Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The secret to happiness...

"The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible.  There is no abstract and impersonal proof either that strawberries are good or that they are not good.  To the man who likes them they are good, to the man who dislikes them they are not.  But the man who likes them has a pleasure which the other does not have; to that extent his life is more enjoyable and he is better adapted to the world in which both must live....The more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities of happiness he has."  -Betrand Russell (found in THE GOD WHO WEEPS by Terryl Givens)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas morning 2014

Christmas felt very magical this year.
There wasn't any talk of Santa or American Girl dolls so I was worried some of the childlike wonder would be minimized.  Surprisingly-I think we all felt that it may have been our most favorite Christmas yet.  The girls knew a few of their gifts ahead of Christmas morning and were thrilled with their surprises!  I was thrilled with the music going on Christmas morning with their new instruments!

 ...a guitar

a lap harp...

....a dulcimer

And waking up to a white Christmas was like icing on the cake.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve-2014

a festive art pieces from Kate & Sophie
a few special deliveries
 Nana invited the girls to Build a Bear again this year!
They LOVE finding new treasures their with cousins each Christmas!
...a little bit of exploring downtown before we went home
for a dinner of clam chowder, crab legs, salad and HaagenDaas sundaes!


Friday, December 5, 2014

state report [check]

This 5th grader of mine is finally finding her stride.
She is confidant.
She is now completing her work in class.
She is happy to go to school each day.
She is even finding time to practice...really efficient practice!

Earlier this year we were in a bit of turmoil.
She was bringing home reports of 7-12 missing assignments a week.
That would be concerning if she wasn't working at home...BUT it was TROUBLING because she WAS working at home---a lot.  Like 2 to 3 1/2 hours a night.
It is one thing to work that hard if it is getting you somewhere---but when you are working THAT hard and feel like your sinking it is not a good scenario for a 10 year old.  Her desk, and school cubicle was a disaster...disorganization is an understatement!  There was no time to be a kid...and she was STRESSED OUT!

Through email, phone calls with patient teachers, a parent teacher conference and a helpful principal big changes have been made.  It was arranged that whatever Kate finished in class is what she turned unfinished work would be sent home.  She would complete 30 minutes of homework a night + 30 minutes of reading, unless she had a special project (i.e.; State Report, book report, etc...).  Through those earlier communications with the faculty at school, her teachers especially, she realized that although she had previously read them as callous and indifferent, she now knows that they care about her and want her to succeed.

There is a fine line between being your child's advocate and being an enabler.  I was worried that had a completely pulled Kate out of the situation...she would have lost the opportunity to solve the problem, communicate and struggle through.  As we pulled up to the school today and she handed me her reading minutes to sign, I realized that this 10 year old is getting it all figured out.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


These two were in DESPERATE need of hair cuts.  When they left Brianne's chair last night they found their reflections on any smooth surface...they played with the ends...and were SO excited about the "drastic" change!  They couldn't wait to get to school to see the reaction on their friends' faces!  :)