Maddie Rae Gotcha Day

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hello? Hello? Anyone still out there?

So I've been absent from the blog for uh, I don't know, like months. Where the heck have I been? Why the stone cold silence? Is anyone even still checking this thing? Just in case I do still have a few loyal readers out there, I am sorry for my lack of inspiration. Call it summer break. Call it computer crashing and dying a terrible sad death. Call it only having Jon's work laptop at night because we're too cheap right now to buy a new computer. Call it whatever you will. I know it all equals out to one thing: a very boring blog.

So if you are still checking in on us, thank you. And here's an update to what is going on around here.

KIDS: Well, we're down to the 2 week mark until school starts. The summer has been fun and filled with a new trampoline, sport's camps, speech, playing with friends and cousins, travelling to see family and friends, and fighting with each other because we're spending 24/7 together. It's always fun, exhausting, and never dull to have all 3 kiddos home all summer, and despite the brotherly brawls, it has been pretty good. Jonah can't wait until school starts, and he keeps wistfully saying that he misses school. Not sure what that says about me and my entertainment value, but I'm glad he's excited for 1st grade. Jack will start 3rd grade, and Maddie Rae will be going to Early Start preschool every morning for speech.

HOUSE: Still working on finishing the basement and my list of home improvement dreams grows by a couple items every week...thus bringing me to my next point...

WORK: After an 8 year stint as a stay-at-home mom, I'm goin' back to work. Yep, you heard that one right. Honestly, if you would have told me a couple years ago that I'd be going back to work and happy about it, I would have thought you were crazy. But the Lord has really led me to this point and dropped this seemingly perfect job right in my lap. I will be teaching 7th and 8th grade language arts and math at a local middle school where I have previously taught. (I can just hear all the cringes out there...7th and 8th grade?! EEK! But I really do love teaching those crazy middle schoolers.) The school is right next to the boy's school, so I will drop them off next door and then head on over. At the end of the day, they will finish 45 min. before me, so they will walk over and sit quietly in the classroom while I finish teaching (again with the cringing. I know, I'm actually cringing myself at the thought of them sitting quietly doing their homework in the back of a classroom of 8th graders...yeah, right. But we're going to try it out at least.) My sister, who was looking for another job and who lives a block from the school Maddie Rae will attend, is going to watch her after her school for me. So my mommy guilt is minimum because my sister is really the closest thing to me there is, and Maddie Rae and Mallaney think and wish they were sisters already anyway. Win Win. I vacillate between excitement and sheer panic at the thought of balancing all of this, and I still have some certification details to work out since I've been out of it for so long. But I'm gonna give it a go and see how it all shakes out.

So if I'm absent for another few months, at least you'll know where I am. Sorry no pictures. The computer crashing thing was really not good for them...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Terrible Threes??

I've always heard it said that the "Terrible Twos" is really the "Terrible Threes," but I never had evidence. With Jack it was all just one big blur of temper tantrums and battles of the will. With Jonah it was all just one big walk on easy street. But now I get it! It seems that last month when Maddie Rae turned 3, some lightbulb went off in her head telling her to Throw Fits! Destroy things! Make lots of Mischief! Exert your Will! I present the following as evidence:

These materials were in her bed this morning when I went to get her up: Her brother's allowance, a tub of vaseline, a tub of lip gloss, her Nala and dog smeared with said vaseline and lip gloss, and a marker covered sheet.

The late afternoon meltdown. She won't take naps anymore, and we all pay for it around 4 pm.
But we always take the fit very seriously. We don't laugh. We wouldn't possibly take pictures of it. Because fits are serious business, right? Right.

Even the lips and teeth were green. I found this little display about 5 minutes before we had to run out the door to her brother's class picnic.
Scissors in the hand, and hair on the floor. Never a good sign.

In addition to these antics, she has also "washed" her brother's DS and my phone. The phone was no big deal because it was just the free phone I got when I opened my plan. The DS...well, that one was met by much weeping and gnashing of teeth. So I think I get it now. 3 is much more "terrible" than 2!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Confessions of a Closet Slob

My name is Retta, and I am a closet slob. It is embarrassing, but true. If you walked in my house, you may think "This is pretty good." A few toys here and there, some crumbs, some stains on the carpet, some misplaced stuff around, but in general not bad. But then you may go to open my closet and won't close without a foot shoving everything back in and hurrying to slam the door. And if you dared set foot in my basement or attic, you may never come back out again. It's terrible, but it's true. And I don't know how to fix it. I have dreams of having a completely organized and lovely house where even the junk drawer has everything in its place, but it just doesn't seem to be in my make-up. No matter how hard I try, it still ends up looking like this:

This is the desk area in our pantry/utility room. It's right off the kitchen, and so it doesn't technically qualify as a closet. However, it's tucked away enough that my closet tendencies were spilling over into it. But I had had enough, and I knew it was time to organize when I had to write the class parent of Jack's class in a panic because I couldn't remember what day the end of the year picnic was. And why couldn't I remember? Because I didn't write it down because I couldn't find my calendar on THIS desk. Intervention ensued.

