Posts Tagged ‘kids’

I always get a smile when kids think they know it all and then it turns out they don’t.

Yesterday, my daughter informed me that Anderson had wakened at 4:30 AM and had not been able to get back to sleep. This was around 10 when I went over for our home school lessons. He was full of energy and said he wasn’t tired. So we did our lessons and finished up and I came home…with Spencer who wanted to “go to Nana’s house.” I was supposed to babysit so my daughter could go to a job interview mid afternoon. I also had to go to the bank so I figured I would wait til I babysat them and I would take them with me to the bank. Off we went. They wanted McDonald’s so they could play at the playland but I told them we had to go to the bank first, before it closed.

Halfway to the bank, I am talking to them but there are no answers. I turned to look and they were both asleep, even Anderson who kept saying he was not sleepy. I took care of the bank business and drove them to McDonald’s as promised. Neither of them would wake up. So I drove toward home and stopped at the last McDonald’s with a playland before getting home. They wouldn’t wake up. I sat in the parking lot for about fifteen minutes. No luck so I took them home. Their mom came out to the car and they both woke up. Of course, they refused to get out of the car because I had promised McDonald’s. They said they would be fine and awake if I took them so off we went, back to McDonald’s.

I am ordering our food before they go in to the playland to play. They are too quiet behind me. I look back and I see this:

McD nap

Yup, Anderson is sound asleep. Spencer is imitating his big brother, but he’s awake. 

I had to smile!

The #WeeklySmile is a block link up hosted by Trent. Come smile with us!

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Some of you will remember my posts about Love Rocks (love-rocks.org). I always have a bucket full of them. I put some in several little drawstring bags and carry one in the car at all times. I also give one to the boys when we go for walks or to the park. They greatly enjoy leaving them for someone to find and when we go by where they placed one and it’s gone, they get SO excited! It makes me happy that they like leaving joyful things for others to find.

Over the weekend, Anderson spent a couple of “sleep overs” with me. On Saturday we went out to pull weeds (his idea, not mine) but they did need to be pulled. Then he decided to put out some love rocks for people to find when they walk by. We went inside and got a bag of rocks to put in the yard. Then he grabbed his sidewalk chalk and started to write. He asked me how to spell “sale” and I told him but I also asked him why he wanted to know. He said he wanted to write that the rocks were for sale. I told them we don’t sell the rocks. They are for giving away. He said,  “That’s what I mean, Nana. They are rocks for sale for free. No money.” He added a picture of a boy with a rock in his hand.

free rocks resized


Come on over to Trent’s Weekly Smile to see what others are smiling about and maybe add your own smile!

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I know I already did a weekly smile post but I wanted to share another smile.

When I upgraded my Amazon Fire tablet a year and a half ago, I gave my “old” one to Anderson. He already had a bunch of games and movies that I had downloaded for him so it was a good thing for him to have…lots of educational stuff and with our rainy weather up here in the Pacific Northwest, there are times when weeks go by that he can’t go out and play so the tablet provides entertainment for him, too. Recently, Amazon introduced the Underground program for apps where some of them are totally free, including in app purchases. So last week, I got rid of some of the apps he plays and downloaded the “Actually Free” versions of the same games. It was a big surprise to him because he now has unlimited coins to “buy” extra lives and hints and power ups, etc.

Yesterday, we haTind to run a bunch of errands. I went a long with them so I could stay in the car with the boys while Tina ran in and out of stores, in and out of the car. We took the tablet with us. On the way back, Anderson was playing one of his Actually Free apps and was so delighted to have all the free power ups and lives and coins. He asked, “So Nana, how did you get me all of these coins?” I answered “I downloaded some special apps that make the coins free for you.” His next words were, “Nana, you’re the best!”

Tina and I looked at each other, smiled, and said, “Awww!”


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The other night, Anderson’s school had a fundraiser that I volunteered to work. It was a silent auction and a spaghetti dinner. I had to be there at 4:30 for monitoring the silent auction tables. Tina and the boys didn’t come until about 6. When they arrived, Spencer was having a very clingy time. He didn’t want to walk around or sit in the stroller. He wanted to be held in someone’s arms. I thought maybe if I took him for a walk into the gym next door, his mom and dad could eat their dinner and Spencer might want to walk around.

