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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tutoring Moments

There's been so many blogable moments at home and work lately. Right now, I've got an after-school program going in town. There are over 100 students attending at an elementary school.

Before Spring Break, I was called to the Kindergarten classroom. Let me just say, God Bless Kindergarten teachers! I don't know how they do it. This student was drawing on the walls and running around the room totally out of control. Once in the hallway, the teacher was giving me all the gory details as he went to his locker, threw everything out, stomped in and shut the door. The teacher said, "Well at least he's contained" and went back into her room. There I am in the hallway, 10 minutes before tutoring is over, trying to coax a stubborn 5 year old from his locker. Knowing he had the upper hand, he refused to budge from his locker and wasn't scared to tell me in so many Kindergarten words! I called his mama and held the phone to his ear. I couldn't believe it. The only words out of his mouth were "Yes Maam, No Maam." Is this the same kid? After a few minutes, he looked up at me with big, pitiful eyes and said an award winning "I'm sorry Miss Michele." Now, who could stay mad after that? I only wish I had a camera to capture the moment, me holding my cell to this 5 year old's ear while he stood in his locker.

Today, I checked on him early in the session. There he was running around the room, not listening to his teacher, being a basic holy terror. Dang, here we go again! Back out in the hallway, me frantically searching for his mom's number as he slams open his locker, throws its contents halfway down the hallway, ready to jump in. With as serious a tone as I could manage, I warned, "Don't you dare get in that locker!" I should have let him because next that little twerp through a marble at me, can you believe that? I held the phone to his ear to let his mom talk to him as I searched him for more visible weapons. Within minutes, he was apologizing . . . again. Back in his classroom, I gave the teacher his mom's number and while explaining it's magic, another less angry, more inquisitive 5 year old with missing front teeth, looked up at me and spit out, "How old you is?" In mid-sentence, I answered, "Really old" and kept talking with the teacher. Then he said, "What, you is 30 or 31?" He then had my full attention as I answered smiling, "Yes, yes I is, thank you, thank you very much!"

Halfway through tutoring, I was called to one of the 2nd grade classrooms. One of our students was in trouble. I told him to get his stuff and come with me. He burst out in LOUD, obnoxious wailing. I'm mean he was LOUD, it caught me off guard. He's almost as tall as me, standing their throwing a fit like a 2 year old, snot pouring out his nose and tears down his cheeks. I swear, I was more stern with the Kindergartner, it was crazy! Knowing he wouldn't hear a thing I had to say until he calmed down, I told him to go into the bathroom and to dry it up. While in there, it sounded like he was going to throw up. What is the deal? A teacher stopped to listen with me in the hallway and asked "Do you know his story?"

His mom lost their house and moved in with friends. Get this, there are 14 of them living in a 1 bedroom apartment. Obviously, sleeping is a problem. She said he often goes hungry. They are living out of a trash bag in a cramped, little apartment. Mom had a court hearing today and might be in jail tonight when he gets home from tutoring. If she manages to avoid jail today, she'll go back in front of the judge in 2 weeks. When he came out of the bathroom, I wrapped my arms around him like he was my own and vowed I'd never let go. He wailed. I wanted to too.

I was called into the other 2nd grade classroom before Spring Break for a girl acting out. Her mom recently started serving a jail sentence on the weekends. I waited with another girl for her ride to come after tutoring. Her family is living with some church friends because their apartment burned down from a meth lab.

I called a good friend, my mom and informed my husband that I just might pull a blindside tomorrow and bring at the least 20 kids home with me. I saw the movie "Precious" over the break. You'd like to believe it doesn't really happen, don't you?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

One Wish

I've drove over 1000 miles this week. Today, I drove through a flat-out downpour of rain. Last week, I drove through the night to make it home for Friday morning assembly at my kid's school. Baby Girl's class led the assembly and she really wanted me there.

