Saturday, May 31, 2008

Quote for the day...

While trying to decide on a family movie:

Jameson, "High School Musical." (like we haven't seen it a thousand times)
Jack, "Fantastic Four?"
Justine, "The Sound of Music?"
Josh, "How about Hellboy?"


More photos...

Photo of the day...

Riding the wave...

First of all, let me preface this with: I do not and have never intended this blog to be an arena to air my grievances or cause harm to any of my children/family members. Secondly, this is my only saving grace at sanity. If I can write about it, I can deal with it. So please bear with me, and don't judge me when you read what I'm about to write.

I have had many other adoptive parents attempt to explain the feelings we have for our adoptive children. The most frequent phrase I have heard is "it comes in waves." I don't think there can be a better way to explain it. You go on through the day to day life, and then there are these waves. Waves of emotion you don't really even know what to do with. Emotions stronger than anything I've ever experienced. Waves of heartache and love you never imagined possible. Waves of fear and pain. Fear of what happens in the future. Pain for what has happened in the past. Waves so strong it's easy to get caught up in it. Waves that come up so fast, you lose your footing. Waves that push you under and hold you under....

Today I got caught up in a wave...

We went to a family wedding today and Josh was the most anti-social I have ever seen him. Jameson was dancing on a cooler and asking everyone if they were related to her : ) So I know it can't be just "adoption" stuff. I know it's got to be personality stuff. And I know I have admittedly admired in the past Josh's predisposition to being quiet and thoughtful. But today... today it just annoyed me.

We took family pictures, and he wouldn't even get in them without a lot of prodding. This was before the people actually even started arriving ... so I know it's not just the fact that there were a lot of people there. When I attempted to get him to kneel down for the pictures ... "What? I don't understand." So I told him to do what Jack's doing... So instead he wandered off, ignored me, pretended not to hear me, and in general do the opposite of everything I said...

As soon as the wedding was off, he was gone. Wandering around in the weeds. He refused to get in line for food ... so when I finally made him get in line for food, they were out of hamburgers. He refused to try the BBQ ribs. OH, they were so good. Jameson had 4 of them. He refused to try anything at all. So he ate potatoe chips for lunch. And I let him.
At this point, I was really annoyed. We tried to get him engaged with us. We tried to get him to be a part of the family. He played in the rain.
He stayed out in the rain, by himself for the rest of the day.
In the rain.
Jeff wasn't annoyed at all. I guess he understood Josh's need to be alone. I guess he understood his need to be a boy and play in the woods. But Jack also played in the woods and in the rain, but he also interacted with people. He would come over for his hugs and kisses occasionally. He was still connected. Josh was completely disconnected from us for the whole day.
Maybe I'm just in an annoyed mood. Could be. Could be that I expect more out of him after almost 4 months...

Disclaimer: Please don't send me any hate mail. I only share here because I know it's safe. I know you are my friends, and I know I can spill my guts here. Please don't tell me I'm being too hard on him. I know that. I know in my heart that I have no right to be annoyed. I'm beating myself up as we speak. I know he's hurt and he's new here. I know he's been through so much. But just as Jameson's emotions that she hurls at me hurts, so does Josh's lack of emotions. I just want to scream: DO SOMETHING. Feel something. Get mad, get sad, get it out and move on.
And so we continue on in our daily battle to make sense of it all. Riding the wave all the way to happiness...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Goodbye Public Schools

Well today was the last day of school and here's how it went.

I went and bought gifts for the kids' teachers because that's what we do for our private school teachers, and Jameson was asking what we were going to get for her teacher.
We went inside the building of mediocrity and waited for the kids to come out with their teachers.

When Josh saw us, he sauntered over and we told him to give his teacher the gift. She started to come over, and I immediately thought, "Oh, she's going to say thank you and blah blah blah."
She walked over and said, "You need to pay for all the library books Josh lost this semester."

I already knew about the library books because the school had already called me, but I felt I just had to get more information.
When I asked Josh about it earlier in the week, he answered, "What? I don't understand."

