Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I'm participating in a health challenge called Elf for health.  You are paired up with an elf who you contact via email or through networking sites. Each day we are given challenges to complete.  Today's challenge was to  look in the mirror and name 3 things you like about yourself.

I posted 3 things on their Facebook group site but then I read some of the other responses.  My 3 things were all physical features but then I thought about it.  There is more to me then my physical features.  So what are somethings that I like about myself.

1.  My photography skills - I love documenting important events in our lives.  I also love finding the beauty in the world.  Sometimes the simplest things are the prettiest.  (I know I'm not the best photographer but I think I do a pretty good job.)

Here are some of my favorite pictures:


2.  I've been facing some of my fears.  One of my fears is heights.  I don't like the feeling as though I'm going to fall.  This summer I went to Chicago with hubby on a kid's free vacation.  Something that doesn't happen very often.  We went to the Willis Tower.  He wanted to go into the sky box.  No way was I going to do that.  However with the help of a woman I did do that and lived to tell about it.  Here's the blog post about it:    How I Stood on a Ledge.

3.  Being a teacher - I've had a difficult year.  At the beginning of the school year, I was at the high school working with the 7th and 8th graders.  It was like I was first year teacher even though I am in my 13th year of teaching.  I faced discrimination (students accusing me), disrespect, and frustration.  They had me teaching a subject I never taught before and doing my usual job also.  I never knew whether I was coming or going.

The year before I had a great year and felt very confident.  This year I was feeling defeated which is not a good feeling.  Three people found out there was an opening at the elementary school and encouraged me to request to be transferred back to there.  It took a month but I was moved.  Even though the class I'm teaching there is a challenge, I'm feeling more confident and not so discouraged.

During my 13 years of teaching, I've had my highs and lows.  I've had my moments where I was so proud and moments where there was deep sadness.  Proud moment - Watching 11 of my special education students graduate from high school in 2011.  Sad moment - Attending the funeral of one students who drowned.  Proud moment - One of my lowest students taking a spelling test by first spelling out the words using tiles and then writing the word out.  Sad moment - The Connecticut shooting (Even though it didn't happen near me, I still feel a sense of sadness.)

4.  My faith - Almost 3 years ago, my family took a leap of faith and left the church we had attended.  (My hubby grew up at that church. And I started attending there when I started dating him in '97.  With another group of people, we started our own church.  In May, it will be 3 years since the church began.  I'm so thankful for my pastor because he also the leap of faith and went to the new church.  He is still our pastor.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sadness

There is a feeling of sadness over the tragedy in Connecticut.

As a teacher, I am absolutely heartbroken.  My classroom is connected to the office - one door goes to the main hallway and the other goes to the office.  I keep the office door locked 99% of the time.  I'm so glad I keep that habit.

Then my thought goes to what would I do with my students.  I don't have that many students at a time - 8 at the most.  However, I have only one tiny closet/cabinet.  I have 2 portable cabinets but they aren't places you could hide.  The tiny closet/cabinet couldn't hide anyone.  Plus it's behind my cramped desk area.  The area behind my desk would be the only place to hide.  However I have fifth and sixth graders at the time the shootings occurred.  They're bigger so not all of them would be able to hide in that cramp place.  (Plus they would fuss about people touching them or they would want to know what is going on - they are nosey like that.) 

Then I think of the innocent boy who sat in my room during my lunch time.  He is a Jehoveh's Witness and doesn't celebrate Christmas or birthdays.  His class was going to the holiday shop and was celebrating a birthday.  I told the teacher that he could sit in my room.  He sat there and colored. 

My thoughts then go to my two boys.  They are between the ages of the students that were at that school.  What if happened here?  There are 1,600 kids at their school!  (I think that's how many students are there.)

I know I can't dwell on it.  But as a teacher and parent, it really hits home.  What would I do?

So many innocent lives gone.  Please pray for their families, first responders, teachers, and staff in that town.  They need lots of prayers. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Don't show me that

I keep saying I need to write a book about my teaching experiences because some of my experiences are down right humorous. Other experiences are sad and sometimes hurtful. I've also had those moments of pure joy and moments where I'm so proud of the student(s) for their accomplishments.

