Monday, August 31, 2009

After School Special- David Sedaris Style

My friend Eileen is the kind of friend that everyone needs. You know the one that can make you laugh SO hard that you pee on yourself or yells out "Hell YES" once you have been drinking at bookclub/monthly AA meeting with your neighbors.

We do a secret Santa at our Dec meeting and a few years ago she got my name. She gave me the BEST gift I think I have ever gotten. Sorry Bill, Yes my "Buck Stops Here" sign on my desk does make the list, but this rocked. She got us tickets to see the man himself at the illustrious Clayton Center.

In true Eileen style she wrapped the tickets in a book of prose by Jack Handy of SNL fame circa 1990. As always at bookclub no one gets us or thinks half of our jokes are nearly as funny as we do. I passed on My Custom Van to her with Taco Party highlighted. I think I will ask Eileen to read it at my funeral when I am 95 as I bet she will act it out as she did last Thursday night.

Eileen has been posting Short Stories on her Facebook page and this one is worth a read for a rainy Monday. I literally almost peed on myself again..and MUST steal this idea for Ben.

David Sedaris Seeps into my Life Far Too Often... Eileen S.

DISCLAIMER: There will be lots of profanity in this commentary. If you're offended by profanity, don't worry... I've included an asterisk (*) in place of one of the letters so you really can't tell what the obscenity is supposed to be. F*cking LOVE that! See? Bet you thought I said "Focking LOVE that!". You'd be wrong though.


For those of you who don't know, I'm a HUGE David Sedaris fan. He's an author, humorist, satirist, columnist, funniEST person to come out of Raleigh, North Carolina EVER. I went to see him speak in the cultural mecca of Clayton (no disrespect) and it was the first of two times now that I've publicly peed my pants. I wish I were joking. If I could have fallen on the floor in a heap of laughter and tears without being sent for further evaluation I would have. The dude is FUNNY. The fact that he grew up around these parts is secondary but nonetheless interesting. I've actually seen his brother's hardwood flooring van on the street that runs by our neighborhood. It still makes me wonder to this day who had their floors installed by "Silly P". In any event, I ingratiated myself in my book club as the worst picker of books when I chose Sedaris' "Me Talk Pretty One Day". The only other person who liked it was my friend, Heather, and I will be forever grateful to her for being as sick and twisted as I am. She just "gets me"! But, everyone will admit that it was the best book discussion we've ever had.

In this particular book Sedaris describes something called a "F*ck It Bucket". His father was going through a rough time and his brother (Silly P/The Rooster) brought over a bucket full of candy proclaiming, "It's gonna be alright. When shit's got you down, you just need to say f*ck it and eat yourself some motherf*cking candy.". Better advice I had never heard. I have been known to give my friends their own personal F*ck It Bucket when life deals them a big, stinking, rotten bushel of lemons. It's the least I can do. Candy does do wonders.

So, when school started for my kids and all of us were getting the homework blues I had a flash of brilliance. I'll make them their own F*ck It Bucket. Of course, I was politically correct and called it the "After School Bucket". My sister had just happened to win a very pretty, oblong, lime green bucket recently. Lucky for me she was trying to declutter and I enjoy collecting random pieces of shit, so it became mine. (Did I see a new show called "Hoarders" is on TV now...) I placed it in the middle of the kitchen table and filled it with blank notebooks for spelling homework, a pencil cup stocked with freshly sharpened pencils, erasers, and brain building snacks they could partake in when they got home. I was so in love with myself when I was finished!

And so were my kids. When they burst through the door at 3:15 they stopped in their tracks. I could almost hear the angels singing. Book bags dropped to the floor as they stared at the beautifully appointed lime green bucket. "Mommy, what's THAT?". "That's your new After School Bucket dears." "Wow, what's in it?" "Well, all kinds of things to make our afternoon easier and more fun." "Can I have the granola bar?" "Can I have the almonds?". Cherubs wouldn't have sounded sweeter. I must admit though, at this point I felt a bit like a crack dealer dressed up as Ronald McDonald. "Come on kids... drugs are FUN!". I even kept the festive multicolored ribbon that came tied to the handle. To me, it says "Welcome to the homework party!". And seriously, I do think they enjoyed doing their worksheets just a bit more that day. At least, the whining was cut down by about half. And man, if that's not worth it, I don't know what is!