Before they had arrived, I noticed that the lady making balloon animals was doing it for free. The most popular balloon was a sword. All the kids were getting them and running around playing with them. So when I took Spencer to the gym we got in line to get him and his brother a balloon sword. Although we had to stand in line for about twenty minutes, with me holding Spencer (he’s about 38 pounds), it was the best thing that night! When it was our turn, I asked for two balloon swords so we could take one to Anderson. We walked into the cafeteria with the two balloons just as they were walking out so it was perfect!

From that moment on, Spencer stopped being clingy. He got out of my arms and ran with Anderson…and ran…and ran…and laughed and had a great time. THAT made me smile. Watching the boys having a great time and Spencer getting over his clingyness…that was the best!

I don’t usually post pictures of the boys on here, or blurry pictures, but I wanted to share this one with you. The blurriness is evidence of all the fun they had because they didn’t slow down a bit, even for a picture!

balloon swords

Come on over to Trent’s World and share YOUR weekly smile. Was it a book or a song? Was it some memory? Was it a person? A child? Come tell us about your smile this week!

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While commenting on a blog a couple of days ago, I was reminded of something Anderson said about the snow and it made me smile…kids are so innocent and so ready to fix things they see that need fixing without letting things get in their way!

A couple of years ago, we had a snow storm followed by another and yet another so that at the end of three or four days, we ended up with about a foot of snow accumulation. It’s very pretty when it is fresh and clean and crisp. But as soon as it begins to warm up a bit, it begins to melt and it gets dirty. Dirty snow is ugly. About two days after the last snowfall, we finally ventured out of the house to the store. The parking lot had been cleared of snow and the snow had been plowed into a huge mountain of snow in one corner. It was about six feet high. Anderson was three then and had really enjoyed playing in the snow so when he saw the snow he said he wanted to go play in it and I said we couldn’t because it was dirty snow and very wet. We weren’t dressed for playing in wet snow. He asked why it was dirty and I explained that it had been swept from all over the parking lot and it had dirty and mud and all sorts of trash mixed in so it was dirty and yucky.

He stopped to think for just a second then he said: “I know Nana! Let’s put all the snow in the car and take it home and wash it then we can bring it back so everybody can play in clean snow!”

Easy peasy! We’ll wash the snow!


Come on over and see the other smiles participating in Trent’s World #WeeklySmile blog hop. Maybe you can think of something that made YOU smile this week that you can share with us. The more smiles the better!

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I am reading a collection of essays that document the teaching career of Luther Siler. It’s called Searching For Malumba. I’ve been reading it for a while because I’ve been using it as kind of an essay a day type of thing and not reading a lot in it. Now that I have finished two books for my reading challenges and it’s not the end of January yet, I am reading a bit more per day in it. It is excellent.

Today I read the essay on Substitute Teachers. It reminded me of my first substitute teaching job…the very first time I walked in to a school office and presented myself as the sub. That’s what I’m going to tell you about today but first, I want to make sure that you know that I don’t disagree with what Luther wrote in his essay. He is spot on. Even that one sub he writes about is someone that I’ve seen while subbing or while I was a classroom teacher and had to request subs. I hope you give Luther’s book a try.

I applied to be a substitute teacher mid year because I needed to supplement my income and because I planned to take some tests to become a classroom teacher and I wanted to sort of “check it out” before committing to more classwork to get my certification. I was in California. At that time, the background check before being allowed to be near kids, included a finger print check that was run by local police, state law enforcement, and federal law enforcement. While the first two didn’t take too long, the federal check took about eight weeks. One morning, around 5:30, I got a call from the Sub Desk asking me to sub at the middle school that morning. I told her that I had not yet been cleared. She said she was aware of it but that they were desperate for subs and I had already been cleared by local and state. (I was also well known in the district because of my then eleven years of volunteering in schools.) So I jumped out of bed and got dressed. I got my kids off to neighbors who would deliver them at their respective schools and I went off to the middle school, which was the same middle school one of my kids attended, and presented myself to the secretary as the assigned sub for Ms. WhatEverHerNameWas. I was given the key to the room and sent off with no lesson plan. Apparently, it was an unplanned absence and there weren’t any plans. The secretary said there was supposed to be a lesson plan book inside the class in the teacher’s desk so just look for it.

It was a seventh grade special ed class. There was no lesson plan book anywhere in the room and the ed assistant would not be there until the second hour of the two hour class period. So I was on my own with fifteen boys varying in degrees of special needs. I had taken a few things with me in my Sub Bag that I could do with them. My Sub Bag had worksheets, tangrams, books, and other sorts of things that would entertain and be educational, should I need them. That day I definitely needed them.

