Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Tornado-free Week And Nine Other Thankfuls

Last week's Ten Things of Thankful was filled with wonderfulness, because it was, well, a wonderful week; I got to spend it in Nashville with my 15 year old daughter, visiting my person, Terri, and her kids. It was hard to head back home after that. Literally so, in fact, as we drove across Kentucky on I-24, only to find ourselves stopped in an inexplicable traffic jam at 3:00 on a Sunday afternoon. It took us about 40 minutes to go roughly three miles, where the source of the traffic jam was discovered: the bridge over the Tennessee River had one lane closed for maintenance work. . . .

After that delay, we continued across Kentucky to Paducah, headed west towards Missouri, crossed the Ohio River on one of the scariest, awfullest bridges EVER, prepared to turn the corner and cross the Mississippi River on the second-to-most scariest, awfullest bridges EVER and were met with a big sign saying "Bridge Closed." 

Recalculating route.

We had to turn and go north, into Illinois and through the town of Cairo (pronounced CARE-o), which, I can assure you, is nothing like the one in Egypt. We went miles out of our way, but the upside was that we crossed the Mississippi on one of those fancy interstate bridges that make it almost seem as though you aren't actually crossing a deadly waterway. 

We did finally make it home, then it was off and running for a full week of work and activities. And now it's the weekend and time for the thankfuls.

1. I got to eat at one of my favorite places while I was in Nashville not once, but twice. And which is why we got such a late start leaving town on Sunday, but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT. I heart San Antonio Taco Company.

2. And Terri and I got to have ice cream at another favorite place, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, where I had three teeny tiny scoops: goat cheese with red cherries, Savannah buttermint, and wildberry lavender, and got to spend time laughing and talking with my Kayla.

Normal sized spoon. Teeny tiny scoops.

3. I thought I had a work day on Monday afternoon after preschool, which is a time for changing bulletin boards and exchanging the toys in the centers for different ones, etc., (in other words, manual labor, preschool-style) and instead found out I had my days mixed up and work day wasn't until NEXT Monday. And not only was it NOT work day, it was birthday lunch day! Win-win!

4. One of my pre-k boys went to Disney World (REALLY went, not like the little guy who told me he was going there, but he hadn't told his mom yet). When this boy announced to me he would be going there over Spring Break , I told him to make sure to ride Peter Pan for me, because it was my favorite ride at the park. As soon as he entered the room Monday morning, he excitedly told me he rode Peter Pan for me and "it was weally, weally fun!"

5. We had our first tornado watch of the season on Thursday, but did not end up getting any severe weather. We are jumpy in these parts when tornado watches are issued (with just cause).

6. Even though we didn't get any severe weather, we did get a small thunderstorm with some very hard rain that blew in from the south straight against the front of the house. We badly need the rain, so it was good  to get it, even though it was short-lived. And although we've had snow and freezing rain and sleet, we haven't had much in the way of rain since we got Ruby. She was ricocheting around the room as the rain hit the house, then jumped on a table and tried to "catch" it as it hit the window.

7. Beautiful sunsets like this one through the storm clouds reminds me of a quote from Robert Browning, "God is in His heaven, all's right with the world!"

Sky above North Middle School.

8. Lunch with a friend where you act stupid and take selfies to put on Twitter and embarrass your daughters. And may I add, a friend who will not only tell me I have cheese in my hair (unlike an ENTIRE DOCTOR'S OFFICE), but will take a napkin and wipe it off. 

9. I took a picture of one of my pre-k boys as he played with a toy tool bench (and was so convincing that, had he had real tools, I feel he would have completely dismantled some shelves and sawed them into pieces) and sent it to his mom, because she teaches in the public school and never gets to come by the preschool. This is her reply, which warmed my heart:

Soooo, we've been talking about vegetables this week for "V" week, and if your pre-k teacher won't tell you that asparagus makes your pee smell funny, then who will? Love that he remembers what we talk about in class and then tells his family about it.

