Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all of YOU!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

survive weekly and escape as much as possible

Our pastor often speaks about things married couples should do to help keep their relationship intimate and alive. He has this little saying that goes something like "date weekly and depart quarterly."

I always thought that was brilliant. In our home it lasted maybe two months.

At first, I used to think that my husband didn't care enough about me if we didn't do our weekly date night.

I really would get upset about it and it reflected on our relationship. I thought, I 'deserved' better than that. I deserved to be loved and romanced, and taken on a date once a week. In fact, I recall a verse in the bible that speaks about husband to court their wives MORE than when you did while dating them.

That is how I envisioned my perfect marriage. A romantic husband that came up with all these romantic ideas and dates, courting me more during our marriage than when we were dating.

I quickly learned as anything else, all of that sounded so great in theory, but just isn't reality.

In reality its another story.

The dating your wife more during your marriage may be possible, um, the first months or years you do not have children.

Once children come into the picture everything about your marriage changes. Some really great things and some sort of sad things, but not anything that you just cant live without. And surely nothing bad enough that makes getting married or having children all not worth it.

Its just that.... different.

Change in other words.

First of all, it takes a village (in reality) to raise children. If you do not live near family, you don't have that village to help you and therefore, it can be really exhausting and really expensive to try and keep that "dating" lifestyle going.

I have found myself miserable on the very few date nights that my husband and have gone on over the last two years of our marriage since having little butterfly in our lives. I'm exhausted at the end of my days, and so the last thing I want to do is get dressed up for anything. Its expensive to hire sitters as is, so who can afford to hire a sitter a couple of hours earlier before the date, just so mom and dad can actually get showered and dressed in peace? Not us anyways.

Its almost as if the kids know we have plans and they instantly turn on this terror act. Morgan getting into anything and everything that is less than three feet tall. While I am sitting in the bathroom trying to apply mascara, I have a toddler fussing at me and yanking on my arm. Trust me, its not easy to apply mascara with a toddler pulling on your arm.

Then the next thing... she starts pulling and stretching out mommies thong. Pulling and pulling while taking a step back as if I'm her personal sling shot.

I am so over trying to entertain a toddler and trying to get myself ready at this point. As if that wasn't enough, I hate everything in my closet. To top it off, I thought I would curl my hair that was already straight, just so I could feel a little different. Who knows, maybe even feel a little sexy for once. I begin to curl my hair. I get half of it curled, to realize that I have no hair spray or styling spray. There is no way my curls are going to hold without any type of support spray.

At this point, I just wanted to cry, crawl in bed and dream of my younger single days for a moment when things were easy. The days where you could sleep, or take all afternoon deciding on your outfit for the evening. The days where you could leisurely take your time getting ready while talking on the phone with your girlfriends or jamming out to No Doubt. While possibly even admiring your own youthful figure. Those days that when you walked out of your place if on a date or out with the girls, you just had that attitude of "I look and feel good."

Then I wake back up to my reality of a screaming toddler that apparently really was just feeling crabby because she was sick with an ear infection and sinus infection, that I would later learn the next Monday at her doctors appointment.

I re-straighten the hair I just curled. However, lessoned learned. It is much harder to straighten hair you curled, than to curl the hair you just straightened? Go figure.

I am dressed.

The sitter is on her way.

Hubby then decided that since this was our first date since LAST February for our wedding anniversary, and we are all dressed up.... "lets get some pictures by the tree."

Um, okay...... make your choice will we have the nine year old or the 20 month old take the picture for us honey?

We went with the nine year old.

I could only force myself to try to get a nice photo twice.

The first one, as you can see, I look like a deer looking into an on coming car.

But hey its in focus.

The second one, as you can see, I actually forced on a smile. While having my fussy toddler reaching out at me to be held as it has gone the entire evening.

That picture is not in focus.

We may look dressed and ready to go out on our date for my birthday, but underneath it all, I just wanted to run away for the rest of the night.

