Halloween and other updates

Happy Halloween! We have been pretty neglectful of this holiday (admittedly not my favorite) this year. Lex had some grand plans for cardboard costumes, all Minecraft related, which would have been awesome but none of us had the time or motivation to make it happen. Eve wanted to be Mad-Eye Moody (from Harry Potter), but we ran out of time for that as well. We ended up at the costume store Sunday where she decided on some Gryffindor robes and orange hair spray to be Ginny Weasley. Lex was not motivated to come with us to the costume store, and he was easily swayed when Alan suggested staying home and playing Minecraft together instead of trick-or-treating. Eve offered to share her candy. All was decided. Ordinarily such a milestone would make me sad, but since I don’t like Halloween anyway, I’m just fine with this decision.

I have no idea how many trick-or-treaters to expect this year. At the old house we got 150-200 most years, but I think it will be far less at this house. I bought a few small bags of candy, and by “small” I mean regular size, not the gigantic Halloween bags they sell this time of year. Eve decided to package them into goody bags, sooo…. I hope we don’t get more than 20 kids coming to the door. LOL!

My little witch making Halloween goody bags.

What else? We are settling in to the new house. Hanging blinds, rearranging things, unpacking boxes, setting up drums, building bunk beds, making messes, and generally living here. We closed on the old house on Thursday and it went off with only a minor water bill hitch. I was able to remedy that quickly and all is well. It’s nice to be able to pay off some of the debt we acquired while building this place!

Three beds?!? The world’s best fort? A room to drive mom crazy? We’ll see. :)

I am running a book fair at school this week. It’s exciting and exhausting and the kids LOVE it! The book fair made over $1200 the first day! I don’t know if that’s a lot or not, but it seemed pretty impressive to me! We’ll see how the rest of the week goes. It was fun to see kids so excited to buy books.

This whole summer/fall has been a mountain of things piling up (the house, the new house, the book fair, two grad courses, the 5K I was training for, Lego League, field hockey… other stuff….) and now things are starting to close/end/ramp down. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. We moved into the new house and sold the old house. I quit the 5K training and was never so happy as on the day the race was to take place and I didn’t have to be there! Field hockey ended last week. Book fair will end after this week. My grad course end in mid-November and Lego League ends in mid-December. I’m not longer pushing the boulder up the mountain, it’s now just a gentle ride back down!

Ok, off to school now. I’ve got a book fair to run! And also library classes, a K literacy group, and a reading group! Oh, and did I mention, it’s Halloween!! LOL!

My life, in bullet points

  • We are closing on our new house next Friday (Friday the 13th, to be precise!)

We have a lot of mirrors in the master bath vanity!

  • Everything is coming along swimmingly!

We were here for awhile, making faces in the mirrors.  :)

  • We hope to get all the moving done in one weekend. Alan says one day, but I can’t even imagine that. :)

I”m sure she’ll be super helpful!

  • Lego League is going a bit better.  We have divided up into three teams, so the chaos is more manageable.  I have a bad habit of finding myself in charge of things, so I’m pretty much in charge of the Upper Valley First Lego League team.
  • School is good.  No, school is great!  I don’t always love going (so much to do at home!), but I always love being there.
  • I’m in the middle of two grad courses.  One boring and the other super boring!  I posted a minor vent on a closed Facebook group for librarians about my cataloging course and got over 100 replies, most all of them completely emphasize, but a handful who admit to absolutely loving cataloging. It takes all sorts, I suppose.  Glad someone likes doing that stuff and I’m double glad I won’t have to do much of it after completing the program!  :)
  • The kids have both had growth spurts and now have a whole lot of ankle showing.  ‘Tis the season, I suppose.  Probably should do some cold weather shopping soon, before the cold weather really hits!
  • I started a Battle of the Books program at school.  It’s for 4th and 5th graders and will take us through the end of February.  The kids were luke warm at first and I was getting nervous, but last week they got to pick their books and we officially kicked off the project and they were SO EXCITED!  I loved it!  It made me feel 100% more confident about the idea and I know it’s going to be fun!

