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“So here’s the thing…

“So here’s the thing…

My new favorite song…today :o)

Filed under: Uncategorized — October 25, 2007 @ 8:50 pm

First week

Filed under: Uncategorized — September 25, 2007 @ 6:09 am

I worked M,W & F this week, and I have another gig lined up this wednesday. Monday I was at Eastland Junior HS (the one I had the great experience w/ … in regard to the staff, anyway.) I’ve decided that 13 year-olds might very possibly be the worse age to sub for. Seriously! 5th and 6th hours….man! I wanted to choke a few kids. The teacher had “prep time” for 1st & 2nd hours and then classes 4th - 7th. So the nice thing about squeezing in 7 class periods into a 7 hour day, including lunch time, is that the kids weren’t w/ me for an entire hour. As I said in my last post, it’s nice to be able to count down the seconds till the kids leave your sight!! In their defense, though, 4th hour wasn’t terrible, just loud w/ chatter. And 7th period was 9th graders which are annoying on a completely different level.

Tuesday I was a “floater” at the H.S. which means I showed up and did whatever job they asked me to do. When I got there, there were SEVEN other subs that had been called - by accident - and the staff told us they’d pay us for 1/2 a day even if we decided to leave, but that they’d try to find something for us to do. One of the subs decided to fill a spot needed at one of the elementary schools (which I actually considered volunteering for after Monday’s stress,  but am now glad that I didn’t.) Another girl, who works as a bank teller normally (??), was on vacation for 2 weeks and got called for sub duty but decided she’d leave and head up north to see her folks because she didn’t really need the money anyway.  So that left 6 of us to place. By the time we actually got our assignments it was heading into 2nd hour, so we grabbed our lists and ran off in different directions. Two of the subs had duties like working the visitors desk or hall monitoring or running errands for the counselors’ offices. I, on the other hand, headed up stairs to a Geometry class. Ended up that there weren’t really any “absent” teachers, just teachers heading for the library to get some extra stuff done. They were sooo excited to see us! Apparently they don’t get much extra “in-school” time for anything except subject prep. One of the teachers was in charge of the homecoming commitee and had been doing all the leg work at home on her own time. The really nice part for us subs was that the teacher met us in the class, took their own attendance, told the class the assignment, and then just left us to babysit.

Third hour I was a hall monitor. Basically you just ask kids to show you their passes. The nice part about being w/ 15 - 18 yr olds is that they have lives and don’t feel that tormenting their sub is the highest point of their day (like 12 - 14 yr olds). I just walked around and kids pretty much flashed the pass at me as they walked by…no biggie…they knew the routine. But I did get a great opportunity to see where all the classes were, so by the time 4th hour rolled around, I knew exactly where I was going in that HUGE 2-story bldg!

Fourth hour I taught an English class. The teacher, having been told I was an English major, just left some notes for me and took off. I really liked that…which is weird because I always say I’m not a “teacher” type, and yet there I was walking around explaining antonyms and talking w/ the kids and actually having fun. Guess being an “English-nerd” out weighs the “not a teacher” bit. There were of course a handful of kids who just didn’t feel like being cooperative, but I just kinda went “eh, they’re 17…their future, their choice, their consequences” and told them to just sit quietly and read or something and take the assignment home. Even the kids who did decide to give me a hard time (which was nothing compared to the JHS) did it w/ such wit and flare, I was hardly able to be upset. I just threw out one of my own witty retorts and that almost seemed to impress them and they lightened up. Because a 17 yr old GETS sarcasm and its proper use! A 13 yr old is just plain rude and mean.

Fifth hour I taught a childcare/parenting class, an elective course. Man! Talk about uncomfortable! The chapter was about teen pregnancy and making choices and whether or not to keep the baby, put it up for adoption, or “discard the pregnancy by medical means.” We’re obviously not allowed to throw out our own opinions and certainly not our religous convictions, so I just silently prayed that last option wouldn’t stay in their memories. I got to walk around then, too, and help kids w/ their assignment. They had to come up w/ a decision that needed to be made (Should I go to college? Should I get a job? Should I quit the swim team?) and then write down the pros and cons of each decision. I enjoyed that part.

The last hour before I left, I actually filled in for the secretary! Too funny. ”Ring, ring… Good afternoon, Roseville High School…”

All in all, I like the HS waaay more than the JHS.

