Saturday, January 30, 2010

How I Finally got Hot In Bed

Sorry to disappoint any of you, but no, this isn't a porn post.

I am just sitting in bed and finally feeling comfortable because I am warm enough. For the last few winters I have had an electric blanket that I cranked up to get warm at night. But that got kind of worn out, maybe from over-use. So I found a heated mattress pad at Sams which was on clearance at the end of season. I have been trying to keep warm with that but it just wasn't doing the trick no matter how high I would turn it up.

On Black Friday I bought an electric warming throw at Wal-Mart. I use it to keep warm while I am watching TV or reading in the family room.

But tonight I was just pretty shivery, so I took my warming throw to bed with me and cranked up the heated mattress pad. I am finally warm. Hot on the top and hot on the bottom. Maybe even too hot. I think I will turn one or both of my warming devices down to medium. I am a human Panini.

Of course, I only heat my side of the bed. Bob has never turned his side on ever. If he accidentally comes over to my side of the bed at night he wakes up drenched in sweat. Maybe he should go to the doctor and get himself checked out. This can't be normal.

How Long Until This Blows Over?

I was watching Saturday Night Live tonight and noticed a commercial featuring swimming's wonder boy Michael Phelps pitching Subway. It was just about a year ago that pictures of him smoking a bong were posted all over the press. He lost his endorsements and was suspended from competition. It was very big news at the time. But now he is back. I actually like the commercial. He dives into a pool, swims through the edge of the pool, continues swimming through the street and up to a Subway shop.

He is a phenomenal swimmer. Do I think that his pot smoking was wise? No. Do I think he should have been crucified for it? No.

Has anyone noticed how much less press Tiger Woods is getting since the John Edwards' love child story broke? The moral of this story is that it all blows over, that people forget, that you are only big news until the next story comes in, and that when two or three scandals pass, you are back to where you started. You just wonder how truly morally outraged everyone is. Who is next? I am not going to guess, but I guarantee we will be shocked and appalled. I wouldn't be surprised to see President Edwards giving the State of the Union address in a few years.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Plenty of Time

Have you ever noticed that when time is runnig out and the pressure is on it is easy to make a lot of mistakes just because of the stress?  It is tempting to just throw up your hands and quit, or run around like a chicken with its head cut off.  That happened this morning when Joe was getting ready for school.  He was a little crunched for time when he couldn't find a clean butter knife to spread the mustard, which he couldn't find either.  His anxiety was increasing because he only had about 3 minutes before the final bell would ring for school.   I told him to calm down and said, "Plenty of time."  This is one of our new family sayings.  It is a quote from the Navy football Coach Niumatalolo.  November 1, 2008 Navy was playing Temple and was down 27-7 in the fourth quarter.  Navy made a touch down, then another but missed the extra point when they went for the two point conversion.  Instead of going into a panic with one minute left in the game the coach said, "Plenty of time!"   Most people wouldn't consider one minute plenty of time, but in reality, one minute,  well played,  is plenty of time.  Navy concentrated on defense and recovered the ball, then went on to make a touch down with less than 30 seconds to go.  They made the extra point and won the game with an overtime TD.   I really loved the way the coach had the presence of mind not to panic but to keep pressing on and playing well to the very end.  That is why we have adopted this saying in our own family.  It is a reminder to stay calm and play the game, to keep trying even though it is the fourth quarter and we are down by 20 points.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Death Watch

I was at Valley View Mall the other day to meet a friend who works there.  That place is so close to getting bulldozed.  Every time I go in a few more stores have vacated the premises.  There is a hollow sound in the mall, probably an echo from all of the empty space and lack of shoppers.  It is too bad.  Valley View used to be one of my favorite shopping hangouts.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Satanic Lie

Last night I was watching the news and saw a report on Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol.  She is the one who had a child out of wedlock.  Now she is big news because she has taken a vow of chastity.  I really do not know this girl's heart, but I am amazed by the reaction to her new direction.  I think Oprah said something like, "Why are you setting yourself up for failure?"  Her former boyfriend has also opined that she is incapable of this goal.

