Merry Christmas!

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I'm alive and well ...really. Just really stressed and busy..aren't we all? Have a fabulous Holiday everyone! Be back soon.....Peace, all...

A Bit of a Scare...

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Sorry...been out. Had some minor surgery on Monday. Way more info than I should share here. Couple words for you..Biopsy..netheregions...waiting...no pain...starting school...busy....will know results soon. Ta ta for now!

And then Summer began...

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So school is over, camp is over. and the 1st of July has arrived. We leave for what will turn out to be a very fun, very long vacation. We headed to Irvington for our annual 4th of July celebration. As you can see the guys, once again had a "blast" blowing things up for over an hour. Want to see what approximately $15,000 worth of fireworks looks like? That's a pool table's worth and then some! Crazy I know, but we have a fabulous time every year. Our hostess vowed not to invite so many people next year though. There were 7 couples and their kids, two singles and their significant others and one loner. Totaling 18 adults, 14 kids and 5 dogs. We filled two houses, a camper, a tent and an RV. Talk about crazy!! Here's the crew after all was said and done...another successful year!

From here, on the 5th we drove 9 hours to Myrtle Beach. No neighbors to meet us there like last year, beautiful weather and the anticipation of some good friends joining us for the weekend. And they were cooking!!! We were a little nervous at first because of our previous experiences with friends coming on vacation with us. You know how there are some people you can take anything from and others...well, let's just say, it's not always such a pleasant experience.

Anywho, these folks are proving to be people we really get along with. Their son is in J-man's class and a great kid. They are both Italian and fabulous cooks!! More about food tomorrow ;0)

Ya know....

10:42 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
...sometimes life just happens. I thought I'd have all this free time this summer to sit, play on my 'puter and catch up. Yeah..well, let's start from the beginning shall we?

School ended in May for me. It was a bittersweet time. We have a pre-kindergarten graduation as that is the last "class" if you will, to pass through our school before they all part ways going to different schools for Kindergarten. Let me tell you, I have not a clue how I will make it through this May when J-man #2 goes through it...let alone my class. Yes, I've been gradumated up to the 5 day Pre-K Lead Teacher role. Hmmmm.....no pressure!

Then I get this brilliant idea to teach a camp. The more kids the more $. $900 to be exact for 12-15 kids. Well that was all fine and dandy until I realized it wasn't going to start until the 2nd session...I had a week off to prepare I 'spose and then get started. I was doing a camp on Space. Sun activities planned for Monday, Moon on Tuesday, Stars on Wed, Planets on Thursday and Review on Friday.

Well, we had the camp in my classroom that comfortably fits 10 or 11 kids..I had 14. It rained on Monday. So we switched to Thurday's plans which had no build up so they really didn't get the concepts. Tuesday, it rained. So we did moon activities and made crater cakes with no astronauts because I couldn't find them in time. We had cute little flags though. I also had this bright idea that we should make our camp shirts using buttons to make planets. My assistant (H) was there the first day...we did great. The second day her daughter was getting an award so she asked if I minded if she were an hour late. No problem we'll just switch out activity time and play outside. It rained.

Then next day I walked in to find her crying hysterically to my Director and then she disappeared. Come to find out, her whole family lives in little cottage-like houses on her grandparents farm. She walked out her front door to see an ambulance across the road at her aunt's house, her nephew had committed suicide some time during the early morning.

Yikes. Needless to say H did not come back for the rest of the week and we were scrambling to find someone to help while at the same time setting up a schedule to help get a couple of dinner's together for H's family. Not a fun week.

The year all in all was a great one though. I have never been in a job where I couldn't wait to get out of bed in the morning and get started. Here's to another great year!!

Internet's fixed, my page is back and everyone thinks I've dropped dead...might be a good thing. ;0)

Issues

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Having computer issues. I'm back from vacation but something is still up with my wireless card...be back soon!

Happy Fourth!

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We're off to the beach and various other places for about 2 weeks. I'll have internet access after the fourth. So until then,

Enjoy! Have a safe and happy holiday all my American friends...and for those of you over the borders...have another great sun filled day!

Click here...you know you want to.

You Are The Lucky Ones

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Know why? Because you, my secret friends, get to hear my deepest, darkest, thoughts, fears and general bitchings. Lucky you. I'm a talker by nature and I have learned to control the spew that comes into my head and (originally) out my mouth. "Think before you speak." My mother always said. Little did I know how right she was.

I would say dumb ass things like "Do you still have curly hair?" to my friend who had straightened her hair.

Or "Wow! You've lost a ton of weight!" Ummm...thanks? Yeah...not always the brightest crayon in the box, but I meant well.

Like I said, I've learned to curb my voice. Say things in a manner that I get information I need without making a complete fool of myself or hurting anyone's feelings. Here, I don't always do that. Especially if I know the person doesn't even know this place exists. It's my dumping ground if you will. Most things come into my brain and linger there a while and continue on their merry little way, but recently, they've stuck there like gum to my shoe.

For example, my previous diatribe with the boyscout-carpooling-friend. She's baaaack! I have a friend visiting from up North for the week. We spent the morning with a teacher friend of mine figuring out a schedule for our kids. We are tutoring 6 kids including our own in 2nd grade curriculum. Basically to give some the catch up time they need and other's an introduction/head start kinda deal.

Anywho, we went over to my friends house to give her the dates. In the middle of my conversation, out of the blue she asks:


What are your plans tomorrow?
Ummm...(think fast) "I think we're going shopping why?"
"Well, Princess has allergy testing , and I would have to drop the Prince off at 7:30 a.m."
Oh gosh, I'm so sorry we're going to be gone most of the day.. and damn that's early!


Not "Would you mind watching him, he'll be bored out of his skull." No consideration for the fact that I had company AND as she continued on after my decline mentioned that she and her daughter were going out for luch after ward...she had NO INTENTION of coming back for her son! That would've put him at my house from 7:30 until 1 or 2 pm at the earliest! Not anywhere close to the 2-3 hour aforementioned time period!

I'm still reeling from this realization. I'm going shopping now.

So...what's your life like?

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I'm the kind of person who doesn't really tolerate laziness, stupidity (for those who know better) and plain rudeness. I don't get people who complain all the time about things they can control, or who have children that don't behave in public or expect the world to owe them something when they just sit around all day and do nothing to deserve it.

I have a friend. And she is still my friend because she does all of these things and really has no clue that she's doing it. Otherwise I'm just the biggest idiot when it comes to choosing people to have relationships/friendships with.

This week we were asked to carpool to boyscout camp. We agreed about 2 weeks before camp started that I would drive in the a.m. she would pick up in the p.m. 5 days of this. Camp is 1/2 hour from my house. K. No problem.

Thurs before camp starts there's a knock on my door. "So what's the plan for next week? Are you driving on Monday? Are you staying all day? I'd really like to go so can I just follow you? T's having some really Mommy separation things going on and he's really fragile right now. I'm just not sure how he's going to take the whole thing and I want to be there if he gets nervous."

Mmmmk....we talked about this maybe he's just a little uneasy being away at camp for 8 hours without mom...works for me.

"Well there's not sense in you driving too if we're both going. Why don't you just ride along with me and you can drive and pick up on Tues."

"Cool, thanks you're the best!"

Fast forward to Saturday and I get this email

Do you want to carpool on Monday to the day camp? Or at least, can I follow you, because I've never been there, and don't really know
where I'm going yet.

Ummm..hello? Did we not just have this conversation two days
ago?

Sunday night. I have a house full of dinner guests...Father's day...phone rings and the Hubs answers "Honey? Who's driving tomorrow? You or Jane?"

"Huh? What are you talking about? Driving where?" It couldn't possibly be Jane...It was. "Yes! Tell her I'll be there at 7:15..I'm dropping J-man#2 off at my mom's and we're supposed to be there early. 8a.m. to get shirts, hats, confirm registration etc." ACCCCKKK!!

Day #1. 6:15 a.m. (my alarm is set to go off at 6:30) The phone rings. Guess who?
"I checked the website last night and it says that camp runs from 9 to 3."
"Yawn...yes, but the letter says it's 8:30 -4. We are supposed to get there early to do paperwork stuff." Am I awake?
"What letter? I didn't get a letter?"

We spent the day traimpsing around the wilderness having a great day. Wait...rephrase...I did that...she spend the day hovering. Whatever.

Day #2 I ended up going back to the original plan of driving in the mornings and she picking up in the afternoon because someone whined at me on the way home saying she was sooooo tired and really wished she could sleep in....I should have SUCCCCKKKAAAA tatooed on me forehead.