This is one of those just plain weird/this just did not happen moments. (For confidentiality sake no names will be mentioned.).

Every morning I have arrival duty. I stand in the main hall telling students to walk on the right hand side, to lower their voices, put away electronic devices, and to have a good morning. This morning several of the students needed to talk to me about this or that. At one point, I had 3 students waiting to talk to me. When I got to the third student, he told me that he was still not feeling good and he got sick on the bus. In my head, I'm thinking okay, what do you want me to do?

Then he did the ultimate. He showed me a white plastic grocery bag with some sort of liquid in it. You got it. He was showing me his barf bag. I immediately averted my eyes and told him to head to the office.

It was 7 in the morning and I was showed a barf bag. My day had to get better after that.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sleepy

Meet Sleepy, another part of Crazy One's army of stuffed animals.  He was won at the Troy Strawberry Festival. They were waiting to give him away.  But then we came walking down the street towards their fishing game.  As soon as Crazy One won him, he was instantly loved.  Sleepy loved him too.

He got his name from the fact that he is a koala and koala's sleep for 22 hours a day. 

We noticed he was as big as Crazy One's torso.  So the boys decided that it would be a good idea to dress Sleepy in Crazy One's clothes.  You never know what Sleepy is going to be wearing.  Sometimes he has on shorts, a shirt, and even underwear.  They haven't tried putting socks on him though.

At first, Sleepy was a rapper and loved wearing hats sideways or backwards.  He's now decided not to get into the rap game.  Now he is unemployed with no real goal of what he wants to do with his life.

On Sleepy's last birthday in June, he turned 6 years old. 


Here are some pictures of him dressed in Crazy One's clothes.




Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jokes

Crazy One and Know-it-All love to tell me jokes.  Here are some of their favorites:

Q:  If there are moats around castles, what do cows have around their castles?
A:  Moo-ts

Q:  What is a duck's favorite snack?
A:  Quack-ers

Q:  Why is 6 afraid of 7?
A:  7 ate (8) 9

Q:  What did the gorilla say after he stole a hamburger?
A:  Gorilla (Grill) me another hamburger.

Q:  Why did the ketchup lose the race?
A:  Because he couldn't catch up

Q:  What did the ant say when he was hurt?
A:  Can you call the ant-bulance?

Person 1:  Knock-knock.
Person 2:  Who's there?
Person 1:  Boo
Person 2:  Boo who?
Person 1:  Stop your crying.  It's only a joke.

Q:  Why did the turkey run across the road?
A:  It was Thanksgiving.

Monday, August 13, 2012

90's music Monday - "You Oughta Know"

This song was popular in '95 when I was completing my internship at Walt Disney World. 

I didn't have a car down there because I didn't drive at that time.  Even if I could drive, I really wouldn't have wanted to have a car because it would have been a pain.  To get around they had a shuttle system to the different parks. You paid a small fee to utilize this service.  However, it was very limited at times.  Since it ran during certain hours, you had find another way to get to home or your destination during the off hours.  The other issue was it only took you to certain places.  The only grocery store that was on the shuttle system was Publix.  I can remember it being expensive. 

One time I needed a ride home, I rode home with Phil.  He was such a comedian.  I remember just laughing when he was around because he had such a natural talent for comedy.  "You Oughta Know" was playing on his car's radio.  We got into a discussion about how Alanis Morrisette was in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and the fact this song was full of such angst.  Now whenever I hear this song, I remember this conversation.


Later I found out, she had written this song about the relationship and break up with Dave Coulier.  If you don't know who he is, he was Uncle Joey on "Full House."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bananas

No, I'm not talking about the fruit. 

Crazy One has a few favorite types of toys.  If you ask him what he wants for Christmas or his birthday, his answer is usually going to be a Hot Wheel (only the name brand will suffice) or a stuffed animal.  His obsession with stuffed animals began with a dollar spot dragon from Target.  Baby Dragon was his name.  About two years ago, Dobby discovered it had eyes that could be chewed off.  During the night, Dobby attacked Baby Dragon and devastated Crazy One. 

Every once in a while, Crazy One will start talking Baby Dragon with a hint of sadness in his voice. 

