Week in the Life 2015 | Sunday Photos and Words

One week of my life in 1,600+ photos and a whole lot of words. I know, it’s a ridiculous amount of photos. Part of it is the remote — it makes taking self-timer-photos so dang easy that I sometimes over click. But man, I love this project and am so proud of myself for staying caught up.

There’s a part of me that is glad Week in the Life is coming to an end.  But there’s a part of me that got into rhythm of hyper-documenting our comings and goings and all the moments in between that makes me kinda sad it is coming to an end. What am I going to do in the morning without my big camera staring at me right in the face?

2015-08-23-12.09.59-1My boys have been good sports this week. Samuel asked to use my camera several times to capture images of me – which I find absolutely endearing. I told him that the project is coming to an end and he asked, “When are you going to do Week in the Life again, mom?” He’s been enjoying my blog posts and loves hearing about the details of our/his life. Although my boys haven’t said anything all week about my self-timer beeps, I’m sure they are ready for a break.

Here’s a look at our Sunday.

150823 WITLSundaySundays are for sleeping in – at least for me. Samuel came in with the Sunday paper to show me an article about horses. “Mom, wake up. You have to see this!”

150823 WITLSunday-33Sundays are laying in bed as long as possible — again, at least for me. Samuel is always the first to get up and ready to play. He does what he can to wake me up and get me out of bed. This morning, he’s jumping on the bed singing a counting song.

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Sundays are for coming up with creative ways to get me out of bed. Apparently, there is a fire in my room and he’s here to rescue me. Clever, sweet boy, but I’m not getting up. Not yet, anyway.

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That obviously didn’t work so he returned as an army man. Supposedly, I’m under attack so I need to get out of bed. I got him back pretty good. Man down and I’m staying in bed. Ha!

2015-08-23-08.57Sundays are for giving my eyes a break. I am a contacts wearer. While in bed this morning, I read an article about a man who had a bacterial infection in his eye that ultimately resulted in partial blindness in one of his eyes. I am pretty good about taking my contacts out and disinfecting them properly, but it gave me a good scare. So, I’m giving my eyes a break from wearing contacts. I think I will be doing this each Sunday.

Sundays are also for Starbucks. I’m a non-fat mocha no foam, no whip kind of girl. So don’t add foam to my drink just because you feel like it or it looks pretty or you didn’t know. Mochas aren’t supposed to have foam. Didn’t you read the manual? I know because I was a barista back in the day.

150823 WITLSunday-50Sundays are for getting fresh produce at the Farmer’s Market. I love cling peaches and he loves lemon cucumber. There are only two stands with cling peaches and I alternate each week to support both. No luck with lemon cucumbers this week.

150823 WITLSunday-48Sundays are for fresh berries.

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Sundays are for fresh jicama.

150823 WITLSunday-64Sundays are for changing the bedding and tackling laundry.

150823 WITLSunday-85 Sundays are for donuts. He usually eats glazed donuts but has recently branched out to maple bars and cake donuts with sprinkles.

150823 WITLSunday-114Sundays are for horse riding lessons. He’s been riding for almost two years and continues to love the sport. This is Kaluah, his current favorite lesson horse. About a month ago, Kaluah reared and crow hopped during a lesson. While it scared me, Samuel saw it as a test to see if he’s a true cowboy. He stayed on, felt confident about his skills as a rider, and continually asks to ride Kaluah every lesson after that. He now rides (and trots) without a lead rope. I am proud of him but what’s more important is — he’s proud of himself.

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Sundays are for hanging out with the big girls. These girls help with the riding lessons and he loves them.

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Sundays are for exploring the equestrian center and visiting with some of our favorite horses. There are two retired Budweiser Clydesdales on the property and he loves visiting them. In the Winter, the Clydesdales will pull a wagon in Santa’s Secret Adventure. We can’t wait to experience the magic this winter.

150823 WITLSunday-216Sundays are for extra snuggles.

150823 WITLSunday-220Sundays are for trying new foods.

150823 WITLSunday-243Sundays are for making messes. And hopefully, cleaning them up.

150823 WITLSunday-253Sundays are for cleaning the floors. I love that Jim helped me sweep this morning.

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Sunday is for reading the paper while trying something new. I bought the crawfishes at the Farmer’s Market for $3/lb – way cheaper than if I were to order a pound at The Boiling Crab. I boiled them for 5 minutes and had them sit in the pot for an additional 25 minutes to soak in the seasoning. They are pretty tasty.

150823 WITLSunday-266Sundays are for long naps.

150823 WITLSunday-271Sundays are for impromptu playdates.

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Sundays are for trying new treats. We went to Yogurtville after bouncing and he had frozen yogurt for the first time. He had vanilla yogurt topped with gummy bears, strawberries, and marshmallows. I think the toppings are his favorite.

150823 WITLSunday-365Sundays are for a whole lot of silliness.

150823 WITLSunday-395Sundays are for laundry. Lots of laundry.

150823 WITLSunday-436Sundays are for almond croissants from the Village Bakery. My favorite.

And that concludes a week in my life. Thank you for stopping by.

Week in the Life 2015 | Saturday Photos and Words

150822 WITLSaturday-4Saturday is for sleeping in. And for today, I slept in for an additional 45 minutes — that’s because my friends texted me at 6:45 am for a 7 am morning run. I contemplated sleeping in for another hour or get moving. I chose the latter.

2015-08-22-07.58Saturday is for morning runs with my girls. We hit the trails in our neighborhood and boy, were we glad we did. It was cool and the surroundings were amazing. I want to remember that this gem is just half a mile from my house and I need to get out here more.

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Saturday is for reading at breakfast. He just learned about the table of contents and is showing me how to use it. I play dumb a lot so he can “teach” me stuff.  This morning, we read about Arabians and Morgans. He does know way more about horses than me and happily teaches me about the different breeds.

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Saturday is for pancakes + coffee at the table. And if I’m lucky, I get to read the paper too.

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Saturday is for letting the light in. I love staying home and observing how the light changes throughout our house during the course of the day.

