Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday afternoon 9/15

Thank God for weekends!  Especially for teachers, the weekend is important, a time to relax, review, research, and recharge.  Our school week was even shorter due to three things:  an assembly for our cookie dough fundraiser, Fair Day, and a one-hour late start on Friday.  So, it's not as if we Ostranders have been overly stressed this week due to too much school!  However, we still have our problems and major/minor complaints.  :-{

Every year, our school spends two weeks selling cookie dough to raise money for various projects.  One year we invested in new playground equipment, and that has been a blessing to us teachers and a wonderful improvement to our recess times.  One year the money was used for our sport teams, I think, and another year it was spent on equipment for the teachers.  So, we all benefit in some way, and we all try to pitch in and help raise the money---sell the cookie dough.  It's really good stuff, too, with a variety of flavors like Chocolate Chunk (no little chips for us, thank you!), Snickerdoodle (I didn't even know what that was until I became an adult), and---new this year---three Paula Dean flavors:  Molasses, Oatmeal (I think), and her Gooey Chocolate Butter cookies.  Since we are trying to make a good profit, we sell each 2.7 lb. tub for $15.00.  Some people think this is too much, so they don't buy any.  Oh, well!  Some people, on the other hand, seem to save their money all year and buy three or four tubs, handing over the money without a qualm!  I'm always amazed at their generosity and ability to spend that kind of money without batting an eye.  Of course, we (our family) will walk throughout different neighborhoods, going door-to-door to ask as many folks as possible to buy our cookie dough.  We have to collect the money on the spot, turn in our full orders with payment, and wait about six weeks for the cookie dough to be delivered to our school.  We then have the unsurpassed joy (riiiiiight!) of getting all that cookie dough delivered to the correct addresses.  Thankfully, it's delivered frozen, so we are able to transport it safely and easily.  Parents and teachers alike groan when Cookie Dough Sale is announced each year, but the outcome is definitely worth the work.  (Anybody wanna buy some cookie dough?!!  :-D)

Each year as well, our school takes one day off to go to the Puyallup Fair.  That (for you poor souls who don't know) is a huge fair held for three weeks every September, and everyone loves going.  There are lots of rides and shows to enjoy and exhibits to wander through and sellers hawking their wares.  There are wonderful smells (except the manure!) and great food and countless wonders to explore.  I was, frankly, shocked when we first moved out here (remember, Chad is from here but I grew up mostly in NC) and put our first child in school, only to be handed a fair ticket and told to take a day off to go play!  Children ages five and under get in free; students get a free pass; and even educators get a free ticket---so why not go?  We have enjoyed the fair each year since, even last year when Dale had to go to the fair from the hospital.  This year, Chad took Dale on rides since it was obvious that he would need lots of assistance getting on and off; I took Ashley and her friend and Emily Rose for a while; and the older girls and their friend rode the rides on their own for about three hours.  Under normal circumstances, we would not allow the girls to go off by themselves, but they have proven time and again that they can be trusted for a few hours on their own.  We all had cell phones to keep in touch and named a place to meet up again.  The younger girls and I stood in line after line (well, they did; I refused to ride!) and screamed their heads off.  Emily, we are finding out, does not like the kinds of rides where you twist round and round and upside down and hang by your head.  She was scared enough on the Tilt-A-Whirl!  She wasn't crying, but, when she got off, she stated firmly, "I am not going on that ride EVER AGAIN!"  She stayed with me while the other girls rode rides, comforted by the knowledge that, after we all met up again, someone would take her to Sillyville where there were rides "just her size."  Emily had no problem climbing a couple stories worth of stairs to slide down the giant slide, so heights are not her problem---just speed!  Just before we met the others, the girls all stood in line to get their faces painted.  There is a very popular booth where kids 12 and under can get a small design painted on their faces in any color they choose with sparkles if they desire.  Once they got one side done, of course, the girls raced around the tape to get back in line to get the other side painted!  I finally corralled them and herded them toward the picnic table where Chad and Dale were waiting.

As it turns out, Dale was absolutely pooped.  He had spent a fun but exhausting three hours waiting in line, climbing in and out of rides, and laughing his head off.  He had a great time, but his endurance ability had been completely burned up.  He was ready to go home!  So the decision was made for me to take Dale home while Chad and all the girls walked around some more.  This was fine by me as my feet were aching already.  Then, when the older girls arrived, Katie declared herself done as well.  She said she had a great time but wanted to go home, too.  The groups shifted again:  Chad took Emily on her own rides while Amanda and her friend took the younger girls on some more rides.  Katie, Dale, and I got in the van, made a quick stop at Safeway for provisions, and headed home gratefully.  I drove back (only a half-hour trip) to pick them up outside the fairgrounds at 7:00 p.m.  This may seem early to some folks (including the older girls), but I think everyone was glad to get home at a decent time, relax some, and then go to bed.  We even had a one-hour late start the next day to allow us to recuperate from the fair before facing school again.  That was a big blessing!  Fair Day this year was a success.

