Friday, December 28, 2007

85% Sure

Thank you to all of you who have expressed concern. I wanted to do a fairly quick update since things seem to change daily in this car ordeal. First and foremost I want to stress that I am trying to see the blessings in this and make good of it. I am mostly in one piece. :-) LaRae told me tonight that my description of the accident when I called her right after it happened made her laugh: "I was sitting there and all of a sudden my hair was messed up!" My bro-in-law said something of the same ilk when he was rear-ended: "I was driving and suddenly my rear-view mirror was gone, and my head really hurt!" Rear-endings are such a shocker...

Today the insurance adjuster came out to talk medical to me. I'm doing medical through my auto's PIP, so they (the guy who hit me's insurance) cut me a nice little check in addition to that. The adjuster took pictures of my car and stated "Wow! A Grand Am hit you? It looks like a truck hit you! He must have been going really fast!" Yep. He was thanks... did I forget to tell you he broke my car, sir? :-) Anyways, he then asked if I had a place I wanted to go to get the repairs done! I said, "seriously? They're going to fix that?!" (Not to mention that it will NEVER drive the same after this, and it will have this glaring accident on its record when I go to resale it in a year or so.) He said he could fill out a worksheet to see if it's totalled. When he figured in the damage to the driver's seat, it totaled my car on paper. Now his deal is to work on the medical, set me up with a rental car, and help me get my car to the shop. He scratched the info he had given me on what shop to take the car to and had me leave it in my garage. He's referring my claim to the total loss department to have them officially total it. He said he's "85% sure" they'll total it. However, he also told me that the total loss department "sucks," so it could take a week to a month. He told me not to expect to hear from them until next week though.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, he very kindly set me up with a rental car. I am now driving a 2006 PT Cruiser. It's such a cool car! Want to know the best feature (keep in mind mine was a 1999 Cavalier with no power locks or windows)? The key has buttons on it to lock and unlock the doors! How fun is that?! I will admit thought - this car is like a guy you'll date for fun on the weekends but who just isn't marriage material. I like the car. It's fun to drive, but it's not what I want in a permanent car for me. :-) It's nice to have a good car for the month I'll be without one though. I was afraid I'd get a really crappy tiny car (not much different than my own)!

I also went to the chiropractor today. She took x-rays and did an adjustment. I've never been to a chiropractor before, so I must say I was pleasantly surprised. It didn't magically fix me, but I do feel a little bit better. I can see how it's going to help in the long run. By the way official diagnosis is whip-lash... soft tissue damage. Yep.

I'm going to end this post with a quick kudos to the companies who have really helped me and done their jobs well. I know that these people were just doing they job and treating me like any other customer, but the fact that they all did it kindly and efficiently shows what great training their employees have. Nationwide (the guy's insurance) has really helped me a ton thus far. They have been kind, sympathetic, and most importantly - FAST. I'm still waiting to deal with the total loss department, but so far, I'm impressed. They've really seemed to act in my best interests. Enterprise car rentals has also been great. They called to confirm the car rental request as soon as the adjuster put it in, and they helped me quickly when I got there. They were ready to pick me up if need be to get me to the rental car, and when we got to the car, the agent actually got in and pointed out some things on the car that were tricky -- like where in the world the window controls were (middle of the front dash...weird, eh?). GEICO is my car insurance and again they were great and helpful when I called about my PIP, so I could go to the doctor. They had the claim ready for me to go to the doctor by my appointment today. The speed these insurance companies have moved with thus far has been great. Finally Dr. Suzan Smith's office has been great. She's the chiropractor. They know LaRae, but they were really kind to me, and they got me in quick to see them. I'm pumped to have a new doctor that I actually like. :-)

I'll keep you posted with the car-being-totalled news, but for now I'm just healing as I enjoy my fancy rental car and surf the net for a new car. Not for sure I'll get to get a new car, but it's always fun to look. :-) G'night ya'll!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Crash into Me

I'd post pictures of this, but I don't have the link at home to put the pictures on my computer.

So today I decided to go have lunch with Julie. Since I wasn't in a huge hurry, I took time to get gas on the way and try a different route to I-35 to scope out for work. Little did I know that bit of time would really put me in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was listening to my "Celtic Woman" CD and trying to get on the 35 service road (at Corporate) when the car in the left lane on the service road decided to get in the lane I wanted in (the right lane). So I briefly took my foot off the brake and put it back when I realized it wasn't safe to pull out. Next thing I know my body is flailing about in my car, my hair is flying every which way, and my headband and cell phone have flown goodness knows where. I got rear ended real real hard. Honestly I thought the guy on the service road would then crash into me, and I would die...thankfully that didn't happen. The guy who hit me motioned for me to follow him, so we went to exchange info. Being thoughtful, I quickly called Julie to tell her I'd be late for lunch! Can we say "Joanna was in SHOCK"!? Yes, in my shock I actually recall thinking, maybe that didn't really mess my car up much... riiiiiight....

The damage to Frodo, yes my car has a name, was great. The trunk is smashed in (won't open), the bumper is ruined, the right tail-light is somewhere on the service road still, the right back side panel has buckled, and get this -- the driver's seat is broken. Yep, the force he hit me with caused my body to slam back and forth that hard! I really felt a bit like a ragdoll. When I got back in my car I realized the seat back was totally reclined. Driving to Julie's (after the said exchange of info), I noticed my feet didn't quite reach the pedals. I thought that was due to the seat being laid back. Nope - I think I locked my knees (something we're always told not to do in band camp, so it's a wonder I did it now) and actually slammed my seat back a couple of inches! So yeah, the seat is broken. I told the guy's insurance it's not drivable since that can't be very safe. Tomorrow morning the insurance adjustor is coming to talk to me about it all and to see the car. I've got to see a doctor tomorrow as well because I'm in quite a bit of pain and pretty stiff in the neck and shoulders.

Big question: will they total my car? If so, how much will they give me? I have a hard time believing they're going to fix all of the above issues on a 1999 Chevy Cavalier cheaper than they can just pay it out. I've already been looking online at cars. If I have to get a new one, and I get it before December is over, I can get a year end deal. I am sooooo desiring a Nissan Murano, but unless it's an amazing deal, I can't afford that. So my back ups are a Honda CR-V or a Ford Escape. Both pretty, both nice... we'll see.

I've never been in a car accident before. I don't ever want to be in one again, but I must say, I have to be one of the nicest people to get in a wreck with. The poor guy kept apologizing, and I kept saying, "it's ok, accidents happen... it will all work out." See. Isn't that nice? :-) Really though this is another of those "firsts" in the adult world that I have to deal with on my own. Mom said she wished she was here to hug me and help me... maybe it's best I figure this out on my own (for the most part) -- it will probably help me be more independent in the long run. Please pray it does all work out and that the soreness goes away and thank God I'm ok for the most part.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Hoopla!

Wade tagged me, so here I am finally updating with 12 random things about Christmas (and me). Yes, the timestamp on this blog entry is correct. I took a 3+ hour nap this afternoon and thus threw off my sleep schedule for yet another week. I figure if I'm awake, I should try to be productive. Oh yeah, I have been productive -- I finished making all my Christmas presents for the math department...
1. I love to decorate for Christmas. In fact I started the day before Thanksgiving this year! I have TWO Christmas trees and both sparkle a lot.

2. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. Sometimes I wonder if it's partially because of my love of glitter. EVERYTHING sparkles during the Christmas season... and everyone thinks that's ok. :-)

3. I believed in Santa (should this have a spoiler alert?) until at least 4th grade when Katie Jameson disdainfully asked me in during a chorus rehearsal if I "really still believed?" I said no but was lying.

4. I'll never forget the follow up to Katie ruining Christmas when I went to my mom and proudly proclaimed, "I know Santa's NOT real!" She calmly told me how sad that was because if I didn't believe, there would be no presents because those all came from Santa. Apparently a lot of time and energy was put into not spoiling Santa for the baby of the Crawford family. :-) I love that!

5. I have taken Sprinkles to see Santa. I did so with my head held high as if it was the most normal thing to do in the world. I mean, come on, don't all of you take your pets to the mall to see Santa?! I think the highlight of the trip was watching the Boxer puppy (huge puppy) ahead of us knock Santa's hat and glasses across the mall! ( I also have a Santa hat and elf costume for Sprinkles. So funny to see him in. I'll try to post pictures soon. If you live in my home, you must be in the Christmas spirit!)

6. A family tradition used to be that we'd all open our gifts from Michigan (Mom's family lives in Michigan) on Christmas Eve. One year Mom told everyone LaRae and I needed socks...that was about all we got that year. Looking back at the pictures you can tell we're "sooo happy" about the million pairs of socks!

