Monday, August 12, 2013

No... I'm not a blogger... yet.

Obviously I am not doing very well with this blog thing. I had great intentions, but fell short. I'm not gonna lie. I pretty much stink at this. However, I am good at many things. This just hasn't been one of them.

A lot has changed in the past year. I don't even know where to begin. So, let's just start with this summer. It has flown by! What fun it's been, though!

June 7th: Our son, Chris graduated from Allen High School. I wondered if we would ever make it. Ha Ha! I'm sure there are several gray hairs in my head over the past years of educating him, but no one will ever know because but my hairdresser! His grandmother, Nanny, came from Mississippi to his graduation along with his Uncle Alan, Aunt Karen and cousin Kyle. They stayed with us for a couple of days. It was short, but we enjoyed having them as long as we could. My brother Fred and his family, Donna, Jessica and Jonathan also came over to celebrate with us. This was the first class to graduate from the new Eagle Stadium. It was warm, but really a nice ceremony that lasted close to 3 hours.

June 13-18: The BEST VACATION of our lives!!! Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico- The Marival Residences and Resort. This was our first DreamTrip through WorldVentures as a family. Lots of FIRSTS happened this week-

Firsts:  Family vacation out of the States, vacation to Puerto Vallarta, stay at an All-Inclusive resort, Kylie's and Chris' first airplane ride, swimming with Dolphins, swimming with Sea Lions, Catamaran cruise to a private island, snorkeling/kayaking with kids, ziplining with our kids. I will have to do a blog on JUST this vacation alone, as it was unbelievable!

July 11-14: We went as a family to Denver, Colorado to attend Millionaire Bootcamp with our company, WorldVentures. We will definitely go back to do the outdoor things, as we didn't have time on this quick trip, but loved what we were able to see.

August: Kylie and I went on our Mom and Me Annual trip to Six Flags over Texas. This year, we didn't even GO in the Kiddie area! Kylie was super brave and wanted to ride almost ALL of the roller coasters at nine years old! Yes! I said roller coasters! We rode the Titan (tallest roller coaster in Texas) 3 times, Batman 3 times, and the newest thrill seeking ride, "The Texas Sky Screamer." She had an absolute BLAST! Only downfall of the day was that we had a flat tire when we went to the parking lot. Didn't dampen our moods though! I love that I have a roller coaster loving kiddo!

I also had an outpatient surgery done this past week. I had the thermal endometrial ablation. It went well, and I'm hoping that Mother Nature decides so too! I never thought I'd be so happy to say good bye to that part of being a "mother."

Well, school is just around the corner. I have three inservice days this next week, and then a full week of inservice before school starts on August 26th. The summer always seems to fly by. I am excited about moving to a new grade level this next year. It should keep things fresh and new for me. I will be teaching fourth grade math. I am excited that I will get to teach one of my own kids this year, too. Kylie is super excited, too! I am ready for structure, routine and FOOTBALL season again!

I'll post more later and in depth about our trip! Maybe I can actually figure out how to upload pics! LOL!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

WOW!! It's been a WHILE!

Well, it's now February 4, 2012. I really don't even know where to begin. Let me just say that a LOT has happened since my last entry. I'll bullet-point some of the biggies.

* Moved from Richardson ISD to Allen ISD. Still teaching 3rd grade at Anderson Elementary School. I've been there 6 years now. After 19 years, it has not gotten easier.

*All four of my kids followed me to Allen. Lauren graduated in 2011 from AHS, and is now attending Collin College. She wants to transfer to Texas A&M and major in Engineering. Not sure which kind yet, possibly Biomedical Engineering. Chris is a Junior at AHS, and has been in the Allen Eagle Escadrille. It is the largest marching band in the world! They have nearly 700 kids marching on a Friday night at the football games! It really is amazing! He plays the bass trombone, but his true love is the piano. Kaitlin is in eighth grade at Curtis Middle School. She also plays the clarinet in band. She enjoys being in the PALS program, too, where she gets to mentor a little second grade boy. She is doing very well in school, too! Kylie is now a second grader at my school. I can't believe how big she is! All of them have grown so fast, but since she is the "baby," it's harder to take. She did ASI Cheerleading for the D2 Wildcats this past season, and now is doing gymnastics. She is also a Brownie GS, but I'm not so sure about next year. I'm disappointed in the politics that the GS' have taken. It goes against my moral beliefs, but I digress.

