Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Year's Christmas Present

Last year Aryon gave me a puppy for Christmas. It's funny to look at him now and see how HUGE he has gotten. My sister calls him a "big dog" but I call him little. He is low to the ground and fairly compact. He can be a pain, but at times, he keeps me entertained and healthy.

Attempt at Technology Failed

Ok, earlier this week my attempt at trying new technology failed. I removed that blog and decided to try it again. I am currently uploading 37 pictures to and will then attempt to make a "slide" that I can post on my blog so that everyone can see the photos I took from Christmas. I would like to say that my sister also took a ton and I am currently, yet patiently, waiting on her to email those to me as well. The ones we took using her camera should prove to be hilarious (TARGET PRACTICE!). While I am waiting for my pictures to load I'm sure I can kill time by babbeling about my holiday so far.

Christmas was low key, which was great. Presents should not be the focus of the season. We told mom to not get anything for anyone and for once she listened! It was great! She then felt bad when we gave her some small gifts, but at least she listened to our pleas to just relax for once. We spent Christmas morning at our house and mom and Nat came over for breakfast. Ayron made "Dad's Famous Pancakes" and our homemade bacon. It was good! We then managed to spend close to 5 hours together and not kill each other. That is proof you are getting older. When you can and want to spend 5 hours with your sibling! Christmas night was spent at the in-laws with Ayron's family. We also convinced them to have a low key Christmas as well. It was great. Of course the girls were spoiled, but grandma claims she scaled down!

The past week and a half has been great. Ayron's work schedule has been different due to the holidays so we are able to spend more time together and with friends. We even managed to build the changing table together yesterday without losing our patience for one another. I'm hoping we can tackle the dresser this afternoon! I have also realized that I have a ton to get around before I go on maternity leave.

I have 10 weeks until I'm "due." It's an odd thought. Frightening and thrilling all in one. I have hit my nesting stage WAY EARLY and am trying to not drive Ayron crazy. We pulled out all of the furniture and swept behind them and rearranged the living room. I managed to completly empty the "nursery" of the spare crap we've been procrastinating about.

For those of you who are visual, my photos have now loaded and you can see how I've spent my time away from work.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Baby Update

We had our "check up" ultrasound yesterday morning. The placenta has moved, but only about half of the way that it needs too. Anything is an improvement. Taylor is healthy, all fingers, toes, and appendages are accounted for. His brain is developing wonderfully. He is in the 95% size and development wise. He is now 3lbs4oz. The ultrasound tech is going to make a note on my file to have the Dr. look at my case and we might end up taking him a bit early.

I had the glucose test yesterday as well. I recommend the orange flavor. It tastes just like a Crush and it goes down easy. The lab tech was wonderful, I didn't feel a thing. It was great. Ever since then I have been craving nothing but sweets! The drink also had Taylor bouncing off the "walls" all day. He has finally settled down, but I did just drink a smoothie, so give him some time. I have my check up with the nurse mid-wife this afternoon so hopefully the blood work is back by then and we'll have some more answers.

This whole thing is and adventure, I'll give you that.

Man Up and Leave Your Name

I had an "anonymous" person leave a rather crass comment on a previous post I wrote about ADHD. I would normally just choose to either ignore the comment or delete it, but I have decided to take a different approach. Maybe by addressing it, I'll make it worse, who knows.

Anonymity has a place. Like the lovely associate at Home Depot who bought a washer for our cousin in need and chose to remain anonymous. That is cool. If you are going to disagree with someones opinion, man up and own your opinion. I was merely writing about my opinion. While I acknowledge that my opinion may not be shared by everyone, I am not going to tell a person they "are full of s&*^." and then not leave my name. So speak up, leave your name. Engage me in a lively debate, I don't care.

I recognize other opinions with open arms. I also am willing to end a debate with "Let's agree to disagree." So "man up," "grow a pair," and any other cliche you can think of.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

No Wonder ADHD Is On The Rise!

I believe in ADD and ADHD. I also believe that in many people it is a learned behavior. They learn this behavior to help them cope with the stresses of college or life. I developed it and have been able to harness it and allow it to help me. I am getting better and I know what foods to avoid, but I am astounded at the skyrocketing rates of it in our students.

I will say now that I am not sold on the "Baby Einstein" products. I have watched a couple of them and I am wondering if they help teach our children to be ADD. Scoff if you want, but it is something I've wondered. The images flash so fast that I can't even focus and form a thought about one before a new one appears. Now little kids have "learning video games." Video games for 3 year olds? What happened to going out side and playing with the neighbors? A friendly game of kick ball or jailbreak? Seriously. And the television and computer have taken over as babysitters in some houses. Yes, I am guilty of coming home and plopping in front of the tube, but I've begun to change those ways and by doing so, Ayron has too.

Last night we were at Meijer and you can pay to use a cart that has a tv screen in it for your children. There are enough situations going on while in store, why add to it by allowing your child to watch tv while you shop? Why not have your kids count apples as you bag, or start teaching letters, those types of activities.

We are overstimulating ourselves and our kids. Yes, I am able to chat, blog, talk on the phone and grade a math test all at once. Yes, I taught myself how to deal with several stimuli at once, but it's not always a good thing. It does make it really hard for me to focus when I have just one thing to do. Why are we over stimulating our kids? By the time they hit 1st grade they are almost expecting the classroom to be like home with several things going at once and no need to focus on one for a long period of time. No wonder our testing scores are down (although I'm not a fan of the testing either).

I vow to make/teach my children play outside, to make friends with the neighbor kids (if we have any), to read a book instead of watching tv, to use their imaginations to play instead of the video game system. Call me old fashioned, but I think it's the better alternative.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


My nieces are the proud owners of 2 4-wheelers. They made arrangements to pay their parents back out of their allowance and have those "paid off." They are responsible for the gas and other parts they may need.

The other day my oldest niece overheard a conversation between her father and one of his friends, C. Turns out C was approached about buying a snowmobile. He thought about it, but decided against it. The lady really wanted to sell the snowmobile because the family has fallen on hard times and the money would allow her to pay some bills and buy a few gifts for her 5 children.

After hearing the conversation, my niece approached her dad. "Dad, can we buy the snowmobile." She was told that they couldn't because of the cost. She shyly replied with, "Well, I have the $500 the lady needs for it. And this way she would get her money and we'd get a new toy." Turns out her and her sister (along with help from mom) have been stashing back some of the rabbit farm money for a "rainy/snowy day." After some convincing, and explaining (about the money) the girls bought their very own snowmobile. The funny thing, sure they are all excited about having a snowmobile, but they were more excited about helping the lady in need.

Blech, Shopping

I normally love to shop (insert your own joke here, I'll wait.....ok, ya done?). But for some reason, I don't care to right now. This is especially difficult considering it is the holiday season. We have decided to get one (maybe two) small gifts for each person on our list (10 people total). We keep putting the shopping off. Every year I think, "Yeah, this year I'll be one of those people that has everything bought before Halloween and wrapped before Thanksgiving." Hasn't happened yet, probably never will happen.

So why am I dreading this? I am looking forward to hanging out with friends and family. I like getting together and watching my nieces play (now on their very own snowmobile: cute story, think I blog that one next). It just doesn't feel like Christmas yet. Why not? There is a ton of snow out, lights are up, tree is decorated (at work anyways). Will it ever feel like Christmas this year?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Horrible Person or Horomones?

I have recently realized I am not immune to the pregnancy hormones. I have merely been suppressing them to keep everyone, mainly Ayron, happy. I have put up this "Everything is fine" front and I'm sick of it.

I have nothing to complain about. I am in semi-good health. Taylor is healthy. I shouldn't complain, but part of me years to let the truth out. I feel guilty because I know several people that are encountering pregnancy problems or are having troubles even conceiving. Yet, I push on with my confession.

