Thursday, August 31, 2006


Well, Life has settled back into a routine. It's actually kind of nice. I love my summers, but I find that I'm always ready to get back into the daily routine. Here's a quick breakdown of my day:
5:00am- Rise and Shine!
6:00am- Breakfast
6:45am- Heidi picks me up
8:00am- Schools starts
3:00pm- School ends~ Yeah!
4:00pm- arrive home
4-9pm- various events such as eating, blogging, watching TV, schoolwork, basketball games (soon!:) sleeping on the couch, etc.
9-10pm- Bedtime Awe!

I used to go to bed at 10:00, but the last two nights it's been 9:15. I am so tired here at the beginning of school. It's amazing how hard it is to adjust.

I have also started a new “eating” routine. (that’s code for diet) It’s going pretty well so far. I have found that I eat out more from laziness than anything. I don’t really enjoy figuring out what to eat each day. On this diet I eat 5 small meals a day. The hard part for me is the planning ahead. I have to have the food on hand and pack 3 of my 5 meals to take to school. This requires that I absolutely have to get up at 5 when the alarm goes off. No SNOOZING! The new diet routine looks like this:
6:00am – Breakfast- Egg white omelet without cheese and ½ a grapefruit
9:00am – a.m. Snack- 2 oz of turkey or chicken with ½ c. fruit
12:00pm – Lunch - grilled chicken on a bed of greens with cucumber and tomato. Italian
Salad spritzer for dressing. Delicious!
3:00pm - p.m. Snack- Turkey rolls (turkey with greens with a hint of Ranch dressing)
Also Delicious!
6:00pm- Dinner- Grilled chicken breast, very small potato with butter spray, 1 c. veggies

You will notice a lot of repetition, but that’s just because I don’t like fish (at least not the way they want you to eat it ). There are other choices, but these are the easiest for me. Like I mentioned above, I don’t enjoy figuring out what to eat. Since I have a menu that I like, I pretty much stick to it daily. There are a few minor changes that will occur to keep me from getting bored with it, but overall, I like not having to think about what to have. I know, I fix it, and that’s it. Luckily, I like what I’m eating. The worst part of this routine is going to the bathroom every 30 min. from the 100+ oz. of water I’m drinking every day. I haven’t had anything but water since Monday at 5:00am. I’m having caffeine withdraw, but I’m surviving.

I would seriously like to know how many diets I have started in my lifetime. Why is it so hard? Will this be “the one”? I sure hope so. I will do a diet update at the end of each post. This is more for my accountability than because I think you care about my diet. My name is Kelley and I’m a dieter. This is day 4 and I have lost 3lbs.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Life's a Roller Coaster Ride!

I love roller coasters! I have ever since I was a little girl. I have always been willing to try even the scariest of roller coasters. The nervous anticipation while standing in line....the first hill....the view from the very top...the exhilleration of zooming up and down and all around...the disappointment when it's over. LET'S GO AGAIN!!!

I've been thinking this week how life is like a roller coaster. I've had alot of people ask me this week if I had a good summer. I haven't been sure how to answer. Yes, I did have a good summer. The weather was great, I was in the pool alot, I spent some great quality time with family, but emotionally, I was up and down and all over the place with the whole interview process. I am finding that I am emotionally tired. The call for the interview, the waiting till the day, the actual interview goes well (or so I thought) these are all anticipation, first hill, view from the top moments. Then the waiting, rationalizing what could be taking so long, and rejection letters are the jerking around the corners and pulling into the station disappointed. Then a new opportunity comes and you scream "Let's do it again!" I've settled into "teaching" for another year, but still check the posting site daily. My principal is very supportive and knows I could be leaving any day if an opportunity came my way. I'm lucky to have someone like that. Some principal's wouldn't feel that way.

This first week of school has been really busy, and tiring, but I would have to say one of the best starts to a year I've ever had. Now if that isn't God knowing that I needed that to get into the right mindset going back to school, I don't know what it is. I absolutely love this group of kids! There are a few quirky ones, but they are good kids. They are conscientous (sp?), they have fun personalities, (they laugh at my jokes) They're well behaved!! I realize they aren't perfect, and there will be days where the wheels fall off, but I really see a good year ahead of me.

