Friday, November 30, 2007

Wasted Time

Tomorrow night is T's annual Christmas dinner dance for work. It's our first year with this company, so I have no idea what to expect other than we know it's at a really nice hotel in Baltimore and from what everyone says, it's really, really nice!! I've been excited about going (and spending a night in the city), but I have to admit, shopping for something to wear has been a TOTAL DRAG!! I'm convinced there isn't a single piece of clothing out there made for my body type.

Anyway, 2 weeks, one skirt and 20 blouses later, I still have no idea what I'm going to wear. We have a babysitter to stay with the girls all night, a room, and a full wardrobe to pack up and try on when I get there... We've been talking about this all week and the girls are thrilled to be having one of our favorite babysitters all to themselves for a whole night!!


T is on his way to pick up Kt from a sleepover because, yup, you guessed it, she just threw up! I'm feeling like I might have just spent hours shopping for nothing. Literally hours. And she's the first victim... we all know how that stomach thing travels through a household. And our poor friends where it started. Here we go - welcome winter, welcome cold weather, welcome 20 outfits later!!!


Somewhere in all the chaos that is my blog traffic, I hit the 20,000th visitor mark. Now if I could only get over that 350 visits a day hump! (To view the visits, scroll to the bottom and click on "sitemeter" in the little box.) Can you believe that? That's about 10 times my highest visits in one day before all this started... back when I used to get super excited about having over 20!! hehe... I hope everyone's still enjoying that old Christmas letter! (yup, still working out this years.... hope it's done before Santa arrives!)

I'm a Little Confused....

So, is she for more funding for HIV/AIDS?? or is she against it?? Who knows.

And don't even get me started on Rick Warren inviting politics into his church. Where is the IRS on this one??

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

There's A Chill

It's finally cold here. Of course, on my second day of recess duty! It's 38 with a high expected around 42. YIKES! On top of that, I seem to have somehow busted my toe. I can't fit it into any real shoes. So I'm either working with slippers on or some other kind of inappropriate shoe. What a pain! I had been hoping to make it water aerobics this morning, but there was no way. Maybe now I'll feel like putting up some Christmas decorations.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ridiculously Amazing

I mentioned before Thanksgiving that my sitemeter counter is insane. At this point today alone I have almost 300 views mostly from that Christmas letter tips site. It's very humbling to think that it's possible that about 2600 people have viewed my 2 year old Christmas letter this month. I'm also feeling like I should be able to come up with a better one for this year... but I have this sneaking suspicion that if everyone is using mine for ideas, I might not be able to come up with anything else that even compares. So far, I have this:

Merry Christmas!!

Seasonal Limbo

This is the strangest week. Really. I keep feeling like it should be December, Christmas, cold, snow... Instead, it's still November, warm, fall, leaves everywhere! Thanksgiving was just too early this year. I can't believe we have another whole week of November and then three whole weeks until Christmas. OK - back to reality!!;-)

Not My Favorite...

but probably me!

Which Winnie the Pooh Character Are You?

You are Rabbit. You are clever, intelligent, and level-headed. You have close, loyal friendships, but you have a bit of a short temper when the people around you act foolishly.
Find Your Character @

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Tweens

Today at church (which was awesome, by the way!) we left via the Warehouse, where the high schoolers were just finishing up. My girls have been so happy to be included by some of our Hungary team when they go over there - it's quite fun. Today we were hunting for our Monday night babysitter to see if she was available tomorrow. The girls marched right into the worship room and the kids were just finishing up their last song. We sat down to listen to the announcements, which for high schoolers tend to be very upbeat and fun. Projected on the screen was a huge set of lips for the outreach Friday night Lip Sync contest. Kt leaned over to me as they were getting ready to premiere the skit team lip sync. She had a look of complete surprise and disgust and whispered loudly, "HUH??? Is that a KISSING contest???" I had a hard time containing my laughter. I think I have a 'tween!

If you're in high school and you live in Howard County, you should come! It's always awesome!! Dec 7. I promise, no kissing.... I think!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Uncle D minus XBox

My brother has spent most of his downtime either watching football or singing/airdrumming to my mom's laptop, all the while making fun of me and my laptop!!

I know the sound is bad, but maybe that's better! ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

The turkey's in the oven, the family is all relaxin', it's about 65 degrees outside (it'll be in the 40's by tonight - welcome to MD!), we have our menu all planned out, Kt set the table, Em is reading to my mom, our very traditional Thanksgiving is off to a great start!!

