Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Starting to Freak

So I am going to admit something.....I am starting to freak out about having another kid. I know, I know, kinda late huh?!

TJ was throwing a wonderful 2 year old tantrum (actually, his aren't that bad and have just recently begun in the last month) and I looked at Ayron and said, "What were we thinking wanting another one?" Potty training has been a nightmare and TJ's sudden attitude shifts from happy to demon possessed child make me wonder what we are in store for with Isabella (or Ella as I have taken to calling her). I know that each child is different, but I still can't help but wonder.

I am also starting to freak out about the actually birthing process, for like the third time this pregnancy. TJ's was such a traumatic birth that the thought of having to do that again makes me want to never get Ella out. At one point Ayron and I were discussing using a birthing center. We talked to our mid wife (she is associated with the center) and even talked to insurance provider, etc. Now I am leaning towards the hospital, for several reasons. At first I thought a short length of stay would be great (at the birthing center) because then we could get back to taking care of TJ, the dog, etc. My Aunt has agreed to come up and help with the 2 kids we already have (Scooter and TJ) while I recovering from having the 3rd. I know the cost factor has played a part in Ayron's mind. He doesn't want to start labor at the birthing center then have to go to the hospital for some reason and then have two bills. I am really leaning towards actually using pain meds during this birth. If I were to deliver at the birthing center, I would not have access to any pain meds. I have not made up my mind 100% on the use of pain meds, but I want that option there. I was talking to a friend (she is due a week after me with her second daughter) yesterday and we both decided we like how we get "pampered" at the hospital and I think I want that. Now I just have to tell our mid wife that I am wanting to deliver at the hospital. She is awesome and won't care, but for some reason I am nervous about telling her.

I also keep having this reoccurring dream that I have to have an emergency C-section. I really don't want to deal with the recovery from a C-Section! At our big 20 week ultrasound Ella was breech, but dang that child moves ALL THE TIME. Even if she does get herself head down, I doubt she'll stay there! I am hoping to have another ultrasound tomorrow to determine her position.

In some ways having 12 weeks left seems like such a long time, in other ways, 12 weeks is not nearly enough time! I want to meet her so badly, but I also feel like we need more time to get her room cleaned out, painted, furniture set up, etc. Heck, she only has 2 onsies and some booties right now! I need to go through TJ's old stuff and pull out the gender neutral clothes and start hunting for some pink and purple stuff!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not Scared of Anything, Except Maybe This Book

I suggested to my sister that she and dad record some books for TJ for Christmas. My dad has recorded one before and TJ loves to hear grandpa's voice. Nat and Dad recorded two books for TJ for Christmas. When he opened We're Not Scared of Anything he immediately flipped to the last page. The last page begins with my sister "roaring" very loudly. Tj dropped the book, grabbed his mouth, and then whispered, "I peed." As soon as Natalee stopped roaring and began reading, TJ realized who it was. He got a very confused look on his face and said, "Natalee a liren?" (lion). He still flips to the page and roars right along with her. I wish I would have had my phone out the first time he opened to that page. The look on his face was priceless. I was able to capture him "reading" it later in the day. Here is some of the footage I caught.

Year End Wrap Up

It doesn't feel like the year should be coming to an end. Heck, it didn't even feel like Christmas time this past weekend. 2010 had it's ups and downs and I think we are finishing on a high note, so I am thankful for that.

I am curious to see what 2011 holds for us. It seems we have several avenues we could take, but are just being patient and praying for wisdom and guidance. I think He is using this time to teach me patience, so it is especially frustrating for me.
The holiday's were good. We had plenty of family time and I enjoyed watching TJ discover his new toys (nothing fancy or electronic) and interact with all his cousins and relatives. We did have some heart break. My great Uncle CJ passed and we are dealing with a reoccurring cancer on my husband's side. I know these things only bring us closer and make us stronger, but they still made the holiday's bittersweet.

I don't make resolutions, why set myself up for failure? I am simply looking forward to what He has in store for us and meeting the little girl that will make our family complete!

Here are some pictures from Christmas for your viewing pleasure (that and I can't get on facebook from here to upload them, so at least this way I can get some of the pictures out there).
Santa (aka: Pat Bennett) showed up at Leah's house, so we had to go say "hi."
Tj wouldn't get off the floor to go to the Christmas Eve service at church.
How many Reeves does it take to build a train table?

Scooter guarding the "wrapped" train table.

Tj on Christmas morning.

The shirt my mom got TJ for next Christmas.

My youngest niece modeling her new fashion skills.

My mom decided that Marisa's new life like baby doll needed tending. The baby actually blinks, coos, sucks on a pacifier, etc. Mom was rocking it and it was hysterical!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chicken Bundles


2 cans of crescent roll dough
6 oz of cream cheese, softened
13 oz canned chicken
garlic powder, to your taste
green onion, to your taste
sesame seeds


Mix together the cream cheese, chicken, garlic powder, and green onion. Let sit all mixed together for an hour (in the fridge).

Unroll the crescent roll packages, but don't pull them apart into triangles. Keep every 2 triangles together and press the perforations together to make a rectangle (each package of crescent rolls will make 4 bundles). Gently use your hand to push the rectangle into a bigger square.

Put a decent sized spoonful in the middle of each crescent square. Fold up the corners and sides of the crescent dough around the filling. There is NO wrong way to do this. Just make sure all the sides are seamed shut. Continue making bundles till you have all 8 made.

Place on a lightly greased (I lined a cookie sheet with foil and then sprayed the foil) sheet. Brush the tops (lightly) with water. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes.

Next time I make these we are going to make a buffalo chicken type filling. It's a general concept that could really be used with any type of filling.

If you want to see a picture of the finished product, check out my mobile uploads on my facebook page.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Pants On The Ground

I was reminded of this song today. Apparently properly wearing your pants around your waist is too difficult for my male students. I snapped. I should not be able to see the "fly" on your boxers. The back pockets on your pants should not be sagging down to the back of your knees. Why is it so freaking hard to wear them correctly? Here is what gets me, they all belt them at the sagging length. NO MORE KIDDO's! The suspenders are coming out tomorrow and I will make sure you look like Urkle. I don't care if you are uncomfortable, I shouldn't have to constantly remind you to pull your britches up! I come to work to educate, not run the risk of seeing your teenage anatomy!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Time to Rant

I read a friends facebook status the other day that talked about how she was sick of hearing people complain about what they didn't have. It didn't hit home until a recent conversation I had with an individual.

This individual was complaining about a lack of "cost of living" increase in her husbands pay for the 2011 year. I quickly said, "I haven't had a raise in 4 years, so I don't really see where you are coming from." She quickly got defensive and I just let the conversation drop.