Of course, it could have just been because they were in an oat, fruit, nut, gummy snack stupor. Being kids, they are incapable of rationing themselves and proceeded to eat ALL the snacks in the After School (F*ck It) Bucket. ALL of them. The snacks which I had figured would last the entire week and which I had so lovingly and thoughtfully placed, were now in their engorged bellies. Crumpled wrappers strewn across the table and floor in what looked like a Hansel and Gretel-esque trail of consumed protein and carbs. Apparently in the time it took me to look through two backpacks and clean out two lunchboxes my kids were possessed by the spirits of two long starved raccoons. Which got me to thinking, I bet they could really tear up a hot dog eating contest!

Back to the pantry I go to restock the bucket. I couldn't be mad at them really, it was true that I had not explained the rules of the bucket and they ARE growing children as our ever burgeoning grocery bill can attest. Plus, who can be grumpy in the midst of that multicolored ribbon? No one I tell you! So, as I'm restocking the bucket I start thinking about my own After School Bucket and what I might like to include in order for ME to survive the homework hour. Let's see... first there's the obvious- bottle opener, shot glass, ibuprofen, and chocolate. But then I get creative- air horn to break up the "You're using MY smencil!!!!" fights. (By the way, "smencil"=smelly (in a good way) pencil. My new favorite word.), invisible headphones to protect my ears from the air horn (and I say invisible because I would probably wear them most of the time so I could cut out the whining all together but I wouldn't want to appear rude. Plus, I wouldn't want them to take up the kind of room VISIBLE headphones would take up in a F*ck It Bucket. It's all about space with me.), and one of those hilarious punching nun puppets. Ever seen them? It wouldn't be useful or anything, I've just always wanted one.

Of course, making myself one would be next to impossible. I wouldn't even know where to begin looking for invisible headphones. Probably at the same store that sells "listening ears" to children. In spite of this, I want to implore you to give the F*ck It Bucket a try. Either for yourself, someone you love or your kids. I mean, I know you love your kids. Just don't call the one for your kids a F*ck It Bucket. We all could use some motherf*cking candy or delicious snacks every now and then don't you think?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer of Funny.... and NOT so Funny Movies

Bill and I while very, very different by most accords share a love of 13 year old boy humor. We rented PCU after going to a sorority pledge bash party on our first date some 15 years ago. With that said over the summer we saw some really funny movies and some that I demand my money back. First the funny...

The Hangover
- Who hasn't seen this by now? I am so ready for it to hit the Cheap theater so we can go again. We have a love for Vegas movies anyway, but this was over the top as far as one liners and ridiculous situations. I wish I could name my fav part but there were just too many. I literally almost wet myself I was laughing so hard. And the ending... oh the ending credits.

The Goods
- Check out Bill's review and link to what was one of the funniest part of the movie. While no Hangover, the Daily Show past and present cast was well worth 14 bucks. Best role was Rob Riggle as a 10 year old with a pituitary gland problem.

Ok.. now the rest. We watched Adventureland tonight and wow what a disappointment. We wanted to see this when it came out in April and should have known to beware when it quickly disappeared. While it did have a kick ass soundtrack (Violent Femmes, Falco, Banarama) and set in a 1980s theme part there were a few really good lines and scenes, and the bedazzled fashions a poppin' were awesome. This movie could have been so much better with more scenes with Bill Hader as the tight ass dorky park manager and if Rainn Wilson had made a cameo as a Tilt-o-Whirl operator on a vengence.