So I asked Josh's teacher whether Josh ever fully understood what to do with the library books and where to turn them in.
"How am I supposed to know that?"
"How do I know they're not in your classroom somewhere?"
"Well, we do have an EXTENSIVE reading library. If we find them over the summer, we'll return your money."


So as I pulled away, I said, "Goodbye Public school!" I hope it's forever!

In case you were wondering...

Yes, my boy dog Russell is still a girl, and he's lovin' every minute of it.
Doesn't he look so happy as a princess?
In case you missed it, you can read about the emasculation of my dog here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I know what I need to do...

I know what I need to do. I've known for a long time.
Josh came home with a schedule for Junior High for next year. These people are making me mutter things under my breath that I really don't want to mutter. They are pushing me... and perhaps that's what I actually need. I have homeschooled the other kids. I know what I'm doing. I gave into the thought that the "professionals" knew better than I did. I made a mistake. Josh told me this week that they are only "watching movies and playing" all week at school. I asked him, "What's the point of going then?" He only shrugged his shoulders as if to say he didn't get it either. His English has NOT progressed at all in the last 2 months that he has been in that public institution with the professionals.

Jeff and I have talked in depth about this. It is our desire to get the kids ready for Gloria Deo Academy. Gloria Deo is the best thing that has ever happened to us. It is a hybrid, private, Christian school where our kids go to school 2 days a week and are homeschooled 3 days a week. It is VERY academically rigorous. It is based on classical education with a biblical focus. There is a lot of poetry recitation and scripture memory. Our kids can diagram a sentence better than most people I know. I am afraid that it would be so over Josh and Jameson's heads right now that it would only serve to frustrate them, and potentially make them feel bad about themselves.
I THINK (I'm not totally sure) I am going to strictly homeschool Josh and Jameson next year with the same curriculum Jack, Jaiden and Justine will use at Gloria Deo Academy. Hopefully, this one on one time with them will help get them caught up faster and more appropriately than the movie watching, candy eating, horsing around public school.
Jeff and I have made many sacrifices over the years to spend time with our kids. One of these sacrifices is our work schedules. Jeff works Monday through Friday, and I work nights on the weekend. Unfortunately, as an RN with 15 years experience, critical care certification and a bachelor's degree, I cannot give up my salary to stay home full time. I'm not sure I could anyway. I kind of enjoy a really good, sick patient from time to time. So our issue comes with working out the logistics of finding a tutor or someone who could work with the kids while I sleep for a few hours on Monday. I'm not going to take them out of school where they watch movies and do nothing and bring them home to watch movies and do nothing while I try to catch a few ZZZ'a post a 12 hour night shift. So I am thinking and figuring things out. I have a few people who's kids will be in school (with mine) on Mondays and might want to help out. The next issue is where to start with them. Hopefully this summer I will be able to get a better grasp about what they know and what they don't. For those of you readers who are teachers, please don't get me wrong. I am not downing the teachers. Jameson's teacher has been absolutely wonderful this year. I am frustrated with the system. I have had it with the system! And I know from experience, homeschooling is a really great time to instill in your children what you really want they to get, not what they will get from the world. I have known this all along, but somehow got sidetracked by the awe of the professionals. Please wish us all luck in working out all of the details. Let me know if you have any ideas about tutors or reading teachers etc.

Quote for the day...

"I accidentally fell in the pool on purpose."

Mom's Regression and other mental issues...

When I was in my 20's, I had a reoccurring dream about my teeth falling out. I would look in the mirror and my teeth would just begin to fall out like chicklets. I had this dream for many, many years during my early 20's. I finally bought a dream analysis book and began to research what this dream might mean. I became somewhat obcessed with my dreams. From my research, I found that dreaming about your teeth falling out means "you are facing your mortality."
When I got married and the babies started coming, the dreams stopped. Come to think of it, so did the sleep.

Tomorrow my firstborn will be a senior in high school. We are planning on looking at universities this summer. Where has the time gone? Where is the little dinosaur loving, Lochness Monster believing little girl who would put ketchup all over her barbies and have the dinosaurs eat them? Where is she? What has time done with her?

