Monday, June 29, 2009

Catching up.....did you miss me?

I know - I am making this absence from blogging thing far too common. But absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Things are starting to calm down in our household, so I thought I would grace my blog with my presence once again. Wasn't that nice of me? Yes. Yes it was.

You will notice Arlington holding Flat Stanley in a few of these pictures. Her little buddy from Florida, "S" sent her a Flat Stanley as part of a school project, so we have had to take him around to all kinds of places. The pictures here in the beginning of the blog are on Arlington's official last day of Kindergarten. My little girl is now a first grader! I of course I needed to dress her as cute as possible for her last day of Kindergarten. Unfortunately, her last day of school was a gym day. Oh well. Cuteness is more important than fitness (said the nurse). Am I right, girls??

I left for Boston on Arlington's last day of school. I put her on the bus, and then an hour later I was in the car with three of my nursing co-workers on my way to Boston for 5 days of conference and girl getaway. We had a blast! I wish I would have taken my camera, but it is so bulky, that I didn't want to cart it around with me the whole time. We arrived in Boston on Wednesday late afternoon and checked into our hotel. It was along the water and really beautiful. We went and registered and checked into the conference, and then went out to a leisurly dinner at a cute restaurant near the water. We sat and relaxed for a few hours, enjoying each other's company, and laughing. Then we went back to our hotel and relaxed in the hot tub for awhile. We met a few other nurses there and got to network a bit.

Thursday was conferences in the morning and walking around and visiting the tables and picking up information in the afternoon. After that we needed to relax, so we found a restaurant with a rooftop and got a drink before going to dinner. The sun was out, we were tired, and it was perfect. We went to dinner at a small Italian restaurant in the Little Italy section of Boston. We took a water taxi to get there, and it was really refreshing and fun. The food was FANTASTIC at our chosen hole in the wall restaurant. After that we went to the famous Mike's Bakery and got yummy dessert to take with us back to our room. At this point it was late, so we took a taxi home and ate our dessert together in the hotel room. We stayed up late and gossiped and talked.

Friday was a long day of conferences. We did start the morning with a leisurly breakfast compliments of our nursing supervisor. Then we were in conferences all day. We split up for most of the talks we listened to, so that we could later share what we learned. I learned a lot, and I met a ton of people. Since this was the NATIONAL school nursing conference, I met nurses from everywhere. Even Alaska was well represented! It was interesting to hear how a lot of people work, how many children they are responsible for, and so on. For the most part, I found that I am very lucky to be one nurse in a 250 kiddo school. I met several nurses from California where one nurse was responsible for 5000 kids! 5000 to one nurse??? Are you KIDDING? For all of you who know your school nurse - do you know how many kids she is responsible for in her state? Advocate for better school health care for you kids.

By the way - this is Arlington waving goodbye on her last day of school! So cute!!

Friday after conferences was our Connecticut nurses dinner. It was so yummy. We were there late, so we went back to the hotel and just sat and relaxed in the hot tub around 10:30pm. There were 8 other nurses in there! Nurses are night owls apparently. They were all wound up, so we didn't stay long.

Saturday was another long day of conferences. We decided to skip out on the last conference of the day and do some sight seeing. We were going to take a city tour, but our conseirge screwed up and when we got there, we didn't have tickets for the tour. Don't worry - I complained. Nicely. And I got a free breakfast for all 4 of us in the hotel restaurant for Sunday morning since I said something. Thank you very much.

But Saturday was fun. After the conference wrapped up, we went to dinner, did a little souvenier shopping for our kids, and then just people watched. People are amazing. Especially in a big city. It takes all kinds to make the world go around, people. We hit the hot tub one more time Saturday night, and then went to bed very, very tired. Our minds were full!

Sunday we had our complimentary breakfast, went to one more talk, and then packed and came home. I was home by 1:30pm, and was able to spend the afternoon relaxing with the family. I really missed them while I was away from them. It was awesome to have the opportunity for some girl time, a chance to go to the National School Nurses Convention and network with other school nurses (and realize there really aren't enough people caring for our kids in our schools), and just a little vacation. But I was glad to get home. And if there was any doubt that School Nurses are WAY more than bandaid/boo boo nurses, this weekend proved it. I met the real leaders in health care and school health reform this weekend.

