Friday, December 15, 2017

All Things Christmas

Well we are marching right on towards Christmas! I can hardly believe it! This year has been so different. On one hand I honestly am loving teaching and being back in the classroom...but part of my heart aches b/c I feel like I am missing out on my moments as a stay at home mom. I keep telling myself though that this is the season God placed us in. I can't think about anything, but that! Its an encouragement on the long days when I just long to be home. I feel like its a tough balance of being able to fulfill my mom/wife jobs but also its such a blessing b/c I am at school with my kids. So even though I am working atleast I am working WHERE they are at school. Anyway this week we are a little over a week from Christmas break! I am so excited and ready! The kids are feeling the excitement as well. I have enjoyed celebrating though and talking about the true meaning of Christmas with them as well though. 
Monday and Tuesday we were fortunate to be home. I treasure those afternoons that we get to come home. Although Monday was a hard day. I lost my temper with the kids and ended up feeling terrible. I just let Satan get a hold of me. We ended up making the most of the evening though. Austin brought home Chickfila for dinner. It was our 13th anniversary. The season of life we are currently in I think we were both completely fine with it! Tuesday Colby didn't have homework so that was a much needed blessing and made for a much more relaxed night which was lovely. 
Wednesday was a long day for us. We of course had school. We have been staying for dinner at church but this was the last week of Wednesday nights until sometime in January and it was the Christmas Party night for Jumpstart so I knew I needed to stay and let the kids participate. It ended up being a really great night and I was glad we stayed even though I was SO tired when it was all said and done! It made me realize that even though Wednesdays are always super hard I feel so blessed after. 
Thursday was another LONG one! We had school then that afternoon I had a Staff Christmas party. I brought the kids to my parent's house per tradition in this season. I got to visit for a few minutes before heading back up to the school. We started with a gift exchange game which was really fun. I just enjoyed the fellowship! I really love all the teachers and it was fun to get to be around them and visit rather then just quick visits between wrangling kids. After that we all went over to Sun Ray for our dinner. It was really nice. Mrs. Schifflin was there which was so nice to see her. I enjoyed getting to visit with her as well. We received the sweetest little gifts from the principal as well. Its definitely been a different season of life. Its been hard in many ways, but its also been so sweet. I hope to stay involved in the school in a more leadership role instead of just a parent, but we will see. I know this was a God thing! I never really thought I would ever go back into the classroom. I have honestly loved every minute of it. I have a feeling Thursday will be a bit emotional for me b/c I will miss it and I will miss the kids greatly. Its a hard job, but its super rewarding! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Snow Days and Birthday Party!

So this weekend started on a very exciting note! Well there's been talk of winter weather or snow all week. I have honestly been praying that it would snow and cancel school. Well that didn't happen. We had cold, rainy weather the 2nd half of the week. It was nice at first, but then made for some long days at school. The kids handled it well though and seemed to enjoy their inside recess. We've only had to have about 4 indoor recesses since I've been there so that's a blessing. Anyway while we were at lunch on Friday it started to SNOW! Such a fun sight! It didn't stick to the ground at all, but it was so sweet when all the kids ran outside and were screaming and laughing! It truly brought tears to my eyes and was such a "treasured" moment. It made me forget all the stresses and tiredness and I just tried to soak up that moment and be thankful. I am thankful my kids were at school and were able to share that moment with friends. I am thankful I was there to witness it! Friday once we got home it felt so good to be in and settled though. It was freezing outside! We had pizza for dinner and watched The Polar Express. It was a nice night just hanging out as a family.
Saturday we got up bright and early to prep for the b-day party. We had cleaning and getting ready to do! I felt so crazy with being a working momma this year and not being able to do much prep ahead of time. We got it all done though and the party was a success. We had about a dozen little girls here for her painting party. Everyone had a great time! The 2 ladies that led the painting did such a terrific job! It was such a blessing for my little girl! She loved it!! I was so happy all her friends were able to make it except two. The only ones we were missing was Jordyn from school and Claire from her old school. Its fun to see her church friends and school friends unite. We also had Ella here for Colby. I was happy he had someone his own age to hang with. He was a little bummed b/c his friend Nijel was supposed to come but didn't show up. We had Ebbie (6), Lindsay (6), Layla (6), Mia (6), Eden (5 1/2), Mirabelle (5) and Genevieve (6) here to paint. The girls were so cute and did such a great job. Even though we had to move the party inside everything turned out great. After painting we let the kids eat then they played in Lindsay's room for a bit. We then had them do cake/presents. A few braved the cold outside and played on the playground as well. It was a great day! We are so blessed that so many people love our little girl. After the party we cleaned up the house a bit then we all took naps. I was so tired. It felt so good to finally stop and nap! That afternoon we decided to get out and run errands. That has been one of the hardest parts of this season is learning to balance on the weekends what I normally have ALL week to do. We went to Fleurty girl and that was a fun time. We got what we needed and got out. After that we went to Hobby Lobby. There I was able to get stuff for our class Christmas party. I was happy we were able to check some things off the never ending list! We then went to eat at Outback. Eating out at night seems rare these days so it was a nice treat! After we even rode around a bit to look at Christmas lights. I was thankful for that family memory. In the midst of the crazy! 
Sunday was another pretty busy day! We had church, then the grocery store. We did get to come home and hang out after that though. Colby had a project to work on though so I felt like that consumed our afternoon. Sundays are always very busy with trying to prepare for the upcoming week! 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Funeral and The Weekend

