Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Forward

Eli's coming...
January 29, 2010!

Friday, December 25, 2009

May Your Days Be Merry

Grammy and Pops, as we will be called soon...very, very soon!

The daughter and the great-grandparents...(and Baby Eli who is loved so much already!)

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
I pray that this day finds you in good health, with love and laughter surrounding you.
May you know Jesus, as we celebrate His birth and His grace and mercy on us all...


Monday, December 14, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life!

Jimmy Stewart, I agree...it IS a wonderful life!

"What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary."

Sorry...the daughter and I just watched that film last evening, and I couldn't help myself.
George Bailey gets me every time. It really is a wonderful life...


Whew! What a week...what a wonderful week.

Last weekend, I took Friday off from work and the daughter and I attended such a beautiful wedding in Savannah, Georgia. The bride, my second cousin, and the groom were married just a few feet from where the daughter stands in the above photo in Forsyth Fountain Park. There was a miraculous change in weather from the dreary, stormy rehearsal dinner evening the night before. By noon on the wedding day, the weather was absolutely perfect- chilly, crisp, hint of sunshine, dry, and simply perfect. Because I have such a crappy camera, I do not have photos that would do justice to how lovely this wedding really was. Click here if you'd like to see what the professional photographers did with this glorious wedding! The reception (and next day's Sunday brunch) took place at the Mansion on Forsyth Park. We were amazed! A beautiful beginning for the precious new couple.

After the fabulous weekend, I was off from work again on Monday...to do something purely for myself. I have not been that excited (or nervous) in quite awhile. The daughter was to be my right hand girl for the day- driver, photographer, entertainment, you name it...she was it! She was the perfect companion on a day long excursion to the big city of Atlanta to see one of my favorite bloggers, PW.
We left kind of early- after two doctor visits, gas station, and bank visits, we finally pulled into the parking lot of Borders around 2:00 or so. PW was set to arrive at 6:00...just a few hours to kill. We managed to find a few things to do...like take goofy photos of each other while we were waiting:
Lovely huge grin, nice double chin. I look like I really need a cook book, don't I? One too many of PW's butter filled, luscious concoctions...yep...you're right! After the grandson is born in February, I need to put away that sinful book, and eat some salad.
This is just how the daughter looked most of the day...SO pregnant, swollen feet, and an aching back...thank goodness, we spotted such comfy chairs. Because we had the foresight to arrive early (Thank you, PW, for such vivid details of all of your book signings and the huge crowds!) we got orange arm bands (the first color of the evening!) group F (the sixth group of the first color!) and we really did not have to wait that long.


Sometime earlier in the day, I forgot to say that we traveled across the street to do a bit of shopping at the Target...the daughter's god mother was paying for the stroller from her baby shower registry, but she was having a hard time finding it at home. So, we made the trek (risking the loss of a comfy spot to sit in Borders) walking across the street (we did not want to lose our parking space) to look for the stroller. Low and behold we found it, and the scooter the godmother also asked us to get for her son for Christmas...Just so you know these were THE most enormous boxes I have ever seen and we were without the car! Um...what to do?!

I made the very pregnant daughter stay with the purchases, and I hiked up the hill, across the highway, I mean street, and through the parking lot to the car...praying the whole way that someone did not hurt my baby and steal the huge boxes from her (not paranoid at all, I tell you). I drove back over to Target, and we proceeded to work tirelessly to get these monstrocities into the car / trunk. Even though it was nice and chilly...I kept thinking, "This is just what I need...to get all sweaty just before I meet PW!"
Finally, we get it done, and we are back in place at Borders...waiting some more.
Eventually, PW arrives...we can tell by the screams, the applause, and the scramble of people to get over to where she is...(our strategically placed comfy chairs are just behind the screen where she is signing, and I can not force the daughter, with her swollen pregnant feet, to give them up just to go see and stand some more...so we sit and listen). They call orange A-C to come and line up. (Thank you, Borders, for having this so wonderfully well organized!) Periodically, I would panic that maybe I had not heard the nice man call my letter, F, and I would ask the daughter if she thought we should give up the chairs to go and see. She was steadfast...we would not! They had not called anything but A-C. This happened several times, and anyone else would have left me stranded in the Borders and driven home to peace and quiet...but not the daughter! She was the perfect, patient, and wonderfully calm companion. She even allowed me to whine a bit...worrying about what I would say to PW, how sweaty I might be by that time, and when they were gonna get to letter F. (Sometimes, I am the daughter and she is the mother.)


