Friday, January 29, 2010

It's a...well...HECTIC life!

I haven't been able to keep up with this blog as much as I had hoped to. One reason being that my life just isn't that fascinating =), and also because I've been so busy. Between staff meetings, and PTF meetings, and Anna's homework, and my schoolwork, and an incorrigible toddler, and housework, and cooking, and.....the list could go on and on. The only reason I can catch up today is because I'm taking a sick day at home with a stomach bug. Lovely.

I do need to take a moment to brag on Anna. She really struggled with reading and phonics at the beginning of the school year. To the point that we were considering a pretty significant learning disability (still haven't ruled it out completely). However, over the past few months she has made amazing strides and is picking up new words daily! A few nights ago I was putting her to bed and had her read me a Biscuit book. She read just about the entire book! I was so proud of her! She only needed help with the words that went against phonics rules (come, quiet, etc).

As for Libby.....she still our wild child. My favorite moments of the day with her are when I pick her up at her babysitter's. She greets me with such pure joy! I also love bedtime and wake up time. She loves to snuggle as we rock and listen to music at night - it's one of the rare times when she is still and calm. And when I wake her up in the morning, she's smiling even before she's completely awake. She definitely has me wrapped around her little finger! Which is a good thing when she's throwing her food on the floor, flinging DvD cases around the living room, "loving" the cat alittle too much, and constantly trying to climb over the back of the couch!

To add to our already hectic life, I am going to start taking grad classes this summer. After researching the many colleges in the area, I think I've finally settled on Eastern Kentucky University. I will be getting my Masters in Middle Grade Education, with an emphasis on Social Studies. Yea!!! I'm really excited about the future possibilities this degree will open up. I am enjoying teaching the big kids this year - and I love teaching history!

Lastly, here's a picture from last year at this time. It doesn't look like we will be getting a repeat of the icey white stuff!

Monday, January 18, 2010

In the beginning....

This weekend we had the opportunity to visit the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky. I have heard great things about it, and students who have gone there on field trips have all come back excited, so I was really looking forward to spending the day there!

We got there right as it was opening, so we were able to hop right into the Plentarium show. WOW. Really - WOW! What a way to feel insignificant! I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the vastness of this universe where we live. It was really amazing.

After a tasty, quick (and overpriced) lunch at the Noah Cafe (don't count on restuarants nearby - the museum sprouted up from a cornfield), we got on our tour. It started off on a good note...

Adam and Eve wandered out of the Garden of Eden to greet us...

No, not really. But the garden was impressive. Can you imagine what is was like for Adam and Eve? No pain, no sadness, no hunger, no death, no weeds, no discomfort. Their world was not at all similar to this evil reality we live in today. It's shocking to see laid out just how far we have fallen from the world God intended for us.

Then we entered the Flood exhibits. Apparantly, when I measured the Ark for school purposes earlier in the (school) year, I came up with the wrong measurements. (I don't teach math, okay?) Turns out it's much bigger than I thought! (Honestly, I thought it was bigger, and was rather disappointed when Earl compared it to the school and it was so small...but that's neither here nor there....)

Anyway, two of these things are not like the others. Two of these things just don't belong...
I'm not sure what to think of the whole "Dinos Aboard the Ark" theory...

The rains came down, and the floods came up...

Then we wandered through the dinosaur area. The whole museum is centered around the "New Earth" theory - that God created the world in six 24 hour periods, so therefore the earth is only thousands of years old, not millions. With this theory, dinosaurs and man had to have coexisted at some point. The evidence they point to is cave drawings of dinosaur-like creatures, dragon legends in many different cultures, recent findings of soft-tissue dinosaur fossils, and the fact that crocodiles are, in fact, very like their ancient cousins and we can cohabitate the earth with them.

Here is Earl checking out the fossils...

The architecture in the dragon/dino area almost made me feel like I was on the set of a Dragonheart-era film.

Luckily, my dad was quite willing to watch the "wheels" and entertain restless toddlers...

The exhibit area was very well done. I'd definitely say it's worth the trip there! The Planetarium shows alone are awesome - I can't wait to go back (without kids next time. Libby was much so that she curled up on me and passed out) and see the other one the museums offer. Oh, and Men in White? You will get wet. Be warned. =)

On the museum grounds are a delightful garden and walking path, picnic areas, and a petting zoo - complete with peacocks!

Unfortunately for us, Sunday was a cold, gray, drizzling day, so our jaunt around the grounds could have been better.

Even so, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and promised to come back sometime this spring when the flower gardens will have, well, flowers.

Oh, and to see this handsome guy again...

Although Earl seemed quite taken with this one...

The sun finally did make an appearance...

