Friday, May 30, 2014

Teacher Appreciation 2014

Teachers hold a very special place in my heart.  I know the time effort and hard work it takes to teach.  Last week we celebrated those amazing teachers at the boys’ school. 

It was my pleasure to coordinate the week for Jackson's class.  The week before teacher appreciation started I went in and explained the plan to the children and gave each student a paper for them to describe what makes their teacher so super.  I love all the things that they wrote her.  I mounted them on card stock and turned them into a cute little book.


“You help me learn.  You make me feel special and happy inside.  I like you because you care about me.”  Good stuff!


That same morning I had them tell me one thing that was amazing about their teacher.  I love their precious responses.  {One said “responsible”}  Monday morning the parents brought in a really nice breakfast for the school staff and we covered their classes while they ate.  While the teachers were having breakfast I put this door decoration up using the superlatives the children had previously given me.IMG_3251

She got such a kick out of it.  {Especially when he co workers mover the POW sign to right behind her bum.}

Tuesday was my favorite day because each child brought a flower from home to make a lovely arrangement.  I snapped this {blurry} picture before all the children were there, but it was so gorgeous.


Wednesday each child brought a salty or sweet treat and she was inundated with all her favorite goodies and a parent brought her a Starbucks as well.

Thursday the teachers were treated to smoothies and another parent brought the teacher lunch from her favorite café.

Friday morning the class presented her with a generous gift card to John Bull.  She loved it and was able to go last weekend and get a nice gift for herself.

It was wonderful to see the parents and children engaged in honoring the teachers and staff at the school.  They all were so appreciative and said it was the best week ever.

Now let’s see if this can get them through the last few painful weeks of school!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Allen and his friend Scott have had a bit of a drought in fishing.  I think they have caught exactly 0.0 fish in the last several months.  Saturday they went out and got their retribution.  I am so happy for them.NIK_6916

While we do enjoy the really fresh fish, I kind of felt bad for them.  They were discouraged.  5 Mahi Mahi and a snapper changed their attitude.


Miller is obsessed with all things that swim in the ocean, so he was very excited to see these.  Yes he did give the fish a massage.


Here’s to many more fruitful days of fishing!


Monday, May 26, 2014

Boys Room a Little Makeover

In the last few years I have had to really rethink my decorating.  We have a really nice house, but the furniture choices are not my own.  The owners did a fine job, it’s just not my personal taste. 

One room in particular that I have struggled with is the boys room.  The furniture is very large and it only fits in there the way it is currently.  {If Miller’s bed was not there the tall dresser could come out of the closet and go back in that nook.}  There is not an inch to spare.

When we decided to put both boys in there we knew it would make it tighter, but we love having them in the room together.

Jackson’s side is mostly the same.  See how the curtain is?  Because there isn’t space beside the bedside table.  It is tight!


Jackson likes to sleep ON his quilt and had worn out some of the patches on it.  I spent a morning making new patches from some fabric from my Pink Dogwood days and it turned out really cute.

NIK_6943 When we leave and he has to go back to a twin bed, he will be pretty sad!

On the shelves, we have added a few more trophies…


I recently hung Jackson’s art from the art show.  The colors look great in here.  Below is the  art from last year’s art show.  I just painted the frame navy blue, and it looks so much better.


We finally got around to hanging this giant school map.  We have had it for a while, but figuring out a safe way to hang it was holding us up.  Our walls are cement and drilling into cement was too much damage to patch up when we leave….


I really wanted to put it over Miller’s bed in the nook, but Allen {probably rightly so} thought Miller might pull it down on his head.  Safety Dad aka  Allen hung it in a really safe way.  The boys love it.

Here is Miller’s nook.  We have twin beds in storage, so I didn’t want to buy a headboard, but not having  a headboard was really bugging me.  So I figured out that I could mount a tension rod at the top and put up one of the curtains from Jackson's old room.


It covers up the unevenly mounted power and cable outlets.  It makes it cozy too!

We fixed up an little side table with a lamp for him.  He was over the moon to have his art work and calendar from My Deep Blue View for him to look at.


It has been so good for me to have these lovely limitations.  I know that if I was living in our own home, things would be different, but making this house work for us and just letting go of the things I do not like has been such a good experience.

