Saturday, December 3, 2011

World's Most Spoiled Rotten Dog

Okay - seriously? Is this NOT the world's most spoiled dog?

What a rotten thing. He had to be right in between us! LOL.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Probably should have taken a picture

Okay, so I am not the most organized. I am also not the best mom, but I try hard. Fast forward to tonight. I am sick. I have an audition and a performance tomorrow! So, I'm already a little freaked out. I'm still memorizing the French words to one of my songs that I needed to work on tonight. I've had many friends give me different idea to try and naturally kick this cold's butt. I wanted to look at my music, so that I could practice the newest phrase while in the shower. So, here I am with this cinnamon paste on my forehead (nasal cavity area), and I'm searching the house looking frantically for my music. My daughter tells me that my sons often gets his white folder and my white folder mixed up. I run into his room and flip on the light looking through his room for my folder. "Son! Have you seen my folder? Did you get it mixed up with yours?" "Mom? What's wrong with your head?" Oh nothing. I just have a cinnamon paste on it that looks like a bindi on crack! "Don't worry about it! I need my folder!" LOL. Here's my "relaxing" shower: hot water on the chest and back to break up the congestion, salt water in my makeshift neti pot to flush my nose, and a careful washing of the forehead, so that I don't get any cinnamon paste in my eyes - all while singing my newest French phrase! After I got out, I smeared my chest with a menthol rub. So, I have a cinnamon-y forehead, a salty nose, and a menthol-y chest! Yummy - not. I hope something works!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Finally - pictures!

Here's our Janie. She's a cutie. Unfortunately, I think she has been mistreated. She is so scared. She basically lives in Beth Ann's room. She has ventured out and gone into the bathroom and Livi's room, but that's pretty much it. We've taken her downstairs, and she curls up under a blanket until we take her back upstairs. Most of the time she spends in Beth Ann's bedroom, she spends under her comforter. I'm not quite sure what to do. I brought her into bed with me on Thanksgiving when I was sick. She laid under the covers shaking. I guess we just have to take baby steps with her.

For Thanksgiving, we were supposed to go to our friends' home, but we all ended up with a stomach virus. :( About one o'clock on Thanksgiving, I finally felt like cooking, and since everyone was feeling better, I threw together a Thanksgiving meal. We all basically looked at the food, and then put it away! Oh well. We were thankful anyway, and we are hoping that next year will NOT be our third Thanksgiving in a row to be sick!

This picture is of our kids' choirs from First Universalist at St. John's Cathedral. They recently had the opportunity to perform with two other children's choirs at a fundraiser for The Children's Hospital. It was a huge opportunity for them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Our new fur baby!

In the past few months, we've lost two of our beloved kitties. Harry died in August. I got Harry in 1992 when he was a tiny kitten. He was 19 years old when he died. I know that is a very long life, but it was still incredibly sad to lose him. On Halloween, our 15 year old cat, Ronnie, died. My husband rescued him, three litter mates, and an older kitten that was obviously from the same home in October of 1996. We miss them both terribly.

A few days after Ronnie died, we started seeing an orange kitty hanging around. I didn't think anything of it at first since there are many cats in our neighborhood. She didn't act like a cat that had a home though. She was very scared of me and would run any time I tried to get near her. One morning we woke up to two foxes in our backyard near the kids' playhouse. After that we realized that this little orange kitty was living under the playhouse. Since she wouldn't come to me, I contacted The Cat Care Society. I was able to rent a trap from them ($50 deposit - refundable; $.50 a day rental). We caught the poor little thing that same night. She was filthy, terrified, and starving.

The Feline Fix is part of the Rocky Mountain Alley Cat Alliance. We made an appointment and took her there to be fixed and tested for FIV and FeLV. All of her tests came back negative, so she is officially the newest member of our family. The veterinarian estimated her age at 3-4 years. She is slowly becoming less and less afraid. We named her Captain Janeway a.k.a. Janie. She's a love with an interesting habit of curling up underneath the blankets. I will get pictures posted of her as soon as I can figure out how to get them uploaded from my phone!

It's been a while

I haven't blogged in quite some time. It's something I miss doing. My goal now is to blog at least once a week. I like having this forum. I like to talk about my children and family. I like to talk about issues that I am passionate about. I like to talk about things that I have conflicting views on. I've realized lately that I need to change a lot of things in my life. I am in a serious slump. Maybe it's because I'm looking down the barrel of 40! I don't know, and I don't exactly know where the journey is taking me. I do know that I want to blog about it as I go along. Blogging also helps me remember all the wonderful things in my life and why I am thankful for them.

