Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've worked one day this week so far. I subbed for a Spanish teacher. Quite a few students wanted to know exactly how much Spanish I knew. One wanted to know if I knew what the word "perro" was? I told him, and he said, "Wow, you're good." For those of you who don't know the word, it means "dog". I'm immediately skeptical of teenage boys, but I had a feeling that he was going to go where I didn't want him to go with that. Luckily, I was able to cut him off at the pass. (If you don't know what I mean, then . . . GOOD!) Anyway, another student said something and ended it with "Jesus Christ". I told him to watch his mouth, unless, of course, he was talking to Jesus. He said that he hadn't said "Jesus" but "Besus". I totally believed this, of course, and told him not to use "Besus" either, because he wasn't talking to him! Good grief! Such is the life, sometimes, of a substitute teacher. You gotta stay a little ahead of the game, if possible. I've learned to give sharp funny answers whenever I can. That day, thank God, my brain was in gear.

I've found so far, that for the most part, subbing is not bad. In fact, I've enjoyed getting to know the students. Most of the kids like me. If I get a couple of students that I know from church or the neighborhood, I just pretend that I don't know them until they decide that it's safe to acknowledge me. It all depends on how the class goes. They love the riddles. I'm having to look for more -- so if anyone has more -- particularly puzzles that can be done on a chalkboard -- let me know! One student on Tuesday came in the class and said, "I. LOVE. YOU!" He was so fervent. Cracked me up.

In fact, that day I had quite a few students that had been in classes with me before. Ninth graders last year. This year they seemed either 1) more subdued or 2) more beaten down at the beginning of a school year. I don't know. I do know that eighth and ninth graders are the hardest kids to deal with. They have a lot of angst going on.

I have a friend at church who also substitutes. She and I are going to go take the GACE together and hopefully we'll be on our way to getting certified by next year. It's nice to have someone to compare notes with. She's a lot like me -- laid back, enjoys life's humor. We were exchanging near-death experiences our kids have had. It's a wonder mine are all still alive. Seriously!

Another lady and I are in charge of 4th grade GAs at church. If you don't know about GAs, then obviously you're not from the South. GA's is a missions minded girls' group. We meet on Wednesday nights for an hour, after they've been in choir the hour before. By the time they get to us, they are HYPER. It's going to be an interesting year!

In political times, it's good to remember this . . .

Psalm 24
Of David. A psalm.

1 The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;

2 for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.

3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ?
Who may stand in his holy place?

4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear by what is false. [a]

5 He will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God his Savior.

6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, O God of Jacob. [b]

7 Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.

9 Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.

10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory.

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Accident

I figured Keri Lynn would be a pretty good driver. She's got a good head on her shoulders. She's careful and observant. She's responsible. She's in Driver's Ed this semester. She'll be eligible to get her driver's license in six months, since she's 17. The 15 and 16-year-olds have to wait a year.

Keith and I had both taken turns taking her out to drive. She drove to church several times. On Saturday, she drove to El Charro's where we had lunch. She seemed to be doing pretty good. Maybe a little shaky on the turns, but we were working on it.

So it came as kind of a shocker, when she pulled away from church yesterday after we'd both attended the women's luncheon, and side-swiped a parked car. Just creamed it.

Fortunately for us, the car belonged to a sweet family from church. We got a police report to send in to our insurance companies. Sally, the owner of the car, called her husband Rob to come over and help us with us. He told Keri Lynn that it wasn't anything like his first accident when he ran into a truck and made it overturn!

In fact, we got quite a few "first accident" stories from the many on-lookers going home from church. I told her mine, too. "Remember when I ran into a semi? This is nothing compared to that!"

"But Mom, I just made one little mistake and look what happened!"

And there's the rub in driving. All it takes is one little mistake.

Because we live in Small Town America, THREE police cars answered the call. Keri Lynn said she felt like a criminal seeing all the flashing lights! The policeman helping while the other one was writing the report asked her if she had been doing anything stupid.

Keri Lynn said, "Well, yeah! I just ran into a parked car!"

He said, "No, I don't mean that. I've seen stupid. This was just an accident." And then he and the other cop proceeded to tell their own "first accident" stories and what kind of cars they learned to drive in.

There were a lot of teen tears. The issue won't be resolved for a while. I don't know if her permit will be in danger or not. On Rob's insistence, Keri Lynn drove home. He said it was important for her to get back behind the wheel, so that's what we did.

And now you will see one of the many reasons why I love my husband so very much . . .

Keri Lynn pulled into the driveway and saw her Daddy coming to meet us at the end of the driveway. "Oh, boy," she said.

She got out to tell him that the damage was on the other side of the car, but he came and gave her a big hug of assurance and made sure she was all right.

That is a picture of a man.

She cried.

