Monday, December 31, 2012

My Bulletin Board

One of my projects for Christmas break was to clean out and organize my closet. It is a really nice size closet and it is all mine, which makes me super super happy. The problem is that when we moved in ( yes I know it has been over a year) I just threw everything in it and haven't taken the time to go through it and organize it.

Today as I was cleaning out I came across my bulletin board from my high school days. I had this big bulletin board that hung beside my bed. Everything went on that board, corsages from dances, notes from friends, graduation invitations, magazine articles that I cut out, keys from my first car,etc. After all of these years the board is falling apart and really hard to store. I decided to take everything off and put it in a tub instead. I loved looking at it all and thinking about all the memories. Two things absolutely cracked me up.

First, check out the cards from the flowers Marshal had sent. There are 19. Ha, that boy must have loved me at some point.

Second, and oh my mercy I am rolling over this one.

The summer before I started high school I somehow talked my mom and dad into letting me bring my friend Shonda to the beach with us. What they didn't know was that my friend Holly talked her dad into taking her and our friend Erin to the beach the same week. Well the four of us thought we were something else. Every night we would meet down at the shoreline where we would hang out and meet people. This is a list of the boys we met, along with what we thought of each of them. Ha! This list contains 23 names and two of those names represent two guys with the same name.

Oh Ashlynn all I have to say is your momma may never let you out of the house.

Any way after all that reminiscing, I got to thinking what my 2012 bulletin board would look like. Obviously it would be much different than that of my high school days. This years beach list would top way over 50 guys names. Ha- totally kidding! There would just be one, but I might have a lot more to write about him since I married him.

Here are my top 12 for 2012:
1) NYC trip with Jenn
2) Extra time with my Dad
3) Family trip to St. Louis
4) Colorado trip with friends
5) Family trip to Florida & Ashlynn's first parasailing
6) New Jersey ETS panel
7) My first camping trip and diamond digging with my kids
8) Ashlynn learning to swim
9) Jaxton's super simple potty training (such a relief after all the medical issues we had with Ashlynn)
10) Getting a new super fabulous principal
11) Owning a Kindle ( I have read more this year than I have the rest of my years combined)
12) Birthday trip to Dallas

Here's to 2013! I can't wait to see what fun is in store!

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Friday, December 28, 2012


Recently we completed this study at church called S.H.A.P.E. The study was really about using the gifts God gave you. I really didn't get into the study and really didn't enjoy it too much. However, there was one section that talked about how your experiences in life shape you. I have always known that to be true, but it really helped me put in perspective and understand something I have been wanting to blog about for quite some time.

As you all know by now, my dad is currently in the middle of a lawsuit with the City of Rogers. You can read in the newspapers and court documents every last detail about the lawsuit. What you can't read is the personal effect this has had on him, my mom and me. While the effects have been numerous there is one thing that has stuck out to me more than anything else. One thing that I would have never imagined as an effect, one thing that hits me at the very core, one thing that I know has and will affect me for the rest of my life. Friendships.

While I could tell you countless stories of friends that have sat right next to my dad and ignored him even though last winter he was in their drive way helping cut down a tree knocked over from the ice. Or friends that he has helped financially that still have yet to find the time to call and check on him. Or friends that have stabbed him in the back and been ugly to him right to his face. I am actually going to focus on those friends that have stepped up in ways I never could have imagined.

My dad has some friends that have never stopped calling. They have been there to listen and to support in any possible way. Friends that have busy lives and families of their own, but have not once used the busy excuse to not be there when we needed them. They have loved,they have, they have filled our hearts with joy and worked hard at erasing some of the hurt. I could spend my lifetime trying to thank them for their friendship to my parents and it would never be enough.

While I could continue on and on I want to get to the point of how this experience has shaped me. One year ago today if you asked me to list my parents friends I could have rattled off 25 names in a flash. Today if you asked me to name my parents friends I could name 5. The difference is, those five are the ones that have shown me what friendship is truly all about. They have taught me what it means to be a real friend.

This may sound harsh and you may not like it, but I am done trying to make people happy. I am done investing my time in causal in the moment relationships. I want to spend my time honestly and earnestly being a friend. I want to love my friends unconditionally and I want to be loved unconditionally back. Time is a precious precious gift to all of us. I plan to spend mine wisely creating meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime; friendships I can count on at my worst and have fun with during my best.

And just while I am on my lecture roll-if you haven't done it recently take a minute and think about the things that shape you. The people and the experiences that make you who you are. It really is kind of fun to see who you are now and where you come from through your lifetime of experiences.

The end-jumping down from my pedestal now. Although the view from up here is very pretty and I know y'all love it when I share...ha!

