Summer Vacation

I’ve been blogging so haphazardly and one of my challenges is what to write about again. Well, we recently spent a week in Bethany Beach, DE on vacation and I’m seeing the blog posts from my husband’s cousin, documenting their activities each day of vacation. What a smart idea! (Thanks Vicky!)

Pre-dinner photo

A week at the beach is always fun for the kids. Connor is much more willing to test the waters (literally) than Joshua, who is content to build sandcastles and dig holes in the sand. They got to spend a lot of time with their cousins and other family members who they don’t see on a regular basis, which was great. We played mini golf several times, ate custard at night and just hung out. Naps were taken, unfortunately not by me!

Doesn't look very comfortable but that's where Connor fell asleep! Andrew and Joshua enjoying a mid-afternoon snooze.

At the end of the week we were all sad to leave the beach but happy to be home again as well. The boys definitely need structure and routine and while a week of basically no schedules was a nice break, it’s time to start getting ready for school again — which is just 4 short weeks away!

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Almost End of the School Year

How did we get to the beginning of May already? I feel like the kids just started school and here they are with 5 or so weeks to go. The school year has flown by and the boys have made many friends and learned a lot of new things. Just last night in the car on the way to the store Connor was telling me about photosynthesis. He’s 5. He said he’s learning about it at school, which is great.

The last round of conferences for the year was a few weeks ago and they were student-led. The teachers worked with the kids for the week or 2 leading up to conference night and they all had reports to show us how far they’d come this year and what they learned. Joshua showed us a movie he made on his iPad. Connor demonstrated his critical thinking. I had to laugh at a story Connor’s teacher relayed to us. She said that one of their recent assignments was to write a 4-part story and it could be on any topic the students wanted. Well, after a few minutes Connor brought his story to the teacher. Here’s what we wrote (it was also illustrated). 1. First you stop. 2. Then you drop. 3. Then you roll. The teacher pointed out his story only had 3 parts and told him to go back and add a 4th part. Just a minute later, here came Connor with his updated story. For Part 4 he wrote “The end.” The teacher said to us (laughing), “Well I guess you can’t argue with that!”

Joshua is much more confident at school this year, now that he’s in year 2. It really helps that he’s in a blended classroom with 2nd and 3rd graders as well. That seems to encourage him to keep up with the older kids.

Just a few weeks longer and they are out for summer. Joshua will be done with 1st grade and Connor will be done with K5. They could be in the same class next year as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders are combined at that school. I guess we’ll see what happens.

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Starting a New Year

Yesterday marked the end of 2013 and today we usher in 2014.  I have many things to be thankful for – a great husband, 2 great kids, a roof over my head and a job I really love. I know not everyone is as fortunate so I’m trying to be more mindful about being thankful every day.

Looking forward to this year, I am hoping we can get Connor’s health issue better under control. We have a follow-up visit with the doctor on Monday so we’ll see what happens then.  And speaking of health, my goal is to get healthier in general. Andrew took up running about a year ago and will be running a 1/2 marathon this year so, while running is not of interest to me, I am going to focus on eating better and getting more exercise.

I’m also trying to go paperless this year. I don’t use a ton of paper but I do take notes for work in a small notebook. Right before Christmas I set up an Evernote account and have started to document my notes there. It’s definitely going to take practice to turn into habit but I think it will be good.

Last but not least, Andrew and I are focusing on saving more money. We do a decent job right now and really don’t spend too much unnecessarily but there’s always room for improvement. Sticking to our established budget for more than a couple of weeks would be success.

So there you have it – things I’m going to work on in 2014. What’s on your list?

 

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Things to be Thankful For…and Rudolph

While we don’t pray before dinner every night, we do make an effort to do so on a regular basis. Connor is usually the one who reminds us to pray as he’s always eager to share what he’s thankful for. So last night Connor decided he wanted to start off by sharing what he was thankful for and, in traditional Connor style, he did not disappoint (this is the boy who, a few months ago, listed Wheat Thins and Ranch dressing as two of the things he was most thankful for).  Here’s the list (in the order he rattled off):

  • Allie (our dog who passed away 2 1/2 years ago)
  • My booty
  • My nuts (yes, his male parts)
  • My dinner
  • My water

He then closed with “Amen” while Andrew was trying to stifle his laughter and I sat with my jaw open at his list. What a character!!

In other news, I’ve been 100% successful with keeping Rudolph on the move every night (as compared to last year when I had to sneak downstairs several mornings before the boys got up as I forgot to move him the night before). So far, so good! And St. Nick delivered stockings full of goodies today, too! Let’s hope I can keep this streak going for the next 18 days. Wish me luck!

