Shannon Falls, August 2012

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in south MS=HOT (always)

This year we had a rather low-key Christmas (and a hot one! It's been 75 degrees, and it's not changing any time soon!). My folks went out to CA to spend the holiday with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. David is so funny; he just can't resist giving me present early. Christmas morning was calm, then we had lunch with the Olszewski's (pronounce Ole-chef-ski; fun, huh?). Then we headed to Mobile to see his mom and the rest of the Ainsworth crew. We got home about 8 and crashed not long after. We had the Young side gettogether on the 26th, but we won't do the Holloway family Christmas until Jan. 3 (because of work schedules and such). I wanted to post some pics from our Christmas. David got me lots of little items to help me relax and I got him stuff he had mentioned off and on he'd like to have.

David's big gift was his Bama room; he has all this great stuff that I've kept him from putting up, so I framed his magazines and got a shelf and put all his knick-knacks up/around the office.

My gift was this table, mirror, and lamp combo for our entry. I love it! David also got me the pregnancy Willow Tree angel, and his mom got us the family with the newborn figure.

My parents got me more parts to my Willow Tree nativity set. It looks so good on our mantle!

I finally framed our wedding invitation. Erin says I'm nesting already; I must be because I'm playing with decorative stuff all over the house! Curtains, towels, pictures, etc. I can't wait to get Hayden's nursery done. Ugh, but we need EVERYTHING! It has me stressed!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Heat Wave in December (not what you'd think!)

Well, it finally happened. Tyrone has gone into heat (leaving no doubt she's a she!). At first we couldn't figure out what was wrong with her (she wasn't doing the usual stuff I'd heard). So thank goodness for the internet. David started researching, and sure enough, that's what it was! Now on our agenda for the break is a visit to the humane society because we're not going through this every 2-3 weeks! Bless her heart, she looks like she's in pain (all dirty jokes aside, folks), but the internet assures us she's not. Still, we're going to take care of her. We've just been putting it off. No longer!

*I can't believe she's no longer that little! Tyrone's still just as cute. I'll have to get recent pictures up. She hasn't been too bad with the tree, and she loves to laze underneath it. Merry Christmas week, all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby oh baby

Okay, so honestly, I would doubt I were pregnant if I didn't see Hayden each month on the monitor at the drs. office. Why, you ask? Well, no cravings, no sickness, no "normal" pregnancy symptoms. David repeatedly asks me when I'm going to get cravings and send him out for stuff. Seriously?? You want me wake you up in the middle of the night, husband? And send you out for random food? Ummm, yeah right. I've honestly not just ached (yet) for something specific. If/when I do, anything salty usually cures it. Sweets are great, but I'd rather have something salty. But that's the extent of my 'craving'.

My back hurts some, but not too terribly. My energy is better, so I appreciate that boost. And well, other than random RANDOM dreams (like appearing on game shows), nothing is too out of the ordinary. Oh, and besides going to the bathroom ALL the time, I would really wonder if Hayden was going to be here in about 5 months. But I can't wait for Pee-Wee football and other sports seasons and having to learn about action figures and boy cartoons and all that fun stuff!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nix the pink

Yes, all, nix the pink. And purple. And girlie stuff...for now. The ultrasound tech confirmed today that we're having Hayden William, not Madyson Grace. I must admit, I had gotten very attached to the idea of having a daughter, but now David will have his football buddy. I shouldn't have let myself convince myself that 80% was as good as 100%! Hayden's vitals were perfect and the doctor was pleased I only gained 4 pounds this month. About average, she said. Made me feel better after the 8 I gained last month! YIKES! So bring on the elephants and greens and blues and yellows! Hayden is about 11 ounces. Or as the dr. said, not quite a Coke can yet!

Click on the picture to blow it up and see exactly why the tech told us it's Hayden!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Slap on the hand...

Today I received my first "official" reprimand. I made a judgment call in asking the principal to come speak to my classes (because they are the classes from hell--sorry, but they are). Only when he showed up to do so, he put me on the spot and had me call out those students who were giving me trouble. I just wanted him to put the fear of God into them, not take them out! So those I called out he took to call mom and dad who then had to come to the school! Great. He did this with one class last week then hadn't returned, so I figured things were smoothing over. Well, he returned today. I sent 2 boys out. And then while on lunch duty, my assistant principal comes up to me and lets me know how I should have let her deal with them and we didn't have a paper trail and there were all these other steps to go through. All I could say was, "I'm sorry" and "Yes, ma'am." IT SUCKED. Okay, so I screwed up. But did I - a hormonal, pregnant woman - really need to be told that at the beginning of my lunch duty when I still had to stand in front of a cafeteria full of students? At the end of my duty, the principal came in and asked how things had been with the other class he had spoken to last week. I told him better and then apologized for not following proper procedure with everything. He said, "Who's upset? _____?" I replied affirmatively and he told me not to worry about it. We talked a few more minutes and I felt better, but the whole ordeal did not sit well. So from now on I'll either keep my mouth shut or inundate the office with referrals. I hate getting into trouble. And I was doing so well, too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hostess I am not

