Friday, December 27, 2013

She's got it down

I'm fairly sarcastic and quick witted, so it doesn't surprise me that my first born would be just like me. Sometimes it's her repeating what I've said and asking (with a sad face) what it means and sometimes it's her coming back instantly with a zinger that I would have said but is disrespectful when coming from a seven year old.  They can be cute, they can be inappropriate, and sometimes, they are downright hilarious.

For prosperity's sake, I'll give you a few examples.  But be warned - you might be next.

When Addi was born she was 9 lbs 4 oz, so when she went to the nursery she got a lot of stares.  Apparently, she has heard me telling her birth stories because a few weeks ago she said, "Mommy, when I was born why did I look like I are the other babies?" 

At her last haircut Addi asked for a pretty short 'do.  After Ryan finished up, Addi looked in the mirror and said, "Uh oh... I think it's too short." After Ryan looked at her with really large eyes, she said, "Eh, we can work with it."

One night when packing up for swim team, Addi was screaming and running around like a drunk monkey. I said, "Addi, calm down. You are being annoying."  She turned and said, "Oh really? I can be MORE annoying."

And finally, last night we had been home for about two hours when I heard a thud, scream, and then cry coming from the basement. I ran down there to find Sam laying on the ground, crying, with a large box on top of her. I looked at Addi and she said, "I just lost my mind for a minute."

We are definitely in trouble.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Getting artsy

I don't know if it's nature or nurture, but both of my girls have a great love for art and crafting. They also have an ingrained desire to use a Sharpie for anything they do - I'm pretty sure that comes from me. 

Yesterday Samantha was sitting on the floor, tracing her feet over and over. She said they did that at school so I figured it would be ok - they go to a pretty conservative school after all.  I kept wrapping presents and left her alone with her creativity. 

Later while cleaning up I found her masterpiece. 

She swears it's her foot and if you turn the paper upside down and squint, you can kind of get there. 

This one might "accidentally" get tossed. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Family Resemblance

In addition to great morals, a love of family, and a love of encased meat, the Ralph family also shares with it's members strong genes.  Each family has one or two kids who look a lot like someone from another family, and it's fun for outsiders like me to hear that Addi looks like Miranda or Sami looks like Mara.  I usually have to take their word for it.

Last week we had to send in pictures of Samantha's Baptism and of course I was running around at the last minute trying to find some already printed out. I couldn't find any so I headed to the PC and found them... and a picture of Sam and Addi's cousin Mara.
Yup.  They are related!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A little rabies never hurt anyone

It's recently come to my attention that "normal" things don't happen to me or at my house.  At work I was telling my coworker about how the kids had been playing with cat food and litter and said, "You know how it is!" and all I got back was a blank stare.  Apparently my kids have DNA that is part "Young family", part "Ralph family", and a tiny part raccoon.  At least, that seems to be the consensus with a few of my coworkers.
Anyway, I was smart enough to take a picture of what the kids were using the cat food and litter for to prove to them that yes, my kids are destructive, but it's all in the name of good, healthy creativity.

Honestly, this sort of thing happens a lot.  I head upstairs and see something like this in the hallway:

And I begrudgingly investigate, fingers crossed it won't cost me a large sum of money.  Sometimes I get lucky and just see this - a carpeted? area for hair products.
At least that didn't cause structural damage.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Life BDVR - Before DVR

Tonight Addi once again taped a random kid show and threw off a recording we had set on our DVR.  With work and kids and life, we rarely watch shows when they are actually on, and instead catch up on weekends.  DVR is far and away our favorite appliance.

Once I got the recording situation back on track, I thought back to when we got our first TIVO. Jay was working on 2nd shift and was totally out of the loop on anything TV related.  I would try to record shows for him when I remembered on our VCR, but let's be honest - I can barely work a Crock Pot - so getting a VCR to tape when I actually wanted it to was kind of impossible. So for a Christmas present Jay got me TIVO and worked to get it all set up one day while I was at work.  He was excited to have a "guy" day, using power tools and hooking up electronics, and I was thrilled that my tough hubby could do that sort of thing.

Jay called me to tell me that in order to use the TIVO, we had to pay DirecTV an extra $5 a month, then found out that to record two shows at one time we would have to pay another $5.  OK, no big deal - $10 is cheap, even monthly.  Then he had to run to Best Buy to get a new cord he hadn't planned on - and another $40 was spent. 