*Glen and I went through a very rocky time in 2010, which almost ended in divorce. We have worked really hard on ourselves, and our marriage, and thankfully have made it to almost 24 years of marriage. Life is definitely not easy, and we lost sight of our dreams. We feel blessed that we fought for our family, and have become stronger for it. He truly is my best friend!

*I wanted more travel in my life, but ended up having more FUN, FREEDOM, and FRIENDS by just listening to a friend share her travel club with me! It came around the same time that Glen and I were fighting for our marriage, and I have to say, it has been a HUGE blessing to us! I thank God daily for this gift! We enjoyed taking a $69 cruise, our first, to the Bahamas in Sept. 2011! It was so much fun, and we had a blast scuba diving and snorkeling in Nassau and Cocoa Cay! Thank you WV! This concept is bringing me closer to moving out of the classroom, and home to help make more memories with my family, friends, and help others to find their dreams!

*My GS troop of 13 years graduated this past May 2011. I can't believe that these young women have gone off to college, and are no longer the little Daisies and Brownies that I remember so well! Thank you to Mrs. Karen and Mrs. Vicki for your help with your leadership. It was truly a wonderful experience, for the most part. I choose to remember the good. :)

*We finally moved to Allen! I had been saying for the past several years, we needed to move, as we were really cramped with three girls in one bedroom! We absolutely love our new home in Allen. We moved in June 8, 2011! We are enjoying the extra room, the pool and hot tub, and being 3mins. from my school!

There is absolutely no way that I could put everything in one blog post from the past years, but these are the highlights. I'll try to fill in the missing pieces, and do better about sharing my life. I really do need to write again. It's therapeutic. I need that from time to time.

Here's to a new beginning...

Monday, January 7, 2008

You mean "I LOST??!!"

Well, Karen M. may be the only person reading my blog, but at least SOMEONE'S going to hold me accountable. You BETTER Girl!

I "faced the music" today at my WW meeting! Wow, it wasn't a resounding chorus of "Hallelujah" from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but it was a piffle of "Fa la la la la, what DO you mean I LOST??!! from a fluffy, Southern Mormon girl. (Moi!)

It was a HUGE .4 lbs, but hey, I'm not complaining. It was at least heading south instead of north! That brings me to a total- drum roll please- - - - - - -8 lbs. since October!!!!

Not too shabby when you consider the Hershey's kisses and Peanut M&M's I've put away from Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the flock of fried turkey I ate at Christmas dinner! (My hubby can fry up some mean gobblers!)
8 pounds- - - that's the weight of a gallon of milk, lopped off my buttocks. That's like the size of all 4 of my kids at birth! Wow! Not too bad.

Here's to you all seeing less of me in 2008! (Man, that homemade pizza was delicious that I just inhaled!) Oh crap, let me go clear off the laundry on the treadmill and walk a couple of ounces off my love handles, after this movie and my magazine break.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

New Year, Same Resolutions. . .

Well, I have officially survived the holidays, and have my house somewhat in order. Shocking! I know. It's a new year, so as I do every year, I have the same resolution of having a family portrait made, cleaning up the house- well, working on the scrapbooks, and losing weight. Well, same resolutions for 2008. This time, I've got a PLAN, though. I'm actually creating this public forum to hold myself accountable. Hopefully. Or, show that I'm a big, FAT liar!

We'll start with the family portrait. O.K. that one should be fairly easy. Let's see what I need to do to accomplish that one. I have a coupon for a FREE 8X10 from Kiddie Kandids for Kylie's 4th b-day. That's a great excuse (reason) to go get pictures! So, for the first resolution for 2008, we will go before January 2008 is over and get a family portrait done. Be sure to stay tuned for results! (Or, call me a Big, FAT liar, liar pants on fire in February!)

