Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Don't you wonder

My father was brought up by the church- literally.

My grandmother and grandfather were second cousins and married only after a dispensation from Rome. From what I can tell, they were in their thirties. My father came close behind the first year together and the few pictures we have from that time show a happy family. The pictures stop at this one- my dad at 18 months.
About this time my grandmother and her mother were in a fire, caught in an elevator, and both were killed. The story goes- through a step grandmother many years later- that my grandfather heard about the fire and was afraid to go to the building so he went home to wait for his wife. He waited all night until someone came the next day and told him that his wife was dead.
We have nothing from that time. No Mass cards, no notes from friends. We used to have a trunk that was packed with her things- which has long been unpacked by my mother. I don't know where that is.
My father lived with two of his uncle's families for, I think, about four years in Baltimore. My grandfather "called for him" and brought him to California. If you look at the picture, you can see my dad looks a great deal like his mom. My grandfather was a person who said, "if you do it, there could be punishment." Could my grandfather see my dad as his punishment of wanting to marry his cousin?
Grandaddy took my dad to California, hired a housekeeper and began a job with Ford motor as a credit person- on the road all the time. My dad had few memories- none of his father- that he shared. My understanding is that as soon as he could be in boarding school- off he went. There was never any real love bond between father and son. I am not sure if my grandfather saw dad as a burden or shame...maybe it just hurt too much to care for him
My dad did talk about spending the holy days with the nuns in the convent. Christmas with the sisters.Pretty astir life from what I gathered. He always had the material things- but the warmth...it simply was not there.
He went to St John Military academy until he went to Bellermine-boarded of course. Having Jesuit great uncles- I am sure that is why he went. He did learn how to read aloud- but struggled with reading in general.
Most of my family struggles with ADHD and reading problems. Compound that with my dad falling down and elevator shaft (ironic-eh?) I am sure that school was not the shining star- even though it seemed to be the only star in his life. He companions seemed to be the priests there- but his caring for the sisters indicate that is where he learned love. Must have been tough since that was the age that nuns were not supposed to be very open about caring.
He did learn how to be a sales person. My dad could talk most people into anything-but once you bought it- he was in your service for life.
My dad often struggled with what love was. If you were close to him (or should be) then you proved your love by NOT wanting things. Never show weakness. Weakness was only for the poor and needy- which he often cared for. Do you think this was the nuns? If he gave you something, he often wanted it back. I never understood that. He kept an arms length from everyone.
There are five of us. Although some have a more nurturing vision of how he was with them, there are just glimpses of love. My dad wasn't especially harsh (after he learned that corporal punishment of the nuns was unnecessary). He loved to take us to where he felt the most free- outdoors. Was that his escape from boarding school?
Once cannot blame their history for their final chapters, but understanding where the writers come from is a good place to start.
I often wonder what would have happened if my grandmother never died. Or if my grandfather, with his law degree, has simply stayed in Baltimore. Or if they had lived in a different time. I always wonder if my dad could have been happy most of his life instead of just a bit of his life.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It is almost the first

Usually I do not do this- but this year:
1) Some sort of exercise every day - WWii/ Swim/ walk the halls
2) Cut to three sodas a week by Feb and no more after then. Replace soda with tea
3) Call mom twice a week- and Scott's mom weekly- even if she doesn't answer the phone.
4) Spend an hour in conversation with my hubby daily. Move it to two hours by February.It is surprising that we can live together and sometimes not get an hour in converstation.
5) Find one volunteer activity that I enjoy
6) go to the doctor

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The yearly check up

Savings rate- 35% of income.

Portfolio up 12% not counting amount saved this year.

Spending down a bit- but not out of the ordinary.

Four trips to see the adult children and their family.

First ever no children vacation since 1987.

No weddings, no funerals, no major surgery, no graduations, no big b-days.

Countdown to Scott's retirement is official.

Ah- financially, it was a very good year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

last day

Last Day for school this year. We are watching the movies of the books that they read in Language Arts this month. The kids are doing well. The Christmas excitment is up- but that is all right. I remmebered the custodians yesterday with some great Spanish phrases- they laughed at my attempts.
Life is good. The last "child" arrives today.
Catch Phrase last night- Tree decorating tonight!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All joy!

