Sunday, November 30, 2008

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the Break is Over...

5 days off school. How I looked forward to them. Last Wednesday morning I woke up and could hardly believe I had 5 days stretching ahead of me. Thursday I woke and thought, "What day is it?" and when I realized it was still not the weekend I was soooo happpy. Again Friday I woke and realized I had yet another day before the weekend and it was sooo awesome. It was like the break was going incredibly slow, to be savored and enjoyed.

Then Saturday I woke and thought, "Oh no! The weekend is here! I've got to get busy! I've got to get some things done around the house and for work, before Monday morning is here." I ungratefully felt quite sad. And today, I'll admit, I wimped out and we stayed home from church. Alli hasn't been feeling too great. She's battled some little intestinal bug off and on for the last week or so and then Friday night came down with a cold. So I wimped and we stayed home today.

Mercifully, today crrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwlllllllllled by. At 2 in the afternoon I told the girls to put on their pajamas. They looked at me like I'd lost my mind. Apparently I had. I said, "Whoops, it's a little early. Nevermind."....and I made them lunch. lol (We had eaten a late breakfast so they weren't starving.....yet.)

And from that point on I've been trying to work at the many to-do's that haven't been done and I've gotten a smattering done. The dryer just buzzed and we know what that means...I have bills I meant to send last week and need to write out...and homework sheets to create for my class.

Break is over. How many days until Christmas break????

I'm being a bit silly about it all, although there's a lot of truth to all that I just wrote. However, I'm also very thankful for the nice break we've enjoyed these past five days. Three weeks of school and another nice break will come our way. But these next three are real whirlwinds! Prepare the cheese because there will probably be plenty of whine.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts...

This year, I didn't want to sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner and ask my girls to tell me something they are thankful for. I wanted them to put more thought into the things they have to be thankful for. So about a week before Halloween, I started asking them to think of something they're thankful for and we would write it down. I tried to do it every night, but it didn't happen quite that faithfully.

Might not be much that is earthshaking, but I thought it would be good to share today on my blog.

So here we girl at a time.

Allison is thankful for...

  • a mom and a dad, and having mom's arm to cuddle
  • having a home and a family
  • a bed and sisters
  • shelter
  • a house
  • toys
  • food
  • pets
  • clothes
  • a car
  • a front yard
  • a back yard
  • lights
  • Miss Winte cleaning my room
  • Odyssey and Maida (two friends)
  • that now people won't think that Megan and I are twins (Meg got bangs.)
  • books
  • God

Megan is thankful for...

  • Pooh (our dog)
  • a family who loves me
  • food for my tummy
  • moon and stars so I'm not afraid of the dark
  • that I have hair
  • people who love me
  • Spiderman
  • animals
  • that Mama agrees that spinach isn't yummy
  • a very helpful caring family
  • having a great school year
  • that they invented clothes because otherwise I'd be naked
  • that I'm able to do Bayshore Singers and my performance is tomorrow
  • that they invented the washing machine because now they have a solution for washing your panties or underwear or boxers or trousers or clothes
  • Science
  • that people have imaginations and there's Spiderman
  • rest
  • my blessings
  • pets
  • so many things to be thankful for
  • friends, family, pets and a place to live in.
  • food
  • that Allie and other people like spinach except me, Mom and other people so they can eat it.
  • inventions that make things in life easier
  • that I can recognize false advertising when I see it.
  • feet - you can do all kinds of things with them. You can snap your toes. They can walk. You can smell them.
  • Thanksgiving

I am thankful for...

  • my girls
  • a job to take care of them
  • friends
  • internet to keep in touch
  • a job at my girls' school
  • good sleep
  • for the way my parents raised me
  • my girls' creativity

That was my list. At some point I stopped writing mine in the list and just stuck with the girls. But there are so many things that I am so grateful for. I'm thankful for all my family. I'm thankful for friendships. I'm thankful for my health. I'm thankful for all the emotions our hearts can feel and how amazing that is. I'm thankful most of all for my relationship with God, something I take very personally. I'm thankful for His grace, peace, mercy and love for me. I'm thankful for His provision. And I'm thankful for the hope I feel because I know I can depend on Him, whatever comes my way.