Next, I'm very proud of the START on the house cleaning! I took down the tree, Christmas decorations, and cleaned the dining room and living room before New Years. I knew that we would be heading back to school right after the new year, so I didn't want to face that after work was in session. Then, it was tackle my closet and bedroom! That poor room had been the "catch all" since before Thanksgiving, as we were throwing things in closets as gifts were being purchased, and we headed to Mississippi in Nov. for Thanksgiving, so there were still suitcases on the floor! Then, Santa had to have major help wrapping gifts, so there were bags, tags, bows, and tape all over the place! This weekend was actually unseasonably warm and sunny for January. It got up in the high 60's and low 70's on Saturday and today. So, we spent ALL day Saturday cleaning out the garage, hauling things to Good Will, and throwing out junk, so that I could finally park my van in the garage again! Kylie keeps saying, "It's our so-clean garage, Mommy!" The kids utilized their Nanny while she was here to clean their rooms, too!

With that all said, I'm in a better piece of mind about the house. Of course, after 10 years, 4 kids, and only 3 bedrooms, there is still the problem of TOO MUCH CRAP to move around the house! But, that is the second phase of this resolution. I am going to take a room/closet/bathroom/cabinet over the next month, and clear out things that we truly do NOT need! It's bad enough that I'm a packrat, but then it's worse that I'm married to one, too! I'll give him kudos for this past week, though. He parted with MAJOR "stuff" (for a nicer word) in our bedroom. YES! And, he cleaned up our treadmill, and moved it into the bedroom for me to fondly look at and use as an extra laundry hanging apparatus, I mean exercise tool to help with another resolution- weight loss!

O.K. so I've mentioned the weight loss. I'll admit it. I've been signed up for Weight Watcher's and actually have been going to meetings since before Halloween. However, I've yo-yo'd from my starting weight and up down, up down only about 6 pounds! It's so frustrating! However, after reading my wonderful PEOPLE magazine this past Friday, (you know the one- where NORMAL people, just like me, lose 100's of pounds- so get off your lazy butt, but keep reading our magazine while you do it- issue, I have a PLAN of attack for this too! I'm actually going to FOLLOW the plan and WRITE down my progress. No more "guesstimating" how many points something is. Throw out all of this Christmas almond bark candy I made, and NO ONE ELSE is friggin' eating, BUT me! So, tomorrow is weigh-in, and I'm just going to face the music and start anew. Everyday is a new beginning, ya, da, ya, da, da. :O)

As for the pictures- at least I'm TAKING them, and we've got over 12,000 on our computer already! I'll just burn some disks and put into a safety deposit box for the kids to figure out what to do with them in the future- far-far- away in a galaxy called "WHENEVER I GET TO IT!!! There. . . let's see how long these resolutions last!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Busy, Busy, busy. . .

Well, this was another busy weekend. Not restful at all!

Saturday morning we were up by 6:00 a.m. to get Chris off to his school for a bus ride to All-Region Band Tryouts. I continued to clean house, as I was having a Salt City Candle Open House here at 10:00 a.m. I baked brownies, and straightened up the last few things before visitors arrived. Glen ran to the grocery store for last minute items to snack on. Not a lot of people were able to come, as it is a busy time of year- as usual, but what time of the year is NOT busy anymore. We are always so over-scheduled and running the "rat race" of life. One thing I did notice this year though, is that people do NOT RSVP like they used to when I was younger. When someone invited you to their parties back in the "good ole days" you would get an "accept" or "decline" if they were coming or not. Today, with all of our high-tech technology, we are lucky to get a "maybe!" It's very irritating, when you are trying to plan an event. It almost makes me not want to, but I DO love these candles, so I will definitely continue to do it each year.

