Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's in a date?

March 31st!

Who knew that one little date on the calendar could become more & more significant to our family with each passing year?

3 years ago-My wonderful niece, Melissa, was born. A first grandchild for my parents, a first niece for me & my sister & husbands, a first goddaughter for me, a blessing to us all.

2 years ago-tragedy struck, our neighbor's 19 year old daughter died from injuries she had suffered in a car accident several days before.

1 year ago-the above mentioned neighbors, who had since become Luke's babysitters/a set of surrogate grandparents after his birth the following August, along with Scott's parents, my parents & my grandma all joined Luke & us at the courthouse to celebrate his adoption with us.

This year-my niece Rachel was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) & it just so happens that March 31st is CDH Awareness Day! If you can, wear turquoise to show your support for all of the little ones who have been born with this condition/are still fighting/have won the battle & those dear little ones who have lost the fight too-I know that their families would truly appreciate it!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Are your Easter Baskets ready yet?

If not, I have the answer for you!

Look over here to the left hand side of my blog & click on the button for Toys 'R' Us.

For the little ones:
They are currently running a fabulous promotion on Little Tykes toys.
Buy 1, Get 1 Free on ALL Little Tikes Toys (Priced up to 29.99) at ToysRUs.com 3.29 to 4.4
Luke has several Little Tykes toys & he always has loads of fun with them. They are also a great hit with the nieces & nephew too! :)

For older kids &/or yourself:
Check out their selection of games for your Wii! They are currently running a fantastic sale with 50% OFF SELECT WII GAMES at ToysRUs.com 3.29 to 4.8~I think that kind of deal would be hard for any Easter Bunny to pass on!

For the family:
Around here, board games are a highly popular means of entertainment & you can bet that when family & friends are around-the Faith, Hope & Poop household will be partaking in the board game festivities! Toys 'R' Us is currently running a promotion for Up to 40% off---Select Board Games at ToysRUs.com 3.29 to 4.4-what a great investment for your family-a few well spent dollars for hours upon hours of family entertainment in the comfort of your own home!

All you need to do to take advantage of these super deals, is click on the button over there on the left-hand side for Toys 'R' Us or the links above & get your Easter shopping done! You'll save money on your gifts & Luke will earn some money for college as well! A real win-win :) Don't delay though several of these deals are ending soon!!!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 3/29/09 edition

This person makes me smile each & every time I see her.
This person was a "first" for me in many different ways...niece, goddaughter, etc.
I love how much she loves her 'babies' & how she seems to know every song she hears!
She could make a wonderful nun someday with as much as she loves to pray.
I love that I can see 'bits' of my sisters & I in her, yet she is still very much her own little person.
She is a good big sister.
I like seeing the "mother hen" come out in her when she is interacting with her little sisters.
This little person helped to introduce me to the idea of just how much I would someday love my future children when we were struggling with IF.
I was always surprised at how calming I found it to 'hang out' with her during that difficult time in our lives too.
I love watching this person grow & change with each passing year!

So, Melissa, here's to you~I love you & Happy 3rd Birthday this week!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

R.I.P. Dan Seals

I had no idea that he had passed away this week, until this morning when I was listening to the radio. They played two of his songs back-to-back & I thought "that's funny, I wonder if they made a mistake..." & then the DJ said something about him having passed away this week afterwards. All I can say, is that I love music & he definitely sang some of my favorites. I remember singing these songs as a kid & will always appreciate the gifts he has left us-I hope you enjoy listening to a few of these tunes as much as I have through the years...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday: Luke style! :)

I just kind of feel like changing it up a bit this week, so here are a few things that are currently "lighting up" Luke's little world :)

