Sunday, May 31, 2009


There are only three days left of school this year. Students are packing up their things and so are the teachers. Plans for summer vacations are on everyone's mind. There will be tests, parties and awards. The time will speed by and the long, lazy days will be upon us.

Yes, even teachers are excited about the idea of sleeping in for a few extra hours each day. I will be visiting some of the classrooms where I have spend much of my time mentoring the teachers. I will miss those fifth graders who will be moving on to middle school. I have told many of those teachers that I feel like those kiddos are mine, too. They have been kind enough to share the students with me.

The thing I am dreading this year though is the restructuring of our office. The eight of us have become very close. I have worked with some of them for four years in the tiny suite we call home. We have worked on projects which have become the teachers' bible when it comes to writing. We have written maps of curriculum for language arts that drive all the instruction throughout the district. We have met famous authors and had our picture taken with most of them for our "Wall of Fame".

How to you just pack up and move on after all that? We pledge to stay close and keep in contact. And, I know we will. But still, it will never really be the same. Some of us will be back downtown in one way or another. Still more of us will continue to be coaches, just in various forms. Any time something changes, it is hard. I know we will all move on to a different journey. Some will continue to be close while working on projects together. No matter what though, we will always be glad our paths crossed and we had this time together.

AND we will always be the sweet "suite" girls!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009


There are many things that my parents and grandparents taught me over the years. Things like: you go to church every Sunday, you go to school unless you need to see the doctor, and you decorate the graves of loved ones on Memorial Day with whatever flowers are in bloom. This is Memorial Day and true to my upbringing, I went on Saturday to decorate the graves.

I remember as a child going to grandma and grandpa's big peony bushes and cutting the largest pink, red and white flowers we could find. We had big tomato soup cans with the labels cut off and the tops removed. They were filled with water. We would stuff those flowers in until they literally could not move. We also would find lilacs and irises to add to the mix. They were beautiful and smelled wonderful.

Then we would make the trip to the various cemeteries. We started in Butler with a cousin I never met. He was about three years older than me and had died either in birth or very, very young. Then we would go to cemeteries in Steuben County where my dad's family was buried. I never knew them either. The thing I really remember most is that Kris and I would walk around and look at all the markers and kind of make up stories about the people buried there. The areas were always so peaceful and quiet.

Now, I buy the artificial flowers because I don't have peony bushes and only a small amount of lilacs and irises. Not enough to fill even a small soup can. The Big D and I take a scrub brush and a trowel. We clean the stone and pull the grass away. Last year we even bought new pots for the graves of my grandparents because they were slowly chipping away with age. I always use the red, white and blue theme for their pots. I just feel grandpa would like that. He was the flower lover in the family.

Being in those quiet, peaceful areas brings back memories of the times I spent with those loved ones. I feel proud that I can be the one who carries on this tradition. I secretly imagine Grandma and Mom saying, "Yep, Kathy remembered again. I guess she remembers some of the things we tried to teach her." Actually, I remember more than they would ever have believed possible.

As this Memorial Day draws to a close, I just want to stop and say thanks to the wonderful job those people did while raising me. I wouldn't be the person I am today without their love and support. Thanks!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


This was the weekend for planting flowers. The weather was cooperating and we had the flowers ready to go. I had already done the pots for the side of the pool and for the deck. Now it was time to do the bedding flowers. That is the tough part.
The Big D did the turning up of the dirt to get it ready for me. Then I began. There were five rows in the bed between the windows. Those were for the marigolds and the Zenia's. I did three rows of Zenia's and two rows of marigolds. They looked great and I only felt a little sore.
The next job was the two beds below the deck. That was an up and down procedure. It took about four hours to do the whole thing. When the day was done, I jumped in the shower, ordered a pizza and collapsed. By late Saturday night, I could barely move. I took two aspirin and climbed into bed. At least the flowers are planted. I am ready for summer!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What a beautiful day! I chose this day to catch up on things that just don't get done on a busy weekend. I started off having breakfast at a local restaurant with my ol' buddy, Marsha. We just never seem to get caught up. It was the perfect way to start off a "personal" day.

After running a few errands and answering school e-mails, I got busy with the flowers. The flower beds are not dug up enough to plant those flowers, so they will have to stay in their crates a little while longer. The pots, though, could be planted. I go crazy with those things. I have five around the pool, five on the deck and two out in front on the porch. It took all afternoon to decide which flowers I wanted where. Yes, I did have my list with all that information on it. The problem was: I just couldn't find my list. So, I winged it. They look great!

Another problem was the old Murphy dog. He usually loves to be wherever I am. Today was no different. However, he IS old and he does NOT like the heat. So, what he did was watch me with those mournful eyes as I walked out the door. Then as I was deep in dirt I would hear from inside: "Boof!" "Boof, Boof!" I would wipe off the dirt, take off the garden gloves and mosey inside. There he would be in the middle of the living room just looking at me. That happened over and over until he finally took his afternoon nap. I guess if he didn't want to be outside, he didn't want me out there either.

I DID get the flower pots all planted and they look great. Now if I can just get my legs to stop hurting from all the stooping AND get my nails to look clean!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Meron's first birthday was so much fun! She wasn't sure she was really supposed to get into that cake all by herself. She kept looking at all of us as if to say, "Am I going to get yelled at for putting my hand in the cake?" As she opened her gifts and had all the attention, she began to like the party atmosphere. She wore her Ethiopian dress that Mom and Dad brought back with them when she came to live with them. We are so happy to have her in our family with her big brown eyes and loving personality! Happy First Birthday, Meron!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


It has been so long since I wrote on this blog, but my life has been changing almost daily! This past Monday was one of the biggest changes. First of all, for someone my age who has been teaching for 40, yes, 40, years, going through an interview with a resume and portfolio was not what I had imagined doing at this stage of the game.

I interviewed for three positions with FWCS. The first two were for Building Coaches. These two schools are the ones were I have worked closely with the principals and teachers and I felt I could make the most impact. The two principals are not only great men, but people I admire and look up to, also. I would be honored to work in either building. The teachers are all amazing educators who are ready to make a difference in the lives of their children. How could I go wrong on either building?

The other position was for Curriculum District Coach in literacy. I would be working with the two "bosses" I already have. I love working with these amazing women. They are smart, professional and both Christian. Again, how could I go wrong?

After going through the three half hour interviews I left Wayne High School with my head spinning. How in the world was I to decide what direction my life would take? Later that night again after three phone calls, the direction of my journey began to take shape.

I have accepted the position of District Coach. I will be working out of the central office along side another amazing coach...Mary Johnson. I so look forward to working with Mary. I know we will make a great team. We will be working closely with the other 34 coaches in buildings to help FWCS become the exemlary district we all know it can become.

I thank everyone who prayed for me during this trying time. God is good and has a plan for all of us. I am so blessed to be able to work with the "suite girls" I have in the last four years. I know we will all stay close and rely on each other even more as we head in a different, but same, direction. Keep watching as the journey continues to unfold!