Sunday, October 28, 2012

Annual Halloween Block Party

The weekend before Halloween, my parents' neighborhood always has a fun event for the kids.  They do face painting, bounce houses, popcorn and food, and pony rides.  Riley and Julia LOVED the pony ride!!  They strapped them in and took them for a walk this year up and down the street.  The girls were smiling wide the entire time.

Riley wanted her face painted like a cat, but it was very cold out and the line was super long.  So Grandma painted her face once they got home.  She still has some of it left on her face a few days later and does not want me to wash it off.

Julia was happy to swing on the swings at the nearby park and Madi won a gift card to Main Event for the most original costume!

We went back to my parents' house to have pizza - jack o'lantern pizza - from Papa Murphy's.  Then we sat at the table by candlelight while my mom serenaded all of us with various variations on the violin of "Twinkle Twinkle."  She started taking lessons recently and is sounding really good!  The girls all wanted to be shown how to hold the bow and play it.  My mom helped them each use the bow.  Madi is especially interested in it as she wants to take it next year in middle school.

Upstairs we snuggled up in warm pjs and watched the new Tinkerbell movie.  We had popcorn and had some good laughs.  Riley had watched it this afternoon and kept saying "I know what is going to happen.  I won't tell you I know.  Oh but this is a bad part.  I'm telling you.  This is not good.  You'll see.  There are sisters at the end!"

During part of the movie, they said "oh no!" in the film and Julia said "Oh no is right!"  back at it.

We left late and put the girls to bed.  It was a very fun time.

So happy to be here!!

Arboretum 2012

We took our annual pumpkin trip to the Arboretum recently.  It was the most beautiful weather last weekend!!!  So thankful we went before this cold snap came through.  The girls loved running around and seeing all the pumpkins.  Riley mostly wanted to take pictures of them all the time.  Julia just wanted to see everything.  They spent most of their time in the hay maze and with the frogs that spit out water.  By the time we got done with the frogs, Madi was quite wet on her arms and Riley had totally soaked her shirt and pants.

Red Ribbon Week

At school, we had Red Ribbon week.  Each day had a theme.  On Tuesday, it was wear your favorite team jersey.  Riley and I both had Mavericks jerseys that we bought when she was really little.  I gave Madi one of my Cowboys tshirts to wear.

We participated in as many as we could.  The girls especially had fun on the Fun Run Day on Thursday.  The whole school walked half a mile to the lake behind the fire truck and police cars.  They ran/walked for 45 minutes and then walked back to school.  The girls had a cookout lunch outside and then a regular school day in the afternoon.  It is always such a fun day!!

Riley started off the day not feeling well.  She said her stomach hurt and she was convinced she was going to be sick.  Her friend Kiah had spent time with us after school and when she left the room, she threw up.  So Riley was convinced she was also sick.  She didn't feel feverish and I took her to the bathroom where she sat by the toilet and thought she was going to get sick.  Instead she went potty and her belly felt so much better.

It was great to be able to walk down with her class and help with the kids and to be with her.  Madi was with her friends up ahead of us a long ways up and had fun with them!  Riley never did get sick and as the day went on, she was so glad she didn't miss out on such a fun day.  Overall it was a great day!!

Walking to the lake!

Ms. E leading the troops!

Ready for Fun Run 2012!

Riley and her good friend Madi

Cute Cousins!

Riley and her best friend Peyton

Team Jersey Day - Go Mavericks!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Acts of Kindness

We have a program at school called Rachel's Challenge.  Rachel was killed in the shootings at Colombine several years ago.  She wrote her in her diary about how acts of kindness can change people's lives and that one person can make a difference.

Riley has really taken ahold of this program and wants to do kind things all the time.  Today she got down on her hands and knees with a wet washcloth and began to scrub the kitchen floor.  I told her that she didn't have to clean the floor - that I'd do it later.

She said "But Mom I want to do an act of kindness for you!"

She said that she was tired but that she had to do what she had to do (hmm.. know where she's heard that before!) and that she wanted to do something kind for me.  Then she said that she was doing Rachel's challenge and doing kind things.

She is amazing.


Riley has been really into drawing pictures of things constantly.  She absolutely loves art!!

