Thursday, June 26, 2008

From Soup To Nuts, Explained

Thank you Wikipedia:

"Soup to nuts" is an American English idiom conveying the meaning of "from beginning to end". It is derived from the description of a full course dinner, in which courses progress from soup to a dessert of nuts. It is comparable to expressions in other languages, such as the Latin phrase ab ovo usque ad mala ("from the egg to the apples"), describing the typical Roman meal.

Nuts For Dessert?

My grade-level partner is the best. I love her. We have a wonderful friendship that is somewhere between mother-daughter (each of us always switching the roles we play) and sisters. She makes teaching fun, new and exciting. It's so nice to have a teaching partner that you care so much about. 

Bich, (pronounced: beak) came to the United States well over twenty years ago from Vietnam. She is a wonderfully kind and caring teacher. One of the things I love about Bich is that she's always asking questions. If she doesn't understand something that someone says, later, she'll come and ask me to explain it to her.

I love that she's always eager to learn.

One thing I've learned from Bich is that I (apparently) use a lot of idioms when I talk. I never realized this until I started working with her. She's constantly asking, "What does that mean?" "Can you explain what you just said?"

I'll give you some examples of the idioms I've had to explain:
  • not out of the woods
  • in the same boat
  • cat got your tongue
  • a blessing in disguise
  • doubting Thomas
  • a piece of cake
  • a taste of your own medicine
  • actions speak louder then words
  • pot calling the kettle black
I could go on and on.

Well, when Bich and I were in our workshop today, the instructor threw out an idiom that I've never heard. 

My mind exploded with curiosity. So this is what Bich feels like! 

Very exciting!

She said, "Everything is there for you ... from the soup to the nuts."

What the heck? What does that mean? Does anyone know?

Someone told me is meant you had/have everything you need ... like a meal. From the appetizer (soup) to dessert (nuts).

But who wants nuts for dessert?


Some people grow up having no idea what they want to be when they grow up.

I was not one of those people. I've wanted to be a teacher since the 4th grade.

I had a horrible 4th grade experience. My teacher was awful. I mean truly awful.

I felt stupid every single day in his class. He yelled at us, taught from his desk, hardly ever engaged with us, made learning dreary, and worst of all ... made me feel insignificant and stupid. School was not a safe place for me that year. I came home crying on a daily basis. My parents did what they could, of course. Many meetings with our principal. Formal complaints filed. But in a lot of ways, once you're a teacher, it's very hard to get rid of you. I mean, someone really has to have proof of something significant. It's a very slippery slope to climb. 

One day, I remember sitting at my desk while my teacher was talking and I remember feeling extremely angry. The real violent kind of anger. 


And in my mind, I remember thinking, "When I grow up, I'm going to become a teacher. I am going to become everything that you are not. I am going to love each and every one of my students. They will feel successfull, smart, loved and safe. My classroom will be a place children want to come ... not a place they have to come."

And that was it. I made up my mind that day. 

I have been teaching for nine years now and I often think of that teacher. I wonder what he's doing? Did he hurt others like he hurt me? Is he still teaching?

I received those answers today.

While attending a workshop with other 1st grade teachers in our district, I started chatting with a teacher from the school I attended my elementary years. She asked me to tell her my teachers' names. She was interested in seeing if she knew any of them. I went through my elementary years and she paused as I said my 4th grade teacher's name. 

I'm not making this up. She literally paused.

Yes, she knew him. Yes, she knew all about him. His history. His teaching style. The complains he received.

I can't even begin to explain how validating that felt. 

And guess what people? He was demoted from teaching and is now working as a grounds-keeper. He no longer has the divine privilege of teaching children. 

Ain't karma a b$tch!?!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Day of Accomplishments

I feel very accomplished today.

Here was my schedule:
7:00 am Wake up because I'm WAY anxious about my big job today: legally change my name

7:15 Feed Cooper, feed myself, shower

8:20 Call Comcast while driving to the Social Security office. Get my internet hooked back up ... get a good deal and feel very good about it!

8:50 Arrive ten minutes before SS office opens. Other people show up after me. I start feeling territorial over the fact that I was first (which is very out of character for me ... but I'm embracing my feelings today). I get out of my car and start "the line" for when they open up. Try to start a conversation with a man I quickly learn is deaf.

