Sunday, November 30, 2008


We are back from our extended trip. Why was it extended? Because we missed our connecting flight in Atlanta, and apparently AirTran only flies from Atlanta to San Diego once every 24 hours. So we got to spend the night in the Hilton for $50, visit the High Museum (which required a ride on Marta-another new experience), and got to see a favorite alumna and her new boyfriend!

All fun, but bed is looking really good right now. Especially since we have to be at school tomorrow morning at 7:15!

Yeah, home!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Random Thoughts from DC

Did you know that gas is only $1.50/gallon out here?

We rented a GPS, but it only works when it feel like it. Which is sometimes when we are halfway in the wrong direction to where we wanted to go. It's very helpful.

Yesterday we saw the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, WW II Memorial, Korean Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, White House, and a couple of statues in three hours. We were tired.

Today we are planning to visit the capital (-ol?? I can never get that right!) building and Arlington National Cemetery.

Caleb is back in VA with my parents. He went swimming in the indoor pool yesterday and cried when it was time to get out (after two hours!).

It is VERY VERY COLD out here!! It's not a good place to have a hairstyle that requires leaving the house with a wet head. It's really just not a good place to have to go outside. I am learning to appreciate beanies, scarves, and gloves.

I am addicted to the Twilight series. I have visited many bookstores trying to find the right book (first the second, then the third). There doesn't seem to be any shortage of the fourth book, which is only available in hardback, and I now know all the bookstores in Williamsburg. It's a harsh irony that the only time I have to read is when I am far, far away from my library. I'm sure the bookstores appreciate it, however.

We have no Internet in our VA hotel, and we have to walk five minutes to the lodge to use theirs. So I probably won't be posting much for the rest of this trip, either.

Done with disjointed, random post.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sad but True

I am SO EXCITED that gas prices are getting back to normal!!!

I tried to take a picture of the independent station that is offering gas for $1.99/gallon on the way to work, but the camera phone doesn't zoom enough to get it at 25 mph.

Last night, we filled up our Corrolla for $19.

It's almost like old times again. Yippee!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

And one more thing...

This article is about my school.

Empty Threats

Caleb's threat, usually directed at his bike (because he just fell off), his chair (because it won't scoot properly), or tonight Daddy's "buddy" because his daddy is there instead of here:

"The firefighters are going to take you away!"



We went to see the geneticist today. She was very nice and very thorough and had no idea what could be causing Caleb's stubby fingers and toes, ear pits, hearing loss, etc... She's going to consult her "smart friends" and see if they can come up with anything.

The good news is that, even if Caleb does have some sort of genetic thing going on, it's certainly not affecting his cognition, growth, or coordination.

Caleb was a great patient, but was really more interested in what the doctor had to say about his boo-boo on his elbow (he fell off of his bike yesterday). That's the cool part about being four. In his mind, all of this is just irrelevant.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just Tired

My school is in the process of trying to go charter, and it's WEARING ME OUT! I'm so tired of the drama, the he-said-she-said between the district, the union, the charter group, etc. I'm tired of the dysfunctional state of our school. I'm tired of feeling guilty every time I say to my students, "Next year ___," because there may not BE a next year. And I'm tired of the stress of not knowing where I'll be working this time next year. I'm just tired.

We get a WHOLE WEEK off for Thanksgiving, and I am so THANKFUL for that!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Something to Pray On

My church is doing a mission trip next year, and I am really feeling excited about it. They're going to Ecuador, and I'm fluent in Spanish. I don't think anyone else who's going on the trip is fluent, although our senior pastor tries. Also, they're going to For His Children orphanage. Obviously, as an adoptive parent, I have a soft spot in my heart for orphaned children. I feel like this would be a fantastic opportunity to serve the Lord in a new way. My heart wants to go!

There are a couple of challenges to this trip, however. It takes place in October, which means I would miss at least a week of work, perhaps a couple days more than that. And it costs $1500. And I'd have to leave my family behind. My brain isn't so sure.

Prayers for guidance would be greatly appreciated. Earthly advice is also helpful. :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Budding Musicians

Nikki started band again after a six-month hiatus. At her old school, band was only once a week. She's VERY excited that she'll have it four days a week now! In fact, she was so excited that she actually came home and practiced last night. In the two years that Nikki has been playing, we've actually seen the clarinet maybe three times? Caleb was quite intrigued by her music-making and insisted that he had to participate, as well. Nikki pulled out her recorder and gave it to him.

Since then, we have been serenaded by a monotonous version of "Pink Panther." He played all the way to school today, and was quite upset when I picked him up, since I didn't have the recorder or the music. But he and his instrument were reunited when we got home, and they've been together ever since.

Is it possible to be a hearing-impaired musician??

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back to Normal?

We all went to school today for the first time in five days. And it was a LONG first day back. It looked like this:

6:30 Leave, get gas
7:00 Arrive at school
7:10 Kids walk in the door
12:00 Lunchtime, Peer Helping Meeting, Staff Meeting (at which I was a presenter)
2:30 Pick up Caleb from preschool
3:00 Pick up Nikki from a friend's house
3:15 Snack at our Christian Coffee House
3:30 Library
4:45 Realize there is no time to go home and get pajamas, rush to Grandparents' house
5:15 Dinner with grandparents
6:30 Get cash, head to bunco (kids stayed with Grandpa)
7:00 Bunco
9:15 Go back to Grandparents' house for kids
9:45 Head for home
10:10 Arrive at home, throw kids into pajamas (no bath), collapse

It's a good thing I'm feeling better!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

Today is the long-awaited, strangely-placed day off that we have waited for all fall. It's our first holiday of the school year. The stretch has been particularly long this year since we haven't had fires raging through our county to provide us with a week off in October (thank God).

