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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wise Words...

A very dear friend of mine sent this to me this morning.
Read it.
Think about it.
It made sense way back then.
It still makes sense today.

Very wise words to heed during this or any political season

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

---Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crazy Days

I'm going to try to fill you all in on the comings and goings around here. I only have about 5 min. to do it... so bear with me.

Friday - Lunch with a friend and then both of us went shopping for the food and punch for the Halloween Dance at the middle school.
The Halloween Dance was really fun for the kids. We took pictures of them in their costumes and had them vote on the teachers' pumpkin carving skills. Some of those pumpkins were pretty artistic... Not like I would have made.

After the dance, LLB had a trumpet lesson. I flew over there and dropped her off. Then I flew to the high school to get #1. I met the rest of the family at our favorite burger joint. *That was our first family meal last week.

Saturday - up at 6:30 and off to the high school to meet the band bus. Gone to a competition all day. They got 2nd place! And they increased their score by 10 points from the week before! This is huge. Arrived back at the high school at 2:15am. Arrived home at 3:17am. Was in bed at 3:23am and asleep 30 seconds after that.

Sunday - at church by 10 to rehearse for 11am service. 12:30 youth planning meeting. 5pm brought the neighborhood Halloween party. All afternoon I spent doing laundry. It's all fun and games around here.

Monday - Subbed for band teacher at middle school. His student teacher got hurt over the weekend so it was the Ladybug Show yesterday... and today. Those kids played and played and played. Heck - if they aren't playing they are talking and we can NOT have that! Left there at 2:30 to teach my own handbell class at the private school. Picked up LLB and headed to library and home for a few minutes. Fed the dog and took off for McDo and handbell rehearsal at church - my paying gig. Then LLB did part of the Community Band rehearsal. I had had enough. I pulled her out and we went home...

Tuesday - that would be today. I'm back at the middle school subbing for the band teacher again today. Wish the kids luck.... I've got plans for them! Bwahaha!!! They thought their lips were sore yesterday... they have no idea what I have in store for them today.

So. That's where I've been. I'll catch you all tomorrow, k?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, #1!

My #1 is 16 years old today.
He is a great kid who deserves nothing but the best.

This morning he opened his card. It was just a card. He told me that he thought a set of car keys would be in the card. He is funny! Trust me... there will be no car keys in birthday cards today. A car was not on the list he gave me. And if there was a car on the list, he'd be getting a matchbox car.

Happy Birthday, my boy!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stop MRSA Now!


Picture this:
You are in a public rest room. 4 people come out of the stalls. 3 people stop and wash their hands. The 4th person, fixes her hair and walks out the door. Disgusting? You bet! Dangerous? Yes! Extremely Dangerous...

Germs and bacteria are spread by touching something that is contaminated and then touching something else. MRSA - a type of Staph bacteria that is antibiotic resistant - is a particularly nasty bacteria that can be easily spread by touching contaminated items. This can be a door handle, a piece of gym equipment, or even a dirty shopping cart.

We need to Stop MRSA Now.

People can carry MRSA and not have any symptoms. These people can also transmit the bacteria to other people and have no idea that they are doing it. This is why we need to do a few things to protect ourselves from MRSA.

The first and easiest thing to do is WASH YOUR HANDS!
Wash your hands with warm water and SOAP - any kind of soap will do. It doesn't have to be antibacterial soap. Scrub for at lest 15 seconds. (Sing Happy Birthday if you can't count 15 Mississippis.) Oh and running the water and just putting the tips of your fingers under the stream - that doesn't count. You need to scrub.

Use a bleach and water solution to disinfect hard surfaces. Make sure to clean the cleaning cloths you use to avoid spreading MRSA. In other words, wash your cleaning rags.

If you have a cut or a boo-boo, keep it covered. Use a bandage - Scooby Doo (the most popular bandage at The Crossing) or Superman, or even a plain old pink bandage work quite well.

Do not share towels or razors. That's just asking for trouble! Besides, you don't want to wipe your face or your hands after someone else has used the same towel to wipe their hairy butt, do you? That's just gross!

If you go to the gym to use the machines, put a towel down to keep your skin away from the equipment. When you are done using the equipment, use the spray and clean off the machine. It only takes a couple of seconds. You may want to clean the machines before and after you use them. You can't be sure that the last person wiped it down when they were done...

MRSA can be stopped.
It's up to you.

