Thursday, December 1, 2011


In reading over my hodge-podge of posts, I realized that I didn't have an update between the last big break in blogs. This December finds me at a new school. I took a job as a one-on-one paraprofessional working with a visually-impaired, partially-paralylzed and learning-disabled 6th grader. Yes, I'm now working in a middle school. What. Was. I. Thinking? The hormones!!

Big Kenny went to part-time at the church and took a fulltime CIO job at the college he's getting his Master's at. Dayannah is still there working on her Bachelor's degree. Little Kenny is at my alma mater, Point University (formerly Atlanta Christian College) working on a music/youth ministry degree. Lorie is co-drum major and Meg is working through her first year in in band and high school. Jo is all by her lonesome at her middle school. I did think of bringing her with me but as it became apparent all too quickly that I could not handle this job for long (I am so bored...I didn't like 6th grade when I went through it the first time. Now that I'm doing it for the 2nd time and s-l-o-w-l-y, it's like a slow death every day), I'm glad I left her where she is because I've already informed them that I won't be back next school year. I don't know WHAT I will be doing, but it won't be this!

So, that catches you up with me! :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Poo bomb

My Facebook status read, " I didn't ever care to know what would happen if a piece of dog poo fell from about 3 feet in the air and hit a shoe in mid-stride as one hustled a dog outside. But I know now...and I really truly could have lived a rich, full life without that knowledge!" TMI? Maybe. Graphic? Not as graphic as I could have gone. However, as I explained further down in the comments from that status, the answer is that what happens is that the poo explodes into a thousand jillion little poopie pieces. Okay, so that was a little graphic. Be glad there is not Smell in your computer screen. Words CANNOT describe.

We are, as you probably guessed, trying to potty train the dog. Success is limited at best. I'm starting to feel that I need to edit the Borg tagline so it reads, "Success is futile." How many times have I caught that dog mid-squat and ran him out the door only to have him run around the yard for the next hour with no deposits? Well, no deposits until he comes inside and there, "Hoot, there it is!"

I am determined, however, to win the Battle of Poo. I am a worthy opponent, as this Yorkie Terrorist that we have brought into our family will so realize. Everyone in my family already knows, and soon so shall he...I always win.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oh my aching everything

I don't know why I do it. I get these "great" ideas and sometimes, not very often, they actually come into fruition. And then I pay! And I usually pay good.

So it's Thanksgiving Break and I was determined that the Break would not be one be screen-fest where everyone spends the entire time on the computer or watching the Tube. First of all, not very "family" and secondly, everyone seems to get into a moody funk staring at a screen all day. That's not to say that tons of screen time has not been spent.

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand. Me being an achy mess. I've been talking about painting for awhile. With the exception of bedrooms and one bathroom, the major part of our learning space (kitchen, dining, family rooms and entryway) has been pumpkin colored. Well, technically it was very dirty pumpkin. So I took the bullet by the hand (don't think that's the correct phrase) and went and bought paint. I was going for a sage green (because I love those dusky, fall-y colors) for the entry and below chairrail in the dining area and then a cream for above the chairrail and kitchen. Then I was going to finally put up my piggy border in the kitchen. I'd only bought it 6-7 years ago...not that long ago as I fly. So the first day we concentrated on the green. I asked for a stepladder which none of the kids could find so I ended up cutting in the ceiling and top 1/3 of the walls on my tip-toes. (You have to be specific with my kids as there was a perfectly good ladder in the garage. My fault for not checking myself!) So now I can't move without groaning. I can sit, stand, walk, stretch, nada without a groan accompanying it.

But my entryway, dining area and kitchen look great. :) I think I'll try to con a kid into helping (read: do the bulk of the work) me paint the living room on Friday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Holy proctoring, Batman!

Students are taking 3rd quarter benchmarks. In order to prepare them for the CRCT testing in late April, they set up benchmarks with the same parameters: everyone tests at the same time, proctors in rooms, no movement in rooms, etc. I'm proctoring in a 3rd grade room. Good heavens, what an eye opener. All parents need to come spend a morning in their child's classroom observing. There are 21 students in this room and in the hour I've been in here DURING A MAJOR TEST most of the students have had to be redirected. I see these kids every day during lunch duty so I know many of them tend to be a bit mouthy, but I guess I assumed that they could get their crap together during academic times. I guessed wrong. This poor teacher, and she's a good one, has kids mouthing off to her, arguing, up and roaming the room, making noise, putting their heads down and sleeping...and let's not forget about the whining. It's like a second language for most of them. How do you get to be 8-9 years old with such an overwhelming entitlement attitude?! They are genuinely surprised that they can't do whatever they want to do. And expecting them to be, not gonna happen. Most of these kids are wearing designer clothes and shoes yet they can't be bothered to bring in a 10 cent pencil to school.

Love this quote from the teacher: "What are you doing to improve yourself in 3rd grade? There is no test for looking around the room."

Teacher left to take the tests back to the testing center. She was only gone for 10 minutes. The students were supposed to read quietly at their desks but could use the computers to take AR tests as they were available. Here's how I spent that 10 minutes:

"Please open your book." "Who me?" "Is your book open?" "Yes." "Then I'm not talking to you."
"You have to have your eyes on the words for it to count as reading."
"Please stop talking."
"Xxxx, you've been at the computer too long. You are done." "I'm waiting for the password." "I don't have it. You are done. Please return to your seat. " "Daaaaaaang." "Sit down and read." (Student sits at desk mumbling under breath and writing on book cover.) "Please put down the pencil, stop talking under your breath and read." "I read this booooooook!" "I asked you to stop talking. Just open the book and read."
And on and on and on. It is simply unfathomable to me that students in the last half of 3rd grade cannot be told to sit down and read without having to constantly redirect them over and over.

These poor teachers...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New year, running in place

Last post was in June, now it's 8 months later and part of me can't think of anything that's changed but then...doesn't everything change? We're on the cusp of some major changes: Lorie is finishing up her driving school time and takes her test at the beginning of March. Dayannah (we have a "new child." Dayannah came to live with us on July 5. She was just going to be here until she figured out what to do as her former living arrangement blew up in her face. But she is now part of the family and we are looking into adopting her!)  is carrying a full load at Luther Rice and got a job on-campus in the library. "Little" Kenny is finishing up his senior year in high school with an unclear path of what's in front of him. Meg is about to finish her time in middle school and heads to the "big league" of high school in August. Jo is still trying to figure out her place among her friends and even in the family. Being the baby is not much fun, apparently, and most of her friends have started blossoming, leaving her wondering why everyone's changed so much.

I had to get used to a new ITS at work (she's lovely, by the way) and increased non-job duties. Two hours of my day are spent supervising students (30 morning bus duty and 1.5 hr lunch monitoring). It's a humbling thought to know that your job is so unimportant that you are pulled to monitor chaos. Self-preservation has me wearing ear plugs and I've had to take the approach that as long as they are throwing food or hurting each other, everything else is okay. I used to drive myself nuts over the noise and disrespect and the unclear expectations over what is and isn't acceptable (and how we are supposed to manage behavior), but I can't handle that kind of stress in my world.

So, I guess there have been changes. But being on the edge of HUGE changes in the few months kind of colors my view, I guess.