1. PUPPIES!!!!!!!!!! He just can't get enough of them & loves getting a visit in with one whenever he can-he'll even bring you your shoes if that makes things easier!
2. Cookies! Another word that has just recently made it right up there with that one in the #1 spot (meaning either one of them could be the first one he says first thing in the morning!)-Most of the time he doesn't get any (because 90% of the time we don't have any here), but he definitely has a new found love for them.
3. Balls! Throwing, rolling, throwing, watching people with them, throwing, what's not to love.
4. Papaws! One has a puppy & one makes fun sounds for him to imitate, plus he can say this grandpa's last name-Luke's pretty proud of all of those things!
5. Mamaws! (although he never says this word as often :( his smile tells the true story when he sees them!) Again, one comes with a "Puppy Papaw" :) toy cars & treats while the other one has a BIG ball (exercise ball) & lots of tickles!
6. The Babysitter's! A house dog (are you sensing a theme yet with his fave things ;) , golf cart rides, trips to town, wagon rides, plus ALL of the attention he could ever want! Shouldn't we all be so lucky :)
7. Daddy! He takes him to visit the puppy & gets to hang out with him every day-how could he not be a daddy's boy!
8. Mommy! She reads him ALL of the books he wants mostly whenever he wants & she can always find the puppies in the books!
9. Pizza! It makes his poop nasty to clean, but that's not his concern-he just knows that it is quite tasty!
10. Cars! He loves listening for them outside & watching through the window as they drive past our house all while either waving, making motor sounds or both at the same time!

Hope you enjoyed this week's tweaked version~it's back to my life next week!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bits of Randomness

First of all, welcome to any ICLW readers, I hope you like what you read & decide to come back for more sometime down the road. And of course, welcome back & thanks to all of you who follow along with me on my adventures regularly too!
I have several bits of different types of blog posts floating around in my head & have decided to let the randomness of it all spill out for a post.

*On Thursday, I came home 1/2 way through the school day because I was not feeling well...I also called in on Friday morning. I have to admit that I did kind of think of myself as a pansy for not going to work-I probably could have handled it...
I made an appointment with the doctor(me being paranoid, probably I thought; pansy, most definitely-I mean I had barely been sick 2 days & never mind the fact that I was completely exhausted just by the simple act of taking a shower & that I could barely stay awake while in the waiting room!) I told the doctor all of my symptoms & that I thought maybe I had a slight temperature-the results...104 degree fever & Strep throat! (I guess I wasn't being a pansy after all!)

*March Madness also began on Thursday & normally I look forward to it a lot, obviously, given the circumstances on that day this year- it was the last thing on my mind. Now that I am starting to feel a little bit better, I have started paying attention & I remembered one of my biggest pet peeves with TV sports. Honestly, it is really no big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I really dislike that they always name their "Players of the Game" before the game is over. I'm sure I say it just about every single time I see it (yes, poor Scott), but really what if a player does something spectacular in the last 2 mins or 30 secs of the game that changes everything. Would they ever go back & say "Oh, yeah, wait a minute we changed our minds..."

*It is an odd feeling to be so excited about your stomach growling for the first time in 2 days, yet not being sure what would be a "safe" food to eat.

*I am loving this fabulous Spring weather we have been having here in the Midwest, especially when I saw it snowing on the first day of Spring in New York on "The Early Show" yesterday morning.

That's all for now, but hopefully as my endurance gets built back up this week I'll be able to get a few more posts out there & get some "visiting" done too! Happy ICLW!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: 3 evenings of Weeding!!!

And this is what I have to show for it-yay!!! (Those of you who have been past our house recently may remember what these dirt mounds have looked like for awhile now, therefore, realizing what a feat this was-& yes, I did it all by myself :) Scott did help by hauling off the weed piles for me since he's been working on things in the backyard!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Did you catch a Leprechaun today?

Well, I didn't, but there were tons of traps set up all over school today!

Those kindergartners were out hunting for them & not one single one of them caught one-boy are those leprechauns tricky!!!

What? You don't believe in leprechauns, oh my, let me provide you with evidence to the contrary!

*Gold-yep, there was lots of it left in the traps-the leprechauns dropped it when they messed up the traps (did I mention that the gold coins were chocolate, which is almost as good as the real thing! :)

*When the kids would leave their classrooms, things would be all messed up-it had to be those leprechauns because some classrooms even found green footprints in their room!!!

*The classrooms' bathroom toilets were full of green water, by far, the best evidence that the leprechauns exist because the leprechauns thought the toilet was a pool & went swimming! ;)

*And, of course, some of the kids actually claimed to have seen a leprechaun-who wouldn't believe a 5 year old's eyewitness testimony...

So are leprechauns real? You'll have to judge for yourself! :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Call of the...

Extra hours of daylight in the evening (check)
Yard work wanting to be done (check)
Spending time outdoors with Luke (check)

All of these things combined, leave very little time left for supper & household chores before I go to bed & they leave me apologizing for my lack of blogging in recent days!

