Wednesday, April 29, 2009

baby steps

I love all of my sunshines. A lot. Even when they make bad choices. Some might say especially when they make bad choices. I want what's best for them, but that is not always what they choose. I am hopeful that as time passes and the numbers of sunshines who pass through my door increases, the message will resonate with more and more of them. Until then, I will continue to tell them when they make a bad choice, and that I care to help them learn to make a better one next time-- even if it's a big, bad scary choice that was made. It doesn't matter to me that they may have already graduated-- I don't let go easily. Just ask my fourth grade teacher who still gets a Christmas card from me. Baby steps, mixed with tough love, for all of us.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


As you all I'm sure know, I'm not proud when it comes to stuff. I love it when I get hand-me-downs for me, and if I need something and no friends are cleaning, I go to Goodwill first. Last fall, the town trimmed a few trees on the road near our house. We thought they'd been harvested by their landowners, but when the snow melted away this spring there they were. I waited a full month for their rightful owners to harvest... but today I gave in to my frugal side. This is probably a few day's worth of wood-- a drop in the bucket of what we'll need-- but free is free, right? On a walk this afternoon I noticed that an old tree that fell down last year is rotten at the ends, but the trunk may be salvageable. I think I'm going to talk to those neighbors and see if they'd be willing to let us clean it up in exchange for the usable wood. Now if I could just run a chainsaw...

when I was a kid

We didn't have internet, so it didn't matter if it was down for half a day. What did we used to do to get our news? Oh, right, watch tv only at noon and 6.

Glad to be back.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

because I can't not play along...

from SJ, Katie, and WB

A - Age: 39

B - Bed size: Queen

C - Chore you hate: raking

D - Dog's name: no such creature lives here

E - Essential start to your day: hitting snooze at least once

F - Favorite color: turquoise

G - Gold or Silver: gold

H - Height: 5'2" (?)

I - Instruments you play: once upon a time piano and clarinet.

J- Job: alt ed teacher

K – Kids: Boy (11) and Girly (9), plus bestfriends 2, and all my students...

L - Living arrangements: with my family, living the American Dream...

M - Mom's name: Ann

N - Nicknames: Nanny, Buckaroo

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: oh, too many... week in 3rd grade, again in 5th grade, a night with Girly for her asthma...

P - Pet Peeve: when I order a Coke and am asked "Is Pepsi ok?" Um... NO!

Q - Quote from a movie: "High school are your prime suffering years" --Uncle Frank, Little Miss Sunshine

R – Robot or Human? now this is a pathetic question...

S - Siblings: two
sisters and a brother

T - Time you wake up: 7:00 on school days... but that's not always when I get up...

U- Underwear: bikinis

V - Vegetable you dislike: beets. I think it's the only one I just won't eat.

W - Ways you run late: getting distracted... often by one last check of email, blogs, and FB...

X - X-rays you've had: I think it would be easier to list those I've not...

Y - Yummy food you make: why make it if it's not yummy?

Z - Zoo favorite: not a big zoo fan...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

conquering demons

Girly was more than a little bit scared about going to any gymnastics competitions. We're not totally sure why, but she is definitely closer to WB's introverted nature than my extroverted. Because of her extreme resistance, we took the choice away from her and made her go. The only way she'll know what to expect is to do it, and she might as well learn about meets now rather than when (if?) she makes the competition squad.

She was very close to losing her breakfast before her first event, but her coach was standing right there next to her, and you could see her face relax after finishing that first event. By the end, she was glad she'd gone. She even won her level on floor exercise, and came in second in her level for their All Around scores!

I think what I enjoy most about parenting these days is watching them grow. She was really out of her comfort zone today, but she found the inner strength to suck it up and get through it. She could have melted down-- many other kids might have-- and she could have just dug in her heels and told us no. But she knew she had to overcome this hurdle, and she did. We are so very proud of her. It was a good day to be a Girly!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weezer knows best

When you’re on a holiday
You can’t find the words to say
All the things that come to you
And I wanna feel it too

On an island in the sun
We’ll be playing and having fun
And it makes me feel so fine
I can’t control my brain

When you’re on a golden sea
You don’t need no memory
Just a place to call your own
As we drift into the zone

On an island in the sun
We’ll be playing and having fun
And it makes me feel so fine
I can’t control my brain

We’ll run away together
We’ll spend some time forever
We’ll never feel bad anymore

On an island in the sun
We’ll be playing and having fun
And it makes me feel so fine
I can’t control my brain

We’ll run away together
We’ll spend some time forever
We’ll never feel bad anymore

Hip Hip

We’ll never feel bad anymore
no no
We'll never feel bad anymore
no no
We'll never feel bad anymore
No No
We'll never feel bad anymore

No No

Monday, April 13, 2009

you know it's time for vacation

... when your patience is shot

... when you flip out at the drop of a hat

... when you don't care enough to flip out anymore

Oh yea. I'm there.

