Friday, November 28, 2008

I am Thankful for....

I'm thankful for you all, for my family, for my home and for this country which allows us to live, work, worship and speak freely. I'm sitting here listening to my grandaughter plan her trip to the movie this evening, arguing with Mom about getting candy and popcorn, while her little brother and sister watch Spy Kids 3. I love holidays, my kiddos drop in, eat, visit and move on everyday. Yesterday's feast was even better today, but the mess was just as big. Who cares? We are all together and healthy.
How was everyone's Thanksgiving? Are we all thinking of Christmas shopping? Our chiclets wanted everything the commercials offered today on TV. I had forgotten how kids are influenced by them. We seldom watch Kids TV anymore. I cracked up yesterday when Caleb told Gavin he wasn't big enough for some toy; Gavin responded, "I don't want to be big, I want to stay small and hold my Momma's hand" Now how sweet is that? I realize you all witness such sweetness everyday with your babes, but I cannot resist sharing. Do yours want everything or are they focusing on just one item? Is Abby still into horses, Angela and crocodiles for Sam? Hope his doesn't harm hers, eek.
How are you feeling, Janelle? Not much longer til Harvey gets here, is it? You will be amazed how big Avery looks when you bring the baby home; I always felt as if I'd lost part of my older ones. I left them baby and returned to big boy. Hold tight to the memories of these next few weeks with Lady A, they are precious.
OK, Anna. What is going on there? Do we need to gaggle on someone? Don't claim the blame if it is someone else; no job is worth selling yourself out. I hope you have someone there who is wise to confide in. I miss you, Girlie and want only the best.
I had a tour of the WaterPark last week. We a planning AfterProm up there this spring. What an amazing place it is going to be. They have pushed back the opening til Jan. 31, but I don't see how it will be done then. Lots of finish work inside and some water work to be finished. It will be a unique experience though. The hotel rooms have bunks for the kids in them. CUTE. The public areas are bright, rich colors of a tropical retreat, but the sleeping rooms are neutral, soft colors. Nice views of town and country and the Dome. Prices are affordable, too. Less than $20.00 for a day pass to the park, They will have 4 food venues on site, too. I do hope you all can come down for a Gaggle Gathering and stay there w/families.
We are going for the ultimate retreat on Pikeville, Ky. to see Willie Nelson. No, I'm not joking, he is Steve's hero and Courtney gave us tickets for a concert. Now we have to drive for 4 hours into the mountains to hear an old man sing. Steve worked on the parkway through the mountains in the 70s and thought it was the end of the earth, it will be interesting to revisit. We have driven through on the way to the coast, but haven't really looked around for 35 years. I hope it doesn't snow. If you don't hear from me again, look for the body after the spring thaw.
The forecast is for measurable snow here on Sunday; do you all still have snow on the ground, Allison? Did anyone else get any? It has been so cold here, mornings in the 20s. I about freeze during bus duty and then my office never warms up. I wore gloves and a shawl all day on Tuesday. People wrap up before coming into my area. I have been spending lots of time with the kids at school this week. Taking over classes and discussing issues. The teachers seem to have reached a breaking point; one day I showed "Mean Girls" and we had a good discussion about relational aggression. The 8th grade girls rolled their eyes and tossed their hair at me until I was ready for physical aggression. Such _itches. No wonder no one likes them. They have been gathering in the lobby outside my office each morning and critiquing the others as they come in. I pointed out to them the error of their ways, but other than a phone call from an angry mom, no responce. Are all parents blind to the actions of their kids? I pray I wasn't that dumb when mine were there. Mackenzie says some girls in her school are "evil children of Satan", I think she may be right. God help them.
I'm like Kirstie; paddling as hard as possible to keep my head above water at work and still getting more behind everyday. We have started the RTI thing and guess who gets to DO it? Our principal says it won't be here long, just keep stalling. But I feel it is the right approach for the kids who continue to fall short and pushes the teachers to do what needs to be done. Teachers are refusing to refer or follow recommendations. I cry alot over this and our Sp.Ed. director is threatening to quit. Since Mitch was re-elected, this won't change, will it? Even if NCLB goes away? Any advice, Ladies?
I'm giddy over 2 more free days, no plans at all. Stephen says, "Just keep cooking, Mom" and they've all asked for a favorite treat this weekend. Looks as if berry dumplings are next, followed by turkey potpie and bread pudding. Foods on, come see us. Love to all.
Talk to me. Hedy

