Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Still Backing Up...

After two days it was still backing up so I stopped it and successfully installed the new OS. YAY! Then I went to install the photo software and guess what? You'll never guess, so I'll tell you. THE DISK WAS BLANK. So I called Apple and they were very sorry. After some negotiating, we decided that the best solution was for them to refund the entire amount and that I should just go buy a version of iLife. Fortunately, they had it here in town at Best Buy. YAY! Oh, but wait! There's more! I installed it and ALL MY PICTURES ARE GONE! Most were backed up on KodakGallery, another drive, or at least on Facebook. But some were not. Some like Grandma's last birthday.

Life was so much simpler when pictures came on film. :(

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Backing Up

Since we were on vacation and Christmas was only five away, I decided on Sunday that I should really get started on my Christmas projects that involve pictures. So I got up at 4:00 (because I woke up and couldn't stop thinking about that fact that there are only FIVE DAYS LEFT UNTIL CHRISTMAS!) and chose all the pictures for my project. Then I went to export them to a website where I can do something with them and GUESS WHAT? After TWO HOURS of choosing pictures, my software wouldn't let me select them. So I, very practically I think, decided that it was time for me to finally upgrade my software. The only problem with this is that I have to upgrade my OS in order to upgrade my software, and before I upgrade my OS (which can crash the computer) I figured it was finally time to do this online back-up service my dad has been bugging me about. And that's where it all fell apart.

It has now been 48 HOURS since I started this endeavor, and my computer is STILL BACKING UP!! And guess what? I still don't have new photo software, or a new OS, and I still can't export my pictures. And now? There are only THREE DAYS until Christmas. I am thinking that I am in big trouble.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (My apologies to Alexander!)

We went back to work today. Going back to work after a little vacation is always hard, but I can't remember one that was quite as bad as today. Why? Well, since you asked...
  • I came down with a stomach bug this weekend. It decided to get REALLY bad last night. So that I was awake and asleep several times, beginning around 6:00 yesterday. Actually, I was in bed beginning at 6:00, but I couldn't sleep because my stomach was burning and I had a splitting headache.
  • I overslept this morning because my brain finally went on vacation and now it thinks I should sleep until 7:00 instead of 5:00. When I finally woke up I still felt rotten, but less rotten than last night.
  • When I was finally ready to go, I couldn't find my keys for fifteen minutes. Turns out they were right next to the first place I looked, but they had fallen off the bedside table. Probably when I hit snooze.
  • It was LITERALLY freezing, and my car was covered in ice. When I finally got outside, I had to spend another ten minutes scraping ice off the windows while the engine warmed up.
  • When I got to work, I realized that I had to make copies. I got stuck behind the CAHSEE prep teacher, who was making multiple big packets. Then the bell rang, so I went to the little machine we're not supposed to use and tried to make copies, but it took five minutes to make 20. I took enough for period one, and then rushed to class where all my students were waiting outside in the freezing cold because I forgot to leave the door unlocked.
  • I couldn't eat at all this morning because I was a afraid my stomach would start again.
  • It took two hours for the heater to warm my bungalow enough for our teeth to stop chattering.
BUT one of my wonderful students had made me a WHOLE INSULATED PITCHER of shaah (Somali tea). As soon as my prep started, I drank two cups. It was so wonderful and hot!! And then, after I drank it, I felt so much better! And then, after school I had some more and shared it with Scott and another frozen teacher. YAY!

So the next time you (or Alexander) have a no good, very bad day, just have Mariam make you some shaah. It makes everything better.

May you have a very happy Tuesday. I intend to.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am thankful for so many things because I have been so very blessed, but here is a list of little things for which I am grateful today.
  • Scott lets me put my cold feet on him at night when we get into bed. And he doesn't complain when I start a new book, even though he knows that it means that nothing is going to get done until I'm finished.
  • Mom cooks ALL of the Thanksgiving dinner, and she's teaching Nikki how to do the same. I will probably never in my life have to cook one.
  • Caleb still says "mowk" instead of milk.
  • Nikki was able to sleep all night in her brace.
  • Emma went to bed happy. Junior is home!
  • Gloria thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread, even when I give her a bath.
  • Three more days of vacation.
  • At the end of vacation, I get to go back to a job which enables me to work with amazing young people.
  • YOU! Because if you took the time to read this, you care about our family.
Happy Thanksgiving! May the Lord bless you and those you love this holiday season!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What We've Been Up To

I haven't blogged in a very long time. There's a good reason for that: grades. Quarter 1 grades just came out and I am just now digging myself out from under a pile of essays and précis. All of this grading makes it far less exciting to read or write anything. Which is probably not a good thing.