End of the day..."T has been chosen for a the all-star team and he has one practice tomorrow night. It's really a long day for him so I'm going to pick up the boys around noon so T can get some rest."

Not..."Do you want me to get J-man too." or "Can we switch driving so you don't have to drive twice." or ANYTHING!!!!!

"Umm...no thanks. There's no reason for J-man to leave early, I'll just go get him."

Is this really happening?

All week things like this happened... did she mean it? No. Is she clueless? Yup. Selfish, mmm not so much. Oblivious? Yes.

Why am I friends with this woman? Good question.


My neighbor claims she's this way because she's not a stay at home Mom..never was...doesn't get the whole reciprocity-think-of-other-people thing.

I have no explanation.

Spoiled and Blonde...Yes, I'm Admitting It!

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Okay, so about 3 or 4 years ago I discovered this cool new invention called TiVo. An incredibly innovative device made just for mother's. I'm convinced of this. It not only allows you to record your favorite shows, like a VCR but it also enables you to pause live t.v. Great for being in the middle of watching something and the phone rings 10,000 times, some little person needs you do something or you just have to pee and don't want to miss anything.

I'm an avid t.v. watcher. I admit it. I have approximately 22 shows planned to record at various times and seasons programmed into this puppy and I sit down (usually for the first time during the day) after the kids are in bed and watch about 3 hours worth of shows in an hour and a half. How's that for commercialism? Beautiful! Wind down time for Mom and work time for Dad, puuuuurrrrfect!

Bloop...bloop...I click through the various listings and bloop.. bloop...I'm fast forwarding through the commercials (which are always louder than whatever it is you're watching..ever notice that?) bloop...bloop...deleted and more room for the next recording. What's that? Missed something? Bloop...bloop, rewind...watch it again. Great for sports fans! Your very own instant replay...

So I was driving down the road the other day...alone with my thoughts, jammin' to the classic rock tunes on the radio then the news comes on. News? I actually get to LISTEN to it due to the missing bodies in my back seat (minus children..not dead people). I was listening to some story..can't remember what it was about... and I missed part of it. I found myself unconsciously holding my invisible remote....

trying to rewind what was just said.....on the radio.

Yeah, blonde moment. Some days are just like that.

Summer Has Officially Begun

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Aside from the fact that I need to lose about 15 pounds!! The kids are already at each other's throats and saying they're bored. I spent the days with about 300 boyscouts at daycamp today. I learned all about BB guns and how to shoot them, how to save someone 100 pounds heavier than you from drowning using a back pack and a rope, that I am left eye dominant eventhough I'm right handed and that I am not the only overactive mother out there. It was a lot of fun and brought back memories.

I was a girl scout..way back when...we never got to do cool stuff like archery and BB gun shooting, but we did learn how to cook a full meal in a tin foil pouch stuffed in a bunch of coals and some boating techniques that actually came in pretty handy a few summers ago. We had been canoeing down the James River and came up on a rock just below the surface. Our boat hit it just right and flipped us over. We managed to upright ourselves after spending a few terrifying moments on the underside of the canoe breathing while being pulled down stream by the current into a pool about 100 yards away.
Back then we were still allowed to go camping with our class in school, then of course, someone had to go and put an eye out and that ended that.

I also learned that we are so spoiled by our airconditioned cars and homes. What a bunch of whiners I heard today...not in our group ;0) It reached about 90 today but there was a great breeze and we had swimming at the end of the day. Our guys were real troopers and drank lots of water. It made a big difference.

J-man is being a big man about the whole thing. I'm driving him and his buddy out tomorrow and dropping them off for the day and will continue 'til Friday. He's having a great time and spreading his wings a little more and more each day. I'm so proud of the boy he is growing into... he was actually GOOD today with me there! Usually we end up at each others throats within the first hour...he turns into a two year old and won't leave my side.

Okay I'm rambling. Long day. Glad to be back to normal ;0)

Nightmares Really Do Come True.

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Food for thought...

What's your worst fear? Has it changed since becoming a parent? Or living on your own?

When I was little, I always had dreams of being left in the car alone. Someone would hop in that was not my mother and force me to drive or the car would mysteriously start and then drive away with me. This of course, stemming frome the fact that I was anxious about not being in control seeing that I was 5 and couldn't drive yet. No, my mother never left me in the car alone, if she did I don't remember it, but regardless not the root of this particular fear.

As I grew older and finally learned to steer and how to make the big metal box on wheels go, I began to have other dreams and visions. For instance, driving head-on into a tractor trailer truck or telephone pole. What if I couldn't swerve out of someone else's way? Again, situations beyond my control and as I became a more experienced maniac..ummm...driver these fears again began to dissipate.

When I became a parent, my main worry was other people hitting me. If someone hit my in the side my youngest would be squashed, the other side my oldest or worse yet me and which then meant leaving two lovely boys without a mother. Nice huh?

Well my biggest, unfounded fear of late has been getting hit by a train. We cross two sets of railroad tracks on our way to work and school everyday. This means we cross them 4 times a day. Trains run right by the school and everyone has to yell "Train! Train!" each and every time it goes by. The engineer blares his horn leaving the kids squealing and jumping up and down.

As fate would have it, this fear was about to be tested. I pulled out of the parking lot of the church and turned left. While doing so, a utility truck of some sort pulled out in front of me from the opposite side of the street. He continued at a very slow pace, confusing at best...and stopped just on the other side of the tracks....as I was following behind him... and wouldn't you know it? I heard the dreaded sound you never want to hear when sitting on the railroad tracks with your children...the blare of the train whistle.

The lights started to flash the arms began to lower themselves and there I was, stuck behind this IDIOT. I turned to my left to see the train coming full speed in the distance and did what any freaked out woman driver would do...screamed and floored it!

Somehow by the grace of God, I managed to clear the truck in front of me by inches and not have the railroad arm come crashing down on my van. The kids had no clue what was happening til after it was all over.

J-man #2 then yelled "Train!"

Yeah, thanks hon.

Sorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry.....

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OOPS! I really planned on coming back ..I swear! Life just happened! So here I am...we'll spend the next couple of days catching up but right now I'm going to tell you about right now. I'm teaching a preschool camp called Out of This World!! It's a day camp themed around space...I'm finding my science roots again!! Can I just tell you all how much I LOVE my job????? And I'm good at it too!

In a nutshell I'll be teaching 5 day pre-K next year and my Director wants me to sliiiiiide into the role of lead teacher. I guess I did well this past year! I'm not one to do anything half-assed and I 'spose it paid off. The only problem is...I don't want to step on anyone's toes, nor make any enemies . The teacher that I wanted J-man #2 to have is extremely moody and has pretty much told me she wants to do her own thing next year. My director had said she's hoping I will pull everyone onto the same page...okay no pressure or anything!

I've decided to just let her put him where she feels he'll do best. Both of my boys have grown so much in just the past couple of months it's hard to believe it! J-man turned 7 in April and is going to be in second grade. J-man #2 will be 4 in August and is reading already. Which leads me into my present day issue that is completely ridiculous and unfounded but I can't help feeling like this.

I'll be 40 in a year and a 1/2. My best friend just turned 40. We went out for a girls night into D.C. And had a blast. We stayed out til 3 a.m. and had a family party the next day here. A high school friend and her husband just came back from Russia and adopting a little boy...scary story there, suffice it to say you're lucky to be living in America. Their little boy is the cutest thing...extremely underdeveloped and pale...but alert and healthy otherwise. The party ended with us watching a video from my friends 30th birthday. The next weekend was a blistful getaway to Berkeley Springs WV and my first pedicure ever! As I entered the spa looking for a workerbee to let them know I was there, I turned to face the largest woman (shemale) I had ever encountered! She stood 6'4" at the shortest and scared the bejeezus out of me...turned out to be a really nice woman...I was lookin' for the adam's apple folks...I swear it had to be a shemale...she had man hands for Pete sakes!! Sausage fingers...broad shoulders..no hips...very real boobies but no Adam's Apple...oh well to each his/her own right?

Great weekend in the woods..left at 12 noonish on Sunday while the rest of the gal pals went to the outlets in Hagarstown...cried the whole way home. Who knows why??? Maybe it's the gray hairs in my temples, or the crows feet around my eyes, or the c-section pooch that will never go away no matter how many sit-ups I do. Maybe it's that my babies are growing up so fast...who knows. I love my life my family and my state of being...I don't care about 40 in the real sense..it's just a number..you're as young as you feel. An emotional time of year I guess. I'll get over it.