Saturday, November 15, 2008


You all know my passionate stance against drugs; well, add steriods to the list. OMG, I've been crazy for the last 3 days. Predizone is not my friend. Apparently there was a bad mix with some of my meds and the steriod for the allergy attack and I've been channeling Attila the Hun and Lizzie Borden. There hasn't been a sane thought since Wednesday, I've sat in bed, holding onto my head and skin to keep together. Poor Stephen King, he must think he's been written into one of the other one's novels. I think it is almost over today, still alittle shaky and the walls are moving somewhat, but mostly OK. I think maybe the LadyBug is one of the plagues from the Bible. Such a seemingly harmless creature, deceptive and cunning. Some even decorate their nurseries with their little black and red images. Do not fall into the trap, Ladies. Save your children and run away.

On a saner note, it was great to hear from all of you this week. Elaine, it has been ages. Does Little Henry look like your kiddos? We need a new baby around here and our niece is having one next month. We have a shower tomorrow for the expected little girl. I cannot wait to hold this one. Another niece has a 4 month old daughter, but they live in NYC and we haven't seen her yet. It is such a wonderful gift to watch our family grow and have new life. With each new child, the miracle of life is relived and love spreads.

It is great that you have such a willing teacher this year, Allison. I think that can make or break a child sometimes. Poor guy, struggling to learn, because we don't have a grasp on how to best teach. His natural intelligence shines from his eyes and the willingness is there, we just have to stay centered on what he needs. The boys are so lucky to have you and Rex as parents, a real inside track to learning. Sometimes, I just want to advise parents to let their kids be kids and learn naturally, but that isn't always the answer. If they don't get that extra support at home, they can lose out entirely. The softwear packages, I used hardcopy workbooks with mine, are a marvelous addition. You can find them in any interest area and most kids love the computer. But, of course, you know all of this. I have read of the tonsil/sleep connection. In fact, my nephew was diagnosed ADD in early elementary, had tonsils removed in 4th grade and no more symptoms. Joe graduated from IU's Kelly School and makes a mint in Chicago now. Just stay strong, Mama. He will shine. You and Staci have kids who like to be kids and are stifled by the constraints of school rooms. We see so much of that in education. I think back to Mackey's class on education and fitting people into little boxes that move through the system. It makes me sad that we continue to do this. Maybe Montessori is the answer?

Janelle, are you big enough to have another baby? Those shots of you in Florida didn't look it. You appeared alot smaller than with Lady A. Or you know how to hide from the camera, maybe? Anyway, looking good and that child is a star. Such a sweet face. And how about Bob? Bob Hardiwick? Nice strong sounding name, B follows A; you and Brian can work your way through the alphabet. Or Bubba? Hilljacks love the name Bubba. But there are no hills up north, are there? Sorry, I may be stroking again.

How are the parents, Jill? I think of your family and pray for you daily. Any decision on Mom? Be strong. How is Andrew, speaking of family? Sandwich generation seems to define you, Lady. Are you getting to French Lick this winter? I know I won't see you even if you do, but it is nice to think you're close :-) Our friend got a Principal of the Year Award from his last school which was awarded this fall. Makes our Board look bad for not extending his contract. He is such a gem.

I suppose our two young'uns are busy as bees right now. Are you two still getting to spend time together with those perfect men? As a foursome, you must be unstoppable. I imagine dinners together where Anna and Kirstie out-cook each other, a la Iron Chef. Or do you have the guys cooking? A much more modern approach. I hope you are each enjoying this wonderful time in your lives. You have such exciting times ahead. I wouldn't go back and relive my life, but I did love that new person stage of being a young adult and having the world before me. You are such bright, dynamic women, you can have your dreams. Bless you both.

I'm trying to get inspired for Christmas, but keep getting sidetracked. I did get a grant to take our middle schoolers bowling for an academic reward. We, apparently have NO money for anything in school this year. Casino dollars are hidden somewhere. I'd like a chance to use some for direct services to the kids, but seem to be in the minority. I'm also, trying to get another Special Ed teacher and a couple of aides, but have been laughed at. I fear our teacher will resign in frustration and we will be left high and dry.

