Things I learned in November 2014:

Since these are whole month updates, I am just going to hit the highlights.  Here goes:

1. I got the pleasure of attending Concord Community Church‘s Operation Christmas Child Packing Party for the first time.  This is an annual event organized by my very dedicated Mom (with a lot of help from my Dad).  If you are unfamiliar with Operation Christmas Child (OCC), it is an organization that packs Christmas shoe boxes for children in poverty throughout the world.  The boxes contain hygiene items, school supplies, small toys, and candy.  My family has been packing boxes since I was a little kid.  My folks are now year-round volunteers with OCC and have taken their packing to a whole new level.  At the Packing Party, nearly 600 boxes were packed for boys and girls in the 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14 range.  The whole church participated in packing the boxes- young, old, and in-between.  It was really awesome to see!

Packing Party!

Packing Party!

Packing boxes

Packing boxes

My cute Mom :)

My cute Mom 🙂

2. We had our Annual Thanksgiving Program at Mother’s Day Out.  This year was special because it was the first time Sammy was old enough to participate.  He did a great job!  He walked in with his class, sat on the stage steps, and clapped his little hands to the song.  Most of the other toddlers had meltdowns.

Sammy chillin' on stage

Sammy chillin’ on stage

3. One of the kids in the three-year-old class spent the program running around the stage, sticking his butt in the air, and generally behaving terribly.  If it was my kid, I would have yanked him off the stage and headed to the car for some punishment.  His mom just sat in the audience and laughed, which probably lets you know why he is the worst-behaved kid in the whole school.

4. We journeyed to Indianapolis to spend Thanksgiving with Mike’s family.  Sammy got to show off his mad walking skills, and we got to see Kristen’s cute preggo belly.  There was delicious food and even some snow!

5. While in Indianapolis, I met up with Miriam and Stuart for a fantabulous lunch at Tom + Chee.  (Tomato soup + grilled cheese)  I had never heard of this restaurant, but it was actually part of an investment deal on “Shark Tank.”  Miriam and I both tried the BLT + Chee, which was uh-mazing.  We were very dubious about their famous Donut Grilled Cheese, but decided to try out the S’more Donut.  Super rich but so good!!

Mmmmmm.......

Mmmmmm…….

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Things I learned in the last week or so- 10/20-10/30/13

1. Jennifer Garner is officially my new favorite celebrity based on this quote while accepting an award at the Elle’s Women in Hollywood Celebration, “Can we just stop pretending that skinny jeans are a good look on anyone?  Can we just band together and go for a nice boot cut, please?  Ladies?  And crop tops while we’re at it.”

2. Yelling “Smile!” at kids when they aren’t smiling for their school pictures is not an effective way to get them to smile.  I may not be a fancy “photographer,” but I’m smart enough to figure that out.  Also, it really shouldn’t take over an hour to take pictures of nine 4-year-olds.

3. My Titans lost again on Sunday to Houston and are now 2-6.  Awesome.  They started rookie Zach Mettenberger, who was lookin’ super groovy at his press interviews.  Too bad it didn’t help us win…

That's our quarterback on the left.  You might recognize the other guy from such movies as "Zoolander" and "Dodgeball."

That’s our quarterback on the left. You might recognize the other guy from such movies as “Zoolander” and “Dodgeball.”

4. My fantasy team dominated (Sorry, Angela!), and I came in first place this week in the Pick ‘Em League.  I am still in sixth place overall, but I moved up from seventh place!

5. We took a great field trip to the Walden Farms Pumpkin Patch on Monday.  I did not drive, as I didn’t want to end up in a ditch again.  My kiddos had a good time picking pumpkins, climbing a hay tower, petting animals, and going on a hay ride.  I had a fun time too, but I was pooped by the end of the day!

6. When I picked up Sammy from my Mom’s house after tutoring on Tuesday, he felt really warm.  Little guy had a temperature of 102.3.  He has still been happy and playing like his normal self, but he had to miss his Halloween party. 😦

7. My kids looked so cute for the Halloween Party on Wednesday!  We had a pirate princess, Daisy Duck, General Grievous from Star Wars, Batman, Robin, a ladybug, a dead pirate, an astronaut, and Anna from “Frozen.”  They had fun trick-or-treating, playing a variety of Halloween games, and decorating cookies.

These are just random kids in Halloween costumes.  I would get in trouble for posting pictures of my actual kids.

These are just random kids in Halloween costumes. I would get in trouble for posting pictures of my actual kids.

