Monday, June 10, 2013

The hustle and bustle of the end of another school year

While I am not a teacher in the traditional sense, I do feel the hustle and bustle of the end of the school year.  Getting the remaining work done, getting extra work done, administering gets hectic!  And the teachers are as ready to be done with the year as the students.  That's the time of year it is for me right now.  I finished up with one student yesterday and will finish with my other one the beginning of next week.  I do have to say that regardless, I really enjoy what I do and we are very lucky that I am able to work part time and make decent money while not having to use daycare.  Now, if you know me, then you know I don't have a problem with daycare.  There are people that don't want to stay at home with their kids, and they shouldn't.  You will be a much better parent if you are happy in what you are doing and if staying at home doesn't work for you, then go to work and use a daycare!  There are also parents out there that don't have a choice but to work full time. That's what they're there for, so please don't feel like I think working is the "wrong" thing to do.  I'll come back from my sidebar now.  :)

Because my schedule has been super tight, I've been making more casseroles and freezer meals.  But really, about all of my meals you can freeze right now because I'm not at home to cook in the evenings.  Richelle turned me onto so I've been trying some meals from there this week.  We had the Skinny Italian Spinach Meatballs at the beginning of the week.  Not my best effort.  If I had done everything as written I'm betting they would have been better.  I didn't think to thaw my spinach and was out of time, so I thawed it partially in the microwave then put it in the meat.  Didn't take any of the water out of it.  I also was out of parmesan cheese, so there was no cheese in them at all.  I probably didn't use enough garlic either because I was running low on it.  (This is what happens at the end of the school year!)  I also didn't buy anything special for this.  I used the bread I had on hand, which I believe is 1 point a slice. I (we) am (are) lucky in the fact that my parents buy their meat from a butcher in Bassett and they bring us meat when they visit, so we have really good meat.  I will tell you without hesitation that I am a meat snob.  My grandfather was a butcher and I refuse to buy meat in a typical grocery store.  I will buy it on occasion from Costco, and will buy from Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Fresh Market, but not the other big chain grocery stores.

Back to the menu.  I also made Chicken Divan, Lightened Up which Jefferson served with rice.  Again, I went with what I had.  For some reason I didn't make my grocery list very well even though I had the recipes in front of me.  While there's 5 of us, I didn't use 1 1/2 lbs of broccoli or 24 oz of chicken.  I used about a pound of chicken and about 12 oz of broccoli.  I cut the cheese in half and didn't put any on top simply because I only had sliced swiss.  Jefferson gets swiss on his sandwiches for work, so I almost always have light swiss slices.  I omitted the sherry because I'm too cheap to open a bottle of white wine for 2 oz and made chicken broth using Better than Bouillon, though I don't pay nearly that amount for it because I buy it at Costco.  I was totally out of parmesan still so I didn't use that either.  Regardless of the changes I made, it was really good.  There wasn't much left for me to eat when I got home. :)

Speaking of not much left, dinner from Wednesday night was a hit.  So much of one that Jefferson told me when I was on my way home to stop and get dinner because there wasn't any left for me.  Cheeseburger Casserole.  I didn't think that would be the best dinner ever, but apparently it is.  I added some more noodles because I thought it could use more and split it into two dishes for two meals.  Maybe I'll get some of the other one. :)

I did make a meal that was a blast from my past last weekend.  Its what we call Daddy Bob's Stuff, named after my grandfather.  The girls ate it like no other, so it will definitely be going into the rotation.

Daddy Bob's Stuff

1.  Peel, slice, and boil 3-4 good sized potatoes.
2.  Brown 1 lb ground chuck.
3.  Make a cream soup (I use this recipe.)
4.  Add about 1/2 C additional milk to thin the soup out a bit.
5.  Layer 1/2 the potatoes, 1/2 the meat, 1/2 the soup mixture, then repeat.  Sprinkle with cheddar cheese then bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

Really simple and really yummy.  Even Jefferson said he liked it this time, which he usually doesn't care for it.  I guess it really is the difference in cooking from scratch.

Until next time....

Monday, June 3, 2013

How I became a private school parent

I went to public school my entire life; chose a public college; became a public school teacher; still work for a public school system, just not in the traditional sense of a teacher.  Jefferson teaches public school.  Because of this I have had many people ask me why we chose private school for Dori (with our other children to follow).

