Saturday, December 26, 2009


My girls had a wonderful Christmas! We opened presents at Grandma and Grandpa's on Chistmas Eve, then came home to sleep and wait for Santa! My babies are not yet early risers on Christmas - I was up at 6 waiting for them to wake up! The rolled out of bed at 8:30 and we stumbled upon tons of presents! Although Molly made it through more presents than last year, she tuckered out after about 6 and just wanted those opened. Sarah played Santa and passed out the presents and, when the time came when Molly was too pooped to open any more, Sarah assisted and opened Molly's for her. I am in love with my girls and their sweet nature. Every present that they opened, either girl would say, "Look what Santa got you, isn't that nice?"

Molly's favorite gift was her swimming baby and a doctor kit, while Sarah loved her new Barbie car and her very own make-up!

After an hour of playing here, we headed to Meme and Papa's in our jammers to share presents with Cayden and the rest of the Lesjak clan. The girls were on overload there! Talk about presents! They got many cool things from aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. My girls are very blessed and were so thankful of everything they got. Sarah even mentioned later that night that her favorite gift was her princess tent from Aunt Doodie. She said, "I should really thank her for that tent!"

What I was most impressed about was that they had the most fun giving gifts out and helping Cayden open his presents. Both Sarah and Molly watched as others opened gifts and used manners all morning! It is so important to me that they realize the meaning of Christmas and don't just focus on the presents. Their behavior yesterday really showed me that they are maturing and that they really are sweet little girls.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snip and Snap!

So, when I first started dating Donny, he told me the legend of Snip and Snap. I often wondered how some of my christmas presents had the same the wrapping paper as gifts we wrapped for our family members! Turns out, Snip and Snap are little elves who play a huge part in Christmas! How did I survive 23 years without knowing about them?? The legend is that Snip and Snap are Santa's elves who help with wrapping all the presents that Santa will deliver. The only problem is, they need to travel around the world first and gather up wrapping paper to use! So, on Christmas Eve Eve (December 23), you must leave out any wrapping paper that you can donate to Snip and Snap. They will visit while you are sleeping and leave you a surprise in return for your kindness!

This was always a fun thing to do with Donny while we were dating, Snip and Snap would leave Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or little love notes. Since we've had kids, however, the tradition has just grown! Before Snip and Snap come, we have a visitor who comes the day after Thanksgiving (stay with me here, it is a fun tradition!). This is the elf on the shelf. Our elf is named Abby. Well, Abby comes the day after Thanksgiving to hide in a new spot each day to watch over the girls. Abby then travels to the North Pole each night while the girls are sleeping to report to Santa how they've been behaving. The next morning, the girls have to hunt to find Abby's new hiding spot! This continues until Snip and Snap night- when Snip and Snap help take Abby home for the year. Abby has an important job during December, so when Christmas arrives, she gets to go to the North Pole to play, play, play!

Abby had a busy time this year, constantly watching as my girls worked diligently to be kind, use manners, and do nice things for each other and others. Although Sarah was heartbroken to say goodnight and goodbye to Abby last night, I was so proud of her for being a good girl and doing what needed to be done. She tucked Abby into a makeshift sleeping bag right next to her bed, and went to sleep, dreaming of Snip and Snap coming. When she woke up, she found a note where Abby had slept. It said "TaKE caRe Of Lulu anD trIXIe. LovE SnIP and sNap."

Well, this was so exciting! Sarah ran into our room and woke us up! After Daddy traveled downstairs to make sure that Snip and Snap were gone, we ran down to see what was left! The girls found a candycane filled with kisses and new jammers on the coffee table! They were soooo excited! It took Sarah a full five minutes before she pondered, "who is Lulu and Trixie???" Then she looked into the dining room and almost exploded! There, on the dining room table, was a brand new hampster cage filled with bedding and a new wheel. Sarah was thrilled that Snip and Snap left them a new cage for our hampster, Whiskers. Upon looking more closely, Sarah and Molly realized that this new cage was filled with not one, but TWO new hampsters! A black and white one, Lulu, and a "blonde" one, Trixie. Sarah knew immediately which one was hers, "our hair matches!"

What a wonderful day. I am more excited around Christmas time now than I EVER was as a child. It is absolutely amazing to see your children light up! God bless everyone this Christmas. I hope you have as many wonderful memories as I do this Christmas :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Okay, so I'm not a very good blogger...

