MAP-A

In the world of a Special Educator, paperwork is an endless task that must be completed. I hate paperwork. I dread paperwork. I would rather be teaching the kids than doing paperwork.

However, in my little corner of the world, we have MAP-A. I could explain to you what it stands for, but it doesn't matter. What it amounts to is more paperwork for me. In addition to my usual responsiblities, the State has given us extra work to do for the students not capable of completing the usual State Assessments.

On one hand, I totally agree with their logic. I mean, the kids need to be assessed somehow to prove I'm actually doing my job. And, I need some proof that they are improving in my classroom, and if they're not I need to change my approach to the subject so that they can get the most of their academic time with me. I get it.

However, I must admit that this time of year it's hard to remain positive in how they require me to do this documentation. In addition to my regular IEP goals, I now get to do (basically) a whole new set of objectives that they must complete. So, I must continue to lesson plan, grade papers, get regular IEPs written, hold meetings, do the MAP-A objectives, and TEACH.

I'm overwhelmed to a degree. I mean, when I look at the paragraph I just, I just about hyperventilate. I'll be the first to admit I am not juggling things the way I should be. I get what I can get done each day, and at 8:30 each night I quit.

Yes, I work each night until about 8:30-ish. I bring homework home. It's easier to get stuff done here where people aren't popping in to talk every free moment I have. I don't mind being so popular, but I don't get much done at work. :-)

So, for the next 2 weeks you might keep me in prayer. I keep telling myself that Spring Break is just around the corner.

I can't wait.

Later!

Prayer

Today was another Sunday I walked out of church, thanking God for placing me there in that body of believers. That happens every single Sunday. I am a blessed gal in so many ways there. I am loved very well there, and I love everyone there just as much.

In the midst of service they asked for people who needed prayer to raise their hands, and we would gather around them to pray for them. I was due back in the Children's Church at 10, and it was 9:59, so I knew I shouldn't raise my hand for prayer. To be honest, I knew I needed prayer but I didn't want to be late to teach the kids how to sign the song we're signing in front of the church next week. I had told MrsMary that I'd be back at 10. So, I joined a group that gathered around a brother and we prayed. I looked back at the clock at the end of it and saw that I was pretty late.

I was about head back to my seat when Karen grabbed me. Karen is a wonderful woman of God that I admire dearly. She just held me and prayed over me. I never asked her, never told her I needed prayer, she just did it. At the end she even had a word from God for me. I stood there briefly after she was done, and thanked God for Karen.

I went back and taught the kids the song. It will be interesting to see how well they do next week. The cool part about having kids in front of the church is that everyone thinks they're cute whether they do it right or not. :-) I'm not too worried.

I went back to the sanctuary after that. Pastor Mike gave an awesome sermon. I find it amazing how Pastor Mike preaches right where I'm at. Go figure. :-)

At the end, Pastor Mike had us stand and pray for a few minutes. In the midst of it, he came over and prayed outloud over me and the church backed him up. Again, I never asked him for prayer. He just did it. I am in awe.

Not once, but twice, God blessed me with someone to stand with me and pray with me. I hope I never lose the sense of wonder in that. I never said, "Gee, I'd like someone to stand with me and pray with me." They just did it.

I'm loved very well.

Thank God!

Quote of the week plus a tidbit...

So, first off, hats of to my little brother, ScienceGuy. He wrote in to add to my list of movies down Memory Lane. I highly recommend you read the 1 Comment below the Trip Down Memory Lane Post, he highlighted some gems from our childhood! I can't believe I forgot some of those! I tell ya, the 80's were something else! Thanks ScienceGuy, you brought a smile to Shortone's face! :-)

In pondering what to share today, I think I will go for the quote of the week. I saw 3 movies today, none of which were worth the money it cost to rent them, so I won't even ramble about them.

Anyway, this week I went to Fantastic Caverns with 100 Fourth Graders. I will admit, this is my favorite field trip of the year. I have been to this cave many, many times, but it still fascinates me. And, of course, it's just fun to see it through the eyes of children who have never been there. Kids can say the darndest things!

