Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It's over!

Today, I went into school to finish up a couple of things and then to participate in the Secret Pal reveal. So, it's officially over for the year. It still doesn't feel quite right, but I am sure that I will get used to this "summer thing."

Now, I have to figure out how to walk out of the heat of the day and have something to do with the boys while I am doing it.

Monday, May 28, 2007


We took the boys to High Falls State Park to play around a bit today. We walked 4 miles of trail, much of it with a pretty steep grade. It felt good, but my knees were really sore by the end of it. I am not used to such steep hills. But, my fanny should be the better for it.

I was really proud of my oldest son. He struggles so much with his sense of balance. I had made myself a walking stick after the dog bite. Now, I will make one for each of the boys. I think that younger son will think it's cool. My eldest will gain confidence from having a balance aid. He was miserable during the whole thing, but very proud of himself for completing the distance. He's making progress.

I am psyched!

Okay, the dog bite has slowed me down a bit. I haven't trained for a couple of days because of it. It has really bummed me out. On the good side, I went to the hardware store and made myself a stout walking stick, so at least I can stand more of a chance next time.

With the lack of working out this week, I wasn't expecting any real progress on the weight loss front. But, to my happy surprise this morning, I have officially lost 9.8 lbs since I started this new push. I guess it has been about 2 weeks. So, I am very, very excited!

My short term goal is to be under 200 for my anniversary. I was really afraid that it wasn't going to happen if I couldn't work out. Now, I have until June 12th and only need to lose 5.3 lbs to make my goal! So, I am excited! It's stupid, but I have never had any success in reaching weight loss goals--EVER. For the first time, I feel like I am really regaining control over this part of my life.

Anyway, Happy Memorial Day! Remember what it's all about.

Memorial Day

Just wanted to take a moment to say "thanks" to all of the men and women who have served in the armed forces to protect those of us who have stayed here at home. Freedom is certainly not free and so many have paid the price.

Screw the celebrities and athletes--these are the real heroes!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Perils of Country Living

Okay, most days I absolutely love living out in the country. It's quiet, peaceful, tranquil. Today, I am ready to move into the heart of town.

Last night, while on a training walk in my parent's neighborhood (they live on a quiet cul-de-sac in the boondocks) I was bitten by a dog. I have walked this road since 1984 and have NEVER had a problem with dogs. Fortunately, the dog had all of her shots up to date.

My friend, Misty, got a laugh out of knowing that I had gotten bitten on the fanny (no less). I told her that I took one for the team. But, I am supposed to walk for 5 miles today and I can't figure out exactly how to handle that one or even where to go to walk now.

Many years ago, I was bitten by a friend's dog. His name was Happy, no less. This dog's name is Trixie. So, I have determined that dogs with perky names are evil.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Proud Day

Last night was bittersweet. We held our graduation and turned a wonderful group of kids out into the wide world. I shouldn't be partial, but I am way more attached to this particular group of kids than I have ever been with any other group. I will miss these kids, although I am really proud of them and I do believe that they are ready to go out into the world.

But, I cried.

I guess I realize how hard the knocks are that these kids will have to take in their adult lives. It's not going to be easy. But, it will be worth it. I foresee such great possibilities for this group. They are truly a talented bunch. Gosh, I am going to miss them.

Truett Cathy was our commencement speaker and he did an AWESOME job! He tells it like he sees it and he even encouraged the students to remember some important points:
Sexual purity counts
It's okay to actually LIKE your work
It's okay to work hard
The most important decision (other than being a Christian) you'll make is who to make your spouse.
God calls all of us to different things--find that calling.

In a world where it's not okay to dare tell biblical truths out loud, Truett Cathy is a hero. I was proud for my kids and students to hear these truths. I don't know how on Earth we'll ever find another commencement speaker who can match this!

Our musical performances were outstanding as well. Leslie and Damien are so blessed with song and they sang their hearts out for us.

So, as much as I will miss these kids, I am so honored to have known this group. Here's to the class of 2007 (my chicken class!). I love you guys (Valedictorian Jade, Saluditorian Hannah, STAR student Aaron, Meg, Tabby, Lauren C., Tara, Amanda, Curtis, Wesley, Daniel, Lauren W., and Dana)! Godspeed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Star Teacher--WOW!

Okay, just about the time I think that I have a handle on all possible contingencies, I am thrown a curve. At Honors Day today, my best friend's son, Aaron, was named as our school's STAR Student for the highest SAT score in a single sitting. It's quite an honor to receive.

I was totally unprepared that he would choose me for his STAR Teacher. I am completely honored to be chosen (I have never received any sort of award for my teaching before). It is humbling to know that maybe something I have done has made a difference somehow.

The best part is that he picked me because he said that he had to work harder for me than for anyone else. I must admit, that part made me happy! If I am really doing my job and pushing for excellence, my classes should be tough--very tough.

It's not often that as either a Mom or as a Teacher, that I am not being blamed for something that has happened. Today, I got blamed for doing a good job. How 'bout that?