There are many answers to that question and I always worry that I'm going to sound stuck up or make people think I believe I am better than they are.  By no means is that my intention.  The education she is getting is of the highest quality which by far is the main reason I am happy we chose St. Catherine's.

There were many roads that helped lead us to attend St. Catherine's and I cannot be happier after the first year.  When Dori was born, my mother-in-law was hell bent she was going to St. Catherine's and I dug my heels in.  I'm not sending my child to a school that you have to get on a waiting list five years in advance!  I went to public school, public school is fine for her!  Wow, did I ever eat my words.  I did go to public school, but not here.  I grew up in a small town and went to the best schools in the county.  Our children would not be going to the best schools in the county.  We don't live in those areas and can't move to those areas.  Don't get me wrong, from what I have been told the elementary school we are zoned for is a good school.  There are better, there are worse.  When it came time to start looking we decided to try and see what came of it.  After all of the testing, meetings, and other various activities, we decided to apply to St. Catherine's.  And to correct an earlier statement, we didn't go on a waiting list 5 years beforehand.  We did the normal application route beginning September-ish of the year before she was to start.

The education she is receiving is phenomenal.  I cannot say enough about her teachers and the school in general.  I really feel as though every teacher and staff member at the school has the students' best interests in mind and puts in the work they need to in order to help them achieve the best they can.  That's not to say teachers in the public schools don't, but there are some that don't.  After seeing everything teachers go through (and its worse now than it was when I was teaching) who can blame them?  They're beat down and not appreciated.  The way they have to teach, in preparation for the tests is ridiculous.  I could go on and on.  Until a bunch of people that make the laws but aren't teachers wake up, it won't change.  It's holding students back and I don't want my children held back because of a test.  I really didn't want to rely on chance at her getting a good teacher; better yet I didn't want to take the chance she didn't get a good teacher.  Not only that, with all that teachers put up with now, it makes me not want to even think about going back into the classroom in a few years when I go back to work.  I only ever wanted to be a teacher.  Where do I go from here now?  That is a totally different post however!

Most of the things that happen in her school could be implemented in a public school but probably won't be because of testing and a lack of funding, or rather it not being seen as important.

Her school year ended Friday.  She was sent home with four packs of work.  One pack for each of the three months with a schedule attached and one pack of handwriting practice.  A total of about 75 sheets of paper.  Jefferson could send home copies with 6 of his students with his paper allotment for the month.  

She has recess daily and two specials a day including PE, Spanish, dance, Chinese, music, art, library, and computer.  I know all of this can't be implemented in public schools, but some of it can, however its not seen as important in the development of children.  

Dori went into school not reading.  She knew her letters and her letter sounds, but wasn't reading.  I wasn't concerned either because I knew it would come and if I forced it she would hate it.  She is now reading at the end of 1st grade, beginning of 2nd grade level and loves it.

I could go on and on, but won't because I already feel as though this is choppy and all over the place.  Bottom line, public schools need to be revamped and teachers need to be allowed to teach.  You want to know why our students can't compete with students in other countries?  Because they don't know how to think, they know how to test and that wasn't good enough for our children if we could do anything else for them.

First Day of Kindergarten

Last Day of Kindergarten

Dori and Ms. Houston

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The week of awesomeness in May

Last week was probably the busiest week of the year in our home.  Its that way every year.  It begins with Mother's Day, which at times is on the same day as Jefferson's birthday, but if its not then his birthday immediately follows, three days later Dori's birthday and somewhere in there is Dori's birthday party.  

Mother's Day was spent hanging out at home, not doing much, which was AWESOME!  We went for a walk, planted the garden (or was the the week before?) that the animals have already eaten, and just hung out at home in general.  I had sushi for dinner while Jefferson got the girls and himself pizza from Little Caesars.  It was a very nice, relaxing day.

