Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vicious Circle

Get bad headache (Aimee: I KNOW it doesn't compare!). Take a bunch of Advil--it's late and you don't want to take caffeine at this point. Advil doesn't work, so take caffeine too. Headache becomes "manageable" and you are AWAKE! Try to sleep (yeah, that's like a freakin' DARE). Because not sleeping enough is going to start the headache circle again.....lather, rinse, repeat.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


STREP!!! Let's have a party!

My Evil Genius

So as I was contemplating my health fate yesterday, I remembered a funny story I thought I'd share....

I got mono my senior year of High School. And I believe in doing things right, so I had it pretty bad. So bad that I slept about 19-20 hours/day for 3 months. As if that wasn't bad enough, this happened right at Girl Scout Cookie time. Think Thin Mint cookies. Think 2 boxes that I ordered and paid for (with my own money). Then think of a sick girl who was asleep all the time.....

I happen to LOVE my Thin Mint cookies frozen. I could envision that the temptation of 2 boxes of everyone's favorite cookie sitting unattended in the freezer might be too much. So I devised a way to make the cookies less tempting.

I opened up the tubes of cookies, ran my tongue down all of them, put them back in the box, and I wrote my message on the box, "I have LICKED all of these cookies. Eat at your own risk." And oddly enough? I got to eat them all myself. Mmmmmmm.........

The truth: I really only licked the cookies on 1 tube. I opened the other tubes as if I'd licked them, but didn't really see the point.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What would you pick?

Strep or mono? I'm hoping for strep. Yes, HOPING for strep. I don't like the alternative. Lumps the size of a golf ball (slightly smaller) in one's neck are cause for concern. They also really hurt. Lab results in tomorrow! Let's all pray for a strep diagnosis.....

Friday, March 20, 2009

NOT again!

Seriously? Poke a fork in me; I'm so DONE!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Potato Feast

Hannah's class has been very busy preparing for St. Patrick's Day. For homework last week, they all built leprechaun traps. They made special hats to wear, and they had a potato feast this morning. I went along to help, and the kids had a GREAT time. Hannah's teacher planned a baked potato bar, so the kids all got to have a baked potato, and then they did a Venn diagram of who liked it. This afternoon, the kids are going to make a graph showing how many kids like the various kinds of potatoes--what a fun way to do math.

Hannah is decked out, head to toe in green today--and does she have the bling on, or WHAT?! Hannah also was the kid (first-ever in all the years Ms. C. has been doing it) that discovered the leprechaun in someone's trap. We think that the leprechaun is a shape shifter though, because Hannah thought it looked like a hamster. Someone else thought it looked like a guinea pig. I thought it looked like a mouse. Silly, sneaky leaprechaun!

Pinewood Derby Saturday

Toph just got to participate in his first-ever Pinewood Derby. This is when a cub scout gets to create a car that he races against the other cubs' cars. It's a gravity-powered race. And we're very proud that our boy did most of the work on his car BY HIMSELF. He wasn't doing the PWD to win awards and advance to compete against other boys--he was in it to have fun. And, even though he came in 3rd or 4th (out of 4) on most of the 44 heats, he still had fun. And he had a sense of accomplishment that HE did the work. He was so excited at the end when he got his first-ever trophy! We're really proud of our Toph. It was with great delight that I bought a shelf for his wall yesterday. He wanted a display shelf. You Rock, Topher!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Write a Letter!

Warning: This post contains a rant. If you do not want to read a rant, read another blog.

One of "my phrases" that my family knows me by is: "I'm going to write a letter." When I encounter situations that are not to my satisfaction (AND when I encounter things that are beyond my satisfaction), I have oft uttered the phrase, "I'm going to write a letter...." I did it when I was little and it was raining and we couldn't see the lane lines in the road. The Mayor wrote back and explained why fluorescent paint was NOT a good alternative and what WAS going to be done to help the problem. I did it when Chipotle gave FREE entrees to people with library cards one day last year--SUPERIOR service when the line was 45 minutes long! I've done it many times and for many reasons. And email makes it even easier to send a letter.

