Friday, February 19, 2010

Home Again

Grace and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip down to Louisiana to visit my family.  It was so good to see my sis-in-law and nieces before they traveled back to Hawaii.  Grace and the girls played together the whole time they were together!  And time with Mimi and Granddaddy is always exciting for us!

Unfortunately, when my sis-in-law arrived home to Hawaii after a long plane flight over the Pacific with two little ones, she discovered that her home had been infested by rats.  Several things were eaten up and ruined including:  a leather couch, mattress box springs, kitchen cabinetry, toys, shoes, and many other things.  Apparently, paradise has it’s drawbacks.  After Terminex, a cleaning company, and several nights in a hotel, they are safely back in their home…sans creepy critters.

The 9-hour drive back to Texas was uneventful, and I came to realize that long periods of time spent alone can be beneficial.  (Grace was virtually invisible and stayed quiet with her movies and books).   In addition to counting all the dead animals on the side of the road…109 to be exact…, I had time to ponder and think on things.  Some of eternal significance, some petty.  One of things I thought about was the direction I want to go with this blog.  In addition to being a written scrapbook of sorts for my family, I’d like to do another book study or series of some kind…something about family, home, and/or parenting.  I’m still trying to decide what to pick!  Suggestions are welcome!

It took me several days to unpack and get back in the swing of things.  I’m taking a Wilton cake decorating course right now which requires a lot of homework.  Ironically, I’ve also gotten a sudden influx of cake requests.  As we speak, I’ve got a cake the oven for a church anniversary party on Sunday.  It’s the biggest order I’ve gotten…a sheet cake to feed 100 people!  Next week I’m making a fancy baby shower cake and a 3-tier fondant cake!  It’s a lot of work, and I’m not sure yet if this cake decorating endeavor will be worth the money, but it sure is fun!  I’ll post pics as I finish.

Grace is under the weather.  She woke up today with a nasty cough, fever, and vomiting.  She also literally fell on her face yesterday while pretending to be a kitty cat and injured her front tooth.  There was so much blood that the boy I babysit turned white and ran in the next room!  After I got her cleaned up,  Barbie and the Three Musketeers took her mind off the trauma while I called the dentist.  Basically there’s nothing to do.  Since the tooth is now pretty loose, it will probably fall out soon.  She’ll get an x-ray in a couple of weeks at her next check-up to make sure there’s no damage to the permanent tooth underneath.  I’m really looking forward to the sideways glances in the McDonald’s playground, “Don’t you take care of your kid’s teeth?”  Ahh, parenthood.

This morning, despite the coughing, fever, vomiting, sore tooth, and swollen lips, she was the most dramatic about a hangnail.  A hangnail.  After she threw up for the third time in an hour, I asked her how she was feeling, and she said, “My finger still hurts, mama.”  Bless. Her. Heart.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Visit With Cousins

My sister-in-law Jaimie and her two girls flew from Hawaii to Louisiana to spend several weeks with her family while my brother is serving in Afghanistan.  I was able to arrange my schedule to drive down to see them and stay with my parents!  We picked an interesting weekend to visit…right in the middle of Mardi Gras and Saints Super Bowl festivities.  I have never seen such commotion in mom and dad’s little town of Clinton!

The drive down was pretty rough.  We experienced the most extensive rainstorm ever…in nine hours of driving, I turned my wipers OFF for about 5 minutes.  Grace kept asking me, “Mama, is our car going to get stuck on the side of the road and will we stay in a hotel?”  She, of course, was referring to The Tire Blowout on our last trip down at Thanksgiving. 

Grace was so excited to see her cousins!  They played so well together the whole time!  Here are our precious girls Lila, Grace, and Emma:


We heard about the Mardi Gras parade on Saturday morning in the town square, so we bundled up and walked downtown.  (Which in Clinton is at most a five minute walk from any given location).  We arrived just in time to see the local motorcycle club ride in all their glory.  Grace didn’t like the noise, and I didn’t like the exhaust, but it was quite entertaining.  The festivities were late getting started and we were FREEZING cold, so we ended up going home before the parade.

However, Mimi had a great idea, and we had our own parade in the living room when we got back.  We even opened the door so we could hear the Clinton High Marching Band in the background.  The girls took turns throwing candy and plastic jewelry at each other while riding on a little car!  They loved it and begged to do it the rest of the day.  Grace is STILL talking about it (and asking me to do it with her).  Good idea Mimi!

Jaimie and the girls are flying back to Hawaii today, so prayers are appreciated for their safe travel.  Jaimie is due with their little girl Keira at the end of May, and Jon should (Lord willing) be home sometime in April.

Grace and I are going to stay a few more days and take advantage of some Mimi/Granddaddy time while daddy slaves away at work and school in Texas.  (We miss you, Todd!)  We’ve got some fun stuff planned for this week including a daytrip to Natchez, MS, church parties, and good cookin’. 

And despite the fact that I cheered for the Colts and my boy Peyton last night, I am happy for the Saints.  The loss was rubbed in when I had to endure celebratory fireworks while I was trying to go to sleep, but their win is an inspirational story.  And New Orleans really needed one more reason to party this week.  :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kindergarten Contemplations Part II

Wow.  I’ve had a lot of feedback since I posted our thoughts on kindergarten.  I appreciate all the comments, e-mails, and words of wisdom from other moms out there!  I enjoy hearing the experiences of other families who have faced similar decisions.

Here is where we are:

We will find out if Grace is accepted to the fine arts charter school in another month.  The chances are pretty slim.  It’s based on a lottery system, and there are a lot of families vying for a mere 14 open spots.  If she is offered a spot, we will seriously consider allowing her to attend.  My recent tour with the principal was very impressive, and we feel that Grace would be served well in the environment.

At this time, our hearts are leaning towards homeschool.  I am feeling more comfortable with accepting this challenge, especially after hearing the testimonies of other families who have chosen this for their children.  I’m reading books, doing lots of research on curriculum, and connecting with homeschool moms who are willing to share wisdom. 

In preparation for the strong possibility of homeschool, I’m becoming more faithful about structured times of learning.  I reorganized our supplies (workbooks, manipulatives, art and craft items) so everything is within easy reach.  Grace is enjoying our “school-time” and begs to do it more often then I am able. 

It’s comforting to know that we have two good options.  We’ll make a decision next month after we find out if the charter school spot is available.  Thanks for the prayers and thoughtful feedback!