Thursday, December 27, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Macy had asked Santa for a Hannah Montana guitar--plays three songs, and comes with a headphone and microphone. Here she is when she sees the guitar Santa left:
Kaylin asked for a Cabbage Patch doll that goes in the bathtub. Here she is with it:
Macy sporting the guitar; she played with little else for a long time. The stuffed puppy my parents got her finally took the guitars place, and we all got a break from the "You've got the best of both worlds, chill it out, take it slow, then you rock out the show..." Kaylin hugging the new Cabbage Patch in her new High School Musical t-shirt. She was quieter than normal today; she just seemed to be taking it all in.
It was a fun day. The girls got entirely too much stuff, but that's what happens. I wouldn't have it any other way. My brother sent pink guitars for the girls, so they are set on guitars. I think their new career ambitions are to be in a band, or a singer. Hannah and Josh both got guitars too, and with Rod and Brandon's guitar skills, we're all set!!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Funny thing happened at Target this morning. I may be the only one who finds it funny, but oh well. When I went in Target, it wasn't raining, so I left my coat in the car. When I came out, it was pouring sleet. Not just a little sleet, but downright pouring little ice pellets all over. I had a full cart, and was walking quickly down the rows of cars. Then I realized I was in the wrong row; my car was one row over. I tried to get over--couldn't do it with a cart. The cart wouldn't fit between the cars! I tried a couple different places to no avail. So I had to go all the way back up to the entrance to get down the right row. Ice pellets smacking me in the face, no coat, laughing hysterically--I'm sure I was a sight. I unloaded packages and thank goodness for seat warmers!! Every car I have from now on will have seat warmers.
Yesterday my newspaper staff had their ChristmaHankuhkwanna party yesterday. I spelled that wrong, but you get the idea. We do Secret Santa's, and the kids get a big kick out it. We had a couple unusual gifts this year. One boy received a live frog--I was terrified he was going to set it loose in the school, but all was well. He did get some worms from a science teacher and fed him. Another boy received two goldfish, who he named JaMarcus and Clyde. He was so proud of those things, and left them in my room until the end of the day. He kept bringing his friends by throughout the day to show off his new pets.
Hopefully this snow will stay on the ground through Christmas.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
For example--yesterday we had a problem with one of our advertisers for the newspaper I advise. As is customary, two students went to see the owner of a local hair salon regarding the issue, which was a small problem but escalated into a bigger deal. She was very rude to them, yelling at them in front of her own customers, saying THEY were unprofessional, being downright hateful to them, accusing them of things she had done herself. The two girls, two of the best on my staff, came back upset. A little while later I called the owner of the salon, to straighten out a few things, and she was as nice as can be to me. I called her out for being mean to the girls, and she said, "well, they're just high school girls; they'll get over it." As if that excuses her behavior.
What if we all used that excuse? We could be rude to the clerk at the grocery store--"Oh, she's just a clerk; " Or the mailman--"oh, he just delivers the mail, he doesn't matter." Or the waitress--"oh, she's just a waitress, I don't need to leave her a tip." Just because they are younger doesn't warrent mistreatment.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
By the way, I turned the comments back on. I'll deal with the porn spammers if I get them.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Makes you realize how fragile life is, and how quickly it can be gone. Make sure those you love know it, and leave no regrets in your life.
Aunt Jean's obituary:
Jean Libby, RN, CHPN was born January 18, 1945 in Pasco, WA, and passed away on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 of injuries sustained in an automobile accident the previous week. She was preceded in death by her parents, Guy and Eulah Anderson.
She is survived by her loving husband of forty-two years, Virgil Libby of Towanda, PA; son Mark Libby of Towanda, PA, who served in the Army in Germany and Kentucky and which helped fuel the patriotic pride and love of country in which Jean so often displayed; step-daughters Berniece Abbott and husband Dale of Towanda, PA, and Judy Randall and husband Ray of Belle Plaine, KS; grandchildren Loren Bellows and husband Bryan of Troy, PA, Kensey Abbott of Towanda, PA, and Wade Abbott, currently serving in Iraq, and his wife Jenny of Katterbach, Germany.
Jean is also survived by three sisters and one brother: twin sister Jane Newberry and husband Calvin of Kansas City, MO, Carla Anderson of St. Louis, MO and Edna Anderson of Kansas City, MO, and Bill Anderson and wife Joan of Salem, MO. They will cherish the memories of their sister Jean.
