Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A short story...

Once upon a time, there was a kindergarten teacher who loved her job...most of the time. She loved teaching children their letters because she knew that would lead to teaching them to read. She loved teaching children numbers because she knew that would lead to adding and counting money and telling time. She loved teaching art and poetry and songs. She loved new crayons and glue sticks and even the smell of new Play Doh. She loved teaching. But she didn't love child care. You see, every afternoon, this kindergarten teacher gathered all the school's preschool students into her classroom to provide child care for working moms and dads. And as much as she loved each little soul who walked through her door, she did not love all that it entailed to care for them. She did not love the fight to get them to be still at rest time. She did not love the bickering over toys or the tattling. She did not love the mess that the whirlwind of 18 preschoolers left in its wake at the end of each day. And this teacher, as much as she fought it, began to have a bad attitude about her job. She didn't like that. She wanted to be happy about the place God had placed her. She wanted to laugh and play and make school fun for all her students--morning and afternoon. So she decided to make some changes. She was going to be more consistent and firm about the rules. She was going to have more structure for the students to follow. And she was going to pray really hard for each little child in her care and for herself to have more patience with them. She wondered if it would make a difference. She hoped, for all their sakes, that it would.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I stayed home from church with Julianna yesterday because she was up all night coughing and just didn't feel good. She laid on the couch or sat on my lap all day. It made me worry a little because even when she's sick, she is normally up and around some. Then at 2am this morning she was fussing in her bed and I went in to check on her and noticed she felt a little warm. By 4am she was throwing up. So I'm home with her today, too. Really?! Whooping cough isn't enough? We have to have every cold and flu, too? That's it! We are doing whatever it takes to build up our immune systems. Eating more veggies. Taking more vitamins. Washing our hands until we no longer have fingerprints. I am sick of any of us being sick...and it's not even December.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!



Monday, November 21, 2011

Breaking Dawn

Yes. The title of this post is referring to the latest installment of the Twilight movies. I saw it yesterday afternoon with two of my Twilight pals. We are not those silly kind of fans who wait in line for days and see the midnight showing on opening night. (Although we know some of those.) We are those silly kind of fans who at least wait until Sunday of opening weekend. The funny thing is, I've read the books. I know what's going to happen. There's really no big surprises in the movies. Especially at this point with this being the 4th movie in the series. Bella is going to be angsty and awkward. Edward is going to have great hair and be charming in a teenage vampire sort of way. Jacob is going to be angry...and shirtless. And the plot is the same as the book. Human bride/vampire groom wedding. Some sort of weird, time warped pregnancy. Wolves growling. Crazy baby name. Disgusting birth scene of half human-half vampire baby. It's all in the book and all in the movie. But I went to see it anyway. "Why?" you might ask. Well, these movies are just so bad that they're good. They will never win any Oscars. But they are fun. Just pure fun for anyone with an open mind to the ridiculous. And I guess that fits me.

So here are my thoughts about the major scenes in the movie.

The wedding scene. Nervous bride. Smiling groom. Unsure father of the bride. Human and vampire wedding guests. (Including a cameo by author Stephanie Meyer.) Lovely dress. Sincere vows. Romantic kiss. It was sweet.
The wedding toasts. Emmett...umm, are you sure you want to give him the mike? hilariously protective. Renee...really, lullabies? sweet with his promises of love...forever.
The honeymoon. I loved that the bride and groom were nervous on their wedding night. It was so refreshing to see two teenagers in a movie who were nervous about the whole consummation thing and who knew it was a big deal and took it seriously. And if you've read the book, you know that vampire/human relations are not, ummm, normal. The broken furniture and flying feathers were hilarious.
The wolves. It's no secret that I am a wolf girl. The vampires are nice and all. But, come on, you have to admit the wolves are more fun. They laugh and play and howl at the moon. The scene where they are reading each others thoughts but we can hear is so very cheesy and great. The whole mysticism part of the book was well portrayed, I thought. So compared to other movies with mind reading werewolves, it was really good.
The pregnancy. So creepy. So gut wrenching. So weird. So good. And drinking blood through a straw out of a Styrofoam cup with a lid. Priceless.
The names. E.J. for Edward Jacob if it's a boy. Okay. I get that one. But I loved that they kind of make a joke of the whole Renesme thing. The look on Jacob's face when they tell him is perfect. He's thinking what we all were when we read it in the book. Really? Renesme? Really?
The delivery. Okay. It's disturbing to say the least. I won't go into details for fear of spoiling it for those who plan to see the movie. But be prepared to groan and look away for at least a part of it. And plug your ears if you can.
The baby. She's cute. After she's cleaned up a little. But please, call her Nessie.
The imprinting. Jacob imprinting on Nessie is very interesting. I know the whole subject has caused a lot of controversy, but I liked how they showed it in the movie. It was less creepy than it could have been.
The change. We all know that Bella becomes a vampire. But watching the change is kind of fascinating. This is one scene where having read the book changes things. You know that she is feeling what they all felt as they changed to vampires...excruciating pain. And yet she is lying there motionless, controlling her screaming so that she doesn't upset Edward. Such a Bella thing to do. The movie doesn't go into that and you'd miss the importance if you didn't go in knowing it.
The final shot. Unexpected. And pretty much perfect.

