Thursday, December 1, 2011


Why do we place limits on ourselves that often seem ridiculous?  I had promised myself to blog more often, but I have this crazy idea that a blog post just isn't worth reading unless there are photos included.  I know, that's a really dumb thought, but that is how my mind works.  So many times I typed out a post only to delete it because I didn't have a photo to go with it. 

Maybe it's intimidation.  I read other blogs and they are filled with adorable photos of smiling children, or full of "how to" photos of the most fantastically, creative ideas.  I've got nothin'. 

On another note, Casey and I are embarking on a new, creative adventure.  We are working together to do a little photography.  We have decided to call our little business  "Oh Shoot! Photography"  I guess I do have a slight creative juice left.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

3 more days...

until this movie opens at our "local" theater.

It was produced by the same studio that made The Blind Side, and that movie was awesome!  This weekend is the nationwide opening of Dolphin Tale, so get out and support this movie and show those big Hollywood studios that we want GOOD things to watch, not this trashy, violet, foul-mouthed stuff that seems to be so popular.  Just in case you are in the Mtn. Home area, it's showing at Sun Valley Cinema (they didn't pay me to give them a plug, either....but if you go to their website they do have a coupon for free popcorn....and who doesn't love movie popcorn?

Now, about this girl.  Her name is Winter, she is a bottlenose dolphin, and is a permanent resident of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  She was still a baby when she was found beached with her tail caught in the monofilament line of a crab trap.  It was so damaged her tail had to be amputated just to save her life.  True story. 

Winter with her prosthesis
Winter learned, against all odds, to swim without a tail, and thanks to one persistent kid, she ended up as the first "fish" with a prosthesis...which was made by a doctor who normally makes human prosthetics. 

Winter without the prosthesis, she is so amazing!
 So that's all you're getting from me, you need to go see the movie....go to the matinee and look for us, we will be the ones wearing the "Winter" and "Clearwater Marine Aquarium" t-shirts....Logan said we had to wear them when we go see the movie...I've promised, but I love the shirt! (mine's pink, his is aqua blue with dolphins on it, come say hi)

Just in case you want to know a little more about her...I'm that way, I always want to know can access the CMA website at

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day weekend

Saturdays are always busy around here, and holiday weekends are no exception.  We didn't have any super fun plans, though(....well, except Casey, she left Friday for the Chuck Wagon races.... I've said a prayer... I hope her guardian angels can fly fast!)  I was determined to get the basement room set up like a living room for the kids (thanks, Mom, for the couch and recliner).  Chris had some things to do (always), Logan was into something, several somethings, actually, and Austin went with Rich to take Rosie to get her hooves trimmed before the district fair. (She got a little heifer pedicure! )  Nothing out of the ordinary, but I like ordinary days.

Well, maybe "nothing out of the ordinary" isn't exactly correct, we did add a new family member. Her name is Charley, and she is an Australian Shepherd puppy. She is so cute! (I could so be the crazy dog lady...if Chris would let me)

Austin, Logan, and Miss Charley

CJ checking out his new sister.

Darrell was a little miffed, he's afraid he will lose his alpha dog status....not happening, he's still the boss.

The boys ran off and left her this morning, she was sad until they came back.

I wish I had more witty things to say, but I'm watching the Dance Moms marathon on Lifetime.  It's like watching a train wreck, but I can't look away! 

Maybe I'll post again later....

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Times...they are a changin'

30 years ago....notes were taken on paper with a pen or pencil; today we have laptops, iPads, and Palm Pilots.

30 years found books at the library or a bookstore, you held a book in your hand an dogeared pages to keep your place; today we have Kindles, Nooks, and iPads with millions of books at the touch of a button.

30 years could call a company or business and the phone was answered by a real, live person; today we are greeted by a recorded voice who prompts us to "press one", "press two" , "enter the extension number of your party followed by the pound key."

30 years ago...we wrote letters, made phone calls, and met friends at the local hangout; today we interact through email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

30 years ago...Microfiche was cutting edge technology which helped you locate your research topics in books in the library or newspaper; today the internet brings information to our fingertips twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

30 years ago...cameras used film and photos took several days to process; today we photos are seen instantly on a digital screen.

