Merry Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope this finds you well and that you've had a terrific Christmas Day with your loved ones. I find it hard to believe that Christmas is already here. In some ways I think this year has gone by really fast and in other ways it's been slow. It is 3 days to OneThing and I can hardly wait.

I have come to the parental unit's house to relax. A friend is flying in tomorrow and we're gonna hang here for a day or so and then head to the conference. I can hardly believe it's almost here. One week from today I will wish I could rewind and experience it all over again. I feel like that every year. It goes by so fast... I can't believe we're here already. Wow.

I don't have anything else to say at the moment. I'm sure I'll have more to share as the conference draws near and even throughout the conference.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Later!

Christmas Eve Eve

So, I have been quite busy so far on break. Fortunately it's all pretty much been busy in a good way. I have just about all my gifts bought and wrapped, I've baked cookies for the dinner tomorrow, and have cleaned my part of the house. I tell ya, when I'm on a mission, I get stuff done! It's been good though because I do better if I'm busy rather than bored. I still have stuff to do, but it's all pretty cool stuff. I think sleeping in will be my favorite part of tomorrow. :-) Just kiddin, but it will be a highlight.

One week from tonight I'll be at OneThing. I can't wait!

Later!

Break is underway....

Well, I sit here, and school is officially "out" for break. I still need to go tutor a little boy before my break begins, but it's all good. We have our staff party tonight, and I'm looking forward to it. We're doing a white elephant gift exchange. I am anxious to see how it all goes. Knowing our staff, it will be hilarious!

I am loved very well. I sit here with about 3 bags of gifts on my desk. I've never gotten as much as I did today before from kids. I'm blessed.

My favorite gift came from a former student. Alexis came to see me, and she brought me a Hershey bar and a card. Just seeing her blessed me. It was a really cool reminder of how many people really are watching us when we don't even know it. I liked Alexis when she was in my class but I didn't think we had "clicked" like I do with others. Well, apparently we did because she comes back fairly regularly to see me. It makes me smile. We all make a difference, but we don't always know what sort of impact we make. Very cool stuff.

Well, I need to load up goodies and head out. I'll give you periodic updates throughout the break.

I do find it odd how it's called a "break". I've still got massive shopping to do. Not so sure it's a break just yet... :-)

Later!

Holiday Technology On Ice

I'm likely to spend the Holidays off the internets, so everyone enjoy yours (Holidays, enjoy your Holidays).

Happy finals (for my bretheren and sistern laboring in block schedule high schools), Christmas, New Year, or whatever you've got.

Vocabulary Can Save Lives

This, friends, is why you have to learn new words. When your students ask you, you learn new words to save lives and feed the hungry. So go here. Learn words and save lives.

Again, you're welcome.

Back to work...

Greetings!

I returned to work today! Yes, I had ALL last week off due to an ice storm that came through the area. The storm knocked out power many of the schools in the area, so I had a free week off! I tell ya, I got so much done. I got shopping done, and Christmas cards done! It has been great. It felt weird though, I could go shop, but I couldn't teach little kids. Go figure.

I had a really good day at work too. The kids were excited to see me, and I was glad to see them. I am teaching my math groups a new concept, and it was fun to see them "catch" it today. They did better than I ever expected them to do! :-) It was good.

It was also good to be with my friends at work. I had missed them. It was good to get caught up with them. The more I talked to them, I felt more blessed and guilty because we only lost electricity for about 3 hours total. People at work went days without power. Weirdness. Some kids were still without power. It's amazing how people make things work to survive. Needless to say, it was great to see them.

So, now I need to go buy something for my Secret Santa. I had forgotten until a little while ago that tomorrow is our party. Having a week off has thrown me off, but it's all good. 4 days to Christmas break and the OneThing conference. I can't wait!

Thanks for reading!
Later!

You're Welcome

Find out which presidential candidate in the huge field of competitors best matches your views.

As We End The Year Of The Sweater...

I am still without a handmade sweater. In my defense, socks got in the way and I found them a worthy challenge. However, I had nearly forgotten my promise to the entire internet that I'd finish a handmade sweater in 2007.

It's not gonna happen.

But I found the one I will do!! And my project slate is fairly clean save one scarf that I'm throwing together for a friend at Christmas (don't get any ideas, anyone, she's not a blog reader).



This little lovely covers all my bases. Can be done in Cotton-Ease, available in sizes for larger Americans, not boring (take a look at the picot bind off! and cables! and exotic increase/decreases!), able to be layered and multi-season.

I have consulted a knitting professional regarding said increase/decreases and she offers some good help. I'm open to more. I'm also mulling over the color possibilities.


*Cat not included. Really, I'm a 36 year old single English teacher who knits. Let's not have me fulfill every stereotype all at once.

iced in...sort of

Well, quick post here. School is still out of session and it's Wednesday. I'm now caught up on paperwork, grading, and am now working on Christmas Cards. Our phone line went out during the ice storm, so I sit in a parking lot getting caught up on email and such. We still have parts of the area without power, so school is out for today. I just drove through part of the area, and there are still many areas without electricity. The good news is that the roads are fine, so I can go and do. Only deal is, the store I wanted to visit is closed due to power. Ah well, this too shall pass!

Have a great day!

:-)

Ice Day!

So, today was GOOD! Why? Because school is cancelled for Monday! An ice storm has hit our area (pray we don't lose electricity!) so we don't have school tomorrow. Life is good!

I love teaching!

Only Licensed, Third Party, Professionals Need Apply

State testing used to be maybe two weeks long. This year, the state has added End of Instruction Exams in three new subjects. So it's no longer EOI week, it's EOI season.

The mayhem this addition has caused is tangible all over the building. The teachers who ignored my stress induced squinting and bloodshot eyes are now squealing like piggies. "You've got to HELP us!!", "We don't know what this test LOOKS like!!!", "We don't have enough INFORMATION!!".

Um, duh. That's what we've been doing for years. Remember when you asked me what the big deal was with all this testing and why were we so tense? Because I do.

My season ed English II colleagues and I are proud now that we've developed a thick testing skin that allows us to withstand these outbursts. We don't engage the outbursters, and we don't ourselves burst out.

I am not, however, immune to stress. I've two pools of stress now. They reside right around my shoulder blades, twin pools of tension. I've been trying a lot of weird stretching to shrink them, but to no avail.

So when my Debate class asked (as is their custom) if I can be bought, I deviated a bit from my normal indignant "Never!".

"Yeah. I can be bribed. You could buy me with a gift certificate for a massage."

With this, a young man I'll call "fingers" perks up.

"Oh, Miss! I can give good massages!!"

"Ummm...no, Fingers, I don't think that's a good idea. It sounds like
something that might be a Lifetime movie. It would have to be a gift
certificate."


...and then we all laugh together and with a bit of warning, go quickly back to work. And we're working away silently, work, work, workity work, when another kid speaks up.

"Ms Educat, what if we gave you a gift certificate for Fingers to give you a
massage?"


Guess what? I still have the stress pools.

Light at the end of the tunnel...sort of...

So, today I did it. I swallowed my pride and told one of my supervisors that I need help. I wrote 2 IEP's this week for NEW kids. I'm now up to 24. I kept thinking, "It's okay, with God I can do this." True, I can, but I need help. I'm treadding water, not moving forward in my classroom because my students require so much of me. (Probably doesn't help that I have a boy that is really building my character in a BIG way right now)

Apparently my supervisor had already heard that I was overloaded, and she said we were going to have to use SlowLady to help. I knew that was coming...and I hated the prospect of my kids going to SlowLady. So, I told my supervisor that it would be better if GigglyGal took my kids because they're given our State Test this year and SlowLady can't handle that. She agreed.

So, we're working on juggling kids around so that GigglyGal and I have decent caseloads. She's at 22 now and I'm at 24. We're giving SlowLady the little little people. Nothing's official. We haven't told our Regular Education Teachers, but they're not going to be happy.

Neither are the kids.

We're waiting until after break to move kids around.

So, it's sort of a light at the end of the tunnel.

I keep thinking that three weeks from tonight is OneThing.

That's going to keep me sane the next 21 days...

Crushing Disappointment: The Real Bear Necessity

There's new curriculum in Ms. Educat's Afterschool Club For Kids Who Don't Read Good (actually a credit recovery program for kids who've failed English). The kids have to read much more (hurrah!!) and write much more (Yay!!) and it's much more on a par with what we're doing during the day in classes.


The girl in the Insane Clown Posse hoodie (she wears it Every. Single. Day.) is getting ready to start the literature portion of the course and I excitedly inform her that she'll be reading The Jungle. I read that book as a wee girl with my father (Yep, it's the stuff that bedtime stories are made of in the Educat home. You know what our other favorite was? 83 Hours Til Dawn, the very creepy story of a kidnapped heiress who was buried alive!!). So I tell ICP hoodie she'll be reading The Jungle and her eyes light up too! It's magic!! She knows this book and is excited to reread it!!! When the words form, I'm rather deflated.



"Awesome!! You mean the book with that big blue bear and the nekkid
kid!?"




A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

So, today the sun was shining, and it was a pretty day! Oh yeah, and OU WON THEIR GAME SATURDAY NIGHT! I tell ya, going to school today was fun!

In case you had missed my blog post from the other day, I had a friendly deal with our fifth graders about the OU/MU game Saturday Night. If MU had won, I would have come into school today with an Ice Cream Sandwich for each 5th grader. Well, that didn't happen! :-)

I had made a deal with one student that if OU won, he had to bring me M&M's. I only made the deal with one kid because I know his family and they would know it was all in fun!

