Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sad, but Beautiful

Head on over to my sister Leigh's blog to read first hand the sad part, but I have to tell you a beautiful story that has really touched my heart. First, a little background info. Leigh has a thirteen year old daughter that she has been having some trouble with. You can read about it here. She has gone to spend this week with her father in Florida. She got some money for her birthday and had planned to buy herself a new digital camera yesterday. Kayla, Leigh's daughter, received word Thursday that one of her best friends was in a car accident and was in a medically-induced coma. Yesterday, she called her mom and asked her to verify the latest information that she heard concerning Haley: that she had been pronounced brain dead. Leigh called and did in fact verify that information. On the phone Kayla told Leigh that she was not going to buy the digital camera after all. She was going to use her money to buy flowers and a teddy bear for Haley. I cry as I write this at the beauty of her unselfishness. See, you don't know Kayla. She has a very big heart, but she also loves to get her way. Sometimes one is blinded by the attitude and is unable to see that inner beauty. But she is so beautiful--inside and out.

I pray for her because I am all too aware of the pain of losing a friend. To a teenager, this is devastating. Heck, to an adult this is devastating. I remember being in college and hearing the news that my best friend's boyfriend had been killed in a car accident. We had company at the time, and I spent the next few hours in the bathroom crying. Even thinking now about that night when I found out Shane was gone is painful (13 years later). Just this school year I witnessed first hand the pain. A 16 yo GHS student was killed in a car wreck. Oh my gosh. It was horrible, even though I did not know her. She was the ex-girlfriend of my oldest, tough-guy nephew. He absolutely lost it when he heard of Amy's death.

Life is too short, people. I was reminded many times last night of Haley when I was frustrated with the never-ending demands of my own children. How quickly it can all be taken away. I am reduced to tears every time I think of how Haley's parents must feel. I had just finished talking to Amy's grandmother yesterday when Leigh called with the news.

We do not always understand the way that God works. We do not understand why people are called home to be with our Father. But this is what I do know: God would not take her without a greater purpose. While that may not be consolation to her family and friends, I just pray that whatever God's purpose was in taking Haley, that something positive will come from it, in some way.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Good Time Was Had by Most

And by most I mean everyone except Ryan. Well, he had a good time except during pictures. Only three of us girls and our families showed up this year, but we had a good time nonetheless. Leigh and I made an afternoon out of photographing. I am posting some of the ones that I took; hopefully, she will do the same. Be sure to check them out. Here are a few, starting with Bro Man's attitude.

We nibbled on a bit of Cajun Turkey, ham, Leigh's sweet potatoes, corn and rice casserole, Jan's potato casserole, rolls, beer bread, dressing and giblet gravy, peas, key lime pie, mini cheesecakes, and pecan pie. Can you say yum?????

We left after many long hours of modeling for my girls and headed to my MIL's house for round 2. Thanksgiving dinner had long since been over there, but we participated in the clean-up round. Mr. Wonderful is adamant that nobody can touch his mom's dressing. He could (and probably would) live off of just that alone. And the darnedest thing happened while we were there--Emmy ate turkey. I know, I know. It's something you have to see to believe and the memory card was full. But guess what was even stranger than that....... it wasn't just a bite, it was two plate fulls of cajun turkey. I think that was the first time I have ever seen her eat anything of substance. Most of been all the modeling....hmmmm....that gives me a thought. Tomorrow we are off to the train car behind the library and maybe we'll just give the train tracks a try. I just don't know if I am brave's a busy track. We'll see what cleverness we can come up with.....

Happy Turkey Day!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh my, you funny girl!

So Baby K is walking around carrying an empty kitty litter container. It's the big plastic jug type with the screw on lid. I asked her why she had it and she busted out with, "Because...Because....Because.....It's a corporation."

Whaaaattt? She's just turned 3 and she's talking about corporations. Who is teaching these kids these things? Maybe she's just got a head for business. Ryan will be the vet, Emmy the doctor, and Kendall the businesswoman. That's just fine with me.

Gift Hunting

For the first time in my life, I am having trouble picking out Christmas gifts for my children. Bro Man is 8 and his list consists of a new puppy and a dirtbike. Neither one of those is happening. Emmy is easy schmeasy. No problem for her. Baby K is proving a challenge as well. She is no longer a baby, but a big girl. I know that I want to get both girls big girl bikes, Emmy is getting a Tag Reading System and some books to go with it, a baby doll, some clothes, etc. Bro Man does want a baseball glove, so that is manageable. But here is where I run into problems. I do not want to buy toys. We have entirely too many toys now. I don't want to buy video games, because I want to encourage more active play and use of imagination. Bro Man has a birthday three weeks after Christmas, so we are back to buying then.