I think it is a Satanic lie that people can't repent and change.  The lie is designed to keep us down and to keep us mired in sin.  I think that this is the way the world reacts to those who want to turn from their human failings and strive toward righteousness.  If this girl wants to change and try to be virtuous, we should all be encouraging her to do so, even if she fails several times at her attempts.  Jesus always told people that they could change, that they did not have to be slaves to their past mistakes or problems, that they could choose a better way, and that there was always hope.  I truely believe this. 

No, I am not a Sarah Palin fan.  I wish she would keep her nose out of Texas politics.  Her very endorsement of Rick Perry makes my vow to vote for Kay Bailey Hutchison even stronger.  Hello People!  Gov Perry was the knucklehead who suggested that Texas cede from the Union.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Joe's MLK Speech

I gave Joe a choice for his MLK speech.  He could either try to imitate MLK and repeat his words or he could make a speech about MLK and write the speech himself.  He has decided it would be better to put it into his own words instead of imitating MLK. 

I am glad that MLK worked on getting better civil rights for African American people.  I am trying to imagine that Asia, Kameron, Faith, Michael, and Jaylon would have to drink at a different drinking fountain than the rest of the class.  But the other point is they might not be able to go to the same school as me.  Football at recess would not be as good because all of these friends, except for Faith, are really good at football.  Faith plays soccer and hangs out with her friends.  Asia is a girl and is one of the best at football.  She is really big and tall.  It is fourth down, she intercepts in the end zone about every game and runs it back for a touch down.  It looks like she is about to get two-touched, but she never does.  Kameron is really good at throwing.  Michael is very good at catching and so is Jaylon.  I am always glad when they get picked to be on the same team as me, especially Asia.  The only problem I have with Kameron is that he likes the Pats. 

I wonder if MLK was good at playing football?  Even if he wasn't, he might be good at playing football video games.  But he died a long time before video games.

Civil rights are the right to play football with whoever is good at football. 

After Joe wrote this speech he wanted to change it to be more about civil rights.  But when I asked him to expound on Civil Rights,  he had no thoughts or ideas.  I think that is because he has never experienced a society where a group of people were denied rights.  This little speech might be one fulfillment of MLK's dream,  where men are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their ability to play football.

I told Joe to get dressed and he started to put on his church shirt.  I guess he really thought that he was going to have to enter the speech contest.  He is a good kid.  When I told him he really did not have to give his speech in public he was so relieved that he started attacking me. " Never do that again!" 

The funny thing is I will be able to do the same thing next year!  I don't know why my family can't remember the lessons of MLK day from year to year.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Miss Inadequate and Mrs. Wonderful

I was talking to Megan today and we were remembering days gone by when Megan had a very young, inexperienced math teacher in 7th grade.  I remember going to a conference with Miss Inadequate.  I came armed not only with my daughter's poor performance records but the knowlege that most of my daughter's friends were struggling in her class as well.  When I got to the conference she told me that Megan was not very good at math and that perhaps she should consider dropping to regular math.  I asked her to show me the satistics of where her classes were performing in comparison to the kids in other teachers' classes.  I remember asking her why her classes were performing about 20 points lower on the district wide exams than the students in other sections, with other teachers at the same school.  Her conclusion was that she just had a class full of slow kids and that the other teachers had better students.  She had no numbers on which to base her conclusion, but she was convinced that must have been the problem.  I proposed that perhaps her teaching methods were inadequate, that she needed to improve, that my daughter and her classmates were bright, wonderful math students in 6th grade, and that her conclusions were totally erroneous.  There is nothing like a dumb teacher calling your kid dumb to get up the ire of  a parent.  She must have impressed the administration the same way she impressed me because she was not there the next year.

