Sunday, January 7, 2007

Rock Star Tour '06...

I have to say 2006 was my Rock Star year! From Bob Dylan to Blues Travelers, from Queens of the Stone Age to Reverend Horton Heat, from PeteYorn to Art Bentley, from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Sheryl Crow, from Sarah Benck and the Robbers to the Three Bad Jacks, from 8th Plague to Nickleback, from Tiger Army to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy…I had a rock star year. I don’t think I’ve been to as many concerts in ONE year as I went to in 2006. And this list doesn’t include opening acts of ANY of these because I simply can’t remember who they were. (And it also doesn't include the numerous local bands I saw in West Plains and Springfield...and of course Willow Springs and Mountain View.)

I don’t have a favorite; none of them reach my buddy Dave’s concerts--whom I sorely missed in 2006. But, I’d have to say I certainly enjoyed the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers…enjoyed the atmosphere of Sheryl Crow…and enjoyed my company at Tiger Army and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. ;)

These concerts took me to Nashville, Springfield, Chicago, Seattle, Miami, Wichita, St. Louis, Jonesboro, and Council Bluffs.

Let me just say I am so blessed with friends and family who love music and who always have tickets to concerts…and who always think of me. God has been very kind to me.

Don't get me wrong, so many, many other blessed things happened in 2006 for me.

In January, my sister celebrated a milestone birthday with a proposal at a surprise party at Maria's downtown. The ring was passed under the table (before the proposal) and then around the table afterwards. It was a fabulous night ending with Dustin and myself and Caron at Ernie Biggs' with a continued celebration.

In February, I once again took a few days off to help out over Valentine's Day at the flower shop. I'm glad I had the opportunity to do that since Grandma sold the shop in July. We, of course, sold every last flower left in the shop...even finding blooms on the floor for the late comers who arrived at 5:00 p.m., forgetting the mad rush of Cupid's day. I think we sent out over 4000 roses....And I had most of them made up over the weekend. I spent the evening with a friend of mine at Fox's local pizza joint relaxing from chaotic day.

March brought in Spring Break....which meant a trip to Vegas, baby. Mel, Valarie and I enjoyed some time away from students and Missouri relaxing in the sun, spending a few dollars, and taking in some of Vegas' numerous activities. Of course, three single ladies couldn't get into much trouble way out in Nevada! ;)

April, a birthday. I've officially lived longer than my mother.

May, senior projects domintated, along with senior trip and graduation. I don't think I can get any busier in my job than I am in April and May. But it's all worth it. I so enjoy the students those last few weeks of school because they are starting to get sentimental on me. Don't worry, they cannot wait to graduate...but it's a lot of fun chatting in the classroom about the last 12 years of friendships, teachers, music, movies...memories. They think it's the end of their world....little do they know it's just the beginning of life.

June was spent with my sister and brought in another trip to Vegas. We started the initial planning stages of her wedding at the Las Vegas Raquet Club and fell in love with the Secret Garden. Rooms were booked at the Silverton Lodge and Casino (whose anchor store happens to be Bass Pro...and yes we tried to avoid it but the rooms are nice and the price is right!)

July...? Wow, I cannot remember my July. I'm sure some memory will come up at some point. OHHH! I remember. I spent a week at a conference in Orlando and the following week with my sister on the beach in Daytona. Where, incidentally, we were offered a FREE upgrade on our rental car. I don't know about you, but a 4-door Ford Focus with leather interior, sunroof, and six CD changer really made us feel like we got the royal treatment! ;) (And no, I have NO idea what we had before, but my dad assumes it must have been a golf cart.) We've laughed about that story for months now. It seems Caron and I always find mischief one way or another, from London to DC to Daytona, it follows us.

August in Chicago is hot, but the music was good at Grant Park and The Field Musuem let us sneak in to see King Tut at the last minute. Was I ever disappointed. The sarcophagus stays in Egypt, meaning now I have to go to Cairo! Oh well, if you know me, you know my philosophy on life...If I have to eat dinner tonight, it might as well be in Paris...(or Cairo...or Rome...) :)

Oh yeah, August also brought back volleyball and school.

In September the team won the Cabool Tournament and worked themselves into having a winning season.

October, my students and I watched Beowulf at Juanita K.'s, ate lunch at McAlister's and spent the afternoon browsing the shelves at The Library Center on S. Campbell. It was an amazing experience for the majority of my students. I don't think they realized what a "real" public library offers.

November was a whirlwind. I met two Pulitzer Prize winners (Frank McCourt and Elie Wiesel) at formal invitation only dinners and missed an entire week of school when DESE asked me to present Senior Projects at a state conference and NCTE chose to offer my presentation on authentic group work at the national convention in Nashville. It was a great month....and when Thanksgiving rolled around, I relaxed at my dad's in Ava beating him at every possible card and board game we could find. (lie! he always wins!)

November also brought my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. What a couple!

December allowed my me final opportunity to teach History vs. Hollywood at Willow Springs as I have passed this research paper on to our sophomore English teacher. It is certainly a joy to watch the students evaluate film as text and try to determine historical authenticity within. Some of the best presentations were on Apollo 13, A League of their Own, Good Morning, Vietnam, and Walk the Line. The way students present themselves when they know their information is fascinating. I like watching them explain things in which they truly feel as if they are the expert.

So, 2006, I enjoyed you.

2007, I look forward to you.

new year in the bahamas!!...

What a great way to start 2007! The Caribbean Island Band rocked the boat until the wee hours of the morning. Champagne toast for all aboard and dancing ‘til the sun peeked over the horizon.

I started the first full day of the New Year napping to beat of the ocean waves on the twelfth deck of the Majesty of the Seas and relaxing in the spa, making for a luxurious afternoon!

Goals for this year??…?? Same as always…and they are still posted my fridge. Most of them come from Proverbs. (And I’m always reminded of 21st verse in chapter 19: People make plans, but only the Lord’s plans will happen.)

The Caribbean breeze blew away my heartache from 2006. It comforted my spirit with thoughts about things I want to do for my family, things I want to do for others, things I want to do for my students, and things I want to do in life.