She loved serving and helping people. Even if it meant the sacrifice of something important to her, she would always do it with no questions asked. She loved it so much, in fact, that she devoted over twenty years of her life as a registered nurse. She was employed as a Registered and Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse at the Memorial Hospital Home Health in Towanda, PA, where her friends and co-workers displayed the same selfless service by helping and caring for her through her last days on earth. Not only did Jean love everyone but, especially when she needed it most, everyone loved her. All who have known Jean have a wonderful peace, knowing full well her place with the Lord.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Macy's basketball evaluations went well last night. She was better than most of the girls, and some of the boys. One of the other girls was pretty good too, but her dad is the football coach so she has some athletic genes. There will be 25 kindergartners, split into 4 teams. Practices start in January, so we still have a while.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Today is also Macy's 6th birthday. Fairly anti-climatic, as her party was Friday night and she got all her presents then. She was sad she didn't receive any in the mail today, but I explained that's what happens sometimes. We let her pick where she wanted to eat lunch, and she picked Burger King because of the "iDog" that comes in the kids meal. She was also sad she didn't get to go to school on her birthday.
Her basketball evaluations are tonight, and her dad is her coach. I'm interested to see how she shapes up with others her age--she's tall for her age, and I think she has pretty good basketball skills. I'm anxious to see if I'm just bias, or if she's good.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Close up of her ear. The earring is a small daisy with a sapphire in the middle. I had told her it would hurt a little. When it was done, I asked her if it had hurt a little. She said, "yes, a whole lot!" She was a champ, though. She didn't flinch, didn't cry, just sat there.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I shoveled my first driveway this afternoon too. Probably my last, too. It was not the best time I've ever had, and I will be sore in the morning. I wouldn't be surprised if I have internal bleeding from where the shovel handle was being pushed into my stomach every push across the driveway.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
My Advanced Composition class just finished their 10 page argumentative research papers, and have to do a presentation on their findings. First one on Monday: we should legalize prostitution. The writer is a boy whose dad is a cop. Student said Dad freaked out a little when he started researching. Anyway, first slide on Student's Power Point is: "The Hoe: Friend or Foe?" The students had really been looking forward to his presentation, and they all died laughing. Especially when I had to correct him, that in that particular case, the spelling should be ho. But he really wowed everyone with his presentation, including me, and I gave him 50/50 on his presentation.
Today a rather shy and nervous girl gets up for her presentation. Her topic was the drinking age should be lowered to 18. I hesitate to let people write on that topic, but I let her anyway. My fault. All through her presentation she never once said the drinking age should be lowered, but rather that all teens should be able to drink. Oh, she had decent reasons, but no one in the class really listened to her because they were floored at what she was saying. They kept looking at me with shocked looks on their faces.
Monday, December 3, 2007
We also spent some time with Bobby's grandmother, who is almost 90 years old and still growing strong. Her only child was Bobby's mom, who died 5 years ago. She lives by herself, and requires virtually no help from others, but is so lonely. She only recently stopped mowing her own grass, and walks all over the small town where she lives. We spent the night with her, and she was so happy to have company she was beside herself. I was a little worried about the state of her house, though, and might look into finding someone to go over and clean every once in a while.
When we arrived home Sunday night, we found our glass door on the back deck completely broken, with glass shards everywhere. Our first thought was someone tried to break in, but after investigation, it was the just the fierce wind that broke it. Then the dogs decided to jump through the broken door, and sent glass all over the kitchen floor. Bobby had a fun time with the shop vac in the cold.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
As Macy was working on the Christmas tree, Kobe just reached under her arm and grabbed the paper where the Cheerio's were concentrated and took off across the living room! I ran over and grabbed the paper away from her, gave her a spanking and sent her outside. She knew immediately she was in trouble.
I wonder what Mrs. Fischer would have said if Macy went back to school today and said she couldn't finish her homework because the dog ate it?
Below are a couple pictures of our beloved dogs. Ignore if you are not a dog lover. First is Kobe, the food stealer.
Monday, November 26, 2007
On Wednesday, my mom, my sister Natalie and her daughter Hannah came over for lunch. It was spitting snow a little, but the girls decided they needed their hats, gloves and snow boots on to play in this "snow"
Thursday morning I took my usual picture of Macy watching the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade. She says, "I am so lucky; I have a store AND a parade named after me!" She really seemed to enjoy the parade more this year then in the past.
My dad plays this "don't cross that line" game where he draws an imaginary line in the carpet, then when the kids run by, he reaches out and grabs them. He's done it for as long as I can remember; I can remember my twenty-year-old niece giggling as hard as she could. The kids all got into the game Thursday night, helping each other "escape" from Papa. It really seemed to help loosen up Josh a little.
