Friday, July 30, 2010

Names, Part II

My sister and I were chatting last night and after reading my original "Name" post, we got to talking about silly names.

Apparently there was a Fanny Fennel on my mom's side of the family.

After my sister read the "La-a" name, we got pretty silly. Here are some of the names we came up with. Most of the names have a "partner" because my sister has this idea that she'd like me to have twins.

My friend Tyler and I decided that Ampersand would be a good name. Then they could change their name to &. Then, they could go by, "The child formerly known as &."

Nat and I decided that Ctrl, Alt, and Del would make great names for triplets.

We also decided that <, > and ^ were viable names for triplets. Natalee decided that < would have emotional issues due to her name, so we should start a therapy fund now.

I always thought Hey You and Stop That made great names for twins.

We decided that the names Semi Colon and Colon might cause them to get beat up at school.

We also thought that Shift and Tab might work too.

I think our discussion about unique names got a bit out of hand, but we had a fun time being silly. We are all about unique names (see previous blog "Names.") Heck, even Natalee is spelled differently than the normal NataLIE."

Any other odd names out there?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wish List

As I am preparing to start another school year at the Youth Improvement Program, I am realizing that we are in need of some supplies. Since my budget comes from grants that I write, if I feel we need something for the program, I have to find the money. Please check out my list below and if you have anything that you are willing to donate, please let me know.

If you don't know what I do, I am the coordinator (and lead teacher) of the Steuben County Youth Improvement Program. The Steuben County Youth Improvement Day program was started as collaboration between the Steuben County Circuit Courts, Steuben County Probation Department, Steuben County Community Corrections, and the Steuben County Department of Child and Family Services. The program was created with the goal of providing a suitable alternative to expensive, out-of-home placements for the county’s juvenile offenders. The program provides services for both male and female students between the ages of 12 and 17 from the 9 local secondary schools. Any local secondary school student who is suspended/expelled, may be referred to our program by the Probation Department, County Courts, Department of Child Services, or by their home school administrators.

The program serves as a day treatment/reporting program for both pre- and post adjudicated youth. The program provides an alternative to out-of-home placement for the juveniles who violate their probation orders by violating their home school rules. The program provides supervision as well as an education to the youth who are/have been exhibiting delinquent behavior. Since our creation, the program has saved Steuben County over $1.35 MILLION in placement costs! Our students are not "bad" kids. They have messed up along the way and are working towards correcting those mistakes and getting back into public school. They aren't thugs or gangsters (although many try to pretend that they are).

Our program is run out of a slightly converted ranch style house in Angola. We have a kitchen and the students are able to cook themselves lunch. They have access to the toaster over, fridge, oven, microwave, dishes, etc.

We would be extremely thankful for any donations we were given. Also, if you know anyone who is willing to be a substitute for our program, please let me know. We tend to lean towards someone who has some educational experience or criminal justice experience, but I want to open the doors to anyone! We will need a maternity sub from mid-March through the beginning of May. These kids just need to know that someone cares for them. If you are willing to just donate a day or two of your time to come mentor, we would appreciate that too!

Wish List
Books: Of any kind. We would love to have a bookcase full of various books for them to read. Many of our students are intelligent and do fly through the work. We like the option of having them have quiet reading time each day.
Textbooks: I know that sometimes students in public schools are allowed to keep their textbooks if the school is "retiring" that set. Anything that is of the 6th grade level and up would be greatly appreciated. Along those lines, any workbooks that haven't been used.
Home schooling materials: I am going to start working with our local libraries to try and touch base with some home schooling circles in our area about providing us with some unused materials.
Furniture: We have a few "mushroom" style chairs, but after 4 school years and 100+ teenagers, they are looking a bit worn. Even a 2, 3, or 4 shelf bookcase.
Basketball Hoop: When the weather is nice, we use outside time as an incentive for good behavior. We often have a program full of teenage males and since we have very little backyard space but plenty of parking lot space.
3 Ring Binders: We assign each student a 3 ring binder to keep all of their course work. They are expected to return them at the end of their stay in our program. After 100+ students, ours are looking very worn. We use every size. The larger ones we use to keep all our course work together.
Silverware: Somehow are are down to 1 spoon and 2 decent forks.
If you have any of these items and are willing to donate them to a good cause, please let me know!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No More Free T.P.

A&M could 'wipe away' toilet paper
School considers move a way to save money
Updated: Tuesday, 27 Jul 2010, 12:39 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 27 Jul 2010, 12:38 PM EDT

Josh Hinkle
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KXAN) - Toilet paper squares could soon be in high demand at Texas A&M University .

The school’s Department of Student Affairs is amid discussions to rid “free” toilet paper in its residence halls to save money.

School officials said the move could wipe away around $82,000 from the budget. Student Affairs is tasked with eliminating $2.2 million for fiscal year 2012, and this is among $40 million in cost-cutting methods proposed campuswide.

Under the toilet paper plan, the school would provide “a few” free rolls to bathrooms at the start of the semester, which students would then later have to supply on their own.

