Thursday, October 30, 2008

Politics!

Arg! I am so sick of the political ads on tv. They are on all the time. I am beginning to miss the stupid "Head On" commercials!

I will admit that I am an uninformed voter. I am voting early (this afternoon), but I am spending my morning doing research on each candidate. I don't trust the commercials. They are biased. I know that the research I will do will probably be biased as well, so I am going into my research with that knowledge.

It amazes me how much money each side has spent on the presidential campaign. Millions upon millions. Couldn't that money be better spent.....oh I don't know...lets just say FIXING OUR ECONOMY? Feeding the hungry? Housing the homeless? Betting our schools?

Ayron and I were talking about the attack ads the other night and we agreed. We think that after the primary election, each side should only be able to spend $100,000 (still a large amount) on advertising. Any extra money should be used to feed the hungry, house the homeless, better the schools, etc. Just think of how far that money could go. Instead it is being spent to by "infomercial" time as well as attack ads.

I honestly don't know who I am voting for. I have certain issues that are important to me, so I plan to research where each candidate stands on those issues. I really can't wait for the election and the attack ads to be done!

Memories

About a week ago I was helping my in laws clean some photos off of their digital camera. I was going through and deleting the unimportant and out of focus shots my 5 year old niece had taken (I think she snitches the camera more than grandma knows) when I came across pictures of my sister in laws vehicle.

Almost 2 years ago my sister in law was hit (T-boned) by a semi from a large and local trucking company. She spent a month in the hospital. She shouldn't have survived. We were told that so many times. "She shouldn't be walking." "She shouldn't be talking." "There is no way she'll drive again." We heard it all. Yet, she amazed us all and she is doing fine, in fact she has better eye sight now! It was a horrible, yet bonding time for our family. I still remember that feeling in my gut I had during the time of the accident. I didn't know what was going on, but I knew something was wrong. Then the phone rang. I have never driven home so fast. I remember passing the wrecker truck on the way to the hospital. I remember (and you can still see) the tire marks through the grass and the skid marks from the other car.

This morning I passed a semi from the same trucking company. My heart always stops a little. Mostly because last winter I was run off the road by a semi from that same company. I flinch now when I pass one on the high way, or I see one coming and it's a bit to close to the center line. I am pretty sure that is normal.

So when I passed a semi this morning I started recalling the photos I had seen in my mind. The car looked like a crumpled up piece of paper. I don't know how she got out alive.

I know she has come a long way, but some things will never be the same. Her voice is a little different now. It almost sounds like she has a bubble in the back of her throat. This morning I found myself struggling to remember what she sounded like before the accident. It killed me because I couldn't recall her voice. I still can't. Am I the only one who can't remember? Do her daughters remember what she sounded like before the accident? What really gets me is when I call the house and the answering machine picks up. It is Nikki, before the accident, on the recording. I don't think they will ever get rid of that recording. I think that is our one link to the old Nikki. Don't get me wrong, the old Nikki is back, just with a different voice. But my heart still breaks a little every time I get the answering machine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Do you hear yourself?

I just got off a conference call with a parent. Her son has been expelled from school. He is a middle school student. She doesn't want him to come to my program because he will hang out with bad kids who are a horrible influence. I told her, "Our students are not bad people. They messed up and are doing what they need to do to get back on path." But her mind, they are bad people because they were kicked out of school. HELLO?? Your son is kicked out of school too!!! Using her justification, if all students who are kicked out of school are bad, then her child who is no longer in school is a bad kid too!

She will be visiting this afternoon to decide if she wants her son to attend my program. Here are her options:

1.) He comes here, continues his work and doesn't fall behind. It's free for them since the school is referring them.

2.) They pay for a private education. PRIVATE = EXPENSIVE

3.) He sits at home till January and is then 9 weeks behind his peers.

To me, the choice is clear, but maybe I am biased.

Are You Serious?

Check this out https://mail.co.steuben.in.us/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1081355/The-100-000-white-wedding-16-year-old-girl-lives-caravan.html

Are you kidding me? I can see so many things wrong with this. Lets start with the obvious. Their ages, she is 16 and he is 17. Sure, yep, they are mature enough to get married. She hasn't been in school since she was nine, but I'm sure she knows how to do the family finances, etc. The daughter looked like a tramp! I'm sorry. That was not a dress. The mom wore a bra as a top. Sure, women wearing bra's isn't a big deal, but they usually have something OVER them. The family spent over 100 British pounds on the wedding and yet they live in a van. Their priorities are a bit messed up!