The hubs is home for a while. I'm done with everything on Friday. I'll work backwards from here.

Missed you all!! Thanks for keeping in touch! It was a nice break but I need the outlet ;0)

Remember Me?

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HELLLLLLOOOOOO! Anybody home? Remember me? I used to live here? I'm alive and kickin'...lots to tell. I have one more thing to get through today and I'll be back for good. I'm helping one of the classes make a quilt for their teachers end of the year gift. A teacher who, by the way, hates me and I have to work with next year. Should be fun.

Be back soon!!

So Long For Now...

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Okay.... I've made up my mind to take a break. It's not good-bye forever, just for a couple of months until school's out. I'm finding I have way too much to accomplish in the next few weeks, months even and Spring sports are starting for both my boys, I just can't keep up. I'll be by to visit though and if you'd like me to let you know when I'm back shoot me your email and I'll drop you a note when I'm back in full swing. Have a fabulous Spring and I'll see you all soon!!

Peace.

Are We Still In High School?

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"I can't believe they cancelled on my birthday party just to go to hers." said H.
"Mine has been planned for over a month and S just wanted to steal everyone and be the best. I'm just sick about it."

"Well it's mostly just a girl's thing isn't it? We're doing manicures and pedicures and gettin' some good vino right?"

"Yeah, but S is doing a Pamper Yourself Party too...just to make me mad!"

"I think it'll be fun. Just us hangin' out, drinkin', smokin', and shootin' the sh*&. It's not about you H, it's her need to feel loved and wanted and all that crap."

"I just can't believe she would do this to ME! I can't wait for Karen's visit to be over just so I can get through it!"


THIS was a conversation I had today! Hello? How old are we? 14? 16? No, 38!! Oh my Lord! I am so over people like this. This is supposed to be a fun girl's night out and birthday party for our friend H. Apparently there's a lot of history ...blah...blah...blah....and this particular woman wants to have a party too...not come to ours with the same people. One is Saturday and one is Friday and the women that are having to choose can only get out one night that weekend.

