I've always been a fan of the first day of school.   That day when the monkey children can no longer sleep in until the afternoon sun begins to pass over the house, and they manage to find 18,000 ways to do absolutely nothing all day.  Hey, I'll admit that I drop the ball every summer at providing structure and making sure my kids amount to more than mere slugs over their summer vacation. This summer proved to be no different, as the first day of school has snuck up on me yet again.  The past eight weeks flew by with little to no structure happening and 3 very happy slugs slugging their way through each lazy summer's day.
Today starts a new school year, and there's a certain level of excitement in the air.  We are no longer an elementary school household!  At our school district, the elementary years are K-5, and if you send your kids to our District PreK program, that's 7 years in the same building, multiplied by multiple's an eternity as an elem…

NYS PTA: Leading the Way

One day recently, I was sitting at my desk, watching the U.S. Senate confirm our current Secretary of Education.  A co-worker had come in, and she commented, "You know, some day Candy will be on the other side of that camera and we'll be watching her!"

Please.  Stop right there.  I have absolutely NO intention of becoming a political figure.

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt (literally) and all...

If success is measured in whether or not a candidate wins, then I suppose it can be said that I have failed with my past experience in that arena.  I choose, however, to believe that success is measured in coming out on the other side as a better person.  And today I can look back at my relatively short-lived political experience and say that I did, in fact, succeed.  I haven't changed who I am.  I haven't walked away.  I haven't backed down.  I'm still out there looking to make change happen.

Over the past months, I've watched politicians from both …

Don't Blink.

I have these "mom moments" when, despite all the crazies of my life with three monkey children, one (or more) of them will do or say something, or have a moment when I'm stopped in my tracks, and I catch myself looking at the individual that they are becoming right before me.  At the same time, I find myself remembering the littles that they once were...and not knowing what happened to all of that "in-between-time".

My "mom moments" typically last all of 15 seconds.  Just long enough for the tears to begin to well up in my eyes as I remember with pride...and then I move on with life.

But somehow ...


First-born monkey child is 16 years old.  Officially closer to 17 than he is 15.  Not yet driving, but there are rumors that will be happening ... soon.


He's a Junior in high school.  When did that happen?


Today we're heading out for our first college visit.


This morning, my 15-second "mom moment" became 10 mi…

The Great Adventure

"Discover all the new horizons, just waiting to be explored. This is what we were created for.... Saddle up your horses, we've got a trail to blaze." **

Giddy-up, cowpokes!  I have just returned home energized and ready to dig in after a weekend at NY State PTA Summer Leadership Conference.  Added to that, it was a whole western theme, so I also have these images of cowboy hats and cowboy boots dancing in my head (so much for visions of sugarplums).
This year, I had my partner in crime with me.  She is the Thelma to my Louise.  In the past, we have travelled to New York City together for an eduction debate, and also attended New York State PTA Convention together.  When we travel together, the two of us will often brainstorm in such a way about PTA and what we can do better to accomplish more, and this trip was no different.  The two of us were in our natural element attending a weekend of leadership development and advocacy training with other like-minded PTA members.

Who I Am

A few years ago, I had made the decision to run for a seat on my local school board.   I made the decision. I was not asked to do it by anybody looking for their own end result. I was also not asked to run to counter someone else's decision to seek out one of the available seats. When I made the decision that I was going to pursue this, I thought hard and I prayed even harder. I always wanted to be certain that I was doing this for the right reason. The reason always being that I knew that I had a purpose that I was called for, and fully believing in my own children's public education.

Make no mistake, the loss of that election still stings.

I know that I'm called to advocate on behalf of children and public education.  I know this with every fiber of my being.  Certainly, there have been many times when I have closed up my computer and went to bed at night thinking I couldn't possibly read one more article, send one more email, make one more phone call...and yet t…

Thrive Experience

(Mr. D. and myself were both given 4-day sample packs to try out this Thrive product.  I mentioned to him that we should try doing it together to see how we each might react differently.  After 4 days of waiting for the green light that he was ready to try this, he was still sitting stalled at the starting block.  Therefore I announced to him that my 4-day sample had turned into an 8 day sample, and I  confiscated his sample pack.  What follows are my notes about my first 4 days...)

Day #1: Today, I woke up at my normal time, in my normal manner, and I felt the slightest twinge of an oncoming headache as I dragged myself to the shower. "Dragged" being the key word.  I don't do mornings, and I certainly don't foresee "Thriving" in the mornings.  While I was in the shower I suddenly remembered the capsule I was supposed to take to start this whole process.  A single capsule filled with possibly more vitamins and nutrients than I normally consume in an entire d…

We Still Refuse

I have had a number of people message me asking me about this year's state assessments that our children are scheduled to take beginning next week.  After all, NY State has been trying really hard to make sure that we know they've heard parent's concerns, that they've made changes, and they would like us to trust them.

I blindly trusted NY State 5 years ago, with the implementation of the Common Core Standards when they began building their freaking airplane while it was still in the air.

No More. 
I trust my children's teachers who are the true educators.  I trust them to be able to make thoughtful and accurate decisions regarding my children and what they are learning.  I can not trust individuals who are so far removed from the classroom that they're unaware of what is happening in the classroom from one day to the next.  I can not trust a system that has not yet proven itself and by its own admission has been full of mistakes, confusion, and inappropriate sta…