I don't like being pregnant. I like knowing that I am supporting a life, I don't like the feelings that come along with it. Why do people do this multiple times? I have been putting on a fake face for Ayron most nights, but about two weeks ago I snapped. He came home to find me a mess. I finally just opened the flood gates and told him everything. How I had been feeling physically and emotionally. It caught him off guard. He has been so wonderful during this time and has been extra attentive the past two weeks now that the truth is out.

I just hate complaining about it to other people. Several people ask me how I'm feeling, etc. I've stopped saying, "Fine" and started telling the truth. Funny thing is, people don't want to hear the truth. They look at me like I'm some sort of horrible monster for saying that I do not care to carry another child. I am happy with one biological child. I want more children, but why should I have more (knowing how it makes me feel) when we can adopt a child that someone can no longer care for? I am big fan of adoption and we have talked about it and even have some orphanages picked out. When you tell people how you feel, the true story, they look at me and I know they are thinking, "What a horrible mom." I bed to differ.

How can you judge my mothering skills by how I feel now. My body has been through a lot in the past two years and now to add a pregnancy to the list. It needs a break. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of being a mother and all of that stuff, but the physical aspect of being pregnant no longer appeals to me. If you love being pregnant, great, good for you. It's not for me.

There, I feel better. I'm just sick of people looking at me funny when I say, "This is the only child I will give birth to." Several people (and I am guessing my aunt is thinking this) have said, "They are all different pregnancies and you can't compare one to the other." or "Don't say that, you know you'll have more." Yes, I know that I want and will have more children, but for right now, I am saying I am done after this one. Sure, maybe I'll change my mind, who knows. I'm not God, I'm not perfect. Maybe I will get pregnant again, who knows. All I am asking is for someone, when I say that this has been rough and I am done after Taylor, to acknowledge that it is hard and that they felt the same way. I know I'm not the only one out there who has felt this way. It is all hormones? I really don't think so, but then again, I'm not God, I don't know for sure.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Personal Protection Permit

Yesterday was our office Christmas party. We had a nice lunch and did a fun "white elephant" type gift exchange. To our surprise, our boss decided to get each of us a Christmas present.

The big joke is that in our office, my boss and I are in the minority. Most of our co-workers have their personal protection permits. They often go out to homes and do visits and thus must be armed. My boss and I tend to be office people and thus, haven't bothered with our permits yet. This year he decided to get everyone something we all could carry. If you want to see the weapon I got for Christmas, click here.

Needless to say, we all decided to pull our weapons on our boss as soon as we had them all unwrapped.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I've Been Elfed

My sister did this and so did a co-worker. I had some time to kill, so I thought I'd try it too.


'Danger: Avoid Death' contest winner

By RON VAMPLE, Associated Press Writer Wed Dec 12, 6:22 PM ET

DETROIT - Words to live by, from a warning label on a small tractor: "Danger: Avoid Death." That warning was selected Wednesday as the winner of the 11th annual "Wacky Warning Label Contest," sponsored by Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch. The contest is part of an effort to show the effects of lawsuits on warning labels.

Kevin Soave of Farmington Hills, a Detroit suburb, won the $500 grand prize for submitting the tractor's "Danger: Avoid Death" label.

The $250 second place was given to Carrianne, Jacob and Robby Turin of Greensburg, Pa., for a label they found on an iron-on T-shirt transfer that warns: "Do not iron while wearing shirt."
Richard Goodnow of Lancaster, Mass., earned the $100 third-place prize for a label on a baby stroller featuring a small storage pouch that warns: "Do not put child in bag."

Contest organizer Bob Dorigo Jones says the silly labels reflect how broken America's civil justice system is.

"Predatory lawyers know they can file ridiculous lawsuits against innocent product makers and blackmail them into a cash settlement — even in cases in which a user has ignored common sense," Dorigo Jones said in a statement Wednesday.

Honorable mention went to Cyndi LaMonde of Traverse City for a label on a letter opener that says: "Caution: Safety goggles recommended."

Ann Marie Young of Fillmore, N.Y., took the second honorable mention for a warning she found which cautions users: "The Vanishing Fabric Marker should not be used as a writing instrument for signing checks or any legal documents."

The group selected a list of finalists and listeners of WOMC-FM's Dick Purtan show chose the winners.

What gets me is that you know people have done those dumb things and then sued because "It didn't say no to." Come on people. You complain when your coffee is cold, yet you sue when McDonald's actually gives you hot coffee. Go figure!

Candy Making

I have been trying to watch a lot less television lately. I average around 4-5 books a week and since I started this, reading has gotten old. I like reading, don't get me wrong. I just wanted a change of pace. I decided to try to pull Ayron into my plan for less television. We have been having a nightly Uno war. I will admit that I have been losing that battle. I'm sure Grandma Reese is laughing up in heaven because I have finally found someone who can beat me at my own game.

Last night we decided to try our hand at candy making. It was an experience to say the least. Earlier this week we already made reindeer noses. I don't know if those are what they called, but that's what I have decided to name them. They are the round pretzels with a melted hershey's kisses in the middle topped with an M&M. We became creative and used candy cane, regular, hot cocoa, cherry cordial, and dark chocolate kisses. They are yummy!

Last night we expanded our candy production to include two kinds of fudge (cookies-n-creme and walnut), truffles, and home made turtles. I think Ayron tasted three of everything. I'm surprised I had some left to bring to work with me today!

We have decided to open our own candy making business. We talked about it jokingly, but I would really enjoy that! If my dad was staying in the area, I'd be willing to go into business with him. I could do the candies and he could do the baking. That would really be fun........maybe I should go back to school for my pastry degree.........not a bad idea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2 days and counting

Today makes day #2 of working from "home." Due to this lovely ice storm, the school district I work in closed. In Auburn it is just raining right now, but they say up north it is really bad. They are guessing that it will stop raining and start freezing soon. So I decided to spend another day working from "home."

I say "home" because I am currently up at Joshua Cup using the free wireless. I do have a list of things to do for work when I get home. I really need to start planning and delegating things for when I am gone. I need to make the SOP's for YIP. SOP's are our standard operating procedure manuals that describe how things are done, by who, and when. I also need to work on creating more work for a day student who is finishing his work quicker than I can grade it.

If I stay here and work I'll be more tempted to play games and read blogs. If I go home where I don't have wireless, I will be forced to actually work. Maybe I should go ahead and head home...or maybe I should play one game of pool.....

Saturday, December 08, 2007

What a Year

It has been year and we are still amazed. For those of you who don't know, a year ago today my sister-in-law was hit by a semi ( It is amazing to look at her and know that she is here for a reason. She should have died, but she didn't. If you didn't know her before the accident, you would have no clue what she has been through. Her voice is still a bit off, but you can understand her and every day her speech improves.

It is also interesting to see how our family dynamic has changed. We don't take each other for granted. Not that we ever did, but we are more aware of each other now. I still have flashbacks of her lying in the ICU bed and those freak me out, but I have to remember how far she has come. I am constantly amazed by her and Him. He could have taken her, but He didn't and for that we are grateful.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Giving Them What They Wanted

* Let me state that I realize the oxymoron/paradoxical nature of this blog. I do not mean to promote what I am opposing. I just want to make a point, but in this certain situation, by making a point, I am partially doing what I object too.

Yesterday there was a mall shooting in Omaha. The shooter was a 19 year old male who had serious mental issues. I only watched about 10 minutes of the coverage that the morning shows were giving the event. A piece that I did see mentioned the suicide note the shooter left. In the letter he mentioned something about how his actions will make him famous. I think he should have written infamous, but that isn't my point.

Let's think about this. The shooter wanted to be famous, seeing no other way, he selfishly took the lives of innocent people and injured several others. He knew that his actions would send the media into a whirlwind of coverage about him and his life. Bam, he got what he wanted. The whole nation focused on him. This makes me think.

If the media didn't offer such "in depth" coverage of shooters who do acts of destruction similar to the mall shooting, would he have chosen to act this way to become "famous?" Why do we give shooters (school shootings, mall shootings, hostage holders, etc) so much power by putting their actions/words/thoughts/family on television? Aren't we merely playing into their game. They get what they wanted, publicity. Often times, they kill themselves to "insure" their names become "famous."

