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...I am a human being first.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Nothing profound

This post has no real purpose, other than simply having an itch to write/compose/create. As someone who grew up on stage pretending to be characters from the various plays/musicals I was in, I sometimes feel an overwhelming urge to pamper that side of my brain in creative ways. As a teacher, though, I must admit- I get to "act" all the time. I act EXCITED about a novel I have read 23 times and don't actually really like that much. I act enthralled by a student's horrendously LOOOOONG story, even though I already know in the first 5 minutes that it is going to end with some ridiculous fight and details about how hard she hit someone. I act out the parts in the various short stories we read, for purely entertainment purposes. Hell, sometimes I even have to paste on a cheery smile and act excited to SEE some of my kids.

Don't get me wrong. I love my job and my students remain some of the funniest, brightest people I know... for the most part. But I do have that one kid (or in this year's case, 5) who tests my patience every day, and for whom I have yet to find one=godforesaken redeeming quality.  "Good morning! I'm so glad you're here! I had heard you were suspended! Well, come on in! We have a lot of fun stuff today!" (inner monologue: holyhellnottodaywhytodayicouldhaveswornhewassuspended)

Alas- I digress.

Life in Petersville has been busier than ever. Quinn has started playing on a basketball team, which pretty much looks like football at this age - lots of hogging the ball and running (what's dribbling?). It's a hoot and he is loving it. My husband being quite the basketball star in high school sits on the sidelines, ever so patiently, DYING to scream things like, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! ARE YOU BLIND?! THAT GUY WAS WIDE OPEN!" but holding it in as he should.

Work has been a whole new can of worms this year. I would not be lying if I reported that this year has been my MOST challenging year to date, including my very FIRST year, which made this one look like a trip to the circus. I have started teaching the "babies" again, as I call them (i.e. sophomores) after 4 yrs of having a strictly SENIOR schedule. I clearly had gotten rusty at how to manage the youngins. I cannot believe I still have to say things like "We don't flick boogers on people" or "Don't make me put your name on the board." I came home every night for the first 2 months and literally collapsed. I have one particular class of misfits who include jailbirds,3 time-repeaters, ADHD poster children, pharmaceutical specialists and 8 month pregnant girls who still say "ax" instead of "ask" and "LI-BERRY." Now, however, dare I say, I am enjoying it? I have FINALLY established a working class order where they know I am Head Hefe and they aren't. And I kind of like them a little bit... okay, I love them.  This would be my classic "I'll wait..." pose to get them quiet:
Sean and I leave for Mexico in exactly 60 days and I couldn't be more excited. I can hardly believe it has been 10 years since we got married. It has flown by in the blink of an eye and I wouldn't trade a moment of it- even the harder years. I can't tell you how many times we have both commented how lucky we are to have the friendship we have. I look at some unhappy women my age and I can see that their relationships aren't friendships. They are partnerships, sure. But let's be honest - I have a partnership with my gym. I need more than that to sustain me, and I am so lucky to have it. When I look at this picture, I cant believe how much I had NO CLUE what great blessings were in store for us.

That is enough for tonight. I had a profound thought earlier this week that I would like to expand into a blog, but for now, I will only say this... I cannot BELIEVE how much of my EARLY life was preparation for the life I live NOW. There are so many examples of how God laid a path for me before I ever even knew it - experiences I had that have come in so useful now, knowledge He planted in me juuuust before I would need it, love He taught me to show for people who would benefit... I have never doubted that God drives my life - but it hit me last week just HOW much He set me up to succeed. Crazy.

Love and blessings for this holiday season!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

From the mouths of babes...

So, yesterday, my husband and I received some bad news - news that we had heard was coming, but until 11am yesterday, was only speculation.

We received a certified letter from our mortgage company, stating the FEMA had randomly and arbitrarily decided that our street is now located in a flood zone. Mind you, the propery was built in he early 1970s and has NEVER, not once, EVER had a drop of water standing on it, but FEMA considers this just insignificant detail and has given us 30 days to pony up flood insurance to the tune of $1200 year.

More than the extra $99/month added onto our expenses after a nearly 8% paycut from my job, we are devastated by the fact that the odds of our home selling at a decent price are now slim to none. Let's face it- who is going to buy our home at a fair rate, knowing they ALSO have to shell out an extra Benjamin in totally unneccesary flood protection? They arent.

