Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I got this in email.

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring..
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean..
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's mom like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?

1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball..
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?

1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long..

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

How do you think your kiddos would answer these?

Saturday, March 20, 2010


At our church, we have a program for mothers of preschoolers called MOPS. Do we have such a thing for teenagers? No, so I am starting MOAT - Mother of a teenager. There will be a girl and boy group as those of you know teen boys and girls and completely different creatures.

I am looking forward to this time. There is so much in store for the two of us.

Below are the pictures are a couple pictures of Caitlin on her birthday.
Cait and her friend most of the evening laughing at things on their cell phones.

Watch out world. Here she comes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Day 3 of Spring Break was a great day. Mom took James for a haircut and then took him to visit the new Harley Davidson store. James loves motorcycles. If you ask him when he is getting one, he will respond, "When I am 18 and have my own money." I love programming.

If you are new to this blog, you are new to my St. Patrick's Day story. Click on over for a minute and then come right back. Don't worry. I'll still be here when you get back.

See. I told you I wasn't going anywhere. So, you will notice that last year at this time, my aunt was recovering from hip surgery. That went very well. This year, however, she is in the hospital again with Myasthenia Gravis. The treatment worked the first time she had an episode last summer, but returned this month. We are hoping she can come home soon. If you jumped over to my St. Patrick's Day story, you will see we are just adding more to the "hardship" part of it.

Because my aunt was in the hospital this March 17th, we didn't do anything for St. Patrick's Day this year as this is her big deal, you won't catch me making corned beef or cabbage in this house anytime soon. Sorry Auntie.

Today my brother and I posted the same Irish quote on Facebook at the exact same time. Freaky, huh? Here it is:

May those that love us, love us. And, those that don’t love us, May God turn their hearts. And if He doesn’t turn their hearts, May He turn their ankles… So we will know them by their limping.

It was a pretty day outside, but I kept procrastinating and doing "one more thing" until it was too late. It was becoming the time to wait for my mom to bring James home. The day wasn't a total waste though. The kitchen got cleaned and I got the last page of my art journal for Marit's class completed. (BTW - If you are interested, she is having that class again in May.)

We had to use some technique from one or more of the other lessons for the last page of our journal. I decided to do some lettering. I also scanned a drawing of mine from another journal and blew it up and then traced it onto this page and painted it. If you click on the image, you can read the journaling.

Well, I hope you all had an excellent St. Patrick's Day. Enjoy the rest of your spring break if you're on it. I am hoping to do something fun tomorrow with the kids. What that is I don't know yet.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On a Rainy Day

You can get a lot done.

No, I didn't do laundry or organize my closet, but I did cross off two items off my art journal list. I have one more page left to do plus a cover. When I finish it all, I will show you.

Here is a page that we were supposed to add texture with gesso. It is textured, but hard to see in the picture.

The second one is using a picture that Rieni took of daisy. I painted over the photo. Then I drew the notebook paper for the quote and finished with some journaling.

Spring Break Birthdays!

My children have been blessed or cursed depending on your point of view with having birthdays on during spring break. It's a blessing because in our schools, if you give an invitation to one kid in your class (elementary) then you have to give one to everyone. My thought is if there is someone in your class who is just a total turkey, why should you have to invite them? Having a birthday during spring break means you don't have birthday parties with classmates so you don't have to invite someone you don't want to your party. This is also a curse. You don't have birthday parties so no one comes to your birthday.

Another good thing about spring break birthdays is presents can be things like trips to North Carolina like we did one year for Caitlin. We are going to try to go Disney next year.

We will be having Caitlin's birthday at a local restaurant with some friends.

Sunday was James birthday and we had a little friend over. She is the cutest little girl. Note the cat ears. (She hasn't taken them off since Halloween.)

He opened presents.

Yay! Spiderman!

Little Friend had to help. She said, "I know how to open it."

Little Friend recently came home from school and told her mom that she and another friend were going to marry James together when they got older. I figured this is girls being girls until last night.

As we went through our bedtime routine, began crying. I asked him what the matter was and he cried, "Little Friend! I...miss...LITTTTLLLE FRIEEEND." And so it begins.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Look what we found.

