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I don’t remember quite how old I was.  I believe it was late grade school, fourth or fifth grade.  It was the third night in row that she had forgotten and by then, I was pretty upset.  No tears…yet, but very disappointed.  I took the tooth downstairs to my mother and in a slightly broken voice told my mom (thankfully no older brothers were around) that The Tooth Fairy had failed to visit 3 nights in a row, and that I didn’t understand, and I wasn’t sure what was going on.  My mother, bless her, looked both shocked and embarrassed.  Starting with an apology, she told me the truth, that SHE was the elusive Tooth Fairy and that SHE had forgotten my tooth, three nights in a row.

And how, might you ask, did I react?  Tears or shouting?  Sobs or anger?  I remember it quite well: What she said made sense and it kind of “clicked” in my head, and everything was okay.  And that’s what I said, “Oh.  Okay.”  And walked off to throw my tooth in the trash.  I’m not sure why, but that truth really didn’t bother me.  Maybe because I already knew that Santa wasn’t real.  Ah, the wonders and innocence of youth.

Christians have very diverse opinions on the classical mythical characters of Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy.  I know because I have heard and read the gambit; from vehement, total rejection to passionate, total inclusion.  In my home, we have leaned toward inclusion without blatant lying.  Yes, a hybrid of sorts.  For example, we put presents under the tree on Christmas Eve, but don’t say “From: Santa” on the tag.  Just leave it blank.  But I have never been one to blatantly lie to my children.  If they ever asked me point blank if there was a Santa Clause, and they have, I tell them point blank “No.”

Now this may seem shocking, but it has never been shocking to my children.  When my older two girls asked me about Mr. C., and I told them he wasn’t real, they laughed.  Hard.  And said, “Oh Daddy, you’re so funny!”  Yep, I told them the truth and they wouldn’t believe me.  And that routine went on for the next 4 years until they finally asked someone else about it, and they believed them.

When I forgot to get the tooth for my oldest daughter 2 nights in a row, and she was upset, I decided enough was enough, told her the truth and gave her extra money.  Yes, I “bought her off.”  She took the news well.  I’m pretty sure I repeated this financial exchange for my next daughter a year later.

Now years later, we come back to the present.  Last week, to be exact.  I had, not surprisingly, repeated my mother’s error of forgetting a tooth 3 nights in a row for one of my younger two daughters.  To her great credit, she was not as upset as I once was.  But, instead of dreaming up some fancy tale as to why The Tooth Fairy didn’t come, that night I decided it was time to tell them the truth.  I took a quarter and an extra dollar for each of my twins (Couldn’t break the news to one and not compensate the other!) and went to them.  They were upstairs waiting for me to come and say goodnight.  The tooth was under the pillow.  With the lights full on and them watching, I pulled a shiny quarter from my pocket, reached under the pillow, and swapped it for the tooth.  The reaction was immediate.

Shrieks and giggles.

“Daddy, stop!  The Tooth Fairy won’t know where to find it!”

“Daddy, you’re so silly!”

“Daddy, you’re not The Tooth Fairy!”

And more giggles.

“Yes I am.  I am The Tooth Fairy.  I have been The Tooth Fairy for over ten year!”

Even more giggles.

“Daddy!  Ha, ha!  You’re no fairy!”

I was getting absolutely nowhere.  Just like their older sisters, they took my offering of truth as a joke.  I decided to enlist some help.  If they wouldn’t believe me, maybe they’d believe their older sisters.  I called them both upstairs and shortly they stood before me and their younger siblings, who were still giggling.  Can you see the train coming?

Knowing my older daughters penchant for dramatization, I set the stage by stating, “I’m going to ask you a question and I just need a yes or no.”

They looked at me, and then at each other, and started giggling themselves.

“Is the Tooth Fairy real?”

There was much commotion after this question, with laughter by all four girls, so I felt the need to repeat myself.

“I only need a yes or no.”  My oldest is grinning so broadly that I know I’m in trouble.  “Is there a Tooth Fairy?”

Both older daughters loudly say, “Yes!” and emphatically nod their heads.  Oh, the giggles.  I was utterly defeated by 4 young girls.

“Fine.”  I was prepared for tears, prepared to pay, and prepared to cuddle.  I wasn’t prepared to be laughed at.   I sighed, put the tooth back under the pillow, and put the quarter back in my pocket.  I thanked my older two “For nothing!”, kicked them out, finished saying “Goodnight” to the twins, and went downstairs.

