Recycling Center

This is the kind of field trip I have bragging rights on. Henry’s class walked across the street to the recycling center at the university.


Even the pictures give me happy reminders of working at the recycling center in college. It’s such a fascinating place for kids at this age and a great way to promote environmental awareness.DSC_0881The school year is winding down and I am slowly realizing. We have a second grader and kindergartener on our hands. Where did my babies go?


The hope is with summer arriving we will have plenty of play time with these little ones.


It is clear my boys have a sweet spot for babies.


Someone was “cookin’ up” the cuteness.


Park, dinner, and then everybody falls down like in the “Ring around the Rosie” song. Except I mean, they fall asleep good and fast from having so much fun.


Spending the morning with these two is full of funny moments. They like to laugh.DSC00105I said I needed to go to the copy shop. She said “yum, I want coffee.” Later I said I wanted to stop in and grab a scone. She asked “what kind of bone?” She is constantly trying to make sense of information that I might be giving to Joe but she is overhearing.


At the dentist she was incredibly patient. When asked to pick out her flavor of flouride. She was given choices: grape, cherry, and bubble gum. She had the biggest smirk over choosing bubble gum.


No I did not forget that twice in the last week I have found her brother’s bubble gum wrappers piled under my night stand where she was sneaking them off, unwrapping them next to my bed, chewing, and then swallowing wads of gum. No wonder her tummy hurt. Still she makes me laugh. When I asked about them she said she was trying to hide them like easter eggs.


Joe was ironing while I was in the room trying to do a little homework. I came out of the bedroom and wondered aloud why I wasn’t hearing two little ones running around or arguing or laughing (Paul was still at school).

Then I found each of them busy on their own.DSC00111He was excited to have some free time in his bedroom alone. He has been learning about the rainforest at school.

DSC00112So with the globe at his side, crayons open wide, and toad (I have been corrected several times over the last couple of days-it is not a frog) in front of him, he was busy drawing. I heard him ask Joe if this summer we could visit the rainforest.DSC00114She on the other hand, politely asked for some water and paper because she found watercolors.DSC00116She was content to have silence in the kitchen as she created “rainbows” on paper.


Big Boys

Every time I look up I have to take a second glance. One just lost his first tooth. No blood. Just popped right out.DSC_0728

The other loves baseball more than anything. The season has ended but next year I am guessing we’ll sign up.DSC_0661And they are my boys. These two were babies in my arms and now look at them. I see their personalities developing and the ways they resemble Joe and I. It sends me straight to prayer. Their futures feel unknown and vast. Anything is possible.

Summer Symbols

jumpers in zebra print




picking up Henry from school


snack time with friends


piggie back rides from friends


a frog we will be watching all summer


and these two playing “mommy and daddy”

as they sleep in bed and daddy is on the computer typing.


And this is only Day Two!

Clean Slate

Joe appropriately reminded me that “nothing lasts forever” as I struggled to pack it all. Part of me just wants to throw it all away, or sell it, or run for the hills.


The other part of me wants to reconsider staying in Room 3 where I know the kids, the families, the drama, the challenges… then I catch myself at this very point on the list. This is why I need to move on. I promised myself that I would stay as long as I was useful. It has taken sometime to admit that I have “hit a wall” in my career. Everyone’s burning question is “where will you be in the fall?” Their guess is as good as mine. I have hopes, ideas, and a few guesses but it’s not set in stone.


I am learning in these moments of chaos and overwhelming emotion to trust in God. To put one foot in front of the other. No leaps or bounds here, more like careful tip toeing or else I will loose my balance. At one point today I aloud said in exasperation and exhaustion “I need my mom.” Which translates to a “kick in the butt” because she can motivate me and provide the positive thinking required to get it done. She was at work and Joe wasn’t having any of it.


His father was a professional mover and he was having no complaining today. He kept moving even when I sat down for breaks. There was a job he came to do, and he was gonna get it done.


I left some of the book bins for the next teacher. Sort of a “pay it forward” gesture to whoever inherits this space and grade level. Also a reminder that “I can’t take it all” which is a mentality hard to break after years of accumulating. Disassembling the library took place in waves, I sorted through many books and was reminded of all the places and people who helped put my library together over the years. I am sentimental, I admit it.


We were going to rent a U-haul but luckily good friends (thank you Cullings) let us use their van. DSC00068

There is my hero who hung by me all day. He carried the last couple of loads, we took two trips, rented a storage unit, and another friend watched our rascals. This was an all day affair.


But we did it! Just the two of us!


And Olivine reminded me afterwards, what I so quickly had forgotten:


That it is time to party!

One more reason to celebrate.

Pinch Me

It’s June and I am done. Last week I had no idea how I would finish giving two finals in my college class, saying good-bye in second grade, attending my own evening class, and just yesterday Paul finishing baseball. It was all fairly blurry. So much so, that I still can’t grasp that I spent a beautiful afternoon outdoors today with my friend Cara.DSC00058

She just finished her Ed.D. in Fullerton and is full of insight and support that I am going to need. Just hearing her stories makes me feel like I can better imagine what I am getting myself into. I tried falafel tacos and wore shorts to kick off my summer.


I even did a little shopping at the Patchwork festival. Succulents are what everyone loves, but even those require water. Not this cutie, she is a craft delight. She will last and last, plus children can get close up without harm. Each one was different and fun.


I always have my family in mind. So I picked up two jars of local honey flavored blackberry and avocado- yum! Heaven in a jar. My kids will eat bowls of yogurt with honey and granola and fruit. Score!


I passed on the handmade clutch. I picked it up, thought about it, and avoided the splurge. This type of mental framing and resisting instant pleasure is a new feeling. But I am trying so hard to be mindful these days. We are on the verge of a summer overhaul around here. There is plenty to toss and give away. So did I need it? or that shiny engraved ring? No. Would it have made me happy? Probably, but I replaced that thought with a reminder that I am already happy. I don’t have work and I can sleep in and be with my family (crazy cheering in my ears!). After the very difficult and emotional school year I had, this summer means more than anything. It is a symbol of surviving and hanging in there, when I thought several times I would just walk out.

It really won’t sink in for another week or so. But I am looking forward to some breakfast dates with my husband since our kids still have 8 days of school.