Sunday, September 30, 2012

The end of September

It's finally fall!  I'm so excited!  It's getting cooler outside, so we don't have to run our window AC units.  I'm looking forward to pumpkin carving and jumping in leaves and fun autumn pictures!  We might even get to pick apples next weekend!  I'm checking to see if there are any apple orchards still open, due to the drought and all.  I hope so!
This week was lots of fun!  I got to do my first lesson in this class!  I taught Poetry and the students all made shape poems.  I'm trying to decide what I want to do with them.  I want to hang them up in the hall, but I also want to make a book of them.  That way they would have a book of shape poetry!  I initially wanted to make a quilt out of them for the teacher, but that's a whole lot to do!  This way it'll be a present for the whole class!  So, I'm excited!
 It was my niece's birthday!
 Emma climbed a rock wall!
 It took poor Cecilia awhile to get interested.
 So Aunt Mandy helped!

I love how Emma's hair flipped as she jumped!
 Leah didn't have socks, so Aunt Mandy gave her hers to borrow.  
 Check out the air she got!
 Ben helped Cecilia get down
 She loved the slide down!
 Interesting arch
 Another slide!
 Time for cake!

 I got to hold Tony and help him stop crying.
Here he is after.
We got to go out to Lawrence for a few hours for my niece's 3rd birthday.  I took lots of pictures, so these are just some of my favorites!  After we left we dropped off my kiddos and picked Josh up from Scott to watch the RS meeting.  It was great!  Then we went out for food and desserts.  I like Sonic's cheesecake bites!  Yum!  Fun times!  I got home late to realize I hadn't done my test for math!  Yikes!  So, I raced through and got it done in ten minutes.  I got a 23 out of 30.  Gggrrr...  Oh well!  I got it done!  That's what counts!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting into the swing of things

This past week was the halfway mark of my school classes.  Craziness!  I feel like I'm getting into the swing of things.  Sadly, the swing of things is not getting enough sleep.  In all reality, enough sleep wasn't going to be an option with this cute little guy I have!  I'm excited I'm keeping up as well as I am, considering I leave the weekends for my family!  I've been trying to up my game and do a little better with my family and school, and I feel like I'm doing better with everything I learn.  I'm doing better about reading with my kids and helping Emma learn the alphabet (and we started work on sight words).  I'm living on HGTV/DIY Network at night, because I have to have noise to not freak myself out at night.  I'm totally one of those paranoid moms, because I know I have some awesome kiddos!  They're good-looking too!  I'm biased though.
Ben got another letter from his favorite person in the world-Aurora!  He's writing her back right now.  It's so cute!  One of his papers he brought home this week was a story that he wrote about Emporia and living there for two years. Whenever he is feeling down, he immediately gets mad at me for moving us away.  And he's the first one to tell me that he'll be dating Aurora when he turns 16!  He's making her a love creature-Cupidar.  So cute!  He wants it majestic looking too!  Earlier he was loading the dishwasher and Kira brought him in to show me his smile, because it was so cute (he was thinking about Aurora).  He did an awesome job at the Primary Program today too!  My mom says that he only sang when I was in there, and he was actually singing (I asked, although I thought he was)!  He said his part really well too!  I'm proud of my son!
Kira is doing much better on her spelling tests and loves that I know what she's working on in class, since our school district is pretty much set as to when they learn certain things and we're in the same school district and grade, so I know what's she is learning!  She does fantastic at doing her homework, I hardly ever have to remind her and she does most of it all on her own!  She's been reading a page every 2 minutes in her fairy book too!  She's getting faster!  I'm super proud of her!  She is doing great catching up from all the time she had problems reading, due to her needing glasses!  She is super sensitive, but really does do her best!  She loves learning to cook new things and get more responsibility, but doesn't like feeding Josh.  She kept asking me:  Can't you feed him?
Emma LOVES holding Josh!  She will play with him, try to entertain him, and give him a ton of hugs and kisses!  No doubt he feels loved!  Today I talked her through writing the rest of her last name.  She did awesome!  I love that all of her pictures are of people (and usually me).  She's so sweet!  Last night she got a fortune cookie that said:  Do unto others as you would have done unto you.  She asked what it meant and I let her know that she shouldn't pester her siblings or they'll pester her back.  "OOohhhh..."  She replied.  "That's a perfect fortune for me!"  Yes it is.  Please stop pestering people!
Leah is doing a little better at not crying so much and she's been taking naps!  Nice!  She tries hard to share, but still isn't very good at it.  She LOVES having her hair brushed, brushing my hair and painting my nails.  It never goes well, but it's always the kids' nail polish, so it peels right off!  Phew!  I don't want to explain that I let my 3-year-old do my mani/pedis.  She's free?  She works hard when she can and really likes to stay up late and snuggle with her daddy!  Poor Scott wakes up being crowded by her!
Cecilia has become wholeheartedly the newest Hash-baz Westhoff.  Sheesh!  She makes tons of messes!  Big ones!  She can open the fridge and bring whatever she wants.  It's nice when I'm feeding Josh and she brings me everything I need to give her a drink too.  She's saying more words all of the time.  I love how she says "Uh huh!"  It reminds me of Little Rascals!  So cute!  She also shrugs her shoulders!  Fun!
Josh is getting big!  I weighed him on one of my photo prop scales and it said he weighed fourteen pounds!  I went through his clothes and was able to unpack the next size up.  Luckily, I have a friend having a baby boy in a couple of weeks, so I just passed it on to her!  I'm worried he's moving out of this diaper size soon.  He is definitely not like Ben!  Ben takes forever to grow!  I think he's a super cute guy!  I love his little coos!  Oh how I love those smiles when he is trying to convince me to feed him (it works every time)!  I get some super cute pictures whenever I can!  I'm about to do another photo session, because it's about time!  He's holding his head up more and is starting to want to stand more.  So, I had to put the hurry on for getting him a Jumperoo.  I was hoping for another month!  He's a great baby, and he slept through the night once last week!  From 9:30 to 6 (when I woke him up)!

