Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mourning the loss....

Mid Oct 2008 - Nov 16, 2008
It is with a deep sigh that I post that Caty the Caterpillar Ciha is no longer with us. It was a sad day for all.

Cristina found Caty one afternoon while playing with a neighbor girl and Victoria. The three of them came running inside shrieking! So, I let them put Caty in our bug catcher. I didn't think we'd keep her. Yet, each day we were all amused by watching her get around the leaves and sticks we had in the cage. The girls would take turns trying to find fresh grass and leaves for her to eat.

Michael and I are not real 'pet' people despite his computer ID of CihaPet on most sites. I think the main problem is that he is a cat person and I'm a dog person. Regardless, neither one of us is willing to take on the responsibility and cost of a pet.

The girls would talk to her and stare at her every day. They even put a little skateboard for her to ride in her cage. Cristina even had the opportunity to take her to school last Friday. She was part of her show & tell. I think venturing outside to the first grade class was too much for her though. After that she didn't look so good. By Sunday night we knew she was gone. Cristina seemed ok at first until we buried her outside by our tree. Then she really lost it! Poor thing. I admit I even got a bit teary eyed myself.

So, goodbye Caty! As Cristina said (a day later) "Well now she is part of the dirt. She'll have more fun in there." I'm not sure about that but at least Cristina isn't bawling anymore!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Show & Tell Success!

Cristina was the Handy Helper for the week. She was able to be the line leader every time they left the classroom. She got to help Mrs. VanOtterloo by handing out papers. Plus, at lunch she got to sit with anyone in the classroom. She chose her friend Cayley Annis. The two of them together is funny to watch. They giggle like crazy!

Victoria was the Handy Helper last week but due to a 1/2 day on Friday she never got to sit with a special friend. She chose to sit with me! I was so honored and very surprised. When I asked her why she chose me she said "Mom, I love you!" Ok I could've cried right then and there but I held it together. It was the best meal I've ever had! Considering how icky the pizza was that is saying a LOT! :)

Another MAJOR highlight of Show & Tell Day was Megan Skouby, #44, UofIA Basketball player. She came to Heritage Christian School to surprise the girls. I was a wreck! It is hard to keep such a big secret. My girls had absolutely no idea! Typically, I volunteer at the school on Friday until lunch. Since Megan was coming I was there all day. Unfortunately I spent most of the day looking at my watch. Needless to say it made for a VERY long day. I think I was driving the school secretary nuts! Luckily she and I used to work together so she is used to my frantic side.

Cristina was in the midst of showing the class her stuffed cat, Tammy, when I walked in. Mrs. VanOtterloo told the class that Cristina had something else for Show & Tell that even she didn't know about. Of course all the kids were curious. So when Megan Skouby walked in Cristina and Victoria couldn't speak!! Cristina immediately started giggling quite nervously. Megan thought that was so cute. Cristina was able to sit on her lap and all she could do was giggle and giggle! I'm not sure if she breathed at all.

The class was able to ask her questions about the team, the position she plays, her eyebrow piercing (oh my!). The question that got all the "oohs and aahs" was when they found out she is 6'6" tall! They all chimed in and said "That's taller than Mrs. Van Otterloo and Miss Veenstra!" When their teacher mentioned that Megan is even taller that Mr. VanOtterloo they all shrieked! One boy, Caden, was so excited he exclaimed "I think I'm going to faint! This is the best Friday ever!!" Oh it was so adorable. They each got to give her High 5's when it was over. They loved jumping up to reach her hand.

Megan was so gracious and professional. Our time with her went by too quickly. I know I could have sat and listened to the kids silly questions for a while longer. Megan gave them each an autographed poster, a refrigerator magnet and a trading card with their basketball schedule. I was so impressed! I truly can't wait to go to another game! I think I'm more excited than my girls. If anyone ever wants to join us please let me know! We always have a blast. GO HAWKS!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

WHERE was the video camera???

UGH! I'm never prepared when my daughters do funny things. This morning we had a few minutes before we had to leave for school. They were playing in the living room while I finished getting ready for work. I could hear them pretending to play basketball. In January, Victoria will be taking classes through the North Liberty Rec. Center for a few weeks. She is very excited about it! Anyway, I hear Cristina yell in an announcer type of voice "Here is your own Iowa player, at 10 feet tall, #44, Megan Skouuuuubbbbbyyy" So Victoria runs onto the court dribbling her imaginary basketball and shooting a few baskets. As I peek around the corner I see them switch places. Victoria becomes the announcer and says "Ok here is Iowa player at only 7 feet tall, #11, Kristi Smiiiiiiith" Cristina comes out doing fancy dribbling tricks and of course shoots a few.

I was laughing so hard! I tried not to ruin the show but we had to get to school. Oh I wish I could have recorded it or gotten some pictures. You'll just have to trust me it was VERY cute! I think I have created some basketball fans!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mourning the loss......of FIVE fingernails!