Well, I got A LOT of candy today! First off, the boy I made the deal with gave me TWO bags of plain M&M's. (My favorite!) Then two other students from an entire other class gave me M&M's.

I walked up and down the fifth grade hall after the student gave me the candy he owed me just shaking the bags, saying, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood."

And then, the coolest part...one of the regular education teachers gave each student in her class a Hershey Kisses and they had to come down and congratulate me on the win and give me the candy! It was a hoot!

As the day went on, I gradually got more and more candy from other kids. It was a hoot!

So, I am still a true-blue, KU fan.

But I tell ya, I'm smiling now because OU won.

Now I can't wait for the real college hoops season starts up...I wonder if I can get more candy then...

:-)
Later!

Once Again, Testing Approaches And With It The Familiar Fear That We're All Gonna Die

In our End of Instruction Exam prep book, we just read a passage from The Iliad. We just went through it together, I read part of it aloud and another kid did the rest.

When we finished, one kid put down his book and said (really),

"Dang. This is good. Did they make a book out of this?"

Making things interesting...

So this week has been full of stories I could share. And, over the next few days intend to share each one. I could do a short summary of the week, as I've done before, but I feel each story has a little life of it's own that I'm pondering. So, in light of that, I will share the latest school ramblings...

Outside of my classroom I have a KU Jayhawk poster. Yeah, yeah, I know, KU Jayhawks lost last weekend the MU! I have taken flack all week for that. I even owed a student some candy because the Jayhawks lost. I tell ya though, it made last week a bit more fun as the "Border War" was on.

Well, in light of last week's game, I decided to cheer this weekend for OU. Now, let me be real about this, I don't care about football. I know, stop your yammering. But, really, football isn't as exciting as basketball to me. However, in light of last week's loss, I decided I couldn't cheer for MU because they beat KU last weekend. Don't ya love that logic? I use the same logic in the Big Dance too.

So, this week I started chanting "Go OU" to our Fifth Graders. I can't foresee myself becoming a rabid OU fan, I am from Lawrence, so I will always root for the Hawks! But, it started something neat.

Throughout the week it became this little inside joke for us. It probably didn't help that I told the kids if OU lost I'd bring Ice Cream sandwiches on Monday. But, I tell ya, the kids made posters and put them up throughout the halls, and I would occasionally return to my room with a sign on top of my Jayhawk.

Needless to say, by the end of the week, my Jayhawk poster has sustained minor injuries. But, it had created kids to smile, joke, and laugh.

And, that is what really matters.

As for the game tomorrow. Ah, it doesn't matter.

What matters is that kids smiled and joke and laughed this week.

Awesome stuff.

Later!

In The Bosom Of Family

Ok, first, I love my mother. Love, love, love her. I do. I loved her before she was my only parent, and I love her more now as I see her navigate her new life alone. Love. My. Mother.

Now, I have a story...

Lately, it seems like my mother is more at home with my aunt and uncle (Dad's only brother) than anywhere else. We visited them over the holiday and one night, in her most at-home-ness, she started telling stories.



Back when we used to take the church kids on field trips, we went to the
Oklahoma State Capitol. One of the kids was fascinated by the portrait of Jim
Thorpe and asked who he was. I told them he was a great Indian---because back
then, we could say Indian!!!!



I hate it when she does this. She knows I hate it. She knows I say Native American, not as much from political correctness as to distinguish them from the Eastern Indian kids in my class. When I explained this, she rolled her eyes and said something horrible about knowing feathers from dots. She continues...


And when I told little church kid that Jim Thorpe won all those Olympic
Medals, he just looked at me with the saucer eyes and said "Wow. Just like
whoosiegirl". Now, what's funny is that whoosiegirl has medals from the Special
Olympics because she's mentally handicapped."


Now, before I finish this story, it's time to say that I also love whoosiegirl. I've tried to teach her to knit and if ever I want a bear hug, whoosiegirl is the one to do it. Her hugs hurt, but they're heartfelt.


But I'm still nursing frustration at her jab at my alleged political correctness, so I swing back.


Back then, we could call them retarded!!!!*


*It bears mentioning that although I might say the d-word, s-word, b-word, and sometimes even the f-word, I say Native American and I don't say retarded.






Because What Would A Holiday Be Without Stories Like This, Part One

Story 1--
My small family (mother, sister, and maternal granny) was gathered around the table about to enjoy our Thanksgiving bounty. We'd all bowed our heads to (as my Granny would say) "turn thanks". Mother was leading...

...and God, thank you for the rest of our family and bless them wherever
they are. Especially Goofboy (my cousin who is serving right now in Afghanistan)
who is so far away...
Granny interrupts--yes--interrupts our sweet hour of prayer
He's home!!!!!

Mom, ever smoove, goes back into prayer,
Thank you, God, for bringing Goofboy home for a while...
Granny again
Yep!!! Home last Thursday for two weeks!!!!

I wish I'd thought about how funny it would be to interject our prayer of Thanksgiving with a few other personal tidbits, but it's probably better that I didn't. Mom finished her prayer quickly and tersely so as not to give Granny another window.

andsoGodforallyourblessingswearegratefulpleaseblessthefood
andthehandsthatprepareditinJESUSNAMEAMEN!!!


Whew!

8 Hours of Heaven...well, kind of....

So, yesterday was better than I could've expected. I came to the prayer room for some soaking time, and expected to get some work done. Well, the work never got done. My favorite worship leader, Misty, led from 2-4. That was awesome. Then I messed around a bit on the web, but didn't work really. I was going to start working about 5:30, and I was sitting here and people started flooding in. I couldn't figure it out. Evening services are usually held in another building at 7, and I had already decided not to go to service, because I had too much work to do. Well, apparently God had other ideas for me...

As it turns out, they have moved evening services to the Prayer Room. (I'm in the Prayer Room now.) And services begin at 6pm. Well, I thought, "okay, God, whatever." I hadn't eaten, and was hungry, but at that point leaving wasn't exactly an option. So I stayed. I figured service would be over around 8-ish. Well, I was right.

Who came out at 8? Misty!

I stayed until 10. It felt great to be here. I can't put into words what God is doing in me and through me right now, but suffice to say, this weekend has been a gift.

For those of you who have never been here, and think I'm a bit nutty (which some people do, which is fine, this is me. If others can't handle it, that's their issue, not mine) I want to sort of descrbe this room to you. Some have asked, "Well, is it a dark place where all you do is pray?"

It's not dark. It's a well-lit room with chairs facing the stage. It's a large room, not a tiny room like they started out in. On the stage are about 12 musicians and singers who play and sing to the Lord. Sometimes it's worship songs, and sometimes it's just music, and sometimes it's prayer. To me, worship is the same as prayer and vice versa. So, while I sit here, and I sing and pray all at the same time. But, no, it's not a dark, sad place. There are cameras (small ones) set throughout the room because they are webcast 24 hours a day and God TV broadcasts from here for some of the programming. Yesterday I was asked to move because I was using my computer and they want us on the side seats if you're on a computer. That's okay by me. I can still sit and sing.

I'm currently reading a book about a guy that visited Heaven and came back to life. In the book he describes the heavenly music. What he described sounds similar to the music here. (It makes sense, because what they do here is Scriptural) I now long for heaven in a deeper way than ever before. Don't worry, I'm not suicidal, but I am intrigued. I know what scripture says about Heaven, but there is an element I didn't grasp until I read this book. It excites me.

So, while this may not be Heaven, it's kind of what I picture it to be like.

And that excites me...

That's about it for now. Later!

A true friend...

I met with someone today who loves me very much. No, stop reading into it...not a date. I met with a friend. And, we usually joke and laugh. But, today I was challenged. She spoke truth into my life, and while it was hard to hear, it was a gift. I sit right now in the Prayer Room in KC, and am in a rather reflective mood...go figure. I'm in my favorite room on the planet, and I feel reflective...seriously...

I've been walking in some serious, heavy stuff. Well, serious and heavy to me. Not Cancer, not life or death, so it's not that heavy, but I have been pondering life quite a bit.

I don't care how old you are, I think we're all on this journey to figure out who we are, and how we fit into this big world. I know I've spent a great deal of time lately reflecting on who I am, and who I want to be.

Today I had someone speak into my life as to what she's seeing within me, and what there can be if I reach for it. I felt blessed because she cared enough about me to share her heart like that. I could tell she was hesitant...and by the end of it, I had tears streaming down my cheeks.

Someone spoke life into my life... For that I feel blessed.

I plan on spending the day with the parental unit tomorrow, but will return here Friday and Saturday. Stay tuned for my latest thoughts and ponderings!

Later!

Isn't It Cute When Adults Text?

My friend chronicles a cruel text message I sent her this weekend.

It's worth noting that I did, in fact, see Pygmalion on Thursday night (a Broadway production, it's one of eight shows not affected by the strike as their stagehands aren't employed by LocalOne). It was good. Great in parts, but overall good. Claire Danes was good, but not any better than my friend at our University production fifteen years ago. As far as the production goes, Jefferson Mays was outstanding as Higgins. There was great irony to this incredible wordsmith saying volumes with his silence. My favorite performance overall was Jay O. Sanders (who you may recall as the inimitable Ziggy from Rosanne) as Mr Doolittle. His scene in the second act about the perils of middle class values was stunning.

But I digress.

The twin peril to the joy of sending text is that I can also receive them. Halfway through the day on Friday, I got a text on my phone from my teacher neighbor around the corner.

