Monday, March 30, 2009

Blog giveaways

Ok, so I've decided to become active in some blog giveaways. I'm not giving things away but I am "signing up" in hopes to receive something!

There are "rules" to follow and the latest I've looked at requests that you post a link to their site. So, go take a look. The shoes are adorable and look a lot like Crocs which are very popular with my kids!

Check out the following:

cute shoes

When I find others I'll try and share. Another site that I LOVE their giveaways is:

Great Giveaways

I've not received anything yet but who knows!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Q and U Wedding

All dressed and ready to go!

The entire wedding party.

A bit blurry but still so obvious how serious they all were!

Another blurry shot but look at how happy Analiese was coming down the aisle!

The bride and groom from the 2004 Q and U wedding!

Today we, once again, were privelged to celebrate the wedding of Q and U! This is a kindergarten staple at our school (though Gracie's teacher did not participate when Grace was in kindergarten). To reinforce the concept that U always follow Q in words, the teachers hold a wedding, complete with invitations, ceremony and reception where Mr Alpha and Mrs Bet celebrate the "union" of their children.

Each child has a part, from the bride (Q) and groom (U) to the minister, the best man and maid-of-honor to mother of the bride. The classes practice several weeks for the big event! There is a procession, some songs and of course the exchange of vows and rings before the children and their guests (parents, siblings and grandparents) return to the classroom to enjoy the reception.

Oh, I cannot forget, the bride and groom leave the ceremony in a battery-powered jeep, decorated for the occasion! It is a wonderful event and the kids talk about it, both before and after. They never, absolutely NEVER forget that Q is always followed by U in words.

For today's event, Analiese was the maid-of-honor. She just could not wait to get dressed up and walk down the cafeteria aisle to her spot on the stage. She smiled and smiled the entire time.

The kindergarten classes paired up to share the events as we have 10 classes and it was just impossible to dedicate 2 full weeks to individual ceremonies! Analiese's class includes several special needs children as does the class that they teamed up with. It was quite emotional to see some of the children come into the cafeteria pushing their classmates in their wheelchairs. One little boy, who has a severe brain injury from an accident that killed his brother and uncle, was clearly enjoying the attention.

As the lead teacher for these special needs children I was more emotional watching them then I was with Analiese! I'm tempted to send some of the photos to our President so he can put faces to the children he insulted when he responded that his bowling skills were akin to something out of the "special olympics"!

Five years ago we also celebrated the wedding of Q and U with Sarah. In that ceremony she was the bride. What has happened to her relationship with the groom? They are still close friends and the groom is still quite smitten with his bride!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Midnight Adventure

I'm so tired!

Off we go to Walmart!

Wide awake now!


Sarah is now the proud owner of the two-disc set of Twilight, the movie! What an experience she had last night. The excitement and anticipation she had just thinking about going to Walmart at midnight to get the beloved movie threatened to keep her awake. We made her go to bed with the promise that we would wake her up in time to get to the store by the midnight hour.

At 11:15 PM I went to wake Sarah up. Boy was she tired! I told her that she didn't have to go to the store, that the DVD would be available in the morning. She wasn't so sure about that. I then told her that Dave was ready and willing to take her to the store; it was her decision to make. Sarah's comment? "Don't put so much pressure on me!" Oh how dramatic my 10 year old can be!

Sarah eventually DID get up and off to Walmart Dad and daughter went! According to both of them, Walmart was crazy! There were mostly young teen girls but Dave said some younger girls were there with either Mom or Dad and then there were your crazy adult women!

In true Walmart style there was not a good plan for dealing with the crowds and they basically dumped a bin of the movies in front of the crowd and told everyone, "don't push". Thank goodness Dave stood off to the side and was able to get a DVD with no trouble. The best thing was that when all of the others ran to the front of the store to check out, Dave and Sarah went to the electronics department and were able to check out in minutes (and trade the single DVD for the two-disc set)!

Needless to say Sarah immediately watched the movie as soon as she woke up this morning! Oh, the obsessions of a tween!

Friday, March 20, 2009


A Visit to Zoo

Please, oh please, let me see Ginger!

Happy 8th birthday Matthew!

Time just seems to be zooming by. I am either the worst time manager or one of the busiest people on the planet. The jury is out on that one.

Yesterday was Matthew's 8th birthday! We didn't celebrate but did acknowledge his special day. We plan on celebrating as a family this weekend. It is Dave's birthday on Sunday and all three boys will be here so we'll make a family event of the birthdays! Matthew did celebrate at school with ice-cream for his class. He had asked for cupcakes but did not get them. Why? Oh, it is such a story and I've been beat up by some and congratulated by others. Here's the scoop, you decide...

