Sunday, April 30, 2006


I know that I have not tended to my blog for more than a week now. I apologize for my absence. Each time I sat down to write over the last week, I just wasn’t able to come up with anything. It’s not that my mind has been blank; it’s just been on overload. Too many thoughts have been swirling around in my head, and I couldn’t grab hold of one long enough to actually write something coherent.

I’ve been reading quite a bit. I read several books for work as I was attempting to find a new novel to teach next year. I was looking for one which would work in conjunction with Black History Month. I landed on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It, along with its sequel, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, follows the life of the Logans, a black family in Mississippi in the 1930’s, and I simply couldn’t put down the books until I finished them. I am quite excited about teaching the novel and discussing the various issues the novel deals with.

In addition to my reading for work, I’ve been reading quite a bit on my own as well. I just finished Eldest, which is the sequel to Eragon by Christopher Paolini. My husband Chris is fascinated by dragons and turned me onto this series. By the end of the book I was breathlessly racing ahead to see what would happen next. I also finished a Nicholas Sparks book, Nights in Rodanthe, and I’ve been reading a historical fiction novel, Widow of the South by Robert Hicks. I would be remiss if I did not also include my Bible reading; I’ve been quite inspired by Philippians as of late. That pretty much sums up my reading over the past week and a half. As you can see, my interests are quite varied. I simply love reading; to me it is quite a gift.

Yesterday I went shopping with Mom. She is simply my best friend. I love spending time with her, and I am so grateful for the relationship we have. We skirted around the Bellevue area, taking care of various errands. One of my favorite stops was Michael’s, the craft store. I bought painting materials, scrap booking supplies, and some wood pieces for another project. I have painted the base color on one of my canvasses, but I have not been able to do much else, and I am anxious to work on the painting. Hopefully I will have some time this week to let my creative juices flow. I also picked up some information for the special classes at Michael’s. In June, I plan to take the first course of cake decorating, and in July I will hope to take the second course. I’m hoping that Mom will want to take them with me. I would start the classes in May, but one of them would interfere with my birthday, and I just can’t let that happen, so I will wait.

Chris and I have been seeing a few movies lately. The interesting thing is that most of them have been children’s movies. Most of them have been wonderful stories with plenty to thrill people from all age groups. One of the most important things for Chris and me is that a movie has a strong plot to move the action along. Special effects, good actors, and interesting cinematography are all important, but if the plot is lacking, the movie is just not worth the price of the movie ticket. It’s alright for rental. However, in order to justify spending the money it takes to go to the theater, the movie needs to be high quality. A few of the movies we’ve thoroughly enjoyed lately have been Nanny McPhee, Eight Below, and Ice Age 2. However, we were less than impressed with the movie we saw this afternoon, The Wild; the story line was weak. There hasn’t been anything else at the theaters to grab our attention. I think that we are in the lull that occurs between the feel-good Christmas moves and the summer blockbusters. I’m looking forward to more diverse choices in the near future; perhaps Chris and I will be able to find a movie with a more adult crowd to view. Lately we’ve been the only ones in the theater without children, but I guess that we’re both just a couple of big kids anyway!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Another entry

I just couldn't think of a title for this one. So here goes....

When I was a little girl, I would act like I was a teacher. I would set up a dozen or so of my stuffed animals and my Barbies, and I would often include my little sister in her carseat to the mix. I had a chalkboard and extra workbooks and I would go around and check everyone's work and instruct them the best I knew how. I had a captive audience, and I loved it.

It's interesting that I feel much the same now as I did then. Sometimes when I'm filling out various forms or implementing some strategy in my lesson plans, I feel like I'm "playing school." I guess that means that I'm having fun. On most days, I do enjoy my job very much. I think at least part of that might be that, just as I did when I was a little girl, I have a captive audience.

I think that I was born to be a teacher. No matter where I go in life, I think that I will always find a way to teach. But as we get to the end of the school year, I'm getting tired. We're going down the home stretch here, and I want to sit down and forfeit the game. But I will press on and work hard to finish well.