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Saturday is for playing. We are playing school with Playmobil people and I am having him work on writing the alphabet. We are also using the letters to practice reading. He knows all of his sounds and is working on blending letters to make words. He will be on the road to reading soon. And we can’t wait.

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Saturday is for watering the lawn. We are on a restricted watering schedule and due to the severity of the drought, there are water patrols driving around town warning and ticketing folks for water abuse.

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Saturday is for laundry and picking up around the house. He and I take turns playing and picking up. I wash the dishes, put away the laundry, and clear the kitchen counter. Obviously, I do more of the picking up than he does.

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Saturday is for dinosaur expeditions. I purchased this set on Craigslist two years ago and I finally introduced him to it today. It kept him busy all morning — which helped me get some work done around the house. Playmobil for the win.

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Saturday is for taking time to notice the small details.

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Saturday is for enjoying treats. We are big fans of gummy bears.

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Saturday is for board breaking. This was his first board breaking session.  He broke two thin boards on his second attempt. He has been working on his form so there isn’t a whole lot of power in his kicks. I love that he didn’t give up when he didn’t break them on the first try. Proud mama over here.

150822 WITLSaturday-130Saturday is for trying new shops. This bakery is in the same parking lot as the Taekwondo studio and we see it every time we drive through the parking lot. We finally gave it a go today.

150822 WITLSaturday-138 Saturday is for playing at the lunch table. He can’t get enough of this dinosaur expedition set and wants it at the table. He ate well — and finished all of his food so he could get back to the toys.

150822 WITLSaturday-154Saturday is for stories at nap time. This afternoon, we read Jan Brett’s Armadillo Rodeo and loved it. We are both saying “You are not an armadillo!” — one of his favorite lines in the book.

150822 WITLSaturday-156Saturday is for having no agenda so he can look at as many books as he’d like. This is part of his collection of horse/cowboy/knight books.

150822 WITLSaturday-169Saturday is for Costco runs. The membership is in Jim’s name so he now does most of the Costco trips by himself. Today, he picked up milk (2% for Samuel and lactose free for Jim), whipping cream, cucumbers, detergent, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and udon noodles. Jim deviated from the list and surprised Samuel with a Star Wars fleece throw. Go Jim go!

150822 WITLSaturday-173Saturday is for afternoon naps. I could use a nap today too but I packed to attend a Project Life crop with the girls.

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Saturday is for looking up and taking time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Our birch trees are looking rather sad but they are still so beautiful to me.

150822 WITLSaturday-192Saturday is for girl time.

Saturday is for watching movies. The boys watched the first Star Wars movie and somebody is obviously in love with it. This is Samuel’s first full length movie with no tears. I’m glad Jim documented this momentous occasion for me.

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Saturday is for sharing stories with dear friends over a healthy meal.

2015-08-22-22.43Saturday is for boy time. While I crop with the girls, Jim and Samuel have a daddy-son day. This usually means lots of playing (Star Wars is often involved), some horse videos, and a trip to Denny’s or Mel’s for dinner. And if Lumberjack (their favorite breakfast joint) were open, I’d find them there too.

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Saturday is for catching up on Project Life.

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Saturday is for hanging out with my homies and sharing and recording stories. We have been getting together monthly for over two years and I hope we continue it for many more.

150822 WITLSaturdayNight-2Saturday is for exploration. Allyn (left) saw the gorgeous sunset through the window when she stood up to get her supplies. We decided to go outside to snap a photo. We ran down to the paved trail and admired the sunset in its entirety. I am grateful that we did.
150822 WITLSaturdayNight-13Saturday is for late night stories and extra snuggles. Tonight, I hugged him a little tighter and snuggled a bit longer. I hope he knows how much I love him.

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Saturday is for staying up late. Samuel stayed up late tonight waiting for his new Star Wars blanket to finish drying.

Week in the Life 2015 | Friday Photos & Words

Sharing my equipment today because several people asked on Instagram.

Camera used | Canon 5D Mark III with 16-35 mm lens and Iphone 6. The majority of the images came from my big camera. I love the wide angle for capturing us inhabiting our space.

Camera Strap | Black Rapid cross body strap. I find myself carrying the camera around more.

Total number of photos today | 300 (I had no idea I snapped that many. Most of my timer shots were limited because I didn’t feel like running back and forth to activate the shutter release.)

Here’s a look at what I am grateful for this Friday | 150821 WITLFriday-6
I am grateful for this space. Earlier this summer, we added the bookshelf to store my 12×12 albums and the large frames with 12×12 photos. I love that our headboard has a space for books and that the lamp is an antique piece from Jim’s family.

150821 WITLFriday-7I am grateful to have a few minutes to check email and respond to some. I am also grateful for the encouraging comments on my blog.

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I am grateful for a quiet morning.  Jim is reading the paper in his office and Samuel is still sleeping. I am alone in the kitchen prepping lunch and breakfast. I’m slow moving but it’s all good because today is Friday.

150821 WITLFriday-9I am grateful that Jim is retired. He drops Samuel off at school, runs errands, and takes care of stuff around the house. The best thing that we did this summer was switch our Costco membership over to him. He now does the Costco run in mornings when it’s not so busy.

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I am grateful for these colleagues. Janice (next to me) is the Leadership teacher and she spends endless hours at school organizing and coordinating amazing events and opportunities for our students. She is my hero.

150821 WITLFriday-25I am grateful for Keens. They are comfy and I love how they add a splash of color to my outfit. The shirts in the box are our RICH shirts.  We are implementing a “positive discipline” plan at the middle school level and we are encouraging our students to be responsible, have integrity, be considerate, and be hardworking. I can already tell that this class is much RICHer than the class I had last year.

150821 WITLFriday-28I am grateful for Houston Kraft‘s motivating talk on kindness. I hope that my students realize the power in being kind and wish for them to spread kindness like confetti.

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I am grateful for 45-minutes of time to make contact with exhibitors for Space Day.

