wADmM5mNLtOv064mhMCS_CYE3Bc Just Dorothy: August 2013

Winner of the Scrapbook Software...

Congrats to Crystal! She is the lucky winner of the scrapbooking software from My Memories! 

If you entered but didn't win, no worries!  You can still get an amazing deal on the software. Click on the sidebar link with the code below 

It's 111 degrees outside but...

...fall is in the air.  Not really.  It's hard to feel anything in the air when it's 111.  It feels like there is NO air. 

However, school has started, football season has started (even if it's just pre-season) and the fall season of television programming will start soon.  So I'm getting in the spirit by putting out my fall door wreath.  Yes.  Know it.  Love it.  It goes up today. 

No, really, this is why I do what I do

Working in a school is sometimes not fun. 

Working in a school is sometimes the most fun I've ever had.  Ok, "fun" is a lie, but it's the most rewarding. 

We have a school of over 600 kiddos.  In a K-8 school you get the ones that are not used to being away from mom yet, to the ones that don't really like to be home.  And in between you get some really, really great kids that will listen to you because you are one of the few adults in their lives that makes sense, sometimes even feel cared about.

A boy I had in 6th grade last year was misbehaving in the library yesterday.  He got the "Leesha" look and a negative on his behavior card.  As he was leaving he said, "Mrs. Heaster, I'm going to do better next time".  Love, love, love that he recognized that this was due to HIS behavior.  He's a smart kid.  And today when he saw me we had a great conversation about the dental appointment he had just gotten back from.  It's the little things like this that I love about my job.

I do see some things that break my heart.  The special needs kids that long for friendship.  With the youngers, it's not so bad.  They friend easily.  The older ones..."normal" kids that are older are too concerned about what others think to even bother striking up a conversation.  I try to tell them that they don't have to be bff's but it will never, ever hurt them to extend the common courtesy of saying hello or, if that person has started talking to you, join in on the conversation!  Nothing wrong with that.  I saw it happen today, or not happen, I suppose, and it absolutely broke my heart.  The poor girl was trying so hard to get 2 others to talk to her and she got blown off.  And the look on her face...

After I got home, poor Zach, he got a lecture.  And he had nothing to do with it!  Ok, he didn't really get lectured but I did remind him that I would expect him to stick up for someone like that if he saw the other kids being nasty.  He's a quiet kid, but his peers like him.  If he told them to knock it off I think they would.  I asked him if he would also just at least say hi to this girl on occasion.  He's a shy guy so I don't know if he will, but .... I'm hopeful.  I'm hoping he will do the right thing. 

Today there were volleyball tryouts.  We had several girls come in double checking their physical paperwork due date.  Oh boy.  The tears started to fall as soon as they found out they didn't have a current one and were unable to tryout.  They have to get one by Thursday so they can have a 2nd chance.  It made me feel sad for them because they really want to be a part of something like this only to be told no, the proper paperwork wasn't in place.  On the other hand, they've been told for about 3 weeks now (parents have been told, too) that they need one before try out date.  Oh, the drama and the tears.  Makes me want to mother them and make it better.  Makes me very thankful I don't have a hormonal girl at home.  Premenstrual boys are enough.  When all three of these men in my house have PMS....kill me. 

Anyway, anyone in education will tell you they aren't in it for the money.  Believe it.  It's because the ones that are in it are there for the bigger picture. 

FREE Scrapbooking Software!

I was recently given the opportunity to review My Memory Suite scrapbooking software and to offer a free download to one lucky winner! See below to enter the giveaway.

Now, I'm not a very tech savvy person.  At all.  But I love to scrapbook and I love to create.  I've done traditional scrapbooking and I LOVE it.  Traditional scrapbooking is fun, but time consuming.  And can get super expensive. 

With digital scrapbooking you just download your pictures and add them to templates.  With My Memory Suite, there are background pages, embellishments, templates that are already premade.  You can also design your own.  There are page/embellishment/color packs that you can purchase and there are plenty of free items you can download. 

So far I've created the blog header on this page with pictures of the 4 of us, an album from my Christmas 2012 pictures and I've started a summer page. 

On this page, I added a picture of Zach swimming.  I was able to change the background color page, move his picture to the back, allowing it to fill the frame and I could have added text or any other embellishments I wanted to.  But I really like the simplicity of this design.  Anything else could have made it way too busy for me.

