Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
OK, I've avoided posting anything about this, because it seriously jeopardizes the anonymity I try to maintain here, but I think just this once, it'll be alright. I've always had a special place in my heart for Jennifer (even though I have never, to this day, seen a single episode of American Idol!) because....oh, should I do it? I don't know....ok, her uncle is our assistant principal. (There, I said it!) You know, the one I'm always saying how much I LOVE? The reason I'm still at the damn Hell-Hole? Yeah, remember him? Anyway, he's Jennifer's uncle. (In my opinion, she looks exactly like him!!) Back during that season on AI, you can imagine the support she had at the Hell-Hole. One of my former colleagues (Former Upstairs Neighbor. Heeyyy, Girl!! Giving you a shout out!) really had her class showing major support for "JHud," as they so affectionately called her. My love for her grew out of my love for her uncle. Every time something exciting happened, like she was on a talk show or something, or she appeared in a magazine, he and I would always talk about it at school. It happens so frequently now, that we don't talk about it as much. He's so very proud of his niece. (He is in all the church scenes, sitting third pew from the front, on the right side of the church. I wish he had invited his favorite teacher along for the performance!)
One of the coolest things for the people I worked with was that most of them knew Jennifer her whole life. They watched her grow up. A huge surprise for me while watching this special was when they showed the segment with her cousins. Her cousin, Krista, was our music teacher for the first 3 or 4 years that I was at the Hell-Hole. (I'm not sure how long she was there before I came, but I know it was a while.) This was the first time I've seen her since she left. She actually left the year that Jennifer was on AI to pursue her own music career. I know she's released at least one gospel CD since she left.
One other thing I wanted to share with you, that really was kinda cool. The segment of the show where she goes to Evergreen Plaza (a local mall) and performs was really neat. I did a show of my own on the very stage she performed on, although it was nothing like hers. When I was about 4 or 5, I went to Charm School (yes, really, you can stop laughing any time now!!) at The Plaza, and the culminating activity was a fashion show, performed on the stage in the center of The Plaza. Watching her sing brought up all these memories of my own show, and quite frankly, what a disaster it was! I got a sudden case of stage fright, and refused to walk out on the runway. If I remember correctly, my mom had to hold my hand from down on the floor and lead me through my walk. Ah, I guess I was never cut out to be a super model!
If you find yourself with about 45 minutes of free time, you really should click on the link and watch this special. If for nothing else, to see my incredible city being showcased!! There are some really incredible shots of the city, both during the day and at night. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times - I live in the most incredible city in the world!!
(Oh, and if any information here helps you figure out just which school I work at, do me a favor and keep it to yourself!)
Monday, December 28, 2009
Well, it's only taken me 18 days to finally share these little tidbits with you. Needless to say, I'm thoroughly enjoying my vacation!!! I can NOT believe I already have to go back on Monday. Poop!
OK, so you may remember that my damn camera kept dying while I was videotaping the show, so I only got the first 30 seconds or so of each number. And, the camera didn't start filming as soon as I pressed "record" which means the first few seconds of each number wasn't recorded, either. But, nonetheless, here's what I got:
This was the opening of the show...
This number came in the middle of the show...
And this is how they closed the show. I'm really pissed that the camera took so long to start recording! After the final scene, Stud and his Best Friend come out and Stud says, "Best Friend, why are you so sad?" And Best Friend says, "Cuz the show is over." "Well, don't be sad! In this life, all you have to do is..."
I love that all the kids came down and joined them for this last number.
Stud is wearing a Christmas T-shirt that I bought him a couple of days before the show. It's hard to see with the poor quality of the video, but the picture is a bunch of mistletoe, with a tag sign that says "Official Mistletoe Tester." He got a kick out of it.
The camera wouldn't even turn on during the skit he was in, so nothing to share there.
I had planned to post more, but Blogger takes forever to post videos, and now it's way past my bedtime. I'm getting up early in the morning because (yay!!) I'm meeting csm8741 again! This time, Stud and his friends are coming, and she's bringing her youngest son. We're meeting at the Lego Store on Michigan Avenue, then going to lunch. The Lego Store is so cool! So cool, in fact, Stud and his friends are actually psyched about going. Um, hello...they're teenagers!! I'm really excited about getting together with 8741 again. I just hope the temperature isn't so brutal tomorrow. It's currently about 19 here right now. Just a little nippy, don't you think?
