Saturday, May 24, 2008

OH YEAH!!!!!


I asked him if he was glad to be in America and his response was, "Yeah, the air is nice." Interesting response...but he said that here the air is clean (ha) and that it doesn't smell like dirt and burning oil. I thought that was interesting too. He is going to shower in a real shower and get settled in his hotel and call me later.



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

LOVE this...

Another Suzanne (friend that I taught with in Garland) made this for her little girl's room---sooo cute!!!

Had to brag on you Suz.....such a cute addition to the room and so personal.
She got the idea from this shop!!!! Check it out!!!


CRCT---Criteron Referenced Competency Test---our state test

Yes, let me start by saying that we only have 1 and a half more days of school---WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!!!

Also, my students test results make me feel that I have had a good year. I do not believe that test results by any means define a person but it does help confirm that I am teaching them something.

See the following:

Reading--I teach one class---100% of my kids passed!!!!

Math--I teach 4 classes, one honors, the rest regular math---of the students that I taught ALL year---96% passing of that 96%, 38% performed in a level 3, which is the highest...this was the highest in 7th grade---GO BLUE TEAM!!! Most students perform on a level 2. Level 1 would be those students who did not "master the test" defined as scoring less than 800.

Cheerleaders say...."GOOOOO BLUE JAYS!!!!!!!"


Gatlinburg, TN---SOOOO fun, yes even with 100 8th graders. We had a great time. I will say that we have an amazing band and director and they got 1st place in their division which was well deserved. Our chorus is great too, they got 2nd place. We were in the middle of the Smoky Mountains and the kids got to see things that were so new to them. What an amazing experience to be able to share. Remember, some of these children have never been outside of Valdosta, can you believe that! The gift of travel is one of the most important. Don't forget to take your children on trips and teach them about the world, they need this more that you can imagine. They will never forget it!!! I still have all of my wonderful memories of traveling with the family, I will treasure those forever. Thanks Momma, Daddy, Nana, and Pa. I am most grateful for this. Here are some pictures of our adventure. By the way, I would highly suggest this area for camping, sightseeing, etc. if you ever have the chance to see it. You will probably also see some bears!!! We saw one taking the hotel's trash---it was cute. There are approximately 2 bears for each square mile of forest in this area.
BUS #1 Crew!!!

Anyone know what kind of tree this is??? I want one!

Mr. Cureton on the tram.

Mine and Hundley's view on the tram.
Yes, Hundley was screaming and scaring all of the little children.

Pi Phi Elementary

View from the tram's top

Bradley, me, Hundley, a Daddy, Cureton, Peace, and Norris

Bradley directing...

Bowen, the cutie pie heart throb...

Hayley, one of mine from last year

Chorus singing their hearts out

The boys...

Abby :-)

YaLonda's solo

Cute kids from last year...

More cuties from last year...

Y mas....

The misfits :-)

Ear Drops--Yeah, so Sully and the ear drops---HA! BIG HUGE HA!! He would rather lick a cat (by the way, he hates cats). Soooo, I have come up with a sneaky way to get them in. When I get them outside and he is on his rope...I walk on the rope to keep him from going far and I keep walking until I am really close and his head can't move and then I squirt. I can usually get him that way. However, a few times he has been able to pull the rope out from under me so he can get away. Or, my favorite, he pulls the rope out and then runs in a circle around me and trips me with his rope. I am telling you, this dog HATES EAR DROPS!!!!

Doggie Hotel--The dogs got to stay in their first doggie hotel when I went to Gatlinburg and poor Cooper was so scared. Now let me remind you that both dogs were shelter rescues. Cooper was over 3 months when we got him so he does remember his shelter experience which I do believe is why he is so loyal. I felt so bad....he would not let me close the gate. He literally had his head wedged between the wall and the gate so I could not close it. It was hard to leave them and I know that the lady at the desk was totally annoyed by the fact that after I went to the car to leave that I had to come in 4 additional times to leave items and to remind her of different things. I did also give them a letter that was detailed about the dogs and what they needed while I was not there. I KNOW, I AM A PSYCHO DOG PARENT. Below is the letter if you are interested.
Cooper (5 year old brown one) and
Sully (2 year old black one)

They will tear up (play with) anything you give them, they are sorry!

They can drink water from the same bowl but not eat from the same bowl, they are a bit selfish.

Cooper gets 2 scoops in the morning and 2 at night
Sully gets 3 in the morning and 3 at night

Cooper will eat right away and Sully might save his for later BUT be aware that Cooper will eat Sully’s if no one is there to watch him hence the reason he is a little over weight! Sully will learn one day that if he doesn’t get it fast then his brother from another mother will scarf it down.

They drink a lot of water but are pretty good about holding their bladders. I take them out in the morning around 6 and then again around 5pm and a few times until the last outside escapade around 10pm.

