he will bring it back, right?

So I have some pretty cool kids in my Algebra 1 classes this year.  They are eager to learn and are really digging the investigative approach I am trying to take with math this year.  (Don’t get me wrong. I have plenty that are kicking and screaming the whole way but I am not going to let them bring me down right now.)

Anyway, I am trying to incorporate technology with chrome books (I am really lucky to have a classroom set this year!) and do things to make math a little more relevant and engaging.  Again, they are digging it and are really doing well.  I also use graphing calculators (TI-84s if you are a calculator person).  The problem is, I don’t have a full class set and I don’t ask my kids to buy their own because it is not reasonable for many of my families and I don’t think our level of use justifies it yet.

So I am usually short a few calculators and I just have the kids pair up and work together.  There are also a ton of calculator simulators and apps available. This is only a problem on test days.  I am not “there” yet in regards to letting my kids use their devices for tests.  I haven’t figured out how to monitor this and am afraid the temptation to cheat might be too strong.

So there’s the dilemma. I usually hope for kids to be absent so I don’t have to address the problems.  Only this last time I had perfect attendance on test day!  Can you believe it?  What was I to do?

Everyone had a calculator (they brought their own, settled for TI 30SX, or got to the room 1st and grabbed a graphing calculator) except one guy.  He is quiet and unassuming.  But he is super cool and definitely an outside the box thinker. I really like him and know he is going to invent something awesome one day!

I have 2 TI-Inspires that I have gotten through a grant over the last two years.  This calculator is awesome!  It does more than you can ever imagine.  Check it out here.  I will wait..

Did you look?  What did you think?

Overwhelming, right?  Yeah… that’s how I feel too!  I have had no time to learn all about it.  So I hand the TI-Inspire to my new favorite student. I show him how to do the basics to take his test.  After he finished, he tries to return it.  Of course he finished early (and ACED IT!) so I tell him to play with the calculator for the rest of the class period.  When the bell rings, he brings it to me with a big grin.  He tells me that it is the coolest thing ever and gives me a quick run down of what he figured out.

This is where my judgment gets cloudy…

I dig out the manual (about 5000 pages of how to use this thing).  I hand him the book and the calculator.  I tell him he doesn’t have to read the book.  He says I probably will anyway because I am just like that.   I say figure it out and teach me.  Bring me back something new everyday for the next week.   He agrees.

And he floats out of the room with a big grin.

And then I think… He’ll bring it back, right?

And I know he will.  But if he doesn’t, I know he will use it and become something big!  That kid is going places and I am helping him along the way.

That is why I teach.


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birthday week

We are in the middle of birthday week in our little family.  Yesterday was Bubba’s 9th birthday! Today is our dog Lucas’ 63rd (in dog years) birthday!  Tomorrow is Dude’s 7th birthday!

I can’t figure when the went from this:


to this:


Time flies when you are having fun!

When Bubba was born (2 weeks late, by the way!) I was so excited to have a healthy baby boy.  I had no idea how much work having a son would be.  Almost exactly 2 years later God laughed and said I hadn’t had enough and blessed us with another son (he has such a sense of humor).

In the early days, we suffered through colicky months that seemed to never end.  We waited three years to have a full nights sleep.  We learned that baby proofing is not the same as boy proofing. We learned that when a toddler (Bubba) drinks a whole bottle of baby tylenol he will get drunk (poison control actually told me that he would be drunk… they were right!). We learned that pennies(Bubba) and polly pockets(Dude) will pass through the digestive tract and come out unchanged.  We have learned lessons we never thought we would need to know.  I am sure there are many more lessons to come.

We have two amazing guys.  Both are going to be smarter than me pretty soon.  Both can make me laugh with their wit and facial expressions.  Both have so much athletic ability that I wonder if someone altered their DNA in utero. Everyday, when I don’t think I can love them anymore, I do. They exhaust me but I wouldn’t take it any other way!

Happy Birthday Bubba, Dude, and the dog!

ps.  the dog is a rescue that we adopted as a pup right after bubba was born.  we don’t know his birthday so the boys like to celebrate it on the day in between theirs.  works for me!

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lesson learned tonight

It is always a good day when you learn something, right?

Here’s what I learned tonight:

  • I can’t sit in my car and listen to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game for two hours while your son has football practice.  The battery will die.
  • If you don’t ever pop the hood on the car, you won’t know where the thing is.  Yep it took a good 3 minutes of looking to find the hood popper thing.  Does that thing have a name?
  • Connecting the black part of the jumper cable to the red part of the battery with produce a huge and scary spark.  Lots of 3rd grade boys squealed on that one.
  • Not getting the cables fully connected to the battery will do absolutely nothing to get your battery charged.  No matter how long you let it stay connected and or how much you rev the engine it won’t charge.
  • I have the greatest husband in the world.  When I called him, he dropped everything he was doing and came and rescued me.  He did some magic and got my car started in about 3.1 seconds.  He is my hero!

