Simple Sunday – Summer Pie Day and a Tetanus Shot

Yesterday we celebrated Summer Pie Day.  Stemming from National Pie Day, in January, we determined that a Pie Day celebration that occurs in the summer was needed due to the distinct lack of fresh berries in the winter months.  We have been celebrating Summer Pie Day for three years.

This year Cody and I made a triple berry pie with homemade crust.

TriBerry Pie Collage

Carter made a chocolate pudding pie with a Keebler graham cracker crust.  Husband made his famous peanut butter pie with the chocolate topping.

Boys PieDay Collage

Holding true to our made-up holiday tradition, there were deviled eggs.  Carter added a bit of flare this year by making a pair of cream cheese, raison pupil, bloodshot egg eyes.  And really, why wouldn’t you?

Deviled Eggs Collage

In all there were eight pies: berry pies – some with white chocolate dipped strawberries some with homemade graham cracker crust, – banana cream pie with chunks of banana, coconut cream pie with toasted coconut sprinkled on top, whipped peanut butter pie fluffy as air, and our pies.  Each one was homemade and each one was delicious!

Oh, and I did make this in an effort to add something nutritious to the day –

Veggie Pie

a veggie pie with lettuce for a “crust” – so technically nine pies.

It was fun catching up with friends and family.

Summer Pie Day Eating

And then, after it was all over and the last guest left, we went swimming.  Sasha our new rescue dog loves the water.  Haley our other rescue dog, does not.  Husband took Haley into the pool get her used to the water and to teach her where the steps to get out are in case she ever falls in.  He has done this before and Haley is getting better with it.

I do not know exactly what happened but after Haley got out of the pool, Sasha went over to her.  Perhaps they exchanged some doggie insults but suddenly it was a full on dog fight.  Growling, flashing teeth, blood, two black dogs became an angry storm cloud rolling across our pool deck.  We yelled.  Husband threw water at them.  I grabbed one of them.  Husband jumped into the mix, pulling them apart by their scruffs.

It was scary.

Husband ended up with two puncture wounds in his hand, one of them quite deep.  He ended up at urgent care, not getting home until 2 am, with a tetanus shot, a ten day supply of antibiotics, and a bandaged hand.

The dogs are wary of each other and it has been more than a bit stressful today.  Haley and Sasha are keeping their distance from one another but so far are being polite.

And so for the first, and hopefully last time, Summer Pie Day ended with someone getting a tetanus shot.

Posted in Food Glorious Food, Furry Feet (and fish), Simple Sunday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Better than Nagging

Husband is a pile maker.  I do not blame him for this because I know his mom and his dad and they are both pile makers too.  It is simply a matter of genetics.  And I knew about it and still married him.

He makes piles of bills, magazines, newspapers – sections to be read, read and ready for recycling, and read but to be saved.  His piles typically start on an empty surface such as a table top, a desk, or a chair.  When there is no longer room on said surface, the piles start their natural migration to the floor.  It is here where they start to bother me.

Ok, that last sentence was a total lie.  The piles bother me wherever they form because these piles don’t just exist for a brief moment in time and then disperse like white fluffy clouds blowing in the wind.  No they stay, hang around heavy, morphing into larger and more complicated piles.

I used to nag, but who likes that.  So I have simply learned to live with the piles.

But then entered Sasha our new rescue dog.  She is not housetrained, being a former stray and never having need for such silly rules.  While she lived at the rescue facility, they put newspaper down in a corner of the floor for her and her bunkmate to do their business on.  So… she learned to potty on paper (well, most of the time.)  This, as you can imagine, has come in quite handy.  It is as if overnight, our house has become pile free (well, at least the floor has).

And last night, another major discovery.  Sasha also deems laundry left on the floor to be a nice place to potty.

I wonder if clothes left on the floor instead of put into the laundry hamper will also become a thing of the past in our house.

A girl can dream…

Posted in Random Thoughts | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Family Growth

We have two new additions to our family – one perhaps more exciting than the other but both mention worthy.  First I would like you to meet Invincible Dave.

Invincible Dave the Desk

Dave is a metal desk of the metal furniture company, Invincible.  He is the desk where I will blog from and lesson plan on.  He is located in the corner of our spacious master, my office nook, if you will.  Both Dave and his sidekick Chair are from the 50’s or early 60’s and look as if they have many years of life left in them.  I searched for quite a while before finding them in an antique store covered with strangely shaped baskets and multicolored spray painted pieces of coral.  I wanted something different, sturdy, and gray.  Yes, I really wanted the color gray which greatly limited my choices.