While I was gone, Mat and Aunt Betty took the kids to our local beach. They had a full afternoon on Saturday and Mat said the kids were asking to go to bed Saturday night! It was the first nice day we have had in a long time, and all three kids loved the beach. Well, they all love the sand. Cainan is not a fan of the water, but he will play in the sand.

Sunday Mat and Aunt Betty got the sandbox together, and when I got home I helped put all the sand in there. So now we have a nice new sandbox next to our playset. It looks great. The cover is my favorite part. I can now cover it every night, leave to toys in it, and it will be better protected from rain, snow, bugs, etc. That is the plan, anyway. Now if I could just cover my plants to keep the deer from eating them......

Monday was Arlington's first day of Bible School. She will go to that 4 mornings this week from 9-12. She loves it. She went last year, and this year, a lot of her Kindergarten buddies are there too, so that made it even better. The babies are still too young, so next year for them. After I dropped Arlington off, I ran to work for 1 hour to do a little paperwork and turn in my papers from my conference. Then this afternoon, while the little ones slept, Aunt Betty and Arlington and I worked on a Kindergarten Scrapbook. I wanted to put a lot of her papers from the year in a book, and she wanted to help. It is going to be nice when it is done.

After the little ones woke up, we ran some errands, and then had some dinner, and did a little shopping. The kids did pretty well out. Mat had a dinner for a new hire tonight, so he wasn't with us. When we got home, we tried to deer protect our plants - armed with some "deer repellent" the store swears works. So we will see. I am pretty sure I am fighting a losing battle.

Today Aunt Betty and I and the little ones went shopping for some plants for my birthday to plant. We had a good time. We went while Arlington was at Bible school. This afternoon we planted all of the them and did some yard work while the little ones slept. After their naps we met Mat and we took Finley and Cainan to their first movie. We went to see "Up". Arlington has been wanting to see it, so we thought we would try taking everyone. It was a really cute movie - I highly recommend it. But bring some tissues because it has some sad parts! But Finley and Cainan did GREAT! They sat very still and watched and ate their weight in popcorn. We had Aunt Betty along, so each of us were responsible for one child, so that helps. A lot.

After the movie we went out to dinner and then Arlington got her very first pet. She has been wanting a pet, so we opted for a fish. She got a red Beta fish. I will take a picture of it once it is settled in its home. It is a male beta, but Arlington said "no it isn't. It is a girl and its name is Butterfly". Whatever. So now we have a new family member. Hopefully it lives the summer. Small goals, people, small goals.

So that is all. Aunt Betty goes home tomorrow and Mat's parents arrive on Friday. Mat's parents are bringing along my neice and nephew with them for their visit. My kids are going to be so excited to see their cousins! We are looking forward to having a house full of kids for a few days. It will be fun.

I will see you Saturday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Time To Say Goodbye Old Friend

Five points to a family member/musical lover who knows what musical my title is from

Today was Arlington's Kindergarten party. Tomorrow is Arlington's offical last day of Kindergarten. Our little girl will be a first grader soon - so hard to believe. Above in the picture are Arlington's two best little friends. When we moved here, Arlington left behind her best little buddy in Florida and she was devestated. She met a ton of girls this year, and among them these two girls. (Another great little girl we met was our neighbor's daughter, but she is on vacation, so I couldn't take her picture today!!). "J" and "E" (and "K" who isn't here!!) have helped Arlington's transition to Connecticut a little easier. It is hard to say that they will be together in class next year. These three above are the "chatty kids" so my guess But true friends will be there even if you don't see them every minute of the day. I had to take their picture together. They mean a lot to Arlington (and their mommies are special to me too) and I hope to take a picture of them together when they graduate from high school and say they are still friends.

Sunday Mat and I spent the day running errands alone. My family was still here visiting so it was nice to get a few things done without having to chase kids around. We were able to move quickly that way! My cousin, Kirsten and her hubby Sean came in from New York City for a visit and surprised my grandparents with a visit. It was fun to see them. We went out to dinner at a yummy local restaurant before they went home. Also Kirsten found out this week that she got a part in the Shrek musical on Broadway! Congrats Kirsten! We are proud as always!