This year we have been so blessed to have a larger view of God's world, to have friends in all the far reaches of the earth, to have a healthy family, a job, a house, food.... and group of incredible high schoolers who are excited to serve this world. I am so excited to be home for this holiday and to have the chance to reserve a day for Thankfulness.

The only thing missing - Uncle D forgot his XBox! He's hiding in his room this morning.... with nothing to do! LOL

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


OK, I survived the dreaded conferences. I don't really want to post all about them. There was a lot of good and a little bad. I could brag, brag and brag with a little complaining in there, but I won't! We do have some decisions to make over the next quarter, so we'll see!

Phoebe also survived, it appears. She is much happier. We seem to have her fever under control with some puppy antibiotics, fluids and a trip to the vet - all very expensive and not in our Christmas budget, but again, we'll survive. I'm so thankful because I don't think this would have been a good time for Em to deal with losing a dog. Grandpa is going through chemo, school is tough... losing her puppy would have been serious. When it does happen, it will be bad but now was not the time!

My mom and brother are on their way here sometime tonight or tomorrow for Thanksgiving. It'll be nice having them - and change from the ordinary. We're expecting the weather to be nice tomorrow - 69 degrees! Then back down to 44 on Friday.... which means we'll probably all get sick! But, we'll survive!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I'm about to head up to bed... and here's what's going on. Our little puppy is very sick. Yesterday she was totally fine all day, and then boom! She's sick, and she can't seem to recover this time. At this point, she can't walk or hardly stand. We are thinking it's off to the vet tomorrow and may not be coming home this time. I'm worried how Em will be with this.... just one year ago we found out about her kidney issue, so that we've had her a whole year is a miracle in itself.

Tonight, our friend LB came over and put together a list of people who might be interested in supporting her on a YWAM DTS. The crazy thing... it's not tax deductible. She is extremely trustworthy, so that won't be an issue, but I just can't believe they run a program where people need to raise $5000 support but it's not tax-deductible. Anyway, God is going to have to provide a way for this to happen.

Finally, tomorrow, after I work out all my anxieties in Group Power, I have three conferences to attend. Luckily, we got the last one as our best... it's the first two I'm a bit apprehensive about. I have issues.... bottom line, I'm thinking I'll leave feeling like not much was accomplished, but at least I'll get to share my side.

I have a lot on my mind, those are just the top of my prayer list for this coming week. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving because I need to focus on the innumerable things in my life to be thankful for. It's really a peaceful holiday... with a little of Uncle D's Xbox! How fun is that?

Just For Fun

I just had to see what mine would say... and I seriously laughed out loud. I love the first sentence... they've got me nailed!
You Are 16% Democrat

If you have anything in common with the Democrat party, it's by sheer chance.
You're a staunch conservative, and nothing is going to change that!

Girl Scout Cookies vs. Boyscout Popcorn

I thought the price of GS cookies was getting a bit out of hand. In our county, they are $3.50/box and in our neighboring county, they will be $4.00/box this spring! Outrageous, I tell you. That was, until the Boyscout popcorn arrived. My daughter tells me she paid $10.00/can, and the cans are 10oz. That's $1.00/ounce and the can is really the size of an oversized pencil holder. Not even large enough to be a cookie jar! YIKES! In this competition, I'd have to side with the girls for having a much better value, just not as much non-profit business savvy, apparently!

Las Acacias

If there ever were a false prophet, I would guess Hugo Chavez fits that bill! Being a complete outsider looking in, that man has made some scary changes in Venezuela, continually makes errant remarks publicly about respected world leaders and constantly uses Biblical references to his countrymen in defending his move towards a communist nation. To me, it's quite frightening.

The Washington Post has an article this morning about the evangelical church in Caracas, namely one very large church, Las Acacias. This particular church has gained a reputation in Venezuela of being an "opposition" church due to the attendance of it's pastor at a vigil held for the hundreds of victims of the uprising in Caracas, where he stood on the platform use just days before by the opposition movement. This church has 5,000 members and is divided between government skeptics and supporters.

