Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween! Happy Halloween!

OMG! The kids at school today were so crazy! Luckily, I managed to calm down a couple of classes by giving them a test. I'm so mean. Actually, it wasn't too bad a day. My first two classes had donuts, courtesy of parents. We celebrated a girl's birthday in first block. In second block, hmm, I'm not really sure why we had donuts. And cookies. But I'll tell you, I was HIGH!! I'd taken some cold medicine before class. Then had some hot chocolate. Then a glazed donut. The some Mountain Dew. Then a donut with orange (yum) icing and sprinkles. And some more Mountain Dew. I was flying! I have no idea what went on in my classes. I'm such a responsible teacher.

In third and fourth blocks, the kids took a test on Hercules. It was 25 whole multiple-choice questions. So hard. (Hear sarcasm here) Then they got to color a Halloween themed picture. Of course, they had to use their knowledge of Latin colors in order to follow the key. Of course, some of them didn't finish in class. So, now they have COLORING homework. From Latin class. It's funny.

Then in 5th and 6th block, we took a test. It was not a particularly hard test. It was not a terribly easy test. The kids thought it was pretty easy. I tried not to make it too difficult. As much as those 8th graders annoy the piss out of me, I really don't want them to fail. Well, most of them anyway. There are a couple that I'd like to flunk. If I'm being honest. And why not? This is my blog. None of my students know it exists. And they'd never think to look for me under this name.

Coming up next: the exciting world of trick-or-treating. We're going out to my sister's and going with her daughter in their neighborhood. Which is just as well, since we're too poor to buy candy to hand out this year. I'd feel bad taking my neighbors' candy if I'm not participating. Ya know? I'll post some pictures later of the kids. Colby is dressing as Spiderman, as he's been doing for the past month. And Bennett is going as an elephant. Yeah, I know. Poor kid. But it was free and it will fit. I hope. We haven't actually tried it on him. Guess if worse comes to worse (what does that mean anyway) we can always put him in one of my neice's Cinderella outfits. (hee hee)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's official. I've got a second job. I got my schedule for next week. Wednesday night, Friday night, Saturday all afternoon and early evening. There goes my life. See ya! Don't let the door hit you on your way out! I didn't want to spend any time with my kids anyway.

Colby has been having difficulties in school again. He's been on red once, orange once, yellow once, and green once. Evidently, he enjoys playing "guns" at school with his little buddy. They are not allowed to do that. You know, school violence and all begins at the preschool level. He's also having so much fun during the day that he refuses to stop to go pee. So he's going in his pants instead. This has happened three times this week. And tomorrow still to go! He used to be potty trained. I'm not sure what is happening here. I feel like we've lost control of the sweet little boy I used to know.

I've wondered if all this acting out is a cry for something else. My mom, because she knows all, thinks that this could be some kind of post-surgery psycho thing. Like, he's reacting to the trauma of surgery. But that was almost three months ago. Is there some kind of time limit on these things? And how do you ask a four-year-old if he's feeling traumatized by his surgery that happened three months ago? Should we find some kind of child psychologist?Argh! I cannot deal with anything else right now.

Is there some kind of limit to how much crap can go on in your life all at the same time? I think we're there.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Under the Weather

It's fall. The time when a man's fancy turns to thoughts of snuggling naked under a comforter. When my thoughts turn to Where are we going to get the money for daycare? For the mortgage? For the electric/water/phone/cell phone?

Why haven't I heard back from that job I interviewed for where the manager practically had me sign the papers on the spot? I didn't really want to have to work another job until midnight most nights, but when you're looking at losing your house, anything looks good.

Why won't hubs get a job? He just dropped two classes, because he was feeling overwhelmed. Um, hello!? He's got the time. If he could just learn to read faster, or more effectively.

Why do I have to deal with everything? Calling the hospital to set up payment plans. Making sure the bills are paid. Earning the money. Cooking. Cleaning. Doing laundry.

I am so tired. So very tired. I'd like to just curl up in a little ball and go to sleep. But I have to go grade papers. And I have to fill out financial assistance forms. And the DSS forms for food stamps. And the forms to see if we qualify for Medicaid. Because I have no pride anymore. I believe we have hit rock bottom.

It's lonely down here.

Sorry this is so depressing. But I've had a rough time lately. If anyone would like to make donations, please email. I will be happy to send you my address.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Happy Second Birthday, Bennett

What a special day! Why? Because two years ago, I became a twice-baked mommy with the addition of Bennett.

Hubs and I got up early that morning of October 11. We'd picked out that date for the c-section. I don't know why. It just seemed like a good day, and it would allow my in-laws to not have to miss any football games over the next weekend. (Honestly, that was part of it.) Anyway, my moms came over around 5:30 am. They were taking care of Colby while we were in the hospital.

