Friday, July 03, 2015

Card Games

We've been playing quite a few card games in the past two weeks.  My mother introduced Lucy to Skipbo, so we started with teaching Toby how to play it.  Then we moved on to Phase 10.  Next up, teaching Toby Dutch Blitz and teaching both of them Spoons.

I was shocked to discover that we don't own Monopoly, so once we get our hands on that, we'll teach that one also.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Bristol Bike Path

Sam took the kids on Friday on the Bristol bike path. They started in Barrington and ended at the state park.  We bought Toby a new bike (20", geared) and what a difference he made.  He did the 13 miles without any problems!

 They found a live horseshoe crab.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Amelia has an appointment on Thursday with a surgeon at Boston Children's.  Hopefully they will be able to schedule the surgery at the end of July/beginning of August.  It's a two/three day inpatient surgery.  They won't move the intestines into the correct spot, instead they will "broaden the attachments of the bowels so they can't twist".  I have no idea what that means, will ask more questions on Thursday.

Intestinal Malrotation

Amelia had her Upper GI this morning.  It went well, she's pretty amazing during medical procedures.  She definitely doesn't want to cause a scene, although she did refuse to shake the radiologist's hand.

I didn't stay for the appointment with the doctor following because they had booked it quite a bit later.  I did email him.  He emailed me back and said that her malrotation is the type that needs to have surgery.  I'll be talking to him soon about it.

So, we're going to get a second opinion in Boston and probably opt to have it done in Boston (if insurance allows).  But I don't actually know much about what it entails so for now I'll just get the information needed.

Here's a link to her issue:

Lucy's trip to Canada

Two weeks ago Lucy went away on a genealogy trip with my parents.  They had stops in Vermont, headed up to Canada, stopping in Rawdon, and Quebec City.  She had a wonderful time!

There are  many pictures, but here are a couple with Lucy in them.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Clearing the Phone

Yes, it's been a week since I've blogged.  What a week it has been.  I worked over 50 hours last week, with 28 of the hours happening on Thursday and Friday.  I led two successful curriculum training days with teachers.  I'm excited about their enthusiasm for teaching.  I've attended a few interviews and worked on various projects.

I was told my office wall color is hideous (which it is) so I was inspired to purchase paint.  Sam will paint it at some point and then I can hang things on my walls.

We're taking it easier this week.  Lucy has a friend over today.  Amelia and I deep-cleaned her bedroom, which means they are all done until Christmas.

Sam finished his first full year of teaching and is back to construction for the summer.  Yesterday he dropped a radiator on his foot and broke his toe.  It looks horrible, but he says it's alright.

I made Uncle Arthur's Blueberry Coffeecake this morning.  It's my favorite.  I made granola last night and I was contemplating making lavender scones this evening.

Books are still at a shortage for me, nothing catching my eye.  Any suggestions, let me know.

Amelia has her Upper GI tomorrow morning...she's eagerly awaiting her new Calico Critter furniture set that she will get if she drinks the drink.

This is our last week before we start four fun weeks, Amelia is going to OSV camp, we are going to Plymouth and New Jersey, and we have VBS in there also.

Here are some photos of what we've been up to:

Amelia finished U6 soccer.  She'll be playing U8 in the fall, with an all-girls team.  She is doing summer soccer at the school though.

Enjoying some Coco's Ice at the soccer jamboree

 We went to see Jurassic World in 3D.  Toby also got to see Inside Out this past weekend.

 We went mini-golfing at West End Creamery.  That was tedious.

 This is for you, Grandma, the pineapple plant.  This plant is across from the house where Toby goes for tutoring.  I've never seen one before, but it looks just like a pineapple.

 My classroom is empty and I am done with it.  They even took the reading tire and rolled it out to the playground.  Gasp!

 We had a relaxing afternoon at Fairwoods.

 Brother and sister on the dock

These are the baby chicks from my classroom.  They are getting a little bigger now, we still haven't integrated them with the rest of the flock.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

At the Water's Edge

I read "Water for Elephants" whenever it came out and thought it was ok, not great.  I liked the movie quite a bit.  When I heard she had a new book out, I put it on my list.  I ended up reading it last night.  At the Water's Edge, I loved it for quite a few reasons.  I liked the various subplots happening in the story.  I like the time period (end of WWII),  and I liked how she developed the characters.  I did feel like the end wrapped things up quickly, but I suppose all books must end at some point.

Now to figure out what to read next...

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Position and Office

Over the past few weeks, I have been busy as a principal.  I switched the signature on my email which felt like a big move and it still takes me aback when I see it on the bottom.

