I had very high expectations in my younger days, and that was a completely unreasonable expectation to set. Now I have allowed almost three years to pass without sitting down to remember the day-to-day tidbits that make parenting so great. I want to resolve that.

From here on out I am going to type in stories and post pictures so that I can remember and the kids can know what a special time this was for me, and hopefully, for all of us. As So-crates says about the unexamined life...I am now ready to spend more time reflecting on our time, rather than allowing busyness to dictate what path I take.