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Elf on the Shelf – So Far, So Good

We’re off to a much better start this year with Elf on the Shelf, mostly thanks to Pinterest. Last year Rudolph, our elf, forgot to move several times so I was forced to distract the kids while I moved him from one shelf to another. Or I’d turn on the TV in the bedroom to distract them for a few minutes (don’t judge) while I snuck downstairs to move Rudolph. Not this year, though! I found a plethora of ideas on Pinterest that have really inspired me.

Rudolph showed up the day after Thanksgiving with 2 boxes and a note for the boys to clean out their toys to make room for the new ones Santa will bring…..IF they’re good. So far, so good.

Day 2, we found him swinging from the ceiling on an empty toilet paper roll AND sporting a new jersey with the number 00 on the back. At first the boys thought it was a new elf so I had to convince them that wasn’t the case.

Day 3 was a HUGE hit. Santa and Rudolph delivered mini donuts made to look like snowmen. I can’t stress what a huge hit it was because tonight, when we wrote letters to Santa, both boys started off their letters thanking Santa for the donuts. :-)

Elf Donuts

Snowman donuts courtesy of Rudolph and Santa

Day 4 (today) was somewhat of a letdown. No donuts so that’s one strike against him. Instead we found Rudolph hanging upside down from the chain on the ceiling fan in the dinette. The boys were like “whatever.” So now I feel pressure to ramp up my elf game tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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A Good, Kind Heart

ConnorMy son Connor is a very funny kid. His teacher told me the other day how much he cracks her up. Not surprising. He’s always saying funny things or making funny noises or doing funny things at home. But he’s also a good kid, a kind kid. He worries about others, especially his mom.

At church a couple of Sundays ago, I was on tap to give a reading about the stewardship campaign that’s underway. I had a script that the pastor gave me and then I also had to ad-lib a bit about why we chose to join that church. As I do public speaking on a regular basis, this was no problem for me at all. In the eyes of my 5-year-old, however, this was a big deal.

Connor decided that to make me feel less nervous, he would go up front with me when it was my time to speak. Sure enough, as I stood up to go up front, Connor got up as well and, clutching his favorite blue blanket, accompanied me up front and stood perfectly still next to me at the lecturn as I spoke for about 5 minutes. When I was done, he grabbed my hand and we walked back to our pew. What a sweet little guy!

After the church service, many members came up to me and commented on how cute it was that Connor stood up there with me. When I explained why he did it, several commented on how sweet that was. He truly does have a good, kind heart.

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Falling in Love According to 5-Year-Old

I was sitting in a chair yesterday when my 5-year-old climbed on my lap, put his hands on my face and leaned in to kiss me on the lips, his head turning from side to side. I pulled back, laughed, and said “What are you doing?” His response: “Trying to make you fall in love with me.” Awww…….

I said, “Is that what you do to make someone fall in love with you?” He said, “Yes, but there’s more” Continue reading

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Soccer Saturdays

Krier boys soccer

Connor and Joshua in their 2013 soccer uniforms.

Both boys are playing soccer this year which means we have 2 nights of practice each week and 2 games every Saturday. Connor is on a co-ed team coached by Andrew, and soccer really seems to be his sport. He apparently doesn’t listen to Coach Daddy very well during practice but he really is focused during the games! He is not afraid to get in the mix and doesn’t care how many times he falls down during the game (which is many!). He’s scored a few goals this season (including 2 for the opposing team a couple of weeks ago) and really seems to enjoy soccer which is great. He’s not as into sports as Joshua is, so it’s nice to see him excited about soccer. Continue reading

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Conversations with Connor

Having a chat with Connor, who is 5, is always interesting. He is wise beyond his years and often uses words that surprise me. The other day he said, “Mom, I’m very frustrated right now.” LOL!

Anyway, we were going through his bedtime routine the other night and he was in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet. He said, Continue reading

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New School Year

There has the past year gone? Connor and Joshua are back at the same school again and couldn’t be happier. It’s so wonderful to see Joshua being so concerned and protective of Connor, and it’s interesting to see how different they really are. For example, Joshua has never been interested in getting hot lunch at school mostly because it requires taking a tray up to the lunch lady and getting your food before sitting down with your friends. Joshua is pretty shy so he’s totally fine with bringing his lunch from home. Same thing with the snack at the after school program. It requires going up front and he doesn’t want to do that so he skips the snack. Continue reading

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