Monday, August 29, 2011

World's Worst Criminal??

So as I many of my friends know....a couple of weeks back I found my VERY expensive and VERY precious camera on the deck ALL night long from a very long and hard rain.  Basically the camera does not work half the time.  Of course after interrogating my son about it he swore up and down HE never took the camera on the deck and he doesn't know anything about it.  Perhaps it was dad (way tooo tight to place an expensive camera outside), perhaps it was the dog (no way could his paws do it),  perhaps it was YOU mom (OK this could really be a possibility, I am losing my mind these days).  Imagine my surprise when I finally pulled the memory card today and there was a VERY incriminating video.  Needless to say, my son is the World's Worst Criminal.  

Exhibit A- The defendant was last seen with my camera on THE DECK.  Guilty as charged. (never underestimate a mom's investigative skills)!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

O' What a Happy Day

Have you ever reconnected with someone you went to high school with... that you would never in a million years think you would?  That is my situation with JJ.  Even though she was nice and I was nice, we ran in different circles.  I was library geek who wore the same jogging pants all the time, and she was teen angst who used to hang around a lot of people that liked Kurt Cobain, so I don’t know why we weren’t BFFs because we would have made quite a pair.  We could have had lots of fun getting thrown off the breezeway and stuffed in a locker.  Luckily we reconnected this year through my FAVORITE mindless activity…Facebook.   Now that we are adults being geekish and having past teen angst is a good quality…it helps us teach better and we are creative thinkers!! (I’m going with that ok).   We have a lot in common and have been able to do a few things together this year…I just love making a new friend.

Today I joined JJ and her parents for church.  It was such a beautiful day for a service, sunny with a warm breeze.   It makes me sad that cold weather is around the corner.  Today was Rally Day at her church and JJ was dedicating herself to God and joining the church.  There were a few differences in this church and mine.  For one thing at breakfast they had little cake plates to eat off of.  The Baptist way is to have a huge Styrofoam tray so that you may pack at least 3,000 calories in gravy and biscuits on top of it.   Also, the handshaking lasted about 10 seconds versus the 10 full minutes us Baptist take to get all the details for the week from each other.  But, it was a beautiful service.  I loved the church dedication, the prayer of confession, and the music was beautiful.  Also, a gentleman received recognition for not missing one day of Sunday for 16 YEARS!!! Isn’t that amazing??  That is True Dedication to the Lord folks.  It makes me ashamed for the times I missed (for not great reasons).   I was really glad that I got to attend this service.

JJ has had a few hard years, that in my opinion, she has handled with grace.  Not only was she in a terrible car accident that left her with permanent damage to her leg, but she also endured losing her job in conditions that were very unfair.  As a result, JJ has had to endure rejection after working hard to secure job interviews, consistent unemployment, strict budget, sickness without health insurance, pain without medications, and other issues that so many in this country can currently relate.
Being the big sister type I sent her an email of encouragement, after all I see myself as the spiritually mature one after being a part of church and knowing God for over ten years.  I wrote something that read like-
I so admire you for your positive and sunny attitude.  Don’t worry God will be Faithful to you and I know everything will work out.  I plan to dedicate myself to praying for you…….
Her response read something like-
God has been faithful to me even when I was denying it. Even with everything that's going wrong, I feel like I will be okay just because I know that God will take care of everything. It's such a beautiful feeling!

Her response made me see 1.  that I wasn’t the spiritually mature one after all  2.  JJ already understood that God is not Faithful when things are going good, but God is Faithful to us all the time.  3.  It really is a great feeling!   I think if I were in her current position I would have a lot of anger and would probably just lie in my own self pity for a while, but JJ isn’t doing that.  She is opting to see the good and beauty in the world.   As the sermon reminded me today- … those who are faithful to God will see a new day when “never again will there be in it an infant who lives but few days, or an old man who does not live out his years, he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.  They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.”  -Isaiah 65:  20-21
What a happy day that will be!  And, thanks JJ for a great morning.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Who Moved My Earth??

Right now I am relaxing to some Heavenly Hash and Entertainment Tonight!  Chocolate is the New Martini!  Oh my gosh, did I just create the next ‘don’t worry be happy’ slogan?? Anyway, just doing a little distressing from a week of good, hard work.

