Oooh, man...

It's been a while...nearly a school year.

I only have the energy for a bloggette tonight, but I figured I'd put the pinky toe in the blogosphere pool and try to get back into blogging.

It's been a long year, mainly because of master's classes and co-teaching issues involving a complete lack of respect and professionalism.

But I was given one of the best compliments I've ever received the other day...not necessarily because of what was said, but because of who said it.

I was in talking to a colleague during my prep. This is a man who has dedicated his life to teaching. He gives his students his home phone number on the first day of class, has them over to his house for dinner, and is the epitome of dedication to the profession. We don't always see eye-to-eye, as I am beginning my career, and he is towards the end; he teaches honors students, and I teach basic; he is rather old fashioned and conservative, and I am not...typically. Anyway, I began to walk out of his room, and he called me back in; I assumed it was for computer issues.

When I walked in, he became rather awkward and looked down at his desk. He finally said, "Mrs. Anonymous, I just wanted to let you know that I think you're a hell of a teacher. We may not always agree, but I think you're great at what you do." Even thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. To have this man, who is such an amazing teacher and whom all his students look up to, compliment me...it meant a lot.

p.s. Maybe this isn't a bloggette.

i must be a moron...

in my excitement over shyboy's baseball game, i forgot to tell you about my first experience with real plagiarism.

i was reading an essay (which was turned in two days late), and i realized there was something funny about it...first off, it wasn't the student's usual writing. and secondly, for this essay, they were required to have three sources...she had twelve!! if that doesn't tip me off, i don't know what will.
so, i "googled" her topic. funny, guess what i found. yup, her essay. she had simply copied and pasted from google. i was livid...not even so much because she cheated, but moreso because she thinks i am that stupid that i simply wouldn't notice.
i confronted her about it. took her aside towards the end of class.
and i asked her: cheater, do you think i'm a moron?
cheater: no, miss anonymous. of course not.
me: okay, then why in the world would you think i wouldn't notice when you copied your essay from google?
cheater: i'm just so stupid. *insert fake tears here*
this girl knows how to work the system. she thinks she can scrounge up some tears, berate herself a little, and everything will work out for her. and with other teachers it does. i was too angry to let it fly.
she received a zero on the essay, a zero on the speech that was written from the essay, and the documentation will go in her file.

i just don't understand in this day and age how students think they can get away with things like that. really, nowadays, if they want to cheat, they're going to have to be awfully creative.
and some of them are...i've heard of students taking pictures of tests with cell phones and selling them. i've seen students share answers through myspace. i've heard of students programming things into calculators.
what happened to a good, old-fashioned crib sheet?

and because of the power of the internet, kids can share cheating strategies...i really wonder if they realize that if they can access a webpage, then we can too. oh. no. just kidding. we're idiots.

like here...

and here...

Amazed by Jay!

Thursday night I was (once again) amazed and touched by how sensitive Jay is to me. I came home Thursday night, after a rather stressful day, and was in a mood. We walked for a while, which I thought would help, but I was still in a mood. Internet was out, and I was still in a mood. (Internet being out was a blessing though, I wouldn't have been the positive person that I normally am!) I wasn't feeling well, but it was really weird because nothing really hurt or anything, I just was "off." I am rarely like that, but Thursday was just one of those days.

So, Jay and I went for a walk and came home. After eating dinner, we cuddled. He knew something was up, so we just cuddled. It melted my heart how sensitive he was, even though he couldn't say a word. We cuddled until about 9, and headed upstairs to sleep.

We began the night with him sleeping at my feet. That's normal for him, and I was so tired it really worked out well because I didn't have to move over or anything for the little guy. Around 4am I awoke sick to my stomach. After going to the restroom, I climbed back in bed, and he moved up to be cuddled beside me. He knew I was sick, I really believe that! I said, "Thanks, Jay." I said a prayer for sleep, and it happened. I got up a couple more times, and Jay was right there. He knew. I LOVE that. Being single+being sick is often tough. Jay just cuddled.

I awoke feeling lethargic, but made it through the school day (Friday) just fine.

All thanks to some prayer, and a little furry kid named Jay.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

i've got a buggy!!

ms. h has her squashed bug, and now i've got the shyboy (who didn't smile at me until a couple weeks ago).
baseball is his passion, and the season has started. he invited me to a game (which surprised/shocked/amazed his other teachers when i mentioned it to them). i couldn't believe he actually asked me if i'd go to his game, so, of course, i went. it was so wonderful/painful to watch. he's an amazing ballplayer. but he gets so down on himself if he makes a mistake...which he also does in my class. he played short for the first four innings then was moved to pitcher. and i could see his whole body crumble after each bad pitch. i could imagine how his face fell (because it happens in my classroom when he doesn't understand something)...

and now i know why...his dad is an asshole of the highest calibur. while i may disagree with parents and get irritated with parents, i'm not one to call them horribly nasty names unless absolutely warrented. but this dad...it disgusts me when i think about it. after every single play/pitch/at-bat, dad had a comment...and you can bet your butt it wasn't in any way, shape or form encouraging. most of them were ridiculously demeaning, and some were even downright nasty. i hope shyboy couldn't hear him from the stands (although i'm sure he heard it after the game).
i made sure to try to counter whatever dad was saying by cheering extra loud. i think i embarassed shyboy.

i talked to him the next day in class, and i made sure to compliment him on everything he did well. after class, i told him that i thought about going down to say bye when i left and tell him how well he was doing, but i figured his baseball buddies would give him a hard time about that...apparently it isn't cool to be buddy-buddy with the teacher. i got a shyboy smile from that one.
i'll be going to more baseball games...and maybe i'll bring a bullhorn or something to drown out nastydad.

Twins Tuesday

This week at my school we're raising money for Japan. In addition to the raising of funds, we're having a different theme each day and we get to dress up! For staff members, we can use our Jeans coupons and participate too! (We could purchase Jeans coupons for each day this week to help raise funds too! If we had leftover jeans coupons we could do that too!) That's right, I'm wearing jeans EVERYDAY this week! I love it!!! *grin*

Yesterday during my 5th grade group, the kids were deciding who they wanted to be twins with. When they heard Rockstarpara and I talking about it, they wanted to join us! So, we changed our plans and I brought in SEVERAL KU shirts! Before school kids were coming in for their shirts, and it was HILARIOUS! The teacher next door didn't want to hear about it because she's an MU fan! It was priceless! One student in particular really wants to fit in, and I know today really helped her a lot. It was a lot of fun!

Of course, at the end of the day we took pictures! It was a lot of fun. I hope we have another day like this one because I can tell it was something both students and staff enjoyed! It was PRICELESS in my book!