When I first heard that the veterans insisted on observing this holiday on the ACTUAL DAY, I have to admit I was annoyed. But then, this day is theirs, and they have certainly earned the right to make us pay attention to WHY we're getting this day off.

While I was lying in bed this morning (it was a LONG night with my nasty virus and I'm still recovering), I heard a band playing the national anthem! There must be some nifty ceremony at the ball fields across the street. Also from bed, I began to hear all the retired warplanes flying overhead. They've been flying out of the neighboring airfield ever since. On the local news, they interviewed a veteran who works with the Midway, our decommissioned aircraft carrier/museum.

I guess my point is GOOD FOR YOU, VETERANS, for forcing the government to observe this holiday in the middle of the week. It's an important day, especially knowing that there are soldiers all over the world right now risking their lives to save others'. I myself am taking a little more time to say some prayers of gratitude today. I hope others are, as well.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Nikki and I are BOTH home today trying not to puke.

On the bright side, I got to see live footage of the Obamas arriving at the White House. :)

I've been up for five minutes, so I guess it's time to go back to bed. May you and yours avoid this virus. It's NASTY!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Disqualified Already

I wanted to participate in NaBloPoMo, and I signed up, and I was posting every day! But then I went camping. I asked my husband to post for me, but he had no idea what I meant and chose to focus instead on the barfing boy (we had a recurrence of vomiting right after I abandoned them for the weekend).

So I'm already disqualified. And it's not even the 10th. How sad.

The good news is that the girls had a GREAT time! And now I am going to watch the Chargers beat the Chiefs for as long as I can before exhaustion takes over. I'm guessing that will be about five minutes?

Friday, November 7, 2008

A camping we will go...

I'm off to the mountains with Nikki's Girl Scout troop. And two stacks of essays to read. And six letters of recommendation to write. Which I'm sure will ALL get done in the luxurious free time awaiting me. :)

Happy weekend!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I went to bed around 11:00 last night, which is my usual bedtime. Caleb had decided to start out in our bed last night (he usually wanders in in the wee hours of the morning), which was fine because it has been COLD at night!

At 2:00 am, I woke up to his whimpers, which were followed by a hideous rumbling in his stomach. Scott quickly leaped out of bed, grabbed Caleb, and carried him to the bathroom. When they returned, we sleepily established that I would be the parent staying home today. The next three hours were a cycle of getting up with Caleb, supervising (he made it every time!), and settling back in as the sickness progressed through his digestive tract. At 5:00, I wrote lesson plans and put in for a sub. We've been home ever since. Fortunately, the virus/food poisoning (??) was done with him by this morning and he's not running a fever. This morning he stuck to his BRAT diet, and this evening he's even eating pasta. We got to read some books and take a nice, long nap. I switched out the kids' summer clothes for winter clothes and did some laundry.

Throughout the day, my students and I corresponded by phone, E-mail, text message. The principal had to cover my class until the sub arrived. We were supposed to be conferring around personal statements in English, and we have a test tomorrow in psychology. The students E-mailed their essays and the psych kids reviewed on their own.

In my nearly 13 years of being a working parent, there have been very few situations like this where I had no idea that my kid was getting sick, and normally Scott and I have enough warning to strategically plan a way to cover our bases. But I have to say that this is the hardest part of trying to do both jobs. Most of the time, it's manageable, but it's just so darn impossible to be in two places at once.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes we can!

To all of you who wanted McCain to win, stop reading. You'll just be annoyed.

Still with me? GREAT! Because I can't help being EXCITED TONIGHT!!!! And there's almost nobody around me feeling it, so I get to gush here BECAUSE IT'S MY BLOG!

I am 38 years old and this is the first election in which I have been excited to vote for a presidential candidate. In the last several elections, I just wrote in somebody I thought would be better than either of the poor choices I was given. I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican. But man, this Decline-to-State voter is HAPPY TONIGHT!!! I'm excited to have hope. I'm excited to have a president who wants to LISTEN to people with whom he disagrees. I'm excited that the majority of Americans were progressive enough to choose this particular man to lead us into the future, and that they turned out in record numbers to do so.

Tonight is a great night to be an American. YIPPEE!

And if you're a McCain fan, and you're still reading even though I warned you, you can move to Canada with my mom. But they have socialized medicine there, sooo....

Monday, November 3, 2008


Eight hours straight of reading/editing essays today and I'm finally done with Quarter 1 grades. I had to call in sick and camp out at the coffee house to get them done. Even better, I forgot my glasses so I had a raging headache by the time I was done.

Why is it that I wanted to be an English teacher??

The good news is that all but five of my students are passing with a C or better! They finally got it, even though it took until senior year.

Now off to prep for AP Psych and Quarter 2 of Senior English.

The fun never ends...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Minus One

We brought the kitten home last night as "foster parents" to see if it would work out with our other cat. By this morning, everyone was thoroughly attached:
This is how Scott spent all last night.

This is how Caleb spent this morning.

But it was not meant to be. We got a call from the pet store this afternoon, and this kitty actually belonged to another family, which had returned him because he was sick and was waiting for him to convalesce and return home.

We have some sad kids tonight.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Strange Math

We started out today with two people, two dogs, and a cat.

We went to a Halloween carnival and the kids won two fish.

We went to Petsmart to buy bowls for the fish and we came home with fishbowls AND a cat.

He's pretty cute, don't you think?