Saturday, May 31, 2008

Party time


Last night, Deniska decided that he wanted to have a party. He and Nikolai went out on the deck and arranged the furniture, found some Christmas lights (multi-colored), and invited us to a 8:00 PM party. It was very nice. Deniska put on one of his daddy's ties since it was a formal affair.

We sang (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, There Were 10 in the Bed, and Row, Row, Row Your Boat). The boys sang "Mama's a Jolly Good Fellow" to a new and original tune. We engaged in small talk. (At least, I tried to teach them how to engage in small talk.) I was served a glass of water and a spoonful of peanut butter - how delicious! We then sat around and said nice things about each other. It's hard for the boys to think of nice things to say about each other.

At 9:00 PM, Papa announced that it was time for bed. We all went inside and the boys started planning the next party.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Awards Day


Today was Awards Day at the elementary school. Both boys got recognized for various things:

Deniska

Academic Improvement (one of 4 in the whole grade!)


Perfect Attendance (1 of 3 in the whole grade!)


"Eagerness to Please"


The Governor's Reading Honor Roll


Perseverance - Never Gives Up


Math Master




Nikolai


Monkey Ropes Award (PE - one of 4)


Math Master


Math Award for his class


Creative Illustrating


The Governor's Reading Honor Roll




We are very proud of each boy and the special gifts they have!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nothing interesting

Nothing interesting going to tonight. I am here at Attendance School with 30 students who are making up days missed this past semester. I have a good group tonight, although they are a little talkative. Considering we only have 5 days left in school, I suppose they are really good.

Deniska came in so upset this afternoon. I had only ordered one yearbook for the boys. I was thinking that they could share the yearbook and probably wouldn't care that much about having one. Boy, was I wrong. Deniska came in almost in tears because Nikolai had gotten one and he had not. To make matters worse, Nikolai would not let him look at the yearbook unless he signed it. I feel like the worse mother ever. I am sure I would win the "Worse Mother of the Year" award. I emailed his teacher to see if there were any extras ones. Maybe I can buy one tomorrow after the awards program.

Other than that, we are winding up the school year. I will be glad to have a small break before we start another year. This year has been a really good year with our students. I hope next year's students are as good.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Be MY Wife!

Nikolai climbed up in my lap tonight before dinner. He wanted me to rock him. As I was rocking him he said, "Mommy, you're my wife!"

I replied, "No, I'm Papa's wife and your mommy. I'm not your wife."

He looked at me and replied, "No, Papa left you and you are my wife now."

I asked, "Where did Papa go?"

Nikolai responded, "He can go live next door. I want you to be my wife. You always kiss Papa."

"I kiss you too Nikolai," I replied.

"I want you to just kiss me!" he answered.

To which I smothered him with kisses and tickling!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Other uses for printer



My printer (that is not compatible with my Vista) is now being used as a cat bed by Molly. She turns it on and makes copies (usually multiple copies) and scans things. She always looks surprised as if to say, "Did I do that?" She is my constant companion when I am working at the computer. She is really Nikolai's cat but she prefers me in the evenings.

At least I am glad the printer is being used for something!



Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day



I had several uncles that served in the armed forces. My Uncle Furman was in the Navy, my Uncle Dalrymple, Uncle George, Uncle Francis, and Uncle Max were all in the Army.

Uncle George was in the Calvary and rode the horses for Presidential funerals. He lost a leg in combat.

Uncle Francis suffered from Post Traumatic Stress disorder the rest of his life. He paid a ongoing price for his service.

All of my uncles have passed on now. They served their country proudly (WWII) and gave of themselves.

President John F. Kennedy summed it up best with this quote, "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

While each of us have private (or not so private) feelings of the current war, I think we all agree that we should support our troops in our prayers and actions.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Instruction manual

Why do you not get an instruction manual when you get kids? It sure would make my life a lot easier. For some unknown reason, when Deniska gets mad at his daddy, he takes it out on me. Honestly! He is so cranky today. I think he needs an early bedtime tonight. Maybe we both do!

I know he is tired. This week has been go, go, go. It's not been a restful week. His daddy took him and Nikolai both fishing this morning! (Yes, Joyce, you read that right - FISHING!) LOL!! They had lots of fun but came home exhausted.

