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Rooster Turns 18!

Dear Rooster,

Today you turned 18 years old.

I.  Am.  In.  Shock.

How did this happen?

Didn’t I just bring you home from the hospital, all decked out in your Auburn finery?

You slept from 10pm – 4am the first night you were home, a good sleeper from the get-go…

It didn’t take long for you and Chicky to form a tight sibling bond.  She even taught you the fine art of showing what’s in your mouth while you’re eating…

You liked to wear your food as much as you liked to eat it…

Though you didn’t walk as early as Chicky, you were still up and about well before your first birthday…

You put your good looks to use, easily charming the ladies…especially this one…your Mama…

Oh yes, those tow-headed, blue eyes often conned me into allowing you to get your way…

You were meant to be an Auburn Tiger from the beginning, as evidenced by the attire you came home in to the clothes you’ve proudly worn over the years…

We did buy you other clothes, but your preferred your Auburn gear…

The years flew by, and soon it was time to take you to school for your first day of kindergarten…

Today, on your 18th birthday, you could have walked the stage for your high school graduation.  Though you won’t cross that stage in the made-for-parents event, I celebrate your accomplishments all the same.

Schooling came easily for you.  God blessed you with a keen mind and a quick wit…things that helped you excel in school.

Soon, you’ll be heading to Auburn.  In fact, you receive mail from the school almost daily now…

These envelopes make me tear up every time I pull them from the mailbox.

They are signs, you see, that my sweet, blonde-haired, blue eyed boy will be leaving the nest, the last of my chickies to fly the coop.

You, my dear, have been a dream to parent.

Every time you sat and watched a movie or TV show with me, you banked more Son Points into this heart of mine.

One of the sweetest things you said to me was on my birthday when you told me that you could have gone to a friend’s house, but you chose to stay home since next year you’ll be in school and won’t be able to celebrate with me.

Anyone reading this can see how easy it is to love you.

I’ve been praying for you since before you were born.  Two months on bedrest gave me plenty of time for that.

I’ve been praying for you ever since, and God has been merciful to answer.

You have turned into a fine young man.

You are generous and always eager to lend a friend a hand.

Your gentleness with animals is reciprocated with their tendency to gravitate toward you.

As you begin this new phase of your life, I will continue to pray for you…for a steadfast faith that does not turn away no matter what temptations you may face…for Christian friends to surround you while you’re away from home…for maturity to adjust to the changes before you.

I love you with all of my heart.  You are a blessing to me, and I am honored to be your Mama.


Mama ♥

Another Memorable Hodgepodge

Although I worked a bit this past weekend, I did manage to find some time to relax and play with the family.  Now, it’s back to reality.  It’s also time to get back to the Hodgepodge!  Link up with Joyce to play along!

1.  What can the average citizen do to honor a military veteran and/or those currently serving?

As a teacher, I believe it’s my duty to teach my students about the sacrifices that those who served and those who are serving have and are making to guarantee the freedom we enjoy in this country.  Too often, I see apathy on the faces of my young charges, and this saddens me.  I think that as a whole, the younger generation is not as patriotic as the generations that went before us.  Passing on the legacy…that’s how I, personally, can honor the military.

2.  Besides a flag what is something you own that is red, white and blue?

I don’t own many things that have all three colors.  I do have a t-shirt I bought at Old Navy that’s patriotic…with all of the above colors.

3.  Does love really conquer all?

Yes.  Jesus’s love for us conquered the penalty of sin.  I think that about sums things up.

4.  Strawberry shortcake or blueberry pie?

Strawberry shortcake, please.  I loathe the smell and taste of blueberries.

5.  Do you share personal stuff with your hairdresser?

I just got a hairdresser a few weeks ago.  She’s the gal who’s been cutting the Mr’s and Rooster’s hair for quite some time now, so she pretty much knows the whole family.  I’d say that I talk about some personal stuff, meaning teaching and kid stuff, but not private stuff…the kind that I talk about to Super Sis or my closest friends.  First of all, my hairdresser is someone I plan on visiting once every six weeks or so.  Not that I don’t feel a connection, because my hairdresser is an awesome lady.  But still, to share personal things in a public venue like a salon…I don’t think it’s very appropriate.

