Sunday, November 30, 2008

Random Fact #3

When I was a little girl, our house caught on fire while we were gone running errands. The element that turns the dryer broke but the heat continued to fill the dryer with hot air. All the towels in the dryer caught on fire and we came home to a smokey house and a burnt laundry room.

I had nightmares for many years afterwards. They always were centered around my house on fire with me trying to escape.

Very scary.

And because of these nightmares, I am deathly afraid of my house catching on fire.

When I know I'm leaving my house, my self-diagnosed OCD kicks into high gear.

I walk around the house making sure all lights are turned off.

All lamps unplugged.

All kitchen appliances unplugged.

It literally takes me upwards to ten minutes to leave sometimes.

But here's the kicker ...

If Cooper is leaving with me, I am fine leaving right away.

However, if he is staying home, I am consumed with the vision of him being trapped in my burning house. I would never be able to forgive myself if that happened.

It's terrible.

And now that my outside Christmas lights are up, I NEVER leave Cooper at home.

NEVER.

Are you kidding me? WAY too many faulty wires and bulbs to leave anyone at home with all the lights up against my house.

No way.

No thanks!

And I never, ever, ever leave the washer or dryer going when I'm gone.

If you turned yours off too, that would really help my OCD.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Absent // Present

I've been absent from blogging ...

... and present with my family.

Every second of the last 3 days have been spent with family, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

We laughed, cried, giggled, ate, drank, discussed, hugged, listened, walked, napped, cooked, and simply spent time together.

It's amazing how much you learn about each other just by being.

I also had the extreme pleasure of spending two days with my cousin Jenna. Last night, my cousin Jamie joined us and we had a cousin sleep-over at my house. We ate way too many calories, watched way too many movies, took way too many trips to the grocery store (3 trips in one night to be exact) and giggled all night long.

Now my house is quiet.

The cousins have left.

Cooper is asleep.

Laundry is going.

The soft hum of the dishwasher lulls the air around me.

I am happy.

Loved.

Grateful.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

Today ...

And every day ...

I am thankful.

For it all.

For everything.

For everyone.

For the difference I try to make.

For the difference that others make in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Prayer Requests

Thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout my mission preparation. We leave on December 3rd and will be returning December 14th. Only a few days until we leave!

One of the most important things our team needs during our trip is your PRAYERS. The purpose of this trip is to provide assistance and support to the ministries of iThemba Lethu, as well as serve the needs of community members impacted by the heartache and destruction of HIV/AIDS.

To learn more about the organization we'll be serving alongside, click here.

With Jodie's help, we have put together prayers requests for our team. If you pray ... please join us and support our team in prayer. If you don't pray, this can be used as an itinerary so you know what we're doing on each day. Please keep us in your thoughts.

1. Pray for each team member to be touched and moved and selflessly serve. May our hearts be broken in the ways God's heart aches for the hurting. May we be compelled to act on behalf of those in need. May each team member return home forever changed and passionate about continuing to serve as God leads.

2. Pray for our team's unity that together we might strengthen and support one another. May relationships come easy and unity be boldly experienced together as a team. May we break through the challenges of traveling with others to find the sweetness and honor of sacrificial service.

3. Pray for safety and protection as we travel abroad and through Durban, South Africa. May we be kept free from danger and challenges that might distract from being most effective for the work God has provided for us to carry out during this time.

Below, you will find a detailed list of specific prayer requests for each day we are in Durban, South Africa.