Monday, October 27, 2008

I Give Up!!

So about 30 minutes ago, I put my lunch in the microwave. I brought a package of stuffed shells. I was careful to set the microwave on half power (like the directions indicated). I set the timer and went back to work. When the timer went off, my hungry tummy lead me to the kitchen. I burnt my lunch! In the microwave no less. I even followed directions. I was disappointed, but I remembered I had an extra "Michelina's" meal in the freezer.

I vented the corner, and put it in the microwave for 3 1/2 minutes, according to the directions. Back to work I went. When I went to the microwave I discovered I burnt my back up lunch! At least I have a pudding and applesauce cup left of my lunch. I won't burn those!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Paranoid?

I have a student who is a bit paranoid. They are adjusting his meds to help him cope with life. Here is a conversation we had this afternoon.

He storms into my office and throws his papers at him.

"You guys are out to get me."

"Excuse me? Calm down and explain to me what you mean."

"I know I am doing this work correctly and you guys only give me 80%"

"What makes you so sure you are doing work that is worthy of 100%?"

"Well, I cheated on the chapter 15 test and I only got an 86%"

"Ok, so that explains where my chapter 15 answer key disappeared to. Let me get this straight, you are admitting to me that you cheated on a test."

"Yes."

"Um....ok."

The conversation continued and the school was called along with grandma. It is all worked out now, but it cracks me up that in order to prove he was right and I was wrong he fessed up to cheating. He very easily could have gotten away with it. He scored an 86%, he is a "B" student, I didn't suspect anything.

I called grandma and told her our conversation. Her reply, "He cheated by copying the answer key 'word for word' and he still only got an 86%? Dumb ass."

I lost it. I tried to be professional, but the way she said it cracked me up. It is sad that someone would say that about a family member, but to hear this 70 year old woman say it on the phone cracked me up.

So, moral of the story. If you are trying to prove you are right, don't admit to cheating.

What makes YOU soooo special?

In order for me to properly do my job, often times I have to wait for others do to theirs. There is an order in which students must be enrolled. I must have a ton of things given to me before I can even call a family. That being said.

I work with several schools, one in particular. It is a large school in the county and I am sure the assistant principal is busy. I just wish he would understand that I need him to do his part before I can do mine. He hands me a phone number and expects me to enroll the student. I need more info. I ask the school to inform the family that I will be contacting them. The recent family doesn't speak English. The student does, but according to school, "Dad speaks a little English." Great! So now I have to cold call them and try to explain who I am and why I am calling. To top it all off, I have no clue what I am supposed to do with the student once I get them.

So, why do some people think the rules don't apply to them? What makes them so special that they think they can bypass steps 1-4 and magically have everything they want? How do you get those people to understand the process? I have explained it several times. I guess another email is in order.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Drama

As if the last couple days of a nine week period aren't crazy enough around here......I had a student hit by a car today on his way to school. He was riding his bike across the crosswalk by the mound (if you are familiar with Angola, you know where I am talking about) and a truck hit him and then left! I had to call the cops and the student had to give a police report. He didn't have much to tell. He was too busy "sliding across the pavement" to get a good look at the vehicle. His knee is scraped open and his pants have a big hole in them, but he will survive.

Playing in the leaves










He didn't actually eat any leaves, in case you were wondering.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Goat Killer

We own a goat that lives out at my brother-in-laws. We bought a goat when we put Taylor on goats milk. When we bought the goat, we didn't know her name. Once we got her formal registration paperwork we laughed. Our goats name is Taylor as well. Taylor Maid to be exact, but that's beside the point.

So we dried Taylor Maid up and decided to breed her. They took her to a man in Ohio who has a buck of the same breed and they thought the kid would be a good goat (we are hoping for a female, more milk.) They waited till Taylor Maid was in heat and put her in the pen with the buck. They came back a little while later and the buck was dead. They think he died of a heart attack during the act. So we don't know if Taylor Maid is pregnant or not.

