Thursday, July 22, 2010


It's not only my 100th blog post (YAY!!), but it's also my 4 year anniversary with my best friend and husband! So in honor of him, I am going to blog about a thought he had the other day. I hope you enjoy what I get to experience everyday!

I went to get the mail the other day and there was just a single card in there, but I had Weston in my arms and he grabbed it and started chewing on the corner of the envelope, as he usually does since he's teething. That night, I was telling Matt how Weston "helped" me get the mail and he said...

Have you ever thought what our worlds would be like if everything we came in contact with first went into our mouth? I mean, we won't put food in our mouth if it looks yucky, but Weston will put anything in his mouth... video game remote controller, clicker, cell phone, rubber blocks, stuffed animals, silverware, paper towels etc-- and he's so happy about it too! Just imagine if you had to put something in your mouth the moment you picked it up and how happy you'd be that it's in your mouth!!

Then he proceeded to tell me what a great blog topic that would be, so... happy anniversary, I blogged about it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

SGA Leadership Retreat 2010

This past weekend I, along with two other teachers from North and one set of parents, took 21 high school students to St. Simons Island on a leadership retreat for SGA (student government association). We loaded the bus up Friday morning and left promptly at 7AM (yikes). We only made one stop and arrived on time just after 3PM. Friday afternoon, we gave the kids some time unpack and then before beginning, we made each student fill decorate a paper bag with their name. These were going to be used as "mailboxes" throughout the weekend. They each drew a name out of a hat and that was the person they had to write words of encouragement to anonymously-- they could still write to their friends, but they HAD to write to at least this person.

We had to find some way to be able to divide them up into smaller groups, so they took a colorful personality test. It was really just a personality quiz that classified them into a specific color:
Blue= emotional
Gold= precise/highly organized

Each color has their own strengths and weaknesses. We also emphasized to the kids that just because they were in one group doesn't mean they don't exhibit any characteristics of another color, in fact, there were only a few people who were so obviously one color or another, while most of them were just barely the color group they were in, and no one had all the answers for just one color. From their color groups, we divided them up into four equal groups so that each group had, for the most part, an equal distribution of color personalities. Later that afternoon, we went outside under the shade of the giant and very old droopy trees to play some team building/ icebreaker games before going to dinner and then eventually the campfire where we got into some heavier topics their fears and accomplishments.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures Saturday... or really even Sunday either.

Saturday morning we continued with the discussions in our meeting room about different personalities, team building exercises outside, and then eventually a trip into town for some brief shopping and then on to the beach for some fun in the sun. Once we returned home, we played some more team building activities outside-- one of them required the group to get out of the space they were in defined by a rope tied around three trees. They had to get everyone out from between the trees, but they couldn't go under the ropes, touch the ropes, or help them get over the ropes by putting hands underneath them. The ropes were shoulder height. They did a very good job working together as a team and did eventually get everyone out of the enclosure. Another game we played was having everyone stand on a MASSIVE tarp and they had to move the tarp from point A to point B. Again, once they started to listen to each other, they accomplished their common goal.

However paradise was shattered when one of the girls stepped down from the bench by the campfire wrong and collapsed. It was a terrible end to a string of awful things that had happened to her that day. First, she woke up and hit her head HARD on the bottom of the bunk beds, then she was stung by a jellyfish at the beach, next she stepped on a snake on her way to the campfire and hyperventilated. She was sobbing and begging us not to call her parents or take her to the hospital, but being the responsible adults that we are, we did both of those things. One of the parents on the trip had to drive down separately, so luckily, we had a car there (it would have been torture to figure out how to get her on the bus to take her). I went with her to the hospital along with one of her friends, and kept in contact with her parents the whole time. Good news... it was just a sprain and her parents were very pleasant people-- not mad, sad, worried at all. Mostly amused by everything that had happened to her that day. By the time we left-- two hours after we arrived (very fast), the pain killers had taken affect and she was in a much happier mood!

Sunday was brief since we had to be checked out by 11:30, but by the end, everyone found out who their secret note buddy was and the group had begun talking about themes for homecoming! Exhausted, we boarded the bus and drove back to the school... playing a game of Outburst I initiated when I decided I was bored!

It was a good weekend and I am really looking forward to working with these kids this year on SGA!

Blue Group

The other chaperones laughing

Green Group-- notice, there are only 2 of them!

Orange Group
**not pictured: Gold

Saluting the "captains" in a game of Ships and Sailors

one of the commands was "3 men rowing" so this girl had to leave and go make another group of three before time was up


Frog Jump

"Machinces" was a game where they had to make a machine out of the people in their team... this was a rollercoaster... going up the first big hill

A lawn mower... the girl up front was pick the grass as the two girls on their hands were growling like the motor

A train, complete with whistle and backwards caboose

Group picture by the fire

playing a game called "Big Booty" by the fire

Big Booty

Windi, the head of SGA

This raccoon was scavenging for food, and our boys were happy to toss him some marsh mellows... freaked the girls out since the raccoon was getting really close and not going away.