December 3rd-4th
  • Pray for safe travel. We are flying half-way around the world today! Pray that we are able to get some sleep on the plane and for peace instead of anxiety during the flight.
  • Pray for refreshing sleep on the 4th. Pray against exhaustion.
  • Pray for our families at home
December 5th, 6th, 7th
  • We begin ministry immediately on the 5th. Pray for energy, protection, and good connection with the 5th and 6th grade students we are mentoring.
  • Pray for the program we are in charge of. Music, message, discussion groups, crafts ... pray we adequately communicate how VALUABLE the children are to God.
December 8th
  • Today we are taking the 12 babies from iThemba Lethu's transition homes on 2 field trips. First to the beach, then to some botanical gardens. Pray that the regular house mothers are able to enjoy their day off and rest!
  • Pray our team is able to connect to the babies and communicate Jesus' unconditional love to them
December 9th, 10th, 11th
  • For these three days, our team is teaching a "Holiday Club" program for students in the township of Cato Manor, an impoverished "shantytown" community where HIV/AIDS infects upwards of 60% of the population
  • Pray for our safety protection and health as a team
  • Pray that our teaching, singing, etc., effectively communicates God's love
  • Pray for connection with the students
  • Pray against exhaustion and illness
  • Pray that the students are able to encounter Jesus in a life-changing way
  • Pray for our organization, that the program runs smoothly
  • Pray for good communication between our team members
December 12th
  • Today is a rest and debrief day. Pray that we are rejuvenated and refreshed!
December 13th
  • We spend the day at iThemba Lethu's transition homes, helping out with various service projects. Pray that our efforts help aid the ministry of iThemba Lethu!
December 14th
  • Two members of our team head home today (Me & Natalie). Pray for our safe travel.
  • The rest of the team will drive to a game park to view some wild animals. Pray for safety and rejuvenation.
December 15th & 16th
  • The rest of our team heads home. Pray for safe travels.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A House Divided

I have to be honest.

I lost my cool this morning.

Jay is such an over-the-top Cougar fan it (sometimes) drives me nuts.

Now listen, I love the Huskies. I'm a husky. But I don't need to be all up in your face to show you my pride.

Seattlelites think Boston Red Sox fans are crazy ... ?

Have you ever met a Coug?

It's just too much.

Now, I don't want to be throwing Jay under the bus or anything, but the guy has Cougar EVERYTHING. T-shirts. Sweatshirts. Coffee mugs. Pens. Tire cover. Beer mugs. Licence plate cover. Hats. Flags. Sweats. Wine glasses (for crying out loud). Note pads. A freakin' recycled bag for grocery shopping (yah, that one came home the other day).

I can only take so much.

I generally don't say anything. I want him to love his team. I want him to passionately cheer for them. I love his zest for the Cougars. His energy for the teams. It's awesome. And totally adorable.

But this morning ... I blew my top.

It just became too much.

I was casually flat-ironing my hair when a song popped into my head. It was a song I had cheered to back in the day.

The second (and I mean SECOND) I hit the 3rd note of the song, Jay shouted, "YES, the Cougar fight song!"

Oh boy.

I said, "It's also a cheer song, I cheered to it in High School."

"NO! It's the cougar fight song!"

"I understand that, but it's also a cheer song for any team."

You can imagine how the rest of the conversation/passionate argument went.

Him defending "his Cougs."

Me defending that fact that not everything revolves around the Cougs.

Etc., etc., etc.

I guess my point is, I'm a tried-and-true Husky fan, but I know Jay isn't. So I choose to not have 100% of everything revolve around them. Okay, I'll be fair ... 90%.

The fact is, we are a house divided.

We must learn to live in peace and harmony.

And I do agree I lost my cool.

But seriously people.

Cooper's Day At School

I brought Cooper to school with me today.

It took us 34 hours to get to my classroom this morning because Cooper had to mark each-and-every bush with his urine along with way.

Lovely.
While we were walking through the parent pick-up loop (visual: many parents dropping off their kids for school), Cooper decided that this was the proper time and place to take a huge dump.

Of course he did.

He also strategically placed his body directly in front of our 'Welcome To Our School' sign. Now known as 'Welcome To Our School, Home Of The Pooping Dogs.'

Awesome.

I couldn't be more proud.

Once we were safely inside our classroom (and I had sworn under my breath about a thousand times regarding Cooper's poop and pee placements), Cooper and the kids had a blast.

Well, I should restate that. Cooper and the kids had a blast for like 7 minutes.

Then Cooper went behind my desk and laid down (I took him to school with me a lot when I taught Kindergarten so he's way more interested in adults then kids).

Sorry kids, he's quite unimpressed with you. He sees way to many of 'your kind' to be interested anymore.

All in all, we had a fun day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Funny Students

My students are on a roll today ...

We are writing a Pilgrim book in class this week. This particular student dedicated his book to "the United States."

Interesting.

I asked him to go back to his desk and draw a picture of it (you know, just to see what he comes up with).

This is what he came back with (sorry it's backwards)...
I said, "I didn't know the Unites States looks like a person!?!"

He said, "She does." (come on Lisa, resist laughing out loud!)

I said, "Well ... that's amazing."

And he said, "Yah, the United States is a person. Her name is George Bush."

Oh boy.

