Wednesday, December 24, 2008

merry christmas, coacher

Christmas came early Monday night....Coacher went and picked out a baby chocolate lab for Christmas. i was going to make it a surprise when we got back from SD, but my plans got foiled a little bit. oh well. he's a cute little thing...clumsy enough to run into chairs and fall down on wood floors, which i find completely hilarious. his name is shooter, so now we have shooter and banjo (could we sound like hillbillies any more than we do now??)

banjo doesn't know what to think. she has been guarding her 16-inch personal bubble pretty adamantly.

bonus pics: my family after the Christmas festivities have fizzled. Kiersten got a Nintendo DS and a game that allows her to choose a pet. she chose a choclate lab puppy and named him shooter. :o) Baby Addyson was a very happy, talkative girl the whole time, and she--quite obviously-- loves her MeMaw.

Friday, December 19, 2008

bold living

I've bolded the things I've done. i plan to do some of the rest, but some things on this list will NEVER happen. NEVER.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band- uhh, middle school!
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower (i think)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo - (one of the "NEVERS")
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea - no, but did see one over a canyon in wyoming. one of the most amazing things i've seen yet.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch - will soon learn how to quill. can play about 2 notes on a guitar.
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (but i did go to the doctor)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language - lil' bit.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (only indoor. outdoor is on my list of things to do.)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke - i am so scared. but i think i will.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - i'll do this, too.
44. Visited Africa - I WILL do this. someday...sigh.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain - during thunder storms? yes.
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching - one of the best days ever!
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone - almost certain i broke my pinkie in 7th grade. it is a whacky little thing now.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - want to!
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve - never.
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - i leave those kind of things to bradlee.
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous - does the underwear guy in time's square count?
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one - lost 4 classmates my senior year of high school, so i figure i've hit the quota for a while.
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee


here's what i've/we've been doing lately:

1 - visiting santa at bass pro.

2 - cleaning up about three messes per day from the new addition to the fam. the latest mess: christmas tree tipped over.

3 - massages and ear wax candles. let me tell you, both experiences were very interesting for both of us.

4 - playing lotz of volleyball.

5 - finishing my grad class. (11 hours left!)

6 - Searching for Truth

7 - Christmas shopping and wrapping

8 - hanging out with cool people (some of whom are leaving us soon, just like several other cool people have already done...)

9 - ripping up the carpet in the living room and putting up trim

10 - counting down the days of school: 2 left for me.

things we are doing over the next week or so:

tonight: wedding rehearsal out of town
tomorrow: wedding
sunday: church. christmas with my dad's side in preston, mo. wrapping Christmas presents to earn money for the DCO at the battlefield mall. (come see us. we do good work. well, i do decent work, but the other girls are really good. and it's for a good cause.)
monday: meeting the girls to talk about playing more volleyball. possibly picking up our new puppy.
tuesday: Christmas with the fam. eating a lot.
wednesday: Christmas Eve service. annual Christmas Eve dinner.
thursday: Christmas. eating a lot.
friday: packing for South Dakota. probably shopping for some good deals.
saturday: Christmas with my mom's side. eating a lot. leaving for South Dakota. staying in kc with brad's funny friend.
sunday-saturday: south dakota, which will include: skiing/snowboarding, stopping at random places on the highway. visiting mount rushmore. visiting crazy horse. corn mansion. camping (yes, camping) in the dead of winter in the northern US. building fires in a cabin. possibly snowmobiling. visiting some of those cool friends who have moved away. custer state park. hiking.
saturday afternoon: guest book girl at cousin's wedding.
saturday night: sleep. a lot.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mother Bybee

whenever my friends and i said "mom" way back in high school we would be met with about 10 different heads turning to give us their attention. this was because there were always right around 8-10 moms around at any given volleyball tourney, basketball game, track meet, school event, or a fun get-together, and "mom" sounds the same when coming out of any teenager's mouth. all of the moms were moms to all, but my own mom was (still is) unquestionably the best. for this reason, i began calling for "Mother Bybee" if i wanted to get my biological mom's attention.

anyway, i will keep this quick because Mother Bybee will probably be embarrassed to read about herself on the internet, but here are a few things you should know about her (even if you don't really know her):

1 - there is not one ounce of 'bad' in her body. she is wholly good.
2 - she is the best cookie-baker ever. (just ask her grandkids, who help her make cookies every time they go over to "MeMaw's" house. only problem is the dough never really makes it to the oven when they're there...or when i'm there.)
3 - she and my dad are the most giving people i have ever known. one example: we know this woman who has all sorts of health problems, money problems, etc. my parents occasionally drive her up to columbia for surgery, take her out to lunch, minister to her spiritual needs, and do countless other things for her. if coacher and i learn to be even half as giving as my parents are, we will have done something right.
4 - sometimes i think she stops breathing when she laughs really hard. it's so awesome...
5 - she is beautiful, inside and out. (also, i must say that coacher and i both noticed that she was absolutely glowing on our wedding day. i can think of two possible reasons for this: 1 - she was glad see me officially "leave and cleave," or 2 - she knew how divinely happy i was.)
6 - she is a really great shopper and an even better listener. i don't really trust many other people to go shopping with me (or to listen to me when i talk nonsense sometimes).
7 - the meaning of Ruthie is "friend, companion." There's so much in a name.

happy birthday, Mom/Mother Bybee/Ruthie/MeMaw. the world is brighter with you in it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

once upon a time...

...i lived in columbia with a few volleyball players. one of those volleyball players (shen danru) was from china, so when the coaches recruited another chinese volleyball player to come to MU they recruited us to give her a place to stay and teacher her english (she didn't speak a lick of it). the plan was for her to come over to america sometime in the summer so she could get her feet wet with the language before school started up, so i eagerly awaited her arrival and expected that our house would experience more burn-your-eyeballs-with-hot-peppers dinners and discussions about snakes as a delicacy (more on that later). i was in and out of town that summer, and my other two roommates had gone home for a while, so it was just shen and i waiting for her arrival.

one day about this time i came home to a very disturbing sight: a tan, naked 6'3" man in our kitchen with his back to me. (thoughts in my head at the time: shen does not have a boyfriend...this is my apartment, right? none of my friends are gutsy enough to pull this sort of prank...i have never seen anyone that large naked before...maybe i can sneak out without him knowing i was here...who the heck is this dude? naked in the kitchen of all the awkward places!)

now, i tried not to stare very much (but i am pretty sure i just stood there gawking with my mouth open and on the verge of tears for about 5.7 minutes, shaking my head and wondering if any words would come out of my mouth), but i was pretty sure this big dark dude was cleaning the kitchen or something. about 7 seconds into my gawknig this tall dude turned around...

and i figured out who she was. yes, she. it was the new chinese roommate. (but she wasn't your ordinary, petitue chinese girl. she really was about 6'3," with very short hair and broad shoulders.) still, it was rather an awkward to meet her for the first time like this. anyway, when she turned around she just started saying, "oh, sorry, sorry," (pronounced: "sooo-ray, soooray"), and i, still stunned, just looked down, pointed to my room, and started mumbling excuses to leave the room (which i'm sure she didn't understand).

shen was in her bedroom, so i went to her and told her about the naked new girl in the kitchen. shen just looked up at me and said, "really? (pronounced: rea-llay?) what was she doing naked?" (i was kind of thinking it was a cultural thing, but i guess not.) "i don't know, shen, but it looked like she was cleaning the kitchen." shen: "oh sheesh. i will have to tell her no more. it's like i am her mother or something." yes, please do.

since the time of our first meeting, the new girl learned english very well, and i have had several conversations with her, but i still can't work up the nerve to ask about the day i met her in her birthday suit (let alone WHY she was in her birthday suit in the kitchen). some things are better left unsaid.

(this was inspired by rider's blog about extraordianry happenings. if you haven't read it yet, get to it.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

you serious clark?

this place doesn't even sell chocolate in the vending machines. no hersheys, no m&ms, no chocolate milk...nothing.

no wonder kids today seem grumpier than they were in the past.

