Monday, August 06, 2012


Happy anniversary, Big Dad!  Love you, bunches!!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

USA Women's Gymnasts...

....ROCK.  Gah.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


OK, I actually had fun today with Big Dad, putzing around the house and decluttering.  I guess it's late spring cleaning.  We just bought a dining room table, and we weren't sure how we wanted it to sit in the dining room.  So we just took everything out to move things around.  But then we thought we might as well steam clean the carpet.  So we did.  Then I started looking at the curtains and realized they could be washed, so I did.  But that's when BD saw a nick or two in the paint, so he got out the paint and touched up.  He also noticed that the curtain rod needed to be more secure, so he fixed that, too.  Then we played around with the furniture. 

I think we've got it the way we want it.  It will be perfect when I move my school stuff out of there on Monday. ;)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Air's Out

It's getting to be a yearly thing.  I guess we should just plan on it in the budget.  Our air conditioner is out again.  Almost a year to the day.

I called about getting a technician to come out, and the lady said, "Well, I see we replaced your capacitor last it still not working?"  I corrected her mistake, and that's when I realized it's a repeat of last year.  Not my own memory, mind you.  That's failing quick.

I actually kind of like watching technicians come out.  I've said before, I like to watch people who are good at what they do, and air conditioner technicians fall into that category.  I learned a lot about capacitors last year and how to tell when they go bad.  Not that it will help me, really.  By the time it goes out again,  I'll have to remember that info, and I did mention that my memory is failing, right?

I also like figuring out how things work.  I used to love my kids' Beast Wars transformers, even though they'd frustrate me to no end.  But learning about mechanical things is fun, and I enjoy making the link to things I'll be teaching the kids.  That's probably the main motivating factor, not some self professed love of intricate things to give myself the appearance of intellectual superiority.  The real truth is it gives me something to use with kids that are smarter than me!  Now THAT'S smart thinking.

The technician will be here in a few.  Gotta go watch.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Missing' my peeps!

Boy, I've forgotten what it's like to be out of my element! Missin' my GT buddies at the training this week. I'm needing some outside-the-boxen right about now. ;) It's good to be around like mindeds.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

We've decided... guys should move here.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Long lost relatives

It's about time!  We finally got our family from Florida to come visit us here in the Lone Star state.  We've been excited for weeks, and last night reminded me why.

We all got together and it's like we've never been apart.  Lots of joking around, laughing, showing each other the latest videos we've found that are funny.  We didn't even need couches.  We just spread out in the hall and stairway, talking and tormenting the cat.

As always, they assimilated right into our house.  They make themselves at home, and we're just enjoying each other's company.

So fun.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Getting there, but not quite...

I really needed a restful Summer, and I am getting some rest, but it's still not the complete rest I was hoping for because my brain is still jumbled.  I guess it's not restful because of the projects hanging over my head:

The biggest and most pressing project is an online course I'm building for the district.  I want it to be good, because like a fellow teacher pointed out, it's kind of like putting your entire soul out there to be judged.  OK, it's not that bad, but it feels that bad.  So I want to do a really good job.  It will be on twice exceptional learners, and I want to make sure the teachers learn what they need to, and that I give them current research as well.

The next is a training I'm attending mid-July.  That's not as stressful, but I need to make sure I'm prepared to use the material later in the year.

In early August I'll be teaching three classes during our Summer Institute for the district.  It's nice to get paid, but it's one more thing hanging out there.

Lastly is our campus retreats in August.  I'm presenting a large amount of material at my main campus' retreat, and a smaller amount of material at my secondary campus' retreat.  It's new to me material, and I haven't presented it before, so it will be a little stressful presenting it in front of my peers.  However, both campuses have such a great group of teachers who like to have fun and enjoy learning, so I'm sure once I get going, it will be fine.