Oy...I'm tired of talking about it already. I just couldn't believe I was actually having the conversation. Just thought I'd share.

~~~~~~~~

Can I just say how sick I am of seeing this?

The Verdict Is In...

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The decision has been made about our elementary school. The smaller school's teachers are staying where they are and vice versa. As of Fall of next year, we will be in our brand spankin' new school with the same teachers just all mixed up. The good news is that J-man #2 will be able to have #1 son's Kindergarten teacher. Yay! #1 son's teacher this year, who is absolutely fabulous, will now be teaching 4th grade, so the possibility of him getting him again is great. There will also be a male teacher teaching 5th grade. Again another phenomenal teacher. Of course with the Ying there is always a Yang. I will remain PTO President at least for the next year...BECAUSE this will ensure that the absolutely horrific 1st grade teacher some unfortunate students have had this year will be a 2nd rate 2nd grade teacher next year. This will not be my child's teacher if it means pulling him out and home schooling him. Now, to me, THAT would be torture so now you know the lengths to which I will go for my children.

That being said, my letter apparently got to the right people. As did a bunch of others, I'm sure, but we ended up with a full time librarian, full time Music teacher, full time Art and GT teacher (same person..2 halves make a whole!) and they've added 2 hours onto the P.E. position making it a part time postion as well. Yay! We will also have a Math Lab and a Computer Lab. Bringing us quickly into the 21st century. As our Principal said, "I asked for the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. I got the Sun and the Moon." and I replied, "And we'll reach for the Stars." It'll be a year or two of growing pains, certainly, but hopefully all will go well. Everyone seems really excited and with the prospect of the powers that be fixing our town's water (which is crap by the way...we have two house filters and a water softener and we still drink bottled water!) we should get some new neighborhoods in here. More houses mean more kids, and in this state that means more $ per student! Local politics are amazing. If people would just be honest and stop trying to make excuses....bleh.

I ended up with a Pre-K position in my preschool for next year so I will be working 5 days a week next year. I'm bummed only because this one day off a week is when I get all my errands run, doctor's visited and hair's cut. My house will be a wreck I'm sure of it! Or no one will ever be here and it'll stay clean....yeah right! I love my job though...even now so all is well.

I'm spending the day scrapbooking tomorrow, 9a.m-10a.m. One of my artsy hobbies that I have no time to do unless I lock myself away in a hotel somewhere for 12 hours and work. I haven't worked on anything since last month when I did the same thing.

In other news...I feel old...I just got an invitation to my 20 year High School Reunion in September...not sure how I feel about this one yet, but I'm going with a lot of people who feel the same way so how bad can it be? ;0)

Happy Weekend!

OOPS!

2:51 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I didn't even realize how long it's been since I've actually sat down to my computer to put thoughts other than work into it. I just haven't felt like it. By the time I get home, get some laundry or house stuff done, email checked, PTO stuff handled, #1 son is home from school with homework and dinner, scouts, base ball etc. The Hubs was gone for 2 weeks and with a sick kid it was hard to get everything done. Wah..wah I know but them's the facts!

We went to the zoo on Saturday and I would have to say in the 25+ years I've been going to the National Zoo this was the best trip ever!! The animals were ALL active and they had an interactive festival type thing going on where the kids could make wildlife journals, play with mud and trowels to build fake rocks and trees, touch animal skins and skulls. One nature center even brought fake poop to match up with animal skulls. I thought it was disgusting, but my son loved it! We spent almost an hour looking at tarantulas and looking at bugs under the microscope in Amazonia. He and his friend also asked some really great questions. I love 1st graders!! We were able to see the new baby panda Tai Shan and even the snakes were moving around. We swore they were all on remote controls.

Other than that, life is kinda blah. Just waiting for warmer weather and trying to lose these winter 10 by osmosis...think it'll work? More pensive thoughts to come. My, but they've been sporadic at best...who wants to listen to me apologize and whine? No one...don't blame you. I'm thinking about taking a hiatus til the end of the school year and starting fresh with the sunshine and warmth of VA Spring. Gnorm is supposed to come visit soon...hmmm. I'll let you know.

Peace.

Thirteen Reasons to Wonder ...

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..why the English language is so hard to learn. See if you can read them correctly the FIRST time through ;0)


1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.

I think I need to go back to school!!

Other Thirteeners I've read today.

Nat

Kelly

Denise



I"m a Victim!

2:28 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I have been in my house for 5 days straight!! It's been beautiful weather outside, but fevers and chills inside. Little man woke up FINALLY this morning with a normal temp. Just a virus apparently, but he was miserable. I, however, got more done in the past couple of days than I have in two months!! On Saturday I managed to get 16 people to hand me $10 for a coach gift as it was the last day of basketball season. Dad's are mostly here with their kids and just don't think of stuff like that I guess ;0) I cleaned my completely disgusting van out and vaccuumed it thoroughly. Now I just need to wash the carpets, but that can wait til Spring. Late Sat night the fever hit...we went to church and dropped J-man off at Sunday school and the headed to the Dr. Of course they didn't open until 12. So I called. "I'm sorry Maam, but the earliest we can see him is 5 p.m." Well, since 22 of the 89 kids at our school were out with Strep on Friday...we took what we could get.

I spent most of Sunday putting away Christmas..ahem...I mean "Winter" decorations and washing windows in the living room. I also vaccuumed out the fireplace and...ready for this? DUSTED! Yup...uh-huh..that's right...a not so well know fact..I don't dust. Oh well, okay. I dust a couple of times a year. I did it at Christmas and just the other day. ;0) Next time will probably when we have a pool party of some sort.

I washed windows inside and out. Pulled all the dead stuff out of my flower beds and cleaned them out. I also started a cross stitch! I now remember why I don't do cross stiching...I think I've ripped everything I've done at least once. Now I'm determined to finish....

Okay...so everything is all sparkly and clean. I even started to put away things that have been lying around because I haven't figured out what to do with them yet like my son's soon to be novella of papers that he brings home from school everyday, candy left over from Christmas that no one has eaten and a lovely little apple shaped dish with accompanying apple crisp kit. Pretty cool little present I received this Christmas when we had our cookie party. I just haven't hade the opportunity to make it yet...not really sure what I want to do with it...picked it up to stick it in my cabinet and noticed a very small, almost indicernible piece of tape with wrapping paper stuck to it.

I've been the victim of a re-gift!!! I was horrified! Shocked! Bewildered!

Okay not really. It made me chuckle a bit though. I actually really appreciated and liked the gift. Most re-gifts, to me at least, should be worth re-gifting. They are usually things that I wouldn't be embarrassed about giving someone, or that should end up in Salvation Army box or go back from whence they came. Now if it's something I just won't use...I'll be happy to find another home for it. I love giving stuff away anywho...especially at garage sales. It's fun to watch people buy stuff for "a steal". I like to think I have cool stuff...I just like to buy more cool stuff and so eventually some of it has to go.

So...do you re-gift? Would you ever tell someone you don't like or couldn't use something they gave to you? Are you telling the truth? ;0)

Little Man Logic

6:27 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
"Mom, we can't bring brownies in the car."

Why not?

Because they'll melt.

No, they won't.

Yes, they will.

Why do you think the brownies will melt?

Because....

Silence..

"They're made of chocolate..and chocolate melts when it gets hot so we can't take brownies in the car because chocolate melts in the car and the brownies will melt. SO...we have to make them at Ms. Maryann's house instead!"

Guess I can't argue with him there now can I?

Question

4:05 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
So am I the only one that doesn't let my child jump on other people's furniture? Run around Chuck E. Cheese and steal other kid's token's or pizza?
Who pays attention to where my child and other children who are with me are? Who tells my kid it's not okay to take things that don't belong to you?
Who thinks that picking your nose in public is completely gross and disgusting?
Who makes my kids wash their hands before eating and after going to the bathroom?
Who doesn't give my children everything they ask for?
Who limits tv watching and encourages reading or playing a game together? Who doesn't let my child speak for me by calling a neighbor and asking if they can spend the night or if I can babysit them?
Who actually misses my husband when he's gone for an extended period of time and realizes that the kids will act differently for the same reasons?
Who worries why a 3 year old little girl is wandering around Walmart by herself?
Who thinks that leaving your toys in the middle of the road and in other people's yards is rude?
Who thinks their dog should be trained to stay in my own yard or put up a fence to keep them there. NOT to let them wander the neighborhood where they can get hurt or hurt someone else?
Who wants my business to stay my business unless I choose to share it and if I do share it and ask you not to...I expect you to do as you say and NOT SHARE IT????

I'm just wondering...am I the only one?

2:08 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

Thirteen Reasons I haven't written anything since last Thursday.

1. Last Friday I spent the day at the zoo (original reason was to go pick up a Wildlife Explorer kit for the 1st grade) with a friend and my youngest kidlet.

2. Ended up buying a new car on the way home.

3. We picked it up Friday evening.

4. Saturday we went to show the parental units our new car and invited ourselves to lunch...we also celebrated Grandpa's birthday...left with enough time to make brownies to take ...

5. ...to a friend's house for dinner and to play Dominos and didn't get home til almost 2 a.m.

6. Spent Sunday a.m at church then came home and took a nap and planned for this week at school and spent time with the hubs as he is out of town for the next two weeks.

7. Got up Monday a.m. and went to work and the kids, mine, theirs and everyone's were crazy insane!! Completely not connected and not listening.

8. I'm PMSing...this is not a good week for this state of mind.

9. Had PTO meeting Monday evening that I had to plan for Monday afternoon but couldn't right away because...

