Sunday, December 28, 2008

I saw my Favs

We spent yesterday in Indy with the Miller clan. We had a fun day. The cutest baby in the world was there, Tyler. He is also the best behaved. Actually, my family is full of the best behaved child ever. I don't know how we were so blessed.
Ted and I stayed too late. Ted was playing euche with his sister and two of her friends. We left after 10. 10 minutes from her house a torrential downpour hit. That meant we had to stop at White Castle in Carmel and have a slyder to let the rain ease up a bit.
We arrived home around 12:45. It was a long day.
So much for any details you may have hoped for. 8-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bits and Bobs

-Asthma is annoying...I hate when it feels like my lungs are sticking together and I can't breathe
-Ice should be cleaned off the driveway quickly...not a day later
-I miss peanut butter
-Winter break is here, woo hoo!
-Why did T schedule the plumber to come Tuesday morning? I think that should be a late morning-early afternoon task
-Tomorrow is Michael's birthday. Happy Birthday Michael! Use your birthday money to buy yourself some boots (okay...only M and I get that)
-Monday is Lori's birthday. Happy Birthday Lori! I hope it's a beautiful day for you 8-)
-It is supposed to be 8 degrees when I leave for church in the morning. I hope I don't freeze.
-Santa visited my classroom. My silly students were running around wearing the knit caps I made them. Some were breaking into a sweat.
-I saw the brainologist this week. He was running an hour late due to an emergency at the hospital. I thought I'd get in quicker when all of the cranky old men held an uprising and rescheduled their appointments, but no. Exactly one hour late Dr. Brain talked to me for 10 minutes, probably charged me $200, said good things and I was out the door.
-I saw the allergist last week in Wisconsin. I'm improving. Received a new inhaler. Will go back in the summer and have my food allergies checked. They gave me a flu shot. I had an allergic reaction to the egg, wah!
-Um, that's all of the excitement I can muster up.
-Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The BMV

I misplaced my drivers license sometime after Thursday evening. I thought I should have one before I leave the state so I headed over to the license branch on my way home from work. I've never been to the new BMV office so it was an adventure. I was greeted in the parking lot by a man walking his pit bull. The dog looked nicer than the man who was scowling. Inside the BMV there were approximately 5 customers being helped. I went right to the counter and started the process. I was done in less than 10 minutes. New and exciting...when you get your drivers license in Indiana you can not wear glasses or smile showing teeth. My photograph is nothing to share with others. I'm sure I'll find my lost license now that I've invested $10 in an ugly replacement.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm an auditory learner

I eavesdropped on a perfectly interesting conversation at Bob Evans today. (I couldn't help it.) A dating couple seated next to us decided to discuss religion. Facts which I gleaned early on:
* the woman was raised Lutheran and had attended Lutheran grade school
* the man had been raised Catholic but was now a born-again Christian
* the man was out to teach the woman she needed to be born-again
* the woman was not ready to hear the man telling her that all she had been taught and believed was not necessarily biblical or "true"

An interesting moment of conversation I heard:
Man, "Do you know the sinner's prayer?"
Woman, "No, what is that?"
Man, "It's the prayer you say when you choose to become a Christian."
Woman, "What do you mean, choose to become a Christian? You don't choose to become a Christian. ~inaudible comment~"
man, "Of course you choose to become a Christian. ~more inaudible comments~"
I would have loved to join their table during this bit of conversation. The music was suddenly too loud or Ted started talking to me...I don't know.

I wonder how many people in the world don't know that following Christ is a choice. You aren't born a Christian and you aren't a Christian simply because you attend church. Being a Christian is a conscious choice you make. Once you make that choice you change the way you live your life. As I sit here and think about growing up in the Catholic Church I can honestly say that I never gave much thought to being a Christian. Had someone asked if I was a Christian I would have said yes. It wasn't until I was a senior in high school that I really felt a personal relationship with God that wasn't developed out of the reverence and fear instilled in me by the church.

I felt sorry for the woman in the restaurant. I could tell she was feeling attacked by her date. He was doing his best to make her see how wrong her church was but he wasn't paying attention to her body language at all. She seemed to want a relationship with Christ (based on other things she said) but her date's approach may have just set that back.

I'm wondering if they'll even have another date. I think she was giving him the stink eye and he was oblivious. When he did finally catch on that she was upset he attempted to entertain her by folding his placemat into a boat. She wasn't impressed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Shack

It seems like so many people around me are reading The Shack. I really have no interest in the book. Why then, do I feel defensive when people ask me if I've read it yet? Do I subconsciously believe I'm missing something? I don't think so.
I'm currently reading a book about the Salem witch trials. Now that interests me.
I love history. I love adding bits of information to what I already know about that period of our nation's past.
It's not that I'm not captivated by the Trinity, I am...but the Holy Spirit is alive within me and I have an ongoing relationship that is constantly nurtured with the Lord. I am not in a place that finds me in need of this literature. I may read it someday.
To my friends who have read The Shack and loved it...I'm glad. I love to read and it is a special gift when a book makes an impact in your life.
Why did I write this lame post? Because I feel like Jan Brady this morning and I want to cry out, " The Shack, The Shack, The Shack."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sad Supper

China Wok is closed...forever...WAH..my favorite dumplings are gone...I refused to go to Hi Ho. So, we went to some place closer to home of which I don't even know the name. It was good. I'll live. I may even stop being so dramatic...or not.

I Survived!

This afternoon was the Character Day Parade. First and Third graders dressed up as their favorite character from a book and paraded around the building. I was the coordinator. I made myself sick over it all day but it actually went off without a hitch. The entire First grade chose 101 Dalmatians, although, there are only 100 First graders. The Third grade was a mix and one class used characters from the fables they are studying. It was fun for those watching too. I had Fourth graders asking me when they would get their turn. When I told them Second and Fourth had Character Day in May they genuinely looked excited. Now...to whom can I pass the torch?

Second and Fourth grade classes wrote ABC books which are on display in the school library. Each time I pass I seen children reading them. So far it appears Language Arts week is a success. The books will be displayed for the visitors during fine arts night next month (also known as, the Holiday Program). I hope the parents enjoy them.

I'm looking forward to spending Thanksgiving at my parents Thursday. I'm taking a cheese ball and crackers, pizzelles and an additional yet to be determined appetizer. I'm considering veggie pizza or fruit salsa and sweet chips. Those are always popular.

Then, I have four days of cleaning and relaxing. Ahhhh, the thought of relaxing makes me slightly giddy. I'm a bit worried that some Christmas shopping may be thrown in to spoil my fun. Yuck!

Well, I must prepare to disembark for China Wok and/or Hi Ho Chop Suey. I need some dumplings and something else to which I'm allergic. I've been good and saved up all of my allowable servings for this evenings meal.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Howdy Stranger!

It would seem that after two months without sharing meaningless drivel from my life I would have tons of nothing to say...guess again. Actually I do have a lot to say, it's is just jamming the super-highway in my brain and unable to move along to my fingers for the trip to the keyboard. Too bad for you!

I'm busy doing my own one-woman mission project. I'm knitting hats for every child in my class. I probably should have thought of this before it became cold. Oh well, they will like them anyway...I hope. I know my babies (grades 2 and 3) will. They love everything I make them. Those big opinionated 4Th-graders may say something rude but secretly like the hat they chose. They are all 10 going on 13 and I can't stand it.