Monday, November 24, 2008

banjo and my grains

first of all, i have a wee little confession: i like cats. i realize that i will probably get made fun of for this, but i can't change it. i'm not one of those freaky cat-lovers who has 90 cats in the house or anything...don't get the wrong idea. i just think they're cute. anyway, coacher isn't a big fan of them, but somehow we ended up taking a cute little kitty home from my grandparents' house yesterday. (i didn't even ask...) all the little kids were crazy over it (and i think coacher's migraine might have clouded his judgment) so we took her (we think it's a she) home in order to bribe neices and nephews to visit us more often. :o) coacher even said he liked her, but i haven't yet figured out if it was his migraine headache speaking or if he really did like the kitty.

i was a bit concerned we would be made fun of for having a cat (dog people like to make fun), but then i was reminded that the admin family has a cat AND the mcintyres (who took our wedding pics) have a cat. so now we are thinking that the cat will probably make us more artsty. we are just waiting for some sort of artistic talent to come to us.

anyway, we finally named her last night: banjo. yep. that's the name. (PLEASE tell me you have seen the movie baby mama and remember that line...PLEASE!)

among other names up for consideration:

(on a semi-sidenote: i need an effective treatment/method of pain management for migraines. coacher has been a trooper with his major migraine headache the past few days, but i felt pretty helpless the whole time, so i'm looking for some relief for him. he's getting better now, but any suggestions are much-appreciated. i know a couple of other people who could use some ideas, too.)

we will keep you updated on whether or not the cat actually stays with us or goes back to grandma's on Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008

friday=fight day

i'm pretty sure that's the rule around here. one last friday. one this friday.

actually, today was more of an escalation to a fight without actual punches thrown, but a guy did drop his bag and take off his jacket. that's serious stuff. i, being the buff teacher that i am, went out there and said something like, "ok, time to cut it out," to which no one responded. i kept saying phrases like this and standing semi-in-between the boys until i realized i was getting nowhere (didn't take too long) and i ran to the man-teacher across the hall to get some reinforcement. before, it was just a student-teacher and me in the hallway trying to figure out what to do, along with some maintenance workers just watching. (thanks for the help maintenance guys.) mrs. stephanie albritton was also subbing across the hall, and i was waiting for her to book it over to the fight and throw a couple of punches to show those boys who was boss, but she didn't 'make an appearance. she probably didn't want to embarrass anybody. both boys would have been in her classroom for the following block had it not been for the fight. that would have been fun, huh?

oh, fridays, how i love and hate you.

Monday, November 17, 2008




happenings update

the girl who lives by herself was perfectly normal today...nice even!! she was like, "i was so mad at you on friday, but now i'm better."

it is odd to me how they can let go of their anger over a weekend.

but now she has a 16-year-old living with her because the 16-year-old got choked by her dad. (as the story was told to me by the girl.)

sheesh. i cannot imagine.

Friday, November 14, 2008


happenings of the week, beginning with the most recent:

(before you read this you should know that i really do like my job a lot. it's true. there are just some days...)

1 - one of my best middle hitters in volleyball just came in to hug me goodbye. she is moving to illinois to be with family. stink.

2 - fight in hallway. a sub just walked into my class to tell me that two chicks were fighting in the hallway, so i, being the big, buff teacher that i am, went to find the girls to escort them to the office. i found one girl bleeding in the bathroom, surrounded by a mob of gossip-hungry teenagers. i told the girl she needed to come with me to the office, then went back to the hallway to find the other girl, who the sub said was wearing all red. well, right there, wearing red, was a girl who tried out for the vb team and had an attitude that smelled like last Christmas' tuna casserole. i mistakingly judged that she had been the culprit and started taking her to the office. "i wasn't fighting," she scowled. long story short they are getting the video tape of the incident from the security cameras. (i have not really been taught break-up-the-fight protocol. that might be necessary soon.)

3 - there is this girl in my class. she just enrolled and is independent, which means she is not under the care of an adult. she is under her own care (you can imagine how well that works out.) she's in my class because she's failed one course (not bad, compared to others), but i cannot figure her out for the life of me. she is by far not my best, kindest, quietest student, although sometimes she works well and gets a good amount of work done. today she would not stop with the talking and attitude. i told someone in class he needed to get to work (shocking! you actually have to EARN things...i mean, this is your second chance to get credit for class and i am actually going to make you earn it yourself and be responsible. i am asking sooo much! please note my sarcasm and annoyance...) anyway, out of her mouth come the words, "she pisses me off," referring to me, because i told someone else to get to work. i made her sit in the front desk really close to me the rest of class. (to which she protested several times, took her time getting there, then sat and did nothing for the remainder of class.) please pray for her and her situation, and for me to have patience and discipline to keep my mouth shut when i want to get sarcastic.

4) - this one kid in particular finally called me Mrs. LOTZ (long o, rhymes with oats) instead of Mrs. Lots. i never corrected him in the past because i went throught it thoroughly in the beginning of the year with all classes, but i feel that we made a breakthrough. don't worry; "lots" will return on Monday.

5) - found a nice note and chocolates from my husband who left for "Deer Camp." i have missed him since he left.

6) - found a note in my door jam this morning from a student: "You should read this 'Good Morning.' Smile it's friday already." (written exactly like that. this was from a student who comes in early every morning and talks to me and another student about a different girl he has a crush on each time. it's pretty entertaining, really, but also a little bit heartbreaking because usually one of his friends has "stolen" her away from him. poor guy. he's about the most polite kid you'll ever meet, too. he always asks EVERYONE in class how they are and how their weekends were, and he even says sorry when he needs to go to the bathroom. what a kid.

7) - one of my students tried to punch our security officer. emphasis on "tried."

8) - yesterday a guest speaker came to talk to my class about finance and building credit. he was a banker, and he constantly told us he loved money. he also told us several things i really didn't want to know, like how 5 years ago he dated this really hot blonde who worked as an office manager, and she was a really good kisser, and he missed her. then he told us that soon America would become North Mexico, and that women drivers suck. among other words/phrases mentioned were the following: sh*t, turn your head and your a** will follow, pimpin', 69 (wrote it on the board in full knowledge of what he was doing), b*tch, SOB, POS, etc. He also said something along the lines of, "can i ask...or 'aks' a question?" Another great quote: "If you think this is bad, you should see me drunk at a party." So on and so on until this, which I considered to be the grand conclusion: "I have an absolute dearth of knowledge." Yes, sir, you are correct.

9) - one of my students brought her mom in to meet me. this student is in the Missouri Option Program and is already married and living with her husband's step-dad in some difficult situations. her mom just came in to tell me thank you and to tell me her daughter talks about me every day. rewarding.

obviously, my job can best be described as "interesting," but i am learning a lot and very thankful for it and the kids i get to meet.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

it's true

those new Sharpie pens that claim to not bleed through paper really don't bleed through paper. i can't wait to get them in every color!

this is also true: all my dad wants for Christmas are some scrapbooking pens. now, let me disclaim that with the fact that i told him i thought scrapbooking pens wouldn't bleed through Bible pages very much AND with the fact that he doesn't want "us kids" buying anything expensive for him.

on that note, go to this site for information about "real" pens that won't bleed through your Bible pages:

it was written by Jesus, so it must be pretty good.

Monday, November 3, 2008


i'm here at school from 4 to 7 pm for parent-teacher conferences. only thing is, i don't have even ONE ptc scheduled for tonight. yet still, i sit. and as i'm sitting i am thinking about all of the lovely things i could be doing. like playing volleyball. yep, i was supposed to play at 6:15. i was going to try to make it, but then i got nervous that that was the wrong thing to do...which makes me even more annoyed.

and wednesday, i'll be doing exactly the same thing again...3:30 to 7. feel free to send me a coloring book or something.

and i missed the food, which they apparently had out for us for about 2.5 minutes.

please excuse the crankiness. i was supposed to be playing volleyball right now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

addyson elle

See? My parents just got one of those recently. No need to give them another.

