Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sick at last

Well, I held out as long as I could. After being a school nurse for 2 solid months and having my own kids have nothing but colds for equally as long - I finally couldn't resist any longer. They passed their germs to me and I now I have a cold. Oh well. But, like mommies everywhere, my life does not go on pause while I get better. I still have to go at the same speed as always hoping that the cold passes quickly. In actuality what I would like to do is crawl into bed for a few days and watch TV and eat endless bowls of ice cream. Sigh......

Sunday was another nice day here in Connecticut. We went to church in the morning and went to get a few things at Target afterwards. Then we came home for the afternoon. When the babies woke from their naps, Mat and the kids cut open the two new pumpkins we got for Halloween and I cooked up the seeds. We also cooked the apple pie we had gotten the day before at the Apple Festival. It is very tasty!

Monday it was back to school and work. I should have known with the week ending in a holiday that this day would be completely nuts at work. I have been trying really hard not to do vision and hearing screenings on Mondays, but this week I had three meetings and Halloween to contend with, so it left me no choice. This week......first grade. Need I say more? They do say funny things, which keeps me laughing, but I am finding that screening the little ones takes a very, very, long time and a very, very large amount of patience. They are so cute! Here are some of the things that made it interesting:

"My head is bigger than my sisters - and she is in 4th grade"
"I don't use my left hand to write so I can't raise it as well as my right" (while doing the hearing test)
"Now that I am getting older, my hearing isn't as good as it used to be"
"My mommy says I have trouble hearing"

They also can't tie their shoes, they don't know their right from their left, they don't always know what shoe goes on what foot, they are fascinated with the scale, they pick their nose, they don't sit still, they give their classmates the answers to the eye exam, they all have to use the bathroom while they are there, they think since they are in the nurses office means they need an ice pack for something. But the most fun of all - they all want to sit right next to me while the test is going on. It is really cute. I love it.

Also, between 11:30-3:00pm I saw 36 kids, charted 20 screenings, had two 45 minute phone conferences with parents, fielded numerous other phone calls, had my diabetic need to come to the office twice, so on and so on. But I smile, and I take it, and when I get home, I had to lock myself in the bedroom for 1 hour and finish my work so I would not drown at work.

Monday was good for the kids - they all had good days at school. Last night we played outside for about 1 hour before coming in. It is getting colder and darker when we get home, so I know this activity is coming to an end. They love it outside. It is going to be a long winter.

Today was more screenings at work for me, but less office visits. Thankfully on top of screenings I had two meetings so I wasn't available in the office much for anything besides kids who really needed me. And if everyday was that day - I might actually get some work done. :) Just kidding. So today was more managable and I didn't have as much work to bring home tonight.

Arlington is doing great. Tonight she was at Daisy Scouts. She seems to really love it. We ordered their uniforms tonight, so now they will be all set. She is there with all of her friends, and that helps. She is doing an enormous amount of writing and the words are getting a little less like "Kidwriting" and more like "real writing". If that makes sense! She is able to figure out how to spell a lot of words by just sounding them out. Writing is her favorite thing to do right now. She is working on writing a little book, and it is really cute.

Finley is her bad self. She has had an interesting week. She didn't nap at daycare today. Yesterday she got into her sister's glue and spread it all over the kid table we have in the playroom. She was completely covered in glue. We can't even watch another child for one second or she is into mischeif. She took all of the crayons out of the crayon box, filled a bag with them, brought them into our living room, and dumped them there. This list could go on, but I just give up.

She also does cute stuff. Today we were driving home, and she points to the woods out the window and says "I want to go through the woods to Gramma's house". She has started asking "why". I knew this day was coming. Everything I say, she says "why?" Isn't she bad enough???? Just kidding. She is consistently speaking in 6 word sentences and the other night, she even said a 9 word sentence! It was pretty neat. "I want to go to bed and take baby". Nothing wrong with her mouth - just her 'tude.

Cainan is doing great. His therapist saw him yesterday. In addition to speech, he also gets a one on one teacher with his IFSP. I am asking her to work on colors, counting, letters with him. Cainan has a very hard time retaining information. We have to tell him colors over and over, and it still doesn't click. As baffled as we are, we were told not to worry about it - that boys tend to develop slower, be less interested in these mundane task, and with practice he will get it. So we just keep it going. He is still speaking well. He is starting to be able to tell me what happened to him when he is upset. Like (of course) Finley pushed him and he started to cry. I asked him what happened and he said "Finney push me". So that was great! I was stunned. He had never done that before. Mostly he would just mumble and cry and not respond.

Cainan also got a hair cut. I don't know if you can see it in the pictures below or not. We shaved it on Sunday. It was time. It gets kind of long and just sticks up all over the place. I get impatient to see if I let it grow more, if it would settle, so we shave it. He looks cute shaved. It will be grown in by Christmas.

Lastly, I was a bad girl on Saturday and forgot to mention some birthdays and an anniversary!
First - my dad's birthday was the 24th of October. He turned......29. Am I close?? He wishes. My dad is the greatest. He has always been the calm one of the family. The mediator. If we ever upset him when we were growing up, we were in REAL trouble. "Speak softly and carry a big stick". That should have been his motto. He is the greatest grandpa too. My kids just love him. When we skype with my parents, the kids are always "I want to talk with papa - where's papa". I hope he had a great birthday! He and my mom are coming to visit us in a few weeks, and we look forward to spending time with him and celebrating his birthday then!

Second - my brother in law, Zac's birthday was the 25th of October. Zac is Mat's only brother (for those of you that don't know Mat has three sisters and one brother). Zac is next in line after Mat. He is a great guy who loves my kids very much. He dodes on them every time we are with them, and the kids love him. Someday (right Zac??) he is going to be a great dad. Right now, he is a favorite uncle, that is for sure! Happy birthday Zac!

Third - my brother and sister-in-law (AJ and Tricia) celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary on the 26th of October. I can't believe they have been married for 6 years already. I was pregnant with Arlington at their wedding, and now here they are with a baby of their own. They are a wonderful couple and Tricia is more like a sister to me than a sister in law. They ALSO dode on our kids (I am starting to see a pattern.....) and treat them like their own. I hope they had a very wonderful anniversary and wish them many many more years of happiness.

