Memorial Day

Please take a few minutes today to remember our fallen heroes and their families.

TSMSS: Come into My World

Amy Grant was my first favorite Christian Singer.  Last week I had a bit of a pity party for myself, and, while in Adoration I listened to a few songs.  This was one of the ones that came up on the mp3 player.    It's a great reminder that no one's life is perfect; not even Amy's, but there will be one constant in your life who will never leave your side.

Do you have a song that's touching your heart today? I'm linking up with Amy for some uplifting songs today!

Friday's Favorite Five

I've not been doing a very good job keeping up with FFF lately.  Susanne has a great way to look back over the past week and to share 5 things from the past week.  Visit Living to Tell the Story to link up and share your Fave Five!

1.  Replanting the back space between the sidewalk and the house.  OS inadvertently scraped up a few of my plants from last year.  There are signs that they were there, but I'm not sure if they're going to make it or not, and, being the impatient person that I am, I want there to be more than there already is.
Maybe this is the summer I'll actually get some mulch in there!

2.  Plants that not only came back, but are thriving!  I'm amazed at how my butterfly bushes are growing:

And, they're starting to bloom:
My balloon plants came back, and some of them are doing exceptionally well:

3.  My favorite reading spot in the evenings:
The girls aren't so crazy about it, though!
4.  The opportunity to go to Daily Mass now that school is out.  I loved this time last summer.  My parents attend Daily Mass all through the year, so it's really special to be able to spend that time with them.  Plus, it's a great way to start the day and to get the day going!

5.   Three new recipes in 3 days that are keepers!  They were all exceptionally good!  I didn't take any pictures...I completely forgot about it before we dug in.
Baked Teriyaki Chicken
Garlic Cheddar Chicken (I used Panko crumbs and it worked very well.)
Manicotti Alla Romana
The only thing I would do differently in any of these recipes was the manicotti:  I don't think I'll use as much spinach next time.

** Bonus:  Look what I found in the freezer:
Suuu-weeeet!  I had completely forgotten that CH bought those thin mints for me, and I put them in the freezer a couple of months ago!  HA!

Link up with Susanne or Java today!


Thursday "Thangs"

~  Today is day one of two for professional development.  These 2 days are counted as "Banking Days" for next year.  On our school calendar, we used to have "Optional PD Days"; the board has changed the name to "Banking Days".  Next year we have 3.  So, we can earn 3 days off by doing 3 days worth of PD during the summer, as long as we have certificates stating that we earned them.  

~  YS managed to pull out a "C" in Algebra!  WHEW!  He came through in the last hour!

~  MS has been working at the Destination Imagination Global Finals last week and this week.  He's making some good money, which is good since he owes his daddy!

~  CH & I got a good laugh while watching Wheel of Fortune last night:  there were 2 brothers on a team who were from El Salvador.  The puzzle they won:  Red and Green Chili Peppers.  What did they win for solving the puzzle?  A trip to Central America!

~  I love it when CH brings me a surprise, even when I tell him to bring me one.  He went to Wally World last night and asked if I needed/wanted anything.  I couldn't think of anything I wanted, so I told him to bring me a surprise...something he thinks I would like.  Here's what he came back with:
I didn't see it in when it was in the theater, so hopefully it's worth buying it!  It got rave reviews from ASHA (the American Speech Language Hearing Association), so it must be pretty good.

~  Here's a find:
Magnum White Chocolate Bar.  I read on someone's blog (sorry I can't remember whose it was!) that the chocolate ones weren't very good, but I really liked the white chocolate.  A bit pricey compared to other ice cream novelty bars:  there are only 3 to a box.

~  Ally got her stitches out on Tuesday.  The vet tech said that when they were prepping her for surgery a couple of weeks ago, they were putting the junk on her stomach, and the bladder stones were just falling out.   The vet said that when they put her on the operating table, there was a nice little pile of stones laying on the table where she had been.  She said she had never seen anything like it.  Ally seems to be a lot happier; she'll be even happier after next Tues. when she gets to go to the "beauty parlor" to get a hair cut!