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I am grateful for my principal. She hired me ten years ago, picked me to be part of the NASA Explorer Schools Team, and has been one of my biggest supporters at the school. She listens to my wild ideas and supports me in making them happen. Today, I was interviewed for her documentary.  She’s retiring at the end of this academic year after serving 41 years in education.

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I am grateful for a working clock. It has not worked since January. Work orders were called in but they never got around to fixing it. Today is my lucky day.

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I am grateful that it is Friday and although this looks like a mess, I have it under control. I have very few papers to look at this weekend – which is a good thing because I’m going to see my girls tomorrow for a Project Life crop.

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I am grateful for technology.

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I am grateful for the camera remote. Jim bought one this morning at a local camera shop and dropped it off. I’m a lucky girl. I am also grateful for salami + Ritz crackers – they are my current go-to lunch items.

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I am grateful for sixth period prep on Friday. I am organizing and tidying up my space so I can come in Monday morning prepared to tackle science.

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I am grateful for date stamps. I stamp everything that I receive with the correct date so there is no question as to when things were turned in.

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I am grateful for a clean science laboratory.

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I am grateful for these warm-body counts. I am hoping that they balance classes soon and get my SDAIE science class down to a reasonable number.

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I am grateful to be able to take off a few minutes early to bypass the after-school traffic. It looks like the parents are already here staking out their spots for pick-up. I am on my way to the Tech office for a copy of Microsoft Office so I can get some school work done at home.

150821 WITLFriday-82I am grateful for alone time at the Goodwill. I like to go poke around and see what I can find. Today’s finds include a brand new limited edition tub of Lincoln Logs (which includes horses and wagons), and a few good books, including Jan Brett’s Armadillo Rodeo.

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I am grateful for an evening at home. He is too.

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I am grateful for a delivery of snail mail and the talents of Ali Edwards. My story kit is here!

150821 WITLFriday-95I am grateful for the approval of our refinance! The notary guy came by this afternoon and we signed an inch worth of papers.

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I am grateful for a wide-angle lens so I can capture him in his element. Playmobil for the win.

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I am grateful for meals at home.

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I am grateful that Samuel loves spinach.

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I am grateful for these bibliophiles. My boy has a rich collection of books because of places like Goodwill, thrift shops, and used bookstores. He is really enjoying Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett.

150821 WITLFriday-134I am grateful for healthy meals. Green rice and shrimp is one of our favorites.

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I am grateful for four-and-a-half year old entertainment. Who needs to go to a horse race when there’s one right in my living room?

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I am grateful for dinners around this table. The conversations. The stories. The jokes. The laughs. I am grateful for it all.

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I am grateful for laughter. I am glad to know that I can be entertaining too.

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I am grateful for silliness. There was a comic with a man without a shirt and Samuel thought it would be funny to be the man. So he lifted his shirt to show me his chest and I used the newspaper to block the view.  He thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

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I am grateful for good watermelon.

150821 WITLFriday-187I am grateful for a responsible boy. He sticks to routines and rules and doesn’t deviate too much from them.

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I am grateful for evening walks.

150821 WITLFriday-207I am grateful for conversations and stories and jokes and games during our evening walks. He’s into telling knock knock jokes that don’t make any sense but he thinks they are hilarious. He will tell the joke and burst into immediate laughter. We can’t help but laugh with him.

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I am grateful that he’s not shy about practicing taekwondo in public.

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I am grateful for his sense of humor and positive energy. Sometimes it can be too much, but overall I love his energy.

2015-08-21-19.49.48-1I am grateful for his careful hands while holding this heavy camera. He said, “I want to take your picture. Can I take your picture?”  A little while later, he said, “I dreamed about me taking pictures of you and daddy in my brain.” He’s also asked me multiple times when I’d give him my Canon 5D. Um, the answer is never.

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I am grateful for this shot of us. Samuel takes better photos than Jim.

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I am grateful that we have an operating dishwasher.

150821 WITLFriday-237I am grateful for progress. Samuel has been standing under the shower to wash his hair and face without crying. I couldn’t be more proud.

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I am grateful that Jim does most of the bedtime routine.

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I am grateful for friends. Text messages of encouraging words make my day. Love that they support me, love me, and put up with me and my quirks.

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I am grateful for his willingness to practice. He wants to break his boards tomorrow so before going to bed tonight, he went to his boards and exclaimed, “Boards, tomorrow I am going to break you in half.”

150821-WITLFriday-280I am grateful for long hot showers after a hard week.

Here’s to the weekend! Have fun, friends.

Week in the Life 2015 | Thursday Photos + Words

Part of my prep for this project involved thinking about how I want to handle the written portion of the project. The photography portion is easy — and I have no reservations about setting my camera up in public to capture the moment. But what really holds me back is the writing. I do not consider myself a writer so I spend too much time thinking about what I’m going to say and how I am going to say it.

The night before, I went through Ali’s Week in the Life kit and all of her story stamps for inspiration and I decided to use the prompts in the kit and stamps for the basis of my journaling. Each day this week, I used a different prompt to help me get the words down. And it has made the journaling portion of this project much easier for me. This is what I have so far …

Monday – Around here
Tuesday – The story of today
Wednesday – Right now,
Thursday – I want to remember
Friday – up for discussion but I’m thinking about “I am grateful for”
Saturday – Saturday is for
Sunday – Currently or Sunday is for
If you have prompt suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.

Here’s a look at what I want to remember about this Thursday.
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I want to remember that I am a big fan of the snooze button. Today, I’m up before the second snooze.

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I want to remember what I did to loosen the kink in my neck and shoulder. I woke up this morning with a great stretch and things are starting to feel more normal.

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I want to remember that we all struggle with weight management and remind myself to make time for exercise. I’m in this awkward phase where I’m between sizes and things just don’t fit like they used to. I struggle to find affordable clothes that fit nicely.

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I want to remember how he loves Duplos and still plays with them in the shower. I also want to remember that he leaves pieces of evidence of his existence throughout the house.

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I want to remember to buy clothes that do not require ironing. We don’t have a nice set-up for ironing clothes.

