Friday, December 26, 2008

Coffee with cream

I am sitting here in the livingroom trying to decide what I want and / or need to do today. I picked up the house, I STILL have a few wedding things to put away. I have some paperwork that I could catch up on.   I have thought I might re-work my lesson plans for the next few weeks .  So much to do and so little motivation to really do any of it.   I WILL get the will to do these thing before school starts . I am taking 9 hours next semester ( crazy, I know) and I dont want start already trying to play catch up!

While the house is still quiet , I want to reflect on a few of my favorite Christmas memories.

1.  Watching Addam walk Danielle down the aisle at her wedding.
2.  Watching Geneviette be a flower girl.. one petal at a time!
3.   Listening to Danielle laugh when she realized I had given her SPANISH monopoly .
4.  Watching Addams face as he opened the black and white picture of him and his dad.
5.  Realizing Geneviette is a shoeaholic.
6.  Playing " Cheap Santa" at my moms and dads.
7.  Taking a 3 hour nap with Randy on Christmas Day. 
8.  The Christmas eve service at church.

Raindrop on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens....
These are a few of my favorite things

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Wedding



I am sitting here trying to sit still... really still. I have a tummy ache. I have taken medicine and so far it hasnt helped. A couple people have suggested that it might be all the junk I ate at the wedding. That would be a great theory if I got to eat anything except a yummy piece of cake. owwwieee.....

The wedding was wonderful. I think it is everything that Danielle wanted and that is the point right.. to please the daughter. I would have loved to heard at least one live song or maybe a little prayer ... Actually, I would have given anything to have a prayer said for their marriage. There was one planned but it got vetoed by my son in law. Not sure why, he just said he had no preference so he preferred to leave it out. Yeah.. that bothers me. The funny thing is , I had secret prayers. Danielle and Justin weren't aware but there were prayers offered all over the building for their marriage. Exactly how does a person say " I prefer that no one pray for me?" At this point all I can do is continue to pray each day that my daughter who I love very much has made the right decision and God is already working to fulfill his plan.


Then there were the kids. The children that were having a hard time were Danielle and Addams little brother and sister. I couldnt help but think of Allen each time I heard them scream. Allen was a wonderful dad when Addam and Danielle were little. I wish he could have been here to see Danielle and hold his two new children that you could tell were confused and hurt.

I was so glad my mom and dad were there to see Danielle get married. There were times this year I wasnt sure if mom would still be here or not. Thank you Lord, for another blessing.

The house is still filled with boxes of stuff. I am not going to be in a hurry to get it all put away. As a matter of fact, I wont be in a hurry to do anything for a few days.

Except - run to the restroom..........

I actually could have done without this little complication today!

Miles put a picture of Danielle on his home page. www.mileswittboyer.com
I am sure they will all be beautiful!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

All Aboard the Wedding Train




Today is Polar Express Day at Preschool. This is Randy punching each child's ticket as we board the train. The kids LOVE this day. I do too ! Once a year, I get the opportunity to wear my PJ's all day at work and this is it. Everyone wears their PJ's and we watch the movie and do activities all day that go along with it. Like making reindeer ornaments when the train finds the carabou or ice skating on wax paper when the train hits the ice. And of course, their favorite activity is when Randy delivers their hot chocolate singing HOT HOT HOT HOT chocolate.




While we were having all this fun today....I was pressed back into the present
chaos of my life.








35 Calla Lilies and over 100 roses were delivered to the front door for the wedding. ... They are beautiful. It is hard to believe that the wedding is only 2 days away. 2 days. I better get busy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful but the fire is so delightful
And since we have so much to do....
Let it snow , let it snow, let it snow!

Ok, I was one of those people that prayed for snow last night.  Danielle's wedding is Thursday and I need another day to get ready.  Just one extra day that I can spend doing little things that need to be done.    The phone rang at 5:30. It was my dad calling to say school was out.   I went back to bed and had the coolest dream.  You know those little exercise things that have wheels and you kneel and put your hands on the handles and go in and out to exercise your tummy?  I dreamed that I went upstairs and woke up Danielle and she and I got on that thing and rode down the alley saying " Wow...  I can't believe we have the day off ! Look, there's ice. Look Cindy's car  is gone,  Look...." I am not sure what the dream means but I am sure there is a significance!  

So today, I will make sure the house is spotless so I can put that stress to rest.
I will pick up the monogrammed robes for the bridesmaids. I will go through my list and check it twice of the small things that still need to be done.  I will get the foyer ready for the dozens of calla lilly's and roses that HOPEFULLY will still slide into town.  

Sometime today, I want to just sit down with Addam and Danielle at the table and play a game and drink hot cocoa.

Thank you Lord for my extra day.  I know somehow you knew I was about to be the mom sitting in the corner thumbing my lips and humming a song that no one knows...  

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Funny....

Thanks for sharing Dana

http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1370868150/bctid3130509001

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Open House

 Today I was invited to hang out with an elite group of women.  Actually , I was asked a long tome ago, but today was the " event"  . Four of us after church loaded into Dana's car to head out for a fantastical journey of Christmas Open Houses in the Springdale, Fayetteville and Rogers area.  They all had to wait on me as I got stuck in the hallway with people trying to get my autograph after our annual Christmas Cantada.  Ok... that wasnt really true, I   was just talking but it sets the tone for this blog.  Some of it might be true... much of it and some may not. I thought about changing the names to protect the innocent but decided "what the heck " they all know I blog and we laughed all day about me blogging their funny moments. So here we go....

It  started out quite wonderful. Dana, being the perfect hostess had packed drinks and gourmet sandwiches  and sun chips for our enjoyment  as we raced to the first home in Harbor Meadows. Now.... I will be the first to say that I was a little leary leaving in Dana's car after she hijacked it from the shop BEFORE the repairs we made, but we made it ok.  It actually was a very nice riding car.  Dana is a little challenged when it comes to backing up but she always braved tight spots and parking conditions to get us as close to the front door as we could get.   Her car has a little dinger on it that warns her when she is getting too close to something as she backs. ( I think that is a result of  a few close encounters with cars. )  It goes ding ... ding....   She also has one that lets her know when she is pulling in to  far. It sounds a LOT like bumper rubbing on pavement....