8:55 Feel awesome about myself that I'm first in line (cheap thrills!). Check in with myself. How am I feeling? Sad? Nervous? Nope, neither really ... still relishing in my "first in line" status. Laugh at how pathetic I am. I really do enjoy being first in line right now. Embracing that feeling.

9:00 SS office opens. Changing your name is surprisingly easy. Give them your ID, your divorce decree, a few click on the computer, and you're done. I even ask "Is that it?" Hmmm ... why did I wait so long? This step turns out to be very anticlimactic.

9:07 Drive to the mall to the Apple store. 

9:13 Arrive at Apple. Make an appointment for 9:15 at the Genius Bar (things are really going my way today). Get a new battery for my laptop. My laptop is truly a laptop now. I've procrastinated for over a year with a battery that doesn't hold a charge. Oh, forgot the best part, my new battery is free because my ex-husband bought me the extended warranty. YES!

9:32 Buy an Apple router for my new internet. Hurray!

9:45 Start driving home. Now that my name is changed, I can go to the DMV to get my new lisence. Roll my eyes thinking about how long the wait is at the DMV. Think about doing it on Friday instead. Car drives itself to DMV. Today must be the way for this too!

10:00 Arrive at DMV. Get my number. I'm number 57. They're on 30. Great. Wish I would have charged my IPod so I could entertain myself with Solitaire. Go out to car and get my book.

10:00 - 11:45 Wait for my number to be called. Never even open my book. The DMV is a way good people-watching location. I'm in heaven. A 4-year old and her mom sit in front of me. We chat the entire time. 

11:45 My number is called. Hallelujah!

11:46 The dude behind the counter punches my old license and checks my stats. Still at the same address? Check. Still 5' 3"? Check. Still 120 pounds? WHAT THE?!? Yah, when I was sixteen. Since I'm really working on feeling my emotions today, I embrace this opportunity to also embrace The Truth. I say, "How about we get a little closer to the truth. Let's bump that number up to 130." I say a little closer ... baby steps people.

11:50 Get my picture taken for my ID. Oh jeez ... I look huge. The woman behind the camera giggles at my reaction, sympathize and lets me take another one. The second picture looks the same. Hmmm. Acknowledge and accept my bad attitude and negative self-talk. Accept the image before me. Say, thanks, and leave. 

12:05 pm Drive to Sushi Zen and meet Jay for lunch. Is it possible to be this hungry? Inhale my Bento Box. Drive home.

1:00 I lay down on the couch. This is the last thing I remember until 3:00. My friends with kids do not let me tell them when I take a nap because they get insanely jealous. I apologize to all of them for posting a blog which includes a 2-hour nap.

3:30 My neighbor Joe (aka friend, internet whizz, computer know-it-all, life-saver) comes over to hook up my internet for me. He brings Jadin (his son) with him. Jay and I babysit and play with Jadin while Joe works on my internet. I bake brownies for Joe and his family; my payment for all his help (which isn't nearly enough to show how appreciative I am).

6:00 Jay leaves for a movie with his friends. Invites me to go along but I say no ... I'm too excited to get my internet up-and-running and blog all night due to withdrawals symptoms related to not having internet at my house for six months. 

7:30 Internet is hooked up. Joe and I play a quick game of Wii Bowling. I kick his butt (I only say this because it's the first time I've even come close to his score). I told you things were going my way today! Eat one of Joe's brownies and drink straight from the milk carton. Yum.

7:50 Sit down and relish in my bliss. My internet is speedy-quick, and I'm back to blogging at home. 

9:00 Realize it's 9:00 and I haven't had dinner yet. Brownies have tied me over. Post this blog.

Life Is Good.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What's In A Name?

I'm surprised by my sadness today. 

For those of you who don't know, I have been divorced for well over a year. Separated for way longer. I'm in a new, committed relationship and am very happy.

So my sadness has surprised me.

I have not changed my last name yet. 

I don't go by Murphey anymore, I socially go by Diederichs. My students have called me Ms. Diederichs for a year now. But I'm legally Murphey. All my bills. My house. My car. Everything except the name-plate as you enter my classroom. Or if you say my name to me ... I prefer Diederichs.