After the Open House, it was off to get Chris from his tryout. He didn't make it, but we were glad he tried. As a 7th grader, not many of them even try. It is geared to older students, and he is good, so I'm sure that he will do better next year! We are still so proud of him making All-City Band! We came home and I started baking cupcakes for the Boy Scout Spaghetti Supper tonight. I also boiled a large package of spaghetti noodles to take for the supper.

Kaitlin had a friend come over for a playdate, that turned into a spend-the-night date, too. :O) Her friend, Nicole, helped to decorate the cupcakes, and came with us to the spaghetti dinner.

Glen took Chris up to the church to set up tables and chairs around 4:00. We followed about 4:50. Donna, and the kids came to eat dinner too. Fred was off fishing for the weekend. The Boy Scouts helped to serve water, and take plates when we were finished. They did a great job checking on everyone. They also shared some talents with us- piano, trumpet/trombone, french horn, and oboe solos. One sang a solo, and there was a silly skit. Chris was in the silly skit, if you hadn't already guessed. He is our comedian!

Glen and Lauren left early, as she had an Orchestra Get-Together at Laser World and Whirlyball. Glen was chaperoning. They were there until about 9:00 p.m. Lauren had a lot of fun, and met a couple of new kids, since she is new to her school. She is loving it, though. She really doesn't miss her old school, at all! She has made many new friends that have a lot in common with her, so she is feeling comfortable.

We watched a great movie Saturday night, called The Ultimate Gift.

We went to Sacrament meeting today, but came home afterwards, as Glen's got tennis elbow really bad, and Kaitlin wasn't feeling well. Lauren stayed, and Glen went back and got her.

I gave the kids their piano lessons this afternoon, and we picked up again. We have two G.S. meetings here at our house Monday night and one on Tuesday night! Busy, Busy, busy. . . I'm ready for Thanksgiving!

Glen and Chris will go camping with the Boy scouts on Friday night, and then we will head to Mississippi to visit Nanny and the Vines' family! We are excited, but that also means that I've got Christmas shopping to get done THIS week! UGGGGHHH!!!

Is is 2008 yet?????!!! Oh, thanks to Marcell, we are going to see Bon Jovi on April 14th!!! I'm siked! I might can survive my 40th birthday now! :O)


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Time for Parent Teacher Conferences. . . blah, blah, blah

"Tis the season- for Parent Teacher Conferences! I've been in the PT conference mode for about two weeks now. It's one of my least favorite things about teaching, along with paperwork, grading, planning- Oh, heck! That's what teaching is! What have I been doing for 15 years???!!!

No, really, if I could JUST teach, I would absolutey LOVE my job! It can be a bit "thankless", to say the least. I feel that I have great ideas, keep my kids engaged for the most part, and have great communication with my parents, however, sometimes, it never fails, I always have to have at least ONE, sometimes more than one parent who has to try and make me feel "incompetent." It shouldn't amaze me about some of the kids I teach, after meeting their parents, I realize that "the apple certainly doesn't fall far from the tree!"

For example, I've had students in the past that can NOT take responsibility for ANYTHING they do wrong. Aren't we all human? Don't we learn from our mistakes? Or better yet, shouldn't we? I have always taught my own kids, as well as my students that we make mistakes, but we actually learn more from our mistakes. Take many famous scientists and inventors for that matter. Look at Thomas Edison- almost 700 tries to get the light bulb right- aren't we glad he didn't give up. I'm sure some other Joe Blow would have eventually figured it out, and we'd be learning about Joe Blow's invention instead of Thomas Who??? Regardless, he didn't give up. He was resilient, even when folks made fun and wondered when he'd throw in the towel.

No today- we have kids that want to give up, or better yet, blame others if something isn't the way they want it to be. The worst part of that is that the parents "enable" this behavior. If little "Johnny" comes home with his agenda signed, and he had to sit for 5 minutes filling out a "Reflection" paper about what happened, what s/he could have done differently, and what they can do in the future, most times Mom and Dad are emailing the teacher, or calling the Principal/Superintendent/School Board, or their attorney to file a complaint with the State Board of Educators to have your teaching certificate revoked so that you can "NEVER HARM A CHILD AGAIN, OR TEACH FOR ANY STATE IN THE UNION!" Because, little Johnny was just throwing the whole roll of toilet paper down the toilet in the bathroom, because someone dared him to! Instead of having little Johnny understand that it's NOT o.k. to waste paper, clog a toilet, and then lie to the teacher about who did it because they don't take responsibility anywhere else, so why start now!? Anyway, mom will come cuss the teacher out, so it's not like it really matters what the teacher says anyway.