(For the record, I laughed out loud when he said this, then said, "Good job, I love your drawing.")

************

And then there's this one ....

I had the kids imagine their favorite place outside. In the top box, they had to draw or write what it looks like. In the middle box, they had to draw what it sounds like. And in the bottom box they had to draw what it smells like.

This particular student's favorite place was his Grandma & Grandpa's house on San Juan Island. He drew a picture of their house in the top box and a boat in the middle box. But I was totally confused by the bottom box.

So I called him up to my desk:
Me: Hey buddy, I love your drawings, but I can't figure out this picture.
Student: Oh, that's smoke.
Me: Ooooh, I love the smell of smoke. Do you have camp fires up there?
Student: No, it smells like smoke because my Grandpa smokes.
Me: Oh, I see.
Kinda sad, right?

South Africa Team

Here we are ... minus Kinsey who couldn't make it to our commissioning on Sunday.

We leave December 3rd for Durban, South Africa.
Lisa (me), Jonathan, Kelly, Natalie, Tami, Jodie

Oh, and if anyone knows, please help us to settle a packing issue ...

Is it more space-effective to ROLL t-shirts or LAY (not folded) t-shirts into a suitcase? We are taking t-shirts down to Durban for the kids and we had a (completely friendly) disagreement of sorts about what was most space-effective.

Thoughts (because I certainly know what mine are!)?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

THIS and THAT

I am to tired to form complete sentences and thoughts.

So ...
  • Melaine & I saw Kathy Griffin on Friday night. It was awesome. I laughed for 2 solid hours. That woman cracks me up. I'll post pictures when I'm not so lazy. My camera is in my car which is in the garage which is currently way to far for me to move.
  • On Friday night, I had a 'first.' I paid for my dinner before it arrived. We were in a hurry and our food took forever. So we paid our bill 1st and ate it 2nd. Never done that before. We got a free dessert. It was deep-fried Snickers bars served with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Also know as: Heaven In My Mouth.
  • I had a latte at 5:00pm in order to stay awake on Friday night. Bad idea. Due to before-mentioned latte, I went to bed at 2am.
  • I mainly laid in bed all day Saturday, minus a Starbucks run, a tanning appointment and a shower. A lazy day was a necessity in order to survived the upcoming week. Date Night had high expectations. Dinner and movie. A night on the town, if you will. Date Night ended up consisting of a Subway run and watching Whale Wars on demand. We were both too lazy and tired to leave the house. Oh, and we watched the Apple Cup too. Jay wanted me to make sure I blogged about how thrilled I was that the Cougs won. That will never happen Jay! We truly are a house divided.
  • Today was a whirlwind. I went to church, drove all the way home, let Cooper out, tutored, collected luggage from various people for our donations we're taking down to South Africa. Then back to Woodinville for a Goodbye party for Glenda. See you in SA Glenda!
  • Before church today, our mission team got together and we were all prayed for (picture to be posted soon). It was an amazing experience. We stood in the middle of a many people who put their hands on our shoulders and prayed for us: for our effectiveness, health, safety, and impact on the children of SA. I cried. Powerful stuff.
  • On my way home from church all I wanted for lunch was a tuna sandwich, pickle, chips and Diet Coke. I had to make do. I ended up eating a tuna sandwich, no pickle, stale chips and a Diet Coke. I missed you Pickle.
  • I've realized that I'm totally addicted to caffeine. Not sure what I'm going to do about that. I didn't have time to make coffee before church today so I had to 'fake-it.' The SECOND Glenda saw me, she said, "Are you okay?" Shoot! She can't be fooled. I meekly said, "I just haven't had coffee yet." Not sure what I'm going to do about this realization yet. I'm in the first stage right now: Accepting I have a problem.
That about wraps up the weekend.

Have a great week ... I'll be doing more parent-teacher conferences. Have some tough ones tomorrow. Better get some coffee on the way to school!

Friday, November 21, 2008

What Do You Think?

I can't stop watching this.

Sometimes I laugh.

Am I sick & twisted?

Or is this funny?

Naughty Night

I do a lot of good things.

Tonight ... will be different.

Melaine and I are doing something naughty tonight (and I'm totally giddy with "I'm being naughty tonight" glee).

We are going to go see Kathy Griffin at the Paramount.

She's rude, she's crude, she's crass, and she's totally, inappropriately HILARIOUS!