We (meaning Gary) got our garage cleaned out today. What a surprise. We found a little cowboy soccer player hiding in there.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I Love Winning

I just won this:

It was for a post I did on March 1st. You can read it here.

I guess I have been on my soap box more than a little lately.

Hopefully, spring break will mellow me out a little. LOL

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

State of the Union

...or SOU for short. A term that sends a shiver down the backs of veteran teachers from my school and can cause a novice teacher to curl up in a ball under her desk.

No we are not talking about the annual speech that the U.S. President is required to give to the nation to assure that the we aren't all going to hell in a hand basket. I am talking about the quarterly report our beloved leader requires us to submit in person that lets him know we are doing what we all said we would do when we signed up to be teachers, which is to teach. Imagine that! They expect us to TEACH.

This report and meeting began as a result of a greenhorn principal finding out in a baptism by fire initiation that not everyone does what they say they are going to do. At the end of our principal's first year, when the state test results came in, I am sure he was amazed to find out that not everyone passed. Unfortunately, his laissez faire attitude toward letting grownups be grownups didn't work. The next year, he was on a mission for "RECOGNIZED" status, and recognized status we would achieve, but not without a few tears. We had this database that we had to fill out including reading levels, previous state test scores, nine week exam scores provided by the district, DNA samples.... Once that was completed each teacher had to sit at a "round table" of administrators and peers to explain what he/she had been doing to help our school reached this holy grail.

No one knew what would happen as we walked into the library. "Don't be nervous. They can smell fear," one well-seasoned teacher whispered to the trembling newbie. One by one we faced the firing squad crying, "I regret that I have one life to give for my students!" Each teacher gave his/her all. As the next group of teachers entered the chamber of doom, they became unhinged seeing the previous group limping out with their egos bruised.

Well...That was more than five year ago and our principal has more than mellowed since then although the districts requirements of him have gotten more stringent. We are still required to sit through that meeting at least twice a year. We still scurry to gather our data to present to that same round table group. But the administrators have gotten smarter. Now they feed us before they chop off our heads. :-)

3/10/10 - 8:10 p.m. update: We all returned unscathed.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mrs Victory?....

I never know what is going to follow that. Today was no exception.

While learning about ecosystems, we each had to make a personal food chain. Students had to list the elements of a meal and then break that down to the smallest origin, which eventually leads us to the ultimate energy source - the sun.

See the example below:

So my students started writing down a typical meal, and I started hearing the scariest things (mind you these are gifted students.)...

Random Student: Mrs. Victory, what is a cheeseburger made up of?

Mrs. Victory: Ummm. What? (pausing to let the question truly sink in - realizing that he wants to know what hamburger patty is made of) BEEF.

Various Students: Do you need milk to make French fries? (This one heard me say that you need milk to make mashed potatoes.) What about strawberries...lemons...oranges?

Mrs Victory (in her head): Are you kidding me?

Mrs Victory: Look it up.

Then it hit me, most kids don't watch their moms make their food. Many moms (me included until recently) don't even cook from scratch. Food comes from the freezer section or from a box with a smiling hand on it. Even worse, some probably eat a lot of take away.

My kids need a good home economics class...Anyone interested?

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Here's another page from Marit's Let It Loose workshop. I had been holding on to the lady and the flower and cookie (smiley face) for quite some time. I knew I would use them, but never planned to put them together.

After I combined the three elements, it made me think of JOY which was another word I had been saving from my magazines.

It's all just justification for my collecting habit. Don't worry, you won't see me on an episode of "Hoarders."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Feelin' Icky

I have the song "Feelin' Groovy"* running through my head. Only, I am thinking "I don't feel groovy, not even a little bit." In fact, I am feeling quite icky.

*BTW Feelin' Groovy is really the "Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge Song."

After having kidney stones removed mid February, I thought I would be up and running in just a few days. On the contrary, I continue to have pain most days, not from the stones, but from the stint that remains until the doctor removes it (Monday??? One can hope.) Regardless, I have become accustomed to this annoyance - good meds get me through. The new problem is a cold, something I haven't had in a very long time.