With all this driving, I have plenty of time to think, too much really. I've always been scared to talk much about dying. I guess because the whole "guard your tongue" message and if you give an inch mentality. But last week on the way home I thought, people die every day. They don't plan it. They don't wake up one day and say, "I think I'll have a stroke or fatal car wreck today, but it happens. So, what if I don't make it home one day? Will my kids be okay, will they know how I felt, do they know what I want for them?

Little Man doesn't want me to leave him to go to Walmart much less out of town on business. He always drills me . . . do you have to leave, why? When will you be back, when are you leaving? With Grandma around, Baby Girl handles it better but still wants me at her assemblies, school parties, etc... Today is her 7th birthday and I couldn't make it home, oh the guilt. (Thank you Grandpa and Nana for taking cupcakes and juice to her school birthday party, for doing what I couldn't this year) With our business, you've got to strike while the iron's hot.

My sweet babies, if there's ever a day I don't make it home, please know how much I love you. I NEVER would choose to leave you. Don't you ever, even once, think about blaming yourself, sometimes the unexplainable just happens. If I could have just 1 wish for you both, I'd wish that you will allow God to be there for you, like He's always been there for me. He's been there for me every step of the way, through the very best and worst of times. He never left me once. I want this for you more than anything else. I love you, now and forever . . . you have my heart.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hair In Your Drawers

I met up with Janice and friends at Hooter's in Little Rock last week. I had a blast catching up and listening to their stories of old Pentecostal days. I've got to make this post quick so I'll share my favorite story told that night.

Jodie says an evangelist came to our little church on the west side fired up over the women in the congregations hairdo's. Obviously, Pentecostal women are forbidden to cut their hair. I remember Mom having REALLY long hair. She used balls of hair she called fillers to make her hair look fuller and stand higher on her head, the higher the better.

Anyway, the evangelist must have thought the hair fillers as worldly because standing at the pulpit he preached, "I'll Tell You . . . Most of You Women Have More Hair in Your Drawers Than You Do On Your Head!"

I about coughed up a lung laughing so hard over that one. Mom says she remembers being in that service, I wish I did.

On a more serious note, another favorite was told by a friend (I'm sorry, I'm bad with names) She said that in the middle of her Pentecostal time, the guilt over not ever being good enough finally got to her.

She remembers going to the alter one night, crying out to God that no matter how high her hair was, or how long her dress, the fact she refused to wear make-up or jewelry, and even how hard or long she prayed, fasted, read her bible and so forth, it was never enough. She always came up short.

And so that night,standing defeated at the alter, she looked up at God in desperation and said, "I can't do it anymore." God answered, "Good, Now Let Me!"

That night changed her life. Her story, changed mine.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Little Breezy

I'm cold, turned on the heater in my hotel room and set the fire alarm off. No worries, the fire department is just across the road. Mom and I stayed here a couple of years ago and heard sirens all night long. I came prepared this time with ear plugs but hubby let me know I forgot my toothbrush. That ain't nothing, I forgot underwear and a bra.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

All in a Days work

I watched Great Grandma today so Grandma and Paw Paw could go to the fair. She was actually pretty good all things considered. Grandma says you have to treat her like a kid. Let her know who the boss is so I gave it my best shot.

Last night, they came to the house to eat chili. It was so good. . . not sure if it was the taste, the cold weather or the fact that I didn't have to cook it. Regardless, hubby made a great chili. Anyway just before dinner, Great Grandma sneaked out of her wheelchair and fell on the tile in our entry way. She wasn't hurt, thank goodness but she won't, can't listen. She's always trying to get up on her own and therefore falls quite often.

