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Friday, April 21, 2017

Weeks13 & 14 @ The Dahlhouse

Week 14 was pretty uneventful around the Dahlhouse.  Which was welcome after last weeks birthday festivities.  I was ready for a break.  Week 15 involved our spring break fun, which included a couple of days we went swimming at the YMCA, a day beach trip and hanging out with friends.  Here are a few highlights!
RELAXING while the girls and I got pedicures for their birthdays.  It was pretty much the cutest thing ever!  Bella may or may not have had to hold my hand during part of the pedicure.  LOL.
 SPINNING the wheels on Bella's baby doll stroller!  Seriously....this kid!

HUNTING turkey!!!  Gobble-gobble!  Luke went on his 2nd annual turkey hunt and was VERY successful this year!
REDECORATING the kids' bathroom with a woodsy theme.  I heart Bears and Moose!



 EATING at Pig-N-Pancake or as Bella calls it "PIGS-N-A-BLANKET".  It's all the same!


FREEZING our buns off at the Seaside, OR turnaround.  We really did have a very fun day.  It was just a little rainy.
STOPPING to enjoy these moments.  He is growing too quickly and awww man...he has my heart!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Week 12 @ The Dahlhouse "Birthdays and Tests"




I wish I was way better at keeping up with this blog.  Even a weekly update seems to be too much for me.  Sheesh.  I am always behind.  Life continues on regardless.  Here is the latest...

TESTING Matthew at Legacy Salmon Creek.  He had a swallow study.  He wasn't so happy about being strapped into the purple chair, but he was a trooper.  We are happy to find out that he is not aspirating into his lungs when he has his choking/gagging episodes.  It is a relief to have the test over with.  He still presents a delay in foods/textures/swallowing for his age.  But he is making progress.  It is slow progress, but progress.

CELEBRATING a 14th Birthday!  I can't believe my boy is 14 years old!  Crazy.  This was the first year I didn't bring treats to his classroom.  I've been doing that since preschool (sniff, sniff).  Instead, I snuck into the school and decorated his locker (when he was in class) and brought him his favorite lunch (Subway)!  He was thrilled to get his mountain bike as a present.  Luke has grown so much this past year that he needed a taller bicycle. 
PLAYING with his birthday gift from mom and dad.  Mark finally assembled the pirate ship water table, although he is really having fun playing with it sans water.  LOL.  There are so many fun things that spin.
CELEBRATING this girl's 7th Birthday!  I remember the doctor wanting to deliver Bella on Luke's birthday and I begged him to please just give me one more extra day.  Bella needed her own special day.  So I got my wish (actually I got two days between the two of them).  She wanted me to come to her school and have lunch with her.  Her request for lunch???? KFC chicken leg with mashed potatoes and a biscuit.  Seriously!!!  A girl after my own heart!  LOL.

HAVING lunch with this beauty too!  She enjoyed filling me in on all the happenings of the 5th grade, and I got caught up on all the fun gossip!
CELEBRATING some more!!!  We went out to dinner with both sets of grandparents and Uncle Thom.  They love the Japanese restaurants that cook the food right in front of you.  So that is what they all got!  Even Man Cub was entertained.  BTW he LOVES fried rice!


(Not sure what to think of the mouse).
STILL CELEBRATING at the end of the week.  It was a long week!  This little one had her very first friend birthday party at Chuck E Cheese.  So many of her friends came out to celebrate her.  It was so much fun and Bella had the best time!
READING the book Wild.  After reading 2 books on our vacation, I thought I would breeze through this book quickly too.  Not.so.much.  I am enjoying the book; however, when you add in all my responsibilities...it makes finishing a chapter a huge goal. 
QUESTIONING so many things.  Everything from faith, to my role, to the cars we drive.  I just feel I am in a season of uncertainty. 
STRUGGLING with my value.  I know I am valuable to my husband and kids (and maybe that is enough).  I just keep thinking about am I really important to the rest of the world outside my door.  My therapist (yes I am in therapy) suggested that perhaps I am struggling with "just being a mom".  Since I am no longer a classroom teacher and we are no longer foster parents (gave up our license last year) I am struggling to find value outside of those titles (both titles that came with certificates that indicated training and completion and competency).  It's not pretty.  But...it is real life. 

LOOKING forward to spring break which is almost here.  Happy to have a break and some down time with the kids. 

HOPING for some sunshine!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Work From Home Job...VIPKID Teaching Chinese Students Online


In January, I began a new adventure!  Never in a million years did I think that I would work for an online company.  But in an effort to have an open mind, I decided to apply for VIPKID after thinking about it for several months.  I interviewed, and had my mock lesson interview and was hired all online!  VIPKID is a company that matches American teachers with Chinese students for one-to-one tutoring.  It is done completely online!  I filled out all my paperwork, provided tax documents, teaching license and diploma.  After working for VIPKID for two months, I am happy to report I absolutely LOVE it, and I have been paid on time each month!

