Monday, November 30, 2009


Two weeks ago or so, I stated that I was going to go backwards to catch up on my posting. I guess I didn't really do that. Since it is the last day of November now, I want to expedite that catching up thing. Here is a quick overview of how it all went, and lots of things I am thankful for in this particular November.

This is Riley and Jeff after a good lunch on the patio at school. It was a fundraiser, and some lovely people from The Olive Garden came and served our lunch. I am thankful for a good school for Riley to attend. I'm really thankful for a sweet daughter. I am SO thankful for a husband who willingly participates in these things for the kids. AND I am extremely thankful for Olive Garden bread sticks.

My wandering parents returned to town just in time for us to have a little birthday party for my mom.  I am thankful to have my parents close by.  I'm thankful for my cute mom, who never ceases to amaze me.

Also in November, Riley's school had Crazy Hair Day.  Riley reminded me about it for days.  It was a fundraiser, so she had to pay 50 cents to spray her hair pink.  I was mostly too shy to do these silly things in school.  I am thankful for a daughter who enjoys participation.  She loved that day.

November 7 was a really great day.  We headed over to the Phoenix area to have a baby shower for my sister in law, Lisa.  She is expecting her first baby....a boy...any time now.  There were many pink presents at this shower luncheon as well.  My sister Natalie is expecting her third child tomorrow.  I am thankful that Riley is about to have some new cousins!  

I am thankful that my dad will be even more surrounded by grand kids than he already is!

Riley enjoyed time there with cousins.....

....AND Ally, of course, who lives over there.  We are all most thankful for Ally.

My mom even managed to get another birthday cake out of the deal. 

On November 11, Kaitie and Emilee participated in their Young Woman in Excellence program at church.  They were each supposed to bring a picture of themselves to display.  In addition to the picture, they could display items pertaining to goals and projects they have been working on this year.  This is the picture that Kaitie displayed. 

She chose to talk about the volunteer work she has done at the Humane Society this year.  I offered to put some pictures together for that for her, but she declined.  She is a little like me, I'm afraid.  She considered that a "make work" project, and not worth the time...even my time.  She said she just wanted to talk about it. 

As she is one of the older girls, she conducted the meeting, and did a very nice job.  I am really thankful to have this bright, responsible daughter. (I am also glad that someone in my family is good with animals.)

That evening, Emilee displayed this dance picture.  She talked a little about all she is doing in dance this year.  I am thankful for this graceful, and creative daughter.

We can't talk about November without talking about New Moon!  We had such a fun time at the New Moon party and premiere.  I am thankful for people who plan parties, and do lots of work, so I can have fun :)

The mall had a little Christmas tree lighting the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I didn't get a great picture of Emilee's group dancing, but she is cute anyway.   I'm thankful for this holiday season.

I was going to try to write about Thanksgiving also, but I will just have to do that tomorrow.  I'm thankful for YOU, if you hung in even this long.  (You would never have made it through the whole Thanksgiving post in addition to all this, right?)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pretty in Pink Glasses!

At the beginning of this school year, Riley started telling me that she couldn't see the board in her classroom very well.  I thought she was just being dramatic, and didn't pay much attention.  I'm such a good mom, you see, that I know when something is urgent and when something is not.....??....

I go to Riley's class every week, and I love doing that.  I enjoy helping her teacher, and I especially like working with the kids.  A month or so ago, I was there when the kids had to complete some sentences they were reading from the overhead projector in the front.  I heard Riley's teacher ask, "Riley, why are you still only on number two?"  Riley replied, "I can't figure out what the first word in the second line is."  I knew it wasn't a reading issue.  She is not at the very top of her class, but she is a good solid reader.

 The teacher then told me that she thought Riley should get her eyes checked.  She said to Riley, "I'm going to give you a note to go to the nurse right now, and let her give you a quick eye check."  Riley started to cry.  I went to the nurse with her.  I tried to get her to stop crying.  When she didn't stop crying, I tried to get her to explain the crying.  When that didn't work either, I just took her to the nurse, and Riley took an eye test through her tears.

As I watched her take that eye test, I had to be careful not to cry myself.  I was stunned by how much she could not read on that eye chart.  I could so easily see what she could not see.  I felt terrible for not paying attention to what she had been trying to tell me.  I think that was why she was crying.....because she had been trying to tell me.  I don't know that for a fact.  She never really said.  When we left the nurse, I tried to get her to talk to me.  She only said that she guessed she was a little scared.  The large amount of crying didn't match that small reason.  She didn't stop crying either.  After a few minutes I told her that I guessed we would just have to change the subject, so she could pull herself together and get back to class. 

When we made her appointment at the eye doctor, I told Riley I had a feeling she was going to get glasses, and that we would pick out some really CUTE ones.  The appointment took forever.  I feel for anyone who has to take a child younger than seven for such an appointment.  It was hard for her to sit still enough, and answer questions about when things were in better focus.

As it turns out, Riley has a lot of astigmatism.  I can't believe I didn't know it before.  The doctor said he is only correcting her vision to 20/40 or so, because she wouldn't be able to handle more of an adjustment than that right now.  The older kids and I don't have glasses, so this is all new to us.  Jeff had to get them when he was a kid.   He said that when he walked out of the office with his new glasses, that the sidewalk freaked him out. 

