Last Time for Everything

Today I heard the song Last Time for Everything by Brad Paisley. It got me thinking about all of the things that I have done and never realized it would be the last time I did it. If I would have known that this was the last time, would I have changed anything? For some of these, not at all. For others, I would absolutely change some things!

Here is the list that I came up with. What are some of the things that you didn’t realize you did for the last time?

Downloading a song straight to the computer.

Burning a CD with a random mix of songs.

Listening to a CD.

Eating a meal with just my parents and brother before he got married and had a family.

Watching my favorite baseball player on the field.

Driving around town with my best friend from high school.

Celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas at my grandparents house.

Eating dinner at Mr. Burger with family friends.

Having conversations with people that are no longer around to talk to.

The Adventures of Kiddo, Monkey Butt, and Auntie Jill: Day 2

Today while spending time with Kiddo (my niece-9) and Monkey Butt (my nephew-3) at my parents house, I started thinking about all of the time I spent at my grandparents house. Growing up, we spent most of our extended breaks and many weekends visiting my grandparents. The thing that brought back all of the memories today was an old McDonald’s toy that Monkey Butt was playing with.

At my grandparents house, my grandpa kept a junk toy drawer. This drawer had any and every toy that we had ever gotten in a happy meal while at their house. Every kid in the family knew exactly where this drawer was and what toys were inside.

My parents have kept a junk toy drawer (now a basket) for my niece and nephew. As soon as Monkey Butt walks in, he goes straight for the toys and makes sure that Auntie Jill didn’t play with any while he was gone!

The Adventures of Kiddo, Monkey Butt, and Auntie Jill: Thursday-Day 1 of the Visit

Today Kiddo (my niece) and Monkey Butt (my nephew) arrived at Grandma and Grandpa’s (my mom and dad’s) house. As they were getting close, they called to let me know about their arrival and all that we needed to do today. These were some of the highlights of the day!

Kiddo (9): We went to the grocery store for mystery dinner supplies. We put aisle numbers in a hat and she chose 2, Monkey Butt chose 1, and I chose 1. The only problem with this is that I had NO clue how many aisles were in the grocery store, so once we arrived I had to call Grandma and Grandpa and get them to redraw 2 aisles because the ones she chose did not exist! While shopping, she chose: Hostess Cupcakes, Red Velvet Pop Tarts, mini bananas, hamburger patties, microwavable mashed potatoes, and cheese. She told me her idea. Kiddo likes to be just a little bit… experimental… in her cooking so I was a little skeptical. We got back to my mom and dad’s, and she said that she needed a sous chef. Knowing that March Madness started today, Grandma was volunteered as tribute! From the kitchen, I kept hearing, “Grandma… you’re fired! Grandma… how do you do this? Grandma… you’re rehired.” At this point, I was thinking that pizza may need to be called in. But, it turned out amazing! She made her “specialty”: a hamburger patty with mashed potatoes and cheese topped with another hamburger patty. Once it was cooked, she added a scoop of mashed potatoes. It sounds like a lot, but she used a cookie dough scoop for the mashed potatoes and the smallest hamburger patties she could find. For dessert, she cut up the cupcakes and topped it with cut up bananas and red velvet pop tarts and whipped cream. Mystery dinner will happen again!

Monkey Butt (3): Where to start with him… He is A MESS! When Kiddo and I returned from the store, he was laying in the middle of a bedroom doorway watching his ideos (PBS Kids Videos). When he saw me, he started to tell me about this party we were having. This was the first I was hearing of any party. After the groceries were put away, he kept asking me to come to his party. I still had no clue what party he was talking about. Getting fed up with me, he came and grabbed my hand and had me sit next to him. Apparently the party was in the middle of the doorway! Who knew?!? He then remembered that my parents have an Echo in their kitchen and we needed some tunes! So, he had to go talk to Lexa. “Bah-lexa play Chitty Bang Bang!” The Echo doesn’t respond to Bah-lexa very often. “Bah-lexa, play Chitty Bang Bang!” The Echo still did not respond. “BAH-LEXA PLAY CHITTY BANG BANG!!!” The Echo responded, “Playing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…” The look on his face was on of amazement! “Auntie Jill… she did it! She plays Chitty Bang Bang!” Much of the evening was spent trying to get his favorite Bah-lexa to play any of the three songs he knows the names of.

I have no clue what they have in store for tomorrow, but it’s safe to say that it will be an adventure!

The Adventures of Kiddo, Monkey Butt, and Auntie Jill: Preparation-Day 1

Today is Tuesday of my Spring Break. My niece (Kiddo-9) and nephew (Monkey Butt-3) are going to be spending the last part of Spring Break with my parents. I am planning on being around those days to hang out with them.

Normally this isn’t a big deal. I pick up lunch and go hang out until they go to bed and then go home. Apparently, “This trip is not normal Auntie Jill!” (Kiddo… with the accompanying 9 going on 19 eye roll)!

