Wednesday, September 30, 2009

nearly wordless wednesday...

Last week was the Kentucky Kids celebration throughout schools in well, Kentucky of course:)

Emma's school had a Hawaiian themed celebration...

The children were encouraged to dress up....

and each class was having a "Best Dressed" award!

getting a picture without a goofy face is becoming
IMPOSSIBLE

Emma had a good time dressing like a hula girl...

When I called from my class to check on her, she was very excited to tell me all about the fun she had that day in school...

After telling me about the games and songs, she got kind of quiet and said sadly, "We had a contest in our class, but I didn't win. The girl who wore the coconut bra won!"

If it takes wearing a coconut bra to win, we are okay with honorable mention!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

diamonds are a girl's best friend...

500-carat diamond found at S. African mine...

{picture from msnbc}

Now that would make a pretty little ring wouldn't it!!!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

inverse function...

I am fortunate enough (insert hysterical laughter) to be taking Calculus this term.

One of the topics we recently 'learned' (and I use that term loosely) is inverse functions.

You know, when what was x is now y. What was C(m) is now C-1(m). Or something like that!

I think my children have been learning right along with me.

Why else, in less than a 12 hour time period would I be able to say....

"EMMA WHERE ARE YOU SHOES? I AM SO TIRED OF GOING THROUGH THIS EVERY MORNING! THERE IS A SHELF IN THE GARAGE SPECIFICALLY FOR SHOES! IF YOU PUT YOUR SHOES WHERE THEY BELONGED WE WOULDN'T HAVE TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION EVERY STINKIN' MORNING!!!

that was written in caps for effect only. I would NEVER dream of raising my voice~especially at 8:00am.

And less than 9 hours later have to say...

"EMMA, WHY WERE YOUR SHOES LEFT LYING IN THE FRONT HALLWAY? ARE THEY THERE FOR EVERYONE TO TRIP OVER!

again, caps ~~only for emphasis, no voices were raised in the bellowing softly speaking of these sentences:)

AND if they have not been absorbing my lessons on inverse functions why would these sentences have had to be spoken.....

Michaela, why is the kitchen light on when the sun is shining and the room is blindingly bright? Do you want to pay the next electric bill?

and then, just a few hours later....

Don't you think that maybe you should turn a light on so you can see what you are reading without killing your eyesight. Common sense would tell you that if the room is dark, turn on a light!

I think they have got the idea of 'inverse' down pat!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

not enough time in a day...

I have an Anatomy and Physiology test at 10:00am Monday...

and a Calculus test at 4:00 on Monday...

STUDY STUDY STUDY!

No time or brain function left over....

I'll be back Monday evening!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

i dream of genie...

I am easy to please...

just give me perfection and I am happy as a lark :)


I do not ask for much in life...


ability to pay the bills, buy groceries, and purchase the always needed Pepsi :)

So, if I was to stumble upon a magical lamp...

rub the sides....


and have a genie pop out, granting me three wishes...


I do not think I would I ask for a few million dollars.


Nor would I wish for a beautiful black BMW to be parked in my driveway.


And I doubt I would use a wish for fame or beauty.


My wishes would be simple....
I would wish for a store that sold blue jeans that fit my teenage daughter's body!

I would plead with the genie for jeans that even though they are made for 'short' length, they would actually be cut the same as the jeans made for 'regular' length!

I would use my final wish to wish for a personal shopper to take my teenage daughter shopping for jeans so that I could avoid the drama that comes with trying to find the 'perfect pair'!

*Sigh*

Oh wait, maybe I SHOULD ask for the millions~~than I could pay for all of the above :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

not quite wordless wednesday...

Did you ever have opportunity to go through your grandmother's attic? To be able to travel back into time while you admired the items your grandmother held dear from a time now past? To sit for hours on the attic floor as she reminisced about life as a young girl, a new wife, and a first time mom. To experience the joy as she rediscovered memories tucked away in the attic?

There is nothing better than discovering treasures that are tucked away in an attic.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I AM FAIRLY CERTAIN THAT THOSE TREASURES DO NOT INCLUDE A WASP?/HORNETS? NEST THAT SPANS ABOUT 10 INCHES ACROSS IN DIAMETER.