They say pregnant women are sometimes moody (I would never day that, nope, not me)...not the daughter...not this day! She was the picture of patience.


Finally, they called D, E, and....F! We went to line up, and the line snaked through the rows of books until it got to the Borders screen where PW was sitting.


Note: Now, let me just say that I have read many accounts on PW's blog of all sort of her fans and what it was like for them as they waited to have a moment with her. They ALL mention the wonderful conversations between virtual strangers in line...laughing, talking, taking photos of one another, making friends...etc. The daughter and I must be THE most anti-social people in the world...we barely spoke to anyone except each other. But that's ok...we're just SHY. Yeah, that's it...SHY.


Here it is...the moment I was waiting for!


I am sure you are wondering what wonderfully brilliant thing I finally decided to say to her.
Well....
I am fairly certain that I said something about my quivery lips...trying to smile for this photo. She was too sweet...she said the same thing was happening to her because she was nervous. After that, I can not be sure what I said...something about being sweaty...(sweaty...really?!) I am pretty sure. Nice. Classy. It went by really fast, and then we were over at the next table meeting Betsy (her sister) and Hyacinth (her friend). Shockingly fast...and then in less than two hours from the time PW arrived, the daughter and I were released into the cold Atlanta night air...on our way home.

A funny note...when we arrived home, I thought certainly that the daughter would collapse and be completely ready for bed...not exactly. While I was checking my email and preparing for the next work day after being out two days, I heard this hammering sound...


She just couldn't wait to put her precious stroller together! She did it all by herself! Just adorable...little mama and her boy's little hoot stroller.


That was one week ago this evening.
Time flies...really...in this wonderful life, it does.
I am thankful for so much- having the opportunity to take off from work when I need to, having a precious daughter who loves me in spite of so much, who is willing to endure my endless whining and spends time with me, having the chance to meet PW, a blogger that I simply adore...it doesn't get much better!
Here's hoping that you take the time to do something fun for yourself and that you are able to see what a wonderful life this actually is!
Have a great week...



Sunday, December 6, 2009

Atlanta Eve



Well, it feels a little like Christmas Eve kinda.
I am on the verge of doing something so fun, I can barely stand it.

Tomorrow, the daughter and I are heading to Atlanta to meet one of my very favorite bloggers, Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. It's ok that she's not signing her book until later in the evening...I took the whole day off from work just in case! Several important errands have come up since then, so I sure am glad I did. After a few pit stops, we'll be on our way to Atlanta to plant ourselves at the Borders. I have been looking forward to this for months, ever since I saw Atlanta pop up on her book signing tour. I have a little confession of my own though...


I am getting a tad bit nervous. Is that normal? Shouldn't she be the nervous one? She has done this so often by now, she couldn't possibly be nervous! If you know me at all, you are not surprised that I'd be the nervous one...What will I wear? What will I say? What if I embarrass myself? What will I say? What if I ramble on like I usually do? What if we do not make it in time? What will I say? What if we stand in line forever...will I make it back home in time for a good night's sleep? What will I wear? What will I say?


In case you can't tell, I have a mild case of social anxiety...I am bringing the daughter along for several reasons. First, she's the love of my life, and I can not think of anyone with whom I'd rather share my day. Also, because she is my filter...she'll (hopefully) stop me from saying wildly inappropriate things that are just unnecessary. Next, because I can NOT drive in Atlanta. She will be my chauffeur. Finally, because she just SO MUCH FUN. It will be with her that I laugh until I almost wet my pants and seriously need an oxygen tank just to breathe from laughing so hard. She's my baby girl who is expecting a baby herself soon, and I am not sure how many more mother - daughter days we'll have...so the daughter and I will most certainly have a few funny stories when we return. I can't wait to share them with you.