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I want to remember to be gentle when brushing. When I was little, I was given tetracycline and it badly stained my teeth. The kids at school and dentists I visited as a little girl always commented on my lack of care for my teeth and often poked fun of my non-pearly whites. But if they only knew the amount of scrubbing I did at home and the treatments I used … It wasn’t until college when a dentist told me that tetracycline was my nemesis. By then, the damage was done. These days, I have to be extra careful as my gums are slowly receding.

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I want to remember that these almond croissants from Trader Joe’s are making my day. They come frozen and you thaw them out the night before. Jim got up early and threw it in the oven for me.

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I want to remember that Samuel asked me to help him pick out his clothes this morning. This is usually a Jim and Samuel thing so I was happy to oblige. He’s laying in bed saying “yay” or “nay” to the items I’m picking out. Luckily, he’s an easy going kid so he was happy with my first picks.

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I want to remember that although he’s pretty easy going, he does have an opinion. I picked out green Keens to match the shirt and he refused. Nike shoes it is.

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I want to remember that we can both be in the kitchen together without one person getting mad at the other. He is usually short at me because I am all over the place in this little space.  What can I say? I just move fast. Ha!

150820 WITLThursday-37I want to remember that I love packing simple lunches for me.  When Jim was still working, I had to make sure that he had solid lunches — which was usually leftovers but now that he’s retired, I just take care of my own lunch. And to be quite honest, it is really nice. Today, I packed a few crackers, a few slices of salami, and some fruit (watermelon and asian pear).

150820 WITLThursday-39I want to remember that this morning was a particularly easy morning for all of us. Samuel dressed himself quickly without any reminders (he usually likes to take his time at breakfast and play before getting dressed). Jim reported that getting out of the house was quick and easy as well.

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I want to remember how happy my heart was to hear “Bye mama.  I love you!”  at the window as I made my way to the car. I also want to remember our golden lawn and the ugly evergreens around the side of our house.  One day, the ugly evergreen will be replaced with flowers like bearded iris, tulips, daffodils, gardenias, and peonies.

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I want to remember that I take a selfie in this bathroom each year I document a week in the life. It is my favorite bathroom to use even though it is a hike from my classroom. It does not require a code and I do not have to push any special buttons when I’m done to keep it unlocked for the next person. With four minute passing periods, it is crucial to find a good bathroom.

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I want to remember that I do not like having back-to-back preps and to mention it to the scheduling committee when it is time to schedule. I had sixth period prep yesterday and first period today — which means I teach six classes back-to-back over two days. No wonder I’m exhausted.

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I want to remember that the cootie catcher exercise is a good way to see how students follow oral instruction and give me an opportunity to learn a little about them.

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I want to remember that it took me a week to finish these name cards. In writing down the information given to me, I learned that my students describe themselves as smart, fun, funny, creative, inquisitive, quirky, quiet, loud, happy, bored, and tired. My students want to become engineers, doctors, lawyers, dancers, NBA and NFL players, mechanics, hair stylists, scientist (yes, only one student mentioned scientist), and “you tubers.” This is the first time I’ve seen You Tuber listed on the cards.

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I want to remember that Thursday classes are only 68 minutes and that feels good to me (and my students couldn’t agree with me more).

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I want to remember that a colleague donated this dead dragonfly to science. My students wanted to dissect the poor thing.

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I want to remember that Dan has been my teaching partner for the last five years and I’m glad that he’s still with me. He quit smoking so I like him even better now.

150820 WITLThursday-65I want to remember that my desk is looking better at lunch today than it did yesterday.

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I want to remember that I love taking photos of students at the beginning of the year to include in their time capsule.  I also measure their height on a piece of string to see how much they grow by May of the following year. Last year, one student grew 10 centimeters!

150820 WITLThursday-86I want to remember that organizing 50+ adults for a photo shoot is just as difficult as wrangling a small group of toddlers.

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I want to remember that I work with some of the best folks in the City of Elk Grove. We were presented the Gold Ribbon Award for excellence in education this afternoon.

150820 WITLThursday-109I want to remember that we are passing Samuel’s crib to a good home. This is perhaps the last of his baby items that we are giving away and it made my heart sad for a moment. My boy is growing up too fast.

150820 WITLThursday-113I want to remember that I really enjoy working with Thamesia.  She just accepted a vice principal position and will only be with us for another two weeks. Shedding some sad tears this afternoon.

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I want to remember that I periodically stop at the candy aisle to pick up a box of Hot Tamales for me and a bag of gummy bears for Samuel.  Jim is doing most of the grocery + Costco shopping these days because he is home and is sorta playing “Mr. Mom.” He goes with a list and rarely deviates from the list.  I go with a small list and always buy way more than what’s on my list, i.e. Hot Tamales.

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I want to remember that the 5:40 pm taekwondo class is hard for us in terms of meals and bedtime but we are pushing forward and doing our best to make it work. It may come to a point where one of us will have to stay home to prepare dinner while the other one goes to practice with Samuel.

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I want to remember how happy he is to be doing taekwondo. He’s even more excited today because board breaking is happening in two days.

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I want to remember to remind him that practice makes you better. All the little practice sessions at home have been paying off.

150820 WITLThursday-151I want to remember that my four-and-a-half year old is demonstrating one-step sparring to a six and seven year old who started around the same time he did. I was a proud mama today.

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I want to remember that we let him open the car door and let himself in. He does part of the buckling and we tighten it.  I never want to trust that he has tightened the seat belt himself on the car seat. I want to remember to always check.

150820 WITLThursday-167 I want to remember that I had a hotdog, corn, and sweet potato fries for dinner.

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I want to remember he had a big appetite this evening. He ate two hotdogs, a cucumber, french fries and several slices of watermelon.

150820 WITLThursday-180I want to remember to conserve water. Even though the bottom rack is full, we will wait to run it until we fill the top.

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I want to remember that he always wears his socks this way – one high, one low. It’s all about the details.

150820 WITLThursday-189I want to remember that our evening walks involve these juice pops. He likes the grape-apple ones and I like the strawberry-apple ones.