Since the destruction of Baby Dragon, Crazy One has been obsessed with stuffed animals.  He will constantly ask for them when we are out and about.  Most of the time, the answer is a resounding no.  Occasionally his wish is granted.

He plays with them as though they are real live animals/friends.  When thunderstorms occur, he will talk to them to help himself cope with the situation.  He sleeps with them.  In fact, he stayed at his grandma's for a week.  He took 5 to 10 of his stuffed animals to sleep and play with.  They are his friends.


Bananas is his newest stuffed animal.  Every year our local library has a summer reading program that both boys participate in.  Crazy One finished the first part and half of the second part.  After the first part, they put their name in a bucket and earn a prize.  When they finish the second part, they put their name in a bucket and get a free book.  They then draw names for prizes after the summer reading program concludes.  Crazy One's name was drawn so he ended up with a bag full of goodies - a t-shirt, pencil, cup, notepad, and Bananas.  Bananas is a monkey.

During the past week, I've learned that Bananas takes baths in bananas.  He also was watched by his uncle, Know-it-All.  Bananas has visited Crazy One's martial arts camp (didn't get out of the car though) because he had never been there before.  Crazy One talked to him all the way to the camp.  He has also helped him while it was raining.  There was a possibility of a storm while we were driving home the other day.  Crazy One told him that it was going to be okay.  I love how he's learning how to cope with situations that make him uncomfortable.

Welcome Bananas to Crazy One's army of stuffed animals.  You will be loved as a friend of his.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Forget Fashion From Paris Part 2

The other day, Know-it-All was supposed to be cleaning his room. He had lost the privilege to go to the water park because he could not find his swimming trunks. It's not like he doesn't have two pairs of swimming trunks. He was also given a half an hour you to get ready to go. When it was time to leave, he was still messing around and found a pair of trunks that did not fit him. Hubby was tired of his messing around so I opted to stay home with him.

So what was he doing instead of getting ready. He decided it was time to have another fashion show. And reading instead of getting ready.

Later on he walked out into the living room with this crazy outfit on. Again he was supposed to be picking up in his room. I guess this is a way to get things picked up off the floor.

Needless to say I had him take off the outstanding do what he was supposed to do.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I've kissed a girl

I have so many stories about Crazy One. He never ceases to amaze me with his imagination.

A couple of days ago, he informed me that he has kissed a girl. My heart just dropped because he's only seven years old. I know that Know-it-All has given a little girl a kiss on the cheek. When he was in pre-kindergarten, Know-it-All had a girlfriend. One day I went in there on my day off so I could spend some time with him. As the class was dismissed, the little girl asked him to kiss her on the cheek. He did and I caught it. If you ask him now, he doesn't remember doing that.

So when Crazy One told me that he has kissed a girl, I almost cried. After brief moment of silence, his response was you. The only girl he has kissed is me.

Let's hear a collective "Awe!!!!!". He is such a mama's boy and a suck up. But I love him.

Monday, August 6, 2012

What do signs do you see

During the children's message at church yesterday, Crazy One was in an extremely talkative mood. 

Pastor asked the kids what signs they have seen at their school.  Crazy One's answer had me laughing so much that I started to have tears in my eyes.

His answer was "No smoking and no guns."  True those signs are on the outside of the school building.  Pastor's response was "You smoke at school?!?"  Pastor didn't know how to respond to Crazy One's answer.

Crazy One also told him that there are signs about boys and girls (bathrooms). 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Laugh 5 times a day

This is my goal for the upcoming school year.


Last week while we were in Chicago, I attended a conference.  One of the talks I participated in was about tips and tricks on how to deal with middle school students.  Two great pieces of advice I took from him were "Not to take anything personal." and "Laugh at least 5 times during the day."  These are kids who do and say the silliest things.

My goal for this next year while dealing with 7th graders is take those two pieces of advice and utilize them.  I want to go through my massive picture collection and see if I can find a funny pictures.  Then I want to go to PicMonkey and type the words "Laugh 5 times a day" on the picture.  

I tend to take things so personal and if I just remember God called me to be a  teacher.  I have made a difference in students' lives.


Now onto a group of Olympic Athletes who are serious while performing their talent but have realized it's also important to let their hair down and blow off steam.  Crazy One and I watch this video and just laugh at the United States swimming team.

