mandyholbert

A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Not a Wonderful Morning October 5, 2012

My sister is an amazing teacher.  She has an intuitive gift of reaching each student in the unique way that suits him.  She doesn’t just teach academics; she teaches life skills.  She teaches kids how to believe in themselves.  She is truly passionate about what she does, and I’m so proud of her.  She wrote this yesterday, and I asked her if I could share it.  You’ll see why I wanted everyone to read it.

Here is a post called “Not a Wonderful Morning” by guest blogger, my sister, Miss M:

Most of the time I write about all the wonderful parts of my job, but every day isn’t wonderful. This morning was a not wonderful morning. One of my students was having a bad, bad day. He was beyond disrespectful to all his teachers including me (usually he spares me from his disrespectful attitude). He refused to do any work at all and insisted on distracting everyone else. I could see that he was spiraling out of control. I can normally get him back on track pretty quickly but today nothing worked.

He ended up getting so mad that he walked out of my classroom (not ok!) and sat down in the hallway (at least he didn’t go far). I stood in the doorway and continued teaching my other kids while keeping an eye on my wanderer until someone was available to watch my classroom.

After several minutes (I had plenty of time to think!), help arrived. I handed over my class and went to talk to my wanderer in the hallway. He wouldn’t look at me, much less talk to me. He didn’t get up when I asked him to. He just sat there defiantly looking away.

It had been a long morning and I really just wanted to yell at him…and I don’t want to yell often. Instead, I sat down next to him. I wanted to lecture him about his horrible, disrespectful attitude. Instead, this is what I said:

I know you don’t want to talk to me right now. I know you are angry and you probably think I’m going to yell at you. Well, I’m not. I’m just going to tell you some things that I know about you. First, I know that you are smart. I know that you are kind and helpful. I know that you can be the hardest working student in my class when you want to be. I know that you can do anything in the world that you decide to do. I know that people love you. I know that the other students look up to you. I know that you are funny. I also know that I like you a lot. I know that I want you in my classroom. I know that even when we have horrible mornings, I like you anyway. I know that when you are disrespectful I am disappointed, but I understand that you are working on self-control. I know that you can be better than you have been today. And, I know that there is nothing that you can do that will make me not like you.

We sat quietly for a minute. Then, I asked him if he was ready to go back to class and do his work. He nodded yes, stood up and returned to class. His first assignment was writing in his journal. Each day he has to write at least three complete sentences. I give a writing prompt for most of the kids, but they know that can always write about whatever they want if they don’t like the prompt.

When I read this student’s journal this afternoon, the very first sentence was: “Ms. M, you make my day every day.”

It never ceases to amaze me that when I take the time to give a kid exactly what he needs to get through a situation I always end up getting exactly what I need too.

beautiful inside and out

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The People under the Stairs June 6, 2012

Filed under: children,Confessions,family,humor — mandyholbert @ 6:42 am
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I have an aunt who is younger than I am.  What can I say?  My mom had me when she was young.  She was the oldest child in her family, and her mother had her young, too.  My grandma just wasn’t finished having children even though she was already a grandmother.  So, I have an aunt, Sandy, who is younger than my middle sister Nickie.

The three of us grew up like sisters.  And you know what that means.  Yep.  The occasional argument.  Three is an odd number, after all, and having an odd number easily leads to problems with children (that, among many other reasons, is why Ronnie and I are stopping at two kids).  It was usually Nickie and Sandy against me or Nickie and me against Sandy.  I guess, looking back, Nickie must have been the smart one out of the crowd.  I never really realized that before now.  Hmm…

Anyway, I have to confess that when it was Nickie and me against Sandy, we were often sometimes occasionally a little cruel in our schemes.  I remember one time, a seemingly innocent game of hide-and-go-seek was actually the front for one of our most brilliant premeditated pranks.

We had a storage closet under the stairs where my dad kept his tools and things.  The knob on the door was broken and could only open from the outside.  On the inside, the knob would turn and turn and never open the door.  Theoretically, if a person were to be in the closet and the door were to be closed from the outside, that person would be locked in the closet until someone from the outside opened the door.  Can you see where this is headed?

When Sandy came over to play, Nickie suggested hide-and-go-seek and even volunteered to be “it” first.  I told Sandy I had the perfect spot, and I led her to the closet under the stairs.  We turned the light off and sat quietly while we listened to Nickie trying to find us.  Finally, Nickie gave up, and Sandy and I decided to leave the closet.

I let her try the knob.  Of course it didn’t work.  I was very shocked and tried it myself.   Then, I yelled for Nickie to let us out.  She jiggled the knob on the outside to make Sandy think it wouldn’t open that way either.  Sandy started panicking.

I remember being very dramatic about this, though I can’t exactly remember if I actually yelled through the door for Nickie to call 911. I know I yelled things about being stuck forever and we had no food or water and we were never going to get out.  Nickie played her part perfectly.  We must have been very convincing to poor little seven-year-old Sandy.

