31 August 2010


Alabama Bloggers

Alabama Bloggers is doing the Score For Your Team Football Carnival again this year, and again this year, I'm participating.  So far, I've scored a field goal for Bama by putting the button on my sidebar, and now I'm scoring a TD for posting about my team.  (I'll get to that in just a bit.)  I'll also be scoring an extra point for facebooking about the carnival.  I take my football seriously.  :)

So, I've already posted once this week about this being GAME WEEK, but I can't let my fellow Bama fans down by not participating in this contest.  Plus, I wouldn't mind winning one of the prizes from either Baja Burgers or Taziki's. 

Hmmm...what to blog about?  I could blog about my first ever Bama game.  It was the September 8, 1984 loss to Boston College.  The game was played at Legion Field.  My best friend Debbie and I went with a friend of hers who was a student at Bama.  I remember what I wore (khaki pants, a blue plaid Lee button up shirt, and Payless brand boat shoes.  This was before I became a shoe snob.)  I also remember doing Rammer Jammer and thinking that my mom would be upset if she knew I was saying "we're gonna beat the hell outta you!"  hahaha  Boy, times have changed. 

I could blog about my freshman year at Bama.  I remember watching the amazing come-from-behind win over the Georgia Bulldogs.  Aunnie, Tina, Angeline, and I were watching the game on my 13" TV in my dorm room.  Once the game was over, we hung out the window yelling as loudly as we could.  The band (I was in the colorguard my freshman year) went to Memphis that year.  I remember not feeling so well on that Saturday...  And then, there was THE game.  Yep.  1985.  November 30.  Birmingham, AL.  Van Tiffin.  52 yard field goal.  "And the state of Alabama is Crimson."  I still get chills when I see that replay or hear the radio play-by-play.  Bama went to Hawaii that year for the bowl game.  The band didn't get to go.  My dreams of spending part of my Christmas break were dashed.

I could blog about the 1999 SECCG.   Susan, Tim, John, and I went, and we had a blast.  The beginning of the game wasn't too much fun, but once the Tide starting rolling, we truly enjoyed ourselves.  A young boy, maybe 10, was sitting behind us.  Every time Bama would do something awesome, he'd yell out, "Who's ya daddy?"  For the longest time, that was our "slogan."  Riding the MARTA back to our hotel with all of those depressed Gator fans (in their hideous orange) was something I enjoyed immensely.  I just sat there with a huge smile on my face.

I could blog about the 2000 season when Bama went 3-8, and we sat through rain for what seems like every single game.  That was a looooonnnnngggggg season.

I could blog about the A. MAY. ZING. 2009 season...the domination in the Dome, the two blocked punts by Terrence Cody in the UT game, the comeback in the Auburn game, the domination in the Dome part 2, and turning the Rose Bowl CRIMSON once again.

So many memories.  Not all are happy, but even when Bama was having the worst seasons, I was still there, cheering and pulling for my guys.  I was still wearing my Crimson.  I was still as proud of those teams and players as I am of the ones who are there now.  I will be proud of every team that takes the field in the future.

So, I guess I didn't have a post about anything in particular, just some random memories of my team.  My boys.  My school.  I love Bama football!

ROLL TIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

29 August 2010


I have been anxiously awaiting this week since January 7th at approximately 11PM.  It is finally here, and I couldn't be more ready.  About a month ago, I started planning what I was going to wear Saturday.  Of course, I bought a new shirt.  Well, I have actually bought a couple new shirts.  And I'm sure that won't be the end of my shirt buying.  One entire drawer is devoted to my Bama T-shirts.  And it's full.  I should go through it to weed out some of the ones that have gotten awfully ratty.  I can take them to the lake for my work shirts.

The game this week is against San Jose State University.  Because the game is Labor Day weekend, we debated going.  I was going to let John make the final decision, but I really wanted to go.  I kept asking him if we were or we weren't, but he wasn't answering.  Finally, out of the blue when we were at Oskar's one night, he said, "I think I want to go to the game."  His reason was because this is the FIRST game in the new and improved Bryant-Denny Stadium.  This will be the largest crowd ever to see a collegiate football game in the state of Alabama.  He said, "We've got to be a part of this."  And I agree whole-heartedly! 

Not only am I excited about the game, but I'm excited about seeing Janie, Mike, and Wade.  Janie and I always say we're going to get together during the off-season, but we never do.  But we do text off and on.  Way back when, when Bama was going through its difficult years, our seats were moved, and they sat behind us.  Over the years, we developed a friendship, so the beginning of the season is always like a reunion.  Fortunately, when they moved our seats last season, we were still in the same section.  The one thing that was unfortunate is that there are now several rows between us, so we can't hug and high five whenever Bama does something good.