So on day #1 I was paired up with DJ. DJ is the poster-child for ADHD medication, and I've said all year if I could sponsor a kid to be on meds, he'd be the one I would shell out cash to do it! He's a sweet kid, but can't sit still to save his life.

As it turned out, his teacher made us "buddies" for the day. I was actually okay with it because I know he's from a dysfunctional family, and he needed to go on this trip with someone who genuinely cares for him. I was smart and planned ahead though, and took my Gameboy. I also took a book. I knew he could sit and do a Gameboy for a 3 hour bus ride (round trip) and I would be able to read. I was right. Go figure, the kid can't sit still through a writing lesson of mine but he can sit still for 3 hours with a Gameboy. Go figure.

Anyway, he did great on the trip. I was really proud of him. And after the cave tour we were eating lunch, and DJ came up and hugged me and held on. I just held onto him. I know he struggles, but he really is a good kid.

Just as I let go of him, he looked at me and said, "I wish you were my Mom."

I stopped.

I know kids say stuff sometimes just to say it. And I know this kid craves for attention more than most of my other little people, but I know he meant it.

Of course, I knew I couldn't take it too seriously in front of him because it could get me in deep trouble if he re-told the story later to someone else and misinterpretted stuff I said, so I just looked at him and said, "Well, you know that is really sweet, but you realize if I took you home, I'd wind up in jail for kidnapping, and lose my job, and then you wouldn't even be able to see me anymore because I would lose my teaching license and I wouldn't be allowed to see you anymore."

He laughed.

Then I hugged him, and then we had our picture taken together.

I plan on giving him a copy.

I hope I never forget that moment.

It was a highlight of my week!

Later!

Gone Baby Gone

Every once in a while, I get in the mood to see a movie that keeps me on the edge of my seat. Truth be told, I really enjoy movies like that, but I find it's hard to find one that's really good. Tonight I enjoyed a movie that I would highly recommend.

I rented the movie "Gone Baby Gone." It's a movie about a kid that disappears with some amazing twists and turns. I enjoy a good movie where I can't predict what's about to happen. I also jumped out of my skin twice. I can't remember the last time I jumped when I watched a movie! Really good stuff!

Now, I'll put a little advisory warning for those of you with little ones, this movie is Rated R, and should not be seen by little eyes. It has language and some action scenes that are for adults. I don't want little kids to have nightmares. Truth be told, I hope I don't have nightmares! :-)

Anyway, I just thought I'd pass that along. I am finding my escape from daily life in movies at the moment. I'll keep ya posted on any other movies I think you need to see!

Later!

Martian Child

While I have a lot I could share today, I think I want to write about the movie "Martian Child." If you have not seen the movie, I recommend it. I enjoyed the story line about a boy that is in a home because his parents abandoned him, and John Cusack plays the man who adopts the boy. It is a touching little story. Not an award winner or anything, but a nice story line. Yes, it's a sappy story, but hey, I still live up to the name "Queen Sap" that I earned during my College Years.

So, while there are many moments in the story that I could discuss, I want to focus on one in particular tonight. In one part, this kid asks John Cusack, "Is it good to be like everybody else?" To which he replies, "That's a good question. Which is something adults say when they're not really sure of an answer."

And it got me to thinking. (I know, you're shocked!) Even as adults, we are encouraged to be like everyone else. However, the older I get, the less I seem to care what others around me think. I wear clothes that my fashion conscious roommate thinks are "out of style", and I don't care. It's me.

I think kids start out being encouraged to be different. I think about my classroom and all the different quirks and personalities within my caseload. And it would be boring if they were all alike.

And then the older we get, the more we see peer pressure enter into the picture. Even as an adult I was in a church a few years back that thought everyone should be more like them. And, if you weren't a cookie cutter version of what was preached, you were looked upon differently to a degree.

Even today as an adult, I am in social situations that I know I'm different in, and I'm okay with that. I think it's a day by day conscentious choice to think like that, but I like that.

I'm different, and I'm me. I like me.

And that's all that matters.

Right?

Well, it's just a thought...

Later!

By the way, I want to add to my list of favorite movies, "A Few Good Men." My favorite line from that is when Jack Nicholson says, "You can't handle the truth!" Love that movie!