The house has been busy with lining up trains and playing with doggies.

Adults have been rushing home from school and work to play.
Helicopters have landed and the son returns home today.

Decorating begins today.

One more son arrives on the 22nd.

Life is good! We all believe!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Could use a few prayers this direction

We have a dear friend who is fighting a difficult kind of cancer. Jay could really use your prayers (along with the rest of the family).
One of my oldest friends had the early present of a grand baby this week. Connor is about 6 weeks premature and is pretty tiny. Could you pray for them.
And there are some things going on all around me that need some help as well.
Thinking God wants us all on overtime this Christmas season.


No, it is not my birthday- but it is the day I was born as a mom. I love being a mom. My children are the precious things on the earth to me.

Happy Happy day (whhh-blowing out the candle) Jen!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ah- someone is listening!

I got an email asking me to become one of the Smithsonian's exhibit teachers! I will join a group of twenty teachers throughout the country who will write lesson plans for primary sources connected to the Civil Rights movement.
I am SOOO excited!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Have you ever thought of spending a year volunteering?

I have always wanted to be a docent at a Smithsonian. Maybe I could get a tiny apartment in the city and do just that- someday.

let's be quite clear

My stand on the Middle East/ Western Asia is pretty different than most Americans can understand. After living in a middle eastern oil rich country, one becomes pretty aware that our country is considered the France of old- they use us as mercenaries to their satisfaction and we get oil in return.
We finally have a President who GETS IT!
The "Presidents" of said countries would like to keep us there forever to support their unsupportable regimes. We should not have been there to begin with. The attackers on 9/11 were SAUDI.
Now that we have stepped all over the region and the bleeding hearts have seen all the uneducated and impoverished people (don't they see that Africa is much the same?), we have to mop up. Unfortunately, mopping up come at the expense of putting my son's life on the line.
The President laid it out straight- we will do as much as we can in 18 months and then GET OUT! It is a warning to those in charge that if their people do not see a change in them in 18 months then they will probably have to seek refuge elsewhere (I am hoping France).
I feel that we were totally lied to by the Bush administration who thought they could change the world by offering democracy to a land that is dominated by tribes and dictators. Didn't work in the US in the 1850's with the tribes- "had" to wipe them out and move them around to get what the white people wanted. Seems that was the Bush plan. Cheney and Rumsfield ruined the United States. They messed over the military as well. I am beginning to think that Bush was as naive as he appeared- and then in a mess.
Sure, the Republicans are capable of talking a good talk when it comes to abortion. That they did very little about it in their reign is regrettable. Maybe I would admire them more- but they didn't.
Bush came in claiming NOT to nation build- but all of OUR money is in Iraq. A big part of surge is to PAY the people NOT to fight us. I voted for him because he was not going to nation build. He ended up building their economy and defeating our ecomony in exchange. You cannot give out a million dollars in one villiage in Iraq and not expect it to come out of your budget in the long run.

At least Obama has a plan. At least he is forthright in talking about it. He understands that the people in the Middle East are not interested in being colonies of the US. He has finally said it out loud and maybe, hopefully, they are listening. I hate that we are in the Middle East one more minute than we have to be. Unfortunately, most of us drive to work and heat our houses- all with dictator and war torn oil.
What is that ring on your finger- diamond? Is it a blood diamond? Well, that is a different story.

The public option of Medicare at 55

Personally, I think this is a terrible idea. There are loads of self employed who write off everything from their cars to their gas to many meals to seem "poor". I know because I helped with the free and reduced lunch forms at one of my schools. I hate the idea that they could now drop off insurance and declare for Medicare.
I think SS disability takes care of those who are in poverty and truly disabled. Yes, it needs to be cleaned up- but it is in place. There needs to be some sort of buy in for the rest. This is not what Obama proposed.
I am sick of the Democrats in the House and Senate! Fortunately, I never have to vote for one-lol. I don't think any live in Kansas.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


From the back
and the front

Snow is here

Best of all- it is a snow day tomorrow!


