Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas...not over yet!

Well, we are home for about 18 hours before we start traveling again! Just enough time to do 4 loads of laundry, unpack and repack, get Nora her 2nd dose of the flu shot (apparently when you are a baby they give it to you in two doses...not inconvenient or anything), go by the bank, and post on blogger.

The first part of our Christmas vacation is over. We spent the first few days with Matthew's family in Oklahoma. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were not exactly what I imagined Nora's first Christmas would be like. She was sick both days...throwing up and running a fever of 101. It was sad and she was pitiful! I felt so bad for her and wished I could take the sickness from her. Because she was so sick, I did not even think about taking pictures those two days. I did get a few cute ones of her before the bug hit her though. I'm glad to say she has been fever free for 12 hours!

Our plans were altered a bit when a dear friend passed away on Christmas Eve. Marilyn Fowler died after fighting a battle with leukemia. The cancer is not what caused her death, but complications afterwards. She was a loved woman in the town of Searcy. She was the innkeeper for Heritage Inn at Harding. The loss was especially difficult for Matthew because he lived with the Fowler's for 3 years. Mrs. Fowler was, in a lot of ways, like a 2nd mother to him. Proverbs 31 was read at her memorial service and it was completely fitting. Matthew told me that he could not imagine a more fitting eulogy for her. In everything she did, she did it for the Lord and she is now rejoicing in her reward. Please pray for the Fowler family as they adjust to life without Mrs. Fowler. Her husband, Al, has been with her for over 40 years (they were married for 40). Her daughter, Alicia, was her best friend. They talked everyday and are so much alike. Mr. Fowler and Alicia were in the room when she passed away. She also has a son, Ryan, he is Matthew's age. Please pray for all three of them (and Alicia's husband and her two children). We were blessed that she was able to come and see Nora right after she was born. That will always be a precious memory for us.
When Mrs. Fowler passed away, we immediately changed our plans. We were supposed to leave for Texas yesterday to see my family. But, we are now leaving tomorrow and coming back on Monday. We ended up leaving Matthew's mom's house early Christmas day and traveling to Searcy to be there for the visitation and funeral. We were able to see his grandparents though...that was a treat. Grandma crocheted Nora an adorable hat. I am going to have to go buy an outfit to go with it...the girl only has pink in her closet. (You can tell by the dark circles and puffy eyes that she is getting over her sickness.)So, I'm off to bed to rest up for part two of our Christmas celebration. We are going to be missing our New Year's festivities here in Arkansas, but I think we have decided that a quiet evening at my mom's house is just what we need. So, until 2007, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!!

I probably won't be posting again for quite a while. We are going to be crazy travelers for the next two weeks. I'm sure I'll have a ton of pictures to post when we return. Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Guess Who's Crawling!

Yep! Last night, Nora decided to start crawling FORWARDS. She has been crawling backwards for about 3 weeks now, not really getting to her destination, but last night she figured out the forward motion. I started crying today when she was crawling-do you think I'm going to be a basketcase when she starts school? Here is a quick video of her doing her new trick. (By the way...if you have your volume on you'll hear a machine gun firing in the's just my embroidery machine. No need to be alarmed, we don't have fire arms in the house.)

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Losing a person

I don't know if any of you watched "The Biggest Loser". I don't usually watch it, but the hype about it on the Today show yesterday was enough for me to DVR it last night. They kept on and on about how people would not believe the weight loss that had occurred. So, last night after we got home from church, bathed Nora and put her to bed, Matthew and I plopped down on the couch to watch the amazing weight loss...and it was AMAZING!

Since I am not a regular of the show, I do not know exactly how much time passed from the beginning to the end, I think 11 or 12 months. But the winner of the 250,000 dollars lost 214 pounds (52.58% of his total body weight)!!!!!!! That's right, he lost a person! I was sitting there speechless! He did not even look like the same guy. Check out the before and after photos:

Friday, December 08, 2006

"Dear Santa" all moms

My good friend, Lyndsay Magar, forwarded this to me and I wanted to share it with all you moms out there:

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited their doctor's office more than my doctor, sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shadetree on the school playground.