30 years ago...telephones were land lines and were located in our homes (some still attached to the wall via a curly cord), and only made phone calls; today cell phones fit easily in our pockets and contain texting, internet, digital cameras, address books, music players, games, and can make calls.

30 years ago...cable tv offered around 30 channels and was available in towns or cities, those of us in rural areas got 3 channels from an antenna (if the weather was just right); today satellite tv provides us with 300+ channels and kids complain "there's nothing on tv!"

30 years were taught respect and responsibility at home, parents sided with teachers, and corporal punishment was common practice and accepted; today many parents are absent, respect has been replaced by entitlement, teachers are often told, "what happens at school is your problem", and spanking in school can be grounds for a lawsuit.

If the increase in technology means the demise of good, moral character have we truly improved society?  If the answer is yes, what does the future hold?  What has happened to personal interaction?  I despise the "self checkout" lanes in stores, and think we are losing something very important by replacing people with machines. 

Though we may worry and wonder what the future will bring, we can always count on one thing....
     For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to
                 harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
   Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Oh, Food Network....

you've done it again, and I'm not disappointed!

I've been waiting all week for this new show with the Pioneer Woman, and it was definitely worth the wait!  (This woman cooks food that my family will actually eat with ingredients you can find in rural Arkansas....she's in rural black truffles and fresh lobsters around these parts.

Ree Drummond aka: the Pioneer Woman. 

So, what was the fantastic gastronomical delights she had today....chicken fried steak!  You just can't beat a good chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and white gravy.  I've had to wipe the drool from my chin more than once this morning.  

Chicken fried still my heart!
So, all this Food Network goodness has put me in the mood to cook....I hope the mood is still with me after I get this house cleaned. ......

Monday, August 22, 2011

15 Years....

....That is the number of years I have been a teacher in the Arkansas public school system.  I've learned many things in the last 15 years, so I thought I'd share a few with you, just in case you might choose to go into the field of education, or if you've ever just wondered....(I wonder about things like that)

Here you go, here are my top 10 in random order (aka: the order they pop into my head):

1.(because this is the one that is bugging me today)  Energy drinks, (such as Amp, Nos, Monster, Rockstar, Red Bull, or the numerous other caffeine laden sugar laced liquid of choice) should NOT be sold to anyone under the age of 20, ESPECIALLY before 5 pm!  (this will give said obnoxious side effects to run through the system of a teenager before they must report back to school. 
.... but wait, there's more.....  Should these companies balk at the idea of not selling these products to teens, they should be forced to spend 8 hours locked in a room with Monster swilling teens, while making them fill in the bubbles on a standardized testing form.  I think we would definitely see a change in sales policies.

2.  Spending exhorbitant amounts of money on jeans with holes is just.....stupid.  Give me the same amount of cash you spend on a new, torn up pair of Silver jeans and I will soon be able to purchase that mobile Mac lab for students.  Should you still want jeans with holes, go buy a cheap pair and sign up for a shop class....preferably me, using a welder or a grinder will soon put many stylish holes in your jeans.  I know this because the hubs welds and we have many, many pairs of jeans and long sleeved shirts with stylish holes...they are even singed around the edges so not to fray, and all it cost was the price of regular old pair of Wranger 13MWZ's. 

3.  Teachers do not want to see the color of your underwear.  We would prefer you keep it covered at all times.  This also includes cleavage (for girls), and the slogan "Say NO to crack" applies to more than just drugs.

Four. (yeah, my numeral four key is was the result of an unfortunate orange soda accident....which is my next little tip)  If you have your own, personal children in your classroom after school, ban them from your desk, especially if they are arguing with each other and one happens to have an orange soda in his hand.

5.  Be a lifelong learner, listen, be open to new ideas and thoughts....though it is still very difficult for me not to think of Pluto as a planet.  Poor Pluto, wonder how he feels about being demoted?  (and you thought I was going say something really profound when you read that first sentence!)

6. Go when you can, not when you have to.  Roadtrip bathroom rules apply for school days, too, the minute you walk out of that classroom, chaos will ensue. (This one is especially helpful for new teachers.)

7.  Your classroom is not a democracy, it's a dictatorship, you are Hitler...or Ghengis Khan....or Ivan the Terrible....or Leona Helmsley.  Let them know that the first day, but also let them know dictatorships can be fun if they will obey.