Friday morning we went to get our Christmas tree. As soon as we step out of the car, there's Santa. Santa's suit looked better than last year's, so I asked him about it. He said Mrs. Clause found a great deal on ebay.
Bobby is very picky about our tree--takes him forever to find one. Then he starts second-guessing himself, then he forgets which trees he's seen and which ones he hasn't. But we finally found one, chopped it down and took it home.
Saturday we took Josh to see Uncle Bobby at the fire station. As any 3-year-old would be, he was pretty excited about the fire truck, the ambulance, put on a helmet and all that. He didn't want to leave.
Monday, November 19, 2007
A few quotes that I found especially bothersome:
- "an increasing number of adult Americans were not even reading one book a year."
- "The percentage of high school graduates deemed by employers as "deficient" in writing in English (72 percent)"
- "The number of adults with bachelor's degrees and "proficient in reading prose" dropped from 40 percent in 1992 to 31 percent in 2003."
The report says "We need to reconnect reading with pleasure and enlightenment." Very true, but something I struggle with daily. How do you make books relevant to compete with video games, ESPN, cell phone texting and email?
Sunday, November 18, 2007
On the way home from church today, we ran through Wendy's drive-thru. Macy asked me what french fries were made of. I said potatoes, and she said yuck and spit out her fries. Then Kaylin asked what chicken nuggets are made of, and Macy said "They take the chicken and roll it into balls, and then put turkey all over and cook it." Interesting idea...
I like to take a nap every Sunday afternoon. I told the girls not to bother me unless it was an emergency. They were pretty engrossed in Barbie's Island Princess. Here's Kaylin's "emergencies":
- "Macy said my face is dirty, but it's not" (and it really was)
- "Can you help me put on this Cinderella dress?"
- "Macy hit me in the back."
- "Where's my flip flops?"
- "Macy poured me some milk. Is that ok?"
Friday, November 16, 2007
Then we have the love triangle. Spiky Hair boy was sitting on the floor, Flat Hair Girl leaning up against him with his arms wrapped around her. They stayed like that for a long time, watching the chess match. Flat Hair Girl got up to go to the bathroom, and suddenly Spiky Hair Girl (who earlier was complaining that everyone is copying her haircut--trust me, no one would want to) is leaning up against Spiky Hair Boy with his arms wrapped around her. I can't wait for Flat Hair Girl to come back in, expecting fireworks, but she just sits down and starts playing chess.
Now I've done none of the work I've needed to during study hall today, but have been quite entertained in the meantime.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The girls are playing in the backyard, and we have lots and lots of leaves. They started making "snow angels" in the leaves, and were just laughing and having a ball. It was so cute! Now they are trying to make a house of the leaves. Not sure that's going to work out all that well for them, but that's ok. They're playing together and not fighting.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Yesterday we walked to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and then ran up the steps, Rocky style. There were a ton of people doing the same thing. There's a Rocky stature at the bottom and we used that as a photo op, of course.
This morning three students and I got up early to watch a building in downtown be imploded. There were probably about 100 people watching. The building was about 2 blocks away from where we stood. They counted down to 10, there was a huge boom, pigeons flew all over the place, and then the building started coming down. It started down on the left side first, but then the right side caught up with it. The dust that came after was bad, and my contacts are burning even now. It was incredibly cool, and I'm glad we got up early to go watch it.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
1. When the elevator door opens, please allow the people inside to get off first.
2. If you are only moving one floor, say from the 4th to the 5th floor, please don't take the elevator, but the escalator or stairs.
3. If the elevator is packed, please don't push your way in and say "Room for me?" No, there is not room for you.
4. When you're in a session, please don't be rude to the speaker by texting, answering your cell phone, or whispering loudly to the person next to you. And when a nearby adult pointedly looks at you, stop doing these things.
5. If they only have enough handouts for one per school, please only take one per school. The people in the back appreciate it.
6. When eating in a group of more than 8, the gratuity is added on. If your meal was $16, you need to pay more than that to cover the tax and tip. We're not trying to cheat you, but you have to pay more than $16.
7. If there are 17 people crammed in a 12 person van, please don't talk about how uncomfortable you are when the others are just as uncomfortable. Is complaining going to help? No.
