Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

I originally started this blog in order to document my life. Well, here lately, it's been passing right before my eyes so quickly that I can't keep up with it!

Today, Chelcie, Tyler Rosenbaum, and Jamie brought lunch to me at school. We had a great time looking at the scrapbook Tyler's mom made for my third grade class the year I had him in my class.

Yesterday, I had a Reading Dept. meeting with our new Reading supervisor. I did not enjoy the meeting at all. Some people were talking when she wanted to talk, so she just looked at them and said, "Is everybody listening?" Ugh! So condescending! I did not feel like we were on the same page at all. I stopped by to see Chelcie for a minute while I picked up some stuff I had left in the Target bag that went to her dorm room by accident.

Now that RUSH is over, life can level out a little bit! She seems okay with not pledging a sorority. I'm so relieved and glad it's over!

Drew has a cross country meet at Victor Ashe Park on Saturday. I hear he's running really well, so I'm excited about watching him run.

Monday was our de-briefing meeting on Two Rivers. We had a little bump in the road with Lynn Hill's assistant principal, Barbara Thompson, feeling "attacked" because a young woman shared her brother's story. He died of a drug overdose last January. I believe we addressed the issue and now we can put it to rest...I hope!

Last Thursday, a young man shot and killed another young man in the cafeteria at Central High School. I don't think it was coincidence that this tragedy happened two days after our event at Two Rivers Pavillion.

Tomorrow, I have a meeting at the Boy Scout headquarters. They were supposed to send directions, but I have not received them yet.

Saturday, Suzanne Stelling and I headed down to Market Square to spend a little time with Nikki and Angela, our proteges! While I was there I got a call from Chelcie that she had been cut from Chi Omega.

Last Sunday, I went to NorthStar with Sam. Drew went to WestLake, Chelcie stayed at UT, Addie spent the night with Morgan and Tom said he had work to do, but he "surprised" me by showing up at church. Chelcie was feeling pretty down in the dumps, so I picked her up and took her to Jason's Deli. We saw Greta Schwall there with her 3 boys!

Friday was our 22nd Anniversary, so we cashed in a gift card at Bravo. We had dinner early because Tom worked the concession stand at the Bearden game.

I know I'm forgetting to record so many things that happened this week, but I thought I'd better get something down before I forgot what's left!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

On the Gerbil Wheel!

Round and round we go! Life has picked up its pace significantly since school has started. So much to blog and so little time. It frustrates me not to be able to share the details and paint word pictures like I want to, but I'll have to settle for getting the moments typed and worry about the details later.

Starting with today and working backward-School has been wonderful! We've had the best start ever for the beginning of the year! My classes are amazing and I love my students! We're going to go a long way this year. The big news of the day was a shooting at Central High School. Apparently, a student shot another student at point-blank range and the student died. Given that just a few weeks ago we had a shooting at a local church, this is hitting very close to home! After school, I went to Sam's parent meeting at Lotts and learned all about how to be successful in first grade. Sam and I are really going to have to buckle down and study! After the meeting, I went by Kroger to pick up a card for Tom (tomorrow's our 22 anniversary). Both of us almost forgot it entirely. Sad, I know, but life gets busy. Then I met Addie, Sam and Tom at Buddy's for a little dinner before heading home to clean the filthy house. Too bad I don't have a wife to stay home and clean for me! Addie asked an interesting question today. She wanted to know if there were more people in the world or more words in the world. I have no idea!

Yesterday, I met with our county mayor, Mike Ragsdale and his assistant, Mary. Both of them were so, so nice and I very much enjoyed my time with them. Mayor Ragsdale gave me $1,000 for Reach Them and pledged his full support. I wasn't nervous about meeting with him. I guess I was just so tired that I was numb! After our meeting, I picked up Chelcie and Jamie at UT and brought them "home" to Moe's for dinner. We stopped by the house and picked up Addie and Sam. Chelcie was disappointed to see that "her" room had been invaded by Drew. She's tired, stressed, and under a lot of pressure due to Rush. I pray all goes well for her. It's a painful process! The Longs met us at Moe's then I took the girls back to the dorm and managed to get back home by 9. Sam and Addie got to bed late and I couldn't sleep. I did see a Jamacan runner break a world record in the 200 at the Olympics.