So anyway, here is a list of things we have been up to in no particular order:
  • Caleb lost his first tooth! On Friday. He was playing basketball with Scott and missed a pass. It smacked him in the face and the tooth was history. The Tooth Fairy brought him a dollar in exchange for the tooth and guess what he wanted to buy with that dollar? Yep, a Death Star.
  • Nikki ran her last cross-country meet of the season yesterday. She has improved tremendously and still loves it. She's planning on running all four years. In the meantime, she plans to dedicate her extra time after school to the drama department.
  • Emma withdrew from her calculus class, which she was failing in spite of all her efforts to get help. As it turns out, she doesn't need that class anyway. She will take statistics in the spring. She admits that she is relieved, but I'm sure the fact that the class beat her isn't settling well with her.
  • Scott is about to embark on a week of federal jury duty. Thankfully, he doesn't have to report on Monday. His ASB students also have a festival and a leadership conference this week, so it's going to be a touchy week if he's out. We have our fingers crossed!
  • ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL THANKSGIVING BREAK!! If Scott has his way, we won't go anywhere or do anything. If I have my way, we will. We'll see who wins. Most likely, the kids and I will go somewhere and he will not.
Yep, that's about it for the Pages. Hope all is well with you!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why I Haven't Graded Your Essays

This is dedicated to the CHAMPs Class of 2011

I know I said I would grade your personal statements today. And really, I had every intention of doing that. BUT...
  • Even though I didn't have to go to my staff meeting today, I DID stay for the Peer Helping meeting.Which went until 2:15. Which is my normal time to stop teaching. So much for my afternoon grading time.
  • Then I was going to see Ms. Wilson, but she wasn't feeling up to a visit. So I went grocery shopping because we had no yogurt in the house. This is a major problem at my house. Problem solved.
  • Then I picked up Caleb and took the groceries home. We unloaded the groceries and then decided that it was very hot outside and the perfect weather for frozen yogurt. And I can't grade when Caleb is around anyway because he keeps interrupting me, so we went for yogurt.
  • Then I came home and thought that maybe I could grade TWO essays or something, but then Nikki called to pick her up from practice. Then I drove the wrong direction because I thought I was going to church (?!) but in fact I was NOT going to church. So then we drove completely around Santee to get to West Hills. Yeah.
  • Then I came home and Nikki took a shower and I drove Emma to school, and Nikki and Trina and Caleb to church.
  • Then I tried to come home but Emma texted me and her class had been canceled so I went back and picked her up. And then we were hungry so we went to dinner at Anna's restaurant but Anna wasn't there.
  • Then I picked up Caleb at church but Nikki and Trina weren't done so I texted Scott and told him to get them on his way home from his class at SDSU.
  • Then I came home and bathed Caleb and read him a book and now I am writing this blog.
So that is why I didn't grade your essays today. I'm really, really sorry. Maybe tomorrow?

Monday, October 18, 2010


So we had Caleb's big IEP meeting this fall. It was about what we expected. Nine adults in a room (psychologist, SLP, DHH itinerant teacher, audiologist, resource teacher, classroom teacher, principal, us) going over report after report saying that Caleb has delays when compared to his same-age peers. DUH! First of all, he's in kindergarten, not first grade like most six-year-olds. Of COURSE he's going to test behind them. AND he couldn't hear properly for the first four years of his life. That's why we held him back! But we were thinking that if we held him back, he'd be pretty much on par with the five-year-olds. And guess what?? He is! But apparently, this is enough to make him eligible for ALL KINDS of services. So now his IEP is not centered around speech and hearing, but around learning delays.

I wasn't surprised by any of this. I noticed last year that he doesn't process auditory information very well. It just doesn't "stick" like it should in a child of his age. I know, I know, BIG SURPRISE! But if he SEES something, it's permanently encoded and the object of much obsession. He was writing all of his friends' names on his white board last fall. He is now coming home and writing words he's learned in school. He can't tell you what sound a "d" makes, but he'll tell you that it's for dinosaur and dragon! The problem is that reading is taught phonetically, which isn't very helpful when you CAN'T HEAR. And all the tests he took? The directions were given verbally. So are the instructions in his classroom.

I refuse to believe that Caleb has been reduced to an IQ score of 74. Anyone who thinks that gives an accurate picture of what my son can do is sorely mistaken. I KNOW that once he can read, he will be fine. The question is how to teach him to read. So this week we are going to be labeling everything in our house. Don't be surprised when you come over to find index cards saying DOOR and REFRIGERATOR taped to every surface. We're on a mission now.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hello, Scoliosis

We had Nikki's first appointment with the orthopedist for her scoliosis on Tuesday. It has been established that her curve is at about 31º. This means she has a pretty significant case, but not enough to warrant surgery (50º). They established from her x-rays and other medical history that she has about two years left to grow, which gives her lots of time for the curve to progress. She was given several options. One was to do nothing and see what happens. Or she could choose to do some bracing, which doesn't correct the curve but can prevent it from getting worse. She can either wear a bending brace at night only, but it's a pretty severe form of correction, bending her back against the curve. She can also opt to wear a brace 20 hours a day, but it's a pretty inconspicuous brace. We just sat and listened, knowing that she is going to have to make this decision. She opted to wear the 20-hour-a-day brace. And she had a great attitude about the whole thing. The doctor was impressed by that, and so was I.

So now we get to embark on yet another medical journey. We're going to learn all about braces and x-rays and curves and hopefully NOT about surgery. Wish us luck!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Goodbye

Today we said goodbye to Maggie, our almost-16-year-old golden retriever. I really have almost nothing to say about this right now. I know it was the right decision, I know she was suffering, and yet it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. And I know that it's killing Nikki.

So I guess I'll go modify my blog header and leave you with one of my favorite pictures of her. Rest in peace, sweet girl.