I was talking to my brother-in-law about the buck and he said, "Yeah, but what a way to go!" Only a male would think that way!

What a morning

So I had a student come to me this morning and confide in me that she found out she is pregnant. She has gone to the doctor and told her family. The principal from her "home" school was in my office this morning so I encouraged her to tell the principal this morning. We have arranged what will happen with her schooling. My heart aches for this student. I have had her in both the night and the day program. She has made some serious strides towards growing up and becoming accountable for herself, but at 17 she is not ready for a child. I asked her if she was on vitamins and she said, "My mom got me some fish oil." I told her to go to Meijer today after school and get the vitamins for free from the pharmacy. I told her that I would go with her to tell her probation officer sometime this week. She wants to hide it from her PO, but I am trying to make her see that she needs to be an adult and tell her PO now.

It's just devastating because she is only 17 years old an in no shape to raise a child. I have no doubt her mother will help and the father of the child is looking for a job, but she needs to finish school first.

On the brighter side of things, another student decided he wanted a job this morning so he went out and got one! That made my day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

God cracks me up

I have a theory that God has an odd sense of humor. This situation might not be so much humor as an off beat way of reminding me.

It has been a year since I had a student commit suicide. Yesterday another student and I were reflecting on the events this time last year and remember the positive things the now deceased student had done for all of us. This morning I casually mentioned to some co-workers that it has been a year. They blew me off. I was upset. She was partially ignored in life, which is why she chose to leave early and they have already forgotten her. It's only been a year.

I came back to my office to think about everything. I decided it was too quiet so I turned on yahoo music and the first song that came on was Skillet's "The Last Night." I knew that was Him telling me, keep remembering her. I had never heard that song till last year right after I learned of my student's death. The song just hit home. Even now, every time I hear it I think of her. So thanks God for allowing me to remember her. I hope I never forget!

In case you haven't heard the song, here are the lyrics.

You come to me with your 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

[Bridge:]The night is so long when everything's wrong
If you give me your hand
I will help you hold on
Tonight Tonight

[Altro:]I won't let you say goodbye
And I'll be your reason why
The last night away from me
Away from me

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Light Weight

So I like to look at all the pictures people post on facebook. It cracks me up to see how many pictures include alcohol. I often wonder if I missed out on anything by skipping that phase of my life. Alcohol has never been a big deal to me. I have only ever been to a bar 3 times in my life. I helped play DD after my 21st b-day. I am not against alcohol. I am against those who take it WAY TOO FAR. After looking at some party pictures yesterday (of a former student no less) I had to wonder. Do young people realize they can have a good time without alcohol? Can they get together and hang out without beer pong?

When I got home yesterday I decided to have a wine cooler with dinner. Yeah, big bad me had a wild berry wine cooler! 1 wine cooler made me so relaxed I feel asleep! I am such a light weight, but I like it that way!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Past

Why do people always dig up the past? Why can't they be content to learn from their mistakes and move on? Why can't they let others learn from mistakes and move forward?

I enrolled a student this morning who did something horrible (legally, that's all I can say). The student is now serving his time in the system and is trying to move forward with his life. It seems like dad won't let him. I understand wanting to make the whole experience an opportunity for growth and new wisdom, but constantly using the situation to oppress your child won't help. After meeting with the family for only 20 minutes I feel oppressed by dad and I don't have to live with him. Once dad left I told the student. "I know what you did, but that will not cause me to judge you. You have two weeks before you go back to court. Lets use that time for you to show me who you really are. I understand what you did, but in my eyes, that is in the past. Let's move forward and get on with life and back on track." The student seemed so relieved. Like someone understood. I think he really does understand the severity of the situation and I think he truly is remorseful. It was his first offense and I don't think he'll be an issue. I could be wrong, I've been buffaloed by kids in the past, but I really want to see this kid succeed so that he can look at his dad and prove he can do it. Heck, less than 24 hours of being removed from placement and sent home he got a job! That has to stand for something in the dad's eyes. I do understand the dad's desire for the student to help out monetarily. He is on home detention at a cost of $11 a day, plus drug screens (each one is $18) and my program is a cost of $15 a week (looks like he will be here till January). If I was the dad, I would look at that child and say, "Ok, you messed up. Let's get you back on track. I am proud of you for taking intuitive and owning up to your crime. I am proud of you for getting a job. What can I do to help you continue to succeed?"