The peed in your ice chest

Isn't he hilarious, this one? Ha ha ha, siiighhh...I love these colorful characters I work with back home!

I threw back a one word message,
liar

...and went off to do something pretentious. Perhaps it was a poetry slam or a discussion on innovative classroom methods or just cruising the exhibit hall for free books. Whatever, when I finished it, I had a return text.
I'm totally serious.

My thumbs flew back with some fury about the incompetence of the sub or guesses at the perpetrator or some such and all was left until I returned today. Today, when the students would fully experience the dark, dark midnight of my wrath.

The urinator had already confessed and is on a temporary sabbatical from English class. His accomplices were nabbed today and the ice chest will be replaced. Once the guilty three were removed, I could finally laugh about the incident and I was thrilled to see that my class echoed both my outrage and my laughter. Jokes about this being the "number one problem" flowed like...well, they flowed.

Sorry, it's not yet that funny.

49 Questions

So everyday, I read Ms. H's "Molding Young Minds" blog. It's fun to think that I'm not the only one in the trenches attempting to mold the minds of the future. Anyway, she posted 50 questions that I found intriguing, so I thought I'd answer them myself. There was a mistake in my cutting and pasting...there are only 49! Enjoy!

1. If your doctor told you TODAY that you were pregnant, what would you say? Um, yeah, not possible...I'M NOT DATING ANYONE!
2. Do you trust all of your friends? Yeah, pretty much.
3. Would you move to another state or country to be with the one you love? Yes.
4. Do you believe that everything happens for a reason? yepper doodle
5. Can you make a dollar in change right now? yep
6. Which one of your friends do you think would make the best doctor? Rinard. He's already a lawyer, so I figure he'll be a doctor before he dies too!
7. Are you afraid of falling in love? no.
9. Is there someone who pops into your mind at random times? No.
10. Whats your most favorite scar? My leg surgery scars. Kids are intrigued by it!
11. When was the last time you flew in a plane? Years ago when I went to see Ms. H in Texas.
12. What did the last text message you sent say? I miss you.
13. What features do you find most attractive in the preferred sex? In love with God and a heart for worship in song.
14. Fill in the blank. I love: the fact that people trust me with their children everyday.
15. What is a goal you would like to accomplish in the near future? Staying caught up on my IEP paperwork regularly.
16. If you were to wake up from being in a coma for an extended time who would you call? My parents and my brothers.
17. How many kids do you want to have? I've always said, "two", but now that I'm a teacher and see what it takes to raise a kid properly, I'm not so sure...
18. Would you make a good parent? Yes, I think so.
19. Where was your favorite picture taken? Outside my Grandpa's nursing home with my younger brother. It sits on my dresser.
20. Whats your middle name? Lynn
21. Honestly, whats on your mind right now? Whether or not I should be brave enough to wear my jogging pants and KU hoodie to school tomorrow. We're having a border war tomorrow, and I want to go all out!
22. If you could go back in time and change something, what would it be? Nothing. I believe everything I've walked through as made me who I am today, in both good and the bad.
23. Who was or will be the maid of honor/ best man in your wedding? Bakerywoman
24. What are you wearing right now? My flanel pants and a T-shirt and socks. I can't stand to be barefooted!
25. Righty or Lefty? Lefty!
26. Best place to eat? Pizza House #6
27. Favorite jeans? Levi's
28. Favorite animal? Miniature Schnauzers
29. Favorite juice? Does cherry Kool-Aid count?
30. Have you had the chicken pox? yep
31. Have you had a sore throat? Um, yeah, who hasn't?
32. Ever had a bar fighT? Um, you've got to be kidding! Someone could push me lightly, and I'd fall! Badoomp!
33. Who knows you the best? It’s a tossup. Bakerywoman and Laura.
34. Shoe size? 7.5
35. Do you wear contact lenses or glasses? Glasses.
36. Ever been in a fight with your pet? Um, no.
37. Been to Mexico? Nope, I'm a home person!
38. Did you buy something today? Pepsi and a dog toy for Sophie. I tried to find ones for Rudy and Roxie, since I'll see them this week, but there wasn't anything I thought they would like!
39. Did you get sick today? Does a runny nose count?
40. Do you miss someone today? yeah
41. Did you get in a fight with someone today? nope, I love "no drama" days! I like drama, just not in real life!
42. When is the last time you had a massage? Facial massage at women's retreat 2 years ago!
43. Last person to lay in your bed? Me!
44. Last person to see you cry? Karen, my adopted Spitual Mom.
45. Who made you cry? Noone in particular, just overwhelmed at school.
46. What was the last TV show you watched? House
47. What are your plans for the weekend? IHOP-KC and the parental unit's house!
48. Who do you think will repost this? I don't care, I've just had fun with this!
49. Who was the last person you hung out with? Bakerywoman
50. If your significant other asked you to marry them TODAY what would you say? Yeah, um, not gonna happen today, so don't worry about it! :-)

Random Ramblings

Wow, so where did the weekend go? Wow. I should be headed to sleep. But, before I do, I wanted to post some random thoughts. It's been a good weekend, it's just gone by super fast. What did I do all weekend? I worked on stuff for the SmartBoard! Now that I've learned new stuff, I want to implement it NOW with the kids. I'll be anxious to see how it goes tomorrow.

Yesterday morning I went to a Bible Study for church. We meet once a month, and while I was the youngest one there (literally...I was the only one without Grandkids! Well, I don't have kids either, but that's beside the point.) It was really good. I was glad I went.

Today church was really good. I find myself thanking God every Sunday that He put me where I am. Tonight we had our Holiday Dinner, which was fun too. I look around at my church family, and just feel blessed. I'm loved very well there....

Finally, I've been pondering something, and well, it's odd to share, but I am going to anyway. Last month we had Women's Retreat, and I played bongos for the first time in about 2.5 years. I was asked to play, so it wasn't like I asked them if I could play. Actually, I quit 2.5 years ago, and felt that God asked me to lay it down. I was okay with that. And, I didn't really miss it. I was nervous going into the retreat weekend, since I hadn't played in so long. I didn't think I had missed it...Until...Women's Retreat. It's odd to think I'm a female drummer, but I am. Somewhere deep inside of me there's a new longing to play again. I mean, Women's Retreat was such an incredible experience with God. Only thing is, I don't know if that was just for that weekend, or if I'm to pick it up again. Anyway, it's something I'm praying about...we shall see what happens. I have the opportunity to play on Monday Nights at the local House of Prayer. I'll keep ya posted!

Well, I should crash. At least it's a two day week!

Yippee Skippee!

More highs than lows...

Well, another week has gone by, and it has been what I would call a roller coaster of a week. It had some very high highs, and some really low lows. So, I've decided to share a little bit of both tonight before I move to the couch and watch "Don't forget the Lyrics". (I've decided I need a few new hobbies, by the way, because TV isn't a life.)

High: I spoke Monday morning to a College Class full of Future Educators. I shared my life story and my experiences in teaching. It was really fun. I made them laugh a lot, which is neat. I only had one student fighting sleep (I've never had one do that to me before!), so I guess that's a good thing. At the end, one student came up to me and handed me a sappy "You bless me" note. Yep, highlight #1 of the week!

Low: For a few days prior to Monday (sad to say, I can't remember the exact day) a girl had gone missing in a town not far from here. I had been praying off and on for her. Her name was Rowan. Her family had been on the news, pleading for someone to return her. On Monday, she was found...dead. Not only was she found dead, but it has been reported that the Stepdad was one of the two men responsible. Everyone at work took it hard. We had all discussed the case repeatedly, and prayed for her. I could share with you the graphic details of the girls death, but suffice to say, it led to some very tough discussions this week in my classroom. I just keep thinking of this kid who probably pleaded with God in her last moments of life for her to be saved...and she was...just not the way we all wanted her to be saved. I never knew the kid, but, the homelife reminded me so much of my student's lives...it's been in the back of my mind all week. Yeah, low #1 of the week.

High: TLA day for me! I learned some really cool stuff I can use in my classroom with a SmartBoard. I have taken ownership of the SmartBoard out of the Computer Lab and have taken it as my own. :-) The past two days have been really fun with the SmartBoard. I can see my students going to new places with this stuff!

High: My Best Friend and I got caught up on Tuesday night as we watched House. I don't take that stuff for granted at all anymore.

High and Low all at once: I got another new student this week. I like the kid. In fact, I love the kid. Only low point is, it puts me at 25 kids I'm servicing... Yikes!

High: Going to homegroup and having my friends and I be "real" with each other. In a few areas of my life, I am wrestling with God, and it was nice to be able to share my heart with safe friends. I'm a blessed gal. We didn't solve the problems of the world, but I was reminded of how blessed I am.

High: My Best Friend inquired as to why I was so quiet lately and I was real with her and told her. Seems odd that I should note that as a high, but I do. We've had some real challenges in the course of our friendship, and to have her notice I was down amazed me.

High: Seeing Guys and Dolls play with Best Friend last night. I realize she went primarily because I was so open with her the night before and she could tell I just needed someone to be by me for an evening. The play was really good. I had fun.

High and Low: We met this morning on one of my students. I don't typically have parents who get upset in meetings, but today was the exception. We met on this kid, Jay, who I just adore. He came to me from another school in our district with only a Math and Oral Expression label. This kid can't write a sentence to save his soul. He's come a long way since August, but he is WAY below grade level. So, we had met with Jay's Mom once to get permission to re-do his testing. Not a problem. She liked us, we liked her, and everything was good to go. She shared at that meeting that she had had a bad experience at the other school, etc. I dismissed it, and we moved on. This led to today's meeting.