Trees covered in snow
a white path
tree house unused
clothes line empty
dogs sleeping
we wait

Monday, December 07, 2009

St Nick

Today I got to share the story of St Nicholas with my class and gave them the tradition of a bit of candy for working hard. The fortunate thing about teaching sixth grade is that it is world religions. Currently I am working on Hindi- but could interject a bit of St Nick in the bunch. We already did a "holiday wreath" for the hall - some of the kids put, "He is the reason for the season" on their hands.

I am trying to wrap my mind around having everyone here for the holy days. Our house is not even close. I guess it is time to get moving and clean out a bit of space in my heart for the season!

Friday, December 04, 2009


Extended family- well part of it anyway!

Financially Responsible

I once had someone tell me : "Quit saying you can't afford it. You can afford it. You chose not to do it." I guess it is all in the words for this person. If I feel that I cannot financially justify something, I cannot afford it. To me it is simple.
We are frugal in certain ways- but free flowing with other things. I cannot afford an expensive purse- or else I have to give up having a trip to see the grandbaby (about the same costs these days). I cannot affort to go on a fabulous vaction with my extended family- because it takes away time and money from my intimate family. I cannot afford to buy a new car- or else I have to give up being ready to pay my taxes fully.
I cannot afford it is my term and I am sticking to it.
This has helped us be in the mind set for retirement. One person thinks we have so much more money than we do. The secret? We simply live for the special things and cannot afford the show things:>)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Another day

Need a good mental trip back to the time of Siddhartha?
Need chapstick?
Need a ride home?
Need your hearing checked?
Need a good book to read?
Need chocolate?
Need girl drama advice?
Need glasses?
Need baby food?
Need homework?
Need a Mass card?
Welcome to my school world!
Forget retirement.
I could spend every minute and cent at school- lol!
Opps- I forgot!
Need 20 semester hours for the end of my Masters program!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The next step

Now that finances are in one place and we can look at them, the next step of retirement is to figure out how to do what we want to do. My husband has been accumulating tools for years. I never knew they all had a part of what he wanted for himself. I figure his plan is at least twenty years old. Why can't I do that?
My plans are much more scattered- which means I will have to take the time with them that I have taken the time with finances. AGGG! I am just not ready!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What does retirement look like?

Neither of us plan on hitting our Social Security or our IRAs for quite a while. Retirement simply means to not have the nine to five position that we currently have (actually 7:30 to 4).Driving to the office/school and working at a desk (or standing in front of a room).
Instead we would like to do our own thing.
My husband plans on wood working - and keeping care of the property. There are trees to prune, fields to mow and gardens to tend. All of those are being done now- but on the weekend in a hurry. I don't know if my husband will ever sell anything he makes when he finally accepts taht he can play with wood full time. I suspect that his plans are to make every stick of furniture that our children and grandchildren will need....
My plan is to tutor, on line, overseas. I may continue teaching, but in a school that only needs me part time. My best days of Catholic school were when I only had to be there three hours a day. I would also like to be available to pitch hit if my daughter decides to homeschool or my grandchildren have bumps in the school road.
Both of us get bored of full time travel, or full time playing. Retirement is simply working for ourselves in a more relaxed manner.

Health Care for us-in the retired sense

One of the main reasons we moved to Kansas was our health care. After moving nine times and being blown up once- we are comfortable with our military "socialized" health care. We moved to Kansas because the VA is good for my husband and the military hospital is good for me. We might have moved somewhere else if there was a national health care plan- but Kansas serves us well. With health care in place, we do not have to worry as much about health costs. Twenty years of "you have no choice but to serve there" has turned into lifelong health care.
Health care is a reason for my son in law to choose to stay in as well, but certainly not the primary reason.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Finances for those who are getting close to that "retire" word

