Thursday, December 18, 2014

Twas the Night Before Secret Santa

I was so very excited to do Secret Santa at my school this year!  I got the name of a friend and had such fun getting her things.  
We had the best time at lunch laughing about Secret Santa too.  It was really funny when people would begin to complain about their gifts in front of their very own (unknown) Santa.  HILARIOUS.  
I of course hit the Secret Santa jackpot, making my excitement at a level 11 all week!!!!
I began to get on people’s nerves right away because I just HAD to find out the identity of my Santa! 
Tomorrow we reveal who our real Secret Santa is but I have a pretty good guess who mine is already.

Twas the Night Before Secret Santa
and all the through the school, 
not a creature was stirring
except for this fool.

The gifts were all placed
in the mailboxes with care,
hoping in anticipation
that my Secret Santa was there.
I love my coworkers and friends!

The children were nestled
all safe in their desks,
while this certain teacher 
would not put things to rest.

Heeding ample warnings
and gathering my clues,
it all gave Mrs. E. 
the Christmas blues.

When out in the lounge
there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my room
to see what was the matter.

Away to the window
I flew like a flash,
I had to find my Secret Santa 
no care to being rash.

I narrowed my suspects
it had to be someone nice,
who else would remember I loved pink
not once, but twice??

lovely scarf with matching SPA socks
To what do my wandering eyes
should appear,
but the first grade pod
suddenly it became clear.

With a placement of my tiara
I was so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment
who may be my St. Nick!

I proclaimed.
Then I shouted 
calling suspects by each name:

Now Leeann,
Now Cathy,
Now Elizabeth, 
Now Beth,

On Marie,
On Ellen,
On Cindy, 

holding my breath……

my suspect lineup

To which they shouted 
To the top
To the bottom
of the floor,
Now Dash-away
Dash-away to the door!!!

suspect list II

The warning was clear:

sweet dear.

“Go away, go away, 
get out of my face….
if you mention Secret or Santa 
I will punch you in the face.”  -Mrs. E.

coal from secret santa,
this chocolate was last seen in a first grade room

BUT I’ve almost guessed it!!!
I’m hot on the trail
oops, I forgot to give out my own Santa gifts…

my gift lineup for my Santa recipient that I nearly forgot to give out per day

Now was the time to to come face to face, 
I was so excited, 
I was winning
 the Santa race!

She was dressed all in red
her eyes feigned surprised, 
she tried to lie, 
but I could see a secret in those eyes.

snowflake necklace and jeweled bracelet

A heart of gold
from her head
to her feet, 
I have the best (#1) Secret Santa 
that can’t be beat.

Diamonds, Snowflakes, Chocolate, and more
every morning was exciting, 
OH My Secret Santa I do ADORE!

Her eyes
How they twinkle,
Her smile how merry,
Her cheeks
Were like roses
The magic CHRISTMAS fairy.

She sprang
from her desk without a word or pout,
suddenly I really begin to doubt….

But I heard her exclaim
as she rushed out of my sight.....

Merry Christmas to all, 
Sechrist is crazy BUT RIGHT!!!

My Guess For My Secret Santa

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Independent Boy?

There is a time in a parent's life when you begin to teach more independence.  Some children are born independent.  Some children are born strong willed.  There is a difference.  

Since we are very close to double digits, I have begun the process of allowing more independence.

For example, 
in preparation for the BIG Christmas Play tomorrow night, I allowed Connor to go get a boys' cut.  I stepped next door to purchase a few gift cards for Christmas while he got the job done.

"Mom I told them I wanted my haircut like the guy who was eaten by an anaconda."  -Connor

I can't even... I.. (sigh)
A Shepard like no other.

(I did come in time to stop discussion of purple powder hair dye.)

Lesson #2
While I shopped for a few Secret Santa items I requested Connor go and find something special for his sister from himself.

I found him walking through the aisles....

telling people he was about to be eaten by an anaconda "I like anacondas, not the Nicki Minaj anaconda because it isn't nice". 

I can't even... I.. (sigh)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Merry Christmas

Christmas Perspective Video

We finally got our Christmas decor out.  I’m officially behind on the Christmas countdown.

Christmas can be a special time no matter what age, but I think my kids are at the perfect “excitement” age for Christmas.

Having these two imperfect children is a constant reminder of God’s blessings.  

We are very blessed to have them!

I like our crowded tree.
Every decoration holds a special meaning.

Elvis and Marilyn Making Out AGAIN


Merry Christmas (Early)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Awkward Extrovert

This week was pretty rough after returning back from Florida.  I didn't think our family would ever get back into the swing of things.  

On top of that, I completely forgot I had registered for an overnight trip to the Autism and Asperger's Conference.  

