Thursday, November 27, 2008


We went to Grandma and Grandpa Lanphear's for Thanksgiving dinner. It was fabulous! Lots of great food and good company! Of course, I forgot my camera, so I don't have any pictures to post of the fabulous feast. Needless to say, we all ate way too much. They boys each had two slices of pumpkin pie, although Hunter didn't have much to eat other than pie. Paul's cousing Jim figured out how to make fast friends with Hunter, Dakota too, by showing them a Star Wars video on his iphone. It was really great to see everyone.

Since it's Thanksgiving, here are some of the things I am thankful for (in no particular order):
Paul. He really is my soulmate and my hero. After nearly seventeen years of marriage, I sometimes forget to let him know how much he means to me. He is a really amazing person. He's a great father and husband and I don't know what I would do without him.

My kids. They are exhausting, but they are the light of my life. I am so proud of them and what great people they are turning out to be. They never cease to amaze me. They are smart and creative and I know that they will do great things in life.

My parents, in-laws, sister, sisters and brothers in-laws and their kids. I love them all so much. I wish we could spend more time together, but am grateful for the time we do get to spend with them. My nieces and nephews are all amazing kids, too, and I am so proud of them.

My students. Yes, that's right, my students. Some of them can be incredibly frustrating... okay, most of them are incredibly frustrating a good portion of the time. However, I have come to realize how important teachers can be in the lives of students. Even those students who seem not to care and seem to do everything in their power to sabotage their own education, deserve a chance. I think I am learning as much from them as they are learning from me.

In these trying times, I am also thankful that we have a roof over our head, food on the table and jobs to go to (knock on wood).

And most importantly, we have each other.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bed Head

I'm not really sure what Hunter is doing in his sleep lately, but he has been waking up with some major bed-head. This is what he looked like this morning! Of course, when I told him I wanted to get a picture of his crazy hair, he had to go and get two light sabers to be in the picture with him!

The Princess and the Bowling Ball

Our nephew Steve was in his first play on Friday. He is an 8th grader at Smith Jr. High and his beginning drama class did a great production. Each group selected their own childrens story and adapted it to the stage. Steve's group chose The Princess and the Bowling Ball which was a parody of The Princess and the Pea. They did a great job! We are so proud of him. Steve played the prince and he is a natural. I hope he remembers all of us when he becomes a movie star! (The costume was great, too! It was very authentic, except for the footware!) We love you, Steve.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Potty Talk

Grandma Phipps took Dakota and Hunter for some quality time on Tuesday. She took them to the park for a picnic and duck feeding and back to her house to play. They had a great time. She told me about this conversation she had with Dakota... Dakota told her that he had had diarrhea. She asked him "where did that come from?". Dakota thought about it for a few seconds and told her "it came from my butt". This demonstrates the importance of thinking about the question you are going to ask before you actually ask it. :)

In other potty news, last night Hunter went pee on the potty. It's not the first time, he will sometimes go at Miss Elaine's (his sitter), but he usually refuses to go for us. We don't believe in forcing the issue, but it would be nice if we didn't have to by diapers and pull-ups anymore. He was super excited and yelled "I went pee on the potty!" then gave us all high fives.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Jasmine Korina Lanphear

Today is our beautiful daughter's birthday. Jasmine Korina Lanphear was born November 9, 1993. She was born 5 weeks early as the result of a car accident. She weighed 5 lbs 15 oz. and was 19 inches long. She had lots of beautiful dark hair that looked like it might have a few curls. Both she and I were severely injured in the accident, but her injuries were far worse. The impact ruptured my uterus and the placenta abrupted, leaving her without oxygen for too long. The doctors did everything they could, but it was too late. Our precious little girl passed away on November 11, 1993. Jasmine was our first born. We miss her so much. Today she would be 15. It's hard to believe that many years have gone by. Every year on her birthday, I think I am doing okay, but it always hits me. I think of her everyday and what she would be doing. She would be in the 9th grade this year. What would she look like? What would she enjoy doing? I grieve for my daughter and all that we should have, but don't. Hunter is still too young to understand, but Dakota speaks of Jasmine often. We have told him about her. Sometimes, especially at night, he will cry and tell me that he misses Jasmine and wishes that she didn't have to die. I wish she didn't have to die, too.

Lost Tooth!

Friday November 7 was the day Dakota finally lost his first tooth! He lost it during lunch at school. He bit into an apple and it came out. He said he forgot his tooth was loose and it just fell out. It didn't even hurt! He was able to save it in a Ziploc bag and didn't loose it before school got out. Which is good, he has a tendency to take things out of his back pack to show his friends and lose them! He got two dollars from the tooth fairy. A bit less than the ten dollars he was originally expecting, but he was still thrilled.

Election Day

Dakota was very excited about election day. In fact, he was looking forward to it for weeks! He asked us who we were voting for. When we told him we would be voting for Obama, he of course decided that he was an Obama supporter, too. He was always listening to the news and taking in as much election information as a first grader can. They even had an election in his class. He said that 16 kids voted for Obama and 9 for McCain.
When we got up Wednesday morning and we told Dakota that Obama won, he was so excited! We were excited, too. Not only because he is the candidate that we supported, but because of how far this country has come. It is not that long ago that people who did not have white skin had to drink from separate drinking fountains, ride on the back of the bus and attend separate schools and now we will have a president who is black.
I was extremely disappointed when I got to school Wednesday morning and heard what my high school students had to say. Many students made remarks about Obama being shot, saying he is Arab, not a US citizen, I even heard a comment about Kool-Aid! It is really disheartening to witness such a momentous event, only to hear those hateful comments. Anyone who thinks racism isn't alive and well is mistaken. We have always tried to make sure that our kids understand that it doesn't matter where a person is from, what color their skin is or what language they speak. Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before our kids are exposed to these hateful beliefs. I only hope that our influence will continue to be strongest.

Halloween '08

We had a great Halloween this year for a couple of reasons. The first being that I actually got to participate this year. Last year I was super sick with a very severe case of strep throat, so severe that I had to be hospitalized the next day! I couldn't even get out of bed Halloween night, so I missed out on all of the festivities. It takes a lot to keep me from celebrating with my goblins!
This year began with a field trip to Schnepf Farms for Dakota. I was able to chaperone and it was a very special day for the two of us. He was so excited when I went to his classroom, he ran up and gave me a hug. He wanted to tell me about EVERYTHING in the classroom. I got to ride the bus and he was even excited to sit with me. The kids had a blast even though pretty much all they did was go on the rides. Dakota was so exhausted, he fell asleep on the way back... and the school bus is a pretty bumpy ride!
After school we carved Jack O' Lanterns and put out Halloween decorations. Paul tries to bring home some of his "toys" from school to use for the extra effects. This year we had a fog machine, a strobe light, black lights and spooky sounds effects. It turned out pretty cool, except the strobe light made me kind of sick to my stomach! The boys dressed up as (you guessed it) Star Wars characters. Hunter was Darth Vader and Dakota was a Clone Trooper. Of course, both costumes involved some extra gear, a light saber, and a gun, which Paul and I ended up carrying. Grandma Phipps came over to hand out candy so both Paul and I were able to go out trick or treating.
The boys made out pretty good, they filled up their buckets despite the fact that there were several vacant (i.e. forclosed) homes in our neighborhood and they only made it up two streets before they decided they couldn't walk anymore. One of the neighbors up the street from us set out a bunch of stuff for a garage sale, figuring they would capitalize on the foot traffic, but didn't hand out candy! When the kids went up to them they said "Sorry, we handed out candy at the HOA picnic last week." How lame is that? I hope they got a trick!