Saturday, November 28, 2009

Little Wilson Cat

Last March, Martin and I adopted THE MOST ADORABLE CAT ON THIS PLANET! at least in our opinion.   He is so cute I could seriously stare at him all day and not get bored.  Our family cat only likes my parents...which could possibly have been caused by the fact that my sister and I hugged him a little too much...  So I can't tell you how happy I am to have a cat that LOVES me back!

Wilson is about a year and half old and has officially reached his terrible twos.  And let's just say my wonderful husband hasn't helped the situation much.  I looked over into the kitchen a few weeks ago and saw Martin showing Wilson how to jump onto the counters.  "WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!???" I calmly asked.  "I thought he'd want to see what was up there."    Hmmm

Despite his occasional moments of taught defiance, Wilson, has become the perfect fit to our little family.   And whether we know it or not, he is teaching us valuable parenting skills. Like not teaching your toddler how to jump onto the kitchen counters.

(sleeping in the laundry basket...I promise we won't teach our children this either.)  

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving

Yesterday my family had the largest Thanksgiving celebration we have ever had! My dad cooked up two pans of his homemade lasagna (I couldn't be more thankful that I don't have to eat turkey on Thanksgiving) and we enjoyed our Italian feast.  Our day was shared with my new mother-in-law Pam and her friend Jeff, along with my Aunt Jane, and my cousins Ann Marie, Mary, Jean Marie, Lee, and Kiya!  We were just missing my two sisters...who I'm sorry to say had to have some kind of poultry for dinner yesterday.

Jean Marie, Kiya, Ann Marie, Mary, and Me

(And here is my special plug for my cousin Mary who recently came out with her CD called Breakaway. *available on amazon and iTunes*  She sang a few of her songs for us yesterday and we are all blown away! Check it out for yourself! )

It was a perfect day...I'm so thankful for my wonderful, wonderful family

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday to my sister, KATE! Which I guess also means it is my birthday too!  We were born the day after Thanksgiving, 25 years ago, two minutes a part.  I am the older and wiser one, of course.

I'm excited it's my birthday, but I'm feeling kind of down because it's another birthday Kate and I can't share together.   It's a little too far to drive to Florida...I don't think I would make it in time.  When we were younger I sometimes wished I could have my own day.  We shared everything...couldn't I at least have one day where it was just about me?  But now, when we can't be together, I wish I could take those thoughts back.  I would do anything for my sister to be here with me.   It's just not the same.

We are sharing at least one thing though...our birthday dinner tradition of homemade Fettucini Alfredo...mmmmm!  Our all time favorite meal, or as my mom calls it, "Heart attack on a plate."  A little artery clogging is well worth it for this one day.  

I guess because we can't be together today, we'll have an even bigger reason to celebrate again when she comes home for Christmas...I can't wait! 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Car!

I am so excited to share with you the newest addition to our, no not a baby...a car!

I had been driving the same car since high school. It had definitely served it's purpose, gotten me where I needed to be (for the most part.)   Although we had our battles, I was sort of sad to see it go.  I'm going to miss all its little quirks, like having the inside light never turn off.  It was pretty acrobatically challenging when I would have to drive with my hand covering the light when it was dark outside.  Ahhh, those were the days.

Now the new adventure begins.   I feel so adult...and I owe a HUGE HUGE thank you to my dad...he's a very good haggler  :)


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yea For You!

My older sister and I are taking a boot camp workout class together...don't be jealous :)  It's pretty nice because it's just me and my sister and the trainer.  Yesterday during our class my teacher said to me, "You're doing such a great job!"  ...see? I can be athletic.  It gave me such a huge boost of confidence to finish the incredibly sweaty workout (I have seriously never sweated that much or even known I could sweat that much!)  It made me start to think about what praise can do for someone's self esteem.