An hour later he called me from Sam's club.  I asked why he was there and he said, "Oh, I just got a flat tire so I'm here getting it replaced. It's $150 to get one like my others."  Ok, fine. Another hour went by, and I got another call.  While they were changing the tire, his truck battery died and had to be replaced.  Just like that - another $75.

If you are keeping tabs, we are now at $475 if you include the initial cost of the TIVO itself.

That evening I got home and Jay asked me to help him finish up the install.  He had to drill a larger hole in the floor to fit the second cord through, so I stood in the basement with him while he made that adjustment.  He kept drilling and wasn't making any headway so he told me to run upstairs and look down through the hole and see if I could spot the problem.  When I got upstairs, it was easy to see where the issue was.

His drill was caught on our burber carpet and as it spun, it was unraveling our living room carpet.  I started screaming, he stopped drilling, and we were left with a nice 8"x3" row of bare carpet. Very pretty.

At the end of that day, our TIVO was up and running, we enjoyed a cold beverage, and we had moved the TV stand over the new hole in the carpet.  We thought about replacing the carpet but we figured $475 was more than enough to spend in one day.  I congratulated Jay on his day filled with masculine things - drilling, running wire, and drinking beer - and when I went to bed, Jay was happily hitting the "thumbs up" button on the remote, which according to the instructions let Tivo know what shows he liked. 

The next day I found out that although I thought Jay was quite the masculine man, Tivo thought he was gay.  We had 35 hours of Lifetime television ready for us to watch, all from one night of him "liking" things.  We turned off that feature on the TIVO, he made us dinner, and we lived happily ever after.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jay's "Crafts"

I craft... Jay spends entire days making delicious food.

Salsa, anyone?

Getting my craft on (and it was Jay approved!)

My poor husband deals with my crafting ADD about as well as I could expect him to. He grumbles when he trips over random materials, he makes fun of some of my projects, but mostly he just rolls his eyes.  I think if I had ONE craft I was really into he would be more supportive but I change up what I'm working on almost every week.

Case in point: Saturday I crocheted half of a scarf, then got bored, and last night I made four rubber band bracelets, then got tired. Tonight, who knows!

Well, remember the wreath I was so proud of a few years ago, that Jay decided looked like toilet paper?  Well, I had some left over materials so one night while Jay watched football across the street, I got out my coffee filters and paint and by the end of the evening my kitchen looked like this.

I believe the Sea Monkeys enjoyed looking at these
After they all dried, I checked in with my doctor Google and found how to make flowers.  Then I got to work and spent the next few weeks making these.

A few weeks later I completed the project.  And if I do say so myself, it turned out WAY better than I thought.  Jay even gave me a huge compliment: "Wow! That looks so much better than the one that looks like a giant tampon!"

My fall wreath, which now hangs in my entry way
I also threw this wreath together - I bought the materials two years ago during my "wreath" faze and got bored. 
A wreath that I need to hang in a disco, or in Barbie's Dreamhouse
Two wreaths, several hours, and one 2nd degree burn. Not bad for someone with crafting ADD.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Looking for the Pot of Gold

Last week we had quite a long day of rain, but at the end, this.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Headache Goes On

While my dad is in North Dakota, Sugar is back at our house.  And today I was essentially slapped in the face with an awful truth... We are not pet people.

Today, I walked her, then "Sugar-proofed" the house (closing all the bedroom doors, closing the pantry, blocking the pantry, locking up all the trash), then left for the day.  When we got home, we saw that Sugar peed and pooped in the playroom but no structural damage, so we called it good.  I cleaned up the pee, threw the poop in the toilet, and we went to dinner, taking Sugar with us.

After we got home I started getting the kids ready for bed. I cleaned up a fresh pile of cat puke, then  heard Jay yelling for help. I ran downstairs in time to see the overflowing toilet, thanks to Sugar's monster poop clogging it up. 

After the second pet mess of the night was cleaned up, I finally acknowledged the ridiculously annoying meowing cat.  I knew he was out of food so I told the girls I was running to the store.  Addi said, "Wait mommy! Last weekend Sam and I mixed a bunch of cat food in with toys to make a house! You can give that to Bandit!"  Mentally sighing, I went to the basement to find the food. Instead, I found something even more exciting!

