Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy 90th Birthday, Papa!

We spent this weekend celebrating my Papa's 90th birthday. It's pretty amazing to hear him tells stories and to think about all the many things he's experienced. I just hope I'm still able to play tennis when I'm 90! Happy Birthday, Papa!
On a family cruise, summer of 2000

Christmas Break - sometime during college

This past Christmas, 2010

Monday, February 21, 2011

What kind of driveway?

This weekend Jacin, Bird, and I were running errands in town. On the spur of the moment, Jacin decided to drive through the neighborhood and see the remains of last year's gas explosion. (For those who don't remember, a house in Calhoun exploded due to natural gas. It's been ruled arson, but no one has been charged. It happened last year on the day we brought Jackson home from the hospital - the 1st time.)

As we drove through the neighborhood with trimmed hedges, green lawns, and L A R G E  houses, Jacin commented, "I sure do like those whoop driveways. I'd like to have one of those one day." I wasn't real sure what to say. Pretty sure I misheard him, I just smiled and gave a "mmmhhmm."

A few more houses down the road, he stopped and pointed. "See? Don't you like that? We could make us a whoop driveway like that."

This time I was sure I heard him correctly, so I responded. "A whoop driveway, huh? Do you mean a circular driveway? Or maybe a loop driveway?"

"Well, that's the rich way to say it, I guess. Anybody I hang out with knows it's called a whoop driveway. You're just not from here. We know it's a whoop."

I learn something new every day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Best Wake-Up Call Ever

I was able to sleep in this morning because today and Monday are our Winter Break days at school. This morning at about 5:30 (that's still sleeping in - I normally get up at 5), I hear a little person smacking his paci on the crib railing and repeating "Dadadada!" Over the next minute or two, it gets louder and more persistent. Jacin is the one who normally gets Jackson up, dressed, and fed in the mornings, so it just makes sense that Bird would be calling for his Daddy. But it's never happened before. 

"Jacin - wake up. Do you hear that?"
"... Yeah. Is he calling me?"
"I think so! Go get him!"

Jacin got out of bed and walked into the hallway. I heard Jackson's door creak open and then silence....then clapping! Bird was cheering because his Daddy walked in to get him. Too cute! 

He's just now learning to call us "Mamama" and "Dadada", although he adds a few extra syllables to each. And when he's mad, he screams your name over and over again like it's going out of style. And he clicks his tongue when he wants Rascal's attention. It's so fun to see the new things he does. Love it! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I've been praying that God would provide a way for me to be a stay-at-home-Mom. Today the daycare called for me to pick up Jackson early. His right eye was swollen shut and leaking lovely green puss.

The diagnosis: he has pink eye and is running a fever.

No work for me tomorrow! My prayers have been answered!! At least for a day or two. Now if I can just get my Bird feeling better.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


About 10 of our FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) student leaders handed out 600 Bibles this morning at school. They stood at the doors and gave students and teachers Bibles as they came in the school building. I was there to "supervise," and it was interesting to hear the students' comments as they came down the hall with new Bibles in their hands.

There was a wide variety of sentiments expressed:
"Wow! A Bible! This is my 4th one!"
"No thanks. I don't need one of those. I'm an atheist."
"A Bible? Who cares!" (and it went in the closest trash can)
"Ok. A Bible. I'm not going to read this, but I know a few people who should!"
"Hey, this looks like a cool book! What is it about?" (yes, this student was serious as a heart attack.)
"Mrs. Burns, I didn't get a Bible this morning. Can you get me one?"

I actually teared-up several times as I heard students' comments. I was overwhelmed with how many of them are lost and headed to Hell. Handing out Bibles is a great start, and setting an example with our lives is good, too, but we need to start some conversations. Unfortunately, as a teacher, I can't initiate any faith-based conversations with the students (unless it relates to academics). Therefore, the most influential people in schools today are the students. Students listen to students. Because of that, parents and youth ministers have a great responsibility and privilege in discipling their children/youth.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What part of speech is this?

This week I'm reviewing the parts of speech with my 7th graders. Adjectives and Adverbs seem to always trip them up (despite the fact they've studied them since 4th grade). So we've reviewed, and reviewed, and reviewed some more. Today I wrote a few sentences on the board, and the students had to label the adjectives and adverbs.

As I was going over them, I pointed to one word in a sentence, picked a student to answer, and asked, "What part of speech is this word?" The student gave the familiar deer-caught-in-the-headlights look and stammered unintelligibly. After some coaxing, she finally answered. "It's an adjective. No, wait. It's an adverb. No, wait. Oh gosh, I guess it's an adjeverb."

Did you catch that? There's now a new part of speech called the Adjeverb. Watch out world! Apparently the adjectives and adverbs are cross-breeding in Calhoun, Georgia!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh Monday, Monday...

Today was a long day. We've started longer work days at school (to make up for the snow days we missed), so I got up at 5am this morning to be at work at 7. After school I left at 4:30, ran to the gym for a super quick work out, then picked up my JBird. When I signed Jackson out of daycare, I saw his check-in time from this morning: 6:40am. I was picking him up at 5:30pm. My kid was at daycare for 11 hours. I cried. I had to run into the bathroom and pull it together before walking into Bird's classroom. I DO NOT LIKE this. I feel like other people are raising my kid, and I don't care for it.

On top of that, my 7th graders acted like complete idiots today (or maybe they weren't acting). I love my job, and I love middle schoolers, but there are times when I feel like I might as well be teaching dogs to knit. For instance, we worked on a comma project last week in class, and it was due today. After spending two days on the project and even having the weekend to finish it (although two class periods was plenty of time), half of my kids didn't bother to turn it in. It counts as a test grade, and many of them dont' give a rip. I know I shouldn't lose sleep over this, but it's hard. I work my tail off trying to come up with ways for the kids to be interested ("engaged" is the current education buzz word) and for the lessons to be meaningful, but I can't force kids to care. Intrinsic motivation is not something I can teach. It's getting harder and harder to give so much of my time and energy babysitting kids who don't care while my own kid is sitting in a daycare. (Can you tell I'm frustrated?!)

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I fell down the steps this past weekend. I was carrying the mop and vacuum back out into the garage, going down the steps in my socks with my hands full. My feet went out from under me, and I fell on the concrete garage floor. I have a fat elbow and bruises on my butt and on both hips.  Working out was a bit painful today. Sheeesh.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. Oh... wait... I have to work 9 hours again tomorrow! And the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that. Summer can't come fast enough!