The houses we saw were spectacular. The first home was my favorite. It kinda looked like Dr Suess resided there.  I LOVED IT!

Then there was the one home that was French Country.  That home was Dana's favorite.  It was a long walk to it and Dana complained a little as we trudged  down a long side walk to the humongous house.  Her feet were hurting.  In most of the houses you had to either take your shoes off or wear booties.  This is where Dana's problem started. She eyed  some pink ugg clogs that were lined with fuzzy stuff  .   The house was beautiful . This house had a bunk room for the grandkids.  I think there were 8 bunk beds built into the walls.   They also had a huge telescope on the 3rd level, a coy pond .... it was ... wow.   As the lady walked away in the pink uggs , Dana coveted her shoes.  A couple houses later as we left the same pink ugg shoes were on the steps as we entered. Dana was so smitten with the pink shoes that she started walking to the car with her cutesy blue surgery scrubb footies.  It was really a cute site. Almost as cute has when she left her..... in  her..... laptop.  ( sorry for the coded talk, but although funny ,that is her story to tell if she so chooses. ) 

Then there is Brenda.  After she washed her hands at the drink fountain in McDonalds we headed out to a home in Rogers.  We actually knew some of the people kin to the owners of this home and I  was showing the girls a picture. Brenda says.. I really cant see that well, do you think it would be bad to pick it up - as she had it in her hand. Within seconds of her putting it down the little Junior League volunteer walks toward her and says MAM..... as the three of us start to walk away and leave our friend hanging in the wind to face the sin of picking up the home owners private posession --- and Brenda slowly turned about to try to explain why she had felt the need to pick up the picture and how sorry she was.... the little girl says... can I ask you to take your shoes off?  OH.... the shoes? Not the picture?????  As we laughed and Brenda took off her shoes we enjoyed seeing the rest of the house.

We saw condos in Fayetteville near Dickson street and  condos on the square.  We saw houses that four or five kitchens. I am thinking, I cant keep ONE kitchen clean, how do they keep up with FIVE??   

The story wouldnt be complete without telling what Jeannie did to entertain us for the day.   First , she had us stop to get her a drink!  A DRINK! The pastors wife... can you believe that?  ( SHOULD you believe that?)  Then,  she insisted that our friend Dana park in a {No parking from here to corner} area.   

It really was a fun day.  We did a lot of talking and laughing and enjoying each other. I havent had a girls day in a long time and I needed it.   I cant think of a better way to have spent today than hanging out with these girls. Thanks yall , I had a blast!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Seven Random Facts About Me- I've Been Tagged

Kiri over at Elbows, Knees and Dreams tagged me, so here goes:

1.   I have never really like PIZZA!  Not American, I know.
2.   I met my husband at a casino, and I dont gamble.
3.  I am a magazine junkie!
4.  If I had to be in any other profession rather than Early Childhood, I would LOVE to be a waitress. Crazy, I know.. I would get to talk to people all day!
5.  I love 80's chick flicks!
6.  Most of my house is organized and clean but my bedroom stays a PIG STY!
7.  I hate my living room furniture but cant get rid of it - it is my deceased mother in laws
I am tagging:
Julie at The Kelly Family 

Here are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people (if possible) at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How should I feel?

On Monday, Danielle and Addams dad passed away. Allen and I were married for 16 years. He was the boy next door - the one that we played with all the time. We would run from one swimming pool to the next. Allen and my brother always picked on me and dunked me under the water. I would tattle tale... the rest as they say is history.

Allen was my first true love. He was a lot of my first. He was also my first huge heart break. When our marriage ended , I thought I would die. For weeks I couldnt sing in church, it hurt too bad. I have never had bad feelings against Allen for the way our life turned out. Not quite the fairy tale I had imagined or planned... at least not planned by me.

When I got the call that Allen was dead my initial reaction was pain for Addam and Danielle. Yeah, they are grown now but no matter how old you are it still hurts to lose your mom or dad. Here in the middle of the Christmas season and planning Danielle's wedding --- so much to think about.

The shock for the kids has eased and suits have been bought ...
Flowers have been ordered and schedules tightened a little.

How am I suppose to feel?

Like an idiot, I even googled ( exhusbands funeral) to see if anyone brighter than myself had any insight. No.... It is like a huge elephant in the room. Randy has been very supportive and understanding of my emotional rollercoaster right now. He has given me the time with Addam and Danielle that I need.

But seriously, how am I supposed to feel?

There is part of me that feels vindicated like... see, I did the right thing when I left. He did have a problem. There is another part of my that just yearns to see the "well Allen" that was such a great dad when the kids were smaller and that loved me unconditionally. There is part of me that is angry that our children have to hurt again. Couldnt he just get better? There is the servant part of me that wants to reach out and help his new wife ( Debbie also ) with her grief and guilt. She has no reason to feel guitly.. but I hear it in her voice. Then.. I am just sad.

Seriously.. how am I supposed to feel?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thoughts to Ponder this morning

This time of year in a preschool  classroom are always tough for me.   Here is a scene from yesterday.

Big Bird:   This is December, Santa comes and brings us presents!
Bob The Builder: No, Santa isnt real.
Big Bird: Yes, he is .  I saw him.
Bod The Builder:  No he isnt. My mom says he isnt real.

Big Bird: Ms Debbie, Bob the Builder said Santa is real..isnt he?

I absolutely hate this.  We did have fun with Santa in my house  when the kids were little but brought the focus always back to the real reason we celebrate.  I think there is a way to both.

