Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Consider it Pure Joy ♥

I have struggled today and it is evident tonight. It is almost midnight and I feel so sick. I've made myself sick with worry and anger and disappointment and humiliation and sadness. [Might want to Google "How to make Eggnog" right now...]

I truly, truly love teaching....but today was one of those days that makes you think that being pecked to death, slowly, by chickens must be similar to teaching middle schoolers.

Yet, I know that most of them are functioning on hormone highs and their brains are NOT working. [Seriously, there is research on the brain that says children at this age actually show regression in brain cells - as if we needed to pay some fancy, smancy researcher to know that. Spend a day with one of them - it is OBVIOUS.] So I should use my entire brain [Yes, I have one] to make decisions to:
A. Overlook some things
B. Choose my battles carefully
[Not everything is worth making a huge deal out of]
C. Smile and say things like, "Honey I love you...even when you are mean and nasty to me" or "I don't understand why you are doing this but I'm willing to work with you to make it better for you."
[Some of you have done some MAJOR eye rolling - You'll get over it.]
D. Love my job and the 100 reasons [aka students] that keep me teaching.

Sometimes it takes a step back and some deep thinking to get a better perspective. It's not worth being sick or sad or frustrated - there are too many good things about teaching middle schoolers like:
A. They will laugh at lame jokes
[most of the time]
B. They love to listen to stories
[and they will ask me to tell them if it means they don't have to work...and I gladly oblige them]
C. They do some crazy things that make me look WAY normal
[and I laugh at them too]
D. They listen to my iPod with few complaints
[I even challenged them a few times to guess the artists...of course I picked songs that I knew they wouldn't know...I didn't have the five dollars I bet them!!!]
E. Rarely do they let you forget when you owe them a treat
[They won't bring a pencil for 6 straight days but they will remember you said you'd half a half of piece of gum with them - bizarre]
F. Some of the things they say and do in the hall give me tons of stuff to laugh about
G. They are "stuck" in the middle....someone needs to LOVE them :)

With all that being said, tomorrow will be a better day. Someone shared this with me yesterday and it is so appropriate for today.

James 1:2-3 ~ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

It's all about faith. Faith in my ability to be the teacher that not only imparts knowledge [Impressive I know] but the teacher that loves them [even when they are not being loveable material]. Faith that they will take the knowledge that I share and use it in a way that helps them learn. Faith that I can lead them to make wise decisions by the example I set. Faith that no matter what, in the good and bad times, that there is a reason why God put me in the classroom.

I am not perfect...that was evident today. I will fail [miserabely it seems here lately] and I will make bad decisions and I will be unloveable too. My prayers came fast and were many today. I read this verse and I know that I, like James, should consider all of today's events pure joy.

Tomorrow [well, today since it's 12:27am] will be a good day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


In the spirit of Thanksgiving here are things [including people, ideas, and a random assortment of all kinds of stuff] that I want to give thanks for:

1. My God - The infinite and mighty Jesus Christ.

2. Craig - He puts up with so much junk from me [stop nodding your heads in agreement] and he loves me in spite of me. He makes me laugh [and cry on occasion] and he makes me feel safe when he's around. He is the love of my life ♥

3. Molly - She is awesome and my sweet baby.

4. Cooper - His name will be in lights one day...either playing football or performing stand up. The kid is HILARIOUS!

5. Emma - Where would I be without the Diva? She makes me laugh when her deep belly laugh resonates through the house. She is one of a kind.

6. Gabe - He is a scream and the most bull headed of all four of my children [He takes after his daddy with that one....yeah, right.] He is gorgeous and looks like an angel when he's asleep [And I know that because here lately he's been doing ALOT of sleeping in my bed.]

7. My mom - She is a role modelfor me as a mother, a Christian, a wife, and a person. She's my shoulder to lean on, my voice of reason, and she rocked the Tri!

8. My dad - He is the most awesome dad a girl could ever have. He's always been a part of my life and continues to give me words of wisdom, comfort and inspiration. He will always be my hero.

