Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dear Darla

I hate your stinking guts. You make me vomit. You're scum between my toes! Love, Alfalfa. ~Buckwheat

giving trees

If you have never read The Giving Tree, do yourself a favor and go buy it. (I suggest 3rd Street Books in Ozark. Despite the owner's fear of racing me on foot, I still think he is a pretty decent fellow.) Let me tell you a bit about the book, for those of you who are not familiar with Shel Silverstein's finest.

There is this boy. He is constantly taking, taking, taking without appreciating what he's given.

There is this tree. She's a nice-looking tree with long limbs from which I, myself, would like to swing. She provides ample shade. Through the years, she gives abundantly to someone who never truly appreciates her-

Whoa. See that last line there?

Interesting isn't it? A tree who gives everything to people who don't care enough to even say a simple thanks. Don't worry. I am not going to give you a big schpeel about environmentalism and "saving the trees." (While I do think that's important, that is neither here nor there.) Here is what I'm thinking. I know people like this tree. My mother, for one. My father, for another. What do I do to show them how much I appreciate them? I say thank you--which is more than the boy can say--but is it enough? My dad has spent thousands of hours worrying over my safety, protection, and general well-being. I know for a fact he has lost sleep over it. He even cares enough to harp on me about checking my tire levels and carrying pepper spray at night. My mom has lent me her ear on thousands of occasions, then offered wise counsel about various tricky situations in life. Both parents have done so much for me, often without me even knowing about it. So what can I do to repay them?

The boy almost had it right; he kept coming back to the tree. While the tree wasn't particularly happy with the boy for only coming back for more "stuff," the tree did enjoy the boys' company. And while the boy (now an old man) didn't truly understand that company is what the tree really wanted, he still made the tree happy by sitting on her stump--because she had already given the boy her apples, limbs, and trunk--to enjoy an afternoon or two in his old age.

I suppose that's the lesson. The best thing you can give someone, in many cases, is your companionship. These days that is a hot commodity.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

project house

I asked the kids what I should blog about today. First answer: shoes. Second answer: your students. Third (and final) answer, from Ben: houses (i.e. the kind of house in which I want to live). I'll go with that one.

Here is the thing: I already live in a house, and I must say that I like it quite a bit. It is an older home in Springfun that I convinced my parents to buy so we could flip it. I (ok, WE) fixed it up to make it pretty and loveable, and I have to admit I am pretty proud of our improvements. It was so fun to put in the hard work it took to get that house looking worthy of love again. We filled holes in walls, scrubbed and polished wood floors, painted walls and ceilings, put up new dry wall, textured the bathroom walls and ceiling, tiled the sunroom and front porch, and rearranged the front lawn so that random large rocks were not around the lawn. I know what you are thinking: I bet her parents did all the hard work.
I have to admit that my dad did all the electrical stuff and the nasty stuff--cleaning out the tub, examining the crawl-space--and my mom helped quite a bit with cleaning cabinets and scrubbing floors, but I spent hundreds of hours on the thing, and I would do it again in a second. (Evidence of my contributions: One wall of my laundry room is lavender. Fiance says he's okay with the lavender, but I'm not sure I buy that.)

If I had to change something about the house, I would have the "Ugly Tree" taken out of the front yard--it would be replaced with a redbud (which, by the way, I DO have in my backyard, but it is a dainty little thing)--and I would make the porch a huge wrap-around. I would also replace the living room carpet with hardwood floor. (Note: Fiance and I got it in our heads one day that there was nice hardwood flooring under the existing carpet so we pulled up a little bit of it, only to discover a huge hole cut into the otherwise nice hardwood floors below. The hole was human-sized, so we were a bit scared there was a dead body hidden under my house. However, my dad says it was probably just a spot where the floor heater had been. Shew!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

wilting weeds

I believe the little bean plant that could no longer can. I think the frost got to the poor little guy when he was waiting by the window, and he is sickly looking. I will try to revive him with an H2O IV and update you on the progress.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

faves

Students are listing their favorite things in life today. So, in the spirit of the day (and to counteract my particularly foul mood yesterday)...