Her latest drawings had some captions and sentences below.  One is a picture of her and I standing in a toy store.  The horse has a sign that says $300.  The caption says:  "I want a tov hosas." (I want a toy horse)  I have a few bubbles coming out of my mouth and I'm saying "No Riley."  Her bubble in her mouth is saying "Way" (why??).  She told me that she wrote that we were saying this because I wouldn't get her the horse because it was too expensive.

Another picture was of Grandma and Riley.  She wrote the sentence "I went to Grandpa's house and we went to the grocery store."  Her words:  "I wat to my gapos has and I wat to ta grosresy."  It shows Grandma and Riley holding hands and smiling big while pushing a cart.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hide and Seek

Later in the day we played Hide and Seek.  The girls all love this game and we've played it quite a few times more recently.  Julia only counts to three and very quickly so you have practically no time to hide.  Then she yells "I find you!" and laughs.  Riley doesn't like to count because she's afraid she won't find us and fears that she'll feel bad if she doesn't find us well or that she'll be alone.  So that leaves Madi and I to count for the most part.  The girls have some really cool hiding places.  Under beds.  In cabinets in the bathroom - Madi hid under the sink in their bathroom today!!

I went in our room after counting to ten and saw that the hair dryer was in the bin in the middle of the floor.  So I opened the cabinet to find Riley inside.  She got out and I looked in our closet and she said "No one is in there."  So we go to walk out and she points at Jeremy's cabinets in the bathroom.  I open the door and Madi is inside.  Madi gets out and says very kindly "Thanks for not telling where I was Riley!"  And Riley says "You're welcome.  I just pointed."  Madi was like "What?!  You told on me?"  Riley started laughing when she realized that Madi figured out that she'd told with her hand.  We all laughed hard about that one.


Riley had a homework assignment on her sheet that said "Name all the things you can think of that start with the letter P."  So Riley began:

"Popcorn.... ummm... peanuts... party... Oh my gosh - POTTY!!!  heehee    .... and PEA!   And Poop!!!  Oh my that is hilarious!!!"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Pictures That Tell a Story

The girls found some of my old pics when I was a girl.  A few of them were of my first day in Kindergarten.  I wore a dress with brown Mary Janes and two ponytails.  My left eye was totally swollen from touching mac and cheese and then touching my eye.

Riley has had several pictures lately that are very similar.  She fell at a friend's house when she was running after her friend Biza and leaned forward to catch the truck she was driving around in.  She missed the truck and fell face forward onto the ceramic tile.  Totally bruised her chin terribly.

Riley kept saying she looked like she had a beard.  And of course, it was right before picture day!  She handled it well and we're very curious to see how the pictures turned out.  It took two solid weeks to heal and still has a little bit of pink on the underside but looks so much better!

The day after it had healed well, she went outside for running club in the morning.  She was on her way back from the first lap.  Tripped over her own feet and fell on the concrete.  Hands had some small scrapes, but she somehow managed to scrape the entire length of her nose and the tip of her nose.  So now she has cuts and scrapes down it and it's been four days of it so far.

We are planning to go to the Arboretum tomorrow.  Our annual pumpkin patch trip!  Riley told me last night that she didn't want anyone taking any pictures.  "Mom, noone can take pictures of me.  Then I'll be embarrassed and they will send them to AFV or something.  So no pictures."  I had to explain that we were taking pictures for good memories - not for America's Funniest Video show.  So she's ok with it now.

Things to Tell the Teacher

What Ms. E has learned so far this year from Riley:

"My Grandpa gives me 90 cents every Friday to get an ice cream so that my mom doesn't waste her money."

"My mom drops things ALL the time.  She drops this.  She drops that.  She drops everything.  Everything."

"Did you know that after lunch and recess.... it is AFTERNOON!!!  Can you believe it??"

Kids are all sharing that they miss their mom.  Riley says "I don't have to worry about that.  Because my mom is the music teacher!!"

Big Sister

Julia has been asking for her big sister several times tonight.  Riley went with Grandma and Grandpa for a sleepover.  I thanked them for accepting her invitation to their house.  She called to talk to them while I was giving piano lessons to a student.  I had told her that she could not have snacks before dinner and she was sad.  So she (unbeknownst to me) invited herself over to their house to sleepover.  And they graciously said yes!  Of course, they love their time with her and were excited about it too.