We're meeting Susan and Tim for lunch Saturday.  I can't wait for that, either!  Even though we see each other a lot during the off-season, we get to see each other a lot more during the season.  I love being able to hang out with them in one of my favorite places in the world.  I hope we can do some tailgating this season.  We're planning on having a shrimp boil for the LSU game (or maybe the Tennessee game, depending on Tim's work schedule.)  We're playing Florida this year on Oct. 2...John's birthday...and I'd love to tailgate then.  The last time we played Florida in Tuscaloosa, we dominated them 31-3.  On Oct. 2.  John's 50th birthday.  I'm hoping we'll have a repeat this year.  Of course, Urban Meyer and the Gators will have a huge circle on this game because of the SEC Championship game and Bama's national title.  I know Coach Saban will do his best to make sure our guys are focused and ready!

I guess that's about it.  The pups are READY to GO, so we've got to get everything together and head home.  It's been a typical Hartselle weekend...lots and lots and lots of repetition.  Alzheimer's is not a disease for the impatient.  God has certainly worked on helping me to learn to be a more patient person.  I still have a LONG, LONG way to go!

Have a GREAT week!

25 August 2010

Randomly random ramblings

I need sleep

Yeah, I know I've said that every time I've blogged for the last two and a half weeks, but it's true.  I am sleep deprived.  I'm usually not this tired until the end of the first semester, but at this rate, I'll be beyond tired by the time Christmas rolls around.  Just how tired am I?  Yesterday I got to the school, put my key in the lock, and tried to open the door.  It took me a second to realize that it helps if you TURN the key after you put it in the lock.  Just inserting it won't do the trick.  At lunch I went down to the office to the vending machine to get junk for lunch.  We had stuff here that I could have (and should have) taken, but I just couldn't get up enough energy to pack anything.  I did grab a pack of Pop Tarts, but I left them in the car, and once I realized that, I wasn't going back to the car.  Anyway, I was at the vending machine making my decision.  Karen and I had been talking about  Cheese Curls the day before, so I bought a bag of them, and then I decided to get a Reese's Cup, too.  I put in my 85 cents (dime by dime by dime by dime...'cause I didn't have anything else.)  The Reese's Cups are E-10 in the machine.  Once I got my eight dimes and a nickel in the machine, I pushed the E, and then I pushed the 1.  Just before I pushed the 0 (which doesn't even exist on the machine), a Milky Way fell.  That's when it dawned on me that there is a button with a 10 on it.  Good thing I like Milky Way bars.  It's probably a good thing yesterday was test day, too.  Who knows what goofiness would have come from my brain.

Bunco fun

Even though I was completely wiped out and wanted to do nothing more than crawl in bed, I hadn't gotten a sub for bunco, so I dragged my tired butt to Anne's for the evening.  On the way to meet Pat and Dianne, I realized that I didn't have any money.  Remember I used all my dimes and nickels to buy junk for lunch.  I told Pat I needed to just drive myself so I could run by the bank.  She said she had cash so I could just owe her.  Instead of owing her, I asked if I could right her a check, so that's what I did.  Anne had a delicious meal, and after having only Cheese Curls and a Milky Way for lunch, I was ready for a delicious meal.  We played, and I WON!  I had the most wins, so I got to come home $15 richer than I left home.  (And nope, I didn't tell John.)  At one of the rounds, Pat, Daphne, and I got so tickled that we laughed until we cried.  My sides and my face were hurting so good.  I haven't laughed like that in a long time, and it was definitely needed.  On the way back to our cars, we had to tell Dianne about it, so we ended up laughing just as hard again.  Of course I went to bed almost immediately after I got home.  The high I had from laughing didn't last very long.

Groundhog Weekend

This is our "groundhog weekend."  Since the nursing home paperwork has been started, we probably won't have many more of them.  Oh, of course we'll still go up to Hartselle to visit, but the visits will be much different.  And probably much more difficult, at least in the beginning. I wonder what kinds of questions she'll ask this go round.  Last time she asked me if I was married to John.  I told her that I wasn't.  I just saw him on the side of the road, felt sorry for him, and picked him up.  She looked at me with a funny look before laughing and saying, "You're just kidding around with me."  Luckily she still remembers that I have a weird sense of humor.  (I was NOT that way before I married into the Vest family!  LOL)  The next day we were talking about Katy and Jessi.  She looked at John and asked him if they were his daughters.  Stuff like that breaks my heart.  They have been his daughters for 28 and 26 years respectively, and for her to have to ask for clarification just shows how much her memory is deteriorating.  And then there is the constant asking us on Sunday why we can't stay another day.  When we were there in July, John showed more frustration than he ever has before.

