Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Day of Summer Vacation

Friday was our last day of school.  What a great feeling it was.  Sending off our 8th graders was very emotional for me.  Yes, I cried.  We lined all the 7th and 8th graders up and down the halls, while the 8th graders came down and we sang... na na na na na na na hey hey hey goodbye repeatedly.  I was pretty teary, but began to really cry when particular students passed me and stopped to hug me.  There were a couple that I have taught for the last 3 years.  They have grown and matured so much.  We have built solid relationships during those 3 years.  They would come to me when things were going on at home.  They just needed someone to listen.

One particular student I am very fond of.  From the start I was drawn to him in a mentor sort of way.  He has had a horrible childhood.  He struggles in school.  But, he is an outstanding athlete. He shines on the field in every sport.  For three years, I taught him.  We would have long talks about his childhood, his hopes and dreams, and what it was going to take to stay on the right track.  

At one point during the three years, I remember asking him what he was going to be after he graduated high school.  His response was..... Mrs. Dunlap... I am going to be a dealer.  You can make a lot of money selling drugs.  He then immediately began laughing and told me he was just kidding.  I was ready to strangle him.  Like many boys, his dream is to play football professionally.  I have always told him he would make it big one day but that he had to make the right choices in life.  I also added that he better remember me when he makes his millions.  

After the 8th graders exited the building I headed back to start putting things away for summer.  Another teacher had followed me and we ended up talking in my room.  The next thing I knew, this same student came running into my room, tears rolling down his cheeks.  He ran up to me and gave me the hugest bear hug and held on for dear life.  He sobbed and had his head on my shoulder and said he would never forget me and that he would come back and make me proud (okay, I am so starting to cry as I type this).  I told him that I worry about him all the time and that he must follow his dreams no matter what, and that I had better not hear that he is a daddy during high school.  We both laughed at that.  It was so very emotional.  It was then that I realized again, why I teach.

This year has been tough.  Teaching middle school is very difficult.  The students are at such a difficult time in their lives.  One day they love you, the next they can't stand you and many times they can't stand themselves.  This moment with this student solidified with me why I am teaching middle school and that I am where I belong.  

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Thank You

As we celebrate Memorial Day tomorrow, I wanted to share a photo that has been in the news, of Spc. Zachery Boyd of Fort Worth, Texas. He was obviously resting when under attack. I read somewhere that he was so concerned about the President seeing the photo because he said he could get fired for not being in full uniform. Something tells me that his job is secure. Click the photograph and you can read the entire story.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day and please say a prayer for our soldiers, both living and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

To our military personnel, thank you for all you do. We honor you today and everyday.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

I have to share this website I found off of Facebook. I am telling you...... you will be laughing so hard.... tears will be coming to your eyes. PLEASE check it out. I wanted to share the picture that literally had me crying I was laughing so hard. I don't know if it was the picture so much, as the comments that had me so tickled. It is called

Yes, I do have a very silly sense of humor. You can also click on the photograph, as I linked it to the website. Go ahead, read the comments.

Here is another that is hilarious.... if I ever pose a family like this.... it is time for me to quit photography! What was this photographer thinking? Don't answer that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Garden Tales

This evening the kids and I worked in the garden after dinner. Our vegetables are all coming up, slowly but surely. Our weeds on the other hand, are thriving. I took it upon myself to utilize the gardening gloves I had purchased. I tell you..... there were a ton of weeds. At one point I had two cactus thorns in my finger. They were the BIG ones that pull your skin with it as you try to tug on it. It hurt like heck!

After we finished pulling weeds, we watered. I couldn't resist spraying the kids, of course. As I was finishing up with the watering, Brayden yells out "Oh my gosh!". He said this as he was bending down looking at Bailee's leg. Of course being the snakephobic (pretty sure that isn't a word) person I am, I immediately think it is a snake. Brayden then says, "Bailee is covered in cactus thorns all on the back of her legs." Because I didn't see her near the LARGE cactus in the corner of our garden, I thought he was full of it. Well...... it turns out he was NOT exaggerating. Her legs were covered in thorns. At this point I am trying not to panic. I debate whether or not to call my mom. She always knows what to do. I decided though to put on my big girl panties and deal with it myself.