I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always, MOM...!

P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

*Santa has asked that this gets passed on to all the mommies you know

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Santa Baby

I know I posted a ridiculously long post yesterday, but I wanted to share Nora's first visit to Santa. She started crying as soon as she saw the jolly man and buried her head in Matthew's chest. Some parents would have taken that as a sign to bail immediately...not me, I plopped her down on his lap and told the elf to capture the moment. I think it is definitely a memory keeper!

Nora and Santa

Friday, December 01, 2006

All About Nora (and our snow day!)

It has been quite a while since I last posted about our little girl. So, for those of you especially interested in on...

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We traveled to Fort Worth, Texas (where my family lives). We ate a ton (I felt like I gained about 25 pounds...good thing I'm not pregnant, that "weigh-in" would have been traumatic and I'm sure my doctor would have scolded me. He's one of those doctor's who runs 6 miles a day, even if he has just had a leg amputated and malaria.) and enjoyed family time. Nora was able to "hang out" with her cousin, Bailey (he is 6 months old).

On Thanksgiving Day, Nora turned 9 months old! I cannot believe how quickly time is flying. She seems to be changing every day. Here is a little list of what is going on with her right now:

  • She has two teeth (on the bottom) and constantly chews on everything that she can reach

  • Her hair is coming back in, sandy blonde. She has some very long strands that I refuse to cut...they are part of the "original" hair.

  • She is still is 3-6 months clothing, but they are starting to get a little short, but fit great in the waist. 6-9 month clothing swallows's pretty funny

  • At her well-baby check-up on Monday, she weighed 15 lbs. 13.2 oz. (6th percentile) and was 27 in. long (12th percentile). She is tiny, but proportionate.

  • She loves to laugh! Matthew can make her laugh so hard. It is so neat to watch them together!

  • It's amazing how far she can reach. It's like she has Inspector Gadget arms (Go, go Gadget arms!). When she is sitting down, she is very determined about reaching out to things and getting them. Usually she won't give up until she has tried everything. Because of that, she has a little red spot right above her lip that occurred because of diving onto her face in her quest.

  • She is just about ready to crawl (at least that's what we tell ourselves). She can get up on all fours and rock, now she just has to figure out how to move her arms and legs.

  • She is starting to hate her carseat. When I put her in it, she has started arching her back. GREAT! Oh well, just a few more years of this...right?

  • She sleeps about 11 to 12 hours at night! (Except for last night when she was up about every hour...she has a little cold and can hardly breathe when she lays wasn't much fun for mommy and daddy. We actually tried to put her in bed with us at one point, from sheer exhaustion, and she thought it was party time. It lasted about 2 seconds and she was back to her own bed!)

  • She loves ALL food! She is a really good eater (you would think she would weigh more!). She especially loves bananas. Here is a picture of her eating a banana at my mom's. We don't usually give her the entire banana, just little pieces, but this was a cute picture.

  • She loves books! We read the same two books to her every night (Goodnight Moon and The Going to Bed Book) and she is so still and quiet for those. During the day I will take her into her room and sit in the chair and read several books to her and she seems to be paying attention.

  • She "talks" all the time! Her favorites are "mama", "baba", "dada", and humming.

We think she is pretty great! (Sorry for the long list of accolades!). The rest of the pictures are some of the things we did during Thanksgiving (made a gingerbread house, went to a play) and pictures of our snow day today! Matthew didn't have to go to school and we went out and "played" in the snow. Happy 1st day of December!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sucked in...

I have to admit, I have been sucked in to the Razorback excitement. I did something today I am pretty sure I have never done in my life...I listened to an entire football game on the radio! Arkansas vs. Mississippi State. Way to go Hogs, you pulled it out. It was a bit of a nail biter at the beginning, but you are officially champions. I'm sure I will be positioned in front of the t.v. for the game against LSU next Friday, wearing my one and only Razorback t-shirt. I'm proud to be a fan...don't blow it though!