A new bathroom

On Tuesday, we're getting a new bathroom!  Well, not a new bathroom, but it will be new to us.  We had Re-Bath give us an estimate, and we decided it was something we could do.  Even more than that, it is something we NEED to do.  Our home is over 70 years old, and all of the bathroom and kitchen fixtures are original to the house. That means a cast iron tub (and sinks.)  Years ago, we had the tub refinished, but it didn't last, and it looks horrible.  I love taking a nice, long, hot bath, but I cannot tell you the last time I had one because the tub is just yuck!  Soon, I'll be able to once again come home from a long, hard day and soak.  I wish the "new" bathtub would look like the one on the right, but it won't.  It will be a liner over the existing tub and wall surrounds.  The tub will be a biscuit color, and walls will look like travertine.  And yes, this means redoing the rest of the bathroom.  A new sink, a new toilet, new paint...I can't wait.  I LOVE home improvement projects!!

Can you say PICKY??

Without a doubt, I have to have one of the pickiest dogs.  EVER.  Not Ali...no, she'll pretty much eat her food without complaints, even though she has her favorite pieces.  Bama, however, is a different story.  The other day he was making me craaaaazy with his whining.  I was asking if he needed to go potty, go poop, to play...He just kept whining.  Finally I said, "Do you need some food?"  He took off running to the kitchen.  (I swear, he is too smart for his own good!)  Anyway, I went to the kitchen only to find that he still had food in his bowl.  The problem was that it wasn't the pieces he likes.  He likes the little white pieces, the little orangy-colored pieces, and the "peas."  The big red pieces, the small brown pieces, and the fish pieces--fuhgettaboutit.  He ain't eating them unless he is starving and we aren't here to give in to his incessant whining.  He was doing the same thing this afternoon, so I asked if he needed some food.  Like before, he ran to the kitchen, and like before, his bowl was about half full.  Like before, I gave him fresh food.  He ate his favorite pieces and has left the rest.  He also doesn't care for the more expensive dog biscuits.  Milkbone?  He refuses to eat them.  He hides them.  The cheapest store brand we can possibly find?  He eats them like they are the best things ever.  Even though he is uber-picky, he is one of the sweetest puppies in the world, and I don't know what we would do without him or Ali.

I guess that's it for my randomly random ramblings.  I'm about to go crash.  The tests that needed to get graded didn't, but I can work on them in the morning during my planning.  And if I still don't finish, I can work on them this weekend at Billie's.  It always helps me to have something to keep me busy.  The questions over and over don't seem quite so repetitive.

Have a GREAT Friday eve tomorrow!

21 August 2010

Family and friends

"Family and Friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches."
Wanda Hope Carter

I had to work the high school jamboree game last night, so we didn't go to the lake.  We asked Lance and Jessi if they had anything going on.  They didn't, so we invited them, Wayne, Kay, Katy, and Sam over/down to cook out.  If you read my post from a few days ago, you know that my house was a total MESS, so that meant cleaning this morning.  We did straighten up Thursday evening, but since I didn't get home until after 8 last night (left home about 6AM..a LONG day!), nothing got down last night.

We got up this morning, went to Bob's for breakfast, and then went to the Pig.  John decided to grill a couple of pork tenderloins and a drunk chicken.  I did potato salad and slaw and corn, and Jess green beans.  Not just ANY green beans.  These were wrapped in bacon and covered with brown sugar and then baked.  DE. LISH. US.  John and I had never had them, but I know I'll be making them in the future.

After we got back from the grocery store, I started cleaning house and John started cutting grass.  I was almost finished when Katy and Sam got here.  I quickly finished up, started the potatoes, and took my shower.  Jessi, Lance, Wayne, and Kay got here about 3.

Sam kept us all entertained.  He has one of the best personalities I've ever seen.  He laughs most all of the time.  He did have one small come-apart though.  His shirt got wet, and he did NOT want Katy to take it off him.  After a few minutes, he was back to his happy, cheerful self.  He is REALLY good at saying Pop Pop and will even say it without being prompted.  Grana...well, we're still working on that.  Once today I asked him who I was.  He said something that sounded like "Shoshie."  Like I've said in the past...I'll be whatever he decides.  He finally conked out about 8:30.  I told Katy I really expected him to just fall over at any minute because he was so tired. 

