Tuesday, May 31, 2011


 Knowing this weekend marked the one year anniversary of Ben's death, I wanted to do something fun with my family.  So I took them to our most favorite camping spot on earth.  Camp Joseph up in Sharon, VT.  We took along some family members and church friends for the long weekend.  I was grateful to be surrounded by such great people.  On a scale of 1-10 it was a 9.9.  We could have done without the swarms of black flies. 
Showing some love...
The cousins playing RISK...
Sitting by the campfire singing and playing games.
 The champion of "CHUBBY BUNNY"
Two of my favorite people.
PVC dart guns.
 The ever glowing fire.
 Some of the fantastic people that camped with us.
 Another favorite friend.
The group of hikers.
 Round 2 of "Chubby Bunny"
 Except this time we played with EXTRA LARGE marshmellows

The reigning champion wins again.
Voted "Tastiest Neck" by the black flies.
(poor girl)

More cousins
 Brothers gotta KISS!
Mi Hermana
 Even more cousins
We stopped at our favorite Ice Cream place before heading out of town.

The End

Thursday, May 26, 2011


 I took my kids the other day (along with some of the youth from church) and went trash picking.  I was amazed at how much garbage they collected on a 1/4 mile stretch.  We spent a total of 40 minutes picking up and it looked beautiful by the time we left.  
The winner of the day?  PEE in a bottle.
(he may or may not have smelled it just to make sure)
It doesn't take much to make a difference.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


may not like to read,
but he sure LOVES being read to. 
Yesterday I went up to my room to get something out of my closet and this is what I found.  Did my heart some good.  Stevie's reading Kaleb the "Hunger Games" series.  Sweet.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MY LIFE AS A SUB...(part 2)

Tuesday morning was like most mornings.  Steve's alarm clock went off at 5am, he hit snooze a couple of times before waking Kayla up for early morning seminary.  I roll over, pretending that I might actually fall back asleep. But between the lights being turned on, the ruckus in the bathroom, dogs stirring and Steve eventually calling everyone in to my bed for morning prayers...it doesn't usually happen.  5:45am we say our prayers as a family and then Kaleb climbs into the spot that Steve leaves vacant, Stevie stumbles back to bed and Kayla and Steve leave for the day.  While I'm pretending to sleep, I say my own prayer..."please let the call of the subbing guru pass over my head this day".  (over and over again)  The phone lies underneath my pillow because it serves doubly as an alarm clock.  5:55am, the phone vibrates under my head.  The prayers go unheard that morning.  I answer the phone.  I'm wanted in the Middle School as a gym teacher.  My first thoughts are "Ugh.  I'm going to have to keep 40-50 kids entertained all by myself for the day."  My second thought?  "I get to wear comfortable clothes."  (trying to see the positive here)  I drag myself out of bed, make the kids breakfast and their lunches, wake them up and head out the door soon after.  I drop the kids off at school, and head to the next town over to start my long day.  Good news, I find out I'm not the only gym teacher for the day.  "I'll just be the helping hand" I think to myself.  This will be easy.  WRONG.  Our first class of the day: 42 7th graders.  It's raining outside which means we're staying inside to play 'whiffle ball'.  I knew it was going down hill fast when chaos ensued inside the locker rooms.  We get all the kids in the gym and the real gym teacher takes attendance.  (this guy looks like he's 18 and stands about 5'4.)  Then he breaks the class in two and sends half the kids to the field, and the other half at bat. He's the pitcher.  I'm the jail warden for the kids standing against the wall waiting to bat.  Did I say 'standing against the wall'?  More like pushing and shoving, slamming and ramming, fighting and biting.  The kids in the field?  They were playing keep away with the ball from the gym teacher while shoes are flying, kids physically and verbally abusing other kids.  Somewhere in the middle of all this, a bat goes flying (unbeknown to me because I was in the middle of a fight), hits me in the stomach/spleen area and about knocks the wind out of me.  And this was just the first class.  During the middle of my day, when I was on break for lunch...I sat in the guidance department and had a conversation with an 8th grader who was sitting in there because he was in trouble.  He figured out that I was "Officer Orton's wife" and told me how he's arrested him before.  I asked him why and he explains that he was carrying about 10 oxycontin pills.  So I proceed to ask him why he would do that and has he learned his lesson.  His answer?  "Yes, I've learned not to get caught."  He told me he doesn't use, but he DOES drink.  "What 14 yr old kid doesn't drink?" was his question to me.  "MINE!" I told him.  I learned that this kid was 7yrs when his mother taught him how to shoot up with heroin.  He currently lives with dad who doesn't have time for him.  As much as a punk that he is...I wanted to take him home.  I finished my lunch and our conversation and back to the gym I headed.  One more 7th grade, two 8th grade and one 50+ kids in the 6th grade class later and I was RUNNING out the door.  I arrived home, kicked my shoes off and fell into a coma.  $8 an hour.  That's what I get paid to sub.  Know what's great?  My kids.  I'm grateful for my children, my well behaved (mostly), polite and respectful children.  The end.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Yesterday's track meet...he gets better and better.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011


I've been subbing in the Laconia school district since Christmas.  It's not my favorite gig but it's flexible money that we need right now.  Mostly I've done my time in the middle school but every once in awhile I get to work with the little ones in the elementary school.  It's always entertaining listening to what comes out of their mouths.  The other day I got to be a second grade teacher and this is how my morning went down.
Student #1: Teacher? I think I have a bed bug on my shirt...can you take it off cuz it's really freaking me out.
Student # 2: EWWW!  That's gross!  I heard bed bugs only live in dirty houses.
Student #1: Ya...well MY house is REALLY dirty.
(I just envisioned how the mom, I'm sure, would really appreciate that announcement)
And just so that we have clarification, this girl's home has been infested with bed bugs...an ongoing problem (that she again freely shared) that they have been battling since moving into their apartment.  So yes...it was an actual bed bug.
After THAT announcement the same student was in charge of the morning greeting.  (you could pick a high five, a hand shake, or a hug)  We circled up and guess who came and stood next to me?  Yup.  She turned to me and said...
Student #1: Good morning Mrs. Orton...what would you like?
Me: Good morning T, how about a high five?  (with a side of hand sanitizer?)
Besides the science teacher not showing up to teach science and the computer class that was scheduled for the wrong day it was mostly a good day. How can it NOT be when the children repeatedly told me I was the BEST sub ever?

Sunday, May 8, 2011


This year was one of my FAVORITE mother's days to date.  I can't remember the last time (if ever) I spent the actual day with all of these remarkable women.  (thank you Jenny)
We all spent the night at Jenny's house and woke up to the cutest mother's day decorations and breakfast EVER!
(thank you daughters!)
Here are the chefs/decorators.
And as an added bonus...I got to meet BREYER for the first time.  She's as squishy as she looks, and I think she was happy to see me go as I couldn't stop kissing those cheeks.
Today (and everyday) I celebrate motherhood.
(and thanks to MY mother for leading by example)

Friday, May 6, 2011


Freshly cut grass.
Even better?
Child labor.
(I cheered her on from the house)