The next day was Jefferson's birthday.  As is tradition, he picked the place for dinner.  He wanted Popeye's.  Myriam and I braved the not so nice part of town to get Popeye's which we had with a number of our friends.  Then it was cake time, a rather large chocolate chip cookie.  Dori gave him a "disappearing Tardis" mug and Ginny gave him a Doctor Who book.  Amelia and I gave him movie tickets.
The 6 year old!
Fast forward three days and you get to Dori's birthday.  She started the day out with pancakes, went to
school, then after I picked Dori up I took the girls to the nail salon.  Again as has become tradition, I take the girls (Amelia hasn't been able to start this yet) and each child gets either their finger nails or toe nails painted on the actual birth day.  It make for really great Mommy/Daughter time and is cheap.  After Jefferson got
home we did presents, which she got two Lego sets (the girl loves her some legos!) and a guitar.  Her restaurant of choice for dinner was Sakura.  We had friends join us there and everyone enjoyed a nice dinner.  Then home for Lemon Buttercream cake and to bed for the girls.

Lemon Buttercream Cake...I"ll try to find the recipe later...

I just think this picture is hilarious!

Parties are expensive.  Period.  After calling around to many party places in the area I was very pleased when she told me she wanted to have it at a park.  We went to Dunncroft Park and everyone had a really good time despite the fact that it had been raining on and off all day.  The kids played, the adults talked and everyone enjoyed themselves.  Her theme was Unicorns and Rainbows.  The kids decorated unicorn horns with stickers, played pin the horn on the unicorn, which Dori drew the unicorn, and we had a pinata.  Of course we had the requisite cake and food.  For food we had pigs in a blanket, taquitos, rainbow fruit, tulip vegetables, Doritos, and strawberry lemonade.  The cake was from Costco, because really, you can't beat the cost of a Costco cake and they're good.  Plus it saved me from having to make a cake from scratch, which seems to always be the thing that throws birthday parties behind for me.  Ok, one of the things, but the main thing.
Rainbow Fruit

Tulip Vegetables
I am back to working 4-815 every night of the week until school gets out.  The good news is that I really like both of the students I'm working with.  The bad news is that I'm not home for dinner or bedtime during the week, which puts a lot on Jefferson and is something I miss.  I try to make casseroles and freeze them or have something simple for dinner so that he doesn't have to do but so much.  Last night we had a Chicken Taco Casserole, which was really good.  Even the kids ate it!  The majority of my recipes are tweaked to what I have or want to add in.  I also get a lot of recipes from the site Six Sisters Stuff.  I have yet to try a recipe from there that was not good.  Their chicken taco recipe follows, with my tweaks below it.

Chicken Taco Casserole
1 (10 oz) bag tortilla chips
2 (10.75 oz) cans cream of chicken soup (I used 98% fat free)
1 1/2 cups sour cream (I used light)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes and green chilis (Ro-tel)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (1 oz) packet taco seasoning
3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
2 cups cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9×13-inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken soup, sour cream, Ro-Tel, black beans, taco seasoning and chicken. Set aside.
Crush chips (I just crush them with my hands) and spread half of them on the bottom of the pan. Spread half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas.  Top with 1 cup of cheese.  Repeat layers.
Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbly and cheese is starting to brown.
Recipe adapted from Plain Chicken
1.  I don't measure out my tortilla chips.  I crush them up and spread them until what I need covered is covered. 
2.  I don't buy Cream of Chicken soup any longer.  I use this recipe.  I buy Better than Bouillon from Costco and keep in the refrigerator.  I honestly don't know if its any cheaper than buying a can but its so much better in so many ways.  
3.  I didn't have any Ro-tel when I first made this recipe, but I had salsa so I used that.  It worked so well I haven't tried the recipe with Ro-tel any time I've made it.  
4.  I don't buy taco seasoning.  I make this recipe.  I make it in a plastic container and store it in the freezer for when I need it.  I think it tastes better and I know exactly what's in it.  
5.  I don't use 3 cups of chicken.  I use two chicken breasts and I cut them up with my salad choppers I bought when I was a Pampered Chef consultant.  
I then put the casseroles together (I make that plural because I split it into two dishes) and freeze them. When Jefferson decides he wants one, he gets it out and cooks it for dinner.  

I will also say, and I'm sure I'll hit on this in future posts, I do almost all of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe's.  If you don't have one near you, I'm sorry.  Its cheaper, the customer service is phenomenal, and I don't have to read labels.  Is everything organic and nothing bad in any of it?  No, but its non-GMO, no HFCS, along with minimal processing.  If you have one near you and haven't been, go check it out.  There are times I can't get everything I need there, but for the most part I can and do.  I'm pickier about my produce so at times I don't get my produce there because its already packaged.  I have found that they sell bags of organic apples and pears where the fruit is small enough for the girls to finish the entire piece in one sitting, which saves so much because they aren't wasting half a piece of fruit.