I say we were convincing because she started crying.  Nickie yelled at me to use some of Dad’s tools, so I grabbed a screwdriver and pretended to finagle the knob.  When I turned around, Sandy had grabbed the hammer, and she had it raised and ready to break the door down.  I yelled as she started swinging, and Nickie swiftly opened the door thus saving us from having to explain to my parents why Sandy would have beat the closet door with a hammer.

Sandy didn’t think this was funny.  And I was a little afraid of her still holding that hammer with that manic look in her eyes.  I guess it would have served us right if she broke that door down.

Like I said, we grew up just like sisters.

 

Mud Wrestling, Rabbit Chasing, Dog Carrying, and Other Redneck Activities March 10, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,pets,Silly Situations — mandyholbert @ 2:07 pm
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I’ve been pretty sick, and today is a beautiful day.  I thought it would be so nice to take my rabbits out to the garden and let them hop around.  How relaxing.

Here’s a few things you should know before you read what actually happened:

  1. The rabbits belonged to my cousins.  We have owned them for about a month, and they have been living inside our house for that time.
  2. I have been sick.
  3. Ronnie found a truck he wanted to buy.  The seller was bringing the truck to our house this morning to make sure it would pull our camper okay.
  4. I have been sick.
  5. Nickie, my sister and next-door neighbor, had a long week and planned on sleeping in and loafing on this beautiful Saturday morning.
  6. Our garden is fenced in to keep wild rabbits out and to keep our pet rabbits in.  The rabbit hutch is in the garden.
  7. I have been sick.

Okay.  Here it goes.

I put the rabbits in a box to carry them out to the garden.  Ronnie walked out with me.  Once out there, I put them in the fence thinking they would hop around and explore and wiggle their little noses and fluffy tails and just be cute.  As soon as I let them loose, the man in the truck pulled into the driveway, so Ronnie went to hook up the camper.

Everything was fine until Roxy and Zeke (our dogs) realized I had rabbits out there.  They immediately started running circles around the garden scaring those little creatures half to death.  The gray one found a hiding place and stayed put, but the black one started running and jumping and acting like it was being chased by two giant, salivating canines who wanted nothing more than to gobble it up for a snack.  Oh, wait a minute…

Anyways, the poor rabbit jumped at full speed directly into the wall of one of my planter boxes and knocked itself backwards.  It just never was the same after that.  It tried to keep running, but there was a serious and notable lack of direction in his fleeing – towards the dogs, away from the dogs – you get the idea.  Meanwhile, I can see that Zeke is finally realizing that all he has to do is jump over the fence to catch the rabbit.

I changed my strategy which was failing miserably.  Instead of trying to catch the rabbit, I left the garden to try to catch my dogs.  I got Roxy first.  She was so intent on her visions of Roasted Rabbit that she wrestled right out of the collar I was holding her by.  I had to tackle her (in the mud) and hold her in a headlock while somehow trying to catch Zeke who was seconds away from jumping the fence.  I grabbed a fistful of Zeke and dragged him over to me.  So, there I sat, covered in mud trying to hold two dogs that were still intently tracking the rabbit who had not yet slowed down.

I yelled for Ronnie to call Nickie (he did have company over, after all).  Nickie came out of her house and called Zeke.  That dumb dog almost bit me trying to get out of my death grip to pretend to go to Nickie so it could really kill my rabbit.  I think I started crying then.  (Remember, I’ve been sick.  Really sick).

To make a long story short, Nickie carried the dogs one by one up to her house to lock them on her front porch.  I went in the garden to get the black rabbit who had completely given up.  It was just lying there without moving.  It didn’t even move when I picked it up and put it away.  I would have thought it died of a heart attack if I didn’t feel his little heart still racing.

Well, here are a few more things you should know:

  1. The guy with the truck asked Ronnie if I was okay.  Ronnie said, “yeah, I’m sure she’s fine,” and kept hooking up the camper.  The guy, obviously a little bothered, pushed back a little and said, “are you sure?  I think she’s crying.”  Ronnie answered, “she just freaks out sometimes.  She’s okay.  She’s just really attached to her bunnies.”
  2. Nickie was not dressed when she was summoned to help me.  She threw on clothes and flip-flops and ended up running out the gravel drive-way barefooted to help me.  Roxy weighs over 60 pounds.  She carried her all the way home.  When she carried Zeke, he put one front paw on her shoulder and the other on her head.  He enjoyed being carried.  She got rather muddy.
  3. Nickie was a little bothered that she looked like an idiot in front of some guy she didn’t know.
  4. Our next-door neighbor, unbeknownst to me, was outside watching the whole episode unfold.

Nickie and I, once we had all the animals situated, sat and talked about how redneck and stupid we must have looked – her running around lugging huge dogs back and forth (while barefooted) and me yelling and crying and chasing rabbits and mud-wrestling dogs.  At least we didn’t know the guy with the truck!

When Ronnie and the guy got back from the test drive, Nickie and I went to check out the truck.

The guy looked at Nickie and said, “Hey!  I remember you from high school!”