We had to go over the testing. I had prayed that this kid would qualify for more help. And, honestly, my motivation was to qualify him for our alternative state assessment. Yes, in my little corner of the world, state assessment is everything. Mr. P. only cares about scores. (I'm not overexaggerating...it's a sick, sick world.)

So, the meeting started, and I was sent to get a member of the team. I was missing Mr. C., the regular classroom teacher, so I said I would go. Right before I had left, I heard a couple of our team members discussing that maybe an interpretter was needed, as Jay's Mom is from another country, and her English is incredibly choppy. They wanted to make sure she would understand everything.

When I entered the room with Mr. C., the team leader was clearly trying to smooth things over. Yep, you guessed it, while I was out, an interpretter had been offered and Jay's Mom was OFFENDED. It was a misunderstanding in so many ways. By law, our team leader had to offer the interpretter because of the ESL family background. The flip of it, Mom stated that in her culture that is an offense. There were so many things that I wanted to say. And, in fact, our team leader apologized and we tried to move forward, but Jay's Mom was offended and didn't want to look at our team leader. Team leader left in tears, and we tried to smooth things out. It took time, but we did it. I pleaded with the Mom that my hands were tied in what I could do for her son because of the law, and if we didn't go over the papers then I couldn't do anymore for her son.

She stayed.

The high of it all: Jay now qualifies in all academic areas! And, qualifies for alternative testing. Whew! Definate high!

High: One of my fifth graders has mastered a math concept. Ashton came to me last Spring and couldn't add 2+5 with her fingers. She processes things differently than we do. So, I have taken the past month and taught her whole group touchpoint addition. And, then we played "Addition Bingo" and she can do touchpoints without the worksheet and figure it out! :-) Yes! It is rare I get that kind of result, but I did! :-) HIGH POINT OF THE WEEK!

High: Only 2 days of school next week!

High: I get to go to IHOP next week!

Low: I miss Laura. She won't be back until late this month. I miss laughing with her.

Well, I guess that's about it. I'm moving to the couch. I'm missing my show.

Thanks for reading! Later!

If You Could Read My Mind, Love

Today, the familiar urgency to blog struck me. It's been too long since the feeling hit, so here's a bunch of stuff...

Third Hour Celebutante

ParisBritanyLindsay was checked out by a parent at the beginning of class. Toward the end, she returned with the announcement, "I totally just took a bubble bath at home!". When I questioned her, she explained that since she forgot her lunch money, she was checked out (after lunch, during class) to go home and eat.

And take a bubble bath.

If I am ever called to testify before the Legislature about accountability, I shall tell this tale.

Lawd Have MRSA!

Normally when I am on hall duty and catch students amorously embraced in the throes of passion, I just yell, "Ewwww!!".

Today, with a nod to current events, I shouted, "Aaah! Staph!!! You'll get staph and die from that much contact!!!"

When the young lady (a kid I knew only from the hall) in question untangled and composed herself, she asked me seriously, "Do you think if I asked the counselor, she'd put me in your English class? I really want you for English."

For A Serious Moment

For a limited time, you have the chance to give a great gift. The XO low cost laptop is finally available (I remember hearing about it as early as 2003). If you purchase one before November 26th, you get the laptop and another is given in your name to a child in a developing country. You also get free hotspot access for a year and can deduct part of the cost on your taxes. Quite a deal.

...And Lastly...

If I spend my Spring Break doing this, will you petition to get it on television?

In The Interest Of My Own Health...



"If you don't blog this sign, you're dead to me. Ok, maybe not dead to me, but you're very very sick."

For the record, the arrow was pointing into a liquor store.

The hunt continues...

Well, another day was spent shopping. Well, part of it anyway. It was beautiful here, so it was a good day to get out and shop. However, my search for the perfect Birthday Gift continues. Sometimes I wish I was a bit more relaxed about stuff like this. I mean, it's not like it's the end of the world if I don't find just the right thing, but I still shop my little heart away. I think half the fun is in the hunt. And I really do believe that once I see it, I will think to myself, "It was worth the hunt!"

We'll see what happens...

I'll keep you posted!

Later!

Snippits

So, tonight I have a headache and should probably be on the couch, but I don't want to get to the couch too early because I will fall asleep. I know, you're thinking, that's a good thing...well, yes, but if I'm asleep now, then I'll be awake at 5am, and I want to sleep a bit later than that...so, I decided to blog snippits of my week. It was a weird one...

On Tuesday I played detective and found out that my new kid isn't really mine, she's our EMR teacher's, so I got to hand her off. She was a sweet kid, but clearly doesn't fit in with my class, so I was glad there was a class that was better suited for her needs.

Wednesday was hectic, but not bad at school. Wednesday night I figured out how much my Homegroup really is about to change. I'm okay with that, it just sort of really sunk in this week. My homegroup leaders are taking a break from responsibilities, so things are going to shift. On one hand, that's cool, as I have come to realize that there are times when God shifts a season to move you to a place that's even better than where you were. And I'm okay with that. On the other hand, it's hard because some of the ladies in the group are REALLY fighting the change. Not fighting, just not wanting change, if that makes sense.

As for me, I'm praying because there's another group I had been going to that I really enjoyed, but I don't want to leave my homegroup high and dry, so I'm still praying. So far, I have simply learned that change isn't bad, we just fight it because it's hard sometimes. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out...

Thursday and today were okay. I had gotten a bit dhydrated, so I have been working my way back to health the past couple days. As I said in a previous post, I'm a wimp, so I'm ready for all this to be over.

Finally, I will share one last observation I made this week. Typically I am in a really good mood. I mean, to the point, I annoyed someone this week due to my chipper attitude. :-) Leave it to me to make someone frustrated because I'm positive. And in that moment, I discovered something PRICELESS. People are watching whether we want them to or not. And, they're not just watching for actions, they're watching for REACTIONS. That makes me want to be the best person (real and transparent) that I can be...

The Perfect Gift...

Okay, so the Shopping Season is underway! Okay, so it seems odd to be saying that, as that it's November 5, but, I have decided that this year I am not waiting until my December paycheck to get all my shopping done. This year I'm dividing it over several paychecks so that it won't hurt so much. And well, I'm on a hunt...

Not for a Christmas gift, mind you, but a Birthday Gift. Someone close to me is about to have a Birthday, and I've already spent about 8 hours trying to find just the right gift. And, unfortunately, I haven't found it yet.

But, I am not a quitter! I keep saying to myself, "I'll know it when I see it!"

I will find it!

I just hope Christmas Shopping isn't this tough!

:-)

Well, back to shopping...

Later!

Because You Never Know Who Lurks Behind A Name Tag...

I've been to more than one teacher conference wondering if some of you edu bloggers are there hiding behind your "real names". Is the person I share notes or an eye roll with someone I've been reading for years?

With that thought, I've wondered if any of you will be at NCTE (if you don't know that stands for National Council of Teachers of English then you probably aren't going) later this month (because I'm totally going!!). I contemplated making myself easy to spot (say, wearing a hot dog suit or something...) so you could approach me and we could share a happy chat. Rethinking that strategy, a hot dog suit is a bit hard to pack so perhaps you should just drop me an email if you'll be at NCTE.

Or bring your hot dog suit, just so I'll know.

Taken for granted...

I have come to many conclusions over the past couple days, and above all, I have come to realize how much I take my good health for granted. I am in good shape 99% of the time, and this week was the 1% I don't!

I woke up about 10:30 Tuesday night sick. And, when I say sick, I'm not saying sniffles. I had the stomach flu. I had felt a bit under the weather before I went to bed, but figured I was just tired and needed to sleep. So, I was asleep about 9:30-ish. About 10:30, I was wide awake.

I'll spare you the details of the LONG night. It was horrible. I haven't felt that sick in about 4 years! And everytime I woke up, one phrase kept coming to me... I CAN'T BE SICK, WE HAVE HALLOWEEN STUFF AT SCHOOL! Not to mention I was presenting to the teachers that afternoon at a workshop! Yeah, the worst possible day for me to be sick, and I was really sick!

I called in to work about 6, called my committee members after that, and went back to bed. And, I'll be the first to admit, I am a wimp! I hate being sick. I hate pain.

So, what did I do?

Sleep!

I got up long enough to take the DVD to work that they needed for the workshop, and went right back to bed! I don't think I've slept that much in a long time.

I took Thursday off too. I was still weak yesterday when I went to work, but I took the day fairly easy. (I say that, I got there and I was notified we were having a field trip! If I'd known that, I would've taken another day off!)

So, today I have taken the day fairly easy. I still feel tired, but I'm not in the restroom every hour, so life is much better.

In the midst of it all, I realized how much of a wimp I am.

And how much I take my good health for granted. I really, really take it for granted. I'm never sick, which is why I'm up to like 45 sick days!

It made me think of the people I know who are in constant pain or illness.

I have stepped up prayer for them though.

As I got up today and thought, "Okay, God, I'm ready to be okay again!"

Then I thought, "I'm so blessed to have that ability."

I'm never taking good health for granted again!

Ever!

Women's Retreat Ramblings

So, this weekend I got away. My church has an annual retreat every Fall, and it is one of my favorite weekends of the entire year. It's always fun to laugh with friends and get to know people and to draw closer to God together. And this weekend was wonderful!