Chicken Pot Pie

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients
Mix all together in 8x8 glass dish:
1 cup cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 2/3 cups frozen vegetables
1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
2 boiled eggs, cut in slices

Mix together:
1 cup Bisquick reduced-fat (regular) baking mix
1/2 cup milk (I use 2%)
1 egg

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (I use my toaster oven and preheat to 375 degrees). Mix chicken, vegetables, eggs, and cream of chicken soup together. Spread into bottom of non greased 9" round glass pie pan or a 8x8 glass baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients (bisquick, milk and egg) and pour on top of chicken mixture. Salt and pepper as desired.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until top turns golden brown.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday


Whew! I am glad it's a Friday with a long week-end. The boys are all gone to a baseball game and I opted to stay home. It's nice to have some really quiet time. I don't get that often.

I think I will find a nice comfy chair and rest like Sam is doing in this picture.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A stroll in the yard




I took a stroll in the yard today while the boys were at a baseball game. I worked until 6 PM and the game started at 5:30. I came home to start dinner for them. I walked out the door to water my tiny garden. You can read more about it on my garden blog, Dirt, Worms and Boys. Anyway, I took a few shots as I walked. I love lamb's ears. I just like to feel them. Nicholas, of course, thinks he owns the whole yard. He is always ready to pose for his mama.

I started packing my classroom up today. I threw/gave away out tons of things/books that I will never use. I also helped the students write term papers. I think I can write a MLA Works Cited entry in my sleep now! I have never written so much about Albert Einstein, the Black Plague, Zombies, and King Arthur. Lots of more papers to help write tomorrow - I only have 27 to help write. The kids have the ideas, they just need help in getting it from their brain to the paper. They are such sweet kids!! I really hate to see them leave me this year.

I talked to the principal yesterday about my schedule. I have 2 periods of inclusion with Physical Science - oh my!! I will hold my judgment on those classes until next year. My schedule is all mixed up next year but that's OK. I don't mind at all. I have spent a lot of hours yesterday and today mulling over how I can help the kids better with Physical Science, English, Algebra, and Global Studies. I need to start writing down ideas now before they fly out of my head over the summer.

Well, Dennis just called and they are headed home. I guess I need to hop up and start cooking!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy days




10 days left of school for the boys and 12 for me!
Now, if I could only find the time to do all that has to be done before school ends. I have already started on files for next year and trying to tie up some loose ends this year. I think tomorrow I will have the kids to start packing up my room. That way, we can just concentrate on exam reviews and exams the last two weeks. It's just a really busy time of year for us all!






Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Parent/Teacher Conferences


Today I had conferences with both Deniska and Nikolai's teachers. Both teachers said the boys were ready for 2nd grade. This was a relief to me. At mid-term, we were not so sure that either boy would be ready. The hardest part of the whole conference was to not take control and run the conference. As a teacher, it was hard for me to be "the parent" and listen. I did ask lots of intelligent questions and took lots of notes.

I was very pleased with Deniska's conference. He has a seasoned teacher and it really shows. He has made tremendous strides this year. I will tell you a secret. Lean close and let me whisper it in your ear (Deniska is going to win the "Most Improved" award for his class!!!) Don't tell!!!


Nikolai's teacher (who is very sweet) is a first year teacher and she has lots of enthusiasm. You could tell that she was not as familiar with running a conference, but she will be as she gains experience. We are very fortunate that our public schools are wonderful!! All in all, a very good conference day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New shorts

After staying up past midnight on Saturday night cutting all the shorts out and sewing all afternoon Sunday, I am finally finished with the new shorts for the boys. They have 8 new pair of shorts to wear for this summer. They are really cute!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lessons from cats

Be comfortable when you lay down by the cat food. It could be a long wait!


If someone is ignoring you, look cute to get their attention!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sewing memories

Today would have been my brother's 58th birthday. He died when he was 54. I really miss him, especially this time of the year. He loved gardening and being outdoors. When I think of my brother, I also think of my mother. He was her favorite child. She loved us all, but he was special to her. Mama made all of our clothes when we were growing up. For my brother's graduation from high school, she made him a beautiful linen double breasted jacket. I can still remember that jacket. She also made all of his pants which brings us to our post for today.

