Dec 27, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve began as Christmas Eve never should, which was with Kristin waking up with 101 fever. Luckily I had the day off, so we just hung around the house in our PJ's, making cookies and doing breathing treatments. Kristin really was trying to pretend that she felt fine and was worried that she wouldn't get any presents if she was sick. I assured her that no matter what, she would get her presents. One of the girls at school gave all the teachers a set of cookie dough mix. Mine was sugar cookie, so that's what Kristin and I used for Santa's cookies. We made snowmen this year and they turned out pretty cute. I am happy to say that the night before I got the last bag of powdered sugar at Wal-Mart to make icing!

Kristin also had to put out the reindeer food that she made at school.

After we baked cookies we watched A Christmas Story then checked the Santa Tracker on the NORAD site. That really is neat. You can see all the places Santa has been and see "news reports" of Santa sightings around the world. Each year Kristin gets more and more excited about the tracker and as he gets closer to the US, she knows it's almost time for bed. Kristin asked me if I still believe in Santa and I said, "Of course!" I cannot imagine Christmas without the magic of Santa. We did let Kristin open one present from us...clay. She was so excited and has since made several coil pots and is getting them ready to paint.

Before bed we read the Christmas story from Kristin's children's Bible and then it was off to we thought. Kristin laid with Chris while he watched tv and would NOT go to sleep. So I laid down with her and she finally calmed down enough to fall asleep. Kristin left specific instructions for Santa to use the Hannah Montanna paper she picked to wrap her presents, so that's just what he did ;) and he left a present under the tree in her room as she requested as well. Kristin also decorated a box with pictures and drawings for Santa. On the box she wrote "It is 4 u, Santa and Ms. Klos. Luv, Kristin Arft" Of course I kept the box and drawings!

Kristin woke up at 7:30 Christmas morning informing me that Santa had left presents and that her head felt better (she still had a little fever).

For breakfast Chris had his first experience with biscuits and chocolate gravy. Being from Missouri, he'd never heard of it and wanted to try it (Kristin had never had it either). And as I figured, they both liked it. Chris had to work overnight, so we just stayed at home, which I love. I like seeing family, but I love Christmas when we can open presents, hang out at home and not have to worry about going anywhere.

This weekend we are going to Cabot for Christmas with Mom, Lynn, and her family. I'll post lots of Christmas pictures when we get back.

Happy New Year!

Dec 14, 2008

Christmas Tour

Merry Christmas and welcome to the Christmas Tour of Homes. Grab a mug of coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy the tour!

Santa greets you as you make your way to our house. Kristin was so excited about this addition to our house and yard decorations.

Once inside, you'll find my table with some of my many snowmen. Also I have my Christmas Card Tree. I found this last year at Khol's and have really enjoyed it. Hoepfully it will have more cards on it in the days to come!

Hanging on the wall next to the table are our stockings. My grandmother made my stocking and my mom made Chris and Kristin's. I considered learning how to make them myself, but they involve a lot of cross-stitch and beadwork and I do not have the attention span or patience to do it!

This is my wreath that is too delicate to put on an outside door, so I hang it on the wall above the couch. It was made by the mother of a friend of mine from Japan.

Here is our tree. I usually do ribbon, but Kristin wanted the cranberry and gumdrop garland, so that's what we went with. We considered getting a live tree this year, but with all the allergy and asthma issues we've been having, we decided against it.

To the right of the tree are more snowmen. I love my snowman who counts down the days till Christmas.

To the left of the tree you'll find a good place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate).

On top of the entertainment center is our nativity...

Here is our door going to the garage...

and as you make your way to the kitchen....on top of my pantry you'll find more Chrismas odds and ends. Some I have had since I was little. I love the little Christmas cottage. When you blow out the tealight candle inside, smoke comes out of the chimney.

And in the kitchen window...more snowmen, of course! I also put out my Coca-Cola Polar Bear glass...I always loved those commercials and am so sad they no longer show them.

Down the hall is Kristin's advent calendar. This was mine when I was little, a family friend made it for me. Now Kristin looks forward to moving the bear each day until he finds Christmas. She is especially excited about it this year since she is beginning to be able to read some of it herself.