9. Teaching - What other job in the world has as much influence on the lives of our adolescents? [I know - way over the top - but it sounds good.] Seriously, I ♥ my job. The kids are the coolest [and the strangest - 8th graders do and say some really bizzaro things] and science is fun. [Yes, I am a geek.]

10. First Baptist Church of KM - I can not say enough about this wonderfully awesome place. My family has never felt more welcomed, cared for, and spiritually challenged as we have at this church.

11. Sonja (my mother in law) - What an inspiration she's been to me. She raised four kids, mostly as a single parent, and continues to be an integral part of the lives of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. [Plus, she taught me how to make biscuits.]

12. Myrtle Towery - What a saint this woman was! I had the opportunity to be with her as she passed into Heaven and I will never forget it. In fact, I spent most of her last week with her. She had the patience of Job and never, ever faltered in her faith. She had the most giving heart - I want to be like her when I grow up.

13. Sophie Ruth - She came into our family as an answer to many prayers. She completed the lives of Chris and Summer in a way that I will never know. She is amazing and I ♥ her.

14. Summer - Where do I begin? She is my best friend and my shoulder to lean on...she takes care of me and my family when we need help....she loves me for me.....and she also rocked the Tri! She is an amazing person.

15. My freedom - We live in such a wonderful country. It is so easy to take for granted the freedom to worship where we choose, to go to the store when we want to, and to get a free, public education. Thanks to ALL the Veterans that have made this possible.

16. Books - I heart reading!! I will read almost anything [except the classics - I hate those] and my fave is true crime and scary stories.

17. My education - I have had many opportunities in my 37 years to get smarter [some I took - some I did not]. I am a high school graduate, a college graduate [It was extremely hard squeezing four years into six but somehow I managed], I have my Master's degree, and I am a National Board Certified teacher. I don't say all of this to brag but to say that I am thankful that I had the resources, the ability, and the family that supported me through all of these accomplishments.

18. Music - There is always some kind of music going in our house. We listen to all genres [big word huh?] and most of the time we are watching music on TV too. If you looked at my iPod you would find Johnny Cash, John Mayer, David Crowder Band, Anberlin, White Lion, Third Day, and Jimmy Buffett. [If I could get a hold of an Air Supply and Quiet Riot album those would be on there too.]

19. Living in KM - Getting here brought us full circle and something we've worked on for four years.

20. Tommy Hall - We would not be in KM if it were not for the persistence and awesome generosity of this man. We could never thank him enough!

21. The Wilsons - I cannot explain the how but I know that I am forever in their debt for all they have done for my family. There are not many "true" friends in this world but they are what I consider the best.

22. The Kales - My girl, Stacy, keeps me laughing, lets me vent, and encourages me every step of the way. Her awesome family is so much like my family. They are some of the coolest and most precious people I know and I'm glad to call them the best also!!

23. Beth T. - I cannont imagine going through some of the years of teaching without her by my side. She is such an amazingly awesome and dedicated teacher. God has truly put her in the right place and she is doing exactly what she has been called to do. I love you Beth!

24. Mindy H. - Inspiration to the nth degree!!! What a truly cool woman she is and her strength and courage are a blessing to everyone. Continue to pray for her as she tells breast cancer to SHOVE IT!

25. Jenny C. - My friend, my partner in crime [If they only knew....] , and one of the totally coolest women in my life! She's another that is doing exactly what God has asked her to do with her life.

26. Sue L. - I love her family, I love her, and I love the fact that she left a one career [nursing] to be such an inspirational teacher!!

27. My grandmother - Thank you God for the time I had with her. When I'm in the kitchen, cooking up a storm, I'd like to think she is smiling down on me. [She is the reason I love fatback....she used to sneak it to me...shhh - don't tell my daddy.] And I had the opportunity to be see her pass into the arms of God - an experience I wouldn't take back for any amount of money.

28. Cookbooks - My grandmother left a collection of cookbook behind and I got a lot of them [Craig was none to happy to see them come home] and I love using them. Some of them have dog eared pages, some of them have spills, and some have hand-written recipes in them. A little piece of her here with me.

