Thursday, February 24, 2011

A happy Day!!

January 26, 2011 will always be a day to remember for me. The day I got my husband back and life became the "new normal." It was so neat witnessing Matt taking the oath to serve and protect people and see him looking all sharp in his uniform. He endured a lot over the past six months and I am so proud of how well he handled the stress. I love this man and love that he is making a difference in the world and has, what I consider, a very noble and respectable job.

Matt has several close friends, and relatives who are CHP officers, which helped influence his decision to go that route. They all love their job and played a big role in his decision to accept the invitation to the academy. The group includes one of his leaders at church, three young men whom were his friends that were in our ward growing up, and my brother.

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We had a surprise party for Matt once we got back in Lake Elsinore to celebrate his graduating from the CHP academy. We are so proud of him. It was nice to be surrounded by friends.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CHP Party

The night before Matt's graduation they had a CHP party and dinner to celebrate. It was fun meeting the guys that Matt has spent the past six months, 24 hours a day 5 days a week.

Here are his roommates Sullinger and Torres
And here's his silly buddy Reese. This guy made me laugh, and Matt as you can tell.

Matt and I wanted a couple's shot, but Reese wanted to be in on the love. What a weirdo.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Some evenings are long

I am adjusting to Matt;s new schedule. We LOVE having him home three, and sometimes even four days a week and I am used to not having him around in the evenings because for the six month academy without him. However, some evenings when he is gone are so long. Tonight was one of those evenings. My day went by so nicely. It was just Maz and I at home most of the day while the other two were at school. Then, come three thirty Ash comes home and the whining and fighting me on homework begins. "Can't I just watch TV or play video games" and so on and so forth. I try to force him to do his homework unsuccessfully because I know we will be gone most of the night. I agreed to sub a step class in Mureitta. I hadn't got a work out in yet and a little money on the side is always good so thought it would be fine. On the way there Tera is complaining that she has a headache, Ash won't do his homework and Maz is whining about who knows what. We get to the gym and I drop the little munchkins off at the Kids Klub and head to my class. I have been teaching long enough that I generally feel pretty confident about my classes. I know some will go better than others. Some days I will be more motivating, more upbeat, etc. but for the most part feel that I should be teaching generally good classes after seven years of teaching aerobics. Tonight however, humbled me and proved me very wrong. Not that any one thing went wrong. I just was feeling bla. I couldn't make myself be in the least bit peppy, the mic sounded odd and the music all seemed annoying to me. I was annoying myself. I was very aware of phrases I kept saying over and over like "good job" and "okay?" I left the class feeling like a lame instructor. And to top it off, I had a fellow instructor in the class with me. (One who happens to be extra peppy which bugged me even more as if she were comparing my lack of peppiness to her over-peppiness)
So, I barley finish my class (emotionally and physically with my feet and back aching) and then go to pick up my kids. Turns out Mazzi has been crying the last several minutes because she bonked her head and then someone hit her. She's recovering while I hold her. All the kids get their shoes on and off to Chick-fil-a we go. This was their treat for going to the gym with me at night. I always feel bad dragging them along at night after a long day of school. I chose Chick-fil-a becaue it was Tuesday and kids eat free on tuesday. Right? Nope, they changed it. So, we are already tight on money this month and I was splurging paying for one adult meal and one kids meal and getting one free. So to spend 20.00 on a meal for me and the kids seems a bit ridiculous. Oh well, we get two big meals and split them. No bigggie. Besides the fact that Tera didn't get her chocolate milk. That as a big deal apparently. Just a little dissapoint amonngst other little dissappointmentes. And then no one said "My pleasure" and all the worekrs were kinda rude. Wierd- what is up chick-fila?? So I hope that as you are reading this you are aware of what I am as I am writing it. How nice my life most be if these are the thigns that bug me and tire me?? It is true. I have a nice life. A great life. It is a tiring life, but I love it. But, I must continue on with my long evening. The kids play in the play area, Tera pees her pants on the way to the bathroom, Mazzi drops her ice cream cone, Mazzi poops so change her diaper, Ashton does his homework in the kid splay place without complaining (thank goodness) then we drive home. Ashton and Mazzi fall asleep in the car. I carry them upstairs and tuck them in... no baths, no teeth brushing. Just chick-fil-a and gym kid klub cooties all over them as they sleep. Makes me a little sick, but not sick enough to wake them up and bathe them. I think I will go rub purell all over them though. That will make me feel better. And now, it is time for a bath, a book and ibuprofen. Ahhhh.... life is good.

Fiercely Independent

This is just how independent and stubborn our little Mazzi has become. Today she refuses to let me get her anything. She wants to get her own snacks, change her own diaper (I wish she just wanted to potty train herself), roll out her own play dough, etc. She pushed a chair from the kitchen table to the pantry in order to get her self a capri sun. I decided I should get it for her, as it was on the top shelf of the pantry and the next step for her would have been to climb the shelves. So I handed her the capri sun and brought it over to the table. She was a little frustrated that mommy was helping. Then I did the unspeakable. I took the straw out of the wrapper. That happens to be her favorite part, banging the straw against the table until it pokes out of the wrapper. But I forgot. She was livid. She yelled at me and tried to put the straw back in the wrapper. She eventually realized she still got to put the straw in the juice box so forgave me a bit. This example just shows how and independent and stubborn this little girl is.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This is why I bring my camera....

to the beach every time. These shots are priceless to me!
Tera, Tatum and McKenzie

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Getting comfortable with guns

Because I knew we would shortly have a gun in our home I went shooting with my friends Sephora and Gracie. I think I shot a total of nine guns ranging from revolvers, rifles and shotguns. At the beginning I was extremely nervous holding the guns, but by the end I was feeling a bit more comfortable and was even having fun. There is something kinda cool and "Alias like" about holding a gun. But they still scare me. I'll get used to it!
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Pregraduation party!