I asked the boys what they had been working on. No one could tell me. Finally I got one boy to tell me, only because he was my neighbor and knew he’d be in trouble if he didn’t cooperate. So we opened the history book and began to do some reading and questions/answers because there was nothing else to go on. The boys began to misbehave, one at a time. I would get one settled and another would begin and as soon as I got that one settled, another would start up. Then, I just did what I had to. I started to call each one by name and remind them that I knew their mothers and fathers and if they didn’t cooperate I was going to tell their Mommas! That worked! It worked enough to the point that only one of the fifteen was acting up by the time the ed assistant came in. That’s when I found out that they were supposed to be taking a standardized test that morning. She couldn’t find the lesson plans either but she did know where the tests were so we quickly started those because we would have just about enough time to take them if we started right away. In the end, the bell rang and we still had about one minute to go on the test so we kept the boys working an extra minute before releasing them.

The rest of the day was fine with the ed assistant there to show me what the other classes were really working on. The other classes were not special ed. I made it through the day and lived to tell the tale. At the end of the day, I headed for Starbucks and bought a $5 gift card for the ed assistant. Not much but a small token of my appreciation because without her, I would not have gotten through that first day.

Note: The teacher, I later found out, had called in for a mental health day because she was at the end of her rope with school and with some family issues.  She had not left a lesson plan, she had her plan book with her at home which she remedied by dropping it off the net day. She was gone for two weeks. I didn’t have to sub for her again because they had enough regular subs and special ed classes usually had special ed subs. Thank goodness for ed assistants!

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A Cookie Smile

When Anderson slept over on Friday night, we read a bedtime story on my Kindle. He said he didn’t know we could read books on the Kindle (tablet) so I showed him all the kid books I had downloaded to his Kindle Fire. We picked one called Diego Dilemma and the Cookie Conundrum. It’s a cute story but I would recommend that the author go back and use kid language. The sentence structure and a lot of the vocabulary are way above the 5 year age recommendation of the book.

In the story, the little boy, Diego, loves cookies but can only eat them when he earns them. He earns them by eating vegetables and by being a good boy. One day he decides to eat all the cookies without permission and, just like his dad warned, he turned into a cookie!

So now, Anderson keeps asking if he is going to turn into a cookie. Last night he asked if he was going to turn into a candy cane and this morning, after his second granola bar, he asked if he was going to turn into a granola bar!

Ah! The power of the written word!

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I was just reading a blog and was reminded not of my first concert because I have already written about that but of my own kids’ first concerts because she, Holley, mentioned Gwen Stefani and No Doubt.

As a mom, I was determined not to be as strict with my kids as my parents were with me.  They always assumed we would be up to no good as soon as we were out of their sight.  They never gave us the benefit of the doubt, even though we had not shown that we deserved the lack of trust.  I was not going to be like that.  I was going to trust my kids until they proved not to be trustworthy.  And of course, that did happen, but those are other posts which will probably not ever be written because they’ve earned back the trust so why go back to the time when it was broken?

Number One child, Tony, went to his first concert for his 14th birthday (I am pretty sure it was 14).  He had wanted to see a group called Silver Chair.  I checked with the parents of two of his friends to see if they would let their boys go but we were going to keep the destination secret from all the boys.  I bought the tickets, along with an extra one for me, for Tony’s birthday. When the day approached, my ex-husband was not able to have the girls over so I couldn’t go with the boys to the concert.  I ended up calling an old friend from college who was single and had offered to help out with the kids.  So Mario took the boys to Silver Chair.  I instructed him that he was not to let the boys out of his sight because their parents were counting on me to have provided a responsible adult.  He promised and I assumed he had followed my instructions.  The boys had a blast and then came home to our house for a sleep over.  It was fun to hear all about the concert from them.  It had been the first concert for all three of them.  They were the talk of their classmates for weeks! (It was not until about ten years later that Tony told me that as soon as they got into the concert venue, Mario told them to have a good time and he would be sitting in the back of the auditorium!)

Then Tina came next.  I got to take her to her first concert at an outdoor theater.  She wanted to see Boy II Men so the two of went.  It was a good concert.  I knew all the music because she played it at home all the time.  I think she was around 13 for her first concert.  It was interesting to see the mostly pre-teen girls, all with their moms!  It wasn’t a bad concert.  I actually enjoyed it but what I enjoyed more was watching Tina enjoy it!  And it was outdoors so there wasn’t that sweaty, right next to someone feeling.