You're probably wondering what the rest of the week holds for us:

Wednesday is Wacky Hair Day. Not sure what I"ll do for that one! Especially since I have a committee meeting first thing!
Thursday is dress in your future profession day. I've considered dressing as a P.E. Teacher. *grin*
Friday is Crazy Hat day. I received my new Camp Barnabas Hat today that I will wear on Friday! *grin*

I'm so glad I'm in such a fun building! It makes the CRAZINESS of the days of school a little more fun!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

ROAD CONSTRUCTION

When I moved here almost two years ago, I was told about the Road Construction that would be starting up that Summer behind my house. In fact, I got a $15 reduction in rent due to the construction. For those of you who haven't been here, I live in a nice neighborhood, with a highway behind my house. I say highway very loosely though because it's a highway, but in this area it's about a two mile stretch of road of residential and commercial development. If you go east or west either way, it becomes a highway again.

In July I will have lived here two years. (How did that happen? Time does go by faster the older you get!) This ENTIRE time we have had road construction in one form or another going on behind my house. They are working to make the highway four lane instead of two, which will truly be a blessing once it's done.

At the moment, the road construction is a MESS. I mean, they have blocked one entrance to my neighborhood, and now my street is a detour route. Getting in and out of my neighborhood is an interesting task at the moment. Not to mention the noise that goes with the roadwork. It makes me glad that my bedroom is on the opposite side of the house!

Every morning I think, "Aren't we done yet with this construction?" And, of course, we're not. Truthfully, with the rain, I think it's just going to take longer.

As I was driving home tonight a thought came to me, I have never lived here without the road construction. Granted, it wasn't this inconvenient the entire time, but the whole time I've lived here they have been working on this project. In fact, they had to re-do our sewage system to make it all work. Last Summer was interesting while they did that project!

Anyway, it has made me wonder what it will be like when it's all done. No more signs saying "change in traffic direction." No more covered stop signs. No more detours. Plus, we'll have four lanes, with a turn lane. So, we won't have backed up traffic at 5pm anymore. Wow. What a concept. *grin*

As I was pondering this tonight, and I ponder it nightly as I drive through it, it made me think about my walk with Christ. I mean, He is making routine detours in my life for me to be right where I'm supposed to be on a daily basis. He is also changing my heart daily concerning the things on His heart, as well as what's on mine.

There's a curve down the road that you have to maneuver through cones to go through it. I think that's how I am with God right now. I am doing well right now compared to a couple weeks ago, but it's only because I have clung to Him in the Secret Place and prayed like never before, and it's bringing me to a new place. God has put several things in my life, such as specific songs, the Prayer Room, and people, to guide me as well, but honestly it's been me and Him. I have felt like I'm in that curvy spot of road, and He is guiding me through it with His word. And just as that road is changing into something new altogether, I am too.

I love it. Thank You, Lord.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

forward.

i've got my hands full tonight with getting midterm grades ready. but i got this from the reflective teacher. thought it was worth reposting...

Schools today….

“Where are the heroes of today?” a radio talk show host thundered. He blames society’s shortcomings on education. Too many people are looking for heroes in all the wrong places. Movie stars and rock musicians, athletes, and models aren’t heroes; they’re celebrities. Heroes abound in public schools, a fact that doesn’t make the news. There is no precedent for the level of violence, drugs, broken homes, child abuse, and crime in today’s America. Education didn’t create these problems but deals with them every day.

You want heroes? Consider Dave Sanders, the schoolteacher shot to death while trying to shield his students from two youths on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Sanders gave his life, along with 12 students, and other less heralded heroes survived the Colorado blood bath.

You want heroes? Jane Smith, a Fayetteville, NC teacher, was moved by the plight of one of her students, a boy dying for want of a kidney transplant. So this woman told the family of a 14 year old boy that she would give him one of her kidneys. And she did. When they subsequently appeared together hugging on the Today Show, even Katie Couric was near tears.

You want heroes? Doris Dillon dreamed all her life of being a teacher. She not only made it, she was one of those wondrous teachers who could bring the best out of every single child. One of her fellow teachers in San Jose, Calif said, “She could teach a rock to read.” Suddenly she was stricken with Lou Gehrig’s Disease which is always fatal, usually within five years. She asked to stay on job… and did. When her voice was affected she communicated by computer. Did she go home? Absolutely not! She is running two elementary school libraries! When the disease was diagnosed, she wrote the staff and all the families that she had one last lesson to teach…. that dying is part of living. Her colleagues named her Teacher of the Year.

You want heroes? Bob House, a teacher in Gay, Georgia, tried out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. After he won the million dollars, a network film crew wanted to follow up to see how it had impacted his life. New cars? Big new house? Instead, they found both Bob House and his wife still teaching. They explained that it was what they had always wanted to do with their lives and that would not change. The community was both stunned and gratified.

You want heroes? Last year the average school teacher spent $468 of their own money for student necessities… workbooks, pencils… supplies kids had to have but could not afford. That’s a lot of money from the pockets of the most poorly paid teachers in the industrial world.

Schools don’t teach values? The critics are dead wrong.

Public education provides more Sunday School teachers than any other profession. The average teacher works more hours in nine months than the average 40-hour employee does in a year.

You want heroes? For millions of kids, the hug they get from a teacher is the only hug they will get that day because the nation is living through the worst parenting in history. An Argyle, Texas kindergarten teacher hugs her little 5 and 6 year-olds so much that both the boys and the girls run up and hug her when they see her in the hall, at the football games, or in the malls years later.

A Michigan principal moved me to tears with the story of her attempt to rescue a badly abused little boy who doted on a stuffed animal on her desk… one that said “I love you!” He said he’d never been told that at home. This is a constant in today’s society… two million unwanted, unloved, abused children in the public schools, the only institution that takes them all in.

You want heroes? Visit any special education class and watch the miracle of personal interaction, a job so difficult that fellow teachers are awed by the dedication they witness. There is a sentence from an unnamed source which says: “We have been so eager to give our children what we didn’t have that we have neglected to give them what we did.”

What is it that our kids really need? What do they really want?

Math, science, history and social studies are important, but children need love, confidence, encouragement, someone to talk to, someone to listen, standards to live by. Most teachers provide upright examples, the faith and assurance of responsible people.

You want heroes? Then go down to your local school and see our real live heroes. The ones changing lives for the better each and every day!

Now, pass this on to someone you know who’s a teacher, or to someone who should thank a teacher today. I’d like to see this sent to all those who cut down the importance of teachers. They have no idea who a public school teacher is or what they do.

Resurrection Sunday

Easter Sunday always brings a mixture of emotions for me. Some are legitimate, and honestly some of the emotions are born of the flesh. I guess that's normal if I'm to be completely honest. If you disagree, that's okay. If you saw what I saw today, it may make a little more sense.