7. I have an uncanny ability to tell what is behind the wrapping of ANY present. Let me feel it, and I can tell you what it is. This used to irritate my mother so badly because I'd tell them what the present was before I opened it (down to the movie or CD title). I still am not allowed to touch presents before Christmas morning...or even see them wrapped! There have been a couple of stumpers over the years like the Harry Potter print LaRae and Randy gave me. 4th grade I kept saying a present for LaRae and I was a idea why I thought we'd get one, but I was right. :-) (Thus it began!)

8. I love getting my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving every year. It's a being organized pride thing. I mostly have done so this year.

9. Every other year I decide to make gifts for friends or co-workers. After all of the work, the gifts are always cool, but the next year I always get lazy and just purchase something. :-) This year is one of those years. I made pens for the math department this year with school colored flowers on them. I'm baking for most everyone else. Ask me what a great idea this was 10 dozen pizzelle cookies later! Reminds me of a couple years ago when I helped LaRae bake for all her friends. The cookie press didn't work, and everything took way longer than planned... we laughed a lot. :-)

10. I'd tell you about the best present I've gotten, but there have been so many great things, so I'll tell you about the best gift giver - hands down it's LaRae. Mom and Dad usually get me cool stuff (the old school Nintendo 64 last year was a surprise and rocked), but LaRae typically stays away from my list and gets me something she'll know I'll love like a huge framed print of the cover of a Harry Potter book or a baker's rack. It's got to be something about our freaky sister-sense. She just knows me better than anyone.

11. The best gift I've given (and I think I've given some cool ones over the years) -- I'm gonna go with the dress up kit I gave Katelyn last year. I didn't want to buy one, so I painted an old hard-sided suitcase. Then I filled it with fun clothing I found at Goodwill plus some dress up clothing I had as a child. I've been adding to it some, and when Grandma passed away Mom brought Katelyn some gloves and a purse that were Grandma's to add to the kit. I think it's something that will change more and more as she grows, but it's heartfelt and something you can't buy in a store.

12. This is my first Christmas without my parents. The break is too short, and I am too broke to travel, so I'm staying in Texas to relax. I'll be with LaRae, Randy, and the kids for Christmas Day, but I fear the difference I'll feel that day.

Alright. I'm going to tag Laura, Paul, and LaRae. :-) You all read my blog (eventually), so I'll let you find that you've been tagged naturally. (Mostly bc I don't want to go comment on all of your blogs bc I'm lazy right now...)

Here are the rules:
1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas.
2. Please refer to it as a 'hoopla' and not the dreaded 'm'-word.
3. You have to specifically tag people when you're done. None of this "if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged" stuff is allowed...then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you -- but the more, the merrier to get this 'hoopla' circulating through the blogosphere.
4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I'd like to get as many people involved as possible. (Was this quick enough, Wade? ha ha!)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Searching for Joanna, Part II

It's been long in coming, but I thought I'd do another posting of phrases people have typed into a search engine to make it to my blog. I always enjoy reading these. :-)I'm listing them by category this time!

1. math Christmas shirts -- do we have different shirts for Christmas?
2. I need words for Christmas for my school -- is this a plea of desperation for a HW problem?
3. Christmas math comics -- again, are there special math ones?
4. CHRISTMAS FOR HIGH SCHOOL MATH -- yes, it was in all caps on the search

5. when ducks attack -- more people than me have this issue?!
6. god rubber duck pictures -- no offense, but God's not a rubber duck
7. no of ducks math -- I don't get it

Contact Advice
8. contact overwear sick -- yes, this makes your eyes sick
9. eye drops and contact overwear -- vigamoxx burns like heck by the way!

Random Animals
10. the other sister swan costume -- nope, don't own one of these
11. realistic gorilla suit -- sorry not one of these either
12. gorilla scares -- ah yes, but who did he scare?

Random ... just Random
13. the saying making an honest woman when getting married -- you really don't know where this comes from???
14. making message to a woman -- what message would you like to make?
15. churchofchristsingles -- yes, we go by this name all as one word...
16. FAR CRY inferno 3 elevator stuck -- I'm sure this has meaning to someone
17. right to shoes -- we all have a right to shoes, single women more than others though...
18. who invented icing -- I've actually tried to find the answer to this
19. changing a boy’s diaper -- I got nothing here as I've only changed Joshua twice for fear that he'll pee on me
20. message-to-anyone-who-likes-to-fwd -- who teaches you people how to search properly?!

Teacher Related
21. get well soon teacher -- thanks! I needed those well wishes a week ago
22. good happy birthday letter to a teacher -- we like happy birthday wishes that most everyone else like; teaching doesn't change that!
23. teacher making out -- excuse me?! Who looks for this, and when they do, what are they expecting to find?
24. rubber duck teacher -- I'm sorry I don't teach rubber ducks; in fact I was completely unaware they were in need of a teacher
25. teacher of the knee -- again, something I don't teach... and didn't realize needed a teacher
26. teacher bad at maths -- yes well you're bad at spellingS
27. will I like being a math teacher -- ohm ohm, oh magic 8 ball called Google.... give me my answer please... ohm ohhmmmm.
28. being a high school math teacher -- like "the state of"?
29. pictures of math teacher -- again, we look like most everyone else
30. math teacher blog -- was not impressed people found me this way
31. 1st year math teacher salary -- try checking the school district's website; sadly math teachers get paid the same as other teachers
32. fun in high school math class -- really? where? :-)
33. math teachers burnout -- it's not just math teachers...

OK, so most of these weren't as good as previous ones, but there were some real gems in there. Mostly I look at how people found me and think, "wow that was luck" because mostly I look at what they typed into the search bar and wonder what they were really thinking they were looking for and who in the world taught them a good way to search! :-) Hope you're all having a lovely December.

Coming soon: Adventures in Joanna-land where our brave heroine conquers the world of keys locked in cars with her faithful friend Paul. :-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


My friend, Laura, tagged me with this MEME. The instructions were to come up with words using the letters of my middle name that describe me. Now, Laura, it's a real kudos to you that I'm even attempting to do this today since I've lost my voice and feel like crud...I think the later is the reason why I keep fighting the urder to use words like lame, homely, and ERG! :-) Seriously a student today asked me what I had, and I was able to squeak out, "I dunno...the bird flu?".
I don't know why I really like this picture, but it's one that I got with the timer while I was trying to get a face on shot of me and Sprinkles. Now that I took time to download pictures onto my laptop, we should have my usual picture-ful posts again. :-)

Knowledgeable -- at least about some things (namely math, calculators, and shih-tzus)
Artistic -- if you've seen my cakes, my classroom, my home, most anything I lay my hands on...
Twinkly -- lame, I know, but I'm using it to describe my obsession with glitter and all things that sparkle
Heartfelt -- I speak from the heart, and I feel things deeply
Literary -- so not using it right, but it represents that I'm intelligent, book-learned, and a lover of literature
Enigmatic -- bear with me on this one. Some friends say I'm hard to read; I think this is a more recent change in my personality and demenor
Empathetic -- I'm always worried about hurting someone's feelings unintentionally and have a knack for knowing how others are feeling
Nerd -- I couldn't come up with anything else, and I am a proud math lover, so yep, that makes me a nerd... oh yeah, I'm also a lover of promptness and organization. :-)

OK, I did it! Hurray! Now, I’m supposed to tag as many people as there are letters in my middle name…holy haystacks, that's 8 people! I'm going to tag Joan, LaRae, Paul, Jennifer (yes, Paul's wife -- let's see if she'll do it in my comments part), Kelly, Wade, Janell or Jody (but you guys can do it with the twins middle names since that's what your blog is about), and Eric. I know for some of you that eliminates a lot of people to tag, so if you don't tag anyone, I'm all good with that. :-)

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's Time

I've been holding off on updating my blog because I just wasn't ready to face what I said I'd post, but I knew I needed to do this. I knew especially after Joshua's baby dedication yesterday. A picture of Joshua and Grandma came up and totally surprised me. I completely broke down. I think I've tried to play strong this whole time, but I really miss Grandma.

I'm going to post what I said at my grandmother's funeral. I need to preface this with a few things. Aside from the 2 ministers, I was the only other person who formally spoke. Before I got up to speak, they sang the song Beautiful Isle of Somewhere and read a poem my grandma had picked out before she passed on. My resolution to not cry until after I spoke went out the window, and I lost it. When I got up to speak, I was crying so hard I couldn't really get any words out... I know it was hard for everyone there to see a family member like that, and that was soooo far from what I wanted to happen. I finally got myself under control; however, I couldn't see my notes through my tears, so for the first time in my life, I gave a speech without being able to see more than the first line of each paragraph, so this isn't exactly what I said -- God blessed me with eloquent words there that I don't think I'll recreate on this blog, but here goes:

(Through tears) Grandma would laugh at me right now because when I cry I "spurt" tears, and you can see I've already gotten them on my shirt today! I'm Joanna, Lucile's granddaughter and Kathy's daughter. My mom called me on Saturday night to tell me that Grandma had requested that I speak here when the day came. I am honored to get to share some of my special memories with you. As I share them, please take this time to remember how special my Grandma was to you.