Guess we have different parenting styles.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Job

I have decided that I have entered the wrong field of employment, here is why.

This morning I was watching the news. The weather man said that the rain wouldn't come till TOMORROW morning. As I am driving to work, the sky is getting darker and darker. The wind started picking up and leaves were flying everywhere. Then the rain came.

In what other job can you be wrong so many times, but keep your job? If I were to screw up like that the judge would have my butt out of the county so fast!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Baptism?

Saturday night Ayron was holding a very sleepy 3 year old right before service started. J was very tired and very out of it. All of the sudden Ayron looks at me and goes, "Uh oh. I'm warm." he tilts the still sleeping J backwards and we discover that J has "baptized" himself and Ayron. Ayron took J home and got him cleaned up and then dropped him back off at church. He then ran home and got a quick shower. J's mom was mortified. Everyone else thought it was HILARIOUS!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Foto Fun Friday






Friday Dawn and I took a "mental health day" from life. We ran around town taking pictures of Taylor. Here are some of the fun pictures we took. I've included the link to my facebook albums that have the rest of the pictures.






Thursday, October 09, 2008

Proactive

So I have decided to be proactive. I am going to start taking control of my life and get things done instead of waiting for things to happen. Sounds good right? Here is how I am going to start, and feel free to offer suggestions.

1.) Declutter- We have so much STUFF. It's just that, stuff. We don't use it. It could be highly useful to someone else, but we have no use for it. It merely takes up space in our garage and shed. Frankly, I would like to be able to park my car in the garage again. My plan to simplify? Ebay. Yep, we are going to go through some things and Ebay them. Ayron has experience doing that kind of thing thanks to Taylor Rental, so I am going to learn. There is also something cathartic about out with the old.

2.) Increase $- Don't misunderstand me, we are not greedy people. I am putting us on a VERY TIGHT monetary diet and all unnecessary spending will be cut. I will miss going out to eat after church on Saturday, but right now, that isn't a necessity. I would like to begin tutoring in the evenings, but I don't know how to go about advertising my services. I am a state licensed teacher and I have experience in all subject (just not advanced Math) and would be able to help with homework or studying for tests. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to start getting my name out there?

3.) Take ME Time- I don't really get a chance to do much for myself during the day, unless you count a shower. I am the type who would rather do everything for someone else than anything for herself. I might start going to MOPS at church. Even if it's just taking the dog in the backyard and playing with him. Something to de-stress.

So far that is all I have, but it's a start. I am really serious about starting to tutor students. I just really have no clue where to start. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. Thanks!

Cost of Education

As I am in the middle of dealing with a stupid student loan mess, I have to wonder: Why the heck is the cost of post high school education SO EXPENSIVE? If we want our public to be educated beyond high school, why not make it more affordable? High Schoolers are told over and over again about the importance of college, yet many of them can't afford to go.

It seems like certain groups are being punished for seeking a high education. Because I was fortunate enough to come from a middle class family I didn't qualify for certain scholarships and financial aid programs. I took out a loan for part of my year at Purdue, now that is coming back to bite me, and hard, in the butt. I was able to pay for most of IPFW as I went and I am thankful to not have that much debt, but it just seems crazy. You struggle for 4 or 5 years to get a higher education, and then you are out in the "real world." Many people don't land their dream job, or even a job in their field upon graduation so they can't financially pay off their loans right away. It's like they are being punished for several years after college (trying to pay off loans) for wanting to better themselves.

Why not make college affordable? I'm not saying free, but affordable, to EVERYONE! I have so many students that would excel in college, but they can't afford it. Yes, I understand, there are loans and scholarships, but those are few and far between right now (thanks to our messed up economy).

