Monday, August 27, 2007

1st Day of School

Today is the first day of school. I have a really sick feeling in my stomach. Can I call in sick?

I slept relatively well last night. Not good but much better than I thought I would. That is, until right before I woke up at 5:30. Can we say nightmare?

I was dreaming that it was the first day of school. When my kids came into the room, most of them were the size of 5th graders and a couple of them were as big as me. I didn't have my overhead projector set up so I was trying to get it right (it wasn't cooperating) while the kids were just milling around the room talking, moving desks and writing on the board. Of course, once you loose control of them like that, there's no getting it back, at least for that day and if you do get it back, it's very difficult. I finally gave up on the projector but that was how I was doing my warm up so I was having to go to Plan B. Since the kids were already out of control, every time I passed a student in my travels around the room, they would be up writing on the board or moving their desk. I put the desks back in order more than once. I had to leave the room a couple of times and each time, when I got back, the room was a shambles. Once, the ceiling (it was a chalkboard) was completely covered with writing. I finally resorted to yelling and pounding desks, the worst thing to do. At one point, the elementary principal came in, looked around my room, apologized and said there was nothing that could be done, they were all like that.

At some point, it occurred to me that I had rearranged my room to accommodate the overhead projector and I no longer have an inner loop to work so I need to go in early and redo the room. Since I was awake at 5:30, that should be no problem.

The day has to be better than my dream...doesn't it??

Saturday, August 25, 2007


We were out and about today and Steven tried to pull a hair off my chin. Ummm, it was attached. I HAVE A CHIN HAIR!!!! I think this means I'm getting old....

Friday, August 24, 2007

Meet the Teacher

Today is my first Meet the Teacher.

I did sleep some even though I was sure I wouldn't sleep at all. It wasn't good sleep but it was sleep, much better than the alternative. :) My stomach is already churning and I'm really stressed out.

The good thing is that the 3 (I'm in a tripod) of us are talking to parents together and I don't have to talk first!! I don't have any problem getting up in front of kids and talking, peers don't bother me much any more but talking in front of a group of parents terrifies me. I know it will be fine but I'm really, really ready for 11:00 to arrive so it will all be over.


Of course it wasn't as bad as I'd worked it up to be. The 3 of us met together and each of us took 2 topics to talk about. I did fine - no throwing up or even stuttering. :) It helped that I have connections with several of the students that are in the 3 classes. Let's see if I can remember all of them:
  • One girl is the cousin of one of Jennifer's friends. I remember when she was born. I was working in the office when her grandmother called to say she was coming to get her children because their sister was having her baby.
  • One girl is the daughter of a girl Chris went to homecoming with one year. Her great-grandmother was one of my 5th grade teachers. I know her entire family.
  • One girl is the cousin of one of my favorite male students and her great-aunt is one of my favorite people.
  • One boy is the nephew of a guy in my class.
  • One girl is part of the Bedias Smith clan.
  • One girl is the sister of another of my favorite students. (I've been working with kids for 10 years now so I have lots of favorites)
  • There were several that I've taught computer to their siblings.
  • One boy is the son of a guy I gave recorder lessons to when I was a teenager.
I think I got them all and I'm sure I'll find more connections after I meet them all on Monday. I think I'm going to love teaching in my hometown.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Empty Nest

At 5:29 this afternoon, we walked out of Rachael's dorm and officially became empty nesters.

I was excited because after almost 28 years of parenting, I'm tired. After leaving though, I was sad because it's all over. Well, not over but the day-to-day parenting is over.

The good:
The TV and radio will stay on the channel (station) I put it on.
Any mess will be mine.
I don't have to share the truck or computer.
I only have me to worry about.
I don't have to worry until Rachael gets home at night.

The bad:
The dogs are all my responsibility.
The trash is all my responsibility.
I have to get the mail every day.
I'll find out how much of a slob I really am.

I think I can handle this...

I Guess I Really Was Tired

I worked late every night last week, till 10 two nights and almost that late the other 2 nights. I'm also officially at the "I can't turn my brain off and go to sleep" stage so I wasn't sleeping well even after I got into bed.

Steven came to help me do a couple of things in my room when he got home and I had some other things to do but was so tired I just left about 4:30. I was able to stay up until 6:00 and went to bed. Steven rubbed my back and feet and I was asleep well before 7:00. I got up at 8:30 to go to the bathroom; up again at 8:30 am for the same thing and then back to bed. I finally got up at 10:30.

I think I was tired. I don't think I'll work that late this week since it's in-service and I have to be up and at 'em early every morning.

Monday, August 13, 2007

One Word

  1. Where is your Cellphone? - pocket
  2. Relationship? - married
  3. Your Hair? - brown
  4. Work? - teaching
  5. Your sister? - none
  6. Your favorite thing? - grandchildren
  7. Your dream last night? - none
  8. Your favorite drink? - water
  9. Your dream car? - Jaguar
  10. The room you’re in? - office
  11. Your shoes? - Asics
  12. Your fears? - darkness
  13. What do you want to be in 10 years? - retired
  14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? - husband
  15. What are you not good at? - waiting
  16. Muffin? - blueberry
  17. One of your wish list items? - house
  18. Where you grew up? - Texas
  19. Last thing you did? - worked
  20. What are you wearing? - clothes
  21. What aren’t you wearing? - makeup
  22. Your pet? - dogs
  23. Your computer? - laptop
  24. Your life? - changing
  25. Your mood? - tired
  26. Missing? - kids
  27. What are you thinking about right now? - sleep
  28. Your car? - truck
  29. Your kitchen? - wreck
  30. Your summer? - hot
  31. Your favorite color? - blue
  32. Last time you laughed? - today
  33. Last time you cried? - dunno
  34. School? - graduated!
  35. Love? - unconditionally

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Adios Motel 6

We stayed at Motel 6 for the very last time this weekend. It has served us well over the years but it's now time to say adios.