Maggie Elizabeth Page
November 17, 1994 - September 28, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dinner at the Pages'

Nikki: That's disgusting.
Scott: What???
Nikki: You're putting butter on your bread like it's frosting.
Scott: That's why I work out. So I'll be in good shape when I have my triple bypass.
Nikki: If you didn't use so much butter you wouldn't need one. It's gross.
Scott: You don't have to look.
Nikki: It's one of those things that's so shocking that you just can't look away.

Me: Are you done with your homework?
Nikki: [Heavy sigh] You make life so difficult.
Me: That's my job. I get paid extra for it.
Nikki: [Pause, confused look] You don't get paid to be my mom.
Me: [to Emma] Sarcasm is lost on 14-year-olds.
Nikki: We understand sarcasm fine, just not when it comes from 40-year-olds.

Teenagers are great.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Working Mom Guilt

One of the reasons Nikki never went to school in our suburb when she was young is that the schedule at our neighborhood school is not working-parent friendly. They start at 7:45 (30 minutes after we start work) and get out at 1:30 (45 minutes before our school day ends). In addition, it's 30 minutes away from work. Obviously, it is impossible for us to either pick up or drop off with this schedule. For that reason, Nikki attended the Catholic school right up the street from our school. They start at 7:30, get out at 2:30, and I even could go volunteer in the classroom on my prep since it was so close. Unfortunately, because Caleb needs speech and hearing services, private school is not an option for him.

Fortunately, we have a wonderful neighbor who is taking both the kids to school for us. This works out great except on days like today, when I get a phone call in the middle of class from Nikki, who is informing me that her brother is refusing to get dressed in spite of several already-imposed consequences. I then find myself shouting at my hard-of-hearing son (no hearing aids yet-he won't get dressed) via Nikki's speaker phone to listen to his sister's words. This while my students are staring, wide-eyed. Yeah. Fun.

And then there is the after-school fun of "Project Safe." I don't know what they think is "safe" about this program, but so far Caleb is covered in bruises. When I have gone to pick him up this week, I have seen boys play-fighting in the middle of the yard, kids throwing sand at each other, and a child tossing another's homework over the fence. All of this with no response from any of the adults, because they are not looking. Caleb is covered in bruises from the waist down, has three blisters on his hands, and is now sporting an impressive purple bruise on his chin because they let the kids play on these plastic carts for boxes (the kids use them like skateboards, but they're not wearing helmets!). Am I disgusted? ABSOLUTELY! Do I have a choice about whether or not to leave my son there? NO! No reputable daycare offers after-school care because there is no money in it. So I am forced to leave my son where it is not safe (perhaps they should call it "Project Accident-Waiting-to-Happen", or "Project Safety Hazard"), and have to run out as soon as school is over to minimize the time he is in this unsafe environment, which means my work is not getting done. We've begun to leave the house at 6:00 am so we can pick up some of the pieces while he is still sleeping.

I am praying for some sort of solution to this nightmare. The school itself is great, but I am appalled that the only childcare option provided to working parents is so disgustingly unacceptable. Sometimes being a working mom just sucks.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


My friend Melissa is a real blogger and does these six-word Friday posts that are fun and insightful and very, very hard to do. Her topic this week is beginnings. I'm going to write about our beginnings in MORE than six words, because my brain is too tired to think of six-word phrases. I tried. Not happening.

Caleb started kindergarten this week. My wonderful mom was kind enough to take him his first day because, interestingly, it only lasted 90 minutes. So convenient for those of us who actually work, yes? Fortunately, Mom had the day off and was able to fill in. Better yet? It was followed by Caleb's first adventure to Chuck E. Cheese, exciting for him AND for those of us who prefer to not have to go! Caleb loves kindergarten and when I ran into his teacher after school, she said he is chatty but is doing great. NO RED CARDS YET!!

Nikki LOVES high school!! LOVES IT! She is happy and is finding friends from all of her different schools she's attended. Homework is not too intense so far, and she is looking forward to running in her first cross country meet this weekend. Her biggest dilemma right now is that she cannot participate in the school plays and play sports. I'm sure she'll figure something out.

Emma is on a trip to Chicago with College Life and is having a fabulous time. Her professors were all fine with her missing the week. We miss her but we hope that she is blessed by this experience. She is preparing for her baptism on Sept. 19!

Scott is back at Crawford! It's fun to have him back on campus, although he's in a different small school now so I rarely see him. I have my seniors back and we're once again starting Song of Solomon. They seem to be enjoying it. And for AP Psych I have 70 students in a lecture hall period 4. THAT'S an adventure! I'm currently trying to figure out how to operate the smart board in the lecture hall. I am a Mac and it requires PC knowledge, as well as other knowledge I don't have. I'm sure I'll figure it out.

That's pretty much it for our first week. Saturday is Caleb's first soccer game this season and Nikki's first cross country meet. I'll miss both of them because I'll be at Peer Helping Camp. Mom guilt is setting in.