Want more information? Stop MRSA Now.

Thanks to Mom Central for supporting this very important cause.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Food for Thought

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind.
She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend.
He was always there for her.
She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.'

One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her.
When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend.

He asked her,'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?'
The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind.
The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her.
She hadn't expected that.
The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him.

Her boyfriend left in tears and days later wrote a note to her saying: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.'

This is how the human brain often works when our status changes.
Only a very few remember what life was like before, and who was always by their side in the most painful situations.

Life Is a Gift

Today before you say an unkind word - Think of someone who can't speak.

Before you complain about the taste of your food - Think of someone who has nothing to eat.

Before you complain about your husband or wife - Think of someone who's crying out to GOD for a companion.

Today before you complain about life - Think of someone who went too early to heaven.

Before whining about the distance you drive - Think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet..

And when you are tired and complain about your job - Think of the unemployed, the disabled, and those who wish they had your job.

And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down - Put a smile on your face and think: you're alive and still around.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

30 Days to Natural

I try to be "green".
I recycle.
I'd like to do more - as I'm sure all of us would.
Mom Central has teamed up with Clorox and GreenWorks to promote a healthy cleaning lifestyle.

Check out the website!

They have daily tips on how to be a little bit greener. The tips can be delivered directly to your inbox every morning if you choose. Today's tip was about using reusable shopping bags. It was the gentle reminder I needed to put mine in my car - where they should be stored anyway.

There are videos - they are following 3 women for 30 days as they try to green up their homes and their lives. The women are average every day people. The videos are real. I enjoyed watching them and I think you will, too!

I don't like harsh chemicals or the residue that some of them leave behind. The new Greenworks cleaners are terrific. I tried the liquid dish washing soap. It is as good as any of the others I've used, it's natural, it doesn't leave my hands dry, and it smells pretty darned good, too! All of the GreenWorks products were developed using natural biodegradable ingredients that are free from petrochemicals. They were blind tested against the leading conventional cleaners. They clean as well or better - I'm not surprised!
I look forward to trying the other products - especially the glass cleaner.
Maybe I can be greener 30 days from now, too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Retreat News

LLB and I went on her 8th grade retreat over the weekend. We drove up with R and HP.
It was a gorgeous weekend - the leaves are just starting to turn up there and the reds and oranges are simply beautiful.
The kids had a pretty good time. They did a scavenger hunt, sang songs, had a "Dump Dance" where you create your outfit from trash bags and tin foil, had an indoor camp fire, spent time with summer camp friends, and worshiped together.

I went up as a parent as did R. Our churches are tiny. We don't have youth leaders. Please let it be known far and wide that we don't EVER want to be youth leaders. Some of the larger churches have youth leaders who bring the kids up to this retreat. Those youth leaders want to be involved in what the kids are doing and they want to "spiritually fed" while they are there. Parents don't. We want to sit and enjoy the beauty that isn't laundry.

I expected to keep up with LLB - the only attendee from our church. I did not expect to have to spend time in small group discussion with the other adults or have to spend time chaperoning kids I don't know. (It was fine, but it was not what I expected.) I also expected to have my own child in my group during the scavenger hunt. Alas, that is not what happened. Fortunately, I got to see her a few times - I took her picture while she was doing the activities. I also got to hug her tight and tell her that "We follow the rules. I know other kids swapped groups, but you have to stay with your group." You know... this is supposed to be fun...

On Saturday afternoon, R and I did get to do some scrapbooking while the kids were on a hike up the mountain to the cross. We pulled a table out onto the porch of the house where we were staying, and enjoyed the sun, the weather, the leaves, and the time to sit and scrap. That, my friends, was simply wonderful...

The Dump Dance was awesome! They gave the kids 1 large black trash bag and 2 smaller kitchen can bags. The kids had to create an outfit with their trash bags and as much tin foil as they wanted. LLB made a dress out of the black bag and a sash out of the white ones. Tin foil was turned into bracelets. She was very attractive!
Some of the other kids were extremely creative. One girl traded her black bag for some extra white bags - she created a tutu by blowing up the white bags, attaching them to her waist and she completed the look by wrapping her torso in tin foil. The kids stayed in their costumes for the entire dance - they must have been hot because they all drank a ton of water. The music was great! I asked for the play list because it was so good.

