It Was 28 Years Ago Today...

"They were flying for me, they were flying for everyone.
They were trying to see a brighter day for each and every one.
They gave us their light, they gave us their spirit and all they could be,
they were flying for me, they were flying for me."

-John Denver, "Flying For Me"

Each generation has its "where were you when..." moment. For Generation X'ers, it was the Challenger Disaster.

I was a freshman in high school, sitting in Mr. Blain's 2nd period Algebra class. There was a guy sitting next to me who had one of the new Sony "Sport" Walkmans with earbuds instead of headphones. He had let me borrow it to listen to the radio while we were working on an assignment. This, of course, was against the rules, but my hair was so big, I could hide the cords of the earbuds underneath, virtually undetected.

A news report interrupted my music. The Space Shuttle Challenger had exploded during lift-off. 

I shrieked out loud "OH MY GOD," which of course captured the attention of my teacher. I then said "the Challenger just exploded!"

Mr. Blain came over, took away the Walkman, listened for a minute or two, confirming what I had said. Then he confiscated the Walkman!!! I know - the nerve!

The next period, I had Biology with Mr. Wohler. He had a TV in his classroom (this was rare back then) and so we watched the news footage from Cape Canaveral. Over and over again, they showed that fateful moment during lift-off. They showed images of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who was selected to accompany the astronauts as part of the Teacher in Space program. Over and over again, they showed the reaction of Mrs. McAuliffe's parents, who were at the Cape to see the launch in person. And I thought that it was horrible to broadcast such a personal moment live to the nation. 

I'm not sure how this "where were you when..." moment changed my generation. I don't think it was as life-changing for Generation X as the Kennedy assassination was for Baby Boomers or 9/11 was for Millenials. So I pose this question to my fellow Gen X'ers - how do you think this "where were you when..." moment changed us as a generation? Or did it?

Keep On Keeping On...

As some of you may know, I am an unemployed teacher. After being laid off from my teaching position in Custer, MT 3 1/2 years ago, I have been substitute teaching in Billings. And, putting it mildly, it hasn't been all fun and games.

There are so many things I miss about having my own classroom. I miss planning & conducting my own lessons. I miss being engrossed in my subject on a daily basis. I miss being in control of my career. But the thing I miss the most is having meaningful relationships with both students and colleagues.

People often ask me if I like subbing. I tell them flat out - no, I hate it! And its not for the reasons you might think. Sure, the discipline and lack of respect from the students can be stressful. The 6 AM phone calls aren't much fun either. But the worst part of subbing is something most people don't even realize - it's very lonely!

I am never in one school long enough to form relationships. I don't really "belong" anywhere. I don't have colleagues. This is the worst part of subbing.

Jobs teaching social studies are very difficult to come by in Montana. There are maybe 2-3 positions available each year, with 60+ teachers applying for each position. I've been fortunate to get interviews for almost all of the positions for which I've applied, but I haven't been hired. Last week, I interviewed for a temporary position (a maternity leave). I received my rejection e-mail today. We don't even get form letters anymore - it's all done electronically!

So, I keep on keeping on. And on. And on. And on......

Project Life 2014: Week 3

This week was kind of an emotional roller coaster for me. For most of the week, I was (1) worried about my Zumba class being cancelled due to low enrollment and (2) constantly checking my e-mail, looking for an interview request for the long-term substitute teaching job that had closed the week before. By Thursday, neither situation had been resolved, which made me very frustrated and slightly depressed.

But, on Friday, several things happened. First, two new people had registered for Zumba so my class wouldn't be cancelled. Second, I got a notification of another long term sub job opening. And third, I finally got the invitation for an interview.

Anyway, here are my pages for this week. I used the Coral kit this week - love the colors in these cards!

The left side:

Rob and I went to see a traveling company revue of "The Blues Brothers" on Friday night. I knew some of the music of The Blues Brothers, but I have never seen the movie. I loved the show so much that on Saturday, Rob and I watched the 1980 classic on DVD. I just about wet myself laughing!

I didn't do a whole bunch of embellishing - the only thing that is altered is the center photo with the tag line from The Blues Brothers - "On a mission from God."

And page 2:

The two white photos on the bottom are screen shots of the e-mails I received about jobs. The left one is the e-mail acknowledgement of my application for the new long term sub job that opened on Friday. The right one is the e-mail I received inviting me to an interview.

The card with the chevron stripes is from the Coral kit. I found card stock that matches (kinda) and used this die from Technique Tuesday to cut the border and large circle. The white center is from this stamp set by Ali Edwards. I love her stamps!!!

That's about all for this week. We are still in football heaven - it's going to be a long 2 weeks until the Superbowl!!!

For your Tuesday piece of eye candy - may I present my Cutie Patootie - Peyton Manning!!!

You may now return to your normal activities.....

Rocky Mountain High!!!!

Yesterday afternoon was rather tense in my household. This zombie could have been Rob watching his Broncos play the Patriots. I don't think he actually took a breath until the very end of the game when he felt sure of Denver's victory. I can totally understand that - I saw it happen the previous week where Denver's defense almost gave up an entire game to San Diego in the last 2 minutes.

