Sunday, August 31, 2008

You Mean Life ISN'T a Musical?

Ok, I admit. I hadn't seen Mamma Mia! yet. I mean, I'd seen the live version and had the soundtrack for ages. But I didn't get to the movie until tonight. It was fan-tabulous. I couldn't believe that Remington Steele/007/Pierce Brosnan could sing! I was duly impressed. And that adorable Amanda Seyfried was awesome, she's got a real career ahead of her. Getting to things like that is tough. One-I have a toddler. Two-I have an autistic toddler and babysitters I trust are hard to come by. Three-Until it gets to my small town, I have to drive at least 35 minutes (usually 45 depending on where it's playing) to get to another movie theater.

Now I know why my husband always says, "You and your think life is a musical," in an amused way. Ummm. Yeah, so we like to sing. So we break out into song a lot. I have so very few talents, and this one just takes over once in a while. I've even had a couple of students write about it in essays about me (apparently I do it in class, too). But hey I think it's a good quality! I mean, how you can be unhappy or stressed when breaking out into song just because something said or seen makes you think of a song?

The only bad part---I had to return a pair of shoes to Wal-Mart that I picked up for my daughter. I could hear "Honey Honey" in my head (and no, I didn't sing out loud at Wal-Mart)---but the bad part was---

I just couldn't believe people didn't start dancing in the aisles as I walked by.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

In Memory of Todd Fletcher

February 15, 1961 - August 27, 2008

What we remember most about our friend Todd:

1. a Parrot on his shoulder

2. Marshall hat and tee

3. Navy dad

4. Michigan

5. guitar jam sessions

6. making up new lyrics to songs

7. Guitar Hero stories

8. Golf stories

9. too many "love you guys" to count

10. a good FRIEND

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Book Recommendation

This week's book recommendation is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. This is a MUST READ! It's different than most things I read, but it really kept me hooked. We learn on page 1 that a teen has been murdered. The rest of the book is this teen watching her family and friends and trying to lead them to her killer. Truly amazing!

When Friends Hurt Us

Ever since getting married and especially since I had my daughter, I've realized that friendships change and hell, I really don't have any. Which is ok in a way, I mean, when do I have time to hang out anyway? I'm lucky in that while I can never give "hang out time" to people, I still have people who aren't family that still love me and are there when I need them.

But it's been a long time since a friend hurt my feelings. It sounds so juvenile, but there's really no way to say it. And it stung. My heart hurt.

The thing about this happening when you're an adult is that unlike when you're a child or teen, it makes you really look at the person. The person was not who I thought they were. I looked up to them, I wished I was more like them, I was proud of how genuinely "good" they were. Now I feel like I didn't know them at all. That's a hurt in and of itself. My heart hurts.

Now, on the upside. The other thing I learned after having my daughter is that while it hurts, I'll be fine and my energies will once again be focused on her and I'll lose a piece of the hurt every day as I go about my life.

Funny how the problems we have as kids are really not that different than they are now that we are adults.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just Another Monday???

It was one for the record books. I got up early, got ready for work, and left myself enough time to get daughter dressed for her first day (!) of preschool. Got to work, had a billion things to prepare for classes. Got them ready, taught my classes. Everything was okay. We began reading Lord of the Flies today. Everything so far so good.

Talk to hubby at noon. Daughter went to preschool SO EXCITED. Left daddy's side no problem, was ready to go. Then daddy returned to a crying baby girl. No one's happy. Had to get hold of my father to have him help hubby move in our new furniture! (Ok, it's a year old, but it was my aunt's and it's like a 4500 dollar set that I paid 500 bucks for--ya can't beat that). And boy did we need it. We didn't even have a couch, we had two beat up recliners for a living room.

Sent email to preschool wondering why daughter went in excited and left in tears. No reply yet. Called friend whose boyfriend is terminally ill--checked up on the two of them. Called mom to see how terminally ill grandmother was today.

This is all before 1 pm, mind you.

Taught the rest of my classes. I totally deserve an academy award for my performance with my afternoon classes. I was so NOT IN THE MOOD--but I sure acted as if I was! Had a meeting after school. Ten minutes to cry to friend Kirstin about life before the meeting. Did so. Moved on.

Got home, picked up cookies for aunt's going away party--she's moving to Colorado tomorrow. Went to help decorate. Attended party. Ordered a pizza. Came home and fed family.