One night this week, I stayed late and did home visits. That is always an eye-opening experience and often a humbling one. Most parents were very appreciative of the visit and I think it set the tone with some for a positive school year. Some homes are heartbreaking. It really puts into perspective what these kids are living with. School is often the least of their worries.

Thursday night was open house so I didn't get home till late again. I'm pretty tired by this point in the week. Wondering if I have anything left for Friday. I go to Sue's to pick up Sandy (she was having a play date with Meka since I wasn't going to be home all evening) and we decided to watch General Hospital real quick before I went home to collapse into bed. One of the characters on GH just found out she has lung cancer and she's trying to make arrangements for her two small children. This was just the emotional trip wire I needed to release the flood gates. I've been known to cry when watching soap operas, but this was a whole new level. Sue was looking at me like "It's not really that sad." I just cried and cried. It was that emotional release that I needed. I've been holding onto all the disappointment from the summer and trying to be positive about it, but the truth released itself. I think this ended up being a good thing. I slept really hard and actually felt pretty decent Friday at school.

Yes, I would definitly say Life is a roller coaster ride. I guess it's a good thing I like roller coasters!

Monday, August 21, 2006

First Day!

Well, today was the first day of school. (with kids that is) It went really well as far as 1st days go. I think this is going to be a good group overall. I am a little disappointed in myself that I didn't remember to take 1st day pictures of myself this morning. I was going to do that as a joke because of John (and Kim's) posts of their kids. Unfortunately I totally forgot. What a tradition that was growing up. I was pretty pleased with my outfit this morning and my girls from 2 years ago all oowed and awed over my new hair color and style. I felt pretty pleased with myself that junior high girls would think I was hip and stylin'. Ha! I'm actually getting a pretty good vibe about this year. We'll see how long that lasts.

Holly- PLEASE fix your links. I am dying here. I checked several sites from yours that are now gone. I didn't know most of them personally, but I've invested in their lives and I can't stand not knowing what's going on.

Church League Softball- Well the season ended tonight with us WINNING THE TOURNAMENT!! YEAHAW! It has been years since we've won both the league and the tournament. We were undefeated this season all the way through the tourney. Tonight we won our first game 13-0 and our championship game 21-2!! I will post our championship winning picture when I get it e-mailed to me. (I forgot my camera) Lynn Munday was our MVP! She was wailing on the ball, sliding into bases (being safe both times) and got hit in the head by the ball but kept on playing through her dizziness. Way to go Lynn!!

Well, in 3 min. it will be past my bedtime so I am planning to be in bed and on my way to dreamland by then. Those of you who know me well, know that I can do it too! :)

Love ya!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Oh My Goodness I'm Tired!

Well, after 2 days, I'm exhausted and the kids haven't even come yet! Yesterday was Teacher "Work" Day; which turned into Teacher "meeting" day. I had 50 min. in my classroom yesterday to work. Then today was a full Professional Development day which translates to sitting in training from 8:00-3:00. I feel like I've climbed a mountain I am so exhausted. The only thing I can figure is that my brain was near the comotose state from inactivity all summer and the requirement to concentrate for that many hours in the last 2 days has totally blown a fuse!

The staff meetings gave me great delight though as I sat and chuckled at all the people I could identify from Deb's blog. If you haven't read it, you must! It was hillarious. Yesterday, I happened to sit next to Jeff, the very sarcastic commentator. He kept me in stitches. I made sure to keep my eyes on the boss and nod in agreement enough that he knew I was miserable sitting there.

Talking to people about my principal "situations" wasn't too bad. People were actually pretty respectful, probably afraid I'd fall apart if they mentioned it. Some said they were sad to see me, some asked gently how I felt about being there. Overall, it wasn't as bad as I feared. I've actually realized these last 2 days that I work with a neat group of people who do really care about me. They are all pulling for me even though they follow that up with, "not that we want you to go!" I feel pretty loved.

My big bag of work is sitting on a kitchen chair just waiting on me. You'd think I could just pull out last year's lesson plans and go by that, but for some reason, I think I need to change things each year. Keeps me from getting bored. :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll report on that first student day early next week!