I also decided recently (about 4 minutes ago) that my life was a lot easier before I started thinking so deeply. Which has lead me to another deep thought...does God really want me thinking so much?

Wouldn't you know it, some young pastor's wife (who I secretly want to be my friend) hit Oasis with the question, "What are you passionate about?" More thinking!!!!!!! I'm passionate about so many things. How can I use them for God?

Our 18-month old sump died. I hope Ted is in a better mood when he calls the plumber tomorrow...for their sake. Thank goodness it's not wet outside. I'm praying the warranty is still good. I can only find the receipt for the work and not the rest of the paperwork, wah!

I'm looking forward to a three day work week. I need some rest. I've had a migraine everyday since before the last time I penned a little blurb here. Well, every day except 4 of the last 10. I went to a new neurologist and started a new preventative. It takes a month to begin working. The side-effects are potentially horrible (enough to make you stop taking it). I have been prayed for by many dear women at church and I am constantly aware of that covering. My side-effects have thus far been limited to annoying tingling of the hands, feet, top of the mouth, back of the throat, and face...as well as... stomach pain. Wednesday I raise the dosage for the last time. Hopefully the side-effects will then begin to go away.

I hope you all have a marvelous week. I'm so thankful for each and everyone of you!




Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Sunday

This weekend is going by in a blur. Yesterday Ted and I first went to The Loft to buy yarn. I ended up buying the prettiest green lace weight yarn. When I find the perfect stole pattern I will have my yarn ready. I also bought yarn to knit a gift. Then we were off to Goshen. Ted bough candy at Olympia and then we ate lunch at The South Side Soda Shop. Ruebens and chili. Next we drove to Eau Claire, Michigan for fruit. These fun trips were followed by some boring shopping and stopping at Ted's school. We were both tired and went to bed early. This morning started early (5am) thanks to a migraine. I took my meds and went back to bed and slept fitfully until 8 am. We went to church for the 10:45 service and then after talking to a church friend we were off to eat. We really wanted to go to Cracker Barrel but it was WAY too busy. We stopped instead a Steak and Shake. We went to my parents next for a quick visit and some pear picking. Now, I'm starting laundry and grading papers.
I hope everyone has a great week. I'm starting 2 new guided reading groups so I'll be extra frazzled for a couple of days. But, I'm trusting this week will be pleasant.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First week wackiness

I feel like I do laps all day from my classroom to the office, faxing new enrollments, faxing withdrawals, requesting IEPs from other cities and states, meeting new parents, and hunting down children. Each day this week has gotten a bit easier. I am still not ready to see students. Of the 5 teachers with whom I share students, only one has given me a class schedule. I can't make my schedule without theirs.
I'm looking forward to Saturday. I'm a tired girl.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Saturday

I received great pictures today from my dear Amy. She had pictures of a family gathering and it was nice to see my cousins. Seeing those photos really make me miss my family.
Monday is my first day back to school. The students begin on Tuesday. I have a staff meeting Monday morning and I will then spend the rest of the day in my classroom. Of course that is also subject to change...like a special education meeting. We have a new special education teaching joining us and she may have some questions. She is also a first year teacher. Monday evening is open house.
I'm beginning a new knitting project today and I haven't completed the one I've been working on the week. So, my poor coin purse will sit by idly as I quickly knit up a stole. In a few weeks Mystery Stole 4 will begin. I have my yarn ordered and will need beads. I have some here but I'm not sure if they will go with either of the yarns I ordered. I also need to get down to the Loft to buy some yarn from Gayle. That will be used to make a stole for a very special person. Actually the other two stoles are gifts too.
I've been watching the BBC version (the original) of The Office. I don't like it as well as NBC's version. I've watched 4 episodes. I"m not sure if I'll continue. Ted's watching it now. I'm not sure he'll like either version.
If you are praying for Kennedy please be sure to lift her up in prayer this week. Her halo is being removed on Friday regardless of how far along her neck is in the healing process.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Helping the husband and stuff

Ted has been moved into a new classroom. It's a portable. I was in a portable for 4th grade. I remember how it was such a novelty at first. It quickly became normal. Ted's classroom is set up much different from the one I remember. It also seems bigger but that could be because all of the desks are piled to one side.
We are going to move furniture around and unpack boxes. He has a lot of space being taken up by metal cabinets. It's his only storage so we must make due. I'm hoping we won't stay long. I'll be back to work soon enough.
Last night was fun. We were visited by Tammy, Michael and Sarah. I feel like I haven't seen Sarah in forever. She's 21 now and busy with life. Sniff. Tammy and I knitted while Ted and Michael played the Wii. Mario Cart...fun.
Last Saturday we were able to visit with BRAD! I haven't seen him since Christmas. Another child who has grown-up and moved on. Michael was here and he loves Brad too. It was a nice visit, but of course, not long enough. I probably won't see him again until Christmas, Thanksgiving if I'm lucky.
I'm looking forward to returning to the Oasis Cafe. I'm hoping Tammy will start coming too. Michael is interested in the preteen ministry...if he can bring a friend. Ted's returning to the Men's Fraternity. Wednesday nights always energize me for the rest of the week.
I'm off to go to school with Ted. =-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh! Gravity

From the wacky dreamworld of Dawn....

I was sitting in a case conference for a student I knew but another school was attending and bringing the paperwork. In fact, the teacher brought an IEP printed in color. I was slightly jealous that I did not have the ability to produce such pretty documentation. Suddenly I was informed that I had to write goals and objectives for the student. I excused myself to run back to my classroom to get forms.
Entering the room I noticed that the substitute was reading to the students who were seated in front of him on the floor. I turned to my desk and realized it has been pushed into the corner...and was upside down.
Drama ensued as I yelled at the substitute, Mr. Dwight K. Schrute. He began screaming at me. In real life I may have been frightened. In dream world I was enraged. I stomped about my classroom until I located my phone. I then called my principal as Mr. Schrute begged me not to make the call. When I began speaking to Angie Mr. Schrute muttered, "I might as well go this is my 5th strike."
As I was talking to Angie a black cat ran out of the coat room. It was as this point I realized I was in my old classroom at St. Casmir. The cat jumped up and bit me. It's eyes were huge as if it realized the mistake it was making. It let go of my beautiful arm and ran toward the children who immediately began to play with the monster...traitors.
Angie, listened to me repeatedly saying, "I've been bit, I"m bleeding."

Then I woke up...with vertigo. The song Oh! Gravity is going through my mind...over and over and over.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary Ted!

Today I have been married for 19 years! The time has gone by so quickly. When I look back at all we've gone through it is truly amazing. In the last 19 years between the two of us we've earned 3 degrees, worked in 13 jobs (6 for me, 7 for Ted), lived in 4 homes in 2 cities, we have travelled to 24 states and 1 foreign country. We've laughed and cried, prayed and praised. It all seems like yesterday. We have been blessed in ways that words can not describe. Ted is a gift from God. I look forward to forever with him. Happy anniversary Teedo. I love you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Mothermaid!