XII

Thirty zillion years ago, before the dawn of time, my buddy Ms. Cornelius tagged me with a meme. It's called the Seven Meme, but she tagged me so long ago I think it was carved in a stone tablet and called The XII Meme. Go read what she said and enjoy my answers, even if they are months late...

Seven Books (Or Series) That I Love
I can read these over and over…

The Little House Series
Poetry of Dorothy Parker (or any number of other poets)
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
Anything by Merrill Markoe
The Bell Jar
Anything by Jonathan Kozol
Hamlet


Seven of my Favorite Movies
Raising Arizona
Any Christopher Guest Mockumentary
Places In The Heart
Coal Miner's Daughter (don't fight me on this...)
Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas
Closer (how'd you like that hairpin turn, eh?)
Emporer's Club


Seven Things I Just Can’t Do (Or Don’t Wanna)
Suffer fools gladly
Work in anyplace other than a school
Be embarassed about knitting in public
Stay off email
Keep my mouth shut
Tag other people for memes (sorry!)
Play any sort of sport without laughable results

Seven Things to Do Before I Die
String up that autoharp and learn a set of folk songs
See peace in my family
Perfect my ability to forgive
Knit that sweater
See much more of the world
Perform again

Seven Things That Attracted Me to Blogging
The possibility of improving my writing
Perfecting my funny stories
No more long emails to friends! They can just come here!
Small scale fame
Therapy
Testing the theory that I must have the funniest life ever...
Here's where the seventh thing would go

Seven Things I Say Most Often
Have a seat until the bell rings, please
This isn't going away
Sweet mother of crap!
I'm about twenty minutes away
Where are my keys?
Has anyone seen my________?
There just isn't any way for me to answer this without sounding smart...


Seven Impractical Things I Think Would Be Really Cool Anyway
Yearly reunions for the kids from Camp Shakespeare!
English teachers with an extra free period to grade writing
Making learning the only priority in education! (I just stole yours, Ms C. I'm witcha here...)
Counselors and administrators rotating into the classroom every four years
Email for the dead (that sounds like a strange burial ritual, but I think you get the idea...)
School attendance no longer mandatory
Bi-yearly international vacations with the Crib Chick

A trip down Memory Lane

I love President's Day! I have sufficiently enjoyed my day off. While I have spent most of it on paperwork for school, I have managed to do so from the comfort of my couch. Not a bad gig in my opinion.

And, as usual, I put in a couple movies while I worked. I know, I know, I would be SIGNIFICANTLY more productive if I didn't have a movie going at the same time, but somehow it makes it all more enjoyable. It's twisted, I know, but hey, it's my reality.

My favorite movie of the day was "Karate Kid." I was walking down the aisle at Wal-Mart and caught sight of a $5 DVD shelf. I stopped. Afterall, who can pass up a DVD for $5?

In the bin was "The Karate Kid." I stopped and picked it up. This movie was a favorite in my family when I was kid. I remember my brother and I watching it and pretending we were the kid in the movie. I doubt my brother would claim that today, but it is true. :-)

It got me thinking about my family and how movies were something we shared quite frequently. I remember how certain phrases on some movies became jokes within my family. Or, if they weren't jokes, they were certainly quotes that were frequently repeated. "Wax on, Wax off" was one of them. It made me think about the movies we loved as kids. Today in the movie the kid said, "Hey, it's the 80's." That made me feel old. :-)

So, I thought tonight I would list the movies I can remember as favorites in my family. Please feel free to write in and tell me your favorites as well.

Let's see...

1. Karate Kid
2. The Breakfast Club
3. The Goonies
4. The Shawshank Redemption (That was one my Dad and I shared)
5. A Fish Called Wanda (This is one that I never quite liked, but everyone else did)
6. A Christmas Story (You'll shoot your eye out, kid!)
7. Vacation (My first Rated R movie I watched)
8. Christmas Vacation (This continues to be a tradition in my family!)
9. E.T.
10. Annie (First movie I saw in a movie theatre)
11. Stand by Me
12. Doc Hollywood (Mom and I shared that one)
13. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
14. Big
15. What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (Still a personal favorite of mine!)
16. Back to the Future
17. Hook (Dad I saw this one together in the theatre. Dad cried!)
18. Better Off Dead (Sad thing is, I saw this in my 8th grade reading class!)

