Monday, November 9, 2009

that settles it

there are far too many crafty things out there that i should be trying in the off-season between volleyball and track, so i'd better get busy. for starters, maybe this floral pillow from martha stewart via doesn't look too hard...

then there are these wall silhouettes i'd love to see in our house:




decal from pottery barn.

mural painted by Jeff Robinson, featured on ApartmentTherapy.

or maybe something like this, from cheapchic: not let the bassinets give you any ideas. you would be wrong.

Monday, October 26, 2009


=the number of weeks until we leave for senegal, africa. i saw pics last night. beautiful little children with bright eyes and big smiles. i might not come back.

a few things we learned at the meeting:

1 -- women on the trip will be helping the women from the tribe make food, wash dishes, clean, and care for the babies.
2 -- the men will be sitting under a tree drinking hot tea. "men" here refers to coacher. he's the only man going from second. poor man.
3 -- the babies don't wear diapers, so it's perfectly normal to be pooed on.
4 -- coacher and i have chosen to stay in the village, which means we will have no electricity, no running water (bucket baths), and no toilets (we will use the "squatty potty" out back.)
5 -- we must take our own toilet paper.
6 -- they are deathly afraid of snakes. this is because their snakes are deadly.

oh, the adventurous i love it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

logical fallacies part deux

here's another logical fallacy for you:

1 - we are teachers.
2 - we are still paying two mortgages.
3 - we are going to AFRICA over Christmas (the oppositve of cheap) to spread very good news.

but they do speak french there, so i will finally have a chance to put those 4 years of high school french to good use. (i remember about 5 words, which i will probably accidentally combine with spanish phrases, so i'm sure that will go over well. "bonjour, como esta? Je suis bien es fatigue).

i guess i will begin accepting tattoo ideas.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

uh oh

this is on the second baptist church missions blog:

Christmas Mission Trip to Senegal, West Africa


December 21-30,2009

What a great opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Jahanka villages of Senegal, West Africa. Imagine sharing the Christ of Christmas at Christmas among people who have never heard the Gospel. If you are interested in participating in this trip, please attend an upcoming Informational Meeting Sunday, September 20 at 5:00 pm in room 209.

yes, that says AFRICA!! i might need to start looking at tattoo designs, per my promise last year. we shall see.

carry on.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

iLike (stuff i don't have to have)

our new blue wall (and the green ones and the brown one...i just don't have a pic yet). someday soon i'd like to have a design painted on the brown one...a dandelion or something, possibly.

these new penguin books. i love pretty books.

peonies in a blue-green jar. what's not to like?

this jeep looks pretty sweet. it might have something to do with the fact that the mountains look pretty fun, but i've seen one of these around town, and i've grown to like it quite a bit. i'm in a green-loving phase.

this house is out near my parents', and the moment i saw it "i fell in love with it" (such a woman thing to say, isn't it?). if i were to live in it one day, i would change a few things. to start off with, it would not be so close to other houses. secondly, the porch would be even more "open" and the windows would get some shutters or something to soften them up. my tastes have changed quite a bit since college. i used to want to live in a really modern house with sleek lines. those are still cool to me, but they seem a bit unpractical.

note: please forgive me for not giving credit to the sources from where i pulled some of these pics. i forgot to save the pages, then got too lazy to try finding them again.

carry on.

oh boy

i will try to keep this quick, but i have a lot of things to record so i make no promises.

first of all, i made it through the first four days of school. i wrote 7 referrals in one class (over the course of two class periods) and was accused (by some students in that class) of being racist because most of the students who got in trouble were not the same color as i. i will say this to address the situation, then move on with my life:
1 - approximately 75% of the kids in that class are not the same color as i, which increases the odds that kids of that color will get into trouble, all things being equal. make sense??
2 - the kids who got in trouble FULLY deserved to get in trouble, as did several other kids in the class; i just ran out of time and energy to write them up. i have a long year ahead of me unless i can figure this class out.
3 - the rest of my classes are little darlings(!), and they are made of the same racial ratios.

that is all about that. here's what's going on this semester:
1 - teaching english 3 and reading classes (different from last year)
2 - head coaching volleyball (track in spring)
3 - helping with the college ministry at church. big things are happening there, and i don't want to miss out!
4 - fca at school.
5 - writing my master's thesis paper, which will take a LOT of time and energy. i found out on tuesday that my research proposal and applications for doing the research should have basically been done in july because of the school district in which i teach and their ridiculous procedures for research (they tend to reject most proposals, just for kicks.). i might not finish my master's program this semester, but that will be okay, because i would like to be a pleasant, non-anxious, non-tense person to spend time with, particularly for my husband. that is worth the 1,500-something raise i would get if i finished by december.

very soon i plan to cut down on the amount of "stuff" i do, but for now it is what it is.