Sully must wear his halter leash or he will walk you, literally. He still pulls, sorry we are working on that. Cooper is usually unleashed (he is the good one). However he will be fine on a leash too but does have tendencies to want to be the leader.

They play with other dogs well (all sizes included) and LOVE to be outside. They will both bark (to keep me safe) but do not be alarmed, they have never bit anyone. Sully however does use his big head to push people a bit, especially when he wants to play. He does not know how big he is yet. Sully will also chase you if you run and baby bite (this is meant to be playful not to hurt). I am not a fan of this, still trying to break him of it.

They have their blankets (Cooper’s-maroon and Sully’s-blue) and all of their food is inside the big bone. Again, they cannot have their food that close so please only put water in the blue bowls and put their food dishes on different side of the crate.

They and I thank you for loving them while we are away.

Please call me with any concerns on my cell at 229-740-5500. I should be available at all times. I will also be staying at:

Edgewater Hotel
402 River RoadGatlinburg, TN 37738 (865) 436-4151 Toll Free: 1-800-423-9582

I will be back in Valdosta Saturday night around 8 pm. I will be happy to come get them Sunday or Saturday night if they are available.

Thanks again,
Courtney and David Adkins
Surely you do not think I am crazy. Just a loving parent :-) I mean, look at these faces, wouldn't you be the same way...
Yes, he got himself in there while I was doing laundry.

What pretty eyes you have...
8th grade drama....not going there.

Strep Throat--yes, I got it and it was BAD. You don't realize how wonderful health is until you have truly been sick. After my Z-pack (aka. miracle-pack) I was ready to run a marathon!!

PTO (Parent-Teacher-Organization) drama...not going there either.
I think that pretty much covers the items that were not self explanatory. The other items I will touch on as needed. I did get a 70 pound foot locker from Dave. He has sent home the items he won't need in his last weeks there. Thanks again to EVERYONE for help sending him packages. You not only made his day but also all the other guys and girls who do not get much. Any time he had extras he would set them out by the bathroom and it was all usually gone by the time he was able to make it back out there. THANK YOU!!
I will keep you all posted as I get info from Dave about the trip back to the glorious states. Can't wait to be able to say that he is here again. Miss you all---peace!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Feeling good....

A lot has happend since I last blogged, but here is a quick run down....doggie party in the street (Cooper started it), secret (not any more) desires to line dry clothes, Sully and yeast in his ear, drops in Sully's ear (YEAH RIGHT), doggie hotels, Gatlinburg, TN, 8th grade drama, strep throat, email from Dave about his departure, trash run, Sully pee patrol, 8th grade prom, PTO drama, 8th grade prom DJ issues, joyful new cheer parents (truly a breath of fresh air), parents and teachers who HATE 8th grade prom, parents and teachers who love us for doing 8th grade prom, flat tire on riding lawn mower, no more deer (thank GOD), big box delievery from Iraq, giraffe purse (so cute), band and chorus trip, taping doors shut at the hotel....gosh I think I could go on forever.

Ok, so some of these are self expanatory but here it goes....

Doggie Party

Cooper decided while I was inside that it would be cool to take it upon him self to have a dog party--IN THE STREET. There was a nice old lady walking her golden retriever when Cooper decided that they had to be friends (mind you, I am in the house preparing their breakfast). Interestingly enough two other dogs come out of the freaking forest--no joke!!! Just so happens that another man was walking his two dogs on the street beside ours. Yes, they joined. Next thing you know we are a tangled mess. The dogs were having a great time, the humans on the other hand....little frustrated.

I bought a retractable clothes line for drying clothes....kind of excited about it.

Sorry no more time to chat at the moment....gotta run to decorate for the 8th grade prom---joys of being the only one at school to do just about anything outside of school hours. SOOOOO, I will continue this late tonight or tomorrow.

THE Dance of the year is at Lake Park United Methodist Youth Center...yes there will be dancing and yes we will be playing multiple music selections most of which will not be "church music" and yes we will be able to turn the lights down. LORD, these are some of the questions I have had to answer lately for these lovelies!!!

Those of you in the Lake Park area----COME CHAPERONE!!!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bake the Cycle

Mukakigeri Virginie
Children: 3
We need help, please help Bake the Cycle NOW!!! Time is running out and they are so far from their goal.


Let me know if you donate, I am making a list!!!

So far these are all that I know about:
Dave and Court
Momma Compton-Emig


What a cool place to find interesting things. THANKS JEN!!!

I have found a replacement for those dryer sheets that we just throw away. AND I have found them on Etsy ("Your place to buy & sell all things handmade"). However, if you decide to stick with the old school dryer sheets make sure that before throwing them away you dust your house with them. The static power that is left in them picks up dust quite well. I am now "going green" like the rest of the world (or so they say) by investing in lavender sachets to replace the dryer sheets.