Monday, December 21, 2009
A friend, who worked away from home all week, always made a special effort with his family on the weekends. Every Sunday morning he would take his 7-year old granddaughter out for a drive in the car for some bonding time - just him and his granddaughter. One particular Sunday however, he had a bad cold and really didn't feel like being up at all. Luckily, his wife came to the rescue and said that she would take their granddaughter out.
When they returned, the little girl anxiously ran upstairs to see her Grandfather.
'Well, did you enjoy your ride with grandma?'
'Oh yes, Papa' the girl replied, 'and do you know what?
We didn't see a single asshole, dumb bastard, dipshit or horse's ass anywhere we went today!'
Almost brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?
Saturday, December 19, 2009
This was Dan Ponce's farewell from Channel 7 here in Chicago.
Yay! I found the code to embed this one!!
This one's just for fun...
I also bought myself Andrea Bocelli's new Christmas CD, My Christmas, plus his newest CD, Incanto. The Christmas CD has some interesting duets, including one with Mary J. Blige. The other one I especially like because it's the old Italian songs that I grew up listening to my family sing. I can't help but smile when I listen to it. One song in particular, Mamma, was always one of my grandma's favorite songs, and the first time I heard that track on the CD, I didn't even hear Andrea. It was purely my Grammy, singing her heart out. It was awesome!
My other guilty splurge was (ok, now brace yourself, I'm pretty sure I've warned you guys before that I'm a straight-up geek!) glee - the music (Season 1, Volumes 1&2) I LOVE this show!! And, even though it was a total impulse purchase, I'm glad I bought them.
One of the ways I rationalized buying myself (gasp!) 5 new CDs is that I decided, as I was buying each one, that I would burn copies of them for my family as part of their Christmas gifts. (And, please don't leave me any nasty comments about copying and sharing the CDs. There was no way I could buy 20+ CDs, plus I actually BOUGHT a copy of each one, instead of downloading the songs for free from the internet. So, I don't want to hear it.) Obviously, my parents and siblings love Andrea Bocelli as much as I do, and I'm excited to introduce them all the Straight, No Chaser. I made glee CDs for my nieces, mom and bestest friend. (Oh, shoot!! Bestest Friend, that was supposed to be a surprise! I made you a SNC CD, too. Enjoy!)
It's been snowing today, pretty steadily, and it looks just gorgeous outside. I actually took some video for you guys of our first day of snow, but I obviously haven't gotten around to posting it yet. Maybe today, while I'm waiting to pick up Stud. The boy suddenly has a very busy social life. I took him to a friend's about an hour ago, to hang out with the friend and his extended family, who are in from Michigan. (Stud met the family when his friend took him to Michigan for a weekend this past summer.) I have to go back and get him in a few hours to then drive him over to another friend's house for a party. Oh, yeah! I forgot, I promised to make a snack for him to bring. Shoot! Guess I'd better get off this computer and get to work, huh?
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Isn't it funny how you can think of and refer to people as your "friends" when you've never really met? I said I was meeting "my friend 8741 for breakfast Thursday" many times this week, and every time I said it, I thought, how weird to say "my friend." You've never even met each other! But, I feel like I've known her for ages! In a nutshell, she is a friend (in real life!) of my friend Smileygirl. When Smileygirl first started blogging, 8741 and I would comment on her posts, often agreeing on things or playing off each other's comments. Then it seemed we were sometimes commenting to each other. When Smileygirl finally convinced me to start this blog, 8741 was one of my very first readers (I think they were the ONLY two readers!) and she always left me the greatest comments. Fast forward a bit, and we began emailing each other, and have been trying to plan a meeting for nearly two years now! And, this morning, it finally happened. I just wish we had about 6 more hours to chat. (Sorry, 8741, for not letting you get a word in edgewise!) I loved her just as much in person as I thought I would. And, she's gorgeous, to top it all off! It's just too bad we live so far from each other, despite BOTH of us living in Chicago. This is one hell of a big city! Thanks to our delightful traffic issues here in ChiTown, I spent more time in my car than we spent visiting. But, like I said, it was well worth it. We made a tentative date to meet up again while I'm on break, and I'm hoping it works out. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
OK, off to do some Christmas shopping. I just may be able to finish it all today.