We had a 3 year plan that included waiting for the market to turn slightly and getting out of our house and into a new one. Now, for that to happen, we will almost certainly have to sell our home for LESS than we owe and take a total hit, thereby severely limiting our options, as far as a newer, better home.

From the moment we both saw the letter, we were outraged. I did what I do best and cried. Sean did what he does best and flew completely off the irrational deep end, cursing the government as crooked and demanding we move to Mexico. For real.

We both fell into a pity party that lasted a good hour and included the following:

*further discussion about moving to Mexico
*disgust at the totally brazen way the "good guy" always gets screwed
*FEMA bashing
*consideration of the option of just saying "Screw our great credit history" and walking away from the house altogether, just to stick it to FEMA

                       AND FINALLY....

*my suggestion that we fight back and dispute the sudden change in requirements. Sean quickly refuted this, saying that it was impossible to win against a huge corporation like FEMA. "It will never work," he said. "They are in the hole after what happened with Katrina, so they changed their guidelines to force more people to have to pay them." I suggested we gather our whole block and try to host a group effort to contest the ridiculous changes, and again, Sean reiterated how futile it all would be, the money it might cost to fight back and ultimately, how FEMA would still win anyway because the government always wins.

During all of this, we had been unaware that Quinn was listening to every word. All of a sudden, a little voice said, "Daddy, can I say something?"

Surprised, Sean told him to ahead, and Quinn said,

"Well, it's just that David fought Goliath. And Goliath was way bigger and stronger. But David still won, because when you have God on your side, you always win. Right?"

Right, buddy. My sweet little boy.

We have a land surveyor coming out this week to have our own assessment done... because what does it hurt to fight Goliath when God is on your side?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Don't worry. Be happy.

I worry.
Hmph. When stated so simply, it seems so non-threatening.
I assure you, though – that statement has pretty much dictated my entire life. In fact, I’m not sure the words “I worry” even fully encompass what I mean.
I dwell. I wonder. I obsess. I lie awake. I toss and turn. I play out scenarios. I tense. I am consumed.
Those are closer. To say that I worry is as big of an understatement as saying that Donald Trump has spare change.  I fall into the depths of the “what if” despair daily and although I am able to function quite normally, the knot in the pit of my stomach grows every day.
We took Quinn to an amusement park – a bona fide amusement park – not one of those “put-together-by-rubber-bands-in-the-mall-parking-lot-carnival”  jobbies. A real amusement park, mandated by state laws and safety checks and thousands of satisfied , gleeful riders every day. He was completely un-terrified and wanted to ride every single ride, (including upside down ones) front car, every time. I was happy about this, considering I had spent the majority of my life too afraid to even get CLOSE to a roller coaster and never wanted him to know that kind of fear.
So, did I enjoy our day, as he exploded with joy and energy and fun, riding everything for which he was tall enough? Oh, no.
I worried.
What if the ride breaks? What if that hinge comes loose? What if the safety belt snaps? What if his harness isn’t tight enough? What will I do? Are there doctors on site? Where is first aid? Would it even matter?
My mind raced faster than any one of those coasters, totally irrationally.
And it isn’t only Q. I worry about people I don’t even know. God help us if we drive by someone homeless with a “feed me” sign. I can pretty much guarantee you that at some point, as I am lying in bed that night, I will wonder (and worry!) about whether or not someone fed that poor soul.
My family. My job. Stories in the newspaper. Weather. You name it, I will worry about it.
I have always been this way, but it has definitely gotten worse in the past 2-3 years, and because I knew it wasn’t healthy, I tried to fix it – did some yoga, practiced meditation, tried an herbal remedy and ultimately, saw my doc.
She says that this is completely normal in women ages 29-37 (obscure ages?) and that hormonally, we ebb and flow in the worry department. She says in a few years, I will likely “return to normal” which I find questionable, as I was never really ‘normal’ to begin with.
We are working together to discover a remedy to my angst, and I am hopeful that we will find it.
Until then, I will be over here, worrying about it.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In honor of Sean's birthday tomorrow...

Sean and I have been together since 1999, which means we have been "an item" for 12 years. When I met him, he was this little, goofy kid who made my stomach jump because I just thought he was the cutest thing ever. When I met him, he had a pierced lip, eyebrow, toungue and ears. My parents almost fell unconscious when I brought him home.

Because it was 1999, his hair had frosted tips a la Justin Timberlake, which I obviously found completely adorable.

We dated for a few years before we got married and when I look at those "dating" pictures, I cannot believe how young we both look - but him especially.