In similar news, the football team with the hick mascot (see previous post) is going to the state championship! We went to every single home game and froze our tails off at most. We are very sad that we won't be able to go to the BIG game in Little Rock next Friday night! Go Mounties!!!! Beat Southside!!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Calling all Stay At Home Moms: Posh Spice and Sporty Spice

Before a baby: Posh Spice

After a baby: Sporty Spice

Let me begin by saying that I was a fairly fashionable person once in my life. I knew name brands and quite a few designers (thanks to my sister who was employed by Neiman Marcus). I was a teacher for 7 years before little Miss Nora arrived and never owned a jumper or piece of wooden jewelry. And I was very proud of that. I had a hard time dressing "casual" on Fridays. I would usually pair my "nice" jeans with some rockin' boots or heels and a stylish top. Rarely did my running shoes make an appearance at school...and I liked it that way. I wore shoes that most teachers would have toppled over in. Oh sure, there was the occasional discomfort, but it was worth it. I loved it when I would be reading aloud to my little students, who were gathered around my feet, and one of the girls would sigh and say, "Mrs. Henderson, I LOVE your shoes! I hope that I can wear shoes like that when I am old." (I usually let the "old" comment pass because she had just complimented my footwear). Even when I was pregnant, I would wear my heels. Sure, I would get home and my ankles would be the size of my head, but it was for a good

Now, I have an 8 month old. I guess most of you know where this is going...downhill. I LIVE in my running shoes. (In the summer, it was my pair if I had on something black and brown for the brown get the point.) Also, my wardrobe is different. I gaze longingly at the slacks and dynamite skirts and think, "Would that be logical to wear to Mommy and Me? Probably not since there is a good chance that green beans, applesauce, or both might end up on them." So, what do I pull out instead? One of three things-jeans, velour jumpsuit-I have 3, or comfy black pants. It is so sad! I was putting on my jeans and t-shirt today when I looked in the mirror and thought, "I have got to step it up!". I do try, honestly! But there is only so much I can do. It is not practical for me to wear my "former life" clothes. When I go shopping now I don't head straight for the skirts and cute tweed pants, I go to the shirts...even now, it hurts me to type this.

My one saving grace is Tuesday nights. On Tuesday nights I get to pretend that I am "posh" again. I leave my world of mommy and become professional again, if only for 2 1/2 hours. I have not gone to class a single Tuesday night in heels lower than 2 inches, and I love it! (Granted, I have to limp to my car after class because my feet are not conditioned like they used to be.)

But, I get home, go check on Nora, and realize that a lifetime in running shoes and sweats is worth it, because I have traded all the fashion in the world for the most precious little girl. So, my "professional" clothes will be pushed to the back of the closet for a few years while I enjoy getting down on the floor and playing or taking her for a ride in the stroller. (Let's just hope when I do need them again, I'll at least have one item that would be considered stylish.)

How many of the rest of you have felt like this?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween activities

We have had a wonderful past few days introducing Nora to all of her "first" Halloween experiences. Of course, she won't remember them, but hopefully Matthew and I will. Below is a little photo journal of our fun.

First visit to the pumpkin patch...she is so excited she doesn't know what to do with her hands

Our family at the pumpkin patch

Our Fall Festival at Church Sunday night. Matthew helped Nora play all of the games and ride on the pony. She wasn't crazy about the game where she had to throw the ball in the bucket. She started crying immediately afterwards.

Matthew and Nora climbing the big slide for her first ever inflatable slide ride
At the top, ready to go! My camera did a crazy thing on me as I was getting ready to capture them going down and didn't take the picture. But, she did laugh the entire way down!

Matthew and I attempted to dress up "50's style" to match our poodle.

And, finally, Nora and her friend, John David the octopus, Trick or Treating last night. It was SO COLD! Nora had to wear a hat under her poodle cap and gloves. They had fun on John David's daddy's golf cart going to all the houses and looking cute.