8. If you get your hair pooped on by a bird, don't rub it on others. They don't appreciate it.
9. When your adviser tells you to check in after the dance, and it is midnight, and she sounds sleepy, please don't carry on a conversation and then say, "Are you sleeping?"
Friday, November 9, 2007
1. The people in the office building across the street will wave at you if you stare out the window long enough.
2. A giant fiberglass rat in the back of a truck is apparently necessary to help protest a labor organization at the bank across the street.
3. Amish people make the BEST bacon, egg and cheese roll-up, rolled in handmade pretzel dough.
4. Do you think it is against culture for a 15-year-old Amish girl in full Amish attire to be texting on a pretty pink sparkly cell phone?
5. If you had long arms, you could touch the Liberty Bell. No guards around it. A student quote: "It doesn't look real, that Bell."
6.Midwest Airlines only gives $25 a day on reimbursement of luggage, but they do call 4 times a day to tell you the luggage has not been found.
7. We ate Thomas Jefferson's favorite biscuits at the Tavern he, Ben Franklin and Sam Adams went for a drink.
8. Elfreth's alley is the oldest street where people have contintously lived. Someone has lived in those row houses since 1703. It is the cutest street. Students have no regard that people actually live there, and want to look in the windows or touch their pumpkins on the front step.
9. They need a neon sign announcing Ben Franklin's grave so people don't have to walk all over the graveyard trying to find it.
10. Chairs from the 18th century need a little refurishbing, but George Washington's chair has a neat rising sun on it.
11. Ben Franklin's grandchildren didn't want to maintain the upkeep on his house, so they raved it and built row houses. Unbelievable.
12. The streets of Philly are not safe. It is not the city of brotherly love. People are rude.
13. The mint in Philly had a bomb threat, and so we opted not to go.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
1.Overly cheerful flight attendants at 6:00 am really annoy me.
2. As soon as the wheels of a plane touch down, high school students whip out cell phones to text or call.
3. Midwest is not good with luggage, but has nice leather seats. No chocolate chip cookies on flights before 10 am.
4. The Marriott Downtown thinks it's okay to put four high school boys in a room with one king sized bed.
5. Philadelphia doesn't feel the need to start the Christmas season before Thanksgiving, as there is no hint Christmas is coming.
6. Homeless people are too aggressive.
7. Philly cheese steaks are pretty good.
8. The boy sitting next to me at dinner can name any song or band in the first five notes.
9. Declaring cell phone bans at the dinner table works. Students stay off their phones and actually talk to one another. And throw things across the table at each other.
10. High school girls love to shop, even if it is at the same stores they have at home.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Obligatory picture of the girls at the game:
Sunday morning we went to the Rock Bridge State Park, and hiked around for a while. We found a couple caves; one is closed unless you have a permit, but the other you can explore. However, we lacked flashlights, appropriate shoes, and a hard hat for Bobby, so we didn't venture very far. It was cool though, and we will probably go back this summer. This first picture is me at the bottom, shooting up to Bobby and the girls at the top.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
The firemen were handing out candy in downtown Kearney, so of course we had to stop there.
This is Kaylin, their cousin Hannah, their friend Emily, and Macy. Notice with Macy's wig they are all blond.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I won't brag too much on Macy, but her teacher did not have one negative thing to say about her. Her words: "she is the perfect kindergartner, and I wish more kids would be like her." Wow. She said Macy is way ahead of where she should be at this stage. We brought home 10 sight words to start working on, and she already knew 4 of them! Done bragging.
We talked quite a bit about the changes in kindergarten over the years. She said what they are teaching now in kindergarten is what they used to teach in 1st grade just a few years ago. They used to focus on just learning rules, getting along, counting to 10, and learning the alphabet in kindergarten. Now, because of preschool, kids come in knowing all that, and they have to focus on more advanced techniques.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I currently have three students in out of school suspension: one for stealing a car (took another student's car keys out of his locker), one for stealing things from the locker rooms, and one for bringing a knife to school in his backpack.
What is going on?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Below is a picture of all the kids in her class.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Imagine my surprise tonight as Macy is working on her homework.
When I was in middle school, 1 out of 5 girls were named Jennifer Lynn. I went through a phase where I said my name was Jenni, Jenny, and then started putting Lynne. Anything to make myself different from the others. That's the main reason Macy is Macy instead of Emily, Hannah, Chloe, Jessica, etc.
Macy: I've been spelling my name differently at school.
Macy: (writes MACEY at the top of her paper) I like this spelling better.
Macy: I don't know. It just makes my name longer.