10. I had to find another babysitter for my kids. My neighbor backed out at the last minute because her son had strep. Of course, I didn't know this until I called Monday afternoon when I got home from work and saw her van in the driveway and was curious as to why she was home so early..."Oh we've been home all day, T had a Dr.'s appointment this a.m and we were all tested for Strep. He's the only one who tested positive." I said, "So, you won't be able to watch my kids then, obviously." "Oh, no. That won't work. Sorry."

Umm....hello? When exactly were you going to tell me???? ARRRGGGHHH!!

11. I got another neighbor to watch them but Little Man ended up having a meltdown before we went over there. I ran home so he wouldn't see me. I wrote my agenda on a school computer at 6:15. The meeting started at 6:30.

12. I spent the whole meeting listening to the Principal not answer and defensively convince everyone that the school WILL be done next year, we WILL have a great staff and she WILL fight for the best teachers. I know she's lying and I'm scared to death of what's going to happen to my child's education. Thank God I'm a teacher. Positive.Positive. Positive. That's my thought process right now.

13. Yesterday all the children in the world were on crack because they were completely crazy, nuts, wacky, weird and whatever other freaked out word you can think to describe children who are disconnected, wired and spacey. Needless to say...I was just plain tired and vegged in front of the tv.

See you Friday...really!!

Bittersweet

5:30 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Wow. What a beautiful time we had. My nephew looked fabulous and couldn't have been more calm and happy. It almost made us forget he has to leave again. We spent most of Sat and Sunday hanging out at my SIL's house talking to my nephew and his experiences over seas. Some pretty scary stuff I must say. We all know that bad things happen, bombs are planted everywhere, ambushes happen everyday at all hours and there is no such thing as "friendly fire", but we have a tendency to put it all into this little box called Surrealism. Hearing about it first hand, well, let's just say, I spent most of my pretending it was someone else. I held it together through this ...the picture to the right is my sister in law who cried the entire time...see the rather large white circle over her head? Well for those of you that believe in loved ones coming back to visit, they supposedly show up in the form of orbs in photos. This one could possible be my Mother in law who passed about two years ago. This picture was taken right after she told my husband the reason they picked Amazing Grace for the Parent Entrance Song was because it was the first song she (my MIL) ever taught my nephew. I have two more pictures just like this in succession and the orb is not there. Here are a few more pictures where they are there but have moved...I also have two photos from other angles from another camera and the orbs are there as well. Believe it or not...it was a very special moment.

I also made it through this moment with no tears shed..it was a small, candlelit, black and white wedding. Simple and beautiful. My brother-in-law is Assistant Pastor at this church and said the blessing at the end...he broke down and the Pastor had to jump in and finish. I managed not to cry here either. Not like me, I know, but there ya go.

It wasn't until we got here to the West Manor House in Forest, VA, an old southern plantation home from the early 1800's, that I lost it. We met the owner who had bought the house and it's 1900 acres with her husband back in 1978. The have recently built another house further back on the property and now use the Manor as a Bed and Breakfast. She said they had little privacy and with 5 children, it became a real issue. The house was absolutely gorgeous inside and out as were the lands that surrounded it. We got there early and we were able to tour the entire house. The ballroom had been added onto the back of the house to accompany large parties and this is where the wedding party was finally introduced. It was here that the bride's father asked us all to bow our heads in prayer before the meal. It was here that he began to speak of the bravery his new son in law possessed that enabled us all to be here this evening. That he put himself in harm's way everyday so that we have the freedom for these indulgences and witnessings. It was here the tears began to flow. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. You never saw so much pride beaming from a parent as I saw at that very moment. We are truly blessed to have such a beautiful and caring addition to our family.

After that we ate, enjoyed our freinds and family and decided to drive the 3 1/2 hours home to sleep in our own beds. We all took the next day off, nursed the colds J-man and I caught somewhere along the way and prayed that our soldier will make it through the next 7 months in Iraq and will return to us safely to enjoy his new life, new bride and new home.

Out to Lunch...til Wed.

5:26 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Remember this? Well he's back and getting married on Monday! Then off to Iraq again for another 7 months. Bittersweet, but we'll enjoy our time together while we can. Til Wed then...;0)

More Potty Talk...

5:04 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
All household's have rules. So, what say you about this conversation I overheard from the living room?

"Dad." Dance...dance...cross the legs.

"Yes buddy." more dancing..

"If it's an emergency and I don't think I'm going to make it ...then can I run to the bathroom?"

Bursts of laughter erupt from the other room along with

"Yes! Yes! My gosh! Hurry up son!"

"Thanks!"

Me thinks rules are made to be broken!

The Secret to Girl Scout Cookies

4:09 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I figured it out...Girl Scout cookies are laced with cocaine. That's why they are so addicting!! I polished of my first box of Tagalongs in 0.4 seconds. 3 boxes to go and counting....

Can You Guess?

3:39 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
If I had to name my number one pet peeve it would have to be presentation of the English language to the public. This means if you are writing an email to a group of people, writing a letter in a professional situation (i.e. to a group of parents, people in high places or just for the general public), speaking to a group, involved in the media or public place, or just trying to make a point to someone you need to speak/write clearly, correctly and succinctly. Please use spell check and capital letters at the beginning of sentences. Do not end your sentences with a preposition; do not use "ummm" as a transition and for the love of God, please know and use the proper forms of the verb "to come". It is "I came" and "he/she comes" not "I come" and "people's is".

This is not to say I don't get West Virginians or them lovely's from the south. Regional vernacular is completely understandable and acceptable. My husband slides right back into his hillbilly ways whenever he goes home or visits with his family. However, knowledge is power people. We are viewed by judgement of others. If you speak in such a manner that others cannot understand you or "think" you sound like you don't know what you're talkining about...well enough said.

The following are some examples of what I'm talking about. See if you can correctly place each person with their writing sample.


1) I am doing 10 10 10 read-a-thon $10, 10 people,10 days. My gole is 300
minits and 1/2 of the money goes to buy books for our new library and the
other half I get to choose books from the USBORNE catalog for my selph.
Wood you like to sponser me?

2) i have not recieved a response e-mail about the meeting i went to. I am really sorry that this boiled down to such aggrevation on my part..but..
I really need to hash this thru with you. so that we can go on thru the year doing what is suppose to be done for the good of the children and school...

3) miami fla jan `15 26
dear wife and kidese i am at miami to night and I wood love for you aLL to bee near with me if you wore hear i thank we wood spend the rest of our days hear the sun is nice and worm down hear and the purtes pLace in the worLd i wase down on the das to day and saw the steam ships come in to the harbers i dont know how meany thar wose of tham a bout too hunderd of tham well i dont gess i wiLL b hear Longer than tomoro ia am going over miami beach tomoro to se the atLac oshan so i wiLL hav sompthing to teLL you when i come home the miami Lakes in a bout 3 miLes wide so i dont amagen i wiLL b abLe to see a cross the atLac but but i am going to Look as for as i can any way
weLL i gess i had beter cLose for this time i guess i wiLL start torg home tomoro i am getting home sik i dont find any pLace Like home no whare i hav bin i thank i wiLL stop aff at winter park a bout one day i onLy hope this wiLL find you aLL weLL i am feeLing gOOd down hear bretheing this salt water it has bin affLe hot to day thes pepLe down hear dont war any hats nor not veary meany close weLL it is geting a bout time for me to retear for the night but it is going to b veary worm to sLeep tonight good by teLL i see you a gane

4)I finally received my diploma. Check out the surprise on my diploma. I was surprised. Click on the picture of the diploma to see it larger.

I also enclosed a picture of the cross I purchased with the money you gave me. It is a cross I have been wanting for a long time. It is good quality so i can were 24/7 and don't have to worry about it chipping or pealing. The picture is not that great. The Jesus part is silver and the the cross part is gold. Thank you soooo much for everything ;-)

Okay...now the guessing comes in. Here are your choice to match to samples 1-4.

A. My six year old son
B. My husband's grandfather who received no formal education
C. My 25 year old cousin who just graduation (finally) Cum Laude from a Connecticut University
D. A fellow PTO board member

Pretty easy guessing I'm sure,but do you see my point?


***Disclaimer***This is in no way related to my fellow bloggers. This a personal space to write when, if and how you choose. That is not of relevance to this post ;0) Spell or mispell away my friends!!

Blah...

11:12 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Ever have one of those days? Well, I seem to be having one of those weeks. I have a ton to do, the hubs birthday is tomorrow and he wants to go tubing. We had our own Olympic games at school yesterday and I'm. just. tired. It was 68 degrees here yesterday!!! Remember the foot of snow we got on Saturday? This weather reeks havoc on my head and I get what I call eyeball headaches...they start right behind my right eye and go straight back into my brain. I don't want to read, write, clean, do projects or even watch tv. I'm just blah...I need the sun to come out and stay out so I can get something done!! My creativity is at a standstill...I feel like I have nothing interesting to say.

So...there you have it. Have a great weekend!

Things That Stick

1:53 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
No I'm not talking about glue or gum or wet noodles to the ceiling. I'm talking about phrases or conversation memories or that little voice in your head. Yes, I'm hearing voices all the time. The one of my mother that floats through when I'm trying to get a project finished...just get it done quickly...making mucho mistakes along the way..."Fast is not good." she would say every time I rushed through my homework, or a chore so I could go do what I wanted to do. This usually lead to doing said activity over again which, therefore, made it longer. Same thing when I am pulled over by the police...there's a reason every ticket I've ever gotten had the "reckless driving" label printed across it. Yeah.

