Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summer Vacation in full swing

Today, Keri Lynn went to a softball game and when Keith brought her back, Keith and I took Keva to her teacher's wedding in a dinky town named Williamson. It was about an hour's drive. In between were a lot of trees and cow pastures. It just brought to mind just how rural it is around here. Newnan is downright metropolitan when compared to these little towns around it.

The wedding was beautiful. Keva didn't do anything embarrassing during the ceremony. The food was yummy complete with the little weenie dogs wrapped in crescent rolls. I can't think of any cake I like more than wedding cake. I got the most adorable picture of Keva with her teacher.

I can't believe that the first week of summer vacation has already flown right on by. Kathleen and Kylie have spent literally half the nights since school's been let out sleeping over at friends' houses. And we've taken kids to two birthday parties. Kade and Konner went to a friend's house today, and last week, Kylie went to a slumber birthday party. That's because it's BIRTHDAY BONANZA MONTH for the next couple of months.

Today is my twin nieces' birthday. So happy birthday to Christine and Danielle in California. Here's a big cyber space hug for the both of you.

{{ hug }}

Did you feel it?

Then, my niece Lola's birthday is next on the 2nd. Then, Keri Lynn's (cough,cough) 17th birthday on the 4th. Ginger King's birthday on the 5th. My beloved (however neglected friend) Cathy's birthday on the 6th. And then, we can't forget the anniversaries. The Kings' anniversary was on May 27. Then, Kirby and Natasha's anniversary was on the 29. And coming just around the corner is Mom and Rich's anniversary on June 12. This is all just in three short weeks. Congratulations to you all.

Speaking of congratulations, I also did just hear that my brother, Danny and his wife Jessica are expecting their first child. We're absolutely thrilled for them! It's times like these when we're glad that God created nine months of pregnancy just to get used to the fact that there's a little one coming into the world!

Keri Lynn has the nerve to go on choir tour over her birthday. So we'll be having a party for her when she returns. I'm not sure when exactly because on the weekend after she returns she's supposed to take the ACT -- the standardized test that will be submitted to colleges. No pressure. Absolutely no pressure. She's fine. We're. All. Very. Calm.

Keri Lynn and Kristofer leave for choir tour tomorrow. They'll be gone eight days and will be singing at youth detention centers across Georgia. The church web site posts some great pictures of youth trips on their web site First Baptist Church Newnan. It's always fun to see their progress throughout the week. This will be Keri Lynn's third choir tour and Kristofer's first. Next year, the music pastor is planning a choir tour to Japan! Every four years, the choir goes international. It will be Keri Lynn's senior year, too. A big deal!

The weather is starting to warm up as we edge toward summer. We've gotten a few thunderstorms, but mostly it's just been beautiful. We've had enough rain to take the edge off of drought woes. We still can't wash our cars in the driveway or let the kids play in the sprinklers on the grass, but -- thank God! -- we have quite a few neighbors with pools! The kids are already getting great tans and sun highlights in their hair!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Kings' visit

When the Kings come for a visit, Ginny's arms are always full with gifts. This time, one of the gifts was Chicken Parmesan, cooked in both of our crock pots. It was so good that I've cooked it a dozen times at least since they've been gone. Here's Ginny in front of the crock pots. It lasted for two whole dinners for four adults and 11 kids.
Here are some of the kids playing Smash Brothers, I think, in the family room.
And what happens to the rest of the house when they're playing video games, you might ask? Well . . . .
Here's a sampling of the boys' room. Scary, isn't it. What is SO NICE about having older children these days is that I don't have to help clean up. They clean it up themselves! Yay for independence!
Ginny made the shawl that goes so well with her outfit. Isn't it nice! She liked the pattern so much that she made me a variation of it!
Here we are with our shawls. I love mine! I got it just in time for the last part of the cold season, and now (sadly) it's packed away until fall. I'll enjoy getting it back out again.
Ginny and Kerry -- who by the way -- are celebrating their 18th anniversary this week! Congratulations, y'all!
Here we are in our traditional Guest Pose at the Fireplace. : )

