Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Angel in a Kindergarten Teacher's Disguise

Look at this boy.
Is he one you would want in your kindergarten class if you were a kindergarten teacher?

Hmmm.... I'm pretty sure there is some kind of asterisk by his name on her class roster. Well, Luke's teacher didn't feel that way; she is truly, and I mean truly, an angel. She has a love for each of her students, no matter how many asterisks are by their names. She appreciates each of their unique qualities and this has endeared me to her greatly. You love my son; I love you deeply.

She deals with his difficulties so diplomatically:
For example "L.J., Before you come to school, I'd like you to jump on trampoline for awhile."

And after a trying week at school: "I think with LJ he is just so full of God's spirit he can't contain it! That is a good thing! When he is impulsive and does something he knows he shouldn't he is truly sorry about it."

Concerning his lack of interest in reading: "He will probably the type of person that will need to read while he is on a treadmill. I think that is why you haven't seen leaps and bounds in his reading. He has all the skills but because it is a quiet activity he avoids it. He has been fun to have - always a smile on his face! You should have high hopes for him in 1st. "

She gets him, and that means soooo much to this mama.
Thanks for an incredible year, Mrs. Goodrich!

You are both good and rich.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Something Gross but Amazing in My Backyard

I looked outside the other morning about 6:50 AM. I saw something strange on our back fence and squealed loud enough to wake up Tom and Luke and make them run down the stairs. I could see that it was a possum, but I thought to be out in the sunlight and to be scaling our fence so slowly, it must have been sick. My first thought was that she had the mange. Isn't that weird. Isn't that just for dogs?
But as my whole family peered out our sliding glass door, we noticed other tiny sets of eyes and feet... 7 of them to be exact. Six on her back and one that had fallen in our backyard.
We sat there in awe as we watched a mother in distress muster every bit of courage she had to continue tiptoeing down the fence through the neighborhood. We were a concern to her, but not as big a concern as the dog on the other side of the fence or her little baby who was calling out to her in obvious panic. Her biggest difficulty though, was making her way across a 1/2 inch wide fence top, while her babies were literally dripping down her sides. My best guess is that she tried to move the youngens while it was still dark, but the task took longer than she estimated and she got caught as the sun came up.... exposed and scared, though not daunted from the task that lie ahead of her.
If you look closely at this picture, you can clearly see two baby faces, but she also has one on her neck and two hanging very low, one on her front leg, the other on her rear end. Not sure where the other one is hiding...
I normally would be totally grossed out at the site of this rodent-looking animal, but to see her vying for survival with all her might along with the sight of those little baby opossum, I have to say it was pretty amazing. I didn't want to get a gun and shoot her, though I may have second thoughts when we have a dozen possums rummaging through our trash!

Post Note: After I left for school that morning, Ellie and Luke watched as the baby made his way from the ground to the top of the fence and down the way to his mother who had only moved about 30 feet down the fence in the span of nearly an hour.

I did a little fact-finding on the opossum, and if you are interested, here are some gross but amazing things I never knew about possums....

  • Opossums are the only marsupial native to North America.
  • Opossums are excellent climbers using their hands, feet and tail to grasp.
  • They mate once a year, but have two litters: one in spring and one in late summer - the theory is the 2nd pregnancy is delayed.
  • Newborn babies are the size of a bumblebee.
  • Gestation period is a very fast 13 days
  • As many as 25 babies are born and make their way into the pouch
  • The first 13 babies that attach to a nipple survive - mama can only accommodate 13 babies in her pouch
  • Babies spend two months in the pouch continuing their development
  • Once out of the pouch, babies ride on top of mom, hanging onto her fur
  • Opossums are immune to rattle snake venom, rabies and distemper
  • While "playing possum," they emit a smelly substance from their anal gland which smells like rotten meat. This makes the opossum appear to be a rotting carcass and most predators will not eat him.
  • Opossums have a peaceful nature and will avoid confrontations, but they will bite if provoked as a defensive
  • They have 52 teeth - more than any other mammal in North America

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Music to My Ears

So proud of Ell Belle....