Then yesterday I got called in for a 1/2 day assignment to EJHS again. This time, though, I was much better prepared. I wasn’t nervous anymore, and I’ve gotten much better in my use of threats and intimidation. LOL! Sixth hour was HORRIBLE! I actually told them at the end that I was making a “good” list of the kids who actually did their work quietly and that the list was extremely short…”good luck on Monday.”

When 7th hour came in, I walked over to the door, stood in the door frame and yelled an “over here, guys” in the strongest voice I could come up with, and said this:

It’s 85 degrees today. (pause) It’s incredibly hot in here. The windows are open and this open door is allowing at least some breeze to pass through.

Now…6th hour decided to act up and get so loud that I had to close this door…(pause for effect). You think it’s hot now? You have no idea how bad it got after 10 minutes. SO…can I trust you to keep it quiet and get your work done, or do we want to see how many people can pass out from heat-exaustion?

I had almost no problems after that. ROFL!!  

It’s not a bad job, all-in-all. I get paid $80/day to teach usually 5-6hours. Albeit, the kids can make you want to pull your hair out, but I’m getting better at dealing with it. And as far as my kids getting up on time…Jason’s been doing a great job of making them eat, dress, brush teeth and wait for Amber. 

I had prayed that God would only allow me to work if it would be ok on the family…in other words, please don’t let me have my way if it’s not YOUR WAY. And He’s been faithful. What an awesome God!

It’s official…

Filed under: Uncategorized — September 8, 2007 @ 11:02 am

…I’m a substitute punching bag for the students of Roseville Community Schools. LOL! … once I get a call, that is. I’m on the list now, so we’ll see. The Administration bldg starts their “sub calls” at 5:30am! Yikes!

I was actually dumb enough to specify 7th-12th grade as a preference. It’ll be harder because they start school at 7:40am, and my kids don’t even get up till 7:30am (I’ll have to leave by 7:15-ish.) Which means Jason will have to get the kids up and fed and dressed by 8am for my friend, Amber, to pick them up and drive them to school w/ her kids. HOWEVER, it is much easier to deal w/ a group of kids for only an hour-ish instead of a full 7 hour day. High school kids only have that one class/teacher once a day, which means if a group of kids is just absolutely making me want to pull out my hair, I can take comfort in counting down the minutes till they leave my sight! LOL

I made a couple stops yesterday at the High School and both Jr.Highs to get some maps of the building layout so I won’t have to wander around like an idiot on the first day… or not wander around too much.

The secretaries at the H.S. just looked at me, handed me a map, and went back to work as I walked out. Just crossing the hallway to leave was like crossing a freeway. The kids didn’t stop for anything, (it was between periods) and some of those boys are well over 6′ tall!! I’m officially scared to death. I told Jason I can’t believe I used to work w/ that age group when I was 22 and actually felt like a grown-up in comparison… all confident and motherly. LOL! And now I’m 33 and found myself staring w/ my mouth open thinking, “dear God, what have I gotten myself into?” This’ll be interesting.

 The J.H.S (near the H.S.) was awesome, though! The secretaries were sooo nice. One of them walked over and asked what I needed and when I told her I was just looking to get a map of the layout of the school, she asked me if the admin bldg people had sent me over. “No,” I said, “this is just my personality I guess.” So she starts calling people over to introduce me saying, “isn’t this wonderful! We’ve never had substitutes introduce themselves before” etc. etc. She even introduced me to the principal who was also very very nice. He was telling me about how many staff members they have and stuff, and I was telling him about the many many other female subs I’d met this last week and how they all requested elementary ed. He was hilarious; He crouched his neck down as if he was looking side to side for someone and yelled, “CHICKENS!” I told Jason later that I wish I could just live there and not have to sub anywhere else.

Then I went on to the other J.H.S. (near my house). It’s the bigger of the two. The secretaries there treated me like I was asking to see their underpants! They wouldn’t even let me see a map because of “security issues.” And then they started talking like I wasn’t there, all annoyed, saying, “we’ll have to call the principal down to walk her around cause she can’t just go thru the halls…blah blah blah.” So there I am trying to get their attention and clear up the misunderstanding saying how I’m a new hire who’s just trying to be pro-active about the process before the first day etc. etc…

“You get a sub folder when you get here.”

“I know. I was just hoping to introduce myself and get a map of where some of the classrooms are or the location of the gym and cafeteria, that sort of thing.”

“Yes, but you’ll get a folder when you get here. We can’t just have you going thru the halls now because we’ve had security issues.” (At least this time she’s saying it to my face.)

