Friday, January 21, 2011


January is even a harder month this year than usual.

You see, my dear sweet Mother is at a hospice house now.
I used to call her and jabber away at her every single night. We'd chat about the family, the kids, the weather, how messy dogs can be - especially in the winter, what's for dinner, my work friends -- just about anything and everything.

And now, she is fading away from me, from all of us.
What will I do without her?
She's in my dreams and my heart always, but I am feeling very lost.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dreaming of . . .

Although we currently have 7 inches of snow on the ground and the temp this morning was a balmy 7 degrees, I'm dreaming of warmer spots
like Hilton Head!
Looking back to July, 2009!

Cute little hermit crab!

Early morning riser!

Is there anything better than bicycling on the beach?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mr. Tennis and Mr. Ed

While I am bit distracted with other things currently, I thought I would post some filler that I meant to write about last year.

How about a post on Mr. Tennis and his horse, who will be known for our purposes as Mr. Ed? My blog friend (hi Sharon) asked for a photo, and lo and behold, I found a couple. Her hubs was thinking of getting a new sports car -- which I think is a way better idea than a horse -- even though Mr. Ed is kind of cute!

At some point in time last year (unknown to me as to when it actually occurred because someone never informed me), Mr. Tennis took over ownership of a horse. Oh my word - a 25 year old horse! Guess what, I was surprised!! Mr. Tennis has never seemed the horsey type to me! I would think a horse would mess up his khakis and sports coats, but go figure, he jumped right in to horsey-ville! Check out those boots! :)

OK, I admit it, I am not fond of horses. Once when I was a little bitty girl, a horse (pony probably) at a carnival tried to rub me off on the fence, scratching up my leg and scarring me for life -- thus began my dislike/fear of horses, which has continued to this day. Plus, excuse me, but they are smelly, large creatures and mice are often found in horse barns! But if having a horse makes him happy, Maddy and I say, yay -- just don't ask me to clean out any horse barns! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Studying -- What Works for Your Student?

This school year has been a little bit challenging at times. More (a lot more in my book) is expected of 3rd graders and that's a good thing, I'm sure. Definitely more reading on your own, more studying for tests on your own, more responsibility to keep track of schedules and tests -- no more spoon-feeding -- that's for the little kids, right! Of course, that brings on its own challenges of trying to assist and figure out how to help your own little student plan ahead, learn and study effectively. Do I sound like a teacher?
I really wish I was one and had gotten my teaching degree!

Initially, I thought the best way to help my 3rd grader was flash cards. Flash cards worked great last year for learning a kajillion Q&As, prayers and sacraments for First Communion. So, I figured definitions on flash cards would work for science and social studies. Instead, I found out after a couple of not-so-good test results that we needed to try something different. I talked to her teacher and found out that she prepares a Jeopardy-like study guide for each Social Studies chapter. They go over it in class and each chapter is on the electronic blackboard thingy. (Yeah, I'm really into technology. What? Thingy isn't a technical term!?!) I printed it off and Maddy and I played [studied] jeopardy. Guess what -- her test results soared!! Since it worked for Social Studies, I thought I would try it for Science and made up our very own Science jeopardy from each chapter. Yep, bingo again -- worked like a charm!

Also, important to note, we have a tutor who comes once a week for an hour and works on whatever is needed -- generally math, but often social studies and science and reading comprehension. She is so sweet and special and Maddy loves her time with her. And, please don't think I'm standing over her with a paddle saying "study study, study" we don't do that -- I don't want to freak her out and make her hate school, after all.

Math is, of course, a little different and takes some repetition, ok, a lot of repetition. To help with the drudgery of timed-tests, we also use a dry-erase board and/or her new Glo-Doodle. Turned out that once she learned division, multiplication came a lot easier. So, to any struggling parents out there trying to help your student study for tests or learn materials-- jeopardy-type questions/answers worked for us -- it might work for you and your student!

Hey, do you have any tips of studying strategy your use with your student? Please share!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Recap

Yes, I am probably the slowest blogger around finally posting about Christmas! Sorry about that to you faithful readers (anybody still out there ... Bueller, Bueller???). So, without further dinking around by me, here are a few scenes from Christmas.

Hanging her stocking!

A fave above -- Maddy and Cboo thanking each other for the cool gifts!

Santa visited a neighbor's house and met all the children! He posed for a photo with Mr. Tennis and noted that Mr. Tennis had represented him in a case in years past!

What??? Santa was involved in a legal proceeding??? Probably a parking ticket for double-parking the reindeer somewhere!

Opening one gift after Mass on Christmas Eve!

Christmas Day and Maddy got a Mickey Mouse snowglobe! So cute and the start of a fun collection, I'm sure!

Cboo got some cool new shades!

Muffy modeling her Christmas collar! She loved it --NOT!
She tried chewing it up immediately after pictures were taken!

Think all 3 were getting tired of picture-taking!

We celebrated with Philip, Catherine and Janie a few days after Christmas! Loads of fun to see them and see Miss Janie trying to walk! Unfortunately, my camera was misplaced during most of their visit. Will try to nab some from their FB and post later! :)

Happy New Year!
We spent the evening with a friend and
most popular blogger - Jodee and her sweet family!
More on that later -- at the rate I'm going -- probably February!! :)