Here is Kristin's tree and her ornament she got last year at the Precious Moments Chapel. She is hoping that Santa will leave a present under her tree.

Well, that about does it. Thanks for visiting and have a merry Christmas!!!!!

Dec 6, 2008

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things.....

Ok, I don't look or sound anything like Julie Andrews, but since I've been tagged to do it, here's my list of top 10 favorite things:

1. Kodak--I LOVE Kodak products...I have a Kodak M1033 camera that I take pictures with on almost a daily basis and Chris got me a Kodak printer for an early Christmas present. With the Kodak software you can do anything..order and edit pictures, print pictures, make all kinds of cards, albums, etc. LOVE IT!

2. GreenWorks Cleaner--this stuff is's all natural cleaner that you can use on anything, and I do! I buy a bottle of concentrate (which is only a little over 2 bucks) and it lasts forever. Best of all, since it's all natural, Kristin can use it to help me clean! :)

3. Purell Hand Sanitizer--I'm becoming more OCD in my old-age and since I am around germy kids all day and wash my hands constantly, I, of course, also love hand sanitizer and am somewhat addicted. I have no clue how many times I use it throughout the day, after helping kids wipe their noses, etc. I always carry a travel size bottle in my purse and use it before and after grocery shopping.

4. Udder Cream--between all the hand washing and sanitizing, needless to say, I have very dry hands. They are especially bad this time of year. Udder cream lotion is something I always have around, usually right next to the hand sanitizer! It's great stuff and a little goes a long way.

5. Hallam's Peanut Butter---this is a local peanut butter made in Ozark, Missouri and it's WONDERFUL! Between Kristin and myself, we go through tons of it. It is natural, organic peanut butter and it's yummy! There are several things that I always but organic, and this is one of them.

6. Burt's Bees or Carmex--I always have one of these on hand...usually one at school, one in my car or purse, and one by the bed.

7. Jan Brett--ok, she's not a thing, she's a person, but her books are things! Jan Brett is a children's author and her books are wonderful..The Mitten, The Hat, Annie and the Wild Animals...just to name a few. Kristin loves her books and I have lots of The Mitten and The Hat activities to do with my kids during our winter unit.

8. Folgers Coffee, classic blend---yes there is Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and many other "better" brands and flavors, but Folgers original will always be my favorite. With lots of cream and sugar, of course! Maybe it's because that's what Dad always drank and it makes me think of him, but I have to have some every morning. I love when I wake up at 5:15 and smell my coffee brewing!

9. A Christmas Story--it's Christmas and I love this movie. Last year Chris got it for me on DVD and I think Kristin and I watched it almost every night! It just makes me laugh.

10. Crayola--anything made by Crayola! Kristin will spend hours drawing, gluing, cutting, painting, so we have a lot of Crayola "stuff" and it's all worth every penny. This past summer while at the Crown Center in Kansas City we discovered a huge Crayola store...I don't know who liked it more, me or Kristin! She told me this morning that she is ready to go back!

Well, those are some of may favorites, now what are yours?

I tag...Mandy, Cassie and Allison Lynn, I would tag you too, but you don't have a blog :(

Dec 3, 2008

Playing Catch-Up

Wow, seems like a lot has been going on lately and I haven't posted in weeks. I'm at home sick. Kristin was sick the past couple of days and I think I have whatever it was that she had. Chris has a cold, but doens't have a fever or anything. Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Kristin and I went to Cabot, then went with Mom to my aunt's house in Truman for Thanksgiving. Kristin had so much fun playing with Luke and riding with Uncle Dutch on the 4-wheeler. She was so upset when we had to leave. Lynn, Brandon and Lindsay went back to Cabot with us and spent the weekend. We all got up at 4:30 Friday morning and headed to Wal-Mart. I was on a mission to find Kristin a coat and a fleece-lined jacket. They had great deals on them and Kristin is SO picky about her coats (all clothes, actually)...they have to feel just right and not be too "puffy" (she has a wonderful Gap down filled coat that she refuses to wear). We found a couple of coats and some other things. I think everyone but Lindsay took a nap later that day. We came back home Saturday to a nice, clean house (thanks, Chris). Chris had gone to Joplin and ended up staying the night since the weather was getting bad. Kristin slept in the bed with me and at 4am, threw up all in the bed. So, I did a load of sheets at 4 in the morning! We awoke Sunday to snow! It snowed all day and night and we got a nice was so pretty.