I am not saying that the media shouldn't care about the innocent bystanders, but do we really need to focus 2 hours of our morning shows on the shooter and their background? Why does the news focus on such bad situations? I know that in our day and age, the world is full of bad situations, I just wish the media coverage tried to balance the good with the bad. I know several parents who don't let their children watch the news because the coverage of such bad things gives their children nightmares. Case and point, I have a niece that once watched and interview of Elizabeth Smart (after she was home and safe) and since then she has been terrified that someone will break into their house and take her. This terrified her to the point that she would no longer sleep in her basement room. She now sleeps up stairs with her two sisters.

Why do we play into their game? I realize this blog post is giving the shooter "power" but I just wanted to throw my thoughts out there.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I Just Can't

I have discovered that lately I am unable to fully relax. This has begun to take a toll on my health, which is the last thing I need right now.

As I starred at the alarm clock at 3am this morning, I wondered if I have ever been able to fully relax? Is this something I've just recently acquired? If so, how to do I get rid of it?

I really don't want television anymore. There are a few shows I enjoy, but even lately, I have been so busy or mentally preoccupied I can't myself to sit and enjoy a show. My mind is always going. I am always making mental lists, along with physical lists, of things that need to be done at home or work. I am constantly bringing work home with me. In the beginning I didn't mind because I was racking up comp time for maternity leave, but now it's getting to me. I like my job, I don't mind doing the work, but I am wondering if me bringing it home is preventing me from relaxing.

If I sit in front of the television and solely watch television, I find myself thinking, "I could be doing this, or that, etc." I am a multi-tasker. Call it learned ADHD if you will.

I keep using television as my example, but it's not just television. I can't even just sit and read a book for fun anymore. I tried last night and all I kept thinking was, "I could be giving Scooter a bath, running the dishwasher, grading, cleaning, etc." The other day I sat down to attempt to start organizing things for Taylor's scrapbook and I felt guilty. Why was I taking time for myself when I had no clue what I was going to cook for dinner? Even doing my daily prayer drawings are becoming difficult. If I find myself doodling/praying for something in my life, I feel guilty because "surely someone else has it worse off than I do, so why am I praying for myself?"

I thought that by turning my mental lists into physical ones I could help the situation, but I made it worse. I have now become anal retentive (that phrase cracks me up) about my lists. I will go through and prioritize the things on my list. Then I will redo the list with specific times and details. I can't just write it down and be done. Why?

Maybe it's just a pregnancy hormonal thing, I don't know. What I do know is that it would be nice to just go home and enjoy Ayron's company tonight, but I already have a list of things to do.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Back to Basics

Ayron and I have decided to have a simple Christmas. Partly due to money, partly to escape the commericalism of the holiday.

Growing up I knew why Christmas was important, but when you are a kid, it is all about the presents. I always got flannel sheets, a brand new coloring book, and the biggest box Crayola had on the market. As I've grown up, I changed my requests for needs. Sure, I may want something, but do I really need it? Last year it was stuff for the house.

We aren't exchanging gifts on my mom's side of the family. None of us have things we really want/need. Ok, so we do, but our lives will go on without them. Sacrifice won't hurt us. I have decided to make a couple of small things for everyone though.

Our nieces told us not to buy them presents because they want us to save up so we can all go to Disney together. I don't think the three year old realizes what she is asking for. We are keeping it small.

I think after last year (My sister in law being in the hospital), we (well, at least me) really realized what it is supposed to be about. Family.

I must say that I am calmer this year. I am not frantically running around to save a dollar on the latest gizmo or toy. I am just looking forward to spending time with my family. It will be nice. Our family is ever expanding and changing, and being able to get together and share is better than any present I could get or give this year. I know, sounds fake doesn't it. I am being serious.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I am horribly nervous. In a matter of minutes I will be having a meeting with my boss and aide in which we inform my aide that his "services" are no longer needed. I know that this is better for me, the students, the program, etc. So why am I nervous? I think it's because I don't know how he will react. We are doing it in my other office so no kids will be around, but he will have to come back to the house, gather his things, and leave. I don't want him to cause a scene. I just want this done. It was supposed to happen Wednesday but during our meeting then he talked non stop about junk and never let my boss have a word in edge wise. I know that I am going to have to answer his questions, fine, I'll own up to the complaints I made. I just wish I knew how he was going to react.

Dear Lord,

Please be with me as I face this next hour. Allow me to keep my calm. I also ask that you allow me to articulate my words in a manner that accurately describe the problems we have been encountering with him. I pray that you bring him calm as well. I know this will be difficult for me, so I can only imagine how difficult it will be for him. May he be happy to be relieved of his duties here. I also pray that he find other work quickly.


The meeting did not go like I had planned. I did realize part way through the meeting that I had the chance to stand up for myself. He decided to use the time to slam me and every decision I had ever made. I decided to not let him belittle me anymore. I made sure I thought through everything I was going to say. I never once told him his opinion on the situation was wrong. After all, how can I tell someone their opinion is wrong, I can't. He was finally asked to gather his things and leave.

I was nice to realize this morning that I was looking forward to coming into work and working my new day staff.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What A Savings!!

I have been at my current job for almost 16 months now. Hard to believe. Sometimes it seems like time has flown, other times it seems as if the sand is stuck in the timer.

I wrote an annual report this morning for the state agency that funds both of my programs. Thanks to the programs I oversee, we (myself and my staff) have saved the county 2,771 days of juvenile placement. Not a big deal you say? Well, calculate this. The average stay in a juvenile facility costs the county $175. That is for ONE DAY! So, if you take 2,771 and multiply it by $175, you can see that we saved the county a total of $484,925 in the past 16 months. I knew it would be a large number, but I was still blown away!

I am hoping that by showing our funding agency how much we have saved them, they will not hesitate to fund our program (plus and extra 5k) for the next year. I think spending $100,000 to save almost half a million is worth it. Don't you?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Goofy Day

It has been an odd day. When I woke up this morning I knew something wasn't right, but I decided to have a positive attitude about it anyways.

When I got to work I had to sort out insurance information (I switched to the county insurance because it will cost me a whole whopping $1 a year compared to $120 a month through Ayron's work). Then my driver called me to say that he couldn't locate the house of a new student. After several phone calls over the course of an hour I was finally able to figure out that the new student managed to get themselves placed, so I wouldn't have that student. I know it sounds odd, but I was relieved. Sick and twisted, I know. This student was going to be a handful and I had to plan their entire curriculum with answer keys and they were to be here for the rest of the year. I felt a weight lifted off of me when I found out that I didn't have to figure out that whole situation.

Then I get a phone call from my husband telling me that my uncle went hunting that morning. Big deal, so what? Turns out he shot a deer. Good for him.....but he forgot about the recoil on the gun. He manged to not only take down a 131lb. field dressed buck but also give himself a black eye with the scope on his gun. I chuckled, but only because I knew he was ok and I can just picture the look on my aunt's face.

Just a little bit ago, Ayron called me at work to see if I had heard about my old neighbor. My old neighbor is a former Army man, big macho, hilarious, yet big teddy bear type of guy. He now works for the Indiana State Police around the Indy area. This morning he and his partner made a traffic stop. When his partner approached the vehicle, the vehicle started to pull away. J, decided to shoot out the back tires. His first shot was fine, it was the second one that caused some problems. The second bullet ricocheted off the hubcap of the moving vehicle and came back to hit him in the thigh. He and his partner jumped back into the car to pursue the fleeing vehicle and then he realized what had happened. They took him to the hospital and instead of just having a bullet sized hole, he now has a 6 inch incision on his leg. The bullet had managed to lodge itself so deeply that the doctor couldn't remove it, even after making the incision.

Moral of the stories?? Guns are dangerous people! BE CAREFUL!!!

Baking Realization

When I went to the store last week I decided to stock up on "baking essentials." Your typical items: flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, chocolate chips, etc.