For some reason, I haven't made it down to the Social Security Office with my divorce papers to change my name. It's been over a year. Why haven't I gone? What's in a name, anyway? It shouldn't matter. I shouldn't care. 

And I didn't think it did matter to me.

But today, it does.

Because I have told myself that tomorrow will be the day. Tomorrow ... I will legally change my name.

Each time I think about it, I cry. 

I cry in my classroom as I finish up my report cards. I cry as I pack up my classroom for the summer. I cry in the car on the way home. I hold back tears in Albertson's when the checker asks, "So, how was your day?" I attempt a smile, and choke out "Good, and you?" but all I want to say is "Today has been a sad day."

My sadness and grief surprise me, and I think of my counselor who always reminds me to be gentle with myself and embrace each emotion I feel. There is a reason I feel this way. 

It is yet another reminder of my failed marriage. 

So tomorrow, I will embrace whatever emotions I feel. I will drive to the SS office with my divorce decree .... and I will change my name.

P.S. As  side-note to anyone needed help and wanting support through a divorce (and I am sorry for your pain), Crazy Time, by Abigail Trafford really helped me. My counselor recommended it and I loved it. I still pick it up and read certain chapters.

When We Left Earth

If you haven't seen When We Left Earth yet ... you haven't fully experienced life.

Ok, maybe not that dramatic ... but close! I am totally, 100% addicted to this series. I've watched them all, twice! I feel very NASA-smart and have learned so much!

When We Left Earth is a series of amazing documentaries, following all the NASA missions, redone in HD. The footage is breathtaking and very informative.

Please take my advice and watch them . I promise you won't be disappointed.

How to find the series (I think ... I'm doing this from memory):
  1. Go to On Demand on your TV
  2. Click on TV Entertainment
  3. Click on Discovery Networks
  4. Click on NASA Missions
  5. Click on When We Left Earth

Giving In

When I found out how much I spent a month on my Comcast bill, I really struggled with the concept of spending so much money each month on a frivolous 'want.' I immediately called Comcast and cancelled my 'extra' package which gave me channels like HBO and Showtime (I miss you WEEDS!).

Bam ... $50.00 of savings a month.

A few months later (in a quest to save even more money) I again called Comcast and cancelled my wireless internet.

Bam ... $50.00 of savings a month.

I've been six months without internet at my house ... and it's KILLING me!

Now that school is out (and I don't have access to the internet), I'm literally going through blogging & email withdrawals.

I had no idea how much I rely on the internet for basic communication (email) and a creative outlet (blogging).

I'm giving in and calling Comcast tomorrow. I can no longer live without interent. Here's the thing though ... it's just so expensive. I get so mad, thinking about how much money Comcast is making off each costumer. It can't be THAT expensive. Can it?

Regardless ... I'm going to look at it as paying $50.00 a month for a creative outlet. For keeping in touch with friends. For surfing the internet. For looking on (my guilty, needless, shallow pleasure).

I wonder if they'll give me a good deal for being a returning customer?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

HEAVEN, explained

Some teachers like to keep their personal and professional lives totally separate. I understand and respect that.

However, I am the polar opposite. I love going to birthday parties and baseball games. If the kids invite me and I can go ... I do. I've attended a wide variety of themed birthday parties ... PRINCESS, SPEED-RACER, HULA DANCING, INDIANA JONES, SPONGE BOB, etc.

I think it's so fun seeing students outside of work, getting to know their families and spending time with them is so much fun. And very rewarding for me. I think it helps develop the relationship between me and the students and sets a positive tone for showing (not just telling) them how important they are to me.

This year, I'm happy to say that I also went to quite a few baseball games.

Cooper loves going to my students' baseball games. He relishes in the attention he gets. Lot's of petting and the "Hi Cooper!" yell as they run onto the field to take their positions. I'm always worried Cooper's popularity with the kids will distract their game. That their coaches will get mad at them as they turn their bodies around in the fenced-in dugout to squeal Cooper's name.

When in fact, they try harder to impress. The perfect at-bat. The perfect swing. The perfect fielded ball. The perfect slide into home (or any other base for that matter).

Jay, Cooper and I visited our final baseball game of the school-year, last Saturday. The weather was perfect and the kids were tickled pink that I was there, (or shall I speak the truth: excited to see Cooper).