365 days out of the year I walk with the Lord. Not perfectly, I fall & I make mistakes, but ultimately I try to live before the audience of One daily. Every year I feel a step closer, but also feel I'm a step backward all at the same time I guess. I think that's how running the race is sometimes. The more I learn from Him, the more I realize that there is to learn. *grin*

This morning I awoke knowing that I was driving on the shuttles team. I also knew that it was Easter Sunday, which meant we would have more people than usual attending service. That's actually saying a lot, because we have a pretty decent crowd on regular Sundays.

When I arrived to drive shuttles Slim said to start driving the Overflow Lot. That is my FAVORITE route to drive, so I was excited! I started driving and I was correct, we were BUSY. One of our regular drivers didn't come in, so we had more people wanting to attend service, and FEWER drivers. Honestly, I have never seen us that busy before with only 3 drivers. Actually, we had one gal stay on until about 11:15 from first shift to help me with Overflow until it slowed down. She left after that, so the after-service crowd was left to me on the Overflow Lot.

I can honestly say I enjoyed driving today. EVERYONE was nice and even though they had to wait in line for me to go back and forth. My favorite part was having the new Passion CD to play while I drove. I had NUMEROUS people ask what CD I was listening to and where they could get it. That part was really fun!

Yes, it was a wonderful thing. My heart leapt though for the people that only attend on Easter and Christmas. I'm REALLY glad they were all there today, and it is my prayer that they will all return. Year after year I see people come twice a year. I guess that's better than none.

At the same time I know what God has done for me and I think how different this world would be if everyone experienced God like I have in my short 37 years on this planet. It's my prayer that people experienced God in their own way today, and they will seek God in their own church in their own way each week. It doesn't have to be FCF, but somewhere to call "home."

I know that today as I drive shuttles, I had several new passengers that I enjoyed meeting. At the same time a few were regular riders who made me feel as if I'm at home here.

Kind of a different Easter Sunday for me, I guess. Even with the mixed feelings regarding stuff, there's one thing for sure, I feel blessed to know Him as well as I do.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

GPR Time!!! *grin*

I have to admit, I like having the Prayer Room open on Saturday Nights while Patmos is going on over at FCF. Last week and this week I have been able to soak in the Prayer Room while God has blessed me with Misty leading worship! She typically leads our Saturday Night FCF service, so it's been cool to have her do a regular prayer room set instead of a "service" set. I will admit, as far as what God does through Misty, it's not much different. The main difference between FCF and GPR is that we just worship straight through! Tonight was AMAZING!

I connect with God in an intense way when Misty leads. It's not Misty I'm worshiping, it's Jesus, but when Misty leads it's easier to engage with the Spirit. Tonight it was A LOT of fun. I looked over at the clock for the first time, and 90 minutes had passed! It felt like only a few minutes! Ah. I love the PRAYER ROOM. It is still my favorite place on this planet! And, I can honestly say, those 2 hours last week and this week are my favorite hours of the week.

Tonight we did a song that I've heard a few different times, one of which we did out at camp last year, and while I have NO IDEA who wrote it, but I will find out. It was INCREDIBLE!

On top of that, this afternoon I was surfing the web and found a new Passion Worship CD that I didn't even know about! I LOVE IT! God always amazes me. He always gives me the music I need, right when I need it! *grin*

Finally, this weekend has made me long for Summer Break. I'm ready to sleep in, hang out with friends, and soak in the Prayer Room. I am selfishly praying that I get to keep my tutoring students this Summer, but if that doesn't work out, that's okay too. I'm just ready for the break.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
SPIFFY...living 15 minutes from the Prayer Room!

Lessons from Jay!

Today has been quite a day for Jay & me. We knew that it would be a little noisy because the landowners had told us a couple weeks ago that we would all be getting new siding on our houses. They started yesterday on my house, and I prayed that they would finish yesterday while I was at work. When I got home and surveyed the side of the house, it was evident that they would have to continue today. I prayed that they wouldn't begin early this morning before I crashed last night, and while that was answered (Praise the Lord!) and I got to sleep in past 10, they were back at it at about 10:45. On top of that, that Landowner came by and said that the cable would have to be shut off while they worked. I was bummed, but since it was going to be temporary, I thought that was okay. I could clean up and do a few things around the house while they put the siding up. Not the day I had planned, but that's okay. Apparently He had other plans for my day.

The construction crew got to work, and I immediately figured out that it wasn't going to be a QUIET day. Between the hammering and Jay barking, I wondered how long it would all last. *grin* When all was said and done it was about 3 hours, but Jay managed to be quiet while I held him for part of that time. He would keep looking at the wall, and I imagined his thoughts to be something like, "please stop, please, please, please, stop." Poor kid didn't sleep a wink while they were here.

After we had cable turned back on (PRAISE THE LORD!!!) and the pounding was over, we headed out to run a few errands. We had fun. We even stopped at the vet to have blood work done. Fortunately, he likes the vet that we go to, so even that was fun.

We came home and went for a walk. We met some nice people tonight on our walk. We have had new people move in around the neighborhood since last Summer, so there are new families to meet! I like it! Even on my street we have lost a few kids and gained some new kids. It's nice to see some new kids around, and the latest thing is basketball a few houses down. I enjoy watching them play.

I share all of this to let you know that Jay didn't sleep AT ALL today. It has been quite a day for him. Of course, he doesn't normally sleep much when I'm home all day. We are buddies on the days I'm home. He never lets me go far from where he's at. Needless to say, he's now asleep on top of my feet. I love it when he sleeps like this, as this is his preferred place to sleep.

It has made me ponder if I'm this close to God. Jay is so loyal to me, to the point he sleeps at my feet. He wakes the minute I move to go get a drink and come back. He will follow me upstairs if I go up, even if it's just to put laundry away. He's loyal. He's loving. He's my Best Friend.

He has really challenged my thinking today. I pray that I can be as loyal to Him as Jay is to me. Tonight as we walked, the Lord gave me ANOTHER song tonight. He's been doing that a lot lately, giving me songs as I walk. I like that, as it is always what I need, right when I need it. *grin*

My prayer tonight has been that I can be loyal and a follower of Him, just as Jay is loyal, and follows me. The chorus is what connected me with Him tonight:

GIVE ME A PURE AND HOLY PASSION
GIVE ME ONE MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION
GIVE ME ONE GLORIOUS AMBITION FOR MY LIFE
TO KNOW AND FOLLOW HARD AFTER YOU

*grin* Love. It.

I know He loves it too!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

Billybob

Today I had a student make a decision that has had me pondering all evening. My students were given a writing assignment for homework last night. Most of the students in that group are good at bringing homework back. I explained to the students that the students who turned in their work would get ten minutes of free time at the end of class while everyone else worked on their work.