Water, pouring through the ceiling, from the toilet, all over the girls toys.

My sea monkeys are so my favorite pet.

Last weekend

Sugar was still here just in time for a thunderstorm, we slept in... Shopped for rubber bands... Went to cousin Mara's hockey game, and watched movies. 

Nothing exciting but it was fun!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

I have a headache

My dad is in North Dakota and is visiting friends for a week, and he called me one day during work. After we hung up I thought, "Is this really my life?"

Dad: Hey, so I gave my deep freeze away to the neighbors. I don't need all that space and never eat the meat in it anyway.

Me: (knowing from past experience that the meat all tastes like cigarettes from his chain smoking) Yeah, that makes sense.  That was nice of you to give it to them. I'm sure they can use it.

Dad: Yup. Well, anyway, I just got 200 lbs of deer meat here in ND, so can you ask Jay to go out and buy me a new deep freeze to put it all in? Thanks! Bye!

Me: [thud, thud, thud, as I pound my head into the desk]

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Twin

This year it really became clear to me how hard it would be if I was an only child. Even though my brothers aren't nearby, it's nice to have someone else who knows what I'm going through when I am dealing with parent health issues.

Because of this, I'm so thankful we have two kids versus just one. Not only do the girls have someone to grow up with and lean on, but it's helpful to Jay and I too. We always tell people that two kids is easier than one because they entertain each other, but it goes deeper than that. Basically, because it gives Jay and I two different people to take care of us in our old age. 

Now, on the surface I would say Samantha will be the child most likely to be our caregiver, should we need one. She's sweet, cuddly, and says sweet things that just melt your heart. For example, she and I were walking down the street, both wearing pink shirts. She said, "Look mommy, we are twins!"  I said, "Oh, yeah, we are! We are both wearing pink!" and she said, "Oh, no, I meant we are twins because we are both beautiful."

Seriously, how can you not eat that up???

Now, Addi definitely has her own charms. She's caring when she wants to be, she's bound to make us laugh, and she should have taught us plenty by then. She doesn't have that empathy that Sam exudes, but she does have one great thing going for her.  There's a darn good chance she can pick me up and carry me around in my old age.  I need to remember that when she makes me mad.

Two kids who can take care of us, make us laugh, and compliment us? We are lucky, lucky, lucky.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bedtime reading

Jay and I alternate putting the girls to bed each night, and they usually fight over who I put to bed. Sundays it's my night with Addi, and tonight we were reading a book about dads.

We got to this page and this is how our conversation went. Enjoy.

Addi:  I don't get it. What does that mean?
Me: Well, you know how you think me and Daddy aren't very smart?
Addi: [nodding head] Yes.
Me:  Well, when you are a grown up you are going to realize that me and Daddy are actually really, really smart.
Addi: Yeah, I can see that.  Because by then, I'll have taught you guys a lot, lot more.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Yes, Addi goes to school too

I realized that I haven't written anything about Addison lately.  It's actually a great thing, because so far the school year has been uneventful.  Great days, good grades, she loves her teacher and loves to learn.

We did have one milestone last night, though.  She finished her first real chapter book, cover to cover!  She's read entire books before but this was the first time she started one book and didn't read anything else until she was finished.  I hope this is a trend because I do love me some reading time.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Her nightly prayers

Samantha is loving school and loves "spending time with Jesus," as her teachers call mass and prayer time. I ask her what she talks to Jesus about and she always replies, "I don't know what to say Mommy!" so we have been talking about how to pray.

One night I was putting Sam (she now allows me to call her that, only at home) to bed and she wanted me to pray with her.  She squeezed her eyes shut, took a deep breath, and said, "I pledge allegience,  to the flag...." and so on.

She ended it with "St. Jude, Pray for us!" so I didn't bother to correct her.  It was way too cute.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Her education is really paying off

Sometimes, Jay is just really, really picky.  Last week he insisted on taking his car to the shop because his air conditioning wasn't working and his windows wouldn't roll down. What a baby.

Samantha and I were driving the truck back home from the shop (seriously, am I wife of the year or WHAT? I let him fix his car!) and I asked her what she learned at school that day.  She was quiet for a few minutes, then said, "Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton."

Knowing that most saints have a special calling or thing they are a patron of, I asked her, "So what does she do?"

