Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Candy

I finally purchased Halloween candy to hand out for tomorrow night. I went by Dollar General and bought a big bag of Tootsie Rolls(360 pieces for $4) and miniature Tootsie Roll Pops(135 for $3). I figure that was the most bang for my 7 bucks. I was careful not to buy a kind of candy that I couldn't resist.

Part of me wants to give out the best candy, the kind that won't last til the next day. Then the cheap side of me says who cares and lets give them the cheapest stuff since their bags will be so full anyway. I think I ended up in the middle of the road because at least I purchased a brand name candy.

What do you do? Turn to lights off and pretend you aren't at home and then eat your child's candy after they return from pilfering from all of your neighbors?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Getting Sick

Monday during conferences about 8:15am our fire alarm went off in the school. If you've been to a place of business these alarms are really loud and annoying. We were assured that we did not have to leave the building since it was a false alarm. About 10 minutes later we were indeed told we needed to evacuate the building since nobody really knew why the alarm was going off. The fire department showed up and we stood around outside for about 15 minutes. I think it was during this 15 minutes in the chilly morning air that my sinus system became irritated.

All weekend I felt fine. Even up until about 2pm Monday I felt fine. Then I felt it coming. My nose began to run a little. My nose was really cold and if I could have found a nose muff I probably would have worn it. I apologized to my afternoon appointments because I just did not feel my best. I began to fatigue and I sensed I was getting sick. I went from feeling chipper to feeling like I needed to take a LONG nap within about 4 hours.

I still don't know if I have a cold or if the cold front brought something in triggering some allergies. I took a benadryl knock off yesterday and caught a buzz while teaching. I won't take 2 again while teaching. I got a good night's rest and today felt better, but I moved from runny nose to sinus drainage in my throat to now I seem stopped up and my throat is scraggly. Hopefully I'll be 100% by the weekend.

When I'm feeling ill like this I love to drink orange juice and drink soups. The vitamin C probably does boost my immune system and if I had been filling myself with fruits and veggies on a regular basis I would probably not get sick that often. I also get confused on what meds to take when I get sick. I'll stand in the aisle looking at all the boxes trying to diagnose myself and what I need. What is the best way to spend at quick $10?

What do you do when you get sick? What are some of your routines you do to try to ward off sickness or at least shorten the duration?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Conference Day

Students were off today as the district provided the teachers a full day to conference with parents. I have 22 students and offered conference timeslots of 15 minutes long from 7:45am to 3:30pm. I did meet with one parent last week so I needed to squeeze in 21 more. I only met with my homeroom and not the other 2 classes......NICE.

This was the smoothest conference day I've been a part of. I never had more the 4 in a row without getting a break. I didn't have anyone waiting more than a minute or 2. I only had one cancel and was able to add one appointment midday. Just 3 of my 22 parents did not make appointments so my success rate was pretty good.

Probably the best thing about this day was that I was able to say positives about every student that I have. My homeroom is awesome and I know how lucky or blessed I am to have such a good group. As Trace Adkins would sing, "These are the good times...."

I pray the rest of the year goes as smooth as the first 9 weeks have gone.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Feeling Ripped Off

I only spent $5.40, but felt ripped off. I stopped by a local grocery store tonight to pick up tortilla chips for dinner and checked out the Redbox to pick up a movie for tonight as well. I glanced thru the movies and nothing realing jumped out at me. With someone standing behind me waiting to use the box I left and came on home.

After dinner I decided to run to Blockbuster to pick up a movie since they would have a full selection of movies. More choices for me really isn't good because I'll take forever to make a decision. I ended up picking a movie that was available in the Redbox and I knew I was going to pay more at Blockbuster.

I always feel the wait at Redbox is long when you actually have to wait, but my wait at Blockbuster was longer and more torturous since I knew I was waiting to pay more for a similar movie. I finally got checked out and pulled a $5 out of my wallet hoping it was going to be under $5. NOPE. With tax it ended up being $5.40. About $4.33 more for the same movie. I left the store feeling ripped off. I wish I had gone to the Blockbuster that was on the side of town that the Redbox was located. I would have left and saved $$$ and felt better.