It wasn't until later, after she'd gone in to change to go to a discipleship group that night that Keith even bothered to look at the damage and ask me about the damage on the other car. "It actually isn't too bad," he told me. "It will be touch-up work for us."

I'm afraid that poor Sally's car won't fare as well. But, we're all glad that it wasn't more serious. No one is hurt. And Keri Lynn has learned an important lesson about the responsibility of driving.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No Mommy Award today

Kickoff for Wednesday night activities was last week. We had sign-ups, hot dogs, jumpers, ice cream. And then last night all the programs started, beginning with Wednesday night supper. We piled into the van. Keri Lynn wanted to drive (to practice after a poor showing in her driver's ed class that day), but we were in a hurry, and Keith had mentioned that he didn't want her driving when all of the kids were in the car. (Something about too much distraction?!?)

Mac came with us, and we drove down the road and picked up one of Kathleen's friends from school. And we were running a little late, as usual. I had just come home from subbing in a severe/profound special ed. class and was VERY glad that Wednesday night suppers were starting. No cooking! Yippee!

We got there, ate. I saw a parent of one of the new high school kids eating alone, kicked the boys off of our table and invited her to eat with us. She said how our table had brought back a lot of memories because she has seven kids, too! Only two live at home with her now, the sixth one, a girl Keri Lynn's age, and another girl Kylie's age. Anyway, kids ran off to their respective programs while I started to clean up Keva from dinner. I needed to go meet with a lady who is working with me in GAs. We had a lot to discuss for the first night.

This is when my story gets a little dicey.

Kade came running up to me, Mac in tow. "Mom, I can't find Konner! He isn't here!"

"What do you mean, he isn't here? He was in the car with us."

"No, I don't think he was!"


"We left Konner at home!"

I started the crickety mental replay of our surge out the door. I had helped Konner find clothes to wear that made him look less like an orphan. He absolutely knew we were leaving for Wednesday night . . . I had even asked, as we were pulling out, the same questions I ask every time we pull out, "Everybody here? Is Keva buckled?"

Kade started naming off everyone who had been in the car and where they were seated. Three bench seats, one front passenger seat. Two friends. SIX of my kids. Argh!

Realizing that Konner was indeed still at home a full hour after the fact, I started dialing home. No answer. Of course not! Konner never picks up the phone when he's at home. Why would he? Everyone else does it for him! I called Keith's cell phone. He was supposed to meet me at church in about an hour to take Keva so that I could lead GAs without her. He wasn't picking up either. I dialed repeatedly while Keva played in the leftover blackberry cobbler (which is another story entirely.)

Not five minutes later, Konner jogged in to the Fellowship Hall where we had been eating.


"You left me!"

"I'm so sorry, Konner! I just now realized that you were at home! How in the world did you get here?"

I ran into a neighbor a few minutes later who gave me the full scoop. She lives just down the road from us and was driving with her kids to get to church. She waved at Konner who was standing at the end of our driveway, but then realized that he wasn't just waving back but was flagging her down! He explained that he'd been left and got a ride to church! She told me how he was a little teary, but that he was very brave and didn't seem to be much bothered by the whole ordeal.

And here I'd been thinking how good I'd been lately. A clean record of No Child Left Behind (while in Georgia anyway!) We won't talk about Kathleen's little incident. Oh, no, we won't. She's totally forgiven me for that one. Oh, yes she has.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Kristofer is 15! Eeek!

Kristofer went and turned 15 today. He's getting taller and more angular every day. He's a great help, especially in the endless task of taking out the trash. He told me this morning that if he gets his driver's permit today, he can get his driver's license when he turns 16. Doesn't he know I have high blood pressure issues?

Kristofer, when not engrossed in some kind of video game, enjoys talking about his history and art classes. He's not too keen on algebra and he hasn't been bringing home much algebra homework. I'm not so sure what's going on with that, since Keri Lynn was inundated with homework from that same class last year.

Our county has started a computer system that enables parents to keep track of their kids' progress in school by going online. It should also help parent/teacher communication. I'm not worried at all about the kids skipping school or having behavioral problems, but it will be nice to keep track of what's going on with their grades using the computer.

Today, I finally started feeling human again after my bout with that horrid UTI. Ugh, was that hard on me. I think I exaserbated it by watching Olympics until all hours of the night. Yesterday, I got up at the usual time, put the kids on their busses and came back in, put Kody in the bathroom for safe keeping (toilet seat down, thankyouverymuch), and went back to bed until noon! Boy, did that feel great. Then, I felt groggy the rest of the day. I had to get myself together to go to the elementary school open house, leaving the other kids to figure out what to do about dinner. Nothing like going in and meeting all the teachers looking like death warmed over.

So what did I do last night having learned my lesson about staying up too late to watch the Olympics? First, I took a shower at a respectable time, planning to NOT watch the Olympics. But I got sucked in anyway, when the Chinese gymnasts kept getting the really high scores and looking like they were going to edge out the Americans. I figured I had to be available to cheer them on. My country was depending on me. Bed time came very late. Is this a problem on the west coast? You all are probably all getting the main events in prime time. Lucky ducks.