So this past weekend was a bit different. Well first of all Friday I didn't teach. We were asked to attend Brittany and Chris' baby's funeral. Wow not something you WANT to do but something you know you HAVE to do for a friend. We got ready and dropped the kids off at school. Even though I knew the day was going to be exhausting it was nice knowing I had a break from the classroom. Teaching is so tiring that being out is always nice too. So after dropping the kids off we drove into Slidell and stopped for breakfast. It was nice to spend some one on one time together as we drove. We were making great time, but then somehow got lost. Anyway we made it right as everyone was walking to the gravesite for the funeral. So hard and so sad! Anyway the service was sweet, but so hard. I don't think there was a dry eye there. After the service we were able to hug and speak to Brittany and Chris and from there we went back to the pavilion and had a bite of lunch and were able to visit a bit before hitting the road to head back to NOLA. we got back to the school right at 3. We waited and got the kids in carpool. We had to stop by their house to check on their cat and get their mail and such. Once we got home it felt so good to finally be home. We didn't get to rest much though b/c we had to cook dinner. We had grilled chicken, sausage, mac n cheese, and green beans. We also did movie night...the kids chose to watch ELF. I do love watching Christmas movies with them! 
Saturday we were up early again...we don't stop apparently! We had family pictures scheduled for 8am. It turned out to be a really fun and sweet time though. We walked around the French Quarter taking pictures. We then went and had breakfast at Cafe Du Monde per the birthday girl's request. I figured since we would all be going separate ways on her actual b-day it was only fair for her to get to choose. After that we went back to the Westbank and stopped in to visit with my dad for a bit. It was his b-day plus he was recovering from surgery. It was nice to visit with them. Afterwards we went to Party City and then had lunch at Brother's. I really enjoyed being together as a family. That afternoon we were able to rest and take it easy! Such a blessing in such a busy season of life! 
Sunday was ofcourse church. We went to first service. Our new routine is go to church then I drop everyone off at the house and go grocery shopping. Its not my fav but its only for a couple more weeks. That afternoon we hung around the house and worked on getting ready for the week ahead. That evening we had Cary and Kristian over for dinner. It made the evening a lot crazier but we sure enjoyed fellowshipping with them. 
The weekends just go by so fast!! I wish I could hang on to them for a little while longer! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Back to the Groove

So of course this week we went back to school after Thanksgiving break. Monday morning was so hard to get going again. I found that entire day to be hard. The kids were whiny and honestly I wanted to be whiny too. After a whole week off I had a hard time finding my groove. We made it though! That night we enjoyed being together and having a low key school night. 
Tuesday was a VERY busy day! We had school of course then after school I had my first Faculty Meeting. It lasted until about 5:00. Luckily my parents were able to get the kids from school and do homework with them. Once I picked them up we picked up Canes then came home for baths and bed. Austin also was out of town. It was quite exhausting being a single, working mom. 
Wednesday was another super busy day...might I mention too that Tuesday and Wednesday I had no breaks during the school day. Let's just say that's hard on a teacher! You go non-stop from 8-4 basically. Also Wednesday is the day we stay late. Its the only day I really care to stay and do anything after school. It works out well though b/c I clean desks, sweep, and sharpen pencils as well as do other stuff around the room. That evening Ella joined us so it was a little crazy having 3 kids in there. Finally I was ready to leave so we went outside where the aftercare kids were. They enjoyed playing for a bit. We stayed at the church for dinner. I am always wiped out though. On one hand I enjoy visiting with people, but on another hand its so hard after a long day. I hate that in this season my kids are missing church, but I just cannot stay there until 8. Especially this week since Austin was out of town. We were after 6 getting home anyway. Then it was super busy with baths and bed for the kids. 
Thursday was a complete whirlwind of a day! School ended up being a very good day though. It was just one of those days that I felt like everything fell into place. We also ended up having computer which I was extremely excited to get that break. It was also good for the kiddos b/c it rained so we weren't able to have outside recess. They did very well inside though. That was our first indoor recess since I've been teaching. That afternoon kickball got cancelled but we still had Scouts. We went to my parent's house after school. I always enjoy being over there with them. It just makes for a long day. Scouts went ok..I felt like my kids were unruly though. I know they were tired though. They act out like that when they are exhausted. I still lectured them, but I understood they had been going so strong all week. 
It was a good week and I can't believe another one is down! 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thanksgiving Break Part 3