It would be like paying the following:

$50 for a pizza from Dominos
$750 for a Southwest Airlines round trip ticket to St. Louis
$15 for a kids meal at McDonalds.
$150,000 for a loaded Jeep Wrangler
$250 for our lunch at Red Lobster today

I am once again reminded why I don't rent from Blockbuster.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

State Fair Report

I took a 1/2 day and took my 2 kids to the State Fair of Texas. As soon as my daughter and I stepped out of school it started to rain. The forecast was for 60% coverage and the radar showed a huge system pushing through downtown Dallas. It was in a full fledged downpour when I picked up my son so I decided to back track to our house to get aqua shoes and rain gear for the my kids. Good move.

Traffic wasn't too bad once the rain let up. We hit a little downtown traffic due to a tractor trailer that had spun out. Got there at 2pm and paid the $10 parking. We got in free with a teacher pass and student passes. As we walked into the fair there was a light drizzle. It continued to rain between 2 and 4pm. We visited a few indoor venues: petting zoo, dancing dogs, horses and the market. I searched the market hard for the Dallas Morning News guy. Last year he was giving $50 in vendor coupons just for subscribing. No luck this year.

I ended up buying $30 in coupons. It bought 1 Fletchers corn dog, two $1 hot dogs, 1 kiddie ride a piece for the kids, one family ride on probably the scariest ride for my 39 inch tall 4 year old son. He was petrified. We also bought a bag of cotton candy.

Overall it was a good experience. The place was a ghost town compared to most other days I'm sure. I couldn't imaging being there last weekend during the UT/OU game. It stopped raining in time for me to enjoy my favorite fair event, the Birds of Prey wildlife show. We also watched a domino exhibit. My daugher said her favorite part was her one kiddie ride. The kids did GREAT! My son loved jumping and splashing in all the puddles since he had on aqua shoes. We did a lot of walking and looking at all the games and rides. Part of me felt bad that I kept declining my daughters attempts to get me to allow her to play the games. Every ride cost between $4 and $5 so if you let them ride a few rides a piece AND play games this fair would make Six Flags look like a discount park.

I could easily have given the kids each $100 in coupons and it wouldn't have lasted the afternoon. We left the park at 7pm having spent 5 hours frolicking in the rain and cool weather. A cool front pushed in and with the windows open, I'll get a great night's sleep.

Tomorrow: St. Louis!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dating Again

My wife and I are officially married to "the Church", but are dating a local "church." After having left our last church for a few deal breaking differences we have found ourselves at a church where we are able to enjoy worshipping God without interference. We made one visit to a former church where the pastor and good friend Bro. Bill A is still shepherding the flock. It was a much needed Sunday with a great lunch and helpful counsel.

As my wife and I reflect on our transition we are able to see that we were over-extended at our last church which was a starter church with attendance hovering around 100 people and my wife and I were serving in multiple capacities. I think that interfered with us being to worship on a regular basis. Our current church has 4 services with about 300 people at the main service and we'll keep a lower profile for a little while. There are kids everywhere and both of our kids have yet to complain. This past Sunday the bathrooms were rendered useless due to construction efforts. We kept waiting for one of our kid's #'s to come up for a potty run. It didn't happen.

One other plus of this church is that my good friend B goes there and we can discuss the sermon topic and sharpen each other. He is the one who was my link to this church. Our next step in this relationship is to find a bible study group to join. Then slowly, but surely, I'll get involved in Men's Ministry and start serving as well.

As Bro. B said, we'll need some time to heal.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Texas State Fair

Every year the students get a free state fair ticket that is good during the week. This year the ticket was good any Monday thru Friday starting this Friday the 10th. Every since I started teaching in Texas there has been a "state fair" day, usually on a Monday where all students and teachers can go to the fair for free. Last year it was a nightmare to go that day since it takes over an hour to drive that last 10 miles. Then the skies opened up on us as well left and it took almost as long to leave the park.

This year is a bit different. We do not officially have a state fair day, but the students and teachers still got their free ticket. Students did have a 1/2 last Friday, but teachers didn't. The teacher ticket is at least good ANYTIME though. What I see happening this week is that we'll lose a few attendance days to kids taking off to go to the fair. The weather is great right now compared to near 100's this late in the year last year.