A few minutes later, the older two were, between laughs, telling their mother what had happened.  It was a classic set up, and if I was in their position, I probably would have done the same.  It was great situational comedy which they thoroughly enjoyed.  At my expense.

But I couldn’t leave it that way.

“Just remember, you will both grow up, and some day be married, and some day have your own children.  And they’ll ask me, ‘Grandpa is there really a Santa Claus because mommy says there isn’t.’  And I’ll remember this night and how much you helped me and said to your children, ‘Yes, there is a Santa Claus.  Your mommy’s only saying that because she was very naughty when she was young and got mostly coal in her stocking.’”

More giggles.

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Oh how I miss the lesson plans being done for me.  Planning out each subject, then fitting it into a schedule that works with teaching two grade levels, and with three subjects that the older two both are doing but can not do at the same time (2 of which need my assistance)….blech.

Okay, now that the mumbling is out of the way this post can continue and in a better manner.  I did finally figure out a schedule where the older two can switch out the subjects when the other is working on them, I can assist when needed, and also with a block of time where they are self-learning so that I can do phonics, handwriting, and math with the twins.  It only took me about a month to sort, sift, and organize it all amongst all the things we wanted to get done this summer. 

I decided to ease into school this year.  The older girls have already started their Teaching Textbooks math and they love it.  It has a good track record, was recommended to me by sources I trust, and is looking to be a good fit for our family.  Next up we will add in a handwriting refresher in cursive for them and beginning printing for the twins.   After that I will probably add in reading.  History will be next since it goes hand in hand with my plans for 5th grade reading.  The girls will all four be doing history together, though at a much deeper level for the older two.  The twins will be enjoying the “story” of it along with a look at the globe and a map.  The older two will be making a timeline along with lists of important people, inventions, etc. 

It is my hope to have us up to full-time by the end of next week so that we can get a couple of weeks full-time in before vacation.  Vacation this year is a light affair. No tromping through theme parks or driving all over creation.  We are going to hop on an airplane, sit by the pool, hit the golf course once or twice, and read.  I am bringing some school with us.   I will not be bringing much with us, enough to keep a bit of momentum, but nothing that will eat into our days. 

On a side note: isn’t my sweet husband lovely when he is on a diet, lol!  I am not having the issues he is having on this diet.   My energy is down, but that is something that I hear is common.  I am getting tired of eggs for breakfast, but not being picky about what I eat, I have had a few no-egg mornings.  I do have to say that come monday I am  not sure which fruit I am going to eat, but I know I am picking fruit over grains or sugar.  While on this diet I canned nearly 50lbs of the sweetest juiciest peaches.  Having the girls test the gel on my preserves was so hard and I slipped up once and stuck the frozen spoon in my mouth without thinking.   The girls are begging my to make a cobbler out of the peaches we canned with honey and spices, but I know my limits.  Jam I can resist, cobbler would be too much smelling so warm and spicy sweet while dishing out.

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We are currently working on finding a curriculum for the girls’ school.  The virtual academy we have been with for the last  couple years has been nice, but it is not working.  Too much of the girls’ time is spent preparing for testing, and not enough comprehensive learning is happening.  They are bored, getting their work done so that it is done.  I want my girls to love learning as much as I do.  I want them to look forward to new subjects, to be able to take extra time on that which captures their interest. and to not know the “rules of standardized test taking” better than the rules of handwriting. 

So it is time, we are going to what some would call a “traditional home school” set-up in our home.  The curriculum that our school had was fairly good, I know we will miss much of it.  The cost of purchasing it, however, is out of the question.  Hence, it is the season for curriculum.  What to do for kindergarten?  Has it really been only four years since we last did K?  How does time go so fast and what did we do that worked that first year? Where should I start at with writing (a subject I feel they are weak on) the grade level they will be in (fifth) or the first so that they do not miss out on anything in the earlier levels?  Which math?  Latin would be nice, but how to fit it in with everything else.  So many questions, and that is just the beginning.  We are starting to fine-tune a plan.  It consumes many of my thoughts.

Speaking of thoughts.  We have decided to list our home and move, though we are still staying in the same city.  That plus curriculum and I feel like my brain has been stretched to its limit.  Thankfully, I am wrong and there are still cells firing strong when it comes time to cook dinner, can jelly, or settle a sisterly spat.  More on the house later as it is a post of its own.