~  Is blogger doing anything "funky" with anyone else while trying to post pictures?  Sometimes I'll have to choose the picture and click "post" 3 or 4 times before it will insert it.  Very aggravating!

What kind of "thangs" are going on in your world today?

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What is something about living in this country that you value? 'This country' is whatever country you call home.
2. What is a favorite something you own that is red, white, and/or blue?
Gosh, I'm totally stumped on this one!  I've been trying to think of something that I own that's those colors, and I'm coming up with 'nada'!
3. Do you fly a flag at your house on patriotic holidays?
We used to, but decided the flag hanger didn't appropriately display the flag.  I have the flag on my mailbox cover.
4. What ingredients do you think should be included in a great picnic basket?
Fried chicken, chips, grapes, wine.
5. What is one interesting piece of trivia you know? Interesting is of course a relative term.
Swedish couples often go to Denmark to get married since alcohol is less expensive there.
Bonus:  There is a park in Denmark that is opened to celebrate American Independence Day.
(Thank you, CH for those facts that I knew but forgot!)
6. Wednesday, May 24th is National Escargot day...have you ever tried them? Eww or ooh?
EWWWWW! (No, I haven't tried them.  Just the thought of it makes me gag!)
7. What is one thing you know for sure?
There is a God.
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
Did anybody watch the past 2 episodes of Real Housewives of New Jersey?  I'm not sure how I'm liking the dynamics of Teresa's SIL and cousin being on there, but it sure beats crazy Danielle!  Teresa's brother seems like he's going to take Danielle's place...he doesn't seem real stable, and his wife seems to be very spoiled and immature.  I kinda like Kathy (the cousin), but her husband is Ca-ree-py!  If you're watching, what's your take?


Newsflash:  I'm not perfect.  My kids aren't perfect.  Even though I pretend that everything is just perfect, it isn't.  Some of OS' high school classmates graduated from college this past week, but he didn't.  It's very hard to read the posts on Facebook of the moms talking about how proud they are of their kids.  Oh, I'm proud of OS, and I'm proud of my friends' kids.   I have a pang of jealousy when I read those posts.  I'm confident in believing that the other kids' college careers didn't have some adversity; why is it that you don't hear about that?  Why is it that we have to make people believe that we have perfect lives and that our kids are perfect?  
Why do some kids have to learn things the hard way and others seem to breeze through their life?  I keep asking myself "What did I do wrong?"  During Mass on Sunday, the priest's homily seemed to be talking just to me:
So, don’t ask, “What do I do next.”  Or other practical questions, such as, “How do I keep my marriage, my kids and myself happy and holy?”  As long as we allow Christ to be near us, everything will be fine.  It may be difficult, like carrying a cross, but it will all be OK.  Just pay attention to God’s presence and you’ll get where you’re going.
Wow.  I couldn't believe he said that.  After Mass I slipped into the Adoration Chapel and said a Rosary.  Sunday, the mysteries that are meditated on are the Glorious Mysteries.   For you non-Catholics, we have "cheat sheets" to help us keep focused and remember what the Mysteries are.  Anyway, the Fifth Glorious Mystery caught my eye:  The Coronation.  "A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars."  (Rev 12:1)  The Fruit of the Mystery:  Trust in Mary's Intercession.  I felt a big weight come off of my shoulders, and suddenly, everything was okay.  I have to learn to let go and let my kids live their lives, even if it's not the way I want or thought they would.  I don't want anyone to think I'm disappointed in my boys, because I'm not.  I have great kids; each of them has their own good qualities.  Even if they're not perfect.

Meet Me on Monday

Blogging  is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read  and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is  this person!?"  I know them...but yet I don't know them!  I want  to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great  way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five get to know you  questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we  can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Java will add a linky so we can follow who participates and get to know them  better!!  Be sure to link the POST and not just your whole blog!!


