Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm baaaaaack!

It has been six months since the last time I wrote on here. Is that insane or what?!!! I seriously don't know how people keep up with these things. So I will try to update a little on here.

Tyler turned 15 in April. Erica was selected as one of three students from Arizona to go to Nationals for FBLA in June. That was quite an honor.

Recently three of us had birthdays. Erica turned 17 on 9/28. I turned 39 (yikes!) on 10/11 and Alex turned twelve yesterday (10/14).

We started a new school year in August. The kids are in the following grades: Erica (12), Tyler (10), Alex (6), Jared (4), Nathan (2), and Zachary (1). I started out teaching kindergarten this year, but recently moved to the third grade. We had very large class sizes for third grade and very small ones for kindergarten. Since I had experience teaching third grade (for one year about twelve years ago), I said I would be willing to switch grades if they needed me to. They needed me to. I had to switch rooms as well. I really miss my little kindergartners, but I love my third graders. They are great kids.

I've had a few interesting challenges lately. One is the impending foreclosure of my house. I was originally scheduled for July and then was postponed to August, September, and finally to October 16th. It is not being postponed again to the best of my knowledge. So that is tomorrow. I'm not sure when I have to be out, but I guess they will let me know at some point; probably sooner than later. How did I even get in this situation? Well, be careful about companies who are supposed to help with loan modifications. They just pocketed my money for months and didn't help at all. Moral of the story: Checking with the Better Business Bureau doesn't always guarantee that a company is what it claims to be. So #1 home.

#2 challenge....My minivan "threw a rod". I'm not sure what all this entails, but I do know that it means I need a new engine at the cost of $3000. Yeah, I don't make that much in a month. So our car for the moment is my daughter's little car that seats a maximum of five, but not very comfortably. The problem with that would be that there are seven of us. I just don't think that it is a good thing that the little boys are always wanting me to let them ride in the trunk. So #2 car large enough for the family to ride in.

#3 deep freezer went out. It was full of meat. I say was because the way we discovered it stopped working was from the smell. Imagine several cubic feet packed full of rotting meat. Yuck! That was a gross (plus an expensive loss). Alex was my hero and emptied the meat out. Tyler helped some too. It was not a pretty job. We wheeled the freezer outside first, but you could smell the horrific odor emanating from it from a distance of about 15 feet away with the wind blowing away from you.

Those are some not cool things right now. Then there were a few annoying things such as some little turkey deciding it would be fun to break one of the large side windows on the already broken down van. There was also the whole issue of me having a broken window in my bedroom that I can't afford to replace. The plastic I taped over it doesn't help much as far as insulation is concerned which I am noticing more now that it is getting colder at night. Then on Monday, my doorknob to the house quit working and we were literally trapped inside for a while until I could get it off. The knob came of pretty easily, but the middle part was really stuck. I did buy a new doorknob, but it needs to be returned since the screws it came with won't loosen. We now are just using the deadbolt and have an interesting hole in the front door where the doorknob used to be. On the bright side, I always wanted to install a peep hole. Well, now I have one. I can even use both eyes at the same time if I want to. Pretty fancy-schmancy. Plus, the boys have invented a new game of, "see what you can throw through the hole in the door".

Oh yeah, and everyone has been sicker than a dog over the last several weeks with a real nasty flu. (You know the's been on the news a lot lately). My turn began last week and I am now mostly better. I am still pretty tired and I haven't quite figured out why I am so dizzy, but I am definitely doing much better. The kids have all pretty well recovered with the exception of Jared, but that is because he was the last kid in the family to get he is still in the recovering stages as well.

Now, everything is not all doom and gloom. There are several positive things to consider as well. For one, I probably don't need to worry about replacing my bedroom window since I won't be living here anyway. Heck, I could probably even just leave the custom peephole for the bank as well. I'm sure they would be impressed. Not many people have a peephole like mine. I am also eating less fast food (can you say Little Caesar's $5 pizzas?). When you can't take your family very far, you tend to just make do with what you have and make less trips out and about. Also, I don't have to worry about my car breaking down in the middle of nowhere now since it already did that and is now resting in peace in front of my house. Another thing we don't have to worry about is getting the swine flu. Woo-hoo! One less thing to worry about. So all-in all, I guess things aren't that bad.