The list could keep going, couldn't it? We all have more things to be thankful for than we even realize, I think. And THAT is something to be thankful for.

I hope today, (whether you read this on Thanksgiving or not), that you also feel blessed in many, many ways.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

8 Things

I was just over reading at Sunshine's and little did I know it was all a trap! I read through her "8 Things" survey and as I happened upon the last line, she said, "I tag YOU." And I'm me, errr, in that case "you" so.... Tricky, tricky, tricky, girlio. Tricky.

My 8 Favorite TV Shows:
1. Friends
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. Private Practice
4. The Bonnie Hunt Show
5. The Wiggles
6. iCarly (I can't help myself...even if I'm not a tweenager. Spencer cracks me up.)
7. Extreme Makeover-Home Edition
8. The Suite Life of Zack & Cody
(Ok, I probably wouldn't watch #6 or 8 if my girls didn't have them on, but I get some decent laughs, so they're going on the list. Otherwise I only have 6 shows...and that was rather tough to come up with. I don't watch most of these regularly.)

My 8 restaurants:
1. Olive Garden (Eggplant
2. Applebee's (Oriental Chicken Salad, please. Got one by accident once and got hooked.)
3. Papa John's Pizza (ohhhhhhhhh their garlic dipping sauce, mmmm)
4. Panera (yummy sourdough soup bowl)
5. Poncho's (A Tex-Mex buffet type restaurant in San Antonio and Albuquerque. Oh my lands, the sopapillas there are to die for. And don't even get me started on the sour cream enchiladas. Please, someone take me there sometime. Please.)
6. Green's (A formalish restaurant in Blantyre, Malawi, Central Africa. One of the few places we'd ever eat out when living there. They had chicken kiev and pork schnitzel that was incredible. Someone made me scream like a lunatic there once...a little embarrassing in that atmosphere, but ... well ... that might be a story for another blog.)
7. Sonic (Tator tots with cheese melted on them and I'm a happy girl.)
8. Arby's (French Dip sandwiches are soooooooooooooooooooo yummy.)
(This little section kind of surprises a good way. A year ago I'd have told people that I don't care about food. That isn't a source of pleasure, but something that just needs to be done. So to type these out and sit here wishing for the food from these places...well...that's progress. It's also why certain items of clothing no longer fit right, but that's...well...not for another blog.)

8 Things that happened yesterday:
1. Read some of a novel
2. Computer (email, facebook, etc.)
3. Tested Kindies in phonological stuff, phonics, sight words, etc.
4. Took one little boy to the principal. (He told me "NO!" one too many times and took off running away from me. Tsk tsk tsk. Big mistake.)
5. Skipped grocery shopping so scraped together a very scary dinner.
6. Listened to my girls play in the backyard.
7. Watched a little tv.
8. Took a shower.

8 Things I look forward to:
1. Breaks from school
2. Recess (I never grew up, apparently).
3. Singing at church, either solo or with the Praise Team
4. The weekend/sleeping in
5. My girls coming home from their dad's
6. Email from friends
7. Comments here and on facebook (Sorry, Sunshine, I had to copy your answer.)
8. A happily ever after

8 Things I love about Autumn (Spring):
1. The crispness in the air
2. The smell of the air (not talking fireplace smoke...just a different scent in the air)
3. The nostalgic feel of it
4. The color of the leaves
5. The break in the heat
6. The way it ushers in wonderful family holidays and makes me feel cozy and thankful
7. Thanksgiving
8. Dressing for the colder days

8 Things on my wish list:
1. A trip to Sydney
2. A stronger, healthier, (and why not more toned) body
3. A healthier diet
4. Discipline
5. To write a novel
6. Looooooooooooove (I could go for some happily ever after)
7. More babies (which is why #6 might be helpful)
8. To be a stay-at-home mom

Friday, November 21, 2008

No Other Word For It

There's no other word for today than "Woooooooooooooooooo!" Tonight's blog would normally be a fabulous Friday photo of some sort. But it just can't be. Today was a big landmark for me and so I owe it to God to express my thanks. And so I will.

