Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy thanksgiving!

'Tis the Season for many things . . . shopping, ignoring the very early Christmas decorations, cooking, eating. In my case, I have about three months worth of art that is pretty much expected of me. Think about it. If your children didn't come home with that really cute Halloween cat, or the paperbag Thanksgiving turkey, or the Christmas ornament made from toilet paper, you would be so disappointed. even though I know half of it ends up in the garbage.

Unless you are like my mom, who saved EVERYTHING.

When we cleaned the basement out after dad died, my sister and I had a system. We would let mom go through a box and oh and ah over the memories . . . "I remember when you made this in Mrs. Brown's class. Look how cute it is." etc.

Then, when mom dug deeper and found something else to get sentimental over, I would slip the 20 year old piece of glue and construction paper to Erin who would put it in a hidden garbage bag. I know. We're bad daughters. But that basement got clean. It took three months, but it got clean. And mom never knew until we told her a couple of years ago.
Ah the memories.
And now it's my turn to pass on that grand tradition of construction paper crap. I mean art.
So I got on line and found this great idea that my turkeys this year would be nontraditional. They would be "Turkeys in Disguise." After all, the farmer is after them, so why wouldn't they hide? (I obviously have too much time to sit and think, and a very active imagination) So, only a couple of feathers are showing (we taped feathers on the back as if the escaped from the disguise). And the kids could come up with whatever disguise they wanted.

So I give you, our turkeys in disguise.
I even laminated them so that in 20 years, when the parents are going through boxes of crap, I mean art, these will not have fallen apart.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So, sorry for my rant last time. You have to understand. I am a teacher and I have to be able to control everything, and everyone around me. Thank heavens classrooms are not democracies.

This week is the BYU U of U football game, and I am so anxious I could scream. You have to understand, I could care less about football. But my family is BYU fans from birth. I think something bad happened to my brother once, like a curse, when he rooted for the U. So I cheer for the Y even though I have never watched a game this season. Football is just a bunch of men running and falling, running and falling, and eventually they will blow a knee and take up coaching. This is what they aspire to. But hey, I teach 10 year olds and find completion in that chaos, so to each his own.

What gets me about this rivalry are the fans. Has anyone besides my sister and me noticed the difference between BYU fans and U of U fans? Of course I'm talking in generalities here, but my experience has been that Y fans can call the game a game and the rivalry fun, and leave it at that. The U fans get a little nasty. Again, this is in generatlities. There are the Y fans who are adamant that the Cougars are the Lord's team, and there are U fans who cheer for the Y when they play anyone else.

But here's what I'm dealing with at work.
There is a teacher has been wearing red and white all week. And letting us know why. Everyday.
When the U won one of their Thursday games, our principal played the U of U fight song over the intercom.
During Red Ribbon Week, when everyone was supposed to wear red, I heard everyday about how I was wearing red hahahahahahahaha.
Someone on Facebook sent me some nasty phrases and swear words regrding the BYU Cougars.

So, Saturday, after we lose, I will wear blue for the next week at school. I will burst into the BYU fight song at strange moments. I will pretend to forget the kids names and instead use the names of famous BYU quarterbacks and coaches. ("Hey LaVelle, I mean Katie"). And on Facebook, I will write on this person's wall continually with the chorus to the fight song ("Rise & Shout, the Cougars are out . . ."). Sadly, that's as nasty as I get.

Don't mail me any white powder.
Go Cougars!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I don't even know what to title this post. I just know I have to say something. It's been rolling around in my head for a few hours now, and it needs saying before I go nuts.
Recently I was looking at the news while checking my email, and I read the updated story about the white powder sent to the Salt Lake Temple and the L.A. Temple. And then I read the comments people posted. Why I do that I will never know, because it always makes me mad. As we all know, only fanatics comment on news stories. You know the ones. There is no middle road for them.
But I kept coming across people saying the same thing . . . that we (insert adjective) Mormons were getting what we deserved. We are bigots, and we hate everyone. So many things go through my mind:
Have they ever met a Mormon?
What were they thinking?
Where are their parents?
Don't they know it is usually little old ladies and little old men working at the temple?

I wanted to shake them till their teeth rattled (not the temple workers, the guy who mailed the powder).

And then I remember what we have been taught (and there were quite a few nasty posts about Mormons following blindly). We love those that hate us. Period.
That is my hardest test. I want to run out there and show everyone exactly how wrong they are and how right I am. (Ask my sister . . . I am always right!)

So today, my mantra is, Love Thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor.
I will not suggest to anyone that if they don't like it they can leave, because today I am trying to remember . . . Love Thy Neighbor, Love thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor.

I will not suggest we get out the handcarts and pack up, because today I am trying to remember . . . Love Thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor, Love Thy Neighbor.

Of course my sister will find this easier. She had years of putting up with me so it's second nature to her (Love thy sister, Love Thy Sister, Love Thy Sister . . .).

And then my sister will read this and call me and tell me to settle down. But by then it'll be OK because repeating that actually works.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jessica's back

My roommate Jessica is moving around now. She hasn't been for the past week. See, she threw her hip out of its socket. Then, on the same day, while trying to pop her back she caused two of her discs to slide up and down. It has been a week of misery and pain.

