Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No more sippy cups and other stories...

As I mentioned previously, I have been planning to get rid of all Froggy Boots' sippy cups in preparation for her first school experience this coming fall.  I did it -- the sippy cups are gone (into the deep dark depths of the basement)!  Froggy Boots' child-size glasses and pitcher arrived 4 days ago and I also purchased a drink dispenser so she can get her own water.

We have been sippy cup free for 4 days now and everything is going as expected.  The first sippy cup free day, Froggy Boots only drank about 4 ounces of orange juice and 1 ounce of water.  But, by day 2, her fluid intake went up significantly.  She's still not drinking as much as she did before, but we are definitely making progress in the right direction!

Here's a picture of Froggy Boots on sippy cup free day 1:

The last few days have been extremely busy for my family.  It's been fun, but also tiring for all of us -- especially Froggy Boots!

On Sunday, we all went to a family birthday party.  Froggy Boots' cousin, who is about 3 weeks older than her, had her 2nd birthday party.  Froggy Boots had a good time!  She particularly enjoyed watching her cousin open presents and having cake and ice cream.

Here is a picture of the 2 girls together -- Froggy Boots on the left and her cousin on the right.  It's not the best picture, but it's the only one that we took of the 2 girls that did not turn out blurry.

The day after the birthday party was Memorial Day.  We all went to Chelsea, where my parents live, and watched the Memorial Day parade.  It's a really short parade, but still fun!  Froggy Boots took full advantage of the opportunity to ride in her stroller to the parade route.  We have not used a stroller in months since Froggy Boots is perfectly capable of walking most anywhere. 

After the parade we all went back to my parents' house.  Froggy Boots played in their backyard for quite a while -- going down her slide and swinging in her swing.  We also stayed and had some lunch before going home so Froggy Boots could take her nap before the next event of the day.

Memorial Day afternoon, we went to a friends' house for a BBQ.  I took advantage of the opportunity and made another cheesecake to bring along.  It sure was yummy! 

Froggy Boots enjoyed exploring in our friends' backyard!  She was very interested in the downspout on their house.  I watched and listened while my husband explained to her how a downspout worked -- so sweet!

This morning we also had plans!  My husband and Froggy Boots had not yet seen Go Like the Wind Montessori School, the school Froggy Boots will be attending in the Fall, so we decided to attend the schools' open house so they could take a look.  My Mom also came along to check it out! 

After being shy for a few minutes, Froggy Boots walked right into the classroom and joined the other kids in their work.  She seemed to feel very much at home and was not the slightest bit concerned when I walked away from her to try and catch the last bit of the conversation with the teacher.

I was very impressed that despite the fact that this was a classroom of kids ages 18 months through 3 years, it was very calm and all of the kids were engaged with their work.   The teachers were all either closely observing the children or actively engaging the children in age-appropriate lessons.  This was an example of the Montessori method at it's finest!

After we had a tour of the classrooms and met the teachers, we went outside to see the playground.  What a wonderful playground!  The climbing equipment was all age-appropriate -- Froggy Boots was able to climb right up one of the climbers and slide back down without any assistance!  When it was time to go, she did not want to leave the playground.

I do wish I had thought to take a picture of Froggy Boots in front of the school, but I guess I will get that opportunity when she starts in the fall!

I decided that I better get down to business preparing myself for fall at Ypsilanti Cooperative Preschool.  As I've mentioned before, I am switching to a Montessori-based curriculum this coming fall.  So, I have a LOT of preparation to do. 

For the last little bit I have been working on purchasing and making materials -- with which I have made some great headway.  Even though there is still a lot left to prepare as far as materials, I also need to spend significant time learning how to use the Montessori method.  I have the very basics down, but the specifics I still need to learn.  Thankfully, there is a wonderful website that offers videos of the lectures done by Margaret Homfray, who worked and trained directly with Maria Montessori in the 1930's.  In the lectures, Ms. Homfray presents each of the Montessori materials and shows exactly how and when they are to be presented to a child.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Finishing Touches, Furniture Move, and Flooding

Between all of the rain showers, I was finally able to finish up the garden in the front yard!  I only had to purchase a few new plants thanks to my mom and dad's amazing perennial garden and a generous neighbor from across the sidewalk. 

The only tricky part of the project was deciding how to fill the black metal plant stands (again, given to me by a neighbor in our old neighborhood).  They are basically metal baskets with wide openings on top of a metal stand, making it impossible to just fill them with soil -- the soil would just fall right out.  So, after some thought, I decided to buy some burlap and cut several layers to fit inside each basket to hold the soil.  I then planted some annuals inside each basket. 

