Thursday, December 27, 2007

She's Engaged!!!

My niece Lauren is now an engaged woman! Her boyfriend George Kinsella proposed to her on Christmas Eve, by putting an ornament on the tree with the ring tied to it. How cute! Lauren and George have been together for a long time. Lauren is in school at Western Georgia University, studying education. She's going to be a middle school teacher. (Yikes! Even I couldn't do that!) The wedding won't be for a while, but I wanted to post anyway.
Hard to believe she's old enough to get married. I was 11 when Lauren Nicole was born, and my parents watched her during the day for several years while my brother and sister-in-law were working. Most of my memories have her in them--the day she was born when the nurses wouldn't let me in because I wasn't old enough, the way she used to sprint away as soon as you unbuckled her car seat, watching cartoons, the way she'd talk with my friends on the phone, my trips to Atlanta to spend time with my brother's family, my wedding where she was a junior bridesmaid, how my mom, sister and she "kidnapped" me right before my wedding, her sweet, impish smile, the infectious giggle that she still has. I wish her and George all the best.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Whew, Christmas day is over! For the girls, there is such a build-up for Christmas Day, and it is just exhausting getting ready and dealing with the endless questions about when Santa is coming, etc. Christmas Eve we had the family over, and we had to keep checking where Santa was currently--Australia, India, Peru...each time the girls acted like they knew excatly where that country was.

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!!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...

My Christmas Countdown calendar says 2 days till Christmas, so that means I can start shopping for Christmas presents. Yes, that's right, up until this morning I had only a few things for the girls and that was it. So I braved the stores today and got a pretty good start. I can finish up tomorrow. Somehow I like the adreneline rush, and it doesn't feel like Christmas unless I wait until the last minute.

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

High school students are people too...

Sometimes I think adults have a warped perspective of what high school kids really are. They hear stories on the news about gangs, murders, drugs, teenagers doing stupid stuff, and they assume all teenagers are bad people who are up to no good. I can assure you that is not true--I have many, many students who are conscientious, hard workers, use common sense, kind, friendly, and many other things, and it frustrates me when adults overlook those qualities and see the stereotypical bad seed teenager. Oh, I have that kind too, but they are few and far between.

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

Check up for Macy

Macy's 6 year check up was last night. She is a perfect square--48 inches and 48 pounds!! The nurse said that's pretty common. She's in the 90% percentile in height (gee, I wonder where she gets that from) and the 50% on weight. Everything checked out well. Macy was very excited to reach 48 inches; now she can ride the Detonator, the Timber Wolf, and the Mamba at Worlds of Fun. She is a major daredevil.

By the way, I turned the comments back on. I'll deal with the porn spammers if I get them.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Life is fragile...

My mom's twin sister passed away last week, after a car accident. We will never know what happened, but the highway patrol said there were skid marks on the highway, and she hit a light pole. At first we thought it was just a skull fracture, but we learned later she had an injury at the brain stem, and would be in a vegetative state in a nursing home. They learned Aunt Jean had a living will and didn't want to be kept alive with extraordinary measures in case of a brain injury.

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

Another snow day!

Once again, I will never turn down a day from school, but today's snow day is ridiculous. Liberty has gone from one extreme to the other. The girls and I have major cabin fever, and will have to do something this afternoon.

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

Snow (or ice) day!

Today was a snow day for most of the schools around the Kansas City area. It was a much needed break for all, and I will never begrudge a day off from school, but we have deadline for newspaper on Thursday, so we'll have to work at warp speed Wednesday and Thursday to get done. It's also frustrating that we wasted a snow day, because the temperature rose just enough for the rain not to freeze, and the roads are fine. But the schools called off the night before, and I bet next time they wait until the morning.

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

Super long post...

This is will be a long post! Friday night was Macy's 6th birthday party. Before the party, we went to the mall to get her ears pierced. That's what she wanted for her birthday. Below is the picture right after they pierced her ears. The picture behind the chair is a tad creepy.

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.

Then we moved on to the party. We ended up with about 15 little girls. Everyone of them was well behaved; I was very impressed. Macy's theme was a "rock star/fashion show." When the girls arrived, they decorated guitars with markers and stickers. Her birthday cake was actually 24 cupcakes in the shape of a guitar. It was pretty cool.
After presents and cake, we moved into the "stations". One station was the nail station, where my sister painted their fingernails and put nail gems on their fingernails.
Another station was the make-up station; a friend of mine's daughter did make-up on all the girls, and some body tattoos. I should have bought more brighter colors for eyeshadow!!

My friend Carol did their hair--lots of funky ponytails, curly waves, etc. Somewhere in there they changed into their rock style/dress up clothes. There were some wild costumes!

After the nails, make-up, hair and clothes were ready, they did a fashion show down a white runway to a Hannah Montana CD. The girls were hilarious--where they had all learned to walk down, stop, turn, and walk back up just like a model I have no idea! Macy liked to run down on her turn.

As I mentioned earlier, there were some wild costumes. Kaylin's was one. Yes, she is wearing a cow girl vest (without a shirt underneath), a Hawaiian grass skirt (without pants underneath) and cowgirl boots. She thought she was the coolest!

Finally, after many trips up and down the runway, they danced to the Hannah Montana CD for a long time. Their "take home gift" was a little pink and yellow microphone with Hannah Montana's picture on it, and they had a fabulous time just singing and dancing.

It was a great party, but I am glad it is over. The girls were great; it was one of the easiest birthday parties I've done, thanks to all my help!
Today was cold, freezing rain outside, so we just stayed home and played all day. I "shopped" for Kaylin's new wardrobe--I went downstairs and got the 4T winter clothes, and basically quadrupled Kayin's wardrobe. I love that I have two girls who were born around the same time, so we can reuse clothes!
Hopefully there will be no school Tuesday this week. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Snow angels!!

We got about 3 inches of snow this afternoon, so we had a good time playing in the snow after school. The girls enjoyed making snow angels and throwing snowballs at each other.

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

Ah, teenagers today...

I have several funny things to share that's happened over the last few days. At least, I think they're funny! People are always saying to me, "How can you teach high school? I could never do it." Part of why I love teaching high school is the youth and enthusiasm they have...

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

Bobby's dad got married on Saturday, to a lovely woman named Janet. Bobby Sr. has been very lonely since Margaret passed away five years ago, and Janet will definitely fill that void. Hopefully they will be very happy together. Bobby's dad also retired as a minister and moved to Janet's house in Salem, MO. Below is a picture of the bride and groom!

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.