8.  Air freshener, Scentsy, Febreeze, and other good smelling products are your friends, keep them on hand at all times.....especially if you have 8th grade boys in the afternoon.....

9.  Teachers are allowed to act goofy (at times) and make mistakes, and when we laugh at our mistakes it makes us more "real".  Teachers can also sing to their students....lovely little ditties that will be stuck in their heads the rest of the's a form of mind control...."Oh where is my hairbrush, oh where is my hairbrush, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where, oh wheeeeeerrrreeee, is my hairbrush!"  (works on students from grades 7-12, I have not yet had the opportunity to test it on younger victims, but now all I have to say is "Do I need to sing the HAIRBRUSH song?" 

10.  You will not change every single child that comes through your room, but don't stop trying to change the world;  if you make an impact on one, you have touched the future.  Results aren't immediate, it may take several years to know you have had a positive influence on a young life; it is worth the wait.

11. (yes, I said 10, but I also said as they pop into my head, so here's a bonus tip)  Sometimes kids don't need to listen, they need to talk and be heard.  We teach, but we also listen.  You never know what is going on in the home or the life of one of your students, always remember, "Be kind to everyone, you never know what kind of battle someone is fighting." 

I can have fun with the tips, but as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher.  I remember lining stuffed animals up in chairs and teaching them things on a little slate (yes, I was a huge fan of Laura Ingalls and just had to have one of those little slates.  If you don't know what a slate is, look it a lifelong learner.)  Yes, I could make lots more money being a graphic designer, but a part of me would be missing.  I love my job, I love my school, and I love my kids....all my kids....even the ones who show up with an energy drink.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Life's a whirlwind!

The last few weeks of summer have been nothing less than a flurry of activity!  My great intentions of blogging more this summer just didn't happen.....the sad part; I actually had something fun to blog about!  We had a nice mini vacation in Florida, but I was sans computer....and I didn't hate it!

Here's the summer in a nutshell:
Memphis, weddings, workshops, t-ball, dolphins, swimming, bicycles, roadtrips, family, battleships, beaches, Loretta, and FLORIDA!

Yep, F-L-O-R-I-D-A! Casey was in a wedding in Florida so the boys and I loaded up and went, too. It was so nice and relaxing, and so much fun to see Austin & Logan as they saw the ocean for the first time.

So, enough with words....let's have some pictures!

Nicole and Brendan Shay.  It was so much fun shooting their wedding photos!

My little T-ball player and his cutie coach!  (Love these guys!)

Winter the dolphin.  She's a movie star, but look closely, her tail is missing.  She is the star of the movie Dolphin Tale coming out this fall.  She actually has a prosthetic tail, but she wasn't wearing it in this picture. 

This kid could definitely be a beach bum, he LOVED it....and he loved bringing me sandcrabs...gotta love those boys!

Well, it only took about 20 shots to get the youngest child to act somewhat serious and let me take a beach picture.

My boys wading in the Gulf of Mexico at sunset.

For some pictures there are no words....let's just say it was a loooong roadtrip and you found entertainment where you could.  Casey loves taking pictures of herself...I was driving, I had no control over the camera at this point.

Thanks to a GPS who sent us the long way to Mobile, AL, we found out that Guin, Alabama is home of the POST IT! Who knew?!! 

Rear guns of the USS Alabama.  Look right under the gun on the left, those tiny little things are folding chairs.  Yeah, aren't you glad you weren't flying a Japanese plane during, too.

Boys love guns.

It's not often you can take a little rest on an anchor chain.

Florida sunset.

Casey & Mary Kate on Signal Point, Signal Mtn., TN

Signal Point....beautiful!

Lookout Mtn., TN  That's the city of Chattanooga in the distance.

The boys weren't too keen on posing, but look who was. 

A little sidetrip on the way home....waved, just in case Loretta was home and looking out the window.  I'm sure she didn't know we were going to drive by or she would have run right out! LOL.

See that blue and white sign in the middle, yep that says was the prettiest sign I saw on the whole trip, even with dead bugs splattered and crusted on the windshield.

Whew!  I'm tired now, summer was busy, but it was definitely fun.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I am recalibrated....