I emptied out my classroom after 5 years, sorted through files, decided what I want to keep personally, what I am willing to share with the new teachers, etc.  Right now my classroom looks like a giant yard sale as I continue to sort and distribute books and resources that we have received from the teachers who are retiring.

I also have been working on my office.  I was given three options and I'm happy with my choice.  It's windowless, but it has air conditioning (which most of the school does not), and I think it's a great size for me.

I've purchased some wall decals that Jenny is going to help me put up and I have some pictures to hang and then it's pretty much done.  I do need some plants.  Plants that can survive without a window. ;)  I purchased my desk off of Craigslist from a Montessori school in Providence.  I purchased a bookcase from an older couple in Auburn.  My parents gave me two reception chairs and I was given a locking file cabinet.  I'm good to go.  I have a new laptop and an ipad that is for my use now.  It's strange to work in an office after always working in a classroom, but I love it.  I love the contained space, I love that it's mine, and I love that I can feel productive without many distractions.

I did have someone drop by to chat with me and as they sat in the chair and I was at the desk, it felt awkward.  Perhaps that gets easier with time.

I met with the assistant principal who is retiring to go over the tasks that I need to absorb.  That meeting added 68 items to my calendar....

This week I have my first two days of curriculum meetings with teachers, so I'm busy prepping for that, along with everything else that needs to happen in the summer to make sure the school year starts smoothly.

There is definitely a learning curve.  Some things I am naturally good at, others I am spending time just carefully listening in meetings, etc. to figure out.  Hopefully the feelings of inadequacy fade with time or perhaps it's good to always know that there is more to learn.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

I have been blessed with a father who is wise, smart, giving, and loves God and his family.

Sam has been blessed with a father who is wise, smart, giving, and loves God and his family.

Sam is one of those men who have fully embraced being a father.  Our children love him, love spending time with him, and he loves being with them.  He is fully capable of taking care of them completely.  He is fun, adventurous, and always has a new idea.

He makes them breakfast, cleans up their vomit, and would happily spend as much time with them as possible.

I am thankful for the fathers in my life.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


Sam had his summative review with his bosses this week.  They are very impressed with how well he has done this first year of teaching.  In fact, they have moved him up the professional development scale to the top level, a self-directed learner, which shows their confidence in him.  It also means less observations next year which is always nice.

They also offered him a History/ELA job at one of the programs.  So instead of traveling to 10 programs a week, he'll be staying put in Framingham, in his own classroom.  He's excited about this, although there were parts of being at a variety of programs that he really enjoyed.

Friday, June 19, 2015


I think I had mentioned that during Amelia's surgery they discovered that her digestive tract is not set up in the normal manner, instead it is separated into two sides, instead of being entwined together.  The doctor suggested an Upper GI to see how things worked digestively and make sure all was ok.  The way her intestines are set up gives the intestine the ability to twist which can lead to rupture and gives a very small window of time to work in, to try to fix things.  Normally, people have stomach issues with a set up like this and have surgery to put the intestines in the right place.  Amelia has never had issues so it was never caught.

I canceled the Upper GI appointment because I didn't see a need for her to go through that so soon after surgery and wasn't sure there was a need since there weren't any issues.  At the post-op appointment I brought it up and asked for more clarification.

The Upper GI will show two things.  Either Amelia's intestines are set up in such a way that they are very unlikely to twist and so will be left alone, or they will have the ability to twist and she would need surgery.  The surgeon highly recommended the procedure because he thinks the risks of the twisting type far outweighs the annoyance of drinking the "smoothie" and having the x-ray done.

So Amelia is scheduled to have an Upper GI on July 1st.  The surgeon thinks because she has never had issues it is likely her intestines are fine the way they are, but this will make sure.  If they are not, then she will need surgery to fix them.

Hopefully she will drink that drink.  That's all I'm focusing on right now...

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Nail Polish

About two months ago we were talking about gel polish in the teachers' room.  One teacher mentioned that her salon had told her there was a drugstore version of gel polish that you could buy without needing to use lights.  I was interested in this because I'm not going to go to the salon to have my nails done, and because a normal nail polish lasts about 24 hours for me before it starts chipping.

I headed to Target and bought Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Totem-ly Yours and the Miracle Gel top coat (which you must use to get it to work).  It was about 15 dollars total.

I went home and painted two coats of the polish, followed by one top coat.  Then I lived life.  The nails looked great and still looked great after day 1.  Success!  Day 2 still going strong, Day 3, Day 4.  On Day 5 I noticed a tiny chip but it wouldn't be noticeable to others.  On Day 6 it started to go downhill so I easily removed it with nail polish remover.