Riley packed all of her things last night as soon as the phone call ended.  She thought of pretty much everything and I packed the remaining missing items.  She had her rolling suitcase ready with a sleeping bag and tons of books.  "After all, I will have a lot to read!"

Today we got home from school and Riley started wheeling it around.  Then Julia wanted to touch it and they were pulling so I had Riley take it back to the wall in the kitchen where it could stay there without moving everywhere.  So Riley sat down in front of it on the ceramic tile and said she would stay there and draw until they came to pick her up.  Almost 45 minutes later they came and true to her word - she was still there.

She told Julia "Goodbye!  I'm sorry I have to leave you but I'm so excited!! AHHHHH!!  A sleepover!!!!!  Love you Jules!  Bye!!!"  I'm sure that really made Julia feel so much better ;)

Julia was crying as she left and kept saying "I want my big sister!!"  We sat down and watched Dora and then some Boz.  While watching Boz, she said "I miss my big sister." So I asked if she would like to call them.  We put the phone on speaker and Julia talked to Grandma for a little bit until I told her to ask for Riley.

The girls were so cute on the phone!!  Julia would say 'I love you!' and Riley would say "Oh Jules!!!  You're SOO sweet!  Thank you.  I love you too!  Good night!"  and then we'd all take turns saying good night.

So precious.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I've been finding cute activities and things to do on Pinterest.  Have used them in my classroom, on some Halloween decorations and pumpkins and things around the house.  Today Riley went over my parents' house and they carved a pumpkin.  First Riley drew a picture of a pumpkin and the face that she wanted carved on the pumpkin (of course, Grandpa did the carving!).  Then she drew the back of the pumpkin on the back of the paper.

She added high heels and tights to the pumpkin and finished her drawing by saying "I got this idea from Pinterest."  :)

First Report Card!!

Riley had her first report card sent home on Friday.  I had checked a few of her marks online, but had not looked through all of it.  It was really quite incredible how they marked her and were able to show exactly what she is able to do up to this point.  So proud of our little girl!

She received many "D's" which mean that she has developed that skill to the level expected at the END of Kindergarten!  She recognized all 26 lower case and 26 upper case letters.  Recognized 24 out of 26 letter sounds (mixed up A and U sounds).

She identified numbers 1-20 and was able to show quantity for 15 of them.

The most interesting part was seeing the stages of writing.  There are six stages:  Scribbling, drawing pictures, random letters, labeling with sounds or words on a picture, repetitive strings of letters and writing simple sentences such as "mi mom is nic."  She is on stage six.  She loves to write sentences and create books and has so much fun drawing.  Hoping her love of this continues!

The other thing that stood out were her learning skills grades which were also "D's."  Taking turns, following directions, completing work on time, organization, positive attitude, speaking clearly and appropriately, and being attentive to speakers.

She had grades of "M's" in music, gym and art behavior/participation (means meeting expectations).  She had a grade of "S" (still developing) in science.  And an "E" in art skills and concepts (which means exceeding expectations).

No tardies or absences.  So very proud of our little girl!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Day Off

The girls had today off since we had teacher inservice all day long.  Poppi and Grammy spent the night so that they could watch the girls.  Total blessing!!!  They had a good day together and then I came home to find dinner cooking and smelling delicious.  Another blessing.  Jeremy got home and we all ate together.  It was such a fun night!!

After dinner, Jeremy got Julia showered and Madi went in her room to read and get ready for tomorrow.  Madi had already taken a shower and was ready for bed.  I was going out for a run, but Riley really really wanted to come with me so I told her she could.  She and I got ready and went outside.  It was beautiful weather!  A little crisp but lovely.

Man - can that girl run!!!  I tried several times to speed up and catch her, but had trouble doing it.  We did intervals of running and walking.  We ran all the way to the park and went swinging for a while.

Riley's friend Nikki helped show her how to pump her legs on the swing and what to do to swing.  We had helped her with it a little bit, but Nikki really helped Riley learn how to do it well!  Riley got on the swing and started pumping away and just kept going.  It's crazy.  She has become so good at swinging by herself.  I am just amazed.