I know, I know. I said I'd be better this time around. However, I seem to be more busy this year than this time last year (when I was attempting to complete my Master's, train for a marathon, start teaching again, and raise my daughters). I didn't think that was possible, but somehow this year I am so much more busy! I think because I can't say no to anyone therefore I am on two, make that three huge committees at school, and I'm soooo busy! I also switched grade levels this year and am having a difficult time adjusting to the change. Although, I am LOVING first grade! I think that my crazy, quirkiness comes out and somehow I am able to create an amazingly energetic environment for my students. I am always very self conscious about my teaching when changing teaching teams/partners and grade levels. My partner this year is a very experienced first grade teacher and I feel as though I am just sucking all of her ideas out from under her. I also feel silly because after teaching third grade for a few years, it was a big change in abilities when moving to first grade. I often overplanned and expected WAY too much of my students. My partner teacher is always very understanding and helpful and I love her for that! I think that I am experiencing many changes in my life and because of that, I am maturing as a person, mother, teacher. I've realized that although I don't do things like everyone else, my way is a good way and I am teaching these children well and instilling in them a love of school. I got a wonderful letter from a parent today telling me that she has never seen such great things from her daughter. She is confident that I am doing more than just my "job" and that I have a real gift. Sometimes, its an outsider's eye that reminds us that we are all where we are supposed to be.
On another front... a much more important front, my daughters are growing and maturing and becoming little people before my eyes. I am so lucky that Donny is able to be home with them each day as I go to work. It is so relaxing to know that they are waking up with him and spending quality time with him. He is just so wonderful!
Sarah Rose is my big girl. She has started her third year of preschool, she is reading and doing homework that my first graders do (yes, she is only 4), and she is becoming quite the ballerina. She goes to school MTW mornings and just loves her friends and teachers. She loves to tell me about her day during dinner. She is loving to read and learn about books. She has ballet on Tuesday nights and is really progressing. She was a bit disappointed when she realized that it wasn't just a "dance party all day" at ballet class. She is also developing quite a little attitude and it is difficult for me to ease up and remember that she is just 4. I see so many disrespectful children at my school and I've always vowed to not have my children be like that. However, I sometimes think that I am expecting a bit much from Sarah all the time. She knows that she is my special girl and that I am so happy she is mine.
Molly Carolyn...ah, the apple of my eye. That child moves my heart to places I didn't know I had. She knows how to work the system and when I'm angry or disciplining her, she interrupts and says "I wuv you, Mommy." She rubs her hands on my temples and kisses my nose. She is becoming a little miss independent and loves to run and play! She can't wait to take ballet with her sister, "Hay-ya." She is developing such a vocabulary that when she is really excited, she stutters over her words! She loves to make animal noises, play with Sarah's hamster, "Yiskers," and color. I just adore that child and am thankful everyday for the blessings in disguise that made my Molly a miracle.
I'll try to post again soon - hopefully before they are teenagers! Have a happy day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

New look to surprise Daddy... oh, and one other little thing!

The girls are being surprised by their Daddy tonite, but Donny will also get a big surprise.  Sarah got a haircut today and she looks adorable!!  Here are some shots  ~ Before and After~

Sarah and Molly trying to look at the camera... but the sun was just "in our eyes"!

Sarah waiting her turn.  Wide eyed excitement on her face! Molly loving on "ellie"!

She wanted to see how long her hair was, so we snapped this picture!  Crazy long!

                         Still smiling!

Not so much now, but only because she couldn't watch the cartoon on the screen in front of her!!

                A quick blow dry and ...

We are right back where we started... with the "sun STILL in our eyes" but loving the new haircut!  Ready for Daddy,  but they have no idea he is coming home!!

By the way, did you happen to read this?  Here are some shots of what happened after that trip to "camp"!
Say hello to WHISKERS... the hamster who lives with us now!

He joins the dog, Bronson and the fish... Suckky, Spotty and Swimmy!

Sarah just loves him!  Wait till Daddy sees this!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009



After what has been the LONGEST summer of my life, my hubby is returning home to be a stay at home daddy to my girls, a partner in crime to me, and a permanent fixture at my house. I've started back at school with 26 first graders - Love it, but am SOOOOO tired each day! It is such a blessing that Don will be home so that I don't have to ask my mom's permission to go out (she's my ONLY babysitter), nor will I be the only parent at home! It'll be great to go home and maybe sit for a few minutes without having to break up a fight or screaming match. It will be super to have an adult to talk to! It will be wonderful to leave my sleeping children in their cozy beds instead of ripping their tired bodies out from under warm covers at 6 in the morning. Not to mention, when my dang dog runs away, Don can chase him. Don can take the garbage out, Don can mow the lawn (since I've broken the lawnmower twice...), and Don can give me hugs each day! Can you tell I'm just over the moon? I love that man!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Need a little advice, please!