I was thrilled!  I got a whole work week out of the nail polish.  I painted them again the next day but this time they only lasted about 4 days.  I was also much harder on my nails as I was moving many things in my classroom.  I again removed the nail polish.

I did not repaint them and I noticed that they were breaking quickly.  I have had the polish off for about 2.5 weeks now and my nails are just starting to look strong again and ready to be painted.

So the plus side:  It really works.  It doesn't last two weeks, but it does last a full work week which is pretty amazing.  It removes very easily, easier than normal polish.  It just slid right off my nail.  It's 15 dollars and will last a long time.

Downsides:  I think it damages your nails.  If I continued to paint them each week, maybe they would have been fine.  Or maybe it was just a fluke.  But after 2 weeks with no polish, my nails are ready to go again so that's not bad.

All in all, great product and I'm happy to have found it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


My parents had been planning a trip to Canada for awhile and a few weeks ago they asked if Lucy could come along, so Lucy is off for the week having a great time researching our ancestors.

They headed first to Vermont where they had lunch with my great-uncle.  They enjoyed some time at Lake Champlain and then headed to Quebec to meet up with other family members.  They are in Quebec now and will be home on Saturday.  It's a great trip for Lucy because it's vacation of course, but also because she loves anything to do with her history.

Meanwhile, I'm at home trying to keep up with the laundry and dishes. ;)


I've read a variety of books this past month.

1.  The Lowland - Set in India and the USA, this book was quite good.  It wasn't a fast read for me, but it was a thoughtful one.

2.  No Parking at the End Times - This was a novel and I didn't like it at all.  It felt poorly written to me, very little plot, and could have been written in half the amount of words.

3.  Child of Mine - I was in the mood for some light-hearted reading and had a Beverly Lewis book in my end table, so I started it.  I read about half of it and then flipped to the end to read the end.

4.  The Jaguar's Children - This is about an illegal immigrant who is trying to cross the Mexican border into the USA.  He is sealed in a water truck and gets left in the truck, in the desert, with a group of people.  Again, this was just "ok" writing, and I ended up skipping around in it also.

It hasn't been a good book month.  I need to find some new books to read...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Amelia's 6th Birthday

Amelia turned six today!  We spent the day at home, in our pajamas...She did have her first friend party, last Friday, at the Acton Discovery Museum.

There are lots of pictures of her opening gifts because I love the enthusiasm she has for each one.

 Acton Discovery Museum

 Celebrating with Friends

 Train Ticket Collector at the Museum

 My parents left for Canada yesterday, so they stopped by after church and brought Amelia her present.  We sang and she blew out candles for a second time.  Lucy also went with my parents and she was very excited to go.  They are spending the week doing various ancestry related things.

 We woke her up this morning with her birthday pancakes.

 She received "Peas in a Pod" from Grammy S.

 A cd player from us...they seem to break regularly just with normal use.  I feel like we replace each of the kids' players every year.

 Toby bought her a Nerf gun.

 Calico Critter house from Grammy S.

 Reading Uncle Matt's card

 Etch a Sketch from Uncle Matt

 Opening her present from Grammy and Grandpa

Calico Critters!

 Tonight she chose tacos for dinner and brownies for dessert.  Toby made the salted caramel brownies.

Happy Birthday Amelia!  We love you so much. 

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Rachel is Published!

Here's the link to the research article that my sister and her team just published.  This is the culmination of years of work (and it is indecipherable to me!)

Friday, June 05, 2015

School's Out!

I am officially done the school year.  I don't know if I will teach again, so it was a bittersweet ending.  I am greatly enjoying the day today even though it involves organizing everything that has been brought home over the past week.  I slept in, had breakfast, and the windows are open!

I will be working most of the summer, at home and at school, but it will be great to focus on one job now.

More blogging to come...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce

My sister-in-law blogged about this recipe a few weeks ago, so I decided to make it this week.  It was delicious.  The steak was perfect and the sauce went well on the steak and PW's Crash Hot Potatos which I also made.

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Onion-Blue Cheese Sauce

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


On Sunday we went to spend the afternoon/evening with Liam's parents who rented a house in Mystic.  It was a lovely time.  Perfect cottage, and perfect location.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Fun Run 2015

On Friday, Toby ran the WCS Fun Run, 3 miles total.  My mother ran it along with him.  They start with two laps around the track, head down the road to the condos, and then come back and finish with one lap around the track. He did very well, finished in 31 minutes, 42nd out of about 65.  Last year he barely made it the one mile in the 3rd grade Fun Run, so this was quite an accomplishment.

 The Beginning
 He was most excited about the other students in the elementary school cheering for him.

The End