Sunday, January 31, 2010

Riley the Magnificent!

"Pick a card, any card!"

The kids were invited to a birthday party for the little boy across the street who turned 6 and a magician put on a show for all the guests. The kids were also sent home with hats filled with magic tricks! Riley could wait to try out a couple of card tricks when we got home. She sat through the whole show, but Tyson wanted nothing to do with watching it and Cooper wouldn't sit still or stay quiet! :)

It was a fun afternoon and another great opportunity to get to know some of our neighbors a little better!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our little man

Cooper has been experimenting with feeding himself with actual silverware... messy to say the least, but fun!

We've been excited to see Cooper's development over the several days. He's interacting with his big sister and brother so well, but he's still struggling to find actual words. Today, he finally signed "milk" and we're pretty sure he said "daddy". He can throw a mean fit, too. Gotta love him. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


A couple of nights ago, the kids were "reading" to each other before bed for story time. Rick took some great video with his phone, but we can't seem to get it to upload, so here are some grainy, cell phone pictures instead. They don't come close to capturing how cute the moment really was, but you get the idea.

They were nestled next to each other on the couch, snug in their jammies and enjoying a somewhat rare moment of not only getting along, but really loving each other. Just before Rick starting recording, Riley leaned over, hugged Tyson and told him, "You're my best Tyson in the whole wide world."

The whole thing was just a really fun moment to witness as parents!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm still alive... barely.

Okay, so I'm exaggerating a little bit. I've been preparing a unit on Tall Tales for my reading group for the next few weeks so I'm big on exaggeration right now.

Last week, Riley got sick with a bad cold... then Cooper got it (and is still really struggling with it), then Rick. Now, it seems to have settled itself into my run-down, overworked body. Perfect timing.

The kids in my class are great and starting this week I'll be given a lot more responsibility in running the ins and outs of the day, including the read aloud which I'm most excited about! The hard part is leaving my own little ones every morning and not returning home until 4:30pm everyday... when we precede to cook and eat dinner, get a little bit of time with the kids before putting them down for bed and then try and stay awake for some work or TV time. Right now we're enjoying the second night of the 24 premiere!!

This 3-day weekend, we managed to clean most of the house, organize a few more spaces, run some errands, get some work done on my Work Sample, fit in a date night to see Avatar, and spend some time with the kids coloring, playing Play-Doh, Legos, and Mr. Potato Head. Fun times.

Tomorrow morning, it's back to the craziness... back to missing the kids, teaching young minds, and trying to keep my head above water. I actually told Rick in the car today that I'll be surprised if I make it through my student teaching experience without suffering some sort of a breakdown... I'm pretty sure I had a mini one today. :)

And have I mentioned lately what an amazing husband I have? He thoroughly cleaned the kitchen floors this weekend, played with the kids while I worked Saturday morning around the house, Sunday afternoon while I went to get schoolwork done and this afternoon while I took a little recovery nap. He even went to Costco for me. Like I said, amazing. I'm a lucky woman.

Now if he could just write my work sample for me... hmm... :)

I promise... more pictures and stories of the kids are on the horizon. I realized today we've hardly taken any photos of them in the past several weeks, so we're going to be more intentional about it in the weeks to come. We have some big birthdays and other family milestones coming up in February and March, so that will give me plenty to blog about... if I can find the time. Who decided days should only contain 24 hours anyway?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The adventure begins!

Tomorrow is the big day, I begin my official student teaching placement! I'll be spending 5 weeks in a 1st grade classroom and then in mid-February, I'll begin 10 weeks in a 5th grade classroom. I'm nervous and excited all rolled into one. Last week was a great trial run of what it was going to be like being gone Monday-Friday, 7:30am to 4:30pm- something completely foreign to me. I already detest my alarm or anything else that wakes me up at such a crazy hour... and no afternoon nap- what?!? Rick says I'll adjust and get used to it... here's hoping!

There's a lot I'll miss about not being home with the kids, but I'm looking forward to stretching and challenging myself. I apologize now for my lack of blogging over the next several months, I will be elbow deep in lesson plans most night. That is, when I'm not in bed by 8:15pm. I will do my best to keep up with all of the important stuff!

Wish me luck... these kids are cute, but they can eat you alive! :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Do you ever feel like you're being tested in some way?