Now for the other new member of our family.  For her, color was not a concern, but rather temperament and personality.

Meet Sasha.

These are the three pictures the rescue origination had posted of her.  It was the middle one that did it for me.  So, so, skinny.  And matted.  And just plain sad.

Rescue Sasha Collage

She was a stray, picked up by the pound and not claimed.  She was deemed adoptable, so she bypassed the euthanasia list, and moved to a no-kill rescue organization facility.  They knew nothing of her past.  She was listed as being a five year old flat-haired retriever.

We did a meet and greet with her and the boys.  She was gentle and sweet.  We did a separate meet and greet with Haley and the boys and it went very well.

And so, this is Sasha on the car ride home.

The Ride Home

She has kennel cough and can stand to gain ten pounds (she weighs 33 pounds now).  She is also not housetrained, but is smart and showing signs of figuring it out.  She is a water dog, and has already enjoyed swimming in our pool several times.

Here she is after her flea and tick shampoo bath on her first night home.  After getting towel dried she danced around the yard.  I swear you can almost see her ribs in this picture.

Post Bath Wet Dog

Haley is not sure about no longer being an only dog.  Their relationship so far is best described as together from a distance.

Together From a Distance

Cody and Sasha, however have hit it off quite well.

Cody and Sasha Collage

Our strict no-dog-on-the-leather-couches was broken by Sasha within the hour of her arrival.  We were so thrilled she was not peeing in the house and was resting peacefully that we let it be.  Plus she is just so cute.

No Dogs on the Couch

So there it is.  Our family has grown by two.  I love them both.  Sasha is a sweet and loving soul who has been nothing but kind and gentle to the boys.  She is very, very cute.

Feeling at Home

Invincible Dave, however, has the fact that he is potty trained going for him.

Posted in Furry Feet (and fish), Random Thoughts | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

The Right Words

I do not have them, the right words.

I have the boys on a summer school schedule, one that we follow fairly consistently.  We do some store-bought, grade-level appropriate workbooks in the morning after breakfast.  We have free time/time to run errands after that.  After lunch they do Moby Max, a math program on the computer that tests them and places them at their individual level as well as Imagine Learning (an online reading program) and they read out loud to me for 20 minutes each.  We also do some science and art.  On Fridays we go on field trips to museums or to the Botanical Gardens.

Tomorrow is Tuesday.  On Tuesdays our mornings are wonky as we bought the summer pack of super cheap movie theater tickets and our day to see the movie for the week is Tuesday.  Cody, always the planner, asked me if he could start on his workbook tonight so as to be prepared for tomorrow.

I said yes and made sure I was near the kitchen table so as to help him if need be.  The first section of his workbook was multiplication.  Math is hard for Cody.  School in general is hard for Cody, but math is a struggle.  We worked through several problems together but my sweet boy doesn’t even have his combinations that make ten memorized so multiplication of double digit number is grueling, nonsensical.

And then it happened.  Cody, who is usually very positive and optimistic, started to tear up.  “Momma”, he told me “Mrs. W. always came and took me out of class to work on addition and subtraction while the rest of my class did multiplication.  I did not get a chance to learn this.  And no one even asked me, they just took me away!  I want to work on multiplication flash cards tomorrow.  I am still counting on my fingers and the rest of my class just knows their multiplication tables.  I don’t feel ready for fourth grade!”

It was awful.  Awful.  Here I am a mom and a teacher and I want with all my heart to help him be successful and I don’t know how.

I did not have the right words.  I talked to him about my weakness in spelling.  I talked about how everyone has strengths and struggles.  I asked him what we could do, how we could work together to help him feel ready for fourth grade.  I told him I was proud of him. And then I told him to go get ready for bed.

That is when I went outside, crouched down in our side yard and cried.

Posted in Being a Teacher, Little Feet | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

No Longer Worth the Fight

It started out like any other day.

We got up and lounged around on the couch in our p.j.s.  I read aloud a couple chapters of a Jigsaw Jones chapter book, tracking as I read with my bookmark.  The boys, sun bleached blond bookends, sat on either side reading along.  I finished my coffee.

We showered, dressed, and had breakfast.

The boys worked on their summer school work while I cleaned the house.  (School work was briefly interrupted when I requested the boys’ help in catching a baby lizard who was hiding behind a moving box in our living room.  We released him into the wild of our front yard.)

Prompted, I’m sure, by our lack of Cheerios and Lysol wipes, not of course our decidedly low level of tequila due to last nights Taco Tuesday at our neighbor’s house, we went to Costco.