After a year of piano lessons with Mrs. Pride, she had her "book party" at which she played through the entire book! All 24 songs! Friends came to be her audience..

and then afterwards we celebrated at my kids' (AND MY) new favorite yogurt shop, Peachwave! Yummy! Self serve yogurt where you add your own toppings! Dangerously delicious but only.33 cents per ounce!

Great job, Ellie! I hope you see how all your hard work has paid off! Hugs!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Perfect Pairings - Psalm 127:3-5

Psalm 127:3-5 (The Message)
Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior's fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don't stand a chance against you;
you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The $2.50 Birthday Party

Kami doesn't turn 12 until July, but we threw her an early birthday party with Lizzie... they celebrated their birthdays together just like another time. And OK, it didn't exactly cost $2.50.

Hang with me though; there is a $2.50 twist that went over very well.The birthday girls invited about 30 of their friends to a skating rink that we rented out for a couple of hours. They all had a blast! They aren't little girls anymore, but growing up and amazingly so. Kami and her old buddy Nicole....Kami and her new buddy Katie...all the girls singing Happy Birthday to Kami and Lizzie... and now for the $2.50 cent part. Since we had invited 30 girls and it was a double birthday party, we wanted to handle the giving of presents in a creative way. We thought about saying "no presents" or "bring a donation to Special Olympics in lieu of a gift."

However, after thinking and thinking, we decided to add this note to the invitation: "Gifts: If you'd like to bring a gift, spend no more than $2.50 per present. That's right, no more than $2.50 per gift. Be creative and see what you can come up with!!!"

We loved the results. Instead of having loads of decadent presents, most of which the girls didn't really need or want, they got a load of fun and special items, many of them handmade.

I wish I would have gotten pictures of all their fun gifts, but here are some I remember....
*fingernail polish
*fun, colorful socks
*handmade jewelry
*handmade headband
*handmade bows
*zany bands
*big bouncy ball (you wouldn't believe how much they've played with this... an item I always had around when they were little)
*pen with duck tape rose
*handmade fleece pillow
*collage of words from magazines
*friendship bracelets

I would really like to try this idea for other birthday parties; it was really cool how well everyone responded and how much money was saved and how much waste was avoided and how much the girls loved their $2.50 presents!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

So Much to Blog, So Little Time

I had the highest hopes for blogging in April. And then May 1st stepped rudely into my world! Wow, the pace is not at a jog, but a sprint right now and I am blogging by the hair of my chinny chin chin!

There are so many things I want to record, but for today, I will share with you the song that Ellie adapted while I was out of town this weekend to the tune of Toby Keith's song "Crying for Me." It's about Cosmo. She still misses him.

Here are her words:
Got the news on Monday mornin,
but a few tears I could find,
showed me how to have fun
now you showed me how to die
I was lost the rest of the day
I woke up to face my fears
While writing you this goodbye song
I found a lot of tears
Im gonna miss that dog
Gonna miss him so much
Even though it hurts the way it ended up
I'd do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven
Cause that’s right where you belong
Im not crying cause I feel sorry for you
Im cryin for me
So I got up to look at your toys
And your smell came right to me
That old familiar smell I smell a thousand times
Sorry that your not here comin right home to me
Even though you think im crazy I had to see you again
Im gonna miss that dog
Gonna miss him so much
Even though it hurts the way it ended up I'd do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven
Cause that right where you belong
Im not cryin cause I feel so sorry for you
Im cryin for me
So play with your red and green chew toy
And your green tennis ball
I will see you on the other side…superstar
Im gonna miss that dog
Gonn miss him so much
Even though it hurts the way I ended up
I do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven
Cause thats right where you belong
I'm no cryin cause I feel so sorry for you
I'm cryin for me
I'm still cryin
I'm cryin for me
I'm still cryin