I have lately felt more nostaglic, fretful, and sad about the fact that the kids are all growing up. I mean clearly, what is the alternative? But it's happened so fast. So insidiously. Where was I? Why can't I just have one more day of them as little babies? Is this normal to mourn your children's childhoods? I often tell people with new babies to enjoy every single moment because it will be gone before you know it. Time is like a snowball rolling faster and faster down a huge downhill slope. How can I get it to slow down?
I guess I feel like the kids were what was keeping me young. I didn't have to face my mortality or the fact that I am getting older because the little kids kept me young. Or so I have always thought. I guess I am facing the fact that I most likely will not have/get another baby. (I'm not counting that out yet...) But for now, I'm learning to enjoy watching these kids grow up. Jordan and I have so much fun together. She's become such a wonderful young woman. I can't imagine what it will be like when she's gone away to college. Yes, she has promised us an out of state college experience... Oregon, California, Chicago, New York, DC and Boston are all places we are looking into. What if I turn around, wake up tomorrow and they're all grown up? Perhaps I'm just regressing, just like poor little Justine, who is insisting on sleeping in her toddler bed that she gave up years ago. Regressing to a time when I imagine life was so much easier... although I know it wasn't.

Yesterday, my mom said she liked the highlights in my hair. I had to laugh because it's actually highlighted with gray. God's gift to my hair!
I guess I will just keep on making the memories and realize that 20 years from now, I will look back and remember how "easy" it was and wish I was back in the days when the kids were "little."

Lemonade anyone?

Preschool Fun Day and Graduation

Fun Night at Church

And what a fun night it was!

Justine's favorite thing about herself...

This is the front page of a book Justine made for her graduation from preschool. My favorite part of her book is the line that says, "My favorite thing about myself is my glasses."

Justine doesn't even wear glasses.

Some of the other great lines of this book are, "My family is BIG."
"I am going to miss preschool because I will miss Mrs. Price."
"When I grow up, I'm going to be a doctor and a parent."
"I will make $10 a year, then I'll be able to buy a lot of clothes."
"My house will probably cost $10"
"I will have one daughter named Kendra." Then there's a picture of her that says, "This is me holding Kendra."

She is so absolutely hysterical. There is not one single day that this child does not drive me to tears, usually through laughter...
Thank God for Justine!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Joys of Parenthood

My children occasionally get scared...lonely...sick...bored... and sneak into our bed at night. They usually crawl across the floor to ensure that Jeff can't see them. Then they lay behind me, once again, so Jeff can't see them.

Last night around the 3 am hour, we were SOUND asleep. After working 3 nights in a row and working in the yard yesterday, we had definitely entered REM and were headed towards the "barely breathing" stage of sleep.

Suddenly, I heard the horrible, all too familiar sound of wretching... then a warm sensation all over my back and into my hair... then the horrible smell!

It was so loud and startled us so much, Jeff jumped so far off the bed, he FELL off the bed and ended up on the floor.

In the dark, all you could hear was my voice, "Someone just threw up on me."

Afraid to move, I laid in the vomit, listening to whoever it was behind me wretch some more.

It ended up being Mae Mae who barely even woke up for the entire incident.

There is nothing like a 3 am shower for yourself and child, changing of all the sheets and doing a load of laundry to interupt your REM cycle.

AH... the joys of parenthood!

God Bless the Chapmans

I know that most of your already know about the death of this little girl. Maria Sue Chapman was the 5 year old daughter of Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman. Their adoption devotional was one of the things that I depended on during our adoption. Maria Sue was accidentally hit by a car driven by her 17 year old brother. I spent the weekend at work, but I was so sorrowful for this family and this little girl. My heart absolutely aches for that 17 year old brother, and while I know that we have the promise of heaven, the thought of burying my 5 year old (or any of them) and not seeing her shining face every single day is an unbearable burden. Please pray for this family. Pray for peace for that 17 year old brother. I know that there are children dying all over the world, and I questioned myself why the death of this little girl has affected me so much. I think it's because this family is a lot like ours. I have played this scenario out in my mind. I have worried about this. While I can't imagine my child dying in a war or from starvation, I can imagine my child dying in this way, and I guess that is why I am so upset about this. God gives us these children to raise for Him, even if for a short while. God Bless the Chapmans.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's finally over...