The more I think about it the more upset I get. Shouldn't she be happy that both she and her husband (has a NICE, cushy, high paying job) have jobs? She doesn't have to work, she chooses to so that she has something to do on a daily basis. They just took a nice 2 week long vacation and are taking a cruise in June. The live in a nice neighborhood, drive new cars, and their children want for nothing. Shouldn't she be happy that she has that much? I think the reason I get so frustrated with her is because she was raised in a different social class and currently still is in a different social/financial class (of this I am not jealous, I truly think I am more grounded and "normal") and she just can't see things from another perspective. She has never had to budget, save up for something, wait for it to go on sale, etc.

I know that I am just as guilty of this, but I am trying to get that under control. I am thankful for what I have. Could we use some more comforts in our life? Some would argue yes, others would argue no. I am grateful to have a full time job with benefits that I love (most days). Would it be nice if Ayron had a full time job with a consistent pay check, sure. We are finding ways to make ends meet, so it's ok. Would it be great to be able to take a vacation, heck yes. But we find ways to make do with what we have (date night, close attractions, etc).

So this holiday season, stop focusing on what it is that you DON'T have and start looking at what you DO have. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you get to eat at least twice a day? Do you have a coat? Boots? Warm clothing? Do you have family that loves you? Why focus on the things you don't have, when you can look at the ways you have been blessed.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Jernigan Auctions and Real Estate

Ayron has recently began working for Jernigan Auctions and Real Estate. We have known the owner, Ryan Jernigan, for years (Ryan's mother's sister is actually married to Ayron's mom's brother...think about...draw a family tree if you are still confused).

Ryan, Ayron, and Ryan's brother are all graduates of Repert's School of Auctioneering and hold valid Indiana Auctioneer's licenses. Ryan is a licensed real estate broker and hopefully Ayron will be going to school to become a real estate agent. Ryan is also a licensed fire arms dealer.

If you are looking to sell or buy a house, antiques, guns, collectibles, tractors, arcade items, etc. Let Ayron know. He would be happy to hook you up!

Next Thursday they will be auctioning off a house in Kendallville at NO RESERVE!! They have an arcade auction scheduled for December 11th in Auburn, and a winter consignment and gun auction on the 18th of December.

Need to pare down on your belongings? Looking to find a great deal on an awesome Christmas present? Check out their website and call Ayron.

Ok, my shameless plug is now complete.

Early Nesting

I have been "nesting" for the past month. It is driving me crazy! I can only clean and re-organize my desk at work so many times. I have filed and refiled the same things in an attempt to calm my urges.

I have cleaned out TJ's closet, his dresser, his toys, and his book case. I have actually managed to find a desk under the pile of ruble in my home office. I made Ayron help me reclaim our hall closet. Ayron cleaned out and organized the garage and started working on the backroom this week as well.

I made a "to do" list around the house and am slowly working on that (paint touch ups, etc). The only thing left to do is conquer the closet in what will be Isabella's room (now we call it the office or the dog's room). This closet is FULL of craft supplies, scrapbook stuff, and books. I am afraid of what I will find in there! I hope to start this project sometime this weekend. My goal is to just pare down our belongings. If we don't use it on a daily basis, it's got to go.

I didn't start this freakish nesting phase with my first pregnancy till about week 38 (keep in mind I went to 42 1/2 weeks, so I had 4 1/2 weeks to freak out and clean). I reorganized the pyrex/mixing bowl cupboard about 4 times...which reminds me, I need to do that again.

My mind never stops! The problem is that the urge hits when I am at work. By the time I get home around 4ish, I have no energy to actually do anything. With the holiday season approaching and Ayron's new job (post about that later) taking off, we have very little time together on the weekends. Good thing I have till March to get this all done.

If anyone is looking for the perfect present for me, a maid would be awesome....I am totally joking...maybe.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Only My Mom

Last evening TJ and I had a "mommy and son" date night at home. Ayron was at an auction for work so TJ and I took the opportunity to hang out. I turned off the TV, and turned on the radio and we worked on some Christmas projects.

As we were cleaning up our mess, TJ ran into the living room to dance, did a funky move, and fell on his stomach. He came back into the kitchen and told me, "I hurt my tummy." I thought he fell on a toy and bruised himself. I gave it a quick kiss and sent him back to dancing.

About 20 minutes later my mom stopped by with a blood pressure cuff (thank you cruddy family genetics for my blood pressure issues). I had just taken the cuff off when TJ walked over to me and I noticed he was bright red. I thought maybe he was trying to poo. As I was getting ready to usher him into the potty, he spewed. I mean like a volcano (sorry if you have a weak stomach). My mom stood up, had a helpless look on her face and then just started to laugh. I am not kidding you. My mom, one of the most compassionate people on the earth, stood there and laughed as my son covered me in a pile of half digested cheese, bologna and crackers. I then began to gag (I was covered and SOAKED), which only caused my mom to laugh harder!

It took us both a minute to get our wits about us. I was finally able to stand up and usher TJ into the bathroom. Mom stripped us both down and threw us in the shower, the whole time, you guessed it, LAUGHING! I managed to send 2 texts to Ayron before getting in the shower informing him to get home quick and help! By the time we got out of the shower, Ayron was already home and cleaning up the mess. We did have one causality in the process, our satellite remote! We happened to have an old one and called dish network to have them walk us through programing it. The tech was like, "why not just use the old one?" Ayron said, "My son just puked all over it and frankly, I don't want to touch it." The tech said, "Oh.....gross."

We spent the rest of the evening (till close to midnight) trying to comfort TJ (who got sick 3 more times, but thankfully we were prepared and had a bucket right by him). I still can't believe my mom laughed. All she could tell Ayron was, "I just started laughing." Great mothering skills there mom :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Never Grow Up

I recently checked out Taylor Swifts new cd from the library. I am really not a big Taylor Swift fan, but wanted to see what the hype was all about. I came across the song Never Grow Up and while I know Taylor doesn't have a child or who her motivation was when singing this song, it made me think of TJ.

