Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Can you smell it?

Today was rough. Rough. Enough to cause me to contemplate opening the bottle of wine in my fridge (I think I'll be having one glass tonight after a walk with a friend).

It went from great to bad to worse to horrendous and then back to great again.

As I walked the bus students out to their busses, a student I had last year walked by me. He stopped, looked around, and then looked at me with innocence in his eyes and said, "It smells like summer."

Alas, dear one, it does. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and students are noticing. Oh, are they noticing.

Thankfully, tomorrow is our last day and then Spring Break begins (Can I get an Amen?). Time to celebrate slicing through March with a beautiful day and taking notice of it. Sometimes I just need to be reminded.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Tonight I was blessed. I was remembering just over the past 24 hours how I've been blessed. Allow me to share.
  • A friend called me back after she had been asleep to listen to me ramble a story about how a plan I had concocted with another friend had backfired (did you catch that).
  • My students said some funnies that make me laugh and forget about the rough parts of the day.
  • Pedicures!!!
  • Ran into a friend at the nail salon who brightens my day with her smile!
  • A fabulous dinner - Boca burger with broccoli sprouts on Italian crusty bread - yum!
  • My friend and I watched (and caught up) on the Office and exchanged back massages.
  • I talked with my aunt and will hopefully be spending some of my time in southern Indiana and will get to visit a winery with her.
  • A friend and I exchanged dinners and I have pulled pork now to eat.
  • The sun was shining and the birds were chirping.
  • I have an amazing job where I can impact people all around me if I so desire - it's all about choosing my attitude.

Their own riddle

Tuesdays are known as Tickle Me Tuesday...I said it once and now in March, it has still stuck! Every Tuesday, on our morning message, I write a riddle and then using color-changing markers reveal the answer. It's so fun to listen to the collective Oh, as they "get it."

One of my girls was telling us about how she had discovered that a wood duck (she referred to the Encyclopedia of North American Birds to find the picture and show us at morning meeting) had ended up in her house last night. As the students were exclaiming, a boy piped in with "How did it get in your house?"

"It came through the wood burning stove."

"Oh, it's a wood duck."

And then my quirky one never lets me down..."He must have sensed the wood."

Oh how I love them!

Later on during the day, the students had received their artwork back from the elementary art showcase. Every piece of artwork had a participant ribbon stapled onto them.

My quirky one said, "I won an award. Momma, I won the art show."

Another boy lets him know that everyone got a ribbon.

You could hear his disappointment fall over him like Niagara Falls, "Oh."


It's boot is famous! So famous that one of my students wrote about it in her prompt.

Background - She was in Puppy Island (she fell into a book)

"Miss Cathy was so tired she forgot to put on her boot. I brought it with me. It was cool!"



My friend and I splurged today. Pedicures! As we sat in the chairs, letting our feet soak and our backs breathe in the massage chair, we conversed. I have to admit, it was quite hard to pay attention while goodness was occurring all around me. The gentleman applied the deep maroon color and since I had asked for a design, the lady slid over to finish me off.

What an amazing talent! A yellow flower appeared with a pink center and a small white swirly finished off the look. As I walked my stuff over to the drying table to stick my feet, I set my purse on the floor. Rather than set my sweater on the floor, I slid it onto the back of the chair. Wrong move! It dragged across my foot. Yep, you ladies are cringing, aren't you? My beautiful flower became a kaleidoscope of colors.

A gentleman came over and cringed as well. He couldn't fix it, but after trying to figure out what to do (sometimes it's hard for me to understand English, let alone accents - I think I have some slight hearing loss), he sent me off to chair to repaint the toe. And then I sat. And sat. And sat. I wasn't sure if the other lady was going to fix the toe or if I was just going to have to cough up the money and deal with my clumsiness.

She was busy doing another client, so I sat in the chair feeling like I was in the time out chair. Hearing her tell her client that she'll be right back, she came down. As graciously as possible, I tried to thank her. After she finished, I walked stiff-legged as slowly as possible to let the toes dry.

After paying (and leaving a nice tip), I walked gingerly to my car and admired my newly painted toes. Even now, I sit with my toes under the ottoman willing them to dry. A great lesson learned.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Like Edward

I feel like Edward Tulane...