I have officially decided after Thanksgiving Day that I am not a good hostess. Absolutely not. I freak out over little things (my husband will be nodding his head as he reads this). For example, every time I used the restroom I noticed that my decorative towels had been used. HELLO! They're only to look pretty, not to wipe your hands on! That's why there's one hanging right next to the sink---where you just washed your hands. Anyways. Then even though I probably have the largest, most accessible kitchen, it's also the gathering place. It always has been for the Holloways (and I'm assuming for most families as well). Having extra bodies in that space as I tried to keep food heated, set it out, and simply turn around did not work well. I would clear a space for something, open the oven door, grab the hot food, turn back around, and find 4 or 5 cups in my recently cleared space. So while I'm holding the hot dish (cause counter space was at a premium with all the yummies we had), I'm asking someone, anyone, to please move cups or whatever so I can put down the load weighing me down. *Sigh*

Oh, and my favorite---my dear, dear grandmother. Bless her heart, the woman can fix anything-ANYTHING. I'm serious. She's also an amazing cook. You know, one of those who never measures anything and it always turns out perfectly? That's Grandma. It was just that everything I did she had a better method for doing so. I know she was trying to be helpful, but seriously, let me be an adult hosting an event in my own home. I do know a little! I made one of David's favorite cakes recently and took my grandparents some. While their reaction was that it was very good, my Grandma remarked, "Jamie, you just might get the hang of this baking thing." Really? I might? I mean, did she think I was that bad of a cook? I know she means well, but word choice is key. Bless her heart. That's all I can say.

Overall, Thanksgiving at my house went well, I think. I was a little stressed, yes. Everyone coming to you for everything or wanting you to fix this or that gets to you after a while, especially when you're the last one to do anything because you've been getting everyone what they need or want fixed! Okay, I'm done. It was just very nice to have my house back at the end of the holiday, so David and I could quietly watch tv and enjoy the lights on the Christmas tree. Ahhh, peace.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Week

With having an entire week off from school, I have a list of items I want to get accomplished. Numero Uno was getting the current office straightened up and moved into the second bedroom. I had most of that done by about 9 this morning. I had filing to catch up on, items to put away, and just junk to go through. The room was a disaster because I had gone on a mad hunt for the crib parts that I knew I had packed away somewhere. I had been looking for a good month when I found them accidentally as we pulled out our holiday decorations. They were definitely not where I suspected I had put them! So one crisis solved (because a new set of parts was going to run us about $100--waste of money).

We've also already decorated for Christmas. Outside we still have all our Thanksgiving decorations up since we're hosting my extended family, but inside it's Christmas everywhere! Our tree is up, our nativity is resting peacefully on the mantle, and snowmen abound. We did it Sunday night after church. I think mom and I are going to make some candy this weekend. Yum!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Elephant Stitch

As I pondered how to write this post, you have to realize how goofy it's going to sound. How amazing is it that God would give David the most perfect spouse for him...and all because of an affinity for elephants? See what I mean? You're going, "WHAT??" Back in college at MC I was part of Kissimee, a tribe whose mascot is the elephant. My husband is an avid, no rabid, no head-over-heels Alabama fan. His passion is HUGE. And what is the Crimson Tide's mascot? Why, Big Al, of course! Throughout the years, we have collected a rather large family of elephants. Which is perfect because be believe we've found the nursery bedding we really want for Mady Grace. It's called Elephant Stitch and is pink and brown--a color combination I love! I have some detail stuff for the nursery already if we go with this set---some baskets (2 smaller square ones), a picture frame with 3 separate windows that can separately flip around so you can put 6 pictures in, and I really want to get a brown shelf so we can fill it with all our elephants for our sweet baby girl. David wants to get a massive elephant to fill a corner so Mady Grace can play with it as she grows. Who would have guessed how a love of elephants would so fill our lives. Oh, and Dave says our daughter's first words need to be "ROLL TIDE!" We'll see about that!

To see the bedding we love, check it out here:

Friday, November 21, 2008


Finally! Thanksgiving break is finally here! I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this break. Let's see. We had Labor Day off back in September, then had September 2 off as well for Hurricane Gustav. So in order to make up for that day, we lost one of our two days in early November (10 & 11). Since the very beginning of September, we've only had 1 day off. That's way too low. The kids have been antsy and unreasonable, the teachers are short-tempered, and I have been getting mean. I'm serious. I wrote 3 kids up in 2 days, and another teacher wrote 3 up in one class period!

I'm so thankful for this break. David and I are hosting Thanksgiving for the entire Holloway clan. Are we out of our minds? Probably so! But it should be fun. And everyone's helping chip in. I love getting up and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, then eating and watching football all day long! And spending time with family is (usually) always fun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Future Bama CHEERLEADER!!!