This morning I was grousing about the fact that ELEVEN TENURED teachers at our Elementary School got pink slips (layoff possibility notices required by law). California is a great place to live. There are lots of perks--like the weather. We have budget woes just like the rest of the country--SERIOUS budget woes. You can't live in deficit forever, and sooner or later, it's going to catch up to you. I *think* our country's leaders are finally learning this lesson. But it's going to be painful for all of us.

Budget problems in California are no stranger to teachers. EVERY year many teachers receive pink slips. The schools are required by law to give you a pink slip if there's a possibility that you won't have a job the following year. I got one almost every year I taught. The State government starts making noise about "have to cut the budget" and then the Districts send out WAY more pink slips than they need to, so that they aren't forced to keep staff they can't afford, and then it all gets ironed out later. If you're lucky, you find out that you get to keep your job at your same school site--before you leave for summer break. MANY times you find out that you have a job (school site and grade level are often different) THE WEEK that school starts--because that's how we roll here in CA. I won't even go into my rant on how backwards THAT is, but the State government gods need their chance to make their budgets and all of that gets decided (or not) in about June.

Let me refocus: My rant today is on the upcoming budget cuts to education. For there to be ELEVEN (TENURED) teachers at my kids' school site getting pink slips, the proposed cuts are heinous. Times are tough; I get that. But the future of our Nation/State/Family/etc. rests in the hands of our children. They will be the leaders of the future. We can't AFFORD to skimp on their education today. And I'm not just saying that because I was a teacher. Keeping class sizes low is especially important at the Elementary School level. This is where our children learn (or don't) the most basic building blocks of the rest of their lives. Trust me, I saw the fallout for when that didn't happen. When Johnny doesn't learn how to add 1/2 + 1/4 in elementary school, it has consequences. When Susie can't read the directions on her worksheet, where was the ball dropped? Elementary school. If you don't "get it" there, you aren't going to "get it" later--not without a LOT of help. And we can't afford that help, because we can't afford regular teachers. The ones who could have made a difference in the first place.

Do you even realize how much of a teacher's personal money goes into his/her classroom? Where my kids attend school, we get a list of things that the parents are expected/requested to donate to the classroom--ok, so I give pencils, crayons, markers, paper, binders, kleenex, band-aids, and all kinds of stuff. I also donate to PTA and the "no fundraisers" fund. And then I see my kid's teacher SPENDING HER OWN MONEY at Staples to copy worksheets to give to my kid's class--because her "allotment" of copies was used up for the month (this happens EVERY month early on). The basic supplies they are funded for are insufficient. That's the bottom line. A teacher who cares will always spend personal money to purchase things that will enhance the class. That's just part of being a teacher. But the fact that it's NECESSARY just to do the job is not right.

Part of the problem is that the Government tells the school Districts to cut $$$$ from their budgets, but doesn't dictate WHERE the money has to come from. This is unfortunate, and I'm not exactly sure they CAN dictate where the money comes from. I taught an elective class. Electives, Librarians, and Nurses are among the first to go. Why should a kid have art, auto shop, wood shop, home economics, library access, or someone on site who can help our kids in health matters? That's not really necessary--right? I beg to differ. It really makes me MAD that every year teachers get cut, supply budgets get cut, and administrators get raises (or more administrators get added to the ranks). Do we REALLY need ALL of that fluff? And I don't necessarily mean the administrators at the school site, I'm talking about the Assistant Deputy Superintendent. Seriously? I didn't have an assistant deputy teacher..... (I didn't have an administrative assistant either.)

So, if you're unsatisfied, if you're concerned, OPEN YOUR MOUTH! First of all, exercise your voice with your vote--and then OPEN YOUR MOUTH! The people we elect WORK FOR US! Let them know what you think! It's not hard! You can Google your elected officials' contact information, and they all accept email. It doesn't take long. Many voices are more easily heard. But if you don't make your voice known, you don't really have the "right" to complain. So thanks, Honey, for reminding me.