Welcome, Addyson Elle Bybee. (You'll get your new infant-sized volleyball from your aunt as soon as she can find one. Also, having two older brothers will be rough, but I'll teach you how to handle 'em. I'm kind of an expert. Hint: When they hang you over the balcony railing by your feet, laugh and pretend you're not scared. Makes them so mad!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

4+1 unrelated thoughts

well, i would say that it's officially cold outside, but i think the heat coming from the political commentaries at downtownblogs is keeping all of us warm.

moving along. i have quite a few random comments to make:

1 - i LOVE "old people." (I put that in quotes because the older i get the less old other people get. it's a relative judgment call.) Anyway, I love, love, LOVE them. i love old couples who still hold hands and serve one another and gloat over their kids. i love it that they have no idea what the internet is and have no desire to learn. i love it that they grew up in very tough times and still found ways to make it through and smile. on the flip side, it makes me want to cry when i see an old man shopping by himself in the grocery store or sitting by himself at a restaurant. i just want to run up and hug him. (i wonder what would happen if i did...) those men just look so lonesome. i feel weird admitting this, but sometimes when i see a lonely-looking person i get the chin quiver and it takes a lot of energy to hold back. that may be silly, but so it goes. older women, on the other hand, don't get to me as much. it's not that i don't feel for them, but it always seems as though they have more of a support system or something.

2 - volleyball season is nearing the end. i cannot express to you how this makes me feel, because i don't know yet. i do know that i will be quite relieved, because 1) i need more sleep, as evidenced by the dark bags under my eyes; 2) i need a massage to work out the stress cramp that's formed in my right shoulder; and 3) i would like to see my husband WAY more than i do now. (we have not had a quiet weekend since we got married. no joke.) this group of girls is very talented and extremely athletic, but as a team we just could not produce the results we were capable of. i could make excuse after excuse about why we didn't perform up to our expectations, but in the end i truly believe that another coach could have helped this team realize and live up to their potential. it has been a very frustrating battle for me (i hate to be bad at anything i do), and i've felt like a failure about 7 times a day since sept 2. on the other hand, i really do care a lot for these girls and it seems that i have been able to discuss topics from one extreme to the other with them, which i know was my ultimate calling anyway (it's just hard to keep that in mind when you're down 18-13 to a team you should beat). i never really thought about or wanted to be a head coach, but i truly believe the Lord put me here for a reason, and i guess that reason isn't to have an overwhelmingly "successful" volleyball season. many of you have heard coacher say that most of these girls refer to their dads as "sperm donors," meaning that they just make babies and move along to another woman. this is so sad to me, and i hope that in some way coacher and i can show them what a family looks like.

3 - i like sarah palin. i don't care what anyone says.

4 - Christmas is less than 9 weeks away. i need some ideas for the following "types"
of people:
a) parents who have everything they could ever want or need and won't ever let
you pay for dinner.
b) sisters-in-law who could buy just about anything they want. they are cute,
crafty, trendy, semi-stay-at-home-mom types.
c) coacher (seriously...i don't have a clue. and no, i won't buy him a fake deer
to set up in the living room.)

+1 - The ways of the liberal media have now infultrated our high schools. I just got the newest edition of the HS newspaper and read the overwhelmingly biased writings about the Prez. candidates. In short, "Obama will...." and "McCain believes..." Subtle isn't it? Our media has conditioned you well, young journalists.

Friday, October 17, 2008


= degrees in our house when we woke up this morning. my hands are still thawing out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


i got quoted in the newspaper today: "I was awful proud of them, because our mental game hasn't been there in the past." Sheesh. I am pretty sure I didn't word it like that. (If I did, which I highly doubt, I should never be allowed to speak again.) I hate the newsmedia.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Time for a quick update:

First of all, before I forget: I have these three Vietnamese kids in one of my classes. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned them before, but every day I think to myself: I have got to tell people about these kids. Their first names: Quang, Hang, and Phuc (take a gander on how to say that name! I said it with a long U sound in the beginning, until someone told me everyone just calls him Philip. Go figure.)

Anyway, I know you’re not really supposed to have favorites when you’re a teacher or coach, but let’s face it: We do. Our favorites are the ones who work hard and do what’s right. Sometimes they are the funny ones. Anyway, “Philip” is one of my favorites. Honestly, I don’t understand about ½ of what he says, and I’m pretty sure that goes his way as well. However, we can communicate with gestures and facial expressions, and he is hilarious. Every time I give him a look that says, “Why are you not doing your work?” he looks back at me guiltily and says, “Sorry. Oh, I was just talking to her about this page. Sorry.” Or he just smirks and looks back at his work. I don’t really know how to explain what he does in a way that would help you picture him and how funny he is; I wish you all could meet him. Lately he has been making weird noises, then looking up to see if I laugh. That’s not really nice of him, because I’m supposed to make sure he is doing his work and not distracting others, and here I am laughing at his hilarity. Oh Phuc.

On a random note: It’s been a very busy week. Beginning with last Saturday (vb tourney out of town, then straight to a rockin’ wedding reception) we have been go-go-go. Sunday my sis-in-law, mom, and I threw my other sis-in-law a baby shower (it’s a girl, and she’s coming soon!), then Husband, Husband’s cousin and Husband’s cousin’s fiancĂ©e and I went for a nice bike ride and walk in the nature center. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday were volleyball games (2-1 on the week), Wednesday I took a long test for my graduate class, Thursday was Senior Night (which entails way more work than I expected) and Husband had about 5 different assignments to finish for Shepherd School, today is Husband’s birthday and we are leaving for BT right after work. Then we’ll come back to Springfun and I’ll head straight to volleyball practice to prepare for a tough game on Monday.

Also, thanks to all of you who gave me great ideas for books and movies. I think I asked for ideas a little prematurely, but when I get some time to kick back I’m going to begin at the top of the list and work my way down. Yes!

Lastly, happy day, wonderful Husband. You are incredible.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


i'm tired of filling my mind with tv trash. not that i really watch tv all that much (favorite shows, and thus the only ones i really watch: office, run's house, some cooking, some tlc), but i sometimes watch it even when there's nothing good on. i'm tired of the tube, and i'd like to spend my downtime doing something a little more beneficial. i'm fairly busy most of the time, but books are just the ticket when i'm stressed or tired of "going" and "doing". i used to read a ton and always had a list of books i'd like to read, but i just now walked up to the library and could not find one single book to read. (same thing happens with me when trying to rent a movie. what WAS that movie i wanted to see so badly??) anyway, i'd like some suggestions. (i'll take them in book or movie format).

as a reference point, i want to read some biographies, autobiographies, historical descriptions, etc. (the historical side of my brain is only about 5% full...i need to fix that.) also, i think redeeming love is just about the best book written in the last 50 years, and i love grisham's "a painted house," historical fiction, jane austen, and leif enger's "peace like a river."

ready? go.

Friday, September 26, 2008

bulldogs and chi-tahs

if there's one thing my team is good at, it's finding bargains. (i should note that they are good at volleyball, too, and they are getting much better at playing as a team...but that's not my point right now.) the other day when we were just waiting around in a gym, we got into a discussion about the amount of skill it takes to be a well-dressed, bargain-finding woman. (sidenote: they think i'm a good dresser. i told them to wait until winter when i drag myself out of bed and throw on the closest piece of clothing i can find. THEN they will know the truth about my dressing skills. i'm always a poser in the beginning of a school year.) after talking to the girls about good deals, i discovered i need to be shopping with these girls! they find the best deals! example: one girl bought her homecoming dress for a dollar. a dollar!! the same girl also found a cute pair of shoes for around 7 cents.

sooo, today we are going shopping as a team. but it's more than shopping. last friday we had to have a very LONG discussion about playing as a team, decision-making, working together on the court and off, liking eachother (or at least acting like it) and celebrating good things (even if they don't happen to us, personally.) i think the girls figured out a lot through the discussion, and we also came up with some teambuilding activities that will allow us to see the good in eachother. one of them: shopping! so, for practice today we'll be bargain-hunting for eachother at the battlefield mall (and probably chowing down know, shopping takes a lot out of you!).

yep. i'm excited. now if only coacher would tell me what to get him for his b-day. (besides a chi...i'm not joking; that's what he said.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

real questions i've been asked today and things i learned last week

1 -- Is the World Trade Center and the Twin Towers the same thing?
2 -- Is Mississippi a state?
3 -- Is New Orleans in Indiana?