I do need to try to find a place to rent. There are many empty houses, but not as many rentals. It is challenging to find a place to rent that is large enough for the five boys, my daughter, and myself that I can afford on my salary. I don't think the two bedroom apartments for $700 a month are going to cut it. There is also the whole issue of security deposits and first and last month's rent. Also, I really need to get a different minivan; preferably a working one so I can haul the afore-mentioned children around.

Well, I guess I should go to bed sometime soon since it is now almost 1:30 a.m. I hope that I am able to write again on here before another six months go by. It will be interesting to see the changes that occur between now and then. Goodnight for now. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Are you kidding me?!!!!

I mentioned in my last post what was going on at my school. Apparently that post was so horrible and offensive that I am going to have a formal reprimand placed in my personnel file at school. Apparently I am not allowed to feel sad about a major life change and even more importantly, I am certainly not allowed to tell my friends how I am feeling about it regardless of whether they have specifically asked about it, or so I have been told.

The same day I wrote my last entry, I was called in by my principal to ask about the very information I wrote about. I told him that what he had heard was true. He proceeded to lecture me about it. That very day, my power was shut off and I also had to take Alex to the doctor. Not a good day.

The next day, (Tuesday) my would-be principal came to my room to also lecture me about being sad and especially about talking to my friends about it. Again, I admitted that I had told friends about it. He asked why I hadn't said anything to him. Well, quite frankly, he didn't ask. When he did ask, I told him AND I was honest about it. I also told him that I had said nothing negative about anybody because I did not feel badly about anyone. I further told him that I would work for him and I would do a good job, but that I just needed some time to adjust to the shock of the entire situation. He mentioned something in there about being insubordinate. Maybe he was worried I would be insubordinate, but I thought that my comment about working for him and doing a good job would reassure him that things would be okay.

Apparently, I was wrong. Two days later, he met with my current principal and they decided that I would stay where I am and they would instead move another teacher. On Friday morning, I was informed about the decision. I asked him to not do that. The other teacher is (or maybe was now thanks to this change) a friend of mine that I love. He said he would not change his mind and that I would be getting a formal reprimand placed in my file.

Are you ready for the irony of the whole thing? By Monday afternoon (before I was called in the principal's office), I was starting to feel a little better about the change and making plans for next year. As I had mentioned, I just needed some time to be okay with things. So it took me about five days to adjust to a major life change. Never did I say I wasn't going. Never did I say ANYTHING bad about anyone involved. Do you think it is only going to take five days for my principal to forgive me for telling the truth and being sad? I doubt it. I am pretty sure this will make him biased against me for a long time; years possibly. Maybe I should have lied, but I have a hard time with that.

Also ironic is that I have heard from several sources that many others (including people higher up than myself) have been complaining about having to move to the other school. I guess maybe since I don't have any family here or perhaps I am not related to anyone important I am not allowed to feel sad. Maybe I'm allowed to feel sad, but I am certainly not allowed my first amendment right to express that sadness. I can certainly see why I would be written up if I had been insubordinate and refused to change schools, but I didn't. I could understand being written up if I had said something negative about my colleagues or administrators, but I didn't do that either. I don't envy the position they are in and I actually do support them, in spite of all this ugliness.

Perhaps I shouldn't have told my friends how I felt, but I thought that's kind of what friends were for. I know that I listen to my friends when they are upset or have problems. On the other hand, maybe I should have been allowed a little time to process things and to adjust. Instead, I feel a little like the proverbial injured animal. Instead of being allowed a little time to heal, I got to be pecked at repeatedly by the buzzards. Now there will be lasting scars. My friendship with the other teacher will probably never be the same and I never even suggested that she be moved. That was not my doing, but I will reap the blame. We are supposed to allow kids time to adjust to major changes. I just wish I would have been granted that same courtesy.

