Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ninjas and Butterflies

I got a text from my sister last night that's worth sharing (T is her son, and J is her husband). It said:

"... T got two of those foam swords from Target and J stuck them in the back of his shirt, so he could grab them like a ninja. T kept running around saying, 'I'm a butterfly!' Bahahaha!!!!!!! J is like 'What?! No you're not! You're a ninja! Stop saying that!' It's hilarious!!!"

I love my nephew.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Today, I'm reminded once again of the Lord's provision and grace toward my family. Most of you probably know this story, but it's always nice to be reminded.

Approximately 10 years ago, my father learned he had a cyst on one of his kidneys. It ended up not being a big deal, and the doctors were unconcerned about it. A little over a year ago (October, 2010, to be exact), he went to the doctor for a check-up. While he was there, he asked if he needed to get the cyst checked out. The doctor said no, that they didn't normally do that sort of thing, since there was no cause for concern. On my dado's way out of the office, he was stopped by the doctor. He changed his mind and ordered a scan.

A few days after he had the scan, my dado got a phone call. He had a spot on his kidney, and one on his liver (it actually may be his lung, I don't remember exactly). If it was cancer, it was bad. It looked as though it had already started spreading. This is when we started praying. Hard. More tests showed that the two spots were unrelated, and the one on his liver was not a big deal. Praise the Lord! The one on his kidney was cancer and needed to be removed.

They scheduled an appointment for surgery as soon as they could... 2 months later. 2 months full of stress and fear and lots of prayer for our family.

Exactly a year ago today, my dado had the surgery to have it taken out of his body. No radiation, no chemo. He was even home for Christmas! By the time most people catch kidney cancer, it's too late-- it is rarely cured with one surgery.

The Lord's hand was all over this situation. I know that He is the reason the doctor ordered the scan. He is the reason they caught his cancer early.  The Lord has used (and continues to use) this situation to bring glory to Himself.

Another reason I'm more aware than usual of God's provision is because Christmas is in 4 days. He provided a Savior to come to earth, and take my sins away forever.

Happy birthday, Jesus!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Little L

Well, my life hasn't been super exciting lately. It has been crazy busy, though. Due to the lack of excitement, though, I don't have a great story. My sister, on the other hand, has a good one on her blog, so I'm sharing it with you. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Chaos!

Every year about this time I reach this phase in life where I get really busy. As in, schedule time to shower because if I don't, it doesn't happen. I find this ironic because I've been doing something different every year. 2 years ago, I was in finals week. Last year, I was teaching. This year, I'm a nanny. IT doesn't matter where my life has me, I just get SO busy. This year, I realized that I need to schedule time to do laundry. How did I realize this? I ran out of socks. However, it was too late when I realized this, so the following week, I started "borrowing" my mom's socks (I have every intention of returning them, but by now, they're lost in the mess that is Mount Laundry). I went to grab some socks earlier this week and noticed that she had run out of socks, too.
Obvious solution: Schedule time to do laundry.
My solution: Pick up new socks while I'm at Walmart.
Every night of the week has something scheduled, so I'm not sure when I can work in the laundry... But something's gotta go. This is ridiculous.

Anyway, the real reason for this post: I figured that if I manage to over-schedule myself during this Christmas Season every year, I'm sure I'm not alone. We all get caught up in the preparation for Christmas-- Buying presents, wrapping said presents, putting up trees and lights, etc. I want to encourage everyone to prepare your hearts for this holiday, as well as your homes. Schedule time with Jesus. Remember why you're baking those cookies and singing those carols. We're celebrating the birth of our Savior. The Savior who has set us free from our sin. Our Comforter, Protector, Healer. That's a big deal, guys. Don't be too busy to keep your focus on Him.

Isaiah 9:6-- For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

PJ Days!

Yesterday we had a pajama day. We didn't have any plans, and I wasn't feeling 100%, so we decided to take it easy. I didn't get the memo (from myself...) so I wasn't in my pj's. Both boys, though, spent the whole day in their footie pajamas and loved it. Seriously, loved it.
I got to work this morning, and B was in some footie pj's again. Today, though, we had to drop the kids' mom off at the metro station. I figured we'd be in the car the whole time, what's it hurt to stay in them for an extra hour or 2? I didn't think about the fact that I had to baby-sit this morning for a Bible study at the church... By the time I realized that pajama day was spreading to a more public location, it was too late. "Throw on your shoes, baby! It's time to get going!"
His shoes of choice today: cowboy boots.
That's right. I took the kid out in public in some footie pajamas and a pair of cowboy boots. And a satchel full of rocks (another bribe).
I think I'm up for some sort of nanny-of-the-year award for that one.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


When my sister found out that I had taken this nanny position, she had a few tips for me. Tips that I have learned are very useful.
  1. Pick your battles. Every issue is not life-altering. Some things can slide, others cannot. Know the difference.
  2. Stay busy. Plan crafts, play dates, and parks! You know, the whole "Idle hands are the devil's playground" (She didn't use that phrase, for the record).
  3. Bribery works.
Let me tell you: that last one is gold. Take it to the bank! When I started this job, I was anticipating saying things like "if you eat all your chicken, you can have a cupcake later!" and "if you finish your chores, you can watch a tv show!" Here's something I didn't anticipate: "If you go potty right now, I'll let you leave those pants on your head. If you stand here and argue with me, I'm going to make you take those pants off your head and you will still go potty!" He went potty immediately.

Whatever works, right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Purse Game

I've heard before that the contents of a woman's purse can tell you a lot about her life... So let's talk for a second about my purse. Brace yourselves.

-- Fossil wallet. Very cute and functional. Good start.
-- Day planner. If you know me at all, this doesn't surprise you. I LIVE by my day planner.
-- Lotion that smells like a grandma. I hate the smell, but it's travel size, and it was free. I'll stink for soft hands.
-- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. If I'm ever stuck in a line at the DMV, I'm ready. I have no plans to go to the DMV, but I'm prepared.
-- 2 chapsticks. Same brand. I'm not really sure what happened. I might have stolen one of them accidentally. If you're missing chapstick, it was me. I'm sorry. And thanks.
-- A dozen coupons, some of which I have no intention of using. I've started couponing, and it may be getting out of hand. "A dollar off men's shampoo?? I'll take it!"
-- 4 different kinds of medicine. My entire family has an allergy problem. I'm prepared for any sort of symptom. The Benedryl is particularly important.
-- Baby socks. No, I don't have any kids of my own.
-- Headphones... And nothing to plug them into. Why not?
And last:
-- Toothpaste. No toothbrush, just the paste.

Now I'm wondering what this says about my life... Anyone else want to play and make me feel better about myself?

Friday, October 7, 2011

My Life These Days

I've been really busy lately, and haven't had a whole lot of time to myself. That's why I haven't been blogging. I'll try to do better. This week, my sister let me take Little L's 1 year pics, and Sweet T's 3 year pics. It was so much fun! Here's a tease (Keep in mind, I'm not a pro):
This was before we started officially shooting, but I love the face!

SUCH a cutie!

If you can't tell, I love these boys! My sister took this one.

The idea for this picture came from Pinterest. I LOVE Pinterest.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yoga-itis/Whooping Cough...

I've been sick for a solid week. It started really bad, and I'm now to the point where I can spend most of the day off the couch/bed (I did take a nap today when the kids did, though...). I still have this nagging cough, runny nose, and low energy, though. The coughing is accompanied now by a sharp pain to the rib cage. Awesome. I have realized that the only position that decreases the pain to my ribs is this yoga position:

Yep, that's right. I am currently lying on my bed in a similar position. Move the arms up, and raise the head, and you've got me right now. Of course, to cough, I'm in full yoga mode. There's the exercise I've been missing this past week (ok, and the previous month...)!