Here are my thoughts: I got him a movie to watch on his PSP. I'll get him one of those light tracing boxes because he loves to draw, a baseball glove, maybe one or two video games, and some new clothes. He won't be especially overjoyed, but we still have two other Christmases to attend, where there are sure to be toys.

Mr. Wonderful found some of those Disney princess dresses and shoes in Wal*art the other day and immediately thought of Baby K.

Wal*art's Black Friday advertisement came out yesterday. There was really nothing in there that I would be willing to get up and fight the madness to get. Mr. Wonderful found some SD memory cards that he wants, but they will be there later in the day. I would love the cricut expressions machine for $199, but don't want to spend that kind of money on myself.

I would love some ideas if any of you have them for an 8 year old. The rest of the crew I can figure out.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where the "Crazy" part comes in


So all of you are wondering where the crazy part fits into the "crazy and happy", right? Right? Just say yes ma'am. Thursday night when I got home, Jack (the dog) ran outside to meet us as he does every single day. As I open the back doors of the van to get the girls out, he jumps in and he jumps out. Well, Thursday night, about 2 hours after we got home, Jack still had not tried to come back in from outside. But my boss' dog would not stop barking. It was driving me insane. So Mr. Wonderful went outside to make sure that it was not Jack. (They are both Schnauzers and sound just alike!) He came back-nope. It was Dr. Farmer's. Another thirty minutes passed and the stupid dog just would not quit barking. Finally, I told Mr. Wonderful that I thought Jack must be in trouble or something because he would not come when I called him. I put my shoes on, gathered a flashlight, and headed out to find my baby dog. As I walked past the van, he jumped on the window of the van--from the inside. He had been shut in the van for two and half hours. I did not even know. But to make matters worse, I had forgotten my keys in the ignition and he had locked himself in there. It took us another 45 minutes to break into the van and get the dog out. Okay, I say we, but I mean I shined a flashlight and held a pry bar while my husband unlocked the door. I swear that Jack drank water for 15 minutes straight. Bless his heart.

Then last night, Baby K was wound up. It was like she was on crack or something. Just a whirlwind constantly. She was sitting in my lap and plop! I heard her drop something into my Diet Coke can. Well, I did not know what she dropped and she just kept saying "the blue ding." Well, when I emptied out the can, I found my SanDisk memory card for my digital camera--full of pictures. That's right, folks. She put my maxed out memory card into the Diet Coke. Rest assured tears were shed over that.

On a good note, I mended a pair of pants yesterday that have been needing repair for the past 4 1/2 years. I do not ever think about it until I want to wear them, and then I do not have time. So last night, I did it. I remembered the pants and by golly, I mended them.

Good news is yesterday started a 10-day break from school. Hopefully I can get some Christmas gifts completed that I am making and some sewing done and some laundry complete and some housekeeping done and some parenting, if there is time. Happy Thanksgiving, bloggy friends.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Okay, I am seriously struggling right now. I am absolutely, without a doubt, miserable at my job. I am back to crying every single day. On top of that, when I get mad, all I can think about is what I missing out on with my girls, while dealing with 150 ungrateful teenagers every day. I traded in my own two pre-schoolers for 150 hellions. When I see the behavior issues going on with my own children that did not exist before they went to daycare, and the return to babydom from Bro Man, and I cannot help but think that those "extra" problems would be gone if I was not working. I am missing out on eating lunch with him for Thanksgiving at school, participating in field trips, being a class mom again, teaching Emily and Kendall to read and write like I did Ryan. I am missing out on the 597 extra hugs that I got every day. But the worst part is that I only want to sleep when I am at home. If I am not sleeping, I am taking out my bad day on my children, because I am completely determined that they are not going to end up like my students.

I came home crying last night. Keith's response was, "If it is that bad, then quit." Oh, you have no idea how bad I wanted to hear those words. But then...... I started thinking. He has been miserable in his job for quite some time now. But he hasn't quit. Because he has to provide for his family. He would love to quit. He wants to open a business for himself. No, we don't have the capital for it, but he would love to do it. I also started thinking that when I was praying this summer about a teaching job, that I asked God if the "right" job for me came along, then he would open the doors to it. And he opened the door to this one. Am I giving up on God's plan? Maybe all I needed was the reassurance from Keith that if things got too, too bad, I could leave.

But is teaching somewhere else going to be any different? No. So then what? As long as I have been in school, I could be a doctor by now. Why am I not? Do I just give up on teaching because the students are jerks? Because I know there will jerks, probably even bigger ones, in medicine. Why is it impossible for me to be happy? Keith mentioned the other night that because of work and kids' behavior, we don't even get to enjoy each other anymore, because "we" don't exist anymore. Everything is about being too stressed out or fussing at the kids. The last couple of nights I have spent watching hilariously funny movies with the kids. I have so enjoyed hearing them laugh. Even Keith laughed out loud from the music studio at the kids laughing. But night before last, I fell asleep at 5:30 watching the movie with the kids and slept all night long, even with them in the room with me. Last night, I made some DawgHouse dip and some beer bread before settling in to watch Garfield. But by 8:15 I was zonked.

