Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back to School

Today was my last day back to school since last Thursday at 12:30 p.m. I have to say that I was excited to get back into the routine of school, although this wasn't exactly normal. I went school and taught for a little while and then went to our third and final funeral this week. I am soooo glad that all of the funerals are over now!

I was missing several kids today. I was missing two all day and then I had one that came late and one that came early so basically I had eight out of eleven today. A lot of people would think it is WONDERFUL to have fewer kids but actually when you have that many gone it becomes a pain. You don't want to start teaching new concepts because 1/4 of your class is gone and you don't want anyone to be lost. So it is kind of more difficult and kind of easy at the same time.

Well... I'm gonna go watch John and Kate Plus 8!

Jamie

Monday, March 24, 2008

One Funeral Down... Two More to Go!

Well, today Michael and I went to our first funeral out of the three we are going to in the next three days. Tonight I am going to the visitation for Brian. After the visitation they are having a prayer service. So I am leaving around 6:30 and won't be back until a little after 8:00 p.m. This makes for a very long day. I just feel bad for all of these families. Losing loved ones is such a hard thing.

To make this day a little better I decided that I would watch Enchanted today (without Michael-of course). I thought it would help me not be so sad by everything that is happening around us. It is such a cute movie. I adore it. It is a beautiful love story and I needed that after the funeral this morning.

I better go. More later.

Jamie

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Week/Weekend of Sadness

I write today in total disbelief of what has happened in the last week. Thursday morning we found out about Kenny Shaffer passing away. Then Friday we found out that Brian Halley had passed away and then this morning we found out that Mary Dorrel passed away. This means that in a matter of three days (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) Michael and I will be going to three funerals. I just can't believe how this all happened within such a short time period and how ironic it is that it all happened during Easter weekend. I am just hoping that all of these families are starting to find peace. I also feel bad for these young children that have lost their fathers. It is definitely a sad weekend for the community. I just pray that I can help my student.

God bless all of you and I hope that you appreciate your time with your family because you will never know when the last day will be that you will be with them.

Jamie

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mundane Day

Today is proving to be a rather boring day. I was going to sleep in but Michael kept getting phone calls this morning so I couldn't sleep. I got up and just relaxed this morning, took a shower, and then cooked lunch for Michael and I.

After we finished eating Michael and I talked about buying a house again. It seems to be a conversation we have a lot! I am hoping we make the best decision for us. We may buy or we may go ahead and build on the lot that he bought before we got married. We'll just have to wait and see... :)

Then I laid down with the cat and we took a nap together! She is so darn stinking cute! I adore our cat. I should tell you a little bit about her since you don't know her. Her name is Callie. She is a calico cat and female (of course... goes without saying). She is almost a year old. We got her from one of Michael's friends. He lives out in the country ... so she was a farm kitten. She was the only one left from her litter. Her mother took all of the others before Michael's friend knew. We now know why she took all of the kittens away. Callie has herpes (NOT LIKE HUMAN HERPES!). Cat Herpes is TOTALLY different than human herpes. It just makes it really easy for her to get upper respiratory infection. So she has colds all the time. She sneezes and stuff like that. Our vet feels sorry for us so she has started to give us a discount. We love her no matter what. I can't imagine not having her now that we do. She is too much fun. She is still in kitten mode sometimes and that makes our life more exciting!

Back to my mundane day.... I am going to do laundry and I am going to clean the house. SUCH FUN :(

More later,

Jamie

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sadness

So I have been looking forward to this day (Thursday) all week long and now that it's here I wish it wasn't. This morning my husband got a phone call that stated that a guy that he knows that is only two years older than him passed away after suffering from a heart attack or stroke. This happened last night. This kind of freaked my husband out because he was only two years older than him.