It's time for me to take care of myself. I started back to school in January. I am a music education major, and I love it. I love being in school, and I absolutely love having so much music in my life. Somehow I have to get over the notion though that it is selfish to be in school. I take care of everyone else, but since I am in school I figure that is all I get. I have to take care of myself as well. There is so much going on that I have been feeling overwhelmed and oftentimes feeling like I am barely keeping my head above water. I have to make many changes.

One change that I am making is in my eating habits. I truly believe that eating a vegan diet is the best not only for my health but for ethical and environmental reasons as well. I have been an ethical vegetarian for 19 years. It's very hard to be in a "mixed family." My husband, luckily, is a vegetarian, but he is a die hard dairy fan. Eggs aren't hard for him because he doesn't even like them. Dairy though - watch out! I've been very honest with him lately though. I have to do this for me. He doesn't have to change, but I am not going to make food with dairy in it any more. Unfortunately, I also have to cut gluten out of my diet - for good. I have played around with eliminating gluten, and I went without it for quite a while. I though I just had gut issues, and they were fixed. I was wrong though. After eliminating and introducing a few times, I have realized that not only do I have digestion issues when I eat gluten, I also have pain in my legs and feet. That is the part that is the most troubling for me. No food is worth that. So, I am cleaning out the kitchen, and then will be gluten free.

As a student and mom of five, I really need inexpensive and quick meals. They also have to be gluten free and vegan. I know how to do vegan. I know how to do cheap. I know how to do gluten free. Melding the three is proving to be a challenge. I just bought a new cookbook by Robin Robertson called Vegan on the Cheap this weekend. I am hoping that it will help me out! I am also in the process of overhauling my food blog a bit. I want to start updating it again as well. I will be looking for support along my journey! I'll be blogging about other aspects along the way, but this is the first step.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I support "the teacher"

This week I have read two very different stories from and about two very different teachers. The first story was about a Pennsylvania teacher named Natalie Munroe who said horrific things about her students on a publicly accessible blog. Read the news story here. She made comments such as "They are rude, disengaged, lazy whiners." She also talked about things she wished she could have put on student evaluations such as "I hear the trash company is hiring," "I called out sick a couple of days just to avoid your son," and "Just as bad as his sibling. Don't you know how to raise kids?" The friend who posted this said that she supported the teacher. I have a very different take on this story.

I had teachers like Natalie Munroe. They were critical, uncaring, and demeaning. I have lifelong scars from those teachers. Munroe is a high school teacher. My teachers were grade school teachers. I cannot begin to tell you how much I thank God that I did not have a teacher like Munroe in high school. I went to high school with major baggage. I was dealing with serious self esteem and confidence issues from early childhood bullying from teachers and students. I became involved in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship, and at one point, I tried to commit suicide. I don't know how having a teacher like Munroe would have affected me in high school. I know it wouldn't have been a positive experience. Luckily, I had teachers like Mr. Terry Verlo, science teacher. He was exceptionally kind. He taught me that I was worthy of kindness even when I felt that I did not deserve it. I also had teachers like Mr. George Fisher, history teacher. He taught me that my ideas and thoughts had value and were worth listening to and discussing. I had teachers like Mr. Charles Barber, English teacher. He always made me smile in class. He taught me that we students were important by trying to make learning fun and trying to engage us. I had teachers like Mr. Curtis Anderson, music teacher. He taught me that I could pour my energy into the things I was passionate about, and he inspired me to be more than I thought I could be. There were others as well who made a positive impact in my life.

I thank God for those teachers. Teachers have incredible influence on their students even if they don't (as it seems Munroe does not) realize it.

The second story I read this week was written by a former teacher named Peggy Robertson. She writes eloquently and beautifully about the joys and frustrations of being a teacher. I don't want to paraphrase too much of what she said here. I would encourage you to read the post for yourself. Here is a former teacher who WANTS to teach. She WANTS to fight to make the system better as opposed to spending her energy putting down the very people she is supposed to be helping. I may be idealistic, but I truly believe there are more Peggy Robertson's in the world than there are Natalie Munroe's. I believe that most teachers go into teaching because they truly want to teach students. What a beautiful privilege to be a part of helping a child become the person they were meant to be!

I am currently in school studying to be a high school teacher. This summer there will be a march in Washington D.C. You can read more about it here. I really want to be there. You see, I support the teacher. I support the teachers who are out there trying to make the world a better place. I support the teachers who are out there working their butts off fighting the "teach to the test" mentality. I support the teachers who are out there every day trying to find a way to help that one student who just isn't "getting it." I support the Mr. Verlo's, Mr. Fisher's, Mr. Barber's, Mr. Anderson's, and the multitude of others who are inspiring students. I support the teacher.