Thursday, May 31, 2007

OOOOOooooklahoma where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...

I've always loved that song. What other state has a Rogers&Hammerstein musical and such a well-known state song to boot? Imagine the depravity of a society lacking tunes such as "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" or "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin". I ask you, how much more beautiful can your mornin' get than if you're looking at corn as high as an elephant's eye? And what girl doesn't long for a ride in a surrey while cats and dogs dance in heather and the cows moo in the clover?

I'd go moo in some clover myself if I could find out within the next little bit that I've been hired to teach in my home town. I interviewed for an elementary position on Tuesday and it went very well. The elementary schools in Duncan are all the same from my childhood. Each of them are small (2 or 3 sections of each grade level) and set in the middle of neighborhoods. I am very intrigued by the possibility of teaching in such a cozy setting where there's the potential of knowing every student in the school by name. Honestly, I'd love that.

I'll be back in Granbury for the weekend where I'm having a giant garage sale. If any of you are in need of some really good junk....let me know. If you'll pay the shipping costs I'll let the whole lot of it go for about fifty bucks! ha! I'll post some pictures later, after I get it all set up. Should be fun!

p.s. (mostly for peterson's amusement) I believe the fringed surrey to be ample proof that gay folks have played a part in the history of my great home state. ;)

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Made It!

5-25-07: this post has been updated with my reply to my student's email

Today was the last day of school!

As I made the right turn from the long driveway out of the school parking lot, for just a second, I thought I was going to melt into a puddle of tears. This year reflects back to me like an extremely long and surreal dream. I know, beyond all doubt, that's it's been by the grace of God that I've made it through and been successful. Success, in this profession, is measured by state mandated testing and only 12 of my 135 students failed the test. While I'm not exactly content with a 90% passing rate, I know I gave it my dead level best, short of actually adopting those 12 as my own. Even at that, I'm not so sure it would have happened for them.

But getting high percentages on high stakes testing isn't really how I measure success at all. This is an excerpt from an email I opened just a bit ago from one of my students.

I meant what I wrote in your memory book, about you being my hero. The more I get to know you, the more I want to be just like you when I grow up. I never thought my role model would be my teacher and friend, but surprises happen every day! I just admire the way you can always trust in God, even through the hard times. I accepted Christ when I was 5, but sometimes I doubt whether he's really there, because I can't really feel him, ya know? I know I should be reading the bible and stuff every day, but sometimes I forget, and when I do remember, I don't really feel like it, but at Church and things like that, I get really into it. Anyway, I hope I can learn to be like you.

Reading that letter DID bring the puddle of tears. It's such a jolt to read something like that because I tend to focus on my failures. So many things have not turned out "right" in my life, and yet this child is looking up to me. I feel like there's just so much she doesn't know about the "just like me" she has in her head. I'll let you know how I respond to her.


*the reply*
I wanted you to know that it's very touching for me to hear you say that I'm your hero, but it's also a bit scary. I know you are very level-headed, but for my own peace of mind I just want to respond to your sentiment a bit. The thing is, you are seeing me only during a tiny space of time....and it happens to be a time when I'm doing the very thing I feel most called to do in the world. Teaching gives me a great opportunity to demonstrate Christ-like qualities. Jesus was a teacher, after all, and for me, teaching and being like Him go hand-in hand. I have to be honest with you and let you know that there are many other times during the day and during the week when I have a great deal of difficulty maintaining a Christ-like attitude. Also, some of the difficulties I've faced, have been a direct result of my own bad choices. I think one of the reasons I'm able to trust in God so strongly now is because there have been times when I barely trusted in Him at all. I guess I just want to remind you that the qualities you admire in me aren't really "me"....they are just me allowing Christ to show up and I honestly feel much of the time that I'm just barely squeaking that out. I don't want you to think that I'm belittling your compliment, I'm not. But I do think your words about me say much about you. It's clear that you choose to focus on the good and you are merciful and graceful toward others. I'm honored to be the recipient of your esteem!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Wedding Planner

One of the things Tdub and I often did at church was coordinate and decorate weddings. Even though event planning and execution of any kind tends to be stressful, it was just something we're both cut out to do.

This past weekend I executed my first wedding sans Tdub. Thankfully, the bride appreciated simplicity and allowed me the freedom to do whatever I deemed necessary to create the atmosphere she'd described to me in our initial meeting.