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! I don't get it. I see now, why so many kids grow up to become disgruntled employees that must be led out of the building with a police escort, so that they don't go all "postal" on the company. I am sure that they never dealt with a small failure when they were younger. Or, better yet, mom or dad always "bailed" them out, so what the heck is this boss talking about- "You're fired!" Wait 'til he meets my momma! Sad, but true.

I'm always shocked, and don't know "WHY?" when Parent/Teacher Conferences roll around, and I get some mom or dad who thinks "Little Sue" hung the moon, yet she is the class bully at school under your care, or she is failing third grade math, because she is counting on her fingers still to get 3 + 4! "But she made straight A's last year!" "You must not know what you are doing!" Then, I have to go and burst their bubble and show them what Little Sue and Little Johnny are producing for me. Wow, compared to other third graders, your right! They do need help- but it must be YOUR fault, as you should be teaching them their addition facts for heaven sakes! What do you teachers do all day? Paperwork? Conferences? Planning? Grading?

YEP!!! That's exactly what I do- AND think up ways to fail your child, because that's what teachers go to school to do- to learn all the tricks of the trade and be labeled- "incompetent." How many years 'til retirement?


P.S. I really DO love the teaching part- it's just all of the other "junk" that makes it seem "thankless."

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Not Usually a Political Person, but. . .

Well, for those of you who know me, you may or may not even know my political affiliation, but you DO know my religious affiliaton. So, today, I'm stepping out of my "comfort zone" on two such topics that I shouldn't have a problem discussing. My religion and my political affiliations do not define me, but they do make up who I am. So, here goes. . .

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, better known as "Mormons." I've been a member my entire life- almost 40 years now. Our church is considered a "baby" compared to other religions, but it is also one of the fastest growing religions in the world. In fact, we have over 13,000,000 members across the world, and there are now more members OUTSIDE of the U.S., than inside it. Yes, I say religion, NOT cult. There are still those that believe that we are a "cult" - a group that brainwashes people into our belief system. That we worship other "gods", such as Joseph Smith, etc. This has always floored me, as from the mere title of our church, it is NOT about Joseph Smith, or any other gods. It is Christ's church. We worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the head of our religion, and will always be. He is the Messiah, the Chosen One, and the one who Atoned for our sins.

It is hard for me to understand the "hangups" of other religions with our church having Modern Day Prophets, Apostles, and evangelists, as well as more scriptures (in addition to the Holy Bible), as this is how I was raised. My husband is a convert (raised Southern Baptist, but joined after we were married in 1990.) When I ask him what the differences are, he shared with me that it's just that. . . "different." People don't like "different." Change is usually hard on most people. We do what we are comfortable with. If we are raised a certain way, we don't want to "chunk" all of that away and "betray" what our families have taught us, or raised us to be. Even if we don't feel that it is completely right. Even children that are raised Mormon, have to gain their own testimony of it's truthfulness. You can't rely on someone else's faith, to see you through. I remember being 16 years old, and wondering why I was so different that my peers. Why was my religion part of my everyday life- in the clothing I wore, the friends I chose, the things I ate, or drank, the movies I watched, the parties I attended, the books I read, etc. It's HARD to be a Mormon in this world! But to me, it's the right thing for me. I found it on my OWN, not by brainwashing. I had to search the scriptures, pray, and listen to that soft prompting from the Holy Spirit. I did those things, and even though I do stray from time to time, I know that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I am where I should be.

