Dec 25, 2010

Christmas, Round 2: Christmas Day

Merry Christmas! We had a great day! K woke around 8 and we unwrapped presents. She got me an awesome fleece blanket and a necklace and earrings. Before you watch the movie below, you need a little backstory. K is obsessed with the Titanic. A few years ago when we went to the Titanic museum in Branson, Chris got K a Heart of the Ocean necklace. Well, not long after he died the necklace broke and she was devestated. One thing she asked Santa for was a new necklace. After she opened all the gifts from me and from Santa, there was no she thought....Santa hid a small present behind the tree :)


We had our usual Christmas breakfast of biscuits and chocolate gravy. Our lunch was a repeat of Thanksgiving with ham and hashbrown casserole! Yum! We spent the day playing the new games K got and we saw the new Narnia movie. What a great day! Our first Christmas without Chris was sad, but we know he got to experience the most awesome Christmas celebration ever! And if it's possible to get into trouble in Heaven, I'm sure he and my Dad are deep in it!

I have a new toy, thanks to a good friend. I've wanted a Macbook for awhile now, and was given one for pretty much next to nothing! She was upgrading to the Macbook Pro so I'm now the proud owner of a "new to me" Macbook :) I'm already used to it and am thinking that poor old Dell is going to end up for Kristin!

Merry (late) Christmas to me! What did you get for Christmas?

Dec 22, 2010

Laura Elf

Kristin and I saw this and started having fun with it. Although she won't let me share her elf, which is much cuter!!

Dec 19, 2010

Christmas, Round 1: Joplin

Yesterday Kristin and I celebrated our first round of Christmas. We spent the day in Joplin with Chris' family. We had a fun day of organized chaos! Ok, there was no organization, but it was chaos and it was fun!!! We had a wonderful homemade lasagna thanks to Grandpa, delicious desserts, then the chaotic, but fun, opening of the presents!

I can't believe Christmas is almost here!!! I was planning on going to Mom's for Christmas, but Kristin was adamant that she wanted to be at home Christmas day. She does not like change and I guess the combination of Chris not being here and us not being at home would've been too much for her. So, we will be at home Christmas day, then New Year's weekend we'll go to Cabot for Christmas, Round 3!! I can't wait to be on Christmas break! Usually we just have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, but the way the holidays all fell on the weekend, we would've only been open two days the week after Christmas, so we just decided to close for the week. We barely have any kids that week anyway. Plus, we are open year-round and I think for the sanity of the teachers, we NEED to close that week! But Chris always said that anyone who teaches preschool can't be normal! Anyway, Christmas is quickly approaching and we are ready! Are you?

Dec 16, 2010

Happy Holidays????

Copyright © 2000 Dean Galloway

Ok, it seems that there is a big controversy over whether or not one should say "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas." I didn't realize it was that big of a deal until a couple of co-workers were addressing the issue and were adamant that you should say "Merry Christmas." I guess I've never really thought about it. I can see both sides of the issue. While I usually say Merry Christmas, I'm not going to be offended if someone tells me "Happy Holidays" or if I get a card that reads "Seasons Greetings." After all, it is the hoildays and people are sending greetings of the season, so to speak. And I see why businesses put up "Happy Holidays" decorations...they can put it out in November and leave it out till January and have all the holidays covered.

But I would be very upset if I was told I could NOT tell someone to have a Merry Christmas. And I do get ticked when someone says "holiday tree" instead of "Christmas Tree." I mean, really. It's a CHRISTMAS's not like it's for all the holidays in's for Christmas. Is there such a thing as a "Holiday Menorah?" That does bother me a bit. But, just so you know, if you tell me "Happy Holidays" I won't be offended. Ok, I'm done now, but what do y'all think? What's your opinion??

Season's Greetings and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS! :)

Dec 14, 2010

Odds and Ends

Well, it's almost Christmas! Where has the time gone? So much has happened lately. My sweet Kristin Bug turned EIGHT in November! Cannot believe it! We had a small party for her in Joplin and she decided instead of a party with her friends, to instead go to Eureka Springs with her awesome Mom (that'd be me!) for a girls weekend. We had a fantastic time!

Kristin with her cousins Beau and Hunter

We took cake and decorations to our hotel in Eureka. A friend made this yummy gluten free cake for Kristin :)

I took K to the New Moon Spa for a mani and pedi...she loved it!

What else? Ooo...I have a new oven! That's big news in my world! The old one literally caught fire a few nights ago while I was in the middle of making latkes. Luckily we got a few made before the fire. There was no damage from the fire, but the oven was dead. So, I called the maintenance man, came home from work, and found a new oven!

We're busy getting ready for Christmas, which starts this Saturday with Christmas in Joplin!