I'll leave you with a great picture of Amelia.  If you're in a bad mood or want to smile, look at this picture. It will cure your bad mood and make you laugh!  Until next time....

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Financially how we are doing it.

Jefferson and I decided at the beginning of 2013 to venture down a different financial path in an effort to rid ourselves of debt.  Not just "bad" debt, but all debt.  As it turns out, it is a really long process (our fault) but we're doing it.  Slowly but surely.  A couple of my friends had posted on Facebook how they were debt free the Dave Ramsey way, so I decided to check it out.  A couple of books from the library, and a few forms printed from the internet later, and we were on our way.  We now use cash.  Envelopes are made for about everything.  The normal bills still come out of the checking account, but otherwise its cash.  Groceries have an envelope.  As does gas, offering for church, eating out money, basically anything outside of the mortgage, power, water, etc bills have an envelope.  When its gone its gone.  And you really do think harder about spending cash than you do about swiping a card.  My life, especially, has been so much better the past couple of months because there isn't the stress of where are we getting the money to pay that bill?  Instead it's, "I have this much money for groceries this week so I need to cut some things down.  What do I already have that I can add to in order to make a well rounded meal?"  Oh, and no credit cards.  Ever.  No borrowing money.  Ok, we have broken that rule and will continue to break that one until Jefferson is done with his Masters, but i'm not willing to give up what he's already completed because we have to take out a loan.  I do know we will pay more than the minimum in order pay it down more quickly when the time comes.  I just hate that its taken us this long to get to this point.  At least we're here and working it down.

One of the things I pride myself on is providing my family with (mostly) healthy foods on a pretty tight budget for 5 people.  I'm relatively certain I have budgeted less than a family of 5 would get for food stamps.  And my budget is for all household things.  Not just food.  Toilet paper, diapers, paper towels, dog food, etc. all come out of that budget.  

After reading through a few blogs I have gone to tweaking some recipes to make them more healthy and stay as cheap as possible.  Staples, for the most part, come from Costco.  I buy rice and flour in 25 lb bags.  We bought orange "Homer" buckets from Home Depot.  I washed them really well a few times, then we put the extra flour and rice in them for storage.  I got 25 lbs of flour for $8.39 and 25 lbs of rice for $9.99.  This month we needed sugar.  I bought 10 lbs of white sugar for $4.49, 7 lbs of brown sugar for a little more than $4, and 7 lbs of confectioner's sugar for a little more than $4.  I don't have anything special for storage outside of my normal canisters and the orange buckets.  The extra white sugar is still in the bag, sealed in a ziploc.  The brown and confectioner's sugar both have zipper seals on the bags.  


Rice (yes they have lids.  I just didn't use them for the picture.)

My girls all like oatmeal for breakfast.  Again, in my research, I found a recipe for making your own oatmeal packets.  It took a little bit of time, but Ginny and I did it together so it was a good mommy/daughter project.  I bought a huge box of oats from Costco for a little more than $8, used one of the two bags in the box, almost a 2 lb bag of brown sugar, a bag of raisins, and snack size ziploc bags.  I ran out of raisins and ziploc bags, so there are a few bags without raisins and a few oats left in the bag.  For less than $10 I made 65 homemade oatmeal packs that Jefferson and the kids like to eat. (I don't like oatmeal, so they can have all of it!)  

My recipe: 

1/3 C oats
1 tbsp brown sugar
a few raisins

Add 2/3 C water and cook in your microwave.  I can't tell you specific times.  My microwave has them done in a minute and a half at 50% power.  

