view on the way to Ayers Natural Bridge

bluffs at Ayers Natural Bridge

bluff behind restroom at Ayers Natural Bridge

Ayers Natural Bridge

grandkids up a tree

Nick and Addalea

Cris patiently trying to catch fish

under the bridge

On the bridge

Matt on the bridge

Aria and Grandpa on the bridge

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First stop, Grand Island, NebraskaWe stayed in Grand Island, NE our first night of the trip. We got there at supper time and after we ate some Godfather’s pizza we headed for this really cool community park Matt had researched online before we left home.
Grand Island Kids Kingdom
Aria on the swinging bridge
Aria and a friend on swinging tires
cris climbing
samantha in the arbor
posing in garden

first Wyoming rest stop Rest stop where I picked wild sage and rosemary.
oooh, cacti! Cacti!
scenery On the road again.

Independence Rock Independence Rock day trip.
Addalee, ready for fun in the sun
getting teady to crawl up the rock
yes, it's steep
that's high enough!
wait for me!
view from top

 Alcova Resevoir We swam at this resevoir, it was cold!!!

up to the waterfallwaterfall on Casper mountain
cris against cliff
Matt at waterfall
Nick on cliff
Amy taking a breather
mountain poppy?
Casper mountain hillside

Today was the 100th day of school. Wow. We are more than halfway through the school year! My kids are growing like weeds this year, it’s amazing. I’m still enjoying my job, but also still wishing it was part time because I miss being at home so much. I’m ready for spring now. The snow isn’t as exciting anymore. We did get in some iceskating with the kids which was lots of fun even though it was for a short time. I love skating!!! So did the kids. Miss all my friends like crazy, hope everyone is well. Well, I’ve got to cook supper now. Have a great evening!

I have been soooo busy! Working full time is hard. Time flies and there isn’t much of it. Whew!

We did get a tree up and decorated and most of our Christmas shopping done. Yeah! I just wish there was more time for baking and decorating. Maybe we’ll get in at least one batch of sugar cookies. 🙂

We are still sniffling and coughing at our house. I actually have walking pnumonia (and can’t spell, heee, hee). I hope it will be gone by Christmas. I’m getting really tired of coughing, and coughing, and coughing…..

Looking forward to visiting family over the holidays, enjoyinging staff parties and the contagious excitement out at the school from all the little ones. Miss my friends bunches!!!

Love to you all!

(I apologize, this is long poorly written.)

Let’s see, I started out by sleeping in 30 min.longer than I was supposed to, then I went about my usual routine, forgetting that I was short some time. My carpets were driving me nuts. they were sooo dirty that I just had to vaccume before I ate breakfast which I then ended up not having time for so I grabbed a yogart to eat in the car. I bustled the kids out the door and told them to get in the car while I took the dog out back. (In the rush two of the kids forgot their jackets, and it was chilly.) When I returned. Nick had gotten in the car and locked the others out. Cristofer was yelling at him so that the whole neighborhood could hear him.

Finally Nick opened his door so Cris could get in, but Cris being miffed hit him on the way across to his seat. Nick started crying and hit Cris back and then was too upset to get his seat belt on. I’m running late so I don’t wait for the kids to buckle up. I take off trying to eat my yogart and console Nick at the same time. Nick needs help with his belt, but Cris is too mad to help. We pull on to the highway and I notice that Nick’s door is not shut! I yell at the boys to hurry and get Nick buckled so he won’t fall out the car. That convinced them to quickly work together. At some point Cristofer made the comment, ” I wish Papa would come home.” Oh, yeah, and Cristofer was holding a live snail he found on the sidewalk right before we got in the car. I could hear Aria exclaiming, “Oooh, look it’s trying to crawl away!”

We pulled into our parking spot at school and we made it into the building without anything more distressing than Cristofer whining for me to wait for him as he struggled to drag his extremely heavy book bag onto his shoulders. Whew, we made it. I took the kids to my room where I frantically signed a couple of planners and then rounded up a wet wipe to clean the snot off of Nick’s face (he has a cold). I wished them a good day and hugged them as they went to their classes.

My work day went ok. I had another schedule change to deal with today. I’ve decided to write my schedule down in pencil from now on. It keeps changing! The student I work with had a big weekend and was tired and grumpy. We got through the day though. After school a couple of my kids go to tutoring which doesn’t end until 4:30. I’ve decided to use this time to do some yoga or pilates in my room at school. Tomorrow I’m going to advertise and see if anyone would be interested in joining me.

