Friday, January 30, 2009

Amish TV

We have what I call "Amish tv." We have a HD tv (it has issues, but some day we ill get a new one) and a pair of HD rabbit ears. So we get all of 12 stations, 3 of those being weather stations and 4 being PBS. I have discovered that I want dish.

I did some looking in Dish Network and I am asking for peoples opinions. Good, bad, ugly, etc. I am also curious what people pay for their services. I know that I would like to have a DVR and dish in 2 rooms. We really don't need 2 dvrs, so one will do.

Any advice, stories, tips?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I am deaf

My right ear is clogged. It doesn't hurt, but it is clogged. I can hear myself in my head, but can't hear things around me. It is more annoying than anything. I know it is because my ear drum is swollen/inflated. I was so close to just grabbing a screw driver last night night and jamming it in my ear. I didn't, but I really wanted this feeling to go away. So my right ear is 100% blocked and my left ear is functioning at about 50%. I don't have time for a doctors appointment, but I fear I may need to make one. They don't crackle or pop, and no fluid is leaking out.

HELP!! Besides puncturing my ear drum what can I do?!

At about 11 my ears went from annoying to painful so I drove myself on over to the local "doc in a box." I was not impressed.

The doctor said, "This normally happens to people after they have been swimming or flying. Have you done either recently?" My response: "I haven't swam in 2 years and flow in 5." She had the nerve to respond with, "Are you lying to me?"

What the heck? Yea, you caught me. I was lying about both. I hopped my private jet and flew to my family swimming pole in the Hamptons last night. Seriously?!

She was a big grandmotherly type lady with big grandmotherly type bosoms to match. She kept smushing my face into them while checking my ears and throat. No thank you ma'am, I have a set of those myself and I am not interested in yours!

She kept talking into my right ear (the one that feels 100% blocked) and I had to keep asking her to switch sides of the table and then she got annoyed. Well, my chart says "Right ear feels plugged" so lets not talk into the plugged ear!

When she was obviously done with her diagnosis, I again stressed, "My ear really hurts and it is driving me nuts. Is there any type of over the counter or prescription drop I can put in to help with the pain?" She said, "Do what I told you for 10 days and then if it's not better come back." Yeah, I don't think so. I will try her combo of over the counter meds, but I will not be going back there if I am still having problems.

I did not enjoy being treated like a drug seeking college kid. Yes I was dressed in a hoodie and sweatshirt (I felt like crap this morning and just didn't care to put on work clothes), but don't talk to me like I am stupid. I was using correct terminology and I am intelligent and a child of a nurse, I know some medical terms.

Then, I had to sign my life away at wal mart just to get a box of sudafed. I am thankful for the new "sign here" policy when it comes to drugs used to make meth, but it is a constant reminder how some idiots have ruined it for the rest of us.

Blech, I am grouchy. Time for my nap...but wait, I now get to go to the county heath department and get my next round of vaccines for work. I just want to go to bed!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I took a small road trip this weekend just to get out of dodge. While shopping I ran across a funny t-shirt. I decided to send a pic of the shirt with the caption, "We need to talk" to Ayron (who is out in Arizona on work).

Here is the shirt.

I thought I would get a phone call immediately. It was about 3 hours later my phone rang and Ayron was all out of breath.

A: "Do we need to talk?"

C: "I don't know, do we?"

A: "Oh my gosh we're pregnant!" - he was getting excited and talking really loud.

C: "Wait, wait, wait. We aren't pregnant, I just wanted to play a prank on you to see what you'd say."

A: " you're not pregnant?" - he was heartbroken!

C: "No, why, do you want me to be?"

A: "Yeah."

Let me end by saying that we are not trying to get pregnant. It is fun to watch TJ grow and he is learning so much. I can't imagine missing out on that because I was to sick to get up off the bathroom floor (I spent many nights on the bathroom floor when I was pregnant with TJ).

Also, to those of you struggling to conceive your first child, I have not forgotten you. You are in my prayers on a daily basis and I truly hope that you will soon be able to experience all that comes with having a child .