now for some more fun things:
1 - applebutter-making day is coming up.
2 - our church is planning a trip to africa in december, which means i might need to look into tattoo designs.
3 - it's almost fall, and the weather is already crisp and cool, perfect for riding in coacher's jeep or a black mustang convertible.
4 - lr's football team should be pretty good, and i plan to watch them get some wins.
5 - babies are popping up and growing up everywhere, and the best part is we get to play with them, then send them home when they get cranky (or tired of us).
6 - in the past two weeks, i have gotten recertified in belaying for rock climbing and learned to golf. am i really good at those two things? not so much. but they are pretty fun.
7 - i have successfully made meatballs, and they were not too bad.

my blog name will change soon, but i'm still looking for ideas. all for now...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

adios days

there's no getting around it: summer is basically over for the lotz family. volleyball and cross country practices start tomorrow, followed closely by the first days of school, first competitions, a large number of college kids coming back to 'the vine' at church (and several events to take place because of that), and my completion of a lengthy research thesis paper for a bump up on the pay scale.

i'll also be attempting to teach freshman reading and english 3 this year, as opposed to the at-risk classes i taught last year. this was a change i was not expecting and a change i was not too happy about, but i'm sure God has a purpose for it so i'll give it my best (without stressing too much, as i am apt to do).

now for the good news: fall also includes fresh temperatures, jeep-top-down rides, fiery leaves, back-to-school purchases, applebutter-making day "down home," and of course new episodes of the office and other favs.

two t-shirt slogan ideas for the vb team: "fresh and fiery" (we are really young, but i'm hoping that translates into something good) and "live like ladies, compete like dawgs" (i just think it's funny, and it should be true).

i'm done.

Friday, July 17, 2009

odds and ends

in the process of researching deer and rabbit droppings (don't day you might understand), i came across this picture of a 22 lb. rabbit from germany. wonder if its droppings are bigger than average, too?? anyway...

here's the scoop: this week has been busy. we started by staining and polyunsaturate our new table and bench (still looking for more tall stools...). then i went to lowe's four times in as many days, and i spent my mornings running central volleyball camp. bradlee dug a hole under our sidewalk to connect an underground pipe to our gutter and the sidewalk by the road; two pipes are in the works. he and his buddy began landscaping (building decorative walls in) our yard thursday morning at 7 am, and it's just a few blocks from being complete tonight. our garage has lawn tools, a kayak, a bike, etc. hanging on the wall and looks halfway organized, and we finally got around to putting stuff up in the attic. one wall in our house is brown, another is robin's egg blue, and two are a crazy green color. i love it, and probably would have been too scared to try if it was my own house, but brad's helping me be a better decision-maker and reminding me that i can always paint over it if it looks bad. so far, i think i'm keeping it, even if it is just because i think it makes us a cooler/funkier couple.

we are looking for some somewhat funky-yet-comfy chairs, so if you see any let us know. i kinda like this one and a million others.

i guess this means we are finally settling into our new house. now for those pesky weeds in the yard. it's so out of control i think we are just going to get more dirt from my parent's land out north and start over.

tomorrow i'm getting up around 4 am to go play volleyball in columbia, mo. that seems very silly, even to me.

and monday morning we are headed to puerto vallarta for a long mission trip. what are we doing? oh, just hanging out with people in malls, coffee shops, and university campuses, and probably playing volleyball with strangers on the beach, talking to people and inviting them to parties in which we'll play rock star, etc. i am not exactly sure how to share the gospel in Spanish ("donde est el bano" is all i can remember from nicaragua), but we shall see.

lastly, i have been married for over a year now, and i am a very happy girl. he is really too good to me.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

feelin' the heat

okay, i admit it. i am a little bit intimidated by all these new blogging competitors. but i feel the need to write something besides lesson plans and literature reviews (not to mention the fact that my husband has apparently resigned from blog writing), so here goes.

first of all, as i write, we are in the midst of watching nacho libre and making homemade ice cream. we just had very intelligent conversations with our friends, jared and katie, about high-quality sprinkles, the benefits of being teachers, and fainting goats. life is very good.

my dad, by the way, has a little bit of land north of town. he visits the land about every day to work on something, whether it's to build a dock for his new pond, pour concrete for a bridge, or pick up rocks for days and days...he's there working hard. he can do this now because he worked very hard for many many years and has now retired. the man just can't quit working hard, though. anyway, i digress. he says he's going to get some fainting goats for the land. i think that will be oh-so fun. these things just go stiff-legged when they get excited or scared. this, i think, is further evidence that God had a sense of humor when he was thinking of whacky animals to give us for entertainment. (just think what the world would be like if the same thing happened to humans! i would look a fool 90% of the time, and how would i get anything done?)

here's the deal with the rest of the summer: i will finish up with my class soon (shewww!) and only have 2 hours left until i get my master's degree. early july will be filled with visitors, our first anniversary, and two big assignments for my class. then we'll have a few days of nothing, then it's back to the grind with volleyball camp on my part, a mission trip to puerto vallarto, a week off, then it's back to volleyball and cross country practices and school, where i'll be teaching english 3 and reading for strugglers, as well as finishing up the research component of my degree. where did the summer go?

in the midst of the above, we'll try to sell a stinkin' house, do some landscaping, have some adventurous fun, attempt a little p90x, play some sand volleyball, continue helping with the college ministry (coacher was born for this, i tell you...and for coaching, of course), and i will continue to try to come up with good reasons to visit foreign countries. (i think G.W.'s mission trip job is looking pretty good.)

ice cream is ready...and it tastes lovely.