Samantha looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said, "Duh, she's a SAINT."

Glad to know her education has included the "eye roll" and "sassiness" lessons. She's definitely going to get an A in that subject.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The "Catch Up" Post

I love blogging and try to keep up with it, with a goal of three updates per week. And just like my weight loss goal, I haven't done well.

For a while I just felt bad about myself... I seemed to have no energy to blog or really do anything. I just wanted to lay around the house. Even with my regular workouts I didn't have energy and seemed to be getting overwhelmed really, really easily.

I tried to think about what could be going on when my ever so smart husband pointed out to me that by the first of July, I had already had enough drama and stress to fill an entire year.  With all that went on with my dad, and work, and trips, and the kids, and notoriously over-committing myself, I was tired. And being tired was perfectly acceptable.

So, I know I'll never catch back up on all the amazing things our family did this summer.  But here's a short list.

We swam.
The girls and I went to Texas for 5 days to see our amazing friends.
We hung out with our neighbors.
We went to St. Louis and played at Six Flags and the City Museum.
We visited Jay's family in Indiana and went to Holiday World.
Jay and I took a night away for our anniversary and stayed in a ridiculously quiet Bed and Breakfast.
I downloaded a great "white noise" app on my phone.
Sam became Samantha.
We watched our school put the finishing touches on our building.
I had more weeks of layoff.
Samantha got her first real pedicure.
I got to level 127 on Candy Crush Saga.
The girls got adorable hair cuts, just in time for school.
I freaked out and felt really, really old when I realized I have a second grader.
We cuddled.
Addi changed her name to Addison, then Addy.
I cleaned out my car.
Our cat got fleas.
I got carpel tunnel from so much vacuuming.

And many, many, many other moments that I can't remember right now.  And that's OK.

The one where Samantha goes to School

When Addison started kindergarten, I was excited and scared and all kinds of emotions, but knew she was ready. She was so grown up in her own five year old way, and even though I was worried about her going off into the big, bad world, I knew she would be fine.

Through the summer, there was no doubt that Samantha was ready to go to kindergarten. She knew her letters and numbers, her uniforms were hanging in the closet and her backpack was filled with school supplies.  She even decided on her own that she would officially "Samantha" now, NOT Sam, or Sami, and followed through by learning to spell that long, long name.

The problem was, I wasn't ready.  I was clinging to the baby still there, the little girl who still wants to cuddle and calls me her best friend.  One day I overheard her telling Addi she could have her pillow for nap time in second grade, and Addi said, "We don't have naptime." When Sam (I'm sorry, SAMANTHA) responded, "OK Addi, you take it for your rest time," I couldn't breathe, let alone correct her and tell her that big girls don't have rest time either.

Three weeks ago I sucked up my fears and took this big girl to kindergarten. I kept waiting on her to need me, and to cry, and to show me the baby still there.  But all I saw was this.

Someone forgot to tell Samantha that she's supposed to be a baby still. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Really smooth, Steph

Top 3 Most Embarrassing Moments in My world, corporate America style

3. Addi calling our VP "fat" during a race for charity.

2. Walking into the men's room accidentally (and seeing my coworker)

2 1/2: Walking into the men's room 2 more times that same week.

1. Calling a video guy and asking him to produce a 30 second clip for me. After explaning to him what I needed he said, "I really don't understand what you need from me."  I said, "Well, you are the producer, right? Your boss said to call you?" and he said, "No, I report to the Vice President. I'm the controller for the company."


Friday, July 26, 2013

Mistaken Identity

I love ignoring my kids killing time at night before bed, reading old blogs I posted. My recent favorite? Click here to read and laugh.

Last night while reading I was reminded of a funny coincidence that took place a few weeks ago.  Addison used to sleep with her "Shape" blanket each night and even though she's grown out of it now a lot of the time, Shapey will make the occasional car trip with us. And even though she's "grown out of" Shapey, don't you dare try to snuggle with him. 

Well, while we were in Lafayette for a birthday party, Addison made friends with another girl just a few weeks different in age, and after a few hours of playing Addi came running up saying, "Guess what!!!! My new friend has a Shapey too!"

Turns out, Addi saw Shapey in the arms of another and freaked out, only to realize that the blanket in question was in fact the love of another.  This blanket's name? Fluffy.  And is literally the exact same blanket. Same pattern, same material, same worn spots. 

