Mrs. T

There are times when God gives us a boquet of blessings from seemingly out of nowhere. This morning was one of those times for me.

My Youngest has several teachers who work with her in her Special Ed program. I have met all but one in her new school district, so when I delivered something to the school this morning (after taking my Middle-Schooler to school), I asked if I could meet Mrs. T.

Mrs. T came bouncing down the hall, huge, bright smile lighting up her face, open arms, and the first words out of her mouth were, “I am SO delighted to meet Youngest’s Mom! She is such a joy to work with! I just love her! You are doing a great job as a mother.”

We talked for about ten minutes, and I gave her an overview of Youngest’s life. She looked at me in astonishment for all I’ve gone through (that she knows of) and how I’ve worked with my daughter. There’s so much to all of this it’s even difficult to fill in all the details with my New Husband; there’s just so much.

I’ve given up and lost just about everything for my daughters. My Youngest has been and is an incredible amount of work, more than just about anyone knows except a very few, including my New Husband because he sees it everyday. My New Husband says she’s like five kids in one b/c she’s so much work, and she truly is.

Then there’s my ex who, to no avail, has gone to extreme lengths to try to prove I’m an unfit mother. He has not been able to do so because it simply is not true, but he’s put me through hell in the process.

So when this precious woman stated with conviction over and over what a GREAT job I’m doing, I was overwhelmed. I drove away with tears and gratitude. God is good. God is very, very good.

Yet, again …

Open mouth, insert foot … yet, again … learning the lesson which, apparently, is not completely learned, yet.

So here’s the stage. My Oldest is in Middle School choir. I am extremely impressed with the way her Choral teacher is leading this program. The students were given the opportunity to attend the local High School choral concert for extra credit tonight, so she and I had a date tonight to the High School Choral performance. And, boy howdy, it was excellent!

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The young ladies were dressed in matching, concert black, formal dresses. Honestly, they’ve come a looong way since I was in High School; the dresses were beautiful. The young men were all dressed in tux’s; very sharp. The students were well disciplined and the music beautiful and challenging; very impressive.

They had two choral instructors/directors: one male and one female. The male also wore a tux. The female … wore black pants and a black top with her hair in a pony-tail band. She did not simply wear black pants, but they were poorly fitting, casual, black pants, rippling all down her butt and legs. I was SHOCKED! It was VERY distracting … and I thought very inappropriate.

So, stupid me, after the concert was over and we were talking with Daughter’s choral teacher who sat directly in front of us … I very quietly asked her as I leaned into her ear if this was appropriate dress for a female choral instructor b/c it was very distracting to me. Choral Teacher pulled back, looked at me, and said rather strongly, “Well, she can wear whatever she wants!” I tried back-peddling stating that I never saw that when I was in school, and she said, “I don’t think I’d go around talking about it.”

Ugh. THANKFULLY, my daughter had no idea what we were talking about or how her teacher responded to me – as a middle schooler, she would be devestated with embarrassment.

My dear, sweet husband kindly shared how he learned a looong time ago never to make comments like this (as I thought I, too, had learned) b/c you never know who’s related and who’s best friends in a rather small town. He is right. Daughter’s teacher is probably related to this (younger) woman who wore horribly fitted, casual, black pants to a formal concert and her hair in a plain, pony-tail band. And I had to be the one to open my big, fat mouth.

Unfortunately, I’ve had many an Open Mouth Insert Both Feet moments in my lifetime. I think I’ll blame it on my undiagnosed-but-believe-it-to-be-true ADD. Gotta blame it on something … surely I’m not THAT stupid! HA!

So, I’ve just gotta know … so, Hey, Savvy, our resident choral director/choral musician … was this woman wearing casual, ripple-fitted-all-the-way-down-her-butt-and-legs-pants, even though they were black, inappropriately dressed … when EVERYONE else was wearing formal concert black?!!!

Yes, tell me the truth … I think I can handle it … I think I can … I think I can … UGH! Just wanna slap myself upside the head! 🙂

It’s Official: Cash-for-Clunkers was a Scam

All it did was get more Americans to take on an unhealthy level of debt, while taxpayers paid $24,000 per vehicle sold.

Given that the vehicles tend to lose 20% of their value the moment the buyer drives them off, we all took a big-time bath.

Making matters worse, most of the “clunkers” were destroyed because the program stipulated this requirement. This effectively took many inexpensive cars–that cash-strapped poor and middle-class Americans could have afforded–off the market. That forced the low-income workers–already saddled with debt–resort to even more debt for basic needs.

Every American should file forcible sodomy charges against our government.

With Republicans…

…like these, who needs Democrats?

I found this part amusing:

He then searched the SUV, where he found a Viagra pill and several sex toys, items Corning said he always kept with him, “just in case,” according to the report.