Monday, June 1, 2009

2 days

first of all, "stuff Christians like" is just about the best blog ever. every time i read a post, i point at the computer screen and say, "that is soooo true." it's face-hurting funny, and sooo true!

if you have ever been a teacher--particularly in a public school--and if you are a female, i am going to bet that you cried at least once while at school. don't worry, i won't make you admit it, but whether it was out of frustration, joy, anger, sadness, grief over someone whose ambition or integrity has been lost, or for some reason that you just can't put your finger on, it probably happened. and it is just about the worst feeling in the world. doesn't it just make you feel stupid? oh my...

anyway, looks like i'll be teaching english 3 next year. kinda makes you wonder if that's why i mentioned crying at school, doesn't it?

2 days left.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

idols, treats and horses

i feel the need to write an update, but i can't really say that i have much excitement to write about. here are some thoughts in random order.

the right guy won american idol, and coacher and i are thrilled. we feel that this proves that the real america isn't into perversion and crazy-weird high drama. we might be reading too much into it...on a related note, the show was pretty good, minus queen latifa's outfit and that crazy-long tongue hangin' out of the KISS guy's mouth the entire performance. (bonus: paula didn't speak!)

track and baseball seasons are over. i was actually a little giddy on the bus after our last meet (i love coaching track, but a few kids with attitudes or poor work ethic can ruin it for me...don't tell anyone was giddy about the end). baseball's end wasn't as good for coacher, whose team lost by 1 in the district playoffs. i will leave the details to him if he wants to share, but i will tell you this: there is this one baseball mom who is a real treat to be around (<---dripping with sarcasm).

speaking of treats, apparently there is a knock-off brand of spam called treat. (is that even possible to have a knock-off brand off unidentifiable meat?) coacher claims that it's yummy and, sadly, we now have some in our kitchen.

and finally, i got to send some high school graduates off into the "real world" tuesday night. around 12 kids from my alternative program graduated, and it was a sight to see. i could have done without the obligatory graduation speeches, but watching them graduate was a must. i got a couple pretty heart-wrenching thank you letters from a few students who absolutely would not have made it without the program. BUT here is the sad of my absolute FAVORITES (yes, i have favorites) didn't pass her test to graduate. let me tell you, telling her she didn't pass and therefore wouldn't graduate was the most heart-breaking thing i've done all year. she broke down into sobs and had to leave because she couldn't even talk. if you knew the girl, you would understand how much it hurt. (here's a glimpse: she lives by herself and passed up an opportunity to continue living with an awesome family in Texas just to pursue of graduating from our high school because she wanted to graduate from the same school her mother graduated from. she is awesomely sarcastic, and she became a Christian a few years back because of the awesome family with whom she lived. it's evident that God is working in her life. at graduation (she came to support classmates), she said that she had prayed and prayed and prayed that God would let her pass the test, but that if that wasn't the Lord's will she understood and would be okay. wow.)

on the other hand, i had another girl in my class who has basically half-hearted tried to get her work done the entire semester, and the final two days before graduation she spent all day in my room trying to complete all of the assignments she had neglected all semester. she didn't finish. she didn't graduate. she cried hard. big, rolling tears. i felt bad for her and tried to encourage her, but geezzz, i had been warning her all semester not to put things off. what's that saying? "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink..."

i'm thankful for the horses that drank this semester.

and finally...i still have 9 days of school left. ouch.

Monday, May 11, 2009

oh monday

first conversation this morning:
boy who comes in every morning at 7:30: good morning, mrs. lotz. how are you?
me: good.
him: are you okay? you don't look like you got much sleep last night.


(my eyes were red and lately i've felt like i could sleep for days...)

he is actually a really nice boy. sometimes things just don't come out right.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


today was a good day!

today was a good day!

i don't think i had to tell even ONE person to stop talking and/or do the work.

AND there was dessert in the Teacher's "Lounge."

thank the Lord.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009



Oh, how I do not long for yesterday. (I mostly do this to vent, so pardon me...)