Now that I'll be making more money, we'll upgrade to Super 8 or something.

What were we thinking?

I told Steven that I wanted to go somewhere for the weekend, just us to celebrate the end of college. We needed to wait until after I got my summer school pay at the end of July but I still wanted to go. Originally, we planned to go to Alabama to see Birdie but that trip is so hard to make in a weekend (we couldn't afford to fly) and I wanted it to be relaxing and I wanted Steven to plan it.

He decided on Tyler, to see the Rose Gardens. A perfect trip for us. We love to do things like that and the distance is good. Not too far but somewhere we've never been together (Steven spent a year at Tyler Junior College). There was no rain forecast so we decided to ride the bike. We had a nice ride there, a little warm but not unbearable. Saturday we went to the cross stitch shop and the mall after we got up. So far so good. Today was a totally different story. Somehow we didn't think about having to check out of the hotel at noon and walk around the Rose Garden in the heat of August. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

We did the nostalgic drive through TJC for Steven and went to eat. I don't handle the heat well and by this time I was not feeling well. We decided to come on home and go back in the fall for the Rose Garden.

The ride to Palestine was miserable, to say the least. We'd planned on a break there and another one in Crockett. We downed 3 bottles of water in Palestine's Wal-Mart and spent about 30 minutes wandering and cooling off. We thought about seeing a movie to kill some time and let it cool off but decided we'd rather just get on home.

About 10 miles before we got to Crockett, it had rained so it was much cooler and the ride became bearable. It stayed that way until almost Midway where the heat came back with a vengeance.

It was a long, miserable ride home and put a bad ending to good weekend. Oh well, it will be a trip we'll always remember.

I can't KLUV my oldies anymore. :(

I *LOVE* music from the 50s and 60s. Terry introduced me to it well over 20 years ago and I've loved it ever since. One of the best things about going to Houston, Dallas, San Antonio or Austin was getting to listen to an oldies radio station. Not anymore. Quite awhile ago, the Houston and Austin stations both switched formats and now play 70s music. Not the good stuff like disco(that I also *love*) but the 70s music I don't like.

I went to Six Flags on Wednesday and was devastated to learn that KLUV has also switched to the 70s music format. There were occasional good songs thrown in but overall, it stunk.

I guess I'm going to have to break down and do the CD thing. I don't like CDs, I like the radio. I like that you never know what song is going to play next and you sometimes get to hear obscure songs you love. Those obscure songs as well as your favorite songs remain special and exciting when you only hear them occasionally rather than having them become mundane by hearing them regularly.

If I had a 5 CD changer in my truck so I could burn all my favorite songs and have them randomly play, I might be OK with CDs but as it is, I'll just be sad that all my oldies stations are now gone.

We were in Tyler this weekend and they had a pretty good oldies station there but we never go that direction so that doesn't help my quandary much.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Getting Started

I went and worked in my room today for 5 hours. I got quite a bit accomplished but still have soooo much left to do! I moved my desk back to the hallway side of the room. I think it's staying there because I'm sick of moving it back and forth. Not to mention that once I get the bulletin board up, I'll pretty much have to leave it there.

It's getting closer and closer...

Friday, July 27, 2007

Don't I Feel Special?

I got my hair cut Wednesday. 3-4 inches shorter and layers so it has more body. I also had highlights done to help with my increasing number of grey hairs. Subtle highlights but highlights none the less.

Today is Friday. Rachael still hasn't noticed. Yesterday I went shopping with 7 other people and no one noticed. This morning I went to school and 3 other people didn't notice. Steven's been home 30 minutes and he hasn't noticed.

Guess the change wasn't drastic enough.

I'm going back next week and have her work on it again. It's longer in the front than in the back and I'm not liking that very much. I hate having to find a new hairstylist! I'm going to give her a couple of times before I try someone else.

3 1/2 hours after he got home, Steven finally noticed. He was beating on my back and was about to stop before he finally noticed...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shop Till You Drop

There are big changes in our family that are requiring lots of shopping. I have to get my classroom ready, upgrade my wardrobe some and get Rachael ready for the dorm so there's been lots of shopping going on. I worked Summer School so we would have money to do all this shopping without all the money anxiety.

Hopefully I'm about done with my classroom shopping. I'm going to Houston Thursday with a group of teachers and will pick up some things there and may have to order some racing stuff (our theme this year is Racing For Success) online but other than that I should be finished. I still need to do a little bit of clothes shopping but if I don't get that done, I'll be OK.

Rachael and I shopped for her yesterday and got everything she needs except for a few things she needs to talk to her roommate about so we don't have duplicates. Rachael's favorite purchase was her *cool* tool kit. She was excited that she got to open it and use it before we even got home to put the lock on her bike so we could keep shopping.