It will be a few more years before I (52) retire, but my husband(59) is almost there. I actually wish he would leave his job today and begin his woodworking...but there is "that Harley to buy for the cross country trip when our son gets back from overseas".
We started the "end" retirement money count about a year ago, when he had a "routine surgery" go bad. Six months after the surgery, he was (and still is ) recovering. He is back to work- but that surgery (and the death of several family members) put us on a steady track.
What does it take to retire?
Here is my plan so far:
1. We consolidated our accounts.
When you have accounts all over the place, you often lose perspective of what you have.
2. We took our envelope system to the next level.
We have used envelopes for the past twenty years. Now they are stone in areas of allowances and more flexible in house repairs.
3. We dug out all of our journals and really looked at our true spending.
I have been journaling our expenses on and off for about five years.
From there we figured out a better idea of how much we actually do spend on traveling (a lot) and clothing ( a little). We could see the trends in gas and how long our cars last. Best of all we could see which investments were good.
4. We rid ourselves of mutual funds.
I would not recommend this to anyone who does not have the time to track stocks.
5. We took a long look at how much we could live on alone (if the other passed away) and together.
That is still an on going debate here!
6. We are currently saving 60% of what we make.
Do you think this teacher/ GS worker takes the idea of "what we want to do when we grow up" seriously?
That would go down a great deal if one of us leaves our position.
I'll let you know how the rest of it goes as we progress.

My first post- Jan 3, 2006

Hard to believe it has been almost four years!

"Until I visited Alaska I never really understood that a sky can be the "sky blue" in the crayon box. There I was stuck in a place between Fairbanks and Palmer looking at the sky. It was blue, but not regular blue. I lived in Northern Arizona. I know what "blue sky" looks like. But there I was seeing, for the first time, "sky blue". What an amazing color. It is actually exhilarating.

Think of a whipped blue as pale as it can get and then suddenly a splash of dark blue thrown in.It was actually warming a day that was probably about -10.I thought, after my trips to Alaska ceased, I would never experience that color again. I think it was just so unpolluted there I could see the REAL "sky blue". I was to be surprised.
Yesterday I was out walking on our small farm- and there it was- "sky blue". I have not lived in Kansas this time very long, but I have already come to appreciate the many things that brought us back here after 15 years away. The geese gathering to fly south, the kids bounding up our drive to see if the sledding hill was ready, the sunset out my kitchen window and now "sky blue". Moving back to Kansas was a good move. "

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving thanks

T hankful that life is so good
H armony within my mother's house
A men is the word of wisdom this year
N ana - there are two of them in the house right now!
K inder -I will miss our Nicholas this year
S ave the turkey from the dogs!
G od is the center of my life and the center of this word
I raq, praying for those serving and a safe day
V oices from afar make the day special
I n bound from Seattle- ready for pick up at US Air!
N oon meal with the extended family
Gracious hosts that my sister and her husband always are. I am thankful that they are willing
host so we can fill and enjoy
Missing the other parts of my family- but Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Traveling on Thanksgiving weekend

I am thankful for living in the time period when I can get on a plane and have my son get on another plane and we both end up at my Mother's for Thanksgiving. I hate to fly, but I love to visit!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thankful for the people in our children's lives

We know we cannot always be near. We are thankful that our children have the ability to make good friends.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thankfulness comes in a sunrise

I did not have the camera this morning as the sun rose on my way to the pancake breakfest at school. It was beautiful!
I am also thankful that I can hear the helicopters at night. Their engines bring me that much closer to my son, who I really miss right now.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thankful for

co workers who can laugh with me about the strange things kids do on our team. Middle School teachers have to see humor in growing up. We have been there and are willing to walk a new group through each year- with humor!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thankful for the new couches!

I am thankful for

I am thankful for

Children of all shapes and sizes, backgrounds, abilities and disabilities.
I am just wondering if the Science and Social Studies classrooms are really Noah's Ark for school!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Thankful for

Young teachers who will take on beginning strings at the middle school level.

It is good to see you Sarah Palin!

I caught glimpses of Palin on different shows this weekend. Not home in time for Oprah-but would have liked to see the interview.
I stopped watching her on TV after the Couric interview- it was so bad. Katie, obviously, was willing to do whatever it took to twist Sarah. Disappointing. I haven't watch Couric since- and probably never will again.
Finally, I am beginning to see the Palin that others rave about in person. She did not stop in my area (who did?) so I knew no one who had heard her first hand. I am anxious to read her book. I am even more anxious for her to stretch out and learn more. I think she could be an excellent role model.
And next time- don't run with John McCain!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thirty days of Thankful

Today I am thankful that we can still move a couch downstairs!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who changes a child into a man?