While the country is run by a man who claims to support all religions, including a rogue cult religion in the city, he has begun surveillance on Las Acacias' website and tapped all the phones used by staff at the church. No separation of church and state in THAT country! (I wonder to myself what Cindy Sheehan and Danny Glover think of him now?) The church has a plan for the day the government shuts their doors so that they can still support each other in the day when the evangelical church in Venezuela will be deemed an "opposition" church. It's just an eerie thought, really.

So, today, with this article fresh in my mind, I'll ask anyone out there who cares to please pray for this church and it's members, for the condition of the government in Venezuela and that God's will will prevail there. If Hugo Chavez really is the Christian he claims to be, may his heart be softened to be more like Christ and less about himself.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Life Free From Politics

Oh, to be a kid again... and not have to think about politics.

Conversation just overheard in my house:

Em (6 years old): Who's the president right now?

Kt (9 years old, showing her friend how to check money to see if it's real - reviewing presidents): George W. Bush!

Mir (9 years old, Kt's friend): (totally laughing) What???? Are you totally kidding? That's funny.

Em: So, who's the president now?

Me: George Bush.

Em: Really? Oh. (laughing as well now)

Is that so funny? I guess if you're 6 or 9, it doesn't matter much to you!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Merry Early Christmas to Me!

I just got a new cellphone! The best part about it - it was free!! Now, I have to learn how to use a new cell again... and I had not even mastered my old one. EEK! This one has video capabilities that I'm hoping to learn and a keyboard, for easier texting. Woohoo! The only stinky thing about it is that the ringtones are pretty lame. I guess they do that now so you have to buy the good ones. Fortunately, I'm not that picky.

Nothing better than an early FREE Christmas gift!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

On Account of You

I felt like reading about heaven today, since it's been on my mind lately. I was reading in 2 Peter, so here's a little fire and brimstone for everyone. Even if you aren't a believer, it's worth reading what the Bible says will be the end of the earth.... just in case it really is true! ;-)

8-9Don't overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn't want anyone lost. He's giving everyone space and time to change.

10But when the Day of God's Judgment does come, it will be unannounced, like a thief. The sky will collapse with a thunderous bang, everything disintegrating in a huge conflagration, earth and all its works exposed to the scrutiny of Judgment.

11-13Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we'll hardly notice. We'll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness. (2Peter, The Message)

I can't wait for a new heaven, a new earth. And I'm thankful for a God who patiently waits, so that everyone has a chance to hear.

Dreaming of a Mouse

Our neighbors left yesterday for a week with a mouse... Mickey, that is! They are staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort, which was where I had really wanted to stay last February but they were completely sold out - by October! We ended up shortening our trip and spending one night at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.... ah, the memories!

If I could, I'd go to WDW at least once a year for a real vacation. Yes, I know, it's lots of running around, waiting in lines, overly expensive junk food... but there really is something magical about Disney World I think. I just want to get it all in before my kids grow up, and then I hope to someday repeat it all with grandchildren. That's a dream! Or that Disney cruise I have yet to try....

I think we might be "vacationing" with another Space team this summer, however. Not exactly the dream family vacation, but it's a lot of running around, waiting in lines (in airports), and overly expensive European food. It's also much more rewarding in many ways, and my kids are not complaining that they won't see Mickey. Instead, they are begging to return to their new friends they made last summer. I must say, we have a better relationship with our European friends than we do with the Mouse, even though we've known him much longer! =) But I can still dream!

Bragging Rights

Since it's my blog, I'm going to reserve the right to brag a bit - about my kids (despite my bad parenting!). Today another parent who went in for the GT math presentations today sent me this little story about Kt.

I sat in on Mr. M's math class today
and was so impressed with something Kt did. CM was VERY nervous to
do her presentation, but she did it...when she got back to her seat, Kt
initiated a high-five with her and you could see the smile across CM's
face. It really touched my heart that Kt would make that effort for
someone who was obviously very shy, insecure and nervous about it. Katie's
a great girl!

You know, it's really nice to hear little things like that from friends. I happen to think Kt is great as well, but one never knows what their children when out from under their watchful eyes. This year, I've been especially bombarded with similar stories about Kt, sometimes it's overwhelming. It's also food for thought when I think of her personality characteristics in terms of what God is preparing her (and me!) for in life. Sometimes I wish I was half as amazing as she is.

Now, I need to go stop her from scuffling with her sister over a silly rock - all in a day's work!