About two years ago my friend Ginny (you remember her...bad at movie choosing, but GREAT at friendship, lol) and I began a journey of sorts. There were times I thought the journey was a guided tour of academic Hell...and maybe it was. The majority of this journey was low points, to be honest. I'd like to say that I learned some great things that made me grow as an educator...or even as a person. But if I'm honest, I can't.

(Wondering where the "thankfulness" went? Hang with me....)

This great "journey" as some of you know was the grueling process for getting certified by the National Board of Public Teaching Standards. We started in two years ago...because I let the bad-movie-chooser talk me into it. (Thanks, Ginny!) We went through the first year and both missed it. Ginny was so incredibly close while I scored so miserably low that it was flat out crushing. I figured I wouldn't make it but the scores they sent me floored me. And the worst thing about it was that they give no feedback other than my score.

So we went at it again, redoing portions that did not pass and working even harder than the first time around. Now I love to write but this kind of writing is almost as fun as plucking out one's eyeballs and throwing them at your enemies...or friends for that matter. Not exactly my cup of tea. ;) I agonized through the whole thing. I know it sounds a bit melodramatic, but ask Ginny. I whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiined and grooooooooooooooooooooooaned. I just struggled non-stop with trying to be positive about it all. I felt defeated and felt like it was another expensive shot in the dark.

Portfolios were due April 15th and today...a mere 7 months and 6 days later...we got our scores.

We were looking them up online, knowing they would be posted sometime "mid-morning" because of an email letting us know this yesterday. At 8:45 we took our classes to Enrichment (which is the term we use to refer to Phys. Ed, Music, and Art.) We looked for our scores and they weren't up. We chatted a few minutes and then, being smart-aleck, I said, "Wonder if our scores are up!" We were in Ginny's classroom (which adjoins mine) and so we went to her computer and jumped online. Now normally, MY computer goes verrrrrrrrrrrry slowly and Ginny's is fast, but because life is funny, Ginny's was c...r...a...w...l...i...n...g. So I ran into my room and tried. And that "ran" is not figurative. :D I logged on (it was speedy! lol) and it asked which year's scores I wanted to see, which meant that the new scores were up! I screamed, "They're up!!! THEY'RE UP!!!!" I clicked on this year's scores and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a message so wondrous it filled me with cheer. "Congratulations! You are a National Board Certified Teacher®!" Two words: instant tears.

Now, Ginny was sitting in her room still waiting on her computer to do its thing, and I didn't want to blurt anything because although I was sure she'd pass because her entries were very strong and she was so close the first time around, I still didn't want to start to party before we knew how she'd done. So I did my best to school my features (although since she KNEW I'd seen my scores, the lack of sobbing I'm sure let her know it was good news) and I went into her room. She was STILL waiting on her computer, so I offered her mine. She asked how I'd done and I questioned whether she wanted to know before she looked and she did. So I told her I made it. Then we hugged and were all "wahooo-ish". lol

We ran into my room and she logged in on my computer. Long story short, she saw that she'd made it too!!! More great rejoicing. So then we looked up scores. I'd made it by ... THREE ... points. Yep. 1-2-3 little points. But that's alright. It was three more than I had to have. :D Ginny, on the other hand passed by a very comfortable margin.

We gushed a few minutes before I made a couple quick phone calls and replied to a friend's text asking if I knew yet. THRILLED was what we were.

But then...interestingly enough...we both figured we'd be useless the rest of the day whether or not we passed. We figured if we passed we'd be so elated we'd be a waste in the classroom. settled quickly to just feeling relieved and pleased and on went life, lol.

Now...rambling done...I have to say how incredibly thankful I am to God. This whole process was so largely a shot in the dark for me. I felt like it was a matter of "luck" to include all they wanted because I couldn't make out very clear guidelines. I know I had people praying for me throughout and I know I put some prayer into it, too. And I have no doubt God helped me through. And I'm so thankful.

While it isn't something that I learned a lot from, it will be a financial blessing and it's just a good professional credit of sorts (for lack of "professional" terms, lol).

So while my elation faded more quickly than I'd thought it would, my heart is full of thanks and relief.

That's about it for tonight....

P.S. - (Can you do "P.S." in a blog? lol) Some of my kindies named the turkeys they colored in Art today. My two favorites were "Goldfish" and "Sandwich."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Itch, Scratch, Tingle and Whatnot

How's THAT for a headline??