I made it to the car and to our dinner reservation. It was a nice place. Great food. Mark and I actually had some great conversation, with very little talk of the kids. It was a nice date.

However, it ended up being an expensive dinner for two. About a hundred dollars more than a dinner for four (our family) the night before. On top of that you have the sitter cost.

After dinner it was so cold outside and the dress I was wearing just wasn't going to keep me warm, so we passed on our movie and called it a night. Sent the sitter home, got the kids in bed. I got on my computer for a bit, while hubby played video games online with his buddy.

Well, hubby and I did get reacquainted before all that, but I didn't think you cared for that info. Or the fact that our nine-year old interrupted us. We called it an intermission, while scrambling around to get dressed so I could answer his two minute knock at the door.

I thought I would leave that part out for you.

Although, there is a huge part of me that misses all those romantic dating years.

I also realize I am just as happy sitting at home with our little family saving that $300 date night, putting it aside for a get away with just the hubby and I every once in awhile instead.

Wouldn't you considered that a fair trade men?

Instead of having to come up with a "date" idea each week. Save that money and actually take your wife on a weekend getaway every 3 to 4 months.

Mark and I have decided we may be heading to Colorado with two other couples on a ski trip for about five nights in February. Now that is a date I look forward to. We have a friend that has a home we can stay in, we found some pretty reasonable flights. Hunter will go with his dad. We will connect in Dallas TX and drop Morgan off with my parents, so there is no extra childcare cost.

It will be so worth it and such a better way for hubby and I to really get away from all the stress of work, bills, child raising and really just connect as a husband and wife again.

I have changed that 'date weekly - depart quarterly' to 'survive weekly and escape as much as possible.'

I look forward to posting pictures from that trip that will replace these pictures from this night.

Happy Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Plan B (Nashville Part I)

Plan B is my reason for visiting Nashville TN.

There is a guy, his name is Pete Wilson. He is known as the "best pastor" in Nashville. Since he is the only pastor in Nashville that I know, I can't argue that rumor. He has a wife named Brandi. Brandi is known as the "best pastor wife" and since I have met her, I wouldn't doubt that she is the best pastors wife.

Both Pete and Brandi are two of the nicest people I have met.

Pete wrote a book 'Plan B' that is sold on Amazon. To help promote and give his readers a visual in what the book is about, he wanted a video promo of his book. Pete invited me out to play the visual role of that video.

When he emailed me, he asked me if I would be interested in helping make this video. He continued to explain that they couldn't pay me, but maybe I would pray about it and see if it was something I could give my time in and be a part of.

My first response to Pete via email was "No thank you, not interested."

That's all it said.

Can you imagine what his face or thoughts where reading that email? This guy doesn't know me at all. We have mutual friends in common in the pastor and pastor wives circle, but we have never personally met or been in communication prior to him stepping out and asking me to participate in this video.

I, of course, was totally kidding with him. I finally wrote the second email saying of course I would.

I didn't need to pray about it or think twice. I love giving my time to anything that involves my church or anything that is promoting Christianity and my God. I loved the idea about his book and thought it was a great thing to be apart of.

However, I did negotiate a little bit of a deal out of all of this for myself.

I guess you will just have to wait for that post.

Its fun stuff though so you will want to check back and see what I am talking about.

Well months went by since that conversation with Pete. This shoot wasn't supposed to take place until February of 2010. When all of the sudden during my busiest month of work and traveling with the modeling, Pete emails me to say that they really needed to shoot the video this month.

To make a long story short(er)....

After going back and forth a few text and emails, it appeared that it was not going to be possible for me to make my way out to Nashville due to conflicts in other commitments with work and travel.

However, God (being the master of all that he is) rearranged somethings in my schedule to make it possible. I am so thrilled that He did.

I made it to Nashville and was greeted by Pete at the airport. We stopped by Starbucks to kill a few minutes before heading over to the studio to begin filming. I don't drink coffee, but it was cold enough to enjoy a really hot cup of hot chocolate. Yum.

