Tuesday, May 31, 2011

And through trials and tribulations, comes strength.

I have spent the last two days volunteering in Joplin, MO.
I wish I was there again today....
I know that I will go back and help again.

Words, nor pictures, do justice to the overwhelming devastation there.  The people there have lot everything! Their house, their car, their job... some even the life of a loved one.

I spent my time at a makeshift distribution center.  We took donations, sorted them, boxed them, and put them on semis to go 10 blocks over to where the tornado hit. The amount of donations were overwhelming and amazing! There was overturn every couple of hours.

We also had food set out so any victims could come along and collect anything they needed.

On Sunday, the president came to Joplin.
I didn't hear his speech.
I didn't see him in person.
I did step outside while he drove through town, passing by the area I was volunteering.
National Guard 

Presidential Motorcade

President's car
But I didn't need to hear what he was saying because I have already experienced it firsthand; the devastation, the comradery, the outpouring of love.

As I drove home Sunday night, these are the images that will forever be etched in my brain.
Friends consoling each other through the rubble.

Faith still intact
A house already rebuilt after ONLY one week.

Some things I would change

I have always been that low maintenance girl... but really I want to be the high maintenance girl that a guy dotes over.

The Fireman would probably be that guy... IF I let him.

But I won't... because deep down that scares me... scares me that a guy might like me enough to treat me well.

B.P. continues to dangle that carrot... and I continue to pursue it.
I don't know why though.  Deep down, I know he and I won't be good for each other...even though at Christmas time I felt fully prepared to "catch" the carrot and be done pursuing. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Things that MIGHT make you jealous of me this week

I got raptured. LOL
What??!!  You think I would get raptured without my phone in hand and sunglasses on my head?? heehee

I know.  I know. You are SO TOTALLY jealous!
(This is NOT impressive to my family since they ARE dairy farmers!
But my students had fun on the field trip no matter. :)
I bought this...
and this...
and this...

AND this all for $4.25!!!

Yes... Summer has OFFICIALLY started!!!
(at least till summer school starts... but I'm basking in this glory for right now :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You made me...

A  year ago, you made me wonder what lie ahead when you appeared on The List.

You have made me come home exhausted, falling asleep as soon as I sat down.

You have made me dread to go to school.

You have made me lose my voice.

You have made me stress to where I didn't sleep.

You have made me question if I made the correct career path.

You have made me worry... because I knew the other students weren't getting what they were needing because of you... but then again, neither were you.

You made me rearrange my room.

You made me rearrange how I thought.

You made me rearrange my world.

You made me learn you needed more structure.

You made me learn you needed a calm voice.

You made me learn to smile through frustration.

You made me learn to forgive quickly.

You made me show you I do care. 

You made me learn you needed someone to hold your hand.

You made me know that even though I have been harder on you than any other student I have ever been...
You made me know you will probably love and miss me the most.

and because of all of that...
You made me a better teacher.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Storms that hit TOO close to home

I have grown up around tornado prone areas... I know what to do when they hit.
I know what they are like... what kind of damage they can do.
But I have never actually been through one...Thank the dear Lord!

The tornadoes that hit Sunday night in Joplin, MO affected many of my family and friends.
I spent the evening calling/texting/FBing to ensure all that I love and hold dear were safe.
Thankfully, I can report that they are.
Many had damage of some sort to their homes, but their lives were spared.

Some families were not so lucky.
The death count is now at 122.
One being the grandmother of one of my students.
There is no comfort that I know to offer besides a hug.

My janitor's daughter was at work at the Wal-mart that was flattened.

She called him and his wife when the tornado was 5 minutes out to say good-bye and that she loved them... a phone call I don't know if I could have handled and kept a clear head about.
But my janitor did.
He told his daughter to go to the bathroom and to hug a toilet.
That advice saved her life and 8 other women.

This all hit too close to home for me.
Then I watched  listened to this video and I lost it. (*WARNING: Even though the video is poor, the audio is overwhelming!!  Listen with caution.)

I will hug my boys a little tighter...I will hold them a little longer... and I will continue to thank the dear Lord for keeping the ones I love safe.

Please pray for all of those who have lost everything and ones they love.

Got Mobbed? - Post it Note Tuesday

Only Parent Chronicles

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Reminiscing... the OTHER side of the story

Remember back when I was dating The Professor and he let me in on a little secret?

Well, I decided to put the theory to the test.

I am in contact with all three of those guys that I hung out with in college through Facebook.  We comment on each others' statuses quite often and even email each other every few months.

One of them(D) emailed me the other day and asked how I was doing.
"STRESSED!" I responded.
"Well... maybe you need a massage... I mean I will NEVER forget the one I gave you back in college."

That massage was kinda of a joke between all of us.
I haven't thought about it in years.

See... There was one other guy (G.) that kinda ran around with the four of us.  We were friends with him, but he had come into our group later so we weren't as tight with him.