Aren't our kids worth it?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Scooting Along

Robert and I just celebrated our Merry Christmanniversary. We got some money for Christmas and used it to purchase our Anniversary presents--a little bit early. We bought foot-powered scooters, so we can go scooting with the kids. Thanks Grandpa Birdie and Doreene!

Today was BEAUTIFUL! GORGEOUS! And we took advantage of it. Hannah was less than thrilled. She's in a phase (I HOPE it's a phase) where she's scared of everything. She does NOT like to scooter. So Hannah and I rode to the park. Robert and Toph met us there. We tortured Hannah by making her scoot around the park. The REAL fun is behind the school. There's a fairly steep hill. It's FUN to go down. The photos are from the top of the hill. Hannah is there, but she walked UP and DOWN the hill.

**You'll note that there are no pictures of me. That's because I didn't like the ones that Robert took. I'll post pictures of me in a day or 2 when I have a picture I like. Sorry, as author of the blog, I get to decide! Just keep checking back in.

New House

So, we've been here more than a month, and I haven't given any photos of the new place. We LOVE the location. We LOVE the neighborhood. We LOVE the HUGE back yard. Now you can get an idea of where we live.....

This is the front of the house.

Here's a view of the back of the house.
You don't get the whole scope of the HUGE yard.

Still in the back yard. This patio I foresee as Hannah's "stage".

The view from my bedroom window.
Just over the shed is the kid's school playground.

Roses! I think there are 4 rosebushes.
Not the 22 I had in Fresno, but I'm happy.
This is what they looked like ON JANUARY 15th!!!

Views from the kitchen. It looks so BIG without any stuff in it!
I think I would like a pot rack over the island.

Card Swap (March)

My sister, Aimee, gave me an incredible gift one year--a bunch of hand-made cards. She and her sister-in-law got together and made a bunch of cards several times a year and then assembled them all as gifts. LOVED it! So much so that I was loathe to actually give the cards away. Recently, she told me about the card swap group her Ward has for the Relief Society sisters who choose to participate. It sounded like great fun, and I asked around and found out that there are some in my area who also do a card swap. It's not a group from Church, but there are several Church members in the group. I was invited to join them, and I have had SO much fun!

My friend, Carmen, is a crafting goddess to me. She just "sees" things and can create them. Beautiful stuff. And she's generous and will share her talents and supplies with me. She is a Stampin' Up demonstrator and her supply of stamps is impressive. She pretty much lets me talk out my idea and then helps me bring it to fruition.

My friend, Tina, already blogged about Card Swap. She took lovely pictures, so I don't have to! I can just point you to Tina's blog post for Card Swap and you can see the assortment of cards. There were REALLY some very nice ones. The "you make me smile" cards are mine. I stole the idea from a card that Carmen made and then made it mine by tweaking a few things. I made 4 different colors, and all of the plum ones are gone--no pictures. My photo is not the best quality--I'll work on that next time. I'm pleased with how the cards turned out. I've got my ideas for the next 2 swaps, so now I just need to make them! This is very fun for me, and pretty relaxing--once we get past the stamping part. I still have heart failure each time I'm going to stamp something, afraid I'm going to mess it up. I'm sure this will fade with experience. I'm putting my Cricut to good use too--LOVE it!

Anyway, I had a good time, and I'm very happy with the selection I brought home. Next swap: May. My ideas for future cards? Secret!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pay it FORWARD.....

Pay it FORWARD--How it works:

The FIRST THREE people to leave a comment on this post will receive at some point during this year a handmade gift from me. What it will be and when it will arrive will be a total surprise--to both of us.

The CATCH is that YOU MUST PLAY TOO! Before you leave your comment here, write a pay it forward post on your blog to keep the fun going (you can cut and paste these instructions). Then come back and let me know that you are going to play, and sit back and anticipate the arrival of your gift. It's THAT easy!

Remember, only the FIRST THREE comments will qualify. Good luck!

Have any of you seen the movie, "Pay it Forward?" Very inspiring. I loved it!