Anonymous Infamy

I just can't resist doing this. I'll assume that since this commenter left a comment anonymously that he/she knows it's totally fair game and extremely insulting. So, here I go!

quit bloggin' and start PARENTNG! I'm new to this stuff - I think I'll continue doing what I was doing before - listening to music and reading books! Why do people think what they have to think is so important!???

This was a comment I received from Washington state, I believe - at least that's what my sitemeter is telling me, in response to my post about the flawed first grade homework policy. First, allow me to point out that this particular commenter would not pass first grade "Capitalization and Punctuation" or "Spells accurately" in his learning behavior grade. On second glance, he/she would "pass", but get a "with help" grade. He/she didn't get any help, but somehow that description counts as a "grade" on a report card.

Secondly, what is the point of this comment?? This person reads one post of mine and presumes to know that I am not parenting my children? By the way, this is one of those people who came to my blog via the Christmas Letter Tips site, so I will conclude that he/she was not really interested in the homework policy one iota. If you want Christmas letter tips, read the sample and get out! I didn't ask to be linked to that site, they just linked me.

Thirdly, "new to this stuff" seems to me to be a pretty broad statement. Are you new to "bloggin'", new to parenting, new to reading blogs, new to making random comments on blogs, new to insulting people anonymously that you don't even know??? What exactly is new to you, whoever you are?

Finally, are you, Mr. Anonymous, inferring that bloggers do not read or listen to music?? Because if you are, you are new to the world! The blogging community is rife with extremely well-read, well-versed and educated people. They listen to, critique and review every genre of music. If you think retreating into your world of headphones and bookmarks will be richer than entering into a the thoughtful world of blogging, I'd venture to guess you're pretty closed minded. The whole point of a blog for many bloggers is to express their opinions about any variety of topics, including homework policies. And if I'm bloggin' while my kids are in school, that's not bad parenting in my opinion.... but you don't really care about that, do you? You only care about your opinion!

On this blog, if you had bothered to read past the 2 year old Christmas poem and homework policy, you would probably conclude that I like to post about lots of things, important and non-important. I like to have fun, I like to complain, I like to hash out what I see as injustices, I post about my children most often - because I'm so bad at parenting, huh? So you go ahead and return to your elusive world of listening to music and reading books, don't bother to share the wealth of information you find with the world on a blog and stop leaving uninformed anonymous comments that are insulting to people. It's just bad manners - and that's a message from a parenting mom!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Irresponsible Parenting?

So, on Em's report card yesterday she had one "3", which is the first grade equivalent to what we used to call an "F" - in "Complete's homework". Of course, I'm thinking this is a mistake. We have done every single homework assignment plus extra! She only gets math homework and any papers she did not complete, plus she brings home reading books which we always read. I was totally stumped.

I wrote her teacher this morning to ask if that grade was accurate and the response was this: Em had three late homework papers, 3 late papers = "3" for effort. Simply put. OK, there were exactly three times she took in her homework one day late. One day, she had for some unknown reason taken her entire school folder out of her backpack and I only noticed around 3:30 after I got home from work. One other time, I had taken her homework out to email her teacher a question about it. I didn't get a answer until the next morning and just inadvertantly left that homework by my computer waiting... just figured I'd send it in the following day. Finally, the last homework paper just never made it off the kitchen table and into the folder - end of story. It happens, all the assignments were turned in, so nothing is missing, just three late papers. What would you do??

My beef is this - she failed homework, yet we did it all. She has the same grade as a child who never did a single homework assignment, who maybe never passed in half their assignments but no one will ever know that for sure. It doesn't say on the report card "She just turned in three assignments a day late" - it's just says she failed. First grade! for crying out loud. What, exactly, is the message in this? As a parent, the message to me is that you needn't bother teaching your child that mistakes happen, and you can be forgiven if you forget. The message is "don't bother!" You won't get credit anyway!! I think this is absolutely ridiculous, ranking up there with no more birthday parties and "unlawful" absences (more on that another time!). I'm having a hard time figuring out how to handle the one failing grade on her report card because I just think it's ludicrous.

I might have to send t alone to the conferences so I don't end up in the sheriff's office!

Funny Ems

Em is really just a total hoot most of the time. Maybe it's her age, but she keeps me laughing. Yesterday, on our way home from dinner, we stopped to pick up more Mint Chocolate for Kt's GT math project. We've been tasting and comparing it for a week now and her project is finally due on Thursday. T suggested that she bring in some "samples" for the class to try, which was met with a resounding, "Don't you know the school rules, dad?????" from the girls - no food!! (silly rules!) Em sighed and said, "I LOVE zamples!" From now on, I'm voting for "zamples"!