Here are some more birthday pictures...some from Kristin's birthday with Grandma and Grandpa. I'll post pictures from Cabot soon...Blogger is giving me trouble!

Within the next couple of weeks we will be having a referral conference with Kristin's teacher and school to request that she be evaluated for an IEP or 504 plan. What that would do is require the teacher and school to make accomidations for her such as a quiet place to do work, daily reports about her day that are more in-depth than what I usually get, more one on one teaching, etc. And if she qualifies, she would get to work with an occupational therapist on her many sensory issues (refer to her clothing issues above). Anyway, hopefully this will get things going in the right direction. I never hear from her teacher, but Kristin seems to be having fun at school and is beginning to read...all I did in Kindergarten was play! Oh well. I will update again after the conference.

Nov 13, 2008

Prayers Please!

Everyone please visit the blog of a family near and dear to my heart...the Tugwell family. Their daughter Lily was in my preschool class and they need every prayer they can get...take a moment to visit their blog, read their story and to PRAY!

You can also find thier blog by the clicking on the name Lori under the links listed on the right

Nov 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Kristin!

Today is Kristin's birthday! Six years have gone by so fast and I can't believe she is already six! Kristin is so much fun to have around...she loves animals, art, music, cooking and having fun! She loves to "collect" (right now it's marbles she's into) and organize her collections (a girl after my own heart!). We never know what she's going to say or do next and not a day goes by that I'm not laughing at something she has said or done.

We started the birthday activites this morning. As soon as Kristin finished her breakfast and was dressed, she was ready to open presents!

presents ready to be opened

Kristin was so excited about this cookbook

new winter pajamas

and slippers to match!

We let Kristin decide what she wanted for supper. She picked Mazzio's chees pizza and a chocolate chip pizza for dessert. Here she is ready to blow out the candles!

I will post more after her birthday visit from Grandma and Grandpa on Friday and her party on Saturday.


Nov 11, 2008

Tomorrow's Kristin's Day

Well, tomorrow Kristin turns six. I can't believe that six years ago tonight I was packing to go to the hospital to be induced the next morning. It doesn't seem possible. I was looking through pictures and loved these from Kristin's first birthday. The first three are from her party with Grandma and Grandpa. The last two are from her party in Cabot.

We have a full week of activities planned and I'm so thankful Kristin is getting better. Tomorrow she will get her presents from me and Chris. She has requested Mazzio's pizza for supper with a chocolate chip pizza for dessert. On Friday night Grandma and Grandpa (my in-laws) and maybe Aunt Carol, if she feels up to it, will be here to celebrate with Kristin. Saturday is the party day Kristin has been waiting for. We are having Pajama/Hannah Montanna (PJ, but not sleepover...I'm not that brave yet) party with her friends. After all of that we'll be going to Cabot in a couple of weeks and she'll have another birthday there! So, I'll have lots of birthday pictures to post!!!

Worn Out!

The past couple of days at our house have been, well, sick. Kristin woke up Sunday morning complaining of her throat and ear hurting. Soon after she drank a little hot chocolate and no breakfast (that's never a good sign), she asked if she could go back to bed! I told her of course she could and I took her temp...101.1. Great. So, I dosed her up with Motrin and tucked her into bed. About an hour later her temp was 102 and she was nauseous. During this nauseous time she insisted on sleeping on her floor. And there she slept for a few hours. Here she is camped out on the floor. Chris asked why I took a picture when there was throw-up in her bowl, but it's just the bunny's leg under the bowl!

