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Archive for June, 2009

Sometimes life hands us things and we don’t know what to do with it. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? It sure seems like a good thing, but there are things that have you questioning it all. At least that’s how it works in my brain.

Life has made me cautious, very cautious. In many ways this is a good thing. I tend to be able to read people like a book. I can generally let you know if someone is worth getting to know before they have opened their mouth. I can read body language and facial expressions well and I’m usually dead on.  I’ve learned to listen to my instincts and to rely on them.

I seem to be on this new path lately. Life veered significantly off trail just over a year ago and I seem to finally be at a place where I can start living again. Too bad it has taken so long. It seems like a wasted year, but that’s not fair to myself nor fair to the lessons that I have surely learned and am yet to realize.

There is much to be said about my life at the moment and so little that I actually want to say. Leann Rimes does a nice job of summing it up; Something’s Gotta Give.

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Me – Have you ever noticed all of the dating advertisements on the side of Facebook? C, we have a match for you!

Daughter – Yeah, it’s really annoying.

Son to me – I don’t know why anyone would want to date you.

Umm, thanks son!!!

“That’s not what I meant. I just mean, well people are old. Why would old people date?”

So not helping here.

Son, you have the talent of most men. You say what you mean, it comes out wrong. You try to explain yourself. You make it worse. Congratulations!!  At 8 years old, you may have achieved manhood.

😉

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My daughter has been texting D for quite sometime. I figured that there was something between them, but got tired of asking. The other day, she asked if she could hang at the mall with D and J. I had to go anyways, so I didn’t mind dropping her off. We looked at the makeup and after she picked out what she needed, she was off to meet her friends. Not long after, I text her to come back because I found a shade that I thought she might like. 

She came back walking hand in hand with D. 

I smiled and said, “Wait a minute. Boyfriend/girlfriend?”

Sheepish grin, “Yes.”

“When did this happen?”

“Last night.”

He was perfectly nice and insisted on shaking my hand even though it had make up all over it. Tonight he asked daughter if I like him. 

“To be perfectly honest, I don’t know him. I’d have to talk to him a lot more.”

Ha! How cute that he wants me to like him. He’s got a few things going for him:

1. He came to meet me when he didn’t have to.
2. He was a gentleman and insisted on shaking my make up covered hand.
3. He cares if I like him or not.

I will have to kick his ass if he hurts my girl, though. I must be perfectly clear about that.

😀

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It’s been a tough year, a year of survival and many, many challenges. In my years of teaching, this has hands down been the worst year ever. I could go on and on about what made the year so tough, but it is a long list and not easily stated. I’ve had my eyes on the end all year. It has been my focus. Survival and the ability to make it to the end. 

I don’t know how to put these things into words because it is such a hodgepodge of feelings and thoughts. You see, having had to focus on the end all year, I thought for sure I would be happy once the end finally arrived. Friday was the end to my year with my students and it isn’t a happy feeling after all. I am happy that we (my teaching team, the students and I) all made it, but I am not happy to say goodbye to these kids. I will walk into my empty classroom on Monday to finish packing up for summer and posting grades. It will hurt my heart to walk into that empty classroom. The desks are stacked, the student’s self portraits are down, art work and student papers have been removed. The classroom is practically bare and ready for the next group of kids. 

Recently I looked out my classroom door and noticed that there were about 30 5th graders hanging around talking. I opened the door and loudly and sternly shouted, “GO HOME!!!” A look of horror fell upon the face of nearby adults and siblings were startled to hear a teacher yell like that. The 5th graders, however, had a completely different reaction. They turned, saw it was me, and immediately came to me for a group hug and casual conversation. They knew that I was not serious and laughed at me stating, “Oh Ms. H.” It was funny to watch this unfold. I knew that the kids would know right away that I was kidding. I had not anticipated the reaction of others. I knew that they would wonder about it, but I didn’t expect their looks of horror, followed with a quizzical glimpse and then smile upon smile. 

