Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Survived!

I guess I forgot to mention that I was hired by the Stafford County school system as a level 3 substitute teacher. Which means I am on the highest end of the pay scale YAY! Anyway, today was my first day subbing. I have not been in the classroom in an elementary teaching setting since the early 90's. I did teach college level Biology in the late 90's, which is practically the same thing....anyway I digress.

Today the Kindergarten, first and second grade teachers all had a required in service for either morning or afternoon. Since I have not subbed for the school system before, I was given a half day shift with 27 first graders. I really, really, honestly enjoyed it. I was very nervous beforehand, and even more so, after I found out that the Paraprofessional for that class, was also involved in the in service....which meant I was all by myself with these little guys. We had a fantastic time, Carson was sent to my room at dismissal, and he even had a great day. The best part.... the very best part.......I got paid for working a whole day. I can see myself enjoying this as a way to contribute to the family... and get me out of the house more and hopefully make some new friends.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

That Dang Tooth Fairy!

She had the audacity to track glitter all over my house.... from the front door, up the stairs around the corner and into Carson's room. Imagine his surprise when he lifted his pillow and found a dusting of glitter!

Seriously it seemed like a cool thing at the time, I used a super fine glitter.....but....Now I am covered with glitter, I had to wash Carson's sheets to get rid of it....which, did NOT get rid of it... it only redistributed it all over the next four loads of laundry. What man wouldn't like wearing glitter to work tomorrow....No wonder glitter is considered the herpes of craft supplies!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Tooth Fairy is Gonna be BROKE!

Literally this afternoon, we were out killing rats, and I mentioned that his tooth looked real loose, and we should perhaps get some cash to have on hand for her to find. Both of us completely forgot, and we no sooner get home, and Carson managed to pull his second front tooth in less than two weeks. We put a call into the Tooth Fairy, and she of course has no cash on hand. I don't think the boy understands the concept of a check or an IOU yet... so Daddy was going to run out and get some cash for the Tooth Fairy to have tonight.

I seriously have a "thing" for toothless grins.... this is my favorite!

Trying to get the boy to smile and NOT squint up his eyes, is near impossible.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Future Photographer????

While I was organising all my photos the other day, I uploaded all of my camera cards too. I thought I had checked all of them, but obviously I missed some. Carson has always had quite a fascination with cameras and will sneak it if I leave it out. Usually I get the standard pictures of his feet, the ceiling fan, the dogs butt...whatever he is currently chasing at the time. This time however, Carson turned the camera on himself and these were quite the surprise when I uploaded the card.

This one looks like he is just trying to figure out if the camera is on. No he is NOT wearing lipstick... I don't know what that is on his lips...probably paint, or some other toxic substance.This next shot, while blurry...is the quintessential Carson...a total goofball.

Notice in this shot, he nicely framed the shot to get the ceiling fan, and the desk in the background.In this shot he finally nailed the focus!

I love this shot... total out of frame and focus... and totally overexposed. But look at how blue his eyes are!

Perhaps my favorite shot, Carson doing his Miss Piggy impression....

Then of course... the important shot of the floor vent.

In all seriousness, I loved finding these pictures.....It is fun to see what he "captures". Santa, whispered to me that he thinks Carson needs his own camera for Christmas this year.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Visitors Visitors Visitor...

My last post this past Monday indicated that "I got a call from one of my cousins in New Jersey last night, it seems that we will be having them visit us this week. They should be arriving on Tuesday and probably leaving on Thursday. I have not seen Don & Fran since April of 2002 so this visit will be a good one although short. They are headed to South Carolina to visit Fran's sister and then they plan on heading to the Great Smokies".

I get home form work on Monday - Kari had spent most of the day getting the house reorganized from her parent's visit last week and when I got home on Monday night I was going to weedwhack and do a few other things as we were anticipating my cousins on Tuesday. So about 8pm just as I finished and was getting ready to eat dinner the phone rang and it was my cousins. They were in Lorton, VA, eating at a McDonalds and would be here (our house) in about an hour OMG the extra half day that we thought we would have just disappeared. I literally wolfed down one taco usually I have 2, and then I went about getting a few more things down around the house while Kari cleaned up dinner and straightened up a little more. Finally everything was done and I even had time to take a 5 minute shower and go sit on the porch before they arrived a little after 9pm. We had a great visit, having not seen them in over 6 years it was a good visit. I went to work on Tuesday and they went off and did something on their own and Kari made a great dinner for all of us and we had a great visit Tuesday night. On Wednesday they wanted to go to DC so I took them up on the VRE train / they really enjoyed that even when the engine quit and we had to disembark and take the Metro from Springfield to L'Enfant. We walked all over the Mall, did the National Archives that was AWESOME, did the WWII Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial, as Don was over there. Fran's sister, Linda, her husband was killed over there and we found his name on the wall.

Around 3pm as we were still walking the Mall Kari calls me and lets me know that I am having company tonight - I go ok who - she says that my friend Steve from Florida is coming over to visit tonight - OMG - Steve and I talked on the phone last week and he never said that he was going to be up here this week, so I called him back and asked him to come for dinner and he agreed to. Needless to say that by the time Fran, Don, and I got back from DC on the VRE and to the house Steve had just gotten there about 5 minutes before us - Kari did an awesome job of ensuring that we had plenty to eat with the last minute guest. A good time was had by all, it was good to see Steve again as well.

There are some common threads in all of this - first Don is my cousin, and was a member of my 1st wedding as a groomsman, the last I saw Don was April 2002. Steve is a friend and was the Best Man at my 1st wedding - so he and Don and Fran had met before. The last time I saw Steve was in March 2002. So after 6 1/2 years I had family and a good friend for dinner at our Virginia house on the same night - how amazing is that!!!