I hope everyone had a very Happy Halloween!!!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Roll over...roll over

Here she is...eight months old and finally rolling over both ways. And she is a champ at rolling over both ways too! (I have a video below of her rolling over-she struggles a bit but don't we all sometimes :) ) I am very proud of her and have to remind myslef (and others) that she is only 8 months old. Okay, now it's time to vent a little little girl is perfect, perfectly cute and perfectly sweet. I don't expect her to be doing cartwheels right now...she is still a baby. I am tired of the moms at church and Wal-Mart coming up to me asking, "Well, has she started doing (insert developmental skill here) yet? N000000? Well, my (insert name of perfect child here) started doing that when she/he was 2 days old. Are you worried? Of course not! I'm sure she will eventually do that...hopefully." Then the mom looks at Nora very worried and walks off shaking her head. Look lady, I'm tired of the pity looks! What really gets me is when they ask if I have been working with her. Um, no, I just plop her down in her crib and go sit on the couch, watch soap operas, and do my nails. OF COURSE I work with her. Leave her alone!!!!!!! She is probably going to be smarter than the rest of those kids anyways. Okay, thanks for letting me vent!

Here is the video (by the way, the toy does not actually hit her in the head, it just looks that way).

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Not Dog Fans

My husband and I are not animal fans. I don't know why, we both had animals growing up. He had several dogs and cats and I had a dog or two. So, I don't know where we got these attitudes. We tolerate animals when in the presence of them, but don't look to add one to our family any time soon. Don't start hating me yet...I think animals are great! I love the look of a boy with his dog. I cry over the documentaries where a puppy is trained to be a seeing eye dog to help a blind person. A K-9 dog where I live recently died, I was captivated by the news footage and especially sad when his partner was interviewed. I do have soft spot in my heart for DOGS (not any other animal though...sorry cat lovers). I just don't want to own one...right now that is. I am sure when Nora is old enough to ask for one, we will give in and go pick out the most adorable mutt we can find. But, the dog will live OUTDOORS! That is my one stipulation! Our backyard is not gigantic, it's big enough for patio furniture, some really pretty flowerbeds, and a future swingset, but not a good enough playground for a 50 pound dog (I don't want a little dog...I'm thinking golden retriever or lab-a dog that size). We need a bigger yard before we adopt a dog-I think it's only fair because we really will try very hard to be good owners! (Next door to us are the most annoying dogs on the planet. As soon as we step foot outside, they bark constantly the ENTIRE time we are in the backyard. After a few hours, we start to ignore the yapping coming from the other side of the fence, but it really does grate on our nerves!-just a side story, thought you would like to know) I'm sure you're wondering why in the world I feel the need to write about this. This leads me to Nora's Halloween costume. What am I dressing my little girl as? A dog. Not a great big dog, nope, a poodle. I couldn't resist...the costume was so precious and I knew she would make it even more adorable. So, here she is, the poodle of parents who aren't crazy about animals...kind of ironic, huh?

Monday, October 16, 2006

An update

Well, I figured I would update about our lives. It seems like it has been awhile since I have done that.

Right now, Nora is a little sick. I took her to the doctor this morning and he gave her a prescription for a cough medicine and eye drops. So, now, I guess it is up to me to torture her every 2 hours by putting drops in her eye. She only has to take the cough medicine for 5 days, so by Friday we will hopefully be free of that. Yesterday Nora and I didn't go to church because when she woke up, she was coughing like a seal and her eye was matted closed...gross! I suppose I should be thankful, this is her first cold in almost 8 months of life. And, knock on wood, the doctor said her ears looked clear!

She still refuses to roll over on her stomach. We practice every single day, many times. But every time I put her on her stomach, she flips right back over onto her back. I put so many enticing things just out of her reach and she is not tempted at all. The most enticing of cell phone...does not even tempt her to roll towards it. At this point, it looks like I may have to call in an expert. I heard one time that if your child does not crawl and goes straight to walking, they have a more difficult time learning to read. Well, the reading specialist in me is terrified that this might happen. So, to compensate, I am overloading her with read alouds. The rational, level headed person in me laughs at this and knows that she will be just fine. Finding a balance between the two voices is hard.

She has a tooth poking through! It is creeping upwards and everyday, shows up a little more. It is very sweet and she hasn't seemed too bothered by the jaggedy thing. She also has been talking up a storm for over a month. When I say "talking" I mean, "mamamama", "babababa", and "dadadadada". It melts my heart! That is how she wakes me up in the morning-talking.