The brackets are up!

  • I finished making the growth chart I’ve been thinking about for 10 years.  It came out really great.  I’m happy with it and now we can officially move.

Growth chart ruler

  • I am running my first book fair at school in three weeks.  I feel wholly unprepared for it!  The kids at school are very excited and definitely missed it last year.
  • PTO is organizing a Color-A-Thon again this year.  It’s supposed to be bigger and better than last year.  I’m the VP of the PTO and should be helping with this effort.  I’m not.  I do plan to show up for the event.  I hope that’s sufficient for this year.
  • We got flu shots last weekend.  Did you see the photo?  Lex was worried, of course, but didn’t protest too much.  He held my hands and cried a little, but he got himself there, talked himself through the whole thing, and didn’t end up no the floor even once.  Eve smiled for a photo at the end!  I think my babies are growing up!!

Alan says, “Flu shots for a happy family and healthy community.”

  • Eve is playing field hockey this fall and loving it!  She has practices three times a week and one or two games each week (sometimes a game replaces a practice).
  • Lex is belt testing next week for his purple belt.  He’s had the green one so long that the threads are coming out!  He said it’s time to retire the green belt.  We missed a few tests over the summer, so he hasn’t tested in many months.
  • Monday is in-service for me and no school for the kids.  I decided to sign them up for a rec sponsored trip to Jay Peak, a super cool (or so I’ve heard) indoor water park that’s two hours away!  We have talked about going for years, but never made it.  The kids are thrilled that I’m letting them go.  I’m nervous about the distance, but I had a nice email exchange with the parks department director and the details he provided greatly reassured me.  I still don’t love them being that far away without me (am I weird?) but I know they’ll have a great time and ya know, Alan and I have to work, so it’s a pretty good deal.
  • Alan is super busy at work, with town stuff, and, of course, taking care of all the important yet boring parts of this house process, like researching lights and keeping the finances moving forward.  He has been the detail man on this project and has done a wonderful job keeping it all on track.  I just show up with cookies and a camera when the mood strikes!

My growing girl

Eve picked up her flute tonight. She is so excited! It was a crazy night at “instrument pick-up” where all the 5th graders in the district showed up for their new band instruments.

She also started sewing, all on her own. She sewed up a stuffed animal that Arlo chewed the eye off of, and today, after Arlo got her doggie, Eve went right to work. She does a great job too!

First day of school

5th and 7th! Can you believe it!!

They both woke up happy and ready for school. We managed photos without anyone getting cranky, without any animals escaping, and without anyone being late for school! We’re finally getting good at this! LOL!

I had a good day at school. The superintendent even stopped by when I was teaching a 1st grade class and those kiddos were perfect! I was handing out stuffies for them to cuddle as reading buddies, were were naming the stuffies and discussing how much they like stories, and then he walked in. It was perfect! :) Earlier in the day I ran a fun scavenger hunt with the 5th graders. They loved it!

Macy scanning the QR code on my back. The word was “fire” and the kids laughed that there was fire on the librarian! :)

After school and popcorn for snack (it’s our thing) Eve went to play at Macy’s house for awhile, then they came back here and we all took a walk over to the new house. Guess what?! We have solar panels!!! And siding on the whole exterior. So exciting!! The developer told us (via email) that the landscaping crew was coming at the end of this week and the area will look very different soon. We are hoping they get that path carved out soon.

Then we got home and Eve crashed on the floor! She was literally asleep on the living room floor at 6:15pm! I tried to get dinner in her, but no luck, I tried to get her to shower and brush her teeth, but no luck (yuck!), and by 7:30 she was sound asleep in bed… with me by her side! I woke up an hour later, remembering I still had another kid to put to bed too. :) He didn’t mind the extra Minecraft time!

Here’s hoping we can pull it all off again tomorrow!

Last day of summer vacation

Today is the last day of summer vacation before the kiddos (and me) start back to school tomorrow. I wanted to do something fun and celebration-ish, but sadly that is not our life these days. I did let the kids watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix this morning as a fun start to the day. Eve decided a few weeks ago that she wanted to start watching them and we’ve been jamming through them ever since!

