Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Our superintendent and principals made our breakfasts. They made us homemade pancakes, muffins, sausage, and fruit. It was so yummy. I was impressed. I'm glad to be a part of a school district where the superintendent and principals get up at 5:30 in the morning and dedicate themselves to making every one of the employees feeling welcome to the district.
I'm excited to be a part of this. My room is getting ready. I have the desks set up and seats assigned. I have my first weeks assignments on the board. I'm setting out my outfit for the first day of school.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
And yet, while I feel nostalgic, I know they are so ready to go back to school. They are starting to get annoying. There I've said it. My kids are annoying. They are bickering more. They are whining about bedtime snack. At this very moment, Natalie is whining and crying. Why? She won't answer me. Allison's no better. She was crying a week ago because I couldn't find this perfect outfit that looks just like Natalie's that she doesn't even have.
And so, the nostalgic moment fades. I'm packing up their school supplies in their new backpacks excited for the day when they are asleep by nine. I'm excited to have an hour and a half on the road without them every weekday...
Monday, August 25, 2008
Last night, Jason and I took the girls to see Ashlee Hewitt and Justin Gaston. Ashlee Hewitt and Justin Gaston have been playing around the area since the end of Nashville Star's Season. The girls had so much fun. Every Monday in July, we rushed home from the pool to catch the latest episode. We were rooting for Ashlee because she was from Lancaster, Minnesota. She's a friend of a friend of a friend. We loved her from the start.
The organizers from the event put the concert on the street between the hardware store and the bank. They sold a whopping 500 tickets. When we heard they were coming to Red Lake Falls, we called the hardware store and got our tickets. We ended up being front and center. I hate to brag, but we had the best tickets in the house.
We were true Minnesotans as we just sat there. We didn't get up and shake our booty at all. We sat and watched politely as they sung their hearts out. I mean.. that's how we get excited. We just don't. I tried to get things shaking a couple times... but you know, a cheerleader like me can only do so much.
I was really impressed with Ashlee Hewitt and her sister taking Justin Gaston under their wings and taking him on their tour across Northern Minnesota and North Dakota. I really dug it when he sang "Girl Just Wanna Have Fun." How awesome was that? I had a crush on him by the end of the night even if I'm about fourteen years older than he is.
However, the highlight for me is when she sang her original song "Mike's Hard Lemonade." If you watched the show, you'd know she loves to play guitar in her bare feet. By pure accident, I even got a photo of these......
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Sometimes, I know I step a way from focusing on what matters and then, I'm not following my personal legend.
Sometimes, I look at people I know and think; "They really need to find their personal legend."
Here are some clues that you are not following a personal legend:
1. You complain about your mother-in-law too much.
2. You talk about how big your t.v. is.
3. You watch soap operas when you're not 75 years old.
4. You call me on my cell phone to just see where I am.
5. You ask me what it's like to read a book.
6. You talk a lot about the color of your hair.
7. You talk a lot about how many calories are in McDonald's Food.
9. You gossip too much.
10. You talk about what drama queens/coffee drinkers other people are. A LOT. I mean, you bring it up all the time.... (I'm bad a this one actually.)
11. You wonder why other people are not fulfilling their personal legends.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Recently, I gathered my mom's traveling advice. My mom loves to travel and loves to give advice. When I was sixteen, she was my Girl Scout Leader and brought my troop to Disney World. She was very stern and had us all in tow. I still remember "the good times." Here is some classic advice a la Grandma Vicki
1. Don't drink. You act stupid when you drink... Someone could like steal your wallet when you're drunk.
2. Put a DO NOT DISTURB sign on your door. What do you want maids in your room for? They might steal your stuff. Hang up your towels to dry and reuse them. Bring your own shampoo. Make your own bed.
3. When you get off the plane for connecting flights, don't have the first thing you look for be food. Find your next gate.
4. When traveling in a group, wear matching visors. You want to be sure to stand out.
5. Wear comfortable shoes. Whatta ya think this is? A beauty pageant.
Grandma Vicki loves to travel. She really should have her own travel talk show. Some topics she might discuss on her talk show are;
1. Taramisu is really good. I mean, really good.
2. Don't go to Paris. They are so rude, I mean they're rude.
3. Italian Shoes- They're Cheap.
Monday, August 18, 2008
A few days ago, I got this letter from Petra. Petra is a lifetime friend who happened to be an exchange student during our lovely "Global Studies" experiment in Red Lake Falls in the nineties. This is her reaction to my 911 Post.
I am totally amazed at how she can be so articulate in English. I wanted to share this because I loved it so much. I love how strong her voice is in her writing. I love that anyone can read this and know Petra. Anyone can know how thoughtful and loving she is. I've left her wording mostly as she put it... Her voice is so strong and lovely.