We took family pictures on Saturday (not professional, just with a friends really nice camera). We also took some with our camera, but when we got home, we couldn't find out camera anywhere! I am still searching and hopefully it will turn up very soon!

I am going to be teaching for Harding University again in the spring. I am actually going to be teaching two nights, but only one class. On Monday nights I will have to drive to Fort Smith (1 hour away), but Matthew and Nora will get to go with me. Matthew's grandmother lives in Ft. Smith, so they will hang out with her while I teach. Then on Tuesday nights, I will teach the same class, but up here in Bentonville. I'm glad to be contributing to our family income again in the spring...God is definitely watching out for us!

Life is keeping us very, very busy! I never imagined it would be so hectic! What I can't believe is that Nora will be 8 months old on the 23rd. Maybe we'll find our camera soon and I can post some of our fall family pics...but until then, here are some that we took a few weeks ago. Enjoy!

IMG_1345 IMG_1352


Sunday, October 15, 2006

An invitation please!

Some of my blogging world friends have suddenly been sending out invitations to view their blog. I'm sad to say that I have not received an invitation. Am I the kid that thinks she's cool, but really everyone is talking about her behind her back saying how sad it is that she wants to go to the party, but no one has invited her? I hope not. I tried to get on one of my favorite blogs recently (Ashley Mills, you better be reading this because I am talking to you!) and I was denied access because I am not a "cool" kid. I really thought I had commented enough and shown enough interest in her fantastic blog to warrant an invite. Sigh...Obviously, I am a loser and way out of the loop. If the rest of you decide (and by the rest of you, I mean everyone listed to the right of this post) to go top secret on me and don't give me the keys to unlock your blogging door, it has been fun and I have enjoyed every letter you have typed :).

*****Ashley-I love you blog and am so sad to not be able to read it! You were my daily laugh and your quirky way with words was an inspiration to me. Let me know what I can do to come to the cool party! I will give you my lunch money and do your homework for you. I sound desperate, I know, it's pitiful, but seriously...I need my dose of supa!

Monday, October 02, 2006


Tickle Me Elmo is celebrating his 10th birthday with the TMX. This is the most hilarious toy I have seen in a very long time. And apparently they are flying off the shelves like the original Elmo (like hotcakes). I have heard of people paying crazy amounts for the little furry guy. Someone on EBAY paid over $100 to make sure their kid was smiling on Christmas morning (Fisher Price is only asking $40...when I say "only" I want you to know that I think that is a great big asking price for a kid's toy). I will probably not knock grown women over to nab one for Nora, but I definitely see the appeal. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of witnessing the TMX, click here and then click on "See It In Action". You will also see how it could get EXTREMELY annoying for your child (or other adult) to tickle it over and over. I admit that the red monster is cute and hope Nora has a good friend with parents that went out and fought other parents for one, so she can go over to their house one day and play.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Future Mountie?????

IMG_1315 Here she is...our future Mountaineer. What in the world is a "Mountaineer" you might ask? Well, only the most hick mascot on the face of the earth! When we moved to Northwest Arkansas, I was mortified to find out that I was working in a school district that actually promoted the stereotypical view of all Arkansans. To the left is a silhouette of a "Mountie": notice the pipe (promoting smoking and lung cancer), the long nasty hair, the straw hat, and probably a moonshine still in his backyard. What you don't see are the cutoff overalls that usually completes the ensemble. The CHEERLEADERS run out onto the field with their hair in pigtails and sporting cutoffs as well. Again, a tad bit embarrassing. And yet, I embroidered my daughter a spirit shirt for the game Friday night.

This is not my first run in with weird mascots. I grew up as a...drumroll please...kangaroo! Yep, laugh all you want, but I was a fighting blue kangaroo...Go Big Blue! I realize it is not as intimidating as say a panther, or lion, or even wildcat (shout out to Matthew), but it was what I grew up with and I was proud. I didn't even realize until I got to college that it was unusual.

I had a friend in college whose mascot was even crazier than mine. He was a PRETZEL! I'm not kidding! He was from Illinois (I think) and proudly wore the name of a pretzel. That makes me laugh!