The cool thing about these nifty little handmade (if bought from sachets is that they work in the dryer for about 10-15 loads. When you feel like they don't have the strength of scent you want you can open them up and sprinkle them on your carpet and vacuum up to make your floor smell nice too. You can either reuse them by refilling and sewing them back up or buy new ones from Etsy. OR you can put them in your drawers or closets to make them smell fresh. I also learned that lavender has insect repellent properties and it keeps moths away. So when done I also use them on the back porch that is supposed to be screened in yet we still get eaten alive just by sitting for a few moments.

The great thing about is that all products are handmade and sold by someone here in the states, so you are providing economic stimulus (unlike those stimulus checks depending on what you buy--more on that later). YOU can actually open up your own Etsy if you have a talent too!! So get creative and start bringing the bucks back home!!
More about dryer sheets vs. sachets:

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Flashing headlights

OK, so yesterday I was driving to work on my normal little Podunk town, two-lane road when I see an oncoming car flashing their lights. Well, being the city girl that I am I slow down because in the "normal" world we use that to signal that there is a cop and to SLOW THE HELL DOWN!!!

So I slow down....

I learned in a small town that means something TOTALLY different.


Looked a little like this one...

HA, just kidding...I am sure there some one around here has one though.

Really, it looked more like this one.

I know (tear) that is what it felt like. Sorry, I am trying to use humor to comfort myself.

Now REALLY, it did look like this one...

Except that he wasn't that fast.

I hit him....

So I turned around to go check to make sure that he was not suffering as did the man that was flashing his lights at me not even a minute ago. We both come to a stop and he has a disappointed look on his face. So, I said, "I know, I am so sorry." So as I sit there trying to comfort this dying creature by talking to it and saying that I was sorry and shhh it will be OK, the man stops me. He says, "No, don't be sorry. It is really just a part of life." So again, coming from a family of non-hunters I still feel almost sick to my stomach that I did this to this poor baby. All four of this creatures legs were broken and he just sat and couldn't move. I asked the man why if this is a part of life did you look so disappointed when I walked up. His response...."I was a little upset that it wasn't a 5-point. I need another one to hang on my wall."

OK, so living where we have lived now for almost 2 years and knowing that you are a red-neck if you live in a town that advertises car sales by luring you with a "we will also include a Marlin Model 336 deer hunting gun if you buy a car from us" slogan, I knew that this man was disappointed now because I had not hit a bigger dear with antlers.

SOOOOO, after recovering from this comment the man tells me he has a shot gun in the truck but that he knows that he cannot shoot it legally inside city limits (definition of city limits in Valdosta is that there are a few more houses, a few less trees, and more paved roads than dirt roads). So we call the cops. The cop pulls up about 20 minutes later and gets out his rifle from the car and he says you may not want to watch. Right-O I did not want to watch, but I am not hearing impaired so I do hear it. As, I walk away the man in the truck asks, "Would it be OK if I took him home for supper?" The cop says, "Sure, there is no use in letting good deer meat go to waste. If I wasn't in this cop car I would have thrown him in the bed of my own truck."

So, needless to say---life is very different depending on where you live. I had to comfort myself by knowing that I fed a family dinner last night with that deer that took the hit from my SUV. Poor thing.

I was fine, the car surprisingly had no damage that I could see and a family got fed.

So, I hit my first deer.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I am blessed by the millions that are serving and have served. Here is an Aggie that lost his life for his service very recently. He was in the Corps with Dave, same outfit (C-2) and was Class of '04.

Please take a moment to read, remember and honor these amazing people who keep us safe.

To All,

Many of you may already be aware, but for those of you who have not heard I have some sad news. Tim Cunningham, C-2 Class of 2004, was killed in Iraq last week. He was one of two Aggies who were lost. Details concerning his death can be found by going to the following links.

Details concerning services can be found at:

While his time with us was relatively short, before pursuing his goal of attending West Point, I remember Tim well and count myself lucky to have known him. I know you will all join with me in keeping his family in your thoughts and prayers. My best regards to all.


Ben Arcuni '02

P.S. - I intended this message for the classes of '01 through '05 (those I felt may have known him). My email list for those classes is fairly complete but there are gaps. If you notice emails that are missing please pass along the word to those I have missed, and anyone else you feel would want to know. Thanks.

It is hard to make this seem real. We must win this battle for the sake of those who have been lost.

Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God, Which must always come to pass.

He hoped his shoes were shining.Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now,soldier.How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?To My Church have you been true?

"The soldier squared his shoulders and said,"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.

Because those of us who carry guns,Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,And at times my talk was tough.

And sometimes I've been violent,Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,That wasn't mine to keep....

Though I worked a lot of overtime.When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,Though at times I shook with fear.

And sometimes, God, forgive me,I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,Among the people here.

They never wanted me around,Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord.It needn't be so grand.

I never expected or had too much,But if you don’t, I’ll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne,Where the saints had often trod.

As the soldier waited quietly,For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now,soldier you’ve borne your burdens well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven’s streets; you’ve done your time in Hell."

- Author Unknown -

Freedom does not come free.