All in all, I think LLB had a good time. There were a few things that she would have changed, but that's the way life is. She caught up with some camp friends, she met a couple of new kids, she sang a LOT, and she got to spend time at the place she loves. Who could ask for a better weekend?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What is the world coming to?

I have a friend who works in an elementary school. She teaches second grade. She is a dedicated, first class teacher.
She has child in her class that was supposed to take a note home to his parents. She told the child to put the note in his backpack and to show it to his parents. He put the note in the backpack, but didn't show his parents.
This went on for a couple of days.
At the end of the day, she taped a small note to the kid's sweater that said something to the effect, "Please see note in backpack." It was not a large note on his sweater. It was a small post-it sized note. It was not pinned to the child or his body. It was taped to the kid's sweater.
The child left her classroom and went to his after care classroom where he spent another 2.5 hours. Not one person said a thing. Not one teacher took off the note. The kid was not bothered by the note - because if he were, he would have taken it off. He played with his friends all afternoon without a single mention of the note on his sweater.

The next day, my friend got a call from the parent telling her that they were going to sue her and the school system for "psychological damage" to their child because she taped the note to the kid's sweater. They said the note was like a "scarlet letter". They told her they were going to the media. Obviously, they have not done that because if they had, you'd have heard about it and the issue would be over and done with...

The principal of the school, who had just met with my friend the afternoon before about her lesson plans and the goings on in her classroom and had only kudos for my friend, told my friend that she was now on administrative leave.
Just to be totally obnoxious, the parents of the kid turned my friend and her family into DSS. Fortunately, DSS has better things to do and and sent her a letter stating that they were not going to do anything about this issue because there is no issue.

That afternoon, my friend got an email totally unrelated to this issue from a parent. She typed up an answer and forwarded it to her idiot principal with a note stating that she wasn't sure if she should answer directly, but that if he would like to forward her answer that would be fine. He told her that the response she typed up was wonderful and that she could go ahead and send it to the parent. (Excuse me? Isn't she on administrative leave because she's such a bad teacher?)

My friend was then called into the Superintendent's office. He had never met her. He just told her that she was an awful person and that it would be best if she resigned. She has not yet resigned. I hope she doesn't. She didn't do anything wrong. She retained a lawyer who told her that the county did intend to go forward on her case and get rid of her.

So... she has 15 days to decide if she wants the issue investigated by a 3 member panel. She picks one member, the family picks one member and then those 2 members choose a 3rd. After that, they have 30 days to investigate and decide her fate.

She did not hurt the child; she did not rape the child; she simply taped a note to the kid's sweater.

So the county that this woman works for is going to lose a terrific teacher because of some stupid parent. The kids in her class are losing because their teacher isn't in the classroom - they have a long term sub. Oh, yes, that's so much better... NOT!

Those of you who teach in public school - don't tape notes to your kids' sweaters... It supposedly scars the kids for life.

So - what do you think? Should this teacher lose her job for taping a note to a kid's sweater?

Friday, October 10, 2008

He can still make me...

giggle!

Mr. rolled over to turn the alarm off.
As he did so he took 99% of the covers with him.
I said, "See... look where the covers are..."
His reply, "With their rightful owner."

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Thursday 13


Thirteen Things Ladybug is Thinking About Today


1. I have a dentist appointment today. I am desperately trying not to forget to go. It's at 11:30. That's a BAD time for remembering...

2. I went to my friend R's bell rehearsal on Tuesday. R is a saint to put up with that director. I was amazed at how the woman ran the rehearsal. She counted out loud, but didn't keep a steady beat. She sang.. OMG! Don't sing!! Singing is not helpful. :-)

3. The sad thing is that I invited that director to go to the Directors' Seminar so she could learn how to direct a bell choir (she's new to this stuff) - But she refused. There was a track for beginning directors and directors of new choirs. She really missed out.

4. The woman did ask me if I had any suggestions. I told her not to count that these people are adults and they can count for themselves. It would have been better if she were up front during the rehearsal, but she was trying to fill in for missing people. But, the group did much much better when she didn't count.

5. I think am going to go back next week. I feel like I can contribute positively and maybe get them on track for this year. I'm going to strongly suggest that their group attend an Area Festival so that they can all learn the basics. The Genesis track - for beginning choirs is exactly what they need.

6. LLB and I are headed off to the 8th grade retreat this weekend. We are both very excited to be going. We are going to drive up with R and HP. HP and LLB are the only 8th graders from their respective churches, so they've formed their own youth group. LOL!

