Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I can't believe I forgot to blog about Mason's camping birthday party in July. Camp food. Glow bowling.Sleeping in a tent. Oh, and a few airsoft guns...because these boys don't go anywhere without them.

Party all night...
and still wake up at dawn. Boys!!

AND how could I forget to blog about our adopted birdie children? Fuzzy and Wuzzy. Two little birdies in the nest above our front door needed our help for a couple of weeks. They weren't very grateful, but we put them back in their nest every night anyway. They obviously didn't see Carmel the cat next door, or they would've been more cooperative.

Jas on his ladder helping our little friends

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Football Season is Here

Saturday was the first day of the Upward flag football season. As usual, Carter was super excited, and Mason was...well...less excited. I just realized that I only got pictures of Carter's game, which will only fuel Mason's "you love him more" claim. It WAS Carter's first football game, though, so...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Goodbye Summer...Hello School

I'm noticing that this has become a once a month blog, and I'm about to miss August altogether. Time doesn't fly for me...it just disappears. I blink and a whole month is gone.

Anyway, we started school on Wednesday. Mason is in 4th grade and loving his new class...a FIRST for the boy who never has anything good to say about school. Carter is in first grade with a multi-age program. He was SUPER excited about the first day, but he quickly discovered that the first grade scene isn't quite the same as the kindergarten scene. He likes his class, but he's not quite as thrilled as he was the first day. I started teaching 6th grade English at the middle school this year, and I'm totally exhausted after only three days. I feel like I'm off to a good start, though. If only I can arrange more time to sleep next week...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Visiting George

Did you know George Washington found General Howe's dog after a battle and returned it to him?

Or that he spent tons of money on his teeth and had at least 8 sets of dentures during his lifetime?

Or that he started a spy ring during the Revolutionary War that became a model for the CIA?

Just a few facts we've learned this week in our "summer school" study of the nation's first president. Our field trip to a traveling exhibit from Mount Vernon was fascinating! Three life-size models of George...a replica of his family church pew...and even his last set of dentures. We got to see them all. I love history!!

More Mexico

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To Mexico and Back

Day 1 - Full day of traveling from Tulsa to Dallas to Cancun to Barcelo Maya. We've never traveled internationally with kids. QUITE an experience with passport, document, and luggage checks at every stop. After a scary landing and an hour long van ride in the pouring rain, we finally arrived at the resort about 10 p.m. Exhausted, hungry, and wandering in the dark, trying to find the building that housed our room.

Day 2 - Our first breakfast buffet. Delicious! A huge spread of everything you could ever want for your morning meal. I tried to stay within a reasonable calorie limit...not sure I succeeded. Carter ended our meal early by crying and declaring that his throat was "shaky." That's Carter-speak for "I'm going to throw up." We spent the next 30 minutes in the lobby bathroom waiting for him to throw up...or not. He never did lose his breakfast, but he stayed in bed for most of the morning. Jas stayed with him, and I took Mason to the beach. Carter recovered by lunch, and we had a fun afternoon at the beach and pool together. We rode the pedal boats and kayaks, and Mason found out the hard way that kayaks tip over if they're parallel to a wave.

Day 3 - A full day of swimming, kayaking, and playing in the waves. Carter joined the kids' club group for a water balloon fight and watched Good Luck Charlie in Spanish. He didn't want to go back to the kids' club again, though, because he couldn't understand what anyone was saying.

Day 4 - Morning excursion to Tulum to see the Mayan ruins. Not the best idea in sweltering heat/humidity, but hindsight is 20/20. I loved seeing the ruins and learning about the Mayans. As a bonus, I lost ten pounds in one day from walking a million miles and sweating rivers of sweat. I got separated from Jas for the walk back, so I had to drag both boys back down the trail to the van by myself...yeah. But we ended the day with more beach fun at the resort.

Day 5 - After packing all of our wet clothes - nothing dries in 98% humidity - we hung out at the pool and kids' water park one last time. Then off to the airport for another day of international air travel. We pulled into our garage at the stroke of midnight...and all agreed there's no place like home.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Job Drama

I've been interviewing for teaching jobs for next year - not an easy process, to say the least. We've had lots of "pros and cons" discussions and prayers about which offer to accept. At one  point, there was a chance that Mason and Carter would have to transfer to a new district - the district where I would be teaching. I asked for their opinions, and they were generally in favor of going to a new school. But then they really thought about it, and Carter decided he wanted to stay at Glenpool because they have high school "friends" helping in the classrooms. I reminded Mason that he wouldn't get to be in class with any of the new friends he's made this year. He said he didn't care....until I mentioned a little girl whose name has come up a lot lately. Once I pointed out that he wouldn't see her anymore, he said, "Never mind. I'll stay at Glenpool." Looks like I'll be teaching in Glenpool.