The plants in the metal plant stands are a little flat from all the rain.  But, I'm hoping they will pop back up once the sun comes out again.  And, the plants in the garden are difficult to see in the photos since they are all small perennials that will need a couple years of growing before they are full-size.

Thankfully, I finished the front garden a day before the majority of the rain and thunderstorms hit our area.  But, the rain actually gave my husband and I a good opportunity to rearrange some furniture in our house that had been in the plans for a couple weeks. 

I was super excited when we moved into this townhouse because it had an actual dining room right off of the kitchen.  Our old townhouse only had a living room/dining room together.  However, after living here for about 6 months, I became aggravated with the fact that our dining room was only large enough to hold our family plus 2 guests for dinner. 

My solution to this problem was to move the dining room table into one side of our living room -- where Froggy Boot's play kitchen, table and chairs, and toy shelf were located.  This would give us plenty of room to put both leaves in the table and also have more than 2 people over for dinner. 

So, with it raining and thundering outside, we moved the dining room table and chairs into the living room -- which required taking the table apart.  While I had the chance, I went ahead and mopped the dining room floor really well.  Then, we moved Froggy Boot's kitchen, table and chairs, toy bench, and my small desk out of the living room and into the dining room.  It works out really well.  When I am in the kitchen, Froggy Boots can play in her kitchen right next to me! 

Then, I also took the opportunity to mop Froggy Boot's old play area really well before we set up the table and chairs in it's place.  Now, all we need is some pictures for the wall and I think the room will be complete!

Like I mentioned earlier, it was raining during the furniture move.  Well, it rained a little more than usual, causing some major flooding in our back yard.  I was not able to get a good picture of the flooding because it literally came right up to the back of our house and I couldn't get it all in the picture without going outside in the rain. 

With all of this additional rain, we had a couple minor leaks in our basement.  Fortunately, since we live in a co-op, we do not have to worry about any of the maintenance of the townhouse itself.  So, my husband called up to the office and they sent out one of the friendly maintenance men the next morning. 

After looking at the leaks, the maintenance man called a basement sealing company to come and fix the problem.  They will be coming next week to squirt some kind of something into the walls to stop the leaks. Don't ask me what that something is that they squirt into the walls -- it doesn't matter to me what it is as long as it works!

One last addition I made to the back yard last week was a small red bud tree.  It's a baby tree from the red bud tree my parents have in their yard.  It seems to be doing really well!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Cheesecake, Some Gardening, and a Concert

For the last several years, I have been deemed the family baker.  On birthdays and other celebrations I am the one who usually bakes something to bring.  So, for my Mom's birthday this year, I decided to bake a cheesecake.  For those who do not know me very well, anything I cook or bake is from scratch -- no boxed mixes, just plain old wholesome ingredients.

I have baked cheesecakes in the past, but this is the first one that turned out without a single crack in it!  That is until I had the brilliant idea to try and cover it (right out of the oven) with plastic wrap before putting it in the refrigerator.  Big mistake!  The plastic wrap touched down on the cheesecake, which had not yet completely set, and then as I stretched it across the top, it pulled on the cheesecake creating a big circular crack in the middle.

Despite the unfortunate crack in the middle, the cheesecake turned out wonderfully and was enjoyed by all!  I had intended to take a picture of it to post on my blog, but forgot.  Oh well, maybe next time.  If anyone is interested in the recipe, it is located in  The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion Cookbook.

So, now that preschool is over for the school year, I have had time to start my gardening.  I prepared the area in the back yard that I will be using for a vegetable/herb garden by removing the last of the day lillies and weeds, turning the dirt, and adding top soil and organic garden soil. 

Last year this area was just a mess of day lillies and weeds, which I dug up when we first moved in.  I very much dislike day lillies -- all they are good for is taking over any area you put them in!  They are horribly difficult to get rid of once they have started spreading and their flowers only last for about a second and then die off.

After the last day of preschool, I went shopping for the vegetable and herb plants to put in my new garden bed.  I bought tomatoes, grape tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, green onions, basil, cilantro, and a strawberry plant.  I already had some oregano to add to the bunch.

Today I was able to get all of my vegetable and herb plants in the ground!  Take a look!

Last night (when we ate the cheescake for my Mom's birthday), I also dug up some perennials from my Mom and Dad's house to plant in my front garden area.  These also made it into the ground today.  I'll post a picture of the front garden area when it is complete. 