We then got off the swings and she went down the slide - as soon as I sat at the bottom so she could run into me :)  We went for the rest of the run.  Then I helped her onto our tree out front so she could swing on the branch a few times before we went inside.

Total we ran was 1.2 miles.  She fell asleep quite fast tonight and can't wait to do running club in the morning!!  She's excited about it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ice Cream!

Thank you Grandpa for the ice cream on Fridays!!
One of her favorite treats every week
is being able to choose which ice cream she wants -
all thanks to Grandpa!!

Precious Girls

Ending summer with a great swim 
Riley's first homework assignment!!

Such a big girl!!

My Classroom

Need to get more pics of my classroom now that it's much more finished!  Decided to redo our mallet bins as they were WAY too uncool.  Still using them the way the former music teacher had them.  Needed some major makeover:

Amazing what yarn and glue can do!

The beginning product

The final product

Witch Feet

Another fun Pinterest idea!  Creating a porch that looks as though your house landed on a witch :)

1 - pair of girls striped tights
2 - high heel shoes
2 - hand towels

How to:

1 - Roll hand towels long ways.  Stick inside tights.  Repeat for other leg.
2 - Place under mat.
3 - Turn feet out and set high heels on each leg.

Voila!!  So easy!

Ding!  Dong!  The Witch is dead!

Boo Pumpkins

We had quite the cold front come in today.  High in the low 50s - felt amazing!!!  Loved the cooler weather.  Pinterest has had some really cute ideas for decorating.  Being that we're on a tight budget, I was hoping to do some decorating and fun activities with the kids, but knew it would have to be cheap.

Pinterest had some interesting sites about ideas for pumpkins.  One of my favorites was using buttons glued to pumpkins to write a word and adding a ribbon.  So simple!  Something that Riley and Julia could both do.  So I got the materials:

2 - large pumpkins $3.88 each
1 - roll of black polka dot ribbon $2
1 - Elmer's glue (already had)
tons of little buttons $2
1 - can of hairspray (already had)

Total cost was around $10

1 - Clean pumpkin.
2 - Print out the letters to the word BOO on Word using font I wanted.  Cut out the letters and trace them with pencil on the pumpkin in the location where I wanted them.
3 -  Fill bowls with tons of little black buttons.  Put glue where I want the buttons.  Let the girls decorate them!
4 - Let them dry with words facing up.  Then spray with hairspray to help adhere letter to pumpkin no matter what the weather might do outside!
5 - Hammer in a nail through the bow to keep it from blowing away outside.
6 - Place on top of planters outside to decorate the walkway.

So easy!!  The girls LOVED it and were so proud of their creations.
Excited about their pumpkins!!

Pumpkin Fun!

Final Creation!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Peaceful Friday

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today!  Last night I ran 1.59 miles in 18 minutes.  Was super excited about that!!  Loving that running is coming so much easier again and that  it's so relaxing and feels so great.  Can't wait for the 5K next Saturday!

After school today, I dropped Madi off at her friend Elizabeth's house for a sleepover.  Then talked to my parents and met up at their house with the girls.  We played a little bit and then headed to Buca to meet Jeremy.

At Buca, the girls love to shake the parmesan cheese container.  Julia got it and set it next to her while she said "I keep it by me."  We went to the bathroom and came back and my dad had the parmesan cheese.  She pumped her arms while she said "You take my cheese!" (or something like that)  Was hilarious.  The girls were both incredibly well behaved and quite quiet the entire time.  Amazing.

Then Jeremy went home to get things ready for the girls - humidifiers - and I had to go get my car at my parents' house.  The girls wanted to color and went upstairs to watch part of a movie so I called Jeremy to let him know.  All was good.

Riley chose Thumbelina.  The girls each had their space to color their pages and they were incredibly sweet.  I brought them back home and we got them ready for bed.