Nothing stifles rational thought like the human sex drive…

Reports of Stimulus Success

are greatly exaggerated.

The larger questions: given the trillions of dollars that we have dumped into bailouts and stimulus programs,

(a) what is the marginal cost of each job allegedly saved (assuming that (1) the 30,000 figure was correct, (2) the figure was only 15,000)? (answer: if the combined bailout/stimulus efforts run up a $2 trillion tab–and this is a conservative figure–then each of the 30,000 jobs “saved” cost $66.7 million. If only 15,000 jobs were saved, then each job cost at least $133.3 million.)

(b) if the stimulus/bailouts actually caused job losses, what is the marginal cost of the jobs lost due to the stimulus/bailouts?

Even worse than that, we have other factors–which may be impossible to accurately quantify: (a) how many jobs failed to get created, as a result of the stimulus/bailouts, (b) what was the marginal cost of each of those jobs not created, (c) to what extent did the bailout/stimulus extend the misery, and (d) what is the economic cost in (1) time, (2) jobs, and (3) cost per job that could have been created sooner.

Worst of all, what is the real economic cost of the bailouts/stimulus programs (1) to our generation, and (2) to each successive generation?

Death, at Thirteen.

I noticed my forever-friend who lives in another state was going through something, so I called her, and she returned my call this evening.

A 13-year-old boy of a family close to them committed suicide yesterday. Something about a relationship with a girl gone bad, and she got hurt … girl and girl’s female friend began harrassing him on facebook and texts … took it to severe levels … parents got involved … kid wanted to stay home from school yesterday … parents told him he was going to school, so he went upstairs and shot himself. That cold.

She only had about four minutes to spend with me on the phone before she had to get off to care for her own children dealing with this tragedy, but there are some things that I find poignant.

1. Kids are greatly, greatly influenced by their peers.

2. Kids can be extremely mean and evil (pure evidence of our fallen nature).

3. Girls need to be taught to respect boys from the cradle.

4. Thirteen is toooo young to be in a “relationship.” (I have another story about a 14 year old girl at the park last week – that’s for another time.)

5. Guns should be locked up tight, and kids should NOT have the key or have access to the key.

6. Thirteen year olds are still kids.

7. There are some times we parents need to be more alert and give our kids a break. The pressure is tough out there. In my daughter’s Middle School, if a kid does not turn in ONE homework assignment the moment it’s due (and they have eight classes a day) , they have automatic detention. If they do not have all their supplies with them for each class, it’s an automatic detention. She’s a good kid and a quick, very bright learner; I am thankful. But I know she is stressed from fear … and this is just the administration, the technical part of middle school.

8. As parents, we need to know who our kid’s friends are. It’s why I have the slumber parties and the kids over and allow my house to be the one they ‘wreck’ … I wanna know these kids.

9. We need to be reading their facebooks and emails and have access to them. We need to be reading their text messages. There’s a privacy balance as they’re growing up … and there’s the part where parents need to know what’s going on in their kids’ lives. It’s tough as a parent. It takes an incredible amount of invested time before my kids begin talking to me about the ‘deep’ stuff. Probably 99% of our time is more on the ‘fluff’ side before they feel safe enough to spend that last 1% on the deep stuff. And even then we’re not guaranteed they will tell us what we need to know.

10. We can do everything right, everything, and life can still be bad. We live in a fallen world. The prince of this world is very alive and very active. Denying his presence is stupid.

11. My life is not just about me. I do not know anything about this boy or his family … never even knew they existed till this evening, and I am greatly distressed. We do not live our lives in a vacuum. If I teach my girls one thing in this life apart from the love of God and who He is and what He’s done for them … I want to drill into them that this live is simply NOT just about them. Thirteen is an extremely egocentric time in our lives, and I am certain this boy never could have conceived how powerful his life is … or his death.

12. I can’t hug my kids enough … I can’t tell them I love them enough. Every day I realize how quickly my time with them is passing … how quickly the days where I have influence and teachable moments … how quickly their peers will trump their influence over their momma. I have sacrificed an incredible amount for my kids in many more ways than I will ever share publicly, but I’d do it all again. I only have one shot at raising them; just one. It won’t be perfect, and I will get it wrong many a time, but if I don’t give it all I’ve got now, I’ll never get another chance.

13. Take the time to sincerely compliment a kid – you’ll never know how powerful that moment in time might be to them.

14. Life … is precious.

What Were They REALLY Looking At?

The crew of Northwest Airlines Flight 188, which overshot their destination by 150 miles–and attracted the attention of the White House–first said they were arguing over airline policy. Now, the NTSB is saying that they were using their laptops.

Whatever they were preoccupied with, it was enough for them to fail to notice the air traffic controllers who were contacting them, and serious enough that they failed to notice the fighter jet that was trailing them.

Gee…I wonder what had them so distracted…