Today is my mother's birthday. She is 60-something years old (I'm to lazy to figure out her real age). Mothermaid, comes from my younger brother. My father called my mom Donna Mae (which is her name) occasionally. My brother (probably 3 or 4 at the time) apparently thought he was saying something else. Dan then began calling her Mothermaid. The name isn't used as much anymore but it occasionally pops up. Even my dad uses the name. In a few hours we will be off to partake in a birthday meal with the folks. I must wrap the gifts and prepare for takeoff.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Food Stuff

Well, I've spent the last couple of weeks trying to find recipes that don't require me to make substitutions. That's not easy. I've joined some Yahoo groups that fit my needs and I've been checking out vegan websites. I'm learning a lot, but my meals have not changed. I'm basically eating fruits and vegetables and lean meat, if I eat at all. I'm in a bad food place. I've also noticed that when I eat the allowed servings of the "bad" food I get sick. I think it's psychological. Another difficulty is Ted. Poor Ted. He doesn't like seeing the gfcf egg-free food going in the shopping cart. I think he's afraid I'll make him eat it...no way. Some of that costs way too much to waste on his meals! I was looking at spaghetti noodles made from corn the other night and his comment was, "Don't get too carried away." I know that he meant he didn't want to eat it, but I whisper-yelled at him anyway. I think that shocked him a bit. I can also tell he's becoming worried about the cleaning concoctions popping up in the house. He knows they are necessary to help my chemical sensitivity but fears they really don't clean. Poor Ted. I need to take some allergy medication today. I've been sneezing my head off. However, the product in the house contains citric acid. You've got to love an allergy medication that contains an allergen. I'm too lazy to go to the store to buy what I need.Tonight we are going out to eat with friends. I'm not worried about cross-contamination because I haven't had any of the allowed servings today. The most serious allergy will be the citric acid since it hides in everything. I may eat before I go so I'm not too hungry. Then I can stick to a salad.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Grocery Store

+ hates people with food allergies
+ overcharges for products they can label gluten free
+ Is not a fun place to visit when you are hungry

I found her!

While we were on vacation I received an email from my best friend from childhood. It was so exciting to hear from her. I'm hoping we don't lose touch again. Lately I've reconnected with another close friend from high school. I never thought I'd want to talk to people from high school that I hadn't kept in touch with. It has been nice talking to them.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Vacation Number 2

We returned home Thursday night at 11:57pm. We were exhausted. We had another nice trip. Monday morning we drove down to the Vevay, Indiana area. We spent the night at a casino/resort with my in-laws with whom we celebrated their anniversary and Ted's birthday. The chef at Jeff Ruby's made us a special meal (delicious steak and lobster for FIL, Ted and I and Dover Sole for MIL). Also specially made was a cake for Ted from the pastry chef. We had the cake last year for Ted's mom's birthday and it is awesome. Ted gambled a bit on the slots while I chilled in the room. He won $60in the afternoon (not losing his original investment) and lost that $60 after dinner. We ate breakfast at the yummy buffet on Tuesday. I indulged in fresh fruit, hash and hashbrowns. Ted had a fluffy omelet filled with green peppers, onions, salsa, and bacon, ham, and cheese. We were then off on our trip while Ted's parents headed home to Indy.
Our first stop along the Ohio river was to Jeffersonville. Ted had seen a candy store there on the History channel and wanted to try it out. We bought awesome chocolates and cinnamon hard candy. We will be ordering candy for Christmas gifts from them this year, unless Ted ropes me into driving down there this fall. We then stopped at Meijer to buy a bigger cooler for our candy. We then headed to Corydon, the first Indiana State Capital.
It was late when we arrived in Corydon so we visited many of the sites that you can not go in or that are outside anyway. The first stop was the only Civil War Battlefield in Indiana. Ted loves Civil War history and this was exciting for him. We had a butterscotch shake at a house that had been cut in half. We took a lot of pictures to use in a power point for our social studies classes. On Wednesday we were able to go in the capital building and have a tour. Joann, our guide was wonderful and loves history as much as we do. After lunch we were off to Lincoln City.
We followed the Ohio River for most of our trip so we saw the lock and Dam at Cannelton. We see so many of them along the Mississippi that this was not that exciting. We arrived in Lincoln City with time to see a movie about Abe and his family and to briefly see the exhibits. Then we went to see the site of their cabin, his mothers grave, and the living history area (the rangers were gone). We hiked a mile in Abe's woods. We had a stare-down with a deer on the trail. Then, we were off to Evansville.
Thursday morning we went to Angel Mounds to see the Indian Mounds. We walked around for about 4 hours. We enjoyed the exhibits and walking tour a great deal. We then took off for New Harmony, Indiana to see the site of an early Utopia. We were headed home after that.
We were so tired on the drive home from walking so much during the day. Ted's ready to take another trip already. He will be spending the next 2 weeks trying to finish getting the other house ready to sell. He'd like to have it on the market within 3 weeks. I can't wait until it sells. We will then be able to be almost debt free. We'll still have some of Ted's student loan and our mortgage.

Allergy Update

The results from my blood test are in and the best news is: I am no longer allergic to dogs. WOO HOO! I am still allergic to cats. They're sneaky anyway. The rest of the news is mixed. I continue to be allergic to egg whites, milk and wheat. I am able to have one serving of each per day if I desire I am also allergic to lemons. Doctor said, "avoid lemon in large quantities like lemonade." I never knew that your throat wasn't supposed to feel thick and furry after you drank lemonade. Big surprise- I'm developing an allergy to peanuts. WAH!!!!! I love peanuts. I am allowed 1 tablespoon or less per day. sniff sniff All of the other things I was tested for were negative. It's back to the doctor in about 5 months. I will get new meds to include the cat allergy. They mailed me my food allergy meds. The bottle is big. Let's see if I can build up a tolerance to anything by December. Until then I am encourage to seek rice and soy milks as substitutes for cow milk. Bye bye cheese and the occasional ice cream. I should try wheat substitutes such as corn, oat, rice, rye, barley or spelt. What's spelt? I guess there is no suitable substitute for eggs and peanuts...oh wait...I could make cashew butter...hmmm.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We're Home