The living room is a disaster. Her stuff is on the loveseat because her room is a disaster from SonPower and mission trip. My stuff is on the couch because I can't get into my classroom until after Thursday. There are also tubs of books everywhere that need to go to my classroom. I'll be really glad to get all this school stuff out of the house!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

So Frustrated

First of all, I take horrible pictures. Always have, that's why I don't like my picture taken or maybe I really do look that bad and I'm just kidding myself. Anyway...

College graduation is a big deal and I wanted my pictures. I wanted some receiving my diploma and some with my cords because I'm really proud of that accomplishment.

Do you have any idea how expensive those stinking pictures are?!? So, I really don't know how many and what sizes I want and really can't decide. I scroll to the bottom of the page and lo and behold, there's a digital option. I call to find out if it's all three poses or just one. Of course, you have to pay for each pose. Since the package I was looking at costs $58 and the digital image is $65, I choose the digital image so I'll have it and can make prints of whatever size I want, for whoever wants one (probably no one except me but that's OK). I order a couple of actual prints with the cords, just for me.

Today I go and actually look at the digital image (receiving my diploma) and am sick at my stomach and very frustrated. The proofs they sent out didn't show that *MY FREAKIN' EYES ARE CLOSED!!!!!*. I paid $65 (non-refundable) for a digital picture of me receiving my diploma and MY EYES ARE CLOSED!!! Won't that look good hanging on my wall?!?

Oh well, there are worse tragedies but right now it's really frustrating me...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Are You Sitting Down?

The dogs are just about out of food (Steven was sick so I didn't stop at Wal-Mart on the way home from Louisiana). At W-M here, it's $17 something. In Huntsville, it's $13 something. Normally I would just ride to Huntsville and get it and do some grocery shopping while I was there.

Instead, I paid the $17 something here. I decided that with gas being $3 a gallon, my time and the wear and tear on the truck it was actually cheaper to buy it here. Not to mention that I would have spent lots more money in Huntsville.

It was really tough for me to do that but I did and I'm really proud of myself for getting past that *hump*

Thursday, July 05, 2007

4th of July

Since the 4th was on Wednesday and Steven only gets off for the one day, Bailey and I went to Austin to spend the day with him so he wouldn't have to make the drive and be exhausted or spend the day alone.

We went up Tuesday after we got up and got ready. It rained off and on the entire trip and was supposed to rain all week. Steven got off work early so by the time we got there, he was at the trailer already and I didn't go to Ginger's (shucks!). I did need to go to a bigger teacher supply store than the one in CS so we did that and went to Hobby Lobby and grocery shopping. By that time it was time to eat and settle in for the night.

Wednesday morning, Steven had promised me breakfast at Waffle House (Mmmm...). There's one right across the street from the trailer park but the line was to the door. We drove over (in the rain) to the one on 290 but the line was to the door there also. We went back did something (can't remember what) and then went back to the one by the park. There was a table available so we got to eat. It was lunch time by now but it doesn't matter, we always get the same thing. :) Bailey ate 3 pieces of sausage and a grilled cheese. I didn't think he was ever going to get full!

Since it was raining and the trailer is so small, we decided to head to the mall to walk. Bailey had the best time just riding the escalators and looking in all the windows and walking around. I did some teacher clothes shopping at Penny's (they had a great sale).

We wanted to go to the Botanical Gardens but they were closed. :( We went to the complex where Steven's office is and fed the ducks and fish. Bailey didn't like the geese, he said they were too loud. He loved the fish though, they would swarm when we threw food. After we ran out of food and were just walking, it appeared that they were following us, it was really cool! We climbed the stairs through the "jungle" to the actual building where Steven works. There are some cow sculptures there and Bailey "rode" one of them. Then we had to follow the path of the water to the fountain until we found the beginning. Then it was time to head back down the path. Since it had been raining, the path was slippery. Bailey had a "fake" fall and grandma had a real fall. Nothing hurt though.

After that, we headed over to the Nature Conservatory. We hiked forever it seemed. It says there are 2.5 miles of trails but it sure seemed like we did more than that. we went up and down hills and did lots of what Bailey called "exploring". We saw a rabbit and a deer and a waterfall. Bailey says that rabbits aren't aminals (his pronouncation). Only things like tigers and elephants are aminals. The reindeer (Bailey's word) that we saw stood and looked at us for the longest time. She was absolutely beautiful with huge brown eyes. She was about the distance from our house to about 3/4 the way to the street from us. After we watched her for the longest time, Bailey and I crept torwards her until she ran off. Bailey said she was going to her little boy down the hill. By the time we found the waterfall and started back, dusk was coming and we were hungry. We were also sweating like pigs and grandma and grandpa were tired. It was really tough making that last climb!

We went back to the trailer and grilled steaks and had shells and cheese and asparagus with some watermelon. It was delicious! We headed to the fireworks. Originally we were going to stop somewhere on Riverside Drive and watch them from a parking lot so we didn't have to deal with the crowds and traffic. That didn't really work so we headed closer. We crossed the river and exited. I saw a good vantage point so we parked and headed off. We had a great view at the Mexican American Cultural Center. There were only about 4 families there so no crowds and we missed all the traffic. Bailey didn't want to hear the loud noise and we didn't except for some people lighting Black Cats close by.