Teacher Gifts

I stole an idea from another parent and came up with these cute baskets for teacher gifts. I call them "End-of-the-Year Survival Kits." Only $10 each - thanks to Dollar Tree!
The flowers are clip-on. Only $0.99 at Michael's!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kindergarten Field Trip to the Library

Carter walking with his friend, Cole. I plan to use this 'holding hands' shot as blackmail when they're in high school.

Getting ready for story time.

Story time

Reading about Native Americans with Isaiah

Jacques (aka Jock)

I found this adorable little puppy running back and forth across a busy street and brought him home until we could find a home for him. Someone at some point named him Jock, but I like Jacques better. Anyway, 3 out of 4 Trents fell in love with him and wanted to keep him, but we agreed to stick with our original plan and find a home for him. He went to a very nice new home last night....but we may have to bring him back soon. We miss him!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


It was wedding weekend in Weleetka, OK. Congratulations to Hunter and Katelyn! It was fun seeing everyone...and eating the cake. The cake is, after all, the most important wedding detail.
AND THEN there was the jacket. Jas's uncle brought him a suit coat that belonged to his Baba, who passed away in the fall. A quick pocket check revealed a stick of gum...and then the rest of the pack in another pocket. But the biggest surprise was the folded piece of paper he found after that. It was a program from OUR wedding that Baba attended almost sixteen years ago. I wish I had a picture of Jas's face when he unfolded that program!

Spring = Baseball

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I have my own website! Well, sort of. It's actually a Wordpress blog, but it's serving as my "official" author site. It's nothing fancy, but I think it's worth the big bucks I paid for the domain name ($25). Now I just have to publish a book and make at least $25.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Times Tables Strike Again

I'm often amazed at how some things change drastically over time while other things don't change one bit. Mason's struggle with the multiplication tables (third grade...ugghh) brings back memories of my own battle with the same thing. It didn't take me long to realize that the flash card method of memorization would mean months of dedicated "drill and kill" (fancy education terminology) on my part if I didn't find some other tool...fast.

Flashback to a third grade version of myself sitting in a wooden rocking chair, listening to multiplication songs through gigantic black headphones for hours on end. I hated those songs. But I do know my multiplication facts now (most of them) so I guess they helped.

I couldn't find the exact tapes I listened to as a child, so I had to find other methods of torture...err...help for Mason.

Timez Attack - A video game download complete with fantasy worlds and levels that have to be mastered before moving to a new one. It was really hard in the beginning because Mason couldn't type in the answers as fast as the game wanted him to. I had to sit with him sometimes and type in the answers as he dictated. I also had him write down some of the ones he just couldn't remember after millions of repetitions. Then he had his own cheat sheet to use on the "tests." Now he plays it 30 minutes a day on his own - it's been a lifesaver!

YouTube Videos - When he just couldn't remember several facts in a set, like those pesky 6s and 7s, I found annoying songs on YouTube for him to listen to several times in a row. He likes them about as well as I liked my tapes, but they do seem to help with retention...which is the goal afterall.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Cornbread Recipe Creation

I'm so proud of myself! Jas wanted me to make cornbread for dinner - something I haven't made in years (if I've ever made it at all). I had cornmeal with a recipe on the package, but I didn't have baking powder - at 6:30 p.m. So I got creative and decided to try pancake mix in place of the flour, sugar, and baking powder the recipe called for. I added in everything else as directed, and voila! Seriously delicious cornbread!

Super Easy (probably not healthy) Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill medium grind)
1 cup buttermilk pancake mix
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter (softened)

Preheat oven to 425. Stir dry ingredients in a bowl. Add egg, milk, and butter. Beat until smooth, about one minute. Bake in a greased 8-inch square pan for 20-25 minutes. Serves nine.

The Family that Hunts Together...

Mason and Jas got up before dawn yesterday to go hunting with Jas's uncle, Rocky, and his cousin, Hunter. Yes, that's a dead duck Mason is holding. Jas has been trying to rope me into joining him in his new hobby/obsession, but he's seriously barking up the wrong tree. I don't like guns. I don't like being outside - especially in the cold. And I can't stand the sight of blood, guts, or dead animals. I am, however, looking forward to future hunting trips that involve all the boys in my family being gone for a few days at a time. I'm already planning the craft projects and girls night out activities I can do then...in another three or four years. Something to look forward to.