8. Doorjambs are the devil!  In this post, I told about one of my girls busting her lip and nose on one.  Well, on Wednesday one of my boys tripped and busted his head open on the doorjamb.  It was truly horrific.  The cut was so deep, you could see the bone.  Both of his parents were in Dallas, so his Grandma had to rush over to get him and take him to the ER.  We got the bleeding stopped and tried to keep him calm and awake until she got there.  I was still shaking an hour after it happened.  In good news, the CT scan did not show any damage, and he was stitched up and sent home.  In bad news, I am still pretty traumatized.

Update: I talked to his Mom this evening and he ended up getting 20 stitches!  Yeesh.

9. We are a whole family of sickies.  Mike stayed home yesterday and today, and I woke up not feeling so good this morning.  We have used this free time to watch a lot of “Sons of Anarchy” season six. (Only while Sammy is sleeping, of course!)

soasix

Things I learned in the last week or so- 8/15-8/25/14

1. I saw two movies last weekend I hadn’t seen before.  My friend Amanda came over Friday night for pizza and Divergent.  As someone who has read the series, I thought they did a good job of staying true to the book.  I don’t think I was as emotionally invested in the movie as I was in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but I still think it was a good movie.  Mike and I watched Man of Steel on Sunday night.  I thought it was a little confusing, but I did enjoy Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane.  Henry Cavill looks exactly how I think Superman should look- HOT! 🙂

Helloooo, Superman!

Helloooo, Superman!

2. I only had six kids in my class at Mother’s Day Out both days last week.  It was actually kind of boring…

3. There is yellow watermelon!  One of my kids brought it for lunch last week, and we argued about whether it was watermelon or cantaloupe.  Turns out, he was right.  Who knew?

4. Sammy’s Indianapolis Grandma came to visit on Tuesday and we had Christmas in August!  She brought two garbage bags full of clothes, a bag of shoes, and about a billion toys.  My favorite of Sammy’s new toys is his “Let’s Rock Singin’ Cookie Monster.”  After first, he was frightened whenever Cookie Monster began singing, but now he’s obsessed with it.

Hello Everybody!  Let's get ready to rock!

Hello Everybody! Let’s get ready to rock!

5. I taught my class how to play Duck Duck Goose on Wednesday.  Honestly, I had no idea there were so many ways to mess up Duck Duck Goose.  My assistant Ryan and I spent most of the game laughing hysterically.

6. Sammy took four steps during Physical Therapy on Friday.  He is officially a walker!  Doggies beware!

7. It’s Fall Sermon Series time at WOC!  Last weekend, Julia’s Bakery truck was in the courtyard with some delicious cupcakes.  This weekend, we got to check out a baby camel, kangaroo, and a wallaby!  There has been special music both weekends and awesome sermons by Pastor Allen Jackson.  If you live near Murfreesboro, TN, come check us out!

Sammy LOVES these balloons in the lobby.  He points to them and says, "ball! ball! ball!"

Sammy LOVES these balloons in the lobby. He points to them and says, “ball! ball! ball!”

8. Sammy was invited to our neighbors for a sprinkler play date yesterday.  It turns out that both Sammy and our neighbor’s 3-year-old daughter are TERRIFIED of sprinklers.  You would think the sprinkler was shooting out lava instead of water.  We ended up letting them play in the baby pool instead.  #sprinklerfail

Things I learned in the last two weeks or so- 7/31-8/14/14

1. Sammy is doing so many new things, I am going to have to use bullet points to tell about all of them.  🙂  Here goes:

  • He has begun trying to do forward rolls.  Most of the time he just falls over, but he has accomplished a couple of almost somersaults.
  • He has learned more new words- eye, nose, juice, bus, mess, Melmo (Elmo), and please. (He rubs both of his hands on his belly while he says please, which is close to the sign language for please, but much cuter.)  His current favorite word is eye, which he says while poking you in the eye.
  • He has started calling my Dad “Bubba,” instead of Papa.  This cracks all of us up, as my Dad is about as far from a Bubba as you can get.
  • He can climb onto the couch and his little rocking chair by himself.
  • In Physical Therapy on Friday, he stood on his own for 9 seconds and took 1 step by himself.  Yay Sammy!!!!

2. Mike had to work traffic for last week’s Miley Cyrus concert and was appalled by the stupidity of the concertgoers’ parents.  He put one driver in a time-out.  “You just sit there for a while and think about what you did.”  He wrote another driver a ticket for chirping their tires and honking at a pedestrian.  The driver complained, “They were walking too slow.”  Mike replied, “He can lay in the middle of the road and make road angels, and you still have to wait for him!”  I can’t say I am surprised that those attending or allowing their children to attend a Miley Cyrus concert are not so bright.