Took daughter to my grandma's. We try to visit briefly each day. And Lord help ya if you don't take the child with ya! :)

Now I'm home, hubby has daughter in the tub getting ready for night time rituals. It's OVER!

Now tomorrow...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Doing for Others Thursday

School is beginning all over the United States. So many kids do not have adequate supplies. Get a couple of bucks and head to the Dollar General or some such place. Buy a couple of packs of pens, pencils, highlighters, or paper. Take them to a school near your home. Either give them to a teacher directly or take them to the front office. I guarantee no matter who you find, they will know students who never seem to have what they need for school. This could make a huge difference in someone's first days of a new school year.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Great Give A Way!

Check out all the stuff you can win for back to school. Go now to It's easy to enter!


The book I'd like you to read this week is The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. I first read it in college for Dr. Calvin Thomas's class (one of the best teachers I've ever had). I've read it a couple of time since and it's just such an amazing story. It really makes you look at how society looks at beauty.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Professionalism: A Lost Art?

Today was our first day back. No kids yet. Just teacher in-service. A few days ago, I found out that a colleague and myself were leading one of the meetings. So we got together, got ready, and had everything ready to go.

We got sort of interrupted a couple of times and it made me forget one of the things I had to tell the senior advisors. So I asked our principal to ask the group (about 9 teachers) to stay for 30 seconds after our large group meeting so I could tell them something. It wasn't a big deal, but something they needed to know so they'd be in the loop for later. Two of the teachers got up and left when we were dismissed. Myself and one of the teachers who DID stay kinda yelled, "Hey guys..." They turned around, looked at us, and the teacher said, "We gotta stay for just a second." And the two men walked away!

Are ya kiddin' me? These are professionals? And they teach our children? And we expect teenagers to act a certain way, yet we won't act that way ourselves? I was L I V I D.

Other than my daughter and my husband, teaching is my heart. I love what I do. I love young adults and the way their minds work. I even love how they think they know everything (I chuckle quite often in my job). So when I see that we have teachers in our schools who refuse to act with just plain decency, I get very angry.

It may have been different if I had done something in the past to offend these two men. But I have not. Or maybe it would be different if I was asking something above and beyond. I was not. All I asked for was 30 seconds. And the teenager with a small town Iowa attitude beats inside me when this happens. I wanna erupt. I don't. But boy do I want to.

I know professionalism is dying. I've seen it a lot of places. But we cannot allow it or accept it in our schools. It's the one place that professionalism should be at its best.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Bra Blues

It's back to school time. Need new bras. Lost a little weight this summer (not as much as I'd hoped, but it's a small start). Had to get a few things. I'm cheap. I don't like to spend a lot of money on clothes because I'm hard on them. Work: markers, high lighters, coffee. Home: milk, toddler crumbs, coffee. You know how it is. But I will spend the money on good bras. There's a problem, though. We've established I'm overweight. HOWEVER. Being overweight does not mean I'm a size DD. HELLOOOOOO out there. Make decent bras that are comfortable and big enough around with a damn C cup already!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Doing for Others Thursday

This week, I'm doing something that I LOVE to do. Every year, I help out at our high school's nighttime marching band rehearsals. The kids rehearse for about three hours a few nights before school starts. I go and help kids with marching styles, being on count, etc. It's sooooo fun and lets me enjoy something I used to enjoy doing so much as a kid.

Find out what you can do to help out at the high school in your area. I know time is precious, but teens today need A LOT MORE positive adults in their life. I bet a reading teacher would love to have you work one-on-one with a student or a math teacher would help setting up interactive bulletin boards, etc. You will probably have to pass a background check, but it is no big deal and think of how much fun you could have!

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I'm off on my recommendation days, and since I didn't do one last week, I thought I'd do this week's early. I really think every woman should read Jodi Picoult and I'm using My Sister's Keeper with my student book club this year.

I'd love to know what the book nerds out there (and I use that term lovingly, cuz I'm a big time book nerd) think of it. I'll let you know later what my students think when they read it.

Robyn's Giveaway

Head over to Robyn's Blog and you could win a $50 gift card! There are a lot of ways to enter. Also, check out her other posts, she's got a great blog!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Government Gaffaws

I'm not proud to be a smoker. It just is. I have no problem with not being able to smoke in restaurants in Iowa. We don't smoke in restaurants and haven't since we had our daughter. But a bar??? Are ya kiddin' me? Not to mention that I work in one and I don't care what anyone is hurting small town bar owners. It's kinda like seat belts. Do I think it's a good idea to wear them? Sure. Saves lives and all. But I don't like being told I have to.