I have been in a baking mood lately so last night I decided to make good old chocolate chip cookies. Usually Ayron hangs around the kitchen just long enough to lick a beater or stick his finger in the batter, but last night he actually helped! Well, until the first batch came out of the oven and then he asked if he could steal a cookie. Well, I failed to realize that when I stocked up on baking supplies, I grabbed milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet. I didn't think it would make much of a difference. I had already used one bag in my "no bake" cookies and couldn't tell a difference. I was SOOOO wrong. When we sat down to have our warm cookies and milk (before a rousing game of UNO) the cookies were almost too sweet. They were kind of gross. I only ate one, and then chugged my milk. I couldn't believe how altering one little thing in my routine could change the final product so much. It got me thinking.

What other routines in my life could I alter to better the result? I am a very routine and scheduled person. I know what has to be done by when and I schedule it and get it done in advanced. Changing something usually throws me for a loop and then I get all grouchy. Today I have decided to change how I do some things at work. I have decided not to be addicted to my email. I have a bad habit of checking my work email every 1/2 an hour. My goal today is to go an hour in between checking. Not a big deal to anyone else, but I am waiting to see how this will change my day. Hopefully having two new students today will distract me from my urge to log in and reply to senseless emails. We'll see.

What could you change in your daily routine?

I decided to try the cookies again this morning and they are much better now. I think the fact that the chocolate was so warm and gooey intensified the sweetness. Heck, Scooter even stole two cookies. Key word being "stole." He sure liked them, but we'll see what they do to his tummy!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Inner Peace

I am sure it is apparent by my blog ramblings that life has not been a smooth ride lately, nor do I see smooth sailing ahead (immediate or long term). Last week, Pastor Deihl made a good illustration. I will try my best to sum up the point. Someone who has had bumps along the way will find better ways to cope and will be better for it in the long run. I believe this. I also know how hard it is to live that example. Sure, "I'll be better in the long run" is a comforting thought for the future, but it does little to comfort me during immediate situations.

I was dreading this week. Some major changes will occur this week at work and some major decisions needed to be made in our personal life. I decided to take it one day at a time in an attempt to not overwhelm myself. I was dreading work. I knew that I couldn't "call in sick" because then nothing would get done. So I drug myself to work and I am happy that I did. I started tackling today's list and managed to straighten out a lot of things, here are work as well as in my personal life. I started thinking about how easy it was to straighten it all out and then realized how stressed out I was making myself for nothing. Further thinking/reflection made me realize I have inner peace about my whole life.

It is great to have this peace. To know that I will try my hardest and that He has equipped me with the proper tools or knowledge I need to make it in this world. I have been forced to humble myself lately and that was a bitter pill to swallow. I realize now that while it may have been bitter, it could have been worse. I am grateful for the inner peace He has given me and knowing He will never leave or forsake me is providing me with a much needed dose of sanity to not only face the rest of this week but the rest of my life as well.

Friday Night Funnies

We spent Friday night hanging out at a friends house enjoying each other's company. A group of us sat around talking, playing "Catch Phrase" and "Trivial Pursuit: Pop Culture." Here are some funny saying from Friday night.

L: It's what you get at a Mexican restaurant.
N: *cough, cough* "I'm not contagious, it's allergies."
T: Yumm...Lung Butter!!!
N: Waterloo doesn't have a mayor since we are a town. We have a town council of 5 people.
C: Oh, so you're like 1/5 mayor! I'd make a shirt that says that!
T: Bodily waste
A: Poo!
T: The liquid kind..
C&A: DIARRHEA!! (the correct answer was urine)
The question had something to do with a certain musician (can't remember the name) who played what entire album in Berlin in 1990. The question was asked of the girls during Trival Pursuit. All of the girls sat around stumped and were about to give up (we had been on a roll answer correct answer after correct answer) when it came to previous involvement with a guy who was obsessed with Pink Floyd.....THE WALL!! The guys moaned and our answering streak continued.

It was a fun time! To bad the boys ended up winning. I challenge them to a rematch at the next Quest.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Political Correctness or Going Too Far??

The other morning I heard that a group of people feel the current body type of Santa is contributing to obesity. They are now telling Santa's that "ho, ho, ho" is offensive to women. Really?

If they are going to go that far, then I am going to say that Humpty Dumpty is offensive to me because I am a vegetarian (ok, so I'm not, but for the sake of argument I am). Or, I could say that Beauty and the Beast promotes bestiality. Willy Wanka shows slavery (the oopma loompas). Etc. I think you get my drift.

I grew up believing Santa said "ho, ho, ho" and he was so big because he had to pack on the weight to stay warm during his yearly flight around the world. Have we (society) gone too far? What do you think?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Robin Strine

If you live in the Auburn area chances are you have heard of Robin Strine. You may not know her by name, or even know what she looks like, but I am willing to say that you know her story.

On February 16, 1990 Robin was in a freak accident while driving to work. Her life has never been the same. I don't want to spoil the book, so that is all I am saying. Her struggles have recently been published and are titled Into the Darkness...Guided by His Light.

I am lucky enough to know Robin. While I would like to say that I know her personally, I cannot. She has been a friend of my husbands family forever. We now attend the same church. I am even willing to guess that Tommy (her son) will be taller than Ayron, be a star college basketball player, and even in the NBA.

This morning before I came to work I decided to go buy Robin's book at the local Christian bookstore. I was surprised at how quickly I was touched by her story. I knew her story long before it was published, but seeing it in print blew me away. I then decided to search for the book on Amazon and there it was. This woman is truly an inspiration and her story is miraculous. Take the hour to read her story (it's only 75 pages) and then pass her story along to someone else.

It's Official

We had our official ultrasound this morning and Taylor is indeed a boy. We were able to see his bladder, stomach, brain, spine, arm bones, and leg bones. It was fun, but a bit uncomfortable. I had to have a full bladder for the ultrasound. We were happy to learn that our mid-wife's guess at gender was correct! Maybe that will be the motivation Ayron needs to help me start getting the nursery around.

Taylor will have bright pink carpet for awhile. It is a nice sized room and a perfect rectangle so I am wondering if we could get a remnant and change it out ourselves....hmmm....the thought/planning train has just left the station.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


As Izzy Stephans says on Grey's Anatomy, "Seriously?!" I kid you not, I just read an article in the paper titled "Man hurt after trying to loosen lug nut with shotgun blast." I don't feel like retyping the article I read so here is one I found on line about the incident.

"SOUTHWORTH, Wash.—A man trying to loosen a stubborn lug nut blasted the wheel with a 12-gauge shotgun, injuring himself badly in both legs, sheriff's deputies said.

The 66-year-old man had been repairing a Lincoln Continental for two weeks at his home northwest of Southworth, about 10 miles southwest of Seattle, and had gotten all but one of the lug nuts off the right rear wheel by Saturday afternoon, Kitsap County Deputy Scott Wilson said.
"He's bound and determined to get that lug nut off," Wilson said.

From about arm's length, the man fired the shotgun at the wheel and was "peppered" in both legs with buckshot and debris, with some injuries as high as his chin, according to a sheriff's office report.

"Nobody else was there and he wasn't intoxicated," Wilson said.

The man was taken to Tacoma General Hospital with injuries Wilson described as severe but not life-threatening."

How dumb has our society become??

Chain of Events

It's funny how everything is connected, but the connections may not be made clear in the proper order. Case and point, our furnace.