Oct 30, 2010

This Is Halloween....

Well, Halloween has started off with a bang. What a week it's been!!! Monday I had a stomach bug that luckily was gone almost as quickly as it started. Then on Wednesday K went to the doctor for a check on her meds and we decided to go ahead and do her blood tests. Since Chris died of a sudden blood clot, the doctor highly suggested K be tested for genetic clotting disorders. The chances of her having one are rare, but so are the chances of a 34 year old dying of a blood clot without any prior surgery, long plane or car rides, etc. SO, I feel that it's worth doing. Plus the doctor is also concerned about her thyroid and possible diabetes. Anyway, after four needle sticks they were unable to find a vein. The next day we went to the medical center where they have a lab and people who do nothing but draw blood. One stick, but still not nearly enough blood. So Friday we went to the hospital, where we should've gone in the first place! It's almost a mixed blessing that they didn't get any blood before since she was supposed to be fasting for all those tests, which apparently, the doctor didn't know! This morning we went back to the hospital and got the blood without any problems. 14 tubes of blood!!!! Kristin thought it was way cool and I would've taken a picture, but I was put to work. As soon as I told the tech that my mom is a nurse and I'm not squemish about blood, she said "Good, I'll put you to work!" She had me take the full syringes and pop them on the tubes so they'd fill. It was pretty cool. Kristin has now added phlebotomist to her career list!

Yesterday was the fall festival at Sunshine Montessori. The kids were bunnies this year. We had a lot of fun, as usual!

My class

After school K and I headed downtown to trick or treat. This is the first time we've been back since the nightmare of Downtown Trick or Treat when K was 2. It is neat, but involves a lot of standing and waiting, which is not good for a hyper two year old. It was so bad, it's taken 5 years for us to go back. I hated every minute of it, but never let K know! It's just too many people getting too close to my personal space bubble!!!!

Tonight was the Fall Festival at church. We had so much fun. K won a 2 liter Pepsi and a couple of smaller drinks on the ring toss. Then she won brownies doing the cake walk (she refused to leave until she won!) and I won the Ladies Gift Basket, which is full of just my kind of thing...magnets, cool paper clips (no Shawn, you can't have them!), a brag book, candle, etc. I was super excited!

Kristin and her friends Ruth and Chloe

The cakewalk...she was determined to win!

Tomorrow morning we're going to church, grabbing lunch, then getting back into costume for the festival at the Assembly of God church. Then we'll trunk or treat at Trinity and THEN do somedoor to door. Lots of drama. Lots of fun. Totally blessed. Wouldn't have it any other way!

Oct 6, 2010

It's Pumpkin Time!

After school on Monday, Kristin and I made our annual visit to Ranalli Farm in Tonitown in search of perfect pumpkins! It didn't take us long to pick the ones we wanted...I always get a "fairytale" pumpkin, while K gets a big, traditional pumpkin. Usually we pick up a few gourds and such. Later this month K's class is going to the big pumpkin patch and corn maze in Cave Springs. I'm going to go with the class, so we are both really excited :)

Sep 26, 2010

Blog Update....FINALLY!

It has been forever since I've updated my poor, neglected blog. But we have been so so busy lately. Things are starting to settle down a bit, but I'm sure they won't stay that way for long!

Yesterday was a great day for Kristin. Her Awana teacher had the girls in the class out to her house for hiking and horseback riding. This was K's first time on a horse. Now, most of you know that I rode horses for year and miss riding so much! Well, I've secretly prayed that Kristin would inherit this love of horses and riding, even though I said I'd never pressure her into it. And yes, I secretly laughed when Krisitn informed her baseball loving father that she hated softball (hehehe), but he handled it very well :) Anyway, I was very anxious to see how the day would turn out. I dropped K off and went back home to clean and watch the Arkansas game. When I went to pick her up, she was still riding, having a blast. She LOVED it! She was riding with no hands, she was riding without having to be led around...she ate it up :) And to top things off, I discovered that Ms. Sharrie also gives riding lessons...woo-hoo! As we were driving back home, Kristin uttered some of the most wonderful words to my ears..."Mom, I LOVE horses! I want to be just like you and ride horses!" I managed not to squeal with joy! Here are some pics of my little Mini-Me:

K is doing great at school. I'm so thankful she is at Sunshine Montessori. She is thriving and doing so well. Shawn (her teacher) and I are still concerned that there may be a dyslexia issue with her, so Shawn is going to get an evaluation set up for her. But Kristin loves school and I love having her with me, but not in my class :)

Aug 30, 2010


Kristin's bento. She also has a thermos style insulated one. And she wants MY bento as well!

