Archive for August, 2008

I participate in an online forum with other adoptive and preadoptive families. Recently, there was a “thread” about teachers and school choice. (In forum speak, thread means a topic heading with contributions from readers under it)

The question was this: If you are a teacher, do you think its a good idea to open enroll your kids so they can go to school where you teach?

There were many contributions from teachers who chose either route….enrolling their kids in their home district and travelling to a different district to teach, and those who enroll their kids in the district where they teach.

My comment was, “I think bringing your kids to work with you, would be the next best thing to staying home with them.”

One mom was very annoyed with that comment. She said something like, “Ouch! I teach in a neighboring district and my kids attend the home school. You comment implies that I am making the third best choice for my kids. Excuse me, but this arrangement is the BEST for my family.”  She basically said, “Keep your judgement to yourself.”

Boy! We moms are so sensitive about our choices! I’ve had my kids in different daycare and school arrangements for 25 years. This year, we have kids in 4 schools, in three different towns, and none of them are in the school where I teach, although one of them (Megan) is in the same town I am. I’m never sure that we have chosen the BEST for any of my kids. I always wonder if something would be better for them.

Since I’ve never actually had the opportunity to bring my kids along to work, (or stay home as a full time mom), I should probably have stayed completely out of that conversation. Hey! A mom can dream, right?!?

What do you think? Would having your kids in the school where you are a teacher be the ultimate, “Take your daughter to work day”?

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We saw the babies! They are amazing and beautiful! I’m glad they are feeling better.

Emma went to the first football game.

Aunt Dode babysat while the mom and dad went to a volleyball game and visited with Kendra, who is recently minus several teeth. I hope she didn’t throw out her wisdom with the teeth.

Thomas and Shega watched a late movie and will need to be kissed and covered up right where they are.

Megan is sleeping.

All is well on a Friday night.

Tomorrow we’re heading to Lifelight. It’s a big free outdoor Christian concert. We love it! Maybe we’ll see you there!

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We’ve had a few first days around here.

Megan had a first day that wasn’t!

I had reserved Megan’s daycare spot all summer. For those of you who haven’t participated in community daycare, reserving a spot means you pay a minimum charge all summer. I called on August 5 to let them know that Megan would be back on August 18. I was assured that it wouldn’t be a problem.

 On that morning, we got up early, put her in cute clothes, and took pictures on the deck. She was so excited!

When we got to daycare, she wasn’t on the list. In other words, she didn’t have a spot and there was no room for her. She cried, mom cried but the daycare teacher held firm. I brought her home again. Fortunately big sister was still home from school that day.

Apparently, the word hadn’t gotten around that I had reserved her spot all summer. It was a rough start.

Since then, things have gone well. She was excited to return the next day. Mom was a little embarrassed by the show of emotion that I had put on. I’m trying to be extra nice, and it is quite apparent that the daycare folks are feeling that same need to be extra nice. I hope that none of us get a cheek strain from all of that fake smiling!

Megan loves it there. That’s what counts!

Shega is off to first grade. She loves school! I’m sure she’ll need a boost academically this year, but she is so ready for structure and routine. We’re so pleased with her teacher and feel really lucky she’s in such a good place.

Emma is driving to school this year. Yikes! I warned her several times to stop at all of the “corn corners”. We live on a gravel and the corn is so tall at all of the corners, you have to come to a complete stop to know if anyone is coming. She assures me that she will be fine. I’ll just keep saying a little prayer as she disappears off the yard.

Thomas finally had his first full day today. He was so ready to go to school. Last week was a long week with the girls gone, and me in and out. He is ready for 5th grade.

I am back at school too. Contrary to what the kids might think, even teachers dread the start of school just a bit. Summer always flies by way too fast.  I do love getting to know the students once again. I work at an awesome place, so going back is a good thing.

The VVs are home with their babies. Both babies have RSV. Rats! We are staying away, and praying for a quick recovery. Mom and Dad VV really need a long night of sleep! We’re praying for you guys!

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We painted Emma’s room chocolate brown. We’re striping it with cream and green. It looked a bit scary when we started, but it looks great now.

Aunt Dode took the little girls swimming. They had an awesome time. Megan talked a ton about it today. Apparently they have a beach at that swimming pool!

I took the little girls to Sioux Falls to get their hair braided last week. I was a little worried about how the braids would hold up in the pool, but they look great yet today.  Emma had her hair cut too this week.