Last week we started having problems with our furnace. We decided to wait and use the "rent someone elses hubby" service instead of paying for a repair guy. Ayron decided to try to tinker with it himself. He checked the attic, and roof, replaced the hot surface ignitor, and some other things. It still wasn't running right. So on Sunday J and K came over and J was able to fix the furnace. We left it running while we went to church. We came home and started not feeling well and getting sleeping, dizzy, icky all over. I then realized the furnace sounded funny. Ayron looked at it and then called J again to talk things over on the phone. In the mean time Ayron realized he never reconnected the chimney to the furnace to vent out through the roof. We reconnect the chimney and go on with our relaxing, yet our ickiness doesn't go away. It then hits us, CO! We stopped the furnace, turned off the gas, called the gas company, opened the windows and waited around outside. The guy came and sure enough, we had CO in the house. We aired it out until his little machine read 0 then went to bed. J and K came over again last night to look at our furnace again (I think I'm gonna name the furnace Oscar after Oscar the Grouch). When looking at the chimney (checking for leaks) J notices the chimney is blocked. He cleaned it out and a ton of fluff fell out. I could knit you a sheep, a black one, but still a sheep. After some more checking, chasing the dog with the vacuum, getting the dog off the table, and watching a funny squirt bottle fit between J and K, J was able to figure out a switch was going out. All of these things are connected, but in an odd way.

The switch was slowly dying, which is was caused our hot surface ignitor to go out, which caused Ayron to tinker with the furnace, with caused black fluff to fall into and clog the chimney, which didn't allow the CO to escape, which lead to a house of CO, which lead to us calling J again to come look at it, which lead to a pork dinner with a side of really thick and stiff mashed potatoes (I still can't figure out what went wrong with those).

It's funny how one little switch can cause so many problems.

Monday, November 12, 2007


To all of the veterans out there, Thank You!


Ok, so as I thought about my weekend on the drive to work I realized I couldn't really make sense of it all. Being the English dork that I am (I was laughed at last night when I admitted that I wanted to go back to school) I decided the only way for me to figure it all out was to blog. Hopefully this blog will make sense to not only me, but to everyone else.

Friday I left work early. I needed to have some "me" time. I spent my "me" time cleaning the house. Normally I would sit and read but with as crazy as life has been lately I wanted some order, so that meant cleaning. Friday night was also Quest (group of young adults who get toge her once a month for food, fellowship, and fun). Have you ever seen those new V8 commercials were people are being "bopped" upside the head? That was me Friday night. We watched and discussed Rob Bell's video "Kickball." Rob Bell's words always hit me hard. I know where he is going with things, but I am still amazed at the end of the video. The whole time we were watching the clip I felt like God was sitting in front of me bopping me on the head. It was like the light bulb finally went off. Then I felt this weight being lifted. It was like God was thinking, "Finally, you have learned the whole lesson, now let's get you to put your new knowledge to use!" It was amazing. I also realized how many friends I have. It is so fun to get together with people and just talk about anything. It is really funny to look at a former student and realize he is now a peer not a student. I was baffled by him. I was talking to his older sister when I confessed that I had taught him, she apologized. I was baffled and asked why. She told me he could be a dork at times. I thought, can't we all? I then decided to take that moment to praise her brother. It felt good to praise this former student and how well he has turned out. I think she saw him in a new light after that.

Saturday marked the beginning of REEVES HOG SLAUGHTER 07. Animal right's activists, don't bother. We eat meat, we like meat, we process meat. We spent all of Saturday processing two out of the four hogs. I helped! Normally I stay away, but I wanted to hang out with my sister in law and since she was helping, I helped. It was fun to hang out with family and realize that as crazy as they can seem at times, they are great people.

Sunday we continued the pig processing and did another two hogs. We also had J&K over so that J could look at our furnace (by now like 95% of you know who I'm talking about). J got it working and we left to go to a marriage thing at church (more on that later). When we came home we noticed the furnace sounded funny. I don't know what exactly Ayron was able to figure out with J over the phone, but it was sounding funny. We just decided to turn it off for the night and have J come take another look at it (thanks again to K for letting me borrow her hubby). Well, we discovered that when Ayron was trying to fix the problem earlier in the week he never reconnected the chimney to the furnace. Thus, the furnace was running for 3 hours pumping exhaust (aka CO) into the house. We panicked, turned the gas off, and opened the windows. Our panic was probably psychosomatic, but to be on the safe side we called the gas company. After waiting around outside for half an hour the gas guy came and confirmed our suspicion. We turned on the furnace and he tested that and that is how we discovered our furnace chimney has a leak. So we were paranoid all night, even though we aired the house out and before the guy left we had him check on last time and his gizmo was reading "0."

The marriage thing at church was very insightful. We watched part one of "Men's Brains/Women's Brains." A lot of the stuff I knew from psychology classes, but it was still interesting to see it from a guys point of view. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. It was great. Too bad we had to go home to a poisonous house!

As I laid awake last night thinking about family and friends I had a sense of calm. Life has been chaotic right now, to say the least, and in the past I would be going psycho right now. So why am I so calm? It almost scares me to realize how calm I am. I am worried that I am not worrying. Then it hit me, I am more in tune with Him lately than I have ever been. I am putting other's needs first and trusting that He will provide for me. It is so profound and I keep wondering, "Why didn't I do this earlier in life!?" It is great to have a loving family and loving friends. They can make all the difference in a life.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Back Then

Back then the only thing that mattered was having fun.
Back then we loved to play in the rain.
Back then we raced home for mac-n-cheese and The Price Is Right.
Back then we were rap stars and divas without ever leaving the play room.
Back then we could fly to Hawaii and Jamaica without getting off the swings.
Back then we saved our money for a trip to Bower's Dime Store.
Back then we made snowman and the front page of The Evening Star.
Back then we played with Kid Sisters and My Buddies.
Back then we hid from the world in the closet with a marble kit in tow.
Back then we playfully ran from grandma's kisses.

Now all that matters are making deadlines.
Now we get frustrated with the rain we bring on ourselves.
Now we race home to avoid traffic and slow trains.
Now we questions every decision we have ever made.
Now just leaving the state can be a problem.
Now we save our paychecks to pay off college debt.
Now we make chaos and stress by avoiding the truth.
Now we are friends with our real siblings and appreciate their guidance.
Now we long for a porthole back to that closet.
Now we long for our relatives presence.

Will I Ever Learn?

I often wonder if I will ever learn my lesson. It seems like lately He is beating me over the head with the same lesson. So why am I being so stubborn and refusing to learn it. Well, I have partially learned the lesson, but why don't I change my life to reflect my new knowledge? Why am I so stubborn with it comes to this particular lesson? What in my past has caused me to think it is ok to struggle alone and not ask for help? Where did I learn to be so self-efficient to the point that I drowned in my own stress?

Why am I afraid to point blank admit what is going on? Why am I afraid of being judged because of my short comings? My friends are not the type to judge, they are the type to help. Knowing this, why don't I reach out for their guidance? What am I afraid of?

Why do I get mad at Him when I don't learn/practice my lesson? It is not His fault. Deep down I know, so why do I get mad at Him. He has tried to guide me in the right direction, yet I chose to go for a swim in the belly of a large fish (lets not start the fish vs. whale debate) instead of doing what He asked. Will I ever learn that being in the belly of a fish is not the place for me. He keeps spitting me out on dry land, yet I turn around and jump back in the water. What is my problem?

I did seek guidance for my inability to learn last night and I am hoping that is a step in the right direction for me. I just keep wondering why I get mad at Him for teaching me. After everything He has done for me, I have no right to get mad. When will I grow up?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I can only hope...

that Taylor is this smart.

Authority Part II

Ok, so this week I managed to confront one of my employees. I blogged about the situation earlier this week. I feel I did a good job in our "meeting." I did not attack, I did not blame, I simply explained my reasoning behind a couple of decisions. I knew that he would not like my reasoning or my decisions, but it boils down to me being "the boss." After we had our meeting I needed to run to my other office to grab some paperwork. As soon as I stepped back in the door he began questioning my decisions again. I simply remarked with, "If you feel that way, we can set up a meeting with B." B is my higher up who I have consulted several times about the issue. I know that B stands behind my decision.