***my husband went up and took these for me:) He bought a can of spray to kill them, but after I saw the size of the nest I encouraged him to find a pesticide bomb or something~~I would rather him NOT have to be taken to the ER because he was attacked by 100s of these!!
~~~~~
for more wordless wednesday posts check out:
seven clown circus
ordinary and awesome
wordless wednesday
5 minutes for mom

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

say it isn't so...

It has to happen...

We cannot fight it. It is inevitable.

At some point in our adult life we will realize that the one thing we swore would never happen has happened...

Sometime, between the frivolous days of college and the trying days of middle age, the inescapable occurs...

we open our mouths and the words that come forth are not our own....

they are the words of OUR PARENTS!!!!

As you are having a conversation with your husband about budgeting (UGH!) and you say,"You know, if I had extra money right now I would love to go to the nursery and get some plants for the yard" you are taken back a decade (or two) when your mother asked for a wheelbarrow (or garden hose, or toilet~~something crazy) for her birthday; You see your teenager looking at you like you are a lunatic. You remember giving the same look and thinking how weird it was to want something besides clothing or jewelry~~let alone a wheelbarrow! You realize at the very moment the words passed through your lips there was no turning back.

The imminent has happened...

You have become your parent!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

bloom despair and agony on me....

Worn out....

Whipped....

Tired....

Beat down...

It has just been one of those days...the kind that make you want to grab a large Pepsi with extra ice and sit in a quiet corner (too bad Skyline closes in 3 minutes!!!).

The day began after a restless night brought on by the aggravation with myself for not studying for my A&P test...

I gave in to Mac's whining to stay in La Grange yesterday afternoon instead of coming home to study as I had planned~~~NO MORE 'NICE MOM':)

So, I started the day tired...

I drove Emma to school...

and I then headed to CS.

I took the test at 10:00...

I made a 84%

Um NO!! that is not good. I do not like anything below a 95%.

I need to lower my expectations and give myself a break :)

Three hour break~~studying, lunch, and people watching...

Diversity class~~~UGH!!!

Calculus class...

Took a quiz~~~could not remember what to do with a number taken to a fractional power.

Have a headache from sitting there trying to remember.

DREAD that score:(

5:40~~~leave the parking garage.

Highway shut down on other side of bridge.

Guess where I need to be?

Yup! The other side of the bridge!

Go around to the other bridge....

as do the gazillion other drivers trying to get across the river!

Call Steve to tell him I am going to be very late getting home~~dinner fixin' is all him tonight.

20 minutes later, i.e. ONE MILE in traffic jam time, Michaela calls me..

"Turn the radio to B-105."~~the local country station.

My daughter has lost her mind and is listening to country music....

With great apprehension I go to the BEE....

'BIG GREEN TRACTOR' !!!! Are you kidding me!!!

'Thanks sweetie, that makes going 1 mile in 20 minutes so much better" (insert sarcastic tone)

ONE HOUR AND 45 MINUTES LATER~~~complete the 23 mile drive home!

BUT........

the internet is back, so I am going to lay in my bed and watch a show on the computer and enjoy a moment or two of calmness and quiet!!!!!!

But I sure do wish had an ice cold Pepsi to sip while I lay here! "STEVE!!!!!!" :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

modern technology...

Our internet service has been down for 2 days.

Cincinnati Bell has informed us that there is an outage in our area, but there is no estimated time of repair...

translated~~~"We will fix the problem on Monday because we do not want to have to pay anyone overtime pay."

I have 'borrowed' someone's~~~who obviously does not have CB as their provider..

and if I sit real still, hold my breath, and do not jiggle the laptop even a fraction of an inch, I might keep the connection until I finish typing this.

I will hopefully be back on Monday!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

mediocrity....

Why is it that some individuals are okay with doing just the bare minimum? Never wanting to make an extra effort; not daring to take a step out of their comfort zone? Being content with mediocrity?

I am fine doing what I am doing.

I don't want to do any more.

I just don't want to! Why is that not okay?


Why is it NOT okay to ignore opportunities to do more, to be better?

Why is NOT okay to avoid pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone?

Why is it NOT okay to be content with exerting the bare minimum effort in the things that you are involved in?

WHY?

It just isn't, that's why!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

not quite wordless wednesday...

The sad thing....

now that she is a teenager....

I see this "You are crazy and annoying me Mom" look a lot..

with a little less dirt on her face~~~usually:)
~~~~
for more wordless wednesday posts check out:
seven clown circus
ordinary and awesome
wordless wednesday
5 minutes for mom

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

anyway...