Another side effect of this illness-- earlier bed time. In the past few years, I've had the "What in the world did we do after 10 pm every night in college??" conversation numerous times. I've upped the ante, folks: "What in the world did I do up after 9 last week??"... I am a grandma. A yoga-ing, sweat pant wearing grandma. And I'm embracing it. Bring on the bifocals!

Anyway, My boss went to the doctor last week because of a sinus infection. He gave her an antibiotic that has done nothing to heal her. She got a call today. The family went on vacation with her cousin a few weeks ago... He was diagnosed today with Pertussis (whooping cough). She's getting tested on Saturday to see if she has it. We're praying she doesn't (and that I don't) since there's a baby in the house. If she has it, I'll get tested. Until then, I'm quarantined.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Boys: Gross

I got out-poop storied today... True story. Only one person should have a poop story per day. Today was my day. Or so I thought!
I've started my new position as nanny to 2 little boys and I'm loving it so far. One is 3 (B-- potty trained), and the other is 9 months (little T--clearly not potty trained). So fun!
Today, I had a screaming baby on my hip for 2 hours straight. Thankfully, it was during B's nap time... As I'm walking, I hear "Miss Stacy... I pooped in my underwear" coming from upstairs. Of course you did. I only have one hand to take care of this. Apparently this hasn't happened in a long time before today...
As I called my sister to tell her about it, I hear this on the other line: "What is on your hand? Tell me that is not poop on your hand! Oh my goodness! That is poop on your hand!"
Her child found his way into the bathroom and decided to play in the toilet... While it had the 3 year old's poop in it... She wins. I bought her a caramel frappuccino as her prize. She deserves it. Her kid plays in his brother's poop.
Boys: Gross.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I've heard about this game from a few different places: you're given a category, and you have to decide if you love or hate it. Since there's a lot going on right now, and none of it is particularly funny, I'm going to play this game.

  • New job- complete with newly crawling baby and story loving 3 year old-- love

  • The virus that has kept me in bed for over 24 hours-- hate

  • The fact that I have an excuse to lie in bed and watch movies/sleep all day-- love

  • Nephew's first birthday-- love

  • Progress (or lack thereof) on my bucket list-- hate

  • Bananas-- hate

  • This blog-- love

  • This game-- love (sometimes, I make my boyfriend play with me. He secretly loves it, too.)

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Well, I'm sure you've all heard all about (experienced) Hurricane Irene... She, in true female fashion, was quite the drama queen. Had everyone preparing for her arrival (a friend and I were actually making fun of over-enthusiastic milk purchasers and the bread aisle in the grocery stores were empty). Much like most dramatic women, her bark was worse than her bite (at least here).

In all honesty, though, I'm so thankful for the Lord's protection. We've made it through two natural disasters in the past week with minimal damage. If that isn't the hand of the Lord, I don't know what is! Don't forget to say a quick prayer of thanks today, because the damage was expected to be so much worse across the east coast.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh, Boy...

This isn't my story, but it's too good to keep to myself!
A friend of a friend worked at a summer camp this summer, and was sharing her experiences with some friends... Here's what she shared:
Every week, they'd take the campers to the Baltimore Aquarium. For those of you who have never been there, it's very large and wonderful. One week, they had a little autistic boy (We can call him Jimmy) in the group. Shelly (let's call her Shelly... I don't know her real name) was in charge of little Jimmy's group. She knew that she had to keep a particular eye on Jimmy because of his special needs, and was never very far from him... Except for a short period when she had gotten distracted by something else... Jimmy found his opportunity. He managed to isolate himself from the group.
Shelley found him in a corner, soaking wet, stuffing a (are you ready for this??) penguin into his backpack.
A real penguin.
In his backpack.
How does that even happen?? He ran away from his group, jumped into the penguin tank, CAUGHT A PENGUIN, and tried stealing it without anyone catching him! And how did they tell the folks who work at the aquarium?? "Hey, guys! See this penguin? Yeah, we almost stole it..."
However he managed to do it, I've got a new hero.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Call Me Nancy

Well, it's officially time to change the name of my blog... My days of teaching are over (at least for now). After a year and a half of hair loss and tears, I've decided to take a nanny position for a family at my church. Not 100% sure there will be less hair loss, but I think fewer cops will be involved (did I mention that my class was so bad last year that someone called the police on one of my students? It was an overreaction, but still... They're 10 years old. They should play with barbies and footballs, not fellow inmates and handcuffs). I'm sure being the nanny of a 3 year old boy will provide me with many laughs and stories.

I've got one more story about my days in Mexico. This one involves 3 boys (probably somewhere between the ages of 10 and 12).
All week I had seen kids running around eating this little yellow fruit. I had never seen it before, so every time they offered it to me, I'd say "No, gracias!" and they'd pop it into their mouths. Well, about half way through the week, these boys came up to me with a handful of nancies (this fruit) and offered me one. I said no, but they persisted this time. I finally gave in... And have regretted it every day since. It. Was. AWFUL. It was bitter and sour and gross. It still kinda makes me want to vomit a little bit. The boys LOVED my reaction and proceeded to offer me more nancies (every day for the rest of the week). My new nickname to these boys was Nancy. Seriously.

The next day, I went visiting with the missionary couple I was staying with. In the states, if someone offers you water, you expect them to bring you a glass of... Water. As an American, this makes sense to me. In Mexico, when someone offers you water, they bring you a glass of... Juice. I still don't know how to ask for a glass of water in Spanish. Anyway, this family offered me water and I said yes. The glass that was handed to me naturally had juice in it. Imagine my excitement when I took my first sip and learned that I was holding a glass of nancy juice!

I just wanted some water.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mexico: Part 2 (Read: Dos)

- 2 lizards have taken up residence in my room (well, one is in the bathroom, but they're connected)-- Jose' and Manuel. I took a picture of Manuel, but Jose' is just too dang fast!
- I have a constant headache from trying to understand what everyone around me is saying... My understanding is much better than it was a week ago, though!
- You're not allowed to throw toilet paper into the toilet here because plumbing is awful. It goes in the trash can beside the toilet. I can now do this without thinking about it, and am a little concerned that I will have to re-train myself to do things in the true American way when I get home... Too much information? Sorry.
- I sweat. A lot. And my hair frizzes like nobody's business. I'm uncharacteristically good with these things. I don't really care if I smell and look bad these days.
- My love for reading is back! Currently reading: Persuasion by Jane Austen, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Things I Wish I had Known Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman. So far, I'd recommend them all. 2 of the 3 books are on my list, and I just finished another book that was on the list. Progress!
- Tomorrow is the birthday of someone VERY important to me. Happy birthday, Sister, I love and miss you! Eat lots of cake!
- My boyfriend is super attractive. This one doesn't have anything to do with the others, I just wanted to say it. You will survive, I promise. Love you, Boyfriend! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lack of Motivation

Alright, folks, here's the deal: I'm becomming umotivated to finish my bucket list and I need to get going. Only 6 months left! I need your help! Here's what I've got left:

1. Take a cooking class
2. Learn to paint… Well.
3. Journal
4. Learn to juggle with 3 balls
5. Crochet a scarf
6. Find my way around the Library of Congress
7. Go shooting—actually hit my target!
8. Go to as many farmers markets as possible
9. Read 5 books on my “To read” list
10. Master a stick shift
11. Eat Moroccan food
12. Eat Thai food
13. Wear fabulous shoes at least once a week
14. Outdoor movies!
15. Visit a state I’ve never been to
16. Learn the Thriller dance
17. Deconstruct an old dress or shirt and make something new (that you would actually wear).

Anything sound fun to anyone?? I need company for some of these things... Going shooting (I promise you won't be my target), farmer's markets, outdoor movies...