Thankful for

The small things---calls from the kids and my sister, a movie with my husband.
I am also thankful for the time I had with my dad.
Today is the third anniversary of the day he left us for a higher place.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thankful to be

debt free

The good set of kids

I am thankful that I have great students this year. They make teaching a pleasure and a challenge.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I can't hear

the cheers over the house version of the health care bill that takes abortion out of the mix. Are we only voicing defeats?

Monday, November 09, 2009

I am thankful for

The ability to walk the halls.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Saturday, November 07, 2009


I spoke to my son today- he flew a few hours to get home. It makes me a bit less worried that doctors like the one above will be taking care of him in harms way. What happened was a tragedy, but those soldiers are rare.
My nephew is also safe at Fort Hood.
It was another long day.

I am thankful for

The day is hazy and the combines are out. I am thankful for the farmers who tend their fields so we may have food on the table.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thirty days of Thanksgiving

I am not really good at this- but I am willing to give it a try. Found it on Michelle's blog. She found it on Kayla's blog http://karladornacher.typepad.com/karlas_korner/

Day one was a good day. I was thankful for the opportunity to do my windows before the winter started and for getting a paper done that I thought I would not get to.

Day two I was thankful that my husband is well enough to ride his motorcycle again.

Day three I was thankful that I work on with a good team of teachers

Day four I was thankful for the beautiful weather during our field trip

Day five I was thankful for prayer in the morning

Day six-which is today- I am thankful that I went to the officer's club 29 years ago today and saw those amazing eyes. You know those eyes...the ones of the one you will marry:>)

Mostly I am thankful that I have a loving family.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Surprise! I took on too much.

I finished a paper last night.
Taking two classes and having a life is pretty difficult.
Thinking it would be a breezein the beginning, I broke about three weeks ago.
How do people do this.
Fortunately, the professor decided to give me time instead of forcing me to drop the class. Last night I wrote one of the best papers I ahve enjoyed in a very long time. The class is caught up and "moving forward" (pg 29) is the theme of the day.
Now, if I could only find the forms for the Social Studies meeting this morning!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It was a wonderful day to be

a teacher!
The field trip was excellent.
The hour of 11 year olds telling silly jokes in the van was the best part.
Sitting in a warm van with kids who just needed to talk and chill was a smooth second.
The gulls, the walking (including watching the "macho boys trying not to get their shoes dirty) and the kindness of strangers at lunch time....
Yes, it was a wonderful day.
Even the last minute website presentation for my fellow teachers went well.
I promise bison pictures soon!
I will miss rock, paper, sissors if I leave.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Fall back

It was really a beautiful day. My windows are all clean for the winter and the spiders have all been removed.

Looking out my living room window gives me the joy to continue my day.

The bedroom gives a peek at the dogs and later, when the leaves are all gone, the horses who live on the pasture above the house.
Yes! There is not a bad season here!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Helen Keller?

I grew up talking about how wonderful Helen Keller was.
When reading another blog I found that she grew up to be very contrary to my own beliefs. It took a lot of looking before I could find a primary source- but this clinches it for me:
Dear Margaret Sanger,
What a glow of gratification was kindled in my heart when Polly read last week the wonderful news that you had founded the Planned Parenthood Association in India!
Not only have I continued to follow your work with loving admiration and expect ever greater results from your beneficence, I have also known of Nehru's statesmanlike interest in birth-control, and now I behold you and him and Lady Rama Rau working together -- a triple Hercules -- for the deliverance of a land long cursed with excess of population. I cannot imagine anything more blessed happening on earth. As you teach, mankind has through ignorance often destroyed the sweet joy of childhood. Now a tide of enlightenment, slow but sure, shall lift its healing waves from one end of the world to the other until every child has a chance to be well born, well fed and fairly started in life -- and that is woman's natural work as the creator of the human race. Affectionately I salute you, Margaret Sanger, as the prophet and the the woman Prometheus of humanity's highest physical and mental welfare.
Often Polly and I speak of the visits we used to have with you and the inspiration I drew from your brave words. You have travelled up and down and athwart the world since, but I never lose the warm thrill of your beautiful personality.
With Polly's and my love and wishes for a Christmas luminous with the service you are rendering to mankind, I am,
Devotedly your friend,
Westport, Conn., December eighth, 1952

Bull's Eye

My husband and I are beginning to work through what we have in common. After a longer marriage and many years working on opposite sides of schedules...we have a great deal of work to do. See, we plan on being together for the next fifty years....