2nd block – Referral #1 was written. There is a young man, we’ll call him Jim. He has been a struggle since day 2. I tell him he needs to do his work, he glares at me with a look that could literally kill. Later I tell him again to stop talking and do his work. He glares again, then stares into space in defiance. I begin writing a referral…always nice to have it halfway written for the next episode. I look up. He’s texting (district policy says no phones from 8-2:50). I go to take it away. “It’s my mom,” he says. “Really? Well, she should know you can’t text, so I have to take your phone.” “Nope, you’re not taking my phone. I’ll just go to the office.” “Ok.” I finish writing the referral with phone details. He’s in ISS today.
3rd block – A boy walks in—we’ll call him Andy—and I tell him to go ahead and get his folder and get started on his work (which he knows to do, since we’ve been doing it since day 1). He blows up. Literally, starts yelling and telling me that I always pick on him. (Yes, I do, because he is always the one who isn’t doing what he’s supposed to do.) I send him to the hall, to which I take my time getting so that he will have some time to cool off.

“Now really, is this worth getting upset about?”
“What’s so terrible that you need to blow up when I tell you to do what you’re supposed to do?”
“You’re always picking on me right when I sit down. I can’t even talk to people in class.”
“Well, you’re supposed to grab your stuff on the way into class, then go ahead and get started on the work. (He’s a senior and has only 7 more days to finish his credit recovery work, so yes, I am a slave-driver, but I’d like him to graduate. “And yes, I do pick on you, but I also ‘pick on’ people who aren’t doing their work, which is usually so-and-so and so-and-so, and you.”
Details about his work habits are discussed…
“What would be a better way to handle your frustration…I mean, erupting in anger can’t really be very helpful, can it?”
“No, but sometimes when you get onto me you are snappy and I just can’t handle the way you talk you very well. I don't mean to offend you...”
“I get snapped at every day. Do you think that it would do me much good if I blew up every time a kid snapped at me?”
“No…but like now, you’re talking to me in a soft voice.”
“And that is such a terrible way to talk? So what would be a better way to handle this?”
“You let me go to the counselor.”
“Andy, I have let you go to the counselor to work or talk 3 times in the last week.”
“No you haven’t.”
He is yelling and pacing now… “If you knew the bad week I’ve had you would understand.”
“Ok, that’s important information. If you could explain that to me I would understand you better.”
He then goes on to explain that his girlfriend is in the hospital with an extra chromosome or something. I later got an email from our counselor, saying that the boy’s girlfriend or their baby-in-womb might have a serious problem. Well, that explains it. Andy later came back to apologize for his actions and for erupting, then to explain the situation.
“Wouldn’t it have been much easier if you would have explained that in the beginning? Now I understand…” Geez. Pray for them.

6th block – Referral #2 for Myspacing on district computers, which I have continually reminded the girl about. CONTINUALLY.

Referral #3 for a boy, we’ll call him Kyle. He was reading his leisure book, as he usually tries to do, and I took it away. (He should be working on math…). He said he wasn’t going to work on it, but I gave him a few minutes or so to reconsider. Instead, he took out his doodle book and began drawing. I told him he needed to work on his math. He got up, slammed his stuff in the stack by the wall, and walked out of the room, saying, “I’m dropping out.” To this, I had no response. I just acted like it didn’t happen. He explained himself in a note to the counselors. Something about it not being his fault. “People just don’t understand that he keeps knowledge in his head.” Oh, if that’s all it is then we should just go ahead and pass him through high school.

Only 18 days left. Not that I'm counting.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


You are looking at the product of literally hundreds of hours of work. We should probably post the "before" pictures so you will see how far the house has come from the days of its wretched renters. Those might come next week. For now, if you know anyone who might be interested in buying a nice-looking house on 2 acres in Rogersville, please let us know. It has 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, and hardwood floors throughout, and it's in the best school district around. We are asking $5,000 less than a realtor suggested, and we'd drop the price even more for someone who wants it.

Gene and Ruthie Bybee are saints, by the way. They put in as many hours as we did, probably more. The house would look half as good without them. (But really, did we expect anything less of them? No.) And I think Ruthie has a career in "staging,"(as realtor-types call it) don't you?

I must say that the oven, along with the hardwood floors and huge yard, are my favorite pieces of this place. It is brown with blue-green accents, and it's called a "Modern Maid." Love it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

fenced in

the lotz household needs a recommendation for a fencing company to come build us a lovely 3-4 ft wooden fence. if you have suggestions, please let us know.

speaking of fences, quite a few of coacher's athletes have disregarded fences altogether, as evidenced by their high number of homeruns. freshmen, in particular, seem unphased by the presence of fences in the outfield...also, it's worth noting that mark queen hit a "bomb" at practice yesterday. you should ask him about it.

for those of you who don't know, coacher is doing a great job with his very young team so far this year. he's cool, calm, and collected (but also pretty hot in his baseball uniform).

Thursday, April 9, 2009


i have been promising some of Coacher's 2nd graders that i would bring banjo (kitty) to meet them sometime before the end of the year. yesterday was the day.

the day looked a little like this:
7:40 - at MSU to meet a student to make sure he had everything in order to take the GED. he was late.