1.  What is your favorite bagel flavor?
When I was in college, it was cinnamon raisin washed down with beer at this little place called Poor Richards (which is still there, by the way!).  Nowadays, I'll take the cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera!
2.  If you had an extra $100 right now, what would you spend it on?
3.  What is the last thing that you felt guilt about doing?
I felt just a little bit of guilt about going out to eat lunch after Kindergarten screenings at one of my schools.  I told the secretary I was going, and when I came back, the principal and a few other staff members were sitting in the office.  He asked where I went, and I looked at the secretary like a deer in headlights.  She didn't say a word, so I told him where I went to eat, and presented him with some cupcakes!  She got a big kick out of my squirming, and later said that Mr. Principal didn't care if I went or not.  He suggested to the Kindergarten teachers that they go out to eat instead of ordering something in.
4.  Soft serve ice cream or hand dipped?
Soft Serve!  YUMMY!\
5.  Are you allergic to anything?
I may or may not be allergic to hydracodone.  When I had surgery on my knee a few years ago (torn meniscus), I took one and woke up itching like crazy.  No welts or weird spots on my legs; it just felt like something was crawling all over me.  Not a good feeling at all!


Here's an awesome song by Michael W. Smith.  Another song that I absolutely LOVE.  Hope you enjoy it!

He's Baaaaack!

Yep, the little guy is back.  I hadn't seen him in about a week, but he made his presence known yesterday.  It's been pretty chilly here the past few days, so I'm sure he was laying low until it warmed up some.  He sat there for quite a while.  He didn't move at all when I slowly went to my pocketbook, got my camera, and took a picture.  Actually, it was a couple of pictures: I knelt on the floor to get this shot.  I was afraid he was dead.   As I was on my way to the restroom, I told one of the assistants about my visitor and told her that I thought he was dead.  She came in, got close to it, and as she reached down, it started squiggling away.  He started to slide behind the file cabinet, but the assistant trapped his tail between her hand and the wall.  She was able to gently grab his tail and pull him out without pulling off his tail!  She put him outside, and he quickly ran off.  I didn't even think about getting pictures until after she let him go.
Until next time, little guy!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What reveals more about a woman-her refrigerator or her purse?
Her purse.
2. When was the last time you went to the zoo? Where? What's your favorite zoo animal?
2 years ago in Copenhagen.  Where they had a possum on exhibit complete with an overturned garbage can.  My favorite zoo animal:  giraffe.
3. What social issue fires you up?
Abortion.  Is that considered a social issue or a moral issue?  

4. Are you a coupon clipper? If so, are you extreme? 
The only coupons I use are the ones that come in the mail from Kroger that are specific to things I buy.  I love getting those coupons!

5. What is one of your favorite souvenirs brought back from your travels?
A Little Mermaid souvenir from Copenhagen.
6. Lemon meringue or key lime? 
Key Lime.

7. What is the most beautiful word you know in any language?
8. Insert your own random thought here. 
The school year is winding down.  Every year, the speech pathologists help out with screening the children who will be coming to kindergarten next year.  And, every year, we seem to have a couple of kids who really stand out.  Monday, I screened a child who told me his favorite food was oysters from Hooters....California Steamed Oysters.  He then proceeded to tell me that he liked Hooters because it sounded like "pooters"!!!  Gotta love little boys!

Our Lady of Fatima

The 3 children depicted in the statues with Mary are Francisco, Lucia, and Jacinta; three shepherd children who were tending flocks in Cova da Iria,  Portugal, which is near Fatima.  On May 13, 1917, they were tending the sheep when it began to lightening.  Thinking it was a storm, the children began running.  Mary appeared in a vision to the children, urging them to pray the Rosary for world peace, the end to WWI, for sinners, and the conversion of Russia.  Between the first apparition and October 13, she gave the children 3 secrets.  

They asked Mary if each of them would go to heaven.  Her reply:  Jacinta and Lucia would, Francisco would but he would have to say many rosaries.  While Mary gave the children 3 secrets, they were shown hell, heard the prediction of WWII and the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.  

At one point, the children were taken to jail and were told to denounce the visions.  The children refused, and ended up converting the people in jail.  October 13 is known as "The Day the Sun Danced".  Lucia made a public announcement that there would be a miracle performed.  The day began with rain and the field where the miracle was to be performed was mud.  At 12 o’clock noon, LucĂ­a pointed up at the sky. "The sun appeared as a disc that gave off various colors and could be looked at without difficulty; it spun like afireball and looked as if it would fall to the earth." Suddenly, the sunbroke free of its orbit and began to plunge to the earth. All seventy thousand people were in panic. Many were heard to say, "God have mercy on me." Then the sun stopped and returned to its place in the sky, and it turned into a beautiful day. People become aware that their clothes were dry.