Sharpie pens
adventure
Post-Its
honeysuckle
orchids
Pride and Prejudice
redbuds in bloom
handwritten letters
volleyball
blue
grass (but not bluegrass)
Twain
Redeeming Love
physiology
Peace Like a River
Target
Jane Austen
Anthropologie
down comforters
70-plus degrees
summer
Hawaii
surfing
hiking
chocolate chocolate chip cookie dough jackhammer with fudge in the middle
purple
chipmunks
Custer State Park
fresh pineapple
AirWick X-Press (Trust me. After PE classes this is absolutely necessary in a middle school!)
kids
laughing
RocketDog shoes
dark chocolate
granola cereal
The Office
American Idol

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

foul

i am in a foul mood.

i heard someone say that the other day and made a mental note to use it next time i had the opportunity.

the opportunity has been slowly approaching, and it finally pounded on my door today.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bio-Poem

I had my kids do this today, and I thought it was only fair I do one myself. Plus, I'm a dork and I like little doo-dads like this.

Jenny
Daughter of Gene and Ruthie
Lover of chocolate, volleyball, and coacher
Who feels adventurous, flustered between classes, and elated about July
Who needs a long nap, affirmation, and an unlimited classroom budget
Who gives encouraging cards, high fives, and sass
Who fears mistakes, failure, and an uncertain future
Who would like to see each kid have a happy home life, students who surpass their innate abilities, and the miraculously created world
Resident of Springfun, Missouri
Bybee

Monday, April 14, 2008

An update and Wee Olympics

For all who are eagerly anticipating an update regarding the little bean plant that could, here you go.

The little bean plan has become a mid-sized bean plant. They grow up so fast (sigh, tear), and it looks quite dashing, if I do say so myself.

As for my goal to wear belts more often...well, it is not going so well. I have a fabric belt on today.Does that count?

Moving on, I just remembered a funny thing that happened over the weekend. My friend, Sara, whom I have grown up with since grade school, came to town and we sat in my living room with Fiance talking about life as we knew it then and life as we know it now. She brought up some pretty hilarious happenings I haven't thought about since then, and it was great to realize that she hasn't changed much.

Now for the funny story: Fiance and I told Sara that we had been invited to a Wii Olympics party, and from there the conversation took a couple of wild turns.

Wild turn number one: Fiance and I supposed our friends who were throwing the party were making the Wii games into a competition between friends, wherein they would hand out gold, silver, and bronze metals at a mock Olympic ceremony. Apparently, however, there is an actual Wii game called Wii Olympics, which builds the competition right into the system (abolishing the need for the hosts to create physical medals for an award ceremony).

Wild turn number two (and by far the best): Sara chimed in and said, innocently, "How short ARE these people?"

Wee Olympics. We are sorry we missed them.

Friday, April 4, 2008

beans and belts

I wore a belt to school today. It's the first time in about 3 years that I have actually bothered to do so. It's a new experience for me. My pants actually stay in the right position the whole day. I might possibly get in a habit of wearing belts, but don't hold your breath.

Now, don't think that belts were my only reason for blogging today. Here is the real reason: I have 3 girls in my class right now. Yep, it's true. We are livin' the life, playing the Mad-Lib game, talking about books, and counting down to the weekend.

Also, I am now the proud owner of a bean plant. I can barely maintain the life of my fake plants at home, so the thought of a real, living plant under my care scares me a bit. However, if I am able to keep this thing living for any amount of time I will probably begin a garden at home. I have always secretly wanted one, because my grandparents have a rather large selection of watermelon, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and corn, and I love to feel the soil under my bare feet as I walk between the rows. Sadly, I don't really even like many of those veggies, but I figure I can grow them and sell them to support my habit, which is, by the way, a habit of paying enormous loads of cash to drive to and from school every day.