Monday, November 30, 2009

Alex Cross's Trial by James Patterson

*Book #16 in my New Year's Resolution to read more!

My thoughts: This is not the typical James Patterson book, nor is it an Alex Cross novel. I thought I was about to start the next Alex Cross novel (which are my favorites!!), but this book is written as if it were Alex Cross telling a family story. I had a hard time at first because of the gruesomeness of the lynchings. It also makes me extremely ashamed of white people when I read about how they treated the African Americans back in those days. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to stomach the book at first. But, I was soon sucked in and couldn't put it down. This isn't a mystery of sorts, but a great story of bravery and courage. I think it took me 3 days to read it and that was with family Turkey day in between! I would label this a must-read!

From the jacket: From his grandmother, Alex Cross has heard the story of is great-uncle Abraham and his struggles for survival in the era of the Ku Klux Klan. Now Alex passes the family tale along to his own children in a novel he's written - Trial.
As a lawyer in Washington DC, early in the 1900's, Ben Corbett represents the toughest cases. Fighting against oppression and racism, he risks his family and his life in the process. When President Roosevelt asks Ben to return to his hometown to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan there, he cannot refuse. When he arrives in Eudora, Mississippi, Ben meets the wise Abraham Cross and his beautiful daughter, Moody. Ben enlists their help, and the two Crosses introduce him to the hidden side of the idyllic southern town. Lynchings have become commonplace, and residents of the black quarter live in constant fear. Ben aims to break the reign of terror - but the truth of who is really behind it could break his heart.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Day




This year was awesome because the family rented a building at a local park...no one had to get their house and yard ready. Yay! The day always goes by so fast though!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Enjoying Turkey Vacation!

5 days off is GREAT and just gets me ready for Christmas break! 2 full weeks...that's what I'm talking about! ha! This vacation has been nice because I have NO projects OR papers to grade! woohoo! I have scrubbed this house and it is the cleanest it's been since the cleaning lady quit on us! :-)Rex sleeps in some crazy positions! ha! We've napped, cleaned, read some, played on the computer, caught up on the DVR, AND.....ordered my graduation present to myself!! A new laptop and camera! AHHH!! I can't wait! I was impressed with my online night before Black Friday deal!!
And, all the turkeys got delivered....we were swimming in turkeys around here. Kevin wasn't happy with how his fried turkeys turned out. But I thought it was good. When he ain't happy though, it only means that the next batch will be even better. He's smoking our 2 turkey's and a ham for our family Turkey day tomorrow right now....yum!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

I know I have been a stranger for the past 6 months. I haven't called. I haven't even sent funny emails. We haven't done anything fun together. If we did get a chance to see each other, my mind was elsewhere on all the things I needed to get done. My weekends have been spent working on projects and grading papers. Any spare minute I have had has gone to Kevin and the furkids and they have been neglected at times too.
I want to thank all of you for your patience. I want to thank each one of you who pitched in at different times to help me get things done. Thank you all for the encouragement and not letting me give up.
I have finally reached my goal. The work is over. One 15 minute presentation on the 5th and I have my Masters. Was it all worth it? Ask me when I get the first paycheck with my raise on it! ha!
Now, it is time to get back to the good stuff! The laughter has re-entered the picture. I can feel the tension in my shoulders already gone. I am breathing a sigh of relief. You know, the rest of the things on my bucket list are EASY and FUN....take a cruise, para-sail, swim with dolphins, see the Grand Canyon, go to New York....not as much work and much more play! Who wants to join me on those goals? LOL!
Seriously, I will be calling, texting, emailing and getting back out into the world....I'm BACK!
I love you all!
Lori
PS. When you see Kevin, give him a big pat on the back. He has taken the brunt of the stress when I have wigged out over the past few months. :-)

The Giver by Lois Lowry

*Book #15 for my New Year's Resolution to read more!

I am trying to use my D.E.A.R. (drop everything and read) time at school to read with the kids (not aloud...we each read all over the room). Anyway, I am going back and re-reading some of my favorites from when I was younger and loving it. I finished The Giver by Lois Lowry this week. A great book...but not for 3rd graders. Here is the summary from loislowry.com - she has several great books!

"It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened."Thus opens this haunting novel in which a boy inhabits a seemingly ideal world: a world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality. It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life.December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve year old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man -the man called only the Giver -he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.Told with deceptive simplicity, this is the provocative story of a boy who experiences something incredible and undertakes something impossible. In the telling it questions every value we have taken for granted and reexamines our most deeply held beliefs.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home at last!

"It was hard sleeping on those concrete floors Mom!"They missed each other sleeping in different kennels...ahhh!
Ok....enough, I know! ha! Kevin said my blog readers were probably saying "thank goodness, the pups are at the vet. She can write about something else." He's so funny! Whatever!