Back in October, while shopping for Tyson's Halloween costume, I was returning a costume to the Disney Store and purchasing Tyson's Buzz Lightyear costume instead. There were two items on the return receipt, I was returning the less expensive of the two items and should have needed to pay a difference of $15. Instead, I was only asked to pay $5. I was a little confused and thought maybe the Buzz costume was on sale and I didn't notice. I walked by the display on the way out and sure enough, the costume wasn't on sale. I stepped outside the store and examined the receipt. The sales girl had returned the more expensive of the two items by mistake (Riley's Sleeping Beauty dress) and not the Cars costume, making the difference incorrect. I called Rick, who was waiting in the van with the kids and explained what had happened, telling him I would be a few minutes longer because I needed to go back into the store and pay the correct difference. I just couldn't bring myself to walk away. The girl was really appreciative and couldn't believe she had made such a mistake, she was also a little shocked I came back in to correct it.

Jump forward to last weekend, I was out shopping with my mom and sister for some after-Christmas decoration sales. My mom is a preferred shopper at the store we were at and received an additional 10% off the total purchase, so she paid for everything. While looking over the receipt for our items to pay her back for, I realized the most expensive item I picked out (a beautiful monogrammed Christmas plate that I can't wait to hang up next Christmas season) was not on the receipt anywhere. Everything else was accounted for, but the plate, which was originally $25 and should have been $12.50 was nowhere to be found. Somehow, the plate was missed while ringing up all of our bargains, but ended up in our bags. I could have easily paid my mom the $27 we owed her and kept quiet about the plate, but chose to point it out and my mom called the store with the information to pay for the plate.

Now, the last one is a doozie. Rick and I found a great wicker chair, ottoman, cushions and pillow at Pier 1 Imports around the 29th. He and I took turns running into the store picking everything out because we didn't want to get the kids out of the van. The woman helping us was so nice and had even honored a Sale price on the wicker chair, which was no longer on sale, but the tag was still on the chair by mistake- saving us $30! When all was said and done, I'd added more discounted Christmas items to the pile (including our first official tree skirt!) and went to the register to pay. Rick had handed me $300 cash from the furniture we sold on Craigs List before moving and we figured the total (without the Christmas stuff) should have been just above that $300- taking the $30 off sale price into account too, because at that time we didn't know it was mis-marked. So, I was a little surprised when the entire total, Christmas stuff and all, was only $302. Hmmm... We loaded everything in the van and I promptly looked at the receipt. Not a single cushion or pillow had been rung up. That's right, 3 cushions equaling over $60 were not on there. Seriously?? It was as if someone was saying, "You think you're honest, huh? $10 and $12 is nothing. How about $60 worth of FREE stuff? What are you going to do with that???" What we did was walk right back into the store with the cushions and receipt and pay for them. If I thought the girl at the Disney Store was appreciative, it was nothing compared to the woman at Pier 1! She was SO thankful and kept pointing out how busy they've been and how flustered she is and thanked me several times. Rick and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

After this has happened a few times in a row so close together, it makes me wonder: How many other people would really choose to point out mistakes in their favor like these? I would hope everyone, but I know that is not the reality. Most people are quick to point out when they are overcharged for something or paid too much on their end, but not so much when the tables are turned. In every situation, I try to think about the person who made the mistake and how it could have easily been me. I've been overstressed and overtired at work before and realize it can happen to anyone. Let me be clear, I'm not trying to say, "Check me out, I'm such a great person!"- I just believe that the money we would have "saved" by not pointing out the errors would not have been worth it in the long run.

So, a couple of fun things have happened since the afternoon at Pier 1. The next day I was at Safeway buying way too many groceries- a shopping trip I would usually do at Winco to save money. I was chatting with the cashier and loading my groceries bags in the cart and she pointed out that it was her job to load them and I didn't need to do it. I just mentioned I didn't mind helping rather than just sitting by waiting for her to have to do it. She stepped over to the newspapers and pulled out a coupon I didn't have that saved me $10 on the total purchase. The cashier standing behind me said to her, "You're so nice, I don't do stuff like that", sort of in a joking way. My cashier replied that she likes doing nice things for nice people- she was talking about me! All I was thinking in my head was, there was $10 back to us- maybe a little bit of payback or good karma.

Then, two nights ago, Rick and I were leaving the movie theater after seeing The Blind Side. It was dark out and nobody else was around, I looked down to see a soaking wet dollar bill on the ground. I picked it up and Rick and I laughed a little... then three steps later, another little wad of dollar bills were sitting soaking wet, too, three of them to be exact. Four dollars that someone had unfortunately dropped- Rick pointed out that at least they only lost $4 and not 4 twenties or worse! I knew exactly what I was going to do with the $4 before we even made it to the van... no, not Starbucks! This morning at church, those four dollar bills made there way into the tithing basket as it was passed around and I said a little prayer that those exact four dollars would find a way to truly help someone who needs it. Yes, these things have all made me feel good or warm and fuzzy inside, but that isn't the reason I did them. It just felt right, like what I needed to do.

Happy Sunday everyone!