Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Alone Time?

The great part of summer is spending so much time with my family.
The downside of summer can be spending so much time with my family.

One indulgence I like to give myself (but never do) is to wait until dusk, get my iPod, shoes, and walk on the track above my house for about 30 minutes or so.  I like to lose myself in thought and listen to all my favorite songs.  This truly is an indulgence; because once I normally get off work, cook dinner, give baths, finish schoolwork (And soon homework)…I am dead on my feet.  So when summer comes, I like to take advantage.

I chose an opportune time; when no one is paying attention to me.  “I’m going for a walk” I half whispered and dash out the door…I get out of dodge ASAP.  I even snuck around the back of the houses so I wouldn’t be seen. 

Now before I go further, I know there are moms out there who I deem “Perfect Moms” who would say to me things like- ‘The time goes by quickly, take advantage of it’, ‘Soon you will wish your house was filled with family’, ‘I spend every waking minute with my family and love it’!  Can I just say I don’t need to hear that crap?  Yes I love my family dearly, but every person in the moment needs a little me time every once in a while.

Moving forward with my story, there I was fifteen minutes into my walk into a daydream…dancing backup with Paula Abdul, completing the winning triple axle on the ice and winning the gold, accepting the Emmy….
I turn around and what do I see- 45 pounds of blue eyed powerhouse running toward me.
Hey Mom, did you miss us, we wanted to come see ya’, we was wondering where you was, me and dad come to get cha’, I was lookin’ for ya’……..
Behind C. was husband.  Envision if you will:  6’2’ man with size 13 plastic flip flops, a sleeveless shirt (with a farmers tan), glasses, and basketball shorts running toward me as awkward as can be with a kid’s bike under his arm.  I could hear his plastic flip flops a mile a way pounding the pavement.  Could he have worn less loud shoes?
Hey Honey, you want to go to the park and watch Connor ride his bike without training wheels!?
Selfish mom thinks- (heck no, I want to finish my walk and get back home and soak in a bubble bath while I read my trash magazines and see what trashy celebrities do while nannies watch the kids….besides there is no way in Hades Connor is riding that without training wheels).
Selfless mom says- ummm. Sure. Ok. Should be fun!
We all go to the park.  Before we are barely out of the car I hear….
I am NOT riding that bike.
I’ll hold on.
No you won’t!! You told a lied.  You won’t.
I will, don’t be a baby.  You don’t need training wheels.  Pretend you are in a race car.
I don’t want to race.  I don’t want to break my arm.
Just put your foot down if you fall.
I don’t want to put my foot down.  I don’t want to break my foot. I don't want to ride it.
Yes you do, pretend you are in a race and the trees are your fans.
Trees are not fans.  I’m not riding.
Connor get ON!

I tried to lose myself in Prince…You don’t have to be rich, to be my girl; You don’t have to be cool to rule my world….
Selfish mother… (no I do not want to tell him, I want to go home and watch Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime for Women)
Selfless mom says- Maybe he isn’t ready to ride the bike without training wheels?
Yes, he is.
No, I’m not ready.
Connor you could be a good rider!
Maybe we can all try again later.  What’s that?  Look! Look lightening bugs!  
We all proceeded to catch lightening bugs for the next five minutes.  Then we ride home where Connor pretended our car was a horse and carriage and I was the princess.
Don’t worry princess we will be home soon, don’t be scared.  Giddy Up!  Giddy Up!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's So Great About Summer?

Helping Wash the Dog (yes, I requested this be done outside)

Sunny Days, Blue Skies



Fast Lunch

Going off the Rope

Fried Squash

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summer Reading

This has been one of my favorite reads so far!  The Hunger Games is a young-adult science fiction novel written by Suzanne Collins.  The main character is sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem.  A powerful government working in a central city called the Capitol holds power.  There are 12 districts and she is part of District 12.  Sadly, this evil Capital chooses both a boy and girl (from each district) to participate in the Hunger Games each year to remind all the districts to stay “in line”/ don’t rebel.  The Hunger Games is a televised, survivor type television show where children fight to the literal death.  The living survivor wins respect, wealth, and honor.  No one really wants to participate, but are required by law.  When Katniss’ sister's name is drawn, Katniss gives herself in place of her dear sister who she loves.  It seems Katniss doesn’t have a chance against the other districts…District 12 is poor and they never have a winner.  However, Katniss is a survivor!  She has had to take care of her family after her father dies and her mother falls into a depression.  You will be rooting for Katniss every step of the way.

