Friday, August 27, 2010

Mmmmm .... coffee.....

How beautiful is the coffee plant? I love this image from the graphics fairy! See my link on the side to find her site. Coffee makes my world go round most mornings!
Thanks again graphics fairy for the beautiful images you share!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Some days you are the windshield and some days you are the bug. Today I am the bug and I have been tossed against the windshield over and over!!! Ok - maybe I exagerate slightly. I may be having a drama queen moment! It has been a long day with much stress though.

I attended middle school open house tonight and feel like such a failure! I have no idea how other parents are making things work. Between being a homework tutor, a chauffer, a housekeeper and chef - I am exhausted. Somehow I was supposed to be able to get desserts to the school tonight for a fund raiser as well. That did not happen. I sat through a meeting about the choir uniforms thinking they have lost their minds. My budget is shot with all the fees we have been hit with this year.

High school class fees - $120
PTA memberships -$20
suggested PTA donations - $150
Camp McDowell trip - $150
Choir fees x 2 - $70
Uniform fee - $13
Art fee -$10

That is $533!!!! I'm supposed to come up with $533 dollars on top of all the supplies that they needed???? Something is going to have to give!!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

oh to be somebody

I wish getting an audience to my blog would be easier! I imagine a place where gifts just show up at my door. "A new kindle? Just for me? Why thank you so much!" " What could this box marked android possible be? For me? Why shucks!" Can't you just see it too? No? Oh well... I may never be as famous as the Pioneer Woman or have the traffic of my favorite blogs but I still enjoy my little corner of cyber space where I can freely express my opinion. Maybe someday someone else will actually read my ramblings and join in the conversation...

transformation yoga and centering prayer

I am so happy that my church sponsors a yoga class on Tuesdays called transformation yoga and centering prayer. We have an awesome teacher too! I admit to having only attended once but what I learned has stuck with me and I do intend to return now that school is in session and my schedule should be getting lighter. My favorite thing is remembering to lift my heart to the Lord! Wow! This one simple visual cue helps me have better posture and use my core muscles which are very weak and need all the help they can get! Next time you find yourself slouching, remember to lift you heart to the Lord and see what a difference it can make.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Division in Huntsville

I will start by saying that I love Huntsville, AL! It is a wonderful town to live, work, raise a family, worship and prosper. But I have serious concerns about our school system. The horrible rift that surfaced this spring and summer is very discouraging to me. Then this week I read an article about the budget planning session that happened on Thursday. It is clear to me that the administration is not supportive of the magnet programs that Huntsville offers.

Our magnets are not like those in other places. The magnets in Huntsville were created following a court order for desegregation of the school district. The DOJ court order still stands and the system seems unwilling to do what is required to fix it. I am the first to admit that I am a huge fan of the magnets here.

My children have attended the Academy for Academics and Arts for years now. My oldest has just left after 9 years there to attend high school. This school has afforded my children an education that is not available anywhere else in the city. They have had art, dance, music, drama, strings and all of the academics as well. I know there are flaws at AAA. There are some programs that are stronger than others, but I see a group of educators and parents working together to make things great. We chose not to send our oldest into the high school magnet for arts because we knew she had a great foundation for arts already and it was truly time to concentrate on academics. She is enrolled in the IB program at another school. This program is not part of the DOJ order but its feeder school is part of the magnet system.

I'm very fortunate to live in a town that has choices outside of our district schools. Not everyone has a choice. And not everyone who has a choice will exercise it. I would encourage parents to really look hard at what these magnets offer your children. It can be a great foundation for your child. I really feel for the parents of Johnson and Butler who are eligible to transfer their children based on the low test scores of the children.

I found myself very upset this week with the article in the Huntsville Times in which the finance director for Huntsville City Schools really seemed to drive a wedge between the schools in this city. His comment about how the magnet high school would have more teachers than mandated by the state while another school would have less seemed very hurtful. Also comments about how the two top high schools were too full to accept transfers seemed suspicious to me. The only choices then left for the parents trying to transfer from a low performing high school are the magnet school or the high school where the IB program resides. On the plus side for these students, they have the opportunity to find a quality education. They may not be accepted into the magnet or the IB cohort but surely they will find a better school.