Also, Mexico is HOT.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hola de Mexico!

As you've probably noticed from previous blogs, I'm a list person. I LOVE making lists and crossing things off. That's part of the reason I'm loving my bucket list! :) Here's another list for you:

Things I've Learned So Far in Mexico

  1. I'm an idiot. Seriously. Who thinks to themselves, "Hey, I think I'll go to drug infested Mexico for 2 weeks all by myself to hang out with a whole group of people who don't speak a lick of English!"? That's right. It's me.

  2. Lizards make excellent chew toys. A dog taught me this lesson. And the lizard what the size of an iguana, not a gecko. It was huge. The dog caught it and started to play with it. It was disgusting.

  3. Air conditioning is a blessing that should NOT be taken for granted. It's so hot and humid here, and the houses and church can't afford to keep everything cooled all day, and I smell a little bit like a man. I'm almost okay with this...

  4. You don't have to speak the same language as someone to love them. I met an adorable little boy yesterday. The only thing we said to each other was "Como te llamas?" (what's your name?) and our names and we played together all evening (I'm slightly ashamed to say that it was during a meeting. Don't worry, though, I had no idea what anyone was saying anyway and he was less of a distraction when playing with me). I even got a kiss when it was time to go home! I have a new amigo, and we hardly spoke at all.

  5. I was not meant to be a missionary. This one was a huge relief to learn! I was a little nervous (because my boss put the idea into my head) that I'd end up never going home because of my heart for these people. Good news, folks! I'm called to send people, not go! While I enjoy it here, and the Mexican people have been wonderful so far, my heart is in the states (well... I guess technically it is on a ship). I can't wait to go home to my crazy American people.

  6. I belong on a beach. I don't think this one needs explaining. I mean, it's the beach.

I promise, I'm not done learning here. It's only been 3 days. I don't promise I'll remember to blog about any of it, though. Lo siento, mis amigos.


OH! Just found a new lesson! 7. When in Mexico, Blogspot does spell-check in Spanish! All of my words are spelled incorrectly... Oops.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Smart Kid

I am loving my summer. Can't believe it's time to start thinking about next year already!

I spend quite a bit of time with my sister these days. We both enjoy the company. :) I'm also spend a good deal of time with my nephews. I hope you're not tired of stories of sweet T, because I've got another one for you.

He's learning to use his imagination and it's a lot of fun. (He's made himself a new "home" in the living room using a chair he got for Christmas. It's very small, but apparently good for taking naps). It's time to give you a little context for this story... My family loves coffee. Specifically Starbucks. Seriously, I'm on a first name basis with the barista (not unusual for me. I always manage to become friends with the coffee guy. Hello free coffee!) Tyler has inherited a passion for Starbucks (one of the few things he gets from our side, so we all like to encourage this relationship with the good ol' Bucks). His great grandma recently sent him a gift card so he can buy himself some "hot tachy" (Hot chocolate).

Yesterday, we were all spending the day together, and T decides that he's thirsty and wants a drink, so he runs into the kitchen and "orders" a "hot tachy" from "Starbucks." This starts a whole game of "Mommy, do you want hot tachy from Starbucks? How about cake pops? Do you want some macamoee (guacamole)? " As everyone knows, Starbucks is not cheap... So Mommy asks if he needs money to pay for all this food and drink we've ordered... Of course he needs money, so he runs up to Mommy and waits. She sticks her hand in her pocket and pulls out money that's as real as all this food we've been "consuming." The kids response? "Mommy, there's no money there."

Apparently Starbucks has raised their prices again, because now they're charging for imaginary food!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Little Soul Searching

I rarely bare my soul via this blog, but the Lord has really convicted me today, and I feel the need to share with my readers (all 2 of you).

I grew up in the church. My family has always been involved in some sort of ministry at every church we've gone to. I've never gone through a super rebellious phase in my life. I was on leadership teams throughout college at my Christian university. I know all the Sunday school answers. I read my Bible and pray regularly. I am a good Christian girl.

But here's the thing... All of those sentences begin with the word "I" (except for the one that starts with "my," but you get the idea). I know what's expected of me, so I do it. And I believe that Jesus died for my sins and that I will spend eternity with Him, but do my actions and thoughts convey this belief? Do I really live my life in a way that says "I am forgiven for everything I've done wrong... EVER?" Does my heart actually understand what that means? My mind gets it. I sin. Jesus died. I get to go to heaven because I've accepted His forgiveness. But have I let this knowledge saturate my heart? If so, my every thought and decision should be based on what would bring God glory, right? What does that even mean?

I'd hate to admit how little I actually know about my Savior. There's a song by Addison Roads that gives me goosebumps because it so accurately states my relationship with the Lord. It says "If You touched my face would I know You? Looked into my eyes could I behold You?"

I think it's time to make my relationship with Jesus about Him. He is Holy. He is Gracious. He is Good. And I can't even begin comprehending what this actually means.

Job 26 sums it up pretty well:
5 “The departed spirits tremble Under the waters and their inhabitants. 6 “Naked is Sheol before Him, And Abaddon has no covering. 7 “He stretches out the north over empty space And hangs the earth on nothing. 8 “He wraps up the waters in His clouds, And the cloud does not burst under them. 9 “He obscures the face of the full moon And spreads His cloud over it. 10 “He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters At the boundary of light and darkness. 11 “The pillars of heaven tremble And are amazed at His rebuke. 12 “He quieted the sea with His power, And by His understanding He shattered Rahab. 13 “By His breath the heavens are cleared; His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent. 14 “Behold, these are the fringes of His ways; And how faint a word we hear of Him! But His mighty thunder, who can understand?”

I often share something without knowing if I'm making sense. If not, I apologize. I hope this time I did make sense.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!

Remember my mother? I've got one more story about her this week.

She told me once, a long time ago, that she used to go to bed at night thinking about her coffee in the morning. I laughed and laughed. That woman loved her coffee!

Then I got my Keurig coffee maker and my life was changed. Every night, I go to sleep thinking about 2 things: 1) I'm one day closer to having my boyfriend home, and 2) I'm so excited about my coffee tomorrow morning.

Oh, dear... I am like my mother!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ready for Action

There's a storm going on outside tonight, so I find it appropriate to share my favorite storm memory with you.
My dad used to travel quite a bit for work, so my mom and I would be home alone often. She would always get a little stressed when he left. It's also important to note that she's a little overprotective of me (I wasn't allowed to go to Target alone after 7 pm one time. That's a true story).
This particular incident was the day my dad left for a trip to South America. I think I was a Senior in high school. I got home from school when my mother found me to inform me that there was a tornado watch in our county. I called my best friend and started a conversation about something super important, I'm sure. As we talked, my mother informed me that it had changed into a warning and it was going to be disastrous. Time to get into Action mode. Your father is gone, and we are on our own. I am woman, hear me roar! Find and save: a flashlight, radio, snacks, and the dogs. Meet up in the laundry room ASAP to practice exactly what we're gonna do when we get hit by this monster (I'm not kidding. We practiced).
Meanwhile, my best friend was still on the phone with me... Sitting in the living room with her mom, right beside the bay window, watching jeopardy. If a tornado shows up, we'll sprint to the bathroom. Until then, we've got more important things to think about.
My question for you: who's crazier in this situation?

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Autobiography

I've been on summer break for a little over a month now. Let me tell you, I needed this break. I am still recovering from the past year. I may carry one or two emotional scars with me for the rest of my life.

My students came in to school one day in the last month, and started talking about making their autobiographies. They then decided that I should make my own autobiography and talk about them. I didn't have the heart to tell them about my blog... :) As we're discussing the topics that should be covered in my book, one of my students decided to give it a title... The title he chose? And You Thought You Had It Rough...