Kelly, another leader, sharing during the campfire

Girls on Sunday before we loaded up the bus... notice the girl on crutches in front...

The boys before we loaded the bus up

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Little Less Heavy

So now that my soap box is back in the closet... here are some Weston pictures from this morning.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Robin Hood, or Just Thief?

I'm angry as my thoughts swirl around concerning the future of health care in this country. Some may think this is not the forum to discuss this type of issue, and for those of you, I suggest you just not read any further.

The idea of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor is a concept that has been ingrained in our minds to support since we were younger. We have been taught to identify with the Robin Hood character and support his choices, after all, he is the hero in the story. What happens though, when the "Robin Hood" in the story defines rich differently than you or I would-- does he then become the villain?

President Obama has stated publicly that he is in favor of redistribution of wealth-- which is a euphemism for theft. He plans to steal, by levying higher- not new- taxes on individual households, not just big business.

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Free health care sounds great! However, nothing's ever free-- someone is paying for it. In this case, it's the taxpayers... and I don't just mean the super rich... I mean everyone! Currently, Matt and I receive our health care coverage from his company. Right now we have great coverage. It's a benefit, however, next year we will be taxed as though we are receiving extra income. Under Obamacare, individuals who receive health care benefits from their employer (full or partial) will be taxed as though they are actually receiving that money. So without any gains in income, we will be taxed more next year... AND if Matt's company doesn't continue to pay for our health care coverage, they will face penalties under the new law. Here's the kicker.... Matt and I won't be eligible for government health care (where our money is going) for at least 4 years-- if ever!

This country was founded on capistalist views, not Marxist/Socialist/Comunist views. Samuel Adams stated: "The utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of wealth], and a community of goods, are as visionary and impracticable as those that vest all property in the Crown. [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional."

In vetoing a bill in 1887 that would have appropriated $10,000 in aid for Texas farmers struggling through a drought, Grover Cleveland wrote:

"I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadfastly resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people."

Cleveland went on to point out, "The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune." Americans proved him right. Those Texas farmers eventually received in private aid more than 10 times what the vetoed bill would have provided. [copied]

“Families in Georgia deserve to have their constitutional rights protected against a federal government that is imposing its will through new mandates. No Georgian should be required to purchase a product defined by the government in exchange for the privilege of citizenship,” said Congressman Tom Price.

I feel powerless to defend my family's hard earned money.

Thou shalt not steal.

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th at the Fork

Yesterday, Matt, Weston, and I joined the rest of my family and friends at the property that my Aunt Susan and Uncle Randy and Uncle Ray and Aunt Vicky co-own in Franklin, TN. We arrived just before 4PM and spent the afternoon chipping into a pop up target, swinging on the tree, eating homemade BBQ and other goodies, playing kickball, corn hole, Uno, searching for bugs (the little kids), reading the Declaration of Independence, singing songs around the fire, playing with glow sticks, and most importantly.... setting off a series of fireworks that put the neighbors to shame. Basically, we all had a great time!!!

Thank you so much, Campbells and Whiteheads for hosting such a great celebration!

This was Saturday, when we went to see my Nana and Granddad before going over to my Aunt and Uncle's house for dinner. This was the first time Nana met Weston. He was so good in her lap!

My cousin, Martha, and her boys were there also to meet Weston for the first time (he met a lot of family for the first time this trip). Preston [left] and Ethan [right] got a kick out of the little baby!

feeding Weston at Aunt Susan's... he saw my beer-- of course, I did put it on his tray table!

he didn't actually drink my beer, but we thought this was a funny picture!

Group chipping into the target in the distance

Martha and Weston

Tracy's boys, Jake, Luke, and Ryan, swinging on the tree swing

Luke hoola hooping

Tracy's youngest, Sarah, loving the pinwheel

just so deliciously precious! I love my boys

a fun time is not being had unless there's an injury! Thomas's ankle after he rolled it playing kickball. Do you think it's broken? He spent the remaining evening sitting... and drinking. I'm sure he felt much better by the end of the night!

Laine and Preston

Martha playing paddle ball with Preston

Jake helping set up the fireworks

Ryan reading his part of the Declaration... AND pronouncing "usurpation" correctly!

singing Rocky Top... what else?

Tracy and Sara

Mom taking a puff off of Jim's cigar as he was packing up the canopy

Ray, Susan, Mom and Steve singing the Kingston Trio's Tijuana Jail in honor of their parents, my Nana and Granddad, who couldn't celebrate out at the Fork with us.


Weston slept through the first part of the fireworks, and then he woke up... not scared, just awake. So he watched the 2nd half of the show in my lap. He didn't cry.. seemed to enjoy them!

It was a great show!