Here are just a few pictures. Sorry I didn't take more this week! And yes, the kids are in their Steelers shirts again! It is a Steeler football Sunday - would they be in anything else??? See you on Saturday!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall fun

All the leaves are gone! (This is the same tree from Tuesday's post)

Well, today was a nice end to a very busy week. The weather was WARM. Now, I thought I would NEVER say that 68-70 degrees was warm, but since most of our week was in the 40's (mornings in the 20s!) 70 degrees seems like a summer day! It was sunny until this evening (when now we are having a much needed rain storm). We had a very busy day - and I will get to that later. Let me back up a little.

Wednesday night I met with the other mom that is from the PTO to get our shirt orders together so that we can start our sales in November. We came up with some good choices. She was here for about 1 1/2 hours - mostly which we just chatted and got to know each other. It was a lot of fun and she is a really great person. She has a Kindergartener, but also has a 2 year old! So we made plans to have a playdate with all of the kids - I think it would be fun.

Thursday after school I had a nursing conference. I didn't even come home. The other nurses met me at my school and we went straight there. We had a blast. I love being with these ladies - they are hilarious, and since we are in the same field, they GET my day! We always have great stories to share. We had dinner, and then listened to a good conference. The conference was titled "School phobia and school refusal". I actually have two students that fall into this category, so it came in handy to get some information, and the guest speaker was really great. It was from 4:30-8:30, and I was home around 10pm (by the time we got back - it was kind of far away). These conferences are just for school nurses. We have our own association. There is even a national conference each year. This years is in Boston! We are so excited! It isn't until next June, but we are all going. It is two nights and three days - I little vacation for me. I can't wait to go.

Also on Thursday, I got a call from the daycare at 3pm that the babies had woken up from their naps with eye drainage. The daycare thought pink eye. I was pretty sure it wasn't - especially in Cainan. With his cleft, when he gets a cold, his eyes always get a little drainage that appears after he sleeps. But we took them to the doctor and the doctor decided to treat it like pink eye and give both of them medication. Great. So no school for them on Friday. Mat was my hero today. He was in charge of the kids because I was going to the conference. He picked them all up from school and had to take them all the the doctor, wait forever, feed them dinner and get them to bed! And he did it all without complaint. By the way - after that first drainage they had a school, it never returned. It was not true pink eye and Mat lost a work day on Friday. Oh well. He didn't mind.

Friday - babies home from daycare, so I only had to take Arlington to school. I can't say I was sad to only have to drop off and pick up one kid - so easy! Mat stayed with the babies all day. In the evening Arlington and I went to the Salem used book sale. The library apparently does this every year. These are library books (and maybe some others) and they are in really good shape. Very good, in fact. There were at least 20,000 books! They held it at the school gym. It was really cool. Because we are "Friends" of the library (we donate money to the library) we got to go in at 6pm with the other "Friends". It was packed. Arlington and I had one mission - to get her some children's books. ALL of the children's books were 25 cents! Adult books were 50 cents - $1.00 depending. I got Arlington 7 books and only spent $1.75! It was great. I wish we could have stayed longer, but it is hard to shop for long with a 5 year old in tow. Next year we will know more, and will stay longer. It was Friday night and all day today.

Today - today was a busy fun day. We got up this morning and headed to the Salem Apple festival. Now, as most of you know, my town is only 3000 people. But between the book fair and today's apple festival, you would have thought it was so much bigger! This festival was REALLY well attended. It is, as I understand, one of the most popular things that Salem does. It is held at our local church. There is a giant field behind the church where they parked all the cars. There were so many people there! The lines were long for all of the apple things, but we were determined to get something. The kids were really well behaved and waited patiently. Finley and I stood in line for a wonderful apple crumb pie that I can't WAIT to eat. Homemade, of course! Apparently this is all one family recipe, and with help they do this every year. They had so many choices, pies, crisps, brownies, bread, cider, fritters, etc. Everything was made of apples. We did get some apple fritters (on the recommendation of our neighbor, Michelle) and they were SO GOOD. Warm, soft, and apple filled. Yum!! So that was fun.

After the festival, we went on the a local cornmaze/pumpkin farm. We wanted to try the cornmaze with the kids and get another pumpkin or two to have for Halloween. The cornmaze was alot of fun and the kids loved it. We did get a few pumpkins to bring home as well. Pictures are all below. Only Arlington is in her Halloween shirt - the babies got their dirty. But I will take them in their shirts on Halloween. After that we got some lunch and came home for the babies naps. Arlington and I hit the library for some new books to read this week (even I got one - you should be proud). Mat and I watched a movie this afternoon and Arlington watched her own movie. When the babies woke up, we all went outside to enjoy the warm weather. I rakes more of the millions of leaves that have fallen (and took a picture of the tree that just last post was still full of leaves - and now is bare!) and the kids jumped in them.

So that was our week! I have one work story to share that you will love. Names have been CHANGED - but the details are true. By the way - the student is a Kindergartener.
Teacher comes to my office with "Johnny"
Teacher: "Johnny" has been grabbing at his swimsuit area. I think he has a bladder infection. Also, it seems that he has a diaper on - he makes a lot of noise when he walks.
Me: "Johnny" come here and tell me what is going on.
Johnny: nothing Mrs. Pletcher- I am fine.
Me: well I need to check you out.

I proceed to feel his pocket (where he has his hand stuffed). I feel a few things in there.
Me: Hmmmm. "Johnny" do you have something in your pocket?
Johnny: no
Me; (to the teacher): I am going to take Johnny into the bathroom and check him out. We will be right back.
Me (to Johnny): okay - lets see what is going on. No, you don't have a diaper on. Hmmmm - hey what is this????

I proceed to put our 6 (yes 6) MARKERS from his underwear!!! He had them hiding in there.
Me: "Johnny" why do you have these markers in your underwear?
Johnny: I don't know.
Me: Can you tell me how they got there?
Johnny: I don't know how they got there. A friend of mine gave them to me on the bus and I put them in my bookbag. I don't know how they got into my underwear.

I emerge from the bathroom with the markers and "Johnny" and the teacher was trying her best to keep her giggles in. She also questioned him and got the same answer - "I don't know how they got there".

So there you have it folks! One very creative little 5 year old! Made my day.

Enjoy the pictures! I will see you on Tuesday!

New quote: "The world is full of stories. But the stories are all one."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blogging by a 5 year old

Arlington is into working on the computer lately and helping me write messages. She is facinated with email - even the regular mail. We "skype" via the computer so that Arlington can see her grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends, and she loves seeing things that she sent these people in the mail. We put it in the mailbox, a few days go by, and the person will show her that it arrived at their house. She thinks it is fasinating.

