Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good "Old Fashioned" Music

I put old fashioned in quotes because I know that cd's aren't old fashioned, but to those of us who grew up during the 90's and experienced the thrill of buying your first cd and are now familiar with iTunes, cd's seem like a thing of the past.

I knew that I wanted to purchase some music today. I enjoy music by a certain band (no need to name the band for the purpose of the blog) and they had a new cd released today. I debated between iTunes and just going to Wal-Mart and purchasing an actual cd. Something tangible I could hold as opposed to some files on my computer. I decided on buying the actual disk.

I like having something to hold, after all I spent my hard earned money, I should be able to actually hold whatever it is that I purchase. I like to look at the cd insert, read the lyrics, the "thank you's" written by the band, etc. I like to have the cd in my car and the songs on my ipod (which lives on the iHome in my living room).

I eagerly got back to my office and opened the cd (I am finishing a grant today and music is essential to my grant writing success) and was instantly disappointed. The cd insert didn't have the lyrics. I like the lyrics. I like to read through them and try to figure out what inspired the songs. So with no lyrics in the cd insert, I have to wonder if I would have been better off just buying the cd in iTunes. I would have saved 1 cent by buying it through iTunes. Oh well....so what do you think? Do you use iTunes or do you buy actual cd's?

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Favorite

I love music, that isn't a shocker. I have Incorporated it into my classroom as a study tool as well as a therapeutic tool. It can be used as a worship tool and used to cross cultural divides. I just love music! I have recently discovered the band Need to Breathe and I have fallen in love with their song "Lay 'em Down."

With so much happening in my life right now, the song serves as a reminder to just hand everything over to Him.

Come down to the river
Come and let yourself in
Make good on a promise
To never hurt again

If you're lost and lonely
You're Broken down
Bring all of your troubles
Come lay 'em down

All you sinners
And the weak at heart
All you helpless
On the boulevards
Wherever you are now
Whatever evil you've found
Bring all of your troubles
And come lay 'em down

We're all tied to the same old failing
Finding shelter in things we know
We're all dirty like corrupted small towns
We'll bring our troubles
We'll bring our troubles
Lay 'em down

All you rich men
And the high above
All of those with and without love
All you burdened broken down
Bring all of your troubles

Come lay 'em down
Come lay 'em down [x4]

Come all you broken [Come lay 'em down]
Come all you helpless [Come lay 'em down]
Bring all your burden [Come lay 'em down]
And just lay 'em down [Come lay 'em down]
Come all you broken [Come lay 'em down]
Come all you helpless [Come lay 'em down]
Bring all your troubles [Come lay 'em down]
Just lay 'em down
Come lay 'em down [x3]

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Really? Seriously? Come on now, really?

So I decided to have a drug screen day today at work. Since I have two males students, I called a male officer from my other office to come over and do the screen.

I have one student who was "dirty" for his last screen and before being taken into the bathroom he was asked, "What are you going to test positive for this time?" The student admitted to smoking marijuana three days ago. I immediately got mad and went off. I usually don't "go off" on my students, but this kid has bugged me from day one. After a lecture from myself, the other teacher and the officer the kid looked at me and in all sincerity and said, "So I should quit smoking weed?"

I laughed. I didn't mean to laugh, but I did. It was the most absurd thing to have been said at my "school" in awhile and it caught me off guard. How am I supposed to react to that? I am still sitting at my desk shaking my head, trying to figure out this kids thought process.

I told him, "Look, not only is it illegal, but you are already in trouble with the law, why do you want to see how far you can push it? The judge gets to decide your fate and you already have one dirty screen on your file, soon to be two. You can try adding a third if you want, but I promise you, you will not like the judges decision."

Days like today make me love my job! I am serious. I would never get to deal with this kind of silliness in a public school.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Going Back To School

As all teachers know, you must continually go back to school to keep your license current, etc. That means more portfolio work, yada yada. I have been thinking about going back to school for some time but really not sure if I want to seek a master's degree in Education. I don't aspire to be a principal nor do I want to be a guidance counselor, so I felt stuck. I began to wonder if I could go back to school to learn more about criminal justice and use it towards my continuing education (CE) credits, so I emailed the head of licensing at IPFW.

I told J.B. (the head of teacher licensing at IPFW) about my job and how I seem to work in that world where criminal justice meets education. I told him that I knew the education side of things because that is my bachelor's degree, but how I often feel ignorant about the criminal justice side of things. I asked him, "Can I take credits outside of the world of education and have it count towards my CE credits? Do those classes have to be at the graduate level?"

This morning I was told that due to the nature of my job, Jim will allow me to take undergraduate classes in criminal justice and use those credits to count towards a Criminal Justice degree as well as my CE credits. I am excited. I am ready to pull out my backpack, pack some new pencils and pens and go back to school! I emailed my boss about taking summer classes and counting that time on my work time card. Hopefully he says yes. All that is left to do is figure out what classes I want to take and financial aid. I know that IPFW isn't "expensive" by some peoples standards, but right now I could use all the help I could get. I am actually excited about learning about an area I know very little about!

Friday, January 15, 2010


I have never been a night owl. Never had a late night cram session. I was always the first one to fall asleep at slumber parties. I have only been to IHOP after 9pm once and that was for a bachelorette party. I just don't do nights.....until this week.

I have discovered that I have developed the inability to sleep. I have not changed my bedroom routine one bit. In fact, I have enhanced it. The nice warm shower before bed, glass of warm milk, soft lighting, etc. I have stopped drinking caffeine and stopped the bedtime snacking, and yet, sleep doesn't come.