He asked me to marry him in the exact place that we met and nine years ago last week, I married my very best friend in the world.

It is no secret that the moment I had Quinn, my best friend had a new best friend. LOL. They were INSTANT buddies and I couldnt have been happier. Today, they are the best of friends and I am lucky if they invite me to dinner. ;) In honor of his birthday tomorrow, I am posting some evidence of my best friend, finding a NEW best friend. :)

                              HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR BEST FRIEND!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

This house is our home.

As some of you might know, Sean and I have been going back and forth on whether or not to put our house up for sale. There are no real issues with where we live now - we love our home, we have fantastic neighbors, the payments are bearable, etc. We just live far from everything. That said, we started entertaining the idea of moving. This process included meeting with realtors and discussing all the steps. With every realtor meeting, I kept hearing the same thing: "Tell people about your home." I know that they want us to describe the typical stuff. "When was your roof put on? How old is the hot water tank? How much are the taxes?" But this is what I really want to say...

You see this stain right here on the sunroom carpet? That is fruit punch. It got there the day my sweet little boy was so sick, he could barely hold his own head up and he didnt make it to the bathroom in time when he had to throw up. Right after, he immediately apologized and said, "Mommy, I messed up your carpet." This stain reminds me how sweet his heart is.

You see this railing? It used to have a gate on it. That kept our son from falling down the stairs when he learned to walk and wasnt very steady on his feet yet.  When we finally removed it because he was big enough to manuever safely, I cried.

This jewelry case was my mother's day gift after Quinn was born. I had seen one in someone's house and loved how it fit right into the wall, had so many slots for necklaces, earrings and bracelets and even had a mirror and locked. I came home one day to find that my husband had searched for hours to find me one and installed it as a surprise. I was so excited, I tackled him and spilled all the jewelry that he had painstakingly laid delicately on my bed. We spent the next two hours finding earrings on the floor and laughed the whole time.

You see this gap in our bathroom tile? This happened because I wanted to surprise my husband and lay the floor for him. I had never done it, but he works so many hours and his free time is so limited - I desperately wanted to relieve him of the burden. I read the instructions and thought I could do it, and it looked good at first. But I didnt know not to leave ANY space at the wall, or the tiles would 'walk' as they were used. Within 3 days, this gap appeared and I cried and Sean told me you "couldnt really tell" just to make me feel better.

Ah yes. The floor in front of our fridge. This is where Quinn has spilled hundreds of gallons of everything. Milk, juice, punch, pudding... you name it. He has dropped it here. I have mopped this area easily over 1000 times.

I have always wanted a red kitchen. So, one day, on a whim, I painted it. I didnt realize how hard the area above my cupboards would be, and by the time Sean got off work, I was using Q-Tips to gently get the corners. Labor.of.love.

When our stove went out, we went shopping for a new one and were supremely bummed that we had to get a gas one. We liked the look of the electric better and the prices were beter too. But since we had a gas hookup, we got a gas stove. Only, when they delivered it and Sean went to hook it up, he discovered that we had a hookup for both gas AND electric behind the old stove. We contemplated sending it back, but ultimately decided it was to much work and just laughed at ourselves for not checking beforehand.

I begged Sean to buy me this spice rack from IKEA. He claimed I didnt need it and wouldnt use it, but when we got to checkout, there it was in the cart. He lives to make me happy.

This garden stone was made for me by Q when he was 4. It was a mother's day gift. He was so proud of it and he couldnt WAIT for me to open it. When I did, one of the gems had fallen off and he was just devastated that it wasnt perfect. I marched it straight to the front yard and told him it was the most beautiful handstone I had ever seen and my flowers were ALREADY growing better just because of it. He was very happy at that and every time we came home, he would say, "Mommy, you see your stone?" so I could "ooh" and "ahh" all over again.

When we moved into this house 9 years ago, tulips were planted along the side of the house. Although tulips are my FAVORITE flower, I pulled them all up b/c they dont last long enough and I wanted the area to be pretty for the whole summer. However, every year, without fail, this ONE single tulip grows. It is red and gorgeous and big and tall and strong. I dont ever pull it. It's kind of a reminder that it was here first. It doesnt last long. But I love that tulip.

This sign hangs above our front door. I bought it at a craft show (which my husband calls a "crap" show) and every time I leave this place, I see it. I believe we can tell the universe what to bring to us, and I kind of feel like by proclaiming this every day, we are writing our final chapter ahead of time. I love this sign.