The next year in, 8th grade, Megan was taking Algebra 1 and had a great teacher who taught the class in the traditional method.  She would give a mini lesson and send the kids home with about 30-45 minutes of homework.  The next day she would have selected students work out the homework on the board in front of all of their peers.  She would praise a correctly done problem and analyze where the erring students went wrong.  She had a 95% pass rate on the End of Course exam.  The district pass rate was 60% and the state pass rate was about 20% on the same exam.  I loved that teacher!  Megan had a great basis in algebra.  Unfortunately, the teacher retired the very next year.  I never confronted her on this because there was no need, but I bet she did not think of her students as slow.  She didn't have to use excuses, because her teaching mehods were wonderful enough for almost all of her students to succeed.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Confessions of a Southern California Girl

Most of my childhood and growing up years were spent in Sunny Southern California.  My father was in the US Navy so we moved a lot but it was usually up and down the coast.  Californians don't really think about cold weather except during Thanksgiving when they thank God they live in Southern California and don't ever have to deal with low temps.  When I lived in San Diego, if we started to get hot we would open a window to let in the cool breeze. If we got cold we would open a window to let a warm breeze in.  I honestly do not remember turning on the heat.  I know we had a heater and we were tempted but my Dad didn't want us to waste energy.  His point was that it would be warm by 10:00 AM so why turn on the heat?  I remember thinking this was funny because we weren't paying for the utilities because we lived in base housing.  We were green before being green was cool.

So with an upbringing devoid of freezing my rear off, I did not have the skills to dress for the weather that all other unlucky souls who didn't live in California had to deal with.  I thought a tee shirt was a shirt you wore to school everyday.  It never occurred to me that a tee shirt was the first layer of clothing, worn under a regular shirt, worn under a sweater, worn under a double layer coat with a water and wind resistant outer shell.  To me, hats, coats, and scarves were early morning fashion accessories that you could maybe wear in January, but had to come off by 10:00 AM or else you would be sweltering.

Boots looked so great in fashion magazines and we would try to wear them, but our feet had a hard time adjusting from the jap flaps we wore everyday.

Is it any wonder that I felt like I was freezing to death when I left So Cal?  I made a few paultry attempts at keeping warm.  I put a jacket on top of my tee shirt.  It would help a little so that I could make it from the car to the store without hypothermia, but I could never enjoy any outdoor cold weather opportunities because I did not have the skills to dress appropriately.

If I couldn't dress myself, you can imagine that I did an even poorer job at dressing the kids.  The problem was that we lived in Alaska.  Megan and Jeff were constantly sick with ear infections and respiratory ailments.  I remember talking to a woman who lived in our ward about how my kids were always sick.  She was in her late fifties and had been a nurse.  She told me that a lot of kids from lower class families were always sick because their moms did not know how to dress for cold weather.  She explained the layering theory to me and the need for hats with flaps that covered the ears that could be tied down, and proper foot wear.  I remember making a big change at that point.  I wasn't low class.  I was just from Southern California.  I was grateful that the kids didn't get sick constantly after I started dressing them correctly.  It was freeing to go outside for walks and enjoy some of the wonderful out door activities Alaska had to offer.  Thanks, Sammy Bingham, for giving me the 411 that I needed.

I am bringing this up because we are in Texas and freezing this week.  I am having to delve back into my arctic knowlege.  I sure hope it warms up again soon.  I prefer the lifestyle where a tee shirt is the shirt you wear to school everyday.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to the Grind

January 4th.  Today Joe went back to school.  When he got home he had his french horn lesson, lots of math homework and basketball practice.  I baked 14 dozen cookies for the council Reflections reception later this week.  I need to fugure out which days Joseph has Joseph practice. I answered PTA questions after school and on the phone.  I am preparing for a PTA board meeting on Wednesday.  I have started having at least one drinkable yogurt everyday as an attempt at better nutrition.

I seem to be just as busy as I was during the holidays but Christmas is a year away.

On  a sad note, who can believe TCU lost tonight?

On a happy note, I took John out to Banana Leaf for lunch today.  He will be home for three more days and I just need to spoil him a little before he goes back to the grind.

About Me

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I am a stay at home mom but the clock is ticking. My husband and I only have one child left at home. I enjoy shopping and finding great bargains.