Last week Matthew started asking about his birthday and wanted to know if I was going to get cupcakes for his class. I took the opportunity as a teachable moment to explain the "why" behind bringing cupcakes to his class. When I asked Matthew why he wanted cupcakes his answers ranged from, "they taste good" to "it's my birthday". Grace finally told Matthew that the cupcakes were to "celebrate" his birthday. Lesson learned.

I told Matthew that I would indeed buy him cupcakes for his class. That was last weekend. From that moment Matthew asked several, and I mean "SEVERAL" times a day if I was going to bring cupcakes. I assured him that I would.

On Tuesday evening I went grocery shopping. By the time I got home, the kids were already in bed. Matthew ran downstairs. I instructed him to go back to bed. About 15 minutes later there he was. Again, I told him to go to bed. After I finished putting the groceries away I went to tuck all the kids into bed. Matthew asked me if I was going to buy cupcakes (AH, the reason for the two trips downstairs to see if I got the cupcakes!). I explained that I didn't buy them that night is because his birthday was still 2 days away and we would get fresh cupcakes.

The next morning Matthew asked, and I am not exaggerating, at least 30 times if he was getting cupcakes. By this point my patience was wearing thin. I told him, very impatiently, that I WAS going to get cupcakes and he needed to STOP asking for them. After school, that very same day, as we all piled into the car, Matthew asked AGAIN, if he was going to get cupcakes. At this point I was just so over his asking that I yelled, "Matthew what have I already told you about the cupcakes?" He answered, "you would get them". My next comment was, "then stop asking. If you ask one more time you aren't going to get any cupcakes!"

From that point on I heard NOTHING about the cupcakes. That is until later that evening....Dave and I were having our first conversation of the evening, after putting the kids into bed. What does he say? "I thought I was going to lose my mind tonight with Matthew. He asked me about getting cupcakes about a million times."

Exasperated, I told Dave what happened that afternoon. Laughing, Dave told me that he said to Matthew, "Let's talk to Mom about the cupcakes, she is the one who would get them." Matthew, emphatically, said "No, I'll ask her in the morning."

What to do? We just had a major situation last week (another story later) where we all, parents, teachers and administrators at school, missed a MAJOR teaching opportunity and turned it into a huge punitive event. So, with that in mind, I called Matthew downstairs.

When I inquired if he had indeed pestered his father about the cupcakes he admitted that he had. Sighing I asked him what I had told him, he repeated EXACTLY what I said. So.....I told him that I would NOT be buying him cupcakes.

ACK, ACK, ACK! As Dave so gently informed me, "He's now put your back to the wall". I had two options: not buy cupcakes to reinforce the lesson (that was VERY important after the fiasco of the previous week) or buy him cupcakes and forget the lesson!

I chose to teach the lesson.

Yesterday Matthew woke up to "Happy Birthdays from all of us" but no stop at Publix for cupcakes. He didn't even ask. Searching my brain and eventually asking his teacher for help, we decided on ice-cream (dixie cups for all of you old fogies). When I told Matthew that he didn't get the cupcakes but that I did get him ice-cream to share he was all smiles.

Hmm...lesson learned AND celebration intact.... I call that success!

Some of the other things that also have been going on.....

Grace has been working on mastering her back handspring and FINALLY was successful!

Sarah was sick this week. It started with a stomach virus on Monday so she and I stayed home. On Tuesday she seemed better so back to school we went. Even though we had no more vomiting Sarah looked so pale. Tuesday evening her face was so pale Dave and I both knew that Wednesday one of us would be home! Sure enough, Sarah awoke and immediately ran to the bathroom! Dave and I had to split the day as we both had important meetings!

Thursday arrived and Sarah awoke with a MASSIVE headache! Being the horrible Mom that I am, I insisted she go to school. I plied her with medicine and off we went.

Feeling guilty, I not only wrote her teacher a note about not asking Sarah to make up her missed Social Studies test but I checked on SEVERAL times. Each time she looked worse and worse. Finally Sarah could not take it any more and made her way to my office. The headache was SO severe that she was not only dizzy but walking caused nausea and vomiting!

I immediately called the pediatrician who directed me to the ER. Off we went! At the ER Sarah was given some meds for the nausea and her headache. The doctor did a full exam and found NOTHING! He said that she had one of the many viruses that have been circulating and because of the vomiting was probably dehydrated.