I love this home.

Those are the things I want new owners to know. Screw the roof.

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR: a place so filled with love and memories that we dont really WANT to leave it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Roadblocks and Signs

I apologize for the morose sound of this entry. I am writing this more for me, acknowledging a feeling I have been trying to deny.

Ask anyone what I think about my job and everyone I know will tell you the same thing: KP loves her job.

A few of my closest friends, however, know that I have been having a struggle lately in that area. I still love my job. I don't dread going to work and the faces of my amazing kids still uplift, inspire and buoy me most days.

That is why it is so difficult for me to understand my recent feelings. I have been feeling buried and defeated and down about the difference I make in the world. I am not fishing for compliments here, and of course I can spot isolated kids/instances where my words or love or attention have positively affected someone. My struggle lately has been with the words "So what?"

I help a kid or two find their potential. So what?
I provide a hug for a kid who needs one. So what?
I teach a difficult concept in an easier way. So what?

In the GRAND scheme of things, do those things make a worldly difference?

An event that happened a few weeks ago definitely precipitated these feelings. Without going into much detail, the event made me realize that, in many cases, no matter what my kids achieve in my classroom, the deck is stacked against them everywhere else. It doesn't matter that they have made progress or can conjugate a verb or are loving individuals in my room, if they are forced (by circumstance, ignorance, home training or choice) to be different people the other 1393 minutes of every day.

Why work SO hard to create an environment of love and support and caring in my room when they dont (or cant?) carry that over into "real life?"

I might just be burned out because Spring Break is so late this year. I may simply need a break. A respite. But, the feelings scare me. If there is one thing I have always held onto, it is my belief (however rose-colored) that I am changing the world, one student at a time. The event a few weeks ago made me realize that maybe one student at a time isnt tangible enough anymore for me.

There is so much evil and hatred and malice in the world. Even my well-meaning students dont have very good odds of success, when their families, environments and support systems are encouraging the wrong path. And there are SO many.

I do not know where this will leave me. As I said, the feelings scare me.

Today, however, I am choosing to focus on a single positive. I keep a notebook on my desk of EVERY SINGLE letter a student has ever written me. Today, I dropped it by mistake and opened right to one in particular that FELT like a sign to me. It was a note written to me by Jason Kroetz, one of my favorite former students who unfortunately passed away a year ago. In it, he wrote these words:

"In conclusion, I want to let you know that if ever in your life you regret the path you have chosen, or fel that you havent made a difference in any way, you have. You have created a huge impact on me, and I am only one kid. There are dozens of others like me."

Ironically, he is an example of a good kid with a smart brain and amazing heart, who didn't carry my lessons out into the real world, made a terrible choice anyway and died as the result of that choice.

Thanks, J, for the sign. I'm trying.

TODAY I'M THANKFUL FOR:   getting to know kids who have touched my life like Jason.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Human Spirit

I have never been what most would call "religious."

I go to church every week, I live an honest life and God and I are definitely BFFs, but religion is not all-consuming for me. I eat meat during Lent. I can't recite scripture. After 13 years of Catholic School, I still am not sure if Mary Magdalene is the mother of Jesus, or if she was some other Biblical lass. Whatever. I know God and He knows me.

See, the thing is, I have an aversion to the term 'religious.' For me, it connotates someone who is aggressively pursuant of other followers and quick to verbally attack someone who isnt living a Christian life. My experiences with "religious" people have always been pompous and self-righteous. Obviously not all 'religious' people are this way, but it has been my experience.

I prefer to think about being Spiritual. I like to think of my spirit as a real, tangible thing - almost like my brain or heart. Something inside of me that needs nurtuted, watered and taken care of. Sometimes this can be accomplished from time talking to God, but other times, it just needs a great song or a clean house or a night out dancing. When my spirit is sick, all of me is sick.

I also believe that communities can have a spirit. Ever since I began teaching at Rogers High School, I have felt that our school's spirit was sick. We, as a unit, do not support, uplift or energize this school's spirit enough and as a result, teachers get morose, kids start not believing in themselves and the very building smells stale and boring. We have moments of fun or energy, but the majority of the time, things feel like WORK all the time. I have opted to handle this by creating my own classroom spirit - and I work very hard at keeping it upbeat, fun, laughing and sensory filled. Without tooting my own horn, I really believe that kids like coming to my room. We laugh. We learn. We love.

