Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We've come a long way, baby!

Well, it's three days until graduation and I could not be more excited! No more homework,  no more research papers, no more finals. In these last few days of my college experience I was looking back over how far I've come in the last three years. (I am so glad I decided to take an extra year to complete all the prerequisites instead of cramming everything in to two years.)

In the summer of 2008 I decided that I would go back to school after a 15 year break. Because I waited until the middle of July to register for classes I had to wait in that giant, horrendous, 23 mile long line to be able to get the classes I wanted. No big deal. I didn't mind waiting and I had a nice conversation with the 18 year old in line next to me. What I did mind was a classmate of his walking up and asking if I was his mom! I was only 33 years old at the time.

So I got registered for the classes I wanted and the first day had finally arrived. I had fun buying my own school supplies along with the ones I got for my kids. I remember the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when I came up over the hill on Knaust road and saw the parking lot overflowing with cars on the first day of classes. To say I was nervous is a major understatement.

That semester one of my classes was beginning algebra. My oldest son was in eighth grade at the time and we were doing the same math. I would not have been able to make it through that class with the help of my neighbor, Karen, who teaches middle school math and the help of my teacher, Callie Daniels. On the day of our first test, I was the last one to finish. I wanted to cry. Ms.Daniels was very comforting and reassuring. She was always available to help with any problems I was having. Another of my classes was English Comp I. We were required to have a flash drive to save all our papers. I felt like an idiot when I had to ask what a flash drive was. In my previous career as a stay at home Mom, I didn't have much use for a flash drive. Also in that class what sticks out in my mind is that on the first day someone came in and sat down next to me and said, "Whew, I thought I was going to be the oldest person in the class." I didn't know what to say because I sure couldn't say what I was thinking. Needless to say, things got better and I fell into a routine of doing homework right along with my kids.

Lastly, I wouldn't have been able to make it through the HIT program without our program director, Candy Cundiff. From lining ourselves up around the room to learn about terminal digit filing to playing jeopardy, she made some subjects that are not very exciting definitely more interesting. Her creative teaching techniques definitely helped me learn. THANK YOU CANDY!

The last three years have flown by. I feel like I can speak for just about everyone in the HIT program and say, I feel so lucky that I have made friends who I intend to keep in touch with after graduation. We are fortunate to be entering our field at just the right time. Our future is bright!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Enough is Enough!

I am not one of those Moms who hates snow days. All of my kids sleep late and I hate the struggle of the morning routine on school days. So, usually, I LOVE snow days. We sleep late, make cookies, the kids go sledding and build snowmen.

Yesterday I spent the day challenging my 10 year old son in Wii bowling, golf, baseball, and tennis. (He won.) And learning how to play Call of Duty Black Ops with my 15 year old son. (I am not coordinated enough to run, crouch, aim, shoot, reload and change weapons all at the same time.) It was a wonderful day.

HOWEVER, I am getting so sick of snow days! I have things to do that are realy hard to get done with a house full of kids (some mine, some not). I don't want the school year to be extended any more! If we have to, I am willing to give up spring break.

Now that my street has finally been plowed I am going to take the kids to the park to go sledding to burn off some pent up energy and think warm thoughts.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Swimming with the sea cows

My sister-in-law has always been fascinated by manatees. I know it's strange, with us being smack dab in the middle of the country we don't see many manatees around these parts.

Several years ago she started the tradition of going to Florida in the winter to swim with them when they come in from the ocean to gather near the warm springs of Crystal River. When my oldest son was 10 she took him with her. This year it's son #2's turn.

They left today and will be back on monday. I know they will have such a good time snorkeling in the warm water with the sea cows and enjoying the 70+ degree temperatures. For more information you can go to :http://www.homesafe.com/manatee/recommendations.html

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This Could Be Dangerous

I have recently discovered the store Charming Charlie. Let me just say, it is AWESOME! I am in no way affiliated with this store, I don't know anyone who works there, and I don't own any of their stock or even if they have publicly traded stock. I'm just excited I found a new, fun place to shop.

Last night, my husband and three of the kids went to SkyZone to use a gift certificate I bought them on Groupon. (Fabulous site, but thats another story.) While they were jumping my oldest son and I went to Chesterfield mall to kill time. After picking up some sale items at Gymboree for my daughter, I noticed a store with sparkly chandeliers hanging inside. What can I say, sparkly things catch my attention.