Tuesday was our pre-event at Two Rivers and I wish I could post an entry just documenting the details surrounding that night, but I don't have time right now. Our team was amazing! We had people working very hard on their specific area. We had direction signs this year that added a lot of "class" to drive in to the Pavilion. Our superintendent came and supported us, along with Karen Carson, Rodney Russell, and several other "dignitaries." I'm gradually overcoming my feelings of intimidation. I figure if God can use me, I'll just have to let Him do the talking and quit focusing so much on myself. Cavanaugh did a fabulous job on his song! Chris Bruce shared a moving tribute to his father, Ken, and Sarah Gore's video was pretty difficult to watch. Scott Cagle was amazing as always and Bill Williams was the icing on the cake! All went exceptionally well. Ed Knowling had a bird land on him, just in case he was starting to wonder...He also worked his behind off, moving tables, chairs, podium, setting up sound, video, dvd, CDs, powerpoint and every other detail that needed attention. I have no idea how he did it all! Anderson had the tables looking sensational and Laurie was the team captain who organized it all. Summer Tucker had goody bags stacked 8 high in the back of her car and door prizes that were so visually appealing, the bags were gifts themselves! Everyone made it happen. Travis and Chick-fil-A took care of all the food without a single problem. I was in awe! Still am! My family showed up to support me-Tom, Drew, Mom, Dad, Lori, and Katie and Ricky! Dean even made it! It was a special night for a special purpose! I hope I'll get some pictures to post here. the moment, I don't even remember Monday! Ah, yes, here it comes! I had Addie's parent meeting at Lotts. I was a little bit late to it though because I went to APS to pick up t-shirts and signs. Jack and Sue have been amazing! I am grateful for their generosity and friendship! I picked up Koko's for dinner for Drew, Addie, Sam and me. We're so busy, there's hardly any time to breathe! It's not good to be this busy, but we're doing the best we can to spend time together.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What a Week!

Let's see...where to begin? Sam started first grade this week. Addie moved on up to third grade. My "baby Drew" is a SENIOR, and Chelcie Brooke starts college! I initiated a whole new group of eighth graders.

Last weekend, Tom and I ran away from home and rode bikes all around downtown Knoxville. We ate dinner on Market Square and spent a little time with my protege, Angela Gonda. She's an amazing girl - a Furman grad, and a new employee of KARM.

Sunday, we went to the late service at NorthStar and headed out for a quick lunch at Jason's with the Mayos. Claire and Rose are all grown up beautiful young ladies!

Tonight, Chelcie, Addie, and Sam and I ate at Moe's for the last time for a while. Chelcie moves into the dorm tomorrow. I don't think it has hit me yet that she's really moving away, not going on a vacation. Sure, it's only nine miles, but it's a new chapter of her life. I'm proud of her and she's ready. Good things are ahead for my #1 daughter!

Addie wants to run Cross Country this year for Lotts. She's also looking at playing soccer, and participating in Girl Scouts. She'll be a busy girl! Sam's sticking with soccer, but he would also like to join cub scouts too.

This morning, our breakfast club met at Panera Bread. I still love our "downtime" together.

Not being divided into teams at school has added a little tension because Karen Peterman feels the need to patrol the halls between classes and take all the backpacks, books, and notebooks that the kids have left behind. One kid even missed the bus because she was looking for her backpack that Sherry had told her to put on the top shelf above the lockers. Turns out, Karen had taken it and put it in the teachers' workroom.

I had the opportunity to talk to Dr. McIntyre's assistant in the hopes of meeting him soon. I have a meeting scheduled with Mayor Ragsdale next Wednesday afternoon.