Some people do quite well growing up together. We tend to look at things quite differently. Still, just like in the money, we have decided to rework things.

Today we went shooting. Both of us enjoy target shooting, but we have not done it together for several years (probably three). When we last did, I was there more to accomodate our son's (now ex) fiancee. Grocery shopping at seven and then off to the range.

I have to say- I still have it!

Once again I proved that women can be a better shot. We both shot well- but I beat him by one point! Now, did he "let me win"? Maybe. All I know is that we had a good day at the range and plan on having more good days together. I really like my husband.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A little side note:>)

This was on AOL today. How do you know your office is dysfunctional?
Sign No. 2: Bringing up a problem is considered more as evidence of a personality defect rather than as an actual observation of reality
Whew - I feel much better!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


For years I have been the investment/bill manager in our house. I seem to have the sense of "know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em". Recently my husband discovered his IRAs. They have been steadily growing under my wings for a while. He just never even knew about them. Well, the two he knew about have made no money in the last 10 years....he controlled that.
We moved our IRAs from the dreaded AGEdwards/ Wacovia/ Wells Fargo this week. They clipped a nice percent from our money before sending it on (it was all in cash). It is now safe in a bank/brokerage that I trust.
What did he do? "Wow! Money to invest!"
My stand on what is happening in the market right now is what happens every year this time of year. The big firms are cashing in to give all of their people the capital gains that they want to see (which are not real- but we get to pay Uncle Sam for them).
My philosophy is never buy past Oct 20th unless you really see something pop. Hold um until the end of December if you can and buy like crazy after the Mutual funds dump mid Dec.
Did he listen? Nope.
Did he invest this morning and then watch it go down the rest of the day? Well, if you follow the market you know the answer.
See, my husband has STILL not figured out that this money is actually MY retirement. He has his pension from the Army. It would sustain him without a problem if I should pass away first. Me? I don't have any pension and our IRAs are my retirement IF he (eight years older than me) should pass away first. (Please don't ask me about insurance - he was a finance major and is convinced it is a rip off).
Taking the money and playing is not my idea of fun. I have worked hard for these gains. Got out before the crash and held in cash until now.
He will learn. Today he even said something about this morning when I said- quietly- "I think you might not want to invest today because of the profit sharing this time of year." Tonight I got, "I think I should have listened to you. At least we are in good stocks;.)"
This is something I have studied for the last 25 years. I ask him for advice about other things that he has studied for years (like people). UGGG! sometimes he is such a MAN!
Taking up golfing is sounding better each day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Walking and thinking

I wish I knew how to golf.
Golf tends to be a sport of walking and thinking- sometimes discussing. It is you and a few out in God's place- just walking and thinking. Sure you plan your next hit-but that does not seem to be the point. The greens, the tress, the time to just think and walk.
Golf is the sport of business. You get out on the links and just have time to talk and think. Until recently you could be quite alone with your friends or associates. I am betting people feel that they have to take their cell phones with them these days...it interfers.
This time of year you get to enjoy that great Vit. D(of which I am so defficiant) and the changing trees. It puts things into perspective: your life, your family, your envirnoment. I don't know why I never saw that before now. Golf was always the "rich man's sport" - but I think men, more than women, in the past have needed a good excuse to get outside without huge competition.
Tennis is taken up on sides, swimming is alone, baseball is alone within a group and then a party after. Yup, golf will be my next game. I plan on taking it up in the spring after the golf course thaws:>) I should talk my "kids" into learning as well. I think we could all use some walk and think time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not enough camera time:>)

