Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Famly time

It has been aweek of family time. We have shared a virus that put two of us at the hospital to be checked- and the rest in the house for a long time of quiet. Still, it has been a good time!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

I am in Phoenix today. Yes, it is 60 and sunny. My kids are loving every minute of it. I thought I would look at a few of my mother's pictures while I am here. This is the house that she grew up in. My grandparents moved into the house at the height of the depression.The left is the living room with wooden floors that squeek when a rocking chair goes back and forth. My Nana had a high backed rocker and Mrs Dee a low back. They would spill out the coloring books and blocks in the back hall when my mom would come to visit- allowing them time to sit at the kitchen table and chat.

This is where we are headed on Saturday. Yup- snow in Flagstaff. Thrilled? I would rather be in the warmth- but Jen and James are anxious to see their old house and the town that they considered their home for six years. This is my mom's home in the pines- under the snow that we expect to see.

These are my two in uniform two short years ago. Jen is now being a full time mom while Ry continues to be the Marine he is. She did a great job- he is a real find:>)

This is a picture of my siblings and my father's parents. Yup- that is me second from the end that was a LONG time ago. The youngest person in this picture is now 45!

This is the last family picture before my dad passed away. My crew is not in it- but we all lived far away. It says that it was taken in July 2006.

Later I will post the family pictures from last night. Christmas eve with everyone except Paul and Dad...first time in a very long time!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Picturing the past

We have this painting in the living room. My dh went to the village in Vietnam that he served in many moons ago. He brought back this painting and said, "it hasn't changed much". The painting is a warm place in my heart. I do not know why it is important at Christmas time- maybe to remember those times for him. A warm Merry Christmas to all of you!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


My great uncle was a lithographer for the mint- back in the day.
In 1919 he did this litho. It has wonderful depth and color.

In 1969, when he elderly and mostly blind, he painted this picture. My Aunt Catherine told me that she put the pins where he wanted in the canvas. Uncle Ned would mix his own paint and paint within the pins. I wish you could touch this. All of the gold and blues are raised. He made the frame as well.
I think of his work like my life. At the beginning of my career it was all about the struggle. Getting to where you need to be in life. When you finally have a chance to sit and think- it is really all about the love- right at the beginning.


At 1 below life is still good in Kansas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

When your Mommy instincts were right

There is a man who started a huge youth program. He caused me lots of pain since I knew something was wrong in my gut- but could not figure it out. He rose to power in my Church- pretty strong backing. He sold his program to other churches and kept the profits for himself and friends....
He was finally kicked to the curb by the Church.
Another bully bites the dust.
The question is, "Can something truly good ever grow out of something started for evil purposes?"
God can make anything good...I know.
Still the question is difficult for me to answer.
I know the answer:>0 I think too much!

Three hour nap

and now it is 11 pm and I am wide awake.
Tomorrow is the last day of school for the year. We are planning a celebration day.
Tough crowd!
Actually, there are many delightful children in my classes. The few bullies are the ones who drive me insane. This time of year that insanity is worse. I have no tolerance. And when their mommies run to their assistance when another child has finally, after being verbally assaulted for months, lashes out....I just am GRRRR about it.I just want to shake the mom and say, "Your child is SO mean!"
So, tomorrow is the last day that I have to deal with attempting to protect the boy with so many sores the others cringe, the girl who is so timid- she is the perfect victim, the child who is so hurt by life- he shrinks. They will all be with me over the break though. I will be thinking, "What could make this better?" for two weeks. Maybe I will become ...inspired.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


From my classroom window
From my bedroom window

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I now know that most of my clothes are cotton

My time of revelation came today that my sister has changed my clothing content. My clothes were on the line. The temperature went from a balmy 59 this dawn to 5 degrees at dusk. My clothes "walked" inside on their own. They has been frozen in place on the line! Four years ago they all would have been limp since polyester does not freeze.
Thank You Cath for changing my thoughts on the comfort of good cotton!
Darn- my camera is at school.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ten great Catholics in my lifetime

Father Wasson founder of Our brothers and sisters- humble to the end http://www.friendsoftheorphans.org/
Mother Teresa
Pope John Paul II (still love that he gave his popemobile to Mother Teresa to sell)
John Van Hengle - founder St Mary's Food Bank
Father Tom Owens- teacher /priest
Sister Norma Jean Turner- teacher/ principal
Father Fessio- took on his order and founder of Ignatius Press
Michelle- walking the walk every day
Bishop Sheen- founder of the logical/public Catholic
My dad- struggled every day. Attempted to do the right thing as often as possible.

How about you Ruth, Carrie and Michelle? Anyone else? Who are the great spiritual leaders for your life?


No- I am not struggling, some of my students are. We deal daily with kids who do not have enough. The enough that I worry about the most is emotional support.Several of the kids are on an edge and I can feel it. When they are, they act out in certain ways. Not as many smiles, a sharp word to a usual friend, walkingaway from a teacher greeting. Slowly my team attempts to work through the situations.
I even hate to let them go for the two weeks of Christmas break.
Nope- I am not depressed- I am frustrated- but hopeful.
The baby is walking and I will get to see him in ten days! There is always hope. That is what our Lady of Guadalupe means to me- hope in the winter.

Monday, December 08, 2008

December 12th

December the 12th has always been special to me. It is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is the feast where Mary shares roses with the poor man and asks him to build a Church on the spot.
My father always had an amazing devotion to Mary. Maybe because his mother had died at such a young age and he took on Our Lady as his mother figure. Roses were always his favorite. He planted them everywhere for Mary.
That my Jennifer was born on the day of the roses is amazing to me. There is that connection. I used to ask Mary to watch over Jennifer as she drove away to school or on a date. I would place Jennifer in Our Lady's hands when I thought that she was getting too far away. She was a rose- just like one of the roses that Our Lady gave to Mexico. I knew,someday, she would build a Church of her own- in her house with her boys.
Here comes December 12th again. I am not good at getting the cards out on time- but I know I will go to Mass on the 12th and thank Our Lady for helping to guide our Jennifer- a rose of my father and my Church- to be the woman she is. I am forever grateful for that gift of a rose.

"Do you know Math, too?"

I started this post last week when a student looked at me with surprise and asked me that question. Math is a subject that has to be taken in steps to enjoy. They are amazed that they are being taught by an entire team who enjoys Math. The question struck me as funny. They assume that since I only teach Social Studies that Math would be my darkness. They are always delighted when they find out not only that I like Math, but I can teach it in a different way. It helped being a SPED teacher for three years!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Why we are needed in public school

Today I was to teach a short introduction to the Jewish religion. My objectives for the year are to teach the basics to the five major religions. My thought? The Jewish religion will be easy. Everyone has heard of Moses and David....
Today we were reading the background to ring those "oh yes" bells.
The only one rung was mine!
My findings was that less than 10 out of my 100 students knew ANY Bible stories. One student even said, "What is a Bible?"
This evening I spent working up a Power Point on the history of the Jews. As an educated woman, knowing Jewish history is HUGE. There are so many things that Western Civilization is based upon. Starting with know what a "goliath" is and moving to the Ten Commandments.

Today I found out that I was on the Democrat's list because I am a member of the NEA.I guess I should not be afraid of the list- so many of the people and things I care about are their issues....don't know too many Republicans who see education as a huge priority. Just make sure they read, write and 'rithmatic.