ANYWAY

Mother Teresa

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.

Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People need help but will attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

Monday, September 14, 2009

um, never saw THAT at BSU....

Today, as I had a three hour gap to fill, I sat in one of the walkways people watching. I love to watch people interact with one another; to see how they respond to those around them. Wow! What a colorful, diverse community I observed today.

Having gone back to school at the age of 40, I knew that the experience would be completely different than the years I attended Ball State University~~~ when I was, ahem, much younger. The differences were inevitable. Life experiences, family responsibilities, demands on my time have changed who I am in the last 20+ years of my life. I bring a knowledge to my new college experience that I could not have had when I was 18.

While life and maturity has certainly created a different outlook and experience in this new college endeavor, so has attending a community college as opposed to a large university. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Technical and Community colleges~~ I am obviously attending one now and have been completely satisfied with the coursework so far. But the campus of a technical college in the city of Cincinnati certainly has a dynamic that Ball State University did not!

As I watched the college community unfold before me today, I saw things I would have NEVER seen at BSU....

  • Babies and children everywhere.
I know most of my instructors do not allow children in the classrooms, so I am not sure where these children go. I can truthfully say that RARELY did I see young babies and children swarming the halls at BSU!


  • Pregnant girls in every class. Pregnant women in the hallways. Bulging bellies galore!



  • Crazy, AWFUL outfits.
I know we dressed oddly at BSU~~sweatshirts with shorts in the dead of winter. Lounging pants that we had on as we rolled out of bed. Sloppy, grubby clothes. I can definitely say that not once did I encounter anyone wearing SHORT, SHORT cutoff jean shorts and stiletto heels to classes!

YEAH! NO PICTURE OF THAT VISION OF HOOCHY HERE!

There was so many colorful individuals to watch today. Some made me smile. Some made me cringe. Some just plain scared me.

The one thing I observed that caught me completely off guard...
  • the ankle monitor of the young man holding the door open for me.


Yeah, wasn't expecting to see that!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

best laid plans...

Emma with her birthday doll from her Grandma Phillips
she has named her~~~~Phillips:)

she LOVES her!!

So... I had planned to take the girls to the old barn across the road from our subdivision and take some pictures today.
Of course, I should have known better than to make plans!!!!

Emma woke up around 9:00~~~which may sound late to may of you, but she is our early riser!

she then laid back down on the couch with me~~~this should have been my first sign that the day was NOT going to go as planned.

At about 10:00 am, she said she was hungry..

we got up from the couch, she walked over to the settee to get a blanket, and proceeded to spew all over the footstool (which of course is fabric!).

I am just thankful she missed the wool rug!!!!

So, needless to say, NO PICTURES today!

Maybe when she has some color and can keep her food down:)
~~~~
I would like to say I have the BEST teenage daughter!!!!

While I was in the bathroom with Emma, Michaela CLEANED UP THE MESS!!!

What a great kiddo!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

friday frivolity...

It is Friday again. My, where does the time go!
~~~~~~~
This was a very uneventful week...

a surprise party, Michaela spending the weekend in La Grange, school, dance classes, bible study...

constantly running around, driving the girls here and there!

you know, the normal!!
~~~~~~~
There was a teenage Bible study in Louisville on Friday...

Michaela, Rebecca, Breanna, and the Sadler boys rode the TARC bus into Louisville...

5 teenagers on public transportation...

1 stop, a 35 minute drive...

3 mothers putting on a brave-face about our children being on the TARC bus....

5 teenagers wondering WHY the adults were hanging around waiting for the bus to pull away...

A collective sigh of relief when the call came that they had safely met up with Mr. Billy!!!
~~~~~~~~~
I haven't embarrassed Mac lately so.....:)

I went down to put a load of laundry in the other night...

well actually it was more like 2 in the morning....

this is what I saw when I reached the bottom of the stairs...
Michaela...sleeping at the bottom of the bed, feet hanging off...

doesn't she look like a pleasure to share a bed with???
and it looks like she is sucking her thumb...

she says she wasn't!!!!!with her special 'big girl' pillow!!!!
~~~~~~~
**Yes, she is in the basement, i.e. the dungeon.
**No, the walls are not finished.
**Yes, she loves it down there in her own space!!

**and we do throw food to her and let her out for fresh air every now and then:)
~~~~~~~~
Michaela is loving dance team...

