Thursday, August 22, 2013


Maggie got her star test results yesterday. I know that it's just a test and not always accurate and  all that stuff. However, she really, really did well on it. The amazing part was that she did better on math than she did on english. Math usually is a little more difficult for her. I had a horrible sinus headache yesterday. I am really over allergies.  So, when Steven suggested we go out to dinner to celebrate Maggie's star report, I was happy to go. I didn't want to cook!

We went to dinner and we were all sitting in a little booth together. When our dinner came, the kids grabbed our hands to pray. What usually happens is Maggie prays and Patrick adds an "amen" to the end of the prayer. This time he asked to pray. His pray was this:

"Dear Father, thank you for my mack truck. Amen."

I know he missed the point of praying for our dinner, but you can see where he finds his cars. Don't you love the "Father" part? That's not normally a word we say in our prayers, but it was so sweet.

We ate dinner and had a great time together. It's been a busy time in our lives and it was nice just to sit and talk and eat. Oh and not have to cook.

When we left, Maggie decided to ride home with Steven. Patrick got super excited. He decided that we should race and that we were going to win. He grabbed his huge backpack full of cars and ran to the front of the restaurant. Before we went to our separate cars, he yelled "We're gonna beat you" to Maggie and Steven.

Then, he threw up a peace sign and yelled "PEACE" to them before running to the car with his huge backpack bouncing on his back.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


I have a confession. I take a nap almost every day. It sounds so decedant, doesn't it? I mean, I'm an adult. Why am I taking an afternoon nap? It started at the beginning of the summer. I bribed Patrick with a chance to take a nap in my bed and I would lay down with him. Yeah, ever since then, I have been napping too.

I used to never be able to sleep during the middle of the day. I would be dead tired, but I couldn't relax enough to go to sleep. Well, that has changed. As soon as my eyes close, I'm out. I sleep an hour with Patrick and we wake up and go get Maggie from school.

The weird thing is that it hasn't changed my bedtime. I hope I didn't just jinx myself there. I can still go to sleep at the same time at night even when I take a nap.

I know my mom will find this ironic. I was the kid who never wanted to sleep. I just couldn't. In fact, in Mrs. Garrison's Kindergarten class, we were supposed to take a nap every day. I couldn't.

The only time I ever got in trouble in Kindergarten was during nap time. I got a message on my Snoopy behavior chart each week that I wouldn't sleep. In fact, I would "wiggle during naptime". Yep, I'm a rebel. I wiggled during nap time. Can you imagine? A 5 year old doing that?

I guess I'm making up for all that lost nap time. What will I do when Patrick gives up his nap? I'm not ready to give up my naptime yet?

Friday, August 16, 2013


Today, Maggie and I took Patrick to preschool. Then, we went to Starbucks. Maggie took about 7000 pics of her American Girl mini dolls in various poses around Starbucks. Then, I took her to school. She is not thrilled with school right now. She's been in class for about a week and they are having to move kids around. She loves her teacher and now she has to get used to a new teacher.

After I dropped her off, I went back to Starbucks to meet Brenda. Yes, I went to Starbucks twice today. Here's the weird part. I didn't get coffee. I just didn't want it. How bizarre.

We had a great visit until it was time for us to go get kids and run more errands.I found a bucket of figs by the front door. Figs are interesting. What do I do with them?

 I picked up Patrick from school and we came home. I found a great tent for him today and I tried to put it together for him. But, it was too much for me. I swear, I have no spatial ability at all.

We took a nap and went to get the girls.Maggie went to Memaw's house and I got a super burrito for Steven and I to share for dinner. Steven put together the tent and Patrick's watching Sword in the Stone.

I loved this movie when I was a kid. I can quote it word for word. Isn't that annoying? I'm trying to refrain from quoting it all.  I loved this one and Robin Hood (the cartoon one with the rabbits).