Those little rascals knew that they were giving me grey hair!

As crazy and chaotic as they were, I loved that class. They taught me a lot, whether they knew it or not.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wild Thing...

My sister is one of my best friends. We haven't always been super close, but over the years, we've managed to overcome our differences (and there are many). If you're interested, here is her blog. She loves Jesus, her family, and making cakes (if you're throwing a party anytime soon, ask her to make the cake. She's good).

Today I found out about another love of hers, and I want to share it with you because it's funny.

We were talking on the phone today as she was driving home from lunch, when she interrupts the conversation with "oh, no! I just saw my favorite wild animal get killed!" I didn't know she had a favorite wild animal, so I decided to guess what it was. The most obvious thing I could think of was a deer (I think my favorite right now is a flamingo, but we don't really have those around here). Nope. She likes groundhogs. Of all of the wild animals in the world, my dear sister picks... Groundhogs. She informed me that they're like little friends to her.

So out of great respect for my sister's emotions, I'd like to request a moment of silence, please, for the loss of her dear friend...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More updates...

It has come to my attention that I haven't posted a blog in quite some time... So, I'm going to update you on my bucket list, and make an attempt to do better about blogging.

  • Running the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure-- This did not go so well. My sister and I are not runners by nature. We grew up in dance classes and gymnastics. We could dance in circles around you, but give us a pair of running shoes, and expect disaster. However, after months of training, the fateful day had arrived. Amazingly enough, we were ready! Let me give you a rundown of the events of that morning. Wake up at 6:13 (on the first day of summer) get dressed, brush teeth, drive to sister's house, leave sister's house, drive to metro station... Sit on the metro for 45 minutes without moving an inch because of construction. Miss the race. Take the stop by the mall, get starbucks as consolation, and hop back on the metro to return home. Adventure: over. Right? Wrong! We, naturally, took the wrong train home. I'm fairly certain we got home around the same time we would have if we had actually run the race.

  • Picnic/Farmer's Markets- 2 for 1 deal. My mom, sister (with kids), and I bought fruits and veggies from the farmer's market and ate them with sandwiches at the park! It was a good time.

  • Parasailing- You're probably thinking: "wait... I didn't see that on the list!" Well, you're right. it wasn't on the list. Probably about half of the things I've managed to cross off my list were last minute additions. In the OBX, I convinced my sister and a good friend of mine to go parasailing with me. We got a 600 ft line and commented over and over again about "600 feet, guys! We're so brave!" It was a very fun experience, but not as intimidating as I thought it would be. Highly recommended for all.

  • Sky diving- Parasailing was on Tuesday. On Friday, my brother-in-law convinced me to go sky diving with him (!!!). I jumped out of a plane from 9,000 ft strapped to a man name Sven and trusted him to get me safely to the ground... Hands down the coolest thing I've ever done! And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

  • Pier Jumping- Another last minute addition. I went to visit one of my best friends in MI (she just got engaged to the man of her dreams!). Her fiance' told me about pier jumping in passing and I (adrenaline junkie I've become) jumped on the idea! Caits (who was terribly afraid to do this) and I can talk each other into pretty much anything (that's a true story) so she reluctantly agreed to go. When we got there, she was the one doing the convincing, because I saw the jump and changed my mind. Again, so much fun!

  • Mission trip- I'm buying my ticket today to spend 2 weeks serving with a church in Mexico during VBS!

I just realized how long this is, so I'll end it here and really try to do better about updating!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Most Commonly Used Phrases

I've been neglecting my blog, I know. Here's why: I have been unbelievably busy. I have been preparing for the end of the school year, a 5K (story to come tomorrow), and a trip to the beach! All of these things were, of course, within a 24 hour time span.... Go big or go home, right?

In honor of the end of the school year, I've compiled a list of phrases that I have used frequently over the year, and would like to share them with you...

~ "Yes, I am aware of that." This was said when my students- one in particular- didn't think I was aware of something that was going on in my classroom. I am, after all, just the teacher.

~ "You have a TEST (often replaced by QUIZ) TOMORROW. Be prepared!" inevitably followed the next day by someone saying: "You never said there was a test today! I never heard that!" Which leads my to my next phrase...

~ "Really? You just did that?" often my response to the test inquiry, but more commonly in response to something my 4th graders had done wrong...

~ "You need to know..." Getting my students for a test or for life. For some reason this would always come out in an almost-shout... Maybe if I say it louder, it'll stick in their heads longer?

And the number one phrase I used this school year:

~ "Make wise choices!" I've said this several times to every single one of my students (and sometimes to students I didn't teach). A few times, my high schoolers have said it back to me... If I have taught my babies anything this year, I hope it's the importance of making choices based on their love for Jesus, not their desire to fit in or to do what's easy.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Businessman

Before school this morning, one of my fourth graders tried selling pencils to his classmates. It didn't go very well, so he turned to me.

"Miss C. You gotta buy my pencils! I'll give you a good deal for them."

"Why are you even selling them? Just let your friends borrow them if you don't need them!"

"Really, though! A man's gotta make a living!"

"You're 10 years old! What bills do you have??"

"I'm going to buy a house one day, Miss C. I've got to start saving now!"

Then by all means, sell your pencils. I am not going to be the reason you will be homeless when you grow up.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Birthday Fun

Parents hate teachers. I know it. Here's how I figured it out: Birthday parties.

It might be April or May-- One of those warm spring months when everyone just wants to be outside playing, but can't because there's enough rain to start the next great lake. It's your child's birthday.

He thinks: I'm going to have a great big class-wide birthday party! All of my friends will be there. It will be awesome!

You think: Ok, remember that D my child got on his last report card? Revenge!

You say: Jimmy! Your birthday is on Thursday! Here's what we're going to do... Get a cake that's the size of a small pony for you to share with your little class. I don't want you to bring any home. Mommy is on a diet and doesn't want to see the cake. We're also going to buy ice cream-- at least two flavors, because not everybody likes vanilla! Again, remember, Mommy's on that diet. Eat every last bit of that ice cream. Love the sugar-high. BE the sugar high. But wait! I just had another idea! BALLOONS! They make great punching bags and you won't get anything done all day because you will all be lusting after the balloons in the back of the classroom. AND you will be the most popular kid in your class.

Well, dear mother of my student, I have some news for you... I'm going to give that sugar to your child right before I send him home to you. Bring. It. On.

*For the record, I have a very supportive group of parents this year, and appreciate all their cooperation with their students' academics. This is nothing personal. This is survival.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Bucket List Update

I've been making progress on my "Bucket List" over the past couple months. My latest attempt: Learning to drive a stick shift. Boyfriend drives a pretty sweet car that I want to drive but cannot, because it's a manual. Ugh. So I'm going to learn how to drive it before he comes back and will drive it... (Hopefully with his permission!)

A good friend of mine is trying to teach me to drive her car, and so far it's been going pretty well! Of course, I will eventually have to manage to drive out of the parking lot... Minor details, right?

Anyway, we were driving around the neglected parking lot of a local gated chapel/event center , when we saw the one other car around leave said parking lot. No problem! Fewer obstacles for me!

Problem... He locked the gate. We were stuck in the parking lot. The one that had "No Trespassing" signs posted EVERYWHERE. We had to go off roading to get out of there.

Lesson learned.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Most little children have the whole fear-of-a-monster-living-under-the-bed-or-in-the-closet at some point in their lives. Let's be honest, you've peed the bed once or twice, too, in your day.

I got a text message from my sister the other day that said something like this: Most kids are afraid of monsters in the closet. Not my kid. My Sweet T is afraid... of pumas in the closet.