I hope whatever you are beginning is going well. Here's to a great year!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Good, but not Great

Scott and I agreed this morning, Labor Day morning, as we lay in bed together alone in the house for the first time in months, that this summer was not great, but good. And that any summer, no matter what, is good in the end. There was no exciting family vacation, and in truth there were very few family excursions in town. There was, however, a lot of hanging out. It was my goal this summer to spend some time enjoying the house we worked so hard on last year. I think we did, in fact, achieve that goal. We read books, put together puzzles, went swimming, rode bikes, and spent time with people we love. In fact, the only thing that kept this summer from greatness was the time spent working.

Financially speaking, there may not be a big family vacation next summer either. But I am making a promise to myself that next summer, no matter what, there will NOT be too much work. No way. Nope. The kids are growing up so quickly, and Nikki's summers at home are numbered (as are all of ours, I suppose). So right now, I am promising myself that next summer is the summer of NO WORK!! If you have occasion to remind me of this, please do so. In the meantime, have an amazing school year. I intend to.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Caleb is going to cooking camp. HE LOVES IT!

This development is the result of an E-mail sent by a friend with a dinner studio saying she still had openings. In a fit of inspiration, I responded and asked if Caleb was too young. In fact, he was not. We decided to give him a trial day and see how it went. And guess what? IT WENT GREAT!!!

Yesterday he made scones and meatballs. Today, cookies and fettuccine alfredo. I'm not sure why the dessert is always first? Anyway, he is having a great time and tells us all about it. But even more reassuring is the fact that he can be trusted to behave for three whole hours. It gives me great hope for next week.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Here We Go

Tomorrow is reporting day for teachers. They day we go in, meet the new staff members, hear inspirational (or not-so-inspirational) addresses from our principals. The day we see precisely how much of a mess the cleaning crew made of our rooms. The day that means that summer is really and truly over.

I'd like to say that I'm all ready to go back. In some ways, I am. I am excited to revamp my AP Psych curriculum based on everything I learned this summer. I am very excited to see the kids, who I miss. I just wish that I had things more under control at home. Right now, there are still unexplored regions of the garage that very much need my attention. There are still four items pending sale on Craig's List that I would very much like to get rid of. I still have paperwork to clean up, bathrooms to clean, laundry to fold.

It's true that all of these things contribute to my sense of ambivalence. But truly, I think that I am afraid that this year at school will be the year that everything that we created our small school to be will go away. All the people who created the culture that put students at the center of our work have left except for a few, foolhardy souls who are too stubborn to give up.

I have spent the past two weeks trying to get my house into working order. This last week the focus has shifted to the garage and a large storage shed in the back yard. It involved countless hours of excavations and van-loads of donations to the thrift store. The thing about this process is that things have to get really bad before they get better. It's impossible to do this kind of work and have everything look neat and tidy every evening. I'm okay with that. I understand the need to dig in, spend my days covered in grime and cobwebs. I'm okay with being filthy and even stinky if it means that the reward will be a more organized and productive living space.

Unfortunately, our current administrator has no such understanding. He wants to promote a sparkling facade, unwilling to look at any aspect of our work that may involve dirt or sweat in order to fix it. Everything must look shiny and happy so that he may keep his job or even get a better one. I do understand that he is under the gun, but at what point does an educator decide that keeping one's job is more important than the self-examination that is absolutely necessary if one wants to move forward? And how on earth am I supposed to respect that??

Very wise teachers have told me to shut my mouth, close my door, and teach my kids. I'm afraid that this year, I just may have to follow that advice.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Money has been flying out of my bank account. Here are some of our purchases over the last two days:

Calculus textbook $160
Sociology textbook $70 used
Graphing calculator $40 (used from Craig's List!)
Cross Country gear $107
ASB Card/Yearbook/PE Uniform $120

Holy cow. High school and college are expensive!

On the bright side, I have been having a little love affair with Craig's List and have not only moved items on to new homes, but have made some cash in the bargain:

Bookcase $35
Storage bins $20
Train table $50

Now to get rid of that big green tractor in the garage that nobody has ridden in four years...

Saturday, August 21, 2010


My daughter is running cross country. The same girl who dreaded every Thursday at school last year because it was her day to run the mile. The same girl who sits in her room and reads all day. The same girl who hadn't run a step since June. Yep, that one. I can't believe it.

I went into this week with ambivalence. On one hand, I was prayerful that she would love the experience and find some success. On the other hand, um, have you met Nikki?? Because really, I would think that spending two hours per day running would rank right up there with eating bugs on her list of favorite things to do. I am SO GRATEFUL that I was wrong!!

Nikki LOVES cross country! And it doesn't really matter whether or not she can run fast because they don't cut anybody. She most certainly has the body for it (where on Earth did THAT come from??). And so every morning this week, including TODAY (Saturday) she has been up at 7:00 am to don running clothes and sun block. The first two days there was some wheezing that was keeping her from participating fully, so her doctor gave her an inhaler (along with a referral to an orthopedist for her scoliosis). The first few days, I waited for her to tell me she hated it. She didn't! Yesterday, she did her first long run. She loved it!

I am SO GRATEFUL for this opportunity for her, and to the coach who just wants all the kids out there being healthy and improving. He hopes to have 80 kids! For Nik, I think it's a huge confidence booster and a wonderful social introduction to high school. I am SO HAPPY for her!! I need to learn to trust her decisions. Clearly, she's able to make some good ones.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Where did the week go?