Well, there you have it! We are expecting Madyson Grace. Two doctors said they are 80% sure we have a baby girl on our hands. We'll find out December 10 if that's for certain but I've felt this entire time that Madyson was on her way. She played a little shy, in the breach position for a bit. But boy, oh, boy is she ever active!! She's a mover and groover and I can't wait until I can feel her do all that moving! (I may regret that statement later!) Dr. Sams counted her fingers for us. You really can't put into words seeing your baby on the ultrasound screen. David is thrilled. We're going to have a DAUGHTER!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fingers Crossed

So, fingers crossed. Tuesday we go back to the dr. Hopefully, hopefully, HOPEFULLY we can find out if we're going to meet Madyson Grace or Hayden in May! The anticipation is killer!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Stiff Drink

Whew! Yesterday during second block I was sincerely wishing I wasn't pregnant so I could partake of a stiff drink. Let me explain...I have a 17 year old student in the 8th grade. That's bad enough. His mother barely speaks English (there's a fun phone call). So about 10 minutes into class, my room starts turning into an icebox. I check out the thermostat and it's set on like 62! This has happened once before with students messing with the thermostat. I begin questioning because they know they aren't supposed to touch it. No one will fess up. But this one student's name keeps coming up. I get everyone back on track with work, then when things have calmed down, I approach him. I lean over and only to him say, "_____________, did you mess with the thermostat? Just tell me yes or no and we'll move on." He wouldn't look me in the eye, but kept saying "no" with a grin on his face. I told him, "Just look me in the eye and tell me no. That's all I'm asking." I wasn't upset or frustrated; I just wanted a straight answer. Then he says, "Man, forget you!" The entire class heard it. I froze. Do I let it go or write him up? Then he tacks on, "Whatever!" So I wrote him up, told him he knew the drill, and out he started to go. Apparently, he also dropped the f-bomb on his way out. As he was about to shut the door, he stepped back in and slammed it! I was furious! I threw my pen into a corner, stepped into the hallway, and hollered for him to come back. He refused and kept walking. Teachers were coming out of their rooms to see what was going on. I was shaking. I went back in, phoned the office with this latest development, got everyone studying for their vocabulary test, then stepped back into the hallway to calm down. It took me about 20 minutes to stop shaking and seething. I was so angry!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Taking me back...

Tonight I went to the last home football game for the 8th grade. Wow. That's really all I can say. I found the whole experience quite humorous. It was a little chillier than I thought it might be, so I left at the end of the 3rd quarter. We were up 22-8 over Stone County with 1 minute left in the 3rd quarter, but as I was leaving I heard a great uproar. Stone had run the kick-off back for a touchdown. Uh-oh. I'll have to find how it turns out before class in the morning, so I can prove to my students I really was there (even though about 4 of my students saw me). I teach about 15 football players and they've been begging me all season to come. Tonight was my last opportunity so I left my fatigue at home and went anyway. I'm glad I did; I just really had to remember that jr. high football is not college!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rammer Jammer!

On Thursday a guy came into David's work for some prints. Through conversation, Don asked David if he was going to the game Saturday (Bama vs. Ole Miss). David told him no because since Bama is doing so well, we can't afford tickets. Don stopped for a moment, thought, and said, "Well, if you can get there, I've got 2 extra tickets." There was no hesitation.

These seats were amazing. We were about 13 rows up behind the AL bench and had seats with chairbacks. Don had a parking pass for us as well, so this literally was a free game. We had an amazing day. It was all family friendly, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. We were only in the sun for about the first quarter and a half of the game, then it was shady and breezy. Yep, we could live in T-town; no question.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Healthy Baby

So...yea! We have a very healthy baby!! And I somehow managed NOT to gain any weight between my last visit and yesterday. WOW. I mean, I was really worried about getting on the scale, but the dr. was super pleased.

Baby Ainsy is 4.7 centimeters long and on his/her head! He/she kicked for us, though. What a great sight. Dr. Sams moved my due date up---May 3. One whole day. So I'm glad things are still on a pretty similar track. I had to have my blood work done, and I'm a little bruised, but otherwise okay.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ephelants! we can afford and as we find things we just can't pass up, we buy! It's slow going, but I wanted to share a few things we've received or picked up. Tyrone isn't quite sure what to think about this; we've noticed she's been more protective of me so she definitely knows something's up! She'll be a great big sister! ;)

We love ephelant (elephant) outfits. JC Penney has this absolutely adorable pink outfit with elephants and a bib that says "My mommy loves me tons and tons!" If we knew for sure Mady Grace would be arriving May 4, we would own it!

<--- I LOVE this! Target special. We could NOT pass it up.

Mom and Dad picked up this "Sweet & Bubbly" onesie at Disney World. I still can't believe soon we'll have someone that fits into these outfits!

<---And this we snagged at Belk. It'll be a little while before it's Baby Ainsy's 1st St. Patrick's Day, but we couldn't resist since it also celebrates our anniversary!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I shouldn't have said that!