We are practicing Invisible Mentors with the struggling students,but keeping the staff excited is a battle. I feel they hate me half the time, I'm always pushing, pushing... How do you all do this? Aren't we supposed to do this?

Now back to Christmas...see how distracted I am. I have wiis for each family, so just need to fill in with small items. I'd like to decorate more this year, last year barely saw a tree. I'm thinking filling my urns out front with greenery and colored ribbons. I'll switch out my fall quilt on the swing with a wintery one and put up a new wreath. Wish I could get another square one, Kirstie. We need a new tree this year, I may go back to natural. Except so many trees around here have L-bugs in them. I cannot take that risk. Maybe we'll go retro with an aluminum one with the color wheel light! Mom and Dad had that in the 50s and I hated it. So cold, I thought. Of course, no one listened much to a 10 year olds' take on decor. She also had the blonde Swedish furniture with lime/black lamps, eek. Courtney had her house that way for a couple of years, too. I just don't care for it. I like simple, warm, homey things. Hard to imagine, old Grandma Hedy any other way, right?

I'm having a lady design Gagglespeak for me. I don't like the way it is now. I'd like style and music and a chance to link things like other blogs and websites. But there is that tech problem; as in I don't know how to do any of this stuff. I imagine A and K could whip this out in no time. Do you use any blogs at school? Our seniors, the band and a few teachers have them. The problem is, you can loose days reading them if you aren't careful. Sort of video games for the unco-ordinated.

Hope you all will post some Christmas pix of kids and your homes to spruce up the site. I'll have to change out our beachy pix for winter. Talk to me. Love

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yes, We Can

Hello Everyone,
Look, Allison, I managed to add your vacation pix. I am a technology genius, no doubt. Of course, I tried to add Gavin's Halloween picture and couldn't get it to take at all, so all the bugs aren't out yet.
Speaking of bugs; I had another ER trip due to the ladybugs this afternoon. By the time I got to the doc, I couldn't see, hear or breathe. Three shots and 30 minutes later I was OK. My eyes are still swollen and there are blisters on the whites, but I'm better. I didn't even see any bugs, but was doing some handwash of sweaters that Courtney had in storage, there were dead ladybugs in the bottom of the boxes. Such small bugs, such big problems.
Hope everyone is happy the elections are over and can live with the results. I think the country is ready to work for a real change that will benefit us and the world. But tensions will be high for awhile, so much at risk. I pray you all manage well.
We've celebrated b-days this weekend; Steve and Trent on Friday and Saturday. I'm married to a real senior citizen, Girls, Steve is 63. Wow, what an odd thought. We aren't supposed to be old. Trent is 39, another heart-st0pper. That's my baby boy, yikes. We went for late breakfast this morning with Nina, Trent and Gavin and took a long ride through the country to Hindostan Falls and saw 2 bald eagles. So cool. Gav tried acting like a bunnny to attract them but they flew away. The skies were gray and it was only 40 degrees, but it was a sweet day.
Yesterday Courtney and I went to a Silpada style show in a winery in Seymour with Shawn, Mackenzie, Shawn's mom and a friend of hers. It was fun, rather like a meeting of the Stepford wives; same haircut, same thin bodies and lots of silver jewelry. Courtney was weirded out, she and Kenz made bad jokes all evening. The setting was nice, barn-like with lots of festive table decor and music. The Gaggle would have enjoyed being there. :-) and the wine flowed, so Staci, Anna and Kirstie would have had a great time.
Elaine, how's the family? And the new baby? Doing well? Are you getting to be with your sisters much? I know Thanksgiving and Christmas will be special this year with the new members of your bunch adding to the excitement. Allison, you all have a new one, too, right? How is your dad this winter? Recovering from his rough patch, I hope.
The waterpark is set to open over Christmas now. If I haven't said so before, we are getting a STARBUCK"S. Abbie has to come so we can get hot chocolate, Angela. We are also opening an indoor car track, an Amish buffet and deli in the Spring. The Valley is becoming a destination spot, Ladies. Come and be entertained. I can't wait till some shops open that are affordable, as opposed to the Resort shops, my word.
I'm shopping online again this year, but will buy my big items at...WalMart. Go ahead and laugh. I've succomed to the lure of lower prices. Really, my kids want Wiis and Nina is picking them up for me. I'll add a few smaller things for each of them, but not too many. We, as everyone else, are trying to cut back. I got all the g-kids winter coats a couple of weeks ago, so they are ready for the cold.
I am off to watch "Brothers and Sisters", the only series I can keep up with. Have a terrific week, my friends. Peace and love. Hedy