So I actually had a whole week off this week. No work at all! Here's what we did:
• Registered Emma for her classes. This was a four-hour process.
• All three of us girls went for eye exams. Emma needs glasses, too, but just for reading.
• Assembled an X-Wing Fighter from Legos.
• Took Nikki for her athletic physical. Found out she has scoliosis. Made an appt. with her real doctor.
• Scott finished the sprinklers and put sod in the front yard. It looks GREAT!
• Planned, bought, assembled, and organized a shelving unit in our retreat.
• Hosted one bunco, but not two because the second was only going to have three people.
• Had an MRI. It was supposed to be on Tuesday, but it wound up being on Friday instead.

And of course, there's laundry and cleaning and general business that goes along with having three kids in the house.

If I have a couple more weeks like this, I may be able to get my house back in order before school starts. Maybe.

Monday, August 9, 2010

You want to go where?

The disadvantage to being the second child is that, by the time you arrive, the parents are pretty much over a lot of the stuff that they got excited about (tolerated?) with Child #1. Things like toys that make noise and really big toys that take up lots of room. Oh yeah, and crazy, kid-oriented places like Chuck E. Cheese. Caleb is six, and he has never been. In fact, he would never have known that such a place existed if it weren't for the Sunday ads, which had coupons RIGHT ON THE FRONT of the coupon section. But now, he knows. And he is ALL OVER IT.

All morning, Caleb has been obsessed:

Dad, can I go to Fucky Cheese?
I want to go to Mouse the Cheese.
I would like to go to Smell the Cheese.
Can we go to Smucky Cheese?

After much recitation, he is now asking to go to Chuck E. Cheese. Every five minutes.

Yep, it's hard to be #2.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


For some reason, every August finds Caleb obsessing about a particular toy that he MUST have. This is unfortunate for him, because he gets toys for his birthday in May and for Christmas in December, but alas, no gift-receiving occasion falls in August. This year, it's the Lego Death Star. Granted, this is the coolest toy he's ever obsessed over, and both Scott and I spend several minutes staring at it each time a Lego catalog happens to make its way into our hands. But the reason we don't already own this particular item is that it costs FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS!! Ridiculous! And yet, still so very cool.

We tried explaining to Caleb that there is no way that he will own this toy. Ever. Not now, not for Christmas, not for his birthday. He responded, "I have four dollars!" The ensuing explanation about how he still needs $396 more met with a puzzled blink and an expression that said, And the problem with that is??

Today we went to visit Scott's grandma, Flossie, who insisted that everyone be given $20 to "spend on something fun." Caleb, however, came away with $40 because his birthday money was lost in the mail. His response? "Tomorning we can go to Legoland and get a Death Star." I told him that we were in fact NOT going to Legoland (??), he STILL couldn't afford the Death Star, but he could certainly purchase a smaller Star Wars Lego set. He wasn't hearing it.

So I'm pretty sure Caleb is currently dreaming about the Death Star he will not be buying tomorrow. Sadly, there is just no reasoning with someone who has no concept of money. Wish us luck.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday School Confusion

When I taught Sunday School, I always wondered why we were supposed to print out those little summary sheets to tell parents about the lesson. I felt they were redundant, since Nikki could recite the story verbatim and tell me the underlying lesson with little or no prompting. When Caleb began attending Sunday School, I developed a great appreciation for these sheets, as they provided much-needed clarification when Caleb would give me his rendition of the Bible story of the day. But, alas, Summer Sunday school provides no such service. So it's always interesting to try to figure out what it was they learned. This was our attempt yesterday:

Me: What did you learn about in Sunday School today?
Caleb: There are a lot of people.
Me: There were a lot of kids at Sunday School??
Caleb: Yeah. And Jesus help them.
Me: Yes, Jesus is always there to help us. (???)
Caleb: He give them food.

Of course, this was a successful interpretation. We still have no idea what he learned about last week.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Nikki is still in Oklahoma, and will be for the next five days. Today, Emma went to visit her family. So now we are three. Yep, three. It's kind of quiet around here. Caleb said, "I miss my sisters." We do, too.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Life has been EXCITING and CRAZY since I last posted! Nikki and I spent an amazing week at Miracle Ranch in Tecate, Mexico. The youth group painted the boys' dorm and had a great time playing soccer and "traes" (tag) with the kids at the orphanage. Our guide, Bill of Transformational World Opportunities, did a great job of not only teaching the kids about the current economic situation in Mexico, but was great company as well. The kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves even though we had a go-around with Montezuma's revenge on Wednesday (not so fun with Mexican plumbing). The kids at the orphanage most appreciated the time our kids spent with them, since we are the only youth group visiting this summer. Our kids most appreciated the fact that the kids were so happy, even though they had very few possessions and no parents. It truly was a transformational experience for them, and they area already planning day-trips for the fall.

We arrived home on Friday and got to hear all about Caleb's week at soccer camp. We had a busy Saturday with a council meeting for Scott, a birthday celebration with Caleb's birthmom, and a memorial dinner at church. Yesterday we had dinner with my parents and Devon. It was a good weekend.