Oh, what a long day it seemed to be. We accomplished a lot in the classroom, but I am most thoroughly impressed with their writing prompts. We are only studying prompts for two weeks and will try our hand with poetry when we come back, but I see some great improvements in the writers. Some of the writers are dabbling with tag lines other than said, using adverbs (sadly, angrily, happily), and using ending punctuation correctly (for the most part). They were creative and after having read Boy Writers by Ralph Fletcher, I am not going to talk to one of my boys about using the word poop in his writing. Honestly, it's kind of funny and gross and I can just imagine the grossness in my mind as he was having it flung by monkeys. He's using action...

However, when I was reading the prompts tonight, I had to laugh. My quirky one, that had tipped over my student teacher's coffee, used "I did not see that coming" in his writing. It brought a smile to my face. And after having heard almost every teacher comment on how crazy their class was today, it was nice to at least see growth in their writing (since it didn't happen in their listening today).

BTW, one small funny...I was explaining what cauliflower ear was and how you get it. (We're reading The Tale of Despereaux.) After telling them how wrestlers often get it, my quirky one jumps in with, "Like Jacob wrestling with the angel." (from the Old Testament) He must have just had that lesson in Sunday School.

Beauty of the Sun

After lugging my recycling bin and trash can to the street, I walked inside and made a cup of coffee (with cinnamon dolce syrup from Starbucks). I grabbed my grading, a green pen, and my iPod.

I settled on my front steps, heard the tweeting of the birds, felt the warmth of the sun, and bathed in it all.

I turned on my music, leafed through writing prompts (which I was somewhat impressed with), and wrote comments as I enjoyed my small little slice of peace, beauty, and warmth. It felt good to slow down today. (After school today, I needed it.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I made dinner tonight for a group of people who were on tour presenting at our church tonight.

Three pounds of hamburger
Two pounds of turkey
Two onions
Many bread crumbs
Six loaves of meat loaves

Ten pounds of potatoes
Two bags of frozen green beans
Two bags of frozen corn

Eighteen white rolls
Ten wheat rolls

Three bags of spinach, romaine, and spring mix lettuces
One bag of frozen peas
Two cans of beats
Two zucchinis (is that the right word?)
Three cucumbers
Ten roma tomatoes
One giant make-it-yourself salad

I have one giant make-it yourself salad left. I have two meat loaves left. I have a gallon size bag of green beans, corn, and potatoes left. I have eight rolls left. I won't be making lunch or dinner this week and will also be feeding my co-workers. BTW, I haven't even mentioned the eight chocolate cupcakes or key lime dessert that is left.

I also have a tye-dyed seatbelt thanks to beet juice.

I hope the people that ate my meal tonight are nourished, blessed, and enjoyed a home cooked meal, no matter how much was left over.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What are the chances?

First off, my friend K, please calculate the chances and let me know what they are...

Second, all names and places and situations have been changed to protect the identities of those involved.

I recently signed up again for an online dating service. There are not many quality single men in my area that I've met and would be interested in dating.

I had a match sent to me from my area and turned out, "Bob" was a guy I knew from the "gym". I haven't seen him lately there when I go, and haven't had the chance in the past few weeks to go.

Today, I had coffee with "Barbara". It was great catching up and learning more about Barbara's life. Barbara and I met at the "gym". While we were talking, I felt the need to let her know about "Bob" just in case if I see him at the "gym", she can save me from an awkward conversation.

As I was sharing, she began laughing. The reason? She had gone out with "Bob" last week. Turns out that she doesn't see a potential relationship unfolding for the two of them and we had a great laugh together.

While she gave me her blessing in getting to know "Bob", I don't think I will be trying to have coffee with him any time soon.

10 for 10 Update

This year, I am trying something new. I have 10 goals. And some of you will get to help me with them (my running friends)! This will also help me become intentional, I believe.

1. Read three professional books
  • Daily Five by The Sisters (as they are known)
  • CAFE book (by same authors as above)
  • Boy Writers by Ralph Fletcher
2. Run 5 5K's
  • Due to tendonitis, I am in a boot and will be walking one this morning (I think it still counts, right?)
3. Run a sub 30 5K
4. Pay off debt to dad (and thus, be debt free except my mortgage)

  • uh, yeah, I'm debt free!!!!!!!!!!
5. Go to Honduras on a mission trip (scared of flying)
  • Have my passport now and will pay my first installment tomorrow
6. Clean off all of the clothes off my floor and have them put away
7. See a movie by myself
8. Give blood 4 times (one down and three to go)
  • Signed up for my second one - it's sponsored by CW25 for The Vampire Diaries - I'll let you know how that turns out :)
9. Write my compassion children three times each this year
  • wrote each one once so far
10. Finish reading whole Bible (on track to finish mid-July)
  • About two more weeks and then the OT is finished! On to the NT...excited!