I grew up in Georgia. In my early years, we would visit Michigan about once or twice a year. It wasn't until late elementary school that my special relationship with Grandma began. It was at that time that she started making her yearly visits to Georgia to stay for a few months at a time. You know, many of you here can probably say that you shared a bedroom with a sibling -- well, I shared mine with my Grandma! She slept on my twin bed, and I slept on a cot. When I'd have a nightmare, she's scoot over in that tiny bed to make room for me to sleep with her. I think she welcomed the extra time to be close to me.

Grandma was so patient and such a good teacher. She taught me Skip-Bo and Rummikub. She even looked the other way when I cheated -- which I did a lot! We would play for hours. She taught me how to crochet. I remember working on an afghan and making a mistake midway through. I laid it down and came back later and it was perfect again! The mistake was miraculously gone! She had taken it apart and fixed it for me. She taught me that day that quality means that sometimes you have to take time to go back and fix your mistakes before you can move on.

Grandma was so brave! She took many a car ride with me when I was learning to drive. Mom would be hanging on to the door handle in the front seat and Grandma would just be laughing like crazy in the back seat, having a grand time! She just liked to be with me and take everything as it came. This is the woman who when a dog was chasing my sister, LaRae, at the bus stop, chased the dog away with a broom while LaRae climbed into the bed of Grandpa's truck! LaRae was scared the dog would bite her, and it probably would have, but it was no match for my brave Grandma!

For years she was what I affectionately called my partner in crime. She would share my secrets and we had our own private jokes. We would go shopping together and she'd never tell anyone when I got lost coming home. That happened a lot too -- there were times we didn't know if we'd get home! She was just along for the ride, to be with me where ever life took us.

Later I had to remember all of her patience teaching me as I taught her how to use the computer. She had to have it all written down, so I would pain-stakingly write down all of the directions for her. She would call with these weird questions; she'd made her computer do this or that that no one else could make a computer do! In the end though, it was all worth it because she kept up with me through college using email. She would get online and read my blog when no one else in my family really did -- she would though, and she'd let me know when I needed to shape up! She was an amazing Christian woman and wanted nothing more for me than for me to always let my light shine. I hope I can live up to the Christian example she set for me.

Grandma taught me to be stubborn when necessary but quiet other times. When she put her mind to it, there was no changing it. You couldn't make her do something she didn't want to do. She was so strong!

"Good enough for government work" and "might as well, can't dance" were two phrases I heard her say so many times. I thought they were such weird, silly phrases, but now I find myself saying them in my classroom to my students. When they laugh and ask what they mean, I get to tell them all about my wonderful Grandma.

I could go on and on, but I won't. All of us have similar stories and memories to share, and I hope you all take time today and in the future to share them with each other. Right now I rejoice that Grandma is in Heaven, where she's wanted to be for so long -- without pain. I'm sure that she is using the voice that has been returned to her to sing praises with the saints and to talk with our Savior.

Thank you for coming.

Thankfully by the end of this, my voice had gotten stronger. God gave me the strength to do what I had planned -- pay tribute to the memory of my Grandma and to take time to get the mourners to smile and laugh about those memories. It's what Grandma would have wanted -- for us to remember and smile through our tears.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beyond Words

Joanna is beyond words. That's what my "status" on says right now.

I got the call today that my grandmother (my mom's mother who lived in Michigan) passed away this morning. LaRae and I will be in Michigan (and travelling) Monday through Wednesday. Grandma had Lou Gehrig's Disease, but ironically it was a fall from her lift chair that caused her death. The shock my family has felt at this news is quite immense. It's not how we expected this to happen.

Five years ago this November, my Daddy Ray (my father's father) passed away. I was asked to speak at his funeral. Now almost 5 years later my mother has informed me that my grandmother specifically requested that I speak at her funeral. I am honored and am already forming my speech (is it a speech?) as I sit here. So many good memories of my grandmother are coming to mind that I want, no I need, to share. I'm going to wait to talk about her on here until I get back from Michigan. I think it would be best to simply post what I say at the funeral as a tribute to her. I helped teach her how to use the computer - it seems fitting to post something online in her memory.

Please keep us in your prayers.

I have an inexplicable desire to read Harry Potter.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I Burned My Thumb

Yes, that's right, I burned my thumb with steam. And it hurts. A lot. A really really lot. :-) I'm done whining now. Really I am... except it hurts.... ;-)

LaRae and I spent 5 hours cooking this afternoon. We made enough food to last her family 2 weeks and me for about a month of lunches and dinners. Basically we decided (separately but at the same time bc we think alike all freaky like that) that we're eating out too much thus wasting money and eating things that are really bad for us, so we need to cook at home more. But we're both really busy, and who has time to cook during the weekdays? So we decided (again separately but at the same time) that we need to cook for a week or so at a time and put it all in the fridge or freezer to use as needed. So last night we grocery shopped and for all 9 recipes we ended up making it only cost us about $60 each. Can you believe it!? Cooking is sooooo cheap! Wanna know what we made? Not really? Oh well, I'm telling you anyways! All are low fat and healthy -- especially after we substituted some ingredients for more whole grain ones:
1. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake -- this is what i burned my thumb on
2. Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta Pesto -- really Mickey and Pals Pasta
3. Chicken Spaghetti -- oh yeah this is homemade spaghetti sauce
4. Hectic Day Casserole -- think noodles, tomatoes, beef, and spices
5. Salsa Meatloaf -- salsa on top and throughout instead of ketchup
6. Chili
7. Bean and Sausage Chowder
8. Chicken Cordon Bleu -- totally an experience to make
9. Mexican Chicken Casserole -- I fear it will burn out the inside of my mouth...
Wow when I list it all that's a lot of chicken, but they're all really yummy. Makes eating so much easier and better for me. I got some steamer bags of green beans, some carrots, and some salad to have with it all. Healthy eating here I come.

LaRae and I are both dead tired from all the cooking though. I think next time we might only tackle 5 or 6 dishes tops. These will last a while, but we kept running out of pots, so we could only cook a bit and then clean and cook a bit and then clean! :-)

It's just past 9, so I think I'll go ahead and get in bed. I have some grading to do at school in the morning as well as a conference at 9 am, so I need to be able to get up early.

Oh yeah, if you haven't seen it yet, I had my perm taken out by getting a relaxer on my hair. It is sooooo straight, and I really like it. I never thought it could be this straight with so little effort. I can actually let it air dry without it looking all frizzy. It's a new Joanna. :-)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

When we last heard from Joanna...

... she was bored as anything. Since then she, um well, is still bored. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's right, the boredom NEVER ends! :-)

No really, want to hear my lame-ish weekend thus far? Actually it wasn't all lame. Last night I went to bed at 8 pm. Look I'm a school teacher; I get up early! I was tired! Sheesh quit judging... I could have had a date if I wanted one! But I didn't. We won't go there. Anyways, because of the early to bed thing, I had a huge early to rise moment this morning at 7:30. Yes, I got up at 7:30 and did not go back to sleep or take a nap today. Total out of body experience. I did lay about watching TV -- see if I hadn't have woken up early I never would have happened across the A&E Biography on Dolly Parton, and since she's my heroine that would have been a cryin' shame! I was so pumped to get to watch that; good start to the day!

I actually took a shower and was out of the house by 10 am. It's ok, you can sit there in shock for a moment at the absurdity of the earliness of my morning! I went and made an appointment to get the perm taken out of my hair (it's falling out and I'd like to go straight for a while -- straight haired, I'm already straight...). Then I went on what became the great odyssey for tempra paint! (Cue echoing movie voice man) On a journey unlike any other, one brave school teacher sets out to find enough tempra paint to create a jungle in a high school hall way! Going above and beyond the call of duty, she will go all across 3 cities and through 7 stores to find the paint to end all paint... (Ok cut echoing movie voice man, I'm struggling to write like that!) To find enough paint (powdered or otherwise) in the right colors, I had to go to (in this order) Michael's of Lewisville, Joann's, Garden Ridge, Mardel, Michael's of Lewisville, WalMart, Teacher Tools, and Michael's of Plano. Either the store didn't have all the colors I needed, the paint type I needed, or both. I had the school's credit card, so I wanted to make one purchase and be done. It took 5 hours (granted I had lunch with Paul and Jennifer in that time -- thanks for meeting me ya'll). End of story: I have the paint we need to transform the hallway from the office to the cafeteria into a phenomenal jungle. I'll post pictures if it turns out well.

I've also been enjoying my share of little projects today. In an effort to save power, I decided to get a couple of night lights for the bathroom (where Sprinkles stays when I'm out), so I wouldn't have to leave the lights over the sink on. The lights actually seem to put off a bit of heat... Turns out two night lights (even in front of a huge mirror) don't put off enough light to light the room enough to not totally throw off his internal clock. I'd leave it dark, but he'll end up sleeping in the day and not at night, and that's just not worth it. Anyone else have any other ideas to not have to turn on the huge row of lights? Please share!

