Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

September 11th....... It's a double dose for me. Not only is it the day the U.S. was changed forever but it's also a day my life changed forever. Same day, different years.This is a first for me, to write this down, even to say it out loud which, I've only done with a few people, but I figure a blog is almost like a journal and I feel like I'm finally at a place that I can do this.
 6 years ago today my daddy passed away from a short battle with cancer.  I remember the day he found out and called a "family meeting". We NEVER had "family meetings" so I knew it was something bad, especially since it followed a visit to the Dr. for my dad, which also NEVER happened. He was told he had stage 4 colon cancer and 5 months to live. They say eventually life changes and the child ends up taking care of the parent, well, my changed a little earlier than I thought. I was 20 years old and taking my dad to chemo appointments, because he couldn't drive. I was 20 years old and getting my dad hard candy and ice pops because the chemo caused him to have a sweet tooth. I was 20 years old and giving up my bed for my dad, trying anything just so he could get comfortable somewhere. I was driving back and forth to college every weekend to be able to stay in class and spend those last few precious moments with him. I remember at some point during this we had a storm and it blew over a portion of our backyard fence. My dad was really too weak to be working on it, but he was out there with his hammer trying to fix that fence and I was getting into my car to go back to school and I hugged him and told him to not over do it. Eventually he got to where he was too weak to take chemo and had to stop. Chemo is a crazy thing. My dad was hot and cold and loved sweets! So not my typical daddy. Cold things physically HURT him but he loved those Popsicles. Then one night I got the call. They were taking my dad to the hospital. When he went in, he seemed OK, just needed something for the pain. Eventually he went from eating and drinking on his own to needing someone to hold the sponge so he could suck the water off of it. After almost 2 weeks, I got the call. It was a Thursday night and I was eating with JP and his best friend at the best taqueria in Huntsville. My mom said I needed to come home and pack some clothes for the funeral. I remember standing in my closet trying to decide what to pack and saying over and over in my head "How do you decide what to wear to your dad's funeral". I don't know why this was such a hard decision for me. I also didn't want to go home, I knew what was happening. JP said he was going to drive me, which I'm thankful he did because I probably wouldn't have gone. He drove 90 mph the whole way home and dropped me off at the hospital. I spent the whole weekend at the hospital only going home to shower and change. Early Sunday morning around 5:15 AM my mom, my aunt, and I (we were all staying in the room) woke up at the  same time and went to sit on my dad's bed. His breathing was getting shallow and my mom decided it was time to call my sister. When she got there it was about 5:40 AM and we had all hugged my dad and were talking to him and then my sister started talking about this black kitten she had seen outside of the hospital. (This is noteworthy because my dad was the most superstitious man I've ever met. He saw a black cat a mile away he turned around and went the other way). It was then I looked up at my dad and we realized he was gone. I had pleaded and pleaded with God and prayed that he wouldn't take him on THAT DAY, Sept. 11th. I wanted my dad to have his OWN day for some reason. I don't know why but I really struggled with this. I was angry, so angry. I've dealt with this and I know it's God's plan and there's a reason for everything. In some things that have happened since my dad passed away I see his reasoning, but then some days I wonder what it would be like if he were still here. It definitely brought my mom and I closer together and I cherish every moment I get to spend with her. In my own little way I've decided Sept. 11th was a good day for my dad to pass. There are probably more prayers going up to heaven on this one day than any other. Yes, they aren't all for my dad specifically but at least they're prayers in memory.
I still cry and get mad. I'm more afraid of forgetting him than anything. Right now, I can still remember the way his voice sounded, the way he smelled and the way he felt when I hugged him. The way he was always whistling something, always counting something on fingers (even in his sleep), and practicing his golf swing in the kitchen. I can still hear him calling me "Runt", or saying "Ohhhh Nikki Rae, come here darling daughter" in his little sing songy voice. I hope I will still be able to hear that when I'm 90 years old (or however long I live). Every year for his birthday, father's day, and Sept. 11th we release balloons at his grave with a note written on them. This is special to my family because for every birthday, and anniversary for my mom, he would buy a balloon and tie it to our bedroom door knobs. I miss those balloons.
Love you and miss you Daddy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Totally Cool Thursday

Just had to share this story, it's too cute not to.
Today's journal topic was "Totally Cool Thursday"- write about ANYTHING that is "totally cool" (i.e. your pet, sports, your shoes, art, P.E., science, video games, whatever).One of my students chose to write half a page about how HE is "totally cool". I loved it! Never thought about it that way before. And I think he is a pretty cool kid too!

