Saturday, September 27, 2008

Think John Cougar...John Cougar Mellencamp....John Mellencamp

I may have mentioned once or twenty seven times that we live in a small town. It has its ups and downs, but we really do like it, and it's a great place for a family. Last night the carnival came to town, and it seemed like half the town showed up for it...MK, TW and me included. We took one of MK's friends with us and had a good time.

Then another reminder of our small town life...our local newspaper recently upgraded to publishing two issues a week. I am not complaining, because if this is all that's happening in town, instead of murders and burglaries, etc., I am okay with it...but today, the big story on the front page? The directions for boiling peanuts, I kid you not.

So here are some pictures of our evening. In the first one, you can see MK in a yellow shirt at the top of the picture. I can't believe she will ride this, because the many times we've been to Disney, she has hardly ridden anything. In the second picture you will see MK and TW. She was a good sport and rode this with him so that he wouldn't have to go alone. After a few times he didn't care and rode it and chatted with the kids around him. Then we ran into a kid from his preschool and he hid his face and wouldn't talk. Go figure.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A bit of this: a bit of that

I continue to fill out applications and hand out resumes, but I am not getting much feedback. A few jobs that I've applied for have closing dates of September 30, so I am really hoping one of them comes through. If not, I hope the subbing will pick up. I subbed yesterday at a different middle school. It was fun, but it was a computer class, so I just gave the assignment and the students worked independently. I preferred the other class, because there was much more interaction with the students. However, I was very thankful to be there.

My morning class is going well. It is a grammar and writing class, and they have turned in two written papers so far. I can already see some improvements, but it is also frustrating to grade papers when it is evident that some of them haven't retained a thing that has been taught. Oh well, the semester is still young.

MK had a game tonight. It was finally cool enough to wear jackets!!!! They weren't necessary, but it was kind of the novelty of wearing a jacket again after so long. At one point I looked at one of the parents and her teeth were chattering, so I let her borrow my jacket, because I was enjoying the cool air. The Big Man and T. Willy stayed until halftime, which is beyond TW's limit. He gets bored, but their routine is to see MK and the band play on the field, then they head home. I usually take one of MK's friends, and that makes it really fun. We leave for the game early and return late, and the girls don't get to eat during the game, so we stop for something to eat on the way home. Tonight I completely embarrassed myself talking into the speaker at Sonic, much to the girls' delight. Oh well. I hope it will be a good memory for them, and I am certain that they will never be able to think of peach tea the same way again.

I will close with pictures.

The first is MK in line. Her school is right next to the high school where all of the games are played. So they line up at the middle school then walk to the beat of the drums. She just looks thrilled to be there.

This is the band on the field. I won't bother trying to explain which one is MK, but she's there.

Here are some shots of T. Willy. I have discovered that it is very difficult to take a picture of a four year old boy. So, these are the best we could do tonight. If you are familiar with the real photographers in my family (my dad and brother) you would know that it is against all I've been taught to post out of focus pictures, but these just go to show that taking pictures of this active boy is a daunting task. I will add the disclaimer that all of these pictures were taken with my phone.

(Ignore this unless your initials are CD or MD.)

One more thing that continues to haunt me....last year I posted this. I was looking back through some posts and realized that there was a comment that I had not noticed before. Oh, I was so busted, and when I noticed this, I could not stop laughing. I may have seemed mean when I posted it, and that was not my intention. With one exception, I have no bad memories of the subject of that post, and remember him as a nice and very smart guy, both guys actually. I wish them the very best and hope they do not hold this against me.

Now I am actually going to complete an online interview for yet another job. Good night!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Homecoming 2008

Our local high school's Homecoming was this weekend. We went to the parade on Friday and also to the game Friday night. It is hard to believe that after all of the football games and parades that we've attended as spectators that next year MK will be at the school actually a part of all of it. We aren't sure what capacity freshmen have in the band, but she will be at the school. We moved here when she was 2 1/2, and now we are starting to think about high school!!!!

Anyway, here are some pictures. I didn't take any at the football game. We left after the queen was announced. Ty was exhausted, but I was able to sit with a good friend and catch up with her before taking him home. We were losing when I left, but they pulled out a win. Go, Bulldogs!!!!

Since T. Willy has outgrown strollers, the wagon came in very handy for all of the walking we did. We watched the parade right where it started, but when MK finished marching we had to pick her and her friend up at the end. It was much easier to pull the wagon than make T. walk that far.

MK is the 4th girl in. She did not like that I yelled for her, but I wanted her to know where we were. Oh well, that's a mom's job, I think.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The post in which I prove I have no shame

I mentioned that I made a photo book for the Big Man's birthday. I took some old pictures out of albums and scanned them, then put them on a cd. I had hidden the cd in my closet and found it when I was cleaning out my closet the other day. So, I thought I would post some of the pictures. Enjoy...and try to hold down the laughter.

This picture is the Big Man and me in 1988, our unofficial engagement picture. I am not sure why I did my hair like this, because I never wore it this way at all. It is so very 80s...the bangs, the acid washed jean skirt and pantyhose...cracks me up.