I do not love Science Fiction, but this book is so well written you can really see it happening.  I think the author makes a lot of great underlying political statements as well- about government, war, and freedom.  I am in the middle of the second book- it isn’t going quite as fast, but I think you will LOVE this one.

Sandra Brown is known for writing romance novels with explicit romantic scenes; however Rainwater is not a typical Sandra Brown novel.  The setting takes place in 1934 Texas during the economic depression where racism is prevalent, the Dust Bowl/drought is an issue, and the setting portrays how one is perceived morally in a small town.  Ella Baron is the a young, single mother who owns a boarding house and is raising a mentally disabled child- one who we later discover has autism (termed 'idiot savant' in the late 30s).  Ella Baron is a survivor.  She isn’t a peppy, happy character like so many authors chose for their characters, Ella is more realistic.  She cares for those around her, and she does the best she can to make it work in hard times without complaint.  The town encourages Ella to put her ten year old son Solly in a mental facility for the weak minded, but Ella refuses knowing that there is more to Solly than what he shows.

Mr. Rainwater comes to her boarding house by request of the doctor.  Mr. Rainwater is dying and needs a comfortable place to stay the last days of his life.  Ella keeps her distance from Mr. Rainwater, not even wanting to talk to him. One day Mr. Rainwater unlocks Solly’s potential through a game of dominoes, and from that point on he is able to show Ella that Solly does have a brilliant mind and can communicate, count, and memorize. (This part in this story was so realistic and touching because I have seen it happen in my classroom).  Ella is so overcome and excited when she sees what Solly is beginning to do for Mr. Rainwater.  They eventually fall in love, and teach each other to live and love.   The book continues with other challenges and political issues of the time such as when Franklin D. Roosevelt's Drought Relief Program offers farmers financial help.  It's a program formed of honorable intentions, yet it is not executed well. Though it's saving many people, the fact remains that not all of the herds are taken. Large numbers are being slaughtered and wasted, sometimes even half the herd.   The main theme of this story is- If you ever get the chance to help someone in need or love someone in need, don't let it pass you by.   This story was a quick read and extremely touching tale.

Glutton for Punishment?

I think I must be one of these crazy people who likes to inflict pain upon myself.  I spent several hours cleaning Connor’s room…separating the little wrestling men from the big ones...separating the toy animals from the matchbox cars…and CARS II vehicles from the monster trucks..the coloring books from the golden books.

clean and shiny
This is the sight that greeted me this morning. 
what is all this crap?

all my hard work, down the drain

mountain of matchbox cars
  Did ask for this??  I guess so, but I made sure he knew that I was NEVER digging in the bottom of the toy box for the yellow Dale Earnhardt Junior CARS Movie Edition with attaching truck and hitch again!!!
(forgive my photography the flash is broke so NOW all my pictures are dark.  A new camera is on my wish list)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Top 15 Things God Taught Me As VBS Director