I'm so glad that John and I are developing a friendship with Wayne and Kay.  I love the way that my mom and dad and John's family have become "family." I see that happening with the Caldwells and the Vests.  That's why I put the quote at the top of this post.  You HAVE to accept the family you're born into.  Even if you turn yourself away from them or they from you, they are still your family.  When friends become family, you accept them because you WANT to.  Those friendships are often very few and far between.

I think I'm about to join Sam in Slumberland.  Have a GREAT Sunday!

18 August 2010

I'm gonna whine

OK, I know that I really shouldn't whine when so many others in this world face much more difficulty and strife than what I ever have.  Just today, one of my very dear friends had to go to court to gain permanent custody of her mother.  She has had temporary custody for a while now, but in order to continue to do what needs to be done, she had to take this step.  Not easy.  I have another friend who has had to learn to live her life without her daughter.  Actually, I don't guess she has really learned how to do that yet.  Will she ever?  Losing your beautiful child when she is only 20 cannot be easy.  Another very dear and special person to me is having some health problems and will be having a colonoscopy next week.  She is WAY, WAY too young to be having this type of exam, but hopefully the doctor will be able to determine what is going on.  So yeah, when I complain in this post, I should be ashamed.  And I am.  I'm a big ole whiney baby right now.

Why am I whining?  Simply because I am tired.  For the last week and a half, I have gotten up at 4:45, gone to work, taught the same material for six straight hours, come home, done work for the next day, and gone to bed.  No, I don't have to get up at 4:45, but I really do love the quiet time in the mornings before the day gets started.  I use that time as an "extra" planning period.  I would rather get there early than to stay late.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching British lit all day, so that isn't a problem, but I have first block planning.   That means my first class begins at 9:08, and other than the 23 minutes I have for lunch, I am going going going until 3:14.  First block planning is my favorite because I can focus on what I need to do for that day, but when you don't stop, it makes for a long day. 

My eyes feel like someone has poured a gallon of hot sauce in them.  They are on fire.  I can't decide if they feel this way because I'm close to exhaustion or if it is allergy related.  Either way, I don't like it.  And I've whined about them all day. 

I thought by Thursday of last week I was beginning to adjust, but now I'm not so sure.  I'm not coming in and falling asleep on the sofa by 6, but I am in bed by 8:30 or so every night and I sleep like the dead.  Well, except for the stupid school dreams I am STILL having!  Oh, and last night I woke up with a Charley horse.  Owowowowow!!!!

I think I'm going to go take my makeup off, crawl in bed, and read for a bit. I've started Same Kind of Different as Me.

Have a GREAT day!

17 August 2010

So what to blog about?

Not a whole lot is going on here in the Vest household right now.  We get up, get ready, and go to work, and then when I get home, I do what HAS to be done and CRASH.  Sadly, the things that HAVE to be done haven't included much laundry or cleaning.  If we had company right now, I would be mortified.  It isn't that my house is filthy, but it looks like a tornado has blown through. 

Shoes are scattered all over the place.  Piles of laundry can be found in the bathroom and in the laundry room.  And there are two baskets of dirty clothes sitting in the hall.  The breakfast room table has several grocery bags sitting, waiting to be emptied.  I'm not a fanatic about having a spotless house.  I want people to feel like they can prop their feet (with or without shoes) up on the ottoman.  Kick you shoes off and tuck your feet up under you on the sofa.  BUT right now, I really don't want visitors.  I don't want anyone to see my house looking so unkempt.

We have our first high school football game Friday night.  It isn't actually one that "counts" on the season.  Last year, Mr. Reyes made the decision to assign each faculty member to work one game, and we'll do the same this year.  Originally, I wasn't scheduled to work Friday night, but one of the teachers who was supposed to work has to go to the volleyball game, so Mr. R asked if I would fill in.  I readily agreed.  Hopefully, it will be the only game I have to work.  It will be HOT, but I'd rather get it over with.  I'll be working in the main parking lot.  Should be fun.  LOL

Since I have to work the game, I won't be going to the lake, so on Saturday, I can get my butt in gear and get this house cleaned up.  If I don't, I may go crazy.  One of our bunco subs does housecleaning.  I'm seriously thinking of asking her if she would be interested in doing a really good housecleaning for me once a month.  The other weeks, I could do enough to keep the house from getting so messy.

I guess that's about it.  I need to go check the load of laundry in the washer.  My capris that I plan on wearing tomorrow are in that load, and I need to make sure I dry them and hang them up before I fall asleep.  I would have more than enough time to iron in the morning if I fell asleep before they were dried, but I hate ironing in the mornings. 