Never Grow Up

Your little hands wrapped around my finger
And, it's so quiet in the world tonight
You're little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming
So, I tuck you in
Turn on your favorite night light

To you, everything's funny
You got nothing to regret
I'd give all I had, honey
If you could stay like that

Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
It can stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart
And no one will desert you
Just try to never grow up, and never grow up

You're in the car on the way to the movies
And, you're mortified
Your mom's dropping you off
At fourteen, there's just so much you can't do
And you can't wait to move out someday and call your own shots
But, don't make her drop you off around the block
Remember that she's getting older too
And don't lose the way that you dance around in your PJ's getting ready for school

Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
It can stay this simple
And no one's ever burned you
Nothing's ever left you scarred
And even though you want to
Just try to never grow up

Take pictures in your mind of your childhood room
Memorize what it sounded like when your dad gets home
Remember the footsteps, remember the words said
And all your little brother's favorite songs
I just realized everything I had is someday gonna be gone
So, here I am in my new apartment
In a big city, they just dropped me off
It's so much colder than I thought it would be
So, I tucked myself in and turned my night light on

Wish I'd never grown up
I wish I'd never grown up
Oh, I don't wanna grow up
Wish I'd never grown up
Could still be little

Oh, I don't wanna grow up
Wish I'd never grown up
It could still be simple

Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up
Just stay this little
Oh, darling don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up

It can stay this simple
I won't let nobody hurt you
Won't let no one break your heart
And even you want to
Please, try to never grow up

Oh, whoa
Don't you ever grow up
Oh, whoa
Never grow up
Just never grow up

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1 Cookie, 2 Ways

I stumbled across an amazing cookie recipe. I made it for the first time last night and well, darn it, they are tasty! Here is my proof. My mom, who NEVER eats raw cookie dough, was caught sticking her finger into the batter! I tried the first version last night and you better believe I am going to attempt to make the second version tonight! So here it is!

Version 1: Vanilla with Chocolate Chunks


1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2-1/4 cups flour
1 pkg. (12 oz.) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks


HEAT oven to 375°F.

BEAT butter, sugars, dry pudding mix and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs and baking soda; mix well. Gradually beat in flour. Stir in chocolate.

DROP teaspoonfuls of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.

BAKE 8 to 10 min. or until golden brown. Cool 3 min. on baking sheets. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

My Changes
I used real butter. I only ever have real butter in the house around the holidays. Nothing makes the best pies, cookies, desserts like real butter!

I started by dropping the cookie dough on the sheet, but decided that the "peaks" were getting brown faster than the rest of the cookie. I then started rolling the dough into balls before placing them on the cookie sheet. This allowed for a more even browning on the cookie.

Next time I might actually use chocolate chips instead of the chunks. Don't get me wrong, I love chocolate as much as the next gal, but some of the cookies were full of chunks and hardly any batter.

Version #2: Chocolate with White Chocolate Chunks


1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 (3.9 ounce) package JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 (6 ounce) package BAKER'S White


HEAT oven to 350 degrees F.
BEAT butter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add dry pudding mix; beat until well blended. Add eggs and baking soda; mix well. Gradually add flour, beating after each addition until well blended. Stir in chocolate.

DROP tablespoons of dough, 2 inches apart, onto baking sheets.

BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 min. on baking sheets; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

My Changes

I DO NOT like white chocolate. Heck, it's not even really chocolate! I have decided to use Reese's peanut butter chips instead. Who doesn't like chocolate and peanut butter?!

I plan on rolling the dough into balls before baking like I did with the "vanilla" version.

Ayron loves the holidays because that is the time I really hit the baking hard. I will try just about any cookie, pie, cake recipe I can find. He is always my guinea pig and it's not like he minds!

Monday, November 22, 2010

4 Years Have Passed

In some ways 4 years seems like a lot of time. Other times, it seems like such a short span. 4 years. 1460 days, or 35,040 hours, or 2,102,400 minutes. December 7th will always hold a special (is it odd to call it special?) day in our hearts. December 7th is the day that everything changed.

Every year I blog an update on or around December 7th. Partially for the semi driver, who witnessed the crash, who I hope still checks in, and mostly for me. Now that this blog automatically uploads to facebook, I really can't be sure who reads it. Heck, Nikki might find it, or McKenna (my niece), Cindy (Nikki's mother), or any other host of family and friends. While I am not going to seek them out and say, "Hey read this." I am not going to try to hide it from them either.

For those of you who didn't know about the accident, or had never read my updates, here they are, in chronological order.

This year has brought about more changes for our family and yet some things will stay the same. Nikki and Phil were able to settle a lawsuit with the trucking company. It is nice for her to have some closure. While the whole process drug out a year longer than we had originally planned, it is nice to know that it is over, to a point. Nikki will always have to live with the results from that day, but her attitude about the situation could not be better.

Thursday night I spent the evening browsing ads with Nikki and just talking. I missed doing that and it was nice to just chit chat with her. She showed me the file boxes her attorney had given her, and the pictures from that day. I was awe struck when she showed me the picture of the semi. The inside picture of her car got me. You could see blood on the seat and I had a flashback to that day. We had just picked up my two oldest nieces from school and when were pulling out of the school, we saw the wrecker with Nikki's car on it. I had to swallow my vomit. Seeing that picture caused the same reaction. We ended the evening by watching a video the attorney had made for the mediation. We all went to the basement (Nikki, Phil, the girls, Tom, Jo, My mom, Ayron, Taylor, and Myself) and watched the 20 minute video. It was amazing to see the accident reconstruction and how everything actually played out that day. I was doing fine until I looked over and saw my two nieces crying, then I lost it! I think the only one who didn't get misty eyed watching the video was Nikki! Hearing her old voice got me too!

I am still amazed that she is here. No one should have survived that accident. Thank goodness for her hard headed and stubborn personality! I jokingly held up a picture of the front end of the semi and told my mom, "Look what Nikki's head can do to a Mack truck! What can your head do?" Nikki laughed, and I knew then that it was ok to go ahead and finish this post.

Holiday Hoopla

Growing up, Christmas was an affair at our house. The tree, decorations, and lights went up the day after Thanksgiving. Dad would climb into the attic and pass down those terrible looking red plastic candles, curse while we untangled the lights, and mutter under his breath while we fluffed the artificial tree in an effort to make it look like it hadn't been shoved in the back of the shed for a year. Christmas music would be played and mom's carmel corn making process would begin. But that was ages ago.

I have to wonder what began to dampen our holiday spirit. My paternal grandmother died right before Christmas my freshman year in high school. The holiday's just weren't the same. We didn't drive up to her house after Christmas Eve service and listen for Santa on the police scanner. Then 3 years later my parents got divorced, and a year after that by maternal grandfather passed away. It seemed like the holidays were only a curse.

All of that still seems like ages ago, and I have my holiday spirit back, but it's a new spirit. I no longer freak out about buying the perfect gift for everyone. Why? Since when is finding the "it" gift the reason for the season? I know my view changed on December 6, 2006. That is the day my sister in law was involved in a horrible accident (I will blog my annual update later). We realized that Christmas wasn't about the presents, but about spending time together as a family. Even if it meant eating crappy hospital food.

2 years ago, Ayron and I (along with TJ) were asked to play Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus at our New Hopes Christmas Eve service. It truly was a life changing moment. Sure, we were on stage, but we were in our own little world and something hit home. The holiday is about HIM not us.