In the words of my dad, "Get ready to put on your ear muffs."

My response?

"No sh&t!" (you know ... to get ready for the swearing)

Shall fill you in tomorrow!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tetanus Misery

When I woke up yesterday, I thought a semi-truck had run over me in my sleep.

The evening before, I had received a Tetanus shot.

I was out of it all day yesterday.

Why was I so dizzy?

Why was I so tired?

Why was my neck so sore?

Why was my lower-back so painful?

Why did I have a terrible head ache?

Then I read this on medicinenet.com this morning:

SIDE EFFECTS: This medication may cause irritation, redness, swelling, warmth, itching, bruising, pain and a hard lump at the injection site which may last a few days up to a week. Other side effects include a low grade fever, muscle or joint aches, headache, general body discomfort, flushing or itching.

Yep.

Hoping this passes soon.

I feel terrible.

Every part of my body hurts and my head hurts really bad.

I have Parent/Teacher Conferences for the next four days.

I've GOT to pull myself together.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poem

Underneath We're All The Same

He prayed -- it wasn't my religion.
He ate -- it wasn't what I ate.
He spoke -- it wasn't my language.
He dressed -- it wasn't what I wore.
He took my hand -- it wasn't the color of mine.
But when he laughed -- it was
How I laughed, and when he cried --
It was how I cried.

by, Amy Maddox, age 16

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Singer & The Back-Up Guy

This is terrible.

Truly. Terrible.

But on the way home from dinner, I talked Jay into doing a video blog with me ... and this is what I quickly came up with (before he backed out).

Dinner with your boyfriend: $24.78
Gas to get there: $3.00
Posting a truly embarrassing and terrible video on your blog before your boyfriend has time to review & delete it: PRICELESS!!!


Caffeine-loaded Song from Lisa Diederichs on Vimeo.

Eve ... I hope you take note of Cooper's jumping behavior! :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Random Fact #2

When I walk behind slow people, I think "I would hate to walk this slow all the time."

And I wonder if they think "What a shame she walks so fast ..."

... as I walk past them.

Poop On A Stick

This story is really hard to believe.

But I swear to you ... it's true.

I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced it myself.

In the spring of 1992, I did a student teaching practicum for one of my college courses. I had to spend 20 hours in a classroom helping out the teacher and had to teach one lesson towards the end of my 20 hours. Some of the details have faded over time, the other memories remain very clear.

I was assigned to a 1st grade classroom in Helena that was near the college.

On the last day of my practicum, I was to teach my own lesson while the teacher watched. I was super nervous. It was the 1st time 'officially' in front of kids leading a lesson.

I was in charge!

I don't remember what I taught ... but what I do remember is still very vivid:

It was towards the end of my lesson when I noticed a huge fuss towards the back of the room. The kids at the back table weren't listening to me at all. They were moving around a lot and making a ton of noise.

The teacher motioned for me to go back and see what was going on while she took over, finishing up the lesson.

As I approached the table, I noticed that everyone was moving away from one of the boys. They had the look of disgust on their faces.

They were squirming away while saying things like "gross" "yuck" and "ew!"

In my completely 'novice-but-trying-to-act-in-charge-and-experienced' voice, I said, "What is going on back here?"

Boy was I surprised by the answer.

One of the kids pointed to a boy at the table and said, "He has poop on a stick and he's shoving it in our faces!"

Ummm .... what???????

Insert a good 15 seconds of silence while my brain catches up with what I've just heard.

Sure enough, Poop Boy holds up a pencil ... with a circular piece of poop on the end.

Allow me to get the visual picture in your head.

A pencil.

A piece of poop shoved on the eraser end.

A. Perfectly. Round. Piece. Of. Poop.

Formed. And. Molded. Into. A. Sphere. By. Human. Hands.

I could not believe this was happening.

Who does this happen to?

Me! That's who!

Anyway, I said the only thing I could muster out of my mouth (which clearly isn't always the right thing to say, but nonetheless ...), "Where did you get that poop?"

Poop Boy innocently and seriously points towards the back of the room and says, "On the back shelf."

That's it.

I've heard it all.

Can I just skip to the part where I get my teaching certificate now?

Anyway, I make Poop Boy throw away the pencil (and poop) and wash his hands.

I return to the front of the classroom and the teacher whispers to me, "What was going on?"

And now it's my turn.