So, I went over to investigate. They had a greeter waiting at the door. Nice touch. Way more classy than the one at Wal-Mart. She asked if I had ever been in the store before. When I said no, she explained to me that the store was laid out by color. She said they had any accessories you could imagine: jewelry, headbands, shoes, purses, scarves, lipstick and cell phone cases,  etc. etc. etc. And everything was grouped by color. There was a purple section, a pink section, a blue section, a yellow and gold section, and on and on and on. The best part is that the prices were very reasonable. Everything I looked at was under $20.

It was as if the clouds parted and angels started singing. This store , for me, was like Toys R Us, Chuck E Cheese, and the candy store would be for my kids, all rolled into one. It's probably a good thing I had to be back to pick up my husband and kids at SkyZone or I could have spent a lot of time and money there!

After mentioning this place on Facebook yesterday, I got 14 responses from friends commenting about it. Also, I have been told there is another location at the Meadows in Lake St. Louis. JACKPOT! That's even closer to home.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hectic Holidays

I realize it's been a while since my last blog post. Those pesky finals kept getting in the way. Thank God that's over with for now. I have been so busy this year that I had to cross some things off my to-do list. I usually send out homemade Christmas cards every year. Not this year. Also, my front yard usually is comparable to the Griswold's. I didn't get a chance to make a gingerbread house with the kids either. Oh well. Maybe next year.

The holiday parties we hosted went well. The first one we had 30ish guests  and last Saturday we hosted 58 people. It was a blast! Everything is wrapped. Baking is done. Now, there is only one more thing to do before tomorrow.

Have you seen this? http://www.northpole.com/Parents/verify.asp You can upload a picture of your house to the website and "catch" Santa in the act. I think I'm going to try it. It should be fun since the kids are always trying to sleep under the Christmas tree to catch the big guy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

common sense makes a comeback

I realize it has been awhile since my last blog post. In the last month my kids have finished up the fall baseball, high school football (Good job HOLT Indians!), and little league basketball seasons. I have been putting off telling this story until I got some feedback. Today I got the answer I wanted so I'm going to share.

Back in August, at meet the teacher night at my kids elementary school I volunteered to be organize the Halloween party for my daughters class and the Christmas party for my sons class. I spoke with all the other moms who offered to help send in food, supplies or plan games and activities for the party. It was all arranged that those who were able to be there the day of the party would come to school and help. Those who had to work would send in their supplies.

Everything was arranged and the day of the party came. My kids were very excited to bring their costumes to school and see what all of their friends were dressing up as. I had a class that afternoon so I left early to be at school a little before the party was supposed to start. ONE hour before the party was supposed to start my daughters teacher called me to say that I wasn't on the list of parents who had completed a criminal background check this school year and they would not  let me in the school. I thought, it would not be a problem because I had done the check the last several school years and after all, it was a party day. There are tons of parents who come to school on party days. I was wrong.

I got to school, went to the office, and was informed that indeed, I would not be let into the classroom because I had not done a criminal background check, THIS SCHOOL YEAR. Needless to say, I was very upset. I was IN CHARGE of the Halloween party.  I was instructed that I would have to hand off the things I brought for the party to another mom in the class and leave. There were several moms in the office who were in the same situation.

The secretaries in the office were very nice. I told them several times that I understood they were just following district policy and this was not their fault. I asked them if they could call my kids down to the office so I could explain my absence from the party and that I would see them at home after school.

Luckily, my kids are pretty laid back. I told them how sorry I was that I wouldn't be able to be there due to a mix up with paperwork and that I knew they would have fun at their parties. Claire said, "OK Mom, see you later" and gave me a hug. Clayton's reaction was typical for him. He said, "OK Mom. Just make sure you get the paperwork done before you have to come to the Christmas party in my class."

The party was on a Friday. I waited until the next Monday before I called the Community relations department at the district offices. Apparently I wasn't the only one who called. I explained to the lady how ridiculous I thought this policy is. I can completely understand a volunteer having a criminal background check if he/she is going to have one-on-one unsupervised contact with children. But, a classroom full of people during a holiday party? That seems a little excessive to me.