We had a wonderful day and didn't spend a penny except for some drinks and gas. Bailey had a great time (he wants to go explore some more) and so did we.

I wanted to take him to the capitol building today before we left but it was raining and we wouldn't have been able to see the statues out front so we'll save that for another trip. (I know, you're all groaning but I love the capitol building and can't wait to introduce to another generation).

Bailey goes home tomorrow. :( We had a wonderful visit and I can't wait until he gets to come again (hopefully Christmas break).


Have I mentioned recently that I love Austin? If not, well, I do! There are so many things to do there that don't cost a penny (details in the 4th of July entry).

Austin is absolutely beautiful. The hills, the trees, the rivers, Zilker Park, the Botanical Gardens, the Pfluger Bridge, the houses (the old ones, not the new ones). Ginger's is there and there are awesome thrift stores and a great Goodwill.

The one thing I don't like is the panhandlers that seem to be on almost every street corner. One last night had a sign that said "Why lie? I need a beer". I guess he gets points for honesty but he sure didn't get any of my money.

I wish we could afford to live in Austin but right now we just can't. I also don't think I'm real crazy about teaching in Austin for the same reasons I didn't want my kids to go to school there: crime, drugs and gangs. I know we have those things here but not as bad as there.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hog Heaven

Yesterday was the Corley family reunion. I look forward to this weekend every year; food family and fellowship -what could be better? This year was especially wonderful. Layne came for the first time ever, Shane came for the first time in awhile (can't believe he'll be a senior next year) Cheryl came for the first time since the 90s and Judy came for the first time in many years. (If you don't know these people, come to the family reunion every year and get to know them like I did! )

We had some people missing also. Lynda had a sick child, Johnhy Wayne's Linda was sick, Wesley and Linda were not there again, Johnny Wayne's daughter and son (their names are escaping me right now) weren't there, Grace had planned to come and didn't get to and Beth died last year. I'm so glad she made the trip to Texas last year and came to the reunion.

Judy brought pictures, lots of pictures. She has Aunt Margrace's photo albums and shared pictures from there. Aunt Margrace was meticulous about writing names on the backs of pictures so we knew who they were. I was able to identify pictures that I have as well as getting lots more family pictures. She also brought and gave me old tax notices, insurance policies, my great grandfather's eulogy and some other things I don't remember off the top of my head. There were also some things of Aunt Margrace's (she didn't have children) that I got including perfume Uncle W.A. brought her from France after the war and her makeup case that is in perfect condition. I was so thrilled to be looking at all this stuff that I pretty much ignored the people at the reunion. Shame on me.

I love all things old, especially if they belonged to family. I told Judy that anything she didn't want, I did. I have unofficially become the official keeper of the family legacy and that thrills me. I'm so glad I'll have some time now. I want to do something with some of these things. I know I'm going to frame my grandmother's high school diploma (she graduated 75 years ago last month) and I'll either do a scrapbook or put things in sheet protectors for some of the other things.

I also did my annual trek to the Bedias Baptist Cemetary. It was especially tough to visit Steven's grave because his daughter Miranda just turned 18 and graduated from high school. He would be so proud of her, she's a wonderful young lady.

I found out some more family connections so I was able to find a couple more graves that belong to our family and that was exciting. I always visit each and every family member's gravesite when I go. I want to remember where they all are in hopes that one day one of my children will be interested in the family history and it won't be lost forever. I usually also go to the Methodist cemetary but didn't yestereday because I had jello pudding cake in the truck and didn't think I needed to have it out that long in the heat. It's been several years since I went to the Zion Methodist Cemetary in Iola, I need to do that and I need to write down directions to the cemetary where Ardis is buried so I can get back there when my mother is no longer here to give me directions. :)

Anyway, it was a wonderful day filled with things I love, my family, good food, pictures and a trip to the cemetary.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Oh My Goodness

On Steven's 50th birthday in 2003, a lady ran into me in Bryan. I was driving down the street and she was turning left, right in front of Wal-Mart. I was on my way to meet Steven at Stephanie's to take her the car. We had a big day planned the next day for Steven's surprise 50th birthday celebration. The wreck but an end to those plans. Stephanie had to find another way to Houston and we had to go in the car. Me, Steven, Rachael, David and David's friend (anyone else remember his friend? :) in that little bitty car all the way to Houston. It was horrible!

Anyway, when the officer got there, she only had her liscense in her hand and I knew immediately that she had no insurance. Since I was not at fault, we only had to pay half our deductible. The insurnace company assured us they would get the deductible from the lady but we just wrote it off.

Fast forward to today. There's a letter in the mail from State Farm Insurance. It says:
We are pleased to refund the full deductible you incurred as the result of your loss of October 2, 2003. Payment is enclosed.

There was sure enough a check enclosed for the amount of half our deductible. Even better, we changed insurance companies a couple of years ago so State Farm isn't even our insurance company. Almost 4 years later and we get a check from a company that's not even ours any more; I'm impressed!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm so damned aggravated!!

Yes, I cursed.

I just went to get the mail. There was a stiff cardboard envelope with Do Not Bend in big, orange letters. Of course, it was bent into my mailbox. It was my diploma. My diploma is curled and has a crease on one side from being bent in my mailbox all day.

Guess where I'll be as soon as I get up and get going tomorrow?