Okay, so I admit it. I said something to a class today I never should have spoken. But I must add, don't judge me, please. You're not in my shoes teaching this particular group of 8th graders. Add pregnancy on top of that and it's a potent combination. I had had ENOUGH today. The disrespect, the backtalking, the not working, the messing with items that aren't theirs (like my thermostat), etc. I couldn't get a class to shut up. So when I finally had their attention (and it took awhile), I said something to the effect of, "If we can't learn to keep our mouths shut, get our work done, and listen, then I can make class a living hell." Now, yes, I know that wasn't appropriate, but again, I reiterate that you're not living this day in and day out. So there, it's out.

Monday, September 22, 2008


So thus far I've had NO morning sickness. However, for the past few days I've felt so crappy. I'm nauseated and can hardly stay awake. Today I thought I was going to have to rush out of my class. I get to where I'm starving hungry, so I eat something (trying to be conservative), and then I'm afraid it's all going to come up. Sometimes I just wish it would! Okay, time for a Sprite.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Kidney Bean!

Meet Madyson Grace or Hayden William! We're about 7-8 weeks along; the dr. said we're closer to 8. I love my kidney bean!

Monday, September 15, 2008


We got to see our baby and hear the heartbeat today. What an amazing experience. I did shed a tear, and David squeezed my hand so tightly! We'll be getting our first pictures up soon. He/she is about the size of a kidney bean. I can't wait to feel Mady Grace or Hayden move in the coming months!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Baby Ainsy

I'M GOING TO BE A MOMMY!!! That pretty much says it all. David and I go Monday to the doctor to see exactly how far along we are, due date, etc. I'm so excited and scared out of my mind. What a joy and a blessing to be a mother! If things go as expected, I could be a mommy before the next Mother's Day. AAGH!!

More info to come as we know it!

In a box

I simply wanted to quickly share how 8th graders do live in their own box and have no concept of time/the past. Yesterday we watched the film "Charly" based on the book "Flowers for Algernon". Charly is a mentally retarded 37 year old who undergoes an experimental operation to make him 3x smarter. It works...for awhile. Then he retreats back to his former self; a state I think he was happier in anyway. But I digress. One scene shows Charly in his room taking a soda out of his refrigerator/icebox. One of my female students looks at me and asks, "Did they have refrigerators back then?" (This movie was set in the late 1960's, mind you.) When I nodded yes, her eyes got very wide and she simply said, "Wow." We just really have no concept of time or history. Oh, 8th grade is fun.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I hate Progress Reports

I hate Progress Reports. All these parents who don't care any other time suddenly are all into their child's grade and performance. Where have you been for 4 1/2 weeks? Oh, and the best part is those parents who give me attitude. Umm, where were you when I called and sent notes home? Do parents honestly just not care anymore? I can't tell you how many parents I've spoken with that really have no clue. Or one who is bribing her child with $20/week if he's good. Okay, well, that's all fine and dandy except that it's all based on his own opinion! The mother isn't asking me! Whatever.

So I have a deal that I won't accept incomplete work, but I'll take late work for a point deduction. I'm thinking that might have been a mistake because now once parents have seen progress reports they want their children making up all this work that's not graded or they have 0's for. I don't give homework often, but these kiddos are lazy and that's mostly what they're missing! Yep, I hate progress reports.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Made a girl cry...

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I made a female student cry yesterday. It was such an odd day to begin with: starting on a Wednesday after a holiday weekend and a hurricane day added on to that. The kids were absolutely nuts. Anyway, I noticed notes circulating the classroom like crazy. It had been happening for some time, and I was tired of it. Plus, I was simply curious what was in these! So taking a cue from an idea my mom shared with me some time ago, I picked up the notes (already freaking the students out) and then handed out envelopes. Yep, they addressed these to their parents (and they try stupid stuff, like leaving out information. Hello! I can get it at the click of a mouse. This is simply to make them crazy.). I might at some point actually send these notes home, but this time was simply to get their attention. And boy, did it work! When I went into the cafeteria at lunch, one of the girls that had been writing a note was in tears. She also came to me later and we talked. This young lady gives me attitude all the time, and maybe, just maybe, I broke her. At least for a little while. Now we're down to 2 days left this week. I have to go to Hattiesburg Saturday for my monthly alternate route meeting. Whoo-hoo. And then next Tuesday I have a meeting in Vancleave. Oh, the fun of meetings and giving up afternoons and weekends.

Monday, September 1, 2008


So...Gustav ended up being fairly anti-climatic for us here on the MS Gulf Coast. However, I'll take the prep and protection over the devastation and utter loss. We only lost power for about 3-5 minutes. I used the downtime today to update my MySpace, if you're interested. I used yesterday to make a verb complements powerpoint. Fun times. We're off tomorrow so the administrators can assess the damage at the schools. I assume we'll go back Wednesday; I'll have to put my room back in order. The rest of this week ought to be interesting. I'm sure quite a few students will be missing for a few days, especially my Keesler kiddos. Normally a 3 or 4 day weekend would thrill me, but I've been so antsy and there's not a whole lot we can do. Most places closed early yesterday (even the casinos! Shocker.) and were definitely closed today. Thankfully, only branches and pine cones are down all over, and our ditches are flowing steadily with water. Other than that, it's almost like we just had a severe thunderstorm graze us, not the outer bands of a hurricane.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What is it about this weekend?!