We've made sure Sarah has been staying hydrated but we just aren't convinced of the doctor's diagnosis. Dave thinks Sarah is following in his footsteps and beginning to suffer migraines. He remembers he was at the same age when his began. We will get Sarah to the pediatrician next week for a more thorough evaluation. The good news is that Sarah was much better today with no vomiting and a much milder headache!

As for Analiese she has been the steady one of the kids! She is going through a major growth spurt and eating us out of house and home! She has a new tooth coming in but it is coming in BEHIND her baby teeth. None of them are loose. The good news is that we have an appointment next week at the cranio-facial clinic with her speech therapist and her orthodontist. Hopefully we'll find out what to do about the tooth!

Dave has been very busy at work! He will soon take over as "interim Vice-President of the LIbrary"! This was the good news I wanted to share but he was reluctant until something firmer was in place. The good news is that the reorganization of the Library is moving forward and it has been confirmed that he will indeed take over the vice president position when the current one retires. The only issue is how long he will have to carry the "interim" title!

We received the results from the CBC for Ginger. The vet has confirmed the leukemia diagnosis. He admitted, that in his seven years of practicing he has NEVER had a case like ours! Unfortunately that didn't change the facts. Ginger is sick, even sicker than we thought. She is severely anemic and at the point that transfusions should be considered. WHAT??? The Ginger we've grown to love has not changed. Has she been this anemic and we just didn't know?

The vet did say that there is a controversial steriod treatment that he could offer. I solemnly explained that as a parent I did not want to create any false hope in my children. I also did not want my kids to watch their beloved cat waste away. I have already experienced that heartache with my sweet dogs and would not allow my children to go through that trauma.

As a family we will celebrate Ginger and say our goodbyes. Dave and I will then take Ginger to be euthanized. Right now we have to keep the cats separated (the other two have been tested and are negative for the virus). It is so heart breaking. Ginger and Clarence are buddies and they cry and cry for each other. Ginger is living in the "cat apartment upstairs (our bedroom and master bathroom), while the other two have run of the house. In the evenings when we are home we switch so Ginger can interact with the family. Where does she go? Up to our bedroom door, whine for Clarence and run her paw under the door searching for him!

The situation is heartbreaking and I hate having to make this decision. But, I have two healthy cats that I must protect, not to mention 4 children, 3 of which who just do not understand the seriousness of keeping the cats separated. Sarah understands all of it. We've had some great discussions with lots of tears. My little girl is growing up and I'm enjoying the positive change in our relationship!

Together we've decided that over spring break (first full week in April) we would say our final goodbyes to Ginger. Between now and then we will document, with photos and videos, her importance in our family!

As for Sarah and her growing up.....she has read the entire Twilight book series and has fallen head over heals in love with the story. Tonight, at midnight, the DVD goes on sale. She has begged Dave to take her to a "Twilight party" at Walmart to purchase the movie (yes, at midnight!) and he has agreed! Dave also is loving this new stage Sarah has moved in to! So, in about 15 or 20 minutes Dave will awake his oldest daughter to take her to Walmart to buy her beloved Twilight DVD. I so pity the poor man who falls in love with Sarah and has to fill the expectations that she will have because of her Daddy who not only will move mountains for her, he willingly goes to Walmart on a Friday night at midnight to buy a DVD that surely will be there on Saturday morning!

Anything, just anything, for Daddy's little girl!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sad News

We found out today that our sweet baby Ginger has Feline Leukemia. Fortunately the other two kitties, Duchess and Clarence, are virus free. It is a mystery how Ginger has been exposed as she has NEVER been outside of our house. The only one of our cats who has been outside is Duchess and she has not been allowed out in months, every since she was attacked by something in the woods!

In talking to the vet (we had Ginger tested 3 times to be sure) he indicated that the strength, or lack of in Ginger's case, of the test result would have him guess that her exposure occurred within the last 30 days (!!!) That is just IMPOSSIBLE! How does a cat get a virus that is only transmitted by another infected cat, when she has never been around an infected cat????? We are truly befuddled!

The vet did indicate that Ginger is not very sick. Her temperature is elevated (103--normal is 101-102.5) but not alot, the swollen lymph nodes, that spurred me to bring her in, were mild and could just be a reaction to the fever. Right now, until the complete blood panel comes back, we are keeping her comfortable and isolated from the other cats. Once we have the blood work back we'll have a better idea of Ginger's overall health.

