Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Happy birthday to my dad who loves
his family
OU Sooners
Joe's BBQ
the farm
Mexican food
old Western movies
organ music
Car Talk with Click and Clack on NPR

I wish I could have flown to Oklahoma to spend the weekend with him.
Love you, Dad!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I always say that playing soccer in college was one of the three best decisions I have ever made. I believe that for many reasons. Here are a few in no particular order.
#1) I made terrific, wonderful friends.
#2) It started my love of running.
#3) It renewed my love of team sports.
#4) We had more fun than should be allowed.
#5) I love soccer uniforms...mostly the shin guards and long socks.
#6) If we played at night, we got to play on the football field with lights!
#7) We went from awful to good (maybe just decent...Tonya, what do you think?).
#8) I love the fall weather.
#9) The memories of the games, practices, & overall experience is too great for words.
#10)We got to take fun photos like this one. (grin) Notice the flat ball.
#11)Tonya and I were the first two Tabor women to letter 4 years in the sport of soccer.
#12)We got to go tubing at Marion Lake with our team/coaches.

I wish I could sit for hours and just write out all the memories that come to mind, but I will settle for typing just a few.
**I love that the first soccer game I ever saw was the first game I played in. I didn't even know all the rules. In fact I got a yellow card for catching the ball when I was guarding the post. I thought if you were in the goal box, you could touch the ball. Oops. In my mind that yellow card is still about the size of a poster board.
**I still laugh out loud when I remember Amy Greb running with a side ache hunched over. She was so awesome that she wouldn't quit.
**Our team would show up with our hair in pony tails with matching ribbons while the other teams were belching and/or spitting on the field. It totally grossed me out. I love how girlie our team was.
**I love the feeling of scoring goals. I didn't score many, and they were hard to come by, but I loved it.
**I loved my position - right midfield. Midfielders run our hearts out, and I loved it.
**I love that Coach Brubacher and his family would run with us during conditioning, and they'd also show up to scrimmage us.
**I love that Aaron begged my coach to sell him my old jersey after our last season. I still have it and love it. #5

I am so GLAD that I took the risk and tried something new. Thank you, Tonya, for asking me to try a new sport that first week at Tabor.
Go Bluejays!

P.S. I think I might go put on some shin guards and soccer socks just for the fun of it.

Photo: Miriam Winslow, Tonya Raugust, Hayley Kusch, Jill Sammer - maiden names...1996...Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas

Planning & Grading

I have an issue with having things just the way I want them.
If it doesn't meet my requirements, I try to fix it or change it or finagle it until it does.
Example: My planning/grade book
The first year I taught at Mesquite Junior High, the previous teacher had left 2 plan books. They were old, but never used, and they were perfect! It had everything I require in a lesson planning book, and nothing I don't. I was able to squeeze two years in each planning book getting me through the first 4 years at MJHS, but then last year, I had a dilemma. I needed another "perfect" plan book. Yes, I have shopped teacher supply stores, office supply stores (including my favorite Mardel), shopped online, etc... Nothing. So, I made a photocopy of one of the pages in my "perfect" plan books, whited things out, and decided to make my own. Then I had this terrific idea to consolidate my lesson plan book with my grade book. Yes, I do realize that I am one of maybe two teachers left in the world who still write their grades by hand before entering them into the computer. That is another one of my issues...I want to be prepared just in case something happens to the computer software program housing all 170 of my students' many grades. Which if you are familiar with my school district, you might know that I have good reason to fear. Anyway, my newly created book worked superbly. So much so, that I made another this year. And no one can say I'm not green. Not only do I recycle here at home, I recycle at school through our recycling program and by using the backs of copy paper for more assignments, etc... This year, my lesson plan book/grade book is also green. I used paper sacks from items we purchased on our recent trip to Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The front is from Yokes Fresh Market, and the back is from Fred Meyer. I loved the stores, I loved the trip, and I thought it would be a delightful way to remember fun times when I am not doing such fun things...such as grading and planning.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

As Far As the NFL Goes...

We are Denver Broncos fans. Broncos pillowcases, Elway jerseys, & Denver bumper stickers. Aaron has loved the Broncos his whole life, and when we got married he agreed to be a Sooner fan if I agreed to be a Broncos fan. Seeing as how I could not have cared less at the time about the NFL, that was a done deal. The deal has stuck. Living out towards the west coast means we cross our fingers every week that we'll get to see a televised Broncos game. When we do, Aaron is screaming and hollering through the entire game.

So, although I am a Broncos fan, that doesn't mean I don't have other teams I root for. For instance, who could live in Phoenix and not love the Arizona Cardinals with Kurt Warner? What an outstanding role model he is!

Furthermore, for the last couple of seasons, I have kept my eye on the Minnesota Vikings, and as long as they aren't playing the Broncos, I cheer for them. I mean, come on, ADRIAN PETERSON! He is after all the best running back in the history of the world. (Don't argue with me - I will win.) He makes me proud when I watch him. Then, with this latest draft, the Vikings picked up another former OU Sooner: Phil Loadholt! I'm so happy! But then...drumroll...with yesterday's news, I am overjoyed! Brett Favre!!! No way! So, you better believe I will be makin' some noise for the Vikings this season! In fact, Aaron and I are hoping to see the Vikings play the Cardinals in Glendale this year. Two outstanding quarterbacks leading the way. (And maybe a couple of OU players will actually win a game in Arizona...)

P.S. I just wish the Broncos could find a decent quarterback. It would make life with Aaron a bit easier! (grin)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Make Lemonade in a Vase

First Day of School...
What a day - the beginning of my 8th year of teaching.
I love English. I love 8th graders. I love Mesquite Junior High.
The first day is always so weird...
I miss last year's students, but I look forward to learning to love these new students.
I wonder what is in store for us this year as I spend 5 days a week with these teenagers - teaching writing, reading, poetry, and grammar.

Every year, Aaron spoils me on the first day of school with a bouquet of flowers.
I secretly wonder every year if he will do it again.
I never say anything ahead of time.
He never forgets.
This year, the bouquet is called, "Make Lemonade in a Vase". I love it.
A lemon even rests in the bottom of the vase.