Thanks again, 8741, I had a great time!!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Anyway, this season, instead of making one big cookie, I've been making regular cookies, "frosted" with the melted chips, then sprinkled with the mints. I make the sugar cookie dough, but it would work just as well with the pre-made stuff.
I love that the cookies are all exactly the same size and shape. That's thanks to my PC cookie scoop!! And, yes, those are PC cooling racks. (Hmmm, are you starting to realize that this is one big Pampered Chef commercial? I'm sorry, I can't help it, I LOVE THIS STUFF!
I used my chopper to crush up the mints,
I melted some white chocolate chips, and used my small spreader to spread the chocolate on the cookies.
And, there they are! Oh, so good!
I also made some of my nieces' favorite cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms. The funniest thing about these is that the one only likes the cookie, and other only wants the Hershey kiss, so it works out beautifully!
I also made some of my legendary fudge. I only make it at Christmas time, and all the people I love receive some for Christmas. (I usually make it with walnuts, but I made this batch nut-free because a) my brother doesn't like it with nuts and b) one of my cousins has a daughter with a nut allergy.)
I planned to also post Stud Muffin's show, but freakin' Blogger is driving me crazy!!!! I guess I'll have to make it a separate post. Good thing................ I'M ON VACATION, BITCHES!!! Boo yah!
(Suz- I've been trying to use Live Writer, but it wouldn't let me insert video. Any suggestions/tips? Then, after I posted it to Blogger, I tried to edit it on Blogger, and when I hit 'spell check' it took all the freakin' pictures out, and put in links instead! Help!)
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I almost did a quick post this morning, but I just didn't have time. I wanted to share with you all that when I was leaving my house, the current temperature was 1. Yeah...and the windchill factor was between -10 and -20, depending where in the Chicagoland area you were. When I signed on just now, at a little after 4:30 pm, my widget said 8. Mmmm, toasty!
The one nice thing about the bitter cold today was that 11, count 'em 11, of the babies stayed home today! Wooooo hooooo!!! I haven't gotten around to the bitching post I promised yet, but let me just tell you, I got THREE new kids yesterday!!! So having 11 out today still left me with 20.
OK, I don't have time to start ranting right now cuz Stud is in a show tonight, and I have to drive him to school in about 2 minutes. I'm hoping to get some video that I can share with you later. My shy, introverted little boy has blossomed into this creature who will be acting in an IMPROV skit (seriously!?) and singing not one, not two, but THREE songs, a cappella!!! I'm still floored. I hope I can get decent video to share.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
AN ACTUAL CRAIG'S LIST PERSONALS AD
To the Guy Who Tried to Mug Me in Downtown Savannah night before last.
Date: 2009-05-27, 1:43 a.m. E.S.T.
I was the guy wearing the blackBurberry jacket that you demanded that I hand over, shortly after you pulled the knife on me and my girlfriend, threatening our lives. You also asked for my girlfriend's purse and earrings. I can only hope that you somehow come across this rather important message .
First, I'd like to apologize for your embarrassment; I didn't expect you to actually crap in your pants when I drew my pistol after you took my jacket. The evening was not that cold, and I was wearing the jacket for a reason. My girlfriend had just bought me that Kimber Model 1911 .45 ACP pistol for my birthday, and we had picked up a shoulder holster for it that very evening. Obviously you agree that it is a very intimidating weapon when pointed at your head ... isn't it?!
I know it probably wasn't fun walking back to wherever you'd come from with that brown sludge in your pants. I'm sure it was even worse walking bare-footed since I made you leave your shoes, cell phone, and wallet with me. [That prevented you from calling or running to your buddies to come help mug us again].
After I called your mother or "Momma" as you had her listed in your cell, I explained the entire episode of what you'd done. Then I went and filled up my gas tank as well as those of four other people in the gas station, -- on your credit card. The guy with the big motor home took 150 gallons and was extremely grateful!
I gave your shoes to a homeless guy outside Vinnie Van Go Go's, along with all the cash in your wallet. [That made his day!]
