About Me

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I am married to an amazing man, Bill. We have a baby boy named Owen who is our whole world! I am a teacher. I have a Shi Tzu named Cash who definately helps to complete our family. Bill is a Carpenter and a full time student at night. We are very active and play on several different sports leagues. I Chair Relay for Life for St. Francois County adn do Activities for Madison and Iron Counties. I also am President-Elect of the Southeast Region of Missouri State Teacher's Association. We definately stay busy! Bill loves to fish and be out doors. I love waking up with him in my life every day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

This is how I roll!

It is amazing what we take for granted as knowing. An example: My 21 month old son got his first 4 wheeler about a month and a half ago. We noticed he would push the button for a second then stop and repeat. Finally we realized that he had to be taught to continue to push in order to go the distance. Do we, as teachers, take for granted the small stuff pegging it as things they should just know? I definitely will be paying more attention. Will you?

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Location:Park Hills, Mo

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My name is Tara Gann, and I am suing the State of Missouri!

Yesterday, August 19, 2011, Missouri State Teacher's Association (MSTA) along with 5 individual plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit against the State of Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster over Senate Bill 54 which prohibits communication of social media sites between teachers and students.

The big news to my friends and family- I am one of the 5 plaintiffs. Many people are asking "Why is MSTA suing the State?" My question is WHY AREN'T YOU?

Let me start off by saying that I am not friends with any students in my district that have not graduated. Partly because of my professional standing but also partly because I left high school many (not many... ok maybe a few more than I would care to admit) years ago and am not interested in having my news feed filled with the likes of high school drama. However, I still feel that is my right to make that decision.

I have some issues with this bill and if you do not know much about it, please read on. It is a personal struggle to constantly face laws and standards that are passed by people who have never stepped into a classroom and or received any input from teachers. (I do not tell truck drivers how to drive even if I do think some are not good at it and I do not tell investment bankers where to spend their money even though I question their investments or lack there of.)

This bill/law needs a teacher. The language is so vague that there are many people standing around scratching their heads. What can we do, what is not allowed seems to be the questions. If I were to give instruction to my class on an assignment as vague as this, the state would see to it I was fired because my students' achievement tests would show no mastery because they would be at a loss. (Send me to Congress and I promise I will make sure that a law is clear and understandable as they should be. Speed limits are easy enough to understand and we obey those-- for the most part!)

This law also makes it completely unclear about friending family. This includes our own children. How am I (when the time comes) to monitor my own children's fb (or any other social media interactions) without friending them. Are you telling me that I have to sacrifice my good parenting skills so that I can be a good teacher? I could always prohibit my son from having a fb account but is that fair to him? He did not sign up to be a teacher so why should he be punished?

There is also the Youth Ministers who are also teachers. They no longer have the same access to their congregation. Of course they could always call but the fact remains that a student is more likely to answer their fb messages than a voicemail. This law does not block communications of current students. This blocks it from all current students in any district that you have taught in. I taught 2nd grade 5 years ago in Potosi for 1 year. I have a friend whose son is a student at Potosi (he was not even in that district when I taught there) who will have to be deleted because he is currently a student in a previous school I taught in.

What is even more amazing is that there are Senators who are supporting this even after the pleas of miscommunication and misunderstanding. When I give bad directions in my classroom, I regroup and try again, I do not fail all of them because they did not understand it. Of course, I can admit when I am wrong. (Even if my husband disagrees!)

Here is also an interesting fact. Sexual predators have no stipulations on them when it comes to social media sites. I work with kids everyday. I have their best interest at heart and my life is centered around making sure they are successful human beings. I offer no harm to them but I am now deemed worse than a sexual predator? Thank you Missouri State Government for showing me the respect owed for being an educator-promoting tomorrow's leaders! (No thanks needed I am assuming!)

Do I believe that bad situations have happened? Yes. Are we all bad and should we all suffer? I will let you answer that. If that is the case, I have a few requests.

