It’s the first day of school today!

The kiddos went back to school today! I had to wake their sleepy heads up, of course, and rally them for the day. They have actually been sleeping late (sometimes all the way to 7am!) the past few weeks. Eventually they came down and the morning went well. Although Alan will be dropping them off in the mornings, I wanted to drop them off this first day so I could see the classrooms, meet the teachers, say hi to all my friends, etc.

Eve decided to do her hair this morning, which involved spraying the top with water and slicking it back. I tried to get her to spray all of it so we could make nice curls, but she insisted just the top to slick it back. I hoped it would dry before picture time, but of course she re-applied at the last minute, in her opinion making it look perfect for the pictures. Of course. Also, she had Nutella for breakfast and managed to get it all over her shoulders and dress. So her 1st day of school pictures have slicked hair and dirty clothes. When we got to school I noticed she had dried milk on her face too! Sigh.




The real excitement came as we were outside taking pictures, already running a bit late. Alan came out to help move everything along, Eve was feeling hurried and therefore put on the brakes, and Lex suddenly yells, “Daisy is in the garage!” Oh no!! Daisy came darting out of the garage and down the drive way. Alan moved to get her but she wanted no part of that. I was trying to take Eve’s picture and then had to find somewhere safe to put down my camera and the big picture frame. Eve and Lex were near tears. Chaos ensued. We chased her around the house for a bit, alternating between trying to dart and grab her, and just calmly call her name. I kept looking at my watch and thinking “we’re late, we’re really late,” and Daisy zoomed on! I ran in to get her some food (tempt her, maybe?) and somehow she made her way back into the garage and Eve shut it. The mudroom door was open and as I came into the mudroom from the kitchen, Daisy darted in from the garage. We met in the middle. I tried to comfort her, but she was cold and wet and shaking, and she made a bee-line for the kitchen door, patting it with her paw until I opened it and let her in. Whew!

Once we knew she was safe inside we left for school. The whole thing only took about five minutes, but it felt like much longer! We were a bit late for school, but seeing as it was the first day no one was too concerned. The kids were both the last ones in their rooms, but they had a fun story to tell. We were actually a bit later because Eve wanted to stop and tell the story to everyone we met along the way.

I dropped them at school and went to the Montessori school for my first official in-service day. All went well. We had a staff meeting, classroom set up, met a new student, etc. Then I came home, tried to finish my CPR/First-Aid online training as fast as I could while also multi-tasking on snack and bread making.

As the time drew near I started looking out the window for the bus. It was late, and then later. About 15 minutes after it’s expected arrival time I saw it come from the wrong direction, pull into our street, and the kids got off. Hmm…. that was unexpected! Turns out it was just running late (not unusual for the first day of school) and the driver missed their stop! Fortunately they were paying attention and spoke up! He turned around at the next road and brought them back. Whew!

They LOVED school! Both were bursting with stories and excitement and super happy to tell me that I had to do homework tonight! Paper work in duplicate. Good times. We had a nice snack then I ignored them for the rest of the afternoon as I finished up my CPR course. Alan came home at dinner time and I headed out for the in-person practice part of the training. Now that is done, I’ve successfully passed, the kids are happy and in bed, and it’s time for a glass of wine and laundry! Good times. :)

School starts tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first day of school. Second grade, fourth grade, and Montessori for the momma. The funny thing is, we all feel pretty “meh” about the whole thing. In the past we’ve had countdowns and excitement (sort of), but this year it is creeping up quietly. I was telling Rosy this morning that we could almost miss the first day. We’d probably be well into the day before the kids even think about it. Fortunately for all of us I’m on top of things and we won’t miss it! I was talking to them in bed tonight and Lex mustered some excitement, but Eve was pretty indifferent. :) Luckily I’m confident the day will go well from start to finish and everyone will have fun. That’s more than I could say in past years. We went to the playground yesterday with Rose and Lex wanted us to play four square with him the whole time. When we’d had enough he asked if we would play kick ball or tag. Eve suggested playing “baby mountain lions,” an imaginary games she plays with her friends. Lex was not interested. I think he’s ready to be with his boy friends again, running and playing.