“Believe me, I completely understand. I have children in school, and I’d be upset if they just let a stranger walk the halls, but honestly, I just wanted to say hi, get a map and go.”

“Well when you get here the first day (great, we’re back to that again) you’ll sign in and get a sub badge and a folder and that will explain everything.”

“Ok…well…thank you for the information. Have a great day…” (You have got to be KIDDING ME!)

Unbelievably bad experience! I left there feeling all dirty, like I was asking if I could molest a couple children on my way out. Sheeesh! It’s just a map people!! I was definitely not expecting that. The first day there is going to be especially uncomfortable. Woo Hoo!

Anyway, I’m nervous but glad to have something to do while the kids are in school. Our house is pretty tiny, and you can only clean it so much before you sit around crazy. Plus, it will add to my prayer life since I’ll have to constantly ask God for help w/ my confidence and composure…kids can smell fear. LOL! I keep reminding myself that when I put in the resume, I asked God to only let me have the job if HE knew I could do it, since He knows me better than I do.  :o)  ….And here I am…

Where has the time gone?

Filed under: Uncategorized — August 8, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

I’m beginning to feel like July is the only real summer vacation month. School runs into June so I only have a couple weeks “off” that usually turn into tying up loose ends from the school year. And August feels like a “getting ready for school” month. I’ve got a bunch of things scheduled that only seem to move August along faster. Like…

…the kids are leaving this Friday to spend a week w/ their Grandma, but instead of a “woo hoo” week planned, I have a bunch of home repairs that have to get done. Sunday is my church’s big “Metro Beach Picnic” at 10am AND my Dad’s “Jamb for the Lamb” event at 11am on the same day! That’ll be challenging. Plus, next Monday is our first soccer mtg (Jason picked up a team again, so he’ll get to coach Keegan), the women’s ministry has a mtg on that Tuesday, Church is Wednesday night, and I have a teacher training mtg on Thursday night. And then the Saturday that the kids get back is a big birthday party bash for Devyn’s friend, Gabby. (Keeg’s invited, too, so that’s nice.)

…continuing forward…Wednesday (22nd) we leave for Cadillac to visit my brother and his family. That “event” I’m actually looking very forward to, but as with any trip, it gets exhausting living out of a bag and sleeping on a blow-up mattress for several days. (Gotta be careful…this line of thinking only makes me depressed that they don’t live down here…stinky GM lady…she doesn’t know what she’s missing.)

Anyway, then we’ll be dropping off the kids w/ Grandma again Saturday night after a 3 1/2 hr drive home so they can go to another party on Sunday the 26th w/ her. And then, of course, go BACK in the car to pick them up.

That will leave us w/ only one teeny last week before school starts! And that brings anxieties of its own. Devyn will be heading for 1st grade…FULL DAYs. She’s going to have to learn to deal w/ keeping her temper in check and obeying the teacher for SEVEN hours…plus getting used to only eating once during the day at a specific time. (She tends to graze.) It will certainly add to our prayer time. lol But the most terrifying thing to happen come September is that I’m going to try and go back to work…a little bit. I’m going to apply for a substitute teaching position. I did that for a “living” a long time ago before I got a permanent position w/ the Redford School Dist., so I’m hoping it’s like riding a bicycle. But I’m still nervous as all get out!! My friend Amber is going to help me out by taking my kids to school for me. I’ll just drop them off w/ her before I leave for work. (Just typing that sentence feels weird!)

So much stuff!! I am definitely looking forward to apple orchard trips! How crazy fast (or slow) has your summer been? Starting a new school year for me is like jumping on a high-speed locomotion that makes only one stop in December. Between Church commitments, soccer, tap & cheerleading as well as almost nightly homework…it gets really really nuts around here!




Filed under: Uncategorized — July 13, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

This past Sunday we had our annual “Praise in the Park” outreach.(Or Pip, as Pastor Tim refers to it.)  It’s an event involving 12 - 13 churches (most from the Detroit area) getting together to share the gospel w/ the community. We have different leaders sing a couple songs w/ an awesome back-up choir, a not-too-long sermon, free food and drinks, a dunk tank filled w/ various pastors, a bouncer for the kids, and even a “travel” communion pack so God’s children could all share in that together. It’s really an amazing time! But unfortunately, it was also amazingly HOT! We hit 100 degrees and coincidentally had about 1/2 our expected visitors. Most were probably in their A/C @ home or in pools… can’t blame them. We also had a big prayer tent set up for anyone who needed it. I thought that was a pretty good idea.