ANYWAY! She is going to help me with the blog tonight. I will tell you a few things and then the blog will end with "day in a life of a 5 year old".

This weekend finished off well. Sunday we went to the local craft fair. It was okay - kind of small. But the kids had fun. We also did some boring grocery shopping to get ready for the week ahead.
Yesterday and today have been fine. Arlington fell yesterday at daycare off the slide. She said a friend of hers pulled her down the slide and she fell off and then fell right on her face. I took a picture below. She is noticably hurt. Poor girl! Mat told her to tell everyone that she fought a bear and won.
Cainan also had an accident at school. Today he tried to get a puzzle off the shelf and pulled every puzzle onto his face. His right eye is scratched up and swollen. These kids!!
Work has been fine for me. I had one little girl who came in and had a bandaid on her finger. She said the cut underneath it was hurting. I told her I could take the bandaid off and take a look and then make it feel better. She said "no! I can't take the bandaid off or my whole finger will just come off with it!" 1st grader. I also started my screenings again. This week was 2nd grade. I thought 3rd grade was wild? Second grade was worse! They are really antsy. They never sat still for one minute. It was cute. Well behaved- just...everywhere. I did discover 2 kids who needed glasses and a girl that was red/green color blind. So interesting day.

Tonight was the monthly PTO meeting. It was another long one, but fun. Our school does a lot of great things for our kids and it is great to be able to be a part of it. I even volunteered to sell the spirit wear this year with another parent! I wanted to volunteer to do something and I wanted there to be spirit wear this year, so there you go!

Okay! Now, for Arlington. This is word for word from Arlington. She talked - I typed. I didn't change a thing. So here you go.

Arlington's day:
I rode in the car. And then I got to daycare. I mean I didn't get to daycare. I didn't ride in the car. Don't write that. I went to "K"'s house this morning to play. I played with "K". All kinds of stuff. At snack time we ate crackers. You know what kind we had? We had Ritz. They were good. This is what I did before I went to school. And I played dress up. Me and "K" were playing dress up, I was a princess and "K" was a princess. And "K" belly hurted so she had to go potty. And....I.....also, um, at lunch time we also talked about what we wanted to be when we grow up. I want to be a macaroni and cheese. I have to go to Miss M - my art teacher, and then she will make a macaroni and cheese on the paper, and then I will color it in and then I will staple it on....well, tape it on so I don't hurt myself. Then I will poof it in to me and I will be a macaroni and cheese.
And then we had lunch. And "K" wants to be when she grows up - she wants to be a nose. She is going to Miss "M" - the art teacher - and draw a nose and color it, tape it to herself, and poof! She will be a nose.
And then we went outside to stop for "K"'s brother's bus. But we played ball before we saw the bus. And when the bus came, me and "K" go over to her mommy, Mrs. "K", and then we saw the bus and then we had to go with Mrs. "K". And then we played a little bit kicking back and forth the ball. Then we played simon says. Then a mother came and then she left. We had to go back outside to wait for our bus (me and "K"). And then we saw our bus and we got on. We say "M" on the bus. He goes to morning Kindergarten, but he was on the bus.
And then we got to school - we were the last ones. Always bus 3 is the last bus. Bus 6 is the first bus to school. "E" missed me on the bus today (she rides bus 6). We went inside school. We did our stuff at school.
At school, I did - well, some people go to the office. They are the messengers. The flag holder holds the flag and waves it around a little - because it is a pointy end. We point our hands to our clock and then put it the over our heart, and we say "Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the mightiest states America. To the Publix, of richer stand, one mation under God, individual of liberty and all".
And then we do a little bit of silence - you stand up and put your hands together, close your eyes and bend your head down. And yesterday I fell off the slide.
And we all sit down - criss cross, apple sauce, and put your hands in your lap. Then we do the calendar and all the messengers come back.
We did the number - it was 21 - that is what day it is. If you have a show and tell you can show it real quick. "J" had a show n tell - she made a book of Little Miss Muffin sat on her tuffin and she read it to us.
Tomorrow we're gonna make a pumpkin patch because some people who didn't get to do it today get to do it tomorrow.
I worked with my teacher Mrs. "O". I got to read a page in a book with her. We were all at the table. It was a table of all girls. All the girls in my girl scouts.
Then we went to art. But wait! Before we went to art we had to decide what you give a mouse. We were talking about if you take a mouse to school - we have this book - "If you give a mouse a cookie" - he would want some milk.
Let me think upside down about what else we did. Then we went to art. And somebody else was our teacher because Miss "M" was not there. We had a new teacher. Her name was Mrs. "G". We did all the warm papers and all the cool papers - we got to cut our own shape out of them. You can make weird shapes or any kind of shape you want. We had to glue our circle a little - and because I was wearing a white shirt, I got paint all over it. Because me and "K" and "E" and "J" got covered with glue because we glued our papers to our hands and the color got all over us. I made a car with mine. But you can make all kinds of shapes. If you need some space you can cut it up.
Then we came back to our class and we did our bathroom and snack. And then we did our color books. No recess today. But sometimes we have recess. I just wanted to tell you that. Then we did our color books and this is what color we did. Yellow first and then we did purple, and then we did blue and so on and so on....
And that's it - we didn't have any time for math because it was bus time. We got on our bus (me and "E") and then we went back to daycare. That is what we did!
After school mommy picked me up and we went to McDonalds. I love McDonalds. I had chicken and got a barbie prize in the box. I am going to sing a McDonalds song. "I love McDonalds, McDonalds, McDonalds. It is so good".
We also went to Blockbuster - my friend "S" lives in there. No....he lives in the same state, I mean city.
We came home and saw daddy, I finished my dinner, we took my juice box and went down the road to help daddy take the garbage out. I throwed my juice box into the garbage can and then we came back up and I took my bath and now I am playing with my brother and sister.
Now I am getting ready for bed and going to read my books and go to sleep. Happily ever after. The end!

I can't make this stuff up, folks. I am sure all of you with kids out there can agree that they NEVER stop talking. Never. Not for one second. Or maybe I am wrong! Maybe that is just my kid! She can fill hours and hours with just talking.

Here are the few pictures I have! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall coming to an end

(Part of our yard)

It is sad but true. Even thought fall doesn't "officially" end until December, the weather man has declared this the "last weekend for fall foliage". Sad. He said by next weekend we should notice that almost all the trees will be bare. Bummer. The weather has definitely taken a turn. There were a few warm days this week, but as of yesterday, the temperature hasn't gotten above 55. It is pitch black by 6:30pm (we are really far east - although it is still light in the morning around 6:30am). The nights are in the (gasp) 30s! I am a little worried that the day time high of 30 is right around the corner! Sigh.