The Chinese students are amazing!!!  I love getting a small glimpse into their lives all the way around the world in Beijing, China.  All VIPKID teachers wear orange shirts.  It is kind of our uniform and an easy way for the students to identify us.  I have been able to get some of my teaching things out of storage and use them again.  I use A LOT of props in my teaching...puppets, bubbles, foam letters, flashcards, plastic fruit and veggies, board books, posters, white boards, finger puppets, toy vehicles...well...you get the idea.  I began with my virtual classroom set up down stairs, but due to times I was teaching and the longing for a permanent place, I moved into our closet and set up my classroom!

Here is the view you have when walking through the door of our closet.  Usually the computer is on the center of the desk, but I am having to move it up and down the stairs a couple of times a week.  Hopefully I will be able to get a laptop soon so I don't have to move the PC.  My "classroom" was decorated for Valentine's day, but if you glimpsed in today it is decorated for St. Patty's day.
Bella  LOVES all the teacher stuff I have out.  I occasionally will find her in my "office" with her teaching away to imaginary students.  She also likes to leave me notes!


This is my view from my desk when I sit down to teach.  Lots of props around and you can get a glimpse of what the program looks like.  The student will eventually appear in the top box and I will be in the bottom box.  The curriculum is off to the left and is in a PowerPoint format; however, the screen is able to be written on.  Pretty amazing.  In my two months with VIPKID, I have been VERY impressed with the job and opportunity.  If you would like to work for this great company you can apply at VIPKID WEBSITE.  Also you can tell them I sent you by using my referral code if you would like.  MY CODE  https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=3266666

This opportunity has been really great for me.  I teach mainly when my kids are in bed for the evening and a couple early mornings.  It's giving me a chance to contribute.  In January, I only taught 6 classes, but in February I taught 31 classes.  I am aiming for 45 classes this month.  As you gain new students, your schedule begins to fill.  You set your own hours...no minimum hours either.  You do need a bachelor's degree and some experience working with children.  A teaching license is helpful but not necessary.  If you have any questions I would be more than happy to answer them.  Just send along an email and I will get back to you!



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Week 6 @ the Dahlhouse

*I am a little behind on my updates so instead of abandoning my goal...I'm going to make up some lost time here.
WATCHING the Super Bowl at Mimi and Papa's house!

COMPLETING BIG projects and feeling proud for what he accomplished on his own!

ACCOMPLISHING taking all 4 kids to the dentist on the same day at the same time.  Only one cavity needing a little fix.  ***Look at Bella's headband!!! She kills me!!!  Looks more like a sweatband.  LOL

HELPING Mom do dishes.  Man Cub is always helping....ALL.THE.TIME..
SMASHING Cake at our wonderful friend Brienne's house!  It was everything that I hoped it would be.  Matthew really smashed his cake.  He actually stood up and pushed down on his cake.  It was beautiful!!!









Friday, February 17, 2017

One

How is it possible he is one?  How come time goes by so quickly?  A year has passed and I can hardly believe how time has changed him, how he has developed and grown.  My sweet, squishy baby has had an incredible year and has turned into a busy, funny toddler.  Toddler!!! Seriously.  Babyhood goes by so quickly. 


Dear Matthew,

As your sister Bella has written in her kindergarten journal, "thank you for being born."  I am a better mama for having you.  I am a better person for you being in my life.  What a privilege to care for you, teach you, love you.  Though you only say three words, you have taught me so much this past year.  As a new mama of four, I have had to learn to let go.  Let go of this grand idea of a clean house, let go of some ideas (nursing), let go of trying to control everything.  This past year, I made it a point to always remind myself to be in the moment.  To hold you longer...to linger in the normal day-to-day routine.  I haven't rushed you to reach milestones, but at times couldn't believe that you were reaching them so quickly...like walking at 11 months.  You are my last little baby.  I knew that you would be the moment I found out I was pregnant with you.  We have been celebrating firsts and lasts simultaneously this past year.  I am looking forward to your 1st birthday party...and yes perhaps I have gone over the top a bit...but life is precious...and milestones are meant to be celebrated and my heart is that I just want to celebrate you.  You allowed Luke to have a brother.  You are the baby that Grace wanted and realized that she loves kids.  You are buddy Bella needed and you are silly with her.  You are the completion to my crazy crew and you were a son to your dad.  I can't imagine life without you.  You are my heart outside my body (just
like your brother and sisters before you).  I love you like crazy Man Cub.  Happy, happy first birthday!  We couldn't love you more.

XOXO,
Mom





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