This morning, Em came in to wake me up (as usual!) and ended up laying in bed with me just blabbering away, writing things on her whiteboard. At one point she said, shaking her head, squinching her eyes, "There is a boy, Everette, in my class and he can't spell SHENG! Can you believe it? He spells it with a "y" on the end!!" So, I awoke from my much needed slumber and said, "Well, can you spell Everette?" She just smiled and said, "No, of course not!" Now, don't we think spelling first names is more important than last? Not Em! ;-)

Blog Traffic

After my last post, I meandered over to my Sitemeter and received a most amazing surprise. My little blog, which typically sees around 12-30 visits a day, has jumped dramatically to the hundreds per day due to a link on a Christmas Letter Tips site. Oh, my, what have I done? Anyway, thanks guys over there! I actually have some traffic to speak of! =)

Report Card Day

I completely forgot, but today was report card day! Imagine what tomorrow will be like for those poor teachers during American Education Week - YIKES!!! The girls did really well, we are proud of them. There is room for each of them to work on something, so that's always good for a first quarter grade. We had a celebratory dinner at Bob Evans, which is the girl's favorite restaurant - go figure!?!

I think my kids are smarter than I was. It's a bit humbling. Or maybe school is just more academic. I just remember having more than one recess, lots of parties, making more crafty stuff. Now it's all work, 20 minutes of recess and grades after grades after grades. They have "assessments" instead of just "tests"! What is that about? Is it just because it's a better vocabulary word? Or do they think it sounds less ominous than test?? Whatever!

Next week, conferences. I suspect there will be few surprises, but there's always room for a eye-popping revelation. I'll have to be sure I take that blood pressure med before I head over there!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Question of the Day

So, does Bill Gates happen to have a 5-7 year old son? grandson??? Em asked me this morning if we could please install an elevator so she can get her toy stroller up and down the stairs. She cannot figure out why that is an impossibility.

Monday, November 12, 2007

American Education Week

So, they do this week (5 whole LONG days) here where parents are allowed to just "pop-in" and visit their child's class. It sounds fun, interesting, like a golden opportunity, but the truth is it's just a nuisance! First of all, kids just don't act the same with adults around, so getting anything accomplished is really challenging. It also isn't giving the parents a true sense of what goes on everyday at school. Secondly, it's just so unpredictable I'm not sure how a teacher even plans for this. I was on the volunteer list anyway today, so I know some classes had no visitors and others had three or four parents just milling around, not even minding their own business. If you're going to "observe", then just observe. Don't poke your nose in the lesson, read all the student's journals or ask lots of questions. Just sit in the back of the room quietly and observe! Finally, it's really unnerving for teachers. If it were one day or assigned times I probably wouldn't think much of it. Truthfully, 5 full open days of visitation is just outrageous. Let's be real - it's just not necessary!

Em's teacher this morning said to me (and she's a veteran teacher with years and years of experience), "All day I wonder to myself, 'Did I spell the word was wrong on the board??'" We both had a good laugh after that!


I'm so glad I didn't fall for a friend's short-sighted opinion of Martin O'Malley and vote for him. He's stacking up to be just the person I thought he was. Taxes are going up (including sales tax!) and he's fighting for slots. There goes our property value! Thanks, O'Malley. First for leaving a mess in Baltimore and now for moving it to Annapolis. ARG!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Our Children are Doomed!

We had some little neighborhood friends over today. Before I could stop her, Kt informed them they if they smelled microwave popcorn they would get lung cancer. The 4 and 6 year olds just looked at her quizzically and said, "OK." I informed their mom of the new information just in case it was ever repeated!

Their mom just sent me an email asking me if I was aware that if I touched the pink stuff in my basement (insulation, apparently) I will die. Hmmm.... there's a lot of talk about death among my children today. Very matter-of-factly. They must be doomed!


So, basically all day today Bloglines has been wiggin on me! For whatever reason, it keeps reposting my last post - about 100 times today - literally - and I've made NO CHANGES to that post!! Weird, I tell you. Now I'm going to see if it does the same thing to this post! =S

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Biblical Living Liberating

Here's an interesting WP article about a Jewish agnostic who lives in NYC. He decided to try one full year of literally living Biblically, meaning he tried to follow all the rules of the Bible. It's short, to the point and I'm sure there's more (in a book coming out or something!). Very interesting conclusion that "it was almost a lovely, paradoxically liberating feeling to have freedom from choice." Very interesting....