I have painted pink glitter paint on a bell I bought for my classroom to ring when it gets too noisy. This occurs very rarely this year, but I think this will be more pleasant than my usual shout of "oi!" or "ya'll"! What else? I'm about to start making the Christmas presents for my colleagues at work, or I'm going to continue crocheting my afghan... or maybe I'll read, but they all sound rather productive, right? I've changed my school and home keys over to new key chains and put all of my discount cards and library cards onto a key chain all their own. (Helps to hand the card over to people to hand them a simple ring of cards rather than with keys attached.) I have walked Sprinkles quite a bit and come up with more Christmas present ideas.

Ok, now I'm stretching to make my day sound productive. Truth is today I realized I don't have many "call them and go out to do stuff" friends out here in TX. I love the people I work with and the people I go to church with, but most of them are married and/or have kids, and that's something that keeps them from just going out with me. This didn't really bother me until I pretty much quit dating Kris (oh yeah, did I mention I've been dating someone since July? ha! Kept that under my hat fairly well, eh?). Having someone to go out with whenever and then not is a bit hard.

Oooooh want to hear another blessing in my life? I had my observation by my department head this week and go an amazing evaluation from her. The lesson I was teaching was one that always gives me fits, and I dread it because I know the kids will have a hard time with it, but she had sooooo many good things to say and really nothing much that was bad. It's always nice to feel like you're doing your job right. It was really nice this time because I've been feeling great about my job this year, so getting that affirmation that it's great and I'm going it right is nice. :-) On that happy note, I need to go. Sprinkles has curled up on a pillow on the floor and keeps looking at me as if to say, "cuddle with me!" Have a good night ya'll!

Hm -- guess my day wasn't sooooo boring after all -- just mildly lonely. Not a bad thing.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Lately it's been very rare for me to be out and out bored. With work going full tilt and on and off dating someone and going out with friends, who has time to be bored? Me... right now. :-) Not just bored but like wandering the apartment with no motivation to do anything bored. I have papers to grade, but I'm looking for something fun to do. I've contacted about all of my "go do something with" friends to see if anyone will go to IKEA tomorrow with me (I have the day off), but no luck. I think I'll get up and go alone in the morning maybe. I actually have some things I need there.

So back to bored. Yes, I have papers to grade. Yes, I've taken a nap and watched more TV than I need to. The dog is bored. He's wandering looking for something to do. Tiring him out with fetch may take 15 minutes tops. Ah the joys of a tiny dog. :-) Maybe I'll take him for a walk. I think we both need some fresh air. Maybe I'll go to WalMart. I think there was something I needed there.

HOLD THE PHONE! Ever have a moment where God just swoops into your life and shows Himself? This is small, but I just got a call from Joan, a friend from the site (can I just call it "the site" now and you know which one??), and on a whim I asked her to go to IKEA with me tomorrow. She's never been (I so heart IKEA virgins!), and so depending on when her job interview is tomorrow we're going to go to IKEA together. Hurray! Here I am feeling all alone and sorry for myself and God sends me a friend to spend time with. I know it's small, but isn't there a book about God being in the small stuff? :-)

Anyways, I'm still bored tonight, but I do think I'll go to WalMart and take the dog for a walk and in general... move about. Hope you're all having a blessed Sunday, and for those of you lucky enough to get tomorrow off -- have fun!

Monday, September 24, 2007


I know I know, it's been forever since I updated. I've been busy, and I'm most of what's going on I refuse to put out there in cyberspace, so yeah... my bad. :-)

Over the past couple of months I've started to feel really blessed. School is really great, and while I'm not seeing anyone seriously, I am realizing my life is really phenomenal. In fact, I'm pretty happy right now. I just want to take a few minutes to tell you why I'm blessed:

1. My sister, LaRae. She offered to come slap someone who made me cry (ok I know she really wouldn't but it was a nice thought!) and listened to me cry for half an hour on the phone the other day. That's love.

2. Katelyn and Joshua. What amazing little kiddos! Katelyn ran after me going into lunch the other day calling, "hey don't forget about me, little Katelyn" as she grabbed my hand to go to inside. Joshua fell asleep on my shoulder during the amazing singing at church yesterday. I might not have children of my own, but I have children I love dearly and who love me.

3. My bro-in-law, Randy. He always fields the weird calls from me: me crying (but not from being physically hurt) or me being locked out of my garage, and he always deals with it so nicely. Always willing to pick me up when the garage holds my car hostage or change a light bulb. Never had a brother until him, and I'm glad he's the one I got.

4. My parent. They listen to stories about school even when they are bored of them. They give me advice when I do and don't want it, and it's always good advice. They love me when I go insane, and they make me feel like I really can make it in life.

5. My job. It's great right now! Seriously, I'm not lying! I have a great group of kids, and I am ahead on my work most of the time. The stress levels are down, and I'm able to breath. 3rd year really is sooooo much better than the first two. Too bad the first couple of years tends to scare teachers away.

6. My friends. Work, church, website friends... they're all really cool. I can't tell you how many times I have leaned on my friends and they on me. I'm not going to name names but I love my friends and am so thankful for all of them.

7. Perspective. I think the past couple of months have marked a real change in my perspective on a lot of things, life in general included. I decided I could continue to go around looking to the negative side or I could be positive and enjoy life and what it throws at me. Granted I never want to be one of those fakely happy people (I know you've all got one you can think of right now), but I do want to truly have joy. I have been able to see the positive side of so many things lately -- even through tears, and for that I am truly grateful. It's like coming up for air when I've been drowning for so long. It changes the way my classroom feels and the way the kids respond to me. It changes my relationships. It changes how often I fall into my depression. Yes, I still have bad days, but it's so different now. If only others could see it...

8. SPRINKLES! How could I forget my baby? He's been so cuddly lately. I think he misses me while I'm at work. What a nice feeling to have someone love me and want to be with me no matter what.

So I could continue. I really could, but I've got stuff to do, so I won't. Just know my absence from my blog, from facebook, from online in general isn't because I'm stressed or unhappy or so busy I can't see straight, it's because I'm happy and I'm out enjoying life. Yes, I'm busy as I do so, but isn't that just wonderful? :-)

Monday, September 10, 2007

They're Coming!

Tonight's open house. I officially have about an hour until I have to entertain parents. I don't mind it. In fact, I really do enjoy open house -- all these lovely people coming to meet me. All these lovely people I'm making connections with so that when their kid stops doing his/her work, I have an ally. Goodness. Pure goodness. Well except for the garlic bread I ate a bit ago -- should have rethought that one....

Anyways, what a blog entry without hearing about the latest way my eye has decided to betray me? Today I noticed my vision was blurry in my right eye. That's a lie. I'm starting with a lie! I really noticed it about 2 weeks ago, but I kept taking out my contacts and washing them and trying to ignore it as I squinted through notes, so I could see the white board from the back of the room! But most recently I had my contacts out for about 4 days, and this morning I put a fresh pair in. Did NOT help. By lunch today I had a headache and was ready to scream. Finally found an eye doctor, waged war with the receptionist once I got there (she thought my blurry vision was bc my prescription changed.... nope), and got in to see a doctor. It's GPC. Allergy related gunk that will have my contacts out for a week (that's attractive, eh?) and drops in my eyes. Thankfully not Vigamox (bc we all know that burns like heck)! But drops and a follow up on Monday. My eyes hate me.

Know what else hates me? Technology. Seriously this smart board in my room is the bane of my existence right now, and in all honesty, it's really not that smart! Argh! I think my breaking point was this afternoon. It worked FINALLY this morning, and as I taught I could see the interference (which was the original issue) sort of creeping across the board until it totally took over and crashed my computer. Oh yeah CRASHED... in the middle of notes. Now you'd think the kids would take advantage of this interruption, but no I stopped all thoughts of chatting while I got the technology up by stomping my foot and literally screaming in frustration! That's right, I let out a good yell/growl and then laughed bc what else can you do??? It's now hanging by a few hooks -- ready to fall on me during my first class of parents I'm sure. That's how smart it is. It knows the best possible time to crash -- literally.

I better be off. Oh yeah the bad news from last post: Terry sold the comic book shop. So sad! Kris is staying on as manager, and the new guy, Neil, seems really nice, but it won't be the same. You could always tell it was a dream of Terry's to have this shop. The atmosphere was more fun with him in the shop. Granted he says he's now going to be around to actually buy comics, and he seems much happier now that it's sold. I know it's for his family and bc his other job is taking a lot of time... but it will always be "Terry's" to me. (Yes Paul, I stole that from you....)