I decided that I would make the boys shorts for this year. They are just too expensive in the stores when I can make a pair for less than $3. So, I went to Wal-Mart this morning and bought fabric. I bought some really cute fabric. It was a challenge because they did not have very many choices for little boys. I came home and in less than 1 hour, I had made 2 pair of shorts. The test will be to see if the boys will wear them!


Friday, May 16, 2008

Spelling test

Our boys are as different as night and day. Deniska is full of smiles and hugs for everyone, while Nikolai tends to be a grouch. We love them both and wouldn't change a thing about them. Recently, this point was made clear when they both came home with their weekly spelling test.


Nikolai has 10 words with 2 extra credit words. He spelled all 10 words correctly and spelled 1 of the extra credit words correctly. This gave him a score of 11/10 (or 110)! What a proud mama I was as I looked at his test neatly taken from his folder.

Mama: Oh Nikolai! Look at this test! You did wonderful. Let me give you a kiss and a hug!

Nikolai: No Mama. I don't want a kiss and a hug,

Mama: Why?

Nikolai: Because (he said exasperatingly) I missed one of the extra credit words and only got 11 correct. That is nothing to be happy about. I wanted to get all 12 words.

Mama: (to Deniska) Deniska, where is your spelling test?
Deniska also has a spelling test of 10 words but no extra credit words.
Deniska: Did I take one?

Mama: I feel sure you did. Look in your book bag.

Deniska: (after emptying everything out of the book bag) Here it is! It's a little wrinkled. I am so sorry Mommy that it's wrinkled. That book bag just wrinkles up my papers. (It was in the bottom of his bag instead of his folder.)

Mama: (Dismayed as I looked at all the words marked wrong except for one) Deniksa! You only spelled one word right?!
Deniska: (beaming) Yes, isn't that great?!!!!!

Mama: And, just why is this great?

Deniska: Because (he said exasperatingly) I got that word right!! I didn't miss every word. Aren't you proud of me? (smiling)


Deniska was just as proud of his one word right as Nikolai was disappointed in his one word wrong. We have to celebrate our children where they are. No need to scold Deniska when he was proud of his one word spelled correctly. I just hugged them both, told them how proud I was of them, and said a prayer of thanksgiving for making each one so very different.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Flowers for Mama

Deniska raided my mother's rose bush to bring me a few roses. Isn't he sweet?

Monday, May 12, 2008

If you can dream it....

If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse. ~ Walt Disney

Apparently, my boys have a dream. They have a dream of being zoo keepers and they are determined to do their best! Yesterday afternoon, after the rain quit and the sun came out, the boys ventured out to check on their zoo. Sadly, the little rabbit from Saturday evening escaped from the wire basket and hopped to safety. Deniska was upset but Nikolai took it all in stride.

Anyway, back to Sunday afternoon. I was minding my own business watching a taped show of Criminal Minds. I happen to like this show but Dennis is less than enthusiastic about the whole series. Deniska and NIkolai ran into the room breathless with excitement!

"Mama, Mama! Molly did it again! She caught-ed something!"

"She did! What did she catch? Another rabbit?" I asked.

"No, a rat!!!"

You got it! The boys had brought in a LIVE rat into the house in a metal recipe box. I didn't ask where the box came from. Very calmly, I inspected the box and saw little tiny claws sticking out of a crack wiggling to get free.

"Well now, boys. What are we going to do with this rat?" I asked.

"Let's keep it inside and sleep with it" offered Deniska. (I don't think so!)

"A rat and 5 cats do not make good company Deniska. Do you have another idea?"

"Take a picture of it!!" Deniska pleaded.

"Mom, we could keep it outside in the clubhouse. Or, we could let it go" reasoned Nikolai. (That's my smart boy! Whew!)

"Why don't you take it outside and set it free?" I asked

"OK Mama! You know best!" (DO I have good boys or what?!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

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Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to everyone. I hope everyone has a wonderful day honoring and/or remembering his/her mother.



Sam went to sleep on the Mother's Day card my mother-in-law, Joyce, sent to me. I really appreciated her thoughtfulness.



My own mother died this past December. I miss her and mourn for her on this day. But, I also realize she is in a much happier place and is now beyond happy with no worries.



So now, I will go hug my boys and thank them for making me a mom!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

“"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit.

“"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit.


"No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way."”