Now that being said, I didn’t get on here to blog merely about PiP. I wanted to tell you about something a bit funnier:

We brought the 10×10 travel canopy thing Dad bought us (it’s come in handy on several occassions now) and had a handful of friends hiding in the shade with us. Jason and I were sitting next to each other in camping chairs and Jan Ropp and her husband walked by wearing matching yellow polo shirts, white shorts AND matching his/her gym shoes! So I turned to Jason and said, “promise me we’re not going to become one of those old couples who start dressing alike to be cute…” So he says, “um…honey…” and I look over to notice that he’s wearing a black t-shirt, khaki shorts and black gym shoes and I’M wearing a black tank-top, a khaki skirt and black flip-flops…

Needless to say, everyone was cracking up.

Woo Hoo!

Filed under: Uncategorized — June 23, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

Ok, so it’s not technically “new,” but I got a Razr yesterday and a blue tooth headset-thingy today… courtesy of my husband’s upgrade to greener pastures. His new stuff is pretty cool, but I’m definitely the more excited of us two.  :o) I can even speak phone calls into existence!! LOL! I’m diggin’ it!


Filed under: Uncategorized — June 11, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

Dev gets out of school tomorrow (as an a.m. Kindergartener), and Keegan finishes 1/2 day on Wednesday. Y’know…right around December it feels like the year is taking FOREVER, but then June hits and it’s like, “wow! Where did the time go?” Next year they’ll both be gone all day, and I’ll have to decide what to do about possibly going back to work of some kind.

So…today we bought a little 2′ pool - 8′x6′- which is good enough for cooling down. We finally got central air…courtesy of next year’s tax return! lol We have a zoo pass for those not-so-hot days and a Science Center pass for those days when we’re just too bored sitting around the house. Plus our friends down the road have a 4′ pool we’re welcome to invade whenever we want, but since Devyn’s scared of it (she’s only 3′9″), we’ll probably get wet over here mostly. Summers are always a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s REALLY nice NOT waking up at 7:15am every morning just to run around making lunches, packing snacks, yelling “I said BRUSH THEM NOW! WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE!!” and fighting the traffic at the drop-off area in front of the school. Plus it will be nice to have a break from volunteering at the school. Yes, obviously I could say no, but there just aren’t enough people to help w/ stuff, and I’d feel guilty knowing I DO have the time and just don’t show up. Besides, it keeps me very up-to-date on what my kids are doing all day.

However…the curse is that summer also means finding things to do everyday. Our house is WAAAY too small to have kids hanging around all afternoon. Which is why I have the different memberships. My friend, Amber, has a membership to Greenfield Village (which I would love to get, but it’s expensive) and she’s kind enough to let us tag along. Hopefully we can find ways to fill the days so no one goes stir-crazy.

So to all my fellow Moms out there (or basically Deb, since I don’t actually know anyone else who would ever visit here), I hope your summer is the perfect combination of quick and slow. LOL     Enjoy it! We deserve the extra hour of sleep! (If we can manage to get our kids to sleep in a little.)

December 4th

Filed under: Uncategorized — December 5, 2006 @ 12:55 am

It’s still monday for me since I haven’t gone to bed yet…

I was driving to Meijer tonight and caught the end of some christian talk radio program. The man was talking about how most of us just skim over the beginnings of chapters in the bible that give a looong geneality of “So-and-so, son of this guy, son of this other guy who had 8 sons, etc etc…” but that it’s actually one of the most important lessons that God gives us; and that is, family is important. Those people among the long list of names shared the knowledge and love of the one true God with their children, their children’s children and so forth. Generations upon generations were blessed by someone else’s faith who made sure they shared it with their family. What hit me most was when the man said that you never really know just how far the legacy of your life will travel. We take nothing with us when we leave this place, but we can leave something more valuable than any possession… Our faith in Jesus Christ.

Marge died 3 years ago today. I wrote about her last year and tried to convey the magnitude of her faith…that she was a pebble that started a whole avalanche of salvation in our family. Today, while helping Keegan with his homework, I started thinking of how much of my children’s lives she’s missed, or rather how much of their Mamaw they’ve missed out on. She really was a wonderful person. And she’d have been such a great influence on them…and me.

 I guess that’s my job now… to make sure that her legacy doesn’t die with me, or even my kids. I want the book of her life to have a long list of all of us who were somehow influenced by her faith that was shared from generation to generation.