Ted and I returned home last night after a fabulous trip to Wisconsin. Friday night we went out to eat with family for a fish fry. Afterward we went to my aunt's and everyone sat outside and talked. The weather was perfect and not a mosquito was to be seen.
Saturday we went to the family picnic. My cousin Linda and I spent about 2 hours sitting outside and talking. The weather was beautiful. Only a few of my cousins and their families were missing. I hadn't seen most of my relatives in at least 5 years. That night Ted and I had dinner at a restaurant called Burrachos (which means drunk in Spanish...it's the 2nd burrito shop I've seen with this name). The burrito was awesome. We split one since they are so big. We then went back to the hotel and rested.
Sunday we were off to Pepin, Wi, birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder. We had to take 2 cars because there wasn't room for all of the adults in my car with a carseat and booster. My cousin Amy's children are great and it was so much fun to have them with us. My cousin Katie also went. I loved spending time with her too. The day was overcast and it sprinkled a few times for a minute (maybe). We visited the Pepin Museum, the replica cabin, a store, and a neat restaurant. A farmer was baling hay next to the cabin so we sat and watched him for a while. Payton loved yelling, "Shoot the hay!" each time the baler tossed a bale in the hay wagon. The restaurant (The Garden Pub and Grille) was a little sandwich place that had all outdoor seating. We sat in the section that was covered by a roof. They had a water garden with a fall and River and Payton went out and watched it endlessly while we all continued to visit. On our way back to La Crosse we stopped in Nelson. Wi for ice cream and to buy cheese. Without the car ride we spent 6 hours sightseeing and having family time.
Monday was a very early day for us. We had to leave by 7:30 in order to be to the clinic on time. We spent about 2 and a half hours at the doctor. I have learned that I'm allergic to almost everything I always was and then some. While being tested for an allergy to citric acid I ended up in respiratory distress. So, the updated list of allergies so far is as follows: Dust Mite, Ragweed, Grass, Trees, TCE, Alternaria, Cladosporium, AA Mold Mix, Aspergilius, Penicillium, Formalin (formaldihyd) , Hamsters, Grain Dust, Soybean Dust, and Citric acid. All of these were in the severe to very severe range except Fomalin which was mild. We are waiting for blood test results on the following allergies: Baker's Yeast, Corn, Eggwhite, Lemon, Milk, Orange, Peanuts, Soybean, Wheat, Candida Albicans, Cat Dander, Cockroach, Dog Epithelium, and Guinea Pigs. So, I've started my treatment for the first group and once the results are in on the second group I'll start that treatment too. I have to go back in 3-6 months for a follow up. Ted was allergic to 13 things. Most were in the moderate range with 4 being severe and 2 mild.
Monday night we ate at my aunts house and visited with family again. This time the mosquitos chased us in the house.
After the doctor we went to my Aunt's house to visit with Amy and Katie some more. My parents were there already. We had lunch from Coney Island. We had a nice visit even though a bird flew over and dropped a "gift" on my head.
We came home yesturday after buying a new yard game that Ted played at the picnic. It's called Lasso Golf. Ted had fun and we found it on sale at Shopko. Now he sees that they sell them here at Target.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fingers crossed

I have been online all day searching for my best friend from childhood. I think I have found her. I sent an email to the address I found connected with her name. I lost touch with her 4 or 5 years ago. I hope I have found her.
T and I went to the new Maid-Rite in Plymouth. I'm going again on Monday with Fran and Laura. Long story short...I grew up less than a mile away from the owner-in Cedar Rapids. Her family moved to Indiana 2 years after we did. We are the same age and everything!
I have to visit the library today. A book I requested has come in. I also have a few items to return. I love books.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday

I had very weird dreams last night/this morning. I am amazed when I hear the average dream lasts 3 seconds because my dreams seem to last at least 30. Here are the 2 I remember:

#1. My Uncle John was receiving an "I Care" award for saving a person's life at work. We were all there to seem him get the award. Yay Uncle John! (background info...Uncle John works in a school. "I Care" is part of the social skills/peace education program I use in my classroom)

#2. I was in church sitting next to my friend Lori and some of my friends from high school. Church was in my high school auditorium. Tree 63 was singing "Sunday" and Lori told me she didn't like the song. I though to myself, I feel so comfortable it's as if I'm wearing pjs. I looked down and I WAS wearing pjs. Then we all decide to walk around looking for our husbands who are missing. (I woke up before I could embarrass myself. And, the part of "Sunday" I heard in my dream was: "It’s Friday, but Sunday is comin'. Yeah, it's Friday, but Sunday is comin'." Ironic, since today is Friday and all.)

I must begin a dream journal because I've had some great ones in the past few months.

Another side note...spell check says "pjs" should be written as "pj's." I say that's incorrect because the "s" is not showing ownership and it is not a contraction. Am I correct?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Let's try again

After a 2-year hiatus we are going to start that fun adoption process all over again. T. told me today that the Lord has placed it on his heart to foster to adopt through the state. So, tomorrow I will contact our social worker and start the process again. I bet I can update our home study in my sleep (3 times a charm after all). I think we have to renew our first aid and CPR certification. I become unglued during the tests, I hate thinking I may fail...or hurt someone. Please keep us in your prayers. I think I'm ready for this. At one time after the "failure" I wasn't so sure I'd ever want to do this again. But when Ted told me what he was thinking I felt peace.
Tomorrow also begins the spring cleaning season at our house. Every year when school ends we deep clean. I hope I'm able to purge the house of all that is not needed. Realistically, I'll be pleased just to feel like the house is clean again.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Conversation with a different child

R walked in today at 10:30, only 2 hours late. I check the admit slip which reads, "missed the bus." Funny thing is, I saw her mother drop off her 2 sisters on time. The following exchange took place.

Me
Hi R welcome to school. Your class hasn't returned from the field trip.
R
I missed the bus.
Me
I saw your mom drop your sisters off. Did they forget you at home?
R
Blank stare
Me (walking toward the door)
Okay, let's get your jacket and backpack in your locker.
R
Blank stare
Me
Is something wrong?
R
My mom didn't want to drive me to the field trip.
Me
I'm sorry. Was she running late?
R
No. She didn't feel like it.

R has CP and couldn't walk to the museum (walking field trip, about 1/2 mile). Mom had agreed to drive her and chaperone. Her mom is a bad word.

Oh, remember C? One of my aides saw him in the hallway this morning and asked him if he was going on the field trip. His reply, "No thanks. I'm not in the mood." Oops, I guess he didn't realize this wasn't an optional trip once you return your permission slip and show up to school on field trip day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Conversation with a child

The following conversation took place in my classroom.

C
I don't believe in God. I believe in the devil (devil spoken in 5 yr. old scary voice).
Me
Why don't you believe in God?
C
Because I want to be cool like the devil. He has horns.
Me
Does your mom know you don't believe in God?
C
She doesn't care. She doesn't believe in God either.
Me
Did she tell you that?
C
No. I'll give you two reasons. 1. She smokes.
Me
Well C, just because a person smokes doesn't mean they don't believe in God.
C
Number two, she's rude (rude spoken with conviction).
Me
Unfortunately C, some people who believe in God are rude. You need to ask your mom about God.
C
I'm not cool like the devil yet 'cause I'm afraid of the dark.
Me
Oh, God is the perfect person to help you with the dark.
C
Really? Hmmmm
Me
Yes, when you are alone and it's dark you can simply say, "God I'm afraid. Please help me."
C
I can?
Me
Yes.
C
Hmmm, I think I believe in God now.
Me
I'm so glad because the devil wants you to think he's cool but he's really bad.
C
Why do you think he has those cool horns?
Me
I don't know.

In the weeks that have followed we have had more of these conversations. Many begin with C saying, "I don't think I believe in God anymore." He is always easily shown that the reasons he doesn't believe are the reasons he needs God most. Then last week he came to me with this:

C
I don't believe in God.
Me
Why?
C
I'm mad at him.
Me
You can tell God you're mad at him. It won't make him angry. He wants to help you.
C
I can?
Me
Yes. Why are you mad at him?
C
Because my mom and my uncle got in a fight and my mom was crying. Then she left and left me and my baby sister home.
Me
I'm so sorry that happened. Was your uncle still home?
C
Yes.
Me
Were you scared?
C
Yes. Later she came home.
Me
God always hears us when we are frightened. What could you have said to God?
C
God I'm scared and my mom is sad.
Me
That's perfect. You could also ask him to keep you and S and your mom safe.
C
Okay. My uncle told me my mom is crazy.
Me
I'm sorry he said that to you. Grown-ups shouldn't talk to children like that.
C
Mmm...that's okay. My mom is crazy.