Froggy Boots and I bought some more plants to add to the front garden this morning.  The plants are still in the car since it started pouring down rain as soon as we got home.  Hopefully they will make it into the ground this afternoon!

Saturday evening my husband and I had the privilege of seeing my step-daughter perform in her final concert of her senior year of high school!  I am truly amazed at her singing talent!  If my voice was half  as beautiful as hers, I would feel as if I had accomplished something spectacular!

Here is my step-daughter (second from the left) with some of her classmates singing the final song of the evening -- "The Good."  What an amazing song!  It left very few in the audience or on the stage without tears in their eyes.

Being a step-mom is like sailing through open water with a compass and no map.  You inevitably make some wrong turns along the way.  But, hopefully you will make more right turns than wrong and will end up back on dry land once again.

Sitting there listening to my step-daughter sing at her final concert felt like I had finally landed back on dry land.  I was able to come to the conclusion that no matter what mistakes I had made as a step-mom, I had done my best.  And, despite those mistakes, I hope that some of the things I did right had a positive influence on her life.  For me, this was my dry land.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Swimsuits and Sippy Cups

After purchasing swimsuits for Froggy Boots a couple years in a row now, I am noticing a trend in swimsuits for babies and toddlers.  Almost all of the swimsuits I see are 2-piece suits.  And, not the kind that are just 2-piece to allow for easy use of the potty.  I'm talking about full-fledged bikinis. 

Am I the only parent out there that sees this trend as a little inappropriate? And, is it really necessary?  I mean, why should a one-year-old be wearing a bikini anyways?  Who are they trying to impress?  The little boy from playgroup?  I kind of doubt it.  And, ultimately, who made the decision to buy that bikini for the one-year-old little girl anyways?  I can tell you who -- her mom or grandma maybe; but, definitely not the one-year-old little girl. 

So, the real question is then, why would someone choose to buy a bikini for a one-year-old little girl?  Maybe it just seemed cute at the time.  I can buy that reasoning -- we all have those moments of "oh, wouldn't she look cute in that!" even though it may be something that really isn't practical -- like a totally white dress for playing outside in the sandbox.  Or, maybe there are some misguided underlying beliefs about what value girls and women hold in society. 

Either way, I think this is an issue that we really need to address in our society.   This is not purely an issue of swimsuits, it's clothing for young girls in general.  If you have browsed through the children's clothing section of most any department store, you know what I'm talking about -- pants that reveal a girl's bottom when she bends over, crop-top shirts that show off her belly, and shorts that hardly cover her underwear (or diaper for that matter). 

What kind of message are we sending young girls when we dress them in clothing like this?  I believe we are inadvertently telling young girls that their value lies in what their body looks like.  And, I don't know about you, but I want my daughter to grow up knowing that she is valued as a person, not as a pair of breasts with a head, legs, and arms attached.  I know that is a little blunt, but I really think we need to be realistic here. 

The reality is, as much as we like to say that our society is above this kind of stereotype -- look at the ads you see in magazines, on TV, and even on the internet.  What kind of clothing are those women wearing?  Usually almost none.  And, what is the ad supposed to be promoting -- a car, a health bar, some cooking utensils?  So, why are the women in the ads showing off their bodies in such a way?  I think you get my point.

Anyways, I will move on from the swimsuit dilemma, because if I don't, this may turn into a book instead of a blog!

So, in preparation for Froggy Boots entering school next year and because she is totally capable of drinking out of a glass, I have decided that I am going to get rid of all the sippy cups in my house.  Well, I may put them in the basement for the time being just because of my own insecurities. 

The school Froggy Boots will be attending is a Montessori School.    She will be in the toddler classroom (18 months to 36 months).  One of the things I love about the Montessori method is that it encourages independence and use of "real" things -- one of those being child-sized glasses (yes, I mean glass cups, not plastic).  Since I have been doing my own research into the Montessori method for use in my preschool classroom next year, I already had an idea of where to look for such an item.  I found child-sized glasses through Montessori Services online and ordered a set along with a glass pitcher.

In addition to the glasses and pitcher, I also found another great idea from some photos online -- a drink dispenser placed at child height with some spill safeguards -- i.e. a bowl -- positioned below the spout.  What a great example of a Montessori "prepared environment!"  A drink dispenser is next on my list!