So Kiddo and Monkey Butt have given me a list of things they want to do while visiting that I get to prepare for before Thursday! I’m pretty sure that there are a ton of things on their lists to do that they haven’t shared yet!

Kiddo’s Requests: 1. “Go to the store and see how many aisles there are. We can play a game where I choose an aisle and then have to find things to make dinner with! Since you are picky, you can supervise and make sure that there is something that you and brother will eat!” 2. “Can we go to Target?” (I may have taught her to love Target as much as me!)

Monkey Butt’s Requests: 1. “Can we ride in your car?” 2. “Can I drive your car?” 3. “Can we watch PJ Masks on your phone?”

Quote Collector

Ever since I was young, I’ve been a collector of quotes. These come from anywhere and everywhere: songs, shows, movies, books, people. They can come from anyone: family, friends, famous people, infamous people. Each quote I have collected means something different every time I look at it. Sometimes it is just funny or interesting. Other times, I stop and reread it several times because it hits me in the feels! Here are some of my favorites! What are some of your favorites?

“The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem.” ~Captain Jack Sparrow

“It’s the way you present yourself for all your worst critics to see.” ~Head on Collision by Newfound Glory

“Life will always throw you curves, just keep fouling them off… the right pitch will come, but when it does, be prepared to run the bases.” ~Rick Maksian

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you will be criticized anyway.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Sometimes it’s okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.

“I never look back, darling! It distracts from the now.” ~Edna Mode, The Incredibles

You can’t control everything. Your hair was put on your head to remind you of that.

Never look back. If Cinderella went back to get her shoe, she would have never been a princess.

“All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it.” Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

“Before I do anything, I ask myself, ‘Would an idiot do that?’ and if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing.” ~Dwight Schrute, The Office

Biased Bracket

I filled you out

More than once

And every time

A Big 12 Team Wins

I went through the stats

I looked at the match-ups

And every time

A Big 12 Team Wins

I’ve listened to the experts

I’ve thought it all through

And every time

A Big 12 Team Wins

Will this be true?

Who knows?

But for this biased bracket

A Big 12 Team Wins

Old? Who… Me?!?

When did I get old?!?

Is it because of my side part?

Is it because of my skinny jeans?

When did I get old?!?

Is it because I listen to N’Sync?

Is it because I quote Napoleon Dynamite?

When did I get old?!?

Is it because I put on 2000s music?

Is it because I said to turn down the music?

When did I get old?!?

So maybe I’m old…

But 5th graders didn’t have to point it out!

Growing Up in Tornado Alley

Growing up, my childhood springs and summers (and a few early falls) were filled with nights spent in the storm cellar (an old bomb shelter) waiting out yet another tornado. It is safe to say that I did not handle these nights well. I tended to freak out when I was awoken by sirens and my parents telling me to put my shoes on so we could go to the Berryhill’s (where the cellar was). It was a struggle to say the least. Last night I was talking to my parents about that we have a possibility of tornadoes this weekend. It got me thinking about the things my parents did to get us ready for bad weather that I still do today.

There were a few summers that we spent 2-3 nights a week (sometimes multiple times a night) getting woken up by sirens and spending some time in the Berryhill’s Cellar. It got to the point that if I saw any type of clouds in the sky at dusk, I would start to worry and panic. When this would happen, my dad would tell me, “Don’t worry… these were just night time clouds. These clouds won’t cause a tornado. Tornadoes only come from… tornado clouds.” This worked! They were just night time clouds… not tornado clouds. It was a great parenting hack… until I asked a science teacher about night time clouds. The jig was finally up! While I now know that night time clouds are not a real thing, my family still uses it as an explanation when someone is worried about the weather!

One of the things my parents always made sure we had were our Cellar Bags. These bags had everything we would need in case we weren’t able to go back to our house. We each had some clothes, a few of our favorite things (choosing which stuffed animals made the cut was my Sophie’s Choice!), and THE BANK BAG. THE BANK BAG had all of the stuff my parents would need to keep our little family of four going through the possible rough days ahead. It’s safe to say that my Cellar (now an under the stairs in a central room) Bag is packed and ready to go!

Another thing my parents always made sure we had handy were our We Have to Leave NOW Clothes. These typically consisted of tennis shoes, socks, rain jackets, and a flashlight. When there was a chance of having to leave quickly, my mom or dad would make sure that these things were sitting next to the bed as we went to sleep… just in case. As an adult, these are the same things that are easy to find in my closet… just in case.

Just this week, we practiced a tornado drill at school so that the students would know what to do… just in case. The things my parents did are things that I do in the classroom during this time of year. I have an Evacuation Bag that has a copy of my class rosters, parent contact information, and some things to entertain the students while we wait out the tornado. Luckily, my campus has a basement that we can all go to in the event of a tornado. I have a We Have to Leave NOW general area in my room. This has my Evacuation Bag, my walkie talkie, and my gradebook. I also have my school and car keys, my wallet, and my school computer handy to grab as we leave. And when the students start to worry about clouds in the sky… they are just night time (or day time) clouds!

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