So knowing all of that, and knowing that I have done no wrong, why am I feeling like I am the one who will be "attacked" in the meeting? I know that I have done nothing wrong. I know that I do my job, and I know that B as well as the judges are very pleased with me. I know that I do all that I can to help my students succeed. So why am I nervous? I know exactly what he will say to B so I have thought out my answers ahead of time. I don't want him to think we are attacking him. That is not my goal. I want to be able to have an adult, professional conversation with this guy without him bringing up my age or "lack of life experience." Every time he says that I want to point out his "lack of a degree in education" and his lack of "a teacher's licence." My goal is to keep my calm and have a rational discussion and have these issues resolved. I hope that we can have this meeting with B tomorrow because if I stew over this very much longer my composure will be out the window by the time the meeting comes around.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

How Rude!

In the words of Stephanie Tanner I would like to say, "How Rude!" to the owners of the CCC in Waterloo.

Every Tuesday Ayron plays indoor soccer. An elderly couple that I have known forever (used to go to the same church) come every week to watch their two grandsons play with Ayron. D had some serious health issues last winter and is lucky to be alive. I seriously am amazed that he is still alive. His wife, S, is spunky. Well, due to his age and health, D has a handicapped plate. Last night when they got to the CCC, there weren't any empty handicapped spaces. S parked as close as she could, but they were still forced to walk a good distance in the rain, wind, snowy mixture we had last night. On her way into the building she realized that one of the trucks that was parked funny across a handicapped space didn't have a handicapped plate or a tag hanging in the front window. Once they got inside, they told all of this to their daughter. Their daughter, obviously upset, went to the front desk to ask that they find the owner of the truck and ask them to move it. Turns out the truck belongs to the owners of the CCC and they were there picking up their kids.

Seriously people, if your legs work just fine and you don't have a handicapped plate or tag, park and walk! Especially at a place where there are only 3 handicapped spaces. Don't take the last one just because you own the building. Stop and think about the 80 year old man who is coming to watch his grandsons play. This man lives for Tuesday nights when he can see his grand kids excel at something they love. YOUR LEGS WORK, SO USE THEM!

I don't know why I am so worked up about this, but I just am. It is plain rude! Had it been another player I would have just accepted ignorance, but since it was the owner, come on now! HOW RUDE!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Well, I finally have a day student!! Yeah!! The school gave me two books and basically gave me free reign on what to do. The Health curriculum I am doing just like the teacher, so it really doesn't take a lot on my part. I have her doing on-line quizzes and tests and the grades get emailed to me (I know, lazy way out, but like dad says, "Work smarter, not harder!"). She is also in Pre-Algebra. Not a big deal you say? Well, they gave me a book and said, "Start on Chapter 5." Ok, I thought, I can do this. Only to discover that I don't have an answer key to the book exercises. I have assigned a set of book exercises for each section as well as a worksheet for each. I found the worksheets on line and many of them came with answer keys (yes!!). However, I don't have a teacher book. I have spent all afternoon doing Pre-Algebra. It is actually kind of fun. If anyone tells Mrs. Gearhart I admitted that, I'll deny it. I am wondering why I didn't pay more attention when I had Mr. Disque in middle school. Probably because we were too busy shoving C.M. out the window.

I have not only assigned my student homework, but myself as well. My goal is to stay 3 sections ahead of her in making the answer keys. This should be a fun 9 weeks.

Get Out There And Vote!!

I am going to admit that this will be my first time voting. I never registered. Don't bother hassling me about it, Ayron's done it enough. When we bought the house last November and I went to change my license, I finally registered. I don't have some profound reason as to why I never did, I just never did. I am curious about the whole process, so today should be a learning experience. I even made sure I knew where to vote. was helpful with that information. I do think parking will be an issue for me though. I am hoping to go early in the morning before work to avoid any rush.

I was talking with my co-workers about the upcoming elections and I began to formulate a thought. I wish that you could vote in not only the county/city you live in, but also for the elections in the county/city you work in. The officials that are elected here in Steuben County will not effect my home life, but they could have dramatic effects on my work life. I wonder how that would change voting.


Monday, November 05, 2007


My job comes with a lot of authority. I can handle that when it comes to the kids, parents, and most of my staff. I do have a problem exhibiting my authority over my older staff. I am guessing it comes from my belief in "respecting your elders."

I have been noticing some things about my older staff and anyone who knows who I am talking about knows this isn't a new thing. I have decided that I will not tolerate this persons attitude, remarks, etc any more. There was an incident this morning that I would have normally let slide (sure I would have vented to K in an email, but who doesn't) but it happened in front of a student and my older staff kept pursuing the matter after I politely said we would discuss it later. This person doesn't respect my authority because of my age, which is probably part of the reason I find it hard to stand my ground.

I raised several issues I have been having with my boss in hopes of guidance, but my boss is not a confrontational type person either. I know that as soon as I try to talk to the older staff on my own it will go in one ear and out the other. I don't want to pass this off to my boss, but I am afraid that is the only way I can get through to this person. I also know that if I have to go that route, the other person will respect me even less because I had to use someone else to get my point across.

Any suggestions?!?

Friday, November 02, 2007

I love my job...

but it seems like with every giant step forward I get knocked on my butt. I really do love my job. It is frustrating and I know that I do complain. I have it pretty easy, I know that. Up until this last week I was really frustrated and was ready to set a meeting with my boss about somethings that had to change. This week, without any prompting from me, my boss made those changes. I had my evaluation on Wednesday and it went really well. I had another talk with him yesterday about going on the county insurance and my raise. Again, that went spectacular. He came over and helped me do some tech stuff I had no clue how to do. It was great. We sat and talked about up coming programs and who would be best to oversee them, etc. He even point blank asked me, "What do I need to do to make sure you stay here?" I was blown away! It's nice to be wanted and needed. I don't mean to sound like I am bragging about myself, but it was a mood lifting day, especially after everything that went wrong last night.

When I finally got around to leaving last night, one of the after school kids still wasn't here. I was confused. I had talked to the parent earlier in the day and even though yesterday was a half day, the parent knew the kid had the program. I waited until 4:30, still no sign of the kid. I called the probation officer to report the absence only to learn that the kid had been arrested ten minutes earlier for battery. I was devastated. I do believe the kid had it in them to batter, but not their own mother. I guess I was wrong. This kid was 8 days from being done in the program and getting back to life. 8 days. I was very frustrated with this kid. I have spent time since May (they have been in the program for awhile, but were finally getting their act together, or so I thought) creating a mentorship with this kid. Grades and attendance were steady and improving, drug use had stopped. It's time like these I feel like a failure. I keep thinking, did we ever talk about the relationship they had with their mom? Could I have noticed anything that would have stopped the situation? I know that all of this is out of my hands and many of these kids have impulse problems, but it is still so frustrating.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Taylor's First Blanket

I got a phone call from my mom yesterday saying that my Great Uncle CJ had sent a package to her house for me. I was very confused. My Great Uncles are significantly older than my mother. My grandfather was the baby of the family (four boys, one girl).

Ayron and I went to Mom's house last night to open the package. CJ (his name is Clarence Josiah, hence Taylor's middle name) sent us a baby blanket that my late Great Aunt Mae had knitted. It is perfect! It is square and not overly large. It is a pale yellow, almost cream color. Aunt Mae passed away this summer. I am not sure she had me in mind when she was knitting, in fact I'm pretty sure she didn't. I don't think she knew I was pregnant. It touched me that Uncle CJ thought of me. The card was touching and it made me realize that we "stole" Taylor's middle name from a great guy.

CJ has an interesting story that he will never tell. He was a POW for a length of time. It kills me that I don't know a lot about my family history, but one day I will get my hands on his book and read it for myself. I know that his story involves a Tiger's Eye stone that he was able to hide and I'm pretty sure that is the stone that Grandpa had made into a ring that my mom now has. Correct me if I am wrong, I probably am. Anyway, meanwhile back at the family house. CJ's mother never gave up hope, even after the service told her he was lost and probably would never be heard from again. I think I remember a part about her leaving the Christmas tree up until he got home. One day he just came walking up the drive way, and walked in the house like nothing had ever happened. To this day, he still won't talk about it. I am sure he would make an excellent speaker for Veteran's day or a history class. I do know that he wrote his story down at one point and somewhere along the line his daughter got a hold of it and made copies for the family. I am pretty sure my mom has one, so maybe I'll stop by there tonight and see if I can find it.

