Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Big Weekend Pictures

A few photos from the weekend's tournament:
Taking her turn running in to the pep rally as the athletes were announced by name. (This was before the sprained ankle.)
With her very close friend and their 4th place volleyball tournament finish. They were the only two seniors who finished the season on the team.
The huge excitement when our soccer boys claimed their first-ever soccer championship trophy. It was especially satisfying to win it on our own field - it was also the first time we hosted the tournament.

And the price she paid for playing on Saturday!

Monday, October 27, 2008

She Got to Play

You have never seen such a rehabilitation effort as went on at our house on Friday night, after she couldn't play that day. She was determined to get in the game Saturday. She got taped up, braced up, and got her basketball shoes on (more support) and actually did get to play front line. You could tell she couldn't jump very well, but she did get in some good blocks. The team lost but they were so delighted to just be in the tournament that that was like a victory for them. I think that, on Tuesday when they had a quarterfinal game, it finally hit them that the tournament was in our gym and if they didn't win and get to go as athletes, they'd be bathroom monitors and water bottle fillers for the weekend. That was their best game of the season.

Now, she probably shouldn't have played (and her dad was not too happy when he got up to go to work and found out that she had), and it may take it a little longer to heal as a result. But it was her last game of her high school career, and I just didn't have the heart to say no you can't, when it was OK with her coach and the administrator/trainer if she wanted to try. I don't really understand such competitiveness, but it's in her.

This picture isn't very good. There are some much better ones coming if she ever gets them uploaded from her camera.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

View from a church

There is a Methodist church near here that has an annual fall bazaar. It's well worth the drive over there (about 2-3 miles) because they serve a full breakfast and have decent yard sale items as well as a good bake sale for those who are interested. But I like to walk out behind the hall where it's held, because it's one of the prettiest locations around here in the fall. This picture doesn't really do it justice because the morning was cloudy, and the view is even prettier when the hay bales are still out in the field. However, so many country spots around here are now dotted with homes that to see an unspoiled one is a beautiful sight.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sitting the Pine

The verdict was not in the 25%. Our administrator taped her up and braced her up, and another coach helped her stretch and work her foot, but it was not to be. And they needed her. The girl who subbed for her played valiantly and did a good job, but the other team was formidable and her experience would have been helpful.

Character building is not always fun. She is learning that.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Big Weekend and a Possible Disappointment

Tomorrow and Saturday is the SC Association of Christian Schools state soccer/volleyball tournament, which we are hosting for the first time. On Monday our boys' soccer team won their quarterfinal match, which meant they get to play tomorrow. And on Tuesday our girls' volleyball team also won, which means they too got in the tournament. So it's been quite exciting - it's not common for both teams to get in, and it's especially unusual to have that happen the year we're the hosts.

So I have a senior daughter, with six years of volleyball playing to her credit, for whom this is really a highlight. Then, this afternoon about 4:30, near the end of the last practice of the season, I got a phone call - from her coach. And an hour later, this was the view in our den:
Sprained. She desperately wants to play tomorrow. I'd say at this point it's about 25% that she'll get to play. Maybe tomorrow morning it will look better.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I have nothing profound to say right now. Busy. I played the keyboard yesterday at church, both services, and have graded five sets of nine-weeks exams (earth science, chemistry, speech, and two sets of vocabulary) in the last 24 hours. Have to make up the two English exams tomorrow. Also tomorrow is Mary Lee's quarterfinal volleyball game, and the outcome of that determines if their team goes to the state tournament - which is being held at our school this year, this weekend. This week is "Mole Day" for my chemistry class, and, on Friday, though we won't have school due to the tournament (all high school students have to work a shift), we're having a big play practice. Tomorrow I start working on Act III during 6th and 7th periods. Next week a friend from Bob Jones Academy comes to do a workshop with the play cast. Busy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Images

Here's the new furniture we got last week at an estate sale for Andrew's room. Not bad for $40!
Mike's been planting pansies - after he and Mary Lee got back from a hunting trip. She shot her first deer this morning - but it ran away and they never found it. A disappointment, probably even more so for Mike than for Mary Lee. Notice the "assistant" in the background. She only got up and moved when she thought I had brought a treat out.
When he buys pansies, he does it right! He doesn't waste time with a flat or two.

Tonight we go to Greenville to watch Andrew act in another play. That boy absolutely loves what he is doing!

Friday, October 17, 2008


About a year ago a friend who knew of my fatigue issues suggested I get my hemoglobin checked at a doctor's appointment the next day. I did so and found out my hemoglobin was 9 (normal is 12-15). Of course he immediately put me on high doses of iron, which I still take though the dose is lower now.

Looking back, I can see how the decline took place over several years. I remember two years ago being rejected from giving blood due to slightly low hemoglobin, and being surprised that that was the case. And six months before my discovery, our school was at the Wilds for school camp, and I could not climb the steps. Not being in the greatest of shape I chalked it up to that, but down deep knew that it was more than that. It wasn't that walking up the steps was difficult - I simply couldn't do it. I was even breathless when walking down the hallway or up just a few steps somewhere. Now it makes sense - Low iron means low hemoglobin which means that oxygen can't bind to the red blood cells which means the cells can't operate properly. No wonder I was breathless and couldn't function well.

After about six weeks on iron I started to feel some better--at least could function better. But now, a little over a year later, I'm really seeing the difference. A hole that is being dug for years takes quite awhile to fill back in. And having a reasonable amount of energy again is a wonderful thing. People tell me now that they knew I looked worn out then and can see the difference now. It's funny how someone like me who likes to keep up on medical things did not sense the difference or figure out what was wrong.