Clinton Goes Green?

Hahahahaha..... I have to laugh at this one, because I'm wondering if the media actually thinks we are shocked by the revelation that Hillary Clinton's campaign planted a green question at a rally. I mean, really, like we all weren't born yesterday. I'd venture a guess that she's not the only politician, red, blue or green, to have done this! Really, do we have anything that's actually newsworthy to report?

I like this editorial better. Especially the last line, but I'm also OK if he just ruins the whole thing for her, too. I just have no trust in either of these people.

Small Victory

I pulled out my "tight" jeans from last year and I didn't even need to suck that gut to get them on. They aren't falling off or anything, but they easily fit. Yahoo!!! One less thing I need to buy this year! LOL

Friday, November 09, 2007

Wise Beyond

This has been a long week. I worked three days (stop laughing!), Kt was sick, so I got to take her to work (told you to stop laughing!!), went on a rainy field trip to the farm, on and on. We decided to head to the mall tonight for dinner and tiny bit of shopping. Everything was fine until the girls got a bit frisky! Then we knew it was time to head home.

As we were pulling out, the negotiating began. The girls wanted to watch a movie when we got home AND play in their new "clubhouse" they've set up where we just cleaned out (and sold) all their Little Tikes toys. I asked which movie they wanted to see, because length was going to play a large roll in our decision. I'm guessing they were looking over all the old movies I was sorting down there, because Kt says, "How about that one about the kid alien?"

Without any hesitation, Em's exact words back to Kt were, "I don't think that would be appropriate for me!"

T looks at me and whispers, "What six year old uses the word appropriate?"

I whisper back to him, "What six year old can reply so quickly with an alternative to 'No way am I watching that crap!' AND use the word 'appropriate'?"

That one is a little pip. She is so much more capable, smart and quick than she ever lets on. It's always the little conversations we have with her when she shows her true ability. All other times it's a very calculated "playing dumb" routine.

This reminded me of how, when she was 4, I spent hours trying to teach her all her colors. I was dumbfounded that she couldn't name a single color correctly. Then, one day, she had a colorful bowl of cereal sitting in front of her (which we had not had before!) and she started telling me how amazing the cereal was, naming all the different colors..... then at the same time we looked at each other and she smiled, nodded her head and said, "Yup. I know all my colors now!" Just like that, she even read my mind. It wasn't until that moment that I realized, she had never gotten even one color right - she had been purposely getting them wrong that whole time!!

What am I going to do with this one?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Why I Don't Have a "Real" Job

My husband is always mock begging me to get a "real" job so he doesn't have to work anymore. Haha, so funny! It's kind of a weird conversation, usually, but I do know it would be nice if I actually had a job that brought in a little more money. Or would it?

I'm just about to head into the new "substitute lunch/recess monitor" job and remembering our conversation last night. Kt came home with a sore throat - which has become extremely common for her. (Tonsilitis maybe??) Anyway, T took her in to have her throat checked out to make sure it wasn't strep, which she had three times last year. Before he took her, we were having a little conversation about what to do if she couldn't go to school. He had a complete cow!

In the past, he has mentioned that many people bring their kids to work with them when they are unable to make other arrangements, so I foolishly suggested this as an option. I was a bit leery of not showing up on one of two days I'd agreed to do this sub job, and taking your child to a sub job when they can't go to school is a little crazy. Anyway, I just asked if I could take her to his work for a bit and was met with, "You see, I'm going to lose my job because of all these jobs you have!!! I'm the one who makes all the money....." blah, blah, blah. So, now we know why I don't have a real job! And again, I wonder to myself, how do other people do this?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


So, I'm checking the weather to see just how crazy I am to be subbing for recess duty tomorrow. Of course, it's supposed to be the one cold, WINDY (hate that!) day of the week. IN FACT, next week upper 60's. Can you believe that? You see, to me, that's cold! So imagine what windy 40's will feel like. I believe I'll need to invest in some long underwear with my first paycheck!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Oh, I forgot to post some Halloween pics. Enjoy!! Dorothy and Sandra Dee.