We started out our evening watching Manchester United win the Champions Cup over Chelsea after a penalty kick win shoot out nail biting of a game which involved me screaming a lot, Jeff and Jack telling me to be quiet and Josh hiding in his bedroom saying, "Did they score?"

Then we immediately flipped to the end of American Idol... which involved more nail biting, screaming by me, more chastising by Jeff and Jack and continued hiding by Josh in his bedroom saying, "Did David win?"

So we have only seen the last 15 minutes as I was determined to not let what happened last year happen again. I wasn't taking any chances. Last year, we DVR'd the finale of AI and it ran over time; just as Ryan (we're on a first name basis now) was about to announce who had won, the DVR turned off. We were screaming at the TV and searching the computer to find out who won. So anyway, we weren't going to do that again this year, so we caught the last 15 minutes.

Don't worry, readers, we will watch it later tonight (Thank you technology) And don't worry too much about Josh. He couldn't bear to watch the endings... but he sure was excited when it was over.
I was sick to my stomach. I vomited a little in my mouth waiting for the results... I almost had to run to the bathroom... George Michael... get off the stage. So I was right all along and couldn't be happier about the results.

I told Jeff, "I'd buy him." "I mean I'd buy his CD." And I will and would.

Medical Warning...

Just thought I would warn those of you who might be tempted to get your blood drawn and tested to see if you were immunized against Tetanus and Diptheria.....


It cost us $320.35 X 2 kids for a grand total of .................(drum roll)


to find out that yes, we were correct all along... they had not been immunized.

Of course this is out of pocket, but goes towards our enormous deductible.
Thank God I'm in health care and work for the place that provides our insurance... at a cost, of course.

What's your preppy name?

Your Preppy Name Is...

Maximilian Heatherly Heisley the Second

But most people know you as Gigi

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Neighborhood Fun

Jeff came home and asked, "Who are all those kids in the front yard?"
And I replied, "well, most of them are ours..."
There were also a few neighborhood kids who came down for a water fight. I didn't think it was that warm, but they had a GREAT time.

A photo essay of dinner with Justine...

This is completely unscripted. I did not stage this. I turned around at dinner tonight, and this is what I saw. This is Justine. The Build-a-Bear scuba diving mask and the empty spray bottle are "in case there are bugs in the spaghetti."

Photo of the day...

Quite an outfit. The Ugg boots are my favorite part! or maybe the hairstyle?

Quote for the day...

Mom, " Jordan, are you going to read my blog everyday when you go to college?"

Jordan, "I'll probably just call you every day. Oh wait, I don't want to say that quite yet; I might be busy."


My Golden Personality

My lovely daughter gave me a personality test today and these are my results:
I have a GOLD personality. Sounds good so far. I like gold. I like diamonds. I like all precious metals. I like first place...

After reading through these personality traits, I feel like I should be paying her this psychoanalysis of myself.

According to her test:
I value:
I find joy in:
time for family
job satisfaction
sense of family
My strengths are:
My needs are:
Things that stress and frustrate me are:
lack of control
financial insecurity

When I'm having a bad day, I'm supposed to recognize the following behaviors:
complaining and self-pity
I have definitely recognized THAT in the last few months (years)
anxiety and worry
Who me? I never WORRY about ANYTHING!
depression and fatigue
I'm too tired to recognize depression and fatigue
psychosomatic problems
I've got too much of a headache to worry about psychosomatic problems
malicious judgements about yourself or others
I'm such a loser and so is everyone around me
phobic reactions
Did I mention my irrational fear of squirrels?

Monday, May 19, 2008

News from Ethiopia

Grace posted this article on our Yahoo group, and I felt it was just too important not to share.

To read about the drought in Ethiopia, click here.

Why is everybody always lookin' at us?