Oh, and by the way, she turned 26 On November 2nd. So Mom and Dad can't have her on their insurance anymore. OF COURSE her back gets hurt this week.

See, last Thursday, when it snowed, Jessica said she fell but caught herself. By "caught herself" she meant with her hands on the pavement. In other words, she fell and landed on her hands. That's when she threw her hip out of joint.

But we didn't learn that until later.

Because her back hurt, (ya think?!) she tried to pop it. That's when the discs slid out of place.
We were at work, so there was no one there to tell her "When you can no longer walk because of the pain, Go To The ER!" What was her choice? She lay flat on her back in her bedroom and cried. She couldn't reach the remote or the space heater for three hours. (I find it humorous that these were the two things foremost in her mind. . . I would have been calling ANYONE to take me to a doctor or a shaman or someone with Lortab.)

She couldn't work herself up to texting until 3:00. Yep, she was hurting that much. And then she asked me to stop by the 7/11 on my way home and get her something to drink. (My first thought when I found out what was going on - how are you going to use the bathroom after you drink all that soda?)

That day and that night were miserable. She literally could only move inches at a time and she would whimper the whole time. I heard her sneeze and then heard her cry for half an hour.

She still wouldn't go see a doctor. I often wonder how three such stubborn women came to be roommates. When Jennie and I threatened to carry her to a doctor, she said she would call.

On Friday she called a specialist, and got an appointment for Saturday morning. To make a long story longer, the doctor started looking at her back and said something to the effect of "Hey, your foot and leg shouldn't be sticking out like that." They put it back in the socket, sent her home, where she's been recovering. She's had to back twice more to have the rest of her back looked at.

But Jessica can't sit still very well. She has been difficult to keep in her room. She wants to cook or go get food, or go driving. Then her back hurts worse. Have you ever tried doing those things without twisting or bouncing in any way?

But on the plus side she has now watched every movie in our library. I am not kidding. Every movie. Even the Masterpiece Theater ones that a week ago she wouldn't look at.

So she can now bend, sort of twist, and sleep through the night. And she did it without pain medicine. Who turns down pain medicine? My roommate is either incredibly stupid, or a superhero.
Maybe a little of both?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Election

Now that the election is over I thought I would share with you who I voted for.

I didn't know who to vote for because I think they are both wrong for the job. (I was going to say "idiots" but I don't want to offend anyone.)

I thought that I might not even vote. I live in Utah. My vote for President never matters. But that's not an option in our family. My Dad used to drive to Provo when we were going to school to get us, take us home to Salt Lake City to vote, and then drive us back. Non-participation is not an option.

So I looked at the candidates.

There was Obama. They call guys with his kind of experience in the mission field "greenies" and the older missionaries play pranks on them. Do I want a greenie for President?

Moving on . . .

There was McCain. A war hero. A senator for 23 years. He's the older missionary that plays the pranks and annoys all the other missionaries and then looks good for the mission president. Yeah, no.

I could always write in. I thought about Mickey Mouse. He's cheerful, everyone likes him, and he gets himself out of tough situations rather easily with the help of a group of (admittedly weird) advisers. Plus he's photogenic. But could Disney World do without him?

Rather than choose one of these, I thought I'd vote for Nader. No one could get mad that I didn't vote, right?

But at the last minute I got smart. I decided to cancel out my sister's vote.

Democracy and Sibling Rivalry alive and well.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween: Episode II

So, my kids didn't get my costume. But more surprisingly Neither Did the Teachers!
One teacher said it was cute. She thought I was a "Candy Person." Huh?
One of them thought I was a Hippie. Were the Hippies in the habit of sewing candy on their clothing?

My kids were more interested in if they could eat the candy. I told them if it fell off, it was theirs. And as they day went on, it did fall off. I sewed them in rows, and once one fell, the entire row went. I started with 100 Smarties. I ended up with 43. Plus my earrings.

I had to tell my class that I was a "Smartie" pants. Once they understood, they thought I was brilliant. And then like the good little loud, sugar-high monsters they were, they told everyone. Loudly. In the hallways on their way to the bathroom. Or just yelling it from the door while waiting in line.

So word got around, and all was well. Or as well as it can be when you are marching in front of parents in ridiculous clothing. And they make you hold a sign that says "Ms. Pettit Room 12." We all feel so stupid holding that sign, we immediately give it to a kid, even though we're not supposed to. (Apparently the PTA is worried the kids might tear it. Of course they will tear it. They will probably hit several people with it. Please, it's a piece of paper on a yard stick. Make a new one next year.

Our Jr. Highs and High Schools had school off because it is end of term for them, so some of my old kids came. My bishop came.

That was fun. Or humiliating. I haven't decided.

Several former students came dressed a Jedi Knights. They told me they wanted to be like me, and where was my costume. I have fans!

Three parents in the parade asked where my Star Wars costume was and told me they specifically came to see that. Really? You come to the Driggs Parade just to see me dressed as a Jedi? How sad.

But now I don't have to try and decide what to be next year. Apparently the parents don't just expect me to be a good teacher. I must also be a force of justice in the galaxy.

I better replace the batteries in my lightsaber.

May the Force Be With You.