I am sure my son’s coach thinks I am a dingbat.  I am sure the other parents think I am a total flake.  I am sure my own children think I am a damsel in distress and that the hubs is the handsome prince that I need.  Only one of those three things is true.

What did you learn today?

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know it all

Here 5 of the many things about me that I don’t like and that tend to get me into trouble.  I think I need to work on fixing them

1. I am snarky and sarcastic.  Sometimes I say things that make people think I may have swallowed razor blades.

2. I am a grudge holder.  Don’t make me mad because I will remember.

3.  I jump to conclusions.  I make rash decisions without knowing all the facts.

4. I speak before I think things through.  I say whatever pops into my head… without thinking…  sometimes it doesn’t turn out well.

5.  I am a know it all.  This one is on my mind today and I want to talk to you about it.

I have always been a know it all.  I remember being in elementary school and feeling compelled to correct my teachers because I knew more than them.  When I was in my 20s I always knew I was right about things and I had to make sure everyone knew (especially the hubs… it is amazing that he kept me around).

Know it alls are annoying.  I can’t stand being around other people that have to “educate” me at every opportunity on everything.  The older I get the more I can’t stand it.  I have been known to call my parents and  apologize for being like that when I was younger.

I have tried to curb my know it all behaviors but sometimes it just happens.  Things come out of my mouth before I realize it (see #4 above).  As I am saying them my mind is cursing me for being a know it all.

Sometimes, though, I don’t even realize I am being a know it all.  This was brought to my attention today.  Last week another colleague and I were having a conversation about technology in our classrooms.  The conversation was broad and covered a spectrum of issues.  This colleague then went and shared part our conversation with another colleague.  It got back to me that the other colleague said “That Casey Campbell thinks she knows everything,” in a nasty and degrading tone.

I have been stewing on this all day.  It really hurt my feelings. Especially since in this particular case, I have had some responsibilities dumped on me.  I get phone calls everyday (sometimes every hour) to troubleshoot technology problems or help someone with technology implementation.  I know I should get over it.  I don’t know who it was that said it about me and while there are a few hateful people in my building, for the most part I really do work with great people.

I don’t want to be a know it all.   I want to be great at what I do and I want to help other good, too.  I guess I just need to work on my tone and my timing.

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Fact about me

I am going to share a disgusting fact about myself.   Not to get anything off my chest or release some demons or anything.  But because I am disgusting, I live with boys and have learned that grossing you out makes me giggle.

I am a picker.  Not a nose picker.  I am a scab picker. Don’t worry I am not going to jump you and pick your scabs.  That would be not only gross but also weird. There is probably some psychological thing that is messed up in my brain.  I probably need help.  Something from my childhood probably scarred me and I need to go to therapy because I haven’t grown out of scab picking.

Anyway, the reason I tell you this now is because I currently have a scab on my elbow.  It is one of those thick gross ones that is bumpy and nasty looking.


But I can’t today.  Because I am in class all day and I prefer to pick in my bathroom so I can slather triple antibiotic ointment on it when I am done. I would hate to get an infection or something. 

(I mean that statement in the most tongue in cheek way… If I were really afraid of infection I would not pick in the first place)

So now I have shared a gross fact about me.  Do you need to get anything off your chest.

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I’m okay

Working a football gate tonight so the boys are having a concession stand dinner. I know… Patent of the year award for me.
Apparently Dude ate too much too fast because when I look over, he is walking towards me and he stops, barfs, walks some more, stops, and barfs again before making it the rest of the way to me.
I am standing at the gate where the ambulance entersThe EMTs working the game jump out of the ambulance to check him out.  Dude grins and says my stomach hurts. He then sits down next to me for a few minutes and rests. The EMT is still concerned and I brush it off. 
After a few minutes Dude says to me “my stomach feels so much better” and he pulls a package of M&Ms out of his pocket and finishes them off before running to the bleachers.
Gotta love parenting boys!!

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Hertz Donuts

I took the boys to the grocery store with me this afternoon to get a few things for dinner. As usual, they asked for various things as we walked through the store. They love sweets, chips, and soda. I am a horrible mother because I always tell them no and then end up buying it anyway.