And now, some good news in the midst of all the gut-punching that's gone on lately: the wedding was beautiful; the bride was thrilled with everything; (this is really the bottom-line of successful wedding-planning for me...just keep that bride happy) and I proved to myself that I can coordinate a wedding successfully without Tdub.

During the 9 months since the demise of the marriage, I've managed to pull off almost every major activity alone that Tdub and I did together. It's been difficult at times, but I'm thankful it's worked out this way. For me, the "doing" of the things we did together, and achieving success with them, is not only reassuring but healing. I can't say that I've looked forward to doing any of them, and yet I'm grateful for having forged ahead in spite of an inner desire to sink back.

Here are some shots of the wedding decor' and one of me with Drew and Daniel (who was an usher).

love and grace,
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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tough Week

It's been a tough week for me. I haven't shared many details surrounding Tdub's departure, and that's not my intention. However, my details are affected by his details until I get completely past all this, or at least far enough that I don't still become fraught with emotion over it at the drop of a hat.

Tdub's new partner is moving here, and they are buying a house in the development where I owned a house before Tdub and I married and moved into town. It's a pretty tough blow for me. If you've read the blog much, you know that while I enjoyed many aspects of living in the old house that needed complete renovation, I was becoming weary of it. The emotions of it are compounded by the fact that, at the time we married, Tdub was adamant about not living in the particular development (it's quite nice) where I already owned a home. And yes, I did enjoy living in town as well because of the easy access to the schools and such. This is still a pretty major kick in the gut for me. And it's one of the primary reasons I'm so determined to move away from this community. I just need a fresh start, away from the reminders of the past, least of all having Tdub's continued journey passing to and fro in front of me from time to time.

I can't even write about it here without breaking down. I guess, this is the final blow in just how OVER, it all is. I'd invested a great deal of myself into the marriage. I recognize it more when this sort of thing seems to hurl itself into my face. I don't believe that's his intent, but it couldn't be more hurtful even if it were. I may write more about it later. I've hesitated to write about this sort of thing, but it's time. I can't divert forever with pictures of my darling dachshunds!

love and grace,

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Whippin'

Get ready for the "whippin" of pictures I'm going to provide of this new baby girl.
I had fun fun fun picking out a sparkly pink collar....I'm
pretty sure it won't be her only accessory before all is said and done.

She and Sparky are sparring here over her first little toy....a giraffe.

Emma, Sparky, and our cat, Puma after a tough day of doing nothing but being cared for by Yours Truly.

Just one more....for now... *wink*

Thanks muchly to Norm!, Christine, and Regan for the thoughtful Happy Mother's Day wishes. Two of the boys were out of town today, so we'll have dinner together...just night next week. It's all good. I am blessed and certainly favored of God to be the mother of four such beautiful and very unique individuals.

love and grace,

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007



Daniel and Drew took me to pick her out as a Mother's Day gift. She's so precious. Sparky is enjoying his baby sister....despite this "look" I caught a few hours after arriving home with her.

I wasn't aware of how much Sparky's grown.
Goodness! He looks like such a big fella' now
compared to baby Emma.

Christine posed a great question in the comments....wondering what Drew's reaction will be when Emma gets her surgery. We shall see. :)

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Another Dachshund

I'm thinking very seriously about getting a "brother" for Sparky. I seriously that Drew and I are going to look at a potential "brother" for him after school tomorrow. We are so crazy nuts for this dog, and from everything I've read it's good for them to be in pairs for companionship because of their social demeanor. Well, as long as you get them "fixed", that is. Which, we all know, I'm a fan of the "fixing" surgery for my doggies. ;)

Only THREE more weeks of school!!! Woo hoo! I'm going to seriously miss my students. I believe that teaching 7th graders has been the perfect profession for me this year. I mean, seriously, how could I possibly get dragged down by my own "angst" when I'm surrounded all day long by 7th graders. If angst was a football game, 7th grade would be the Super Bowl. If angst were a painting, 7th grade would be the Lourve. If angst was a walk in the park, 7th grade would be Disney World. They have it perfected. And they've provided me with a worthwhile and many times humorous diversion to my own angst this year.

If we come home with a brother for Sparky tomorrow, I'll post some pictures!

love and grace,

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