Since I’ve lived here, I have always said, “It is what it is and it ain’t what it ain’t.”  The other day I saw a sign and I’m going to have to make my own version very soon… it said “It is what it is, but it will be what you make of it.”  Couldn’t have said it better myself!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Science Fair

This year the boys both participated in the school’s Science Fair.  They loved it and I did too!
We supply the materials, but the children do all the work at school, which is genius because {I’m being real here}, no parent likes science fair.  How awesome is that!  makes me thankful I am not teaching too!  I saw this on the internet the other day…

All along Miller had told me that he hadn’t done an experiment and had not completed his board. I was mildly concerned, but he did in fact have an experiment and a display board.  He was very proud to show me.
His experiment was listening to sounds that different levels of water made when tapped.NIK_6447NIK_6449
Then he was off to check out the other experiments.
Jackson’s experiment was a little more involved.  He did an experiment with evaporation.
He lit a candle that was in a dish of colored water, then put a glass over it and watched the water rise in the glass as it is drawn into the glass.
It worked!NIK_6445
Both boys did such a good job.  It makes me so thankful for their amazing teachers!

Monday, May 19, 2014


This time I am positive that our soccer season is really over.  {We had a long haul to the last tournament where they were practicing for several weeks leading up to this last hurrah.}

The long awaited tournament was on Saturday!  Both boys were up at 5:40a.m. excited to go….a full 3 hours before warm ups started!

They both played several games and Allen was traveling back from D.C. so I did my best to be on two fields at once.

Jackson killed it at goalie during the first game!  I was so proud of him, but I have to say I was shaking like a leaf with nerves.  He loves playing goalie, but it is a ton of pressure!  He played better than he has ever played!




In the next couple of games he played different positions.  They won 1 game, tied a game and lost one game.  I was very happy with Jackson’s playing!


Another trophy to add to the collection!  He deserves a huge trophy for his hard work!


Miller also played so so hard.  He wasn’t looking forward to playing but ended up having a blast! 


I love that he is so intense on the field.  There are some kids out there who are “flower pickers” if you know what I mean.  Not Miller, he may have Attention Deficit Disorder, but that boy can focus when he chooses to!



He is also an excellent defender.  Honestly he plays with American football style defensive tactics.  The other kids who play against him are often surprised {from behind} but he is effective!


He was beyond thrilled to get his first trophy!!


The boys have had such good experiences playing soccer and have learned so many valuable lesson as well.  I can’t wait to see if they choose to keep playing!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fun with Papa and Nana

Jackson and Miller were so thrilled that their Papa and Nana were here for a visit.  They adore the one on one attention that they get when they visit and each time they spend with them the boys come away having learned something new.


Here is his Papa telling him how the dredgers are taking sand out of the canal….

This time he taught them how to do a proper push up.  Everyone needs to know that!

Miller favors his grandfather so much {If  I didn’t have Jackson I would say that I have weak genes}


There is such a strong family resemblance that it sometimes makes me grab my phone and snap a picture.

photo (23)

Jackson and Miller in turn taught them how to stand up on the paddleboards.



We are so lucky that the boys have their grandparents who will teach and learn with the boys.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Recently Jackson and Miller have been a bit hit or miss in the behavior department.  It seems that lately if they are being good at school they are awful at home and then it flip flops and they are good at home, but not so good at school.

I am glad that last week they were both so remarkable at school!




Being a parent is tough!  I always feel like I am struggling in one area or another, but I know that it is a parent’s job to worry if they are getting it right.

For that one week it looks like we did it right.  Hopefully we can string together enough good weeks to make these boys all that they can be!

I’ll have to tell you soon about the punishment I’ve been handing out when they are unkind to each other.  They hate it!  That means I am doing it correctly, right? 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother’s Day 2014

Every year on Mother’s Day it gets better than the last.  This year Jackson came and loudly told me “Happy Mother’s Day!” at about 6:14 a.m. and was so excited to give me his poem that I couldn’t even be mad.  Miller was right behind him with his Mother’s Day painting of flowers.  So cute!

I have a soft spot in my heart for kids crafts and Mother’s Day kids crafts are just the sweetest!


Allen and the boys made me a fantastic breakfast that we enjoyed al fresco.  While I was waiting for breakfast the boys were hard at work.
Miller decided he was going to clean the windows—with a broom.


Jackson learned to make a terrific latte.  I’m spoiled, right!


Then we packed up a lunch and headed to our favorite beach.

It was so crowded…


We ended the day with a delicious dinner of stone crab legs, filet mignons, and corn on the cob!  I am spoiled!


Thank you Allen, for making it all happen!