Monday, May 20, 2013

You Need a Stamp...

Today, I am going to embrace my eccentricities. I will admit my flaws and love my kookiness.

Scratch that.

Today, I will share with you one of my eccentricities. I will put it out there in all its glory. (And then I will wear a hat and dark glasses everywhere I go for the next month because I just put this out there...on the Internet.)

I write letters. 
I write letters to people I know. 
I write letters to people I don't know. Seriously.
I use more stamps than anyone I know. 
The post office guy knows me by name, where I work, how many kids I have, and waves at me when he  sees me in Publix. 
I write letters. 

I've been writing letters for as long as I can remember. Receiving a card or letter in the mail is one of my favorite things. I am positively giddy every day when I pull open the mailbox and glance at the stack of paper. 99% of the time it's junk mail. Coupons, credit card offers, special offers. Then, there is that other 1%. Invitations to parties, birth announcements, thank you cards. Oh, that 1% is the best. Encountering an actual message from a friend will make my entire week.

It seems to me that if personal mail makes me that happy, then surely it makes other people that happy too. I write letters. Once a month, I flip through the pages of my life. I reflect on and consider the influences in my life. I draft a message or messages and walk to the mailbox. It will probably take the rest of my life to acknowledge all the souls that have inspired me or changed my life in some way, but I'm okay with that.  If I could, I would send every person on the planet a little something. We all need a word of encouragement from time to time.

The hardest ones for me to compose and mail are messages of condolence. I'm not good at it at all. I never quite know what to say, but I try. Brutal honesty: Condolences are less difficult for me when I don't know the person; sending messages like that to people I know is like trying to dig the words from my gut. The emotional involvement is very uncomfortable for me.

Think about all the people you know and the ones that you don't know but have heard it possible that you need a stamp too?

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Fishy Einstein Magic...

***Disclaimer: No children were harmed physically during the events of this post. Emotionally? I am damaged. The children are probably okay.

This week is teacher appreciation week at our elementary school. Being an involved parent (stop laughing), I agreed to sit with Ella's class at lunch one day, so that her beloved teacher could eat in peace and quiet. Several of us moms agreed to this on different days this week.

Dealing with school and school children really should be something that comes to naturally to me. After all, I come from a family full of educators. Seriously, my family tree looks more like a truncated directory of members of the Alabama Education Association than it does a tree. Maybe not, but surely you get the point. No, I will not stop calling you Shirley. My people are educators, but I am missing that gene. There is not a single cell in my body that would be capable of being a teacher.

So, in all my teacher-gene free fabulousness, I arrive at school to chaperone this little one's class at school....

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We made it down the hall okay. All 18 of them followed me from the classroom to the lunchroom, and no one got lost or injured. We entered the lunchroom and split into two groups. The first group went directly to the table because they had brought their own lunch. The second group formed a line to purchase lunch. I couldn't believe it. I was actually doing okay with this whole "take the kids to lunch" thing I volunteered to do.

Finally, they were all seated at the table. That's when some Albert Einstein-time-space-continuum-collapse thing happened. Suddenly, there were 85 of them, and not a one of them could open a ketchup packet without assistance. There was chocolate milk covering 65% of the table. I'm not sure how, but one kid magically appeared on top of a table three rows over. And THAT KID would not leave me alone. You know the kid I'm talking about...the pitiful one who spent the entire lunch leaning over my shoulder to tattle on the other kid who kept calling him "stupider than Brody." At my house, the littles think stupid is the S word, so every time pitiful boy would say "stupider," Ella would lean over and tell me to fuss at him for using the S word.

Not only was pitiful boy "stupider" he also informed me that so-and-so told him he was "talking ugly." This is the exact moment in my lunchroom adventure when I began to wonder how teachers survive without a flask of vodka in their lunch bag. So.....I ask him. "What did you say that  so-and-so thinks is so ugly?" Pitiful boy says, "I said that squirrels like nuts." I look over at so-and-so and say, "Squirrels do like nuts. That's nothing bad." So-and-so gives me his best mischievous grin and says, "He wudden talkin' about no walnuts." Que heart palpitations and sweaty palms. Instead of dealing with it, I told them we should "save this conversation for Mrs. Williams." Yeah, I wimped out and passed the buck.

The enjoyable section of my lunch date was the rousing conversation I had with two boys about our favorite Little Debbie cakes. Let me tell ya, these boys know sugary goodness. I'm half tempted to go buy 4 or 5 boxes of Zebra cakes for the class just because of how these two boys talked. One in particular described the melting of the creme filling and the firmness of the cake in such a way that I actually wanted to go buy one. Right then. The cake boys get two thumbs up. They are sweet kids with sweet teeth.

Not all kids got two thumbs up. In fact my mind was a little like this....

Only 345 more ketchup packets to open.

Good lord. Tell your children to chew with their mouths closed.

Sweet Baby Jesus. That finger was just up his nose, and now he's manhandling his hushpuppies.

Awww, fish bites are gross. The taste cannot be anything compared to watching you eat it.

Will I tie your shoe? Hell to the no. That shoelace looks like a CDC experiment got loose in your house.

Why am I not eating lunch? Because the sight of your food hanging out of your mouth has cured my body of the need for food.

No, I am not coming back tomorrow.

Lunch finally ended, and I felt kind of like I had run 10 miles. Shepherding 275 18 kids to lunch is not for the weak.

Later that night, I hung up my jacket and noticed there was something in the pocket. I reached in and pulled out a half-eaten fish bite from lunch. I wonder which kid blessed me with that little left over.

Monday, May 06, 2013

In the Grass...

Today, I am missing this.....

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It has been cold and rainy for days here. It's May, and we have the heat turned on in our house. I would love for it to be dry enough to waller in the grass and sit in the blinding sun. Ok, I have no idea how to spell that word. It's a southern expression. Rhymes with holler.

Serious question. I still have nearly 30 posts in the draft section. I cannot make up my mind which ones to finish and post first. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of content I have accumulated over the years. What would you prefer to read first?
Goofy posts
Serious posts
Posts with pretty children
Posts without children
Inappropriate posts
What I really think about Nutella
My hair

Help a gal out. I would love it if someone could give me direction. :)

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Before and After...

Just for j-squared...

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We have too much time on our hands. It looks that way at least.