It will take me days to process everything that God did in me and through me, but I tell ya, I feel different now than I did on Friday. And, that's the point. I think about God and all the wonderful things He's done for us, and how easy it is to get down about stuff, and then after a weekend like this, I feel more at peace and close to God than I have felt in a very very very long time. And I am thankful.

I was in a place where stress was eating me alive. And, while I can't type out everything I gained this weekend, I can honestly say I'm changed by this weekend. Praise God!

So, while I need to get offline and lesson plan and get ready to return to the real world, I am blessed to have gotten away and recharged.

Awesome stuff.

Have a great day!

:-)

No more kids!

The night before school started, the Lord spoke to me and told me that every kid that was headed into my classroom this year was sent by Him. I was cool with that. I figured it was a good thing to know going into the year. However, this year is shaping into my busiest ever. Yesterday I asked our secretary if we could lock the doors, because I don't want any more new ones. They're good kids, but I am overwhelmed.

I have 23 that I'm servicing right now, and a new one I have to meet on. That puts me at 24.

We have 4 in the referral process. If they all qualify, then I'll be at 28.

I have already moved my morning classes into the Art/Science Room because I am out of chairs for my morning classes.

So, if you could say a little prayer for me, that would be great...

Thanks!

Now I'm headed home to watch House and Bones.

Later!

One person at a time...

So, this weekend has been very different than I had expected. Friday night I was slated to have a date with the couch, and something better happened. A friend invited me to the Teen Challenge Banquet, and Melissa Snow was slated to speak. Melissa is battling Brain Cancer, and is winning. She's a mother of seven, and is still fighting the good fight.

So I went Friday Night and her testimony touched my life. She preached out of Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 29:11, which happen to be two of my favorite parts of the Bible. And, I walked out changed. Her testimony was excellent! She inspired me. I realize you had to be there to get it, but I walked out and told God that I wanted to be a vessel like Melissa. She's just living her life, and is being real in the midst of it all. I'm still processing it all. I like that. It's always good to be challenged.

So, then I got up today and wondered what was in store for me. I knew I was speaking in front of the church, but wasn't sure how it was all going to come out. I had prayed all week about it, so I knew my heart was right, but I still get nervous.

It's funny, you put me in front of kids, and I'm not nervous at all. You get me in front of adults, and it's a whole other story!

And, you know what? It was great! I didn't cry like I thought I might. But, I got my point across, which is what I had prayed for. So, then something happened.

After church this guy walked up to me, and started spilling his life story to me. I had never seen this guy before in my life, and he was so touched by what I had shared that he wanted to tell me. Then I prayed for him.

This doesn't happen to me.

But, I learned something in it all.

If you're real with people, you can make a difference.

One person at a time...

Only One?

This week I began a new rule in my class. And, the kids are HATING it! I actually got the idea from a friend of mine at church that is teaching at a school not far from here. I'm such a mean teacher now...

My kids LOVE candy! I tell ya, candy is magic in the world of my little kiddos! But, there was only one little problem...the kids started EXPECTING candy. For every little thing they would say, "Can I have candy for this?" I was getting testy.

I mean, I'm all for rewarding kids...but, there's a limit.

My rule for about a year has been that if you ask, you don't get one. And, it applies to THE WHOLE GROUP! So if one student asks, noone in the group gets anything! This has caused quite the drama over the past year. But, overall, it has worked pretty well.

So, last time I was home, my Mom got a me a HUGE bag of M&M's. Plain M&M's are my favorite candy! And, the kids know it!

So, I decided at the beginning of this week to start a new rule:
You only get ONE M&M if I give out candy!

And the response has been HILARIOUS! We had marker board races on Tuesday for the first time all year, and if a student got a problem right, they got ONE M&M! You can imagine the responses:

"Just one?"
"That's mean!"
"Don't you like us anymore?"

Kids are amazing. They say what they think, and they also know how to try to manipulate their way into getting what they want...

My response:
"Okay, if you don't want this one, I do!"
And I would eat it!

Then I would say:
"If you can't appreciate what you get, than you will not get any!"

As the week progressed, the kids accepted it..sort of...

Next week, I begin the "Thank You" rule.

It's something a fellow colleague of mine does, and I'm going to implement it into my own classroom...

If they don't say "Thank You" in 3 seconds, they lose whatever they just got!

:-)
Yes, I am a mean, rotten, horrible teacher!

I love my job!

A Crazy Week!

This has been the craziest week so far! Part of my job is Parent-Teacher conferences, and this week I had them EVERY evening, as well as this morning. The earliest I've been home this week has been 7:30pm. So, in honor of all my hard work, I am headed home and it's now 3:29pm. I haven't gotten my "to do" list completely done, but I will take it home. And, I'm taking tomorrow OFF!

Only bummer here is that I can't seem to access the Prayer Room site. Say a prayer. I'm not sure how chipper I will continue to be if I can't access it on a regular basis!

Have a great day, whatever you may doing.

As for me, I have a date with my couch!

Later!

Oddly Enough, Not a Documentary

I long for Fall Break this week not just for the end of the quarter and the break-ness of it all, but for my slumber party with The Crib Chick. I'm spending the night at their coop with this on the DVD!

Deep down inside...

...I believe in God. My favorite place to be on this planet is IHOP-KC, where I can sit, listen, pray, and sing.

...There's more to me than meets the eye. At first glance I may walk a little funny, but I am just like you. Only difference is, I can't run as fast as you can.

...I love to have deep chats with people. I believe there's more to those around me, I just have to look for it sometimes.

...I hate to be yelled at. I'm a tough kind of person in some respects, but yelling at me tears me down. I'm a child of God, and don't deserve to be treated poorly.

...I love to sing. I may not have a voice that could carry a solo, but music is a big part of my life. It makes me smile.

...I love it when someone says, "How was your day?" and means it. Noone deserves to be alone in this world.

...I love to give to those in need. Whether it's money, a handshake, a hug, or a smile, I love to help those around me.

...I love to see others be kind to one another. I hope I'm teaching my students how to do this too.

...I love my family. While I'm still waiting on God to bring me my own family, I am blessed to be a part of the family that I am. Everyone should have what I have had.

...I am an athlete. Obviously not a professional, but deep within me, I love sports. Swimming is my current favorite, and I try to swim regularly.

...I love my friends. I don't take one friend for granted. The past few years have taught me a great deal about friendship and I care about my friends as if they were my own family.

...I love my job. I wake up everyday and look forward to the day. Granted, some days I wish school started at 9am, but I love my job.

...I love my students. One of my students pointed out to me recently that my classroom is a family. Leave it to a kid to tell me what I need to hear.

...I hate Cancer. I've watched many people I love walk through their own little version of Hell. I pray for a cure everyday.

...I love to watch movies. My favorite ones are romantic comedy, sappy "you can do anything" flicks, and movies with kids in them.

...I love to read. My favorite books are Children's Chapter Books. I'm currently trying to read all the Mark Twain Award Nominees. Yeah, you could say I like kids!

...I believe in love. While I am still waiting for Mr. Right, I believe that love is real and worth waiting for the person God has for me.

...I hate violence. I limit myself to how much news I watch, as it depresses me most of the time.

...I believe in the power of prayer. I've prayed for people and had my exact prayers be answered. I believe He hears my prayers daily.

...I believe you don't have be rich to be wealthy. I'm a school teacher, I will never be rich in finances, but I am loved very well. That's worth more than all the money in the world.

...I love it when I connect with a kid. I live for moments where a kid really realizes there's someone who gives a flip about them. It takes a while, but it's worth it.

...I wish I could fix my student's home situations. If only they had what I had...

...I believe maturity is a life-long process. While I still have a great deal to learn, I am glad I can look back on my life so far and learn from it.

...I believe that the people that challenge me personally are brought by God to teach me something. I just pray I learn quickly and not slowly.

...I love dogs. Rudy is the coolest dog on the planet, but don't let Sophie know!

...I pray for someone to be a witness to my life. Sometimes being single is the hardest thing I do, and I long for someone to walk beside me daily.

...I love Camp! I went to camp for the first time this Summer. God showed me so much this summer I can't wait to go back next Summer!

...I love OneThing. My favorite week out of the year is December 28-31 when I go to a conference in KC. At the conference, I am reminded that I'm not alone in my journey with God.

...I believe that "Running is Winning." Everyone has a limp, it just may not be as obvious as mine. And, in that, I believe that God smiles down on each one of us as we're "Running the race set before us." We may mess up and fall from time to time, but God is watching, and cheering us on every step of the way!

...I love to laugh! Everyday I find something to be laugh about! Life is too short to be serious all the time.

...I believe we're all special. God made us all different on purpose! And in that, we're all unique and special.

...I love to love. That's what life is about!

Stay outta jail!

The entire time I was growing up, my Dad would encourage us to stay out of jail as we left the house. It was a light-hearted connection I had with my Dad, and it meant something to me. To the average person looking in, it may have been a bit cruel, but even as I would leave the house in my teenage years, I would have to tell my Dad I would stay outta jail. I was a good kid. My parents could trust my brother and I, so it wasn't a harsh thing, it was a special thing to me. I don't know if I ever told my Dad it was cool, as that may not have been "cool", but it was cool to me. I was (and still am) enormously blessed. I wasn't abused, neglected, or anything by my parents. I had good parents, who acted like adults, and did a great job of raising me.