She finally got back in her bed and slept all day long. No eating or drinking, other than a few sips of sprite, which she couldn't keep down. Around 8:30 her temp was 103.9...yuck. I started alternating doses of Motrin with tylenol, which worked pretty well. Monday morning we got in to see the doctor, who confirmed that she had a bad ear infection and the beginnings of strep throat (she said her tonsils were huge). Yesterday her temp seemed to be going down, but started back up again last night. We stayed home again today and her temp is now 99, which is much better. Tomorrow is her birthday and she wants to be at school tomorrow, which I'm sure she will be. Saturday is her party, so hopefully she'll be completely back to normal by then. For now I am worn out and need a nap!

Nov 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Hope eveyone had a good Halloween. We had a lot of fun and the weather was perfect. Siloam didn't have school Friday so Kristin's school party was Thursday and she had a party at church Wednesday night. On Friday she went to another pumpkin patch with Shawn, her group of preschoolers and a few school-agers we had for the day. They had a good time and I was left at the school with only 4 kids! All of my kids were staying home with older siblings, who didn't have school. Needless to say, I had a good time too!

Kristin was an adorable "scary" fairy...she loves getting all dressed up. We started the evening by trick-or-treating at Shawn's house. She and Rick were pretty scary themselves in their Hillary and Barack masks! We went around Shawn's neighborhood then came home and went around our neighborhood. Kristin was then read to go home and pass out candy. She enjoys that as much as she does getting candy. She sat out on the front porch until all the candy was gone. I'm so glad Halloween was on a Friday this year. Kristin is still sound asleep and showing no signs of getting up anytime soon!

Oct 25, 2008

Parent-Teacher Conference Nightmare

Last Thursday afternoon I had Kristin's first parent-teacher conference. Unfortunately I left mad and have continued to get more mad. Ok, before I go on about the conference, I have to give the backstory. Most of you know that two years ago Kristin was diagnosed ADHD, which came as no surprise to us, and she has taken Strattera everyday since then and has done great with it. Siloam schools do not allow you to request a certain teacher for your child so I wrote a letter to the school just telling them about Kristin and that she has to have a teacher who will be loving, yet firm, who will be consistent and keep her focused. When I found out she had Mrs. Thomas, I thought it would be a good match. Mrs. Thomas is an older teacher who is known for being a little tough with the kids, but fun. So, at open house I told Mrs. Thomas all about Kristin, that she is on medicine, but still needs help staying focused and that she like to talk....all the time (I have no clue where she gets that :) ). I gave her all of my phone numbers, e-mail, and asked her to let me know if Krisitn has any problems. I heard nothing, Kristin was gettting good behavior reports, etc. Well, last month it was time for Kristin's Strattera check-up. I e-mailed Mrs. Thomas, told her Kristin was going to the doctor for her meds and to let me know how she's doing in class. I heard nothing. The day that I was taking Kristin to the doctor, she called me and told me Kristin does not listen, pay attention, do her work, and talks all the time. I said ok and that I would let the doctor know. Meanwhile I'm thinking, why is she getting good behavior reports if she's having all these problems? We go to the doctor and she decides to raise the dosage of Strattera a little since she's grown so much since last year. The next day I wrote a letter to Mrs. Thomas about the new dosage and to please let me know how she does..good, bad, no change, whatever, I need to know. I heard nothing, Kristin got great behavior reports, so I think things are great.

Last Thursday was the conference. Mrs. Thomas starts in on how Kristin is just out of control, does not listen, talks all the time, does not finish her work, does not know her sight words and is just having all kinds of problems. Why am I just now hearing about it???? She wanted to know if we started new medicine and I said it's the same medicine just new dosgae (did she read my note?). Then she said "well shouldn't that stop everything?" At this point, I was really getting mad because she was already talking bad about Montessori children and how they cannot handle the structure of public schools (hello, I am a Montessori teacher and she knows it!). I told her that the medicine just helps her to better control her impulsions, focus, etc, but that she still needs help, there is nothing to just "make it go away or stop." From what I gathered from the teacher, when Kristin talks when she's not supposed to, she just tells her to stop, there is no other consequence. Kristin has to have immediate consequences. Mrs. Thomas said she doesn't remember what she's supposed to be doing after directions are given and I told her she will have to tell her more than once and then check to make sure she's doing the work. If not, make her do it. If the teacher isn't checking to make sure she's doing her work, then of course she's going to talk or draw or whatever else she'd rather be doing instead. I suggested that she have Kristin sit at a desk by herself. She didn't like that idea but said she'd try it. I asked Kristin if she sat by herself yesterday and she said no, she was in her same spot.

