Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Five

Another Friday, another five

1. So my students had practice ISTEP essays to write and several of them were really good. So I decided to make a top author bulletin board to display their hard work. One of the boys comes up to me and informs me that he purposely tried to make his essay suck because he "hates busy work." I didn't know whether or not to take his essay down or leave it up. I didn't think it was busy work. Busy work is doing loads of workbook pages that really don't relate to anything else you are doing in class. Oh well whether or not he tried, the essay was good.

2. Two football players told me at different times this week that they have actually finished their second books this year. I was not really impressed since they have to read outside of my class as a requirement. Then they both told me that they have never finished a book before. One boy even said he liked Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers so much and since his new one Sunrise over Fallujah is never in to check out; he had his mom order it online. Imagine that. It made up for the busy work essay.

3. One of the students I have who was not turning in any work is suddenly turning in his work because his father talked with him. Sometimes parents don't care or it doesn't work for them to talk to kids but this one did. I wish this dad could talk to some of my other students.

4. I'm dreading today because tonight is the big rivalry game between our school and another local school. I know my football players and I have a lot of them, will not be paying attention today. On the day of a football game they are drinking this electrolyte stuff to help them keep from dehydrating during the game. The only problem is that they then have to go to the bathroom all day long. What makes things worse is our team is looking good this year and everyone will be overly stimulated. I just pray the day goes quickly.

5. My son's first tennis match is next week. He is really improving. In 6th grade his tennis team won 1 game and lost 10, last year they won 10 and only lost 1, and this year they are "aiming for perfection" as their tennis shirts say. I hope they do well but they lost several talented 8th graders from last year who are now in high school. This year they all put nicknames on their shirts and my son put big bubba on his shirt. Makes a mommy proud.

Monday, August 25, 2008

hot showers

You have to love a hot shower. I stood under the gentle shower of hot water this morning thinking of the day ahead and I started to look forward to my day. School has been different lately. I can't explain it other than I am out of my comfort zone and I am not very happy. Things happen at school and at home that leave me feeling nervous, confused, and scared. I hate to sound like a complainer because like I said at the beginning of this post, the hot shower worked. Maybe it was the tingle as each drop rained down strength and assurance from God. I don't know. I just know it felt good this morning. Well I better get ready for school.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I woke up early this morning because of a terrible nightmare that I was having. It was so real that I didn't realize that I was dreaming until I woke up in my room. I remember vivid details and emotions from this dream unlike those other dreams that you forget as soon as you wake up. My heart's prayer is that my nightmare never comes true and that is all that I will share.
I have a student this year that I had been warned about prior to school starting. I usually listen to other teachers but I don't let that information cloud my judgment of the student. I start each year off with a clean slate on each student. Well this particular student missed the first day but was in school yesterday and he didn't even try to make a nice first impression. He was testing and sometimes pushing his limits from the very first moment I walked into the room. He doesn't know this but that only makes me work harder to win him over, so to speak. I will not give in and send him to the office because in reality that is what he wants. He wants to be home or out with his older brothers causing trouble, instead I will try my best to keep him in the classroom. I will also make it a personal mission to make sure he learns something even though yesterday on his paper he just scribbled lines and said, "hey, I'm done." He has no idea how much his actions yesterday just sparked a fire in me to change his mind about school. Now in reality I know I have a very slim chance of changing this student based on family history but I will try up until the very last day of school.
It's time to get ready for school. Have a blessed day and pray for our schools.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Five

Friday is here and here is my Friday Five:

1. No more sleeping in for awhile. Schools starts next week but since I am a new employee to the school I have to start a few days earlier. I am ready to get back to work though because just sitting around the house is driving me crazy.

2. I was watching the Samantha Brown travel special last night about China. She went to a Giant Panda rescue place and she actually got to hold one of the pandas. I would be scared but it would also be so cool to hold a panda. I am not good with names but she also went to a city that still had the original city wall mostly intact from 5000 years ago. The city wall was to keep the attacking Mongolians out of the city. I would love to see the history of China first hand but that would be years from now for me.

3. Laurie Halse Anderson's write for 15 minutes a day challenge has ended. I will still be writing each day because I think this month really inspired me to get in that habit. I will miss her prompts for writing every day but I can think of some things on my own.

4. Monday night I had a work night with the IUSWP for our grant and writing conference next year. At first I was dreading doing all of the work that I had volunteered for but after Monday I feel better about things. It was fun to reconnect with friends. IUSWP stands for Indiana University Southeast Writing Project and it is actually one of the oldest professional development systems for teachers, not the IUS branch but Writing Project in general. Each summer teachers take a 4 week intensive class aimed at improving writing skills for students. You end up making life long friends because we write every day of the class and share our own writings. If you are a teacher or librarian you should check out the National Writing Project on the web.