So last year my class did, "I like you" as our inside joke. You can get to the site if you click on the right hand side of this blog on the "I like you" link. We still do this in my class, and they love it when we do it now because we don't do it very much at all anymore. But this year I started a new phrase...."Stay outta jail." At first it was a joke, and everyone laughed. The scary thing is, for some of these kids, I really mean it. They don't have what I had growing up. And, some of them are already problem children without parents who are adults at home. So, stay outta jail sort of became my motto for the year...until yesterday...

I have a student, Alex, who had been absent two days in a row, and I was concerned about him. He is a bit ADHD, so in some respects the break was good for me. He's a good kid though. If he has his sensory stuff with him, he's a good kid. So, he was back yesterday and first thing in the morning I was notified that Alex needed to talk to me. I knew his class had a field trip, so I figured we'd catch up after the trip. Well, I went by his room, and his regular education teacher said that he didn't have the permission slip so he wasn't going.

I just stared.
What?
I blinked and looked at her.
What?
So I said, "Did you call Dad? He'll let him go."
She looked at me and said, "No, I didn't let any of mine call. They should have brought it back by today."

The kid had been absent the past two days!
I just stared at her.
Thought bubble: What? You've got to be kidding me!
I looked at her, and said, "I think this is one you can make an exception for."
And I said this, not knowing where he'd been the past two days.
She looked at me and said, "Well, with all his drama the past few days, he should just stay here."
What?
What drama?
Stay here? My kids always go on trips!
I looked at her, and said, "Okay, may I see Alex in the hall?"
She said, "sure".

I wasn't sure what to think. I had never, in my 8 years of teaching, had a teacher not let one of my kids call for permission to go on a trip. I'll be the first to admit, my kids typically forget their slips, so calling is a normal thing, but this kid had been gone the past 2 days. What followed made me question this teacher even more.

I pulled Alex in the hall...and has it turned out, his parents were in jail the past 2 days and they hadn't been at school because Grandma was afraid the authorities would take them away.

Yeah, his parents had been in jail.

At what moment in time did the kid have time to say, "Hey Dad, can you sign this so I can go on a field trip?"
His Dad was in jail...

So, I stopped in my tracks.
In jail?
What?
Doesn't matter the charge against the parents, the kid was visably upset and not going on the field trip was going to be even worse for this kid.
I looked at him and said, "Alex, do you want to go on the field trip?"
He said yes, but his teacher wouldn't let him because he didn't have the flippin' slip!

I was pissed. Frustrated. Flabbergasted.
I sent him back to class and told the teacher I was calling Dad.
I didn't ask.
I just did it.
You know what?
His Dad was incredibly appreciative that I called and didn't let his mistake hold his kid back.
I walked back to class and told the teacher that Alex was going.
He smiled when I told him he could go.
He was still upset today, and wouldn't talk, but at least he went on the field trip.
I can't fix everything, but I can fix that...

But in light of this, I'm going back to, "I like you."

I think it's safer...

Later!

A week in review...

In the past 3 days, I've driven many, many, miles, and it feels good to sit for a bit. I have landed at IHOP-KC, which is my favorite place on the planet. I know, unless you've been here, you have no idea why this would be fun. However, I have spent the past 3 hours here, and it's gone by so fast that I can hardly believe it. Amazing...just amazing...

So, the driving the past few days has been centered around the best pizza on the planet. You'll think I'm crazy, but I have a favorite pizza place. Only thing is, it's a 90 minute drive from my house. So, for my Mom's Birthday, I drove there Thursday night, got pizzas, and came back home. I worked all day yesterday, then loaded the pizzas up and went to the parental's house to deliver them. Suffice to say, she was surprised. I am glad. It's always nice to bless someone. I like that. We had fun. And the pizza today (and for the third day in a row for me!) was great! :-)

I had mentioned in a previous post that a friend and I were in a disagreement, and I am THRILLED to report the drama is over! I am so glad. I hate drama. I like it on TV, but not in real life. So, that's probably the highlight of my week! Once we sorted things out this past Wednesday, I have felt more at peace than I have in two weeks! Yippee! I pray it continues.

So, I have done some homework, and am going to head home. I don't want to be worn out for tomorrow. We have a cookout at church and I'm on the team leading it. :-)

Well, have a great day, whatever you may be doing...

Goofball!

So, today the highlight of my day was reading with Goofball. Goofball is one of my favorite students, and he knows it. And he came by after school and I said, "You want to tutor today?"

His eyes got huge!

"Really?" he said.

"Yep."

His Aunt had told me at his ballgame that I could keep him any day I wanted. And, considering today and Friday are the only two days I don't have meetings after school, I opted for today.

So we read a book.

Goofball is a sweet kid, who loves football.

But his goal is to read better.

So, we read together.

And that was the highlight of my day.

Cool stuff.

Have a great day, whatever you may be doing!

Giles Corey, Pimp

Strike up the band! Ms. Educat's After School Credit Recovery Program has begun!!

I really do like the kids that come in for this program, they're grateful for the chance to make up an English credit and they're candid about their mess-ups.

I caught the group talking the other day about what they'd read in their last English class and one kid was talking about how much he loved The Crucible. It warmed me. I mean, it warms me to hear a kid like any sort of literature, but I have a history with this show, so I listen on...

"Mang, know who I like in that play? You know who wuz a pimp???
Corey, mang!!! He a pimp! He be all like MORE
WEIGHT
."

Kindness

What's your favorite word in the whole English language? Come on, think about, there is a word you use a lot or just think is cool...

Okay, so you can tell I teach little people, where the world of kids and vocabulary is a part of my daily life. I actually enjoy teaching vocabulary words. I like it when kids get a grasp on a word they have heard before but didn't know what it means, or they know the meaning, but can't think of the word to go with it. Well, we even do that as adults!

So, I have pondered this a great deal, and KINDNESS is my favorite word.

Some people extend kindness, and it's just part of their life. They don't think about it, they just do it. I am blessed to be surrounded by many at church who extend kindness and they don't even know they're doing it.

I know, it's my favorite word, so I'm always on the lookout for people extending kindness to others.

And it's become almost like a research project for me. Whether it's kids being KIND to kids, or adults being kind to adults, or kids being kind to adults, I notice.

I don't ever want to take it for granted when someone extends kindness to me either. It's not a rarity for me to have someone extend kindness to me, but I do feel enormously blessed when someone extends kindness into my little corner of the world. And, it doesn't even have to be anything huge. Even the smallest token of kindness in my world is noticed...

And I aim to extend kindness to those around me as well. I would like to think it is ALWAYS an automatic thing, but it's not. Most of the time it is, but sometimes I catch myself thinking I missed an opportunity that was right in front of my eyes.

I also find it interesting when people can't receive KINDNESS. I think it's weird. I've actually had people upset with me in my attempt to extend kindness to them. What's up with that?

I mean, KINDNESS is a good thing.

As you can tell, I'm still pondering...

So, let me ask you, how have you extended KINDNESS to someone around you today?

Even the smallest thing can impact someone and you may never know it.

Well, I have homework to do.

Have a great day, whatever you may be doing...

Thanks for reading!

Lazy Saturday...mostly...

So, today has been (for the most part) a lazy Saturday. I started off by sleeping in until 8:30. Wow, there was a day when 8:30 was early, and now it's late for me! I guess I'm growing up! Ha!

I got up and watched a movie this morning. It was just me and the puppy at home, and we cuddled and watched a flick. What a great way to start the day!

I got ready and went out to run errands and wound up at Goofball's Football game! It was a hoot! Watching Fifth Graders who are learning the sport is always fun for me. I even got a bit of a sunburn out of it! (I'm having my picture taken for a magazine on Monday, I'm now sort of wishing I had put on sunscreen first!) It was a good time.

Then I went to be with some friends from work. It was a lot of fun. I feel blessed to have the friends that I do. I don't take a single one for granted.

So while it wasn't a day on the couch, it was a very good day in my book.

I think I'll go read a book now...

Have a great day, whatever you may be doing!

Steps...

So, this week has been a week of steps forward.

While the conflict isn't resolved, it's better than it was at the time of my last post. I still hate conflict, and wish it was all resolved, but it's going to be a series of steps forward before it's all resolved. I'll take steps, it's better than throwing my hands up and giving up. I'm not a quitter. I think it will be resolved, but it will take time. Step by step...

As for the rest of my week, it was pretty good. Homegroup was a highlight this week. I am loved so very well by the Church Family. I feel blessed to be a part of the group I'm in. Very blessed.

We had to give a new Assessment this week, so I feel as if I didn't teach all week, but it's over. Next week I'll start all over with the teaching process. We ended the day with a rousing game of "Apples to Apples". It was the highlight of my day. My goal for the year is to teach them every word in the box so that by the end of the year I'm not helping them decode those words, they are choosing them on their own. It was a highlight though.

So, we have the weekend upon us. I'm looking forward to sleeping in more than anything. I'm pooped.

Well, have a great day, whatever you may be doing!

Thanks for reading!

Vintage KOCO: Ho-Ho The Clown

This might have made me happier than anything I've seen in a while. If you didn't grow up here in the OC, you might not appreciate this gentle clown. Ho Ho was a favorite on Saturday morning TV and also entertained at one of my birthdays.

Marvel at the delicious smart ass-ness of Pokey the Sock Puppet!! Thrill to the State Fair of 1978!!! Tolerate that there are three Ho Ho videos on YouTube and you might see them all here!!

Finding peace in a storm...

I tell ya, this weekend has gone differently than I expected. I got home Friday night and had some conflict with a really good friend. I hate conflict. Let me say it again...I HATE CONFLICT. I am typically an easy-going, peaceful kind of gal.
So Friday night when words were said toward me, with my friend walking out, I sat there and prayed.