I then threw your wallet into the big pink "pimp mobile" that was parked at the curb ... after I broke the windshield and side window and keyed the entire driver's side of the car.
Later, I called a bunch of phone sex numbers from your cell phone. Ma Bell just now shut down the line, although I only used the phone for a little over a day now, so what 's going on with that? Earlier, I managed to get in twothreatening phone calls to the DA's office and one to the FBI, while mentioning President Obama as my possible target.
The FBI guy seemed really intense and we had a nice long chat (I guess while he traced your number etc.).
In a way, perhaps I should apologize for not killing you ... but I feel this type of retribution is a far more appropriate punishment for your threatened crime. I wish you well as you try to sort through some of these rather immediate pressing issues, and can only hope that you have the opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps reconsider, the career path you've chosen to pursue in life. Remember, next time you might not be so lucky. Have a good day!
P.S. Remember this motto ... An armed society makes for a more civil society!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
(Most of us know someone who has had breast cancer....think of them while watching.)
IT'LL MAKE YOU SMILE FOR SURE!!
Mayo Clinic Piano
An elderly couple walked into the lobby of the Mayo Clinic for a checkup and spotted a piano. They've been married for 62 years and he just turned 90 this year. Check out this impromptu performance... It's all attitude. Enjoy!!
Thanks, Bestest Friend, for sending these, and giving me my daily dose of tears!! (Happy tears, of course!)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
As we were walking out of our staff meeting this morning (10 minutes AFTER the kids were supposed to be picked up!!) New Principal drops this little bombshell on us - we are expected to put on a Christmas Assembly next Friday. She claims she told us, but everyone jumped up to say, "No, you didn't!" WTF?! As I was walking out last night, I was told that I have to attend a professional development meeting Thursday, which means I'm now down to 6 days with the babies. What the hell am I going to teach them for this show?! AND, preparing for the show can't take away from any of our instructional time. Yeah, ok, how 'bout I take all 28 of them (yeah, I got a new kid this morning!!) home with me for the next two weeks, and we can work on it every night from now til the show? Ugh!
We're having a walk-through tomorrow by the state, so everyone has been scrambling to get ready for that. Then, literally 20 minutes before dismissal, she sends a notice around to the teachers telling us what we're missing in our rooms for tomorrow, with a note saying we needed to fix it by the end of the day. Is she out of her fucking mind??! I'm not going to stress about it, it is what it is. My room is not changing one bit before tomorrow morning, sorry. One of the things that she had listed for my room was that I didn't have enough words on my word wall. Well, I have 15 words up there, and there have only been 9 words introduced so far in our reading series. The words on the word wall are supposed to be words that the kids know, not just random words. The last time the word wall issue was addressed, I was told I had TOO MANY words up. WTF? Make up my mind, will ya?
As much as it pisses me off that I have to go to this PD Thursday, I'm just glad to not have to be at school. Unfortunately, there are a couple of staff members who are going who I think are going to make it almost impossible to ditch this thing. Mrs. J., my neighbor/friend, and Mrs. M., my friend in the room across the hall, will both be there, and we were trying to figure out how to ditch and go see Mrs. F. and the baby. Mrs. M. hasn't met The Princess yet. But, like I said, the other two people attending aren't staff members we're very familiar with, and I think they would rat us out if we left. Damn... Well, at least when we come back on Friday, there won't be any kids since it's a staff development day. Then, we only have the 5 days next week, and we're ON BREAK! Woo hoo!
I need to get out of this grumpy mood, now that I've been venting, so I think I'll go put up some Christmas lights or something. Or, maybe I'll just go curl up with a magazine. Ah, who am I kidding? I have about 10 loads of laundry calling my name. Poop....
Monday, November 30, 2009
(Ok, apparently, when I added this text, it somehow screwed up the video, so I had to post the text as a separate post. I think I'll skip posting the rest of them, since it's a pain in the butt!)
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thoughts of the Day—Random ... Funny ... True
- More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.
- Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
- I don’t understand the purpose of the line, “I don’t need to drink to have fun.” Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they’ve invented the lighter?
- Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you’re going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you’re crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
- There is a great need for sarcasm font.
- I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I’ll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone’s laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I’m still the only one who really, really gets it.
- How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
- The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.
- A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.