Upon initial entry to my room, Billybob told me that he didn't do it. I told him that was fine, he would have time at the end of class to do it. I went on with class, and when Billybob learned about ten minutes of Game Time, he said, "It is done, it's in my classroom." I was skeptical, but Billybob doesn't typically lie to me, so I let him go. He returned with a paper that was clearly an assignment for his other class. When I told him that, he told me that it really was the assignment I had given. When I showed him the red ink pen mark from the other teacher, he still stated it was the correct assignment. Then I flipped it over and found other work on it. THEN, he fessed up. I was frustrated, but didn't really have time at that moment to deal with it. I let him know that he would have to do his work during Game Time. He was silent during the lesson time. I enjoyed the quiet, but wished it hadn't taken that to get him quiet. He worked during game time to get EVERYTHING done.

After class, I walked back to class with him and it was confirmed that the assignment was from his other class. He showed zero emotion. Which is fine. I let his parent know, and that is that.

The thing is, I have thought about Billybob all evening. I remember being a kid and lying to my teachers. (I hate to admit that, but well, it's true.) I don't remember repeatedly lying, but I do remember telling a lie after I had forged my Dad signature on something because I didn't want to let them down. I would like to think that was Billybob's logic, not to let me down. The thing is, I don't think that was it. I think he just wanted game time & didn't want to work during class today. He's a neat kid, and a smart kid. Somewhere in the back of his mind he planned that out. That breaks my heart.

As the evening has progressed, it has been my hope and prayer that this experience will teach him the lesson he needs (Just as forging my Dad's signature taught me mine.) today so that he won't try this later in life when it will REALLY get him into trouble. He's got SO MUCH potential.

By the end of that class period, I was glad we have a three-day weekend. I think everyone needs time to rest and have a break. I know I do.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT...with a THREE-DAY WEEKEND!

job offer...

apparently my interview yesterday didn't go that badly. they told me yesterday that they wouldn't be calling until at least april 28 because that's what the deadline for application was; however, the principal called me today and told me that he and the teacher who sat in on the interview called the superintendent immediately and told him that they didn't need to do anymore interviews...they want me. i asked him if i could have until tuesday to decide.
i'm beyond excited to have a job offer, but i don't know what to do. it's a nice school...smaller than the one i'm at now. but i had an interview today (they said they'd call with their choice this weekend), and there's another school in the area i'd really like to work at (the one whose principal i called yesterday.

i think my plan is to see what the school i interviewed at today says, call the school i'd like to work at on monday and see if i can set up an interview, let the principal of the school i'm at now know that i've got a job offer and then make my decision from there.
i go from spazzing because i don't have a job to spazzing because i've got an offer. gah!!

...TO SEE THE ART IN ME...

I am absolutely amazed at how much God uses music in my life. I can be in a REALLY good mood, and he'll give me a song to dance to, or I can be in a really low mood, and he gives me a song to lift my spirits. Or sometimes it's somewhere in between. Regardless, I am ALWAYS blessed by the music God puts in my path at just the right time.

There are two songs that I keep replaying over and over again. Both of them are drawing me closer to God AND giving me new perspectives on various things I see going on around me. So, tonight on my walk with Jay, God brought another song to mind that made me smile. It's an old song, one that I grabbed onto when I was first saved in 1997, but He gave me a new outlook on some things at work that I needed to have to finish this year strong. That's truly my goal. So much has happened this year, that I think we all just need a break and to start over fresh in August. Or perhaps it's just me. I doubt it though. Too much has happened for it to just be me. *grin*

The song tonight is Jars of Clay, "Art in Me." Each day, I see the JEWEL of a person that God created in each of my students. Truthfully, it's not hard. I have some of the COOLEST kids with personalities that are absolutely precious. The kids are never the problem. They may be character-building at times, but they are never the problem. Ultimately, they are EACH special to me in their own way, and loving them isn't hard.

Lately I've been wrestling with some other things at work. And tonight I have started praying a new prayer, taken from "Art in Me." The line that keeps coming into my mind is "...and You plead to everyone to see the art in me." I see the art in the kids. I see the art in the adults I work with. I see the art in the parents of the kids I work with. Meaning, I see their hearts. I see who God created them to be. I see who they are AS A PERSON. And beyond that, I see what amazing people they are.

There are people who aren't seeing that within me. That's okay. *grin* First off, God knows my heart, and that's what is most important. Second of all, I know my heart, and I know that I've given 100% daily to what I'm responsible for, therefore that's all that matters. Finally, I recognize what's going on, and I'm PRAYING OVER EVERY LITTLE DETAIL.

Ha! Yeah, HE'S GOT IT COVERED!!! *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
SPIFFY!

interviews...blech.

hm. so i may've been a little nervous for my first interview, and i may've talked like the micromachines man.
i'm usually a really good interviewer; however, before it was for jobs that didn't really matter much to me...this is my career...little more important. i think what i said was intelligent.
also, called a principal about the status of my resume...making sure he had everything/reminding him about little ol' me...and he said he'd be calling for interviews next week. he then asked if i was looking anywhere else. i didn't really think before i spoke and told him about my two interviews. i'm sure i sounded like a spaz, but he seemed nice...hopefully he didn't think anything too bad.
i will do better at my interview tomorrow.

THE STINK BUG STORY

So, today I had quite an afternoon. My afternoon group finished the first book in the reading series I am doing with my students (YIPPEE!!!) and we started book #2 today. The kids were excited to have the new books in their hands, and we started the story. I knew from the beginning that the kids would be hyper with the first story. It was about STINK bugs. Yeah, and within the story the bugs had a STINK contest. Yep, you can only imagine how the fifth graders enjoyed it. Jokes, comments, etc. It was quite an afternoon.

While it was a little difficult to manage their talking in between sections of the story, I will admit I enjoyed it. We laughed a lot, and it was cute to see them WANT to re-read the story after they were done with their workbook. I will also admit I'm glad we only have the story for two days. Two days I can handle, if The Stink Bugs were weeks of my life, I would be tired.

Laughter is good though. And today was fun.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
SPIFFY!

THE POWER OF PRAYER

Today was a rough day. The day started out fine, but as the day progressed it just got harder and harder. I am thankful that I held it together though and didn't take it out on anyone.

I had two students accidentally break a candy dish that my family gave me as a birthday gift last May. It really was an accident. They didn't apologize, which bummed me out as well, but at least I didn't yell. I just started cleaning it up. The two kids offered to help clean it up, but I didn't want to be responsible for cut fingers, so I did it. I was saddened it was busted, and while life goes on, it still saddened me.

I have been wearing a necklace for two years. I bought it at Jill's Jewelry party two years ago, and well, it was special to me. I went to turn it around right on my neck, and it broke. Once again, it was nothing, but it was something to me. But, it still saddened me.