Sometimes I think it would just be easier to be hit by a bus.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I can't help but notice that I have attempted to put my friends' blog links back on here only to have them not show up on my page. I guess I will have to figure out exactly what I did to mess this up. Ugh! I am very much not a technology person.

This weekend was the junior prom. Erica went and had a nice time. Too bad I can't put any pictures on here. That would require knowing where the cord is to connect my camera to the computer. I found two different cords, but they apparently are for old/different cameras. So it will just have to suffice for me to say that she looked beautiful.

My recent news is that I am being switched to a different school next year, but none of my close friends are. Also, the school I am moving to is not the one my kids will be attending. The reason for this is because our district is doing away with the intermediate school (4-6) and instead is having two K-5 schools, a 6-8 school, and the high school. It is a rather lengthy explanation to give all the details as to why they are doing this, but it will save the district a lot of money. Due to budget cuts, this has become necessary. I get that. What I don't get is why I have to be one of those being moved when I will have three of my children attending the other school. There is the option of taking my kids to my school, but I don't think that would be in their best interest. For one, the bus will not pick up/drop off kids from this side of town for that school. They could ride to school with me; no big deal. Having three little boys hang out in my classroom after school every day for hours while I try to get my work done wouldn't work out so well. Plus, there's always the problem of how they would get to and from school if I were to get sick or end up in the hospital for a week or two again. Also, ALL of the kids my children go to church with will be at the other school. Did I mention the fact that my current school is within walking distance of my home? When the weather is nice, I often will walk to work. That won't be happening next year. Needless to say, I am not very happy about this change. It is better than not having a job, though. I have to keep repeating that to myself again and again. Hopefully, that will sink in and I will start to feel that way. Right now I just feel like I am losing my friends and going to be missing out on all of my kids' programs at school.

Well, it's almost 5:00 a.m. and I haven't been to sleep yet. I did try to go to sleep, but to no avail. On the bright side, I should be so exhausted by the end of the day that I should go right to sleep after I get home. I am signing off until next time.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Hmmm...when I added the new page layout, all of my friends' blog links disappeared! Yikes! I don't know where they went or how to find them again. So, if you are reading this, please feel free to post your link so I can try to add it back on here. Also, if you have any idea how I can find other people's blogs on blogspot, that would be good information to have as well. Thanks.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Six weeks later....

It is so bad that I hardly ever write on here.