This is us Easter 1989, I think. It was taken on the steps of the West Virginia state capitol building. My mom is from Charleston, WV, and we were visiting on a weekend break from college. This is more indicative of how I wore my required a hair dryer and hot rollers and hair spray...things I have no use for anymore.

Our wedding...once again, so very 80s. To top it off and prove my point?
The bridesmaids' dresses and mine had HUGE bows in the back. I haven't seen the kids in the picture in years...they are now in their 20s but will forever be 3 and 5 to me.

Here is a picture of my parents, brother, sister in law, the Big Man, me and my nephew in 1990.

Here is my nephew from this summer.

This is one of my all time favorite pictures of the Big Man and MK together. She was not yet 2.

The Big Man and T. Willy in the hospital right after T. was born.

So there was a little trip down memory lane. There are more pictures, but I think I'll save them. Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just call me Mrs. G.

Today was an absolute blast. The time just flew by. I was able to see MK several times during the day and that added to the fun. I also had the boy she likes in class, and it was really fun for me to get to see him, and I even made him talk to me. Poor kid. She later told me that he was kind of scared to talk to me. But then she told him, "It's not my mom you should be afraid of." I thought that was hilarious! I really hope I get many more calls. The teacher I was filling in for was there doing something else but was on campus, and she told many people that they should call me. I really appreciated that and hope to get to work there again.

That's it. Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Tomorrow I will substitute teach for the first time. I am very excited and hope it goes well. The teacher is a girl I worked with at my old school, and I am so excited that she asked me to fill in for her. MK has to walk past my room for 3rd period, so that should be a highlight.

Today was something of a breakthrough in my class. The students had to take a walk out of the room to observe something for a descriptive paragraph. When they came back in, they were much more relaxed than they have been. They are just now realizing that I don't bite, and really do treat them like adults. One student had walked out of the class right before we left, so he missed the instructions. When we reached our destination I realized that he wasn't with us. Finally he straggled out to where we were. He took a bit of teasing from the others, but it relaxed everyone. One student who has barely said a word yet couldn't seem to stop talking today. It wasn't disruptive, but he was answering a lot of questions and it put the others at ease too. That really made for a good morning.

Our a/c leaked some water into my closet, so I had to take everything out of it today, steam clean the floor, and wait for it to dry. I'm hoping it is dry now, because I am hoping to go in there, rearrange it and then head to bed. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on perspective, the same thing happened last year, so this year we knew what to do without requiring a visit from a repairman.

I took a picture of myself on the way to work to check my was a big hair day. Ty used an app on my phone to spruce it up a little bit. Hope you like his art work! I'll let you know how tomorrow goes. Good night!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Splish Splash

We had some rain today that left a puddle in front of our house. MK bought some boots last spring that she has been dying to try out, so today she had her chance. T. Willy put on his Crocs to join the action. I even splashed for a few minutes, after I made sure no one was watching! So here are some pictures of the fun.

I hope you had an equally fun day!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day at the Beach

The Big Man was off today so we had made plans to go to the beach after my class this morning. A bag was packed with a change of clothes, bathing suit, towels, sunscreen...and it was time to hit the beach. Then a student came in and changed it all. She said that due to Hurricane Ike, the highway we needed to use flooded and it was a traffic nightmare. So instead, we ended up in Navarre, a bit down the road. When we reached Navarre, it was quickly evident that swimming was absolutely out of the question. The waves were like nothing I've ever seen down here, and the hurricane was way out in the Gulf.

This is what our part of the Gulf often looks like:

This is what it looked like today:

The last picture was technically a bay, and is usually more placid than the Gulf, but it was worth addition to the fact that the picture was taken from my phone in a moving vehicle with the window up. I love my iPhone!!!!! I named the picture of the red - do not swim flags, "Duh!"

The second half of our day was spent at the football field. It was MK's first game of the year. She, of course, doesn't play football; she is in the band. She loves being the oldest this year and had so much fun talking to her friends and watching her Panthers beat the Roadrunners 34-0!!!! The Big Man and T. Willy came for the first half, but T. Willy can only stay still for so long, so they left after the halftime show.

Now we are home. Everyone else is in bed, and it's time for me to go too!

Good night!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Someone hire me, please!!!

I really think I need a job...not for mere financial reasons, but because i.q. points are dropping daily. I was talking to a friend, completely thinking it was Tuesday, when it was only Monday. I can never find the word I'm looking for...I find that I describe things instead of naming them. Today I was so excited because in my class I figured out how to use the video "projector" but kept calling it the overhead player thing...ugh. Don't get me wrong...I really love being home. My house has never been cleaner, my laundry never so up to date...but knowing that it isn't a permanent situation makes me kind of feel guilty about it.

Oh well. That being said, I am very thankful for my class at the college. It is fun for me, and I enjoy it very much. I'm not sure about the students. I think 4 fell asleep today. An 8 am class is just too early for some kids. MK is at the bus stop by 6:10, so I'm not sure she would understand. I also was called today for my first substituting job, happily at Maddie's school, but not her grade. So things are looking up. If the subbing continues, I may be able to complete sentences again.