One girl in particular (a younger sister of one of the players) had a really nice time with Cooper. She sat with him for almost the entire game.

Petting. Loving. Talking. Snuggling. Feeding. Cooing.

So cute.

She said the funniest thing to me:
Girl: Cooper is so nice.
Me: Thank you sweetie.
Girl: My grandma and grandpa used to have a dog like this, but it died.
Me: Oh no. I'm sorry. When dogs die it is sad.
Girl: It's okay. He's in heaven now.
Me; Oh ... well that's a nice place to be.
Girl: Yah it is! When you go to heaven, you get to be in a hot tub filled with gummy bears!

Later when I saw her mom, I told her what her daughter said. She laughed and said, "We told her that heaven is whatever you want it to be!"

I guess she likes hot tubs and gummy bears!

I've been smiling all week ... thinking of that little girl.

Ah ... Heaven.

Mariner's Mania

Melaine won tickets to last night's M's game through her work. She always gets the most amazing seats.

At the last minute she realized she was too overwhelmed (with end-of-the-year) stuff and decided it would be best for her to stay home.

So Jay went in her place (you can only imagine how excited he was). Seriously.

First of all, our seats were in the 1st row behind the Mariner's dugout. I'm talking rest-you-feet-on-top-of-the-dugout close.

Secondly, you haven't met an over-the-top baseball fan until you've met Jay.

Thirdly, Jay didn't even talk the first 20 minutes we were there. Actually, that's a bit of a stretch. The only things out of his mouth for the first 20 minutes were:
  • "This is amazing."
  • "I can't believe we are this close."
  • "Thank you so much for inviting me."
  • "I love watching them practice." (side-note: once Jay found out where our seats were, he adamantly requested we get there [very] early to watch them practice).
I'm not sure which was more fun: having such great seats, or bringing so much joy to Jay.

I'm glad you were my date babe.
Note how cold I look
(beanie and hooded sweatshirt on)

Thank you Melaine!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ferry Ride Beauty

Mt. Rainier and a sailboat ...The moon and Mt. Rainier ...
There is no prettier place to be then the Pacific Northwest on a sunny day.

We are blessed.

Happy Father's Day

Some Father's Day pictures. We went up to my Grandparent's house in Sequim.

My mom and dad, waiting for the ferry in Edmonds ...My Great-Grandpa, working in his yard, wearing his long underwear ...
Three generations of the men in my life. Dad, Danny, and Grandpa ...
I love this picture of Grandpa.
I found it in his den and HAD to take a picture of it ...
My dad, as a little boy ...
Happy Father's Day!

Gum-Chewing and Verbal Diarrhea

On the way home from Grandma and Grandpa's house, we tried to catch the ferry in Kingston but the line was WAY to long. We then drove to catch the Bainbridge ferry. That line was really long too ... but there was no turning back.

My brother and I entertained ourselves with my camera ...We decided self-portraits were a good source of entertainment ...
Ouch, we accidentally hit our heads together and the camera slipped out of my hands. Took this picture before the camera fell. I'm laughing so hard, my eyes are closed ...
Okay ... that's better ...
Yah! We're (finally) on the ferry. This is my attempt at taking a picture of us, with the beautiful skyline behind us. Guess I need to work on my zoom-in, zoom-out skills ...
I had a blast with my brother ... minus the loud gum-chewing in my ear and constant verbal diarrhea. At one point, I said, "Hey, how about once you think of five thoughts, pick one to say out loud." Then we all laughed hysterically every time Danny talked, when we would think "That's what he chose to say out loud?!?"

I love you Danny. I had a blast with you!

Friday, June 13, 2008


I am often frozen by my own fear.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of what hasn't even happened.

My mom shared this poem with me, and I think about it all the time. Maybe it will help you.

Come to the edge, He said.
They said, We are afraid.
Come to the edge, He said.
They came.
He pushed them ...
And they flew.
-- Guillaume Apollinaire

What will you let your fear stop you from doing?

Fill My Sails With Wind

I need some wind in my sails.

I am so tired.

Caffeine and Diet Coke aren't working anymore.

Yesterday I came home from work and slept for two hours.

This isn't normal.

That has been an unusually hard year. A difficult classroom, PLUS taking night classes through SPU.