I have a busy day myself tomorrow. I’m dropping the kids off (because I can’t stand not seeing them off on the first day, seeing their classrooms, and saying hi to their teachers), then I’m off to the Montessori school for my first official “in-service” day. We have a staff meeting, a home visit, and a student coming for a school visit. Plus classroom setup, of course. Then home to meet the kids off the bus. In the evening I have to go to the hospital for a CPR/First Aid certification class. Because Montessori students are as young as 3yrs old the school is technically classified as a childcare (not educational) facility and therefore has to abide by childcare licensing laws. CPR/First Aid certification being one of them. I’ll also have to take a number of hours of child development classes, which are the same things I was doing when I ran my daycare. Like old times. :)

I’ll try to post again tomorrow with first day of school photos and updates.

Road trip!

Rosy was here this week and Friday found us restless and ready to roll. We had been thinking of an overnight trip to Maine, or a day trip to the beach, or something, but timing and weather and ambition failed us, so when Friday arrived we had the desire to go but no real plans. Sometimes that’s the best way! It was a chilly day, so we headed first to the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover. We’ve never been there, but I have a museum pass that gets us into many different museums and that’s one of them so I figured it would be a good first stop.

The museum was small, but it had a some fun exhibits and it was perfect for our day trip.


They had a huge K’nex contraption that carried plastic balls around. It was fascinating to watch.


The gears are turning.


Me and Eve wearing African masks.

pin board eve p1

A 5′ tall pin-board. Tons of fun!

pin board eve p2

Unfortunately they had a plexiglass panel in front of it, which made it difficult to take pictures. :/

sub nap

Eve took a nap on a submarine.


This exhibit was neat. Just by touching the wooden pieces on the wall you completed electrical circuits that light up the lights on the other wall.

pin board lex p1

This is the back of the pin board.

pin board lex p2

Lex from the front.

I tried to make a video of it because it’s cool to watch, but unfortunately the plexiglass made it hard to see. If you watch this in full-screen you can mostly see Lex coming through.

After the museum we went on a hunt for lunch. It was around 2pm, so we were all hungry and ready to eat! We found a nice bagel place by the river and we sat out on the deck to eat. It was lovely.

water falls

We found a neat water fall on our search for lunch.

mill buildings

Dover, like many NH cities, is full of old mill buildings.

During lunch we made a plan to drive to the coast and look for lighthouses. With a little help from the Internet we found lighthouses on New Castle island off the coast of Portsmouth. We headed that way!

light house

Whaleback Light, a light house off the cost of New Castle Island.

When we got there we discovered that not only were there two lighthouses, but also Fort Constitution, which used to be used to guard Portsmouth harbor and the Piscataqua River. To get to the fort we had to follow a blue line through a Coast Guard base, with lots of warnings to those who dared stray. We explored the fort for awhile and wished we could get closer to the lighthouses (which apparently I didn’t take any pictures of!)

blue line

Follow the blue line…


Welcome to Fort Constitution.

eve peeking

Eve, peeking out at the harbor through the guard windows.

After leaving the fort we decided to head south to Wallis Sands beach to dip our toes in the ocean. The day was too chilly for swimming, but we didn’t want to get that close and not touch the Atlantic!

low water

I was amazed at how low the water was around these NH coastal islands. Some of the docks couldn’t even reach the water.

As we drove I made a last minute decision to head north instead, towards York Beach in Maine. Globe-trotting Rosy had never been to Maine so we decided to make it happen right then and there!

We stopped first at another lighthouse, one we’ve been to before several years ago.

another lighthouse

Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine.


It was a chilly day on the Atlantic!


We always love coastal rock climbing.


This is a totally silly picture. Rose and Eve are pretending to row, I’m apparently no help at all, and Lex is holding my camera and Rosy’s camera side by side and simultaneously taking pictures with both. Pure silliness.

We found several tide pools among the giant rocks by the shore.

We found several tide pools among the giant rocks by the shore.

After a little exploring there we hopped back in the car and drove directly to the beach! However, on the way we remembered the taffy shop at the beach and decided maybe we needed some taffy in our bellies before hitting the sandy shores.


Taffy time!! This guy is putting in a new chunk of taffy to be rolled, sliced, and wrapped.

eve and taffy

She is a lot bigger than she was the last time were here!