Yep, tv, laundry, and my laptop hard at work on the last day of vacation.

We had the woman who is *hopefully* buying our house over today for an inspection. She brought her son and parents to check out the place as well. All was good, I think. Waiting to hear back from them now.

Then I dragged the kids to school for just one hour, I promised them! ‘Cause there’s nothing a kid wants to do more on the last day of vacation then go to school! They were good helpers and we got out of there fast. I’m feeling totally stressed out about how much there is to do this year! I really just wanted to make sure the library was clean, organized, and presentable before the kiddos all come back tomorrow. I really wanted to do a lot more than that, but I keep reminding myself that I rearranged a good part of it and did a full inventory this summer — so it’s not like I’ve been slacking!

The fish had babies again. Lots of them!! Just in time for back to school. Good fishies. :)

Afterwards we went to the sports store and dropped a lot of cash on new cleats, shin guards, mouth guard (and case!), eye wear, and field hockey stick for Miss Eve to start field hockey again. She played two years ago and liked it, but took last year off. Back at it today!

Don’t mess with this chick!

All geared up and ready to go. I think she said, “No, don’t take a picture of me, ” but it’s hard to tell with the mouth guard in! LOL!

My Mondays and Wednesdays for the next ten weeks will be field hockey/karate taxi runs. Luckily they have nice staggered times and don’t start and end at the exact same times. When I picked Eve up she said, “I forgot how much I like field hockey!!” When I picked Lex up he said, “My gi is getting too small. We need to buy a new one.” Good thing I’m going back to work!

We got dinner at Panera. That’s a fun celebration, right?! I even got them a cookie (to share). Alan joined us and we had a nice time together. On the way home we stopped at the new house. They have a roof on the porch (oh, and a porch!), the doors are now locked with a key, and we saw they even put up the first two pieces of sheet rock!!

Our porch is tiny, but cute. I like the green wrapper around the post. :)

Drywall! Sheet rock? Is there a difference? Anyway, there’s the laundry chute. It will open on both sides so you can put clothes in from both bathrooms. Sa-weet!

Lex noticed that you can watch the neighbor’s TV from our kitchen window! LOL! They were both watching together (it was the news and they said they could see Trump’s head), but when I tried to take a picture, Lex ran away.

We also met a couple who has just put a down payment on Lot F (the lot next to the magazine home being built). That was cool. They have a daughter who was in Lex’s class at DBS and is now at the middle school, though he was quick to tell us that she’s not on his team. I know for a fact that she is a very sweet girl though. Hopefully that bodes well for the parents as well. :)

Let’s see… what else is going on… Eve lost another molar today. Her second in less than a week. I’m hoping one of them is the molar with the cavity the dentist wanted to fill! Arlo has a hurt paw. Not sure why. He’s been chewing on it for a few days. I have to get him to the vet, eventually, but I’ll say, as much as I love our vet, I feel like I’ve seen more than enough of her lately!! Between the cat with allergies and the dog with whatever he’s had going on… I’m ready to stop spending money on these pets!! I’ll be good though and take him in soon.

Tomorrow is the first day of school. I have nothing to wear and only asked this kids at bedtime if they have anything to wear. Lex found an outfit. Eve swears she’ll come up with something. They both have full dirty laundry baskets. I think my days of “let’s look perfect for the first day of school,” may be behind me. I even remembered this evening that I packed up their “first day of school” photos, the ones we use each year for them to hold for the new year’s photos. I dug them out real quick!! I’ll keep that tradition alive… for a little longer. I was hoping to have a new front door for the photo this year, but alas, one more year with the old front door. :) I considered driving over to the new house for photos, but I already know I won’t be that ambitious tomorrow morning!

First day of school photos — all packed up! Oops!