Down and out with the sippy cups!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fixes and more Falafel

It was brought to my attention that my blog was not allowing comments to be posted, so I figured out how to fix that and now anyone may leave a comment on my posts.  However, since ANYONE can leave a comment, all comments will be sent to me for approval.  This will prevent any unwanted comments from being posted -- i.e. SPAM.  So, please feel free to leave comments and if you have been reading my blog, please consider becoming a "follower."

I also had a request for my Falafel recipe.  Like a lot of my recipes, I find a recipe and over time adapt it to my liking.  My falafel recipe is adapted from the "Baked Falafel" recipe by: Bette on allrecipes.com


1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 lb. dry garbanzo beans, soaked and cooked
1/2 cup dry parsley
6 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 eggs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place garbanzo beans, parsley, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, baking soda, flour, and eggs in a large food processor.  Process until mixture is coarsely pureed. In a mixing bowl, combine garbanzo mixture and red onions and mix well. 

Using a cookie scoop or your hands, form the garbanzo mixture into 1 1/2 to 2 inch round balls and flatten slightly on 2 sides so they will sit nicely in the pot while frying.  Fill a large pot or frying pan with olive oil so that it will only cover the falafel balls 1/2 way.  Heat on the stove on medium-high heat until the oil is hot.  In manageable batches, place falafel balls in the hot oil and allow to cook until very slightly brown, but still green.  Using tongs, flip the falafel balls over and cook until very slightly brown, but still green on the other side.  Remove falafel balls to a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the extra oil and repeat until all falalfel balls have been cooked.

I serve my falafel in soft pita bread with lots of hummus, lettuce, and tomatoes (my husband likes tomatoes on his, I do not).

These turned out awesome, as I mentioned before.  But, if you want to treat yourself to falafel without making it at home, I highly recommend Jerusalem Garden on 5th St. in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  My falafel is awesome, there's is outstanding!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Family and Falafel

Today turned out to be a great day despite being over tired.  I was able to get a good solid nap in while Froggy Boots was taking her nap.  My husband's friend came over for a short while this afternoon and we were able to visit a little.  Then, Froggy Boots and I went to the grocery store to get everything we needed to make falafel with hummus. 

In the past I have done a quick pan fry in a small amount of 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil and then baked the falafel in the oven.  This time, however, I did almost a deep fry in 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pot on the stove.  Wow, was it ever delicious!  And, since I used only Olive Oil it was healthy as well.  The only down side to using 100% Olive Oil is, of course, the cost.  But, I justify that by buying the Olive Oil at Costco which comes at a much more reasonable price.

I have tried the almost deep fry approach with falafel before using a mix of half Canola Oil and half Olive Oil.  But, honestly, it was not anywhere near as delicious as using only Olive Oil.  I actually was planning to do the half and half approach again this time, but forgot to pick up Canola Oil at the store. 

I guess I should explain what I mean by "almost" deep fry.  I consider deep frying to mean completely submerging something in oil to cook it -- usually in a deep fryer.  So, to "almost" deep fry something I fill a large pot with Olive Oil to a level about half the height of whatever I am going to cook.  Then I fry whatever it is I'm cooking on one side and then flip it over and cook the other side.  This is much more economical than doing a total deep fry in a deep fryer because you use significantly less oil in the process. 

I'll also point out that I do not even keep vegetable oil in my house because not only is it unhealthy, it also lacks the health benefits of Olive Oil or even Canola Oil for that matter.  I generally use Olive Oil for cooking and Canola Oil for baking in place of the vegetable oil called for in many recipes.  I think the health benefits significantly outway the higher cost.

While Froggy Boots and I were at the store, my husband was on his way to pick up my step-daughter to visit for the weekend.  It's been a long while since we've seen her, so it was especially nice to have her here again.  Froggy Boots was just beside herself with happiness because her sister came to visit and when it came time for bed, she didn't want me to read her stories, she wanted her sister to read to her instead! 

I'm so glad that despite the almost 16 year age difference and the short amount of time Froggy Boots has to spend with her sister that they still have a real sister bond between them!  I hope it will continue throughout their lives!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MY Family is Forever!

I am not perfect.
I do make mistakes.
I have even been stuck in a mess.
But, you know what, it doesn't matter.
MY family is forever!

I ignore good advice.
I make some bad choices.
I can even be ungrateful.
But, you know what, it doesn't matter.
MY family is forever!

I share my opinions.
I don't always agree.
I may even say something hurtful.
But, you know what, it doesn't matter.
MY family is forever.

