Monday, July 6, 2015

Growing kids

Jon asked me to help him hold something outside. He's working on the garage. I wasn't really paying attention as I slipped my feet into some flip flops at the door. Later I looked down and realized they were the ones Dominic had been complaining were too small for him. While a tad tight, they definitely fit me. What has happened to my little boy?!


He isn't the only one growing like a weed. Today I packed lunches so we could spend the day at the pool. I packed a sandwich, chips, grapes, peanut butter crackers, and some cookies in each lunch. We go to a pool in a neighboring town that provides free lunches to the pool attendants. So the kids skipped the burger, but took the fruit cup, milk, and chips. Caitlin ate EVERYTHING. She then helped a friend polish off a massive jumbo bag of popcorn and ate a few of my carrots. Upon returning home she claimed to be starving so I fed her more carrots and a large banana. We were all going in different directions so had sandwiches again for supper. She ate two sandwiches and some carrots. I have no idea where she's putting it, but expect to be changing out her wardrobe again soon.


Jon just came inside a bit exasperated, holding a book. Apparently Dominic was reading while he was mowing. I'm a little afraid to see what my lawn looks like after that.

Dominic and Caitlin are in two summer reading programs. And while both of them have always loved books, this has inspired Dominic. If he's not outside, he's reading. He's plowed through an impressive amount of books in just a month and isn't slowing down. I had mentioned several months ago that I wanted him to experience other types of books. He was reading books that were all the same genre. And while there wasn't anything wrong with them, I wanted to widen his imagination and vocabulary. He took me to heart. He's read Around the World in 80 Days, 2 Hardy Mysteries, Judy Bloom, non-fiction about sharks, anatomy, dogs, insects, etc., and several classics. We are also flying through the Little House books at night. We are almost finished with the series. This does my heart good to see my kids fall in love with reading.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Chores and amazing kids

Towards the end of the school year the kids begged me to change their daily chores. They were tired of them and at the very least wanted to trade.  I'd made a summer calendar with the idea that I'd be more intentional about what we did instead of coasting through like usual. In the words of Dominic this was Caitlin's first "real summer break". So I wanted to do some new things. We put in movie and pool days. But I also added some cooking classes, required book reviews, and new words (both English and ASL) to learn each week.

And on the very first day of our summer break (the week after camp meeting), I changed their chore charts. I sort of expected to hear some complaints. I'd added two extra chores to each one and the new ones were more difficult. So far I have woken up each day to find them either finished or almost finished with all of their chores. They are waking up at 6am to get them done so that we can have the whole day to read, play, cook, and have fun. 

And they are enjoying them. Caitlin had a moment of difficulty when she had to figure out how to clean the tub. She couldn't get the cleaner to spay out (her hands aren't strong enough) and she couldn't reach the other side of the tub. But the kids worked together. Dominic sprayed the cleaner for her and she just climbed in and got to work. When she finished, the tub shone.

I'm continually amazed and thankful for these tremendously awesome kids that God has blessed me with.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Camp Meeting

This year at camp meeting we had a different element. We had my niece Leila stay with us all week. The kids loved it because she was tons of fun and I enjoyed not hearing about how there weren't any kids in the house for them to play with. 

Camp meeting is wonderful in its relaxing familiarity, but also in the new and exciting things we see and do every year.


Trolley rides

The race
All three kids chose to do the one mile this year. I was really bummed that I didn't get to see them come in since they do both races simultaneously. Really, really hoping that changes next year.

Eating out

That weird deathtrap of a bookstore we visit just to see if we'll survive

And walks around the lake with friends

Went swimming
It was freezing cold.

We also found some new "friends"

And saw a bald eagle

We are sad that our amazing week is over, but so glad for the wonderful experiences

Kindergarten graduation

Anyone that's talked to me recently knows my feelings on kindergarten graduation. But just in case you haven't heard my rant, I'll share it now. =) It's the biggest joke. What are they graduating from or to? What have they accomplished in one year of school that needs a whole huge celebration? Shouldn't we at least wait until they have done something? I could go on, but I think you get the point. It's a waste of time and money.

But since Dominic got one and it's combined with the 8th grade graduation that the students are required to attend I sucked it up. She's my last one anyway.
But despite my reluctance baby girl was precious and I'm so proud of her. She's turning into a gorgeous young lady both inside and out. 

Both of my kids won the two reading awards for the school. Shocker! ;)
Yesterday I tested them on two different tests I found online and they are several grade levels above in their reading. Can't say I'm surprised, but it's still nice to know that I've passed my passion on to them.
This next picture is of Dominic accepting his award. I had a board meeting that started at 5:15pm. Graduation was at 7pm and I slipped in the door a few minutes before it started. I left right after the reception to another meeting that lasted until after midnight. So that was definitely not my calmest day. I knew Jon wasn't going to have time to worry about the kids clothes so I had everything picked out and packed so the kids could change at the church. I'm sitting there watching the kids march up and I see Dominic in a too small, inappropriate shirt and paint splattered shorts. WHAT?! Turns out his size 8 church pants are too small and he couldn't get them buttoned. So he just wore his play shorts to the graduation. I felt like the mom of the year! But hey, the kid can read really well. =)

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Caiti B

We were driving along a rather curvy road when Caitlin happened to spot this sign.
Winding Road Clip Art*
"Uh oh! I'm going to be sick. There was a sign of wobbly."


Caitlin was asked by a family friend if she wanted to weed some flower beds to make money. She was super enthusiastic until she arrived and saw all of the flower beds. Baby girl was overwhelmed. She hadn't imagined quite that many. This was actually going to take some work. And Caitlin is very picky and choosey about what work she does. She cried.

But after some sobbing and cuddling we got down to work. A couple of hours later we were leaving and I told her she'd made $15.
"Wow! That's a lot of money. I guess I should have sucked it up and quit crying, huh?!"
I'm afraid I laughed while I agreed with her.
And in typical Caitlin fashion, she didn't spend it. She decided to save it.

*Image found here.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Yesterday I subbed at the school so the teachers could enjoy a meal with their spouses. It was one of the pieces to their teacher appreciation week from the school board.

Usually I sub in Dominic's room. The older kids are fun and I enjoy being with them. But yesterday I was babysitting a little girl who will be in Kindergarten next year and she wanted to eat lunch with Caitlin. So I took that classroom instead. 

Oh my word! Those kids are hilarious.

We were sitting outside eating lunch. The following is a piece of the conversation.

Student A - Mrs. Caitlin's Mom? I can't remember your name.
Student B - It's Ms. Tima or Mrs. Murrell.
Student C - You're a really good mom.
Me - Thank you!
Student C - Because you don't bite.
Me - Uhm?!
Student A - Mrs. Caitlin's Mom, I'm really glad you don't bite. 
Student B - Because we'd have to put it on facebook.

By this time I was completely lost and confused. But laughing. What was the thought process that went into this conversation?

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Caitlin got into the car after school on Friday really upset.
Dominic was consoling her.
"It's ok. Maybe by the time mom lets you, he'll change his mind."
"But Dominic, I wanted him first."

I had to ask -
"Caitlin, what are you upset about."
"Olivia and I asked Matthew to marry us, but he chose her. And I wanted him to be my husband first. I still like Olivia, because she's my best friend. But she won't share Matthew for to be my husband."