A bit of encouraging news is that it is possible for her to fight the virus and become Leukemia free! We, of course, will pray for that each and every day. Dave and I are concerned about our ability to keep the cats separated for any length of time and will have to make a decision if Ginger proves to be chronically ill with the virus.

I've cried and so has Sarah. She understands what Leukemia is and that Ginger may die. The other children are equating her illness with the flu or something as minor as that. I don't think it is the time to tell them how serious this illness is. There will be time later to prepare them.

We know that prayer is powerful and have seen what miracles can occur. Will you please include our sweet baby in your prayers? She is a treasured member of our family and we just cannot imagine a day without her sweet antics.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Competition Results!

We have all been so darn busy! This past weekend was Sarah's first competition. It was held in Athens, GA. We drove up on Saturday morning (about a two hour drive) and immediately went to work putting on make-up, doing hair and changing into costumes (not me, Sarah!). It was crazy with all of the girls running around, some not as comfortable changing clothes in front of the others. However, some, mainly the older girls with more experience, didn't hesitate to shed their costumes to jump into the next!

Sarah danced in 4 dances; 3 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday. We stayed at the Hilton across the street from the theatre, which was very convenient! We shared with another Mom and her daughter, the same young lady that Sarah was in the Nutcracker with. The girls get along great and I enjoy the Mom's company. It always is fun watching the girls enjoy the socializing of the competition.

The best part of being a member of the dance company is that the girls range in age from 7 to 18. Some of the older girls have become like Sarah's older sisters and take great care of her. They look out and protect her and make sure she stays with them when she isn't dancing. I am so grateful for their responsibility! The majority of the girls know how to interact with the younger ones and know how to "tone" down the teenage talk!

This competition was the first that Sarah was asked to wear false eye lashes! Oh Boy, what a treat they are to put on! If you aren't careful you can glue the eyelashes to the wrong part of the eye. Talk about Tammy Faye Baker!!! Anyway, I think I did a pretty good job on my first outing. I did have several extras, "just in case"!

Grace wanted to come for the competition even though I warned her it was going to be lots of sitting. She still wanted to be there. Grace was great, though she did get a little bored on Sunday. The final awards were given on Sunday night so we didn't leave Athens until after 8 PM. We got home about 10:30 and were just exhausted. Not only did the excitement and hard work (sitting mostly for me!) tire us out, the time change really threw us for a loop!

Because school was on Monday morning I had planned to have Dave take Analiese and Matthew, while the rest of us slept in for awhile. Blame my old, addled, menopausal brain, but I TOTALLY forgot that I had an 8:30 meeting at the Board of Education. When did I remember? At about 7:30 AM right when the closing of the garage door woke me up. Jump out of bed? You bet I did and I FLEW into the shower, got out, woke up the girls (who were extremely confused!) and all of us got out of the house by 7:50--YES, 7:50!!!!!! The girls weren't even counted tardy because the principal decided not to count any of the kids tardy because of the time change. Oh what luck! I even made it to my meeting with time to spare!

Anyway, I digress. The girls all performed beautifully! Sarah had a great time up on stage. You could really see how her confidence has so increased. She still has some skills she needs to work on but let me tell you, she is an awesome dancer! This competition included several large studios. One dance had a total of 80 dancers! It is always interesting to see how the other studios dance and what kind of costumes they wear. Our dance studio director's focus is NOT on showing off the girls bodies and I have never felt uncomfortable with the costumes Sarah wears. That is not the case with some of the other dancers. It is really disturbing, to me, to see girls, some as young as 5, with their bellies exposed and their butts wiggling up on stage.

Here is a link to view the photos of the competition:
(Choose event photos, then "Bravo, Athens, GA March 7-8") The numbers for Sarah's dances are: 100 Bandstand Boogie (Jazz), 108 Dance Machine (Jazz), 119 I Stand (Lyrical) and 232 Suite Country (Tap).

For her dances, Sarah and the other girls, earned 2 silver and 2 gold trophies. Two of the dances; I Stand and Bandstand Boogie received, "How Sweet" awards from the Judges! We are so very proud of them all!

We have another competition this weekend; BalletFest. Sarah will perform in two dances: Its Delovely (my favorite!) and I stand. Then the last weekend in March we go to ANOTHER competition and perform everything we did this last weekend! Thanks to all of you who sponsored Sarah and helped with her competition fees!

It was comical this weekend to see the girls with their Moms. Here was daughter running to her friends and becoming involved in the moment. Behind her is Mom carrying the dance bag, the garment bag, the makeup bag and the food bag--oh and not to forget, her own purse full of odds and ends! Just add "Sherpa" to my already full job description!!