8:10 - left the student alone to take his test. he's independent, so he wouldn't care if i was gone all day. went to the MSU library to print about 100-150 pages of articles about teenage pregnancy and absent fathers for a research proposal that needs to be turned in for editing tomorrow.

8:35 - apparently left my jump drive (including all saved articles and my research proposal in progress) in the computer at the library.

9-ish - got banjo for the ride to rogersville elementary. she cried and crawled all over throughout the trip until she perched on the back of the back seat .

9:10 - apparently got caught by the helicopters doing 72 in a 60 mph zone. i blame this on banjo but, according to Coacher, banjo can't pay the fine so i get credit for it.

9:11-9:16 - got pulled over by a highway patrolman in rogerville and during this time shook while trying to find all necessary documents, keeping a shaking banjo from jumping out of the window, and explaining that i usually don't drive around with a cat in my car. he wasn't really interested in my explanation.

9:17 - took my ticket and drove on, slowly.

9:45 - (because i drove about 45 mph from then on) got to school with banjo, where the kids freaked out with joy and in response, banjo scratched the poo out of my neck.

9:45-10:30 - held a scared and shaking banjo as approximately 20 kids at a time petted her, patted her, made faces at her and told me every single story of every cat they ever had, heard of, or saw a picture of. most stories ended with "and then it died." banjo took it well by hunkering down in my lap, closing her eyes and shaking. i told the kids she liked them because i thought she was "purring."

10:31 - breathed a sigh of relief that banjo hadn't struck out at anyone.

10:32 - left the elementary and drove home at 45 mph.

11:10 - left for MSU to meet the test-taker.

11:45-12:00 - found the test-taker, who hadn't eaten lunch because he didn't bring money. made him get lunch and shove it down his throat quickly before he had to get back to testing. (you can't think on an empty stomach!!)

the rest of the day was sort of a blur with a huge track meet mixed in. needless to say, taking banjo to Coacher's school might not have been the best idea, but i couldn't go back on my promise to those kids, and they loved it...

on a side note, i found out on tuesday night that one of my former students shot and killed someone last saturday. he was a very bright boy; it's sad to see someone with so much potential go down like that. when i heard the news i said "lock him up." then i heard that he might have been trying to protect his cousin from someone, which makes the situation very sticky....

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

new rules and a glimpse of daily events

I’ve now been doing this particular job for about 6 months or so, and in that time i've come up with some new rules that i think i'll instate for next year:

1 - do not complain to me about things over which i have no control. yes, i know it's about 97 degrees in here every day, but i checked with some people and it turns out no one else cares. tough cookies. i have lost just as much weight through sweating as the rest of you.

2 - do not ask me what time you get out of class. the schedule has no changed all year long, and it's a waste of my breath to tell you every day.

3 - when i am attempting to carry on a conversation with 4 students while trying to help 2 with their work, do not interrupt. i can only handle about 6 brain processes at one time.

4 - look for your folder at least 8 times before telling me it's not in the crate. trust me; it's in there (unless you didn't put it in there when you left class.)

5 - no whining. you're in high school. it doesn't work anymore (at least, not at school).

6 – lying doesn’t ever really help you out. oh really, you didn’t call me a b*** just because i told you to stop talking while the guest speaker was talking? that’s weird, because I am absolutely sure that’s what I heard come out of your mouth. And really? you weren’t listening to music on the internet? (which I’ve warned you about 6 times already…by the way, it’s a district policy. Revert back to rule #1). I can actually pull up your computer screen and watch every move you make, and I saw you. I SAW YOU. I’ve known at least one professional liar, and you are not very good at it.

7 - if I see your IPOD out, it’s mine. I won’t even turn it in to the administrators; I’ll just sell it on eBay. (I could make a killing on this policy (but there’s probably some sort of law about not selling kids’ stuff.)

That’s all the rules I have so far. As you might guess, this job has been tough…very challenging students/attitudes. But here’s the deal: I do not share this information because I want to you pity me or anything like that. I knew (for the most part) what I was getting into when I took the job. At-risk youth, that’s how it goes. Most of them don’t have parents to teach them right and wrong, let alone love them and make them feel like their lives are worth living and improving. (Example: One girl basically has a restraining order against her mom. The school isn’t supposed to tell her anything about what her daughter is doing. She lived in her car for a while, and she also held down two jobs while taking care of her nephews. I cannot imagine. Another student’s mom keeps deciding she’s going to pack up and move away to some other state (it varies with the day) so she can be with some guy she’s just met. And this kids has worked SO hard to get his academics in line…it breaks my heart.)