I'm having a hard time just keeping track of my one loan that I did take out during my time at IPFW. I did have it set up to be automatically withdrawn from our checking account. Well, the one place got bought out by another. I got a letter in the mail and then two payment books for the same loan. Each payment book has a different amount "to be paid" on a monthly basis. So this morning, I log onto the website and attempt to resign up for the payment to be automatically withdrawn from the account. The on line statement shows me how much more I owe on the loan, but when I click on "Automatic Payment" it says I can't sign up because I currently don't owe anything. What the heck? I'm sure I could pick up the phone and call, but I left the two payment books at home and I am in no mood to deal with an automated telephone system telling me to press "1" for an option and "2" for another. Just once I'd like to hear the computer generated voice say, "To speak to an actual human who can actually help you and not forward you one to someone else, please press '1.'" What are the odds that will ever happen? Slim to none I am guessing.

It's at times like these when I wonder and think back to The Giver. Maybe they (I know it's a made up story, but imagine with me) had it right. It's all set up for you, everyone is on the same playing field...but then you run into the "Big Brother is watching" issue and I do like my privacy.

I would love to be debt free. I wish I knew what that felt like. I would be ecstatic if we only had our house payment, cell phone, car, and utilities every month. I guess I keep hoping to win the lottery, but then again you have to play to win and right now we don't have any extra money to buy a ticket with. Not that I would waste any money on a ticket. I am wondering about selling some things we have on Ebay that we dont use anymore or heck, never used. Ayron is the Ebay king though, I know nothing about it. Maybe I'll spend tomorrow cleaning and seeing just what we have and getting rid of everything we don't use.

It seems like in a time of stress I clean, which reminds me, I need to change out laundry. But getting back to my point.

Why does higher education have to be so expensive?

Bad Morning Vent Session

Why can't things go well for us (Ayron and I) for more than 2 weeks. It seems like just when we think things are looking up, the bottom falls out. It is frustrating. We are trying so hard to live a good life and do the right things and it seems like every two steps forward lead to 3 steps back.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cancer

I learned this afternoon that our pastor, Ralph Diehl, has been diagnosed with prostrate cancer. Ayron and I were in the nursery on Saturday so we missed the news. I happened to catch a post written by our pastors son, Nathan.

After quickly scanning Pastor's blog, I began wondering and talking with God. Why him Lord? Why a servant of Your word? Then it hit me, why not him? Who better to have the faith and determination to beat this? Then I realized what song was playing on the radio, Natalie Grant's "Held." For those of you who are not familiar with that song, here are the lyrics

Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling

Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
Were asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our Savior
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

It's like God was telling me, "Shut and listen to the song Carma. I know what I am doing." I get it now, Thanks God.

Daily Monkey Dose

Ok people, it's time for you daily dose of Monkey!! Ok, so I am proud parent and I like to show off my child. This is also a way for my family to see recent pictures of TJ.




On a side note, I do have a couple of friends who are trying to have a child of their own. Please understand that I continue to pray for you and your success in that department. Do not think that since we were finally able to conceive we have forgotten about you, we haven't. Our prayers are with you. I hope that one day (soon) you will get to experience all that we are experiencing with Taylor (I hope you don't experience as many sleepless nights as we have lately).

My lazy boys chilling on the couch. Taylor loves to sit with daddy.
Playing in his exersaucer while Scooter longingly looks out the window.
One of his new outfits for pictures on Sunday.
The "poop" face captured on film (or should I say pixels)
Getting ready to bedtime.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

1 per family please

So after Ayron and I discovered that Wal-Mart feels Christmas is just around the corner (read previous post) we began discussing our first Christmas as a family of 3. We decided to create a rule when giving presents to Taylor. 1 toy present per family. Meaning his parents can only get Taylor one toy. His brother and his wife and kids can only get Taylor one toy etc. We do something different with my sister and mom (I want to do what we did last year Natty) so I don't think it will be an issue.

We told Ayron's parents our plan last night and of course "grandma" was upset.

Here is our thinking behind it. We don't want Taylor to turn Christmas into a materialistic holiday. That is not what the holiday truly means. We had the simplest Christmas last year with my family and I want to keep it that way. My sister and I played and colored while Ayron cooked. It was great family time, keyword FAMILY. We also don't have the space for a ton of toys. I am a firm believer in creating an active imagination in children and I don't feel overloading them with fisher price toys they will never play with is the way to do it. Call me crazy, but that's the way I feel. I know kids who have so many toys they don't know what they have. I want my children to understand that a present is just that, a present. Not something to be expected. I also want to have my children donate their gently used, but hardly played with toys to someplace before (or right after) the holidays. This way they can know the joy of sharing.

