My Dad, My Friend

Things I learned from my dad How to be a lifelong learner. Dad finds the world around him fascinating and enjoys learning more about anything that captures his interest. I can remember him taking college courses for fun when I was a kid. He already had a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree, but just wanted…

Dinner Together Every Night!

Dinner time at my house growing up was always a boisterous event. We played games, debated, shared about our day, teased each other, laughed and reconnected. When I got married and had children I knew that I wanted to make our suppertime just as memorable. We bought a round table so the six of us…

Am I getting on your nerves?

As a teacher, I certainly know what annoys me about students. But do teachers ever get on their nerves? Yes, it turns out we do.  My students came up with a list of pet peeves they have about teachers. (Present company excluded, of course!) Interspersed throughout the list are some direct quotes from my students that they…

Why you gotta be so mean?

The breaking point: After years of dealing with a clique of mean girls on and off again, my daughter Bee has finally reached the point of no return. She is a senior in high school and has had the unfortunate experience of being targeted and ostracized by this unpleasant group of girls. Why was my daughter…

Honor Flight Network

Yesterday after dropping my daughter off at the airport, my husband and I were walking out and noticed a big commotion. Two long lines of sign holding, American flag waving people had gathered and were beginning to cheer.   This large crowd of well wishers had turned out to pay their respects to WWII and…

Love and Loss… and Love Again!

One of my favorite quotes about parenting has always been: “Children are preprogrammed for abandonment.” I have no idea where I read this, but I have always tried to keep this in the forefront of my mind while raising my four daughters. Someday they are going to leave. Things will change. The idyllic, carefree days…

My Beloved Monsters and Me

One of my favorite places is hanging out at my desk in between class periods. My middle school students are coming and going, sharing their news with me and with each other. The air is filled with the smells of middle school: old lunches, sweat, Axe body spray, and dry erase markers. Each and every…

My kids are brats!

Army brats, that is. Georgia, Hawaii, Virginia, Kansas, and New York are the states they have lived in. Some they’ve lived in twice. The girls have spent a lot of time throughout their childhoods being “the new kid.” They’ve waved their father off on deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq four times since 9/11. Worrying about…

Bonsai

Before today, my only knowledge of bonsai trees came from watching Mr. Miyagi patiently train his trees in the Karate Kid. After my trip to the arboretum today, I’m certainly not ready to grow one myself, but I now know a wee bit about this fascinating art form. The United States National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. has…