So there it is. I am slightly embarrassed to say that 1) I paid (matinee price) to see this movie and 2) I not only admitted it on the world-wide web, but spent more minutes of my life that I will never get back writing about it. But it made me happy. It gave me two hours of uninterrupted silliness in an otherwise mostly serious life. And, if you must know, I'll even buy it on dvd when it comes out so that I have the whole collection. You can come over and we'll have a Twilight marathon. Come on. You know you want to.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blessed Sunday

Singing. Singing is a blessing. In the car. Doing housework. With my kids. In church. I love to sing. For the last several weeks I haven't been able to sing. At all. With all the coughing, my throat is shot. I can barely speak most of the time, no less sing. But today I was feeling better in church services and decided to try to sing. I looked through the schedule of songs and waited for one I really wanted to sing. And I did. It was kind of croaky and my voice only lasted for that one song. But I sang. And it felt good. I've missed it. Slowly but surely I'm getting better. Maybe next week I can sing two songs.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

5 And Counting

I did it again. I missed my blogiversary! On November 4th, 2006, I started this blog and have been stunning readers with my brilliant posts ever since. Well, maybe not. But some of you are still checking in and reading my posts, so that's something. How things have changed in the last 5 years. In 2006 I was the mom of two little boys. Now I have two half grown men and a 3 year old daughter to mother. Then I had one sweet little nephew. Now I have a nephew who is taller every time I see him, an amazingly adorable niece, and another nephew who just happens to be the cutest baby in the world. In 2006, Adam was in my kindergarten class. Now, I still teach kindergarten, but it's Julianna in my afternoon pre-school/kindergarten class. In 2006, I found my first gray hair. And now, five years later, I couldn't count them if I wanted to. The biggest difference, though, is my state of mind. I started this blog as a distraction from my severe, yet to be diagnosed, anxiety disorder. And today? Today I am fully in control of my anxiety and look on that time as painful, but necessary to make me who I am today. This blog was such a blessing in those days giving me something to focus on besides my pain and worry. And it remains a blessing 5 years later as a place to write and share and collect memories and stories for my kids to read someday.

It's funny how five years seems to have been just a day long and a lifetime long at the same time. So much has happened and changed in my life. Good and bad. Trials and blessings. And yet, here I am. Smarter and stronger and thankful for it all. Thanks for joining me on this journey. Here's to the next five years!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

In Stitches

So I made it through 12 years of parenthood without any of my children having an injury worthy of stitches. 12 years of Josh running and riding and trying to jump to the 5th monkey bar that only resulted in a scraped chin and a broken baby tooth. 10 years of Adam chasing butterflies and throwing rocks and racing with his brother that only resulted in minor scrapes and scratches. And 3 years of Julianna climbing and sliding and running around the playground...which is what finally led to the stitches. Yep. My boys are not the first of my children to require stitches. My cute little girly girl is. Here's the story.

I'm sitting at my desk enjoying the 12 1/2 seconds of peace I have during the day when I hear one of the older boys rush into the building and yell for me. I could tell something was wrong and headed in his direction right away. From the look on his face I knew it wasn't good. All he said was, "Julianna." I started to panic a little, but know from experience that minor things can get made into more than they are. I hurried outside and saw the teacher on duty cradling Julianna and rushing to get her to me. The closer I got, the more blood I saw and once I reached them all I could see was the blood. Luckily my common sense kicked in and reminded me that head wounds always look worse than they are because of the blood. But for a few seconds my mommy sense kicked in, too, and all I could think is that my baby was in my arms covered with blood. (Kathy described her as looking like Carrie during the prom scene in the movie.) I got her into the office and with the help of our secretary, grabbed some tissues to start cleaning her up. Then Kathy came in with wet wipes and we were able to use them to clean her little face and hair and clothes. The more blood we removed, the easier it was to see that it all came from a little 1/2 inch cut right in the middle of her forehead. During all this she never cried. She was mostly mad that I was holding her like a baby and just wanted to be put down. She sat patiently as we ministered to her and calmly told us what had happened. One of her friends was throwing a stuffed dog off the top of the jungle gym and she was running to catch it and ran into one of the poles. And her friend Tyler caught it instead. If the cut would have been a little higher and covered by her hair, I probably would have cleaned it up and left it to heal. But since it was right in the middle of her perfect little forehead I decided to take her to see if she needed stitches.