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I am unsure of the political leanings of some of you, and that is not my concern; I do want to encourage all of you to VOTE on Tuesday. This may be the most important election of our lives and our childrens' lives. Lets not sit back and allow others to decide our future for us. Eeryone is busy, but we all owe it to ourselves and our country to take the time to vote. So much depends on the vital, young women of the U.S. getting out the vote. As educators, the local, state and national elections impact our careers, our families and our futures. Have your say, please. This election has been wild and wooly for good reason; the candidates differ on so many fundamental points and the winner will either bring about CHANGE or continue the STATUS QUO in our country. What do you want? Tell them with your vote.
OK, now back to our regular program. How is everyone? I am so happy for Staci showing the state of Illinois that Hoosiers do know counseling. I love that, Staci.
I'm still wondering around in no-man's-land; not a counselor, not an administrator, not certified, bonified or even vaccinated. Yet, running a school. Only in America...oops, no political humor here.
Jill, my heart aches at your plight with mom. You'll all be crazy before it's over. So many of us are facing this issue, it seems epidemic. Is this a price we pay for living longer? or for polluting our environment? Anyway, my thoughts are with you everyday, stay strong and keep the faith, Lady. Maybe mom would enjoy the activities from Staci's craft website, it would add fun to dad's day.
Any name decisions, Janelle? The Gaggle offered up some neat ones. I also love Chloe and Phoebe, but I imagine Brian would have a field day with them. We tried to get our friend to name her baby Phoebe, but she refused to have a Phoebe Eby. She is no fun at all and had 3 boys anyway. I say let Lady A name the babe, she'll have real oldest child power then.
Where are Elaine and Angela? Yoohoo, yoohoo. I miss you busy ladies. Are the kidddos OK and enjoying the fall? Everytime I see an alligator/crocodile I think of Sam. Such an imagination. Hello, Anna. I thought the heart earrings were way over the line, too; esp. the red food color, yuck.
I've spent this morning in the garage hunting for a drill to put up a curtain rod. My sweetie-pie husband is gone for the day and his shop is a total mysterymaze. I need that rod up before he returns and tells me I cannot hang a curtain there. I'm separating the living room and parlor with a beautiful copper velvet drape. The doorway between them is 9 feet and I want to give the parlor a little more privacy and cozy it up a bit for winter. We widened the doorway when we moved in and he doesn't understand my wanting to make it smaller. I sometimes think men are naturally dense, while he thinks women are naturally nutty. It all works out beautifully for us...42 years on Dec. 16. Really, it is a miracle we are still alive, much less still married.
I went to an antique show at the resort yesterday and didn't buy anything but handmade soap. The vintage linens were so tempting, but I walked away from even the baby quilt that screamed, "take me, Grandma, take me". I am woman, hear me roar. Of course, I'm fighting myself to not go over today and buy it. Be strong, be strong. What is your weakness? I've been through chickens, baskets, pottery, enamelware, but quilts and baby linens will never stop turning my head.
We are all well here, had dinner at the new restaurant in town last night. Great place, not so good service. They have lots of bugs to work out in timing the meal delivery. We had reservations, ordered salads and sandwiches and were still there 2.5 hours. I was proud of my men and the little ones, no temper tantrums from anyone; although Trent did claim to be fainting from hunger after about 1.5 hours and Caleb asked the waitress 3 times, "you gots any food". Caleb also had Shawn's camera and was shooting the manager and waitresses from behind and me in the face. Fun, fun, fun. Gavin just looked on in amazement at his hero's bold behavior, wishing he had the nerve to be Caleb. When we got home, Caleb put on a production for us; dancing and singing along with Broadway hits from the TV. Where he gets this, I cannot guess. His sisters are quiet as little mice and well behaved. But he is entertaining. When asked how he learned to dance, Caleb replied, "It's in my bones" and he is only 5.
Remember to vote, Ladies. Have a great week. Honk. Hedy