Oh and Patrick (the kid who never ate anything) ate two hotdogs, a grilled cheese, mac and cheese, popcorn and a chocolate popsicle. And he wants another snack.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Sometimes I feel like my facebook page makes me look like I have schizophrenia. I post instagram pictures followed by funny (I think) things that my kids say. Then, I post contests and sweepstakes that probably annoy everyone. Then, for good measure, I throw in a couple of God articles to really throw everyone off.

Why haven't ya'll had me committed yet?

I feel like my life is very centered around my kids. I spend the most time with them. I can talk American Girl dolls with the best of them. My daughter is walking American Girl encyclopedia and wants to share that knowledge with the people around her. Patrick wants me to play cars and watch Daniel Tiger with him. I can talk that talk, too. Want me to pretend like my station wagon is a trolley taking us to school? Got it. I think they are adorable and I want to share my cute pictures of them with you. I try not to be too annoying with my posts of my cute kids. But, seriously, they are cute.

Sometimes I just want to mindlessly zone out in front of the computer after they have gone to bed and surf and play candy crush (blush). So, I do. I play candy crush and enter contests. I try not to be too annoying with my posts about sweepstakes.

Sometimes I read deeper stuff that I am passionate about. I'm passionate about God and adoption and helping others. I want to make the world better. I want to share Jesus. I'm still figuring out how to do that with smaller kids. I want to include them in it all, but Patrick still needs a nap, too. I read about people doing amazing things and I want to share those things too. Again, I might be annoying with this.

This is where I am in life. Trying not to annoy people (such a people pleaser) but feeling like the world needs to see this. 

I mean, seriously?! That dog is adorable. 

I am all over the place. I guess my facebook is just a glimpse into me. 

Monday, August 12, 2013


This post is part of a sponsored campaign with MomSelect. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The makers of Children’s Claritin® are teaming up with national non-profit KaBOOM!, to help bring innovative play spaces to schools in need. One of the finalist schools is in California. Because I am involved with the Children’s Claritin Mom Crew, I am trying to spread the word about this great contest. You get to vote on the Claritin Facebook page. The four schools with the most votes will each receive Imagination Playground™ equipment - mobile play sets comprised of oversized, foam blocks that can be assembled inside or outside.  Pretty cool, huh?

Here is more information about the project from the Press Release earlier this month:

CHILDREN’S CLARITIN® and KaBOOM! Help Bring Play to Kids and Communities in Need

Campaign Asks Parents to Vote on Schools to Receive an Innovative Playground
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Aug. 1, 2013 – Merck Consumer Care, the makers of CHILDREN'S CLARITIN®, today announced a new program with national nonprofit KaBOOM!, to help bring innovative play spaces to schools in need. The campaign is engaging parents on the Claritin Facebook page, asking them to vote for one of 12 finalist schools. The four schools with the most votes will receive Imagination PlaygroundTM equipment, which creates an accessible, creative place for children to play in 2014.
According to Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), creative play helps children adjust to the school setting, foster learning behaviors, develop problem-solving skills and it enhances their readiness to learn.[1] However, schools nationally are decreasing playtime during the day. Children in under-resourced areas are disproportionately affected due to factors such as reduced access to play in the community.  As a result, these children may miss some additional opportunities to develop skills that contribute to learning and social development.[2]
Children’s Claritin and KaBOOM! are helping to bring play to kids in need by offering 12 national schools the chance to win Imagination Playground equipment. These mobile play sets are comprised of oversized foam blocks that can be assembled inside or outside, offering children of all abilities the opportunity to foster creativity and critical-thinking skills. KaBOOM! selected the 12 finalist schools based on their criteria for this program, which included, among other factors, impact on low-income areas and number of students served. In addition, according to the schools’ submissions, many include students who have physical, cognitive or language disabilities that may inhibit them from fully exploring traditional playground equipment. 
“I’m thrilled to work with Children’s Claritin to help spread the word to parents across America that every vote counts in our effort to bring play to schools in need,” said Brooke Burke-Charvet, host of Dancing with the Stars and spokesperson for the makers of Claritin. “As parents, we can help make a difference in the lives of kids who deserve every opportunity to be creative and learn at school.”
Beginning Aug. 1 through Oct. 31, 2013, parents are invited to vote for one of 12 finalist schools via an app on the Claritin Facebook page. Parents can vote once a day throughout the promotion, and the four schools with the most votes will each receive Imagination Playground equipment. All votes count in selecting the four winners and support Children’s Claritin’s efforts with KaBOOM!. Participants can post a “cause donation badge” for this promotion onto their Facebook timeline. The four winning schools will be announced in November 2013 and will receive the play sets in 2014. A valid Facebook account is required to vote.
“Kids should have the time and opportunity to play actively, every day, in their schools and communities,” said Darell Hammond, founder and CEO of KaBOOM!. “Through this campaign, we are bringing engaging play opportunities to schools and communities in need. We’re excited to team up with Children’s Claritin because we share their commitment to help kids get the most out of every day, in school or at play.” 
Other factors beyond creative play may also impact learning readiness. For the up to 40 percent of school-aged children who suffer from allergies[3], common symptoms – like sneezing, itchy, watery eyes – can impact everyday activities, like school work and play. In fact, a new survey commissioned by the makers of Children’s Claritin revealed nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of parents with kids who have seasonal allergies admit that their kids seem less playful when they are suffering.[4]
“As a mom of four, I hate to see my kids suffer from allergies – they don’t feel at their best, whether in the classroom or outside playing,” Burke continued. “I use Children’s Claritin because it’s non-drowsy and it helps manage their symptoms for 24 hours so they can focus on school and play, not on their allergies.”
For more information and the official contest rules, please visit the brand’s Facebook page at

About KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national nonprofit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. Social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C., with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America because children need to play actively every day at home, in school and in their communities. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 95,000 places to play, built more than 2,300 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has an office in San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit

So, if you have  a chance, go vote. Each of the schools is in need of a new play area. As a mom, I can tell you that safe playgrounds are so valuable. Especially for kids who live in apartments and need a place to run and play!

This makes me so happy

Tonight, Maggie asked me if she could use my dollhouse for her American girl mini dolls. I was thrilled by this. My mom and dad made me a dollhouse for Christmas when I was ten years old. I loved it so much. It even had working lights. I was always searching for miniatures in stores and creating things for my dollhouse.

I have held on to it since that time. Every move, I would have to decide if I was going to hold on to it. Maggie didn't show any interest in it at all, but I couldn't get rid of it.

Tonight, we got out my old furniture and tiny pieces and decorated the dollhouse. She has created a few things for her mini dolls and they are just the right size for the dollhouse. I don't know who was more excited about it.

We played and rearranged pieces. It's kind of neglected and needs paint and wallpaper. She even let Patrick play with it for a little while. She hugged me and thanked me about one million times before she went to bed tonight.

After she went to bed, I started researching ideas for what to do next with our dollhouse project. I'm so excited!

Friday, August 9, 2013


School started for some members of the Cole family this week.

This was the first summer that I have been at home full time with both kids. I had an easy summer school schedule and decided that I would risk it all. I would stay home with the kids and not send them to any type of daycare. I might have lost my mind when I made that decision.

But, it was a great summer. We swam and went to the movies and celebrated Patrick's birthday. We went to Seattle and went to the most amazing water park in Livermore. The kids colored and played wall ball in the front yard. They stayed up too late and slept even later in the morning. It was just a good summer.

I am such an introvert and the constant conversations and interrupting and yelling started to drive me a little cray cray towards the end. I crave some time alone, so I can't say that I am sad that summer is over. I missed my time at starbucks.

But, it just feels bittersweet. I know that this time is short. I know that I will miss it someday.School provides structure and consistency and that feels good to me. But, sleeping late is nice too.

Patrick started preschool at Maggie's school this year. I have been a nervous wreck, but he went in and has had a blast. I can already see such a difference in him. He's the tallest kid in his class and he's so cute with his huge backpack.

And Maggie is loving her 4th grade class. She and her BFF are in the same class again and all is right in the world.

It's going to be a great year.