I wasn't sure this morning whether or not I should try to get a subbing job yet. As it turns out, I've been doing pretty good today, finally! I did one productive thing and two wasteful things. Confession time. I played Spades on Anyone want to play Spades with me sometime? Let me know! Then, I played a game that Keith put on his laptop (so it's Keith's fault!) called Ballance where you try to keep a ball in balance through all these maze -like contraptions. I failed miserably, but enjoyed it enough that I'll try again another time. Then, in order to redeem myself, I went online and went through an Excell tutorial. Job opportunities always call for Word and Excell. Having gotten a basic introduction to Excell, I think it was a good use of my time!

Money worries have been getting me really down lately, but when I opened up my email this morning, I saw something from the lady that sends out our Bunco group information. She had just found out that one of neighbors who lives just a few houses from us lost his daughter in a house fire. We haven't met these neighbors, but it was so very sad to hear this devastating news. They will be having a memorial service at their home tomorrow and Keith and I are planning to be there. I called our pastor who also lives in our subdivision to see if he could make a stop to visit with these people. I think that they are a retired couple. Anyway, our own money worries seemed so very inconsequential when I read about that. And it has reminded me of life's unexpected ways. Are you ready to die?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Take the dessert test

This came through my email. I love personality tests. It's fun to see how we are in our various quirks.

First, choose your favorite dessert. If you had all eight of these on a dessert tray at a restaurant, which one would you pick? Pick only one. Don't look at the personality type that goes with the dessert until you pick your dessert.

No cheating.

Then, after you've picked your dessert, look at what psychiatrists say about you based on that choice.
REMEMBER - No Cheating.

Here are your choices:

1. Angel Food Cake
2. Brownies
3. Lemon Meringue Pie
4. Vanilla Cake With Chocolate Icing
5. Strawberry Shortcake
6. Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing
7. Ice Cream
8. Carrot Cake

No, you can't change your mind once you scroll down, so think carefully about what your choice will be. Now that you've made your choice, this is what the researchers say about you ... SCROLL DOWN---No Cheating

1. ANGEL FOOD CAKE -- Sweet, loving, cuddly. You love all warm and fuzzy items. A little nutty at times. Sometimes you need an ice cream cone at the end of the day. Others perceive you as being childlike and immature at times.

2. BROWNIES -- You are adventurous, love new ideas, and area champion of underdogs and a slayer of dragons. When tempers flare up you whip out your saber.. You are always the odd ball with a unique sense of humor and direction. You tend to be very loyal.

3. LEMON MERINGUE -- Smooth, sexy, & articulate with your hands, you are an excellent caregiver and a good teacher. But don't try to walk and chew gum at the same time. A bit of a diva at times, you set your own style because you do your own thing. You shine when it comes to helping others and have many friends.

4. VANILLA CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING -- Fun-loving, sassy, humorous, not very grounded in life; very indecisive and lacking motivation. Everyone enjoys being around you, but you are a practical joker. Others should be cautious in making you mad. However, you are a friend for life.

5. STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE -- Romantic, warm, loving. You care about other people, can be counted on in a pinch and expect the same in return. Intuitively keen. You can be very emotional at times but a true person in every way. You like to do things for yourself and help others learn about themselves.

6. CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE ICING-- Sexy; always ready to give and receive. Very creative, adventurous, ambitious,and passionate. You can appear to have a cold exterior but are warm on the inside. Not afraid to take chances. Will not settle for anything average in life. Love to laugh.

7. ICE CREAM -- You like sports, whether it be baseball, football, basketball, or soccer. If you could, you would like to participate, but you enjoy watching sports. You don't like to give up the remote control. You tend to be self-centered and high maintenance.

8. CARROT CAKE -- You are a very fun loving person, who likes to laugh. You are fun to be with. People like to hang out with you. You are a very warm hearted person and a little quirky at times. You have many loyal friends. You were meant to lead and teach others. A wonderful role model.

Now put your answer in the comment section and tell me if you agree with the assessment.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I love drugs

This post probably falls under the TMI rule. Just warning you.

It's probably a good thing that I haven't gotten a sub job in the last two days. I've been staying close to the toilet lately with a UTI. Haven't had that kind of fun in a while. In fact, the last time I had to deal with a UTI, over-the-counter drugs weren't available for it. I had to go to the doctor, which seemed such a waste of time when I knew exactly what the problem was. This time, I was talking to Keva's bus driver, because those are just the sort of things we talk about when I'm putting Keva on the bus, "Say, do you know if you can get drugs over-the-counter for a bladder infection? Or is it just for a yeast infection that you can get drugs now?" She knew, of course. Who needs a doctor these days!