Now I’m off to do more prep work for tomorrow. I don’t even have lessons plans fleshed out for my classes tomorrow. Eeek!! I will though, I promise!! Lex and I had a long chat about having a positive attitude. We’re both going to keep that in mind as the new school year starts. :)

What I’m working on…

Life is busy.  So much for the lazy days of summer!  I’m working on:

  1. Getting our house ready to sell.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, we have four showings and one of them has already made an offer! I have spent the past few days cleaning, straightening, taking things down, filling holes, painting, sweeping, etc.  Our house is looking spic and span and sparse!
  2. Coordinating contractors.  The upstairs bathtub started leaking, through the floor and through the bedroom ceiling!  A project which wasn’t on any list suddenly jumped right to the top!  We have a contractor here now who is doing the work, very well, but very slowly!  I’m also trying to line up someone to hang drywall and someone to fix our bulkhead door.
  3. Keeping up with the new house.  They are behind schedule (of course!) because of all this dang rainy weather we’ve been having!  The foundation is pour and at this point they are planning to start framing on Monday. They are also hoping to pour the garage and pour concrete on Monday.  We have been eagerly awaiting that so we can try to put hand prints in fresh cement on the porch.  I started a shared Google album where I’m putting pictures of the house project.  I’d like to make it into a book when it’s all done. Feel free to check it out.  I’ll add photos as the house is built.
  4. Finishing up my two grad courses.  I have a project a week due and a big one due on Sunday.  I worked hard to get ahead of the assignments before leaving for California, but then was behind by the time I got back.  One more week and all the assignments will be due and done!  Then I get a break before the next round of courses start. :)
  5. Inventorying the library collection.  I got approval for summer work to conduct a full inventory of the library, which hasn’t been done in over ten years!  That was great news, however now I’m trying to get those hours in before heading to Franklin next week.  By the time I get back from Franklin they will cleaning the carpets in the school and very shortly after that we will be back at work!  Where is my summer going?!?
  6. I was trying to make a Snapfish book about our vacation because they had a great promotion running, but I missed that deadline so now I have a half finished book.  I’ll try to finish it soon so it’s ready for the next time they are running a special.  Also, this blog. :)  I think I’m a few blog posts behind.
  7. Ferrying kids back and forth to camp this week.  Ignoring the dog.  Ignoring all my healthy eating and exercise efforts.

Last week I got last minute tickets to see Beauty and the Beast, but put on by the theater company who is running Eve’s theater camp.  I took Eve and one of her classmates.  We had a great time!  It was a fun little break from the busy chaos.

Eve and her friend with Belle. Eve’s friend got all decked out in her pretty clothes and high heels. Eve grabbed a stuffie and flip-flops.

Also, Lex loves the cat.  I love Lex.

They are adorable. <3

And my fish at school had babies!  Surprise!  I was there doing inventory and a summer school teacher (they are using the library) came over and asked if the fish were mine.  Umm… who else’s would they be?!  He said, “Did you know you have babies in the tank?” Ummmm… nope!  I had five cichlids, one died (or was killed by the others) and the others are two mating pairs.  Surprise!  I didn’t even know the females were pregnant.  I don’t even know which ones are females!!  (You’d think as a librarian I would figure these things out, but really, who has time for that?!?)  So now there are lots of little babies swimming around.  I hope one or two survive to adulthood.  :)

Babies! Fries? :)

Middle School Spring Concert

I never imagined I would be spending as much time watching my children perform as I have been this spring!  Concerts and plays and spelling bees and plays, oh my!

Lex had his spring concert this week.  The band was great and I always love watching him on percussion.  The middle school has a fun jazz band too and Lex decided he would join that next year.

Spelling Bee

This young lady came home with a Spelling Bee qualification a few weeks (months?) ago.  I was surprised that she had taken the pretest and pleased she qualified.  She was nervous and proud of herself.  She did a little practicing off and on over the next few weeks, and today was the big day!

 
Spelling “climbed”

Spelling “dimensions”

She made it to the top five!  She was one of two remaining fourth graders and she went out with a third grader.  The Spelling Bee ended with the top two spellers (they were the top two for the past three years!) going back and forth for a few rounds and then the winner finally emerged – victorious for the third year in a row!!  She is a friend of Eve’s and Eve was proud of her, although she later told me, “Mom, next year it’s mine!!!”   :)