6.  Does money lead to selfishness?

Money can lead to selfishness if one doesn’t keep him/herself grounded on the Lord and those less fortunate.  This can be especially difficult if one has gone through a period of financial drought (loss of job, etc.) and suddenly finds him/herself with a little extra to spend.  I guess it’s all about balance.

7.  What piece of furniture in your home most needs replacing or refinishing?

My furniture is starting to get old.  I think that what needs replacing first is my couch and loveseat, which I’ve had for over ten years.  When we first got it, we had one dog.  Now, we have four.  The couches are dirty, chewed up, and basically gross.  Thanks to the slipcovers I purchased in November (right before having company over for Thanksgiving), I’m adding a few more years of life to this furniture.

8.  My Random Thought

Today is my youngest, Rooster’s, 18th birthday.

It’s such a momentous occasion that I’ve blogged twice today.

Still, I think that this milestone deserves some space in my Random Thought area.

As the time draws nearer for Rooster to leave for college, he’s busy…gone a lot on various outings with church and school friends.

The Mr. and I were running errands the other day, and we marveled at the fact that we now have grown children.

Pray tell…how did this happen?

Where did the years go?

My friend, Christina, suggested (during a phone conversation yesterday) that the Mr. must have had this child before I married him because surely I’m not old enough to have a youngest child who’s 18.


I echo her sentiments.

If you’re reading this, and you’re just starting out with young children, let me offer this piece of advice.


Long nights are only long for a short period.

You’ll miss them (yes you will) when your children are old enough to puke their guts out without your help…when they don’t want to wake you up in the middle of the night to let you know they are sick.

Sad, but true.

Enjoy the loud craziness of a house full of your children and their friends.  Before you know it, they’ll be bringing grown-up college friends home with them…only staying a few days before heading out again.

Sad, but true.

Enjoy the fact that your refrigerator and pantry seem to empty out five minutes after you’ve grocery shopped.  One day all too soon, it will be you and your Honey trying to figure out where to eat for dinner because you don’t feel like cooking for two.

This part isn’t really sad because it means fewer dishes to wash.


Memorial Day in 1994 was especially memorable in the AuburnChick household.  It was the day we welcomed the most precious guy into the world.

Overlooking the Details

As a reading teacher, I’m tasked with helping students master the art of comprehending text.

Though this was my first year teaching reading, it quickly became apparent that students frequently overlook details in text…seemingly small details that can open up the entire meaning of a particular piece of text.

With that said, I recently became aware of how unobservant I am…often missing the smallest details when looking at things that are right in front of me.

I can thank my “aha” moment to a free little game I downloaded to my iPhone…Logos Quiz.

In this game, the player is shown pictures of recognizable logos, with various clues edited out to make the guessing game more difficult.

Some of the logos are easy.

Many, though, are not.

What is the most fun/frustrating part of the game is KNOWING that you’ve seen the logo SOMEWHERE.  Trying to pull the location from the various depths of your brain can get…um…infuriating.  heehee

You earn clues as you solve logos.

I didn’t realize how easily I was overlooking the logos in the print around me until one day when I was thumbing through my current issue of People Magazine.  All of a sudden, I saw a logo I’d been wondering about for a while.  It was very faintly drawn on the page, but it was there alright.

I eagerly yet carefully turned each page of that magazine, as well as the three other ones on the table, looking at EVERY SINGLE THING on the pages of advertisements.

I caught a few.

I also started paying attention to business signage when out and about running errands.

What an eye-opener!!  I never realized how many logos there were!

Not only that, but I started looking at the logos on cars because automotive logos are huge in this game, and I am not a car girl, let me tell you.

My lack of observational skills extends to television as well.

How many times do you “watch” TV, looking at it but not really “looking” at it.

I do this ALL THE TIME!

Well, a couple of days ago, I was “watching” TV with Rooster when I noticed one of the logos that I’d been stuck on in the game.

It was for Fiat.

I loved hearing the Ding after I entered the correct answer and resolved that logo!

I love this game and the implications and applications I can make outside of the game.

I’m seriously considering creating bellwork for next year’s students in which I take pictures of local logos, remove key identifying information, and have them figure out what they go to…as an object lesson on paying close attention to the things that are right in front of them.

I’ve gotta tell you that I’m also a little convicted when I think about the deeper implications of this game.