Okay, for those of you that have put 2+2 together, yes, this is the same weekend that Katrina hit 3 years ago. The irony of it all is insane. My dad's on another business trip, but this time he's just in CA and not HA. With Katrina, dad came in the Sunday (just barely) before she hit. Both Kat and Gustav are making landfall on a Monday. And this time instead of mom and dad having a houseful, we are. It's absolutely fine, but the entire situation has given me an eerie sense of deja vu (though we had NO idea what was about to happen 3 years ago). We should be fine, and we'll still get tropical storm winds, but we feel confident that things will be secure. I'm very thankful that we live so close to my mom now that dad is out of town and Erin and Gabe have gone home. And between her house and ours, we should have what we need. Our only issue is that we don't have enough beds for everyone! Air mattresses it is! Hopefully, we won't be on the front porch this time!

Memories have flooded me today, some good, mostly bad. It's very difficult to explain my emotions and thoughts concerning what happened post-August 29, 2005. But I don't mean to be Debbie Downer. I don't wish this storm on anyone (boy, I don't), but it is a great relief not to be in the center of the cone this time around. I never will understand what continues to draw me about the Coast, even knowing what's bound to happen sooner or later. But we're home; for better or worse, we're home.

If we don't lose power, I'll do my best to keep you all updated. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh, to be in 8th grade

I had forgotten the awkwardness of 8th graders, that in-between age of doubting self, not understanding changes, and thinking you're bigger/more mature than you truly are. Ahhhh, puberty.

We had our first pep rally today. I have quite a few football players in my classes, and thanks to my husband and father, I can talk some football and hold my own. But it was very humorous to observe 6th-8th graders going nuts for a spirit stick, cheering on the football team and cheerleaders, and going crazy in general for just being out of class. And call me old-fashioned, but the moves of the dance team? I was uncomfortable. Holy moley.

And why do kiddos think they can get away with chewing gum, especially when it's blue?! I had to give a girl punish work today. I made her spit her gum out twice yesterday and warned her. And yet still she had it between her teeth asking me a questions. Dumb!

I'm also thinking maybe there's something wrong with me (not seriously). Students of mine keep getting sent to alternative school like there's no tomorrow for fighting, drugs, etc. Craziness.

And yet through it all, I must say, "GO JACKETS!"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hips & Lips

What a long week. Long and short all at the same time. Fridays are the worst. Well, the best because it's the weekend but also the worst because the kids are just buck-crazy. I mean, all their faculties fly out the window. We had a vocabulary test today, and it was difficult. Okay, it was just plain hard. I was given this test by my mentor and all English classes took it, but man, I don't know if I could have passed it! So then I caught 2 students cheating, nearly gave my entire 2nd block all 0's becuase they were incapable of hushing during a TEST, and also made that same class do "hips and lips" on our way to the library. Ever hear of hips and lips? One hand is on the hip (so it's occupied), the other is over the mouth, much like you had to do in Kindergarten when your pointer finger was placed there. I stole this idea from the Mother's Day Out program at Trinity. Let me tell you, it worked wonders. I had been threatening it and finally employed it. And buddy, 8th grade football and basketball players sure look funny trekking through the school with one hand on a hip and the other on the lips! And plenty of administrators, other teachers, and fellow students saw them. Ahhh, the silence. Next week we start short stories; I'm very much looking forward to the little break from grammar.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Better Day

It was definitely a Monday, but compared to the Thursday and Friday I had last week, today was a blessing. I had a little heart-t0-heart with each of my classes. I also implemented Positive Points today. Let me explain---each class starts with 100 points. Together as a class they are responsible for keeping or losing those points. For every negative word or groan or complaint that I hear I subtract a point. If I hear "shut up" or "stupid" or "dumb" I take away 5 points. My classes are already into the 80's! And this is after only one day! They can, however, earn some of their points back if they catch me being negative. So far? Ainsworth--100 and you know the rest. But it does seem to be working.

In other news, we're having dinner for the family here tonight. I really do like having people come over. Come visit!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Seeing RED

I'm sure you've all heard of the expression "seeing red." Well, today it happened to me for the first time. I had a student make me so mad I literally saw red. I had no idea it truly was possible! I even swooned a little bit standing up. It was straight-up open defiance and it got handled, but oh, I was angry! It took me awhile to calm down; thankfully, I don't have a 3rd block so I had a bit to cool off.

I'm telling you, teaching is making me mean! An ornery old guy got in my face Tuesday night and I wanted to go "teacher" on him! But I stopped. Maybe I'm still just a bit too nice, but that is starting to change! I can't handle kids looking at me like I'm stupid and not doing what I ask. Teaching is definitely a challenge and I'm enjoying it, but it is exhausting!