- Was learning cursive really necessary?
- I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
- Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.
- Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart,” all I hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart.”
- How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?
- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
- While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.
- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
- Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
- I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
- I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
- I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.
- Bad decisions make good stories.
- Whenever I’m Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don’t mind if I do!
- Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?
- If Carmen Sandiego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
- Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be a problem....
- You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
- Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don’t want to have to restart my collection.
- There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
- I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
- I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There’s so much pressure. ‘I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren’t watching this. It’s only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?’
- I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What’d you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?
- I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
- When I meet a new girl, I’m terrified of mentioning something she hasn’t already told me but that I have learned from some light Internet stalking.
- Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...
- Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
- It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.
- I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
- I think that if, years down the road when I’m trying to have a kid, I find out that I’m sterile, most of my disappointment will stem from the fact that I was not aware of my condition in college.
- Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn’t know what do to with it.
- Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I’d bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...
- I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.
Thank you, Bestest Friend, for sending this! It cracked my ass up!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Anyway, just wanted to let you all know that AP was at school today. Yay! I tried to pry some details out of her, but all she told me really was that she walked home with her brothers and sisters. Huh? I don't know if I'll ever get the whole story, but all that matters is that she's home. She was so cute this morning, running up to me and nearly knocking me over as she grabbed my legs. "Mrs. L, I missed you SOOO much!!!" Later she told me, "My mama told me that you said you really missed me and wanted me to come back to school." "That's right, AP, I did!" She didn't stop hugging me all day.
Ah....all's well that ends well....
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
OK, she wasn't here yesterday, either. I was feeling really annoyed, especially because I just told her mom, less than a week ago at report card pick-up, that her daughter has missed far too many days of school (15 out of 36 days!!) and she MUST be here everyday. She's drastically behind in every area.
Well, a few minutes later, the mom came to my room, and proceeded to explain to me that AP's dad picked her and her siblings up on Saturday, and has yet to bring them home. WTF? She started getting upset as she told me about how she has no phone number for him, nor an address. THEN she tells me that the dad is ON PAROLE!! Seriously, WTF?! I didn't ask what for, but does it really matter? She said she talked to his mother, who said, "Now, I told him to bring those kids to school on Monday!" She said that he had been threatening to take her to court for some kind of "fathers' rights" thing, so she got scared and let the kids go with him. Now she's wishing she never had.
By now, she was getting teary eyed. I asked if she had called the police, and she said she called them this morning, and that they were on their way to the school. I put my arms around her, and tried to comfort her, but all that seemed to do was make her cry harder. I told her that chances are, being that he's on parole, he has a parole officer, and the PO must know his address and phone number. Unless of course, the guy's a total assbag, and decides to do something really stupid. Good Lord, let's hope that's not the case.
Ms. H. (my wonderful assistant) happened to be around when the police came. She told me that one of the officers was someone who comes to our school a lot and that he was an absolute jerk to the mom. He was yelling at her and telling her she was stupid for letting her kids go with this guy and not getting his phone number and address. And, the worst part is, he was doing this in the middle of the hall, with other parents, as well as staff members, standing there. What an assbag! I hate to sound like a bitch, but a woman who has children with a criminal is probably not the brightest bulb in the chandelier to begin with, so what's the point of humiliating her like that in front of other people? How 'bout you just take the information, tell her you'll do what you can, and shut the hell up? ASSBAG!
Later in the morning, I saw my friend/neighbor Mrs. J., who told me that our friend BJ passed away last night. I just pray that she has a peaceful passing. Mrs. J. said that her family was donating her brain to science, apparently so they can study the effects of Mad Cow (it's actually vCJD) on the human brain.
Maybe tonight, when you say your prayers, you can say a couple extra for AP and for BJ. Thanks.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Dancing with the Stars, The Finals is on, so I'm out!
(My prediction - Mya will win. I would love to see Donny win, since it would be a major win for us old folks. On the other hand, I have completely fallen in love with Kelly while watching this season, so it would be great for her to win. However, so far, her scores have been crap, so the only way I see her winning is if she gets all the viewer votes.)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.
Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around.."
His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."
His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."
Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.
Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children.
Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets."
A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.
Then, four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer... The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.
The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.