Soon after we headed to the studio to learn that the studios heater was not working, and it was like 20 degrees outside. Okay-okay, it was more in the 60's I guess, but for us Floridans that feels like below zero.

We begin filming while taking a few breaks in between to warm up by the oven in the kitchen.

No lie!

But we managed to get the video finished with (real) tears and (real) laughter along the way.

I can't wait to see the final product and read the book, Plan B.

In other news: Serious.Life Magazine & Me!

Most of you have heard of Serious.Life Magazine. Its pretty popular among all the bloggers out there.

I am so excited to say that I was personally invited by Brent Riggs, the owner and author of the magazine. We have become blogging friends over the last few months and he made me feel special by inviting me to write an article about digital photography.

This issue is all about digital photography. This magazine features some big time bloggers, and some professional photographers and as well as amateur photographers such as myself. Brent wanted to give digital photography advice to all his readers, no matter the skill level in which you are at.

What a brilliant idea.

I have a special article inside the magazine plus a small photo gallery to view. Please take a peek and see all the fun photography tips everyone is sharing in the magazine. Once you read this issue on digital photography you will be more motivated to go out and photograph some magical memories of your loved ones over this special Christmas holiday.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

christmas (came) early

He leaves this afternoon and heads to Cape Cod tomorrow with dad, so we thought we would let him do Christmas with us a little early.

Our family tradition that has come from Mark's childhood family tradition, is to read from the book of Luke on Christmas morning, about the birth of Jesus. The last few years we have let Hunter be the one to read the story from the bible and he will until his sister is old enough to rotate and read with him.

{Hunter reading to us the birth of Jesus}

This year Hunter requested a 'big boy' bible of his own. The one he has is for 'little boys' and so with the gift money from Nana Jan and Papa Mark Baniewicz, Mark was able to find this fabulous boys bible. If you have young boys, this is a must have boy bible. I absolutely love it.

For each book of the bible, it tells you who are the authors of writing that book and the purpose of that book in the bible. It really breaks things down for them to understand things, but its cool enough and laid out in an adult fashion that they are getting a very "grown up" book.

{His new boys bible}

{can be found on Amazon}

Then after unwrapping many 'Red Sox" things like a beanie cap, beach towel, backpack.....

He opened up his BIG Christmas gift of the year.

An autographed travel jersey that was actually worn during season of 2009 by Red Sox pitcher, Clay Buchholz.

{The actual jersey worn by Clay here....}

{ now being worn by my 9-year-old son!!!}

Think he is happy?

My good friend and old roommate and her now husband, Clay Buchholz, went over and beyond to make this such a special Red Sox Christmas for this little guy. Lindsay lived with us when Hunter was about two-years-old. Just a little guy.

The message from Clay says:

This is a game-used jersey!
Thanks for being the biggest Sox fan!
Best Wishes!
Clay Buchholz #61

Remember this post and this post? See how fun it is during baseball season in our home?

{Morgan had to give it a twirl too!}

And to add a little more fun to it all. I put a lot of thought and heart into finding our families stockings. Did I want matching ones that looked all nice and pretty displayed for people to see? Or did I want to get stockings for each of our personalities that would be fun and make for great conversation pieces when people came into our home?


I wanted something unique and something that you won't see in many homes!

A Red Sox and a Yankees Christmas stocking hanging side by side during the Christmas holidays!

By the way....

Clay and Lindsay are officially married as of November 14th, 2009. I was so bummed to miss the wedding, but it was a beautiful fairy-tale wedding for my girlfriend, Mrs. Lindsay Clubine Buchholz.

To see more photos, friend Lindsay on Facebook here. Also, Ill be posting all my Christmas photos on Facebook as well, so if you haven't already, come friend me here.