One thing I have really valued this week is Mrs. E, my classroom assistant.  Mrs. E. is smart, creative, funny, and never misses the important details with children.  We both like kids, see humor in life, and we make a good tag team.  Imagine our surprise this week when we BOTH missed one of the most amazing, epic, mother nature events this side of the South…a 5.9 Earthquake!?!?  Everyone was talking about the shaking, moving, and rattling!  WE missed the earthquake (ok, really just a tremor)???  But, how, when, why, what, where?  I couldn’t believe all the teachers, parents, and kids that were talking about this Earthquake and we didn’t even know it was happening.  Mrs. E and I put our heads together and wondered how we missed it.  Was it the music playing?  Was my math that engaging?  Are we just that unobservant?

Of course the more I think about it, the more I realize that even though we make a good team, sometimes when it comes to matters of quick thinking....we are not so good.  Our motto- don't move our cheese earth....just keep us on schedule and everything will be all right.  It made me think about our very first Lockdown Procedure at school.  (see below)  

Step One- Move the kids. 
OK kids we are playing a game, Hide From the Principal.  She is looking for us and we have to be very, very quiet and hide in the back.  BTW- make sure you tell children the game is over, because mid-afternoon we had children running AWAY from the principal for no good reason (other than they thought it was a game).

Step Two- Pull the blinds and cut the lights.
Oh Man…Why is the LEFT side of the blinds down and the right side staying up?? After a few minutes of tinkering with the blinds I forget it.  I have to flip the lights, which doesn’t matter because the crazy blinds allow all kinds of LIGHT in the room.  Where is Mrs. E?? (see step three)

Step Three- Check to make sure no children are standing outside your room. 
I see Mrs. E, with two children following her OUTSIDE the room.  No, no..pulling kids in.  We are IN the room…IN the room.  Mrs. E. turns in surprise.  Our goal- Kids IN the room.

Step Four- post class number.
Finally I do something right!  I slide the class number under the door.

Step Five- Lock the door.
Ok I just realized I slid the key with my class number OUTSIDE the door. Oops.  I look to see if Mrs. E saw me do she is trying to make the kids quiet by giving them SUGAR…from the Halloween candy bag.  I open the door and get the key, and I am hoping the drill isn’t over and that no one noticed the glaringly shiny key OUTSIDE the door.  Door now locked.

Step Six- Call the office. 
I dial 202. Busy. I dial 202. Busy.  I dial 202. Busy.  I dial 202. Busy.  I dial 202. Busy.  ‘Mrs. E how are we suppose to call if it’s busy??’ Oh wait…202 is MY number.  I DIAL the real office number and someone picks up...guess what? the drill is like totally over with!!

Mrs. E + me + unexpected changes (like the earth moving)= nothing goes according to plan.  Just so you know, we immediately went to work on a better plan, and we have practiced and refined all procedure (so no one need worry). But PLEASE don’t ask how long it took on the fire drills.

So the point is…it’s probably best we missed the whole “earth shaking experience” because in our fear we would have probably made a bomb shelter out of glue sticks and construction paper hours after the quake was over.  
 I love you Mrs. E.!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

American Girl in Italy

This week the family needed an Italian food fix, so we went to Coppolas Restaurant.  When you walk through the door there is a framed printed photograph on the inside of the wall- American Girl in Italy.  Connor always thinks it’s a picture of me.  He always says ‘look at that picture of you mom’, ‘why do they have a picture of you?’, 'where were you?'.  Now given, the only thing I have in common with the woman in the photo is maybe her dark hair.  She is actually a slender 6 foot tall woman!  But for whatever reason, there is something in that picture that reminds Connor of me, so I’ve always liked it.  Monday this famous photo turned 60 years old!!  Here are some interesting facts I learned (and copied) from the media.  It will probably make you look at this print in a different way.
Ninalee Criag in Italy, with her orange shawl

-The woman in the photo is Ninalee Craig who traveled as inexpensively as she could through Europe which was rare for a woman of this time.

-She was staying at a hotel right on the Arno River in Florence where she could stay for $1 a day.  She met another solo female traveler, Ruth Orkin, a 29-year-old photographer.

-Both women decided to wander around Florence for about two hours and shoot pictures of what it was like to travel alone as women, this is where the famous photograph was shot.

