Tuesday, September 01, 2015


In the past two weeks the strut has gone on our van.  Sam fixed it.  The water pump went on the van.  Sam fixed it.  Sam took it to get inspected and it passed.  How much longer can it go???!!!!  Thankful for a handy husband who works hard and saves us lots of money.

Monday, August 31, 2015

First Week

I just completed my first week as a principal with school in session and I loved almost every moment of it.  The biggest change for me is being in charge of my own time.  As a teacher, which is what I have been for the past 16 years, every moment of your time at work is already scheduled.  It's math, then it's reading, then it's a fifteen minute break, and so on.  Every day follows a schedule down to the minute.  Now, I enter the school building.  I greet students as they come in.  When school starts I go to  my office and look at my to-do list.  I start working my way through it.  I can switch the order.  I can have an impromptu meeting.  I can leave my office and take some pictures in classrooms.  I'm in charge of my time.  It's a very strange feeling.

The other change is that my job really ramps up around 2:30 when school gets out.  This is when the teachers are available, so there are conversations and meetings with many different people, which means my job continues until much later than it did as a teacher.

We had our elementary back to school night on Thursday night and it was a success.  My first event with all of the parents.  My beginning session went well (although it was about 95 degrees in the gym) and the teachers had fabulous, informative classroom presentations.

I'm ready for week 2.  This week will be a little easier because Sam starts back to school on Tuesday which means he is available earlier in the afternoon/evening to pick up the kids and help at home.  I also start teaching this week.  5 periods/week of technology - touch typing and computer programming. One class on Monday, three on Thursday, and one on Friday, which I think is a lovely schedule.

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Day of the 2015-2016 School Year

Today's the big day.  Lucy starts 7th grade, Toby starts 5th grade, Amelia starts 1st grade, and I start off my first school year as a principal.

Pictures to come...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Smitten Kitchen

I love the Smitten Kitchen blog so last week when I was making my meal plan I decided to choose four of her recipes.  I ended up making three of them and they were all delicious.

Tomato and Fried Provolone Sandwiches - Nice take on grilled cheese, grilling the cheese instead of the bread.

Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon and Blue Cheese - Delicious.  I served these with hash browns and used ciabatta rolls.  I also used an herb blend salad mix instead of straight frisee because our tiny Shaws didn't have it.  It was still delicious, especially with the shallot dressing.

Southwestern Pulled Brisket - We ate this with tortillas and red cabbage.  I chose it because I needed a slow cooker meal for that day and I was hoping Sam would be able to have it for leftovers while I was away.  I only used a 1.5 pound roast, instead of a 3 pound, so he was only able to have just enough for one more night.  I also used a chuck roast because our store didn't have brisket, but it turned out fine.

We didn't get to the Asian noodles with cucumbers yet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Longest Ride

I dislike Nicholas Spark's books and movies made from him, but apparently I was in the right frame of mine for this one.  It was pretty good, the main male character had some pretty cheesy lines, but for the most part...

Monday, August 17, 2015

WOL for the 33rd year

Lucy and Toby went to WOL ranch for a week.  Amelia and I met my parents up in the NY and we stayed at a motel for a few days.

 This general store had a tree going through it.

 This game was a lot of fun.

 The tree in the store

 Toby's cabin

 Duck call!

Monday, August 10, 2015


I finished two memoirs recently:

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness- This is the story of Susannah Cahalan, New York Post reporter and her diagnosis of  Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.  It was an interesting read, scary to reflect on, and more scary to think about how many people without her resources who are just diagnosed as psychotic.

Hiding in the Light: Why I Risked Everything to Leave Islam and Follow Jesus - This book started off well, but the writing was pretty poor. Her initial stories of childhood and her conversion were good. By the end as it got into the legal battles, I was ready for it to be wrapped up and done.  

Sunday, August 09, 2015


Lucy and Toby are off to camp, so we're a one child household this week.  I'll be working M-W and then Amelia and I will head up to WOL for a couple of days.  School starts on the 24th, so two weeks to go!

Friday, August 07, 2015


We're home.  Amelia is eating and digesting. ;)  She hasn't had any pain meds since 8 this morning and she doesn't have any pain.

On the way home I said to Lucy and Toby, "What a week you have had!" (Because they've had a week of people doing fun things with them.)  Amelia piped up, "I had an amazing week too!"  Her love for hospitals continues unabated...

First Meal

Grilled Cheese and Rice!

Day 4: Afternoon

Well, this is a delayed post.

Day 2 wasn't great.   My  mother stayed for the day and my brother took Lucy and Toby for the day, which was great.  Sam came Wednesday night and spent the night while I slept at his parents' house.  I came back Thursday morning and stayed for a few hours with them and then went to work, and then Sam stayed again last night!  I'm very thankful for that because I could have never slept in that room.

