Sunday, August 30, 2009

my list

Last week I was prepared for a wild ride but we managed to get through it as smoothly as possible - with only a few kinks. Here's a list of ups and downs of BTS '09 (BTS-back to school).

1.) It is way cute to see Ashlyn and her friend coming down the hall after school.

2.) I see Trey and Ashlyn a couple of times during the day and they always have a smile for me.

3.) Clayson survived the first week of middle school without too many complaints.

4.) Clayson had bus issues Monday- Thursday coming to my school. On Friday we finalized a new ride situation and it's going to work out much better.

4a.) Clayson rides the bus over to the middle school every morning so I am forced to get to work by 7:30.

5.) My classes are all 20 students and below with just a few stinkers.

6.) I love, love, love all the people that I work with, the atmosphere of the building, my bosses and especially those I am teaching 5th grade with.

6a.) Trey and Ashlyn both love their teachers.

7.) I only got yelled at a few times.

8.) I have captured hearts and now it is time to capture minds.

9.) Thursday night was bunco with school friends - I won :)

10.) Friday night - first home game - "Black Out" - sad thing is we lost and Ashlyn is afraid the Pirates will now have to walk the plank.

11.) Big Brother is my favorite reality show and gives me something to look forward to on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights.

12.) Tears only came on Thursday morning because Ashlyn did not want to get out of bed. Her punishment: no friends in my room after school. Friday was better.

13.) Trey also has friends after school and the day I told him to be back in 20 minutes, I found him one hour later. His punishment: no leaving my room Friday afternoon.

14.) Both 12 and 13 punish me in the long run.

15.) We ended the busy/tiring week with some little Pirate football. Here are Clayson and Trey sporting the black and gold. (more pictures here)

16.) My mom cooked dinner and had it at the house for us to enjoy as soon as we got home on Tuesday. It was yummy and we even had some left over for Wednesday.

17.) Cool mornings hinting that Fall is on the way!


I am able to add humor to my first week of school but on the other hand, some that I love dearly have faced sadness this week. Sharon, my dear friend, lost her mother.. You may remember my post about "Granny" from a few weeks ago. I know that Granny is rejoicing with Jesus and is enjoying the mansion that He prepared for her but to lose a mom/grandmother is a time that brings great sadness to her children and grandchildren. I pray for Sharon and her family to find peace in this time of sorrow.

My mother-in-law made a tough decision this week to close down her scrapbook store. I know that the decision was coveted in prayer. It has not been an easy time for her this past week and I pray for her to be able to recover from all that has happened.

It is so hard for us to understand that God has a plan but He does. He promises us that. I hold on to that promise.

It is Sunday night and dinner is almost done. I had to raid the freezer tonight and tomorrow I need to raid Wal-Mart. (I miss you summertime.) Here's to a great second week of BTS '09.

Monday, August 24, 2009

school time '09

Well, it's here. It's really, really here. I have a middle school student - making me feel old - two elementary students - that are growing up too fast and about 60 new students - to keep it real for the next nine months. As much as I am never ready for summer to end and work to begin, I always enjoy it once I am there.

Here is my back-to-school blog in pictures because I am really too tired to think and type much. I will note the important things so that they will not soon be forgotten. And, hope to become more detailed as the week goes on because I do have a million things running through my mind.

'Twas the night before school started ...

Clayson was on the computer, Ashlyn was playing baby dolls, Trey was watching TV and I was putting clean sheets on the bed.

These midnight riders were all in bed by 9:30 and I think Ashlyn was the last one to sleep and it was by 10:30, first time in months.

First day of school..

Everyone got up pretty easily. I made cinnamon rolls for a quick breakfast. We were out the door by 7:20. No one seemed nervous, frazzled or even grumpy. I have to say that I was so worried about Clayson going to middle school. It's a huge jump from where he was to where he is and I just am not ready for him to grow up and be faced with all the stress middle school brings. Jared took him and, of course, left the camera at home. I at least wanted a picture of him getting out of the truck and walking. Oh well, he went to Wal-Mart for me and so it almost gets him off the hook. Here are our morning pictures of my three sweet students.

At school...
Ashlyn went into her first grade classroom, found her locker and gave her teacher a quick hug to start the day. She is ready to learn, it's a true passion that she has. I hope she always has this desire to read and to know.

Trey, typical boy - too cool for pictures. He is looking forward to 4th grade with a great teacher and several friends.

I got word yesterday that my three classes of only 18 students had jumped to 25. It kind of left me in a tizzy wondering if I had enough copies, I knew I did not have enough desks and I had been looking forward to small groups - for once. When I got to school this morning, I picked up my roll sheets and much to my amazement, our numbers had not changed. Whew. What a relief!
Here I am with a sweet student :0)

After school:

Ashlyn has been singing all afternoon, Trey is tired and Clayson had a good day and even had the energy to wax and clean out the boat.

All in all, our day was fantastic - probably the best first day I have had in nine years. I look forward to a great year - in a new building with old friends, making new friends and having a good time doing what I love to do.