As soon as we told grandma Reeves our plan she immediately tried to find a way around it. "Well, what if I get him clothes, does that count as a toy?" Now what do I do?

Can't we have Thanksgiving first?

Ayron and I made a diaper run to Wal-Mart on Sunday and we decided just to walk around. We had been in the house all day and just wanted to stretch our legs. We went back to the "garden center" to discover it has already been turned into a Christmas center. Are you kidding me? Didn't we skip Halloween (we don't really celebrate it) and Thanksgiving?

I understand the economy is slow and they (stores) want to make as much money as possible this Christmas, but why start in October? Pretty soon they will start putting out Christmas supplies after Easter.

Gut Feeling

I have gut feelings and I almost always follow them. I can't think of a time when my gut led me the wrong way. I had a gut feeling something wasn't right almost to the minute my sister in law was hit by a semi. It seems my body is just in tune with my mind. I don't know how to explain it. When facing a decision I pray and go with my gut.

Last week I was sent a referral for my day program. For those of you who don't know what I do here is a quick summary. I run a school for students who have been suspended or expelled from local schools. This prevents them from being placed in "baby jail" and they are able to continue to earn their credits towards graduation until they are allowed back into their base school. I can get students several ways, through the schools, through the probation department, the judge can court order them in, and through DCS.

The referral I was sent was for a student that was court ordered into an educational program. The student was not court ordered into my program specifically. The school sent the necessary paperwork and I called the Principal to discuss the case. The principal informed me that the student in question was talking about blowing up the school and not caring who died in the blast. This is not the first time destructive comments were made by this student. In the past this student supposedly commented that they would like to sit in the parking lot and "pick off elementary school students." The principal informed me that this student comes from a house where access to weapons and ammo is unlimited. The student was expelled and temporarily placed. A psych evaluation was done and the doctor decided this student was not at threat to themselves or the community.

I had a bad feeling about this case from the beginning and the more I talked to the principal the more my gut talked to me. I discussed it with my boss and we decided against enrolling the student for a couple of reasons.

1.) The seriousness of the threats made.
2.) The fact that the student has access to weapons and knows how to use them.
3.) The length of the expulsion (we aren't meant to be a long term placement center)
4.) The fact that the student wasn't court ordered into OUR program but any educational program.
5.) The lack of information from the caseworker. They wouldn't release any info to me. In the past I have had full access to case files, background information and psych evaluations.

I informed the caseworker that we would not be interviewing/enrolling the student. My gut calmed down and I was able to feel some peace about the situation.

Now the mom is appealing the schools decision to expel her child. The superintendent called me yesterday to discuss the case. I informed him of our reasons (#1-5). He asked if there was anything we/they could do that would convince us to enroll the student in our program. I emailed my boss and he said, "If we see his psych eval I might think about it."

Well I still have this gut feeling. This student may not be a threat, but the fact that this was not the first destructive comments and the student has access to weapons scares me. How do I justify my "gut feeling" when I am asked why I won't offer an enrollment to him. "Well I'm sorry judge, but my gut tells me no." I don't think that would go well. I am trying to get my boss to back me on this decision so it has some more staying power if it comes back to the judge. It looks like the school will be forced to decrease the students expulsion link.

Am I wrong for standing by my gut feeling? Maybe this student is a good kid, but right now I am not willing to take that chance.

Our House...

Is a very very very fine house. Ok, so we live in a great part of Auburn with a great yard! Our house is older and a bit out of date, but I like it. I don't know why but I fell in love with it when we first walked through it.

Last night we had a contractor over (my father in law) to help us plan a spring remodeling project. Our house currently has 960sq. feet of living space. Our "4 Seasons" room doesn't count as living space. In fact, I wouldn't even call it a 4 seasons room, more like a 2 seasons room. Our goal is to completely gut it, redo the outside, new windows, new door, etc. This way we can make that our "living/play room." I can't wait to utilize that space...anywhooo.