What about you...any crazy mascot growing up? It is amazing how offended one can get when you make fun of their pride and joy, the spirit of the school, the reason for the pep rallies-the mascot!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Six Month Pictures

These are a sample of Nora's 6 month pictures. Isn't she a cutie! You would never tell by looking at the rolls on her tummy that she is only in the 10th percentile in weight :). Every baby needs to have some rolls though! If you want to see the rest they are posted on flickr.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A new addition...

I am so excited! We have a new addition to our family! After talking about it for quite some time and looking around for the best deal...we finally got embroidery machine!!!!!!!! Yeah! A lady at our church just got a new fancy one (really fancy!) and was looking to get rid of her "old" one (7 years old-not too bad) and I snatched it up. I am really happy about it. Crazy, I know, some people would not get so excited over something to monogram with-but I am thrilled!

I have not gotten to play with it very much, but as soon as I master something, I will be displaying it for all to see. It does not have all of the new cute programs, but it will do to put initials on hairbows and names on backpacks (thinking about the future).

Thank you, those of you, who are jumping for joy in your hearts for me. You know the happiness that is in my heart for this little piece of machinery.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Baby Max Julian

Calling all prayer warriors...
Please visit this blog and read about baby Max Julian... His Aunt Karie (a friend of mine from Harding University) is updating the site often. I know the family would appreciate your visit to the site, comments of encouragement, and prayers. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Professor Henderson and a 6 month old

Well, my first night as a "professor" is over...I was so nervous, but I think it went okay. I was super prepared and planned WAY too much stuff to do. But, better to be overprepared than just sitting around twiddling thumbs...right? I looked extra snazzy in an outfit purchased this weekend when my mom and sister were here. My goal was to look "professional" but Matthew thought I looked "hot". Poor guy...he's been forced to see me in jeans/sweats/shorts and t-shirts for the past 6 months. I guess anything that is a little dressy qualifies as "hot" nowadays :).

My class (according to the schedule) goes from 7:05-9:35pm. During our break, one of the students (mind you, she is an ADULT) came up to me and requested that we get out at 9pm for the rest of the semester. I told her I would do my best to get out a little early every night, but couldn't make any promises. Was I out of line? Should I have granted her wish? I have been a little paranoid about it ever since then. My thought was, this is graduate school, you knew the times when you signed up for it. Should I let them out by 9pm each night? There is just so much to cover and we only have 16 weeks. Oh, well, I guess next Tuesday night, if she is still there, then she doesn't hate me too much.

On another note, my baby is 6 months old today! It is so hard to believe! We went this afternoon and got her pictures taken. She was adorable. I should have them back next week and will post them on flickr. The following picture is a cute one that my sister took on the way home from church on Sunday (they are her sunglasses).

How funny is she! She certainly doesn't look like the angelic little girl that usually has her picture taken.

Speaking of the angel...she refuses to nap right now...sigh. I'm off to see who is going to win this battle.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Treadmill Dance

I have been trying to lose all of my baby weight. Maybe I should try this workout looks like fun and all of the guys sure are skinny :). Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Why do grades matter so much?

As a teacher, it was one of my duties to give grades every nine weeks. No big deal. I was a fair teacher and gave grades that the students deserved. Occasionally, I would have an upset mom call or email me and let me know that her perfect child has scored less than perfect on the all important report card. She wanted to make me aware that I had made a mistake and needed to correct it right away. Ummm, no, I'm not going to make any corrections! I have the final say because I am the queen of the classroom.

While I was in school (K-12), I did fairly well. I wasn't the valedictorian or anything, but I did manage to get in the top 10%. (By the way, I was friends with the valedictorian AND the salutatorian...does that give me smart points just for knowing them?) Honestly, I never really gave grades or studying that much thought while in junior high or high school.

Then, I got to college. Boy did I have fun my freshman year! So much fun, in fact, that I received a phone call from my mom right after midterm grades had been mailed out to remind me that I needed to get in a little bit of study time if I wanted to continue my higher education. So, I buckled down (actually, not after the phone call, but sometime before my freshman year was over) and studied (some) and even made the Dean's list a semester or two. I did not get to wear any of the "special" cords at graduation, but let's not be picky...I really increased my GPA from my first semester of college and graduated right in the middle! (Those people who were below me must have had a lot of fun all four years! Oh to be them!)