I taught about ten of my 33 students last year as well. It is especially tough to say goodbye to those kids. We have deep bonds and most of them I am somewhat involved with their family as well. This year, I have helped students work through social issues, I have been a shoulder to cry on for several students who found their parents divorcing, other students had parents in and out of the hospital, a mother had cancer and I was a part of the diagnosis, the chemo and the radiation treatments. The student brought in the device that was inserted into her mother for chemo treatments. I was there (in the student and family’s life) when Mom was diagnosed and I was involved when Mom had her very last treatment over a year later. I was a part of the life of a child that walked out of the courthouse with only the clothes on his back into his mother’s care. The school was able to provide clothing until Mom was able to get all that she needed. I went to baseball games, softball games and birthday parties. I listened as they talked to me about their latest crushes and shared who their current boyfriend or girlfriend was. I watched the physical transformation from child to young adult. I listened to children cry that they don’t like their Mom or their Dad and why they felt that way. I received hug after hug after hug. A known gang member began to call me Mommy and continued to do so all year long. He was insistent that I was his “other mother.” Together, we laughed and we cried and today I realize just how very attached I am to these students. They are amazing kids and I love them. I hate to see them go. 

I laugh with my kids, I share with my kids and I cry with my kids. They are so deeply rooted into my life. I couldn’t help but tell a few of them that I love them as we said our final goodbyes. I don’t usually let myself express love to my kids. Occasionally I find myself giving a kiss on the forehead, but this year, I knew that I had to tell some of them that I love them. I knew that the craziness of their home-life and the raging hormones of a pre-teen left some of them wondering if anyone loved them and I could not let them leave without hearing me say that yes, I really do love you. 

How can I not be sad to see these kids go? Kids that know that when I “yell” I am only playing. Kids that know they can get a hug from me at anytime, kids that like to stand around and talk to me about nothing. Kids that have opened up and let me fully and completely into their lives. Goodbye guys. I WILL miss you!

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Sometimes things in life flow and one breathes a sigh of relief while stating, “It was a good day.”

The day itself was uneventful except for the fact that the school year is winding down. Yay for that. I will only be taking two classes this summer, so I will actually have a break and hopefully enjoy the summer, finish the painting and get that new carpet installed. 

Tonight, my handy man, Kevin, came out to install the new garbage disposal. He was pleased with my replacement purchase, but suggested that he tinker with the old disposal first so that maybe, just maybe I could take the new one back and save myself some money. Indeed he was able to repair the old disposal. Yay! Total cost? $0. This is the reason that I call him for everything. His work is good and his prices are ALWAYS fair. He piped my home for my new gas stove, put in a water line for my new refrigerator which also had ice and water, installed a micro-hood (a hood for the stove which was also a microwave), fixed the dishwasher, replaced some piping under my home, and numerous other jobs. Total cost? About $300. Yeah, some things are good. I let him know that I’ll be needing him in a couple of weeks to install a fan, get two electrical outlets working, repair/replace a light fixture and install a new bathroom medicine cabinet/mirror. He suggested that I go ahead and get a nice one, we can cut a hole in the wall and place it. Total he’ll be charging me? About $100. What a steal of a deal! In addition to being a very reasonable price and certified, he also does a nice job. This is not simply a case of getting what you pay for. 

After he left, I ran to the local Grange Co-Op and purchased grass seed and mulch. I had sprayed the front yard with weed killer. As it turned out, the whole yard was mostly weeds and promptly died. LOL I then rushed home, raked the yard with the help of my daughter, spread the seed, spread the mulch, ran back to the store to get some more mulch, and finished the job. Now, the thunder is rolling in and the fresh seed should get some nice water. I can’t wait for it to start growing. I was hoping to have a sprinkler system installed, till the yard and then plant, but that simply won’t be happening this year, so I’ll be happy to have some decent looking grass. 

It’s 8:00, my daughter is making me a mocha, the kids are getting along, life is pretty good tonight. I need more nights like this one. I think they’re on the way!

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My mom and I were talking about a conversation that I had with another family member recently. “Wow,” she said, “You are pretty blunt these days.”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Well, you two are close, you can be blunt with her.”

Except, I’m kind of blunt with everyone now a days. Usually I word things nicely, but sometimes, things just need to be said. 

Ah, aging. It brings out the best in us.

***Also, my links are still gone and I don’t know why. Do you know where they went and how to get them back? My “links” tab shows that all of my links are visible, but as you can clearly see, they are not.

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