Hope your week starts off with loads of smiles and fun!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dreaming of a White Christmas

In honor of the fact that the first day of December is minutes away, and the fact that I have posted only once in November, I thought I would share a few minutes of fun. This absolutely lovely place is called "The Hide-Away" by all who know it...it is nestled at the top of a mountain in North Carolina. This view is from the amazing deck down the drive way. If you look to your right, this is what you see. It feels as though you must be the only one in the universe, and as you breathe in the crisp mountain air, the stress disappears little by little. This precious place is owned by my dear cousins, E and J, and we had the honor of visiting here in October for their daughter's bridal shower party. What fun! More fun even was what happened as we were there:


video

I was completely surprised...that just does not happen in Georgia in October! But the first North Carolina snowfall has left me wanting more...

We will be with these fabulous family members this weekend to attend the wedding in Savannah, one of my favorite cities in my state. I am sure I will have plenty to share.

Have a wonderful week...may you be blessed and feel the surprises of this holiday season each and every day!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Like a cat whose ears are being scratched...

I am quietly and serenely thankful...thankful for so much.
There are not even words to express the depth of thankfulness I feel.
I am blessed beyond measure.
Hoping your day of Thanksgiving is a wonderful outpouring of love, family, friends, and blessings.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Elijah Graham

We will call him Eli.

This is Eli's mommy and his great-grandparents putting together his new bed recently.


This is where Eli will sleep.
We now have a matress, crib sheets, a comforter, and some other cutie pie things for the boy.
Anxiously awaiting his arrival in February.
I am Eli's grammy.



Furlough Friday

The daughter had a great idea.


I was on yet another furlough day (so far we've had three).
It was Friday.
The national fair arrived not so far away from our city the day before.


Yes, she's pregnant.
No, she couldn't ride any rides.
But, she was craving fair food...you know- nachos, corn dogs, cotton candy, funnel cakes...
Need I say more?
We laughed, shared most of the food from the above list...walked around, looked at the fun fair sights...and sweated profusely. (It was SO HOT.)
But it was fun.
I could not resist taking her photo with her lunch delights...so many people did that to me years ago when I was pregnant with her...I felt I should return the favor. Nice, huh?

Not long after that excursion, I got a terrible cold and spent the rest of my really long weekend in my pajamas resting (coughing, sneezing, hacking, and trying to breathe!)
Monday was a holiday....still in pajamas...thought I might be able to risk returning to school on Tuesday...no such luck...came home...more pajamas...all the while still trying to breathe...and not sound like I should be wearing a hospital surgical mask.

Really, I am better. And already it is almost the weekend again. How time flies when you are not at work. Hope your week has been a healthy and happy one.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Grandson


It's a BOY!
The daughter will have a son in February, and my heart is already bursting with grandmotherly love.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nine Things

In honor of this unique day, 09/09/09, nine random things:

1. I have THE biggest sweet tooth ever...in fact, I think I have all sweet teeth.

We have a swanky market in town called The Fresh Market, and sometimes, we go and get the oddest completely unnecessary things like an enormous sucker (a cavity waiting to happen), fresh ground cashew butter (who doesn't need that?), gummy bears (sweet teeth, I tell you), mix & match beer (which I do not even drink), and random Indian seasonings.

2. I love the beach in winter most especially.


Windy, cold, a sweater pulled around me...the freezing sand on my bare feet...the crashing of the waves and the cry of the gulls...it speaks to me like nothing else...invigorating and real...waking me up from the slumber of daily life.


3. Vincent van Gogh's birthday is March 30.

My very best friend in the whole wide world, Sally, and I have celebrated on this day with dinner, a drink of two, cards, and cake...just like any birthday! (Perhaps we will do it again this coming year!) What could be better than your best friend, a wonderful meal, and a dead painter? Well, for someone who gave the world his Sunflowers and Starry Night...nothing!


4. I love this little girl's feet.




Tiny toes, chipped polish, tickle spots, and flip flops...these feet carry her everywhere in her busy world...I am standing on the sidelines watching them grow...watching her grow...watching her move through this world...in awe of her abilities and talents...


5. I treat my cats like children.

Maybe that should make me ashamed...I am not sure. But, I can not help it. Look at these three, snuggling in front of the fire place. We had five at one time, but Horatio (the middle gray cat) died last January. Sometimes, I miss him more than I could express. I have a sorrowful longing inside my heart that will not fill up with anything else. However, the other four keep me smiling and laughing and snuggling. At least, they share the house with us.

