Friday, April 27, 2007


This weekend I plan to do nothing.

Well, not exactly nothing. I have housework to do. (Of course.) And I have a paper due for my online class that I need to finish. And I have the scrapbook of our spring break Seattle trip half done and I would like to finish that. But by nothing, I mean that there is nothing planned. I have no meetings or appointments or birthday parties. I have no one counting on me to go anywhere or do anything. That seems to be rare in my life these days and so I am going to take complete advantage of every minute of it.

I might even take time to do some of my favorite things like watch a chick flick, read a book, take a nap, or write in one of my many journals.

So don't call me...unless you want to watch "Pride and Prejudice."

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

35 Continued

When I turned 35 last month, it didn't bother me at all that I was getting older. I'm alive. I'm healthier than I've been in a year. My family is wonderful. I only have a few wrinkles and gray hairs. My life is good. So turning a year older was okay.

That is until yesterday. I was filling out a survey from when I got the car serviced and it asked what age group I was in. For the first time, I had to mark the little box next to 35-44 instead of the little box next to 25-34. I moved up a whole age bracket. I'm officially in the third available age bracket on such surveys. There are only five brackets and I'm in the middle one. That's getting a little too close to the 65+ box if you ask me.

But at least I'm at the low end of that age group...and I have 10 years before I move up again.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring Has Sprung

10 ways teachers know that it's spring in North Idaho:

1. Forgotten jackets fill the hallway after dismissal (Students need them in the morning but not in the afternoon.)

2. The gloves and boots from winter finally go home.

3. Plants are growing in Dixie cups on windowsills.

4. Newly hatched chicks peep in at least one classroom.

5. Curriculum revolves around looking at bugs instead of spelling "bugs" and planting seeds instead of counting seeds.

6. Students get more and more "energetic" every day.

7. Recess gets a little longer every day. (Especially when I'm on duty!)

8. Students' eyes stray toward the windows a little more than usual.

9. Teachers' eyes stray toward the windows a lot more than usual.

10. The countdown to summer begins. (30 days left!)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Music To My Ears

What I am about to write only very few people know. And I wouldn't tell just anyone this information because it could harm my reputation. But since I know that I can trust you to keep this just between us, here goes. When I started "going with" my husband when I was in fifth grade and he was in sixth grade, our song was "Islands In The Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. (Pause to give you time to laugh.) I know it's ridiculous, but it was 1983 after all and it was a top ten song. And then in 1989 when we resumed our relationship after a few years apart, our song was Sherriff's "When I'm With You." (That's a totally awesome song. Some might even say it's rad!) And now, after almost 15 years of marriage, we don't officially have a song. But I find myself thinking of him when I hear certain songs. Most recently, it's "Easy Silence" by the Dixie Chicks. Here are a few lines of the song that make me think of him.

When the calls and conversations
Accidents and accusations
Messages and misperceptions
Paralyze my mind
Busses, cars, and airplanes leavin'
Burnin' fumes and gasoline and
Everyone is running and I
Come to find the refuge in the
Easy silence that you make for me
It's ok when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay for me

After everything we've been through in the past year, he has never complained once about my craziness. As a matter of fact, in his arms is the one place that I have always felt safe and loved. I can't quite figure out why I was blessed with him as my husband, but I'm sure glad I was.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

10 Reasons

10 Reasons Why I Love Kathy:

1. She makes me laugh.

2. She thinks like me.

3. She has a movie quote for every situation.

4. She always gives me plenty of time to study menus.

5. She appreciates the 80's just as everyone should.

6. She plans the best chick trips.

7. She is always ready to discuss Grey's Anatomy on Friday mornings.

8. She finds the best deals in town and tells me about them.

9. She calls me just to tell me what the guy in line in front of her has in his grocery cart.

10. She makes everything fun.

Happy Birthday, Kathy. I love you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

5 More Things To Be Happy About

*family resemblances (blue eyes and cowlicks) :)
*Japanese brush painting
*erasing a full blackboard (or whiteboard)
*Rice Krispie treats
*the sound of rain in the roof gutter (during a nap)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