Have a GREAT day!

12 August 2010

Kenny Chesney - The Boys of Fall

Susan sent me the link to this video yesterday.  After school, I sat at my computer to watch it.  I had chills.  I love the way it begins because the coach is telling his players exactly what I try to tell my students.  When he says "I would give anything tonight to jump into one of these uniforms with you guys", I know what he means.  Even though I have no real desire to relive my teenage years, there are many times when I would give anything to be able to sit in one of those desks at Oakman High School one more time.  I would give anything to know then how quickly life would go by.  I would love to go back so I could focus on TODAY.  I try so hard today to do just that.  I try to enjoy the moments I have, whether they seem important or not.

Today I showed the coach's speech to my students.  I wanted them to hear someone else say the same thing that I tried to say to them on Monday.  Now I want to share it with you.  Take a few minutes to watch this video.  Make sure you watch it all the way to the end, though.  Even if you aren't a Bama fan, you have to appreciate it.

Have a GREAT day!  Enjoy your TODAY.

10 August 2010

What period is it?

Day two of the new school year, and I feel like I could sleep until Christmas.  I know that the reason is because I'm just not used to getting up at 4:45 and going ALL day long, and I know that in a couple of weeks, I'll actually be able to stay awake later than 8 or 8:30 PM.  Until then, I just want to sleep.

It's hard to believe that this has been my 20th start to a school year.  I had one year at a private school and one semester in Walker County.  I'm starting my 18th year at Benjamin Russell.  Oh WOW!  (To quote Sam  LOL)  Suddenly, I feel like a veteran teacher.  I mean, I know I'm a veteran teacher, but for some reason that fact hit home as I was typing this.  Because of not being able to count the year of private school toward my retirement, and because I taught only one semester in Walker Co., my years toward retirement are only 17 1/2, but to be one of those teachers who can say she has taught almost 20 years suddenly blows my mind.  I'm not old enough to have taught that long.  hahaha

For the last, oh, 15 years, BRHS has been on a full four-block day.  This year, we are on a five-block day.  ALL DAY LONG I have been so confused.  When 3rd block is over, my brain tells me I should have only one class to go, but the clock says otherwise.  I keep saying 4th block when I mean 5th block.  We have also gone from 96 minute classes to 78 minute classes.  I am LOVING that so far, but it will take some getting used to.  We're already behind on notes.  Oh well...I'll figure it out. 

When I got home this afternoon, I sat down to watch the news.  It was all I could do to sit upright, so I decided I'd lie down on the bed.  HA.  Thirty minutes later, John came to see what I was doing and woke me up.  I've been up almost two hours now, but I'm about to go iron clothes for tomorrow and crawl back in bed.  I'm still trying to finish The Sound and the Fury, so I'll read a few pages and then close my weary eyes.

I hope y'all have a GREAT day tomorrow!  Sleep tight!

09 August 2010

FanTABulous day!

I had an amazingly wonderful first day back to school!  Everything seemed to go so smoothly.  Except for our new student information system program.  iNot, I mean iNow, is not the greatest, to say the least.  Why the state is having us change over is beyond me.  The previous program (STI) had its problems, but so far, iNot seems to be one huge problem.

We aren't having a daily advisement (aka homeroom) period this year, so the daily attendance will be recorded during 3rd block.  For some unknown reason, some teachers were able to post while others weren't.  I think I was one of the "weren'ts."  Even though I marked the students who were absent and clicked on the POST icon, nothing ever showed up indicating I had posted.  So for this week, we have to send down our 3rd block attendance at some point during the day.  Maybe this will be a problem that will be straightened out soon.  A few systems piloted this program last year, so hopefully one of them will be able to tell our powers that be what to do.

My class numbers are AWESOME!  I have 19 in my 2nd and 3rd block classes, 29 in my 4th block class, and 13 in my 5th block class.  I wish about five of the 29 in 4th block could be moved into my 5th block, but I'm happy if everything stays as it is.  My 3rd and 4th block numbers have fluctuated all day long...one time I would have 18 in 3rd and the next I would have 19.  Then it would be 18 again, and then back to 19.  Fourth block has gone from 27 to 28 to 27 to 29.  I really don't know what to expect tomorrow, but hopefully everything will be sorted out by then.

I always have my students do an activity so I can get to know a little about them.  In the past, they have written 1-2 page essays, answered questions about themselves, or done a fill-in-the-blank form.  This year, I took Georgie's blog post from a couple of weeks ago.  The RHOK (Real Housewives of Oklahoma) had done a McLinky that Georgie participated in, and I just took the idea and ran.  (Hope I did violate anything...)  Anyway, bloggers who participated had to complete the following:  "If you really knew me, you'd know that I..."  I thought that would be a fun way to find some things out about my students.  I want to share a few of their answers.