Kids Draw the Darnest Things

I know that I got this email from my dad, but I don't remember the explination. Maybe I skipped over it, but either way, it cracked me up!!Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it.

Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Mrs. Smith

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Confused Dog

I think Scooter thinks that "Daddy" left him for good! He sits in the front window all evening and sleeps on the couch as close to the front door as he can get. Anytime someone drives down the street (which is a lot since we live on a busy road) he jumps up to see if it's Ayron.

The poor guy is confused!

I have a new wrinkle

I once heard that when you learn something knew it creates a new wrinkle in your brain. Well, if that is true, then I have a new wrinkle.

I had training this morning on blood borne pathogens and hazardous materials. We had two "tests" to take during the training. I had both tests almost completed before training even began. It was common sense, but that isn't my point.

What I did learn today was the origin of "The Works" bathroom cleaner.

Way back when the steel mills started around Gary Indiana, the mills were producing a by product. It was a white fluid and they thought it could be hazardous, so they were paying some company to truck the substance out to Nevada and bury it. Well, someone in Indiana did some research and discovered it wasn't hazardous, so he contacted the mills and asked if they would give him the by product. Happy they didn't have to pay to truck it out west, they gladly agreed. That man turned the white substance into "The Works" bathroom cleaner!

So there is your new wrinkle for the day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History in the making

I am currently watching the inauguration of the president. I have my students watching as well. I don't think they get it. I don't think they realize they are watching a very historical moment. I don't think they realize that what they are watching now will one day be in History books. They are trying to be funny and crack jokes, etc. They just don't get it.

It doesn't matter if you like him or if you agree with his decisions, you have to admit that it is history. This is something that has never been done. We are living in a very historic time. We have witnessed several things that will be written about and that future generations will study in History class: September 11, 2001; the current war; the swearing in of the first African American president.

It is history people! I just wish I could get my students to understand the significance and all that had to happen in our history to allow an African American to even run for president, let alone to be elected.

Ice Fishing

Ayron's side of the family (mostly the guys and 2 of his nieces) are obsessed with ice fishing. I don't understand the appeal. Who wants to go out in the cold and sit on the frozen (aka: COLD) lake to fish?

A group of them are getting ready to go to southern Indiana to fish for a couple of days. One of the guys going is a "semi professional" fisherman with three hyper active boys! They have decided to let the boys go on the trip since their behavior at home as been improving. They are allowing my oldest niece to go because she made the honor roll.

When I was told this last night I made the mistake of speaking like an educator, "Oh that's smart, 'You did so well in school we are going to let you skip!'" My mother in law didn't like my comment.

Am I wrong in thinking that their justification for taking her on the trip is a bit screwy since they will be pulling her out of school? Maybe it is my educator mentality. Take her over a weekend, but not during the school week!

I never got rewarded for making the honor roll. In my house decent grades were expected. Sure I got verbal praise, but never anything tangible. I don't understand why parents give their children money for good grades. Then their child will expect to always be rewarded with something of monetary value. What about your child seeking praises from you instead of cash from your wallet? When did, "Good job son we are so proud of you!" (and hanging the report card on the fridge for all to see) become not enough?

Is my thinking screwed up? I am curious to see what Todd thinks!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tax Refund

I like doing our taxes. Our taxes are fairly simple and I use Turbo Tax (It's idiot proof!). I started our taxes last week and I love watching the return amount go up! I had big plans for that money. In my mind we were paying off bills and maybe going on vacation. Then Friday morning happened!

Long story made short: Our furnace hates us. It has a crush on Josh (our furnace man and friend) and will run just fine when Josh is over, but the instant he leaves, she throws a fit and won't run. I think she has a crush on him. In order to have heat we must hand lite the furnace. At night we just turn the furnace off. Well, seeing as how the weather was -30 this weekend, the cold water line to our washer froze and so did the drain for the washer.

As I listened to Ayron talk to his dad (via phone) I saw that tax refund dwindling before my eyes. We were able to fix the problem pipe for just $7!