1.  Beg for Volunteers Early (use guilt I have an ulcer and my Uncle Louey ran over my cat, please help me)
2.  Hoard hooks, double sided tape, and fake plants early on… (sneak double sided tape past the deacons)
3.  Recruit outside church for volunteers (Hold up a sign that says ‘Will Dance for VBS Workers’ on the side of the Highway).
4.  Don’t get too set about a vision, it isn’t going to look the way you want it… because God has a better plan and it will look better!
5.  Take the time and effort on decorations…it makes everyone more excited.
6.  Don’t stress…. Satan will tell you there isn’t enough money, people, and that you are doing a bad job.  The truth is there is enough and God takes care of all things.
7.  Pair yourself with someone to talk with when decorating and cleaning up (I made lots of NEW friends, I think. Hmmmm.  Maybe they were like ‘I don’t want to be rude, but shut the crap up’! but I'm SURE no one thought that of me :)).
8.  To (kind of) quote Blanche DuBois (street car named desire)...always depend on the kindness of strangers (at the Goodwill) …they might slip you some extra cloth.
9.  Kids LOVE live animals.
10.  Don’t leave REAL eggs lying around and grape juice can get tricky in the sanctuary.
11.  WATCH AND LEARN:  from the talents and skills of the people who volunteer their time, energy, and gifts for others.  It’s both awesome and amazing to watch people drive long distances, work long hours, and provide free items so that people can draw closer to Christ.
12.  When working with dye…makes sure the tin pan doesn’t have holes.
13.  Don’t serve flat bread until the END of a drama.
14.  Adults should worship like children…children don’t care who is beside them…they only care that God is listening.
15.  Take a picture of what the Sunday School Classrooms are like BEFORE you start moving and decorating, because I’m pretty sure Sunday morning people are going to think they are at the wrong church after our “cleanup”.
We had a great Vacation Bible School week.  We will never know how many seeds we planted, but if feels good knowing we had a small role in teaching so many that ‘…nothing is impossible with God’.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


There is an evil lurking in my home.  It sneaks up when you least expect it.  It is quite surprising.  The evil is known as THE SMARTMOUTH.    While all is quiet and calm in the land, SMARTMOUTH arrives and attacks!  It takes over my sweet cherub, blue eyed, little boy.  He suddenly turns into a strong willed five year old.
Can I have a cookie, mom? No, you just had a…….SMARTMOUTH:  NO!!!  I WANT A COOKIE!
Connor clean up your toys.  SMARTMOUTH:  I’m BUSY!
Mom can I have a drink? After I fold the laundry.  SMARTMOUTH:  I’m thirsty NOW!
Connor sit down quietly.  SMARTMOUTH:  YOU sit!

Now my first instinct is to slap SMARTMOUTH silly, but I know that may not get us where I want to go.  I want SMARTMOUTH to understand how to take direction, be respectful, kind, considerate, and listen to his elders.  So begins the war with SMARTMOUTH…explaining right from wrong, taking away privileges, and using the good ole’ Evil Eye that warns I have power that can take on SMARTMOUTH (and I can inflict pain if needed)!
I sigh with relief when SMARTMOUTH is temporarily defeated and my child returns to normal:
I love you mom!
Thank you for reading the story.
Dad, I had a good day playing with you today.
I want to help animals that don’t have homes.
I love God!  He gives me a home, pets, and a family!
I can't wait to start kindergarten and make friends.
But every mom knows not to get too comfortable because.... ATTACK OF THE KNOW IT ALL…is lurking right behind SMARTMOUTH! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Why I LOVE Days of Our Lives

I don’t always get to blog my daily thoughts, so I have to jot everything down and wait until I have a chance and do them all at once.  I know everyone has been dying to know what I’ve been up to so far this summer (and by everyone I mean my two followers), but I’m certain there are people from all over the USA reading my blog w/out hitting follow.  J  Anyway, as director of VBS I have been preparing for events that start next week, and trying to learn the parts for Mary’s Drama.  My brain doesn’t work like it use to…so I can’t remember anything.  Which brings me to my next point…a girl needs a break, right?  My “breaks” have consisted of catching up on Days of Our Lives.  Now, I haven’t watched this show in years, but the pure Cheese*tasticness* of the show has pulled me into watching.  No one (and I mean NOOOO one) has better cheesy scenes than Days of our Lives…which is why I will never stop loving it.
Four Reasons I LOVE Days or Our Lives:
1. The Classics Never Get Old.  This clip is when Marleena is possessed by a Demon, and I guess John turns into a priest to save her.  First, thank you so much to the make up people on Days…you managed to make Marleena look just like Satan or AKA. Me before makeup and coffee.  Second, I love John’s DRAMATIC stare at Marleena/Satan when she gasps! No! she…shee…sits up and SHOWS HER BODY!  YES!  She shows her naked body people!?!?!  Check out John’s face as he turns in fear of giving into his lust.  I miss John and Marleena.

