Indigo Robe

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Location: United States

Mum likes reading, decorating, shopping with the girls, and Starbucks. She also feels funny writing in the 3rd person. Papa (also known as Sparky) is currently looking at me with a blank stare having asked him to add something about himself to the blog. (Now he wants to say something) The only thing he loves more in life than music and Coke is his wife and kids. (Awww...) :) Little Lotte is a genius on the computer and makes me fall over laughing every day with her quick wit. She loves computers and animals. Sweet Pea abandoned her family and moved to Phoenix for work and is now married as of 2/28/06. She is beautiful and smart and the most nurturing person I know. She gave me the greatest gift ever when she made me a grandmother. I am the proud Mum Mum to Andrew Christopher. There are no words to describe the joy of having a grandson!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

In honor of my birthday (July 28) I present... me in my birthday suit

Friday, July 29, 2005

You Knew It Was Going to Happen

This picture has nothing to do with this entry... it's just a beautiful picture of a morning glory that I captured in San Diego on a street pole.

Yeah, it's been awhile since I blogged. It's called WORK. I have a student who is the equivalent emotionally of a 3 year old. It's like trying to teach a class of 4th graders with a 3 year old in the class and NO HELP. Oh, it's been a joy. I don't want this blog to be a downer. I mean, really... it's just me. I am DONE with teaching. I only wish I DID know what I want to be when I grow up. And even though I am done with teaching, I still stay and work every night until 5:30 and go in on the weekends because the fact is I am still teaching and I have my own standards I have to live up to.

It sucks being accountable to yourself.

This weekend I plan to relax a bit. Sparky has been waiting on me and being so sweet. He really nailed it with the birthday thing yesterday. I had the best birthday in years and it's funny because it was the WORST teaching day of my life! As I was showering this morning, I noticed a HUGE bruise on the back of my left calf-- a birthday present from a student who doesn't know how to stay in his seat and raise his hand. No, he pushed his chair back and bam, right into my leg as I was passing by, "walking the trenches". I showed the class the bruise and said NO ONE GETS OUT OF THEIR SEATS TODAY. It worked! For about 3 seconds on the "3 yr. old" and then he was off again. Sigh. I have called special ed. everyday. They tell me that he has to be in the "least restrictive" environment and having a parapro would be restrictive. How about the other 22 kids that have to put up with his antics? Those kids don't have any rights anymore. Oh my god, wasn't I just talking about my birthday!???? Ok, yes....

Birthday - wonderful evening -- it wasn't the cake, it wasn't the presents. It was the 30 mintues on the phone with Sweet Pea. It was the phone call from Sparky left on my voice mail. It was Little Lotte singing Happy Birthday to me on my voice mail at work. It was the giggling with Little Lotte and Sparky (and missing Sweet Pea) before bedtime. THAT's what made it the best birthday ever. God, I love my family. :)!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Overheard at Meet the Teacher Night

Dear Parents at Meet the Teacher Night,

Welcome! We are so glad you are able to make it tonight. We know that we will also be meeting you in 2 short weeks for curriculum night but it's nice to have this extra bit of time together so you can ask questions.

Parent # 1
No, the male teacher will NOT be putting up more "things" on the walls. Male teachers are often lacking in their decor but this particular male teacher actually loves art and has an eye for decorating. Don't you find that his lamps, reading and art center, and computer center are well done? Did you notice the 6 Traits posters he had up with the beautiful background her arranged? How about the alphabet line and the posters on strategies for good readers? Did you notice the math posters? How about the space for YOUR child's work? What else do you want him to put up? Rules and Strategies for Game Cube so your child can easily enjoy daydreaming time without having to stare at small white spot on the wall?

Parent #2
Sure, you can send my fellow teacher YOUR ideas for classroom discipline. Her email address is BITEME @ And while you're at it, can we have YOUR email address? We would like to send you OUR ideas for delivering the mail in a more timely fashion.

Parent #3
No, you may not have an extra copy of the new science books so that you can "go home and decide which lesson" you want to teach. See, you voted for President Bush. And, according to the man you insisted on electing again, you are not what he likes to calls "HIGHLY QUALIFIED". Sorry, Charlie! But here's the deal. Keep this hush hush, we won't tell, but... we'll let you come in and teach the new science curriculum if you let us come to your office and do a presentation/lesson on building better somethingorothers, since you are an engineer. Hey, it's doesn't matter that we don't really know what you do. Just give us the company manual and let us look at it and decide which THING we want to build. Ok?