Then I find out later that one of my student's parents isn't doing well. They don't think that he'll make it through the weekend. It is both amazing and ironic to me that this is the time of the year that we are supposed to be celebrating Jesus' life and resurrection and I know one person who has passed away and it looks like another might soon. I feel sadness for both families. One family struggles with the pain of a sudden death and the other is suffering through the battle of cancer and watching as their family member gets worse. I also wondered which would be worse. I don't really know. I see how much pain my student is in but I think at least she is getting to talk to her dad and then I think about the sons of the man who passed away last night. I wonder if they would change things if they knew that last night was the last time that they would talk to their dad. I know that this is some pretty deep stuff to be writing about but it is what I am thinking about and I figure that this is the best way for me to do.



I think that today was one of the toughest days for me teaching wise. It was because it was a educationally tough day it is because it was an emotionally tough day. My student asked me if her dad was going to die this week. Do you know how difficult it is to answer a question like that to a EIGHT year old??? I told her that I didn't know and that the only person who knows that is God. I couldn't think of anything else to tell her. How do you comfort a child when their parent is dying? I don't know. I wish I could be better trained in this but I am doing the best I can do. I just hope she knows how much her dad loves her and how much we all (at the school) care about her too.



Well... I am going to go and read to hopefully take my mind on such tragic events. I will pray that everyone has a wonderful Easter and that whatever happens that God will take care both of these families.



Jamie

Monday, March 17, 2008

Short Week!! Yipee!!!!!

I am so very excited. This week is Holy Week (I teach at a Catholic School) so we are going to have a short week for school! We have school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and get out at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. Then NO SCHOOL on Friday AND Monday! I am just excited for it to be Thursday at 12:30 p.m. The sooner the better.

Even though this past weekend was a disappointment (because of missing family members) we still had a nice time. Friday night Michael and I just relaxed. Saturday morning Michael went and worked out and that afternoon we watched August Rush together. If you haven't seen August Rush you need to. It is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!! Michael and I both loved it. We actually saw it in the movie theatre and then rented it because we wanted to see it again. After the movie we went over to Michael's parent's house. His mom, dad, sister (it was her birthday), brother-in-law, and us. They ate veggie soup and I of course... at a mini pizza I brought with myself (I'm and EXTREMELY PICKY EATER... Michael makes fun of me for it!). We just hung out and chatted. It was nice. On Sunday we went to Squaw Creek which is a wildlife reserve type thingy. It has a TON of birds. We drove around and checked out all the different type of birds that we there. Then we headed to Sam's Club in St. Joe to buy stuff for our Easter Dinner we are having the coming Sunday. It was a nice little drive for Sunday. Then we got home and picked out wedding pictures. I am going to finish this tonight. :)

I better go... :)

Jamie

Friday, March 14, 2008

Disappointment

Throughout this whole week the thing that has helped me push through conferences and everything else that has happened has been the fact that the whole family was going to be able to get together this weekend (this is the Casteel side). Now... Paige (my niece) is sick and they aren't coming. I have been sooo looking forward to everyone getting together to celebrate my sister-in-law's (Natalie) birthday on Saturday night. The plan was that tonight Becca (my other sister-in-law), Natalie, and I were going to go to the movies after the fish fry. Tomorrow Michael and I were going to go see his grandmother and then come back tomorrow night for the big birthday celebration. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO disappointed that we won't get to have the big celebration like we had planned. Michael told me that Paige was upset, Becca was crying on the phone to his mom (Debbie aka Beanie - yes it is a weird nickname), his mom is upset and Natalie too. As you can tell, all of us girls were excited about the visit.

I probably should tell you that the last time that most of us were together was for a funeral. Becca's mother-in-law passed away. Michael, Tom (aka Flem - again another weird nickname), Debbie, and I all drove up to Northern Iowa to go to support Tom (brother-in-law; aka Stoll - we like nicknames as you can tell), Becca, Paige, and Neal (nephew).

So we were ready to see each other under happy circumstances but I don't know when that will be. They said they may try to come down tomorrow if Paige feels better. I guess this is supposed to be a 24 hour thing. The only problem is that we are supposed to get snow.