10. This week marks the two year anniversary of my bilateral mastectomy and free tram flap reconstruction, and by all indications, there has been no further evidence of cancer. Yippeeee!!!

I am participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. I have absolutely no idea what I'm getting myself into, but if you'd like to be a part of what could be a train wreck on my part, then just follow me and see for yourself.

And now, my bloggy friends, put your own list of thankfuls together and link them up here. Or for you non-bloggy people, click on any of the links below and read what some others find thankful in their lives. Some are funny, some are touching, some are heartbreaking, all are worth reading.

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Friday, March 28, 2014

Two Years And Counting

Today is my second anniversary. Not my wedding anniversary. Not my blogaversary (which was earlier this month, now that I think about it). I guess you could say it's my boobaversary. Because two years ago today, I had mine removed and replaced, thanks to a jellybean-sized tumor.

Here's where things stand, two years later.

The new boobs (are they still new? Let's see, the original ones were 51, although they didn't actually make much of an appearance until I was about 13, so by my calculations, even as sketchy as my math skills are, I'd say two years are still new) are still beautiful. Perky. Firm.

The tummy tuck, a by-product of my tram flap reconstruction, is still tucked.

The incision that goes from the back of one hip bone to the other, across my tummy, and which measures about 26 inches, is faded but still tender. Like when I sneeze. Or cough. Or try to sit straight up (which I can't do, but I still TRY sometimes). Or turn over in bed. The really fun one is trying to wallow out of the bathtub from my reclining position against my cushy bath pillow. No description could do it justice like a video would. And no, I am NOT going to video it.

I'm still numb from about an inch above my new bellybutton to four inches below it, and about 8 inches across.

And the boobies? Completely numb. Pretty, but numb.

Here's just a little part of the story from two years ago:

Day 2: It Only Hurts When I Move
originally published April 10, 2012

pain meds... yesss.....
Being hospitalized wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't for the surgery part. Friends come to see you. You get flowers and presents. Push a button, and a nurse comes to see you. With a wave of your finger from your hospital bed throne, someone will adjust the covers, the thermostat, bring you fresh ice water.  And if I laid reallllly still, I could even forget that I had had surgery....

Thanks to the narcotics, even though I couldn't focus my eyes, I had a great day with Kristin. We took lots of pictures, and she approved all of my facebook posts. It's nice having a nurse be your babysitter. Every time I bent my left elbow, I set off an alarm for squishing my IV, and she was able to push the reset button and make it stop. A valuable skill, because I did it often. 

I got a breakfast tray that morning. Chicken broth, coffee (me, really?), grape juice, red jello, and this little cup of frozen, pink Italian dessert. I ate a few bites of jello and tried the Italian dessert. It was a non-descript pink flavor. Very sweet. Very mediocre. I passed. Lunch was the same thing, only they shook it up with beef broth and orange jello and yellow Italian dessert. I sipped a little broth, but it was so salty that I felt like I'd been brined. A bite or two of jello. I had high hopes for the Italian dessert this time, because I thought it would taste like the frozen lemonade you can get at amusement parks. Instead, it tasted like frozen Formula 409. I was sorry I had dissed the pink Italian dessert that morning. Dinner was the exact same thing. Bleh. Fortunately, I wasn't hungry. And THAT's a good thing, because Kristin decided to forego hospital food for dinner and ordered a Domino's pizza and ate it in front of me. VERY fortunate that I wasn't hungry. I will admit that it smelled divine.

My in-laws brought the kids to see me that evening. My son sat in the corner and chewed on his fingers the entire time. My daughter sat on my bed and talked the entire time. They are such polar opposites.  There was a sweet tea fiasco that I won't go into, because it makes me look shallow and unappreciative, and we can't have THAT. 

Kristin seemed to take to sleeping in the recliner rather well. I hadn't taken to sleeping on my back in a hospital bed, so I was awake. A lot. At one point, while watching helicopters go over, I realized that if I needed the nurse, I was screwed, because Kristin fell asleep with the tv remote, which meant she also had the call button. I scrutinized my tray table, trying to decide what I would throw at her if I needed to get her attention.