With one hand I shoved my Costco card back into my purse and with the other I held up the receipt, preparing for the fight.  You may know it as the it-is-my-turn-to-hold-the-receipt-so-the-nice-Costco-person-checking-them-at-the-door-will-draw-a-cute-smiley-face-on-it-for-me fight.

Neither boy wanted it.  I was shocked and slightly saddened that this moment had come.

I handed the receipt to the nice man at the door.  He scanned the purchases in my cart and compared them to the receipt, drew a boring line through it and handed it back.

No smiley face for me.

Posted in Little Feet | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Moving x 2

Sorry for my silence as of late.  The school year ended, and while I could blame my blogging silence on moving not only my classroom but moving our entire lives into our new house, that would not be entirely true.

I have also been lollygagging, lounging, and loving having time off with Cody and Carter.

Oh and I did put in a week of work last week, collaborating with some of my coworker as we prepare for the coming school year.

I will not try to play catch up, but I do have some memories and photos I would like to share.

The Classroom Move:


The last week of school my allergies flared up and I actually lost my voice for three days.  Completely lost my voice.  As in I could not talk.

It was challenging especially since our usual school routine was punctuated by seemingly random announcements and end of the year activities.  My kids did great and I relied on several of them to be my voice.  I would hoarsely whisper to them and they would speak for me.


We did an end of the year ice cream activity.  They got to choose the scoops to go on their cone (each one had an open ended question to answer such as. “My favorite activity in second grade was…”) and we all autographed around them.  There was an end of the year ice cream party and we watched a movie.  One last check to make sure all the desks were empty, all items packed up, and off they went out the door.

It was a blur of a day.  It was bittersweet.


At my school we are adding a seventh grade to our campus.  As such, most of the rooms are being reassigned.  My room is slotted to be the new science room (rather fitting I thought with my background in Microbiology).  During the last week of school, teachers were told to box up their room.  I struggled a lot with this as I continued to actually teach during the last week of school (since there is no funding to pay teachers to stay beyond the school year to pack and move, we had to do it while the students were still there.  ~I will refrain from ranting.~)  Once the kids left, I tore down the remaining anchor charts, charts that we as a class created and had been up on our walls for most of the year.


One last look at my old room.  My very first room as a teacher.  Room 316, you were great!


This is only a very small amount of the actually “stuff” moved over to my new room.  Room 225 you are going to ROCK (even if you are smaller and my class size next year will be bigger.  It is not your fault and I will not hold it against you.)

The House Move:

The move from the apartment to the house was a week and a half long process.  Back and fourth we went between the two places – an eight minute trip one way if you caught all green lights (and drive like me, not Husband which would automatically add a few minutes).  At one point during the move we rented a moving truck.


Haley, not to be left out, jumped up inside the truck to check it out too.


And here it is.  We are one of six houses in our cul-de-sac, and one of two in the back, making our lot about a quarter acre.  Not bad for central Phoenix.


This is a view from our front door(s) looking out.  I love that we have two front doors!


Here is the dining room with fireplace that one sees when standing in the kitchen.  It is this fireplace, we have another one in the master, where we will hang our stockings for Santa.


Another view from the kitchen – a rather cute one if you ask me.  From left to right: Hool, Carter, Owliver, and Barney.


Here is a view inside the kitchen.  The boys are cooking in their swim trunks while Haley supervises, secretly hoping something will fall to the floor in need of a more thorough inspection.


This is one of two duck ponds in the park that is a three minute walk away from our house.  I feel so lucky!


Speaking of ducks…  Here is our pool.  And yes, one of them is real.  Our house sat empty for several weeks during the real estate transaction and apparently this duck moved in.  She stayed about three days after we got here and then decided that perhaps this was not the quite oasis in the desert she once thought it to be.


And here is Haley hanging poolside chewing on her Wilson ball.  I think she approves.


And lastly, here are the boys, just jumping in.

So yeah, I have been moving, but I have also been up to other things as well.

Life is good and I hope this finds you well.

Posted in Being a Teacher, Random Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Things I Find in the Dryer

me:  Carter!  You can not leave Steve in your pocket.  Don’t you remember what happened to Sheep?

carter: In his sweet little angelic voice – Sorry momma but sometimes I forget things.

me: sigh…

This is Steve.  He is from Minecraft.

Dryer Items Steve 

Steve’s journey through the wash ended without loss of limb and will probably make for a good story to tell his friends over a tiny mug of beer.  Steve is o.k.  (Although I do worry that Steve may have developed aquaphobia from his ordeal.)

The same cannot be said for Sheep (who is also from Minecraft).