We drove mostly in silence. I know that I was nervous about having a second child. How could I possibly love another baby as much as I loved my first? What would we do with another mouth to feed? How would we ever pay for daycare? Would my recovery be okay? Would the baby be okay, or would he have to go to the NICU too?

The nurses prepped me: cleaned my tummy, checked my vitals, took 3 tries to get in an IV. I talked to the anesthesiologist about a thousand times. The doc came in to check on me. Then, it was showtime!

Half an hour later, we had Bennett!
If nothing else, Bennett has been an adventure. Literally. He's not afraid of anything or anyone. From the very beginning, he had his own little personality. Sleep on my back? I think not! Eat constantly? I think so! Sleep through the night? No problem!

He would take his own sweet time doing other things: rolling over, cutting teeth, crawling, talking. However, he's been a pioneer. He loves to climb. Anything, anytime, anywhere. He's not afraid of animals. He's not afraid of the hair clippers. He's not afraid of that dead cockroach in the corner of the classroom at the church. (He tried to eat it. Thank God that Pastor Barrett was paying attention!) No vacuum wakes him, nor does lightning or thunder.

He is so curious about everything. He wants to use that big boy potty so badly! He wants to sleep in the bunk bed with his big brother. (Um, no!) What is that cool, shiny thing on the back of the car? An exhaust pipe? Can I touch it? Ouch! What does it feel like to go head-first off the side of the couch? Ouch!

And he wants to be Colby so much! All he does is follow his big brother around all day. When Colby was into dinosaurs, Bennett had to play too. When Colby liked the Wiggles (glad that's over), Bennett had to play the Wiggle guitar too. Now that Colby's into Spiderman/Superman/Batman, Bennett must have them as well. It is so cute! Well, I think it's cute. Colby doesn't much like it though.

All in all, I am so blessed to have Bennett as my second son. He brings out the best in me. He still loves to cuddle with his mommy. At night, we say our prayers together. Then, I sing "You Are My Sunshine". He lifts his little head and places his forehead against mine as I sing. His blue eyes look right into my brown ones, and he sees into my heart. He knows that I love him more than words.

Happy Second Birthday, Angel baby!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Favorite Email Ever

Let me start by saying that Colby has been having some issues lately. He's just turned four, and this has apparently made him think that he rules the universe. While it is true that he gets his way a lot of the time, because really it's just easier than explaining WHY he can't have a Spiderman popsicle 5 minutes before dinner, it has not been pleasant to live with.

If you have small children, you are probably familiar with the green-yellow-orange-red progression that is commonly used in schools to show how a child's behavior was that day. Well, my dear Colby has been orange twice in the past two weeks. And on Wednesday, a half-day at school, in only 3 hours, he was red. RED. RED!!! Holy shit!

In my wildest dreams, I never imagined that a child of mine would ever stoop to behavior so bad that it would require a RED. Never! But it was. He was. I was so disappointed. I was so embarrassed.

Then, yesterday, I was checking my email at the end of the day, and I saw one from his teacher. All the subject said was "Colby :)" I took that to be a good sign. Inside the email was this:

mo mmmmmmmmmmmmmy and daddy,

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii aam haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaviiiii ng a beeeeeeeeeeetterrr day! :::;;;;;;;;;;;;)'


I was near tears. I laughed and laughed, and almost cried. My baby, my angel boy, he wrote his first email. At the tender age of four. I immediately forwarded it to the hubs. He loved it too. We've saved it. It's too sweet.

And thank God he had a better day. Otherwise, he would have lost all the skin on his bottom.

Monday, October 02, 2006

OLTA final

Almost forgot.

Weight: 162 lbs.
Size: 12
Attitude: improving

I'm not quite as depressed as last week. It was nice having the weekend to just veg.

Even though I haven't changed any sizes, I am happy to say that I maintained. I didn't get to go the gym AT ALL, and my life has been one shit pile after another during this whole experience. But I'm okay with that. I'm proud of myself for not giving up when things got rough, and really, isn't that what life is all about?

So I'm mentally preparing to kiss someone's (tiny) ass soon. Who will it be?

And I'm so glad I made some new bloggy friends! It's been great having you ladies to talk to and share with. I hope you keep coming around!

And Another One

I'll be the first to admit it. I don't want to go to work tomorrow. I know I say that a lot, but I think that there are teachers everywhere who will echo my sentiments.

There was another school shooting today. In Amish country. A shooter just walked in and blew the kids (girls) away. Last week, a principal was shot by a student. The week before, there was a shooting somewhere else. According to the news, there have been 17 fatal shootings just this school year. Since August 1.