I innocently and seriously say, "Oh, just some poop on a pencil."

:)

And this is where my phrase "Poop on a stick" comes from.

Sometimes I say it to refer to the weather (which I'm fully aware makes no sense): "It's hotter then poop on a stick."

Or instead of swearing: "POOP ON A STICK!!!!!"

Feel free to use it.

Catchy ... don't cha think?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random Fact #1

Once while waiting in the Junior High lunch line (and wearing a pink sweater - I still remember it), Andy Anthony told me "You know Lisa, pink really isn't your color."

And I didn't wear pink again for over ten years.

Water For Christmas Products

Sick of me talking about clean drinking water for everyone?

No?

Watch this short video then (and the music is really cool too!). It's great ... and explains it all.



You can get involved by clicking here.

Or get a BPA free water bottle for$15 here.

Or a really cool ($20-shipping included) t-shirt here.
100% of the sales goes to water4christmas.com

Every dollar counts.

The woman behind the Water For Christmas movement here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hide & Eat

Oh my goodness ...

Honey, I can SO relate!


Too much candy from Capucha on Vimeo.

This kid is TOO much! I keep watching it and giggling.

Here are some bonus scenes (I love that she blames her mom):


"Too much candy" II-The bonus scenes ! from Capucha on Vimeo.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Guess Who?

We play a game called "Guess Who I Am".

The kids ask me detailed, describing questions and I answer with a YES or a NO. I pick someone that they all know: Shrek, Cinderella, a teacher at school, etc.

This game never fails to entertain me. Half the kids don't listen to each other's questions and my answers so most of the time I get very random questions and totally 'off' guesses.

We were playing this game yesterday and I swear to you this is how it went:
Me: Guess who I am?
Students: Are you a girl?
Me: No
Students: Are you in a movie?
Me: No
Students: Do you have red hair? (They ask me this question every time we play because one time I was Ariel from Little Mermaid and they've apparently never forgotten it)
Me: No
Students: Are you a kid in the class?
Me: Yes!
Students: Do you sit in the 1st row?
Me: No, ask me more describing questions, not where-am-I-sitting-in-the-room questions.
Students: Did you crack your head open today and get stitches?
Me: Yes!
Students: Are you Cameron? (Yes, I really had a kid who cracked his head open yesterday)
Me: Yes!
A totally clueless student looks depressed that the game if over. I asked, "What's wrong?"
He said (looking totally defeated), "I was just about to ask you if you were R2D2."

Seriously ... did he not hear ANY of the questions that kids have been asking?

Once last year, this is how the game went:
Me: Guess who I am!
Students: Are you a girl?
Me: No
Students: Are you in the movies?
Me: Yes
Students: Are you a cartoon?
Me: Yes!
By the way, it's taken me many months at this point of teaching the kids what kind of describing questions to ask for clarification ... then guess who I am because usually they'll just start guessing who I am right away and the game takes forever!
Creative Student: Do you throw fire balls?
Me (pause ... pause ... trying to figure out why he asked me that): No. Why would you ask me something like that?
Creative Student: Oh, I thought you were Mario.

You know ... cuz he eats that mushroom and then he gets "fire power" in Super Mario Bros.

Jeez.

Internetists Anonymous

"If you're pathetic and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're pathetic and you know it, clap your hands ...
If you're pathetic and you know it
And you really want to show it
If you're pathetic and you know clap your hands."

I'm officially pathetic and need some therapy.

I couldn't live without a computer at home.

So I 'checked one out' from my school's computer lab today.

That's right.

I have a student computer at my house.

The user name is STUDENT ... and there is NO password.

It's quite easy and totally convenient.

I'm going to open a local chapter of Internetists Anonymous.

Let me know if you want to join.

Jodie said she would.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two Dollar Shoes

Circle Time conversation:

Joyce: I like your shoes. I haven't seen those before.
Me: Thank you Joyce. They aren't new, I just don't wear them very often. Guess how much I got them for? (I love asking this question because some of them don't have a good concept of the value of a dollar yet)
Joyce: Twenty dollars?
Me: No, three dollars at my neighbors garage sale.
Caleb: Wow! That's a lot!
Me: It is?
Caleb: Oh, I mean that's cheap!
Me: Thanks! I thought so too.
Riley: My dad thinks three dollars is a lot for shoes.
Me: He does? How much do his shoes cost?
Riley: One dollar.
Me: Wow, that's impressive!
Riley: No. Wait. Two dollars.
Me: Oh. Cool. What kind of shoes does he get for two dollars?
Riley: The yellow kind. They are yellow and white on top and black on the bottom.
Me: They sound neat.