So, I guess I will quit there for now. I'll add more as I continue to ponder. Seriously, feel free to write in! I think it would be fun to see what some of you come up with!

Later!

65% Safe To Invite Me On Your Road Trip

35%

Semi-productive day

Today I woke up and went to church. It was great. I taught the kids again today, and they were great! Of course, most of them are struggling with the memory verse for the month but they still have 2 weeks! Truth be told, I'm still memorizing it myself, so I wasn't too mean about it! :-)

I came home and watched two movies back to back. I am so tired today I could go to sleep right now. Both movies were good though. I watched Emma and No Reservations. They were both romantic comedies. I like those. I had seen them both before, but it had been a while since I'd seen them.

And then around 5:15 I kicked into my usual Sunday night routine of cleaning house. I was pretty productive today. I managed to clean the bathroom, vacuum the house, sweep the kitchen floor, dust the ceiling fan in the kitchen, take out the trash, check the propane tank level, and change 3 lightbulbs. And, I'm just about done with all my laundry!

No wonder I'm exhausted! :-)

I think I'll go relax a bit!

Later!

Blessed

So today I woke up about 9-ish and just laid there in bed pondering the newest chapter that has been opened in my life. I find it amazing how two weeks ago I thought I just had a hemorrhoid, and now I have something life changing. I never expected it. But then again, who does? I've lived all my life watching others get sick, and I have spent a lot of time praying for those who are sick, but I didn't expect it to happen to me at my age.

Like I said, who does? I can't imagine anyone wakes up thinking, "Gee, I hope I have Chrohn's Disease" or even "Gee, I hope I have Cancer."

But you know what I pondered as I laid there?

I am blessed.

I may have stomach pain, but I can still eat.
I may be tired, but I can still get up and do what needs to be done.
I may be taking two pills with every meal, but I am able to eat.
And even though I have been diagnosed with Chrohn's, I am still functioning just fine.
I'm not in a hospital bed.
I'm not staying home all day.

ToolDude is right, it ALWAYS comes back to perspective.

And you know what?

I am, without a doubt...

BLESSED!

Later!

TGIF!

I am wiped.

Completely.

Totally.

On the couch tired.

Go to bed at 8:00 tired.

Fall asleep watching a movie tired.

The good news?

NO SCHOOL MONDAY!

I can hear my bed calling me now...

Later!

A Fresh Perspective...

So, today I have a perspective that I did not have one week ago today. One week ago I went through the hardest night of my life while I prepared for a Colonoscopy. I had never had this procedure before, and the preparation was harder than the actual procedure. I had vomiting, diarrhea, and a headache. I had a migraine by the time the night was over. I went into the whole deal, wondering if the word "Cancer" would be spoken over my life.

I've watched several of my loved ones walk through C and it's effects and to be honest, I didn't want to walk down that road.

So, they did the procedure last Friday and afterward the doctor said, "It might be Crohn's Disease". I had no idea what that meant, but it honestly excited me that it wasn't C.

So I did my research, and I came to the realization that Crohn's can be managed through meds and a few dietary changes. Above all else, what I read said that the effects are different for each person. So, I wasn't very worried about today's doctor's appointment. Today was the day. The official day I found out what I will have to deal with for the rest of my life.

Today the doctor said it was the beginning stages of Crohn's. He also said I have ulcers in my Small Intestine. So, now I begin my medication that I will take with each meal.

And I'm okay with it.

I know there are challenges to come. For example, I am encouraged to stop drinking milk. I like milk, and drink it every morning. I can drink it, I haven't been forbidden to drink it, but he said it will make my symptoms worse. Hum...

He also said I am to give up Ibuprofen, and only take Tylenol for pain. I have migraines and Ibuprofen has helped them considerably. So, he said if Tylenol won't work, to let him know and he'll prescribe different pain meds. I have headaches, so I'll be interested to see how that will work.

