Friday, December 30, 2016

Thanksgiving Too!

Does it seem wrong that I posted Christmas pics before the Thanksgiving ones?  Again, this is real life, where things don't always go in order.  We spent Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle's.  It was also a pretty typical Thanksgiving.  Lots of food and family and stories.  These pictures though capture the highlights.

My cousin, Quinn, has created  medieval weapons from duct tape.
So of course, all the boys wanted to play.
What could possible go wrong?

The game they invented was a riot to watch.
Basically, if an opponent touched you with his weapon, you lost the use of whatever body part the weapon touched.
So they played on their knees, with arms behind their backs, etc..

I'd like to think the neighbors were surprised but I'm pretty sure they were not.

And yes, even the little boys who were 3 and 4 wanted in on the game.
Of course, there were no duct tape weapons left for them so we gave them a wooden stick and a wooden toy rifle.
We're wise like that.

Because we believe in gender stereotyping, the girls did something much more refined.
My cousin, Brenna, planned a tea party for the two little girls who were thrilled.

Christmas Photo Dump

Christmas has a way of filling the month of December and this year was no exception.  From presents and parties to programs and time with family, this year was pretty normal.  My pics are in reverse order and a bit lacking as I ended up being sick on Christmas Day and went home early.  (So no photos of the parakeet pillow, the tin cans with no labels, the saran wrap gift game, the beard hats, the gigantic stuffed shark hat, or the rest of my family.)  Guess that is the real life version of sharing Christmas photos, seeing as life is often backwards and full of crummy stuff.

Matching PJ's gift, dinosaurs this year

"Who wants to open presents?"
Kai does!

Envelopes from Grandpa Dave and Grandma Joann...with some money of course.

Perhaps the best gift Conleigh has every gotten. 
Grandma got her pans to make cake doughnuts and then the ingredients for three different recipes.
Add in the sign and the apron and she was already planning how to get Dad to build her a hut to sell her doughnuts out of.

D trying out the old school electronic basketball game that the boys got in their stockings.

Same for Zeke.

The big kids' gift from us this year was a surprise trip to Stuhr Museum's Christmas and an overnight in a hotel with a pool.
We managed to keep it a secret until the very day, leaving Kenson's basketball game and not telling them until they started asking why we weren't home yet.

One of the kids' favorite activities was in the tin shop where they got to pull a tin icicle ornament.

We also stopped in the train depot for cocoa and cookies.

See?  We're backwards.
Getting the tree ready.

One of the best parenting choices I have ever made is to let the kids do the tree all by themselves

I love watching them get out their old ornaments, both the ones we have given them and the ones they have made.
Those ornaments bring up so many memories for them and it's fun to hear them talk.

Here's the caboose.
Because why wouldn't you decorate the Christmas tree with part of a scuba mask in your mouth?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

So This Just Happened

Yep, it's a name badge with my picture.  A name badge makes it pretty official.  I am back to work on a daily basis.  I accepted a position a week or so ago with a nearby school district as a family literacy coordinator.  I have not yet seen all the pieces in motion yet but I will be working four hours a day with adult immigrants and their school aged children, teaching adult who are learning English and helping those adults as they interact with their children.  I took a very part time teaching job in August teaching adult education/adult ELL on Saturday mornings so some parts of this will be similar to that.  This job is unique in that it also involves helping families help their children be successful at school.  I am taking over an existing position so next week I will be shadowing the teacher who is already in place and then will be on my own in January. 

For years, I have prayed and hoped for a part time job that would provide us with a bit more consistent income while allowing me to still be home without all the extras of a classroom all while doing a job I love to do.  I hope this job really is that.  I will work afternoons only, 12-4 and with my commute, I should be home between 4:30 and 5, depending on how long it takes to get the kids picked up.  

It's still a change and in some ways, it has been hard to say yes.  I have worked for the same district for almost 15 years.  Even though I wasn't a full time employee, I have always been involved with the district and the families they serve.  I have worked in the same district as my husband for that entire time as well, often in the same building, and sometimes just a few doors away.  There is just a tinge of sadness there in letting go of those familiar faces and that community of families.  This new job will be different in that I will working with a bit different demographic.  I will be working with a lot of Arabic, Russian, and Kurdish families.  While the district I have worked in is very diverse, our largest population group by far is Latino so this is a new adventure, where I don't necessarily have a lot of background knowledge regarding those groups.  That change is exciting, where I know I will be learning new things about culture and language. 

So Monday is the day.  A new schedule and a new adventure...