Riley wanted to borrow Julia's bear, but Julia really wanted it so she gave Riley her most favorite bunny that she sleeps with every night.  We explained to Riley that she gave her the most precious thing in her room and her favorite stuffed animal ever.  It was her way of showing Riley that she wanted her to have her best.  I said "It would be like if you gave her McKenna because she is your favorite."  Riley took off to her room and came back with McKenna.  She goes "I had a good thought about it and I want her to sleep with McKenna tonight."  Julia didn't want it and I was shocked she'd bring it to her.  So we propped McKenna up on the bench and Riley then went and got her favorite toy that she'd been playing with most of the night and said "Here.  I want Julia to have it too."  I love her heart.  So incredibly sweet.

The girls hugged after Julia said "I want my big sister!"  Said goodnight and were off to bed.  Julia went down so easily and I would have fallen asleep had I not been determined to stay up a little longer :)  She looked so beautiful resting in her bed.

Looking forward to cooler weather tomorrow and a really wonderful and restful weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Running Club

Riley was so excited that Running Club started today at school!!  We had to get to school by 7:15am for her to participate from the beginning.  Not a problem as we're always out the door around 6:50am anyway.  We were a few minutes early so we walked around the school after parking.

Riley was so excited!!!  Madi wasn't going to do it, but after seeing that you can earn rewards (feet on a chain!  very cool!), she decided to run too.

I left the girls to go get my room ready.  Riley came into the room with flushed cheeks and said she loved it!  I had her eat a granola bar.  She told me that she ran three laps - almost a full mile.  Crazy girl!!  Madi came in almost ten minutes after Riley and had also done three laps.  Madi told me that she was exhausted.  Riley told me she loved it.  Both girls are looking forward to it again soon!

As we left my room to go to class/teacher's lounge, one of the sweetest fourth grade students - Marian - saw Riley and said "There's that Superstar!  You were awesome!  Can I have a hug?"  Riley gave her a hug while the girl told her that she did a great job.  Riley was very thankful and said bye to her.  It was super cute.

Riley's chin is still incredibly deep purple and somewhat red today.  Praying that it clears up in the next few weeks.  Was quite the injury on Monday!

Julia was very whiny.  She woke up last night at 3am so both Jeremy and I were up with her.  I ended up sleeping with her.  She was such a doll, but it took a long, long time to get her back to sleep.  She was sweet, but we were very tired this morning.

Madi has a sleepover at Elizabeth's house tomorrow, a date at my parents' house on Saturday and a fun day with Grammy planned for Sunday - quite the weekend!

Plus the girls don't have school on Monday.  I have teacher inservice, but they'll get to sleep in.  Everyone except Julia and Jeremy and I.

Looking forward to a great weekend!!

Ready to go!!  Riley and Madi both did three laps - 3/4 of a mile!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Normal Day Here at the Grant's House

Today was really good.  Can't believe we're already in October!!!  And absolutely loving the weather outside!!!  So nice to not be in the 100s!

Riley had a great day at school.  She said one girl asked about her chin and she was ok with it.  She told her that she bumped it at Biza's house and the girl didn't ask anything else.  Poor thing - it is such a huge purple blob on her chin.  She's really handling it very well.

Julia didn't bite anyone today so it was definitely a success :)  She had a great day and was so incredibly sweet.  Kept saying thank you and you're welcome.

Madi was able to talk to the counselor at school today for about half an hour and it went well.  She enjoyed her time with her and is hoping to talk to her more.  She had a really good day.

We were doing awesome on time tonight.  Until we finished dinner and Julia was lying down looking at pics on my phone.  She grabbed her pants and said she had to go potty.  So I walked her over to the potty and quickly pulled down her pants and sat her on the potty.  Then noticed that she had already started to poop and I had now made a total mess by not waiting to notice if she had already done anything.  She was distraught about having poop all over her legs.  And now everywhere on the seat, her clothes, etc.  Ugh - not fun.  So I got her off the toilet and then wiped what I could.  Took her upstairs and gave her a shower.

Riley and Madi found it hilarious and Madi took my phone to videotape her while the girls were giggling.  Will definitely be a great video for her pre-wedding bash?!  Or just good blackmail anyway.

Then went downstairs to fully clean the bathroom where it had been affected.  And then start a new load of laundry.

Not much later, Riley had to go potty and Julia decided to go in with her.  And while she was with Riley, she finished the job of pooping - in her pants again!!  And then managed to sit herself on the toilet and getting it all over the same bathroom again.  Ugh!!!  So again, I took her upstairs and gave her a second shower.