150820 WITLThursday-191 I want to remember that he is into telling knock-knock jokes even though he doesn’t quite get them. I also want to remember that he tells the silliest short stories. Here is a knock-knock from tonight during our walk, “Knock knock.”  “Who’s there?”  “Banana.”  “Banana who?” “Banana who went boo-hoo.”

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I want to remember that it’s his job to pick up in the evenings. Sometimes I want to jump in and do it because he takes forever, but I have to remind myself that it’s his job.

150820 WITLThursday-202I want to remember that I’m guilty of getting him wound up before bed. We are having a staring contest and he won.

150820 WITLThursday-206I want to remember that he’s a good sport and so much fun to be around. He lets me take a gazillion photos of him and even asks about my project(s).

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I want to remember his laugh. I want to remember how I’m always against the railing of his bed because there are so many stuffed animals on the bed. I want to remember how much he love stories and how he always asks, “Mom, will you read one more?  Please?” Currently, the rule is that I stop stories at 9:00 pm. Sometimes, I break the rule because his pleas for stories are so dang sweet.

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I want to remember to ask Jim for help more often. Tonight, he helped me record six periods worth of assignments that I collected in the last couple of days. I was up to my eyeballs with papers and thanks to Jim, I now have a handle on it.

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I want to remember how he writes his name at 4.5 years old. He’s learning to spell and write his last name.

150820 WITLThursday-229I want to remember that this has a permanent home at our dinning room table.

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I want to remember to be more careful with small objects like my camera remote. I dumped out the contents of my purse and the remote was no where to be found. After going through the images, I discovered that I must have left it at the grocery store. I called the store and they said to check in the morning. I’m pretty sure it’s gone. I had a complete meltdown after Jim’s comment, “You lose everything, babe.”

I want to remember that Jim offered to buy me another remote tomorrow and drop it off at school.

And that concludes my night. Good night, folks. Thanks for stopping by.

Week in the Life 2015 | Wednesday Photos + Words

A busy schedule (both in and out of the classroom) and the time commitment required for this project leaves me feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have not written a single note on the Ali Edward‘s daily sheets. And the list of shots that I want to capture this week never made it onto paper. But as I looked through the images from today (and my posts from Monday and Tuesday), I am certain that this project is what I’m supposed to be doing this week.

Here’s a look at our Wednesday.

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Right now, I am sleeping through the alarm. I thought I pressed the snooze button but I obviously missed it. Jim woke me up at 6:23 am.

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Right now, I am pulling out shoes that I forgot I had. It feels like Christmas morning.

150819 WITLWednesday-11Right now, the cold water isn’t doing much to wake me up. 

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Right now, this little face woke up early and immediately went to play. Our busy schedule has us spending a lot of time in the car. I think he misses being home so when we are home, he spends every single minute playing.

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Right now, Jim is prepping breakfast for Samuel while I rush to make lunch and head out the door.

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Right now, Samuel is having a bagel with cream cheese, a sausage, a bowl of blueberries, and a few pieces of asian pear. I was not around to have breakfast with him but I bet he ate the fruits first.

150819 WITLWednesday-18Right now, I am driving the Prius to work. The Prius is parked in the garage so I get to squeeze in one last goodbye and catch the last kiss blown my way.

Right now, I am having breakfast in the car. The almond croissant is from Trader Joe’s and it is pretty amazing.

Right now, I am grateful that Jim is home in the mornings. He drops Samuel off at school so I am able to head right into work without stopping at the pre-school.  I miss seeing his morning teachers but I am grateful for missing the middle school/high school traffic and the influx of students on campus.

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Right now, I am pretty happy with the new layout of the whiteboard. I spend time each morning in this space writing the agenda, tidying up my desk, checking email, and playing out the lesson in my head.

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Right now, I am wearing goggles to model safe lab practices. I am using an egg (to represent an eye) and vinegar (introduce into the eye) to show how acids denature protein. It is a pretty impressive demo and it has my students rubbing their eyes.

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Right now, I am taping the syllabus to my notebook as the students are working on theirs.

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Right now, this is my desk after having three 85-minute classes back-to-back. I need to use the restroom but am having difficulty locating my keys. This is the story of my life.

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Right now, I have sixth period prep. Teaching three classes back-to-back is absolutely draining but I am pushing through the exhaustion to tidy up my classroom.

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Right now, I am making positive phone calls home. I like to open up the lines of communication and let parents know how awesome their kids are.  Who doesn’t like hearing that about their kid?!?

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Right now, my desk is back to being functional.

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Right now, I am making the last set of name cards. I will be happy when they are all done.

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Right now, I am in the main office getting ready to head out the door. I am excited to pick up my boy this afternoon.

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Right now, I find myself in the office picking up a shirt for the group picture tomorrow. So much for leaving at 3:15 pm. We are being recognized for being a Blue Ribbon School by the California Department of Education so my principal wants us all to sport these lovely beige shirts. Beige is really not my color.

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Right now, I am at the gate to a magical Montessori school. I love this place and will be sad once he’s done here.

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Right now, my boy enjoys spending his days here. Everybody is so kind and loving.

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Right now, he is experimenting with theraputty.

2015-08-19-15.45Right now, he is being a good sport for the gazillion photos I’m taking.

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Right now, he’s ready to head home for some playtime before taekwondo.

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Right now, I look forward to picking him up and hearing about his day. He looks forward to the little treats I carry in my bag. Today it was a roll of smarties.

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Right now, the mess is all mine. He asked for his bean box so I brought it in from the garage. I made myself a cup of coffee before settling down to play and I spilled it before I could take a sip.

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Right now, the three of us are acting out a story. The boys are both park rangers and I’m the gal who discovered dinosaur bones buried deep in the Earth.

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Right now, we are eating dinner at 5:20 pm so we can make it to taekwondo class at 6:20 pm.

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Right now, he is working on proper form for the front kick.

150819 WITLWednesday-130Right now, learning to spar is his thing. He is looking forward to earning his next belt and getting his hands on sparring gear.