Today, however, meant back to work with four fun-filled days of AP training. :P I arrived at home to find five additional teens headed to the pool. Two more showed up after that. As one of our alumni said, "they just fall from the sky." It's always a party. We had a BBQ and red velvet cupcakes to celebrate Kelly's 18th birthday.

And tomorrow Nikki leaves at 5:00 am for Oklahoma, where she will be undertaking another mission and learning about Cherokee culture and history. If she ever finishes packing, that is. I'm so excited to hear about their adventures, and so grateful that she has the opportunity to go.

And that's about it for us. I keep waiting for things to slow down. Maybe next week??

Happy summer!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Caleb has entertained us all day today. He's not quite sure what to do with himself now that we're actually on vacation.

Caleb: Is it a school day?
Me: No, remember it's summer. No more school for two months.
Caleb: Is it a church day?
Me: No.
Caleb: Then what day is it??
Me: It's just a summer day. It's a clean the house and get things done day.
Caleb: ??

We sat down and had a late lunch in our pajamas. Gloria was sitting under the table and sneezed.

Caleb: Bless you! Mom, did you see that?
Me: What?
Caleb: She sneezed on my toes!

Or there was this conversation overheard while I was cleaning the bathroom:

Caleb: Nikki, I see Toy Story 3.
Nikki: Yeah, that was fun, huh?
Caleb: Yes! And now I see Toy Story 1 and 2 and 3 and 25!
Nikki: Um, I'm pretty sure that doesn't exist.
Caleb: [running off] To infinity and beyond!

But he's making big plans for the future.

Caleb: Mom, I'm going to get the Bakugan video game.
Me: No, you're not.
Caleb: But I'm going to be a big man. And then I can get it.
Me: Yes, when you move out and have your own house then you can get whatever you want.
Caleb: Like Devon.
Me: Yes, Devon has his own house now.
Caleb: Does he have bad video games? How about Tim? Does Tim have bad video games?
Me: I have no idea. Hey, let's clean the sink!
Caleb: ???

And that was our day. How was yours?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Graduation #3

Today Nikki promoted to high school. Yep, it's official; I'm the parent of a high school student. Wow. How did that happen so quickly? I swear she was born just a few years ago. Really, I SWEAR!! It was just last year that I had to carry her upstairs in the laundry basket with the clean laundry because I didn't realize until it was too late that I didn't have enough hands to carry her and the basket. And it was just a few months ago that she lost her first tooth. Wasn't her first communion two weeks ago??

The time is just flying by, and I know that I'm going to blink and then she'll be leaving to go away to college. I'm excited that we are done remodeling, because I really want to take the time to be present with her this summer. We are taking a family camping trip and then she and I are going on a mission trip to Tecate together. I feel like I have to savor every moment that I can, because if fourteen years went that quickly, four will be over in a heartbeat.

Happy promotion, Baby Girl. We are so blessed to have you in our lives.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Graduation #2

Friday was Emma's graduation, which of course is also Crawford's graduation. I LOVE graduation day!! It is so beautiful to watch the realization dawn on the kids' faces that THEY have done it!! Many of them are the first in their families to graduate from high school. Emma is one of those many. And while I do love ALL of our seniors, I have to admit it was a little different with one of my own.

Yesterday we got to celebrate with Junior (Emma's best friend) and Dary at their homes. Dary is new to spending time with the Pages. She kept staring at me and asked, "Do you have any idea how weird it is to have your teacher at your house?" Well, um, no actually. But apparently it's weird for her to be at my house, too, so I guess I just can't win. I'm weird wherever I go.

We have one more "graduation" to go-Nikki's 8th grade promotion on Thursday. It's been a BIG month. I'm SO looking forward to summer vacation. I think I've had about all the excitement I can handle.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gradulation and Goodbye

Caleb's preschool "gradulation" (his pronunciation) was last night. He has been so excited about it for two weeks, and it was darling, as expected.

Unfortunately, we got a call around noon yesterday that Scott's Grandpa Dan had died suddenly and unexpectedly while working in his garden. We love Grandpa Dan dearly, and spent most of Devon and Nikki's childhoods enjoying their company. Scott has a unit designed around Grandpa's experiences as a POW during World War II that he teaches each year to his US History kids. In recent years, Grandma has suffered from dementia and we haven't been able to spend as much time with them because they can't really do big social events anymore. Grandpa was a tireless caregiver, and never got impatient with her. It was inspirational to watch their love change but never grow tired. Fortunately, Grandma doesn't fully comprehend what has happened, but I imagine it will all sink in eventually. So while we are glad for a swift and painless passing while he was engaged in one of his favorite activities, we are also painfully aware of what this means for Grandma. It's just very sad. And of course, we will miss him dearly.

Goodbye, Grandpa. We love you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Together Again?

Scott is home!! He had a great time and they got some service projects done just in time for the campers to go to Yolijwa. I survived prom with our crazy calculus teacher. Emma rolled in at 0 dark thirty after dinner at Denny's. I picked the kids up from Mom and Dad's. And we were all together again. For about five minutes.

Now Emma is at the beach with her buddies and Nikki is swimming with hers (or on the way to youth group?). So Scott, Caleb, and I are hanging out. I'm thinking this is a little glimpse into what the next four years are going to look like. And I'm feeling very grateful that Caleb will not be abandoning us anytime soon.