Some may say:  Well, that is a lie  and we teach not to lie.

It is also a lie when a child asks you to play a game and as a mom you say---- " Just a minute" knowing it will be a while if ever.. before you do it.   

My job is to protect the safety ( physical and emotional) of all children in my care.   It is my job also to respect the way a family has chosen to raise their children.  

Is there a good way to say both are right?  Is there a way to make Big Bird  feel like his mommy is right ( and in fact she really is)   and not crush the spirit of imagination that many families over generations have fostered?  I tell fairy tales all the time because they generally teach you something.  When Pinocchio would tell a lie, his nose would grow.  The kids all know in real life that doesnt happen, but it makes them " think".   I don't have to say - he isnt real.

During circle time today we did a Venn Diagram... What you know chart -  In the middle I wrote Christmas .  I asked the children to tell me what they know. We went on for quite a while but not one told me it was Jesus birthday.  I expected it atleast from Big Bird. Finally I said, who's birthday is it this month.  Two of the children that have birthdays this month proudly said " ME!"  Then I talked about Jesus birth.  

I am very confused ( every year ) on how to deal with this issue.  I guess you could say I am a fence straggler.  I wish I could profoundly be both ways but there is not denying that Santa is not real and to say he is is a lie.  But I also love the magic that Santa brings at Christmas and enjoyed  it with my own children and would never take that away from another family.

Does that make us less Christian than folks that don't celebrate Santa?

During all our discussion yesterday one little girl got so confused. She said " Ms Debbie , when Jesus comes at Christmas, I am going to teach him Spanish."  :)

Usually at the end of a blog I feel relieved or even work my own little problem out. I dont feel that today - still confusion.   

I guess I better get up and get ready, my 16 little elves will be coming in shortly and I will have to be on my toes to keep on top of this one today!





Sunday, November 30, 2008

On Dasher on Dancer




I spent the day helping Danielle get ready for the packers to come move her things to Hawaii. We had things here and in the storage that all had to be moved to Justin's mothers house where the moving company will arrive at 9 am in the morning. In addition to that, she still had a couple large items to buy to be shipped.

Danielle had the cutest zebra print chaise lounge in her apartment. Justin said he couldnt think of one place in his house that it would work. He hated it. Today we drove to Fort Smith to get her a new brown one. It was a great deal, so it was worth the drive. As we drove down the snow was falling. On our way home the hill sides were covered with snow and quite beautiful. I had to be a little nostalgic and realize that this was probably my last road trip with Danielle before both of our lives change. Oh , I know. Danielle left for college two years ago. But while she was there, I was her " got your back person" Parking tickets? Yep, I pay them. New dress for a pageant or a function, I was there. Distress call in the middle of the night about a boy - that was me. After this move, she will have a new " got your back person".

As we pulled into Springdale Danielle's phone rang. She had called a lady about a queen size bed she wanted and the lady returned her call to say her original sale fell through and Danielle could have it if she wanted. We drove on over with the chaise lounge in the back of the truck , covered ( sort of ) with a tarp. We spent about 20 finger numbing minutes trying to figure out how to get the mattress and box springs on the truck without fear of it blowing off . I warned her that if it did fly off in the middle of 412 we would NOT stop to get it.

We drive 45 miles per hour to Siloam. We made it.

During the drive I remember more about Danielle's last few years at home. When she gets tired she gets a little grumpy. She wrecked a rental car a couple months ago and then her car less than two weeks ago. All accidents.. that seem to just find her. It is like she has a " do it to me, it drives my mom crazy " type of radar on her.

Today has been a very busy and somewhat stressful day. I would have much rather been putting up my Christmas decorations or just resting.... I am frozen to the bone. My big hair is a huge mess of snow and hairspray.

I love my little girl more than anything. I would do anything for her. I will miss her immensely when she has actually moved to Hawaii. But for this very moment..... can I just say-

On Dasher , On Dancer.... get that stuff packed and get Danielle off to Hawaii. Her new zebra hating " got our back man" is ready to take over for me. And for once, I can honestly say, I am ready to let that happen, with a smile on my face! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful

I am thankful for

a job that I love
sixteen sweet co-workers every day
a husband that I love enough to work with 24/7
a daughter who is starting a new chapter in her life
a son who continues to make sure he is in his daughters life
a great house - even if it is still two colors! :)
my mom who has been given another year
my dad who takes such good care of her
summers filled with kids music
cheesecake
forgiveness
old friends and new ones
Kaitlyn who cleans my playroom... ah...
friends that teach preschool

and so much more.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Change my Heart Oh God

Thankfully, I have  a lot to keep me busy tonight. Going to the community building at 12:30      a m setting up actually was nice. I had hoped it would give me some peace or atleast distract me somewhat.. but no.

A couple weeks ago a friend and I were talking  and I said something to her.. about someone that I shouldn't have said.  Well, I am Baptist, so - I asked her what she thought.  I knew when it came out of my mouth that I shouldn't have said anything.  I really do NOT like to gossip. Someone always gets hurt. I think that is why I am so open with my life.  I have been the brunt of gossip before and in my crazy head I think that if I make my life an open book that no one can hurt me.  Anyway - back to my saga.

As fate would have it my friend slipped and repeated what I said TO THAT PERSON.  I can honestly say I wasn't mad. I know she would not do anything purposefully to hurt me.  Now what?  I have to do what is right... I tried to call the object of my  stupid gossip to talk to him and apologize and got no answer. I tried calling several times.  Finally I sent him a message. It was eating me alive. He didnt reply.  Tonight he was online and I spoke to him.  He spoke back.  He told me what I already know.. how hurt he was. He basically did not let me off the hook.  I can honestly say that MOST days I can go to bed with an easy conscience, but not tonight.  I am hurt by my own ignorance and there is nothing I can do to fix it.  He mentioned that he had told his family how hurt he was.  I love his family.  Now, I would assume they think I am a hypocrite as well.   By opening my mouth and saying 6 words I have ruined a relationship with people that I respect.  