So I got my drugs. Yay! I may be okay to go work tomorrow. I don't know. I already feel better from the drugs. I wonder how much of it is psychological?

Everyone seems to have fallen into a rythmn for school already, except for this morning. The alarm clock went off, as it seems to be doing so relentlessly these days. I got up and dragged myself off to the laundry room to get some clothes for Keva, when I get a whiff of something pretty stinky.

Kathleen was up, "Kody pooped in the bathroom. You gotta see."

I waved her away, "Don't worry, I can smell it."

I then did the only thing possible for such really stinky messes. I woke up Keith who had at least 15 more precious minutes of sleep left.

"Is he in his crate so he doesn't track poop all over the house?"

I looked at him stupidly, as only I can do at 6:15 in the morning, "Uh, no."

So I went back to the family room and told Kathleen to put Kody in his crate, and then went about my business getting Keva ready for school while Keith got to work on the Kody mess. But, as they say, what comes around, goes around. Keva was stinky, too. What a way to start off a morning.

Open House for the elementary school kids is Thursday night. I'll go, of course, provided I'm not having to stay close to a bathroom by then. It seems kind of early for Open House, but no one from the school called to plan this date with me. (Don't they know I always have some kind of opinion?!?)

I'm a little feisty today.

I think it's because I'm working off of five to six hours of sleep every night for nearly a week. Tonight, I've promised myself that I will be in bed by 10:00ish. I'm not going near the TV. It sucks me in with all of that competitive Olympic stuff.

I could have taken a nap today, but I watched some more TV in the morning, and then finished watching the movie Bella that we got from Netflix while I kept the hungry washing machine fed on the hour. Remember all the hype surrounding that movie last year? It was touted as a big anti-abortion movie, but really it's a very beautiful movie of redemption. It's tone reminded me of The Black Stallion, with its slow but deep rhythm and its rich cinematography. I was really impressed with it. If you haven't seen it, please do, and let me know what you think. Or if you have seen it, what did you think?

Okay, now I have 14 minutes to take my shower, dry my hair and climb into bed . . . I did say 10:00ish.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thank you

For Mr. Farr who went to be with the Lord on Friday

Thank you for your many kindnesses to our family as we made the move from big city to small town. We were a little rattled by the changes, but you, Mr. Farr, were one of the friendly faces that made it easier.

You and your lovely wife taught kindergarten Sunday School where my Kade came, shyly, a new kid in a new church in a new state, unsure and a little afraid. You made him feel welcomed.

You would come up to us as we all sat in the pew waiting for church to start. You would smile at us, say hello especially to Kade by name.

In fact, it was you who taught Kade how to fish at Camp Sonshine. Oh, how he loved to fish! It was what he wanted to do more swimming! It was what he looked forward to in going to camp more than anything else! And, guess what, Mr. Farr, he caught the biggest fish this summer! You couldn't be there to see it this year because you were so sick by then, but your absence was felt.

Now you are not sick at all. What a joy it must be to be in the very presence of God. Thank you, Mr. Farr, for quietly and faithfully serving your Maker and making an impact in the life of our family. We miss you, but we'll see you again!

Olympic Fever

Weren't the opening ceremonies of the Olympics absolutely amazing! The artistic grandeur was more than I could even take in. I've never seen anything like it. But, I pray that the Chinese people will realize that it is God who gave them their minds and bodies and their artistry. Without Him there would not have been any spectacle at all. Without Him, all of us would be nothing.

Keith and I have been watching the Olympic games all the way until midnight each night, even last night, when we really needed to get to bed. But the next morning, the alarm clocks went off the same time as any other school day. Argh!

I didn't get a call to sub today either, so I used the time quite productively. I cleaned Keva's room, did all of Keva's laundry (which is a big deal, believe me), loaded the dishwasher, got started on a crochet project, and loaded the washing machine pretty much on the hour throughout the day. Before I knew it, the kids were piling into the house from the bus.

I had planned to start my Bible study tonight, but I ran into some problems late into last week that decided me on taking a slightly different tact. Throughout the week, I'm going to be contacting some of the ladies I know in the neighborhood, to meet with them and get an idea about the time and place for the study. I also need to meet with the lady that is going to be working with me in GAs this year on Wednesday nights. She wasn't at the training meeting, so we'll need to get together and make plans.

The kids came home from school with homework. At least this year they're better prepared to do the work. It's not nearly the overwhelming monster it was this time last year. The elementary kids bring home a packet of homework to work on throughout the week. I really like this method of homework, because then the kids can divide up time according to individual family needs. For instance, Kade has to read three books each week, so he can read one book on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights, and pretty much have Wednesday nights free.

Chicken Parmesan sits in the crockpot for dinner tonight. Anything out of the crockpot always makes me happy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Fun Test

I can never pass these things up, so here's another meme. Here are the directions:

Hit forward and place an X by all the things you've done and remove the
X from the ones you have not. Answer the 30 questions at the end and send it to your friends (including me) if you want. This is for your entire life!