(Tree in our front yard)

This was a pretty nice week. I love having a 4 day week and 2 half days on top of that! Wednesday was the second half day at my school's district. I had meetings in the afternoon with the nurses, but it is always nice to be with them. They are a really great group.

The kids had a pretty uneventful week. The babies both have colds - Finley's is worse than Cainan's. Finley has only been well about 1 week since she started school in August. Comes with the territory of daycare. And Finley has always been kind of a sickly child.

Nothing special happened this week - not much to report! I guess that is good. We had a nice day today. Arlington had her last soccer this morning and they just played games today - no practice. That was a nice change. The very last 20 minutes the coaches all decided to divide all the Kindergarteners in half (I think there are 4 Kindergarten teams in all) and let the kids play against each other in large groups. That was.......interesting. They mostly just ran around, carried on with each other, then scored a goal or two. It was cute, though, and the parents had a good time taking pictures. I took some and put them below. It was REALLY cold for soccer this morning - maybe about 45 degrees by the time it ended at 10:00. Everyone was well bundled! It was time for it to come to an end.

After soccer we came home to get warm. We were going to go to a corn maze, but with the babies having colds, I just wanted to get everyone inside for awhile. We will do that next weekend. Arlington, Mat and I played our new Wii while the babies played with their toys. We decided to get a Wii this year as a Christmas present (it is a little on the early side, I know) and it is so much fun. I love the exercise involved. And we have found that Arlington is VERY good at it. She loves it - and she whips our butts at the games! It is a lot of fun.

After the babies naps, we all went outside for a few hours to enjoy the sunshine and cool weather. We raked the every dropping leaves (it is an endless job), moved some more rocks to our growing rock wall around our property, and filled in some holes. Oh, and uprooted a tree we were tired of. So we got a lot of work done and the kids have fun outside. I took some pictures. Have I told you lately, that I love my house? There is a picture below of it as well. I love our house. It has perfect New England charm. I never want to leave it. Just wanted to throw that out there.

Tomorrow is church and then we are going to a craft fair afterwards at a local country gardens. That should be fun. We will spend the rest of the day resting and getting ready for the week ahead. At some point this week I also need to get the kids Halloween costumes. We found out that Arlington's Kindergarten is having a Halloween party as well as the daycare. Plus our neighborhood is apparently very fun to trick or treat in. So that will be fun. Halloween is not my favorite holiday - I just love the fall. But the kids enjoy dressing up and I enjoy eating their candy! Ha!

Funny story from Arlington - we are sitting around this evening after dinner and she comes over to us and says "why can't I make my eyes go different directions - like have one eye look to the left and the other eye look to the right?" "What?" we ask. "Well", she says "Santa watches us all the time. If you and daddy are sitting on the couch, and I am sitting somewhere else, how does he makes his eyes go different directions so that he can see me all the time and know if I am being good?" What a weirdo. We explain Santa's "magic" and that he doesn't do anything crazy with his eyes, and she relaxes. But then she says "well, I think it would be neat to be able to make one eye go to the left and one eye go to the right, so I want to ask for that for Christmas". Okay......

No real stories from my kids at school this week. I did have many visitors - in the 30s each day. The worst was one little girl who had a very large tick stuck to her head deep in her hair. Poor baby. I felt very bad for her. I was not keen on removing it, but I did! Poor thing. This is a big tick season for us, and ticks are bad around here as well. So I was not surprised to see it. But - yucky. I am working on becoming more involved in the workings of the school and staking my place. This school is in desparate need of a support system - there last 4 nurses were not good. (only lasting a year each). Everyone is on edge, and I am doing my best to keep the calm. I am lucky I have 4 other nurses in my district that have been there many many years to call on for support. PLUS - I also have some friends of my parents who are school nurses that are also great resources. So I am in a good place.

One last thing - today is my nephew's 1st birthday! Happy birthday baby "G"! We wish we were there to celebrate with our sweet little nephew. This is Carrie and Jonathan's little boy. I can't believe he is one already! We look forward to seeing him at Christmas time.

So enjoy the pictures below. There are some of Finley's hair in two pony tails! (little pixie). There are some of playing outside, some of soccer, and some of our yard. I will see all of you on Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I've been tagged/Weekend in review

I've been tagged!

I was tagged by my friend Donna at Lena and Macey's blog. Thanks Donna! You should check our her blog. Donna and I “met” while adopting our children last summer (2007). She is a wonderful mom to two beautiful children from China! Check her out!

So I need to write 7 things about me. Do they need to be interesting?? I hope not!!

Here they are:

1.I met my husband in high school – when I was 15 actually! We have been together for 18 years! That is longer than we were apart. We have been married for almost 11 years. I can't imagine being married to anyone else.
2.I love to quilt. Many of you know this about me, but getting to 7 is going to be hard! I started quilting while I was in high school and I have made around 20. I am making quilts for my daughters bed's right now so they match, since they are sharing a room!
3.I am stealing this from Donna, but it is true!! I LOVE football. I love the fall because I love football! I mostly love the Steelers!!! (We grew up in the Pittsburgh area). Good or bad I love my boys in Black and Gold! (and sometimes they are REALLY bad)
4.I love ice cream. This better count because I really friggin love it.
5.I am a pretty picky eater but I love sushi. I love all kinds of sushi – especially from a really great restaurant. It is really yummy! I encourage you to give it a try!
6.I love to listen to books on tape while I travel in the car. I don't care that my job is 30 miles one way – it gives me time to listen to a good book! (if you see my last post, I am working through Stephanie Meyer's vampire series!).
7.If I had a lot of free money I would adopt another child, open a homeless shelter, and have a clinic to help women who wanted to give their babies up for adoption.

So those are my 7 things! Here are the blogs I tag:

Hicks Family Four – my beautiful sister in law who has two beautiful children. I love reading her blog.

The Tings – another beautiful sister in law who has a blog and is on a journey to adopt her first child from Taiwan. She is the twin sister of “Hicks Family Four!” Both of those girls have amazing faith in God and I love to read about their families and daily lives!