There are so many other things that hopefully I'll have time to add to the blog about.  The main reason I decided to start writing again was because I figured other people want to do things the way that I am by saving money, so I can add in my tips as I come across them.  I hope you enjoy.  I'm going to leave you with a picture of Dori after she lost her first tooth because she looks so happy and innocent.  Exactly the opposite of the way she acted this afternoon! :)  

Until next time....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Its been awhile...should I just keep that title? :)

Jefferson and I spent Memorial Day weekend abroad...if you consider Canada abroad... :)  It was a lot of driving, but we had a really good time and got to see a wedding.  :)  It was our first vacation since our honeymoon and my parents took care of the girls, so it was just us.  And a gazillion hours in the car.  Seriously.  We met new people, experienced things we don't get to here in the US, saw beautiful country, and just enjoyed ourselves in general.  There are a couple of things that we noticed about Canada.  The people are nice.  Its the little things, but they're nice.  When someone was merging onto the highway everyone moved over.  If you had to hit your breaks because you were going faster than the car in front of you and there was a car beside you, that car moved over.  It was a welcome change of pace.  The people there take pride in their work and their city.  The city was clean and they had recycling bins on the corners, not just trash cans.  In Canada, when a teenager graduates from high school, it is not automatically assumed they are going to college.  They may go into the work force, they may go to college, which is like a technical school here, to learn a trade, or they may go to university, which is comparable to a 4 year school here.  The people that we met that are in the trades take just as much pride in their work as those that have jobs after getting their 4 year degrees.  It was a nice change to come across a person that lays tile yet is proud to do that.  I feel like, as a country, we have gotten away from that.  Certain jobs are looked down upon and we expect everyone to go to college.  Somewhere along the way we need to get away from that and realize that everyone is not meant to go to college.  If everyone went to college, who would work on cars, collect trash, and keep the roads up.  Speaking of roads, I expected them to be in bad shape because of their winters (we had a mild winter this year.  we only had one -40 day this year.) but they weren't.  They were in better shape than many of the roads we traveled on to get home.  This was our view at sunrise Friday morning after having driven for many many hours.

The girls in the meantime were with my parents having a blast.  Amelia decided to reward my leaving with saying Nana before she said Mama, which of course made my mom super happy.  They got to have movie night with Ken and Donna, spend some time around they house, and go to see Mae Mae and Uncle Scott on Sunday.  They have been a little cranky and tired today, to say the least.  They always have so much fun when they are there, but i'm pretty sure all that are involved are as worn out as the girls are.  All 3 got in on the action of the slip n slide Ken and Donna gave Dori for her birthday.  

They even went on a bear hunt with Mae Mae! :)

Speaking of birthday, Dori is now 5, has graduated from preschool, and is starting kindergarten in the fall.  I don't know where the time has gone, but it has gone fast.  She had a huge birthday party with many friends and family and had a blast.  She was so excited to have everyone over, spending time.  

Her five year stats: 33 pounds, 40 inches tall, both in the 10th percentile.  She enjoys playing dress up, having royal tea parties, and building legos.  She has gotten pretty good at writing her letters and is working on expanding the words she can read.  She enjoys gymnastics and goes once a week to River City.  

Until next time....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Normal for the next 9 weeks

Our normal for the next 9 weeks is here.  It means Jefferson taking care of the girls until after bedtime, which includes putting all 3 to bed and dinner for all 3 because I am working until 830.  At least my schedule has changed a little and I am now only working until 830 Monday through Wednesday.  I'll be off at 545 on Thursdays and am off on Fridays.  And its only until the end of the school year.  I have successfully put together meals for the week so Jefferson doesn't have to cook, just has to feed them.  All of the recipes we have tried are on my pinterest board here but the one that Jefferson has deemed the best thing I ever cooked was honey sesame chicken.  It was so good I called on my way home and he told me to stop and get something for dinner because he had "saved me a taste, but not enough for dinner."  That was an understatement.   That one will definitely be in the weekly rotation.  Tonight we're having spinach lasagna rolls, which i'm super excited about it.  Honestly though, it may be excitement just because it means I get to eat before 9 pm.  :)  This was all that was left of the chicken.  Then Jefferson admitted I only got what the girls didn't eat from their plates, which was about bites of chicken.  :)

Now that I don't get home until 9 or after I have to find the motivation to exercise.  I can't do it at 930 after I've eaten, so I'm working on getting motivated to get up at 630 to do it.  Its really hard to stay on weight watchers when you are starving by the time you get to eat in the evenings.  Here's to hoping I can motivate myself soon! :)

Dori is close to finishing preschool, which is ridiculously hard to believe.  She has Kindergarten camp at St. Catherine's this summer and then its on to the real world of school.  Where did the last 5 years go?  Her 5th birthday is May 16 with her birthday party the Saturday afterwards, so we're all looking forward to that.