So sorry, but do know that we here at the Faith, Hope & Poop household have been enjoying ourselves quite tremendously & getting lots of things done that need to be done in recent days too!

I promise more of the good stuff soon! :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Am I Missing Something Here...

(Brad aka "Rope"~the following story is for your benefit-partially because of a long standing joke we have & partially because of your comment on my last 'student story' post...enjoy! :)

Yesterday, I was working with one of my 2nd grade reading groups & the following conversation occurred...

Student: "Mrs. ___ isn't it funny how Nicholas Cage seems to be in every single action movie?"
Me: (wondering what in the world he is talking about & how this topic even came up in the first place???) "Nicholas Cage? What are you talking about?"
Student: "Well, you know, doesn't it seem like Nicholas Cage is in everything now, especially action movies?"
Me: (wondering to myself "Is Nicholas Cage even still around anymore?") "Uh...I'm not sure, what movies are you talking about?"
Student: "Oh, you know, like how he's in that new movie with all the numbers & he has to dig & figure out what the numbers mean."
Me: (AHA!) Oh you're talking about the National Treasure movie, yes, he was in that one.
Student: (looking slightly confused) Well, yeah, he is in the National Treasure movie & Ghost Rider, but no the NEW action movie with the numbers, you know, the one with all the commercials!
Me: (looking WAY confused & trying to remember when the last time was that I really paid any attention to the TV...) Ummm, yeah...okay...
Student: "Well, isn't it weird how he is in all of the action movies now."
Me: "Yes, weird...now let's get to our book." (& away from this conversation that was making me look & feel quite ignorant to a 2nd grader!)

Fast forward to later that evening...

Scott & I (yes, maybe the first time all week that I had really paid attention to the TV) were watching our Thursday night shows on NBC & wouldn't you know it...there was a commercial for the new NICHOLAS CAGE movie "Knowing" & wouldn't you know it...digging, numbers & Nicholas Cage-my student did know what he was talking about!

Maybe Nicholas Cage is in every action movie these days! :)

Looks good-maybe I'll have to check it out ;)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Long overdue update!

I have been doing a wonderful job of keeping people in "real life" up to date on my strong little niece, Rachel, but to those of you who only know about her because of the blogging world~I apologize! I do struggle with "how much" to put out here because I do try to make a concious effort to not "expose" my family's privacy, but to share "stories" from my everyday life along with my own little added twist on them.

So, with that being said, here are just a few of the most important "highlights" of Rachel's journey over the past month to help put any worries that might be out there to rest.

*A few weeks back, she came through the surgery to close up her diaphragm with flying colors along with a couple of setbacks along the way & ...
*Yesterday, the ventilator was removed! And...
*Yesterday, my sister, her mom, finally got to hold her little girl for the first time after 1 month & 1 day of waiting for it!

It was a very happy day, indeed, for our family & this happy aunt is hoping that her little niece will keep putting up the good fight, keep progressing & someday soon get to come home to her own bed!
Thanks so much for all of the prayers & support sent their way! :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Different World

I had a couple of interesting conversations take place with students today. They both made me really think about how lucky I was to grow up in a loving, stable environment & both left me wishing that I could wave my magic wand so that they can have that too.

*1st conversation (took place with one of my 2nd grade reading groups-approx 7 students)- We were discussing the book that we had just read, in which the little girl in the story had moved to a new school & encountered a bully, when I asked the question "How many of you moved here from somewhere else at some time in you life?" (I was expecting the hands of 1-2 of the students whom I knew had moved into the district that year)
6 of the 7 hands went up in the air!
2 of them had moved here this school year (1 of which had been here in Kindergarten, moved away, & now is back for 2nd grade)
2 of them had moved here last year when they were in 1st grade
And the other 2 had moved here when they were much younger...
only 1 of my 7 students had lived here his entire life!
I always knew that we have a lot of students move in/out of the district each year, but in such a small group, I never expected the numbers to reflect it quite so drastically.

*2nd conversation (took place with a 2nd grader later in the day)-I asked him something generic about how his day was going & with a straight face, he looked at me & said...
"My dad beat up my stepdad last night, but it's okay because he deserved it."
He then proceeded to tell me the rest of the story...Oh my.