Honors Day at FCA

Well, Honors Day is always a good day. It's nice to get to publicly acknowledge those children who excel at academics and Godly behavior. As usual, I was a very proud mama yesterday as my own children were recognized for the elementary classes. My youngest even won the Christian Character award for the 3rd grade. He received other commendations, but that one really touches my heart. This is the second year in a row that he received it.

My oldest was on the honor roll and was thrilled to be recognized as well. Aspies and other autistic kids work so hard to handle all of the commotion of the school day as well as the social upheavals that all kids face--then they have to contend with the academics. So, overall, we couldn't be more blessed.

My brother, Nathan, received a Gold Medal for Art classes also.

It was a good day.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Photo Ops for FCA

FCA Kindergarten graduates and Senior Class Graduates will have candid photos available on the website as of next week.

Also, Eddie will be available to take family and group photos at graduation with NO SITTING FEE! Pictures will be available for review and purchase on the website next week also.


Ah, it's good to feel like a winner. After several weeks of watching the scale not budge--not even one little, tiny bit, I am finally able to report that I have broken through my plateau. I have officially lost 6.2 pounds this week! Woo Hoo!

So, maybe things can get back to my own little odd sense of what is normal.

It's a good thing!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

5 mile training walk

Well, I completed my second 5 mile training walk. I won't say that it was easy, but it has been completed. Whew! I am not exactly a speed demon, but I keep on trudging along.

The boys are spending the night with the grandparents tonight, so it's quiet around here. Love that!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New t-shirts!

Okay, I realize that I have an--ahem--unusual sense of humor. So, I had to make a t-shirt to commemorate the hydration slogan at the Atlanta kick-off for the 3-Day training season. It is "drink, pee, no IV." I changed it up a little and created a darling little t-shirt reminder for the more unusual among us. Feel free to stop by my little store and check it out:

It's too cool! All proceeds go toward my 3-Day fundraising account.

Tire fires and lightning--oh well!

The tire factory in Jackson was on fire and the stench was everywhere. Not good when you have already got a kiddo battling asthma. No fun at all.

Went to go on my training walk today. Left later than usual. When I got out of the car to take my first step, FLASH/BANG! Oh well, I decided not to walk tonight and went home to get on the elliptical trainer. Rain is one thing, but I didn't want to die during training.

Oh well. Hopefully, I will get to walk tomorrow.

$1213.00 and counting! Woo Hoo!

Wow! The Durhams, Dr. Steve and Sue, have sent me a generous donation for the 3-day! They are the owners of Crosspointe Dental in Griffin, Georgia and Dr. Steve has been taking care of me since around 1984.

I also taught one of their sons when I was at Spalding High School. Good folks.

Thanks Dr. Steve and Sue! I appreciate you guys so much!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Little Maddie McGann

Okay, I can't imagine the horrific fear and pain of knowing that my child was missing. That alone would be a fate far worse than death and too many families have known that fate too well. My heart goes out to them. But, what happens when you add the tremendous guilt that comes from knowing that you left your 4 year old without supervision (in a hotel in a foreign country) so that you could eat out.

It's all playing out on the nightly news. That poor baby, God only knows what has happened to her and if she is even alive or not.

God help us all.

End of an era

Ironically, Jerry Falwell passed away just months before two of my students were leaving to attend Liberty University. I can't say that I agree with everything that Mr. Falwell believed, but I do credit him with being vocal about conservative values and being very pro-adoption, anti-abortion. That issue alone makes him a hero in my book.

I hope that Liberty University will survive this transition to new leadership and maintain its conservative identity. It's nice to know that there are options out there in academia which still understand the simple power of appropriate, moral behavior.

It's the end of an era.

Sick-o kiddo

Well, I am home with a sick young'un today. My youngest has athsma and when he was walking with me last night, a neighbor was cutting grass. That threw enough debris and pollen into the air that it just overwhelmed his system.

Fortunately, we are just about finished with school this year. My classes are finished up, so it was very easy for me to stay out. It's just a matter of finishing up my grading when I get back tomorrow.

Hope the kiddo feels better, but without students, we can always take a sleeping bag with us and let him chill out in my empty classroom. We'll see.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hatchett Photography Update

Our website is up and running. Check out If you click on "online proofs" and enter the password "fca prom" then you can view our recent middle and high school prom photo shoots. Let me know what you think of them.

Thanks, thanks, and more thanks!

A big ol' thank you to the Whetstone and Buckley families for helping to add to my fundraising goals. That puts me up to $1,085! I am so grateful for all of the money that is being entrusted to breast cancer research by so many wonderful people.

Gosh. Will wonders never cease?

Our First 5K Walk

Today, our family participated in our first organized walking event. It was a 5K sponsored by our local United Bank to benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. It was a good day for a walk and a good cause to walk for.

The date turned out to be almost prophetic. Three months ago, to the day, I was rushing my Dad to the local hospital with severe chest pains. I doubt that I have ever been as frightened as I was that day. He had a significant heart attack. Early care helped to moderate the damage and with two stents, he began the road to recovery. Today, that road led 3.1 miles through Griffin, Georgia. I was so proud of him for completing the walk--he even made better time than we did!