UGH!!! Last week I broke 3 fingernails at the same time. I broke another one while shopping. Now I just broke another one. UGH! That makes FIVE!!! Now, in my normal, everyday, typical life this is hardly anything to blog about. My nails usually aren't long enough to break (much to my mother's dismay). For the past two or three months I have had very long and beautifully manicured nails. They were so long I stopped wearing my contact lenses. I had a hard time getting my lenses out. I received a LOT of compliments on my nails. Now they are breaking off one by one. (Or three, one and one) Is this a lesson in pride? In looking at outer beauty instead of the heart? Is this some cosmic punishment for thriving on many comments and compliments?

Can you tell nothing too exciting happened today?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Great Nani

People often ask me what I do. I work at Lemstone, I volunteer at Heritage Christian School, I am involved in MOPS. Yet, one of my primary jobs is to take care of Michael's grandmother (Great Nani). We go to K-mart, Wal-Mart, Target and Hy-Vee quite a bit. She is always quite generous and will take us out to eat in return. However, it began as a duty and something I felt I had to do because nobody else was available. When I first met her I doubt she liked me very much. The comments she made were not very flattering. It was difficult for me to be around her. Yet God is amazing because he has turned this into such a blessing for me and the girls. Not many children have a relationship with their great grandmother!

This is the girls at her house dressed up as Princesses for Halloween.

Obviously at times it is a bit exhausting yet the rewards are amazing. She has incredible stories to share of how things used to be in the good ole days. It makes me laugh whenever I ask her about when she dated. Sometimes she'll even blush as she recalls community dances and events. She gets a somewhat dreamy look in her eyes as if she can almost see the people she is describing. I think she enjoys telling me the same story over and over again. I don't mind because I love hearing about Michael's family.

This was taken at the Naibi Zoo in Moline, IL this past summer.

I wanted to post these pictures so that I can remember why I do what I do. It isn't always easy or convenient but it is always worth it! As a matter of fact, today I took her to McDonald's for breakfast. Since it was POURING rain she didn't want to get out of the car. Instead of getting frustrated we ate in the car. I wish I had a picture of that too! It was rather comical. I am glad we were able to finish my errands without getting soaked.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm NEVER washing my hand again!

This was the giggly shriek of my girls after the UofIA Women's Basketball game. The highlights, the score, the MVP...well none of that mattered. Even the ice cream we ate didn't seem to matter anymore. After the game, Michael, took them by the hall where all the players pass by on their way to the locker room. So they were able to give some gals a High 5. Their dream came true when they got to touch Megan Skouby's hand. I wish I had a picture of their faces because it was too cute! "Wow! I'm NEVER washing this hand again. Ever!!"

As if that wasn't enough to make their day the girls actually got to meet their idol Megan Skouby! It was actually quite by accident that we got to meet her. We were waiting for the elevator after the game. The line was huge so we decided to wait. After a bit, Megan came back out to the floor. My girls were speechless! They wanted to run up to her but they were both paralyzed. She was there to meet some other young gals. I finally coaxed me girls to go up to her. All they could do was smile. Even when asked if they enjoyed the game all they could do was giggle like crazy! Megan thought the girls were adorable. That made me giggle like crazy! If she only knew them like I do....and yes I'm kidding!

She and I will continue to chat on Facebook. She is a very sweet gal! Although I do feel bad for her team mates. If she isn't on the court my girls stop watching the game. Plus if she even looks hurt my girls become very upset. I know they are going to be upset when she graduates. For me it doesn't matter because I'm quickly becoming addicted to women's basketball. Megan will always be our personal MVP but we will probably always enjoy the game. If anyone ever wants to go to a game with us let me know. We have a blast!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sweet Tunes

My daughter, Victoria, wasn't feeling too well in the car today. She asked me to sing to her but unfortunately my voice is really scratchy. I felt bad but just couldn't do it. So Cristina came to the rescue which actually shocked me! Unfortunately, Cristina is not typically the one filled with compassion. Yet she sang so sweetly tonight I wish I had the ability to record it. She sang songs she has learned at church and at chapel at school. Plus she sang some made up songs that I usually sing to them when they are sick. It was truly beautiful! By the time we got home both Victoria and I felt better!

Of course now I'm in bed completely exhausted. Yet as I think of that sweet music I can't help but smile again. It is no surprise that God loves it when we sing praises to Him. Music really has a way of bringing joy to the heart and health to our souls. I know He was smiling tonight too!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

UofIA Women's Basketball

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to go to the UofIA Women's Basketball games. The girls really enjoy the food and some of the game. It isn't too crowded so it is a safe environment for them. On a whim I looked up some of the players, on Facebook, and found Megan Skouby. She and I chatted for a bit. Cristina thinks that is SO COOL MOM! Yay, I'm a cool mom. I wonder how long that will last. Hopefully we will get pictures of the game tomorrow to post.