Wish I had more of interest to say, but what is there to say when I'm spending 10 + hours at work daily??? I'm cutting back next week. I'm also going back to the gym next week. I'm getting all these papers and such under control finally. One more grant to write and I should be golden... for a while.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Death and The Office

OK what do you want to hear about first: my near-death experience last night or my thoughts on The Office? Death? OK, death it is.

I went over to Amanda and Roper's house for dinner last night (yummy by the way!) and on the way home it was dark and raining a bit. I was coming up 3040 from Flower Mound and was almost to the WalMart. That light right before WalMart (the one you turn left at to go on Business 121) has cars that turn right onto 3040 from it. Well one genius decided it would be silly to notice the person with their lights on going 45 in the right lane and turned out in front of me just as I was going through the light. I jerked the wheel to the left to avoid him, blared my horn, called out to God, and fishtailed into the middle and left lanes. Thankfully the people behind me were also paying attention, and they slowed to miss me. Needless to say, I was freaked out by the end of it. I could have died. That would not have been a pretty accident. The man who almost took me out was going way too fast to be making that right turn. I didn't see him slow at all. Thank God, literally, I am ok. That was one of the scariest almost accidents I've had in a long time.

On to more important things though, right? Last night at Amanda's John (a coworker) came over happily exclaiming that he had bought season 3 of The Office. Most of you know by now I don't watch that show, and I haven't really been interested in watching it. But to be polite and humor him and everyone else, I sat down to watch it. 5(?) episodes later I'm hooked! Soooo funny! Such good comic relief for some stuff going on in my life right now. How did I ignore Andrew and Beri all this time when they talked about how funny it is? Anyone have seasons 1 - 3 on DVD that I can borrow? I can't believe how much I laughed! By the end of the night, to much laughter, I ended up quoting one of the episodes. Now if only life at work could really be that funny....

Welp, it's time to put my nose back to the grindstone. (Isn't that the correct phrase?) My mind is split right now btwn work and elsewhere, so it's taking me longer to get some tasks done at school. I put in an 11 hour day yesterday, and today's shaping up to be a 10.5 hour one most likely. I've got to get my head back in this.`

Sunday, September 02, 2007

WAIT! Did my summer just end?!

Seriously, I've been a bit shell-shocked that my summer is over. It's not that I'm not in the swing of things again at school. It's more that I'm back in the swing of things at school, and I've made the transition shockingly well! School is going great! A+ group of kiddos to work with. First test starts on Tuesday, so we've been FLYING through material. Between all the new technology in my classroom (more is coming!), family being in town starting last Wednesday night, and the curriculum moving so fast, I haven't had a spare moment to sit down much less to write a blog entry. Things are good.

One thing is not so good, but it's not my announcement to make, so I'll address it sometime after Wednesday. Yes Paul, it has to do with comics. No Paul, not telling until we get comics on Wednesday.

Love life is slowing down (not by choice - per usual), and sleep deprivation is starting to kick in. The naps in the afternoon are helping though. Granted that means all I do is sleep, work, and eat. Not the life I love. Things are good though.

Mom, Dad, and Nana are in town. I bought curtains for my living room and bedroom at IKEA tonight, so we'll be hanging those tomorrow. I also picked out my Christmas present -- a headboard and footboard for my bed. Now if December can only get here. lol. I heart IKEA. Things are good.

Hm...what else is going on? Nothing really. I'm trying to be braver, stronger, more spiritual, more forgiving, less worrisome, less bothered. I'm trying to be better... to be good. Yep, things are good. Gonna go bask in the goodness now.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ever Get That Feeling...

...of panic? Yeah today I've been panicked feeling. Mostly it has to do with the fact that I'm not living within my budget. I'll admit it here and now: I'm a math major, a math teacher, who is having issues managing her money. It's all a numbers game really, and I'm losing. How can this happen to me of all people?! How can I be failing at following a simple equation?? I'll tell you how in two words -- unrealistic goals. OK I need more words, 3 more ok? -- no self control. I've set an unrealistic budget that won't get my credit card paid off bc I can't live within the budget and not use the credit card. I also don't deny myself much. Yep, here I am making that major character flaw confession. I want new school clothing, so I go buy it. Granted some of my new shirts for summer and early fall are already pilling up from wear this summer, and my dress pants really are looking poor, but could I have gotten by looking a little ragged but at least being frugal with my money? Yes. Would I have liked it? Nope. Do I spend money to make myself happy? Does that last one really need an answer?

So after crying on the phone to my mother and lamenting that I just need some "free money" from who ever has it to give out (not my parents, which is ok, this is my fault, and I wouldn't ask them for money anyways), I have decided to rework my budget tonight. This is going to take at least an hour, and it's going to take a lot of honesty on my part. How come being honest with yourself is sometimes the hardest thing ever? If we're asking questions: How come a tank of gas is around $40 now when a few years ago when I was in college it was $20 - $25?! Gas prices suck. Anyhoo, that's what I'll be doing tonight, after I work out at my over-priced gym... after driving my car out of my over-priced garage... away from my over-priced apartment complex...

Realistically speaking, which is something I strive to do normally, there are luxuries that I spend too much on, but I refuse to cut down on:
1. My apartment: I love the location. I love the amenities (which jack up the price). I don't want to move again any time soon.
2. My garage: to make said apartment livable, my Christmas decorations, the boxes of bows LaRae and I made, an extra kitchen island table, and a few other odds and ends cannot remain in it. Otherwise, said apartment feels crowded, and I get the uncontrollable urge to move due to my extreme discomfort at feeling closed in. Oh yeah, and I like getting in the car and it not being so hot in the summer, and I'm going to love no have to de-ice the windows/whole car in the winter.
3. My dog: He doesn't cost that much now. His food is like $30 every few months. His wellness plan with the vet is about $20 a month. His grooming needs to be something I could do myself, but I can't trim his facial hair -- he won't let me, and I assume (correct me if I'm wrong) that poking is eye out with the scissors will cost more than a grooming fee. So yeah, he's not really a luxury -- he's my companion who's here for good. :-)
4. Internet and cell phone service: hey, at least I don't have a land line too! I get a discount on the internet due to the free cable tv the complex pays for being in the bundle.
5. Comics: I won't do without these. Getting comics on Wednesdays makes my work week livable. That trip to the comic shop helps me get through the week.

Things I can give up:
1. Sodas: I switched to water a month or so ago, and once I get a filter, it's going to be cheap to drink.
2. Eating Out: I've done it before, I'll do it again.
3. Manicures and Pedicures: Ok, I'll work on this one. I can't commit yet... I am horrid at keeping up my own nails, and I HATE pointing to a kid's paper with a nasty looking nail.
4. The Dream of a New Car: for a while at least. I need to just not worry about that for a while and deal with the car I've got for a bit longer. Having a good down payment and buying a car will make it all the sweeter when I get to get a car.
5. hmmmm.

OK so here's the all call: anyone wishing to marry me and make me a rich woman, apply now. Anyone with free money they wish to give away, apply now. Anyone wishing to adopt a teacher, apply now. Anyone with the desire to throw away let's say $3000 - $5000 dollars, apply now. Anyone wishing to adopt a 24 year old and give her lots of money, apply now. Anyone wishing to pray for me that I get this under control and find a good Christian man for my life (money or no, but has a job for sure), please do. :-) Hey it never hurts to toss the man thing in there.

Yes, I know this was a non-update on my life, but this is what's weighing on me today, and I needed to get it all out somewhere where I knew maybe someone out there would understand. I'll update better in a few days. Love you all!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Searching for Joanna, Part I

Today marks the start of a hopefully humorous and reoccurring series on my blog. New installations will come irregularly, so be ready for that. :-)

I've always enjoyed clicking on the visitor counter on my blog to see what people have clicked on to get to my blog. Usually it's a smattering of people who come directly here from the address bar on their browser, or it's people who click on the link to my site from other blogs. Yeah, how dull! What I live for are the google (sometimes other search engines) searches! Oh yes, I can see exactly what the people typed in the search bar. Here's what's on my list right now -- yes, the actual search words that got them here as well as my thoughts on them:

1. larae dwi - HA HA HA! LaRae was so not happy about that one!
2. i love math teacher blog - So is that you loving a math teacher or a teacher who loves math's blog?
3. church of christ singles - Are you looking for singles or the actual site?
4. Weasley’s Mourning - I used this exact phrase recently. In fact, on this person's seach, it came up as the first hit on the google list.
5. pornographic books - I was sooooo not happy about this one. It's because of the stuff I've said about postsecret. I've warned ya'll about what you might see on the link to it as well as talked about the books. :-) Hm, not a search list I want to be on...
6. math teacher costume - We look like everyone else! You want a costume to look like me?
7. gregorovich krum - Harry Potter reference
8. why is my eye burning and watering - That made me laugh; why are you looking for that whole phrase? Try not using vigamox; I hear it hurts like heck....
9. whaaaa - Really?
10. the miserable life of a public school teacher - Wait! I'm not miserable! I love my job!
11. cute teacher shoes - I'm not sure I have any of these. I'd love to know if they found any!
12. Midway high school yearbooks 2006 - I was sooo not what they were looking for.
13. gorilla scares kid lunch school - What a funny headline! Did the gorilla take the kid's lunch or just scare it during lunch at school?
14. life according to math flash project - If "life according to a high school math teacher" isn't that interesting or informative, how much could a math flash project tell you about life?
15. where to buy tummy tuck jeans Lewisville - I don't have these or know where to get them.
16. female math teachers - What a broad search. I'm one of these.
17. david krumholtz rounder - I love David Krumholtz, but I'm not sure where the rounder part came in. He's Charlie on Numb3rs.
18. Saladmaster salaries - Yes, that's my over-expensive cookware. It would be great if my cookware would add to the household and bring in a salary!
19. whaaaa - Is this the same person? As LaRae would say, "having a Boo Radley moment are we?"
20. first days for new high school math teacher - I have no advice for you on here. Sorry!
21. a week in the life of a teacher - Definitely more than a week on this blog.