I'm not sure if that justifies my actions but today after taking her to the bathroom, I sat her on the couch, turned on the TV, and tied her to the couch. Yes, I said, Tied her to the couch. I'm not sure if she realized she was tied at first but after a short nap, she discovered our homemade seat belt and wasn't happy. It's for her own safety . . . in her best interest, right? During the nap, I was actually able to help hubby with the pool. When I came in to figure out lunch for the kids, she was pulling at the tie down. In my best boss voice, I told her to cut it out and watch TV. I guess my voice if just not authoritative enough because like the kids, she argued, "I want to go outside!" I firmly said, "No!" Again, as with the kids, we went round and round as I'm giving up finding anything in my kitchen to eat and grabbing the phone to order pizza.

Both kids had a friend sleepover last night whom I had to take home. Great Grandma loves to go for a ride so off we went. Funny, I don't feel 1 ounce of guilt for the seat belt in the car but feel awful about the one in the living room. Anyway, as we were driving kids home, I turned the Seris radio to Channel 4, 40's music. She mainly somewhat comes alive when arguing with me but this time the music caught her attention. The kids probably thought we were crazy, but Great Grandma and I shared a duet to "There's no Business, Like Show Business" and then "Slow Poke." When I pulled in the driveway and hubby came over to help her out of the car, he wrinkled up his nose in disgust and asked, "What are you listening to?" I proudly told him, "It's Frank Sinatra, your grandma loves it" smiling as I turn to her for affirmation "Don't you?" In true Great Grandma form she answered, "No!"

That woman kills me!

In other news, Little Man won Bowler of the Week today for his game last Saturday. He was 67 pins above average. They called his name over the intercom in the bowling alley and awarded him with a little bowling pin trophy. He was so excited, I was so proud! He also submitted an application to the counselor and was picked to be one of the peer mediators this year at his school. The application was pretty long and required a recommendation from 2 teachers at the school. He's required to attend an all day mediation class sometime in the next couple of weeks. It might be wishful thinking but I'm hoping he can apply some of those precious peace making skills at home with his sister.

Baby Girl has been enjoying the game room in the bowling alley. Grandma/Paw Paw and Nana/Grandpa have kept the quarters coming each Saturday. Last week, Baby Girl spent all her money on a roulette type of game trying to win tickets to buy junk little toys. Knowing prayer works, she faithfully clasped her hands and bowed her head before each spin. She actually hit the jackpot 4 times, that's 600 tickets. I seriously was considering sneaking her into the casino that night.

As always, I have so much to say but am falling asleep. If you get a chance, check out this blog. It's unbelievable; www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com

I can't figure out how to make a link, I've tried several different times but type her blog address in and you won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rhonda the Honda

My husband is gone on a motorcycle run. Baby Girl is at Grandma's, Again. I took Little Man and his best friend to get burgers for dinner tonight. While eating, his bf asked how many car wrecks have I had. I probably should have shaded the truth some, but I didn't. I honestly can't remember the number of wrecks I've had. Dad G gave me a brand new, black Dodge Daytona for my 16th birthday. I guess my first wreck was not long after that. I was on a road, it turned and I didn't. I raced straight through a barbwire fence barely missing sleeping cows. You can only imagine what my car looked like afterwards.

Wanting to spread the love, I wrecked Dad's (G) car too during my first semester in college. It was a beautiful day. I remember, I had the windows down, good music blaring and then BAM, I ate the back end of a vintage Volkswagen Bug. Did I mention, it was my college professor's car, I had just left his class. His whole bumper came off, it wasn't pretty nor was my grade at the end of the semester.

Although not technically a car wreck, I shorted out the electrical system in my Daytona by using the ashtray as a piggy bank. While on the cruise strip with my best friend riding shotgun, the radio would start scanning when we'd hit a bump in the road. To stop it on the desired song, she'd have to open the car door and give it a good slam shut. Yes, she would continually have to open and shut the door every time I hit a bump or if a bad song came on the radio. It's a miracle she never fell out.

When dating my husband in high school, he refused to ride in my car because he couldn't see the floorboard from all the trash, clothes and stuff. I practically had to take my shoes off to ride in his car, a restored Plymouth Duster. It was a nice muscle car and made great background prom pics.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Dad G leased the Daytona. Mom says she'd given anything to have seen the faces of the people at the dealership when he pulled up to turn in my poor car.