He and I had watched "Go, Diego, Go!" the other day, and there was a friendly puma on it. Apparently, even when pumas have an amiable facade, it's obvious that they are not a friendly animal. My brother-in-law had to take T on a tour of the room to prove that there were, indeed, no pumas present before the kiddo would go to sleep.

Like every good aunt, the next time I played with him, I chose the game "OH NO! There's a puma! Hide from the Puma before He Sees You!"

You're welcome, dear sister, for the many sleepless nights to come.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I know, it's been a while... Sorry, guys!

Today, Steve* said something that was severely incorrect...

John,* who was quick on his feet, responded: "NO! You are wrong! W-O-N-G WRONG! Wait... That's wrong. W-r-o-n-g."

Insert confusion here.

*Names have been changed.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Who Is This Child??

I bought lunch at work today, and it came with chips. I wasn't too hungry, so I threw the chips in my purse for later and forgot about them...

My family went out to dinner tonight, and I sat beside my nephew. After we were done eating, he looked in my purse and found my chips. He pulled them out of the bag and gave a very emphatic "wow!" Our conversation went as follows:

Kiddo: We need to share.

Me: Those are my chips.

Kiddo: We need to share with Mommy.

Me: We need to put those back in my purse.

Kiddo: We need to share with Daddy.

Me: Those are my chips!

Kiddo: We need to share with Papa.

Me: Give me my chips!

Kiddo: They're MY chips!

Me: No, they're MY chips! May I please have my chips back?

Kiddo: Well....... I'll just hold them here in my arm pit!!

*Places bag of cheese puffs in his armpit!

He also licked the table in the restaurant.

I love him.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hats and Insects

My school had standardized testing this past week. This means that I had to keep my class quiet and focused for about 3.5 hours straight every day. Seriously. We finished tests on Thursday, so we had a very relaxed day on Friday. So easy that they all decided to make Friday hats. I got one, too. Here it is:

Why, yes. I DID wear this hat all morning.

In my History class, we found this:

It wouldn't have been such a problem if I had been the one to find it... However, my students found it. I swear, it was like the parting of the Red Sea-- part II. After a second, though, there was an ambush to get a closer look. In the middle of class! It was impossible to get anyone to focus on the first place because they had been testing all week already, so we didn't get a thing accomplished after that. We had a debate about whether it was a boy or girl, so we named it Cory (because apparently that's a gender neutral name). I set him free after school. Go team.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I have 4 different stories I could tell you about today, but instead of boring you with all of them, I'm going to share my favorite. As he was "working" on his homework, I noticed that Mike* was chewing gum.

  • Me: "Mike. Go spit out your gum, please."

  • Mike: Gets up and walks to the trash can to spit out his gum. A few minutes later, I notice that there is still gum in his mouth...

  • Me: "Mike... I have already told you to spit out that gum! Why is it still in your mouth?"

  • Mike: *Cough. "Miss C. The gum isn't in my mouth."

  • Me: "Okay. Then throw away the gum that's now in your hand."

  • Mike: "Miss C. There's no gum in my hands." *Shows me empty hands

  • Me: "Mike, where is the gum?"

  • Mike: *Gives guilty grin and holds up a pen with a wad of gum attached to it.

  • Jared*: "Um... Mike, you can keep that pen. I don't want it back."
Why, yes, the pen did belong to another student. *Names have been changed.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Update on the "Plague"

Remember that time when I was like, "I feel pretty good. It's the most mild cold I've ever had!" Yeah. That was crap. I went to the doctor for the first time in a long time on Tuesday. That's how sick I was feeling. And she looked at my sinuses and listened to my chest... Her response was "Yeah... You have a sinus infection, and it's spread to your chest. I'm putting you on an antibiotic." So now I'm feeling a lot better. However, I feel really stupid because I thought I was feeling so well. P.S. I have gone to work all week this week, despite all of my infections. You know that kid who goes to school every day, even when they need to stay in bed and rest? I'm that kid. And I'm not even a kid!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Think I Had a Sign on My Back Today...

... That said "I have the PLAGUE! Run away!!" I have a little bit of a cold/allergy problem right now. I've got a little bit of a headache, and a whole lot of congestion. However, other than these things, I feel perfectly fine. I think I even look fairly normal. Nobody seemed to notice I was sick at work today... Until I'd speak to them. Apparently I sound awful. Every time I talked to someone today, even my students, they would literally take two steps back. Really guys? This is the most mild cold I've had all year, and you run away from me this time? I mean, I get that you don't want to be sick, but when you're all over me when I'm practically dead on my feet then run away because I sound a little sick, I get confused. Yep, there must have been a sign...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dairy Queen

My family went to Dairy Queen tonight and I sat next to my nephew.

As I finished my ice cream, I looked at my sister and asked if I had ice cream on my face. If you ever ask anyone in my family if you have food on your face, the answer is yes-- whether you have anything on your face or not... Naturally, she said yes. There was food on my face.

I looked at my nephew and asked him (two year olds apparently don't lie). The stinker grinned and wiped his spoon on my face!!

Yes... There is ice cream on my face. Thank you, Nephew.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Hero

I cannot help myself. This song makes me want to dance around the room like a pentecostal:

My fourth graders love it, as well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

First Grade Fun

Today, I had to work with the first grade class... Let me share what my day was like:

"Jimmy! That is a lunch box! Do not eat it!"*

"Suzi! That is not a frisbee! It's a banana!"*

"You may not catch each other with the butterfly nets! Stop chasing each other with the butterfly nets!"
"Hahahahahahaha!!! I just catched myself with the butterfly net!"

The last comment came from a 4 year old who was not in first grade, but was under my care for a few minutes.

I had a ton of fun-- those kids crack me up.

*Names have been changed.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Bucket List of Sorts

My boyfriend left today. He's going to to be deployed for a long time, and I don't want to sit around pining after him. I'm not that girl. In my attempts to stay busy, I'm making a list of things I want to do before he returns. Feel free to give me ideas! I'm going to need a lot of things to do. Here's what I have so far:

  1. Visit friends in IN

  2. Visit friends in TN

  3. Go on a mission trip—re-learn Spanish

  4. Take a cooking class

  5. Learn to paint… Well.

  6. JCrew/Shoe sale in Lynchburg

  7. Journal

  8. Go to the beach

  9. Skinny dip

  10. Learn to juggle with 3 balls

  11. Run the Susan G. Komen 5k

  12. Crochet a scarf

  13. Find my way around the Library of Congress

  14. Go to the Cherry Blossom festival

  15. Go on a picnic

  16. Go shooting—actually hit my target!

  17. Read 5 books on my “To read” list

  18. Get a tattoo

  19. Master a stick shift

  20. Go to as many farmers markets as possible

  21. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-- Part 2!!

  22. Wear fabulous shoes at least once a week

  23. Eat Indian food

  24. Eat Moroccan food.

  25. Outdoor movies!

  26. Go to a state I've never gone to

  27. Go wine tasting

  28. Learn the Thriller dance

  29. Visit Caits!

  30. Deconstruct an old dress or shirt and make something new (that I would actually wear) And more to come!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nephew Again

"Au Schee Schee-- I don't want to wear this."
*Points to jacket.
"Ok, let's take it off."
*Remove jacket.

"Au Schee Schee-- I don't want to wear this."
*Points to shirt.
"Ok, let's take it off!"
*Remove shirt

"Au Schee Schee-- I don't want to wear this."
*Points to pants.
"Ok. You don't need those!"
*Remove pants.

"Au Schee Schee-- I don't want this crayon in my diaper."

*Remove diaper. Find crayon.

I repeat: What?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Bittersweet Taste of Tests

My fourth graders took a Language test today that didn't go too well.