I am burnt out. I keep thinking if I go on a refreshing walk or something, that I will be more energized. That doesn't work.

Am I in a funk?

2-1/2 more days with kids.

I can make it.

tEeNaGeRs At WiLd

Yesterday, I had lunch duty in our cafeteria.

As I meandered by the kindergarten table, I overheard some kids talking about Britney Spears.

I knew this was going to be good.

Student #1: Ms Diederichs! Ms Diederichs! Did you know that Britney Spears just shaved all her hair off and she's bald?
Me: Oh my goodness. That sounds crazy! I can't believe that happened!
Student #1: Well, it did. It's true. It really happened.
Me: I actually think that was a while ago.
Student #1: No, it just happened. And her kids were stolen too!
Me: Oh my goodness. Who took them?
Student #1: A teenager. A teenager took her kids from her.
Me: Oh wow! This is crazy. Where did you hear all this from?
Student #1: From (student #2)!
Me (addressing student #2): Where did you hear this from?
Student #2: On the news. They said Britney shaved her head and a teenager kidnapped her kids.
Student #3 (interjecting): Yah, they said to lock all your doors at night because kidnappers are running around!
Me: Hmmm ... who is Britney Spears anyway?
Student #4: Oh, a famous person


I love the minds of 5-year olds.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This Ship Is (not) Sinking

I feel very overwhelmed.

I'm starting to lose my patience. It's harder and harder to tolerate more things on my plate. Meetings, birthdays, get-togethers, work, tutoring, errands. Things that are usually fun are starting to become a chore. Un-enjoyable. A source of stress.

The end of the school year is so close. But with that ... comes Field Day (which I'm in charge of), grades, report cards, and extremely energetic kids.

I hear myself saying:
1. "Stop talking please ... (one minute later) I still hear voices." This particular comment makes me smile every time I say it. I keep thinking "I'm going so crazy, that I'm sure I am hearing voices!"
2. "I will be very sad if you have to give yourself a stick for your behavior." Sticks are part of my behavior system. One stick in your 'pocket chart' means 5 minutes recess lost. Two sticks means 10 minutes of recess lost ... so on and so on.
3. "I'm sad you need a reminder about _______ on the 170th day of school."
4. "Show me you're ready for 2nd grade."

Today, I am reminded that I am human. That I too, have a short-fuse sometimes. That I can have less patience. That I can get frustrated, overwhelmed and stressed.

My dad would say, "Lisa, be sure to enjoy the journey." Today, I vow to live in each moment and (try) not to be overwhelmed with my TO DO list.

I pray for patience, a shorter fuse, and more compassion. I pray that He will help me to not feel so overwhelmed with everything, and that I may enjoy each moment. That my patience not be swept away by a wave, but stay with me even as the tide rises.

mIx-MaTcHeD dAy

Today is mix-matched day in 1st grade ... and I think I put together a pretty killer outfit.

Plaid shorts, different-colored Uggs, argyle sweater and a red & orange ribbon in my hair that you can't see.

The kids look totally cute too ... but I shouldn't put their faces on the internet without permission.

Happy Mix-Matched Day!

Father's Day

Ah ... Father's Day.

This year, the kids wrote a book for their fathers. They dedicated their book to their dads, wrote 2 ways they were the same and 2 ways there were different. The final line is: "Sometime we are the same. Sometimes we are different. But we'll always be father and son/daughter."

Here are some of my favorite responses:

I dedicate this book to my dad because ...
1. He buys me video games
2. He likes to talk on his cellphone alone outside. For 1 thing.
3. He loves me
4. Because he is the best dad a boy can have
5. He rocks!

My dad likes to ... Just like me!
1. Play soccer
2. Play video games
3. Watch the sports channel
4. Go camping
5. Go to Lake Chelan
6. Go fishing
7. Play Clue

My dad likes to .... Not Like Me
1. Web surf
2. Take naps
3. Eat meatball sandwiches
4. Check emails
5. Buy stuff (see picture of car driving up to Best Buy for visual reference)
5. Likes guns
6. Likes beer (AWESOME! See picture of dad-figure drinking from a long-necked green bottle. I'm thinking it's Rolling Rock.)
7. Try new movies (see picture; is that a gun or a cigarette? Either way ... kinda disturbing)
8. Mow the lawn (I have a feeling dads don't really 'like' to do this!)
9. Watch Cops
10. Go to work (he does?)
11. Eat double burgers from Jack-In-The-Box
12. Eat gross food

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there ... especially mine.

