Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011


 We've been holding onto this outfit from Grandma Montana until it fit just right.

 This  is what I'm used to looking at instead of the posed picture up there.

You've been sick this week.
Sunday morning at Brian and Lori's you quietlly leaned over and threw up in my coffee cup.
Your resilience is amazing.
You're on the mend.
We look forward to having this little girl back. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Salt Lick, Austin, TX

With Aunt Brian, Aunt Lori, and cousin Noah

Friday, October 21, 2011

Benjamin Goes to Kindergarten

And my little guys took off for Kindergarten a short 9 weeks ago.
And immediately, like the first day, they were bringing home warning notes--yellow, red, "W" on the calendar.  We became quickly acquainted.

 But Ben's didn't relent. 
And the notes said things like, "Ben is twirling in line."
And after about the third, baddest of the bad red notes saying Ben twirled in line, I started to ignore them. 

But then they started to say that Ben twirled in line AND he put the teacher's aide in danger with his twirling and it was "witnessed".
When that happened, well, then it got interesting.

 I responded in the daily note home, or was it the "Behavior Documentation Chart," or maybe it was straight on the red note, perhaps the weekly report, that Ben would now have strict consequences at home for these notes, so please help us know what is being done to help him stop the blasted twirling in line.

So the teacher called the principal.
And I started meetings with the principal.
And the principal seemed quite normal.

And then the neighbor girl started giving us daily reports on how awful Benjamin was.

And so we had parent/teacher conferences, which were really parent/teacher/principal conferences.
And I expressed that I hoped the smiles Ben had that week on his daily report didn't have to do with this conference coming.
And we expressed that we didn't appreciate getting reports on Ben from the other students.
And we expressed that the whole note system made no sense, and was over the top.
And we expressed that until she gave us an indication that there was anything said to help Ben get better, I would continue to tell him how to get better, and I would continue to write her a note every day telling her my expectations for Ben since none were being provided that we could back up.
And we expressed that the "Behavior Documentation Chart" that she didn't tell Patric about in orientation should have been explained to Ben's father when he asked about it.  That was just a lie.
And as the egg timer beat down its 15 minutes, we got in our last words.
And we expressed all sorts of things in a very calm way.

And he seems to be coming to an understanding with the teacher, which is good, becauseI don't think putting him a different class would be an option.

And yesterday, Ben brought home his very first report card.
He is failing 5 of  7 categories.

But, I feel encouraged because it turns out that the neighbor girl is failing all the same things.

And so I remain convinced that this is not all a Ben problem.
Maybe Ben and neighbor girl and our girls will all go to Kindergarten together next year.

Oddly enough, I have every intention of siding with the teachers throughout my children's education.  But I also learned quickly that sometimes the quivering chin and the huge tears over twirling in line are worth taking a stand for.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's So Cold

Accepting that the weather would never dip below 80 here, I dressed them in their shorts and t-shirts for school the other day.

When they hit the chilly 74 degrees outside, I heard:

"It's SO cold!  I'm freezing to death."
"We need jackets!"

and my favorite

"You should have never put us in shorts mom!"


Elaine is in a 2T jacket there because it was all I could dig up on such short notice.

They are adjusting a little better than I.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brazos Bend State Park

We didn't see the promised flocks of alligators.  We hear that when our neighborhood river dwellers get to about 7 feet, they are taken out here and released.  Um, never mind that the park is about 10 minutes as the crow flies from our neighborhood...

We did love it, and we got our Texas State Parks Pass. 
We can't wait to start taking advantage of the milder weather.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It Was Time

Sunday morning, they were here, waiting, dressed at 7:30 in the morning.
Because we finally got the maniacs bikes on Saturday.

 It started a week earlier, when the neighbor kids had let them borrow their bikes.
Then we became a nuisance.
And every time there was kid with a bike in the neighborhood, they would attack like a pack of bike zombies, asking if they could ride.
We live across the street from a park, it was a problem.
There were the neighbor kids, and then there were the kids that had just come to the park with their families.
We were terrorists.

 And there is no place they would rather be at all.
And with the weather in the lower 80s, I can tolerate it.

 Which is good, because it's hard to say no to these smiles.

 I have yet to get a picture of Nicholas not riding away.
He got on and took off like he'd been riding his entire life.
Two days into it, I think we need to take off the training wheels to give him a challenge.

At one point last weekend there were 12 kids from 4 houses on our street swarming the place.
Thankfully, we weren't just attacking their stuff this time.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Time Is Flying

They've grown about 5 years in the past 5 months.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Secret Agent

New favorite game at the park these days: Secret Agent.

They run all over the place hiding from each other. Other than that, I'm not entirely sure what all the rules of the game are.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


We have been randomly randomless lately.

Probably because Benjamin's new favorite place is in front of the computer.

The girls are currently in LOVE with Hello Kitty.

I have really no clue how they were introduced to Hello Kitty.

Football season has returned.

By the time Alida finishes, she will have eaten all the ketchup, none of the eggs.

Generally, she'll dunk her fingers in and then wave her hand around looking like ET before it's over.

We found a new playground a few blocks away. Good for a change, but nothing beats being able to run back to the house to use the facilities without wrecking the whole party.

National Guard, which is now Federal Reserves, has begun again.
We've enjoyed the break.

Nicholas has been wearing the Cabbage Patch's headband around to "workout."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Your pirate shirt states all of our frustration at beginning Kindergarten.

We'll get there.

Our first parent/teacher conferences, where the principal will be a special guest at yours, are tomorrow. I think for the first time, I'm not ready for you to grow up because it seems so harsh already. We'll live to tell the tale. We will, and we'll all be better for it. But for right now, we are going to muddle through for awhile.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Time to get the graveyard ready.

Nicholas: "It looks they are worshiping the tree mommy."

And drag out the get-ups.

All of them.

Monday, October 3, 2011


What you don't see in this picture are the two baby raccoons just hanging out at our front door.

They scattered as the kids came thankfully.

We also have an armadillo that resides nightly in our backyard. He digs holes. Lots of holes.

Patric doesn't believe my tale of the rabbit as big as a donkey that I saw back there one day. But I swear I saw him.

You have seen the alligator; he turned out to be at least three alligators.

And the duck that acts like a domesticated house cat.

And, squirrels, squirrels everywhere that no one can catch.

I wasn't prepared for such manner of wildlife.

And Patric thinks we need to get a dog.

I'm starting to believe him, if for nothing more than to defend our yard.