Here is where we were last year: then and now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

R.I.P. Summertime '09

It's official, summertime '09 is over for me. Today it was a seven hour inservice with a one hour and fifteen minute lunch. (All in a winter-like atmosphere. Only at CISD August inservice can you wear your Crandall Pirate hooded sweatshirt and be completely comfortable.) As good as the message of building champions was, it was a long day of listening. I tried to stay away from facebook- only updating my status twice. I didn't text too much - but enough to schedule a weekend photo shoot. I didn't throw anything at anyone - not even my brother. (I didn't figure that tootsie rolls flying through the air would go as unnoticed as maybe the grapes did last year.) Instead, I listened intently until now - the last hour - and started writing this blog.

There's no easing back into the b-t-s (back-to-school) routine, it is on from now on. Trying to get the kids to bed early and up earlier will prove to be challenging - I have no doubt. Clayson will be okay, he is an early riser. Trey cannot function until he has eaten breakfast and Ashlyn gets up in time for lunch. And I've got six days to get into a solid b-t-s schedule with everyone in a good mood and the house running smoothly. Wish me luck...

Tomorrow, Martin's "magical kingdom of learning" is taking a road trip to Laser Quest for our campus meetings, lunch and laser tag. Thursday we have breakfast, district meetings and time in our classroom with brief campus meetings in the afternoon. Thursday night is meet the teacher night and Friday is a work day. Work day meaning names in books (120), names on lockers, seating arrangements made, first week lesson plans and copies to be run. I need some adrenaline to kick in so that I can fight the good fight and finish the course.

Although I hate to see summertime '09 ending, it is time yet for a new beginning. What's not to look forward to with cooler temperatures on the way and my favorite holidays approaching.

Yesterday my family went out to the lake for just a couple of hours between morning must-dos and evening football practice. I must say it was the perfect ending to the perfect summer.

Goodbye summertime '09. We will miss the lake, the swims, the beaches, the sleeping late, the lack of routine, the staying up late, the random meals, noon news, photo shoots and facebook. I now replace you with the classroom, 60 kids instead of three, a playground, an alarm clock, daily schedule, early bedtime, excellent lunches in the cafeteria, Kidd Kraddick in the Morning, evening and weekend photo shoots, school uniforms and FB at lunch.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

her first walk down the aisle

Ashlyn has been looking forward to her cousin, Jaymie's, wedding day since the day she got the sweet note in the mail asking her to be the flower girl. A frilly new dress, high heel shoes, shiny pearls, lacy socks and an adorable headband. It's every girl's wish list filled.
Rehearsal took place in Royse City and dinner followed at Primos.

The big day!

Ashlyn started asking about 12:30 when it would be time to go. Our plan was to leave at 4:30 so I gently told her I could not keep answering this for four hours. How long is four hours? 8 TV shows.

Preparations: Ms. Amanda added some ringlets to Ashlyn's curly hair. Aunt Dana added a tadbit of lipstick. She loved seeing herself all dolled up in the mirror.

Bridal attendants and their "getting ready" shirts:

For a brief moment, she was the star.

It was so precious to see Ashlyn come down the staircase with such grace and to drop the flower petals all the way down the aisle. She stood there throughout the whole wedding, listening intently. It was a beautiful ceremony and one that she will remember always. Seeing her walk down the aisle brought me such joy. It also reminded me of the importance of cherishing every moment, every age and every year as one day, she will be the bride.

Thank you Jaymie and Richard for letting Ashlyn be such a special part of your most special day!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Heaven bound

My dear friend, Sharon, has been at the hospital with her mom, "Granny", since Tuesday afternoon. It has been an emotional roller coaster as she has witnessed her mom at times incoherent, talking to people that have previously passed, had several family meetings with the doctor about decisions that have to be made based on her condition, her mom has heart attacks and doesn't know it and her blood pressure was fatally low. Wednesday night she had an arrythmia that they have to normally shock people to bring them back and Granny never knew it. In spite of it all, her mom is still talking, joking, eating and sleeping. Yesterday at 1:00 she was given two hours at the max. Last night she had Sharon go get her Taco Bell and then they even got told to settle down by the nurse because they were laughing and cutting up. This morning Sharon said that her mom slept like a rock last night. Her mansion in Heaven is not ready yet.

Sharon called me on Wednesday when her mom was at a very low point and told me that everyone (her and her siblings) had to be in agreement to "pull the plug" and she was the only one that wasn't - said she felt like she was killing her. I told Sharon that no matter what they decided, all of this is in God's time and He will take her when He is ready and the plug has nothing to do with it. So, if she didn't want to do this she didn't have to. She texted me later and decided to stand her ground with her decision. Throughout the day we kept in touch and her mom ended up pulling through this valley and came back to her senses. She seemed to be rallying.