And then, typically, the bell rings and they go back to being submerged in the hollow feeling of our halls.

Lately, it has been so different. Our basketball team is heading to the State Semi-Final Championship game today and the energy and movement and love has been palpable in this place. The kids are smiling, the adults are proud, the walls are covered in posters praising the team and the RAMS in general... It is the best feeling I have ever experienced in my 10 yrs of teaching in this place, and win or lose, I dont want it to come to an end.

Our spirit is so nurtured and cared for in this moment, that it brings tears to my eyes. A positive spirit is contagious, and now I can only hope that we are proud enough of this feeling that we continue to give it tools to grow.

I dont know about tomorrow, but Ram Spirit is alive today.



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Teacher Funnies

As a high school teacher, I suppose it is no secret that I love teenagers. I mean, you kind of have to in order to do what I do. Most people who find out I am a high school teacher say one of two things: "Why?" or "God bless you."

The truth is, I absolutely love this age. Yes, it has its drawbacks. There is nothing quite as nauseating as the smell of high school boys coming straight from gym class (*vomit*), or a student with very little regard for personal space asking you one million questions while their acne-filled face lingers inches from your own.

But for me, the rewards far outweigh the drawbacks. For instance, teenagers love to laugh, in between all of their morose brooding. They love a corny joke. They still think farting is funny. One good "Your mom" or "That's what she said" can have an entire class reeling with giggles. This might annoy some people. It does not annoy me.

The truth is, I am generally annoyed by adults who have forgotten how to laugh, so I appreciate the youthful benefits of a day spent enjoying, laughing, energizing... even when they are laughing at me!

Throughout the last decade I have been a teacher, I have kept a journal on my desk of the funny things my students say or do. I write in it whenever a 'funny' happens and I take it out to read on days where I have had ENOUGH of teen angst and drama. It is the perfect antidote to a bad day and I still laugh at the entries.

A few samples:

1. *after having trouble reading out loud in class*
Student (genuinely frustrated): Dang! How many brain cells does smoking pot make you lose? Don’t they ever grow back?

2. Me: (in hallway between classes) Excuse me, sir.You need to tuck your shirt in.
  Kid: Huh? I never received a recommendation of that.
  Me: (pause) What?
  Kid: I didnt use that word right, did I? I just learned it today.

3. Me: In Chapter 2, what does Jack keep doing that demonstrates he has a violent streak? (Answer: He keeps taking out his knife and stabbing the trees)
   Dushon: Uh... he keeps ... drowning the fish?
                        * LONG PAUSE *


4. Boy:  This calculator be dumb. The numbers are,
         like, invisible.
   Girl:  Turn it on.

5. *overheard by me at the end of class*
   Boy 1:  Mrs.Peters should be a Dallas Cowboys
   Boy 2:  She's missing two very important



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Broadway Baby!

If you know me at all, you know I am a musical theatre nut. Love them. Even the bad ones I love, albeit a little bit less than others.

I didnt first experience my first taste of theatre until I was 12 years old, but from that first moment, I was hooked. From the first musical I saw, (Meet Me in St.Louis) to the first musical I was in  (42nd Street), to my first real leading role (South Pacific), I only grew deeper and deeper in love. I immediately "got" the magic of live theatre. It enraptured me and I deeply FELT for the leading ladies and forlorn men. Unlike most theatre-lovers, I dont love being IN them any more than I love going TO them. Being in the audience is just as gratifying for me!

My taste is bizarre - I love the classic shows, like West Side Story and Evita, but I also appreciate the modern (Rent / Spring Awakening) and the fluffy shows (Legally Blonde, Jersey Boys). Basically, as long as I can sing it, I like it. (Sorry, Oklahoma. I havent found a redeeming quality in you yet).

So, it should come as no shock that when I found out I was having a boy, I was slightly unsure of how to reconcile my love for theatre with a boy's "typical" hobbies. I wondered if a boy who loved sports and wrestling could also appreciate costumes, stage makeup and jazz hands.

I needn't have worried.

From the time he could barely speak, he fell in LOVE with The Wiggles. Telling a story through singing and dancing just CAPTURED him, and I knew he had what I had - the theatre bug.

His first musical was "The Wiz" at the Toledo Rep when he was barely 3 yrs old and he was in a TRANCE during the whole thing. His eyes never left the stage and during intermission, he even got annoyed at how long it was taking people to pee and grab a drink. Back to the SHOW, people!