3. Sammy and I met my friend Angela and her two kiddos at the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro last Thursday.  At first, Sammy was very overwhelmed and I wasn’t sure he was ever going to get out of his stroller.  However, he found a train to scoot around the floor with, and then became fascinated by a mysterious floating ball.  He loved the climbing room in Tot Town- I think he could have stayed in there all day!  We will definitely be back.

That floating ball is so cool...

That floating ball is so cool…

I love climbing and sliding!

I love climbing and sliding!

4. When making Greek Salad Skewers, be aware that the feta cheese cubes will crumble into tiny pieces as soon as you try to push them onto the skewer.  This will lead to stress and panic, causing you to yell, “The feta cheese keeps crumbling!”  Your husband will answer, “Isn’t that what feta cheese is supposed to do?”

5. I attended an awesome baby shower at our neighbor’s house Saturday night.  There was yummy food, cocktails, and lots of laughter.  I did not have to try any baby food or sniff candy bars melted into diapers.  Best. Baby Shower. Ever.

6. I have switched to volunteering for Little Kids’ Choir on Sunday nights, and this Sunday was our first week.  I thought it went really well!  We had 14 funny little first graders in our room, and they were mostly well-behaved.

7. I have gotten two new little girls in my room this week.  One of them is sweet, well-behaved, and loves coloring.  The other one does not want to do anything that I tell her, hates coloring, and is probably going to drive me crazy.

8. So, my eyebrow lady dyed my eyebrows when I went to get them waxed on Tuesday.  I think they are a little dark.  Every time I look in the mirror, I am reminded of that time I dressed as Viola Swamp for Storybook Character Day at school.

Pippi Longstocking and Viola Swamp

Pippi Longstocking and Viola Swamp

Things I learned lately-7/25-7/30/14

1. Sammy’s physical therapist was really excited about all the progress he has made!  He walked almost the whole way from the dining room to the living room behind his push toy for her on Friday.  He’s such a show-off. 🙂

2. Mike and I got to spend some much-needed time together at the wedding of our good friends’ son, Josh, on Saturday.  The wedding was an hour and a half away in BFE, Tennessee.  (Also known as McMinnville)  The wedding was lovely, the cake was delicious, and it was fun hanging out with our small group friends.  The bride actually rode up to the outdoor ceremony on her horse.  I have to give her some major props for bravery and uniqueness.  I have definitely never seen that before at a wedding!

The happy couple

The happy couple

3. McMinnville, TN is the self-declared “Nursery Capital of the World.”  Apparently, there are over 300 nurseries in McMinnville and the surrounding area.  I am not sure how they know this is the most in the world, but I guess I will believe them.

4. When I was driving on Sunday, a chicken ran across the road in front of my car.  I thought to myself, “I wonder why that chicken crossed the road?”  Then I laughed.  Hee…

leavethechickenalone

5. Ding dong, the mouse is dead!  Ding dong, the smarty mouse is dead!  He was found by my assistant Ryan on the sticky trap, not moving.  He will not be missed.

6. When opossums play dead, it is actually an involuntary response to being threatened, like fainting.  I learned this fun animal fact from the PBS show, “Wild Kratts.”  Sammy is a fan, and it is actually a pretty entertaining show.

7. Sammy has learned some more new words.  Sadly, one of them is no.  He is very good at shaking his head no, but that is way cuter than hearing the word.  He is also saying bobos (bubbles) and oy.  I’m not really sure where he picked up “oy” from…

8. Today was Water Day at Mother’s Day Out. (Not Fun!)  It was also the last day for most of my kiddos starting Kindergarten.  I actually got kind of sad saying goodbye to the kids and the moms.  They are really a sweet group of kids and I will miss them! 😦

Things I learned lately- 5/30-6/4/14

1. Mom and I did some marathon shopping Saturday morning, and we now have dresses for our respective weddings this weekend.  Shopping was a little depressing, as I am not anywhere near the size I would like to be.  I honestly thought I wasn’t going to find anything, but I stumbled upon a really cute dress at Sears, of all places.

2. Sammy’s new convertible car seat arrived this weekend.  He is still a little unsure about the actual car seat, but he loves playing with the box it came in!  He scoots in there and takes blankie, his toys, and his sippy cup.  It’s like his own personal playhouse. 🙂

This box is awesome!