While this was happening, Lucia reported that St. Joseph, holding the child Jesus, appeared with Our Lady of Fatima.  She announced that she was the "Lady of the Rosary".  The vision on 13 October was the last time she appeared to all of the children together; she appeared to them separately after then.
Francisco died in 1919 at the age of 11, and Jacinta in 1920 at the age of 10.  Our Lady of Fatima told Jacinta that she would die in a hospital, away from her family, which is exactly how it happened.  both children were victims of the flu epidemic which ravaged Europe in 1918.  They were both beatified on 13 May, 2000, with Lucia present.  Lucia lived to be 97; she became a Carmelite Nun and spread the story of Our Lady of Fatima and her Immaculate Heart.  She died on Feb. 13, 2005

Many miracles are attributed to Our Lady of Fatima.  Beginning on 05 May, a novena (a prayer that is said on 9 consecutive days) is said.  This is the first year I have participated in this novena.  On Wednesday, 11 May, OS had an accident.  He was at the river and stood up too fast.  He said he took a couple of steps and then passed out, falling down a ravine and landing face down in the water.  The men who were with him are paramedics.  He said when he came to, one of the guys was holding his head in his hands, telling him not to move until they checked him out.  OS came out of it with just a few scratches on his elbow & shoulder, and a small cut on his head.  I told him that his guardian angels were definitely looking out for him, but a while later remembered that I was saying the novena.  I definitely think Our Lady of Fatima had a hand in him not being seriously hurt, and with the paramedics being with him. Some may say it's a coincidence, but I think it was more than that.

Meet Me on Monday

The blogging mini-break is over.  It was unexpected as Blogger must've thought we all needed a day off! I was especially perturbed because Friday was the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, so I didn't get to post that story.  Come back tomorrow and it will be up!

Java is back with this week's questions.  To participate, click on the above link, copy & paste the questions in your blog, answer, and don't forget to link up!


1.  Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
Smooth.  Unless it's on pancakes, then I'll go for crunchy.
2.  What is your favorite color Rose? 
I don't know that I have one.  While I think roses are beautiful, I don't know that I have one that I have to say "that's my favorite".  I do love seeing red roses growing out in the yard.  Not my yard...I don't think they'd grow in my yard with my un-green thumb!
3.  Do you remove your shoes when you walk into your home?
Yes.  I try to get the boys to do that, too, to keep dirt & mud from tracking in so I don't have to spend time sweeping/vacuuming the floor.
4.  What is your favorite season?
Fall.  I love it when then temps start cooling down.  Another plus for fall is football!  Being from the south, football is a big part of life!
5.  Approximately how many hours a day do you spend blogging?
I'd say 2, but it's mixed in with watching tv or doing other things.

Sister E-Mail

One of my sisters (the one that gives me stuff!) totally cracks me up.  On a recent motorcycle vacation (yes, she rides her own Harley), she sent out this e-mail:

We are currently in Americus, GA, 10miles from Plains, GA. Say hello to Jimmah.

We will be visiting the confederate prison camp in Andersonville, GA in the morning .

After that we keep  heading north.

Look these places up. They are interesting. This hotel we are in was built in the 1800's. The out house is around the corner. HAHAHA. That was for Daddy.

We have been to the Smyrna Air Show, Natchez Trace Parkway, Tupelo, MS, Pensacola FL. I have seen wild turkeys, Meriweather Lewis' burial monument, Indian mounds, sting rays, Jimmy Carters boy hood home and one prostitute (we had to go through Mobile)

The Armadillo Death count is currently at a very disappointing 4, That was for (oldest brother).
  (I'm sure this is from our Texas vacation days...counting dead armadillos was something done to pass the time since we didn't have a radio...or air conditioning.)

We expect to be home Friday. Hope the weather holds out for us.

 I certainly hope you can see the humor is this!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Here are Joyce's questions for the week.  If you want to get in on the fun, click on the button above, copy and paste the questions in a new post and answer.  Don't forget to add your link!