Hope you enjoyed that. It makes me laugh to see what people search for and how they find my blog. Type my name and a bit about me, and I can't find my blog, but type "pornographic books" and there I am! To quote my search-reader -- WHAAAA! :-D

Internet comes tomorrow between 1 and 5 in the afternoon...supposedly.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Internet Is Coming, The Internet Is Coming!

Oh yeah, it's coming! Granted I had to get a little annoyed with Time Warner before I was able to set a date for them to come out to set up the wireless and such. Turns out the "time saving" order I put in through the website wasn't entered into their database yet, so two phone calls later and an online chat with a very non-helpful representative, I have replaced my order for internet in my home. With all that said, it is coming on August 7th (no, not the 2nd as originally ordered...that would be tooooo easy)! So Thursday evening (one week plus a few days) I will be happily typing away on my new wonderful internet connection -- supposedly...

Steer over Embers (Paul's bday) was really really great. :-) We laughed a lot, and the food was phenomenal. The games at Paul and Jennifer's afterwards were really a blast as well. Good times. I also saw Hairspray (with Troy from High School Musical and Cyclops from Xmen) yesterday afternoon. I'm with Joan on this one: my face hurt from smiling and laughing so much by the end of the movie! Totally worth seeing full price. Hilarious!

By the way, my neighbors, whoever they were, that had the unsecured wireless took the advice of a recent post of mine and made their internet connection secure. Stink! Here I sit on Paul's couch using their wireless. I could have sat in the car to gank off his and Jennifer's service, but I found that to be sort of weird... ;-) Seriously though, I'm ready for my own. I'm securing mine though. Again, I'll give you the key, but I'm securing it. :-D

Better go see if the apartment complex guys really have gotten around to cleaning my carpet yet (small perk from re-signing my lease).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter, VBS, and Other Updates

I know, I know! I've taken a long time to update again. Bad Joanna. I'll try to do this succinctly, but you know that's going to be hard!

VBS turned out wonderfully! We had so many volunteers who did so many things, and I can't thank all of them enough. It really was a team effort that demonstrated the spirit of service that many at our church have. Thank you to all the work night volunteers, life guards, park guides, center volunteers, adult fellowshipers, floaters, general helpers, actors, the awesome emcee, mascots, baby holders, sound booth peeps, and everyone else who made this year great! Here's looking forward to another great VBS next year! If you go to VRCC, be sure to come to the summer's end water park evening. :-) (Details in the foyer!)

Ah, Harry Potter! I had a hard time wanting to start reading the book as I knew it would be the end. All the questions would be answered, and all the suspense would be over...but I got over it! I don't think I ever did post some theories on here, but let me tell you what I was right about SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!!!! A Weasley did die (and I wanted to sob) -- poor Fred the probability of all the Weasley's living through the war was totally against him. Harry lived (although I was sitting on the fence with that one), and Voldie died (well of course!). Draco did sort of come around in the end ... at least he didn't kill anyone. I was wrong -- Snape was mostly good and was always acting on Dumbledore's orders. I also thought another teacher would turn out to be a Death Eater, but I was wrong there too. I was one who was sure Aberforth owned the Hog's Head, and I was right there! Yea! I wasn't sure if Harry was a Horcrux -- I read a lot of good editorials about him being one. All in all I loved the book. Rowling did a great job of tying all the books together. She finally made sense of why certain things were mentioned:
** Gregorovich was Krum's wand maker -- did we need to know that in Book 4? I figured it out before Harry came around to it though.
** Aunt Petunia freaked in Book 5 and mentioned she knew what dementors were because she heard her sister and that horrid boy talking about them -- we all thought it was James, but it was Snape. Ahhhhh!
** And of course the mention of the smell of goats in the Hog's Head in Book 5 and the mention of Aberforth doing illegal charms on goats clued us in to the barman's true identity. duh!
There was more, but I won't go into it all. I was so so so sad when Hedwig died (like a knife to the heart hearing about the loss of a beloved pet). I almost cried at the end during the scene about the Weasley's mourning around Fred, and finding out Lupin and Tonks were dead (thus another ophan made by the Death Eaters). I also had a hard time holding back tears as I read about Hagrid carrying a thought to be dead Harry out of the forest as MacGonagall and Ron and Hermione wailed for him. I know it's just a book, but seriously, we've all been reading these books for about 10 years now! I'm in the process of re-reading it now. Before I stop one more thing -- I was really impressed with the use of humor in this book. JK did a good job of putting comic relief in places that needed it. She also did a great job of making this book full of suspense and scary scenes, and while the language was more "adult" (for lack of a better word), I see why she did that. Would Mrs. Weasley's entrance into the attack on Bellatrix have had the same effect without that one word? Perhaps, but man, it was a great moment!

I got back from Michigan last night. I won't lie, it was a really hard trip. Despite the warnings that Grandma wouldn't be able to talk, nothing could really prepare me for seeing her not able to talk in a nursing home. She still has all of her mental facilities, but she has to write to talk. I broke down the first night after we went to say goodnight. This is my beloved Grandma who came for months to visit us in GA from the time I was in later elementary school to high school. She taught me how to crochet and to play rummikib and skipbo. She was there when I learned to drive and quietly rode with me while I was driving us around lost as anything and never told anyone I was lost in my hometown! She was my partner in crime and my confidant. Her visits played a large role in me growing up. It's so hard to see her like this, and I fear for the time when she will still know what's going on but won't be able to communicate at all. I hate to think of this Lou Gehrig's trapping her in her own body. Words can't really express how much I love her or how much she means to me. They can't fully describe my sorrow at seeing her this way. I'm having a hard time handling it. They told us she has about 6 months to a year left. I'm going to try to see her again before the end. Pray for my family please. Especially the family in Michigan -- I know my aunt in particular lives in fear for the day that her mother passes -- she's afraid that she'll be there with grandma and g'ma will want help no one can provide. Pray hard.

I didn't mean for this post to end on a sad note. It's just what's going on right now. I just re-signed my lease to live her another 15 months. I'm getting a new accent wall (totally tan on my bedroom wall -- dull I know, but it's neutral enough to go with bedroom changes), a carpet cleaning, and new drip pans...w00t! :-) It's the little things, ya know? I think I've got about 2 weeks of summer left. I know that doesn't sound like much, but I'm ready to be productive again. Today I've been a bit more productive taking the dog to get groomed (he smelled bad), doing my lease thing, and watching the kids, but it's not the same as going to the school and teaching. I'm ready to tackle teaching Algebra I (the one that goes for a semester) to get the pacing right.

People are waiting to get on one of the cyber cafe computers now, so I better jet. Love you all! Thanks to waiting for me to post!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Making an "Honest Woman" Out of Me

Yes, it's true: I'm making an honest woman out of myself. No silly, I'm not getting married! (As if!) I've put in the order to Time Warner to come hook up my own personal high speed internet in my apartment complete with WiFi, so I'll quit "borrowing" my neighbors' unsecured wifi connections. OK, it's not all about the honesty thing (although I always feel bad using what someone else is paying for without permission), but it's more about the connection not being dependable enough to stay in the chat room with my new cofcsingles friends and the added annoyance of constantly being dropped while I'm looking at something. Looks like they won't be coming out until the first of August, but I'm willing to wait a bit longer in all honesty. :-) Now for all of you living around me with no internet, you're welcome to come use mine (I LOVE VISITORS!) anytime -- be reasonable though! Yes, I will be securing my line, but if you ask nicely I'll give you the key/code/whatever you call it to use my internet. :-)

This weekend was nothing short of phenomenal! I can't fully explain how amazing it was to meet all these wonderful people from my singles' site. They were all Christians who understood the annoyance from reading the message boards, the joy in finding single friends, and the importance of fellowships with other single friends. Erin was so great to plan this weekend for us all. I spent every moment I could with my new friends, and while the love interest that was in the works for a couple of months didn't work out (sometimes personalities just don't match and that's ok), I still felt the weekend was a great success. Meanwhile, I'm back in the playing field, so yeah wish me luck with that. I had a date last night with someone not on the site, but I'm not seeing how far that one can go. I'm determined to be with someone whose spiritual beliefs match my own (on the big stuff for sure). Having open disdain for religion doesn't really win me over...