My summer mission is to warn all friends to avoid Funny People at all costs! I literally turned to Bill about 15 mins into this movie and said, "I am switching theaters to go see the Hangover again". This movie should've called, "the most unfunny movie made with funny people... EVER". What a disappointment. Like not since I had the unfortunate pleasure to see Vanilla Sky did a movie suck so bad. DO NOT LET ANYONE talk you into this movie. Judge Apatow your next movie better be over the top funny to make up for this unfunny piece of crap that totally fell flat. Cancer is not funny, ever. Not even you could make it funny.

Up next in our journey through all movies designed for pre-pubscent boys, Mike Judge's Extract. We loved Office space after see it in a loney B'ham theater on opening weekend. So, so misunderstood we were/are in our movie tastes. After hearing Terri Gross's interview with Jason Bateman last week I don't think it's going to disappoint.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Phone Photo Friday and Finished for Friday RETURNS!

First off this week has ROCKED! It started on a much unexpected positive note and the hits just keep coming. Ben LOVES his new school.

Next week he starts a full day each day 8:30-3 pm and he is so excited by new friends, new things to do, and already loves his teachers. He even told me at one point that "they don't have trucks mommy" to which I responded so what was the best thing you did at school? I reminded him that it made his trucks at home even more special.

I am calling this school because this is what it is... SCHOOL. He is with 3, 4, and 5 year olds and I am amazed at the types of work (geography, simple math, science, practical life with an undercurrent of teaching grace and courtesy, and literacy awareness). And then the motherload: and outdoor play space that beckonds to be played on at full intensity. What I love most is that after months of agagonizing about this decision I got exactly what I wanted. Soundness of decision in that I don't get the "we are turning your kid into a genius, but rather you are a sponge so let's expose you to as much as your little brain can hold."

One of Ben's fellow 3 year old classmates was in the room last night and while the adults were talking he went from one activity to another, totally self directed, cleaning up along the way. Independence- Check!, Self-Confidence- Check!, Chance to spark creativity and interest- Check, 2 Field Trips a Month and he's THREE- Sign Me UP!!!

I laughing when I first saw the webpage for this school and was confinced that Ben was likely going to be making a hemp bag for me by end of year. After all the kid on the photo out front is flashing a peace sign in a tie-dye shirt. How fitting that not even trying I got something similar last night!

On the what did I get done in the first week back of full time work, Plenty.

1. Took dinner (and one to freeze) out to friend's who just had a baby
2. Made 2 freezer meals for myself and worked on the new cooking blog
3. 4 trips to the pool with Ben and Bill
4. Lots to do for school, but for the first time in 10 years I didn't work the day before kids were back. I spent it with my family.
5. Cleaned my house top to bottom
6. Organized the rest of the Baby/Toddler Books,Toys,Videos into labeled crates for the attic

I would love to say that I am going to sleep away the weekend, but Ben and I are heading out the Raleigh farmers market and yummy breakfast of mickey mouse pancakes tomorrow am. Bill and I have more insurance claims to try and knock out this weekend but are rewarding ourselves with the "did anyone even see this" movie Adventureland about a 1980s Six Flags. I expect it to be bad and perfect way to wind down after a super week.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


One of my all time favorite shows turns twentysomething with the release of their first season. I had forgotten that Bill had long since pre-ordered the first season that came yesterday. I was so NOT the coveted Madison Ave demographic of 25-49year olds targeted when this show originally appeared in the late 1980s. But for some reason I started watching this show and rarely missed it. Sometimes I watched it with my mom which lead to interesting conversations about the view of marriage/family that was very much not what the norm in my house.

I can't wait to watch this show again, this time from the said demographic of the show namesake. I wonder how much I will identify with the themes of this show as they relate to my own life? Already I remember that this show was a commentary on married with children life vs unmarried friends, the ever important work/life balance, making and keeping adult friendships, inlaws, dealing with serious life issues like illness and the death of parents, marital problems, and most of all sense of identity as you pass from your twenties into thirties. I wonder who I will identify with the most (if at all) being the same age as the creators of this show in 1987?

Actually I think I could answer that question now, but re-watching the show will be interesting to see if my memory serves me right.

