Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Red Ribbon Week - Dreams

Last week was Red Ribbon week across the country and our schools participated as they do every year.  Red Ribbon week is one those ways educators try to get kids to commit to staying drug free. One of the activities is to allow students to dress up as different things every day. One day maybe crazy sock day or hat day.  Last week when I was subbing, it was to "dress up as your dream job". The slogan was something like "don't let drugs kill your dream".

One student in my first hour dressed up like our youth pastor. I know this, because our  youth pastor has a goatee, glasses and most Sundays dresses with a button up shirt - NOT tucked in, and a tie. This student nailed it!

Later in the day another student told me he was dressed as our pastor.(He was wearing a dark suit with a tie - very formal!) I have to admit, it warmed my heart to see these sixth graders have such noble ambitions in life.

After hearing my last name, several students asked if Benjamin was my son. I said, yes. Several student piped up about what class they had Ben in - they were sooo excited!! I told them he EVEN LIVED IN MY HOUSE!!!

This mini-pastor said, "Yea - I wish  I had Ben in one of my classes. That way I could cheat off of him."

Hmmm....Really???  ...hmmm... I think some one needs to clue him in on how pastors should live. I don't think cheating is in their job description.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Last week the first quarter grades came out. Overall, we were very happy with them. William made straight A's - and that included Honor English and Honor Chemistry. (Still not sure how we got such a smart kid!) Melissa, also, made straight A's - including Honor English & Lit, Algebra, & Spanish.

Then there's Benjamin..... He made all A's except for one B. We were talking about it over dinner one night. This B is in English - not his favorite class. When we asked him why he has a B, he felt like it was because of the "daily bites". This is where they have to edit a paragraph. They usually go over it with the teacher and can make corrections if they missed any. Ben claimed he DID correct it, but she would still mark it wrong.

William piped up, "It's probably your handwriting."

We all agreed. No matter what we do, he just won't write any better!

I told Ben he should ask his teacher how he can improve his grade. And he did. Yep. It's his handwriting.

When I worked last week, I asked the teacher if Ben talked to her and so, she told me about the conversation.  She said, "I felt so bad! But I have 160 students. I just don't have time to sit and try to decipher bad handwriting!"

I replied, "Please, don't feel bad!!  We have been trying to get this kid since first grade to write better! But unless I'm literally standing over him, he won't! He needs make it better!"

We'll see how the rest of the year goes.  He really has gotten off easy with his other teachers.  He smiles so sweetly, gives them some puppy eyes and has them wrapped around his little finger! They know how smart he is (once, again! Not sure how we got these three, but very happy about it!) and that he totally understands the work. So, no teacher has made him be better in his handwriting.  He's not a  behavior problem, so they just let him do his work then do whatever he wants to do - which is usually to read a book.

In first grade he would do all his work in twenty to thirty minutes while it took the rest of the class an hour and half or so. He would finish, read a book, take a  comprehension test, go to the library, get another book, read that book, take a comprehension test, then go back to the library... He would sometimes go to the library three or four times a day! I didn't realize this until the end of the year. Had I known I would have asked the teacher to make him do extra handwriting work.

She should have known to make him to do extra handwriting work! But she hated to push him, because he would show those puppy eyes full of tears.  He hates to be told he is doing something wrong, so he ends up crying. The teacher see the tears and then backs off.

So, here we are in sixth grade still with bad handwriting.

Hopefully, he'll get it together and not only get an A in the class, but, also, improve his handwriting!

Monday, October 29, 2012


Sunday was such a pretty day! I did not want to stay indoors- even if there were plenty of football games to watch. My first plan was to take the kids to the local corn maze and pumpkin patch.

Sadly, I was over ruled.

No one was interested. They all think they are too old for that.

We ended up going to local out door mall. Melissa, of course, just wanted to shop. Apparently, she needed some new jeans. (NOT!) William was not real happy about going. We basically didn't give him a choice. 

(Ben lucked out by being with friends for the evening.)

So, off we went. We walked around trying to find the three geo-caches that were listed on the web-site. We found only one.

Well.  Melissa, Eagle Eye, found it.

The other two  remain a mystery.

But we did end up with some Orange Leaf yogurt.


And yes, Melissa ended up with some new jeans. And a new tee-shirt. Because, that's what girls do. Spend money on clothes.

But we all ended up enjoying our time out of the house and in the sun and nice temperatures. So, much better than being stuck inside all day.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Laundry Training Day

Saturday I needed to attend training to be a  commissioner for the election next week. But I, also, need to get some laundry done.  Usually, I would put Melissa in charge - after all, I KNOW she will do it right. But a few months ago, she complained how I was "picking on her" to do the laundry all the time instead of the boys. So, this time I decide William would be in charge. I called it his Laundry Training Day.

He was  not impressed.

He reasoning of why he didn't need it? "I already know how."

"But you need practice," I told him.

"No, I don't! Beside I'll work all day and my wife will do the laundry."

"Oh, Really?!  Do you realize that before we had children your father and I BOTH worked full time and we SPILT the chores?! Besides, your father was just lucky enough to fine me early in life - are you praying that you find your wife early in life??!!"


"You need laundry training and today is your day!"