Friday, March 26, 2010

True Friends

They say you can always tell your true friends by what they say and their honesty.

In that case, my quirky one (one of my students) is a true friend. As I was reading The Tale of Despereaux to my class, he chimes in with, "You've got something in your teeth." He motioned to his mouth.

I scraped my teeth and grinned.

"Nope. There's still some there."

I scraped again and grinned.

"Yep, all good now."

The para that works in my room that had been listening to the book hadn't even noticed.

Thinking back, I wondered how long it had been in my teeth and why no one had said anything before. I guess I know who my true friends are!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


As I drove home, I was contemplating what to write about...our musical program today, a student misunderstanding the meaning of chandelier (she thought it was champagne - alcohol - whoops), creating literacy stations...I really had nothing.

I walked up my steps, opened my mailbox, and saw a blue envelope. It was from one of my small group girls who is now in college. There are roughly twelve girls now in college ranging from freshmen to juniors who I hope I poured into while they were in high school (and hopefully in college too).

It was what I needed. It was a simple note letting me know how her life is, that she had been praying for me (I went through a dry spell earlier this year), and the influence that I have had in her life. After observing an amazing woman's legacy yesterday, my desire to leave a mark and live a life that is less about me and more about giving to others is growing.

A beautiful answer to prayer came in a blue envelope.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Choosing faith

Today I went to my friend's mother's funeral. This woman was an amazing woman of God who through ALS never let it defeat her. She was a constant reminder of how God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. The people that filled the church today prove that living our lives intentionally is what matters in life. She knew what mattered in life. She was, is, and will be an inspiration to others for years to come.

As I walked up my porch steps today, I checked my mail. Inside was a larger white envelope from the United States Government. Immediately, my brain jumped to the 2010 Census. I wondered if there was follow-up or if I hadn't filled it out correctly.

And then I knew. It's here. I will need it in 108 days. My passport. I am intentionally stepping out in faith and trusting God to take me to Honduras so I can serve others. I am afraid of flying (okay, really just not being in control and being scared to die). Big things. But I am hoping that this journey that I will will learn that God is much BIGGER and I'm excited for that.

Today, I choose to be brave. To not be afraid to live life. Jan would have wanted me to choose life, to choose the uncertain, to choose to sit at Jesus' feet and claim His power.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fight for what's right

First off, to the parents that read my blog, I am not talking about

I am irritated. I am mad. I am fuming. What kind of parent doesn't
check their child's backpack? What kind of parent doesn't take
responsibility when homework goes home but doesn't come back

My job is to educate them. Their job is to parent them. Plain and
simple. If you don't want to parent, then don't have kids.

I feel sorry for the one that I am just now beginning to love. He
has such hope, but I can see it in his eyes beginning to fade. I won't let it. I can't. Not in second grade.
I can't keep him in every recess. I can't catch him up what he doesn't do at home in the time that
I have the kids.

All I know is I have to do something. I apologized to him for not having the support at home that
he needs. I will come up with a plan - after school tutoring, an older buddy, lunch hangouts with
me (not recess time). I will fight for his education. I will fight for hope. I will fight for what is right.
Our children cannot succeed if we don't.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Listening to the Sounds

Starbucks was open! I stood in line, listening to the sounds of people chattering, espresso brewing, birds chirping. Birds chirping? It sounded a little out of place while in a hotel lobby. I have to give credit though to hotels. In order to beautify the environment, real trees get planted. The sounds of nature are played on a track. Water rushes through fountains and gurgling streams to relax you while away from home.

I picked up my latte and saw a movement to my right. It was small. It was gray. It was moving. What are you inferring? It was an actual bird! The chirping I had heard was not a cd track. It was a real live bird. In fact, I saw two. As I tried to take their photo with my camera, they, like Scaredy Squirrel, flew away to the safety of their tree one floor above.

I guess in an effort to beautify the lobby, nature came to help take care of its own.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nightmare come true

I understand Scaredy Squirrel. I don't make fun of him because of his fears. In fact, I identify a lot more with him than I thought.

At the reading conference (in Detroit), we are staying at a somewhat tall hotel. I have to ride the high-rise elevators to get to my room. And when there's a five and a one before your room number, it's not the fifth floor. (That's 51 for those of you who struggle with math.)