5. My last item is actually a call for prayer. We need to pray over our schools as kids head back in the next weeks. A prayer of protection from violence but also a prayer that the new president will take a serious look at the No Child Left Behind Law and make the needed changes to help the students. We should really look at the candidates and see where they stand on issues like education and helping the poor. That is as political as this blog will ever get, hopefully.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Awakened by a storm

I was deep into a dream when the rumblings of thunder echoed through my head. I tried ignoring the bothersome storm to no avail. I would not be returning to dreamland this morning; instead I will be waking early to face the grayish day. Rain is good for the scorching hot days that take your breathe and energy away because the drops bring sweet relief to an exhausted body. But waking up as a result of a thunderstorm is not my ideal situation. I can deal though because now the house is completely silent because my son is still in bed. There is no TV to distract my thoughts, no dog barking to go outside, no phones ringing to interrupt my typing. It is just me and this blog. When I started this blog I had ambitiously high hopes that people would read it, fall in love with it, tell their friends about it, and then I would be almost a writer. My dream has not played out exactly as I dreamed with this blog. Maybe it is because I am not interesting, I write about the wrong type of stuff, or I have to wait for my ship to come in so to speak.
I did find out that I will be attending a conference in San Antonio, Texas this November which is another dream of mine. I see pictures of the Riverwalk on TV and now I will be seeing it in person. Hey I know I get excited over silly stuff but I did grow up in a small town in Indiana and I currently live in an even smaller town, so San Antonio is big news to me, plus it is not going to cost me anything.

Have a blessed day and DREAM BIG!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Laugh til you cry

Every once in a while there are moments in our life that touch us and we know they will live forever in our memories such as: first kisses, weddings, births, and MAMA MIA!
I didn't get the chance to see Mama Mia last weekend but we finally made it to the theatre Saturday. First off I have to let you know that my parents had 3 LP records when I was growing up and 2 of them were ABBA records, so I grew up listening to ABBA. We sat in the very top row of seats at the back of the theatre, which was a wise decision seeing as how I started feeling the music during the show. My teenage son was initially embarrassed and kept whispering, "NO, Mom stop!" That didn't stop me though and by the time the Dancing Queen number started I was moving to the beat in my seat. Needless to say this totally embarrassed him but I reminded him that no one in the theatre was watching us. Anyway the show was delightful and at the end Meryl and company do encore performances. I started mimicking their moves and guess what? My husband joined in for fun and then to my total shock my son did as well. There we sat in the dark back row of the theatre with the light of the projector flickering over our heads doing small handmoves to Waterloo. This is a mental picture I will never forget. I started laughing and couldn't stop. I was trying to cover my mouth so no one in the theatre would hear and then subsequently turn around to see us. I laughed until I actually had tears in my eyes. I can't remember the last time that has happened and it felt so freeing to have that much fun. We spend so time wondering what people think and how they will react when we should really just go have fun. We made a family memory, however silly it may be, that all of us will remember for years to come. As Robin Williams says in the movie RV, which by the way if you haven't seen you must, "Can't buy memories like that."
Have a blessed day and go make some memories that you can't buy.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Five

1. I found myself watching the reruns of Golden Girls this week after hearing about Estelle Getty's passing. I remember watching this show with my grandma Palmer. She loved it and although I hated to admit it at the time I liked it too. Sophia's wisecracks were the best. After hearing about how hard her life had been lately, I hope she has found some peace.

2. I have a training day today at my new school and I am not looking forward to going. I hate those one day training sessions where they throw everything at you and expect you to remember it and use it for years to come. Get real, especially since this is a computer program I will be needing help along the way.

3. My niece went to the Jonas Bros. concert in Indianapolis Wednesday night and called me Thursday full of stories. She is as crazy over these boys as I was over New Kids on the Block and Michael Jackson at her age. It's funny how we get so crazy over someone when we are young and then when we are older we realize that they are not who we thought they were. This is especially true of Michael Jackson for me. I thought he was the sexiest man alive and they way he danced was unbelievable. My dad always tried to tell me that something wasn't right about him but I kept dreaming about marrying him some day. That dream now makes my toes curl.

4. I have to make myself work on the book that I am trying to write because I can't just give up on it. I think because I started at the end of the story and then had the character flashback that is the reason why I am struggling with the story. I don't know the next step or issues to get the characters to the ultimate conflict. Maybe I am being foolish by thinking that I can write. I don't know.

5. I am anxious for our new church to be ready for use but we have had a set back with the front doors. The company claimed that the doors were solid wood but they are sadly not. So now we have to wait on new front doors to be installed before we can move in the equipment for church services. It is a beautiful building and I am so excited to see our first service take place in the new building. We have waited a long time for this to finally happen and here it is just a few weeks away. First we had trouble finding the land to build on, then it was problems with the blueprints, and now the front doors but God is in control.