Anyway, this job has made me more understanding and calm in sticky situations, yet thick-skinned at the same time. (My thin skin has always been a weakness, and while Coacher might not see me in action at school I think he might be proud of the improvements being made). At times I wonder at how I can so calmly tell a student that I know for a fact that he has just lied to my face or that (for the 100th time) I know it stinks to have to actually do WORK at school. That is so unfair that I’m making him try to graduate! I know the only way I can do it and not take offense is because I have prayed for calm, strength, and thick skin get through the sticky situations

A quick story to give you a glimpse of daily happenings:

Someone just knocked on my door. A student. I wrote him a referral yesterday for continuously talking while we had a guest speaker, sticking his fingers in the back of a computer and messing with the wires, not sitting in the hallway as I’d asked him to do (because if you act like a kindergartener, sometimes you are treated like one), then loudly telling his friends in the hallway that I am a b*** and that I told him to do such and such and he said, “f*** no!” as I walked by. (Of course, he really said the words, and a few others, I’m sure.) He just now told me that he didn’t call me that, nor did he say anything else bad that I wrote him up for. He said I just heard his friends talking about other stuff. He explained that because he got a referral he will be sent back to live in a group home. I let him speak his piece, and then I said that I am sure it was him saying all of that. He said that when they (administrators?) checked the cameras and saw that he didn’t say it I would feel really bad for getting him put back in the group home. I said (genuinely) I would feel terrible if he got put back in a group home because of my mistake, so if he wanted to go have people check the cameras he could. Of course he didn’t want to do that (then we would all see proof that he really did say it). He got all agitated about it and said he was getting out of my class.

I almost cried.

For joy.

But some kids really are a joy, and those are the ones I have to focus on.

Monday, March 16, 2009

life in numbers

3/5 - number of fights at school / days last week

4.5 - school days til Spring Break

3 - times coacher has forgotten my birth date

0 - number of times coacher has forgotten shooter's birth date (coacher will debate this, but it's true when you look at the bare facts…i’m not offended or mad. i just like to pester him about it.)

8 - number of weekends in february and march

.5 - number of free weekends we have/had in february and march

1 - number of referrals i wrote first semester

3 - number of referrals i have written so far in the 3rd quarter alone

13 - average number of times i went to the YMCA per month in January and February

9 - average number of times i saw "the barenaked lady" at the YMCA (how uncomfortable! she is there m/w/f, by the way...i now try to do most of my YMCA workouts Tuesday and thursday...)

7 - my fav number

3 - number of hours i napped last sunday (i usually don't take naps...)

6 - number of hours left until i have a master's degree.

8.31 - number of months we've been married.

8.31 - number of months i've felt cherished by my husband.

5 - number of times we had to re-do the new yard because it failed inspection due to "dirt clumps" and "dirt on the sidewalk." it was february, for pete's sake.

4 - number of track athletes i'm responsible for this spring. (distance ‘em!)

too many to count - number of chapters i'm behind in my daily Bible reading

1 - number of attempts i've made at dave ramsey-style bargaining (does that tell you anything about how successful i was? i should say that i didn't really "bargain," but my attempt was as close as this girl's going to get to bargaining with a sales clerk.

5:35 - average time the lotz household wakes up during the week.

2,276 - number of favors we owe my parents for all the work they've done lately.

this is completely unrelated, but i feel the need to say a little something about words (since i'm a certified english teacher and all):

uncomfortable - i love to hear coacher say this word. he enunciates every syllable.

touch - this is a terrible name for a restaurant. it makes me uncomfortable.

moist - so many people dislike this word i'm not even sure why it's in the dictionary.

spaz - this was my favorite word in middle school

unscum - i don't know the origin of this word in my life, but i usually use it in place of the word "unbelievable." if i don't say it out loud, that doesn't mean i'm not thinking it.

hillen - this partial word can go in from of many other words, and all of them actually make sense to me. weird.

not - i really liked the days when people would say a sentence, pause, and then say "not." it's biblical and everything.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

they grow up so fast

okay, yes, now i post pictures of pets. i used to make fun of people for that. but we don't have kids (not that pets are people; they are not), sooo...

Friday, March 13, 2009

for sale: house and STUFF

we will have two large bookcases, some cookware, a ton of clothes, and lots of other fun stuff for sale tomorrow at our moving sale. come visit us at 1906 S. Maryland (former Lotz home), near National and Sunshine. as a bonus, the whole stinkin' house is for sale, too!

i think we should also have some baby and kids clothes at the sale, because my sisters-in-law have popped out a lot of babies over the years and i think it's probably time they sold some stuff. also, i have managed to fill an ENTIRE room in my parents' house with "stuff" over the last 7 years or so...i hope to get rid of all of it.

if you spend enough money we might just throw in the house as a bonus. it is oh-so cute, but oh-so small for this old married couple and our pets.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

house arrest

"no, i don't think you can be on the track team when you are on house arrest. something about the ankle bracelet being a bit constricting. plus, it's just not that fashionable, and it doesn't match our uniforms. sorry."

that's what i wanted to say.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

battle of the field

we've finally moved!

after 7 days of battling with the house inspector of battlefield (over our new yard which, by the way, was FROZEN as he told us (and father bybee) to break dirt clumps and even out uneven patches...a very long and frustrating story) and two full days of moving followed by some organizing, i have reached the following conclusions:

1 - i should give away 80% of all my clothes, because it was honestly embarrassing to see how many clothes i really do have. at my final count, i had about 5 items with tags still on them. brad had 2 (one of which i bought him, and one of which was a tie he thought he might have an urge to wear at some point). And sweaters, i didn’t even count the number of sweaters i own (apparently i really like them), but it was shocking to see them all stacked on the same shelf. Who needs this many sweaters? (Particularly when my classroom averages about 82 degrees. i’m not joking. i sweat…) And plates. we are in the process of counting those, but so far we’ve found 12 still in their original boxes.