Sleepy-Head

I was so tired last night.

I have a lot going on.

All good stuff.

Just a lot.

I went upstairs to 'lay down' for a while around 8:30.

I woke up at 6:30am.

Fully clothed. Adoption Rules t-shirt still on (and ya'll KNOW how I feel about wearing dark-colored clothes to bed!).

Full set up make up on.

Teeth not brushed.

Face not washed.

See previous post for how I looked in when woke up this morning. Yep, just like yesterday.

I actually looked at myself in the mirror and though, "It's a damn shame I need to shower because my makeup looks really good still!"

Then I giggled, and got in the shower.

I haven't done that in a LONG time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adoption Rocks!

I promised Neely that I'd take a picture of myself when I wore my ADOPTION ROCKS shirt!

If you'd like to support Neely and her family with their adoption, click here to purchase a shirt or donate.

We can't wait to meet baby(ies) McQueen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

She Called Me Angel

I went to college in Montana. During the summer of 1992, some friends and I drove to Glacier for a camping trip. The roads were winding and beautiful. After a fun week of camping, hiking, and rock climbing ... we headed back home. Our journey home was long, but the scenery was beautiful and we didn't mind the drive ahead of us.

I remember sitting in the passenger seat of our car, staring at the back of the motorcycle in front of us. I noticed how close their foot-pegs came to the ground around the many winding corners of the highway. But I just stared in silence, never making my thoughts heard.

We made a pit-stop for a quick refuel along the way, and lost sight of the motorcycle. We thought nothing of it.

After about 15 minutes back on the road, we rounded a corner and our hearts stopped.

There was the motorcycle ... laying on the side of the road. The motorcycle we had been following.

The man was laboriously getting off the ground and brushing himself off.

The woman was no where to be seen.

We immediately stopped and the four of us jumped out to help. The two guys I was with ran over to help the man up, while my friend Amy and I frantically looked for the woman.

We found her.

Laying face-down.

In the ditch.

She was laying on arms.

She was moaning, crying, disoriented, delirious. and could not move.

I'm not sure how long it was that Amy and I stayed in that ditch with her. I'd guess about an hour. We were in the middle of nowhere. We had to wait for a car to pass us and get to a phone to call for help.

We rubbed her back. We played with her hair. We talked to her. Made sure her body was covered with our blankets. We listened to her stories. Learned about her kids. What she did for a living. Places she had traveled to. Comforted her in her pain. Encouraged her to stay still. Not to move. Kept her updated on how her husband was doing.

She asked us questions about ourselves. Our names. What school we went to. Where we were from. How old we were. What our families were like.

As time wore on, it became more difficult. Her pendulum swung between complete hysteria & fear to shock & passing out. Amy and I were so scared.

I honestly thought she was going to die.

Amy and I had to take turns walking away so she wouldn't hear us cry. I started thinking, "How would I want to die?"

With someone by my side.

Laying in the ditch with me.

Listening to my stories.

Listening to their stories.

Feeling loved. Cared for. Important. Valued.

So ... that's what we did. We loved her. Cared for her. Listened to her stories. She WAS valued and important.

There was a brief moment before the ambulance arrived when she got very quiet. Every time she did this, Amy and I would look at each other and wonder.

In her weak voice, she said, "Lisa, Amy ... you are my angels on earth. I just know it. There was a reason you found us here. Thank you. Thank you."

She and her husband were taken away in the ambulance.

We collected ourselves and continued on our way home.

About a month passed, when Amy and I both received a card in the mail.

In all of her pain and fear, she had remembered where we went to school.

And sent us a thank you card.

I wish I would have kept it.

I wish I could remember her name.

I wish I could remember her face. I only saw her face for a brief moment when she was flipped over on the board to be taken into the ambulance.

We stayed in that ditch. Loving her.

Never seeing her face. But knowing her strength. Her story. Her love.

I remember her hair. Her back. Her voice. Her tender disposition. Her gratitude.

I also remember what's most important.

Helping someone in need.

Those feelings. The sadness. The empathy. The desperation.

It's an odd feeling to feel like you're helpless ... when really ... your helping by being.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Be BPA Free!