Our school is working hard at gathering as many resources to serve our students even better.  
I think we really have a great team of people.  
Lots of ideas flow with this group!

I had to scramble to get ready, but it was a great day trip!

I dusted off my suitcase for a road trip!
Here with my partner in crime!

We were all really looking forward to the speakers, Dr. Temple Grandin and Dr. Jed Baker.
If you don't know Temple Grandin, then I encourage you to do some research.

To me, this woman is the authority on autism and research.   After all, she was diagnosed with having Autism Spectrum Disorder at age 3!

my autographed copy

Her story was most recently made into an award winning movie portrayed by Claire Danes.

Those with autism can have some major social impairments.
And, even though I'm an extrovert and I like being around people.....  
I have social impairments of my own (but in a different way).

For example, 
I am gathering quite the "Awkward Famous Photo" collection.

The year I received a Got2BSafe Grant I flew to Washington DC with my principal for the Hope Awards hosted by John Walsh.  
The Hope awards were the most depressing awards ever. It was one story after another about abducted children!
Fast forward to wine served with dinner, my emotional outbursts of "thank you" to John Walsh for ALL he does for children, and suddenly John Walsh and his wife are scared of me.

Really, they didn't turn their back on anyone else in the photos.  
(I can't look at this picture without blushing.)

I did a short interview for Honeywell on a DC talk show and I met fitness guru Pamela Peeke!  Author of:

When I exclaimed I was a fan, she took my name and address and told me she could "take all the extra fat off" me.
I never heard from her again (BTW:  I still have extra fat PAM).

Eric Carle had to move me along- 3 books ONLY!

I waited in line for four hours to meet the first American President to ever visit our small town.  As President Bill Clinton stepped from the platform to shake hands, I moved forward.  He shook my hand for a full minute (I think I reminded him of someone) while I shouted for someone to take. my. picture!

 not photoshopped
This was the result.

Today I was very fortunate to meet THE Dr. Temple Grandin!  She autographed my book.
Later in the day, after listening to her wonderful lecture, I found myself alone with her on the way to the bathroom.

I gushed to her "YOU DID A GREAT JOB!!!!! REALLY GREAT!"

She looked right at her shoes and said 'The loo is full' and shot out of the hall like she was on fire!

I think she liked Mrs. E. better!  ;) more pictures PLEASE.

Another great day. Another great memory.

Great Temple Grandin quotes:
-Figure out ways.   I was in the cattle business before I was an autism speaker, and the first thing I did in that field was to make myself be the very best that I could be. I was a good agricultural reporter and good at my design work. I sold my work instead of myself.

-We have to teach these children the universal rules.  We can’t over shield them.  The other problem is that the system does not differentiate between stupid, na├»ve and dangerous.

-I grew up in the 50s where we used a village to help each other.  I had people in my life who didn't give up on me: my mother, my aunt, my science teacher. I had one-on-one speech therapy. I had a nanny who spent all day playing turn-taking games with me.”

-I don’t like that schools are cutting out all of the hands on programs:  drawing, woodwork, sewing, building.  I would be nowhere without those programs.  I strongly recommend that students with autism get involved in special interest clubs in some of the areas they naturally excel at. Being with people who share your interests makes socializing easier.

-I’m getting very concerned about the number of high-functioning autistic adults that are not getting jobs and who are not learning to work.   In other states I’m seeing kids that are just a little bit geeky ending up on social security, just playing video games, which really drives me crazy. They’re graduating from college without learning one work skill. They’ve never worked in a store; they’ve never done anything.

-Teaching work ethic good mean the difference in an AU adult working in Silicon Valley creating games or playing video games in the basement and collecting disability. 

-The most important thing people did for me was to expose me to new things.

-I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a good teacher.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

After Hours

We also had great fun back at the house with five cousins!  I was a little worried about getting that many people in one house.  It was a nonstop party for the kids. 
We already miss what we have called our "cousins from England" who now reside in Florida.  

Getting to know the most precious and active boys (and two little girls), was the highlight of my week!  I learned little stories about each and it made me appreciate their parents even more.

Celebrating Mr. K's birthday.  Four of us share a birthday in a row 19-22.

My trucker princess.  
Carlee loves her hat with Ariel hair.  I'm thinking my Elsa hat looks pretty good too!  Maybe I need to go blonde.

Pirate Lunch
Connor changed his message after I told him he couldn't write- I farted.

Little Princesses and Pirates

A few rainy days and downtime.

Nighttime Pool Party

We have so much to be thankful to God  
Thanksgiving and Stuffing
Sweet Babies

There was a place to play football and slide across the street.

Swinging Fun

It is going to be so hard to get back to work!