April 17

One year ago today, my life changed. I was involved in a serious car accident where I was run off the road (accidentally) and my Ford Explorer rolled, what I feel like was, three times. I remember thinking, "Please don't roll, please don't roll," as I drove into the ditch and then thinking of my family and praying, "Please don't let me die," as I rolled. Those were 10 of the longest seconds of my life. I finally stopped rolling and the car landed on its wheels. The first thing I saw was a lot of people running toward my car. I had apparently rolled long enough for several cars to have time to stop and the drivers to run to my aid. I was actually surprised that I was okay. I said aloud several times, "I'm okay, I'm okay." I instantly tried to get out of the car, but the driver's side door was smashed closed. As started to try to climb out of the passenger's side, several people who had stopped to help told me to stay still until I got checked out. I found out in the next few minutes that among those who had stopped were 3 EMTs, a nurse, and a doctor. What a blessing. They knew just what to say and do until the ambulance arrived. I was able to call my husband and tell him what had happened and ask him to come to the scene which was only a few miles from home. When help arrived it seemed like a hundred people: emts, police officers, firefighters. They all surrounded me, asked me about my condition and did what they had been trained to do. I wanted to have my husband take me to the hospital, but they encouraged me to go in the ambulance just in case there were injuries that they couldn't see. I agreed and they proceeded to tear the door off the driver's side of the car. I said, "Hey, don't wreck my car!" to which they all laughed and someone said, "She's okay mentally." Then they put a neck brace on me and strapped me down to a board. As they were doing this, my husband arrived and I will never forget the look on his face. The worry and love that I saw there are forever etched in my memory. I assured him that I was okay, but honestly I was assuring myself just as much. They loaded me into the ambulance and began monitoring me. I remember hearing this sound that sounded like a really fast heartbeat and thinking, because it was so fast, that it couldn't be that. But as I paid attention to my breathing, it affected that sound and I realized that it was my heart beating so fast. Amazingly, I wasn't really scared. I think it was a little bit of adrenaline and a whole lot of the holy spirit. At the hospital, the doctor's checked me out, gave me a tetanus shot and three stitches in the back of my head, watched me for a while and let me go home. Just over four hours after I had left home, I was back with some sore muscles, a slight headache, and a new appreciation for life.

I would like to say that all has been well since then, but the truth is, I went through months of pain and physical therapy for my back, neck and shoulders, and more recently, a pretty severe case of post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety disorder. It's amazing what your brain can do under extreme stress and how it affects your body. I thought I was dying, but it turns out it was just my brain telling me that and my body making me feel that way. After months of medical care, I am so very glad to say that I am doing much better. I still have moments and even days when I struggle with the anxiety, but compared to the worst days, those are easy.

The worst part now is that a couple of times a week, the boys talk about my accident as we drive past the scene. Yesterday, Josh said, "Mom, I'm glad you didn't die." All I could say, with tears in my eyes, was, "Me, too." And it's true. I thank God everyday for my life and a little while longer to raise my kids and love my husband. I thank him for healing my body and my mind. I thank him for bringing me closer to him through it all and for reminding me who's in control. And most of all, I thank him for being there with me that day one year ago, when, as my car rolled, I felt his presence and his arms around me.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Show and Tell

Today we had:

1 white plastic pony named Sparkle
2 tiny dolls
1 pink hippo named Lola
1 Mister Potato Head
3 stuffed cats
1 movie
2 Bionicles
1 "locker" (You know, the kind shaped like a heart that you wear around your neck and put pictures in.) :)
1 pet turtle named Leonardo who, during chapel, got out of his box and escaped down the west hall, down the south hall, and into the kitchen where he startled a parent who referred to him as "some kind of reptile thing."


This morning in chapel, we had a special presentation about Lifeline of Hope, the orphanage aid organization that our church and school support. The man who was here had a slide presentation to show the kids and since our class was first to chapel, we watched as he turned on his projector and got to his first slide. This slide showed a little girl about a year old being held by an aid worker. She was nearly bald, not very clean, not very well taken care of, and obviously sad. These pictures always bring tears to my eyes as I think of my own children and how truly blessed we are.