I'm tempted to take a 1/2 day and pull my daughter out at noon and go enjoy a 2pm-8pm day at the fair. If I do go I will seek out the Dallas Morning News guy who is selling subscriptions. Last year they were offering $50 in state fair coupons if you subscribed to the newspaper. Really a no-brainer if you think about it.

With going to the state fair and then heading to St. Louis my 5 straight weeks of weight loss may be in jeopardy. I'm so close to a milestone. May need to treadmill for an hour everyday. Moderation is the key. I've just got to maintain!

State Fair and St. Louis or bust!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just a Few Things

1. My son is playing tee ball and he is only 4. His team is very much at the beginner stage with most of the kids just starting their 2nd season. The first season was in the fall. Until last night IF a kid hit the ball with live pitch it rarely got off the dirt infield. No matter where the ball ended the kids would throw the first base...sometimes a minute after the runner arrived. This team last night must be in their 2nd year of playing, they were hitting line drives and a few went well past the infield. Last night was our first experience of kids running the bases for homeruns. That said, if your player misses the 3 live pitches, hits the tee twice before hitting a roller to the outfield, you probably should have him stop at first base. Really, a homerun for hitting off of a tee? My son hit live pitching 2 out of his 3 at bats.

2. Is it okay to exercise the right to NOT vote? In the past I think at least 50% of the people didn't vote in the big election. This year there is greater interest for sure. I just am not excited about the choices. I can't even find the "lesser of 2 evils" as I once heard during a church sermon.

3. St. Louis trip is only 5 days away!

4. Texas beat OU today. Looks like Mizzou could possibly play the best team in the Big 12 South twice again this year. Mizzou plays Texas next weekend in Austin. AND if both teams are tops in their division they would meat for the Big 12 Championship. Last year Mizzou's only 2 losses came against OU. Hope that theme doesn't repeat itself.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Positive Props

Yesterday I received two positive comments from parents of 2 different boys. One parent said they their child just thought I was the greatest and another parent said her child was having a great year as a first year student at my school. I'm tempted to ask these parents to put the words in email so I can document it in my professional folder.

Side Notes:

My son was up again in the middle of the night complaining of ear aches. This happened a week ago as well. We check his ears and he had tons of wax compacted. My wife took off this morning and they flushed both of his ears with peroxide and water. Guess we'll need to do that here as well.

I ordered a 10 peice wing to split with my daughter and they cheated us a wing and only gave us 9. My daughter had a hard time accepting that I got 5 wings and she got 4.

48 degrees last night here in North Texas.....AWESOME!

8 more days before heading to St. Louis.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Church and Politics

If you have followed by blog for the past 6 months you would know that we recently are in the hunt for a new church. The last 3 weeks we attended a non-denominational church about 20 minutes away. It has been very refreshing visiting a church where the pastor preached a message straight from the bible and he made it very applicable for my life without watering down the gospel and there was no hint of judgment for the lost, no slandering of a certain political party, and nothing said about public schools.

I have struggled this election about which Presidential candidate would be the best for our country without regards of religion. Over the past few years I've felt that it has been my religious duty to vote the Republican Party regardless of a person's character and true religious commitment. One of my best friends is clearly an Obama supporter and we are attending church together and he is a man of integrity. Billy Graham is a registered Democrat. So I've looked long and hard to judge the candidates fairly.

There is an article on page 13A of the USA Today and it is one that I actually read the whole article. The author hints that a new evangelical is emerging taking a step away from the thought that the Republicans are God's Party. He is stepping away from the far right wing whose agenda was based on what they are against rather than the good they hoped to do and somehow turned into haters in the name of Christ.

The article states that the new evangelicals are eager for candidates who are devoted to faith and they were surprised that none of the major speeches have included any statements of faith beyond the obligatory "God Bless America" or "so help me God." The new evangelical seeks to be more biblically based than generically affiliating with one party. To affiliate with just one party this new evangelical might side on the party that suggests that it will defend the unborn and protect the traditional family while ignoring the care of the poor, cause of the stranger and pleas for social justice.