I work very hard to keep my hands clean at school even though I shake hands, hug or high five each and everyone of my students every morning and afternoon. I teach them to wash their hands often - doesn't always work, especially when you have one or two who still love to pick their noses. Getting a cold is considered a work hazard. I have come to accept this. But it is hard to believe after surviving numerous nose-pickers and children with common colds and flu, I have now gotten a full on, keep-me-awake-at-night, head cold. To top it all off, I didn't get it from my rugrats at school. I got it from my own darling son who decided one day that my Sprite bottle was his and took a swig and put it back for me to enjoy.

At first, I was in denial. "Mommies are strong and immune to their kiddo's cooties." WRONG! Obviously, James brought home a unique strain of virus that this mom can't avoid.

So I am wide awake at 1 AM and 3 AM and now 5 AM. there comes a point where I just give up and break out the laptop and see what the rest of my cyberbuddies are up to. That would be simple enough, but I have never been known to be simple.

Instead, I am singing "Feelin' Groovy" in my head trying to make the song fit my situation. The following are the results:

Slow down, you movin' too fast
You gonna have to take a nap
Just kickin' off the winter yuckies
This isn't fun. You're
Feelin' icky

Hello girl!
Whatcha doin'?
You're gonna learn to do some chillin'
Don'tcha want to feel much better
You Be You Be
Feelin' Icky

Got no time to rest
Have so much to do
Can't get anything done when you don't get no sleep
Let the sandman come down and give you relief
Next thing ya know
All is groovy

And now a little somethin' to pick you all up. Watch and listen and then go out and have a groovy day.

PEGGY - I am having a hard time importing my to this new widget...until then, I have one song for you just to let you know I heard you.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How Cool Is This?

How do they know? How do they do it? What am I talking about?

Well, this morning I stumbled upon a neat online music station called Jango that is playing so many of my favorite songs.

How'd I find it? I was looking for some lyrics for "Kick" by INXS and there was a player button at the top of the page so I clicked - something I would rarely do because of viruses. Fortunately, I was greeted by It reminds me of, which is no longer available to my international friends. Jango allows me to pick a band like INXS and then it starts pulling other performers from the same genre and makes a "radio station" for me to listen to during the day - well not school days. I can add other groups to the list or I can make another station based on other genres.

I have been sitting here listening to INXS, Midnight Oil, The Power Station (Bang a gong), Duran Duran, and eww Culture Club (I could do without Karma Chameleon) and so on.

It seems like a nice way to get some music to play in the background when I am working online. Will it replace my Playlist? No, I have gathered too many fun songs on there and I don't feel like taking the time to rebuild it on an international friendly site. (Sorry Peggy, et al.)

Check it out. If you are looking for my Jango playlist, I'm McMGrad89 and my current list is titled MommyVictory's INXS etc. It looks like internationals can use it as I saw a guy from the Netherlands on there.

Happy music listening.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Soap Box Time

Okay, so it is common practice since No Child Left Behind for schools to give yearly assessments in the areas of reading, and math and in certain grade levels, writing and science.

Yesterday was one of those tests. Since there is an issue of confidentiality and security I shall not name the specific brand of test students took, but the subject was writing.

The question I present to all of my writer friends is this, Do you write in a vacuum - void of any inspiration? Where does the spark come from when you want to or even need to write about a given topic.

The guidelines for this particular test requires that all words, posters, etc. must be covered or removed before the students begin writing. Heaven forbid they see a poster that says, "You Can Do It" or "Reach for the Stars." What about that map of the United States of America that has in two inch letters the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA? I hope by now, fourth graders know the country where they live and how to spell it.

Don't get me wrong, I understand removing the reminders for the writing process or the 100 words on the word wall, but the days of the week? REALLY? What has become of this system.

These are the days that make wonder where will the education system lead us.

"And that's all I have to say about that."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Who Am I?

Here's a new canvas from my Let It Loose art journal class. I was playing with fonts while making this acrostic. I have been having fun with this class, even though my schedule and recovery* have kept me from being as productive as possible.

The background was created with fluid chalk pads that I got from Stampin' Up eons ago, but they don't sell anymore. I found similar ones here. I wish I could get that paint effect on my kitchen walls.

*Recovering from the surgical removal of two kidney stones three weeks ago.
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