Gosh I feel like we were so busy, but accomplished so much over the break. 
Well Black Friday Austin had to return to work so it was the kiddos and I and his mom. We had planned to go to the Children's Museum. That's sorta become a tradition for us. I had a really good time watching the kids just play and be kids. We don't get to go there too much now with them both in school. I hope to do some more fun trips when they are out for Christmas. I think Austin's mom enjoyed watching them play as well. I am so thankful that Colby can still enjoy the museum with his sister. We also met Austin for lunch at Jimmy John's. That has become another tradition for our family. Its these little things that I love most about the holiday season. We had a nice visit. We came home after that and tried to rest. By this point I was really wishing to have the house back. We enjoyed having Austin's mom here but with me working right now its hard b/c I don't get a lot of alone time anymore like I was used to. I was so weary by this point. Colby had piano that afternoon and fortunately Austin got home early. We had gumbo and leftovers for dinner. We did movie night with the kids and they watched Charlotte's Web since we had just finished the book this week. 
Saturday Austin was up early to help his mom get out of the city. The kids and I stayed home and focused on getting ready. Saturday ended up being a SUPER busy day! As soon as he got home we got ready to leave the house. Our first stop was the Educator b/c I wanted to get a few Christmas things for my room. After that we had to go by Petsmart. We promised the kids we would go see the movie Coco. The only thing with movies is they take most of your day. I knew though Lindsay especially was dying to go see it and I knew if we didn't see it then it would be after Christmas before we would make it. So I am glad we went! The movie was super cute! After the movie we had a late lunch at a Mexican restaurant. We then had to go by our old house b/c our friends sadly lost their baby and so we had to go check on their cat and get their mail and such. After that we went to get our tree! Whew it was a lot! It was late afternoon before we got home. I think we all rested for a short bit but we knew we still had a lot to do. We spent that evening working on decorations. We had leftovers for dinner. I think we were all happy to see our beds that night as well! 
Sunday was another whirlwind day! We started the day with church. It was nice to be there as a family. After church we stopped in my classroom to put up the Thanksgiving stuff and put up a Christmas bulletin board. Once we got that done we dropped the boys off at the house and Lindsay and I went to the store. We got our grocery shopping out the way then we came in and all ate lunch. We had to get busy after that with decorating and Colby's project. We finished up the majority of the decorating...although it took until past dark to finish Austin. Bless it! Poor Austin! It was such a busy day! None of us really stopped. Also tempers flared...I think we had just all hit our max by that point. I mean honestly Thanksgiving break wasn't super relaxful...I mean the start was but the second half was SO SO busy! Anyway we finished everything! We also busted our tails to finish Colby's project and make his cinnamon rolls only to find out the project wasn't due until Friday!! Oh well I am so glad we got it all done early!! Again we were all so happy to see our beds that evening! 
It was a nice Thanksgiving break...I feel like we got to do a lot. It was different between company and me only being off a week from work. I feel like we are having to cram more stuff in b/c of that. We are trusting God though in this season. I know he placed me in this position so we are working at learning to cope in stressful situations and yet learning we have so much to be thankful for! 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving Day 2017