But seriously, in other news, I had some technical difficulties and just got my portfolio uploaded today for my Masters. I was emailing back and forth with one of the professors for help and finally got it turned in. I had a little sick to my stomach feeling when it finally went through. All done...no going back now.

Tomorrow is my last day of work this week!!!!!!! yyyyeeeesssss!!!!
No masters work to do!
No papers to grade!!
Scrapbooking Friday night!
Turkey/Family day on Saturday!!!
It's all good!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just in time...

I need a vacation and this week is one...I just wish it started tomorrow like so many other schools around here. Oh well, we go Monday and Tuesday and that's not too bad. Actually, tomorrow will be a cool day because the kids bring in their native american projects and I can't wait to see how they turned out!!
I am exhausted from this weekend. We drove to NE Arkansas and back on Friday and Saturday. A 3 hour drive Friday night to Kevin's parents house to turn around and do it less than 24 hours later. urgh! But, Kevin had a big catering today for 350 folks so we had to get back and start cooking. He has worked me like a dog today! I am bone tired! So, I'm about to crash. But, yummo, that BBQ was good tonight!!
I did manage to build my powerpoint presentation this morning while Kevin was running errands. So, I am officially all done with my workload. All that is left for me is my presentation on the 5th of December. Yeehaw!!!
Crashing ... more tomorrow! And, Kevin is making fun of me for the amount of puppy pictures I post, but I don't care...I may post one every single day this week. Who can resist a puppy face? ha!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Crunch Time

It has been a crazy week! We had the last minute ballgame of my niece's, PTA meeting the next night (urgh...makes for a LONG day!), proofing my portfolio last night and of course, my family dinner night at TaMolly's. :-) Tonight I am going to finish my proofing and uploading of assignments. Then, I have a workshop tomorrow and turn in my hour logs for my internship!!! ahhh!!! After that, we have Kevin's family Thanksgiving this weekend AND a big catering on Sunday for 350 people. Kevin has been running around as crazy as me this week delivering turkeys and doing caterings (answered prayer!). So....that's what is going on here. As soon as the weekend is over, I will build my power point presentation that I will present to my professors on December 5th and I am DONE! In less than a week, everything is due...so I am very, very close here! Ok....gotta get busy proofing and uploading!
I leave you with this adorable picture of my spoiled boxer boy...when he is outside he naps here on the cushions...rotten!
Oh, and in other more humbling news, someone (I don't know who) nominated me for teacher of the year. Crazy! I was super surprised and honored to even be nominated because I work with an incredible staff. Amazingly overachieving group of teachers!! A definite blessing just to work there...makes me step up my game.
ok, ok....I am going now!

Monday, November 16, 2009

On this day in November I am thankful for...

My niece, Autumn, who called me tonight to invite me to her basketball game. Where is a picture you ask? Well, she called 10 minutes before the game started and we didn't even know she was playing basketball. So, we dropped everything and ran out the door. What else is an aunt to do? LOL!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Innocent until proven guilty

Do we look guilty to you? Listen to what we are accused of...Killing duck after mommy stitched him up for the fourth or fifth time...she said she has lost count! He was asking for it though....
Destroying mom's pond...her place of peace she says....hump! That was totally the cat! We saw him knock the pump over and watch the water start to drain out. He told us he was going to get those goldfish after all. And then he dug a hole by the pond to make it look like WE did it!
Our last charge is digging a few new holes in the yard where daddy's garden is...again, we tell you, it was the cat! He is totally out to get us and framed us while mom was busy working on some project on the computer (what is a masters anyway?) and our daddy was out of town helping at the ministry. It gave the cat ample time to set us up while our parents were distracted!I mean, they have absolutely NO proof that we were involved at all!
Here is the guilty party mom! I got him for you - quick get him before he gets away!

Friday, November 13, 2009

On this day in November, I am thankful for...

My mom...

She knows just what to say and when to say it...she knows when to say nothing at all. My mom is more than a mom. She is a best friend. She lets me vent (like tonight) when I need to vent. She is not afraid to tell me when I'm wrong, and she supports me when I'm right. I can't imagine not having her to lean on. Thanks Mom! Love you!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Moving right along...

I have actually been on task the past two nights with my portfolio...have 2 out of 11 standards done! 9 to go! The plan is for me to go to the office every night at 7 pm and work. I have to knock out at least one standard. I'm going to do two a day this weekend. My goal is to finish before Kevin's family Thanksgiving on the 21st. If I keep it up, I can....ahhhhh!!!! Are you sick of hearing about this? Because I am sick of thinking about it! ha! Oh, so close!!!

And our cuteness for today thanks to our awesome cousin/dog sitter, Kristen:


Sunday, November 8, 2009

What's Happening?