When I went to apply for my first job, guess what they didn't do? They did not ask to see my college report card (aka transcript)! Shocking, I know. I wasn't trying to get into any graduate school or even apply for NASA, I was merely trying to be an elementary teacher. And I got the job. Miracle! I bet even those over-achievers who graduated from college with a 4.0 (in the education department) didn't have to show their spectacular grades either. They should have had a little more fun.

Now, when I went to graduate school, I was a little more serious and cared a little bit more. I actually did graduate with a 4.0, but 2 months later, had a baby, and she doesn't care at all. Actually, the only person who does care is: my mom (she is breathing a huge sigh of relief because I stepped it up since my undergraduate days). I am very happy to make her proud, but no one, again, is ever going to look and see my GPA...they are only going to look and see that I have a Master's degree-that is all they (and by they, I mean future employers) care about!

Have you ever been around those adults that like to compare ACT and SAT scores? They drive me insane! Newsflash-we are ADULTS!!!!! Our ACT and SAT days are long gone. Those scores do not matter anymore. If you want to compare things-don't start with standardized test scores!

I write all of this to make myself feel better today. For those of you that keep up with my blog (all 6 of you), you know that I have a job facilitating for PBS professional development classes. For the past 3 weeks I have been "training". Well, yesterday we got our first grades for our training. I was VERY disappointed in my grades! Now don' t think the worst of me yet, I have a solid "B" right now. But, I assumed I would be receiving a 100...sigh! I have not emailed my teacher yet to let her know of her mistake-that I received a less than perfect grade. If she is anything like me though, she is queen of her classroom and I had better just get over it.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Orange Beach 2006

We had a wonderful time on our trip! Here are a few pictures of the highlights. You can look at all of them by going to our flickr account. We got home really late last night and have spent the day resting up from our vacation :). I hope to update later on...laundry to do.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Mostly for the family

Warning...the following post might only be interesting for our families:

Nora is now eating sweet potatoes! And she is LOVING them! I hope she feels this way about all veggies...ah, to dream. But, she gobbles down the sweet potatoes and gets very agitated everytime I have to fill the spoon up with more. Impatient little thing. Anyway, her are some pictures of her getting her fill:

And now the video. It is her sitting up for a few seconds...I hope it works!

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing

Isn't she a cutie!

She is getting really good at sitting up! I'm such a proud mommy! She is getting to be so much fun too. One of her new faves is to look in the mirror and smile at the little girl on the other side. She loves to be tickled on the bottoms of her feet, but if she thinks you have been doing it for too long, she'll yell at you :). She is still teeny, but I'm hoping she will start to bulk up with the added vegetables in her diet. I am actually making my food! My good friend, Lyndsay Magar, makes her baby food and totally inspired me when we were together last week. It is sooooooo easy and a whole lot cheaper than the store bought stuff. My other friend, Leslie Echols, loaned me a book from her collection, Super Baby Food. It has some yummy recipes in it. Lyndsay recommended "Blender Baby Food", but I have not been able to find it yet...the hunt is not over though. I realize it is impractical for a lot of moms to do this, but for this stay-at-home mom who is trying to pinch pennies, it is a breeze. I say all of this and I have only tackled one food. I'm hoping the rest is as easy.

We leave Tuesday morning, bright and early, for our trip to Orange Beach. I'm hoping to be a better photographer than I was on our last trip, maybe Matthew can give me a nudge every now and then. We're actually stopping in Hattiesburg, MS for a few days with his dad and then onto the sandy beaches on Thursday. We'll be coming home on until then, have a great week.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Summer School is Cool!