Have a blessed weekend and I will blog at you on Monday.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Five

Friday Five-

1. It is another Friday closer to school starting here and I am not sure if I am scared or excited. I have most of the work done so far but I could still use another week to be fully prepared for classes.

2. My husband started a myspace for the young adults in our church and he is doing a daily scripture for them to read on his blog. He has people viewing his blogs and I think it is a good tool to use because some of them will going off to college this fall. It seems like just yesterday they were in middle school and we were just starting as youth pastors. Where did the time go? I know they are all going to be just fine because they are a great bunch of kids.

3. My niece has tickets to a Jonas Brothers concert and they were trying to get me to take her. Luckily I have an appointment and cannot take her. It makes me remember going to see New Kids on the Block when I was in school. My friend Stefanie's father got the tickets and drove four wild girls to the concert. We had a blast and lost our voices all in the same night. I hope my niece has as much fun at her concert.

4. Tomorrow I am having some ladies over to my house for a night of fun. I haven't planned everything out just yet but I know we will have fun. The husbands are meeting at another house to watch UFC videos.

5. MOMMA MIA!!!! opens tonight in theatres and I will be there singing along. I wanted to see the play when I went to New York but I was there during the strike so none of the shows were playing. I love Meryl and Colin too so it will be awesome to see the movie. The only thing better would be if it were January because Wicked comes to Louisville and I am so totally going.

Have a great weekend!!!!! Be adventuresome and try something new.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I have been thinking a lot about my grandmother this summer especially when my cousin lost her infant son on July 4. My grandmother died 13 years ago and sometimes the pain still feels as if she only died yesterday. My grandmother was an awesome lady who in the last 20 years of her life was confined to a wheelchair with degenerative arthritis and even though her joints hurt during daily chores she never complained. She took care of me and my sister because my mom, her baby, owned a video rental store that kept her and my dad away from home a lot. Grandma was devoted to her family. Every Christmas Eve we were all at her house for dinner and by all I mean no one in our family missed. Most of the time extended families showed up too. My other grandmother used to come with us when she moved back from Florida and many other in-laws attended as well. It wasn't that we got big gifts from grandma because she lived on a small income it was the love. She would find us each a special gift and then she would sit in the middle of the room in her wheelchair and watch as each of us opened our gifts; grandkids opened first, her children opened next, and then everyone watched as grandma and grandpa opened thier gifts from us. Luckily since my parents owned a video store we had access to video cameras back then and I have the last two Christmas tapes before grandpa died. I watch them for about five mintues and then have to shut them off because I can't watch anymore. Since my grandma died our family has sort of fallen apart. I have not been around many of my aunts and cousins for years since I live almost 3 hours away and they have all changed. None of the family gets together for Christmas Eve anymore, several of my cousins can't even stand each now, and my I don't know the names of half of their children. At the funeral I had to have my mom tell me which kid belonged to which cousin. I was thinking of my grandma at the funeral because I know she took my cousin Mandy's baby in her arms when he arrived in Heaven that morning. I also thought of her when my aunt went up to Mandy at the funeral home and used her index to brush hair out of Mandy's face. Grandma used to use her index finger to push hair out of my face and I realized that we are not the same without her but we all have a part of her in us. My mom is loyal to her sisters no matter how many times they treat her poorly, my cousin Jennifer loves to hold babies just like grandma, my aunt Kathy rubs her hands together when she gets excited about stuff, my cousin Jeanettea looks like my grandma in the face, and my aunt Karen pushes hair out of our faces just like grandma did. I know when she died of breast cancer that she went to a better place and I wouldn't want her back in the condition she was when she died. I just miss her because she was one of those people who come into your life and change it forever.

Anyway back to work- must get the house clean and write for fifteen minutes today because I want to finish Laurie's challenge.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The devil is in the details. That is so true. I have to have an exit interview to leave my old job and have them sign my license so that I can have them renewed by the state. I hate details.
Details can also be good. When my students write I find myself asking them for more details to help the story move along. I usually tell them to use their five senses to come up with those details. They hate details but I know in the end it will make their papers better, so I push for details.
Anyway, we had company over last night for dinner and it was fun. They are friends from Florida and we ended up watching Wild Hogs with Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy because my husband and the other gentleman couldn't stop quoting large sections of the movie. We had a blast and by the end we were all saying the lines. I love having friends who you can just laugh and be yourself with them.
I have been writing this month for Laurie Halse Anderson's WriteFifteenMinutesADay challenge but my book that I was working on is not going anywhere. I am stuck and I mean stuck. The whole time I have been writing this story the main female character has been talkking in my head (NO I AM NOT CRAZY) and suddenly she is gone. I don't know if she thought the story stunk and she didn't want to be apart of it anymore or if I just need to let this story sit a few months. I have never attempted to write before until this last summer and I feel totally inadequate in writing it now. I think I will just keep on writing down details until I find my female character again. If you hear her please tell her I am looking for her.