Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Husband of the Year 2008

You may be partial to yours, but this is why my husband should win this prize:

We had a date yesterday. We dropped off the kids at my parents' at dinnertime and then went to have sushi. After that, my husband willingly went to two different malls so that we could see Twilight (I told him to go to the wrong theater the first time, thereby missing the earlier showtime) and walked around the Macy's home store looking at cookware and furniture. And he even appeared to be having fun while he did it.

Today, he let me lay in bed and read all day. ALL DAY. Until it was time to go get the kids. He even brought me food in bed.

He'd better watch it! I could get spoiled and begin to expect such unselfishness all the time!

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy birthday to you...

First, I hope you had a blessed Christmas and enjoyed your time with family and friends.

Ours was GREAT! We had a nice, relaxing day beginning with church at 10:00, followed by some play-time at home and a FABULOUS dinner at my parents' house.

Bedtime, however, was rather unpleasant. This was largely due to the fact that Caleb hasn't napped in two days and has slept very little because he has been so amped about Christmas. OR it could be that his diet has been ridiculously devoid of nutrition for two days. Regardless, I am happy to report that currently in my house, the only sounds I hear are snoring and the tapping of the keys on my laptop. Ahhhh...

I'll leave you with my current favorite Christmas verse:

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." -John 1:14

Happy birthday, Jesus!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas...

It's 8:30 and Caleb is in the tub. Nikki finally remembered that she didn't have gifts for any of us, so she's in her room madly working on something homemade. Scott is in the garage assembling Caleb's "big surprise" (his request from Santa this year). And I have five minutes' peace, which is the best gift EVER. Well, almost.

We had a good time at Scott's parents' house tonight with all the cousins. They have a family tradition of giving the kids an airplane every year in their stockings. This year, the airplanes were sitting out waiting for them, so the kids went outside and flew airplanes around while we waited for the towtruck to come with Scott's brother's car (long story). In spite of the piles of gifts that come home from Christmas Eve, the airplanes are always the favorite.

And I had better get busy if I want to get to bed before midnight. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Heard from downstairs:

Caleb: I CAN'T DO IT!
Scott: Do what??
Caleb: I CAN'T wait for Jesus birthday!!!!!! (followed by helpless whimpering)

Monday, December 22, 2008


I was assigned to jury duty on December 10. I decided to exercise my option to do it two weeks after my assigned date because I didn't want to miss a day in the classroom. I decided to go today, thinking that nobody would possibly be doing jury selection three days before Christmas.

Guess what?? I WAS RIGHT!!! Not about the jury selection. They were actually trying to do that today, but there weren't enough potential jurors so they let us go!! I walked in at 8:00 and walked out at 8:15. Then I went shopping. It was GREAT!

SO, if you ever are assigned jury duty around a major holiday, I highly recommend my strategy.

George Bush would be so proud. ;)

Friday, December 19, 2008


There is something quite satisfying about locking down my classroom for Winter Break, shooing out the kids, and saying, "See you next year!" It doesn't change the fact that I'm taking home a bin full of essays to grade, or that I still need to order the AP Psych study guides, or that there is a full month of school in January before the end of the semester. No, it doesn't change that. But somehow, the idea that we've successfully survived the fall (not to mention the rest of the year) makes it seem like we will come back to a new start.

For my students, it will be the beginning of the year in which they will graduate from high school, their single most impressive accomplishment thus far in their lives, and the first step in their journey to independence.

For Caleb, the new year means a new school and new services that will help him continue to catch up at an unbelievable pace.

And for me, the new year brings a birthday (the last one in my thirties-YIKES!), new challenges (how DOES one grade an FRQ for AP Psych??), and new opportunities to explore (will there be a mission trip in my future?).

One of the best things about teaching is living a life with punctuation. I'm grateful for the commas in winter and spring, and the period in June. I need those opportunities to stop and reflect before gearing up for my next chapter, wherever it may lead.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Tonight was Nikki's first junior high dance. She only got to go for an hour because I made her go to her confirmation group's Christmas party first. In the hour she was there, she danced with two boys, one of which she refers to as "my crush."

Oh my.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The [Too Many] Days of Christmas

The other day I decided to wrap some presents, primarily because Caleb has a bad habit of snooping and one of them was for him. That way, I figured I'd put it under the tree and it would just blend in with the other presents. Instead, I caused Caleb to find himself in his own personal hell. Unfortunately, and without my knowledge, Caleb has learned to recognize his name. And therefore, he now knows that one present is for him.

We've had this conversation ABOUT every five minutes since my wrapping spree on Saturday.

Caleb: Oh look! A present for me! [huge grin]
Me: Yes, it's a present for you.
Caleb: It's Christmastime [hint, hint].
Me: Yes, it's Christmastime but it's not Christmas Day.
Caleb: Yes! It's Christmas! I want to open my present [which is now pronounced kwezent since we've been working on the /k/ sound in speech]!!
Me: Caleb, the rule is that we don't open presents until Jesus' birthday. Look, there are [insert number] more angels to put up on the Advent calendar. We have to wait [insert number] more days.