We decided to take our tax refund and get a new furnace! Josh and Ayron (well, mainly Josh) can install it and they are going to rerun our duct work through the attic (right now we have old clay tile heat runs under our house). This way we can finish project number 2 that will be funded by the rest of our tax refund. We are redoing our backroom (the 4-seasons room). We are making it a permanent room that can actually be used! Yes folks, more room for when Ayron decides to have an impromptu New Year's Eve party! We are getting real windows (you should see what is in there now!), and a real back door (yeah, don't ask), insulation, drywall, etc! We will make it actual living space and thus increase the living space of our house and make it more appeal if we ever sell.

I guess the vacation can wait as long as I get my heat and a new room!

I don't do "being alone."

I suck at being alone. Sure, I like me "just me" time, but I suck at being alone. I have never had to be alone. I don't know my mom stands being alone. It just plain sucks.

Ayron leaves tomorrow afternoon for Scottsdale Arizona (really phoenix, but the auction is called the "Scottsdale Auction."). He will be gone a week.

Keep in mind I have never done the alone thing. I can count on one hand the number of times we have been apart since we have been married. 3 times. Once he went to Florida for a convention through Taylor Rental, once I went on an overnight training event for work, and just a couple of weeks ago he went to Minnesota for work.

I hate being away from him. Don't get me wrong, I will survive, but I will be bored. I think that if I didn't have the dog and Taylor I would be more ok that I will be (does that make sense?). Since I have the dog and Taylor I can't just up and leave and go places. I have to kennel the dog, put Taylor's coat on, make sure the diaper bag is packed, etc.

I am trying to think of things to keep myself busy. We have two new Wii games, I want to get caught up on some scrap booking, I should go to the library and pay for a book the dog ate, I want to make some wall art for Taylor's room, I could clean out the backroom and get it ready for demolition (more on that later). I am even thinking of taking a road trip.

Just pray for me. I don't do well alone and I hate going to bed alone. Sure, the first night it will be fun to sleep in the middle of the bed, but after that, I will miss my snoring like a lumber jack husband!

If you are in town and have nothing to do, feel free to stop by and say "hi." We can always play the Wii!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How did we get here?

Seeing as how it is the last day of the semester all my students are frantically trying to get their work done, thus it has been very quiet at work today.

I took some time to surf facebook and see who I could find. I have a lot of "friends" on my account. Most of them are people from high school. It is interesting to see A) If they know who you are when your last name just barely changed, and B) What they are doing now.

It is interesting to see who married whom, who moved away, who has kids, who has what job, etc.

I started to think, I graduated almost 8 years ago (man, that makes me feel old!). You start to compare where you are with where your former peers are. I know you shouldn't do that. Pastor Stein once referred to it as "grading yourself on a curve." We are all in such different places.

Some of us are in grad school, some of us are just starting school. Some are learning about diseases, some are trying to prevent them. Some are starting families while some are finding out who they really are.

Do you ever stop to think, "How did I get where I am now?" It can be a humbling experience. I can't believe it has been 8 years. The "discussion topic" on the Class of 2001 facebook page asks us to sum up what we have been up to in 50 words or less. Here is my response:

Ran away from life. Came back. Married an Eastside Grad (harass me later). Graduated. Found myself. Struggled. Found my true self. Landed a great job doing something out of the norm. Rediscovered old friends. Bought a house. Created life. Learned a lot about the “real world.”

I guess that is how I got where I am at. How did you get where you are?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

4th Grade Failed Them

This afternoon work improved. We decided to take a little time and challenge our students.

Quick back story: At one point one of our sophomores looked at us and said, "You drive west to get to Ohio right?"

We gave each student a blank map of the continental United States. First we had to explain the word continental. Then we challenged them to fill the map correctly. Only 2 students could complete our challenge. One of those students couldn't remember North Carolina and South Carolina. It was truly horrible. I was appalled at their lack of basic United States Geography knowledge.

We decided to up the challenge. They are all to study their corrected maps tonight. Tomorrow they will re-take our challenge. Those who are able to correctly complete their maps will win an award/prize.