I had a stack of completed tests on my desk and one student up at my desk to work out a problem. His test was on the top of this stack. The poor kid was hunched over in confusion and concentration. We worked through one sentence together, then I told him to work through the next one alone and turned to talk to another student.

When I turned back around, I saw him chewing on the corner of the Language test. My biggest problem with this: it wasn't his test! There really is a chunk of paper missing from the corner of someone's test. He was so focused that he didn't realize that he was eating paper. Neither one of us knew how to respond when we realized what he was doing so we agreed that he probably shouldn't eat paper anymore.

Maybe I should provide chips and salsa for the next test.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bird Pens

My fourth grade class cannot hold onto pens. Every single day I hear "Miss C. Someone stole my pen!"

So for Christmas I bought these awesome pens for the class. They slightly resemble these pens:

*found on

Each student got to pick the pen he or she wanted and we wrote names on them so everyone knew whose pen was whose. Amazingly enough, everyone used the same pen for about 3 weeks. Go team!

The first day they were in the classroom, we had a class discussion about what kind of birds they are. We went from flamingos to ostriches to turkeys in a matter of minutes. How in the world can you confuse flamingos and turkeys?? But, hey, if they want turkey pens, who am I to stop them?

Today, one of the pens died. And when I say "died," I mean "was decapitated." The entire class was devastated and wanted to have a funeral for poor Ernest. I said no and received the cold shoulder from them for the rest of the day. Okay, they got over it, but were still upset about the "improper burial."

*By improper burial, I mean he went into the trash. Not my idea, for the record.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Momma

I get my sense of humor from my mother. She probably laughs at my stories more than anyone else, so I've decided to dedicate this entry to her.

A few months ago, I was hanging out in the family office at about 11:00 at night when, all of a sudden, I hear a scream and see my mother run down the hallway.

Curious about when she decided to join a track team, I went to check it out.

Turns out, she frequently has this dream where if she falls asleep, she dies. In the dream, she realizes that she's falling asleep and needs to wake herself up as quickly as possible.

*insert scream and run here*

Apparently this has happened more than once. Have you ever seen her run? I hadn't...

Let me tell you-- she's quite the sprinter. It really is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Maybe one day, I'll get a video and post it so you can laugh, too.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Can't Think of a Creative Title Today. Look Back Later.

I didn't blow dry my hair last night, and wasn't wearing mascara today. Apparently the combo isn't the best look for me.

My three favorite quotes from today:

"Oh, Miss C... What happened to your hair today?"

"You look like you just got out of bed! What happened?"

"Haaaaaa.... Miss C. You're not wearing any make up today! You probably shouldn't do that again."

Three different students- one class. That was a good time.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Boyfriends and Students and Weddings-- Oh My!

Today's post is about two of the most important parts of my life that should never be meshed: My boyfriend and my students (particularly my 6th grade class).

After my 6th grade class found out I had a boyfriend, they would not stop asking about him until they knew everything-- job, car, social security number... You get the idea. I, however, felt a need for privacy and only offered minimal details. It's been interesting trying to keep my privacy with their determination!

They've decided that they get to plan our wedding even though we're not engaged... (Apparently that's a minor detail). Hello rainbow colored dress! I wish I was kidding. and I hope y'all like tacos! That's what they're serving at my reception (it was either tacos or pizza, and I hate pizza). All of my girls get to be bridesmaids, which is good because I don't have enough friends who want to be in my wedding ;)

My 4th graders saw a picture of my boyfriend and me in the hallway at school (for the record, I wasn't the one who put it up), and two of them have informed me that I am a very lucky lady because he's super attractive. I'm not going to lie to you guys-- they are absolutely right.

Yep. He's mine. Be jealous.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another One of THOSE Days.

My day:

  • One of my students fed dog food to her classmates today. She told them it was Japanese candy and they believed her.

  • Every one of my students has officially been suspended at least once this year.

  • I had to rearrange my classroom because literally none of my students are allowed to sit by anyone else in the class. It looks like I threw desks everywhere. I didn't. They have been strategically placed throughout the room.

  • A handful of that nasty/apparently dangerous road salt found its way mysteriously into the hood of the coat on one of my girls.

  • There are more jars of peanut butter in my kitchen pantry than there were students in my classroom today. Does this seem abnormal to anyone else?

  • My hair is falling out. Literally and figuratively.

  • My sister received the following text from me today: "I will not cry. I will not cry. I will not cry..." Amazingly, I didn't cry.

  • My God can handle all of these things, even if it's too much for me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Life with a Two Year Old

Sister to naked nephew: "Where are your underwear?"

Nephew to sister: "Der up der" (Translation: they're up there).*Points to the top of the fridge.*

Sure enough, kiddo threw his underwear on top of the refrigerator.

I mean, why not throw your underwear around the kitchen, right?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stinking Bug

Apparently you all get 2 posts today! Lucky you...

I hate stink bugs. Not because I think they're nasty-- oh, no! Because it doesn't matter what we're doing in class, the second one of my students sees one, all seven of them run to the other side of the classroom.

Really? It's a bug. It doesn't even sting/bite you. "No, no, children. Your education isn't important-- it's more important for you to get away from this devil bug. RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!"

Yesterday, someone found a stinkbug. *insert rolling of eyes here.* The first one in months. Crap. I got the little "bug cup"-- Why, yes, we do have a designated cup for capturing the bugs-- and trapped him on a lunch box. As I was in the process of getting rid of the bug, one of my girls came up to me...

"Miss C? How many brothers do you have?"
"None. I have a brother-in-law, though. Does he count?"
"That explains it..."
"Explains what?"
"Why you're such a manly woman. You catch that bug, Miss C!"

If you're reading this, I'll assume you know me. At least well enough to know that I love all things girly: shopping, cheesy movies, chocolate, pedicures, You name it, I love it. But apparently that's not enough.

Stupid bug.

Romans 8:37

Some days it's nice to be reminded that we are more than conquerors through Christ who gives us strength... Especially on the days when I'm feeling defeated.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Left Handed Compliments

Last year, I regularly received awkward compliments from my students. They were in first grade-- it was expected. This year, I have received far fewer of these "compliments."

I have a very short lunch break everyday, and I spend most of the time grading papers, organizing my desk, and getting ready for my afternoon classes (that's when I teach middle and high school). I rarely get to eat my lunch during my lunch period, so I normally take it into my next class.

I spoke in chapel yesterday for the middle and high school students, and one of the points that I made in my lesson had to do with food...

In math class yesterday, I was finishing my lunch when one of my students raised his hand. "Miss C. How can you stay so skinny when you eat so much??? I mean, seriously!"

Well, at least I'm not fat.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The War between Can and May...

I've been working with my students on the way they ask permission to do things.

"Can I go to the bathroom?"
"Can we write in pencil?"
"Can I go home now?"

For a while I used the whole "May you go... Yes, you may."

It didn't go well.

Then I switched to the "Can you? Yes. May you? Not until you ask correctly."

This worked better, but still, we had very little progress.

I have recently taken a more abrupt approach.

Student: "Miss C. Can I go to the bathroom?"
Me: "Of course you can!"
*Student starts to get up.
Me: "Where are you going?"
Student: "To the bathroom?"
Me: "You need to ask permission before you get out of your seat."
Student: "Um... I did."
Me: "No, ma'am (or sir). You asked if you had the ability, and you do. Have a seat until you ask permission."
*Student plops back into seat with confused expression.

They have since learned the difference between the two words. And they now like me less. It's okay, though. My job isn't to get them to like me, it's to teach them.

Over the weekend, I shared this story with my boyfriend while at a hibachi restaurant. A little bit later, the waitress came to check on us and he asked her if we could have a couple waters. She smiled, said yes, and walked away. I shook my head, convinced that we weren't going to get our waters. Of course, I had to give him a hard time for using "can" instead of "may."