I will miss this precious child this summer.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Random thoughts

*why did M beg me not to go home sick from work at noon? /Does he hate the sub that was coming? Was he hoping I'd give him more garbage as I clean cupboards? Does he like me even though I've had to be so tough with him all year? He actually told me he'd miss me when he went to middle school.

*MMmmmm, that KFC Famous Bowl tasted good at lunch.

*Why won't this headache go away? I'm not going to be able to see Rush of Fools tonight, wah!

*8 schools days to go, woo hoo!

*I hate field day. I'm praying for rain next Thursday. Is it wrong to pray that a fun day for students will be spoiled for my sake?

*I love cinnamon...I have Hot Tamales next to me right now to prove it.

*I wish I didn't have to unplug and plug things in to use the DVD player in my bedroom. I'd love to watch The Last Sin Eater right now, too bad.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Teacher Appreciation Day!

I received flowers and candy from one of my students. She is the best behaved child in my class. And now, I like her best. I should take a picture and add it to my blog, but I don't know how. Hmmmm

Primary Day!

Let the commercials cease...please. I have voted. I want this mess over. Of course once the Dems have a nominee it will begin again and probably with more venom.
I need a hole in which to crawl in.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

People are starving

MOSCOW

Just recently the crisis of the world's financial markets seemed the worst headache of the world economy. But now the threat of the food crisis is mounting with every passing day.

This crisis is much more vital for every human being, and it may become much more dangerous than financial cataclysms, because it may provoke a social uproar on a global scale. International organizations are already sending urgent relief to the poorest countries in order to prevent food riots. But it is unlikely that anyone can offer a long-term solution to this problem now.

Both the financial and food crises have been triggered off by excessive economic optimism of experts in the last few years, and their inability to predict global challenges. From the start of this century, the world economy was growing at a high rate. Incomes were confidently rising against this background, especially in such huge and rapidly growing markets as China and India. But higher incomes provoked a sharp increase in prices on all kinds of raw materials, including sources of energy, which are part of the cost of practically any product, including agricultural produce. Thus, in the past year prices on hydrocarbons have gone up by 60 percent, while rice and wheat prices have doubled. Eventually, these factors brought about a sharp price hike on food products, which started last year, and continues to this day.

The bad situation is made worse by the fact that for many years huge resources have been invested into the production of biofuels in order to prevent an energy crisis. Their production is fairly expensive, and is not always justified economically. Moreover, it is withdrawing considerable resources from the food market, thereby making food even more expensive.

Unable to afford increasingly expensive food, the poorest people, above all in countries with backward economies, are struggling for survival. In the World Bank's estimate, rocketing global food prices have set back the fight against poverty and hunger by seven years.

Large-scale poverty is fraught with social explosions. A wave of massive unrest caused by the growth of food prices has swept Egypt, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Madagascar and Ethiopia in Africa alone. There are hunger riots on Haiti in the Caribbean, and in the Philippines in South-East Asia. Director-General of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, Jacques Diouf, predicts new hunger riots in many Asian countries as well, including food producers.

The fact that world leaders have realized the scale of the problem and are ready to act without delay, just as in the case of the financial crisis, is the only cause for optimism.

Speaking in New York on April 14, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: "The rapidly escalating crisis of food availability around the world has reached emergency proportions. ... We need not only short-term emergency measures to meet urgent critical needs and avert starvation in many regions across the world, but also a significant increase in long-term productivity in food grain production."

President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick has also called for urgent measures to curb soaring food prices and prevent hunger. He emphasized that skyrocketing prices will be one of the main topics for discussion by G8 ministers of finance in Tokyo, adding: "But, frankly speaking, the G8 meeting is in June and we cannot wait for that. We have to put our money where our mouth is now -- so that we can put food into hungry mouths. It is as stark as that."

Urgent measures are already being taken. The World Bank is sending $10 million to fight hunger in Haiti. In Zoellick's estimate, $500 million should be earmarked to the poorest countries before May 1 for this purpose. Concerned over massive unrest in the world, President George W. Bush ordered $200 million in immediate aid to the poorest nations through the United States Agency for International Development.

As for long-term measures to combat poverty, the situation is rather vague. It is obvious that to reduce food prices agricultural production has to be increased, primarily in the poorest countries. But advice on how to do this is couched in general terms. Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to give emerging economies access to resources, investment and technologies. But such appeals have been made for more than a decade, and nothing has changed. The World Bank has been talking about some medium- and long-term projects on upgrading agriculture in developing nations for many years, but to no avail.

Against the background of urgent international relief to prevent the poor from dying all over the world, some members of the Russian government maintain Olympic calm. This is surprising, considering that about 15 percent of the population in Russia is living beneath the poverty line.

Speaking at the session of the WB and IMF Development Committee in Washington on April 13, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin merely expressed apprehensions over soaring food prices. He said that they are reducing the purchasing capacity of the poorest strata, and producing a negative impact on balances of payment and taxation stability in the developing countries. He even noted that "in mid-term perspective, growing food prices may be an incentive for investment in agriculture." Moreover, Kudrin believes that "price hikes on basic commodities and foods may be viewed as new opportunities." Apparently, for the poorest countries, these opportunities will come as aid from the rich donor countries.

Last year, the Russian authorities simply missed a hike in food prices. Much to their surprise, inflation in 2007 was 12 percent rather than the expected 8 percent. They did not come up with anything better than to conclude agreements with big food networks on freezing prices on certain foods. This measure is extremely ineffective in the market economy, not to mention that it violates domestic anti-monopoly legislation.

by Oleg Mityayev, an economic commentator for the Russian News and Information Agency Novosti; Web site: http://en.rian.ru/.

25 days

I went to the eye doctor today. Everything was good. I ordered cool glasses. That's all my excitement. woo...hoo...

Vote for Jasmine

Hi there family and friends, my cousin Jazzie needs your support this week...

A couple of months ago Jasmine entered a poetry contest online and was thrilled to be voted the weekly winner (largely because friends, coworkers, and family voted for her poem online – Thanks again for those who voted!)

This week, all of the weekly winners from the whole year are posted as the finalists for the BIG contest. (Jasmine was the winner of week 35.) Voting is currently going on from today until Sunday at midnight. The poem that gets the most votes becomes the winning poem of the year. The winning poem's author will become a professional songwriter and will start receiving royalty checks when their song goes onto Thaddeus Rex's next CD!!! (That would be so cool for her!) (Thaddeus Rex is a singer/songwriter who tours around doing kid shows that promote reading. He used have a kid show on PBS.)



Voting is easy and can be done hourly until Sunday at midnight, so of course we’re after as many votes as we can possibly get. Each vote only takes seconds, so any votes you would be willing to cast would be greatly appreciated. If you would, please spread the word for anyone you think of that would be willing to add some votes. Thanks for any support you can give! J



Here’s how to vote:

Go to www.thaddeusrex.com
On the left, click on “Writing Contest”
You can get to Jaz’s poem by either clicking “View Finalists” and scrolling down to week 35 “My Other Brother” by Jasmine B. OR by typing “My Other Brother” in the “Poem Title” box and clicking “Search.”
Click on the poem’s title to pull up the poem.
Once you pull up the poem, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you can cast your vote.
To add continued votes: What I do is just leave that page up on the computer, and then every hour (or when I happen to be walking by the computer), I press “F5” on the keyboard to refresh the page and then click vote again.