I feel bad. I haven't blogged in how many days? I didn't check the date but I think it's over a week's time. I don't feel bad in the sense of not meeting an obligation. I just feel bad because I LOVE to write and lately I just haven't been able to pull it together, sit down, and write.

Ok, I went and looked. Not quite a week, but those two blogs weren't incredibly opposed to my normally earth-shaking subject matter, lol.

And it's not that there hasn't been ANYTHING in my life that I could share. It's just been something between being busy and being blah. Neither lends itself to good writing.

But tonight I'm ready. I'm determined. I MUST write. I want to. So here I am. Any ideas? ha ha I actually have a few.

For instance, how about some of the wonderful rewards of teaching that I've experienced in the last couple weeks. First of all, let's go with the gross-out. It was the end of the day, Friday before last, and I called a little guy back from getting on his bus. He had NOT had a good day and I had not given him slack. I wanted to encourage him and still make it clear that I expect certain behavior. So I called him back from his bus. I squatted down against a wall and pulled him onto one of my knees to sit while we talked for a minute. He shyly refused eye contact but grinned as he sat on my knee and listened to what I had to say, knodding in agreement. I then stood up to escort him to his bus and noticed a very wet sensation on my knee where he'd just been perching. SERIOUSLY???? Thanks kid. Have a good weekend.

Or how about THIS one? Head lice has been ..... rearing its head ..... for lack of a better term, this year. I'd had a girl in my class checked...came back clear...but she scratches maniacally. Several weeks later, her mom writes and tells me they've been fighting it for "some time" at home and wants to know if she's getting it FROM school. I desperately wanted to thank her for sending it with her child with no warning to me. She hugs my middle and then so do a couple dozen others, including my own kids. WE DON'T WANT LICE!!! The same thing happened about 4 years ago. It was miserable and took forever to eradicate. Last week the class next to ours sent a girl home CRAWLING with lice. Ughghghghghgh! Today we talked about it and now tonight the thought recurred so my scalp is itching ... I scratch ... then every hair feels like it stands on end, tingling to beat the band. It's like people talking about ants. I hear the word and my flesh crawls with the sensation. It's driving me batty.

Oh's another little choice nugget I that made me think immediately about blogging about it. Last week, I was talking to my sister on the phone when she interrupted our conversation to say, "Felicity! What did you do??" (Fel is her 8 year old daughter). Long story short, Felicity shaved her eyebrows off, SHAVED HER EYEBROWS OFF. She has glorious black hair and dark brows, too. Oh they'll be missed alrighty. They'll be missed. Poor baby. She has the saddest little eyes you will EVER see. EVER. Her reasoning for shaving was not revealed to me.

How about some good news while I'm here? I think you folks have heard me talk about my friend, Ginny. She teaches kindergarten in the lice-ridden room next to mine. A couple years ago she went through cancer and in the process we really grew as friends. We spend a lot of time together now. Well, Ginny helped me move last February. She helped me paint inside the house before we moved in. She mowed and kept my dog while I was in Montana. She's one of THOSE friends. She has watched my struggle for the past couple years with total lack of motivation, total "survival mode" and wishing to get on top of things in my house. Two weekends back she volunteered and came over to my house and helped me get it in shape. It's finally maintainable and I feel soooo good about it. The living room is a bit of a mess and please don't look in the garage for another week as I'm still catching up on laundry but oh you would NOT believe the difference............and it's all thanks to my friend, Ginny. What would I do without her?

Well I'll tell you what. I wouldn't be going to scary movies that freak me out if it weren't for her. But other than that, she's priceless. Totally fired from selecting movies, but otherwise, a keeper. Last Friday she took me to a movie that left me tense for hours. Not good. Not good at all. I need happy endings. No...I neeeeeeeeeeeeed happy endings. I do.

Hmmm...lots of GP in the media this past week, too. Makes for a happy week and a week where my heart gets aerobic activity without me lifting a finger. Find out there's a new photo or article or video and wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee off goes the thump-thump of my heart. It's like....exercise without the effort. Not bad for Hill.