Kovall News – ANOTHER beautiful sister-in-law (I have 4 and only 1 doesn't have a blog! Jess...) Anyway Tricia has a great blog – she just had a baby boy and he is just the cutest little thing! Her blog is hilarious and will keep you laughing!

4tunate – I am in awe of this woman. She is a mom of quad boys! You have to read about her and her amazing family. Her boys are under two – she makes me want to be a better mother. She is amazing.

New Mommy Rant – such a fun blog! I love this blog! She has wonderful posts about her daughter, different baby products she loves/hates. It is a fun blog for everyone and especially new mommies!

Blah Blah Blog – this is Mat's cousin. She is hilarious and I love reading her blog!

I have many more I would love to tag, but I will start with these! Tag ladies!!
Anyway, on to other business!

We had a good rest of the weekend. Sunday we went to church in the morning and then did some grocery shopping after ward. We usually go to lunch, but today we had plans for “after nap” so we were going out to dinner instead. So we headed home. After naps we went to a local town square for a scarecrow decorating contest. We got to see the finished products and they were pretty neat! People put some serious time into their scarecrows. We took a few pictures below for you to see. Our own little version of Gilmore Girls. :) (My favorite TV show) The kids thought they were really cool – especially Arlington. After looking at the scarecrows, we wondered around the town square for awhile and let the kids expend some energy. Then we decided to head to dinner a little after 5.

We had dinner at a local diner. The food was OK – not great. They had a huge menu. They are known, I guess, for their pizza – we should have gone with that! Also, the kids were not that good there. Our kids 75% of the time are great when we go out to eat. The other 25% of time time is either kind of trying or REALLY trying. This was one of those REALLY trying times. No one cried, but Finley wouldn't eat, Cainan wasn't that interested in eating, and to top the evening off, Arlington shoved her plate a little too hard, knocking into my full cup of Sprite, and spilling it all over me and Finley! It was REALLY cold. I wasn't mad – it was an accident, but we were soaked. So Mat and I have declared that Finley and Cainan are about the age Arlington was when we took a break from eating out. Too little to occupy themselves for long, too old to really be able to control to sit still. It is ordering IN for us for awhile.

Monday was a day off for the kids and I. Columbus day is a non-school day here in Connecticut. So the kids actually slept in a little, which was nice. Mat headed off to work, and the kids and I enjoyed a slow paced day. We played a little this morning, I got some cleaning done, and then we all went outside to play for awhile. We stayed outside for about 1 ½ hours – the weather was really nice! We are enjoying, what I am assuming is the last few days of nice weather before it gets cold for good. After lunch and the kids went down for a nap, Arlington practiced her words, read some books, and watched a movie. Once Mat came home we had some dinner and then took a walk on our wooded property. We aren't quite sure where our property ends and the nature preserve begins. But we were pretty sure we were still on our property this evening (we have 9 acres). There are huge rocks, and it was really fun to walk the property and see the different landscapes we have right in our back yard. The kids always love walking around the woods, so it was fun.

Today was back to work and school for myself and the kids. It was a half day for my kids at my school and I had a meeting in the afternoon. The ½ day wasn't too bad – I acutally got some work done in between visits. They started getting antsy around lunch time, but before that – pretty quiet. I still saw 25 kids in 4 hours, but still. It was pretty spread out.
Only two little comments from the school kids today:
1 – I “accidentally” threw up.
2 – Do you know what my mommy's name is? Mommy! But sometime daddy calls her sweet cheeks.

Tonight Arlington had a Daisy Scout meeting. They made scrapbooks and worked on some songs. She seems to really like it. For all family – we will be selling Girl Scout cookies around Christmas, so if you are interested, let me know! Yum!!!

So a couple of funny things my own kids said this week:

Arlington- on Monday it was almost time for the babies to get up from their nap. I was heading up to their bedrooms to get them when Arlington started crying from her playroom. So I went down to see what happened thinking, “did she fall?” “did she cut something she shouldn't?” I go in, and she is sitting at her little table, just crying. I asked her what was wrong (I could see no physical evidence of problem) and she said “I lied”. “What?” I say, very confused. “I lied” she says again. Bewildered I ask, “about what? What are you talking about?” Still sobbing she says, “before, when you asked about who was bothering Cainan – I said it was Finley and it was me” Waaaaaaaa! Honestly, I was having a hard time not chuckling outloud. Why was she bringing this up now? Was she feeling guilty and it had overwhelmed her? Was she just tired? Anyway, it was weird. So we had a serious talk about lying (We are always reminding her that she will get in LESS trouble if she tells the truth) and then she was better. I have weird kids.

Also Arlington – in Sunday school they had to draw pictures of “Super Kids Save the day” - a kid helping another person. Here is what Arlington drew (the three funny ones): 1) A girl who turned purple – clothes, face, hair. Super kid helped turn her back to the regular color. 2) A girl got her head stuck in a Honey Pot. No idea how – but she is stuck! 3)A swarm of bees are around a kid (in the picture all you can see are the “dots” that are the bees). The super kid is going to chase the bees away. She is so weird!

Also Arlington – tonight at Daisy Scouts the girl's were asked if they had a nickname (you know like Isabella is Bella, Jennifer is Jen, etc). They get to Arlington and she says “my nickname is Monkey Princess.”. Sweet.

Finley – Mat was going through a book with her, and they came across a picture of a bee. Mat says to her, “What's that?” She says “bee”. Mat says, “what does a bee say?” Finley says, “won't my mommy be so proud of me”. What a riot! Kids are too funny.

Also Finley – we were outside collecting acorns (our maple tree is dropping them like nuts and they are starting to root). Finley said, “I am going to collect some of the meatballs”. She kept calling them meatballs, no matter how many times I told her what they were.

Cainan didn't say anything funny, but he did something funny. Mat was showing him that he could juggle and handed Cainan the balls. Cainan then proceeded to try and juggle doing the same moves at Mat – except the balls went everywhere. He did this a couple of times and just thought it was the funniest thing! I wish I could have taken a video. It was cute. Oh, and Cainan said his first 4 word sentence. “I want a car”.

So that is it. Oh, I want to remind everyone of the little boy of the family that I know. This little boy was in a tragic tractor accident. He is healing, but has a really long road a head of him. Here is his Caring Page: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/samuelphillipson

You can also visit their blog: PhillipSons
Please pray and think about him and his family in this trying time. If you don't remember, these folks just adopted this little boy about 6 weeks ago from Ethiopia. We know them through adopting out children from China last year. They are a wonderful family, but they need all the prayers they can get.