A rough version of “My Other Brother” set to music by Thaddeus Rex is posted on his blog in his “fan club” section.

Monday, April 21, 2008

butt crack at church

I never thought I'd write that, but then again, I never thought I'd see it at church either. A teenager in front of us was wearing sweats. He kept pulling them down to reveal his underwear. When we stood to sing a song at the end of service I was treated to at least 2 inches of crack. He quickly readjusted is clothing but it was too late. sigh

26 days

and counting until summer vacation. Am I counting the days? You bet I am.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

a point or two

* I am sick of politicians.
* I don't like strangers ringing my doorbell to talk about "their" candidate and
then asking me for whom I am voting.
*I liken this to trick or treating for votes.
* I don't like to philosophize (T told me that today, his word, well, it's real
word...I didn't believe that it was).
* I love my church.
* I love the weekend.
* I like knitting once a month in a grocery store deli.
* The bible makes me think...and many of you know, I don't like to think.
* I think The Deadliest Catch is my favorite t.v. show.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

eArThQuAkE

We had an earthquake yesterday. This is my third quake since moving to Indiana. It woke T who in turn woke me asking, "Are you shaking the bed?" Of course I was wasn't and we know what was. I didn't feel the aftershock but I know exactly what I was doing at that time. My SIL called me for directions to a deli in Michigan City. I looked at the clock when I answered the phone. This has got to be the most exciting post about an earthquake ever.
I weighed in today. -0.2 I'm still dropping, although at a snail's pace. I know what I have to do to fix that.
Monday I woke with a swollen and gooey tonsil. I went to work and called the doctor to make an appointment. They did a rapid strep test and it came back negative. Dr. put me on a z-pack and told me to stay home for a day. My throat hurt all week. Thursday I learned that I had strep after all, an uncommon strain. Friday was the first day I felt normal. I was very tired by the end of the day though. Hopefully by Monday I'll be totally fine.
Wednesday night we started a new study at church, Loved by God, by Liz Curtis Higgs. It started out great. I'm excited to get into this. It's studying Genesis 25 which I happen to like.
I also learned a lot about myself yesterday. I was speaking to one of my college students who happens to be Catholic. He talked about how strong his faith is and I talked about why I left the church. I totally saw myself in him at his age. He is very defensive of his faith and has a difficult time speaking to fellow students at school. He feels that Catholicism is under attack, therefore, he is under attack. He's had a couple of incidents that I have experienced myself. I hope I was able to convey to him that no one is trying to hurt him, even when their words sting. This is definitely a conversation I will try to continue later.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yesterday

was weigh-day. -0.8

We didn't make it to church this morning. Unfortunately I am have severe muscle spasms in my back and I can barely walk. I look forward to Wednesday. We'll be starting a new study I think. Tomorrow is back to work. Then there are only 6 weeks left of work. I'm looking forward to my next vacation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

You are a Christian?

My nephew has been discriminated against by a neighbor. Why? Because he doesn't go to church on Sunday. Obviously she's never asked him if he's a Christian. This 10 year old boy loves Jesus with all his heart. It is not his choice not to attend church. I'm not going to make excuses for his parents because I can't, but if this woman is a Christian shouldn't she be embracing this child rather than calling other mothers in the neighborhood to let them know that "he" is not allowed in her yard, though she doesn't mind if her son plays with him other places. It seems to me if she is so worried that "he" is a heathen she wouldn't allow her son to play with him at all. She has no idea what she is missing by banning this beautiful child from her "property." I'd love to send he an anonymous letter asking her if this is her shinning example of Christianity. She is yet another "Christian" whom Satan is using to undo all of the work I have done to get my loved ones to know Jesus. This whole situation makes me so angry!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Stand for Christ

19 people per hour die for Christ.
456 per day
3,192 per week
165,984 per year

These numbers are staggering, but what do they mean for you? To me it means, these people have put themselves all out for our Savior. They go to dangerous places to spread the gospel. They worship Him illegally because they love Him so much. They carry one page of scripture because that's all they have and they do that knowing if they are caught they will be punished. They stand for Jesus...what do we do to stand for Him? Do you live each day with Him by your side? Do you soak in His word and show others His love through your actions?

CHINA - China Aid President Awarded John Leland Religious Liberty Award
February 15, 2008

CHINA – On February 7, Pastor Bob Fu, president of China Aid Association, was awarded the 2007 John Leland Religious Liberty Award at the Library of Congress.

When accepting the award, Pastor Fu called on Christians to stand for believers in China who face harassment, detentions and sometimes death because of their faith. Pastor Fu said, “From my own experience of being arbitrarily detained in a Chinese jail, and from the hundreds of documented cases of harassment, arbitrary detentions, seizing of property, torture and even the death of some of my Christian friends and former coworkers in China, I cannot stay silent for those who share our same faith, but not all our basic freedoms.”

The award, which recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the cause of religious freedom, was presented by Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Pastor Fu was recognized “for courageously defending the right of all people to exercise freely their religious faith.”

In his acceptance speech, Pastor Fu recalled growing up in poverty in Shandong province, northeast China and begging a local doctor to provide medicine to his dying mother because they could not afford it. He recalled, “I begged a local doctor, even offering myself as his bond servant for life, if he could just help provide medicine for my mother to get well. As he shut the door on me and I walked away with a broken heart, I remember falling on the ground behind a barn in my home yard and in the only way I knew how, praying to a higher power to help me and to help my mother. I prayed that one day my poor mom and I could get some equal status with my other fellow villagers, no matter how poor or rich.”

This heart wrenching experience led Pastor Fu to become a student leader for the People’s University of Beijing student democracy movement, which tragically ended in the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989. After Tiananmen, Pastor Fu struggled to understand why “brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers” had died in the massacre. During this time, an American English teacher shared Christ with him. Pastor Fu added, “I couldn’t help but surrender myself to my creator, Later I knelt down on the floor with my American teacher at his dorm and accepted Christ into my life, I realized the very freedom of conscience that the Creator endowed in my heart is far more precious and fundamental than any other rights.”

Following his conversion, Pastor Fu served as a house church leader, was briefly imprisoned for his faith and finally immigrated with his family to the United States. He later founded China Aid Association, through which he serves as a spokesperson for house church Christians in China. The Voice of the Martyrs partners with China Aid in supporting persecuted believers and their families. VOM has provided assistance with medical costs, Christmas Care packs for Sunday school children and literature to strengthen believers spiritually. Even though there has been an increase in persecution cases leading up to the Olympics later this coming summer, believers in China remain faithful. Ask God to protect and encourage them.

Juarez 3 Words

Saturday, April 5, 2008

DMHO part 2

Denver and the Mile High Orchestra will be playing on April 13th at Plymouth Wesleyan Church during the 10:30 service. Denver's mom is dear to me and I am hoping to make it to the show and to visit her church.

Weighday

I have a new weigh day...why? because I want to. It needed to be done since I have weighed in for at least 2 weeks. I was sure I had gained since I've eaten ick the whole time. Yesterday was particularly bad. Anyway...since I went back to eating better I have lost a total of 7.8 pounds. I might be at ten if I had more willpower.

