Friday, October 15, 2010

Some Good Advise

We did our annual Corrigan family gathering in Sunriver over Labor Day weekend last month. One of the evenings, we gathered around the dining room table and toasted Nana and Poppy for celebrating 40 years of marriage on August 22nd. We each went around the table and shared a little bit and something my mom said that night has stuck with me and I hope it always does.
My mom and dad are humble people and have always been gracious and generous with what they have, whether it's a lot or a little.
In this day and age, it seems to be all about getting the next house, car, or whatever it might be. I'm as guilty as the next with seeing the world through materialistic eyes. My mom and dad on the other hand have ALWAYS been about people. Always. They invest in people and relationships.
As we gathered around the table in Sunriver that evening, my mom encouraged us to do the same. "Love people, invest in relationships. It's really the only thing we can take with us when we go."
Wise words, Nana....I took them to heart.
Here's Nana on her favorite Sunriver activity....the river raft float!
The pirate scavenger hunt that has turned into an annual tradition!
The kids' talent show...Nana manned the music for the girls to dance, she's always in the front row!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Letter

This has been a very different summer for our household. We've had a LOT of fun, but it's been very challenging. I hope to post some photos to remind me of all the fun we crammed into a few months.

Megan turned 8 on July 12th and it almost was like turning on a light switch to an attitude that I hadn't seen before. I didn't know if it was due to it being summer, her age, or the fact that I was primarily single parenting and on my own for discipline, etc. I don't consider myself a pushover, but since the girls hear my voice all day, it gets easy to tune it out and without a different voice to get their attention (i.e. daddy's voice) I seemed to get tuned out a bit and ended up using a voice none of us like! So began a vicious cycle that seemed to drag on all summer. It was very emotionally hard for me and I was deeply saddened that my little sweet girl might be making a turn to pre tween angst and attitude. I was not ready for this and just wanted my sweet girl back.

That leads me Wednesday when she came home early from school because she wasnt' feeling well. I don't remember what brought it up but sometimes our kids choose random times to share things. She shared with me that her friend (a boy we'll call J) gave her a letter and a little snickers candy bar. This little boy had a habit of giving her things over the years. They were in the same kindergarten class and 1st grade. His gifts were mostly toys and candy and one time he even gave her a $20 bill, but that was returned :) This year they are in different 2nd grade classrooms.

While volunteering in her classroom over the years, I've had the privilege to get to know most of the kids in her class. J is nice and sweet but I could tell he was a bit different socially. OK, back to the letter. As I was reading it, Megan shared with me that the previous day, J had approached her and asked her to be his friend. She promptly said yes, and then he told her that he had asked lots of kids in his class and everyone had said no except her. As he was sharing this, he started to cry. Megan said she reached over and wiped his tear away.

The whole thing brought me to tears. It saddened me that this little boy was lonely for friends and the fact that my daughter would befriend him just went straight to my heart. My sweet girl was still there, that was the best news of all for me.

Here's what the letter said:

Dear Magen I am vary Happy that I ask you if I can be your friend I always try to ask you.

I don't know what's down the parenting road for us, but for now I will hold this near and dear.

Thank you Lord for creating her with a compassionate heart to love those around her, may she continue to show Your love to others in this way.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tea Party

If you've never been to Myrtle's Tea house in Ridgefield, you are missing out on lots of girlie fun. We went recently to celebrate my mom and sister's birthdays. It was my and my girls' first time there and I can't wait to go back.

Pink hot chocolate...what could be cuter?

Katelyn was a little skeptical, but she couldn't resist!

All the food was fab!

Good-bye Myrtle...we'll be back soon!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Good Bye Pre K, Hello Kindergarten!

As I mentioned in my previous post, it seems that Katelyn changed before my very eyes this year. She started the school year as a shy little 4 year old and by the time the school year ended, she had grown physically, academically and socially. She and her friend Kate really helped each other come out of their shy shells this year. There were days when she woke up in the morning and I could swear she was an inch taller than when I had put her to bed the night before.

(take a peak at the front door pics from the first day of school and the last day of school relative to the lock on the door...even though she is wearing sandals with heels on the last day of school, she definitely grew a lot this year!)

She is reading some starter books and shows a real interest in continuing to learn to read. It's exciting to see her excitement! I'm proud of you Katelyn for trying to new things and getting out of your comfort zone!!! I can't wait to see what Kindergarten brings!

First day of pre-k

First day photo with Mrs. Lo

Last day of Pre-k

last day of school pose by the front door

good bye Mrs Lo, we will never forget you!! Thanks for a great year!

Schoooools out for Summer!

It's interesting and understandable how friends and family will notice your kids growing and looking older, but it's really weird to actually see it happen before my very eyes. This was one of those years where I feel like I woke up and they just looked different to me!
Megan had an awesome 1st grade year. She had a wonderful teacher, Mrs. Miller, and made some great friends. I had the privilege to make frequent appearances in her classroom and am VERY thankful that Mrs. Miller was so welcoming to having Katelyn be a pseudo 1st grader when we visited. I have to say Katelyn blended right in and the other students genuinely enjoyed having her there as much as she enjoyed being there. Megan became a real reader this year. Super proud of you Megan!

First day of 1st grade!

I think this was the second day of school

Mrs. Miller and Megan during the first week of school

and a whole school year later on the last day of school....