I do like the extra responsibility, and I'm honored to know that my administrators believe in me enough to entrust me with this.  But in each event, I get about a week to prepare before presenting again.  I think next year I'll do a little less.  I do love what I do, and I think next year will be a little less stressful because I've lived and learned about splitting two campuses this year, and I'm going into this year a bit wiser. :)

Still, I'm thankful for the restful days I'm getting now. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Well, well, well....

It seems this is how I like to start my posts.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sentimental Journey

I thought this was a great picture.  This was all that was left on the lot where mom's house used to be.  It holds a lot more meaning than just a cool tractor picture.

Well, mom's been talking to me about it for years, but this year we finally did it.  I went with mom on her sentimental journey.  She takes it every year, but this is the first year I went along.

The nice thing about it is that I finally got to see the places I've heard so much about over the years.  Her high school, which was this amazing old building that was a K-12 school when she went there.  It honestly looked like an old college.  I got to see the homes she lived in growing up, which in one case was just an empty lot with a tractor and wildflowers on it.  I took a picture of it, and it's one of my favorite from the trip.  We went by the  house I grew up in, and it was so much smaller than I remember.  Cliched, but true.  I also got a picture of the Carter house, my neighbor that I actually remember from across the street.  She loved me and used to buy me things all the time.  I was four the last time I saw her.

The funnest time, though, was going to Uncle Rex and Aunt Joyce's house.  He's my mom's older brother, and the only member of her immediate family left.  He was a riot, and I had forgotten how funny he was.  It's been 20 years since I'd seen him last, and I'm sad about that.  He and Aunt Joyce are salt of the earth people.  Straight forward, with lots of common sense and hard work.  And, he's brilliant. Truly.  He really is, but you'd never know it.  He sees no need to flaunt it.  I love that about him.

I was talking to him and telling him how much I missed the path that led between his and my mamaw's house.  There's a fence separating the houses now, since my mamaw passed away many years ago.  He looked at me and said, "Now hon, those days are gone!  There's no need to pine away for that."  That statement struck me with the matter-of-fact, common sense-ness of it all. But that's the way he is.

It was mom's sentimental journey, but so much more for me I think.  It's nice to have roots and to be reminded of all of those who invested in me and our family.  But that's all it is.  It's a reminder to keep me grounded and focused, because after all:  "Those days are gone!"  I'm so glad I got to live them, though.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

What a whirlwind

Beaumont Ranch - at TAG camp
So, since April, I've handled testing for 90 kids (3 tests each, taking about an hour to grade for each student), taught two professional development classes for a total of nine hours, spent 50 hours per week at school, hosted two TAG night extravaganzas, closed down two classrooms, attended my son's graduation, hosted two sets of parents from out of town (who for all intents and purposes fended for themselves!), and as of tomorrow, finished hosting TAG camp with my 4 colleagues and 151 students.

Add 20 pounds that I have no business adding, and it means I'm ready for summer.  However,

tomorrow at noon, I get to breath.

I love breathing.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Timothy Reginal Hughes, Jr.

Well, Timothy/Timo/Toolman is coming to the end of his high school career, and I have to say he has made us proud beyond measure.  He is a true Christ follower, a leader, a kind and gentle spirit but a hard working man's man...a person who lives right because he has a love for doing right.  Plus, I love the fact that he loves us despite all of our failings. :)

It's hard for me to see the picture of the little man before and the young man before me now, because I really miss the little guy, but he's gone so far beyond what we had envisioned for him.  We're proud, we love you, and we can't wait to see what your next adventure brings.  Whatever it is, though, we know it will be done with a passion for God and a passion for life.