They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference." Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you." (For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)
"Believe in Angels, they return the favor"
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Here he is enjoying an after dinner drink with one of my cousins.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Tomorrow is Report Card Pick-Up Day, which means the stress level is pretty elevated this week. When I left at 4:00, my report cards had STILL not been printed out! WTF? We're supposed to be giving report cards to parents TOMORROW, so it makes perfect sense to wait until this afternoon to try printing them out, right? Especially given that we were required to have all grades entered into the computer by November-freakin'-6th! I guess CPS couldn't figure out a way to print them any other day in the past two weeks.
We were also supposed to get a "packet" today with things like our sign-in sheet for parents and other papers for tomorrow. New Principal told us at the 8:30 staff meeting that we would be getting it at some point today. Again, when I left at 4:00, no packet! Whatever. I'm not going to worry about it. I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to get everything together when I get there, since none of my parents will be there when it starts. (little side note-New Principal was very excited about her double-chocolate brownies, but insisted that I put the tray out at the meeting to share with the staff.)
I completely forgot to share that Mrs. F. had her baby last week. Yay!! And, how completely apropos that Little Miss Sylvia Maria entered the world on Veteran's Day, given that both her parents are military and her daddy just recently came back from Afghanistan. What a good girl!! Seriously, her daddy was very stoked about that. :)
My friend, Mrs. J. (my next door neighbor) and I are going to Miss Sylvia tomorrow before work. The one nice thing about Report Card Pick-Up Day is that we don't start until 12:00. (On the flip side, that means we have to work til 6:15, which kinda sucks.) So, we're bringing Mommy and Baby some breakfast, and we're going to visit for a while before work. I'm very excited. It's been a long time since I've had the pleasure of being around a newborn. It will be a nice little reminder that life does, indeed, go on...
Monday, November 16, 2009
- Got a phone call from a friend letting me know that another friend (and former coworker) had fallen ill. Some sort of degenerative brain thing. It doesn't look good, they say she probably has less than 2 weeks to live.
- Drop Stud off at school at 7am. Came home, got dressed for work. As I was leaving for work, got a phone call from school, had to go pick up Stud cuz he's sick. When I got there, I was greeted by an incredibly rude school nurse. She shrieked at me that "I TOLD HIM ON FRIDAY THAT HE NEEDED TO GO SEE THE DOCTOR!"
- Arrived late for work. Play a rousing game of text tag with CSJ all day, as we tried to arrange to get Stud to the doctor's office. Finally received a text saying we had a 2:30 appointment. Too bad I work til 2:45.... Luckily New Principal agreed to let me leave at 2:00.
- Got a call from a different friend (my friend at work in the room next door, who used to work with me at my last school, too) to let me know that our friend had taken a turn for the worse this afternoon, and isn't expected to make it through the night.
I don't even know how to wrap my brain around this news. My friend, BJ, was my first kindergarten partner. We had the best gig ever. My last school was severely overcrowded when I was there, and we rented out a small 6-room school from the church down the block. Four of those rooms were used for preschool, and the other two were kdg. We were the first two kindergarten teachers to use those rooms in ages when we opened them up. It was seriously one of the best school years I can ever remember. I had the most wonderful partner, and it was glorious to be away from the main building! Our kindergartners were the Big Fish in our wonderfully small pond! There is a park about 2 blocks from this building that we used to walk the kids to for recess several times a week. There were so many other wonderful things that we were able to do together. We both started at that school at the same time, and even after I left there 5 years later, we stayed in touch.
Sadly, I hadn't seen BJ in person in a very long time. Over the past few years, we played several games of phone tag. We were lucky if we actually had a conversation more than once a year. But, we never gave up trying to stay in touch.
When I got the call last night, I was floored. The friend who called only knew limited details, and she knew I'd want to know since BJ and I were so close when we worked together. When my other friend called tonight, I was even more blown away. We know now that BJ contracted Mad Cow, but we don't know how. I'm having so much trouble wrapping my head around the fact that by tomorrow, she probably will no longer be with us.
As I called a few friends who used to work with us, I kept having the same conversation over and over. All of us feel so bad that we let life get away from us. We always SAY "we need to get together," but then life gets in the way, and it doesn't happen. BJ and I must have said that 100 times. Now, I'll never get the chance to do that, and it's just so very sad.
