January 23, 2007

Boxing Brothers

For Christmas our boys got boxing gloves so they could beat the crap out of each other. That is what boys love to do, and apparently (according to Wild At Heart) it is how they show each other affection. If they aren't beating each other while wearing the boxing gloves, they are "killing" each other with light sabers or the toy guns they also received for Christmas. Santa must want them to torture each other, or else he understands what boys like! Anyway, here is a video of one boxing round. I think it was a draw, but you can vote for one or the other if you wish! Cole got a few good shots in, and Jacob is more like a windmill with arms! In addition to the video, there are a few pics of Cole wearing the boxing gloves on his feet!?! Apparently he was practicing for the next round, and he figured he had a better chance of winning with his feet! Hope you enjoy.

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January 22, 2007

Jury Duty

So, today I got myself out of bed, took my boys to school, and then headed over to the big town of Henderson for jury duty. For some odd reason, Henderson has never felt it was a priority to make parking accessible to anyone who needs to go to the Courthouse, therefore if you arrive AFTER the sun has risen you will have to park at least 1/2 mile away and walk. I got there pretty early and only had to walk 3/10 of a mile, so I was off to a good start. I made my way through the tight security at the front door and walked up the 3 flights of stairs to the 3rd floor, and stood in line. I waited. And waited. And finally it was my turn to enter the courtroom. They took my jury summons, circled a number on the front and referred to me as "juror 203". They then gave me a piece of paper to sign and indicate whether I would be taking the $10 myself or donating it to a charity. One guy behind me said his favorite charity was himself, and I agreed and signed to take the $10 home with me. Once I had the paper filled out they directed me to the seating in the courtroom, "You can sit ANYwhere you like as long as it isn't in the middle." I wanted to reply, "Well then, I guess I can't sit ANYwhere I like, can I?", but I decided sarcasm was probably not best given in this venue. After solving a few Sudoku puzzles and listening to the ladies next to me laugh their heads off about how they would rather be in bed and how their husbands forced them to get up and get dressed so they could make it on time, the judge entered the room. He gave some patriotic speech about how people died so we could have the right to serve on a jury and so we should be proud to be here and hopefully we would find it an interesting process. I did find it interesting, and I will tell you why. After the patriotic speech, the judge informed us that he had good news and bad news. Good news: they would only be picking one jury today (apparently they usually pick 2-3 juries). Bad news: they wouldn't even be able to pick that jury until after lunch. So he said he would "qualify" us this morning. That means that you have to be able to answer "yes" to the 1st 4 questions he asks you and "no" to the last 3. The questions were like "are you a citizen of the U.S.?" "can you read and write English?" "Are you of good moral character?" "Do you live in the county for which you are serving on the jury?" (those were the "yes" questions) "Have you served on a jury for longer than 6 days in the last 6 months?" "Have you been convicted of a crime?" and "are you currently on probabtion?" (those were the "no"questions). He then said that if anyone couldn't answer "yes" to the 1st 4 and "no" to the last 3 they were to move to the middle section of the courtroom. No one moved, so he deemed us all qualified. Oh, but wait......now someone decided that he must not be qualified (maybe he decided he wasn't of good moral character) and he must not have answered the questions yes, yes, yes, yes, no, no, no.....so he moved to the middle. The judge kind of rolled his eyes and I was thinking that I guess I wouldn't really want someone deciding my fate if they couldn't decide whether or not they were qualified. So, then it was time for all the people who thought they may have exemptions (which by the way are listed on the back of the card and all you have to do is call in to claim it....why would you waste a trip to the courthouse, unless you can't read those instructions...which leads us back to question #2 about being able to read and write English, so you wouldn't have qualified anyway) or people who needed their summons to be deferred. The judge zoomed through those people sending them all home. The middle section was now empty again and we were waiting. The judge explained to us that they would now be calling out names (randomly, of course, because a computer "spits them out"---I was thinking it was kind of like the lotto, you either win or lose, and in this case it is winning if they DON'T call your name!). If your name was called out you were to go sit in the middle section--8 per row and you had to start on the judge's left and go to the judge's right. There were 6 rows to fill. That makes 48 people. The lady who was calling out the names already had the list of names....it isn't like the computer was "spitting them out" while we were sitting there. The names had ALREADY been spit out before we arrived....does anyone see where I am going with this???? Was it just coincidence that none of the people who claimed exemptions were on that list? Maybe. But I am just thinking that they could have only sent a summons to the 48 people they KNEW would be picked and then about 20 or so more people just for good measure in case someone needed to be deferred, and I could have stayed in bed and slept longer!