Enjoy the pictures!! Sorry I didn't have time to "fix" them!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Beautiful Saturday

We are having beautiful weather this weekend! We plan on spending most of it outside. The weather is perfect - in the high 60's, so not too hot. The sun is shining - not a cloud in the sky. We started out this morning with a trip to the library. Today our local library and police department are taking photo IDs of the kids. They will have an ID with their picture, their statistics and a fingerprint. I think this is an important thing for kids in case they ever get lost. Take advantage of this service in your own city/town. Check with your local town offices or police stations is see if it is offered. Once the kids are 10 years old, have them fingerprinted at a local police station so they are also on file (under 10 years old the kids are too little and fingerprints may not be fully developed). The line was long! That was good, I thought! The kids were really good. They had coloring activities to keep the kids busy while we all waited. We had a chance to measure and weigh all the kids, and that was fun! Here are their stats:
Arlington- 44 inches (Space Mountain here we come!!), and 36 pounds.
Finley - 36 inches and 24 pounds (she is an inch taller than Cainan!)
Cainan - 35 inches and 25 pounds
The babies are neck and neck, but Finley has passed Cainan by a whole inch! We had no idea. No wonder she looks so skinny next to him. A pound less and an inch taller makes a big difference at their size!

After they had their cards made, we spent some time at the library getting some books. Arlington has to read some magazine articles for school, so we got a magazine to accomplish that (Kid magazine that is). Then we came back home to enjoy some time outside.

We stayed outside until lunch time. We made a fire in our fire pit (so nice on a cool day) - the kids helped add wood to the fire. Mat moved some more rocks around to build up our rock wall we are surrounding our property with. It is looking pretty good. And I raked a ton of leaves into a large pile for the kids to jump in once the babies get up from their afternoon nap. The kids ran around and played until it was time for lunch.

So we had a great morning! While the babies napped this afternoon, Arlington and I worked on her vocabulary words, and read her three magazine articles she needed to read for school. Then I let her watch the Curious George movie she got at the libary. While she did that, Mat went back outside to work and I made sandwiches for the homeless shelter that we are taking to the church tomorrow. I made 30 sandwiches - half tuna and half ham and cheese. I am happy to be able to contribute something to people who have basically nothing. I feel it is about the least I can do. We will take those with us to church tomorrow and church will distribute them to the local homeless shelter.

After naps we went outside for some fall fun. The kids have never lived somewhere with actual northern fall weather, so they were very excited about the prospect of jumping into a big pile of leaves. So this morning I had raked all the leaves in our front yard into a pile. It made a pretty big pile! The kids had a blast jumping and throwing the leaves - this went on for over 1 hour! I took pictures, which you will see below. Cainan was a little unsure - he didn't want Arlington to throw the leaves on him. But after he realized that it could be fun and he wouldn't die from the leaves, he joined into the fun. This is typical for our boy, so we weren't surprised! He is a little cautious with new stuff, and that is okay. We are just glad that eventually he gets over the fear with some encouragement to try it out, and then realizes how fun it can be to do some of these things!

After the leaf jumping, the kids proceeded to play outside with their toys and I raked the leaves into the woods. We are making a large pile there that will be nice fertilizer next year. We then took a walk down to the mailbox to retrieve the mail and let the kids play for awhile in the cul-de-sac for a little while. It started getting a little chilly and the kids started to get a little hungry, so we ended our beautiful day outside and came in. We are going to enjoy some dinner and some hot chocolate and call it a night.

To recap the week, we had a good rest of the week. I stayed constantly busy at work, but that made the week go by fast! I finished screening the 3rd graders for hearing and vision. Wednesday was my hardest day of screening. I had a couple of bad kids that came down that day, and that made it tough. Plus, my diabetic was having a really hard day and was requiring a lot of my attention and I ended up having to send him home he was so sick. So it was a day of trials.

But we got through it. Friday was by far the busiest day for me for visits. The weather was really nice outside, and we were heading into a three day weekend (plus the kids have two half days next week for teacher conferences) so they were wound up! I saw 52 kids - that was a record for me!!! It may not seem like a lot, but remember my school only has around 200 kids total! :) I saw 1/4 of the school in a 7 hour period. :)

A couple cute things they said this week:
"can you check my head for dandruff?" (3rd grader)
"my head is hot because my brain is breathing" (1st grader)
"everyone in my family has had a fever except for Ray" "Who's Ray?" (I ask),"my dog". (1st grader)
"I am getting so tall - I come all the way up to my mommy's boobies!" (1st grader)

I am apparently very popular. I do pride myself on taking each visit seriously, and being sweet to the kids, giving out stickers, letting them read fun books or color while they are resting, giving hugs when needed, letting the kids talk if they need to talk. I think that is where the trouble is also coming from! And ALL I mean about trouble is the number of kids that want to see me daily. The teachers tell me the kids love me, and they are only sending me HALF of the kids that are asking! They come to me and say "what do you give out in here? Candy? I have so much trouble keeping the kids in class - they want to see you!" We laugh. I have parents that call and say, "I hope so and so isn't bothering you. He/she absolutely adores you and want to see you all the time". I should feel good about that! And I do, for the most part. The little ones are easy to like. They are cute and sweet, and innocent. The mean no harm. They truely feel like they need the nurse. It keeps my job fun. But I want them to stay in class and learn. I need to find a balance for them. :)

Cainan did end up having speech therapy this week. It was on Friday. I don't know why I thought he was off the hook this week! But he did very well. He is engaging more and asking more for things on his own. School has been the VERY, VERY best thing for him. I know a lot of people believe that staying home full time is the best thing you can give your kids. I think that is true to a point. But socialization with other kids and adults is equally important. I can't tell you the difference I see in Kindergarteners who NEVER went to preschool and those who did. Socially more than anything. In Cainan's case, he needed this. In a house where his two sisters are VERY, very talkative, he doesn't have the chance to say much. He just follows their lead. At school - he is given the chance to be independent from them and hold his own. Mat and I understand what he is saying, but it has always been harder for outsiders. At school he has to work harder to make himself understood, and it is showing. We are proud of him!

Finley is doing fine. She is back to not wanting to eat much. Not that she was doing great, but she was doing better. Today and yesterday has been a huge fight to get her to eat even a small amount. We feed her really fatty foods because she is such a bad eater, and I think sometimes the girl just wants a salad! I joke, but I do think she gets sick of it. We are working on balance. She is such a goof. She had a good rest of the week at school - took naps, was a nice girl, and has been pretty nice to Cainan!