Scott had a rough day on Friday, with one crisis situation, that he had no idea how to handle.  Poor guy!  It made him doubt himself for a little while.  He's okay now!  Phew!  I'm exhausted and have to get up early, so that's enough for now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: Paige by Annette Lyon

From the back cover:
After a bitter divorce from her unfaithful husband, Paige moves from Utah to California with her two little boys and vows to make a fresh start. She finds a job at a dental practice that helps her get back on her feet, but it's the friends she makes at her new book club who help her realize how strong she is and who give her support to carry on as she faces the challenges of being a single mom. She also meets Derryl, a wonderful, kind, attentive man who treats her right, something her ex never did. Yet Paige struggles to figure out who she is as a woman rather than a wife, how to help her boys adjust to a broken home, and whether she can ever trust a man or love again. As Paige leans on the book club ladies and Derryl's ever-present care, one thing becomes clear: healing from the past requires more than a change of address.

Paige (The Newport Ladies Book Club #3)
I have read all three of the Newport Ladies Book Club books and loved every one of them!  This one was easier for me to connect to, being a Mormon mom!  Luckily, I have not been in her situation, but I sure had enough information to understand better how she felt!  I read tons of books, so I have no problem diving into a book that is just seen from another person's perspective, because I don't have the other two books memorized!  I understand why others might not enjoy them due to that, but I really like seeing things from everyone's perspective, so I can see why they did what they did!  I cried with Paige when she had to leave her kids behind.  Well, I sobbed!  I had just had my baby, so I blame my crazy hormones for that.  I can't imagine having to leave my children for that long!  It's hard enough going to school everyday!  I'm glad that it ended the way it did, because I worried about her in a relationship so soon!  Sometimes it can be great, but this one ended well!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fun times!

So, I was contacted this week by an author to review their book.  I jumped all over it, because if you read this blog, you know I love to read!  And a free book, yes, please!  Because I have been super busy, due to six children, student teaching, homework, Emma's birthday and etc.  I didn't get a chance to read it until today!  But, I loved it!  This is one that I will read to my girls and let Ben read all on his own.  It has a tin of great messages in it and I think my family would do well to think about them now.  It's super important to help your children to hold tight to their dreams, and that is what this book is all about!  If you want to read more about it, you can here.  Here's my review:  This was a great read for me! I'm sure my son will love to read it too! I though there were a lot of life lessons to be learned through these elf children's adventures! Twice I even stopped and read them to my husband, because I was in complete agreement! Especially the one where he says: "Are the youth so poor that they can't afford to pay respect for their elders?" Awesome! I liked the relationships between the elves, all friends and like family, even though they were completely different! I also really liked how the worst they could do was be sarcastic and how much it hurts them! I think that would be fantastic for kids to know, so they don't think it's okay when they get older. I kept thinking, "Why?" They kept making goofy mistakes, but it was understandable, considering they were children. I would have liked knowing a comparison between elf years and human years though! I'm looking forward to the next book in the series! I wonder what will happen next? A LOT happened in this one! But I want to hear about what Boomer and Devlari were doing when they disappeared!
Either way, it was a very enjoyable read and I was sad to be finished with it!
As for the rest of this week:  I was able to spend time with Mandy for her pretend birthday (we celebrated it a day late), and we girls went to Texas Roadhouse!  It was lots of fun and totally worth having to stay up until 3 in the morning to get my homework done!  I was able to give my very first spelling test!  I also got my first drawn picture!  I was pretty excited!  I did lots more, but those were some of the big ones!  Scott and I went on our date and got some clothes for almost free from Children's Orchard (including a monkey costume for Josh, so cute!), and something Scott wanted.  Then poor Scott and Josh had to come along with me to the Authorpalooza!  I got to meet some of my favorite authors!  Plus I won a $5 B&N giftcard!  
 The awesome sunset picture that I took as I was driving!
 One of my very favorite authors signing six of my books!
 She wanted a picture with me, because I had so many books!  And my cute baby (and husband)!
 I'm guessing Lynn ducked behind the flowers as I was clicking the picture!
 This set of authors

And the last set!  So fun!