It cracks me up that she did the same thing I did, when I worked so hard to pick an unusual name for her.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Saturday Macy had a soccer game, and she was back to the usual just run around the field. Oh well.
We went to a fireman muster competition in the afternoon for Gladstone. The Kearney team did horrible, and took 3rd out of 3 teams. Oh well.
In the evening we made our last trip of the year to Worlds of Fun. Our girls absolutely love going, and the weather was wonderful. Very crowded, though. I would have rather had colder weather so the lines wouldn't have been so long. We had to cut our trip short because Kaylin burned her fingers. She was riding a little motorcyle ride in Camp Snoopy, and touched the headlight briefly. She held her own until she got off the ride, then she started sobbing. Her fingers blistered up, so we headed out. She cried herself to sleep before she got to the car! By Sunday morning she was fine, and was showing everyone her boo-boo.
On the way home from church, I asked the girls what they had learned in Bible class. Kaylin said, "God made stuff." I asked what kind of stuff, and Macy said, "you know, stuff." Right.
Macy had a soccer game tonight, and was playing her best. At the beginning of the second half, she was standing in the middle of the field for the kick-off. She kicked it so hard it went straight into the net without touching another person!
Monday, October 1, 2007
Macy is playing soccer right now, and her team is the Pink Panthers. Here is how her soccer seasons have gone:
Season 1: stood on the sidelines and sobbed
Season 2: ran around the field, but wouldn't go near the ball
Season 3: tried to play, but didn't want to take the ball away from anyone
We're optimistic this season will be her breakthrough season. She's already scored 3 goals in two games.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
It's really changed the way I grade papers. I now have the students submit their papers to me electronically. I have a site called Blackboard, which is what the colleges use for their online classes. The students turn their papers in, I download them to the desktop of my laptop, and grade them like that. I can use different colored ink just by clicking a button, edit and make comments on their papers. Then I hit a button and email it back to them. They open the attachment and see their grade. No paper involved.
Last night at the dance studio, while I was waiting for Macy, I was grading a paper like that. After I finished, I let Kaylin "draw" with the special pen. Even at 3 1/2 years old, she could changed the color of the pen once I showed her how. She had a ball scribbling all over Mom's computer.
Suddenly I was the coolest person at the dance studio. We had a flock of 12, 13, and 14 year-old girls watching Kaylin, and they were just mesmerized. One little girl looked up at me, and with awe in her eyes, said, "You are so lucky to have this computer." I just smiled and said thank you.
Monday, September 24, 2007
First, the girls wanted every single costume on the wall. Too much to choose from: cheerleaders, witches, princesses, pirates, you name it, they wanted it. At one point Macy picked a Disco Diva, although I am positive she has no idea what a Disco Diva is. I steered her away from that one. They were also constantly distracted by the neat Halloween accesories: a red pitchfork, a bowl with a hand that grabbed you, a pirate face that stuck its tongue out. At one point, Bobby grabbed Macy and said, "Focus!!"
Ultimately, the decision was made by what costumes were 50% off. Kaylin will be Cinderella, in a pretty blue dress with matching gloves. It will be a perfect dress-up dress after Halloween. Macy will be Hannah Montana, complete with blond wig and rock star microphone.
For those of you unfamilar with Hannah Montana, she is the alter ego of Miley Cyrus, daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus. Hannah/Miley has a hit show on the Disney Channel and a CD. Her concert at the Sprint Center in December sold out in mere minutes, and tickets are being sold on ebay for outrageous prices. I just checked: the cheapest I could find was $70 for 2. I also found 4 tickets for $679--the $500-$700 range was pretty common. Then I saw 4 tickets for $1799.99! Outrageous.
Macy will be content with her blond wig and rock star microphone.
Monday, September 17, 2007
They also performed at halftime, but the videographer couldn't find his daughter in the sea of kids, so there is no point in posting the link. You can't make out Macy.
Friday, September 14, 2007
This is Nick and Bobby in some sort of hose competition. I won't begin to pretend like I know what they are doing. I think they had to unhook that gasket and that's all I know. I like the action shot, though.
This is Bobby and Dave, or "Mr. Happy Face". Dave was blindfolded, and Bobby had to guide him with commands to move the barrel with the spray of water. The team that moved the barrel the fastest won.
This is the Bucket Brigade. All 4 of them participated. Dave filled up the bucket, handed it to Nick, who handed it to Bobby, who handed it to Kevin, who threw the water on the roof of a little building similar to a dog house. The water ran off into a bucket, and the first team to fill up the bucket won.