On another note, this week will be bringing us some answers. There's a strong possibility that I have celiac disease, which sounds worse than it is. Sort of. It means I can't eat anything with wheat in it. Which is a problem for me, because I love all things baked! Like the homemade chocolate chip cookies Mom sent home with us. And bread. Any bread. So I'm not so excited about changing my diet. However, while researching this disease, I discovered that Caleb exhibits NUMEROUS symptoms associated with this disease (I had to have a pill camera take pictures of my insides to figure out anything was wrong with me). So he was tested last week as well, and since then I have noticed that he does exhibit more symptoms when he eats wheat products. Which means that The Pages will most likely be going gluten-free. Soon.

In the meantime, I'm going to eat some more cookies. And do you like how I'm starting all my sentences with conjunctions?? COME ON, SUMMER!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Our church is having a men's retreat this weekend, and Scott was on the planning committee. So now I am a single parent for the weekend. This weekend. Which is SAT weekend and prom weekend. So tomorrow I will be at work by 7:15 so that I can proctor the SAT and then race back home to do whatever Emma needs me to do to help her get ready and then somehow get her over to take pictures with Junior while also getting my kids to my parents' so that I can then turn around and get ready so I can go to prom with our crazy calculus teacher (an interesting story for another day). That was a big run-on sentence. And you know what? I DON'T CARE!!

I think I'm ready for a vacation. TWO MORE WEEKS!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Caleb came in at 6:00 this morning with a huge smile on his face. "Daddy, I'm not five anymore!!"

Happy birthday, Boo!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Winding Down

Yep, it's official. Testing season is OVER!! We took our AP Psychology test last Tuesday and celebrated by embarking on a week of CST testing. Fun! :P

But now testing is over. So school is calming down. We can just have fun for the rest of the year. Except, oh wait, there's still a whole month of school left! I guess we'll just have to read some good books and watch some literary films.

At home, things are ramping up. Caleb's birthday is this weekend, Nikki's confirmation is the next, and both girls are graduating this year (Nikki from 8th and Emma from High School). So it's a GOOD THING that things are calming down at school.

Hopefully it won't be another month before I post. Hopefully the next post will be interesting. I hope both of these things very much.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Our Girl Scout troop took a little road trip to the National College Fair last night (which, for the record, feels very different as a parent instead of just a teacher-YIKES!). In the car, we were listening to All Summer Long by Kid Rock. I pointed out that this was a good example of life choices we would NOT be making.

K: Ms. Cindy! This song is NOT about healthy life choices!
S: That's why you don't make Kid Rock your role model.

Sound advice.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Student of the Week

Caleb is student of the week. Which, in case your child has never done this, involves making a poster about the kid and what they like. Nikki LOVED doing this when she was in school. Caleb took a little coercing before he was even willing to work on it. Once he got started, though, he rose to the occasion:

Me: What's your favorite color?
Caleb: I don't know.
Me: Just pick one.
Caleb: Orange.
Me: Great! Here's an orange pen. Let's write orange.
Me: What's your favorite thing to do?
Caleb: I don't know.
Me: What do you think is fun?
Caleb: Playing baseball.
Me: GREAT! Let's write that.
Caleb: Hey! That's not a "y". Where's the eraser?
Me: Um, there's no eraser for markers. It's okay.
Caleb: No! [goes over the letter to make it look more like a "y" than an "x"] There.
Me: [Sighing in relief] Where is your favorite place to go?
Caleb: [awkward silence]
Me: What's your favorite place you've ever been?
Caleb: Disneyland.
Me: GREAT! What do you want to be when you grow up?
Caleb: A space man.
Me: Okay, this is how you spell "astronaut".
Me: [Knowing this is going to be rough] If you could wish for one thing, what would you wish for?
Caleb: I don't know.
Me: It can be anything. What would you wish for?
Caleb: I DON'T KNOW!!!!!

So here's the finished product:

Good times.

Sunday Evening Fun

You want to know how to have fun on a Sunday night? Fold two weeks worth of laundry while doing this week's. Then you should be sure that someone has put something black and nasty through the wash so that it's smeared and baked on the entire interior of the dryer. This will give you the opportunity to scrub said dryer for about thirty minutes trying to get the black gunk off. If you do decide to undertake this rewarding endeavor, it should be noted that Scrubbing Bubbles help a great deal.

Just in case you needed something to do...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Growing Pains

I found out last night that Nikki is officially taller than me. I knew that she had been growing, but I had no idea that she'd passed me up. Caleb also surprised me today when I put him in the shorts that were to his knees in the fall, and they were entirely too short.