Monday, May 26, 2008

Easter Pageant

Kylie and Kade wait for their grand entrance to welcome Jesus!
Kade: "I'm excited."
Funny story alert: So Keith left his Bible at church a few weeks ago. I got a email from the church secretary saying that she thought my husband had left a Bible, but there was no name. She thought it might be ours. When Keith got it back, he said that yes, there had been a family picture in it, so they must have figured it was ours, but he wondered what they thought of his picture in "drag". He had one of the Easter pictures of him in his stage make-up getting ready for his part as one of the Magi coming to worship the baby Jesus. At least he didn't leave his Bible in a restaurant or somewhere else where the picture could have been understood out of context!
The King is about to eat his lunch!
Is he just not the cutest kid ever!
Kathleen takes her turn putting on stage make-up. She's a pro. She does this all the time at home, too.
My, what big eyes you have, Konner.
Keva had a blast during the Pageant preparations. While I helped put make-up on people, she sat in her chair behind the person I was working on and yanked on their hair and costume. Then, she'd giggle about it insanely.
Keva and Keri Lynn practice dancing.
The Sanctuary waiting for celebrations to begin
The Fellowship Hall where participants made ready
Here I am putting make-up on Keri Lynn
Some of the stories going around the tables were hilarious.
Breath-taking girl
Kristofer did the spotlight! (I know, I can't believe I don't have a picture of him!)
Chris Irish played Jesus again this year. He does such a good job . . .
. . . and the kids love him!

Just a regular day

Kody stands in front of the refrigerator ready to get a treat
The boys play video games on the TV. They'd be content playing this stuff 24/7. There's James, Kristofer's friend, standing on the left.

Kristofer takes some pictures on an early spring hike

The dog

The expressions of Kathleen

I have never been able to figure out how my kids can do this kind of thing. Here is Kathleen preparing to get rid of a loose tooth. Tying a string around the tooth . . .
Making sure it's secure . . .
Tying the other end to a door nob. EWWWWWWWW!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Merrily we paint along

Here is Keith with is able assistant Konner painting our dining room.
They are both so cute! I'm especially tickled with Konner's choice of clothes -- overalls.
Then we have our own Vanna White showcasing the next color choice for our guest bathroom.
Keith detailed the cabinets and closet door.
We carried the brown color through to the next hallway and up the stairwell

Monday, May 19, 2008

Paul Washer - Shocking Message (full length)

If you ever questioned your salvation, this message is vital to watch.

End of Year

I didn't take a job today in order to attend Kade's End of Year Awards Program. About 60 1st graders packed out the gym and parents swarmed in armed with cameras and camcorders. I was no exception.

Kade got certificates for P.E., Good Behavior, A/B Average and Perfect Attendance. I was very proud of him.

I'm not so proud of me, though. We've been so behind on the laundry, that he was wearing his jeans with big holes in his knees. At least his clothes were CLEAN, though, AND he was wearing socks! (Socks have been hard to come by lately!) I'm not sure if he got the breakfast off his face. And, the coup de grĂ¢ce was his hair where it stood straight up in the back. Very becoming! Ack!

After the program, I came home and I've been working like a dog ever since to get caught up on my poor neglected house. I've followed my usual pattern when we've had company. I clean like a mad woman for the hours before company comes then, the second they're out the door, I collapse on the couch in a heap and don't look at a dirty dish or item of clothing for a solid couple of weeks! Well, now it's time to pay the piper and I'm getting us all caught up with things again.

Several kids have come up to me, "Have you seen any of my underwear lately?"

My usual response is, "Do you know how to use the washing machine?"

Summer is literally around the corner for us. The last day of school is Friday. I haven't the foggiest notion what I'll do for work for the next two months. And even if I do find a job, I still have got to figure out how to take care of little kids when big kids are away and how to get us to California for a visit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Next Friday is the last day of school. I've been working steadily for several weeks, mostly at the high school and more often in the advanced classes lately. Nearly every morning, though, I pass one of my special ed kids, the big guy who's graduating this year, and he trots on over to shake my hand with a most serious face. It's the sweetest thing! A stop-and-smell-the-roses moment.

Today I subbed in chemistry. Most of the students are serious brainiacs. One student was boiling a substance that crystallizes as soon as it is poured out onto a cool surface. He was doing it for fun. Another student showed me how he can fire up some kind of flammable stuff right on the chemistry table -- It burns so quickly that the table remains unharmed. He thought this was so cool to do that soon a dozen students had gathered around and put the solution around the entire perimeter of the table and lit it so that it burned bright enough to signal aircraft for help. Another thoughtful student thought that perhaps we'd better open up a window so that the carbon monoxide production wouldn't harm us. I really hope I don't get fired.