Since that time, he has seen Seussical (he liked!), Mary Poppins ("This one is for girls, Mommy.") and most recently, "In the Heights." My husband and I saw In the Heights in NYC and brought home the soundtrack. Within 2 weeks, he knew every word of every song (and some are in Spanish!) and was BEGGING us to take him to see it. When we found out it was coming to Detroit, we knew we HAD to let him see it, despite it costing us nearly a month's salary to do so.

Last weekend, we saw the show and it was every bit as fabulous as the first time we had seen it. Quinn loved it so much, he barely spoke. When his favorite song came on, he looked at me and actually said, "Isnt this the BEST?!" and I wanted to cry. Yes, dear son, it is the best.

I hope he always carries this appreciation for the arts. He is stereotypically a boy in every way (pees everywhere but the toilet, wrestles anyone who is willing and yelling obnoxious sports terms at the television every NFL game), but he also carries a soft spot for the beauty of a story, told through gorgeous melodies. I hope this is making him into a well-rounded man someday, but at the very least, it's making his mom love him more. :)
Heading in to theatre!

Quinn spotted the sign and squealed. :)


Daddy and Quinn wait for the show to start!

One excited family!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Daze

Well, today is day one of the "Blizzard of 2011" as it is being billed. We got about 3 inches last night, enough to cancel school today, and are expected to get an additional 8-10 tonight overnight, amounting to another snow day - most likely. I am, of course, elated because I love snow. My husband - not so much. (coughsnowgrumpzillacough) :)

When I was little, I loved snow days. My sister and I would immediately begin jumping up and down at the merest mention of a delay and not stop bouncing until every flake had fallen. Because my parents worked, and we were such responsible children, we stayed home alone on snow days. This meant endless episodes of Full House, cooking our favorite lunch ("noodles with green things" we called it - It was really Lipton Butter Noodles) and (of course) sledding. Our backyard had a natural hill that we thought was epic (and now looks like a bump in grass). We would hurl ourselves down that "mountain" over and over until our fingers were burning from the cold and then race in the house to shed our 50 layers of clothing and drink hot cocoa or play games together.

As a parent, I worry that Quinn will be jipped of these experiences both because I am a teacher and he has no sibling. I mean, sure, we can do all of those things together still - but part of the fun was being 'on our own.'  He wont ever get a break from me on a snow day. If he is home, I am home! This morning, he wanted to do a puzzle, play Old Maid, watch Spongebob and have Macaroni and Cheese for lunch - all of which I obliged. But let's face it, this lady tires out.

I am also sorry he doesnt have a sibling to play with and I am his only choice....but not sorry enough to give him a sibling. :) I mean, currently he is dressed as Harry Potter (full out in the robe, glasses, tie and carrying a magic wand and broomstick) and there is no chance I'm playing THAT with him. He's on his own there...

I would like to believe that being an only child will make him more creative, more independent, more... well, more something. But I also know about all the things I learned from having a sibling - how to get out of a headlock, how to eavesdrop on a telephone without being heard, how to cover a stain on my mother's carpet strategically and then blame my sister...

You know...come to think of it - I think he's going to do just fine growing up alone. At the end of the day, a child surrounded by love is a successful child - whether he has siblings or not. Right?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to be "Hermoine."

                                                             God, I love him.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Random Ramblings...

It's snowing.

But not enough. I know many hate the snow, but I don't. In fact, you know that seasonal depression disorder people have, where their spirits literally feel depressed because it's been winter too long? Well, I have whatever the OPPOSITE of that is. I need the snow - like in my soul. Frankly, I am disappointed that the most we have gotten at one time this season has been a couple of measly inches. I want a big daddy, 8 incher storm.

Despite my disappointment in the weather, life otherwise is going swimmingly.

My sister's shower went off without a hitch. It was hands-down the most beautiful shower I have ever seen and she looked so happy all day. I can hardly wait for the next month to hurry up so we can get to the big wedding day!

Quinn started indoor soccer a couple of weeks ago and it's been really fun. I especially enjoy seeing him becoming more aggressive as an athlete, which I believe translates into a passion and aggressive goals in real-life too. He is more confident (sometimes TOO confident?) in social situations and I love seeing the person he is becoming. He is a perfect blend of my husband and me. He has both of our best qualities and we're so lucky to be his parents.