So, we now get to look forward to Super Bowl Sunday in 2 weeks. We've already got a little shindig planned, with Rob's parents & some others who love football and/or good food. I'm already planning on making a big pot of shredded barbecue beef for sandwiches.

I'm thrilled for Rob that his team is playing in the Super Bowl. Never mind the fact that my beloved Redskins haven't been to a Super Bowl since 1992. I get to live vicariously through him.

And I'll be dressed in my Peyton Manning Broncos jersey. know....he is my Cutie Patootie!!!!

Project Life 2014: Week 2

Rob and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary this week. I dedicated one whole side of my spread to this event (1) because it is rather momentous and (2) because not a whole lot else went on during the week. In journaling this event, I discussed how smug I get on our anniversary. We were both extremely young when we got married - I was 18 and he was 21 - and so many people didn't take our marriage seriously. So, 24 years and 2 grown children later, I think I have the right to be smug!

I used Amy Tangerine's Cut & Paste mini-kit for this week's cards. I subscribe to a local kit club and this month's kit was full of embellishments from the Cut & Paste line. Most of the chipboard embellies are Amy Tangerine.

Here's a close up of the left side:

Aside from the Amy Tan stuff, I used a wood veneer circle from Studio Calico, a stamp from Ali Edwards, and then some other stickers that I can't remember where I got them. The "Week 2" letters are Kelly Purkey.

I continue to download any pictures that the kids put up on Facebook to use in PL. Seeing as neither of them are living at home at the moment, it's the only way I have to include them.

And the right side...

This is one of the newer PL page protectors  - Design W. I love the layout of the pockets on this protector. It was nice having that one extra 6x4 slot.

At the restaurant where Rob and I had dinner, they had butcher paper covering the tables and crayons were provided at each table. I drew the 24 in crayon specifically to photograph it for inclusion in Project Life. Yes - it's my anniversary and I'm planning my weekly spread. That wine was spectacular, in case you were wondering...

That pretty much sums up Week 2. Until next week.....

My One Little Word - BELIEVE

For the first time, I am joining Ali Edwards in her year-long journey to invite "one little word" into life. I usually shy away from year-long projects, mostly because my ADHD kicks in and I forget about them after the first month. But this project spoke to me.

After thinking about OLW for most of December, my word hit me like a ton of bricks on January 1. The word BELIEVE says it all. It speaks to all areas of my life.

Health - I need to BELIEVE that I am capable of living a healthy lifestyle. I need to BELIEVE that taking the time to plan out healthy meals and snacks is not just extra work, that it is essential for this ADHD'er to do in order to fuel my body and brain correctly. I need to BELIEVE that I am capable of overcoming cravings and setbacks.

Parenthood - I do BELIEVE that I am a good mother. I look at my kids and marvel how they have grown to be strong, capable adults. I BELIEVE they will both find their place in the world and will succeed beyond their wildest dreams. I BELIEVE that their successes are, in part, a result of the strong parenting they received (and continue to receive).

Friendships - I need to BELIEVE that I am capable of having strong, meaningful friendships. I need to BELIEVE that I matter to my friends as much as they matter to me. I need to BELIEVE in myself to know when I am being used by a friend and that I deserve better.

Career - I do BELIEVE that I am a great teacher. I need to BELIEVE that I have the ability to demonstrate to others that I am a great teacher, that I am their best choice for employment.

ME - I need to BELIEVE in myself. I need to BELIEVE that perfection is not possible. I need to BELIEVE that having a perfect house in perfect order is not possible. I need to BELIEVE that my physical looks are beautiful without any perceived notion of perfection. I need to BELIEVE that I am intelligent, that I can hold my own in an argument and not be sidelined intellectually.

I hope you'll continue to join me on this year as I discover what it means to BELIEVE.

Project Life 2014: Week 1

Yay for a new year of Project Life!!! This is my third year doing this project. In 2012, I began doing PL in May and completed most of that year. Last year, I actually kept up to date (for the most part) and finished the album even before the new year began (yay me!).

My mom surprised me today with a late Christmas gift - the Seafoam kit. Can I tell you how much I love this kit???? I love the softness of the colors, the simplicity of the design, and how the cards complement the pictures without distracting from them. Why didn't I get this kit sooner????

Anyway, here's Week 1:

Please forgive the amateur photography. I'm still learning how to photograph these layouts. :)

This week was dominated by the weather. How DARE it get cold and snowy in Montana in January?!?!?! Alyssa needed to pick up a pair of snowshoes and a ski backpack for her snow mechanics class this semester. We had enough snow in the front yard that she could practice walking in her snow shoes without "looking like a dork" once she gets up on the mountain.

Each month, I use one of the "month" cards from the Seasons Mini-Kit, add in the dates, and embellish it. The blue of the January card went well with the Seafoam kit colors. The stamped circle is from Ali Edwards' Look Here Flair stamps from Technique Tuesday and cut with a 1" circle punch.

I attempted to get a little "crafty" with my cards this week by running a VersaMark watermark pen line along the white lines on the cards and then heat embossing with American Crafts embossing powder. It looks OK - kinda messy though. Not sure if I'll attempt it again.

That's about all she wrote for Week 1. I'll continue practicing photographing layouts - maybe by the end of the year, I'll get it down. :)

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