I guess I blinked. :(

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Insomnia

Have I mentioned that Caleb likes to join us in bed in the middle of the night? Well he does. Frequently. Sometimes, he is polite and waits until Scott is already up and getting ready so that he just climbs in next to me and we sleep blissfully until Scott wakes us up. And then there are nights like last night. Nights where he is not so polite. Nights where 3:30 am seems like the perfect time to join Mom and Dad. And although last night was such a night, Dad was not feeling like 3:30 am was such a nice time for a visit, perhaps because Dad may be afflicted with his second round of strep this month, or perhaps because Dad was only about 30 minutes from his own alarm. Regardless, Dad wasn't feeling it and was being rather grumpy about it, which meant that Mom had to take Caleb back to bed and tuck him in and prevent hysterics. Which left Mom quite wakeful at 3:30 am. So what else is there to do at 3:30 am other than watch Olympic figure skating?? Which explains why Mom is quite tired tonight, and quite hopeful that Caleb remains in his own room for the duration.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I had a four-day weekend. Well, technically I'm still having it. So guess what I've accomplished?
  • Laundry done? Partly.
  • Laundry folded? Actually it's piled on my bed WAITING to be folded.
  • House clean? Um, no.
  • Caught up on cookies? Negative.
  • Valentines ready to distribute? Thank goodness for Costco's chocolate-covered strawberries.
  • Finally tackled piles of things from the remodel? Ha ha. Funny.
  • Book read? ABSOLUTELY.
So there you go.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hooray for Presidents!

Thanks to our former presidents, we get a FOUR DAY WEEKEND! And even better, today the kids have school. This would be especially wonderful if Scott didn't have to teach Saturday School (Friday School?), but whatever. We may get to sneak in a few hours without kids. Grades are done and I refused to assign any more writing this week, so I think I'll go read the book I've been avoiding for two weeks. Hope your weekend is great, too!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Public School Blues

I'm not very good about blogging these days. And right now I should be sleeping instead of blogging, but I'm not so here we go.

In Caleb news, he is apparently attending school with a child who has a rather colorful vocabulary (okay, the kid cusses like a sailor) and these lovely little phrases have been making appearances at home. He was playing Mario Brothers with Tim, and Tim said it sounded like he said, "Son of a..." (He didn't actually finish it, but still!) Tonight, along with his fit about taking a bath (WHY does this come as a shock EVERY NIGHT??) he grumbled, "Goddammit!" Because I heard this one, a Q and A ensued:

Me: We don't talk like that. Where did you hear that word?
Caleb: I don't know.
Me: Did someone at school say it?
Caleb: Cary (I don't really know this kid's name, but this is what it sounds like when Caleb says it) said it. He say potty talk. That word is for the bathroom.

So apparently the teacher is on it, because there's no way that Caleb came up with that little speech on his own. Can I just say that I MISS CATHOLIC SCHOOL?!!!!!!!

Oh, and Caleb's audiologist's receptionist keeps calling me at home to make an appointment, presumably for a hearing test. So I call her back and leave her a message telling her to call me on my cell. Then she calls my house and leaves a message. It goes on and on. I think we've been doing this for two months now (maybe SHE needs hearing aids). I can't wait for Caleb to impress the audiologist with the new vocabulary he's picking up now that he can hear. *sigh*

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I often feel like my life is a puzzle in which I am constantly trying to keep the pieces together. There is a Nikki piece, a Caleb piece, an Emma piece, a Scott piece, and then there are more family pieces for people who don't live in my house, and then friends. One piece is work, but sometimes work is three pieces named Peer Helping, Psychology, English, AVID, Saturday School, etc. Oh wait, I guess work is sometimes more than three. But you get my point, yes? The pets are a piece. My house is a piece that is constantly in need of attention. Church is usually one piece, but sometimes becomes more. Girl Scouts is usually one piece, except during cookie season when it multiplies. There's just a lot going on. And most days, I manage to keep the puzzle together, somehow fitting each piece into its proper place. Today was NOT one of those days.

Today was SUPPOSED to be Girl Scout Cookie, AP Super Saturday, Little League Sign-Up, Cookie Pick-Up, Emma's Birthday Weekend, and maybe A Play With Some Great People and Benefiting A Great Cause Day. Then my principal wanted me to do Saturday School, which conflicted with AP Super Saturday, so it was also Emma Babysit Caleb While Scott Does Saturday School for Cindy Day. But Emma went midnight bowling for her birthday and didn't get to bed until 3:00 this morning, so it was also Feeling Guilty About Waking Emma Up Early Day. And then it all changed.

Today became Take Nikki to the Doctor Because She Has Strep Throat After Picking Up Girl Scout Cookies Day. Then it was also Pharmacy Day and Maybe Make it Late to My Workshop Day, which gave way to Ah Forget It, I'll Take a Nap Day. But this offset Feeling Guilty Day, because Caleb went with us to the doctor. So I have no training, and Caleb did not get signed up for T-Ball (that's Tomorrow), but we have cookies and antibiotics, Emma got to sleep, and I'm going to a play!! YAY!

My point is that sometimes my pieces get messed up, lost, and yes, even destroyed. And I hope that the people who love me are forgiving enough to be okay with that. At least most of the time.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rodent Overpopulation

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this, but Nikki got a bunny for Christmas. It was really not planned that way, but her friend Sami had some baby bunnies that needed homes, and Nikki decided it would be worth it to forgo an iPod touch (not that she was necessarily going to get one) in order to bring yet another furry creature into the house. So now we have two dogs, a cat, a fish, and a bunny. Meet Reeses (as in peanut butter cup):

But wait, there's more! This weekend we ALSO had the class chinchilla for the weekend. He's very sweet and we enjoyed his company, but check out the rodent corner of our house.

He'll be going back to school tomorrow.
Isn't he cute??