Some Senators make bad choices too. Some break the law and use their power to try and get out of it. Does that mean they all do? Some are arrogant and do not listen to their constituents because they are on a power trip? Does that mean they all do? Some are lazy? Are they all?

http://bit.ly/pOKavy This the petition to the court from MSTA

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Excuse Me, Do You Mind Turning That Thing Off?

Last night I went to the movies with a friend to watch The Help. I had read the book several weeks ago and had anxiously been awaiting the day I get to see it. (Btw-- It was really good!)

While I am in the movie my husband texts me. (My phone is on silent so it only vibrates on my leg.) I look and he asks "What time did the movie start and are you still there?" Seriously? I have been away from the house for less than 2 hours and I am being interrupted by these questions? (I felt like a woman who is having an affair!) And they continue, "Hello?" "You there?" and so forth. The only reason I even keep my phone near is because I do have a small kid and I would think (hope) that if my husband would text me in case of an emergency. About the time I go to text my husband back to tell him to please stop texting me so I can watch my movie the man next to me (there was a seat between us) very loudly states "Could you respect those around you and turn that off!" I am so embarrassed and honestly quite mad not just at my husband but at this man who very rudely announced to the entire place that I am bothering him. I am positive he could have leaned over quietly and said "Your phone's light is bothering me. Do you mind to put it away?" and I would have been so understanding. (Remember, I did not ask to get the third degree in the first place.)

So now I am zoned way out of movie mode. I am frustrated, embarrassed and down right mad. Mad at the rude man (I know in his mind I was the rude one but clearly he had a choice on how to handle the situation and involving the entire theater was not the way I would have picked) and mad at my husband for asking me stupid questions during a time I was trying to enjoy some me time which ultimately put me in the situation. To my husband's defense, he didn't know I was going to get yelled at and if I had not my anger would probably not have been as elevated but it did and it was. (Let me give an example: Your kid steals your car, and you are mad. But how much more upset are you when they wreck it?)

I could have probably swallowed my pride and taken my lashing in the theater and deemed responsibility for all blame except for the next few moments. After it is over and people have finally quit looking at me the man (let's call him the rude man) and his wife are having a disagreement. Apparently she was not happy with the way he handled it either and so he is whispering argumentatively with her until the says (directing theater attention on me again) "She is the one who comes to the movies and sits on her phone talking to her friends. If she wanted to talk to her friends don't come to the theater." Really? I just wanted to look at him and say "Why are you being such a jerk?" Instead, I lean over and whisper "I am sorry. It was my husband and I thought it might be about my son." Very loudly again he says "IT SAYS TO TURN THEM OFF! TURN IT OFF!!!" Now the entire place is clearly not watching the movie and my poor friend is sure we are getting kicked out. I am soooooo embarrassed but mad too! I said "I put it away." He spouts "TURN IT OFF!" His wife is yanking his arm telling him to be quiet. I think my friend has moved away from me now (thanks for having my back--lol). Did I mention that my phone has been on silent already through out this entire altercation. No sound has come out of it at any time. So it being on the floor, in my purse, on silent should be more than enough for this man. But control freak rude man wanted it off. He did not get his way. He may be the boss of his house but not mine. (Mine is texting me asking for my timeline.)

After the movie, my friend uses the bathroom and I see rude man in the lobby. (I am currently trying to call my husband to take my frustration out on him.) The man's wife is needing to use the bathroom and I hear him say, firmly and rudely "Hurry up, I don't like sitting in traffic." Traffic, in Festus movie theater... ok! Apparently he is just a rude man.

Funny thing is while I was sitting in the theater I kept praying to myself "God, please calm my anger and relax my nerves" and then in the next breath my alter-ego would cut in and say "Forget calming my nerves, that guy is a jerk!" Back and forth I am having this personal struggle within me all while I am at the movie. I had a lot going on during that movie.

