Madison’s Very Bad Day and Chris’s Video Footage

Yesterday was a very rough and long day for Maddie. Fortunately for me, my husband loves to document things the kids do. He’s only been a dad for almost two years, so he still eagerly runs around with the video camera. This is the footage he put together around midnight last night, after working a nearly 12 hour day.

What a jewel!

Published in: on September 28, 2008 at 10:53 pm  Comments (1)  

Life Altering Moments…

I believe the most difficult job in life is being a parent. It’s funny, because years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my oldest, I was so scared. I didn’t plan on getting pregnant, and I was so young. 18 years old! I remember thinking to myself: Oh my goodness! What in the world will I ever do with a baby? How will I care for her?

Lucky for me, there was nothing more natural than caring for a baby. I did nine months of research by reading every baby book and magazine, and everything fell right into place. I found total bliss in being a mother. Everything came naturally: breastfeeding, diapering, nurturing, coping with teething, (you get the picture). I’m not saying there weren’t freak out moments, but for the most part it was just easy.

The elementary years came and gone. They were pretty good for the most part. And they were pretty easy as well.

And then the middle school years came. They’re still here for both. One is brand new at this stage in life, the other is in her final stage. Nothing prepared me for these years.

The tween years were tough for my daughter, but now she’s moved on into her teens. In less than a year she’ll be in high school. It seems that overnight she blossomed into the most amazing young lady. She glows, and makes everyone around her happy. She has become our family’s cheerleader, and not just on the field. When things get increasingly more difficult, she becomes more encouraging and hopeful. What a blessing from God she is in the current struggles my family is facing on a daily basis.

My son has recently entered his tween years. I thought they were tough on Maddie, but they have taken an especially difficult toll on Noah. Anytime I sit and think about how hard this life phase is for him, I just begin to weep. It is so painful as a mother to sit by and watch such a special young man struggle to find his way. I wish I could fix everything for him, and let him know for certainty that this too shall pass. Kids are growing up in a tough world today, and it is filled with people, especially adults who don’t get the daily struggles they face. I know he feels he’s drowning right now. He is being pulled in so many directions and he has no idea which direction to take. If only I had a life map to give him. But even if I did, he’d probably be too darn stubborn to read it. Stubbornness is a big character trait of a tween.

I was able to stay home when the children were little. Now that they are older and in school, I work. The irony is this: now that they’ve gotten older, I feel that these years are the most critical. I feel my kids need me now more than ever, and it breaks my heart because I feel I have less time than ever to give them. So I am being pulled in a lot of directions.

As a result, I’ve been trying to slow down a bit. Now granted, me going slow is a lot of people’s overdrive mode. But I have slowed down. I’m learning to delegate. (Gosh, that is hard to do!) I am considered hiring someone to clean my house on at least a biweekly basis. I just want more time with my babies. They are growing up so fast, and I can’t make them stop!

Published in: on September 27, 2008 at 11:42 pm  Comments (3)  

Taking a little break…

I’m not sure when I’ll find time to post again in the near future. Things are still very hectic. I am taking some time off so I can do some overtime parenting. Middle school is still a challenge. I’ve ordered some books on how to make the transition from elementary school to middle school easier. Let’s just pray they have the answers.

Fortunately, I am surrounded by some great people who’ve been through what my family is struggling with right now. Maybe once we pull through it all, I’ll write a book.

I’d love to share more, but it’s too personal to write about on the internet. I wish I could though, because I’m sure all of you would have great advice and words of encouragement.

And I hope to still have time to visit everyone else from time to time:)

Published in: on September 22, 2008 at 6:42 am  Comments (2)  

Gangstas and Home Videos

I knew it was only a matter of time until the gangstas hit us. Good thing my hubby was home to catch it all on tape!

I guess you can tell that the gangstas didn’t really hit us. Instead, this was just some of my favorite neighbors dressed up like gangstas playing with my husband and son. But,you might more clearly understand why I’m half loco. This is pretty much a normal afternoon at my house. You know what they say: When the cat’s away the mice all play!

What I want to know is why couldn’t Chris catch the kids on video cleaning and doing laundry???? Now that would have really been worth watching. Maybe he needs to do a version of the Toilet Rangers or something where they’re on a mission to fight toilet scum.

Yeah, it probably ain’t gonna happen.

Published in: on September 14, 2008 at 2:34 am  Comments (3)  

Well, the waiting’s finally over…

And no, I wasn’t the winner. I wasn’t surprised or even too bad disappointed; i was just relieved the waiting was over, and things could go back to being normal again. And not winning in front of all those people wasn’t too bad because of all the wonderful people who surrounded me.

Published in: on September 12, 2008 at 5:03 am  Comments (4)  

Middle School Madness

This year both my children are in middle school. This has been quite an adjustment for them, me, Chris all of us. Last year was Maddie’s difficult year. Seventh grade was the pits! My gifted, straight A little girl struggled to stay above water with Cs. I am certain her struggle to succeed last year was the result of a lot of changes: mom got remarried, relocated to a new town, new school with a population that more than doubled, new friends, dad got remarried. Yeah, I’d say she had a lot going on.

The good news: so far so good this year.

At least for Maddie.

Noah, on the other hand: not so good. Now, he’s not complaining. He couldn’t be happier! He no longer has me around. Before, he couldn’t get away with anything. Once, when he was in second grade, I walked down to the lower grade hall for something. There, behind a ficus tree was my son, hiding. It was P.E. day, which he hated. So he slipped out of line to “hide” until his class came back by nearly an hour later. You can imagine the surprise on his face when I spotted him. He thought he was camouflaged.
Startled he cried out, “What are you doing down here? Shouldn’t you be in class teaching?”
“Shouldn’t you be in P.E.?” I replied.