So my mother in law and I were chatting and she told me that a family who attends the pre-school she works at (well, the child attends, not the parents) are in the middle of building a home. The play room is 1,200sq feet. THIS KIDS PLAY ROOM WILL BE BIGGER THAN MY HOUSE! That just seems wrong to me. What is he going to do with that much space? If he has enough toys to fill that large amount of space then he has too many toys!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ultimate Fighting

Saturday night Ayron and I watched the "Ultimate Fight Night" on CBS. We have done this before and I am still shocked that people willingly do this to their bodies. What is the point? Big deal, so you can spend all day in the gym and beat up another person in a cage. Good for you.

Awhile back our town had an ultimate fight night (not the ones held by the CCC). Ayron and I happened to be at Applebees for dinner and one of the fighters came in before the fight. He ordered an appetizer sampler platter and SEVERAL drinks. His bill was over $100. Keep in mind that only $10 of that bill was food. Then again, if I was going to get into a cage and fight maybe I would need a little liquid courage too. The next day Ayron and I saw the guy walking around Wal-Mart. His face was swollen, lips busted open, he was limping. Basically, it looked like he had been run over by a semi.

I just don't see why. What is the point? You roll around in some cage where there is already blood on the mat. My first thought was, "Do they test the fighters to make sure they don't have any blood born illnesses? How sanitary is it? Blood, sweat, tears, spit, yuckiness.

I did watch the female match. The one competitor, Gina, is actually one of the American Gladiators. It amazes me (we have seen two of her matches) how she takes some serious blows to the face, but she comes out looking just like she did going in. How is that possible? Her competitors are all beat up, bruised, bleeding, swollen, and she walks out of the cage with a split lip. I think her face may be made of concrete. Just a thought though.

I think it would be funny to see these cage fighters compete on "Dancing With The Stars." Lets see how graceful they are in high heels and tuxes!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Coca Cola

So, how many of you out there like Coca Cola? How many of you use it as a contraceptive? Yeah, that's what I thought. This was taken from msnbc.com

BOSTON - Deborah Anderson had heard the urban legends about the contraceptive effectiveness of Coca-Cola products for years.

So she and her colleagues decided to put the soft drink to the test. In the lab, that is.
For discovering that, yes indeed, Coke was a spermicide, Anderson and her team are among this year's winners of the Ig Nobel Prize, the annual award given by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine for oddball but often surprisingly practical scientific achievements.


The ceremony at Harvard University, in which actual Nobel laureates bestow the awards, also honored a British psychologist who found that foods that sound better taste better; a group of researchers who discovered exotic dancers make more money when they are at peak fertility; and a pair of Brazilian archaeologists who determined armadillos can change the course of history.

Anderson, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University's School of Medicine, and her colleagues found that not only was Coca-Cola a spermicide, but that Diet Coke for some reason worked best. Their study appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1985.
"We're thrilled to win an Ig Nobel, because the study was somewhat of a parody in the first place," said Anderson, who added that she does not recommend using Coke for birth control purposes.

A group of Taiwanese doctors were honored for a similar study that found Coca-Cola and other soft drinks were not effective contraceptives. Anderson said the studies used different methodology.

A Coca-Cola spokeswoman refused comment on the Ig Nobel awards.

So here is my question...do you drink the coke or put it in other places? Who seriously thought of this? Did they test this on humans? Are there people that desperate for money they would participate in this study?

As for the other awards....

Foods that sound better taste better. Ok, makes sense to me. I don't want to eat a dish someone has named "crap."

Exotic dancers make more money when they are fertile. It's called pheromones people. Women emit more of them when they are fertile and thanks to nature, it makes men well....you get my point. Happy guys will "tip" (is that the proper term) the dancer more.

I'm just gonna leave the armadillo thing alone. I don't really know where to go with that.

It amazes me that money is going towards this research. Why not spend the time AND money to find a cure for cancer, or bettering the world.

I also wonder how many experimenting teenagers who are too afraid to buy condoms will try the Coke approach when engaging in activities. Are we going to see a population boom due to a Coke failure?

If you go to www.msnbc.com you can read the rest of the article and it offers further explanations of the awards findings.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ayron Cheated!