MK is in 8th grade this year. The school is planning 2 trips for them this year. The first is to Montgomery for...words fail me once again, I think it's the "Tolerance Tour," to visit some Civil Rights landmarks and an automobile plant. It's an overnight trip which should be really fun. Then in the spring they are planning to take a trip to Washington, D.C. Growing up 2 1/2 hours from D.C., I completely took for granted the many, many trips we took there. We took her there for a day trip a few years ago, but this will be a really in depth tour of the city. They are flying so we will be doing a lot of fundraising and saving!

So there you go. I will close with a picture! Have a great day!

This picture is me this time last year - quite possibly the last time I straightened my hair. Anyway, I had the mole on my nose removed. I had forgotten about it until I saw this picture. It makes wearing sunglasses so much more comfortable...certainly not a vanity issue. Good night!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Before and After

So I did paint the kitchen yesterday, and here are before and after pictures. It isn't dramatic, but isn't as stark as the white cabinets on white walls.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Let's talk about T. Willy

Yesterday T. Willy took a field trip to a local park. It has several sprinklers which make it very nice on hot and humid days. I had my class in the morning, so the Big Man's parents joined him at first, and after my class, I joined him, and they left to go back to New Orleans. We have been to this park many times, and he never plays in the water. He will slide and climb, but he will not get wet. I couldn't believe it when my mother in law sent a message that he was soaked. I was so excited to get to watch him. Then, as soon as I showed up, he stuck to my side and didn't get wet again. Oh well. Here are some pictures.

T. Willy and Pap

T. Willy - getting wet...obviously my mother in law sent me this picture...I didn't get to see this in person.

This morning I walked T. to school. I love that it is so close. I pulled him in the wagon, and he really enjoyed it. He also liked that the teachers and other students thought it was "so cool."

After taking this picture, I remarked to T. that it looked like he was picking his nose. He said, "It had a burger in it."

A better shot.

So that's what is going on with him. I am going to clean the kitchen, then attempt to paint. Pictures to follow. Have a great day!!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

So many things

First...Happy Birthday, Melissa!!!! I hope you have a great day!

Then...yesterday, as you may know, was the Big Man's Big Birthday! Somehow we were able to keep a surprise from him. I wasn't able to share it here, because he reads this. However, some of you were in on it, and it was wonderful!!!! I asked our friends and family to send him 40 of could be anything...and he really did get some of everything. He was completely surprised and touched by so many thoughtful and funny gifts!!!

Chellie sent a basket of 40 packs of M&Ms...there could not be a better choice for him. M&Ms are his favorite!!!

Melissa sent 40 packs of Splenda and a hilarious note to go with it! We use Splenda all the time, and hope a pill counter is not in his too near future!!

My parents sent him 40 pairs of socks!!! That was both hysterical and practical!

His parents gave him funny and thoughtful gifts. One thing his mom rounded up...40 Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars that he played with as a kid. He went through them remembering which ones ran better than others. She also made a photo album of many 40s in his life...40 pictures of him playing sports, etc. He spent a lot of time looking at it and sharing memories.

One of his high school friends sent a box of 40 toys...plastic airplanes and balls and those plastic guys that you wrap in a parachute and throw up high. T. Willy enjoyed that very much!

My aunt sent him 40 he will stay charged up!

I made a photo book with 40 pages of memories we have shared. I'm not sure how much he enjoys looking at 40 pages of pictures of himself, but I can't stop looking at it. It is so many of our favorite pictures all in one place. We have been together since we were teenagers...there have been many changes.

MK gave him the biggest gift, size wise at least. She gave him a pyramid of 40 rolls of t.p. He got a kick out of it, and completely got the joke, because he is constantly having to remind her to fill the roll in her bathroom.

The list goes on...I could not believe the response and am so thankful to everyone who participated. He acknowledged that a surprise party would not have been his thing, but the 40 things idea was a great way to celebrate!

So, I will close with some pictures. His parents, brother, sister in law and niece are still here...they haven't been given the all clear to return home yet, so they were able to celebrate with us. Their homes seemed to have survived intact, albeit with some yard work ahead of them, so that is great news from New Orleans. Plus, my brother in law's family is adding a new member due to their trip here...a neighbor is selling puppies and they have fallen in love and are taking one home. MK is working on us, but we haven't seen them, so aren't in love...yet. Gulp.

MK and her cousin watching the Big Man open gifts.

T. Willy drew this picture at school, so I used it on the bag holding the candy that was his gift to his dad.

Opening MK's gift.

The family gathered to sing.

Have a wonderful day, and thanks again to those who shared the day with us!!!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Today's the Day!

Happy Birthday to the Big Man! It's a big birthday; he's 40 today!!!

Here is a picture of the Big Man and T. Willy around his birthday 3 years ago. Only one of them looks older today!!!