FINALLY!

The 3 hours of practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays have been an adjustment...

Ballet Corp begins tomorrow...

another 90 minutes of practice!

having to be up, functional, and out of the house by 11:30 on a Saturday...UGH!
~~~~~~~~~
AND.... she will be having LOTS of fundraisers to help pay for her competitions...

candles, Market Day pies, cookie dough, Tastefully Simple...

she'll be talking to you about it...

isn't that exciting!!!!
~~~~~~~~~~
I survived my 7 hour school day today...

on 45 minutes of sleep...

it wasn't easy it was miserable...

and I changed Calculus instructors today...

so now I will have a three hour gap on Monday and Wednesdays...

and have to be in class until 5:30!

UGH!!!!

but I will actually learn Calculus with the new instructor!
~~~~~~~~~~
I have saved the best news most disgusting news for last...

I learned in lab this morning that we will be dissecting on Monday...

A RAT!!

I am PETRIFIED of mice...

not just "Eck, there's a mouse!"...

but heart racing, panic stricken, heeby-jeeby causing PETRIFIED...

and I have to touch and cut up a RAT!!!!

Oh let me get through the next few A&P labs...

without incident!!
~~~~~~~~~
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ask and it shall be given....

As faithful Christians we are given the privilege of going to our heavenly Father in prayer. God wants us to come to Him with our needs, our fears, our concerns for ourselves, our families, and our communities. He desires our communication, the pouring out of our hearts in times of trials and in times of rejoicing. Just as we desire our children to come to us, so too does our heavenly Father desire our coming to Him in prayer.

For some prayer seems to come so easy, for me
it is a constant struggle and has been for many years. Truthfully, since my father was diagnosed with cancer and died. While I knew in my heart that God did care about him, I questioned WHY my father was not healed? WHY, with so many people across the country praying for him, were the prayers ineffective? WHY did the cancer still win? WHY were our prayers for healing not answered while prayers for others were? I began to doubt the power of prayer. I began to question if my faith was too weak for God to hear my prayers. Had I not ask for the right thing? Why if Matthew 21:22 states, And in all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive, was my prayer for healing not answered? I got angry and sadly, I stopped talking to God.

Thankfully, God is a loving, patient, and merciful God.

While persistent prayer still does not come 'naturally' for me, I know that my prayers are heard. I know that they are all answered. When we prayed for the healing of my father, God's answer was "No!" When Steve and I prayed for children during our struggles with infertility, God answered with a "Not yet, but in my time." When we prayed for a different job for Steve in 2004, God answered with a "Yes, but it will be in England." When I prayed for patience, God gave me Emma Shea:) Prayers are not always answered as we would like for them to be, but we can have faith that all prayers are answered as God knows we need them to be.

I am awestruck to know that if I am a faithful follower of the biblical principles, my words will be heard by the creator of all that is around us. 1 Peter 3:12 states, For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. God has promised that prayers, asked in faith, will be heard; The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much {James 5:16} We are told to pray about our health, the salvation of those who are lost, for those in government, for those afflicted by job loss, illness, hardships... without ceasing {1 Thess.5:17} and to Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. {Co. 4:2}; to be persistent in our requests.

There is power in prayer when we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and we seek Him with humility and thanksgiving.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

not quite wordless wednesday...

We have the best friends!!!!

Due to the loss of Steve's job we had to cancel Emma's birthday party...

We just had a small family one!

But our friend Vanessa wanted to give Emma a bigger party.....

So she and Gena gathered some friends together after church services on Sunday....

and they surprised Emma with a party!!!!!
There was a FANTASTIC Candyland cake~~~made by Mrs. Vanessa... There was a VERY happy little girl....There were sparkler candles~~that took ALOT to blow out...
And there was the best gift ever~~~the PINK LEAPSTER!!!
and Leapster games, a purse filled with LOTS of goodies, and an aquarium!!!!

