It's so great that our kids are old enough now to actually play together. Often times, Jeremy follows Grace around trying to keep up with her, and other times, she gets annoyed with him copying everything she does that she's trying to get away from him. Lately, they've been playing really well together. This is their latest thing, a result of Jeremy learning how to get on the stool in the bathroom by himself. They now play "Hair," with Grace pretending to be a hairdresser, and Jeremy as the customer. It's funny that Jeremy, who is usually very squirmy when we need him not to be, actually cooperates and lets Grace do whatever she wants with his hair (on this particular day, he was actually "brushing" his teeth, but he definitely didn't protest!).
Several things happened this week that I just thought I'd share about.
1) Jason and I decided this past September that I would be taking a leave of absence from teaching this next year. With both of us working full-time, coaching, with two kids who go to different places during the day, church stuff, Grace's lessons, etc., our lives can be pretty hectic. We thought that if I took next year off, I'd be able to spend more time with Jeremy, and be available during Grace's first year of school! Well, it's official- last week, I submitted my request and it was granted. I get to be a stay-at-home mom next year! As someone whose identity is greatly wrapped up in my job, the idea of being at home overwhelms me... But, for the first time in my life, this is something I really desire, as opposed to something I'm doing because I feel pressure to do so. When I return the year after, I am guaranteed a position, and my tenure, years of service, salary, and seniority will be reinstated. Unfortunately, I am not guaranteed my current position at my current school. I am saddened by that! Teaching 5th grade with David, my grade level partner, has been the highlight of all my years of teaching. I know things will work out as they should! My thoughts for now are on how I'll get to focus on my family next year!
2) I registered Grace for kindergarten this past Wednesday. I had parent-teacher conferences on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoon, but stacked my Tuesday conferences so that I could leave early on Wednesday. One of the parents who didn't show up on Tuesday, showed up on Wednesday just as I was about to leave school. She was upset that I was making her come back on Thursday, so to avoid making things worse, I went ahead and sat down with her. Of course, the conference went on too long! When I arrived at Kratt Elementary School, I ran into my co-worker's mom, who also happens to be one of the kindergarten teachers there. We chatted a bit, and then she took me to get register. The teacher who helped me said, "Oh great! You just got the last spot for A.M. kindergarten!" I was so relieved! I joined another guy at a different table to fill out some papers, and a few minutes later, the teacher returned and said, "Actually, you got the last spot (pointing at the guy I was sitting near). Turning to me, she said, "I'm so sorry. I spoke too soon and we miscounted. It looks like you're the first person for our P.M. kindergarten." What?! AAAAGGHHH! Anyway, she put me down on the waiting list for A.M. kindergarten. I know, I know. There are lots of pros to P.M. kindergarten, but part of the reason why I would like A.M. is because I wanted to spend some alone time with Jeremy in the morning, and some alone time with Grace in the afternoon (while Jeremy is napping) next year. We would also like to be able to go watch Jason's volleyball games, which start before P.M. kindergarten ends. It would also be nice to have Jason drop Grace off sometimes on his way to work in the morning. We're hopeful that since we're first on the waiting list, that something will work out! On another note, I can't believe that Grace is heading to kindergarten!!!!
3) My school's annual carnival was this past Friday. Considering our economy's current woes, I was surprised by the turnout- it was great! Jason brought Grace and Jeremy to spend some time with me. It was fun for me to introduce my family to my students and staff. Grace loved the inflatables, getting her face painted, and playing some of the games. My class's booth was Spin Art, so she got to create one. Though the turnout was great, we didn't have enough volunteers for our booth. It was a reeeaally long day- I didn't end up leaving school until 9pm.
Today is exactly 3 weeks since I've given an update on our kitchen remodel! I am so sorry! I just haven't had the time to update with pictures! Since our last update, it seems like a lot has happened. The floors have been prepped for tiling, walls have been textured, and Jason spent one weekend painting. The most important thing is that our cabinets got installed last week! We were so excited to come home and see that- what a difference! Unfortunately, it wasn't until after the cabinets were installed that we realized how much they blend with the newly painted walls. We really want the cabinets to stand out, and yellow just wasn't right. So, since then, with Jason's mom's help, we've picked out different colors and Jason's mom came and spent her day repainting for us today. Isn't she awesome?! We know how lucky we are! Over the weekend, we had people come out to give us quotes on quartz (silestone) and granite countertops. We wish we could go with quartz, but the market for granite seems to be much more competitive (reasonable), so we settled on granite. Tomorrow, Ron, our contractor, will begin tiling the floors, and the countertops will be installed later this week. There's still a lot to do, like pick out our sinks, faucets, pendant lights, dining room light, backsplash, etc. I hope to give another update this weekend!
This used to be part of our eating area!
The holes for the microwave and oven will be cut to size later this week.
Jason was driving home from grocery shopping yesterday with Grace when out of the blue, she announces to him, "I prayed for God to come into my heart." Jason had just pulled into the driveway at that point, and just to make sure that he heard her correctly, he asked, "Can you tell me that again?" She repeated, "I prayed with Teacher Kari for God to come into my heart." "What does that mean?" "It means that Jesus loves me." "Do you love Jesus?" "Yes." "How does that make you feel?" "It makes me feel happy."
Grace's news definitely makes Jason and I feel happy! As people who desire to follow Christ, we praise God that she is responding to Him, in her own understanding... We pray that this continues to be prevalent in her life journey.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14)
It has been a few weeks since we updated everyone on the status of our kitchen. Ron and Phu have done a lot of wiring. Can lighting has been installed, and a ton of new outlets and switches have also been installed. We replaced the window for one that was about a foot wider. We took out another window and installed some french doors. The floor has also been raised in what will become our dining area and the heating ducts and registers have been moved. The old soffits have been removed and later this week all the holes will be patched and texturized. At the end of next week our cabinets will be installed and it should start to actually look like a kitchen again.