The first ride in the elevator about sent me into a panic attack. It swayed, it went fast, it swayed, it shot like a rocket. Did I mention it swayed? Literally, moving side to side, not up and down the way elevators are supposed to go. I have to have another teacher rub my back so I don't send myself into an all out panic while I await my death in the elevator.

I have begun to brave the elevator by myself. It's a lot easier when there are not 7 other ladies in the elevator with luggage weighing us all down. I just close my eyes and and wait for it to be over.

This morning, I had to ride the elevator to go to the author's breakfast. I pressed the button, heard the ding, and stepped onto the empty elevator. I pressed the first floor button and the elevator car began descending (and swaying). I simply closed my eyes and waited. The elevator began to slow down and stopped at the 44th floor. Doors open and no one was there. No problem. Close the doors and press floor one and off we go again.

But it didn't. It didn't move. The red numbers still said 44. I wasn't moving. Trying to not go into a panic, I pressed the first floor button again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Thoughts spun in my head like a tornado. Can I get onto the stairs? Why am I not moving? I'm stuck. What am I going to do? I can't believe it. I was tempted to push the alarm button in the elevator, but common sense overrode my decision. I decided to press another floor to see if maybe no one was waiting for the elevator. As soon as I had pressed three, the whoosh of the descending elevator occurred again. A silent thanks went up to God. All in all, it was probably only 30 seconds of waiting, but it felt like an eternity.

The doors opened and I was going to try and still get down to the first floor (Starbucks - need I say more?). I heard the mechanical voice say, "Going up," and I raced out of the elevator. I can find the escalator to make my way down. I just wanted to be out of the elevator.

BTW, Starbucks was closed.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Importance of Asking Questions

I am attending a reading conference this weekend. I missed the shuttle this morning, so I walked to the convention center (it was only a few blocks).

While waiting for the general session to start, the lady behind him was telling her co-worker that she had missed the shuttle and the people mover wasn't working yet, so she had to walk in the cold.

Not being afraid to ask or talk to strangers (my friends know this about me), I turned around and asked what the people mover was. I was envisioning a flat sidewalk that you stepped on and it moved you to where you needed to be (like in the airports). This would have been perfect for me since I am currently in a boot for tendonitis from running.

She explained it was a vehicle that stopped at different places (similar to a subway) and immediately our walking expedition last night popped into my head. I had seen an elevated track above us as we walked and I finally put two and two together. The tram is the people mover. The lightbulb literally turned on in my mind.

Never be afraid to ask questions!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010


A simple text changed the morning. It simply read that one of my friend's mom had passed away this morning after battling ALS. My heart aches for the loss that this family is enduring and will endure. My hope is in the Lord to comfort my friend and her family.

It reminds me to seize every opportunity. It reminds me to tell others that I love them. Time is short and fleeting. Tell people that you care about them. Fill the world with kindness.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How Thoughtful

We had a search and rescue dog come in today and show us how he works. The handler happens to be a parent in my class, so it was amazing! I had to decide on who would "get lost".

It was an easy choice, but I had to make it look like it was random.

Just ten minutes prior, when the handler was explaining the purpose of the dog and teaching us about the nose of a bloodhound, my quirky one gasped and pointed at me. He said, "The dog could have helped you."

Not sure of what he meant, I walked over and leaned in to ask him. He said, "The dog could have helped you when you were lost in Disneyland."

I had shared the story of being lost in Disneyland while in high school earlier in the year. I can't even tell you when I had shared the story, but he remembered.

When I asked how he had remembered that, he clicked his tongue, pointed at his head, and said, "I've got a good memory."

Oh dear one, you have warmed my heart by remembering my words.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

School on the brain

In order to meet with all of our students to inform them of their NWEA goals, our second grade team is teaming up (literally) and hitting a home run in reading! We are going to rotate part of our students, eat baseball themed food, hang pennants, and play music while we talk with our students.

My mom is helping me prepare for the big day. Currently, we are in the middle of our sixth batch of caramel corn (don't you wish you were in my room?). I was counting the popped popcorn by cups into the large bowl and came up short. I needed 22 cups and I had only put in eleven.

My mom asked, "How many more do you need?"

Immediately, my brain said, "Subtraction." How many more is a phrase that I teach my students to watch for that informs them to subtract. I repeat it probably three to four times within our Accelerated Math time. I cannot wait to share with them my mom's question and see what they have to say...Even when I'm away, I can't turn it off.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


For those of you who read my blog, please know that I adore each student in my room. They are all unique and bring amazing things to the classroom. Some students are easy to love and others take time. But it always happens!