I Love You
By, Lisa Diederichs

I dedicate this book to my dad. The best dad a girl could ask for. My name is Lisa. I have a dad. His name is Steve. My dad likes to watch sunsets. Just like me! My dad likes to go out on the boat. Just like me! My dad likes to buy CD's. Not like me. My dad likes pineapple on his cheeseburgers. Not like me. Sometimes we are the same. Sometimes we are different. But we will always be Father and Daughter.

Love you Daddy. Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sushi & Substitutes

Ah ... the joys of teaching.

I hear funny/peculiar things every day.

Take today for example:

Student: Ms. D ... have you ever been to Blue C Sushi?
Me: Yes. Have you?
Student: Yes, it's a great place. I think it's cool how you can just pull anything you want off that conveyor belt.
Me: Do you like sushi?
Student: No, I like their sesame noodles. Have you ever had them? I love them. They are dynamite!
Me (holding back a smile ... I just love his vocabulary): I'm glad you like those so much. Did you try any sushi?
Student: I tried the California rolls (pausing to think), but sadly, I only liked the rice.

Or this for example (same student by the way ... he was really on a roll today):

Me: Okay cuties (talking to entire class), I'll see you tomorrow. Don't forget, I'll have a sub, but I'll be pulling you out to have you read to me.
Student: I hope the sub isn't bad.
Me: Oh my ... me too!
Student: Because for some reason, subs just keep getting dumber and dumber the more I meet.

Hmmm ... yah ... not sure it's the subs I'm worried about.

I Am ...

In awe.







One step closer to Africa.

My garage sale was a HUGE success. My goal was to raise $300 and I ended up raising $832.

Thank you to Veronica, Jay, my dad and Danny who came and supported me by helping to sort, set up, sell items (Danny, I still can't believe you got that woman to buy that crib mattress!), go on a lunch-run, and clean-up.

Mom ... words can't describe how much your work means to me. You helped set-up, spent the night, baked brownies, stayed the entire day and were a super-seller. The best part though ... we had so much fun together. Wasn't it fun meeting new people and raising money for an amazing cause?!?

Thank you to all the families who selflessly donated items ... many kids have new toys to play with and new clothes to wear! A special thank you to my students (and their parents) who visited my garage sale. It was fun to see you outside of school. I am very touched that you took time out of your busy Saturday to come over.

I am still in awe of how much I raised. I think my brother said it best:
"I'm actually not surprised to be honest. I kind of felt like there was the presence of an angel looking over your home today, leading people toward your house! Sissy, you are embarking on a magnificent journey and one day soon you can repay the favor to God and be that angel for those children in Africa. Love you and I am very proud of you!"
Danny ... I couldn't have said it better myself!

Thank you everyone!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Garage Sale cRaZiNeSs

I'm having a garage sale tomorrow.

I've never had one before. In fact, the first one I went to was a few weeks ago. I went to Melaine's garage sale, just to see what it's like. I just about flipped my lid when I overheard this conversation:
Customer: How much are these shoes?
Melaine: Well, I paid $100 for them at Nordstrom, so I'll sell them to you for $5.
My head was spinning. Did I just hear that correctly? A $100 pair of shoes for $5? You're killin' me! Having a garage sale is like selling your stuff for practically nothing! This can't be so.

Regardless of my feelings about garage sales, I'm having one tomorrow. I'm raising money for my mission trip to Africa (iThemba Lethu).

However ... no one told me about how you go a bit insane right before a garage sale.

I feel like I'm going cRaZy!

I am so thankful to everyone who has donated items for my garage sale. Thank you so much! I am humbled and grateful for everyone's generosity.

With that said, if I don't go insane from picking stuff up, loading, then unloading my car, pricing items, going through boxes, setting stuff up, working in my garage every night until 1:00 am ... then I will be pleased.

I had no idea what to expect. This is hard work man!

I keep thinking about this quote and smiling:

There's nothing like biting off more than you can chew, and then chewing anyway.
~Mark Burnett

I just keep reminding myself that all this hard work is for a really great cause, that it will all be worth it in the end, and to make the journey fun!