Another part of my day bummed me out that I will refrain from sharing, but at that point I just stopped, and prayed. My students had headed back to their classrooms and I had about 8 minutes until tutoring, and I just prayed. I didn't feel the peace that I wanted, but I prayed. And then God sent little Eli in to give me a hug. Then I felt better. *grin*

I got to tutor a really cool kid this afternoon and that helped too. *grin*

Thankfully stopping and praying instead of reacting was the right thing to do. I came home and walked Jay, and in the midst of the walk, I heard that chorus from the other night:

DON'T GIVE UP
DON'T GIVE IN
IF YOU DON'T QUIT
YOU'LL WIN...YOU'LL WIN...

And, now I feel better. Fortunately I didn't say or do anything I regret either.

27.5 school days.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT.

the good, the bad and the ugly...

the good...
saw smiley, fellow first-year this morning. walked in with him. he was joking, as always. very good way to begin the school day.

got my boards cleaned up and the weekly calendars put up...and still had time to grab mail and breakfast before department meeting (which doesn't go on the good list).

my first-hour kids were really into masque of the red death. they even indulged me when i had them close their eyes and imagine things...or maybe they were sneaking in a quick nap.

my seniors missed me. we even had a discussion of "their language" vs. what i had when i was growing up. it was quite amusing...and they were still surprised to learn i know the meaning of "skeet skeet".

3rd, 5th and 6th hours i had scheduled a quiz, so i had time to look at essays.

i let my weasel know that in no way, shape or form was i going to allow him to be my friend on facebook. he laughed and asked why not, saying, "but miss anonymous, i thought we were buds!!"

about 1/2 hr. ago smiley fellow first-year asked me out on a date...again. he's an attractive man, and as i said, he's really fun. what an ego boost!! (obviously i said no. i'll keep my geek)

the bad...

beginning the first morning of the week...especially after a break...with department meetings just rains on my parade!!

punky is still in in-house...she has to fix her essay and make up a quiz. she's going to be so pissed when she gets back!! a regular bundle of joy, i'm assuming.

i still have essays to grade...and there's a new stack of quizzes to work on.

discussing union stuff during lunch. gah!!

having a haircut tomorrow when i'd rather be at student council...but i have to be pretty for my interview.

the ugly...

one of my first hour girls stopped me in the hallway on my way to class. she had a black eye and looked as if she'd been crying. she told me she had to go down to counselling. i didn't see her for the rest of the day. and i'm worried like it's my j-o-b.

it was definitely him.

the boy realized the error of his ways. had a midlife crisis at the ripe age of 24. and for the price of a banana split and a lunch brought to me at school, i accepted his apology. he's got some sucking up to do. but at least he's not a lost cause....he realized he's miserable without me. he's lucky i'm understanding.

he's going to read this, and i'll definitely hear about it later :)

My Favorite Room on the Planet

Tonight I was really excited that the play was going on at FCF, because that meant the PRAYER ROOM was open tonight! Normally on Friday and Saturday Nights the Prayer Room closes and it's all moved down to FCF. But due to the fact the play is going on this weekend and next weekend, the Prayer Room was open! I was SO EXCITED! After the past couple weeks I knew that's where I needed to spend some time tonight. As it turns out, I WAS RIGHT! *grin*

Misty Edwards Team led the 6-8 set, and I LOVED every minute of it. I didn't go for Misty, I went for God. He blessed me with the set that spoke deep into the depths of my heart. There's a chorus that God has used repeatedly in the past two years in my life, and tonight we sang it again, and I felt His presence wrap around it as we sang it.

It is a simple one, but one that really touched me tonight:

Don't give up,
Don't give in,
If you don't quit,
You'll win, you'll win.

Yep. Exactly what I needed right when I needed it.

Go figure. God's kinda cool like that.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

it's not me; it's definitely you.

when you change your relationship status on facebook, it asks if you're sure you want to break-up with the person. if i say "no," is facebook going to send him a message saying "i'm sorry, but she doesn't want to be broken up"?

thanks for looking out for what i want, facebook.

not teaching-related.

i could've written about this on my other blog...my non-teaching blog. but all my real-life friends read that. and they'll find out soon enough what's going on. i'd rather not be the announcement to the world...or at least the people in my life. but i have to write about this somewhere...even if it's just for me. i'm rambling. big intro for something that to most of you won't be a big deal. but it is to me. in my little life, this is earth-shattering...or at least it's going to create a change of lifestyle...a huge change of lifestyle.
since i've written this big introduction, i feel there should be a drumroll or something...but there won't be.
just this. my boyfriend broke up with me. tonight at approximately two a.m. horrible time for a break-up *is there ever a "good time"?*
i thought things were going well *classic line from the dumpee, huh?* we went to a baseball game with a couple of friends. i drove *maybe that's why there was the two a.m. delay...i drove to and from the game. quite a distance.*
minor things happened in the car...at least i saw them as minor once they were worked out.
then, standing on a street corner after bars had closed, i was dumped.
the thing that bothers me is the suddenness of it. it just seemed to come out of leftfield. i don't know if it was a split-second decision or something he's been thinking about for a while. i didn't really get a whole lot of explanation. i tried to get one, but there wasn't anything. not even an "i'm sorry." i thought that was a requirement. there had to be some sort of apology or remorse...even if it wasn't real...just to keep up appearances.

most of my friends are single. and at times i envied them. they had freedom. they could come and go as they pleased. the only schedule they had to worry about was their own. they didn't have to answer to anyone but themselves.
but i'd think of what i had, and i'd consider myself lucky. i didn't have to deal with the dating drama they did. i had someone who was there for me...someone who'd help me out on fieldtrips. and someone to come home to. and cry to when i had a bad day. someone who'd workout with me and push me to do better than my best. someone who liked hearing my work stories and tried to understand what my job is like. i had someone who told me he was proud of me. i had someone who loved me *at least i thought so*.
it took me a bit to realize i wasn't really losing my freedom...i mean, i was somewhat. but i gained so much more in return. i don't know if i appreciated all i got in exchange.

but, no more stuff...just freedom.

PONDERINGS

This week has been stressful, I'm not going to lie to you. State testing has fallen this week (and last) and EVERYONE'S stress level is up. The kids are stressed, the adults are stressed. I'm glad tomorrow is Friday. *grin*

This year has been an interesting one for me as far as testing goes. Every year I think I do a post to this effect, but tonight I wanted to say it again. I wish they would ask for my opinion when it comes to testing my students. I could show them some real data, such as:

1. I have a student that entered my program last year on a pre-primer reading level, and the student is now reading on a 2.5 grade level.
2. I have another student who couldn't identify coins at the beginning of last year, this year the student can count change to a dollar.
3. I have a student that came to me on a big behavior plan, and is now in the regular classroom without much difficulty for most of the school day.
4. I have another student who entered my program mid-year this year without a care for school, and now he looks forward to reading group.
5. I have a student that mastered fractions after A LOT of extra hard work. The student may not have been able to show it on the test because I can't paraphrase for the student, but the student really does know it.
6. I have a student who began the year reading in a monotone voice and struggling with decoding. Today the student read with inflection and tone.