My church doesn't dictate what I can or can't do, however, we are very fortunate to have a church set up as the primitive church, when Christ was on the Earth. We have a prophet living today that provides us with counsel and revelations from our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know he is a man of God. He is 97 years old, and continues to bear his testimony of the Saviour and His Father. We also have 12 apostles, as in Jesus' time. They also are men of God, who share his counsel with us. These are as the scriptures that most Christian people have today. No one questions Paul, Timothy, Matthew, Luke, or Abraham's counsel, because they are dead and buried, or that is what they were taught as children. However, many people are "afraid" of Mormons and their "new" religion with apostles and prophets, because these men are actually alive and speaking to us today. Why would a kind and loving God take prophets away from the world in these latter days? Why would he want us floundering around and trying to apply words from thousands of years ago to today? Why would he not have "new" counsel for us when we live in such a wicked world? I am thankful for these great men. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me, and wants me to be happy and receive blessings by living a Christ-like life. I feel blessed to have that in my life, as well as my family's lives. We are truly blessed.

Now, what does this have to do with politics? Well, I read another article today about Mitt Romney running for President, and how other religions were fearful of him, because of the "cult" that he belonged to. (He is a member of our church.) They were afraid that our church leaders would influence him if he were elected to this office. As if that is a BAD thing! (OOOHH, those Mormons are going to brainwash the world and take over! Moooo, hhaaaa hahhaaa!! ) He assured them that they would not be influencing his politics, if that is of concern. However, please know, that as far as anyone would be concerned, it wouldn't be BAD! Let me tell you about the "politics" of our church.

The clergy of our church, as well as local leaders (Bishops), teachers, etc. are VOLUNTEERS. They are not paid for serving the Lord. Serving the Lord is a blessing not only to those who serve, but to those who are being served. We do not pay our Bishopric, they take time out of the their busy work, family, social lives to serve the Lord. We do not even pay those that clean our churches weekly. WE do it! We volunteer our time to make sure that the Lord's house is clean and ready for the Sabbath.

Next, we have a church welfare program. If someone within our church is in need of assistance, there are Bishop's Storehouses in every state in the U.S. and around the world, to assist those who need groceries, money for bills, etc. Even though this is FREE, it is EXPECTED that you help out by working in the storehouse to help others in need, or you donate to the Fast Offering/Tithing when you are "back on your feet." (Wouldn't our country be better off if things weren't just HANDED to you, but you were expected to serve others as well.) You are also expected to continue attending church, serving others, and paying your tithes of 10% to the Lord.

Our buildings/temples are completely PAID for, BEFORE ground is broken. Since we are a world-wide church. My tithes can go to help someone in Africa, as well as right here in Plano. Where there is a need for a church building, the funds will be sent there. We don't put our members in debt to build a huge, fancy building to worship in, just for that status symbol of saying, "Look at how big my church building is?" The church buildings in Sweden, Norway, Africa and China look just like my building here in Plano, TX. They are used by more than one ward, as well. We have three different congregations that meet in our building each week. There is a Chinese speaking ward that meets from 8:00-11:00, then my ward meets from 11:00-2:00, and another one meets from 1:00-4:00. With the staggering of times, many more people can worship without having to build another building somewhere. This saves much money. No waste!

So, when people ask will Mitt Romney be "influenced" by his church. My answer is "I hope so!" We need to watch our spending, take care of our own, and serve one another." If our government would look more at his churches examples, they would definitely not be so wasteful with taxpayer's money- MY money!

I will get off of my soapbox, for now. I am not usually so OPEN about these two topics, but after reading and rereading such negative comments, I would exhort you to go to the source. ASK a Mormon, not someone who claims to know their beliefs. I would be more than happy to share my beliefs with you. Those that know me, know that I could never be a part of a "cult." I love my Father in Heaven and Jesus too much to NOT give the glory to them. It is my hope and prayer to just be a "tenth" of what my Savior is to me. I can't wait for the day that he will return to earth again. I am not fearful, because it has been said that we will live in peace and love- no wars, contention, anger. I hope and pray that I will be alive to witness his glory on this earth. May God Bless you, as you find the answers to your prayers.