One of the boys in my classroom is horribly messy. He doesn't do his homework or bring it back. We normally have to stay in a recess and sometimes two to get work done to try and catch him up to grade level.

As we were at an awards ceremony this morning, I noticed my quirky one who I am falling in love with all over again. The funny things he says are outweighing the annoying things he does. I never thought I'd see the day where I truly enjoyed him more than be annoyed by him. I was also thinking about my messy boy and how I hadn't totally fallen in love with him yet. It's taken me quite some time. I'm frustrated because he doesn't seem to put up a fight to become smarter. There probably isn't the support at home that is needed and my heart breaks for him.

Today, I asked him to stay in and clean out his was atrocious. I asked him to divide his papers into recycle and homework. As he worked through the papers and then put away folders and notebooks, I sat next to him and tried to just watch as he sorted. It happened. I felt this ray of love and hope exude from my heart. It was nothing I had done, it just came.

It was a tough day overall, but knowing that tomorrow the small glimmer of love and hope will become brighter and stronger makes today worth it. I will keep fighting for this child until he learns to fight for himself.

Monday, March 15, 2010


I read My Heart is Like a Zoo to the class today to teach similes. One statement talks about the portly walrus. My students didn't know what portly meant (and I was inferring), but we figured out that portly meant large. However, one of my sweet boys said, "Fat."

I agreed with the class, but felt that fat was a better definition. I truly hate that word, but yet, it felt right for the context of what we were reading.

One of my cherubs (who makes me laugh with her comments) said, "I call that fun size."

Oh, beautiful one...I wish all people saw the world through your eyes!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Welcoming Wake-up Call

I set my cell phone alarm last night and when it went off this morning, I chose to snooze it and savor my last five minutes in my warm bed. I was currently being held in place by my down comforter and didn't feel the need to get out of the bed yet. As I laid there with my eyes closed, my ears kicked in. The pitter patter of the rain came in loud and clear. For five minutes I listened to the sounds of pure beauty. Then it stopped suddenly, letting me know that it was all right to get up. I love rain showers and I love them even more when I can lay and listen. It was a beautiful way to wake up.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Out of date

I made a stop today in JCPenney's and was shocked and thought I had traveled back in time. I'm no fashion diva, but I like to think that I know what's in style (even though it may not look good on me).

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a denim tube top. Interesting, I thought. Upon further investigation, I discovered that it wasn't a tube top, it was a shirt connected to shorts. Also known as a romper.

A romper? Yes, reader, you read right. Apparently, rompers are back in style. For those of you who want to journey back in time when you were a child and your mother put you in onesies, you will be extremely happy!

And heading to Target made me even happier! While trying on a dress, I overheard a girl explain (in the dressing room) that the shirt she had picked out actually had legs in it. Yes, it's another romper! I quickly jumped out of my dressing room and asked to see it. She said that she felt like she was seven again.

And if any of you have bought a romper lately, let me know how it goes for you!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Why do I do things when I know what's going to happen? I had just printed off my student teacher's evaluation and set it next to his styrafoam cup of coffee so he would see it.
I greeted the students at the door and then I saw it...a boy picking up the cup.
I ran over, moved the books that were sitting right next to his evaluation that was now soaking up the coffee. I asked the student to get some paper towel and he brings back one. Frantically, I told the class that we needed more paper towels than that. Everyone began grabbing paper towels and running over to help. I mopped up coffee off of workbooks, his bag, his evaluation, and the counter.
I asked the students to throw away the evaluation. They didn't know what it was and told me that we could dry it off and he could still use it. I explained that the evaluation was like a report card for him.
My one that spilled the coffee said (and wrapped it up so well), "I so did not see that one coming."
Oh, dear one, I did...

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Tomorrow is our student teacher's last day with us before moving on to another grade down the hall. I've learned a lot about myself, about teaching others, about my kids. I'm glad I did it. I'm also glad to get back into the swing of things. I realized how much I missed teaching. How much it's a part of me. How much I love it!

As all good supervising teachers do, I got him a gift. Well, 19 gifts. A gift from each student. I thought they should wrap them. So, we sent our student teacher down to visit with the other class and off he went to make copies first. After the coast was clear, we got the presents out and then began wrapping them. By the way, have you ever seen second grade students wrap presents? They don't do it very well. They haven't learned the art of making the paper BIGGER than the actual present.