Monday, July 30, 2012

90's Music Monday ~ Vanilla Ice

While in high school, I decided to help in the media center a.k.a library during my junior and senior year so I could get out of study hall.  Our media specialist's name was Mr. Grice.

Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" was a number 1 song during that time.  We used to call Mr. Grice "Grice Grice Baby Too Cold."


Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Cheese Castle???

So on Wednesday of our trip, we were getting ready to leave Chicago.  However it was 4:30 when we got back to the hotel to pick up our car.  Do you know what that means in a big metropolis?  Rush hour is starting.  We were not going to be leaving for a while.  So we walked over to Trader Joes and meandered around the store.  We also talked to one of the workers about trying Wisconsin cheese while we were in Wisconsin.  She told us about a shop called the Mar's Cheese Castle and the fact they had the best cheese. 

At 6:30ish, we finally left Chicago and had some sluggish areas of travel.  Most of it was smooth traveling.  (We were glad we weren't traveling the other way because it looked a parking lot!)

The next day we rode a simple trolley ride around Kenosha, Wisconsin (2 mile loop) and asked the trolley driver the same question.  He named three places and Mars Cheese Castle was one of them.  I guess that's where we were going to go and get the cheese. 

It was located off of I-94 and not hard to find.  The reason was because of the big sign and a building shaped in a castle.  We went inside and found the cheese.  They were giving out free samples and I was in heaven.  I tried a horseradish cheese, beer and cheddar cheese, and other types.  Hubby left me in my happy place.  The man who was giving out the samples was very personable.  I also enjoyed listening to him discuss the different cheeses. 

After picking 3 different types of cheese, I wandered around the store looking at the different products they sold and the decorations that adorned the store.  It was a while spent hour!

Here are some pictures from our visit to a cheese castle.  (Oh and there was a geocache located there so Hubby was happy.)




















Saturday, July 28, 2012

How I stood on a ledge 1,353 feet in the air and survived

Hubby and I took our first vacation without the boys two years ago when we went to St. Louis, Missouri.  This year we decided to take a slightly longer vacation.  We traveled to Chicago, Wisconsin, and Iowa. 

While in Chicago, we decided to visit the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower).  It's the tallest sky scraper in Chicago.  Willis Tower is the tallest sky scraper in the Western Hemisphere and the 8th tallest in the world.  It has 110 floors and stands at a 1,450 feet tall.  People can visit the Skydeck which is 103rd floor in the building.

When Hubby and I got to the 103rd floor, we found the views remarkable.  You could see for miles and miles.  Hubby really wanted to stand on the sky deck's ledge which is a pexiglass box without one of the walls.  While standing on it, it's like you are standing in midair.  It is totally not my cup of tea.  Before deciding if I wanted to attempt to get on the ledge, I prayed to God that he protect over me.  I approached the ledge and timidly put my toes on the ledge.  Then an Asian lady motioned for me and handed me her camera.  She wanted me to take pictures in different areas of the ledge.  Before I knew it, I was on the ledge.  There was no going back because I had braved my fear of falling and stood on the ledge 1,353 feet in the air.  And I survived with a story to tell.

Here are some pictures.  Okay really it's like 20 pictures.  Enjoy the view!





















Friday, July 27, 2012

Don't Forget the Requests

Today we had 7 boys and 4 girls in attendance who all participated in the children's message.

Pastor:  Have you ever been on a vacation?  Where did you go?


Oldest girl:  Michigan


Little Boy 1:  Massachusetts


Little Boy 2:  Aunt Andy's house.


Crazy 1:  Tomorrow mom and dad are going to Chicago and two other states.  (I guess Chicago is a state.)


Pastor continues on with his message.  For the past 3 Sundays, we have prayed for rain because of the drought the United States is experiencing this summer.  Pastor decided to pray for rain once more.

Know-It-All:  Every time it has rained, I keep saying "Pastor prayed for rain."

Crazy One:  Please pray for no storms that hurt anyone.

Little Boy 1:  Pray for no windstorms.

Little Boy 2:  Pray for rainbows.

(I was sitting in the back and didn't hear their exact words.  So I summarized what was said.)

Pastor prays for the rain but forgets the other requests.