Thank you Mrs. Miller for a wonderful year...we will miss you terribly!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yankee Doodle Dance Machine

Trying to post this video is further proof that I'm not a techie! First of all, I video taped this from my dinasaur camcorder with a TAPE and all. Then I converted the tape to a dvd and tried to link it to the blog unsuccessfully. My last attempt was to upload to youtube and then link it, soooo I hope it works!

We had a really fun time at the recital although it was a LONG day and has taken us a few days afterward to recoup. Disclaimer on the video...Megan watched it and was quite embarrassed even though I think it's adorable, so please don't reference the finale with her, she will kill me if she knew I posted it like this, but it's too cute not to share!!!

Great job dancers!!! See ya next spring!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010


For most people, the day after Sunday is Monday, but this spring, the day after Sunday was Dancing with the Stars Day. I'm not sure how or when the obsession started, but it grows with each new season.

Dancer Chelsea and Jake the Bachelor were early favorites for Katelyn. She got really attached and this was a sad day.....

After I stopped the recording, there were REAL tears and lots of them!

But not long after they departed, her second favorite couple, Dancer Derek Hough and hip hop singer Nicole took first place on her list. This was them watching the finale. You can't really tell, but Katelyn tries to cover Megan's eyes because they were both too nervous to watch.

The thrill of victory and the agony of Defeat all wrapped up in spray tans and pretty costumes...can't wait for next season...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

She's Crafty

Not really, but every once in a while I give it a shot! I don't want my daughters to grow up and say that I never "crafted" with them! We started out with 6 prego spaghetti jars, scrapbook paper, mod podge and some paint brushes.

We had lots of fun and this is what we ended up with....

These cute little jars are actually money/coin jars. You see....we are starting our allowance program!!!

I'm excited to try this and REALLY hope it sticks. It's just as much work tracking as it is to actually do the chore, but two weeks into it and it seems to be working. There are plenty of ways to do allowance, but this is what we've decided to do:

Each child gets $1 per year old they are (Megan gets $7/week and Katelyn gets $5). From that they divide their earnings to each jar as follows:

50% savings

30% fun

10% giving

10% tithe

Each girl has their own chore chart and they have magnets for each chore completed. If they miss something, they are deducted. This program is as much for me as it is for them. I was doing too much random spending on them and it was not teaching them the value of money. The idea is that I will no longer purchase "random Target items" such as movies, toys, gum, etc. This will come out of their fun money. When their classroom has fundraisers, they can give from their giving jar. When they want to give the man on the corner with the cardboard money, they can. Savings isn't touched, we are just keeping that in their piggy bank.

Just yesterday, Katelyn and I were at the mall at Build-a-bear with a gift certificiate for $10 and that's all we spent. We looked through all the items and determined what she could purchase and she made her selection. Did she push for more?? Most definitely, but I reminded her that she could save up her fun money and buy whatever outfit she wanted. There was no whining or fussing. She is my "ask for everything under the sun and hope I've caught mom at a weak moment" girl, so I need this structure as much or more than she does. One small step towards financial $mart$!!!

So back to the crafting....I have a LOT to learn, such as a sheet is NOT a great protector of mod podge (called modge podge by yours truly up until quite recently). Thus, our kitchen table is currently being stripped down and restained. The mod podge was the last straw...the table was in bad shape! I won't give up the crafting, hopefully I won't wait 3 more years to attempt something new!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wedding Celebration

We had the privilege of attending Heather's wedding on a beautiful day on February. It was fun to get all dressed up with the whole family and join in the celebration

cousin of the bride!

Dancing with Daddy!

Daddy and his girls!

This photo has nothing to do with the wedding....Megan's class celebrated the 100th day of school and they were asked to dress like a 100 year old. I forgot until the night before, so I dumped the dress up box upside down and dug until I found this shrug and threw some baby powder in her hair! Happy 100th day!

Valentine's Day 2010

We had our 2nd annual family Valentine's Dinner. The girls remembered it from last year and requested to "eat with candles" again like we did last year....looks like the start of a fun tradition! They selected Tator Tot Casserole for their main entree and Damon and I had prawns and steak. Megan decided she liked our prawns better than the casserole (who can blame her) and proceeded to eat a few too many. How do I know she ate a few too many? The tummy ache started around 9 and ended around 1am when she surrendered the prawns into the big white porcelain bowl so they could start their own flushed away adventure. Poor thing...I must have mumbled something about the prawns being too rich because for the whole next week before she ate anything, she asked me if it was "rich" or not.

I made home made valentines again this year for the girls, a poet I am brain was sore for quite some time afterwards!
Even though Valentines Day is advertised as more of a romantice holiday, I have chosen for it to be a day to celebrate those special people that I LOVE with all my heart.

Our matchy matchy things are far and few between now, so when I see it, I must document the cuteness! I love you sweet girls....Happy Valentines Day!

Sock Hop

WAAAAAY back in February, Megan school did a "family fun night" sock hop dance. A FUN time was had by all. Thank you to the volunteers that gave up lots of time and energy to make it so enjoyable for all of us!

I have to give myself props for Katelyn's little outfit...It was Friday before Valentines day (heart shirt-check), it was also the day of the opening ceremonies of the olympics (red/white/blue USA scarf in hair-check) AND we did our best to look the part (50's outfit-check)
Don't look for any poodle skirts here folks, it was a quick 5 minute scramble to see what we could throw together!

she hula hooped her little heart out!

Everyone had a great time!
We can be quiet.....