Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Day to Count Blessings

Today is a blessing. I am reminded that my daily life is pretty awesome. Mondays as a substitute teacher can be a great opportunity for gratitude. I'm not always a positive person when I'm in the middle of an unpleasant experience. Yesterday, in the middle of the worst of everything, I said to myself, 'Tomorrow you'll stamp and create projects for future events.'

A genuine smile for no apparent reason really confuses a room full of teenagers.

A few days ago, I had an extremely pleasant adventure. A whole day of holiday crafting! Early enough on the calendar to enjoy the projects without the holiday rush.

I think everyone had a very pleasant time. (I also had an opportunity to practice some indoor photography.)

These photographs represent the daily awesome that I enjoy. Sharing my passion for stamping and crafting..... it's my real job!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Up On My Soapbox & It's Not Really Very Funny

Late nights. Raw nerves. High emotions. Three volatile ingredients that fuel this post. Get ready friends, I'm up on my soapbox and it's not very funny. Believe me, because I know what is funny! This. Isn't.

Jag got 'Senior' pranked. I guess the entire school got 'Senior' pranked, but I like to keep this blog mainly about me. Or my family. So, let me just tell you what happened to Jag, from my point of view. Because I'm not going to be allowed to speak to the guilty teenagers. (I've already asked.)

All of his school supplies were stolen (pranked) from his locker. It happened sometime Tuesday night, and they're still looking for everything.

Specifically, he doesn't have any notes, books, spirals, graphs, charts or handouts for Honors English, Geometry, History or Chemistry. The teachers and principal are working right now to get him everything he needs. Everything that was stolen (pranked) from 3 1/2 weeks of school work. Teachers are sacrificing their conference/lunch/personal times to make new copies just for Jag. Thank you responsible grown ups for helping Jag right now.

Here's what was stolen (pranked) from Jag that can't be replaced. His sense of time. His ability to organize. His trust. I'm just sitting here right now wondering how to replace 3 1/2 weeks of time for him. Anyone have any ideas?

He had the immense pleasure of briefly getting in trouble in all his classes yesterday for not being prepared for class. He would explain to the teachers that he didn't forget anything, it was stolen (pranked) from his locker. Everything gone. He explained it about 5 times yesterday. I can't imagine the frustration level yesterday. For everyone.

If I have to replace all of Jag's school supplies, I'll be out some cash. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Here's what I want to say about all this. Theft isn't a prank. Vandalism isn't a prank. Our kids can be arrested, charges filed, jail, probation, scholarships lost. Teenagers please think about it.

Is a Senior Prank really worth it?

Do you really want to be remembered as the kid that lost their scholarship or was denied enrollment in college because of a criminal record? Do you want to explain your criminal record to possible future employers for the rest of your life? Because your 'Senior Prank' was a crime? Really?


Sunday, September 11, 2011

An Anniversary of Reclamation

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, my dad was still age-eligible for "active recall" into the military should the U.S. Army see fit.  The first question I asked him when I called him that day was, naturally, "Are you okay?" to which he replied, naturally, "Yes.  In udder disbelief, but, yes.  I'm okay."  The second question I asked him--the one he answered without hesitation and still rattles me to the core--was, "Did Colin Powell call?  Do you have to go back?"

My dad's response--after a half-hearted under-his-breath chuckle:  "No.  General Powell didn't call.  I doubt he needs an old pilot with poor eyesight.....but if he did, I'd go back in a heartbeat.  Yep.  I'd sure go back."  

And so begins, from many who share the spirit of "Yep.  I'd sure go back," a time of Reclamation.

Today, we remember, reflect, and reclaim one of the most horrific days in our nation's history--September 11, 2001.

We strive to always remember those who were lost, who sacrificed, and who were left behind.  This is my friend and classmate:
CW2 Scott Jamar

But, knowing Scott, here's how he'd rather we all remember him--a well functioning gear in a well oiled team (he's the second from the right on the front row...kneeling):

Most importantly, though, is the most precious legacy he leaves behind and that defined him:

A Tribute to Storm Flight 557:

On this, our 10th Anniversary, our wounds may not be completely healed.  Our anger not completely quelled.  And our spirit of a nation-united hugely underestimated.  This year, we reclaim our tenacity and our fortitude in an effort to honor those we lost, their families, our country, and the world we welcome to our shores.  This year, our men and women breach the skyline that once was bare, but now clearly represents the resolve of this nation.  

Telling our stories is how we heal and how we honor one another.  We all have a story that connects us, in some way, to the tragic and senseless way our nation was changed on that Tuesday.  
What's your story? 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Star Wars, My Sister & Football: None of these things go together.

It's the beginning of Week #3 around here. School Week #3. So far, so good. It's normally about the middle of this week, when I start to feel a little bit anxious. A little bit like, this is too good to be true, sort of a thing. Keep your fingers crossed.

The busy is starting to really amp up around here. It's a good sort of busy. Next on the agenda. Junior High football. Yep, starts this week.

Repeat after me: I will not freak out. I will not freak out. I will not freak out.

We're seriously considering medicating my sister for this. She's not ready.

I thought I was ready. After all, I've already done this one time. In my mind, I was ready for this. I kept my cool right up until the first day of full pads, full contact. Then, I found out I wasn't as ready as I thought. No worries. I didn't embarrass anyone. I worried quietly in my own home. Over eating just the right amount.... you know, the normal 'mom' response. Then, I went to a card class and shared my cell phone picture of these sweet baby boys. All the ladies gave me just the right amount of encouragement. Now, I'm fine again. For now.

A closer look at the football photo reveals a super cool, most awesome twin thing..... the boys are in the right number order for who was born first. For some reason, that is stinkin' cool to me. I hope they get those numbers for their official game jerseys.

We survived the long holiday weekend. Thank you Spike channel for the 'Star Wars' marathon. If there's ever been a better series of movies ever made, I don't know what it could be. My sister refuses to watch 'Star Wars'. Any episode. This may be my great failure in life. I somehow must figure out a way to persuade her to watch. Any ideas?

Look at us. Today is her birthday. Mom says we look alike. 'May the force be with you' on your birthday. Make your life complete by watching a 'Star Wars' movie. Go ahead and do it.... all the popular kids are watching....