We need a little help with US geography. It's true. (And I thought I was bad...)

Now, things I learned last week:

1 -- a "slap" is a car. at least that's what one of my students told me. she is probably trying to make me feel stupid.

2 -- "big bootie" is the name of a game girls are playing these days. apparently it's educational because it helps with memory. that's all i know.

3 -- i need a chi. short hair requires it. no joke.

4 -- playing volleyball in a gym all day long is quite a bit more fun than watching it all day long. God bless my parents for doing that for me so many years.

5 -- students who dress like girls but have male parts must use the nurse's bathroom. (sparing the details, let's just say friday was interesting.) Locker room adjustments are TBA.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

life in the fast lane

Busy, busy, busy. We've had three games a week this week and last, with tourneys on both Saturdays. Next Saturday is a frosh tourney (and I get to ride the bus...lovely), and the next Saturday after is another JV and Varsity tourney. You better believe I'll be sleeping in Oct. 11. Possibly sleeping all day, actually.

Also, I'm taking an online class. Why? Because I'm a glutton for punishment and I have to finish my master's this year to move up the pay scale. (If we are going to be taking trips to CR--which I am overwhelmingly excited about--I am going to have to start bringing home more bacon. Except for the fact that I don't cook or even like bacon. You get the point.)

I got my hair whacked off on Sunday. It was scary at the time, but I love it now. Coacher picked out the cut, but he didn't think I'd follow through with it. That'll teach him to doubt my 'extremeness.' It's not supershort, but short enough that when I wash it I wonder whose hair I'm washing. (And it doesn't take me 40 minutes to brush it out when it's wet...shew!) (Pics are coming as soon as I get a moment or two.)

Yesterday I got two pans of brownies and a sheet cake (all from my vb girls) for my birthday, none of which I even had a chance to eat. (My point is, these girls are so sweet!) Then Coacher treated me like a lady when I got home. (I could not be more happy than I am when I'm with him.) A nice dinner at Nakato's (sans the Japanese birthday song...I don't like to be the center of attention, and for all I know they could be singing, "We wish you a rotten birthday filled with snakes and cold weather without a blanket in sight." Seriously...) Then "Baby Mama." I'm not sure what the resident movie critics have to say about the movie, but I thought it was pretty funny (mostly because it mocks almost everything). "Time for your playdate with Wingspan and Banjo!" Classic line.

The weather is getting cooler, which means Coacher is a little giddy and watching deer hunt footage in much of his spare time. (Maybe it's okay that I'm busy right now.)

On a bit of a different note, I am pretty sure I like my teaching gig. The first few weeks were rough (not necessarily because of the kids...) The kids are pretty good; most of them have some crazy home situations. For example, you may have heard about the guy who is now being charged for murder after kicking a hospital security guard in the back of the head. He's the father of a girl I have in class for three hours every day. She acts like it doesn't bother her much...I can't imagine.

That's all my thoughts.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things honest, whatsoever things just, whatsoever things pure, whatsoever things lovely, whatsoever things of good report; if any virtue, and if any praise, think on these things." - Philippians 4:8

these are the best things to think about anyway, right? this advice seems so logical, yet at times it can be so hard to live by. lately, i have needed constant reminders to focus on good, particularly the good in people, so i put this here (and on my desk at school) to provide just that. i have this nasty tendancy to get bogged down in circumstances. i let them stress me out, produce knots in my shoulder, wake me up at 4 AM, not enjoy simply relaxing with people i love, etc. throughout the circumstances i know that i need the eyes of my loving Father, yet i continue to try to wade through the filth on my own without noticing the gems along the way. i know it makes me stronger, so i am thankful, but in the midst of it my focus is off.

here's to focusing on the lovely things in life.

(on a side note, circumstances alluded to above have nothing to do with students or with marriage. those are the lovely things.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

snippets #2, and i made it through

see, i used to be an english teacher...

anyway, i am almost through my first week of school, and i have to be honest; it has been a rough one. actually, it has been a rough week-and-a-half. i will not go into detail, because then i would be complaining (and i don't really appreciate complainers...thanks to coacher and my "mommy" i can get my complaining out of my system before i have to have real, positive conversations with other people.) let me just say that this has been the week of passing the buck, and i'm not doing the passing. also, last week i (along with some of my vb girls) moved approximately 500-ish books and binders from a perfectly-equipped classroom in one hallway to a classroom in another hallway that did not even have bookshelves. what did we do with the books? they were on students' desks until about 5 pm last friday, when another bookshelf came in and my mom and i rearranged them and put them on shelves. (5 pm last friday, by the way, i was SUPPOSED to be coaching a vb practice. i had to make my assistant coaches do it instead.) anyway, in short, when i left last friday i had a classroom full of books and was still waiting on a storage cabinet for the rest of the materials, and i had 8 computers sitting in desks with their cords in knots. by monday morning, i still had no computers hooked up for students, nor did i have the CURRICULUM i was supposed to be giving students. (did i say i wasn't going to complain? don't worry, i'm not. i'm simply reporting the happenings.) yesterday i finally got hooked up to the network attendence system, but i still have no access to a gradebook, and i have a random printer, a tv, and a computer monitor sitting on the floor waiting to be taken somewhere else.

that--and the passing of the buck disease that seems to be spreading around these parts-- aside, i really like my job, and i really like my kids. the vb stresses me out because i sometimes feel inadequate, but i like the girls and think it will be an exciting season. as for the teaching job, the kids i work with can be difficult at times, but so far i have found that they are pretty good kids who will work hard when they need to get things done. i like to say hi to them in the hallways, and one of my girls has a very cute little boy who i can go visit in the nursery if i feel like it. i also have three asian kids who all sit together and whisper to try to figure out words (that's my guess, because they are working on their curriculum). they are fun. they sometimes look guilty, though, so i just look at them and they smile at me, saying, "ok." they are hilarious.

as for a snippet, here is one more for you:
after a long class period, during which probably 50 people knocked on my door, called to ask me a question, gave me a package, etc, one of my students said, "wow, you're like the hot new neighbor that everyone wants to get in good with." that made me laugh, which was a good thing for that day.

also, i told the kids that it wasn't a good idea to talk about illegal things they'd done, because i don't want to hear it and i would tell on them if i heard. seems to have done the trick.

i guess the important part is that the week is almost over, we have a 3-day weekend, and i will come back to work on tuesday ready for good things.

Monday, August 25, 2008


a few of the conversational bits and pieces i have heard today (my "official" day one of the new teaching gig):

1 -- they are keeping their eyes on me for anger problems.
2 -- man, i had the worst night last night. (pause for dramatic effect) i got arrested.
3 -- is he the one who bought the alcohol? (speaking of someone's relative or another student, i believe)
4 -- my mom kicked me out again. (other kid: man, i hate that. it's so annoying to deal with new schedules and everything.) my dad called me later to tell me that my mom wanted me to live with him. permanently.
5 -- when i used my id for the first time...
6 -- i went to midnight rodeo the other night. you ever been there? (following this was a comment about "buns," at which comment i said, ok that's plenty of information from you.
7 -- a girl in nixa, a girl at parkview...
8 -- at ____, if you buy a parking permit they can test you for drugs and stuff. forget that.

i will leave it at that. i think you get the idea.

it will be an adventure. (and we all know i like adventure...)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Answer: 90-40

Question: What is the range of temperatures you will experience when you walk into a building in the summer?