I just called the university and they told me to send it back and they'd send me another one. I'm going to be there this afternoon so I'll just drop it by and have them hold it for me to pick up. I'm still going to talk to the postmaster though.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I'm Way Behind

so I'll try to catch up...

My Graduation:

What can I say? Graduation was absolutely perfiect!
  • All the kids were here, Mother, Robert, Susan and all his kids (and Angel too) and Layne and his entire family were there. The only thing I wanted for graduation was for all the kids to be there and they were.
  • I was sitting on the end of a row and the family was on the side I was sitting on, could we have planned that any better?
  • We went to eat and the kids surprised me with cake and a gift certificate to have my diploma framed. I was overwhelmed that the kids would all chip in and do that. I know they really can't afford to do that so I'm very appreciative. (I still haven't gotten all my thank you's written, I need to get on that).
  • I was one of only 6 people that graduated summa cum laude, I thought there would be more. My transcript says that I was 37th in a class of 1089.

There actually were a couple of things wrong with graduation but they were just blips and didn't amount to much. I didn't know to bring bobby pins so I had to keep adjusting my cap and that was annoying. The speaker stunk, to say the least. I did not spend 6 years in college to be lectured about obesity.

The third grade teachers gave me a teacher shower and I got tons of gift certificates to the teacher supply store in Bryan, $286 worth. I can't wait until I know for sure what I'll be teaching so I can go shopping!

End of School:

The last 2 years, I haven't been at work the last two weeks because I was taking a minimester class so I forgot how crazy those last 2 weeks are. It was time for school to be out!

Michele, our secretary, got pneumonia and was out an entire week two weeks before school was out. Not a problem except that end of the year certificates weren't done. Guess who was chosen to do that chore? If you guessed me, you'd be right. I'm sure you don't want to hear the gory details. Suffice it to say that I did about 1000 certificates and only had to redo about 12 before the ceremony and there were only 3 problems at the ceromony and 1 was not my fault. Pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Rachael's Graduation:

Rachael's graduation was wonderful. Renita Schroeder was the speaker and even though she talked 90 miles an hour, she was absolutely awesome! I have been to 7 high school graduations and 2 college graduations in the past 10 years and she was by far the best speaker. She spoke the truth, in love, to those kids and every one of them needed to hear what she had to say. I need to see if she will let me have a copy of the speech, it was that awesome.

After graduation, Frances had reserved the Family Life Center and we had a party for Miranda and Rachael. Frances said something to me last Sunday about doing a party for Miranda and she wanted to include Rachael. That was very kind of her and I appreciated it. She bought all the stuff, Steven and I did most of the set up and clean up and I'll write her a check for my part of everything. Rachael and her friends went to the midnight showing of Pirates of the Carribean III and had a good time.

I'm really glad graduations are all over!

Rachael started her job at Shell today. It's a good thing. She was going to be working for Mom if she hadn't. Mom's job is for children that won't get a real job. It consists of working mostly outside from 8-5 with a 30 minute lunch and 2 15 minute breaks, 1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. The best part is that I don't pay anything! David got to work for Mom one summer. It didn't last but 2-3 days before he decided a real job would be easier. :)

I'm sure there's more I wanted to write about and if I remember, I'll write it later. I'm going to do my best to keep up now...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Tonight was the scholarship ceremony for the graduating seniors. Rachael is in a very small class that is full of very smart kids. She didn't get even remotely the most scholarship dollars but in my opinion, she got the most prestigious one,

The National Honor Society Scholarship. This scholarship is based on scholarship, leadership, service and character. The teachers are presented with a list of the graduating seniors and turn in 3 names that exemplify these traits. The top 3 students are then voted on my the membership of the National Honor Society. Rachael said there were more than 3 names on the ballot but the lady presenting the scholarship said there were 3. Nonetheless, this scholarship is based on the respect of the teachers as well as peers so I feel like it's a great honor to receive it. I'm very proud of her.

With the A&M scholarship, she's received $2850 for her first semester, which should pay for tuition and books. The A&M scholarship will be $1250 per semester as long as she keeps her grades up, basically.

Graduates also have the ability to earn up to 4 academic awards to wear at graduation in the form of collars and cords. These awards are:
Beta Club
National Honor Society
Distinguished Graduate (based on the degree plan they followed)
Honor Graduate (top 15%)
Rachael received all these awards. She's worked really hard and deserves them. She's also starting college with 18 credit hours, more than her first freshman semester.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


One night last year I was channel surfing and something caught my eye on ABC Family. I was intrigued and finished watching the show, Whose Line is it Anyway? These guys are hysterical and I love it every time I watch. I can never keep up with when it's on so I just sometimes happen to catch it. Tonight is one of those nights. I was watching a movie and then there it was. I need to be in bed but instead, I'll be up until 10:00 watching Whose Line is it Anyway?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


It's over! I'm finished!! No more classes, no more homework, no more papers, no more reflections, no more justifications, no more driving to The Woodlands, no more anything!!

I'm excited but at the same time I'm feeling strange. For six years now there have always been assignments that needed to be done and now there aren't any. I know the reality of it will settle in soon. For now I'm just going to enjoy...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My Fish Reflection

In science, we had to reflect on every activity we did. I turned this in and Dr. Foster told me I wrote really good reflections when I was stressed. She gave me full credit (10 points). That really upset one of the girls in my carpool because she wrote a real reflection and only got 7 points. What can I say? I wasn't expecting any points. So, here's my reflection after we did fish painting...