Our regular doctor was able to see her right away and confirmed that she did in fact need a few stitches to hopefully prevent scarring. So the nurse cleaned it up using her handy, dandy little squirter and since it was pink, Jules was fine with it. Then they put some numbing gel on it for about 5 minutes. Then it was time for the stitches. The only fussing she did through the whole process was when they wanted her to lie down on the examining table. But with a little persuasion she went along with it. (Which was a relief because they also brought in a board with straps into the room in case she wouldn't lie still for the procedure.) They covered her with a sheet covering her whole face except for a hole around the cut. Still she laid still and didn't complain. Then the doctor began the stitching. I watched as much as I could but had to look away a few times. Not because of the needle or blood, but because all I could think of was my baby girl lying on that table being sewn. She was such a trooper, though. Amazingly cooperative and brave. (Braver than at least one of the boys would have been.) Soon she was stitched and bandaged and praised and ready to go. I sent her home with her daddy and headed back to school exhausted from the whole ordeal. But oh so glad that two stitches was all that were needed. And grateful for such a sweet girl, stitches and all.

Here's the injury.

Here's the Tweety Bird bandaid holding on the numbing gel.

Here's Little Miss Stitches with her humongous bandaid and her new "what a brave girl" puppy.

And here's the picture that "needs to be cute."

And another one trying to "be cute."

As you can see, she's no worse for the wear. And cute in every picture if you ask me.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Josh and Adam loved stuffed animals when they were little. They collected easily a hundred each over the years and most of those slept in their beds for many years. Whenever I would ask them the names of some of their furry friends they would usually say something like "Brown Dog" or "Spots" or "Hippo." Nothing too creative, but perfect for them. So having Julianna is totally different. For a while she named every animal and baby "Sally." Then there was a "Sarah" and an "Abby" after her cousin. And just the other day I asked her what she'd named her fuzzy, pink rabbit. She looked at me without hesitation and said, "Bunnyster Daisy." Well, now that's a name. I can't wait to see what she comes up with for her new found panda.

Speaking of stuffed animals, since the boys were born they've gotten a stuffed animal in their Christmas stocking. A couple of years ago I'd decided that they were too old for another animal. But then I overheard them discussing what kind of animal they might get in their stocking that year. Needless to say, I went out on Christmas Eve and bought two stuffed animals. So my question is this. Should I ask them this year if they are too old for stuffed animals or should I just put them in the stockings and wait for them to tell me when they are too old?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blessed Sunday

I am feeling blessed today to feel up to blogging. It's been weeks of barely being able to do the necessary before I collapse on the couch. I'm still coughing some and still the "take your breath away" coughing occasionally. But oh, so much better than this time last week. I'm still mad that I got whooping cough at all. (The family who gave it to me is no longer at our school, by the way.) But it has encouraged me to build up my immune system to try to be a stronger against the bombardment of kindergarten germs. So if you are healthy today, count that as a blessing. Because it really, truly is.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I slept for 5 hours in a row last night! That's the longest I've slept at one time in the last 3 weeks of waking up every hour or two coughing. Amazing what a little sleep can do!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Dear Parents of all of my future students,

Please, for all that is holy, have your children immunized so that the sweet little darlings don't give me whooping cough ever again in my entire life. I know that you may have reasons why you choose not to immunize your children. But if they get sick with these preventable diseases, they can give them to those of us who are immunized. Like me. And if the last week and a half of my life is any indication, you DO NOT want your child, or anyone else, to get whooping cough. If you would spend just one day, or night, with me and hear the intense and body wracking coughing I go through, you would not wish it on your worst enemy, no less your precious children. You protect them in every other way. Why not protect them, and everyone else, from these illnesses? At least think about it.


P.S. To the family whose child gave me whooping cough: I forgive you and pray for your sweet daughter's healing, too. But if my own children get it, it will not be so easy to forgive.