~Winnie the Pooh quotes

This poor little rabbit was caught by Nikolai's cat, Molly. The boys immediately rescued it to become part of their ever growing zoo. The boys secured carrots and water for the poor little thing. I hope it escapes and makes it back to its mama. They put it in their clubhouse and covered the wire basket up with a blanket so the cats would not know it was a rabbit.

Deniska said, "We will know if its a girl rabbit when it lays eggs." I explained that rabbits do not lay eggs, they have baby rabbits.

"Well, how do they do that? Do they just touch their butts and it comes out?" asked Nikolai.

"Well I think she's a girl because she is calm. She looks beautiful. We'll be happy when she lays baby rabbits. Are you sure she won't lay eggs?"


Friday, May 9, 2008

What are little boys made of?

Snips and snails, and puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.
Nikolai and Deniska brought this Brown Tree frog into the bedroom to share with me their treasured find! They assured me he did not jump! (He immediately jumped out of Nikolai's hand 3 times!) They decided to take him outside to keep. Matter of fact, they are starting their own zoo. Their class in school visited the zoo today and that's been all the talk this afternoon. So far they have a frog, 3 earthworms, and some bugs. That's what little boys are made of.



Thursday, May 8, 2008

Is it Friday yet?

Another long day at school. I think I got home around 6:00 and it's already time for the boys' bath. Dinner tonight was Chick-Fil-A; it was their last Spirit Night for the year. Chick-Fil-A donates a percentage of their sales to the school when you tell them them the name of the school. Of course this was met with displeasure as both boys wanted to go inside to play at their inside playground. Dennis was at home and I did not have the time, or patience, to let them play. They were not happy campers but they got over the disappointment. We all practiced "self-control" on the way home and rode the last 7 miles in silence.
I am tired tonight. My head is full of pipettes, meniscus, nuclear fission, ion, protons, isotopes, gases, speed, longitudinal waves, transverse waves, amplitude, groups, Newton's Laws (all three of them), balancing chemical equations, etc.... I am ready to fill my head with useless dribble and nonsense. I will need to see what is on TV tonight!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

George Washing Room

Conversations from the back seat~

Nikolai: (angrily) Quit looking at me!

Deniska: (silence)

Nikolai: (whiny) Deniska, quit looking at me! I don't want you looking at me.

Deniska: (silence)

Mama: (irritated after a long day of whiny students) Nikolai, Deniska can look whenever he wants. If you don't want to see him looking at you, turn your head. I don't want to hear that again.

Deniska: That's right Nikolai. I can look wherever I want because we live in a free country. Right Mommy? Don't we live in a free country?

Mama: Yes Deniska, that's right.

Deniska: That's right. We live in a free country because George Washing Room made it a free country!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Blog Award for Me?!


My friend, Rhonda at A Home With a Smile, just awarded me my very first Excellent Blog Award! How very nice of her to do that for me!!


As part of accepting the award I am supposed to award it to ten more bloggers. There are so many excellent blogs out there, but here are ten I enjoy:

1. Sharon at Sharon Stitches
2. Maizie at Our Greener Year
3. Linda at Life As IKnow It
4. Joanne at Joyful Blessings
5. Melanie at Mel at Home
6. Bonnie at Quiltville
7. Nancy at A Step At a Time
9. Dianne at Butterfly Dreams
10. And last, but not least, Rhonda at A Home With a Smile

D-


D- is what I would give for a grade for today! It has not been a good day. I am tired, short-tempered, and edgy. I sure hope things will get better when I get home. Those poor little boys of mine. I hope I can maintain my composure and not fuss at them because I am frustrated with my job.


Nikolai threw up this morning before he went to school. He said his tummy did not feel good. Thankfully, I had told him to throw up in the trash can if he felt that he needed to. He has projectile vomit and it's not fun cleaning up after him. I sent him on to school since he was not running a fever and said he felt better. I have not heard from him today so I am guessing he feels fine. I wonder if he is lactose intolerant.
The doctor said he and Deniska both had to have 16 ounces a day of milk. Maybe I will give him yogurt instead. He is my picky eater and sometimes it's a challenge to get him to eat.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Busy Day

Dennis and I were extremely busy today. I kept Attendance School after school until 6:15 PM. That made an 11 hour day for me. Every day this week will be 11 and 12 hour days for me. We are having End of Course testing this week and I am reading the tests orally to my students. I read the English 1 exam 2 times today and will read it 3 times tomorrow. Wednesday and Thursday I will be reading Physical Science. I dread reading that one. Friday will be Algebra 1 test. I won't mind it too much since it will mainly just be instructions.