How does fish printing promote interdisciplinary teaching? To be completely honest, I have no earthly idea right now. I am exhausted beyond belief, completely stressed out, completely overwhelmed and feeling like I am not going to make it through the remainder of the semester. I have reflected until I am blue in the face and simply can’t deal with another reflection this weekend. I feel like I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown and there is no way on the face of the earth that I can complete the assignments I have left this semester. I’m neglecting my family, my home, my job and my health to be able to survive this semester and I simply am unable to write this reflection. I work 7.5 hours every day and commute to class 1.25 hours 4 days a week. In addition, this semester I have had to deal with the following life happenings:

1. My husband had to take a job in Austin so he is only home on the weekends. I don’t sleep well when he is gone so I stay exhausted. I was also depending on him to be home to take care of things like cooking, feeding the dogs, etc.

2. I’m dealing with menopause. Hot flashes every 2 hours most nights which wake me up and contributes to my lack of sleep.

3. My youngest child is a senior this year and I’ve missed every Tuesday softball game her senior year. I swore I was not going to miss any of her games her senior year but I can’t put off graduating an entire long semester just to go to softball games.

4. At the end of January, my oldest daughter informed us she was pregnant and getting married in March, in Corpus Christi. Because of school, my only contribution to the wedding was paying for things and dress shopping. I’m getting docked a day’s pay, which I cannot afford, to have been able to go to Corpus Christi and help set up for the wedding.

5. I had the flu, missed an entire week of school and 3 days of work. I have never missed 3 days of work in a school year, much less in one week.

6. My 37 year old brother had emergency quadruple by-pass surgery so I missed 1 day of work and 1 class to be with him.

7. My grandson had his tonsils out so I missed 1 day of work and 1 class to be with him.

8. I had food poisoning, missing a day of work and a night of class because I was deathly ill.

9. My youngest daughter now has a boyfriend so I have the stress of worrying what they’re doing while her dad and I are gone all week. I trust her but she’s 18 and alone all week and I know what can happen.

10. I’m having to depend on my husband to pay the bills and take care of our finances this semester and that is his biggest weakness. I have no idea what I will be faced with in May when I take that job back over. The thought of it stresses me out completely but I can’t deal with doing it until school is over. I’m doing good just to get through the days.

11. There are various and sundry other annoyances that would not be a blip on the radar screen except for the fact that my life is falling apart right now.

So, reflecting on how fish printing promotes interdisciplinary teaching means absolutely nothing to me right now. Reflecting on this will in no way impact what kind of teacher I will be and I simply cannot deal with thinking about it.

I know I will get no credit for this reflection but that’s OK, it sure felt good to get this all on paper and have someone “listen” even if it was involuntary listening.

My Last Night of Bondage

I'm working on finishing up my portfolio. I won't finish tonight but will have it done in plenty of time tomorrow. I think I still have 3 competencies without artifacts but I'll come up with something...

I am soooo sick of justifying and reflecting I could just scream! There are 13 competencies. Each one has to have an artifact, a summary, a justification and a reflection. In addition, there were 12 disposition justifications and weekly reflections. All of that plus some other stuff for my portfolio. If this was something useful, I wouldn't mind doing it but I already have a job and if I go to another district later, I won't be a brand new teacher and won't need this stupid portfolio so it is a complete and utter waste of my time and effort.

This time tomorrow night I will be finished. I can hardly believe it's here...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Totally Overwhelmed

I sent graduation invitations to several people that I'm really not very close to anymore but I think a lot of them and thought they would be excited for me. Two of those invitations went to a couple of my stitching friends. One lives near Dallas and the other lives in Kansas. Last week I got a card from one of them with a $50 gift certificate to Ginger's (cross stitch shop in Austin) and today I got a card from the other lady with another $50 gift certificate for Ginger's. I am totally and completely overwhelmed by their generosity.

In other overwhelming graduation news, the 3rd grade team is giving me a teacher shower for graduation. That totally and completely overwhelms me also. I have no idea what I do to deserve such generosity so it humbles me beyond belief.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Steven found some poetry I wrote for my Library Science class in November, 2004. I still have difficulty understanding poetry but these 4 poems weren't too bad so I'm going to share them.

5 sense poem:

Steven is blue; calm, cool and collected
He tastes like warm chocolate chip cookies.
He sounds like soothing ocean waves
And smells like the air after a rain shower.
He's dark, handsome and distinguished-looking
And feels like a rock, safe and secure.

Acrostic poem:

Baby no more,
Always on the move
Into everything
Living his life
Each day
Yearning for his dad.


There once was a leprechaun named Morty
He's having a birthday, oh lordy!
He's not telling a soul
Not even a mole
How he wishes he was still forty.


Grey, square
Humming, working, frustrating
Metal, machine-wood, instrument
writing, erasing, flowing
yellow, round

Sonic Vent

People who order food at the drive thru at Sonic annoy me to no end. Are they afraid they will have to park, actually push a button, put their vehicle in reverse and back out of the parking space? Is that too much effort for them? I really don't understand. It's not like they have to get out of their vehicle and go inside.