Both of my doctors are early risers and freakishly cheerful in the mornings. Dr. Bumberry came in first, mostly just patted my leg and asked if I were doing okay. He had a cute little Mizzou scrub hat on that, sadly, covered the lovely red hair. When he left, Kristin looked at me and said, "Is he, like, 26?" Doogie. Doogie Bumberry. Personally, I think he has a painting of himself in his attic that ages for him.

As gently as Dr. Bumberry came in that morning, Dr. Geter was just the opposite. He threw on the overhead light, and with a big smile, began pulling the bandages off of me. He assured me I had been shaved before the surgery, but I hadn't been skinned, so the tape removal hurt like a sonofabitch. I looked down when he was done. I had a happy face-shaped incision that began around my side at one hipbone and ended at the other, falling a little over an inch below my belly button. Well, not MY belly button but A belly button. Mine had looked nothing like the one I now had. I don't know whether or not that's an improvement, but I do know that Dr. Geter was very proud of the way it turned out. He pulled off the bandages on my chest next, and lo and behold, there were BOOBIES there. There was an incision across the equator of each one that ended where a nipple would be. The nipple area was inset with a piece of skin from somewhere. My stomach? Gave me a peculiar patchwork look. Dr. Geter was proud of these as well. He said, "They're the same size as the old ones. Actually, they're a little bigger. There was more to work with than I thought." WHAT? I thought I was pretty distinct when I said I wanted them to look small and perky like Jennifer Aniston's. Kristin later told me she saw my face fall when he said they were bigger than expected. 

No backsies....

Monday, March 24, 2014

Meh Monday

Want to know what the worst kind of Monday is? It's the one right after a week of vacation.
Because even though I love my job, it's still hard to get up and get ready and wear pants and go to work after 10 days off for Spring Break.

There are some people who have never worked at a real job their entire lives and don't even know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, speaking of wearing pants, after I got to work this morning, I walked over to the kitchen to get some ice. As I was walking, I had a rather odd sensation in my britches. I reached back there to check it out and pulled out a pair of panties. Yes, they were mine. Extra ones, as I didn't forget to put any on. Guess they either found their way in there when I was rummaging through my suitcase early this morning, trying to find a pair of jeans without turning on a light, or stowed away inside the jeans when I did laundry.

If I had unpacked last night when I got home from Nashville, the whole underpants debacle would never have happened. 

This is the time of the school year when I get weary of getting up for work and lie in bed entirely too long after the alarm has gone off, snuggling under the covers with a kitten curled up next to me, ignoring how much I need to go to the bathroom, cursing that Daylight Savings Time makes it so FREAKING DARK in the mornings, until I glance at the clock again and, seeing how late it is, bolt out of bed and feverishly get ready. Which is how I managed to put on a pair of jeans without noticing there was a pair of underpants in them. At least they didn't fall out my pants leg at a meeting, which is precisely what happened to someone I know but won't mention (Melissa).

It's cold outside, and it's supposed to be spring. 
I think they're shivering.

Last time to mention the panties. I put them in my purse after I found them, so I could take them home some other way than tucked inside my jeans. Forgot they were there when I went to a birthday lunch after work, pulled out my wallet, and very nearly dropped them on the floor of the restaurant. Then I ran by Aldi to get a few groceries. Same song, second verse.

Even though I strive to be cheerful and optimistic at all times, I reserve the right to feel sorry for myself sometimes.

The previous statement has nothing to do with pulling a pair of panties out of my jeans at work, because I actually found that to be hilarious.


Being a cold, overcast NOT spring Monday after what was a lovely Spring Break makes me think of this song by Ingrid Michaelson, which starts out with, "The sky looks pissed/the wind talked back." Yep, that's today. Listen:

Isn't she wonderful?

Today is Meh Monday? Let tomorrow be Terrific Tuesday.

I will it to be so.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My Fabulous Week of Thankfuls

Thankful, thankful, thankful, thankful, thankful, thankful, thankful, thankful, thankful, thankful.