Our family (both Ayron's family and mine) has decided to shift the focus of the holidays. We spend time together, simple as that. Sure, there are some small gifts involved, but nothing like it used to be. I am grateful for that. I didn't want my children growing up thinking that toys were a staple at Christmas. We keep the budget REALLY small (I will probably only spend around $150 - $200 for everything) and just enjoy the time together. I happy that my kids will grow up not knowing any different.

I am also happy because I no longer spend the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas frantically searching sales and wrapping presents. I spend my time with my son making ornaments and baking cookies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Adventures in Cleaning

I often wonder why I even bother cleaning my house. With a husband, son, and dog, it hardly stays clean. Last night I decided to tackle the beast we call an "office." The goal is to turn it into Isabella's room, so I figured last night was as good of a night as any to attempt to unearth the desk. Tj is normally a great helper at cleaning, not last night. Here is a photo (and video) show of our adventures in the office last night.

The "Before" shot. I can't remember the last time I actually was able to work at that desk.

What's wrong with this picture? Scooter actually whines when TJ shuts himself in the cage.

I had been talking to TJ and realized that he wasn't responding. I turned around and realized that he had disappeared. I found him in the living room watching tv.

The "after" shot. I ended up finding a big box worth of things that I need to scrapbook, now if only I could find the time!

My next project is the closet in this room and the hall closet. Maybe I will attempt one of those tonight, or maybe I will be happy that the office has been cleaned and the desk has been found.

Dancing Duo

Today Taylor is at my friends house (Leah). Leah has a son who is 6 weeks older than Taylor and they always have a blast together. I love when Leah watches TJ because I get a ton of videos and pictures throughout the day. Here is what I have gotten so far.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Second Super Supper

I just made a great dinner, I don't mean to toot my own horn, I'm just was quick, easy, and soooo tasty!!!

1 C. veggie broth (I used Chicken)
1 T. butter/margarine
1 garlic clove chopped
4 green onions, cut on the bias
3/4 C. quick cook couscous
1/2 red pepper, sliced thinly (I left this out)
1 jar (6.5oz) marinated artichoke hearts
1 pkg. of cooked chicken strips
Feta Cheese

In a small sauce pan combine the broth, butter, garlic, and green onions. Bring to a boil. Add in couscous and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.

While the couscous is cooking, saute the red peppers in 2 T. of the artichoke marinade (just the juice, not the artichokes...yet). Add in the artichokes and cooked chicken along with 1 T. more of the marinade. "Cook" until heated through.

Put a spoonful of the couscous on a plate and top with the veggie/chicken mixture. Top with feta cheese and olives (to taste). We also drizzled Tuscan House Italian dressing over the entire thing.

This meal took all of 8 minutes to make! The most time consuming part was waiting for the broth to boil so I could add in the couscous!

The original recipe said it served 4, but I would say it serves 2 1/2. We had a good amount of the veggie/chicken mixture left over, but not a lot of couscous. It was DELICIOUS!!! My proof? TJ ate it!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

DWTS What The Heck?!

I am a fan of Dancing With the Stars. While I am a bit confused as to why Bristol Palin made it to the finals, I am not as outraged as this guy.

I do wonder if she would have made it as far as she has, or even on the show, if her last name wasn't Palin and if her famous mother wasn't always captured in the audience.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No More "F's"

I read this article this morning and I am slightly torn.

At my program, we also don't give "F's." Our mentality is this, we don't' get the world's best students, and that is ok. Often times our students will "give up" and take an "F" so that they don't have to put forth any effort. Not on my time!

You have to prove to me you understand the material before we move you on to the next assignment/chapter/class, etc. In fact, our students are not allowed to move on in their work until they earn a 70% on their work. If we allowed our students to fail, they would fail on purpose just to get done with the class. I have a freshman now who keeps asking, 'Can't you just let me fail this math class so I can move on?' Heck no! If he fails it now, he's just going to have to retake it at his public high school. At most public schools the student would fail and no one would bat an eye. Thus he would be pushed along in the system having never actually learned the basic math skills. Not happening with me! I always tell my students that learning is like building a house. You have to have a good foundation before I will let you put up your walls, roof, etc.

We don't give "I's." Our kids have to keep working on their class and complete it before we will move them on. If that means we have to rewrite some of our curriculum, then we do just that. If we need to alter our teaching approach, we do just that.

I do agree with the line about how the focus is on sports and not academics in some high schools. The term is STUDENT athlete, guess which comes first in my mind? I am not against sports, don't get me wrong. But I don't think a student should be passed on in a class just so they can play in Friday's game. What are we teaching the students then? It's ok to give up on your academic work because sports will always be there for you? How many athletes are able to actually turn pro and be successful? I always tell people that I don't care if TJ get's a sports scholarship or is asked to go pro, but I will stress the importance of his education first. Take the scholarship and get a degree, then go pro. That way, should an injury occur, he will have a decent education to fall back on!

I am curious what other teachers and/or parents think about the no "F's" thing. "F's" were not acceptable in my home growing up. I remember bringing home a "C" in Algebra II and fearing the wrath of my parents. I struggled so hard in the class and was happy with a "C," but my parents knew that I wasn't grasping something and wouldn't let me move on until I had retaken that semester. So the next year I retook that semester, and I am thankful I did. I was able to keep my academic honors diploma and actually understand the material! So what do you think? Are "F's" gone forever?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Super Supper

I am not one for following recipes, unless I am baking. We have been in a dinner rut lately so last week I spent a day surfing the web seeking inspiration for this weeks meals. I played around with a recipe that was called "Easy, Cheesy Tortellini Bake." The name is a bit misleading because, well, you never actually BAKE the thing!

20 oz package of your favorite refrigerated tortellini
26 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce
16 oz jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce
12 oz of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed "dry"
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese (I used the shredded kind and it worked well)

Cook the tortellini according the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, in a sauce pan mix together the two different sauces and the spinach. Bring the sauce to a simmer and let it simmer until it is hot all the way through.

Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce. Pour into a greased pan (couldn't tell you what size of casserole dish I used....I know it was bigger than an 8x8 though!). Top with a mixture of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Mix enough cheese to cover the top of the pasta.

Broil the casserole for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the top turns a nice golden brown.

To be honest, when I started mixing the sauces I became worried. My morning sickness is back and just the thought of a marinara mixed with an Alfredo sent me running for the bathroom. It was delicious! I did take a picture of the dish, but am currently too lazy to get the camera, plug it in, download the picture, upload the picture to the blog, yada yada.

This made enough for 4 people with enough left overs for maybe 2 people. Keep in mind I have a husband who is close to 7 feet tall and could out eat an army! We served it with a nice salad and it made an awesome dinner!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some People Shouldn't Be Parents

I was just forwarded an email. Normally I hate forwards, having to scan through all the email addresses of the recipients before me, just to get to a stupid "Email this to everyone you know within the next hour and something good will happen" crud annoys me. This one cracks me up.

