Happy Anniversary to me!!!!

Guess what! I just looked back at my posts and yesterday was my one year anniversary of blogging! Woo Hoo! That's pretty cool to me-I didn't realize that it had been a year. And what a year it was! I guess that's why we blog, heh? I love looking back at what I've written and posted pictures of...like a diary. I guess now that I've done that, I really have to stick to my promise... more posts, coming up.

BTW------for anyone who cares....4 DAYS TILL STAGECOACH!!!!!! WOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!CAN'T WAIT!!!

So much to blog about....so little time....seriously...

ok, so I've made a little promise to myself to blog at least once a week. I'm no super blogger like some of you, but I'm going to do my best. I think it's really important to get my thoughts out and I really do like it, it's just about finding the time and making it happen. So that being said, I really do have sooooo much to blog about. I'm going to be posting a bunch of pictures soon, so I'm sure that will help. Here's a working list on things I've yet to blog about...

1. Taylor turned 15 in March-yikes! A few pics to be posted from that glorious day
2. DJ just turned 13-double yikes! I have two teenagers now! AAARRRRGGHHHH!
3. Cathie's move to Arizona-took a few pics, not as much as we should have. The move went well-we got a lot done on the house and we were all in good spirits until it came time for us to leave. Oh man were we a mess. We knew it would be hard-but it was nearly unbearable. I think what made it okay for me to actually drive away was knowing that we were going to see them in 2 short weeks and then 2 weeks after that (and now 2 weeks after today-to have the baby!). Anyways, it was good-their house was a wreck, but we fixed it up pretty good. I'm told it already looks different from when I was there!
4. Cath's visit and Baby showers-2 at school and one at my house-super fun days. Perfect weather. Pink and brown everything (including cupcakes!). Pictures to follow.
5. Open House & Grandparent's Day at school-also took some pics of my favorite project by the kids, plus Mom and Dad came by to spend some time with Benny, so that was a good day.
6. DJ''s big birthday party on Saturday-we took him and 3 of his buddies, plus Markie and Elijah and Ben, go-karting at K-1 Speed and then met up with the fam at Oggi's Pizza. It was very fun-I think he felt loved. At least I hope he did.
7.The FISH FEST was yesterday!! Not nearly as good as last year-but Cathie and her family were there (almost her whole entire family!) plus many families and friends from school-so it was a good day. Shannon took all the pictures, so I'm sure they're posted on her blog. If she sends me some, I'll post them.
8. Donald and DJ put together DJ's new basketball hoop (thanks to the best aunties in the whole wide world-Shannon, Courtney, and Cathie-who gets to be an auntie by default). I took some pics tonight as the boys played with it for the first time.
9. If you really want me too, I'll go back to the beginning of the year and catch up-I have great pics and video of New Year's Eve-we were rockin' with Shannon, Mandy, Cath, and the boys. Literally. DJ had just bought "Rockband" for his playstation and Benny had gotten his Wii, so we had a great night of playing games, being rockstars, and assembling a BBQ. I'll try to get into the details of that one later.

I know there's more, but my brained is fried just thinking of all of that stuff! Like I said, pics to come and I'll work my way through the list. BTW- in case anyone's counting...I have 28 days left of school. Ben has 26. Taylor and DJ have 38. We're getting so close to the end of the year-I can't believe how fast it's gone....wow...bye for now!



Oh yeah, mom just reminded me that I didn't give an update on the move...it's coming..let me download my pictures and I'll fill you in.....

Why I haven't blogged....

I've hit a wall. Literally, today, I hit a wall. At the risk of sounding sappy and emotionally unstable-My life has changed so much since Cathie left and I'm kind of having a hard time lately. (Sorry, Cath, if you read this, but we talk everyday, so this shouldn't surprise you.) Just about every aspect of life has changed, not necessarily for the bad, but just "changed". School has definitely not been the same-my new monitor is very sweet, she's from South Africa so she has an awesome accent, but she's pretty quiet and definitely doesn't have the presence that Cathie had. She also doesn't work as fast as Cathie does, so I'm having to take a lot more work home now and things are not getting done in the classroom like they used to. I'm a bit overwhelmed. The kids are getting used to her, but they ask about Mrs. Bratton daily-and some of them are very protective still about "her desk", "her calculator", etc. I know they'll be okay, and I will too, but it's just different.

Daily life has changed-it still feels so odd that we don't see each other every day. It's odd that whole weekends go by and the boys haven't come over, we haven't made brownies, and we actually went to bed at a decent time! There was a time when I could be having a bad day, call Cath crying, and she'd be over in a heart beat to help with whatever was standing in my way. Today should have been one of those days, but, I had to settle for a phone call. Let me start at the beginning. I have Open House on Tuesday at school. Anyone who's a teacher or is related to one, or is fairly active at their school knows that Open House means STRESS for teachers. So, I decided not to work the Grand Prix today and go into school and work on my classroom. Things have been neglected for the last 3-4 weeks and I had ALOT to do. Far beyond the norm. So, I headed over around 9 am and got to work. It started off fairly well, then, as I was standing on a student's desk to hang things from the ceiling, I fell. Yup, right off the desk. I caught myself with my leg (nice bruises forming already) so it wasn't a major fall, but it was the start of a yucky day. As I moved around the room, things started to fall apart-literally. I moved one of my history boards and the whole thing fell over and all the letters, posters, etc. fell right off. I went to dust my huge bookshelf and almost immediately, the shelves all decided to come off their holders and fall out of the bookcase-books and all. The entire back piece of the bookcase was off also-so I'm surprised it was even still standing. And so the morning proceeded like that-I knocked a flower vase off my desk and it broke and spilled water everywhere. This is where the wall came in to play-I threw my stapler at it. I was DONE! SERIOUSLY! So as I looked around my room and saw that every corner, every wall, every table, and every board needed help-I called Cath. The last time I did that-she dropped everything and came to school and helped me decorate and clean. Couldn't do that today. It was still good to talk to her, though, and it calmed me down. At that point, Donald and the boys came by, and we left to do an errand and eat lunch and that helped. After that, it was right back to work-you should have seen me, I had to reassemble about 10 clay pots that the kids had made and then promptly knocked off their desks, shattered to pieces, and then begged me to fix. So, I fixed them. Took an hour. Of time that I didn't really have. But, I love my kids, so I'll continue to do whatever I have to to help them enjoy the fourth grades.

Meanwhile, life has gone on, and God is good. DJ turned 13 last week (blog on that to follow), Taylor was in a dinner theatre play at church last week (blog also to follow), Donald has been going to great lengths to make sure he's here for us and helping me out, and the kids have been behaving. And we're dog-sitting Grandma's new puppy tonight! So, I know that there's more to life than Cathie-it's just a different life and I know God is faithful and we'll all be okay-I just miss her!