Three-Day Weekend

One thing I just LOVE about being a teacher is getting all the federal-type holidays off. I mean, I think just about everyone gets this one off, but I also get MLK Day, President's Day, etc.

In any case, think of a veteran (calling one up and saying "thank you" is even better). Share some good times with friends and family. Grill some meat (or veggies, if that's your preference). Let the kiddos run through the sprinkler for awhile. Dig into some watermelon. Call it a day.

Those are pretty much our plans for the holiday.



Worth 1,000 Words



Welcome to the World, Nathan Christopher!

Boy are we all glad you've joined us, at last. May you have health, serenity, wisdom, cleverness, dashing good looks, and genuine joy throughout your life.

And ... Matthew is absolutely thrilled to finally have a BOY cousin!

Love to my brother, my sister, my nephew.



Waiting and Waiting

Kristin's in the hospital, ready to have a baby. Haven't heard anything from Chris, yet. So, it looks like today will be the day. (also known as National Escargot Day, as well as Queen Victoria's, Gary Burghoff's and Bob Dylan's birthdays)

What's interesting/weird/ coincidental about this day is that my first-born was born on a 24th (March), and so was Joe's sister, Theresa's first-born (September). Could be 24 is just the lucky number?

Anyway, now just waiting to hear something from upstate New York. Chris?



Airshow Week

Well, it's Airshow Week in Millville. We live less than 1/2 a mile (as the F/A-18 flies) from the Millville Airport. This Saturday and Sunday will be annual Air Show. Which means that this week is the fly-in week for the various on-the- ground display aircraft. And, it's practice-at-the-local-airfield week for the Blue Angels. For a few hours each day this week, it's like living on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

Last year Air Show weekend was cold, clammy and WET. This year the weather's supposed to be gorgeous. We can't wait. Fried food, spending 6 hours in a folding chair, meet-and-greets with the Geico gecko, stunt biplanes, paratroopers, helicopters, F-15s, P-47s, C-130s, skywriting, and the Blue Angels. It's all good!



Something Completely Different


This totally makes me wish I knew how to crochet.



Photo Update

I just posted a whole bunch of pictures taken this month. They're not PhotoShopped in anyway, so please forgive red eyes, awkward composition, etc. My bleary, allergy-ridden contacts are not up for any more screen time tonight.
  • "Night Flight" -- Em's Brownie troop's overnight at the Philadelphia Zoo
Enjoy! Let me know what you think.


SO cliche!

Oh ... and in completely unrelated news, yesterday we had to write the most cliched note of all to Emily's teacher.

Yes, our dog actually did eat her homework.

The ceiling fan blew it off the kitchen table when Emily got up to go to the bathroom. I removed the sodden mess from the dog's mouth when Emily returned to the dining room and shrieked. Ew.


Heading into Summer

Well, it's that time of year. My students are restless, my kids are filthy from playing outside until they collapse into bed, Joe's at commencement tonight, and I'm interviewing (again) for a new job next year (again).

This makes the third summer in a row I've been interviewing for a new teaching position. Looong, painful story I'm not going into now. I've interviewed for positions in other fields before, but never before having academic interviews have I come across the search for this annoyingly ambiguous combination of required technical ability and weird attempts to decide if they like my personality.

I mean, I have the degree, the certificate, teaching experience, recommendations, excellent test scores (mine and my students'). So this all basically comes down to whether or not they like me as a person. Joe tells me not to take it personally ... but I mean, come on! What could be more personal than this? It's like a popularity contest. Either they think I'll fit in with their teaching staff and students, or they don't. Do they want vivacious or subdued? Innovative or conventional? Firm or flexible?

I've had three interviews in a week. If I've impressed anyone, there should be some call-back and/or offer phone calls next week. I've sent out about 15 resumes in the past month.

We'll see.



I Don't Believe in Curses ...

... or do I?

I think maybe my brother's house is cursed. They've had a recent run of bum luck ... but the problem goes back years. Years!

When we visited for Thanksgiving (back in aught-four), we got stranded in a snowstorm with a flat tire (and no jack! And no cell phone!! At 11 at night!!!). During the same visit, Joe had to visit the emergency room with bronchitis/pneumonia.

  • Chris has suffered a completely collapsed lung, followed by surgery and a chest tube.

  • Kristin has been dealing with the uncomfortable late-stage of pregnancy, complicated by high blood pressure, substantial water retention and multiple trips to various medical facilities ro confirm (or deny) low amniotic fluid levels (she's fine, the levels are good).

  • My mom, staying with them to help the two hapless invalids for a week, had to go to the emergency room yesterday for ... get this ... lacerations of her scalp. Inflicted by the housecat, Oreo, in abject terror of mom and dad's (also visiting) dog. 12 staples to pull her head wounds back together!
Chris, Kristin ... I love you both. I really do. But I think I'll wait until you've somehow exorcised your residential demons before I come visit again.

Just kidding.

Sort of.


edit: Shadow maimed Mom, not Oreo (thanks, Kristin!)


Quickie Update

Well, things are good. Nothing terribly newsworthy, but things are good.
  • My brother, Chris, is home from the hospital and soon to be as good as new.
  • Sasha has settled into a basic routine and allows us to sleep a nice solid night.
  • Joe is in the throes of finals week. Yick.
  • I have a couple of job interviews lined up in the next week. Nowhere I really, really want to be, but we'll see.
  • I logged 15 miles of walking last week in training for the 3-Day.
Guess that's about it. Been watching Doctor Who, The Tudors, and NCIS lately. Trying to catch up on laundry, but losing the battle. Hoping to get together some new outfits / dresses for our upcoming college reunion (kind of failing at that, too).



Pray for My Brother

He's going to be fine, but had surgery last night. Kind of freaked me out to not be able to see or talk to him before he went under. But we talked today and he's recovering well.

Details here.

Love you, Chris! Get well soonest!



Drives Me Nuts!

Emily's teacher (not for the first time) erroneously marked something wrong on Emily's work, when it was actually correct. In fact, she mismarked the same type of mistake twice on the same homework paper.

Em has to write sentences for all her spelling words every week. She had to use the word "taller" and wrote the sentence "Megan is taller than me." When I went over her homework with her, I explained the whole implied "am" in that sort of sentence. As in, "Megan is taller than I am." So, she erased and corrected it.

Well her teacher (who is brand-new and has mismarked things previously this year) red-penned her "I" and replaced it with "me." She did the same thing with another sentence down the page.

Grrrr..... So, I took out my nice blue pen and corrected the teacher's grammar and am sending the paper back to school for her. No nasty note or anything (I'm reserving my irritation for here).

I know I'm being a defensive Mother Bear here, but it just slays me when primary grade teachers use incorrect grammar, spelling, etc. in front of their students.



Am I Crazy?

Yesterday I signed up for the Breast Cancer 3-Day. This is a three day walk in October ... 20 miles (!!!) each day. I've started training for it as of this morning. They have a nicely-paced 24 week training schedule that builds mileage and endurance bit by bit.

But the physical training is only half the commitment. Each walker must raise $2,200 in donations before the walk. If you're seeing this and for some reason haven't already gotten a donation request from me, please consider a contribution. How about $60? That's only $1 per mile I'll be walking (not including my many training miles!).

Just click over to my 3-Day webpage and help at whatever level you can. (and please pray for me while I train and prepare for this adventure)