Being the smart teacher I am, I sent a student to "work" in the hallway, but was actually a spy. Let me pat myself on the back...I finally used my common sense. I popped out into the hallway to make sure that the spying student was doing okay. Suddenly, here he came. I jumped back into the classroom and yelled, "He's coming..." It was a mad dash while kids were throwing presents everywhere and hiding them as well as tape and paper and trying to get to their desks before he came in. I walked around and began talking with each one about their Accelerated Math and made it look like that's what we had been doing the whole time.

For sixty seconds there though, I thought I was going to lose it. Yet, looking back, what a fun sixty seconds with my class!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Making my dad proud

After pulling into my garage, I noticed something odd about the left headlight had gone out. I pulled the car back out and drove two blocks away to my nearest Auto Zone. I had been there just a few months ago and thought I had an idea as to what to do.

After paying for the new bulb, I told the guy I was going to try it on my own...and he reminded me to not touch the glass (I knew there was something I had to remember as I did it).

I popped the hood, felt the heat radiate from the engine, and propped it up. Grabbing the left headlight, I searched and searched and searched for the release buttons. No such luck. Thankfully, another man had stopped and showed me where to release the black levers. I think I got it now.

I tried to figure out the low light...the one in the middle looked most like it. I tried to pull the bulb out. Thankfully, that same man had stayed there and showed me how to turn it and then pull it out. He pulled the bulb off and I put the new one on. I think I got it now.

Nope...turned out I had the high beam lightbulb. I put it back in and then because he had showed me, I was able to pull out the low beam lightbulb. I pulled it off and snapped the new bulb in. I know I got it now. I thanked him and he left me on my own.

It took me a bit to shove the light back in and put the black levers back on, but I got it after trying.

As I was writing this, it reminded me of how many times in workshop I am just like the man that came along and helped. He knew what he was doing and guided me. He showed me, I practiced, and then he left after knowing I had a better grasp of it. I am so thankful for the job that I have and the power that I get to show to students.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Part of what I love so much about my job is the conversations that I have with my students. They inspire me, awe me, and sometimes just crack me up. Today was another example of this.

I was talking with a student and giving him some background knowledge and some words he'd probably need help with as he read the Magic Tree House book, Monday with a Mad Genius (about Leonardo da Vinci). I told him that he lived a long time ago and he replied with, "1999?"

I smirked. "No, earlier."

"The early 80s?"

"No, the 1500s. That was over 500 years ago."

"Dang, I wasn't even born yet."

I just smiled and walked away.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Forbidden

Today was a make-up day for ISTEP for me...pulling just a few students to wrap it up! As one of the students was getting started, I heard a rapping at the door. I looked and noticed our school secretary. She casually let me know to mark the time because we had to do a practice fire drill at that point...whoops! It was a nice day and it was great to get the practice fire drill over for the month of March.

As the office staff was making sure that everyone had been called, I casually asked, "Can I pull it?" I figured they'd say no...there was no harm in asking. Imagine my shock when they said, "Okay."

As we walked towards the bright red box, my left hand was outstretched. I cautiously put my fingers on the lever and taking it all in, I pulled it. NOTHING. I guess I didn't pull it down far enough. I don't have tons of experience pulling fire alarms. I pulled it again and suddenly, there was a loud shrill siren going off in the school. The student and I casually walked out of the building smiling the whole way...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Covet vs. Thankful

Today at church, Scott was finishing up a series on the ten commandments. He pointed out a part in Deuteronomy that says, "set your desire on." These words truly spoke to I am making a list. A list of what I covet and a list of what I am thankful for.

I covet
  • kids that call me mom.
  • a house that doesn't have cracks in the wall, that is newer and bigger than mine, cuter than mine
  • a man who adores me and wants to serve me
  • women whose bodies seem more in shape and smaller than mine
  • people who can just be spontaneous and can fly wherever they want, people who are adventurous
  • larger paycheck
I am thankful for
  • students who I get to shower love on daily
  • a house that is cozy, warm, and has lights that work, a pantry of food readily available
  • a Savior who adores me and died for me
  • a body that can move, breathes, and has accomplished quite a bit
  • people who are going to help me get through my fear and walk with me on my journey to Honduras, friends who pray with and for me and support me in all of my endeavors
  • a paycheck that allows me to give, pays my bills, and even has leftover so I can buy things I need
It truly is all about attitude and being intentional in choosing to look at life a new way. When looking at my thankful list, I am way beyond blessed!

