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Monday, July 25, 2011

I was just thinking...  I should be keeping better track of all the traveling I do.  Well its not just me, its my family, but this blog is about Coxy's life soooo  :)

 This summer we started of in New Orleans, La.  for those that don't know my husband works here year round for the Army Corps of Engineers.  Luckily I have a job where I can spend summers here with him!!!  While we were here he actually got a rainy day off or two.  This is when Maggie's Captain Jack obsession began LOL.  We went to the movie theater for lack of anything else to do, hubby wanted to see Pirates of the Caribbean 4, I thought oh no Maggie is going to hate it....  Boy was I wrong!!!  We have since had to watch the first three and buy numerous Captain Jack novelties.  On this trip Maggie and I also went to the Audubon Zoo.  It is very nice, especially if you have never been to the Memphis zoo, but one thing it had that the Memphis zoo does not is a water park area.  Not just sprinklers shooting out of the ground but slides and all kinds of cool stuff!!

After 13 days we all traveled home for a Willie nelson concert, actually we went for Brantley Gilbert, but who needs specifics :)  We also got the Skeeter, our 21 foot, (give or take a foot, I mean whose really counting anyway?) bay boat running!!  Man I loooove that boat.  I feel soo much more safe in it.  After the week end I had to attend a PD session for work on Monday.  Justin had to return to work in New Orleans.

Maggie and I spent some time at home.  We went to see Beauty and the beast at the Orpheum.  She loved that!!  After about a week at home, we were gone again.  This time to Biloxi, Ms with my in-laws.  of course we girls spent plenty of time on the beach while boys went deep sea fishin'.  We took some time to go mini golfing, shop, and make some great memories!!  After 4 days in Biloxi it was time to move on to Venice, La.  Although there is absolutely nothing to do in this city it is a definite 'must with your own eyes' kind of place.  The wildlife is amazing, the roads are usually underwater, the boats are awesome, the fish coming in off the ocean in the afternoon are so cool and I loooooove the sound of the ocean liners fog horns.  Its just a neat place that most folks don't even know exists!  While there we actually got a flier to attend a party thrown by the "Swamp People" Trapper Joe and Tommy (you know from the tv show on the history channel).  But the Corps guys got sent home.  So we were back on the road again.

This time we decided to split the ride home in half and stop in Jackson, Ms for the night.  Bad Idea.  We got there about 9:00 walked into our Hilton hotel and immediately realized we were waaaaaaay underdressed for the occasion in our flip flops, shorts and t-shirts.  We checked in and went up to the room which was spectacular and decided we needed some dinner.  Like we always in Nola, we set out on foot to find a place to eat.  Unlike Nola, apparently everything in Jackson closes at 9:00.  We were forced to eat in the Hiltons restaurant.  It was fun but for three drinks, two sandwiches and a kids meal it was like $90.  Luckily we had enough hotel points to not have to pay for the room but out joke for the night was don't touch anything they are going to nickel and dime us for everything else!!  It was fun!!

Once we made it home we worked on the ole Skeeter some more and took it out to the river.  Did I mention I love that boat?  By the way we are now into the July fourth weekend.  Which is also my mothers b-day weekend.  Anyway we went to the river to see the fireworks, this time we had to take the F&F boat, its a 15 foot (again give or take a few) aluminum boat, not such a fan of this one.  Of course my hubby has the biggest motor he can have on it and it sits loooowwww in the water!!!  I don't like that.  But anyway, regardless, we had a nice night on the river, minus the swarm of mosquitos!!

This gets us to our Chicago trip.  Maggie and I also drove to Chicago this summer with my mom, making our travels cover all of I-55 this summer!!  very nerve racking I had to let my mom drive my HUMMER.  but we made it there in one piece.  We took Maggie to the American girl Place and had Lunch.  Maggie insisted upon bringing both her dolls.  She didn't understand all the walking involved but she did pretty good.  Later we met up with my Bestie Renee!!  I finally got to see her apartment and her charcoal gray with black markings cat Lil.  By dinner time this first night Maggie was so tired she fell asleep at dinner LOL.  The next day more walking, we went to the Aquarium and ate at Geno's pizza.  I usually hate thick crust pizza but that stuff was Awesome!!  I can't really remember what we did after that so now is as good a time as any to mention I went into Tiffany & Co ohhhhh I was in heaven!!  But anyway after our adventures with Renee Maggie and I traveled back to Joliet (where my mom was staying) And met my mom, Clay, and his girlfriend at the race track.  I haven't been to the races in many many many years but as soon as I pulled into to parking area the adrenaline kicked in and it brought back memories of when I was maggies age and my dad would take me to the race track where we live.  Of course most of the time we had to watch from the parking lot because he wouldn't pay for us to get in, but it put a passion for nitro methane and burnt rubber in my soul.  Anyway Maggie was tired at this point she fell asleep during top fuel and funny car...  If you are not familiar with these types of cars, they are so loud they make your skin shake!!  and this kid slept through it!!!  AMAZING...  The big adventure of the trip is when I took mom, clay, Elizabeth and maggie back into Chicago to go to Navy Pier.  I got the buses a little confused and we ended up in the ghetto for a little bit!!  But we all made it out alive  :)  Then it was back south for out crew of 5 in the HUMMER.  it wasn't too bad.

Maggie and I stayed home for two days and hit the road again back to New Orleans til the end of summer.  We have been to Grand Isle, La twice this trip.  It is also a beautiful spot of beaches and fishing.  Very pretty, nice and quiet and again no one really knows it exists.  We also went to Biloxi, Ms again.  Of course Maggie had to ride the Jet skis even though it was pouring down rain!!  We also ate at one of my favorites Captain Al's.  Well I guess that just about concludes our travels up to this point.  Summer is almost over and we will be home again.  At least until labor day :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Students being used as Pawns"

          A national news headline, "Students being used as Pawns", and it just so happens to be referring to state of education in the great city that I live, teach, and send my own child to school in.  For those who somehow have not heard, the largest school district in the state has decided to delay the start of school indefinitely!!  At first I completely blamed the school board... If you have read any of my other posts you can see what great decision makers they are... but after reading an email or two I realized it is actually the city council.  In 2008 the city council and the school board went to court, the city thought it should no longer have to fund its school district....  What city would not want to educate its children...  Its future???  Only this great city we live in.  Well of course the School Board won the law suit BUT, get this, the city has not paid the schools any money since 2008.  No wonder our students are using 10 year old books that do not match the curriculums...  No wonder the air conditioners do not work the first week of school...  This is outrageous!!! Now don't get me wrong I would be happy for the start of school to be pushed back a little, I mean the first week of August is a little early, but not because of something so ridiculous.
           All of this comes tagged on to what was supposed to be the start of something brand new for me. I needed a new start something good to look forward to.  I will be teaching at a brand new school this year and cannot wait to get things started.  A new building also brings new challenges though.  This will be my first time under a new principal and my class sizes will be 3 times what I am used to.  The students will also be more diverse.  This school will have many English as a second language students and more concerned involved parents.  The parent thing is kind of freaking me out.  I haven't ever really had to deal with normal concerned parents before.  But anyway this is going to be an exciting adventure and cannot wait to share what this year in a new place brings!!!