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A Thousand Parties Ago

(I am not going to go into a huge explanation, but I feel I owe it to Jaxton to explain why it has taken me over a month to blog about his birthday. As you know I went to NJ on his birthday. Shortly after returning, we experienced tragedy at work with the death of one of our kindergarten babies. Then the holidays hit and well here we are.)

So literally a thousand parties ago (ok maybe not, but seriously a lot) we had a surprise birthday party for my dad at his cabin. He turned 60 this year and with 2012 being a year of changes for my family, my mom and I wanted to do something special. I honestly don't know who loved it more; my dad or me. My dad was surprised and excited, but words cannot express how much it warmed my heart to have a roomful of friends showing their love for my dad.

I am also taking this opportunity to show off my dads cabin. He built it himself and did an amazing job. It is so beautiful and I know he is proud of it and I am proud of him!

I had to sneak pictures at the party because my dad would have never agreed to let me take them. It would embarrass him or something silly like that. As you can see, my sneaky photography skills stink. Ha. Oh well.

The very next weekend we had Jaxton's third birthday. Since I am in to throwing out ages in this post I will go ahead and tell you I'm 24. I know you were all wondering and I know none of you remember the blog post titled My 32nd from a couple of months ago. Ha ok I am not 24 and I know I am not fooling any of you, but it made me happy for a minute to pretend to be so young.

Any way Jaxton was so excited about his birthday party. We had it at The Little Gym. While he had an absolute blast and the gym throws a fabulous party, all Jaxton talked about was getting to play with his friends. He still talks about his friends playing games and coming to his party.

Jaxton also designed his own cake telling Rick's Bakery down to the detail what he wanted. He did a great job and was very proud of himself.

The kids were the cutest during present time. They all piled up and made present time a group effort. It was so cute!

I can't believe my little boy is 3! He is the absolute sweetest, loving little boy. I know it won't last forever, but he is a big time mommas boy and I love and cherish every minute of it.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bragging Comes First

I have a blog post started about the recent birthday parties I have had going on, but well it is going to have to wait. In all fairness I don't have all the pictures off the camera yet.

Where do I start? The last three days have been an absolute blast. I am not going to count today(day number four) in that because getting back to the room at 2 a.m.just to get ready for my driver to pick me up at 5 to go the airport to sit for two hours- not so much of a blast.

Monday morning I boarded a plane to Princeton, New Jersey. I was nominated as one of three in the state to participate in a nation wide panel for ETS ( the people that make the GRE, Praxis series, etc. testing). The purpose of the panel I sat on was to determine a passing score for a newly developed test-Teaching Reading:Elementary Education. Let me stop right here for just a minute to say, Katy you would not love me right now.

After getting picked up from the airport, my new friend Dennis ( who said I was a complete doll-ha!) took me to the little inn I was staying at directly across from Princeton University.

Can I just say, an absolutely breathtaking university. Really all of Princeton was just a big ball of cuteness.

Because I was so tried from traveling I decided to stay at the inn Monday afternoon. I kept thinking I would get out and explore a little, but I really didn't. It was so fabulous being able to read and nap and just have quite time. I did go downstairs and get dinner and hang out and people watch for a bit. Overall I just loved loved my down time.

Tuesday was get to work day. We had to arrive at 8:30. They had a breakfast buffet set up for us,feed us snacks twice throughout the day and a had a lunch buffet.

The actual panel was pretty intense. They took the security of it all pretty serious and there were people in the back of the room observing us all the time. I felt like a complete dork during introduction time. We went around and told who we were and what we did. Everyone in the room was some fancy professor or curriculum developer or something and I had to say " Andrea Watson Kindergarten Teacher". Ha!

I really had so much fun though. We took the test and then analyzed every question for the content and difficulty level. I was very proud of myself because I totally held my own and even proved some of the " know it alls" wrong with some valid points. I did love hearing about the different opinions and ideas from different educators across the country. I also have to say, and it may sound like I am really full of myself, but this process made me realize that I want to do something more, something bigger. I love my role as a kindergarten teacher. I don't take the importance of it lightly, but I just think I have so much more to offer. Despite my tendency to stay in my comfort box ;I see such a bigger picture out there and I hope I hold on to that.

Ok enough of that blah blah. Tuesday night I made some friends and we went to a local steak house on the square. Just in case some of you are wondering, I managed to spend every dime of my $57 dinner allowance every night. Ha.

After dinner we decided to roam around downtown and around the Princeton campus. I had a great time making new friends.

I know these are really dark. It was late and the best I could do with my phone. Just trust me; beautiful old buildings.

Wednesday morning we didn't have to start working until 9:00. I slept in, awwwww, and we got started with our debate on the final passing score. Not that this means a darn thing to most of you and the final score will be a scale score, but my personal passing score suggestion was a 4.49 points higher than the final group average. I apparently have a slightly higher expectation of test takers. Once again not that half of you care but, if you ever want to look it up, my name will be published on the final test report.