2. Product Placement.  Just when you thought they couldn’t get any cornier they go for Product Placement.  ‘Hey hot guy, I’m so glad you came to visit me in my cute hot girl outfit (my standard outfit I study in)…so I can show you what I LOVE to eat.  Cheerios is nutrition, and delicious, and a good snack, and healthy for me, and helps me stay lean, and doctor recommended, and makes these cute o’s, and lowers my blood pressure, and is easy to carry around, and I just love, love, love Cheerios!”

3.  Great Stunt Scenes.  In this scene the dude in the black (I don’t know his name) has been given truth serum that makes him hallucinate that Sammi is the old woman he killed.   Watch as he pushes Sammi down the steps.  Now I watch her tumbling down a few steps while holding on to the rail...but the viewer must believe it is enough to kill a woman or at least knock her out cold.  Watch Sammi fall (so dramatically) it knocks her out.

4.  The Love Scenes.  How do you know if it’s a great soap love scene?  1.  Does the guy have a shirt on unbuttoned to see his chest?? Check.  2.  Does the girl look torn and love stricken….her mind is saying 'no' but her eyes are saying 'yes, yes'!  check.  3. Cue the love/elevator/cheap hotel music.  Check.  4.  Is there heavy breathing? Yes. Then double check. (ex.  You (heavy breathing) are (heavy breathing) here (heavy breathing) to (heavy breathing) see (heavy breathing) me (heavy breathing).  5.  Is there a passionate kiss that could be cut down a bit. Check.  If you have all these then you apparently have a great love scene.

Well I guess you know why I haven’t gotten much done, but I consider it research for the people.  Happy TV watching!

Happy Father's Day

Quotes by Darren:

-(Fixing your VBS costume)…’I guess I’ll do like Rambo and cut it, but Rambo didn’t have a measuring tool, he had to work under primitive conditions.’
-‘This dinner taste like it’s wrapped in blue ribbon.’
-'Connor is so slow in the morning; it would take him 2 hours to watch 60 minutes.'
-(in the middle of arguing with Connor) ‘you gotta beat the man to be the man, whoooo!!’
-‘I don’t like Burgundy, it makes me look thin.’
-‘Dancing is always optional, and I opt to not do it.’
-‘My hair isn’t coming out; it’s just really, really light.’
-‘It’s not fair people have to go to the moon to have a smoke’ (from a nonsmoker)
-Teaching Connor- full nelson, iron claw, sleeper, figure four, moonsalt (jumping off the top rope backwards)
-‘I wish we lived in the Andy Griffith Show.’
-‘How do you clean the house so fast?’
-‘The dishwasher works best if you let the dishes air dry for a couple of days.’
-(Connor lost a shoe at the mall)  ‘Whoa!  He’s got a flat tire, hold everything.’
-‘Honey would it be Okay if I got a Turbo Buick today?’
-‘The North is really different…instead of doing a doughnut in a car...they call it cookies.  Hey man that’s a nice Mustang, how many cookies will it do?!?’
-‘I’m tired of riding in this pace car.’ (in reference to his new gas efficient car)
‘NASCAR is so lame.  They almost have to hit their turn signal to pass these days.’
-‘Connor was worried the play at church would be loud.  Like Mary, Jesus’ Mother, would come out spinning fire to drums.’