I think I'm still in a state of shock about the whole situation, as my emotions have not really taken a hold of me yet. However, I'm dreading that next phone call from one of my former coworkers/friends, because I know it won't be good news.
I'm having yet another Pampered Chef party in a couple of weeks, and BJ was, naturally, on my guest list. I had no idea that she was sick and in the hospital. Now, in some strange way, I'm feeling guilty about sending her the invitation. I want to go get it from her house, so her mother and sisters won't see it. In some way, I feel like it shows what a bad friend I was, that I didn't even know she was sick. One of my friends had a different take on it, though, and said it will show her family that she had friends that missed her and cared about her. I don't know what to think. This whole situation is just so surreal. I simply can NOT wrap my brain around it yet.
I'll tell you one thing, though. I will no longer feel bad for having so many parties, Pampered Chef or otherwise. I sometimes feel bad that I'm always inviting my friends to something. It makes me feel kinda like a pest at times. But now, I'm going to focus on the fact that every party is an opportunity to get together with the people I love, and every invitation they receive is a reminder of how much I love them and love to spend time with them. So, let the Drunken Kitchen Fest commence!!! (my last few PC parties turned into just drunken messes! gee, could it have anything to do with my new-found bartending skills?)
Please send thoughts and prayers for BJ to have a peaceful passing, and for her family to be comforted in this time of sorrow.
I can't end on such a sad note, so let me tell you that Stud was diagnosed with a sinus infection. The doctor prescribed a Z-pack and an antihistamine. AND, I made sure I got a note saying that he is cleared to return to school so Nurse Nasty can stick it up her.....ok, take a breath.....ooo, she was so nasty! If I wasn't already late for work, I would have gone straight to the principal to let him know about her pleasant bedside manner! My only response to her screeching was, "Oh, I wasn't aware that you saw my son on Friday." I mean, seriously, WTF? If you feel a child is sick enough to go to the doctor, perhaps you should contact a parent. Why would you tell a child to go see a doctor, and expect something to happen? Ugh! Anyway, I hope the note is enough.
OK, it's time to get the brownies out of the oven that I'm baking for New Principal. She was wonderful today when I had to ask to leave early. I thought for sure I would get a bit of an attitude, given that I came in late already. But, she couldn't have been more accommodating. I suppose that's one of the benefits of having a working mom for a boss.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
(I just got home from the awesome party, and I have a couple of little things to change/update about the story below, since we talked about it at the party! I added the changes in red.)
Today is my favorite uncle's birthday. The big 6-0!! He is my mom's younger brother, the baby of the family (and only boy!). Since my mother was about 12 when she got married, my uncle was still in high school when I was born. Let me share something he wrote for English class his senior year.
As I walked into the bedroom, she was sleeping. I went over to her and kissed her cheek. Her head turned as she stretched her beautiful body. When she opened her eyes, it seemed as though someone had turned the lights on, they were bright as stars. She looked at me and smiled. A sudden warmth rushed through me. I sat next to her and kissed her again. Chills ran down my spine, as she ran her fingers through my hair. As I touched my face to hers, it seemed as if the sun had just come out on a cloudy day. Her skin was soft as velvet. "Lisa," I whispered in her ear, "surely you are the most beautiful girl in the world." But, she said nothing -- because at four months, she had not yet learned to talk.
This is something I have always treasured. I have the original paper he wrote (complete with the big red A he received!) with the rest of my childhood keepsakes. I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood that involve my uncle.
One of my favorite stories happened when I was just under 2 years old, so I don't actually remember the incident, but I will forever remember the story. My uncle had come to pick me up to spend some time with me. As we were driving down the street, some lunatic flew out of an alley, across the street we were on, and back into the alley. My uncle slammed on the brakes, and, being the late 60s, I was not in a car seat, or even in a seatbelt. I flew into the dashboard, and hit my head.
Naturally, I started to bleed like a stuck pig. My uncle raced back to my parent's house, carried me up to the house and banged on the door. When my mother opened the door, he said, "HERE!" threw me at her, covered in blood, and took off.
My mother, of course, freaked the hell out at seeing her baby covered in blood. She started cleaning me up, and finally found the cut on my forehead. It wasn't even big enough for my mother to take me for stitches. Apparently, my mother DID take me to the hospital since it was a head injury, and I received ONE stitch!