I feel awful. 

I had hoped that spilling my guts in here would make me feel better... no.

I talked to Randy... no.


I have asked forgiveness from the friend.

I have asked forgiveness from the Father.

(1 John 1:9 KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

That is a promise from the Bible.   Thankfully it pertains to stupid people, like me too.

Lord, please help control my mouth. I have noticed lately that it is becoming easier and easier to say things I shouldnt . I dont understand why.  I want to be in your will and I do not want to be a stumbling block to your people.  

Change my heart, Oh God, make it ever true

Change my heart, Oh, God, may I be like You

You are the Potter, I am the clay

Mould me and make me, this is what I pray

Change my heart, Oh God, make it ever true

Change my heart, Oh, God, may I be like You

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories

Note: If you read this just for preschool "thoughts" I have started a new page that I do just preschool stuff on for my parents. www.onceuponadayinpreschool.blogspot.com Preschool is bound to flow out on here a few times since that is " who I am" but I hope mostly to separate the personal and the short kids stuff.


Thanksgiving Memories...

Tonight after getting in from choir ( which by the way was missing one of our lead sopranos...we were weak. Come back Dana! ) I decided that since I am cooking for 45 or so people on Wednesday as a Thanksgiving Feast with my little guys I better get busy. There is something about a huge pot of celery and onion cooking that brings back memories of Thanksgiving past.

My very first Thanksgiving away from home I lived in Witchita Falls Texas in an apartment. A friend also newly married and I decided we would cook our meal together and invite some of the guys from base over that couldn't make it home. We were PUMPED. We thawed out the turkey and cooked it. Yes... we missed an important step. Did you know there is all kinds of stuff inside the turkey? Seriously, why hide it in there? AND, how did I miss 18 years of my mother pulling it all out? And.. what is it??????? Debbie and I promptly took one large long piece down to the lady in the office that had sort of adopted us. We laughed all the way down. She first laughed and asked us what we THOUGHT it was. Very naively we asked..well... is there such thing as a male and a female turkey?( Remember we were newly weds!) If so, we have it figured out. If not, we have no clue. We were wrong but the conversation made for a Thanksgiving we will never forget . I doubt the lady in the office does either.

Then there was another Thanksgiving that we lived in Michigan. I had gotten my grandmothers huge formal dining room suit. Back in the day my grandmother LOVED paint. If it stood still, she painted it. Well, I wanted to refinish it down to the natural wood. I started stripping it --- in the dining room. A few weeks later it was time for Thanksgiving and we again had company coming. The chairs were sticky and I just covered the top with a table cloth. Maybe stripping a dining room suit indoors in Michigan when there is a foot of snow on the ground right before a holiday isnt a great idea.

This Thanksgiving will be just Randy, Danielle , Mom and Dad and I. I buy turkey breast now, so I dont have to worry about the stuff inside the turkey. I gave up on that refinishing project years ago. But I am SO thankful for the memories...even the ones we will make this week. There have been times this year that I wasnt sure my mother would be with us this year. So Thank you Lord for memories - Old ones and New ones.......

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It all boils down to this...

I have been a wee bit stressed lately. Not to the point where I am sitting in a corner rocking back and forth ----just a nice slow--- eat a cheeseburger and gorge on ice cream pace. Things are going really well in school. I have had to change the schedule yet again. Seems Peter in Little Rock doesn't really know what Paul ( in the next office in Little Rock ) is doing - therefore my schedule for my kiddos keeps getting adjusted. Yes, I am my own boss BUT to meet quality standards I need to have the least amount of transitions possible and still be within the time limits that everyone else expects. Difficult ? Yes. Impossible? No.



We have been having a lot of fun doing Thanksgiving activities. I don't like to use coloring sheets but the kids enjoyed this one where they decorated the turkey feathers with stickers. GREAT fine motor practice. Lots of fall playdough colors ready to be rolled out and cut! The boys in the picture to the right are sorting beads for the Thanksgiving bracelet we made later in the day. It was a lot of fun and after putting it together, most of the kids were able to tell the story of Thanksgiving.

Since we have been talking about things and people we are thank

ful for we have been visiting people in our community that help us. We have went to a doctors office, a grocery store. That was a great one. While we were there we got to visit the baker and the butcher. CHING! Time well spent. We
stopped by a barber shop and a pharmacy. For literacy we made a list before we left and read it as we went along.

We also took our clip boards out one day for a scavenger hunt. What a fun experience!

We have had a wonderful restful weekend. I have done NO work today -at all. It started off great as the preschoolers left and I have this new flip flop couch I bought. I put it down, covered it with bright red new sheets that have a white bear on them and Wah laa! a cute little bedroom for GG. She LOVED it! This is one of my three playrooms . She was so excited and kept saying " This is MY room??" Her weekends here are already like disneyland since she has access to my preschool but now a bed in the middle of it all that is just hers? What a joy! After having pancakes we journeyed to Chucky Cheese , then out to eat, and then toy shopping. She sat in my lap and put her little hands on my face and said " I Wuv you Mia." Wow.... I LOVE being a grandma.

What a wonderful , restful Saturday. This was one that I needed . It all boils down to this -

To stay creative and keep the steam in my engine for my job, I have to be able to shut it off for a while. It doesnt happen often, but today I did it!




Tuesday, November 18, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKEY

Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday Dear Mickey Mouse.....
Happy Birthday to you!

Girl:  Mickey Mouse is Dead.
Girl 2 : NUH UH... He IS NOT!
Girl 3 :  I saw him he lives in San Diego?
Ms Debbie to girl 1.   Have you been to San Diego? Is it possible he is there and you just didnt see him?
Girl 4:  He is alive. He lives in the TV.
Debbie:  In the TV? Where does he sleep?

I enjoy conversations like this!