(X) Gone on a blind date -- Oh, yes I have : )
(X) Skipped school -- Uh-huh, with my father's permission
( ) Watched someone die
(X) Been to Canada
(X) Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been lost (Hey, it's me!)
(X) Been on the opposite side of the country -- lived on the opposite side of the country
( ) Gone to Washington D.C. -- I really want to do this with the kids someday
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Played cops and robbers
( ) Recently colored with crayons
( ) Sang Karaoke -- hardly
(X) Paid for a meal with coins only
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? -- Can anyone say "DIET"?
( ) Made prank phone calls
( ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose -- but I've had it come shooting out of my mouth
( ) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain
( ) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
( ) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about -- I'm a sunset type of girl : )
(X) Blown bubbles -
(X) Gone ice-skating -
( ) Been skinny dipping - come on, now.

1. Any nicknames? "Hey, Gorgeous!"
2. Mother's name? Waynel (named after her father Wayne -- isn't that a cool name!
3. Favorite Drink? Coke!
4. Body Piercing? Ears, anything else grosses me out
5. How much do you love your job? It's not about "love", it's about money so that I can go home!
6. Birthplace: Guatemala City, Guatemala
7. Favorite vacation spot? Kauai, my honeymoon island (longing sigh)
8. Ever been to Africa? No
9. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? Undoubtedly
10. Ever been on TV? I don't think so
11. Ever steal any traffic sign? Of course not
12. Ever been in a car accident? Does coasting into a moving semi-truck count?
13. Drive a 2-door or 4-door? Actually it's a three door -- 15 passenger Ford Club Wagon
14. Favorite salad dressing? Raspberry Vinigraette
15. Favorite pie? It's a toss-up between lemon merengue and chocolate cream pie
16. Favorite number? 7 - a wonderful biblical number
17. Favorite movie? Pride and Prejudice
18. Favorite holiday? Easter -- That's what it's all about
19. Favorite dessert? Bob's Big Boy Hot Fudge Cake
20. Favorite food? Hamburger, fries and a Coke/Steak and baked potato/Barbecue ribs and fries
21. Favorite day of the week? Monday -- a fresh start
22. Favorite brand of body wash? Bath and Body Works Cucumber and Melon
23. Favorite toothpaste? The cheapest one
24. Favorite smell? Meat on the grill
25. What do you do to relax? Plop on the couch, put in Pride and Prejudice and bring out something fun to do while watching it -- crochet, a book, a notebook for writing . . .
26. How do you see yourself in 10 years? I see myself as a teacher maybe at the high school, having a coronary because Konner will be a junior and Kade will be a senior! Ack!
27. Furthest place you will send this message? Who knows. I'm putting it on the magic that is the blogosphere
28. Who will respond to this the fastest? Whoever is as wacky about this kind of stuff as I am. I welcome all comers!

Friday, August 08, 2008

First day back on the job

How was your 08-08-08?

Mine has been fine. I called into the Sub Finder system this morning to see if there were any jobs available, and I nabbed one for a TA at Keva's school. As it turned out, I actually worked in Keva's classroom. I got to see her new teacher at work, meet her new classmates, and hug her old classmates. Such sweet kids!

There's one girl who gets a little intense and starts grabbing people really hard and pulling people by their hair. They have to restrain her to get her to calm down. One of the smaller boys got his arm grabbed by this girl and watched in horror as the teacher and aides got her settled into her seat.

"I want my Mommy!" he told me and put his arms tightly around me.

I hugged him and told him it would be all right, that the girl just didn't understand.

"I want to go home!"

"You'll go home later on today. It's okay."

As soon as I could see that he was starting to settle down, I got him interested in a puzzle. When the teacher returned, the boy declared the girl to be "mean." So the teacher explained how she didn't understand some things, and that we all had things that we didn't do right. We'd just have to work to make it better!

Later on that day, Keva had a throwing fit. She was bored, so she went around throwing toys and overturning desks. So the teacher figured out a way to coral her to get her to settle down by putting her at a desk and blocking her exit. He said, "Okay, Keva, you better behave or I'm going to have to right a note home to your mother!"

So, when we all got ready to leave today and helped get Keva's backpack together, I said to one of the TAs, loud enough so that the teacher would hear, "I better have a full report of Keva's activities today!"

Now I'm home and really sleepy. It's a good thing it's Friday. I didn't think I'd get a job today because subbing is scarce early in the year, so I went to bed late last night, planning to take a nap after the kids left on their buses. Wrong! Not even a Coke earlier this morning could get me pepped up! Fortunately, Keva's class kept me hopping.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fourth Walk

We did it. Keith and I went on our fourth walk since we started the whole "get healthy" thing. We had some set-backs with thunderstorms and school starting, but now we're back on track.