Showing up just in time for the grand finale of our day, that I captured from the parking lot of a Burger King (hey, we believe in fine dining!).

Friday, January 8, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Ah, the snow day! A child's (and teacher's) best winter surprise.

Yesterday, just the threat of a "snow storm" (2-5 inches of snow) was enough to close our school - along with just about every school in the state.

Bill Meck didn't let us down, and sure enough around 8am, just as predicted, the snow started falling. By the afternoon we had a nice white layer that almost covered the grass.

I spent a good half an hour dressing the girls in layers and rounding up hats and gloves and coats. Then out into the world of white we went...

Libby had some trouble walking in the snow.

Luckily, she has a good big sister to haul her up the hill!

In no time at all Anna was rolling in the fluffy cold stuff.

Libby was not so sure about it...

Especially after she had a layer of ice crusted to her pants.

Soon the noses started running and hands got cold so we went inside.(Actually, while I was shoveling the driveway Libby began shrieking. She had removed her gloves to be able to grab handfuls of snow to eat. I guess she experienced that burning cold for the first time and wasn't at all impressed.)

Boots were stomped on the porch and all layers had to be carefully stripped so as not to fling icey snow everywhere. But even with the pile of soggy outerwear to clean up after, I have to say, it was a fun time!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The end of peace and quiet and new beginnings...

Anna is back.

Our quiet is gone.

Libby is busy - all day, everyday - but she's generally not very noisy (on the flipside of this, when she is, she is loud!). With Anna here we now have constant chatter, singing during dinner, dancing while we're trying to catch bits of the news to see what's going on outside our walls. She is the end of peace and quiet.

It's a good thing we love her. =D

And on to new beginnings...

Did you make your New Year's Resolutions yet? I've been contemplating mine for the last few days. I think I finally have a list to share.

This year, I resolve...

to exercise. I'm making it a goal to spend some quality time with the elliptical at least three times a week. I'm really lucky to have a great best friend to be my accountability partner in this. (Oh, hey Courtney? I don't owe you a dollar tomorrow!)

to keep my house clean(er). I do not like to clean, but I love a clean house. What a conundrum! With some well placed additions that brought new life into our living room this weekend, I'm inspired to keep our house looking showroom-perfect......okay, okay....probably not realistic. I'm just hoping to keep the toys from overtaking everything.

to choose my food, and my family's food more wisely. Last year I waged a war on high fructose corn syrup and trans fat. With the help of Whole Foods, I was able to substitute many of Anna's favorite, sugar-laden foods with healthy(ier) alternatives. Best find? Late July's double chocolate cookies. Sooooooo good!

pursue further education. I've put off getting my Master's for the past decade. To wait longer will only mean I'll be dealing with more kids, more responsibilities, less time and money, etc. So I'm looking into graduate program possibilities. Nothing definite yet. ;-)

make a concerted effort to pay off debt. We are blessed to so far not be drowning in debt, but with the purchase of a new vehicle (that is, at this moment, in the shop getting put back together from my catastrophe last month...) we are now back in car payment territory. Our visit outside lasted only a few short months, but the grass really was greener. I doubt we'll be able to pay it all off in one year, but hopefully no more than two. Remind me of this when I start dreaming of blue skies and tropical, sandy beaches come June.

Well, that's my list. I think it's enough to work on for now. Share with me what your resolutions are this year!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year Happenings.

What a busy week!

Anna is in Pennsylvania visiting her grandparents, so we've been enjoying just having Libby around. Although Toddlerdom can be a difficult time, it's also nice that she can't get out of her bed, so bedtime is quick and easy! And she doesn't complain when we want to go shopping...and shopping again....and again.

On Thursday we decided to make the long trek to Ohio and visit IKEA. WOW, what a place!! I thought it was really great how the store modeled different rooms - and then had a package price so the furniture and accessories could be purchased together. Also, the tiny little "apartments" reminded me of our very first apartment here in Kentucky - all 800 square feet of it! Unfortunately, although we saw alot of nice things, we didn't find anything that would "fit" in our home. Our style leans toward the traditional. Like this little table we picked up yesterday...

After wandering around the big box store, we drove into Newport and dined on some German food at the Hofbräuhaus ( Libby was intrigued by the Christmas lights adorning the unfinished ceiling. She pointed them out to everyone who said "hi" to her. I brought my camera along, but I'm sad to say it was cold and rainy and so I left it in its case.

Libby this week has been exceptionally adorable, if I do say so....

She really rocked the pigtail look...

and has been taking excellent care of her nursery full of babies...(FYI - any new dolls that cross our threshold may be immediately put up for adoption since our Inn is FULL)