Oh, I also got an aide today. She's wonderful! And what a blessing she is to make my copies and punch holes and staple. She saved me a good half hour today. My aide will be joining me every Tuesday and Thursday. Wonderful!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pop Quiz!

As second period began today I realized I needed a couple items from Mr. Richmond next door. I told my students that I was running next door (and I literally ran) to grab some posters and they didn't even want to breathe loudly if they knew what was good for them. I got nods and "yes, ma'ams". Well, you know how that goes. So I literally ran down the hall and back, and as I came back in the door they were talking and laughing and having a good old time. I warned them! So I announced my presence by telling them to clear their desks except for a piece of paper. Yep, I gave a pop quiz, and roughly 95% failed. Oops! Guess we should take notes now, huh? I told them they didn't want to not do what I asked. Next time maybe they'll listen!

Then we had a bomb threat/fire drill this afternoon, so we got to spend a lovely hour outside on the football field/stands in the muggy air. I'm thankful I didn't have my white pants on today because we definitely trudged through some mud. It has nearly rained solid for 2 days. Fun times.

Tomorrow is singular/plural/possessive nouns. Whoo-hoo!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I have to write what?!

Alright, all. So I survived Week 1. Well, technically, I survived the first 3 days. Let me just say that 95 minutes per class is ENTIRELY too long! I don't remember exactly how I managed that when I was in junior high/high school. On the other hand, it's absolutely wonderful to have that long as a planning period! Plus, mine is third block which includes all the lunches so technically I get about an extra 25 minutes, making my "off" time 2 hours. I love it! I get so much accomplished! Not that I still don't have a lot to do each evening post-school. Speaking of, I have papers to grade. Fun stuff.

So my kiddos have to write an essay one-page long. ONE-PAGE. ABOUT THEMSELVES. THAT'S IT. ONE-STINKING-PAGE. C'mon! Now how many people can rattle on about themselves for at least a page? No big deal, right? Oh, no. You'd think I asked them to submit a 10 page essage complete with bibliography and footnotes. This essay can even be handwritten!! Oh, the groans. And then let's not even talk about spelling mistakes! I have my work cut out for me! Of course, if I wasn't such a nerd, maybe I wouldn't be so surprised at this mess. I will say, we must do a better job teaching grammar. MUST. I gave my students a grammar quiz today to see what they remembered. Results? NOT MUCH. (Sorry for so many caps tonight.) Then I took the papers up, we went over every part, I redistributed the papers, and then let them work with a partner to correct their answers! And I'm still getting nearly failing grades. It's going to be one long year. I was going to take this as a quiz grade; I'm thinking daily might be the way to go. Lord, grant me strength!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mrs. Ainsworth! Mrs. Ainsworth!

Bum, bum, buuuuuuummm (think dramatic theme music). Well, the fated first day of school has arrived. Tomorrow I become Mrs. Ainsworth to roughly 75 8th graders. And those are just the kiddos in my classes! Then there are who knows how many other 8th graders total! Even at church I'm just Mrs. Jamie. That's weird enough!

May I just vent my frustration for a moment? I work with some highly intelligent people, yet we have meeting after meeting and never really get anything accomplished. By the time we get the 4 of us in one room and started, we've wasted 30 or 45 minutes. Then we hem and haw about what exactly we're doing. I mean, really. Are we starting with nouns? Okay, then let's just say what nouns we're covering when and each of us go on our way. We all have to be doing things along the same schedule but how we teach our objectives is up to us. So let's decide what we doing, in what order, and have at it! I can't stand wasted time.

Okay, so it's time to go pick out my first day outfit! Oh, to be a girl!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Was I Thinking?!

I honestly do want to write a lengthy post about all the events surrounding this week of prep for the new school year, but words fail me. I also don't have the energy to put into words everything I've thought or experienced this week. Let's just say it's overwhelming. I still have much to do. My room is finally starting to come together thanks to my mom and sister, but I have a great deal there to organize and clean. Hopefully most of that will get done tomorrow. Friday I have to be in Pascagoula for the all-district meeting. Bummer. I have so much that needs to be done in my room, but I guess it'll have to wait!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I'm home. Finally, I'm home. I shouldn't say that with such relief because camp was a blessing. Last Sunday night I was dreading leaving Monday morning: I have lesson plans to do, my own mindset to get in order, and just piddling things that need to be taken care of. But God knew what he was doing when David "volunteered" me to go with the junior high students to Fuge at MC. I had a pretty decent relationship with the 8th graders-to-be already, but doors really opened for me to connect with the freshmen ladies I'll be teaching this fall. Thursday afternoon I treated my future Sunday School girls to smoothies and coffee drinks at the campus coffee shop/deli called Jazzman's. We had a wonderful time; I tend to play a sort of 20 questions game with people I don't know. And things got interesting with our questions! There were only 4 freshmen on this trip but they are very different from each other. I had 2 cheerleader-dressed-to-the-hilt young ladies, 1 athlete, and another who keeps to herself but occasionally surprises you. Very interesting combination. But in our hour+ together we interacted, learned about one another, and found connections. It was simply awesome! I had a purpose, I have a purpose, and that is to invest in these young women's lives. I saw myself in my athletic student. She is very much the way I was at her age. This girl is absolutely beautiful but apparently doesn't think she's pretty. I believe she already knocks guys off their feet and she doesn't know it, but I also think she'll be the girl who gets asked to a school dance, such as the jr. prom, and her date will arrive at the door and she'll make him faint. This student and I really bonded. I'm very excited about teaching, both school and Sunday School. I praise God for how He reminded me of Who He is this week; I very much needed a refresher. I do know that I'm not cut out for campus living or cafeteria food anymore!