It seems as though everyone is always staring at me.
Everywhere I go... I catch people staring, looking away when I catch their eye... Today I found myself asking these questions:
Why is everybody always lookin' at us?
Is it because I 'm surrounded by a gaggle of kids all the time?
Is it because they are climbing all over me, all the time?
Is it because I occasionally smell their little stinky feet?
Is it because Jack occasionally pinches my behind and winks at me?
Is it because I'm wearing yesterdays hair and no make-up?
Is is because I'm wearing my husband's dirty Nike Sun visor to cover up yesterdays hair?
It is because I'm sporting the latest fashions; such as my $7 Coke T shirt from Wal-Mart?
Is it because they think I'm a good mom?
A bad mom?
Is is because Jameson and I are loudly working on vowel sounds th and l; all the while spitting on everyone around us?
Is it because half of us are brown?
Is it because half of us are not?
Is is because I'm forcing my children to sit and read books instead of jump around like a bunch of wild animals?
Is it because my son and I just had a long discussion about whether it would be right to clone the wooly mammoth?
Is it because I'm always counting my children... 1,2,3,4,5
Do they admire me?
Do they feel sorry for me?
Does someone want to nominate me for a make over?
These are all questions that I asked myself while sitting watching the girls at gymnastics today.
I figured out why everyone was always lookin' at us when I saw this under the bleachers. Suddenly it became painfully obvious why everyone was looking at us........
at least today.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Quote for the day...

Mom laying down the law with the kids before going to church event, "There will be no... fussing, no fighting, no crying, no complaining, no whining..."

Jameson, "I am NOT Hawaiian."

Mom, "Noted."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Memories, like the corners of my mind...

I was reminded of a really funny family memory that just keeps raising its' ugly head in our family, so I thought I would share with my readers.

About 5 years ago, the kids and I traveled to Louisville Kentucky. Justine was just a wee little one, around 6 or 7 months old, Jaiden was 3, Jack was 4 and Jordan was 12. We drove to Louisville as it was a halfway point to drop off Jordan to visit her dad. We made a mini vacation out of it. We had a great time staying in a nice hotel, going to the Spaghetti Factory, riding in a "horse and cabbage," and going to the zoo.

On the way home, we drove the "scenic" route through rural Kentucky. Surprisingly, they all traveled very well... at least as far as my memory serves me 5 years later. How good could it have been driving by myself with 3 children ages 4 and under? It's amazing how we block those things out of our minds... anyway we stopped at a drive thru in the middle of no where. I mean the absolute middle of no where. I remember it was the 4th of July and we were trying to get home in time for fireworks. So, we were eating on the run...

As I pulled through the drive thru, the woman at the window said really loudly and really fast,




"Uh, no thank you."


"Um, no. I just want what I ordered."

"Mam, You Got A BIRD Stuck in your Grill."


Sure enough there was a dead bird stuck in the grill of my Expedition. Why she felt the need to tell me this as she was handing me our food, I will never know. But my kids say this all the time. Justine, who was only a baby when this happened, taught her entire preschool church class how to say, "ugottabirdstuckinyourgrill" yesterday. It was one of my prouder moments.

This is only one example of "memories" that our kids have that they could never actually remember. They remember because we talk about it. I love the tradition of telling family stories. Justine "remembers" a lot of things that she wasn't even around for. I hope the new kids will "remember" a lot of family memories just from us talking, laughing and sharing with them.

Oh if only I'd had a blog back then....

Communication Error

I just had to post this after my ranting and raving of this week about public school and ESL program. Josh came home today with an "important message" from his teacher and I quote:

We still have not received a baby picture of your child for 5th grade graduation. If we do not receive, they will not be in the slideshow.

a) I do not have a baby picture of my son.
2) We have gone over this again and again, "He's not going to Junior High next year."

And on an even funnier note:
Jameson came home with a huge packet of papers today for us to work at home... the topic: Learning Spanish! Call me crazy, but I thought we were attempting to teach her English! How confusing is that?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Our reply to ESL school... tell me what ya think. Too agressive?