Let's see...the best thing recently would have to have been spring break. I went to stay at my parents' house for a few days just to visit. It was very nice. The boys got in the pool! The water was a little too cold for my liking in March. I got to spend a day with my sister and her kids. We went to the air show at Luke Air force Base and had a great time. It was our (kids' & I) first air show and it was pretty cool. We came back home Tuesday night because Tyler had an appointment on Wednesday. On Thursday, we went to Joseph City to visit my brother Chris & his family. Katherine put sleeves on Erica's prom dress so it would not be a slutty one anymore. She is an amazing seamstress. It looks like the dress came that way! On Friday, I went to Safford and stayed overnight at Keith's house. It was nice to get to see him, Charlotte, and the kids. I also got to see two of my dear friends, Connie and Jeanette, while we were there as well. I was so happy to get to see my parents, ALL of my siblings and their families, and even some friends. I don't get to see them often enough.
The pictures above are from spring break. I used my parent's camera because Erica borrowed mine and it disappeared for a couple of weeks. Picture #1 is of my kids and dad at Hole in the Rock. Pictures #2 & #3 are of the kids and me at hole in the rock. Picture #4 is of the kids inside a huge tanker at the air show. Picture #5 is of my sister and her son, Robbie. (He was very excited to get to ride on a school bus from the parking lot over to LAFB for the air show.)
Another big and exciting thing that has happened recently (this week) has to do with Erica. In the fall she attended a regional FBLA leadership conference. On Mon.-Wed. of this week, she went to the state level. She was one of three students selected in the state, in her area of competition, to go on to the National level! This is a huge privilege and honor for her. It will be great for a resume and offer her opportunities for scholarships. The bad part is that the school is able to pay for about $800 of it at this point, but that leaves another $600 to come up with by April 20th. That's a week from Monday. They don't give you much time for that. We are going to see if anyone from the chamber of commerce will donate some money to help out. She is also babysitting this Saturday during the day and then helping clean a friend's house on Monday. I sent an email at work asking if anyone needed some odd jobs done to help her earn some money. I am hoping that she will be able to go. First, we will focus on getting the $600 she needs by April 2oth. Then, we will focus on her earning spending money for meals, etcetera later. The conference is in California at the end of June. We have plenty of time to worry about the spending money part later.
Yesterday, Alex broke his tooth off on the trampoline after school at about 5:00. He REALLY broke it off. It was near the gum line with about 2-3 millimeters left of it. Needless to say, all of the nerves were exposed and it was bleeding. We couldn't find the part that had broken off, but apparently they can't reattach that anyway. The whole story about putting it in a cup of water or cold milk is apparently an old wives tale. Our dentist is in Snowflake (yes there are many other dentists closer to us, but ours is excellent). He had a meeting to go to, but he said he could fix his tooth afterwards at 8:30 so we went then. He was done by 10:00 and we were back home by 10:30. I am SOOOO thankful that he was willing to do that for us. That was very nice of him. Alex's gums are very bruised and swollen from the trauma of his accident, but otherwise, the tooth looks great again.
Tonight I am taking the kids to Mesa to watch the Easter pageant. It is supposed to snow up here, so I imagine it will be raining there. We'll see. We will just make sure to take our coats with hoods. If they cancel it, I guess we can see if my parents would mind if we stopped in for a visit or we can go to the mall if they are busy. I really don't think they will cancel it, though. We have to come back home tonight because, as I mentioned above, Erica is babysitting tomorrow. That will mean quite a bit of driving in one day, but I really enjoy going to the Easter pageant and the kids do as well.
Well, I guess that is all for now. It is actually almost time for me to be getting up for the day. It should be a fun day.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

How time flies!

Okay, the last time I wrote on here, Alex ended up breaking his elbow later on the same day. It is actually just a hairline fracture right at the end of the humerus and he has a splint as opposed to a cast. He hit a crack in the sidewalk while riding his scooter and launched forward, breaking the fall with his elbow. I did inform him that there was more than one reason for the phrase, "Say no to crack." The pinewood derby was that night, so he just had to wait a little while to get it x-rayed.

The pinewood derby was fun. Jared's car wasn't very fast, but it won an award for the design. It was awesome. Jared wasn't upset about losing the speed part, mainly because I assured him ahead of time that if he did, I probably wouldn't let him get his driver's license when he turns speeding is allowed. I think I mentioned that my younger brother, Chris, helped with his car this year. He and the kids came to the pinewood derby. I was glad they were able to come.

Let's see...I've also made a couple of trips to the valley and was able to visit with my parents some. Erica also got a prom dress that will have to be altered. All of the dresses were either strapless (like hers) or had thin, spaghetti straps. You would think that for all the money they charge for those things, they could afford to add some kind of sleeves on them so they aren't falling out of the top. They don't have to be hideous sleeves, just something to give the dress a little less of the slut look. Anyway, it is a beautiful dress. It will just need a little tweaking.

Alex had his tonsils & adenoids removed last Monday (2/9). He has eaten very little since then and had to go back to the hospital for IV fluids. He's gone from weighing 98 lbs down to 82.5 lbs in eight days. He goes back for his follow up appointment tomorrow. I'm sure the doctor will be impressed. The kid just refuses to eat; not even the popsicles he picked out. I really had hoped he would not be hurting as much by now. His surgery marked surgery #17 for my children. (They are officially ahead of me by one. I don't plan on catching up.)