I have been substituting for summer school this week (really just Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday). A few things I have learned about teaching summer school:

1. EASY MONEY!!!!! Any of you teachers out there ever get the offer to teach it, do it!
2. Good hours-8:30 to 11:30 every can't beat that
3. Good kids-at our summer school, it was only for 2nd graders. Now these aren't the kids that you usually think of when you think "summer school" (you know the losers who are half sitting, half slumped in a desk with a cigarette dangling out of their mouths while they are carving their initials in the desk with their 6" pocket knife). These are cute kids who made a whole lot of progress in reading last year and their teachers didn't want them to lose it over the summer. Pretty much, it should be called "Refresher course" instead of "summer school".
4. Nice dress code-I could have worn shorts everyday if I wanted to. Notice I wrote "if I wanted to". My upbringing would not allow it though. We had it put in our heads, from a very young age, that it is okay to be a "click" above when it comes to dressing to go places. That way you don't feel ridiculous if you are underdressed and it looks like you put some effort into it. Not many people make rude comments or look at you strangely if you are dressed nicely (well, the people who are dressed poorly sometimes say, "Well, look at you...what are you all dressed up for? I didn't know that we were supposed to dress NICE!!!!!". I think they do that to make themselves feel better, because when they are standing next to you, they wish they had dressed a "click" above too). My mom and sister are the queens of the click theory. Because of their good influence, I try to "keep up with appearances" as well. (Disclaimer: after having a baby and not being able to fit into ANYTHING in my closet, it has made it very difficult to abide by the rule. I am happily shedding the weight (and strange bulges) and can see the light at the end of the closet where all of my clothes are.)
5. Early get up time-and I mean EARLY! I have not really had to set my alarm in over 5 months. When my alarm went off on Tuesday, I thought I was literally going to have a heart attack. But, I still remembered where the snooze button was from my alarm clock days and pressed it successfully on Wednesday and Thursday.
6. Picky baby-She would NOT take a bottle from her grandmother (Matthew's mom) or Matthew any of the days that I was gone. Stubborn little girl! When I got home, I even tried to give her one and she looked at me like I had lost my mind. I'm pretty sure she was thinking, "Mom, what are you doing? Why are you trying to shove this crazy piece of silicone in my mouth...that's not how you and I usually do it! Come on, you know I'm not going to give in, you might as well do it the way we've been doing it since birth." Any suggestions on how I can convince her to take a bottle. She won't even put her lips around a sippy cup! Picky, picky, picky!
7. Good to get home! It has made me realize that I am so happy with our decision for me to stay home with Nora. I really love teaching, truly! I completely enjoyed my time these past few days, but I missed my baby also! And she missed me! I can't imagine dropping her off somewhere at 6:45 every morning and not picking her up until 4:30...I know, a ton of kids do that, and I really respect those parents, they are so busy and still manage to spend time with their kids. I, on the other hand, would be so worn out by the end of the day, that I would not be able to function very well, let alone play with my child and love her like she deserves to be loved.

So, those are a few things about summer school. If they ask me again next summer, I will jump on the opportunity!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hint from Henderson

I feel a bit like Heloise right now...

Dear Hints from Henderson,
I love fresh corn on the cob, but hate pulling the silky things off of it before I boil it. Do you have any suggestions for getting it off easier?
From, Love Corn but Hates Silk

Dear Love and Hate,
Glad you asked! Next time you go to the Farmers Market for that corn, don't bring it home and immediately start "shucking" it. Put it in the microwave instead! Yes, that's right. Put the fresh corn on the cob in the microwave (shucks and all) and cook it for 3 minutes per cob. Once the time is up, take the corn out and peel away the layers and silk and enjoy some hot corn. The silks don't even stick to the corn! Be careful though, it's a little hot, so don't burn your hands. No more boiling pots of water and digging out those pesky silks from the corn. Enjoy!!!!

Just thought I would pass on a little tip that I have found extremely helpful this summer!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

More pictures

Refer to the post below if you are curious about our Girls Week, if not, enjoy the pictures. Thank you Lyndsay and Leslie for sendings some pictures. I have them all posted on Flickr, so you can see the entire slideshow...enjoy!

Lauren Gustafson

Tess Magar and Marley Gustafson

Kate, Jenny, and Andrew Martin

Crazy moms taking 8 kids on a walk in the 100 degree heat

Addie, Lauren, Ethan, and Kate playing in the sprinkler

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