Monday was my official last day of work until the fall. I am sure I will be stopping in to the office from time to time to see if anyone has graced my mailbox with paperwork I need for next year. But I don't have to officially return until the 24th of August!! I got a lot done on Monday without kids there. I cleaned my large closet, moved furniture, and went to the middle school to transfer my 4th grader files to that nurse. It was a successful day, and I am glad I am over and done with it.

Monday was also my LAST picnic committee meeting. We went to dinner at a local restaurant and talked about the picnic and what we liked and what we want to change for next year. It was fun to get together one last time this year and eat a yummy dinner at the same time!

Tomorrow I leave for 5 days for Boston with my nursing co-workers. We are going to the National School Nursing Convention. I am looking forward to it. We are lucky it is close to "home" this year, or we wouldn't be going. I am going to miss the kids a little bit, though. Even though it will be nice not to yell at anyone for a few days....

Aunt Betty Arrived today. I picked her up at the airport this morning and then we headed right to the babies new preschool to sign them up and speak with their program coordinators. Aunt Betty and Mat got a little tour of the center, and then we left. Mat decided to come home from there for the afternoon and go to Arlington's schoo party with us. Arlington was excited to see us all there! It was the first time we have been able to attend a school function this year, and we were happy to have that chance.

They had all kinds of goodies today. Arlington chose the chocolate covered strawberries, some fruit, and a little hamburger made out of chocolate and vanilla wafers! They were really cute little things!
The party was during the last hour of their day. After the kids ate, the room mothers did a little craft with them and then they presented Mrs. O with a plate that a mom had all the kids engraved and then she fired it and made it into a beautiful platter. I meant to take a picture and forgot. But it was great.

After that, the kids and adults got to watch a video slide show that one of the mom's put together for the teacher (and all the kids got a copy as well) of pictures from the year. It was really neat to watch. That video will be fun to look at when Arlington is older to see how much the kids have changed.

So, that is it! Because I will be in Boston on Saturday, I won't be posting, so I will post again next week when I return! Have a great week!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Picnic day!

The family picnic at Arlington's school was today finally! It was a ton of fun and a great success! We had more people than I thought we would. The volunteers did a great job, and it all came together. We are tired tonight but grateful for it going so well! We look forward to doing it again next year!

Arlington's daycare did a little graduation ceremony the other morning, and I actually got to go! They got to wear these little cap and gowns for "graudation" from Kindergarten. She loved that. They sang songs and they all got a little certificate and then we ate a nice lunch. It was pretty cute.

My parents and grandparents came in yesterday to help with the picnic and also visit for the weekend. It is nice to have their company. We have been keeping busy so far.

Friday was my school's official last day. I still need to go on Monday to clean my office, but Friday at school was a lot of fun. At the end of the day, all the staff goes outside with the kids and as they got on their buses we waved goodbye. The kids were SO excited. But it was fun to watch them go and way goodbye for the summer. Then we had a big lunch for staff after that and could leave early. It was a fun day.

So summer is finally starting in the Pletcher household! Arlington has three more days of school and then she is done. Then no more early mornings or packing lunches for a while. Yay!

Not much else to report because I am just too tired to think. Oh! Today we had a small birthday party for Cainan and Finley. We celebrated with my family since they had presents for them. We also had a Father's day celebration with yummy cake from Cold Stone Creamery.

So that is all. I will see you Tuesday!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let's pretend it's Tuesday....

I forgot to blog yesterday. I got up this morning, realized it was Wednesday, and there you have it. Did you miss me? Of course you did. What a silly question.

Not much to report - which is good! School is winding down for my district. We are going to be done this Friday at 1:05pm. The kids are a little off the wall this week, but it is all good. Even the staff is getting goofy. Mostly this week has been filled with parties and fun activities to get through the last couple of days. Tomorrow is a half day for students, but not for staff. But Friday - we all get to leave early! Yay! I need to work on Monday, though, but that is okay. It is just an extra day the nursing staff needs to do. We do file transfer this day, and I will clean up my office. Then I say goodbye for 8 glorious weeks.