We had a good laugh over the mix up and went our merry ways, Fluffy and Shapey safely tucked away in their respective owners arms. And I breathed a sigh of relief that Addison didn't tackle the girl or beat her up.  She is quite strong, you know.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Oatmeal Story

I thought it was common knowledge that I don't cook.  I DO bake and enjoy it, but cooking meals is not my forte. Even grilled cheese shivers at the sight of me. Seriously, this was a grilled cheese I made (and forgot about). Oops.

However, after my friend Beth came over and was stunned (and I mean STUNNED) to see canned ravioli and cereal boxes on the counter while Jay was gone, I started to think maybe people assume I exaggerate when I mention my lack of a cooking gene.

Even my kids understand it - they know Daddy cooks, Mommy does dishes.  Addi was shocked and speechless to find out that my friend Jenny does all the cooking at their house, and Samantha told her teachers all about it in my Mother's Day present. In a cute survey that said, "My Mom loves to cook ___" Samantha told her teacher to fill in "Dad cooks everything."

So in case there was any confusion - I don't cook.  And not in a "OK I'll whip something up for dinner but it will taste just OK but I won't enjoy it very much" kind of way.  In a "Just tell them the oatmeal story and they'll understand" kind of way.

The Oatmeal Story

Pinterest is this website that makes moms feel inferior to everyone else in the world lets you search for recipes, crafts, home decor, really anything you could want to look at. And one night, while perusing Pinterest, I find what looked like a tasty morning treat - Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. The picture looked nearly irresistible, and with it being posted on a dieting board, I knew I could eat this guilt free. I showed the girls and they asked if we could make it, so we followed the directions exactly and waited for morning.  And Yes, I am well aware that oatmeal can be made in less than three minutes, but really, the picture sold it. This was going to be amazing.

I woke up to the smell of baked apples. Very, very tasty smelling from upstairs. But as I got closer to the kitchen, the smell changed. There was still a cinnamon smell, but instead of being a sweet one it was more of a burnt one. I lifted the lid to the crock pot and found what could easily be used as mortar or possibly could even patch the great Wall of China.  There was a solid 2-inch ring of burnt oatmeal around the circumference of the pan.  In the middle of the ring of burnt-ness was regular looking oatmeal, so in order to prove this oatmeal was still OK I let each girl tasted a bit of it.

Then I cleaned it up off the kitchen floor from where they spit it. It tasted just like it smelled.  Terrible.

Seven days later I FINALLY soaked the crock pot long enough to get most of the oatmeal out. At day five Jay suggested just buying a new one because we were fairly certain it was a lost cause, but I prevailed. And even though I stink at cooking, I do have one great talent - washing dishes.

I'm pretty sure Jay will let me keep that title forever.

In case you are curious, here's the recipe (with my added Step 4.) Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal 
 Cook overnight to wake up to delicious smells and a tasty breakfast!
 Cook time: 9 Hr  Prep time: 5 Min  Serves: 3-4
Ingredients: 2 apples, sliced; 1/3 c brown sugar; 1 tsp cinnamon; 2 c oatmeal; 4 c water
1. Place sliced apples, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in the bottom of the crock pot.
2. Pour 2 cups of oatmeal and 4 cups of water on top. Do not stir.
3. Cook overnight for 8 - 9 hours on low. Serve and enjoy.
4. Buy a New Crock Pot and never speak of this again.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Addison's Strength

Addison is strong in a lot of ways. She's physically strong - she rolled over and pushed up within an hour of birth, walked at 9 months, and can pick up her overweight mother today.  Her will is VERY strong - meaning you better go into an argument with a clear idea of what you want because she will wear. you. down. fighting for her heart's desire.  She's also strong in her convictions - basically, she knows she is right and that's all there is to it, thank you very much.

Some of these strengths are great - she carries giant bags of cat food for Jay and is hard to convince to do things she feels are wrong, which could be handy in junior high, but they also have a bad side.  Namely body slamming her sister when she means to lightly shove her and turning my hair (more) gray with her constant arguing.

A few days ago, Jay was cutting up a chicken for dinner and took the wishbone over to Addi.  She had never seen one before but within 30 seconds had a lifetime wishbone score of Addi: 1, Jay: 0.

Then she said, "Instead of wishing for something, I'm going to pray for Sherryl's dad who died instead.  Is that OK?"

