Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The red rabbit ran over the round earth.

One year ago, Alpha could not say this sentence. When she spoke, it came out "De wed wabbit wan ovew de wound oowwf." Or something to that effect. She could not pronounce her /th/ or /r/ sound.

But now she can!!!!

I had a conference with her speech teacher today. She's been dismissed from speech! She has met all of her goals (mainly /th/ and /r/ sounds). I signed papers saying that she has no speech delay, no "disability", and that she should be returned to the main classroom full time. I wondered how she'd feel about stopping speech. Her speech teacher said that when she mentioned it to her yesterday, she said, "YAY!!!!!" Of course, she jokingly told her she was supposed to be sad.

The main thing her speech therapist told us was that, in her 25 years of working with kids, NO ONE has EVER gotten an /r/ sound this quickly. We started speech in March of this year, and then didn't do anything over the summer. So she had speech class for March, April, May, September, October, and November. She has actually been saying the /r/ sound since mid October and could have been dismissed earlier.

So next time any of you see her, ask her to say an a /r/ word! It's so exciting listening to her!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Goodbye, Mugglenet

I am taking off my link to Mugglenet. I have not listened to the last 3 of their podcasts.

Because they insulted Christians.

Once the whole "Dumbledore is gay" story broke, there was tons of discussion. In one of the discussions, they brought up all the laws from Leviticus. Seeing as how most of us don't follow those dietary and lifestyle restrictions any more, this one mugglecaster in particular said that we shouldn't follow the law against being gay. But she didn't stop there. She kept going and ended up saying that Christians were "stupid and immature" for believing in all that stuff. She said the Bible is a rich historical text that was relevant in its own time but is not relevant any more.

The next podcast, all they did was apologize profusely for those statements. The mugglecaster tried to say she meant only "radical Christians" and not mainstream Christians. But really, the apology sounded more like "I'm sorry because I offended our listeners" and not "I didn't really mean that." She is obviously not a Christian herself or she would not talk that way.

Then, today, I went to Mugglenet for the first time in about a week. Their poll was asking which book series you would read before seeing the movie. Narnia 2 was on there but so was The Golden Compass. For those of you who don't know, The Golden Compass is a new "kids" movie coming out based on a book by a self-described atheist who wants to banish God from kids' minds. They also have an ad for The Golden Compass on their website.

I would like to point out that this has nothing to do with the Harry Potter series. I do not think it is a sin to read those books. To me, they are a-religious, not anti-religious. You can find religious symbolism in them, if you look hard enough and stretch a few things, but all in all they are not for or against religion. They are totally secular in nature.

Therefore, so long Mugglenet! It was fun while it lasted.

I'll pray for you.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Short and sweet

It's late. I had tons of stuff to do when we got home this weekend. So here are some random pictures from Thanksgiving weekend. I've got some cute videos but I have no time to process and post them tonight. Maybe later this week.

Jim and Collin testing out their mom's digital camera.








Jim and his dad.








The Kane Clan!








Gramma/Mema fixing "supper" for her 4 grandkids.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Gettin' religion

So we were outside tonight. Watering plants. Isn't it weird to water plants in November?

Beta was helping me. Along the way, she started singing this song from the "Psalty: Songs for li'l praisers" video that she and Alpha have taken a liking to. The words, which most of you know, are "Sing Hosanna to the King of Kings!"

Let's watch.


video

Isn't she cute? Sorry. I just had to brag a bit. My favorite part is the end where she sees me and says, "What're you watchin'?"

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Resistance is futile...

Today, my cousin Jennifer and I took the girls shopping at Candy Cane Lane. It's a holiday shopping show put on by the Junior Auxiliary of Rogers/Bentonville. It was a lot like Holiday House in Little Rock, which I love love love! but don't get to go to now that we moved.

They had the usual vendors of girly stuff there. Plenty of food for the holidays. Expensive baby and children's items.

And Webkinz.

Have you heard of webkinz? I had heard the name, but didn't know much about them. As we were walking around, both girls were less thrilled than I thought they'd be. I'm not sure they're into shopping yet. Unless it's toys. (Alpha even said at one point, "can we just keep walking around, FASTER, and quit stopping to look at everything???" She's not going to be my shopping buddy, I guess.)

But I digress.

The girls found a booth selling these stuffed animals called Webkinz. They each come with a "secret code" inside their tag. You go online, register and enter the code, and then you can play with your "pet" in a virtual world.

Oh joy.