January 13, 2007


This entry is dedicated to show you the Sport's Drink Ben brought me one day after school. I was thinking he would bring Gatorade or Powerade, but to my surprise he brought me none other than Pickle Juice! I have never seen soccer players out on the field guzzling the Pickle Juice or pouring it over their heads after a long game, but obviously it is available to them if they would get a hankering for such! Ben said that when he saw it, he just had to get it for me....the reason? I do like to sip pickle juice at night, or if I have an upset stomach. Sometimes it helps me to feel better, but I don't think it is something I would like to have 16 oz. of in one long swig while I am sweating profusely and can hardly catch my breath! I think then it would probably make me vomit.....what about you?

January 12, 2007

I Think I Can...I Think I Can!!

My job as a 3rd grade teacher at Pinewood Park is very stressful and not very rewarding. There are those moments, though, that my students do something that just makes me glad I do what I do. Today was one of those days! We gave our students a practice TAKS test so we could gauge where we think they are and what we need to work on. I did not expect very many of my students to pass....not because I am being negative or mean, just because I am for real. I do not have any lofty ideas that I am Anne Sullivan and have worked a miracle in these students' lives over the past 4 months. They came to me reading on Kindergarten and 1st grade levels, and at Christmas when I re-tested them and they moved up to "end of 1st grade" and "beginning of 2nd grade" levels I was ecstatic! You take what you can get, and any bit of improvement is a reason for celebration in my book! So, back to today.....they took the test and were all finished in less than 2 hours, which means 1 of 2 things: 1) they are all extremely smart and have no problem reading or using deductive reasoning, or 2) they didn't even try and they will all fail. So, I was not happy when they said they were done, and I made them go back over their tests and make sure they had done their best. When I graded them I had 6 kids pass (out of 18 who took the test...one kid was sick and will take it next week)!!!! 6!!! That is soooo awesome! I know that to most of you, that isn't a good average, but it is sooo much better than I expected. I also had a few scores of 69 and 67 which means they have a chance! The kids who passed made 75's, 83's, and 86's. To be in the 80's is really good and makes me all the more hopeful for them on that fateful day in February when they will be given the real TAKS test. Until then, I will continue working with them, praying for them, and encouraging them to do their best. I am thrilled with the success they have achieved so far!

January 1, 2007

Christmas 2006

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While our Christmas holidays were not filled with blizzards and cold weather, they were filled with weddings and family. We got the pleasure of not only attending Brin's wedding on the 23rd, but Annalisa was also the flower girl (the most beautiful one ever!!) and Ben had the privilege of doing the photos for her wedding. He was a bit stressed about the whole thing, but I think he did a great job! On Sunday the 24th we took a surprise trip to Riverside to spend the day with Ben's parents for Christmas. They were not going to be able to make it to our house on Christmas day--which is only the 2nd time in Cole's life they haven't been here on Christmas. The kids were bummed on Christmas day that no one came to see them, so we took them in the afternoon to see Night At the Museum. It was very cute and we all loved it. On Tuesday the 26th, Ben had to work, so the kids and I headed out to Mom's to give presents to her and Logan. The kids had a blast running outside with their Uncle Logan ;-) and they were none too happy when I told them it was time to leave. We took Jacob to visit his Peepaw and Granma on Friday because he wanted some alone time with them, and on Saturday the 30th we attended Amanda's beautiful wedding. We have definitely had a full week and I am not glad my vacation is almost over! I hope you enjoy the pics...I know there are alot!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Monday, December 25, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006