Still no subbing jobs. I get to go on-line to check for jobs now, as opposed to waiting for the phone to ring. Coweta County is getting all fancified. : ) So far, I've logged on and get "No Jobs Available" in big black letters, which I suppose is a good thing really. It means the teachers are right where they're supposed to be.

I could get used to all the free time during the day with the kids in school, but that paycheck thing is kind of important. So hopefully I'll be working soon. Today, I took myself off to get a haircut. The lady that cut my hair has a son who has seven children, too. She used to be a biology teacher once upon a time. How she came to be at Great Clips after that, I didn't ask, but she did a nice job on my hair and I felt real comfortable talking with her. I hate small talk. Usually when I'm in the salon, I only talk if I have to. I'll often close my eyes and enjoy the feel of someone else working on my hair.

Speaking of hair, I think I'm going to have to start dying it soon. It was looking pretty glittery at the top, and not in a good way. Sigh. But, I was talking with a girlfriend who told me about a product that you work into your hair in the shower three times a week. That sounds so much easier and gentler on my hair than dying it. Anybody ladies out there reading this have any hair advice?

I also played Spades on for a while today -- so productive, I know, but at least the kids were at school instead of banging on my door yelling, "Mom! We're really hungry!" I'm playing a lot better now, but my laptop has been overheating lately, particularly if I play a video on it or go to a game site that uses a lot of memory. This isn't good when playing Spades because you play with a partner and suddenly I'm gone.

I'm going to really try to get to bed tonight before midnight. I keep forgetting that I have to wake up to get kids ready for school now. So far, though, it's been a pretty easy start for everyone. Keri Lynn has had a little geometery and literature homework, but other than that, it's just been me signing more papers.

So off I go! And be sure to post a comment! Except for a few comments here and there, the comment sections have been getting lonely.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Keri Lynn, stop growing up!

Keri Lynn sports her new learner's permit, a cute new top and sweater-thing -- what are those short-waisted sweaters called? Keith thinks it's a jip!
And some cute flats! Nothing says "Ready for School" like a new outfit! Thank goodness for Target clearance racks!

Pictures from Kent and Kradan's visit

Kent and Kradan with Keith in the background harrassing them.
Dinner! Hot dogs and hamburger from the grill. Yum!
The boys -- Logan, Konner, Kristofer and Kade
The food line, in which we attempt to teach our children to allow guests to go first.
The line-up. I supposed my kids might consider the line-up picture as some kind of torture, but it's so fun to look back at these kind of pictures later!
Kent and Kradan with Jordan and Logan at the traditional fireplace picture spot. Congratulations, Oz family, you made it to the blog! For those of you who don't know, Kent is the one who introduced me to the blogosphere. You can find his blog here.

On top of Mount Laundry

A very relieved Kade after a panicky morning of NO SHOES!
If he clicks them three times, does that mean summer vacation is over?
Keva is less than thrilled about being up so early. And to add insult to injury, she doesn't know that she's about to go to school and there will be NO Miss Dishman. This is very sad for Keva. I'm sure she'll love her new teacher, but it's going to be an adjustment after two years with a beloved teacher.
Keri Lynn doesn't get breakfast at school, so she's making her self a PB&J for breakfast. Yum!
So pretty!
Konner has his cool camo backpack! He tamped down his hair a little so he didn't look quite like an orphan going to school on his first day.
Kylie sports her roller backpack that she got from her friend Erin. I love how the backpacks reflect the kids' varied personalities.
Kristofer, who apparently is no longer capable of keeping his eyes open for a picture! And why is he wearing long sleeves to school on a Georgia August day? Inquiring minds want to know.
Kathleen takes a turn at the bus look-out post. We're so thankful that we're right at the corner where the bus picks kids up.
Precious girl

First Day of School

Today's date is stuck in my head for all time, not because it was the first day of school for 2008. Oh, no. It was much more insidious than that. I got the "privilege" of filling out seven sets of back-to-school papers. I filled in our address, emergency contacts, doctor's name and phone number, etc, so many times, that I think I'll be doing it in my sleep tonight. My brain is FRIED.

I figure if I get all of that done right away, then it will reduce the risk of being contacted by a school nurse. Last year, I had the opportunity to talk to every one of the school nurses a number of times. There's just something about our family and freak accidents and illnesses.

The kids excitedly got ready for school today. We had a little incident of missing shoes, but that was eventually resolved. Some tummies were upset from nervousness. All the younger kids wanted to get out to the bus stop early even though you can see the bus coming way down the road from our bathroom look-out window.

When everyone had gone, I finished up the dishes, made a little breakfast and plopped myself down on the couch and drank in the silence! I might have even napped a little. Shhhhh! Kody plopped down on the floor next to me terribly dejected.