Okay, so after a summer full of trips to the zoo, swimming at the pool, and running our buns off, the Walton girls are pretty pooped out. I am also switching grade levels this year, so I've had to re-create a fun classroom atmosphere for first graders while also learning a new curriculum. Needless to say, I'm going into this school year a little exhausted and the craziness hasn't even begun yet. So, here's where I'm in trouble. My husband is forever telling me that I don't know how to relax and do nothing. I thought he was just being silly, until TODAY. I set out this morning to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING today. No plans, nowhere to go, nothing to do. My goal was to rest up because school starts this week. I know that after meeting my 27 little first graders on Wednesday and explaining school policies and classroom rules, I am going to be ready for bed as soon as I get home. And I'm even more concerned because I don't have Don to lean on if there happens to be a day that I actually need to go right to bed! (It still boggles my mind how single parents survive!)
Back to my "DO NOTHING DAY."
The girls woke me up around 8:00 where I convinced them to stay in my bed to watch cartoons while I caught a few more zzzz's, (operation "DO NOTHING" in full effect).
We finally rolled out of bed to feed the starving fish at 9. We made our way downstairs to eat a nice breakfast together (Plan still in effect).
Then I remembered that I had put laundry in the washing machine last night, so, because I HATE the moldy smell of soaking wet laundry, I ran down to put the clothes in the dryer. This reminded me that the heaping pile of dirty clothes should probably be washed before my crazy week. (Operation "DO NOTHING" is slightly off track...)
After sorting and starting laundry, I head upstairs and remember that I have to print my schedule for my principal by tomorrow. So I head back to the computer where one things leads to another, and I end up doing school work until lunch time (Operation "DO NOTHING" has failed for the morning). I'm feeling dejected.
So, I re-assess and start over. Lunch time. We make mac and cheese, grapes, and teddy grahams for lunch and all sit together to eat. After lunch its my favorite time of day...nap time! Surely this cannot fail!
Ah, but it does. The girls head off dream land and I head down to my new comfy couch with my favorite snuggle pillow. Turn on the tv for some background noise distraction and try to sleep. Out of nowhere, my allergies kick up and I can't stop sneezing. I spend the next 2 hours of blissful sleep time sneezing and rubbing my puffy eyes until I hear the dreaded sound of Molly's feet on the steps (only dreaded because that means nap time is OVER). Operation Do Nothing is wishful thinking at the point. Here is where you come in and I need some advice!
When Don is home, we spend every Sunday afternoon at his parents house. I had told the girls that maybe we would go this afternoon. They don't really remember, but my guilt of not taking them over there and putting Don's parents on the back burner makes my stomach hurt. But, I haven't stopped sneezing, I still have laundry to do, and I have yet to DO NOTHING! Do I fight for my sanity and try to sit and do nothing for the rest of the day? Or do I just call it quits since I haven't been successful so far and head out of the house for a visit? HELP! How can I sit and DO NOTHING without physically stapling my butt to the couch or feeling guilty about doing nothing??

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I may be back...

Okay, so I realize that it has been months since I've blogged, but let me tell you, I have been going through some major changes and challenges this summer. Initially, I stopped blogging because I was just too busy, and let's face it, Meme covers all the exciting happenings with my girls better anyways. Then, things in my life started to change and challenge me, and I realized that maybe I didn't want people to know what I was going through. I tend to hibernate when I experience new things or when I am being tested, and this summer has been nothing but tests. However, a new school year is beginning, which in my life has always signified more of the "new year" than January 1st, so I decided its time to stop hiding and get back on the blogging wagon. I can't promise that I won't be too busy to blog some days, but I will do better than I've been doing!

For those of you who know me, you know that Don is an extremely dedicated and talented electrician. Unfortunatly, with the current economy, he was off of work beginning in November of 2008 up until around my last post. Then my most dreaded senario happened. With no prospects of work around here, unemployment and healthcare running out, Donny had to find work. For him, it came in the form of a middle school in Ithaca, New York. So, my husband, the father of my children, set out to provide for his family and live in New York on June 28th. At the time, the job was to run through Labor Day. We had no idea if he'd be home on weekends, or if we'd have to visit him. He rented a studio apartment and set off, leaving the Walton girls to fend for themselves.

Some of you may be thinking, perfect timing- at least it was summer, and you could stay home with the girls. True, but that also meant that after working all year and looking forward to a summer break with the family (husband included), I would be a single parent for the entire summer. While I consider myself very self sufficient, there were a few things that I had to learn this summer. Here are just a few of the things that I had to learn to do because Don took such good care of us while he was here that I never had to think about them.

I learned that Wednesday is garbage day and that yes, I do need to take the cans to the front lawn; the garbage men will not walk around behind my house to get them.
I learned that the grass needs to be cut.
I learned that it takes an average of 7 pulls for me to start the dang lawn mower.
I learned that bedtime sucks with only one parent.
I learned that the mess around the house isn't always Don's mess.
I learned that those five minutes of sitting down and letting your other half take over are priceless and seriously overlooked!
I learned that my children are troopers and can do a lot more than I ever imagined.
I learned that kids can clearly sense anxiety, stress, and sadness.
I learned that Don is my soul mate, and I'll never love anyone the way I love him.
I learned who my real friends are; who will still hang out with the single mom who has to bring along her kids.
I learned to always put wings on the kids before heading out to the pool.
I learned that running with both girls in a stroller is an excellent way to wind down and de-stress.
I learned that every moment is a teachable moment, even for me.
I learned to depend on myself, believe in myself, and trust in my decisions.
I learned that a messy house is sometimes best left messy.
I learned that I can be totally and completely refreshed from my daughters' hugs.
I learned that I can do this, even though I don't like it.

I think this is enough for today...I'd like to update you on my kids, but this post was exhausting, and I have to get dinner started, shower, bathe the girls, and prepare for school tomorrow. Hopefully you'll be seeing more of me soon. Thank you to everyone who has helped me this summer. Countdown to Labor Day! I miss my boy!

Sarah's Story

Molly's Story