Dear Clay and Lindsay,

I can't put into words how thankful I am to the both of you for making this special Red Sox Christmas take place for (as Clay said it) the BIGGEST Red Sox fan!! He was so surprised and full of smiles while reading the message Clay wrote to him on the back. For you guys it was a special treat doing this for Hunter. For Hunter, it is something that he will be able to cherish and keep for the rest of his life..... even if you (Clay) get traded to some other team. To him (and a lot of us) you will always be a Red Sox player first.

Congratulations to you both again on your wedding. Thank you so much for a magical Christmas for a 9-year-old boy. Lindsay, you have gotten to watch him grow into this little man he is today. I can't wait to watch the same when you guys start growing a family of your own.

Merry Christmas to you guys.

And a Merry Christmas to all of YOU reading this here today.

God Bless!

so much holiday in this post



It looks like Christmas in this post!

a little taste of Christmas in Florida

If we can't get Florida to feel like Christmas, we will just do our best to bring the Christmas feel to Florida.

You see, if you close all the blinds, turn on all the Christmas decorations in the home and listen to holiday music, while you fill the house with the smell of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies and the sound of laughter of children running around. You can forget about the 75 degree temperature and rain outside here on this island people call the 'State of Florida' and have a little taste of Christmas in Florida.

It isn't the midwest where you walk outside to 20 inches of snow. Temperatures so cold your car won't start and your mouth looks like its an oven with smoke rushing out of it every time its opened.

It really is hard to get that 'Christmas feeling' here in South Florida. Especially if you are from the midwest or any place where its cold this time of year, or you even have snow.

I guess for those that are born and raised here in Florida, it really is Christmas to them. Its what they know.

I know differently, and so for that it makes it hard to get in the Christmas groove around here.

But we do our best......

{Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal - No Bake Cookies}

{our decorations for our bread house}

{for me, it was my first bread house ever}

{the FINAL product}.... so pretty. Hunter did a fabulous job.

(photo taken with cell phone: below)
{waiting for the bread house to set before decorating it}

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

night and day (part II)

Remember this face? Did you read this post?

{old school}

Looks like a big difference to me. Agree?

{new school}

Morgan is really loving her new school. I mean LOVES it!

Each day she has school, we ask her when she wakes if she wants to go to school. Her response is always with a sleepy smile "kayyyy."

We eat, get dressed and pack her bag and head to school.

She walks in and greets all her friends with a smile and hugs the teacher.

Today I spent about an hour in her class with her and just watched the things they do, and boy are they busy.

Morgan was running around, smiling, laughing and playing with her friends. While her friends where more interested in mommy and mommy's camera.

Anyways, I am in the process of writing my letter to get it into the right hands regarding the other school. I just wanted to share with you the "happy" update of this story and hopefully I make it a happy ending for many other kids and parents once I get my letter out. Ill keep you posted.

To enjoy all the photos from her school today, click here.

oh yea

Recently, I have found myself going in circles. I say often either in my head or out loud "I'm always going in circles." Its so true.

As a mother of one or multiple children, you know your work is never ending. There is always laundry to do. If there isn't, give it another 15 minutes and BAM! like magic dirty clothes appear in the laundry basket. There is always mouths to feed. Toys to clean up. Diapers to change. Pets to feed. Something to do.

I often find myself doing one of these:

I get up to go into the kitchen. Realize the cats are hungry, so I walk into the area where their food is to fill the bowls. Realize there is cat food on the floor around their bowls, so I walk to the garage to grab the broom and dust pan. In the hallway as I get the dust pan and broom I realize there is litter on the floor from the littler box and my day begins......

I begin sweeping up the litter.

I finish sweeping it up and go to empty the dust pan into the garbage can in the kitchen.

"OH YEA".... I forgot to sweep up the cat food.

"OH YEA" ... I forgot to feed the cats too.

Go to put the broom away and the dust pan...."OH YEA"..... I forgot about the load of clothes in the dryer.