Then there's the time someone will say "Cracker". Anyone, big one's, little one's no matter who says it I have this overwhelming desire to say "Crackity ass cracker" from the voice now in my head that belongs to my dear friend Lydia. Picture this: I'm in a room full of 4 year olds and one of them says "I love crackers!"...yeah...talk about stifling.

My roommate in college walked out of the bathroom one afternoon and said "There's nothing better than a good dump...not even sex."

I'm not even going to go there. Yes, it was a woman.

A very drunk me at my bachelorette part yells at my sister after having revisited most of the jello shooters and lemon drops I had drank throughout the evening "Your mom is going to be so mad at me when you get home!"

Or the "She's the woman with the big feet." when I look at a picture of my mother in law.

Or "Goodbye...I don't love you anymore" when the first Spring breeze blows through.

Or the "Will you marry me?" when the scent of ocean air hits my face.

Or the "Mommy your beautiful." everytime I look at my sleeping boy's face.


What sticks to you?

Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland

9:31 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
As we sat here Saturday evening eating dinner, my kids wanted to listen to Christmas music. And rightfully so, the snow was coming down in big wet flakes and sticking to everything...we woke up to this wonderful whiteness on Sunday morning.


We went sledding at the middle school
which has some huge hills behind it
and a couple of the kids caught
some serious air!

Of course, they want to go back today because there is no school...we'll see. Everyone and their mother will be there today I'm sure and it'll be icy.

My internet is fixed, so I can really catch up now and do all the planning I was supposed to this weekend. There are so many other things I want to do today and I just can't seem to get anything started!! I am so NOT productive in the winter. Seems like it would be a good time to clean the basement or work on scrapbooks or paint my living room. Bleh...I find myself sitting here staring out the window at the brilliance of the snow. We got about a foot. The first and only real snow this winter.

I don't know... afraid I might miss something, I guess;0)

Last one of my street...for Momma K's game today.

Potty Talk

4:03 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
'Mom!"

"Yes?"

"C'mere quick!"

"What is it?"

"You have to see this!"

Of course, I get up, proceed to the hallway to find J-man #2 in the bathroom.

"Look at this big GINORMOUS POOP!! How'd it get that big? I just eat a little bit."

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

I'm not going to post this weekend. I plan to be snowed in and catching up with everyone! Wish me luck!

Quick before it goes again!

5:15 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Our internet service has been quite sketchy the past few days. I have had no outgoing phone line since Saturday. The Voice Over IP people only work M-Sat and the hubs left for Noth "Freezing" Dakota on Mon at 6 a.m. for a week. Bleh.

Anywho...just a quick note since I seem to have service at the moment and a few minutes of time. My hard work has not been in vain as I have had close to 20 people request me as their child's teacher next year. This puts my exhaustion in a happy place. Dark days need to make some room for sunshine..I'm gettin' my Spring cleaning bug early and I can't clean on rainy snowy days. Those days are meant for hot beverage drinks and good books and warm blankets.

I've spent the past to afternoons at the library with my boys reading to them, listening to some Black History Month presentations (John Henry always melts my heart) and checking out the latest best sellers for myself. It's a small town, hence a small library, but they always seem to have just the right thing and just the right time.

We're also trying out a book club group thing at school and trying to decide what to read. The problem is I've read most of the choices and wouldn't mind reading them again, but I 'spose that defeats the purpose.

A few of these selections include, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Davinci Code, A Kite Runner, Time Travelers Wife and a couple of others I can't remember.

A Million Little Pieces was one I heard some controversy about and thought might be interesting...any other suggestions?

I will continue with my year in review when I get the energy..I think it might be easier to read a little at a time anyway.

I spent the day Saturday doing J-man's scrapbook. First one I've done for myself. 15 hours sitting at the Holiday Inn it was great! I signed up to do it again in March. Hey, maybe that could be one of my New Year's resolutions... it's still the beginning of the year right?

My congrats to Ms. Angie who should be having her baby as we speak and Mrs. Mogul who had hers a couple of days ago! My thoughts are with you!

And my prayers go out to my friend Michelle who is off to MI tomorrow to help her mom through a mastectomy on Friday. I wish you strength and peace my friend.

Peace for now.

What would you think...

9:12 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
if you walked out behind two teenagers in the the grocery store carrying nothing but a can of Rediwhip?

11:09 AM Edit This 0 Comments »

It almost passed me by!!! Happy Blogiversary to me ;0) It's been a tumultuous year full of ups and downs, but I'm very thankful for all the wonderful friends I've met along the way.

A big sloppy kiss to my Fairy Blogmother Momma K for introducing me to this addictive virtual version of reality. She is a blaghing goddess! She has the chair shaped butt to prove it! (ooo...did I say that out loud?)

I have highlighted some of my favorites throughout the year...please don't feel obligated to read everything as this is really for me to continuously say "Did I really write this? What was I thinking?" HOWEVER, if you are so inclined to peruse the artifacts, feel free to leave some love as I had switched to Haloscan and it erased all my previous comments! Really...I swear.

So, without further adieu, I bring you my year in review. Mmwah!!

February 2005 brought an introduction to blogging and finding my niche. I have linked you to the whole month because it's mostly pictures of the mural I painted ;0)

March lead me to Michele, begging for comments (I was truly addicted by then), and my one post about my conflict with growing up Catholic. It was also the source for my first online friendship (love ya Bari!)

April was the first time I ever wrote a poem for my 1st born. Turned out pretty good too ! I also made the amazing discovery

NOOOOOOO!!!! The power just went out and ATE MY POST!!! I was doing a quick save so I wouldn't lose it and the power came back on....AAAAAAHH! I was almost finished...all that work! Okay...I will finish later. Sorry...I'll be back ... this is not going to be a good day...pppfffff.

13 Recipes with....SPAM!!

5:46 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

The last edition of the Thirteen Things crashing about Millersville today.




I've just recently noticed a recipe bar at the top of my gmail box. Apparently, it picks up on certain words and pulls out recipes accordingly. Last Thursday, Collen wrote about SPAM. So I give you 13 delectable recipes using SPAM....YUMMMMMMMM!!! Parts is parts, my friends. (silent retching occurring on this end) No, I'm not kidding.

1. FRENCH FRY SPAM CASSEROLE Yield: 8 servings
1 pk Frozen french fry potatoes, -thawed (20 oz)
2 c Shredded Cheddar cheese
2 c Sour cream
1 cn Condensed cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz)
1 cn SPAM Luncheon Meat, cubed (12 oz)
1/2 c Chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c Chopped green onion
1/2 c Finely crushed corn flakes
Heat oven to 350'F. In large bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, sour cream, and soup. Stir in SPAM, bell pepper, and green onion. Spoon into 13x9" baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed flakes. Bake 30-40 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

2. Coconut Beer Batter Spam with Raspberry Horse Yield: 4 Servings
2 3/4 c Flour
2 tb Oil
2 Eggs
3/4 c Cold water
2 c Beer, flat
3/4 ts Salt
Dash pepper
1 1/2 ts Garlic powder
12 oz (1 can) Spam or Spam Lite
2 c Shredded coconut
RASPBERRY SAUCE: 1 c Raspberry sauce or jelly 3 tb Horseradish sauce Open beer and leave at room temperature over night. Chill beer and then add water, oil and eggs. Mix just enough to break the egg yokes. In separate bowl, mix flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add to liquid ingredients, while stirring slowly. Add coconut and stir slowly. Prepare deep fryer as directed by manufacturer. When oil is ready, dip one inch wide strips of Spam in beer batter and deep fry until they float to the surface. To make raspberry sauce, combine raspberry syrup or jelly with horseradish sauce in small bowl.

3. SAVORY SPAM CRESCENTS Serving Size : 16
10 sl Bacon, cut in small pieces
1/4 c Finely chopped onion
1 cn SPAM Luncheon Meat, cubed
12 oz 1 Egg, beaten
3 tb Grated Parmesan cheese
2 tb Chopped fresh parsley
2 tb Dijon-style mustard
1/8 t Pepper
2 pk Refrigerated crescent roll dough (8 oz)

Heat oven to 375'F. In skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients except crescent roll dough. Separate each package of crescent dough into 8 triangles. Spread top half of each triangle with SPAM mixture; roll up. Place on baking sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

4. Okay if you're really interested in more recipes go here and get recipes 4-13 ;0)

Links to my loverly Thursday visitors!
1. Courtney

2. Kelly

3.Uisce


The Things They Come Up With..

3:55 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
I was at the Starbucks in our local grocery store the other day with J-man. He'd endured our weekly shopping trip on the brink of starvation so I promised him something to eat and a hot chocolate. I asked him to go find us a seat and I would meet him there once I picked up our order. When I found him, he had chosen a seat at the bar table with those really high stools. He had his hair spiked and looked all grown up reading the newspaper some other patron had left behind. I pulled up the seat next to him and we started to eat.

A few minutes later we heard "Conceited?! I can't believe you just called me conceited!!!" then "Hey John! This girl just called me conceited can you believe that??" This continuted for the next five minutes or so...the boy being an obnoxious teenager (he turned out to be a worker bee on break) saying other things like "Dude I'm going to throw this jar for the poor at your head." and " Man, I can't believe she called me conceited!" flirting with this girl and showing off, not really caring who was around to hear it.

People began to turn and look. Throwing disgusted looks his way. The girl was obviously embarrassed, sucked down the rest of her lunch and went back to work. I looked at J-man all prepared to give him some motherly talk that included some semblance of "If I ever see you acting like that you'll be grounded for a million years" or " That was completely inappropriate behavior" when he stopped me in my tracks by sighing heavily, shaking his head and saying

"Freshmen."

Okay Happy? Not So Much..

7:40 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Okay...so I'm bored hearing myself talk about all this school crap as I'm sure you were reading it...I decided not to bore you with the letter. BUT if you so choose to read it, it was a good one and you can find it here. For the summation of said letter, suffice it to say, I wrote it..it got to the right people at the right time and for the life of me I can't figure out why I'm so passionate about this. This is not the end, but right now I have to concentrate on planning and school and this takes a lot out of me.