6. Speaking of cats...this is Norton...on my favorite red sheets...in my bed.


One luxury that I love (regardless of the budget) is wonderfully soft sheets...the higher the thread count, the better...the more vibrant the color, the best! After the husband washes these and puts them on our bed, I could rest there forever and be happy...pure bliss!



7. I wish I lived somewhere wonderfully cold and snowy.


Maybe I would get tired of the work of it...but there is something so moving to my soul about snow. I love looking at it, being in it, and experiencing it so completely. We so rarely get snow here that things actually shut down and the city comes to a screeching halt. If I lived somewhere that had snow more often, it would be such a wonderful thing. Real winter!



8. I will be a grandmother in February.


No matter how many times I say it, it still surprises me. We have come to accept this as an exciting fact, and are looking forward to this day as a wonderful experience for our family. My parents will know their great-grand child! As a very young mother myself, this is not what I wanted for my daughter, but she is not nearly as young as I was thankfully. She is much more mature and capable of raising a child than I could have been at 17. We will find out whether it is a girl or a boy next week. I am going with her to watch the sonogram and be amazed and cry like a grandmother should!

9. Today, I am 38 years old.

Hope you are having a great week, and today brought you something special.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Whew!

Back when it was summer...and I had leisure time to lazily spend the day with this sweetie pie...I did not realize how fast the time would fly and it would be almost September so soon...Whew.
I am missing those precious summer days when we laughed and played and did whatever we wanted!

School is not so bad for the beginning of the year. It's middle school- 7th grade, 12 year olds- so what can I say? It could always be worse. Things have been VERY hectic, making up for the two furlough days..we had to cram six days of pre-planning into only three. I have just this afternoon finally gotten through all of the hundreds of returned forms that we sent out to parents on the first few days of school. I can always complain, but I will not. I am thankful to have a job and a pay check!

Hope to catch up soon, and make a decent post with something exciting and nice photos to go along...ha! We'll see how long that takes.
Hope all is well for you in your world. Have a great week.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Furlough Days

Was supposed to start back to work this past Thursday. Budget cuts...two furlough days (and one more later in October), so why bother. Apparently there are people who just assume that teachers will take a pay cut and come to work anyway. Not this teacher.

The weekend is well underway, and I do officially start on Monday. *sigh*
I always feel a bit depressed when summer comes to an end.

Am working on a huge scrapbook project for my cousin's birthday, so I need to get back to work. Hope you are doing something fun this weekend.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

This Place

This place.
I am leaving to go here in a few minutes...
I am hoping to calm my mind and erase my fears at here (or at least diminish them).
Ready to utter some prayers, soak in some tranquility and be one with this treasure that God has given us.

Hope the week is wonderful for you too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Peanut

This is peanut...a sonogram of my GRANDchild. Yes. You read it correctly. It is official. I will be a grandmother in February. I am not sure there is space here for me to really reveal all of the thoughts running around in my head, or if I actually want to do that until they are ready for public consumption...right now, I just just wanted to record this here. Peanut is real. I am sure many, many future posts will contain an almost ridiculous amount of gushing about this child. I hear grandparents do that, you know. But right now, I just needed to say it.

By the way, if you are like me, and you can never see anything on a sonogram image...the baby's head is on the right. His/her hands (obviously not fully formed) are just below that to the left, and the rest is his/her body...(if you look at is sideways thinking of the right as the top of the head, it is pretty clear) All in all he/she is just a little peanut forming...growing...waiting until the day when he/she will make an appearance and fall into our arms!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunny Summer Days

What images come to mind when you think of summer?

If you are like me, probably the pool, the beach, flip flops, the grill, a cute little fruity drink...maybe with a tiny umbrella!?

But I also imagine family get togethers...the kind my father's people in Dublin, Georgia always have in the summer...

What could be better than a family reunion with ALL kinds of Southern goodness???


This past Saturday afternoon, we did indeed have a wonderful time at our family reuinon...seeing family members, laughing, talking, catching up, and eating outragous amounts of food that was just too good to describe here....