School officials said larger dorm bathrooms - those meant for at least four students - will most likely keep free toilet paper in stock.

State higher education officials could not say whether this is a move other schools are considering to save money.

Ok, I am all for cutting costs, but this will just cost the university more in the end. Students will just flush inappropriate wiping materials, like paper towel. Paper towel will cause the toilet to plug and flood, and then the university will have a real mess on their hands.

As if prepping to go away to college isn't difficult enough, now you have to remember to pack the Charmin too?


Ayron and I are currently trying to decide on names. We know we have a loooong time before we have to make a final decision, but it's fun to browse and see what other people view as decent names. Seeing as how Ayron and I both have unique names, at times, we find ourselves shying away from unique names. I could never find any school supplies with "Carma" on them. But at other times, we like the uniqueness of our names.

Ayron got his unique spelling because at the time of his birth, 3 other boys (of all similar weight, length, etc) were born and they were all named Aaron.

I was given my name by my father. During my mom's pregnancy with me, her mother passed away. My father chose to name me after her. You don't find to many Carma's around! I have only ever personally met one other Carma who spelled it the way I spell mine. When I looked up the meaning of the name, I found out it is Hebrew and stands for "garden" or "orchid."

We just knew from the start we were going to name Taylor, Taylor. We actually chose that name regardless of the gender of the baby. Once we knew we were having a boy, I knew I wanted to use my family's name "Josiah" for a middle name. It worked out really well because we call Taylor "TJ" for short. TJ happened to be Ayron's grandfather's name. Grandpa TJ had been at Ayron's house the night he passed away. He just didn't feel right and knew that something was about to happen. He called Ayron and his brother over and hugged and kissed them goodbye. Sadly, TJ passed away as Tom was driving him to the hospital. That memory will stay with Ayron forever. Thus, we just knew that Taylor Josiah was the perfect name for child #1.

I have been browsing through some name banks on line and am amazed at the names people will give their children. Here are some funny ones. Please keep in mind that I find these names odd. If you have one of these names, I am not saying you are odd, heck I probably don't even know you!

La-a: Supposed to be pronounced "Ladasha." I would be the smart alec that would call her "La hyphen a."

Cube: While my mother was doing her OB rotation many years ago, a couple wanted to name their new son after the boy on the Mickey Mouse show. They wanted Cubby, Mom couldn't convince them to change the spelling. So to this day, that boy adult has the name of a 6 sided square.

Nevaeh: Ok, so I know it's "heaven" spelled backwards, but I have this theory. If you name your child anything like Angel, or Nevaeh, they will live up the opposite meaning of their name!

Alf: So not kidding. Found this while searching for boy names. Seeing this name makes me immediately picture a short brown fuzzy alien. It also makes me want to run and hide my cat before he gets eaten.

America: I have to wonder what spawned this choice for the parents. Were they afraid their child would forget the name of our country? Or maybe they have a thing about naming their children after the state they were conceived in. No joke, I know someone who did that.

Bertha: Really? Who in this day and age would name their daughter Bertha? It's one of those old fashioned names, like Betty.

Early: Apparently it is a boy's name. Wouldn't it be ironic if Early took 41 weeks to arrive?

Easter: Do they also have a child named Christmas and Thanksgiving?

Fanny: Makes me think of the joke we have for my mom's side of the family. When you get older, you develop the "Fennell Fanny."

Icy: Really? Someone named their daughter this? Was she born during a blizzard?

Pleasant: I'm willing to bet he is the teacher's worst nightmare.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

I haven't blogged in awhile, and for that I am sorry. In recent news, we are pregnant with baby #2 and that pregnancy has caused me to rekindle my urge to bake sweets (although I won't eat them.) I found the following recipe in The Greater Fort Wayne Family Magazine. I would like to caution that this recipe makes A LOT of cookies. I still have 1/4 of the batter left to bake and have close to 74 cookies already.

2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
2 C. Margarine
2 C. Peanut Butter
2 tsp. Vanilla
4 Eggs
4 C. Flour
2 C. Oatmeal
4 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. salt
12 oz. Chocolate Chips

Melt margarine and mix with sugars, peanut butter, and eggs. Then add the dry ingredients. Mix until blended. Then add chocolate chips. Roll into balls and bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes. Cookies will spread out and have golden edges when done.

As I typed up the recipe I realized that while it lists vanilla in the ingredients, it doesn't mention it in the actual prep of the cookie. I also just realized that I left it out! I am assuming my mistake doesn't matter because Ayron and Tj are happily devouring some warm cookies now. Beware, have a large glass of cold milk handy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What If...

I was lying awake last night (newly developed insomnia) and started to wonder, "what if..."

What if you had chosen right instead of left?

What if you had said "yes" instead of "no?"

What if things were black instead of white?

What if you were judged instead of doing the judging?

What if you listened twice a long as you talked?

What if you took a chance?

What if you trusted someone others wouldn't?

What if you truly followed your dreams?

What if you did someone no one would suspect of you?

What if we all told the truth, regardless of who it would hurt?

What if we actually spoke our minds?

What if we all decided to help a stranger?