1. How many times in your life have you moved house?
I moved once when I was 9 months old.  CH & I have moved 8 times in 27 years.  3 of those moves were to different states.
2. What subject would you study if you had a year to devote to it?
German.  Especially if it meant I could live a year in Germany or Austria.
3. What in this world breaks your heart?
Knowing that there are starving children out there.
4. What is one item that symbolizes the times in which we live? Why?
Gosh, Joyce.  You just have to throw in one really tough one, don't you?  I'm writing this Tues. night, and I have bus duty tomorrow morning, so I need to go to bed.  In other words, I'm not going to make my brain hurt trying to think of an answer to this one! 

5. Share a favorite bumper sticker or t-shirt slogan.
I couldn't think of one, so I looked online and this one made me chuckle:
"National Sarcasm Society:  Like we need your support"
6. How do you like your spaghetti?
I'm a "spaghetti simple" kind of girl:  I like spaghetti either with chicken or ground beef.  I'm not a big fan of meatballs.  
7. What is one piece of advice you would give a recent, or soon to be recent, graduate?
Live your life for you.  Don't get so tangled up in relationships that you lose sight of your dreams.  
Also:  keep your friends close.  Find close friends and hold on to them tightly, regardless of where your lives take you.
8. Insert your own random thought here.
Thanks for all the well wishes for Ally.  I have to call the vet later today to find out if she will get to come home today or tomorrow.  The surgery went well.  The vet said that there were at least 900 stones, and more like 1000.  I repeated the number this time to make sure I heard correctly!  Ally will have to be on a special diet from here on out, which means I'll have to make sure she & Pepper are separated when they eat.  Plus, I'll have to get separate bowls for them and put them on a schedule.  Up to now, I have been able to make sure they have food in their bowls, and they get it as they want.  Neither one of them are the kind to gobble down food if it's available.

Follow Up

Yesterday I mentioned that Ally (my schnauzer) has a urinary tract infection.  Wrong.  She has bladder stones.  Many, many stones.  So many stones that she's having surgery today.  The vet said that her bladder is so bloated and has so many stones that, if she showed me the x-ray, I would know right away that there are stones.  OS took her to the vet for me and called me after she saw the vet.  Here's what I heard:  Ally has a lot of bladder stones that are going to require surgery.  The bad thing is that it's going to cost $6700.  That blew me away.  All I could think about was, "How am I going to pay for that?"  She talked to me about prepping her for surgery and when she could do the surgery, but I was stuck on the price and wasn't really hearing what she was saying.  After I hung up, I went back to lunch, and told the women I eat with what she said.  One of the ladies said she was going to call her vet  and see what he charged, because $6700 was just outrageous.  That's when it hit me:  The vet hadn't said $6700, she said, "6 or 7 hundred".   That I can deal with.  I called her later in the day and got the details.  We both had a good laugh about the misunderstanding, and I know that my little girl is being well taken care of.  It's really hard with her not being here; Pepper is acting a little strange, staying closer to me than usual. 

Here's the picture of the statue of Mary that I talked about yesterday:
The statue is Our Lady of Fatima.  The 3 children are the visionaries that Mary appeared to at Fatima, Portugal.  The feastday of Our Lady of Fatima is 13 May, so, if you're curious as to the incredible story, come back on Friday!

Mother's Day

Java didn't post Meet Me On Monday questions because she was busy spending time with her boys, and, frankly, I just didn't feel like coming up with anything last night.

Yesterday, after Mass, we had the crowning of Mary, which is a tradition every May.  In the Church, May is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  How fitting is it that we had the May Crowning of Mary on Mother's Day?  It was so sweet to see the children placing flowers at the statue of Mary.  I didn't get a picture yesterday; I didn't think it was appropriate to fight my way up to the front and take a picture!  Hopefully I can get a picture up tomorrow.

All my boys are home for the summer.  Makes for a little bit of a crowded house since FES is still with us, but we'll manage.  OS & MS usually sleep in the man room when they come in, and it will just be for about 4 more weeks.  OS should be at the river quite a bit with his water rafting guide job, and MS will be busy with taking Freshman English and working 2 lifeguard jobs.  He decided to wait until this summer to take English at a community college to keep his GPA up.  YS just needs to start the job hunt and we'll be set!