The Young Life Table Host banquet was Tuesday night. Calhoun's catered the event and it was very tasty! I'm grateful for Young Life and the impact it has had on me, my husband, and my daughter. Now if only it could reach out and pull in my son.

More too!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

All Work and No Play Makes Amy A Tired Woman!

I really wanted to add pictures to this entry, but I left my camera in the car. Life's getting really busy these days so I'm going to try to take a look back at the past few days and get life documented. I'll come back and add some photos later...I hope!

Today's highlight was a big one for me. I had a meeting with the Mayor of Knoxville. Yeah, I know, not a big deal, right? Well, it was to me and let me tell you, he is such a nice man that he immediately put me at ease so I could relax and share our dream.

Incredibly, he agreed to everything I asked him to do for us. He understood the story of Reach Them to Teach Them and shares our passion for reaching young people. Looking back on it now, I realize I probably talked too much and too fast, but time was limited and I wanted to give him the full picture as best I could. It surprised me to hear that he had already heard of Reach Them to Teach Them! To God be the glory!

On the the rest of the day...I ate at Moe's twice today-once with Sherry, Angel and Vicky, and once with Chelcie, Kelli, Addie, and Sam. Today was Cassie's last day in town before heading to Auburn. The "Girls" were hysterical, crying uncontrollably because it hit them for the first time that they would never again be the same as they were those four special years of high school. Addie had soccer practice with Coach Blake, but, as it often the case, grown-up politics have gotten in the way of kids learning and having fun.

I tried my best to work at school, but didn't have much success. I had a Reading Dept. meeting and John Martin brought a stopwatch to hold me to my assurance of a 15 minute meeting. I made it!

Phil taught us a little more about school fusion, and I may have my class site up and running by the second week of school, we'll just have to see...

Yesterday's highlight was meeting my protege, Angela Gonda. She is one of Knoxville's Fellows and a recent graduate of Furman University. She is an amazing young lady! I hope that I will be of some help to her as she seeks to find her place in the city. I also had lunch with Nancy Meyer at Aubrey's because we had a system-wide meeting at Holston Middle School. We ran into Margo Dalimonte and she told us that Mallory was getting married!

Tuesday, I spent most of the day working in my classroom. We had a pre-event meeting at PetSafe but before I headed to the meeting, I stopped by American Print Solutions to pick up our new business cards. Our meeting went very well. I was excited to see Hugh Nystrom at the table with his. I believe his experience and contacts will be a tremendous asset to our team. Things are falling into place, but there is still so much to do! Sam and I went to Lotts to check out the class postings. He is in Ms. Duggan's class and Addie is in Mrs. Savage's class. We're already praying for a great year!

Monday was our first "official" day back at school and we spent most of it in meetings. We looked at "data" and welcomed many new folks to our school. Kevin Fowler is our new Social Studies teacher and I think he's going to fit in very well with our 8th grade team.

It's been a wild and crazy week, but I think I've hit the highlights. Tomorrow morning, the Breakfast Bunch is meeting at Panera at 7:00. Gone are the days that Sherry and I could walk and meet there at 8:00. It's time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Super Quick Update

Yes, it's official! My life is now spinning out of control! The lazy, hazy days of summer are a thing of the past and it's only August 2! It's times like these that I miss the after Labor Day start of school and the thought of having a summer that lasted through June, July, and August. I'm going to recap the week to the best of a my very limited memory.

Last Saturday, Addie headed to Hilton Head with Lori, Mom and Dad, and Natalie. Courtney and a friend went along too. Katie was due to join them on Tuesday with her crew. Sam had his heart set on spending his time without Addie with his BFF, Evan Vaughn, but when I called Evan to see if he could be rented out for week, his mom said that they were in the car on their way to Destin! Say it isn't so!

Saturday was a rainy, laid back day. Chelcie and I went dorm room shopping and had a good time getting her all stocked up for her first year of college. We had lunch together at Lenny's and she pointed out that the cashier was a guy she had gone to Walmart with her sophomore year. I mentioned it to him and she got embarrased. I also worked on getting things together for the first annual Reach Them Retreat that would take place on Sunday.