I'm just bummed because it was such a long week with conferences and everything and I was sooooo looking forward to some girl time tonight and it isn't going to happen.

All of this is why I named the blog The Crazy Life of the Casteel's. I don't think it needs further explanation.

Hopefully I'll have better news next time!

Jamie

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Still Crazy

Well... I still feel like I am going crazy. In fact crazier! Right now I am saying some prayers that God will guide me and help me to do what is right. I feel kind of lost right now. I am wondering if I am supposed to be a teacher, if not what should I be? I went to school for five years to be a teacher and now that I am I don't know if it is what I am supposed to be. I keep hoping for some kind of sign that this is what I am supposed to do OR a sign of what else I should be doing. I just feel confused. I'm not sure what I need to do so I am doing the only thing I can, praying. We'll have to see what happens!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Venting

So today I have ran the gamete of emotions. I have gone from tears to laughter and all the way back! I don't know exactly how it happened but it did.

You're probably wondering why. Let's just say one word - SCHOOL.

It's amazing to me to think how people can be so critical of the education field. People always say that teachers should be doing this and doing that. They talk about how this is wrong with the education field and that we should be doing things different AND THEN say But I could NEVER be a teacher. Everyone seems to think that they can solve the problems in the education field but don't want to enter. My favorite is when they say... You have off the summers. Actually I don't take off the summer. I am going to a conference that will last a week, most likely I will tutor kids this summer like I did last summer, I will read books about how to be a better teacher, review lesson plans from last year to make them better for next, etc. BUT I HAVE OFF THE SUMMER. Why is it that no one ever says THANK YOU for what you do - the time you spend here (school) - the money you spend - for not going to some other profession where you could be making a TONS more money. It would just be nice to have a little bit of thanks.

Sorry for all the complaining.... just frustrated. I really do like my job. It would just be nice to have some positive feedback than a ton a people complaining.

More tomorrow

Monday, March 10, 2008

Daylight Savings Time

Seriously... who invented daylight savings time anyway.... this whole spring forward is REALLY annoying.

I had a rather long weekend. I was getting ready for conferences. It seems like it shouldn't take that long considering you only meet with the kid and parents for 20 minutes but it takes me forever to get ready. I think it is because I am slightly OCD and want to make sure that I can fit as much into the conference as possible!

So this means that I got to school at 6:45 (which is old time 5:45) and started making sure I was organized. Then I taught all day and had conferences until 5:40 after school! LONG DAY but a good one.

Now for some more randomness - Last night I saw some friends that I hadn't seen in awhile. It was nice. Their son has gotten sooooooo big. He was six months yesterday and is already around 22 lbs! He's extremely long too. They've already had to change him into the bigger car seat. He is getting big and so is their daughter (2 1/2 years old). She is going to be a knock out when she is older. Good luck to her dad who will have his hands full with the boys.

Well... That's all for now!

JJ

Sunday, March 9, 2008

So I read Jenni's blog all the time and I figured that I should probably try it. She does such a WONDERFUL job expressing herself in her blog.... I thought WHY NOT???

Since this is my first blog I don't really know what to say?

I just got married in November to a pretty great guy (Michael). He is a Maintenance Supervisor at the Housing Authority in our town. He loves to be outdoors (hunt, fish, etc.) and LOVES... I mean LOVES to BBQ. Like the real BBQ not using the grill in the backyeard. He does the kind where you are cooking for hours and you go to competitions! He loves it and I don't mind trying all of the food. :)

It seems like we are busier now than we were before we got married! We (more specifically ME) are booked from now until May 31st. I don't know how it happened but all of the sudden I looked at the calendar and we don't have any free weekends! I just hope that these weekends start getting nicer. It has snowed EVERY WEEKEND since we got married and that was in NOVEMBER!

I guess I better sign off....

Hoping for spring to come soon...
Jamie