Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Schedule

It's summer time in full swing around here.  For the second summer, I'm home with my babies!  It's an added perk of being a teacher.  I was gone for a week in Paris (still owe a blog post about how great the trip was) and I will be gone a week for cancer camp while the girls take a family trip with A.

The rest of the summer is Camp Mom.  We're babysitting a friend's two girls four weeks hanging here at their house.  It helps me because it keeps us out of our home and not messing it up for showings and it makes a little extra money.  A former coworker offered me her family's condo on the beach in Rockport, TX, so the girls and I are escaping for five days and we can't wait!

To help break up our weeks, I found a fun schedule on Pinterest.  Yes, I'm a Pinterest addict.  Each day has a theme and it's really helping.  Maggie and I love the routine and the fun of knowing what each day is.  Here is our schedule--

Make Something Monday--Craft time!  This week, we made this homemade gumball machine.  Decided that since Mama doesn't allow gum in the house, we would make it an M&M dispenser.  It was a big hit! Thinking of this craft for next week.  We'll see!

Time to Read Tuesday--Story time at the public library! Took some extra time to read at tables and then checked out a few books.  Maggie loves all things American Girl, so we have the book about Lanie right now.

What's Cooking Wednesday--Baking or cooking of some sort.  Last week, it was a sprinkle cake.  This week?  NUTELLA COOKIES. Make these.  Trust me.  The kids devoured them!  Next week,

Be Thoughtful Thursday--This is a time to think about others.  Write notes, volunteer (need to figure out something we can do with little ones), and have meetings for Heroes for Children.  They have gone with me two weeks in a row to have HFC meetings and Maggie and I discuss helping others as we drive there.  Today, the girls all wrote a note to someone they love and included a picture.  The friends we're babysitting did their mom since she's out of town this week.  Sweet Maggie chose her GaGa and Mom Mom (my mom and my grandma) who she adores. 

Somewhere Fun Friday--Last week, it was the local splash pool.  Tomorrow, it's a playdate at Tracey's.  Each week, we're choosing somewhere fun to go and play.  This is so nice because it's eliminated Maggie's begging to go somewhere every day.  I don't have the money for that!  So, with this, we are able to find fun things to do.

This schedule is a life saver!  It has turned our summer into something really great and smooth. Each day, we have rest/nap time.  Katie naps for a good two to two and a half hours.  She plays so hard and is so wild that she crashes hard too.  Maggie can watch TV, color, play quietly in her room but it has to be a quiet time for her as well.  I can work on the computer, clean the house, and sometimes I sneak in a nap myself!  Nights aren't really planned.  They have two nights a week with their dad (I get them fully for two weeks of the summer and he gets two weeks) and one night of gymnastics. We have movie nights, play at the park, or swim in the pool.  Last night, the four of us, including Military Man, all piled in the pool, laughing and playing.  It was Breakfast for Dinner night (our favorite!)

Maggie is attending a VBS next week in the morning and we have our regular once a month date nights with the girls where A and I split up the girls two nights and do something special with each one.  We started that last July and I make sure we set something up with the girls every month.  Maggie gets to plan our nights together.  Last month, she chose a restaurant we loved called Whiskey Cake then playing mini golf.  We've painted pottery, gone to the movies, shopped at the mall and gone to museums.  Next week is a girly night of getting our nails painted then seeing Brave at the movie theatre.  Next month we have tickets to see the musical Peter Pan, courtesy of the Christmas gift from Boyfriend to see three musicals.  Katie is a lot more simple.  I take her to play at the mall, the playgroup, go swimming, or just play at home.  It is my hope that we will continue this monthly date nights for many years to come with the girls.  It's so good for them.

It's going to be a long summer with the house on the market and the uncertainty of where we will end up.  It certainly has it's fair amount of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed for me, but hopefully, all my children will remember in the end is the fun we had and the time we spent together.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Last Day Love

It's the last day of school.  At our teacher luncheon, I got my plaque from winning the student nominated teacher award.  It'll be proudly displayed in the my classroom.  The best gift I got today was handwritten letters from four of my best students expressing their gratitude to me.  I started this job ONE DAY after finalizing my divorce.  To say I was in turmoil is an understatement.  Truly, this job helped me through.  I'm in tears at my desk realizing the impact it has made on my life.  I have tears of love and, to be honest, of sheer exhaustion, as I look back since the first day of new teacher training on August 10th. 

I don't know that I could properly express it all.  Instead, I am going to share a letter from Talia, a 7th grader, who I adore.  The letter was a handmade card.  It came with a handmade name badge necklace that is gorgeous and a silly paper of pictures of her cat, "Big Larry."  Big Larry has made many an appearance in French class, including as the main character of her children's book project. 

Typed up exactly as Talia wrote it (in bright blue ink with neon green for the PS).  You have to hear this in your head as a sweet girl with a twisted fun sense of humor--

Dear Madame,

I have a absolutely LOVED being in your class this year!  On the 1st day of school, I knew you would be my favorite teacher all year.  Then that day, probably 2 or 3 weeks into school, I had the steno emergency.  I could tell by the way you just laughed and gave me the stapler that we had the same personality.  They always say save the best for last, I guess that's why I have French 8th period....THE BEST CLASS OF THE DAY!!  Your teaching styles are so great and understable.  Everyone enjoys French (if they don't, they should!)  You always have fun stories to share whether it is about Maggie, Katie, or even the rare story about Military Man!  My favorite stories you tell are still the inspiring ones.  Every time one of those comes up it makes me feel like I really can grow up to be what I want to be and make a difference in the world, like you.  Maybe one day I'll be that ex-student coming back to one of your classes, telling them about my very own adventures in France.  I have enjoyed learning a new language, and thanks to your great teaching, my grade has not gone below 98 all year!  Only the very best teachers can relate and make a connection with their students, which you do.  Once I get to the high school, I think I'd like to continue French, but those teachers have my high expectations of your great teaching to live up to.  I can't wait until next year to make more memories in French.  No doubt they'll be great!

Je t'aime!

PS--I enjoyed meeting your daughters at the talent show.  You've raised 2 delightful young ladies and I hope to meet them again when they're older.  Maybe by then Katie will have grown into her skin/chunk (as cute as she is, she can't go through life sitting on people she has an issue with!)  I'm sure they will both grow up to make you very proud.  Best wishes to you and the rest of the gang with the move this summer and have fun in Paris!!