I finally took back all my (BPA-filled) water bottles!

I've mentioned before that if you bought your old water bottles at REI, using your REI membership card, they will take them back and give you a merchandise credit.

So ... I took back 12 old Nalgene bottles and got 3 new BPA-free water bottles.

My SIGG water bottle is my favorite one. Mine has a different lid, but this was the only picture I could find.

Isn't it great?

More info here and here if you're interested!

Hmmm ... What To Do?

I have nothing profound to say.

I just feel like I MUST do a post because I actually have a computer sitting in front of me.

Yah, I'm stooping THAT low.

I came into work on a non-work day.

I'm PATHETIC.

But seriously people, what does one do without a computer?

I started reading a book!

I woke up on Saturday morning and thought, "well what the HECK am I gonna do all day?"

Obviously I spend WAY to much time on my computer.

Anyway, just saying hello.

I miss the blogging world.

Again, pathetic.

:)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

I had a BAD day yesterday.

I finally sat down to cry about it an hour ago.

I can not log onto my report card system at work.

"There is an error with your account. Please contact the Technology Help Desk."

Dear Help Desk, when you say you are open until 4:30 to take calls ... be open until 4:30. Please don't make me wait at work for your call that never comes. I was late to the dinner that I was hosting. My guests were there at my house. I was not. Nothing got resolved. I can not do my report cards from home on Monday like I planned. I can not do them from work either. There is something wrong with my account ... but you aren't available to return my call, because you don't work the hours you say you work. From, a very disgruntled costumer, who works her alotted work hours & more.

I got home (late) to waiting guests. Had my dinner party. Guests left. I sat down to blog. My computer died.

Died.

Like never-coming-back-from-the-grave-dead.

I have no computer.

My hard drive has crashed.

No redeeming information.

Said information was never backed up.

My bad.

Ouch.

So, my computer is getting sent off to Apple on Monday.

I have no computer and no way of doing report cards.

I have lost over ten years of pictures. I have lost my SPU papers (that took me a year to write) that I'll need next year when I finish up my class.

For the record, YES, I am totally aware that there are FAR worse things that are happening all over this world.

But please, allow me this small pity party.

Gotta get off the computer, my parents need their computer back. ;)

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Light Pole

I saw a light pole fall on a car today.

I was on my way home from work.

While stopped at a red light, I looked across the street ...

And saw a light pole falling.

It landed on the back of a car.

I silently thanked God for his blessing.

No one was hurt.

I sat in awe for about 5 minutes with my mouth open.

How does a concrete light pole fall in the middle of rush-hour traffic through an intersection and no one gets hurt?

I watched people stop.

I watched people help.

I watched people direct traffic.

I watched people call for help.

Like the people I'm going to Africa with. Like the people helping in the accident tonight ...

... something is bringing us together.

It's going to be life-changing.

We will never forget it.

Our light pole will fall in a different way.

Our lives are about to change.

We are about to make a difference.

I Seriously Have To Do This?

Holy Cow ...

Never underestimate the gargantuan job of writing sub plans for 9 school days!

My brain is so flooded with things 'not to forget to tell the sub' that it might explode.

I've resorted to making lists.

Many.

Many lists.

I must keep in mind: This ship will not sink without me. They are kids. They are resilient to change.

On another note: I'll be leaving for Africa in 25 days!

That is if I finish writing my novel.

Also know as: Sub Plans For 9 Days

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Welcome ...

... into my world.

While driving home tonight, something magical happened.

One of my favorite songs EVER came over the airwaves.

I was in heaven.

Sweet Dreams by Annie Lennox came on and I said (to myself of course), "Are you KIDDING me? Yessssssssss!"

And then I quickly grabbed my phone.

Why?

Cuz I'm kinda good at singing this song (to be said with a sarcastic tone).

The truth is ... I practice this song.

A lot.

How? You may be asking?

Wii.

American Idol presents Karaoke Revolution to be exact (the reason I have this game in the 1st place is an entire blog post in itself).

My apologies for only being able to capture 15 seconds of this small piece of heaven.

Enjoy ... and Your Welcome.
video

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Water For Christmas

I know you've heard me talk about Charity: Water a bazillion times.


Please see what my blogging friend Jody is doing about it.


Join her.

I love what she said:

Water For Christmas. People. Water.

Emotion doesn’t count.