Hoping this doesn't become the trend!

I then put Julia down and we laid down together and sang songs and prayed.  Julia prayed "Thank you God for Riley, Madi, Grandma, Grandpa, Poppi, Grammy, Daddy and Mommy.  Amen!"  I told her "Ah - that was so sweet Jules!"  She replied with "Thanks Mom!"

Mom??  When did I lose the name of Mommy??  To become Mom?  Our little Julia is getting to be such a big girl!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Purple Chin

Riley had a good day today.  I talked with her teacher because Mrs. E came to me to talk about her chin.  It is quite the sight!  Very purple and large and very noticeable.  All the kids were asking questions about it and Riley didn't want to talk about it.  She's very aware of it and very shy about it and sad about how it looks.

Tonight we were going to skip having her take a shower as it was late, but she asked me if she could take one so I could do her hair in a ponytail.  So I told her that I'd give her one.  She looked at herself in the mirror and got a very sad face and said "Oh no.  I look like I have a beard."  And then started bawling.  I gave her a huge hug and told her I was sorry that she had a purple chin.  That thankfully, God made our skin to heal and that it wouldn't be purple forever.  And she said that kids kept staring at her and asking questions, but she was too embarrassed to answer them.  We talked about how sometimes sad things happen and that God can use these sad things to help us help others and to understand others.  And also to teach us that no matter what, we are still loved.  I told her that her friends, her family and God still love her - purple chin and all.  She smiled and then cried some more.

She doesn't want to go to school tomorrow.  I just hugged her and said that I understood how that feels.  That I've felt that way before.  And that it is something she will be doing, but that it was going to work out just fine.  That her friends would still be her friends.  And that it is ok to tell them how she got it.

Riley was so tired and fell asleep really fast tonight.  The devotion that she picked out was about dolphins and how dolphins help other dolphins that are hurt or sad.  That without good friends, that dolphins who were hurt wouldn't survive.  We talked about good friends and hugged for a while.  Then lay down and snuggled together.  It was very sweet.  She called out "I love you Mom!  Good night!" as I left and I responded with "I love you too Riley!  Good night sweet girl!"

So sad to see her so sad about her chin.  Looking forward to it healing very quickly!

Monday, October 1, 2012

First Playdate with School Friend!

It was all Riley has talked about all weekend!  She had a playdate after school today with her friend Biza.  Biza is this adorable little girl in her class.  Very sweet and very smart.  Her mom and I have known each other for several years as I had her son in my class about three-four years ago.

We talked when I had morning duty and then it worked really well that Riley was able to spend time with Biza at her house after school while I had choir.  The girls had a great time!  Riley had a donut, crackers, fruit and juice and milk.  She was in heaven!!!  She got to play with her friend and her sisters and was so excited about the whole event.

As we were about to leave, Biza was riding a little car around.  Riley had pushed her for a little while and went to catch up and reached forward to catch the car on the back to push, but missed and fell forward.  I thought that she caught herself with her hands, but she bumped her chin on the tile floor.  She started crying and I had her lie down so I could check for her teeth and gums and blood.  Thankfully she was fine other than a rather large bruiser on her chin.  Biza's mom got ice in a bag and Riley held it on it.  Biza was very upset and sad that her friend was hurt and felt bad.  Riley gave Biza a hug and was fine - hurt physically but fine.

We got in the car and headed home after picking up Julia.  When we were home, Riley watched tv and relaxed with some new ice.  She never complained about it and handled it wonderfully.  She did ask a few times "how does my chin look?"  To which I replied "a little purple!"  I joked with Jeremy that her new nickname could be Jay Leno as her chin looked a little longer :)

I asked Riley later if she was mad at Biza or ok.  She said that she knew it wasn't Biza's fault and that she wasn't mad at her at all.  I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't any misplaced blame and that Riley understood it was all just something that happened.  She fell and that accidents happen like that.  Riley was very understanding and sweet about it.

Biza's mom called tonight to check on Riley which I thought was incredibly sweet and caring of her.  We're looking forward to the next time the girls get to play together!  I love that they clicked and get along so well!