Riley was excited about the cute, colorful glasses available to choose from.  I am so glad it can be a positive experience that way.  I liked a brown pair, but how silly is that?  She chose a bright pinkish, raspberryish color. 

Because of the long appointment, which started at 3:00, and then a mix up in paper work, we were still there at 4:30.  We were surprised at that point to see Riley's teacher walk into the room.  She had a stack of letters that the kids had written to the eye doctor that day.  (It wasn't Riley's doctor, but another man in the same office.)  She showed me Riley's letter.  In the letter, she said she probably had to get glasses.  She drew a picture of a girl with brown hair, and pinkish purplish glasses.  I wish I had snatched it.  I think I needed that letter more than the eye doctor did.  It was really adorable to me, how she had pretty much decided what she wanted her new glasses to look like before we got there.  I loved the timing on all of it.  How nice for Riley to write that letter on that day, and then get to see her teacher delivering it.  And how nice for me to get to see that picture!

The two weeks that we waited for the glasses to be ready, different people told me their glasses experiences.  One friend said her son exclaimed about the beauty of a bougainvillea bush, and it made her want to cry.  I precried (now who was being dramatic?) about the moments we would surely experience when Riley finally saw the world for the first time.  Riley did not exclaim in amazement about anything beautiful.  She took my arm, because the sidewalk freaked her out.  She didn't hear her dad say that either!!  I loved it, and I didn't have to be crazy and emotional either.

When we got home, Emilee complimented Riley's glasses and asked, "So, do I look any different to you?"  Riley's answer was, "Well, I think your head might look a little bigger."  Hilarious!


You can't see how pink they are in this picture, but they are quite pink!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Maybe I will work backward on catch up for the last couple of weeks.

On Saturday, Riley went to a birthday party for a sweet friend. This party was held at Chuck E Cheese, much to Riley's delight. I never go there on purpose, but end up there by invitation often enough. As it turned out, the guests of this party were all the extended family of the birthday girl...and Riley. The family is really nice, but I ended up texting a lot. I laugh when I see people trying to look busy, doing something important with their phones...but that was what I ended up doing after awhile.  In a text from Ally, she advised that I would like it better if I just went and played a game of Skee Ball.  I should have!

So, here is Riley in all her giddiness at the party.

Once during the party, I looked at her standing and talking with a group of girls, and I think I saw her grow a little taller, and older right then and there.  I realized that I should have just dropped her off and gone shopping.  She did not need me to be there.  I will have to get better at realizing these things. 

After the party, Riley had an appointment to swim with her dad and Grandma S.  Even though the water is heated, I just don't like to get out afterward into the cool air.  They are much braver than I am! 

I took a picture of Riley riding on her dad's back.  I loved doing that when I was a kid.  It was fun, but I could let go whenever I wanted to.  I liked to be in control of what was going on when we played in the pool.  When I was not in control, it wasn't nearly as much fun!

I found out they were playing Mermaid and Shark.  Apparently the Shark had been a "problem" to the Mermaid long enough!  She had to show him who was boss....with a plastic torpedo. 

I love how these two play together.  In the morning, they played soccer and rode bikes. 

But this is my favorite picture of the day. Emilee went outside for awhile, and ended up in the pool in all her clothes. Crazy girl!  When she came to the back door, complaining about the cold, she brought a movie line to mind:

....And my nose is froze. And my ears are froze. And my toes are froze....

Sunday, November 15, 2009


By the looks of the calendar, two weeks have gone by since I have posted an entry here.  Good thing there is a calendar to measure by, because the speed of the days passing is unsettling enough to make me unsure. 

Why the kazoo picture?  Riley picked that thing up on our out of town trip last weekend.  It was a toy in a kid's meal.  I wonder why any place that wants my business would give that to Riley while we were in a car.  Certain noise wasn't meant for enclosed spaces.  Riley was good enough to put it away that day, but got it out this morning.  I woke up to a game of Name That Tune.

What could I say now that we were no longer in a car?  Well, a car reference actually did come up.  I might have said something about running over it with my car if she didn't play it in the other room.  That was when I first woke up.  I got nicer as I went along.

After I had been up for awhile, I listened to her practice for her Primary Program.  That is the children's program in church.  The children sing the songs they have been learning all year, for the congregation.  It is usually an enjoyable program.  Anything not done well, is made up for in cuteness.  Today was no exception.  The kids did a good job with their songs and speaking parts.

Riley's part was to quote John 14:6:  
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

When she practiced, sometimes she left out the word "by."   It was so close, but too wrong.  I was really hoping she wouldn't accidentally do it that way today.  She didn't.  She was a little Riley fashion, but she did it.

The songs sounded better in the chapel, than by kazoo in the morning.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Yesterday was the easiest Halloween of my life. I didn't have to do a lot to bring it together. I was not much enthused about it either. Last night I realized that the stress of it IS tied to the fun of it. I wasn't invested enough...or something like that.

The kids had a nice time though, and that is what really matters.

I laugh every time I look at this picture.  I love it so much.  This is Riley and her cousins headed into the church parking lot for Trunk or Treat.  Minnie, the Landlord, and the Beautiful Vampire were excited to get in there and start getting their treat bags filled.

Emilee and her friend joined us to pass out candy at the truck. 

At home, Kaitie got ready to go to dinner and a party with friends. 

I think they had a great time :)