Friday, December 28, 2007

5 Days.... the parentals' and I'm already spiking my hot chocolate with Schnapps.

Seven more days to go.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Weather Woes

I have a baaaaaaaad feeling that my journey home on Sunday could become ugly....and lengthy.

Low pressure and a strong cold front will bring a variety of weather to West Michigan this weekend. The storm will bring rain early, followed by much colder air, snow, and strong winds by Sunday. Travel could become hazardous for Sunday into early Monday.
Christmas in the 5th Grade

Today was our last day of school.

(Whooo hooo!!!!!)

And it was my best Christmas party in all of my many years of teaching. ;)

The day began, of course, with the gifts. I felt like Beyonce backstage at the AMAs, with all the free stuff I was getting. =-) I got a couple really high-end gifts, pieces of jewelry, and the rest was the traditional homemade goodies, lotions, etc.

We started out the day with math class, where we diligently made paper snowflakes (we were learning about symmetry so it worked). We also had a real social studies class (comparing life for colonial kids to life today). After that, we started our party. We watched Cool Runnings, stopping for lunch (pizza, which I bought, and then the AMAZING spread from our parents, everything from soda to cookies to cupcakes to chips to brownies). We went outside to run off both the calories and the sugar rush, came back in to finish the movie, hung out for a while and then went home. I hugged the kids one by one as they left, except for one boy who escaped my arms (he plays football and he weaved and snagged, lol).

All in all, a great day. Sure, they were a bit wound up but nothing over-the-top. They were really quite well-behaved.

I'll miss them this 2 weeks. However....

IT'S VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Out with the old...

I started my Christmas cards last night (before mid-month--whoo hooo!). After sealing a few cards, however, I realized: Shoot! I didn't write my annual update letter!

And then it hit me.

If I talk to someone so infrequently that I need to write them a letter telling them what I've been doing ALL YEAR, it's probably not a person that I need to worry about sending a card TO anymore.

So I went through and I (rather ruthlessly) started cutting people off my list. And it felt GOOD.

Now, some people stayed by default. Family, for example. I may not talk to my uncles all year, but they're still family. (And I got a little teary when I came to Dad's parents' entry in my address book. I couldn't bring myself to physically cross them out....but for the first time in my life, they aren't there to send a card TO. And that was tough.) And Mrs. S, my old counselor from high school who helped me to graduate on time (Kish knows who I'm talking about)--she'll eternally be on my list. Plus, I always get a nice one back from her. But Mrs. B., for whom I was a cadet teacher for about 16 weeks back in '94? Yeah, probably not so much (as nice as she is). And Cam's family? I actually took THEM off the list this year...mostly because, although I've been sending them yearly since his accident, I've never heard a peep back from them. I guess it's time to move on.

My new card list, although much shorter, is also much more meaningful to me.

What about all of you? Do you still do the annual letter? Do you find yourselves sending cards to people and wondering WHY you're still doing it (or, for that matter, WHO they are)?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Alrighty then

A student was up at my desk, telling me about his father.

And then he added, "Or should I say, sperm donor," and blithely kept going with his story.

"Wait a minute," I interrupted. "WHAT did you say?"

"Sperm donor," he innocently repeated. "What?" he asked when he saw the look on my face. "Well, that's what my MOM calls him."

"Okay," I said. "But D., that's not really a word we use at school."

And then I turned my chair around so he wouldn't see my smirk.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Quite possibly the most tragic story I've ever read

And it happened here in town. I don't mean to bring you down, but I think it's a story that should be shared.


NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - An Iraqi War hero comes home to Cape Coral for the holidays but on his way to surprise his family, he's killed by a suspected drunk driver.

The accident happened Saturday night in North Fort Myers.The soldier's wife was also in the car and now she's fighting for her life. 23-year-old Lauren Beougher was in serious condition Sunday night at Lee Memorial Hospital. It was in her hospital bed, she learned her husband 23-year-old Danny Beougher was killed in the accident that nearly took her life as well.

Their family is comforting each other, by celebrating Danny's life as a War Hero."He gave himself to anybody; whether family, friends, or this country. He just was always giving," said Brother Tony Beougher.

Giving was part of Danny Beougher's motto.The Southwest Florida man spent the last few years fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq."We couldn't be more proud," said Tony.

A Staff Sergeant in the 82nd Airborne, Danny came home last month.This Christmas was going to be one of the first with his family in years.He was supposed to come to Fort Myers later this week, but came early for his brother's birthday."He was coming down as a surprise for me," said Tony.

On Saturday morning, he and his wife Lauren drove from their home at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. By 9 o'clock Saturday night, and less than 4 miles left in the 700-mile trip, they were hit by a suspected drunk driver on Hancock Bridge Parkway in North Fort Myers.

Immediately after the accident, police say the suspected drunk driver took off on foot. But a passenger was still in the truck. Though she was in the truck, she hasn't been able to identify the driver.

"It's senseless and there's no reason for it," said Tony.

Update: the passenger has now apparently given up the name of the driver; police are looking for him.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Did I mention?

I'm kind of dating someone. =-)

About a month, month and a half ago, I went out on a date or two with a wonderful, attractive man named Keith. We hit it off instantly. Our first date was about 6 hours. He makes me laugh. We have so much fun together. He GETS me.

This is NOT, however, the man I'm seeing.

See, Keith and I realized that we were really more friends than anything. Unlike other situations, though, where you decide to just "be friends" and lose touch, we actually HAVE become friends. In fact, we've actually become pretty close.

And it was while we were hanging out one time that he said to me, "You know, Jen, I've got a friend that I think you'd REALLY hit it off with..." (They've been best friends since T-ball.)

The only problem is, he lives across the state--about 4 hours away.

AND has a dog.

Well-- I figured, I've pretty much exhausted the dating pool on THIS side of the state already, why the hell not? So the weekend after Thanksgiving, I took a little road trip to Palm Coast, FL.

We had a GREAT weekend together. From the second I walked in the door, it was very comfortable. All weekend, as I met his friends (and his "second mom," his roommate's mom, who loved me--and I say that as modestly as possible) and got to know him, things just kind of fit. Really, we had just an amazing time together. (After I left, his roommate told him that he better marry me. =-) )

At the end of that weekend, though, he left for a month to go back home to NY to see his family--in fact, I dropped him off at the airport on my way out of town. (Side note: he was in a motorcycle accident right before I met him and can't go back to work as a mechanic until early January, which is why he can take off for a month.)

Anyway...we'll see what happens. He had a neighbor watch his dog while I was there that weekend and things worked out, so that takes care of the dog situation, at least for now. We talk on the phone and email just about every day. We want to spend NYE together but I'm scheduled to be in Michigan. Thought about coming back a little early but it's kind of expensive to change my flight.

I think that's about it. =-)

PS--Never married, no kids.