Arlington is doing great! We are nearing the end of her "Reading Hall of Fame" required reading. She is also doing a monthly reading program for her class, where she gets a "treasure box" when it is finished, and a monthly reading program at her Kindergarten enrichment. So she stays busy. Luckily for us - she loves to read. We are also working on some math with her as well. She is getting really good at drawing and writing what she drew. It is fun to watch her work.

So that is our news! Just keeping busy! We are off from school on Monday for Columbus day, so we are looking forward to that! Plus, for MY school, Tuesday and Wednesday are 1/2 days for the kids (the staff has to work all day, but in the afternoons are just meetings and chances to catch up on work). So it will be a pretty good week, I think!

Oh, before I forget - I am nearing the end of the Stephanie Meyers book series "Twilight". I am reading the end of the 4th book right now. I LOVED the first book, hated the second book, liked the 3rd book, and like the 4th book. I stuck with it because I am a sucker for....a love story. Yes. Believe it or not - that is what this series is. It is romantic in a lot of ways - the main character guy is perfect. It is true fantasy, and it is fun to read. I do recommend it if you can suffer through the 2nd book!

The pictures below are from Friday night after school/work playing in the yard, today playing in the yard, and a few from around our house - our first fall!

I leave you with the quote of the day - this is how I felt this week:
"Fall down 7 times, get up 8" -Japanese proverb

Enjoy the pictures and I will see you on Tuesday!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tales of a school nurse

I have decided that school nurses should write a book. A book about what the kids tell them during the day -the funny things that happen. The incredible busy days. The days that are filled with seeing kids minor or major problems, talking to parents - talking parents down from a ledge, being a middle man between the teachers and kids or the teachers and parents. Listening to the teachers problems, listening to the kids problems, listening to the parents problems. Carrying all of those problems on our shoulders all day and trying hard not to take it home with us. Nurses have a undeniable need to save the world. We will fix it all, I promise you!! And we will try to do it all in one day. Or, in my case this week - two days.

This week has been a little crazy at work. I have many things going on and I am trying to balance them all. I have a few kids at school that don't want to be there. For many different reasons - school is hard, the teacher is mean, on and on. They get quickly overwhelmed and are in my office with a panic attack. I have become the safe place to be during the school day. I am fine with that. BUT - I feel that a big part of my job is to keep these kids in school and in class. So, I am going about trying to make that happen. We have worked some plans with these kids and I am glad to be a part of it - hoping that it will lead to school success. Today, the mom of the one girl came into the office demanding to see me (I was doing screenings and my office staff is very protective of me) because this mom wanted me to get her daughter out of the car. (the daughter didn't want to attend school). The mom likes me and the daughter trusts me, and I would have done it. But the other nurses in my district said the office did the right thing. I constantly need to be reminded that I can't help them all ALL the time. I have to have limits too, or I will surely sink. But I did see this girl during the day to reassure her that I was proud that she got out of the car and came to school.

I have been doing screenings again this week - hearing and vision. This week - 3rd grade. Though just as cute as the 4th graders - not as cooperative. They are definitely wilder! They have to be constantly reminded to sit still and wait their turn. What is going to happen when I get to Kindergarten?? Ha! I can just imagine. But it has been fun. It definitely took longer to get through my screenings today with them, but still not bad!

In the 7 days we have been in October (5 days of school) I have seen kids in my office 148 times. That is an average of 30 kids a day. If that was all I needed to do - piece of cake! But I have much more going on than that. I am definitely not complaining - I love it! I do. I do end my day wishing I had words of wisdom for my "frequent fliers" that would keep them in class, or for the teachers who feel like they need to be involved in all the kids medical issues (and help me for some reason), for the teachers who worry too much, or not enough; for the parents who can't seem to let go and let their kids be kids! I am the "fix it now" lady. :) It is quite funny sometimes!!

But there are the really funny moments that keep it so great. Yesterday I had a little boy come into my office (1st grade) who said to me - "I need bandaids for my pointer fingers so that I can't put my fingers up my nose". Trying SO hard not to giggle, I take him very seriously, and put bandaids on both of his fingers. He tries to put those fingers up his nose, fails, and says "these will work" and leaves the office". THEN - I crack up.

Or I have a kid tell me today that he thinks that school is "jail for kids". Ah, I think, "this is true in so many ways". Can't legally escape, and have to serve out a 13 year sentence. But still a riot. Here is me constantly telling my own kids - school is great! School is awesome! School is the best thing that you can do with your life! And this is what the kids are thinking - "this is just like jail". Hm.

I had another girl come in this week (a kindergartener) who got scratched by her cat. I said to her, "you should tell your cat to be nicer to you". She looks at me and says (smiling) "my cat can't talk!" "Oh!" I tell her "I didn't realize!" But then she thought for a minute and said, "but I can speak cat". Okay...... "Well" I say "then in your best CAT, tell her not to scratch you anymore". She thinks this over and says, "I don't know all of THOSE words in cat". Right.

So they keep me laughing. It is a fun job. I think back over the 11 years I have been a nurse, and what I USED to do and the children's funerals I have attended, the happy times I have had, and I realize that even with all the weight we carry, nurses are the one of the most passionate groups of people you will meet. With each loss, we saw a miracle in return. We lean on each other for support, and keep going for the next child who needs us. I am a little biased, but I believe that there is no tighter nit of professionals than nurses. Teamwork is the whole basis of our day - how could we not be a great group????

Anyway, moving on!!!

The kids are all doing great. Arlington has been working on "kid writing". She LOVES learning to spell words. Kid writing has them learn to spell by writing what they hear. She gets pretty close a lot of the time. She is getting better at telling me about her day and she said today they learned science for the first time. She was excited about that! They took a nature walk at school today as well, and her teacher took their picture - it is so cute! I give her teacher a lot of credit - a nature walk with 18 5 year olds. That would be interesting!!! But she is a great, great teacher. I sure hope she is there when the babies go to Kindergarten. Arlington doesn't have any activities this week - it is a quiet week. No soccer and no daisy scouts! Just school and fun.

Cainan is doing well. I think this is a speech free week. He had two appointments last week, so he doesn't have anything going on this week. He said "baby Michael" this week. (you know, Finley's doll baby). It was cute. We are still working on Cainan answering more than just "yes and no" questions. His progress is slow, but sure. We do see changes in his speech and demeanor.