My kids and I were invited to go to Disneyland with a guy I know. The kids were disappointed when I declined the invitation. He even had reservations for a nice family suite, but the dates were for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I would have loved to have gone, but I would have had to have taken off most of this week. It's probably good we didn't go. Alex still feels terrible and spends most of his time sleeping. We had a delayed start today because of snow (again). It probably wouldn't have been very warm. Maybe we can do something fun this summer, like go to the beach...when there is no more stupid SNOW!

There was a bit of bad news at school. It looks very much like the state legislature is not going to fund full-day kindergarten next year. (This would be state-wide, of course.) This is bad for a lot of people, but it is especially bad for me since I happen to teach full day kindergarten. They have to make cuts everywhere, but I was really hoping that somehow I would not get the ax. Some of the representatives (Pearce for one) is saying it's just babysitting. Whatever. Maybe he should try it for one day.

I'm sure there is more I am forgetting, but I am pretty fried right now. My brother stopped by for a while tonight and we visited. It was nice. I guess it is time for bed. Goodnight until next time. :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Always busy

Do you remember telling your parents the famous phrase when you were young, "I'm bored."? I sure would love to have a day of boredom.

Last year, I found out about the Free Tax Act. You can do your federal and state taxes online and even itemize everything for free. You can print off the return and mail it or you can efile. There is a small fee for that, but it is still WAY less expensive than Turbo Tax or Tax Cut from H&R Block. I have used those in the past and this is FAR better. You can find it by typing in "Tax Act 2008" in google. I believe that it is the first link that comes up when you hit enter. Mine are all taken care of and it only took about half an hour to do it.

I can't say that I have had anything really exciting going on; just time consuming stuff. Tonight is Jared's pinewood derby for scouts. He's very excited. Last Thursday, we drove to my brother and sister-in-law's house in Joseph City. Chris helped Jared make a pretty cool car and I just got to do the fun stuff....visit. It was great!

On Sunday, I was one of the speakers at church. Yikes! I knew I was supposed to be speaking, but once again, I did not prepare a talk until 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning. I left the house shortly after 7:30 to pick Tyler up from his dad's house to go to church. I don't know that I would say it was one of my better talks, but it was okay. The good thing is that I should be off the hook on that one for a while.

School keeps me fairly busy. Parent-teacher conferences are in a couple of weeks, so I will be trying to schedule those pretty soon. That should be interesting because I didn't realize that was the week of conferences when I made appointments. Tyler has an orthodontist appointment that Thursday and Alex his having surgery that Monday. Somehow, I will need to schedule my 21 students' conferences and also go to my own six children's conferences around those two things. Hmmmm...that's always a bit challenging.

Speaking of challenging, that is how Tyler has been lately. Teenagers can always make life interesting, but it is especially interesting when one of them happens to be bipolar and have a personality disorder. On Monday, I got a call in my classroom asking if I could come to the high school. (Oh, sure, let me just leave my class full of five year olds while I hurry right over there to chat. Why don't I just leave them a box of matches and some malt liquor to keep themselves entertained until I get back?) Long story short, Tyler is suspended for three days. I have a wonderful friend who has allowed Tyler to go to her school (she is the director there) and do manual labor (for free) the entire time he has been suspended. He thought he would just get to stay home, sleep in, etc. I am surprised he doesn't know me better than that by now.

That night I came home by 6:00 only to have to leave again. One of Erica's friends was kicked out of her house, so she is now living here for a while. She is actually not a bad kid or anything, she's just almost seventeen and is feeling like she does not need to listen to or get along with her parents at the moment. I visited with her mom a little before I brought her home (to our home, that is). That's going okay. What's one more kid when you already have six? The adult to child ratio here is fairy off balance regardless.