Parent #4
Yes, that teacher IS going to use that "1st grade colors thing" for discipline. It's called Assertive Discipline (google Lee Cantor) and she has every right to use it if that is how she wants to manage her classroom. We are sorry that your child may have been saddened last year at having to be responsible for their behavior but it's 27 of them against one of us. We need management tools. Some choose Lee Cantor's approach and some choose other ways. As long as you have taught your child the proper way to manage their behavior at school, you won't have to worry about her ever having to color in her card with anything but the color green. Yellow and Red are SO traumatizing, we know! (cough, cough)

Parent #5
You are SO lucky your child is NOT in my classroom. You are lucky your child is allowed to attend this school. See... walking up to the teacher and announcing to him (first thing out of your mouth) "If you mess with my boy, I will kick your ass" is NOT a proper introduction according to Miss Manners. Your addition of "I am not threatening you, I tell all the teachers that" is not the appropriate follow up to your introductory statement.

You are lucky that you got a first year teacher that accepted your comment without escorting you to the door with one finger pointing to the door (you guess which one) while dialing 911 with the other finger -- as I would have done. I would have REFUSED your child in my classroom which is my right. I would have reported you to the police as threatening with a possible restraining order issued for you to not be withint 20 feet of my classroom even though your child is going to be attending the classroom next door to me (because he sure as hell is not going to be in my room).

Parent #6
Yes, that is a hint for you to leave when they came over the loudspeaker announcing "Thank you for attending Meet the Teacher Night" because you are now here 45 minnutes past the time that Meet the Teacher Night was supposed to be over and we have been here since 7:00 a.m. AND in an inservice. We have not eaten dinner. We have not used the restroom. Thank you for your understanding.

Parents # 7 - 28 (my new crop of parents - and I got a good crop, it appears! YEAH!)
THANK YOU for being sane! Thank you for caring enough to show up at Meet the Teacher night and asking questions about me and my family. Thank you for remembering that I don't do this for the MONEY, that I do it because I love watching your child's face light up when they FINALLY get long division or when they make oreo cookie sculptures after our science projects which measure if Double Stuf are REALLY double the stuff. Thank you for arriving during the ACTUAL hours of Meet the Teacher Night and not expecting me to be there an hour past the scheduled time. I appreciate that one act of respect more than you will ever know.

THANK YOU for your smiles, your care, and your concern that your little one will be with me for the next 9 months. I won't let you down.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A Lot of Hot Air

Our air conditioner decided to quit yesterday. It happened in the middle of the night but I was SOOO tired from my first day back at school that I didn't even notice it. Lucky for me, I was soundly sleeping the whole night. Sparky and Little Lotte, however, were up feeling the heat radiate throughout the house. The inbetween parts of this are boring but it's NOW fixed They couldn't come out until the next morning and when its 113 outside, that is WRONG. We went out for a delicious dinner and got to eat together so that was really nice. $200 later and the house is cool once again.

Today was a district inservice. Good stuff on expository text and strategies for increasing comprehension. I really did learn a lot and plan to use the newly gained knowledge in my classroom.

Tonight was meet the teacher night. It's always a little stressful to me because I don't like change. Having a new class every year is BIG change. SOOO many personalities with the kiddos and parents to adapt and adjust to. They look like a pretty good bunch. There were only 2 little guys that were a little hyper so I'm going to really make sure we spend that first week going over procedures over and over and over until they get it 100%. That jumping around stuff bugs me, always has. First graders are CONTANT wigglers and that's why I would never teach 1st grade. I have 23 students and only 9 are girls! :( I had such a high class last year so I am anxious to see how this class performs. I had 17 show up for meet the teacher night - not bad! Now Sparky and I are going to cuddle on the couch and get ready to watch the Tour de France. And eat ice cream. And maybe kiss. :)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Back to the ole' salt mine

What the heck is the ole' salt mine anyway...

Tired.... can't....type.....

Here's a "bioglyph" of me from last year. I do this with my kiddos the first day of school. There is a meaning to each thing. Example: I have 7 strands of hair because I was born in the 7th month of the year. I have 28 freckles because that's the day of my birth. Left ear: sisters and the dots on the ear are the number of sisters I have. The eyes mean something, the necklace means something... I could go on but you and I both know we don't care right now. We are tired. My room is not EVEN ready for meet the teacher night on Wed. but then again, it's meet the teacher night, not meet the room night. Tomorrow is our "retreat" which means LOADS of paperwork to stuff into our teacher's essentials notebook, some ice breaker where we have to find another teacher who also lived in Alaska and likes to drink pune juice, and stale-hard-as-a-rock cookies. Welcome to the world of teaching.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Ten Things I Learned Today

1. I am currently addicted to Diet Root Beer.

2. I don't need another black top but I bought another black top because it had a silver butterfly pin that was worth the price of the black top alone.