-The shawl she is wearing is bright orange.

-The photo was not staged.  The men were just there but most were unemployed.  Italy had been trying to recover from the war and had been devastated.  Ruth Orkin did ask her to go back and repeat the walk once.
-The photographer, Ruth Orkin, describes the photo as a celebration of a strong, independent woman who isn’t afraid to live life.  (Ruth died in 1985).

-Ninalee Craig did not feel frightened in the photo.  Though the men in the photo appear to be leering and lascivious, she insists they were harmless and none of them crossed the line.

- The man committing the gesture toward his crotch was often airbrushed out because it was considered an image people should not see.
In my opinion, Ninalle Craig looks as beautiful today as she did in the photograph (and she is wearing the same orange shawl).

Here are some other snapshots photographer Ruth Orkin took with her new friend Ninalee Craig (the same day).  It all looks very fun and exciting.

Getting Directions

No Cell Phones, opening a real letter from mail was exciting!

Fun in Florence

Girl Time!  Can you believe this hotel was a 1.00 a night?

Photographer Ruth Orkin with model Ninalee Craig

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Darren

Happy Birthday to Darren
 Your the republican to my democrat, the country music to my rock n' roll, the football game to my chapter book, and the balanced checkbook to my charge is never dull!  
We Love You and Happy Birthday!
The Top 5 Reasons Connor thinks Dad is Cool:
5.  He wrestles with me in the carpet.
4.  He lets me look at Mascots on the computer.
3.  He holds a towel to my nose when it bleeds.
2.  He lets me jump on the bed.

and the number one reason dad is cool:
1.  He lets Buddy Love {dog} up when it thunders, so I can play with him.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Growing Up

He looks like a baby sleeping.  I take a few minutes to watch the soft rise and fall of his chest.  His soft blond hair is stuck up.  I wake him up for his first day of school.  He stretches and squints his face and it takes me back to the days when he was just a few inches tall and laying in a bassinet.  I just want to take him and rock him like a baby.  Of course if he woke up he wouldn’t allow it.  I give him a kiss on his sweet head.  Then I see the 5 year old replace the baby.  He yanks the covers over his head and tries to turn from me so he can sleep some more.

We finally get up and get dressed.  He approves his new school outfit.  One problem the shorts are way too big, so we change.  He gives a grunt of protest because he really wanted to wear his new shorts.  I tease and tell him if he plays on the playground they will fall and everyone will see his awesome underwear.  He smiles and then climbs on my lap still sleepy.  I just hug him because this may be the last year he climbs on my lap.  

I am frantically searching for breakfast money and the camera.  Can someone help me please!?!?  I find the 200.00 camera on the deck.  It no longer works because it was in the rain ALL NIGHT.  My son is saved by the first day of school because otherwise I would KILL him (and he still may have to sell his toys on EBay now).  His breakfast money is found under a towel.  I take a breath.  Dad gets up and tells him to have a great day and that he is proud of him.  He asks dad, 'does mom have a mad face to you?'  Dad says, 'nah, it’s happy'.  We get in the car and say our prayers ‘Lord thank you for our Blessings, we pray Connor has a good day, and I pray he listens to his teachers.’  He says, ‘I’ll listen and I won’t hit.  Are there bullies at your school?’  On the ride to school we talk about bullies and being kind to everyone.  My heart aches because this is just too fast, but I’m proud that he is more ready than I thought he would be.  

I walk down the very long hall.  I’m having a hard time, but I will be strong.  (We are talking about me, not the kid).  He feels great!  He has a new book bag, a new lunchbox, and new kicks!  He is excited!  I take him to his teachers and he says 'I’m so happy to be here'.  Sweet.  I take a picture and I leave.  He ignores me because he is more excited to be in his classroom.  I cry a little bit in my classroom, but then I feel a wave of nausea hit… which reminds me that I have one on the way....and with God's help we will be here again one day.  This is lucky for my son because the way I’m feeling I want to throw a paci in his mouth and put him into a crib to slow the speed in which he is growing.  I have to let go, and give my attention to the students in my room.   Every hour I want to run down that hallway and press my face against the glass of the kindergarten door like a crazy girl. 
Can I come in??  I swear I'm a SANE parent.

I'm strong.  I stay away all day.   I keep to teaching!