Dennis came to school and picked the boys up at 5:20. They had had Karate and finished all their homework. They are really good after spending time alone with Dennis. They love him and just want his undivided attention.



Deniska and Nikolai both read to me tonight several books. Deniska read The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss 2 times. He wanted to read it a third time but I think he was just stalling for time to not to go to bed. Dennis and I are so proud of the progress that Deniska has made with reading this year. He is finally beginning to enjoy reading since he can read for himself. Nikolai is also doing well with his reading. He is where Deniska was at the beginning of the year. Still, just to have been here for 1 year, I think he is doing excellent. His progress report said he is still talking too much. I think that is a hoot since he rarely talks at home. Maybe that is because Deniska doesn't give any of us a chance to talk!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Pre-Mother's Day Gifts

My family is really spoiling me for Mother's Day this year. I received 3 more presents yesterday. The first 2 are from Deniska and Nikolai. Dennis took them to Home Depot for their monthly free workshop. The boys made these cute pencil holders with wooden flowers! Aren't they cute?!

The second gift came from my husband. He is such a good husband. He is not going to sing me songs, or write poetry, or even let me watch all the Law & Order shows that I want to watch. What he is going to do, is to keep me safe in my car. He took the car yesterday and had the oil changed, took it through the car wash, and bought a new battery for the car! How's that for romantic? I think it shows his love in ways that words will not. He wants me and the boys to be in a safe car. The battery was 6 years old and he felt it needed to be replaced for our safety. He did not want us to be stranded somewhere at night (or during the day.) It's a beautiful battery - all nice and shiny and new!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Gift From the Heart

I wanted to share a very special Mother's Day gift that I received last night. What makes it special is that it is from Nikolai (he who never shows love). Nikolai is a serious little fellow who guards his emotions carefully. He is very much like his Papa. But once he decides he loves you, he gives you 200%. He is not one to make things for me. (Deniska makes me things several times a day or shares his food with me or brings in a bug to show me. He is as opposite of Nikolai as possible.) Nikolai is a thinker and observer. After the ball game last night, I went to Wal-Mart (all by myself - a rare treat) and bought the boys new socks and underwear. They are growing so fast. All their socks are too little along with their underwear. After a serious discussion on the pros and cons of boxer versus briefs, Deniska decided he wanted boxers and Nikolai wanted briefs. Just another example of both boys being opposite. So, I came home bearing new socks and underwear for both boys! They were so excited. It doesn't take much to entertain us! :) Nikolai then disappeared to bring me this lovely gift that he had created all by himself - a "Happy Momms Day" gift. He pointed out the holes in the bottom of the pot (so the Flowers could breathe), the writing on the side (so I would know who it was from) and the flowers (out of Grandma's yard.) I was so touched that this hard shelled little boy took the time to make his mama a gift. I assume the pot came from the shed outside and the flowers out of my mother's flower garden. I know she would be pleased that he picked her flowers for me. Notice the writing on the pot. I am so proud of him and Deniska with the progress they have made in school this year. This gift is priceless to me! I love being a Mama. Dennis and I are truly blessed to have such sweet boys.



















Friday, May 2, 2008

Friday Night Game


The boys had an early baseball game tonight. Only 7 of the players showed up for the game. One boy got there with 20 minutes left in the game. I took these pictures while we were waiting on the coach to arrive - he was only 10 mintues late. He's ALWAYS late. Nikolai was not in a smiling mood and Deniska was in a silly mood! They both did well in the game although Deniska did not get to run any. Considering the boys have only been playing baseball for a month, they are doing well. They both enjoy the game. Deniska says baseball is his favorite sport. Nikolai says basketball is his favorite sport which is really interesting since Nikolai has NEVER played basketball at all!

My friends, Gail and Robert, came to see the boys play. I think Deniska was a little nervous with his fan club being there. It was good to spend time with this nice couple. I really appreciate them coming so much. I feel that the boys miss out on having extended family to come and support them in their games.

St. Therese

St. Therese, the Little Flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore, and tell Him I will love Him each day, more and more.