I was anxious to hear how everything went, but before that, I watched a little TV (There's nothing good on during the day!), then I went to the library, got a country-style chicken sandwich and Coke at McDonald's, canvassed Goodwill, then made a run to Big Lots. By the time I got home, I had just enough time to cool down before the Gruesome Threesome came tumbling with smiles on their faces and stories to tell, the most important story being that there was NO ice cream today in the cafeteria. Life is hard that way sometimes.

Keva's bus came half an hour later. I chatted with the bus driver and her assistant for a few minutes holding up neighborhood traffic. How the neighbors must love me.

Then, came Kathleen who said that she actually felt relaxed during school. She had been so worried that things wouldn't work out, but everything went fine. She likes her teachers so far, and she's in some good classes. She gave me the packet of paperwork in the "vanilla" envelope.

"You mean the manila envelope?"

"No, the vanilla envelope! You mean I've been saying it wrong all this time?"

Keri Lynn, who rides with her friend Briana and her mom, came next with a surprisingly light load of books and a little bit of the dreaded Euclidiean Geometry homework. Does anyone even know what Euclidean Geometry is? I mean, as opposed to regular geometry? I guess Keri Lynn will know. It sounds so scholarly! She, too, had a good day. Three of her classes are in the same building, so she feels like she doesn't get to see sunlight for most of the school day!

Kristofer was last, coming in a little after 4:00 with a light backpack, too. He absolutely adored his history teacher, history being a subject that interests him immensely. He also likes his visual arts class, where he'll get to do a lot of art projects throughout the semester. He's not so wild about Algebra 2, though. Fortunately, he can use his calculator to do the basic math that he has such trouble with. However, he may do just fine with the conceptual side of math. We'll see!

I asked him, "Did you enjoy pizza for lunch?"

"Oh, yeah! It was great! I'm going to have pizza every day. It's the good kind, too!"

Last year, Kristofer was in the ninth grade building with its own cafeteria and media center, and apparently pizza was not offered daily like it is in the main cafeteria. AND, he has third lunch, as opposed to fourth lunch like he had last year, which should really be outlawed. No kid, or teacher, or substitute teacher should have to wait until nearly 1:30 to eat lunch!

All in all, it was a great first day of school. The kids are now in bed. Alarm clocks are set. As Kylie says, "School is actually kind of fun."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


The long anticipated orientation day finally came today, but first I took Keri Lynn to her first student-led high school Bible study at our church. Starting next week, they'll meet every Tuesday morning at 6:45 (ugh!) Even though it's early, it's the only time that high school kids can get together with their busy schedules.

Then, when she got back, the rounds of orientation began. First, I took Kathleen to her middle school where we met her homeroom teacher and her team of teachers. All of them seemed very nice. Kathleen is still very nervous, though, about her first day of school. She wants to have all of her ducks in a row. She's already planning to get another honor's plaque for perfect attendance, no behavior forms, and all A's! That's my little perfectionist!

Then, because I decided I had enough time after all, I went over with Kathleen to Keva's middle school, where I talked for a bit with her new teacher. She has a male teacher this time and he seems like he'll be a good teacher. Keva will still have her favorite TA from last year, which I hope will help her with the adjustment.

Then, with Kathleen still in tow, I raced off to the elementary school to meet up with Keith who brought a very excited Kylie, Kade and Konner. We did a kid swap, and I went in with the brand new 4th, 2nd and 1st graders to meet their new teachers, canvass their new classrooms and see if any of their friends were in their classes with them. It looks like it will be a good year.

I was especially tickled when we met with Kade's teacher from last year. I had been so concerned that she would be way too strict and mean for him, but apparently all went very well. Kade was just so sad when the school year ended and so pleased to be coming back. When he talked to his old teacher, she told him that he had to come back once a week this year to "prepare the tiles" for her class spelling words. And Kade grinned and laughed and acted like her happy goofy slave. It was hilarious.

I returned the elementary kids home and I had a little bit of time to relax and have some lunch, before taking off with Keri Lynn and Kristofer to the high school. We went from building to building, meeting new teachers, stopping and talking to old teachers and schmoozing with whoever we knew. I got to give out my name and number to several teachers for any substitute work.

We had a few more odds and ends to buy for school, so we headed off to Big Lots, which surprisingly still had a good supply left. Usually they are wiped out.

Then, it was home to make dinner and fill out endless paperwork for two of the kids -- just two -- It took HOURS! Good grief! I still have to fill out paperwork for FIVE more kids!

All the kids were in bed by 9:00! That is amazing, right there. Kylie got up at about 9:30 to say that she couldn't sleep, but I sent her back to bed with the wise words, "Just lay down, close your eyes and think of boring things." It will probably take us all a few weeks to get used to the new school schedule. Whoo-hoo!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It is Well with My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

- Words by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
- Music by Philip P. Bliss, 1876

The words to this hymn was written after two major traumas in Spafford's life. The first was the Great Chicago Fire of October 1871, which ruined him financially. Shortly after, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of Spafford's daughters died in a collision with another ship. Spafford's wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram: "SAVED ALONE." Several weeks later, as Spafford's own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, he was inspired to write these words.