Crazy One:  You forgot no storms.

After telling God that he wasn't finished, Pastor begins praying for gentle rain.

Little Boy 1:  Don't forget no windstorms.

Crazy One:  We lost our power for four hours.  (That was during the June 29th derecho.)

Pastor finally got all the requests in and I'm sure God had a little laugh up in heaven.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Forget Fashion From Paris

The boys had a simple task.  They were suppose to pack clothes.  Yeah, right!  Crazy One brought me random clothes that did not match.  I finally had to have him bring me his clothes' crates so I could do the task properly.

Know-It-All was way worse with his packing.  He came out with at least ten piles of random clothing and junk.  As I sorted through the mess, I found many pairs of jeans or nice pants, Hubby's clothes, shoes, my clothes, winter clothes, very few shorts, shirts, and some underwear.  Okay, the jeans and nice pants were not needed.  It's been record breaking heat around here.  He can't wear Hubby's or my clothes because well they can't fit.  Finally after about a million hours (okay not really that long), he was able to pack his clothes.


THEN they decided Crazy One needed to have a crazy fashion show.  He would come out with random clothes on.  And he found household items to use as accessories.  Each time he came out, his outfits were crazier and crazier.  Know-It-All was his fashion designer.  Finally Know-It-All got into the action.

His outfits were as outrageous as Crazy One.  Maybe even more so.  After their fashion show, they entertained us with a concert using various household items such as pans and toys as drums.  They also sang us made up songs such as "It's a Great Time" or "The Gibberish Song."


That was yesterday.  Today was a new day and they had another fashion show but not before Know-It-All decided to be the Underwear Bandit.  He goes around stealing people's underwear and will one day rule the WORLD!  

During today's fashion show, they took a film camera sans film and pretended to take pictures while the other one posed.  Too funny!

I love how they can be creative and use their imagination for a little fun.  Much better than watching TV which is one of the Crazy One's favorite activities. 

We were able to laugh which is good for the soul and create a memory.

Monday, July 23, 2012

90's music Monday ~ Gangsta's Paradise

Spring of '95, my mom decided I needed to interview for an internship to Walt Disney World. I was more than willing to interview. Right before my 20th birthday, I found out I was selected to go down in September of '95 through the beginning of January of '96. (I have lots of stories about those 4 months.)

I get down there and find out I was going to live in an apartment with people from other countries ~ Norway (Sandra), France (Celine), England (Lisa), Italy (Alessandra), and China. I also had a roommate from Arkansas (Kim). Celine was the one I was closest to in the apartment.

Since English was my native language and Gangsta Paradise was popular at that time, I was asked what the lyrics meant. I made up a lot of mess about the meaning because I really didn't know. Don't ask me what I told them because it was just plain old ramblings.

That rap was played in our apartment a lot! Maybe a little too much because I could probably hear that rap in my sleep.
Celine had her birthday in early November. She decided to have a dinner party in our apartment and invited me. Fortunately I invited two of my friends because all of the rest of the guests were French and spoke French. I didn't understand 1 word they were saying but we had a great time.

We played Gangsta Paradise and I decided to pose to "I'm an educated fool with money on my mind." with a bunch of money in my hand. Someone took a picture of me. Don't know where that picture is and fortunately it was before Facebook because it would have been posted on there.

Anytime I hear this rap, I'm reminded of my time in Walt Disney World and how carefree my life was. A time that I will never forget and will be proud of. There will be many more stories of my time down in the Mouse House.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Do you remember Dennis the Menace?

Meet Dennis the Menace, Jr.:

There are certain times Crazy One poses for pictures in a way that reminds of the comic strip character Dennis from Dennis the Menace.  (Click on the link to go to the official website of the comic strip.)

Ways he is similar to Dennis:
  1. They both love root beer.
  2. They are always finding ways to get dirty.
  3. Life is always interesting with Crazy One in it just like life is always interesting with Dennis.
  4. They both have freckles on their face.
  5. When Crazy One has longer hair, they both have cowlicks.
  6. They both like peanut butter.
There are a couple of ways Dennis and Crazy One are different:
  1. Dennis hates carrots, green beans, and spinach.  Crazy One will eat those three vegetables.