I'm scared. I work in a less desireable part of town. The kids at my school can be rough. We have an entire "village" of portables. Anybody can get in there and just go crazy. There's a chain link fence keeping us safe. There's a whole building site on the other side. What if one of those guys went crazy? Who is going to stop them?

I have two little ones who need their mommy.

Someone needs to do something about this. I don't want to be afraid every time I go to work. I'm a teacher for goodness sake! We're all about shaping the future of America, creating leaders, and all that shit. Isn't it time someone took care of us. Lord knows, we don't get paid enough to give up our lives.

Think about it. And thank a teacher for being willing to go to work tomorrow.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

On My Journey

When I was a little girl, we would go to church occasionally. My mom is Catholic, my dad is Lutheran. Neither was what you would call a regular. In fact, my did pretty much only went to church to see one of us kids get baptised, celebrate first communion, or get confirmed. Otherwise, he did not darken the doors of a church. There is a story there, but it's not mine to tell.

Mostly, we'd go maybe once a month. I remember we went a little more often once we moved to Mississippi. The church there was nice. I liked the Father. He was nice. But he left after a year, and I didn't really want to go much after that. Then, my parents split up. My mom moved out. I was devestated. She would still come over before and after school every day, but it wasn't the same.

After a couple of years, my dad started going to church again. So some Sundays we'd go to the Catholic church with my mom, and some we'd go to the Lutheran church with Dad. I still wasn't that into it, it was just something we did. Then Dad got remarried, and he got more serious about church. He went EVERY week. Then, and this was a real kicker, he decided he wanted to go to Seminary. So we moved to SC.

My mom managed to find a job out here and she followed us. If I went to church at all, it was to Catholic church. I didn't want to go with Dad. I guess I was still rebelling and angry at moving. I tried going to CYO, but all the kids went to a different high school, so I didn't really fit in.

When I went off to Furman, I started attending Mass on campus. I met some really nice people, and started to go every week. I sang with our little group during Mass. It was fun. I met a nice boy and started dating him. This went on for a couple of years. We even got engaged. But my heart wasn't in any of it. Not Mass, not singing, not dating Chris. Senior year, I broke it off with him, once and for all. I stopped going to Mass.

I went on foreign study that winter. I traveled to Egypt, Jordan, Isreal, and Italy. It was AWESOME!!! I was so blessed to have those experiences. But I saw things there that really shook me. The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The church in Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where Christians/Orthodox can't seem to share and get along. The final straw was St. Peter's in Vatican City. The hugeness, the ornateness, the works of art, the splendor. I couldn't reconcile this with what I thought Christianity was all about: helping the poor, being a good person, living a simpler life. When I got home from foreign study, that was it. I told my mom that I didn't want to attend church anymore. I told my dad. They were not happy about that. But they gave me space.

After graduation, I started dating Weston. After a few months, he invited me to go to church with him. He taught a class of senior citizens, his "grandmothers". They were sweet. His church embraced me with open arms. I went to Sunday school, worship, Wednesday night fellowship. The pastor, Don, was such a great guy! He listed when I talked.

I watched the way Weston lived his life, how at peace he seemed. And I wanted some of that. I joined his church, and it was a great fit. But I still felt like something was missing.

When we moved to Columbia for my job, we didn't go to church right at first. Then a couple of my students mentioned their church to me. I thought, Why not? And then I met Pastor Barrett. It seemed like every Sunday, he spoke to me. He challenged me to do more, to be more. I got involved with Bible school, took Disciple Bible study, started going to Sunday school. And I felt alive! I couldn't get enough of Jesus and His Word. I wanted to know His plan, to make sure I was following His lead. I made friends. I had found a church home.

So, that's where I am. I have added singing in the Praise Team to my list of church activities now. I love to sing, and I love to praise God. We've got a new pastor, Kevin, now. He's not the same as Pastor Barrett (whom I miss terribly), but he's also a great spiritual guide. Weston and I have dedicated our lives, and our children, to Christ. We've had a few bumpy spots. Even starting Seminary isn't easy. I pray multiple times a day, sometimes continuously, about everything. Traffic, tests, the kids, books, you name it.

Was there one specific day where everything changed? When I gave my life over to Christ? No. It's been a gradual process, started by my husband. He didn't know he was planting a seed. He was just being his usual,wonderful self. He turned me on to things I didn't even know I was missing. I'm so glad he has been my partner through this.

It's all about the journey. And I'm so glad to be on it.

Thanks to Lauren at Created for HIS Glory for this Bloggy Tour of Testimonies.