Then, finally, we headed for the water. By this time it was about six o’clock and only 65°, and breezy, of course. The tide was coming in and the waves were crashing.

york beach

York Beach – Short Sands

wet eve

“Ummm, Mom, did you bring any extra clothes for me?” she asks, already half way soaked.

Late, cold, windy… but nothing can stop these two!

The ocean is calling to them.

The ocean is calling to them.

swimming eve

The tide was coming in and waves were great!

swimming lex

He’s an ocean boy.

We really need to spend more time at the ocean. Next summer I’d love to stay for a few days. Maybe we can get a house at a less popular beach and just chill with the ocean for awhile. Who’s in?!

all the way

They went all the way in! Soaked from head to toe.

leaving p1

I gave them about a half hour then made them get out.

leaving p2

Aww… mom, can’t we swim some more?!

Although I packed suits, towels, and extra clothes at the start of our trip, by the time we reached the beach I didn’t expect them to actually swim so I only brought one towel down to the shore. Luckily they are good at sharing. Eve kept laughing and running away, which made the rest of us laugh because she was the chilly one.


I love these two!!

two in a towel p1

This scene made my heart happy.

two in a towel p2

I was like the paparazzi, following them around trying to get that perfect shot! (Lex thinks this one is it, but I like the first one better.)

When we got back to parking car I got more towels and dry clothes for them. Then I remembered that I should get a picture of me and Rosy! We were there too! :)




A nice lady offered to take a picture of all of us. Can’t say no to that!

By this point it was late and we were hungry, so we walked over to a local pizza place. On the way we saw a bowling alley and Lex decided he really wanted to go bowling. He really, really wanted to go bowling. We got done with dinner around 8pm, but he had been so nice and so sweet all day I couldn’t bring myself to say no to bowling, so bowling we went! Rosy and Eve opted out of the fun and went in search of ice cream instead.


This was the tiniest, oldest, low-techiest bowling alley and it was exactly what we needed!

ice cream

These crazy girls weren’t chilly enough so they got ice cream while Lex and I bowled a round.

One quick game and we headed for the car, everyone happy and exhausted!

Ninja time!

The kids had their second belt test tonight. They both did AWESOME! I was really impressed with how focused and strong they were, especially since they have been quite silly at lessons lately. They pulled through with flying colors. Orange colors. :)

with rosy

Chillin’ with Aunt Rosy before the belt test begins.


They were so strong and focused.


The sensi told Lex that he was really focused and did a great job on his moves.


Then he asked Eve how it is possible that she did so well on her karate, focused and strong, and also managed to make every sempi (teacher) at the table smile. There’s something about that girl!


They are so proud and excited to start learning new moves – orange belt moves!

We celebrated the achievements with take-out pizza and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the original 1990 version. We figured karate and pizza called for TMNT!

The other excitement for today is that Rosy came to visit! And she brought with her a tent!


There were two very happy children in the kitchen this afternoon. And a tent.

They are "sleeping" in the tent tonight, in the office.

They are “sleeping” in the tent tonight, in the office.


This was a mistake picture but it looks pretty cool.


“Sleeping” seems to involve lots of flashlight action. :)

The grownups in the house have odds on whether or not they will make it. The kids are pretty determined though. They say it’s their practice run and they want to sleep outside in the yard tomorrow. We’ll see about that. It’s pouring rain tonight. Maybe it will rain tomorrow too. :)

Update: By 11:30pm, with the help of me laying down with them for awhile, they are both asleep, in their tent, in the office. We are all going to be tired tomorrow, but that how it goes with camping!



Crazy kids say “Thanks Julie and Jim and Molly and Kate!!!”  They loved the surprise package!  Thanks.  The rice crispy treats are delicious too…or, umm,  so I’ve heard.  I certainly haven’t eaten a dozen of them myself. That would be a crazy thing to do.  Speaking of crazy, it runs in the family – notice Eve’s shirt?  It is so awful I couldn’t say no when she begged for it at the store yesterday.  The top says “Check meowt”. Hysterically awful and she loves it.

An emotional start to the school year

I’m feeling a little emotional today, and since I haven’t had a good emotional post here in awhile I figured it was about time.