But I was surprised when I looked at the student next to me. She, too, had tears in her eyes. She looked up at me and said, "My eyes are really watery." When I asked her what was wrong she just pointed to the picture up on the wall. It reminded me once again why I do what I do. Why I teach at a Christian school. Why I teach God's children. These children learn everyday about the love and kindness of our Lord and this morning I saw what that can do. It can, and does, instill in them that same love and kindness toward each other and the world.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Last week for spring break, our family took a trip to Seattle. The boys were so excited and we had been talking about it for weeks, so when the day finally came, we were all ready and raring to go. We loaded up the car with all we would need for three days away and plenty of provisions for a 5+ hour road trip. Before we were even out of the driveway, the snack bag had been opened and cracker crumbs littered the floor. And before we even reached Spokane, those most dreaded words were uttered, "How much longer?" I lost count of how many times I actually answered that question and took to telling them each time we passed a sign that showed how many more miles to Seattle. We also played "guess how many more miles" and "what's growing in the field." (There are signs on the fences that tell what's growing in the fields for about 15 miles of highway somewhere in the middle of Washington.) The funny thing was, even though they couldn't wait to get there, they never got bored. I know this because they never played their gameboys; they were "saving them until they were bored." The best part about the drive was the hours of conversation that Arrty and I were able to share. Between the questions and comments of the boys, we were able to solve the world's problems. (Well, at least a few of our own.) So, here's a brief account of our whirlwind tour of Seattle.

Tuesday: Get to the hotel with just enough time for a swim in the pool before bed.

Wednesday: Woodland Park Zoo (favorites: baby tiger, komodo dragons, gorillas)
(favorite memory: Josh practicing his navigating skills with the zoo map
and Adam up close and personal with the gorillas.)

Wednesday night: Mariners game (favorites: the Moose and cotton candy)
(favorite memories: Josh's face as he watched every moment of the game
and Adam's running commentary about everything but the game.)

Thursday: Aquarium and Harbor Cruise (favorites: sea horses, jellyfish, octopus)
(favorite memories: watching the boys watching the octopus feeding time
and the history of Seattle from the cruise tour guide)
Thursday lunch: Crab Pot (favorite: cracking the crab legs with the hammer)
Thursday night: The Museum of Flight (favorites: watching planes land and take off)

Friday: Pacific Science Center (favorites: bugs, dinosaurs, butterfly house)
(favorite memories: Adam's study of entomoligist gear and Josh's butterfly

Other favorites: gift shops, flattened penny souveniers, swimming in the pool, Papandrino's pizza, seeing the Space Needle, beautiful weather for everything

We had so much fun even though we were so busy. We have already talked about all the things we need to do the next time we visit the Emerald City.

Monday, April 02, 2007


I love weekends. As much as I enjoy my job and my students, I love weekends. There is a certain freedom and excitement that only seem to belong to Friday nights and Saturdays and Sundays. And this weekend was especially great.

On Friday night, three of my sister-friends took me out for a belated birthday celebration complete with dinner (chicken taco salad at America's Cheesecake Cafe), a movie (Premonition--I give it three out of four stars), and ice cream (germanchokolatekake at Cold Stone Creamery). We laughed and talked and enjoyed each other's company just as we always do. It reminded me once again why I love these ladies. (Just don't ask Katrina about recycling!) :)

Saturday morning I spent a few hours cleaning house and playing with the boys. (I can ninja fight with the best of them!) This all sounds very ordinary, but in the midst of it all, I thanked God, because not so long ago I was barely able to get off the couch, no less fight off two miniature ninjas. I was happy.

Saturday afternoon, I attended the very sweet wedding of a very special couple. Weddings always remind me how much I appreciate my amazing husband.

Saturday night I made homemade pizza with the boys; messy and slow, but fun and yummy. After they went to bed, we watched "The Prestige." It was a great movie, but even better was the conversation we had afterwards about all the twists and turns. We decided that we need to see it again.

Sunday afternoon we all went to the movies and saw the digital 3D version of "Meet the Robinsons." It is amazing. This new kind of 3D is so much better than the old kind. The boys loved it. They kept trying to reach out and grab things that came flying toward them. The story in the movie was great, too. Then we discussed our favorite characters from the movie over Chinese food for lunch. Mine is "Goob."

Sunday evening, just before the sun went down, we went for a walk. Living out in the country gives us the perfect place to walk. When we first moved to our new house six years ago, we walked with both boys in a double stroller. The next summer one walked and one was in a stroller. Since then, they have both walked, but with many stops along the way to look at a bird or pick up a rock. And this year, we walk and they ride their bikes, which they love. No matter how we travel, it's a great time together.

So, this was a great weekend full of family and friends and fun. Which, if you ask me, is the best kind of all.