The magnet schools exist because of a court order but they provide an exceptional education for the youth of our city! To belittle them in this way seems wrong. Because our city has not done anything to remediate the situation that the magnets address, they will remain. But to treat them as second class schools will only perpetuate the problems that brought about the court order. Lee High School is home to the arts magnets but kids who excel in these arts are also able to excel in academics. If we do not support the academics in these schools, smart parents will not choose them for their children. Why would you want to send your child to a school that only excels in the one area? Children deserve to receive a complete education. Even now, many parents are supplementing the education that their children receive and I know that occurs in schools other than magnets. Smart parents look at all the options for their kids and try to make the best choices.

We chose IB for our oldest because it promises to be a wonderful way to further her academic career. She is already taking an AP course as a freshman and with hard work, will have college credit at the end of this year! This program came to Huntsville because of our military and civil service families. Kids that are educated overseas are frequently in these programs. It is also quite prevalent in the DC area suburbs. She may very well have a full year of college credit by the time she graduates high school and hopefully several scholarship offers! We are also supplementing her education with private voice lessons. She has a lovely voice and was accepted into the vocal magnet but she also a terrific brain and was accepted into the IB cohort class. The cohort class is very small, probably under 40, but what a great transition that made!

So sorry for the rant but I'm truly a concerned parent trying to make the best choices for my children. Selling my house and moving to another district is not an option at this time any more than paying for private school would be. Hence my rant. If you should read this, please consider all the issues confronting our schools, not just the one in your own district. We are a community that deserves to have top notch schools all over the city. Our children deserve a quality education. Vote accordingly in the school board elections!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This is one of the things that I have made this summer. It is a bracelet made with 6/0 silver lined seed beads and sterling findings using a braiding technique called kumihimo. My sweet friend Sheila taught this technique at the July meeting of the Huntsville Bead Society. Now I'm hooked on this! The results are stunning and the projects work up fairly quickly. A perfect combination in my book!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I loved this quote from OU President David Boren. I certainly sense a lack of faith within the leadership of our country. I know that our youth are so strong in their abilities and in their faith in God. We can have an even better America with leaders who value their country and its strengths.

"We are locked in a struggle for the future of this country to maintain
greatness of this country. There are people who believe that the
greatest days of this country are behind us; this is a challenge that is set
before all of us. It is a challenge especially set before you."

- David Boren speaking August 19th, 2010 at New Sooner

Friday, August 13, 2010


Oldest DD has informed me that she wants to go to the homecoming dance. It only costs $20! Huh? I admit it has been 3 decades since I left high school, but really? $20? Oh my! So how does the date thing work? Are boys expected to pay the $20 for their dates? I cannot imagine how that works! Of course there is no date in sight for DD. I'm inclined to say 'NO' for this one! I never went to a homecoming dance because I never was asked... I'm thinking things may be different but not that different surely? Somebody give me some feedback please!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fall schedule but it definitely still feels like summer!

Hard to believe that my children have started back to school this week! If only it felt like fall! The triple digit temperatures are so hard to deal with for everyone. Much prayer is taking place in my life. Praying that I have made the right choices for my kids, praying for their teachers, praying for a new job for me, and just in general praying!

This school year brings many changes in our lives. Our oldest DD is starting her high school career! We decided on the IB program for her. This means we are supplementing her schedule with voice lessons on Fridays and music theory on Thursdays. The voice lessons start next week and I am anxious to see where she will go with them. Every fourth week will be a performance class so we will get to watch the changes! Our DS has made the show choir, choir and dance company at school! That is what he wanted. The show choir is planning a trip to Disney this spring so every one wanted to be in it! Then our youngest DD is committing to viola and planning to continue for years! None of the others have had the interest so we are thrilled!

I am hoping