One of the Ladybug’s favorite things to do is to dress up. Her favorite choices are a princess, a chef, a princess, a doctor, a princess… oh, you get the idea. Her favorite person to dress up as is a princess, and Christmas brought her more wonderful costumes to add to her “dress-up” wardrobe. One of the new additions was not of the princess variety, but has jumped to the top of her choices as one of her favorite costumes (and honestly, this one is now mommy’s favorite costume as well). The costume is Dorothy Gale from the Wizard of Oz.

The Ladybug’s Nana F. sent her the outfit, with adorable, sparkly, red ribbons that add the perfect touch to the outfit. Although the Bug played in all of her outfits in the weeks following Christmas, her final choice each day was always her Dorothy Gale costume.

Below are some photos of the Ladybug playing in her outfit, with a final photo of her dressed as Dorothy, watching the Wizard of Oz on television. Enjoy!


We went bowling! About two years ago we tried to go bowling with the little Ladybug. She enjoyed the game for about 15 minutes, but soon got tired of lugging the ball to the end of the lane and trying to toss is down with enough force so that it would knock some pins down. As she soon discovered, knocking the pins down was much more difficult that she originally thought. So, we soon left the bowling alley, not to return for a couple years.

Hoping that the second time would be a winner, I suggested to the Bug that we go bowling. Without hesitation she said, “YES!” Definitely the answer I wanted to hear.

We made our way to the bowling alley, got our shoes and found some bowling balls. The Ladybug was able to find a nice 6 pound ball that, although still a bit heavy for a 3.5 year old, was the lightest that we could find. After we settled in, the Bug grabbed her ball and made her way to the lane.

She stood with her legs shoulder width apart, placed the ball on the floor between her legs, and pushed the ball so that it rolled ever-so-slowly down the lane toward the pins. Miraculously she knocked down 7 pins on her first try. Not bad for a second-time beginner. To finish up her first turn she used the same strategy and knocked down another 2 pins for a total of 9 pins. Awesome job! This time around the girl was loving bowling.

Unfortunately, that enthusiasm soon waned. Carrying the heavy ball down to the lane and struggling to push it down the lane frustrated her and she started not enjoying herself. Until… Daddy noticed a little girl a few lanes away using a ramp that helped to guide the ball down the lane. It looked simple enough, and with nothing to lose he asked an employee if we could use a ramp as well. No problem! Apparently the bowling alley has quite a few of the ramps for little ones to use. I have never seen a bowling ball ramp at a bowling alley, but it is just what the doctor ordered.

With the newly acquired ramp, the Ladybug’s enthusiasm for the game soon reached a new high! She jumped for joy at each turn, and also started knocking down pins left and right.

After two full games, Daddy and I began taking our shoes off to go home. The Ladybug quickly protested, much to our surprise. But, we promised that we would go bowling again in the near future (which we will, this was not an empty promise). Below are some photos from our afternoon of fun.

Watching the scoreboard as Daddy knocks some pins down.

The Ladybug practicing her cheer-leading skills for Daddy as he makes a strike.

Just lounging around the bowling alley, looking adorable.

This was a great family afternoon of fun and games. I just love it when we find something really fun to do as a family. We can now add Bowling to our list!


For Christmas this year we received a Wii game system, complete with several games and accessories. As a family we have enjoyed many hours driving cars, shooting targets, swinging rackets, and tossing bowling balls (with the remote). Shortly after receiving the system, the Ladybug learned first-hand why each Wii remote comes with a wrist strap.

One afternoon we were bowling. She was in position to knock some pins down, and as she swung her arm she launched the remote all the way across the room. The remote hit the wall and landed on the ground. She missed hitting the television by only about one foot. Needless to say, the Bug always uses her strap now!


(Photo by Carol Walker)

Ever since I was a little girl of single digit age, my favorite animal in the world has been a giraffe. I do not know exactly when my fascination began, but I believe it started with a Book About Me, whose main characters were me and a giraffe named Nitsirk (my first name spelled backward). I loved reading the book and reliving the adventures that we shared, over and over again. As I grew older, my admiration for the beautiful animal transformed from simply loving a childhood book to being intrigued by an awkwardly graceful animal. I am not quite sure what has fascinated me so much about this towering creature, but being a fairly short person of 5′2″, I suspect that the animal’s enchantment to me is its statuesque presence.

As a math teacher, I have numerous mathematical posters and inspirational sayings hanging around my classroom. The room is also decorated with several photos of the Ladybug and my family, as well as various student-art projects that former students have given me over the years. Yet, when you look around my room, one thing is perfectly clear… I still love giraffes. Through the years students have made me gifts of painted posters and pictures of giraffes that I proudly display throughout the room. Each year students add to the collection with their creations. However, I was not prepared for the special gift that a current student of mine created for me for Christmas.

I opened the gift anxiously on Monday morning, the first day back to school after our Christmas break. I was not expecting a gift, especially now that we are in the month of January. I carefully opened the gift, and was excited to see an adorable, 1 1/2 foot tall, stuffed animal, toy giraffe. I immediately thanked the student for the very generous gift, whereupon he stated that he handmade made the toy giraffe (with a little help from his grand mother) during the Christmas break. My jaw dropped in complete shock with the realization that this perfect gift was not purchased, but rather hand-stitched just for me.

As I look at this gift that is sitting in my lap as I write, I am still in awe that a student took the time during his vacation to create a special gift for me. I am so deeply touched by this gift (which actually includes personal stitching on it that says, “To Mrs. K, From T”). This is truly the best gift that I have ever received as a teacher. Thank you T, from the bottom of my heart for this generous gift!

The new giraffe.

A close-up.

The Ladybug giving my new giraffe some great big hugs.


For the last couple days, we have been planning on making a gingerbread house. You know the kind, the pre-fabricated kit with all the fixin’s. Because of little things that have come up here or there, we have not gotten to making the house… yet.

So, a little bit ago, with lots of excitement and anticipation, I asked the little Ladybug, “What do you think we are going to do now?”

Her quick, excited reply was, “Make the Ginderbread House?”

Teasingly I replied, “No, first we have to vacuum, dust, scrub the floors, and…”

And before I could finish the sentence the Ladybug squealed with excitement and said, “Yes!!! I want to start by scrubbing the floors. I love cleaning!”

Uhhhhhhh, not quite the response that I was expecting… but then again, she is her nanas’ grand-daughter. I always wondered why Cinderella was the Ladybug’s favorite princess.


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