I personally think God would be angry that he is being used to endorse a certain party by many pastors and Christians without first getting HIS approval to do so.

If you get a chance check out this article.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Studio Movie Grill

Took my family to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua today during the lunch hour. We went to a movie theater called Studio Movie Grill. The concept of this theater is to eat lunch or dinner while you are watching the movie. I surprised my kids and for lunch we went to watch the movie. I took my $5 off diet Pepsi cans and we all got in for FREE! Before the movie started we ordered a hamburger cut into 4ths for the girls, my son got a pizza and I got a grilled chicken sandwich. We each ordered a soft drink that included free refills. For some reason I splurged and ordered the $8 potato skins which drove our overall cost to $45 for lunch.

The kids loved the movie and it was entertaining enough for adults as well.

The downside of the experience was that the seats, all leather type office recliners, were jammed side by side. Since the movie wasn't sold out I fixed this by pulling one chair back thus creating a little more elbow room for everyone. Each row you were given the choice of a counter type seat or you could sit back at tables for 2. We sat at the counter figuring it would be easier for the kids to see. It was also very cold inside the theater so my wife went and got the one small blanket that we had in the car. I was surprised and disappointed that there were no salt and pepper to be had. Guess I could have asked for some.

Good experience overall. Guess this idea goes over well with couples who want to save baby sitter time by getting to have dinner and a movie at the same time. Instead of reserving 5 hours you could get it all done in about 3 hours.

Check it out

Saturday, October 04, 2008


What a day. I left the house about 9am to help a friend move his mom out of her house. After 25 or so years she filed papers yesterday and we went over this morning for the first time since he got this letter. I was a little apprehensive not knowing the situation, but everything went well. The guy, "Dale" just sat in his chair while we carried out items. Dale is my friend's step-dad. My friend said his biggest fear would be that we'd find Dale dead. Good thing we didn't. I was more worried about someone finding us dead after a confrontation. I said a few prayers and things went smoothly.

We loaded things in both our trucks, took 2 trips, and our day ended about 5pm.

The biggest pain of the day was the new neighbor at the apartment complex who is just below my friend's mom. She actually knocks on the door and I answered. She introduced herself as the neighbor down below and I invited her in. She tells me, "I know you are moving in, but you are being a little loud. We can here every little step that you take."

REALLY. I've busted my butt for 8 hours, walked a flight of stairs moving out and then moving in and the first impression we have of the new neighbor is a whiny neighbor. Cut us some slack, it's 4pm in the afternoon.

Good luck friend's mom. Guess the grandkids won't be visiting that much.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

74 cent dinner

I had to post this one. Tonight after my son and I got our haircuts we went to the nearby Chick Fil A. Of course I had my coupons in line: 2 free kids meals, a free 4 pack tenders with a medium drink purchase. I ordered all that and got the #1 Sandwich meal for my wife. Before the cashier rang it all up the manager recognized me and told the young man to ring me up as the police 50% discount. I get this deal on Friday mornings and he doesn't charge me for my drinks. I told the manager that I had a bunch of coupons and didn't need the discount, but the young man rang it all up anyway. When he was finished he said I owed him 74 cents. I chucked and asked if he was sure. He double checked and assured me that was the total. 74 cents for about $20 worth of food. After analyzing the menu board I'm sure the guy didn't charge me at all for my wife's sandwich meal. He only charged me for the medium drink and then halfed it.

My frequent Friday order is usually two-3 pack chicken minis, a cinnamon cluster, a chicken and egg biscuit along with a large diet Coke. Retail value about $11. I usually pay less than $5. At this rate when someone asks me to pick them up something I usually refuse because I don't want to overextend my welcome.

Again I can never say enough good things about Chick Fil A. They take coupons that have expired and their service is always great. That's one thing I miss in St. Louis. They don't have free standing Chick Fil A's. I really only know of 2 that are located in malls and I'm not sure they have breakfast. I'd way rather do breakfast at Chick Fil A than dinner. They will also cook waffle fries during breakfast time too. Although I've never ordered them. They are delicious.