Yesterday, Sharon called me at 8:45 and told me that her mom wanted to know if I would come and talk to her. Of course! I jumped out of bed, got ready, called Ginger (my boss) and told her that I didn't know what God was calling me to do here but I was going to do it and wouldn't make my meetings this afternoon. All the way to Rockwall I listened to "How Great is Our God", "I Can Only Imagine" and "Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord". I spent the entire trip praying, searching for words of comfort, thinking of scripture but deep down I knew that God was going to guide me through this experience and that I did not need to worry. But, I was scared. I will be the first to say that I am a sinner saved by grace. Nothing made me worthy to be called into this situation.

I got to the hospital, asked for ICU and was on my way. I found her mom's room and was surprised to see her sitting in the hospital bed and talking. I just did not know what to expect. Sharon and her sister left the room and left Granny and I there to talk. Granny was afraid she was going to Hell and this left her scared to die. I asked her if she had been saved and she said that she had but she didn't go to church. I tried to tell her that that did not matter, if she has Jesus in her heart, He never left. I asked her if she wanted to pray and she said she didn't know how - I told her I would pray with her. Holding her hand we thanked God for her life, her legacy, her kids and grandkids, for the time that she had left and that she would be given the peace that passes all understanding that only He can give. She was still so uncertain that she would be getting to go to Heaven so we read scripture, talked about how we are all sinners but are forgiven and that once you are saved, you are always saved. I asked her if she wanted to ask Jesus into her heart again (mainly for her peace of mind) and she did but she said again that she didn't know how to pray. I gently told her that this was not a prayer I could pray for her but I could tell her exactly what to say and she did. Right then she asked Jesus back into her heart. "You're set!" I told her. A big smile, a wave of relief and a peace came about her. It was an amazing experience and such a God thing. I have no words to describe this and I will never ever forget it.

A little background here: I had only met Sharon's mom one time at school. But, there were several times that we would prank call her and I would ask her if she had "seen my weedeater" - silly and fun. Granny always played along. So, when she was telling Sharon she was afraid she was going to Hell, Sharon offered to get the chaplin or other people and she said that they didn't know her, she wanted the weedeater woman. This is when I got the call that changed my life.

God is good. As long as I have been a Christian (25 years) never have I been brought face to face with Him like this. I am forever changed.

Thank you, Granny, for allowing me to be a part of this time of your life. When you do get to Heaven, please tell my Granny and my Papa hello for me.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Thirteen years ago today, Jared married his high school sweetheart....ME! (Can I consider him my high school sweetheart when we got together the last three and a half months of my senior year? What qualifies one as the "high school sweetheart"?)

I was a senior and Jared was a sophomore when we 'hooked up' so he spent his high school career dating me and I went on to college to get started on the life that I had always dreamed of having. There were three dreams: get married, have kids and be a teacher. And look where I am today. Triple blessed.

Here's the rewind of our marriage in fast forward.

* August 3, 1996: the big day. Jared never smiled once. It's a memory I'll never forget.

* August 3rd- 8th 1996: the honeymoon in Durango, Colorado. I cried every night, homesick.

* other things to note August 1996: we bought our first "house", a 30 ft. travel trailer

* September 1996: Jared left for Fire Academy for three months in Kilgore, Texas. I cried every night again.

* February 1997: moved into a rent house in Seagoville, fought the roaches (joy of a rent house), found out we were gonna have a baby.

* November 1997: Clayson was born :)

* December 1997: I graduated from college, Jared was hired by Ennis Fire Department

* January 1998: We moved to Ennis. More tears.
* July 1998: Found out we would be parents again- babies, 17 months apart

* Early 1999: moved into a rent house in Combine on a huge ranch - fought the snakes (joy of a rent house in the country), Jared was hired by Seagoville Fire Department.

* April 1999: Trey was born :)

* May 2001: I decided to quit babysitting and being a stay-at-home-mom and to become a teacher. I was hired by Crandall ISD to teach 5th grade in the fall.

* June 2001: moved to a rent house in Crandall.

* August 2001: I started my teaching career.

*August 2002: built a house and moved in - our first home - in Combine.

* October 2002: found out we were having baby #3 - wishing and hoping for that little girl

* June 2003: Ashlyn was born :)

* June 2005: took our first trip since our honeymoon - Cozumel - had such a good time and decided to work harder at our marriage that had become a little shaky (the truth hurts). What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.

* June 2006: back to Mexico - we had made such progress from the last trip

* March 2007: sold our first home, moved into Jared's parents house while we made decisions on what to do with the 5 acres that we had recently purchased

* June 2007: Cozumel with friends

* November 2007: moved into our "love shack" in the metal building while we continued to make decisions and come up with house plans

* March 2008: started building our current house

* August 2008: moved into the house that we built

* July 2009: bought a boat that has brought our family together for something we all enjoy

* TODAY: married 13 years. We spent the afternoon on the lake, stopping to eat at Texas Land & Cattle.

We have learned that marriage is compromising, allowing room for growth and change and lots of communication and prayer.

Jared married me straight out of high school (graduated in May, married in August). Many people thought we would never make it. We have been down and we have been out but we have come out of those valleys and now we are better than we have ever been. We have truly grown up together and are enjoying every bit of the life we have created.

Happy 13 years to us! Thanks to all who have supported us, guided us, prayed for us and showed us how to love.