Speaking of finishing well, Chris and I broke down and bought some new furniture the other night. It was like an aventure. Friday night I told Chris that we really needed to do something to brighten up the apartment and to get the office organized. So we went to Walmart to see what we could do. I saw a pine TV armoire that I just feel for. However, they didn't have one in stock at that Walmart, so we had a guy at customer service call across town to check their stock. They had one left, so we rushed over and bought the armoire, three sets of bookcases, a computer desk which has another set of shelves with it, a torchiere lamp, and a nightlight. I know it sounds extravagant, especially for two people who are quite limited on funds. But we did get a good deal for our money, and the items we had in our apartment were falling apart and just plain ugly. Now my apartment seems more like a home and less like a transitional place.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

I was able to celebrate the day with both my family and Chris’s. We had lunch with his side in Crossville, and it was so wonderful to get away from town to a place a bit slower and more peaceful than our every day lives. We drove back to Nashville and arrived a little after four. Shortly after than, we had an Easter egg hunt in the backyard for my nephews, and I felt such happiness watching those boys scurry back and forth and discovering the eggs. Then we had the hunt for the “big kids.” (That would be my siblings, me, and our spouses.) We hunted inside the house for eggs filled with coins! There were three prize eggs, and I found two of them, but I let someone else get the second one I found. I wanted someone else to have the thrill of getting it; one prize egg was enough for me.

On the way home tonight, I felt like I was beginning to see the wonder of the world again. There is so much beauty and joy to be had, and I don’t want to miss it. Hearing my nephews laugh, seeing my brother after a long absence, spending time with my beautiful Mom, hearing “I love you” from any member of my family, having my husband wrap me up in his arms, feeling the cool breeze on this warm spring day: these are all things to be thankful for. And they are all gifts from God. I am blessed. I hope that you are able to find blessings in your day as well.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Back to Life

I really haven’t been able to write over the last couple weeks. There has been too much upheaval in my life, and I have not been dealing very well with it. Really, I just haven’t been myself. But, I’m back.

Today I have the day off of work for Good Friday. The significance of this weekend does not escape me. It’s all about redemption and new life. I can’t wait until Sunday. I feel like there’s some new phase waiting for me there. I do get to see Wayne, Laura, and the boys. I’ll be spending time with Chris’s family and then with my own, and it promises to be a positive, upbeat day. After all that’s happened, I need fun and good news. And I don’t mean to be selfish, but good news for other people doesn’t count. Other people have been telling me all of their good news, and while I am happy for them, Chris and I need good news for us.

It’s 10 o’clock in the morning, and I’m still in my pajamas! I need to get moving here in a few minutes. I have so much to do around this apartment. Does anyone have any ideas for how I can brighten this place up? Lately I’ve been struck with how dark it is in here. I don’t know what to do about that. After I finish a few little chores around here, I will be going to meet my mom, a friend, and her mom for lunch at one of my favorite places, the City Limits CafĂ©. They have great Panini sandwiches there, delicious soups, and yummy desserts.

Hopefully, I will have more to write later and can write more often. I have missed it.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hit Rewind

That’s what I wish that I could do. My parents have had eight foster children over the last ten years, and this week my first foster brother Charlie was killed. He died Friday morning, though we found out about his condition Wednesday night. I really can’t write of the details here, but I suppose I can say that his life was taken from him.

He was with my family for a couple years, and then he was adopted by some of his extended family members. We were able to spend Thanksgiving with him this last year. We watched a bunch of old home movies before we sat down to dinner, and though some of what we saw was painfully embarrassing, we still enjoyed a little trip down Memory Lane. What can I tell you about Charlie? He was twenty three and would have gotten married in August. He had a wonderful smile and a silliness that was endearing. He loved being with my family. And I would like to run time back to stop the tragic ending of his life, but I can’t. And tomorrow afternoon we will lay his body to rest, but his spirit is already in heaven, finally set free from the hardships he endured while on this earth. That is what I must concentrate on in order to ease some of the sadness. I am sad. And I’m mad that something so senseless happened. And my mind keeps rejecting the reality of this.

It’s just going to take some time.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


This weekend I’ve helped my sister move, helped my old roommate shop for her new house, driven my nephews back to Fort Knox, and packed for a trip I’m going on tomorrow. I have to be at the school at six in the morning, and I’ll be heading off to the Smokey Mountains with 82 seventh graders for three days of hiking. I am so tired right now that I can hardly think of tramping around on trails with a bunch of kids.

The really hard part of this is that this trip will be the longest that I’ve been away from Chris since we’ve been together. I know that many other women have to spend months and even years away from their spouses, so I can’t really compare. However, I am very sad. Even though I haven’t left, I miss him already.

For now, I need to double check my packing list and get ready for bed. I’ll be back on Wednesday night.