29 May 2009

Space Camp

Rachel had the opportunity to attend Space Camp at the NASA Center in Huntsville, Alabama last weekend. She was gone three days with her fifth grade class and reports that it was a fabulous time. They were shot straight up into the air 100 feet at 60 mph, slept in habitats, built model rockets and had a mock mission, which included a lunar landing. Rachel played the part of flight director from the control room. "It was all so cool", she says.

Rachel is seated, second from the right.

26 May 2009

The Results Are In ...

So we finally got the results back on Jay's allergy bloodwork. I had to do a little research on how to read it, but, here's the breakdown: Jay is allergic to peanuts, all tree nuts (this includes cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds...), eggs, and DOGS! Yes, dogs. Didn't see that one comin'.

Jay carries epi-pens with him and his reactions have not been so severe that we've had to use them yet. All reports show that he'll grow out of these allergies, at his own pace, and with a good eye on what he eats and a firm hand on the dogs in his life (we have two, now exclusively outdoor, dogs) he should be fine. We are managing his eczema with doctor's orders and the sun plus a well chlorinated pool should help out with that this summer. What can you do? He's so worth it!

21 May 2009


Our family lives less than a block from an elementary school. What a plus for a family with five kids under the age of twelve! I highly recommend it. I digress...

Our two that attend that school ride their bikes or walk everyday, so I only take our middle-schooler to school in the mornings. We actually only live about a mile from that school, and she wants to ride her bike, but, it's so busy with cars and buses that I just don't let her.

Every day, and I mean every day, we see the same sight - a mom and daughter walking to school together. The mom carries the backpack and the daughter walks beside her. I also see the mom walking home alone while I am exiting the school. Every day.

Rachel (11) commented on this sight this morning. She said, "Mom, you would never do that." She's absolutely right. I wouldn't, and I don't. I think it's wonderful that this mom dotes on her daughter. I think it's wonderful that they have that time together every day. I can only assume that she does the same in the afternoons (I wouldn't know, though, because I make my daughter ride the bus home).

After I dropped Rae at the door of her school, she walked in with a friend she saw and they were busy chatting about whatever middle school girls chat about. She's fine; she's independent and she's secure. Should I be doting on her more? Does she understand why I don't dote on her the way she sees that other mom doting on her daughter? Will she raise secure, independent daughters?

I will see that mom again tomorrow, walking her daughter to school, carrying her backpack for her daughter and wonder. Maybe, I think, this mom is there to remind me that she can raise her daughter her way and I can raise mine my way. We all know our children and our capabilities the best. I cannot second guess her, and I should not doubt myself. Neither should you.

19 May 2009

Apple, anyone?

Jay has been showing plenty of allergic reactions, but, one thing is for certain: you give this boy an apple and set him in his chair and he will be a happy man to the core. Pun intended.

On a more serious note, we have seen severe reactions to eggs and peanuts. So, anyone feeding my children please be aware. Give the ladies anything you want (and they'll eat it) but, with our Prince James, ask me first! He reacts still to unknown foods and seems to always have a rash.

18 May 2009

More Field Day

Charlotte had her first field day. As a kindergartner, they do a bunch of fun stuff, like relays and tug of war. Charlotte finished third in the basketball throw, second in the scooter race and first in jump rope and bowling! Great job, Charlotte!

Bad Dog....

Samantha was walking home from school the other day when she decided to do something she knows she is not allowed to do - go to a friend's house instead of coming straight home. She and her friend, "G", were just stopping at G's house to let the dog out and grab G's phone. Samantha insists she wasn't really going to G's house as much as she was just walking her home to then wait outside while G did a few things then came home with Samantha and Charlotte to our house. Such are the perils of walking home on a bright beautiful day with good friends and no homework. But it gets worse. Doesn't it always when you aren't doing just what Mom told you to do? ....

So as G, Samantha and Charlotte are walking to G's house, they cross through a yard. This is okay with the homeowner and has never been a problem before my daughter showed up not listening to her Mom. As they are crossing the yard, a beagle is barking. According to G, this happens every day, so just keep walking. He's all bark. Samantha, however, trips on a stick in the yard and lands on her hands and knees. The beagle stops barking and pounces on Samantha. He bites her right on the back of her knee/thigh. This bite wound is through her jeans! She is bleeding and crying. The homeowners, who were in the yard and washing their cars at the time, watched it all happen and were right on the scene with a first aid kit and took great care of Samantha. They called me and I took home a shaken and nervous nine-year old.

The school nurse, the next day, said that Samantha should be seen by her doctor, just in case she needs an antibiotic. Her doctor prescribed one, just to be safe, but, he thought it looked like a clean bite. Samantha has since healed up nicely and even won first in every event in Field Day (jump rope, basketball, hula hoops and hockey; she wasn't allowed to compete in anything that involved running), which was two days after the "bite day".

Just to make me smile, I think, Samantha had a church activity that same afternoon as the dog bite. They made Mother's Day cards and Samantha wrote this note on hers: Happy Mother's Day to the mom that is always giving me rules and now I at least know why I have rules about walking straight home. Sorry Mom and I'll never walk to G's house again without talking to you first.

Good girl, Samantha. Bad dog. Good girl.

15 May 2009

First Place for Rachel!

Rachel is our artist. She loves to doodle and draw. She has been taking some art lessons after school and she posted some of her paintings a while back on her own blog - Eldest of Five. You can see that post here. Well, this week was the school's Art Show and Rachel was sure that a girl in her class, named "H", would win. "H" is a great artist, too, and Rachel had decided going into it that second place after "H" would be satisfying enough.

As we walked down her hallway at school, where all the watercolor paintings hung, a girl was running back up the hallway saying, "Rachel, Rachel, come see! You won!" Rachel looked back at me, pushing the stroller behind her, with a smile that spoke volumes. Her smile said to me - "Mom, did you hear that? I won!" With that smile she took off down the hall with her friend and just starred at her ribbon. First place, Rachel. You won first place!

Great job, Rachel, we are so proud of you!

Fifth Grade Art Show, May 09

12 May 2009

Mother's Day Collage

04 May 2009


The garden is progressing nicely. We've had plenty of rain and Martin, our wonderful benefactor, has released praying mantis and ladybugs into our rows to feast on all the critters we don't want to be there. We can pick strawberries every time we come out to work and we've picked enough lettuce to keep us in salad for a week. The kids have adopted it as their newest after school snack - with their dressing of choice. I added some tomato plants and some watermelon! Coming next: pumpkins.

03 May 2009

Fourth Grade Field Trip

Here we have Samantha on the school bus. Last week her fourth grade class went on a field trip to the State Capitol Building and then to the Museum of Discovery in Little Rock. Samantha reports that it was fun and she liked the Museum the best. James, who chaperoned, reports that being a fourth grader is exhausting. He learned a lot about the Capitol Building, facts that went right through the heads of the fourth graders, to be sure. For example, the chandelier in the main hall weighs 4,000 pounds! The marble in the walls and staircase came from three different US states - VT, CO and AL. Fourth grade rocks. Get it? Rocks?