We are truly blessed with great friends!!!!
~~~~~~~~~

for more wordless wednesday posts check out:
seven clown circus
ordinary and awesome
wordless wednesday
5 minutes for mom

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

yeah!!! wish i hadn't done that...

One lesson we have had to have many discussions about as Michaela grows older is that of the accountability for our choices and actions.

because there are not too many things that aggravate me more than for someone to blame all of their life failures on others.

Boy do I regret that principle ALOT right now!!

I would LOVE to be able to blame this decision on someone else...

but I must take my own advice.

I will own it...

This mess~~ALL ME!!!!


I thought it would be a great idea to leave the sprinkler on for Cali {She loves playing in the water} while Emma and I ran up to Toys R Us to spend her birthday money.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

What I did not take in to account was the hole that was in the middle of the hose~~compliments of the furball...

a hole that was positioned in the landscaping next to the patio.

I do have to say, my plan was a success...

Cali had a good time in the water...

and the mud!

She had such a great time the mud was on the door, the siding, the play kitchen, anywhere she could get it.And even better than the mess outside...
was the mess she made when she sneaked into the house...I am just thankful that we captured her before she put her nasty paws on my furniture!!!
~~~~~
Whose idea was it to get a dog????

Monday, September 07, 2009

Presidential address....

I have always been pleased with how well our schools keep us informed with what is happening with our students. We have a website, we get recorded messages from the principals, notes come home, they work hard at keeping parents 'in the loop'. I do not expect them to let me know every little thing~~that is impractical. I do not receive calls about the news stories Michaela watches on Channel One news once a day and the teachers do not contact us if they are going to speak about 'moral' issues~~it is expected when we send our children out 'into the world' they are going to be exposed to many different ideas. With that being said, I believe that if we can reasonably avoid exposure to 'evils', it is our responsibility as parents to do so. So, when I received phone calls from both schools last week talking about a speech to school age children by President Obama and the right to have my children 'opt out' of listening to it, I became concerned about the content that was going to be discussed. And I began what I do when I do not know something, I began to research.

Let me first say that I am NOT a political person. I do not follow politics, I do not talk about politics, I do not even vote. My purpose in researching was not to exonerate President Obama from 'evildoing'. I am not a supporter of many of Obama's policies. I do not think he is the 'salvation' for America but because of these opinions my research was not done to find fault in him; to find a socialist agenda. My purpose was simply to find out the content of the speech and to determine, as a parent, if it posed a threat to my children.

As I began reading various write~ups about the Presidential address, I was faced with words like indoctrination and brainwashing. Accusations of a political agenda and recruitment for his army were expressed. There were even some comparing the goal of the speech to that of Nazi campaign in Germany! The hysteria was prevalent. As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education - it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality," said Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Steve Russell. "This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq." Many of the opinions I was reading were just that, opinions. They were based on the biases of the 'ultra-conservatives'(as they were referred to as}not from fact. The speech's benefits were being clouded by the allegations of Obama's agenda for our country~~not from actual knowledge of the speech's content.

As I searched more, I went to the Department of Education's website and I read the information sent to the teachers as suggestions for student involvement before, during and after the speech~~~extension lessons. What I found was:
  • This public address was a collaboration between the White House AND the Department of Education.
Just as the DOE has guidelines for our nation's curriculum, so too did they have guidelines for the Presidential speech.
  • There is precedence for Presidential speeches being given to school age children. In 1991, President Bush addressed students concerning the "Just say no to drugs' campaign."
As I was not in school in 1991 nor did I have children attending public school, I do not know if there was the same level of hysteria. I am doubting that there was.
  • The speech will last 15 to 20 minutes, it has been edited, and ALL will have access to the speech, as well as the classroom activities suggestions BEFORE the students view President Obama's speech.
Critics are particularly upset about lesson plans the administration created to accompany the speech. The lesson plans, available online, originally recommended having students "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president."

The White House revised the plans Wednesday to say students could "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals."