And, perhaps the most challenging thing at the moment for me will be adding medications to each meal. I sometimes forget stuff like that, so it will take a conscious effort for me to take my medications regularly as prescribed by the doctor.

All this being said, I'm okay with it.

One week ago I thought it would be something much, much worse.

And in the past week, I've had a new perspective put within me that is hard to articulate into words. All the sudden, fighting over little stuff or getting upset over the little stuff is stupid.

Life is short.

Too short in some ways, and too long in other ways.

But, for today, I'll take it.

By the way, ToolDude came and took me to my appointment and then we went out for lunch. Those 3 hours were the best three hours I've had in a LONG time.

I am loved very well.

Thank God.

Good Morning, Dead Daddy, How Are Ya?

Today you 'd be sixty. Sixty seems quite a bit less old to me now that my parents are there, but it still seems older than you should ever be. Your birthday has always been around some big event for me. For a few years, I'd come home from one particular speech tournament (the toughest of the season) to celebrate your Birthday and in recent years, I've called from the Fake Kid Government conference to wish you a happy day. There's nothing like that today. I have a cold that makes my face feel like it might explode. That's event enough.

I put a special song up last year for your Birthday and wanted to do the same this year. I remember singing this song with you (riding in the Chevy van?) when I was about three. Thirty years later when I saw Arlo play his dead daddy's festival, you grilled me as to whether or not he sang this song. He didn't, but when I maintained that the show was free you argued that "if I payed ten damn dollars to park, I oughta hear City of New Orleans!".

We're well and we miss you. I'd tell you more but the internets are listening.

Unselfishness

So, today I've been in thought about something.

(And for those of you wondering, we DID have school today. Yesterday was a snow day, and today wasn't!)

Do you ever have someone on your mind and you can't seem to shake it? Get your mind outta the gutter, not like that! I mean, someone you don't even see or talk to anymore just kind of appears in your head and you can't seem to shake it?

I have thought about my former pastor's wife today. I will call her WiseWoman for the sake of the blog. I try to protect the innocent as much as I possibly can on here! :-) Wisewoman is an incredible lady who I have a deep amount of respect for. She has a difficult job, I think. Or at least I think it's difficult at times. I know we all have hard days here and there, but I have thought a lot about her ministry.

When I was at that church A LOT of people asked her for advice. And, she is a very wise lady who is a very strong woman of God. However, I noticed something while I was there...not a whole lot of people really got to know her. Her family did, of course, and a lot of her family and extended family go to that church, but outside of that a lot of people really wondered how she was doing. Perhaps there were, and I just never saw it. To be honest, I really hope that was the case. I hope there were people who were able to reach out to her and be her friend. I tried, but feel I probably was one who took more than I gave to her.

Yesterday I listened to someone talk to her for 20 minutes, and she just talked and talked and talked about herself. She never inquired how Wisewoman was doing. It occurred to me after she hung up from that chat that it was her Birthday, and never once did that other person tell her Happy Birthday. That seems very, very sad to me.

It has really made me think today about how much I give and take in my relationships. Some relationships I find myself giving all the time, with very little sharing from my end. And then there are others, like Laura, who it's a two-way friendship where we both share and pray for one another. I like that. And, to be really honest, I know there are a couple people who primarily minister to me. And, it isn't that I haven't tried to make those relationships more two-sided, it's just that sometimes it seems like it's pulling teeth to get those people to share. They've been hurt, or wounded, or I think sometimes they are just called by God to be there for me.

As you can tell, it has definately made me think a lot.

I really hope I give and take equally in the relationships I'm in.

I don't want to be selfish. I want to be a giver as well as a receiver.

I'll keep ya posted on how well I'm doing in this little corner of my world.

By the way, I'm sending Wisewoman a belated Birthday card tomorrow. :-)

Later!

Four day weekend...perhaps five...

So today I awoke at 6am, my normal time to a Thunderstorm. I love it when it rains and thunders, I sleep better than usual when that happens. I laid there for about two minutes and decided I needed to get a move on since the TV screen said, "Wintry Weather Mix Watch" at the bottom of the screen last night. I figured I needed extra time to get to work. I got up, made my bed, grabbed my water, and headed to shower. Just as I stepped out of my bedroom, Bakerywoman came out of her room and said, "You don't have school today."