Bliss originally named the tune "Ville de Havre" after the ship on which Spafford's four girls perished, the SS Ville de Havre. Ironically, Bliss himself died in a tragic train wreck shortly after writing this music.

Kent and Kradan

Yesterday, we had a great visit with Kent and Kradan. Kent and I go way back to Biola days. We've been in touch all of these years and even came to Atlanta for a visit when Keri Lynn and Kristofer were little, never dreaming that we'd wind up in Atlanta ourselves years later. They were the only people we knew when we moved here THREE years ago. They helped us find a place to rent while our house was under construction and were a tremendous source of support during a crazy time.

They came, with their two kids, to play games. They taught us Speed Scrabble and we taught them a card game. We sat and talked and reminisced, as we tend to do when we're together. Kradan remembered when Kristofer tried to kill himself at their house -- this was before they had kids themselves. Their son Logan joined our boys in video addiction upstairs -- I wonder where they all get it from? Kathleen and their daughter Jordan are two peas in a pod. They spent a great deal of time plotting and planning and playing their own games. Kristofer took all the kids out later in the afternoon to play his favorite Frisbee game, David and Goliath. All in all, it was a really nice time.

Keith had to work today, so I took the kids to church on my own. Kristofer helped with the cameras, as he does a couple of times a month, so I took him in early and came back to get everyone else out the door. It won't be long before Keri Lynn will be able to drive people around. Kristofer, too, will be getting his learning permit in just a few weeks! We'll need drivers as we head quickly into the school year routine. This will be the last Sunday afternoon we'll have free for a very long time!

Friday, August 01, 2008

School looms

It finally happened. August came. It had been threatening to come for a while, but I denied its existence in my poor little brain, trying to eek out those last few days of sleeping in! Nevertheless, and not surprisingly, it is here. This means that school is about to start. Wednesday.

So, yesterday, I took Keri Lynn off to her high school to fix a schedule change that supposedly had been fixed at the end of last year. Then, we went to the DMV! First time that I've taken a child to the DMV to get a learner's permit. I can't believe it, but she took the test and the eye exam, passing both easily. Since she's already 17, she'll only have six months with a learner's permit before she can go ahead and get her license. To practice, we went for a drive around the neighborhood, where all there is to hit are curbs and mailboxes. She did not come too close to either. And she was driving our 15-passenger Ford Club Wagon, too!

We're also in the midst of getting much needed school supplies. Pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, folders, etc. I already knew that Big Lots was cleared out, so I stopped by Office Depot, wasn't happy with the price offerings, and then headed off to Wal-mart where I found 17 cent glue and 22 cent crayons and all kinds of crazy deals. I escaped with $77 worth of school supplies, which isn't too bad when you break that down for seven kids. That's $11 per kid!

I love the excitement of those first weeks of school, especially the first day. The kids are starting to get excited about getting back to school, too, which is a big deal. They were dreading school a few weeks ago. But now I think that vacation has been just long enough to make getting back into a routine a nice thing.

The older kids are all gone right now on a Back to School Bash with the youth group. First they're going to a Braves game, then they're coming back to the church and staying until 1:00 in the morning. This, for Kathleen particularly, seemed especially fun. I guess once upon a time it was fun for me to be up until 1:00 in the morning, but now it's fun to get to bed early! Whoo-hoo!

I've gotten a big kick out of seeing several of the kids while out and about that I've had in class while substituting. One kid said to his mom, "That's the best substitute ever!" Another one approached me at Wal-mart, "Are you going to be subbing at Newnan again this year?" And seemed pleased when I said yes. This furthers my desire to go into teaching as a career.

Then, there's the idea that has been percolating for several years. I started it in motion awhile back and didn't follow through. Each summer I have wanted to do something, but didn't. And now that I can't get to Bible study during the school year because of work, I need it more than ever. Women's Bible study. For all of you that receive this that pray, would you please pray for this study. I'm sending out fliers in the next few days to ladies in the neighborhood, and I'm planning to start the first Monday after school starts, August 11, 8:00 to 9:00 pm. The idea is to make it as easy to get to it as possible. Dinner time should be over and kids settling down to bed. We'll start off meeting at my house, but then make a round robin around the neighborhood with whoever wants to host. We'll be reading through the Bible and discussing as questions come up. I'll be presenting basic themes of Scripture, asking questions and having a time of prayer.

Does anyone have any ideas for the Bible study flier? I want to get across the idea of sanctuary, a safe place to meet the Lord, learn about Him, find out about the amazing promises in His word, but I don't want it to sound sanctimonious or foppy. Leave something in the comment section if you have any ideas.