More Fun with the Bd or Ed

I've always been of the belief that the worst place to spend a day is at the DMV. I'm beginning to doubt that, as tomorrow I will be visiting the fingerprinting office, then onto my newest and least pleasurable haunt, the Board of Education... Duh, duh, duh, duuuuuhhhhhh..... It's not enough that I was fingerprinted and background checked last year for another county, or that I have furnished my background checks from the State of Maryland and the (Federal, I tell you!) FBI - both completed in May. I must not only do this again, but this time, lucky me!, I get to pay for it myself.

If I'd never had this done, it probably wouldn't bother me. But it's a little insulting that they won't accept this seeing as it's less than a year old. Now, I know I'm a rowdy one! Hot chocolate on occasion, even have attended a total of 1 or 2 parties this year where alcohol may have been present - if it was, I likely chose the Ginger Ale instead. I've stolen a mint or two from a local restaurant candy dish, and I think I've even surpassed the speed limit when passing. All in all, it doesn't get much more boring than Moi! But who knows?? There could be a skeleton in my closet that they didn't find the first time around.... I mean, how thorough can these background checks be??? One never knows!

Truth be told, they'd find more interesting fodder on me at the local physician's office. Thank goodness that is off limits, thanks to HIPA! ;-) I wonder if my blood pressure pills are listed on the national registry of illegal substances not permitted in drug-free zones?? Or maybe those of us with gall(stones) should be limited to the fat free zone in the cafeteria... Oh, wait. They don't have those! Plenty of fat in the cafeteria, just no cupcakes in the classrooms! ;-) Or really, if those background checks are now including traffic camera pics, T may have done me in for good!

What I really won't enjoy, however, is the "30 minutes" of paperwork they have for me to fill out. I'm beginning to realize that this is likely just an estimate, depending on how likable you are, and I'm just not that. This chick at HR, she's just not my friend. I have a bad feeling about this one!! I mean, 30 minutes to fill out payroll papers to be a substitute cafeteria monitor? The last time I filled out a W-2, it took me all of 2 minutes. No, I'm in for it... and I've set aside the appropriate amount of time for this task - all afternoon!! On the bright side, I'll be pleasantly surprised if I have even a few minutes to myself tomorrow. I promise!

Granny's Take on the "New" Car

I have T's permission to try to duplicate the conversation he had with his mom this evening about our "new" car. I haven't mentioned much about it, mostly because I haven't been blogging much and it's a little more of a car than we've ever had. It's been slightly uncomfortable, but I'm getting used to it.

We picked up a used Acura MDX, based on the fact that it was almost the same price as the Highlander we were debating but had way more fun features, it has a lot more legroom in the third row and other owners we know are more than pleased with theirs. So, we did it and, needless to say, someone is not really that impressed with it.

T: So, what do you think?

Granny: So, this is used car? But is not big enough??

T: No, mom. It's big, and there's a third row of seats, so we can fit 7 passengers.

Granny: Oh. I see.

T: You can sit up front.

Granny (to me): You fit back there?? Are you sure??

Me: Yup, lots of room, I've done it before. Plus, you can have the seat heater!

Granny: OK.

(she hops in, we follow Grandpa, who refuses to ride in the "new" car)

T: Look, here's a map, and there's a DVD player for the girls. (Plenty of cheering from the peanut gallery over that!)

Me: And if you want, you can type in the name of a destination and it will tell you how to get there.

Granny: Oh. And once this car is old, all this stuff won't work anymore.

T: (chuckling) Um, yup. You're right! ;-)

Granny: All the, you know, Spanish people from South America drives this car.

T: What??

Granny: See, like that...

T: That's a Buick.

Granny: and there!

T: That's a Ford.... sedan.

Granny: Well, they all drive this car.

T: (laughing at this point) Really, mom? I wonder why you think that? Look, you can put your seat on low or high heat.

Granny: What??? I don't need that. Turn that thing off!!!

I was rolling on the floor in the backseat, which has more than enough leg room in it. Always fun with the Shengs, let me tell you!!

Craigslist Adventure

So, we've done quite well with our little Craigslist sale. It's interesting, and while a bit time-consuming, it seems a great alternative to holding a yard sale. The girls have chosen what they wanted to sell and we're giving them the money from most of the sales. We're going to do the 10-10-80 lesson with them (10%tithe, 10% save, 80% of their choosing....). We've talked about some Christmas shopping ideas, but Kt really wants to purchase something from one of our missions "catalogs", where you can purchase a well, or a cow or mosquito netting for children in Africa. I think we're onto something here! At least with Kt...