Megan goes to daycare school tomorrow and Shega and Emma start on Tuesday. Their hair should be cute.

Keep praying for the VanVoorsts. It’s been great fun to watch their journey unfold.

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Some of our favorite people are on their way to Ethiopia to bring their babies home. We can’t wait to meet them! We love you VVs!

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Sunday was so much fun! We took off early so we could attend worship at the Okoboji Bible Conference. Megan didn’t do well in the nursery, but she did ok in church. After church we got in our little boat and went to visit some friends on the lake. We picked up McDonalds to take along. That was NOT a good idea. One of the kids and her liberally applied ranch made a big splash in the front of the boat.

After the messy start, we arrived at the beach. The little girls beached and swam, the big girls (Emma and her friend) rode the wave runner and sunned, and the boys, (Thomas and a friend) went for some wild wave runner rides that led to some impromptu swims.  The adults sat in the shade and visited. It was great!

We went back to the conference for a Point of Grace concert. What a blessing the concert was!

Every year we say we’re going to spend the whole week at the Okoboji Bible Conference, but end up not doing it. I hope we can next year. It is a wonderful event.

I’m not sure what was up with Dropsy Emma. We have had a few giggles at her expense. You may have read about the fingernail polish debacle chronicled below. Well, her luck continued on Sunday. She dropped her cell phone in the camp ground toilet. She successfully fished it out and was thereafter shunned by her grossed out brother.

Later, while we were waiting for the concert to begin, she began to play with the girls’ “Fishers of Men” toy. The toy is a bit like a snow globe. You push the buttons and a stream of water pushes rings up. Players attempt to catch the rings on tiny fishing poles. It’s typically a closed system. No water leaves the little globe. However, when Emma tried it, the water squirted out and splashed a man sitting in the pew ahead of us. She jumped up to help him thereby spilling her raspberry smoothy (no whipped cream) all over herself and our pew. Poor Emma. I hope she is cured of the dropsy soon!

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Here are a few things that this mom finds very messy

1) I hate, haTE, HATE Fingernail polish!  My girls love it. They beg to have Emma and Aunt Dode paint their nails. This week, Megan painted Shega’s comforter. Oh well…there was some purple in it already. Also in fingernail polish news this week, Emma was planning to show me a really cool fingernail color in a small hair supply shop. Suddenly, she dropped the slippery little sucker. The lovely, sticky green was splattered all over the tri-state area with little bits of glass stuck to it. We’ll be able to admire the great color on our shoes over the next several years.

2) I detest bubbles. The little bubble wand  is always too short and stuck to the side of the jar. The girls need me to dig for it, causing my hands to be very sticky. They blow ten bubbles, and then lose the wand in the jar necessitating another sticky grab for it. This sequence is repeated until the remainder of the bottle is spilled on something important.

3) Sidewalk chalk. I never knew just how messy sidewalk chalk was until we had Shega and Megan. There’s something about that lovely brown skin and black hair covered with fine, multi-colored chalk dust that makes this item much less fun than I had remembered it.

4) Mr Freezes. My kids love them. I would like them, except little kids can’t quite suck the last drips out of the bottom of the little plastic tube. The kids abandon the little wrapper in all kinds of places, where the last of the sticky residue acts like glue…sticking the wrapper to any manner of household items.

Hey parents. What messy kid items do you hate??


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Shega:  Why do the kids say I’m black?  I’m really brown!

Me: Am I white?

Shega: No….you’re kind of tan.

Why do we do that!?!?

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The little girls are famous! The new Community Health Center opened. They wanted some pics of kids to grace the walls. Both girls are featured in the brochure and on the walls. Megan’s picture is on the sign outside the door. She looks very cute bigger than life! She’s bound to draw in new patients!


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Lexy uber-beaded a very willing Shega today. She looks fantastic! Thanks for the beads VVs. They worked great!

I tried to take the two girls to a pond to take a few pictures, but that didn’t go especially well. There were fish in the pond, and a scooter in the garage, and my camera just couldn’t quite compete.  We might have to repeat this ‘do for school pictures in a month.

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Megan got a new summer jammie. It’s the only “dress” pajama she has. When I dressed her for bed she looked at herself and said, “I’m Susie!  I dance with Daddy!”

It took me just a minute to figure it out. Susie was the bride to my nephew Ben at the wedding we attended in June. We haven’t seen them since then. But when she saw her lovely jammie, she was sure she was as beautiful as a bride.

Now she wants to be Susie each night at bedtime


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