I stood there.

What?

No school?

I looked out the window, and sure enough, ice was falling.

I said, "Yes!"

I unmade my bed, climbed back in, and slept until 9:15-ish.

This has been the best ice day yet just because I really didn't expect it. I had played detective last night and checked the weather report online, and it didn't look bad, so I went to bed early thinking we would have school today. I never thought "Gee, I hope we have a snow day tomorrow."

So, today has been GREAT!

Granted, this puts us at 7 days off this year, and we still have wintry weather falling outside. I'll be surprised if we have school tomorrow. They said on the news tonight that as of today we won't be out of school until May 28th, and that will change again if we don't have school tomorrow.

I don't care. I am enjoying this immensely.

Today I was semi-productive. I managed to write an IEP and get two other IEP's finished so I can send them off this week.

But I have tonight off.

I love my job!

Later!

Love

In the past 48 hours I have felt an enormous amount of love by people in my life. I am surrounded by so many genuinely nice, loving, people. I am in constant awe of how blessed I am to be loved so well.

In my last post, I had mentioned a medical procedure that I had to have done. while the procedure itself wasn't bad, the preparation time was my own little version of Hell. You give this short little gal a 24 hour window of only eating Jell-O and drinking clear liquids and what do you get? A migraine! So I went into the produre yesterday with a migraine. Yeah, not my idea of fun.

But the procedure went well, and I'm back to eating my regular food, and the headache is gone, so life is good again.

I get the official results of the tests on Thursday, Valentine's Day, but that's okay. From the words they were throwing around, it can all be controlled by medication. Not life threatening stuff, just a new season of my life with more to do. But that's okay, I can handle that.

And finally, the most touching part of it all was how nice and kind those around me have been. I've had SEVERAL people praying for me, and calling and checking on me and genuinely willing to be here for me at the drop of a hat. For that I am blessed beyond what I can express in words.

I've said it before, and I will say it again, I may be single, but I am NOT alone.

Thank God.

Later!

Laughter is the best medicine...

One of the things my pastor always says from the pulpit is, "You've got stuff, I've got stuff, we've all got stuff." I love that quote because it is so true. We all have a bit of rain fall into our lives from time to time that we have to walk through. This week I've had some unexpected events happen that I never expected. I will spare you the details, but suffice to say on Friday I'm having a medical procedure performed on me, and I'm nervous. Not scared, just nervous. I'm sure I'll feel differently at the time, but right now I'm okay.

However, it's normal to let your mind wander here and there. My mind has done it's fair share of wandering this week. I guess there have been moments of stress and anxiety that I have prayed through, if I'm going to be really honest with you.

So, this afternoon something cool happened that I considered a gift from God.

We were playing Sight Word Bingo in my class this afternoon. In the midst of it, one of my boys, Goofball, started laughing. I have no idea what triggered the laughter, but the next thing I knew, we were all laughing because Goofball's face was as red as a tomato.

And it was one of those moments where even if we had tried to stop, we couldn't.

I know, I should've stopped it all.

I'm the teacher.

But, to be truthful, it felt really, really good.

I laughed so hard that it hurt, and so did the kids.

After it was all over, Austin looked at me, smiled, and said, "That was fun."

Enough said...

Later!

Sunday School!

It wouldn't be a typical Sunday without a post from the Shortone, would it? I don't think so!

This morning I got up and taught Sunday School. I am currently teaching 2 Sundays a month, and am loving it back there. The kids are great. I have about 5 boys that build my character, and they were all there today, but it was great.

I had given them a memory verse for the month of January. They were given Psalm 103:8, "The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in love." If they could recite it today, they got a gift from me. The boys got necklaces, and the girls to charm bracelets. It was a hoot. Some of them knew it, and some had to really work at it, but they did it. I was proud of them.

This month they have a bit longer of a verse, so it will be interesting to see how many of them learn it. It's Ephesians 4:32-5:2. I don't have it memorized yet, so I will be doing what I told the kids to do, which is to post it on my mirror and memorize while I brush my teeth. One of our new Sunday School Teachers told them if they learn the verse they can have an ice cream party next month. I can't wait to see how they do!

