Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Road Report

As part of Arrty's position with the Transportation Department, he plows snow in the winter. Like big time plowing with the huge, yellow, state trucks with the flashing lights and everything. He leaves the house at an hour that I consider to be the middle of the night and braves the dark and winter weather to go to work to make the roads safe for all of us who will be driving to work or school several hours later. He even plows the highway from town north to just past our house. So most mornings, and especially if there's any weather to speak of, he calls just before we leave for school and gives me my own private road report. He tells me if the roads are dry or wet or slushy or icy. He warns me if there might be black ice or fog. He alerts me to any accidents or other things to watch out for. I really, truly appreciate his updates. It's good for me, a nervous winter driver, to know what I'm getting into. And he knows that about me. So his road reports are much more than just road reports. They are one more way he tells me he knows me and loves me...and is protecting me in every way he can. What a blessing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

10 Things Thursday

Josh and Adam are working on projects for the history fair coming up in March. They each had to choose a historical figure to portray on stage and a country for a written project. Josh chose Daniel Boone and Peru. Adam chose Teddy Roosevelt and Australia. It's been interesting learning along with them. So here are 5 people and 5 places I would choose if I were in their class.

1. Amelia Earhart
2. Georgia O'Keefe
3. Harriet Tubman
4. Laura Ingalls Wilder
5. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
6. Ireland
7. Brazil
8. Greece
9. Switzerland
10. Kenya

Who and where would you choose?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Idol Shmidol

I like to watch singing competition shows on tv. You know, like American Idol and The Voice (which I just discovered and LOVE). I have often caught myself thinking, "If I were on this show I would sing...(fill in the blank with any one of a million songs that I love)." I love to sing and have for as long as I can remember. I sing often. I sing at home and at church and at school and in the car...especially in the car. I sing by myself and with my family and my students...and especially with my kids. I sing when I'm happy and I sing through the tears when I'm not. And even though I'm way to old to try out for Idol or Voice, I don't need to. Here's why.

Sunday at church I was singing, like usual, when Julianna motioned for me to hear a secret. She then, in her most precious little girl voice, whispered, "Mommy, you have a beautiful voice." I was surprised. Not by her sweetness, because that's just the way she is, but by her observation and thoughtfulness in sharing such a compliment. I said, "Thanks, Julie," and went back to singing...even though I was tearing up a little.

So Steven, Jennifer, and Randy and Adam, Cee Lo, Christina, and Blake, I really like you guys and wish you all the best, but I've been judged by a much more important person. She's three years old, her name is Julianna, and she's way, way, WAY cuter than any of you.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

10 Things Thursday

10 questions about Facebook.

1. First, why, oh why, did I fall into temptation and join? It is not a good place for someone who is naturally nosy...I mean, curious...to find themselves.
2. What am I supposed to post? Does anyone really care that a kid threw up in my class or that my daughter calls lullabies "luvabies?"
3. What am I supposed to "like?" What if someone posts something sad? Can I "like" that?
4. How can I not confirm friendship? I've taught kindergarten for 7 years. It goes against everything I know to say no when someone asks me to be their friend.
5. Why is it impossible for me to write anything, including a Facebook post, without using proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation? (At least to the best of my ability.) It must be just me because lots of other people don't seem to have that problem.
6. Can I really call someone my friend if I haven't spoken to them in over 10 years? Or ever.
7. Isn't it wrong to find out really important information on Facebook? Seems to me it is.
8. When someone is on chat, do they really want to chat? Because I'm not so good at chatting in real life so I'm probably not good at it online either.
9. Do I get free stuff if I "like" a product or business? Because if I get free stuff, there's lots of things I "like."
10. Where does Mark Zuckerberg get all his money? It's free to be on Facebook. There really aren't that many ads that I've seen. The aps that I've seen so far are free. I'm confused by how he can be so rich. But since joining Facebook, I'm obviously confused by many things.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


The dictionary defines valentine as "a sweetheart chosen or complimented on Valentine's Day." A sweetheart is defined as "one who is loved, a generally likable person, a remarkable one of its kind."

That being true, I have lots of valentines. My four favorites though, are the four I live with. The one who's been my valentine for well over 20 years. The one whose birth made me a mommy. The one who makes me laugh more than any other person in the world. And the one whose perfect pinkness has brought completion to our family. They are all loved. They are all generally likable people. (Generally.) And they are each one a remarkable one of a kind. And today, on this, my 39th Valentine's Day, I am overjoyed to have four such amazing, wonderful valentines.