Of course my conversation with the hubby was not a huge success because I had caught rude man's ass disease and it came through on the phone so I had to later apologize. I apologize because I was wrong and should not have been as rude as I was about the whole situation. But this is what I love about arguments between married people. Obviously when 2 sides are arguing there is a reason. However, one side always takes it to the point of over board (my side in this convo) and they end up apologizing. But the truth of the matter is that we were arguing over something else entirely and you got off scott free. So my husband walks away scar free and blameless for the asking my every move because I yelled at him for me getting yelled at. And all married people whom have had this type of argument know that to bring it up later (to still try and get your apology) is crazy talk because the will think you are begging for a fight and that you can not let anything go. Because of this, you go down without a fight and take blame, again.

Today, I wake up still aggravated. (I guess the devil side one and no nerves were calmed.) The hubby calls and is griping (actually he could have just been talking but in my frame of mind it felt like griping) and I finally tell him I am not in the mood to listen to being griped at so could we please end this conversation. He is very ticked now (with every right) and hangs up. An hour later he sends me a text apologizing. (My husband NEVER apologizes. Especially when I am wrong.) He states that he didn't mean to come across that way but understands that it did and he is sorry. As I read it my mouth drops. All I can say at this point is "I am sorry too. and Thank you!" Now who is the jerk! (ME!!!)

So I am going to try to be more patient with my husband because it could be worse, I could be married to rude man!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Things My Husband Says

Constantly I have friends call, email, text or chat with me asking the question "Do you have time for a vent?" Obviously I make time. These are my friends, my soul mates, my partners in crime, my support system. When one of them is frustrated, hurt, anxious, embarrassed or angry I will do what ever is in my power to take time to let them pour it out. Often they ask for advice and then often they just want someone to talk to. I offer no judgement but I am here when needed as I know they would be for me. I do not share the same point of view as many of my friends on many topics but I respect their opinions and love them for them. I feel privileged that so many rely on me to be their sounding board and am honored when they tell me "You are such a great listener".

My husband says I ignore him.

When my friends do seek advice I am willing to tell them my opinion but remind them repeatedly that ultimately it is their life and their choices. I love each of them the same no matter what. I am not a sugar coater and I respect each of them too much to tell them what they want to hear. I have my own opinions and I will gladly share them if asked but that does not mean I know all the answers. My friends tell me that they talk to me about things because they know I will always be straight with them.

My husband says I am abrasive.

My friends often just need to gab at another adult/woman/member of the opposite sex (yes I do have some very good men friends). I enjoy my friends and I love catching up with them.

My husband says I talk too much.

My schedule is crazy busy. I find enough down time to fit my needs and though some things go undone I do not neglect my responsibilities and in the end always pull things off. I seldom ever say no (personal flaw) and I love being a part of things, helping to make things happen and witnessing success among those things I am passionate about and those whom I care about. I do not think that my life would be complete if I took a back seat. I thrive on my projects and affiliations. My friends say that I am Wonder Woman (hardly!).

My husband says I over do it.

I am professional but anyone who knows me knows that I have a quirky, crazy side and that I always have a joke for a situation. I look at life as positive as I can. I know that ultimately God is in control and that gives me enough peace to sit back and enjoy the ride. (And boy do I!) I love to cut up with friends. I have no problem dancing to crazy cartoon music with my son, or acting silly with others. My friends call me funny and a nut (a good one).

My husband says I need to seek professional help.

If I were complain that I need to loose weight my friends would encourage me by offering to diet with me or some would lie and say "You look great".

My husband would say "Well then put the candy bar and Mountain Dew down".

Now I know the picture I have painted does not shed the best lighting on my husband but in all honestly it is who he is. He is my center. I do not like everything he does or says but he is a rock that keeps me stable. He is the reason I remember to stay grounded and he is my other half. (Some days my better half, some days not. LOL) I do not always like what he does or has to say but on those days I simply ignore him, become abrasive if I have to, talk too much to him about all my feelings until I over do it. I then mention marriage counseling and sit drinking my Mountain Dew and candy bar as he shakes his head and eventually suggests that I go spend time with my friends! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Campers now and Forever! Like it or Not!!!