Back to this weekend -- we had a devo Friday night and played games at Erin's. I was so worried it was going to be awkward, but it wasn't really at all. Saturday we went to dinner and the Rangers game and followed it up with a trip to IHOP until the wee hours of the morning. I had so much fun! Some of us ended up visiting for a while at Erin's apartment after that. Needless to say I was soooo tired on Sunday morning. I ended up meeting up with everyone for lunch and then I went to church at Prestoncrest Sunday evening and to Saltgrass with a smaller group. I only had minor bits of time where I was really self-conscience. I just ignored that pictures were taken of me bc I hate most pictures of me lately. I'm finding it hard not to be super critical of myself in that respect. (I looked at a friend's online a bit ago -- everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves though. I just wish I could look at a picture of myself and think it looks nice...) One day I'll get over it all.

Weekend was great. Date last night was nice. Internet it coming. Tutoring is over. VBS is next week. Hurray! Life is nice.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Call me Carrie

Some of you know that I don't pay for internet right now. Instead I use anyone's who will let me use it, tote my laptop places that have free wifi, and my personal favorite: I find all the hot spots in my apartment that have the happy little word "unsecured" next to them. :-) Now with that said, I have a sad thing to report. I used to get this great wifi spot right at my dining room table, but now it's not working there. I can see the network, but it won't connect, so in a spot of internet fueled desperation I took the dog for a walk with my laptop in tow and kept updating the wireless connections every few feet (done late at night of course to let as few people see me looking like a moron as possible)! Eureka, I found an unsecured spot, and I sat down (no joke) on the curb to check my internet. When I got back to my apartment, I decided to search within my apartment for a new spot. The corner of my patio has a good spot, but the mosquitoes are awful right now. Who wants to have to use bug spray to check their email?! Using my brain today, I decided to try my bedroom, and here I now sit typing in a very Sex and the City-ish style on my bed typing on my blog. I don't know how "Carrie Bradshaw" did it. This is not comfortable, but hey, it's free! Seriously people, if you live in an apartment and you don't want to share your internet service, SECURE IT! Although if you live around nice, SHARE! :-)

So it's the 4th of July. Like Paul says on his blog, if you're a teacher, it's basically Wednesday with stores closed. We saw fireworks last night. They were half hidden by trees. Tonight the fireworks are at Vista Ridge Mall. I'm going to head outside in a while, and see if I can see them. I was hoping to be able to go out tonight, but those plans never came to fruition.

This Saturday I'm going to the Rangers game. I don't like watching baseball, but I'm going with a group from my singles site. It should be fun. I'm going to get to meet someone I've been talking to for almost 2 months now. I don't want to say a lot about it bc it's really personal, but the person I'm meeting will be with me at church on Sunday. Please please please don't scare him off! I don't want to jinx this bc the last one I met was such a bore, but we'll see. I don't know. Like I said I don't want to say a ton. My dating life has gotten mildly interesting lately, and yes, I know some of you would say writing about it would make my blog a lot more intriguing, but I'm going to refrain. Ask in person if you want the scoop. :-) My life is more and more like Dallas lately -- when it rains, it pours. Other thing I've noticed lately: dating someone I would consider old enough to be my sister's peer isn't so weird now.

Sprinkles keeps going and standing on my dining room table. He thinks he's a cat. That or the grease from Katelyn's french fries is still on the table a bit.

Before I head out I'll tell you a bit about San Antonio. For all of you true Texans -- any one of you could have told me ahead of time that the Alamo (don't kill me!) is a tad bit over-rated. The river boat tour was really interesting, but I saw a baby duck drowning. So sad! Me and ducks....seriously! The math conference was ok. Great in the respect that it was paid for by someone other than me, but the actual sessions at the conference were lacking this year. I only came away with a couple of things I could use in my classroom. The city itself if beautiful and has a gorgeous skyline. I'd like to go back and get to do SeaWorld and the zoo and other tourist-y stuff like that.

Hope you're all having a pleasant 4th!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

For My Sister

LaRae tagged me. I've never been tagged in cyberspace before, so why not?

First and Last

First Memory: We went to a circus when I was about 3. (My family says all my stories used to start with "when I was about 3...") There was this gorilla in a cage that got loose and started climbing into the audience in the bleachers. The performers were freaking out, and I was scared and sitting in Dad's lap. He kept telling me that gorilla was going to get me! Turns out it was a man in a realistic suit, but I was SOOOO scared!

First Real Kiss: Have I had a "real" kiss? First boyfriend from 8th grade to about end of 9th grade, Travis, and I shared some really innocent pecks on the lips in the band instrument storage room. First "real" one? I guess with a guy my frosh year at collge -- Andrew -- in the field behind Dr. Burks house. It meant nothing and was really a rebellious dare type thing. I still laugh that that! So no, never had a "real" kiss -- any takers? ;-)

First Concert: 8th grade -- Newsboys "Take Me To Your Leader" tour with Michelle Roark and her parents. Plankeye and Third Day openned for them. It was AWESOME! We were in the 3rd row, and I got projected on the to the big screen on stage! Soooo fun!

First Love: I'm gonna go ahead and say I don't think I've been in love before. In like, yes, but not in love. Again, any takers? ;-)

First crush: Brian Bunch. 4th grade. I asked him out and was rejected (thus it started). Where would we have gone? Lol. First obsessive crush was Brent Cate. I loved him...

First thing you think in the morning: No, no, no, Sprinkles! Don't pee on the floor. He wakes me between 6 and 7 am. If I don't jump out of bed when he does, he'll sprinkle my floor.

First book you remember loving: No idea on this one. I was quite fond of Are You My Mother? like my sister.

First pet: Ginger, a cocker spaniel my Nana and Daddyray gave us. I loved her until she bit my friend, Tina, on the mouth. Then I was scared of her until she was sent back to the farm.

First question you'll ask in Heaven: Not sure I'll be asking questions I'll be soo happy to be there!

First thing you think of when you hear the word vacation: skiing

First best friend: Beth Johnson, friends forever K - 3 until she moved

Last time you dressed up: Can't remember. I mildly dress up for church.

Last CD you bought: My Chemical Romance

Last book you read: Lfet Behind

Last time you cried: Church on Sunday when LaRae asked if I was ok. The Left Behind books are freaking me out. My emotions were really getting to me.

Last movie you saw: The Other Sister -- watched it this morning!

Last time you told someone you loved them: Sprinkles -- right before I left to come to the White House to use the internet

Last really funny thing you did: I have no idea. I'm sure some of you could tell me...

Last thing you watched on TV: The Reba McIntyre and Kelly Clarkston concert on CMT

Last Halloween costume: Last on I remember was being a broken china doll. That costume was great!

Last Concert attended: Something lame at HU I'm sure

I tag Mark and Mario. :-)

Monday, June 18, 2007

I Don't Want to Update...

...because it will shove the post with all the cute Sprinkles pictures down! Also I'm out of fun pictures to post. My camera battery died, so I'm unable to take anymore pictures right now. Maybe tomorrow I'll go to WalMart and fix that issue. The other day when Sprinkles jumped in the bathtub (when I was out, but it wasn't done draining), he looked so funny, so I ran to grab my camera....waaaaaaah! Batteries "fell out", as Katelyn would say. (Apparently, the batteries "ran out" means that to her. :-) )

Updates updates updates. While I don't have a myspace, I do have a blog -- have had one for a long time now. In fact I've been through 3 different sites before I've found one (this one) that I like enough to stick around. In all honesty, I've never seen a myspace that looks professional or grown up (no offense...believe me, I make an effort not to look), and the district "strongly urges" that we teachers don't have one. Now with all that said, I've found the next best thing (LaRae and Randy call it "basically myspace): FACEBOOK! I love facebook! I was able to easily find my hs and college friends and get quick updates on them. I can communicate through it and post my updates, and BEST OF ALL (drum roll please!) it's FREE (and we all know free is a very good price)! Yeah, my summer has been sooo productive. I've spent a lot of time messing around on facebook lately.

When it hasn't been raining, I've been swimming. I even have a tan (yes mom, I've been wearing my SPF 1050001.2)! Ok ok it's more like a lot of freckles, and it's more like I'll tell people in the fall that I've been swimming daily and their response will be, "really? but you don't have a tan!" but dang it, it's darker for me! If you could see my arm up against my stomach (I'll spare you the picture), you'd be shocked. I look tan next to to anyone else I look albino. Which brings me to how pale my tummy is -- putting it simply, if you look at it with the naked eye, you'll go blind from the glare! :-D

VBS stuff has died down a little; the initial get it all in the computer is done, so now it's just getting to work. We have our first work night on Thursday (7 pm for those of you who are local -- come help!), and I'm looking forward to it. Since the theme is water park (as opposed to a different country every night like last year), the work nights aren't as tough (or hopefully as many). It's going to be a blast this year!