I decided to take the doors off of the upper cabinet to create a more open shelving look, and also to keep me from just shoving everything in there and slamming the door until it stayed closed. So off the doors came to reveal the lovely mustard yellow underneath.

I had some left over paint from Maddie Rae's room (Benjamin Moore, Irish Mint), so I painted the inside of the cabinet with it to brighten it up.
The desk top is a horribly ugly laminate countertop circa 1970ish. So I bought 3 packs of my trusty cork tiles from Target and painted them with the same paint. Jonah helped with this part and thought it was the coolest thing ever. And he did a pretty good job!

I glued the cork tiles to the desktop, and I covered the rest with fabric to create little bulletin boards here and there. Cause you know I love me some fabric covered cork tiles. I created a desk skirt with an old curtain to hide the ugly recycle bin underneath.

And VIOLA! The finished desk. I still need to paint the outer cabinet white over the hinge marks and put a plate on the light switch, but it's a big improvement. Now if I can keep it this organized, it will be miraculous.

Happy 3rd Birthday Maddie Rae!

Despite being a bit belated, I did want to post about Maddie Rae's third birthday. This was her second birthday with us, but the first one that we actually got to celebrate. On her second birthday last year, she was just a couple days out from palate surgery, and somehow I didn't think that pureed cake would be quite the same. So this year, we had a whole day of fun. We started out at the park with some friends for a little playtime and some cupcakes.Her absolute favorite thing to do at the playground is swing. Every day after school when we pick up the boys, if it's nice we stay and play at the playground. I spend the entire time pushing her "high!" Her physical strength and ability continue to astound me. She will be swinging really high and while swinging will pull herself up to standing and then stick her leg out in front of her swinging one legged. Today I caught her holding her body off the swing with one arm while spinning around. She can hang from the monkey bars, spin around on this whirly thing, and do just about everything she sees the big kids do. I need to get the girl in gymnastics!

Cupcake time!

Modeling some of her new bling.

Here she is helping make her cake. We always make cookie cakes for family birthday parties because Jack doesn't like real cake. Jonah and Maddie Rae love to cook, and they are always in the kitchen "helping" me. Maddie Rae especially loves to stir.

That evening we had a family birthday party and cook out with Mike, Raegi, Mallaney, and Max. She got to open her presents, eat her cake, and hang with the fam. I find it hard to believe that my "baby" is 3 already. Happy Birthday Maddie Rae!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Big News

We have some big news in our family, and it's news that we're very excited about. Jon's sister and her husband have decided to adopt a little girl from China! They are hoping to adopt a little girl with cleft lip and palate, and we are so thrilled that Maddie Rae will have a cousin who shares her heritage. As most of you know, the cost of an international adoption is very high, so they are doing some fundraisers to try to raise money. If you would like to check out some adorable jewelry, t-shirts, bags, and other items, please go to their website and help us bring baby girl cousin HOME! Rebecca also has a blog on her site so that you can follow along on their progress and pray alongside of them if you would like. It is amazing for me to see another manifestation of God's heart for the fatherless played out. He loves these children, and He calls us to love them too. What a blessing to see this love played out all over the world in adoptive families, nannies, orphan care organizations, foster families, foster care workers, donors, and praying believers.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gardening 101 with Jonah

"Mom, what's that flower called?"

"That's an iris." (feeling very proud because I actually KNEW the name of a flower)

"Oh. Well what does it DO?"

" blooms in the spring." (feeling extremely proud because I actually KNEW it bloomed in the spring)

"No, I mean, what does it DO?"

"It doesn't DO anything. It's a flower. It grows and blooms and looks pretty."

"NO! I mean, what does it DO? Like does it reach out and eat your hand when you try to pick it?"

"No. It's a flower. Flowers don't eat your hands."

"Well, then why is it called a VIRUS?!?!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sweet Sentiments...sort of

This past week found most of my family, most of my sister's family, my dad, and my other sister (who picked a very bad weekend to visit) all laid out flat by the dreaded stomach flu. When I was sick last week, Jack very sweetly made me a card to help me feel better. He is very thoughtful and always very good to take care of his momma. This is the front:

This is the inside. I happened to walk by the card tonight, which has been laying on the dining room table all week, and saw that Jonah had written in his thoughts:Translation:
Jack: Your the BEST Mommy in the world
Jonah: No your not. Jesus's mother is.
I'm trumped by Mary, and we're not even Catholic.