That's 10 thankfuls.


Aw, just kidding! I'm having such a great week, I don't know if I can stop at 10 Things of Thankful. Get a load of all of this:

1. It's Spring Break. It may not FEEL like Spring Break, weather-wise, as we had snow last Sunday and a slight possibility of it again this coming Sunday, but it's STILL. SPRING. Winter truly cannot last forever. (Can it, she asked hopefully?)

2. My daughter and I took a little road trip to Nashville to stay with my Person and her kids. (This one alone is worthy of ten thankfuls, but I don't need to invoke any secret rules this week.) I miss living in Nashville so very much, and it energizes me to get to visit it, as infrequent as those visits are.

3. If you read my TToT list last week, then you know that we had a tire that was nearly flat while we were in Kansas City for a volleyball tournament. It seemed fine after being aired up, but my husband said to make sure I keep an eye on it on our trip. My daughter and I stopped for a lunch break about 3 hours into our trip, and I thought the tire looked a little low, so we stopped at the Walmart tire center that was across the street. The attendant said it was a little low and aired it up, then said, "The belts look like they are slipping on this tire. There's no tread on one side of it. You're going to need to replace that tire pretty soon." Well, that would explain the shimmy in the steering wheel. I told him we were on our way to Nashville and would then be returning to Joplin and by "soon," did he mean we could wait until after we got home from our trip? He said, "I wouldn't." Gulp! We forged onward, hoping for no tire disasters until we got to Nashville and were successful. The next morning, I paid a little visit to the tire center at Sam's Club, and we are now the proud owners of two brand spankin' new tires on the back of the car.

It's pretty quiet inside Sam's Club during the early
morning hours set aside for business members.
Sometimes, you have to make your own fun.

4. I took my daughter and her two friends we are visiting to the zoo on Thursday, because it was the ONE thing she wanted to do on the trip. It was such a good idea to visit the zoo on such a pretty, spring day that several thousand others decided to join us. The girls had a great time, and I enjoyed trailing after them, watching them be teenage girls. 

5. Being a spring day, the zoo was not as, shall we say, fragrant as zoos sometimes are, particularly in warm weather. Some of the highlights of our visit there were:

The meerkats, who do NOT come when
you call, "here, kitty, kitty."

This awesome and most likely deadly frog.

Tandem alligators. Or crocodiles. Whatev.



The rare and elusive Coke machine
in its natural habitat.

6. On Friday morning, I met my friend Janice for breakfast. Janice and I met through work many, many years ago during my previous life in the music business. I am always thankful that she wanted to be friends, since the first time we met in person, she wasn't so sure about me. She and I did a lot of business stuff over the phone before we decided to meet one day for lunch at a restaurant we both liked, South Street Original Crab Shack and Dive Bar. (If you ever visit Nashville, eat there. Have I ever steered you wrong about food? No, I have not. Eat. There.) I ordered the Blue Plate Special (you can never go wrong with the Blue Plate Special), which happened to be something Mexicany, but I don't remember what. All I remember is that the plate was exceedingly hot, and as I was talking, I held a forkful of rice over my plate, ready to take a bite, when my pinky finger touched the edge of the plate, burning the crap out of my pinky, and causing me to jerk my hand, rice scattering all over the table. I felt pretty stupid, so I just kept talking and pretended like it didn't happen and Janice didn't say a word. Then years later, we were talking about the day we met at lunch and I mentioned burning my finger and throwing my rice all over the table, and she said, "THAT'S what happened? I thought you had some kind of spasm or something, so I didn't want to say anything." And see? Still friends, 25 years later.