Ok, well, I'll give it a try...fresh creamed corn, down home butter beans, newly picked field peas...those were just the vegetables piled on my plate! I never get those kinds of fresh vegetables at home, so I just could not resist! I did not eat any fried chicken- I know you are positively shocked, but I was saving room for dessert! Oh my Lord...do not get me started on the pound cake! With one bite alone, I was completely taken back to the days when my sweet precious grandmother made THE most delicious pound cake; she never even needed to look at that recipe she made it so often...the crumbly top, the sour creamy moist cake...oh my. I have not had a decent pound cake since my beloved grandmother passed away almost 18 years ago! Needless to say, I got the recipe from my relative who generously emailed it to me. (I will post later about my first attempt one day when I am feeling capable enough to give pound cake a try!) All in all, the day was quite special and I left wishing I was wearing stretchy pants!

Well, much to our surprise, as we were driving home...what did we see in the distance?

A FIELD of sunflowers as far at the eye could see...it was off the road a good bit, but my adorable father drove over this dirt road to get us closer to it...I kept imagining that I was going to hear gunshots any minute...thankfully, we didn't. (I fully comprehend that we were technically trasspassing...but we were only taking pictures, and a great photo is worth it, right? My father said he was afraid I was going to come back to the car with an armful of the flowers; don't think I didn't at least consider it, but I was not going to push my luck with possible shotgun sounds looming! Besides the stalks were as thick as a human forearm!)


I literally could not believe my eyes...I have never before been standing among so many beautiful HUGE sunflowers. Years ago, when I studied abroad in France, that was one of my favorite things- on the train from Paris to Strasbourg, I saw nothing but fields and fields and fields of sunflowers...I wanted so desperately to beg someone to stop the train so I could get out and look more closely...like that was going to happen! The train was going by so fast, I never even got any photos out the window. That is one of those times that the picture in your mind is so perfect...much more so than I could have done with any camera.

Well, this was our chance to mingle among the sunflowers and gaze upon their glorious faces! It was just as I imagined it would be...like standing inside one of Van Gogh's lovley paintings...



Hope your summer days are just as sunny and filled with the goodness of food, family, and fun surprises along the way! Have a great week.

(P.S. to my very best friend in the whole wide world, Sally: I wished so whole heartedly that you had been with me...you would have completely understood the Vincent moment...and I could not help but think of you every step of the way! I love you and miss you, my friend.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

They're Home!

Yesterday was such a great day! The daughter, my parents, and other relatives made it back from the beach safe and sound and much earlier than usual! I had a father's day dinner all planned out and prepared to cook when I met them over at my parent's house.

I made carne asada with flank steak (and chicken for the daughter who does not eat red meat) except I turned it into shish ka bobs with vegetables like green and red bell peppers, baby portobella mushrooms, and onions. We also had corn on the cob and a lovley green salad. The marinade on the meat made it so tender and delicious! This is the epitome of a summer meal to me...also something my father had never grilled.

I adore this man. He is the best father in the world...I could not have chosen better parents if I'd been given the ability to do so. It felt like it was 9,000 degrees outside, and he was totally willing to be the designated grill master! I decided to accompany him, despite my hatred for the high humidity. (Literally the heat index was 110 while the temperature gauge read 99). It was funny because seconds later, everyone joined us outside despite the heat. We were enjoying the precious deck that my brother built for them, my mother's potted plants, and each others' company! This is our first summer since my parents moved away from the house we all grew up in...no more pool, no more lush beautiful gardens around the pool, no more acres of grass for him to cut! No matter where they live, my parents will always have a lovely yard with beautiful flowers...and a grill and a deck!


Everyone enjoyed dinner, and then we had such a fun dessert! The daughter and I (though we were apart for the week) planned (through text messages and phone calls) to make a specatacular surprise that we found on Bakerella's site...Happy meals for all of the fathers we know and love! These were delicious and certainly impressive. You should check out her blog if you ever need something to wow someone. The daughter and I love to try new treats from her site. We had some difficulty with the sugar cookie fries and we are always a tab bit messy compared to her perfection, but we had such a good time putting these together...and everyone seemed to enjoy eating them!



Hope everyone had a wonderful father's day and a superb weekend. Now, I am going to go look at my girl again and tell her how very glad I am that she's home!




Saturday, June 20, 2009

Longing

My baby girl has been out of town with my parents for a week.

A WEEK I tell you. Seven straight days...in a row...

I am missing her so much right now.