This past Sunday was our church picnic. The pictures in this post are from that day (at home before we left). It was a very nice picnic there was a lot of really great food. We have met some really wonderful young people at our church who have kids the same age as ours. That has been really nice. After that we went and did some shopping. We are looking for our new patio furniture. Our old furniture was Florida proof, but not winter proof! So it didn't survive. We saw a lot of different things we liked, but haven't made a final decision yet.

Monday was a slow news day at our house. For once.

Tuesday was a busy one. After work all day, I had a picnic committee meeting and then went to the PTO meeting. I wasn't home until after 9pm. But that was okay. The picnic is this coming Saturday, so this was the last meeting for that. We are all set and excited! And PTO is always fun. We had a good time discussing next year's projects.

Today I did some shopping and did some yard work, and the kids played around after school. We are waiting on our new sandbox that should be arriving any day, but we still have our old one. The sandbox is their favorite part of our play area. They love that thing. We were outside for several hours, and almost the whole time they were in the sand. We played a lot on the beaches of Florida year round. I do think that is why they love the sand so much. I get a lot of work done when they are occupied like that - that is for sure!

Mat had a dinner meeting tonight, and then had to run a few errands for the picnic. So the kids and I were alone this evening. It was fine - everyone was on their best behavior. Ha - ha!!! did you really believe that? Nah - I can't fool you.

On a final note, I missed posting some very exciting family news yesterday! Mat's sister, Carrie, had her third baby yesterday! Little Elijah was born around 1pm yesterday afternoon. Mom and baby are doing very well and they hope to be home tomorrow. Elijah joins his big sister and brother. We are very excited for you guys and can't wait to meet "E" this summer at the lake! Now that I have two nephews with "E" for a first name, I am going to have to use more initials!

The other exciting news is that Mat's sister Teen (Carrie's twin) announced that she is pregnant with her first baby. She is due in December. We are very excited for her and Frank. they are going to make wonderful parents. Our family is growing by leaps and bounds. What fun our lake vacations are coming with new children every time we go.

Babies and more babies! I love little newborns. How light they are, the way they smell, the way they smile in their sleep. As much as they tire you out, there is nothing like a new baby. As my children age and I get further and further away of those days they were that small, I am glad I have so many brothers and sisters who are still having children, so I can enjoy those tiny little toes again and again!

See you Saturday. Maybe. Unless I forget what day it is again. Which is very possible.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The pictures that weren't

Yes, I know, I said I would have more pictures this weekend. But I didn't follow through with that. I didn't have my camera handy at the right times this week! I am a bad mommy. I will not even try to say I will do better because I obviously can't keep that promise very well.

A quick week in reveiw.

Wednesday was field day at Arlington's school. She came home telling me she had a blast. She talked and talked about it all night. She had a great time. It is a neat activity they have for the kids at their school where they get to play simple games and get wet and run around and have fun. Her favorite part was getting to eat lunch at the school. She is very excited for First Grade knowing she will get to do this daily.

Wednesday I had another picnic committee meeting for our upcoming school picnic. Things are going really well. We are up to 17 volunteers and the towns people seem to be really excited about it. We are spreading the word and people are excited. I hope we have a good turn out. But we had fun at the meeting. I have enjoyed getting to know a few more parents a little better. I am proud of us for pulling this together with a very small budget.

Thursday was a relaxing evening. For once.

Friday was field day at my school. It was a rainy morning, but since most of the activities involved water, we went ahead. The rain wasn't terrible and the kids had a blast. I stayed outside the whole time and the kids saw me, and I cheered them on, and we had minimal boo-boos. It was great. I had never had a chance to participate in a field day before, so that was very fun. We had two assemblies in the afternoon and then we called it a day. The kids had a fun day. The PTO at my school where I work is always doing these amazing assemblies for the kids - I am always very impressed.

Friday night was my end of year dinner with my nursing co-workers. We went to a cute little Italian restaurant and stayed for 3 hours. We talked very little shop (which was nice) and shared cute stories about our kids. (our own) I have been so lucky this year to have this great group of nurses to work with. We go to Boston in two weeks for 5 days and we are going to have a blast. I can't wait!