Turns out, she's also strong in her faith and strong in her caring for others.  And those might be my two favorite strengths of all.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Almost 10 Years

Jay and I splurged and took an early 10th anniversary trip to Punta Cana last month, and to say it was amazing would be a gross understatement. It was too good for words.  We had a great time just hanging out with each other, Jay golfed 18 holes, I read three books, we met some new friends, and we sat on a boat and just breathed in all of that open space. 

The kids had fun with Grandma and we were happy knowing they were kept alive while we swam with sharks.

Spending all of that alone time with Jay was really great.  I remembered how fun he can be when he is relaxed and I reminded him of how hot I am.  Before we left I found this list of Rules for a Happy Marriage, and I've tried to live by these everyday since.

I do have one rule to add, however.  Rule #11:  Take your spouse on an all inclusive vacation to the beach, eat and drink whenever and whatever you want, hold hands all the time, walk on the beach, swim in the ocean, and whenever anything goes wrong, blame it on the hotel staff.  Repeat annually.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What a loser

I am totally guilty of celebrating mediocrity as much as the next mom. I don't want to upset the kids and want them to know I'm proud of them win or lose. So the kids will probably expect a trophy for every event in life, even if they don't win.

I thought I was ok with that... I mean, I like hearing "nice try!" As much as the next guy. I wasn't the best in sports because I really didn't care if we won or lost and as a rule I'm not overly competitive.

Until today. When I was flat out called a loser. Right to my face! Seriously, I can't WAIT to win this time.

Darn you, candy crush level 97.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Scripted Reality

If I've mentioned it once I've mentioned it 100 times - I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for, spread out all over the United States.  We talk every day, either through Facebook or phone, and they know me better than some of my family does. The only strange part of our relationships is that for some of us, we've never actually met in person. 

They are my imaginary friends, as Jay puts it. Women I met online while pregnant with Sami and who've I've now known for over five years.  Last summer Sam and I spent a weekend with five of them in Minneapolis (click here for that recap) and this year we hoped to do the same. 

Now, Sam LOVES the kids as much as I love the moms. She had a blast last year and talks about her "birthday twin" Ally almost every day. She has pictures of Ally in her room, pictures of Ally and her dogs in our bathroom, and when Ally sent her a birthday invitation, she carried it with her for a week. She and Ally have only met once but let's face it, she's awesome just like me and knows good friends when she sees them. And for her birthday, she asked for one thing - to go see her birthday twin in Dallas.

Sam, holding a card from Ally

Anyway, with the help of frequent flier miles I booked Sam, Addi and I on a plane to Texa in July. Then I held that information as a surprise over the girls until they did all their chores, then tortured them relentlessly with it. When it came time I recorded the girls reactions. As a heads up, Addi asked my dad where the "surprise" was and my dad said he buried it in the backyard. You'll need that information when you watch the first recording here.

Then, since they looked so confused in that video, we had a do over, linked here. It went a little better and I don't really feel bad about coaching them on how to act to make me look better... Isn't that what reality TV is?

The girls have gotten more and more excited each day, and who can blame them.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bittersweet Summer

May 31 marked a bittersweet day for Addi.  It was the last day of first grade, so while she was excited to have a summer break she was sad that she wouldn't see her friends and amazing teacher Mrs. Williams for a few months. I personally remember my first grade teacher and love knowing that Addi will too.  It helps that Mrs. Williams is quite possibly the best teacher ever and adores all of the kids.  The kids have all been in love with her since day one and to be honest, I kind of have a crush on her too.  She's THAT good.

Mrs. Williams is having a baby so the last day of school also served as a baby shower for her.  Each kid wrote what advice for Mrs. Williams on what babies like and gave her a book for her to read to Nora.  All of the kids in the class ADORE Mrs. Williams so they loved this.

Look at Addi's face while Mrs. Williams reads her letter.  True, geniune love.

First grade was definitely a success.  Addi is officially a reader and is doing great in math.  Her favorite class this year was religion and she actually participated with enthusiasm the entire year, something we struggled with in Kindergarden.  The class did morning journals all year and it was really neat to read through those and watch her writing change and her spelling improve.

Just a few favorites...

When August rolls around, I will not only have a kindergardner but a second grader!  I can only hope Samantha enjoys school as much as Addi!

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