29. Love - I look around and I am in love with my family. Usually weekend mornings are spent piled up in my bed [that is only queen sized] with all the Shorties [morning breath and morning hair and all] . I don't deserve this much love. I thank my God for all the hugs and kisses ♥

30. Trees - Hey, if we didn't have them then we wouldn't have oxygen [I am a science teacher] but most importantly we wouldn't have leaves. Then I wouldn't have an excuse to rake them up so my kids could run through them and take silly pictures.

31. Money - I don't have much [trust me] but every time we need something it is there. I've begun to trust [Craig is almost there....] that the Lord will provide. There are needs and there are wants [OMG...I sound like my daddy] and you have to figure out the difference. I'm not thankful that there is money but thankful that the Lord provides - always.

32. Football season - I love nothing better than to watch my Craig on the sidelines on Friday nights. He is doing exactly what God called him to do. He gets frustrated [watch his hat on Friday nights and you'll know when he's frustrated] and sometimes he doesn't realize how much of a positive impact he's having on these young men that he coaches. They may not remember a play but they will remember that he loved them...and that is what matters most.

33. Fastpitch softball - I get to watch my Molly Moo play and my favorite coach do his thang!!

34. Mr. Marty - He made my first year at KMMS a great one. He introduced me to cornhole on the computer and Homestar Runner, made me laugh by saying he was a Kentucky State graduate, and is a super cool teacher.

35. The Bible - WOW...what more can I say? When you need a word [reminds of sweet Mickey Heyward] then there is but one place to go - the Bible.

36. Tim and Andrea Whitesides - I cannot imagine not going to Calgary this past summer. What an amazing and breathtaking experience. These are two of the most amazing people in all the world because God spoke and they listened.

37. My Salvation - One man, sent to change the world, died on a cross so that I could have eternal life. It is hard to believe when you truly think about.

38. Stephanie (Steffi) - She's been my BFF since meeting in Mrs. Morton's third grade class. Years and life have sent us in seperate directions but I cannot imagine my life without her in it - she knows lots of things about me [Good, Bad, and Ugly] and she still loves me for me.

39. Memories - I have so many fond memories of growing up in a loving and caring household, with parents that always made me believe I could and would do anything. I see, as a parent and a teacher, how important that is for kids. So many kids do not live in the kind of house I grew up in and that is so sad. I am thankful for those memories that remind me of how blessed I am and always have been.

40. Andrew R. - I wasn't sure if I would fit in at KMMS after all of those years of elementary school [Middle school teachers aren't really into the cute little bulletin boards and games] and I know science but not like these 8th grade science teachers. But, from day one, Andrew helped show me the ropes. We laugh together [sometimes when we shouldn't] and I think he's one of the coolest people ever. [Plus, he likes Wal Mart and taxis as much as I do] .

41. Lisa M. - If you want to meet a saint here on Earth then she's the one you need to meet. I love her because she is genuine, she is giving, and she is down to earth. She has guided me and helped me out so much [and she's made me a fall in love with Hallmark stores]. I will forever be indebted to her for so many things.

42. Lori W. - If you ever get the chance to come to Overflow Cafe at FB of KM then you need to come. The glory of the Lord shines right through her as she sings - it is amazing. Not to mention, she is super smart and an awesome leader. I am glad that we crossed paths because she's inspired me in so many ways.

43. Running - I am not a good runner - at all. [Some of you are well aware of that...painfully aware...it is painfull to watch me run.] But, I love to run. I think it is liberation and freedom from the stresses of everyday life. I need to be more diligent with my training [but it's so hard with a full time job and four kids] and I've made a promise to myself to dedicate more time to running.

44. Donna L. - She makes me laugh [Whatever] and she is a hoot to work with! I have watched her help students and families without anyone knowing that she was helping them. She has a heart for giving.

45. Shane C. - Even though he's the Lonewolf, he's pretty dang cool! He's a wonderful father and his faith is constantly out there, for the world to see.