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Last Day

Well here it is...Last day before school starts. It was a laid back, lazy day. I'm actually ready to get back to work. It's 10:07 and I should be in bed, but I'm quickly typing this. I won't be able to sleep. Never can the night before school. I'm worse than the kids...What will I wear?... I hope my hair cooperates!...How will I convince the 40 people tomorrow that I'm okay with coming back and I'm actually happy I didn't find a principal's job? Can I just make one big announcement or do I have to talk to them each individually? I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Well, I'm off to take Tylenol PM. 5:45am will be here before I know it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Grate Reunion~ part 2

Woohoo! After many attemps I finally got the pictures to upload. I had to go with the smaller size, but you can click on them to enlarge if you feel the need to see us all up close. :)

I would like to add that our family was also "on time" to the family reunion; arriving shortly after 12:00. This was the time posted on the invitation, but obviously the invitor didn't think any of us would actually show up till 2 or 3 in the afternoon. After we'd toured the whole campground, peed in a hole (my favorite part of camping, the ole hole in the ground toliets) and walked out on the dock to look at the dirty water and boats, we decided to take Jon a tour of "down-home!" So we drove through the hollars touring some Grate history. We saw where my dad was raised, where my grandma was raised, where my grandpa was raised, and the Fairplay chapel, a one room school house/church, where my grandpa went to school and where he was saved. We also stopped to visit Uncle Harvey, my grandma's brother who lives in Danville. By the time we got back to the campground, the reunion was underway and we looked late. Below are the rest of the pictures that I couldn't get to post last night. If you're reading this for the first time, the first part of this event was posted yesterday so keep scrolling down.

Here you have the George Grate clan.

Of course this is our family. We are the Robert Grate clan, but grandpa is no longer with us. Grandma was able to make the trip and we were all glad.

Next you have Georgene's butt! We are a sick family who enjoys the embarrassment of others. You can see the glee on my grandma's face as she held Georgene for an extra long hug so we could all get this great shot! Grandma hasn't lost her ornery side.

This is Uncle George and Uncle Herman, my grandpa's brothers with my grandma.

This is the Hersman clan. Aunt Eva is my granpa's sister.

Reunion is a sweet time, but it's also a little bitter-sweet. There were originally 8 brothers and sisters. We have lost 4 of them. As I look at the pictures, I wonder if we'll all be together next year or if someone will be missing. Our numbers seem to shrink each year. As each one passes, it seems their children and grandchildren quit attending the reunion. I cherish these times and the rich family history I've been blessed with. The Grates are special people.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Great "Grate" Family Reunion

As promised... This post is about my family reunion. Those readers who are not related may not be as excited about this post, but then again, I enjoy looking at anyone's pictures, so maybe you will. First let me say that these pictures are only the beginning. I am having trouble getting the rest to upload so I'll try to post the rest tomorrow.

After much debate about the long trip (it's 5 hours for me), gas prices, and my climbing miles on my car, I did finally decide to go to this years family reunion. I am so glad I did. It was filled with lots of love and laughter. The Grates are a crazy clan who know how to have a good time, especially the Baptist among us. She's a real party animal. ;)

This is me with cousin Kim. She's listed on my blog links for those of you who read her blog. Nice to put a face with the sense of humor! Some say we look alike; could be the double chin. Ha!

This is cousin Bonnie with my mom, Marsha. No blood relation here, but with the red hair you might think so.

Here you have Andrea, Kelley, Cousin Bev and Cousin Geogene. Bev an Georgene are sisters as are Andrea and I.

This is me with Aunt..oops I mean Cousin Carolyn; also linked on my blog site. She is the mother of Kim and John for those of you who read his blog too.

Next we have me with Cousin Bev, the Baptist. We don't hold it against her, we just pray for her. Ha! Just kidding! Lots of good memories when I think of Bev. I would go and spend a couple of weeks with her each summer when I was in high-school. I loved that time.

Last, at least for tonight, we have Andrea and Jon, the newlyweds. :)

Cousin John, just want you to know that reunion WAS NOT THE SAME without you! There was lots of laughter, but a certain tone was missing. We all missed you (and talked about you) alot! :) All good things of course!