My next ride was a Honda Civic, lovingly referred to as Rhonda the Honda. Dad M brought her to me after a few weeks away in college. Rhonda was a repo Dad M bought from the credit union. She was in "like new" condition when I got her but that didn't last long. Although now I don't remember all the mishaps, by the time I was done with her she had been hit from all sides. Okay, I usually was to blame, but there was this one time when it wasn't my fault. I wasn't even in the car. My roommate and I were hanging out one afternoon watching a Stephen Stegal movie when we heard a crash come from the street. Looking out the window, we saw someone had rammed into the back of Rhonda the Honda. She was a young mother who had turned away for a split second to tend to her baby in the backseat. She was so upset, I felt sorry for her. The wreck didn't really bother me. I got fishing wire and tied my bumper back on, good as new, sorta.

Again, not a wreck but after a long night of studying in college, a friend of mine came by my house to check that I was up for class. When I opened the door, he said he didn't think I was home because my car wasn't in the driveway. I argued that it was not knowing how he could have missed her. Rounding the corner, sure enough, she wasn't there. Half dead from studying all night, I wasn't sure what to do. I called Dad G and said, "I think someone has stolen Rhonda the Honda." Between laughs he told me "No one would steal that car and advised me to go check around the neighborhood." What the heck! Is he serious, check the neighborhood! He thinks I left her somewhere and don't remember. Giving up on him, I called my mom. She laughed even harder and said, "No one would want that car!" Finally, I called the police.

I guess, word was spreading around campus because by the time the cop showed, a couple of friends had come over. As I described her to the cop, "She's a gray Honda Civic with a green KD tag on the front. She's got a cracked windshield, has been hit from every side and fishing wire is holding up the back bumper." As I was finishing my detailed description to the cop, my fraternity big brother had arrived for moral support. Being the observant guy that he is, he pointed out a car sitting far off in the distance in the field across from my house. He asked, "Isn't that your car?" Looking at the police report, the cop said matter-of-factly, "Fits the description." Okay, either someone played a really good joke on me (no one ever fessed up) or I left her out of gear, she rolled across the street, steered perfectly between a utility pole and it's grounding wire with only a few inches to spare and came to a rest in the middle of a field across from my house. The cop let me keep the police report as a souvenir.

Intrigued, the boys asked me whatever happened to Rhonda the Honda. I explained the importance of motor oil and what happens when it runs out. Dad G and Mi Mi were with me when she left us on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Dad called a local mechanic who observed smoke and water coming out of the tailpipe as I tried to start the engine. I know it's not funny, but then again it is. The mechanic had a hair lip and while watching smoke and water pour out the back he said, "Tat not uh goot tign!" We still laugh about Rhonda the Honda and the hair lip car mechanic. He was really sweet, good at his job and resurrected my poor Rhonda the Honda.

I eventually sold her for $800.00 to a retired couple who drove a Winnebago. Rhonda the Honda is probably still on the road somewhere between here and Abilene, Texas. Who knows, maybe you've passed her on the highway.

The boys were entertained but I'm not sure it was the best lesson of care and responsibility. Lord help me when they get their driver's license!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

After reading writtenwordlover's post about a survey she took on facebook, I decided to try it. It was the one, What book of the bible are you? It said she was the book Numbers. She wasn't thrilled with her result, not exciting enough. It said I'm Ecclesiastes. Here's its reasons why;

You're a hardheaded realist burned once too often by the flaws of others and the emptiness of what society calls "success." Your wisdom comes from the school of hard knocks, which makes you a great advisor. You can't stand fake sunniness and social climbing; you're true, even if you're a little blue. Your eyes are clear, so without denying the reality of evil, make sure you also look at the goodness that's taking place around you.

Sounds like I'm depressed, maybe so.