Anyway, ladies who read this blog - Get your iron level checked!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Murphy's Law

I didn't have to be at school until 8:50 this morning - my first period class is taking the PSAT exam today - so of course, I woke up at 5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. Ended up riding in with Mary Lee as Mike has to look at the brakes on my van today. So I am stuck here - can't run to Wal-Mart, or go look for black fabric for the set for the play, or do any number of things that need doing. Amazing how much we take our vehicles for granted.

We went to see Mary Lee play volleyball in Spartanburg last night and had a nice time with Mike's brother, his wife, and two of their children. They worked it out to come to the game and then we went to eat afterward. We don't see much of his family and so it's nice when an unusual (as in not a major holiday) time like that works out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Love a Good Deal

Today at an estate sale I found a chest of drawers that looked like it would do for Andrew's room. It was more of a functional piece of furniture than a particularly nice piece, but it was in good condition, and we need something in his room, especially since we've raided his dresser for Mary Lee's room. I called Mike and he drove over to look at it. The price was $45.

He noticed that there was a dresser to match, also $45. (The dresser had been hidden behind some other things; he's good at finding things like that.) Both tags said "or best offer." So he asked how much the lady would take. She said $40 for both! I just about fell over. But I've learned over the years not to let anything show on my face. Mike knows how to haggle over a price, and in the past I have sometimes come close to ruining a deal by saying too much. Anyway, without saying anything else to give away what he was thinking, he said we'd take both. I wrote the check for $40 and we brought them home!

I love a good deal like that.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eddie and Educational Terminology

I haven't used much educational terminology since college days, though recently have had cause to have to look at it again. Words like "anticipatory set," "modeled behavior," "closure," and "evaluation instrument" float around educational departments at colleges but aren't commonplace in an actual classroom. How an entire career field can be built around jargon that is not practical on a daily basis is a mystery to me.

I remember being a first year teacher when the realization that "education" was not "teaching" was first driven home to me. I remember thinking, "I've just graduated with a four-year teaching degree full of educational courses, but no one ever told me what to do about Eddie." Eddie was a seventh grade boy in my very first homeroom (of 36 youngsters, believe it or not. My administrator gave a rookie teacher 36 students first period and 36 more 2nd period! He handed me a manual and said teach math!). Eddie was incapable of getting his book, his paper, his notebook, his homework, and his pencil to class all at the same time. And he was usually late. When I would try to talk with him, or admonish him, or tell him he had a detention, he would lace his pudgy little fingers together and shake, and his eyes would well up in tears as his short pudgy body shook right along with the pudgy little fingers. Sometimes he would bring along his Bible to these disciplinary conferences.

Eddie and I somehow made it through the year. Anticipatory sets, closure, and evaluation instruments did me absolutely no good with him. But I did learn a lot about teaching!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Fall Festival & Weekend

Friday night was the Fall Festival at school. Always a busy time, especially when I squeezed a play practice inbetween school and the 5:00 start of the festival. But when I only get the soccer players who are a part of the play for one or maybe two practices a week - they're making a run for the state tournament - I have to practice when we can, even if it is fall festival day.

My class was in charge of the dunking booth and the pillow fight. I always pity the people who volunteer to be in the dunking booth, but figure they asked for it. The beginning of the night isn't too bad, but when the sun goes down it gets really cold. . .also, it's gross to think of falling into a little column of water that fifteen or so other people have already been in. (Kind of like getting into bathwater after fifteen other people!) The pillow fight. . .I had to stay there all four hours except for an occasional break. Kids love it, and most of the time my juniors could have run it fine, but occasionally you get two kids in there that really have a score to settle, and it takes an adult to keep them settled & not get hurt. So I stayed really close by.

My juniors were fantastic about being where they were supposed to be when they were signed up to be there. That was a great help. Maybe I'll try to reward them this week - make rice krispie bars or something for them to eat at lunch.

The seniors had a wonderful maze - one of the best, from what I've heard from the people who went through it. This may be the last year for a traditional maze as we are just about out of refrigerator boxes, which are no longer being made. Mary Lee and her classmates had the usual good time that seniors have building a maze. She was gone most of the week working on it.

Yesterday I went into a cooking frenzy. Made hamburgers for Saturday lunch, then meatloaf, mandarin orange salad, and broccoli casserole ahead for Sunday lunch; then I made seafood salad and baked two cakes - one for Mike to take to Newberry tomorrow. I also fried shrimp for supper last night for Mary Lee and me. On a beautiful Saturday, when there is no place I have to go - for me that's a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. Especially when there are good football games to watch at the same time!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Wife of Bath

When I was still a child, if I ever came out to the living room dressed in something outlandish, or in an outfit that was particularly bright, my dad would always say with a big smile, "You look like the Wife of Bath." That meant nothing to me at the time; I wondered who she was but figured if my dad said it, it must be a compliment. He said the same thing to my sisters from time to time.

Well, today I taught Chaucer and was reminded again, as the past several years when also teaching Chaucer, who the Wife of Bath was.
  1. She was a traveler in the Canterbury Tales.
  2. She wore ten-pound, gaudy hats.
  3. She had a gap between her front teeth.
  4. She had very wide hips.
  5. She had had five husbands.
  6. She wore red hose.

My dad has always been a character. Can you tell?!!