Thanks to one cool, funny, and loving dad and husband who keeps us laughing every single day!  We love you.  Happy Father’s Day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Rose Colored Glasses Are Off

I’ll never forget in Dr.B’s class when he asked me in college education 101 in front of everyone…”how are you going to stay a positive teacher in a public school setting?”  I thought to myself….for one I will be getting a steady paycheck with a steady schedule which is more than I am getting at Food Lion.  But I answered out loud “I plan to stay positive through my student’s learning experiences and I plan to keep a journal of reflection that will help me power through my problems” (all that was missing from that speech was a cheerleading skirt, a high kick, and a ‘GOOOOO Teachers!).  Dr. B’s response right away was to laugh hysterically at me and I felt so embarrassed.  I should have guessed there was something they were not telling me then.  How the heck was I suppose to answer that question?  I was 21, I had no children, husband, mortgage, or teaching job….I only thought I knew about challenges.
So here I am going into my tenth year teaching.  My challenges are reaching a variety of abilities, with or without the support of parents, coworkers who may or may not be supportive, and a society that doesn’t really care about it either way.  I keep getting this crazy message:  ‘teaching is a thankless job’…wow I’m really deep now.  But seriously, I had visions of all of my students so involved in their excellent learning experiences that I wouldn’t need books or materials or a behavior plan, visions of the world thanking me for my excellent work, visions of greedy learners all begging for more as I orchestrate a totally awesome school day, and visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. 
I’ve learned those visions are a touch unrealistic, and with the legislation voting on the biggest educational cut in history my rose colored glasses are really off.   I am starting my year with the following supplies paid for by the state:  3 ink cartridges (and that’s if someone doesn’t catch the 2.00 I went over).   Teaching is exactly like parenting….there is no thank you in parenting, but you just know you have to find the energy, resources, and Faith to do the best you can.  There is no immediate payoff, but there is a huge investment, and that investment is the life of a child.  I just hang on to the things that are awesome in my room that no one can really understand….
-the child who struggles and fights for every word that looks like Latin, but who grew five levels in reading anyway
-the nonverbal students that communicate with a movement, look, feel for the first time
- the desperate and appreciative parents who sincerely thank you for giving some hope for believing in growth
-the shy student that stands up to make a speech about how much they love school
-the little dancer that leads us all into the perfect Tooty Ta
- the celebration of each milestone with cheers and laughter
-the student graduations into more challenging classrooms with better dreams and a new mentality
My game plan:  give all things to God and know that it will continue to work.  I’ve always heard ‘those who can’t teach’…my new slogan is ‘Those who are Brave teach, and those who don’t care get out of my way'.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What's Great About Summer?

No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks!  Ha. ha. don't worry I don't give dirty looks, but packing away the classroom has come with happy and sad feelings.  I  am losing some precious students to the intermediate school, they have aged out, but they will always be my little guys and girls.

The Banana Splits

Splashing in Puddles

End of Year Parties

New Boots

Baseball Games- Go DASH!

Face Paint

Fighting Crime in Face Paint and New Boots

No Scrunchies!

Ladies I know its summer..but there is no excuse for bad hair.  So I am giving you some summer hair help secrets with some assistance from the little ladies at my school.  So remember, no matter how HOT you are..put the scrunchies down and try this instead.

I didn't wash my hair, so I put a big bun on my head w/ a huge flower...both pretty and hides bad hair.

velcro curlers, girl's best friend if you have flat hair like me

after velcro curlers- I call this the Kate Middleton

when all else fails, add pigtails!

 Other INSPIRED hair dos came from these cute primary ladies at my school, they were very excited to model off their hair!  Since I have a little boy, this was fun, these girls are so cute!
this little flower lights up in the middle, i thought it was so cute, and she felt so pretty

who doesn't love a pink sparkled jewel?

what a beautiful head of hair!?  She knows how to wear a ponytail!

I thought this was a pretty, cool do, I love the little braids.  Just as cute as she can be!

Pull your bangs back with a pretty bow!

I wish my hair would do this..I love all those pretty bows and braids.

This braid keeps her cool on field day and is beautiful!

Hope we gave you some hair ideas, and I HOPE I don't see you with a scrunchie this summer!