7. This weekend is homecoming for #1. I'm kinda sad to be missing it, but he'll manage. He is going to be marching at the game on Friday - they gave him a special thing to do during the show that will be hysterically funny if it works right.

8. He's off to the dance on Saturday. Ahh... the social life of the high school student!

9. I'll have to make sure the old digital camera is loaded up with batteries and an empty memory card so that Mr. can take some pix for me.

10. I got a Wii Fit for my birthday! I LOVE it!

11. I love the step aerobics and the balance games the best. The strength exercises are great - I can feel my muscles working!

12. Hopefully I can lose my extra 10 pounds before we go to Nicole's for Christmas...

13. Well, I've got lists to make and bags to pack. If I don't post tomorrow, I'll post when we get back.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Responsibility

Why is it that some people sign up to do a task and then drop the ball? If you sign up to be the "Hospitality" person for the high school band, you best show up with food and do all the prep work before 8am on Saturday morning.

Needless to say, my friend C and I, spent 2 hours on Friday afternoon getting all the essentials that the band would need the following day. Where was the Hospitality person? Not there.

Did she even consider going on Thursday if she couldn't be there on Friday... ummm... no. She figured that the cups and forks pack themselves. Did she go get ice - free at the school - on Saturday morning so the kids would have cold water? Ummm... no... we did that, too.

Why did we do it? Because it's for the kids.
Was I annoyed? You bet!
Am I still annoyed... ummm.... yup.

I have my own job to do - Uniforms. I don't have time to do hers. That was the last time I'll do hers.

Oh and when one arrives at the competition site and it's time to set up the food - the hospitality person is supposed to work, not stand around and eat. The rest of the parents waited until all the kids had eaten before we even took a chip... Grr...

We packed the buses after the kids were done. We left the food table out. I was NOT packing that up. It's her job. I don't know who eventually did pack up that stuff, but I don't think I really want to know.

I was not my happy bubbly self yesterday and some of the parents and staff noticed. I was quiet. I was melancholy. I was not myself because this person didn't do her job and it irritated me. (And then she sat behind me on the bus and tried to yak at me the whole way.) I was conflicted. What to do... I didn't want to vent. I didn't want to make scene. I wanted her to shut up and leave me alone. Most of all, I wanted her to do her job.

Maybe her kid will quit...

Well, I can hope, can't I?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Busy...

So I survived my day in P.E.
I had one kid who tried to rattle me during my first class - Alas, I'm the mother of a teenaged boy... I cannot be rattled. I pointed right at him with my magic index finger and said, "Don't stahht!"
He was rattled...
It's nice to see I've still got it.

I had one little girl who wanted to switch teams. Ummm. No.
She tried. I caught her. I pointed right at her with that magic index finger of mine and, with the precision of Harry Potter and his wand, put her right back in her soccer field. Next time I'll try to fling her in the air...

Yesterday morning at approximately 7:18am, I got a call from the Assistant Principal. You know he was desperate when he asked me to sit in the Nurse's office for half the day. I have little tolerance for this crap. Unless you are bleeding from 10 places or puking, you best be in class... just ask my kids.
I had a kid puking right after she arrived at school - I sent her home!
A broken arm - This one got shipped out, too!
Then it quieted down a bit... I had a bloody nose, a half a dozen hang nails, an asthma inhaler usage, an ear ache, and 3 or 4 ice requests.
My favorite was this one - A kid came in and asked me for a mint... Are you kidding? A mint? LOL! Get to class.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Just Stuff

I got called into the Assistant Principal's office last week.
Don't worry... I didn't do anything bad - yet...
He asked me if I'd sub.
I said, "sure.. what class"
"Well, are you free on Thursday?"
"Thursday is my birthday. It depends... what class?"
"What do you think about P.E.?"
"You're funny. Really... what class."
"P.E."
"You obviously don't know my basketball story... Whose class?"
"Mr. S"
"Sure! LLB has him last period. I'm in!"
"Now... tell me your story."

In case you've all forgotten, I flunked the basketball practical exam in college... I got big fat 0. (Thank GOD for the written.)

Fortunately for me, they'll be playing soccer today. I wasn't much better at that and the coach let me stand down by the net - not in the net... near the net... I still don't know what I was doing.

Think they'll fire me before the end of the day for incompetence??

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


The first band competition of the year... they got 2nd place.
Next week they want 1st!