(90 degrees outside, 40 inside.)

here is my idea (and it is my own idea this time): let's turn the inside AC temp WAY up. (I mean, is 74 degrees too much to ask anyway?) I have come up with seveal reasons to do this, but here are my top three:

1. We will save OODLES of money. (Particilarly if certain big companies, school districts, etc. put this into practice. Schools, in particular, would benefit from this in that teachers would a) not have to bring English-teacher-like sweaters to class in August; and b) more money could go to their paychecks OR to their classrooms.)

2. My body aches from the shivering, and my fingers don't move as quickly when I type.

3. I don't have any winter coats that look cute with summer clothes.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What If...

...the government told parents they would not give them their welfare checks until their kids had no D's or F's on their progress reports at school?

(I cannot take credit for this idea, but I bet you can guess who came up with it.) I think it's a pretty good thought and, despite the possibility of some extra work, I am pretty sure teachers would be on board with the policy as well. Any teacher I know would like to see their students succeed, even if that meant a little more paperwork.

I realize this presupposes that kids whose families are on welfare do more poorly in school than kids whose families, but I am sure there is some evidence out there to support that. If I get some free time, I'll look around for the stats, but for now just take my humble opinion. (But please don't think I'm trying to say that all kids on welfare do poorly; some do extremely well in school.)

Wisconsin began linking welfare checks to students' attendance in 1989, and the state was met by some staunch opponents. Here's what happened then.

Thoughts? Would linking checks to grades be a good idea?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

new J-O-B

I have to say, I am pretty pumped about my new job. I am in charge of volleyball, Credit Recovery, and the Missouri Option program at Central, so I literally get to help kids get their diplomas. (Credit Recovery has nothing to do with finances, by the way. It’s for kids who have failed a class and have to earn credit for it quickly. Basically, a second chance…)

I had no clue Missouri Option even existed until I got the job, but now that I am learning more about it I can’t imagine going back to a regular classroom.

Here’s the main idea: MO Option is an alternative program enabling students to earn a high school diploma through academic testing (the GED) and work experiences. Basically, I see a group of MO Option kids about 15 hours a week (3 hours a day). They come to my classroom to prepare to take the GED, and I help them complete their study guides, prepare them for life after high school, and get them signed up for the test. They work at their own pace, so my main job is to help them along and make sure they are ready for the test. Students are also required to work or volunteer 15-20 hours a week, so they get work experience that will help them get better jobs in the future. AND, they will get to research careers and job shadow to get an idea of what they would like to do in the future. On top of all that, we get to take several field trips so kids can get an idea of what’s out there as far as jobs are concerned, and we get to have lunch at the Tower Club so the kids can learn proper etiquette. Many speakers from the community also take time out of their days to come talk to the kids, which makes them feel like they’re worth something to someone. (Many of them have never felt that way.) Anyway, we could have some ups and downs, but I am excited to work with these kids. This program is their last chance to get a diploma, because they don’t have enough credits to finish high school with their peers. If not for this program, many of them would simply drop out and lose hope (and I assure you, most of them are in that position in the first place because of some circumstances that are out of their control). In addition to all of the above, I plan to do some character education (beginning with Hal Urban) to help these kids approach life with new eyes. What an outstanding example of grace in our public school system.

As for volleyball, I really enjoy the girls (and the coaches I work with), but the gig makes me a wee-bit nervous. I want to do what's best for them on and off the court, and sometimes it's difficult to know what really IS best. So prayers appreciated.

Monday, August 4, 2008


i want to go to africa to love on some little kids so bad. and...

IF i ever get to africa to do mission work, i WILL get a tattoo.

i made this promise to coacher last night, but i feel the need to write it "publicly" so that i don't try to retract the statement--or claim it never happened--in a year or so when we get back from africa. (not that we are definitely going to africa in a year, but just in case the dream comes true..)

Friday, August 1, 2008

a shot i can handle

frosting shots: what a great idea.

today my mom brought me a newspaper article about the newest trend in cupcakes (sans the cupcake.) many bakeries around the country are beginning to sell "frosting shots" (shot glasses full of frosting) to customers. an exciting and ingenious idea that makes me wonder, "why didn't i think of that?"

obviously, my mom knows me well. i have been known to eat the icing off of my own piece of cake, plus the icing off about 2-3 others. i can definitely handle this new shot.

if you aren't excited about this new trend, you aren't quite living. also, if you ever get over to the lotz household, this is the only type of shot we'll be serving up. (but don't worry, we'll have several varieties of frosting flavors available.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

donuts in albuquerque

now that i have your attention: would the giver of four perfectly amazing tray tables please make yourself known?

now that i have discovered the blog's ability to solve problems (i think we eliminated the volleyball coaching deficit with the last blog), i figured i would give it a shot with the tray table predicament. we would love to thank whomever gave us tray tables for our wedding, but we didn't find a name attached to the bags they came in. from the looks of things in our house the day we got back from the honeymoon, though, it's a wonder we even found the kitchen. (we did find the kitchen, as you may remember, and we were in it just long enough to almost burn it down.)

as for the tray tables themselves, we love them. we have a kitchen table, but the tray tables are way more fun to use!

on an entirely unrelated note, weird al has this song...something about albuquerque and donuts. it is about 27 minutes too long.

Friday, July 25, 2008

in desperation

Okay, kids. I come to you blog-readers in desperation. I have been looking for a second assistant coach for the Central freshman volleyball team for about 3 months now, and I have no leads. (Every other lead has been a dead end.) I figured this is my last-ditch attempt to find someone. If you know ANYONE with 60+ college hours who is looking for an easy J-O-B, please send that person my way. If that person doesn't know a lick about volleyball, trust me, he/she can learn pretty easily. (You can get by just saying a few key phrases. and encouraging the kids...) I just need a warm body in the gym, preferably someone who likes HS kids and can be a great influence on them. :o) The assistant coach pay is pretty good, and you only spend about 2-4 hours in the gym per night.

Sidenote: I have worked with the Central girls all summer, and I have thoroughly enjoyed being around them. They are such good kids and so much fun to be around.

Okay, I am getting off my begging knees now, in order to preserve a small ounce of dignity.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

keepin' it HOT in the kitchen

i have been called upon by mr. coacher to share our first 'good' story of married life, which happened only 13 days into it.

we had a ton of food left over from the wedding, which was taking up most of our freezer space. so, we decided to heat some up and take them over to the tucker house (where we intended to plan a costa rican adventure....details still tbd). incidentally, we have found that taking good food to people helps maintain friendships.

i spaced the wings out on the pan to be placed into our gas oven (which we don't have much experience using). then i went into the living room to wait a few minutes before putting them in. (didn't want them to get cold.) while i was out of the room, mr. coacher turned the oven on and put the wings in. no big deal. at least, not until i started smelling something burning.

"it smells like something's burning." (me)
"yeah, but i just put them in." (coacher)

a few seconds later, we both realized that, in fact, something was burning. rushing into the kitchen, coacher opened the oven door to find flames engulfing the wings and everything around them.

i ran to the back room to grab the fire extinguisher (this may or may not have been necessary, but the flames were pretty intimidating and, as father bybee says, "safety first.")