I don't know how many of these pictures were retouched, but I am willing to guess some were NOT retouched. I am not claiming to be an excellent parent and I never will be, but I am pretty sure I would rank better on a parenting scale than most of these people.

Are they protecting him from rain, wind, bugs, or fresh air?

I firmly believe in the caption of this photo.

This is wrong on SOOO many levels. She is WAY to young, terrified (check out her face), not wearing eye or ear protection...Father of the year award right there.

Why couldn't they just walk and push the stroller?
Does this zoo lack the "Don't Feed The Animals" sign?

I am speechless. The fact that the dad put the trunk cover up as a sun shade is a nice touch.

Maybe he is craving beer cheese soup?

So if they had twins would they have put the other child in the other side compartment?

I just pray she is a better driver than Jimmi Heselden.

Makes you wonder if he was conceived after watching that video...or maybe his parents "star" in the movie?

While your helmet will keep your head from being smashed, I'm pretty that coat hood won't do anything for your child.

I winced when I saw this picture. The caption got me too.


At a loss for words on this one.

Am I the only one who noticed the poor girls look of horror!

Monday, November 08, 2010

$6 Education

Yesterday Ayron and I decided we wanted to go experience the liquidation sale at the old K's Merchandise building. It was not worth the $6 they charged us to get in! We asked Ayron's parents if they wanted to go along and since my mother in law was curious they came along.

We walked around the maze of craziness and pirated DVD's. We came to a both that was selling incense and smoking devices. One case had a HUGE sign that read, "For Tobacco Smoking Only." I looked at the display and laughed. It was full of crack pipes. I looked at JoEllen and said, "Tobacco my butt!" She said, "Well they are pretty, what are they?" I looked at Ayron, looked at Joellen and said, "crack pipes." JoEllen calmly replied, "Well I guess I've always wondered what a crack pipe would look like, now I know."

We didn't end up buying anything, but decided the whole trip wasn't a busy because we were able to education JoEllen on the use of a crack pipe.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Messy House

I may not have a spotless house, but I will always have time to play with my children.

I may postpone sweeping just so I can rub my dog's tummy.

I will always have dirty dishes in the sink, but my family will never go hungry.

I may have dust on my entertainment center, but there will be no dust on my books.

I will always have dog nose prints and finger prints on my door, but I will have a son (and dog) who love to discuss the great outdoors.

There will always be laundry to do, but there will never be a shortage of cuddle time for my children.

There will always be toys scattered around the room, but the "tickle monster" will never go away.

I will never have a perfectly spotless house, but I will always strive to have a happy family.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Traditional Family

Ok, so my crazy family is anything but traditional, but I like the craziness, keeps me on my toes! That being said, we had an ultrasound yesterday and it was confirmed. Baby #2 is a girl. Our mid wife had a sneaking suspicion from the start she was actually a "she" because this pregnancy has been so different from my first pregnancy. Last ultrasound she was able to catch a glimpse, but would only give us a 75% girl rating. Yesterday she gave us a 99% (she never gives 100%) rating. Seems we were the third girl ultrasound in a row they had that day and ours was the most obvious.

While I don't have a scanner, so I can't be one of those annoying pregnant ladies that posts every single ultrasound shot, just know that I do have all the ultrasound shots and 3 shots that prove she is a she.

The ultrasound also showed me measuring a week ahead of where I thought I was. They took the date based on her femur measurement, so we could just be having another tall child and her height is throwing off my due date. At this rate, looks like mid March we will have our new bundle of joy.

I jokingly texted my dad that I would have a typical family: older son, younger daughter, and dumb dog. He offered to send us his whiny Siamese cat, Morty. We declined (that cat whines worse than a two year old who was just told "No.").

I used to think keeping the name a secret would be a good idea, but I failed. After last appointment I told several people (including her namesake) the girl name we had picked out. We wanted to keep up the idea of naming her after someone like we did with TJ. Taylor's middle name, Josiah, is a family name on my side. TJ happened to be Grandpa Reeves's name. It worked perfectly. This time around, we struggled with a first name. Took us about a week (I know, that's not that long, but we picked Taylor's name in about 20 seconds, we just knew). So, come March, Isabella Dawn Reeves will be joining our family.

Isabella was the only girls name we could decide on. We can call her Izzy or Bella for short (and while I am a Grey's Anatomy fan, that was not our thinking). Dawn comes from one of my best friends Dawn Yingling. Dawn is a crazy character who lives life to the fullest and can make anyone laugh. She has been there for me since the 6th grade and it just seemed fitting to name Isabella after her. Dawn has already started in on creating her special nickname for Isabella.

Dawn wanted to call her "Mimi" (kinda like a mini me), but I shot that one down. All I could picture was that clown looking lady off of the Drew Carey show. So somehow we settled on Lizard. I have no clue how she came up with Lizard, but Lizard it is. Keep in mind Dawn (along with the help of my sister) came up with Tater Monkey for TJ, so I guess Lizard isn't that far out there.

So there, there is my annoying pregnancy blog for the month.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Witty Wednesday

I was doing my usually noon time search around yahoo for interesting articles and came across the following. While TJ is only 2 1/2, I know my time is limited before we hit this stage.

User post: How to awaken a teenager

user by Manic Motherhood, on Fri Oct 22, 2010 7:50am PDT

When you first become a parent, nobody tells you that the tiny, cute, little baby in your arms will someday grow up to be a teenager. Oh sure, we all expect it to happen, but seriously, are any of us fully prepared for the teen years?

No, we aren’t. Or at least, I’m not. And that’s why I’m reaching out, helping others to survive the turbulent years we call the teens. Okay fine. I’m complaining and venting, but really…is there a difference?

One of the first things you notice as your child morphs into a teenager is sleep. They do it all the time. I swear some days my teen sits at the breakfast table, eyes fully open, shoveling food in his mouth and all the while he’s totally asleep. Turns out teens need lots and lots of sleep. Which isn’t the problem.

But waking them up? That’s the problem. Seriously. I’d rather wake up a bear two days before hibernation ends than wake up a teenager in the morning.

Waking a teen is dangerous. It requires you to go into the teen’s native habitat (his room) and tell him to stop sleeping. Really. Once you’ve tried this, I swear to you, the bear thing looks better and better. Anyway, through extensive personal research and at great risk to life and limb, I have come up with a way to awaken a typical teenager without having my head ripped off.

First, understand that the teenager’s bedroom must be approached with extreme caution. The teenage species has laid many traps to deter waking. These traps include piles of clothing, shoes and textbooks on the floor.

Once you have approached the teenager and gotten through the hidden traps, you should stop and assess the situation before proceeding further. If there are animals in the room (other than the teen), use treats and/or your best happy voice to lure the animals from the bed.

Congratulations! Now the teenager is defenseless, except for his smart mouth.