When the waitress returned with our waters, he thanked her that she brought the water despite the fact that he didn't use the correct wording.

I'm still working on him, too. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Public Transportation

I never rode the bus to school when I was younger. My mom normally drove me (I remember a handful of times she let me walk to or from school alone... I also remember that she forgot me once. Thanks, Mom). I never learned the rules about buses-- like the one that says make sure you get on the correct bus. Believe it or not, they don't all go to the same place. That's a lesson I had to learn the hard way.

When I was in college, I had class on one side of campus on Mondays and another class that was all the way across campus 15 minutes after the first class ended. It was too far to walk in the allotted time-span, so I would take the bus every week.

About 6 weeks into the semester, I had my routine down. It worked very well, and I made it with minutes to spare. Well, one rainy day, I hopped on the bus to make my journey, and realized that the bus had taken a different route than normal. I figured that the bus driver was new, or that he had a different route that he favored...

I was terribly wrong.

After a few stops, I worked up the courage to ask the bus driver where we were headed...


I had to call my roommate to pick me up from the bus stop. Needless to say, I missed my class that evening.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quality Time with the Nephew

I make dinner for my sister's family once a week. It gives her a break, and it gives me a chance to try new recipes. It's a win/win!

My brother-in-law worked late today, so it was just her, me, and the kids. I stayed late to help her put T to sleep. I love that kid. He and I were playing before bed time. As I would pretend to sleep, a little 2 year old hand would reach out and tickle my face. After a few rounds of this game, he got bored-- without telling me. I closed my eyes, pretending to sleep, and when I open them, I saw this:

I'm not talking about this grin lying sweetly on his pillow-- oh, no. In my face. Hello, dear child! Why, yes, you are wiping your nose on my face! It was disgusting.. And adorable.

Another favorite game: pretend to sleep and snore like Papa.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I'm sorry to tell you that this post will not have you laughing at my expense... But I know that there will be more embarrassing stories to come. Don't worry!

This week has been very discouraging for me. To keep a long story short, my job has not been the easiest. Last night my Bible study focused on prayer, and one of the verses that we read was Philippians 4:6.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

I have a very hard time with the first part of this verse-- Be anxious for nothing? Really?-- I'm a fairly high-stress person, and when I am not in control of a situation, my stress level increases drastically. This week, I have to remind myself that I don't have to be anxious about anything-- especially work.

I'm so thankful that I serve a God who is always in control and cares for me. I don't need to be anxious. It's a waste of time and energy.

Prayers, please!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Lesson of the Day

Today my fourth grade class made a realization that, in the long run, I'm hoping will make everyone's life easier.

I was teaching a math lesson when one of my students raised his hand. I turned around and called on him.

"Miss C. you're a fun teacher when we listen to you! But when we don't listen... (Shakes head) It's not pretty!"

Of course, shortly after that, two of them got suspended. We're apparently still working on the application part of this lesson...

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Makes a Man?

I love my fourth graders. They are pretty much amazing. Here's an example of a conversation we have on any given day:

Student A: "Miss C hates sharks... Let's talk about them!"
Students B, C, and D: "Okay!!!"
Student B: "I had a dream about sharks last night!"
Me: "Again? You sure do have a lot of dreams about sharks..."
Student C: "Know why I'm not afraid of sharks? Because they eat men. I'm not a man yet-- I don't have a mustache!"

I sure hope this kid doesn't go swimming with sharks anytime soon! His parents may never forgive me for not correcting him on that one, but I'd like to agree with him. Sharks should leave the women and children alone!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Three Strikes-- I'm Out.

This is the blog where, if you still held out hope that I'm normal, I will remove all doubt.

In college, I had a crush on my cousin's roommate. He was super attractive, I'm not gonna lie to you. He was also a really nice guy. I'm going to explain what happened between us as a baseball analogy, because it just seems like the best way to tell this story.

Strike 1- He had a girlfriend (the Facebook tells me that they are now married!)

Strike 2- I told him that I don't think he's funny. I heard that this is pretty bad to tell a man. In fact, I knew this before I told him. I am still not sure why I said it-- other than the fact that it was true.

Strike 3- He saw me in my footie pajamas. In public. This one deserves a story, so I'm going to share it with you.

That year in college, I was in a Bible study that had 4 girls in it. Every week, we had a different theme night (favorite Bible characters- I was Jesus, The Office- I was Phyllis, Richard Simmons night... You get the idea). Well, we found these awesome footie pajamas at Target and had to buy them and have a pajama night!

If I remember correctly, this theme night happened to be during finals week and I was super stressed about a final the next day. We decided to go (in our footie pajamas, of course!) to the only place that was open late to get some coffee-- Sheetz. There are two of this gas station near my apartment, and we decided to go to the one that was farther away from the school so we wouldn't run into anyone we knew...

We all piled into my car and drove to the gas station. We got out of the car and started walking in to the convenience store. Naturally, I saw this guy (the not-so-funny-but-super-cute one) as I entered. My instinct told me to run, so I whispered to my friends "that's him!" and took off for the car and did this fancy dive into the driver's seat. One of my friends, having no idea what I was doing but realizing that the one with the car keys had every intention of leaving, also took off running for the car and dove into the backseat. The other two stood at the door wondering what had just happened and waving for us to go back into the store. This happened to attract more attention. After a minute or two, we realized that he had, indeed, seen the whole incident, and went inside to get our coffee... I haven't spoken to him since that day, and am convinced that he will always remember me as the sprinter in the footie pajamas.

Did I mention that strikes 2 and 3 happened on the same day? Yep... That was a good day. I quickly realized that there was no hope for me and moved on.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Pout

I do dismissal on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday every week at work. Someone (probably my boss... He must hate me) decided that it's a good idea to put all of the 2nd through 5th grade students from the school into one big room and make them sit for 30 minutes while parents come to pick up their kids. It's not too unbearable on the days when the kids get to go outside, but when the weather is below freezing, we have to keep them inside. All. Day. Long. For those of you who don't spend a whole lot of time with children I'm going to tell you something that you need to know: Kids have a lot of energy. Recess helps them get rid of some of that energy, so they can behave better. When they don't have recess, dismissal becomes a contest to see which class can make me cry first by being disobedient (it's normally a toss up between 2nd and 4th. Ironically, these are the two classes that I've taught... Again, my boss must hate me).

A few weeks ago, we had one of those days-- the really cold ones. So dismissal was pretty rough. Two 2nd grade boys were being particularly out of control. When I started to yell at them, one of them stuck his lip out in a pout. My 4th graders try this often, and my response every time is to say the same thing I said to this little boy: "Put the lip away. It doesn't work." With my 4th grade students, it works well. They tuck that bottom lip in and use their words to convey their messages. This 2nd grade boy, however, disagreed with their approach. He timidly raised his hand and said, "Miss C? Sometimes the lip does work."

Sometimes, it's difficult for me to maintain a straight face when punishing the students.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Language Barriers

Do you ever feel like you're talking to a wall when you're talking to kids? Some days I stand in front of my class, and I swear they must think I'm speaking Spanish to them. Sometimes it's my fourth graders who don't understand, sometimes it's my sixth graders... I rarely get it from my high schoolers because, let's be honest, they don't listen in class anyway.

This happened to me on Friday in my fourth grade class-- the blank stares from a room full of students, all of whom are thinking the same thing: "I didn't know Miss C. can speak Spanish! I don't understand a word of what she's saying!"