And Finley. Ah, our Finley. Finley is in a category all her own!! Well, for starters (a good thing) she "did her business" in the potty twice this week! Once at school and once at home. AT school she acutally told the teachers she needed to go! That was a first! We are looking forward to the day she is out of diapers! But today, our little girl decided at school she wasn't going to nap. Instead, she kept getting off her cot and tapping everyone on the shoulder trying to wake them up to play. UGH!!! The teachers weren't mad - they think Finley is hilarious. But I would love to go to school for ONE STRAIGHT WEEK and not hear something that Finley did that she shouldn't! :)

Yesterday we cut open our pumpkin we got this weekend and got out the seeds and roasted them. The kids are loving them! They are a fun snack. The kids helped clean out the pumpkin. All in their own way. Arlington, neatly used a spoon to scoop out the insides (the babies tried this - didn't work). Cainan, well, our little boy still has some sensitivities to "gooey" things (he doesn't like to be dirty) and he tried really hard to get the seeds out without touching any of the pumpkin goo. And Finley - well what do you think our little "care free" baby did?? Laughing miniacley she reaches in and just starts squishing all the pumpkin goo between her fingers and having a good old time!

The kids also wore their halloween pajamas (thanks to Gramma) these last nights. They couldn't wait any longer! So I took a few pictures. I think the one picture Cainan is giving his best monster face!

And finally - there are a few pictures of tonights costume parade. Not Halloween costumes. Just Arlington's dress up costumes. Now, I need to explain about Cainan. Our poor little boy has two sisters. That statement alone would explain why he is dressed.....like Cinderella. He was very proud of that costume, and, well, I wasn't about to ruin his fun! So, instead, I took his picture. We do sometimes call him "Cinderfella" because he likes to clean up and the girls don't! Poor baby - I need to get him some boy costumes!

Anyway, I am going to watch the debate. For those of you who don't know me - I will come out and tell you. I am an Obama supporter, and all the debates in the world won't change my mind. I am a left winged liberal. Always have been, always will be. I am proud of the person I am and the beliefs I have. But that is a discussion for another day.

Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I ask that you pray for this family:Phillipson

There newest adopted son, Samuel, was very very badly injured in a tragic accident Saturday. He has lost one of his legs, and had many other severe injuries. He is in the ICU unit at their local hospital, and holding his own. We know this family because they adopted their little girl around the same time we adopted Cainan. They are a wonderful, loving family, and I know they need many prayers at this time.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fun Saturday

We had a really great day this weekend! But before I get to that, I will catch you up on the rest of our week.

The kids are all doing great! Cainan had another speech therapy on Friday and he did well. The staff tells us that he is much more talkative and forward when Finley isn't around. So they are trying to keep them apart during the day to encourage him to talk more. The school has been great at following the therapist advice and helping Cainan advance.

Arlington ran a low grade fever on Friday, but it was gone by Friday night. She didn't feel act sick at all the whole day. Who knows. She might have been just over heated. It never rose higher than 100, and it only did that once. She had been crying over something at preschool, and they took her temp, so I feel like it wasn't a "true" fever. I am glad because we had a fun/busy weekend ahead!

Finley is doing great. She is so cute sometimes. Finley isn't a great eater. So one night, she didn't finish her chicken and so I told her that she couldn't have (what she loves) a pretzel before bed. So time went on, we got closer to bedtime and she came to me and said "pretzel?" I reminded her that she didn't have dinner. She threw her hands up and said, "I know....no dinner. no pretzel." Shrugged and walked away. Too funny! She also had her first pony tail this week! Although it is a really, really small one - I was happy! When you see the picture - don't mind her face...she didn't want to have her picture taken at that moment! Oh, and Finley has also named her favorite baby doll. She told us the other day her baby's name is Michael. We have no idea where that came from. Especially since it is a GIRL doll. But whatever! She calls "baby Michael" all the time. She is a hoot.

This week at work was fine. I started my hearing/vision screenings on Wednesday and between Wed., Thurs., Fri. I got all three 4th grade classes done. The kids are really fun and funny! IT gave me a little break from the every day routine of the office because I told the staff that unless the kid was bleeding profusely, throwing up or dying - they were not to send them to the office from 9-11am!! And it worked. :)

Friday night around 7pm, Mat's parents and sister Jess arrived at the house. We were very excited to see them. We hadn't seen them for awhile, and they haven't been to the house since the beginning of June. They were here when our yard was first starting to be excavated, and now they got to see the finished product. That was pretty cool. We just relaxed and visited Friday night. The kids were so excited before bed last night to see them - it was hard to get them settled!

Today we had a nice full day. We got up and had breakfast and Mat and Arlington went off to soccer practice. Mat's family and I and the babies left her about 1/2 hour later and went to watch Arlington play. Arlington loved the audience and MAt's family enjoyed watching her. Today was also picture day at soccer, and Mat's mom bought a picture of Arlington and her soccer team - so we thank her for that! :) After the practice we went to an apple orchard for some fun. We picked apples right from the trees, took a horse and buggy ride (which the kids really loved), picked a pumpkin (for the pumpkin seeds - carving one will come closer to halloween), walked through a hay maze, tasted some apple cider, and just had a good time. We were there until about 1pm. The babies slept some in the car, so they didn't really want to nap when we got home. But I had them lie down and rest for a few hours anyway. I think that helped some. While they were resting, we watched Penn State and West Virginia win their football games! (whoo, hoo!) and relaxing. After they woke up, we all went outside for awhile and enjoyed the yard and cool weather. Then at dinner time we went to a local seafood place called Abbotts. We had been there over the summer. It is really yummy, so we took Mat's family there today. We had a nice relaxing dinner and were home by 7pm. By then, Finley was really tired, so we had a little dessert (yummy apple pie we got from the apple orchard, and ice cream), and the kids went to bed. Now we are winding down for the evening.

So overall a great day - I took pictures, which are below. Aren't you proud??? Tomorrow Mat's family has to get on the road around 10am. We are going to go out for breakfast first at a local cafe that is yummy and send them on their way. We were glad they came, sad that the visit was short, but look forward to seeing them again.

So that is all! Overall, a very fun weekend. Tomorrow afternoon we will just be relaxing and getting ready for the week, and then tomorrow night - Steelers football! We are a football loving family! Go Steelers! And for my Jacksonville family - we hope they beat the Jags. (love you anyway).

Enjoy the pictures and see you Tuesday!! I am sorry I didn't have time to photoshop them all!