2 - our old house was definitely too small for us. the new one is over twice the size of the old one, and our furniture and “stuff” has already filled it up.

3 - i don't want to move again in the next 25 years or so. maybe our kids will move out and take a bunch of our stuff with them so we'll never have to move it.

4 - budgets don't really work when you've just bought a house and are moving into it.

5 - we can live without the tv and internet. (i knew this before, but it was reassuring to feel the silence again.

pics to come, but we don't have the internet hooked up at our house yet, so it'll be a little while.

Less than one more week until coacher and i lose our lives to coaching spring sports. wish us and our marriage luck!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

and my chair doesn't even spin

tuesdays and thursdays come with some very challenging students. it's all i can do not to explode every now and then. a spinning chair really would give make their attitudes about 10% more bearable. now, my monday classes...they are dreamy (comparatively speaking).


40 - the number of dollars coacher and i each get to spend each week in february.
14 - the number of dollars i have left
5 - the number of dollars coacher has left

we both had to get gas, and i am up for another round at the pump soon. eek.

and we are out of ice cream. this could mean trouble.

anyway, we have tweaked the rules of this lovely experiment as we go. for example, "rollover money" (copyright crystal) are now allowed from week to week, provided we ever have money left.

also, if we find money lying around the house, we can use it. (that's what college kids do, right?)

AND if we had prior commitments (vb tournaments, for example) we don't have to take the money out of our weekly allowance.

is that cheating? naahh....

Thursday, February 5, 2009


little known fact: when i was in high school, i used to make one pancake for breakfast every morning. weird, huh? and the weirdest part about it is that i still love pancakes, which is why i'm excited that high street is offering an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast this saturday, february 7th. The yumminess will take place at the north applebee's near kearney from 8-10 am. cost is $5, in case you're interested.

speaking of $5, coacher and i have enlisted ourselves in a little challenge to live like we are poor college kids. (and we think it's kind of fun...go figure.) this means we each get about $40 a week to spend on everything we need, including gas and food. we actually began the challenge with $55 a week in mind, but then we thought we might as well go all out for it, so here we are at $40. so far we've done okay, except for the little stop by jimmy john's last night at 8:30 because we were just famished. honestly, i was kind of getting shaky, and we were both definitely cranky, so i maintain that it was probably a good decision in the grand scheme of things. however, keep in mind that we are only on day 5 (day 5!) we "splurged" on day 4. we stink at this.

(back to the $5...coacher pointed out that the 5$ all-you-can-eat deal is DEFINITELY something a poor college kid would do. sooo, i guess that makes the pancakes an extra-good idea. right?)

anyway, we issued this challenge to ourselves to see how much money we could save in just one month. i will probably get a little competitive about it.

but here's the kicker....we stinkin' bought a house and kind of spoiled that whole "live like a poor college kid" thing! hey, when God opens a door....

all i can say is hallelujah for more storage space, kitchen cabinets, shelving, rooms, bathrooms, garage space, etc. etc. etc. i can't wait to organize, decorate, and have people over without worrying about how messy our bedroom is or that the bed is unmade. (they'll never have to see it!)

that said, i'll miss our cute little home on maryland with it's shiney white trim, built-in shelving, arched doorways, and huge tree in the backyard. my parents and i nurtured it from its "ugly and awkward stage" and now it is such a cute little thing.

(ps...i tried to find pictures to express my thoughts about how lovely it will be to organize and decorate, but for the life of me i could not find anything that would do my inspirations justice. i give.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2nd semester

i just checked my school mail, and here is what i found:

1 - passing GED scores for my last MO Option student (yay!! that means she gets her diploma at the end of the year. incidentally, she is the one whose dad is in prison for kicking a cop. she's battled through a lot, and i'm very proud of her.)