I talked to Shawn a lot about it (her daughters are in the 5th grade and are both ADHD). I'm writing a letter to the teacher telling her things that have and have not worked for Kristin in the past. I'm going to give it a week, if I continue to now hear anything from her, I'm going to talk to the principal. That's what really makes me mad in all of this...I've asked numerous times for her to please let me know how Kristin is doing and she doesn't do it. The preschool I teach at is literally right across the street for the kindergarten school, so she has many ways to get in touch with me. It also bothers me that she told Kristin that I would be dissapointed in her and mad after the conference (Kristin didn't want to go home..she thought she'd be in trouble). I would never tell that to one of my kids. She made it clear to me that she does not like Montessori teaching and I figure since she's and "old school" teacher, she probably doens't believe ADD even exists. I really don't think she's taking any time with Kristin. On the report card there were several things Kristin has known forever that the teacehr says she doesn't know..days of the week, colors, rec. numbers 1-10. It's just crazy. So, that's been my past few days...mad and frustrated. As a teacher I know how hard it is to have to keep remining a child to their work, or to be quiet, or to keep checking up on them. I've got two in my class that I have to constantly stay on top of or they will be off somewhere doing who knows what, and I've got other children I have to teach too, but that's just part of it!

Ok, I'm done vernting now and feel much better. Kristin spent the night last night with Shawn and her girls...she will probably never want to come home!

Oct 8, 2008

Picture Day!

Kristin and her Halloween decorations

Fall is here and so is the Kids Special at Main Street Studios! Kristin had her pictures taken today. This year they were at a big yellow barn out in the country. It was such a pretty fall day today. I can't believe this is the same child who just two years ago refused to smile for the photographer. Now she thinks he's her best friend! She had a great time posing and I think he was able to get some really good pics. These pictures were taken after we got home and she was still in "model mode".

We have gone from a stomach bug to a chicken pox outbreak. There are a ton of kids in the middle school coming down with it, as well as both of Shawn's girls and some of the preschoolers. Thankfully if they've had the shot, it won't be as severe, but it's still no fun.

Summer is over, fall is here, I've brought out the shorts and sweatshirts and have come to life! This is my favorite time of year and the colder it gets, the happier I get. I'm as crazy as my preschoolers!!!

Sep 30, 2008

Afternoon at the Park

One of my favorite things about Siloam Springs is the great parks and today was the perfect day to get out and enjoy them. I was a little reluctant to though once my allergies started kicking into high gear. But Kristin reminded me that we "pinky promised" that we would make a trip to the park after school. How could I break a pinky promise?? So, off we went with a bunch of kleenex to the park! Kristin had fun even though we forgot to bring some crackers to feed to the ducks. Oh well, we'll do that next time. All in all it was a great day!

Sep 23, 2008

One of Kristin's favorite things is to help me in the kitchen and whenever possible, I let her. A few nights ago we had homemade pizza and I let Kristin make her own pizza. Of course she had to make a smiley face with the pepperoni!

Last night she decided to make dessert with her Easy Bake oven. Mom got her the oven for her fourth birthday and she uses it as much now as she did then, if not more. Here she is mixing up frosting for her chocolate chip cookie.

Kristin recovered quickly from her stomach bug, thank was not fun. While we were in Joplin over the weekend, she picked out her Halloween costume...a "scary" fairy. She picked a black skirt that is glittery and lights up and black wings. I told her she could wear a black leotard with it. She wants to make her hair black and glittery and wear goth makeup! I said yes to the hair and talked her into some sparkly stuff for her face instead. She said next year she wants to be a vampire. Let's pray she changes her mind! I must say, she definitely marches to her own beat. She has a dark sense of humor....great, she's going to be one of those creative weird people! Some of the pictures she draws just crack me up...they look like Dr. Seuss or Tim Burton creations. She just sees things in a different way and is ALWAYS entertaining!