Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year

We had an awesome New Year's Eve -- 2011 had quite a few challenges for our family (and changes) but we rang it out in a fun way, starting with the super colorful *funfetti* New Year's cake the girls and I  made ....

We also had our good friends Jane and Joe over along with their sweet and fun daughters Jia and Willa.  The girls all had a super time playing together and started their celebrations by creating lots of art ......

.....  then they put on two different performances {which included costume changes for everyone but Ella, she kept on her new Cinderella dress-up pajamas she got for Christmas from Grama and Grampa all night} starting with an Art Show and ending with a play about two princesses, their pet cheetah and a mermaid on a beach (at least that's what I think it was about).  I just LOVE how well these four get along and play together, makes my heart happy ....



Jane and Joe brought dinner over too (they are amazing friends for many reasons) so we had a fun time fonduing some super yummy food:

They kid table was especially fancy ....

.... and toasting in the New Year with such special friends was perfect!!

So was eating our *funfetti* 2012 cake -- it was almost too pretty to eat : )


We rang in the New Year's early for the girls and Jane, Joe, Jia and Willa headed out in time to avoid the icy/snowy roads that make driving in Minnesota (especially on New Year's Eve) scary.  And after the girls were asleep Tom and I hung out while I tried so hard to stay up until midnight but at 11:50 I went to bed (I am really lame, I know).  Tom came in right before midnight though so we did ring in the new year together : )

I am really looking forward to all of the fun adventures in store for our family this year.  Ella and Zoe are so settled in their school routine; they LOOOOVE kindergarten, they LOOOOOVE their teacher Mrs. Olson and their 'helper teacher' (as they still call her) Mrs. Joyer.  They LOOOOOVE their school, their art teacher, their music teacher, their silly gym teacher and their Friendship teachers.  They LOOOOVE their friends and knowing a variety of kids that are in Kindergarten all the way up to 6th grade.

They  also love, love LOVE Karin.  They missed seeing her during our time off and were so excited when she picked them up in their classroom yesterday (she usually does pick-up in the car line).  They showed her around their school, re-introduced her to Mrs. Olson and then headed to the park before they came home and warmed up with hot chocolate.  They also saw how karin's baby belly is growing and told me when the baby moves they will get to feel her tummy -- they are both fascinated by this.

I can't put into words how happy all these things make me, and how grateful and happy I am that they are making such a strong and positive connection with Karin.  When I got home last night they were just getting ready to put on a play for Karin and though they were excited to see me they told me I was too early, they wanted to do their play first : )  Knowing Ella and Zoe are doing such fun things at school and after school, fun things I would do with them if I were home, gives me such a sense of okayness.  

And school for me, though super busy with so much to keep track of (and not enough time to get everything done that I'd like to), I'm starting to feel like I can breathe a little more calmly now.  I LOOOOVE teaching, I'm so grateful I have a job in a school that's so close to my house, a school that has an amazing music program (have I mentioned the Kindergarten students all have 20 minutes of violin lessons EVERY day?!), a school that is full of dedicated, nice, supportive and fun teachers and staff, a principal that is approachable, a good listener, super smart, very fun and funny, and the absolute best teaching partners I could ever hope for.  Ia, Barb and Gao have helped me so much transitioning back into the classroom, they've been so supportive and understanding as I figure out how to be a strong teacher and still be an involved mom, wife and friend; and they can make me laugh and smile even when my classroom smells like poop, or my head is ringing because my class is so loud, or I just got screamed at and hung up on by a parent, or when I can't remember what we're supposed to bring to the meeting I forgot we had, or I can't get the data to enter on the computer correctly (etc., etc.,).  I also am really getting attached to my class of little turkeys (and I say that lovingly).  There are a lot of them, they are with me for a long day, they are very loud even just when they're talking (and it takes a lot to get them to stop talking) -- but they are working hard to meet some very high expectations and they are making academic and social gains.  When they are goofing off and doing something they know they're not supposed to, they actually look to see if I'm looking (before many really didn't have a clue what behaviors were okay and what ones were not, or sadly didn't care).  But now they look to see if I'm noticing or paying attention!!  Progress -- yay! : )  My days are long and full, I got more sleep when I had twin babies, I always feel behind with school stuff, home stuff, mommy stuff, wife stuff, friends and family stuff -- but I also feel like I'm moving in the right direction ......  and that's huge.

So 2012, Welcome .....

Here's to a great year!!!

5 comments:

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

How fun for them to have a party. That cake does look amazing :-)

Joe and Jane said...

I'm so impressed at how you can look at the bright side of everything (poopy-smelling classroom and all). :-)

Thanks again for having us over - such fun!!

Cheryl Lage said...

All those pictures made ME so happy, I can only imagine how they made YOU happy! The new year is off to a VERY chic start! :) Happy 2012~

Mama Hen said...

Welcome 2012! That cake looks delicious! Happy New Year my friend!

Mama Hen

Sadia said...

You sound so fulfilled, even in the face of having a WHOLE LOT on your plate. Hugs!