Not bad

Background knowledge - Over the past few years I have lost between 40-50 pounds. I don't know the exact number because I don't get on the scale anymore. It sets my brain into high-drive and I need to remind myself that I am not a number. I am so much more than that. However, recently, I know that I haven't been as diligent with my food, snacks, and work outs (and now my left foot aches - calling doctor tomorrow). Sometimes my brain loves to play the record of "You're gaining all of your weight back." I don't want to go back there. I wasn't free there, but I also would like my body to be a bit smaller than it is now. Fast forward to today's slice.

I had visited my friend's church and was driving over to the local outdoor mall to peruse my favorite store, The Loft. I pulled in to get gas first for my car and as I headed in to prepay (walking in my jean skirt and heels because heels make my foot hurt less - ironic), the glass sliding doors opened as if I was royalty. However, they closed before I was to go into the store (I wasn't close enough yet). I saw my reflection in the doors and my first thought was when I looked at my legs was, "Not bad."

Why is this important? Because for the first time in looking at myself, I didn't tear apart what I didn't like...I complimented my body. I need to do that more often. It liked it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


One of the greatest things about being single (sometimes you have to choose to have a good attitude when you desire other things) is that I name my schedule. And Saturdays can be very precious, for they are the day that I sleep and do not set an alarm. I have no kids calling out my name, or roommates to make noise, or family who call early (they've learned their lesson when Darth Vader answers). Today was one such eyes opened and looked at my cell phone for the time...6:17.

Hmmm, what should I do? Yes, turn over, hunker down into my down comforter and flannel sheets and wrap the cocoon back around me. Close eyes and see the dark...awaken later.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Inner Dialogue

Since I live alone, most of my spoken conversation occurs at school, especially when I get there. However, this morning I had a conversation (out loud at times) with myself. As I was driving, I noticed the clouds were once again dancing in the sky with the lights. But as I kept driving, more and more clouds were interfering with my view. In fact, Wal-Mart wasn't visible until I drove by it. I wouldn't have been able to see Kohl's, except the lights were on and helped frame the inside of the building. And my conversation began.

"Seriously, thanks to ISTEP, we don't have a delay. Stupid ISTEP. This fog is bad. Really bad. In fact, bad with a capital B."

I kept driving.

"Unbelievable. This is two-pole fog. I can't even see oncoming cars till they're a quarter of a mile away."

"I can't believe the buses are out. Why do we not have a delay? Ugh, stupid standardized testing."

Continuing my drive...

"Hey, when there aren't any oncoming cars, this fog is kind of peaceful." Honestly, some of my favorite drives are the kind where the fog comes rolling in and makes me feel like the presence of God has descended upon me and I'm the only one around to be embraced.

As I pulled into the parking lot and got out of my car, I checked my cell phone (because stranger things have happened). Sure enough, my student teacher texted me...two hour delay. I also had a voicemail. I smiled...and then walked in to my room to enjoy two peaceful hours in my classroom.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am woman...hear me roar!

I was all set to write about how I made sweat drop onto the stationary bike at the Y (which is a huge feat and I'm impressed and grossed out by the men who sweat so profusely that they mop afterwards). I pulled into my driveway and was pleased that my dusk light wasn't on yet (clue number one). I pressed the remote to open the garage door (clue number two) and after pressing it and my keypad another five times, I unlocked the side door to turn on the inside lights (clue number three). Have you guessed yet? No power to the garage. Wondering if this was a local thing (and internally quickly checking when I had paid the NIPSCO bill), I looked at my neighbors. They had power.

My neighbor boy had arrived during this time (I think he could sense a damsel in distress). I did what every good girl does...I called my dad. He told me to check the fuse box. Thankfully, I know how to do this. They were all good. He told me to check the fuse box in the garage. Great thinking's am I going to do that? He told me to manually lift the garage door and then turn on my headlights...duh, why didn't I think of that?

I knew how to manually open the garage door because the gentleman who installed it taught me (I'll be calling him to thank him tonight). After pulling the red handle, releasing the mechanism and sliding the garage door open, I turned on the headlights. Not seeing a fuse box with neon lights around it, I walked around and wondered if there was a reset button somewhere on the outlets. I saw one and pressed a button. Nothing. I pressed the other button. Let there be light!