It was almost 5:00 by the time we got home. I pulled out the pasta casserole Matt had fixed ahead of time for me. Ooops! I forgot I was supposed to get it out the night before to thaw! Well, I thought surely it won’t take that much longer to heat up. Wrong. It was 7:00 before I started setting the table. At that time the phone rang and it was Mom asking if she could drop off some clothes for the girls. I said sure.
When she got here I checked the casserole and it was still frozen in the middle!! I gave up. We had peanut butter sandwiches instead. Mom helped with the dishes which I really appreciated. I had the kids get ready for bed and we sat down to read a story. As I read we noticed some honking outside. It sounded far away, but it made me think someone was playing with a panic button to a car. I tried to ignore it as I read. Suddenly someone knocked on the front door. Their were some people out for a walk and they noticed a van parked in front of our house (Mom’s van) that had been honking when they walked by about a half hour earlier and it was still faintly honking! One of the kids accidently knocked Mom’s keys and hit the panic button. I don’t know why we didn’t notice it sooner. We checked with the neighbors and they didn’t notice either! Well, by the time Mom got it turned off the battery was dead. Dad had to come and jump it for her. Crazy. I got everyone to bed, wish I had bathed a couple, but oh well. Wheww, I hope tommorrow goes better. Sheesh.

I have a little garter snake sitting on my kitchen counter! He’s in a critter box. He’s so cute! He’s about 10 inches long and thin like a pencil. I’ve always wanted a pet snake. (So has Nick, he keeps informing me. 🙂 ) I don’t know how long we will keep it, but it sure is fun to watch and learn about. This would be pet number 11. Too many?

I guess snakes don’t eat bugs. Worms, slugs, frogs, toads, and fish are their main diet in the wild. An adult may occasionally eat a mouse or maybe another snake.

The kids caught a little frog and put it in the box with the snake. Immediately the snake made a grab for the frog. He caught it by the back leg but then let go. We wondered if the frog was too big for him. This morning the frog was gone and their is a suspicious bulge in the snake’s middle. I guess he won’t starve. 🙂

Correction: it is a western ribbon snake, smaller than garter snakes and eats a bit more selectively. It ate two tadpoles yesterday and it shed it’s skin! Cool!
Here is a picture from the MO Conservation site.
Now we’re trying to come up with a name for it. So far we have “Snakey”, “Stripey”, and “Gideon”. Hmmm…

…see you on the other end of it. 🙂

It is that time of year. Zucchini are plentiful. Usually very plentiful if you have them in your own garden or your neighbor does. 🙂 Here is a great recipe that our family loves. Zucchini Crab Cakes, found at allrecipes.com. Yummy yummy! Enjoy!

I am now officially a Knox County Elementary Special Education para professional. 🙂

I am very excited but also trying not to be nervous, which for me is hard. So far I’ve had two panicky episodes, close to but not quite full blown panic attacks. Crazy, I know. My counselor is working with me to help me with organization and stress management. I have such a hard time with breaking things down into manageable bites. I keep trying to eat the whole elephant. Hee, hee!

I know it will be fine once I get started, but I tend to be very nervous in anticipation. It’s mental, I know, just like how freaked out I used to get about shots. I am much better about shots and needles than I used to be. It just took practice. (Got lots of that when I had three babies!)

We will be taking it one day at a time, one bite at a time. 🙂

Our computer croaked recently and we are borrowing an old one of my Dad’s. I’m not sure if/when I will be able to do photos. 😦

Tomorrow I should hear from the school about my job interview results.

Whew, summer is flying by!!!

Everyone is doing fine around here, just finishing projects, getting organized for school/work and trying not to rush the summer by too fast without enjoying it.

My gardens are doing well. I might even get some lettuces though it’s so late.
My hollyhocks are starting to bloom and my yard is filled with the scent of sweetwilliam. I’ve got four cucumbers waiting to become pickles, with one a day ready to pick. We had our first tomato, pretty good but a bit mushy in texture. Waiting for my yellow ones to turn. I’ve got about 6 or 7 peppers on four different jalepeno plants. Mmmm, salsa!

The kid’s sunflower house is kinda short. Too much shade. I hope we actually have flowers soon.

Hope everyone’s summer is going well, too. Don’t forget to slow down and enjoy it. I’m trying. 🙂