Yes, I understand that if I wasn't at Sonic buying a large cherry lime coke with a little bit of extra ice, this wouldn't annoy me. What can I say? It helps relieve my stress and untill school is over, I'm going to use that stress relief...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The End is in Sight

5 more class days, 1 Powerpoint presentation, 1 Science unit, 1 observation and a portfolia and I will be done. That's still a lot of work left to do but I'm beginning to think I may survive.

(Sunday evening update: the Powerpoint presentation is finished, I've done as much as I can on the Science unit until the rest of the group members email me their contribution. The unit still has to be printed and bound after I get their part so my Tuesday will be busy. That means I only have my portfolio, an observation and 5 more class days. Wow, it really is almost over!)

I took my PPR (Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities) qualifier this afternoo. I'll get scores no later than Wednesday then I can register for my certification test. I'll have to take this on on the computer because I don't want to wait until June and then have to wait 3 weeks for results. I don't like taking tests on the computer but such is life...

I guess I've learned something this semester after all. When I took the practice test over Christmas break, I missed 11 questions out of 90. When I took it yesterday, I only missed 5. There's no way I would have remembered questions over the course of this semester so I have to assume I've actually learned something. It has to be all those stupid competencies I've written...

Off to work...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

College News

I'm exhausted and overwhelmed and don't really have time to post but there's exciting college news in this house that I just need to share...

I'm graduating summa cum laude. I knew I had the grades for it but until I saw it, it wasn't really real. I thought magna cum laude was the highest but it's not, summa cum laude is. I'm really proud of myself and I think Steven may be even prouder. He has a right to be, I couldn't have done this without his support and help. Thank you Steven, you'll never know how much I appreciate you.

Rachael got her acceptance letter from A&M today. We knew she would be accepted because she's in the top 10% of her class but it's nice to have it in black and white. I'm really proud of her and excited that she's going to the school she wants.

Until later....

Friday, February 09, 2007


I rarely get sick but when I do, it's usually a doozy. I slept most of last Sunday, didn't go to work Monday, Wednesday and Friday and only went to class Wednesday (had a test). I have vitamin C'd, Nyquil'd, Zicam'd, Vicks'd, Musinex'd and slept until my body hurts from laying in the bed so much and I still don't feel better. I have never missed 3 days of work for ilness in my life (I don't think).

Well, I finally broke down today and went to the doctor. (I hope you were sitting down when you read that :)) It's just a cold but it's turned into an upper respiratory infection and my left ear is infected. Of course it didn't hurt until he told me that and now it's killing me but such is life... I am now the proud possessor of amoxicillin for the next 10 days and cough syrup with codeine. I'm still not feeling better but I'm heading to bed now at 6:30 (not the first time this week) and hopefully I'll feel well enough tomorrow to go dress shopping with Steph since this is the only weekend I really have available...

Seems like there was something else I wanted to say about this ilness but I feel too bad to remember what it was...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Unexpected Holiday

Monday was MLK Day and we were off work as well as no classes. A nice breather but not really necessary since we just went back to work on the 3rd. Then the bad weather blew in and we got an extra two days off and tomorrow is a short day, school starts at 10:00. I'll go in close to regular time though, I still have lots of time to make up (I think).

It was a lazy 2 days. Rachael and I just tried to keep warm and not go stir crazy. Well, Rachael anyway. I'm not ever bored. I was ready to go back to work though, I hate having to make up days. We lose the day off in February right after TAKS and we really need that day off. We also have school the day of graduation which means that we'll have a Saturday workday to make up our 2nd day. I guess I shouldn't complain...

I had homework to do and as usual, procrastinated until today. It was due at midnight and I sent it at 9:00. Normally I'd have done it on the weekend because I have class every night but I had Monday off so I put it off till then. Then we had Tuesday off so I put it off till then. Then we had Wednesday off so I put it off till then. I *hate* that I procrastinate so much but have seemed to not been able to change it. I'm setting a bad example for Rachael which is really not good. Just because I can do assignments well enough at the last minute doesn't mean that she can and she doesn't need to see me doing that so I better change it pronto!

I did get quite a bit accomplished today. I got my loan check and took care of several things with it. Paid Rachael's tuition, bought my books online, registered for my Special Education test, paid the phone bill, paid for the remainder of Rachael's graduation announcements, got information for David about registering his car, took a picture of me for my assignment and it's not too bad a picture (I hate having my picture taken), got my homework done and submitted, fixed my lunch and supper (just have to put it in the lunch kits in the morning), and I guess that's about it. It sure seemed like a lot while I was doing it. Yesterday I set up our online banking, we'll see how that goes.

Tomorrow it's back to the daily grind...

I guess I'll post the picture. I cropped it for my assignment, this is the original.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Various and Sundry Ramblings

Wow, where does the time go? I've sorely neglected my blog. Either I didn't have time to write or I just didn't feel like it. I don't feel like it now but decided I better write something before it's been too long and I completely get out of the habit.

Where to start...

We bought a travel trailer for Steven to live in. We ended up with a 5th wheel after all because it was all we could find that was in our price range and we had to have something ASAP. It's small and 12 years old but it will serve the purpose it's intended for. The guy delivered it, set it up and showed us how to do everything. Not that we're going to remember since we will never move it. :) It took almost 2 hours so we gave him some extra cash for his time and effort and felt it was well worth it.