At this point, you will need to locate the teen. Like many of his species, the teen will be wrapped in a cocoon of blankets with pillows stacked on his head. Due to the mess associated with their habitat, finding the teen in all the piles can be difficult. However, if you simply locate the cords to his ear buds and carefully follow them, you will discover the teen’s head. Note: If you locate his iPod, you are on the wrong end. Just follow the cords the opposite direction.

Now that you have located the elusive teen, you can wake his butt up. My favorite way to do so is the “let the sunshine in” method. By simply opening all the shutters and turning on the lights, the room is flooded with intense light that even the most buried teen cannot bear. If they yell or scream, “it’s too bright” you can be certain the method worked and that they are awake.

Once the teen is awake, his primitive response system will send him into “fight or flight mode” which means he will curl up into a tiny ball, pull all the blankets over his head, stack some pillows on top and ignore you (some teens will also whimper and cry; don’t fall for this, it’s just a ploy to let them sleep for 5 more minutes). At this point in the teen wake up process it is critical that you do not leave the room. To do so will enable the teen to sleep even longer, ensuring the teen misses his 0 period class.

Your only choice now is to scream “get your butt out of bed now” and then steal his iPod. Really. That whole bear thing is looking better, isn’t it?

Now there are other methods, such as allowing the teen to set his alarm clock. In my personal experience, this method doesn’t work well. Once the teen hits the snooze button, he will immediately fall back into a deep sleep. I also know of parents who have tried increasingly desperate methods such as allowing siblings to jump on the bed, playing a bugle or pouring water on the teen, but I don’t support those methods. Frankly, the siblings could lose an eye, I don’t play the bugle and the water just gets the mattress all wet and makes the teen even more smart-mouthed than usual.

Of course, once you wake up the bear, you could send him into the teen’s room. That could work.

This article cracked me up. Maybe because I am sitting in my classroom observing 3 very sleepy teenage boys.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Throw Together Pasta

Last night I decided to clean out our fridge and see what I could make for dinner using what I found. We had some tomatoes that needed to be used, an onion that was about ready to go soft, some pretty wilty basil, a half bottle of dressing that was about to expire, and half a bag of mozzarella cheese. I am not the type who can just throw stuff together, but this turned out well.

I cooked a box of thin spaghetti according to the box. In a separate skillet I slowly heated up the dressing and added the chopped onion and some garlic. Once that was warmed through I added the diced up tomatoes and continued to let the sauce heat up. I combined the cooked pasta with the sauce. Ayron and I each added some mozzarella cheese and basil to our bowls along with some diced grilled chicken. It was a nice light meal, but still managed to fill up Ayron, which says a lot!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ayron Can Cook!

If you know my husband, you shouldn't be surprised that he can cook. You can hand that man an empty kitchen and he will come up with something tasty! Since he is now working from home, he does a majority of the cooking, and for that I am thankful!

If you know my husband (and his family), you will know that they cannot eat enough chicken wings. I have managed to get them to step back from the messy chicken wings and into the buffalo chicken dip I make (much easier and neater to eat). Ayron decided to combine his love for cooking (although he isn't a big fan of doing the dishes) with his love of chicken wings and this is what he came up with.

He took a 2lb pork roast and put it in the crock pot. He poured 1/8C. of vinegar over the meat and made sure to roll the meat around in the vinegar. He then added about 1/4C. of Franks Red Hot Sauce. He set the crockpot to high for 4 hours and let it go. The meat was actually cooked after about 3, so he pulled the roast out and shredded it. For dinner he made a mix of chunky bleu cheese dressing and mayo and spread it on sandwich buns, topped it with the shredded pork, and ta da! A spicy (but not too hot) pulled pork sandwich with bleu cheese spread. It was actually very tasty! We did both take an antacid pill before we ate though, we didn't want to risk it.

I will admit that I was skeptical at first when he told me what he was making for dinner, but it was very tasty, and we had enough left over for lunch today.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training

We have really begun trying to tackle the issue of potty training with TJ. Some days he is ok with the idea, other days the mention of the potty sends him in to a tail spin.

Yesterday morning we ran some errands and then decided to go to a restaurant for brunch. TJ needed to have his pull up changed so Ayron took him into the men's bathroom. Since the bathroom didn't have a "diaper deck," Ayron stood TJ up on the toilet tank and took of TJ's pull up (Thank you easy velcro sides!) He told TJ to stand still as he bent down to get a new pull up out the diaper bag. He heard TJ say, "Uh oh daddy. I peeing." Ayron looked up and saw that TJ was peeing (while standing on top the toilet tank) down into the toilet bowl. Ayron laughed and told him to just keep going. TJ came back to the table and proudly announced, "I peed!"

I briefly thought about letting him stand on the back of toilet tank at home, but the medicine cabinet on the wall would prevent him from being able to stand up. Hopefully we can get this potty training thing figured out soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Teacher's Life

I have been teaching (professionally) for the past 5 1/2 years. In that time span I have been cursed at, yelled at, praised, and torn down.

I have witnessed emotional break downs, mental break downs, physical fights, temper tantrums, fits of rage, fits of jealousy, frustration and elation.

I have seen success and I have witnessed failure.

I have been called every name in the book and bitten my tongue.

I have had to have students arrested, and I have had to testify against them.

I've had students runaway and be found. I have had students run away and not be found. I have stayed up many nights worrying about those students.

I have blown the whistle on child abuse and sexual misconduct.

I have seen students fight, flip tables, destroy books, scream, yell, cry, pass out, destroy my property, and destroy themselves.

I have witnessed students on meth, cocaine, marijuana, and various other prescription medicines.

I have worked with students who refuse to take their mental medications and suffer from the voices in their head.

I have had students cry on my shoulder and then turn around and spit in my face.

I have worked with exhausted parents and guardians.

I have been lied to and deceived.

I have given up personal vacations to work on strengthening my curriculum.

I have spent countless hours rewording my materials and tests so my "LD" students can comprehend their work.

I have done a lot, but the one thing I haven't done....given up on teaching.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


My sister sent me these (from and they made me giggle. I thought I'd blog them to brighten someone else's day...that I am procrastinating. I should be working on my take home mid-term, but reading these is much more fun.

1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
2. A will is a dead giveaway.
3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
4. A backward poet writes inverse.
5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.
13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
14. Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.
15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
16. A calendar's days are numbered.
17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.
18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
21. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.
22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
23. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.
29. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.
30. The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
31. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
32. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
33. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
34. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
35. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
36. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
37. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
38. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
39. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
40. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'
41. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
42. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
43. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'
44. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
45. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
46. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.

Friday, October 08, 2010

I Love Ayron

I bet you thought this post would be all mushy and romantic didn't you. Title's can be deceiving. I love Ayron because he cracks me up. The following is a phone conversation I had with him today.

