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Parker is my little cartoonist in training. He draws the funniest pictures. This is the face of walking in a spider web. It’s from a collage of pictures he drew when we went out to eat over a month ago.

School started back up this week. The kids got Monday off to observe New Year’s Day. We told them the night before that they needed to go to bed on time and wake up on time so Tuesday wouldn’t be such a shock. Parker set his alarm and woke up on time. Gavin set his alarm and somehow slept through it. He woke up at 9:00 which I consider a win since he normally sleeps past 10:00 and we have to wake him up.

Gwen was up about the same time she normally gets up for school. She’s lucky because school starts so late in the morning. Her bus is scheduled to arrive at 8:47 but is typically at least ten minutes late.

It has been bone chilling cold this week. Mornings start out in the teens. The sun shines all day and we warm up to the low 30’s. With 80% humidity I don’t care who you are, that’s cold! The snow from late Saturday night still has not melted nor has the ice from the sidewalks so Heath drove the kids to the bus stop yesterday. He is such a nice dad he even lets them sit in the car while they wait.

On Tuesday the boys’ bus was late. So late in fact, that their dad took them to school. We got an email from the school district that evening saying that 17 buses wouldn’t start due to the cold! Today Heath had a call and wasn’t able to take Gwen. I took her because I love her. It was a whole two degrees warmer this morning! Tomorrow should be closer to normal so all kids will be back to walking to the bus stop.

Over the break Parker had to do a book report on a cereal box. He did a really good job. Heath helped him wrap the box in white butcher paper so it looked better. Parker glued his paragraphs and his cartoon drawing of the book cover onto the paper covered cereal box.

Yesterday his class was supposed to present. Completely unbeknownst to me, Parker woke up at 5:00 am to practice his speech! That boy amazes me. His teacher was very impressed with him. She told him that he was the only student in the class who had actually memorized his speech. The rest of the kids were reading straight off their cereal boxes! My heart swelled with Beverly Goldberg pride for my amazing snuggle monkey. What a great kid! Oh and he said he aced another science test too. Seriously … great kid!


Parker draws the funniest cartoons of his brother and sister. This is Gavin talking randomly to fill the space, as he often does. The other night at dinner Gavin was saying that he’s learning about utopian and dystopian societies in English. I asked what book they would read as an illustration.

Gavin: The Giver, of course! That’s the book we always read when we talk about utopian and dystopian societies.
Me: Great! I love that book and I know you like it too.
Gavin: Mmm Hmm … I get to write another essay!

We call him Essay Man because he loves writing essays. And he’s really good at it too. He’s wrecking the curve in one of his classes. The teacher is kind of stupid about it though. Gavin has the highest score but she tries to grade according to the majority of students who more or less are failing her assignments. If I had my smart guys (Heath or Gavin) here to help me I would explain it better. The point is Gavin is brilliant. I love that kid!

He went roller skating for the first time last night. I know. My poor kids have led such a sheltered life. He wasn’t the only one who was on roller skates for the first time. Heath convinced his apprehensive deacons to try skating by promising them treats from the food court. One kid goes to that skating rink once or twice a week with his family. He wondered where his treats were. He didn’t get any! Gavin spent a lot of time hugging the walls but he did participate in the Hokey Pokey in the middle of the floor. Gavin also bargained with his dad that he would try skating if Heath promised not to take any pictures. Fair enough.

I have no new Gwen stories. She is still our little ambassador. Okay, one story. Tonight she did McKenzie’s hair in a fancy ponytail. She put in several fuzzy elastics spaced out evenly down the ponytail. The clear plastic ones are hard for me to get into the doll’s hair. Gwen was almost in tears she was so frustrated. I told her to use those hair ties that I never use in her hair. Anyway, the ponytail was supposed to look like Princess Jasmine’s hair with the bubble ponytail. She did a great job. I was happy for her.