Too bad the state people will never know that these kids ARE making progress. No Child Left Behind...you bet, I'm not leaving ANYONE behind. It's just sad that on one test, they won't all be able to show what incredibly amazing learners they really are!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT.

Jay

I find it amazing that one week ago tonight I was standing at the Animal Hospital, praying that Jay would be okay. Gosh, what a night!

Tonight Jay is fine and you can't even tell that he was so sick a week ago. In fact, tonight as we did our nightly walk I was more protective of him, watching every little thing he sniffed to make sure he didn't eat anything! *grin* I imagine that for a while I will do that, play the role of the protective parent. *grin*

It has definitely shown me how much I care for him. I always knew I cared for him, but during the moments last week when I stood in front of his cage at the hospital and he was in so much pain, I felt something I had never felt before. A deep sense of love....love beyond words...love that brought tears to my eyes that night, as well as the next day. At the same time there was a deep sense of JOY when I went to pick him up the following day and he recognized me and was able to move without a lot of shaking. He still couldn't walk, but I figured we just made a great pair! *grin*

Tonight as I type this, he is laying across my legs waiting to hear the "click" of the computer closing so we can cuddle before we head up to read and crash. I feel blessed that God answered my prayers, as well as the prayers of those around me. There haven't been any signs of brain damage or body damage from what happened. (Well, except my pocket book, but it's worth every penny to have the little furry kid with me!) I keep telling Jay that we're blessed.

He can't respond in words, but he is a lot more attached to me these days. I think that says it all. *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

and i've finally started grading the essays.

so, punky's essay definitely had no citations. lovely. so, she's already angry with me because somehow it's my fault she took her cellphone off the desk and then lied about it. now i can only give her half-credit on her essay. i really don't want to. *contrary to popular belief, i don't take joy in students' failures*. but i told the students if they don't cite their information, that i would have to take it as plagerism, and they'd have to re-write their essay for half-credit. i feel that i can't go back on that because students will feel they can take advantage of me.
i wonder if it was anyone besides punky if i'd even really be worried about it...i just feel like she's not going to see her mistake. she's just going to think i'm out to get her.

any suggestions on how to handle this?

blog world...ideal for those nutjobs who choose to teach.

earlier i had this really good blog all written up in my head. it was all about how ideal this little teacher blog has been for me...not just writing about my experiences, but hearing about and sympathizing with others. and the encouragement we provide for one another.

but i wasn't at the computer at the time...and now i can't get it back in all it's bloggy glory. and i don't want to write a mediocre post about this.

Lauren

This past weekend I was out at CAMP BARNABAS for a weekend of Camp. I really enjoy the weekends because they are a way to meet new campers, CIA'S, and staffers. Ultimately, my goal is to get closer to God though. This weekend was different, but in an amazing kind of way.

I think that at this point I go into camp just telling God I am open to whatever He has for me...I'll serve whomever, I'll do whatever. I was just excited to see what was going to happen.

I will admit, this weekend was the first time that I was out at Camp Barnabas and my mind was on Jay more than camp. That's normal though, I think, after what we went through last week. I called twice to check on him, but he was fine. *grin*

During our training Laura introduced Lauren to the group. Laura has spoken to me about Lauren before, and I was excited to finally meet her favorite camper! She was actually sitting right in front of me so I couldn't see her face when Laura was speaking, but I was excited to meet her.

As it turns out, I TOTALLY get why Lauren is Laura's favorite camper. She doesn't speak verbally, but she has a laugh that makes everyone around her smile. She also has creative ways to communicate her needs and wants. For example, she will look in a specific direction, like toward the Bathroom and we can simply say "Do you need to go to the restroom?" and she will not her head yes or no.

It was amazing to me because I had to change my way of thinking. I couldn't ask her (unless we were seated and she had her device in front of her) a question unless it was a "yes" or "no" question. Gosh, how much simpler would life be if we boiled things into "yes" and "no". We would be free of gossip. Free of slander. God just started really speaking to me in that form of communication.

I mentioned Lauren's device. She has a device that is basically a computer, and her mouse is controlled by the dot on the tip of her nose. It was amazing to me when Lauren would ask questions or she would answer our questions. It made me smile every time she did so with others or with me.

Lauren is also very assertive. Any time Laura sat down to eat with us at meals, she would move her electric wheelchair over to sit by Laura. It was funny to watch! I think Laura and Lauren are a great pair! *grin*

Two things really stood out to me with Lauren. First, she was INCREDIBLY patient with us as we tried to figure things out with her. For example, one night we had done all the "get ready for bed" things and got her into bed. She refused to let us cover her with the blanket, and put her feet up in the air. We were trying to figure out what she wanted. Then it hit me! She wanted her socks off! She was happy when we figured it out, and we all had a short little laugh about it. God spoke to me in that too. I do that a lot in my life. I look around for something, and it's right there in front of me. It's pretty amazing. Sometimes God just gives us an answer to something, and we look all around thinking it can't be that easy, when in reality, sometimes it is. *grin*

Her patience with us also made me think about how patient He is with me. Lauren would wait patiently as we figured things out, and once we would get it, she would just smile. I imagine that's what God does with us. I am sure Lauren knew we would figure out the socks or the lifts or the bathroom trips, but she also knew it would take time. I imagine God does the same with me. He just waits for me to figure things out, and smiles when I do. *grin*

Amazing stuff. It's amazing what God teaches me, if I'm listening and watching. *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

and the essays remain untouched.

i've worked out twice the past two days for a total of six get-skinny hours.
i've had lunch with the boyfriend twice, as well.
i've started reading the biography of howard hughes he got me for christmas.
i've blogged several times. and played around in the blogworld.
i've played the sims compulsively, moving one of my sims into her own house.
i've made cookies and sent them to my friend in iraq.
i've mailed my resume to several more schools and had offers for four interviews...one of which is out-of-state.
i've eaten a little better than unhealthy.
i've made a trip down to my alma mater to visit some friends.
i've hung out with the substitutes.
i've made an outline for my student council meeting scheduled for monday.
i've done four loads of laundry.
i've taken several naps.
i've read 2 1/2 trashy romance novels.
i've created a rubric to grade my persuasive essays.

but i haven't touched the essays.

Chocolate is dangerous...

As I was sitting at my desk during my prep, I opened my desk drawer to get staples and found a box of Fannie Mae chocolates that I'd forgotten about over break. You can guess how surprised I was. (And by "surprised," I mean I was tearing into that box of chocolates like there was no tomorrow.)