Now, I'm all for the "health of the employees" thing in reality. But my mom works in a casino. I guess her health isn't important. Hmmm.

Here is a list of things that I think will be "monitored" in the future:

1. number of drinks a person can have in a bar
2. how many times i can change my student loans to another company through consolidation (oh wait! bush already took care of that for me---thanks george!)
3. how much money a school district can spend on one child, with or without disabilities or special needs (including gifted kiddos)
4. how many sodas a person can buy (i mean, c'mon we are the fattest country)
5. crystal meth (oh wait again! supposedly this is illegal and monitored--but each of my students knows how to get it if they want it)
6. television
7. internet usage
8. cell phone usage

ok so while we're at it, why don't we add:
1. number of children we can have and of what gender (yet many insurances still won't cover birth control)
2. how many cars/houses we can own (not that this will EVER concern me lol)
3. how many jobs we can work (cuz c'mon folks, you should be able to feed that family of 4 on 7 bucks an hour)
4. genetic testing--if you have the possibility of passing on ANYTHING negative...nope, sorry you can't have children
5. how much of our grocery bill can be spent on certain items
6. just giving cash each month to EXXON, cuz apparently we are anyway

Kumon Educational Workbooks

Kumon Educational Workbooks

Check out this great giveaway for educational workbooks! Head on over to and check it out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Omaha Trip

Recently, we traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to do the zoo thing. If you've never been...GO! Their zoo is awesome!

We also went to a commemerative WWII Air Force musuem which was incredibly interesting. They even took one of the huge planes out of the hangar and started it up for us. It was really cool. We also went to a railroad museum, called The Durham. My daughter actually got to go into a bunch of train cars and see how the different parts worked. It was a very kid friendly place.

Check out our photos!
We've got my hubby and daughter in front of one of the WWII planes, the Bengal Tiger, a bird I don't know the name of, and my daughter looking at the mokeys.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Countdown is on...

It's August. Enough said.

I go back to work (at my "real" gig) on the 18th. Kids come on the 21st. Yup. Pretty excited.

I so love my job (well, the part where I get to teach and be with the kids and impart uh humm wisdom...many adults I could do without). But it's like an evil trick giving us this time away and then making us go back.

I don't wanna go back.

Not yet.

Between now and then, I have to do the following:

1. Pack for a trip that starts TODAY (I haven't begun packing and it's 9 am)
2. Go on said 2 day trip to Omaha to the Zoo
3. work at bar Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday
4. Write my syllabus
5. Finish creating presentation boards for Freshman Orientation
6. Create speeches for counselor and principal for Freshman Orientation
7. Go to Freshman Orientation
8. Get daughter's physical for preschool
9. Have home visit for preschool
10. Cry because I'll never get it all done

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stand up to Cancer

On September 5, NBC, ABC, and CBS will be simultaneously airing a broadcast called Stand up to Cancer. It will be a fundraiser to help raise funds in the fight against and research for cancer treatment.

This is dear to me, but I'm sure it's dear to everyone. I can't think of anyone I know how doesn't know someone who has or has had cancer.

Christina Applegate (Married with Children) was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and will appear. The following are just some of the other guests that will appear: Jennifer Aniston, Hilary Swank, Sally Field, Meryl Streep, Lance Armstrong, David Cook, Christina Ricci, and Forest Whitaker.

I hope everyone will do what they can to help. It's a wonderful cause for a dreadful part of all of our lives. Please check out the website at:

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Recession is a BIG DRAG

Here's the deal, folks. Many use the blogs as their income. Not only do some sell product, but they earn their money through advertisers.

Take some time, check out the blogs that are listed to the right and then check out a few of the links listed on their sites.

While there, click on an ad or two if they have them. Each time someone clicks on these ads, the blogger is earning. To find out more, click the button to the right.

Thanks bloggers!

Friday, August 1, 2008

We have a WINNER!!!

The winner of a DVD of the movie Freedom Writers starring Hilary Swank is...

LISA SHARP from Retro Housewife Goes Green

Congratulations, Lisa! I'll get that to you as soon as I hear from you.

Thank you to everyone who entered.