46. Margo - She has such a huge heart. She always sees the good in a situation, even when it feels hopeless. That is such a breath of fresh air and I thank her for that quality.

47. All of my former teachers - Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for grading all those papers, for staying up late to plan cool lessons, for inspiring me, for imparting knowledge, for challenging me, for your critical eyes and your big hearts.

48. Matt B. - "Lookie, lookie, lookie...Missy's got a cookie!" He so busted me in band class with food yet I still love him to death. He's listened to me whine and cry, laugh and giggle, and he's always got a joke [or three] that makes me double over in laughter. He is a special and wonderful friend and I'm glad, that all these years later, that we are still friends.

49. Robin T. - She was my mentor during student teaching and still an inspiration. Her faith is unwavering and she lives her life as evidence of that fact. She is gentle, kind, loving and passionate about her job. I still have stuff that I did while doing my student teaching. She gave me Bible verses, advice, and most of all, she challenged me to be the best at my job. I could never, ever repay her....thank you Robin.

50. The Griggs - If you know them then you love them. [If you don't know them then you are missing out.] La La is the best kid EVER!! She is genuine and loving and amazingly gorgeous. Her attitude is infectious and she's done great things for my family. Her parents are equally as amazing. I am so blessed to have them in my life!

51. Jay R. - I love you dearly. I am so blessed to have had you in my life all these years. Your courage is hard to match. I am so proud of what you've done and I look forward to watching your life in years to come.

52. My Sunday School Class(es) - I am a member of two awesome Sunday school classes. One, the adult class, is so much fun. We laugh, we cry, we share, and we learn. It is nice to be a part of such a great group of Christian couples. The other, my 7th and 8th grade girls is an absolute scream. They are so loud but so loveable. I am blessed to be a part of both classes.

53. Inlaws (Butch, Jill, Lacey, Erin, Dustin, Dax, Kandace, Darren, Abbee, Parker, Jan, Tim, Jodi, Fuller, Zoie, Elijah, and Sonja] - I cannot say enough about the family I gained when I married Craig. They take care of us [food, clothes, love, money, time, babysitting...you name it and they've done it.] Craig and I would not be where we are today without their guidance and support.

54. Karrie D. - What a truly amazing woman! Beautiful and strong, smart and inspriring - the whole package. She has an enormous heart and she listens to God's call in her life.

55. Josh S. - My Homie!! Love talking to him [he is hysterically funny] , love teaching with him, and I love the fact that he is a walking encyclopedia of sports.

56. The Office - The funniest show EVER! What kind of world would it be without beets, bears, and Battlestar Galactiga? That's what she said!!!

57. Angela Mc. - Energy and spunk don't even describe this girl! I love hanging out with her, running [well she runs and I walk] with her, and working with her.

58. Every single student I ever taught - Kids are amazing. They can make you laugh [and cry] ...they will tell you if they like something [and definitely if they don't like something]. We have so much to learn from them so pay close attention to what they have to say.

59. Shelley P. - Syrup and weanies is all I have to say....and when I throw my gum let's hope it goes farther than the hood of someone's car next time. Shelley's my college buddy and the one who helped me get through organic chem. She sort of helped set me and Short up and she was there for the birth of my first child. She is a strong Christian woman with a whole new world to conquer and I love her!

60. KMMS - I love my job and I love teaching middle school.

61.Tammie H. - She makes me laugh and she loves my Emma ♥

62 Laughter - There is absolutely nothing better than hearing my children laugh.

63. Food on the table - I cannot imagine not having food to eat or feed my children yet I know there are many that go without. I am so very thankful that we don't have to worry where our next meal is coming from and that we have more than our share.

64. Health - All you have to do is look around at any local church bulletin to see the multitudes of people that are sick and suffering - thankfully, I do not have to endure that in my own family. My kids are healthy [though a little derainged at times....meet their dad...that would explain it all....] and Craig and I are too. Yet, all around me, there are those that are suffering from chastrophic illness and disease. Thank you God for your healing hand, be it physical healing or a healing in Heaven you always have a plan.