At least until three o'clock the next morning.  Amanda was up, her stomach cramping, miserable.  I didn't discover anything amiss until I went in to awaken everyone Friday morning, when I found her clutching her stomach and sitting next to a trash can.  She thought it might have been something she ate at the fair, and it turns out she was probably right.  She tried to get ready for school, knowing she had responsibilities to take care of, but she never made it.  About thirty minutes before we needed to leave, she began throwing up.  I had to leave her at home, making her promise to call if she needed me.  When I called her later that day, she said she had vomited more that morning but had only a raging headache at that point.  As the day wore on, Amanda felt better and better, and today she is back to normal.  Good thing, too, as she has a babysitting job this afternoon!  No one else got sick, though I did hear of several other school kids who never made it on Friday.  Every year we are warned about E. coli and other such lovely bacteria, and sometimes we get an up-close encounter with them.  I'm just thankful Mandie is all right.

I, on the other hand, am as sick as a dog right now.  One of my beloved students, for whom I prayed, gave me his cold!  He had been gone the previous weekend on a mini-vacation and had come back with a cold which he decided to share with his dear teacher---me.  Tuesday night, the sore throat started and continued through Wednesday.  I still made it to school each day and to church Wednesday night, knowing I could sleep in some on Thursday (Fair Day).  I even went to the fair with my throat still scratchy and my nose starting to get stuffy.  (Another reason why I was glad to go home early!)  By Friday morning, I had a bad head cold.  The kind that makes you wonder if going to school and infecting everyone else is really such a good idea.  But, since I didn't want to call a substitute this early in the year and since I felt refreshed after the extra sleep Thursday night-Friday morning, I decided to do my best.  By about noon, I was seriously regretting that decision!  I wanted nothing more than a tall bottle of Nyquil and my bed.  I finished the school day all right, made sure the students had their books for the weekend's assignments, and shooed them out the door.  Then, Katie and I had to work hard to get the room put in order for Sunday school.  We put the new filing cabinet in place (I have a wonderful, huge new filing cabinet that locks!), moved stacks of files into it, rearranged a bunch of stuff, and locked up.  It was after 5:30 p.m. before we were ready to go home.  I vowed to enter my house and never leave!!!  Since then, I have spent my time divided between sleeping, taking medicine, and chauffeuring kids around.  Once Chad got off work today, I officially went off duty.  He can take over now!  :-)

I'm sure I'll feel better in a day or so.  I've been taking herbal remedies, orange juice, Robitussin Cough and Cold, and water.  This has combined to give me a nasty case of diarrhea.  Great.  I may not leave my house until 7:45 a.m. Monday morning, just in time for school.  Maybe not even then..........we'll see!  You'd think by now in life I would have built up enough immunities to be able to fight off the common cold, but apparently not.  Groooaaaan.

Shawn, your card was so uplifting on this dismal day.  I appreciate your candor and completely understand how wonderful it is to get the kids back in school, finally, after having them home all summer!  God bless you, lady!

To one and all, my prayer for you is that you do not catch my cold.  Go catch your own.  This one's mine, and I intend to beat it!  Please, have a good weekend and take care.

Psalm 79: 9  "Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name:  and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for Thy name's sake."


  1. Kirsten it sounds like another full week, but loaded with fun. I grew up in the Northeast and we had fair day every year as well. It used to be a day of track and field competition between all of the area schools, from elementary on up to high school. It was a lot of fun, and I still have some great memories. The sale sounds like a great fund raiser, hope you raise a lot if dough (I'm sorry, I had to say it lol). And yes, I remember the upset stomach from all of that fair food, but I still loaded up every year. Who can resist fried dough, onion rings, cotton candy, lemonade and a couple gallons of soda? Excuse me, the Alka Seltzer awaits lol. I'm glad Dale had such a great time, nothing like getting exhausted from enjoying life and laughter. Your part of Washington sounds so much like Western Massachusetts where I grew up, I need to add it to my bucket list. As always, you and family are in my prayers, all my best to you all, Eric

  2. Sorry to hear about your cold but glad to hear Dale had fun at the fair!!

  3. Just read the "Something Dale would like you to know". Well I wanted to get saved all over again, and thanks to Bro Tim for writing it!

  4. Great blog. I loved it. The story of Dale is really beatiful.
    God bless you.
    Débora Roberta, from RS, Brazil.