Monday, April 06, 2009

deep thoughts

So much rattling around in my head that I'm having a hard time making sense of it all. Random events lead to startling understanding, but how to share the knowledge without scaring or offending everyone is the challenge. Kids feel so much pressure... to be cool, to be smart, to resist authority, to succeed (and succeed and succeed)... and what they really need is to... what, exactly? Therein lies the million dollar answer. As I see it, everyone (and I'm not just talking kids any longer) needs to learn something different. Some need to learn to let go, others to work so hard at something they collapse in relief. Some need to laugh more while others need to give in and let the tears fall. Sometimes the hoops are there to jump through and other times they need to be thrown aside and a new path forged. How do you know when to rebel and when to sit quiet... and how do you help someone figure that out for himself-- even when that person is you?

That's where my head's been at... How about the rest of you?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

This one's for the Jug O' Water

Tired of all of those surveys made up by high school kids?! 'Have you ever kissed someone? Missed someone? Told someone you loved them? Drank alcohol?' 49 questions for the people who are a little older...Tag me when you finish. I'm too self absorbed to pass these stupid things up.

What bill do you hate paying the most?
The ones I forget are due.

Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?
Little Dan's BBQ

What do you really want to be doing right now?

How many colleges did you attend?
One. I got my master's from a different college, but I only took one on campus class (the rest were distance learning classes housed at local schools) so I don't consider that attending.

Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?
Cause it was right near the bathroom door.

What are your thoughts on gas prices?
That this correction has been a long time coming and we really need to get off our addiction to this limited supply resource.... but it's nice to be able to afford to drive around to see family.

First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
Why is JOAD so stinkin' early on a Saturday?

Last thought before going to sleep last night?
my body is older than my mind

Do you miss being a child?
I sometimes miss the freedom to just go play when there's work to be done, but usually you couldn't pay me enough to do it again. Except college. I'd go back and take random classes and live in the dorms in a heart beat.

What errand/chore do you despise?
Raking the lawn.

Get up early or sleep in?
sleep in. I still think school should run 10-4.

Have you found real love yet?

Favorite lunch meat?
right now I'm on a salami italian kick

What do you get every time you go into Wal-Mart?
I try hard to avoid Ho-Mart. They treat their employees like crap, no matter what their fancy ad campaign makes you think. Look out for the little guy!

Beach or lake?
isolated lake, but I wouldn't turn down a trip to the beach

Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?
not at all! You learn a lot about yourself and a lot about what forever really means.

Sopranos or Desperate Housewives?
I haven't seen either yet. Plan to 'Flix 'em both eventually.

What famous person would you like to have dinner with?
Oh man... today I think Peter Sagal.

Have you ever crashed your vehicle?
too many times. *sigh*

Ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose?
no, but I do have one.

Ring tone?
vibrate or the closest thing to a boring old ring

Ringback tone?
I don't even know what this is.

Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth?
some might say the shower, but I was just economizing my time.

Somewhere in California you've never been and would like to go?
Why CA? I would like to go back to San Fransisco and see it right. 24 hours with 4 kids was not enough time.

Do you go to church?
Not anymore.

At this point in your life would you rather start a new career or a new relationship?
Neither. I love teaching and I love my husband. I guess a new friendship could be fun, but honestly, I have some pretty rockin' friends taking care of me already, so...

How old are you?
39.... although I really think of myself as 34 max.

Do you have a go to person?
yup-- depends on the situation who gets gone-to first.

Are you where you want to be in life?
Sure am.... except for the debt. Working on that.

Growing up, what were your favorite cartoons?
I remember a lot of live action-- Sesame, Electric Company, and Mr. Rogers, HR Puffenstuff, Land of the Lost, Sigmund the Seamonster, Electric Woman and Dinah Girl, Oh Mighty Isis.

What about you do you think has changed the most?

Looking back at high school were they the best years of your life?
Not a chance. Not even the second best.

Are there times that you still feel like a kid?
Sure, but less and less often.

Did you ever own troll dolls?
Yea. My mom did too.

Did you have a pager?
Never. Don't think I'll ever have one.

Where was the hang out spot when you were a teenager?
Usually someone else's house. My parents were too strict.

Were you the type of kid you would want your children to hang out with?
Oh my yes. Goody goody all the way. Hard working, took school seriously, but also liked to have harmless, clean fun. You betcha.

Who do you think impacted your life the most?
No one person has impacted me the most-- but everyone has impacted me in some way.

Was there a teacher or authority figure that stood out for you?
A whole bunch. Mrs. T. Mr. Bissell. Lib and Cas. Mr. and Mrs. Houghton. I really could go on...

Do you tell stories that start with “when I was your age”?
Daily, but not in the way you might think. I use them as teaching tools, and they're often about the stupid things I did or the moments that have helped shape me into who I am today.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I've noticed the RVBs in general have been quiet lately. Rough time of year for all of us, I'm sure-- I know it is for me. I guess I'm just here to say I miss all of our online conversations and I'm looking forward to when we have more energy to chat using our keyboards again.