I am officially on spring vacation. I slept until 10 and then laid in bed and read the rest of my book, Turn up the Heat by Susan Park-Conant. It was good and I feel rested.

This afternoon we are headed to my parents so that T can help my brother haul up a dry-mount machine from the basement for it's sale. My parents are retiring and closing their art and frame shop so everything is being sold. My mom is getting excited. I need to make sure they don't have any art that I "need" before it is sold. What doesn't sell in the store may make it's way onto eBay.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What is wrong with me?

I wish I knew.
I've had brief moments of depression today that threaten to suck the life out of me.
Then He grabs my hand.
He pulls me closer to Him.
He sits me next to people who listen and care.
I cling to Him.
sigh
He gives me strength.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Home Again

We arrived home last night from out trip to Ohio. Grandma's funeral was lovely. T and his cousin spoke. They both did a great job. The funeral director told my MIL that he hadn't seen a funeral so full of love in a long time. He was impressed with both T and J.

One more week until spring break. I'm looking forward to relaxing. We may go visit MIL for a day or two. I'd like to go to Conner Prairie. I'd also like to visit Benjamin Harrison's home. We shall see!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What flower are you?


I am a
Canna


What Flower
Are You?


Denver and the Mile High Orchestra

April 13th at Plymouth Wesleyan Church....I think 10 or 10:30 am...I'll double check and post. It will not be advertised. This concert is word of mouth only.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Yesterday

was weigh-day. I didn't weigh myself. I overslept and didn't think of it until later.

Today was a blur. I have so much to do to get ready for Grandma's funeral. I hate being anxious about getting things done and being prepared.

Talked to the boss today. She seems to have more faith in me then I have in myself. That's sad isn't it? Hopefully I can pull myself together and do my job without feeling incompetent.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What a tough life...

The father of one of my students is a battered husband. Two weeks ago he broke his foot. I keep thinking of Misery. A staff member made a home visit last week and the wife pushed him down in front of her. Interventions were made as a result and today he came to school and withdrew his 3 children (not his wife's children) and took off. He has a home in another town and left with the clothes on his and his children's backs. He said his wife stole his money before she left for work. I'm afraid the wife is going to come to school to dig for information. Several of her children will still go to our school.

I can only imagine what some of my students suffer through in their homes. Some of the things I know about are sad enough. It's what I don't know about that worries me. It's days like this that I believe God has me in this place at this time for a reason. I'm still not sure what the reason is...but...it's His will I'm sure.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Goodbye

Grandma passed away yesterday. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Today is Tuesday...

you know what that means...weigh-day.

+0.8..I'm a little sad..but I can fix that 8-)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Lots to do

This weekend is going to be all work and no play. Then, Monday, I get to start a new schedule which I haven't even written yet! 9 weeks of school left. Next week we have a half day Thursday and no school Friday. I need this.

Grandma's kidneys are beginning to fail.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tuesday

+/- 0 pounds, I'll take it.

We have a new family member, Tyler was born Friday night to Jami and Nick. He's a doll!

We are also praying for another family member. T's Grandma has had 2 strokes in the past week. The prognosis is not good.

I'm having a rough week at work. sigh

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tuesday Weighday

-2.4
More than I expected, gladly accepted.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Answer to a Prayer

I received the answer to a prayer today. It wasn't the answer I wanted, but God's answer. I remeber telling Him that I'd be okay whatever the answer. I really thought I would be. I was hurt. Maybe that's being okay, because it's natural to be hurt sometimes. Does it make me angry? Mmmmmm, a little. I got over it quickly. I know that God has bigger and better plans for me. That his loves me and knows why I don't need what I've prayed for, at least not now.

I am blessed so many times over by my Lord. Everyday, all day long. He is with me through everything and I feel him next to me. The blessings are always warm and fuzzy. Sometimes they are 8 and mean, and only my problem from 8:30 to 2. Eek!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day!

I'm looking forward to a restful weekend. This week was long and tiring. Next week I must begin rescheduling conferences with parents and continue doing 3rd quarter assessments. Doesn't that sound exciting?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stolen Childhood



By EVE MASHOO

FIRST, AIDS TOOK HER PARents. Then it took her childhood. At 15, Alice Nabulya can’t remember when she lost her father and his two wives to the pandemic. But she knows all too well the harsh reality of her current life: each day, instead of coming home from primary school to the security, guidance and love of adults, she must try to provide those things to a sister and five brothers, the youngest of whom is just four years old.

She does the best she can, cultivating a small garden beside the ramshackle mud house where they live in Kiterede, Rugasa sub-county, Masaka district. She is barely getting by. She is small for her age, and her siblings, who never wear shoes to school, look dirty and unhappy. A piglet and chicken dart in and out of the house. Its roof, the rusty remains of iron sheeting, is falling off the walls, but there’s nothing Nabulya can do about that. She doesn’t even know who owns the house. The children sleep on grass laid across the floor.

A growing number of African children share a plight as desperate as Alice’s and what remains of her family. Today, 2.3 million Ugandan children have been orphaned by HIV and Aids, one of the highest figures in the world. It is not just a Ugandan problem: By 2010 there will be 15.7 million children orphaned by HIV and Aids in sub-Saharan Africa. In Uganda, the problem has been aggravated by the 20-year old war in the north that has left over a million children orphaned.

The United Nations says the scourge has turned more than 11 million children worldwide into orphans; nine out of 10 of those are in Africa. The disease is also responsible for leaving over 18 million children around the world without one or both parents — eight out of 10 of those orphans in sub-Saharan Africa. With half of Uganda’s 32 million people aged below 18 years, the socio-economic impact of HIV and Aids orphans is frightening.

Nabulya and her family are not isolated cases. While Ugandans take pride in the strides they have made in the fight against HIV and Aids, and the country boasts a number of initiatives like the ABC (abstinence, being faithful and condom use) model, the number of orphans has continued to grow and now represents one of the country’s biggest problems. In part, the rising tide of orphans reflects the continuing effects of the Aids pandemic, which has left a generation of children in jeopardy.

The director general of the Uganda Aids Commission, Dr Kihumuro Apuuli, says the problem of orphans is immense. The commission is the government body in charge of co-ordinating the national response to the epidemic.

ABOUT ONE IN FOUR UGANDAN households have two or more orphans. The responsibility of raising these children is not easy and even providing them with basic necessities does not come that cheap. With the development of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) people living with HIV have managed to stay healthy longer, but not everyone can afford the life-prolonging drugs. According to some estimates, less than half of the 300,000 Ugandans in need of ARVs have regular access to them. Without a source of income, children are particularly vulnerable.

Many of these children have turned up in the streets of Kampala, to try and eke out a living by begging, doing menial jobs or stealing. The lucky few have been taken in by charities and foster families.

Yet these interventions are often just a drop in the ocean. The biggest and oldest orphanage, the Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans, which was started by First Lady Janet Museveni in 1986, only looks after 71,575 orphans and 14,315 households in several districts in the country.

A few church-based organisations are also getting involved. Esther Agwang, the spokeswoman for Watoto Childcare Ministries, which is affiliated to the Kampala Pentecostal Church, says they provide shelter, food and healthcare for 1,700 orphans.

But those without assistance of any kind are a disturbing majority.