Me: You called?

Ayron (sounding freaked out): There are people raking our yard!

Me: Who are they?

Ayron: I don't know!

Me: Maybe they are supposed to be raking the neighbor lady's yard (she is elderly and has dementia) and have the wrong address?

Ayron: Oh.

Me: Did you think to ask them who they were?

Ayron: No....I'll call you right back.

A minute later

Me: Yeah?

Ayron (still sounding freaked out): It's a group of middle aged ladies and they are in our yard.

Me: Ok....who are they?

Ayron: They said they are from Lakewood Park and are just out and about town today doing community service by raking leaves.

Me: Oh, that's nice! Make sure you tell them thank you. Offer them a banana muffin or brownie.

Ayron: Ok, Oh I gotta go, they are back!

A couple of minutes later

Me: Hello?

Ayron: Ok, they're gone.

Me: So they were just people from the Lakewood Church out raking leaves huh?

Ayron: Well, they had like 2 high school aged girls and 3 older ladies.

Me: Did you tell them thanks and give them a brownie.

Ayron: Yeah. They had to take a picture with me as proof they did rake a yard.

Me: Oh, ok. Well, at least you don't have to rake this weekend!

I think this struck me as funny because he didn't think to go outside and see who the strange group of ladies in our yard were. He seemed freaked out by the fact that strangers were raking our yard. Most people would have been like, "Alright! Cross that chore off my list!" I would like to thank the lovely ladies from Lakewood Park that raked our front and side yard!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

ABC and Baby Update

I hope I am not becoming one of those women who are "LOOK AT ME, I'M PREGNANT! Let's talk about nothing other than me!" I just use blogging as a way to process my thoughts.

We had our 16 week appointment with Stephanie VanderHorst (our mid wife) and all is well. Looks like Baby will be here around March 22. We were able to see the ultrasound and I was hypnotized by the heart beat. Baby is pretty calm and mellow, which is totally different from TJ. TJ was on the go ALL THE TIME. Baby was content to just lay there and let Stephanie try and reposition her. We are pretty sure we are having a girl, but at 16 weeks, it is hard to be certain it is a girl. We will check again at our next appointment on Nov. 2.

I was also able to ask a TON of questions about the ABC (Auburn Birthing Center) and that helped ease my mind. The ABC will be open well before Baby arrives and I really think I want to deliver there. My only concerns are the short length of stay (anywhere from 6 to 23 hours after delivery you are sent home. A nurse does come and do a home check on mommy and baby). I also need to check and see if my Insurance will cover a birthing center.

I thought I was comfortable with the thought of no pain meds, but now I am wondering. She will have several non-drug methods for pain relief and I am really looking forward to the birthing tub (they are now offering the option of actually birthing IN the tub, but that still freaks me out).

I think TJ's birth has be freaked out. I told Stephanie that yesterday and she said, "That was the worst case scenario of any birth I have done. Had you been at the ABC, we would have transferred you and done a c-section, but with TJ he didn't give us the time. I have done 901 births and that was the WORST way to have a baby! That is the only vacuum extraction I have ever done, and it failed. Nothing about his birth was typical. We will just pray that his sister is more cooperative that TJ. I can tell already she is a lot calmer and ok with me positioning her. You have nothing to worry about." That really eased my mind. I said, "He is still here and so am I, so for that we are extremely thankful to you!"

I guess the next step is to call my insurance company and see if they will cover the ABC.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Teacher Tip # 13

Teacher Tip #13: Take time to talk to your students

I am lucky in my "classroom." I have a lot of educational/instructional freedom. We currently only have two high school students. We spent an hour this morning talking about addictions and methods to help overcome them (a continuation talk that started after their morning session with our counselor).

We then talked about owning your mistakes and how accepting responsibility helps you develop into a responsible adult. A student finally realized how bad his situation could have gotten and since he was finally able to realize the whole situation, he had a break through. We are now comfortable recommending him to the alternative school for his next step the educational journey.

After lunch we spent 30 minutes teaching the students how to complete Sudoku puzzles. The one student loved it! We found a way to reach out to him. I printed out several puzzles from the Internet and struck a deal with him (he isn't the most motivated student in the world). For each assignment that he thoroughly completes, he can take time to do one Sudoku puzzle. He jumped at that offer right away and is diligently chugging away at his work.

Since we were able to take the time to talk with our kids, we were able to help one student have a realization and find a motivation tool for another student. It is amazing what teachers can learn if they just take the time to talk with their students. The key word is "with." Talking down does nothing but berate the students and make them more defiant. This is important in my "school" because we have to develop that trust. Without that trust, it will be an uphill struggle the entire time they are under my care.

I encourage each teacher to take some time each day to just talk to their students. What is going on in their lives? You will be surprised what connections you can make from their personal lives to the curriculum you are hoping to teach. Take the time and talk. It is amazing what you will be able to teach the student and even more amazing what your students will be able to teach you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moment of Reflection

Yesterday, shortly at noon, I checked the website. It's a habit of mine. I don't get time to actually watch the news, so I check the website. I learned of a fatal crash at the DeKalb County / Allen County Line. I had a feeling. I can't even describe the feeling, it was just this feeling.

On the drive home from work I passed the wrecker that was towing the SUV involved in the crash. I had to pull over for a moment. There was nothing left of the SUV. That feeling came back and I actually became physically ill. I started crying and just praying for the family. At that time, the name of the deceased had not been released. I still couldn't shake the feeling, so I just kept praying. I prayed off and on all night. Nothing glamours, just small little, "Lord, be with that family."

Right before dinner I received a text from a friend and I discovered the lady who passed was the daughter in law of my favorite teacher, Mrs. McCurdy. My heart broke. I know Mrs. McCurdy both in and out of school. Her and my father acted together in the Auburn Actors Theater and she often played his wife. She was hysterical and inspired me to become a teacher. My heart broke for her and her son. She lost her daughter in law and her son lost his wife. Their children lost their mother, parents lost their daughter.

I couldn't sleep last night, the sight of the SUV on the back of the wrecker kept haunting me. I finally realized why. We are coming up on the 4 year anniversary of Nikki's accident. I remember driving to the school to pick up my nieces and when we pulled out of the school parking lot, we passed the wrecker towing Nikki's newly compacted car. Thank God my nieces didn't realize that crumple piece of white paper was really their mom's car. I remember having this pit in my stomach. When we got the call, we didn't know if Nikki was alive or dead. We didn't know what to expect when we got to the hospital. It was a nightmare for all involved. We are lucky that four years later we still have our daughter/wife/sister/mother with us.