7. When we met for breakfast (Cracker Barrel, for the curious-minded), she told me she invited a surprise guest, and in walked our friend Lynn. I hadn't seen her since my wedding shower nearly 21 years ago (although we are Facebook friends - yay, Facebook!). She looked fantastic, and the three of us spent two hours together, laughing and talking. Here's my thankful- Lynn-wanted-to-be-friends-with-me story: Lynn, Janice, and I (plus another girl, Misha, whom I have completely lost contact with, but I digress) were at lunch at, you guessed it, South Street Original Crab Shack and Dive Bar, sitting at a table by the windows, which can roll up like a garage door in nice weather, opening the dining room up to the sidewalk. We were all talking away, and as I made some gesture with my hand, my fork flew out the window and landed in the bushes outside. True story. I should really stick to finger foods when I go there.

With Janice and Lynn. No food or forks were thrown.
8. Right after we said our goodbyes, I went on to my next appointment:


I was so, so, SO excited to get a chance to meet Synnove from Don't Chew On The Dinner Table. She writes a hilarious blog about her life with her three kids (2, 4 and 4 months) and who have the SWEETEST CHEEKS EVER. We spent two hours together, talking non-stop and watching her two oldest play on the playground (me) and chasing them back onto the playground and out of the mulch and putting shoes back on and chasing them back onto the playground and giving them snacks and pushing them on the swing and chasing them back onto the playground (Synnove). We (okay, I) hope we can do this again next time I'm in Nashville, because I enjoyed being with her just as much as I enjoy reading her blog (which is TONS). She's bona fide.*

Yes, we were acting like we were about 15.
*("O Brother, Where Art Thou?" reference)

9. How do you top a morning like that? You don't.

But you CAN come pretty close to matching it by taking three 15 year old girls to the Parthenon, because they wanted to go. 

Taking selfies in front of the Parthenon.

Athena. She's kind of big.

And kind of creepy.

10. After dropping the kids off at a movie, Terri (my Person - watch Grey's Anatomy if you don't know what that means) and I had a leisurely supper. Mexican food. And I didn't burn myself and throw rice at her. Or throw a utensil out the window. We just talked, about everything and nothing. That's the best kind of friend to have, one where you don't have to work at anything.

And the trip isn't over yet! We still have a whole day and a little bit to enjoy Nashville (which, I believe, makes 11 things of thankful).

Are you having a fabulous week. Are you? ARE YOU? Blog it and link it, below.

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Monday, March 17, 2014

What I Did Last Weekend, With Pictures And Everything

My daughter had a volleyball tournament this weekend in Holden, a little bitty town southeast of Kansas City. We always enjoy an excuse to go to the "big city" for a weekend, made even sweeter by my friend and Primary class assistant teacher offering us the use of her townhome to stay in (thank you, Miss Janet!). We felt as though we had hit the big time, because her house has a garage, something our 88 year old home lacks. (In fact, we liked the house and location so much that we threatened to stay there forever, and she might need to remember that we now know the garage code....)

We started our little weekend vacay as we start every trip, with my husband and kids arguing over who was doing the least amount of work carrying things to the car and putting them in the trunk, done while I am actually carrying out bags and loading the trunk (like a BOSS, I might add, because my mad Tetris skills translate to mad trunk packing skills). After a goodbye to the kitties, we were finally off.

We stopped at Koehn's Bakery in Butler (population 4,000), because you would be a fool not to. The bakery is owned by Mennonites, and believe me when I tell you they know how to make baked goods. Have you ever eaten a REAL angel food cake? Not one from a boxed mix, but one made with a dozen egg whites? Yeah, they make those. And the most amazing sour cream sugar cookies (that I have tried for years to replicate, but to no avail). And pies. And cinnamon rolls. And all kinds of doughnuts and the like. We walked out of there with $25 worth of stuff, and the only reason we didn't buy more was because the trunk was already packed to the gills.

The tip of the iceberg....

Told you I can pack a trunk.

Little bites of Heaven.

I drove after we stopped at the bakery. My husband fell asleep (he's a lousy Shotgun), the kids were wearing earbuds and listening to music, and I entertained myself by singing show tunes and cigarette jingles.