As an educator I was appalled at their lack of knowledge about their own country. They all new that Mexico was South and Canada was North, but they didn't know where Louisiana was. I thought for sure with all of the recent hurricane coverage (in the past 4 years) they would have known that state. Of course they all knew Florida and thank God they all knew where Indiana was. We had a girl label California as New York (Same girl as the one in the back story).

Is our education system so bad or do I just have some students who can't remember Geography?


I don't like change. Sure, at times I live variety, but for the most part, I don't like change. I really don't like change when it comes to my job. It has taken us 2 1/2 school years to get to were we are now. We are finally efficient and the program is running smoothly without any hiccups. My theory is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Well change is coming and I am resistant. I expressed my concerns about this change with my boss and he did have a valid explanation for each concern. He thought of everything that I did. Secretly I was hoping to bring up something he hadn't thought of and hear him say, "You're right, it won't work. Lets just forget it." That didn't happen. I met with someone who will be a major part of the change yesterday and frankly, I was a bit crappy with her. Who does she think she is walking in and trying to change our program. She didn't help build it from nothing to what it is now. She didn't even know where our building was, let alone anything about our program till 2pm yesterday. Then she was in the building all of 5 seconds before she started criticizing what we do. I was really upset! I don't know what she was told, but she is horribly mistaken if she thinks she is going to change this program from an education program to something else. My priority is my students and their learning.

I started thinking about it last night as I was stewing over the days events. Am I so resistant to her because of who it is or am I fighting the change because I wasn' t asked? I realized I am fighting the change because I wasn't even asked. I think I am hurt that my boss didn't ask my opinion on the changes. I had no clue the changes were coming. Heck, his office is in another building and he really doesn't even know how we operate. It is just frustrating to have someone just walk in and think they can take over. I have to keep reminding myself that I do have the final say and that I need to stand my ground. My priority is my students and their education. I think the reason I have to remind myself to stand up for my program is because the person coming in is older. The whole "respect your elders" rings in my ears. I need to make sure when/if I have to stand my ground I make sure my words are not hurtful, but that I still get my point across.

She is coming in again today to observe and see how we do what we do. It's frustrating. Tomorrow is the end of the semester so it is organized madness to begin with and then to throw her in the mix...then again maybe it will discourage her and show her that her ideas about our program and how it should be run are wrong. Is it wrong of me to think that?

I don't want to seem selfish, but gosh darn, it is my program and I don't want to see it change and then fall apart like the after school program did.

On the good news side of life....We are still struggling with funding. We used to be solely funded by DCS, but Mitch is messing with how things are done and now I have no clue. I had to write a petition to the state, etc. It looks like my petition will uphold, (they keep calling for more info) and I was awarded a small grant to keep my doors open for the rest of this school year. My boss talked to the judge who handles the juveniles cases and the judge said that if our funding falls through he has money in his budget he will use to keep YIDP open for the 2009 - 2010 school year! Yeah, my job is safe for one more school year!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Men's Brains vs. Women's Brains

My church, New Hope, has been viewing the marriage seminar "Men's Brains Women's Brains." It has been a real eye opener and Mark Gunger has a way to putting things bluntly in a way you never thought of before. If you have never heard of the seminar, I suggest you head on over to youtube and search it.

Mark Gunger will be at First Assembly in Fort Wayne early this year (can't remember the date) but I highly encourage every couple (married, engaged, seriously dating) to attend. It will be an eye opener to both parties in the couple.

One of the things Mark said last night cracked me up. He said, "Wearing a condom during sex (meaning sex inside of a stable, monogomous marriage) is like wearing a sock on your tongue while trying to eat an icecream cone." I laughed so hard, I immediately texted that quote to a friend of mine. Her reply, "Yeah, or like rubbing a steak on your stomach."

But on a serious note, check out his material (youtube has a TON).

For those of you who were at last nights session, I came home to find the bed made (ding), his dirty jeans acutally IN the hamper (ding), and the laundry folded (ding)!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Always get a second opinion.

The doctor said, 'Joe, the good news is I can cure your headaches. The bad news is that it will require castration. You have a very rare condition, which causes your testicles to press on your spine and the pressure creates one hell of a headache. The only way to relieve the pressure is to remove the testicles.' Joe was shocked and depressed. He wondered if he had anything to live for. He had no choice but to go under the knife.

When he left the hospital, he was without a headache for the first time in 20 years, but he felt like he was missing an important part of himself. As he walked down the street, he realized that he felt like a different person. He could make a new beginning and live a new life. He saw a men's clothing store and thought, 'That's what I need... A new suit.'

He entered the shop and told the salesman, 'I'd like a new suit.' The elderly tailor eyed him briefly and said, 'Let's see... size 44 long.'

Joe laughed, 'That's right, how did you know?'

'Been in the business 60 years!' the tailor said.

Joe tried on the suit it fit perfectly. As Joe admired himself in the mirror, the salesman asked, 'How about a new shirt?'

Joe thought for a moment and then said, 'Sure.'

The salesman eyed Joe and said, 'Let's see, 34 sleeves and 16-1/2 neck.' Joe was surprised, 'That's right, how did you know?'

'Been in the business 60 years.' Joe tried on the shirt and it fit perfectly. Joe walked comfortably around the shop and the salesman asked, 'How about some new underwear?' Joe thought for a moment and said, 'Sure.' The salesman said, 'Let's see... size 36.

Joe laughed, 'Ah ha! I got you! I've worn a size 34 since I was 18 years old.'

The salesman shook his head, 'You can't wear a size 34. A size 34 would press your testicles up against the base of your spine and give you one hell of a headache.'


I know I am going to sound like a geezier, but kids these days!

Brief recap for those of you who don't know what I do: I run a school for students who are in the justice system and have been suspended or expelled from school. Instead of going to "baby jail" (really called Placement), they are allowed to live at home and come to my school for their education.

It is amazing how these kids don't realize how lucky they have it. I could have denied their enrollment and sent them on their merry little way to baby jail till the start of next school year. I have 2 kids starting today for a grand total of 9 (doesn't sound like a lot, but they are all in at least 2 classes and are all at different learning levels. I take 6th thru 12th grade).

The high school newbie (as we call them) walked in like he owned the place. I had arranged for him to be picked up, yet he magically appeared (strike one. I sent my van driver to your house, he is probably waiting on you and you didn't call to tell me you didn't need a ride.) He didn't have any of his work (he was provided with a TON of work to do at home over break but brought none of it back. (Strike 2). He won't shut up. I have asked him several times to sit and do his work, yet he keeps talking. If this keeps up, he will be out by noon and probably in placement by 3.

Do these kids not understand or do they not care? I don't like to use the scare tactic approach, but placement is scary! Do they think it will be a piece of cake? What can I do to make them see, it's this way or baby jail? They just don't care. It is sad.

We all had a big "Coming to Jesus" meeting (that's just what I call it) right after lunch. I found some very inappropriate notes, etc. So we had a talk, I don't yell. I can't yell, then the kids could tell the judge I yelled at them. Then once we were done with our talk, a probation officer stopped in and she gave them a good discussion with a mix of yelling.

I have two problem groups right now: 2 freshman girls and a group of disrespectful males. I think the girls finally got it after probation stopped over, I don't think the guys get it.

I started thinking, I need a semi scary (if he needs to be) guy who can also be a positive influence and role model. One who has his act together and decent math skills (not my area of knowledge). I logged on to facebook and lo and behold God sent me an angel in the form of Josh M.

For those of you (New Hope) who know Josh M. you are probably thinking, "Him? He likes potty humor." Literally, he will tell you, "I have to fart." But he knows the correct setting. He knows when he can mess around and when he shouldn't. Think about it people. If he has to get mean/mad his face matches his hair (for those of you who don't know, red). He is an ex-military guy(face it, they can yell if they need too and also be strict). He is married (to the mother of his two children no less!) with two sons. He is going back to school. He is perfect for the job! I asked him and thankfully, he said he was interested. Sometimes God sends you your answered prayer in the form of fart humor.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I Am Cursed

Pink eye loves me. This is my third go around with it in years. This time I don't know where I "caught it" from. No one I know has it (unless they aren't telling me) and none of my students have it. Blech. I was lucky enough to have my doctor call in a script for the drops.

What really irritates me is the fact that I had to throw out my last pair of contacts because of it. I am long over due for an eye exam but I keep putting it off. Guess I have no choice now. I am wearing my glasses, but they keep sliding down my nose and I just plain hate wearing glasses. My eye doctor and my eye doctor connections moved to S. Carolina so I will begin the hunt for a new doctor this afternoon. I don't have vision insurance so part of me is looking for cheap, but then again, you don't always want to go cheap when it comes to your health. Anyone have a doctor to suggest?

I am considering Wal-Mart. I guess since I haven't paid for vision care in a while so I was shocked by the price.

I was talking to a co-worker and rumor is there is a place in Angola that gives good discounts to county government employees.

Either way I am stuck with glasses till next pay check. We are paying off some bills and just getting out from debt and stretched ourselves tight this last pay period. Ayron's traveling and bonuses will help though! I should have just caved and gotten the surgery, but NNOOOO. I am a wuss.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Funny Pictures

I finally got around to uploading some holiday pics to facebook, but thought I'd post a couple here too. I have decided to let you make up your own captions. Admit it, it is more fun that way!!

Fun Video of Taylor


A bunch of us got together to play cards (and have an ugly sweater party) the other night. Since 5 out of the 8 people are teachers, we were talking about our students. We were recalling moments when students thought they had gotten away with something.

Ashley said she caught a student (keep in mind she teaches either kindergarten or 1st, I forget) signing his own notes home to his parents. I comments, "Oh, that must have been easy to tell. There is no way his handwriting would be as good as his parents." Ashley replied, " was actually really easy to catch him. He signed his note 'Mom.'"

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year

I don't usually make resolutions, but this year I decided I should. I didn't want to set the bar too high, no need to risk horrible failure right?

I will become more organized. I am organized like crazy at work, but at home, not so much. I also realized how unorganized my spiritual life is. Ayron and I bought a binder (help me out here New Hope people) from church to help with that. Time management and making sure I take time for myself! I scheduled a hair appointment for this week and a doctors appointment for later this month. Me time!! Now if I only knew what to do with my hair!

Eat better. I have decided to stop going out for lunch and to pack my lunch. I bought a bunch of healthy lunch options: low fat, low sodium soups, etc. I am also going to be more aware of serving sizes, etc. I had a co-worker tell me, "No one told me you were expecting again." Yeah, that hurt, but the look on her face when I said, "Oh I'm not, just fat!" was priceless! I am also going to avoid pop and make better choices when we go out with the gang after church. Feel free to call me out on my food choices people, someone has to make me accountable!

Deal with the issues NOW. I tend to put things off. If I know it will be a "confrontation" I will try to avoid it. That doesn't work and just causes unnecessary stress. I need to realize that I am an adult, I am allowed to have my thoughts and opinions and I can express them (with careful word choices). I also just bury emotional issues. I realized that I hadn't been opening up to Ayron about a problem at work (I will address it this week in my weekly meeting....I promise!) and once I started blabbering about it, I felt better. He was able to give me some insight and help me think things through. I didn't realize I hadn't been opening up to him and that is why he thought I was pulling away.

So there you have it, now help me stick with it!

2 weeks off

I just came back from Christmas break. I had plenty of time saved up so I was able to take the full two weeks off!! I even went the full time out any email, blogs, or facebook (except via my phone)!

Nothing major to report. Sure I have a lot of little things floating around in my head, but not checking your work email in two weeks can be an issue. Turns out I have a ton of important government forms due tomorrow!

Hopefully by the end of the week things will calm down and I can get back to blogging, for my own sanity!