Monthly Archives: November 2011

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my daughter, a bully?

the view out our kitchen window this morning

Despite the beauty of the snow on the trees this morning, I can’t shake this sadness over a conversation I had with Chloe’s school counselor yesterday. She informed me that some of the girls in Chloe’s class had been upset with Chloe recently. I guess on numerous occasions, she hurt their feelings. We’re not strangers to little girl drama. Chloe has had problems with other girls in past years for similar reasons. She won’t play with them or chooses to play with someone else instead and then they “aren’t friends anymore”. She isn’t very sensitive when it comes to the feelings of others and that is something she needs to work on.

What bothered me the most about this conversation was that the counselor said Chloe has been exhibiting “manipulative and bullying behavior”. She shared a little of the conversation she had with my daughter. After hearing some of the other girls versions of the story, she used a “fishing” analogy on Chloe, telling her that she was reeling one girl in to get her to play with her and then she would cast her aside if someone better came along. Like she was purposely manipulating them to hurt their feelings. No way would Chloe ever do that. The one thing she wants more than anything is to have best friends and be a part of everything. She would never hurt them deliberately. When I asked Chloe about the “fishing” thing, she said she remembered the counselor saying it, but she didn’t really know what she meant and she didn’t even know that she had done that. I told her she didn’t and that a bully is someone who hurts and humiliates people on purpose. She said, “I didn’t do that.” I let her know that she is not a bully, no matter how the counselor interpreted the situation.

I understand that the counselor is just doing her job. She’s trying to deal with all these kids not getting along and without really knowing any of them or their personalities. She wasn’t saying those things to be hurtful, she was just trying to help. I get that. She pointed out Chloe’s strong personality and that she could be a leader if she uses it in a good way. But it still hurts when someone uses words like “manipulative” and “bully” about your child.

happy. sad. magical.

We had a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving this year. A delicious meal at Jake’s dad’s house on Thanksgiving day, then we traveled to the east side to Jake’s sister’s and stayed with them until Saturday afternoon. Lots of time hanging out, talking, watching movies and playing with sweet Scarlett. Sunday, we had a yummy dinner at my parents house. In the past, we’ve spent our Thanksgivings in Ohio with my extended family, so it was nice this year to stay closer to home and be with the immediate family.

This Thanksgiving brought a little sadness, though. Chloe came to me with tears in her eyes and asked “Are you really Santa?” The dreaded question. When she’s asked this before, we’ve just turned the question around and asked if she believed and she would answer, “Yes!” and we would agree with her. Question avoided. But this time, she was fighting back tears and she asked me for the truth. I think a part of her already knew what I was going to say. I told her who St. Nicholas was and showed her a website that told a little about him. I explained how he symbolizes the spirit of the Christmas season and the joy of giving and believing in magic, and then … I told her the truth about how those gifts get under our tree every year. :( She seemed a little sad, but she didn’t cry. And when I told her that Zach figured it out last year, she said, “Hey! That brat kept the truth from me.” She seemed relieved to know and we went and shared the news with the guys. Jake and I were both very serious with her about keeping this information to herself so she doesn’t ruin Christmas for any of her friends who still believe in Santa. I was kind of surprised that it took Zach so long to put two and two together (he was 10), but I was even more surprised that Chloe wanted to know already (at 8!). I was hoping she would keep believing for a couple more years. Ah well … I guess I have to face the fact that the kids are growing up and moving further and further away from all the little kid stuff.

But this Christmas is still going to be fun and magical. I’ve got the advent boxes out and have filled up the first week. I can’t wait for Chloe to open the first box because she’s about to get a huge surprise that the rest of us already know about! An upcoming visit to the most magical place on earth. :)


veterans day + a few from october

While we were in Ohio last month for little Tyler’s first birthday, we stopped at my cousin Josh’s place to take a few pictures of my grandpa’s Eisenhower jacket from WWII. Earlier this year, Josh emailed me copies of Grandpa’s Army separation papers and my mom also found some wonderful letters she inherited that were from Grandpa to Grandma while he was gone in the war. It’s been so great to just have those and have a little more information about where Grandpa served in the war because mom said he never talked about it. It’s also been wonderful to read just how much he loved my Grandma. I thought it was fitting to share these pictures of his uniform since tomorrow is Veterans Day.

And I thought I’d share a few more pictures that I took last month.

in Ohio for Tyler’s first birthday
Tessa was totally eyeing that candle. She really wanted to grab it. hehe.

Tyler’s daddy (my cousin Brian) painted this lovely frosting beard onto his face. Love it!

Our niece, Breanna’s first birthday
Breanna with her frosting mustache. Someone said she looked like Groucho Marx, but I think it’s a little more Hitler than Groucho. (Sorry, Brea!) ;)

Thankful …

I spent three weeks driving Jake to and from work every day. Along with kids’ soccer practices and conferences and stuff, I was spending anywhere from 4-8 hours a day in my car. It was like a full time job. I always thought I would be really good at being a chauffeur or a truck driver because I love to drive, but after all the driving I’ve done lately, I’m not so sure. Thankfully, Jake fixed the brakes on his van last weekend and now we are back to our regularly scheduled programming. :D

Jake just hit his 2 year anniversary working at Zondervan. We are very thankful for this job that Jake loves so much that God so clearly led him to.

Last weekend, I got stuck with the sore throat/achy muscle thing that’s been going around lately. I was down for a few days and I am very thankful to be healthy again. Plus, I’ve cut all the pop out of my daily routine and have started eating healthier again and drinking some green smoothies, so I know my health/energy levels will get even better. Jake also just started juicing. We watched the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, where an overweight man with some immune problems went on a 60 day juice fast to reboot his system. It was so interesting and really inspired us. Jake’s only trying it for 10 days to cleanse his system and get started with the healthy eating. I really hope it helps him. He will be documenting his journey on YouTube. You can follow his YouTube channel HERE. His first video is below. Please pay no mind to the low lighting in our kitchen. Our fluorescent light went out and we haven’t replaced it yet.

Thankful that it’s November. October was VERY long for me and I am already in a very holiday mood. One of the local radio stations is already playing Christmas music, which I have been happily listening to. We even watched “Elf” last night. Yes, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but who cares! Chloe would tell you that there are only 45 days until Christmas. She’s very excited, too.

Have a great weekend!

october is over. thank God!

Halloween 2011: Chloe as Coraline Jones (from the movie “Coraline”) and Zach as Steve from the Minecraft game

It’s been a crazy few weeks. We finished the fall soccer season, celebrated some family birthdays here and in Ohio, went to Chloe’s school Halloween party and finished off the month with some trick-or-treating last night. All while dealing with only one vehicle because Jake’s brakes went out, so I’ve been chauffeur around here and it has been exhausting.

I am very thankful that October is over and I’m looking forward to all the holiday joy that is coming this month and next. I’m already in such a holiday mood, I want to get the tree out and decorate. Jake says I have to wait until after Thanksgiving. :(

AJAXed with AWP