Instead of taking clothes out, I hit "touch up" for another 13 minutes. Why 13? Well it wasn't quiet ten minutes as that seems too short, and not quiet 15 minutes as that probably isn't necessary for clothes that truly are ready to be taken out of dryer and be put away. I am just buying myself 13 minutes here.

"Oh yea.... I need to make up Hunters bed."

"Morgan, mommy will get your juice in a minute."

"Oh yea...... I need to make my bed up too."

"Morgan, do not color on the walls, that is for paper at the table only."

"Oh wait...let me wash these dishes first, I am tired of looking at them already."

"Morgan please do not do flips on the couch."

"Oh wait.... I forgot to do Hunters bed."

"Morgan please stop pulling the cats by their tails."

"Crap.... still didn't feed the cats."

"Morgan you ready for a snack?"

Finally I feed the cats.... It only took an hour and 23 minutes to feed the dang cats.

{If I don't hear any complaining then that means the cats and Morgan each got their own food and not the other way around.}

Some of you are laughing right now because it also exactly how you spend most of your time. Running around in circles saying "oh yea."

I feel like every little thought leads to another.....and then to that an action and before I know it, I feel like I have done so much, and its not even noon yet. Then I look around and it appears I haven't really done much at all.

But I am exhausted.

"Morgan, mommy said do not stand up in the chair."

It can make anyone feel a bit on the crazy side. Heck I may be on the crazy side already.

I feel that hustle bustle and my "oh yea's" have doubled during the month of December. Between all the work, traveling, new school for Morgan, changes in routine, holiday shopping and planning. I haven't had time to slow down to really enjoy this holiday season.

It's so different these days.

Instead of actually going out shopping for special unique and thoughtful gifts for those you love. Everyone is swapping checks or handing out gift cards. Part of it makes it easier, but then there is that part that takes away the fun. The excitement of seeing that person open up a gift and be surprised, and actually liking what YOU picked out for them. Often times you send money or a gift card and you never see or hear about what your money actually got that person.

That's not for me.

I enjoy Christmas shopping. I love gift giving. I love searching and thinking outside of the box to find something that the person I am giving to will love. I believe having to take the extra time to really put thought into a gift for someone, that means you also have to get to know them that much more. The gift cards and money is an easy way out. Its doesn't force you to think. It doesn't force you have to put thought into what that person is into. And it allows for the hustle bustle to go even faster.

So, I am taking myself back into history for a little bit here.

I didn't send out gift cards to anyone this year. I didn't send money this year. I actually took the time to see what each of my family members are into. What are their likes this year. What would really make them smile and surprise them that I knew them well enough to pick something that would rock their worlds.

I am determined to not let all this high tech, fast money and hustle bustle take away the one time of the year that I get to think of my friends and family, buying them gifts just to let them know how much they mean to me and make me smile for loving me back.

So today....

I told myself to slow it down.

When I did slow down....

I had a little fun.....check it out.

My tree.

{an all bow decorated tree - makes for a toddler friendly tree}

{I love my christmas tree bird}

{My two boys}

OH YEA..... I need to go take that load out of the dryer now!

"Morgan, mommy heard you the first time..... hang on."

Oh yea!!!

Happy Holidays!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

night and day

I know some of you have been waiting on my reply to this question?

How is Morgan doing in school?

Well, look at this face.

I mean is that one of the saddest faces you have ever seen?

You see, I tweeted about her first day in school and how she was so excited to be there. She was with a smile. She hugged one of the teachers and didn't even look back at mommy to say good-bye.

I left there feeling pretty good and so proud of her.

I also couldn't wait to get home and check online with the surveillance cameras to see how my little "big" girl was doing on her first day of school.

I opened it up and there she was...... CRYING!

My heart of course dropped and I had to continue watching the surveillance cameras to see how they handled it with her and if she were going to stop crying on her own.


They tried to hold her, but most of the time they walked right on by her, leaving her to cry walking around in circles. I felt like a bad mommy.

I continued to watch.

She continued to cry and walk around desperately wanting one of the care providers to attend to her.

I know they are busy with a room full of children, but this was after all her first day to be there.

When I arrived to pick her up her eyes were blood shot and swollen. She had dry and wet snot all over her face and she looked like she was pure exhausted. Probably because she was exhausted for crying and being terrified alone in this new place for that extended amount of time.

She was happy to see me. Held me as tight as she could and said "bye" several times as we were leaving. She was so relieved to be getting out of there and wrapped in mommies arms.

I of course started having thoughts such as "is she ready?" "am I being selfish by putting her in preschool right now?"

So, I snuggled her up at home, gave her a good lunch and got her down for a well needed nap.

She slept like a baby.

All that afternoon she was VERY cranky about EVERYTHING. She even started to slap at me. Could she already be coming home from her first day of school learning to hit others.

Or was she expressing how mad at me she was for being left there?

Well, to make a long story short (or at least I will try).

She went back Wednesday and again cried the entire time.

Went back Friday, and again screamed the entire time. This time I couldn't leave her there. Something was pulling at my mommy instinct and I felt the urge to go get her and just take her out of there.

I know my child. I know this is not her. She doesn't do this at the gym daycare. She doesn't do this at church nursery. So why here???

I arrive and enter the school building. I hear this LOUD LOUD screaming/cry coming down the hallway. It was MY BUTTERFLY. She was crying so hysterically. Not one of the 3 teachers where comforting her. All other kids where in their high chairs eating, and there was Morgan screaming so loud, like I have never heard her scream before with this look of pure terror on her face.

I walk in and she sees me and cried harder and runs into my arms. I look at the teachers as one tries to tell me, its going to take time. That she has had some kids cry every day until they leave her class to the next class. I think she could tell by the look on my face that I wasn't buying her rambling garbage.

First of all.... NO CHILD needs to cry that hard or for that long period of time during a day, yet for every day for many weeks or months period. I get the week or two weeks with some children, but something about this just wasn't feeling right.

Weekend came and Monday rolled around. I just couldn't get myself to take her to school that day. I was torn. I needed the break, but I just didn't feel right about taking her back to that school, so I didn't.

I was on a waiting list for this Christian Academy and hadn't heard from them. I just thought to myself, I'll give them one more call and see.

To my surprise they had a space come available and I wanted to drop the phone and run to the school that minute to enroll her and secure her spot.

Morgan was sleeping so I of course had to wait until she woke up, but I was so excited to hear this.

After Morgans nap we went up to the school and this was the second time I had been to this school to visit. Each time it was always peaceful. It was clean, organized and the kids were always sweet and cheerful. No screaming. No chaotic craziness.

Every day I went to the other school, it felt like pure chaotic stress. Kids running around everywhere in a square space. Always crying. About three kids all with black eyes. It was always high strung the moment you walked in.

Not this other school.

Morgan gave the teacher a hug again, but she is very careful to make sure I did not leave her sight. We met all her new classmates, sat and had a snack with them and just got familiar with the new place.

I held off on starting her right away and told them I wanted to take Thanksgiving week off with her to let her forget about the other school, so we could start new and fresh at this school. They agreed and thought it was a smart idea also.

I then left to go to her other school to gather her things. I have her in the stroller and we walk in and instantly she begins to look afraid and starts crying. I assured her she wasn't staying and "we" were going bye-bye. She kept reaching for me saying "bye-bye."

I didn't give the teachers my time. I simply asked for Morgans things and left. I was nice, but they could tell that I was not pleased with the outcome of Morgan's first week.

Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving I called the new school and asked if we could come up and show daddy and bubba her new school. We went up there and the whole family took the tour and again Morgan walked in with a smile and hugged the teacher. Not afraid. No tears. Nothing.

Thanksgiving came and gone.....

Monday rolls around and we are off to our second "first day" of school.

She again walks in and hugs the teacher. She is greeted by about 3 friends all smiling at her and welcoming her. She looks up to make sure I am still there. I smile and encourage her to go in the gate. She goes.... I watch for a minute....she begins to explore..... and I sneak out.

I go to the office to finish off some paper work and as I am walking out of the office her class in walking out to the playground. She is holding hands with a new friend. They go to the playground and she finds a ball to play with. I leave feeling really good about everything.

Actually, I take that back... I felt warm and fuzzy. Safe. In good hands.

All the things I really didn't feel at this other school. I don't know why.

I told them to not let her cry the entire time, that if she cried and doesn't stop... to call me.

Well, I never got a call. Also, I didn't have surveillance cameras at this new school to watch either, but I trusted that they would call me.

Besides, I knew once I arrived the truth would be there on Morgans face anyways.

I arrive at noon to pick her up and they had just finished their lunch. Morgan was rolling on the floor smiling and playing. She saw me.....

She saw MOMMY.....


She ran away!!!

She was having fun and was not ready to leave.

I get her and as we are walking to the car she says with a smile "bye" and starts to run and play outside. I get her in the car and as we drove home I saw in her eyes "safe" is what they said to me. I knew then in my heart we found OUR school.

God opened this door for her and for ME.

That moment took such a huge weight off my heart. I knew something wasn't right at the other school. I knew it.

I couldn't wait to tell daddy.

This brings us to today, Wednesday, her second day at her new new school.

I am out of town in Vermont for work. What a bad week to get booked out of town sort of, right?

Daddy said he dropped her off and she went right in and gave her teacher a hug. When he arrived to pick her up, she refused to go to daddy. He asked her "are you ready to leave?" Her response was a quick and matter of fact "no!"

She left in a good mood, went down for her nap and slept through the night for daddy.

Behaving like the happy trusting girl we know.

What a good girl. A big girl. Makes mommy being away much easier.

I haven't yet gotten to take pictures of her at the new school, but I will.

She will only attend on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays for 3 hours 9-12. However, tomorrow is Thursday and she will actually attend school ALL day since daddy has to work and mommy is out of town. This means we are taking in her things for her to take a nap. They sleep on these cutest little cots.

Lets see how she handles nap time and a full day there.

I have a feeling nap time will be a little tricky, but since she seems so secure and happy there.... I have to be honest. I am not really all that nervous.

Thank you for that Jesus.

I am so thankful we got into this school and part of me wants to say something to the other school, but really, what would I actually say?

I want to express my concerns about there being no real structure and how chaotic it always appears to be in this class. I also want to tell her that when I walked in on Morgans second day of school there, I saw the teacher changing a diaper pretty much plop the little boy down on the changer to be changed as he was crying. She wasn't comforting him, or gentle laying him down. I wanted to speak up then.

I want to tell them I think they should put surveillance cameras on the other side of the room, because you can only see the half of the room with the two cameras in there. You can't see them changing your child or feeding your child on one side of the room.

I want to tell them I watched them on the cameras while Morgan cried, reaching her arms up to the teacher for comfort, the teacher walked right by her and even gave Morgan's head a little light push as to "move out of her way."

I want to tell them I also saw on the camera that at one point Morgan picked up someone else's sippy cup. Instead of getting down on her level and telling her that wasn't her sippy cup, and then exchanging that cup for her own, they instead yanked the sippy out of her hand and gave her own sippy cup. What is that teaching her? Teaching her its okay to just take things from others? I dislike any adults that feel they can or allowed to man handle or treat children with such authority, with no respect or sensitivity. Its wrong....and that's another post itself.

I want to say that I watched on surveillance camera that while tyring to put kids down for nap, one little boy got of hismat and the teacher instead of walking him over there and laying him down. She pretty much pulled him by his arm and by his arm pushed (not forceful, but not caring either) down onto his mat. What is that teaching a child? That physical force is allowed?