Every teacher has had a student who basically drives them up the wall.  Some days we are more patient then others, and some days I know I wish I could have seen a little more of the 'good' in that child.   I have a particular student who is very wearing on my nerves.  He has so much energy and he cannot sit long enough to accomplish a single task.  I try my very best to be calm with him...but today was one of those days.  Towards the end of the day I felt worn down and felt bad that my student and I had had such a rough day.  I realized I hadn't given him much praise today so I watched him for a moment and saw that he was actually sitting in his chair.  I hurried to fill out one of our award certificates for good behavior...before he moved...and announced to the class, "Good job Adrian! I love how you're sitting in your chair!" (we like to celebrate the little things in Kindergarten) You should have seen his smile!  He jumped up and as he walked by his classmates so proudly he couldn't help but spread the news!  "Hey Dylan? Did you see I got a BARK award? Look Timothy!"  And you know what he did after that? He actually sat down to write his name...well at least the first three letters :)  Better than nothing!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

Five year olds are really good at telling you when you're wrong or you've messed up.  Pretty much everyday I forget to change the specials on the daily schedule.  I know I've forgotten as soon as I hear "Mrs. Wolfe, YOU FORGOT TO CHANGE THE SPECIALS!"  Today I left music up on the schedule from Friday.  Someone started the domino effect by shouting out that, "We did NOT have music today, Mrs. Wolfe!"  Then I think every student after that proceeded to tell me that I still had music up and today was P.E.  Clearly, I hadn't heard the first voice.  

I dismiss kids from the carpet by row color.  This afternoon I was going about dismissing the rows "Red row may go, blue row may go..."  Then all of a sudden I accidentally slipped and said, "Green table may go..." You would have thought I just cursed up a storm.  The whole class corrected me immediately saying "YOU SAID 'TABLE' NOT ROW!!!"  okay, okay geez.

But the all time worst is when they correct your appearance. We have school spirit shirts that we are allowed to wear on Fridays.  When I haven't done laundry that is usually my choice of attire.  I opened the door to let the kids in and one of my little boys says as he walks by, "Did you have to wear that today?"  

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Martin and I have been talking a lot about what we should do next year.  Should we stay? Should we move? We pretty much go back and forth on our decision every week.  I think my family is getting tired of hearing, "Well we made a decision! We're moving!" and then an hour later, "We decided we're going to stick it out a few more years." What if we decide to move and it ends up being the worst decision ever? Or what if we don't move and then regret it for a long time?  Anyone want to tell me what to do?

This winter will be my third year here in Denver, and I think I'm finally starting to settle in (let's just say it takes me a while to get used to things :) I know where the grocery store is, the Target, and my school.  It's not as scary driving around the big city once you get used to it.  Oh, and yesterday I found the Post Office (well, Martin drove me), but I paid see?  I now know where all the necessities are.

I never in a million years would have pictured myself living in Denver, but here I am for now.  Our apartment is literally the size of a shoebox, but I think we have finally made it feel like home.  My older sister and brother-in-law live in a different building in the same complex, which is convenient when I need to borrow a cup of sugar or just be around my family :)   If I think about it we have it pretty good here...hmmm I think I've changed my mind again.  I'll let you know when we make a decision.  :)

For now, here are some pictures to help you visualize our life here in Denver.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I know it's a little silly to celebrate anniversaries by month, but yesterday was my four month wedding anniversary.

We met in the high school orchestra.  I remember him as the boy who was always late for class.  The box of Junior Mints at the Candy Shack apparently always had his name on it.  Other than that, I had no idea who he was or what his name was.   I think it was probably the day when Martin ate a moth...or wait was it ants? that we really started talking.   We became instant friends.  Best Friends.   He was a little quirky (unless eating moths is normal...please tell me it's normal), but there was just something about him that I knew I couldn't live without.   He treated me like I was the most special person on this earth.  I know it sounds impossible, but I really knew from the moment we became friends that we would be together forever.  And look! Here we are seven years later, married!

So here's to high school sweetheart.  I'm so glad I get to spend my life with you, even if you do eat bugs ;)

Prom 2003

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Did you ever notice that one of the most important things to a five year old is if someone cuts them in line? The world seriously ends. You hear screams and shouts and turn to look. Someone is standing smugly while everyone around them wants justice NOW! It doesn't matter how sneaky the culprit is, someone will always notice. So you walk over to intervene and ask the person who is being accused, "Did you cut in line?" I don't even know why we ask this. What five year old in their right mind is going to say, "Yes, I sure did. I'll go to the end of the line now." Today I tried to teach my students to let it go...does it really matter? Aren't we all going to the same place? They looked at me like I was insane, YES IT MATTERS, MRS. WOLFE! GEEZ! The line cutter is clearly committing the biggest Kindergarten crime there is.

I don't think this feeling actually ever leaves us.  I was standing in line at King Soopers a couple weeks ago and this lady started to slowly ease her cart in between mine and the person in front of me.  I felt my blood begin to boil.  Didn't she know I was there first!?  I wanted to tell the cashier that this person was cutting in front of me, do something about it!