We love you, buddy!  We're so, so proud!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Little man, Big man

Well, it's been a long time coming, but the time is near for my first little man to graduate from high school. Cap and gown is being purchased, FAFSA is filled out, future plans are discussed. And in the nearer future, tuxes are being rented, prom plans are set...the end of senior year is closer than ever. This journey for Timothy hasn't always been smooth. I remember when we sold our house to move overseas, and the moving truck came. He went and sat in the truck with his things, arms folded, tears rolling down his face, silently sending us the message, "I'm staying. It was heart breaking. But our adventures were not lost on him. Living overseas tapped into his adventurous spirit, which lended itself to eating strange foods, hiking in Tibet with his dad, and fishing on the Gulf of Thailand. And he opened himself up to the friendships that resulted, so that he made good, solid friendships wherever we went. It seems anti-climactic to end his childhood years in a small town in Texas, but that hasn't stopped him. His passion for God and for living out his Life as a true testimony (not just lip-service) to those he comes in contact with has sustained him, and has given him a strong, solid reputation to those who know him. He managed to find a refugee center and fulfilled his passion for internationals by going and playing soccer ("It's so cool, mom, you just go there and hold up a soccer ball, and they come running!). He's gone on mission trips, all paid for with his own money. And it's a path that he seems to be on for now. Medical missions is something he wants to pursue. There was a song that was popular back when we were first moving. It was called, "Live Out Loud." I do believe that has been his life's motto. He's taken all life has had to offer, and accepted it with arms open wide, and has lived it out loud. The little man, Toolman as we used to call him, is all grown up. Toolman has his choice of tools to offer up for service. It will be exciting to see where it all leads.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Break

Well, this is a Spring Break I've truly needed.  Lots of reasons to be tired this year!  Handling testing for two schools is proving a little difficult, and I haven't even started grading the tests yet.  There will be close to 100 kids that will go through testing, each taking three tests.  Luckily, this year, the district is paying to have one of the tests graded through the company, but that still leaves the other two to grade, and all of the conversions that go with them.  It will be time consuming, but I really hope to be finished with them by the end of the month.

That said, I'm enjoying my time off.  Me and three of the kids are home, and we're just chilling.  Slowing down and enjoying the awesome weather going on outside!  A little bit of rain, cool enough to need a long sleeve shirt, but warm enough to open the windows.  It's nice.

I've decided to do a bit of decluttering.  I bought some tubs and I'm moving through the closets and storage areas and tossing what I can, storing what I can, and getting rid of what I can. We will have be in this house three years this July.  It's time! ha!

Enjoy the Spring.  It's the only one we get this year!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Rating again.

This one's a bit different than last time, but it'll be interesting. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Amateurs, Professionals and Spelling Bees

One of my favorite books, and one that I find completely hilarious is a book called "It was on Fire when I Lay Down on it" by Robert Fulghum.  He was quite the story teller, and there were two stories that really stood out to me because they were, as he put it, moments within our traditional mindset when we put amateurs in the position of needing to act like professionals.  As a result, it can be quite an entertaining thing to watch. 

The first of these events is weddings.  I don't even want to pretend to do that story justice, but in "the MOTB" (Mother of the Bride), he describes one of his experiences as a minister in which he councils an MOTB and watches her come completely unwound at the announcement of her daughter's engagement.  Of course, she takes over the wedding, and the hilarity that ensues can only be appreciated from afar, I'm sure.

The second of these is the Christmas Pageant.  Seeing children, parents and teenagers act in such high pressure circumstances, with cameras flashing and the relative importance of the event at stake, that mistakes are almost certain.  His particular retelling of a pageant that decided to use real animals is enough to make you want to double over with laughter.

I want to add to these, without the presumption of being able to tell these stories as expertly as he, but Spelling Bees surely need to be added to this list.  There are such high pressure rules, and the nature of a bee is so serious, with students quietly observing, letters, words and phrases uttered in precise manner, and judges with disqualification bells ready to eliminate the next contestant, that there are bound to be memorable moments.  Potty dances, disappointed stomps and that moment of "Do I raise my hands in excitement or do I just sit here quietly after I won???" were the standard of this year's spelling bee.  It was dramatic, exciting and nerve wrecking at the same time.

But it was completely memorable.