We had a surprise pre-graduation party for Matt at Chevys in Redding. Both sides of the family attended as well as several of his high school friends. It was cute seeing Matt with all his buddies from high school, some of which he hadn't seen in five or more yeras. It was a great night and I was so glad that everyone was able to attend. We are all so proud of Matt!

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Using my credential... adjusting and various tangents

I received my credential in Elementary Ed five years ago, and while I am sure I have used bits and pieces of the knowledge I acquired here and there without my even knowing it, this day I used a specific strategy I was taught, and it worked wonders.

But before I explain, let me go off on a big of a tangent. My children have struggled in school so far. Ashton has not caught on to reading very quickly and because of that has had a poor attitude regarding school in general. I think he is finally starting to catch on and get a bit excited about reading, but up until now he has done homework and reading dragging his feet the whole time. We have been very lucky with him so far in school though as I think all of his teachers have been outstanding and have pushed him to succeed. He just began early morning tutoring with his teacher in attempts to get him up to grade level so that he will not have to be retained next year. As a parent this has been extremely difficult on me emotionally. School and learning always came naturally to me. I was always an over achiever and perfectionist when it came to school and just assumed that it would come as easily to my children. And I thought I would always be able to help them easily because I have my elementary ed credential. To see that not be the case has been hard. Especially because I know how smart and creative my children are and I want that to come across in their schooling and testing.

Tera is doing okay in school but is also not catching on to reading as quickly as I had hoped. I was not impressed with her kindergarten teacher when we were in Redding and think that could have caused her to be a bit behind. I think with a good teacher she would have caught on more easily, but I felt the whole class was still being taught the basics and she did not have a chance to move on. Now that we are in lake Elsinore she has an excellent teacher. Let me take this moment to go off on yet another tangent.

When we came back to Lake Elsinore I went to register the kids for school. Ashton got into his first grade class, which also happened to be with four of his good buddies from church. However, then they informed me that Kindergarten was full. So she was sent to Rice Canyon school and they would provide transportation (which was fortunate because I have two kids in separate schools getting out at the same time) I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with moving back her and getting back in the swing of things and finding out that the kids would be going to different schools made me stressed. Then we went to Teras school for her first day and I met her teacher, Mrs. Kaas. Jana Kaas is one of my moms friends from when we lived in Lake Elsinore when I was a child. I also worked with her during the dance festival, and think she is one of the nicest, funnest people I have ever met. So, as soon as I found out who Tera's teacher was I felt Heavenly Father's love and felt grateful for Him letting me know that he was aware of my circumstances, that I He knew was feeling overwhelmed and wanted me to know that He was looking out for me. It was a sweet moment.

Now that Tera has a great teacher, I am hoping she will be able to catch up and be successful. Although if Ashton does get retained, I wouldn't have Tera move up anyways because I can't see having my five year old and seven year old in the same grade. That would be too hard on Ashtons ego.

Now I just have to figure out the bus schedule for Tera. On the way home she ends up riding the bus for a hour and a half, which I hate. But I also can't make myself do the 40 minute round trip to pick her up from school each day. Today I waited at her bus stop for a half hour as the bus was late. The whole time I was frantic that maybe she hadn't got on the bus or was lost... something and I started crying because I couldn't get a hold of the transportation department and didn't know what i would do if the bus just never showed up. Wow- writing this I realize I am a bit fragile emotionally right now. If I were you reading this (I don't even know if people read my blog- let alone my long tangents) I would think- she must be pregnant.... let me tell you- I AM NOT!

So, such is life in the Thompson home with two kids in school. Not what I expected.

And now- back to what i wanted to tell you about. Ashton hates studying for spelling test. He whines and complains the whole time. Then I remembered a strategy that I was taught in school at good ol' BYU Idaho for the kinesthetic learners. They taught us that you can mix up practicing spelling words by having the kids write in shaving cream or in pudding. So I decided to give it a try. It was a hit! He loved spelling the words. And not only did he love it, but he got every single word right! The next day he could not wait to do his spelling words. So, my professors and books at college really did know what they were talking about. Tera enjoyed it too. So, if you have little ones struggling or fighting you on spelling words. Just get out the shaving cream. The little bit of mess is sooo worth it!

Proud Dad

Since Ashton was tiny Matt has been excited to take him up and teach him to snowboard. This winter we finally had the opportunity to take him up to Mount Shasta. He took a quick snowboard lesson and then Matt took him down the mountain with him. Ashton is not what I would consider a patient person so I was a bit nervous about how he would do trying something new and challenging. He did extremely well and had a positive attitude the whole day. The only thing we had to bribe him with were Lays barbecue potato chips upon completion of his lesson and going down the big hill.

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