2 - the following plan of a student who shall remain anonymous: "touretts, bipolar, adhd, ODD (oppositioanl defiant disorder), and severe PDD (on the autism spectrum)." the only condition in that list that i'm somewhat weary of is ODD, but i'm not sure why because i think about 25-60% (depending on the day) of the kids i deal with have ODD.

in other news, here's what i'll be doing this semseter:
1 - attempting to get about 15 or 16 students ready for the GED so they will pass, get their diplomas, and be fine citizens not living on welfare when they grow up. (i only had 4 in the program first semester, so this is a change.) also helping several other students recover classes they've previously failed. again.
2 - learning how to deal with ODD.
3 - taking 6 hours of classes. (after that, 5 more hours til my master's.)
4 - coaching track.
5 - watching as many LR baseball games as possible. i like to watch the games, but i really like to watch coacher (particularly when LR is winning).
6 - continuing to visit the Y in the morning, despite the naked people. however, these days there don't seem to be as many as there were the first few times i went. (but that might be because now my eyes are only halfway open when i'm there.)
7 - playing club vb.
8 - learning more about the intricacies of the Bible. it's completely awesome how everything is woven together.
9 - becoming a couponing queen. (my first attempt was so-so. i need those experts to host another class. i'll even offer to give them my entire savings upon my first outing. that's only about 72 cents or so; i think i can afford it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

village people

we have dawned on a new experience in the lotz household: 5:30 AM. coacher has started having his athletes come in to throw and catch before school, so i decided i might as well get up at the same time he does and go to the ymca. The weird thing was, when i got there, it didn't even feel like 6 am anymore because so many people were already sweating and lifting and moving and running. it was a new world. here i was, all along thinking i was working out hard in the afternoon, but these people are on a whole different playing field. so i'll be going back tomorrow, armed and dangerous, ready to sweat more than anyone else. (I’m a wee-bit competitive.)

anyway, that was not the most shocking part of the morning. apparently, the morning is when all the village's barenaked ladies come out of the woodwork. in my world, that’s a lot like a scary dream where naked people replace zombies. and they're not just momentarily naked while trying to find a towel or dry off or what-not. they walk around, they do their make-up in the mirror, they dry their hair, they read books. heck, i don't really know what they do because i'm looking the other way. I mean, yay for women’s rights (well, some of them), but I should have the right to not be bombarded with their free-ness. (if what I’ve heard about the village people is correct and if the men’s locker room happenings are like a younger, more fit version of the women’s locker room, i guess i just figured out why they liked the ymca so much they sung a song about it. Yeeck.)

on a side note, there are a lot of old people there in the morning, and they are just so nice!

but the nakedness, now that is completely unnecessary.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

seen and done

ok, so it has been a busy two weeks or so. i will not bore you with minute details of things we've seen and done, but here's a listing of a few of the favorite activities from the fabulous trip to south dakota:

1 - attempted to memorize "we didn't start the fire" by billy joel. it's a very long song, but it was a very long car ride. (ps...i've decided that if i ever become a history teacher, this song will be the focus of my lessons. all of them...) in case you're wondering about the lyrics, go here:

2 - attempted to snowboard. let me tell you, i can do it, but i don't do it in the conventional way. i do it "peanut butter style" or "falling leaf style." BUT i will be doing it again and practicing the toe-side turn that will enable me to ride like a pro.

3 - talked politics.

4 - listened to the hillengirls on the ipod.

5 - Chubby Chipmunk chocolates

6 - woke up to 3 inches of fresh snow on New Year's Day.

7 - camped out in Custer State Park with long-horned sheep and 45+ mph winds. also saw hundreds of buffalo, some mulies, a few antelopes (or maybe they were pronghorns), and one little prairie dog while we were there.

8 - Rummy and Apples to Apples.

9 - debated over the degree of "studliness" Bear Grylls (AKA man vs. wild star) possesses. my opinion: he fakes a lot. remember the video of him jumping around acting like he was defeating death in a desert when all along there was a highway right in front of him? but he does find several uses for pee, and he jumps into freezing lakes, and he eats snakes right after killing them, so his studliness is somewhat justifiable.

10 - lost a wedding band on the mountain. (not me.)

11 - drove through the awesomely bad Badlands and saw hundreds of mulies and more prairie dogs. (so cute!)

12 - stayed in a sweet cabin that was only two minutes from the slopes (unless, of course ANOTHER car got stuck in the intersection of our road and the guys had to push it out. again.)

13 - learned the word "pronghorn," and just now figured out what it was:

14 - hung out with two very sweet/neat/cool/adventurous couples.

(pics to come later...)

Monday, January 5, 2009


the 20-30+ hours (depending on how you look at it) we spent in the car over the break helped to remind me that coacher has some pretty good music on his ipod, thanks to several of you who have contributed actual music or suggestions in the past. HOWEVER,

i am quite sure we are missing some essentials. (not billy joel, though; we have the essential billy joel covered. more on that later...) also, some punk high schooler stole his ipod last year and he still hasn't been able to replenish all of his music.

sooo, i am going to need some people to post some musical recommendations on this blog. what should we have on the ipod? we will take any suggestion, "essential" music or not. in fact, i like the novel stuff that no one's heard.
on a side-but-similar note, i have always liked the idea of a music-sharing party. you know, everyone brings the ipod and a computer to broaden their musical horizons and get some fresh music? but that might be illegal.
thank you in advance for your horizon-broadening (or not) musical suggestions.