There is no opportunity for indoctrination and brainwashing~~the words spoken and the lesson plans are available NOW!
  • The viewing of the speech IS NOT mandatory~~many parents, teachers, and school districts have chosen to not participate.
If there was a socialist agenda, would it not have been made mandatory for ALL to watch? Wouldn't the content have been concealed until the exact time of the speech?

Many I spoke to felt it was wrong for the government to 'go around the parents'. It should be their decision as to whether or not their children view the speech~~and they are right, it is their decision. But why such an uproar about THIS speech. Do these same parents feel the teachers should call every time they are going to give advice to our children? Would there be "opting out' if the school administrator was going to stand before the school and encourage effort and diligence in our school work? If not for the school administrator, than why for the President of the United States? Hopefully, we as parents have created a firm foundation of beliefs, have taught our children to think for themselves, and have an open line of communication with them. I would be truly distressed if I thought that a 15 minute speech could undo any influence I have with my children.

Whether or not we support Obama, we must respect the office he holds. As Christians we are commanded to adhere to the authority in the land~~~13Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. {I Peter 2:13-17} What lessons are we teaching our children by our refusal to listen to a public service message given by the President? Is dictating non-involvement teaching our children that they do not have to respect those in authority?

When we research a topic we must be aware that there are always at least two sides to consider. We must remember that for any topic one can always find information and statistics to support it. It is when we base our beliefs on that limited knowledge that mass hysteria is created.

So what have I concluded? That it is a speech being given by the President of the United States. It is a speech encouraging our children to put their best efforts into their school work. It is a speech expressing the importance of educational goals. It is a speech with the educational success of our children at the heart of it. It is a speech trying to instill the same educational values parents, teachers, and administrators attempt to instill daily.

It is a speech. Simply. A speech.

the ACTUAL speech...

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama

Back to School Event

Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

upon the first day of the week...

2 Peter 1:5-9

The book of 2nd Peter was written by the apostle Peter, most believe, while he was in prison in Rome. The infiltration of false teachers throughout the churches in Asia Minor was causing great concern, therefore Peter wrote this letter as a warning, to be read in the provinces in Asia Minor, and to encourage the Christains to gain knowledge so that they could stand firm against those that were teaching against the principles of Christianity.

The first step toward 'guarding' our souls against false teachers is, of course, faith. Without a strong conviction there is no cornerstone to support our beliefs. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that... without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Adding other 'graces' into our lives would be futile without faith.

Verses 5-9 list the graces we, as faithful Christians, are to continually strive to increase in our lives. We are to make a diligent effort to continue to grow in our knowledge, to be as Christ~like as we can here on earth. A knowledge that comes from a demonstration of the Christ-like graces

5.But also for this very reason, giving all diligence,
faith~ strong assurance, conviction
add to your faith virtue,
virtue~moral excellence, goodness
to virtue knowledge,
knowledge~correct insight, truth understood and applied
to knowledge self-control,
self-control~self-discipline, controlling one's desires, being self restrained
to self-control perseverance,
perseverance~patience, endurance in doing what is right; never giving in to temptation or desires
to perseverance godliness,
godliness~ godly character out of devotion to God, to live reverently, loyally, and obediently towards God
to godliness brotherly kindness,
brotherly kindness~mutual sacrifice for one another
and to brotherly kindness love.
love~active goodwill towards those in need

For if these things are yours and abound,
you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

just a peaceful saturday....

I have been researching the reasoning behind the outcry about Obama's speech for school children. I will be talking with two school teachers tomorrow and then I will post my thoughts and research on Monday.

Today~~~Teddy Bear Picnic pictures:)

The sun was shining...

A slight breeze was blowing...

There were blankets covered with picnic~ers and special cuddly friends...

each enjoying the bear shaped cheese sandwiches, teddy grahams, gummy bears, straw~bearys, and much more...

laughter and chatter filled the air.

Friday, September 04, 2009

friday frivolity....

