That's NOT My Mama

You've seen this picture here and here before on my blog.

It's part of our history here in Houston and one thing I always look forward to seeing when we head downtown to an Astros game or whatnot.

So you can imagine my dismay when we headed to the Astros game Saturday night. I glanced to my left and let out an audible gasp. I scared the family, it was so loud.

Then I hear the words "That's NOT my Mama" uttered. I was so sad.

They painted her.

*I apologize for the quality of the picture. Big D was traveling fast and I had to snap it quick in the midst of my despair.


Photo Contest

Voting for photos begins today at Company Girl. The winners will have their photos published in a beautiful coffee table style book about friendship. My friend, forgetfulone, has two photos I'd love you to vote for: one of her daughter and her two friends waiting to get makeovers and one of Bubba's Sis, Forgetfulone, Kris, and me (blog/facebook/real life friends) when we met for the first time. They are numbers 310 and 311. Thank you for helping out my friend!


I Want These Chairs!

Last week, Big D was on vacation. We couldn't go on a big trip, but it was a nice week. On Wednesday, we drove to Waco to tour the Dr Pepper Museum (more on that later). Going back home, we drove through College Station to eat at Rosa's Cafe. Big D has eaten there before during his travels and wanted to share with us.

It was yummy food! But, I fell in love with the decor. Especially these chairs.
Big D found it all gaudy. What does he know? Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I'll be able to decorate our dining room like that. Sigh. It's hard to be me sometimes. ;)


Camera Critters #63

Playing with the laser is one of the things that Elvis loves to do.

It's hard work.

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I Heart Faces - Sepia Edition

Sibling Love


Camera Critters #62

All three of those robes used to be mine. But, as each boy came into my life, he stole my robe.

Of course, the critters probably would have left them alone if I would have picked them up off the floor....

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So Many Books

So Little Time...

You can't tell, but the books are stacked two deep. Thank goodness it's summer so I can get busy on my reading!

And I need to stop buying/borrowing books until I catch up!

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Slap of Reality

Friday morning, as I was "whining" about Bear leaving me for another school, a mother I personally know was giving anything to have her oldest son just be alive.

When Lamb was in 1st grade, there was a sweet little boy who stumbled when he walked. Sometimes he'd fall for no apparent reason. As the school year went on & everyone got to know him & his family better, we learned that he had several disabilities. He would not live past his early twenties.

By the end of 2nd grade, he was in a wheelchair full time. His leg muscles ceased to work and there were times that his arms were too tired to function. Still, he remained cheerful & upbeat. He was embarrassed to have to ask for help and rarely complained of discomfort. If he did, you knew he meant it.

His mom would speak to the class while he was at a special class about what his disabilities were and to answer any questions. She only had to do that for a couple of years. Everyone knew him and everyone loved him. They accepted him.

When I became a faculty member, he was in 4th grade. I was fortunate enough to work with him & his best friend. I was able to get to know him & his mom better. As all children do, he moved on to his different schools. In his first year of high school, he became involved with the tech side of drama. The tech teacher really took him under his wing and helped tremendously.

Last Thursday, they were a family of five: two parents who loved their kids, the older brother who was Lamb's age, and two younger siblings. The mother is battling cancer while still doing everything possible to ease the comfort of her oldest and be there for the two youngest.

Last Friday, while I was sad, she was grieving. That sweet 15 yr. old boy passed away. He had been in the hospital for awhile. Complications from a surgery caused his heart to start to fail. Ever the sweet boy, he told his mother he would do it again in a heartbeat. Because the pain was gone. What a gift he gave the mother who was questioning the decision for the surgery.

And a special shout out to the wrestler, The Undertaker. The boy is a huge wrestling fan. I'm not sure how, but he ended up talking to The Undertaker on the phone for hours. The wrestler prayed with him, laughed with him, and listened. He's now all right in my book.

Yes, I'm still sad that our lives have changed. But I am so very grateful that I have a son who will come home to me at the end of the day.