Ok. So she's clearly not a "baby" girl; she's twenty for goodness sakes.
But still I miss her. Her smile. The shrug of her shoulders. Her scent. Laughing with her....talking with her...cooking with her....Oh, my. This is bad.

Thank goodness, she is coming home tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Delightful Dishes

I am SO exhausted...the good kind of exhausted...the kind that comes from doing what you love!
I have been SO busy lately. I kind of thought things would slow down a bit since it is summer, but it hasn't really. So much so that I never even got around to posting more details about the daughter's birthday! She had a GREAT one, and now I am the mother of a twenty year old. How can that be???

Today was not much different....such a busy whirlwind of activity and excitement.

First, I am teaching a class for teachers called "The Teaching of Reading." What could be better than sharing ideas and activities with teachers concerning a subject about which I am completely passionate?! Although it IS summer here, and I am REALLY ready for a break, I get out each afternoon at 1:30, so it's not that bad at all. Ok, that has been fun so far...but....

Are you ready for the REAL fun from today? Brace yourself.

My friend, Natalie, the daughter, and I cooked up a STORM this evening...all sorts of deliciousness...I can not even begin to say how many ingredients we used, how many pots, pans, spoons, and dishes we used...the husband has just finished doing ALL of them for me. Life does not get much better. Nat had her amazing camera there, so I know some day soon she will post evidence of this wonderfully fun evening. The whole Benson family took part in helping the whole Magallano family have such a delightful meal! I will not give away the secret about what exactly we ate. I am sure Nat will love sharing stories about that, but let me just say this was the most fun I have had in my kitchen in quite some time.

Thanks to the Benson family for an evening to remember.
Now, I am off to literally FALL into bed.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Twenty

The daughter turns twenty today.
Mentally, I just can not comprehend this.
We are off the spend the day celebrating!
More later...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Passing of Time

Attended my nephew's high school graduation this evening.
Wondered where all of these years have gone...how did they go by so very fast?
Is it really possiible that he could be eighteen, a high school graduate, and ready for the world?
It was almost more than I could bear.

I held him as a tiny baby...changed his diapers...rocked him to sleep on more than several occasions. My brother and the nephew's mother divorced when the nephew was a boy. His mother moved to another city (not terribly far away, but not here) and we do not see him as much as I would like. I suppose some of that is my own fault. I could have asked to get him for a weekend or such.

I remembered so much this evening as I sat waiting to hear his name...waiting for him to walk across the stage and get his diploma...I remembered his little boy grin, his curly locks, his arm around my daughter's shoulders..."Cousins," they would say. When most people yelled and shouted for joy this evening, I felt my eyes well up with tears...

The passage of time is such a bittersweet thing.

Jack Martin, I am so very proud of you, and I love you more than I can say. You made it!
"Let your soul shine,
It's better than sunshine,
It's better than moonshine
Damn sure better than rain...
Gotta let your soul shine,
shine 'til the break of day..."

Summer, Smiles, and Sprinkles

School is out. Summer has begun.

Relaxation...it's what I have been looking for for awhile now...after such a long hard school year- one of the worst in my teaching career- all I want to do is nothing.
Over the last few weeks when school was the hardest, the daughter helped me find ways to make it through...we went to the park on several occasions to nap on a picnic blanket, play in the water, and blow these humongous bubbles...



Then of course, we all celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary! What an amazing weekend...we spent it in North Carolina with family...and a fabulous meal at this place called the Gateway Club. It is a restaurant housed in a historical building that has been restored with state of the art amenities while holding on to the traditions of the past...simply amazing. My brother and sister-in-law did an anniversary video that brought us all to tears. We are blessed to have THE best parents in the world...I couldn't have chosen better parents myself.

Also, the daughter and I have been in the kitchen making all sorts of fun things...like these graduation pops for a friend of hers. We found them on one of my favorite blogs, Bakerella. Of course Bakerella's look perfect, and we were a little messy, but the effect was the same.

We have also been making....soft serve ice cream with mix-ins like sprinkles. That's enough to make anyone smile! The husband purchased this machine because sprinkles are the daughter's favorite thing and we love ice cream at our house...and last night we tried it for the first time. Peanut butter ice cream with rainbow candy coated chocolate sprinkles. I was so excited, I forgot to get a shot of the actual ice cream. Trust me, we had some, and it was yummy. What says summer better than ice cream?