Tonight Kari, Carson and I will be all alone in our house - so please give us a week... we will be ready for more!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Organization is a GOOD thing!

Yesterday I spent the better part of three hours organizing over 11,000 digital photo files. This does not even begin to touch the pictures that I have on disc. That is most likely another couple of thousand photos. I sorted them into monthly folders and then again into yearly folders. It feels really good, having them all neatly placed away, and easier to find.

While I was doing all of this I ran across a bunch of photos, that really made me smile, and I thought I would share them with you all.

The picture below is of Carson with red fingernail polish all over his face. What isn't pictured is the floor, counter, and cabinetry that is "painted" too. I swear I was only in the bathroom for 3 minutes.

Thanks for indulging me.....I really could post a couple of hundred pictures and still not be done. So I will stop here for now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It Had to Happen Sometime / More Visitors

Well my favorite football team got defeated yesterday, The Patriots regular season win streak came to an end, they will start a new one next weekend and beat the 21 games, and hopefully they will WIN the Superbowl this season.

I got a call from one of my cousins in New Jersey last night, it seems that we will be having them visit us this week. They should be arriving on Tuesday and probably leaving on Thursday. I have not seen Don & Fran since April of 2002 so this visit will be a good one although short. They are headed to South Carolina to visit Fran's sister and then they plan on heading to the Great Smokies. They have met Kari before, however, they have never met Carson.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fossil Hunting....and George Washington

We woke up this morning without any plans for the day at all, with the exception of running to Costco early to try and beat the crowds. Got that done, and decided to go home grab some lunch, and the camera and head South down Route 3. Our intent was to maybe head to King George, a small community about 20 miles from the house. I was studying the map and I realized that we would only be about 20 miles from Westmoreland State Park, and George Washington's Birthplace. So we bypassed King George and hit the road for Westmoreland State Park.

One of the features of Westmoreland State Park is the beautiful cliffs that overlook the Potomac River. Some of the cliffs are as high as 150ft, and the view is spectacular! I had heard about Fossil Beach from another Mom here and we decided to find it and get our own fossilized shark teeth.

I really had no idea what getting to Fossil Beach entailed, and I was in
flip flops and Carson was in sandals, the only appropriately dressed for a hike was Wayne, he was in sneakers. The beach is at the end of a downward hiking trail...funny thing about hiking downhill... it is uphill on the way back...ugghhh. Not a long hike at all, just steep at times, and very, very beautiful. Honestly, we could not have picked a more perfect day for this hike, the weather was GORGEOUS. Temps in the low 70's with a nice breeze coming off the water. The trail opens up at the Potomac River, with breathtaking views of the cliffs and the water.
Carson and I spent the afternoon searching for fossilized shark teeth and other ancient treasures. Wayne was the photographer.Carson and Wayne headed off up the beach to explore, while I continued searching for sharks teeth. A bit up the beach, a lot of the cliff side has eroded away over the years and trees have fallen into the surf. Carson had a lot of fun climbing on those. Good thing he was with Dad... I would have freaked out with him climbing on those over the water, Dad doesn't worry like I do.

A view from the top of the cliffs....crystal clear skies, and a gorgeous view. This is the ONLY shot I took on the hike back up the trail.... notice it is looking up at the canopy of trees.....before you ask if I was flat on my back gasping for breath...I wasn't....(much), I was resting on a bench the park provides at the top of the steep incline for all the out of shape folks.

Here is a very blurry picture of the sharks teeth we found... there are three easily recognizable teeth, along with a crocodile tooth (at least that is what the field guide says). The others are teeth, I just don't know what they are from....yet.

On the way home we decided to make a 2 mile detour and go to George Washington's Birthplace National Monument We did not do any of the tours on this trip, we basically drove through the park, and took some pictures. Carson was thrilled that there was a replica of the Washington Monument in D.C. here about 1/8th the size. Below is a field of yellow flowers, I don't know what they are, but they sure were beautiful.

This is just an old barn on the grounds of the Washington National Monument. I thought it was cool and made for an interesting picture. I don't know the relevance, but it was away from the actual homestead site.

This was probably one of the best whims we have ever followed. We enjoyed ourselves, spent some wonderful time as a family, made some neat memories, had a beautiful drive and a fabulous time hunting for fossils. We plan on going back real soon decked out with colanders and sieves to hunt for teeth, and at least wearing tennis shoes.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Brad!

My only little brother is celebrating his birthday today.... I believe that it is his 40th...may be his 41st. Anyway...wish him a happy birthday and visit his website Brad Sanders.com. Maybe that will entice him to post more often on it!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a Week!

We had the best week with my parents here visiting from Texas. We have driven back and forth to D.C. several times, and saw many wondrous things in our Nations Capital. We have eaten some fantastic food at great restaurants. We have celebrated Carson's birthday. Had a wonderful visit with Aunts, Cousins, Nephews, and family. I think we wore my parents out. I know I fell into bed every night plum tuckered out... I know they are tired too. Here are a few more pictures of their whirlwind visit.

We finally made it to the Vietnam War Memorial, and my Father was able to look up some of his old students and squadron mates. Very somber, hallowed place.

My mother managed to wrangle a squirrel, but couldn't find anything to feed the little guy.Last Friday, we drove down to Richmond to meet up with my mother's sisters, and their children and families. Carson managed to convince his second (or is it third cousins) that he doesn't cheat at Foosball.Carson got a HUGE package in the mail from his Aunt Holly, Uncle Mike, and cousins Zach, and Will. He had been anxiously waiting for this after seeing this post .
He loved the toys.... but like all the male children in our family... clothes were immediately tossed aside.All in all a fantastic week with family.... we already miss Momo and Papa... and are looking forward to seeing them again when we go home to Texas at Christmas.