Ho hum

Filed under: Uncategorized — September 21, 2006 @ 8:29 am

Can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written here. So I guess I’m going to pull a “Deb” and just say hi, etc. etc…

My kids started school a few weeks ago. Anyone who knows us knows that Keegan has always been nothing but a blessing to his teachers. We’ve never had to worry about him causing the slightest disruption or putting anything less than 100% effort into his school work…

Devyn, on the other hand, has more of a stubborn streak. On her second day of school I sent a note to the teacher explaining how we’re very aware of how stubborn she can be, that we’re working hard on making sure she understands the importance of making good choices and obeying her teacher, and that I’d appreciate her (Ms. Sharpe) letting me know if she has any problems at all with Devyn.

Sooo, I go to pick her up on that second day and there’s a note from the teacher explaining how Devyn had a little trouble cooperating during “circle time.”  Jason and I decided to stick the note into her “school keepsake book” so, as Jason puts it, “we can laugh at it later or use it as state evidence.” LOL!

We tried the grounding her to her room routine, but that just seemed to provoke crying, not changed behavior. So I decided to try the positive reinforcement path. Each day that the kids (Keegan, too, since it would be mean to leave him out) stay on green, they get a “coupon” from us. The school uses green (good behavior), yellow (warning) and red (consequence - principal, call home etc.). In kindergarten they add the color orange before red because that age group needs a little more time to understand the system and learn school-appropriate behavior. The kids collect coupons for good behavior and other special things like A’s on a test, being a good helper to the teacher, behaving in Tap class, playing nicely with a sibling… that stuff. They collect the coupons in a box and can turn them in for prizes. Ten coupons gets them a trip to Dairy Queen, 15 is a trip to the movies, and 20 is a special alone-time dinner with mom or dad at the restaurant of their choice.

It’s been GREAT! Devyn’s only been on yellow once and not because she was being disrespectful. She was busy talking to new kids on her 4th day of school and apparently lots of other kids got on yellow, too. Ms. Sharpe pointed out that the kids are still getting used to each other and trying to make new friends so it’s to be expected. But she’s been on green ever since. AND she’s even started putting more effort into her work. Keegan’s been pretty excited about it, too… earning coupons for staying on green (like usual), aceing tests on math and spelling, etc. I even sent the coupon book to Grandma’s last weekend when they visited so that she could decide if their behavior earned them any. (Got 1 each.)  It’s so nice to seem them actually strive for excellence rather than just trying to stay out of trouble. There’s a big difference after all. Right?  :-)

So what else?…. Oh! I’ve started a new book. It’s actually part of a 3 book series (which I LOVE because I’ll have 2 more books to look forward too without searching for a new one.)  It’s a christian fiction book called Black. So far it’s pretty interesting. Lots of twists, and I’m only at chapter 5! I’ll let you know how it goes.

So, wow! that’s my “hello.” Didn’t realize how long this would be or how many darn “apostrophe’s” there’d be. LOL!

Sorry it took me so long to write. Thanks for taking the time to read this great big long entry.


Poor Chloe

Filed under: Uncategorized — August 18, 2006 @ 1:02 am

My poor cat has been on constant “high alert” for the last 3 hours. Somehow, maybe in the few minutes it took me and the kids to open the door and come in from an outing to the show, several tiny little gnat-like bugs flew into the house. Now, you’d have to see how crazy Chloe gets when just one little fly has the misfortune of landing inside the house… She’ll spend hours patiently waiting for the thing to buzz within a few feet of her and then will somehow hurl all of her 15 lbs into the air and catch the fly in her mouth! Then she’ll proceed to bat it around the carpet for a few seconds, put it back in her mouth to bite it just slightly, then release the poor wounded creature back into the air only to repeat the torment like a sick game. (Yes, I’ve actually watched her do this TWICE, I’m ashamed to say, until my husband finally took the fly away from Chloe, chiding us both for “being mean.” Is it so bad that I was just a little bit proud of her determination and ferocity? lol!) She’s actually quite the little huntress. We’ve even awoken a few times to a dead centipede on the living room carpet with all of it’s legs removed! …maybe she just chewed up one side and down the other like an ear of corn. LOL! Ohhh that’s gross… sorry…

Anyway, now the poor thing has been pacing the living room, every so often stopping suddenly to glare up at some part of the wall or ceiling with that “I dare you” look. I’m just impressed that she can actually SEE the tinsy things. Watch, tomorrow I’ll come downstairs and find a disgusting little pile of near-microscopic dead bugs proudly displayed on the kitchen floor or something.

She’s lucky she’s so darn adorable.