OS' girlfriend came by yesterday with her labradoodle puppy.  At one time, all 3 dogs were in the house (but thank goodness they all get along well!) running around, when Ally (who has an UTI and will go to the vet today) decides to squat and pee.  As I'm cleaning that up, girlfriend comes in to let me know that she thinks the toilet needs plunging.  OS has the dogs outside, I'm cleaning up the accident, and girlfriend yells for OS:  The toilet is overflowing.  OS runs in and leaves the dogs outside (which is fine except for Ally who likes to visit the park when no one is looking) and starts taking care of that.  I leave the accident and grab towels, then run down and get the shopvac.  Then I realize the dogs are outside, so I herd all 3 of them back in and go back to the bathroom to help with cleanup.  This is life in our household!

I went on a nice walk with OS, girlfriend, and all 3 dogs yesterday.  The weather couldn't have been nicer!  It was so nice seeing families in the park, enjoying each other.    With Ally's UTI, I had to stop just about every 2-3 minutes and let her squat. All of the dogs enjoyed getting in the creek; I forgot I had just given the girls a bath on Saturday!  I remembered as Ally got in for the first time.  There were some ducks hanging out near the fountain, so the dogs were all very curious about this thing quacking at them!

All in all, it was a good day.  I went down to my parents' and spent a few minutes with them.  Mom said she didn't expect to see me since I had been down on Saturday night when one of my sisters was there.  I just kept thinking about friends that lost their moms this year (actually within the past month).  You never know when that Mother's Day is going to be the last one you're going to have your mom with you.

So, on that note:  I hope everybody had a good Mother's Day, whether you're a mom with angels on earth, in heaven, in thoughts, or with furbabies!

TSMSS: Inspiration

This isn't a Christian song, but inspirational nonetheless!  To see what is in everybody's hearts this Saturday, visit Amy!

Sweet Friday

(Hopefully the Follow Friday link is showing up!  I'm at work and can't tell if it's there.  If it's not, hop over to Java's and meet some new friends!)
Oh, sweet Friday!  Fridays are my "easy" days:  I don't have a student until 9:30, then I have a 30 minute break followed by 2 groups, another break, lunch, then groups from 12:30-1:30.  Yep, I pretty much love my Friday schedule! Plenty of time to get testing & planning done.
The only "bad" thing is bus duty.  YUCK.  If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know about the dreaded bus duty, particularly "gym duty".  When the kids get through eating breakfast, their "holding area" is the gym.  They sit according to grade level; you'd think they hadn't seen in other in days, they can get so loud.  The gym is NOT the place to be during the last rotation!  We'll see how this morning goes!  I only have 1 more day of this for the year!
With it being Teacher Appreciation Week, the PTO at my Friday School is catering Salsarita's for lunch.  Last year they brought in soup and gave us flowers.  I have no idea what I did with mine. I'm sure it died, because I certainly don't remember planting it somewhere!
Hope everyone has a great P.O.E.T.S Day!  (Pee On Everything, Tomorrow's Saturday!)

Ignorance is NOT Bliss!

My new friend, Pattie (aka "ApraxiaMom"), has graciously permitted me to post one of her recent posts.  See, Pattie has 2 children with apraxia.  The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association defines childhood apraxia as:  "Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. "  It is common for children with CAS to also have expressive language deficits.  Some may need a device or sign language to communicate.  As they get older, these children will more than likely have serious difficulties with reading and writing, and may require additional services (other than speech/language therapy) to be successful in the classroom.

The following is a post written as a letter to her daughter, describing an experience she had while voting.  It's hard for me to read this and realize that there are still so many people out there who have no idea that a special needs' child doesn't have to be physically disabled. 

Dear Kaitlyn,

Seventy-two hours ago, you were assaulted by something that I have worked seven years to protect you from: ignorance.
It may be the first time, but I am sure it won't be the last.
However, I promise you that I will continue to protect you as well as I can.
That is my job description.