So when Bubba asked me to get Hertz Donuts I was not surprised that he was asking for a treat. Here’s how this conversation went:

Bubba: Can we get Hertz Donuts?
Me: What’s that?
Bubba: You’ve never heard of Hertz Donuts?
Me: Uh… No…
Bubba: They are really awesome. Don’t you want to try them, Mom?
Me: (distracted by Dude mad grabbing orange sodas  and throwing them in the cart faster than I can remove them) Sure that’s fine.
Bubba: Okay mom


and he almost fell over giggling saying “Hurts, Don’t it?”

Yes!  Yes it did hurt!




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Long wait

Dear walmart,

I live in a small town and do not have many options.  You know this.  You are probably responsible for this.  You seem exploit this.  Here’s why.

Today is the first day of the month.  You know what this means, right?  It’s payday for the majority of the county.  It is also the start of tax free weekend for families to prepare for going back to school.

I work retail on a part time basis (because being a high school math teacher doesn’t pay well as we all know).  Walmart, let me tell you what we did at the small shoe store in which I work.  We called in extra employees to handle this glorious shopping day.  In fact, we typically have 3 people working in my store on a Friday.  Do you know how many people we scheduled to work today?  We had 9 people.  Triple what we typically have because we knew we were going to be busy, my dear Walmart. 

My latest accusations of exploitation come from my shopping experience tonight.  At 9:30 pm I entered your store to buy dog food, contact solution, and milk.  Of course I picked up a couple of impulse purchases on my way through the store but my item count was under 10. 

Do you know how long I had to pay for these items?  I waited in line for over 40 minutes.  You see, my dear walmart, you did not seem to prepare for this glorious shopping day.  You only had a few registers open (maybe only 1 more than typically open at 9:45).  There were 4 employees standing in the school supply aisle so I know you at least thought about the shopping focus of the weekend but apparently you didn’t not think about the fact that people were actually going have to pay for those supplies.

I read an entire People magazine while I waited.  I didn’t pay for it because I was finished before I got to the register.  And while you are not going to go broke because I didn’t pay for a magazine (and I know you probably don’t care because I still remember when I tried to buy bikes from you at Christmas)

The problem I have is that I have no other options and you don’t seem to care.  Someday, I will live in a big city again.  And when that day comes, my dear walmart, I will shop at Target because at least if I have to wait a long time, my fellow shoppers will be a little less dirty, a little better dressed, and have a little higher vocabulary.

The lady that thinks 40 minute in line is way too long.

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Its an emergency

If you have read my blog over the last few years you already know that I seem to have an allergy to exercise. 
I have always claimed that I have trouble breathing, I break out into a sweat, and my skin gets blotchy.  All signs of an allergic reaction.
But I am on (yet another) mission to get healthy and fit. In order to do that I have to exercise.  There are a few things that I have found that I can handle the nasty side effects I mentioned above. Those include getting on an elliptical machine, going to my powerhouse dance class, and a small assortment of beachbody dvds.
Despite the fact that I have completed 5 half marathons, running is not on that list. In fact it is possibly the most horrific thing I do.
Tonight, though, that was my only option as I am out of town and the hotel fitness center is only a fitness center by name.
So I have run about 2 miles or so and my stomach starts to rumble.  But the rumblings are not high enough to signal hunger.  I start to panic.  I am at least a mile from the hotel and I have got to go.  NOW.
We can add loose stools to the list of allergic reactions I have from exercise.
And here I am in a Walmart bathroom, sharing my pain with the world. Please feel sorry for me.  But be proud that I am exercising despite my allergies.

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I have the greatest parents

This week marks 40 years of marriage for my parents!  

Isn’t that amazing?

1974- when it all began

1974- when it all began


I am so proud of them.  I am even luckier to call them my parents  They have been the best role models I could have ever dreamed of having.

My parents have taught me about a good marriage.  They have shown me that it is not something to give up on.  I have watched them my whole life.  I have seen them work together to reach a goal.  I have seen them encourage each other.  I have seen them sacrifice for each other.  I have seen them lift each other up.  I have seen them pray together and put God at the front of all they do.

My parents have taught me about being a parent.  Growing up, I watched them sacrifice for their children.  They provided my sister, brother, and me guidance while letting us take risks.  They walked with us.  They pushed us.  They held us accountable.  They let allowed us to grow and do amazing things.  My parents taught us to be independent from them but, more importantly, dependent on God.

Sometime in the middle (probably the mid 80's judging by the hair)

Sometime in the middle (probably the mid 80’s judging by the hair)

I pray that my marriage will continue to grow and be as strong as theirs.  I pray that I will be as good of a parent to Bubba and Dude as they have been to me.  I thank God for giving me my parents. 

Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!  Here’s to many more years together!

I love you guys!!

Still happy and in love after 40 years!

Still happy and in love after 40 years!

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