There is one more thing I would like to add if anyone reads this. My good friend, Laura, is having a really rough time right now. She is a single mother and was recently diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Then her mother passed away and her fiance of three years dumped her because he "couldn't handle the stress". This has all been just in 2009. (Keep in mind that it is still January.) She is still coming to work (while doing chemo) and is amazingly upbeat and concerned about others. I honestly don't know how she is able to handle all of that. Any one of those things would be extremely difficult for most people. Please keep her in your prayers. She is a kind, wonderful, amazing person and I love her as everyone who knows her does.

Well, that's it for now. I have been up since about 4:00 this morning and actually was able to get some laundry done. There is always a positive side to insomnia.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2009, Birthdays, & Work

Happy New Year! My dad and brother have birthdays in early January. Keith turned 41 on the 3rd and dad turned 63 on the 5th. I'm not sure how mom managed having two birthdays so close together and right after Christmas all of these years. As with the rest of my family, my dad and older brother are amazing. Now, Keith was a little ornery while we were growing up...what with the chasing us around the house with a baseball bat when my parents weren't home at times and locking us outside in the cold frequently. But I have to say that he grew out of that very nicely and is so kind, thoughtful, and caring now. He also tends to be a bit of a dork, but I mean that in the good way. He is very funny and likes to do goofy things that make us laugh. He is a good example for his kids and mine and he is a great dad, just like our dad is. Dad, my daddy...I get very emotional these days when I think of my parents. My dad has always put his family before himself. Growing up, I just thought that was how fathers were. After getting married, I was shocked to find out that isn't always the case. I don't know how I was so blessed to get my dad for my father. One thing that always sticks out in my mind is that my dad has always treated people the same. He shows the same respect for people I would consider scary or possibly crazy (and not in a good way) as he did for distinguished people. I miss being able to see him everyday like I did growing up. Once every couple of months just doesn't quite measure up.

Speaking of birthdays, I have two in January as well, but mine are a little later in the month. As I type this, Nathan and Zachary are both six. They like to call themselves twins during this little overlap in their ages each year. Zachary (my baby) turned six on Tuesday (1/13). Nathan will turn seven on Monday (1/19). Nathan and Zachary really are similar to twins in a lot of ways and people mistake them for twins all the time. They have always had this extremely close bond that I can't quite explain. I love to watch them when they are asleep. Often they are lying there with their arms around each other. It is so cute! I will miss that when they get older. Zachary is the bigger of the two which is funny since he was a preemie. He used to be this tiny, fragile, little thing who had an extended stay in the hospital after he was born. Now he is one big kid. It is hard to believe that my babies are all growing up so fast.

Work. Hmmm....well, one of my New Year's resolutions this year was to be home from work no later than 7:00 p.m. each night. So far, I have done that (but just barely). I really love teaching my little kindergarteners. They are the cutest little things and I love them all. That said, teaching kindergarten is a lot of work. I have taught language arts at the junior high level and self contained classes for grades 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, and K and have found that the amount of work involved increases exponentially the lower the grade is that I teach. However, it is worth it just to know you have touched their lives for the better and to watch them grow. Yesterday was one of my little girl's last day in my class. Her dad doesn't have a job (stupid recession) and they have to move away to Globe to live with relatives. She is just the sweetest little girl! I will miss her so much! Yesterday she was telling me how her feet were hurting her and I told her to take off her shoe so I could see. I thought she had hurt her foot. Her shoes were just too small and they were cutting into the back of her feet. She has very nice parents and she is well cared for and happy, but with no job, I know that they are not able to buy her shoes. I told one of my teacher friends about her and she pitched in some money to help with my plan. After school, I ran to Kmart and picked up a new pair of shoes for her. It was meant to be! She LOVES Hannah Montana. They had Hannah Montana tennis shoes AND they were on sale at an amazing price with one pair left that would fit her. I was so excited! I dropped them off at her house and she was really happy, but she started crying when I went to leave. Ugh! It was hard for me not to cry. I have a friend from high school who teaches kindergarten in Globe and she is a very nice lady. I hope my little sweetie is in her class.

Well, I guess I better get myself ready to get going here today. Erica, her friend Cassie, and I have a day trip planned today and we need to get going. It should be fun.