Education. My passion is Education. Of me, of my kids, of your kids. I will never "get over it". It's who I am. Could I have made more of a difference if I had taken the committee position? Maybe. Have I always wanted my kids to go to an ethnically diverse school with a melting pot of nationalities, abilities, strengths and weaknesses ? Yes. All of this is happening for a reason and I know I've done everything I possibly could at this point to make sure that the right people know what is going on.

Will I move? Maybe. Depends on how the next year goes. Will I home school? Never. As a matter of fact I plan to move into the Pre-K class room next year as will Little Man and I don't even want him in my class. To me the parent/child and the teacher/student relationships are very different. I don't have the patience nor the discipline to homeschool. I admire those who do...you are stronger people than I .

I do and will spend a lot of time on my knees praying that I will progress in the right direction for all of these things though. Sometimes you just have to give it up, ya know?'

Thanks for the ear. Peace

Karma or Dharma? Part II...

10:15 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Okay...so you have the history. We are now at the beginning of this school year. I am PTO President, have started a new job, have two children in school instead of one and the Hubs has started his new job with lots o' travelling involved. Way to jump in with both feet right?

My responsibilities include being a liason between the parents and the Administration, bringing enrichment programs into the school, such as SOL (Standards of Learning) based shows like The Maryland Science Center or Barefoot Puppets or Touched By the Sea. We also use the money to purchase educational materials for our kids like The Handwriting Without Tears Series. Not such a big deal right?

Right...for the most part. The exception, of course, had to come this year with the turmoil of combining two schools then separating them again. When it came time to decide which kids would go to what school, the County needed a committee to help make these initial decisions and lay the ground work for the coming year. Who was the first person my principal called?

Me. "Will this take a lot of time?" I asked. "Yes. Evening's mostly." she responded.

Did I accept? Nope. Should I have? Hmmmmm....There inlies the Dharma.

My neighbor, did however, accept what turned out to be a very pivital role in our community.

In a nutshell, our county is longer than it is wide. The Northern end has all of the (what I like to call) the "old money horse farms" in it, a lot of single homes with acreage (the ding-dang woods) with a few neighborhoods dispersed throughout with lots an acre or bigger (this is where I live). The first in this list, generally send their children to the private schools in the area. They usually take no interest in the public school system and usually abstain or vote "No" on the Bonds and Referendum's that would benefit our schools ( and yes, I have asked at least 5 families..who have either agreed or know of those who feel this way). What does this mean for us? No money.

The Central part of the County contains the most families. It's what I call Suburbia. Neighborhoods with houses on a 1/2 acre or less surrounding one town. This is where our High school is located and currently operating at 203% capacity (do we need a new highschool? Me thinks YES!!) This is also where the ONLY SCHOOL IN THE COUNTY holds our special needs population. They have 5 elementary schools, all of which are overcrowded or on the verge of being so.
The Southern end of the County is holding it's own as of now, as they have their own highschool and are slow growing.

The charge of the committee was to alleviate some the overcrowding in the Central Schools and fill up the Northern Schools, leaving all with room for growth. Sound easy? Ha! The Central Schools opted for trailers...all will be opening at 98% capacity or higher!

That leaves us at 70% and 72% capacity...again, no money. Money comes from this state based on per child basis. And this is what made me so angry a week or so ago.

We will be opening up next year, bare bones and under staffed. I had a conversation with the Principal at the height of my emotional state...probably not the best idea...but I was nice.

I started firing questions...and I got a lot of "should's" and "hopefully's". When she told me her staffing requests were turned down her exacts words were "I couldn't talk to anyone for 3 days because I was so upset."

THREE DAYS??? Three days that parents could've been contacting our county chairman, writing letters to the Superintendent, and/or making phone calls. As it stood now, I had Friday, Sat and Sun to calm down because Monday I was writing a letter to our county representative on the School Board seeing as how Tuesday he was presenting our budget requests for next year to the Board of Supervisors.

Some of the major issues...We currently have 5 Kindergarden classes and 6 1st grade classes. The K classes have between 21 and 25 children in them with 2 teachers (an aide and a teacher) when those kids move to 1st grade that 6th class alleviates the numbers leaving each class between 14 and 19 children. When we move into the new school...we will have 2 classes of each grade level. Worst case scenario 25-30 student capacity in the K classes..what happens when they move to 1st grade? Same numbers minus a second teacher. Not good.

*Our "town" has a high percentage of ESL and low income families, they will ALL be at our school now because of the redistricting decisions (here's where the Karma comes in..explanation to follow in a later post;0). This means, more paperwork for things like free and reduced lunch and simple clothing needs. Every ESL student needs an IEP (Individualized Education Program) which requires Principal involvements at the parent meetings (also we only have a part time Special Education Teacher to service not only these students but also the other students with learning and emotional disabilities) and time involved for an already overworked principal. We do not have enough students to justify an Assitant Principal ( the magic number is 300 we will have 230 with a projected 290 in the next 2-5 years IF the new developement goes in in town IF the water problem gets fixed..if ..if...if...!!!. ) So the Secretary ends up doing a lot of the paperwork, she is also answering the phones, dealing with general office stuff and disciplining children who are "sent to the Principal's office" for whatever reason, but she can't be there because she's doing the work of 10 people. Often the school nurse is answering the phone, doing lunch duty or covering other "duties" of our Secretary.

Okay off my soapbox now...more condensed version of issues in my letter to the District Chairman.

*Breathe*

Tomorrow" The Letter "and the results of one voice ;0)

Part 2 Will Come on Friday...

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The latest Thirteen Things crashing about in J&J's Mom's head today.




Okay, so it's not over til it's over...the torch has been passed along for the TT so I will carry on. I'll post more about the school stuff tomorrow,as I ran out of time last night..Sorry! Instead I'm going to do a normal...disjointed...unrelated thirteen.

1. When we first got married, we purchased a really beautiful sleigh bed with the intention of adding a new piece to the set every six months to a year...after the first year...they discontinued the set.

2. We used our guest room furniture until we moved into this house (almost 5 years ago...we were married in 1994). We got rid of it because we were tired of the "ecclectic look". We intended to buy a new set.

3. We fixed our pool instead. We'll buy a new set next year.

4. We put siding on our house instead. We'll buy a new set next year.

5. We replaced all of our windows in the house with new Argon filled ones (29 of them) and fixed the pool....again, instead. We'll buy a new set next year.

6. We borrowed my roomates dresser and night stands (really nice SCAN furniture) until she wanted to move out and take it with her. She moved 3 years ago..we still have it. We'll replace it when we buy a new set...next year.

7. We put in a brand new $1500 front door that we bought for $75 instead.

8. The door frame was rotten so we had to replace it...it was rotten into the foundation of the house and we couldn't get to it without taking out the front stoop. We'll buy a new set next year.

9. We replaced the front walkway and stoop instead. We'll get an new set next year.

10. Last summer we fixed the pool for real and hopefully for the last time. WE WILL GET A NEW SET NEXT YEAR!!

11.For Christmas, my wonderful better half decided to give the gift of time and agreed to finish the entire first floor complete with archways and new flooring.

12. New Year's Day, said Hubby decided to clean the basement and get rid of the furniture left by our former roommate...he found a nice, single friend to give it to...only problem...she needed the dresser...as of last weekend I was left with a bed and a book shelf in our room.

13. Two weekends ago we went to look at the Heart Pine flooring I want...$12.95 per square foot! Yikes! On our way home I decided it was going to take a while to get the walls prepped and painted, archways built and time to put in the flooring...we took a detour at what seemed to be the perfect moment AND

....spent our flooring money .....

....11 years later, on a....

...you guessed it... NEW BEDROOM SET!!! Yay me!! The first set I've ever owned! And here it is ;0) The bed's made, but our "stuff" hasn't been moved back in. The mirror still needs to be attatched and pictures put back on the walls, but that's it. Yes, our room is purple, carpet and all...I think the Hubs is color blind ;0)

Other Thursday Thirteens Visits and Visitors!

  1. Uisce
  2. Better Safe
  3. Loose Leaf Notes
  4. Mama B
  5. Wendy Wings


Karma or Dharma? Part 1..A History Lesson

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I'm so mad I could puke. Here's the short of the long story. When we moved here (4 years ago) our elementary school's were a small K-1 and a larger 2-5. I loved this idea...individual attention, small town environment with a county funded education. Great!

Great until they decided that the building the k-1 was housed in was/should be/will be condemned. The toilets constantly backed up and overflowed into the school because of the water situation, the foundation was separating from the building, the school had no central air and limited heat that constantly broke down and forced early or daily school closings, and the roof leaked. To name a few. It came down to fix it or close.

In 2000, about a year before we moved here, the citizens of this community, voiced strong support for keeping the school open. An alternate water source was found, thanks to a local benefactor, who purchased five acres of land contiguous to the school with a working well; they offered an easement to that water as long as the building is operated as a public school. Following further study the School Board voted in April 2001 to renovate our school and reconfigure it to a kindergarten through fifth-grade school.

Renovations were scheduled to begin in 2004, but a significant increase in estimated cost placed the school's future on the discussion table again ( this is where I came in...my son, then, in Kindergarten, now 1st grade) Due to health and safety concerns specifically related to the water system, students and staff were temporarily housed at the current 2-5 school for school years 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. (Our current status)