Then comes Amelia's party the following month.  Where did that year go?  I cannot believe she's almost 11 months old!  I went to buy her shoes today, however decided to wait because her feet are going to be like Dori's.  Super narrow which is going to make buying shoes such fun!  Amelia is still only saying dada but thinks its hilarious when I tell her to say mama.  She looks at me, grins, says dada, then claps for herself.  

I feel like I need to tell you something about Ginny because I have told you about the other two, but she's still going along with the flow.  She is my constant companion, helping me out and loving on Amelia, too much sometimes.  She loves babies and is a little mama.  When we go to music class she likes to take things to the ones that can't get them themselves, helping out wherever she can.  She's also my cuddly child that likes to curl up in your lap.

That's about all I have right now.  Time is flying by between gymnastics, preschool, music class, and working.  We're having a yard sale on Saturday, which i'm hoping will be lucrative.  I want to get rid of stuff and make some money.  Then we have Daisy Days at St. Catherine's.  I'm hoping to get the garden in on Sunday and then its back to the grind of work on Monday.  Hopefully i'll have time to get to the grocery store this weekend too.

Until next time....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring break?

Ahhhh spring break.  Its supposed to be a break right?  HA!  Not in this house.  Its the time that I want to get so much done, but it seems that the time flies by and it doesn't get done.  My grand plan was to get one room a day clean over break.  So far at the end of the 2nd day of the week (but day 5 of break including the weekend) I have gotten a room most of the way clean, but you can't tell now because it was the kitchen.  I have managed to get the laundry sorted and am getting ready to switch out another load.  The girls and I got a package sent to Mike today and I managed to go to Martin's, Kroger, and Costco, along with taking the time to get a pedicure with Danielle.  :)  I will be returning to going to Martin's for most of my groceries.  They are just that much cheaper than Kroger.  Prime example, the spaghetti sauce I was looking at buying today at Kroger was 3.59.  At Martin's it was 2.89.  That's a HUGE difference when you add it up with the amount of groceries I have to buy.

We have had a wonderful Easter, 3 times over.  :)  We spent three weekends ago at Jefferson's dad's and had our annual Easter Egg Hunt with the Larson's.  The girls decorated sugar cookies and both Leslie and Lindsey were in from their respective colleges, so it was nice to see everyone all at once.  Its always nice to have family time.

Then the following weekend we were at my parents house for the annual Easter Egg Hunt with lots of people.   It was a lot of fun and I think all the kids had a really good time.  After the festivities, Danielle, Beebs, Donna, Mom and I went to Floyd to Schoolhouse Fabrics.  My first time there and it was awesome.  I got lots of fabric to work on the gifts for all the pregnant people I know.

This past weekend we had Easter here.  Richelle came down for the weekend.  The girls and I went to church after the Easter Bunny festivities and then we all went to Beebs' and Popsie's for Easter dinner.  We all had a really good time and it was a wonderful Easter.

Jefferson and I are going to North Bay, Ontario, in a few weeks for a wedding.  I'm super excited because it will really be the first time we have been away since Amelia was born and the first time since the girls were born that we've been able to take a trip like this.  My parents are going to take care of the girls and we're driving up for the weekend since Jefferson and I both have a 4 day weekend.  It will be a lot of driving, but should be a really good time.

Amelia's 10 month birthday is today.  She really hit a lot of milestones in the last two weeks.  She started clapping, waving, and took her first unassisted steps.  She had corn on the cob for the first time tonight and really enjoyed it.  How is it the baby is almost a year and the oldest is already almost 5??

Ginny made a huge leap this week.  Previously, as in the past two months, she hadn't made the connection that letters made words and that you read them, which I hadn't expected her to.  It seems as though she has now made the connection as she read a book to me Sunday night.  I'm sure a lot of it was from memory, though it had been read to her once in recent past, however she had made the connection, which I was really excited about.  The Easter Bunny brought both Dori and Ginny some of the I Can Read books with the repetition so they can continue down the path of learning and enjoying reading.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter!  Jefferson is building Dori a loft and our good friends the Bakers are coming to visit for the day tomorrow.  Until next time!