I know that I am sick (sinus stuff, sore throat, earaches) and that is more than likely contributing to the inability to stay conscious in the evenings and probably my negative attitude toward my students. My fellow teachers warned me that it is easy to get burned out. I think I am there. I am not going to make any decisions right now. I am going to see how it goes between now and Christmas break.

My sanity is at sake, people. Help!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My BABY is 3!!!!

So, yesterday was the anniversary of the birth of my youngest child. The child who was born 35 minutes exactly after being induced. The child who caused me major pain while pregnant and throughout labor because apparently she did not want me to have an epidural. We have gone from this: and
to this:
Happy Birthday, Baby K!!! I love you my sweet baby girl!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm So Excited and I Just Can't Hide It....

That's right, folks. So excited. You wanna know why? Because I am the featured blogger today on SITS. What's that? You don't know what SITS is? Well, let me tell you. It is only the greatest social networking site in blogland. SITS features a blogger five days a week. All of the SITS girls go visit the featured blogger and leave some comment lovin'. I hear ya. You wanna be a part of it, too. Well, just click on the SITS button on the left side of my page and presto!! You're there. It's that easy!!

But look--don't be hatin' because I am the queen for a day. You can be too. Now get your scawny tale over there and see what the hullaballoo is all about.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reaction to the Election

The next president has been decided. At the close of what is the most monumental election in history, Barack Obama, a black man, has won the presidency. I have been weighing my reaction to his victory, and this is what I came up with. Our country is in the worst financial condition that it has been in as far back as I can remember. I am typically a Republican, a conservative, but I totally agree that it is a time for change. No, I do not agree with all that Obama represents; we do not have the same morals and the same values. However, I wanted someone in office who would bring about change. I know that many voters chose Obama based on the color of his skin. I could not understand why race was playing such a big factor in this race until I heard two explanations of it. One of my students explained to me that Obama, a black man, has been where they are and understands their needs. But perhaps the best explanation came on the news this morning when a tearful ASU student explained the hope that Obama's victory brings to the black population. Black Americans everywhere are inspired by a black man's rise to the most powerful position in the free world.

My concerns about Obama also stem from comments made by the same students. Yes, I do feel that it is important for someone to understand an entire race of people. But our president needs to understand two races of people, an entire country filled with two major races and many ethnicities, along with many minority groups. But more importantly, our present needs to fix what is wrong with America for all Americans. Do I feel that Obama can do this? Do I feel that he can represent all of America? Yes. I am concerned about having someone of a different faith in charge of our country. (I understand that Obama belongs to a Christian church--I am not doubting that--but even Christian churches differ.) But that is what makes America what it is—the freedom for anyone, anywhere, to be anything.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


So....there really is a reason my blogging has dropped off. It's called reality. REALLY...I have not figured out how to be a working mom and a blogger, let alone a seamstress and a crafter. I want to be all of those things, and an amazing wife and housekeeper. But guess what suffers. All of them. That's right. All of them.

But this week being a teacher was really rewarding. The club that I am co-sponsor of hosted a breast cancer awareness walk. Now, I could not have done this without my co-sponsor, but most of the work fell on me. We all know me. I am not organized. But for once, I had a plan. It was just falling into place. We sold ribbons to the students for $1 each and they in turn got out of class 15 mins early to participate in the awareness walk. We set a goal of $500. As of Wednesday afternoon, I was worried. We only had $267 of our $500 goal. Thursday afternoon, we had $410. By 2:30 Friday at the walk, we had $648. Can you believe it? Of the 770 students, 648 were willing to participate in buying a ribbon to get out of class 15 minutes early. We had a pre-walk ceremony with 5 cancer survivors. We let each of them release a balloon with their names tied to them, then the club members released another 5 for people who lost their battles with breast cancer. It was so awesome to see that many young people participating in the walk--for whatever reason--all walking for a cure. The principal was highly impressed at the turnout and the willingness to participate. There were no problems getting everyone to do what they were supposed to do.

We capped off the walk by heading straight into the pep rally, at which the principal and one of the ninth-grade history teachers were "arrested" to raise money for the school since the state cut the education funds. The principal urged the kids to donate money. For every $25, he had to stay in jail for 1 hour. The 1st A.P. and the head football coach each donated a $100 bill. But we have a ways to go. We are still short about $4800. If we don't find some way to raise it, it will come out of our instructional funds. But I trust that we will find a way to raise it. I suggested to the PTO that we do a camp stew sale in January and talk to the local movie theatre about having a GHS night. Any suggestions of fund raisers that have been successful?