"here, use this. i don't know how it works, but it looks like a good idea..."

coacher saved the day by extinguishing the fire. however, the powdery stuff from the extinguisher went all over the kitchen and everything in it. (and we still have its dust on the ottoman in the living room.)

turns out you are not supposed to store your stuff (ie a couple of pans and a pampered chef stone in its cardboard box) in that drawer at the bottom of the oven. it's a fire hazard. (but we needed storage space. it seemed like a good idea at the time.) we saw the written warning, "do not use for storage," in the drawer while cleaning the powder and ash the saturday after all the excitement. too bad the broiling pan was covering the warning before.

a few comments about this story:
1 -- none of our fire detectors went off. not good.
2 -- the fresh rice krispy treats that were sitting on the counter still went to the tucker house, possibly with a little extra powdered "seasoning".
3 -- we both thought about taking a picture to share, but at the time it was more ridiculous than funny. since then we have found that this sort of thing happens to a lot of people.
4 -- to our new neighbor, ashley: we might not be coming down to borrow a cup of sugar. we may, however, come down to borrow a fire extinguisher or two every now and then.
5 -- finally, i would like to formally state that neither one of us in the newly-established lotz household are pointing fingers at eachother. (however, i think i'll go ahead and partially blame this on those of you who didn't eat enough wings at the wedding. if you had done your jobs, none of this would have ever happened.)

but you have to admit, our kitchen's hotter than most.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

and so it was

you may have noticed the new blog name. i felt it was necessary. we'll see how long it lasts. it was a random thought.

we have now been back from "me-hee-co" for a couple of days and this house may never be "normal" again. at this point it looks a lot more like a storage unit than a dwelling place. and brad's stuff...well, i have tried to make room for it, but it may take several attempts at closet-clearing to get the job done. i guess i need to let go of some things i keep telling myself i'll wear and get on with it. and we definitely need to have a garage sale.

me-hee-co was great, but i must admit we were ready to get home. i can only handle so much 7-up (didn't drink the water) and haggling in the streets (but i must say, we got pretty good at ignoring people. maybe that is not such a good thing?) i wish i had a recording to share with you to demonstrate the way they would croon, in very thick accents, "honeymooners" as we walked down 5th street.

a few things we did:

1 -- rappelled 45 feet from the earth into an underground, fresh-water (ie COLD), 60-foot deep cenote. the water was unbelievably clear; you could follow the ray of light (from the opening above us) all the way down to the ground under the water. after hanging out in there for a while, we climbed a very tall rope ladder. fun!
2 -- jumped off several cliffs (if you could call them that, compared to missouri cliffs. BUT, it was in mexico, so it's different.)

3 -- climbed a 130-foot ancient pyramid at the coba ruins.

4 -- volleyball on the beach.

5 -- hiked through a jungle, then zip-lined it across a cenote while looking straight down at two crocs in the water below.

6 -- watched a cards game from some sweet seats right behind home plate. (cards lost...minor setback.)

as for the was wonderful. i have said this before, but i could not have imagined anything better (i feel it's worth repeating because i can't really get over it).

a couple favorite pics so far (nice work, hillen):

the music was absolutely incredible. i would be willing to pay a decently large amount of money for a cd of the performances so i can listen to the songs every day.

i was told there was a rainbow right before the wedding. now i have a hard-copy of a pic to prove it. (and can you believe it wasn't a usual HOT july afternoon? the rain (which frightened me weeks before the wedding, helped make everything green and full of life. what a blessing!)

we were also told some guy in a boat watched the wedding from right behind us. this story has yet to be confirmed.

my parents, brothers, and sisters-in-law worked practically all day to help set up for the shindig. not sure what we could have done without them. (and the wedding planner my mom hired to ease her level of stress at rehearsal and the actual ceremony--while she was a bit MUCH for us-- actually turned out to be a big help in the end.)

we had some sweet music playing at the reception, too, by the way. (not to our credit.)

i hope you all enjoyed yourselves. (i think it's evident from some of the pics on other blogs that the hsbc crowd had quite a time. i will not tell your pastors about your crazy dance moves.)

thanks so much to all who helped to make this day better than a dream come true!

Friday, June 27, 2008

the boy whose skin fell off

i watched this documentary on tlc a few years ago (not by choice, really; my friend wanted to watch it) and it pops into my head every now and then out of nowhere. i haven't looked hard enough to find it on video/dvd, but here it is in five different YouTube presentations.

fyi: it's the story of a 36-year-old--who looks about 15--with a rare disease that causes his skin to fall off when touched. it documents the man's last few months of life as he plans his own funeral. you really have to love the guy's attitude about life, and about death. the story is a bit unusual, and the clips may seem long (keep in mind its original format was for tv), but the story is one i will never forget. and jonny has some great one-liners. (a few comments are a bit crude, but i think that should be allowed, considering...)

the third clip is difficult to watch because he is in so much pain. (just a warning...) also, how do you feel about the possibility of abortion in the face of such a disease, as discussed in clip 3?

tlc played a post-documentary commentary portion when i watched it the first time, which included some great comments from jonny. i haven't looked for it hard enough yet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I can no longer say 7...

...when people ask how far I run each day. Too bad; it's a good number (Not to mention the fact that 7 miles a day makes me seem like a superfreak.)

Now I have a tool to help me calculate the actual distance, no matter how many weird turns I make. I have always been vexed (reeeally wanted to use that word) by the conundrum of trying to figure out how far I run (or walk, depending on the day...and let's be honest, I walk a lot). Coacher introduced me to this new site, and I will be forever grateful. Amazing:

Map My Run

Thought some of you who are training for the Bass Pro 1/2 Marathon might find it helpful. Possibly. Keep on keepin' on.


Bryan and Holly: I completely agree with you about the need to put alternative students who share every detail of their lives during class in their own SEPARATE classes. There are a number of reasons this would be the best scenario, but I will limit my list of reasons to the top 3 (in my opinion).

1. When these nonstop talkers are in a class with others like themselves, they will (hopefully) come to realize how truly annoying it is to hear several detailed stories about their new pet squirrel, every experience their kids ever had in grade school, or their aversion to specific drinks or medications. ("I can drink mountain dew, but I am not allowed [self-proclaimed] to drink mountain dew in combination with other sweets. I also cannot take too many Tylenols at a time. All of that makes me act like I'm on drugs or something. I get all loopy and extremely extroverted." Ah-hem...lady, I think you are already extremely extroverted. And that is no exaggeration regarding the actual conversation.)

2. The duration of class would be reduced by about half. I do not feel this needs an explanation.

3. I would not have so many sores on my tongue (and neither would half of the other students in class). I have to bite it quite frequently to stop myself from telling the woman that no one pays money to listen to her talk about mountain dew. Or to listen to her tell the professor how to teach. (Seriously. She did.)

I will stop at that to add that I really do like to hear people speak and tell stories (much more than I like to talk or tell stories). I especially like listening to older people because they are so wise. But I think you all know what I am talking about.

I don't know why I am even writing a blog right now. So much to do...

Friday, June 13, 2008

And we think OUR lives are hard...

I got this in an email and was stunned by the images. Viewer warning: The pictures near the end are a bit disgusting. I learned about foot-binding a while ago, but I had never actually pictured the damage it could cause.

The latest rage in Japan...

... Now look at the kind of 'shoes' that were worn back in the day of the Geisha... I can't imagine...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

useful doodle

If I received a referral for a 504 plan for my doodling, this page of class notes could be submitted for evidence. (This is just one page of about three I completed in one class period. I can't really help it.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

useful knowledge

I am taking a post-grad course this summer (up until July 3...good timing), so I am spending several hours a week in a classroom. It's a special education course, so I am learning a lot about the process of creating and implementing Individualized Education Plans (IEP), 504s, etc. This class is costing me plenty of money, so I figured I would share some of my newly gained knowledge with you (For some reason this makes me think I am getting more for my money.). Here are a few things I have learned:

1. A kid can get a 504 plan for obesity. This means a kid can use a wheelchair to move around between classes, get special treatment in PE, etc. Now tell me, does that really make much sense? Sheesh. (**A 504 is similar to an IEP, which is used for students with learning disabilities. However, a 504 is for students who have some sort of disability that disrupts their academic performance but does not fall into a specific disability category in an IEP. I am still studying this stuff, so don't blame me if that definition is not Webster-certified.)

2. Apparently, virtually everyone has some sort of learning disability. (??) The professor said this is because we all learn in different ways, and teaching techniques must be modified to match different learning styles.

3. Anyone can get sued for anything. For example, if I told an obese kid he/she should walk to class instead of using the wheelchair, I could probably be sued. Hey, truth sometimes hurts. (Don't kids need to figure this out?)

4. I could probably get a 504 plan that says I need to doodle while taking notes. I am not joking; doodling definitely increases my retention of information. I fully intend to tell my professor this if she asks why I always doodle. If not for doodling, I would be drooling. Which do you prefer?