What a great weekend! I need more four day work weeks. (I skipped teacher meetings on Friday....cough! cough! So a four day work week where I don't have to go back and clean up after a sub! Bonus!)
This post won't be totally about the dogs but you know I will sprinkle pictures throughout to make you smile! They sure make me smile! :-)
In doggie news: We are down to just our two! King went to stay with an awesome couple who adopted a boxer from BoxAR a few months ago. Their first adoptee is pretty high-maintanence and needed a buddy. Enter King. And, he was the perfect gentleman and won them over right away. I knew he was going to stay when the girl texted me Saturday morning that she went and got him his own bed and halter. He will be spoiled rotten AND the best part is that this couple and I have a mutual friend, so I will get to keep in touch! yay!

In masters news: I am so close to completion it is ridiculous! I am now finished with all my projects for my practicum. Yeehaw! I worked on my last project on Friday and Saturday morning. It shouldn't have taken that long, but I kept procrastinating. However, in my avoidance, I got a clean house for the first time in AGES! Laundry is done. Did my nails. Walked the dogs. Caught up on the DVR. ha! You get the picture!
My last project is turned in for grading. I have only two weeks left of working in the library after school. The only biggie that stands between me and graduation is my portfolio. And...it is going to take some work. Why am I blogging? Why did I nap today? Why did I work in a flowerbed? Good questions!! I have zero motivation to work on it! It's got to kick in soon! I have one weekend left to work on it because we have Kevin's family Thanksgiving the weekend before it's due. Send some motivation my way please!!The cats are finally coming out of hiding and staying around now that there are only two dogs to contend with rather than three. We have all piled in the bed several times! And, every time, I smile from ear to ear. Love it! Maybe I should just be a furkid mom!! :-) Below is how Rex handled his brother leaving (insert snoring for full effect!) LOL!

Only other things happening around here are Bible study, Kevin golfing and a few caterings. Oh, and we are frying or smoking turkeys for people for Thanksgiving or Christmas! FUN!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

On this day in November, I am thankful for...

My husband, Kevin...thank you for cooking for me and taking care of me...thank you for fighting your way back to sobriety and thank you for being a husband who is not afraid to show his love for God. Thank you for all the ways you tried to make me feel better when we said goodbye to Jax. Thank you for the little things like offering to help me grade papers until I finish my masters work. Thank you for being laid back and not caring that I brought home an extra dog! I loved you even more when you said I could even keep him if I wanted to. (But we are not having 3 big dogs! ha) You have always been my best friend and I am grateful that you are now my husband.
I love you Kevin!
By the way, totally stole this idea from Tasha. I doubt I can do this everyday in November...but at least once a week. :-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Say Cheese!

We had to get a family picture made with the dogs for the success page of the BoxAR website. Now, THAT wasn't an easy task but it sure got a lot of laughs out of us! Keep in mind - we are the only ones home and are using the self timer on the camera. Picture me running to get on the couch and usually chasing at least one dog along the way.King was "cleaning his boy parts" in this one...so he got cropped right out! ha!
Disclaimer: King is in the family photos because how were we supposed to kick him out?
He is still looking for his forever home and is turning out to be an awesome dog!! There is one lucky family out there for him....are you his mommy? :-) I am hoping he goes to someone I know so I can keep up with him (and maybe even babysit from time to time).
Our happy crew!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Timeline

The end of this masters journey is in sight!! There was pure joy this morning when I flipped the calendar to November! (and then I got a bit scared for a second at all the tasks I need to complete in the next 25 days!!!) Pacing myself and I will be fine!
This is how close I am:
Today I turn in Project II (my grant)
Tuesday, November 3rd, I teach a class at our literacy night (which is my final project)
Friday, November 6th, I write up my final project to turn in
THEN, comes the BIG stuff - every weekend for the next 3 weeks, I have to complete my on-line portfolio. It's the biggie.
I have 3 more weeks of working in the library after school. Then, I can come home at 3 o'clock if I want to!!! woohoo!
The week before Thanksgiving, I have to build my portfolio presentation.
Everything is due November 25th!!! Then, all I do is wait a week and a half and present my portfolio to all my professors (nerve wracking) on December 5th. And, presto, I have my Masters!
The end is in sight!!!! YES!!!!!!!!
My reward for all this work - a new laptop. How am I going to pay for it? Why worry about little details like that! ha! Yippeee!!!!!!
If you hear what sounds like happy shouting on the 25th of November, it is ME!!!

Motion to Suppress by Perri O'Shaughnessy

**Book #14 this year!! I think I've made my goal of reading more this year...need to double-check!

I am so uninspired by this book that I'm not even writing a summary....it took me forever to read. It could just be that I started it and then put it down because I didn't have time to read and then picked it back up months later. Or it could be that I backtracked in a series I have read for years and went back to read the first two in the series that I missed. Note to self: just stay in the present! No need to go back and read what I missed in the beginning! ha!