Last night I was out with some friends and we were talking about indiscretions of our youth/twenties. I have to admit I was a boring soul for most of my 20s. Bill and I met and were married by the time we were 21. We both worked a ton of hours at jobs and kept up with college friends still in the area for the time we still lived in Birmingham. It wasn't until we moved to Raleigh 10 years ago that adding grad school, job changes/unemployment stints, illness and the care of parents complicated our lives. Having a child even further made me realize that being an adult often times meant trade off and decisions that I never dreamed I would make.

The past few months of being in multiple stressful situation have been especially revealing in that after 15 years together and 13 married we are the typical young married family dealing with much of what the show thirtysomething attempted to define as specific to the Yuppie generation. As I watch I will see that not much has really changed and that this age truly is a crossroads from leaving behind the irresponsible person you once were (and sometimes miss) and the knowledge that you are changing into the responsible adult that you feared would one day become.

Here's to 80s hair, men in suspenders, the heyday of print journalism, wine snobbery, the rise of video dating, and everything else that defined the late 1980s. I think I will remember the over analytical, self-reflective aspect of the show and find my 34 year old self.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Can Germex Combat this Beast?

Not to buy into fear mongering but I am really getting freaked out by recent reports of the potential projections for fall Swine Flu outbreak. It's not that I am total germaphobe but as a public school teacher and the parent to a small child I am in the direct line of fire to get sick. I typically do not get sick during the school year as I have quite an immune system after a decade of teaching.

But this really scares me to the point that I have become a clean freak (more than normal) in my classroom. For the first time ever I am mandating that if you leave my room to go the bathroom or even blow your nose that you use hand sanitizer when you return. I have even created a whole "student area" with staplers, tape, extra pencils, with a very stern warning about staying away from my desk for any reason. My kids are getting extra credit for bringing in supplies to keep us well stocked. I am also cleaning my desks (or rather using this as detention) every few days.

At home we are being extra vigilant to wash hands and making sure if he does get sick we make sure he stays at home early. Ben is a clean freak in the making(my making unfortunately). Nothing excites him more than getting to "clean" the kitchen sink with tons of soap and a big brush. He loves to help me "do dishes" and will wash his hands at the drop of a hat.

I also caught him having a vacuum cleaner race with another child lately. Handwriting on the wall, maybe, but if I can avoid sickness in my home then all worth the extra effort. I hope that the vaccine will be available to more than just old people and little kids although I am a little leery of putting a newly tested medicine in my body.

Other ideas on ways to ward off sickness short of wearing a mask and looking like an alarmist or Michael Jackson incarnate?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ben's First Day vs Mommy's

Ben had an AWESOME first day at his new school. I telling you I am kicking myself for not putting him here at 18 months.

Today was day 1 of 4 phase ins. Basically only new families are at the school this week for 2-3 hours each day. They learn the mechanics of the class while parents learn about carpool and policy and procedures. Bill reported that it was so obvious that we had made the best choice and for that it was worth my insane amount of research and sitting in multiple school presentations in Jan/Feb.

What I think I like best about this new school is the Montessori approach itself. Each day starts with group circle then the kids move to "work programs" that rotate based on the kids age and ability, and interest. While this seems a little like he might becoming a little socialist the manipulatives are AWESOME. Ben is a child who loves to sort, at kick ass at a 24 piece puzzle, build, and most of all be outside. The opportunity to do all daily are reasons we choose this school.

They will take two field trips per month. Once a month they walk to the nearby library and the other is a local field trip to a nature preserve, pumpkin farm, area museums.I am SO going to volunteer to chaperone to see this firsthand.

They school truly is a community and the parent support seems to be well entrenched and ongoing. I really appreciate how much they want parents to come in and be apart of the class for more than a holiday party.

This truly is a relief that when he said good bye to children he has known since he was 12 weeks old yesterday that the only tears were mine. He is settling in like he is an old pro at a new situation. Watching him befriend another child while playing is a true joy to know his outgoing nature is well established at age three.