In another class, most of the students left for the senior picnic, so I played cards with the remaining students. Our fine educational system at work. I learned a new card game and was thoroughly trounced. We then played Hearts where I redeemed myself and trounced them. Now THAT was fun.

I left school a few hours early to go to Kathleen's Honors Program. She got a plaque 1) for getting all A's and B's (only two B's all year) 2) for perfect attendance and 3) for not getting sent to the Principal's office. Keith and I are very proud of her hard work. She had a rough start for the first six weeks or so, and then suddenly things kind of smoothed out and she's been sailing pretty smoothly ever since.

The Principal's office is a pretty busy place. I went there myself earlier to report three kids that had given me trouble. Earlier this week, I was in charge of 13 students who were not allowed to go outside to sign their yearbooks because they had either 1) failed their classes or 2) had too many trips to the Principal's office. I kept order by putting names on boards and then checks for anyone not doing their assignment. Three boys had trouble settling down, so I reported their names to the assistant principal. He took one look at my list and said, "I know these names very well."

"I bet you do."

With a glint in his eye, he said, "So, do you want their bruises to show or not?"

I smiled back, "I just want them to know that I mean what I say when I tell them they're coming to see you."

"All right. They'll get ISS tomorrow."

Doesn't ISS sound like some kind of gestapo/nazi thing? It stands for In School Suspension. When kids rack up ISS trips, they get into further trouble. I don't like to go that far, but I will if I need to.

On the home front, I'm terribly behind in my laundry once more. My plan to get the kids to help me with it has been failing miserably. Essentially laundry is being done on an emergency basis only. One load late at night with everyone's emergency supply all thrown in to one load, light and dark together. Hopefully Konner has remembered to put some of his socks into tonight's load that's running right this minute. He has the world's stinkiest fee!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

To my Grandmother who gave her life to the Lord in her 20's and because of it influenced the lives of generations after her
To my Mom who passed on to me a love for Scripture and song (Don't you love how we both can't seem to keep our eyes open for a picture!)
To my mother-in-law who brought up my husband to fear the Lord and to do laundry!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Team Hoyt - Redeemer

I sobbed while watching this incredible precious video. An incredible picture of the Father's love for us. Please watch!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Substitute

I've been working every day this week, so I haven't had a lot of time to post anything, but I was thinking about some of the special memories of this first semester as a substitute teacher. Here are some mental clips that pop up in my brain:

1) Having a very large graduating senior special ed boy come up from behind while I was walking down the hall. He put his arm around me in greeting until we came to his class, then he waved a shy good-bye and went on his way.

2) The exclamation of a junior in American History, "You're my favorite sub! I don't know why, but you're my FAVORITE!"

3) Meeting up with kids at church that I've had in my class. The middle school kids look at me in awe and the high school kids pretend like they've never seen me before in their entire lives.

4) A whispered "We've got the kindergarten sub today." (This one I didn't like so much -- wondering if I sounded too "good morning, boys and girls!" to them last time I'd subbed.

5) Having a kid tell his teacher to be sure to get Mrs. J as a sub next time she was out.

6) Teacher's "Lounge" conversations about inside scoop happenings and being able to put in my two cents (because I've always got a little something to say!).

7) Sitting in on teachers' lectures to see how it's done or not done, whatever the case may be.

8) Students asking, "Got a riddle for us, Mrs. J?"

9) Other students saying, "Dude, that riddle was DUMB!" And me answering, "It's only dumb because YOU couldn't figure it out!"

10) Some very smart kids showing me on the board that .9 repeating is equal to 1 using algebra and then calculus. I still don't believe them!

11) Allowing chemistry students to tinker with liquids that made a penny dissolve. I just told them to PLEASE not make a black crater in the middle of the chemistry room. In retrospect, I think maybe I should have just said no seeing as I am NOT a chemistry type and would not have had a clue about what to do if anything went wrong.

12) The power of being able to give permission hundreds of young people to go to the bathroom. (Sad, I know.)

There are many more memories, some that I'd just as soon forget, but most that I appreciate. I like working with kids. Whether or not I'm cut out for a classroom remains to be seen. It's been a good experience to sub this year just to get an idea about how middle and high school works here in our county.