This box is awesome!

3. Mike and I watched “Olympus Has Fallen” on Netflix on Saturday night.  It was pretty good, but definitely one to watch after the kids are in bed- lots of language!

4. Four new kids started in my class on Monday.  It was a bit of an adjustment, but I thought it went really well.  They all seem like sweet kiddos.

5. Sammy has a new favorite word- “Uh-oh!”  He actually uses it at appropriate times, such as when someone drops something.  Of course, he also says it for no reason and then laughs hysterically.

6. I finally watched the finale of “Survivor.”  Stupid Tony won- ugh!  Spencer made a big speech about how hard Tony played the game and how everyone should vote for him over Woo.  Woo was just way more likeable, which is more important to me.  The next season is going to be another Blood vs. Water- drama!

7. We made our own popsicles at Mother’s Day Out today.  It turns out, you are supposed to run the popsicle molds under warm water before trying to pull out the stick thingie.  I didn’t do this for the first four, so those kids had to eat their popsicles in a bowl with a spoon.  Woops!

8. “Last Comic Standing” is back!  I love that show!  Also, all my shows have ended so I need something to watch.

This was one of my favorite jokes from last week's episode.

Hee.

Things I learned lately- 2/18-2/20/14

1. How to conduct in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time.  I learned this at Sammy’s Mommy and Me Music class.  This was our third class, and Sammy has now branched out from only being willing to shake an egg to playing the tambourine.

2. I had a long meeting Tuesday with Sammy’s caseworker at TEIS.  A development specialist will be coming by once a week for an hour to work with Sammy and I and he will also be receiving physical therapy.  I am so happy he has qualified for services and will be receiving this extra help!  I am sure he will walking in no time.

3. My class was wackadoo yesterday for their Valentine’s Day party.  Four year olds + way too much sugar = Crazy sauce!  The one saving grace of the day was it was really nice out, so we could take them outside and let them run off some of their sugar energy.

4. I was watching “Boy Meets World” reruns on ABC Family today and spotted a familiar face.  Adam Scott, aka Ben Wyatt on “Parks and Recreation,” playing Griff, a super cool senior. It was kind of hilarious seeing Ben Wyatt playing the cool kid.

"Griff" macking on Baywatch's Yasmine Bleeth

“Griff” macking on Baywatch’s Yasmine Bleeth

5. We had some scary weather tonight in Tennessee.  Mom, Heidi, Sammy, and I spent some quality time together in the bathroom under the stairs at my folks’ house.  (That is their safe place.)  In good news, no injuries have been reported and damages were minor from the powerful wind and storms.

6. Sammy has learned another new word!  He said ball about 20 times tonight while playing ball with my Dad.  He doesn’t always add the “l” sound to the end, so it sounds more like “bah,” but we all knew what he was getting at!

7. Here are some more things I’ve learned from the Sochi Winter Olympics:

  • David Wise won the first gold ever in men’s ski halfpipe.  I love that he is the complete opposite of the X-games athlete stereotype.  He is married, has an adorable two-year-old daughter, and wants to be a pastor someday.  Check out this Visa commercial for some cute pictures of him and his kiddo:

  • Ted Ligety won gold in giant slalom, making him the only U.S. male to ever win gold in that race, and the only U.S. male to win two gold medals in Alpine skiing.  Way to go, Ted!
  • Winning a silver in bobsled, Lauryn Williams has now medaled in both the Summer and Winter Olympic games.  She is the fifth U.S. athlete to do this.  She and her teammate Elana Meyers came within .10 of a second of winning the gold.  If they had, Lauryn Williams would have become the second U.S. athlete to win gold in both the Summer and Winter Olympics, and the only woman.
Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams

Elana Meyers and Lauryn Williams

  • I turned on the Canada vs. USA women’s hockey game today when it was tied 2-2 in overtime.  I literally watched it for one minute before Canada scored a goal and won the game.  I have never seen a sadder bunch of women receive a silver medal.
A truly heartbreaking loss for Team USA

A truly heartbreaking loss for Team USA

  • Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova won the gold medal in women’s figure skating, becoming the first Russian woman to do so.  She dethroned “Queen Yuna,” a nickname given to South Korea’s Yuna Kim.  Many are questioning the scoring and validity of Adelina’s win.  In my opinion, it is another case of Adelina’s strong technical marks beating out Yuna Kim’s beautiful artistry and performance quality.