Then Susie.  She was pretty young.  She was about 10 and wanted desperately to go see Gwen Stefani.  It was the tour for the album with Gwen in a wedding dress on the cover.  I wasn’t sure.  But Tina wanted to go.  So did Tony.  So, because Tony was almost 18 and was driving, and very responsible, I let her go.  She had me take her to the Goodwill a week or so before the show and she found what was probably a first communion dress that fit her.  It made her look like a bride and it was cheap so I let her get it.  The night of the concert she dressed up like Gwen Stefani and fixed her hair and makeup (she didn’t normally wear makeup at that age but it was a costume).  Off they went.  All went well and they appeared home on time.  Excited. Exhausted. Satisfied. Then the next day Tina told me how she had lost Susie at the concert.  Susie is tiny.  At 10 she was very tiny.  Somehow she got lost in the Mosh Pit!  So as soon as Tina realized she wasn’t next to her, she started pushing people and yelling out that her little 10 year old sister was lost somewhere.  She says it was like the parting of the Red Sea.  Everyone moved out of her way and helped her find her.  She says they were separated for less than 5 minutes but Tina was scared to death something would happen to her little sister.  Susie was scared too, but she tried to say she wasn’t.

I guess all is well that ends well but I sure am glad I didn’t know about Mario leaving the boys alone or he wouldn’t be a friend anymore and I’m glad I wasn’t there when Susie and Tina got separated or I might have had a heart attack!

In general though, kids will live up to our expectations of them. So expect good things from them and you’ll get them.

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I have kids music CDs in my car.  They are on all the time, except when I realize that they’re on and there are no kids in the car!  Then I take them out and put in Rod Stewart or The Beatles or The Beach Boys (because let’s face it, you can take the girl out of California but you can’t take California out of the girl!) or one of my Tex Mex CDs.

Both Spencer and Anderson love to have the music on.  Spencer starts dancing in his carseat.  Anderson enjoys the music too.  He lip synchs to the songs.  Sometimes he’ll sing with it but that’s more rare.  I’ve noticed in the last two or three weeks though, that Anderson is now singing along.  I think he was waiting to learn all of the words before actually singing.  He did that when I first put Raffi CDs in a couple of years ago.  So he learned the words to this Kids’ Music CD and started singing along…at the top of his lungs…on the way to school.  I was listening to him sing, smiling as I drove him to school then I heard what he was singing.  He was substituting the word “body”  for “bonnie”.  Instead of singing:

My Bonnie lies over the ocean
My Bonnie lies over the sea
My Bonnie lies over the ocean
Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me…

he was singing…

My body lies over the ocean
My body lies over the sea
My body lies over the ocean
Oh, bring back my body to me…

Then he goes on and makes up words saying something about “thank you for bringing my body back to me”!

I cracked up.  He was having such a good time.  I am not correcting him.  It’s too cute.

Now he has moved on to Michael Row the Boat Ashore and shouts out “Hallelujah”  everytime the word appears in the song!j

I love “four years old”.

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As a mom and a grandmom, I know what most of us know, kids say the darndest things!  I will hear a child say something and I tell myself that I have to remember it.  Of course, I don’t.  I forget things quickly; quicker now as I age.  Recently, while shopping for a different book (one I will tell you about in another post) I spotted one that had me call someone for help to get down off of the top shelf so I could see it.  Yes, I am short.  I can’t reach things on top shelves!

Once I had the book in hand, I opened it to find that it was, in essence, a blank book for recording what grandkids say.  The title is My Quotable Grandkid and it is made by Chronicle Books.  I loved the idea of having a special place to record all the little gems that my grandsons say (well, only one of the two talks right now but I’m sure the other will start yaking any time now).  I had to have it.

So now, I record, or try to remember to record, a lot of the cutesy things or the smart things or even the sad things that my grandson says.  Like this one:

June 26, 2014

Anderson asked for a sleep over at Nana’s house so I said that was fine.  I went over to get him and helped him get dressed and get a pj.  He had picked out one of his Batman tshirts.  When I was strapping him into his carseat, he said, “Nana, you got a Batman shirt at home?”  I answered that I did.  He said, “When we get to your house, can you put your Batman shirt on, Nana?” There was a short pause the he added, “So we can be twins.”   Of course, when I got home with him, I went straight to the bedroom and looked through drawers and found my Batman shirt and put it on.  I came out to the living room where he was sitting on the couch watching a video.  He looked up and saw my shirt and smiled saying, “Yay nana, now we are twins.”  And he pulled me down to sit next to him on the couch.


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