Today Arlington did not go to soccer. We missed that this morning, and just stayed home. Mat mowed the lawn, and I weeded. Arlington and I ran to get some groceries over lunch time that I needed.

Late this afternoon Arlington had a birthday party to attend. She had a really great time and the party was well done. One of her best buddies "I" was there. This was a little boys party - we haven't gone to too many of those! This little boy is in her Kindergarten class AND goes to her daycare, so there was a nice mix of daycare kids/Kindergarten kids there. But the party was really well done, and the kids had a great time. I got to talk to a few mommies I don't get to see very often. We talked a lot about the family picnic at the school. They were so excited it was going on and couldn't wait to come. I even recruited a few new PTO members for next year. Ha! But we had a nice time. It was a long party, but Arlington had so much fun that it was worth it.

So that is the week. Today I made fruit skewers for our church picnic tomorrow.

Don't they look yummy? I love fresh fruit and this just seems like fun. Plus, I also love sweets, so I added a marshmallow to each one.

The kids are all doing well. Not much to report now that most of the spring activities are over. We had a very rainy week and couldn't play outside much at all. Cainan did say something cute this week. Had has pajamas with "Lightening McQueen" the character from the Disney Cars movie. He has been calling it "Wiping the Queen".

Have a great weekend and I will see you on Tuesday! I only have 4 1/2 days of work left! Whoo hoo!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If a tree falls in the woods.....

And it lands in your back yard and where your cars MIGHT have been parked (if your stellar wife wasn't thinking ahead), does it make a giant mess???

Answer is yes.

I had asked Mat to remove a few trees for me on our property that were shading some of my beloved plants. “No problem” he states. So on Sunday, “Woodsman Mat” decides to cut down said trees. He started with a tree in the woods near his garden. The chain saw got stuck in the tree there, and I should have known we were in trouble. He was ready to cut down the tree close to the house.

So I said, “Maybe I should move the cars”
He said “no, it will be fine. It is going to fall into the WOODS, not into the YARD”.
But I moved them anyway.
Good thing. Said tree did NOT fall into the woods. It fell down across the yard, across the stone wall........

And onto the driveway. Where – if I didn't move the cars – that would have been the end of them.

Oh, and the chain saw broke.
The end.

So we spent the rest of Sunday working on cutting the tree into tiny little movable pieces. We now have a lot of wood for our fire pit.

The kids are doing well. I am sorry about the lack of pictures. Sunday Arlington had another birthday party. She had a lot of fun. It was at a local park which also had a water section. It was a fun afternoon. The rest of the day was spent with us all playing outside. It was a beautiful day and we were happy to spend it outdoors.


Monday was Arlington's last T-ball game. She really did have fun this season, and she will be playing rookies next year I am sure. The kids all got a T-ball pin and a game ball. They were so excited. The game lasted forever. We didn't get home until almost 8pm. Ah well. Last one.

Today was a busy day at work for me. I had three IEP/PPT meetings this morning all in a row. 3 hours of meetings can suck the life right out of you. Then after school I had a 3 hour CPR renewal class. Fun times, fun times.

Our internet has been out since Sunday. We have no idea why. The repair man was supposed to be here between 4-6pm. He came at 8:30. That was so ridiculous. We called several times. Who knows what happened. But now it is all good again.

My funny story this week doesn't come from what a kid said, but what a parent said. I had a parent call me yesterday to say her daughter wouldn't be coming to school because she had WAY too much iced tea to drink the night before and she was still sleeping it off.

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

So that is all for now. I will be better with pictures. Have a great week and I will see you Saturday!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

10 days

This is how many days are left in my school year. Before I know it, I will be enjoying 8 weeks of glorious summer before returning to work for the new school year. 8 weeks of getting up a little later, taking things a little slower, and enjoying the company of my children. I can't wait.

I am sure that after one week, my children and I will be over spending so much quality time together.

This past Wednesday was Arlington's last swimming class. I was very glad becaue Arlington is not a safe swimmer. She is a girl who likes to take risks, and I am not. I hold my breath the entire half an hour she is in the pool and I don't take my eyes off of her for one minute. She is totally fine. But I am sure she is not. She is having the time of her life, and I think she is destined to drown. She dove in twice in the 7 foot water and touched the bottom before returning to the surface. She was so proud! I was terrified. I should really send Mat to the swim lessons- he has always had a“let's see what she does” kind of attitude. Probably why she was swimming so well when we left Florida. If it was up to me, she would wear floaties and a life jacket.