They were Trinidads, my favorite. I ate one, which took me a bit of time because I have a very specific way of eating Trinidads: I eat off the white chocolate coating, then I eat the dark chocolate inside. Anyway, I finished my first one and picked up my red pen to continue grading (yes, political incorectness aside...I still use red). And the chocolates sat there and mocked me. They were calling my name and laughing at me.

So, I ate another one...and another.

That's why I should stick to Triscuits and granola bars in my desk.

i miss my monsters...

as much as i'm enjoying this whole doing nothing thing, i'm already missing the kids. they make me laugh...it's kinda boring without them keeping me busy.
i suppose i could work on that grading that's calling my name.

a teacher's spring break...

i have 42 essays to grade over break. before i can grade said essays, i have to make a rubric for them. the english department at anonymous high doesn't believe in grading rubrics. bumbling department chair doesn't make a mark on students' essays...just a grade at the end. the students have figured out that he reads the introduction and conclusion and skims the rest. i talked to a couple students who did an experiment. they wrote an amazing beginning and end to their essays. they then wrote some serious paragraphs and sentences in the body and some random sentences having nothing to do with anything. both recieved a's. i made copies of said essays as dirt in case i ever need it. is that conniving? do i care? the rodent grades by the student...what i mean is, if she likes the student, the student does well. if she doesn't, well, that student had better find a different teacher really quickly. the head fem nazi beast *i'm all about women's lib; however, there becomes a point where some women take it too far. it's the man-hating i can't stand* does something similar, but instead of just looking at who the student is, she bases some of her grade on whether or not the student agrees with her views...she's also partial to estrogen. if you're full of testosterone, then don't plan to pass her class.
like with nearly everything i do, i'm anal about how i grade my essays. i don't want any parent to come back and bite me in the behind. so, i use a rubric. and i use a different rubric for each assignment. obviously i'm looking for different things in different assignments, and i let students know what i want on the prompt. i always try to make sure my prompt and my rubric match up. i sometimes even give assignments and rubrics to students in other classes to see if they think it makes sense.
anyways, i'm rambling...so, plans for spring break:

  • make rubric for persuasive essays.
  • grade persuasive essays.
  • look over term paper outlines.
  • score and enter vocab quizzes in book.
  • clean out remainder of grading from my bag.
  • work out on a daily basis.
  • find some time to be a lazy bum on the couch.
  • apartment shopping.
there's probably more, and i'll think of it eventually. i'm sure there will be a lot of blogging going on over here this week.

Preparing my speech...

I'm up for a Blogger's Choice Award--"the blogitzer." I won't complain about it. In fact, I'm going to go with some shameless self-promotion...



Click and vote!! Please!!

On another note, Spring Break ends tomorrow. I have done nothing teacher-related for over a week, and my kids are going to kill me when I go back. I want to make up some horrible excuse as to why I couldn't do any grading over the break, but I think they'd see through that. Alas, I'll either have to grade 50 term papers in the next several hours, or enjoy the last afternoon of my break and deal with the consequences tomorrow. Whatever will I do??

I have read several good books over break. I'll give my thoughts on them when I get back from the dog park. (You knew I wouldn't grade. I'm worse than a freshman.)

JAY UPDATE

I want to start by saying "Thanks" to all my supportive friends tonight who have answered my prayer requests and have prayed. Tonight has been one of the most difficult nights of my adult life.

The evening began typical. I came home, we did our walk, etc, he was fine. We went to the store and when I came outside he was fine. Once I started driving, something was wrong. Very wrong. He cowered and didn't want me to touch him. That was scary. Upon getting home, he was shaking a little bit. He went right under the couch. I knew something was wrong.

I was expecting some out of town guests, and they arrived and I called Jay's vet. Normally they would have seen him but due to computer/monitor issues they couldn't take him so they referred me to an animal hospital here in L.S.

I'm so very thankful that the Lord brought this young couple to my house tonight. I don't know how I would have gotten him to the Animal Hospital because by the time we got there he was having a full-blown seizure. He was difficult to hold and was foaming at the mouth. I was holding it together just by praying and talking to him as I drove.

Upon arrival they took Jay back right away. Of course, they spouted an amount of cost, and I didn't care what it cost. He's my Best Friend! We sat, waited, and prayed.

When all was said and done, I got to go back and see him. He was still seizing when I was back there. The poor kid. They have him on several medications, and a catheter. He entered the Hospital with a temp of 107 but when we left it was 103. At least that's good news.

Before I left I did get to see him. They didn't want me to see him, I could tell, but I just wanted to speak some words to him even though he was all doped up. It broke my heart to see him seizing and not himself. But, I know that it helped both of us to be reunited. It will help me sleep tonight.

Anywho, thanks for all the support tonight. All the texts have really helped. I would have called people, but with the ugly cry going on, I didn't want to do that. *grin*

Please keep praying. I pick him up at 7am to transport him to my own vet. Please please please keep praying.

Blessings,
Shannon

how i almost got fired...

okay, so possibly i didn't almost get fired; however, i thought i was going to be. i was accused of losing and/or stealing a student's cell phone.
i will start my story by saying i usually love the anti-social punk kids. they are usually some of my favorites. i like a little spunk, but i'm not a fan of attitude...especially of the disrespectful variety.
as you may've already guessed, this story is about punky, who has a horrific attitude issue. she also doesn't do her work, spends class time doodling/putting on make-up/doing everything in her power to irritate the hell out of me, and to top it all off, my second biggest pet-peeve, texting people during class!! *damn columbine for making it so that students can have cell phones in school!! disclaimer: i mean that slightly tounge-in-cheek.* today makes three times that i've caught her texting...so, the incident happened as follows:

me: give it to me, now.

punky: what? *insert fake innocent look here*

me: *insert beastly teacher look here* do not insult my intelligence. give me the cell phone.

she hands it over, shooting me a nasty glare. i set the phone on the desk between my computer and my pens. i have a student finishing up a quiz on the other side of the desk *this will be important later*. the classroom phone rings, and it's asst. principal bulldog. he asks me to send punky down to the office...she's in trouble for something. i tell her she needs to go down there. she gives me attitude.

me: and when you come back tomorrow, make sure you've ditched the attitude. i'm entirely sick of it.

punky: what attitude?! just because i don't talk in class i have an attitude. *using said attitude while speaking*

me: that rude, disrespectful tone you just used. ditch the attitude or don't bother coming to class.

punky: whatever.

me: yup. that would be the one.

punky: *insert lots of eye-rolling and obnoxious sighing*

i was saved from listening to it all by a student in the back of the room who needed help with his essay. i jumped at the chance to get away. helped said student and made my way back to the front of the room. punky was gone, and funny, so was her cell phone.
i ask the student taking the quiz if she saw punky take it. she said "no" *and i will add that she and punky run with the same group of kids which could've imfluenced her answer* i search for it, then logically assume punky took it with her. so, i write her up not only for the cell phone and the attitude, but also for taking it from my desk.
take it to the office. explain the situation and tell secretary i want to talk to punky when she's done with bulldog. five minutes later, i get a call from the secretary saying that punky swears she doesn't have the phone, and she's pissed i lost/stole it. frantically i run upstairs and search the room we were in.
i then as quiz girl if punky took it. i explain to her that i could be in trouble, and i need to know the truth. she admits punky stopped at my desk "to talk to another student".
i call bulldog and tell him what happened...get a call five minutes later. he says she kept denying it. finally he looked in her bag...guess what he found...