Just goes to show you, you may think your family is boring and has never done a thing, but who knows what has happened in the past that no one talks about. Yep, we chose a great middle name.


Ok, so I had some stuff wrong. Apparently the Tiger's Eye part never happend. Opps on my part. Here is some correct information I got my aunt.

"Just a clarification, and your mom knows more -- I had some facts mixed up about the POW story, and was glad to read it again....

Uncle CJ and Aunt Mae never had children. I believe Aunt Mae was past 40 when they met and married. (She had been divorced, and didn't have any kids the first time, either...)

Our distant cousin the bag-pipe player got his to write the story out a few years ago -- and she copied it and passed it to us cousins. He does NOT know she did that, nor is he to ever know. She did it for the family archives. The whole experience caused many, many years of severe flashbacks from time to time -- and may still, for all we know.

Yep, you picked a great middle name!!! He lives on in 1 great nephew, and now a great-great nephew!! :-) Good going, dear!!"

Are We That Lazy??

Are we so lazy that we now need gadgets to read our email to us?

Happy Halloween

Here is something for you guys to check out.


My morning has been interesting. I thought I was taking the "new" (it's new to me) work truck back to the dealership just to pick up an extra key and a couple of quotes. Nope. A little over two hours later I walked out of there. Something about fixing lights. I didn't really mind. I was just going to spend today contacting the high school (did that via cell phone) and planning after school activities well in advanced. I did get to see T at work and watch several episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies. Hard for me to believe that show was popular, maybe it's just me. I even had my work evaluation in the "customer lounge."

My boss called and asked where I was at. When I told him, he laughed. He told me he would meet me there and we'd do my evaluation. I panicked. I didn't know I had an evaluation. I immediately started thinking of everything I have done in the past year. Would he view me as successful? I silently laughed when I read his eval. I scored a 95% on the whole part. I was happy. All of his comments were nice and it seems he realizes that I need verbal recognition every once and awhile. He is now meeting with the judges concerning our (my whole offices) evaluations. Yikes! Hopefully the judges agree with him.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I came into work this morning all motivated and ready to go only to discover that my county email is down and the server I use to do my case management is down as well. So I pouted slightly, but decided to take Herbie out for some food. Herbie is my new work truck and he needed gas. So that wasted all of five minutes. I called and checked on Herbie's title. No luck there yet. I did manage to clean off my desk and find a stapler. I finished planning the after school activities for November and started December as well. I have run out of things to do. Everything that I really need to do, I can't. I called our county tech person and she has no clue what is going on. She said, "I'll call you right back." That was an hour ago. I even managed to compile any activity/lesson plan I have ever created for the after school program and alphabetize them. I even made a table of contents for the binder.

I guess I could go finish unpacking all of my new computers, but then I wouldn't be able to chat with my friends. Hehehe.

How Do You Know?

Things happen to everyone every day. Our gas gets turned off. We woke up late. We decided not to go to work. Later on we are grateful these things happened. Not having gas allowed you to find that leak and fix it to prevent your house from visiting Mars. Since you overslept you were able to avoid being in the pile up on the highway. Since you decided to play hookie, you weren't in the building when it was bombed. Etc. So when we look back on these events, how do we know if it was Him intervening or a coincidence?

A friend of mine asked me a similar question yesterday in an email. His situation isn't as extreme as those I created, but still. How do we know if it is God trying to nudge us or if it is merely a coincidence? I don't know how much faith I put into coincidences. I do know how much faith I put in Him. I think He provides us with learning opportunities or moments of reflection to realize how important He is in our lives. We often put Him on the back burner and then take credit for everything good that happens to us and find a way to blame anyone else when bad stuff happens.

So what do you think? How do we know when it is Him or a coincidence?

Monday, October 29, 2007


I have developed a sense of calm this weekend. Even with all of the events of last week and the two more that were dumped on us this weekend, I have an inner peace. I found myself praying over the weekend for everyone other than myself. It was wonderful for my soul. To realize that I am not the only one with problems is humbling. Here I am pouting when others don't have a roof over the head, family that cares, and friends that will drop everything and go for a walk (thanks Kianne).

I do find myself fighting the calm. I'm not used to being at peace like this. It is new to me. I find myself trying to dwell on the past. Then a gentle voice reminds me how destructive and unproductive that can be. Hopefully my long list of things to do for this week will keep me occupied.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Ending for the Week

So this week has been hell. Sorry is my language offends you, but I really can't think of any other way to convey it. When I pulled into the parking lot today I got frustrated. Next to my office (really a house) there is a county employee parking lot. There are three spots right next to the house that are supposed to be for my program only. The sheriffs department has already stolen one spot for their trailer that gets used like once a year (nope, not bitter at all). No point in arguing with them, so I was content with two spaces. Then when I pull in today there is a big truck in one spot. Frustrated I walked over to my bosses office and asked, "Who parked the huge truck in my spot?"

To which my boss asked, "Do you like the truck?"

"Does it matter if I like the truck? It is parked odd and is taking up two spaces."

My boss laughed, "So move it."

"Yeah, sure, I'll just hot wire the beast and move it."

"No need, here's the key."

Turns out I got a truck while I was gone and didn't know it! Yeah for me! We have been looking for a used 4 door truck to be used by my program during the week and juvenile work crew on the weekends. This way the garbage can be thrown into the bed of the truck. Best of all, it is a chick truck. Let me explain what a chick truck is. A friend of mine calls dually trucks where the wheel well sticks out on each side a chick truck because it has hips. My truck sure does have hips. While it is a chick truck, I have decided to name it Herbie. Herbie is a lovely shade of green and sparkles nicely thanks to the inmates who gave him a bath this morning. There is one problem with Herbie, he has an ugly tattoo. His tattoo reads "Harold Chevrolet." (I threw that in there for my friend Todd who works for Harold). I am afraid that they are going to take my lovely Herbie and give him another tattoo on each front door. Hopefully we can just get some large magnets to put on the side when I let work crew borrow him.

It's been a long day already and Ayron is at home sick. Don't worry, party is still on for Sunday. I should get out of here and go check on him.

I don't believe it.

This week has been a difficult one for several reasons. Ayron and I are both having a tough time. I was gone all week for training and he was busting his butt at work. To sum it up it has been a week where everything has gone wrong. It's been trying physically and emotionally. I had a huge melt down Wednesday night. It was scary. I've never been like that. I am grateful that I recognized it in myself and called a friend. Mom stopped by and that was nice too. Anyways, I'm getting off track. I've talked to so many people this week about a ton of stuff so I'm not sure who said this to me, but someone said, "Remember, God never gives you more than you can handle."

I think this statement is misleading. Here is why. I feel he does. He gives us more than we can handle ON OUR OWN. That is the kicker. I believe that when we lose our focus on Him and try to do everything ourself He steps in and reminds us that He is still there and we can call on Him. I am stubborn, so it often takes a huge messy week like this week to remind me that I am not in this alone and that I need to ask Him for help, for my own sanity as well as those around me.

Today is also the funeral for my student. For those of you that don't know, last Monday (10/15) I had a student (who was also on home detention) commit suicide. All of us at the office have spent this past two weeks in a daze. We all felt like we worked through it and then we realized that we have the funeral today. All of those emotions are going to come back. All of us carry feelings of guilt. We all feel like if we looked harder we would have seen some warning signs. I keep reminding myself that she had talked with her family about death several times. She had cried wolf so many times to them that they "ignored" it. She never mentioned anything to me or while in my program about it. I do wish I would have recognized something in her. She was good at compartmentalizing her life. We only saw the happy goth chick who was more than willing to help. Today will be tough.