Bev and Georgene, I say we plan a weekend in Indy! Bev can go to Georgene's and then you can meet me in Indy. Wouldn't that be fun? I"M SERIOUS! We are so good at saying..."We should..." but then the next year, it's always..."We never did..." Let's change that this year!

Well, I'm going to sign off for tonight. Tomorrow I will try to post part 2. The best pictures are still to come, especially one of Georgene. I probably wouldn't post it, but since she commented on Kim's post and not mine, it's going to happen. Besides, Grandma had too much fun making the picture happen. It's gotta be seen!

Love all you Grate's out there!


Friday, August 11, 2006

My Week

Boy what an original title. Since I'm not a deep thinker and usually post of my day to day happenings, I thought the title was appropriate.

Monday~ Tournament for our softball league started today. We haven't had the best tournament record the last several years. We usually win the league, are even undefeated during regular season, but come tournament time, we choke. I'm not sure why. some years we've had as much as 2 weeks between our last season game and the first tournment game so we'd like to blame it on that. Or there's the fact that the season goes into August and half our team are teachers. These games usually fall on someone's first day of school, so there's always that excuse. This year we are determined to win this tournament. It's embarrassing to be undefeated in the season and then play horrible during the tournament. Tonight we won our first round game against Hillside Wesleyan 6-1. Now, we didn't play them during the regular season because they forfited. This is their first year in the league and I was honestly expecting this to be an easy win. As you can see by the score, it wasn't a blow out. We struggled with our hitting and they did an excellent job defending us. They have alot of potential and I expect them to be a contender in the coming years. With that said, we play our toughest contender in round 2 this coming Monday night at 5:45. Grace #2 is one of the other strongest teams. We only beat them 6-3 with that being our closest game of the season. We will hope that we don't get so nervous that we psych ourselves out.

Tuesday~ Kokomo Beach! I was invited to go with some friends over to the big city of Kokomo Indiana to their city's Aquatic Center. It has play areas for kids and even 2 big water slides. There's also a lazy river which I enjoyed very much. :) There were 6 of us ladies and 13 children! Now keep in mind that 2 of us there didn't have any children. :) It was a great day with friends and I thought it was a cool place. I'll have to take the kids there next summer.

Wednesday~ Totally uneventful. I'm not even sure I got dressed. Lots of TV, Soap Operas and movies were watched this day.

Thursday~ Today was another laid back day, but it ended with dinner with friends. I had Lynn and Missy over for dinner, and it was nice to just sit and talk. There's something about Missy that just makes me open up and talk. I bared my soul, made some confessions and came away feeling as if I'd been to therapy! I for one am not surprised that strangers open up and tell all when they're around her. She has a gift.

Friday~ Well, today has barely begun, but I don't have anything major on the agenda. My cable is out from yesterday's storm so I'm waiting on the cable guy to come and figure out what's wrong. I hope lightening didn't strike my TV. The internet is working which is also through my cable, so I'm guessing that could be a bad sign.

Tomorrow I head to Ohio for the big Grate Family Reunion. I'll post an update complete with pictures on Sunday!


Monday, August 07, 2006

Lifetime Friends

I've sat here for almost 10 min. looking at the walls of my "office" pondering what to write about. I'm drawing a blank. My life is extremely low key and uneventful right now. I had a great weekend with my parents. They were here for the weekend so my dad could do some work for me. Thanks Dad! The water pressure is great! :)

It's Monday and it's raining; Hey...isn't that a song? Rainy days and Mondays always get me down... I'm not really down, just being lazy. I've laid around and watched TV all day. I'm embarrassed to admit that it's 3:15 and I'm still in my nightgown. These days are numbered, 9 to be exact, so I figure I might as well enjoy it. Just seems like yesterday that I was doing the countdown to be out for the summer. Now, I'm counting the days left in my summer. Where did it go?

