I'm not sure how coherent my last blog really was. I woke up this morning vaguely remembering that I actually did write a blog post last night....and I remembered typing that I yelled at my students. ahaha....mainly because I was thinking, "Oh, they're going to think I'm such a jerk!" because I didn't explain why!! I had taken Nyquil before bed last night, and I think I was slipping into my Nyquil-induced coma as I was typing.

I have three wonderful groups of kids. Really, all of them are wonderful in their own ways. However, when you put some of their personalities together, it's a whirlwind of attitudes, conflicts, and NOISE. I have one group that doesn't stop talking from the moment they walk in to school to the moment they walk out. I don't know how they don't exhaust themselves. And their talking gets them in trouble....with me, with themselves, and with each other. My one really rowdy group is made up of kids who just haven't been disciplined. They've been allowed to do whatever they want...whenever they want....and getting loud and yelling is how they know to get their way. Yeah...that doesn't work for me. They learned this week that I won't tolerate any of it. I expect more, and they hate it. One day, though, they will learn why I demand so much of them. Looking at these kids, I see high school students I have taught who have come to me at the end of their senior year saying, "Thank you for being tough on me and for pushing me. It made all the difference, and I wouldn't be here if you hadn't." Right now, though, they just see a mean teacher who doesn't let them get away with much. And that's okay with me. :)

Sad news - my cousin's husband did pass away last night. I don't know details other than that he was in liver failure, and they had tried everything they could. His kidneys began to fail 2 days ago, and last night, he went "home." I honestly can't begin to imagine the pain my cousin is feeling. She married her best friend - literally. Whenever she had guy problems, she went to Chris....and he had loved her for such a long time, but he knew he couldn't tell her until the time was right. Finally, the time came....and she was so happy. They have two beautiful children who are 7 and 5. I can't bear the images of pain and heartache on those little faces. I can't bear the thought of the pain my cousin is feeling. I know I have felt tragedy and heartache....I know what it is like to lose someone you love with every ounce of your being. But I don't know the pain of losing a husband, and I know that losing Jeremy would crush me...absolutely devastate me. When I look at my life - I see him. When I look at my future - I see my Jerms. No one else. He is my soulmate, helpmate, and the man I have devoted my life to, and I really can't imagine life without him. (A friend of mine asked me recently - how do you really know when you're in love with someone? And I told her, "When you can't imagine life without that person. When the thought of losing that person...not having them in your life...brings you unbearable pain....I think that's when you know.) My cousin is 41 (I'm pretty sure) and much too young to be a widow. And her children are much too young to lose a father. My heart breaks for them. Please, please say a prayer for them....that they will be able to find comfort and remember all of the good times together....and that they will grieve with hope.

A quick bit of Jones family news: Collen is walking!! WOO!! He's a week away from being 13 months old, and he is getting closer and closer to being a full time walker every day!

He still prefers crawling as his main method of getting around, but he'll let go and take a few steps here and there. He's definitely becoming more secure with the idea!! He's so proud of himself!

And, I never updated on Gracie. SHE'S HOME and SAFE AND SOUND!! She had walked close to 8 miles or so. She walked up to someone's house - and they happened to be dog rescuers who volunteered with the animal shelter. We had put out flyers and someone from a neighborhood called and said we should check out a flyer at the gas station closest to our house - that a flyer with a lost dog's picture had been posted - and that the lost dog looked a lot like Gracie. I raced down there, and sure enough, it was Gracie!!! I went to get her right away, and now she's back and secured into the backyard. No more escaping....unless she digs out. It's such a relief to know she's okay and to have her home. We all missed her so, so much.

I'm so glad this whirwind week is over. I'm praying for a better week next week. If not....I'm looking for a new job! This stress is wearing me out - I have a fever blister and a cold - and it always happens at the beginning of the school year. Lack of sleep, stress, and a lot of burnt energy does it to me every time.

Y'all have a good weekend.

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