Hope YOU have a "Totally Cool Thursday"

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Back to the grind

I've been a little M.I.A. lately because SCHOOL HAS BEGUN! My day doesn't end at 3:30, oh no. This year, call me crazy, I signed up to work with our Boys and Girls club on our campus. That means folks, that from 8:00 AM -6:00 PM M-W I have the same sweet little darling 3rd graders the whole time! No, I have not lost my mind. I feel like I have though when I look at the clock and it's already 7:30 PM and I feel like I've gotten nothing accomplished in my classroom. I keep telling mydelf it's just because I haven't gotten back into the swing of things. Let's hope that's the reason. I make it home in time every night to shower and go to bed only to wake up and do it all over again the next day. I'm not complaining, I really do like hanging out with the kiddos, I just wanted to give a reason for my lack of blogging. I go go go and finally I crashed Friday night. I felt like I had run a marathon. My entire body ached. I guess it was just the week catching up to me.
I have a new boss this school year. Last year our principal retired and though we were going to miss him we were excited for the change that was coming. Our new principal is a lady who taught at our campus for the last 6 years. Let me just say, she is the BOMB-DIGGITY! She has such great ideas and is always willing to listen to yours. If you can't tell, I really love my boss!
Another new for me this year, I have diagnosed myself with ADD. I've never had issues before but this year, I feel like a see a butterfly and I'm off.  I can't keep focused on lesson plans for more than 5 minutes and I'm thinking about something else. Maybe it's because I'm kind of overwhelmed with the work I feel like I HAVE TO GET DONE or because I'm so obsessed with stalking other blogs that I come up with so many ideas I feel like I don't have enough time in the day to get to it all. It's so hard to pick the really good stuff to do because they're all such good ideas!! I want to use them all! I know it's only been 9 days but I feel like this year is going to be a fantastic year! Let's hope I didn't just jinx myself!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Misadventures with the elderly......

I recently went to Louisiana with my mom & aunt (the elderly) to do a little gambling. I have been home all summer so I jumped at the chance to get out of town, even if it was only for two days! Of course, we didn't win anything and lost everything ( I shouldn't say everything because I think I gained about 10 lbs. in two days). We should have taken JP's advice and turned around when my aunt got pulled over for speeding before we even left town! Don't worry, she just got a warning.
We got there around 9 AM because we left at the butt crack of dawn. We first went to L'auberge du Lac to gamble and I got to see an old friend from high school which was nice. My mom's birthday is in August so she got a free t-shirt, cupcake, and buffet from them, which was awesome! We thought our luck had turned around.........
When it got closer to check in time at our hotel, Delta Downs, we headed over there hoping we would have better luck at their casino. I would just like to add, there should be at least a non-smoking section in casinos. My throat and eyes are still burning from all the smoke, not to mention my hair and clothes reeking. It's absolutely disgusting and I don't think my health should be compromised because you can't control your addiction and choose to destroy your health. Ok, I'm off my soapbox now. 
I had planned to spend most of my time out of the casino and by the pool but when I went to scope it out it was over run with kids of all ages! I deal with kids all day at work, I like my summers kid free (well, except for the little monsters I'm related to, I love them). Which, why take a family vacation to a hotel & casino, I will never understand.
Next sign of bad luck, I had to deal with our neighbors while I was out of town.... Our first night there I got a message on fb from one of our neighbors. Since JP sometimes works 24hr shifts, our dogs are left out in the backyard when no one is home. First, I have lived in this house for 20 years now and have NEVER had a problem with neighbors or dogs. Second, there is a little bit of back story to this whole neighbor/dog war which I won't get in to, you just need to know she's not friendly and calls the cops..... A LOT. So this message came at midnight saying that our dogs haven't stopped barking for 4 hours straight (which 4 hours straight? wouldn't they be hoarse by then?) and she needs sleep for work and her son has to go to school, blah blah blah. She knew we were out of town, just go yell at them to SHUT UP! Problem solved! Then, after the message, she wrote on my fb wall! Really? Necessary? I think not. I wrote her back and told her sorry and we were trying to find someone to come get the dogs. After about an hour and waking up two different people the problem was solved. Although, one of those people told me HER dogs were howling and barking just as much as ours were, which is usually the case. So I was thankful she didn't call the cops THIS TIME, since we ARE friends on fb and we went to high school together....... at least, I thought she DIDN'T call the cops. I get home and there is a note from the cops about our dogs barking continuously and neighbors complaining. This just really ticked me off! GRRRR! I almost want to keep leaving them outside just to torture her for being a BIA! Here's an idea, come over to our house one day and talk to us about it! JP has even tried going over to their house to talk to them and they wouldn't answer the door, ridiculous.
Anyways, even though we didn't win anything we still had a good time. There was lots of laughter, mostly at the elderly's expense. They are 2 funny ladies! But next time, we'll take our money and spend it in Rockport, relaxing. Gambling is stressful! I think between the smoke and stress I took 3 years off my life. Oh, and I think I missed my doggies as much as my hubbmeister, if not more. Is that bad?

This post written for my BFF, HB, enjoy living vicariously!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Taking the plunge

Well..... here goes nothing
Let's see.... my blog will probably drive you crazy trying to read it. I don't think in complete sentences, much less in complete thoughts. Please excuse my grammar, spelling and punctuation (this is why I'm a math, science and social studies teacher). I've always thought of myself more as a reader (aka stalker) than a writer so this is going to be a challenge. "So why write a blog?" you may be asking yourself..... Well, I've spent this week in GT Training and I was inspired to blog by quite possibly the most awesome teacher I have ever met. She is a Jack (or would it be Jill?) of all trades and actually makes everything look fun and easy.
So I guess I should start off by telling you a little about myself and the other half of the "pair of Pecks".
JP and I got married in November 2009 and it was one of the best days of my life so far (cliche I know, but true). We have 2 adorable four legged furry children; Murphy (a cockapoo) and Dixie (a yellow lab). As I mentioned before, I am a teacher and JP is a Houston Fire fighter and we were both lucky enough to find something that we really enjoy doing!
Here are our amazing children