Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Almost Another Turkey Time!

You know, as much as my job is a reason for depletion of brain cells, I gotta say how thankful I am for being a teacher. But not for the reasons you may think. Right now, I'm thankful for it, because I have the next THREE WEEKDAYS OFF! In the district I work for, we're off the day before Thanksgiving too. Woo hoo! What can I say? At this moment, that's what's on my "most thankful" list. Okay, okay, not entirely true. What am I most thankful for? My family. I have a kind, hard working, nurturing devoted husband and the two of us have the two most beautiful babies ever. This is our family picture from a year ago. Chris looks hot, but my face is so pudgy, they could use it at as a beach ball in the audience at a Beach Boy's concert. But I digress.

And even though they drive me crazy at times (yes, Chris included! lol), I love them, because they're MINE. And what they do to drive me crazy is part of who they are and the lovely DNA Chris and I gave them along with personality traits (both positive and negative!) that were a gift from God. Sure, it's like living in a combination of Hogwarts, the set of Poltergeist, and Twister with my 4yo son Christian. Nothing stays where it should. Things get messed with. Lights go on and off. His obsession for buttons, gadgets, etc is enough to put me in the loony bin. But I love him. Don't remind me that I said this, but I don't love him in spite of those things. A big part of me loves him because of those things. But I'll deny it if you ask me about that.

Mikelle doesn't have the gadget craze, but as my little artist, she will make the biggest mess of cut up pieces of paper, tape, glue, markers everywhere. As an artist who loves collage and a scrapbooker (a form of collage), I appreciate her imagination. But with the imagination, I know all too well of the mess it can create. Of course it doesn't occur to her to pick up after that project. She'll move onto the next thing and make a mess. Then I intervene and make her clean up what she isn't in the middle of anymore, and then of course I receive the groan and drama. I'm convinced her reactions to what her responsibility is happens to be the equivalent of me asking her to run up the stairs of the entire Empire State Building. I assure her that she isn't being tortured as much as she thinks she is. But like Christian, I'm amazed of how her mind works with what she enjoys and the imagination behind it. The other day, they stole one of my boxes (that I was going to use to ship a Christmas gift in) and turned it into a "pizza box" - decorating it with a collage pizza. Then they made pizza to go in it out of brown, red, yellow, and other colors. They made the crust and cut it into triangular slices and everything. In addition to my bragging on my students, I need to post some of Mikelle's artwork as well!

As for Chris, it's funny that I write what I'm thankful for, because he and I had quite an experience cleaning out our garage last Saturday. Seriously, if you want to test your marriage, clean out the garage together. But despite the times I'm sure our next door neighbors wanted to get a bowl of popcorn and listen further to some of our "exchanges" through our frustrations with the project that they could hear from their driveway, I gotta say I lucked out and hooked myself a winner. This is a hard part to write because of mixed company and mixed opinions on the subject from family, but unfortunately as a youth I was told time and time again by my own father that I would never last in a marriage and no guy would want me. His "logic" for some reason justified that putting someone down would "change" them. Not so. Usually when someone gets that kind of garbage fed to them, they end up marrying someone toxic, abusive, and/or just like the jerk that contributed to that kind of emotional and physical abuse.

But my over-abundance of stubborness had a positive side. I fought tooth and nail to resist letting that unfortunate "father figure" dictate my future. I married an intellectual guy who a lot of girls let pass by, because they were looking for more superficial and mainstream qualities. But not me. I knew Chris was what I needed. And through our challenges, I look back and go, "whew!" that we are where we are today with our marriage, life and children. Okay, I DO wish we didn't live in this climate, but I am so thankful for his job and how happy he is there.

I'm stealing from my friend Lara's blog (Hi Lara!) and using this "thankful" entry to throw in some more extras that through my tangents will lead to more things I'm grateful for, for any of you that read this far (I know, I type fast and I just keep going....)! I would like Chris to answer these same questions and then I can post those. But he's in Santa Barbara until tonight (then we leave tomorrow for Pinetop for our own little Turkey getaway!)


1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Chris was named after a great-aunt, I think. I don't know where "Jill" came from, but my middle name "Renae" had something to do with a babysitter or friend of my Mom's.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Unfortunately, when a parent busted into my classroom a few weeks ago while I had another class and proceeded to derail me. I am surprised it got to me as much as it did, because this parent is famous for that and I knew other teachers and the principals would be behind me. And while talking to her, I held my own. I could tell she got off on putting people down. It's her way, unfortunately. However, after she left, I broke down. Thankfully, two of my colleagues that saw the tail end of the matter were there to offer support. Funny, I haven't seen that parent around as much lately....

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes. How's that for succinct?

4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Honey ham. Mmmmm......

5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? My son is 4, and my daughter is 8.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I don't know. I have days where I feel like that Pink song: "don't let me get me" and wish I could be someone else. So if I was someone else, I would avoid me. I don't know.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? I speak it fluently. A little too fluently, actually.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope. but if you can get them out when you're a kid, DO IT. I was 31 when I got them out. Not a fun experience.


10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Actually, the question should be, "what's NOT my favorite cereal?"

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES or JUST TAKE THEM OFF? I rarely wear shoes that need to be tied, unless I'm working out. Then I just take them off.


13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Actually, the question should be, "what's NOT my favorite ice cream?"

14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? I don't really know. I don't think much about it.

That's wordy enough for now. It's long as it is, but of course I feel I didn't even graze the surface of things I'm thankful for! lol


  1. loved this entry!

    Chloe is the same as Mikelle...I cannot believe the grand artistic messes this child makes. She needs her own studio!

    Loved that you did the questions...and that you answered them seriously instead of sarcastically like someone else I know.

  2. Love the family picture!!! Have a good Thanksgiving.

  3. Actually, Christopher is not a family name - Chrissy is a nickname for "Afton". Poor girl, no wonder she was either called Connie, Chrissy, Mother or Gram. The only people that called her Afton were her sisters and her parents. Chris' middle name is for his 2nd great grandfather - Mikkel Knudsen Nybo.

    Love your paragraph of how Chris is the man for you. Keep feeling that way and rmembering it even when you are cleaning out the garage.