All I pictured was the her experience with getting stitches and us having to hold her down during it. I knew immediately that this would AGAIN require us holding her down to pull those suckers out. Sure enough the kids and I got on the golf cart. I held her across my legs on her belly and Brayden held her legs for me. We both began pulling out the thorns. Poor little Bailee screamed her little head off. She knew we were helping her out but you know it hurt like the dickens! After her bath, I found 5 more! Poor Brayden had tears in his eyes. He hates to see his sister so upset. Thankfully all is now calm and the kids are sound asleep in their beds and Daddy is on his way home from a meeting and life is good.

Tonight, I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures of Brayden and Bailee together. It was one that daddy took on Easter morning. Can't you see the love the have for each other? Too cute!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

My mother and I are extremely close. For many years I was a daddy's girl. Suddenly around the time I started high school, my mother and I began building a bond unlike any other. I admire my mother. She truly was the glue that kept us together. She is our rock. She exudes unconditional love like I have never seen. Growing up, when I made choices she didn't agree with, she stood by me regardless and loved me for me, never trying to change me to become what she wanted me to be. Thanks mom for being my best friend and also setting a great example for me to follow as a mother.

I sometimes find myself looking into my daughter's eyes, and making her silent promises. I promise her to be the best mother possible, just as my mom was to me. I promise to love and support her through life and be there for her when life's storms come rolling in and also to dance with her in the rain after those storms.

Recently I was reading a novel. There was a strong mother daughter relationship in the novel. I read something in it that will forever stay with me. It went something like this.... when you have a daughter, you meet the person that will be holding your hand when you leave this world. I have thought about that, every day since finishing the book. Wow, that was a powerful thought for me.

God blessed me when he chose my mom for me.

I was again blessed in September of '99, my wedding day. On that day I received a mother-in-law. I don't have those horrible mother in law stories you hear of. I am not just saying that either. She is the most laid back easy going mother in law you could imagine. What I love most about her is..... the fact that she loves me just as I am. She accepts me. I could not ask for anything else. I watch her interact with others and envy just how easy going she is. She lets things just roll of her back and doesn't hold grudges against anyone.

She did an amazing job raising her two children. They have both turned into wonderful adults. Thank you Mimi for the unconditional love and for being you. Thank you for raising such a wonderful son. I love you and appreciate you so!

There is one other mother I want to mention in this Mother's Day post. It is my friend Nicole. This will be her first Mother's Day without Grey. While you and I go about our day tomorrow, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Yes, I am blessed. I have some great examples of mother's in my life. I strive to follow in their footsteps.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Our Swine Flu Vacation!

This has been the most relaxing and enjoyable break. We have accomplished a lot around here. Thursday we cleaned out our garage and filled a horse trailer full of junk. On Friday Justin and I and the kids headed to my parents house (a.k.a Grammy and Papaw) and cleaned and organized their garage. Again, we filled up the livestock trailer full of junk and took it to the dump. It was wonderful to accomplish so much but I paid for it yesterday. I didn't have the energy for much of anything. Brayden and daddy left early Saturday morning to go out of town for a sheep sale. Bailee and I had a girls weekend. We cleaned house, washed clothes, danced around the living room, and hung out with a friend. Today Bailee and I worked in the garden we had planted a week ago today. We already have cucumbers, squash, okra, and corn sprouting. It is a lot of fun! We are still waiting for our peppers, tomatoes, and carrots to sprout. Hopefully they will.

Tonight, we baked some brownies after the boys came home. The kids got to lick the bowl. I remember doing this as a kid and loving every minute of it. My kids obviously enjoy chocolate too!

Tomorrow's agenda...... my cardiologist check up, vet appointment for Honeybear, and building my teacher website and adding learning activities on it. We received an email from the district and they are requiring all teachers to build their website and post activities that students can do while school is closed since we are suppose to be working and this way they can keep paying us. Wish me luck!

Here are some pictures of planting our garden and some of the kids from tonight, enjoying brownie batter. Life is good!

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