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Right now, we are heading home for the evening. The twenty minute drive home is much better than the 30-40 minutes to class. We signed Samuel up for six months of taekwondo and we are somewhat regretting our decision — mainly because of the drive and time of the class.  But he loves it so we will stick it out for six months. Tonight, his instructor spoke with us about extending our commitment to a year and we’re both somewhat resistant to the idea.

Right now, our schedule feels hectic. I am hoping that we will find our grove soon … and maybe by then, we can make a solid decision as to whether we should extend taekwondo for a year.

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Right now, the boys are watching Star Wars Rebels.

2015-08-19-20.11Right now, I am out for a run and I am listening to episode 8 of Undisclosed. Podcasts are helping me make it through these evening runs.

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Right now, I see a bucking bronco waiting for a story from me. He’s got one picked out and is waiting for me to read.

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Right now, we are reading Horses. I read the table of contents and he selected the horses he wanted me to read about. It’s no surprise that he picked American Standardbred, Belgian Heavy Draft, and Clydesdales.

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Right now, I am struggling to hold on for 60 seconds. Is this supposed to get a little easier as you do them each day? Definitely feeling the burn tonight!

150819 WITLWednesday-180Right now, I’m back at selecting photos for this post. The time is 12:20 am — I better head to bed so I can actually wake up in the morning.

Week in the Life 2015 | Tuesday Photos & Words

Before embarking on this project, I always think about the work that goes into documenting a full week of life. And every year, I have an internal debate about whether I should participate or not. And every year, I participate and am I glad I did. I love looking back at the daily photos and see the story of the day unfold through the lens.

Here’s a look at our Tuesday.

150818 WITLDay02-4The story of today includes a slow morning. Getting up on Tuesday was not any easier than Monday. I worked late into the night on downloading and (minimal) editing of photos and writing the post. I couldn’t decide which top to wear so I was back in the closet several times before settling for the one I am wearing in the photo.

150818 WITLDay02-5The story of today includes Jim sitting at his desk reading the news.

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The story of today includes a thirty-two pound boy who wanted his mama to hold him. Making lunch with one arm can be pretty challenging.

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The story of today includes me clipping his toenails before I left for work. I should have checked his fingernails too. He is getting into the habit of biting his nails and it is driving me up the wall.

150818 WITLDay02-21The story of today includes a boy wanted to try on his mama’s glasses and exclaim, “I can’t see. Everything is so blurry!”

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The story of today includes dishes from last night’s dinner.

150818 WITLDay02-24The story of today includes a boy who could not decide on what he wanted for breakfast. Fruit is always his number one choice — but we always serve him carbs and proteins.  This morning, he only wanted the grapes and a slice of turkey bacon — hence the face. I want to remember that we microwave our turkey bacon to the crisp.

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The story of today includes a very late arrival at school. The traffic is considerably worse this year — and let’s not even talk about the parking lot. Why do people just stop in the middle of the parking lot to let their kids off?  Come on, folks.

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The story of today includes a first period prep. Although I like to start the day off with a class, first period prep is perfect for slow moving mornings.

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The story of today includes some rearranging of the whiteboard. I teach three different science courses so it makes sense to have a homework space for each class on the board. Blue tape = best tape ever (next to washi tape, of course).

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The story of today includes me getting used to the straw apparatus on this bottle. I hear it is the best water bottle around so I am giving it a go. I’m just happy with the fact that I won’t be spilling water on myself anymore — the wide mouth opening that I had before left questionable water stains on my shirt and pants. My eighth grades always find ways to distract themselves from the task at hand.

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The story of today includes a date with the duplo machine.

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The story of today includes a selfie in the front office restroom and a trip to the bank to work out some documents for our refinancing. Jim has been working on refinancing our home and I hope everything works out soon because he’s tired of scanning documents and I’m not fond of collecting documents.

150818 WITLDay02-49The story of today includes me going over the parent letter, syllabus, and addendum to my green classes. We also set up our Science Interactive Notebooks and I was highly upset at a student comment about the setup. I have taught for 13 years and I’ve never had a student give a disgruntled “s***” when I asked the class to number the pages of their notebook. 

150818 WITLDay02-55The story of today includes a diligent TA who helped me record some graded papers and color my notebooks. I have six classes and I keep a notebook for each.  Color coding them this way makes locating the notebook for each class quickly. The upkeep of six notebooks is no joke — that’s why I write most of my notes so they are in the notebooks (especially important for those who are absent). When the students glue in an assignment, I do the same.

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The story of today includes digging for the key to open the gate to his school. I am happy to be picking him up today.

150818 WITLDay02-67The story of today includes this view when I walked into his classroom. My heart was so happy.

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The story of today includes a special message he and I created together before we left his classroom.

150818 WITLDay02-79The story of today includes giving rides to Clifford and Blackie in his backpack. He loves carrying his stuffed animals to school this way.

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The story of today includes a special treat from Jamba Juice and taking Wild (his dino) home for an adventure with the rest of his dino friends.

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The story of today includes him putting things away. By the way, he has pretty nice shoes for a four-and-a-half year old. I have shoe envy.

150818 WITLDay02-107The story of today includes a bike ride to soccer practice. I love that soccer practice (and games, I think) are in the neighborhood so we can bike or walk there.

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The story of today includes a super excited kid who felt completely overwhelmed within the first 5 minutes of soccer practice. There were lots of tears and statements like, “I don’t want to do soccer.” Samuel is a reserved kid who carefully observes the scene, the people, and their interactions before he slowly dives in.
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The story of today includes me joining him on the field. He eventually felt more at ease and even met a few new friends.

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The story of today includes a closing team cheer that got him pumped.

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The story of today includes marinating salmon for dinner. Grilled salmon is one of my favorites.

150818 WITLDay02-158The story of today includes lots of dinosaur play.

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The story of today includes a mama dinosaur foraging for food for her babies.

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The story of today includes a boy who can not get enough of lemon cucumber.

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The story of today includes grilled salmon, rice, and cucumbers for dinner.