May 13, 2008

Mr. Hubbard
Mrs. Wilson
Staff of McGregor Elementary

Dear Mr. Hubbard,
After a conversation with Mrs. Wilson regarding our decision to hold Josh and Jameson back next year, it has come to my attention that many staff members at McGregor Elementary disagree with this decision. I would like to attempt to put our feelings on paper to perhaps illuminate this decision, as well as encourage your staff to see the bigger picture.

During our discussion, the fact that Josh will be taller than his peers next year kept coming up. When I questioned Mrs. Wilson about whether we move children up according to their height or according to their academic needs, she insisted it wasn't about that. However, this discussion was about Josh and not Jameson because, according to Mrs. Wilson, Jameson has such a short stature, she wouldn't be bigger than the other children. Jameson is in the 3rd percentile for height for children her age, does that mean we should put her in the 1st grade?

Mrs. Wilson felt that she needed to "go on the record" about this decision we have made for our children. She felt that holding Josh back could affect his self concept and self esteem for years to come. Our children have watched both of their parents die in front of them. They have lived through extreme poverty and famine. They have left their caregivers and friends and have come to a country where they know little of the language, the food, or the customs. We feel that giving them an extra year to try to master some of the core concepts is absolutely nothing compared to what they have been through in their short lives. I seriously doubt if holding them back a year is what's going to cause future emotional problems.

We feel that Junior High is a time of independence; a time to stretch a little and learn to make good decisions. We feel that putting Josh in that environment, socially, could be devastating to him. Josh is still learning to be responsible for his own things, getting his homework done and turned in appropriately, even learning to make a sandwich by himself. He still requires a daily reminder to take his backpack and lunchbox to school. He is in no possible way ready for the environment of Junior High. We think it's very important to look at the whole picture when making these decisions. We understand that there is pressure to "leave no child behind," however we do not believe in celebrating mediocrity. We want our children to have the opportunity to excel and learn and not just get by and get through the system.

Our children are enrolled in summer school, and we plan on working on several of the areas we have identified that they are behind in, but we stand firm in our decision to allow Josh to "grow" socially, emotionally, and academically another year before sending him to a Junior High environment. We appreciate the professional opinions we have received, but we feel strongly that 6 weeks is not enough time to complete the fifth grade. We would request support in this decision with the understanding that we are the parents, and ultimately we are the ones responsible for these children.

Jeff and Gina Ellerbee

Monday, May 12, 2008

My mother's day cards

My oldest daughter Jordan sent me these wonderful Mother's Day cards from Someecards - when you care enough to hit send.

She's pretty funny, isn't she? She gets that from me...

ESL -English as a Second Language or Everyone's the Same Length?

I am so frustrated and upset with our public school system.

I am somewhat new to this public school thing... Jordan is the only one who has gone to public school. Other than Mrs. Robinson in the fifth grade who kept losing her homework, we've had an OK experience with public school. Of course, she was in the gifted education program, and they have a really great program. Even that being said, she and I both have said we wish she could homeschool and she still get her IB diploma. Going to school to sit and do nothing just to get the hours in that the government mandates seems like a huge waste of time.

I have been somewhat disappointed with Josh and Jameson's public school experience thus far. Here's the typical report I receive from them about what they did at school: ate candy, ate ice cream, ate popcorn, watched movies...

I received a call today from the ESL teacher who called to "go on the record" to tell us that holding Josh back in 5th grade (which we're doing because he only actually went for 2 months, and WE ARE his parents) will be detrimental to his social and emotional well-being because he's going to be taller than all of his classmates.

Her platform of disagreement was that the Springfield Public School System does not agree with holding kids back for any reason. She informed us that this decision is basically going to ruin his life. Ruin his social skills. Ruin his self-esteem. I guess this explains why so many people graduate from high school without a clue how to read. She kept saying that holding Jameson back would be fine because of her small stature. But Josh is going to be taller than all of his peers.... She indicated that she had been talking about this with her peers all week, and how they all disagreed with our decision to hold Josh back a year. Wow, we've been a topic of conversation.

So when I asked if we move people ahead based on their height instead of their educational level, she said, "Oh no. That's not what I want you to think. But Josh is going to be so much taller than his peers." What????????