Now mind you, I went to a VERY strict Christian college. 
If I went to the guys' dorm, I could only go into his lounge ... and vice versa.
We had "Open House" ONCE a semester; where we could visit the opposite sex's rooms... and only with the doors open.
So... when given the chance to hang out without the watchful eye of the RA's, we took it.

G. had invited us all camping one weekend on his parent's land.
After we arrived, G. quickly established that girls would be in this tent and guys would be in that tent.
"What? Really?"
You see... the only girls there were myself and G.'s girlfriend... we thought for sure he would want one tent for the two of them.
So... after we got there and sat around the bonfire for a while, G and his gf, "went on a walk."
(Okay, actually.... knowing G... they really did go on a walk.)

So, D., T., and I decided to take turns giving each other massages.
Now don't go ALL dirty on me... we were seriously just giving massages!  ...Remember none of us "liked" each other in that way!

So I gave each one of the guys a massage. 
Then it was my turn.
(Think G-rated massage here!)

Right when I was just about asleep from being so relaxed, G. came barreling into the tent.
"What is going on in here??!!  Separate tents!  Girls!" (pointing to the other tent) "Guys!" (pointing downward) "I think it is time for everyone to be in their tents!!!!"

I stumbled out of the "guys" tent over to mine. 
My legs were like jello.
I have never had a massage like that... or one like that since.

D, T, and I laughed and laughed about it for months because we weren't the ones that needed separate tents.

So, when D. said, "I mean I will NEVER forget the one I gave you back in college."

I remembered the joke... but I also remembered The Professor's secret.
So... I asked.
"What do you remember about that night? Do you mind giving me your perspective?"

D. went on to tell me about how much he like me back in college and....
I had to stop him. "What??!  I had no idea!! Why didn't you tell me?"
"I don't know... I did almost once, but I chickened out... and then shortly thereafter our group broke up."

I sat in my living room and laughed.
So, The Professor had been right...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Deceit + Food Stamps = Arrrrgh

I don't consider myself a political person.
I might voice my opinion at a discussion at the lunch table amongst my fellow teachers, but other than that, I don't normally go out of my way to say much of anything politically related.

I also don't normally speak about my dad.
He basically fell out of my life when my parents divorced when I was 7 and was only in my life when my mom made the effort for us kids to see him.

But the recent news article about the Michigan lottery winner still being on food stamps hit home for me.

No... my dad wasn't a millionaire.
Not even close.
But he did use the system.

You see... my dad was termed paranoid schizophrenic.
Most people when they hear this term automatically think of someone who hears voices which in turn make them paranoid.
That was not my dad.
My dad had the other symptoms, like anxiety, being delusional, and being extremely angry and violent.  He was physically abusive to my mother. He always believe someone was out to get him.

When he was on his meds, however, he was perfectly fine...capable of functioning a normal every day life.
But when he would miss a dose, he would tell my mom that the doctors were just out to get him, to drug him, and to make him forget his real self... and most of the time she was somehow in on it (because she was a nurse.)

You see... my dad is like this guy because both are abusing the system.

My dad, because he is termed mentally disabled, gets disability from the state.
Don't get me wrong.  He is mentally unstable, but only when he isn't on his meds.
When he was on his meds, he was very successful adjunct English professor.
Yet, because he chose not to take his meds, he has taken advantage of the free hand-out for the last 30 years from the state... and that really pisses me off!

To me, if you are capable of taking care of yourself and make your own money (or if you win the lottery and don't need the money) then you should not be eligible for a hand-out!  There are plenty of people out there that actually need the help.

It makes me so mad just thinking about it... which is why I stay away from political things like that.  I'd rather surround myself with positives.

So... enough of my soapbox... who wants ice cream?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh Canada!

I went on another date last night... with someone new.

I know. I know...I was having enough problems juggling The Fireman and B.P., but I am coming to realize that neither one fulfills all that I am looking for in a guy.

So when Canada (What??!!  He's from Canada) asked me out, I couldn't say no.  He clarified that since he is freshly out of a divorce, he doesn't want to move fast.  That he wants a friend to hang out with first.  I'm great with that... it's what I know.

He took me to a really fancy restaurant above a Hilton hotel. 
Now let me tell you, I was raised with manners... and a little small town class, but I was not raised with going to highfalutin restaurants. 
Don't get me wrong... I know which fork is for what.
But here, at this restaurant, after they brought you your steak, they did a "presentation of the knives."
WTF is that?
I know.  That's what I thought!!
It is where they bring out a tray of knives and they "present" each one... telling you the handle weight and the type of blade... and then after all of that, you must decide which knife is right for you.

The pressure was lessened for me when Canada belted out a bit of laughter during the "presentation."
Maybe the rich know something special about knives that I don't... but thankfully, Canada saw the humor in this "presentation" like I had, and we had quite the laugh afterwards.