Wednesday was also another meeting for our upcoming school picnic. I think it is going to be really nice and really fun, so I hope a lot of people come. Or at least enough people to make all of this work worth it.
This week I sent in the paperwork for Finley and Cainan's new preschool they will be starting in the fall. They will be attending preschool at Pfizer.

This place is amazing. Truly. I have never seen such a great preschool. The program is awesome, and the best part? Finley and Cainan can be in two different classrooms. They have 4 preschool classrooms, so that made it easy to split them up. I am really excited about the move. I can't wait!

Today Arlington had soccer practice and then we had a birthday party this afternoon. She was excited to go and it was a lot of fun. It was an indoor minature golf party where everything glowed in the dark. She had a blast. It was fun for me too! We have another birthday party tomorrow to attend as well. Then one next weekend and then we are done for awhile. I know Arlington enjoys going, but I have eaten enough birthday cake to last me a life time.

Tomorrow Mat and I are also going to uproot a few trees in our back yard tomorrow. He is getting the old chainsaw ready. I planted a lot of new plants a few weekends ago, and they just aren't getting enough sun. So, the trees must come down. Let's just hope they don't fall on the house. We don't tend to have the best luck when it comes to these types of projects. The kids will be safely indoors, and the cars in the garage, but let's just hope our aim is good!

Let's see - school stories.... The kids are crazy. The end.
No, they are just excited that there are just a few days of school left. I had to speak to one of the second grade classes this week because they are coming in hoards to my office. Just for little things, or nothing at all. One little girl came to my office 5 times on Thursday. So on Friday, I made a deal with them. If they could come and see me for emergencies only, then next Friday I would give them each a jolly rancher.

Doesn't seem like much but they LOVE jolly ranchers. You should have seen their faces.

I also had a little boy a while back come to my office with a three day old, quarter size bruise and ask for a wheelchair. Best chuckle of my day. He made it to my office just fine, but was SURE he needed a wheelchair to get around the rest of the day. You should have seen how crest fallen he was when I didn't agree.

Arlington, last weekend, finished with Daisy Scouts for the year. They had a little picnic and a "flying up" ceremony. So next year she will be in.......Daisies. Ha! They do Daisies for two years.

But she got some patches and a pin, and then next year she will earn the rest of her Daisy petals. One of my mommy friends is taking over the troop next year and told me I didnt have a choice to join will do a really great job. So we are going to stick with it.

Here is a picture of her Daisy troop. Aren't they cute? Most of these girls are in Arlington's afternoon Kindergarten class.

Last Monday Arlington had her next to last T-ball game. Mat took her to this game because he hadn't seen her play in awhile and wanted to see her improvement.

He got to see her hit the ball without the T.

And she got a little trophy for participating in T-ball. I have never seen her more excited than she was when she got that trophy. Yes, everyone got one, but this was my girl's first trophy. It was pretty nice! It has her name on it and she just loves that thing. She put it on a high shelf to ensure that Finley won't touch it. (notice how we don't worry about Cainan bothering it. Such a good boy).

That was the highlight of Arlington's week. I wish I could have captured her excitement in a picture. It was just too cute.

Tuesday was my mother-in-law's last day of work. She is retiring this year as a teacher. Mat and I sent a “happy last day of school/first day of retirement” plant this day to her school. I am sure she will be missed by her co-workers and the kids. Anyone would be lucky to be taught by Sally. She is passionate and patient and kind. She was an elementary teacher, and she has told a lot of great stories over the years! Congratulations on your retirement Sally!

One last note - we would like to extend our sympathy's to our family friends the Morfords - Joanna, Lois, everyone - we are so sorry for your loss. Joanna's young baby who was around 11 months old passed away last night. She has been sick since she was born, and her condition has been declining. She was surrounded by family last night when she passed so they could say goodbye. We know how much she will be missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

I will see you on Tuesday.