I was trying to introduce a new concept to them in Language class. I explained it the way the book told me to. It didn't work. Okay... New technique. Maybe write it on the board and give one example for every student! Nope? Hmm... Maybe if I dance around the classroom and make up a catchy song that explains this new concept to my students, they'll get it... The only thing those children learned is that their teacher doesn't dance or sing well.

For the first time in my year of teaching I literally threw my hands up in the air and said, "AHHHHHH!!!"

Nobody knew how to respond to their exasperated teacher except one boy. "Um... Maybe you need to go on that medicine for stress and anxiety, Miss C. We've never seen you like this before!"

I'm fairly certain that every single one of those children went home that night and told their parents that their teacher sings, dances, and screams-- all within the same lesson! "What's the lesson?" their parents will have asked...

They still don't know.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Forever Young

I get a lot of grief from people because I look very young for my age. I have always gotten a lot of grief from people because I look much younger than I am. In fact, I'm going to share two stories today that relate to my age.

1) About 2 years ago I went to visit my grandmother in CA. I love hanging out with her and all of her old lady friends. However, every single lady I met that week told me that I looked 14... Except for 1 lady who thought I was 12. I was 21. That day, I went home and put make-up on. I have worn make-up (at least mascara) every day since. Now I look closer to 18 than 14.

2) During recess the other day, my students started talking about video games. They love video games and are always asking if we can have a video game day-- a whole day dedicated to just playing games during school... One of my students decided that I needed to be part of this conversation. "Miss C... Did they have video games when you were a kid?" My students know that I'm pretty young compared to most of the teachers that work at the school, but apparently that doesn't mean I'm not a dinosaur. So in my response, I said "of course! How old do you think I am?!" Wrong question. All of my students started guessing the year I was born (1987). My favorite? 1950. I apparently just look really good for my age.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Math Class/Book Club

Have I mentioned that, in addition to 4th grade, I teach a high school math class and a 6th grade history class? Yes, I am a super hero.

Today in math class, a student and I began talking about books. I am an avid reader, and love talking about good books. She asked what I'm reading right now and I told her about The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs-- a witty book about a man's attempt to follow the Bible literally for a year. I'd highly recommend this book. Then I told her that I'm also reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen for the tenth time. I can't help it. It's one of my favorite books of all time. She has also read this book before, so we discussed how wonderful it is. She then proceeded to tell me about another book that she has read that is based on my beloved Pride and Prejudice. She said "It's just like Pride and Prejudice. Except with zombies. And ninjas!"

It's called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies... By Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. I don't know who Seth Grahame-Smith is, but he has taken my heart and torn it in two like no other man could do. Where's the chocolate?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One of THOSE Days...

I learned two things today, and I'd like to share them with you.

1) My hair will tell you at the end of the day what kind of day I've had. I have no idea how, but when I've had a bad day at work, my hair starts to fly in every direction, my bangs start to curl in a severely unnatural way, and my ponytail begins to rotate to the left side of my head. I have no control over this, and I am unaware that it's happening until I look in a mirror when I'm home. One of the few things about being in a long distance relationship: my boyfriend doesn't often witness this side of me.

2) Children are brutally honest. A third grade boy walked up to me at the end of the day today and emphatically informed me, "Man, Miss C... Your hair is a mess!" Thank you, child. You certainly know how to cheer a girl up.

Monday, January 10, 2011


In order to hold up my half of the deal I made with my sister (you know... The one where I'm writing a blog instead of a book), I must share stories from all aspects of my life-- not just my job. Several of these stories are years late, but I'm fairly certain my memory serves me well in these instances (you may notice that they're pretty hard to forget).

As I have said before, I often find myself in terribly awkward situations without any sort of warning. I also feel the need to inform you that I have often found myself on dates without realizing that they are actually dates. Call me naive, but I have always assumed that guys were interested in friendship with me because that's all I wanted. I cannot tell you how many times this has happened to me.

In fact, I somehow managed to go out with the same guy once a semester, every semester for three years in college without intending to. True story. Today I'm going to tell you about one of our outtings.

Let me preface this story by telling you that I went to a conservative Christian college that places a ridiculous emphasis on getting married to someone from school and having babies who will, in turn, go there for college. It was a great school, but students get pressure from every direction to fall in love and get married as soon as possible.

This particular day, D and I went to Starbucks to enjoy some coffee and catch up on what has happened to us in the past 4 months or so since we had gone out. Things were going pretty well until I realized that I had done it again... I was on another date with this kid! Every time I'd realize this, I'd get super awkward because I don't want to date him!

Somehow, our topic landed on all of my allergies (I have a lot of them. And they're weird). In the course of conversation, D found out that I'm allergic to cherries. When most people hear this, they make comments about ice cream sundaes with cherries on top or cherry pie. Yes, for the record, I do wish I could enjoy these things. However, I've adjusted to not eating them, and am happy eating other delicious fattening desserts. D felt terrible for me that I couldn't eat cherries... Not because I'm missing the best part of a sundae. Not even that I have to miss out on his delicious cherry pie. His first response when he found out I am allergic to cherries? "What are you going to do on your honeymoon?!?!?!"

Apparently, according to this man who I had just realized that I was chronically dating, I will miss out on one of the most important parts of a honeymoon...

Maybe that's why we didn't work out.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oh, How I Love Jesus

Last year, by some twist of fate, I found myself teaching first grade. Trust me when I tell you that no one saw this coming. However, it was one of the most fun adventures I've ever had.

One day, one of my little girls comes into the classroom wearing a cross necklace. Not just any cross necklace, though. This one glows in the dark!

Side note: Last year, when my class was getting too loud and I needed to regain control of my students, I'd turn off the lights- they would have to freeze and listen for instructions.

This particular day, I had to turn the lights off two or three times. Each time, however, this necklace would start glowing. Have you ever seen a group of seven year old children when they learn that something in the room glows in the dark? "Look at your necklace!" "Oh, it's so beautiful!" Turning off the lights ended up being a bigger issue than whatever caused me to turn them off in the first place.

At the end of the day, she walked up to me tenderly holding her necklace with a thoughtful look on her face. We had the following conversation:

"Miss C, know what I love most about Jesus?"
"What's that, honey?"
"He has the best toys!"

Then she walks away.

And I thought Toys-R-Us had the best toys... Boy, was I wrong!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Kids Pray the Darndest Things

Every morning my class prays together. Everyone enjoys this time of day because they get to share their prayer requests and the whole class has to pay complete attention to whomever is sharing the burdens on his or her heart. Some days we pray for things like the big Redskins game that is coming up, or for a pet dog who has, once again, eaten all of the chocolate in the house. Other days we pray for our troops in Afghanistan and family members who are suffering from serious health issues.

The other day, as we were preparing to bow our heads in prayer, one little boy raises his hand and states that he has a very serious prayer request that he has to share with the class. Generally, coming from this child, this means, "There's a wrestling match on tonight. I pray that my dad let's me stay up to watch it." Not this day. This day, he has a real burden: "Today I'd like to pray for my uncle. He has prostitute cancer." How can you help but love a child who has such concern for his uncle with prostitute cancer?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Everyone Has a Story to Tell...

I have a knack for taking an awkward situation and making it more so- sometimes without even trying. My sister has been telling me for years that I should write a book. Our compromise? A blog.

Almost every day, my students introduce me to a new perspective about life. Sometimes humorous, sometimes touching, always worth sharing. We have our good days and our bad days (if I believed in astrology, I would be convinced that the moon and stars have something to do with the fact that we all manage to have good or bad days together...), but every day is an adventure. Sometimes I think I'll be able to run a marathon because God is constantly stretching me through this class- often in ways I did not know I could stretch. My students are a constant reminder to me of man's sinful nature, but they also remind me of God's grace toward His children. They certainly keep me on my knees in prayer!

I look forward to sharing my experiences and lessons learned with you!