Ty is very happy to have me home and to be at home herself. My parents and sister graciously watched her this week while I was gone. However, she apparently only hissed and was mean...until Thursday, that is! She got shut in the bathroom on accident all day and when she was released she was a different kitty! But now she is happily curled up on my shoulders, purring her little heart out. She went tearing through the house checking it out, happy to be home, and must have forgotten she couldn't stop on the wood floors. Suddenly I hear scratching feet and a bump as she nails the wall. Oh, it's good to be home! David will fly into Memphis in the morning and then drive immediately home. I can't wait to be with my husband! And on Monday, let the craziness that is a new school year begin!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Old Stomping Grounds

Ever heard someone say he's returned to his old stomping grounds? Well, I'm doing that in more than one way within a span of just a few weeks. This week I am helping shepherd precious little darlings known as 7th and 8th graders (future 8th and 9th graders) through Centrifuge at my college home, MC. David and I will be teaching the 9th grade Sunday School at First Baptist Biloxi this fall, so I have the opportunity to get to know many of students this week. And let me just tell you, it's been quite some time since I was a junior-higher! I'm having a blast with our students, though. What is odd and hard to explain is how I feel being back at MC and not being a student. Facilities have changed, people have changed, offices have a great many ways, this is like coming home--it's familiar and reassuring and comfortable. And in a number of other ways, I feel out of my element...and old! As an RA (Resident Assistant) I had many privileges and freedoms I don't have on this campus this week. Sure, I'm in "charge" of my precious angels, but I can't just roam the campus at free-will. I'm subject to Fuge rules (which is no problem), and I respect their authority. But it's odd to have to listen to individuals who have been here a matter of weeks when I spent 4 years of my life on every inch of this campus. My emotions are so hard to explain. This afternoon I wandered into the Healthplex to check on some of our students. You must understand, the Healthplex was a second home to me next to my dorm room. I spent hours each day in that place getting my workout on. I miss the Healthplex and all that it offers. In some ways, I miss being a college student, but life changes and moves on. I'm a different person than I was 6 years ago as a freshman. Which brings me to my next point of returning to old stomping grounds: next Monday I begin new teacher training/orientation for St. Martin schools in Jackson County, MS. Then on August 6th, I get the pleasure of introducing a slew of 8th graders to the wonderful world of Language Arts. I graduated from St. Martin; shoot, I was a 13 year student there! And after saying David and I would never come back to the Gulf Coast, that's exactly where God drew us back to! It's so good to be home. We've been so busy! But I digress. I think I really understand just how much I've moved on, how my life has changed. Much of that change is due to MC and my experiences here, and it's so very nice to know my way around this week! (But I don't miss the drama of junior high students and crushes and having to check in constantly get the picture!)

Friday, July 18, 2008


David left today for a mission trip with First Biloxi to Vancouver. As he was in Minneapolis during his layover he called and followed up on a job he's been through all the interview steps with. It's been a very anxious week for me waiting to hear! David felt very positive and was content to wait to hear. While he had a few minutes he decided to call the boss and check on his status. And we got great news! Scott had misplaced David's number but definitely wanted him to come on board! So I'm driving back from Memphis (David had to fly out there), my husband's in Minneapolis, and he calls me with this news! What a blessing! I can't even relate the stress that has consumed me over finances and what will be coming this next month. I'm so thankful David has the opportunity to go to Canada and I'm completely grateful to my Father for His provision. My faith is so small!

I leave Monday for Centrifuge at MC where I'm chaperoning the 7th and 8th graders from First Baptist Biloxi. I'm looking forward to it, but I could also really use this week to work on lesson plans because that very next Monday I start new teacher orientation/meetings. Let the chaos begin!

Coming Home

My heart is so full tonight that I don't even know where to begin. As of today, we've been in our new house one full week. It feels longer! We absolutely adore this house. It will be great for holding SS class socials/Bible studies/etc. We accepted this house based solely on pictures the landlords emailed to us, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. The house is actually quite deceiving. It doesn't look that big from the front, but it's deep! There's just something about coming home...not just to a house, but to the Coast. I've missed life here. Now I'm teaching at my former school and living on the street I grew up on? What a small world and sense of humor God has!