We have gone a little bento crazy around here! Back in high school while I was in Japan, one of the many things I feel in love with was the "bento" style lunch. Bentos are boxed lunches in pretty much every shape and style you can imagine. You can amazingly fit a lot in those small boxes and they are designed for portion control. You are supposed to pack them with the 4-3-2-1 rule: 4 parts rice, 3 parts protein, 2 parts vegetable, and 1 part "treat" (Usually either pickled vegetables or something sweet.) I tend to pack K's with more fresh fruit than veggies and I'm learning some of the traditional ways to pack rice. Luckily she loves rice, which works well since we are gluten free. Of course you can "Americanize" them and pack whatever you want!

Now, as with all Japanese food, the presentation is amazing. And I'll admit, kids are more inclined to eat something that looks "cool, neat or pretty." You can find tons of websites with photos of pretty amazing bento lunches. I have recently mastered the "octodog" which I vividly remember finding in my own bento lunch back in Japan :) I use turkey dogs and have found they work just as well, curling into perfect octo-legs when boiled in water. However, the best legs are produced in the traditional Japanese way of deep frying the dog for about a minute!

Octodogs (turkey dog sliced in half, then quartered....tricky part is getting the legs even)

I have yet to get to that point of making the food beautiful, but I plan to...someday! Here are a couple of the bentos I've made for Kristin.

This bento consisted of turkey dog "flowers" (which didn't turn out so well) with cheese centers, granola, and a couple of baked doritos, strawberry and banana "kabobs" and blueberries.

Here are the octodogs along with a few potato flyer chips (baked gluten free chips), mandarin oranges, bananas, and a few chocolate covered raisins.

Happy eating!!!!

PS....have you heard the news??? We're going to Disneyland in March!!!

Kristin is so excited and has told everyone she sees...even people she doesn't know! As soon as I type this I'm going to book our flight from Tulsa to Santa Ana (I found a good deal and am getting it now!), then I'm booking our room at Paradise Pier! Dare I even say it, but I'm a little excited myself :)

Aug 19, 2010

Second Grade at Sunshine!

Bring it on!!!!

Wow! Summer has come to an end! Today Kristin started second grade! This year Sunshine Montessori is starting an elementary program. Shawn in teaching Pre-K-third grade. This year she did not market the program since we won't have the new building until winter. So, she has 7 pre-k kids, two Kindergarteners and Kristin. The two kindergarten kids were going to do Kindergarten at Sunshine regardless of us opening the elementary room, but this is something Shawn has been considering quite awhile and parents are so happy to hear that we are starting an elementary program, me being one of them! I don't even want to think about what we'll do for fourth grade! Anyway, I digress, so I will get back to Kristin and second grade! Needless to say, the one on one individualization and small class size will be wonderful for Kristin plus, Shawn has known K since she was one and knows everything about her...what makes her tick, how she thinks...everything. And Kristin really loves Shawn. I think Kristin is as excited as I am, though she'd never admit it!

Here she is ready to go!

Kristin and Ms. Shawn

Today and Friday Shawn is letting the kids help get the room ready, so technically they really won't start school in the academic sense until Monday. The new building will be completed by Christmas at the latest. But they said it most likely won't take that long, considering it's basically one room, with a bathroom. I, of course, will have pictures of the building when it's finished! Here is their schedule....makes me want to go back to elementary!!!

7:00-8:00 is for Full Day students only

7:00-7:45 School opens
7:45 Breakfast
8:00 Go to Elementary Building; Sign in, Get settled
8:15 Large group time
8:35 Work time (focus on language and math)
10:00 PE
10:15 Yoga
10:30 Work time (focus on language and math)
11:45 Lunch and outside
12:30 Story time (focus on character building)
1:00 Pre K nap
SA work time(focus on science, health, geography, social studies); Once a week visit library
2:30 Pre K children wake up

Special classes
Monday--science lab
Tuesday--music appreciation
Wednesday art appreciation
Thursday music activities
Friday art activities

3:00 Large group time
3:15 School dismissed

3:30 All school day children picked up; Pre K join preschool

3:30-6:00 is for Full Day children only
3:45 Snack
4:00 Outside
4:45 Inside for free choice, homework, etc

Kristin and I open the school at 7 and we leave at it!

While Shawn has the elementary kids, Cindy and I have the 2 1/2-4 year old kids. I'll have 8 of the older ones that I will be responsible for doing group time with and indvidual lessons. Cindy has 6 of the younger ones. I think we are going to have a really good group. And there are only two boys...that will be interesting! I'm almost finished with my room...still have some decluttering to take care of, but that seems to be constant throughout the year! I'll put up pics when I get my room done, which hopefully will be this weekend.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic week!

Jul 2, 2010

Walk Like An Egyptian....