Mommy's first day back was also the smoothest in 10 years of teaching. For one I didn't work yesterday. Didn't even think about it and took a vacation day. Spent the day with Bill, cleaned the house, saw THE GOODS, got Ben's hair cut, ran errands, and had a great dinner.

When I got to school at 6:30 all the windows were open, bad sign that there was no air. Luckily it was fixed for the time being. Class sizes so far are lower than projected, good kids including the repeaters that I have back again. I have freshmen in homeroom so I took them on my "how to find the back ways to class esp the bathrooms" school tour. Yes I am nuts to be hauling 30 little kids up and down the stairs but I always say, If you can get through 9th grade with any self esteem in tact then you should get a medal.

With my Civics classes I laid the groundwork that yes I am nuts by using this fake microphone to interview them like we were on a lame game show. My friend sent me the best description of what teachers actually do. Classic that "teaching" is not on the list. "passing out scantrons, monitoring halls, handing out belts, drying tears, breaking up fights, redirecting misdirected anger, aggression, etc., extinguishing fires, and generally raising children up in the way that they should go"

Happy School Year Mommy and Ben!

Monday, August 24, 2009

If I Were Going to Prison, I Would Take These Books

Long, long week of workdays at school minus air conditioning last week. Parents at Open House literally said, " I would love to stay and meet you but I don't think I can stand it up here, what supplies does my kid need and they took off"

Hopefully it will be fixed before school starts back tomorrow otherwise, it's again going to look like a refuge camp with the kids laying in the floor to do work.

Bill has been experimenting with cutting off our cable and instead just using an antenna and a HD Tivo. I'm sure he will will write some super technical blog post about the experience, but overall I have not missed having tons of channels I don't reallywatch. I did take advantage of still having cable in the bedroom to watch Mad Men and Project Runway season premieres. Too bad I slept through both. I did manage to stay away for A&E's new show Hoarders about people that compulsively fill their house with junk. Nice segway as their summer show, Obsessed just ended :-(

I also finished two books this week and both I would seriously consider both if I was going away to jail and could only take a small collection of books.

I quickly finished both Michael Ian Black's book (can you call it that) My Custom Van and Sara Barron's People are Unappealing due to their page limit of less than 200 pages . I even read one openly at a faculty meeting, while I was suppose to be watching a sexual harassment video. Kinda appropriate as both had TONS and TONS of sexual content.

I figured with chapter titles such as "Why I used a Day-glo Magic Marker to color my dick yellow" and "Open Letter to the Hair Stylist who somehow convinced Me to get a Perm in the 6th grade", and "You Say Penis. I say "Pienus" these books were going to speak to me. I also knew with endorsements from John Hodgeman and Jim Gaffigan, I was totally in my type of book element: sick and twisted with dark comic wit that is dry as toast.

Of all the stories I read, I loved and reread "Taco Party" multiple times. Aside that I was blown away at the sheer number and combination of expletives in a 3 page story I must say that the best line (minus cursing) was the following,

... if I find any sparklers in the pool, and am taking away the sparklers. I AM NOT KIDDING" I will return them all to my cousin in KY where all they do it shoot off fireworks. Let this serve as your warning because I don't want anybody bitching at me now that they didn't get warned about this. ....this is going to be the sickest taco party ever. At last year's party my friend Greg died, how awesome was that! This year I hope two "insert double use of the f-word" die! How incredible would that be?

I started thinking other books I have loved enough to reread in some cases 3-4 times. Feel free to agree that I must have serious issues to put these on my Prison Reading List.

toss up... Me Talk Pretty One Day, or Naked, oh hell what about the Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris

Possible Side Effects by Augusten Burroughs, Running with Scissors might make the list too, but I like his short stories more.

Freakonomics- Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. I convinced the AP English teacher to use this book with a kick ass project last year. I am on a mission to get everyone to read this book and then discuss amongst yourselves.

Fahrenheit 451- by Ray Bradberry... What I can say, I own and still wear a shirt that says, "Celebrate Freedom, Read a Banned Book". Love to use this book in class back pre state testing days when you could actually have a class discussion.