No matter who I am.
No matter what I do.
No matter where I go.
No matter how I get there.
No matter when I arrive.
No matter why I left.
It has never really mattered because...
MY family is forever!

This poem is for my family -- my mom, my dad, my big brother, my little brother, my big sister, my grandma and my husband.  You have always been there for me, no matter what.  You have always accepted and loved me for who I am, not what you think I should be.  You have always supported my decisions, even if they weren't the ones you would have made.  You have always stood by my side no matter what.  You have never condemned me because I didn't do what you wanted me to do.  You have never cast me away like I was disposable just because I didn't agree with you.  You have never attempted to manipulate me in any way in order to get what you want.  You have always been a true family to me -- MY forever family that I can always count on.  Thank you!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day and Monday

Mother's Day was a very busy day for our family.  Although the morning routine went about the same as it usually does, we did have the opportunity to participate in a child dedication with Froggy Boots and about three other families at church.  Froggy Boots had no interest in being up on the stage and kept trying to climb down.  After her efforts to climb off the stage were unsuccessful, she took off across the stage.  Fortunately, with the number of people standing with us, she did not have a chance!

Later that afternoon, Froggy Boots, my husband, and I went to the downtown library to surprise my Mom for Mother's Day.  Unfortunately, she was unable to attend Audrey's dedication or participate in any other Mother's Day fun because she was working.  So, we decided to bring Mother's Day to her!  We surprised her with a framed photo collage with photos of her and Froggy Boots and were able to visit for a while and check out some more books and Thomas movies.

After our journey to the library, we decided to go to Big Boy for dinner.  Big Boy is our regular place to go out to eat with Froggy Boots.  She always looks forward to "roni and cheese" and chocolate milk when we go there.  The fast, friendly service is always a plus as well!

At some point during the day on Sunday, Froggy Boots began this intermittent barking cough.  It was definitely worse at night -- although she still only coughed about once an hour and it only woke her up once at about 3:30am.  The cough was, however, exacerbated by a night terror around 9:30pm.  She started crying and thrashing about, so I went into her room to hold her until the night terror was over.  The crying caused her to begin gasping for breath, which was pretty scary.  After doing some research online Monday morning, I came to the conclusion that she probably has a minor case of croup.  So, I called the Dr. this morning just to make sure I didn't need to bring her in.  The nurse advised me of what to watch for and at what point I would need to bring her in if it got worse.  So far, Froggy Boots has not gotten any worse, so I think we are probably in the clear.

I'm just wondering what happened to my healthy little girl!  Until two months ago, she had not been sick even once.  And, now, all of the sudden, she has been sick three times in two months.  Thankfully, when she is sick, she is generally just as happy and content as when she is healthy.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Puzzles and Parties

Last night I decided to break out the 12 piece puzzles I have been saving for Froggy Boots.  She's mastered all of her 6 piece puzzles and since she enjoys a challenge, I thought now would a be a good time to get her started with the 12 piece puzzles.  She spent her last 15 minutes before bed working on one of the new puzzles and then another 45 minutes this morning on it -- just doing it over and over and over again.  I worked with her at first, but now she can do it all my herself!  So, 12 piece puzzle #2 also came out this morning and she now has that one mastered as well.  I guess I need to find some more puzzles for her to do!

This afternoon we had the final preschool get-together of the year -- an ice cream social at the park.  It was a beautiful day, nice and sunny when we first arrived.  But, within a few minutes it started getting cloudy and cold.  I, of course, win the mom of the year award for not bringing a sweater for Froggy Boots.  Fortunately, one of the other mom's had a shirt she let Froggy Boots wear over the top of her very event-appropriate ice cream shirt.  But, no, I did not actually dress her in that shirt in preparation for the event.  Although, maybe I could get that mom of the year award back if I said I planned her clothing to match the event!

In any case, Froggy Boots ate her bowl of ice cream -- chocolate and vanilla both -- as I held it down to keep it from blowing away.  Did I mention it was also windy?  However, at one point it did blow away and splattered chocolate ice cream all over my capris and my leg.  I also ate a decent size bowl of vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge on top, which I managed to eat and throw away before the wind took it.

After we ate our ice cream, Froggy Boots played for a while on the climbing structures and I pushed her around for a in one of the other kid's car/stroller things.  I'm not sure what they are called, but it's this little red car with a handle for a parent to push the child.  Pretty cool and Froggy Boots enjoyed the ride.

