Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die."
~Senator Edward Kennedy

In my adult life there has been three politicians that I have absolutely, without a doubt admired. Anyone who knows me, knows my respect and awe of Bill Clinton, not just as a President, but for the remarkable things he is doing since his presidency ended. Clinton's Foundation and work with providing medical care for those with Aids in Africa should be an inspiration to everyone.

The second politician was Governor Lawton Chiles (FL-DEM) ( the governor of our state before Jeb Bush and the embarrassment of living in the state that robbed Al Gore of his presidency). Lawton Chiles was a good ole' southern politician that I had the great pleasure to meet and shake hands with. He was " Florida", an honest, straight-talking old school politician.

The third politician was Ted Kennedy. I can't think of a political issue that I disagreed with him on, and just seeing him sitting there in the senate chambers let me know there was someone there "on my side". He was well respected by members of both political parties and became known as "the Greatest Kennedy" as reported by CNN today.

This spring when I was home alone I read an excellent book entitled "The Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy, put out by authors of the Boston Globe. It was excellent. They did not glorify the young Ted and they covered Chappaquiddick in great detail, but they also went into great detail about what Senator Kennedy meant to the United States of America. I highly recommend reading this book. I am sad, one of my heroes is gone. But I am also proud to have been a supporter and those supposedly dirty words a "Liberal Democrat." I hope Ted Kennedy rests in peace.

"Even though we knew this day was coming, we awaited it with no small amount of dread." "His extraordinary life on this Earth has come to an end. The extraordinary good that he did lives on."

~President Barack Obama

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back To School!

10-K-10 I have pictures of Anna and Katie holding up their grade number since they were in Kindergarten, next year will be a challenge!

Jia was very proud of her rolling backpack with matching lunchbox. She does have a school uniform, but she had this special outfit for the first day.

Katie has decided she is only wearing dresses to school this year.

Anna was head to toe purple and gray.

The shoes were not pretty by the end of the day.

Anna was excited!

Katie, ready to go!

Our girls!

Today was the big day and there was much excitement this morning. Drew left before anyone else woke up so there are no pictures of him, but he did teach his first class in at least 10 years.

As you know , I had a great deal of trepidation, things went well. I have three 7th grade Geography classes and 2 8th grade US History classes. I think it will be a while until I can tell how I will feel.

Jia brought home papers she had colored and there is a night and day difference from last year. We are 100% positive we did the right thing by holding her back.

Anna and Katie both came home very excited and saying they loved their classes. Anna has: English II Honors, Marine Science Honors, Spanish I and Journalism (Yearbook). Katie has Algebra II Honors, Draw and Paint II, English II Honors, and AP Psychology.

Hope you enjoy the cute pictures of the girls.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jia visits many schools....

Jia and her teacher Mrs. Castillo

Jia and Dad fill out some papers

Mom and Jia fill out some more papers!

Mrs. Parnham-ready for Monday?

Jia visits Miss Leslie- her preschool teacher

Miss Leslie kept holding Jia and crying

Miss Madeline, Jia's other preschool teacher

The girls worked really hard to get Mom's room ready to go!

This week was planning week for Drew and I. The girls came with me to my school on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Katie and Jia went with Drew on Thursday, and Anna stayed with me again. All of the girls were a HUGE help in getting things prepared.

Today was a big day for Jia! We started out with a Meet & Greet at Silver Palms where Jia is going to attend Kindergarten again--the good news, she has the same teacher, which is what we were hoping for. The truly odd news is that there is another Jia in her class! The other Jia is also adopted from China. We kind of wished they had put her in another class as we think this will be confusing for both girls, but it might also be a good thing.

After that Jia and her sisters came to my school and helped a little more. When we went out for lunch I suprised Jia and took her to her pre-school to see her teachers there. She has not been back in over a year. Her teacher Miss Leslie (this is the angel that carried Jia around in that cast) cried when she saw Jia and said that Jia was the most special student she ever had and that she would always be her favorite. God gave us Miss Leslie to help Jia when we were in need, because there are not too many people that would have done for Jia what she did. The other teacher Miss Madeline was also there and so happy to see her.

Then, back to my school once again, this time for an Ice Cream Social that they have for the teachers each year. I think Jia and Anna ate 100 gummy bears along with the ice cream.

Now--I need a prayer for Monday morning when the kids show up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's a Disney kind of night...

HUGE night for Anna she and 4 friends are going to see the Jonas Brothers (this is her second time) She loves them like girls used to love the Beatles....She spent a lot of time making a shirt which she is modeling in the pictures.

Meanwhile Katie and Jia are having Hannah Montana night. Katie bought Jia the DVD and they are going to make popcorn and watch the movie

Drew is the chauffeur for the evening, my plan is a good book and a quiet spot...that doesn't usually work.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

More Summer

My precious girls

Looking like twins? I love these girls!!

Anna-is she holding on because she can't swim?...hee hee!

Katie-this is Drew's birthday present. You put the ipod on in the house and this plays the songs in the pool.

Anna touches a stingray "they feel like velvet"

Don't think she would be so calm if she were in the water with the ray

Anna feeding a sweet little dolphin. Anna loved this!

Happy to see Anna or the bowl of fish she was holding?

Making friends!

Apprehensive...Am I ready?

Well, we are winding down with the summer, but still have pictures of summer fun.

Last Thursday Anna and Drew went to Sea World (about 200 miles away, it is right where Disney World is) Katie and I didn't want to go and Jia couldn't go because the trip was solely to ride the roller coasters. The great thing about Sea World is that teachers get into the park for free, so that was nice.

Although Anna went to ride the rides it turns out she was more excited about her encounters with the dolphins, the stingrays and the sharks. She got to feed the dolphins and was quite excited about that. Seeing that I didn't take the pictures, there are no human faces in the shots.

We also have some pictures of our lazy day in the pool today. Jia always has to have every plastic toy known to man in the pool with her, so it usually looks like the beach aisle at Target. But she is happy.

If you are inclined please say a prayer for one of my best students ever--Grady. He is in Germany but is being deployed (?) to Iraq.....

What about school?
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......I'm in denial.