We got finished at 1:30 . Yay! Plenty of time to go into the city. The train ride was about an hour, so not bad at all. I got to shop, see Jersey Boys off Broadway and eat Juniors cheesecake. Absolutely in love!

And if you didn't already hate me enough, I weighed myself scared of what three straight days of dessert with lunch and dessert with dinner did to me. I lost a pound. I know sometimes I shouldn't share, right.

You are all probably about done reading my novel I am writing here, but I have to tell you about my airport experience this morning. This is the first time I have flown alone. It hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. Really it has been completely fine. Any way this morning I am standing in line to go through security. All the sudden the guy opens the zippy closey thing that forms the line you stand in. He grabs my arm and points me down a different corridor away from the people waiting for security. I didn't have a clue what was going on, but I am not going to argue. I get down to this separate security thing and the people just wave me on through. That's it. No walk through the get you picture taken thing, no take your liquids out, nothing. They did have me put my bag on the conveyer belt but no one even looked at it. They just ran it through as fast as I could walk to it. That honestly scares me a little bit. I am in Newark International airport. What the heck was that all about? I guess I look sweet and innocent?

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Jaxton is 3!

I cannot believe my baby boy is 3! Happy birthday Jaxton! You make me smile more than anyone else can and you are my favorite snuggler in the world! While it makes me sad that you aren't a baby anymore,I am loving seeing the sweet little boy you are becoming. Your momma, daddy, and sissy love you so so much!

This morning you woke up to balloons in your room.

You opened a few more birthday presents.

We all went to breakfast at Ihop ( your choice not mine).

And then you dropped mommy off at the airport. I can't believe I am boarding a plane at almost the exact time you were born three years ago. Bad mommy.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tales From my Single Days

I am so thankful my husband doesn't travel very often. Random luck though, he is currently on his third trip within a month. You know I don't really mind it too bad when he travels. It is so little that  as much as I miss him, it is kind of nice. I don't have to worry about what to fix for dinner and I get to control what, if any t.v. ,I watch ( how fabulous is a quiet house).

For this current trip, he left Sunday morning early and isn't coming back until Thursday. So on Sunday afternoon I crawled into bed, turned on the bed heater like an old person, and downloaded several new books onto my Kindle. I thought that would surely entertain me while he was away. I read for about an hour and then took a great little nap. My single life seemed to be going pretty well. Then I decided to be a good little momma and take my kids to a church carnival. Ok no problem they were well behaved and I even kind of got them fed. I did have a couple of errands to run afterwards, but it was looking like I was well on my way to getting home, getting my chores done, running and crawling back in bed to the book I was now hooked on. Long story short I didn't crawl in bed until 11:00. There was just too much to do and I didn't even get to run. No reading for me. Sad face.

Monday night comes and I am determined I am going to get in bed and relax. Around 9:45, when I am still up to my elbows in dirty dishes, I realize it just isn't going to happen. Oh well no biggie. Then I hear this beep........beep.....beep. I try and ignore it because I know exactly what it is. If I pretend I don't hear it, it will stop and I won't have to go on the great "which fire alarm battery is dying" search.

It doesn't stop. All is good. I determine it is coming from upstairs. It surely can't be hard to figure out which one it is. More good news, we have extra batteries. Ok all set. I am a strong, independent, capable young woman. I've got this.

I get upstairs and realize there is a problem. Of course the battery going dead is the one in the bonus room at the top of  10 ft  ceilings.  Well crap. I decide I am going to take the step stool, put it on the table, stand on my tippy toes and try and reach it. I call Marshal to tell him what I am doing so at least someone will know if they need to call an ambulance. He of course gets all frustrated with me and tells me not to do that. I knew it wasn't the brightest idea, but I have to get this beeping to stop. He explains where his ladder is and tells me to call him when I get it upstairs and he will tell me how to set it up. What he didn't tell me was that it weighs 75 pounds.
 Oh my mercy! I thought I was going to pass out by the time I finally got it up the stairs.

None the less, I called Marshal back and he starts telling me how to set it up. Then my cell phone dies. Well crap. Ok I am on my own. I pull and I tug. Finally ,after I am a big sweaty mess, I get the ladder set up, climb up to the top and change the stinking battery. UGH!!!
Don't look at the mess in the bonus room. Trying to fight the kids to keep it neat is wearing me out so it stays a mess.
What a total pain in the butt and back and parts I didn't even know I had.

I decided to not even bother taking the ladder down. It can just stay there until Marshal gets home. Ridiculous.

Moral of the story: I am not a strong, independent, capable woman. I very much need a strong, capable man to take care of me. And while he is busy taking care of me, he also needs to make me feel incredibly independent. I don't ask for much....HA!