Here's to a really fun, rain-free (please!) garage sale tomorrow!

Feelin' It

Yesterday when I opened my classroom door to take the kids to Music, I smelled something in the hallway.

Something not good.

And since I have a classroom full of boys (*read: smelly, farting, stinky boys), I said ...

"Phew ... I think I smell a pass-gas."

One of my students replied, "Well, I think I might feel one happening."

They are so honest.

I love my job.

* Compared to my classroom full of girls last year.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Go BPA Free!

To say I love Nalgene water bottles ... would be a huge understatement. I avoid wasting plastic bottles and always use a Nalgene bottle for my drinking water.

However, I have recently learned that Nalgene bottles are made with BPA.

You may have heard about BPA in the news lately.

BPA is a synthetic sex hormone that mimics estrogen. It is used to make hard polycarbonate plastic. Ninety-five percent of all baby bottles on the market are made with bisphenol A (Center for Health, Environment & Justice). So are Nalgene bottles (and many other commonly-used goods).

One of my co-workers was so worried about my Nalgene bottle drinking-habits (and my fertility) that she went to REI and bought me a (BPA-free) Camelbak water bottle. Thank you Carolyn! My future children thank you!

I happened to be at REI last weekend and started browsing their water bottle section. I noticed that every Nalgene bottle now has a "BPA Free!" sticker on them.

I also talked to someone in Customer service and learned the following:
  • If you have purchased a Nalgene bottle (from REI) in the last 3 months, it does not contain BPA.
  • If you are an REI member, and used your membership card to purchase your bottles, you can bring back your old ones and they will replace them for free! They can use your REI membership number to look up purchases for the last 5 years.
So ... grab all your Nalgene bottles and head to REI!

Drink safe my loves!

Also, if you have kids, you might want to do research on which bottles are safe for your little kiddos.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Spot

A few months ago while driving to work (and looking in my vanity mirror), I noticed a spot on my face. A rather large spot.

I'm not gonna lie. It really freaked me out. I did the lick-your-finger-and-rub-it-off test, but it didn't work. I called my mom to tell her about it. Did I randomly develop a sun-spot or something? I mean, this thing was quite large. How did I miss it before? Did it just appear overnight?

I had a million rambling questions for my mom. Non of which she could answer over the phone. She suggested I call my dermatologist and make an appointment.

Once I pulled into the school parking lot, I started feeling really self-conscious. Are people going to stare at my spot? Do I look like Rodolph, with a beacon shinning from my cheek?

I decided to just 'announce' my new spot rather then wait for people to ask. Throughout the morning, I started conversations like, "I know I have a random spot on my face, but ..." Or "I woke up with this on my face this morning and I have a question for you ..."

By mid-morning, co-workers were teasing me. The following were comments heard quite frequently:
  • "Hi Spot!"
  • "Hey Lisa, I heard you have a spot on your face. Can I see?"
  • "Let me take a look at this thing."
  • "Are you going to name it?"
  • "So, you just woke up with it huh?"
During my lunch break, I called my life-long dermatologist at the Kirkland Laser Treatment Center and left a message. It went something like this:
"Hi, my name is Lisa Diederichs. I know this sounds really weird, but I woke up with a spot on my face. Like ... I just woke up ... and there is was. I'm pretty sure this isn't normal and I'm kinda scared about it. It's about the size of 1/2 a dime, and it's brown, and I'd really like for it to be looked at. Please call me back as soon as you can so I can come in. Thanks."
The receptionist called me back, assured me that I wasn't in any immediate danger of dying, and made an appointment for me to come in. Their earliest appointment was 3-1/2 weeks away.

What the freak!?! Do I have to walk around with this thing on my face for that long?

Also during my lunch break, I took the above picture and emailed it to as many people as possible. Maybe my friends could tell me what was wrong. Had anyone heard of this before? What could it be?

I was starting to accept My Spot. I was different now. Special. A girl with A Spot. It could be my beauty mark. Like Cindy Crawford. But different. Less brown, and not in a cool place. It was actually right where I have a smile line (aka: wrinkle). When I smiled, it kinda disappeared. That could be cool. Right?!?