We ended up having some difficulty with it, though. Once home, we tried Alpha's first while Beta was napping. Well, Alpha's pet, the chihuahua, is December's "pet of the month". So, it popped up a warning message during registration that said if we adopted the pet now, she wouldn't receive the "goody bag" in her online room. But, it had an option to go ahead and adopt. She said she wanted to do that so I hit "yes" for "continue with adoption".

It didn't work.

The message came up AGAIN! I hit yes, AGAIN! The only thing I could do was hit "no" and then it canceled everything we'd put in so far.

Jim said they probably made it where you can't register that pet until December b/c they had too many irate mothers calling and complaining about purchasing a pet one day before a promotion like that.

Anyway, Alpha was upset at first, but now she seems ok with waiting until December. She asked me tonight how many days it was until December.

Ugh.

I believe it's 13 days until December. Until I get paid again. Until I purchase my one-way plane ticket BACK TO JAMAICA!

There are some days/nights when colic seems preferable to this. Especially when they both start fighting. But that's another post.

In the meantime, I'll be playing with my very own Webkinz! Yes, it was Buy 2 Get 1 FREE! Why couldn't it have been Buy 1 Get 1 Free??? I have no idea what to do with this 3rd stuffed animal. I thought about donating it to Toys for Tots or something similar, but then I realized that kids whose families can't afford toys probably don't have high speed internet either.

Oh, well. I'll think of that tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

TGIF!

Ah. Friday. I've always like Friday. Who hasn't? I was born on a Friday. The work week has ended. Saturday and Sunday are USUALLY open for doing pretty much anything. You can sleep in. At least a little bit.

My Friday went pretty well. Work was productive. I learned how to do a 990 Tax-exempt organization return. It's what charities have to file so they don't have to pay taxes. I swear. The IRS can smell money from 1000 miles away! If you're collecting any, they're gonna find out about it, and you'd better report it.

Speaking of, I got my first paycheck today for my new job! whooo! Go me!

Alpha had an ok Friday. Her class went on a field trip to see a play at the high school. She said it was ok. Her teacher was out at a meeting so they had a sub. I don't envy that sub one bit!

Beta did not have a good Friday. She was cranky when she woke up from her nap. She threw a big fit at snack time. This is totally unlike her at preschool. She does it at home quite frequently. I was sorry they had to endure it. I worry about my working. I'm afraid she'll grow to resent it b/c it means she has to go to preschool every day. However, 99% of the time she LOVES preschool! I'm also worried that she'll get burned out on learning things and not care to do so when she hits kindergarten. These are really my only worries. I'm not worried about her development at all. She fits in socially and is learning a lot. Also, her preschool doesn't push the learning. They do learn, and she's expected to sit there and listen, but it's not like report cards and conferences and strict teachers. Like I said, 99% of the time she LOVES the place!

Jim had a good Friday. We went out to eat at TGI Friday's tonight. (How appropriate!) (ok.....we had a coupon.) Jim got the cajun shrimp and chicken pasta. I got the cedar-seared salmon pasta. YUM!!! It was one of the best meals out we've had in a long time. Alpha got spaghetti with carrots and ranch dressing on the side. Beta got macaroni and cheese with french fries on the side. AND, they both chose chocolate milk to drink! Of their own accord! That was a nice change.

So now it's time to hit the bed and not get up right away. Here's to the weekend! Cheers!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jealousy

Ok, Robin. You got me. I am SO jealous of you! So jealous, in fact, that I took Jim's idea and purchased a bunch of Christmas gifts at one time. We are now, however, halfway done.

I've basically finished our extended family. Now I have to work on our immediate family.
And I'm not talking about Jim, me, or the girls.

So if I'm not blogging, rest assured I am SHOPPING FOR YOUR PRESENTS! (and Matt's and Mom's and Barbara's and Jim's.......)

Job update: Going great! The office is really relaxed. I mean, REALLY. I've started learning how to do a corporate return. So far it's not hard. It's just different. I can't wait until I know all this stuff already. That'll be a fun day!

Illness update: Beta was sick some last week. Now Alpha is sick. She's got a low-grade fever and her stomach hurts. She stayed home today, but was feeling much better tonight. We'll see how she is in the morning. It's tough when I'm working. I want to stay home but we get more money if I work and Jim stays home. (he has paid vacation/sick leave and I don't)

TV update: Tonight, all 4 of us watched Atlantis Squarepantis! The newest Spongebob Squarepants movie. It was perhaps more hilarious for us parents than for the kids. Both girls enjoyed it, though.

So now, more shopping! I love the internet. You can shop at night, in your pajamas, and they deliver to your door! This is heaven! Now if only I had more money.......

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I made it!