Ok, I'm outta here. Sorry for the long rambling blog, but I HAD to get back on here. And now I think I need to go shampoo and get my scalp wait. It is NOT the thought of lice. Oh glory be. I've had this reaction before. I just have to figure out what ingredient it is. Dang! Something in the sinus medication I took is freaking out my scalp! Dang it, dang it, dang it!! It happened the last time I used Afrin and it happened just now with Tylenol Sinus Congestion and Pain SEVERE. Oh dear. It's allergic reaction and gets to crawl for hours.

Great. Guess I'm off to scratch. Glamorous life I'm living....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More about my girls and Harry...

Remember my girls and their hangup about the humor in the name Harry?? Remember? Harry=hairy in their minds...

This morning the news was on...quite by accident as I'm a non-news sort of gal. I was in the kitchen getting breakfast for the girls and I hear Alli call out, "Mom! There's a guy named Harry on tv...and he's BALD!!!!"

You should have heard the wonder in her voice. :D

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


My wonderful friend, Sunshine, who you can find over here at SoWhatWasISaying, gave me this sweet friendship award. While I thanked her on her blog for rescuing me and giving me a launch for my blog, that was just a nice little plus. I am very touched, Sunshine. I love you, girl, and I hate that you're a whole country away! Someday...

Along with this award come some questions. Here they are along with my answers:

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?

I'm still in touch with two friends I had as a child. They are still friends but our contact is pretty infrequent and they live so far away. The same goes for a good friend from high school. However, through Facebook, I've caught up with a few more friends from childhood and that's a pretty cool thing!

2. What do you value most about your friends?

I value the fact that I can trust them...that I can let down my guard and be who I am and they'll still love me. I value the laughter and the tears we share.

3. Are your friends sounding boards?

Absolutely. In fact, they probably get sick and tired of being my sounding boards, but they're there faithfully.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with friends?

That depends on the friend. Going to concerts, going to movies, chatting online. It doesn't have to be anything fancy and really distance limits activities. But no matter the location or the friend, I love to talk and laugh with my friends.

And now it's my time to share the love with another friend. A very sweet soul...with a British accent. Look out Mummy here it comes!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bottoms Up!

This is my Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. I'm catching the tail end of FX4, as I most often do. Friday creeps up on me somehow...even when the week is looooooooooooong.

If you haven't been to the big Fiesta, you can find it on Carrie's blog every Friday.

The photos I chose are nearly beyond explanation. It's not like they're a big deal, though. They just gave me a thoroughly good laugh at the time they happened. My girls have a dollhouse and (too many) people to play with in it. One day they have it dragged out into the living room. I don't know what I was gone doing, but when I came into the living room, this is what I saw. Check out the people....even the babies and the grandparents! Absolutely cracked me up.

And what was the purpose or the inspiration behind this? No idea, but I cracked up when I saw it, so I grabbed the camera and voila! To remember forever...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another Weekend Wasted

And so ends another weekend. I accomplished a bit, but none of it was related to cleaning my house. And none of it involved lesson plans. So it looks like a late night of laundry and lesson planning. And that's okay. It's my own fault for living foolishly this weekend.

This is my least favorite time of the week. It's the time I kick myself for the same ridiculous decisions I made last weekend. On Fridays I get in my mind a bunch of things I should do for school...and there's always a very obvious list of things at home. Friday night about bedtime I am gung-ho about getting things done. Saturday morning I'm all about sleeping in. Then I get up to see what's gone on in cyberspace while I slept. Then if I don't have the girls, I waste a BUNCH of time online before running some errands like grocery shopping or...ohhhh, I don't know, taking a nap. It's so quiet that time passes without me paying a whole lot of attention to it. And frankly, my mind just craves for Saturday to be FREE. Along comes evening and I find I've done nothing, but think, "Why start this late?....Tomorrow after chuch, I'll get busy." And you can imagine how Sunday goes. I won't bore you with it.

But it's that time ... again.

And to polish off this glorious evening, I just returned from a Christian Financial Counseling seminar. Sunshine, did you pray this onto me??? It is actually really going to be a good thing...the best thing. But oh how I hate to even think of finances. If I could afford it, I'd hire someone to manage it all for me. But then, if I could afford it, maybe I wouldn't mind thinking about it all, lol.

Okay...the laundry and lesson plans are a-callin'. I'd better get outta here.