I came early this morning and Sam headed to work.

Our very exciting news is that last night they took out the tube and cleared her to eat today.  For this morning she could only have clears, so she had three jellos, two popsicles, two apple juices, and a ginger ale.  Then they disconnected her iv so she doesn't have to take the pole everywhere she goes.

We played in the activity room for awhile this morning, but we both agree UMASS has a much better activity room.

She's been cleared for solids now and we just ordered a grilled cheese and white rice for lunch.

In even more exciting news, she pooped this morning, which means that we won't have to go through all of the stress that we went through after her appendectomy.

At this point it is silly to be in the hospital.  She's walking, bending, completely acting normal and without pain, so I'm going to push for a discharge today.  If not, we will definitely be discharged tomorrow.

 Right after surgery

Hail storm

Games with Grammy

New big duck from Grandma, the biggest one she owns, and she owns a lot of ducks!

Reading with Grandpa

Sucking on sponges


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Day 2: Morning

Amelia had a good night, fell asleep around 11:15 and woke up around 7:15.  They continued to give her morphine and tylenol every four hours.

The surgical team just came in and they want to leave the tube in place today, switching it out to a gravity instead of suction tube this evening.  They did say she can have ice chips.  She assures me she will not eat ice chips because she hates ice and water.

She did wake up wanting to go to the bathroom and check out the toy closet, so we'll see how that goes once she starts to get up.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

First Evening

Amelia did very well today.  All went well with the surgery.  The doctors and nurses have been very surprised that she is not complaining about the ng tube and they are also surprised that it is already showing clear liquid, which means it might be able to be taken out sooner.

Barbara visited tonight which was lovely and I went downstairs to get a coffee.  Since she is unable to eat or drink anything I had to sneak a few crackers while she was watching tv.  Tonight she started complaining of hunger, which is unfortunate, but she been without food for 26 hours.  The original plan was no food for 3-4 days.  I'm not sure how that could be done.

We also got her up and to the bathroom.  It was definitely harder for her than after the appendectomy, but she did it, under duress.  She's not asleep yet, there are just too many great shows on Nick, Jr. and Disney, Jr.  Nick, Jr. just turned to Nick Mom for the evening.  Are there moms who watch Nick Mom?  Bizarre.  So now we're onto Disney, Jr. which has a total of about five different shows and we've watched them all over and over again.

My chair has been reclined into a bed and I'm ready to sleep, hopefully soon.


Amelia is out of surgery and heading to recovery.  They will be coming to get me in a moment.  The surgeon said all went well.  He was able to do it with three laparoscopic incisions.

Amelia's Surgery

Amelia was scheduled for surgery at Boston Children's this morning at 9:15.  We arrived at the hospital at 7:45 and they quickly started getting everything ready. I was able to go in the OR with her.  She chose bubble gum as the scent for her anesthesia and held the mask on herself.

We had a tense moment when some of the team wanted the hair wrap to come out because it had metal on the end, but the chief anesthesiologist prevailed and she got to keep it.  I was ready to fight for it after all the money it cost, and Amelia is excited to have it for the start of school.

The surgery will take about 3 hours and they will contact me every hour or so and let me know how it is going.

They did warn me that children do not like ng tubes, so we'll try to keep it in as long as possible, but I'm not looking forward to that part...hopefully all of the new toys/activities will help her forget it is in.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Everything I Never Told You

I just finished this book a few days ago. Everything I Never Told You  It was a magazine recommendation and I wasn't sure I was going to like it at the beginning, but I quickly got into it.  It's about a family dealing with the loss of a sibling/child and their lives, before and after.  Also deals with the expectations parents put on their children due to their childhoods and missed opportunities.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

My Office

Jenny and Sam came this week and hung everything up on my walls.  My office is complete, except for the phone which is coming, and a few pictures of my family which are coming.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ocean City, New Jersey 2015

We had a wonderful trip to Ocean City, NJ.  It had been four years since our last visit, so everything was new to Amelia.  Lowell and Barbara rented a lovey house and we fit a lot of fun activities into four days.  Lucy ended up staying for the week so she'll come home on Saturday.  We were also able to visit Sam's grandmother which we enjoyed.
 We found a Sonic in CT and stopped on the way there and on the way home.

 Taffy right from the taffy puller

 Log flume with Grammy

 Funnel Cake

 Hair Braiding - That's an expensive activity, hopefully it really last six weeks!

 Another Log Flume

 Going with Aunt Elizabeth on the bears is a sickening experience! :)  But both kids made it.

 Grandpa and Amelia on the Tilt-A-Whirl

 Checking out what happens under the boardwalk...

Visit with Grandmother