Christmas was small and quiet. Stephanie, Jennifer, Daniel and Bailey were all here. We opened presents as soon as everyone got here because Rachael was having a cow. You'd think at 18 that she could be patient. Everyone knew it was a small Christmas because of Steven losing his job but she was still having a cow. Bailey was so cute. He kept picking up gifts and saying, " What's this one?". After he opened them all up, he went back to the ones he really liked.

Bailey stayed with us after Jenny and Daniel went home Monday. We had a blast while he was here. He is soooo much fun! It did make me remember why God gives children to young women, you have to be able to keep up with them! By the time we took him home Friday though, it was time for him to go home. Things that were really cute on Tuesday were not quite as cute by Friday. :) I discovered a great movie while he was here, Cars. I'd had no desire to see it but it ended up being a wonderful movie with lots of life lessons.

When we took Bailey home Friday, it was storming terribly. A couple of times we were creeping along because it was raining so hard. We were meeting Jenny and Daniel in Beaumont because Rachael had to be back Sunday so we really didn't see much sense in driving all the way to Lake Charles just to spend less than 24 hours there. There's an old Sears building next to the mall with a large covered area that is wonderful for meeting when it's raining. We discovered how wonderful it was when we first moved Jenny and Daniel to Lake Charles and it came in handy that Friday night. The only problem was that the roof leaks in several places and where we were parked was one of those places. Steven turned around and when he did, he brushed up against the sidewalk. I heard a noise like air coming out of an air hose and sure enough, we had a flat. On closer inspection, there was a huge piece of metal sticking out from the sidewalk that he hit. It tore a hole in the side of the tire. :( He got the flat off before Jenny and Daniel showed up. We went to eat and finished changing the tire afterwards. I think J&D were really, really excited to have Pooter home with them. I'll be glad when it's July and I can get him again! :)

I was worried about the cost of replacing the tire but luckily, Steven had purchased tire replacement the last two times he bought tires so all it cost was $14 and that was the cost of replacement on the tire we got. If we had declined that, it would have been $0. They didn't have the same tire in stock so they upgraded the tire. The amount of money we spent for replacement for 5 tires was still less than the cost of the tire we had replaced so I guess that was money well spent.

On to work...

The new year brought a new AR (Accelerated Reading) program that's web based and has all AR tests available, about 100,000. The district spent mega bucks on it and we were very excited to have it. That is until we started implementing it. The first day the students were back, I spent the entire day teaching them how to use it because it is *very* different. All day long, repeating the same information over and over. ICK! We've had issues with it since we got it. Let's see if I can remember them all...
*The student computers in the classrooms would not support the web based program so the students had to come to the lab to take tests. A major problem since I have classes all day.
*It's s-l-o-w
* We only had access to 13,000 quizzes and the librarian had marked books as having AR tests and they weren't activated.
* There was only 1 administrator for the district and she knew nothing about AR. I now have administrative access and am taking care of my camput.
* All the student imac computers had to have upgrades done and I'm the only person on campus that knows anything about macs. I finally got them done yesterday.
* All the student PCs had to have upgrades but they have a program that doesn't let you download anything. Got that turned off and I'm in the process of getting those taken care of. The other 2 lab people are helping with that.
*The students have to spell book titles *exactly* and 3rd graders are having difficulty with that. Before, they could get close and scroll to find the book but not with the new program.
I'm sure there were some more issues but it's been a nightmare. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be me. I've been crazy busy since we came back because I'm the only one with a brain, or so it seems. :)

Ms. Clark (principal) asked me the other day what I wanted to teach next year and I said 3rd grade. She asked if that was all and I told her I'd do 4th, resource or Life Skills but wouldn't be certifies for 5th (shucks!). Basically, anything that's available. SO, it appears that I'll for sure have a job on my campus next year.


Classes begin tomorrow. I'm not ready. I don't have a single notebook ready, no paper, no pencil bag with all my stuff ( have it but have no idea where it is). Luckily, tomorrow night is just orientation and I'll be OK with just a pen (have to remember my reading glasses though). Since I'm driving to The Woodlands 4 nights a week, I was stressing about the gas. No need to now because I'm now in a car pool with 2 other people. We're looking for a 4th person so we each have to drive only 1 week a month. That's going to save me tons of money and stress. I'm looking forward to this semester since it's my last until I begin my master's program next year but I'm also dreading it because it's going to be sooooo stressful. I keep telling myself that I can do anything for a semester and I can!

Almost forgot...I passed my EC-4 certification test and only missed 5 questions. I was really excited about that. I'm now 1/2 way to certification!

I did some stitching over the Christmas holidays and it sure felt good. That was the last of my stitching until summer. I did something for Audrey and had thought I'd give it to her for her birthday but I'm thinking I'll wait until Christmas. I'm doing it for all the girls, Ihope they like them.

I wrote the check for Rachael's last braces payment last Friday, hooray!! She won't get them off until March, at the earliest but they're paid for. Now to pay for the remainder of her announcements, college classes and books and I'll be all set. Unfortunately, Steven getting laid off when he did threw a kink in my plans for taking care of all those things but we'll get it worked out.

I'm sure there are other things I've forgotten but I'm tired and I hear my bed calling my name. Since I don't sleep well when Steven is gone, I better get there...