I hate conflict.

So today I went to church and the conflict was heavy on my heart. My friend and I haven't talked since she walked out, so nothing has been resolved. I went to pre-service prayer and got alone with God. I mean, everyone else was praying out, and I was just with God.

I started crying... Not sobs, but tears. I was alone with God, and it was a very good thing.

I entered the sanctuary after ending my prayer time with the Lord. And, Martha Lee walked up to me.

She looked at me and I started crying. She held me. Didn't say a word, just held me.

Normally, I'm not one to cry. I"m a "suck it up and deal with it" kind of gal.

But the crying released something in me. I felt better.

Then Laura arrived and just being around her cheered me up. We wound up doing lunch afterward and I was blessed to get to hang out with her. Probably my favorite thing we do is pray together. After lunch, we sat in my car and talked, and then prayed.

For the first time since the conflict, I felt peace.

So as I sit here with the Prayer Room in my ear, I feel better than I have since Friday night.

As for the conflict, well, it's still unresolved.

But God is with me and I'm surrounded by friends who are praying with me and love me.

I am a blessed gal...

Have a great day, whatever you may be doing...

Thanks for reading!

Story of the Week!

So, I have just spent the afternoon working on the P.D. Plan, and I'm done for the day. Sure, I could work on grades or database or IEP's, but I've opted to take the rest of the day off. I will be working all afternoon tomorrow to get everything done, but that's okay. Sundays are turning out to be working afternoons. Not a bad deal. I spend the afternoon working with the Prayer Room going...works for me! I've had the Prayer Room in my ear this afternoon and have enjoyed it, so it's not as if I'm being tortured. :-)

So, I have decided to share my funny story of the week. In the world of education, each day contains a humorous line or phrase that I need to start writing in my quote book. (I've said that for years, but well, perhaps this is an avenue to do that!) So, I thought I would share my Story of the Week...

I pick up Ben at the end of the day to take him to the Special Education Bus. Ben is in Kindergarten and is not on my caseload, but I get the priveledge of being with him about 5 minutes each day. I love this kid. He is probably the cutest kid we have in Kindergarten this year. Well, maybe I'm biased but he really is cute. Ben is really small for his age. I know, Kindergarten kids are small, but this kid is REALLY small. Which is part of why he's so cute...

So, everyday at lunch a student is chosen for an interview. This tactic is actually used to get the kids quiet and to eat during lunch. Yep, it's manipulation, but it works. The interviews are typically short and to the point. So, Ben was chosen. Ben never talks, and the quietest kids are the ones who get chosen for the interviews.

And Ben was asked what he wanted to be when he grows up. Most kids, even in Kindergarten, want to be a fireman, policeman, doctor, etc.

Guess what Ben said...

"BIG!"

Well, hey, it's always good to have a goal!

Have a great day...whatever you may be doing...

Thanks for reading!

Friday? Really?

Wow, is it Friday already? I sit here with a "To Do" list of things to do, and I'm listening to the Prayer Room and blogging instead. Go figure. This week has been INCREDIBLY busy and dramatic, and I think I need a night on the couch. I may go rent a movie... Hum...

So this week I had my PD plan shut down by our District Committee, and I have to re-do it this weekend. I also have a Career Ladder Plan to re-do and turn in by Tuesday. I tell ya, it was a week full of drama. I'm ready for the weekend. I'm Thankful for the supportive staff that is around me. I have to say, even with the drama this week, good has come out of it. And I like that. I have tons of homework to do, but that's okay. I was going to go to IHOP and home this weekend, but that's not happening. So, right now I sit here, and have the prayer room going, and I am content.

At least being busy is better than bored.

:-)
Have a great weekend, whatever you may be doing!

Later!

How was your day?

I must admit, some days it is harder to find a "Highlight" of the day. I believe that everyone has one, you just have to look for it sometimes. Today was one of those days for me. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad. In fact, it went along very smoothly. However, there wasn't really a HIGH point for me.

I guess a favorite part of the day was at the end of the day when Ally (Robin's daughter) came in and wanted to play High School Musical the game with me. She's 6, so we had to modify it. But, it was fun. She's a sweet kid. I feel blessed to have her in my life.

I guess tonight though I'm pondering something, and am not sure how to express it in words without sounding wimpy or "poor little old me". Anyone who knows me knows that the poor me stuff doesn't fly.

Part of why I like blogging is that I get to share random stuff, and even though I don't get many responses, I know that there are people reading this who care about me. So, I feel a bit less alone.

Imagine a day where at the end of the day noone said to you, "How was your day?" I had one of those days today. And most days, it isn't a big thing. It's reality, but not a big thing. Like I said, there wasn't much of a highlight today, so it's not as if I had BIG news to share.

But I gotta admit, it would've been nice to hear.

So, I re-read yesterday's blog, and it helped.

And I tuned into the Prayer Room for a bit today.

And that helped.

I think I'll go read a book.

How was your day?
I hope it was great, and that you're doing well...
Whatever you may be doing.
Thanks for reading!

Loved very well...

So, while I REALLY miss the Prayer Room, I can honestly say I love my church family. I have done a lot of thinking this past week about how far I've come in the past 4 years. I discovered IHOP-KC in 2002, and over time it has become a very special place to me.

I go deep there.

God talks to me there in a way He doesn't anywhere else it seems.

So, while I go deep in God there, I don't have a lot of relationships there. It's sort of a trade off for me. (With the exception of last weekend)

So this morning I woke up and while I was excited to see my church family today, I was sort of down. I knew worship wouldn't be the same here as it is there, and so it always makes my first Sunday after IHOP kind of hard. The music portion of the service is typically my favorite part of the whole thing. So I was sort of down...

But, as always, I prayed and went to church. I always go to pre-service prayer before service. And, I'll be the first to admit, I wasn't "into" it. I was there in body, but my heart wasn't there.

And of course, God gave someone in the group a word for me.

Go figure.

I'm down, and God speaks through Regina into my life. Martha Lee is sitting next to me, and takes my hand. I'm not alone. I'm loved VERY well...

This isn't normal. Regina loves me, but it's not normal for a word to come forth for me. It happens for other people, but not me...wow...my spirits were lifted.

Then I went to service, and Laura was already waiting for me. In a season of singleness and (often) loneliness, Laura was there.

We went into worship and I was frustrated.

Sing.
Stop.
Sing.
Stop.

At IHOP, we just go forward...no stop button. I was frustrated....

Then Karen got up to share a word, and it was right what I was telling God, and I was like, "Okay, God, I surrender..."

Tears fell. Not sobs, just tears. And I felt better.

Laura turned to me and said, "Are you okay?" It felt great to have a friend there for me. I didn't share with her what was happening, it was too much at the moment.

But just the thought someone was there for me reminded me how much I'm loved even in this never-ending (it seems) season of singleness.

Then my pastor gets up to preach. Last week he used me as an example in his sermon (While I had powdered sugar on my cheek, noone told me! But that's beside the point...). And, once again, I was called up front with others to help with an illustration.

As I looked out among the congregation, I thanked God for placing me there. I am loved by so many in that church, unconditionally. It wasn't a huge illustration or anything, but God used that to show me how loved I am.

So even as I sit here, with Misty Edwards singing from the prayer room into my ear, I am thankful.

I may be single,
But I am loved very well...

Thank God.

Thanks for reading my ramblings...
Have a great day, whatever you may be doing...
Later!

An answered prayer...

I have been praying for something for a really, really long time, and today I saw it come to pass. I had a friend sort of re-enter my life and we got caught up in a way we hadn't in years. I have prayed a lot about this friendship, as it's one I can't push, nor do I want to push, and today she was open and friendly with me to the point I almost thought, "Why are you acting like this now?" But, I knew.

Sometimes in life we pray for stuff and forget that He's actually listening and waiting for just the right moment to answer that prayer. So, when he does, we're sort of caught off-guard.

I know I was caught off-guard today too. But after the chat, I just felt happy and thankful. I always knew He was listening, I just think I had sort of given up hope of seeing it all come to pass.

And today it did!

What an awesome day!

:-)
Have a great day, whatever you may be doing!

A week in Review...sort of....

So, the first week back after a terrific weekend is typically followed by drama. I don't know why that is, but it is. Fortunately for me, most of it was pretty good. I think this year at school is different because I've got a couple boys who require so much BEHAVIOR interventions that I'm drained by the end of each day. Hence, I sit here, thankful for a couple days off... I thought you might like a bit of a re-cap:

Monday was pretty normal. I guess normal is a relative term this year. But, overall, it wasn't bad.

Tuesday was really cool, as I was able to get Dusty a part-part-time aide. Yeah, it was really cool. I had prayed a lot because Dusty required more of me than I can physically give, and I want him to be able to make gains academically. It's clear that the more I work with him, he was simply managed the past few years, with behavior the main topic. So, for him to be learning academics is a new thing, I think. He's far behind his peers, so I'm working hard with him. So, the time he isn't with me, he will be with an aide part of the time. And yes, you did read it right, he has a part-part-time aide. The guy working with Dusty is able to give him a little over an hour each day, so while it's not even a half day, I feel blessed to have it. It has freed me up to do some things with my fourth graders, and has made the regular educator's job a bit easier. Yippee skippee! Only pitfall to it all is that now all the third grade teachers feel their special education students should have an aide. :-) Well, hey, so I opened a can of worms. At least Dusty is getting the help he needs!