This weekend is the Rogers Parent Prom. This event began 5 yrs ago after I had a dream (I know it sounds all Martin Luther, but I really did!). After noticing the severe lack of parental support we see at our high school, I had a dream that we hosted an event (in my dream, it was called a Mom Prom, similar to what I believe St.John's high school does) where our kids could have the chance to bond with their parents and have a good time. So many of our kids rarely see their parents and when they do, their time together is not relaxing or fun. So, I brought the idea to our Asst.Principal (at the time) and she supported it wholeheartedly. So, the Parent Prom began. The name is misleading - it is a very laidback dance. Most attenders wear jeans, which is exactly what we wanted. If we had made it like a "real" prom, the majority of our parents would not have been able to afford the outfit alone, much less the dance ticket. We kept the cost very affordable (only $5) and we offer cookies, punch and some rockin oldies. :)  It is, in my humble opinion, the very best event our school has all year. It just warms my heart to see our "tough" kids cutting loose to some Marvin Gaye or Temptations with their grannies, moms, dads and foster families. I cant wait!

TODAY I AM THANKFUL FOR... parents who are doing a great job, despite their circumstances, and loving their babies exactly how they should!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I love weddings.

And by saying that, I mean I am a wedding freak, in every way possible. I love the dress, the cake, the flowers, the songs... I love, love, LOVE weddings. I have never turned down a wedding invite and I'd probably go to a wedding, even if I wasnt invited - and even if I didnt know the couple. In fact, I may have already done that. ...Twice.

I just love them. I used to think it was the symbolism of it all - the vows, the forever, the commitment... Now, I realize I am just a sucker for pretty things and weddings have a lot of pretty things. I have been in 8 weddings, not including my own, and loved every one.

It should come as no surprise that when my sister got engaged 6 months ago, my wedding pulse began to rage. I could barely stop myself from dragging her to the bridal store the very DAY she got engaged, and I'm pretty sure I shoved her fiance out of the way to see the ring. New brother-in-law be damned, there was bling to see.

Planning my OWN wedding was not nearly as fun as being a spectator. That was work. I can remember sitting there with 100 swatches of colors in front of me as we chose our invitations, my husband-to-be staring blindly at the colors with me, (as if he had a real say anyway, or cared what color they were), and I realized that it was much more fun NOT to be the chooser.

So, with Sarah's wedding, I am getting the best of both worlds. I get to be surrounded by all things BRIDAL 24/7, but never really have the pressure of the decision on my shoulders. I think she should stay engaged forever. Her wedding is in 56 days and I'm not sure what will occupy my time once it passes. I may be weeping at the altar just BECAUSE it is over.

I fear that my sister's wedding may be the last wedding in which I am a part. Most of my friends have been married off or arent the type to have a bridal party, which leaves me relishing in my "maybe-last" experience in one. (I am available for rent at a nominal fee. You can pay me in pew bows and I make a helluva bridesmaid.) Just saying....

My hubby and me at my (okay "our")  wedding.

                               My sister showing off her bling, last July.
Allibird and Me on her weding day :)

                                Kirsten and Scot on their gorgeous day.
Prayer around the groom
 So much joy at weddings!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Love Breeds Love - The Outcome

Well, it happened. "Letters of Love" day came and went and was a huge success. I consider the day a success for the following reasons:

1. I had the single largest turnout of parental support I have ever had, with 52% of parents participating. I know it doesnt seem like a lot, but hey- I'm grateful for a rising number and over half who took the time. I'm optimistic enough to hope it means a change for the better in the future.
2. I had the largest number of kids who were genuinely SHOCKED by receiving their letters. Because so many of my students run their households themselves, typically, a pretty significant quantity have already discovered the secret by the time the "big day" arrives. This year, very few admitted to having known about it and those who did know about it, opted NOT to share it with their peers and risk ruining the surprise.
3. There were so many tears, I had to run to the bathroom to get more tissue!

To say that my students were grateful would be a giant understatement. They were positively OOZING gratitude, with one even saying to me, "We know our parents love us, but sometimes it is nice to hear why."

: * )

Even those whose parents did not participate were teary-eyed and thankful for the letters they did receive. One of my quietest little loveys said to me, "I cannot believe that Mrs. __ wrote me! I always loved her class!"

But perhaps my favorite quote of the day, came from an individual who said nothing in class when he received his letters. Instead, I got a private email from him later that night that said, "The letters I got today made me realize that people do notice me."

And again, if that isnt the point of the assignment, I dont know what is. :)