So, he was in charge of the laundry while I was gone. Over all, he did a great job. But I will say, I found it quite humorous over what I found when I got back.  The picture says it all. This boy does love his book!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

New Believers Class

Tonight ended the third New Believers class I have taught at our church since we have moved here. I love it! This time around I only had three girls -all fourth graders. Surprisingly, all three at different schools. All are so sweet!

I taught the class a little differently this time around. Every week (there's only four weeks to the class) I had some one come in and give their testimony. I wanted the girls to see how easy it can be to tell others that Jesus loves them.

I think hey all had a good time. Hopefully, they learned something along the way as well.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Way Too Early

I'm at work way too early - the sun is just peeking over the trees

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

Over all, it was a quiet weekend. We did get a lot done Saturday. While the two teens were refereeing the church's soccer games, I weeded the flower beds - took all. dang. morning.

And I'm still sore.

But that's what I get for putting weeding off for a month....ok. More like two months... Yes, it was bad. But they look so much better now.

After lunch we dropped William off at Melissa's art teacher's house. She is a retired single lady and needed some help weeding her flower beds.  William said he only got about half of them done. She may have him come back when he has time - which may be in a few weeks.

While William was working (he does love getting paid even if he didn't really like the yard work), Melissa, Drew, and I went shoe shopping. Ben stayed home to work on home work and to continue to recover from his bout with walking pneumonia. We all found some tennis shoes that we needed as along with a few other things on our list.

The rest of Saturday was all about watching college football. It makes me giggle when one team loses and makes me sick to my stomach when (once again!!) my team loses after being in the lead for most of the game.  Seems to be a habit...which needs to be lost.

Sunday was church....some movies....some more football....nothing too Earth shattering...

Today is day off from school. But Drew is working, though, so my plan of going to pick pumpkins was nixed. Not just by Drew not going, but also because, the kids didn't seem too interested in  picking pumpkins.  I think the teens are headed to church later this afternoon to hang out and watch movies. (Love how the youth leaders like to keep them busy!)

Not sure what I'll do while they are movie watching....maybe jean shopping.....

Should be a good week -a short week - those are always nice.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Magic Day Nine

I think we have turn the corner with Benjamin and walking pneumonia. This morning his 'peak flow' number was the highest it's been since middle of last week. For breakfast he only ate a roll and for lunch he only ate a very small bowl of tomato soup. But for dinner he more of his normal amount. While that started to get me thinking he was feeling better late this evening, what really told me he was feeling?

Annoying his older brother.

Oh, yeah. Benjamin is feeling better.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Ill Ben

This Tuesday brings another day that Benjamin is home from school. At first I thought it was just a cold or strep throat is now more along the lines of walking pneumonia. While he does not have a fever, he does have headaches, sore throat, some dizziness, and in general the feeling of "bla"  - no energy whats-so-ever.

He is getting lot of computer (yea for lap-tops - or in his case - chest tops as he's laying down) time and tv watching.  He did read some, but I think he finished his book. He'll need to raid his brother's stash of books.

When we were in Guam Melissa was ill for two weeks. We never got a diagnosis other than a virus. I called it "crazy island jungle fever", but now I wonder if she had walking pneumonia. Not that it really matters, I guess.

I did take him to the doctor on Friday and talked to the nurse yesterday. I won't take him back in until Thursday if he is not well by then.  Thankfully, they will issue me a note for the school. The schools here are very strict about attendance. (While we were in Guam the DoD school  was not so strict with attendance - that's changed I've been told since we left.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Public Humiluation

At certain points in history, public humiliation was one of the ways society enforced the laws.  When Drew and I were touring Bermuda, we saw this as some locals dressed in colonial clothing acted out a public dunking. They even dunked one lady form the audience. (SOOO glad it was NOT ME!!)

In the last week I have decided that public humiliation is my children's "currency" (what motivates them). Since Melissa was very small, she has hated needles. Can't say I blame her, but at some point she needs to at least  come to a place where she can sit still and get a shot without screaming and yelling. When she was in third grade, she throw the biggest fit over getting a flu shot. She had to be pulled out of the car and dragged into the clinic - screaming the whole way.  Even last year at age 12 Drew had to hold her down in the middle of Target for the flu shot. 

This year I was going to have none of it. I was done! I have tried lots of things....promises of treats if there were no tears, etc. Some years she did better than others, but still I would have to hold her down. So, this year I came up with another solution.

Public humiliation.

I gave William a camera so he could film her getting a shot and if she throw a fit like a two-year old, he would post it to facebook for all her friends to see.  I have never seen her sit so still and quiet getting a shot since she was three! Much better!!

Then there's Benjamin.

He hates any type of liquid medication.He would rather be ill and in pain that take it! He loves that he can take a pill now and not be bothered with that nasty taste.  But this week he is taking a liquid antibiotics in order to try to kick whatever kind of bug he has that is triggering his asthma.  He wasn't happy about it at all!  He ran away from me - trying to keep our kitchen island between us - he keep his hand over his mouth... It was getting old fast for me.  I called Drew who talked to Ben over the luck.

Finally, I just looked at him and said as sternly as I could (all the while trying not to laugh because he was acting so ridiculous it was funny!!) "If you don't take this medicine, I'm going to call Ms. April from down the street to get her to hold  you down while I pour this down your throat!"

He got really still - and  you could just see the wheels turning in is his mind, then he opened his mouth like a little bird. I shot the pink liquid under his tongue, he swallowed and we were done! Finally!

Public humiliation.  A great tool.