I just read your blog (I somehow didn´t notice the link, when I read your
email the first time). It is great, I just love it. And I loved the critical
part as well!
I just will write down what I think (I won´t check my spelling, just write
very fast and I will be quite direct, as it takes to much time to be
friendly all the time. I hope you don´t think, I´m mean European idiot)
Everyone was cuckoo after the planes crashed! But for Europeans it isn´t
something new to have a war next door or even terrorists in their own
country, we had that in the 70s and of course not all of them vanished and
having a war next door, is just normal. So we are safe, but not 100% safe,
but you actually never are. So for us that feeling vulnerable is "normal".
But still everybody was extremely shocked at 9/11, it was just so big and so
horrible. I don´t wan´t to say, that it wasn´t, it was!
But since then so many other bad things happened and from my point of view
some of your politicians just lost it. They are close to start a new war.
And what will happen then? The same that happened the last time. A lot of
people will lose their lives (on both sides, and not just terrorists) More
unhappy people, more extreme media and more fundamentalists (cause extreme
unhappy situations generate more fundamentalists). And less democracy. And
there I´m not only talking about the middle eastern countries, I´m as well
talking about the US. In Germany Hitler gained power without breaking the
law. I´m not thinking something will happen to the U.S., but if you are
living in a constitutional state / free government under the law you should
be proud of it and make it the most important thing at all.
For me as a German, the law that they can search your house, you, you data
and your computer, just because they think you might have connections to
terrorists, is just awful. That's like the Gestapo or the Stasi.
And that people are being kept in Guantanamo without trial, is just bending
the law and making it small and unimportant (again as the Naxis or the
Kommunists). After the trial of Bin Laden's driver, some U.S. official said,
that even if someone is found not guilty, they will still not set him free,
as he might be a danger to the people. And the people were just nodding
their heads. I was just shocked! If they can´t prove anything they have to
set him free. Like that it isn´t right. Principles have to bee as important
as safety. Else we all can live a controlled life in a kind of prison without
anything to lose. What is right, has to stay right. And Personal freedom is
as important as safety. There has to be a way, that both can exist parallel.
And for me it looks like this isn´t the case anymore in the U.S.
When I was little we Europeans were looking up to the US (at least it looked
like that to me), but we don´t anymore. Actually we are proud now , that we
learned our own lesson.
But that's just politics, of course I´m not talking about us as people. :)
And of course there is enough crap going on in Germany as well, so don´t
worry, I won´t loose it. And I hope you still like me, even when I´m a
critical German (that is exactly what we learned, and actually you Americans
taught our grandparents to be critical again).
Take care! Love
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The girls have finished their swimming lessons. They got their "report cards." Allison was excited to see that she passed level three and moved into level four. She was thrilled. Allison is six. Allison has been swimming in the deep end on her own since the middle of last year. Allison knows how to dive. In case you don't realize this, Allison is an excellent swimmer. Sometimes when I visit with acquaintances at the pool and they see Allie go off the board. They stop the conversation and say;
"Oh," I say, "she does that all the time."
"Without a life jacket?"
"She's been doing that for over a year now."
Maybe they forgot. I'm a swimmer too.
When Natalie got her report card, she took a peak and saw "Continue with level four." She was fine with it. A lot of her friends are still in level four. Natalie is an excellent swimmer too. I was proud of Natalie's reaction. Usually, she's so competitive.
I forgot something though.
After getting over her disappointment, she turned to Allison.
"Did you pass?"
"Yes... Natalie, I'm going to be in level four with you next year. I'm so excited."
Again, Allison is six.
Well, Natalie is nine.
Natalie ran to the mini-van and closed the doors. Her little sister was in the same level as her. Her little sister who is three years younger.
I got into the mini-van and prepared myself.
"Natalie you are an excellent swimmer."
Her eyes were filled with tears.
"Natalie," I said, "We all have our special gifts. You are great swimmer, but you are an awesome writer."
"Natalie, I like to write. When I read your writing, it amazes me."
"Really?" Sniff. Sniff.
A smile crept to her face. "Am I the best writer in the family?"
"Yes... Natalie you are."
Then, from a forgotten corner in the back of the red mini-van, I heard from Allison;
"Aren't I a good writer? What about me?"
Thursday, August 14, 2008
There's this dad who sometimes visits with me at the pool. Whenever I ask him how he is, he always answers;
And then, you're almost obligated to say;
"I didn't know anything was wrong."
Then, he goes on how his wife doesn't appreciate him. How he's always with the kids. Blah blah blah blah..
If you are the type of person who likes to complain about life, and your life doesn't have any meaning.... Please step away from me.
There is nothing more annoying than someone who is deep, dark, and depressed because he doesn't know the meaning of life. There's drugs these days that work for that. I promise!
In the meantime, my life is full. I don't need to hear about your life being meaningless...