At this point, great whining and gnashing of teeth ensues.

From now on, I'm labeling all of his gifts "Boo." Who taught that kid to read his name, anyway?? %$#@ school. >(

Sunday, December 14, 2008


We are frequently frustrated by our small house. Not because it's too small for US, mind you. It's just too small for us to, say, have guests or host parties with more than five people. Of course, we don't NEED to be able to do those things, but it's really nice to be able to offer when the staff or students want to have a get-together. Or when someone needs a place to stay. We considered moving a couple years ago, but decided we couldn't afford it. THANK GOODNESS! We would currently be upside down on our mortgage if we had! After making the decision to stay, we began to consider remodeling. We've been considering it, sometimes more seriously than others, for awhile.

We already know what we want to do and who the contractor will be, but we've been holding off. However, I played bunco with our contractor's wife on Friday and she said work is VERY SLOW right now. Coinciding with the time we had tentatively looked at to start, he has nothing to do.

So right now, we are really looking at the possibility of having a guest room and enough space to entertain without people sitting on each others' laps. It's an interesting proposition. We'll pray on it and see what God has in store for us...

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Caleb is REALLY excited about Christmas this year. I mean REALLY EXCITED!!! One of the things we do NOT have in our house is a manger scene, primarily because I can't find one that isn't either too expensive or too ugly. So I decided that Caleb needed one that he could play with, and I ordered this one from Big Idea, which came yesterday.

Caleb was really excited with his new Baby Jesus, but as I was taking it out of the box, horror of horrors, this hideous whining began seeping out of the box. Scott, panicked, stepped out of the kitchen and asked, "Is that the cat?"

Oh, no. Like every other mass-marketed toy, this one had batteries that enabled Laura the Carrot to "sing" a ghastly version of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" that was enough to make our hair stand up.

The toy no longer has batteries, and peace has been restored to our house. I just don't know WHY everything has to have batteries???

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More Holiday Spirit

I know it's cliche to say, "In case you're too wrapped up in holiday preparations to focus on the true spirit of the season," but I have a good reason for doing it.

Just in case you are, go read Tami's post. And then tell her how awesome it is.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Spirit :)

Our church had our annual "Carols Around the Table" gathering last night (and Rachel, if you're reading this, I hope you feel guilty for missing it!!), and there's nothing like belting out Christmas carols with dear friends/family to put us right in the holiday spirit! We got home too late to act on our holiday cheer last night, but tonight Caleb couldn't wait one more minute! I thought I'd share:

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Obsession Continues

On Friday night, I went to see Twilight (the movie) with three students, Nikki, and one of her Girl Scout buddies. On Saturday, I re-read the book because I was confused about what was or wasn't actually in the book, and the girls confused me even more. On Saturday night, I found the latest book, written from Edward's perspective ONLINE and read that. Reading a PDF is actually pretty cool, because my laptop provides its own book light.

But now, really, I am over it. I have essays to grade!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Giving Notice

Today we give notice at Caleb's preschool. He will be moving to one in our town in January so that he can receive services. It's very sad for us because one or both of our kids have been at this school since 1998. We'll miss the wonderful teachers who have helped us raise our kids to love God. However, it's very hard to pass up all the services offered in Caleb's IEP that would require nothing from us (Children's requires transportation, costs $7 a visit for co-pay and parking, only happens once a week for a half hour, etc.).

Change is so, so hard.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Driving Home

Caleb: Mom! It's Christmastime!
Me: Yes, it is!
Caleb: It's not Jesus' birthday.
Me: Well, not today. But Christmas is Jesus' birthday. That's why we celebrate it.
Caleb: No! It's my birthday. Not Owin's (cousin). Not Jesus.
Me: Actually, your birthday is in May. Christmas is Jesus' birthday.
Caleb: No it's not! My teacher said no!

Now, I don't believe for one second that his Catholic teacher from his Catholic preschool said no. The disturbing thing is that now I have two children who think their teachers are the ultimate authorities on any topic. You might think that the fact that I, too, am a teacher would give me some authority in their eyes. But then you would be wrong.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


While we were on vacation, I thought it might be fun to take a book. I haven't really read anything for fun in a long time, what with the MA and the two new English preps last year, and the fact that I kept falling asleep when I read because I needed glasses. Then, when school started this year, I became one with my AP Psych textbook, which isn't all that uncomfortable when serving as a pillow. So a fun book, a mindless book, an easy book written AFTER 2000, sounded like fun.

And it was. Too much fun.

On our vacation, I became hopelessly addicted to the Twilight series. I know, I know. Vampires?! But it was really GOOD! So good that I read the first book in two days. We then went to four different bookstores to find book two, which only lasted two more days. Then we were in DC, where we visited two more bookstores in search of book three. And, you guessed it, two days later we were back at the bookstore in Williamsburg looking for book four. I finished as we boarded the plane home Sunday night. Nikki and I are going to see the movie on Friday.

So now I am back to my psych book and a new round of papers to grade. It was fun while it lasted. *sigh*