During our conversation she kept saying, "It's all for the safety of the kids." I get that. But, the district needs to balance the safety of the kids with the need for volunteers and a little common sense. After the party I found out that teachers are only required to have the criminal background check when they are hired. Not every year. Does that make sense? They regularly have one-on-one contact with the kids.

Fast forward to today. I called the community relations lady again. She said the district has changed their policy. Parent volunteers will not be required to have a criminal background check. She said they realized they have a hard time getting parents to volunteer and don't want to discourage those who want to help. Three cheers for the little guy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

do you believe???

The weather has finally started to turn cooler which means football, bonfires, and halloween. Halloween brings with it all kinds of spooky ghost stories, alien sightings, and unexplained stuff. Last night I was listening to the Dave Glover Show on 97.1 FM. He has a regular segment called "Paranormal Tuesday's" The topic yesterday was aliens. (Extra-Terrestrial, not illegal) The guest was talking about the crash of a UFO in 1941 in Cape Girardeau. Here is some info from a book by Leo Stringfield:

One case that reads like a great Sci-Fi script allegedly occurred in 1941 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The case was originally brought to public information by investigator Leo Stringfield in his book, "UFO Crash / Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum."


Death Bed Confession:
The crash details of this case are very much like the Aztec, New Mexico Crash of 1948 and were sent to Stringfield by Charlette Mann, who had received a confession from her grandmother on her death bed.

Her grandfather was Reverend William Huffman, who was pastor of the Red Star Baptist Church. Huffman claimed that he was summoned to pray over crash victims outside of Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1941.

Pray Over Three Dead Bodies:
Huffman was driven to the woods outside of town, which he recalls as being a 10-15 mile trip. The scene was surreal-policemen, fire department personnel, FBI agents, and photographers. The mass of emergency crewmen were all viewing what appeared to be a crash site.


He was soon asked to come and pray over the dead bodies. As he moved through the scene, his attention was drawn to a strange craft.


Disc-Shaped Craft:
Huffman was shocked-he was looking at a disc-shaped object. He quickly took a look inside, and first noticed what appeared to be hieroglyphic-like writings. He could not understand the meaning of the strange writing.

Even more strange were the bodies, not human as he expected, but small alien-looking bodies with large heads, big eyes, only a hint of mouth or ears, and totally without hair. He was sworn to secrecy by military personnel after performing his Christian duties.


Family Discussion:
As much as he tried, Huffman was not able to keep the details of what he had seen from his wife, Floy, and his sons. This family secret would be kept for quite some time until Charlette heard the story from her grandmother in 1984. The details were given as her grandmother lay dying of cancer at Charlette's home.


Full Details Revealed on Death Bed:
Charlette had heard parts of this family secret before, but never had gotten the whole story until her grandmother related the account to her over a period of a couple of days.


Charlette was intent on getting all of the details of the cases, it being her last chance to do so. Her grandmother was undergoing radiation therapy and was living her last few days.


Photograph of an Alien:
Charlette would be surprised when more details of the crash were given to her from a member of her grandfather's congregation. The gentleman, thought to be Garland D. Fronabarger, had given Reverend Huffman a photograph taken on the night of the crash.
The photograph showed one dead alien being held up by two men, as they posed it for the shot.


Charlette's Own Words:
"I saw the picture originally from my dad who had gotten it from my grandfather who was a Baptist minister in Cape Girardeau Missouri in the Spring of ‘41. I saw that [picture] and asked my grandmother at a later time when she was at my home fatally ill with cancer so we had a frank discussion.


She said that grandfather was called out in the spring of 1941 in the evening around 9:00-9:30, that someone had been called out to a plane crash outside of town."


Appears to be Authentic:
The case of the Cape Girardeau, Missouri crash is certainly interesting enough. If the validation of the crash rested solely on the shoulders of Charlette Mann, the case could be called authentic, as Charlette is well respected by all who know her, and she has sought no financial gain.


Yet, more details and corroborating testimony would be extremely important to finally put the crash case in the "authentic" category. I personally feel that the crash occurred.

I know there are people who think someone would have to be crazy to believe in aliens. But really, don't you think it's a little arrogant to think that in this vast universe humans are the only intelligent life there is?