T and I have talked about the oddities of Craigslist. There are so many ways to list things, accept buyers, conduct business. Really, it all boils down to what you are comfortable with. I think being such an honest person, he has a difficult time dealing with people who say they are going to do something and then don't, which seems to be at the crux of Craigslisting sometimes. It's like everyone on CL is on siesta or something!! Really, though, we both couldn't be happier cleaning out some of that mess in our basement. We can actually walk down there now!

Tomorrow, I have about three women coming.. possibly... to look at some things, hopefully purchase them. While I'd love to think this brings us a little closer to finishing our basement, I'm guessing it just brings us closer to having a cleaner unfinished basement. And I'm OK with that. Cleaner is my operative word these days!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Princess at Heart

Which Disney Princess Are You?

You are Ariel. You are beautiful but impaired. At times you are naïve. Still, your innocence and good heart make you sought after and loved.
Find Your Character @

Friday, November 02, 2007


What do you suppose the requirements are in our county to substitute as a lunch/recess monitor? Let me tell you... this job must be risky, or challenging, because it appears the requirements are many! In order to step foot in the lunch room as a substitute, you must have graduated from high school - furnishing that old, dusty high school diploma, provide a written application including 8 references they can call, have at least three of those references sent in a written reference, get fingerprinted, have background checks.... and chances are there are more, but they have not yet revealed them to me! Just when I'm thinking the process is complete, HR notifies our school secretary of all the things they haven't had me do yet. It's all a bit.... humorous? shocking? what's the word..... ludicrous?? Or should it really be relieving, knowing that the people who are paid in my children's school have jumped through all these same hoops. I'm choosing the later out of pure frustration!

Why, you ask, would I subject myself to this? Well, because I love our lunchroom aides and they asked me to do this for them. I've volunteered in the lunch room for years and this year nobody is on the sub list for them. Hmm.... is that any surprise??? Not really, but the truth is, it's a great gig for someone like me. Once in a while, make a few extra bucks, help out some friends and spend a little time with my kids. And I figured if I'm going to go through all this hassle, I might as well sign up to substitute teach while I'm at it!

As a teacher, these were jobs I completely swore off. I've never been interested in subbing, ever, anywhere! And here I am, being crazy. Of course, the real frustration is with the office of HR, which has already lost one of my reference forms, and has given me wrong information about the "status" of my application. Today, on my list of things to do (along with entertaining 4 4th graders and my 1st grader on their day off of school), is to have my college send transcripts. Yes, you need that to substitute teach! I'm having transcripts sent to me as well, because frankly, I don't trust this office!

Maybe it was the three blue crates, with papers sticking out of them every which way, containing, somewhere in the middle, the copies of my two references they had received! Hmmm... and when she handed those "confidential" references to me for viewing, well, I invisibly rolled my eyes in the back of my head. I promise you, she didn't see that! And the third that they couldn't find? That I know was sent to the exact same office because I provided stamped, addressed envelopes myself? Just a complete mystery... or is it?

I'm thankful that I will soon be qualified, National Honor Society sticker and all, to be a substitute lunchroom monitor! I will be certain to proudly list this prestigious position on all my further applications for employment, as it appears to be a highly skilled, much sought after job. Oh, and the college diploma, for whatever reason, would not suffice in place of that all-important high school diploma. Last I knew, you couldn't even get into college without a high school diploma! Crazy!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Yorker at Heart?

What City Should You Live In?

You should live in New York City. America's largest city will ensure that you will blend into the crowd. You are the brooding type--introspective, creative, and eccentric--and NYC's cutting-edge, individualistic culture and ambience will appeal to you.
Find Your Character @

Never Simple

But I've never seen a quiz do this! LOL Thanks, kim!

Which Peanuts Character Are You?

You are part Charlie Brown. You are always optimistic and persistent, and everyone appreciates your simple sweetness. Sometimes, however, your anxieties get the best of you, and life's mysteries can confuse you.
You are part Schroeder. You are brilliant, ambitious, and brooding; you tackle tasks with extreme focus. People don't always interest you as much as other pursuits, though, so you can come off as aloof.
Find Your Character @