The restaurant concierge came around several times.  The strange part there was that he looked like a young version of this guy (Mr. Six Flags):

...Which just gave us another reason to belt out into laughter.
I had SO wanted to get my picture taken with him!!  Canada told me he was more than willing to do it, (I love it when a guy will play along with my crazy ideas) but the concierge must have overheard our little plan, because he didn't ever come back around after that.

For dessert, Canada graciously ordered me the 7-layer chocolate cake.
Of course, I had seen it featured in a magazine ...and it was the only reason I knew the name of this restaurant.
He (not being a sweet eater) told me I could enjoy it on my own.
After the plate-sized piece was put in front of us, I encouraged him to at least take one bite.
Being gracious, he sliced off a large piece for me and a small piece for himself.
Within seconds, Canada proceeded explain how he never quite understood how chocolate could evoke emotion out of people... but after eating this, he now fully understood! (Needless to say, he had seconds :)

Here is my picture of the delicacy... NOT doing justice to it at all!! (I mean, I was in a dim lit restaurant using my horrible phone camera.)

(Loving you all... I wanted you to get the full affect of what I experienced... so I looked up the magazine article.)

After dinner was over, we weren't ready to call it a night.
So, we headed to the hotel bar.
We were the only ones there and I quickly realized that it reminded me of this scene from The Shining:
Canada also recognized the resemblance and we decided we could do without a nightcap.

As we headed back to our cars, Canada was expressing to me how he wasn't ready for the night to end.
He had been talking about his new car (a 2011 Ford Mustang GT) earlier in the evening... so I asked if I could get a ride in it.

Let me just tell you, I'm not really a car junkie.
I don't know stats of any kind.
I don't know about horsepower or torque.
...But what I do know is a car, like that, can go fast!!
...and I love to go fast!!

Canada didn't mind showing off what his little red beauty could do either!
So, for the next half hour I sat giddy as a school girl going well over 100 mph at times.

I had honestly decided there weren't any decent men with decent jobs in my area of the universe.
Canada might have proved me wrong.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Scared to move on

The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness, also keep out the joy.

My boys decided to spend the night at their grandparent's house last night.
I headed over to my friend, Rachel's house. 
It has been a while since we have caught up with one another.

She has been going through a divorce that has taken forever!! (over 2 years... but in divorce terms, that is forever!!)
She has started to date a guy who is sweet as pie to her.

We swap stories.
I tell her how I'm being flooded with guys right now.
She tells me that she is jealous of the exciting life I lead.
I just had to laugh!
I mean, I would give anything to find that 'one' versus dating... and dating ...and dating some more.

But I am starting to realize that it is me... I am not allowing myself to be open to a relationship.
I like the friendship.
I like the banter.
I like the attention.
But as soon as a guy, attempts to move into that next step of possibly being serious in a relationship with me, I cut it off.

I haven't always been this way.
I used to be the hopeless romantic.
The one who saw the positive in every relationship.
The one who knew relationships would prevail through the good times and the bad.

But I have been in the bad.

I have been in the 'head over heels', everything is rose-colored, nothing can ever go wrong relationship mode. 
But it went wrong. 
SO very wrong. 
And I hurt...I mourned... because I lost what I thought was so very right.

Despite the fact that I love the happy times, I can't get past that with the good also comes the bad.
So, now, instead of waiting for the bad to happen, I end it with the guy before it can.

I know this realization should help me... but it doesn't.
Because I don't know how to get rid of this fear and move on to the next step... to know that every guy out there, isn't like the last two that I committed myself to... yet, they weren't committed.

So any advice for a gal who is just too scared to move on?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Some things you should know about me - Friday Confessional


I confess... I'm not superstitous.
I confess... I have a brother who thinks Friday the 13th is the best day ever.

I confess... I stayed home from school today.  I had a looming headache and I didn't think I could take another day of my class.
I confess...I was told after school that my class was HORRIBLE and that all of the other teachers now FULLY believe in the power of Friday the 13th.
I confess... I'm not sad that I wasn't there.

I confess...If you tell me that I should be somewhere at... let's say 5pm... I have to tell myself that I MUST be there at 4:30 pm so I am not late... because I tend to NOT start getting ready until 10 minutes prior to the time of arrival. (Yes, I know this is least I have made accommodations for myself.)

I confess... that little fact drove my ex, R., crazy considering he is 30 minutes early to everything he goes to.

I confess...I spend way too much time online!  I can sit on the computer for hours and then have no idea where the time has past.

I confess...I hate dusting!  I pay my children extra if they will complete this chore.

I confess... I sometimes spoil my children... I let them have food that isn't the most nutritious things in the world like:
sprinkles on his pb sandwich

popcorn and hot cocoa for dinner

brownies??? what brownies??

I confess... spoiling them gets me this... which I wouldn't trade for all the veggies in the world