How often do I miss key details about people…because I didn’t listen close enough or look them in the eyes for visual clues as to how they are feeling?

Something else I’ve been mulling over is the connection between logos and the businesses they represent.

I wonder what kind of logo I would create for myself…or what kind of logo someone else would associate with ME.

Tough questions.

Convicting questions.

Deep questions.

All because of one simple little game.

I wonder why I overlook details.

I think I know the answer.


That I think I don’t have…

To slow down, notice the little things, and really “see” the whole picture.

What about you?

Are you running so hard through life that you fail to overlook the small details?

We need to give ourselves permission to, at times, stroll a bit, open our ears to listen, and focus our eyes to really SEE what’s in front of us. 

I think we’ll find a whole nuther world waiting to be discovered!

Memorial Day 2012

Thank you…

Men In Black 3 (MIB3) – A Movie Review

Yesterday, the Mr., Rooster, and I headed to our favorite theater to see the movie, Men in Black 3.  The Mr. had purchased the first two movies in Blue Ray, and there were $10 movie coupon codes under the shrink wrap.  I redeemed them online, printed my coupons, and off we went!

Here are my thoughts about the movie.

First of all, I would not take children who are not in high school to see the movie.  It starts off with a scene between the bad guy and a gal that is…um…a little too over the top.

There was also some cursing in the movie.  I mean, with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, you really should expect that.  The cursing was completely unnecessary, in my not-so-humble opinion, but it wasn’t enough to make me walk out of the theater, unlike a certain other movie that I, to this day, loathe (Transformers 2).

That’s all of the negative stuff I have to say about the movie.

The storyline was good, and there was comedic relief in just the right places.  I fell in love with the younger version of K, and his back story helped me understand the previous two movies a lot better.

There’s an alien that you simply fall in love with in this movie.  Check out his eyes.  They are incredibly kind and full of wisdom.

There’s a twist in this movie that you don’t see coming.

It was perfect and provided the glue to make all three movies come together nicely.

I definitely don’t think you’ll waste your money if you go see this movie.  While not as good as Avengers, it certainly wasn’t anything to shake a stick at!

Working Holiday

Yesterday, my students and I discussed what constitutes an oxymoron.  I showed them a list of examples.  One of the phrases was “working holiday.”

I could have shown them this picture to give them a visual to connect with…


That’s what I brought home with me…nearly 200 assignments to grade.

Sort of.

The kids took a test using my SMART responders, which I absolutely LOVE because the computer grades the tests for me thanks to a handy little thing called an ANSWER KEY!!

Still, I had to go through and enter the grades into my digital gradebook.

I also had to grade my students’ weekly Text Connections Sheets and their Life in Prison question packets, which they completed as I read the book aloud.

Added to that were their Figurative Language booklets…a summative, project-based assessment for this unit.  Nearly half of my students turned in the project early.

I’m grateful, though, because that means that I won’t have many items to grade next week…just three more assignments, including the final exam.

Fortunately, I graded everything, only using up five hours of my holiday weekend.

Later today or tomorrow, I’m going to cook up their final exam and then create a few review exercises in my SMART Notebook.


Six and a half more days until I’m done grading.  Seven and a half more days until I am completely free (loosely typed, of course) for the summer.


…or rather Wordle…

I used Wordle.net to create this visual reminder of the book Life in Prison, which my students will be tested on today…

My students enjoyed the review game we played yesterday…so much, in fact, that one of my students declared it the “most fun day of the entire year.”

We have six and a half more days of school.

I’m going to miss these guys!!

Who Wants to Play a Game of Jeopardy?

Today, my students are playing a game to review for a test on the book Life in Prison, which I recently finished reading aloud to them.

The book was written by Stanley “Tookie” Williams.  In it, he describes the harsh realities of life in prison and, more specifically, life on Death Row.  His goal when he wrote it was to discourage children from joining gangs and committing crimes that would land them in prison.

I wanted to find a fun way to review for the test, so creating a Jeopardy game seemed like the perfect thing!

Here’s a screen shot of what my game looks like.

You can access the game here.

The website is pretty neat.  You enter your own categories, questions, and answers, and the site creates your game!  What fun!!

My plan is to hand out small whiteboards and Expo markers to each group.  Students will work with their groups to answer the questions correctly by writing down the answers and “revealing” their answers.  The winner will get a prize (think I’ll have to run to Walmart to get some candy).