What I take away from all of this is...when I think my life is rough, I know that it is nowhere NEAR as rough as what some of my "kids" are dealing with on a daily basis & I just hope that I can at least be that one bright, shiny GOOD part of their day that they can look forward to when things aren't so good elsewhere!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"You Light Up My Life" Sunday 3/8/09

This person is quiet, but...
Don't be fooled, he is also a mastermind, especially when it comes to antagonizing his siblings :)
This person is a good dad & uncle.
This person is handy to have around as a "Mr. Fixit"
I am always surprised at how excited he gets when talking about The Lord of the Rings series of books/movies/video games/etc.
This person is definitely the outdoorsy type.
He is very enthusiastic about cooking & likes trying out new recipes.
He can make lots of neat sound effects during conversations! :)
He is a loyal friend.
He is a good husband to his wife.

So here's to my brother-in-law, Pete~I love ya!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

2009 Book #6 & #7

I have just finished reading At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks & have a completely different opinion of it than I thought I was going to have about it for probably 90% of the book. I have only read a couple of Nicholas Sparks's books, but they always seem to have the same effect on me. I am usually not too impressed with his writing for most of the book-it's okay, just not something that thrills me, it sounds to "day to day"-but then out of nowhere he throws in a curveball & I'm left feeling impressed.
This book had the same impact & I actually almost stopped reading it because I thought that he had resolved the main "issues" in the story halfway through the book. I was going to stop reading because I thought that he was just going to tie up all of the minor loose ends that were left in the story & I did not want to sit through 100 more pages of that! Boy, was I glad that I kept reading & you will be too if you haven't read this book yet (well, maybe "glad" isn't quite the right word for how the story unfolds, but it was definitely worth finishing the book!)

I have also recently finished reading Penny From Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm for my 4th grade book club. This was another book that I almost gave up on because I felt like it was going nowhere. Each chapter seemed to be its own little story that didn't quite tie together with the other chapters, except that they happened in chronological order. Again, I was wrong! I even learned something from this book, which makes it even more of a plus! :) The "meat" of the story really kicks into gear about halfway into the book, so if you pick it up for your child, don't be surprised if they don't want to stick with it (my only driving force was that I had students to report back to until I got to this part of the story.)
I was unaware of how Italian American citizens were treated during WWII, oh sure, I knew all about the Jews in Europe & the Japanese Americans in the U.S. & even the German Americans here in the U.S. (but that is only because I grew up in an area/family with a large German heritage), but I hadn't really ever given thought to the fact that Italian Americans were probably in the same boat-lesson learned! I'd recommend this book, but I think that kids (especially 4th graders) need just a bit more background knowlege of WWII to really "get" what happens in the book because many of them have learned very little about this topic at this age. It would be a great book to read & learn about it together though~yay for family learning experiences!!! :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Toy Soldier!

In the shoe...

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rock in your shoe?

On Friday night, we were hanging out at my in-laws' house because two of Scott's siblings were home for the weekend (1 out-of town & 1 out-of-state). We & Scott's other brother's family both live right next to each other & his parents so it makes it easy on these occasions for all of us to get together for the weekend.

Well, we had a fun evening together, but it was obvious that our little guy was wearing down quickly (shocking, since it was only an hour or two past bedtime!) Scott & I decided to head home, but Luke needed to get his shoes put on before we left. I located the shoes sitting neatly on the table where either Scott or Grandma had left them, grabbed Luke & put the first shoe on him.

He proceeded to cry like I was torturing him~I figured that he was being dramatic because he was tired & doesn't like to have to sit still for very long anymore. I grabbed the second shoe, but he continued to wiggle & refused to let ME (or so I thought) put his shoe on him. He has been a COMPLETE daddy's boy lately (not surprising since Scott is home with him all of the time now) so I gave the shoe to Scott to put on him. Luke walked around the room-one shoe on, one shoe off-still a little upset, but he did let dad put his shoe on him.

We packed up & headed out the door, after all of the grandma/grandpa kisses good-bye, & drove the 1/4 of a mile it took to get home. We walked in the door & I pulled Luke's shoe off...I heard a clunk...I looked down at the floor & saw a ...

Oooops, I'm sorry, you'll have to stay tuned for tomorrow's Wordless Wednesday for the ending of this little tale, but trust me you'll LOVE the ending (& probably wonder what kind of mother I am for not having checked his shoes before putting them on him!) ;)