Also, Dad reminded me that 31 years ago, to the day, my Mom learned that she had cervical cancer. At that time, none of us had ever met anyone who was a cancer survivor. I was in the 4th grade at the time, and she believed that there was no hope but to prolong the inevitable as long as possible. We called her after the walk to tell her we all made it. Arthritis prevented her from joining us. Modern medicine is miraculous--truly a gift from a loving God.

Before the walk, I received a special Mother's Day gift. Eddie replaced my fanny pack (that had been accidentally broken a few weeks back) with a much upgraded model that will be much better to carry on the 3-day. I carried it on the walk today and it was shockingly comfortable. I was able to carry 2 water bottles, my blister kit (Eddie included it with the gift), sunscreen lip balm, and my wig (swapped out for the ball cap which I wear when I walk). Plus, it had loads of room to spare. It is wrapped in thick padding and moisture wicking material. I am very grateful. It's a very highly rated model on and much nicer than I probably would have bought for myself.

We had never really walked with our two boys (one with autism) where we expected them to keep a constant pace. Usually, hubby takes them on light day hikes. This was a bit more extreme, but I am so very proud to announce that we all made it! The boys were feeling the heat and stress by the end, but we came in with a very respectable 59 minutes. Not a fast pace, but a good, steady showing. I am proud.

The boys were thrilled that they got t-shirts and a cool water bottle from Truett's Grill. I won a door prize of a mini-facial that I am looking forward to using soon. I hope that this can be the first step toward getting us all more active and healthy. Even though the amounts that I will need to walk will vary in the weeks preceding my 3-day walk in October, I would like to see us have more time to walk together as a family. It beats the snot out of tv time!

When I got home, I received the nicest Mother's Day card from my best friend, Karen. It was so unexpected (and squishy) that I knew in an instant that the sentiment was legitimate. I am honored. What a good day!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

as if the prank wasn't enough...

Well, the chickens died. We are not entirely sure why. Could have been the tremendous stress that they went through at the school. It may have been temperature fluctuations. It could have been that it just wasn't meant to be.

Unfortunately, the boys have taken this really hard. It's been rough this last couple of days. We've had to eat pork and beef to avoid bringing up chickens.

The Seniors have given me a decorated toilet tank lid to commemorate the prank, along with a few stuffed chicken toys. Now, I will have a special "homage a' Class of '007" to keep in my classroom forever. Yay.

My classes are all taking their final exams today, so academics are largely over with on my end.
I'm counting down the days

Monday, May 7, 2007

Senior Prank Day

Okay, it wouldn't be graduation season without it--the infamous Senior Prank. Up until this year, we had been oh, so fortunate that in our tiny, Christian school, the students didn't really have the nerve to do very much. So much for that.

I am now the proud owner of two (yes, two) chickens that have been dyed blue and silver on the wings to commemorate our school colors (royal blue, white, silver). All year long, at every opportunity, the kids (and I, their senior sponsor) have been called up in front of the school to do the chicken dance. The kids dubbed themselves the Chicken Class.

I guess the writing had been on the wall for some time.

Other teachers had it much worse (even though my classroom smells a bit like a barnyard). The math teacher's room had been turned into a reading lounge (with my books, shelves, etc.). The Science teacher got a room full of real toilets, toilet paper, saran wrap, and super bouncy balls (2,000 in all). The Bible teacher's room was a--shall we say--homage a' feminine hygiene products. So, all in all, I feel rather blessed.

God help us with what tomorrow could bring!

The Prom Weekend is Over!

Two proms in one weekend is way too much! The Senior Prom on Saturday went off so wonderfully well that there was no possible way that the Middle School prom could compare.

This was a Hollywood Premiere Party for the Class of '007. It was too cool! Our art teacher did a fabulous job making us a marquis for the entrance, silhouettes of Paparazzi with cameras, an Oscar on the wall. It was truly magical. The kids enjoyed the show and although they were a little slow on the uptake with the top 10 list and the "Crammy" awards, they did seem to appreciate the whole shindig.

The middle schoolers had a good time, as well. But they are so much more immature than the high school kids and, hence, they were more destructive. It's aggravating to put that much into a truly special event and have kids grind food into the floors and break plastic cups into hundreds of clear shards to litter the floor.

Of course, the most fun was in kidding around with the other staff members. I have created a "pet name" for one of our students that comes from a misspelling of her name. I can't even say it without sounding like some demented pool boy. So, I milked it for all it was worth. Her parents played along, too.

Then our DJ really got me. He told me that he was going to check me for ticks. Ugh! Nobody told me that it was a dippy country song. Well, it certainly caught me off guard. So, now it is on for next year. I will get him!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Birding Interview!

Okay, I am thrilled that everyone had a good time at the 2nd annual Youth Birding Competition. But, when I learned that one of the event's sponsors was impressed enough with my hubby and youngest son to ask to interview them to help acquire further sponsorship for next week--well, I was a little proud, to say the very least!

Here is the link: Talkcast Name: Youthful Nature
Click on it and listen to your heart's content. I just learned that the state of Georgia and Audubon Atlanta are both planning to use this podcast to help promote the event and increase public awareness of birding. It's exciting!