Sunday, Hallerin Hill spoke at NorthStar and did an incredible job sharing the message that "Anything is Possible...with God." It was also the last Sunday of WestLake Church's existence as they voted to be turned over to First Baptist Concord. I would have liked to have been there for the last Sunday, but had committed to NorthStar and I really wanted to hear Hallerin speak.

Right after church, Chris Ellis and I followed Ed to the lakehouse. Unfortunately, we got a late start and didn't get there before Theresa and Dan. Mardee Miller got her car off in a ditch and did some minor body damage to it. It was hot in the house, but we had a decent turnout. Dan, Hallerin, Dave, Tina, David, Chris, Theresa, Mardee, Jo, Jack, Sue, and I spent time dreaming and working on future plans.

Monday started early with my "School Fusion" inservice at 8:00. I met Angel and Sherry for lunch before heading home to change clothes. I had a pre-event meeting at PetSafe at 5:00. Laurie is doing a great job leading us and she had it organized and ready to roll!

Tuesday, Tom went to ECS with me for the first time. We've got our work cut out for her us. I took Sam to school with me and he helped me put up my quotes and I enjoyed his company! He's so sweet and funny! Later, Chelcie came over to join us and the three of us enjoyed lunch at Jason's deli. Addie got home about 11:30, and went straighted to bed! It's great to have her home!

Wednesday, I had a data team meeting at 8, so Sherry picked me up at 7:30. We looked at charts and graphs for about 3 hours before heading to Regas for lunch. Then I picked up the kids plus Taylor and we worked some more at WVMS for a while.

Thursday morning, I tutored Taylor Frizen at 9:00 while her mom took Addie and Sam out for breakfast and to the library. When they got back, we let the kids play for a while and Anita and I spent some time talking and getting to know each other. At 12:30, I met Anthony and Ingrid Gee on Market Square to discuss "Cherries for Life." Another dreamer... When I got home, Taylor had come back over to hang out and spend the night, so I took the girls and Sam to WVMS to play a little. Taylor was a huge help in the classroom by cleaning all my student desks and organizing my cabinets. At 5:00, Anthony, Scott and I met to discuss programming at NorthStar. Our biggest challenge now is tracking down Chris Blue or another talented young person who can sing!

Friday morning, I stopped by Panera to spend a little time with Suzanne and Sherry before heading to American Book Co. to pick out books for pre-event goody bags. Because I didn't want Tom and the kids to leave for Atlanta before I could say good-bye, I left the books and raced home to see them off. I took Taylor back home and traded kisses and hugs with the kids. Once they were on their way, I jumped back in the car and headed to WillowBrook (40 minutes late with my gas light on) to meet with Jo Bruce and Sara Gore. I had a wonderful time getting to know Sara and sharing the "dream." I also had the opportunity to meet Chris Bruce. What a kind hearted young man! Both Sara and Chris will have powerful stories to share at the pre-event this year. As I left WillowBrook, I called Anderson to let her know I was going to be pushing the limit to make it to the News-Sentinel in time for our 1:00 meeting. She met me there and we made it by 1:05. Mary Lyle is in charge of our account and they agreed to partner with us again this year. It was a very successful meeting and we left in awe of God who is the One who opens doors and allows us these incredible opportunities to bring this message to a larger audience. When I finally got back home, I took a shower and went computer shopping to get a lap top of Chelcie. Ed helped me weed through the sales pitches and find good computers, but we ended up getting her exactly what she wanted- a macbook with a "free" printer and "free" Ipod Touch. I spend $1300 and will be eating beans and rice by the end of the month, but I'm learning to trust God in the area of my finances and He proving Himself faithful in all things, just like He said He would.

Saturday morning, Sherry and I walked and solved all the problems of the world. Now I need to spend the day getting a handle on all that is going on with Reach Them before Tom and the kids come back later today. Whew! What a ride!