I love you Arrty, Josh, Adam, and Julianna. You are my valentines today and every day.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


I was walking through Target the other day and saw their new line of neon clothing. The brightest green and pink and yellow seen since the 80's. It gave me a serious flashback to high school and jazz choir. The first year we chose to have our costumes be bright blue, pink and yellow. (Well, they decided. I was too shy to say, "Ummm...really?) It was 1988 though. Those bright colors were cool. So not only did we stun the audience with our talent, we blinded them with "rad colors." And lucky me, I got to wear yellow. (Once again done in by my shyness.) Even in 1988 it was impossible to find a bright yellow dress so Mom had to make me one. It was a very simple pattern. Long sleeves, straight skirt. But paired with the wide black belt and black bead necklace, I was only the fifth silliest looking person on the stage.

The second year of my jazz choir experience we mixed it up a little and added black to our bright colors. Black pants for the boys and black skirts for the girls with neon tee shirts on top with black tees underneath so we could roll up the sleeves and have black edges. The boys wore their black shirts on top and had neon edges.* There was no yellow that year. Only pink, green and orange. I got orange. I know. Super cool. But it was better than yellow.

So either Target is going retro or we were way ahead of the times. Either way, I've done my neon time.

*I only remember the details because I found the pictures when we were de-flooding the basement. I will post the pics for a small fee.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

10 Things Thursday

10 things we found while de-flooding the basement.

1. That we have too much stuff.
2. 2 boxes of VHS tapes with stickers that said things like "Seinfeld Finale" and "90210." (The Brenda and Brandon and Dillon and Kelly 90210. Obviously, if it's recorded on VHS.)
3. Several blank VHS tapes. Anyone need them? Kathy, maybe?
4. Boxes and boxes of books. Some that I knew about and some that I didn't. About a third of them survived.
5. That if you have brand new puzzles, they are in plastic bags inside the box. Even if the box is ruined, the puzzle might be saved.
6. Wet carpet is very, very heavy.
7. Bags and bags of stuffed animals that I had stealthily moved to the basement. Julianna has now carried, by the armful, many of them back upstairs to her room...and the couch...and the living room floor...
8. Everyone has a flooded basement story of their own or at least of someone they know. And plenty advice for the clean up.
9. Did I mention that we found that we have too much stuff? Oh, I did?
10. We found out what's important. Everything in the basement could float away today, but as long as the people upstairs are safe, we're good.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

When It Rains...

it pours.

Ever heard that saying? Well, I've had one of those weeks. The big finale (at least I hope it's the finale) began early yesterday morning when my husband woke me up at 3:40 am and told me that our basement was flooding. How could that even be possible? We live on the prairie! But with all the melting snow and heavy rain overnight, our backyard was a small lake and we had water about a foot up on our sliding glass door in the basement. That foot of water outside had leaked inside around the door and was covering every inch of our basement in 2 inches of water. Arrty called my dad (because that's what you do when you need something fixed) and he came out to the house and helped block the water from coming in. That was the easy part.

Arrty spent all day Monday getting the water out and when I got home we began the slow process of drying everything out. It took Monday evening and all day yesterday to get everything moved, the carpet up, and the things that weren't salvageable thrown away. One of the hardest parts was the books I lost. I had to throw away at least 6 boxes of books that were ruined. I looked through the first few to see what was in there, but after that I just carried them to the trash pile. I didn't want to know what was in there. It just made it worse. There were a few things that I checked on right away...the safe box holding birth certificates and other important documents and my scrapbooks. They were safe...or so I thought. For some reason Josh and Adam's first year scrapbooks were not on the shelf with all the others and were found yesterday afternoon after sitting on wet carpet for over a day. That's when I lost it and cried hysterically for about a minute and a half. Then I pulled myself together and made a plan. I ran into town and made color copies of all the pages and then laid them out to dry to see what could be saved. They aren't looking so good, so the color copies may have to work as replacements. But I will include a note to the boys reminding them that at one time their scrapbooks were lovingly handmade. Most everything else of significance was either well protected in Rubbermaid boxes or put on shelves. It looks like we will be able to save all the furniture. So we lost our carpet, lots of books, some jigsaw puzzles and board games, and a few other odds and ends.

Now we have to continue to dry out the concrete floor with fans and heaters and then put everything back where it belongs. It was bad, but certainly could have been much worse. It sure is a hard way to get the basement cleaned up.

Oh yeah, and did you know that homeowners insurance does not cover loss or damage caused by ground water? So it looks like we'll have no carpet in the basement for awhile. But the floor sure is clean!