Today my husband brought home a pop up camper and parked it in our yard (right beside the F150 Truck he brought home as his newest project about a month ago). The words "Fixer-Upper" give this pop up more credit than it deserves. Much, much more credit! This new "project" has become my problem as I am the woman of the house and the sewing and crafting rests upon my shoulders. I say this because I heard the phrase "Babe, you can sew this, right?" and "Hey Babe, we can recover/clean/replace this right?" As if I am not busy enough, now I have a very large craft project to tackle. And those who know me know that once I decide I am doing something, there is no stopping me. (One major problem, I am not nearly as crafty with a sewing machine as my husband's imagination gives me. Another problem, kinda forgot where my sewing machine disappeared to!)

If I am being honest, the camper project is my own fault. I have wanted one for a long time and my fortune (big exaggeration on the word fortune) is that my husband's background is filled with extensive experience in trading. Now, I am not sure if many of you dabble in trading but you seldom get high quality stuff this way. (I will say that we have gotten many good things this way including our floors, cabinets and an ac unit off the top of my head.)

The NEED for a camper came earlier this year when we decided to take our son, Owen, camping for the first time. You can not imagine how much fun it was to be up all hours of the night with an 19 month old little boy who thought a tent was the coolest thing since Coco Puffs and spent the entire night up and running around the tent. After this, my husband had his mind set on a camper.

When he first rolled in with it, I was impressed! His description had been "A Tent on Wheels". But this pop up was actually pretty nice. And then he popped it up and out! (No offense but the tent is looking AWESOME right now!

Of course, I can't tell him any of this (though I am pretty sure the look of scepticism across my face throughout the process probably gave me away) because he does try so hard. So instead I will buck up and redo the inside while he does damage control on the outside. However, this experience has made me wonder. Do they have a show called "Extreme Camper Make-Over" or "Mobile Overhaul". If so, can someone please sign me up! (Also if anyone is interested in making me some curtains and cushion covers let me know and God Bless You!!! ---- I will buy the fabric!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ice Cream



Before I had my son my favorite summer pass time was an afternoon at a winery with a friend(s). We would sit and chat about anything and everything and relax in the summer heat. I loved those days.
I have not been to a winery in e years. Why? 3 summers ago I was pregnant and since have had our son, Owen. (He is the joy mess pictured above.). Since then there are a lot of things o no longer have including but not limited to: my sanity, my memory, my fashion sense, my freedom, my late morning sleep ins, my extra bedroom, my waist line.... Should I really go on?

It sounds terrible and if I think about it in terms of what I have lost it kind of is. But I have gained the most amazing gift there ever was.

Now do not be mistaken, my summers are not nearly as relaxing and drama free as before. We now have poopy diapers, fights at nap, discussions and corner time for hitting the dogs with our plastic golf clubs, melt downs because mommy said "no more cookies", language barrier issues because though I am learning o am still not fluent in toddler talk, and the annoying sound of the word Daddy repeated about a hundred times more a day than Mommy! However, we also have kisses and hugs. We dance to the beginning of almost every cartoon intro that plays. We have color time. We play at the park and we take walks around the block. Life is so much more complicated and yet so much more simple at the same time.

However, these days our biggest decisions are do we want ice cream from Chill or Lix?

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Oh how nice!

I just realized that I can blog from my phone! This blog is about to light up like a Christmas Tree!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 18, 2011

"OMGosh I love these! Wish I owned a horse. I would love to do that with Owen!!!"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Funniest Guy I Ever Knew...

The funniest guy I ever knew was an old man who resided at a nursing home I worked at years ago.  His name was Lee.  Lee did not set out to be funny but his actions always spoke much louder than any joke I have heard.

Lee, though confined to a wheel chair for many years when I met him still considered himself young and vibrant.  On several occasions he would ask for my number and or to join him after my shift in the dining hall at a "private table" so he could juice and dine me.  However, I was not his only conquest.  Lee was not the least bit discriminative.  If you were female you were IN.  Young, old, tall short, fat, skinny, blonde, brunette or white haired did not matter, as long as you were female Lee liked you!  He had one stipulation.  You better not be a ..... I will use the word "hag" in place of a much more harsh version of what Lee called unfriendly women. 