You didn't know that the old bitty that you asked "What's your name?" gave you a look of annoyance.
I did.
You didn't realize that the tone of her voice when she said "Joo-death" (Judith) was sarcasm.
I did.
You didn't see her roll her eyes to the woman sitting next to her in reference to you.
I did.
You didn't pick up on her aggravation with you when she scolded you for touching that cord between the voting booths.
I did.
You didn't see me give her the look of "she's-my-daughter-I-will-take-care-of-discipline-if-I-think-it's-necessary".
Judith did.
You didn't feel my disappointment in a public official.
I did.
You couldn't read my mind as I walked up to her to hand her a card with your diagnosis, hoping to educate her closed-mindedness.
Don't worry, Judith couldn't either.
You will never understand the pain I felt when that nasty old bitty of a man (and I use the term "man" very lightly) told me to put a sign around your neck so that others would know that you had special needs.

I will never forget it.

But what I want you to understand is that I did what I thought was right at that moment.
I chose to protect you.
I chose to not acknowledge his ignorance and evil.
I chose to walk away.
I chose to keep you from witnessing further harassment and discrimination from two people who, in my opinion, do not deserve a second glance or even breathe the God-given air around them.
I chose to protect you from physical harm, because if that man could bellow words so cruel and painful, what would stop him from physically hurting you or I?

I chose to breathe and pray.

Please don't think that I let you down by not standing up to them.
My silence was my stance.
But I only kept my silence for a short time.
I want you to know that I made sure the right people knew what he did.
A lot of right people.
Hundreds of people have read your story, my dear.
And those people have been very supportive of you and I.

So don't look at me in your funny little way if I pull you a little closer to me while we are out in public.
Don't be mad if I don't let you learn to fly on your own a little sooner.
Go on and keep playing if you see me talking with a stranger a little longer about why your speech isn't perfect yet.
Let me stroke your hair a few more times.
Let me give you one more hug before you walk into school.
I won't shelter you.
I will still allow you to do all the things that you did before.
I will just watch you a little closer.
And I will listen to those mean people a little closer.
Because mean people suck.
(Kate, please don't repeat that word, OK?)

But most of all, I love you more than life.
You are my life.

Love, Mommy

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Wednesday Hodgepodge: Mother May I?

1. Have you ever been served breakfast in bed? Do you enjoy that? If someone were serving you breakfast in bed this coming weekend what would you hope to see on the tray?
When the boys were little, I used to get breakfast in bed for Mother's Day.  Since they've gotten older, they sleep later than I do, so I don't get that anymore.

2. What is one piece of advice you would give a new mother?
Oh, this is the wrong time for me to be giving advice!  If I have to pick something, it would be to be consistent.  In everything you do.  When you say you're going to do something, do it.  And don't budge.
3. When was the last time you wanted to scream? Explain.
You mean, when was the last time I screamed?  Some of the conversations I've had lately have made me want to scream.  

4. Can you hula hoop?
I used to be able to, but I don't think I could do it now.

5. What is something people do in traffic that really bothers you?
Tailgate.  Seriously.  I can't go any faster, so getting on my tail isn't going to help things move any faster.

6. What do you do when people don't admit they're wrong?
I usually say "whatever" and let them think that they're right.  The truth will come out eventually!
7. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word 'fun'?

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Last May I found this critter "belly-up" under my desk at school:
  Yesterday, I walked into the room after lunch, and a movement caught my eye.  Yep, you guessed it:  another lizard.  He ran behind the bookcase before I could grab my camera, and stayed back there for a couple of hours.  He finally started to venture out, but ran back in after I made a movement.  Hopefully he'll eat some of the spiders I've found in my room.  (Do they even eat spiders?)  My room is next to the auditorium, away from everything, so it gets forgotten during the cleaning.  I did have a problem with keeping my feet on the floor after I saw him!

Little Bit of This & That

Ever have those days when you just feel like your world is about to fall apart?  I had one of those days on Sunday.  The day started out with high hopes:  It was Divine Mercy Sunday, and Pope John Paul II's Beatification was held in Rome.  I don't know what I was expecting during Mass, but, man, was I disappointed.  There was just a slight mention of the day being devoted to the Divine Mercy, and absolutely nothing about the Beatification.   Then, we had an issue with one of the boys.  I just had to remind myself that every little thing is magnified right now since it's the end of the school year.  I'm stressed, the boys are getting ready to have finals, and things are just crazy right now.