LB said "If you really knew me, you'd know that I am kind of shy until I get to know a person.  Then I don't shut up."  (I had her last year.  I can say she's right about that.  LOL)

MH said "IYRKM,YKTI hate the feel and the sound of cotton."  (I love to find out the "odd" likes/dislikes of people.)

BS said "IYRKM,YKTI have 2 sisters, 3 dogs, and a sloth."  (Hmmm...I'm gonna have to ask about the sloth.)

RS said "IYRKM,YKTI do not like green eggs and ham, and my name is not Sam."  (Hahahaha  I love it when students tell me goofy things like this.  It makes me laugh.)

TJ said "IYRKM,YKTI don't like pickles, but I love pickle chips."  (I can relate to this.  I don't like onions, but I love onion rings."

Some of the common things were a fear of spiders, a strong hate of cockroaches, having to put the radio volume on an even number (I do this), and of course, a love of food.  Keep in mind that these are teens!

One thing that I am really excited about is that one of my former students is doing her observation hours with me for her one of her education classes.  She'll be here only this week,but I was thrilled that she came to see if she could do them with me.  :) 

I have the usual first-day-back achy legs and feet, but I have them propped up on the ottoman, and unless I have to, I'm not moving.  My wonderful hubby has ribs on the grill.  YUM!  They are smelling SOOO good, too!

OK...I've got textbook forms to do, so that's it for this post.

Have a GREAT day tomorrow!

07 August 2010

It's getting close!

Katy and Sam came down yesterday to spend the night with Jessi and Lance.  They were going to go on to Wayne and Kay's so Sam could swim for a while, but the weather wasn't very cooperative, so Katy called to see if they could just run by here and then we'd all go over to the Caldwell's at the same time.  Naturally, I told her to come on!  John had just gotten home when they got here, so he had a nice surprise.  I didn't call him because I wanted him to be surprised.  :)

At first Sam was too busy with a ball to pay much attention to us, but after a bit he started "showing out" for us.  He is one funny kid!  He is extremely ticklish, so all anybody has to do to make him start giggling is to act like you are going to tickle him.  He would crawl on Katy and start saying "tickletickletickle."  LOL

We got to Wayne and Kay's and had Wayne's delicious grilled chicken for supper.  Oh my!  I love John's chicken, but Wayne's is to die for.  I've told John that if they were in a throw down, I'd have to vote for Wayne's.  hahaha 

After we ate, we were getting Sam to say this and to say that.  It is so funny to hear him say his own name.  He starts out with a Shhhhhh.  And then his little voice goes up for AAAAMMMM.  He has gotten "Jessi" down pretty well.  The "j" sort of has a "sh" sound to it, and there is a "sh" sound at the end (Shesshi) but it is clear that he is talking about Jessi.  He's been saying Pop Pop very well for most all of the summer, but I wasn't even trying with Grana yet.  I knew that one would be a little harder.  BUT last night, he did come out with "Nana" when we were trying to get him to say Grana!!!!  I was so excited!!  Sure, he says "nana" for banana, but hey, I'll take it.  I'll be whoever he wants me to be.  :)

We were talking about names last night.  One of my friends, Rita, is called Lulu by her grandsons.  Nobody knows where Nolan came up with it, but it stuck.  Another of my friends is Momo to one of his grandsons.  He is grandpa to the others, but Teddy started calling Mike Momo.  Again, nobody knew why until he pointed at the TV one day and said "Momo."  His mom looked at the TV and said, "Well, it sure is."  There was a cartoon or something with a King Momo on it, and it looked enough like Mike that Teddy started calling Mike Momo.  Kay said that an aunt (I think) always said, "Hot dog!" about things, so her grandkids called her Hotdog.  I think it is cute when kids come up with their own names...names they relate to that person.  So even though I'd love to be Grana, if Sam sticks with Nana, or even something else, that's fine by me. 

I'm about to go do a Girls' Day with Kristen and Sam...pedis, lunch, some tax-free shopping...a very nice way to spend one of the last "free" days before our babies (yeah, high schoolers are still babies in many ways!) show up on Monday.

Have a GREAT weekend!

06 August 2010

Let the games begin!

Fortunately, teachers did not have to go to work today unless we just wanted to or needed to.  I have everything done for Monday (I think), but even if I don't, I have first block planning, so I can take care of anything I've forgotten.  If I have forgotten anything, it is something minor.  If we had HAD to go to work today, I would have survived, but all day long I would be wondering if UPS had made that all important delivery.