Godspeed, Sweet Boy. I know you are running, jumping, dancing with the angels.


A Day of Good-Byes

The last day of school is always a bittersweet day for me. In my department, we tend to work with the kids all through out their elementary years. I always tend to form an emotional attachment to most of them.

There was the boy who reminded me of Bear. If I could have adopted him, I would. He had no reason being in our department, but because of emotional issues, he was.

There was the sweet girl who was so thoughtful and caring. She always remembered our birthdays. She would bring back gifts when she went on vacation. She even came back to the school this year to give us a Christmas treat.

And this year, oh this year. There's my boy who has autism. I have worked on & off with him since kindergarten. Always quick with a smile, offering his snack & chair to me. Some days I could get him to work hard and other days I had to give him a hard time about his work. I about lost it when saying good-bye, he looked me in the eye (and if you know anything about autism, you know that's huge) and told me that he'd miss me. I know that those are just words to him. But, I also know that that part of him that is aware, meant those words. He will be missed maybe a tad bit more than the other kids who have passed in and out of my life.

There was also a sweet girl I did not service. She was quirky, punky, but oh so caring. It never mattered to her if she was partnered with one of my kids. And she made them feel like they were equal partners. She never excluded any of them.

This year I also had to say good-bye to a special friend of mine. We were partners in crime when I first started working at the school. We worked side by side for three years until she moved into the general ed. side. She is a passionate teacher and Bear was lucky to have her in 4th grade. She has a new baby now and will stay home with him. It's not a forever good-bye as we will always be friends. But, it will be sad to not see her in the hallways next year.

Bear's 5th grade teacher is also moving on to bigger pastures. I'm not sure what it is about Bear that makes all his teachers leave. ;) His kindergarten teacher is the only teacher who remains. He was extremely quiet in her class. Maybe that's why.

The hardest good-bye was to my Bear. It was hard when Lamb left, but I knew I had many years left with Bear. It's been the two of us for four years now. Yes, yes, I know I live with him. I know I see him every day. But, I still get choked up thinking about not seeing him in the hallways. Not being a part of his world: knowing his curriculum, knowing his students, just knowing what exactly is going on, seeing him grow & thrive. We are close and part of the reason we are close is because when he talks to me, I know who & what he is talking about. I don't want to lose that. So, I'll have to work extra hard to remain part of his world.A hard day, indeed.

And then there is this morning. Bear has a wicked headache. He's laying on the couch and asked me to tuck him in with his blanket. Maybe things won't change too first.


My Boy and His Teacher

I believe I have told you how special Bear's teacher is here and here. She is still full of clever ideas. Right now, for their math, they are running a coffee & tea shop. Teachers send in their orders and their drink is hand delivered to them. The prices are reasonable and the drinks delicious. They've been opened for business for about a week now and have raised almost $200. All proceeds will be donated to a children's charity.

What I failed to mention to ya'll is that not only is she our school's Teacher of the Year but also our district's Teacher of the Year. Up next is the Regional level. She is so humble that she doesn't like to be called TotY. She thinks all teachers are deserving of that title. True, true. But, she earned it fair and square.

Another reason why she deserves the title is this video.
I'm really not sure how it came about. All I know is that she asked if it'd be ok and if she could pick him up for rehearsals. Any quiet time at home without Bear is fine by me! ;) Seriously, they worked hard and had loads of fun together.

Today was the 5th grade Awards Ceremony (proud mama alert: My boy received recognition for Drama Club, Safety Patrol, & Student Council. He also received the Presidential Excellence award for his all A's this year, PE Fitness & Sportsmanship only given to one boy and one girl, and was a runner up for the American Legion award) and at the end the song "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts was played. The teachers walked around hugging their students. When she got to Bear, his teacher pulled him in her arms for a dance. She says that she'll remember all her students and wish for them. Bear has been blessed with some WONDERFUL teachers. He will also remember each of them.

Enjoy the video, I'm sorry about the fuzziness! I think they can take their act to Dancing with the Stars!