My mom & I went to a charity concert to benefit Good Neighbors, a charity in town that provides people with money to pay electric bills, groceries, or anything else they need to make it to the next month.  But, most importantly, they provide moral support and guidance to help people who are down on their luck make it to the next month.  The concert was amazing.  There were choirs from the following religious affiliations:  AME Zion, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and the local college's gospel choir.  Great singing for a great cause.

Teresa at nanahood is having a contest.  Here's what she said:  "It's simple to enter. Write to me at and tell me about a super mom you know. She could be your friend, neighbor or a relative. I will post the essays on my blog and the one with the most comments wins a queen size homemade quilt for the person they nominated!"  Check out her site; the quilt is beautiful!

All you Green Bay fans out there:  Y'all have a lot of new fans down here in the South!  A Small Town boy has made it to the NFL!  Randall Cobb was a teammate of OS & MS, and is an incredible role model.  Humble, polite, and an all-round good guy.  It's good to see him do so well.
School is on the down-slide:  Only 2 more Mondays.  Kindergarten Screenings are starting up, so speech therapy will be "hit and miss" for the next couple of weeks.  Yep, it's time to take it easy and let the year wind down!

Finally, May is "Better Hearing and Speech Month".  The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is promoting their Safe Hearing Campaign.  Here's what they have to say:

"With the increasing popularity of MP3 players, millions of adults and children across the U.S. are at a newfound risk of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Listening to headphones at high volumes for extended periods of time can result in lifelong hearing loss. Make a pledge to protect your children's hearing today:"

Meet Me on Monday

Java's back after taking a week of for Easter Sunday.  Want to join in?  Click on the link and see how other bloggers answered the questions of the week!

1.  What is your favorite kind of muffin?
If I make it, banana nut.  If I'm at Panera, I'm a little partial to this "Cobblestone" muffin they have.  I don't know if it technically is a muffin, but it sure is good!

2.  What was the first car you ever owned?
A Dodge Omni.  That little thing would go in the snow!  Mine was similar to this one, but had a black pinstripe.

3.  Which TV Show were you sad to see end?
M*A*S*H .  But, since it was on tv longer than the actual Korean War, I guess it was time.

4.  What is your lucky number?
I don't have one.

5.  Pretzels or Potato Chips?
Potato chips. Unless the pretzel has a rolo and pecan on top.
 Or is just covered in chocolate:
Or is in an M&M:


Divine Mercy Sunday

Today, the 1st Sunday after Easter Sunday and the 2nd Sunday of Easter in the Catholic Church, is also "Divine Mercy Sunday".  It was on the 2nd Sunday of Easter in 2000 that Pope John Paul II decreed that this Sunday should be designated as "Divine Mercy Sunday".  
The Second Sunday of Easter was already called "Octave Sunday" and was a solemnity. The title of this day was actually an ancient liturgical tradition attributed to St. Augustine.  

Today also just happens to be the Beatification of Pope John Paul II.  What an amazing man he was!  He was arguably our most athletic pope:  He hiked, skied, played soccer,  and was very "outdoorsy".  After the assassination attempt, he went to the prison and forgave the man who shot him. This man was a professional assassin, and, when he saw the Pope, he asked him why he wasn't dead.  The shots were at close range, and there were 3 fired.   He had one of the bullets placed in the crown of the Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal, because he gave her the credit for saving him. (One of the bullets barely missed his heart.)   The attempt happened on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  He was the first pope to pray in a synagogue, to enter a mosque in a Muslim country, and to preside in a meeting that involved all of the world's major religious heads.  He stuck to his guns on Catholic teachings and refused to budge. 
I have heard it said that Pope John Paul II is on the "fast track to sainthood".  His beatification is the first step in confirming that he is a saint.  With everything going on in the world today, it is nice to know that we were blessed with having this saintly man walking on the earth at the same time as us.

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