I could write so many more things. As things come to my mind I will add them. I hope I don't offend people by adding them [or not adding them] because it's not meant to be that way. I felt lead to say thanks and to give thanks via my blog.

I challenge you to make your own list. And pray over it - for the people, the things, the random stuff. Thanks for letting me share :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

We Are Family

The picture says it all....maybe we spent too much time raking leaves today. It was just too funny and started like this:
And then I got the idea of getting them all together...and of course, taking a picture. [Cooper says I'm "gay" for taking all of these pictures. He will eat those words one day when he needs a cool picture of himself. I won't share - I swear.]

So now you know that you don't have to watch Alaska: Sarah Palin's reality [Does she know what is reality? Is she really in Alaska? Can she see Russia from her back porch? When was the war of 1812?] TV show ~ you can just keep up with the Shorts. This has to be better than fishing and without that annoying accent. [Ooops...I made a political statement with that statement. That is not usually my soap box. I like to complain about hot chocolate.]

Well both my boys lost their respective football games this weekend. The Mountaineers had a tough draw on Friday night and then Coop's team lost on Saturday too. Sort of bittersweet because I sure will enjoy having both home during the week yet I love watching Craig coach on Friday nights and watching Coop play on Saturdays. [Just gives us more time to do stupid things like taking pictures with our heads in our shirts]

In other, more pressing news [I know this is what you've been waiting on] I've not had a diet Sundrop since THURSDAY morning. That would be three days....72 hours...and counting. Not to say that I didn't want one but I fought the urge [and a few times the urge punched me hard in the gut...but I've been victorious...so far....] and refused to buy one. I'll probably have enough saved from not buying them to go on a cruise or at least buy some really nice boots. AND [drum roll] I rode my bike with a friend from church and hopefully [fingers and toes crossed] she and I will get ride alot more together in the future. Molly's got a plan for helping me continue to find the old me [Did I tell you how cool she truly is? She's cool ♥] and I'm hoping to check out the Y tomorrow about the gift certificate. It's all going to work out :) [Plus, I whooped Cooper at bowling on the Wii tonight - SWEET!]

Looking forward to a great week, with all the Shorts at home for a change. Life is good [and a little goofy] at the Short house. Don't forget to do something nice for someone this week!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Random Acts

First of all let me begin by saying a big THANKS to all of my peeps out there...thanks for the words of encouragement, for the offers to help me, for the advice on eating, for the websites, and most of all, for simply praying for me. I know I can do this ~ especiallly with wonderful people like you on my side.

So I check my mailbox at school today and there is an interoffice envelope, addressed to me [Thanks Captain Obvious - you just said it was in YOUR mailbox] but it did not have a return address. I opened it up to find a simple hand-written note: "Hope this helps you get motivated" that was attached to a gift certificate to the YMCA that is good for a two month membership! [Can you say, "WOW!" with me?] What a cool surprise...and better yet, I have NO idea who sent it. And really, that isn't important. [I mean it is because I would like to say thank you but not because this person did this because they wanted to help me out.] I appreciate this one simple act more than you know...thank you.

Random Acts of Kindness....are they really that hard? My guess is no. I mean think about it - it doesn't take much to make someone's day now does it? [Even those of you that are picky, ornery, and otherwise hard to please can find something to smile about] Just think how far one random act might go...it would be so cool to track it somehow.

Even more than this, we owe it to the children we are raising to TEACH them how to perform random acts of kindness. We spend way too much time [I am raising my hand] worrying about ourselves. Spend some of that energy doing one small, kind deed for another person. You will feel good :)

In Short news, Gabe [aka The Preschool Bully] had a much better day at nursery today. [Does it get any worse than nearly impaling another child's eye with squirrel food?] He even gave Molly some advice on dealing with some drama: Sissy, just run your mouth back to him. Can't argue with that can you?