Isabirye Hassan, a councillor in Kampala City Council, says the capital’s streets have been taken over by street children who engage in crimes like pickpocketing and prostitution. Once in a while the city council rounds up street children and takes them to Kampiringisa rehabilitation centre where they receive training and counselling. However, with a high unemployment rate in the country, many of them return to the streets soon after they are discharged.

Andrew Serwanga of a child-rights NGO says the government needs to develop and implement policies on addressing the problem of orphans and vulnerable children. Although a desk has been created in the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, anecdotal evidence from the streets shows little, if any, impact.

Universal Primary Education, which the Ugandan government started 11 years ago, is meant to get more children off the streets and into classrooms. According to the Ministry of Education spokesman Aggrey Kibenge, UPE has raised enrolment from 2.5 million pupils in 1997 to 7.4 million today.

HOWEVER, A RECENT World Bank report noted very high dropout and truancy rates in the programme and questions remain about the quality of education offered in bloated classrooms, some of them run under trees, with poorly paid and trained teachers.

Some children drop out to get married early, while families count on the children as extra sources of labour on their farms. Others drop out to look after ailing parents or to head their homesteads after the death — often HIV and Aids-related — of parents and guardians.

The government says it is implementing a five-year national strategic programme for orphans and other vulnerable children to run until 2009/10 to identify cost-effective ways of improving their welfare.

Unfortunately, time is running out for this generation of children orphaned and left vulnerable by HIV and Aids.

Mary Nakku, who lives in Katanga, a Kampala slum notorious for its crime and grime, is 13 years old. She lost both parents to HIV and Aids in 2000. She is HIV and Aids positive but has no time for self-pity: She has to look after her five siblings who all live in a tiny one-bedroom shack in the middle of the slum.

Mary earns a few thousand shillings each month by operating a neighbour’s public pay phone. She also occasionally receives handouts from charity organisations but worries, with tears welling in her eyes, what would happen if she were to fall sick.

Heralded for reducing HIV prevalence from as high as 30 per cent in the early 1990s to about 6.5 per cent, the Ugandan government needs to do more fast for Nakku and the millions other orphans like her. With many turning to prostitution to survive, the epidemic just might come round full-circle.

What's up with this?

For the past week I've had the WeIrDeSt thing going on. I call it "hot face." My face and ears become hot, as if I have a fever, but I don't. I can be freezing (I'm usually cold) and my face and ears will be hot. It starts around 8 at night and lasts until I fall asleep (it could be longer, but I don't know because I'm asleep). Last night it started about 7:10 while we were "mixing" in the Oasis Cafe. When I look in the mirror I don't look red in the face or anything. What is happening to me? WAH! If you have any ideas let me know. EEK, it's 6:50 and it's starting already.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

weigh-in

-5.2
woo hoo

Monday, February 25, 2008

ramblings

*tomorrow is the big weigh-in...I've been sneaking on the scale all week so I know tomorrow will show a loss 8-)
*I am placing all of my faith in the Lord...I don't know what's happening for sure but I know it is going to be okay
*I've spent too much time reading the blogs of others and not writing
*I've heard from Amy two days in a row...I love her and miss her so much...I don't hear from her nearly enough
*my workplace is frustrating...full of gossip and mean-spirited people...why are we there? to tear each other down or build those kids up?
*why do I find myself fascinated with the prison system...that is way weird
*what if there is another snow day tomorrow????? I don't want to be teaching into June
*why do I like bullet points and ellipses (singular, ellipsis)and do they annoy others as much as they please me?... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ba ha

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Words

Some words just roll off of your tongue. Some have a nice ring to them. I need to buy a journal to write words in. Here are a few that I like:
*copious
*plethora
*Mississippi
*Wapsipinicon
*Kickapoo
*Hochunk
*Eleazar
*Wahoo

What are your words?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tomorrow

Tomorrow I'm back to eating healthy. Back to exercising. I know I need to take this very seriously. Pray for me =-)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

God's plan for me

I know I'm being called to do mission work. Then when and where will be revealed when it's necessary. How do I know this? God, of course. I felt His tug again today in church. I do know that God is calling me to work with children. He's made that point clear to me. What a peaceful feeling, knowing He is disclosing my purpose, answering my prayers [to know what He wants me to do]. I wish I had the words to share with nonbelievers. I wish I could tell them about my awesome God who gave his Son for me, a sinner. I wish I could share with them what it feels like to walk in faith, to just trust the Lord. He is always with me.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Do your children matter?

I am disappointed in so many parents in this world. Today was just filled with disappointment. I had 8 case conferences scheduled today. One parent sent a note asking for a phone conference due to the weather (she's gets and "A" and we thanked her profusely). No one else sent a note, called or showed. I called the parents and one was home but unable to come to the phone. I asked that she call me. She never called back. One parent returned my call saying she was at the clinic. Her tooth had broken last night. Interesting, since when I spoke to her husband he told me she was moving items from their old house to the new and he'd have her call me. Yet another told me school was cancelled due to snow. She was in shock when I told her I was calling from school. Then, even though her appointment was 4 hours later, she said she couldn't make it, just go ahead with out her. I was unable to reach anyone else due to lack of phones. Now, I get to reschedule them all and I hope they show. Do I change my expectations in order to avoid disappointment?

OY

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Life is hard

How profound is that ? I must be on overload and a bit of scheduling this afternoon pushed me over the edge. I now feel as though I am moving on slow-motion and the sounds around me are muted. I haven't a cohesive thought in my head. I had a friend tell me one day that I was an encourager. I don't feel very encouraging right now.
And, my list of those fighting cancer has grown today. If you are so enclined please pray for: my cousin Angie (breast cancer), Aunt Karla (melanoma), Aunt Sue (breast cancer) and new to the list, Nancy (prancreatic cancer). I can't wait to move them to my cured of cancer list: Aunt Barb (breast cancer), Uncle Rich (esophageal cancer), and Kennedy (leukemia).
Praise report from Deb who has been healed of an unknown disease. She was suffering horribly and through prayer and faith claimed her healing. The Lord has answewred our prayers. Now she just has to continue healing from the lung surgery that was required to biopsy her lung.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Snow Day!

I've been spending the day at home. Thank goodness I brought IEPs home to work on. I had one more I should have brought home but didn't. I will be able to work on it tomorrow night,ack, as long as there is school tomorrow and I can bring it home. We rarely have snow days. When I saw it running at the bottom of the t.v. screen at 5 this morning I didn't believe it true. I checked another station, and then I went and looked on the internet. Poor Ted, he had to wait an hour to learn his school was also closed. It doesn't sound as if the roads have improved much. I'm hoping that we can get to church (or services are cancelled). I don't want to miss Christy's talk on her trip to India. I suppose I should get back to writing a behavior plan.

If this post oozes with enthusiasm something is wrong with you, 8-). I'm glad I didn't have to drive on icy roads, but I dislike the thought of making this day up in May.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome to the New Year

Someone asked me what I am looking forward to in the new year.
My first thought was summer vacation.
Apparently my job is more stressful than I realized.
I've since thought more about the coming year.
I look forward to learning more about God's plan for me.
I want to continue to work with children but I'm not sure if teaching in an inner city, poverty-stricken school is where I should be right now.
Or, maybe I should just be teaching in a different school.
I'm also continuing to pray about missions.
It's something I'm very interested in, but does God need me there?
Hmmmm....