Action does.

It starts now.

Everyone Has Thoughts (here are mine)

No matter who our President is,

we can stand tall and proud.

We have made history people.

We have crossed over cultural and racial boundaries.

Whatever your political views, let's show everyone that we can support each other and support our newly elected President.

Also, join me in prayer for Barack & his family.

Their life is about to change.

They will be challenged.

I know there is a lot of fear out there.

But just remember.

Your God is the same God that you believed in yesterday.

He is the one who's in control.

And that will never change.

Let's go forward.

Forward with HOPE.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hope

Feeling it ...
Today, I'm proud.

From The Mouths Of Babes

Ok ... I couldn't make this up.

I mean ... I suppose I could.

But I didn't.

When I walked into the cafeteria today, the kids were chanting "BARACK O-BA-MA, BARACK O-BA-MA, BARACK O-BA-MA!"

It was hilarious and darling at the same time.

Because as we all know, kids like whoever their parents or friends like.

And they don't really know why.

So ... I thought I'd walk around and ask WHO they are voting for, and WHY.

I didn't promt them at all. And only asked kids who were already talking about voting and the next president.

I asked 15 kids.

Twelve of them said they're voting for Barack Obama. I asked them WHY. Here are their (unfiltered) responses:
  • Because he's cool
  • He has good thinking stuff
  • He's really good and nice
  • He's wanting to save the environment
  • He has good ideas
  • I think he would do a better job then John McCain
  • He's black, and I like black people
  • (one student chimes in) Oh, I like Jamaican people!
  • He is younger and will have a better life
  • He ROCKS because he has the word 'rock' in his name
  • He wants to stop the war and that is a good thing because innocent people are dying
  • He's like Martin Luther King, but younger
Two of them said John McCain:
  • I don't know why
  • I don't know
There was only one student who knew she was too young to vote.

Please don't take offense to any of these answers.

They are straight out of the mouths of 1st and 2nd graders, sitting around a cafeteria table talking about politics.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Charity: Water

Can you imagine having this choice?
  • Drink the water. Die
  • Don't drink the water. Die
I've written about Charity: Water before.

I feel a calling to help.

I can't think about it without crying.

I can't talk about it without getting goose bumps.

Until I can figure out how to help, I will continue to process my feelings and spread the word of this amazing cause.

Can we really feel content while knowing other mothers, other daughters, other fathers, other grandparents, other sons, other PEOPLE, don't have clean drinking water?

If you'd like to get involved, please visit my friend Jody's website or visit Charity: Water.

One $20 donation will help to raise funds for a well. One well supplies 400 people 20 years worth of clean, healthy drinking water.


Vote ... At School?!?

We all know tomorrow is Election Day.

Get out there and vote!

Tomorrow, the school that I work for will be a polling place. I have very mixed (and strong) feelings about this.

First of all, I know that schools are a community center.

I get that.

But ... I also know that schools need to be a place where kids feel safe ... and ARE safe.

With so many random people coming onto campus tomorrow ... I have to be honest ... I'm not feeling great about it.

This sounds like a completely pessimistic viewpoint, but I also think it's a realistic viewpoint; keeping our student's safety in mind. There will be many people on campus tomorrow.

I don't know.

I'm sure everything will be great and fine.

I'm just not feeling 100% about it is all.

Call me overprotective.

Call me pessimistic.

Call me a Debbie Downer.

But while you're at it ... you can also call me caring, safe, conscious, aware and protective of my students.

Awesome Advice

Allow me to dispense some words of wisdom.

A word to the wise:
  • Don't eat 4 mini Twix bars left over from your class' Halloween party as a morning snack
You really, rEaLlY, REALLY won't feel good afterwards.

A sugar-low sucks while teaching!

And thanks-for-nothing goes to
  • Bich for giving them to me
  • Myself for eating them!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

OCC Advent Conspiracy

Join us.

Won't you?



If you can't attend (starting 11/30/08), you can still participate in the movement.

Buy one less gift this year.

And GIVE.

Post Secrets

If you haven't checked out Post Secret yet, you should.

Here are two from today that I liked.

I so do this:

Cross out the word baseball and insert football ... and this could have been mine (which isn't true anymore, but was true for quite some time.)

P.S. I've been addicted to vimeo.com. It's bad. I stayed up til 3am on Friday night watching frickin' videos. That's my post secret for the day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008