I stayed up late on Friday making Emma a fun birthday outfit, to make up for the fact that I spent hardly anything on her (Did I mention why I didn't buy her big present?).  Tada!  I thought it turned out pretty well!  Too bad she got it wet before the party, so she's wearing something different at Chuck E Cheese's!  She was super excited about her party!  She was convinced that Aunt Sam was going to come back (from Idaho) for her party!  I told her otherwise, so she wasn't expecting her there!  Phew!  She came with me to get pizza and the lady gave her free cookies there and then we picked up her friend Anna!  She did almost everything with Anna, and they had a great time!  I had played games online at and won free tickets, so each kid (plus 2 random strangers) got at least 20 free tickets!  That worked out really well to get most of them to 100 tickets to pick out something cooler than a laffy taffy or something!    Danyelle borrowed my camera for the conference, so I borrowed my mom's for the party!  No problem!

  I love weekends!  Lots of time with my kiddos and trying to get a lot done (which never works)!  I felt bad, because my house was still a mess and my sister and brother in law stopped by this morning with a ton of clothes!  There was stuff for Leah, Emma, Kira and Josh!  Emma got a whole new summer wardrobe!  Wow!  It was super nice of them to give it to us!  I'm looking forward to another busy week!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


This week was pretty fantastic!  We had Monday off, so I was able to get more done and be able to feed my baby more!  Then Tuesday was only a half day for me, so I was able to get rent paid and everything!  Scott's birthday was on Thursday (as was the kids first time riding the bus this school year), so I had to skip RS while he slept.  It's what he wanted!  Then on Friday, Kim and Mandy each took half of our kids and Scott and I got to go on a date!  Woohoo!  We ate at a chinese place, then brought house keys over for Scott's mom.  After that we went to the hardware store to get new house keys made and then to the Party store to get stuff for Emma's birthday and Scott's classroom.  Scott loves me so much he let me go into Michael's too!  I got some acrylic paint (they were half off), so I can do the letters for the Chick a Boom Boom tree on the wall at my mom's house!  I'm excited to paint there!  Either way, we had fun!  And we only used birthday money!
Saturday we went to the Old Settler's Day Parade.  It was so long that Josh got a little red on his face.  Poor baby!  I thought I had him shaded in my sling!  The kids got lots of candy and loved dancing to the marching bands!  Leah was marching like the people in the band!  I was impressed!  We had lunch at Scott's mom's place with her and Scott's sister and kids.  Very cool!  Then we went up to the "fair."  We walked around and the kids got more free candy, balloons, and bags.  Josh was upset by then, so we hightailed it home.  I cleaned a little and fed Josh.  Then my brother and his family came for pictures!  That was fun!  I spent most of the rest of the day doing laundry and editing pictures.  So no homework done, but an enjoyable day!

 I made Lexi's bows and Tony's shirt

 I made this hat

 And this bowtie
And these kiddo shirts!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

We made it to September!

Hurray!  The first month down!  This month is going to be awesome, I just know it!  We've got a ton of birthdays!  Scott, my niece Zoe, my sister Mandy, Emma, and my niece Lexi.  I hadn't realized that my only nieces on my side were both born in September!  Fun!  I should probably get to work on their presents!
Emma is turning five, so she's super excited!  Leah is getting pre-screened for preschool.  Ben and Kira are going to start riding the bus to and from school.  Josh is growing big time!  He's in size 2 diapers now and is almost too big for his 0-3 month clothes!  He is so cute!  I love watching him, hearing the sweet coos/sighs.  Oh, it's a favorite!  As is Cecilia running up and giving me big hugs and sweet little kisses on my cheek!  She just called me:  "Momma?"  She was trying to find me!  She did.  To open a game.
Speaking of Mamaws, mine just turned 81!  I love, love, love her!  She is so incredibly awesome!  She gave me a ton of fabric and patterns when she came up a few weeks ago!  I can't wait to start making things after I get my house in order!
We were very enthusiastic about getting a new couch!  We now have a beige leather couch in our Living Room that matches our rug (which needs a deep clean)!  I took the desk out and moved things around, so my Living room flows much better (well it will when I'm finished)!  We now have more seating that isn't all crowded on the wall!  I even printed out new pictures to go on the wall, since they were from a year ago!  Maybe longer.
We also got a new printer and lots of other stuff for free, thanks to a laptop protection plan that expired and we got $100 back at Staples!  That was exciting!  Next week I'm going to have fun shopping for free with $50 at Old Navy and $30 at Children's Orchard.  Happy Birthday to those with September birthdays!
On Tuesday I get to start teaching reading strategies to first graders, every school day for the rest of the semester!  So exciting!  I love teaching!  I also get to do more every week in "my" third grade classroom!  My mentor is awesome, so I'm learning a lot!  Plus I've found some awesome websites and pinned them here.  So many great classroom ideas!  I would love to do the cool magnetic Chicka Chicka Boom tree in my girls' room, although it's more suited to a toy/learning room.  I wonder if my friends that have daycare would want one...  I always make things fantastic by the third one.
I'm excited to spend time with the Westhoff/Laudie crew tonight and tomorrow!  Fun!  I'll be posting pictures!