It doesn’t matter if you home school or teach Sunday School.  You could do something like this for a lot of different situations!!

From one teacher to another (we, as adults, are all teachers at one time or another)…cheers!

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Hold the Cheese Please

Joyce is back with the Hodgepodge after taking some time off.  Please pray for her family as they continue to mourn the loss of her beloved niece.  Hugs to you, Joyce!!

Now, on to the questions!

1.  What’s something you miss about the 1980’s? If you’re too young to miss the 80’s how about the 90’s?

Gosh…there’s so much to miss about the 80’s!  I love that BIG hair was okay and, in fact, expected.  I miss such 80’s chick flicks as Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club.  I miss the Patrick Swayze of Dirty Dancing fame and Tom Cruise’s Top Gun beach volleyball scene (good clean fun).

Yeah.  The 80’s were good.

2.  Do you have a library card? If so, how often do you visit?

I actually have two library cards…one for Podunk, USA’s library and the other for the county library.  I don’t go very often any more…ever since the kids grew up.

3.  What’s the secret to success?

Gosh…I think we have to properly define success before we can figure out the secret to it.  I think the secret to success, though, is being content with where you are in life and giving your best effort to the task that’s in front of you.

4.  This is National Backyard Games week…what’s your favorite backyard game?

My favorite backyard game is Dodge the Poop.  See, I have four dogs but no grass.  Just going out into the yard is an adventure.  Managing to not step in poo is a game that rivals any pro sport!

5.  If I dropped by today what would I find on your coffee table?

My coffee table is pretty sparse.  I only have a few magazines, neatly stacked, and a few coasters.  I have four dogs…two of which are prone to pulling things off of tables and chewing on them.

My dining room table, on the  other hand, is an entirely different beast…

6.  Do you own a bicycle? When was the last time you rode a bicycle? Is that something you enjoy?

I actually do own a bicycle…an expensive one.  The Mr. and I bought our bikes over ten years ago.  We used to ride them a lot.  I do periodically get mine off of the bike rack and go around the neighborhood, but it’s been about a year or so since my last ride.

7.  What’s your favorite cheese?

I am a vegan.  The last time I ate cheese was over a year and a half ago.  I’d have to say that my favorite, when I was eating it, was provolone.

8.  My Random Thought

If you are a regular reader of mine, you probably know that Rooster graduated early…finished up in January.  He had the option of participating in a couple of graduation festivities.  He was also allowed to walk the stage.

He has decided to forgo all of the events…

Much to my chagrin.

Watching as my youngest child finishes this part of his life has been strange.

It’s also been especially bittersweet the last couple of weeks as I’ve watched my friends post pictures from Senior Recognition and Academic Awards.

I’ve NEVER missed events like these.

Last week, I ran by the school to pick up his yearbook, which they were holding for him.

I’ve spent six years as a mom to a child at that school, so I’m having a hard time not seeing some of the people who were integral in shaping my children’s educational lives.

This past weekend, our church honored the Seniors at one of the services and a luncheon afterward.

THAT was fun because we were included.

Rooster has opted not to walk the stage on graduation night.

THIS has broken my heart, because I really wanted and needed this event for closure to my baby’s youth.

But I keep reminding myself that it’s not about me.

It’s about my sweet boy who has always stayed out of trouble…never done drugs, drank, or acted inappropriately with the girls.

He’s a wonderful young man…eager to volunteer at church and ready to hit college with full gusto.

Next week, on the 30th, he’ll turn 18…on the same day that he WOULD have walked that stage.

I’m trying to plan somewhere else for us to be so we can honor our guy for who he is…a true blessing and joy.

I’ll Take Two To Go

Dear Chick fil A,

As I was picking up breakfast yesterday, I came up with a unique way for you to increase your revenues.

It’s very simple, if you think about it.

It only requires you to  add a little something to the menu…

So that the next time I pull up, I can order the following…

Hash browns, orange juice, and two Midol.


See, women have those kinds of days…

Where they walk out of the house without the essentials…

And don’t have planning until 9am…

And must thus be forced to suffer needlessly…

When a trip through a drive-thru would have fixed all of that.

Listen to your patrons.

We’re the ones driving out of our way to spend our money at your fabulous establishment.

Thanks for listening.


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