Friday, September 17, 2010


Like I described in my last post, I have a classroom full of characters.

But did you know that I have a superhero in my class?

During reading groups one day this week, one of my boys (we'll call him Bobby), was in the middle of a deep discussion (as deep as third graders can go) as his group was answering questions. I had other groups going on as well, so I was circulating around the room. Without warning or hesitation, Bobby approached me and tapped my arm. This is the conversation that followed (please picture the very straight and serious faces we both had throughout this conversation):

"Mrs. McLaughlin, did you know that I have really tough skin?"
"No Bobby, I didn't. How do you know?"
"My mom told me I have tough skin. It's really hard to cut it."
"Well, I hope you haven't been trying!"
"No, but when I was a baby, just 'borned' in the hospital, they tried to cut my skin and my face was just like this." [insert very serious, stone-cold, third grade boy's face--no pain there!]
"Wow, Bobby. That's impressive."
"Yeah, and I heal really fast, too. Like, it just closes right up if I start bleeding."
"That's amazing! You sound like a superhero or something, Bobby!"
"Yeah, I know."

And then he returned to his seat and continued his reading discussion. And that was that.

I love third graders.

Speaking of amazing things, I am attempting to run a 5k in the morning. New feat? No. But it has been awhile, and I have not been running like I should be! It will definitely be a struggle. But I can struggle for a good cause. The run is for the pregnancy clinic in the town in which Brent and I have been attending church. Speaking of that (as Mrs. Meryhew asked), we have been attending a church for a little over a month now. We are really liking it and are hoping to get involved with a lifegroup this month. This last Sunday was their youth sunday, where the youth served and led, and then the youth minister preached. Aftershocks anyone? It made us a little homesick, but also glad to be involved with a church where youth are given that important opportunity and encouragement to lead. We plan to continue to go there and get more involved. Oh, and bonus (Lydia and Pam, this one's for you!): their women's ministry just started a Zumba class 3 days a week! I do love Zumba! :)

Well, that's about all from the McLaughlin estate for now. Brent is currently trying to take over Reach and I have been grading papers. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! We'll be spending the day on Sunday watching football and preparing for the big game Sunday night (the Manning brothers playing against each other, hopefully big brother Peyton will have a better day!). Enjoy the weekend, ya'll! :)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall officially arrives (ignore the calendar)

Helloooo and long-time, no see, friends!

Sorry about the drought between posts again. I promise, I'll get better!

Since my last post, I have started school. We visited our nation's capital. And, most importantly, football season has started.

YAHOO! I love football.

I went to Pier 1 yesterday and got a fall wreath and a few fall candles (pumpkin candles = best ever). The woman at the register sort of laughed at me, saying "Well, I guess you're ready for the fall already, huh?" There was definitely a hint of sarcasm in her voice . . . I suppose from the pre-autumn purchases I was making (the calendar doesn't officially say it's fall until September 23). But in my head, I was thinking, "Lady? Football season is here. Don't you know that football = fall? Quit making fun of me!"

I didn't say it aloud, but I was definitely thinking it. When I came home and told Brent the story, before I told him what I had been thinking, he actually said "Well, it's football season. I think that means it's fall!"

I love my husband. :)

So, yes, I am a teensy bit excited about the fact that football season has arrived once again. However, it is definitely bittersweet because it just doesn't feel the same here. For one thing, I can't get anything about OSU games and I didn't get to see the Colts-Texans game (ignoring the fact that they lost embarrassingly). It's also very different to watch football without family or friends around.

Anyways, I love football. Truly. Love.

But let's move on to school. What a night-and-day difference it has been in just these first weeks! I am in heaven compared to my situation last year. I am thanking God for the wonderful work environment that I have at my school, and the extremely-reduced stress load. I don't dread going to school every day, and it's just such a relief. I have a very chatty (emphasis on VERY chatty) group of kids. But you know what? It's ok. I can deal with that. It's really not bad at all.

I have a VERY involved group of parents (positives and negatives, but mostly positives) and a very bright group of students. They are quite a characteristic bunch, but so much fun! I love being back with 3rd graders. My favorite story from one of them so far:

Scene: Lining up for lunch (just to show you the complete random-ness of this conversation)
"Mrs. McLaughlin, did you know there are motion-sensor lights in the bathroom?"
"Well, no, Macy, I didn't know that."
"Yeah, there are. And if you are ever in there and are pooping and so you have to sit still for more than 2 minutes, they will go off on you and you'll be pooping in the dark."
Me = trying to keep a straight face. Then another student chimes in:
"Yeah, but if they go out on you while you're sitting there, all you have to do is wave your arms around like this." [yes, she did proceed to demonstrate what it looks like to be sitting on the toilet when the lights go out on you and you wave your arms around to get the lights to come back on] "And then, they just, come back on!"

Wow, ladies. Thank you for the information.
It was definitely hard to keep a straight face for this very serious conversation between myself and my two 3rd graders! But that's why I love them.

So, school is going well. What a nice phrase to be able to say! I also had a conversation with a first-year teacher at our school. What a relief and amazing feeling it was to be able to say that 1) yes, I understand how miserable you are and 2) yes, I promise it gets better. No really, it does!

And enough about that for now. This weekend, Brent and I got to go to DC! Neither of us had been, so we had been looking forward to it. The best part was the fact that it was a 20 min. car ride and 35 min. Metro ride from our apartment to the center of DC. Awesome!

As we stepped off the Metro, we headed to the escalator, which took us up into the city, where we were greeted by the bright sunshine and a crowd of protestors marching down the street (remember, it was 9/11). We were amidst a Tea Party Rally!

We headed towards the Washington Monument, with the surrounding flags at half-mast. Truly beautiful.

Then, we walked past the WWII Memorial and the reflection pool, to the Lincoln Memorial.

Then, we had lunch with Washinton and Lincoln (on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial).

We then went to the White House (you've seen enough pictures of that) and then walked a few blocks where we toured the Ford Theater where Lincoln was assassinated. The theater is still putting on plays, and they have the inaugural box set up where you can walk up and look through the door into the room where Lincoln was. It was pretty cool!

And I'll end with 2 more pictures. This last one made us laugh. :)

teehee. :)

Hope you all have a fabulous week! God bless.