I was so happy to see his short little legs and chubby cheeks walking down the hall.  How was your day!?!?  He ignores me so I hold him down in my room.  He keeps it brief, ‘Good.  We had lunch, then outside time, then centers.  I like centers.  We read a story about a mommy raccoon who kissed a baby raccoon on the hand’.  I know that is all I'm getting.  We went home and when dad got home we all went out to eat our favorite- Mexican Food!  At dinner out of the blue he confessed that he filled up his ENTIRE sticker chart without permission and that got him in trouble.  I think he felt guilt out of all my gushing.  I told him we all make mistakes, but to make sure we try our best to do better. 

Really today was not just about my baby growing up, it was about me growing as a parent. It reminds me that God is Faithful.  I also am reminded of a quote (something Buddha said), ‘Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.’ 

You know what... scratch that last part.  REALLY what the heck does Buddha know??  Was he a mommy?  If he was he would have said ‘go ahead and dwell on the past and eat a pound of chocolate…and then worry about the future!  It’s all good!’

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Side of Connor Quotes

I haven’t been blogging because to be honest I haven’t been entertaining enough to read about, not that I am that much, but at least I have a sense of humor.  What am I going to write about this week??  I feel like upchucking my lunch?  Ha. ha. ?  I don’t think so.  My pants are too tight??  Lol?  It’s sad really.  My child just told me he is quitting kindergarten to work at the Holly Springs Sandwich Shop (which part of me would allow for free hamburgers anytime I want)??  Noooo…. really not much excitement going on here.

I have to be honest that this is the first year that I didn’t feel that old excitement about school starting.  Maybe it’s the fact I feel like I might fall asleep while standing up any minute, maybe it’s the fact that my son is growing up too fast and I have to share part of myself when I start back work, maybe it’s because I have to brush my teeth regularly. 
I’m not sure, but I do know that after seeing many students tonight I am feeling really excited and happy about starting work.  I guess it took a few slobbery kisses and runny noses sloshed across my shirt to make me excited.  I’m weird like that.  Heck I even missed the parents.  They are like (not so) distant relatives to me.  I asked them tonight ‘any questions’ and they answer ‘no, we all know the drill…we’ve been together for a while’.  It’s true, I have laughed, cried, and celebrated with these inspiring parents.  It was a really good Parent Night, and Connor seems excited about his classroom, but I was so tired when we got home at 7:00pm.  Darren had to be at the hospital with his mom, so I fixed myself and Connor a home cooked meal=   a cheese sandwich on a hot dog bun with a side of Doritos (I didn’t even add milk, I added Sundrop soda).  I think this is why parents like me…I make them look so good!  
Afterwards, Connor begged me to play doctor. (oh joy, just what I want to do).   As the doc. I asked him what was wrong and he said ‘my mom hit me in the jaw for saying cuss words’.  (Lovely.)  So I say, ‘Connor I have never hit you and you don’t say cuss words’.  Connor says, ‘mommmm, we are pretending.’  I say, ‘Why don’t we pretend daddy or grandma hit you!? or maybe you could, I don't know, say I HAVE A COLD!?!  Jeez!’  I could tell playing doctor was taking a turn for the worse so I cut on the TV fast.  Children have a tendency to see life in a very creative way.  I have been writing Connor quotes down all summer- here are a few for some real entertainment.
Connor Quotes:

Me:  ‘Put that rock down.’  Connor:  ‘Mom it’s not a rock it’s a Diamond of a Lifetime!’

Connor:  ‘How come Barney is always in the grey ones?’  
 (The Andy Griffith Show, questioning why Barney is in the black and white instead of color episodes).

Connor:  ‘Whew!  It smells like big business in here!’

Connor:  ‘Now that were havin’ a baby you need to get married to dad.’  
Connor:  'Did you know that snakes, lizards, and frogs are erectiles?'  (meaning reptiles)

Dad- 'Why don’t you like Tim Tebow?' (football player)  Connor- 'Dad! I told you three times because he has soft skin!'

Connor:  'Mom, this flashlight is so cool.  If you turn it on and point to something you can tell what it is.  But it has to be dark though.'

Mrs. Welch :  'How did you get so smart?'  Connor: 'My mom taught me.'  (whoooo. hoooooo.)