Yep, those are my football tickets for the 2010 Alabama Crimson Tide!  I got the email last week saying that tickets would be shipped by two-day UPS on Wednesday and expected delivery would be the 6th, 9th, or 10th.  I figured they'd be here today, so wild horses wouldn't have gotten me to leave home today.  Now...yes, there are a FEW things that would have taken precedence--work or a family emergency--but luckily I didn't have to work and we had no family emergencies. 

As soon as the tickets arrive each year, I rip open the envelope to see what the graphics are.  I LOVE the tickets for this year.  As you can see, each ticket has a significant fact about the Tide.

  • 101 Thousand Fans in Bryant-Denny -- BDS is now the fourth largest stadium in the country and the largest in the SEC.  Of course, according to UT's math, BDS is the fifth largest stadium.  Recent reports from Knoxville list the stadium capacity at Neyland Stadium instead of the seating capacity.  Bryant-Denny will seat 101,821 fans.  Neyland Stadium will seat 100,011 fans. 

  • 57 Bowl Appearances -- This is the most of any college football team.

  • 22 Southeastern Conference Championships -- Many from other conferences may disagree, but the SEC is, in my opinion, the premier conference.  Of the ten BCS National Champions, six of them are from the SEC.

  • 31 Bowl Victories -- Alabama and Southern Cal are tied for the most bowl victories.

  • 97 First-Team All-Americans -- Following the 2009 season, an NCAA-record six Alabama players were named First-Team All-Americans.  Not too shabby, eh?

  • 1 Heisman Trophy Winner -- So yeah, we don't have a huge number of Heisman winners, but the philosophy at Alabama has always been about TEAM records and achievements instead of individual ones.  Don't get me wrong...All Bama fans are SO proud of Mark Ingram, but IF it had come down to either a national championship for the team or the Heisman for Mark, I think all of us would choose the National Championship.  I think Mark would have too.

  • 13 National Championships -- OK, so we got BOTH the national championship AND the Heisman last year.  (And any true crimson-blooded fan hopes for a repeat of both this year.)  The actual number of national championships varies, depending on who you talk to.  Most opponents of Alabama say we claim too many.  The NCAA lists four that Bama does not claim.  There is the case of "The Missing Ring" from 1966 when Bama went into the season as the pre-season #1, finished the regular season undefeated and untied, and completely blew out Nebraska in the bowl game.  Instead of being named national champs for an unprecedented third time, Notre Dame, who finished with a tie on their record, was named national champions for that year.
I think it's obvious that Alabama football is filled with tradition. Anyone who criticizes us because of it doesn't understand what "tradition" means.

Many people poo-poo Alabama fans and our talk about tradition and our past.  We are who we are BECAUSE of our past, and we are very proud of each player, coach, manager, and trainer who was a part of that past.  Yes, that means Coach Bryant.  Do Bama fans today want to "resurrect" Coach Bryant?  No, but we do pay homage to him and his dedication to Alabama by wearing our houndstooth (which I do proudly!)  I always laugh when I'm listening to one of the sports talk shows because 9 out of 10 people who bring up Coach Bryant are the fans of Auburn, Tennessee, Florida...our rivals.  I think they are more afraid that we somehow WILL resurrect him.  LOL

Just because we talk about our past doesn't mean that we aren't looking to our future.  Bama fans are always thinking about the next bowl victory, the next SEC championship title, the next national championship title.  Even when the season isn't going very well, we are thinking about the next year when "things will be better." 

I don't remember "becoming" an Alabama fan.  I only remember "being" an Alabama fan.  There was never a moment when I had to decide between Alabama or Auburn.  I've been there when the season was a bust, and I've been there when the season was magical.  I'll continue to be there for whatever is ahead.

Now, if the next 29 days will go by quickly...

ROLL TIDE! and have a GREAT day!

03 August 2010

Can I do this again?

Today was our first day of inservice/professional development.  I got up about 4:45 when John came in the bedroom to give me bye kiss.  Why so early you ask.  Well, I honestly like getting to work EARLY because everything is still nice and quiet.  I can focus on what I need to do for that day.  I get my PowerPoint presentations loaded up and ready, and I make sure I have all of the copies that I need. 

But Trina, you didn't have students today. So why get up that early today???  I figure that I'm going to be doing it next week so I might as well go ahead this week and start getting in the groove.  So I was up, ready, and at school by 6:20, and we didn't have to be there until 8:00.  And yes, I did get some things done.