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The story of today includes a game of “Guess Who Read to me at School Today?” which then turned into “Guess What I Am Thinking Of?”

150818 WITLDay02-191 The story of today includes an evening trip to Trader Joe’s for snacks and lunch meat.

150818 WITLDay02-201The story of today includes this silly capture at Burr’s. This photo came about from a picture I took a photo of Jim and Samuel enjoying their raspberry freeze and ice cream. My freeze with a spoon in it and camera were positioned in such a way that it looked like Jim had my spoon up his nostrils. Samuel thought it was the funniest thing he’s ever heard so we decided to capture this family photo.

150818 WITLDay02-242The story of today includes late night reading for this fella.
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The story of tonight isn’t any different from last night. I spent the night downloading images, doing some light edits in Lightroom, and writing this post.

Thank you for letting me share my day with you.

Week in the Life 2015 | Monday Photos + Words

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Around here, I’m on my second snooze. Monday mornings are hard.  Period.

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Around here, we hardly ever make our bed. Ever.

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Around here, my eye allergies are better so I’m able to wear contacts. It’s definitely a good thing.

150817 WITLDay01-24Around here, Jim continues to get up early even though he does not have to go to work each day. He’s managing his diet — even experimenting with some new foods — and exercising daily.

2015-08-17 06.30.30Around here, I’m embarrassed to admit that my closet is the dumping ground for all sorts of stuff.

150817 WITLDay01-28Around here, I’m in charge of prepping half of Samuel’s lunch. Lately, his lunch includes blueberries, two mini cucumbers, goldfish crackers, and a honey-peanut butter sandwich.

2015-08-17 07.10.44Around here, I head out the door by seven am with coffee and a cheese bagel in tow. The packages on the door steps are items of Samuel’s that I’m selling to moms in the neighborhood.  There is an amazing kids resale group in my neighborhood and it is nice to get some money for gently used kid stuff.

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Around here, sidewalk messages like this makes me happy.

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Around here, I am trying to figure out the layout of my board for the daily agenda and homework for three different science courses.

150817 WITLDay01-33Around here, I am grateful that there is ink and masters in the duplo. I am making copies of the Addendum and Course Policies.

150817 WITLDay01-35Around here, my students are setting up their Science Interactive Notebooks – which means that I am setting up mine as well. Six classes = six notebooks.

150817 WITLDay01-38Around here, I need to adjust to a new teaching schedule. We are on an A/B block schedule. Classes are 85-minutes in length and I see the kids every other day. Today, I teach three 85-minute classes back-to-back (with a 10 minute potty break between the first two periods) and I am completely empty by lunchtime.

150817 WITLDay01-41Around here, we are experiencing triple digit temperatures and I can feel the heat rising from the walkways. We have approximately 1,141 students on campus and it is refreshing to see them all head in the direction of class.

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Around here, my principal and I are having a pow-wow to plan a huge event this September. She is on the phone with NASA to determine the time frame for the SOFIA flight with our favorite guy, Ivor from the Traveling Space Museum and Nichelle Nicols, Star Trek’s “Uhura.”

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Around here, rice + beans + carne asada sounds wonderful for lunch.

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Around here, the paper trimmer is my worst enemy. I’m not fond of it but it beats using scissors.

150817 WITLDay01-59Around here, a 3:00 pm meeting with the Back-to-School committee is needed to hash out the schedule and details of the event.

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Around here, I didn’t get to see this face until 4:45 pm. He is enjoying this sport so very much.

150817 WITLDay01-95Around here, I have been granted the title of taekwondo mom. He goes to classes in Elk Grove three times a week which makes for a rough week for all of us.  The drive to Elk Grove is really what’s hurting us. I hope that we find our rhythm soon and things become less frantic.

150817 WITLDay01-105Around here, I am behind the wheel on a daily basis because Jim is retired. We used to carpool and he did all the driving.

150817 WITLDay01-114Around here, we are happy to be home by 5:50 pm so he gets in a little play time before dinner. He is all about racing his horses these days.

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Around here, we are keeping dinners simple.  Busy schedule calls for quick and easy meals. I need to expand my repertoire of quick and easy meals (maybe even some crock pot meals) for these busy week days. If you have suggestions, please leave me a comment.

150817 WITLDay01-120Around here, we spend a lot of time at the table eating dinner and talking about our day. He’s telling me about a smoker he saw through the fence at school and how he feels about his buddies calling the smoker names.

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Around here, I am making time for exercise – even if it is a short walk around the neighborhood.

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Around here, these are two of his favorite images (left, Samuel with Bobby Kerr; right, Samuel with Stetson and his horse instructor, Alyssa). He specifically asked me to tape them on the ceiling so he sees them right before he falls asleep.

2015-08-17 20.56.10Around here, I am guilty of getting him all wound up right before bedtime.

150817 WITLDay01-146Around here, I am on day 8 of the plank challenge. I am barely hanging on for the required 45 seconds.

Samuel | Four and a Half

150807-FourAndAHalf-47And just like that, I have a 4.5 year old.

Samuel is fun, funny, observant, smart, talkative, and thoughtful. He loves wearing jeans – even on hot days. Loves flip flops, tees with fun designs, and cowboy shirts. He’s not a fan of cakes but he’ll take a chocolate chip cookie in a heartbeat. He still loves horses and rides them regularly.  He wants to own a horse by age 10 (yeah, good luck on that). He can recite most of the words in Tacky the Penguin and loves The Black Stallion. He loves a good story and will quickly give you a storyline when you agree to tell him a story.

I’m not big on celebrating half birthdays, but he was, so we rolled with it.

When he turned four, I wanted to ask him a bunch of questions and create a layout with all of his current favorites, etc. Well, life got busy so I never got around to “interviewing” him. I was determined to do it at 4.5 and it came together the evening of his half birthday. (He was pretty excited about answering the questions because he was pumped about being 1/2 a year older.)

The layout took a bit longer than I intended — it always does though, doesn’t it? Part of it is because I wanted to write a letter to remember him at this fun age.