Okay, to the point (and title) of this blog. It seems I have a certain friend who shall remain nameless who seems to need some reassuring. Based on some anonymous comments she's feeling a little insecure about her place in my heart. I hope everyone has a "lifetime" friend. The kind of friend that you've had since you were a little girl and with any luck will sit around with as old ladies talking about the good ole days. I have that kind of friend. I have memories of so many good times. Sleepovers that involved scary movies and dark basements. Flooded basements that needed bailed out in the middle of the night. Toliet papering that had us running for our lives and me falling in drainage ditches. "Recording" our first songs together at the French Market. She was Sandi Patti and I was Karen Carpenter. Fighting over who would sit beside the Harmon boys and who exactly was Brian Harmon going to marry. Guess the joke was on both of us. Dating best friends and the trouble that brought. Church camp~ needing to be the first ones there a night early so we could get the best beds and watch everyone else arrive. Church camp romances, Ahh young love. Fighting till we bled over the last spoon. Getting recruited for the marching band because she convinced the director I could play the bells because I play the piano and the keys are the same. I could play or I could march, but both were entirely out of the question. Show choir, New addition, musical, youth group, Duets in church that had me running out in tears and her in fits of giggles. Harve and Edith we are not! Kel-Kan and Kibbles (code names) My high-school graduation gift~ an awesome memory book of all our escapades. Being college suitemates, being a bridesmaid in her wedding, holding her 4 babies, and the list will continue to go on because we are lifetime friends! Did I forget anything, Kiz? Oh sorry, I said you'd remain nameless, but I guessing that everyone figured it out anyways. I love you, my friend. You are treasured!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Purses, Cincinatti Reds and Softball

So, like I promised this post will contain information about my many purses. I have what some people might call an addiction to purses. I suppose it's a fairly harmless addiction compared to most. I decided to pull out and display for all of you my many purses. I counted and I have 30. Well, let me clarify that. This picture contains bags that are used for luggage and school too. There are 15 bags/purses displayed here that are Vera Bradley bags. I did not disply my make-up bags, curling iron holder, wallets, change purses, credit card holders, etc. I have cut back in my purse buying in the last couple of years. I even went a whole year without buying one. My goal was to not buy one purse between Vera sales. I made it and then went and spent over $200 on Vera bags and purses. I'm not sure my method worked since most purses I buy are fairly cheap. I don't buy expensive purses unless I get a whale of a deal like Sunday night. I change my purses to match my outfits and you might find 2-3 purses laying on my kitchen table if you catch me off-guard. When I go home, I pack a purse for Sunday that will match my outfit if my regular purse at the time doesn't match. I'm realizing as I type this that I might have a sickness. I won't go into the number of pairs of shoes I have that match all these purses! That's for another day. I regularly sell purses in my yard sales as I buy new ones so Deb you can stop by my next rummage and pick out a new purse. Since i have so many and I use them all, none of them get too worn out.

Tuesday night Sue and I jetted off to our "cheap" form of entertainment. We went to another Reds ballgame. Tickets are only $5 so you can't beat it. Since it was during the week the crowd was low which allowed us to sit in many different areas for our $5 ticket price. One thing that was mandatory was plenty of room. I didn't want to be near another person since I was literally dripping with sweat. It was extremely hot. The Reds lost which was a bummer, but we still had a good time.
One of our many views of the field.
This is a coal barge making it's way down the river. This always amazes me.
This is a picture of me with the stadium behind me.
Sue with a view of the river and Kentucky behind her.

This last picture is of our College Wesleyan Softball team. Monday night was our last regular season game. We won 6-3 in our most challenging game of the season. We were undeafted again this season. We're hoping to break our tournament losing streak next week. This is a great group of ladies and we have such a fun time together. I'm always a little sad to see the season come to a close.

I'll wrap this up with a job up-date. I did not get the assistant's job at McCulloch. I received a nice, cold rejection letter in the mail today. I wasn't really shocked that I didn't get the job, but I was shocked at the cold, distant way it was delivered considering the personal connection I have with Mr. Shafer through church. BUT, this morning I saw on the state site that Madison Grant (a close county school) has an opening at their junior high. So, I got all my stuff together, got gussied up and took myself out their personally to deliver it. I was able to meet and talk with the superintendent for 30 min. He is a good friend of the Jacksons so hopefully that will be helpful in getting me an interview. I think they are accepting resumes till next Friday so this could be a long wait. I'd be lying if I said that I'm not disappointed and a tad discouraged, but I am truely believing that God is opening and shutting doors as he knows is best. I am getting interview experience which I'm sure will help me when the perfect job comes open. Just keep praying! :)