Or the one day walked in and they had all the lights out and every kid down for a nap as they left Morgan sitting by herself in the middle of the floor, in the dark, with no to comfort her until I picked her up, since she was the only one not napping. I walked in and she was sitting there scared with her hands in her lap not knowing what to think or do, by herself.

It makes me angry.

That's what I want to say....

But instead... I just walk away and give thanks we found this new school and so far Morgan fits right in. On Wednesdays they do chapel and they pray over lunch and snack time. They also talk about Jesus.

Everything about it is perfect!!!

At her new school she will actually have uniform shirts to wear. So cute.

Do yo think I should tell the other school my thoughts and concerns?

Part of me feels I should speak up and be the voice for those other little children.

Am I overreacting?

a champion

What does it take?

It takes commitment.

Its takes hard work.

Team work.


Speed. Passion. Vision.
and even





It takes a hit.

Sheds sweat and tears.

It gets right back in the game with no fear.

With heart.

And dominates its component.

It celebrates.

Its good sportsmanship.

Its winning your division and being the best of the best
in that tournament.....

Thats exactly what it takes to be a CHAMPION!

Way to go Florida Jr. Panthers.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

a raise and a bonus

Lately, I find myself enjoying reading Family Magazine. I love getting new ideas for ways to teach my children fun things, and or valuable lessons. They are always sharing creative ideas to do with your children at home with what you have. Making family time priority, fun and less expensive.

After all, we are all about saving a buck these days, right?

Well, ironically I recently read this idea on how to teach my children to manage their own money from gifts, allowances and misc.

However, I read this idea from another moms blogs that my friend also posted about on her own blog.

How does this relate to Family Magazine?

It doesn't, but it could... as this idea was so creative, I thought I should have read it out of Family Magazine.

It goes a little something like this:

My son originally was getting $2.00 per week for doing his chores and helping around the house. This includes taking out the recycles, putting fresh food and water in the cat bowls, helping clean up his sisters play area from time to time and putting away his clean laundry.

All age appropriate chores for a boy his age. He does try to make his bed from time to time, in which I being the good mom that I am, takes a deep breath and leaves it made just the way he did it himself. However, most of the time I prefer to make up all the beds in the house myself. Something I do every single morning as soon as possible. Its one of those things that I feel, or makes me feel that this house is a little more in order. I am the same way in hotel rooms. I can't get up and get ready without first making up the bed. A made up bed automatically brings the stress level down in any room.


However, when he does attempt to make his own bed. I smile and say "good job" while cringing underneath, desperately wanting to go remake the bed myself.


Now, I know some of you are saying "only $2?"

Yeap. I think that is plenty. Times have changed and so has the dollar amount I know. The lesson to be learned has not. My son spends, spends, spends with any amount of money that touches his hands. He doesn't have interest in saving. Its been a struggle with me to get him to save his $2.00 each week so he can then have $8.00 to spend at the end of the month or $24.00 after three months of saving it.

Then I read this idea and I thought "how brilliant." I couldn't wait to share the new idea with Hunter. He loved it and to him he felt like he was getting a raise and a bonus each week.

I got him 3 containers.

See below:

Each week, he now gets $6.00 instead of $2.00. Sounds good right?

However, he has to place $2.00 in each bin.

Serve - $2.00

Save - $2.00

Spend - $2.00

At the end of each month he has to give his "SERVE" money to the church or a charity of his choice. Its has to be to help something or someone. Teaching him about giving and thinking of others and not always about himself.

At the end of every quarter (3 months) whatever amount he has in his "SPEND" bucket, I will match.

His "SAVE" bucket is just that... a save bucket!!! It goes untouched.

He loves this idea and couldn't wait until I got him these buckets.

This was the first week to start this new little idea.

Great right?

Yea, that is for you to say.....

As mom didn't think it through that he would get all this money and gift cards for his birthday and now has $50.00 in his spend bucket right away. If he doesn't spend it between now and February, Ill have a pretty big number to match up.

Looks like I better start my savings bucket to afford his spend bucket. HA!

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