When you are down- there is always an up

The weather is changing into winter. You can always count on spring.
The kids are wild. You can always count on a good reading day to calm them down.
The polls are saying the country is ending, You can always count on American inginuity to pull them out.
I am waiting patiently. Things are coming soon.
Universal health care in some form.
Employment in new fields in areas that are attempting to grow instead of staying stagnent.
And people to see that all of the nay saying does nothing but depress people.
It is time to pick up your crying mats- quit giving the nay sayers money and move on.
Some will stay behind- wringing their hands and claiming the country has gone to hell in a handbag.
Heck, it went there years ago.
I am riding the wave of tomorrow. Changing what I need to in order to put my life in balance.
Isn't it nice to finally have a moral person in charge?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Too pooped to pop

My mom used to say this when a child was so tired all they could do is cry.
That is how I have felt the last few days. Exhausted.
We had parent conferences- and they were excellent.
The projects are coming in and they are really good.
We are going on a field trip this week- and that is wonderful.
The reality is I am still exhausted.
Maybe the doctor will be able to help me out on Monday.
I sure hope so. This type of tired is not very helpful to my lifestyle (although my house sure looks better now that I have been home for two full days and have cleaned a bit at a time).

Sunday, October 18, 2009


To be quite honest I had not listened to Bono until he met with George W Bush and they worked together on the "AIDS in Africa" project. He praised GW as an excellent ambassador for the poor and his work in the subcontinent.
Then Bono met with the Pope. Another good set of meetings. See a rock star can shine a different light on a subject and Bono is careful about making sure the subject is poverty not him.
I agree, totally with Bono. Most of the world's ills are about money. Why do white college aged women have the highest abortion rate? They are afraid of a baby "ruining their lives". Why are so many in debt up to their eyeballs? They are afraid someone else will get in front of them. Why is it SO easy to recruit in Saudi Arabia or the mountains of Afghanistan? The people are desperately poor and told that everything they have will be taken for the good of the developed world.
I have witnessed extreme poverty. It is scary. I try to erase those faces from my memories- the garbage dump children in Egypt, the starving children in Vietnam, the beggars in Hong Kong. I try to erase where they live- the tin houses, the cardboard boxes, under roads. I cannot do it. I constantly want to look into what I can do to help to eradicate poverty- and extremism....
I did not know about the millennium agreement to get rid of extreme poverty until this article http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/opinion/18bono.html was brought out by my sister.
I think the re branding of America is a good thing. We do have great ideas. We have possibilities to help the world while continuing to increase our country's level of education and inspiration. I have traveled all over and would like to say that we are the best... let's get back believing in ourselves and quite running us down all of the time!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Have I told you lately how much I love to teach?

Yes, I go back and forth as far as how long I can sustain my sanity and teach. Today was a very fulfilling day. Deciding to throw my old style at the classes, we produced a newsletter about Egypt. Research, writing, keyboarding, cut and paste, pictures...all in three days! It was GREAT!
I miss this type of classroom and will be returning to it more often in the future. Now, if I can hold on to my sanity until the end of the year:>)

Five minutes to go

I have to leave in five minutes.
Am I dressed for school? Nope.
Do I have the material to read for the weekend? Nope.
IS my classroom set up for a day of frenzied copy paste? Nope.
Am I ready? You betcha!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Paying for college

One of my friends has a daughter heading for college this year. Pre engineering, she is ready for the academics. Paying for college is another issue. Although our state has a rather low tuition, the parents were hoping to use the post 9/11 bill to help with expenses. Congress approved that the bill could be used for dependents, which is wonderful. The down side is the paperwork is so darn complicated.
Her husband is in the National Guard and is probably in his late fifties. He does not intend to use the benefits and would like to hand them over. They only have one child- who is the center of their marriage. This, actually, would have been easy last year- but now there are rules. One rule is commit to serve four more years after the benefits are transferred. This guy has served two year tours in Iraq. He has put in more time than most active duty guys. I think the government likes to mess with National Guard because their lobby is not so great.
Would you say a little prayer that I can help her through this transfer? For a school teacher and a maintenance worker- paying for college out of pocket is a daunting task! Of course they are too "rich" not to be paying out of pocket!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thinking that 2010 will be the last full year.