I use to love to watch Lee when I worked.  He would get himself in so much trouble because his favorite thing was to act out of it and then when a woman would pass by he would reach out and grab her bottom.  When she would turn in her shocked and angry manner, Lee would sit limp and act as though he was confused and did not know what was going on.  Ornery man he was but as funny as can be.  Lee had a history as well.  I loved listening to him tell me stories of his younger (and as he added much more handsome days).  I especially loved listening to him talk of his late Ann whom he had loved until she passed many years before.  Since e=her death he had learned to enjoy life again and I guess to Lee that meant pinching the bottom of every stranger he came in contact with.

I do not know why Lee opened up to me.  He did not care for much of the staff and in turn they did not understand why he would listen to me and/or talk with me.  I knew though.  Lee was not a patient, he was a friend and I was a better person because he was my friend.

Lee passed away one night while I was still working at the home.  I remember that sad hollow feeling I had though I was grateful that he went in his sleep peacefully and quietly though selfishly I had wished for a moment to say good-bye.

I thought of Lee today out of the clear blue.  I sat and watched my son doing the craziest things and the random laughs I got from his daily normal life and I thought of how I would get the same feeling from watching Lee.  Owen is a lot like Lee.  He is crazy, full of smiles, always up to no good, huge flirt and stole my heart the moment I met him. 

Hope you are doing well Lee!!!  Take care! (And quit chasing those angels around!  Mind your manners before the big gut send you to time out!!!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Ready or Not..... Here We Come!


As a child, time seems to drag along and/or stand still.  A school day is forever long, a summer break appears to be endless and your next birthday feels as though it will never arrive.  When you enter college graduation seems ages away and at the front steps of your twenties thirty seems unreachable.

However, at 31 and with a 14 month old child (who seems as though he was born yesterday) I have come to realize how very quick that time passes by. 

There are those minutes that still appear to take forever such as waiting in the doctor's office for the doctor himself to finally make his appearance.  The days between now and your vacation cannot pass by quick enough.  A school year looks like an endless amount of time at the beginning.  Yet you blink and that doctor has come and went, your vacation pictures are framed and you are already half way through that school year.  Where did the time go? 

With time speeding past us also comes heartache.  The loss of those we love, moments we miss, and the ache in our hearts as we watch our children grow so fast in front of us.  (It breaks my heart to see how quickly the first year of my son's life has went by.)

And here we are at the beginning of another year.  2011.  So many people predicting the events of the year to come and/or promising to themselves and the world the things they plan to do different this time around. 

Therefore let me make my predictions and resolutions.

I predict that at times I will dislike my husband but many many more times I will love him and thank God for bringing him into my life.  I predict that I will constantly be in awe of my son who will make me laugh and cry and always keep me on my toes.  I predict I will loose something/someone very close to me and will have a heartache that will always be felt but I will survive.  I predict that I will continue to grow with my faith in God and my love.  I predict that at the end of 2011 I will be even more content in life.

My resolution for 2011 is to stop and smell the flowers (all of them, not just the roses).  I plan to smile more and take every chance to enjoy my life and love my family.  I plan to tell people I love them more and HUG more.  I plan to thank God daily for the many many blessings he has given me and I plan to life my life to the fullest not in theory but in truth.

2011 You better be ready, because here I come and 1979-2010 have nothing on what I plan to do with you!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Kings of Christmas

Today we spent the day celebrating Christmas with my family (the Kings).   It was an eventful year and with that came new/long lost family members and so our Christmas gathering tripled in size this year!  It was a beautiful blessing of a day!

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However, along with such a larger gathering came so many presents.  My dining room is filled with stuff--- mostly of new toys for Owen.  So as much as I would love to blog and share all the exciting moments of the day, I have too much to put away!

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