....funny, but I don't feel any different.  Maybe it's the long day and the sinus meds, but I made my last trip to the North Central Arkansas School Cooperative in Melbourne for the summer.  Today's in-service was on Pathwise mentoring...I've done the 3 day training and today I was "recalibrated".  I'm ready to mentor a novice teacher...bring it on!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I've been a little quiet on the blog lately.  I guess I've just been tyring to enjoy some time with the boys in the new pool. (we got it when I got home from Memphis)   Aside from being busy, there has been more than a little stress around here, and I just didn't feel at all like blogging.  Maybe because I planned on keeping this blog light and frivolous (did I spell that doesn't look right to me).
Oh, and let's not forget about VBS which was last week.  I really miss it, too.  We had such a great time on our Big Apple Adventure.  I enjoyed it so much I even offered to help with the music at another church, but they already have it covered.  I guess I'll just walk around here singing the catchy little songs.

I'll have to post pictures later....right now, it's time to conquer some dirt and laundry....time to clean house!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 2 -Drawing, Design, BBQ, and Beale

Day 2 of the MCA academy was drawing and design.  We worked in the studio with one of the MCA drawing instructors, then he turned us loose.  It was so much fun. 

Getting some directions and critique from a prof.

Mrs. Rosalie.  She was so much fun, she's from New Orleans and teaches in an all girls Catholic School.  She kept us rolling with laughter all week!

My space.  It's still a work in progress, but we were working with textures.
  We broke for lunch at a graphic design firm, Combustion.  The owner is an MCA grad, and several employees are also MCA grads.  They do all the graphic design work for MCA, and International Paper.  You would think it would be a stuffy, corporate place, but that is far from the truth.  I could so work here!

Leah's office.  I had to wipe the drool from my chin when I saw her big, giant Mac!  Her office is very fun, too!

Yes, that is a set of drums and some electric guitars in the design firm.  It's the way they get over a creative slump.....I think I need some drums...

An awesome inspiration board.  I will be having one of these in my classroom and inviting students to contribute.

Ah, ha, so that's where the name "Combustion" came from.  I wonder if they would care if I borrowed their slogan?
 After lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the drawing studio.  I didn't quite get finished with mine, but it was a fun, abstract project, so it wasn't that big a deal.  For supper, we were heading downtown to the Rendezvous for some Memphis Barbeque.  We had some good food followed by a walk on Beale St.  There were a few brave souls who stayed late on Beale, but this girl came back to the dorm by 11 and crashed!

Our group in front of the dorm before heading to Beale.  Of course there is always one comedian in the group, and the only guy was ours. 

Yummmm, ribs! (and brisket, and chicken, and pulled pork...and....)

One very historic Memphis BBQ joint.  Worth the trip to the little hole-in-the-wall, side alley entrance.

Walking in Memphis....walking with my feet 10 feet off of Beale.  Historic Beale Street at night.

I really wanted to ride one of these cute little 3 wheeled police Seqey's, but I was afraid they would just throw me in jail if I tried, so I resisted the urge.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

MCA grad school and metals studio

Monday kicked off our Teacher Academy in a big way.  We toured the MCA Graduate School which is downtown close to the river.  After leaving there we went to the metals lab.  I had never tried enameling, but now that I have I really, really like it.  I've never been a huge fan of cloisonne....until now, and now that I know how to do it I have a whole new respect for it.

A soft sculpture piece done by an MCA grad student.  She used plastic grocery sacks.  Her studio had old fashioned braided rugs as inspiration.  It was great!

A very large watercolo/mixed media piece by another grad student.

Another statement sculpture by a grad student.  It reminds me of toxic waste pouring into the water.  The big bubble things were made from kids punching balls. 

I was jealous

Then I saw the inside of the Mac lab and had computer envy.  I thought they were going to have to drag me out kicking and screaming.  Sigh......

Just down the block from the MCA grad school is the Lorraine Motel.  This is where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assisanated.  It is now the Civil Rights Museum.

Enameling demo by Bill, the MCA small metals instructor.  I just wonder how he keeps from burning off the beard????

A copper piece with enameling powder, just before it got really hot.

This is why there is a sign in the metals studio that reads, "Assume EVERYTHING is hot!" 

Enamel pieces and cloisonne pieces done by Letha, one of my roomies for the week.  Hers looked so much better than  mine so I used her examples.