Its hard to believe another Thanksgiving has come and gone. This year we had Austin's mom staying with us. We woke up early and Austin got right to frying turkeys. I stayed busy inside cleaning up around the house and preparing us to leave later that morning. We also on/off watched the Macy's Day Parade. The kids were outside most of the morning so that was nice too! We have been blessed with such gorgeous weather this fall. 
We went over to my parent's house around 12. It was just us, Austin's mom, my parents, and Randall and Elizabeth. It was nice just having family around. We of course mostly visited and ate. We had SO much food. It was nice reminiscing and laughing around the table. We also per tradition wrote down what we were most Thankful for and read them at the table. 
After dessert we decided to take our traditional walk in the park. I am glad we have started this. I think we started this tradition around the time Lindsay was 2 and Colby was 5. Its fun for them to be able to run around/play. I also think its good for the adults to get out and move around instead of slouching around on the couch. We didn't get back that evening to our house until after 6. We made turkey sandwiches for dinner and relaxed. I think we were all pretty pooped. 
It was a great day and I was thankful to be here and with family. I forgot to add though we awoke to sad new of our good friends Brittany and Chris losing their baby girl Rose overnight. That did make it a tough day in some aspects. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Part 2

Monday it felt so good to be able to sleep in a bit and not be rushing out the door. It was my grocery and errand day. My parents had also volunteered to bring Lindsay out shopping for her b-day. Yes believe it or not she will be 6 in like two weeks!! This left Colby to run errands with mom. He was a gentleman though and really a big help. I miss their toddler days but I must say big kids are kinda great too! So after the grocery we talked to my parents and they decided to come on and get him too so that they could go have lunch and the kids could spend the night at their house. I knew I would miss them a ton but after working the last few weeks a day at home by myself sounded like BLISS! I relished in having lunch by myself and taking a nap! I am trying to realize that rest is not a bad thing. I had the entire day to myself pretty much b/c Austin didn't get home until about 6:30 or later. We ate dinner...he picked up takeout and we watched our show then off to bed. It was so crazy just having to take care of ourselves for an evening, but I think we enjoyed it. 
Tuesday I had a couple hours again to myself. Again so nice. I left though about 9 to go get the kids. We headed out to Lakeside. Its tradition for us to go there the week of Thanksgiving to see Santa and ride the train. I wasn't sure this year if they would want to do all that but I still figured it would be a fun morning with just me and them. We got to the mall a few minutes before 10 which was perfect so they were the first group on the train. I was proud of Colby for riding with his little sis. He feels he's gotten too big for those things but she really wanted to ride it. He was the one also who really wanted to see Santa. She honestly wanted nothing to do with it, but I talked her into taking a pic and smiling atleast ;). After that we went on down to the Disney store and I let them just browse. They also picked out their Christmas ornament and she got her b-day present. She really wanted the Moana dress up outfit so I told her I would buy it for her bday but she wouldn't be surprised and she had to wait until her b-day to open it. She was good with that. Normally I probably wouldn't do that but with working I knew I might not get back out to Lakeside so it was just a WIN WIN for us. After the Disney store we went to PB Kids, there they had the best time playing with the little toys. Again so comforting to just see them be kids and play together. It really was such a sweet day for us! After that we went ahead and had an early lunch. They are so sweet when its just us. We came on home after that. It was nice to have a low key afternoon around the house with them. I knew the rest of the week would be pretty busy so I really enjoyed just having the day to ourselves. 
Wednesday was when life got busy again! So that morning Austin was up bright and early to meet his mom in Slidell to lead her through the city. The kids and I just spent the morning getting ready and straightening up a bit around the house. They got here around 9:30. We all got ready and headed out to the Audubon Nature Center. This is a place I used to go when I was little but it closed after Katrina. It just re-opened last month so I was anxious to go back. I was a little disappointed though that there didn't seem to be much to it yet. I mean it was nice, but the planetarium wasn't even opened yet. Anyway they had one room with indoor exhibits that we enjoyed looking at, then basically the rest of it was trails. We walked on pretty much all of them. The kids seemed to enjoy it and it was a beautiful day. Lindsay whined a bit here and there. I am not sure if she was scared we would run across some wildlife or she was just bored and ready to go? She doesn't much enjoy stuff like that. Colby LOVED it though. I was glad to just be outdoors and moving. Once we left there we came back to the Westbank to eat lunch. We decided to just go to Chickfila b/c it would be quick and easy with the kids. After lunch we dropped Austin and his mom off at the house and Lindsay and I went to order her b-day cake. That afternoon we rested a bit then just enjoyed being together. We grilled hamburgers for dinner. We were also able to enjoy the gorgeous weather and take a walk. We also did our pies that night and the kids watched Charlie Brown. I love those traditions!