Wednesday was BY FAR my most stressful day of the week. It was picture day. Typically picture day isn't a big thing. They get almost everyone done before lunch, so it doesn't really affect me except for the fact my students don't stay on regular schedule that day. However, this year was different.

I have recess duty on Wednesdays, and when I went to eat lunch before the duty, as usual, noone was in the break room. Well, that's partly true. A para was in there, but I'll spare ya that story. It's not worth typing.

So noone was in the lounge and then I was told by a teacher that entered the lounge, that fourth and fifth grades (the two grades I have duty with) hadn't even eaten lunch yet. My first thought was "that's not good." I went ahead and ate. I knew it was going to be a long afternoon.

I went out for recess. Third grade had just entered the playground. And, well, extremely long story cut a bit short...I was outside for an hour and a half while classes ate and took pictures. I didn't mind. I mean, I'm a team player. And, it was a nice day out...and I was enjoying watching the kids...until...

A little boy, who I will call urinator, did just that on the playground. Yeah, first time in my 8 years of teaching that I had a kid urinate out on the playground, on purpose. He was sent in with a referral, and I thought it was over.

Then a fourth grader came up crying with his hand over his eye. Turns out john-boy kicked a kid in the eye on purpose. Yes, he was on playground equipment when it happened, but it's true. He was also sent in with a referral.

Fortunately, the two boys sent in are the ones that cause the most problems, so the rest of recess was easy. It was a day I will never forget. Urinating on the playground? All I kept thinking the rest of that day was, "You've got to be kidding me!"

Thursday was boring compared to that. Although Dusty was sick and crying and puny. I felt for him. He was without his ADHD meds, and had a cold, and was just feeling bad. I held him for a long time. He struck a kid on purpose because he wanted to be sent home. Well, give it to the kid, he may be autistic, but he's not stupid. He had to stay at school though, so his plan didn't completely work...

Today had highs and lows. Dusty was sent to school after taking his SLEEPING medication, not his ADHD meds, so he slept the first hour and a half of the day. I called his Mom, who got agrivated at me for inquiring about the meds, stating that I was not believing her. Partly true, the kid was sleeping in the Autism room due to lack of the correct meds, but, hey, somewhere in her little mind it was okay to send her kid to school after his NIGHTTIME meds. Just more to add to the documentation log...

The kids were pretty good overall though. I didn't have a whole lot of drama. I did send one kid to time-out, but it was resolved fairly quickly. So that was cool. And my favorite part of the day was when we were all reading a book about animals, and the kids were REALLY into it. This is the first year of a new reading series and the district purchased brand-new books for my kids on their reading levels, so that's been cool.

I guess I've written a chapter by now, so I shall let you go.

Thanks for reading!

Have a great day, whatever you may be doing!

A good friend!

So, I'm back in the "real" world today. I already miss the Prayer Room. I will admit though, I am cheating, I sit here in a coffee shop that has free Wi-Fi, and am connected to the Prayer Room. So as I type, I'm listening to the Prayer Room. :-) Not a bad $5 a month if you ask me. It may not the be same as being there, but it's 10 minutes from my home! I like that...

So this past weekend was fun. In fact, it was better than I ever expected. I went with my friend Laura, to IHOP, and we had a great time! I laugh with her more than I think I do with anyone else. She is truly a gift from God. It is so much fun to have a friend that enjoys the Prayer Room as much as I do! I had forgotten what it was like to have someone with me who could sit in the Prayer Room for hours like I can! I often feel a bit isolated in my little corner of the world because I'm one of few that I know around here that enjoy it. That long for it. So, it was a hoot yesterday for me when we had been in the Prayer Room for 4.5 hours and we both LOVED it! Good friends like that are rare, and I feel honored to have her in my life. It was a wonderful reminder for me of what a good friend is!

We stayed for the music portion of service last night and came home. It was also fun for me to have someone to ride with up and back. I haven't had that since OneThing last year. God can do a lot between two people in a car for 2 hours. I was really blessed to have someone to share it with. Awesome stuff!

Well, I should probably get some work done, as I'm down to about 19% battery power, and I can't see an outlet in sight!

Have a great day, whatever you may be doing.

Later!

Perspective

Greetings!

So, after a week of drama, it feels good to be at IHOP-KC. My kids were great this week. I had some highs and lows, but overall the kids are settling in. I think they're actually glad that school is back in session, but they would never admit that. :-) I only made one cry this week, so it was a good week. Ha!

Actually, Will pushed Dustin into my desk with a chair, and when I explained that he would have to pull a card, he shut down on me and cried. It was his first true offense in my room. And, in reality, it was my first amount of true "Drama" in my classroom this school year. Will and Dustin don't get along, and are not allowed to talk to each other in my class. So I sat there thinking, "You've got to be kidding me, the kid shoved another kid and thinks pulling a card is my fault?" Yeah, Will was MAD at me. Go figure. The world of a third grader is a bit different than the world of adults. He stayed mad at me the rest of that day. I let him be mad. I spoke to him and told him it was his fault and I wasn't going to go back on his punishment. He left my room stating he never wanted to be in my class again. I just prayed. He was beyond talking, so I sent him on to his next class. The next day, he came in, hugged me, and gave me a Sweetheart Candy. Go figure. He told me he was going to try to do better in my class. And, he did well that day. This is his first year with me, and it typically takes my students a year to learn they can trust me and count on me. Since I know that, I just trusted that God would take care of it, and He did. Go figure...

So I came up to IHOP-KC yesterday, and I am enjoying it immensely. It amazes me how much I love the Prayer Room. It's so peaceful here. It's a very good way to spend a weekend in my book.

Well, have a great day, whatever you may be doing...

Later!

A day of play...sort of...

So, I got up today and really had no idea what was in store for me. I mean, I knew that I was going to spend the day with Austin. Austin is a 7 year old that visits about once a month, and I look forward to his visits because he makes me laugh alot. Today was no exception.

As it turned out, I had him on my own for a lot of the day, and we had fun. We went to the Ship Park first only to find out that the Ship part of the park was now history. That was fine by me, actually, as climbing within the ship gave me the hebegeebees, so the disappearance of the ship did not being tears to my eyes!

After that we did McDonald's. I rarely ever do McDonald's, or fast food anymore, so it was an experience in itself. It was mainly an experience because the fast food was not FAST. It kind of amazed me too, as there was a day when I worked fast food and if we had been that slow, Mr. Duane would've yelled up a storm. Ah well, kids these days, what do you expect? :-)

Then we went to the movie theatre. We got there early enough to play a few video games, which was kinda fun. I "lost" at Air Hockey. :-) It was fun playing.

Then we saw Ratatouille! I tell ya, if you haven't seen the movie, you should. I had seen it before, which is why I was okay with seeing it again with Austin. Austin tends to make frequent restroom visits throughout a movie, so it's always good to see something you've seen before so it doesn't matter what parts you miss! Anyway, it is a really neat movie. I laughed a lot, even though I had seen it before. As for Austin, it was okay, but not Spider Man 3 status! Ah well, it was fun!

Then we ran a couple errands and came home. We wound up watching a made for TV movie that was so predictable that Austin that we had magic powers! Well, hey, to a 7 year old, it was pretty incredible. It was a good laugh for me though!

Then I actually worked. I had to get lessons prepared for the Month of September for Sunday School and bake cookies for my lesson tomorrow. So, I was still productive, even though I did play most of the day too!

So, I'm wiped now and am thankful for Monday. I wonder if I'll reach "bum" status on Monday. Hum. It won't matter much though, today was really cool.

But I get to sleep in Monday!

Gotta love three-day weekends!

:-)
Later!

It's Friday!

So, I am really, really glad it's Friday. It hasn't been a bad week, just tiring. I think getting back in the swing of things has worn me out! I'm thankful for the weekend. We have a three-day weekend, and I'm glad. I love the kids. I can honestly say I have a sweet group this year. I also have the LOWEST group I've had in years. So, I have my work cut out for me! Which is fine, I enjoy challenges! I'm thankful for the break though...

Nite!

The Vultures!

So, I'm beginning to see some things at work that amaze me. The kids are great. I've had my share of ups and downs with them, but that's okay. Kids are kids and some days are going to be good and some are going to be rough. My life will go on, no matter how rough the kids are. (I'm getting a new one tomorrow that may build my character, we shall see!) But, kids are kids, that's okay.

Today, I was amazed by how the ADULTS in my building acted. Now, let me tell ya, it wasn't a big thing in the whole grand scheme of things. But, I was shocked.

I've been at the school 9 years now, and have always been amazed at how wonderful the staff is to each other. And, overall, we really are good to one another. I mean, one gal on our staff just lost her son and people are reaching out to her...

But, then I was in a meeting after school, and was floored. I guess you get a room full of frustrated adults, and they're bound to lash out. Unfortunately, I saw the "Vultures" today. I mean, people talking bad about other people, and I was floored because everyone is so nice to each other face to face. I was floored, shocked, and above all else, saddened.

My late friend, Stepehanie, used to use the term "vultures", and now I fully grasp it. The vultures, as defined by Stephanie, are a group of people who can't help but be negative and backstab others around them. Today I saw it in full swing.

Granted, I was frustrated with someone too, but didn't want to say things to hurt the person. I understand frustration completely, but I don't think backstabbing is necessary.

And I recognize God has been challenging me to be the most positive person I know. Which, as I found out today, is harder to do than I thought. I don't want to be a vulture. I want to be an encourager. A positive influence on both kids and adults around me.

Hum...perhaps sleep will help...

Later!