I have several more days of work ahead of me, even though the school year is officially over. I am also teaching a class for teachers soon, so the summer is looking further and further away. I am trying to do little things to help remind me that it IS really summer. How about you? What fun summer things have you been doing?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Broken and Empty

I have this picture of something in my mind lately that looks like a broken and empty vessel...like a tea pot or pitcher that has been accidentally dropped on the floor....pieces scattered and that feeling that you might have just after it drops...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Mother

She is a presence.
This woman.
I adore her.
She has a spirit that I can not even find words to express.

She has spent her life as a "housewife" (her words when anyone asks her what she does for a living) giving her all to her family...sacrificing her own needs for us on a daily basis. Still.
She grew up with a loving mother and a not-so-loving father. She smiled in spite of it all. Her heart is so open, so loving, so honest...

This became so much clearer to me on the day that my own daughter was born. My mother told me that day that the years would fly by as they had with her own children...that I needed to savor each moment as a mother. Boy, was she ever right! I wonder so often where the last nineteen years have gone. She loves so strongly, so forcefully that sometimes it almost smothers, but I would not have it any other way.


She enjoyed the life of a stay-at-home mom...cooking, cleaning, taking care of everything...those were her loves...she did each chore with such love, such dedication. I feel some days that I am nothing like her; I choose to work...most of my time is spent being too busy to care about the things she loves so much. In recent years, I have come to understand that though we chose different paths, we are still very much alike. I have come to cherish that.




She lives life to the fullest every single day. She has survived much in her life- a rough relationship with her father, loss, teenage pregnancy by her daughter, cancer, financial difficulties...She handles everything with faith and grace. This woman. My mother.

I hope mothers everywhere enjoy this day...have a happy one. I am going to go spend some time with this woman...to try and tell her again how much she means to me.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Missing April

So, where did the month of April go? Does anyone know???
I can not believe it is already practically May, and I have not posted since our Cherry Blossom Festival. I have been so ridiculously busy with school. Let's see...what have I been doing???
Well, here's the list:

* teaching CRCT prep classes every afternoon until 5 p.m. (after teaching an entire day, mind you)
* being team captain of our Relay for Life team
* organizing ALL Relay events (we had something every single day in April!)
* sending countless emails to our staff informing them of every little detail about every single event
* dealing with state mandated testing (two weeks of sheer stress and frustration that the kids might not score well...)
* still teaching five classes a day, managing the MASSIVE paperwork that is involved
* maintaining my position as department chair of my content area
* attending meetings about our new Spring Intervention Plan (since we have no summer school due to budget cuts, we are technically teaching summer school right now with an enormous re-scheduling of 110 students for five teachers!)
* working with my cluster mates to re-schedule the students, who belongs in remediation classes and who belongs in acceleration classes...planning specialized lessons that are all hands-on, differentiated, and unique
* participating in meeting and planning for our new Arts Integration Committee
* conducting my regular duties and responsibilities as a teacher -parent conferences, planning with collegues, creating lesson plans, grading papers, posting grades, teaching, teaching, and more teaching...

One of my biggest distrations this month has been our Relay for Life activities. I have been a team captain for the last ten years no matter where I have worked. I always volunteer to do this because it is such a worthy cause to raise money to help fight cancer. In 1994, my mother had breast cancer, and I am so moved, saddened, strengthened, and inspired by people who go through such a difficult time...I feel compelled to do what I can in some small way.

Tomorrow night is our county's Relay for Life event, and the school fund raising events will come to an end. It's been such a fabulous year. In spite of budget cuts, hard economic times, and financial difficulties all around, our school has raised just over $11,000!!! That amount is $2,000 more than we raised last year. I was completely shocked and thrilled at our total. We have literally been totally engrossed in Relay for Life activities for such a long time now, it is hard to believe another Relay year is coming to an end. The actual Relay for Life Walk-a-Thon event is my most favorite thing because we all get to kick back, have some time to just walk and talk and laugh and eat and celebrate a job well done. In most schools, teachers rarely get time to do just that.

I am off to fall into bed after typing a test for tomorrow's classes. Nightie-night!