5. I did not learn this last one in class, but I thought you should know that George Foreman has five sons named George. Wow. (He is also a preacher. Did you know this?!)

That was your free education for today.

Friday, May 30, 2008


call me odd, but i find a great deal of pleasure in creating to-do lists and crossing off items. yes, it is summer, but i have only about 1,777 things to do. to name a few:

pick up jeep from the service place. maybe this time they finally found the solution to the starter problem that kept leaving me stranded and frustrated. after all, they did say they would "look harder" this time. thanks. (i called the tow truck the other day, and OF COURSE, the moment the guy pulled in and gave the key a few turns it started. i had been trying and trying, and he didn't do anything special. i promise. that is precisely the reason i refused to call a tow truck in the past. sheesh.)

jump through a bunch of hoops to finally get my teaching contract. (a few hoops include: attending a 5-6 hour meeting for new teachers in the district, getting fingerprinted (again), having people who have already written letters of recommendation fill out a reference form, find my social security card, call so-and-so about such-and-such...etc.)

complete an online teaching portfolio. by monday. with no real instructions.

pray that my bridesmaids' dresses fit.

make favor boxes.

write a wedding program.

find some white shoes to wear in the wedding. (or just give up and buy some cute running shoes, using the wedding as an excuse for cute new running shoes. don't worry, i won't pull a maggie carpenter).

get a decent tan.

figure out how to make a group of 35-40 girls into 2 vb teams, consisting of 20 girls total.

buy my dad a birthday present. (Happy birthday, Daddy.) (he is soo hard to buy for!)

find 2 assistant coaches (anybody need a job?)

shop for groceries. (i feel like i did this yesterday, but there is NOTHING in the cabinet. NOTHING.)

mow the yard.

try on the wedding dress and pray that it fits.

that's where i'll end this. i'm off to kill 2 birds with one: mow AND tan. sure...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

keeping promises

i promised a student i would post the recipe to the cold cappuccino drink i have made and brought to class throughout the year. i call it "Cappuccino Punch" and can be served in a punch bowl by adding the ice cream and milk at the very last second. it's an amazing drink, if i do say so myself....and i don't even like coffee.

Mix the following in a large pitcher, being sure the Folgers crystals and sugar disintegrates in the hot water before adding cold water.
1 quart hot water
2 oz. Folgers crystals (decaf or not...depends on how sugared up you want to be)
2 cups sugar
1 can Hershey's syrup
2 quarts cold water

Refrigerate overnight, and at serving time add 2 quarts milk and 1/2 gallon ice cream.

this recipe makes a TON, so i usually half it. a half recipe makes about one large pitcher.
this will be a nice COLD treat when the summer days get HOT.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


i once knew a person who sneezed exactly 7 times during each sneezing episode. 7 times, every time. i'm not joking. what a great number.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

things we've learned

One more day of school! I can barely believe it...

In honor of the times, here are some words from my students. (I have taken the liberty of correcting a few things, but I've tried to stick to the script, so errors may exist. They add character, right?) It's a long post, but their words are very telling.

Things I've Learned This Year

I learned to build a rocket
And what it feels like when your hand is out of socket
It's not too good.

When Mrs. Bybee taught us some root words
We were very happy and taught us how to spell pretty well.

So thank you thank you for all the work, teachers.
I had fun in the bleachers playin' around
Although Mrs. O. caught me. Yes, she did.
Then I got to sit by her the whole day so I didn't get to play.

I learned that the hard Mrs. O. was at the right of the pole.


... is annoying.
So is...
... never does his work.

Ronnie likes me and
I like him, too.
We are dating now.

I am not afraid
To talk in front of people.

The people at this school
really like my accent.
No one makes fun of me.

I really like this school.

--Student A

I learned a lot this year in classes and outside of classes
This year was the best year.
7th grade was a great experience for me. I learned a lot.


Taxes, when you pay them
you get money back.

Roots go at the beginning of a word. (They don't.)
Nor arguing is the only way to get along.

To fly a rocket the wing must be perfect.

That you have to listen to understand something.


Dogs, when on rainy days,
love to get wet.

Sometimes you can eat a
doughnut with no hands.

A man in Missouri has dedicated
himself to killing all bugs for
200 dollars.

Robert was dyslexic but he
loves to read.

Water, sugar, and red dye
birds love to eat.

If I die I want it
to be at night. So I don't
know when it happens.

At my house my jobs for
the dog are feeding, washing, and
watering so it won't die.


Friends are like a
puzzle; theirs always going to be a missing piece.

When passing someone you
say Hi. Like dogs say their stuff and keep going.

Like a winding road
a boyfriend and girlfriend
have twists and turns.

Like football theirs always
a play or choice to be made.

Grass is like people's life
Just keeps growing.


Root words, most of their definitions.

You can eat a donut in a minute without
using your hands.

I'd rather melt to death
than freeze.

Everyone loves
A teacher Mrs. Bybee.

The author Lemony Snicket
belongs in a nut house.


Huckabey fell in love with Emily,
and they are getting married.

Bybee also is getting married this summer.

I don't want to get proposed to on a boat
so if I want to say no I don't have to ride back to land with him.

That super glue isn't really super.

Never forget one of your family's birthdays.
You almost might get thrown in a river.

That Huckabey is moving.


I have learned how to build a rocket.

I also had a lot of change in my pocket.

I've also learned new root words and prefixes.

And pie graphs.

Learned how to make a cool PowerPoint and that's the end of the poem.


I learned new root words, suffixes, and prefixes.
Stuff in math class was a little easy til I mastered it.
In science I learned how to build a rocket.
How to make a cool PowerPoint.
I also learned to figure problems out when they are really complicated.

I learned how to drive a riding lawnmower.

The creator of all film cow movies is Jason Steele.

y=mx+b is not hard at all.

Emily, Lindsey, Kari and all the rest of 'em are really good friends.

Mr. Huckabey is/was the greatest band teacher I've ever had.

Ipods are expensive.

I can make really funny YouTube videos.

Put a banana in your ear if you are sad. (As seen in Charlie the Unicorn 2).


Elbowskin can also be called weenises.
That sometimes guys are jerks.
The Japanese read backwards.
I hate cameras.
Kory and Kevin are coming back next year.
I love this pen!
This poem bores me!

When you stay up late on a school night,
your usually tired the next day.

People don't really like it
When you steal their ice scream.

When you are really freakin' bored,
Just create a hand puppet.
Mine is called Orispopo,
He is awesome.

River are really cool at night,
Especially during winter.

If you ever see a monkey,
Try to grab it by it's tail.
Trust me, nothing will happen.
Nothing at all.

When your in a queit library
You better not shout
Trust me, you'll get yelled at
By the very fat library.

In the "B" scale," you don't play a B.

How to hold your hands when you bump a volleyball.

In "Marching band" you don't march,
You walk with your toes up.

The root word "anthrop" means
humans or man.

Miss Bybee's engaged.

Mr. Huckabey's engaged.

How to build a rocket.
How to write Linear Equations.

Texting superfast causes
Your fingers great pain.

You can never have too many friends,
But having one best friend is way better.

Getting you lock on your locker
butterflied seven times gets
easier to unlock when your sitting
on the floor below your locker.

School is more fun when you have a lot of friends.

Playing basketball against boys is very fun
but they tend to be more sweaty than girls.

8th grade girls can get really really
mean when your best guy friend is their boyfriend.

Playing truth or dare with friends that
are very creative doesn't always turn out the best.

Not "going out" with anyone is way
more fun than "going out" with someone.

This school year has been more amazing
than any other year.

Roots, prefixes, and suffixes are easy to learn.
Miss Bybee is getting married.
And my mom can be a mean teacher.
School is not that hard (sometimes).
Sometimes life just gets more stressful once you get older.
I have to eventually choose what sport I like more.
Teachers can make you feel really good about yourself.
Track is really fun.
And lots more stuff.