Ayron cheated on Scooter! Someone brought in their newly rescued shelter Bassett and Ayron loved on him. Oh how I would love to bring home a buddy for Scooter (and I have had the chance) but we do have a 6 month old. Maybe we can just arrange a play date for Scooter.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Are you joking?

On the first Wednesday of every other month we have a big office meeting. Our advisory board meets and we go through all the formal motions, etc. Well, for each meeting I am in charge of getting the food around. We order food from the Wal-Mart deli since we have a credit card for Wal-Mart. Every other month for the past 2 years I have been ordering the same thing. The week before the meeting I call and place the same order as the time before.

This morning I went to Wal-Mart to get my order and alas, no food. They looked at me like I was crazy. They told me that I was in early and picked it up. Um...no. At ten o-clock this morning I was at my computer desk returning emails, I was not picking up my order. I told the lady that I called the order in for eleven o'clock and reminded her what I ordered. They looked in their cooler 4 times and still no food. The worker looked at me and said, "How do we know that you're from Community Corrections?" Ummm? The fact that I am wearing an embroidered polo and my county badge which clearly reads "Community Corrections" with my picture on it, is clipped to my collar might be proof that I am who I say I am! I had to laugh. After one more attempt to find my food in the freezer the worker said, "Oh well, guess we don't have it. We can give you the subs that are in the fridge though." I told her, "You already screwed up my order, why would I allow you to screw up another persons order!" I just grabbed some pre-made subs from their case and left. It ended up being cheaper and we didn't have nearly as much left over food as we usually do.

I guess it all worked out and everyone was happy with my last minute choice, but I had to laugh at the lady. "How do we know you're with Community Corrections?"
What more proof did they want? A copy of my pay stub?

Free Texting Is Great!

Ayron and I switched to Verizon for our cell phone carrier awhile back. I must say that I love the free and unlimited texting, pixing (is that the word), and video sending.

Last night MJ, Natty and I were extremely bored. We decided to send random video clips of what we were doing back and forth Here is the sequence of videos/pics sent back and forth over an hour time span.


videoThis is the video I sent to MJ and Natty of TJ cracking up.

videoSo MJ decided to show me just how fun it was to watch my sister iron pants. Well world, here is your proof that while my sister CAN iron pants, it's really not THAT thrilling.


videoSo I decided to show them just how thrilling it was at our house at that very moment! I know, the video is just so riveting, you can hardly stand it! (Sorry, I filmed it sideways, I always forget to flip my phone around when recording.)


videoOnce Natty finished her ironing, it was time to watch Nina play. Let me tell you people, this is the most active I have seen Nina in a long time. A couple of weeks ago, my mom dog sat and I went over to let the dogs out. I had to CARRY lazy butt Nina outside to potty because she wouldn't move off the couch.


So I decided to show them just how active our dog was being. Look at him, doing such a good job of holding the carpet down! I could have rotated this pic so that it was correct, but the shot looks so much better like this!

Fighting It

Have you ever fought off getting sick only to make yourself sicker? I am doing that this morning.

I woke up feeling fine, got around, dropped T. Monk off at the babysitter and came into work. Once I started checking emails and returning calls I started to feel like crap. The more I told myself, "You feel fine. You're not sick, you can't be sick." the sicker I feel.

Normally I would cave and go home, but today is the first Wednesday of the month which means I will be in a huge meeting around lunch time. I am the one who gets all the food around (I know, if I'm sick I should be handling food) and gets everything set up, etc. I am sure I could pass that task off onto someone else, but I hate doing that. I don't want someone to think I can't do my job.

The couch in my office is looking more and more inviting. I might just end up taking a nap before this meeting and then leaving early. I left early yesterday though for an appointment, grrrr. I AM NOT GETTING SICK!!

Save The TaTa's

Save the TaTa's is a campaign that supports breast cancer awareness, treatment, and prevention. October is breast cancer awareness month. Even if you or your immediate family hasn't been effected by this cancer, you probably know someone who has. I started thinking on the way to work and personally I can count 3 people in my immediate family (including Ayron's) who have been effected by this disease. We are lucky that two are still with us, but we have seen the struggle they face to stay cancer free.

If breast cancer runs in your family please be cautious. Do self exams, talk to your doctor, have a mammogram, whatever it takes to catch and stop the disease from effecting you!