Now the only trick was to reset the garage door so the electricity can do its job and I can rely on it. Lesson learned - always check what something looks like before you take it apart. My neighbor boy was a trooper and was offering bits of advice here and there. Basically, it was to find someone else to help out. After several failed attempts and my neighbor boy stepping away "just in case." It still wasn't working. Suddenly, he found a black bolt on the floor. Could this help out? I tried attaching one lever to another lever (again, not the most mechanically gifted) and sticking the bolt through. I went to reach and press the garage door button and again, the neighbor boy stepped away, and it FINALLY went up and down without a problem!

I high-fived my neighbor boy and then went to pull my car into the garage. One problem - the garage door was down. Easy fix now...just press the button!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Take me away

Since I have a student teacher, I am helping give the state standardized test. Lucky me! One of the girls was absent and had to make up part of the test. I was the one to read it to her. As she was working, she absentmindedly hit the other pencil. It began rolling away from her. Since I had nothing else to do, my eyes were drawn to the methodical rolling and noise. My eyes were drawn to the point of the pencil and suddenly, my brain was taken away to when I was a little girl visiting my grandparent's house in the country.

They had a garden. But to get to that garden, you had to trek down a gigantic hill (looking back now, that hill isn't as nearly as big as I had first thought). Instead of trekking, we rolled and rolled and rolled. After we rolled down once, we'd hike back up and roll down again. Sticking our arms straight out and rolling down as fast as we could before we ended up almost in the bare earth. Those days were fun. Those memories were fun.

I'm glad that rolling pencil took me somewhere else.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


For those who don't know...I'm participating in the month long challenge to write about one moment a day for 31 days...make sure to check in daily to see what I discover about my surroundings.

It's amazing what happens when you slow down. As I turned the deadbolt on my front door, my eyes caught spectacular color rising from the horizon. Above to the left was the white disc moon glowing in all of its splendor against a dark periwinkle sky. I noticed to the right there seemed to be a rising flame of pink and orange. Hoping that it was the sunrise, I jumped into my car (okay, I didn't jump) and began driving. After I got out of town and drove by the airport, I noticed it seemed the clouds were playing in the sky. Thick, billowy, and moving. I wanted to watch the clouds longer, but I couldn't...the road demanded my eyes. After getting out of the town and onto the straightaway that goes through some farms, I discovered it wasn't just clouds that were was fog. And beautiful fog it was. I felt as if I were in the Secret Garden and the Scottish was breathtaking. I wanted to stop and stay there for a day and rest in the eerie and magical and mystical fog. Yet, the wonders of nature didn't stop there. After I pulled into the parking lot at school, a small speckle of glitter caught my eye. It was snowing glitter all around my headlights. It was a beautiful way to start my day. I'm glad that I took the time to look, to search, to gaze at the beauty that fully surrounded me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Don't Turn Around

Some background knowledge for those who don't know me...Being single, I will (at times) have others offer to set me up. I was possibly going to be set up with someone who works in our school corporation, but after him apparently having my number, never heard from him. He tried to pop into my classroom, but I had students. After he sent an e-mail (this is about a month after he had my number), I politely thanked him for saying hi, but told him I really didn't have any time at school that I wasn't busy. (Are there other teachers who aren't busy at school? - If so, I'd like to meet you.) Never heard from him again...

Today, we had a teacher work day and because we didn't have students, my team went out for lunch. Gasp! That never happens. After sitting down to eat our subs and chips at Subway, we settled in to discussing the Olympics, cleaning and other odd jobs that husbands do, and appliances. Suddenly, the door opens to Subway, and lo and behold...there is the guy and a friend of his to eat there. Instantly, my face heated up and I kept my eyes forward. (I know, I'm a coward. I've never even met this man face to face.) I thought our conversation was winding down and I wanted to refill my pop, but that would involve walking by. I did the next best thing. I sent my student teacher to go refill it.

Wouldn't you know it that as we were sitting there too, a family from our school walked in and the daughter kept saying my name over and over. "Look, there's Miss **." I just wanted to tell her quiet! Don't bring any more attention to me.

He and his friend sat down to eat and our table just kept talking and talking and talking. About 15 minutes later (it felt like an eternity), we got up to leave. I tried to keep my back to him. I tried to put my coat on nonchalantly, walk out without drawing more attention to me, and wouldn't you know...she (the daughter) yelled my name again. Ugh! I waved and then walked out with my tail between my legs, knowing I am a chicken.