This is only one of many stories I could tell of our years spent together in elementary school.

But now, I am nowhere around. Because of the number of students they have, middle school teachers are not able to communicate as often as elementary school teachers. With all this new found freedom and lack of communication, my child is academically sinking. When progress reports were emailed, I nearly passed out. Not a single passing grade! What’s worse, he didn’t have a clue his grades were in trouble. Noah is capable of making straight As. He is a very intelligent young man. He’s just not turning any assignments in.

To top it off, when I asked about silent lunch, and if he’s had it yet, he could not recall how often he’s had it. (His school has silent transitions in the hallway. When a student is caught talking, he is automatically given silent lunch.) He’s only been there 19 days! Hello!! If you don’t know how many times you’ve gotten it, it’s a little too often!!

Needless to say, I requested a conference with all his academic teachers. I am hoping things get better for all of us. He does have some great teachers, and I feel they’re willing to work with us. This is good news, because this has affected our entire family in so many ways: work habits, routines, parenting methods, etc. I really need your prayers as we continue to make the transition from little school to big middle school…

Published in: on September 7, 2008 at 2:25 pm  Comments (2)  

A perfectly malformed gift…

I came in to work yesterday to discover a gerbera daisy sitting on my table. I LOVE gerberas! But for some reason, I wasn’t loving this one so much. Something just wasn’t “right” about it.

Upon closer examination, I noticed that the gerbera had two eyes grown together. It was like a Siamese twin of sorts. I thought to myself, “How could someone not notice this flower looking so weird, and why would they give it to someone as a gift?”.

It turns out the flower was from my friend Carrie because she wanted to tell me congratulations on being a T.O.T.Y. (Teacher of the Year) finalist. It was the sweetest gesture, so I didn’t have the heart to ask her if she noticed its deformities.

As I turned to walk back into my classroom she asked me, “Did you notice it’s retarded?”.

“Yeah,” I laughed. “I noticed it has two eyes.”

“It has two stems grown together too. I felt sorry for it because I knew no one would ever buy or appreciate such a deformed flower. I knew it would just sit there and die, so I bought it for you. I noticed it has some new buds growing. I am pretty sure you can replant it. I figured if anyone would plant it, care for it, and be patient enough to see if what those new buds might produce, it would be you. ”

What an analogy! Her words meant a lot to me at the time, but the more I ponder them, the more meaning they have. What a compliment, and what a gift to have a friend who holds that kind of faith in me as a person. I mean, she saw its beauty first. What does that say about her character versus mine?

And you know what? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful flower. I do plan to replant it and nurture it, but if all the buds turn out the same way, I don’t think I’ll be a bit disappointed. It’s all about perspective.

Published in: on September 7, 2008 at 1:56 am  Comments (3)  

A Surge in Popularity…

This week I have had an astronomical spike in the number of times my blog is visited. In fact, my blog-o-meter is going nuts! Even Meg commented me after she discovered someone was googling me. Yesterday, I had an all-time record of 119 hits!

I know it probably shocks you that I consider 119 such a large number of hits for a blog like mine to get. Especially after the PG-13 photos I posted last week. But alas, 30 is more the average range. So why the sudden surge of popularity?

Being the Scaredy Squirrel I am, I instantly think it is every parent of every student I’ve ever worked with. I dismissed this notion when my most conservative friend assured me there was nothing risque about my pics.

Could it just be curious people in the neighborhood googling my name to see what they can find out about me? Launching the neighborhood watch program has caused me to come into contact with a lot of new people. Perhaps it’s the gangsters targeting me?

I solved the mystery this afternoon when I discovered a comment awaiting moderation from some man with broken English telling me he was in need of money and would I please give him some. Apparently he stumbled upon this posting after googling the word money. Upon further investigation, I noticed that every day people were being led to my site after searching for the word money. Apparently the image I used was the main culprit, so today I changed it to something less alluring, a fat pink piggy bank with only a coin!

Now maybe I’ll get out of the public eye a bit, especially after being elected a finalist for Teacher of the Year. Now that’s something worth blogging about, except I’m too embarrassed and afraid I’ll jinx myself before the final votes are cast early next week. Wish me luck though. I’d love to win, but I’m up against some tough competition!

Published in: on September 4, 2008 at 6:09 am  Comments (6)  

My first blog award…

It was from Meg, my favorite Queens Fort Mama.

And by accepting this award, I am supposed to give this award to 7 others and leave a comment on their site. So here are my picks. I wouldn’t take the time to do this, but Meg is way too cool to risk insulting! Plus, I am honored she loves to read my blog. Here goes:
Ramblings of a Wanderer
Goodboy Norman Featherstone
Pleasant Drive
Mabel’s House
Teachin Fourth
Tea With Mrs. Fox
and I saved the best for last…
The Husband

I am supposed to leave all of these people a comment letting them know I have given them an award, but I’m not going to because I know they will kill me if I ask them to do the same thing to 7 other people. You see, my husband, the internet snob, has sort of rubbed off on me. I only read internet material worthy of being read, so I assure you all blogs above are worthy of checking out. And those of you I gifted, by all means feel free to grab the award and post it if you would like, but I won’t come hunting you down if you don’t. Just know that I love your blog!

Thank you, Meg. I love your blog too!

Published in: on September 1, 2008 at 6:16 am  Comments (6)