Other random thoughts:

  • 12 days until we are on a beach taking in a bit of therapy sunshine after the long winter…us used loosely as it’s just the girls and I on a trip with my mom and her mom (hooray for grandmas!)
  • daylight savings time messes with me something awful, I still feel a bit off
  • between the last post and this we came down with what I call the coughing crud around here.  It was a 2 week-long illness that knocked you flat and when you finally did come out of it a bit, you had a cough that would not stop.  So glad the last one of us is on the tail end of it.
  • we now have a cat with a bum eye to add to our home (and not, the three-legged dog was not fond at first, but they seem to have worked out a peace agreement in the mean time.)
  • God is so good, all the time…even when I do not see it, looking back I see His hand!
  • warm dirt and fresh veggies are in my not too distant future

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hello?

tap, tap…

Is this thing on? 

I used to blog here.  I used to work up thoughts and match a photo or two with them.  What happened? 

Life, that’s the short answer.  Since my last postings, life happened.  The girls are still swimming, the twins are still chasing after their older sisters at record pace leaving me both pleased (so much love, so many memories) and sad (time slips between my fingers so swiftly and these days can not be had twice.)  Last summer and fall, I just wasn’t sure I would make it.   Of course, I made it since here I am typing.  I knew then that I would make it, but just didn’t feel it. 

So here is a photo or two for those interested in how my girls have grown.  Hopefully it won’t be months again before the next post.  I’ve blogged since Spring of 2006…no sense in stopping now. 

edited to add that while I would love to take credit for these photos, they aren’t mine.  I can only take credit for the cute kids

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29/365 lips

I was going to try taking some more food photos today.  I got sidetracked.  Who could resist that serious face.  She was looking out the window telling me about the cat that walks through our yard and how cold it must be.   She was concerned enough that her little lips worked into a pout.  Love it!

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Fall Soccer

Liz is at it again, and so we take the mini van all over this quarter of our state.  Forest is coaching this year and that has worked out pretty well.  He enjoys it, the girls seem to enjoy it, and Liz has yet to be embarrassed (just kidding honey.)  Liz is pretty good at it when she is paying attention.  Sometimes she just seems to drift into her own world and it cracks me up.    

I like soccer games, the girls really get into the game.  There are parents, though, that get on my nerves.  If you can’t go to a U8 soccer game without  cussing or degrading the players, please sit far away from me or stay in your car.  I just can not stand it.  Those girls are just girls, not college level athletes.  There is so much in life pressuring our kids to grow up fast, do they really need language and actions like that directed to them?

Jane sits at the sidelines with me, wincing every time a ball comes near.  Neither of us are much into a sport with a ball flying at us.  That does eliminate most sports.  Hence she is a swimmer and I prefer yoga and running.  The twins, on the other hand, bring their little ball with them and can not wait to get started.  They want to do everything their big sister’s do, and they want to do it now.  Try explaining to a three-year old that you have to wait until your six to join swim team or that soccer is just a year away.  It is hard enough explaining what happens tomorrow or at the weekend!

Jane cracks me up.  In that photo up there, she has flowers and a letter to bring to some friends of ours that have hit on rough times…very rough times.  She gets these notions and not matter how big or small, there is no stopping her.  She is confident in who she is and there is little to no stopping her…good in most cases.  She all of a sudden is very into wearing a bit of lip gloss and picking out just the right outfit.  Fashion is a new hobby and she isn’t afraid to do what she likes regardless of style.  This is a bit of her personality shining through:

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Twins turn 3

Okay, so it was over a week ago, but I have to put a few photos up:

I just can not believe they are three already, slow down girls and let momma catch up!

I just can not believe they are three already, slow down girls and let momma catch up!

Brie has developed a love for all things Panda so most of her gifts had a panda on them...the cake was just a butter cake with vanilla and chocolate frosting dyed black

Brie has developed a love for all things Panda so most of her gifts had a panda on them...the cake was just a butter cake with vanilla and chocolate frosting dyed black

it is supposed to be a soft pink bunny, the twins knew what it was so that is what counts, right?  Lemon cake, strawberry filling, and a light vanilla cooked frosting, yum!

it is supposed to be a soft pink bunny, the twins knew what it was so that is what counts, right? Lemon cake, strawberry filling, and a light vanilla cooked frosting, yum!

One got a scooter, the other a tricylce, as well as a stuffed animal each, bubble makers, new blankies, books, cash, and some clothes

One got a scooter, the other a tricylce, as well as a stuffed animal each, bubble makers, new blankies, books, cash, and some clothes

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