I got my first library card today. (I always used my mom's when I was in GA.) It's actually an Irving card, which is 2 towns away, but I'm tutoring a kid in an Irving library this summer, so it makes it easy for me to use the card. The library isn't too far away really. I'm going to get a Lewisville one this week when I go up to the school to make some copies. When I was in college I used the HU library quite a bit. I read all the Left Behind books, and while I don't agree with the concept of the Rapture, I did enjoy the Christian fiction aspect of them. They made me search my soul and realize I needed to change a lot bc if Jesus came right then (at that time in my life), I'm not so sure He would have known me. Anyways, recently they did a prequel series of 3 books that lead up to all the people being left behind, so I'm working on reading those. I think I'll reread the rest of the series after that. It's some good writing! Not talking about these books to stir up I said, I read them as FICTION.

Well LaRae and Katelyn will be here to swim in about an hour, and I've got a bit to do before then. Sprinkles is wanting to play I think. The other day he was literally wandering around the apartment bored. It was like watching a little kid who says, "there's nothing to do" when there are toys scattered everywhere. I took that as my cue to turn off the tv and get on the floor and play. :-) Right now he's giving me the same body language as the other day... love ya'll!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sprinkles!

Today is Sprinkles' first birthday. I wish I had letter blocks to lay by him as I took his picture. tee hee. I bought him on his 3 month birthday, so this also marks 9 months that we've been together. He still acts like a puppy sometimes, but he is calming down quite a bit. I was looking at pictures of him the other day. I can't believe how tiny he was! I didn't know how life-changing it would be to get a dog. Looking back, I can't believe how much happier I am and how much less lonely I am. I also am a bit surprised at what an over-protective, worry-wort mother I am! I'll also a proud mommy, so this post is going to be full of pictures of him (hopefully in chronological order). Enjoy the cuteness of my child.

If it weren't for working on VBS, I'd be accomplishing next to nothing this summer. Today I finished up the supplies, donations, and volunteers needed lists. I've got it all on my computer in tons of files. It's all organized. Problem is, when one lifeguard (section leader) changes or turns in something, I have to change it in about 3 files! Just means I have to use my brain, but am I allowed to do that during the summer? ;-) LaRae and I stopped at WalMart tonight and got one of those tri-fold display boards to put the sign up for donations and volunteers on. I walked into my apartment with it and commented that I felt like I was about to put together my science fair project. Randy called out, "good luck with your volcano!" It was fun to make the board though. I like to create things with paper, and I think it actually looks nice and eye-catching. Yes, that was possibly the most boring paragraph I've ever written...

I also spent part of today organizing my comic books. When I started to file a 6 inch stack of comics the other day, I realized I had run out of room in my comic boxes and dividers (I've started picking up some new titles). Oh yes! That meant I had a new organization project! See, I'd already reorganized and cleaned out ever nook and cranny (cabinet and closet) of my apartment during the spring semester, and so I had no projects for the summer! It's nice to know my comics are all sorted in their boxes now. Oh wait, THAT was the most boring paragraph ever...

OK, so who am I kidding, my summer is sort of dull and uneventful, but isn't that great?! The school year is so stressful, and every summer (in about 6 years), I've had to move, so getting to stay in one place, not pack, and enjoy my home is really nice. I have gotten to spend a lot of quality time with LaRae, Katelyn, and Joshua. We've been swimming. Tonight we went and forgot Katelyn's water wings, so LaRae or I had to hold on to her the whole time. Thing is, she'd just walk off the step or shove out of our arms and *glug glug gulg* go under water, and when we grabbed her and pulled her up, she'd be grinning so huge totally unfazed that she'd just been unable to breath! Side note -- the other day when we swam she was totally freaked out if we did an underwater pass with her or her head went under. Ah, the mixed emotions of a 3 year old. :-) Really, she's quite brave, and tonight she was really fun to play with. LaRae ended up feeding Joshua at my apartment 3 times, and Sprinkles really got used to him. He sniffed Joshua and figured out he wasn't a threat and stayed calm for the most part. I think he's getting used to Katelyn. That makes life a lot easier when she comes over.

This week I'm hoping to make some head-way on some curriculum work I want to do. I also need to actually set up my interwrite pad. Go figure, I was so excited to get it, and I haven't done anything with it yet! I should probably clean out my car too. I wish I could be like some people I know who have barely anything in their cars, but as soon as I get it clean like that, I put a whole bunch more junk in it. It's not as bad as some cars, but I do want to keep it clean until I get rid of it (by the end of the year, I'll be driving a new car...hopefully a Nissan Murano).

I better go to bed. I've been staying up well past midnight and then getting up around 9 or so. Something's got to give, or I'm going to end up over-tired when school starts up again!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Summer Shows

While summer is in full swing, and the concept of waking when I please is quite alluring one thing has bummed me out: the lack of good summer tv shows. Yes, I know summer is the time for reruns, and for those of us who tape our shows (or those who are fortunate enough to get to TiVo them) and watch them religiously each week, this flat out sucks! Some of you love this because it gives you time to catch up; although, I'm noticing networks running less and less reruns lately. Tonight I put my tape in the VCR to check what's been recording since my shows have ended, and I haven't stopped the VCR from recording. I was pleasantly surprised.

First off, I did have 2 shows to watch this summer. Hell's Kitchen with Chef Gordon Ramsey began on Monday. 3rd season, and it's still a great show so far. As the chef wanna be's were about to start their first dinner service, Gordon asked them if they were ready and ok. One man actually started to cry. Ha! I'm still laughing about that one. I'm also watching Grey's Anatomy on Lifetime since I didn't start watching it until last season. Go figure people were right about that one -- it really is a great show! OK, so one reality show and one set of reruns later, and my evenings are dull. (Unless you count me picking up random episodes of MTV's Inferno 3, which I actually do usually try to catch, and Charm School. The latter of the two my 4th period loved that I knew about it and could talk about it with them!)

Ah yes, back to my trusty old VCR. It didn't let me down. In fact it's sort of like that TiVo feature that you can set to predict what you'll like based on what you set to record and record it for you. It recorded Lifetime's new series Army Wives (poo on Lifetime for not warning me they were changing the Grey's time!) and the second episode of ABC's Traveler. Yes, Army Wives is a girl show, so I don't recommend it to half of you, but it has the potential to be funny and dramatic at the same time. Of course this comes from the girl who loved Strong Medicine and 1800Missing, so do you trust my judgement on Lifetime shows? :-) Traveler though looks really good. It doesn't recreate the "hit" wheel in that it starts with a mystery that the show is based around solving using flash backs and present time sequences. I went online to ABC's website, and they have this thing where you can watch full episodes for free (ok, you all knew that...I'm a dork and never pay attention to that stuff!), and I was able to watch the first episode and the one from Wednesday as well with about 1.5-2 minutes total of commercials. If I could trust this internet connection, I'd only watch it that way! Anyways, if you've missed it, go to the website and watch what you've missed. It's not too late to catch up, and I'm thinking this is going to be one of those shows people are talking about.

Finally something to post, eh? Oh yeah, just a tidbit of info about today: LaRae and I took the kids to the Galleria to meet Randy for lunch, and when we got back to the van, LaRae hit the button to open Katelyn's door for her, and it was shutting when I walked around the van. Apparently we missed closing it, and it was open the whole time we were in the mall. Nothing appeared to be missing, so weird, but no big, right? Wrong. This evening I get a call from LaRae asking if I brought her Container Store bag in for her. I'm a brat, so I hadn't. Turns out it's not in the van or the house. Looks like someone saw the open door and the bag sitting literally just inside the door and decided they needed whatever it was in the bag. How sick is that? First off, ew, makes you feel sort of icky that someone looked in the van and had their hands in it while we weren't in there. Second, we were in the mall for about 2 hours; lots of cars around us moved. Surely someone saw the open door. Was no one BRAVE enough to be a good Samaritan and close it for us? I was talking to Julie today, and she said, "yeah, I've closed trunks and such before..." OK, I'd have done it with my shirt tail or something, so there was no way my finger prints were there...

AND, when we were waiting to get on the elevator, these women and kids got out of one of the elevators saying they had been stuck in that particular elevator for 1o minutes. They had used the phone and called; the people said someone was coming; 10 minutes later they got out by prying the doors open from the inside. No one ever showed while we were around the elevators. Frustrating and scary! I've been trapped in an elevator (funny story, ask me about it...), and it's not cool when they don't answer that phone or don't come. If you're ever trapped, by all means, try the phone, but your best bet is to go ahead and Hulk out and open the doors yourself.