Dryer Items Sheep

Sheep was not always this mangy.  His “wool” used to be a vibrant red color and was sleek, not tattered.  Sheep has developed a deep distrust of pockets, where he once found them to be warm and cozy.  And said pocket is no longer white, but permanently stained a deep pink.

And lastly this, from the dryer.

Dryer Items Y

Why not.


Posted in Little Feet | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Confusion and Delay

It has been a long time since Cody and Carter liked Thomas the Train but the expression “confusion and delay” has continued on as part of our household vernacular.  On the Island of Sodor, whenever there was a mix up or a mishap (which, lets face it, happened in every episode) it was referred to as “confusion and delay”.  For some reason Husband and I found this expression funny and so we started using it and haven’t stopped.  It is a great expression and I highly recommend you try it out sometime.

Well, this week at Chase Manhattan Bank there was confusion and delay of the not-funny-at-all kind.  Someone did not do their job and that has led us to not receive the keys to our house, not to close in a timely manner (which incidentally legally opens the window for the sellers to be within their rights to simply up and walk away from this many-month-in-the- making-deal.) There is no reason for them to walk away, but they could (and I think I would simply have a nervous breakdown if that happened).

The closing date has been pushed and the keys-in-our-hands date is now looking like it will be Monday.  Not only am I disappointed, but that means we lose this weekend for cleaning and moving.  This is more critical than it sounds because Carter’s birthday party invitations have gone out with the date of May 24th on them and the location, our new address.  No stress.

To add to The Week of Confusion and Delay, Cody is on day number two of staying home with a fever.  At one point yesterday when his temperature was a glowing 103.2 and the Tylenol and Advil were both on board and not doing much, I started to get that panic-rising-in-the-back-of-my-throat feeling and fully expected him to start seizing (he has been seizure free for 13 months!).  He did not seize.  His temperature dropped and we continued reading The Mouse and the Motorcycle as if I had not just had an internal panic attack.

On the plus side, while Cody rests, I have been finding great ideas for the next school year and have been organizing my school related electronic file folders (all this in an effort to not clean the house, mind you.) Hopefully the confusion and delay will be sorted out, there will be no nervous breakdowns or seizures, and everyone will return to and stay at their rightfully normal internal temperature of 98.6.

Posted in Random Thoughts, Sniffles & Seizures | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Simple Sunday – A Double Special Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing, strong, brilliant mothers out there.

It is not only Mother’s Day here at Casa de Wrong Feet but it is also Carter’s birthday (you can read about his exciting arrival if you wish – a post I wrote quite awhile ago).

My baby boy turned seven today.  We had a very low key celebration, for both him and I.  A simple day that started with a morning dog walk from which we came home to find Husband had cooked us all breakfast.  Carter opened some gifts (the 100 pack of Pokémon cards and the four pack of Minecraft books were the favorites).


We ran errands, had lunch, ran more errands, I lesson planned and the boys watched a Myth Busters.  Dinner was Carter’s choice (mac and cheese) followed by a small carrot cake (also Carter’s choice).

He asked if he could have his birthday party in a couple weeks when my mom comes to visit – he wanted his Grandma there to celebrate with us.  It will be the first, of what I hope will be many gatherings in our new house.  (We get the keys on Wednesday!  (I am so excited by this that every time I say it, I can’t help but squeak a little.))

It was a good day, a double good day.

Posted in Simple Sunday | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Simple Sunday – New Chapter

We found out last week – we are getting the house we put in an offer on!  The house in the lovely neighborhood.  The house that is in the middle of the city but walking distance from a little park with fields, playgrounds, and ponds.  The house that simply felt right the first time we walked in the door.

We get the keys in ten day.  It feels right.  I am excited for the memories, the adventures, the laughter, and even the tears that we will share in our new house.

This will be the house where Cody and Carter grow from children to young adults.    Where the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and even Santa will be “found out” – although I hope the magic of each and everyone of them linger on into their adulthood as they have done for me. This might be the driveway I will stand at the end of waving furiously as they, one at a time, drive away to begin independent lives of their own.

It is the house where Husband and I will gracefully (I hope) tiptoe from middle-aged to, well, older than middle-aged.

I hope this house realizes that I have high expectations for it.  There will be a lot of growth and changes.  There will be highs and lows.  And there will be gatherings – BBQs, Pie Days, Practice Thanksgivings, as well as the traditional holidays, and perhaps we will create and carry on new gatherings that will become tradition in our family.

I am ready.  A new chapter in this wonderful, crazy life.

Small Plants in Rock Crack

Posted in Simple Sunday | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments