Thursday, April 18, 2013

G is Grandma

Grandma taught me many things.  She taught me how to sew, crochet, and stand up for myself.  Grandma tried to teach me to knit, but for some reason, I still haven't gotten the hang of it.

I loved to listen to my grandma's stories.  She had so many bits of wisdom.  She wasn't the flowery kind, and she swore like a sailor.  That was part of her charm.

I was with grandma when she died.  We were lucky enough to remember all of her stories and songs.  I sang "Yellow Bird" to her like she sang to me.  Two months before grandma passed, my daughter was born and was baptized.  My pastor put the sign of the cross on Allison's head and said "Allison Ann, child of God, welcome to "Family of God"  When grandma died, her pastor made the sign of the cross on her head and said, "Shirley June, Child of God, welcome to the "Kingdom of God".  That always brings me peace.

F is for Family

I love my family.  I'm so lucky to have such kind daughters and a funny husband.  We love to go places together.  I love to have them around me.

One of my favorite things is to overhear my daughters talking.  The eldest giving the youngest advice, and most of the time, the advice is pretty good. 

When I graduated college, my mom and dad, my mother-in-law, my girls, and Jason all came to see me walk across the stage.  I wanted my daughters to see me achieve my dream.  I wanted that to be embedded in their brains.  Work and  your dreams can come true!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

E is for Eggs

Never in my life did I expect that we would have chickens.  I never thought I would be collecting eggs in the spring and chasing chickens out of my garage.  Never in my life did I think I would wake up to the sound of a rooster crowing in the morning.

I still can't believe that I live in the country.  I grew up in town.  We had neighbors I cut across their lawns.  We played "Kick-the-Can-Alley" and "Tag".  Of course, I was the weird kid who always started newspapers and circuses, parades and lemondade stands.

I'm sure my girls long for town and playing "Kick-the-Can".  I'm sure they'd like to hang with their friends instead of collecting eggs.  To tell you the truth, I'm glad that they live out in the country.  I'm glad they can be by themselves once in awhile and skip down the driveway if they want.  And, I never have to worry about lemonade stands.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

D is for Dreams

I couldn't decide if I was going to chose D for Dad or dreaming.  I figured dreaming covered both concepts!  My dad is the wisest man I know.  He always cheered my dreaming on.  I am where I am today because of my dad.

Dreams are only dreams until you work hard to achieve them.  My dad didn't go to college because he and mom started a family at such a young age.  Dad worked hard at his job and eventually got a promotion as a Line Superintendent at Red Lake Electric.

When I went back to school, I would call dad to tell him about my struggles and triumphs.  He was there to remind me to learn from my mistakes.  He kept me going. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

C is for Cancer

I could have picked many words for C, but I chose cancer.  Once cancer enters your life, your life is never the same.  When my mom and sister were diagnosed, our lives would forever be rocked.  Looking at this picture, I can see how exhausted I was at the time.  My life revolved around cancer, and I was exhausted.  My life still revolves around cancer.  I'm constantly checking my blood levels and making sure my fiber intake is acceptable.  I took a special cancer insurance policy out on my family to be sure that we would be financially secure if cancer reared its ugly head within my household.

Even though it's been a year and a half since my sister came home from Rochester, she is still healing.  Her eyesight had always been perfect, and now, she is legally blind in one eye.  With the bone marrow transplant, side effects can be very devastating.  Missi had Graft V. Host disease in her eyes, mouth, and sinuses.  She still struggles with her eyesight and platelet levels.  She's tired all the time, but she's here.  My sister survived.  Thank God she survived.

At the same time, my mom had Colon Cancer.  Luckily, her cancer was diagnosed at an early enough stage that we never doubted her survival.  Colon Cancer can be very deadly if it's not caught in time.  My mom struggled a lot with the side effects, but we never doubted her strength or survival. 

B is for Bobby

My nephew Bobby is one of the joys of my life.  Although he wasn't named for me, we have a special connection because really there are only about three Bobby(i) Aakhuses in the world.  We are a rare commodity.

Bobby is so full of life and is always getting into trouble.  He's loud but kind. He's the center of his dad's world.  One day we celebrated his fourth birthday at a waterpark near Detroit Lakes.  We couldn't find him when it was time for pictures.  When we finally found him, he was with another family as they were taking family pictures.  Bobby photo-bombed their family pictures.  I love that a  four-year old could do that.  I wonder what they think about when they see the little brown -haired kid in their family pictures.

Bobby makes friends where ever he goes.  He wears a fedora.  He calls out to the pretty,  teenage girls; "Hey girlfriend, give me a kiss."  That is our Bobby.  What a guy!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Autobiography A - Z: A is for Allison

My Practical English class is writing their Autobiography -- an Alphabetic Biography - This will be something they can put out at their graduations and think about what's important to their lives.  Maybe it'll be one last chance for  me to get to know them even better.  As they write their autobiographies, I will write mine.

A is for Allison
Allison  Ann is my second born.   One of the first things I noticed about her is that she is very smiley, and she likes to snuggle.  When the nurses and daddy took her away to bathe, she cried and cried until she was returned to momma.  She hasn't liked to bathe ever since!

Allison is very flexible.  Yesterday, she called out to me; "Mom look!"  She was doing the splits up against the wall.  You read that right.  One foot was on the floor, and the other pointed to the ceiling.  Crazy girl.  Allie's dream is to go to the Olympics as a gymnast.  Well, that has been what she has talked nonstop about since last summer when she met the neighbor-lady's granddaughter who is in gymnastics in Fargo.  She and her cousin have set up a gym in her aunt's basement. They have beanbags and sleeping bags to cushion their falls.

Allison loves apple pie and Chicken Belden.  She loves fashion, and her favorite store is Justice. My Allie is a dreamer.  She is full of love.  She is confident and won't let anyone bully anyone else in her presence.  She has been rumored to stick up to the big kids on the playground.  No one gets in her way. She sticks up for the underdog.  She is my Allie.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cup Hoarder

Before leaving school Thursday evening, I packed up for the weekend.  Every weekend, this is a process of throwing things out and tidying up to the best of my ability.  And as I sat at my desk my right foot hit the box under my table.


Oh - yeah - that's where my stash of used cups were.  You see, I often am so busy during the day that I forget my coffee cups all around my room and then, I don't have time to clean them...  And well, it's kind of gross, so I don't feel that the "Dishes Fairy of the Teacher's Lounge" should have to wash my dishes... and I feel so guilty..

I started putting them in a box to wash later.

But last week, I started realizing that we were running out of cups in the staff room....

So I brought the box of cups home, washed them, soaked them in bleach, and rinsed them out again.  Yesterday morning, I got to work very early and put the cups in the cupboards when no one was looking...

Good thing no one knows that I am the Cup Hoarder ---(insert evil laugh here.)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Soundtrack to My Life

While at Fosston, one of my favorite assignments is "The Soundtrack to My Life". I'm hoping it's one of the Mustang's favorite assignments, too. 

When I passed out my assignment sheet on that Tuesday, I saw a couple of jaws drop.  I couldn't read if they were excited to have another writing assignment that was so original and fantastic that they were speechless, or if they just thought it was another one of Aakhus' crazy ideas.

When I read their papers, I found some students were able to share their lives like they had never shared before. I found that the students who went beyond their usual genre of music had more interesting papers.   I also found that some students don't equate music to their lives and would rather take a 0 than finish the assignment. 

Meanwhile here is my soundtrack.