However, we've gone to performing DAILY exorcism on Emma. For some reason, getting out of bed and getting ready for school is simply overrated and NOT on the Diva's "To Do" list. [Like EVERY day] Seriously, Short and I are ready to pull our hair out. [And bless him but he doesn't have much to pull out] My suggestion is to put her in the bed, dressed for the next day, and just let her roll out, brush her teeth, and get going. [Don't think I won't try it people]

And I have but two tiny complaints tonight: I sat in the freezing cold on Saturday night to walk Molly play ball. The "nice" man at the concession [I mean armed robbery] stand ran out of hot chocolate at 7pm. Really? The coldest night of the year and you are out of hot chocolate? EVERYONE is outside - it's SOFTBALL. Ok, fast forward about two hours later, and Molly, Emma, and myself just want a cup of hot chocolate from McDonald's. Oh no - they close up the McCafe at 9pm...OMG. Seriously? You serve food all night but you can't mix up some hot chocolate after the hot chocolate witching hour of 9pm? Is there some hot chocolate wizard that will zap your privileges if you make it after this point? I was not a happy camper [Technically I was not a camper at all but you get the picture] I yelled, as I drove past the drive thru window, "You Suck!" [I am such a great role model for my children]

My other is this: I love teaching. I love everything about the job. I don't even look at like a job [most of the time] and I certainly don't do it for the money. If I could go into further detail I would [but as you know someone is always watching what you type] so I will leave it at this:
You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It is a weakness to get caught up in either one ~ John Wooden.

I look forward to keeping you in the loop on the getting in shape thing. As always, life is good :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Tonight's post ain't about the Short children...it's about me. [I know that some of you, after that one statement, googled "How to make a turkey puppet" - to heck with ya....] I am fat. Not just gained a little weight around the middle - I am F-A-T. [As in: Give me an F! (F!) Give me an A! (A!) Give me a T! (T!)] I am so mad at myself....why did I let myself go? Really...is there an excuse good enough to justify this?
1. I don't have time to exercise. [I really don't but I could rearrange some things and make time...but I haven't]
2. I don't have anyone to exercise with me. [Well poor pitiful me....]
3. I like to eat. [Well who doesn't?]
4. I'm lazy. [I don't consider myself a lazy person - I don't mind working - but I've gotten lazy since the tri...well, really before the tri....]

So my list of excuses is out there for you to see. [I'm vulnerable now.]

I am writing this to ask for your help. I need some champions in my corner. I need some peeps that are extremely good at motivating others. I need some of you that are good at working out on a regular basis to get behind me and help me out. I need ideas, encouragement, ALOT of PRAYERS, and someone [or some people] checking on me. Will you help me out? [Don't make me beg.....] Of course, you can comment here, on Facebook, via Twitter (@Pigskinchick), or through email (pigskinchick@gmail.com). I really, totally value any comments, suggestions, ideas, etc. that you have for me.

I like to run and I have made myself a promise to get going with that again. I enjoyed the tri but right now I don't have the money to pay $4 to swim daily so I'm going to try to swimming at least twice a week, and I got my bike fixed up so I can ride alot. My first order of business is to get back out there, running, and to STOP drinking diet Sundrop. [For fear of complete embarassment I will NOT share how much DSD I consume on a daily basis - but it's a lot - like an IV and a pole would be better than what I'm doing....my kidneys hate me] Addiction is hard - maybe I should try an Intervention...or a bottle of water.

Weird thought, but when Molly is with me, around other people, I fear that people think she will end up looking like me [FAT] since I looked just like she does when I was her age. I never used to worry about gaining weight or being FAT...now I worry I'll be this way forever. She is so athletic and fit and I need to be a better role model for her and Emma.

I just don't want to feel this way anymore. I worked so hard three years ago to lose weight. I've run in 5ks and done a triathlon. I earned my National Boards and a Master's degree with four kids. I can get a plan and stick to it....I have to...for me...for my family...for my health. [I want to be around to drive my kids crazy in my old age]

Thanks, in advance, for your prayers, your encouragement, and your suggestions. I'll let you know how it is going.