When in Kansas City, eat barbecue. Don't consider anything else until you've eaten barbecue. We went to Gates (the one at 32nd and Main), a somewhat intimidating experience, because the ladies who take your orders want you to give it to them RIGHT NOW. As a result, there's a tendency to blurt out the first thing you see on the menu, as evidenced by my son ordering the Mixed Plate, which he saw on a pictorial menu on the wall while he was waiting to get to the counter, and which he failed to note was actually a PLATTER and cost $19.95. Ever the trouper, he managed to eat it all.

Massive platter of meat. Look at the fries for
comparison. They are the same size as the ones
with my sandwich, below.

A respectable-sized brisket sandwich

The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping at a mall (the girls) and going to check out a couple of thrift stores but instead having to take the car to a tire center because one of the tires was nearly flat (the boys), then to the townhouse to unload while parked IN A GARAGE (this is HUGE to us, really), and then to eat again, because, well, why not? Supper was at one of my old haunts from high school, Minsky's Pizza (after you eat barbecue in Kansas City, then you need some Minsky's - get the original crust and don't go all yuppie or earthy-nutty-crunchy; get the damn pepperoni).

The pepperoni is hidden under all that delish cheese.

Saturday morning, after our Mennonite cinnamon roll breakfast, we headed to Holden for volleyball. In the dark, because mornings are DARK since the time change. And volleyball must be played starting very, very early, according to some secret rule book. Two of our players were not there for the tournament (spring break had officially started the day before), so we only had six players. That meant they all had to play every minute of every game. Which they did. And came in first in their pool. And won 2nd place in the tournament. And considering they have had a pretty sucky season due to coaching issues, this was an AWESOMELY AWESOME day for them.

One of three aces IN A ROW.

My brother, who just happened to be in a neighboring town for
a mandolin lesson, came by to watch a bit of volleyball.

Want to know what makes the day even better? This:

Want to know how to one-up THAT?


Here are the highlights:

The American Legion led the parade.

Followed by the volunteer fire department.

The local bank's entry.

Somebody running for something, in a green truck.

Next entry.

This chick just drove her undecorated car through,
with a sign on the side advertising her business.

End of the parade. Yes, he dyed his beard red.

Did I say highlights? It was the whole parade. It took about three minutes from the time we saw the police car at the end of the street to when the last parade entry passed us.

And the very, very, very BEST part of the parade?

This couple, there to watch the festivities:


After the beautiful, sunny, spring-like day on Saturday, we woke up to this on Sunday morning:

Yes, that's snow.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful, after the joy of packing the trunk (me, again) with the car parked INSIDE A GARAGE. We ate more too much. We enjoyed staying in a house that wasn't ours, like it was a real vacation or something. On the way home, I, the navigator, wasn't paying attention and missed a tricky turn and took us about 20 miles out of our way.

And when we finally, FINALLY got back home, I saw that some of my daffodils had bloomed.

And were snowed upon.

And looked very, very sad.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Lame List of Thankfuls

This is the lame-ass edition of Ten Things of Thankful, because my mind's an absolute blank this week, even though I know there must be more than this sorry list for which to be thankful. 

1. My husband's birthday was Monday. He's older than me. 

2. My daughter, the permit driver, drove to volleyball practice Monday evening, and she didn't sideswipe a car on the way there, and by that, you may deduce that she had a close call. Which she did, if you think 6 inches is close. 

3. Spring Break for the College Boy, and he's been home all week. Minimal bickering between him and his sister, which means no bloodshed. Yet.

4. We had a four day week, as our preschool follows the public school calendar (even though we are a private school), and parent teacher conferences were scheduled for Friday. Four day weeks are niiiice.

5. Spring-like weather! Tuesday was our best day. I threw any lesson plans I had for my primary class that day right out the window, and we spent an hour outside playing on the playground. 

80 beautiful degrees.

 6. One of the cats threw up (not naming names *cough* Fletcher), and missed the ginormous project I am working on for preschool.

Ruby impeding progress on my preschool project.

7. My daughter may be one of the few kids who cannot WAIT until parent teacher conferences, so, according to her, I can hear her teachers say how wonderful she is. Fortunately, she's right; they DO say she's wonderful. And I could listen to them tell me that all day.