I don't know what caused Amy to run the stop sign, we may never know. But I am taking her accident as a wake up call to be more alert in the car. To avoid the distractions of texting and ipod surfing. I urge the rest of you to avoid those distractions as well. It's crazy to think that one minute you can be here, and the next your family is mourning.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the McCurdy family during this time. May they find peace and understanding. May the Lord provide them with comfort and words of wisdom.

Touchdown Tuesday

Check out this heartwarming video from a high school football team. If it doesn't make you smile, you have something seriously wrong with you!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Morning Funny

My sister posted this video on facebook this morning and it cracked me up. I think Apple should turn it into a commercial and make the grouchy curly haired girl a pc user!

Homework Help

I am currently taking an on line course (Detective and Mystery Literature) through IPFW for my license renewal. Our one big paper has me stumped. Here are the directions from the syllabus.

Monograph 7 contains a “top-ten” listing of books, movies, and TV mysteries that I have selected as among the best mysteries of all time on TV, in books, and in movies. Most items listed are not covered in the semester. The purpose of the list is to provide a reading and viewing list for those who want to sample the best of what is out there. Obviously, there are many outstanding books, movies, and TV shows not represented. I am very much interested in expanding the list to include the best 25 in each category. The purpose of this assignment is to give you a role in determining the list. Here are the steps involved.

1. Read Monograph 7 and the accompanying lists.

2. Pick a movie, TV mystery, or novel that you have seen or read, or one you would like to read or see. Note that if you choose a TV show, you must see at least three episodes. You can not use any book, movie, or TV show already on the list.

3. In a two or three page, non-research paper, argue for the inclusion of your book, movie, or TV show in an expanded best 25 list, or show why your book, movie, or TV show does not belong on the list.

4. You may talk about plot, characters, or devices used that make your selection unique. For example, the movie “Lady in the Lake,” which is included in the top 10 list, is cited for the unique viewpoint (The detective is always behind the camera). You might argue for inclusion of the TV show “Numbers” because of the unique view of mathematics as a crime-fighting tool. If you chose the TV show “Bones,” you might say you liked all the eccentric characters; then list each one with examples of their eccentricities.

5. You should include lots of examples to illustrate your reasons.

6. You may submit this assignment at any time up until the week before final exams. I suggest that it is best to do this paper at a time when assignments for other courses are light. Note that two bonus points are available for completing this assignment by the date listed in the syllabus above. This the date is November 6.

7. Also, submit to the default bulletin board a list of 5 reasons (no examples) for placing your choice on the list or not.

8. To repeat, length of assignment should be about two to three pages. No references other than the show or book itself are needed.

I have read Monograph 7 (written by my professor) and can't come up with any ideas! HELP! All of the topics I had, I don't want to use because my professor uses them as examples in Monograph 7. I don't want to have him think that I couldn't come up with my own topic, but at this moment I can't! I really want to write this paper this weekend and get it out of the way, but I am stumped. The only other mystery thing I can think of is Murder She Wrote and we all know how thrilling that show was!

I just read the line, "does not belong on the list." Hmm... I wonder if that means he wants use to take one of his examples from the list and tell why we think it shouldn't be there, or come up with our own topic then tell why it doesn't fit. The later idea seems a bit silly, so I am going to guess it's the first option.

Keep in mind this is only a 200 level class (why strain my brain to renew my license?) and my professor has told me on more than on occasion that I over think my assignments. I just can't come up with any good ideas!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Every morning I pass the construction site for what will become The ABC, The Auburn Birthing Center. The ABC is being built by the Auburn OB GYN which consists of Dr. Chaffee, Dr. Weghorst, Midwife Stephanie Vanderhorst, and Midwife Michelle Hileman. The new "home" is on CR 40A, just past Smith Farms Manor.

I have nothing but love for the medical staff at Auburn OB GYN. I have been utilizing Stephanie Vanderhorst's skills for years. She helped us conceive TJ, and was there for every minute of TJ's crazy birth (If you don't know that story, trust me, he came out sideways, elbow first, umbilical cord in his hand, I stopped breathing, the whole ten yards). Stephanie jokes that TJ caused her to grow her first grey hair. He was birth 565 (or something close to that) and the first one where she used vacuum extraction, and it failed! Dr. Chaffee was called in, and without those two, I would not have been able to deliver TJ. They were able to keep me calm during the whole process, even when they were probably freaking out on the inside. Stephanie has been with us through the conception and first tri-mester of Baby #2. The point being, I thoroughly trust these people!

I was ecstatic to learn that the birthing center will be open long before I am due. So I am faced with a I deliver at the hospital or at ABC? I know each have their pros and cons, but I think it boils down to the fact that I am scared to give birth again. TJ's delivery was traumatic, to say the least. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful he is here and extremely thankful to all the OB staff (as they were all crowded in my tiny delivery room) at DeKalb, but I am afraid this delivery will be like that last. I know, I know, "every baby is different." So with that in mind, what is to say this birth won't be worse?

I have been weighing the pros and cons of each and I think what it comes down to is fear over two subjects: pain management and after care.

I have very little pain meds with TJ. I started on some through my IV, but had them turn it off after only 30 minutes because I didn't like the feeling. I felt like I wasn't in control of my body and I couldn't feel what my body was doing. I know that is the point of pain meds, but I had studied the Bradley Birthing Method and for my own peace of mind, I needed to feel what my body was doing. I am afraid that this time around, I won't be strong enough to deliver without pain meds. I don't have any grand philosophical thing against pain meds, I will use them if I see necessary. But I also feel that babies who are born without the mother having pain meds are just more alert. TJ came out bright eyed (although he had given himself a lovely shiner) and I didn't have to have a giant needle in my spine! I will also admit that I am a bit afraid of a giant needle in my spine. I know, I know. I have a tattoo that runs along my spine, but that was different. That needle didn't go INTO my vertebra! I have other ways of coping with the pain. Breathing and the blessed birthing tub! (Disclaimer, the staff at Auburn OB GYN does not do underwater births, the tubs are simply there to help with labor pains). I loved the birthing tub with TJ and when asked what I want this time around, I stressed that I want a birthing tub. Luckily for me, The ABC will have tubs.

After care is also something I am curious about. Most birthing centers have you on your way home anywhere from 6 to 24 hours later. I guess not knowing how long their aftercare is, has my mind going. What about the 96 hour test? What if it's a boy? Do we take it to the doctor's office for a circumcision? TJ's jaundice didn't kick in until we got him home 3 days later and even then it was a pain to figure out why he was so sick (he didn't turn really yellow till several days after so we had no physical clue as to what was wrong).

I meet with Stephanie at the beginning of October and boy do I have a long list of questions for her. All of this "weighing of the pros and cons" might end up being a mute point. She might not consider me a good candidate for The ABC. There are just so many unknowns. I know I have a ton of time to plan, but every morning I drive past the construction site on my way to work and it gets my mind going.