The teachers in our district go back to school today. This is their in-service week and next Monday the kiddos start school too. This morning I was talking to the kids about school shopping and I mentioned that the teachers had to start school today. They of course asked why I’m not in school, since I’m a teacher too. My first thought was, “welll…..” but instead I explained that teachers in our district start today, but I will be in a different district and the teachers in that district start next week. Which, really, is super convenient for me since I can be home with the kids this week and I’ll start my “in-service” time the same week they go back to school.

On the surface everything is perfect. I have a steady job, with nice people, in a beautiful school, following a philosophy that makes so much sense to me. It will be calm and peaceful at school, and at home since I’ll be home in the afternoons with my kids and we don’t have to deal with long bus rides and daycare this year. Everyone will be happy.

Yet, I can’t help this little part of me that feels totally disappointed in myself and this outcome. After working so hard last year to become a teacher, learning how to write lessons and differentiate and set up a classroom and so much more… then ending up as an assistant and being trained on how to color coordinate the sponges and refill the polishing cream feels depressingly anti-climactic. I was eager for a job in June and feeling stressed because the job listings were drying up, I took this one. It is a good job, but in hindsight maybe I should have held out a bit longer.

Since I took the job several classroom teacher positions have opened up, in schools I’d like to be in. I’ve been encouraged by friends and peers to back out of my Montessori contract and go for the classroom jobs. Apparently “teachers do it all the time!” Unfortunately I have higher standards for myself and backing out of a perfectly good contract just didn’t feel right. Especially since there is nothing wrong with the job, in fact there are many very right things about it… it’s just not what I was hoping to be doing this year. My logical mind says I did the right thing and this is a good step for my work-life balance, but the evil voice inside says maybe I’m just being lazy, if I was really serious I’d go for the prize, whatever it takes. Often I’m good at staying logical and suppressing that voice, but sometimes it pipes up.

I saw a woman from UVEI at Panera Bread this afternoon. She was having a working lunch with her new teacher friends. I also just texted a friend of mine about getting together tomorrow, then remembered that she got hired in the middle school this year and is at work this week. These things should make me feel happy to not be working, but instead they make me feel sad. :/

Often when I feel my craziest it’s when my logic and emotions collide, leaving me with internal debates that can have no winner. So today I am trying to stay positive, relax into the fact that I am home with the kids, not at work, and ignore the fact that it would be super cool (and totally stressful!) to be at work right now, setting up a new classroom and preparing for my first teaching job. Exactly where I wanted to be at this point in the year! Alas, that will have to wait for next year (I hope!) and this will be a calm, quiet year in someone else’s classroom.

In the meantime, who doesn’t love fresh school supplies!?!



Our summer has a rocky theme to it this year, thanks in part to Mema’s frequent visits. Last week she took us up to the Vermont Marble Museum where we got to see lots of beautiful marble samples and learn the history of marble mining in Vermont. I didn’t even know there was marble mining in Vermont! Apparently the eastern side of the state has a belt of granite and the western side has a belt of marble. Hence the mountain moniker.


The museum entry is framed with gigantic marble slabs. I think the sign said they were about 18,000lbs each.


As the article proclaimed, keep mom in the picture!


Grandpa Tom went right to work carving soapstone.


This is a cute statute with no owner (see sign below).

statue sign

I offered to help out if they are looking for a new owner. :)


The hall of presidents. The kids got bored here pretty quickly, so we sent them on some quests, like finding how many presidents were from Vermont (2), Virgina (8), or how many were bald (?) or had beards (6).


This would make a beautiful garden bench, wouldn’t it?


The kids got tired and took a little rest, then rallied for the second half of the museum!


I love this fireplace. Maybe we need to put a layer of marble tile over our ugly brick fireplace.


I found my new kitchen! :)


We were told that for insurance purposes visitors were no longer allowed to view the actual marble mines. That was sad. This picture here is impressive though.


We bought a few things at the gift shop, then found this “free marble” pile by the exit. D’oh! We each grabbed several pieces of raw marble to go with our polished, purchased samples.


Lex wanted to write a newspaper article about our trip, so he had me take this picture of him. I was happy to oblige.