We had Billy Coleman, a former teacher and coach at Ben Russell, give our convocation message.  As he began talking, I realized that he and I have TONS in common, so afterward, I introduced myself to him.  His first teaching job was at BRHS, and even though that wasn't my first "true" teaching assignment, the semester I spent at T. W. Martin didn't feel like a teaching assignment as much as it did a baby-sitting service.  In addition to teaching and coaching at BRHS, he also worked at Dora High School, which is in Walker Co., where I'm originally from.  He went from Dora to Brewer High School in Morgan Co., where John is originally from and one of my cousins went to school at Brewer.  Billy is currently in the running for superintendent for the Cullman Co. system, and even though our lake place is officially in Winston Co., our address is Logan (Cullman Co.) and we have a Cullman phone number.  When I introduced myself, I told him that when he wins the superintendent's job, I'd love for him to hire me. Hey...I'll do WHATEVER it takes to move to the lake.  LOL

Once the system-wide meeting was over, the rest of my day was really easy.  I had no meetings to go to, so I got everything else done for Monday.  Of course, I keep going through my mind trying to think of anything I may have forgotten.  I'll do this constantly between now and Monday morning! 

Even though I wasn't on my feet ALL day long, my feet and legs are aching so badly tonight.  That's why I ask if I can do this--the start of a new school year--again.  The older I get, the harder it gets and the longer it takes me to get over it. Thank goodness I can see the light.  I may not be able to afford to retire in 7 1/2 years, but that is my goal. 

I need to get through this year, though.  I've already got one day down.  Only 186 to go.  :)

Have a GREAT day!

02 August 2010

I am ready to go!

I spent most of the day at the school today doing some of those odd and end things that we usually don't have time to do on the inservice/professional development days.  You know...important things like checking all of the highlighters and markers to see which ones need to be thrown away, writing important dates for bus duty in my calendar and putting them in my phone--with reminders.  Yeah, important stuff like that.  Actually, the bus duty dates are kinda important because if you miss one of your days, you get a mild reprimand, and I don't like those.  :)

I did actually do a couple of things that are necessary.  I got my first-day handouts and my syllabus for next week revised, I set my password for the new Information Now program that we're going to, and I created seating charts for my classes.  I still have a ton to do, though.  I need to make copies of my handouts, make new copies of my diagnostic test, make copies of my Anglo-Saxon handout...sounds like I'll be spending a LOT of time in the copy room.  My intention for today was to get all of my copying out of the way, but by the time I did that really important stuff (highlighters and markers), I decided to just do it tomorrow.  For some reason, I was thinking that we wouldn't have much "free" time until Thursday.  Maybe that's because we usually don't.  We're usually "stuck" in some session listening to some high-dollar speaker tell us what we NEED to do (and it is rarely anything we don't already know.)  They just don't tell us HOW to accomplish what we need to accomplish with the limited funds and resources that we have.  This year, however, we have our system-wide meeting in the morning, and then we are at our schools doing what we need to do.  Sure there are meetings--department, curriculum, etc.--but we aren't ALL involved, so whenever we aren't involved, we can WORK IN OUR ROOMS.  GASP!!!!!  We have sessions all day Wednesday, but they are school based and should be interesting.  Thursday we have one session, and the English department will have our meeting.

Speaking of limited resources and funds...until last year, the state always provided every instructional unit with money to be used for classroom supplies and materials.  Unfortunately, proration hit, and last year, the state did not provide ANY instructional supply money.  Fortunately, our system managed to find money so that every certified employee had $180 to use.  I'm not sure we'll have that this year.  I will be very surprised if they can give us any.  So, like most of my colleagues, I will spend money out of my own pocket to provide basic supplies.  I have already spent over $200 on new highlighters, markers, pencils, pens, correction pens, construction paper, rulers, etc.  I ask my parents to send a ream of paper, a box of facial tissue, and either markers OR highlighters or I give them the option of making a tax-deductible donation, but since my class is a required course, I cannot require it.  And besides, Alex City is a mill town that has lost most of the mill (thanks to sending so much of the work out of the country!), so many of my parents are struggling themselves. 

So tomorrow begins a new year for teachers.  I'm excited to get started (even if I'm NOT excited about having to get up early.)  A week from today, I will be greeting my seniors.  I have 90 first semester.  I hope I can encourage them to do their best, to work hard, and to SLOW DOWN.  I hope I can instill in them a love of British literature.  I hope...

So, that's it for today.  Have a GREAT day!

I love my Crimson Tide!

I really, REALLY mean this...

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