Monday, November 10, 2008

Randy, Oh Randy Dear




Katie's dad made me laugh this morning.

Katie's dad: Debbie , I need to talk to you about something ( I think that is what he said)

Debbie : Yes?

Katie's Dad : Last night Katie asked me what Ms Debbie's last name was and we told her Mays.

She looked puzzled. We asked her why? She said she didnt know and shrugged her shoulders Then we said, What is Mr Randy's last name? Katies reply : " Dear.... Randy Dear..."

BAH HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

So, through the day I may say dear to Randy a few times. ( Not that we are ALL THAT SWEET, I just keep the not so sweet things to myself :)

But, a few years ago the kids loved a story that I told about a squirrel family. The dad was out looking for the perfect Christmas tree and each time he left looking she would call him " Sammy oh Sammy Dear" and back he would run . I bet I told that story 1000 times. Somehow, one day we decided that when we are ready to do something and Randy is someplace else ( most likely the kitchen) we all call " Randy, Oh Randy Dear, it is time to. ...... " Over the years this has stuck and the kids still do it.

I find it hilarious that I haven't told that story in two years therefore when we call that-" Randy, Oh Randy Dear" Katie and probably many of the other kids think that is Randy's name - Randy Dear. :)

Makes sense to me!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Small Souls


Randy and I are taking a 45 hour class on the social and emotional development of a child. This video was featured in our class. It takes about 5 minutes but it is well worth the time. It addresses school and the different learning styles of a child. Go to the web address and then click the purple box in the middle. http://www.raisingsmallsouls.com/

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How Cute! WOW!

I think as a teacher the information you are given is all most too much to wrap your hands around.  I think you grow as a teacher.  Every year I say I feel sorry for the children that came to me the year before.   I like to think I learn every day a better way to be a teacher.... or just a person in general.    

A good example is "introducing centers." When I first heard this I thought what do you mean introduce the centers? Well, the first problem was that I set up my room with "toys' and it pretty much stayed that way all year. Seriously... who wants to play with the same things all day every day. We do this and then we wonder why the children misbehave.  So, first I got smart and started rotating my toys and then I even started "purposefully" placing things in my centers.  For instance, the dramatic play might become a doctors office or ( gasp ,horror) I might move all those old pine cones off the science  center and put a scale and some acorns on the table.  When you move things, you will need to introduce the center so the children will know what is there and how they can use it!  If the children are not writing as much as you want and you don't use worksheets , you might try introducing a doctors note pad to write prescriptions on or a graph to tally acorns.

Here is my epiphany today.

Adam:  Ms Debbie, look I got a compass out of the treasure box.
Ms Debbie.  Cool ( big Smile)
on second thought I add-

Ms Debbie :Adam what is a compass used for?
Adam : So, if you get lost you can get home.
Ms Debbie :  You are right Adam, do you see some letters on the compass?

etc.....  this went on for a while.

Many Many times today I found the opportunity to extend language by conversations the children initiated with me.  In my language experiences I was also able to discuss letters, counting, science and more.

I have always heard ask open ended questions.. but do I practice it as much as I should? Or.. it is easier just to say " cool" or " wow, I like that."  

I guess, I could also extend that in my grown up life.  You know... when I see people at walmart and say " Hi, how are you?" Actually wait for an answer... 


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting Older

Things I wish someone had told me as I have aged:

1.  Bras will no longer be pretty lacy things that are fun, they will be white with no frills and work like a dog.  

2.   High Heels will be for " those young girls" - comfortable shoes with support are needed.

3.  A quiet night at home really is better than sex... most nights. 

4.  Feminine Hygene products are not only used once a month but during cold and allergy season.  Seriously... this one has to be the WORST!  ACHHHOOO... not again......


Monday, October 27, 2008

Dad and Me Pumpkin Painting


Tonight the dads and kids all returned to our room to paint pumpkins. I have never done this activity and was a little apprehensive BUT ! It turned out wonderful! The picture to the right is how the night ended. And no, I haven't made my way downstairs yet to begin cleanup. Seems our 3D art shelf was not a bit excited about the weight of the pumpkins. This mishap has left me a bit " less excited" myself. See.. someone has to clean up this mess before the children return in the morning... yeah.. me. But so I don't leave you with that yucky feeling - let me show you some fun we had tonight.







As the dads came in I realized pretty quick that the room was going to be FULL! It was Ok. We moved and adjusted as we needed to. Earlier in the day the kids had picked out their perfect pumpkin from the group. We supplied the pumpkins and it was interesting to hear them decide which pumpkin they wanted and why. Of course the boys always want the BIGGEST.. why is that? After picking which one we weighed each pumpkin and then we lined them up on the table in sequential order. Lots of learning going on.

Yes, that is a pickle nose. Randy decided that adding a few vegetables to the mix might be interesting. And it was....

Nothing sweeter...

It was a great night. I am already looking forward to next year.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Read to Me

Debbie: So how is Justin?  Is he having a hard time with you still here?
Danielle: He is ok. He stays busy.
Debbie: Really , with what?
Danielle : He wants me to join the " read to me" club when I get there.
Debbie: What is that?
Danielle:   He goes once a week and reads to kindergardeners.
So, why couldn't we have had this conversation a LONG time ago. A twenty three year old man that takes time out to go read to kindergardeners HAS to be a GOOD GUY right?  He will make a very good daddy for my future grandbabies.  

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bathing with Sunglasses On

 I am FINALLY home .  I have been in my own bed 2 out of the last 7 days.  It all sounds like fun and games but it really isn't . I like to be home .   I do enjoy small little trips here and there but not out for this length of time and all for business.

This all started when Randy and I went to Hot Springs for the Arkansas Early Childhood Association.  We went. We sang. We networked. We learned.   We listened. We left.   We did spend an extra day there for just hubby and wifey bonding and that was nice.