3. I cannot go to the mall without seeing a minimum of 4.5 former students and at least one co-worker. Every time.

4. You can tell which crowd just let out of the Star Wars movie.

5. A half of a grilled cheese and no breakfast + 105 degree heat and 4 hours of shopping = low blood sugar.

6. 75% off of ugly is still 25% ugly.

7. Lay's Potato Chips are my crack.

8. I don't need another pair of black shoes but I bought them because I have a couple of skirts that NEED these black shoes.

9. My husband is a lousy gift giver.

10. I adore and love him anyway and could care less that he can't pick out a gift for me to save his life because he is the most caring, loving, generous, sweet, handsome, kissable man in the world.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Good Friday, Bad Friday

Today is my last week day of summer freedom. I go back to work on Monday. The kiddos don't arrive until the following Monday but starting THIS Monday, I must go back to my little room. It's a work day. Sparky already helped me move desks around. We went over last night right as a beautiful rain/lightning/thunder storm blew in. (The weatherman insists we don't call it a monsoon yet.) Anyway, when we got back to the house, I got out my camera and was playing. It's just a little itty bitty thing of a digital and I had to click about 100 black sky pics to catch this one fantastic lightning pic but now I AM HOOKED. I've always had lens envy when I see someone who has to cradle their lense because it's so big but now I also want a faster clicking camera. And Sparky, you know I love to click buttons!

Anyway, today Little Lotte and I had fun running around the mall and doing girly things. Since Sweet Pea abandoned us, it's me and her against the mall. We bought bracelets and Eiffel Tower necklaces and charms. We bought purses and candles and lots of fun stuff that we don't need but who can resist a 75% off sale?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Independence Day

July 4th has always felt more like New Year’s than Independence Day to me. Every year, standing in the spot on top of the parking garage at the U of A, I reflect back on the year. The changes that have occurred, the hopes I have for the following year.

I think that may have started about 10 years ago. We went to San Diego for vacation over the long weekend holiday. We stopped in LaJolla for the 4th of July display in the park. We had front row seats to the ocean and the fireworks. It was thrilling! About halfway through, in between some spectacular shells being lit, I started people watching. There was a young mother sitting very near to us. She had two small children and she seemed to be watching them more than the fire in the sky, smiling as her babies played tag with each other, stopping in awe to look at the fireworks ever now and then. I looked closer and saw a beautiful headscarf enveloping her head. She had no hair. Her eyes were sunken. It was obvious she had lost her hair due to treatment. Had the disease I fear the most in life taken over her young life? Although Independence Day is about remembering those who have fought in wars, this mother was fighting her own war. Cancer.

Yes, I would be enjoying my children more than the sky as well. What a smart women. They grow up so fast and then it’s over... just like that. I was terrified for her. Would she be here next year to enjoy another fireworks display with her babies? Was she thinking about just getting through day to day so she can spend as much time with her children as possible?

The following year, we were back at the parking garage. And every year since then, I offer up a thank you to the heavens for letting me be here another year to be with my babies. I can’t help but reflect back over the past year, the hopes we had, the firsts we had (first graduation, first crush, first trip overseas) As the years go on, there are more lasts than firsts. Last Christmas at home all together, last meal together as a family of four, last night with all of the bedrooms of my house filled.

Ten years later (last night) I wasn’t fighting a war but I was raging a battle. This is the first year that Sweet Pea isn’t with us. She graduated (oddly enough from the University of the parking garage where were watch the fireworks) and moved out in the last two weeks. I thought about the young mother but I also reflected back on the times that Sweet Pea was with us. All those memories rushed at me in-between the bursts of red, white and blue. I ...miss... her... so... much.

They are with us and then it’s over - just-like-that.

As the fireworks came to a frenzied close and we did the appropriate ooohhhh’s and aaaahhhh’s, we climbed back into the car, one seat empty in the back. The fireworks were over just like that.

My husband turned to me and said, “Wasn’t that great?”

Yes, honey, it was.......great.

Happy Independence Day, Sweet Pea.