From June to September 2004 the community (specifically this older group "Friend's of Our School" former students and teachers of said school back in the mid-late 60's) fervently expressed their desire to preserve the school as a neighborhood school and as a part of the African American heritage in the Northern part of the county and urged the School Board to renovate the school and open it as a kindergarten through fifth-grade school .

Finally, the County agreed to do something about it. This local group fought tooth and nail to keep the school open as a school and not an administration building or tear it down and build a new one. This was ONLY a fight based on the historical fact this was the only school left standing in the state that first opened its doors to the African American students in 1963, replacing a number of dated and smaller community schools throughout the area. In 1969, when schools in our county were integrated, the school opened its doors to children of all races. This group wanted to preserve the history of the building, as it should, and keep the school open. Done.

Now that renovations are due to be completed next Fall, we are struggling with where to put the kids, where to put the teachers and where the $ is going to come from to pay for all the programming that will bring our newly renovated school into the present and up to par with the others in the county.

And that my friends, will be tomorrow's addition.

Okay...if you've made it this far...thanks. Til tomorrow then.

3:16 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
This was too funny not to share...although lots of toilet humor involved...more serious stuff tomorrow. It can wait and I need to cool down ;0) Happy Monday...

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Another Little Guy-ism...

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"One porkypind went into another porkypind and one came out. He touched him and said "friend-friend".

Translation: One porcupine said to the other porcupine..."Friends?" "Friends."

Guess you had to be there ;0)

Today...

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...my little guy is sick. His brains are running out of every oraface on his face. He looks like Wolverine tried to attack him from the 3 huge scratches that run under his left ear but he still makes me laugh and is so darn cute I can't stop watching him. This was our conversation last night.

"But I don't like to sleep by myself."
"Honey, you're sick. You don't want to give your cold to J-man do you?"
"But I don't want to sleep by myself. Will you sleep with me?"
"For a little while.."
"Not with Daddy?"
"No. I'm going to sleep with Daddy in our bed."
"Can I sleep with you and Daddy?"
"No, sweetie, you're sick remember?"
"No I'm not. I went to the Dr. and he's said I'm awesome! I'm not sick anymore. No boogers are coming out of my nose. They all went back in."

*stiffled giggle*

"Really? Well, Mommy thinks you need one more night of you sleeping in your own bed just to be safe. Plus, you have all your friends here to keep you company tonight..Santa Bear, Froggie, Bunny, Melanie Bear, Pat the Patrol truck, Blanky, Thomas Blanky...etc."

"Yeah but none of those are talking friends!"



Thursday 13- Last Edition

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The last edition of the Thirteen Things crashing about Millersville today.


Well, since I've already written it..I'm putting it out there. The TT has grown into a MONSTER ;0) This will be the end...Leanne is passing on the torch for anyone who would like to take over. I'll continue to visit though...I've made a lot of new friends this way!! THANKS LEANNE! It's been a great ride!


1.What do you call a smart blonde?
A golden retriever.

2. What do attorneys use for birth control?
Their personalities.

3. What's the difference between a girlfriend and wife?
45 lbs.

4. What's the difference between a boyfriend and husband?
45 minutes.

5. What's the fastest way to a man's heart?
Through his chest with a sharp knife.

6. Why is it so hard for women to find men that are sensitive, caring, and good-looking?
Because those men already have boyfriends.

7. A brunette, a blonde, and a redhead are all in third grade. Who has the biggest boobs?
The blonde, because she's 18.

8. What's the difference between a porcupine and BMW?
A porcupine has the pricks on the outside.

9. Why do men find it difficult to make eye contact?
Breasts don't have eyes.

10. Did you hear about the dyslexic Rabbi?
He walks around saying "Yo."

11. Why do drivers' education classes in Redneck schools use the car only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays?
Because on Tuesday and Thursday, the Sex Ed class uses it.

12. What does it mean when the flag at the Post Office is flying at half-mast?They're hiring.

13. How do you get a sweet little 80-year-old lady to say the F... word?
Get another sweet little 80-year-old lady to yell *BINGO*!

Bonus: What's the difference between a northern fairytale and a southern fairytale? A Northern fairytale begins "Once upon a time..." A southern fairytale begins "Y'all ain't gonna believe this shit..."


How Smart Are You?

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'The

I haven't done a little test in a while and this one makes me look really smart...so give a try and let me know how you do!

New Team...Go Steelers!

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Okay so let's try this again...Go Steelers! Actually if I had to pick a team, they would be mine. I just thought I'd route for the underdog this go around. That would've been a good Superbowl..the Skins and the Steelers. Oh well... the weekend was fun though painful.

I ended up at a brand new roller rink...yeah you heard me. I went roller skating this weekend and landed square on my pah-tooty! Actually I was on inline skates and my brake stop caught on the front of my other skate...over compensated and landed ...BOOOM! Somehow the ground seemed a lot farther away than it used too ;0)

J-man was thouroughly embarrassed, tears and all his first couple go arounds...then he decided to suck it up and listen to me.

"Hanging onto me throws you off balance and don't try to walk. It puts your heel first and then your foot will slide right out from under you."

By George I think he's got it!! 4 hours later he was playing games and having a blast...still falling but hopping right back up and moving on. They turned the lights off and the disco ball on and we skated in circles for hours. We played 4 corners and I won a Pepsi! The little skater "Staff" guy kept following me around...I think he was crushin'! Whoohoo I still got it baby! (No, he didn't see me land on my a$$! Nuff said!)

The wind that night was fierce and we were bombarded by ice pellets...two days earlier it was almost 70 degrees. Go figure!

We're going to try ice skating next weekend...Hopefully they have butt protection there.

Have you ever been this tired?

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My butt just can't stay in one place for very long...we're off to visit friends this weekend. Back on Monday!! Rest easy everyone...and GO SKINS!!

I feel Old...

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Thirteen Things that J&J's Mom remember's from the 70's!


In the spirit of yesterday's post, I decided to share some "old" memories with you from my childhood...especially if you were a girl! (Sorry fellas, them's the facts!)

1. You wore a rainbow shirt that was half-sleeves, and the rainbow went up one sleeve, across your chest, and down the other.

2. You owned a bicycle with a banana seat and a plastic basket with flowers on it (did it have a sissy bar, too?). And of course mine was purple!

3. You learned to skate with actual skates (not roller blades) that had metal wheels.

4. You thought Gopher from Love Boat was cute (admit it!) and you were absolutely in love with Randy from Emergency and Ponch from Chips! OOOhhh baby Erik Estrada!

5. You had either a "bowl cut" or "pixie," not to mention the "Dorothy Hamill"
because your Mom was sick of braiding your hair. My mom made me get a pixie because she couldn't deal with the knots in my hair.

6. You wore a poncho, gauchos, and crushed velvet.

7. You spent hours in your backyard on your metal swing set with the
trapeze.The swing set tipped over at least once.


8. You had homemade ribbon barrettes in every imaginable color. I think I went broke on ribbons and beads!

9. You had a pair of Doctor Scholl's sandals (the ones with hard sole & the
buckle).

10. You wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder really bad; you wore that Little
House on the Prairie-inspired plaid, ruffle shirt with the high neck in at
least one school picture; and you despised Nellie Olson! 7th grade school picture..yup...blue paid ruffles and the prairie skirt to match!

11. Your hairstyle was described as having "wings" or "feathers" and you kept
it "pretty" with the comb you kept in your back pocket. Gotta love Farrah Faucet Majors!

12. You and your girlfriends would fight over which of the Dukes of Hazzard
was your boyfriend. I couldn't believe that Bo Duke could sing too!!

13. It was a big event in your household each year when the "Wizard of Oz"
would come on TV. Your mom would break out the popcorn and sleeping
bags! WE SOOOOO did this!! And those flying monkeys freaked me out every time!

Bonus:

You often asked your Magic-8 ball the question: "Who will I marry. Shawn Cassidy, Leif Garrett, or Rick Springfield?" I prayed every night that Shaun would "find" me and we spend the rest of our lives together...I can't tell you how many times I cried over him...Da doo run run run, da doo run run!

You spent all your allowance on smurfs and stickers for your sticker album! I'm embarrassed to say... I did this...and STILL HAVE THEM!! I also collected all the little plastic figures of each smurf...oy.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


I feel old...

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We have been studying about dinosaurs in the Class of the Small Ones. They have been carefully paper macheing and painting and glittering their very precious dinosaurs eggs (due to hatch tomorrow) layers upon layers of glop over a two week period...just waiting for the big day. We've learned about carnivores and omnivores and fossils; that no people really even existed in the time of the dinosaurs and what extinct means. We've sung songs about dinosaurs, made jello eggs with dinos in the middle, and made dinosaurs out of playdough. But mostly, we've read and looked at a ton of stories and books that really bring to life what dinosaurs were about and how long ago they really lived. So today I couldn't help but bust out when one of my kids had this conversation with me.

"Wouldn't it be cool if you could really have a dinosaur as a pet and he could play baseball with you?" I asked.

"Well we really couldn't because dinorsaurs aren't alive anymore." said Wes.

"No, you're right Wes. The dinosaurs are extinct now."

"Yeah, they lived a super long, long time ago....back in the 80's."

*sigh* Did I mention my 20 year High School Reunion is in September. AAACK!!

It's a Bouncing Baby Blogger Party!!

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And YOU'RE invited!!! Our lovely guest of honor Angie is having a BOY!! And we are officially havin' a partay!! Please feel free to hop amongst the hostesses and play games, drink punch, have cake and be merry! Mistress Mary is taking guesses for weight, length and date, gifts may be brought to Momma K's house if you so desire, and please don't forget to drop in on our guest of honor! She's home and ready for company. But first , come play a baby shower game...yeah, yeah we all loathe them but secretly you know you want to!!


Is it pink?
Or is it blue?
Can you guess,
Which has the poo?


.......1........ 2.............3........4............5

......6 .........7...........8 ........9.......10

Don't forget to go visit the other hostesses of the party...

Thanks for comin' and Happy Baby Angie!!! We love you!