Well, I made it. My first day on the new job is over. Whew! I hate first days. I got there about 7:55, and the door was locked. Deadbolted. I wasn't sure what to do, but I knocked really loud and someone heard me. They asked if I was "the new girl". Thankfully my boss was already there and he came out fairly quickly.

I didn't do much work today. Most anybody who could train me was busy or out of the office. Speaking of office, I have a VERY nice one. It's large and even has a window! I never would have gotten that in downtown Little Rock! Maybe in a few weeks I'll take some pictures and post them here.

That's about all. I could say more, but not on the blog. Just to allay any fears, however, the day did go really well and I am really pleased so far. I just hope I know more accounting than I realize!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm nervous.

Tomorrow is my first day at my NEW job! I have been looking, hoping, and praying for 3 months now that a great job would come along. I think it has, though I won't know for sure right off.

But I'm now as nervous as all getout! I've told Jim probably 50 times so I figured I had to tell someone else. I think the internet is enough people. Or at least the 5 of you who read this blog...

Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Oops, Halloween!


I'm sure none of you cared about my new job or my new landscaping. You kept saying to yourself, "OK, Wendy, get to the pics of the kids in Halloween costumes!" Well, ask no more! For my last post of daylight-saving time, here are the girls in Halloween garb!

Oh, yea. Our pumpkin was a witch with one tooth!




Beta dressed up as Tigger. She decided this on October 30, and I found out about it at 3:30 pm. Thankfully, I had saved a pair of black velour pants and an orange sweatshirt. Thanks to some electrical tape...Voila, Tigger!

I cut out orange and yellow construction paper for ears and pinned them on a headband.





The tail is a black knee-high stuffed with a pair of my black socks. It's attached to a stretchy headband that fits around her waist.








This is the girl that started it all! This little girl said she was coming as Winnie the Pooh. So Beta said she was going to be Tigger. They both had a great time that day!








Halloween night, Beta switched to Belle. Alpha kept Cinderella and got to wear a very nice cape that was loaned to us from a fellow PTO mom.

They were both very excited and acting silly with their costumes and glow sticks.

House Beautiful

Another "finally"! After moving into this house nearly 14 months ago, we have finally finished the landscaping in the front yard. I've been wanting a nice looking yard from day 1! Well, ok, maybe day 7. I did give us somewhat of a grace period. Anyway, this past month I came into a small bit of money, so I decided to go for it! We went a little bit over, but I figured landscaping adds value to our home so we can increase our basis in it for tax purposes when/if we sell it. (I'm practicing for my new job on Wednesday. See previous post!)

Pictures will show the details way better than I could ever say them so here they are:


As you can see, I am having to learn the art of shade gardening. The front of our house faces north. I did not know that north is the side that gets NO sun. I think the bed in front of the office (room on the left) will get some early morning sun in the summer. Not so, in the fall or winter.




I bought 3 azaleas. I've lived with azaleas my whole life. I love them when they bloom. But quite frankly, I was tired of them. So why did I purchase 3? Well, in browsing shade perennials, I quickly noticed, there ain't many. The girls loved these flowers so I decided they were worth trying. My only concern is that azaleas don't like "wet feet", i.e. soil that stays wet, and we have TONS of clay. In fact, we have ONLY clay. We dug up a lot and substituted Miracle Gro garden soil along with purchased top soil. (We have so much clay, I need to go take a pottery class.)

I also purchased 3 ferns. They are listed as FULL SHADE which is exactly what this place gets. The sod I dug up wasn't even growing there. I hope these live. This particular type is called a Tassle Fern b/c the new growth is supposed to look like tassles.

The plant by the door is an arborvitae. Hetz midget. I love the look of these plants. They are dwarf plants that only get maybe 3 feet tall. Emerald arborvitaes can reach 6 to 8 feet!


Here is the area we completed this summer. This spot was meant to be a garden. It is huge! We put the path in so we wouldn't have to garden the entire thing. Plus, it's just different. The front part with the small chrysanthemums does get some sun. I planted petunias there this summer and they thrived!




So there's my new garden! I love it! I can't wait until my daffodils bloom in the spring. They are planted outlining the right side of the sidewalk and then the bed on the left.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

I got a job!!! YES! Finally! It's with a local CPA firm. I only have to drive about 15 minutes from Alpha's school and our house.

I start on Wednesday. It's part time until tax season. Then, it's "supersized" full time! But hopefully only from February through April 15. Then it's back to part time. The job is permanent!

This is DEFINITELY an answered prayer. Now, please pray that I know what I'm doing and don't make a fool out of myself.

I am excited and nervous, all at the same time!