Breakfast of Champions- by Kurt Vonnegut. Thank you Ms. Welborn, my 11th grade English teacher for exposing me to one of my fav writers.

A Clockwork Orange- by Anthony Burgess. Book was a zillion times more frighting than the movie, and that's saying alot.

Hoping I never go to prison but at least if I do I think my list might get me out on parole for being a little nuts.

Next up on my nightstand are
Sex, Drugs, and Coco Puffs by Chuck Klosterman and Animal, Vegible, Mineral by Barabra Kingsolver. Which you think I going to read first?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Whatever It Takes

I head back to school tomorrow for a week of workdays and then new students on the 25th. Post coming later this week about how this was the most un-productive task filled summer while being the most family centered of our lives. I did exactly what I wanted, made the family time we are so lacking during the year.

While at NCCAT last week I started Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough. LauraC has already written a great account of this book. As an teacher I was applauding the foresight of Geoffrey Canada to succeed at providing much needed support to families from birth to 18 in an attempt to break the chains of poverty in Harlem.

While reading this book I thought about a couple of things. First, one of the teachers I met at Harvard helped start an all girls charter school (in Harlem no less)that is part of the NYC school system. I found myself loving when I ate with her to hear how she and her colleagues have made this school work in the midst of enormous bureaucracy and setbacks.

What stuck with me more than any success story she told was the fact that once many of these girls move on the prestigious colleges and universities that they often earn full ride scholarships too, so the high number of failures/drop outs within the first year.

She explained that year after year it is NOT because they are not smart or could do the college work, but because they don't have the family support/structure to continue their success. Namely without the support of the school behind them, often they do not make it. Felice told me of how she spends most fall weekends making the rounds to Northeast schools to check on her girls, to offer them emotional and much needed financial support and encouragement to stay.

I also thought of myself as co-organizer for our Freshman camp of 800 incoming new students at my old school, an inner city magnet school that served polar opposites of demographics.

I suggested to a completely quiet room of administrators that if we wanted orientation to be a phenomenal success that would continue throughout the year we needed ALL students to learn how to "do high school". We didn't need the mainly White/Asian students that would come regardless, that we needed to make the camp assessable and welcoming to our minority base population. I went on to say that if we expect the neighborhood kids to come to us because we sent them a letter, we totally missed the boat on how to reach them.

Over the next months of planning this event I convinced a few teachers to join me as we canvassed on foot the surrounding neighborhood public pools and community centers, public housting tenant meetings, neighborhood schools, area grocery/liquor stores, and what was the best suggestion from a school board member who caught wind of our unorthodox approach, to meet with multiple minority church ministers who then took our outreach to their congregation.

When the 5 days of camp started we tracked enrollment each day and our efforts paid off. Even more inspiring was in my own classroom later that fall with my neighborhood kids I asked who had come and what they would do to encourage their friends for next year.

While this is super small potatoes compared to what Geoffrey Canada is doing, I am very proud I had the chance to participate in this grassroots campaign to pull ALL students into the school, not just the ones that will likely raise your test scores. The belief that everyone deserves the same opportunity is paramount to changing your school as well as a 97 block neighborhood.

I am going to take raising money for Harlem Children's Zone to my NHS officers as our year long service focus. I am inspired for the first time in a long time to be heading back to school. Partly that this is likely my last year, and also for the opportunity to return to my new students a little piece of what changing your focus can do to your outlook and possibilities.

Bring it 2009-2010! We may have packed out classes and limited resources and little air/heat to save money, but I am determined to make going out with a bang possible on a daily basis.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Phone Photo Friday

Wish I had a photo of Ben lounging while watching the movie at Movies by Moonlight at a local outdoor venue. Hence it was too dark, but know it was an awesome night to be outside with family.

Today is my last day back before workdays and school returns. Ben and I are heading out the the Farmer's market and Pullen Park to ride the train/boats/carousel and then a picnic if the rain holds off.