8. During Pre-K circle time, the kids got to tell me if they were doing anything over spring break. One of my boys said, "I haven't told my mom this yet, but I'm going to Disney World." Dream big, little man!

9. My daughter auditioned for, and made, the show choir group that she has wanted to be in since she first saw them perform when she was 5 years old. This is particularly sweet because the school is going from two mixed groups and two all girl groups to one of each when they (hopefully, and please, everyone, a collective knock on wood that this actually happens) go from the two temporary facilities where they have been attending school since the tornado to a brand new high school. 

10. I posted this picture on Facebook for Throw Back Thursday. It was taken in about 1971, with a Polaroid, at the home of my two great aunts. Just looking at those hideous purple pants makes me smile; that I wore them with a red shirt only makes it better.

Find your thankfuls wherever you can and link up your post, below.

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Friday, March 7, 2014

Thankful For Photo Bombing And Other Stuff

Last weekend was a waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop weekend. The weather forecasters had warned us of impending doom in the way of freezing rain, sleet and snow. When the storm finally rolled in, it was underwhelming. Yes, we got some freezing rain. Yes, we got sleet, Yes, we got over four inches of snow. But it was not the storm of the century. And this is where I begin my Ten Things of Thankful for this week.

1. For starters, the out of town volleyball tournament that was scheduled for Sunday was postponed, and we actually got to spend three days home with no obligations.

2. We did this without killing each other.

3. I'm thankful for a house big enough that my husband, daughter and I could spend three days cooped up without bloodshed.

4. Aaaaand we had a Snow Day on Monday (although I've had enough now, thank you, and am ready to move along to SPRING).

5. I spent my Snow Day baking bread and wrote this post about it. You should read it. I think I should give up my day job and write recipes full time. You might not agree.

Fire Station I made
out of duct tape.
Impressed, aren't you?
6. We had the biggest, bestest day of preschool this week - Big Wheel Day! We set up the gym to look like a town, with roads and centers that are shops to visit, such as a jewelry shop, dress up store, grocery store, carpentry shop and beauty parlor. The kids ride big wheels or tricycles on the roads and visit the centers, and it's a MAGICAL morning! My Pre-K class had their day on Wednesday, Primary on Thursday. It is EXHAUSTING to set it all up; in fact, it took about six hours on Tuesday to do so, but it's completely worth it. There are former preschoolers in their mid-20s who still will tell you that Big Wheel Day was their best (and for some, only) memory of preschool.

This gives you an idea of what it looked like.

I hope you can appreciate how difficult it is to do this with long legs.

7. I got in an awesome photo bomb at Big Wheel Day! As I was coming down the straightaway on the riding course, I saw a dad getting ready to take a picture of his niece as she passed him. Oh, yeah, I did it.


8. Ruby is at about 98% full capacity after her kitty maker/front claw removal surgery a week ago. She is back to racing through the house full-tilt, playing with her toys in her go-big-or-go-home way, endlessly chasing her tail, preferably either on my bed or in the (empty)  bathtub, and antagonizing her brothers.

Ruby either doing her Tyrannosaurus impression
or trying to intimidate Pete.

9. Apparently concerned that I could not write this post without her help, she contributed the following (unedited):



She likes watching the symbols race across the screen....

Sorry, Ruby, it's not a touchscreen. 

Proofreading her work.

10. And the week has ended with one of the best preschool stories ever. While my Pre-K class was doing their morning work at the table, I went to the computer, located near where we have Circle Time, to type and print my weekly letter to the parents. There were a few students who were done with their work, and they were sitting in the circle, looking at books. My printer is temperamental at best, and instead of nicely printing the letter on one piece of paper, it pulled the last four sheets I had through, printing a little on each, and thereby ruining every single piece of paper I had. I took one look at it and said aloud to myself, "Well, that stinks."

Next to me, a little voice said, "It was just a toot. Excuse me."

I laughed until I cried.

Go be thankful. Right now. Link up here.

Ten Things of Thankful

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