I took the kids to P.E. in the afternoon and went to see our school nurse extraordinaire. I asked her to look at my spot to see what she though. I said, "If you think it's Cancer, you can just tell me. I'd rather know!"

Yep ... I was even going THAT far! You see ... I vacillated all day, somewhere in between 'I-Could-Have-Cancer' and 'I-Have-A-Cool-New-Spot.'

Liz (our nurse) took one look at my spot and started laughing. She said, "I think it's make-up."

I quickly replied (defensively, by the way), "No it's not!"

"Do you were brown eyeliner?" she asked.

"Um ... yeah" I quietly said.

She grabbed a gauze pad from her arsenal of medical supplies, put it under warm water and said, "Here. Rub it. See if it comes off." I tried arguing with her. I tried explaining I had OBVIOUSLY already tried everything under the sun to get the dang spot off me. It's with me forever! I had started to bond with it.

Needless to say, with some really hard scrubbing, I noticed part of it flake off. I had to rub really hard, but I'm quite sad to report ... that yes ... My Spot came off.

I was kinda sad about it too. I was no longer the girl with A Spot. Now I was just a girl with a really big red spot on her cheek.

Oh boy ... THAT was fun joke for weeks at school! Not to mention the fact that I had to call and cancel my laser appointment. That was a fun message to leave too.
"Hi, this is Lisa calling back again. I talked to a woman today about a random spot that appeared on my face and I just wanted to let her know that I need to cancel that appointment now. The spot came off."

R.I.P. Spot
You are missed

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Brother

To explain how much I love my brother is impossible.

I admire him. I adore him. I respect him. I look to him for guidance and security.

I love his sense of humor. His strength. His drive. His soul.

He feels good to be around.

I recently celebrated my 32nd birthday.

My favorite part of my birthday was the card my brother wrote me:

You have had an amazingly challenging, yet wondrous year. I am very proud of how you never challenged your integrity as a beautiful woman.
Love you,
Your Brother

Danny ... I feel the exact same way about you.

I love you.

Side-note: I'm not nearly that skinny or tan anymore. :)

sCaRdEy-CaT cLuB!

On Saturday, I bragged to Mike and Jodie about how much I love scary movies. I was quite confident that nothing could scare me.

Until I saw The Strangers.

I used to LOVE scary movies!

Until I saw The Strangers.

Jay and I went with Danny and Erica on Saturday night. I thought I'd be fine. I've seen a gazillion scary movies and loved them all.

Until I saw The Strangers.

After going to the bathroom one last time (just to check ... ladies, you know what I mean), getting a pack of Sour Patch Kids and settling into our seats ... we were ready for the scariness to begin.

We all experienced the "I'm giggly (and giddy!) because I'm about to be scared" phase and joked about who would scream the most. The lights in the theater went down and I got that rush of adrenaline that I just love.

As soon as the movie started, things went downhill fast. In fact the first sign of bad things to come was when I read "based on actual events." Crap! I didn't know that before. I wish I had known that ... I could have prepared myself. But I'm OK still. I can do this!

If you don't know what the movie is about (and consider yourself blessed!) it is really scary and really real. Hello ... based on actual events!

I started sweating in the movie, then got really cold, but still continued to sweat. I thought, "Am I going to have a panic attack or something?" I couldn't handle it. This was too real. I kept looking around the movie theater. Other people looked scared. But not as scared as me. I kept reminding myself, "LISA, you are an adult! Knock it off!" But I couldn't. I couldn't knock it off.

In fact, I so couldn't knock it off that I turned to Erica and said, "I'll be right back, I gotta get out of here."

This movie was seriously freakin' me out. I've never been this scared in a movie before. Ever!

As I walked down the hallway towards the bathrooms, I seriously thought I was going to faint. I also seriously thought I was being ridiculous. But I couldn't help it.

I unsteadily walked into the bathroom ... and threw up.

By the time I came out of the bathroom, Jay was waiting for me in the hallway. I felt so bad, but I said, "I am so sorry, I just can't go back in there." The great guy that he is said, "No problem babe, we'll just go home. Don't worry about it!"

We went over to my neighbor's house to watch Chicken Little. It was the perfect movie to recuperate from the tragedy of the night.

I never thought I'd be in the Scardey-Cat Club.

Until I saw The Strangers.