Here are six pages from the Christmas 2012 album I created using templates from My Memories:

 I could have created more text boxes, but I used the ones provided and changed the text to relate to us.  I like the color they used, but could have changed it to anything I wanted to.  I messed around with different layouts, changed what I needed and removed what I didn't want.

Creating scrapbook pages isn't the only thing you can do with the software.  You can create cards, photo books, calendars and even videos.

Not only has My Memories graciously offered this software giveaway, they've also let me give you $10 off the cost of the software if you decide to purchase it on your own AND $10 credit toward product purchase.  The regular cost of the software is $39.97 (and worth every penny) so with the $20 credit you pay less than $20 for the software.  If you aren't the lucky winner and want to purchase, visit My Memories and enter code STMMMS71620.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great first week!

I really hope I'm not jinxing myself or my family when I say we had a great first week back to school.  The boys really seem to like their schedules and Zach enjoys his home room teacher.  Ryan got a referral on the first day of school.  For wearing a tank top.  I didn't know those weren't allowed!  I know we have a dress code at our school regarding tank tops, the straps have to be a specific width and non offensive, but NO tank tops?  Weird.  Dumb. Sometimes I think this high school has the stick shoved up just a little too far.

I don't have a lunch duty this year and I've been sending Zach with his lunch, but I've asked if the lunches were as horrible as they were last year.  Everyone says they are.  I don't think that will ever change.  I wish it would.  Have you paid attention to what schools are serving your kiddos?  It's not great.  I guess two years or so ago they were told they could no longer have a salad bar.  Why would you take something healthy and nutritious away?  And they definitely don't serve enough to our older kids.  It's not even worth the $2.00 a day they charge.

I said we had a great week but it sounds like I'm complaining! 

Our great week had to do with being out the door on time, zero stress, things running smoothly, getting things done on time and no huge hiccups along the way.  Last year I had a bit of trouble with some of the grades coming into the library.  I wasn't in there full time until January, when half the year was already over.  The expectations were not clear for those classes from the beginning and trying to change things half way through did not work at all.  I loathed the 7th and 8th grade classes.  The amount of disrespect...oy. 

This year, I've very clearly announced the rules and expectations regarding behavior and procedure with all grade levels.  So far, it's worked out.  With the exception of a nasty Kindergartener who kicked me, told me he hated me, and hoped someone sat on my floor and pooped on my face.  He was very proud of the fact that he got "kicked out" of the library and had to sit in the front office.  When he was allowed to come back to the library he said he was going to tell his mom.  I said, "yes, please tell her what a rude, nasty boy you were".  I have a feeling she already knows. 

I'm excited about what this school year will bring.  For the boys, for me, for all the other kiddos.  I just hope I'm not jinxing anything!

Yep, another (wistful) school post...

I have lost track of what 'phase' of life I'm in right now. 

I've said before that I'm in the 2nd phase.  A few weeks ago I might have mentioned I was in the 3rd phase. 

I'm absolutely positive I'm in the "can't remember shit" phase.


The boys are no longer little.  My marriage is no longer "new".  We have our routines, our habits, as parents, as children, as partners, as siblings.  It's been a little challenging at times.  It's even been more than challenging, but not as often.  But it's always, always been a joy.

Ryan, our oldest, is entering his senior year in high school.  We've been through a lot of firsts with that kid.  First birthday, natch.  First day of Kindergarten.  First high school, first dance, first date, first girlfriend, first time driving on his own.  First job.  Now we're looking at his last year of high school.  The last classes, the last school dances.  Oh, I didn't even mean for that to rhyme! The last year he will, most likely, play football.

And Zach.  My sweet little Bean.  Entering the 8th grade.  He's been through a few firsts now, too.  We have a lot of firsts left with him.  But right now, 8th grade is a "last" phase for him, too.  This year will be his last to play basketball as a middle schooler.  This will be his last year to "slack".  He's done a good job all through school, but prepping for high school...the pressure is on this year. 

And then, there's me.  Starting college again.  At the brilliant age of 42.  Me, the girl who can't remember what phase she's in.  The one with the ever changing eye sight, not to mention digestion, the fading memory (did I just kind of say that?) and the nearly grown family to still help raise.  The one that loves new things but gets bored easily, that rarely finishes what she starts. The one that absolutely hates to be obligated to anything.  But also the one that is determined to reach the goal.  The one that is like a dog with a bone when she really, really, really wants something.

So, they are finishing, and I'm beginning.  We're all a bit nervous, all a bit excited.  But we are ready.