I was home for ONE day and then headed  back to central Arkansas for an Arkansas Early Childhood Commission.  I was appointed by a state representative and I still am not sure what all I do.   I attend meetings and listen.  We have regulatory control over the licensing division.  This I do know. They put me up in a nice hotel suite, cater lunch and I get to hear all the new and exciting things going on in Arkansas for children.

Wednesday I head out to Ferndale 4H Center for a  2 day mentoring conference. I will be mentoring a program in Farmington this year and this was the orientation to kick it all off.  LOTS of listening. LOTS of things that didnt pertain to family childcare.   One fun thing we did do was visit a couple " quality" sites .  "excuse me mam... that baby over there is falling out of her crib"  " Umm.... does the kleenex box on top of a toilet paper holder mean you are all out?"  YIKES!  Ok, now I must admit.  If someone called me and told me that 50 people wanted to tour my place and 10 of those are "experts" on "quality approval" I would think twice about saying " Sure, come on in!"  No one is perfect....( But if I knew we were coming I would be so close to it I could taste it!)

I get home. 
Randy acts like a 3 year old running with his arms in the air saying  " We missed you!!!!!"  It feels good to be missed.  

I am SO tired. I went to take a hot bath in my own bathtub.

I start to soak and reach to run my fingers through my hair only to realize that I had my sunglasses  on top of my head.  

I must be tired.




Monday, October 20, 2008

Chalk Board Fun


Today one of the boys wrote " is " on the chalk board. Then, a couple others got interested and started writing. I looked and they were writing all the words that we use in our morning message. I am SO proud. You know the old saying... " look MA no HAnds!" So... " Look MA, no worksheets!" YAHOO!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hot Springs Weekend

I think I just need to rename my blog to " Random" instead of " Memorymakers" . It seems lately unless it is a blog of our day in preschool that I try to cram so much in one little entry.  I guess that is how my life rolls lately.  Kinda reminds my of my jeans.... yeah. Think about that one.  :)


Randy and I left out Thursday evening for a trip to Hot Springs for the Arkansas Early Childhood Associations Annual meeting.  We were asked to entertain before a key note.  The goal was to get everyone a little loosened up and ready to sit for 2 hours and listen to research on what makes a quality childcare setting.  As usual ,  the day before every single song that we practiced Randy forgot the words. This isnt unusual and he does always pull through. He works best under pressure.  Considering we weren't singing for children and 1000 collegues, I was a little nervous.   Also, as always-  We we left Siloam about 2 hours later than we planned.  How does that always happen? Anywho the concert went great.  We sold some CD's and got a couple more bookings and I am sure paved the way for more great motel 6 journey all over Arkansas.   Randy had a new joke that I am still thinking about. His old joke was our cd's are 10.00 or 3 gallons of gas. Now that gas has went down he changed it.  Our Cd's are 10.00 or 3 cans of hair spray...  hmm....

This was my business trip so I made the hotel reservations. Embassy Suites here we come.  Yep , you got it. If you kept up with our summer gigs you know the Motel 6 was the hotel of choice.  Not this weekend.  We walked in and Randy said.. wow... this is nice. This the what we always stayed on before but I think the run of skanky hotels over the summer made him forget.  I wanted to say " yeah it is but you get to sleep on the floor" .. but I didnt.   I mean how cool is this.? I am IN MY ROOM on the internet and not outside in the parking lot risking my life just hoping to catch a signal.  ugh..Do I really only have 8 months until the next Motel 6 summer?

One night I feel asleep and the song "Open Arms" by journey was on. Do you have a song that can just transport you to a different place in time. This one does it for me every time.  Not that I long for that time / person anymore at all but obviously it/he had a huge impact on my life.   When I hear this song I think of Wayne Shrader.  He was my 10th grade boyfriend . He wore a pink polo ( I am sure he wore other shirts but this is the one I remember )  and he always ALWAYS wore polo colgne.   To this day when I smell that distinctive smell I look around.   To make a long story short I broke up with Wayne at school one day. He went home and took an overdose of medication.  I had not idea and called to check on him and his mother gave me full barrels about how it was all MY FAULT that he was in the hospital. Now, that I am older and more mature, I realize that more than likely there was more going on that our little spat.  But I do believe that situation turned me into a people pleaser- an EXTREME people pleaser.   I know with my children as teenagers there was always that underlying -----  how far would they go with disappointment and sadness therefore I always made it my job to make everyone happy.   Welcome to Debbie's fairytale... ugh.  Enough to make you throw up.  I wonder where Wayne is today and if his mom knows what she did to me?

OK. Randy is back.. I will finish this it home...


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Random- ness learning

It seems each day that passes we are getting a little more in our routine so it doesnt feel so rushed. Those great days give me the opportunity to "add" something to our learning environment. Today I added a couple new things. This is a mini scrapbook . I laminated small pictures of the kids ( walmart Kodak machine under ID's ) and laminated their name.


I used velcro dots to make an intereactive book for name recognition. I got this great idea from another smart teacher friend of mine - Linda! Thanks Linda.

We used the gourds that we did watercolor paintings of to explore with scales today.


If you have wondered how Clara is doing since her campfire incident - Here she is! She is back at school and doing pretty much all we do. Since she has skin grafts above her hand she is limited in the water table but other than that she is great. Oh yeah, in case you wondered she said she " LOVES SPAGHETTI"

Another thing I did today was introduce mini clip boards. Each child has their own board and it "lives" in their cubby. We talked about how the clip board could be used in each center. In housekeeping it could be used for a waitress to take orders or a doctor to write notes. In science you can draw what is on the table. They children LOVED these little boards. They were writing all over the place. Here is Mykah copying names off cubbies.

Katie in the dress up room.

Rosie taking notes with Adam. He is the princess construction guy.
All in all it was as great day. I LOVE to see them get excited about learning. This is a huge reminder to me that their environment needs to change often to keep them motivated.

Yeah for a good day - EVEN with the rain.