The end of another glorious week...
~~~~~~~~~~
We began our week having a delicious lunch with Vanessa and the boys...

and by boys I mean Alex and Nick...

I DO NOT mean Billy...

because HE chose to go sit around with a bunch of other 'men' and make up an imaginary team of football players...

we were ditched for his 'pretend' football friends...

don't most kids stop playing with imaginary friends when they are 3? :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Let me just say, I hate hair!"...

I hate finding it in the shower, I hate having it on my hands when I scrub the bathroom floors...


I HATE IT!

So, when researching dogs, common sense should have told me to steer clear of a breed known for it's profuse shedding!

But who could resist this sweet face....

and when the information says "Sheds a lot." how bad could it possibly be?

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!

They said S.H.E.D.S, NOT M.O.L.T.S. The tumbleweeds of hair are CRAZY.

We sweep! We Swiffer! We vacuum! And we sweep some more.

She is brushed~~and we remove what looks like another animal...

and still there is hair everywhere!!!!

UGH!!!!!

Steve has taken the problem into hand...

Along with being brushed.....

Cali is "kirby-ed" :)

~~~~~~~~~~~

Emma came home and fell asleep at 5:00 on Monday~~woke up at 7:30...

She fell asleep on the way to church Wednesday~~woke up when we pulled into the parking lot...

She fell asleep again yesterday at 5:00~~~she did not wake up until this morning!!

I think 1st grade is wearing her out!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today is Emma's Teddy Bear picnic at school.

She is so excited...

I am helping out...

I am so excited too :p

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Michaela is heading down to La Grange for the week-end...

She is going to a Bible study at the home of some Christians tonight...

and then she will spend the weekend with the Morris'...

we will not see her until Sunday again:(

~~~~~~~~~~

Steve has been working {through a Temp. agency} at a factory this week...

He worked almost 50 hours there this week...

he will be there at least two days next week...

please keep praying that something happens soon...

he will take a job almost anywhere!!

~~~~~~~~~~~

I have accomplished NOTHING this week...

literally nothing...

Life has seemed so much more pleasant snuggled in a quilt with my eyes closed:(

~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday, September 03, 2009

the backwards birthday...

I am going to whinge for a moment...

I HATE NOT HAVING MONEY when it is my 6 year old's birthday (and many other times too:)}

I HATE not being able to have a big blow out for her...

I HATE not being able to buy the Leapster she desires...

I HATE IT...I HATE IT...I HATE IT!!!!!!

Okay, back to my cheerful life is good, material possessions are not important, we have each other and our health, blah blah blah!Because Emma does not get off of the bus until 4:00pm, Steve needed to sleep at least an hour since he has worked 40 hours (since Monday morning) with 4 hours sleep here and there, and we must leave for Bible study by 5:50pm, Emma's birthday celebration had to be quick...
So...while the noodles cooked, she opened her gift {a Petshop animal and headbands~~yeah pitiful, I know} and then we sang Happy Birthday and ate the cake,and then we ate dinner.
Backwards Birthdays are fun!!!

Birthdays are complete~~~but as soon as we have a job, there is going to be a "Just Because" celebration!!!!!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

not quite wordless wednesday...

I know it is so cliche', but where has the time gone?

It sincerely feels like just a few months ago I was in my classroom meeting my students~~on what was their first day of school and what became my last day~~before heading to the hospital for my scheduled C-section later that afternoon.


The morning flew by. I of course did not accomplish as much as I wanted to before I said goodbye and good~luck to the substitute teacher. It was a bittersweet moment~~leaving my 12 special needs 'babies' behind as I went to meet my new baby girl. But it was a moment that I had been looking forward to for almost 9 months~~~and I was VERY ready to meet the little one that had caused so much discomfort and a few medical frights while she grew and developed inside of me!


I was READY to welcome little Miss Emma Shea into our family!


And arrive she did!!!!
At 1:16 pm, Emma made her entrance into the world. The doctors exact words were, "It is a red headed little girl. And she is peeing all over us!"

Way to say "Here I am!" my 6lb 4 oz tiny girl!!!


Today, that tiny baby girl is turning 6 years old!


And as excited as she is that she will be 6 when she wakes up, I am sad that my baby is growing up~~Each birthday brings her one year closer to needing me less; to liking me less. One year less of daily hugs and kisses! Sigh!

Where has the time gone?


and... is there anyway to stop her from growing up anymore:(

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for more wordless/almost wordless wednesday visit:
seven clown circus
ordinary and awesome
wordless wednesday
5 minutes for mom