I shot this not the best photo while in Boston. I passed this theater in Harvard Square multiple times a day on the way to class/meals/hotel. Every time I died laughing thinking of Laura's story behind the real meaning of phrases.

After this week, I thought it would make her laugh to imagine the stage production. Someone probably had to have a permit to buy the costumes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some Kind of Wonderful

oh...RIP John Hughes. You captured teen angst in a way no other ever has. This was always my favorite and a perfect title for today's post. I had lots of pictures for today's entry but they are not wanting to load. Will consider reposting once home.

I am leaving our last session of NCCAT today :-( When I was selected to be part of this cohort of 20 teachers from across the state last fall I was ecstatic. The idea of going to teacher retreat 8 weekends over the next 2 years was just what I needed to keep me going professionally.

I'm telling you, I think know how to glad hand like a seasoned politician after being accepted for 2 competitive programs in one year!

Due to state budget cuts the 8 was cut into 4 but we are planning a get together next year to keep up with where each of are at professionally and personally.

I cannot even begin to describe what being in this group has meant to me over the last year. Just like with any profession, it you are on the outside it's hard to understand why anyone would do this job. Teaching year after year with the same struggles and frustrations, but yet with an ever changing group of kids and Principals challenges you in ways you cannot imagine in any other profession.

As I start of year 10 of a profession I didn't think I would last a year in, I am amazed that I am now considered "seasoned". Marty, I hope you know when you deemed my having an "indomitable spirit" and a force in the classroom, you nailed it.

I truly believe that among this group are teachers you know have changed the lives and opened doors for students. They get you in a way that others can't and frankly I know the glazed over look Bill and friends get when I get in the Vinson Zone (of boring teaching related conversation). Hence our no work talk at home rule for a really long time.

As someone who given free reign to art supplies and time to work this has been heaven on earth. Incredible projects and an outlet for creativity.

I thank my fellow participants for being critics of my work when it needed tweaking or new direction, a sounding board for the Montessori decision for Ben this fall by two 30+ Montessori educators, encouragement to even start to write and then the courage to read it out loud, and at times over the last year being a mentor/mother to me when I really needed it.

One of my favorite quotes has played out time and time again while here. I thank my fellow teachers and now friends for helping me realize that I am the embodiment of Emerson's words. "What lies behind you or ahead of you is nothing compared to what it inside you"

I leave with a heavy heart but am incredibly thankful for the year together.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Roadtrip Recount!

What do you get for a little over 1,400 miles???

2 adults that can now split a kids meal AND have leftovers...crazy!

1 child that begged to watch the SAME movie for a straight 12 hours

A special "poo poo truck" only to be played with on the potty, hey he's sitting for longer and longer... is there hope?

Multiple podcasts about planning a trip to Disney World, a few years ago our fav podcast on the road was about Vegas. Wow we are old.

Sitting in Atlanta traffic at 9:30 at night due to massive construction and a conversation with Bill that started, "just start walking away from Fryes and I will look for you on the overpass"

Forgetting my wallet 2 hours from home resulting in us having to turn around BACK to South Carolina... just when I think I made it across the border

2 sets of inlaws in two states and no hurt feelings

A first trip to Chucky Cheese and Build a Bear aka PreSchool Crack

An Earth shattering game of Goofy Golf complete with my saggin' son

Saw a really awful movie (Funny People), but read a good book (Mommy Guilt)

A perfect afternoon at Seaside by myself complete with my fav book store, funky art galleries, and really good key lime gelato

Bill buying a hat that said, "NO SHIRT, NO SHOES, NO PROBLEMS" and then wore it the entire trip

NO ONE managing to get burned at the beach

All in all a really awesome road trip

Friday, August 7, 2009

Phone Photo Friday Entry

You know you are in the state that started the Civil War, when you stop to buy peaches and find this sign.

Way to go South Carolina! First in rickets and last in education, SO proud of my home state.

Vacation wrap up of an awesome trip once home tomorrow!