Jeff and I feel that their education has been so shotty in Ethiopia. There are still so many things that they don't know. Josh has minimal reading comprehension. He absolutely has no writing or spelling abilities... Please reader know that I'm not being hard on Josh, but simply pointing out that he is a VERY bright kid who still has a lot to learn. Neither Josh nor Jameson know their multiplication tables. Fingers are still required for addition and subtraction.

Junior high is such a different environment. Josh still needs to be reminded to take his backpack and lunch to take a towel to swimming... We are still trying to make him responsbile for himself and his things. The responsibility is not there yet, and we feel strongly that moving him into a junior high environment is a really bad idea. Talk about getting lost in the shuffle.

I tried to explain that we want Josh to excel in school and not just be passed along because he's the same height as everyone else... I don't want him to just get by. I want him to GET it!

I told her Jeff and I were really going to have to talk about this. Of course Jeff was as upset as I was. He basically said, "Let's just go take them out right now. We can homeschool them better than that."

I really don't know what we're going to do. I'm really disappointed and pissed right now at our school system, and I think that this lack of a backbone of the school system is a direct link to what's going on in our society full of mediocre people who just made it through and didn't get it. We put them in school because we thought the "ESL" thing would help them so much... I can't see that they are doing anything except going on field trips, watching movies, and eating candy. We were hesitant to put them in Gloria Deo Academy with the other kids because GDA is grades ahead of public school, the memory work is very difficult, and it is generally very academically rigorous. I didn't want to stress them out. Evidently public school is not stressful at all because there are no expectations except less than mediocrity.

We are going to meet with the principal, the ESL teacher and the individual teachers about this. Wish us luck! I have a very low threshold for this kind of crap. I have paid a lot of taxes for our public school system, and have not even used it. I expected better than this.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Who we used to be

I've been getting a lot of emails from which has been reminding me that my 20 year high school reunion is in 24 months. I rarely look at the emails from because quite frankly I don't really even care what those people are doing. My best friend Lisa and I see each other several times a year and email constantly. I have known her longer than any single person in my life who I'm not related to. I figure as long as I keep in touch with her, I'm doing pretty good.

The last time I thought about reunions and all of that crap was about the time of my 10 year high school reunion. I guess I became curious about what everyone was up to, so I signed up for and they still contact me. The internet was a relatively new thing to us back then, and I was somewhat intrigued by it, obcessed with it, whatever. Our first computer was "bought" from a rent to own place. We probably paid like $3000 for the thing or something. Who would have thought that just 10 years later, we would have 6 computers in our house?

Anyway, I started browsing around classmates and signed myself up for the generic, "Hey, I'm still alive. Here's how you can contact me." Attempting to be cheap and not knowing how to use the internet very well, I decided to sign in Jeff at his high school under the same account. Once again, I just did a brief, "this is who I was and this is how you can get a hold of me."

It wasn't very long after that my sister-in-law Jenny called me laughing hysterically. I evidently had signed Jeff in under my name, and his bio said,

"In high school, I was known as Jeff Ellerbee. Now I'm known as Gina Ellerbee."

Let's just say that since it appeared I outed my tranvestite husband on the internet in front of all of his high school chums, I haven't been allowed to do much with for the last 10 years.

But back to our 10 year high school reunion. My friend Lisa and I did go back in 2000. I remember specifically bribing and brainwashing Jordan, who was 9 years and 7 months old (you do the math), to tell people she was 8 years old. Heaven help me. God forgive me. I also loaned out Jaiden, who was just a few months old, to Lisa who pretended she belonged to her. She didn't want people to know that she was 28 and didn't have any children yet. Oh I can't believe we did that!

So, what I'm trying to figure out... is this:

How do I turn this:

Back into this? In a mere 24 months?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Photo of the day...

Jameson's hair after washing, drying with curling brush and hair dryer, numerous attempts at Chi Iron straightening, and a few last minute curls with 2 inch curling iron.

Time to fix...2 hours +
Number of products used...3
Permanent damage to hair...unknown
Happiness factor for our little girl.... unlimited
Our Little Diva