We were hoping to eat lunch by the marble mine, but since that was closed we settled for the next best thing – a beautiful park. Rough life.


We couldn’t leave without a little more rock climbing! And camera posing.

It was a beautiful day for a day trip and now we are even more knowledgeable of the rocks in Vermont!

Fun at the fair

Today we made our somewhat annual (2008, 2013) trek to the county fair. I always think of Rosy when we go to the fair on her birthday weekend. Maybe some day we can go to the fair with her again on her birthday weekend. For now we went with friends instead.


We started at the sheep barn. These guys were all wearing coats. It was a pretty chilly day and we were wearing coats (sweatshirts) too!

sheep in jackets

Lex found a sign that said they were wearing jackets to keep them clean, not to keep them warm. I guess they were show sheep. :)


This looks like a picture of A, but really it was picture of the guy shaving his cows bottom in the background. There was a lot of that going on today. Elizabeth and I had a good laugh about it. Good times at the county fair.

fun house

It was ride bracelet day (the reason we went!) and the kids loved it! They started with the fun house. I love it because I don’t have to say, “Really? Are you sure you want to spend four tickets on that?!?” Instead I just let them ride on whatever dumb ride they want as many times as they want and everyone is happy. :)

eve slide

The slide is always popular too.

lex slide

I love that smile!


This picture had the potential to be pretty cool, but not quite. Oh well. They loved the Scrambler and went on it many times! I made them take breaks though, so no one got too scrambled up!


This was A’s first spiny ride. I think he liked it. :)

ferris wheel

This year the Ferris wheel was a favorite. (The guy looks like he’s posing too.)


Look at that sky! It was breezy and chilly and threatening to rain all day, but it held off. I’d take that over sweltering hot though!


I brought a picnic lunch (to go with the french fries we bought!) and we settled down to watch a show. This lady had some pretty cool basketball moves.

The girl in the red and white polka dots next to Lex is one of his classmates. She was really sweet and spent some time with us. She wanted to go on rides with Lex, but it just didn’t quite work out. She didn’t have tickets, then the ride was full and he couldn’t get on, and other mis-alignments. She ended up sitting with us for lunch and it was nice to see one of his classmates really being nice and chosing to spend time with him. It also gave me a funny peek into the future. Neither of them really knew what to say to one another and both were a little awkward. He liked having her around though. :)

cotton candy making

The kids really wanted cotton candy so we got a little lunch dessert. Lex was curious about how it’s made so we ordered it on a cone instead of in the bag.

cc lex p1

They gave him a lot!! Lex likes this picture best, but I like the next one. Therefore I’ll post both. :)

cc lex p2

It’s bigger than his head! Good thing cotton candy is mostly air, and he shared happily with Eve. :)

basketball lady

We went back to watch the lady for a few more minutes while the kids ate their treat.


After lunch I decided to buy some tickets and go on a few rides with the kids. I love fair rides! I don’t love the $1/ticket price though. :/ Turns out my arms aren’t long enough to get a three person “us” shot. Where’s Alan when we need him?!

eve alone

I went on the Scrambler with them, then on the Ferris wheel. Then they went on the Ferris wheel a few more times without me, then Lex was bored and Eve went again on her own!


Lex really wanted me to go on the Wipeout ride with him, so we convinced Eve to go too. I thought it would be like the Himalayas ride (remember that one?!) that she loved when we went to Santa’s Village a few years ago. Turns out it was a bit different and a lot scarier! She kept yelling, “I’m ok, just completely terrified!” Poor girl. She held it together though and survived the ride.

lex alone

Lex loved it so much he went again on his own!


When ride bracelet time was over everyone was sad, however we wandered over to the tractors and managed to have a little more fun.

face paint

Eve waited in line for 40 minutes to get her face painted. The lady does it free of charge and does an awesome job. Eve chose the “dolphin mask” style.


Bunnies for sale. Only $25 each. (no, we did not get one)


On the way out we stopped to visit some young oxen. I’m assuming they are oxen based on the yoke. Does any other animal wear a yoke? The boy was their owner and full of interesting information.


The kids liked getting their hands licked. :)

Home again, home again, everyone was tired and happy. I think tomorrow will be a calmer day, per Lex’s request.