Enjoy the pictures of the new house; these are in no particular order.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Because sometimes a song just says it better


I've had days that felt like a thousand years
And years that just fly by
I've had times I've been so sure in life
And then nothing worked out right
I put my hope in so many things I thought that I would need
But it doesn't mean anything, anything, anything to me

I've been around a crowd of people
And felt so all alone
Tried to give up being different
So that I could just belong
Some have tried to tell me who I'm supposed to be
But it doesn't mean anything, anything to me

Only You, You satisfy
Only You are the love of my life
If I got everything I want, no, it still wouldn't do
I got a whole lotta' nothing if I don't got You

When the mirror doesn't match the cover of a magazine
And I'm consumed with all of my fears and insecurities
'Cause I had my idol for a while, but now finally I see
That it didn't mean anything, anything, no

A whole lotta nothing
Oh Lord, I believe it's a
Whole lotta nothing
If You ain't close to me

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I must admit...I was utterly, truly, completely starting to doubt if we were to move back to the Coast for me to teach. My faith has been and is still being severely tested. I'm very curious as to what all these trials will produce in and through me! One thing I do know is that I'm tired of being walked on and over, and I know that I can stand up for myself and people will still love me. You must understand--I'm a people a fault. I avoid confrontation at all costs. But this is starting to change. Not because I want to "start something" but because I'm tired of being dictated to. There's a fine line between "helping" and "telling". Many of you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. For those who don't, let me put it this way...there are times when you simply want a listening ear, not to be told how to handle something or what you should do. I realize that there are instances in which we do have to ask for help; I'm not discounting that. But there are many times I want to be transparent with a friend or loved one and feel I can't. Why can't I just lay my feelings and emotions bare and then just be hugged or cried with? So many people want to offer a solution, and while brainstorming can open new venues you haven't considered, many times I only need someone to nod in the appropriate places and say "No matter what, I love you. If you screwed up 100,000 times, I'd still love you. I'd talk to you. I wouldn't shut you out."

Have you ever considered how not transparent we are as a society? How many families do you know who fight all week long, bickering, sarcastic and critical, until the moment they set foot on church grounds? Others continue their arguing or discontent until they pass through the building doors. I'm not pointing fingers; I've been there. I'm not trying to cast a shadow over my family, either. I'm merely offering an example. When we're asked how things are going, our reply is nearly always the same (this goes for everyone, not just my family), "Good." "Just fine, thank you. And you?" "Very well." "Couldn't be better!" "Can't complain." And so forth. Know what I'm talking about? We plaster fake, happy smiles on our faces until the moment we're 'free' to pick up where we left off. We tell everyone we're so blessed, yet we can barely stand to be in the same room with a parent or sibling.

Anyways, the other aspect of being transparent I've been pondering is knowing when to ask for help. Believe me, it's humbling. Sometimes it downright (dare I say it) sucks. It can be humiliating. Yesterday I went to someone for advice and wound up with an immense blessing; I wasn't looking for it. I had a solution in mind (but definitely not the one I wanted) and someone offered me a hand up. Just that little bit of encouragement with no strings attached changed my attitude. I slept through the night last night for the first time in weeks. Don't get me wrong, I'm still worried about a great deal, but I woke up feeling some hope, some assurance that I could get through the day without tears. Is the road ahead easy? By no means, NO! But I know I can get through the next few days. I have to.

Tomorrow night we're loading the moving truck and early Friday morning we'll be headed to the Coast. If a few more details would kindly work themselves out I'd feel such a burden lifted. They His time. Too bad we can't comprehend His time!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I'm not. We're not. Never will be. And it's killing me. Please understand, I don't want to be so sufficient ever that I don't need my Father. But I want to be sufficient on this planet in knowing that THROUGH Him we can provide for our family and ourselves. That probably doesn't make any sense, and I don't know how to write it any clearer. I'm tired of jumping when the phone rings, not knowing what to expect on the other end. I'm tired of not knowing how this or that will get taken care of. I'm tired of looking to tomorrow because I don't feel I can enjoy today. Will I ever feel I'm semi-sufficient?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bulletin Board

Hey, all my avid readers! I need help! I'm trying to come up with classroom decorating ideas. I don't want just a room with blank walls. I'm also severely on a budget and don't have past items to use! Right now I'm thinking about a bulletin board, but I'm just not sure what to do. Nothing cheesy like, well, I don't want to give examples because some of you may have used those ideas! But I'll have 8th graders and want my room to be an enjoyable place to learn: comforting but clean. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


This was in the Sun Herald (south MS's newspaper) today in the Sound Off section. The editors pick and choose the reader comments that go in each day's paper. The bad part of this may not be that the contributor obviously doesn't know what an acronym is, but that the Sun Herald actually ran this one... priceless. I guess stop is now spelled differently in south Mississippi!

Stop means stop!

• "STOP is not an acronym for 'slowing only to pause.' It means to stop when you come to a stop sign. So would you please stop when you come to a stop sign instead of running out in front of someone and almost killing them?"

Again, I reiterate...STOP or SOTP?
*Maybe it's a good thing I'm teaching English. We might just cover acronyms very soon into the first of the year!