Monday, October 13, 2008

We're goin on a squirrel hunt....







Today we read the wonderful book Squirrels by Brian Wildsmith.

It was a little "wordy" for my smaller children but we got to

explore new words like drey and look at the magnificent

illustrations. The pictures look watercolored. One of my little

"on the ball" boys even commented that someone painted

the pictures.



Following our story we immediately geared up for a walk outside. We went on a squirrel hunt.

I sit on my porch and watch squirrels play all day. Sometimes even taunting me as they come

close to gnaw my roof. Today.. did we find one? No.

We looked and looked.

We even took our binoculars and didnt see a squirrel one.

In honor of my failure as a teacher and a girl raised in the delta ( yes, I have eaten fried squirrel before) I promptly came in and made the situation worse by giving them a coloring sheet. Yes, it was a black line and totally against my way of teaching. I blame this one on the squirrels.

To commemorate the day - here is one of my favorite songs.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Fire Safety Week





Ok, first - I need some instruction on how to make my blog look all pretty and put captions under the picture and all. This is so frustrating. This week has been fire safety/ prevention week. We have had a ton of FIRE SAFE FUN all week and learned some very important things.

We went on a trip to the fire station. The sad part about that trip was we went expecting to see the BIG RED FIRE TRUCK that we talked about all week and all we got to see was the little red ambulance. The BIG RED FIRE truck was at a meeting across town with the captains. I wonder, did they stop and consider that all a group of 4 and 5 year olds really want to see is the Big Red Fire truck anyway... ugh.... BUT! we made the best of it. After all, they risk their life for me. I will let them slide, this time.

We did numerous fire drills. We even learned that if your shoes are off when the alarm goes off , you go to your safe place without them.

We read books about fire fighter.

We pretended to be fire fighters.

We had lunch with a fire fighter . Thank you Katies' dad!

Elliot even cut pieces of small brown construction paper out and glued to make his own fireman. I was IMPRESSED!

We learned to stop , drop and roll.

We learned to crawl UNDER smoke.

Several of the children learned their address this week for safety


Randy did a great culminating activity!

We have been doing fire prevention all week. FIRE safety.... I hear Bianca yell FIRE FIRE!!! They have been playing fire man and Randy is upstairs with them, so I think nothing of it. Moments later several of them come back with roasted marshmellows that have been cooked over an open flame from the gas stove... SERIOUSLY......... I went up there. "Mr Randy.. is this safe? Should we melt marshmellows over the gas stove?" His response. I told them not to do it without their moms.. Somedays I just want to quit. Ok.. NO sappy responses about how cute it is that he made them roasted marshmellows. Those things are only cute if it isnt at your house and it isnt FIRE SAFETY WEEK FOR GRACIOUS SAKE! And he wasn't teaching fire safety so no grandios ideas - he just saw the bag and thought - this would be fun!

grrrrr......








Monday, October 6, 2008

Deep and Wide

This morning in church Steve challenged us to go " deep and wide".   We even got to sing the song with hand motions and all. For some, that may have seemed a bit odd in church, but music with hand motions are rampant with our preschoolers. Studies show that adding motions helps the little guys remember the words and keeps them engaged.  It must be true because here I sit at 6:00 am and the first thing that comes to mind is  'Deep and Wide."

Last night we had a Street Party.  We have so many new neighbors and I thought it might be a good idea to get to know everyone a little better. Since I have SO much extra time in my schedule, I made up these cutesy little flier/ invitations and took them door to door.   Last night at 6:00 one by one they all made their way down the side walk to our yard.  First comes my BFF and her family.  We talk about the wedding they went to this weekend.  She said the mother of the bride was wasted.  Hmm.. I think I will skip that part come December.   She talks about going to see " Fire Proof" and how much they enjoyed it.  She is a school teacher and her hubby does taxes.   Then comes the preacher and his family.  I was anxious.  When you have a preacher in the crowd, should you announce " There is a preacher here, watch your mouth!".  I didn't.  I mean, I don't use bad language and last I checked I wasn't the speech police. It was kind of entertaining all night to watch other people " open mouth insert foot."   His little two year old is the cutest!  Let's see, then our next door neighbors came.  Their son brought his guitar and we jammed a little.   Later in the evening our other next door neighbors came. They are so nice .  They are Mexican and El Salvadorian and  she is quite funny.   It was great to  get to know them a little better.  Then comes the couple the walks the wienie dogs.  She goes to Curves with Cindy and I and we didn't even know she lived two doors down .  HOW EMBARRASSING....Throughout the night other neighbors stopped by just to say hi.  A group of kids ( teenagers) down the street heard we were having a party and stopped by to eat.  That was interesting.  Cindy, being a high school teacher jumped right in there to make them feel comfortable.  They even took plates home- for family.

It was really a good night.   

I am glad we had a fall street party.  

I think starting "Deep and wide" in your own neighborhood is a great idea. You don't have to tackle the world to make a difference.  Start with your neighbors.  

I read an article about booing this week and thought what a cool idea!  You can start to get to know your neighbors like this.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

A quickie

What a fun day !

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A REASON TO LAUGH

As I went back and read my last couple posts I realized how dramatic and pitiful my life sounded when it is everything but.  

I dealt with today the normal way.  eatting.
Then, I went and got all my hair chopped off.  
At the BEAUTY SCHOOL!!!!!!!!! There will be a blog to follow later on that.

It was like I was on a journey to punish myself all night. 

I even laughed that I might go table dancing. Of course, that would be punishing everyone else.. and... the table.

I came home and there stands Randy with all our equipment in the middle of the livingroom and he is practicing one of our new songs , playing the guitar and humming on a kazoo.  We have a show in Jacksonville this weekend.  