In the meantime, my uncle drove around the neighborhood until he found the car that cut us off. It was parked outside a neighborhood bar. He went in, asked whose car it was, then dragged the assbag outside and beat the ever-living snot out of him!! The whole time, he kept screaming at the dirtbag that he hurt his baby niece. My hero!!! He's STILL my hero!
I think about that story every time I look in the mirror, and see my scar. And, it makes me giggle a little inside every time. :)
In a couple hours, we will all be getting together for a surprise party for him. This will be the third Sunday out of the past four that the whole family will be together. I can’t wait. My family is a riot!
Today is also my bestest friend’s birthday! It might not be the most recent photo, but trust me, we’re still just as cute!! (If you look close enough, you can see my scar! Maybe click on the photo to enlarge it.)
Happy Birthday, My Bestest Friend!!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
***Dont' forget to put your two cents in...
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Today, as I enjoy this beautiful day off from work, I will be sending out prayers for all our veterans, and especially for all of our boys and girls who are serving our country as we speak. Thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do, to protect our freedom!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
***Don't forget to put your two cents in....
I gotta say, though, that in the first one, I don't like how pronounced my dark circles/bags/wrinkles are under my eyes. In the second one, Stud is at a weird angle, so he looks really wide. But, his face is adorable in both!
I'm sure I'll probably take a bunch more photos in an attempt to find "the one" for our Christmas card, but I figured I'd start here, just to start narrowing it down. So, please, leave your choice, A or B, in the comment section. Thanks, my Bloggy Buddies!!
Oh, and Karen, to answer your question - yes I'm very short (but thanks for using 'petite!' Your so sweet!) at only 5'3". (At least I used to be. I've probably shrunk in my old age!) Plus Stud is VERY tall (he's over 6 feet now) and still growing. I believe I had my shoes on in these pictures, which gave me an extra two inches!
If it was the end of November, or better yet, the beginning of December, I would LOVE it! This is one of my favorite Christmas songs, and I normally love the holiday season. However, when they start playing this damn commercial literally the DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN, it just pisses me off!!
Monday, November 9, 2009
OK, how sick are you of seeing this “bar” set-up?
Finally, the Lazy Susan being used for it’s real function! This was one of the best things I’ve ever bought myself at Sam’s Club. It came with two different center bowls. This one is divided, which allowed me to put both ranch dip and hummus out with the veggies.
This is the third time now that you’ve seen these cool vinyl containers. They are my favorite things to use for parties, and the best part – they’re from the dollar store!
The yummy stuff on the green platter is this awesome mozzarella & prosciutto roll that I buy at Sam’s Club. Oh, so good!! The other containers have provolone, cheddar and colby jack cheese cubes, and obviously, those are black olives.
Yum! Bruschetta!! LOTS of garlic and basil!
One of my besties and her beautiful little girl, Abby.
My two gorgeous nieces!
Assorted family members. :)
I should be used to this look by now, cuz I get it about 10 times a day!! This one was caused by the fact that I wanted to take his picture as he blew out his candle. I’ve got some nerve, huh?
My niece just LOVES to take self-portraits!!
Ok, I had deleted the next group of photos, since I HATE myself in pictures. But, then I put them back because I thought you might find the series kinda funny. My niece kept taking picture after picture, and Stud just kept playing around. I was getting a bit annoyed because I really wanted a nice picture of us together.
Gee, I wonder how this got in here?
Oo, almost there….
And THERE it is!! This just might be the Christmas card photo. What do you think?
I was so upset after Stud’s surprise party because I realized, at 2am, when all the cleaning up was done and I was finally hitting the sack, that we never even took a picture together on his birthday. Then, it almost happened again last night. The photo shoot happened after all the guests had left. I’m just glad we managed to get one good one out the million we took!
I love these moments when they actually remember they love each other!
They love their uncle, that’s for sure!
My niece ended up spending the night, which was nice. She was a big help in cleaning up after the party. Since she attends the sister school to Stud’s school, which is right next door, it was nice to all go to school together this morning.
OK, I had planned to do more than just post pictures, but I’m missing Dancing with the Stars!!!