Here’s a look at the layout …
The layout includes two full size pocket pages and a smaller insert.

2015-08-09-17.24aI printed the Birthday Questionnaire on a sheet of 6×12 paper. I thought about typing up his responses for a neater look but decided I that I like the look of the handwriting against the type.

The pocket page is from Doodlebug Designs and I pretty much love it.  I find myself using it in a lot of his books — I use it for questionnaires and larger pieces of artwork. They are used throughout his baby book for hand prints and footprints.

2015-08-09-15.22.14He brought home a cool piece of watercolor artwork a few days before so I cut it up to use on the layout.

I trimmed down a Project Life Design E pocket page to use as an insert between the two larger pocket pages. I love the 6×6 squares but rarely find myself using them.

2015-08-09-17.25He loved giving me his hand print so this required no bribes from me.

I wrote him a lengthy letter and included it in the insert.

I had a lot to say so it turned out to be a little book inside the 6×6 pocket.

2015-08-09-17.27bI included the footprint on the back of the insert. I brought in some repetition with the orange circles and stars.

2015-08-09-17.27aA detail shot of the footprint with orange circle and star. I kept it pretty simple but I sure do love the results. The “every little thing you do is magic” is from Ali Edward’s Story Kit (Magic).

2015-08-09-17.27This fun pattern paper came from Amy Tangerine’s Rise & Shine paper pad. 

Samuel is getting pretty good at writing his name so I wanted to include a writing sample at age 4.5. All of the photos are from his half birthday — and yes, we got a little carried away and gave him a gift. He is still obsessed with Thomas the Train and with the recent release of a new engine named Sam, I couldn’t resist.

He’s a great kid. And I love that he lets me take photos of him. I hope it never gets old.

DIY Project | The Pillow Lounger

In the summer of 2012, I made Samuel a pillow lounger and he threw himself on it for days.  Sometimes with a book. Sometimes it was just for fun – I mean, who wouldn’t want to keep throwing themselves on a pile of soft pillows just for entertainment? Giggles and laughter ensued each time.
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As I was getting ready to make one for his cousin, we agreed to pass Samuel’s down and make him a new one — one with themed fabric of his choosing. We purchased the fabric shortly after we gave Bodhi the original lounger and it sat around for months. I meant to get to it, but something else was always more pressing … truth be told, I was just too lazy to pull out my sewing supplies.

I put the pillow lounger on my summer project list and I am happy to announce that it is done! Samuel has his reading corner back and he couldn’t be happier.

150720-SamuelLounger2The lounger holds four pillows and measures 27.5 inches by 80 inches.

If you want to make one of these pillow loungers for your little peeps, here are the simple steps…

What you need:
1) 2 pieces of fabric that measure 2 1/3 yards each (I like using two different patterns of fabric because if you get tired of one, you can flip it over on the other side.)
2) coordinating thread (or any thread you have will do)
3) 4 pillows
4) sewing machine

What to do:
Cut three pieces of fabric as shown.  (Note | sketches are not drawn to scale.)

Sew long sides of front and back panels together as shown. I used 1/4″ seams. Sew 1/2″ hem lines along the outer edges of the back panels.PillowLounger02

Lay the fabric on the floor and fold the back panels over the front panel. Right side of fabrics together on the inside. The back panels will overlap about 4 inches. (Note | I cut my back panels slightly wider because I cut 44″ fabric in half. Not a good idea because the overlap is too great which makes it somewhat difficult to get the pillows in and out. No zippers or buttons needed here — just the overlap is perfect and holds the pillows in.)PillowLounger03

Pin top and bottom edges together and sew.

You’re almost done. Turn the lounger so the right side of the fabric is facing out. Iron along the seems.  Lay the lounger on the floor and measure 20″ sections.  Use a washable fabric pen or chalk to draw lines across the width of the lounger at 20″, 40″, and 60″.  Sew along the lines — making sure you do some back stitching at the overlapping section to provide extra reinforcement.PillowLounger04Stuff pillows into each section and you’re done! Your littles will love it! It’s also great to lounge on while watching a movie.

Here’s a look at what mine looks like. Samuel is very much into Star Wars and superheroes.  PillowLounger06


Samuel’s perfect little hide-away. PillowLounger07



April Project Life Blog Hop

Welcome to the fourth of twelve Blog Hops from the 2014 Becky Higgins Project Creative Team! We are all passionate about Project Life & memory keeping and we wanted to continue to inspire each other and you as we move forward in 2015. Here is a look at my month of March:

Week 10 | Math and Science Night Week = crazy busy week at school = eating out often. Samuel learned a new game and is continuing to build lego kits made for 8-year-olds and older. We’re enjoying the weather and spend almost every afternoon outside.2015 MarchPL

Week 11 | I am working hard to minimize the number of inserts this year to keep the albums down to two volumes. I sometimes find it difficult to narrow my photos down to the one.  I documented a “day in the life” on the 15th and made an insert to include the photos + words. 2015 MarchPL-7


Day in the life, AM.2015 MarchPL-8



Day in the life, PM.2015 MarchPL-10

Week 12 | I have been incorporating more of Samuel’s work samples in our family book.  I love this age and all the artwork and writing samples that come with it. My boy is thriving and I couldn’t be happier.
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Week 13 | The title card is a piece of Samuel’s art. My husband scanned the image and I printed a small version of it for the family book.  Oops … it looks like I’m missing a photo for Sunday.
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Week 14 | Spring break.  I thought I would get a bunch of pages completed this week but that did not pan out.  We spent a lot of time together – exploring and experiencing the world as a family.  I was exhausted each night and spent a great deal of time being a couch potato (and catching up on NCIS, CSI, and Criminal Minds).  Ha!  2015 MarchPL-21

Here’s a look at what other 2014 PL Creative Team members are doing:

Please note that these are fun and optional blog hops. If you don’t see your favorite former team member, please visit their individual blogs to see what they are up too! We hope you enjoyed this hop!

Project Life is a memory keeping system from Becky Higgins. You can find out more about her system and product here.