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My class

So since I’m going to have two kids in school all day long next year, I’ve decided to get my sub licence renewed so I can start subbing in the fall.  I’m super excited about it and can’t wait to get started.  In order for all of this to work, I needed to take a re-certification course.  For the past month I’ve been taking a course on creativity.  It’s been a ton of fun, very interesting, and if you know me at all, you’ll know it’s right up my alley.  It’s been a blast!  My last week is this week and our final project was to either write a lesson plan for one of the ideas we talked about in class or actually implement one.  Since I don’t really have a class so much as I have a couple kids, I decided to take on a creative writing project with Megan.  I took a picture book and pulled out five phrases from the book.  Megan’s instructions were to write a story, including the five phrases in the order that they appeared.  I was so tickled by her story that I thought I should get it written down.  🙂

So the book I used was There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell (but I didn’t tell her that because I figured it would have skewed her story).  Her phrases were…

  • live in the shell
  • fill up the pail
  • she didn’t tell
  • such a big hassle
  • built a sand castle

And here’s her story:

The Crab Family

          Once upon a time four crabs lived in a shell. It was on a beach. They all loved it there! Their favorite thing to do was build sand castles. All they did was fill up the pails they had and dump them over. The mom did not like that because there was bad stuff down there like worms and dirty sand. The kids didn’t know that the worms were their enemies. She didn’t tell them that because she wanted them to learn themselves. After a couple months, the mom had triplets. It was such a big hassle. There was only two parents and 5 kids! The older kids still had not noticed the bad things in the sand. Many years later one of the kids built a sand castle and there were bad things in it! She screamed and screamed. She told the mom who told her brother.  They both never built sand castles again.



Craft time

With spring break, Megan’s 8th birthday and Easter all coming at us in the next couple weeks, we had to get moving early when we planned out gifts for the upcoming events.


We decided to try out some of Ana White‘s plans and build Megan’s American Girl horses a stable.  It was a project that was put off for a long time because we weren’t sure how to do it.  We finally buckled down and got it started this past weekend and I finished it up yesterday.  I’m thrilled with the results and can’t wait for Megan to see it!

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When I read all the plans and saw the dimensions of the stable, I cringed, knowing that it was huge but I went up and measured the space she had in her closet from wall to wall and realized it would just barely fit.  Unfortunately I didn’t measure from baseboard to baseboard.  It does fit in that space, but it can’t touch the ground because it won’t slide by the baseboards.  Oops!  I’m not really sure where it’s going to go now…  it may require an addition on the house.

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In the midst of this, I got started on a couple sewing projects for Easter.  Now that the kids are doing jobs and earning money for them, they actually have money to spend so I wanted them to have wallets to keep it in when it left the house.  I searched Pinterest and came up with this pattern.  It was fairly straight forward and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.  I did add a lot more velcro than the pattern initially asked for because I was afraid of money falling out.  Hopefully that won’t happen with this setup.

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It even has a pocket for Meg to hold her library card!

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I still remember when we got Rusty. We had called an ad in the paper for dachshund puppies and went over “just to look”. Yeah, right. A short time later we were taking our new red dachshund to Petco to buy pet supplies. When I called my parents to tell them, Dad got on the phone and asked if we had come up with a solution to the mole problem we were having at our rental house (I had called him and asked him for advice on that the week before). I laughed and told him that we had – we had gotten a dog! I don’t think it’s the solution he expected, but you know what? We haven’t had mole problems at any of our houses since!


Rusty was a great dog. He was loved his family, he was endlessly patient (especially with a much younger Nick who really didn’t like him at first and wasn’t very kind to him), and he always let us know when there was someone at our house (or the neighbor’s house, or in any part of the neighborhood) that didn’t belong.


A couple weeks ago we noticed that Rusty-dog was slowing down. We assumed he was just getting old. That was sad, but he was 12 yaers old and not a huge shock. A couple days later, we decided that it was a bad tooth that was slowing him down so I took him to the vet so we could schedule the surgery to have the tooth out. It was a relief that he wasn’t really dying, just in pain. Yeah, we were wrong. He did have a bad tooth but we also learned that week that he had a large mass surrounding one of his kidneys. We made the decision to slow the growth of the tumor with meds and spoil our dog rotten for as long as we had him. We got two more weeks.


Rest in peace, Rusty-dog. We’re going to miss you a ton.

Our vet did the paw print for us.

Our vet did the paw print for us.

Megan’s new bedroom

We finally decided to upgrade Megan’s bed from the one we bought her when she was a not quite 2 and we were afraid that she’d fall out of bed…

Megan's old bed

Megan’s old bed

…to one where we dare her to.  🙂

New bed (there's still a few things to be put away yet)

New bed (there’s still a few things to be put away yet)

We got her a lofted bed and rearranged the whole room.  I love how it turned out and she’s thrilled with the upgrade as well!

Megan has a new reading area that she already loves

Megan has a new reading area that she already loves

Her desk/bookshelf area.  Door to her room is just to the left of the book shelf.

Her desk/bookshelf area. Door to her room is just to the left of the book shelf.

Megan the money maker

Megan’s slowly been falling in love with the idea of horses.  She’s never actually seen one up close and personal (I’m actually going to take her to a horse show today to find out if she stops breathing around them like her dad does or if she’s okay).  For several months now she’s said she wants a horse for her American Girl Allison.  I’ve told her every time a flat-out no.  We don’t have the room for a horse.


After Christmas, Megan went to the store to exchange a gift she had a duplicate of and had some money and again eyed the horses.  I noticed that they sold “foals” and the full-size horses and told her that if she really wanted a horse that badly, that she could get one of the small ones.  She jumped at the opportunity and spent her money on that.  She was mostly happy.

Meet Marigold

Marigold is a good size horse.  She fit nicely in Allison’s “bedroom” (half of Megan’s 2nd closet).

Allison and Marigold

Then this past weekend I decided that I was tired of finding toys in the washing machine because they fell into a laundry basket that was stuffed into an over-full closet and Megan and I took everything out of both of her closets and got going on cleaning.  When we finished, she had a pile of stuff to take to Goodwill, a pile of stuff to toss, a pile of stuff that was still nice and that could maybe sell, and two closets that were nearly empty.  A little bit of rearranging and I realized that Allison was going to have a closet all to herself and that the larger horse (which she was still pining after) WOULD fit.  Imagine her absolute delight when I told her that it would happen!  I told her that she’d get the money from selling her toys and that if she’d like to spend it on the horse she could.


She made enough money to do that and Rose joined Allison’s closet.

Rose and Marigold’s area in Megan’s closet

Allison and Rose… this horse is huge!!

Allison, Rose, and Marigold

There are a million things that Megan loves about her horses but her favorite right now is being able to practice her braiding.  What fun!

Horse tail

Another day I’ll have to share Allison’s room with you all.  It’s pretty impressive!


I’m already thinking up ideas of what to make to go with these horses.  I could knit or sew blankets!  I do know that for her b-day we’re planning on making this stable.  Thanks to Ana White for posting it!  🙂