Do you know what your personal legend is? Is your personal legend to get a big screen t.v? I hope not. If that's your personal legend, it's time to get a new one. That personal legend might be the reason you feel life is meaningless.
What's a good personal legend you ask?
Well, first of all, you just may need to turn off the T.V.
You just may need to take some walks or bike rides or jogs or go rollerblading. Maybe you could explore the various scat in your backyard or the bike trail? Take a bird book or a flower book with you.
Actually play with your kids. Take them for a bike ride. Watch them play. Do your kids complain that they don't know the meaning of life? Na... They whine about ice cream... You know, the important things.
Playing is one of the best ways to find your personal legend. Climb a tree. Or, when no one's looking... climb the water tower.
I can't tell you what your personal legend is. Maybe your personal legend is to sail around the world like Bellhop and V. Or, maybe your personal legend is to build your own home in the middle of a beautiful forest like J. Bird.
Whatever it is... find it. It just makes life that much more rich and beautiful.
Monday, August 11, 2008
DeNae took this picture among others at Bergeson's Nursery last week. When she shared them with me I asked her if I could share them with Jason. So here's a few for you too!
Here's a picture of DeNae... not to be confused with Sally
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I noticed Jason's cousin's space had a few youtube videos listed. This video was so silly and cute. It reminded me of me and my girlfriends when we were going into 8th grade. Very Silly! Life for an 8th grader is full of drama and drama and some more drama. There are so many OMGs on her page. I love it. She's preparing me for next month.
Yes, next month. I'll be in the front of the classroom without another adult. I'll be in charge of making sure these students know prefixes, suffixes, grammar, and literature. To tell you the truth, I'm a little nervous. While at yearbook camp, I had many reps and other teachers say to me;
"Oh.. a newbie. You've never even taught a class. Oh.. you don't even know what you're doing."
Can you believe they said this to me? I wasn't even scared of teaching until they started saying that. So, now, I'm having the nightmares. This time I'm not feeding chicken feed to my children, but rather, frantically setting up power point presentations. I have nightmares about being late for class or ending up at the wrong school on the first day of class.
I remember that I'm 34 and not 22. I have an edge as I am most the age of my students' parents. I'm going to lie to my students and tell them that this is my second year of teaching.
Friday, August 8, 2008
I made a stop Moorhead State University. I stopped at the bookstore and bought the girls t-shirts and Jason a hat. I stopped at the admissions office and told them I needed items to decorate my classroom. I left with pennants, notebooks, a cosmetic mirror, mouse pads, and about 100 tatoos with the MSUM logo.
I drove home thinking about how fun life is. How it's fun to meet an unexpected friend. I drove home thinking that my life is good.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Here I am in Wahpeton attending yearbook training having a great time. Who knew? When I accepted my position at Fosston High School I knew I would be the Yearbook Adviser and knew it would be something I would enjoy.
But there's always one person who takes things to an extreme. One group had matching t-shirts and bags. Their adviser kept raising her hand shouting out answers before anyone else could answer. She was so excited. She hearts Jason the rep... I'm sorry but there's only room for one Jason in my heart.
Then, there's the know-it-all adviser who argues with everyone and everything. "Oh why doesn't my yearbook sell? Oh my.... whine whine." I'm thinking it's because she's so whiny. Who wants to spend forty dollars for a book of whiny?
Then, there's the lady who sat next to me opening night copying anything and everything the rep puts on the board. Very diligent.
Me, I'm just overwhelmed with an expensive camara. I'm taking notes. But, I know I can call the rep, Jason, or Ben, or whoever it is with my questions.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I'm going to be staying in the dorms. I don't even know why I did that. I should have stayed in a hotel. I haven't slept in a dorm since ummm.... 1996. I forgot about the community showers and running to my room in my towel hoping not to meet anyone or drop anything.
This is a rare time when I leave the girls behind with Jason. This is the first time I'll be going somewhere all by myself. I won't have anyone asking me to make me a peanut butter sandwich.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
OH no. Watch out for me at the pool. I'll be sure to let you know that if you have too much cleavage.
Watch out for me at the Spot or any other bar. I'll be sure to tell you if you've had too much to drink or seem to flirt too much with single men.
I figured out my church ladyness on Friday morning when the funeral home called me.
"I see you're in charge for August. We have a funeral for you on Monday."
Oh... I'm a Beacon Leader. A Beacon Leader is in charge of finding people to help at church. They ask people to serve treats at the end of service, serve communion, and usher. Also, Beacon Leaders are in charge of serving funerals.
This means the funeral home can call me on Friday expecting me to cater a meal to 150 mourners in August or June.
Now, of course, this is an honor. Right? It means that people can call me and ask me and know I will say, "Yes, of course, it'll be done. No problem."
You see, that's what a church lady says.