Then I decided it was time to go home because I was cold and I wanted to have time to make dinner.  So, still being left with only a short amount of time to cook, we are having homemade "roni and cheese" -- Froggy Boots favorite.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Seeds and Searching

Today on the preschool front, my 3's class began it's study of seeds & plants.  I was happy to find out that some of the kids do know where seeds come from. This was especially exciting to me after my recent discovery that none of my 3's class kids knew where eggs come from!  I guess it's a sign of the times.

After a discussion of, and a book about where seeds come from, the kids were able to explore further by looking inside some different fruits to find their seeds.  Some of the kids were somewhat surprised that they eat seeds every day without even knowing it (until now).  Later, magnifying glasses were available to get a closer look at the seeds and their homes -- an opportunity that was definitely taken advantage of by many of the kids (some more than others, of course).

On the home front, Froggy Boots had a short visit from one of her Grandmas (my husband's Mom) and then went down for her regular afternoon nap -- from which she still has not woken up (3:30pm).  During her extended nap period I was able to do some more preparation for my switch from a traditional preschool curriculum to a Montessori curriculum for the 2011-2012 school year.  After searching for close to an hour for a Montessori lesson plan template and having almost no luck whatsoever, I determined that I might as well give up the search and create my own.  So, that is what I did.  Once I figure out how to add files to my blog I will post my Montessori lesson plan templates for anyone who might be interested in using them.

This evening is the final board meeting of the year for my preschool.   Instead of meeting at the church where the preschool is located, we are meeting at the current year board president's house.  I'm looking forward to a yummy potluck style selection of  hors d'oeuvres.  My preschool Mom's are some of the best cooks out there!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From Farm to Financial Aide

Today was an exciting day!  My preschool 4's class went on a field trip to Real Life Farm in Canton, Michigan.  My husband and daughter came along as well.  Interestingly, my husband attended summer day camp at Real Life Farm as a child 35 years ago. 

We participated in many activities including feeding baby goats and sheep, milking a cow, making butter, going on a hay ride (although it should be called a straw ride), and riding horses in a corral.  Froggy Boots (my daughter) was a little impatient at times (not surprising since she's not yet 2 years old), but enjoyed seeing all of the animals, sitting next to the cow while I milked it and chasing after the ducks and geese.  It was a long, fun day at the farm complete with lots of mud from all of the rain we've been having here in Michigan.  Thank goodness we brought along the froggy boots (real boots this time, not my daughter)!

On a totally different subject, Froggy Boots received her acceptance letter to one of the local Montessori schools for the 2011-2012 school year.  After going back and forth about whether to send her to Montessori school or not, we finally decided this would be the best fit for her.  Of course, like most people, we are financially limited, which makes even the thought of going the Montessori route seem next to impossible.  Fortunately, after filling out what seemed like an endless amount of online paperwork, we have been blessed with a scholarship directly from the school to help pay tuition. 

We, however, are still not in the clear as far as paying for tuition.  The school's top tuition award is 50% (which is what we qualified for), which leaves us with the other 50%.  Although much more manageable, this is still more than we can cover for any extended period of time.  So, I'm in the process of applying for a secondary scholarship from another organization.

Let me just say that applying for private schools and scholarships is a very time consuming process and does cost some money.  There is a lot of paperwork as well as school application fees and fees from the outside companies who collect your financial information.  So, before you decide to go down the private school road, make sure the school you are applying to is one that you really believe will benefit your child.  Once you start the process, it is very difficult to go back because you already have so much time and money invested in the process.  Thankfully, I have no doubt that the Montessori method and the school to which we have applied are an excellent fit for Froggy Boots!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wife, Mother, Preschool Teacher

Let me begin by introducing myself.  My name is Mieke and I have three jobs --  wife, mother, and preschool teacher.  I decided to call the different aspects of my life "jobs" because of a bumper sticker I once saw.  It said, "Every Mother is a Working Mother."  That is by far one of the most insightful bumper stickers I have ever seen.  It doesn't matter whether you work in the home, outside the home, or both -- being a Mother is work -- a work of love for sure, but still work!

All of my jobs are very rewarding, but in very different ways.  As a wife I have had the opportunity to share my life with my best friend.  As a mother I have had the opportunity to watch one of God's most precious gifts blossom from newborn baby to independent toddler.  And, as a preschool teacher I have had the opportunity to see many children learn and grow more than I could ever have imagined.

My intention for this blog is to share some of my life with those who would care to know about it.  I have found a lot of useful information on blogs and hope that over time I can do the same for others.