Krisin had a great time at VBS this fact she said this year was the best ever! The theme was Egypt and the kids learned about Joseph, which I used as an opportunity to introduce K to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat...she LOVED it! Thursday night was Family Night, which was a blast. The kids dressed Egyptian style and Kristin thought she was the queen of Egypt! Here are a few pics that I took. I only took four...don't know what got into me! I tried uploading a short video I took, but Blogger was having issues with it..I'll try it later.

We wrote her name in heiroglyphics...

We have a busy, but fun, weekend planned. Tomorrow K and I are going to lunch and a movie. Not sure which movie, but probably Toy Story 3. I'd planned on spending the day working on the yard, but this morning a church member called asking if he could come mow the yard tomorrow! I can't begin to say how wonderful everyone at HABC has been. So, K and I are going to have a girls day. Who knows what all we will end up doing! On Sunday morning K and I are being introduced to the church as new members. Chris would be so proud. He was very excited about becoming a member of HABC. Then Sunday night the church is renting the pool at the aquatic center and having a cookout. So, we will go by there before heading off to see the firework display. Oh, Kristin won a 50 dollar gift certificate at the library for fireworks! We went tonight and loaded up. Everything was buy one get one free, or if you bought just one, then you got it at half price! And, it is legal now in Siloam to shoot fireworks! (But don't worry, Lynn...we'll save some to take to Mom's :) ) We don't have anything planned for Monday. I have the day off and I think we will just stay home and relax!

Hope everyone has a fun, safe and relaxing holiday weekend!

The 4th will mark four months since Chris passed away. Where have those months gone? Most of it has been a blur. K and I are doing ok. Some days are better than others. They would all be bad days without our awesome family, church family, and friends!

Jun 5, 2010

Memorial Weekend Fun

Kristin and I had a great Memorial Weekend in Eureka Springs. Kristin said it was the best way to remember Chris, since we liked going there as a family :) I have to agree.

Here is where we stayed, The Land O Nod Inn. Very nice people, reasonably priced, and clean, which is most important.

They had a great pool, wonderful picnic areas, and awesome I think it's safe to say that we will be back. Most likely before the summer is over! Here's K ready for an evening picnic...lots of fun!

We pretty much just relaxed and swam over the weekend, but we did venture to Quigley Castle and Onyx Cave. Kristin loved both places, especially since she has quite and obsession with rocks, crystals and gems of any kind. Next trip we are going out to War Eagle Cavern and she can go panning for gems. Anyway, Quigley Castle is a neat place and I suggest you google it, because there is no way I can explain it! Or just click on this link a.

This is the front of Quigley Castle...

A flower basket Elise Quigley made out of rocks

Kristin of course loved this giant crystal and wanted to bring it home!

Inside Onyx Cave...can you see the giant elephant???

Me standing in front of the 'fireplace'

Did I mention K loved the pool??? We swam at least three times a day and Kristin learned how to swim in the deep end while we were there! She just jumped in, swam to the 8 foot area, and swam her heart out! Chris would be so proud...he never learned to swim, he did not like water! Here's K swimming on our last day:

K is finally getting over her ear infection. I should've taken her to Dr. Lewis the first time...oh well, at least she's better now! We've got a busy summer planned. Next weekend I'm going to Kentucky with friends while K stays with Mom. Then the end of July we are going to Punta Gorda, Florida to visit Uncle Ken and Aunt Connie. K is doing a lot with the schoolagers at Sunshine Montessori...swimming, bowling, movies, library summer program, field trips. Then she's doing three, week long day camps--ceramics, mad science, and photography. And Vacation Bible School. Busy, but fun! Hope your summer has gotten off to a great start!

May 22, 2010

Day at the Park

Last week was rough. Last Sunday morning K woke up with a low fever and slight cough. Then the fever went up...and up...and up. I hesitated taking her to the doctor on Monday since she had no other symptoms and I figured it was just a virus. I took her anyway and sure enough, a virus. She ran a high fever until late Wednesday night. All day Thursday she was fine..until that night when she began crying, saying that her ear hurt. Still no fever, but A LOT of pain. And she usually doesn't cry about things hurting, so I knew it was infected. Friday morning we were back at the doctor and yes, she had an ear infection. She hasn't run any fever, but her ear has really bothered her. We got the good numbing eardrops and they have really helped. Through all of this, Shawn was gone to a conference in Little Rock, so I had to be at work. Luckily I was able to set K up in Shawn's office on a mat and she just slept. Shawn, in case you are reading this, I lysoled your office REALLY well :) And Friday night was preschool graduation. We had nine graduates and is was a great night!

K is now feeling better and has been dying to get out and about. So this afternoon I decided to skip mowing the yard, and we headed to the park. K had a great timea nd was in a mood to be photographed, so I took pictures. Here they are.....