I am also teaching them "Jesus Loves Me" in sign language, and we'll be doing it in front of the church one month from today. It will be interesting to see how that plays out! They had trouble today, but they were antsy about the Super Bowl, so who knows.

They highlight though, came after service. I was walking around visiting, letting parents know what's going on this month. And, my pastor came up behind me, and gave me a hug and whispered in my ear, "If I could have 50 of you, I'd take it!" and he walked away!

At the moment I was busy talking to another adult, so it really didn't hit me what he had said until I was driving away. And I don't say this to be prideful. I really don't. But it made me think about stuff. I know what he meant. I am a bit part of Children's Church, and the body, and he appreciates all I do. I totally get that, and it blesses me.

But what I thought about was the power of our words. What he said to me made me smile, and I've thought about it all afternoon. Not because I felt insecure, thinking, "Does pastor Mike like me?" NEVER, EVER, did those words ever come to my mind. I've never felt anything but love from pastor and his wife. They're an incredible couple. And, I have felt nothing but warmth and love since I've been at that church.

But just an ounce of an encouraging word did something for me. I wasn't down or anything, but sometimes we all need a bit of encouragement from someone when we least expect it. And, it blesses both the sender of the message, as well as the receiver.

I just hope I do that well with my students. :-)

Well, those are my ponderings for the day. I have homework to do, and plan to watch the commercials for the Super Bowl. I could care less about the game, but the commercials are typically a topic of conversation at work the next day. :-)

Later!

Snow Day!

I tell ya, while I LOVE my job, snow days are WONDERFUL! I was ecstatic last night when I saw my school district listed on the bottom of the TV for the "closings" category. I tell ya, sometimes you just like an unscheduled free day. It has been wonderful. My favorite part so far was waking up today at 9:15. :-) Apparently I was more exhausted than I thought, as that's more sleep than I usually get even on a Saturday. :-) Life is good.

In other news, Haircut has returned to my classroom. The moment I saw him walking down the hall, I attacked him with a HUGE hug! He smiled in embarassment, but deep down inside I think he loved it! He has the best haircut I've ever seen him in, by the way. Which is nice.

Yesterday I had something odd happen. I had one of the teachers send for me. This is rare, so I knew it was important. (Fortunately I don't have any violent kids, so I knew I wasn't being called to restrain a child. Go ahead, laugh, this short little gal with a limp has restrained plenty of kids in her teaching career!) So the teacher goes on to tell me that she's had this student for like 2 weeks and she wonders if she has an IEP. I told the teacher that during the Spelling Bee Assembly I would play detective and see what I could find out. I was a bit panicked as I would be out of compliance MAJORLY if this kid qualified for services and I hadn't been servicing her. So, I put on my detective hat, and as it turns out, this kid has an IEP from her other school district and she has quite a few services. So, I pulled her yellow card. This is the enrollment card that the parent fills out when they enroll a child. The parent DIDN'T mark one single thing about special services or an IEP. On one hand, this works in my favor as I am not held responsible for services that the parent never notified us about. On the other hand, this broke my heart for this kid that I don't even know. This kid needs all sorts of assistance, but the parent didn't mark it, or tell us, or anything. This kid has suffered for 2 weeks in a regular classroom and the parent hasn't called to inquire as to why her child isn't succeeding academically. It breaks my heart. We live in such a fallen world, that it crushes me at times...

Finally, I learned something very important this week as some intense drama unfolded in my life. I hate drama. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I drama more than I can express in words. I hate being yelled at, and was yelled at by two people at the same time. I was shaking. However, I learned something. I stood my ground on what I knew was true, and I knew that God was with me even as I shook and defended myself. In the past I would've crumbled and cried in shame and frustration. This week I stood tall and held my position in what I knew was true. So, while I still hate drama with a passion, my head now hangs tall because fear didn't rule me, and God held me up the whole way through. Which is worth more to me than all the money in the world.

Well, I am gonna logoff. I have a few things to do before I return to my "bum" status on the couch.

Later!