I realize

I think tonight I didnt lose a daughter, I gained a new son.
A friend reminded me that Danielle was only doing what her mom has taught her- to stay two steps ahead.
I have a wonderful life and I just added another person that I can share that with ( who can also share all Danielle's bills with me! )

So, as an ending to my day that I seemed to want to make bad....  here is a gentle reminder of what Randy and I will be doing this weekend at the Jacksonville WingDing Festival.  If the thought of us doing this in front of thousands of people doesn't make you laugh.... then you are worse off than I am!




Front Porch Welcoming Fall.



Another with the lights on.


Today we made "leaf people".



Another Leaf friend.



The living room . First year ever I have bought a white pumpkin. I LOVE IT !



Mr and Mrs Justin Self

Legally Married 10/ 01/ 08
Celebration with family and friends 12/18/08

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

School and Life

I have been thinking all day that I need to blog. I haven't in a while and I would probably just feel better.   I have had this struggle though.   This started out as a personal blog during the summer when Randy and I were traveling doing music.  Now that school has started it is more about preschool than anything.   So, what direction do I take ? I have friends that read and like to hear about my life, lack of one, or just the craziness that has party's in my head at times. Then I have teacher friends that I know read to network classroom ideas and fun.   Is this personal or business or both?  

I guess tonight will be both.

I am so anxious tonight.  Danielle called and asked would I still be up at 9:30 when she gets off work that she and Justin want to talk to me.   What in the world couldn't wait until tomorrow?  She cant be pregnant. He has only been home less than a week. I mean, I guess theoretically she could be , but that isnt it.   My heart tells me she is going to ask me how I feel about her going back to Hawaii with him and foregoing the wedding in December. I mean, I think they would still get married right away.  My heart says they want to elope. I might be totally wrong. Why did she even call me to get this all stirred up. Why didnt she just show up tonight?   If that is what she wants- how do I feel about this?  How do I feel that the daughter that I have raised to play princess  will not have the fairytale wedding?Am I hurt ? Am I glad I will save some money?   Will she regret it later?   So many questions. I am trying to settle this in my head before she gets here.   Funny thing. She may walk in and say " Can I use your car next week?" 

Cant they just be four again?

Speaking of fours.  This week has been pretty productive.   I think as you get older you become more seasoned and it all makes sense. I do not believe in flash  card / rote teaching for this age group.  Since school started we have been writing a morning message. Today is..... I am pretty sure they can read Today and is as isolated words  now.  So.... why not make up a list of small sight words that I manage to use in my morning messages for a few weeks at a time. They learn to "read" them in that context.  We get to the end of the year and we have learned 20 -25 sight words.  Yeah.....  Now, I am getting it.  It is possible to stay true to my beliefs on how I feel preschoolers should be taught but reach the academic goals that schools and parents like to see us attain.  

Ok, two more hours before Danielle is here with whatever news she has to tell me that is making me ill at the moment.  

Oh yeah, the engagement party. I think it went well. I cleaned and cleaned the house.  As Danielle likes to say- your house isnt dirty you just have too much stuff.  So, I destuffed and moved and got on my hands and knees and scrubbed.  The house was looking and smelling great.   I decorated the outside for fall. Randy brought the fire pit to the front.   I had tables set up for food and even had calla lillies ( the flower she has picked for her wedding) for decor.  As everyone arrived somethings became very clear.

1. I have some very good friends and family.
2.  I might like Justin after all, I think we just got a bad start.
3.  Justin's mom and sister blended really well with our family.
4.  Hardly no one came in the house at all...... ugh.  I wasted a lot of time cleaning.
5.  I completely forgot the cheese tray in the fridge.
6.  I think they really love each other and that is all that matters.

Ok.. now back to worrying about tonight.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Anybody Got a Kleenex ?


What an emotional roller coaster day!

I am cruising along through the day and all is going well. We are getting ready to use shaving cream and mix blue and red food coloring to make purple.

One of my parents stops by. SCREECHING HALT.

One of our little ones went camping over the weekend and was anticipating having a great time. Mom was so excited to tell me about the suppers she had fixed in foil for grilling. It made me want to grab a tent and head for a state park. ( Well, not really. Maybe head to a Embassy Suites and drive to a park to have a picnic! ) Anyway, during their well planned weekend get away the little girl ( three ) stumbled over the fire ring and into the camp fire. She had really bad burns ( third degree maybe ) on her hands, knees and tummy. At this point you say a little prayer for it not being worse. Anyway, she has been to the Tulsa Burn Center and today had surgery. They did skin grafts on her little body. I already had her on my mind all morning.

Then.

Mom and Dad bring her by on their way home . Mainly they wanted to let her big brother who was here see her and hug him themselves. I went out to see her too. As we talked to her and about her she held up her little hands all bandaged up and looked at me with those huge eyes and said " hurt". Yep, that was the end of my tough girl act. As I leave and go back in to continue the color mixing experiment I am choking back tears. I explained to the other children why I was sad... we went on with Ms Debbie and tears streaming down her face.

Just as I thought I had pulled myself together, my son , Addam rang in on video chat. I have his baby girl Geneviette ( 3) here for the day. So, I take her in the livingroom and lay the lap top in the floor so they could see each other and talk. For over an hour she sat there. He entertained her. She flipped her hair. He showed her the puppy and she told him she is potty trained now. He told her she was beautiful and she told him about the sheep she saw at the fair with clothes on. Ok... one might think this is a happy occasion. And it is... but seeing it made me cry again. Life isnt fair. I will be glad when Addam is out of the Army so he can be here with Geneviette.

After all this.. Randy and I are talking about how great technology is. Randy has a son that was killed in a car accident in 2001 about two months after I met him. Randy said he vividly remembers talking to Scott on the phone for hours when Scott moved to Georgia with his mom. I bet he wished they had video conferencing then.

Then..I hear Randy in the kitchen. Guess it all got to him too.

What a day.

The picture is of Geneviette talking to her dad. I didnt need a picture, I will never forget it.

The video is one the kids made yesterday for Clara.