Friends are usually there for you.
They help make things more easier.

Teachers are there for you, too.
to teach you about life's experiences.

I also learned about sales tax in math.

Mrs. Bybee and Mr. Huckabey are both getting married
and moving away, but you can still say hi to them when their gone.

I leanred how to play the right notes on
my flute, with Jasmine helping me along.

I also found who my best friend was,
and we've never even had a fight.

Theirs many more things I've learned this year,
and they will help me get on.

Dogs like to run off with eachother.
Sometimes the four-wheeler get more of a slide than you like.
My dad works on the computer that holds all of the account numbers from Banks Across America.

I learned a lot of root words.
A man is very crazy.
How to write a poem using your hands.
We even journaled about everything.
And that's what I learned in the 7th grade.

The brakes on a go-cart
don't work in mid-air.

You can make a suction noise
with a door stop sometimes.

When you're walking at school
You better watch out.
Because you could trip
on a strong and break your phone.

I learned how to play songs
On my bass guitar.

There is a road in the Amazon
With poison that makes you hallucinate.

Bikes--you cannot ride with a flat tire.
Hospitals--hand sanitizer is the best.
Britney Spears has lost her mind.
-Spent $13 million over the past year.
Scientists are getting nowhere with their studies.
If my friends were to leave I would not live through it to the end.
The army is losing to another nation.

Other students usually roam anywhere along the hallway.
Root words can help you find the meanings of larger words.
Family usually comes first. When they need help right away
You should help them; it could cost their life.
Some think they are good at only singing certain types of songs
but they can actually sing different types.
Some think math is boring, but when you add
excitement and extra time it gets more fun.
When I die, I want to die quick so I don't have to feel the pain.
When you walk to school or ride your bike
you are actually saving money, helping the Earth, and
making your health better.

Pie is not just a tasty snack;
it also equals 3.14.

Tests ar easier to pass
if you start studying early.
And not just 5 minutes before.

It is better not to be nervous
about your basketball game,
and you play better when you relax.

If you stay low while
throwing a softball to first,
your throws will be more accurate.

Don't text around your parents
or they will take it away.

It is a lot easier to get an A+
when you actually work hard
to achieve it.

Don't ever mess with an angry girl.
Don't ever trust a gym teacher.
My friends kick butt.

Liberals, making them mad is by being successful.
Sometimes you can make someone smile when they're alone.
To send three people to South America it takes four thousand dollars. For a couple weeks.
Volleyball hurts especially when it hits your stomach.
Water guns can be fun but not when you're soaked on a windy day.
Triangles have way too many names.

I learned how to write a good poem
Learned what root words are.
I learned what a square root is.
I learned that you can't judge a book by its cover or you can get stabbed in the back.
I learned that sports aren't fun when you have a coach that is mean, and screams all the time.

Math...we learn all sorts of things,
like ratios, scientific notations and polygons.
Social studies..we learned about geography, Indians, and war.
Reading my favorite! AR is a blast! We learned poems, we did book talks, and lots of fun activities.
Language fun, too! Because we have Miss Bybee!
Science the easy one; We do labs, we make rockets, but you have to be very careful!
Agriculture and computers are fun, but not for everyone.
PE...was fun we had archery and softball and so many days of dogeball!
Back when I was in 7th grade that was my favorite year!

When water and blood run together it looks like more blood than you put in.
It's better to be silent than make a fool out of yourself.
Don't let your problems go down with the sun. But fix them before the sun goes down.
Teachers love students who do their work and don't always forget.
Have fun when you can.
Not all poems have to rhyme to be a poem.
Smile. Someone loves you.
(Attached with a cute little note to me. Awww.)

You know I've learned a lot of things this year.
Like stick up for myself and stay strong.
Keep my head up high and pity the ones who try so hard to ruin me.
Those are the things I learned this year.
The most important ones I've learned so far.

Kickflips are easier once you land one.
You have more homework the older you get.
New skateboards are very expensive, even if your parents buy them.
School gets harder as you get smarter.
Compared to other people, I really stink at skating.
When your neighbor has a tumor, you get worried. And when they pulled it out of his nose, his nostril got big.
Those are some things I have learned this year.

Friends are always there,
even when they leave the room.
Sweet people aren't always nice.
Angel is leaving.
Love is hard to find,
even when you have it.
I am here for the purpose of being here.
Just being here.
Death is so strange when
it brings happiness.
The thing I need most is living life.

Legs, when huge Robbies land on them,
usually break in two pieces.

Crutches don't work well on
slick floors when they're wet.

In January, my mom got diagnosed
with cancer, and she started
chemo last Friday. In two weeks
her hair will start falling out.

Nickelback, you know, the greatest band ever,
they're from Canada.

Never play a sport you have
never played before, especially if your too small.

I don't have surgery on my leg for
another year or two; the doctor said my
growth plates in my knee haven't
closed enough. And so I can't play
sports, he said, for another two years.

My grandpa sold all his cows, which he has
had for decades, and my brother bought some
cattle and put them on my grandpa's land,
so we get to do hay for a couple more years.

Friends are forever, boys are whatever.
Streusal cake is really good with honey.
Making 96 cupcakes is very difficult.
You can miss somebody, but only notice it when they are gone.
Playing alto sax is so much fun!

There is a lot of drama in 7th grade.
Nothing can separate the best of friends.
7th and 8th graders get along very well.
7th grade is a lot of fun.
You get treated like adults more.

I don't like math.
Miss Bybee is leaving.
Kolten's 13.
I'm older than Tanner.
Guitars are fun to play.

Poems don't always rhyme; you can just use stanzas.
A variable is a number that is represented by a letter.

Getting hit on the face by volleyball
Hurts and makes you embarrassed.

Masking is protecting
Your picture from paint.

Writing your name 150 times
Won't necessarily remind you to
Put your name on math papers.

Keeping your friends
Means you have more
People to love.

Ms. Bybee...never splash her with water,
Cause you'll never know when she'll get you back.

Live life as you want and never leave your friends out!

Never leave your friends out!

No matter how much you hate something
Don't complain.

Never be bad for a sub.

I have learned a lot of things this year.
The most important one is to be yourself.
Be sincere, kind, and happy.
Also, make sure you study hard for your tests.
But most importantly live life!

Be good, and you will be rewarded.
Don't stop. Never give up.
Say what you feel and don't hold back.
Live so that you never have regrets.
Just be yourself and live life.
Don't waste time; listen to your heart.

People come and go,
but they have a big impact on your life.

People can be mean and cruel.
Life never goes the way you want it to.
Your friends are always there for you.
Live life and have fun while doing so.
Don't underestimate people.
Love and be loved.
Stay on your toes.
Don't let the bad side get in the way.
Be ou and yourself only.
Don't take anything for granted.
When you're always down you'll know you have someone there for you....her name's Miss Bybee.

"Things I've Learned This Year"

Kids, when you are around them enough, are all the same
and at the same time vastly different.

Sometimes I have to act like I'm mean (but I don't like doing it).

You cannot change every kid's life.
But you should pray to make a positive impact on one, and you should never give up hope.

I can be brave enough to kill a snake.
(Nevermind that it was a baby and smaller than a worm. That's one less snake in the world.)

I can take 9 hours of graduate coursework, research and write a paper for the Missouri Literacy Academy, plan lessons, grade papers, coach middle school volleyball, make new friends, maintain relationships, take care of housework, and smile, all in the same semester. (But sometimes it's not pretty.)

For a 7th grader, there, their, and they're are the trickiest words in the English language.
(Your and you're and it's and its are tied for second...darn homophones.)

You can't win 'em all.

Most directions have to be repeated at least 21 times.

Patience, patience, patience.

Sometimes all it takes is a little bribery. (Chocolate and ice-cold coffee drinks work well.)

Mistakes are okay; ignoring a mistake is the real error.

Cell phones almost always land in a cup of water if you knock them off the armrest of my couch.

The average number of boy-girl relationships per school year
is right around 127.3.