My husband and I have been thinking a great deal about "retirement". There are so many things we would like to do that schedules we now keep do not permit. He turns sixty this summer and I am younger. We have saved, but not nearly the amount that most say we should.What is the point? My dad stopped his regular job near his sixtieth, and my mother never had a job outside of the house. They continued to accumulate wealth in different ways.
The day to day... What we have in our household is an excess of creativity sitting inside the house, unable to go outside because of schedules.
How do people multi task their creativity. They can think about their full time jobs, volunteer full time and still work in wood or at the sewing machine. Personally, I don't know how they do it. I simply cannot do it!
After my husband's surgery last year and the year of recovery, things have come more into perspective. We do need to take time out to really enjoy what we have to offer.
I love to sew- not clothing, but quilts. It has been a VERY long time. I no longer know the jargon nor do I have a good machine to work on. Not the best at putting colors together, I would really enjoy working with a friend to put thought together and me doing the labor.
Hand sewing is also a passion. Embroidery in college was a way to work though times that had strange hours. Not cross stitch- that does not do it for me.
Scott is excellent with wood. He, unlike me, has been collecting things for his mission for many years. It is set up, and now it needs wood. Personally, I would enjoy being the finisher for him- learning to polish and upholster what he makes.
We simply have grown away from our first joys. This time here, learning how to live again, has been the growth that brings us to the conclusion that we need to get back to it all.
Not sure if I will sign a contract to teach next year yet, I do see my gifts there as well. Teaching is a never ending thankless position. It takes all of my mind and heart and exhausts me.
My plans are to finish my Masters and then evaluate if I can use it in a different line within teaching. PeaceCorps, Mission work...we really don't need much to survive we have found. Age is becoming a barrier.
And then there is always the thought of being around for our children.
So much to do.
I am thinking the year 2010 or 11 may be the time to just get out and get going!
BTW- these are not our work- but maybe something like them will be in a few years!

Friday, October 09, 2009

My other son

My sil checked a block yesterday that is important to his future. Amen! He chuckled as he said that this time, at the end, he got down on his knees and prayed that he passed. That is how important that particular check was. I can see the Lord poking my dad in the side, commenting how sil finally was on his knees!
I am beginning to see the softer side of this guy. My daughter has been out the last few nights- so I have had the chance to chat with him. Sometimes I have to stop some tendency on his part to be negative, because this kiddo has the whole world available to him. Why do some people grow up not believing in themselves?
Don't be scared my daughter and other son. You both are bright. You will figure it all out. There are now tons of options.


There is a Catholic blogger who banns comments. First she might open her comments for one comment, but when she thinks that another comment could come, she closes them again- only to those who oppesses her POV. She uses mean words to respond. She did mention once that she holds grudges...Duh!
This is not unlike what I see for her type of Catholic is as well. Struggling with vocal Catholics (not doctrine- just the people that attend Church), I have given up on going at all. A comment is made, a question returns, the door is slammed in your face and then you are talked about - sometimes not even behind your back. This is not the way of Christ. His arms were open and questions were a part of his teaching.
I am beginning to look for a kinder Church community. For years I sat through verbal abuse because I ask questions. I have to admit, I have not given the church here a real try- but my fear factor is SO high, it is not worth it. I have taken a year off and am starting to look.
One good friend attends a Church in Phoenix that offers many services to their population that she is getting into- driving people to medical appointments, sitting with them, taking food to the poor, sitting with them... all things the Catholic Church did well 20 years ago. Yes, I could start these ministries here- but that puts me back in the "vocal Catholics" block.
Too tired to do leading- I just want to do.
I am ready to step up and really work again. I hear the Presbyterians do a great job here. I could do adoration on Wednesdays in the next town and church there on Sundays.....

Monday, October 05, 2009

construction zone

An old picture- but how I feel about my class these days. They are under construction! I have been making many more calls home than I have in the past. Parents seem to be happy with their children's progress. I have a few who need heavy construction.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And the baby is now TWO!

Time to come home now Jennifer! I am missing my babies;>)
Soon enough