So maybe I know how my students feel when someone steps right in front of them when they clearly got their first.   I think tomorrow we'll go to ABC order :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Service Engine Soon

What does this mean exactly?  Does this mean soonish, like I have a couple weeks or even months?  Or does it mean within minutes or my engine is going to explode into a million pieces.   The dashboard should have lights for every part of the car.  If a belt is going to break that light should turn on.  If your engine is going to explode a light should come on for that so you can at least get out of the way.  Obviously a woman's opinion was not asked about this matter.  In that case, I'll just ask my very nice husband to take my car in for me...okay honey?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Back to Work...

I have to admit, when you teach Kindergarten, or any grade for that matter, it can be extremely exhausting.  It can be hard to get the energy to start again on Monday.

Sometimes though, when I think about how excited my students are on Monday morning, it gets me excited and ready to go too.   You should see their faces when they're standing in line waiting for the bell to ring.  It's like they're in line at a candy store...they are literally jumping up and down with huge smiles on their faces. When I walk outside to greet them I am bombarded with hugs and new stories they want to share.  "Look at my new shoes, Mrs. Wolfe, they have Spiderman on them!" or "Look, I got my hair cut!" or "My tooth is loose!"  It's like they haven't seen me in years and if they don't hurry and share their story right now they are going to BURST!   They have already forgotten anything negative from last week and they are looking at you like you are their most favorite person in the whole world.

I have a little boy who gets SO excited to be at school that his whole body wiggles with excitement.  When we sing our morning song he cannot contain himself.  Usually he does a little dance or jumps up and down and kicks his legs up in the air.  He doesn't have a care in the world at that moment, he is happy that we are singing and he doesn't care if anybody's watching.

Can you imagine if you ran up to your boss when you got to work and said, "HEY MR. JONES? MR. JONES!  GUESS WHAT I DID THIS WEEKEND!?"  or "LOOK AT MY SHIRT, IT HAS A PATTERN ON IT!"   Ha ha maybe work would be much more fun if we had a little five year old in us still :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Are you my mommy?

Since I started teaching Kindergarten, I've been called many things.  Maestra (teacher in Spanish), hey you, and my all time favorite Mr. Wolfe.  Lately, I've also been responding to mommy and even an occasional daddy (do I seriously look like your dad?!)  I remember in 4th grade I called my teacher, Mr. Hazen, "daddy." I was mortifyed!  I guess it shows how comfortable our students become in our classrooms.

Today, my puppet Mr. Dragon and I were going over the rules of the classroom.  Sometimes I pretend Mr. Dragon is still sleeping and we have to "gently" wake him up-- or scream at the top of our lungs, depending on our maturity level that day.  I gently nudged him until his snoring stopped.  Someone yelled in a very concerned voice that I was going to get bitten by Mr. Dragon.  I told them I was waking him up very nicely so he wouldn't wake up grumpy.  Then I heard,  "He won't bite you, you're his mommy!"
The Dugger Family of 18 has nothing over me.  I'm a mommy (and daddy) to 23 Kindergarteners and one dragon.  I win.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Candy for Breakfast?

This week has been quite an adventure in the land of Kindergarten! Last week we were off for Fall Break plus the kids had the excitement of trick-or-treating on Saturday.

On Monday my 23 little friends staggered in quietly with deer in the headlight looks. It was basically the first day of school all over again. They were following directions, sharing, and helping their friends. It was amazing! I thought with a week off from school and probably pounds of sugar inhaled, our day would have looked differently.  This was turning out to be a great start to the week!  

As I was teaching math this afternoon, I looked out into the sea of little faces and I knew I had spoken too soon. One student had discovered his belly button and had his shirt high over his head. Another student was actually chewing on his shoe, yes that's right, the bottom of his shoe was literally in his mouth (a very advanced Yoga move). A couple of kids had their fingers up their noses, although this isn't really that uncommon.  A few boys had realized that if they clicked their tongues against the roof of their mouths they could make an incredibly annoying sound. One of them even walked up to me (during my lesson) and said, "Mrs. Wolfe, can you make this sound with your tongue?" Umm...weren't we talking about how to make a pattern? Oh, and I can't forget, one of my students was not even on the rug at this time. He was pushing his chair around the room in a zig zag fashion doing who knows what. Maybe he was pretending it was a lawn mower or a shopping cart. Needless to say we stopped our math and stood up to wiggle our wiggles out.