"Dear God, help me to realize that I can't do this on my own. I need Your help to get me back on track. Help me to realize when I am in over my head. Humble me. Allow me to allow You to work in my life. Give me the strength to get through today. "

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pray for Anara

Through a friend I have become a daily reader of Hublog. Please pray for Anara and her family. She was adopted and has several medical problems. Right now the doctors are working on making her external bladder internal as well as repairing her fused hips. Pray for their knowledge and skill as well. The family will also need patience today and for several weeks to come. Anara will be in the hospital for several weeks before going home to fully recovery. I highly recommend this blog. The things Vi says are hysterical!

Drum Roll Please....

Taylor is a BOY! We found yesterday afternoon. Our nurse mid-wife did the ultrasound and she said, "I'm 95% sure and I'm usually 98% correct. I won't say 100% because as soon as I do, I'll be wrong!" Every time we go we have unofficial ultrasounds so we can see growth, heart beat, waving fingers, sucking thumbs, etc. I have my "official" ultra sound November 14th with Mary. Mary checks to make sure fingers and toes are all there and move and she counts the vertebra. She also checks for other things. I am not looking forward to the 32oz. of water I have to drink an hour before that one, but if that's what it takes, then I'm gonna do it.

Here are some pictures from last night.
He has his hand on his tummy with his thumb sticking up. He was getting ready to suck his thumb.
His thumb getting closer to his face. This kid likes to suck his thumb. We'll have to break him of that early. We can't afford braces!
Ayron saw this shot on the screen and went, "I see it, there's a penis. Right, that's a penis. There it is!"
Another boy part shot. It is a big hard to see my edits, but it was an odd angle for the picture too. The boy part is circled. I labeled the elblow, belly, butt, and manhood.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Body

The human body is a miraculous thing. I have spent some time lately thinking about it and all that it entails. I can't imagine God's thought process when he was creating us. Everything works together and it amazes me. We are able to create and support life. Our bodies change to accommodate that life. Our bodies even allow us to feel that life within us. I don't mean to focus on pregnancy, but it is on my mind. Today at 3 we go for another check up and hopefully Taylor will cooperate and I'll soon know which pronoun to use. But more than pregnancy, the body is astounding in so many ways.

For those of you who don't know, last December my sister-in-law was T-boned by a semi going close to 50mph. She had a 10 percent chance of living and a 1% chance of not being paralyzed. After a month in the hospital and several months of rehab. She is back to her old self. Well, not exactly her old self. Her speech is still a little off, but it get's better every week. She is skinnier than ever!! Her eye sight is better than before the accident. I have spent some time talking to her lately about the whole thing. She was in a coma for around 8 days. I knew she didn't/won't remember that. During the last two weeks in the hospital she became very coherent, although defiant (she ripped out her feeding tube and broke her neck brace out of anger). We thought she would remember those times. She doesn't. She is constantly amazed to hear how she threatened her roommate during week two. Her roommate had just had a stroke and would make moaning noises. Nikki, very calmly, moved the curtain and asked "Can I help you?" When the woman moaned Nikki replied, "Well then shut up will ya?!" She doesn't remember Christmas at the hospital either. She barely remembers having her husbands birthday in the hospital or watching the movie "Cars" three times a day. It just astounds me what the mind can and will not remember. It protects us. It controls so much of our movements. It's astounding.

I don't know how people can think about topics like this and not believe in a higher power. Even as I sit and look out my office window, I am amazed. Someone cared enough for me to create all of this. Not only create it, but sent His son to die for me so that I could enjoy it. How can people not believe?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Yesterday Part II

I have so much going through my head that I don't know where to start.

I know that addressing someone through a blog is a cowardly way to doing things, but I think what was said is an issue that should be addressed by all. I had told a friend about yesterday and their comment revolved around how they thought suicide is selfish. That comment stung me. It still bugs me, and while I can't put my finger on exactly why, I have an idea. Yes, suicide can be viewed as selfish. I think in most cases, the focus needs to be on the person, not on the act. Every person goes through so much in their life, and some people can't or don't learn the proper ways to cope. They see suicide as the only way out. Sometimes drugs are involved. Drugs can alter a persons thinking process. The person may have the most sound judgement but the instant drugs hit their system, they become a different person and do things they never would do if they were in their right mind. I think that the focus needs to be on the person and the people left by that person. We should not focus on the details of the death, but on the family and friends left behind to cope.

A local counselor that works with my program (usually doing drug education) came last night and met with me, two of my staff, and the two girls to discuss the emotions everyone was feeling. It was a great session. It was hard and emotionally trying on all of us. All of us cried at one point. Adam even put on her favorite shirt not realizing what he would learn as the day went on. What killed me was seeing a girl that we know break down and fall on the floor. We know she doesn't have a strong family and she was going to go home and have no one to talk to about this whole thing. I hope she spends some time today talking to her teacher. The counselor is coming back again tonight (she usually does her program on Tuesdays) and they are going to draw, write, create, their favorite things about the student who has passed. Adam left a note he wrote to her last night on my desk this morning. I will contribute my prayer drawing I did yesterday, and each of the girls said they would work on something last night.

I called another "co-worker" this morning to discuss some things that were said last night and when I hung up, I was mad. It seems like everyone is numb to this whole thing. Not numb like they have pushed their emotions away, but numb like this is an everyday thing and they are sick of dealing with it. It upset me. How can we be like that? Where has the compassion and concern gone? Does no one really care what this girl was dealing with? All of the files are already closed and it is like she never existed. Why aren't "we" looking at this and thinking of ways to prevent this from happening again? I hope I never get so used to my job or get so set in my emotions that something like this doesn't jar me. I think that's how you know you've been doing something far to long. Sure, the shock of dirty drug screens is slowly lessening, but every time, I am still upset. I still feel hurt every time someone does a new crime or lies to my face about something. These people have dealt with this crowd for so long they expect it. That just gets me. They act like since they left the office door yesterday at five that it was done. I took it home with me. I talked to my mother in law about it. I prayed about the whole thing. I am still so upset about it all. Maybe it's because I know more than I should and more than I can legally share.

Well, I should get back to work. Yesterday put me a day behind schedule so I need to bust my butt this morning to get everything done before my two big meetings tomorrow.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday Morning From .....

you know where. I didn't hear my phone this morning. I really wish I would have. Why didn't I hear my phone? My boss called me at 8 to see if I could be secretary at our office (let me explain I have two offices: one is at the YIP house and the other is in Community Corrections). I didn't get the message until close to 9. I sprinted over to the office because my boss sounded upset. When I got there, our secretary was the only on there and she looked like death warmed over. I told her that I got my boss's message and I was here. She just looked at me and said, "You don't know do you?" That can never be a good thing.

At 3am this morning, one of my after school students who was also on home detention committed suicide. No one saw any signs. This person meets with several counselors, therapists, and professionals a day, and no one saw it. My secretary is beside herself because her house backs up against the students and she didn't hear a thing last night. No lights, no sirens, nothing. What we are trying to figure out now is why and how did the student get a gun. When someone is put on home detention the house is checked and any type of "weapon" is removed. So now the questions remain and answers seem far away.

Pray for this family. They already had a ton of problems and now this. Apparently it is already in the paper. One of my staff just called me and she is a wreck. I don't know how to face the kids tonight. I have already put a call into the Counseling Center that we use for drug counseling and I know probation did the same. It's going to be a long rough day. Pray, that's all any of us can do.


"The Last Night"
You come to me with scars on your wrist
You tell me this will be the last night feeling like this
I just came to say goodbye
I didn't want you to see me cry,
I'm fine
But I know it's a lie.
[Chorus:]This is the last night you'll spend alone
Look me in the eyes so I know you know
I'm everywhere you want me to be.
The last night you'll spend alone,
I'll wrap you in my arms and I won't let go,
I'm everything you need me to be.
Your parents say everything is your fault
But they don't know you like I know you they don't know you at all
I'm so sick of when they say
It's just a phase, you'll be o.k. you're fine
But I know it's a lie.
The last night away from me
[Bridge:]The night is so long when everything's wrong
If you give me your hand I will help you hold on
I won't let you say goodbye,
I'll be your reason why.
The last night away from me,
Away from me.