The funny thing is, I don't fall asleep till 2am, yet I wake up at 6am like normal. I feel refreshed even though I know I didn't sleep. I am not sleepy, yet I know these late nights of dishnetwork surfing will catch up with me, but I just can't sleep!

I do a lot of praying and thinking when I can't sleep (this probably doesn't help me fall asleep, but at least I feel productive). This gets my mind going, and then I really can't fall asleep, even if I am tired!

I'm sure my lack of sleep isn't helping me fight off this cold. I do believe I have been invaded by a sinus bug and it is kicking my butt. I have decided to work a half day today and then go home and force myself to take an afternoon nap.

Even afternoon naps are difficult. We are a napping family. When TJ takes a nap, Ayron and I take a nap. It's our weekend ritual. It's great. The past month, I am wide awake during nap time. Not taking naps has done wonders for my Super Mario Brothers (on the Wii of course) skills because I am able to play without Ayron watching my every move.

I just want to sleep!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Foster vs. Adoption vs. Pregnancy

Ayron and I have been talking about expanding our family. This shouldn't be shocker to anyone! We are debating and seeking personal stories on the many ways to expand a family (hence the title of this post). I am more or less going to ramble my own thoughts about each of the three ways and hope that someone out there has some input/personal stories/advice on each method.

Part of me thinks, "Been there, done that." It was a rough pregnancy. It took us a year to get actually get pregnant and that only happened with the help of gluchopage (diabetic medicine that has the side effect of helping with fertility while not increase the risk of multiples). I was sick all the time, pinched nerves, weight loss, etc. Not to mention the actual birthing process. Taylor came out elbow first, but only after stopping his own heart several times (He had his umbilical cord in his fist).

But along with the scary and not so fun parts are the amazing parts. Knowing that God is knitting together this baby inside of you. Knowing that you are carrying another human. Feeling the baby move inside you (except for when it kicks your full bladder). All of those things are amazing. Seeing the little heartbeat on the screen for the first time just makes your heart melt.

I wouldn't mind being pregnant again, but if it never happened again I wouldn't be heartbroken either. I have experienced it once and that is amazing, if He allows it to happen again, I will gladly give it my best shot!

We are very ignorant about the adoption process. We have reached out to friends of ours who have adopted two children (one Fillipino and one Floridian). We are going to meet with them for dinner and seek their advice, wisdom, story, etc.

I know it can be a long process and can even be heart wrenching, but I am willing to try. The thought of being able to care for, love, and raise a child that someone can't excites me. We would be giving this child a shot at life that they might not have gotten had we not stepped up.

We even talked about adopting an older child. We had our baby days and we know that the odds of an older child getting adopted are greatly reduced. We also know that older children may come with their baggage and we think we have enough community resources, as well as family strength to help with those.

Due to the nature of my job I work a lot with foster kids. It seems they are just seeking someone to actually love them. Someone who gives a darn about them and is willing to say so. I talked to a foster student yesterday on the phone who is coming back to the area (wasn't originally in foster care, but the situation has changed). I flat out told her, "We have missed you and your smile. We were heartbroken when we heard what had happened, but we are there for you. Please come back." She cried and said that was she wanted to hear. They just want someone to love them and give them guidelines, kids like structure. They will fight it, but it makes them feel secure and cared for.

My biggest fear with fostering is becoming too attached. It would be very difficult for me to give a child back to the biological parents if I felt the environment they were going back to was not safe. I would be the crazy lady on the news who has the kids held hostage in her home to keep them from going back to an unfit home.

Fostering also allows us the opportunity to touch more than just one child's life. We would be able to have many children over the course of our family. It would also allow Ayron to be a stay at home, dad, something he really wants to do.

I look at so many of my students and think, "If I could just take them home maybe their lives would be better. They could have a warm bed, hot shower, decent food and a family that gives a darn."

We are also very ignorant about the fostering system and are seeking some advice/personal stories/etc.

If anyone has any information or contact people we can speak with, please let us know! We are praying and hoping He shows us the path He wants us to take.

Friday, January 08, 2010

And Another Year Begins

So I am 8 days into the new year and nothing major has changed, not that I expected it to. I don't make resolutions because who actually sticks with them? I am choosing to look ahead to this year and anticipate all that He has in store for us.

Ayron's job has been on the rocks (as if anyone in NE Indiana doesn't know about Kruse), but he is always looking. Taylor is growing like crazy and will repeat anything you say, thus causing me to yell at Ayron about his potty mouth. Scooter is still Scooter, a lovable pain in the butt. Ayron and I celebrated the 9 year anniversary of our first date (and 4 year anniversary of our engagement) by hanging out with some old friends and counting down to midnight.

So what does this next year hold for me. I don't know, but I am trying to be optimistic. It seems like there are so many paths we could take, we are just waiting for the green light from Him. We have thought about moving, and I don't mean just across town. Our family is what keeps us here. We are both very much "family" people and couldn't stand to live so far away from our family. Although if a certain couple were to move to the office/plant in SC, I might be persuaded to move...you know who you are!

This summer will mark our five year wedding anniversary and we are seriously considering a trip to Vegas. I want to do the cheesiest wedding chapel vow renewal possible. I want Ayron in a too small, powder blue tuxedo, with a ruffle shirt of course. I want to find the biggest sleeved, lace covered wedding dress (to rent of course). Someone suggested a behive hair do for me, and I think a faux hawk for Ayron. I can't wait.

Taylor will turn 2 this year. I can't believe that 2 years have almost passed. It seems like just yesterday we couldn't wait for him to walk and now we wish he's slow down. It amazes me how much he is able to absorb and process on a daily basis. He has become my little kitchen helper and will hopefully be quite the chef!

I know a lot will happen this year, and I am willing to take the good with the bad!