Ironically Funny

Last night at 9:00, I looked at Jay and said, "Okay, time for you to go outside for the last time and then we'll head upstairs because I want to read my book." I let him outside and started doing my nightly routine of things to get ready to head upstairs and then I started to hear baseballs hit my house. Okay, they weren't really baseballs, they were large balls of hail. They sure sounded like baseballs though! It's a sound I don't think I will ever forget.

I immediately ran to the back door and let Jay inside. He was shaking in fear. Who can blame him? He went out to poop and wound up being surrounded by falling balls of hail! Poor kid! I tried to calm him down, and then it hit me...MY CAR WAS OUTSIDE!!!

I immediately dropped Jay onto the couch and went outside to move my car into the garage. (How did I not think about the car earlier? I have NO idea!) I ran out with my hoodie up and got in the car. I moved it into the garage. I would have stopped to look at the damage but it was still hailing and I knew Jay was still scared. So I came inside and cuddled with the furry kid until the hail stopped. (It didn't last much longer.)

After that, I looked outside and was amazed at the size of the hail. I thought briefly about my car, but decided to be in denial. The hail was about the size of a tennis ball. I have never seen it that big in real life. Amazing stuff.

This morning I got up and got ready for school.

I looked at the car. It doesn't look too bad. You can tell it was hit by hail, but it doesn't look too bad.

Then it hit me.

This month I make my last payment on it and it's mine.

To me, that just seems ironically funny.

*grin*
Ah well, that's okay.

Life is still GREAT! *grin*

first fieldtrip.

i've officially lived through my first fieldtrip.
i definitely messed up along the way. (we may've missed a train...and i may've overslept one morning) but i brought all my students home. (i really will write more about what i learned and also the trip itself when i have the time).

also, i have two students writing persuasive essays about no child left behind. i'm interested to read them. i have one writing about religion in schools (despite my warning against that topic). i also have one writing against abstinence-only education. and i even have one attempting to disprove the moonlanding (the kid is a little odd, but i suppose it'll be interesting). then i have the usual: athletes are paid too much, year-round school, legalizing marijuana.

i love reading term papers, but man, do i hate grading them. especially with my honors kids. their parents are crazy!! one point off, and they flip out...i have to be able to adequately support any grade i give. gah! makes it a little high-stress grading.

POOP!

I find it amazing how God can use ANYTHING at any time. I slept in REALLY late today, and after Jay and I cuddled for a while, I decided to walk Jay before cleaning up for the day. It was so nice out, I figured I might get a little sweaty on the walk. (I was right too! LOVE this weather!)

I looked at Jay and said, "Jay, you wanna go for a walk?" He looked at me and ran for the door. To be honest, I'm not sure if he really knows what it means or the fact he saw me head to the cabinet with the plastic bags told him what my phrase meant. Either way, we headed out on our walk.

Resident policy in this neighborhood (It's a rather up-scale one, so I feel blessed to be here, I truly do!) is that you have to pick up your dog's poop if it lands in someone else's yard. While I'm not THRILLED about this part of the walk, it is what it is, so I take a bag just in case. I honestly can't remember the last time I had to scoop the poop because he usually takes care of business in my own yard. (I'm so blessed!) Today, I had to use the bag.

We were just up the hill, barely on our walk, when Jay did his duty in a neighbor's yard. Let me just state that at the very moment I am bent down scooping the poop into the bag, a neighbor drives by and waves. To which I wave back, and tell Jay "Thanks" for letting the whole world know that I am scooping poop at the moment. He just went on walking. Obviously he didn't have to scoop the poop and was ready to go see what we could find on the walk.

I stood there for a moment and debated. I now had a bag full of pooh and we still had about nine-tenths of a mile to go. (Not an exaggeration either!) *grin* So, we started walking.

Walking Jay really is fun. He has to sniff every little thing on the walk. So a mile that could probably take me about 25 minutes takes us about 40 because he has to stop and sniff everything. Not to mention he has to mark his territory everywhere we go. It's comical to watch him.

As I walk I tend to let my mind wander about things. I figure it's a mindless activity and as long as Jay stays out of the streets and away from cars, we're good.

So, I am walking, and having to shuffle this plastic bag from one hand to another as the other hand has to shuffle the leash. If that sentence doesn't make sense, then you haven't walked a dog in a while. Anyway, about halfway through the walk, I got to thinking about how much of a pain it was to shuffle the leash, and the plastic bag, and keep Jay outta the road. Then it hit me. That bag of poop is no different than the sins I wrestle with on a daily basis. I wish I could sit here and say I'm perfect and I don't make any mistakes, but that's not true. Fortunately in scripture it talks about how all sin and fall short of the Glory of God. Anywho, as I continued to carry the bag, it made me think about how Jesus took care of my sins. And, how He made a way for me to not carry those sins around with me any longer. For that matter, how NONE of us are to carry those sins around with us any longer. Some things I wrestle with only God knows about, but He also knows that I sometimes shuffle them from one hand to another, trying to keep ahold of them, when in reality, I need to just LET GO and let HIM take care of it! As I walked and got deeper revelation in this, it made me smile.

When I returned home, the bag was disposed of properly, and I took some time to dialogue with God as I took care of things around here before going to FCF.

Kinda cool. God used a bag of poop to talk to me.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

April Fools Day

This morning I awoke with very little thought to the fact it was April 1st. My students are not typically able to get me with the April Fools Jokes, so I wasn't worried. Little did I know what was coming...

Before school my sweetest, most innocent girl came in. She came in and looked at me and said, "Ms. Springer, we're moving." I immediately fell for it! Her Mother had told me that they have a house outside our attendance area already bought, but they are waiting to sell the house they already have, and I have told this young lady that I hope it would take TWO YEARS before it would sell so that I could have her through her academic career at S.V.E. So, you can imagine my emotions that hit me when she told me she was moving. You can also imagine my relief when she said "April Fools." SHE GOT ME! *grin*

Throughout the day, others tried to get me, but it didn't work. Timing is everything in a joke, and my other students don't have the whole timing thing figured out. It was cute to see them try though. Very, very cute. *grin*

Now we're headed into the weekend. I'm glad. I have a new book that I've been wanting to read and very little on the agenda. Next weekend is CAMP!!! *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!